teaandcrowns:

the prequel scene to the Mononoke Hime au from a while back (I’d put links but, yanno, tumblr. Find it on ao3 as The Spirit’s Waterbender, or here on my blog under my fics tag)

There he is! Ooh, Lan Yi was right—he is handsome.”

“Quiet out there! We lost some good men today bringing you this rice you’re eating.” The man, whose name Zuko thought might have been Shenzu, snapped beside him.

The women crowded in the doorway laughed and made faces at the man speaking. The one who called Zuko handsome just then spoke again. “And who makes the steel that pays for all that rice, hm? We’re pumping bellows all night while you sleep off all this food.”

Zuko twisted a little and gave the women a ghost of a smile. “Actually, I would like to see where you all work, if it’s not a problem.” A large tatara bloomery dominated one side of the village, and Zuko could see a continuous plume of smoke drifting up from it. He’d learned that the woman leading this town, Aunt Wu, was a firebender, and he was curious to see how she’d set up an operation to make steel blooms in a town with no other firebenders to keep the furnace fueled long enough.

Several of the women blushed even as they laughed, and a few began talking all at once.

“You would?”

“You can come right over, whenever you like!”

“Don’t be a stranger—we’ll be looking for you!”

“We’ll have to wear our best kimono tonight ladies!”

“Don’t forget us, now! And don’t listen too much to the moans and groans of these old men—we’ll be waiting!”

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teaandcrowns:

chapter one | chapter two

chapter three

Setting up a camp in the middle of nowhere was almost like it used to be, Katara, Aang, Sokka, and Toph all fell into old rhythms, practiced as ever.

For a few stretches of time Katara could forget that they’d had to leave without her father again, that they’d had to run from attacks from Fire Nation airships—from Azula—again. She could forget, briefly, that now Zuko was part of their group, who was once in the place his sister now occupied: hunting them down across the entire world.

Except once she had that thought, she couldn’t ignore it. He was just so undeniably Fire Nation it got her angry just to think of him. The bright of his golden eyes, the deeper, true black of his hair compared to that of other nations—even the cool, tawny paleness of his skin reminded her of new morning sunlight. Frustrated at her own distraction and a minor distaste still lingering from the dream, she took out her irritation on the blanket in her hands, snapping it in the air with a sharp flick of her wrists and gaining a small sense of satisfaction from the audible noise it made.

“You okay?”

Suki’s voice came from over her shoulder and startled her, and Katara gathered the blanket against her chest, feeling a faint heat in her cheeks.

She’d forgotten, too, that Suki was now with them—something that was a little embarrassing, considering that she genuinely really liked the Kyoshi warrior.

The smile that Katara gave her wasn’t entirely put on. “I’m fine, thanks. Just… getting all the dust out of our blankets.”

The look Suki gave her had her wondering if all denizens of the Earth Kingdom could sense lies regardless of bending abilities, but to her relief the other girl smiled back. “Can I help with anything? You guys are all in sync with one another and I feel a bit useless.”

Katara’s mouth curved into a sincere smile. Exasperation at feeling useless was something she could certainly relate to. “Sure. Why don’t you unpack some bowls for dinner while I finish up with the blankets? And after that we can make a fire.”

Keep reading

teaandcrowns:

chapter one

chapter two

It seemed that just as soon as Zuko had wormed his way into their group, he declaring that he’d lost his bending. It struck her as the most amusing sort of irony, and she scathingly told him as much.

And yet—she found herself wondering, if he did have some sort of ulterior motive to joining their group… why admit so readily that he’d lost his bending? Aang needed a firebending teacher, and they tolerated Zuko because he could fill that role. When he stopped being able to bend, why tell them at all? He could have easily staved off any of them knowing with some excuse. Late at night, alone and feeling the restlessness the moon awoke in her, Katara frowned. If she thought she could have understood him once, she had been proven sorely wrong. It was no different now. Breathing out curious thoughts of Zuko, Katara closed her eyes and tried to sleep. Who knows why he did what he did?

After he went off alone with Aang, they both came back having discovered—and rediscovered—firebending. Now he could finally get around to teaching it. Katara grudgingly had to admit that it was impressive to spectate them practicing. Being able to actually watch Zuko bend as he demonstrated katas, rather than in relation to how she could avoid and counterattack, gave her an odd new appreciation for how he moved. It made her uncomfortable when she catch herself enjoying watching. Whatever he told them all about being changed and on their side now, Katara couldn’t so easily dismiss all his past actions. She remembered Ba Sing Se with painful clarity, and promised herself she would not be so easily fooled by him again.

It wasn’t long after that when he disappeared again, this time with Sokka.

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teaandcrowns:

chapter one

It wasn’t something she noticed right away.

When she did notice, when she realized what it was, it made her sick to be in her own skin.

She hated herself for it, for what Hama had forced her to do with her bending. She hated how achingly powerful it made her feel, to be able to have the pulse of the older woman beneath her fingertips without even being within arm’s reach. To be able to feel the skittish rattling of Aang and Sokka’s hearts ricocheting in the back of her throat, even if she didn’t reach out for them with her bending.

It’d been a creeping sensation sliding beneath her skin ever since encountering the old waterbender, but it wasn’t until they were on the way the Western Air Temple that the full weight of understanding sank into her like a heavy stone to the bottom of the ocean.

Katara could still sense the pulse of not only Aang and Sokka, both of whom she’d felt under Hama’s control, but the blood of everyone around her. It shifted and thrummed at a low, low level, like undercurrents beneath the stronger tide. The same way she could feel the siren call of the dark depths of the ocean, the muted beats of pulses not her own called to her, tried to lure her down to them.

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teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

holy shitskies guys, I’m nearly at 600 whole followers. That’s a ton of you! I’d like to do something to commemorate the milestone, so I’ll leave it up for a vote:

1. another chapter set of Just
2. another scene for the Mononoke Hime au
3. The first few chapters of a fic with a different view on bloodbending I’ve been sitting on for a while
4. A oneshot about Dance Party Take Two
5. Something else like a prompt, though I can’t guarantee inspiration.

Let me know what you’d all like here!

Edit: sorry ya’ll! I’ve never made a survey monkey survey before and I’m on mobile! It should work now!

I’ll keep this going through the weekend so there’s time for everyone to get in on it if they want.

thanks everyone so far who’s done the thing!

teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

holy shitskies guys, I’m nearly at 600 whole followers. That’s a ton of you! I’d like to do something to commemorate the milestone, so I’ll leave it up for a vote:

1. another chapter set of Just
2. another scene for the Mononoke Hime au
3. The first few chapters of a fic with a different view on bloodbending I’ve been sitting on for a while
4. A oneshot about Dance Party Take Two
5. Something else like a prompt, though I can’t guarantee inspiration.

Let me know what you’d all like here!

Edit: sorry ya’ll! I’ve never made a survey monkey survey before and I’m on mobile! It should work now!

I’ll keep this going through the weekend so there’s time for everyone to get in on it if they want.

thanks everyone so far who’s done the thing!

teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

holy shitskies guys, I’m nearly at 600 whole followers. That’s a ton of you! I’d like to do something to commemorate the milestone, so I’ll leave it up for a vote:

1. another chapter set of Just
2. another scene for the Mononoke Hime au
3. The first few chapters of a fic with a different view on bloodbending I’ve been sitting on for a while
4. A oneshot about Dance Party Take Two
5. Something else like a prompt, though I can’t guarantee inspiration.

Let me know what you’d all like here!

Edit: sorry ya’ll! I’ve never made a survey monkey survey before and I’m on mobile! It should work now!

I’ll keep this going through the weekend so there’s time for everyone to get in on it if they want.

thanks everyone so far who’s done the thing!

teaandcrowns:

teaandcrowns:

holy shitskies guys, I’m nearly at 600 whole followers. That’s a ton of you! I’d like to do something to commemorate the milestone, so I’ll leave it up for a vote:

1. another chapter set of Just
2. another scene for the Mononoke Hime au
3. The first few chapters of a fic with a different view on bloodbending I’ve been sitting on for a while
4. A oneshot about Dance Party Take Two
5. Something else like a prompt, though I can’t guarantee inspiration.

Let me know what you’d all like here!

Edit: sorry ya’ll! I’ve never made a survey monkey survey before and I’m on mobile! It should work now!