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Rockin’ Nobles

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“Are you sure about this Uncle?” Zuko asked skeptically in the car.

“Prince Zuko, this is a great chance to make friends!” Iroh assured from the front seat of the car.

“Or, more likely, I’ll just sit alone for two weeks while Azula and her friends make everyone hate me.”

“Be positive. Great things come to those who believe they will. We’re here!”

The limo,that Iroh insisted on personally driving, pulled into the parking lot of a large dock. Two yachts were docked there with people boarding each. One line was full of overly dressed, rich kids. The other was full of much more dressed down teens, many of which were carrying musical instruments. After a wish of luck, Zuko made his way to the back of the line of the stuffier kids. He himself was wearing a long sleeve, white button up with pleated, cuffed trousers and loafers. His hair was ruffled and fuzzy, a stark contrast to the other grease-haired boys in line, even though his status was probably higher than any of the other noble children. He refused to wear his crown, but he was a prince. He sighed as he glanced at the long line ahead of him.

 

-*-

 

“Hurry up, Bato! Step on it!” Sokka screamed from the passenger seat of the car.

“I am not about to get a ticket just because you took so long getting ready.

“I fell down the fucking stairs this morning! And then dad and Katara just left without me while I was putting a bandaid on! This is the first time I’ve ever had a clear enough schedule to come to dad’s camp!I am not about to miss that boat!”

“Calm down, Socks. We’re going to make it, and Hakoda knew that we’d make it too. He just needed to be there earlier and Katara was already ready.”

“I was ready too,” Sokka grumbled to himself.

“You shouldn’t have been running down the stairs. You're lucky you didn’t really hurt yourself.”

“Whatever... We’re here!” Sokka screamed and threw his hands out wildly, making Bato swerve.

“Watch it!”

 

-*-

 

“Nobles, let’s keep things orderly.”

Zuko was finally about to reach the front of the line.

“Aubrey of Allenbrooke.”

The girl in front of him nodded and left to board.

“Sokka of... that’s weird it doesn’t say their kingdom.”

Zuko was the only one left in line, so he started to speak.

“Excuse me, but could you—“

“Are you Sokka?”

“No, but I—“

“Then wait your turn. Sokka!”

“Here! I’m here!” The dark skinned boy screamed as he ran towards the end of the dock. He didn’t slow down in time, knocking the man off his pedestal. Zuko just barely managed to catch the teen before he went to the ground.

“Thanks,” Sokka laughed as he got his feet rooted.

“You’re a noble?” The man that had been calling names asked skeptically as he rose back up. He looked up and down Sokka’s attire, ripped skinny jeans and a French tucked Mother Mother t-shirt.

“My dads say I’m noble,” he snorted.

“Sir Zhao is gonna love you,” the man huffed as he adjusted his glasses. “All right, let’s move it along. Time to depart.”

Sokka ran after the man as he retreated into the ship.

“Thanks again for catching me!” Sokka waved wildly.

Zuko turned to check if his bags were ok from the big collision. When he looked up, the ship was leaving. His stomach sunk and he began to panic. He ran to the very end of the dock.

“Wait! You forgot a name! I’m Prince Zuko!”

“Did you say Zuko?” A woman asked behind him.

He turned rapidly to see who it was. It was the lady who had been calling names for the other ship. Had he just been in the wrong line?

“Yes, I’m Zuko,” he rasped, trying to calm down.

“Aren’t you a little over dressed? Eh, come with me,” she said and led him onto the other ship.

The ships both glided through the crystal blue waters. An island was visible in the distance.

 

-*-

 

Sokka walked onto the main deck where all the other kids were, his suitcase rolling behind him and his guitar case in hand. He looked around and found all of the teens were dressed impeccably well for a performing arts camp. They all stared at him and his guitar and wolf tail. They all eventually turned back to their conversations.

 

-*-

 

Zuko went out on the main deck and all eyes instantly turned to him. They were dressed in shorts, jeans, and t-shirts. Nothing like what he was wearing.

“Hello,” he tried to greet a nearby person with a bow. “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

They scoffed and walked away. That’s some way to treat a prince. He shrugged it off though because he had no right to be uptight about that curtesy if he was going to be such a fuck up of a prince that his sister took a completely different car from him to the camp. Speaking of which, he didn’t see her or her friends anywhere. He felt very out of place.

The ships continued on up to the crescent moon shaped island. They diverged to different sides of the mass of the lake in the middle. Zuko’s ship went to the one that had a huge, colorful building. Sokka’s ship went to the one that looked like a castle.

Everyone one on both sides emerged from the yachts looking overjoyed to be at summer camp.

Sokka heard the fancy kids jeer over classical arts and fine dining. This was obviously a red flag. His father’s camp didn’t have any of that, and it certainly didn’t look like this from what he’d been told. He must be at the wrong place.

Zuko came to a similar conclusion when the kids around him instantly started singing and enthusing over stage effects. With no Azula, Mai, or Tai Lee in sight, he had to have made a wrong turn.

 

-*-

 

“Hey hey hey, everyone!” A large, Inuit man called from a balcony on the building. “I’m Hakoda! Welcome to Camp Showstopper!”

It was just as Zuko suspected. He had gone to the wrong camp. He was supposed to be at Camp Noble, the charm school camp.

“I hope you guys are excited because for the next two weeks you’ll be learning the ropes of how to put on an awesome show!Singing, dancing, acting, magic, you name it, can be used in snow production!”

Zuko thought that the prospect sounded cool, but was absolutely nothing he would be allowed to do. Ever. His father had told him time and time again to stop messing with that kind of useless stuff. He felt like he was breaking rules just standing there.

“But most of all, we’re gonna have fun! So who’s ready to rock the house!”

The teens around Zuko cheered happily. Zuko could just tensely watch and wait for the speech to be over so he could find the people in charge.

 

-*-

 

“I’m Sir Zhao. Welcome to Camp Noble!” An angry looking man with sideburns shouted in a military voice on top of a castle wall.

Sokka knew at this point that he had found himself at the rival camp to his dad’s. He wasn’t all too scared though because he trusted it would get fixed. At this point he was just lounging against a stone wall with his bags.

“Here you will learn how to properly act as a member of high society. Some of you need it more than others,” he said as he scanned the crowd judgingly.

Sokka looked around at the teens to gauge their reactions. Many looked excited for some reason. Sokka could only assume they were just happy to be out of their houses with friends their own ages.

“From classical, fine arts to proper posture, after two weeks you will hopefully be able to live up to your family's expectations at least a little bit more.”

Sokka hated how hopeful some of the faces in the crowd were. How many of these kids’ families didn’t love them? He snorted at the dark thought.

“Rules are posted at the welcome desk. Mingle.” He waved his hand dismissively and disappeared from the wall.

The kids instantly burst out in chatter, back to the excitement they were exuding before.

 

-*-

 

“E-excuse me—“ Zuko tried to catch someone's attention, but everyone was ignoring him.

“Excuse me,” he tried again, but they just pushed past him, sending him bumping into a tan boy with a wheat stalk hanging from his mouth.

“Watch it!” He growled.

“I’m sorry. I am I’m a bit lost—“

“No kidding. Prince Charming take a wrong turn on the way to the ball?” He spat and walked away with his friends in tow.

Zuko was internally grumbling about how he WAS a prince when some little kids walked up to him.

“Don’t worry about Jet. He’s always grumpy,” one with a snaggletooth said.

“Are you a prince?” The other asked with starry eyes.

“Yes, I am,” Zuko nodded as the kids gawked at him.

“Woah! I’ve never met one in person!” The snaggletooth one yells.

The other nodded. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m not really sure,” Zuko huffed. “Do you know where the main office is?”

They nodded and pointed to the top of the colorful building. Zuko bowed to them, much to their excitement, and began his trek.

 

-*-

 

Sokka looked around for a door to the office. He sat his guitar case down for a second while he searched. When a thud sounded behind him and a girl began complaining, he turned around. A girl with black hair and being accompanied by two other girls had tripped over his guitar.

“Who put this here? Remove it this instance!” She shrieked.

Sokka rolled his eyes, glanced at all the open space around them that she could have walked, and picked up his case in a fast, condescending snatch.

“Sorry about that...” he mumbled.

“What upper ring family lets their kids dress like that?” She mocked to her friends as she strutted away.

 

-*-

 

Hakoda paced around his office angrily with the phone in his hand.

“I’ve told you a million times! I’m not selling my camp!” He yelled into the receiver. “I don’t care how much you offer me... In fact, I’m branching out,” he whispered the last part.

He looked over at his vision board that showed plans for overtaking the other side of the island for his camp. That no good Zhao didn’t deserve to take up that space.

“Oh come on, Hakoda! You’ll never win over us. You should really just cut your losses now,” Zhao drawled into his own phone on the other side of the island. “And get out.”

“I’m teaching talent! What are you doing? Running an outdated charm school.”

Zhao gasped indignantly. “These children need to learn this discipline!”

Their assistance each came in and whispered news into their ears.

“This conversation is over!” They both yelled and slammed their phones down.

 

-*-

 

“You’re not of Noble descent?”

Sokka shook his head at the man seated in front of him.

“Not even an aristocratic uncle?”

“Nu-uh,” Sokka shook his head again, kicking his feet up on the desk. “You don’t know who I am do you?” Sokka asked, referring to his father across the pond.

“Not a clue.” Zhao eyed his dirty vans.

“I’m—“

“And I do not care, so don’t bother.”

Sokka’s eyes went big with surprise, but he shut up.

“How did this happen?” He whisper-shouted at his assistant.

“Clearly you’re at the wrong camp, so we’ll have to figure the system mistake, fix it, and then send you far away.” Zhao scowled. “We’ll find you some accommodations for the night.”

 

-*-

 

“I am so sorry for this mix up, your highness,” Hakoda apologized earnestly at the obviously nervous teen in front of him.

Zuko hadn’t stopped shaking since the speech, and now he was here, feeling like he had made the mistake and was the nuisance for some reason. It was just how he was raised to think really.

“There was a problem with our systems. We use the same thing as Camp Noble. You’ve been swapped with one of my campers,” he explained, still unaware that that camper was his own son. “We’ll find you some lodging. It shouldn’t take but a day or two.”

“I’m sorry for the trouble,” he bowed, hair covering his face even after he rose up.

“It’s not your fault at all, your highness,” Hakoda assured fretfully. The levels of anxiety rolling off the kid was scaring him. “We’re taking care of this. High five?” He said slowly, raising his hand.

Zuko, of course, flinched, leading Hakoda to retract his hand quickly. Hakoda’s assistant took the opening to gently lead Zuko out of the room and to his cabin.

Zuko was brought through a sea of colorful cabins in the woods to get to his. He knocked carefully on the glass door that he was led too, the assistant leaving. A girl with short brown hair, a green tank top, black shorts, and an unbuttoned white button up opened the door.

“It’s not locked,” she smiled at him, but looked confused. “Who are you? You’re not Sokka?”

Another girl emerges from another room while yelling, “What do you mean it’s not Sokka!?”

They both stare at Zuko like he’s got a second head.

“I-I’m Zuko,” he waved awkwardly.

“I’m Suki. This is Katara.” The girl introduced. “No offense, Zuko, but not only are you not the person supposed to be here, aren’t you a little over dressed for camp?”

“That’s what you’re starting with?” Katara exclaimed, flicking the other girl lightly. “Where the hell is my brother?!”

“U-umm. There was a mix up... I’m supposed to be at Camp Noble. I’m a prince. I guess your brother is there,” he explained.

“Woah, wait you’re a prince?” Suki asked excitedly. “Need a future Queen?”

“Uh— “

“My brother is at Camp Noble?” Katara snorted.

“Ye—“

“So what’s it like being a prince?” Suki cut in.

“It’s no—“

“Have you ever been turned into a frog?”

“No—“

“Have you ever been cursed?”

“N—“

“Suki that’s just in fairytales... unless...”

 

-*-

 

“A royal cabin? Cool,” Sokka grinned as he walked into the large structure.

“Yo are you the snack guy?” A black haired girl with milky eyes ran over to him. “I really wanted some cheese dip! Or maybe pinwheels? What about—“

“Toph that is not a caterer,” a bald boy laughed. “If you feel him carrying something it is not a bunch of food it’s a guitar case.”

“Ah man. I’m hungry.”

“My names Sokka. There was a mix up. I’m supposed to be getting to the other side of the lake soon.”

“Oh so you’re a theater kid?” Toph smirks.

“Not really. I do music. Camp Show Stopper is actually for putting on all kinds of shows, including concerts. I’ve helped put on the rock musical Rent though,” Sokka explained his role at the camp.

“You like rock? You’re not gonna trash the room right?” The bald kid looked half worried, half hopeful at his own words.

“No way.”

“What about blasting loud music all night?” Toph asked, clearly hoping for a yes.

“No I’ve got headphones.”

“Have you ever smashed a guitar on the stage?” Aang looked especially excited by that idea.

Sokka quietly shifted his guitar away from the short boy with the shake of his head.

-*-

“How does this look?” Suki asked as she held up an outfit on hangers.

“I like what you have on better,” Katara called from the other side of the room. “We’re stopping by wardrobe later too if you want to grab something interesting like a wig,” she laughed.

“Good idea!”

“Wait so you guys get to choose what you wear everyday?” Zuko asked in amazement. He had another stuffy outfit on that was not picked out by him. “No one picks it for you?”

“Not since I was 3” Suki giggled as her and Katara walked towards the door.

“We have to go now. We have band practice. Then we have a dance class. After that we even get to learn about stage explosives!”

Zuko’s heart swelled at the idea of getting to partake in that kind of fun. Even thinking about it made him scared of punishment at this point, but he started to recognize that his father was not there.

“You can come if you want to... as long as you’re here,” Katara offered.

“I don’t know...” Zuko tried to hang onto his last bit of self preservation for future Zuko when father found out.

“It’ll be fun,” Suki sang.

“Mmmh... alight. I’ll come,” Zuko caved.

-*-

“Are you sure party etiquette isn’t first?” Toph asked skeptically.

“No, bending practice is,” Aang confirmed, looking over their cabin’s schedule.

“Cool!” Toph pumped her fist in the air.

Sokka was completely ready to join and see bending practice. They stopped to pet the Komodo Rhinos. Then, Sokka got to sit in on some amazing earth and fire bending. This is where he found out Aang was the fucking Avatar.

“Yeah the monks sent me here to learn the etiquette for big high class social parties. This is after I had already spilled hot tea everywhere at a tea party for important figures,” the short boy laughed.

He saw that the benders there were all doing fighting forms. The odd non-benders were wielding weapons. This struck him odd that these aristocratic children were specifically learning defense, but he didn’t bother asking.

At classical music class, Sokka almost fell asleep. He knew classical guitar, so he was participating, but it was so boring. The quiet flutes and harps were excruciating. He added a bit of flare here and there, but the mean girl from before, who he found out was named Azula, kept jumping all over him when he did. Sokka found himself thinking that this was absolutely not what music was supposed to be like.

 

-*-

 

Once Zuko was able to shove down his fear of repercussions, band practice was exceptional to him. He had no clue music could be that fun. He refused to participate, not that he wasn’t classically trained on the piano, but just watching was enough. Everyone was showing so much emotion. Suki was absolutely killing the drums while Katara was shredding the guitar and singing. There was a boy in a wheelchair playing keyboard and a boy with long brown hair on bass. Zuko wished he could feel how they clearly felt.

After that was dance class out on a lawn, and Zuko was absolutely not prepared for that. They were dancing… with the elements. There were elements moving with the rhythm of the music and the teens’ dancing. The prince didn’t know how else to react other than just gawking.

Katara twirled with water swirling around her, her flowy blue dress flaring out. Suki had fans that seemed to be extensions of her arms, making her almost look like she had wings. Zuko was especially amazed at a firebender who had sculpted a dragon out of flames. It appeared to be dancing with him.

Zuko had never seen fire or any bending in a non threatening way. He had been taught that its only purpose was self defence, but this was breathtakingly beautiful. He found himself sparking a flame in his palm and trying to shape it. He reached deep within himself, breathing steadily, and the flame began to look like… a turtle duck. That wasn’t what he was going for. Still, it was cute.

“Aww, that’s so cute Zuko,” Katara squealed, moving her water back into the pond and coming to look. “Look Suki, he made a turtle duck!”

“Well that’s just precious,” Suki smiled brightly.

Zuko smiled too.

 

-*-

 

“Who in their right mind thinks twirling on a stage is more important than teaching these wealthy children how to behave!” Zhao paces.

“The man’s delusional, sir,” his assistant said.

“Think Shinu. Think! What can we do to take them down?”

“Does it have to be legal?”

They paused when they heard the sound of an unfamiliar voice singing. They looked at each other with scheming faces.

“Could that perhaps be one of our new campers?’

They walked around the wall to find Sokka singing and playing the guitar while the others watched in either awe or annoyance.

“I’ve never heard so much skill,” Shinu said with a glance up to Zhao.

“Yes, what a useless talent to be so good at.”

“Sir Zhao, do you not know who that is?!” a little Fire Nation girl exclaimed.

“Who is it?” Zhao demanded, remembering how Sokka had tried to tell him something at their first meeting.

“That’s the famous guitarist Hakoda Kunuk’s son, Sokka Kunuk,” the girl claimed, a big fan of Hakoda’s and unknowing of his ownership of the rival camp.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Zhao asked Shinu with an evil grin.

 

-*-

 

Hakoda was sitting on his desk, playing his guitar when his assistant came in with the phone.

“It’s the royal pain,” she snickered and handed him the receiver.

“It’s about time you called! I’ve left you five messages about this camper mix up,” he sat up straighter.

“Professional as ever, Mr. Kunuk. I’m afraid that matter will have to wait,” Zhao glanced up at where his assistant was unplugging the computer systems. “Our systems are down. Much like your career.”

“At least I’m teaching something interesting, and not just forcing kids to learn to sit still.”

“Oh so you think your camp is better than mine… Why not prove it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Perhaps a little competition. Most entertaining show wins. Loser shuts down camp.”

“My kids against yours? You can’t be serious. I feel like you're up to something. After all, you have one of my own over there.” Hakoda glared out the window, across the lake.

“And you have a camp full of ‘talent.’” He spat the word. “So unless you're not up to the challenge…”

Hakoda scowled. “I’m in.”

 

-*-

 

“And so I had to walk in with my hair singed and kind of smoking and pretend nothing was wrong,” Zuko finished his anecdote.

“And your sister never got in trouble?” Katara gasped.

“No… I did.”

“The fuck…” Suki furrowed her eyebrows and went back to eating her mashed potatoes. “Why’d you get punished?” she said through her mouth full.

“Because people noticed that my hair was smoking and thought that I had just been a poor bender. Plus, Azula came out looking fine,” he shrugged.

“Still kind of messed up,” Teo said into his food.

“I’ve had worse done for less…”

They glanced at his scare and didn’t say anything else.

 

-*-

 

“So to make a long fucking story short,” Sokka laughed. “I shredded that guitar on that stage in Paris.”

“At eight years old?!” Toph gaped.

“Yeah you should have seen the look on my dad’s band’s faces when I climbed up there,” he snorted.

“Did you get in trouble?” a new friend, Princess Yue, inquired.

“No, I was praised by my dad, mom, and even future stepdad.”

“We would have been punished,” another earth kingdom aristocrat said sadly.

That was one thing Sokka had learned from his time there. These kids really did enjoy coming to the charm school. He found that many of them had to learn proper manners to avoid severe punishment from their parents. Camp noble was a much friendlier, more social, and less painful way of learning. They had the chance to make friends and learn in groups instead of alone with a tutor like normal. Sokka felt bad for them, but he mostly just felt bad that he ever doubted the importance of the camp. Zhao was still a douche though. He wished they could find someone nicer.

The intercom came on in the mess hall, makinging them all look around. Sir Zhao’s voice came in.

“Attention all. I have an announcement. At the end of this year's camp, we will be partaking in a friendly competition with Camp Show Stopper. Best show wins.”

The same announcement was being made across the lake.

“The judges will be,” they were both announcing. “Royal Water Bending Teacher, Master Piandao.”

The nobles cheered.

“Chong from the band The Nomads.”
All of Camp Show Stopper clapped and screamed.

“And the owner of the STEM camp Camp Air, The Mechanist.”

Silence except for Teo who yelled, “That’s my dad!”

“Rehearsals begin in the morning. May the best camp win!”

 

-*-

 

“Do those snooty rich kids really think they can beat us in performance?” Suki boasts, then looks at Zuko with a grimace. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine. I’ve never even been to Camp Noble. I’m sure you guys will win. You’re gonna do great,” he smiled, thinking back to the amazing things he’s seen over the past few days.

“You mean we,” Katara insists sweetly.

“Me? I don't know... I really don’t think I have anything to offer…”

“Of course you have something. You’re one of us now.” Suki hugs him, something he’s starting to like and get used to. “But we need to do something about your clothes.”

“Huh?”

“You need something more functional, less uptight,” Katara explained, coming forward with a stack of clothes. “We may have already got you something…”

Zuko smiled smally at the clothes. Even in their folded state he could tell that it was something he would never be allowed to wear on a normal day. He saw fringe, denim, and tie dye.

He put it on and decided if his dad saw him he’d be blind in his right eyes too. It was ripped, black denim jeans and a black and red tie dye shirt. He raised his arms up and found that he could without the seams in the shirt threatening to bust. His usual tailored shirts had very restrictive motion. He liked this change.

“Someone’s ready for band practice now,” Suki beamed.

 

-*-

 

“Where have you been?” Toph asked as Aang busted through the door and flopped on a bed.

“Azula is freaking out about song selection.”

“You guys must be super excited to go up against Camp Show Stopper,” Sokka said.

The two looked at him, and Aang forced a smile.

“Yeah super excited,” the bald boy tried to sound enthusiastic.

“No we’re really not,” Toph sighed. “We’re good, but we’re nowhere near their level.”

“Well I can help you as long as I’m here,” Sokka offered.

“But your dad owns that camp. Didn’t you say your friends were there?” Aang was confused.

“It’s just a friendly competition. It’d be more fair if you guys had someone from over there anyways. And you guys are my friends too now.”

“Really? Cool!” Toph punched him in the arm affectionately.

“Thanks, Sokka,” Aang hugged him tightly.

“No problem.”

 

-*-

 

Hakoda walked into rehearsal and found the prince participating in the moves. He looked happy, which Hakoda had never seen the kid like that. He’d only seen him with anxiety rolling off of him. It was good to see him opening up.

“Prince Zuko?” he called and beckoned him over. “I am so sorry about the delay.”

“I-- It’s fine. Really,” Zuko gave him a tiny smile. “I’m actually having fun… High five?” he tried what Hakoda had tried at their first meeting.

Hakoda found himself smiling fondly at that and gave him a high five. He hoped that his son was doing ok over at Camp Noble, though he knew his son enough not to worry badly. He was glad that if this had to happen, it had happened to these two boys. It was easy to see that this experience was proving good for the fearful young prince.

“I like your outfit.”

-*-

 

“Sokka is that you!” Yue caught the boy with his back turned next to Aang and Toph.

He was wearing a nice, regal looking, blue suit. He grabbed the blazer and did a spin.

“Yep. These two thought it would be fun to make me blend in a bit more,” he explained.

The two kids themselves had been dressed up more than their average for the sake of the fancy camp. Plus no one had let them pack anything other than said fancy clothes. Sokka liked the way he looked, but he would absolutely never wear this on a normal day like many of the kids there did.

“You look weird,” Yue teased.

“Thanks,” he scoffed.

“Well I think you look great!” Toph added.

“Well than-- ugh,” he rolled his eyes when he got it.

“Sokka Kunuk!” a familiar, deep voice called for him.

He turned to find Sir Zhao and his assistant beaconing him over. He mouthed a ‘oh no’ to the others and ran over to the man.

“You must forgive us for the problems with your transfer. It’s a system error completely on their part. I trust you’ve been made comfortable?” He tried for a smile, but it was fake. Sokka didn’t really pay it any mind.

“Yeah I’ve actually made some pretty good frien--”

“Ok onto the next part of business. We had the… pleasure of hearing you play the guitar and sing yesterday. You are talented. Since we’re struggling so much to fix the systems, we would love it if you would just stay and help the acapella group with our performance,” Zhao explained, still standing stock straight in military posture.

“Sure. I’d love to help the people here. They’ve been really good to me. And if the transfer really isn’t going to work, I might as well,” Sokka nodded.

“Excellent.”

-*-

 

Zuko opened the door to the band room, but no one was in there yet. He found himself gravitating to the piano and sitting down. Piano was the only instrument his father ever let him learn, but he also sang. He often made his own music when no one was there. He wasn’t allowed to listen to it, so it was his only option. Just a few months ago he had been caught playing non-classical and was severely punished. Now that he was back in front of the piano, he found that that lesson hadn’t stuck yet. He wanted to play.

He touched the keys tentatively, pressing down slowly to make a quieter sound. The very first note sounded, and he was already lost. He messed around for a second, getting his bearings. Then, he began to play a song he had written.

“His eyes and words are so icy
Oh but he burns
Like rum on the fire
Hot and fast and angry as he can be
I walk my days on a wire.
It looks ugly, but it's clean,
Oh father, don't fuss over me.”

Haru and Katara find him first. They stand and listen silently.

“The way he tells me I'm his and he is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine.”

Suki and Teo join in listening to the sad song. Katara is close to tears. They all make a silent decision and creep in behind the boy with closed eyes. They each pick up their instruments and begin to join in, Teo taking the keytar.

Zuko is startled at the sudden burst of music behind him, but he doesn’t stop. The new noise is giving it even more feeling than the many times he had played it alone on the piano.

“Calls of guilty thrown at me
All while he stains
The sheets of some other
Thrown at me so powerfully
Just like he throws with the arm of his brother.
But I want it
It's a crime
That he's not around most of the time.”
Katara joins in harmony on the next chorus.

“The way he shows me I'm his and he is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
Blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine.”

Zuko, Katara, and Suki were all admittedly close to tears, but the song was too beautiful to abort.

“His fight and fury is fiery
Oh but he loves
Like sleep to the freezing
Sweet and right and merciful
I'm all but washed
In the tide of his breathing.
And it's worth it, it's divine
I have this some of the time.
The way he shows me I'm his and he is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine.”

The song came to an end, and there was a long beat of silence.

“What was that?” Suki said, panting from how intense her drumming got.

“That was incredible! Who sings that?” Katara mused.

“I-- I wrote it… I’m not allowed to listen to music at the palace. I’m not even supposed to play anything other than classical. But I like to.” He ducked his head, his hair covering his blush.

They momentarily pushed away the fact that since he had written the song, he must have experienced that. That was a conversation for later. Instead, they focused on the skill of it.

“Do you have any more? We could totally sing one for the competition!” Suki enthused.

“You guys are so talented! Why would you want to play my music?” he asked skeptically.

“My thoughts exactly,” Jet came storming in with his friends. “As Suki put it, what was that?”

“It’s called making music. We do that around here,” Katara growled.

“He is super talented. Who knew he could sing?” Teo waved his arms dramatically.

“Well I think we can skip the sappy sing-alongs and practice our actual chosen performance song,” Jet stomped. “Is that ok with you Princey? Or do you want to go running to the other side of the lake where you belong?”

Zuko hung his head and tried not to start shaking.

“Don’t listen to him, Zuko. You were great, and your song was really pretty.” Katara hugged him.

“Thanks,” he mumbled into her shoulder.

After she pulled away, he looked around and began feeling closed in by Jet’s glare.

“I’m going to go for a walk. I need some fresh air.” He all but ran out.

 

-*-

 

“The French are glad to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels
A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
A kiss may be grand
But it won't pay the rental
On your humble flat
Or help you at the automat”

Sokka was stuck singing in the background for Azula. He was frustrated to say the least, and he was certainly bored. He spaced out for half of the song, but got an idea after he tuned back in.

“Time rolls on
And youth is gone
And you can't straighten up when you bend”

He began to harmonize with Azula, doing runs and adding embellishments. She glared at him, but kept going.

“But stiff back
Or stiff knees
You stand straight at Tiffany's
Diamonds
Diamonds
I don't mean rhinestones
But diamonds are a girl's best
Best friend”

The song ended and Sokka was still going on an embellishment. Many seemed to love it, but Azula was furious.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she stormed over to him.

“Making a boring ass song more fun,” he crossed his arms over his chest.

“Listen up peasant, this is my show. I am the lead. You are back up. If you can’t handle that, swim across the lake. I’m sure they’ll give you a solo,” if looks could kill, Sokka’d be six feet under.

 

“I’m trying to help you win. You need to speed it up!”

“I think Sokka's right,” Aang chirped. “We’d have a better chance of winning with a change.”

“Yeah we’re definitely going to lose as it is right now,” Toph said bluntly.

“Who do you dumbasses think you are. You need to back the fuck up. I am in charge here,” Azula got up in Sokka’s face.

He had the sense to turn away.

“I don’t have to take this.” He stalked away.

Behind a bush listening was Shinu.

“I’m not putting the fate of this camp on some temperamental teenager,” he muttered to himself and went off to scheme.

 

-*-

 

Zuko wandered down the beach for a long time. He was looking down and in deep thought, so he walked right into an equally distracted person. He yelped at the impact and fell backwards into the sand. A hand reached out and pulled him up.

“I am so sorry! I should have been paying attention,” Zuko apologized as he swept the hair out of his eyes.

“It’s fine. I wasn’t looking either.-- Wait I recognise you! We were the last ones on the dock to board the boats. I boarded the wrong one might I add…”

“Wait, you got on the wrong boat? So did I! We must have been the ones who got swapped,” Zuko realised, causing them both to go wide eyed.

“I-- I’m Zuko,” the black haired boy introduced.

“Prince Zuko?” Sokka asked.

“Just Zuko is fine,” he stuffed his hands in his pockets awkwardly.

“I’m Sokka.”

“Prince Sokka?” Zuko nodded towards the suit Sokka was wearing.(and looking very handsome in)

Sokka chuckled. “They, uh, dressed me up. You look cool, yourself.”

Zuko looked at his latest outfit of black ripped jeans and a black t-shirt with a sun on it.

“They dressed me up too… I’ve never been allowed to dress like this before.”

“That’s a shame. You look really good.”

Zuko blushed furiously. “Absolutely no one has ever said that to me until these past weeks.”

“That’s a damn shame,” Sokka smiled. “You’re very attractive.”

“Please stop it. I know I’m ugly,” Zuko sputtered out. “I’m literally deformed.”

“The scar? Nah it’s kind of badass actually,” Sokka insisted.

“Please just change the subject. U--um, so you were going to go to Camp Show Stopper?”

Sokka barked out a fond laugh. “Yeah my dad runs it.”

“And you know Suki and Katara? They put me in your cabin.”

“Yeah, that's right. Katara’s my sister and Suki's our best friend.”

“They’re really nice. I wish my sister was that nice.”

“Oh who’s your sister?”

“Her name’s Azula.”

Sokka let air out through his teeth. “Yikes. I’ve met her.”

“Yeah. Yikes. So do you make music like your dad and sister?” the slightly shorter inquired.

“Yeah my whole family are musicians. After my mom died, my dad fell in love with one of his bandmates, so we were raised by some great artists.” Sokka gave a melancholy look. Sad for the reasoning for his second dad, but happy to have him.

They sat down on the shoreline to continue talking.

“I’m sorry about your mom. I lost mine too. Life's kind of been shit ever since,” Zuko admitted, hugging himself.

Sokka scooted a bit closer to him and nudged him with his shoulder. The teen thought back to the friends he’d made and how they often spoke of strict hands and terrible punishment.

“So how has Camp Show Stopper been treating you, then. It’s definitely a change of scenery.”

“It’s been really fun. I’m not allowed to do any of the stuff I’ve been doing. I love to make music, but I’ve been told to stop multiple times now. Sometimes I get scared of what’s going to happen when my father finds out all the rules I’ve broken,” Zuko suppressed a shutter. “But then sometimes I let myself forget and I never want it to end. I sang a song I wrote earlier and my new friends really liked it. But this guy named Jet hated it and told me I should go back to Camp Noble.”

“Music is a very freeing thing. To some it’s pretty competitive,” Sokka explained. “I hate that you aren’t allowed to play. If I wasn’t allowed, I don’t know what I’d do. Have you ever considered leaving your father?”

“I have… but it feels so useless. He’s the Fire Lord, afterall,” Zuko rested his chin on his knees. “My uncle has always wanted me to move in with him.”

“I think you should.” Sokka offered a kind smile and wrapped an arm around the raven haired boy for a brief side hug.

There was a long, comfortable silence where they just sat there. Zuko spoke first.

“So how has Camp Noble been? I’ve never been, but I can’t imagine it being as much fun as I’ve been having.”

“Well I have gotten to see some pretty awesome defensive bending. The food is really good. The owner asked me to help with their show, since they can’t get the systems fixed. I went ahead and said yes because I figured it’d be fun. So far, though, it’s been awful. Azula insists on us doing an acapella version of Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, with herself as lead. I added some stuff and she ran me off,” Sokka explained. “That’s how I got here.”

“Azula isn’t a very nice person. It’s not her fault though. She’s survived this many years of living without a single scratch because she made sure she was perfect. Father favours her in every way. She’s territorial through conditioning. Her subconscious thinks that if she lets a single person outshine her, she’ll get treated like I do.”

“Hmm,” Sokka hummed. Azula made so much more sense knowing that.

“Doesn't mean you should just put up with it, though,” he added.

“I know,” Sokka nodded.

They sat talking for a lot longer, hours probably. They found each other intriguing. Eventually, they knew they had to part. Sokka got up with a sigh. Zuko stood too, and they both patted the sand off them.

“So what are we going to do? Switch camps right now?” Sokka asked.

Zuko nodded. “I guess that’s what’s best.”

“There’s a lot of good people to befriend at Camp Noble.”

“That’s why I’m scared to leave… because the friends I’ve made.”

“Me too.”

“... We could just… not switch back,” Zuko added quietly.

Sokka perked up a bit. “You’re right. We could just stay where we are now for the rest of the week.”

“Would you be ok with that?” Zuko asked hopefully.

“Yeah. I would,” Sokka smiled.

“Then it’s settled,” Zuko smiled back.
“I’ll see you at the competition,” Sokka said, pulling Zuko into a quick goodbye hug. “Bye.”

“Goodbye.”

 

-*-

 

Shinu looked over the large sum of money and closed the case. He then stepped through the glass doors, into the office where a certain guest was waiting.

“Ah, The Mechanist, nice to see you again,” Shinu greeted. “We’ve got something to discuss.”

“So I’m told,” the old man nodded for him to continue.

“We know that Master Piandao is going to vote for Camp Noble. We also know Chong is going to vote for Camp Show Stopper. So that leaves us with you, doesn’t it. Would you vote for Camp Noble? I give you a good reason…” Shinu placed the case down and opened it for The Mechanist to see.

“Deal.”

 

-*-

 

“Absolutely not. This is garbage,” Azula thrusted the sheet paper back at Sokka.

“I am seriously telling you that if we stay the same we will lose!” Sokka insisted loudly.

“What is going on here,” Zhao stepped into view.

“Dirty Socks here wants to change my song,” Azula pointed an accusing finger at him.

“I’ve been working on some new stuff that I think will bring this show into this century,” Sokka threw back.

Zhao took the papers and read over them with a bored expression. He hated music, but he knew that whatever Sokka thought was good music would probably win in a competition. The outdated princess was too clueless.

“Azula, listen to Sokka. His song goes. It has a much better chance of winning.”

“Wow, thanks!” Sokka pumped his fist in victory.
Azula looked absolutely livid.

 

-*-

 

“Stop! Stop it! Is that seriously the best you can do?” Jet stopped the song to yell at the band for the fourth time that run. “Katara missed the key change. Haru missed the whole ass bridge.” He got close to them and just glared for a second. “Do better!”

“You don’t have to be so mean about it,” Zuko mumbled, but Jet heard him.

“What did you just say to me!”

Zuko shrank back, so Katara stepped forward.

“You are being really mean. No one is feeling this song,” she expressed. “We should try one of Zuko’s songs.”

Jet rolled his eyes. “Princes can’t write songs.”

“Who told you that?” Hakoda stepped forward from the door he had just come through. “Anyone can write a song. You write, Zuko?”

Zuko nodded.

“His songs are so beautiful, dad,” Katara encouraged.

“Let’s hear one,” Hakoda smiled.

“Right no--” Zuko was cut off by all the others huddling around him.

“The one we practiced earlier? The second one?” Suki suggested.

They all nodded and broke the huddle to go to their instruments.

“This is insane!” Jet protestested, but Hakoda hushed him.

Zuko was shaking a bit with nerves, yet he got himself to start singing and his hands to start moving on the piano.

“Mind over matter
Does it matter to any of us
Don't change the subject
I'm heavy on your love
I missed that train
Ba Sing Se, it rains
Fly to Full Moon Bay in big jet planes
You know you're on my mind”

Even though Zuko had never experienced love, that song was what he wanted. It was what he hoped for one day. Everyone was visibly getting into it more than the one they had been playing.

“And if the world don't break
I'll be shaking it
'Cause I'm a young man after all, oooh ooh
And when the seasons change
Will you stand by me
'Cause I'm a young man built to fall, oooh ooh ooh”

Zuko let his voice get raspier as he sang the chorus, confidence allowing him to increase volume. He looked up and could have swore Jet was fighting off a smile. Hakoda was beaming. He looked proud, and Zuko had never seen a father figure look proud before. He assumed it was directed at Katara, but then they made eye contact. He still had the look.

“Mind over matter
I'm in tatters thinking 'bout him
Taste my disaster
It's heavy on my tongue
All the lights aglow
The North Pole, snows
Go to watch the show
Curtains closed
I'm watching you this time”

He closed his eyes and let Katara’s harmonies and the Suki’s drum beat fill his senses. The rest of the song began to fly by as he got lost. He barely registered Katara changing from harmonies to repeating his lines after him. The song came to a close and everyone in the band started cheering.

“We can’t use a song written by a prince,” Jet scoffed.

“We can and we are,” Hakoda said, causing everyone to start cheering again.

He looked down at Zuko with that proud look, and Zuko felt full.

 

-*-

 

“1,2. 1,2,3”

“I like the way you say my name babe
And the way you wake up on a Sunday
Rolling around like two warm animals
Yeah I hope that you feel the same way
Yeah I hope that you feel the same way”

Sokka was the only one really singing. Everyone else was back up.

“Ooo and if it feels right
Who's to tell you that it ain't right
And when it feels right
Oh my my you know it feels right
Ooo and if it feels right
Who's to tell you that it ain't right
And when it feels right”

Of course it sounded great, but everyone looked miserable. Toph and Aang were trying to look somewhat happy, though. Sokka didn’t notice anything. Azula was glaring at him the entire time, of course. As soon as the song ended, she spoke up.

“What the hell was that! You literally just gave yourself a solo,” she stomped.

“You had a solo before. Besides, Sir Zhao put me in charge! I’m basically a professional. I’m trying to win this.”

“I’m sorry Snoozles, but I have to agree with Ms. Sharky. You’re not the only one in the show,” Toph said honestly.

They all seemed to be closing in on the teen. Sokka didn’t know what to do. He realised his mistake, but he didn’t want to stay there to admit it. His brain got kind of foggy, and he made a very hasty decision in his head.

“I can’t stay here,” he muttered and ran to the main office.

He walked up the many stairs, his mind moving a mile per minute. After that, he really just wanted to go home. He was going to use the office phone to call Bato to come get him. Even if he was on an island.

The office was empty when he got there, but he did find the phone. He dialed Bato’s number.

“Hey, Rock ‘n’ roll is here, but I am not. Leave a message.”

Sokka grumbled at the poor timing, but froze when he heard Zhao’s assistant coming. He dove under a clothed table.

“There is no way they’re going to win,” he said into his phone. “When we win, we’ll own the entire island. Finally get rid of those pot banging peasants.”

He seemed to have grabbed what he came for and walked out while still talking. Sokka let out a breath of air and stood up. So the competition was a battle for land? Sokka couldn’t let that happen. All the campers needed to know.

He sprinted back to his cabin and threw open the doors.

“Sokka! We knew you’d come to your senses,” Aang beamed from the couch that he and Toph were on.

“Yeah I’m back, but that’s not important. I overheard Zhao’s assistant talking on the phone, and apparently the competition is to see who has to close down,” Sokka rushed out.

“What?! They can’t close this place down!” Toph exclaimed. “It’s the one time a year my parents let me leave the house!”

“Neither camp should close,” Sokka said. “My dad owns Camp Show Stopper!”

“Oh yeah!” Aang yelped.

“Well what are we going to do?” Toph aked. “We can’t both win.”

“I’ve got a plan,” Sokka assured her. “We have to go warn the other camp, first.”

The three took off down the stretch of land separating the camps. They soon came across the colorful buildings. Sokka looked around and spotted Zuko walking up the path in the dark of night.

“Zuko!” Sokka whisper-yelled, grabbing him and pulling him into the shadows.

Zuko yelped and flinched, but calmed when he saw it was Sokka.

“Sokka?”

“We need to tell you something important,” Sokka started. “There’s some kind of bet on the competition. I don’t know the details, but the loser of this competition has to close.”

Zuko gasped. “We have to warn the others. Come on.”

Zuko led them to the band room where everyone had been waiting for Zuko. When they walked through the door, they all turned to stare at the fancily dressed group of people with him.

“Guys, this is Avatar Aang, Toph Beifong, and --”

“Sokka!” They all screamed at once.

“No time to explain, but I’m not staying. I just needed to warn you that whoever loses the competition has to close down.”

“Sokka, why would you stay there?” Katara buted in.

Sokka huffed. “They need help. They don’t stand a chance, but those kids love that camp.”

The two noble kids nodded.

“Don’t worry. I have a plan.”

Jet stepped forward, making everyone tense. Then he smiled and said,

“One question. Can I play lead guitar?”

 

-*-

 

The next morning, Sokka, Toph, and Aang were late to practice.

“Whelp I guess Sokka is gone,” Azula announced. “I say we do my original routine.”

“Hold it Azula!” Sokka yells as he approaches with the other two. “We need to talk.”

“About?”

“I overheard Zhao’s assistant and apparently the competition is to see who gets to take over the island. Loser shuts down.”

Azula looked stricken, silent for once in her life.

“And you were right yesterday. We need to all work together. I got too full of myself.”

“I’m always right.”

Sokka rolled his eyes but recognised Azula’s voice was more teasing than hostile.

She smiled, barely. “So we have 2 days. What’s the plan?”

-*-

 

The days flew by with constant practice. Sokka snuck back over the Camp Show Stopper at night to make sure everything was going perfectly. He supervised the bending choreography, checked the stage electronics, and of course practiced the musical piece.

Before anyone knew it, the sky was lit with fireworks over the big stage. The crowd roared loudly, filled with civilians that came by fary, younger kids, and the not participating. Iroh found his place in the crowd next to a nice Inuit man, who introduced himself as Bato. The show was even getting news coverage, drones hovering around the stage.

The stage lit up and Hakoda and Zhao walked to the center from different sides.

“Good evening, “Zhao greeted the audience.

“Welcome” Hakoda started. “Two the first ever battle of camps Noble and Show Stopper.”

“And the last” Zhao grumbled. “We have our esteemed judges here with us tonight.”

“Master Piandao!” Hakoda announced, earning cheers from the nobles. “Chong from The Nomads!” The rockers clapped and yelled. “And owner of Camp Air, The Mechanist!”

Silence except for Teo screaming, “Hey that’s my dad!”

“This is going to be a great show, I’m sure,” Hakoda smiled at the crowd.

“Yeah a bunch of stupid teenagers are great,” Zhao stalked off the stage while yelling “Just start it already!”

“First up,” Hakoda forced through gritted teeth, “Is Camp Noble!”

He walked off and the acapella group ran on. They got in formation and started singing the beat of Sokka’s song. Azula stood in the middle with her hair down.

“I like the way you say my name babe
And the way you wake up on a Sunday
Rolling around like two warm animals
Yeah I hope that you feel the same way
Yeah I hope that you feel the same way”

She sang. It was good, but it wasn’t special. Zhao seemed to register that and started glaring. As good as the vocals were, there was no pizazz.

“How much should I be reading into
The way you look at me in your room
And I know that nothing's really permanent
I hope that this doesn't end soon
Yeah I hope that this doesn't end soon”

Sokka had joined in, his hair absent of his wolf tail. Suddenly, a spotlight shined on a higher tier of the stage to reveal Teo on the keyboard. He started with a slide to really catch their attention, then fell into the song with the synthesisers on. Another spotlight came on as Zuko rose from a moving stage door, beginning to sing. More stage doors rose with assorted band members, while the nobles ran off.

“Mind over matter
Does it matter to any of us
Don't change the subject
I'm heavy on your love
I missed that train
Ba Sing Se, it rains
Fly to Full Moon Bay in big jet planes
You know you're on my mind”

Hakoda was beaming from the wing. Zhao looked quite the opposite. When the chorus went to kick in, many people arrived on stage. Bending Dancers came on moving gracefully to the beat. The nobles ran back on with their classical instruments. Sokka rose on a stage door next to Zuko, each singing the chorus of their songs.

Zuko sang, “And if the world don't break
I'll be shaking it
'Cause I'm a young man after all, oooh ooh
And when the seasons change
Will you stand by me
'Cause I'm a young man built to fall, oooh ooh ooh.” While Sokka sang,
“Ooo and if it feels right
Who's to tell you that it ain't right
And when it feels right
Oh my my you know it feels right
Ooo and if it feels right
Who's to tell you that it ain't right
And when it feels right.”

The stage was alight with dragons, sparklers, and even LED hula hoops. The audience was going crazy for it, and half the world was watching the stream. They went into an instrumental where Jet and Katara walked to the center edge of the stage and just killed their guitars, back to back, shredding. They back away to their previous spaces and let Suki ride a drum solo into the next verse.

“Mind over matter
I'm in tatters thinking 'bout her
Taste my disaster
It's heavy on my tongue
All the lights aglow
Tokyo, snows
Go to watch the show
Curtains closed
I'm watching you this time”

Zuko and Sokka were singing together this time, knocking into each other and grabbing randomly at eachs’ shirts. It’s a wonder they still managed to sound so good. They had both got to the repeating parts of their songs so Sokka got real sloppy in the way he repeated “I like the way you say my name babe,” directly to Zuko. Zuko just kept singing over him and the clash sounded oddly perfect.

“And when the seasons change
Will you stand by me
Fly to Ba Sing Se
'Cause I'm a young man built to fall, oooh ooh
And if the world don't break
The North Pole, snows
Go to watch the show; curtains closed”

All music, lights, and fire cut besides the keyboard and the spotlight on Zuko and Sokka. THey finish together.

“And when the seasons change
Will you stand by me
'Cause I'm a young man built to fall,
Oh my my you know it feels right.”

The lights came on and the crowd screamed louder than ever. Everyone on stage looked around at each other with bright smiles. Zuko’s heart was pumping with an insane amount of adrenaline, as many others were also experiencing. He caught eyes with Sokka, who scooped him into a tight hug and ruffled his sweaty hair. For just a moment, everything felt right. Then Zhao put his microphone back on and stormed on stage.
“Disqualify them! Disqualify Camp Show Stopper! This was sabotage!” He screeched. “You!” he pointed an accusing finger at Hakoda, who was walking back on stage too. “You orchestrated this whole thing!”

“I didn’t do anything,” Hakoda put his hands up. “I didn’t know they were planning this.”

Shinu stumbled out on stage.

“Judges! Let the judges decide!” he insisted.

They all turned their heads to the judges.

“I don’t know man…” Chong slurred into the microphone. “I can’t really pick since they performed together.”

“I cannot decide either,” Piandao shook his head.

Shinu glared at the Mechanist, who certainly saw him.

“No, we need to vote,” he said.

While everyone was chatting on the stage, Iroh made his way up there. Zuko watched in wonder as his uncle waddled up to the two arguing men. Then he saw they were standing on one of the elevating trap doors. Iroh side eyed him and pointed down. Zuko didn’t understand why, but he understood the directions. He excused himself from Sokka and his friends to go pull the lever for the elevator. All three men went down into the understage tube.

“Boys,” Iroh silenced the bickering men. “I would like to talk.”

“I can’t take those stupid fucking children anymore!” Zhao shouted furiously.

“Then let me take them off your hands,” Iroh gave a sneaky grin.

“What?” Zhao and Hakoda exclaimed.

“I would like to buy the camp. There’s no doubt that Camp Noble needs to exist, but you hate children. Why do you insist so much on owning it?” Iroh inquiered.

“... Power mostly... “ Zhao grumbled. “Gets me in good with their parents. And I don’t like there being a tacky, loud camp so close to mine. I went to the camp when I was little, admittedly, and so I’d rather it didn’t get given to the peasant folk.”

“Well since you do not need the camp to know their parents anymore, you hate children, and I would keep it a charm school for aristocratic children, let me take it.”

“... It won’t be cheap.”

“I didn’t expect it to be.”

When the machine brought them all back up, they each looked rather satisfied.

“Woah, what happened?” Suki asked.

“Retired general and former crown prince Iroh will be taking over Camp Noble,” Zhao announced after he turned his mic back on.

“But-- But the judges!” Shinu panicked because of the large sum of money he had paid The Mechanist. Nobody paid him any mind because of Zhao’s statement.

Everyone looked shocked, but none more than Zuko.

“You bought Camp Noble, uncle?!”

“Yes I did, Prince Zuko,” he smiled. “And I’d love to sit and talk with you about everything, but right now I must ask, where did you get your stylish clothes?”

Zuko laughed with a loving face. “My new friends let me borrow them… Uncle there’s something I need to talk to you about later…”

“Well seeing as you just broke about 100 of your father’s rules on live tv, I think I know what it is.”

Zuko grabbed Iroh into a hug, and Iroh returned it immediately. They pulled away after a tender moment.

“Now, go! Your friends are waiting.”

Zuko waved and went to join his friends.

“It was so awesome playing with all of you,” Sokka was saying to the group of nobles and rockers alike. “You know what? We should start a band!”

They all agreed loudly, and Zuko got closer to Sokka.

“Even me?” the raven haired boy asked bashedly.

“Especially you,” Sokka laughed, picking Zuko up and spinning him around.

Zuko found that he was super excited for the future.