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By lackingwit



Summery: This shouldn't have started. But now, it doesn't want to end. And they're going to hurt themselves; they're going to hurt their spouses. "What should we do?" "There's nothing we can do. We're too far in."

I was in an angsty mood.

Sighing, Katara lifted herself from the pelts that covered her. She and her husband were visiting their friend, the Fire Lord. It was winter here and they went a little overboard with the warmth factor. It felt like summer, one of those burning summers that made the grasses so hot you could fry an ostrich-horse egg on it. Katara never wanted to visit during summer. Winter here already felt so warm; it was seventy-three degrees—Katara could feel the moisture in the air sizzle and melt.

Katara pulled away from the too-warm bed and frowned. She felt like going out in her underwear lime she used to when she was fourteen. But she wasn't fourteen anymore and there was a very sexy Fire Lord out there who could hardly control his hormones and looked heart-wrenchingly beautiful when he lost all control—

No! No more thoughts about Zuko. She was a married woman—to the Avatar no less, to the world's savior—she shouldn't be thinking such lusty thoughts over someone who wasn't her husband. But, Tui, Zuko…


Katara pulled on her thin silk dress. Aang had bought it for her when they first entered the Fire Nation on Aang. It was orange and yellow and it clashed terribly with her skin, but Aang had given it to her and she didn't want to hurt his feelings. So she wore it now, leaving the double bed silently as to not wake him.

She adjusted the wooden proposal necklace with the Air Nomads symbol around her neck and sighed, imagining instead a red silk ribbon with a blue or black gem on it…something Zuko would give her… She shook her head, frowning lightly as she berated herself for such thoughts. She had a husband—a loving husband who loved her and held her gently, as if she were a delicate flower to be protected. But she wasn't! She was a waterbending warrior who didn't need to be held like a delicate glass vase—she needed to be held like a woman, kissed roughly, touched as if she wouldn't brake…like Zuko did…

Stop it!

Katara left the room, sighing deeply as she walked to the breakfast room. Zuko was already there, having risen with the sun. Katara was only up because she hadn't been able to sleep the night before. Looking at his beautiful shaggy hair and sexy scar and his shimmering gold eyes brought a blush to her dark cheeks. "Hey, Zuko," she muttered, grabbing a plate and heading over to the pruned eggplate-carrots and putting them on her plate.

"Hello, Waterlily," Zuko said, a small smirk on his pale face. It brought unwanted but not unwelcome memories to Katara's mind. This all started with a nickname—this…this unholy affair. Even after two years of having him call her that—through letters and when she visited—it made her legs weak. Katara swallowed loudly, knowing he could hear her.

Katara scooped a spoonful of rice onto her plate; komodo chicken was next on her list of food to eat.

"Talk to me, Waterlily," he said huskily. Sleep still coated his voice; she could tell he was half-awake. He had no idea what he was saying—both were on the side of the Palace where the sun takes a while to reach. At the first sign of sun, he woke, but it wasn't till the end of the sun's uprising that he was fully conscious. But the gold glint in his butterscotch eyes told Katara he was one hundred percent aware of what he was saying. "Please."

Katara swallowed, trying desperately to keep her knees steady. She was a married woman. A married woman. A married woman with a child on the way. A married woman. A married soon-to-be mother. Married.

Her inner rantings had no effect. Zuko sat next to her, a seductive smile on his lips. She didn't think he was even trying to be seductive—it just happened. Katara stuffed a piece of rice into her mouth; Zuko put a piece of komodo chicken in his mouth, chewing it slowly as he rubbed her thigh.

"We should stop," Katara said quickly after swallowing her food. "This isn't right. We're both married."

"I know," he agreed. But he didn't stop rubbing her thigh. A smirk lifted his perfect pale lips when she shuttered delicately. If there was anything delicate about Katara, it was the way she shuttered… It was delicious and soft and beautiful and made him want to ravish her right there and then.

Katara swallowed, trying to regain herself as she lifted her chopsticks, full of pruned vegetable, to her mouth. Juice exploded in her mouth. Zuko's fingers were dangerously close to where they shouldn't be. Her heart was skipping beats. "This can't go on. We should stop," she repeated herself.

Zuko frowned. His fingers paused. He looked hurt. He swallowed his last bite of chicken and pinched her thigh, lightly, lifting the orange silk that covered her beautiful frame. Zuko scowled. "Katara," he growled, and the blue-eyed Water Tribeswoman listened. He only called her by her name when they either in public or when he was serious. "Why would you wear this…?"

Zuko loved Aang, really he did, but if he had to choose two things he hated about him, it would be his marriage with Katara and his choice in clothing. Thinking of Aang made him feel kind of guilty—here he was, rubbing the wife of the Avatar's leg shamelessly—but then he saw the beautiful woman beside him and the feeling washed away.

Katara shrugged. "It makes Aang happy," she said. A shiver rolled through her as Zuko started his ministrations again, harder and needier.

"Yes, you must make Avatar Aang happy," he scowled. He took a sip of his firelily juice and frowned. Anger flamed behind his golden eyes. "That's why you married him, isn't it? To make him happy? To hell with your own happiness, right, so long as the Avatar is pleased?" He said this all through his teeth, and the effect couldn't be larger if he'd yelled it.

Tears in her eyes, Katara gulped. "What should we do?" she asked instead of fighting.

Zuko sighed taking his hand off her thigh, suddenly needing two hands to eat. Katara felt deflated. Zuko answered, "There's nothing we can do. We're too far in."

Katara knew he was right. She knew it. As much as she knew it was right to stop this—to leave Zuko and his tempting and loving ways, to love Aang as fully and devotedly as she should, to give her life to her growing family—she knew she wouldn't if she could. She loved Zuko too much, was too far into this. And it burned in her chest to know that she only married her husband out of duty not love. It hurt to know that she would be raising her children to marry for love and to never lie when she knew she was doing the exact opposite. It ached to know that she wouldn't be able to claim Zuko as her own, to hold him without fear.


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