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Chapter Eighty-Six: Seeing Red Edit
“Thanks, Sifu Hotman.” He rubs his shoulder. “You know, I’m really starting to get the hang of this! Or should I say . . . the haang? Get it? With two A’s? ‘Cause it’s got Aang in it?” He raises his hands and nods eagerly. “Get it? Get it?”
Zuko sighs and wipes his neck with a towel. “Look, Aang . . . stop calling me Sifu Hotman.”
“But you’re my Sifu Hotman!” he protests, raising his arms. “Come on! But anyway . . . I have a question.” He glances back and forth; his eyes catch the fountain of the Western Air Temple, a few stories below them, and he sees her making dinner. Again. He glances left and right. “So . . . I have a question. Uh . . . a little birdy told you that you have . . . uh . . . had . . . a girlfriend. Is that true?”
Zuko glances up at him, and the Firebender’s amber eyes glint. “What about Mai?”
“Well . . . so there’s this girl that I . . . uh . . . like, and I was wondering if maybe you could give me some relationship advice.” He turns back towards the edge of the balcony and watches her cook for a few minutes before turning back to Zuko. “I mean . . . since you know what girls like and all.”
The Firebender blinks and seems surprised. “Well . . . uh . . .” Zuko coughs awkwardly and brings his hands together. “Well . . . the thing is . . .” The Firebender rubs the back of his neck, clearly unsure of what to say. “Every girl . . . is different! And no two . . . are alike. So what Mai liked . . . may not be what Katara likes.”
He bobs his head in agreement. “But I mean, in general. How could I tell her? How did you and Mai become girlfriend and boyfriend?”
“Well . . . with us . . . it was more like . . . she didn’t really ask me. I came back to the Fire Nation, and Mai was just . . . there for me.” Zuko shrugs. “It just sort of . . . happened. I didn’t really ask her . . .” The Firebender’s voice drops to a regretful mutter. “Though . . . I guess I changed all that . . .”
He scratches his left shoulder. “So . . . you don’t like Katara, right?”
Zuko looks up in surprise. “What?”
“You don’t like Katara, right?” He massages his left hand with his right. “You don’t like Katara? You like . . . Mai?”
“Of course, Aang.” The Firebender shakes his head. “Whatever gave you that idea?”
He grins and sighs in relief. “Oh, nothing . . . I was just checking.” Okay, good. I don’t have to put you on my hit list.
"“Oh, nothing . . . I was just checking.” Okay, good. I don’t have to put you on my hit list." -> This is a reference to Bassmasta2012, who has Zuko's ID, of course. He was briefly on my hit list before the misunderstanding was cleared up, thank goodness! Congratulations on becoming the first Fully Fledged Avatar, Classy Bassy! Stay classy!
"He rubs his shoulder." -> This is a nod to the most epic scene from The Ember Island Players . . . and look! I have a .gif for you!
"Zuko sighs and wipes his neck with a towel. “Look, Aang . . . stop calling me Sifu Hotman.”" -> Also a nod.
"“But you’re my Sifu Hotman!”" -> Hotman? Seriously? Zukaang joke anyone?
"Uh . . . a little birdy told you that you have . . ." -> Or Aang's just a stalker. The world may never know!
"“Well . . . so there’s this girl that I . . . uh . . . like, and I was wondering if maybe you could give me some relationship advice.”" -> Thank goodness it's not Sokka.
"So what Mai liked . . . may not be what Katara likes." -> [cough] Zutara jab. [cough]
"Mai was just . . . there for me." -> One - two - three - d'aww!
"The Firebender’s voice drops to a regretful mutter. “Though . . . I guess I changed all that . . .”" -> My heart just went out to poor Zuko.
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