Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Uh I guess up to Ember island players.

Pairing: kinda sort Zutara

Sometimes I get bored and silly things happen... like this...


The substance in the bowl in front of him is perhaps the foulest smelling thing he has ever come in contact with.

He picks up a spoon with trepidation and looks up to his companions.

Aang, wide eyed, slowly shakes his head from side to side – as if to say don't do it Zuko, you have so much to live for! The avatar is so consumed in silently warning his fire bending master about the danger in front of him, that he fails to notice his earth bending master unashamedly pouring her portion into his bowl.

Sokka does not look from his meal as he ravenously scarfs down the pale grey and brown substance. He makes odd animalistic noises as he eats, but this isn't different from any other meal.

Suki stares down at her bowl with the kind of determination and courage only an elite soldier of her caliber can possess. She steels herself the way she would before charging into the field of battle and bravely brings a shriveled piece of food up to her mouth. The prince and the avatar can only watch in awe and horror as the warrior from Kyoshi chews the grotesque substance. To their amazement she manages to finish her meal without incident. When she is done she simply puts the empty bowl down in front of her and just stares. The two boys can't determine what exactly it is she sees – it's as if she's in some sort of trace.

"Excuse me," she says and without another word she walks into the darkness, in the general direction of the beach. After a few moments they hear a bizarre noise, like the squeal of a cow pig being gutted, followed by a terrible retching noise, an anguished "Oh Kyoshi, why?" and then silence.

Aang shakes his head in sadness.

The water tribe siblings don't seem to notice the sounds.

"Zuko?"

Katara is looking at him with her wide blue eyes.

"Aren't you hungry?"

He detects no mocking in her tone. Her gaze is genuine. This isn't a new form of punishment. He's already proved himself to her.

Why does this feel like a test then?

"I…"

He looks down at his bowl again.

How did she even find water tribe ingredients on Ember Island? This makes no sense!

He looks back up and finds that the entire group is staring at him (well everyone except Toph, who just grins devilishly in his general direction).

"Yeah, I was just uh… you know, taking it all in."

"Well eat up before its cold!"

Her smile is bright and he gulps.

"I will."

He can fight a deranged sister, can confront an evil father, can redirect lightning, can stare a dragon in the eye, and damn it all he can eat some little water tribe dish!

Fire in his veins, his heart beating wildly, he scoops up a spoonful and brings it level with his face. He glares at it, as if to say: you shall not defeat me, not today, not ever!

And then he does it. He chews. Swallows.

It is quiet in the camp, eerily quiet.

He finishes, blinks, looks around at his companions.

"That's… that was… Katara..."

The look he gives her unnerves her, like he's seeing her for the first time.

"What?"

"This is amazing."

And before she can reply he's eagerly shoveling more into his mouth.

Sokka gives him a manly slap on the back.

Aang's mouth falls open.

Toph cackles.

Suki is still gone.

"You… You really like it?"

"Yeah it's great!" He says with his mouth full.

She thinks she might cry.

"What's it called again?"

"Sea prunes."

Her voice cracks with emotion as she says it.

"Right, sea prunes. Awesome."

She does start to tear up a little after that.

Epilogue:

Some time later:

"Hey where'd Suki go?"

"You're an idiot Sokka."