AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hey all! I recently got sucked into the Avatar fandom, so I'm a bit nervous about posting. As for PAIRINGS it's going to get complicated so I didn't want to limit myself in the summary. Let me know what you guys think, please!

Disclaimer: I am not making money from posting this story, nor do I own ATLA in any way.


The air was stagnant and warm. The blinds on the fourth floor window were bent and broken, like contorted fingers on a human hand. Flickering strips of sunlight shown through, disappearing each time a wayward shirt snapped in the wind on the laundry line outside.

His even, sleeping breaths stirred the stale air in his room, choreographing the dance of the dust motes weaving by.

On the nightstand lay a red envelope, torn and blooming open, jagged petals of red and white. A letter was stuffed inside, folded and refolded to the point where one good tug would rip it clean at the crease.

Drawers and closets were ajar, guts spilling out onto the hardwood floor.

It was a sorry sight for anyone but his bitch sister.

She swung the door open, hitting a metal rack of clothes, mostly black, forcing a welcome gust of air into the room.

Zuko stirred, burying his face deeper into his damp pillow, suddenly unpleasantly conscious of the clammy condensation on his face, the dried trail of drool on his chin, and of just how matted his hair had become with sweat.

"Where's my rent money, dum-dum?" asked Azula, relishing in the room's general aura of post-adolescent melancholy.

Her brother didn't look up, but merely (somehow) detached the arm dangling off the side of the bed from gravity's downward pull and pointed it to his jeans, still belted and swung over a salvaged office chair. A bulge in a back pocket revealed a wallet.

Azula rolled her eyes, pushing her bobbed hair behind one ear before walking over and tugging out the money from the wallet, bulging from notes, coupons, condoms, receipts, individual packets of pain killers, and a few thin bills wadded in the center.

She pocketed the crumpled bills.

"Loser. Where's the rest?"

He swung his arm again, over to his boot.

His sister curled her lip.

"I'm not touching that. Your foot cheese might corrode my skin."

He mumbled something into his pillow but didn't move.

At this point, the aura was seeping into her brain at an unprecedented pace, and she figured if she didn't leave in the next 30 to 45 seconds the pathetic might rub off on her. Besides, the humidity in the room was doing a number on the pressed, sharp point of the collar of her polo shirt. It was starting to curl.

She took the edge of his sheet and yanked, causing him to fall halfway off the bed, his hands flat on the floor with the rest of him struggling not to follow.

He grit his teeth.


"I need my—

He was across the room before she could finish, tipping out his boot for the folded bills inside. He snatched her hand and slipped the bills into her palm, closing her fingers around them.

She wrenched her hand back, mildly horrified. "You're a pathetic mess."

Zuko shook off her insult and steadied his ground.

"You done? Anything else?"

"Yeah. Put some fucking pants on, dweeb. It's 3 p.m."

He held the door open for her in silence.

Azula paused at the threshold, the hand with the fisted bills resting on the yellowing white door.

"I'll tell dad you said hello."

Long after she left, Zuko was sitting at the edge of his bed, staring at the jagged red envelope. Her words hung in the hot air, frying in the oily smugness of her voice—raw on all sides no matter how long he turned them over in his head.

Let me know what you think/ if i should continue! Thanks!