You came back to your small flat after school. It was 4:15 pm and your dad wasn't home yet. Nothing new here, he almost never at home after mom died three years ago. It was a horrible experience, as you were only 12. You still remember how her blue eyes stared into your (e/c) ones... no, you had to stop thinking about that, you reminded yourself.
To distract yourself from your social and family issues, you decided to do one of last things you still enjoy doing - rewatching "Avatar: The Last Airbender" on Netfllix. You picked one of your favourite episodes ever - "Zuko Alone".
Somewhere around end of the episode, your anxiety took over you. You couldn't focus on anything anymore. You just felt like a wreck of a human being. You hugged your knees to yourself and tried to think about anything but not your family or lack of friends.
Suddenly you felt... something. It was weird but it seemed to come from your spine, somewhere on the height of the stomach. It felt warm and somewhat comforting. After it calmed you down it... made you consider meditating. Strange, because you never felt this before, but you knew the general concept so you decided it won't be bad. You sat crosslegged on he same bed you sat on for last few minutes of watching Avatar. In the background the episode was practically ending when you started to calm. You breath in and out. In... Out... In... Out... Nothing else to focus on, just the air going through your nostrills, filling up your lungs and then going out slowly through the same path.
It was just on the shot of Zuko leaving the town, when you felt that warmth from your center spread, first down to base of your spine, next up to top of your head. It was so comforting, it helped to focus on breath only.
You realised something changed in that moment. Wind. You felt wind on your skin. But... you were sure you closed the window. You opened your eyes slowly. What you saw was your (s/c) hands right before you, just as you left them. The background tho. It wasn't your room anymore. It was some sort of... desert...? What??
You instinctively checked your pocket to find your phone. You didn't have it. Of course. It was predictable. You looked at your clothes overall. They actually were just as you left them. Whether it's good or not, you weren't sure. You looked around. The desert seemed like you saw it... but it's impossible, you thought. You never were on a desert before. Maybe you saw it on a photo...?
Nevermind, that was not the important part now. What was important was WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED. Anxiety started rushing you to look around in panic. Nothing in sight. Only sand. You desperatly looked around once more. Still nothing. You stood up and ran ahead, blindly. You didn't knew what you were doing anymore. Then, after few minutes, you tripped and landed face-first in the sand. You wanted to stand up, but... it was so hot. You were still hungry after school. You weren't a good runner. It just seemed more efficent to stay on the ground and wait for help... or at the very least wait for night, since it'll be colder which means less risk of overheating.
You turned on your back and looked at the sky. The sun would set in few hours. In any other situation the sky would look beautiful, but when you're on edge of hyperventilating again, it doesn't matter that much if something is beautiful.
'I got what I wanted, I guess' you thought. 'I did get away from my problems... but damn, magic, please, choose something different than a lifeless desert!'. You lay down for few more minutes and your mind was slowly going back to it's normal, less panicked state. You realsed you're gonna hurt your brain if you keep your head exposed to the sun. You looked at yourself for anything you can cover your head with. There was the hoodie you wore, that on your torso made you only hotter and on the head could sorta help. You took it off and wrapped it over your head like a headkerchief.
You thought back to everything you knew about survival. It wasn't much, but something was there. You knew that your first priority was to be safe from enviorment. Well... you wrapped your head and that was all you could do... besides undressing, but, uh, no. Just in case someone comes by, they shouldn't see your (b/b) body covered in that (s/c) of yours. It would feel uncomfortable.
Next priority is water. "Yeah, good luck with that, (y/n)" you said to yourself "Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get some cactus juice and I'll go nuts enough not to care about starvation or overheating". The thought of cactus juice made you just a bit less lost, even if it was for a split second, as that memory of Sokka saying "drink cactus juice" repeated in your head. Normally you would even laugh, but this situation was too bad to forget about it, even for a second. You sat up on the sand just looking into the distance.
Ten more minutes filled with being on the line between being relatively calm and full-on panic. Then all your thoughts vanished as you heard something. Tumping of feet. But they didn't sound human... was this a tamed animal someone was riding? 'Oh God, please let it be someone who knows how to survive out there!'. But you couldn't even dare to think of what you saw before you saw it.
You saw it in the distance. Was this... an ostrichhorse? No, these aren't real. 'I'm hallucinating' you told yourself in your thoughts.
What still looked like a person on a certainly nonexistant animal, closed in. Then you noticed a little detail on the person on that creature. Left side of his face appeared reddish. After a second you started connecting the dots 'A person with persumably scarred left side of their face on an ostrichhorse in the middle of a desert...? No, wait--. Are you kidding me, it can't be! It can't, it can't, it can't!" You were both excited and afraid about what comes next. So much, that your heart stated to beat faster again. Before the peson could possibly notice you concious, your heart went way too wild and you fainted with the last thought being 'Oh God, hope he notices me when I'm unconcious'.
You started feeling concious again. You didn't want to, tho. It was so comfortable on the mattress... though it felt less springy than usual... 'wait, is it sand under my hand, I feel?' you realised and slowly opened your eyes.
You saw someone standing over you, looking like he just poured water over your head... yeah, it did feel wet, that added up. Then you started to see the details of the person and OH MY GOD THIS COULDN'T BE TRUE.
You saw mostly pale ski and black hair, companied by amber eyes and big, reddish-pink burn scar on the left half of the face. "Oh. My God." you said half-whispering.
Zuko stared and waited for you to say something first. And so you did.
"PRINCE ZUKO AAAAAAA" you went completly fangirling for a second. Then you noticed his startled face and calmed yourself "I'm sorry for that." you said.
But Zuko still looked confused and nervous "Why did you call me 'Zuko'?" he said slowly and cautiously. Right. In the moment you forgot he doesn't know that I know and that he'll probably tell you his name is Lee. Yep, here the normal-earth-kingdom-citizen cover blew up. You knew you can't say you just guessed so you looked at him like you were trying to say 'Don't pretend you don't know'. He seemed to catch the cue.
"Alright... But don't you tell people I am who I am" said the older boy.
"You bet I won't" you simply said and tried to stand up. Weakly, you managed to sit up but nothing more. You looked up at him again. He looked like he didn't know what to think. Well, that was to be expected... It seemed you had to prove yourself trust-worthy. Of course. You always had everything uphill.
After a moment of awkward silence, Zuko asked very much as neutrally as humanly possible, without sounding like a psychopath "And what's your name?"
"(y/n)..." you responded kind of shyily.
"And why are you alone in the desert?" he continued sort of suspiciously.
After a moment of thinking through your optiotions, you decided to say "I'll tell you if you earn my trust... Is that okay?", because you didn't want to tell him everything so suddenly, especially that you were not sure if this is real or not and if this is real, then the prince could easily kill you, whether if it was via swords or via firebending.
The boy just nodded in response and offered a hand to help you stand up, kind of awkwardly. Damn, he really was an awkward turtleduck sometimes, as everyone in the fandom describes him.
Then he came to a realisation "Wait. You want to travel with me...? I-I mean, to the nearest city?" Your heart skipped a beat. You smiled and looked at him excitedly for a few seconds, then calmed yourself with few breaths and said "Yes, I would be HONORED to".
The prince looked, again, suprised, but this time also a bit cringing. "You chose this wording on purpose, didn't you?" he said after a second. You just couldn't resist making that joke, could you? Well, you didn't die so it was worth it. "I have no idea how you know stuff about me, but... uh... let's just get onto the ostrichorse." he said awkwardly.
He was both scary and cute at the same time. It was awesome. You hoped he won't just leave in the next town. 'Not that I have a crush on him, or something!' you thought as you sat on the animal, right behind Zuko 'It's just... a familiar face around. Having crushes on fictional characters would be silly.' you continued your thought as you two started riding in the direction of the nearest town and while sun was about to set. You could actually apprciate the view now, as something from within the exciled prince was making you feel comfortable. Some sort of warmth emanating from him, similiar to the one you felt inside yourself, you noticed. Maybe it was just how someone alive felt in this world. Well, you were sure you'll learn more about everything as you travel on.