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Fan Fic / Cheating At Pai Sho

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An Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction by Muffinlance. Found here

In Canon, Aang revealed himself to be the Avatar, went on Zuko's ship and escaped soon after. Here, Aang doesn't escape and claims that he lied about being the Avatar to get the Fire Nation to leave the Southern Water Tribe alone. Zuko believes it but now thinks Aang is proof that the Nomads survived and keeps him prisoner. Sokka and Katara soon catch up and are convinced to go along with the ruse.


For other examples of their work see Towards The Sun

Tropes shown:

  • Badass Bookworm: Zuko doesn’t keep his clothes in his wardrobe. Instead it is full of scrolls.
  • Cool Pet: Sushi, the mimic catopus. Although if you ask Sokka, she’s a Pet Monstrosity
  • Culture Clash: Each of the four nations has a different way of laying their dead to rest, often in a manner reflective of their respective element. Zuko personally finds the other nations methods disrespectful to the dead and Aang is uncomfortable with simple reducing people to ash per Fire Nation cremation standards. They are, however, respectful of each other about it.
  • Decision Darts: Referred to – a crew member talks about Zuko throwing a dart at a map to decide their next location.
  • Drama Queen: Zuko monologues in the shower. Sokka has dramatic self-narration and also utters dramatic statements.
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  • Due to the Dead: Whenever Zuko finds remains of people when searching the old airbender temples, he makes sure to give them a formal burial according to Fire Nation traditions. When Aang joins him in the Southern Temple, they combine Fire Nation traditions(cremation) with the airbenders sky burial practices.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: When Zuko takes off his shirt so he could spar with Katara and not ruin his few good shirts, Katara blames his washboard abs for "giving her unfair standards" about guys his age.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Zuko’s pale skin is lampshaded by Katara. By her culture's standards, Zuko's skin is the color of a dead fish.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Sokka meets Sushi, Aang asks to pet her. Zuko refuses, asking if she looks like she wants to be petted. Aang points out Zuko is petting her as they speak.
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  • Intimidation Demonstration: Zuko admits to Aang his threats and firebending at the South Pole Village was simply to scare them into going along with what he wanted.
    “If people are scared enough, they don't fight, and then I don't have to hurt anyone
  • It's Personal: Aang vows to stop the Fire Lord before Sozin's Comet comes, after being informed of Sozin's Comet while standing in an Air Temple that had been sacked with the comet's power.
  • Jumped at the Call: At the Temple, Zuko explains to Aang about Sozin's Comet. Aang doesn't take long to realize that he needs to stop whatever is planned for it this time.
    Aang had to stop the Fire Lord, before the comet came. The Avatar had to stop the Fire Lord, before the comet came
  • The Matchmaker: Iroh seems to be portraying himself as this.
  • Mundane Utility: Zuko using firebending to dry his hair by bending heat, prompting Katara to wonder if she could achieve the same effect with waterbending.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Aang acts like a hyper, sheltered child but he has no problem noticing that while Zuko creates fire daggers when he’s angry, he doesn’t burn anything he doesn’t want to.
  • Theme Naming: Specifically Edible Theme Naming. All of the animals aboard the Wani are named after various types of food.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Aang keeps Gyatso's necklace at Zuko's prompting.
    Aang:"We're not supposed to keep things after people die. It's… too permanent."
    Zuko: "He's already waited a hundred years. Just throw it away when you're ready."
  • Uncertified Expert: Zuko has been studying every bending scroll he could get his hands on. When Katara was trying to waterbend, he wound up teaching her. He probably knows more about different bending styles than anyone (Iroh, for example, declines teaching Katara as he has knowledge of Northern styles, not Southern, although he could be hiding his knowledge). But it is certain that very few know of how much Zuko knows and he has no recognition for it. Not even from himself.

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