So initially this post was all full of negativity and shit but I decided to delete it all and replace it with Azula/Aang! Which is technically still negative but IT'S NEGATIVE WITH LOOOOOVE!
Those who have ever seen me talk about my favorite pairings will know that Zuko/Aang comes first, Toph/Zuko comes second, and Azula/Aang comes in third - but I've never explained why I actually like the pairing! THIS IS SO EXCITING.
Basically, it comes down to Aang's curiosity and Azula's arrogance/need to be the best. Another important trigger for the ship is Aang's belief in people - he's an optimist, and he trusts
people, and he's willing to give people second chances. We see him give Zuko another chance, we see that he refuses to kill Ozai, essentially giving him
a second chance; why wouldn't he give Azula one? Granted, she's done more damage on a personal level to him and his team, but I don't think it's a stretch.
To me, Aang will always be the initiator of Azula/Aang. That is, his hope that Azula can be redeemed like Zuko would bring him to her. He'd start the first conversation, and would probably always be the one reaching out to Azula, trying to connect. The problem here is that unless she gave him a reason
to want to connect with her, then he would give up - but that's where Azula comes in.
Azula has to be the best. If there is anything that could conceivably better her, she'll do whatever it takes to utilize it. The tricky part here is picking a point about Aang that would make Azula better - would she really be interested in Airbender stories and lore? Would she want to learn more about the other types of bending to utilize it with her firebending? Probably not. But he's the Avatar
; surely there's something she could glean by talking to him, and depending on the situation in the fic/whatever, it'd probably be different. For instance, in the future, if Azula was close to Aang, then she could essentially use all of his
resources, which are...formidable.
I also don't think it's a stretch for Azula to want to know
things, you know, to better know her foes (or friends) to better defeat them or use them to her means. So she could conceivably show curiosity about the Airbenders, or Aang's skills, and that
interest would pique Aang's interest and they would end up having long, rambly conversations where Azula keeps snarking at Aang and Aang tries to not let it get to him until Aang starts trying to bicker with Azula and...well, yeah.
Another important part of shipping them is that Aang wouldn't try to change her. He would discourage her abusive tendencies, but he wouldn't actually try to temper her or control her, which is something other people - like Katara or Ursa, for instance - would probably try to do. This lack of forcefulness would be something Azula would love
, and use to the best of her ability, pushing Aang as far as she could and seeing how much she could get away with. After all, he'll just forgive her again, right? Azula wouldn't have to worry about toeing any lines (besides the obvious ones, like killing Zuko), because Aang's forgiving nature would keep him forgiving her.
On the other hand, Azula would try to control Aang, but I think she would be subtle about it, and in her subtlety succeed. Obviously she can't order him to fight for her because she doesn't like someone - but she could lay certain traps for him, slowly manipulate him into doing the things she wants. And because Aang would believe that she was doing things for the greater good (being an ally of his), he would let himself fall into her traps until he was complying to her whims. He'd happily help his friends, after all, and so long as Azula was careful about what she let Aang know about her actual end means, she could get away with getting him to do quite a bit.
has mentioned and that I agree with is that, at their most compatible and happiest as a couple (or BFF's, whatever), Azula and Aang would constantly be pulling pranks on each other, harassing the other, and pushing the other to the limit. Azula's pranks would naturally be crueler, but so long as she presented it as a game, Aang would gladly take on the challenge. So that's as fluffy as Azula/Aang gets, which all in all is pretty fluffy. XD
They definitely could never actually be a happy, compatible, long-lasting relationship, but...well, so long as Azula was careful with how she played Aang's heart, it could at least seem
happy, compatible, and long-lasting. It all would just depend on how patient Azula was to get what she wanted - which would, ultimately, be Zuko's downfall and her ruling the Fire Nation, if you're dealing with post-canon. If Azula showed any signs of redemption, Aang would want the best for her, and go out of his way to show patience and kindness to her, because he knows (from Zuko) that redeeming yourself and changing what you've been your entire life isn't an easy process.
Aang would believe in Azula, which is something she's never had on an emotional level. Azula would probably find Aang intriguing and amusing, and maybe even be impressed by his tenacity. Azula's power and forceful nature would compliment Aang's more mellow, compassionate nature and, if they could agree on a means of doing business (so to say), they'd make an awesome team.
But basically, on the whole: 'Azula abused me emotionally. And physically. :<'