The Fire Prince glared at the young Waterbender. "Don't start."
Katara blinked at his abruptness. "What?"
" Don't what?" Katara smiled innocently.
Zuko sighed and faced the girl. "Don't start trying to draw me into one of you pointless discussions. I've already told you, I don't do small talk."
Katara pouted and looked back into the burnt out campfire. "You don't seem to talk anyways, whether it's small talk or a discussion on the meaning of life."
Zuko glowered at her sarcasm. "Why on earth I had to get stuck with babysitting duty, I'll never know."
Katara jumped up from her seat on a log. "Excuse me? Babysitting duty! I am barely two years younger than yourself! You didn't have to stay here you know, you could have gone into the market place with Aang, Sokka and your Uncle."
Zuko snorted and stood up languidly. "And leave you on your own? Yeah, that would be a great idea, especially after what happened a few weeks back."
Katara blushed slightly. "That wasn't my fault! Nothing like that ever happened to me before you started travelling with us."
"So it's my fault that you lack common sense? Katara, if you go foraging for food and get pomegranate juice all over yourself then you are going to attract animals."
Katara grimaced. "It was not that bad!"
Zuko smirked. "So I suppose you were running away from a pack of wild hog-monkeys just for the fun of it, right? Oh, and I guess I must have imagined you screaming at the top of your lungs."
Katara growled lowly in her throat and turned away from the infuriating Firebender.
Zuko let out a bark of laughter, knowing he had got one over on her. "Face it Katara, you may be a good Waterbender but when it comes to taking charge of situations, you're pathetic. Especially when I end up having to be the one who rescues you."
Katara whipped around to face Zuko. "What makes you think I can't take charge?"
"If you could, then you wouldn't have needed anyone to rescue you. If you haven't got your Waterbending to back you up then you're like a damsel in distress."
Katara advanced towards Zuko. "Look, I can take control if I want. I do not need my Waterbending to bail me out of situations."
She turned around and started to march away from Zuko. Behind her the Fire Prince's face broke into a cunning grin.
Katara didn't know what happened. One moment she was making space between herself and Zuko, the next she had her back pressed against a tree with Zuko in front of her.
Completely perplexed, Katara raised her hands to push Zuko away, only to have her wrists gripped and held fast by him.
"What the hell are you doing? Let me go!"
Zuko only smirked at her. "You don't need Waterbending? Prove it."
Katara could only gape at her one-time enemy. "I have no idea what goes on inside that twisted head of yours but I demand you let me go!"
"Just as I thought. You can't fight back without your element. This is just like the time I, oh what were the words I used, ah yes… this is just like the time I 'saved you from the pirates'."
Katara could feel the confusion she felt turn into anger. How dare he bring that up? She would show him she could retaliate without resorting to Waterbending.
Zuko was still smirking when Katara leant forwards and captured his lips with her own. His eyes widened in surprise and he let go of her wrists in favour of wrapping his arms around her waist.
This was just the opening Katara was looking for. Breaking the kiss and bringing her knee sharply into Zuko's stomach, she grabbed his shoulders and swapped their positions. She pressed her forearm against his throat and held him to the tree with most of her body weight.
It would have been an easy task for Zuko to push the teenager away, but he still seemed completely thrown at her previous actions.
Katara grinned at him victoriously. "You're not so smart after all. Now, what was it you were saying about me needing Waterbending, because it seems like I have the upper hand. I wonder if you can you get out of this without using Firebending?"
Zuko blinked his eyes back into focus. He stared at Katara for a moment before he gripped the arm at his throat and artfully spun away from the tree.
Katara came with him and she nearly lost her footing. Zuko's arm laced around her waist and he pulled her against him.
Feeling very confused, Katara looked up at Zuko. The Firebender smiled softy (which was enough to shock Katara even further) and he spoke lowly.
"I take it back; you do know how to take charge."
Then he promptly dipped his head down and covered Katara's mouth with his own.
Feeling very dazed, Katara stood stiff and wide-eyed against Zuko for a few moments. Soon enough she got caught up in Zuko's embrace and sank into the kiss with a contented sigh.
Zuko, relieved that Katara wasn't going to reject him, wasted no time in deepening the kiss.
As his tongue gently pushed past her lips, Katara let her eyes flutter closed. Unlike her diversionary tactic, this kiss was full of passion. The two teens stood in the middle of the campsite, paying no attention to the curious Appa and Momo, they were in a state of euphoria and everything else blurred into obscurity.
The awkwardness of the kiss had long since evaporated, and all that was left was eagerness and a reluctance for air. The need for the latter came soon enough and reddened, smiling lips parted.
Katara let out a disappointed moan and pouted and Zuko smiled at her childishness.
"Just like I said, babysitting duty."
Katara grinned and launched herself at Zuko again. Knocking both of them to the ground, Katara lowered her head and initiated another kiss. Thee was no chasteness needed to test the water this time; it was full of passion from the beginning, and Katara distinctly felt Zuko's hands heat up when he wrapped his arms around her waist.
The pair were so preoccupied that they didn't notice their three companions re-enter the campsite.
They didn't pay any attention to Sokka's ranting at the sight of his sister on top of the Fire Prince, or his rather graphic threats towards Zuko.
They also ignored Iroh's voice when he addressed Aang. "I do believe I win the bet young Avatar; I did say it would happen within the first two months, did I not?"
- - - - - - - - - - -
Okay, just a harmless piece of fluff because was feeling… fluffy. Yeah, I'm babysitting so it's been hard to keep total concentration on this so forgive any mistakes or sheer deficiencies in this little one-shot.
I just wanted to amuse myself with some Zutara fluff so… yeah.
Reviews are appreciated.
BTW, this was set some time after Zuko and Uncle Iroh joined the gang (because I do think it will happen) .