Title: Another Battle
Author: Zorpox
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Characters/Pairing: Sokka/Zuko
Rating: T for Teen I guess
Genre: Angst/Hurt/Comfort
Word Count: 758
Disclaimer: Do not own ATLA or Sokka or Zuko.
Summary: Modern AU. Zuko gets some bad news. Sokka is there for him.

Another Battle

Sokka flopped down on the couch, grabbing the remote to turn on the TV. Once he set it to the History Channel, he leaned back to enjoy, putting his feet up on the coffee table. He had been looking forward to the documentary about medieval weapons for almost a month now. When he saw the catapults he began grinning from ear to ear, his mind immediately calculating the distances he could send various objects.

BANG! Sokka sighed when he heard the door slam and the familiar voice that followed it. "I can't believe her!" Zuko yelled, angrily, stomping from the entry way to the small kitchen.

Sokka glanced up from his spot in the living room in time to see Zuko open the refrigerator. "Can you get me a Mountain Dew while you're in there?" He called. Zuko grabbed Sokka's Mountain Dew and a Pepsi for himself before storming over to the couch. He slammed the Mountain Dew on the table next to Sokka's feet and sat down furiously.

Giving his show one last, longing look, Sokka hit the mute button. He put his feet on the floor and turned to give Zuko his full attention. "What happened?" He asked, getting right to the point. Zuko didn't answer but, instead, continued to stare hard at the table, his unopened Pepsi can clenched in his hand. Sokka could hear the aluminum giving way, a sure sign Zuko was squeezing too hard.

Sokka leaned forward, putting his face right in front of Zuko's. "What happened?" He asked again, causing Zuko to jump back into the couch. Sokka leaned back into his original position and looked at Zuko expectantly.

Zuko looked around, suddenly nervous. Remembering his soda, he opened it and drank a good portion of the can in one gulp. Placing the can on the table he stared at it for a good minute before answering. "My father's out of jail," he said "on parole."

Blinking, Sokka quickly digested this information before exploding into a fury. He jumped up from the couch. Arms wild, he paced to the end of the couch and back all while yelling out things like "after everything that bastard had done," and "he should be rotting in jail."

Jumping up, Zuko stopped Sokka mid-pace. "Sokka, calm down," he tried, "It's alright," the common phrase leaving Zuko's mouth before he realized it.

"It's not alright," Sokka ground out, looking straight at Zuko, "After everything he's done to you, he doesn't deserve parole. What if he…"

"He can't do anything," Zuko interrupted, "There's a restraining order. He can't come near me."

Sokka gave Zuko a solemn look, "At the end of the day, that's just a piece of paper. If he's insane enough, he won't care about it."

Zuko sighed, looking down at the floor. It was obvious he had already considered that. Sokka sat back down on the couch and patted the spot next to him. Taking the hint, Zuko sat down, still staring at the floor.

"Can I assume it was your sister you were yelling about when you first got here?" Sokka asked, turning away from the silent television to look at Zuko once again.

Glancing up, Zuko nodded. "She doesn't understand," he said, "She was his little princess. He didn't treat her the same way he treated me. She still blames me for him going to jail in the first place. Like she believes I deserved everything he did to me…" Zuko trailed off, the last part barely above a whisper, his hand unconsciously moved to touch the scar that mars the left side of his face.

Sokka scowled and reached out to Zuko. He turned Zuko's face so he could look him in the eye before he stated, sternly, "You did not deserve any of this." He gently caressed Zuko's scar before he continued, "You did not deserve this scar or any of your others. These scars were given to you by a cruel man who cares for no one and hurt you simply because he could. Is that clear?"

Zuko stared at Sokka for a moment, his mouth moving but no words coming out. Before he could say anything, Sokka pulled Zuko into a fierce hug, Zuko's head resting on Sokka's chest. Zuko clenched his fists around the fabric of Sokka's shirt, unshed tears from the moment his uncle told him the unexpected news this morning finally falling from his eyes.

The two boys stayed like that for some time, neither letting go even when the tears slowed to a stop.