Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender

Rated: M

Pairing: Zutara


Finding a place to bathe was almost impossible while running from the Fire Nation.

Finding a place to bathe was almost impossible without being seen by a perverted onlooker.

Finding a place to bathe was almost impossible when sharing a camp with three boys who couldn't be more obtuse with the term "privacy".

But somehow Katara found a place to bathe, one that was completely enclosed by rocks and was heated by an underground steam vent, and she couldn't help but rejoice to whatever spirit decided to bless her today. She had to catalog its location for that evening, considering that was going to be the only chance she could even get away long enough to even take a bath. And she knew she was going to enjoy it. She was going to enjoy it for as long as she could.


How he stumbled across this gold mine was astonishing. How he stumbled upon it after sundown was even more flabbergasting. Zuko knew he needed to jump on this opportunity as quickly as he could before anyone from the camp could find him and this hidden hot spring. As soon as the others discovered it's location, he knew he'd never have the chance for a private and relaxing dip. All because his friends didn't understand any semblance of privacy.

He had to take advantage of this, right here and right now.

Quickly, he shed his clothes; boots hitting the stones surrounding him and his clothes falling on top in an unorganized heap. He didn't have the time to fold them, he didn't know when anyone would find him.

Just as he stepped in, any and all tension in him went away. He sunk his body into the water, covering himself up to his shoulders, and let out a sigh of relief and relaxation. Nothing could ever ruin this moment.

That is, nothing until there was the sound of a squeak and the sight of a half-naked waterbender.


Katara had expected everyone to disperse around camp by the time dinner was over and night had fallen. She had expected that Toph would seclude herself in her rock tent and go to sleep almost instantly, while Aang went to pay attention to Appa for a while. She assumed (and was right) Sokka and Suki would go in the opposite direction she had planned to go for some 'privacy'.

What she didn't expect is to find Zuko in her hot spring, his clothes discarded on the rocks around the edge (including his undershorts), and his face slack in complete relaxation.

The undignified squeak that left her lips seemed to shock him out of his stupor, and his eyes went wide when he took in her appearance. She had already shed her tunic and pants before she squeezed through the entrance to the spring, and she was clad in just her wrappings. Not that Zuko hadn't seen her in them while training, but in the context of him being completely naked, in her hot spring, eyes staring at her with a mixture of surprise and awe... This was not the best of situations to be in.

"I..." his mouth was agape and a bright flush dusted his cheeks. She could barely see his hands through the rippling water, and they were strategically placed over his nude crotch in an effort to hide himself from her. "I... I didn't know you knew where this was."

His statement was a little less accusatory than she had expected. Her shoulders relaxed a little before she shifted the bundle of her clothes in front of her bare stomach and shrugged as she replied, "I found it while I was looking for food this afternoon. I planned on coming here after everyone went to bed."

He nodded once and looked away, lower lip worried between his teeth. Silence stretched on, the sounds of the night being the only ones breaking the tense air between them. Timidly, he rubbed the back of his neck and mumbled, "Uh... Well... There's enough room for both of us..."

He trailed off, and the uncertain tone in his raspy voice almost threw Katara for a loop. She kept forgetting how normal and not-spitfire-breathing-dragon the ex-Prince was, and the way he seemed almost embarrassed by even merely suggesting they share the hot spring. The size of the spring didn't concern her, seeing how there would probably be close to six or seven feet in between them if she sat on the opposite side of the pool than him.

So, instead of giving him a verbal lashing and possibly a physical one with all of the water he let himself vulnerably stew in, she nods hesitantly and sets her clothes next to his. She grabbed the soap and small wash rag from underneath her tunic and set them on the stones before she touched her toe to the water. Katara glanced up to see him watching her, waiting to let his guard down a little once she settled herself at the same level of him.

"I was planning on bathing while I was here," she began, secretly enjoying the way the red on his unmarred cheek flared up and how his eyes widened again before he turned his head away. She lowered herself into the water, letting it rise to her throat, and she rested her head against the rocks behind her. Brown hair floated around her and she knew this was going to be a lot harder now seeing that Zuko was here, especially with how he looked as if he was going to die of embarrassment. He was naked, a little over a rock's throw from her. With a sigh, she pulled the bandeau that covered her breasts over her head and let it hit the stones behind her with a wet plop.

His head snapped back towards her and he looked like he just ate a pepper, face red and eyes popping out of his skull in shock, He opened his mouth a few times before he sputtered out, "W-what are you doing?"

With a shrug, Katara reached for her soap and began rubbing it between her hands to get a nice, rich lather. "I told you, I'm planning on bathing."

"Couldn't you do it with your clothes on?"

She dipped the rest of her hair under the water before she began rubbing the soap against her scalp and she replied in a snap, "Well, I don't plan on waiting around until you plan on getting out." He flushed again at that remark. "And I don't really feel clean if I keep my wrappings on. Besides, it's not like you're going to see anything. It's all under the water."

"Yeah, well, it's a little weird for me," he retorted, crossing his arms over his chest.

"See how I feel... You're welcome to leave," she offered, pointing towards the small exit with a soapy hand. Grinning, she added, "You'll just have to deal with me seeing your royal jewels."

The water got significantly hotter after she said that and she knew at that second he had lost his temper, therefore he pretty much lost this argument. And just to confirm her thought, he huffed and looked away. "Fine, just no funny business."

"Funny business?"

He waved his hand. "Funny business. I don't know."

"Right."

He didn't give her an answer, so she turned away and ducked underneath the water. The soap in her hair washed away, and Katara had the worst temptation to open her eyes and try to spy on Zuko through the water. Though that would probably fall underneath the 'funny business' category, so she resurfaced and pushed her hair away from her face. Glancing over, she saw Zuko had closed his eyes and rested the back of his head against the rocks behind him, looking completely calm and relaxed. Unlike he had been just minutes before.

With a roll of her eyes, she reached for her soap and got another handful of lather.


Zuko opened his eyes to see Katara's back to him, hair completely wet and the angles of her shoulders poking out from beneath the stretched curls. She was using her soap on her arms, he could tell that much, but his view was obstructed by her back. He swallowed and looked away, ashamed. He shouldn't be watching her bathe, not when they were just on the teetering edge of being friends.

"Hey, Zuko?"

He glanced up from the water and saw her looking over her shoulder at him, apprehension all over her face, when she spoke again, "I know it's a lot to ask... But could you... uh, wash my back?"

He swallowed again. This can't be happening to me. He felt the familiar sensation of budding arousal and he almost groaned at the irony. Here he was, telling her 'no funny business' and then he's getting a hard-on by the very thought of washing her back. He's never even been this close to a naked girl before and now that he was, his control was almost wavering.

With a shaky nod, he stood, making sure the water still covered his hips, and walked over to her. He didn't miss the small blush that blossomed under her mocha cheeks and a smug part of his mind reveled in the fact that his bare chest embarrassed her. Perhaps they would be on a more level playing field.

She handed him the soap from over her shoulder and he quickly created a lather between his hands. She grabbed her hair and pulled it over to her front, revealing her toned and tanned back. Zuko gulped again. Yeah, of course this is happening to me. Slowly, he began rubbing the soap across her skin and he could feel her starting to relax under his touch.

His soapy hands ran over the planes of her back, dipping in the ridge of her spine and back to the sharp point of her shoulder blade. He could see the gooseflesh rising up where his hand had just been and he had to stop himself from thinking that it was from anything but just being a little cold. She was almost completely out of the water now, just her hips and legs submerged now that he was helping her wash her back. His temptation to glance over her shoulder and get a peek of her breasts was starting to rise to the forefront of his mind, along with the appendage between his legs.

Tentatively, he began kneading the skin of her shoulders, earning a moan and an arch of her back. Her ass almost pressed against his thigh, if he hadn't moved it away in time. Had that happened, he would have been in big trouble.

Her sigh was almost enough to break him, how her head dipped back and he could see the entirety of her front. He had to swallow a groan when she leaned into his touch, moaning slightly when his fingers rubbed out a tight muscle or smoothed any knot. He was in deep water, treading with difficulty. Because of this waterbender, he was going to drown.


She lost all of her modesty by taking off her top while a man was in the room. She became a lost cause when she let him touch her bare back without a layer of coverage over her breasts. She just became lost entirely when his magic fingers began rubbing her shoulders and unconstrained moans left her lips.

And then she started to burn when she turned around and stood on her toes to kiss him.

She was going down a road she couldn't turn around on when he started kissing her back, when his hands wrapped around her waist and pressed her body against his. When she felt his arousal against the small swell of her belly just as much as she felt her own inside of her.

And it stirred even more when one of his hands fanned on the top of her rear, and the sigh she emitted gave Zuko just the opportunity to deepen their kiss and slide his tongue into her mouth. And when his other hand trailed up her stomach and cupped her breast effortlessly, her moan was swallowed by him with just as much ease.

There was no going back.


He was doomed.

He was starting to panic.

He shouldn't be doing this, he shouldn't be touching Katara like this. Not now, maybe not ever.

But that didn't stop him.

When her hands came up and cupped his face, he felt something in him crack. This was getting to be too much, just how her tapered fingers held him with more inexperienced passion than he was accustomed to. He felt like he was going to ruin this moment too fast, just by the way she held him.

When he broke their kiss to trail his lips down the side of her face, and her lips found the skin of his scar, the crack grew. He couldn't help but bite the skin on her neck, some possessive part of his mind begged him to do it, and pinch her nipples between his long fingers. Her breathy moans told him to continue, and he couldn't help but oblige.

While one hand massaged the weighty undersides of her breasts, the other trailed down her taut stomach and slid underneath her lower wrappings. He pulled them down, over the swell of her ass and down her thighs. When he pressed himself against her, just as his teeth grazed the skin of her neck, she pressed back. One of her fists grabbed the hair at the back of his neck, while the other fanned out in the center of his back. And she moaned.

Loud.


Katara couldn't stop herself.

This was so unlike her. So against her morals. So wanton.

So satisfying.

Zuko seemed to know what he was doing, but she really didn't have a frame of reference to judge his skills. All she could go by was how his fingers plucked against her like he was playing a pipa, making her body sing and cry in a tremendous melody. There wasn't much she could do but grip against his slick body, lean into him as he worshiped her. Teeth grazed, lips tickled, and fingers rubbed in so many different places that Katara felt like she was swirling in her own pleasure.

And when he slipped his finger into her, the cry that left her lips was on the verge of being animalistic. As was the growl that vibrated out of Zuko's throat.

He brought his lips back to hers and their teeth gnashed together, an awkward meeting of battling mouths. He removed his hand from in between her legs and she instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist, never taking her mouth from his. She felt his hardness press against her and the shock that coursed through her veins was enough to make her break the kiss and gasp.

That's when Zuko slid himself into her.


Nothing could compare to what he was feeling right in this moment. His reluctance to admit the fault in this situation was clouded by the immense perfection that was washing over him. Here he was, the banished Prince of the Fire Nation and traitor to his homeland, having sex with the Avatar's waterbending master. And falling apart at the seams as he held her.

They were frozen, stuck in the same spot and breathing in each other. Waiting.

When Katara's head nodded slightly, he instinctively pulled himself out. Her sharp inhale almost made him stop, but it was quickly followed by a soft moan and she buried her face in the crook of his shoulder and neck. That was all he needed to be convinced to continue.

Her breathy groans bounced in his ear, her hands clawed at his shoulders and possibly tore through the skin. She clenched around him, a fluttering that brought him closer and closer to his release. And once her voice became louder and she tightened so hard he thought he couldn't move inside her because she held him so tight, he felt his release sprint to the finish line.

When he came, it felt like explosions left his body and crashed all around him. His sight when white for that hot second, and all feeling became heightened. His grip on reality was skewed for just that small moment, but it tightened so much on her.

His knees buckled underneath him and together they fell into the water, letting it rise to their shoulders as their breathing settled and sanity returned.

Whatever this was, Zuko had just become completely and utterly lost.

Katara's face was still buried in his neck and it felt like she was just removing her lips, and possibly her teeth, from the skin there. Slowly, and hesitantly, he pulled himself out of her and relaxed a little in the water. They both floated together, arms still entangled around each other. Zuko was afraid, certainly, of her inevitable lashing out or possibly the slitting of his throat. He was at her mercy in this water, and regrettably he realized that what they had just done was likely a mistake.

Though he didn't feel that way.

And he hoped she didn't either.

Apprehensively, he opened his eyes and pulled his head away from hers to risk looking in her eyes. To his surprise, they were already open and waiting to lock on his. He felt his face flush, not from the heat from the spring, and he couldn't force himself to look away. He tried to formulate some sort of apology, to awkwardly stumble out of the cove and run away, never to look her in the eyes again. He was ashamed of his lack of control and hoped she wouldn't end their already fragile friendship.

Zuko opened his mouth to speak, but Katara quickly silenced him with a kiss. His shock wore off quickly and he felt himself pull her closer, let her settle in his lap in a comfortable embrace. They remained in that position in what felt like ages, and when she finally pulled away from him Zuko unexpectedly went to follow her. Earning a small giggle and a peck on the tip of his nose.

"Come on," she laughed. "I need to actually bathe. That's what I came in here for."

Smiling, Zuko kissed her again on her lips and replied, "I can always help you again."


fin


A/N I really don't know what just happened. I don't care.