Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender and do not support underage drinking!
Sokka was perusing the air temple rooms that hadn't been explored yet. He was also thinking to himself of how despite the rescue at the Boiling Rock, Zuko still didn't seem to completely fit in with the guys. If only there was something that could help him loosen up. Suddenly a barrel in the corner of an empty room caught his eye. It seemed like it was almost hidden on purpose. Being a curious guy he went up to it and opened it. As soon as the cover was lifted the smell of alcohol filled the room. RICE WINE! "Thanks for the help universe!" he called to the otherwise unoccupied room.
Running back to the main courtyard (while remembering the route to the room with the rice wine) he spotted Haru and Chit Sang talking. "Hey guys!" he called strolling up. He then lowered his voice and said "I need you guys' help. Zuko is starting to separate again and I don't want to lose progress. I actually was thinking the older guys could invite him to a manly bonding trip."
"Ok… I guess that makes sense" Haru said cautiously.
"There is actually something I think will help in this matter" Sokka said with an evil grin. "In a back room I found some hidden rice wine! It has to be over 100 years old. Good stuff!"
"Wait. Let me get this straight. You want to get the prince of the Fire Nation drunk?!" Chit Sang asked incredulously.
"Shh not so loud!" Sokka hissed. "I know it sounds like a bad idea, and probably is, but at least it might mellow him out for a brief period of time."
"Yeah before he kills us!" Haru said shaking his head vehemently.
"Aw c'mon please?" Sokka begged with baby mooselion eyes.
Haru sighed seeing Sokka wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer. "Well… at least we might get to hear some interesting stuff before we die."
Sokka turned to Chit Sang "c'mon you know you want to. He might have some blackmail on Ozai even."
Chit Sang debated with himself internally but finally said "this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance I'll agree."
"Great! Now all we need to do is keep it a secret. I'll tell my dad though. NO GIRLS! We also have to get the rice wine to the woods -pretty deep in actually- and I'll tell Zuko we're having a manly bonding trip. We'll break out the wine later. Oh and to be safe we need some burn ointment. Lots of it."
"And water. You'll get a hangover if you don't drink lots of water" Chit sang added.
"OK then. You guys follow me to the rice wine then move it to the hunting ground. You've all been there right?" Sokka asked and they nodded "good. It has a stream nearby so we will have plenty of water. Oh and bring tents and cups and stuff when you go. I'll meet you there. Now follow me…"
"Hey dad a couple of the guys are going to the hunting grounds. I'm going to get Zuko to go too. We all figured he needs some quality time with just us men" Sokka said hoping his dad would buy it. "There's more they'll tell you once you get there OK? I'm going to find Zuko." He took off before his father could reply.
Sliding up to Zuko and draping an arm over his shoulders, Sokka said cheerfully "Zuko, ol' buddy ol' pal! Me and some of the guys are going to the woods for a manly bonding trip. It should only take a night but I know it'll mean the world to them."
Zuko eyed him suspiciously "why would it 'mean the world to them'?"
"Because they'll get to claim that the tough prince of the Fire Nation is their pal! I mean that's some serious bragging rights there."
Zuko narrowed his eyes and shrugged out from under Sokka's arm. "No thanks. Besides, I'm not a prince anymore."
"Aww come on Zuko! I already told them you were coming! You can't make me a liar can you? You'd do that to your new friend?" Sokka whined and pulled out the baby mooselion eyes again.
Zuko turned to look at him for a long time then said "if you promise to never ask for anything like this again I'll go."
"Deal! I promise."
Zuko sighed and muttered about how he regretted this already but followed Sokka into the woods.
When they got to the camp all the guys welcomed them with a smile and greetings. They talked about general things for a while until Sokka handed Zuko a cup of rice wine.
Zuko took a sip then promptly spit it out. "You brought me out here to get me drunk?!" He snarled at Sokka.
"N-no! I brought us all out here to get drunk" Sokka stammered with his hands held protectively in front of him.
"You know you stink worse at lying than I do. And that's saying something" Zuko said with a mocking glare.
Hakoda broke the tension by chuckling out "he's right son you really do."
"Dad!" Sokka whined.
Zuko got a glint in his eye then smiled evilly. "I'll drink if you all match me glass for glass."
"Okay" they all agreed.
Zuko met each of their eyes before downing the cup in one gulp and adding conversationally "by the way I used to be a captain of a Fire Navy ship for three years." Then scooped a new cupful from the barrel.
Sokka gulped as he was met with glares from the other males there.
The barrel was almost empty and Zuko only looked the slightest bit tipsy. He also hadn't said any juicy information at all. Overall Sokka had more or less figured out the universe was probably laughing it's butt off as the members of the camp –minus Zuko- were all wishing they were passed-out already. Haru already was. That isn't to say interesting things hadn't been said: just none of them by Zuko who only chuckled evilly every now and then but otherwise made no sounds.
Sokka had been faking being passed-out for the past 45 minutes to get out of having to drink another round. Unfortunately he now really had to pee.
"I'm going to call it a night." He heard Zuko say and peered through his eyelashes to see him go into the tent. THANK THE SPIRITS! Getting up as quietly as possible which wasn't very since his stumbling made thumping noises and caused him to curse under his breath- he went to the woods and relieved himself.
When he got back he flopped down on top of his sleeping bag – not even trying to get inside- and blacked out.
"GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!" Zuko yelled and was met with groans and snarls and curses. "I made you a cure" he said quieter. "It tastes terrible but it works. Just don't ask what's in it."
Sokka took a cup and was about to drink when Zuko said "Plug your nose first. It helps." Sokka did like he said and found it still tasted awful but would probably taste worse if he wasn't plugging his nose.
He then realized he was crying for some odd reason. "Why am I crying?" he asked Zuko.
"One of the ingredients is notorious for causing people to cry. It is actually used in plays for people who can't cry at will. It is very expensive though but I found a large patch nearby lucky for you all."
"Well, Zuko," Hakoda began "I think it's safe to say you've beaten us at our own game. Aren't you a bit young to be drinking that well though?"
"Royalty has no drinking age in the Firenation. My uncle never liked that fact because my cousin Lu Ten had some wild nights when he was my age."
"Where is he now?" Sokka asked, wondering why he'd never heard of him.
"The Spirit World" Zuko said sadly making Sokka feel horrible for asking.
"We should head back" Hakoda said sadly also, thinking of his wife.
When they got back to the main courtyard Toph said "OK Sparky I owe you. I wasn't planning on you winning. You seemed like too much of a lightweight to me."
"Wait what?" Sokka asked in confusion.
"Toph put the wine there knowing you'd find it. We've been three steps ahead of you this whole time" Zuko replied smugly.
"YOU WERE WHAT?!" Sokka shrieked then winced. "Toph how could you?!"
"I did it for kicks. Oh and don't look now but Sugar Queen's on the warpath."
Sokka gulped and realized three things: 1. the universe was never a factor, 2. Toph and Zuko were evil and Zuko's friendship card was being revoked indefinitely, and 3. he was TOAST.