Note from the Author: Hello all! I'm happy I've gotten some readers so hello to you all! Sorry this chapter is kinda short, but sometimes the beginning is kinda slow. I don't want to jump the gun too much :p!
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Katara wiped the tears away from her eyes once more as she descended down the staircase towards the women servant's quarters. She couldn't believe she had ended up here. She always vowed to herself that she would never end up serving in this retched palace, but she couldn't get away fast enough. To her knowledge she was the last waterbender in the world and she couldn't use her bending to get away. Her fate would have been worse than just cleaning rooms and assisting the royal family.
They reached the bottom floor finally and Katara saw metal doors lining a carpeted hallway. They continued to walk down the hallway, the other women and girls in her group being placed in their rooms. Katara was the last to be placed in a room at the end of the hallway, her name carved into the metal template next to the door. She inhaled deeply and stepped into her room. There was a single bed with red bedding on it. On top of her blanket were four piles of clothing and a dresser next to the bed. On top of the dresser was a toiletry kit with her name on it. Above her bed was a picture of the royal family that made her stomach churn.
"You have two piles of work clothes, one pile of casual wear, and one pile of sleepwear. Make sure your uniform is always clean and pressed. You are to be dressed in uniform and ready for duties at 8am in the main hall. If you are hungry, there is a servant's passage to the kitchens. You may eat whatever you'd like that it reserved in the servant's pantry as long as you clean up after yourself. Women's bathroom is the last door on the right. Do you have any questions?"
Katara shook her head now and jumped as the door shut loudly behind her. She walked over to her piles of clothing and put them away, changing into her casual wear. She walked over to the mirror that was attached to the wall and frowned at her reflection. Her casual wear consisted of a black leggings with a short red skirt over it and red boots going up to the knee. Her shirt was a red halter top that showed off her stomach. She wrapped her arms around herself feeling exposed. She combed her hair into a pony tail and tied it behind her head. She was in desperate need of a bath and was hoping she could take one tonight. It had been weeks since she indulged in one.
Cracking open the door slightly, she peeked her head out. At the mention of a kitchen, her stomach was churning for food after eating only what she could find the past few weeks. She snuck back up the stairs and towards what she assumed was the kitchen. She found the silence of the hallways unsettling, but her hunger was too strong to turn back now.
She thought she had turned down too many wrong hallways before she finally reached the kitchens. She opened the door quietly and was expecting people to be milling around, but there wasn't anyone in sight. She walked through the vast kitchen trying to find where the servants pantry would possibly be. She found it against the far back wall. Inside was boxes and bags of various older foods, some even had mold. After picking through it she was able to scrap together decent enough looking food to bring back to her room.
Walking down the hallways with her bag of food in her hand, she realized she had taken a wrong turn somewhere. She heard voices starting to come towards her and she panicked. She was about to make a run back to the kitchen when she felt a hand go around her arm and pull her into a narrow corridor. She was against someone's chest when she saw Azula walk by with a friend who wore a lot of eye makeup and sounded miserable. She held her breath until she knew they had passed and dared look up at the person who saved her.
She was greeted with golden eyes and a mouth set in a firm line.
"You should be careful where you take your strolls", Zuko warned her," Had I not come by, it would have turned very ugly."
Katara could feel herself almost shaking. What does one say in this situation? She was face to face with the prince of a family who was responsible for genocide of her own people.
"Are you going to thank me?" he asked, his tone dripping with authority.
"Uh y- yes", Katara stuttered," Th- thank you, your majesty."
"Don't call me that", Zuko grimaced.
"S- sorry", Katara apologized quickly, trying to look anywhere but his face.
"Do you have a stutter?"
"N- no", Katara shook her head. This time she did dare to make eye contact," Y- you make me very nervous."
She heard him inhale sharply and continued to stare at her. She was sure he could feel her heart pounding in her chest. The close proximity to him was making her more uncomfortable by the second. Why wasn't he releasing her arm? She shuffled from foot to foot eager to get away from him.
"Do I make you uncomfortable?" he inquired.
"Yes", Katara nodded quickly. He bent over until his lips were just grazing her ear giving her the chills.
"I'll have to fix that", he whispered. Katara shivered with goosebumps and looked up at him with wide eyes. He was smirking at her, his head still bent down so his face was right in front of hers.
"Please let me go", Katara asked quietly. She felt him release her arm and she quickly ran away from him. She didn't dare look back. She ran until she somehow reached the servant's quarters and ran into her room, slamming the door shut, and locking it from the inside.
What was the about?
Her mind was racing as heart tried to calm down. Surely she just imagined that. The Prince of the Fire Nation didn't really just whisper into her ear. His family was responsible for genocide of her people and here he was... Flirting with her? No, she shook her head, it couldn't be.
She laid down in her bed, her appetite completely gone. Her first day trapped in this palace was already too much for her to handle.
There we are!