This story is assuming Zuko's madre miraculously appeared! yay I wrote it a while ago, but I officially finished it yesterday. .
"AGNI!" From Zuko's hands burst angry fire, full of frustration and confusion. Zuko turned his back on the slightly frightened, but quiet content young woman who had stood before him.
Zuko walked through the temple until he came across his uncle and Toph searching for tea leaves.
Toph felt Zuko's angry steps before Iroh heard them, and she widened the space between them, for as not to get in the line of fire.
Iroh noticed Toph move to the far corner of the corridor, and he looked up, just as Zuko stepped into line behind him.
Zuko opened his mouth, as if to speak, but then closed it and began to pace. He made grumpy noises as he took two steps and then pivoted, over and over again.
Finally he just let it out. "I don't understand her uncle!"
Iroh, who had been watching him pace, knew exactly who he was talking about. Katara.
She had been, by far, the nastiest most unforgiving nag of the group. Her amount of anger towards Zuko had been a surprise, even for Iroh, who knew Waterbenders to be kind, gentle, caring people.
Unfortunately enough for Zuko, he had ticked off the only Water Bender in the world, who had been raised with the heart of a Firebender.
Iroh hadn't really seen much of her lately. Between Fire Bending practice with Aang and Zuko, and trying to find a good kind of tea in this forsaken place, he had been busy.
"Zuko, maybe it would be best for you to take a nice cold bath to cool down. Then I will bring you some calming tea." Iroh winced at the last words and remembered only a couple of months ago, when he had offered some calming tea, and Zuko had blow up in his face. He was surprised when Zuko's shoulders sunk, and he exhaled loudly.
"That sounds good. And as for the tea, thank you." Zuko slumped of in the direction of the baths leaving a baffled Iroh to stand in awe at his nephew's change of heart.
He turned to Toph who was picking random blades of grass, and sniffing them. He chuckled greatly and walked over to her. He began to explain the texture of a good tea leaf, so that she would be able to feel her way to them.
On the way to the baths, Zuko came into contact with his mother. She was sitting across the court yard from Katara who was trying to start a fire for that night's meal.
Zuko glanced over at her. When he caught her eye, she turned red with hate and then with a 'humph' she turned her back on him.
Zuko dropped his shoulders and then sauntered over to his mother. She had seen the interaction, and she laughed lightly.
Zuko groaned as he sat down next to her. "Thanks so much."
Ursa put her hand on Zuko's shoulder. "Zuko, I am going to share with you a secret."
Zuko eyed his mother curiously.
"What I am about to tell you was a gift for me, from the spirits, and part of the reason as to why I left."
Zuko turned towards his mother. If his attention was anywhere else a minute ago, it was all on her now.
"The week before I left, the spirits gave me a vision; A vision of you, Zuko. They presented me with a vision of your life, and the things to come, after I was to leave.
"For five nights, I dreamed in blue. The first night, I dreamed of a young boy with blue arrows covering his body. I saw him and you, and the ties that bound you. I saw the boy and his friends attacked by you as well as many others. I saw him captured, and I felt his pain. The second night, I dreamed of a mask; a blue terrible laughing mask. The man wearing it was dressed in black. I watched him and his internal conflict between doing what was right, and doing what was selfish. I saw him finally choose, and save the arrowed boy. The third night, I dreamed of you. You were in the North Pole and you were hunting the young boy again. That was the first time I noticed her." Ursa nodded in the direction of Katara
"You both fought for him, and she lost. You got stuck in the blizzard, and almost died, but the young boy who you kept trying to capture showed you mercy. The next night was when all the vision was focused on her. You fight constantly and it tears you even farther away realizing that you care for each other."
Zuko's eyes widened in disbelief.
"The last night, I dreamed of something that has yet to happen, but even as you sit here, and she watches you with sad eyes, it has already been set in motion." Ursa smiled softly and put her hand on her son's shoulder.
Zuko just stared at her, trying to figure out what had to be done.
Ursa seemed to answer him. "Just be happy, Zuko."
Zuko smiled and pulled his mom into a hug. She whispered in his ear, "From day one, all I've ever wanted is for you to look in the mirror of the past, and be happy about what you saw."
Zuko released his mother, and heard Katara groan loudly. He turned just in time to see her chuck the group's only spark rocks into the bushes. He stood and jogged over to get them.
When he had found them both, and cleaned the dirt off of them, he cautiously approached Katara's seething form.
"Need some help?" He asked trying to sound gracious, but not like a know it all. He offered her the spark rocks.
"Not from you." She snatched them from his hands, and tried to fix the pill of sticks and kindling. She began to beat them together furiously, skinning her finger in the process. She yelped in pain, and sucked on her finger.
Zuko was unable to mask his grin. She was so angry at the spark rocks; so angry at some random inanimate object that could not really provoke her in any way. I then came to Zuko's attention that Katara might be taking out her anger, which had been meant for him, on these objects instead. Despite all of this, he still chuckled because, well, she was angry at the spark rocks.
Katara looked up at Zuko with pure hate that stopped his laughter in its tracks. She looked down at the spark rocks, and then she examined her bloody finger, and she realized how ridiculous she was being. She burst into hysterical laughter, and Zuko, upon remembering to breath, did the same.
Soon they were both sitting, to worn out to stand, leaning against the stone of the water basin next to them. Zuko looked at the sky and felt the pull of the sun as it sunk lower and lower on the horizon, and realized that dinner was still no closer to being done.
He leaned forward and gathered the sticks from Katara's previous fire attempts. He glanced in her direction, only to see two cerulean eyes watching him closely.
"Do you know the origin of Firebending?" Zuko asked at the put some twigs pointing upward and leaning together.
Katara watched what Zuko was doing. "The Dragons taught you, right?"
Zuko grinned and nodded. "Yes, but do you know why?"
Katara thought for a second but then shook her head. Her eyebrows pulled in with question.
Zuko nodded toward the fire, and blew on it gently, causing a small flame to rise. It danced around and licked the air, before settling on a larger log. He tossed the spark rocks into her lap.
"Because otherwise we'd starve."
I know what your thinking, (or maybe I don't) but there was no cactus juice involved in Ursa's crazy 'blue' dreams.