Note: This is based in the Another Brother universe which is an AU I'm writing where an amnesiac, burned, ten-year-old Zuko was found on a Fire Nation ship and eventually adopted by the Water Tribe... (Um, yeah, just go with it.)This won't make a lot of sense without first reading that story.
So I wrote a silly (more than slightly OCC) drabble that sorta got away from me and won't fit in the actual fic. A lot of people have asked me what exactly happened to Zuko in the AU and how did he ended up on a Fire Nation ship? It's a good question. I know the how and why, of course, but I decided to put it to the characters to find out what they think:
"Here's what I think happened," Sokka said, importantly, as they sat around a campfire. "Zuko… is a twin."
Aang, Katara and Zuko all groaned aloud at that, but Sokka was unperturbed. "What? It makes perfect sense."
"I don't have a twin." Zuko said, crossing his arms.
"How would you know?"
"I think I would know."
"So anyway," Sokka said, deciding to ignore him. "Zuko's twin brother – ah—"
"Kozu?" suggested Aang with a barely concealed grin.
Sokka snapped his fingers and pointed across the fire to the younger boy. "Kozu! Good one, Aang. So, being twins no one really knew which one was the older one—"
"Sokka, do you even know how babies are born?" Katara asked. "They don't exactly come out at the same time."
He reddened slightly at that. "Of course I know how babies are born – look, this is my theory, okay? You can come up with yours later. Anyway," he said, returning to the subject at hand; IE annoying his younger brother. "You know how it is with twins: one is good, the other is evil."
Zuko's lifted his hand. "I'm the good one," he said quickly, as if he was calling dibs on the last piece of seal jerky.
"Of course you are, buddy." Sokka patted him on the shoulder. "But your brother Kozu is pure evil."
"What does this have to do with anything?" Katara asked.
"I'm getting to that. So the Fire Lord realizes that he can't have two of you running around, because he wouldn't know which to make the new Fire Lord after him—"
"Uh, Sokka I don't really think that's how Fire Lord's are chosen," Aang said, doubtfully. "And isn't Iroh supposed to be the next one?"
But Sokka was getting into his story now, and plowed right along heedless of silly things like facts and continuality. "Kozu and Zuko are ordered to fight each other in one of those – what'da call it? – Agni Kai's to the death, to find out who would get the throne. But Zuko, being the good one, couldn't bring himself to fight his own brother. He came to him the night before the duel, but evil Kozu attacked him, knocked him out – which clearly messed up your memory – and put him on a Fire Nation ship with orders to dump him way out at sea. Then Dad saved you, and… well, you know the rest."
Silence followed his grand finish, punctuated by the chirps of cricket-frogs.
Zuko sighed and leaned forward to pinch the bridge of his nose. "So let me get this straight. You think I tried to wimp out of a fight with my evil twin brother, and then he just put me on a ship after practically slitting my throat and doing this to me?" he gestured to his neck and facial scars in turn, then scowled at Sokka. "Why wouldn't he just kill me right there, or the Agni Kai?"
"Because he's evil and Fire Nation," Sokka put particular emphasis on the words. "That's just how their minds work."
Aang bit his bottom lip, and shot a sidelong glance at Zuko. "You know, it does make a lot of sense…"
"No it doesn't!" Zuko snapped.
"That's just what Kozu wants you to think," Sokka said.
"I don't have a brother named Kozu!"
The campfire flared high between and Katara put a hand on Zuko's shoulder to calm him down. "Sokka, you have to realize that's a bit far fetched…"
"Oh yeah, then what's your idea?"
Katara went quiet for a moment. Then, "Destiny," she said simply.
"No really!" she said. "Think about it. Only by the three of us working together did we find Aang's iceberg. We might not have been even fishing at all that day! Then where would we be?"
Everyone grew silent again, lost in thought.
"Me and Appa would probably still be frozen," Aang said, after a moment.
"And I'd be in the Fire Nation, training to continue the war – maybe even on the battlefield." Zuko gave Aang a sidelong glance. "You would be my enemy."
"We'd still be in the south pole." For some reason, everyone expected Sokka to more or less look wistful at the thought – he had spent most of the trip complaining. But he only poked his stick into the fire, stirring up more sparks.
"So whatever happened to Zuko that day, and everything that happened afterwards… it's destiny." Katara said, firmly. "I know we were meant to find you, Aang. Gran-Gran said our destiny was tied in with the Avatar's, and I truly do believe that."
"I never really thought of it that way." Aang blinked, then turned to Zuko. "Wow, I guess Kozu's plan backfired on him after all."
"I don't have a brother named Kozu!"