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Lily!Azula and 2B!Zuko's family drama will determine the fate of the world (unfortunately)
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Zuko is on the prow when the sun rises, as is her custom. She would imagine the first touch of the warm rays as a gentle kiss upon the scarring around her left eye were it not for the fact that she has been exiled from her home until she can bring back the missing Avatar. This is the one thousand one hundred and second sunrise she's seen since that day and it still leaves her cold.

 

To be entirely fair, the air is also fairly cold all by itself, when you're sailing this close to the south pole. Which is why she is bundled up in a thick parka. She'll shed it when she starts her morning kata, but it's a sensible thing to wear this early in the morning, before you really start moving.

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- Which means she's perfectly positioned to see the enormous beam of light - a searing white veering into a faint afterimage of blue - that pierces the sky in the distance.

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That's it. That's what she's been searching for, she can feel it-

Zuko starts shouting for the helmsman to change course.

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The light fades. 

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Right before her aunt emergesfrom below decks. 

"What did you see, niece?"

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"It's the Avatar. It has to be."

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They've had sightings and rumors before that didn't come to much, but... "What was it?"

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"A pillar of light, shooting into the sky."

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"Don't get your hopes too hung on this," she warns, "The lights out here can behave strangely, and the spirits are stranger yet. But it is worth investigating." She shakes her head. "I'll remind the helmsman about navigation concerns... And you keep an eye out for spirit activity."

(Zuko's heard - mostly from the grumblings of the sailors - a lot of stories about spirits like wisps of light leading ships astray and into more treacherous waters. No one likes being assigned to the South Pole, and not just because of the relentlessly frigid air.)

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"This was more than that," she insists.

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"We'll see." She - gently - clasps Zuko's shoulder.

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This is a good day, maybe, so she doesn't pull away. Still doesn't lean in.

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She doesn't hold her for long - she does have responsibilities here. 

They'll also need to move with as much speed as is safe to reach that point before night falls - it's too dangerous to sail in the dark here. 

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Zuko will continue to stand watch.

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Elsewhere, a little bit earlier...

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The sun's just starting to rise - after an incredibly short night; they'll be getting to midnight sun pretty soon - and Amaruq is already dutifully packing up a canoe with a basket for fish and other supplies for a long day out on the ice. She'd laid in a lot of supplies for the village the last few days, but fish freezes well and there's a sense that she's avoiding Gran Gran after their most recent hushed argument - Amaruq is a difficult teenager, the women of the village whisper. 

 

Her older sister is probably the only one who'll spot more supplies than strictly necessary for a gathering and fishing trip - ones someone intending to be out longer might take along. Maybe she's going on an extended hunt, but... 

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Taqqiq meets her by the canoe.

"Hey sis."

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"...Hey."

"I'm heading out. ...Fishing. Aren't you busy today?"

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"Fishing on top of a cliff?" She nods at the ice axes and coils of rope.

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"...I want to scout good locations first. The ice floes have been shifting with it being summer and all."

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"I should go with you, then. It'll be safer with two."

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"I'm alright on my own. Really."

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"You're going to leave me all alone here?"

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"You have - responsibilities. Here. That don't involve following me everywhere."

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