My attempt at slightly humorous and fluffy pre-ship moments in accordance with the Zutara Week 2011 prompts.


"You were the Blue Spirit?" Zuko looked offended as Katara's surprised tone.

"Yeah, so?" Katara shook her head, lips pressing briefly into a frown.

"So nothing I was just shocked that's all, I mean you... as the Blue Spirit, scourge of the Fire Nation, master Thief and all that... you?"

"Stop saying like that, if you don't believe me ask Aang, he's seen me as the Blue Spirit."

"And if your really such a stealthy super sneak how would he have known it was you?"

"My mask got knocked of by a Yu Yan archer's arrow."

"But why?"

"Because I didn't duck in time."

"Ha ha. I meant why would you put on a mask and steal from your own nation especially since you were always so dedicated to it?"

"... honestly I don't know... the first time I put on that mask I felt.. free. Like I didn't have to be Banished Prince Zuko any more I could be me... who ever that was. I think I always knew deep down... way, way deep down that my father's methods and this war were wrong but, I didn't want to face it. The funny thing – funny like odd not funny haha – is that the mask didn't hide who I was, it never hid the truth, the mask of the Blue Spirit hid the lies so I could find the truth... unfortunately I can be denser than an Earthbender. Ah I'm not making much sense anyway, never mind."

"No it does, I mean you do... make sense, when I was the Painted Lady every stripe of paint and every piece of the costume stripped away things that I wasn't, things I forced myself to be until all that was left was the person I had really become... the real me is worryingly fond of blowing things up by the way."

"I had noticed that actually... wait the Painted Lady fiasco several weeks ago... that was you?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Well it's just surprising that's all, I mean you... as the Painted Lady... you?"