Please take note that this is only the first chapter and the others won't be quite as long. (I'm gonna put this a couple times, just so everyone sees this. Copy, paste. Copy, paste…)

A/N: Hi, people! New story! New story! New story:dances in circles like a nimrod: So let me know how you like it!

Please take note that this is only the first chapter and the others won't be quite as long. (I'm gonna put this a couple times, just so everyone sees this. Copy, paste. Copy, paste…)



Chapter One

(Please take note that this is only the first chapter and the others won't be quite as long. (I'm gonna put this a couple times, just so everyone sees this. Copy, paste. Copy, paste…)) (Ha! There are two parentheses!)

I don't know how it happened. I was there- I saw it. In fact, I was the only one awake at the time. It's all a blur. It's one huge, confusing, surreal blur. But then how can I remember it? I suppose it was shock that caused me to be so hesitant in my actions. Now that I look back on the events of that night, I can sort out what happened. At the time, it didn't feel like that could actually be happening. It was like a dream. A nightmare almost. Almost.


I sat on a long laid on its side. I watched the orange flames of the campfire dance, hearing it crackle and pop. My head was glued to my hands and my elbows to my knees. Absentmindedly, I reached down to smooth my skirt. I brought my hands back to their position when I realized I only had on my pants. I had not been wearing my skirt lately since it only got in the way when I tried to fight. I sighed and continued watching the fire.

Sokka turned over in his sleep muttering something about seal jerky and lichi nuts. I rolled my eyes. Even in his slumbers Sokka was still thinking about food. Will wonders ever cease? He continued his snoring as he snuggled into his bedroll and cuddled his pillow like a teddy bear. I smirked. Back at home, my brother had a toy sewn to look like a seal that he carried around as a child. Though he had not slept with Eokie (as he called him) in at least six years, he always needed something to hold on to.

When I was a young girl, my Gran-Gran had made me a penguin for me. I did not like it and screamed my little lungs out every time I saw it. And believe me, I could scream. My mother sewed me a blanket, but I threw that in the ocean by day two. All I liked to do was cuddle with Sokka. He would push me away as the women of the tribe would giggle and say how cute it was that I loved my brother so much.

My thoughts drifted as I sat there silently. Once again I was mesmerized by the flames. I watched them wave and dance in the light breeze. I smiled, thinking the little show was beautiful. Fire was majestic and entrancing to watch. My smile faded when I thought about firebenders. How could such a beautiful thing be so dangerous? How could this amazing element be poisoned by the way firebenders used it? How could firebenders turn their art into something so poisoned and hate-filled?

My fists clenched in anger. I absolutely hated this war! I hated the people who started it. I hated fire benders. I hated the Fire Nation. No. I stopped myself with my last crude thought. No. I didn't hate all of the Fire Nation. Unlike my brother, I saw the good in people. I would not curse the innocent people of the Fire Nation that were not guilty of starting this war. I would not hate people who did not deserve it.

I then wondered how the people of the Fire Nation viewed the war. What if they had different views than the Fire Lord? What did they do about it? How did they feel? How did they feel knowing so many people were prejudiced against them?

What about those families that had lost family members in this pointless war? My vivid blue eyes welled with sparkling tears. My mother had been killed in a Fire Nation raid and my father was currently away, fighting for the safety of our tribe. I missed my mother horribly. She'd been gone for three years. Three long years. Luckily, for the past ten months, I'd had Aang to distract me from my painful memories.

I still, however, found myself sometimes thinking about my father. Where was he? Was he injured? Was he even alive? My heart lurched as I thought of loosing my only parent. Tears spilled over my eyelids and onto my cheeks. I wanted my father back. I know it was selfish, but I wanted him back. My heart yearned for him and my Gran-Gran and my home. I would not tell Aang or even Sokka, but I missed the South Pole.

I was tired of the fighting and the firebenders and the traps. Why couldn't people just step back and let the Avatar return the world to its rightful order? Avatar. A lead weight dropped into my stomach and I felt slightly nauseous. My gaze drifted over to a twelve year old boy's sleeping form. His lemur rose and fell on his back with each of his owner's breaths. The boy was named Aang. He was the last airbender and the last hope to the world. Aang was the Avatar.

I secretly worried about my young friend's situation. Aang had to master all four of the elements by summer's end. There was a comet arriving by then with which the Fire Nation could easily end the war. They would soar to victory and all of the world would be at their feet, begging for mercy. Not even Aang would be able to stop the war.

Not only did I secretly worry for Aang's safety, but I secretly wondered whether he could do it or not. After all, Aang was only twelve. He had to master firebending within the next four months. How in the world could this little boy save the entire world?

I felt the tears return. How were we going to do this? Aang was a child, Sokka was a clumsy warrior, and I was a horrible fighter. I mean, I was a master water bender, but how was I supposed to fare against an army of fire benders? How were three people supposed to overthrow such a powerful nation within four months, preferably before the comet arrived?

I held my stomach and fought back a sob. I needed to get better at fighting. I needed to be able to help my friend and brother. Tears streamed down my cheeks. How could this be happening to me? To the world?

A twig snapped in the woods. I looked up in a flash, looking into the brush. Against, my better judgment, I stood up and walked over to the edge of the forest.

"Who's there?"

Silence. I moved a bit closer, summoning the water from my canteen for protection- just in case.

"Does the Avatar still need a firebending teacher?" a voice asked. I froze. It was a firebender? It didn't sound like Jong-Jong the Deserter, the one that had taught Aang a bit of the art, and that worried me. I tried to scream but my breath caught in my throat. My breathing hitched and I was rooted to my spot.

"What are you so upset about?" the voice inquired. Who was this guy? Why was he making a seemingly casual conversation? I still stood frozen with fear. This was surely a trap… "You don't have to be afraid. I swear to Great Agni that I will not hurt you." The voice was slightly raspy and had a truthful sound to it. Before I could do anything, a vague shadow came halfway around the trunk of the sturdy tree.

The shadow outlined the figure of a strong-built young man. His strong body suggested he was a warrior. I took a step back in fear. The man reached out his hand to me. Pale fingers exited the shadows. "Please, come into the shadows. My face isn't exactly handsome." What? Was this freak hitting on me? Once again, against every inch of sense within me, I moved. I took his hand and he led me into the woods.

We walked for a good fifteen minutes. About a mile separated me from my camp and my safety zone had dissipated. I was scared. This stranger could easily kill me and leave my body in the forest for my brother and friend to find. An image of my lifeless body filled my head as Aang and Sokka entered a clearing, sobbing and screaming words of revenge. The man pushed back a tree branch and ushered me forward. He still gripped my hand. It was strong yet gentle and strangely comforting.

"I figured you would feel more comfortable here." His hand gestured forward, making me notice a wide river in the clearing. I looked back at him, speechless. What was going on? Could I truly trust him? He released my hand and made his way over to a wide tree. He took a seat and motioned for me to join him. I did not dare refuse. When I sat, he did not take my hand or put his arm around my shoulder. He only rested his arms on his knees.

"So what do you want to know about me?" he asked. Huh? What was he talking about?

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"To trust me. What do you need to know to trust me?" Was this guy for real?

"Um…" A slight snicker escaped his lips. It was oddly musical. "What's your name?" I asked, ignoring his interruption. The man was oddly silent.

"I'll tell you later."

"How old are you?"

"Sixteen." Oh. So he was a year older than me (A/N: I made Katara's birthday happen already, so sue me).

"Did you grow up in the Fire Nation?"

"Mostly. I left when I was fourteen."

"Why?" I questioned.

"There was something that I had to do."

"What?" My (for lack of better word) companion sighed.

"If you don't mind, I'll tell you the whole story later." This guy sure knew how to make himself sound suspicious.

"Okay… Are you a warrior?" He turned to me. I could barely make out the shape of his body in the moonlight.

"Why do you ask?" His voice was full of curiosity and sounded…teasing?

"Well, you looked sort of…muscular." The last word was near a whisper. I turned my head away a bit to hide a blush. Not that he would have been able to see it anyway.

"So you check out every teen firebender that comes your way?" He was teasing me now. Lovely. He chuckled again, turning toward the river. "I guess you could say I'm a warrior."

"So how long have you been bending?" I asked. If this was the only common interest I could find, or the only answer other than "I'll tell you later" than I might as well talk about it.

"I was six and my little sister had stolen my favorite robe. When I went after her, we had a little wrestling match of a sort. Her pillow ripped open, sending feathers everywhere. That wasn't exactly great for my allergies and I sneezed, sending flames all around the room. It took my mother an hour to cut the burnt ends of her hair." the boy chuckled again. "She never forgave me for that."

"So are you a master?"

"No. Are you a master waterbender?" The outline of his face turned toward me.

"Yes." He nodded.

"I had the feeling." What was that supposed to mean? "So when did you figure out you could bend?"

"My mother was bending some water in our tent and I walked in on her. I'd never seen anyone bend before since she was the only bender in our tribe. I asked if I could do that and she tried to teach me. I couldn't." I sighed. "She died the next day. I figured out two weeks later I could bend when I cried. I threw a fit and threw my arms around. My tears followed the movements of my arms."

"You're mother died?" he questioned, turning to me again.

"Yes. In a Fire Nation raid." I replied softly.

"I'm sorry."

"I just want this stupid war to be over! My mother's dead, my father's at war, my Gran-Gran is running my tribe, and the fate of the world rests in a twelve year olds hands!" I thrust my hands outward and brought them back to my head. "I'm so scared." The tears streamed down my face again. I felt pathetic. Here I was, pouring my heart out to a complete stranger. "I'll need to face hundreds or even thousands of firebending warriors when we go to try and defeat Fire Lord Ozai."

"I'm sorry. Please don't cry." He touched my shoulder and pulled me close. I was still at first with surprise. I forgot about him being dangerous and collapsed into his strong chest with sobs. "I'll go with you and your friends to defeat him. I have a score to settle. I'll kill him myself." I pulled back a little to look up at him.

"Is that why you left the Fire Nation?"

"Something like that."

"Why do you bother comforting me?" I asked. Why was he comforting me?

"I can't stand to see a beautiful girl cry, and if we're fighting ruthless firebenders, you won't be much use if you're so depressed." I barely heard the last part. What had he called me?


"Hasn't a guy ever called you that?" This time he pulled back a little. I felt his strong yet gentle grip on my shoulders.

"Yes, but…" I leaned back in to his chest. I ran my hand up the left side of his face but he grabbed my hand when it was almost to his eye. For a split second, I thought it was a trap. He kissed my hand in the most formal way. It was rather cute.

"We should get back to your camp. It's almost sunrise. I need you to help persuade the others to trust me."

"Why wouldn't they trust you? You took me to a river where I'd surely beat you should you attack. If that's not a sign you aren't an enemy, I don't know what is. Everyone knows waterbenders are at their strongest when the moon is in the sky." The boy stood and helped me to my feet.

"They just won't. I'm a firebender." He took my hand again. It took all of my will power not to blush. I laced my fingers in his and giggled as I pulled him forward.

"What's your name?" he asked as we backtracked.


"Katara, do you promise me that no matter how horrible I look you'll still like me?" The stranger had stopped now and was looking down at me with my hands held in his. His hands were soft- the opposite I'd expect from a bender such as him. I thought his question was a strange one. If his personality was something I could connect with, of course I would still like him.



"I promise."

"Alright." I felt his lips connect with my forehead. Wow. This was going fast. I didn't even know the guy's name. He turned and continued in the direction of camp, still holding to my hand. We finally came to the edge of the camp and he let go, sitting behind a tree. "Just explain the situation to them when they wake up. Don't tell them I'm here. Tell them I can be trusted for me, alright?" I nodded and entered the camp to await my companions' awakening.

It was nearly an hour before Aang woke up with the first rays of morning just peeking over the horizon. He stretched and sat up, scratching his ear. He looked over at me with that wide grin of his and stood up.

"Morning, Kat. Why are you up so early?" he asked, striding over to give me his usual morning hug. Lately, the young Avatar had taken to calling me Kat for some reason. He hugged me every morning and every night unless Sokka was around. I assumed it was to avoid my brother's foolish taunting. At the South Pole, Sokka had called Aang "my boyfriend."

"I just had an interesting conversation." Aang looked up, confused. He scratched his bare stomach. This was another of the monk's strange new habits: sleeping topless. Not that me or my brother cared. It was just a new thing. "I found you a firebending teacher."

"Really! Wow, this is great!" He threw his arms into the air and jumped in utter excitement.

"Yeah. He wanted me to tell you and Sokka about it before he came into camp so Sokka wouldn't kill him on the spot. Attempt to, I mean."

"Oh." Aang pulled his arms down to his sides and let his smile radiate happiness. "So what's his name?"

"What's whose name?" Sokka asked from behind, rubbing a tired eye. He sat on his bedroll, yawning.

"I found Aang a firebending teacher, Sokka!" I exclaimed. Sokka's face immediately turned stern.

"You were alone with a firebender?" my brother nearly shouted.

"He didn't try to hurt me, Sokka. He was--"

"It was a guy?" he spat. "Did he try to romance you?" I barely hesitated.

"Sokka, I found Aang a teacher! He didn't try to hurt me and he's nice!"

"I don't care if he's nice! I don't want a damn firebender romancing my sister!"

"He didn't, okay?"

"Fine. Where is he?" My brother crossed his arms like he does when he's in his foul moods. It is safe to say Sokka almost always has his arms crossed. He is like a pouty child that sulks whenever they don't get what they want. I rolled my eyes and turned toward the forest.

"It's okay. You can come out now." I said.

"Sure Sokka won't kill me?" A smiling young man stepped from the woods and the three of us froze. He was clad in a brown tunic and pants along with combat boots. His hair was jet black and unbrushed. His eyes were gold like molten gold. Now I know why I recognized his voice. He looked a little different, but there are some things you can't hide- like a scar that covers nearly half of your face.

"No!" I cried. "It couldn't be you!" I backed up a few steps. "You- you pervert!" My scream echoed through the clearing as birds took flight. "You asshole! Why did you have to play with my emotions? Why couldn't you just try to capture Aang, fail, and be on your merry way like all the other times? That wasn't enough?" I advanced now.

"Katara, I--" Prince Zuko held up his arms in defense.

"SHUT UP!" I summoned water from my canteen and water-whipped him in the face. A trickle of blood slid down his pale face. I was about to unleash a fury of attacks when Aang incased Zuko in stone using earthbending.

"What did you do to Katara?" Aang said angrily, advancing to the imprisoned prince. His tone scared me. I had never heard the boy be so harsh. Zuko didn't reply. "Answer me, damn it!" Aang water whipped Zuko in the face, just as I had done. I saw Sokka's eyes widen. Neither of us had heard Aang curse before. We knew the boy was all business.

"I was talking to her. Calm down. I didn't hurt her." Zuko said calmly, barely phased by Aang's words or attack.

"Katara doesn't call just anyone a pervert! What did you do to her?" Aand yelled. No answer. Another whip. I winced at that one.

"I held her hand when I led her to the river, alright? Happy now?"

"You held my sister's hand?" Sokka spat. The Avatar cut in again.

"What else?" No reply. An advance. A whip. A wince. "What else?" Aang shouted.

"I-I…kissed her." Sokka was dead silent. Aang's face was stony. He suddenly lashed out, launching for the freed prince to strangle him. I intervened and held him back.

"It was on the forehead! I'm okay! Aang, stop! I'm okay! Stop tra-- Ow! I fell backward with an unintended burn from the Avatar as he used what little fire bending he could. I cradled my arm and bent over on the ground. Aang did not notice I had been burned and continued his advance on the Fire Nation prince. Zuko, however, did notice.

"Look what you did!" The monk looked back at me sitting on the ground. Pained tears covered my face.

"Katara!" Aang's eyes widened in realization of what he'd done for a second time. Before he could get to me, Zuko was past him and lifting me up bridal style. What on earth was he doing? I cried out in agony as the burn seared. Right now, I didn't care.

"You need to get that in some water. You won't have so much of a scar." the prince told me softly. He hurried over to the stream by our camp and placed me on the ground. "This is going to hurt." he warned. He took my hand and pushed the burnt part of my arm into the freezing liquid. I only gritted my teeth. By this time, Sokka's shouts of "you burned my sister" could be heard. I used my waterbending to surround my hands in a sort of blue liquid glove. Zuko looked at me strangely but I paid him no mind. I healed the burn and let the remainder of the water drip down my arm and send ripples about the water's surface. Zuko looked over my healed arm with wide, golden eyes. He looked up at me and smiled- a real, sincere smile.

"That's a handy trick."

"I learned it at the North Pole." I said, brushing a piece of loose hair behind my ear. I looked back to camp just in time to see Sokka tackle Aang.

"You stupid little runt! Every time you use your stupid firebending, Katara gets burned! You aren't any different than Zuko or Zhao! Why can't you control it?" my brother yelled angrily.

"Sokka, get off of him." I walked over to the Avatar and my brother with hands on my hips. The sorry excuse for a warrior obliged and stood, giving Aang an angry glare. Aang stood as well, not bothering to brush the dirt from his clothes. He just looked at me with his sad gray eyes and laced his fingers together.

"Katara, I am so sorry. Please, please, please forgive me. I was only trying to…I swear, I won't ever firebend around you again unless I can control it. I'm so sorry. Please, please--" It seemed the young Avatar was going in circles now. I stopped him before any of us went insane.

"It's alright, Aang. I can heal myself so I'm fine now."

"But I still hurt you and--"

"I'm fine." I insisted.

"But I--"

"It's okay."


"Drop it!" I nearly shouted. Momo hid under his owner's sleeping bag in fright, though no one but me noticed it. Appa looked up and grunted as if to tell us to stop arguing. Sokka cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. We all turned to him as he pointed to Zuko.

"He's alone. No firebending army, no weapons, no minions. Can I beat the crap out of him now?" My brother pulled his boomerang from his belt as he waited for the okay. It never came.

"Aang needs a teacher."

"What?" Sokka yelled. "You can't be serious!"

End (Ridiculously long) Flashback

But I was serious. This happened yesterday and I'm still trying to figure out why I stood up for Zuko. Zuko was my enemy- prince of the Fire Nation. He had been chasing us for months and had finally disappeared only to resurface six months later. Why the hell was I standing up for a stupid firebender?


Please take note that this is only the first chapter and the others won't be quite as long. (I'm gonna put this a couple times, just so everyone sees this. Copy, paste. Copy, paste…)

A/N: So how'd I do? I didn't wanna tell you at the top of the story, 'cause then you might not read it, but this is my first Avatar fic. Reviews are greatly appreciated. Just ask the reviewers for my Teen Titan stories, I don't write if you don't review!