Category: Avatar: Last Airbender
Author: Mrs Pettyfer
This Is My Idea
Pairing(s): Zuko/Katara, Sokka/Suki, Aang/Toph (maybe)
Rating: T
A/N: Hello! So I wasn't going to write anything else but have you guys ever seen The Swan Princess? In the beginning, Odette and Derek sing this song called 'This is my idea' and I couldn't get the idea out of my head about seeing little Katara and Zuko in that situation! So that's what I have here. It's my play on the song, This is my idea, which if you haven't heard it, youtube the video right now. It's super cute! Anyway, this isn't going to be a normal chapter by chapter story. This is more along the lines of a series of one-shots or drabbles that go with the song. Each chapter will feature Zuko and Katara at different ages as they grow up. I'm going to estimate this story lasting no more than 5-6 chapters. But it's going to definitely be a fun read, I promise you! Anyway, please read the bottom note. Thank you and enjoy!

"Born in you along with all the stife is the power to restore balance to the world." - Uncle Iroh, from The Avatar and the Fire Lord, Book Two

Ch 1 – This Isn't My Idea of Fun

Fire Lady Ursa sat in an ornate desk on the balcony that overlooked the gardens, the only sound apart from the bustling of her two children and their friends down below was the calming stroke of ink against an ivory piece of parchment.

"That's it, I'm DONE! You're cheating, like always!"

Ursa glanced up, frowning to find her nine year old son Zuko strutting away from his sister and her two friends, who were too busy sniggering behind his back to take notice of his enflamed fists. He didn't seem to notice that half of his tunic was burned off; or else, he didn't want to notice it.

She glanced back to Azula, her seven year old daughter, watching her rolling on the ground with laughter that echoed throughout the gardens. Her quiet friend Mai, the daughter of one of the Generals, was holding a torch and blushing furiously and appeared to also have a bit of singed clothing. Ursa frowned deeper. What had happened?

Then door to her chamber suddenly burst open and in strode Zuko, his royal golden topknot glittering brightly against the sun that crept in from the balcony. He looked so furious that Ursa almost had to chuckle at him. He was just too cute when he was angry sometimes. But she'd never tell him that.

"What happened, Zuko?" she asked, standing from her desk and sealing the scroll she had been writing on.

"Azula was born, that's what happened!" he scorned, marching to the edge of the balcony, a scowl in place as he glared at his sister from above.

Ursa pursed her lips. "That's not a very nice thing to say about your sister."

"I don't care," gritted Zuko, crossing his arms childishly. "Where's Lu Ten? I thought he was coming last week."

"Uncle Iroh wrote to me the other day. Your cousin has been sick with some kind of disease that probably stemmed from the war," she said softly, placing a pale hand delicately on her son's shoulder.

His angry scowl melted slightly. "Is he going to be okay?"

Ursa smiled. "I should think so. Your Uncle caught it first, and recovered with ease with the help from his herbs." She then gave a chuckle. "You know how he is about his tea. He swears it cures everything."

Zuko's face twisted. "Uncle loves tea more than he loves anyone or anything."

Ursa continued to chuckle and strode Zuko away from the balcony and into her chamber. She gave a sigh as she sat in one of the velvet chairs, glancing around sadly. She liked to stay outdoors, or anywhere else really, than in this room. It felt so…empty without her husband. The fact that he was never coming home made it even worse and when she stared into her son's golden eyes, it all but tore her to pieces to see such a strong resemblance.

Fire Lord Ozai had been killed in battle a little over a year ago at the young age of 36. The Fire Nation had been at war with the Earth Kingdom for what seemed like an eternity now. And for all reasons, it was because of a woman. The late Prince Azulon, Ozai's father, had fallen in love with the beautiful Earth Queen Kuma, after visiting Ba Sing Se with his father, Fire Lord Sozin, to discuss politics and trade routes. Kuma, miserably married to the Earth King Lee, escaped the palace in the night and left with Azulon.

Naturally, Kuma's disappearance was said to be a tragedy, the Earth Kingdom declaring her death after a solid year of searching. But a servant came forth, stating she had seen the Queen leave in the night with the Fire Nation.

The Earth King was furious, banishing the honest servant, and declared war against the Fire Nation if Azulon refused to bring back his wife. Naturally, Fire Lord Sozin denied that the Prince had done anything wrong; that Kuma had left on her own free will, but that didn't stop Lee from gathering a massive army to breach the Fire Nation walls.

That had been over fifty years ago and even with the death of Kuma 28 years ago, the war still trudged on. Ursa found it a little selfish of the Earth Kingdom to sacrifice their men in order to restore one man's vendetta. The war had caused the death of her husband, his father, and his father's father. Ozai's brother Iroh was still a General that was leading the war against the Earth Kingdom. It was evident he didn't want to continue this fighting, but it seemed as though King Kumar, Lee's son who had taken the Earth Kingdom throne 7 years ago, wasn't going to back down. He said he would finish his father's wishes at any price necessary.

Ursa sighed. This is where she came in. She, along with Iroh, wanted the war to stop. It was pointless, seeing as Kuma had given birth to two Fire Nation heirs, was clearly happy being a Fire Nation Princess, and had died in the arms of her one love, Azulon. There was nothing else to fight for, nothing to gain by slaughtering innocent lives on both parties' sides. It was an even matched war, and that was the problem. The Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom were equally as powerful. Where the Earth Kingdom had numbers, the Fire Nation had strength.

Glancing back to the scroll in her hand, Ursa pursed her lips. She had to send her reply soon. Its recipient was far away from the warm, sunny beaches of the Fire Nation and would probably take a little less than week to be delivered by messenger hawk.

"Zuko," Ursa called, twisting around in her seat. She smiled, watching him practice his Firebending on the balcony. "Can you come here a minute? I want to talk to you about something."

Zuko paused and gave her a weary look. She knew he had deciphered the worry in her tone. She sighed, rubbing her tired eyes as he strode into the room. Her son was going to hate her for this, she just knew it. But it was the only way. She knew Zuko would be able to handle this better than Azula because he loved his country far more than he loved himself. That was the biggest difference in two siblings.

"Is something wrong," Zuko asked, crossing his legs and sitting in front of her.

"No, my son," Ursa said to him, smiling. She stood from her chair and walked over to the large vanity. A picture of her late husband gleamed back at her, and for a second she felt reassured. "We're going to have visitors this summer," she added, turning to face her son.

Zuko's brows rose slightly. "Who?"

"The Chief and daughter of the Southern Water Tribe."

Zuko pulled a face. "Those peasants? Why?"

"Zuko!" Ursa scolded, crossing her arms. Zuko's face fell into a look of guilt with a muffled 'sorry.' "Don't speak of them that way. It's very rude to call anyone a peasant, let alone a Chief and daughter of a tribe."

"If they're so great, why don't they help us win this stupid war then?" Zuko asked, crossing his arms and glaring at nothing particular.

Ursa went to sit gently on her bed. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about." Zuko's gloomy expression perked up, interested. "The Water Tribes have managed to evade this war, having no preference on either party. They have no real loyalties to other nations, apart from each other. But if our nation could unite with one of them, the other would probably follow suit and the Earth Kingdom would have no choice but to back down or else," she frowned, hating the violence that ensued from a war, "they would have no chance in winning."

"Well that's a great idea!" Zuko chided. He stood up suddenly and began to pace, his little mind already hard at work with ideas. "Lu Ten told me they weren't going to back down, and if Uncle refuses to drive them into the ground, we have to go about this another way."

"Drive them into the ground?" Ursa asked incredulously, standing up and placing her hands on her hips. Zuko flinched at her tone, shooting her another apologetic look. "It seems someone has spent too much time with their cousin."

"So what does this have to do with me?" asked Zuko, changing the subject all together. He loved his cousin; he was the coolest person he knew. Zuko sort of looked up to him in a way as a big brother.

"Well," Ursa started, striding over to him. He had an excited look in his eye; a look she knew wouldn't last for long. "Chief Hakoda wants this war to end as badly as we do. Their trading has been greatly affected."

Zuko stared at her, unable to see where this was a going.

"We had the idea that maybe, if our nations united, it would be the turning point to end this war."

"Okay so go sign some peace treaty or something then," said Zuko casually.

Ursa pursed her lips, biting back a smile. "It's not that simple, Zuko." She folded her hands in front of her. This was definitely harder than she expected. "To really unite, that would mean a member of the Fire Nation royalty must be betrothed to one of the Water Tribe."

Zuko continued to stare at her for a moment before bursting into laughter, clutching his sides for support. "You mean…" he choked out, barely able to talk, "Azula is going to have to marry some…some…WATER TRIBE PERSON!"

Ursa resisted a glare at her son, who apparently thought himself too highly to even consider himself in this little bargain. Maybe she would enjoy ruining his parade slightly. After all, her marriage had been arranged and she couldn't have been more pleased with their choice.

"No, not Azula," said Ursa firmly, giving him a pointed look.

Zuko's laughter ceased immediately before a look of horror crossed his face.

"What? Me?"

Before she could respond, he leaped into the air, his face now contorting with the anger she had so long awaited.

"No! There's no way I'm going to marry some…" – at this Ursa raised her brows – "some Water Tribe girl! I'm only nine years old!"

"You wouldn't marry her now, Zuko," said Ursa with a chuckle. "We would simply announce your betrothal and word would spread. You wouldn't have to marry her until you were at least seventeen years of age."

"Oh that's reassuring mother," snapped Zuko, clearly irritated, "I've got a whole eight years before that."

"Zuko," Ursa soothed, gripping his shoulders firmly as she got down on her knees to look at him. "I only have everyone's best interest at heart. This is a way for us to finally end this war. A way your Uncle can live in peace, and Lu Ten can visit as often as he likes. And the rest of the soldiers from both nations can finally be with their families without fighting for one man's battle."

"But I don't want to," Zuko gritted with a blush, averting his mothers gaze.

"It's custom that royalty marriages are arranged, my son. You know this…"

"But not to Water Tribe!" Zuko scorned, tearing himself away from her grasps. "This isn't fair!"

"That's true," Ursa agreed softly. Still resting on her knees, she straightened her crimson robes gently with her hands. She hated seeing her son hurt like this. He was right, it wasn't fair. But neither was the war that was thrust on Ozai's shoulders. She smiled at the thought of him. "But can I tell you something?"

Zuko shook his head before turning around begrudgingly, giving her a 'go on' sort of look.

"When I was ten years old, I was betrothed to your father," she said softly. "And I was terrified the first time I met him. But you know what?" she asked. When she got Zuko's nod to continue, she smiled. "He was kind, and respectful. Your Uncle made me feel even more comfortable, and I learned that sometimes destiny has a plan for us, even not in the ways we expect. I couldn't have been more pleased with the way things turned out. Those things led me to you and your sister."

Zuko looked away again, and Ursa felt saddened at having brought up Ozai. Zuko was still hurt by his death, more so than he'd ever admit. Every summer, the two would spend quality father-son time on Ember Island. This would be the first summer that wouldn't happen.

Zuko balled his fists and turned around sharply.

"But father wasn't Water Tribe!" he scorned. "He was Fire Nation royalty, as am I! I don't care what you say mother, I'm not allowing her to visit. She won't be allowed near the palace. She won't even be allowed to reach within twenty feet of it!"

"Zuko," Ursa soothed, touching him gently on the shoulder. "You are a Prince and with it comes responsibility and respect." She gave a sigh at his coldness. "I've thought long and hard about this and I just have a feeling this is for the best." She then smiled at him. "And besides, I've met Chief Hakoda many times and I'm sure his daughter is every bit as lovely as he makes her out to be and says nothing but positive things about you."

"I hate him!" Katara screamed, crossing her arms and refusing to meet her father's eye.

Hakoda sighed, rubbing his eyes tiredly. "You haven't even met him yet, Katara."

"I don't care," she replied stubbornly, glaring at the sunlit cobbled streets of Caldera City. "And I don't' care if he's royalty! He's probably just another…conceited, pig headed Firebender who only cares for himself!"

"Katara!" Hakoda scolded, his deep voice ringing with authority. "That's enough. Not another word about the Prince. Do you understand?"

Katara nodded reluctantly, feeling only slightly bad about her outburst. True, she hadn't met the Prince yet. But still, he was a Prince. That meant he had to be spoiled, and snobby, and bratty. Still, she said nothing, only continuing to glare from the windows of their ridiculously fancy carriage.

They arrived at the palace sooner than expected, and as fired up as she had been earlier, Katara was now at a loss for words as uncertainty crept up her spine and squashed her confidence level to zero.

"Isn't it nice here, Katara?" Hakoda, trying to bridge the huge gap of silence that had hung in the air the last twenty minutes. "And who knows, maybe you'll even have a little fun."

Twisting a few dark strands of hair nervously, she only nodded. In truth, she was terrified. Sure, it was beautiful here. The sun glittered against the golden trimmed houses and sent warmth through her body; a warmth she only received in the South Pole whenever she was a near a fire. But then again, this was the Fire Nation. It was supposed to be warm.

Her father had to literally drag her here. She had left the South Pole kicking and screaming, refusing to leave her homeland to spend the summer in a foreign nation; to visit him…her potential betrothal.

She pulled a face at the thought of being betrothed, to a boy! Boys were gross! Her brother Sokka was a year older than she and had displayed the gruesome and uncanny nature of the opposite sex. Katara had decided, based on her brother and other boys in the Southern Water Tribe, that boys were stupid. And annoying. And gross.

The door to the carriage swung open and a middle aged man dressed in crimson and gold smiled warmly to them, offering his hand.

"Welcome to the Royal Palace, Chief Hakoda and Lady Katara. I am Han, the Fire Lady's closest advisor."

Katara's face twisted into something unpleasant. Lady Katara? She wasn't a lady by any means. She was only seven years old for crying out loud!

"Thank you for having us," said Hakoda, shaking the man's hand. "My daughter was so pleased to receive an invitation to stay for the summer."

Katara looked away and resisted the urge to gag. That had been the overstatement of the century. She tried not to look at the palace but it was hard to miss. It was so massive and the gold trimmed along the edges were almost blinding. It was a single structure complete with an elaborate tower made of triple eaves at the center, with three distinct wings joining it.

Narrowing her eyes at it, it seemed like there were smaller wings inside the main three. There was absolutely nothing similar to the homes she had grown up with; nothing homey or comforting in the slightest.

"Please follow me," said Han, gesturing toward the many servants that descended from the golden doors to bring along Katara's belongings. "The Fire Lady and Prince await your arrival in the gardens."

Katara froze, unable to move until she felt her father's strong hands behind her. "Come along, Katara."

She glanced down, straightening her blue gown that was much fancier than she normally dressed. Her braid fell loosely along her back and she made sure to secure her…for a better word…hair loopies that she had been playing with in the carriage. With one last reassuring glance from her father, she followed Han through the golden doors of the enormous palace of a home.

The interior was every bit as exquisite as her father had mentioned; black, gold, and crimson were accented in the otherwise empty corridors that stood at least thirty feet tall. A few servants dressed in simple ivory robes whispered as she walked by, and she couldn't help but lean into her father for support. He gave her a one handed hug, gripping her shoulder in a way that said 'it was okay.'

Despite herself, Katara found that she was almost enjoying the elaborate decorations of the palace. Large tapestries lined the walls and elaborate fire-themed images and moldings were laid out all throughout the corridors. The black marble on the floor glittered against the flames of the lamps that hung along the walls.

They reached the gardens sooner than expected and even if Katara wanted to hate it, she couldn't. Tall trees and flowers adorned the large garden, complete with several ponds, pagoondas, and tables. There were even small little turtle ducks wobbling their way across the cobbled pavement toward the largest pond.

Katara smiled at them, wishing she could skip this little introduction and just play with the baby turtle ducks. Her father walked a little ahead of her, rather out of protectiveness or to allow her a few seconds of time to prepare herself, she didn't know. But as kind as the offer was, she would've liked to have been paying more attention to him rather than the turtle ducks because suddenly he must have stopped, and she collided harshly into his back.

"Argh!" she cried, losing balance. But her father quickly turned, catching her before she fell and hit the ground.

"Are you okay?" Hakoda asked, eyes crinkling with concern.

There was a snigger and Katara's face flushed a deep shade of red. She turned toward the noise and with narrowed eyes, thought she could make out three girls huddled behind a tree in the distance. But as she looked harder, all she could really see were three heads that looked like they were stacked on top of one another. The bottom head looked bored, her black hair contrasting her pale skin. She looked gloomy even with the sunlight. The middle girl had large, grey eyes and a wide smile. She kept fidgeting, looking like she could barely keep still. The last girl, the one on top, had a devious grin on her face that Katara didn't like. Her golden eyes were piercing, even from a distance.

Katara broke her gaze away, mumbling something along the lines of 'I'm sorry.' Han must have excused himself because was now nowhere in sight. Hakoda chuckled before turning to face a woman that was so beautiful, Katara's eyes widened. Her long, dark hair was sleek and straight, pulled up slightly by a golden flamed crown. Her golden eyes, unlike the younger girl by the tree, were warm and welcoming.

"Welcome to our home," she said kindly with a smile that Katara couldn't help but return. She then looked to Hakoda. "I hope your journey was uneventful and pleasant."

"It was, thank you," said Hakoda, wrapping an arm around Katara's shoulders. Besides the fact that she had to hang her head over the side of the boat to throw up, and then proceeded to fall into the ocean…sure, the trip was uneventful.

The woman then glanced back to her.

"My name is Fire Lady Ursa. But you can just call me Ursa, I like that name better," she said, taking a step forward and holding out her hand.

Unsure what else to do with it, Katara grabbed it and gave a tiny little shake. "I'm Katara."

Ursa smiled wider and took a step back before giving a slight cough and glancing to her right with a slightly annoyed look. Too distracted by nearly falling on her face and the Fire Lady's beauty, it was now that Katara realized a boy was sitting in a small chair behind the kind woman; or more appropriately, hiding behind her.

The boy gave a huff and stood up begrudgingly to stand next to Ursa.

He was an inch or two taller than her brother Sokka, with his brown hair tied up in a topknot. He wore expensive looking black and red armor outlined in gold with pointy shoes that almost had Katara laughing. His golden eyes met hers with nothing but contempt. He might have been cute, had he not looked so angry.

Ursa gave him a little nudge and a glare that rivaled Katara's Gran-Gran.

The boy gave another loud huff and strode forward.

"Hello, Katara. I'm Prince Zuko," he gritted robotically in a way that sounded practiced, his shoulders already half way in the process of turning around as his eyes glared at the ground, "I'm so pleased to meet you."

His tone was anything but pleased. So this was the boy she was supposed to marry someday? HAH! She nearly laughed in her head. Fat chance.

"So happy to be here," she said in a forced tone, attempting a smile that was painful.

The boy turned around hastily but his mother stopped him and spun him back around.

"Mother!" he hissed under his breath.

"Your manners, Prince Zuko," she said in a voice that sounded like she was trying to remain polite in front of her guests.

Little be known to her, Katara's father was watching the entire situation with nothing but amusement. It reminded him so much of the first time he had met Kya, the mother of his two children. He gave a muffled sigh, wishing she was here for things like this.

The Prince groaned and trudged forward as though someone with invisible strings was pulling him forward. Katara regarded him with unease as he glared at her and grabbed her hand, yanking her forward harshly in a way that made her give a little yelp.

Her mouth dropped as his heated gaze left her eyes and stared at her hand, before he slowly lowered his lips and planted a quick kiss. Her eyes widened to the size of saucers as Zuko leapt away from her like wild fire, wiping his mouth with a 'yuck' sort of noise.

Another wave of giggling echoed through the gardens, this time more loudly than before. Zuko turned around sharply and scowled in the direction of the girls.

"Go away, Azula!" he shouted angrily.

Azula…the name rang a bell in Katara's mind. Was that the name of the sister her father had told her about? She was apparently the same age as her and was known for being a prestigious Firebender for as young as she was. Katara was still in the basics of Waterbending and had recently discovered her talent a mere year or two ago.

"Zuko," began Ursa in a pleasant tone, "I need to speak with Chief Hakoda privately. Why don't you introduce Katara to your sister and her friends?"

The Prince looked like he had swallowed something very disgusting but before he could answer, the Fire Lady lightly slung her arm into Hakoda's and led him away.

Katara watched her father with sadness as they disappeared from the gardens view. She turned back to face the Prince with unease. He was still glaring in the direction his mother had disappeared to when suddenly a girl dressed in various shades of pink cart wheeled her way over to them.

Katara nearly flinched back as the girl righted herself and with a big smile, grabbed the Waterbender's hand and shook it vigorously. "Hi there! I'm Ty Lee," she said happily, her smile almost blinding. "We're the same age, did you know?"

How Katara would have known this, she had no idea, so she simply shook her head.

"Ty Lee, you're going to take the poor girl's arm off," came a sly, confident voice that Katara noticed came from the girl with golden eyes. She strode forward and Ty Lee immediately shrank back.

The girl looked Katara up and down in calculation making her feel extremely exposed and she started to fidget slightly under the intensity of her golden gaze. How could someone as small as you make you feel even smaller?

The golden eyed girl then smirked, apparently pleased with the way she had made Katara feel. "I'm Zuko's sister, Princess Azula. And that's what you can call me."

Zuko scoffed, crossing his arms and giving his sister an annoyed look. Katara simply stared at the Princess and gave a nervous laugh, trying to decide if the girl was joking with her or not.

"And this is Mai," she added, apparently not joking about calling her Princess, and pointed to the black haired girl to her left. This girl looked quiet and distant; her dark bangs nearly covered her eyes and she didn't bother to smile to speak for the matter.

Azula scoffed at her. "Where are your manners, Mai? This girl is going to be a future Princess of the Fire Nation, even if she is a Water Tribe peasant."

Katara's eyes widened before her jaw was set in anger. The Princess was smiling at her, and again, Katara was unsure whether or not she was simply playing around or not. This girl made her nervous and uneasy. She was too hard to read for Katara's liking. Weren't kids supposed to be carefree and innocent and easy to understand?

"No offense," Azula added, examining her nails. "So Katara, are you a bender?" she asked after a moment, not looking at her.

"Yes, a Waterbender," answered Katara in what she hoped was a strong voice. She was very proud to be the only Waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe.

"I see," said Azula, now glancing up to meet her eye. "Well we'll have to spar sometime, won't we? Perhaps you should start with my dear little Zuzu here. He hasn't quite caught up to me yet."

Ty Lee giggled and Katara couldn't help but give a slight splutter at the nickname.

Zuko's fists clenched. "Don't call me that, Azula!"

Azula shrugged indifferently before a mischievous smile broke across her face; the same smile Katara noticed when she was peering behind the tree.

"You think you're so much better than me, brother?" she asked in a goading tone.

"I know I am," Zuko gritted hatefully, taking the bait with ease.

Azula took a step forward, her eyes lit with pleasure. "Then prove it."

Zuko frowned. "What?"

"Come here Katara," said Azula, grabbing her firmly by the wrist and pulling her toward

the main pond in the garden before she could protest. She stopped her right in front of it; her heals making contact with the hard stone. Eyes set on her, Azula held out her hand. "Ty Lee."

The girl clad in pink whirled around and with an impressive amount of acrobatics, twisted her way up a tree and retrieved several red apples. She landed soundlessly and handed one to a smirking Azula.

"Stand still," the Princess instructed, placing an apple on top of Katara's head. She then turned to face her brother. "You have to knock the apple down without hurting Katara."

Zuko gave a sarcastic grunt, boasting his confidence. "Easy."

Azula's smirk widened. "You must do it with a Level Two Fire Slice Extreme."

Zuko's expression fell and this made Katara feel more unease. What was a Level Two…what was it again?

"Unless you don't think you can," Azula commented, shrugging and turning around.

"I can do it!" Zuko practically shouted.

Azula whirled back around and with a large grin said, "Good. I'll go first."

She strode over to Katara and took a good ten or twenty paces before stopping and turning back to face her.

Katara could feel the sweat beginning to build up on her forehead, despite the coolness of the apple. She felt stupid, and pitiful. But what could she do? She shot a nervous glance to the girl named Ty Lee, who gave her a reassuring thumbs up. Maybe this was a game the Fire Nation kids play. Maybe her dad was right and she could have some fun…

Azula closed her eyes and brought her knuckles together. With a deep breath, her arms flew to the sides and fire erupted from each hand. Her focused expression now changed and she smirked.

The next thing Katara saw, was the Princess sprinting at her with fire blazing hands. She closed her eyes, preparing for the worst when a gust of heat rushed past her and she felt the apple lift from her head. Her eyes snapped open and she turned to see Azula land gracefully on the other side of the fountain. She held up what appeared to be the stem of the apple with a satisfied look on her face.

Ty Lee clapped loudly and Katara felt a sheer rush of relief that it was over. That the arrogant Princess was as good as she thought she was. And for once, Katara was glad of it. In fact, she hadn't felt anything aside from a bit of heat and wind.

"Top that, brother," said Azula, crossing her arms and going to stand next to Mai, who now looked like she was holding her breath. Zuko spit out his tongue at her and trudged toward Katara with an apple in hand.

He placed the apple on her head with a bit more force than Azula had and gave her a slightly annoyed look. "Don't move."

Katara glared at his back as he made his way toward Azula. He stopped just short of her and went into the same stance as his sister had before his hands lit up in flames.

For some reason, Katara now felt a little more nervous. Was the Prince as good as he boasted? Was he better than his sister, who apparently, seemed pretty advanced? Oh how she hoped so.

Zuko made a complicated motion, the fire creating a large ring before coming together and he bolted toward his target. Katara shut her eyes again but the sound of a giggling Ty Lee made her eyes snap open.

The Prince was only a few feet away but all Katara could see was fire and she instinctively let out a shriek and attempted to jump out of the way. Zuko, noticing her panic, extinguished his flames and attempted to dodge her or stop. But his momentum was too strong and suddenly his body crashed into hers; the two toppling into the pond.

Katara felt her back collide harshly with the bottom surface of the pond and flailed under the water, attempting to throw off the heavy weight pinning her down. There was a moment when she was beginning to panic, but suddenly the weight was lifted and she flung herself toward the surface; gasping for air and batting her hair from her eyes.

Azula was laughing hysterically, hunched over and clutching her sides as Ty Lee seemed unable to control herself and keep from laughing. Even Mai seemed to be smiling.

"UGH!" Zuko screamed, standing from the pond with a look of utmost rage plastered on his face. "Girls are CRAZY!"

With that, he stormed away from the pond and headed toward the garden exit; the sloshing of his boots reminding Katara slightly of the sound of wet snow in the winter as they collided with the cobbled pavement.

The three girls quickly scattered away when they caught wind of Zuko's extremely loud and angered shout of 'Mother!' which left Katara alone, sitting wet in the pond with only one thought on her mind,

This isn't my idea of fun.

A/N: There you have it! I had to keep the scene with the apple, only this time it's Katara and not Mai, hehe. A few things to point out. The Fire Nation aren't the bad guys in this fic. Also as you can see, neither is Ozai or his father and grandfather. The backstory is a bit long, but I think it's important that you guys see why Ursa arranged this particular marriage. Azula is a little different too in my fic. Yes, she's still a little malicious and enjoys picking at Zuko, but she's not going to be the evil tyrant like in the series. She's more like the annoying sister that you hate and love at the same time. =) Kya sadly is dead in this fic. She died in childbirth.

BIG QUESTION! I've debated this. Do you guys want to see Zuko with his scar or not? Obviously with Ozai dead, he can't really receive it that way. I do have a plan for how he would receive one, but I haven't decided if I want him to remain scarless or not. I love the idea of a scarless Zuko, but I don't know if I can imagine him without it, you know? So yeah, what do you guys think about that?

I'm going to include a timeline for those of you who are interested in the history line. It's not completely necessary, but sometimes I think it's nice to see things mapped out and it's easier to picture everyone when you have their ages.

Timeline of Fire Nation Events:

-Sozin (55) is married to Lola (45). Azulon (20) goes to war with Lee (40) over Kuma (17). Kuma and Azulon marry this year.

-2 years later. Azulon (22) and Kuma (19) give birth to Iroh. Lola (47) dies from disease.

-5 years later. Sozin is killed (62), along with Avatar Roku (61). Aang is born to the Air Nomads. Azulon (27) named Fire Lord.

-10 years later. Azulon (37) and Kuma (34) give birth to Ozai. Iroh (15) is working under a General in the war.

-2 years later. Aang (12) finds out he's the Avatar and disappears in the ice.

-6 years later. Kuma (42) dies from a disease. Azulon (45) names Iroh (23) a General, and Ozai (8) the Heir to the Throne. Iroh marries Song (20).

-15 years later. Azulon (60) dies in battle. Ozai (23) takes the throne, while Iroh (38) is still in charge of the war. Ozai marries Ursa (21). Iroh and Song (35) give birth to Lu Ten and Song dies in childbirth.

-4 years later. Ozai (27) and Ursa (25) give birth to Zuko. Earth King Lee (86) dies in battle, leaving his son, Kumar (40) in charge.

-2 years later. Ozai (29) and Ursa (27) give birth to Azula. Zuko is 2, Lu Ten is 6.

- 6 years later. Ozai (35) is killed in battle. Ursa (33) is left in charge as Fire Lady.

(I think my math is right. Sorry if I messed up just go with it! lol The story takes place 1 year after Ozai's death)

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