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Title: Tempest in a Teacup
Author: AkaVertigo
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Rating: T
Story Links: FFnet | lj (odds and ends, not the actual story)
Author Links: FFnet
Summary: Fate puts Katara in the Fire Nation to grow up in the company of a Dragon, a prince, and a lot of good tea. AU Zutara...of a sort.

===
Katara sees the Fire Lord's face once, and only once. The incident is barely a minute long ("Raise your head, child." She obeys. "A pretty one, Iroh.") but it carves into her, a memory whose grooves are filled with molten gold—or an incision she can't sew shut. That night, safe in her bed, Katara lies awake reconstructing the face of the man aiming to own the world.

Next morning, she drinks tea with Iroh; they talk about a little about the weather (the storms are coming), a little about what's in their cups (a new blend, she finds it bitter), and about his latest addition to the library and her studies (the scroll elaborately describes a confrontation that happened two centuries and a night ago; he tries to help her understand what happened.)

Later in the day, halfway through a convoluted metaphor comparing war to a dance, Katara decides, with all the confidence in her possession, that the boy at her side does not look like the Fire Lord. Of course, actually saying this to Zuko is mistake; boiling over, the prince storms out of the room, thundering that he looks like his father, everyone knows he looks like his father, it's his father and who the hell else would Zuko look like?

Like yourself, she says when he returns.
===

Reccer's Notes: It should be noted that Katara and Zuko's relationship is more a sibling relationship (regular sibling relationship. Not whatever fucked-up thingy Zuko and Azula have.) then romantic. So the Zutara pairing is not tagged. And they're adorable- they argue over peeling oranges and Zuko tries and fails miserably to order Katara around.

But, well. The Agni Kai happens. The Avatar hunt happens. Lines are drawn and blurred, and things... change.

(Has a sequel, No Map Without Water.)

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