Another ficlet, this time with no real context. Set it the future at some point.

Warning: TOTAL FLUFF beyond this point. I don't apologize for fluff. Except when I do. Like now.

Sometimes You Have To Spell It Out

Months have passed. Friends have been made and lost, and battles fought. The comet has come and gone, and now the capital city of the Fire Nation prepares to celebrate the coronation of the new Fire Lord. War is done, and old soldiers are finding their ways back home. In the great palace of the royal family, in a small room in the southern wing, the Fire-Lord-to-be is having a discussion with one of his former compatriots before she leaves to return to her homeland.

The conversation has turned in a surprising direction, to say the least.

"Wait, you like me?" he sputtered, "What do you mean you like me?"

"I mean that I spend a lot of time staring at you, and I want to kiss you and play with your hair and tell stupid jokes and have you laugh because they came from me. I like you!" Katara ducked her eyes. "And now I'm really embarassed so I'm just going to, um, head back to the Water Tribe. Just didn't want to be a chicken and leave without saying it."

Zuko gaped at her retreating back, mind still caught up on 'I want to kiss you.' She wanted to kiss him? She liked him? But she'd never said anything! He'd even nursed a secret sort of attraction to her after a few weeks of travelling on Appa, but he'd ignored it and then forgot it because she barely looked in his direction if she could help it. And after a while she'd treated him like her brother or Aang, just one more obnoxious sibling to keep an eye on. And all this time she liked him?

The door clicked shut down the hallway, and Zuko panicked. He dashed out the door and down the corridoor, through the next doorway and around a corner, where he dodged around her body and then slammed into a halt, hands out and touching the walls.

"You're blocking me," she said stupidly.

"Yes," he agreed.


"I thought about what you said. About how you like me."

Katara blushed, "Look, I didn't tell you because I wanted anything. I know you don't see me that w--mphh!" She suddenly had difficulty speaking, on account of Zuko kissing her. A second late she stopped trying and settled in to enjoy the feeling.

"Katara," Zuko said, pulling his lips from hers but resting forehead to forehead. "I like stupid jokes. And I'll let you play with my hair if I can play with yours."

"Okay." She replied, eyes still closed and head reeling from the kiss. "That sounds fair."