AN: The real story begins after this mark :–:–:–:
"Have you learned your lesson?" a cold voice asked from behind a hooded cloak.
"Yes," I said, trying to look into the person's face, but it was too dark.
"So if we set you free, you will not make a mockery of our rules ever again?" a second hooded figure asked.
"Never," I said. "I'll never break another rule again."
"Very well," a third person said. "You may release her."
Yet another cloak came forward and unlocked the heavy shackles around my wrists and ankles.
"You are free to post new stories once more. Do not abuse the privilege," the first voice said menacingly.
"Yes, yes, thank you," I said, bowing to the many cloaked figures that surrounded me in the Harry-Potter esque dungeon-y area I was in. I crossed the circular room quickly, heading for the exit. I could feel the eyes of the faceless people follow me. I threw open the door and was nearly blinded by the light. I closed the door quickly behind me and started running. As I did so, I heard a cold voice say, "Remember, we'll be watching."
Okay, so that's not exactly what happened. I wrote this in script format even though I wasn't supposed to and it got removed. I felt really bad about breaking the rules. I wasn't allowed to post new stuff for a few days. But now this fic is back, not in script format. And I shall never again underestimate the power of the patrol people. Promise.
I think the scary cloak people should give me a cookie now.
I looked around. Aang was on my left, Katara beside him. Next was Sokka, enjoying the snacks in the center of the circle of chairs. In the chair on his left was Suki, Toph on her left, then Zuko, Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee. Finally, on my right was the Therapist.
"Okay, today we're here to talk about shipping," the Therapist said.
"Yes!" I said excitedly.
"Do we have to?" Toph asked. "I'm not even into that romantic junk."
"I'm sorry, Toph," the Therapist said. "But you're a certified FSC."
"What's an FSC?" Sokka asked.
"Frequently Shipped Character," the Therapist answered.
Toph stood up angrily and demanded loudly, "All right, who's been shipping me?!"
"Hey, don't look at me!" I said, putting my hands up. "I haven't done any shipping with you that wasn't just light canon stuff . . . or at least, not yet . . ."
Confused, Sokka asked, "Wait, canon?"
"It's in the show," I told him.
"What about the show?!" Toph said, still defensive.
"Oh, come on, Toph, you know what I mean," I said, looking pointedly from her to Sokka. It was then that I realized that was pointless, because Toph couldn't see. I jerked my head in Sokka's direction. Toph sat down, frustrated.
Even more confused than before, Sokka asked, "Okay . . . so . . . what just happened?"
"We just had our first discussion about shipping," the Therapist said. "Who wants to go next?" She looked around hopefully, her eyes landing on . . . "Azula?"
Azula was sitting in her chair with her arms and legs crossed, looking very standoffish. Coldly she said, "No thank you. I'd really rather not."
The Therapist then looked at Zuko with the same hopeful expression. "Zuko?"
"Don't look at me. I'm not even sure who I'm shipped with," Zuko said, shaking his head. I giggled internally because that rhymed.
"You're the hot bad boy!" I exclaimed. "You're shipped with everybody!"
"Seriously?" Zuko asked, surprised.
"Yes! Zutara, Toko, Maiko –" Zuko cut me off.
"Zutara, that's you and Katara," I said. Zuko and Katara glanced at each other with either love, loathing, or indifference, depending upon your shipping preference. "And Toko, that's you and Toph –"
"They're shipping me with who now?!"
"I was with you, originally; I didn't think it could happen," I said enthusiastically to Toph. "But after looking at some Toko stuff . . . they're very good at making it sound plausible for you two to be together." Toph looked like she was ready to murder someone ("someone" meaning me), so Zuko stepped in and changed the subject.
"What about Maiko?" he asked.
"That's you and me, stupid," Mai said, nudging him in the ribs and smiling slightly.
"Yep!" I said.
"Zuko, how do you feel about being shipped so much?" the Therapist asked, trying to get us to focus on what we were supposed to be doing.
"Are you serious?" I asked, arching my eyebrows. "He's got more than just that. I mean, Sukko – or Zuki, whichever – Jinko, Songko . . ."
"Are you serious?" Zuko asked, incredulous.
"Yep. You're a pretty hot item" I said, giggling. Everyone stared at me. "You know, hot . . . fire . . . he's a firebender . . . oh, leave me alone," I said, crossing my arms and shrinking in my seat.
"What about me?" Sokka asked.
"I'd really like to get back to –" the Therapist started to say, but nobody was paying attention to her anymore.
"You're shipped as much as Zuko, if not more," I told him.
Sokka pointed ant Zuko and said, "Ha, ha!"
Annoyed but amused, Suki said, "Oh yeah? Let's hear about this."
"Yukka or Yuokka, Tokka, Ty Lokka, Sokkla, Sukka," I started. But then I realized that all of these girls had also been shipped with Zuko. "– nevermind. Zuko has more."
Disappointed, Sokka groaned. Suki gave him a playful/annoyed/slightly painful slap upside the head.
"Now Sokka," the Therapist said, "why do you care so much about the number of ships you're involved in?
"Zuko gets everything!" Sokka whined.
"If it's any consolation," I said to Sokka, "I think you're hot." Sokka smiled.
"Okay . . . let's move on," the Therapist said. "Katara, you're one of the most frequently shipped characters, if not the most frequently shipped character. How do you feel about that?"
Katara said uncomfortably, "I'm . . . um . . . I think that – I don't know. I just . . ." She trailed off.
"You're the one here who knows everything. What is her take on her 'ships'?" Sokka asked me.
"It depends on the fic. Or whatever other area of the fandom you're in," I said.
"Bringing the focus back to Katara, how do you feel about your ships?" the Therapist asked.
"I think I came across a Katappa thing the other day . . ." I said, thinking back.
"Katappa?" Katara said, confused.
"You and Appa," I said. There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at either me or Katara. Then, Katara shrieked, "What?! WHY is it always me?! I'm shipped with everybody! I'm shipped with people I don't even like!" She glared at Zuko.
"I dunno . . I think you being in love with Zuko would be pretty hot," I mused.
"Excuse me?" Mai said, looking daggers at me. I smiled, enjoying my clever play on words.
"People ship me with everybody!" Katara exclaimed, ignoring Mai.
"Jet was kind of hot, too," I said.
"Will NO ONE let me live that down?!" Katara shouted.
"Very good, Katara," the Therapist said. "I'm glad you're expressing your emotions. Go with that."
Katara calmed down slightly and said, "Well . . . it's annoying. Toph doesn't have as many ships to worry about. Why is it me?"
"You're the main girl," I said.
Toph sprung up from her chair and shouted, "Hey!"
"She does the opening," I said. "And anyway, where were you during the first season?"
"Why you little –"
"Toph!" the Therapist said warningly. Toph sat down and crossed her arms.
"I wasn't saying that you're not important – in fact, you're one of my favorite characters – I'm just saying –"
Toph cut me off by muttering angrily, "Yeah, I heard what you were saying."
"Let's bring this discussion back to shipping. Ty Lee, what are your thoughts?" the Therapist asked, looking at her.
Ty Lee had been watching the discussion interestedly up until this point, occasionally batting her eyelashes at Sokka or Zuko. She said happily, "Well, I do like being shipped with certain people." She glanced at the two and then giggled.
"You have two main ships: Ty Luko and Ty Lokka," I told her.
Zuko looked from me to Ty Lee and then back to me. "Wait, does that mean . . . ?"
"Yep," I said. "Didn't you see The Beach?"
Zuko stared at me.
"That's . . . interesting," Ty Lee said, smiling flirtatiously at Sokka.
"Oh, I forgot, you're also shipped with Jet. Jet Lee, they call it," I said, trying to think of Ty Lee's other common ships.
"Who?" Ty Lee asked interestedly.
"Jet!" I said, excited. "He's another hot bad boy."
"Looks like you've got competition, lover boy," Sokka said jokingly to Zuko.
"You'd better be careful not to encourage Zukka shippers . . ." I said loftily.
"What?" Sokka asked. He clearly hadn't yet caught on to the naming thing.
"Nevermind," I said.
"I met Jet. He's not that great," Zuko said moodily, crossing his arms.
"Speak for yourself," I said.
"Ty Lee, how do you feel about being shipped with someone you've never met?" the Therapist asked, trying (again) to get us back on track.
"I'm thinking I'd like to meet him," Ty Lee said, smiling.
"It's not just Ty Lee," I said. "Plenty of people are shipped with people they've never met."
"How does that even work?" Sokka asked.
I shrugged and said, "I guess it's just the idea. There are some pretty interesting ones . . ."
"Like what?" Zuko asked, clearly skeptical about shipping strangers.
"Aside from Jet Lee there's Jetzula and Zue," I said, thinking. "And I have to admit I think Teo and Toph could make a cute couple . . . oh, wait, you two have met . . . Well, there's whatever they call Haru and Ty Lee and there's Zuki –"
"We've met," Suki said, looking angrily at a bewildered Zuko. "You remember, right? When you were destroying my island?"
Zuko's eyes went wide with embarrassment. "Oh, yeah . . . sorry about that."
"Let's talk about this, Suki and Zuko," the Therapist said, eager for a topic she might actually keep the group focused on. "How do you feel about being shipped together?"
"I don't see how people could ship us together," Suki said, shrugging.
"There are stories about him rescuing you from prison . . . I have to admit, I like the idea and could see it working . . . even though I'm a Sukka shipper . . ." I trailed off, trying to think of a good idea for a Zuki story.
"I still want to know more about this Jet guy," Ty Lee said.
"Well, after his thing with Katara –" I didn't get to finish because Sokka said to Katara, "What thing? You two seriously had a thing?"
"It was nothing!" Katara said.
"Anyway!" I said, trying to break up their squabble. "There are still people that ship Jetara, but there's a lot of Jetzula shipping, too."
"Excuse me?" Azula said.
"Yeah, Jetzula," I said. "You and Jet. You're enemies – complete opposites. I mean, the leader of the Freedom Fighters and the princess of the Fire Nation . . . but you kind of have similar personalities . . . in a way . . . I dunno, it sounds pretty cool."
"I think not," Azula said, glaring at me.
"I just thought that . . ." I started trailing off once I saw the look Azula was giving me. ". . . or even Sokkla . . . nevermind . . ."
"Azula, you seem very guarded and defensive about shipping. Why is that?" the Therapist prompted.
"I refuse to be shipped with such imbeciles," Azula said, indicating Sokka, who was stuffing his face with a large pastry, looking clueless as to what was going on.
I glanced from Azula to Sokka. "Point taken."
"Aang, you haven't spoken yet. How do you feel about shipping?" the Therapist asked.
Aang, who had remained silent up until this point because I was preoccupied with the other characters, looked at the Therapist, slightly embarrassed.
"Oh, well . . . I . . . uh . . ."
"You know, Aang really isn't shipped all that much," I said. Aang looked hurt and slightly annoyed at this, so I hurried to explain, not wanting to get my butt kicked with all four elements by a twelve-year-old. "No, I mean, you don't have that many ships. Mostly just Taang and Kataang. And a few offbeat, odd ones . . ."
As I began mumbling incoherently about Sokkaang and Aangzula, the Therapist said, "Aang, how do you feel about those ships?"
"I don't know . . . I don't really think about it," Aang said.
"But you think about Katara," I said.
Aang blushed. "Well . . ."
Katara saved Aang from further embarrassment by cutting in with, "Don't put him on the spot like that."
"Jeeze, Sugar Queen, you could at least let Twinkletoes speak for himself," Toph said.
"I just –"
Sokka interrupted his sister. "Toph's right. You should let him speak for himself. Go ahead, Aang." Sokka looked at Aang expectantly while Katara glared at him for reprimanding her.
"Guys, calm down," Aang said, sensing a Sokka/Katara argument coming on. "It's not that big a deal." While the Gaang continued to squabble, Zuko turned to Azula and said, "How did you get ships?"
"I don't know and I don't care," Azula said coldly. "It's not like having ships means anything."
"I dunno, Azula . . . I mean, having ships means you're likable, right?" Ty Lee said. "I think it's a good thing."
"Who cares about what fanfic writers think?" Mai asked rhetorically. "If they've devoted so much time to writing shipping stuff they probably don't have much of a life . . . or a brain."
"Clearly," Azula conceded.
"I think you're both wrong," Ty Lee said softly, glancing between them.
"You tell them, Ty Lee!" I said, nearly dropping my notebook, which was worn out from daily use writing fanfics.
"Guys, stop fighting," Zuko said, uselessly. The Fire Nation crew continued to argue while the Therapist turned to me and said, "I think we might need individual sessions as well."
I opened my notebook to a fresh page and clicked my purple mechanical pencil into ready position.
"I'm way ahead of you . . ."
AN: This was just meant to be funny and fun. I'm not taking this seriously, so nobody else should, either. If I don't support you ship in this . . . I'm sorry. If you really hate it, don't read it. But please, no flaming. I don't flame things and I expect the same courtesy. Please review!