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Avatar: The Last Airbender Fic


alyssa

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Hey guys, I've been trying to contribute more to the forum so here is my first story, hope its ok! It takes a little while to get to the sneezing sorry...

Thank you to Maru-chan, telltale, silentdreamer, purpleninja and ickydog for your encouragement and I will finish up some of the others that I have been attempting, this one just sort of took over my brain rolleyes.gif

I've been watching Avatar lately and just love Zuko, and this story was going round and round in my head waiting to be written so here you go... blush.png

Chapter 1

“Hey, what’s for breakfast?” Sokka walked into the kitchen of the house on Ember Island that the group were currently living in. Katara pointed to the bowl of fruits on the table which Suki, Toph, Aang and she had already helped themselves from. As Sokka eagerly began eating the sweet fruits Aang noticed an unusual absence from their group.

“Guys, where’s Zuko?” he asked, confused at the absence of his firebending teacher. Zuko was usually the first one of the group up and more than once in the two weeks since he had joined their group they had been woken by him falling over rocks, someone’s tent, or - if he couldn’t find anything else - his own feet. Considering how clumsy he was proving to be it was difficult to see how he had managed to sneak up on them before joining their group. Despite his usually early start, there was no sign of the fire prince this morning.

“Haven’t seen him this morning actually.” Katara said, frowning. Like Aang she realised that this was unusual for Zuko although he had only been with their group for such a short time. “Toph? Do you know?”

“Sparky’s in his room, sleeping.” Toph said promptly, listening to his Zuko’s soft snores. She frowned slightly, she’d never heard Zuko snore before. Actually, now that she was listening to him he sounded… weird. His breathing sounded shallower than normal and of course the snoring was something new. She could also feel vibrations coming from his room, almost like he was trembling.

“Something wrong Toph?” Katara asked, noticing the slight frown on the younger girl’s face.

“Nope, not at all.” Toph answered. If Sparky was getting sick then she could definitely have some fun with him. Knowing the fire prince, Toph figured that he was unlikely to own up to being sick before he was unable to do otherwise. This could be entertaining… She chuckled evilly, attracting curious looks from the others. She quickly grabbed another piece of fruit to avoid questions.

“I’m gonna go check on Zuko.” Katara said with a frown. “He should be up by now, he never sleeps this late.” The others nodded in agreement and Suki followed Katara down the hall to the fire princes’ bedroom.

Katara knocked on the closed door.

“Zuko, you awake?” She called. Receiving no answer she turned the door handle and gently opened the door, letting the two girls into the room.

“Wow.” Suki whispered as the two looked around the room. “I see why he wanted this room so badly.” The two girls smiled at the memory of the day before when they had arrived at the fire lords’ holiday house on Ember Island and the first thing that Zuko had done was put his things into this room. When asked about it later he had replied that he had always liked that room and didn’t want anyone else to take it. Now able to have a proper look around it was obvious why he had wanted it. There was a bookshelf with several books, although most looked to be children’s stories, and more decorations on the walls than in the other rooms. There was what looked to be a forgotten soft toy lying by the wardrobe and a model ship sitting next to the window. Most interesting however, there was a collection of pictures on top of the bookshelf. There was one of a whole family as well as one showing a mother and young boy and the same young boy sitting with his arm around a little girl, obviously his younger sister.

“Is that… Zuko and Azula?” Asked Suki softly, pointing at the last picture.

“Looks like it.” Replied Katara, who had also been looking around the room, which was so different from the others in the large house.

“They look so… happy,” murmured Suki.

Kataras’ reply was cut off by a noise from the bed at the other side of the room. The soft snores had stopped and the boy in the bed was shifting around slightly, although obviously still asleep. He coughed softly before the gentle snores started up again. The two girls looked at each other, confused. Now that their attention was on Zuko they both noticed that something was off about him.

“Does he usually snore?” Asked Suki.

“No…” Katara answered slowly.

The two girls moved closer to the sleeping boy and both noticed more odd things about him as they got closer. The most obvious thing was that he was asleep. It was about the time that they usually began training for the day, well past the time that Zuko was usually awake. Besides the most obvious point, he was also covered with two thick blankets, although the night had not been particularly cold, and still seemed to be shivering. His skin, usually pale, seemed to be even whiter than usual except for his nose which was subtly pink. Suki reached out and gently placed her hand against the sleeping firebender’s forehead.

“He feels a little warm.” She commented softly, frowning as Zuko began to move around at her cool touch.

“Really?” Katara asked. “It might just be because firebenders usually have a higher temperature.” Katara said slowly. She reached over to put her hand where Suki’s had been only to have it shoved out of the way as Zuko blinked open his eyes. His face showed his confusion to not only have people awake before him but also to wake up to Katara and Suki standing in his room watching him.

“Wha-” He began to talk but his voice came out as a faint croak. Coughing a few times to clear his throat while Suki giggled and Katara frowned and tried to reach out to feel his forehead, he batted her hand away and spoke again, this time in his normal voice.

“What are you guys doing in my room?” He wanted to know, although he still appeared half asleep.

“Look outside Sparky,” Suki answered him using Toph’s nickname. “It’s way after you usually get up, everyone else is already up and ready to start for the day. We were worried so came to see if you were okay and wake you up.”

“I’m fine,” he mumbled, rubbing his good eye and yawning. “Okay, I’m up. I’ll be out in a few minutes.” He began to stand up but Katara pushed him back down. “What?” He asked, annoyed.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked bluntly. “You were snoring, you don’t snore. You had two blankets on and it’s not that cold. You’re paler than usual and Suki thinks that you feel warm and you won’t let me feel your forehead to see if she’s right!”

“Nothing is wrong with me. I snore sometimes, not often but I think there’s something on the island because it happens more often here than elsewhere. I got cold in the night and so found another blanket and fell asleep again so didn’t take it off when I got hot. I’m usually paler first thing in the morning and of course I feel warm to you, firebenders have a slightly higher temperature than you two do and I had two blankets on, as you pointed out before.” He answered her quickly, finding a reasonable explanation for each point that she brought up. Katara rolled her eyes at the last point and opened her mouth to protest again but he cut her off by reaching for her hand and pressing it to his forehead. He sighed as he felt her skin was cooler than his but quickly rolled his eyes to make the gesture into a sarcastic one rather than something that would give away how bad he was feeling. Careful to leave her hand long enough for her not to get suspicious but not long enough for her to think too carefully about the unusual warmth he knew his skin was emitting he removed her hand from his head before standing up again.

“Happy now?” He asked irritably, standing and turning away from the girls to find his clothes.

“Okay, I guess…” Katara answered him, slightly confused by his odd behaviour and sure that his skin felt warmer than it should have but willing to let it go in favour of getting back to the rest of the group. With that the two girls left the room and headed back to the rest of the group.

As Suki closed the door behind her Zuko allowed himself to sink back into a sitting position on his bed. His whole body ached and he was exhausted from the effort of appearing fine for just a few minutes. His throat felt as though it had been sandpapered and his head felt heavy and fuzzy, and he could feel the congestion filling his sinuses and nose. He had been feeling like he was getting sick the day before but hadn’t expected for it to get this bad this fast. He had to be careful to hide his illness from the others though. If they found out he was sick they would know that he was weak and useless. He muffled a series of painful coughs against his shoulder before forcing himself to stand and get ready for the day.

Toph heard Zuko’s coughs from her seat outside. She could feel the vibrations from him shivering as he got dressed and although she didn’t usually try to listen to other people in their rooms his coughing and shivers were kind of hard to ignore. She wondered if she should tell someone because he was obviously doing a better job of hiding that he was sick from the others than he was at hiding it from her. No, she decided. He would admit it himself. It would be good for him to admit to needing help. She turned her attention back to Aang, who was trying to form a layer of rocks around his body to protect himself.

Okay guys, what do you think? Leave it or continue? Advice and suggestions are always much appreciated smile.png

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A Zuko fic! Squeeee! :heart: Yes, definitely continue. And suggestions? Well, I kinda like where this is heading so I guess, keep it up? Yeah, just keep it up and continue please. :) ZUKO! :wub::lol:

BYE! :bleh:

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Zuko denial! Yaaaaaaay!!!

I'm definitely in favor of you continuing...

Oh, and since you asked for suggestions and everything...can you do firesneezing? Because I like that...a lot... Other than that, I think you're a great writer and I liked your style in this, so just keep it up!

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CONTINUE? I'LL HAVE THE WHOLE STORY NOW IF YOU'LL LET ME. Zuko fics are wonderfully wonderful things that you can't have enough of!

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Definitely more!! Just don't leave us hanging too long, we all can't wait for some sneezy Zuko!! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a good story. I can see the effort you've put into it, and you've got a nice way of sketching the characters for the reader. Also you really can't go wrong with stubborn men denying they're sick. ^_^

Proper job! If you want to continue this, I for one will read the rest with pleasure. :yes:

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Hey guys sorry it took so long to update! I meant to do it last week but school got so busy suddenly, all my teachers decided that this week would be the right week to set HEAPS of homework uhoh.gif but, to make up for it here is part 2 and I am working on chapter three at the moment :) Thanks for all the wonderful comments from all of you and DogLover, I am also a great fan of firesneezing so there will definitely be some of that included :)

Part 2

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Two hours of running through forms with Aang later Zuko was covered in sweat but still wishing for the little warmth that his shirt, which was lying to the side of the courtyard they were using to train, provided. He was satisfied with his efforts though; he had only sneezed twice and even then had managed to pass it off as a reaction to the dust and had managed to hold off the coughs that would surely alert the others to his cold.

“Better” he said as Aang managed to direct fireballs to destroy the rock wall that Toph had created for them to practise on.

“Now that Twinkletoes has got that, how about something more interesting?” Toph suggested. “Sugar Queen, up for sparring?”

“Always” Katara replied, smiling and quickly bending some water into her pouches.

Zuko and Aang pulled their shirts back on and headed over to the stairs where they could watch the two girls spar. As he pulled his shirt on, Zuko dragged his wrist under his nose to stop it running.

“You know Katara will kill you if she sees you doing that.” Commented Aang, watching his firebending teacher. “She said it’s unhygienic and spreads illness.”

Zuko sniffed softly and sat down on the grass away from where Sokka and Suki were talking quietly. “It can’t spread illness if I’m not sick.” He rested his pounding head on his hands and closing his eyes. Aang sat down next to him and watched Katara and Toph. He tried to notice any moves that either used that he didn’t know or looked like they could be useful to learn. He was so absorbed in watching the two girls that he missed the sniffing coming from next to him as Zuko attempted to control his running nose.

Eventually the spar ended with Katara buried up to her waist in the ground with her hands pinned to her sides. By that stage Sokka and Suki had gotten their own equipment and started their own fight, Aang was still watching avidly and Zuko was almost asleep.

“Hey Zuko, I wanna try out some of those moves, wanna go?” Asked Aang excitedly, pulling the firebender out of his doze.

“Whad? Oh, umb sure.” Zuko croaked, his voice rougher than before. He stood up and pulled off his shirt, following the already shirtless Aang onto the training ground. Toph frowned as she heard the congestion that had settled in his chest and the violent shivers that were shaking his body. Katara also was surprised at how bad Zuko seemed to have gotten. His skin was ghost white apart from the flush on his cheeks and his bright red nose. She opened her mouth to say something but was too late; the two boys were already in the starting positions for their fight. The two seemed to be evenly matched although Zuko was older and far more experienced. The fight began with a bang, each of the boys setting off a series of fireballs followed by Aang attempting one of the moves that Toph had used on Katara, creating a shelter of earth and using that to attack in safety. Zuko used a new move they had never seen him use before to send fireballs shooting from his hands and feet in all directions then redirect them so that they smashed into Aang’s shelter from all sides, destroying it. The fight continued fiercely with neither able to get an advantage.

Finally Aang managed to corner his firebending teacher against a wall and freeze him against it.

“Yield?” Asked Aang, as Zuko had taught him to do.

“Never.” His opponent half-whispered.

Aang turned to Toph and Katara, confused. Zuko was trapped, how could he not admit that Aang had won, and what happened now? As he looked at Katara there was a crack behind him and Kataras mouth opened in shock. Toph smiled at what she could sense was happening. As Aang spun around to see what Zuko was doing he found himself pinned to the ground, a knee on his back and his hands held together.

“Never turn your back on your opponent. Yield.” Zuko ordered coldly from above him. Aang struggled for a moment and, finding that he was unable to break free from his teachers grip, replied

“I yield.”

At the acknowledgement that he had won Zuko forced his aching body to stand tall and proud at the victory. He watched as Aang scrambled to his feet, eager to ask about some of the moves that he hadn’t yet taught the avatar.

“Not too bad.” Zuko complimented his student hoarsely. “You need to be more determined to win, don’t be concerned about harming your opponent because I guarantee you that the Fire Lord will have no such concerns.”

Aang nodded hesitantly, his excited face falling at the reminder that he had to hurt, even kill, another person – even if that person was the Fire Lord. That went against everything that the monks had taught him and just felt wrong. Zuko, however, was not the right person to express this unease to. The firebender had been taught to be relentless in his duels during his training and that teaching had merged with the resentment from his three year banishment to make him completely unsympathetic to Aang’s reluctance to kill the Fire Lord.

“Aang, Zuko,” called Katara from the house. “Lunch is ready.” Aang grinned and quickly grabbed his shirt, running for the house where there was promise of food. Zuko looked around to see where the rest of the gang were and saw that the courtyard was deserted, obviously the others had all headed inside for lunch as soon as their duel had ended. He took advantage of the time alone to let out the harsh coughs that he had been holding in during the duel.

“huh-SHOO, Huht’TSSchH” He finished his coughing fit with painful sneezes that tore at his already raw throat. “Hu-Choo!” He moaned softly as small tongues of flame flickered from his mouth and nose with each sneeze. This was not good. This would make it that much harder to hide his illness from the others. He sniffled unhappily in an attempt to control his running nose and slowly turned to pull his shirt back on and head for the kitchen before the others noticed his absence.

Toph heard listened to his coughs and sneezes with slight concern. Earlier it had seemed like a good idea to let him struggle to hide his illness but she hadn’t expected it to get so bad so fast. She could hear the congestion crackling in his chest with each breath and the shivers that shook his body. She considered telling Katara or Suki that Zuko was sick but before she could make that decision he entered the kitchen.

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Damn sorry guys I forgot to add in the proper paragraph spacing on here, I wrote this on word first and then copied it over and forgot that the paragraph spacing is different blushing.gif please forgive me for making this hard to read

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fksfissidfhifhtehde I LOVE THISSSSSS

and also how he still wins even with a crazy killer cold

I may have squeeeeed more than I meant to but well Zuko is just that cute o w o

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This is amazing and wonderful and I am so happy you continued! :D Please more.

ZUKO! :wub:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys :) Thanks for all the lovely feedback! It's great to get so much encouragement, here's the next part

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Part 3

“Hey Zuko, will you show me some of those moves you used before?” Asked Aang excitedly as his firebending teacher tiredly took his seat at the large table. “Where’d you learn those anyway? That one you used to break my shelter was really cool!”

“Azula,” Zuko replied softly, his voice reduced to a faint croak by the harsh coughing.

“Hey, what happened to your voice Jerkbender?” Sokka smirked as Zuko flushed and mentally swore at his body. He quickly took a bite of the lunch that Katara had made to avoid being asked any questions. The dish was surprisingly gentle on his sore throat but as he swallowed he could tell that his stomach was not going to allow this to be easy. He was aware of the others talking softly around him but he couldn’t summon the energy to pay attention to what they were saying. Looking down at his plate of food he began pushing it around without actually eating any of it. He let his mind wander back to the last time had come here with his whole family. A time before his father had deemed him worthless and before his mother had left. They had been a happy family back then.

“Hey, Earth to jerkbender...” a voice pulled him out of his daydream.

“Huh?” He whispered looking dazedly around him.

“You gonna eat that?” Sokka, who was eyeing Zuko’s still mostly full plate of food, asked. Zuko sniffed softly and wordlessly pushed his plate towards the water tribe boy. He watched Sokka hurriedly began to tuck into the food with a feeling of slight disgust mostly due to his stomach’s protest to the thought of food. Something cold was suddenly pushed against his forehead and he instinctively pulled away.

“Hold still.” Katara’s irritated voice came from behind him. Confused he turned around to face her and immediately felt the same cold thing on his forehead.

“Whad’re you doig?” He croaked, not bothering to pull away from her cool hand this time.

“Ready to admit you’re sick?” She asked frowning at the heat coming off his skin.

“Doh. Dot sick.” He mumbled with a shiver.

“Zuko, you have a fever. You’re sick.” She said firmly.

“Doh I’b dot. I’b just hot frob traidig.” He countered, voice stubborn. Katara rolled her eyes and Toph smirked at his less than convincing denial. The firebender was visibly shivering and the flush across his cheeks showed his fever, not to mention the thick congestion that had taken over his voice.

“Yes because that’s very convincing.” Sokka looked up from his plate of food smirking. “Just admit it and let Katara take care of you.”

“Hey, just because I’m a healer doesn’t mean that I have to take care of him!” Katara snapped at her brother, scowling. Sensibly, Sokka returned his attention to his food with a shrug. Katara was about to snap at him again when her attention was pulled back to Zuko by his soft sniffling.

“Come on,” she sighed. “Let’s get you into bed.”

“Doh, I’b dot sick ad I’b dot goig to bed.” He snapped irritably, standing and walking quickly out the door back towards the courtyard. Katara scowled after him and looked like she was about to follow him out.

“Leave him. He’s not stupid but he won’t let us take care of him until he admits that he needs it.” Suki said softly, also looking toward the door after the firebender. Katara realised that she was right and that they would have to just let Zuko exhaust himself until he admitted that he was sick. They were all silent for a moment, Katara and Suki wondering how long it would take for Zuko to admit that he was sick, Aang and Toph thinking about the afternoons training and Sokka solely focussed on finishing his food.

“Well are we going to sit here and talk all day or is Twinkletoes ready to do some earthbending?” Toph broke the silence and pulled the conversation back to Aang’s training. She liked Sparky and all but if he was going to be stubborn then there was no point in trying to talk him out of it. They should just do what they came here to do and when Sparky admitted he needed help then they would take care of him. In the meantime though, he would be fine. He was tough.

“Yeah I’m ready. Let’s go!” Aang replied grinning and jumping up from the table. He hurried outside, quickly followed by Toph and Sokka leaving Katara and Suki alone inside.

“Do you think I’m overreacting with this?” Katara asked the Kyoshi warrior softly.

“No, but I guess there isn’t much we can do to help until he lets us.” Suki answered, not sounding happy about it but accepting that Zuko was too stubborn to force into letting them take care of him. “Nothing we can do about it for now. Let’s go see what they’re all up to.”

Meanwhile, the subject of the two girls’ conversation had stormed outside and promptly curled up against Appas’ side, closing his eyes and falling asleep almost immediately. The big fluffy sky bison was soft and warm, very comfortable for his aching body and Appas’ deep, steady breathing gently lulled him into a deep and dreamless sleep.

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Okay guys, sorry that was not as good as the other parts but recently I've been getting really bad writers block on this... I have another fic going round in my head crying to be started and it wont let me focus on this one fully. Would any of you be interested in an Oliver Wood fic? (Harry Potter fandom for anyone who doesn't know)

Thank you, I will keep updating this fic but it will probably be on hold for a little while until I get some inspiration again...

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Zuko is just too stubborn and adorable for his own good! I love where this is heading! Mmm, Zuko. :wub:

Oliver Wood you say? I can dig it. :lol: I haven't seen any new fics about him in a while.

BYE! :bleh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, sorry it's taken so long to get this up and it's not very long but I haven't had a lot of time! I've been so busy with school and councilor I just haven't had much writing time lately... Anyways here's the next part :)

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Part 4

“Aww he looks so cute like that!” Suki smiled as she saw the firebender fast asleep, curled up against Appa. He sniffled and shifted slightly in reaction to her voice but didn't wake up.

“Shh!” Don’t wake him up, he needs the sleep and he’s not going to rest if try to make him.” Katara scolded the other girl, eager to keep the sick boy asleep for as long as possible. A crash sounded from across the courtyard where Aang and Toph were practicing earthbending. She looked nervously at Zuko again but somehow he had not even stirred at the loud banging although somehow Suki’s voice had managed to disturb him. She rolled her eyes at slightly at the thought that he could be disturbed by a voice and sleep soundly through the earthbending practice Well, she thought, at least he was sleeping rather than running around training and trying to pretend that he was fine. With any luck this would be a 24 hour bug that he was able to sleep off by the next morning.

“Hey, Katara! Look at this!” Aang called over to her. She turned her attention away from the fire prince and looked over at Aang and Toph. Aang had formed a rock shield around himself which was successfully holding off the flurry of rocks that Toph was firing at him.

“That’s great, Aang.” She called back to him with a smile. He had come so far from the boy who couldn’t get the hang of earthbending. She cast one more glance at Zuko, who was still sleeping peacefully, and headed over to watch the earthbending lesson.

***

Two hours later, Aang and Katara were making formations in the water, Sokka and Suki had disappeared somewhere together and Toph was absentmindedly creating and destroying rock towers while actually listening to the boy sleeping across the courtyard. His breathing had been growing more and more congested through the day - which was really saying something considering how he had sounded that morning, by now it sounded extremely uncomfortable; shallow, congested snores that triggered shallow coughs every now and then.

The boy in question was abruptly pulled out of his feverish sleep by tugging on his hair. He dragged his eyes open only to be faced with Momo, who was sitting next to him watching curiously and pulling on his hair.

“Get off. Go away!” He growled at the lemur, his voice harsh and barely reaching a whisper. His angry tone and waving hands managed to shoo the lemur away, however, and he was quickly relieved of the annoying, headache inducing tugging. He rubbed his head, letting out a soft moan as he registered how crappy he was feeling. His head was pounding and his nose was completely blocked, yet somehow still running disgustingly. Not to mention how tired and achy his entire body felt.

“Hey Sparky,” Toph’s cheerful voice broke through his dazed thoughts. “You don’t look so good.” She smiled mischievously while waiting for him to register the problem with that statement.

“I’b fi- oh ha-ha, very fuddy.” He mumbled sarcastically as she sat down next to him. “What do you wadt?”

“Your uncle gave me some good advice a while ago. He told me that it’s sometimes better to let other people help you and he was hoping that one day he would be able to teach you that. He thought it was something that you would need to know one day.” She said, uncharacteristically serious.

“Add your poidt would be?” He replied, stubbornly.

“How long is it gonna take for you to admit you’re sick? It’s no big deal you know. It’s not like we’re gonna kick you out or anything just because you got a cold.”

“I’b dot sick though. Odly weak people get sick.”

“Everyone gets sick, Sparky.” She rolled her eyes at his lack of logic and pointless denial. It was obvious to everyone and, judging by how bad he seemed already, it wouldn’t be too much longer until he was unable to deny it.

“I’b dot sick!” He insisted hoarsely.

Toph knew when an argument was going nowhere, he was too stubborn and not yet sick enough to be forced to admit it. Standing she smirked slightly at him.

“I can tell you’re lying. Let us know when you’re ready to accept help.” With that she turned and headed back to Katara and Aang.

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Okay so there's the next bit! :) hope you guys enjoy it

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Hehehe. Toph. :lol:

Iwouldlikemoreofthispleaseyes. :heart:

Mmmmmmmmm, Zuko. :drool:

bye. :wub:

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From this, I can totally see a TophXZuko thing going on :lol: alas, there will never be anything for me but Zutara :D

And Zuko is still

not yet sick enough

is he? muhahaha I await eagerly more misery for this poor, unfortunately stubborn boy.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey guys, I'm soooooo sorry it took so long to update this but school and exams and studying just kept getting in the way and then when I did have time I couldn't think of anything! I wrote most of this in the car on a holiday with my family, the South Island of New Zealand is so pretty if any of you ever get a chance to go there I seriously recommend it! In summer of course.... In winter I think it's just cold. Anyway, I apologize that this isn't great and not very well edited or anything but I felt so bad about just abandoning this so here is the next part!

Part 5

Through the afternoon, various sparring sessions took place in the courtyard as well as Aang attempting some of the moves that his instructors had used against him and against each other. The only one not taking part in the sessions was Zuko. As the others had been enjoying themselves in the courtyard, he had headed inside and was in the most out of the way place he could find; the attic. It was hot and dusty and cluttered but he had managed to find a comfortable enough place to lie down and an old, but still warm, blanket to wrap around himself.

“Hi’ishuu! I’tchoo! Ih-eschoo! Ih’eschu!” That was the one real problem with the attic, the dust. It was everywhere and was even further irritating his already sensitive nose. The constant sneezing was rather successfully preventing him from sleeping although not really keeping him awake enough to be aware of what was going on. At least the sparks, they were too weak to even be called flames, that flickered from his face whenever he sneezed were too small to be any danger to anything. He sniffled slightly. Dragging his eyes open he saw that the light the light coming in through the window had shifted closer to a reddish orange, showing that he had dozed through the better part of the afternoon. Oh well, it wasn’t like there was anything else he could do, weak and pathetic as he was at the moment. He coughed, not bothering to muffle it, certain that if the others were going to hear him they would have already. Allowing his eyes to slip closed again he fell into a fitful, feverish doze.

***

“Katara! I can’t get him to wake up, and he’s burning hot.” Sokka yelled down the stairs to his sister. Zuko had left the courtyard earlier in the day, presumably to go back to bed (or at least that was what Katara and Suki had guessed) but when the rest of them had gone back into the house he had not been in his bedroom and it didn’t look like he had been all day. When Katara had asked Toph where he was, the earthbender had informed all of them that he was sleeping in the attic, which, of course, had led to Katara sending Sokka up to check on the firebender and try to get him to come downstairs. Her reasoning for it being him that had to check on Zuko was annoyingly valid, all the girls had already tried to talk sense into him, he might respond better to being helped by another guy and Sokka would be better than Aang because he and Zuko had been through quite a lot together and had more of a friends relationship than a teacher/pupil relationship like Zuko and Aang had. Also he would probably be more comfortable with a guy his own age. Upon entering the attic Sokka had taken a few moments to find the firebender, curled up in a corner wrapped tightly in an old blanket, amongst the clutter and dust. Approaching him, Sokka had half expected to be yelled at for disturbing his sleep, or at least some response to his presence. Instead he had been greeted with continued congested snores punctuated with frequent sniffling and coughs. He had tried to wake the firebender, with little success apart from managing to get him to start mumbling complete nonsense. He was hot too. His skin felt as if it was on fire although he was still visibly shivering. Even Sokka, who had no real experience with dealing with illness, knew that that was bad. So he called his sister.

“Katara! I can’t get him to come downstairs if I can’t get him to wake up!” He yelled again.

“Shh…” A slurring moan came from the blanket next to him. He turned back to the sick firebender , relieved to find that one of his eyes was open, even if it was just a crack. Hurried footsteps on the stairs told him that someone else, probably Katara, was on their way up.

“Hey jerkbender. You awake now?” Sokka grinned at him, trying not to show how relieved he was that the other boy appeared to be conscious.

“Ndoh.” The stuffy, faint reply was not entirely unexpected as the firebender attempted to pull the blanket back round his head, with little success.

“Hey, you said he wasn’t awake.” Katara rolled his eyes at her brother as she reached the top of the stairs before moving over to crouch next to the sick firebender. “Hey, how’re you feeling?” She asked him softly, gently pushing the blanket away from his face.

“Tschh, et’shoo! Kshoo!” Zuko sneezed weakly into his chest, ignoring the sparks that flew from his nose. Katara frowned, touching his forehead gently, her eyes widening with concern when she felt how hot it was. She guessed that was why he was so tired; a fever that high could take the energy out of anyone.

“Come on, let’s get you into bed. Being up here in all this dust can’t be comfortable.” Leaning over, she managed to slip one arm round his waist and pull him into a more or less standing position. Seeing what the aim was, Sokka quickly pulled the blanket away from the firebender so that he would be able to move his feet properly. Over the next few minutes, Sokka and Katara managed to get Zuko down the stairs to the main floor and into his room where they let him collapse onto the soft bed where he was asleep again in seconds.

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Yeah... so there's the next part, hope you didn't hate it too much. There's one final part that will be included, I've finished writing it and just need to edit it a little to try to improve it. It should be up in the next couple of days and then the story will (finally) be complete :)

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Yay! You updated! :heart:

Mmm, sneezy!Zuko up in a dusty attic while he's sick. It's just a perfect situation! :wub:

Can't wait for the last chapter! :D

BYE! :bleh:

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Thanks for all the lovely comments :) Here's the final part! Hope it's satisfactory.

Part 6

“Ih-ishoo! Heh’Ishh.” Zuko woke up sneezing. He sniffled and dragged his eyes open, squinting in the bright light. It felt like he had been sleeping for a long time but he was somehow still rather tired. There was something cold on his forehead but when he reached up to touch it a hand pushed his back down.

“Leave that where it is,” a voice said from the side of the room.

“Why?” He managed to croak out, turning his head to see Suki coming to sit on the side of the bed.

“You’ve been running a pretty high fever the last couple of days. That is meant to be helping to keep it down a little. If anything it seemed to help you sleep better.” She explained softly, her voice low enough that it did not further irritate his aching head.

“What happeded?” It was difficult to decipher what he meant to say even to his own ears but somehow Suki managed to understand the question. Either that or he was just predictable.

“Well, long story short you got a cold, decided it would be a good idea to pretend you were fine, sparred with Aang and made yourself worse then went to hide in the attic and when we went to get you to come down for dinner you wouldn’t wake up. Sokka and Katara managed to get you downstairs and you’ve been asleep for two days since then. Your fever was really high, that’s probably why you were asleep for so long. You had us really worried. Speaking of worried, I’d better go let the others know that you’re finally awake!” She jumped up, giving him a smile before running out the door.

He’d been asleep for two days? Wow, obviously he’d been more ill that he’d thought. Katara was gonna be so mad. Actually come to think of it Toph would probably be pretty annoyed too. And Aang. He was meant to be teaching Aang firebending, not getting sick and sleeping for days! Well that couldn’t be helped now but he could sure pick up training where they had left off and make sure that they made up for the lost time. The only reason that they had even let him join the group was to teach Aang firebending. He struggled to sit up, surprised and annoyed at the effort that it took.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” A familiar voice scolded him from the doorway.

“Gettigg up.” He mumbled.

“Why?” Katara frowned, entering the room and coming to stand next to him.

“Bissed traidigg. Deed to bake it up. Heshoo!” He sniffed.

“You’ve been asleep for two days because your fever was so high. You’re still too sick to even get out of bed yet you want to train?! Of all the idiotic things that you’ve done…” She was nearly yelling at him and he winced and bent his head away from her loud voice as it sent needles of pain through his skull.

“You guys let be joid you to teach Aagg firebedigg, so I deed to do that.” He mumbled softly, looking up at her unhappily.

“Sparky, we let you join the group because you wanted to help and wanted the same thing as we did. We wouldn’t have let you come with us only because we needed a firebending teacher for Aang.” Toph came into the room, rolling her blind eyes at his thoughts. Sokka, Aang and Suki followed quietly.

“Toph’s right Zuko. Besides, you’re in no shape to be firebending right now. Right now you need to rest and let us take care of you until you are well enough to go back to training. Aang can practice what you’ve already been through and work on earthbending and waterbending until you get better. No arguments.” Katara told him firmly, with the others nodding agreement behind her.

“But... Fide.” He sighed and lay back down, suppressing a shiver as Katara replaced the damp cloth back on his forehead. His eyes drifted closed of their own accord and the last thing he was aware of was someone pulling the blankets up over his shoulders.

“Great. So all it takes for him to let us help is a fever high enough to knock him out for two days.” Katara sighed as she watched the firebender relax as he fell asleep again, more peaceful than he had been in years.

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Okay there you go guys :) It's finally finished. Hope you all enjoyed it!

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