AN: Pu-on Tim was very thorough in his research for "The Boy in the Iceberg". Though he may have embellished on a few things...
Based On A True Story
Katara groaned softly, pinching the bridge of her nose between her fingers. "It's official; this play is never. Going. To end."
"You have to admit, the playwright really went out of his way to get everything." Sokka mused, watching his and Zuko's counterparts hide the war balloon in the 'water'. "I mean, our Boiling Rock break-in was only a little while ago, but he actually managed to write it into the play!"
The real Zuko just rolled his eyes. "Yeah, it's great. Now not only will it the facts be wrong, it'll be sloppily written too." He could only hope the writer didn't get any information on his last chat with Mai. Otherwise something might get burnt...completely by accident, of course!
"Ah, you're just mad they made you kiss my sister. By the way, do I have to have a chat with you about that?" The watertribe boy just grinned at the twin glares from the row below him, not noticing the hurt look from Aang beside him.
"Shut up, Sokka!" You know that never happened!" Oh, she was so going to get him back for that one later.
"Now how do I know that? After all, it was just the two of you. Imprisoned in a romantic crystal cave. Alone."
"Don't even argue with him, Katara." Zuko hastily continued as the waterbender's glare turned to him. "After all, his character in the play is practically an improvement. Or at least it was until Sokka got to him and made his jokes even worse." He smirked as the other boy's mouth morphed into a frown.
His sense of accomplishment didn't last long, though. "At least I remember how my own jokes go, Mr.'leaf me alone, I'm bushed!" Suki sighed, and tried to ignore the boys, while Zuko growled softly.
"Your jokes are better left forgotten!"
"Oh yeah? Well-"
That did it; Toph growled and slammed her hands onto the armrests. "GUYS! Both of your jokes suck, okay?! Now shut up! If I can't see the play, I wanna at least hear it!"
The two looked at Toph, then each other warily. Neither of them really wanted to get on the earth-bender's bad side; they'd seen the consequences of that before. Finally, they both huffed out a 'fine', Sokka crossing his arms and sulking, Zuko turning around and slouching in his seat. The play had moved along without their attention, play-Sokka getting play-Suki and play-Chit Sang out of their cells, then making his way to the 'coolers'; a few wooden cubes with the wall facing the audience removed, and the 'hallway' a cloth to represent outside the rooms. Steam was being used in to show how cold it was, and play-Sokka's helmet might has well have been a bucket for all it looks like Fire Nation armor.
"So prisoner, have you learned your lesson? If not, you'd be really screwed." Play-Sokka winked to the audience, who was roaring with laughter. Real-Sokka momentarily forgot his annoyance and snickered. Heh, 'screwed', and not-Zuko's unscrewing the cooler. Not bad, he hadn't even given the guy that one!
Play-Zuko frowned and tilted his head. "Shhhh! Do you hear that?" For a moment, the two stood in silence; suddenly, comically loud clomping sounds came from offstage. "Someone's coming!" He grabbed play-Sokka and dragged him onto the box, making a show of them moving around for them both to fit in it. From behind the cloth, the footsteps got louder, and two huge shapes appeared onstage.
"Hey, didja hear? Some idiots actually tried to storm the palace back during the eclipse!"
The two shapes stopped to laugh, just passing by the 'cooler'. The second of them snorted. "You're kidding; who would be stupid enough to attack the home of our wise and powerful Fire Lord, even on a day where he had no bending?!"
"I dunno, but word is some of 'em are coming on the prisoner shipment tomorrow along with the real threats. Some, traitors, a couple thieves...even a pirate!"
The two shapes continued to move offstage, and the lighting shifted back to the two 'boys'. They'd finally managed to untangle themselves and had identical overdramatic stunned looks. "Hey, you guys were stupid enough to the attack the palace! It might be your dad on that shipment!" Not-Zuko exclaimed.
"Yeah! But it's not coming until tomorrow, and we were going to get out of here tonight." Play-Sokka was torn; well, either that or constipated, it could go either way. "...Listen, Zuko, you should take the boat and get out of here with Suki and Chit Sang; I'll stay and wait to see if my dad is being brought here in the morning. It'll give me a chance to get some of that awesome guard breakfast again too!" Ugh, more food jokes?
"WHAT?! No way! If you're staying, so am I!"
"But the warden knows who you are! What if your creepy ex-girlfriend shows up and drags you back to the palace? No way is your father going to forgive you twice; you'll be grounded for life!"
Play-Zuko hissed and pushed play-Sokka against the far wall. "He can ground me and take my allowance if he wants, I'm not leaving you!" Being grounded and no spending money? Oh, the horror; such a cruel punishment, Zuko thought silently, sneering.
Not-Sokka pushed back, frustrated. "Why do you even care, anyway? You've chased me and the others, insulted my jokes AND stolen my grandpa's super-secret seal jerky recipe!"
"I stole that recipe because I like that jerky, and I like you too, you jerk!" As if synchronized, both the fake and real Zuko's and Sokka's snapped to attention with wide eyes. Play-Zuko had clamped a hand over his own mouth, and was looked like a caged tiger-rabbit while Play-Sokka was actually silent for a change, just looking at him. The tension in the theatre was thick enough to cut with a sword, the crowd dead silent. "Uh, I mean...look, let's go tell the others the break-out is off until tomorrow night before they're caught." He quickly made for the cooler 'door', before being pulled back in and pressed against the wall with a yelp. "Hey! What-"
Suddenly, the audience roared with loud shrieks and thunderous applause; Toph had to strain to hear the choked squeak coming from Sokka behind her, but Katara's sharp 'Oh my God.' was very clear. "What?! What am I missing, what going on?!"
Instantly, Katara tried to take back her reaction, play it off. Zuko seemed to have gone into shock beside her, unnmoving and slack-jawed staring at the stage "Nothing! Absolutely nothing interesting is going on, they're just -"
"Kissing! Zuko and Sokka are kissing!" Aang couldn't help the awe and glee that leaked into his voice. For a few moments he completely forgot about his talk with Katara on the balcony.
Suki just blinked and tilted her head slightly, watching as not-Sokka wrapped his arms around the fake prince's waist. "I'd say that's definitely a little bit more than just 'kissing'." She muttered, turning towards her...boyfriend? Maybe? "No wonder you guys were late so meeting with us."
That seemed to snap the boys out of it; Zuko came out of his trance and spun around out of his seat, just as Sokka twisted to gape at Suki beside him. Both were wide-eyed and blushing.
"That...that did not happen!" Sokka squawked, pointing down at the play (which had moved on to his dad's appearance, not that any of them were paying attention to that).
"Couldn't happen! Ever!" Zuko agreed, nodding frantically.
"Totally 100% fictional!"
"Never in a hundred lifetimes!"
"Ye-wait, a hundred lifetimes?" The water tribe boy turned to Zuko, frowning. "That's a little harsh, don't you think?"
He was going to strangle the idiot. "Not the point here, Sokka!" Zuko hissed.
Sokka blinked and blushed again. "Oh. Yeah, right! Um, the point is that whole scene just now was information being skewed and taken out of context, just like a ton of other stuff in the play! Really, really skewed..." He muttered to himself.
"Gee Sokka, how can we be sure about that?" Katara replied, looking over her shoulder at him smugly. "After all, it was just you and Zuko in that small, cold cell. Alone. Did he warm you up?" Now that she was over the shock of the kissing scene (and the idea of her brother and Zuko kissing; ew!), she was more than willing to use it to pay her brother back. She loved Karma sometimes.
Zuko sputtered and somehow went even redder. "No I did not 'warm him up'! It never happened! The end!" He practically threw himself back into his seat, pulling his hood further over his face.
"Methinks Snoozles and and Princess doth protest too much." Toph grinned, hearing Aang snickering. "Hey, would you guys mind re-enacting the re-enactment for me once we get onto solid ground? This is something I've GOT to see."
"Shut up, Toph! It was NOT a re-enactment, there was no 'enacting' in the first place!" Sokka whined, slinking to the floor in frustration while Suki just looked back and forth between him and the fire prince.
Zuko just slunk deeper into his seat, groaning. God, he was never going to be able to show his face in public again, was he? "Hey Katara, is that promise to kill me still on the table? I think I'm willing to take you up on that offer now." Taking pity on the poor boy, the water-bender just patted his shoulder sympathetically and gave a little smile.
"C'mon, don't be like that you guys; it's almost over anyway. Finally. It can't get any worse at this point, right?..."
The walk back to the royal family's ex-vacation home was very, very quiet.
AN2: I'm not sure I made the play scene funny enough to match the episode. I guess I'm no Pu-on Tim. *dramatic sigh*
...Also, I think I came out of this story shipping EIP!Zuko/EIP!Sokka a little bit. Help?