Yeah, so...this is my first Avatar fic (aside from a few drabbles that I posted on Livejournal that really sucked.)

A few words on this story:Well, over in LJ land someone made a lovely photo manip of Zuko and Katara. It was supposed to be romantic, but it looked more like Katara was trying to murder Zuko in his sleep. Some iconage by Rashaka followed, and I was like "D00d, I gotta make a fanfic about this!" And while the initial concept was murder, of course it turned into that special brand of fluff and violence that makes Zutara so awesome. Aaaaand...this really isn't that bad, but I put an "M" rating on it just in case. Now nobody will see it. sad face

A Little Murder

by Berry Scary

She slunk through the corridor without a sound. The ship was docked and everyone was asleep. Not a single guard on duty—he was slipping. She gripped the knife tighter in her hand as she passed the snoring uncle's bedchamber.

"He's making this too easy," she whispered to herself. "What is he thinking?"

This was the sixth time Katara had snuck aboard Prince Zuko's ship in the middle of the night with the intent of eliminating him. Normally, she hated killing, but she was willing to get rid of him to ensure the safety of herself and her friends.

Yeah…willing, but not able.

Every time she tried, she found she couldn't. He always stopped her somehow, and she just kept coming back for more. But not this time. This time, she wouldn't let anything get in her way.

She tiptoed over to his room. The fool had left his door open tonight—he was practically inviting her in to assassinate him! She slipped in easily and made her way to his bed. She wondered how he could possibly sleep like that: on his back, still as death, on that cold, hard, narrow bed.

Katara stood over him, watching him and waiting for the right moment to plunge the knife into his throat. His slow breaths told her that he was in a deep sleep, probably having pleasant dreams of megalomania.

She held the knife over him, her hand trembling. She never thought she'd be able to get this far—usually he was wide-awake and waiting for her. She slowly brought the knife down over him, breathing heavily. Would the spirits understand? Would Aang understand? Could she ever forgive herself?

The knife had barely grazed his throat when a hand reached up and clasped around her wrist. "What do you think you're doing?" Katara yelped in shock as the prince's eyes flashed open.

"Fuck," she swore, as he propped himself up against the headboard and grabbed her other wrist.

"Trying to murder me in my sleep again?" he asked, smirking. On her second attempt, it was that smirk that got her. It won't work this time, she told herself, closing her eyes.

"Obviously I can't do that," she replied, trying to remain calm. "You're awake now."

He let out a low, throaty chuckle and moved his face closer to hers. "So I am." The low light in the room cast eerie shadows across his pale face, making his red scar and golden eyes all the more striking. Her legs were starting to go weak.

That was just the edge he needed. He pushed his body against hers and threw her against the nearest wall, catching her by surprise and making her drop the knife. He swiftly grabbed it and pinned Katara against the wall, positioning the knife at the crux of her left shoulder and the side of her neck. She stared up at him, eyes full of fear.

"You don't want to kill me, Katara," he whispered, his breath unnervingly hot on her neck. She squirmed under him, but there was nothing she could do. He had her arms trapped, and her legs were completely useless, as usual. This was where she had given in on her fourth attempt. She had to fight it.

"Yes I do," she choked out, thrashing violently. "I have to kill you! You're too dangerous!"

"I'm dangerous?" he retorted, pressing on her right hip with his free hand. She shivered as he gently traced tip of the knife along her collarbone and down her chest. "I'm not the one breaking into my lover's room to assassinate him."

"We're not lovers," Katara replied curtly, staring down at the knife between her breasts, right over her heart. Sweat and tears were starting to mingle and run down her face. Damn you, she wanted to scream. Why do you have to put me in situations like this? But the words would not come out.

"Then what are we?" he inquired, backing away from her and setting the knife on a small table at his bedside. He turned his back to her and pursed his lips together, sighing deeply. "You come in trying to kill me, we end up making love. Five times, it's happened. I even leave my fucking door open for you! Doesn't that make us lovers?" Katara didn't answer; she was completely immobilized with the deadly mix of fear and desire that he incited in her. She wanted to move, but she knew exactly what would happen if she did: within seconds their clothes would be on the floor and he would be holding her in that cold, hard, narrow bed. And she wouldn't care, because all thoughts of anything but the moment would drift out to sea. She couldn't allow that to happen for the sixth time.

"That's over," she said, focusing all her energy on talking—she would not think about his skin, or his kisses, or the obscenely gorgeous things he would whisper in her ear when they…No! Stop that, Katara! Remember, he's the enemy! He's jeopardizing the future of the whole world! You have to kill him! "I was stupid, and I let lust get the best of me. I have a duty to keep Aang safe, and he'll never be safe as long as you keep chasing him. If you wouldn't hunt him, I wouldn't have to hunt you!"

"You know damn well why I have to capture the Avatar!" he shouted, spinning around. Yes, she knew. He had told her everything that first night when they were lying dazed on the floor with their legs tangled together. He told her about his sister, his father, his scar, his honor, and his mission. Normally it would have melted her heart, but she just couldn't bring herself to feel pity for him. Not when he was trying to hurt the ones she loved. "I have to reclaim my honor!"

"Fuck your honor," she screamed, ready to tear his hair out. He simply didn't get it! "You've always had it, your father never took it away from you! You don't have to prove yourself to him, especially not by hunting the people I love!" He cocked his head to the side and narrowed his eyes. She growled and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Forget it, I'm wasting my time. You don't even know what love is."

Within a split second, he had charged across the small bedchamber and enveloped her in a passionate kiss. His long arms wrapped around her waist, sending her hips crashing into his. He held onto her like she was his very life-force. Without breaking the kiss, his hands slid up her sides and began unfastening her robe. He knew the process very well, and within no time the garment had fallen around her shoulders.

"I…" he said faintly, entwining his fingers with hers, "I want to…to tell you…"

"What?" Katara asked, her voice hoarse and shaky. She began to inscribe small circles in the palm of Zuko's hand with her thumb as she fought desperately not to look into his eyes. She knew that if she did, he wouldn't have to say a word and then all her defenses would crumble.

"You're…wrong about me." His breathing was growing heavier and more ragged with every passing second. "I know what love is." He rested his head on her shoulder, his eyelashes tickling her. His heart beat ridiculously fast, right in time with hers. She bit down on her lower lip; she knew what he was going to say, and she dreaded it.

"I love you Katara."

For about three minutes the bedchamber was as silent as a grave.

"Oh, for Fire's sake, say something!"

"No," she finally said. Her voice sounded a million miles away. "No. You can't love me. You can't. You're crazy. I'm sorry. I never should have…" Her words trailed off as he bit down on the soft flesh between her neck and shoulder—the very spot where the knife had been only a few minutes before.

"Of course I'm crazy," he said. "And you're crazy too. We're both perfectly unhinged. Six times now you've come here with your trusty little knife, knowing you can't get rid of me. Why? Because if you really wanted to kill me, you would do it right now." Katara let out a barely audible gasp. "Go ahead: take that knife off the table and do it. Stab me right in the fucking heart." He backed away two or three paces from her, allowing her access to the table. Katara walked hesitantly to the table and picked up the knife. She looked up at Zuko, her face emotionless.

"You want me to love you…" she mused, slowly dropping to her knees in front of him. She slowly pushed down the waistband of his pants to reveal his sharp hipbones. With the greatest precision, she took the blade and delicately carved the kanji for her name into his left hip. "I'm going to kill you a little bit every time we meet," she said, covering the carving with her mouth and licking up the blood that had begun to seep from the cut. "That way we both get what we want."

"I had no idea you were like this," Zuko stammered, chills running fervently up and down his spine. Katara wiped the blood off her lips and stood up, looking him straight in the eyes. Her eyes were so clear and blue that they went right through his soul.

"If I am, you made me that way," she laughed, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him softly. He could faintly taste his own blood in her mouth. It didn't bother him at all.

"I've decided something," announced Katara. "I've decided that I love you."

She and Zuko were in the same place as always: lying entwined on the red rug that covered much of the room's floor, she twirling locks of his hair around her fingers. But everything was different now, somehow. When they had made love it was more beautiful; when they had screamed each other's names there was more passion in their voices; and when she had cried in his arms, he wasn't ashamed to cry with her.

"Really?" Zuko asked, his eyes lighting up. "Do you really love me?"

"Yes," she answered sweetly, kissing his temple. "But it's not going to be pretty. We're still enemies, you know. You'll keep chasing us, I'll keep kicking your ass, and we'll have to have lots of amazing sex to make up for it all." She climbed off of him, untangling her long legs from his.

"What are you doing?" he whined. "Katara, I'm cold."

"I have to go now," she answered, hurriedly dressing. "It's starting to get light; I have to be back before Aang and Sokka wake up." She fastened her robe and slipped on her shoes.

Zuko stood up and wrapped his arms around her shoulders in a genuine hug. "Will I see you again?"

"Of course," Katara giggled, cupping his face in her hands. "I have to come back and kill you again." She placed a chaste kiss on his lips and headed for the door.

"Wait," Zuko called, grabbing her arm. "Not so fast." He grabbed the knife where it lay by the bed, and carefully peeled back a part of her robe, exposing one of her small breasts. "I have to kill you too." He drew the character for his name into her tan skin, and she only winced slightly; she wasn't used to this kind of pain. When he finished, Zuko replaced the collar where it had originally been. A few drops of blood soaked through the fabric, but neither of them worried about it. "There. Now we're even." He kissed her on her forehead and she slipped out the door, exiting just as quickly and silently as she had come.

Prince Zuko sat on his bed, his naked arms and legs still tingling. He remembered Katara's words: "I'm going to kill you a little bit every time we meet." Now that she loved him, he couldn't wait to die again.

Yeah, so how was it? I know Katara seemed a little OOC, but makes people crazy, and who knows what K and Z would do behind closed doors? They'd be all over each other, that's what!

I know, I'm a terrible person. But w/e. Come on and review!

Christine aka Berry