- Zuko facing off against Jet at the tea shop.
Pushing and pulling and damn it, he couldn't just stand here! Why couldn't you just leave us alone?
Porcelain clattered like an earthquake, and three cups' worth of tea suddenly hurled itself at Jet's face.
"Firebender?" Huojin drawled in the sudden silence. "Looks more like teabender to me."
- And then, there's the actual fight.
Breathe and focus and channel inner fire into a quick burst of speed, pinning one hook-sword down, turn and advance and strike-
...I cannot believe he ducked.
At least he'd killed the damn wheat straw.
- Iroh and Zuko together this time, in chapter 17:
"Well, I am certain that is more than enough..."
"Uncle!" Zuko cast him a brief glare. "We're risking our lives. We might be risking the whole city! I need to know!"
Iroh gave him a look askance. "Nephew. I have great confidence in your ability to irritate anything."
...Okay, maybe (Zuko) didn't need to know.
- Chapter 27 has a whole beach-load of them, including:
- The scene where Zuko goes on a massive rant about spirits, Avatars, and air nuns disrobing most inappropriately in his presence, while not-strangling Sokka. It's priceless, especially the punchline:
"And when I do get at what Yangchen asked me to heal-" Zuko let go, waving unsteadily at the charred tent. "Oops? What kind of Avatar goes oops?"
"Besides Aang?" Sokka snorted. Blinked, and re-ran exactly what Zuko had said through his mind. "Oh, man. It's not just Aang?"
"Avatars are crazy! Spirits are crazy!" Zuko was definitely weaving now, gritting his teeth to stay standing. "Before I found all of you, I'd never even seen a spirit! Now I can't go a week without tripping over one! Whose bright idea was that? Ocean spirits and plague spirits and man-eating seahorse-dragons and Guard-strangling umbrellas and moon spirits that drown you to do you a favor... I didn't ask for this!"
- Fire Nation pre-marriage formalities. Also, Zuko.
"Husband-stealing?" Iroh looked delighted, and amused. "I have not seen that custom followed in some time. You may wish to watch your step in Byakko, nephew."
"Yeah, right," Zuko muttered. "Only if she's blind
- Asahi running roughshod over the Southern Water Tribe's best warriors.
Xiu walked through the carnage left by one ticked ostrich-horse, shaking her head. Huizhong had promised her a little excitement, all right... though he'd been thinking along the lines of safe excitement. Everyone knew the Water Tribe had taken on every Fire Nation force that'd dared to swarm toward Ba Sing Se, and held them back. And one little hen had dropped them like Pai Sho pieces?
- Toph plus sand equals cute? Wut?
"Whatever he picks, somebody sure better tell me," Toph said bluntly. "I've got sand here, and I hear getting that out of armor bites."
Teruko blinked at the little blind girl, and suddenly grinned. "Sir, can we keep her?"
"Hey!" Sokka and Toph said as one.
Lee/Zuko was actually shaking. Xiu drew back a step, wary-
Until she heard the first giggle.
Leaning on a chuffing Asahi, Lee/Zuko shook with muffled laughter, wiping away a tear. "S-sorry, Toph," he hiccupped. "They think you're cute!"
- Kuei and Bon, discussing the future of Ba Sing Se's royal line:
"Agent Bon. Are you telling me I need to get married?"
That's the pity of being an earthbender. If the ground opens up and swallows you, nobody thinks it was an accident.
- Zuko stopping Asahi from chewing on a Fire Nation soldier:
"Don't eat him!" Zuko called to Asahi. "You don't know where he's been!"
...Okay, that earned him a dirty look he didn't think he deserved. You'd think a sane soldier would be just a little more concerned about the ostrich-horse trying to take his arm off[...]
- Toph's chapter 43 recap of the amphibious train escape:
But the one that confuzzled Chief Hakoda the most - and still made Toph want to bust out laughing - was the story that, drawn by the Avatar's command, a rampaging northern water spirit had fallen hopelessly in love with the palace specter, and vowed to do battle with her enemies until Ba Sing Se was once more a free city. Complete with flashing dao, spirit-masks, ghost fires, haunted ice-sheathed trains, and all kinds of sneaky derring-do that included spiriting the Earth King right out of Azula's claws.
Oh, she'd laughed herself sick on that one.
- Chapter 45 where Bon wakes up Kuei in front of the Touzaikaze girls:
"No, Bosco, don't eat the rock candy while it's growing..."
- Langxue singing the in-universe version of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" to distract Koh in chapter 53.
- Shirong's realisation that Asagitatsu isn't just the mountain peak in the distance, but is, in fact, the entirety of the valley and the harbour as well.
- Zuko slipping into High Court to get Sokka to spill about his adoption by Temul. Sokka even admires his sneakiness.
- Zuko's thought in Chapter 79: "If I go back to bed now, can I pretend this never happened?"
- Also "Hakoda sucked in a breath, and possibly a bug."
- Chapter 63: Discussing the plan to invade on the Day of Black Sun:
"I wish Gyatso were here," Shidan muttered. Shook his head, and lowered his hand. "I would roar at him. For a very long time. He was your teacher. The one supposed to encourage you to use reason, and logic. To follow a train of thought without getting derailed by a butterfly."
"What butterfly?" Aang glanced around the clearing.
- Chapter 54: Iroh and Amaya deciding to make out in front of a certain patient
Somewhere in the middle of tender touches, there was a sneeze.
Nibbling an ear, Iroh hesitated. Glanced over Amaya's
shoulder, as she shook with silent laughter.
Ah. One aggravated, pale gold glare. "Nephew. We were just-"
"Chasing butterflies?" Zuko coughed, still grumpy as a winter-woken platypus-bear. "Counting robe threads? Practicing breath control?"
chuckled. "Is that what you call it?"
"Ask Private Rikiya. When he's being polite."
- Chapter 90. Aang has met Koh, has faced him down, has come to the source of thousands of years of pain and imbalance, and lays down his judgement...
"You are going to go to your room!"
- Pretty much the whole of chapter 91. Fits, being the final one. Also lots of Heartwarming moments, too.
- Back in Ba Sing Se, Lu-shan and Yakume...
The Fire Army soldier was almost smoldering in his armor, knee flexed to take some of the weight off a healed leg. "Don't I get a say in this?"
Captain Lu-shan tried to look innocent. "What, you don't want to catch (the smugglers)?"
"That's not the point!"
Safely out of range of a kick, one of Lu-shan's street guards sighed. "Squadroom's just not the same without Huojin," Officer Yaoju said regretfully. "(Yakume's) temper's almost as bad, though."
- Also, "cranky little fish-gnawer" and "noodle-slurper". As Kuei keeps reminding himself: must not snicker!
- Zuko's side-by-side double letter to Azula.
Zuko, Lord of Dragons' Wings, congratulates Lord Azula of Caldera City on her ascension to the Dragon Throne.
(Better you than me!)
- As heard and felt by Toph - Sokka and Hakoda, with Katara, Suki, and Teruko in the background:
"Son," Hakoda said, in the tones of a man about to walk over hot coals, "you're getting to the age where a man needs to know a few things. Before he finds out the hard way."
From the drag of Sokka's heels as the two men headed off, Hakoda's grip on his shoulder wasn't taking no for an answer. "...I am so going to wish I didn't ask, right?"
"Oh, just wondering how the Water Tribe version of the Talk goes," Teruko smirked. "Probably a little less dangling over open volcanoes from a shovel, and more upset brothers on ice floes in the middle of the night."
"We usually use a harpoon," Katara snickered.
- Saoluan, Langxue, and Shirong...
One brow raised, Langxue flicked ice with his fingers, shattering it into drifting flakes he collected with a sweep of his hand. Formed two loose snowballs, and handed one to Shirong. "Here. This should make it a fair fight."
Hefted the other, and gave his big sister a considering look.
Zuko waved the paper. "The Lord of Caldera City requests that Lady Kotone of Byakko provide access to the valued council of the legendary swordsman and information-gatherer Shidan of Byakko, for our domains' mutual benefit and stability," he stated, in his best court-formal tones. And had to chuckle, despite himself. "In other words, let me talk to Grandfather, and let's find some way to do it that won't get too many people killed. Except the idiots. Who needs the idiots anyway?"
Iroh blinked. "...Oh dear."
- And last but definitely not least, Zuko, Iroh, and Amaya:
"I'm sure Master Amaya will appreciate that," Zuko said warily. What now?
"Master?" Iroh waved a scolding finger. "Is that any way to refer to the mother of your cousin to be?" ...What?
- Followed by... Poor Zuko.
"I'll be fine." Amaya crouched down by him. "I'm a healer, we have other healers and midwives in the settlement, and you're nearly ready to move out of apprenticeship yourself-"
"Arghggsnf!" No, no, no! Don't you dare make this my mastery test!