Title: Dragon Dreams Fandom: Avatar-The Last Airbender/ Legend of Korra Genre: General; Friendship; Spiritual Summary: Zuko dreams of dragons, and those dreams come true. Notes: Written for the NSWFF Prompt: "Here to Stay." Thank you to @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha for the prompt. Dragon Dreams For eight nights, Zuko dreamed the same dream of dragons. In his sleep, he was back in the ancient temple of the Sun Warriors with Aang following the steps of the Dancing Dragon as depicted in the posed statues ringing the golden egg-shaped orb. In his dreams, he could no more resist the temptation to touch the orb when Aaang warned him not to than he had been able to in real life, but in his dreams, a sticky substance didn’t overwhelm them and trap them against a grate in the temple’s roof. Instead, in his dreams, a flame-red dragon hatched from the egg, twined around his right arm, and breathed fire over his face.The fire didn’t burn and scar. Instead, it warmed and nourished. It bathed Zuko in radiant light and life, reminding him of sun rays felt when sprawled on a beach blanket with eyes closed. On the eighth morning, he awoke to dawn lit fiery orange and red by the rising sun. Some feeling–like a powerful magic he couldn’t understand or an unknown, unbreakable ritual he couldn’t defy–brought him outside to his balcony. As the dawn light washed over him, gently heating his skin, he saw scarlet-scaled ribbon weaving its way across the sky to him. As the ribbon approached, he saw it was a dragon flame-red as the one in his dream. He wondered if it was the same one from his dream as the dragon soared beside him, wings flapping. Just as in his dreams, the still-small dragon wound around his arm. It breathed fire over Zuko, and with the fire came the bone-deep epiphany that this was his dragon, bound to his spirit. He didn’t know how and why the dragon had come to be his. He only knew that it was undeniably his. As the dragon’s eyes–golden as the orb in the Sun Warrior temple–fixed on him, Zuko received a message conveyed not so much through words as colorful images and vivid, unfettered feelings that could only have come from the dragon itself. You danced me into being with the Avatar, and I called out to you. I chose you. That is why you had the uncontrollable urge to touch the orb in the temple. That is how I became bound to you and you to me. “But that was so long ago.” Zuko’s forehead furrowed. Dragons are intelligent creatures with long gestation periods came the answer in a flash of images in Zuko’s head. I flew to you as soon as I was able. “What’s your name?” Zuko stroked at the dragon’s majestic horns because somehow the idea had entered his mind fully formed that the dragon would like such a thing. No doubt that notion originated from the dragon. Druk. The name was a jumble of sensations like breathing fire and flying on wings over mountains and oceans, which made it nearly impossible for Zuko translate into his own tongue. “Druk,” Zuko repeated, smiling as he tasted the name on his tongue. It was hard to believe that a dragon was back in the Fire Nation and here to stay–here to stay with him after all his family had done to destroy the dragons. It would almost have been easier to believe that he was dreaming again. Reading his thoughts as if they were pages of a book, Druk assured him, The dragons never truly left the Fire Nation, and I’m your dragon, here to stay.