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Huh. I was re-reading chapter 78, and I just realized- no wonder Zuko kept thinking about Toph. The sea serpent pulls on the feeling of aloneness (that\'s prorably why he was thinking about what Aang did, and then thought that Aang would not want people to look for him.) And the sea serpent also attacks the bonds of family, so thinking about them to combat aloness wouldn\'t work, either. But Toph is someone he trusts utterly yet DOESN\'T label as family, so the sea serpent couldn\'t quite attack thar bond.
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And no wonder he\'s being so pessimistic about Uncle Iroh using him. (I mean, yes, Uncle Iroh has been using him, but he loves him, too. Zuko\'s not mentally in great shape right now. Haivng a person who wasn\'t family he could depend on probably helped keep him alive.)