Someone knocked on the door. He couldn't help wish it was Katara, but it just as well could have been Mai. Or Ty Lee. Or Sokka. Or Toph. Or Suki (why she would come was a mystery, but it was just as likely as Katara coming, and that was slim to none). Or Chief Hokada. Or Uncle Iroh.
Continuing with his fire-shaped headpiece, he sighed out, "Come in." Fire exited his nose—the stupid crown would not come off! It was as if it had a mind of its own or something. He would burn off his coronation gown if the stupid prince thing wouldn't come on because his head was bowed for easier access. Not that it helped—at all.
A soft laugh came from the threshold. "Need help?" the voice asked, soft and sweet, like fire-lily wine. She didn't wait for Zuko's answer, she simply reached to the stooped head and fixed out the messy black hair beneath the crown. The priest would remove it and replace it with the Fire Lord headpiece, but it needed to be in place first. In it annoying place. "Almost…," the teenage girl breathed, removing the needle that kept the thing in place and putting it back in right. "There. All done, Fire Lord," she teased, her blue eyes shinning with tears.
"Thank you, Katara." Zuko lifted his head and smirked at her. "Hey, are you okay? Why are you crying?"
Katara smiled her breathtaking smile. "Oh, no reason," she croaked. She rubbed the long blue formal sleeve of her kimono over her azure eyes. "Just being the ol' emotional Katara." She gave him another small smile.
Zuko frowned. He cupped Katara's tan cheeks in his hands and lifted her head so he could see her breathtaking eyes. Tears pooled in those eyes. "Come on, Katara. You know you can trust me. No pun intended."
Her ocean eyes looked to the light wood floor. "I know, Zuko, I know. It's just…. I never thought past this point. I never planned into it. I thought that all my life would be protecting Aang from you and from Ozai, and that I would just die doing it. I never thought past that; I never thought I would make it. I never thought I'd see the day that you would be crowned Fire Lord, that I would be crowned the Southern Water Tribe's princess, that Aang would get his props as the Avatar, that Toph would go back home, that Sokka and Suki would get married," Katara sighed. She looked back to Zuko's liquid gold eyes. "I never thought I'd live to see the day that… we… split up, that us, the gang, split up." Tears flowed over her cheeks, leaving a sticky trail—out of her eyes, over her cheeks, through her plump lips, and dropping to the brown floor by way of her chin.
"Katara…." Zuko pressed a thumb to her cheeks, pulling away the tears still on their way. "You actually think we, the gang, are splitting up? No, no, no. Aang's staying here, to help me; and I'm sure he'll drag you along, and you'll go willingly. Toph doesn't want to go home—she hates her home. She's staying with me, like the little sister I never had. And Suki and Sokka might go to Kyoshi, but they'll come visit." Katara gave a soft smile, a silent thanks for cheering her up. "And, how could you ever even think I'd let you die? Do you mistrust me that much?"
Katara lifted her hands and clamped them down on Zuko's pale ones, keeping them there. "Thank you, Zuko. —Excuse me, Fire Lord Zuko."
The scarred sixteen-year-old smirked. "Sparky's fine."
Her brown hand patted his pale hands. "I'm going to miss not seeing you whenever I want to yell, Sparky."
"Bloodbend your way in if you have to. I'd hate"—notice he's not using sarcasm—"to miss our daily fights. And the positions they put us in." Zuko smirked evilly as Katara's cheeks flamed scarlet.
"Zuko!" she yelled playfully at him, smiling. She pulled her hands away from her cheeks, instantly missing the warmth of his hands under hers. She slid one to his warm chest and another around his neck. "Promise you won't get to busy to practice?"
"On the gang's lives," the soon to be crowned Lord assured, looking down into the shorter girl's—woman, because after all she'd been through, it would be an insult to call her anything but—sapphire eyes. The tribeswoman did the same, loosing herself in the gold pools of his eyes.
"Zuko…" Katara said, tightening her arms around said teen's chest and neck.
Zuko gave her a small smile. He moved his hands to her waist, bowing his head on her forehead. "Katara…" he breathed onto her lips. Then, he closed the small distance between their lips.
Her lips tasted like sweetened seaweed. Delectable. His arm moved over her obi, hugging her to him. Katara moaned into his mouth as Zuko dug his free hand into her hair to angle her better.
"Hey, Momo," Aang called to the lemur on his shoulder, "want to go get Zuko? He's almost late." The white fur ball screeched happily at the boy's side. "I thought so." The monk reached for the door handle, his eyes closed and ready to call out for the soon-to-be Fire Lord.
The flying lemur's tail wrapped around the boy's closed gray eyes. His paws covered his own green orbs.
"Zu—" His eyes opened, hearing the moans. He had stepped in on Mai and Zuko. Ew. Zuko really needed to learn to lock his doors. Avatar or not, he was twelve; he didn't need to be scarred more than he already is.
At least, the monk thought he had stepped in on Mai and Zuko. His eyes proved him wrong. His eyes proved the girl moaning to have a blue kimono, tanned skin, and brown hair instead of a black kimono, pale skin, and black hair. His eyes proved the girl to be Katara instead of Mai.
The two jumped apart, hearing the unfinished name. "A—Aang," Katara breathed out breathlessly. Her nose was red with lack of oxygen and her lips were scarlet and swollen. A flush came to her cheeks as fresh tears pooled in her eyes.
The boy's gray eyes looked aged as he turned them to the floor, a scowl on his face. He refused to acknowledge the girl who voiced his name. "You're going to be late, Zuko," the monk whispered instead. He left without another word.
Aang is in shock, which is why he ignored everything. He's twelve, okay, how would you react if you were he? Other than, you know, going all Avatar State. Or throwing a tantrum like a brat. Or trying—and not succeeding—to beat Zuko's cute little bum. Inspired by fan art. Link's on my profile.
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