I'm not going to address everything here because I don't want to completely derail the thread (I'll save my more in-depth musings for PM ), but just know I basically agree with everything you said, re: the problems with how the original Gaang were portrayed as adults. That was so disappointing. And though there are some aspects of the show that I very much enjoyed, I can still completely understand why other fans did not enjoy them. And I've had many a long conversation with my sister about how much better the overall story of the series would have been if we could shuffle certain conflicts and plot elements around. The big bad of B2, for example, really should have been the ultimate villain of the series, imho. Which, if you do watch the Avatar Wan episodes, I think you'll see why that is. Instead, like Amon, he was offed after one season... and don't even get me started on killing Amon at the end of B1. I can sorta respect it from a storytelling POV when they thought they were only going to get one season, but omigosh, I don't even care if he was overpowered, I thought Amon was a fantastic villain, with more depth than Ozai ever had, and a much more sympathetic background, and then the relationship between him and his brother ... hmm, I did a rewatch of LoK B1 last summer, maybe that partially inspired me to explore the Chaos Twins further ... my gosh, I said I wasn't going to go in-depth here, what happened? Um, anyway... I do stand by my opinion that the two Avatar Wan episodes are beautifully drawn and acted, and that they tell a great self-contained story. I remember being so frustrated with the direction B2 was taking up until that point; it was meandering all over the place, the characters were all behaving like insufferable children (even the adults), and I didn't really get what the point of it all was supposed to be. And then we got the Wan episodes, and it was like a light flipping on, and I was like "oooh, this makes a lot more sense." And that doesn't excuse the lack of focus in the first half of B2, nor does it change the fact that I just didn't care about the conflict that was building. And maybe I have a disproportionate amount of love for those two episodes because of how much better they were than what came before, I don't know. But I definitely recommend giving them a watch. (More thoughts in PM, at some point, because clearly I have a lot of them. ) Well I am just all kinds of intrigued now. This might just be my default mode, I can't help it, Mira. I love this! (Not gonna lie, this is me and my husband, sometimes. Okay, I don't ever stay up until sunrise anymore, but he is often up before dawn, and there have been a handful of times when our paths crossed in this way. So I relate. ) Awww! For all that we think of him as the fierce prince who pursued the Avatar around the world, Zuko really does have such a gentle spirit, and it's perfectly reflected here. Very nice touch! I love how you described this feeling between them. Not only was the description of this chest exquisite, but the enormity of the gift Zuko is giving to her, to her people, and how she reacts to that... I loved it all. You come up with the best names for bending styles, just saying. There's a whimsicalness to them that makes an interesting contrast to the rugged, just-hanging-on tribe that we meet in B1, and I love how - even in the naming of these forms - it hints at a deeper, richer history for the Southern Water Tribe that is every bit as beautiful and complex as that of the Northern Tribe. Yeah, we can just ignore that bit of LoK world-building. I like your version of events much better. Okay, I definitely snorted a little when I read that. Plus, I could totally hear Zuko's voice here. Reminds me of when he offered to chase Aang around like old times. Speaking of chasing the Avatar around the world... This was a perfect encapsulation of why Zuko is one of my favorite characters from A:TLA, if not my favorite: that determination, that smile-in-the-face-of-his-enemies, do-your-worst attitude, that ability to get back up no matter how many times life or his enemies knock him down. Yep, that's the good stuff right there. Oh, this whole part hurt. I know Zuko has the weight of his nation's crimes on his shoulders, and he's trying to approach this as the leader of a sovereign nation returning to another nation what is rightfully theirs, and all the baggage that goes with that... but this is still Katara, his friend, someone he loves, and who loves him, and omigosh the feelings, Mira. I just had to quote this, again, for the fantastic names you've given the waterbending forms. EXACTLY THIS. That's right, Katara, you tell him that as many times as you need to until it sinks in. My. Heart. My gosh, this whole chapter was so loaded with emotion, and they're so close to realizing what all these feelings mean, aren't they? Gaaah, I can't wait to see where we go from here. There it is. (Also, loved the use of the spark/fire imagery for Katara here. Borrowing from each other's elements, indeed. ) This was an excellent update, as always! I'm so eager to see where this goes next.