ALLERGY : HELLFIRE
Disclaimer: I do not claim any form of ownership to this story. This is a work of fiction from another fiction, similarity to any person living or dead(non existent, for that matter) is not coincidental. hahaha.
That was a dull disclaimer but I wanted to make something unlike others'. So anyway, this fic takes place after Zuko joined the gaang. And also after he and Aang are able to firebend.
Zuko twisted and turned on the flat ground. His mat was as thin as a cloth and there was not a single blanket in his reach. Ironic, since he was royalty and all back then.
Again, he turned. And this time, he moaned. He had trouble in breathing, like he had a cold or something.
Katara was already up. She asked Haru and the boys to look for food a short while before and now they came rushing back with fruits. Wait, The Duke, that's a rock.
"Uhm, this is a rock." Katara held the small stone and examined it. It was hard enough to prove it's name.
"No, it's not! I know a rock when I see one!" The Duke claims. He snatches the stone from the water bender and to prove himself, he bit it. It hurt his teeth badly. But he wouldn't admit it.
"Well?" Katara waited for the boy to admit defeat. Haru and Teo were just beside him, and they both agree it was a rock.
The child refused to lose. He threw the rock somewhere, probably at someone because they heard an exaggerated scream instead of rock landing.
"I told you it's not a rock. It's just hard to chew. That's all." The Duke said.
"Oh-kay..." she said as she glanced over her brother through those bushes. There was someone laughing hysterically with him, a girl. Most likely, Toph. Who else could laugh like that? "Thanks. You can go now." Katara said.
The three boys nodded and left for another trip around the Air Temple. And do whatever they think is fun.
Katara realized after a while that she needed help in the kitchen. Wow. Most unlikely. But actually, she always do... there's just no one to help her, and she wouldn't bother asking.
Aang was meditating somewhere in the area. Better leave him in his concentration. Sokka was practicing with his sword, and then cleaning his boomerang. Yeah, he does that all the time... but she wouldn't ask him if she didn't want any blood in the soup just because he chopped himself. Toph... earth bending and picking her ears at the same time? Well, maybe. But how will she chop the vegetables? Or how will she control the heat of the fire? Haru , Teo, Duke? Nah. Where's Zuko?
Katara looked around for a moment. 'That good for nothing prince. What, he expects to be treated royalty here? He should help around if he wants to stay. Is he still sleeping? That lazy - - -'
"Toph!" Katara called.
"Yep?" Toph jerked her head up.
"Wake Zuko for me, will you? He's slacking off when he should be helping."
"I don't help at all and I don't hear you complaining." she said back and grinned.
"Come on, Toph. I need someone to carry the bag of rice and peal of the potatoes." Katara said. She was busy maintaining the fire and mixing the spices.
Toph stood up and grinned wider "Say please?"
"...Please. Thank you." It was better that way. Last time she asked Toph to carry a sack, she earth bended the floor and the sack exploded. Poor rice.
Toph made her way to the prince. It was easy to detect him since he was in the same place she felt him last night. She walked towards the prince. Bent down to assure he was asleep. Well, the breathing's fast, but he sure wasn't feeling well. Better wake him gently.
"WAKE UP, SPARKY!" came out Toph's loud roar, along with the earth rumbling underneath the fire bender. Katara, as well as the others, from their place, felt that sudden ground wave.
"AAHHH!" Zuko gasped and sat. He breathed for a while before giving Toph a strange look, "What did you do that for?"
"I was GENTLY waking you up." she said, faking innocence.
"That was gentle?" he asked incredulously.
"That's just the way I show affection. Now get your butt up and go to Sugar queen right now."
He rubbed his eyes first and then asked, "What? Why?"
"She wants to cook you for breakfast." She mumbled as she walked away. Too bad Zuko didn't see the huge grin on her face.
"Huh? What?" But she was no longer around. What was she in a hurry for?
Zuko got on his feet and began to search for water to gargle. He didn't want to talk to Katara with a morning breath. But, since this is Katara, and she is cooking, there's probably one near her.
As he walked where Katara would always cook, he grabbed in what seemed a pot of water and a cup. That large bison carried all these during their travels? He's like a flying house, the only thing missing was a nice bed.
"Morning." he said as he let the cup down.
"'bout time you got up." Katara said to him...coldly. Zuko shuddered, 'Uh Katara, you want me to come back later? Perhaps, when you're in a better mood?' But he knew it wouldn't help to argue back.
"What do you want me to do?" He asked. He even sniffed at the end.
"Carry that sack of rice for me, will you?" She pointed.
Zuko looked over his shoulder and carried the said sack and gave it to her. She just nodded in approval.
'What? Not even a thank you? I'm trying to be nice here' Zuko thought. Then he felt something funny about to go out from his nose. "Uh..." ...a sneeze?
"Those potatoes over there need to be peeled. Do it nicely." she said without looking at him.
"Uh..." false alarm, "uhm, okay." he walked towards the table with the potatoes. He grabbed a knife that was there. He stared at the vegetable for a while to figure out how to remove its skin.
There! A small skin was peeled off successfully. Whew. That took him about 26 seconds. 'I can do this'. the banished prince thought.
"OW!" to Zuko's surprise, he hurt himself. He gave his hand a quick shake and wiped the clotting blood on his shirt.
"Watch out, he's got a knife!" Called out Katara's older brother.
Zuko and Katara gave him a strange look.
Zuko thought, 'You're impossible, Sokka.'
Katara said in her mind, Like I don't know that, thank you very much'.
"I can take care of him, Sokka." said Katara. Zuko hid his urge to shudder. She said that threat nonchalantly just like that.
"And relax." Katara added, "He's helping me peel the potatoes."
"Hrpmh!" Sokka covered his mouth with his hands and tried (well, at least he tried) not to laugh. But you can really hear him giggle.
"He's peeling potatoes?" Toph exclaimed behind the water warrior. "HA-HA!"
"You? Peel? Potato?" said Sokka pointing at him. He began to laugh. "Prince of Potatoes! Hahaha!"
"Grrr..." Zuko held tightly on a potato. Controlling his anger. He watched Sokka scrunched like a ball.
"Wait, wait!" Sokka wiped a tear, "This is better, peeling prince! Ah-hahahaha!"
He and Toph were laughing. Zuko threw the thing he held to the laughing warrior, "I'm just trying to help!"
"OW!" he sat up and rubbed his forehead.
"That's gotta hurt. Should've sent him one burning." Toph winked.
"What's going on? Did I hear Zuko helping out? Really?" Aang walked towards the group.
Suddenly Sokka and Toph burst out laughing, Katara couldn't help but smile. The young monk didn't understand why they were laughing like that.
"What?" He asked them whatever they found funny.
"We're talking about Sparky here helping Katara with the cooking, Twinkletoes." said Toph.
"Well, ain't that nice?" Aang asked.
"HAHAHA!" it was Sokka's loud laugh, "Him? Nice? Really?"
Katara was busy with starting the fire, when Zuko sneezed. The fire grew bigger it almost burned her. She gave Zuko an irritated look, blaming him because of his element. But he failed to notice.
"Gazuntheight." Aang said to Zuko.
Zuko grunted once more. He slouched and went back to his work. After a while, the laughter died down, but he felt awfully crept out. Just then, he noticed them staring at him while he did his 'peeling'.
"Nothing. I'm just watching." Sokka said.
"Don't you have anything better to do?" asked the angered banished prince. Wait, we're talking about Sokka... of course he doesn't.
"There's nothing interesting around here."
"And THIS (grips the potato) is interesting!"
"Well, since you're the one doing it." Then Sokka laughed again. Zuko threw him another potato.
"Zuko! Don't waste those potatoes on him!" Katara told Zuko, then she looked at her brother, "If you won't stop that, you won't have anything to chew on for breakfast."
That was a death threat for the mighty and hungry warrior. He stood up and backed away, "Okay, okay." he smiled, "I'll just be doing my training." he said and left in a hurry.
"Okay, I'll go find Teo and the others. They might find something fun to do." Aang stood and bended wind into a sphere and swirled his way away from them.
Zuko then eyed the small earth bender, hopefully waiting for her to go as well.
But she just grinned.
"Toph." Said Katara with her hands on her hips.
"Sure, okay. I'll leave you two ALONE then."
Zuko regretfully continued his work as the others did theirs. Unfortunately for Zuko, his job kept being put on hold because he kept sneezing. Katara even checked if he had a cold, but he didn't.
Breakfast was finally done. They shared the stew Katara and Zuko made. Well, she cooked while he controlled the fire.
"Bless you." Aang said.
Sokka noticed a faint smoke coming from the prince's nose. He observed silently but obviously.
"We need more firewood." Katara informed. "Could you guys get some after breakfast?" she eyed the boys.
Haru nodded slightly, not really wanting to do the job. The Duke was looking away. Teo was just smiling, knowing dear Katara won't ask him to do the heavy job. Aang shrugged. Sokka was still watching Zuko and eating his breakfast at the same time. Zuko had enough cuts in his fingers and he didn't want to do anything else anymore.
"YOU WILL WON'T YOU?" Katara glared. Freezing the stews in their bowls. All the boys nodded stiffly.
Zuko took a bunch of branches he saw. Whether it would make good firewood or not, he didn't care. He just did. As he was walking back, he caught sight of the youngest of them. The Duke was standing in front of a tall tree. He was looking at the helmet that got caught in a branch.
To Zuko's surprise, the branch was far up he had no idea how it got there.
The Duke remained silent. He was playing slingshot with a bird he saw while getting wood (unfortunately, he still had none). The bird got angry and it grabbed his helmet. It flew high up to the tree and the helmet got stuck on the branch. Now the bird was nowhere to be seen, and Duke can't climb it.
"Can you get it for me please?" he said.
"WHAT?" The prince had no intention of climbing a tree so tall. But he's been through a lot, a tree shouldn't be a biggie. Isn't there anyone cut out for the job? Like Sokka can use his boomerang? Or Haru could make the ground rumble? But sadly, they weren't around.
He grunted, "I'll try..." he said. He dropped his gatherings and tried grabbing on the small branches on the tree. It was hard to climb at first, but he managed. As he reached the top, he stopped. The helmet was a few feet away from him, he won't be able move anymore, or climb on the said branch because it was too thin. So he reached out.
Okay, you can do this Zuko, think of the helmet as your honor, and you're on the tree to get it back. It's just a few inches away... you can almost taste it. Wait... what's that quick and strange feeling...?
"Uh...uh... ah... ACHOO!" Zuko sneezed. But this time was different. There was a small gush of fire that darted out from nowhere.
Because of his surprise, he tumbled down.
Zuko landed on his back, and the helmet dropped on his face afterwards. Sokka was laughing in the background. Duke thanked him, well, at least Zuko think he did. Then he went back to camp with a painful back ache.
"Fire's a tricky thing. If you don't control it carefully, you'll end up burning something you don't want. You could burn yourself." Zuko said.
Aang nodded. He remembered the time he burnt Katara back then.
"Now, do exactly what I do."
Then he and Zuko began to do a stance. Zuko had his left fist stretched out while the other was on level with his chest.
Zuko grunted as he punched the air with his right, a flame following his hand.
Aang did the same, but with a softer grunt.
Zuko turned, and the fire almost circled him. Aang followed suit.
"Wow, dinner with a show." Sokka whispered to no one in particular. His mouth was half full so the words didn't come out right.
Toph, Haru, The Duke, Teo, Sokka and Katara were watching them spar while eating their lunch.
"He's really good." Teo pointed out.
"Which one?" Haru asked.
"I'm talking about Zuko. But I thought he's fiercer."
"You wouldn't want to see him during his pms." Toph muttered with a large grin.
"What's that?" The Duke asked.
"I really didn't think Zuko would go to our side. After all the time he followed us throughout the world." Sokka said.
"Who would?" Katara asked flatly.
"Okay, now, sweetness. You should cut him some slack. Just look at him, he's being nice!" Toph flailed his hands towards him.
Then suddenly, Zuko sneezed.
Stupidly, Aang tried sneezing too.
The boys who watched started laughing.
"You see?" Katara started, "You said he was nice, and he sneezed; therefore, it's not true."
"Aw...hahaha." Sokka wiped a tear, "That's a good trick Zuko! Aang could sneeze the fire lord to death!"
Right now, Toph dragged Aang for practice. Haru, Teo and The Duke were together doing who-knows-what. Sokka was sitting around throwing his boomerang lamely, obviously bored. Zuko was watching him. Katara was busy waterbending by the fountain.
"Aachoo!" Zuko sneezed once more.
"Dude!" Sokka threw his boomerang with more force. "That's like the fourteenth time you sneezed today! Can't you have it checked or something?" then the boomerang threw itself back to him...hitting his head.
"You counted?" Aang asked. He and Toph just finished training somewhere.
"Yeah right. Who am I going to have it checked? The badger frog?" Zuko asked sarcastically.
"Well, sweetness is somewhat a doctor." Toph suggested.
Never mind, thanks. Zuko thought. Are there no other deadlier doctors than her? He could rather accept Li & Lo's treatment.
"What's up?" Katara asked. Funny, they kept appearing after mentioning their name.
"Sparky's sick and he needs a doctor to take care of him." Toph said, acting sad.
"Him? Sick? Of What?" Katara asked disbelievingly.
"AAACHOOO!" Zuko sniffed after sneezing.
"Will you cover your mouth?"
"Sure, I'll try not to burn my hand in the process." he said in monotone.
"Don't tell me, he has a cold?" Sokka immediately stood behind Toph, "Get him away! I don't want to have the flu."
"Stop it, Sokka." Katara said. "He doesn't look sick to me."
The water bender walked towards the exiled prince and looked at him carefully. Oh, did Zuko melt with her fearsome glare. Did she observe him or did she send mental death threats? What's wrong? Zuko's being good now, there's no reason to-
"Achoo!" Zuko sneezed. He was able to cover his mouth, but the flame just burned his hand. Well, if he hadn't, then Katara's face would've been burning now, if not then screaming and cursing him as she froze and whip him with water.
"What the! Zuko!" Katara barked. "You almost burned me!"
"What's wrong with you, Zuko!" Sokka stood firmly; he wouldn't just let anyone hurt his sister... though she didn't get hurt at all.
"Hey! Look, I didn't mean to! But if I hadn't burned my own hand, then you could've taken the flame! I was being nice! aah..." ("Look out" came in Toph's warning) "achoo!"
They had moved away from the banished prince.
Aang knew that Zuko's sneezing isn't normal any more. "Something must be wrong." he stated.
"Yeah? What?" Sokka asked.
"He's been sneezing a lot lately. Don't you think it's weird?" Aang said.
"Well, yeah. But this is Zuko we're talking about." Sokka said. Zuko gave him a look.
"Maybe someone must be thinking about him." Sokka added, he thought for a while. Then, "Nah. Who would?"
"Well, there's his uncle." Toph remarked. Zuko felt a slight pinch of joy, knowing his uncle might be thinking of him, but then again, after what he has done...why would he?
"Or maybe Azula." Katara added coldly.
"Or his father? You know, he may be looking for him, wanting to kill him and all?" Sokka suggested.
They shot him a look.
"Okay, maybe a girl friend?" Sokka looked over his shoulder, "hey, Zuko. Do you have a girl friend?"
"I don't think that has anything to do with - achoo!" fire came out of his mouth.
The teens exchanged looks, except of course, Toph.
"I don't think it's normal seeing fire every time Zuko sneezes. Don't you think so?" Katara stated.
"Honestly, yeah. I know Zuko's really weird, but he's not this weird." Sokka agreed, observing Zuko.
"Just leave me alone." Zuko grunted.
"We need to do something about that, Zuko. You can't just walk around sneezing fire like that." Aang offered his hand, but Zuko didn't take it.
Zuko looked at Aang. Then to the others. They all seemed ready to help him. He felt happy. He curved the side of his lips. He opened his mouth a little, enough for his teeth to show, and he said "Thanks."
And suddenly, there was some sort of trigger. Because Zuko sneezed. It wasn't just loud, but there was a gust of blazing fire in front of him, it sent him flying back.
Luckily, no one was hurt, but they fell on their behinds on this one.
"Zuko!" Katara and Aang called. They both stood to run up to him.
"Whoa, Zuko, you're like a fire breathing Dragon!" Sokka said, amazed.
"That was Zuko sneezing?" Toph asked incredulously.
"You okay?" Aang helped Zuko stand.
"Not really." Zuko sniffled.
"We should really do something about this." Katara stated worriedly. She didn't anyone get burned because Zuko just sneezed, though she could heal, she knew it hurts a lot.
The teens stood in a circle for a while, but a bit far from Zuko.
Sokka sorted his ideas out, "Zuko sneezes and fire comes out. It's not normal."
"Good observation, Detective Sokka, any conclusion yet?" Katara asked her brother sarcastically.
"No, nuthin' actually." Sokka admitted.
"Maybe he's allergic or something?" Toph said.
"Yeah. I'm allergic to some things too." Aang said.
Sokka snapped, "So we just need to find out what Zuko is allergic about and get rid of it."
They spitted up and look for things Zuko might be allergic for. This time, including the trio who did nothing but have fun and eat.
They met before sunset in the same place. And they all fell in line, offering what they think is the answer.
Katara was the first one. She showed Zuko two large potatoes. Hoping, it was the reason. She asked him to sniff it for her. But he just shook his head in the end.
Teo was next and he offered him a bunch of flowers. Since, he knows most allergies come from them. But Zuko did not sneeze at all.
Next came Haru. He showed Zuko a pot filled with water.
"Uh? What's this?" Zuko asked. Obviously, it was water.
"Well, since you're a fire bender, and your opposite element is water, I thought maybe you're allergic of water." Haru smiled. But Zuko didn't sneeze.
The Duke showed his helmet, because Zuko sneezed when he was trying to take it. But he didn't sneeze at all now.
Zuko was feeling ridiculous. He had his palm on his chin and he slouched on his seat.
Aang, the avatar, came with nothing in hand. He just stepped forward and smiled. Zuko raised a brow at this. But he figured it out, then he said, "Next." if he was allergic to him, then he should've sneezed a whole lot before he even joined them.
Toph came forward, dragging Katara with her. Zuko frowned, why on earth should she see if he was allergic to the water bender?
And lastly, came Sokka. He held out a scroll. Zuko gave him a questioning look. But he took it nonetheless and opened it. And to his dismay, a drawing of some sort of person.
"What is this?"
"That's you." Sokka smiled.
Zuko grunted. The others began laughing.
"This is not helping at all!" He stood up, throwing the paper.
"Okay, let's just sit down and think for a while." Aang said. And they all followed.
"Well, Zuko sneezed when he was peeling the potatoes." Katara said her thoughts aloud.
"But he isn't allergic to potatoes." Haru said.
"He sneezed while training me." Aang said.
"But he's not allergic to you at all." Said Teo.
"Then he sneezed when he tried retrieving The Duke's helmet from a tree." Sokka shared.
"But my helmet isn't the answer!" The Duke stated.
"And he said thank you." Toph added at the end, with a weird smile on her face.
The teens, except for Zuko, Toph, and The Duke were all surprised. And if it were only anime, you would see a bunch of exclamation points atop their heads.
"Eureka!" Sokka jumped victoriously.
The Duke whispered to Teo, "What's that?"
He answered in the same way, "A scientist said this as he jumped out of his bath tub. Meaning, 'I've got it'!"
"What?" Katara asked Sokka.
"His allergy is..."
-end of chapter one.
HAHAHAHAH! left you with a cliffy! So it's your turn to guess whatever Zuko was allergic of.
Okay, I know I should be doing my other fics... but here I am, making another set. Hahaha. Be sure to watch out for the next chapter! Thanks for reading, and would it be okay to ask for a review?