Zutara one-shot I thought off of the tip of my head. Dedicated to Hues-Of-Hazel in return for giving me that fan art on deviatart .com
DISCLAIMER: If I owned Avatar, Zuko would have gotten Katara pregnant already.
WARNINGS: Dark, Angst, romance, drama, violence, and... some other stuff.
"Aang will stop you!" Katara spat defiantly.
Zuko looked up; amused at the girl's arrogance and strong beliefs of the Avatar. From what she had been screaming at him for the past, maybe 3 whole turns in the Hourglass, he could decipher that she was becoming somewhat too interdependent on him.
She more thought of him as a crutch or support than a friend, and such a pity as well; he saw the Avatar's obvious affections for her and found his approaches laughable considering he had witnessed many of them and how the girl had reacted to them.
They were in her prison cell; it was dark, dry and hotter than most of the other cells, but this one was right next to the Boilers and the wall wasn't exactly heat-proof.
Wiping an amount of perspiration that had settled on his brow, Prince Zuko sighed; wishing many things. He wished he wasn't in his armor, he wished he wasn't in this room sweating his brains out, he wished that this girl would stop screaming at him, and he wished so desperately for something cold. But he knew better than to get ice, water, those things; they would only give her the advantage.
Many times, he's tried to manipulate the girl, but she never broke nor bent. Maybe it was time to try a new approach.
"So you're just going to stand by and wait for your precious Avatar to come?" Zuko sneered at her.
Katara reeled back; not expecting that from him. But wasn't he right? She was just sitting there; waiting for him to come.
"He will come." Katara said stiffly.
"You tell yourself you're an independent, don't you?" Zuko asked her softly.
"Yes." Katara said; gripping the edges of her dress.
She was somewhat surprised when Zuko didn't try and tie her into her chair or bind her by chains.
"So why are you so dependent on the Avatar to save you? From what I see, you're using him like a crutch." Zuko replied coolly.
Katara flared up; how dare he accuse her of 'using Aang'?
"I do not!" she spat.
"Yes, you do. And do you know what will happen when he sees that?" Zuko asked; his voice lowering to barely above a whisper.
"Why should I care? I'm not using him." Katara replied stubbornly.
"You are; don't deny it." Zuko hissed.
"I am NOT!" Katara nearly shouted.
"He'll change. Once he sees his situation, he will change dramatically." Zuko said.
"What?" Katara asked; her attention captured.
"Once he sees that you're leaning on him, he'll get the impression that you need him to stand on your own two feet! I don't know him too well, but I can promise you this; if this continues, you'll get pressured into doing things you don't want to and if you don't, he'll threaten to leave." Zuko explained.
"He wouldn't." Katara said.
"It's crazy on how when a person realizes dominance is within their grasps, they will jump at it. And then, see how much they change." Zuko whispered huskily; his golden eyes shining despite the dimness of the cell.
In an instant, Katara realized what he meant; his great-grandfather, Fire Lord Sozun, had started the war with that comet. Sozun had realized that a dominating power was within his grasp and he jumped at it. NO! Aang wasn't like that! He wasn't evil like the Fire Nation.
"If he leaves, I'll be fine." Katara replied, but her voice shook with understanding and a newly budded fear.
Zuko smirked; this was going well.
"No, you won't. You like routines and predictable things. You're somewhat insecure when something doesn't go a way, or in this case; your way. You'd be begging him not to leave." Zuko replied with a laugh; leaning over the steel table that separated them.
Katara wanted to lean back; to block out his voice, but she couldn't. She was hanging on to his every word and her beliefs beginning to wane in the process.
"Tell me, Katara." Zuko said softly.
Katara shuddered in light fear and amazement that Prince Zuko even knew her name. Zuko leaned even closer to her face.
"Haven't you seen his power?" he suddenly asked.
"Of course I have." Katara retorted; blinking and wondering why he asked a question like that.
"His power is great; I know that. It is greater than my own. And in a matter of time, his powers will soon surpass yours." Zuko said; looking deep into her azure eyes and finding exactly what he was looking for; a large spot of doubt and fear for the Avatar growing within hers.
"When he sees that his power is greater than yours or mine, or anyone else's in the world, in some point of his life he will abuse that power." Zuko went on; still squarely meeting Katara's eyes.
"He wouldn't." Katara whimpered; her voice higher than she had expected it to be.
"He will. His power is great and if fueled by dark emotions, he will launch terror onto the world; a terror worse than my great-grandfather's wrath." Zuko warned.
Katara thought of Aang's powers; of how he was able to master all 4 elements. "If he was fueled by rage, he would throw the world into total chaos. Benders wouldn't be able to stop him, for he controlled their elements to greater heights than the masters themselves; combining elements can make them all the stronger and Fire alone is the most dominant element, but can be easily extinguished with the right amount of matter." Zuko confided.
Zuko saw it in her eyes; the mental images and her soul beginning to quiver at the thought. Chuckling lightly, he drew his face closer to Katara's ear; barely breathing as he whispered more.
"His power is immense and no one, not even if all 4 nation and their most powerful benders teamed up against him, will be able to stop him. He won't listen to you anymore and if you try to defend anyone, he'll just turn on you; accusing you of being treacherous to him. He won't hesitate to attack you, Katara. No matter how much you mean to him. He will then always think that his duty will come before anything. If it means driving the Fire Nation to the brink of extinction just like my people did the Air Nomads, he will. If it means turning against the world, he will. I promise you." Zuko whispered.
Those comments hit too close to home. Katara couldn't move; paralyzed by his words and her thoughts, chills crept through her body and refused to cease.
"And then, you'll wonder what happened to the old him; I thought he was good. I'll tell you beforehand; he's gone. He's gone and nothing will ever bring him back." Zuko hissed; his mouth fewer than an inch from Katara's face.
Katara couldn't believe him; she refused to believe him. And yet she did; it as almost like she was seeing the truth for the first time. The whole truth instead of just being focused on what a good nature Aang had in him, his duty, his reactions, and many other things. How could she have been so blind?
The notion that brought Katara back into the real word was when Zuko's fingers brushed against her cheek. Despite the warmth of his digits tracing her smooth skin, she felt cold.
"He is still Yin-Yang; I can tell you that, Katara. But that is only for now. If you don't heed my warning now, then watch it before you own eyes after he masters his final element: Fire. Even a master Firebender cannot control the Fire. The element, like I said, is dominant. Rage and anger is all that is needed to ignite an inner flame and the user will find himself becoming the used." Zuko whispered.
"He wouldn't do that." Katara breathed; her voice shaking.
Zuko leaned back; his bullion colored eyes locking onto her cobalt ones.
"You will keep trying to tell yourself that, Katara. But remember this old saying and remember it well: You can't stop the wind with a piece of cloth. Just like you can't cover up the truth with a two-faced lie." Zuko said; his voice cold.
"I don't intend to." Katara spat on impulse; then, realizing what she had said, bit her lip in self-disgust and anger.
"If you do anything; any move, action, and slander can trigger his suspicion and anger. If that happens, you'll have no one to blame but you and you're the target of it all. His suspicion will make him harm or even kill people without thinking. He might never trust you again; not even for a thing like walking to a stream or practicing your Waterbending. He'll want to control your every aspect of your life; never wanting you to be your own person. With that kind of influence, your dreams will all be shattered by him. Everything you wanted will be taken away from you and what's left of you will have to stay with him; no matter what. You can stop that from happening, Katara. You are entitled to your own life and independence as much as everyone else. Don't let him and his gestures, his tragic past, or his words blind you. Don't let him take everything you wanted away from you." Zuko said softly in a—Katara could have sworn—caring tone.
Katara tasted blood in her mouth; realizing that she had bitten too hard and, despite her mind telling her to say something back, remained silent.
"Ask yourself this, Katara; if he is to be like that, is he truly a good person? Or should he be someone the world has to stop before he discovers the true meaning of the word Power?" Zuko asked her. Katara's hands were shaking.
As Zuko reached over and cupped his hand under both of hers, they felt as cold as death itself.
"Take these." Zuko said; handing her a metal key and slipping a golden ring that Katara had never seen him wear off of his fingers; handing it to her.
"The key is the one to your door and that ring will give you access to any part of the ship you want to go; my soldiers won't stop you. Come to me when you understand." Zuko said; walking to the door and opening it.
Katara picked up the golden ring; running a small finger through the inner rim of it.
"Wait. Why are you giving me these?" she asked suddenly; was this some kind of trick?
"I trust you." Zuko said simply; then walking out of her cell and shutting the door behind him.
"Bend a bit of water; let me show you something." Zuko inquired.
Katara had gone to his chamber; understanding what he had meant.
With no hesitation, she made a ring of water.
Zuko snapped his fingers; igniting a fairly large flame the size of his palm.
Katara, lightly scared, reeled back, but Zuko grabbed her wrist and drew it to the fire; his hand opposite to hers.
"Don't be afraid; let your element protect you." Zuko whispered; drawing his hand closer as Katara did hers.
The water circled around the fire; keeping it from spreading or burning. As her hand drew near, a tingling sensation spread from the tips of her fingers throughout her body. Upon feeling the tingle, Katara felt a shudder creep up her spine.
"Your powers match mine." Zuko whispered.
"What?" Katara asked.
"We are equal, we are matched, we are…" Zuko murmured; his hand reaching out to take hers.
A soft hissing noise turned their attention to their hands.
Somehow, Katara's originally crystal clear water had turned black and Zuko's originally red flames turned blue. Zuko looked her in the eye.
"We are one." He finished; his hands spreading the blue flames and turning the water into steam; extinguishing the fire in the process.
Without another word, there was no need for any, their lips fell upon each other's.
In the last hour, she had come to his chambers, after asking for instructions from many crewmembers, and found him meditating. She had understood after all. She had remembered everything else he had told her.
"You're very beautiful, Katara." He had said.
"The Avatar also shares my point of view and when he gets older, he will see and want something out of you. Something you might not want to give up to him." Zuko told her.
Zuko smiled; reaching under and pulling her up; feeling some strands of her chestnut hair brush against his abdomen in the process.
The words Zuko had said rang in Katara's head over and over; no matter how hard she tried to chase them away, they remained. The more she thought it over, the more true it seemed. In fear, she felt lost and seeked solace.
Zuko had shown her a good side to him; a side she had never expected to see. But, as she discovered tonight, being gentle and tender was sometimes a good thing, but other times being rough and passionate was better.
It was worth the soreness that had already gathered between her legs to experience the ecstasies of sex for the first time, though it probably wasn't his since he always seemed to know more about her body than she herself did.
"Don't let anyone doubt you, Katara. You're beautiful no matter how you are ever complied." Zuko said to her.
Katara wiped some perspiration off of her cheek; shyly blushing and trying to hide from him under his covers.
Suddenly, a jolt and shouts of men on deck was heard.
Zuko sprang up; grabbing a red hakama and slipping it on quickly; followed by his training top.
Katara, following him, repeated. Her shirt, and dress were on quickly, but her toenails were sometimes caught in the tights' material and struggled to fit her legs through them. Accidentally tearing the crotch seam, nearly splitting her tights in 2, the door burst open and Aang nearly barreled through it.
A huge orb of air blew stronger as he entered; Zuko being thrown backwards in the process.
Katara, still in the midst of redressing herself, stared at Aang with her dress shriveled and messily and hastily tied, her ripped tights, and boots still lying on the floor; seeing his immense energy.
"YOU!" Aang shouted in a voice Katara had never heard him in before.
With Airbending, he sent Zuko back more and more with every blast growing stronger.
Zuko was knocked against the metal wall; almost losing consciousness.
Aang didn't stop; he just kept blasting him.
Katara, collecting her boots watched then regained her voice.
"Aang! Stop!" she shouted.
At first, Aang didn't even look at her but when he did, his anger seemed to vanish as he returned to the ground.
"Katara…" Aang murmured; taking in her profile.
Then, without another word, grabbed her arm and nearly dragged her out.
With a final look back, she saw Zuko's eyes staring at her with the silent message: Remember.
"He raped you, didn't he?" Aang nearly shouted at her when they returned to a forest in the Earth Kingdom.
Aang and Sokka had camped out here and Sokka had gone to the local town to find something to eat.
"Aang—He—" Katara began, but wasn't able to finish.
What could she say? She had had consensual sex with the enemy?
"He did, didn't he? Zuko's going to pay for doing that to you, Katara!" Aang shouted; Air suddenly spinning like a whirlwind, water sprouting from the ground, Earth jagging the once smooth ground, and Katara could have sworn that the fire had gotten bigger.
Zuko's words echoed in her head.
'…fueled by dark emotions, he will launch terror onto the world…His power is immense and no one, not even if all 4 nation and their most powerful benders teamed up against him, will be able to stop him. He won't listen to you anymore and if you try to defend anyone, he'll just turn on you; accusing you of being treacherous to him. He won't hesitate to attack you, Katara. No matter how much you mean to him… Even a master Firebender cannot control the Fire. The element, like I said, is dominant. Rage and anger is all that is needed to ignite an inner flame and the user will find himself becoming the used… when a person realizes dominance is within their grasps, they will jump at it. And then, see how much they change… you can't cover up the truth with a two-faced lie… He might never trust you again; not even for a thing like walking to a stream or practicing your Waterbending. He'll want to control your every aspect of your life; never wanting you to be your own person…'
He was right; why didn't she see it before?
"No, Aang—He didn't! He—!" Katara began, but was hit in the face with a raising spike of Earth; darkness invading her eyes.
"You were right." Katara sobbed into his chest.
When Aang had calmed down and fallen asleep, Katara snuck away to the port; hoping to find Zuko's ship.
Once she did, she ran up and pounded on the nearest door; still wearing the ring Zuko had given her on her thumb. She told him the entire story when he opened the door and only after saying the last syllable, she collapsed on him and began to cry.
With only the moon as his witness, Zuko smirked; he had broken the girl. The words he had said to her echoed in her head until she believed them to be true and turned her against the Avatar.
"It's alright, Katara." Zuko whispered; caressing the side of her face with his hand.
Katara looked up at him; the moonlight showing the large bruise that had formed on her face.
"How could he?" she murmured; lightly touching the bruise.
"It'll be alright, Katara. Where is he?" Zuko asked.
"I—." Katara said; torn between telling Zuko where Aang was or keeping silent.
"Katara, if he did this to you and you're one of his closest friends, what would he would do to other people who tried to tell him something but he was so filled with rage." Zuko whispered.
Katara looked up and whimpered; her fingers at the base of his throat.
"You're lucky; he could kill many innocent lives with his power." He continued.
"In the Earth Kingdom forest. Near there." Katara said; pointing in that direction.
Zuko wrapped his arms around her; silently tracing his hand up and down her spine.
With a nod to his crew, they disappeared into the forest at the dead of night.
"She fears you now, Avatar." Zuko said through the door of his prison cell.
His crew had captured the Avatar at near sunrise and now, he and his crew were finally going back to the Fire Nation.
"Katara would never fear me! It's bad enough that you raped her, but you forced her to tell!" Aang shouted at him.
"No. It was all her choosing." Zuko corrected him.
"She would never do that!" Aang spat back. "Just like you would never hurt her?" Zuko asked calmly.
"What?" Aang asked; ceasing to struggle against his chains for a moment.
"While you were screaming that I raped her, you began to bend all 4 elements and you hit her in the face with an Earth Spike." Zuko told him.
Aang's eyes widened.
"I had no control!" Aang protested.
"No. You were perfectly in control when you did it; you hurt her, Avatar. And that's why she fears you." Zuko told him.
"She doesn't! She can't!" Aang shouted back at him.
"It's your power; you've unleashed your fury on her without even listening to her. You've chased her away; you've broken her. And no one is left to pick up the pieces." Zuko said lowly; walking away from a now silent cell.
Many 4 seasons have passed since then and life went on.
Zuko was made Fire Lord, but the moment his duty came, he returned all of the land the Fire Nation had conquered.
Trust takes years to rebuild and Zuko was willing to sacrifice another 100 years if it meant the other nations could trust his again.
Katara was still by his side; the memories of Aang somewhat continuously haunting her.
Zuko wondered how this all started.
It was almost crazy on how a small question had changed his entire world altogether.
How did he know all this was going to happen?
Simple; he had seen his sister go through the same ordeal as the Late Avatar did.
That's the end of my oneshot, people. Reviews are welcome.