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Up until she heard the knock on the front door, Katara thought the worst thing she would have to deal with that night was her brother’s music.

Sokka loved blasting his music at full volume, despite knowing quite well that Katara was in the living room, trying to study for her upcoming American History test, which she was not looking forward to in the least.

“Sokka!” Katara shouted at the top of her lungs, “Will you PLEASE turn your music down? Not only is it incredibly distracting, but it’s also terrible for your ears!”

“Just one more song, sis!” Sokka shouted back from his room on the second floor, “Then I swear I’ll turn it off!”

“No!” Katara went back to studying as the music coming from her brother’s room turned way down. But her study time didn’t last very long, as she heard a loud knock on the front door.

“Coming!” she called out as she got up from the couch and went to answer the door.

Katara didn’t know what she expected when she opened the door, but it certainly wasn’t a soaking wet Azula holding four travel bags, her face stained with tears.

“Azula?!” Katara gasped, “What are you doing here?”

“H-hey, Katara,” Azula said meekly, “May I come in?”

“Yes, yes, of course!” said Katara, grabbing her girlfriend’s right hand with one hand and two of her bags with the other, pulling her inside the house. She then ran to get a towel from the bathroom while Azula sat down on the couch, setting her bags down on the floor.

“Azula,” Katara murmured as she sat down next to Azula and draped the towel over her, “Tell me what happened.” Azula turned her head away and let a few more tears fall from her eyes.

“Father kicked me out of the house,” she sighed, “He disowned me.”

The mention of Azula’s father made Katara briefly tense up in anger.

“Why?”

Azula turned back to her girlfriend and started to explain, “I had just gotten home…”

****

Two hours earlier…

The last thing Azula expected when she got to her family’s mansion was to see her father, Ozai, standing in the doorway. And judging from the expression on his face, he was NOT happy to see her.

“F-Father?” Azula stammered in shock, “Wh-what are you doing home?”

“This is my house, am I not allowed here?” said Ozai, his steely glare fixed directly on his daughter.

“Of course, Father,” said Azula, hastily bowing like he instructed her to, “It’s just that you’re almost never here.” Ozai was the CEO of Fire Nation Industries, and he spent so much time at the company’s main building that Azula was usually completely alone in the mansion.

“Very true,” Ozai sneered, before pulling out something behind him and showing it to Azula, “Would you mind explaining what THIS is?”

Once Azula saw what it was, she knew she probably only had a few minutes to live. It was a printed-out selfie of her with Katara, Mai, and Ty Lee all in bed together, in one of their cuddle sessions.

“It-it’s from a sleepover I had with some of my f-friends,” Azula started rambling in sheer terror, “That’s it! I swear! Completely platonic, that’s all!” Unfortunately, her father saw right through her.

“I knew it,” Ozai snarled, his mouth practically foaming with rage, “You’re a failure, just like your brother. I thought you would’ve been straightened out after his banishment, but it seems I was wrong.”

“What’s wrong with being homosexual, Father?” Azula snapped at him, “You always talked about how men who like men and women who like women were blights on the face of the earth, and people like them...people like ME...deserve nothing but death!”

Ozai raised his hand in a clenched fist, and Azula instinctively flinched.

“You have ten minutes to pack your things,” Ozai growled in an almost demonic tone, “Then you will get out of my house and never come back.”

“You can’t do this to me!” Azula shouted, “I’m your daughter!”

“OUT!”

Azula quickly scurried up the stairs as fast as her legs could carry her.

****

“...so I just packed up all my things and left. Father wouldn’t give me any money for transportation, so I ran all the way over here in the rain,” said Azula.

Upon finishing her explanation, she burst into tears and hugged Katara, burying her face in her shoulder.

“I-I have nowhere to go. Father disowned me, Mother left years ago, Uncle’s who-knows-where, and Zuko wants nothing to do with me. I have no one left, Katara!” Azula sobbed.

“That’s not true,” Katara whispered soothingly, “I’m here for you, as are Ty Lee and Mai.”

“I know,” Azula sniffled, letting go of her girlfriend, “I appreciate it.” The two of them sat on the couch for a while, just staring into space, until Sokka came into the room.

“Hey, Katara,” he said, “I’m done with my music! How’s your studying goi-...oh. Hi, Azula.” Azula gave him a small glare before turning back to looking at the wall.

“What’s she doing here?” Sokka asked.

“Azula’s father disowned her because he’s a homophobic asshole,” Katara explained.

“Oh, I should’ve guessed,” said Sokka, sitting on the couch next to his sister, “Zuko said that’s what happened to him after we started dating.”

“Heh,” Azula let out a small chuckle, “Never thought I’d end up like Zuzu. He was way worse at hiding his gayness than me.”

“You can stay with us until you get on your feet again,” said Katara, putting her arm around Azula, “Can she, Sokka?”

“Uh, yeah sure,” Sokka shrugged, “It’s fine with me.”

“Thanks,” said Azula, giving Katara a small, sad smile.

“Okay, that’s it,” said Katara, suddenly standing up, “I’m calling Ty Lee and Mai. We’re all going to cuddle.”

“That’s not necessary, Katara. I’m feeling fine no-,” Azula started to say, but Katara was already texting her other girlfriends at lightning speed.

“How on earth do you text so fast?” Azula asked.

“Practice, I guess,” Katara shrugged as she sent out a message.

*Kat: Azula’s feeling down, so we’re going to cuddle. Wanna join?

Less than one minute later, she got two responses.

*CircusLesbian: sure ill be over soon hugs and kisses for zula! *six heart emojis*

*GothGF: Yeah I'll be there in a few. Hope she’s okay

****

Five minutes later, Ty Lee burst through Katara’s front door and ran right over to hug Azula.

“‘Zulaaaaaaaaa!” Ty Lee squealed, hugging her as tight as she could.

“Hello, Ty...Lee,” said Azula, trying not to be crushed to death, “You’re...kinda...squashing me.”

“Oops! My bad,” Ty Lee giggled, pressing a kiss to Azula’s cheek before letting go of her.

“I hope I’m not late,” said Mai, coming through the door and making her way to the couch. She gave Katara and Ty Lee quick “hello” kisses before sitting on the coffee table across from Azula.

“Mai...please don’t sit there,” Katara sighed, “I just got that cleaned.”

“I really don’t care,” Mai retorted before turning her attention back to Azula, “So, what’s wrong?”

“Father disowned me and kicked me out of the house,” Azula explained glumly.

“Why?” Ty Lee asked, growing a concerned look on her face.

Azula and Katara took the next couple of minutes retelling the events from two and a half hours ago. Once they finished, Ty Lee burst into tears and enveloped Azula in another crushing hug.

“I’m so sorry!” Ty Lee sobbed, completely staining Azula’s freshly dried shirt.

“That bastard,” Mai muttered in anger, tears appearing on the corners of her eyes, “That horrible, evil, homophobic bastard.”

“Azula’s going to stay with me and Sokka until she can get back on her feet again,” said Katara, handing Ty Lee some fresh tissues.

“Don’t listen to your dad, Azula,” said Ty Lee, blowing her nose, “We love you with all our hearts! Right, Mai?”

“Yeah, absolutely,” Mai nodded, giving Azula a side hug, “We’ll be here for you as long as wel live.”

“Thanks, you two,” Azula sighed, wrapping her arms around Mai and Ty Lee, “I’m glad I have you all as my girlfriends.”

Suddenly, there was a knock on the front door. Katara walked over and opened it, and standing in the doorway was…

“Zuko?” Katara gasped.

“Oh no…,” Azula groaned, lying down on the couch to get out of sight.

“Hey, Katara,” Zuko said sheepishly, “I’m here to see my sister. Is she okay?”

“Not really,” said Katara, “She’s on the couch, if you want to talk to her.”

“Hey, Zuko,” Sokka yelled, running into the entryway with a grin on his face.

“Hey, Sokka,” said Zuko, grinning back as he hugged his boyfriend, “Thanks for telling me about Azula.”

“No problem,” said Sokka, “You haven’t seen her in how long?”

“Three years,” Zuko sighed, “Ever since father ‘banished’ me, as he put it.” He gave Sokka a quick peck on the cheek before going over to the couch.

“Hello, Azula,” he said, sitting next to his sister, “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

“Hello, Zuzu,” Azula grumbled, not looking her brother in the eye.

“Father’s disowned you too, huh?”

“Yeah.”

They sat in silence for about another minute before Zuko spoke up again.

“Why won’t you talk to me, Azula?”

Azula turned to face her brother and sighed.

“How can you be so friendly talking to me?” she asked.

Zuko let out a small laugh, “You’re my sister. I’m not allowed to be nice to my sister?”

“I was horrible to you!” Azula suddenly shouted, causing Zuko to instinctively back up, “All I did was mock and bully you at every chance I had! When Father gave you that scar, I laughed! I. FUCKING. LAUGHED. I don’t deserve your kindness!”

She started to cry again, while Katara, Mai, Ty Lee, and Sokka all looked at each other in shock. They had never heard this story before.

“Azula,” Zuko spoke softly, putting a hand on his sister’s shoulder, “I remember. I couldn’t forget that if I tried, and goodness knows I wanted to. But that was years ago, and we’ve both changed. I know you’re not that person anymore.”

He gave her a small smile, “Besides, you’re still my sister. I’ll always be here when you need me.”

“Th-thanks, Zuzu,” Azula sniffled, wrapping her arms around her brother. Zuko hugged her back, letting a few tears stream down his cheeks.

“Aww…,” Ty Lee sighed before she started crying again. Katara and Mai each put an arm around Ty Lee and let her cry into their shoulders.

Just then, there was yet another knock at the door. This time, Sokka went over to answer it, but before he could even open the door, Toph just walked in the house, slamming him against the wall.

“Toph?! What the hell are you doing here?” Azula gasped in surprise.

“I heard you weren’t feeling so good, Your Majesty,” said Toph, “So I decided to come over and see you.”

“Who told you?”

“I did,” Ty Lee piped up sheepishly, drying her eyes.

“So, what’s up with you?” Toph asked.

“Azula’s father disowned her because he’s a homophobic asshole,” Mai explained, gritting her teeth at having to speak of him.

“Gotcha,” said Toph, “I imagine he’s pissed that both of his kids are gay.” She started to giggle, but stopped once Zuko cleared his throat.

“You do know we’re both here, right?” he pointed out, thoroughly unamused.

“Oh shit, Zuko!” Toph gasped, spinning around to “Sorry, I didn’t know you were here!”

“It’s fine,” said Zuko, “We’re all gay here.”

“There’s no one gayer than we are!” Ty Lee giggled.

“Have you come out to your parents yet?” Katara asked.

“Nah,” Toph sighed, “They probably wouldn’t react as bad as Mr. Fire Lord, but I can’t see it going well.”

“Ah, so they’re homophobes, too,” Azula said bitterly.

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“I feel you,” said Mai, “I remember building up the nerves to come out to my parents. They’re fairly conservative, and certainly wouldn’t want their perfect daughter to turn out to be a lesbian.”

“Ooh, what did you do? What happened?” Ty Lee said excitedly, even though she had heard this story three or four times already.

“Eventually, I decided ‘screw it’, and just walked up to my parents and told them, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m gay’. Before they could say or do anything, I turned around and walked away.”

“Wow, you’re so brave,” Ty Lee sighed in a lovestruck manner.

“Ty Lee, you’ve heard this story before,” Mai groaned.

“I know, I like hearing it,” Ty Lee giggled, giving Mai a peck on the cheek.

“You’re an inspiration for us all,” Azula laughed.

“So, the lesson we should take away from your story is ‘when in doubt, just be blunt’,” said Sokka, stroking his chin.

“Pretty much,” Mai shrugged.

“I wish I were as straightforward as you,” said Ty Lee, “I was absolutely terrified to come out to my family. All of my sisters are straight, so I had no idea how my parents would react to me being a lesbian.”

“So, what did you say?” Zuko asked, leaning forward.

“Well...uh…,” Ty Lee stammered, fidgeting in her seat, “I asked my mom if I could tell her something, and she said yes. We went into my room, and she asked me what I wanted to say. After probably a full minute, I just blurted out, ‘MOM I’M GAY PLEASE DON’T KILL MEEEEEEEE!’”

Sokka, Azula, and Toph burst out laughing, but they all shut up when Katara glared at them.

“Then my mom just hugged me and said, ‘That’s wonderful, Ty Lee!’” Ty Lee continued, “I said, ‘You’re not mad at me for being a lesbian?’, and she said, ‘Why would I be mad at you for your sexuality? You’re still my daughter, no matter if you like boys or girls.’”

“Aw, that’s so sweet,” Katara sighed.

“Good to see at least one of us had a parent that actually supported their kid’s sexuality,” said Azula.

“Hey, can I share my story now?” Sokka asked, waving his arm around in the air.

“Sure, I don’t think we’ve heard yours,” Zuko shrugged.

“So, it’s actually pretty funny,” said Sokka, standing up on the chair despite Katara’s protests, “Zuko, you remember our date at the Ember Island fair?”

“Yep, I remember,” said Zuko, the memory of having his stomach doing fifty backflips riding those crazy rides that flip the participants upside-down a million times flashing through his head.

“I sent Katara some pictures of some of the crazy shit we were doing,” Sokka continued, “But I apparently didn’t look through them before sending them, because the response she sent me was, ‘YOU’RE DATING ZUKO?!?’”

Zuko’s face turned as red as his scar, while all of the girls except Katara started laughing their heads off.

“Hey, it’s not my fault you didn’t check your photos before sending them out to the rest of the world!” Katara protested.

“What picture did you send her?” Zuko asked in a very small voice.

“That one where you were tightly hugging me when we were in the roller coaster that went five hundred feet in the air,” Sokka explained, “Almost dropped my phone trying to get that one.”

“Bahahaha!” Azula cackled, “Zuzu, you’re such a wimp! That ride’s not scary!”

“Speak for yourself,” Zuko huffed, “I’m personally not a fan of riding in a rickety cart straight up a skyscraper-sized train track and then being shot back down at what feels like a thousand miles per hour.”

“Back to the story,” said Sokka, “I didn’t feel like lying to my sister, so I just told her everything. Then she just went, ‘No way! I’m going out with his sister!’”

“Wait, THAT’S how he found out about us?” Azula asked Katara.

“Yep,” Katara groaned, scooching closer to Azula, “The rest is history.”

Suddenly, the front door opened, and in stepped Jet, because he never actually knocks on doors.

“Hey,” he said, twirling that piece of straw he’s had in his mouth for forever, “Zuko was inside for much longer than I expected, so I decided to come in and see what was up.”

“Jet…,” Zuko sighed, his face turning even redder as he got up and went over to greet him, “I told you, all I needed was for you to drop me off and come back for me later!”

“Zuko, Zuko, Zuko,” said Jet, wrapping an arm around his boyfriend’s torso, “Since when have I done anything you’ve told me to do?”

“Hey, Jet!” Sokka exclaimed excitedly, running over to greet his other boyfriend.

“Hey, Sokka,” Jet laughed, giving both of his boyfriends quick pecks on the lips, “So, whatcha doing here? Zuko said something about Azula not feeling too hot?”

“Father kicked her out of the house because he found out she’s gay,” Zuko explained, “Basically exactly what he did to me three years ago.”

“Ah, gotcha,” said Jet, “I remember when my dad discovered I was gay. He gave me a hard whack with a stick and told me to get out of the house, saying I was a complete disgrace. I’m sure your dad would’ve done way worse had you stuck around.”

“Hence why I didn’t,” said Azula, “Otherwise, I’d end up like Zuko.”

“Wait, what did he do to Zuko?” Ty Lee asked.

Before anyone could say anything, Azula’s phone started buzzing, showing an alert for an incoming FaceTime message from Suki.

“What the hell? What in the world could she want at this hour?” Azula placed her phone on the coffee table, before Suki’s face popped up on the screen.

“Hey, Azula,” she said, “Ty Lee texted me and told me about your problem. Yue and I just wanted to check on you and see how you’re doing.”

“Hello,” Yue chimed in, sticking her head into the video frame next to her girlfriend.

“I’m doing a lot better, but I appreciate the thought,” said Azula, “Zuzu, Katara, Mai, Sokka, Jet, and Toph are here too, in case you’re wondering.”

“You finally talked to your brother again?” said Suki, “That’s great!”

“Well, for about a minute and a half,” Zuko sighed in exasperation.

“Hey, Suki! Hey, Yue!” Ty Lee called out, “We’re all sharing our coming out stories. Wanna join in?”

“Uh...you want to do that, Yue?” Suki asked.

“I don’t mind, dear,” Yue giggled, giving Suki a peck on the cheek.

“Okay, here goes,” Suki took a deep breath before starting her story, “So, my story’s not terribly interesting, since the Kyoshi Warriors are very accepting of homosexuality. Several of the other Warriors are also lesbians, so I had others to give me advice and encouragement when I realized I was attracted to girls. It’s when I started dating Yue when things got...complicated.”

She turned to her girlfriend, “Yue, why don’t you explain this.”

“Sure,” said Yue, clearing her throat, “My father’s very...traditional, I suppose, when it comes to his values. He expects me to find a husband and ‘produce an heir’, as he puts it, because he wants to make sure the family bloodline continues or something.”

“Translation: he’s a controlling, misogynistic dick,” Suki explained.

“Oh, he’s one of THOSE,” Mai growled.

“Anyway, you can bet that when he found out my sexuality was incompatible with his plan, he was livid,” Yue continued, “He called me and Suki every terrible name in the book, told me I wasn’t his daughter anymore, and made me leave the house immediately and never come back.”

“And now she lives with me and the other Kyoshi Warriors,” said Suki, kissing Yue on the cheek, “So it all turned out okay in the end.”

“Aw, that’s so sweet,” Ty Lee sighed, “The ‘you two deciding to live together’ thing, not the ‘Yue’s father being a jerk’ thing.”

“Yeah, good for you,” said Toph, who wasn’t really paying attention, “Can we hear Zuko’s story now?”

“Can we not and say we did?” Azula groaned, starting to feel a headache coming on.

“What’s wrong, Azula?” Katara asked, “Are you feeling okay?”

“Nothing, I’m fine,” Azula lied rather unconvincingly.

“Azula, you don’t have to listen to my story if you don’t want to,” Zuko said concernedly, resting his hand on his sister’s shoulder.

“No, no, carry on,” Azula grumbled, pulling the towel over her head and covering her ears.

“Very well,” said Zuko, “This was about three years ago…”

****

Three years ago…

When Zuko walked down the six flights of stairs of the family mansion to the ground floor, he wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t every day his father called him down for a “talk”, and CERTAINLY not sounding like he was about to kill someone, though Zuko wouldn’t put it past him.

When he got to the bottom of the stairs, Ozai was standing in the middle of the hallway, looking as huge and intimidating as ever. Azula was sitting on a chair off to the side, giving Zuko a smug look that said, “Father’s going to kill you.”

“Hello, Father,” said Zuko, bowing like he was instructed to, “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, yes I did,” Ozai answered in the most bitterly passive-aggressive tone possible, “A little bird told me you have been engaging in...homosexual activities.”

Zuko froze in complete shock. He had done everything in his power to hide his relationship with Sokka from Ozai for four months now, so he had no idea how he had been found out. He immediately suspected Azula told him, and glared at her.

“Don’t look at me, Zuzu,” Azula shrugged, “It’s not my fault someone found out about your gayness.”

“Then who-,” Zuko started before his father interrupted him.

“An unimportant detail,” said Ozai, giving his son the biggest death glare he could possibly give, “The point is that you have proven yourself a disgraceful failure, and must be punished.”

“I’m sorry, how is being gay a disgrace?” Zuko snapped, “There are so many homosexual people all over the world who are just as intelligent, strong, and successful as any other human being, but are constantly being put down by homophobic bigots like you!”

Ozai’s jaw clenched and his hands balled into fists, and Zuko knew he made an enormous mistake.

“How. DARE. You,” Ozai snarled, sounding even growlier than usual, “I spent the last sixteen years trying to mold you into the perfect heir to Fire Nation Industries, but it seems you are completely unworthy, not just for the position, but for being my son.” He grabbed Zuko by the shirt collar and dragged him over to the fireplace, where a fire had already been burning for a while so it was nice and hot.

“You can’t do this!” Zuko shouted, trying to escape his father’s grip.

“You have no right to tell me what to do,” said Ozai, forcing Zuko onto his knees, “If a mistake like you can’t rid yourself of this DISEASE, then I’ll burn it out of you!” With that, he shoved Zuko’s head into the fireplace.

The pain was a hundred times worse than Zuko imagined. He knew Ozai had made it extra hot on purpose just to make him suffer, and...well, it was working. Eventually, Ozai pulled Zuko away from the fireplace and threw a bucket of water on his face.

“You have ten minutes to pack up your things,” Ozai growled, “Then you will leave and never come back.”

Zuko ran over to a mirror and nearly fainted at the sight. Nearly the entire left half of his face was burned, and his left eyebrow was completely burned off. He was amazed that his eye still functioned and that his hair was mostly intact.

“Nice Two-Face look, Zuzu!” Azula laughed cruelly.

Zuko whirled around to face his sister, who he had almost forgotten was there. Azula had a big smirk on her face, not showing even a hint of concern for her brother.

“FIVE MINUTES!” Ozai’s voice rang out from the hall.

“So long, brother!” Azula cackled.

Zuko took the opportunity to scurry up the stairs as fast as he could.

****

“Then I got my things and left,” said Zuko, “Thankfully, Uncle found me on the road a few miles from my house, and he took me in. And that’s it.”

“Wow, and I thought my parents were bad,” said Toph.

“This is child abuse!” said Suki, appalled, “Haven’t you called the police on your father?”

“What would that accomplish?” Zuko sighed, “Father’s the CEO of one of the biggest corporations in the country, he’d either bribe his way out of the situation, or he’d have the officers killed, and completely get away with it.”

He turned to his sister, who was huddled up on the couch, shaking intensely.

“Azula? Are you okay?” Zuko asked.

“No, I’m not okay!” Azula snapped, “How can you possibly be okay with me being around?! I was fucking awful to you! When Father burned you, I didn’t do a damn thing! And worse, I mocked and laughed at you when you were in severe physical and emotional pain! I don’t deserve your forgiveness!”

“Azula, snap out of it!” Zuko shouted, shaking his sister’s shoulders, “I already told you, that was years ago, and you’ve greatly changed for the better. Besides, if you did intervene, I’m sure Father would’ve made you share my punishment. But we’re free now, we don’t ever have to see him ever again.”

Azula collapsed into her brother’s embrace, sobbing all over again. Ty Lee also started crying again, and Mai pulled her into a hug.

“I’m sorry, Zuzu,” Azula cried, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m-,”

“It’s okay,” Zuko said softly, “We’re all here for you.”

“Yeah, Azula,” said Katara, climbing onto the couch and hugging Azula, while Zuko let go. Mai and Ty Lee joined in on the hug, while Sokka and Jet gave Zuko a hug of their own.

“I...I…,” Azula stammered, wiping her eyes, “Thank you. All of you. I don’t deserve girlfriends and friends like you.”

“Aw, don’t be so harsh on yourself,” said Ty Lee, “We love you.”

Azula smiled and hugged her girlfriends, whispering, “I love you too.”