Guileless son, I'll shape your belief
And you'll always know that your father's a thief
And you won't understand the cause of your grief
But you'll always follow the voices beneath
Prompt: Aang didn't know Zuko was raising a baby dragon
Aang tilts his head. He doesn’t lower his staff, because—because Zuko, but he doesn’t try hitting him again, either. At least, not anywhere near his chestplate, which the other boy is very suddenly defending like there’s a second Avatar inside.
“Do you… have something in there?” Aang asks.
“NO!” shouts Zuko, who definitely has something inside his armor. It makes a kind of scrabbly-paws-on-metal sound and then—
“Do you have a dragon in there?” Aang squeals.
And maybe in retrospect he should have thought more before bouncing towards the fiery teenager, but in Aang’s defense there is the cutest, tiniest, fluffiest little maned dragon head he’s ever seen trying to peek out of Zuko’s neckline. And anyway, the other boy is way too busy backpedaling and trying to push the dragon’s snout back inside to Capture the Avatar, so. So Aang absolutely shoves a hand at the dragon’s nose for it to smell him, because that’s how you greet them—
—Or is that praying mantis-dogs?—
And then there is a Fire Prince squawking and shoving him away, which is definitely not a bending move, but not before a little lizard tongue tickles Aang’s hand which is so cute.
“Uh,” says Sokka, lowering his club. “I. I am not actually sure how I’m supposed to be reacting, here.”
“We’re fighting,” snarls Zuko, who is cupping protective hands over the dragon, and definitely not fighting. The dragon has wormed one stubby little leg and an adorably oversized wing out, and seems enthusiastically set on more.
Which is the point where Zuko’s uncle finally catches up to them, at his usual leisurely pace. If he wasn’t with Zuko, Aang would maybe think that the older man wasn’t all that invested in catching him.
“Nephew, do you…” And then he catches sight of the dragon.
“Hello, Uncle Backup,” says Sokka, grabbing Aang and Katara’s arms. “And that’s our cue to go go go.”
Zuko chases them. Because he’s Zuko.
Zuko… gets ahead of them. Which is not very chase-y?
Zuko vaults into Appa’s saddle ahead of them and holds his hands up as Katara threatens him with a hovering stream of water. He… doesn’t seem to be leaving, or attacking, and his uncle is running after them way faster than Aang is used to, so. Yip-yip?
Katara and Sokka sit down, once Zuko’s uncle looks very small under them. Zuko keeps his hands up. The baby dragon is flapping its free wing appreciatively in the rushing air. And chirruping really cutely.
“So,” says Sokka, slowly. “You… needed a ride?”
“I don’t—” Zuko starts to shout, before lowering his volume, even if his tone is exactly the same. “I don’t need a ride.”
“Uh-huh,” says Sokka, even more slowly.
Zuko continues to keep his hands up. His dragon is trying to squirm the rest of the way free, and has decided that gnawing at his chest plate is the way to do this. It’s making pretty good progress against the black and red paint. The metal, not so much.
Aang keeps glancing back from Appa’s head. “You, um,” he says, suddenly realizing that You seemed scared will probably just lead to more shouting. And fire. Which there has been a really noticeable lack of, and Aang kind of wants to encourage that.
“Did your uncle not know about the dragon?” he asks, instead.
“Uncle is the Dragon of the West,” Zuko says, more quietly than Aang has ever heard him say anything. And also like it’s a full explanation. But judging by the equally confused looks on Katara and Sokka’s faces, this isn’t just another thing he’s missed during the past hundred years.
The baby dragon huffs at its lack of progress. And flops, like an over-cooked and very dejected noodle, against Zuko’s chest.
Zuko swallows. And stops glaring at any of them, because he’s no longer meeting their eyes. He lowers his hands, slowly, and works a shoulder strap free. It’s enough for the dragon to puddle limply down into his lap, where it curls into a very alert spring.
“Do you know how someone gets the title dragon?” Zuko says. “By killing a dragon. Uncle thought he killed the last two. And father was—he was so mad, not that uncle killed the last, but that he killed two. That he didn’t leave some glory for the rest of our family.”
Sokka clears his throat, after the obligatory awkward silence. “Your family is… kind of messed up, huh?”
“What was your first clue,” says the Fire Prince, his scarred face deadpan.
His very prominently scarred face.
Katara crosses her arms. Which makes her look grumpier, but she’s not able to bend as quickly like that, so Aang knows she’s feeling less going-to-waterwhip-you grumpy and more prove-me-wrong grumpy.
“If killing it would be so glorious,” she asks, “why haven’t you?”
“It— She— She’s just a child. It wouldn’t be honorable,” Zuko says, straightening his back.
“Uh-huh,” says Sokka.
But Aang. Aang grins. “Hey! I’m a child, too!”
The Fire Prince groans, and drops his face into his knees. His dragon climbs up onto his head and, using his ponytail approximately like a tree branch, stretches both her wings out, and lifts her little nose to the wind.
(You can also read this and other prompts on AO3.)
I can't wait for that upcoming movie about them being the annoying couple :)
Can I talk about Avatar for a second?? Lemme talk about ATLA/ALoK for a second.
Like, so, I have many, many...many....grievances and hangups about A:LoK. I have tried to watch it twice, and while the first season is okay, the second season made me so mad that I dropped it. Twice. I have not watched the third season or got to see Gays In Action in 4k, because I was that disappointed.
I remember a hell of a lot about ATLA...but I can barely remember anything about Korra. That’s mostly due to my disappointment, but the fact remains that I barely remember the show, after watching it twice, and it’s the latest installment. That being said, I remember one thing that stuck out to me most....
I am so, SO disappointed that they really just!! Made up this AMAZING concept of an Avatar counter-spirit, and they were just like!! “Oh yeah, his concepts are chaos and darkness, he’s EVIL, dudes.”
The one thing in the world that could possibly rival one as strong as the Avatar, would have been Another Avatar. They could’ve done something amazing with that!! They could finally have a balancing act!! A great leadup to this bigger enemy, with a twist at the end - like how ATLA did it with Ozai, with Aang refusing to kill him and instead taking away his bending!! The outcome wasn’t expected, but it still led to the same ending, with a better meaning behind it because it didn’t force Aang outside of his boundaries!! But...LoK didn’t have that. It was “Here’s this sketchy guy, we all Know he’s sketchy, but LOOK, THE TWIST IS THAT HE’S SKETCHY!! BUT ON A MORE EXTREME LEVEL!! Haha!!”
The only thing that LoK managed to twist was the lore of the world, by expanding on the Avatar, how it came to be, and by introducing a spirit of EQUAL POWER to the Avatar. I love Wan’s and Raava’s story, that isn’t my problem with this twist. My problem lies in the fact that Vaatu was merely made to be the Evil Avatar Spirit, in a world where balance and equality mean everything. I think Vaatu being the spirit of Chaos and Darkness would’ve been so cool to explore, if the creators had time to explore him - because Chaos and Darkness aren’t evil, they’re nature. What is morality anyway to a spirit?? Why make an Evil Spirit?? Why not explore WHY Vaatu is the way he is rather than say he just is??
Does that mean that Tui and La are merely good and evil, then?? They’re supposed to represent Yin and Yang, quite literally. Is Tui, the moon, evil simply because they can only thrive in the darkness?? Is La evil, because the sea is unrestrained and takes innocent lives, being a chaotic force?? Shouldn’t Tui and La be CLOSE, or at least GRATEFUL to Vaatu for giving them the darkness they need to remain balanced?? I don’t know too much else about the spirit gods in Avatar, so idk if there’s a Spirit of the Night, but my point still stands - the moon can’t prosper without darkness, and the ocean needs the moon. How can that be constrained to an idea as simple as “evil”??
Was La in the wrong or the in the right for destroying those fire nation ships, for taking control of Aang, for taking Zuko’s crew away from him after their other half died??
I just think that the world of ATLA/ALoK would have been so much better if Vaatu wasn’t just...Evil Bad Guy Spirit. The balancing act would’ve been restored if there are two Avatars (and Raava should be seen as something that can become Too Much - too much light, too much serenity/complacency, too much order means that there’s no room for self-identity, chance, risk, and the ability to look inward. If Raava can go too far, but be held back by their Avatar, then why can’t the same be held for Vaatu??). For a world that says that balance and equality is the true guide to peace, it seems really, really desperate to keep only one Avatar.
Vaatu would have been an excellent twist, if he just wasn’t so one-sided, and if it was anyone else but goddamn Unalaq.
That being said, I think Tui, La, and Vaatu (and maybe Wan Shi Tong, that giant Owl bitch) would’ve been/should be Ride or Die.
I made an Avatar-themed quiz to find your bending type and your animal guide! I'd be a Waterbender guided by the Serpent, how about you?
YESSS THE BLUE SPIRIT X THE PAINTED LADY CONTENT
I had to do it
(also posted on instagram @ parkiebear_ BLOOD WARNING if you look there)
Katara: man, the Fire Nation really hates us
Sokka: yeah, maybe they’re homophobic
Katara: but we’re not gay...?
Sokka, who hasn’t stopped thinking about Zuko’s eyes for 3 weeks: we’re not?!?!?!
....i think i have a type.........
template by @funneylizzie !!!!
Do we, as the readers, know what the symbol on the turtles’ wrists is?
No, it's not something that's canon in either series. I tried to draw what I see below, but really it can be left to interpretation (also I'm terrible at describing symbols lol). We're getting close to symbol talk though, we'll learn more about it in Ba Sing Se and the Desert Library.
Zuko, banished, no crew, no uncle, no quest for the avatar. Says "fuck this" aka, if I can get back to caldera maybe I can convince my dad to take me back. Horribly wounded thirteen year old finds dragons, starts a civil war by accident
Zuko didn’t think he was still delirious. The Sun Warrior’s healer hadn’t wanted him to leave yet, but—
But he’s standing here, back in the throne room, and the room is set up again for another war meeting so maybe he should have waited before coming in. But the guards hadn’t even asked him—or anyone inside—before they’d thrown the double doors open, so. He’d thought father wasn’t busy.
The general he thought he was going to fight at the Agni Kai is here, and so are all the others, even uncle. And father, at the head of the table, standing.
Father is the only one standing. Everyone else is... They’re kneeling.
When he’d come back to the palace, the servants in the courtyard he’d landed in had hurried to open the doors for him, all the way here. And the guards had let him in. And now the whole room is kneeling except for father who—
He doesn’t look like he did on the Agni Kai field. Father had been… he’d been so calm, then. He’d been doing what he had to do, to instruct Zuko, to correct him.
Now he just looks angry.
So. So Zuko is screwing this up, too. He practiced his speech the whole way home, it was a good speech, he’d based it on the one the Stone Prince made to his father the Mountain Emperor when he’d come home to beg forgiveness, bringing the treasures of the Ice Spirit with him as tribute. But Zuko doesn’t remember how he was going to start. And the flames behind father are getting higher, and hotter, and Zuko is okay now with flames that flicker with purples and golds and greens, but red flame is—
It’s so hot against his face—
“Father,” he croaks. “Father, I’ve returned. With dragons.”
He is so, so stupid. Ran and Shaw have flanked him from the courtyard, have wound through hallways paralleling his path, are snaking between the pillars of the room until coils of red and blue dwarf everything here. Ran breathes her own flames out, and the fires before the throne shift from Ozai’s reds to the shimmering rainbow-sparks of dragonfire.
“A sign from Agni,” Uncle Iroh says. He’s bowed like the rest, but Zuko can see his eyes, and there’s the same glimmer there that father and Azula get before they do something Zuko should have seen coming.
“You dare,” father says, and Zuko isn’t sure if it’s him or uncle he’s talking to. But when he takes a step forward it’s towards Zuko and when he raises a fist it’s towards Zuko and when he makes the fire it’s towards Zuko and—
(And Zuko cowered the first time the dragons tried to show him their flames. It was all around him, swirling, and he hit his knees and shoved his face against his arms because he’d learned better than to look up.
The fire stopped, and a whiskered nose nudged him, and then there was a huge scaly coil loosely wound around him until he was done crying, so at least the Sun Warriors below hadn’t seen how pathetic he was.
After that, it was… they made it a game. Little puffs of flames, the kind of sparks he used to make to keep Azula from getting fussy in her crib, until she was old enough to climb out and go exploring with him instead.
He flinched at first, a lot, but they didn’t hurt. Didn’t even hit him. And then it really was a game, where he would spin their colors in with his own flames, and send them back, and they’d keep playing as the flames got bigger and bigger but somehow they never got scary again.
When he’d stopped flinching at all, when he wasn’t a coward around his own element, he knew he was ready to return home. Grandfather had once welcomed uncle home with honors for killing dragons. So father would accept his apologies if he brought home two live dragons, right? Making friends with dragons had to be harder than killing them.)
Father’s flames were… they were just red. Zuko didn’t realize what he was doing until the war ministers were gasping. By then he was already spinning father’s flames with his own, mixing in all the colors father’s had lacked, and.
And sending them back.
(Batting fire around with dragons had not given Zuko a realistic grasp on the heat tolerance of the average abusive father.)
Uncle was not the first to bow, when Zuko had first entered. This time, he is.
“Fire Lord Zuko,” he says.
The war ministers are not prepared to countermand the Dragon of the West. Or literal dragons. They never left their knees, and they don’t start now. Foreheads touch the ground.
Zuko… Fire Lord Zuko’s first order is to take his father to the healers. He’ll let him stay there, longer than Ozai let Zuko.
(You can read this and other prompts at AO3. And longer stories, too. <3)
Smol bb Korrasami for the soul + something big planned for next week! Stay tuned! >:D
Azula's greatest deception
She's a great liar and master manipulator indeed and I believe her crowning achievement in that regard is convincing half the fandom that she's this enormously big bad monster, an unstoppable force of terror and cold personified who neither needs nor cares about anyone, instead of the sad, scared, lonely and desperate mess that she really is, who was defeated literally through getting her heart broken.
Season 2, Episode 7, 0:59-8:15
some good clouds from Wan's story