Zuko managing to not be grouchy and emo.
In the shallow waters of the upper river, he finds sanctuary. Uncle is resting, or trying to find something edible. The water is so clear he can see straight to the bottom. His fingers itch to bend; he has mastered the art of bending tree’s and all manner of flowers. He can even influence the energy of stone, but water eludes him.
Unlike stone or his inner fire, water moves and shifts. Hanging onto the energy is like catching a fish with bare hands. Carefully, he settles his inner chi to the rhythm of the ebb and flow. Spinning and tumbling, spraying water in every direction, and he has a globe of green-blue water between his hands. He allows himself a moment of exhilaration, before he loses the feel and again the water returns to the river.
A small frown of annoyance crosses his face. Not quit a full scowl. He tries again, but this time the water falls through his hands. The day is warm, and the water is soothing on his chapped lips. He’s always been told that waterbenders are the opposite in every way of firebenders.
Watching the water girl though, he doesn’t think so. Her bending his fierce, tempered with love that only comes with protecting those she deems most dear. He understands and respects that. He is not a true bender though. He bends the life in all manner of things, but has no true bending style of his own.
The sun is at midday, and the river has become uncomfortably warm. Deciding to rest, he drops under a shady weeping willow with a contented huff. He feels free; the heady scent of moon peaches reminding him of how hungry he is. Following his nose, he easily finds a moon peach grove. He easily cuts down some of the best looking fruit, Uncle will be pleased.
Uncle is indeed pleased with his prize. Uncle’s even more pleased with the fish Zuko managed to catch, not overly large but decent sized. They feast and Uncle Iroh talks and makes funny jokes. They both end up laughing till Zuko begs that his ribs won’t take much more. They sleep content, the full moon big and bright, turning everything an otherworldly silver-blue.