Authors note: Just a little note to tell any lovely new reader that this fic follows directly on from my Stalking Zuko fic and I will reference occurrences from that story during this one, so I highly recommend reading it first!
Without further ado, let's start not stalking Zuko.
So I am starting a new journal about what it's like traveling with the Avatar and fighting the war. It's going to be a brand new, very sensible record of what has happened. I wanted to record what all my friends are like and the crazy shenanigans they get into. This journal will not become full of an obsessive amount of tidbits about Zuko. I am not going to write non-stop about him and his Zuko-ness, because that would be weird and stalkerish and I don't do that anymore.
Today I went down to the market with my brother. We haven't had much time to hang out just the two of us. There are always so many other people around. Sokka wanted to talk about what had really happened on me and Zuko's trip to the Southern Raiders. I'd told him briefly last night but he wanted more detail. Gah! What is it with everyone and more detail! We talked a bit about Mum and how I'd made the right choice with Yon Rha. My brother thinks it's a good thing that I didn't kill him, but he doesn't forgive him either. I asked him why he didn't take my side last night when Aang was going on (and on and on and on)about forgiveness but he just said that Aang had been really worried about me and he didn't want take sides.
We talked about Zuko and my resolution to stop stalking him. Sokka is the only other person who read my stalker journal (the dirty, sneaky jerk) and knows the sort of things I wrote in there. Sokka was glad to hear that I was leaving my stalking days behind me. He was probably the first one aside from Toph to make real friends with Zuko and has been on at me (for a while now) to give him a chance, stop stalking him etc.
I told him that I was going to buy Zuko some fireflakes as a peace offering. I got Zuko a family size pack of sweet chilli fireflakes (this will not last him very long. Subject's…I mean Zuko's love of fireflakes is well known among our group). Sokka thought I was going a bit overboard on the fireflakes and said 'geez how badly to you want to be friends again?' And I sort of sputtered in response because his comment took me by surprise. I was just being thoughtful. Sokka took my sputtering and blushing as an indication that other things had happened on our Southern Raiders trip. He jumped to the same conclusion as my dad did when he saw Zuko giving me a moon peach.
All the men in my family associate food with love.
For goodness sake! They are just fireflakes not a proposal of marriage.
I mean nothing happened!
Fine! I hugged him and snotty cried all over him, but I had told Sokka that already. There was much embarrassment and bickering between Sokka and I. Sokka seemed to hear naked steamy sex every time I said snotty cry and cuddle in the rain. Ever since Sokka and Suki started doing it, he sees sex everywhere! He's gone all sex maniac.
I know he sexiled Zuko from the boy's room last night. Aang prefers to sleep on Appa so Sokka only needed to get rid of Zuko to have the boy's room all to himself. Suki and Sokka think they are being so subtle. But I am not an idiot. Last night Suki snuck out of the girls room and didn't come back and Zuko was sleeping on the couch in the lounge room.
I know what's going on there!
I told Sokka that me and Zuko were just looking for mum's murderer so nothing happened. Sokka said he liked all his revenge quests with a big side of sex! Zuko had just been helpful. Sokka asked if by helpful I meant sexy. I told him he was being ridiculous and Zuko was just my friend. Sokka looked at the fireflakes and gave himself a slap in the forehead and said the most ridiculous thing ever.
"That's what all the fireflakes are for! You're going to go up to him and say : please take these fireflakes… and my virginity… as a token of my friendship." He put on a really high pitched voice that was supposed to mimic mine. I do not sound like that! I would never say that!
I started whacking him rather spiritedly and quite forcefully with the giant family pack of fireflakes and telling him he was an pervert and an idiot and a sexist and a jerk and…many other names, none of which are too polite. In the face of the Great Fireflake Offensive Sokka covered his head and eventually started to apologize.
When he had reached the requisite number of apologies to calm my wrath, I asked him why he was so sure me and Zuko had sex. He said that we'd been gone for three days together as if that explained everything. I retorted that he and Zuko had gone on holiday to the boiling rock together and been gone for five days and should I just assume that they had super kinky prison sex during these five days.
That shut him up!
I win at arguments forever!
We made a non-aggression pact because we still had heaps of things to buy. We had to get some new clothes for Suki. She's still wearing her prison outfit, poor girl and she can't go out and about in the town until we get some proper clothes for her. Suki is roughly my size. She's a little bigger in the… err chest area, so I just have to make sure that things feel loose there. I was going to go help Sokka pick out a few things for her.
We have had many arguments.
We have drastically different tastes in regards to what each of us would prefer Suki wear. I, being the girl and being in possession of better taste, won all the arguments.
I win again!
The sales lady was on my side and together we battled Sokka's poor taste! Suki will thank me for the great service I have done her this day. She will be grateful that she can walk about the town and not look like a drunken, blind strumpet who can't co-ordinate an outfit and who is not picky about who buys her drinks. Oh yeah! That was the look that Sokka was going for.
We carried everything back together and fell into good natured sibling bickering about strumpets and what we would have for lunch, etc, on the way there. Suki was really glad to get some new clothes and really quite pleased with all my choices. I kept giving Sokka these I told you so glances as Suki tried things on and said how much she liked them and how well they fit her etc.
Toph and Zuko and Aang are training. Earthbending is more defensive and firebending is more offensive and they are trying to get him to use both bendings simultaneously. Aang is not allowed to Airbend. Toph and Zuko are in agreement that he is over-reliant on airbending and are trying to increase his confidence with other bendings. He's already pretty confident with waterbending, so I am not needed.
However from what I can hear of the training; the array of frustrated comments and swearing (Zuko) and exclamations of Gah! You airbended again twinkletoes!(Toph) I think they are having mixed success.
They broke for lunch but then got straight back into training as soon as Aang had eaten his last mouthful. Zuko almost had to carry Aang back to the garden by the scruff of his neck-like he was a naughty and playful kitten. I know Zuko is just worried that Aang won't know enough in time for the comet. He's worried about Aang facing his father.
Now that I know how Zuko got his scar, I'm inclined to share his worry. Ozai's not…he's not sentimental about children. He's not going to go easy on Aang just because he's a kid.
Still, sometimes I wish I could just get Zuko to relax. If he were any more rigid I could use him as a surf board. I still haven't had a chance to give him the fireflakes because he's all firebending training -all the time.
So… um… I have just given Zuko the fireflakes. We have had an awkward moment. We have shaken hands. And nearly hugged. I have agreed to give fireflakes another try.
Why did I do this?
So what happened was this. They'd finished training and Zuko was in the kitchen making tea for everybody and I came up to him with the fireflakes behind my back.
Maybe I started off on the wrong foot because I said I needed to talk to him about fireflakes. He sighed deeply and looked imploringly at the ceiling and finally said that he really was trying. I was confused, trying what? He said he knew how much I hated them and that I could spare him the lecture because he really was trying to cut back on his fireflake consumption and had only had them with lunch today and was planning on only sprinkling them sparingly at dinner.
Zuko has never previously listened to me in regards to the many evils of fireflakes. Why did he choose this day, of all days, to cut back on his immense flake consumption? Today when I bought him a family size pack!
Why did he decide to cut back? He loves fireflakes!
I think he noticed the expression on my face and asked me what was wrong. I produced the giant bag of fireflakes from behind my back and said that I had gotten them for him. He looked infinitely confused by this turn of events. Like more confused than I have ever seen him. I don't think I could have confused him more if I'd whipped out a dragon egg and told him I'd laid it myself. I said that he probably didn't want them now, if he was planning on cutting back. Zuko made grabby hands for the fireflakes and almost hugged the giant packet and said that he still wanted them really quickly. And then we were just smiling at each other like awkward dorks who are awkward. Zuko makes me act like a dork.
Zuko asked me why I had gotten him a giant family size supply of fireflakes.
And for a few moments all words left my brain. Where did they go? I actually knew the answer! But for some reason my words abandoned me and I became fascinated with the floor. Zuko was still looking supremely confused. Here it was: apology time. I never thought I'd ever have to apologize to Zuko and I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Should I apologize for every unreasonable/crazy thing individually or just offer a blanket apology? I choose blanket apology.
I mumbled that I wanted to say sorry for being a crazy-lady with him and be friends. However I mumbled this really low and to the floor and Zuko didn't quite hear me. He came a lot closer and told me I'd have to repeat that because the only word he caught was crazy. I mumbled a bit louder. He still didn't catch that and had to get right up in my personal space to hear what I was saying. I was getting a bit frustrated and I ended up saying quite crossly/grumpily I just said I wanted to say sorry and be friends!
Gah! This apology was going all wrong. You're not meant to get cross mid-apology. But it was just so awkward. Zuko said I didn't need to get him a family pack of fireflakes. For him we already were friends. He smiled at me brightly and I smiled back and said that I just felt bad for how I'd been treating him and I wanted to do something to make it up to him. He said he knew what I could do to make it up to him. I think I must have made a worried face because he started nervous babbling like he does when he gets nervous. He said he was not going to ask me to do anything awful. But he thought I should just try fireflakes again, because I might like them and then I could help him eat the family pack.
At first I was a bit sarcastic, because to me- fireflakes are the most awful snack ever created. I made various comments to this effect but eventually relented and agreed to try some.
Why did I do this!
I said I'd do it, if that's what it took for him to accept my apology. And then to cap of this awkward conversation, Zuko made an attempt to hug me at the same time that I stuck out my hand for a handshake. And then we switched. I tried to return the hug and he held out his hand. I was feeling exceptionally dorky at this point so I grabbed his hand and shook it in an exaggerated fashion that was quite comical to me.
We have agreed to be friends.
I have agreed to eat fireflakes in about an hour. So this may be my last entry, as in about an hour I will know the taste of my whole mouth burning and may never recover.
Honestly! The things I do for Zuko.
Fireflakes are not repulsive if you just sprinkle the tiniest amount on top of your dinner. They just make it a little zesty.
Everybody was watching me with eyes agog while I crumbled up some flakes (only 3) on my curry. I have had a long standing and well known opposition to the existence of fireflakes, so the others were very surprised that I was trying them again.
Aang asked me what I was doing in a very bemused tone of voice (I may have ranted at length about the evils of fireflakes to Aang back in the western air temple.) I replied that I was just giving them another go. Aang's eyebrows raised his eyebrows so high that they almost climbed off his face and wandered away.
Zuko was watching me expectantly with a glass of milk on hand in case I hated them again. I don't know what it was about the curry, but fireflakes tasted okay with it. When it is just a small amount and they are sprinkled through it- they are okay. So I told Zuko it was not the worst thing I had ever eaten. And he smiled like I had just handed him a million dollars..or his honor… on a silver platter.
Long rambly notes:
Hello lovely readers and welcome to Not Stalking Zuko. I hope you enjoyed what will be the first of many chapters of sillyness and shennagins. I've changed the breaks from -!- to -?- for this new journal because in my imagination at least, Katara is less angry now and more questioning. It is a whole new journal and while she'll probably end up writing predominantly about Zuko, I still wanted all the other characters to be involved and establish good character relationships. Because to me, by the end of their stay on Ember Island, they'll just be six people who love each other a whole bunch. So this fic may have more group dynamic stuff.
Sokka and Katara: I really love their sibling bond. Now wait, I flove it. Sokka is teasing Katara a bit in this chapter because she's being so awkward about Zuko and he's read her stalker journal and has made assumptions. He was the big assumer who assumed things. He's my shipper on deck! Bless his cotton socks. He's also got sex on the brain at the moment.
He's in that first flush of a new relationship and in my experience, when people are in that first flush, they want to set up all their single friends. Is this a global thing or just a thing among my friends? I'm not sure. But I have observed that people whoa re in that happy new-couple stage what to share the happy-new-couple-stage. He doesn't actually think they've had sex, but he thinks Katara has a crush on Zuko so he's just yanking her chain. Until she explodes Katara wrath all over him.
Suki's clothes: she's in the prison outfit for ages and then new clothes just appear. I thought they deserved some explanation/ acknowledgement.
Sexile: if you are unfamiliar with the word, is a term used when you have a roommate and they have… err company over. Three is definitely a crowd for the activity they have planned and the third wheel gets banished/sexiled until company leaves.
Zuko was going to try quit fireflakes for her, because nothing makes Katara angrier than fireflakes. But then she surprised him with that family pack and awkwardness ensues. Katara's apology was always going to be an awkward sandwich with embarrassing sauce.
Next up: Katara and Zuko will chat about the gender politics of their respective cultures.
Til then lovely readers!