Prince Zuko found Katara darning socks at her camp--in the forest, behind the old earthbender's house, two hundred paces from town and a measly four minute walk from the beach; it saddened him to know these imbeciles were guarding the Avatar, even if one was his true love. Keeping one eye fixed on her needle in case she remembered she was holding it at the right moment, Zuko approached his fiancee from behind.

"Katara," he said, in a just-below-normal tone of voice.

"What is it Zuko?" She sounded bored--not even a decent twinge of anger! Zuko almost wilted, but he remembered the old woman and swallowed his fear.

He leaned in, over her shoulder, and said as softly as he could, "Whose are those?"

Katara's needle faltered a stitch, then resumed. "Mine," she said.

"You're working hard for such a pleasant afternoon," he replied as non-threateningly as possible. He pointed to the romantic blue sky, one finger just barely in her vision but his thumb and palm touching her shoulder. "You have remarkable discipline."

Katara set her sock on her lap; Zuko's eyes followed the sharp, sharp needle. She turned and looked at him over her shoulder. "What do you think you're doing?"

Here it was: the moment! He was still touching her shoulder, and she hadn't castrated him yet. They were inches apart. Prince Zuko felt the perfect words rise from his heart up through his vocal chords, sinuous and delicate and unbridled...


...and he was a pig-chicken.

"Should be used to it then," Katara snapped. In a calm and lady-like movement worthy of Princess Yue on her best snow day, Katara took up her sewing materials, stood gracefully, stabbed the prince of the Fire Nation in the hand, and then bolted.

Toph crossed her backyard and examined the murderous firebender heartbeat of the vile enemy prince. He was sucking on the back of his hand and dancing a little from the pain. She slapped Zuko's shoulder like a brick might.

"Thanks, Charcoal Brains. That was the most pathetic thing I've never seen."