"Ow!" Katara yelped, tripping over something soft on the ground. Her hands let go of the collected pile of dirty dishes and the wooden plates clattered on the cobble as the heels of her hands caught her from her freefall. She rolled onto her back and sat up, her eyes narrowing at the rope on a green duffle bag, tangled around her ankles. "Toph!" she grumbled, her hands reaching out for the plates again.
"What can I help you with, Sugar Queen?" Toph emerged from her Earth tent with an apple in her hand, a bite mark apparent in its red skin.
"I told you about leaving your stuff around the place!" she put the plates atop one another and stood up, before reaching down and picking them up. "Can you please put this away?" she kicked at the bag in annoyance.
Toph scoffed involuntarily, before stamping a foot roughly on the ground and shooting up the earth to push the bag into the air. She grabbed it and slung it into her earth tent. "Now it's not 'around the place'."
Katara grimaced before marching toward the wooden bucket beside the dying campfire. Dumping the dishes into the water bucket, she glared to her side at Sokka's messy, clumped up, unmade sleeping bag, just beside Zuko's neatly folded blanket. She kicked herself again; they still hadn't gotten him a sleeping bag. The prince had been reduced to either sleeping on dirt with a blanket over him, sleeping on dirt with a rolled up blanket as a pillow, or sleeping on the blanket with his arm under his head.
She stood straighter and looked about. Speaking of Zuko, he was nowhere to be seen, as was Aang. "Has anyone seen Aang and Zuko?" she turned her head toward Sokka, who was leaning against a rock, admiring his sword.
"Nope." Sokka answered.
"Yeah, I saw them. I was reading them a story." Toph chirped sarcastically.
"Where are they now-," Katara paused. "Oh." Her train of thought was cut off by a distinct crackling sound; a burst of fire, most typically from the end of a fist. She leapt into action, her feet hitting the ground painfully hard as she ran after the sound, Sokka and Toph quick on her heels. She started at the sight of Aang pulling an awkward half smile at the patch of burning grass before him.
Zuko, opposite him, grabbed the (previously missing) bucket at his side and threw water over the flames. "Good, but try aiming ... higher."
"You're teaching him firebending?" Katara asked incredulously.
Zuko shrugged slightly. "I figured I might as well start pulling my weight by doing something constructive."
"And you had to pay me back for helping you with that-,"
"ANYWAY, from what I can tell, Toph and Aang go training during the day, right?" he cut Aang off in the most uncomfortable tone anyone had ever heard from him.
"Absolutely not!" Sokka yelped, throwing his hands up and jumping between the girls and Zuko and Aang.
"Yes we do." Toph glanced at him in confusion.
"No, I mean, Zuko! Teaching! Firebending!" He flailed his arms toward Zuko and then toward Aang. "Dangerous! Bad!"
Katara raised an eyebrow. "Calm down, Sokka."
"Actually, he has a point." Toph put one hand on her hip and brought the other to her chin in thought.
"What?" Katara, Zuko and Aang all yelled at once.
"Well, the eclipse is going to make the firebenders powerless. Even if Aang became a master firebender before the invasion, he wouldn't be able to use it. He should really focus on his earthbending."
"What about his waterbending, then?" Katara glanced to her side at the blind girl.
"That's going to be useless too during the eclipse, since he won't need to be putting out fires." Toph punched her fist into her open palm. "Aang needs to focus on head-to-head combat with non-benders and possibly Dai Lee agents. I say Earthbending is his best weapon."
"Oh. So you don't think I'll be any use at all during the eclipse." Katara turned fully to face Toph.
"Uh, well, Sokka, you said it yourself, right? The eclipse is only going to last eight minutes." Zuko gestured to Sokka.
"Not as much as me, anyway." Toph answered Katara, her brows coming down. "You disagree, Sweetness?"
"I don't know, you tell me!" Katara reached out toward the wet, charred patch of ground between Aang and Zuko and drew a sliver of water from it, before snapping it at Toph, who ducked and grunted in annoyance.
"I don't want to get into this with you, Katara." She smirked, shrugging off her agitation.
"Oh really? Why not?" Katara snapped the waterwhip at her side.
"Cause I'd kill you." Toph stood perfectly calm. "It's simple, really. I'd kill you, and then everyone would be upset, and it would be a big mess and I don't care enough about this to bother."
The boys winced as Toph said this; it sounded like Toph was egging the waterbender on. The waterwhip cracked again at Toph, who got into a stance and forced up a wall of earth before her, the whip splashing against it and forming again into ice crystals that stabbed through the air toward Toph, who blocked them all with an earth-shielded arm. Katara, now with no water left to bend, ran at Toph, who for once in her life was caught off-guard by the simple truth that if she blocked, she'd hurt Katara, and in all honesty, that wasn't something she wanted to do. Katara dove into Toph and tugged her over a mound of earth and instead of into a pond, which she had thought was there, into a gritty, slimy mud pond.
Mud splashed up on both benders red garments as they jumped to their feet and locked arms with one another, forcing against their opponent's grip.
Toph stamped one foot into the mud and splashed up into Katara's face, causing her to shut her eyes and spit out as her grip on Toph's arms slipped and Toph shoved her down into the mud. Katara kicked out and pulled Toph into the dirt also. When they came up, mud coated most parts of them as they grabbed out mercilessly, sometimes catching locks of hair, sometimes catching flying limbs.
The boys got up on the mound of dirt above the mud pit, grimacing at the fight. Both girls were the type of person who never gave in during battle and this had already gotten dirty. It was time for Aang to put his legendary negotiating skills to use before this got out of hand.
"Come on guys, this is really dumb! We all know you have equally powerful bending abilities!" Aang tried hopefully.
Katara stopped and took a breath. "You're right, Aang. This is stupid. I'm going to go wash up." She turned her back to Toph and made her way out of the mud and disappeared in search of a water source.
"Great. While she does that," Toph earthbent herself up to where the boys stood. "Let's go find some food!" she bent the mud off herself in one swift jerk of the elbow.
Zuko refrained from going into town with them, considering the bounty on his head and the oversized Ozai-statue that had crossed his gaze as they'd flown overhead. He doubted he could stomach seeing the statue again.
Just as Zuko looked up to see Toph, Sokka and Aang returning, each with their arms full of food, Katara was returning from a bathing session which had obviously become a bending session judging by the time she'd taken. She was tying her old blue tunic on as a temporary replacement while her fire nation outfit lay damply over her arm. She clipped her fire nation clothes on the higher spit over the campfire as she looked to the others, putting down the supplies before her.
She took a sharp breath. "Where did you get all this?"
"I scammed a couple of scammers. It's not like they didn't deserve it." Toph shrugged, biting into an apple.
"Well, where have I heard that before!" Katara threw her arms up momentarily, before reaching down into her stuff and producing a waterbending scroll. "See this?"
"It's a waterbending scroll that I stole. From pirates."
"Woman after my own heart."
"No! Do you know what it got me?" Katara breathed out in exasperation.
"Tied up to a tree." Zuko suddenly spoke up, lounging on the floor against his rolled-up blanket.
"Yeah!" Katara gestured to him. "You can't stoop to their level, Toph! What you did was wrong!"
"Okay, well I'll just remember not to include you in anything fun, Princess." Toph waved a hand dismissively. "Since it bothers you so much."
"What did you call me?"
"Jeez, Katara, look at it this way; at least now we have some money to buy Prince Charming here a decent sleeping bag, and buy enough food to eat breakfast, like civilized people."
"Oh, yeah and this is civil." Katara gestured to Toph sarcastically. "I don't want this to become a habit, Toph. It's not right. And we don't need any more attention right now."
Aang smiled and pushed up his headband. "I'll make you a personal Avatar promise that it won't become a habit, okay, Katara?" he bowed to her.
Two days later, after they had returned from yet another scamming session, Katara was reprimanding them again. "These scams have gone far enough. If you keep doing them, something is going to happen."
"Could you for once stop being such a worrywart? Nothing bad is gonna happen. Lighten up." Toph sank down into a cross-legged position and grabbed a bowl of soup before her, which was marginally better than usual, thanks to the ingredients she had gotten the money for.
"Oh, I'm sorry, would you rather me be like you? Like some wild child?" Katara put her hands on her hips.
"Maybe. Maybe if you did, you'd see how great we have it. Traveling around the world? Doing what we want? Easy money? No parents telling us what to do? We're living it up!"
"Oh, I see. You're acting like this because of your parents." Katara scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Whatever." Toph exhaled with a half-hearted laugh.
"They were controlling over you, so you ran away, and now you act like your parents don't exist. You act like you hate them, but you don't. You just feel guilty." Katara glanced aside, trying to get herself into Toph shoes, to see where she was coming from.
"I do hate them!"
"You know what, it doesn't matter. These scams put us all at risk, and we don't need that. We've already got some third-eyed freak after us." She peered aside in thought.
"Speaking of the third-eyed freak, I think I've got a name for him." Sokka grinned. "Sparky-Sparky Boom man."
Zuko scoffed a laugh. "You're amazing with names, Sokka." He shook his head in sarcasm.
"I know, right?" Sokka grinned happily, oblivious to Zuko's sarcasm for a moment. "Hey!"
Katara continued. "We have enough money, okay? This needs to stop here. Before it gets out of hand."
"I'll stop when I want to stop. Not when you tell me!" Toph answered dismissively, before storming away and caving herself up in an earth-tent.
Sokka stretched out his arms. "Speaking of money, I think I'll go spend some. Later, guys." He waved a hand as he disappeared.
"Hey, wait up!" Zuko got up and ran after Sokka. With all the money they'd accumulated, they still hadn't gotten the ex-prince a sleeping bag.
"Toph, when I was in town, I found something you're not gonna like." Sokka unraveled a wanted poster in his hand, his new pet hawk, predictably titled 'Hawky', on his shoulder.
"Well, it sounds like a sheet of paper, but I guess you're referring to what's on the paper." Toph stood up from her position sprawled among a few comfy boulders.
"It's a wanted poster. Of you. They've nicknamed you 'the Runaway'."
Toph suddenly grinned. "A wanted poster? That's so great!" she enthused. "'The Runaway'. I love my new nickname! Is there a picture of me? Does it look good?"
Sokka raised an eyebrow, before checking her against her likeness. "Actually, yeah, it does look pretty good. But you're missing the point, Toph! Maybe Katara's right! Maybe we're attracting too much attention now!"
Toph gave a small scoff of dismissal. "Don't be such a worrywart like your sister. Think of it this way; now we have plenty of money to help with the invasion plan!" she produced a small pouch of money in her hand.
Sokka paused before making a small 'hmm' sound. "That is true…" he considered. "I had this idea of making armor for Appa…"
"Here's a little extra so you can get yourself a nice map of the fire nation." She passed him a few coins before changing her mind and handing over the whole bag. "You know what, make it an atlas."
"I do like expensive atlases…" Sokka jangled the bag in his hand.
"Of course you do." Toph snatched the poster from his hand. "Which is why this, is going to stay our little secret." She rolled up the poster as Sokka walked back toward camp as Aang and Zuko were headed in the opposite direction, seemingly to practice firebending.
"Do you even know what to feed one of those?" Zuko asked, eyeing the hawk on Sokka's shoulder as he walked past, stopping and turning as the water tribe boy passed him.
Over his shoulder, Sokka raised a lone finger and stuck his nose in the air. "As a matter of fact, I do not." He answered calmly.
"You're not seriously calling that thing 'Hawky', are you?" Zuko asked, holding a piece of bread in one hand and a smaller part he'd broken off in the other, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, sat on one of the large rocks they'd rolled toward the campfire as seating.
Hawky sat perched on Sokka's shoulder, who was spooning up mouthfuls of his second bowl of the same type of soup everyone else had finished long ago. Between spoonfuls, he paused and answered. "You got any better ideas?"
"Well, then you can't tell me that my idea is bad unless you have a better one!"
"I thought Toph was pretty good with names, right?" Zuko looked to Aang, who was munching on some rye bread.
"Yeah, Sokka, why don't you ask her? Here she comes." Aang, with Momo in his lap purring at the Airbenders touch, pointed as Toph walked up and sank into a sitting position at the monk's side.
"Ask me what?" Toph yawned, untying some money pouches from her belt and tossing them into the growing pile at the side of Zuko's expensive new sleeping bag.
"Zuko thinks Hawky needs a better name. I personally disagree." Sokka put his now empty bowl of soup down.
"'Hawky' is a little obvious." Toph replied in thought. "Does he have any interesting character attributes to be a namesake?"
"What?" Sokka squinted in confusion. At that moment, the messenger hawk let out a shrill squawk and jumped down from Sokka's shoulder, before flying a few feet toward Zuko and pecking at the bread in his hands.
Zuko smiled ironically and broke off a piece, dropping it to the floor for the bird to peck at. "I've always wanted a messenger hawk, you know." He spoke, mostly to himself.
Sokka leant toward the messenger hawk and growled. "Traitor-bird!" he seethed. "Since he likes you so much, why don't you have him, then." He sat straight and crossed his arms, offended.
Zuko shook his head. "Sokka, are you surprised? You didn't feed it all day."
"Well, excuse me, I didn't think it needed feeding like a baby." Sokka raised his hands innocently. The hawk instantly, having finished its piece of bread, jumped to Sokka's feet and began angrily stabbing its beak at Sokka's leather-clad ankles. "Ah!" Sokka jumped up and away from it, causing the other three to burst out laughing.
"Toph!" came an angry cry from afar, rapidly approaching. As if on cue, Zuko's new hawk jumped away from Sokka, onto Zuko's arm and behind the firebender's back, hiding from the angry water tribe girl. "What the hell, is this?" Katara was suddenly before them, snapping a sheet of paper in Toph's face.
"I don't know! Seriously? What's with you people? I'm blind!" Toph yelled in exasperation.
Katara turned the ink to face her. "'The Runaway'. It's a wanted poster, Toph! Are you proud of this?"
"Where did you get that?" Toph sat straight and glared with blind eyes.
"It doesn't matter where I got it! The fact is-,"
"You went through my stuff! You had no right!" Toph leapt to her feet and pointed an iron finger at Katara.
"What, you mean that haphazard pile of stuff lumped against a rock? I was straightening up and I found it." Katara crossed her arms defensively, the poster dangling in one hand.
"You liar! You're lying, Katara!" Toph formed fists at her sides.
"Fine! It's a lie! But I knew something was up with how crazy you've been acting lately, and I was right!"
Toph snatched the poster from Katara and stormed a few feet away before Katara yelled after her.
"Don't walk away from me while I'm talking to you!" Katara shouted.
"Oh, sorry, Mom, I didn't want to wait around for you to send me to my room!" Toph barked back. "Oh, wait! You can't!"
"I wish I could!" Katara threw her arms up in frustration, as the boys' eyes darted from one girl to the other as they retorted again and again.
"Well, you can't. You're not my mom, and you're not theirs, either." Toph pointed to Aang specifically. "You can't tell any of us what to do!"
"I never said I was!"
They babbled on endlessly as the boys proceeded to pick up the dishes before one single cry blasted over all the others.
"WHY ARE YOU SO DIFFICULT?"
… before the two of them stormed in opposite directions.
"Hey." There was a small voice from behind Toph.
"If you think you're gonna get me all mushy, you're sadly mistaken." Toph frowned, dangling her feet over a rock overhanging. "There's no way I'm going to apologize to that over-controlling matriarch."
Aang sat down beside her, his hands in his lap. "Well, it was either me come talk to you or put you through the speech Sokka prepared, so …"
Toph gave a small laugh. "Thanks for your mercy." Toph elbowed him lightly.
"You know, you have to admit, the scamming is unnecessary now." Aang glanced to her carefully.
"I know." Toph looked away from him.
"The reason Katara gets a bit … in your business, is because she worries, you know?" Aang leant forwards a bit to get a better look at her.
"I know." Toph repeated with a sigh. "And I like that she worries; it means she cares, right?" she looked to Aang hopefully.
Aang gave a simple nod. "It's a good feeling. For someone to care about you."
"Yeah. I guess it is." Toph pulled a lopsided smile. "But … it's kind of like she's stopping me doing what I like doing. Like my parents did with earthbending."
"Not really. She hasn't actually stopped you. And you know she only has your best interest at heart. None of us want to see you get arrested." One of Aang's hands dropped off his lap, onto hers. With a sharp breath, he withdrew his hand and smiled awkwardly, before she could react. He didn't even know his cheeks had bloomed red. Neither did Toph, but she had a good excuse.
"What do you want?" Katara turned and snapped. She paused and relaxed. "Oh. Sorry."
Zuko had flinched, and was straightening. "Uh … right." He looked aside at the slice in the boulder beside him that Katara's water whip had made. "Okay." He steadied himself as the hawk that had been on his shoulder fluttered a few feet away from him, registering what had just happened. "I was going to ask if you were okay, but I already have my answer."
Katara scowled. "I'm not in the wrong, so don't even try to change my mind. She's out of line and you know it."
"But what?" Katara turned and glared at him.
Zuko had finally gotten the hawk to stay still and it had jumped again at her voice. "Agni, can you calm down? You're like a rocket waiting to go off."
Katara's eyes narrowed before she exhaled a long sigh. "What were you going to say?" she sank down to sit on a tree stump.
"I was going to say this is her way of figuring out her parent issues. You just have to wait it out. I hunted bald monks, you got all snappy at your dad … she goes all sneaky-criminal." Zuko shrugged calmly, leaning against the now sliced boulder beside him. "Try and see it from her point of view."
"Hey, I'm only here because Sokka was going to come otherwise." Zuko shut his eyes and raised his hands.
"Well thanks." Katara answered halfheartedly. "You're doing a great job, by the way." She added sarcastically.
Zuko gave a small sigh. "Well, you're not exactly open-minded." He replied curtly. "Maybe Toph's right. Maybe you're way too controlling."
"What do you suggest I do, then?" Katara looked up from her perch on the stump. "Pull a girls-only heist with her?"
Zuko opened his mouth as if you give a suggestion before shutting it and pausing. "That's actually not a bad idea."
Katara pulled a face. "Right. Like I said, we have enough money. Unless it was like, a huge amount, it would be pointless."
"But the bounty on her head is ten times as much as all her scams put together!" Zuko laughed sharply. "It's simple! You turn her in, she escapes with metalbending and we take off for our next destination."
Katara stared at him for a long while. "I'll think about it."
"Someone with a bounty like yours shouldn't plan bounty scams, you know that, Zuko?" Toph frowned, addressing the mercilessly bound prince in the metal cell opposite her wooden one.
Zuko gave a small grumble. "Uncle always said I was terrible at planning." He was sat on his knees, his wrists behind his back shackled to his ankles. He suddenly groaned in annoyance. "What's taking them so long?"
"Relax, your highness, I'm sure they're figuring something out." Toph yawned, leaning heavily against the wooden grill. "Honestly, you would think-,"
"My muscles are cramping, I've been sat here for hours! I swear to Agni, if they're not here in the next hour, I'm going to burn off my own arms to escape!" Zuko growled fiercely, tactlessly thrashing and bringing himself to a horizontal position on his side on the wooden floor.
Toph suddenly straightened and firmly placed her feet on the ground, listening for vibrations. Her eyes narrowed in distaste.
Zuko's eyes widened. "Is that them?" he asked hopefully.
"No. I don't think so anyway. I think it's our dinner." Toph grumbled, crossing her arms as the door to the holding area was pushed open and a portly, short man walked in with cheap, twin flat metal plates of colorless slop.
Zuko gagged at the sight. "You don't expect us to eat that, do you?" he looked up to meet the man's sneer.
"Not you anyway." The man snarled, hurling a plate towards the metal cell and sending the gray slop splattering all over the flinching former prince. He trudged to Toph's cell and slid her sorry excuse for a meal under the wooden grill into her cell.
As the door slammed behind the man and the sunset's light flooded the room via the barred windows, Toph picked up her plate and turned it upside down, plopping the food on the floor. "You don't bite the hand that feeds you, Sparky." Toph scolded playfully.
Zuko shut his eyes to avoid the sight of himself. Never had he been in such a sorry state, not even in his traveling days with Uncle in Ba Sing Se. Here he was, the ex-Prince of the Fire Nation, practically hogtied with gray rice-slop splattered on him as he lay on the floor of a prison cell. Zuko felt what little pride he had left these days depleting again. His mother would be disappointed.
A swift slicing noise forced him to open his eyes and he saw Toph standing in a wooden archway sliced open with the sharpened metal plate. Talk about resourceful. Toph approached his cell and tore open the bars before ripping away his shackles. The former prince leapt to his feet and tried his best to clear himself of the slop on his body. He was definitely going to bathe as soon as possible; he could feel the slop in his hair gluing together his thick, royal black locks.
Toph stormed the door and ripped it off its hinges to reveal a baffled guard waking up from sleeping at his post. Zuko didn't ask questions, immediately slashing out with firebending, his power-building rage restored by the treatment he'd received from his own people. A fire blast burnt away a patch of hair on the guard who'd discarded his helmet to sleep comfortably. Other guards assaulted the doorway he and Toph escaped from.
"Where the hell are they?" Zuko shouted to Toph, who had somehow gotten a far distance from him, and was using a hand coated in a full metal boxing glove to punch the daylights out of the guards, all the while grinning and cheering herself on.
Toph took down the closest guard to her with simple hand-to-hand combat, believing it best to refrain from bending in case it gave away anything, but that didn't stop her discreetly lifting a few rocks here and there to trip soldiers. Zuko catapulted himself up with a flip and stepped on the head of a guard to get to the tower above the holding area and snatch his confiscated dual sword sheath. When he reappeared, the remainder of the guards were on their backs and Toph stood triumphant near the massive Ozai statue, the citizens gawping in uproar, but not daring to come near the Runaway, the Blind Bandit, the one and only Toph Bei Fong.
A sudden blast, familiarly reminiscent of a sonic boom split open the ground between Toph and where Zuko landed. Zuko's head snapped to his pursuer and he suddenly frowned; he'd only barely escaped last time by the skin of his teeth. "Uh oh." He took a comical gulp.
Sparky Sparky Boom man jumped down from his place on a roof top and blasted again at Zuko's feet, causing him to leap back. Where the hell were the others? As if on cue, a water whip smacked the back of the bald man's head, and he whirled around to stare at the waterbender who'd snapped it. Zuko shouted at her as Toph took off.
"What are you doing?"
"Saving your butt!"
Zuko may have answered, but Katara wasn't paying attention; the colossal man was advancing on her. She reached out for the moisture on her skin as a last resort and smacked Combustion Man on the cheek with a slight smirk breaking free on her face. She jumped from one foot to the other. "Want to dance, ugly?" she made a show of being light on her feet as if she were dancing. The Bounty Hunter's unique bending form tore up the ground beneath her. "Whoa!" she yelped. "Little help, your highness?" she called out to her friend as she narrowly avoided the huge ditch burnt in the ground.
Zuko nodded and blasted a ball of fire at the man's back, searing his clothes and causing him to grunt in agitation. "Thought you'd never ask." He punched the air again, this time knocking the bounty hunter off his feet so Katara could freeze an ice encasing over him. "Come on!" he beckoned her to his side and the two of them took after Toph, who had presumably taken off for the others to tell them to pack up.
They finally slowed as they saw the camp approaching and that most of the camp was already on Appa's saddle. Katara stole a glance at Zuko.
"Why are you covered in … what are you covered in?" Katara reached and touched a lump of the gray slop on his shoulder. "Gross." She inspected it on her fingers.
Zuko gave a long sigh. "I may have insulted this slop that they intended to pass off as my meal, and so …" he grunted in confusion. "The whole thing was pretty degrading, lets just leave it alone." He held one wrist in the other hand and Katara caught a glimpse of tight, red chain marks.
Katara gave a sympathetic smile, before dousing him in water, which, to his knowledge, had come from nowhere. "Hope that helps."
Zuko smiled, though he wasn't sure he was grateful; now he was wet all over, and the slop was only partially gone. "Thanks. I think." Besides, he liked Katara, and as easy as it was to snap at her and say 'that did nothing!', it was just as easy to smile and admire her. Suddenly his new pet hawk squawked and landed on his shoulder, slurping up the remains of the slop.
Katara laughed at the sight of Zuko, Zuko, getting his face licked by a pet he seemed to have a kind of affection for. Zuko, who had been the evil psycho stalker that had followed them around the world, was now a (incredibly cute, though she couldn't bear to say it aloud) teenaged boy with a pet bird. Katara liked to think she'd helped him change into that.
"I think … I'll name him … Nikko." Zuko felt the corners of his mouth twitching up.
"Cute." Katara smiled. "And I think … it's time we left." She jerked her thumb over her shoulder, the both of them looking back to see an actual angry mob with pitchforks and torches coming after them.
They raced up to the camp, clambered up onto Appa and disappeared into the sunset, ready for their next destination.
A/N: I know it's been ages, but … okay, I have no but. I humbly apologize from the depths of my soul. Hawky is staying! Did you know Hawky was destined to be Zuko's pet in the original series? He just somehow never made it to Zuko's shoulder, and now he has. I looked it up, Nikko means sunlight in Japanese, I liked the name. Hint of TAANG in this chapter! Yay! Oh, by the way, Zuko wrote 'Dear John' letter, that's what Aang helped him with, to Mai, since Aang's good at saying 'Dear monks, btw I'm not coming back' LOL. Except more of a 'Dear Mai' letter lol. Anyway, I'll expand on that next chapter. I love you people, thanks so much for bearing with the stupidly long wait between chapters!
I actually wanted Zuko to say 'want to dance ugly', but I figured in Canon, it would sound much better from Katara. I know there was no sisterly-bonding with Toph and Katara at the end there, but that's partly because I no longer understand sisterly love. My sister's gone to live with my dad and wicked step mother, so … yeaaaahhh….
ANYWAY - lol, I loved that. My older brother does that all the time when we ask him why he uses 'private browsing' on the laptop. We already know why he does it, but it's fun to fuck with his mind a bit. Hawky! Oh, plus in the earlier bit, Toph quotes John Bender in Breakfast Club (inaccurately, but whatever), just cuz i felt like it :)
I think, to reward you for continuing to read this, you deserve a quote from Avatar! Yay!
Toph: Katara, you're a genius! A sweaty, stinky genius!
Until we meet again, Bond. Until we meet again.
XrhiaX xxxxx reviews help me write my next chapter! :D xxxx