Ponder

Enjoy my first Avatar fic, and there's another coming.


They're so much alike.

I think that's why I think that I'm in love with him.

How could I not be?

The pride he carries himself with, in spite of his harsh past, and his uncertain future. The motivation he has inspires me, and to say the truth, I think it inspires Sokka as well.

The way he follows us, tracks us, and generally stops at nothing to find us somehow makes me want to become better at everything, and impress him somehow.

His eyes…

Zuko…

Is this betraying Aang?

I find so many similarities between Aang and Zuko. Sometimes, they're complete opposites- North and South. Other times, they're so much like each other, that if it weren't for obvious physical characteristics, I think I might wander onto Zuko's ship and expect to find Appa waiting there for us.

But lately I've been wanting to see Zuko. Something… something about him clenches up my stomach, and sets my heart beating twice as fast as normal. Something about those eyes makes me want to look my best. Something about that courage makes me want to prove myself.

Something about that angst makes me want to help him…

Before I go to sleep at night, I'll start to wonder what it would be like on the other side.

Perhaps our concept of "Good and Evil" is wrong. Maybe I'm on the wrong side. But, deep inside, I know I'm not. The Avatar- no, Aang brings everyone hope. At twelve, the responsibility of so many people must be a huge burden. I know, even for me, I can feel the weight crushing me.

And as my thoughts spiral deeper, I know that I could make an excellent double agent- a double crosser, a worker for both sides. I would be extolled among the Fire Benders, revealing Aang's weaknesses. I could tell them when it would be best to strike, when we would be most vulnerable.

But I could tell Aang of the hidden "soft spots" in the ship's armor. Sokka would know of how the guards are trained. And they would all know Zuko's, Iroh's, and every other person's weaknesses.

These thoughts sicken me sometimes.

As I watch Aang sleep, I know that I could never betray him. I could never, ever tell anyone that we, Sokka and I, are his greatest weakness. I would die before I told the Other Side that.

But maybe… the Other Side is more like ours than we think.

It's just a thought, but we've both got a mission and obstacles that stand in our way. Some days we go to bed feeling defeated, some days we feel so tiered that we want to collapse where we stand. We all have sleepless night, and walks all seem to calm us.

We all have secrets, untold pasts, and hidden desires.

I clamber out of my sleeping bag, and walk to the ocean, hoping that the hypnotic pull of the tides will lull me to sleep.

Maybe… we all want our names to live on.

I believe that we all want this war to end.

For now, I will only dream of Zuko holding me.

But, who knows?

Dreams become reality.

I'm in love with Prince Zuko.

I'm sorry…

I can't help it.

I sigh, and watch the waves lap the shore gently. I imagine a ship, a black, armored ship on the horizon, sailing silently on.

I imagine the anchor being thrown to the bottom, and I can see it dragging along the sand under the water. It hits a rock, and the ship jerks to a stop.

A smaller boat splashes the water, and I can see a single, tall form climb into it.

I stand near the water's edge, my feet in the surf, and the boat rows towards me. As the boat meets the sand ten yards from me, I turn to walk back to camp.

I hear feet falling softly behind me, and a pair of arms encircles my waist.

Soft words are whispered in my ear: "Do you really care for your friends, Katara?"

I turn to face amber eyes, and I am caught in a kiss that is bittersweet and desirable for what seems like unending moments.

As his lips leave mine, he says, "Think about it, Katara. You could be great among us."

I nod, and the boat leaves, his point made.

As I am walking back to camp, I trip, fall, and slice my hand open on a sharp shell. The pain shoots through it, and as I raise my hand to suck on the blood, I feel that my lips are swollen…

…Swollen from kissing Zuko…

Was it really a fantasy?

I collapse onto Appa, and bury my face in his fur.

I'm so confused.

Aang…

Zuko…

And begin to ponder again…


Thanks for reading, and please review.