Mystic: my first Avatar ficcy, and of course its Zutara its so sexeh, dont deny it. if you dont like the pairing dont read please!
Title: Katara Alone
Summary: Exhaustion puts the trio plus Toph at each other's throats. After many arguments, Katara storms off and but gets lost when night falls. To make matters worse Zuko, who is trying to find his way back to his uncle, stumbles across the water-bender with critical injuries after fighting with earth-benders. Will more arguments ensue? Or will passion rule over pride? Zutara
Rating: M (language, implied sexual content)
"I said no, Sokka." The brunette continued to rub the bridge of her nose as her older brother continued to pester her about the last remaining water they had.
They had been traveling since dawn; it was now early evening, and the Earth Kingdom was known for its scorching weather. Exhaustion was taking its toll on herself and her three companions. Sokka was thirsty -hell, they all were. But the water-bender had the last of their water supply in her flask; though she refused to drink any in case, she needed it if they were attacked by the Fire Nation again.
"We've haven't seen a single person in days, let alone a fire-bender!" Sokka argued; falling back on Appa's back as he continued to berate his sister. "And who knows when we'll find a stream next? We could die of dehydration!"
"We could be captured if I don't have water to bend to protect your sorry ass!" Katara snapped back.
"Katara just smack him or something to make him shut up. He's giving me a headache!" Toph grunted, her pale-unseeing eyes narrowing in Sokka's direction.
"I'll shut up when my bratty sister gives me a drink!"
"I'm not giving you a drop!"
"Katara, Sokka has a point…" Aang, who had been unusually quiet during the argument, finally spoke up. "You don't even need to water-bend anymore. Toph and I will do the protecting… besides, we are all thirsty…" He glanced down at his flying buffalo who was too exhausted to fly even. "Dehydration is taking its toll on Appa too."
Blue eyes narrowed at the air-bender. "What do you mean I don't need to water-bend anymore?" Her tone was rising a notch, her head snapping back to glare at the bald 12-year-old.
The Avatar rolled his eyes, his frustration growing. "I mean you don't need to! We don't need your skills anymore, Katara! I've already mastered water-bending, and now it's up to Toph to take control and teach me how to earth-bend. So if we were to be attacked, I could fight on my own."
"Hah! Exactly! See Katara. Even Aang sees how unreasonable you're being! You don't even need the water!"
Toph may have been blind, but she wasn't stupid; she realized instantly the potential danger the boys were in. Being blind had its advantages; her other senses were heightened. She could feel Katara's anger rising along with the strength of her bending powers.
With a grin, Sokka eagerly outstretched both his hands towards his sister expectantly. "Hand it over!"
Toph ran her pale hand through her dark hair - no point in bothering to stop the water-bender's attack. The earth-bending master was far too exhausted to try to calm Katara; besides the boys had it coming. And if she weren't so exhausted herself, Toph would have probably joined in Katara's attack.
"You want it so bad?" Katara hissed, opening her flask. "Here!" Her anger raged as she bended the water full speed at her arrogant brother, splashing the water at his hands, and immediately willed it to freeze in place when she exhaled.
Sokka yelped at the ice and the sudden disabled use of his frozen hands. "Katara!"
"Katara!" Aang echoed; both shock and frustration laced through his voice.
"Oh bite me! Both of you!" The dark skinned water-bender glared pointedly at her two male companions and jumped off Appa's back. "And since you're so keen on telling me how little you need me now, I'm sure you can continue without me just fine!" She yelled angrily, willing herself not to cry and stormed off into the forest.
The Avatar glared at her retreating figure. "She'll come crawling back." He muttered, before glancing back at Sokka who was yelling in frustration about his frozen hands, and Toph who was itching to throw some large boulders at his head.
If it continued on like this, they would kill each other in no time.
If there had been any water around her, it would be raging and rip-roaring with a force of the water-bender's anger. Katara huffed, stomping rather loudly through the forest. "Why was I cursed with such a fate to travel with those two idiots?" She screamed once she was sure she was, at least, a mile away from her traveling companions.
"The Aang is still a kid! He has a lot to learn before he can become the Avatar! He's so god damn naïve sometimes! Acting all high and mighty, just because he could master water-bending faster than me!" She hissed. "I don't need you anymore Katara, I'm the Avatar, and I know everything!" She mocked angrily.
She kicked at the rocks beneath her feet as she trudged faster. "You're just a girl Katara! Leave the fighting to the boys and the masters; let me drink Katara you never needed it in the first place!" She continued to mock her brother's constant banter towards her.
Her anger was now fully directed at her brother again. He's the one who started pushing her buttons first after all. "Yeah, what does he know? He can't even water-bend! And he's not even that great of a fighter!"
She paused in mid-step and spun on her heel and glared off towards the direction she came. "YOU HEAR ME SOKKA? YOU ARE A LOUSY FIGHTER!" She screamed, before spinning around and storming off again. She was quite pleased with herself after venting so enthusiastically.
The sun was setting now, and the moon would soon rise as would her powers - not that she could take advantage of that fact -seeing as she had attacked her brother with the last of the water.
Her pace slowed as the adrenaline, and the anger started to fade. Exhaustion was beginning to remind her of how much she was affected by it. In all reality, she didn't have any more strength the yell or scream or run out her anger… instead, her body felt weak. She would not be surprised if she would have heatstroke by nightfall.
She glanced around the clearing she had stumbled upon. Still no water. But, the space seemed decent enough to build a fire and keep her safe until she decided to go back to Aang and the others.
She should go back now… Only-
Her thoughts paused as realization dawned on her.
She was lost.
Lost, alone, weak and vulnerable.
She was screwed.
Frustration started to boil in her blood again. This was all Aang's fault! He's too innocent for his own good; 100 years in that iceberg did nothing for his wisdom. He may be the Avatar, but he was still a kid and still had a lot to learn. He would need Katara's help in the end; the air-bender just didn't know it yet. And if he had really mastered and understood water-bending he would realize and appreciate any water they possessed because of its potential! He wouldn't just throw it away to drink. He was naïve and stupid! If only he had taken her side and realized what an ass her brother was being.
Sokka always pulled crap like this; he knew she was just as exhausted and thirsty as he was, but you didn't see her bitching about it! He always treated her like she was below him, because she was younger and the girl of the family. But if their mom were still alive he would have never dared to speak to Katara like that! He would respect her for being a water-bender and for having the ability to protect herself and him. But no, instead he decided to bitch the entire trip when he knew full well Toph had little patience or tolerance for that, which could only lead to her destructive behaviour when attacking her brother with rocks! His own damn fault!
And Toph's snide remarks during their travels did nothing to calm Katara- if anything it only fuelled her frustration towards them all, because the girl had logic behind her sarcasm. Toph was smart, though a bit cheeky at times, the earth-bender had a higher understanding of life. Because she was blind, it gave her more opportunities to understand others and resent unappreciative people. Her brother was unappreciative, and Aang was naïve, and Katara was weak in Tophs eyes- which only escalated her verbal attacks on them all.
Frustrating and exhausting.
And because of them of them Katara's last nerve had snapped, and now she was stuck here. Lost and cold; the night was creeping over the land.
The brunette growled upon realizing there was nothing left for her to do except build a fire. There was no way she could find her way back in the dark; she would only find herself more lost.
After finding branches and twigs from the forest around her and gathering it into a small pile surrounded by rocks, Katara proceeded to attempt to make fire. First, she tried the rubbing of two sticks method - a little bit of smoke, but no flame. Then she attempted to spark a flame by smacking two rocks together; a spark, but again, no flame.
When she had no energy or strength left to continue, she let out a frustrated cry and threw the rocks off into the distance.
"What did those rocks ever do to you?"
Katara jumped, startled by the new yet familiar voice. She spun around to stare into exhausted yet amused amber eyes.
"Zuko!" She jumped back into a fighting stance, her arms raised as if ready to attack him.
"Quit fooling yourself. There is no water around." He rolled her eyes as she paled.
How could she be so stupid to forget? She was so used to having her water in her flask. Goddamn, Sokka! No fire-benders around, her ass!
"Relax." The prince grunted, noticing her panic-stricken expression. He leaned more against the tree. "I doubt I'm in any position to fight you either."
She blinked, finally taking notice of his figure. His dark hair was now grown out, no longer bald, and his amber eyes showed signs of weakness. His large scar on the left side of his face showed no change, still red and scarred from the flames. His breathing was irregular, and most of his body weight leaned against the trunk of a tree for support. He was clearly injured.
"If you're looking for Aang, I couldn't help you even if I wanted to. I haven't the faintest clue as to where that idiot is." She lowered her guard slightly, dropping her arms to her sides.
"I'm not here for the Avatar… only rest…" He murmured ignoring her obvious anger towards the Avatar. One hand clutched his stomach before the other shot out and waved a torrent of flames at the stack of wood, bursting it into a healthy fire.
Startled, Katara stepped back a few paces. "Why did you do that?" What she really meant to ask was, 'Why are you helping me?'
She watched him lean his back against the tree and slip down slowly, his amber eyes glinted in the fires light as he stared back up at the water tribe girl. "You were having difficulties lighting it. Besides, it seems a fair price to pay considering it looks as though you'll be tolerating my company for the night." He said nonchalantly.
Blue eyes narrowed as she frowned. She had not agreed to this. "Excuse me?"
"Like I said I'm in no condition to be doing anything. I need rest. You can stay or leave. It's your choice." Zuko glared back at the stubborn girl. When he moved to get comfortable he winced as pain shot through his body; startled by this, worry washed over Katara's face.
Clearly he was in a lot more pain than he was letting on. Her better half told her to ignore his pained expression; he was a noble prince after all. Zuko would not need a water peasant's aid, regardless of intensive injuries. He would not want her help, not from a girl in the least.
This only strengthened her resolve. Boys were always stubborn, especially when it came to accepting help from girls. She learned this much from Sokka. Besides, Katara wasn't that heartless to ignore a boy in pain, not when she held the ability to soothe such pain. Slowly she stepped towards him.
Zuko glared at the girl wearily. Her worry was underlying the sudden confident expression as she stalked towards him. Surely the girl was not stupid enough to assume he was weak enough for her to attack him.
"Just because the moon is out there is still no water around. And despite how confident you are and how exhausted I am, I could still beat you if you were to attack me now." Zuko glared hard at her, and as if to emphasize the point he bended a strong flame in the palm of his hand in warning.
She rolled her eyes as she crouched before him. "Are all boys this arrogant and stupid?" She muttered darkly. "Show me your wound." She demanded.
He closed his palm, snuffing the flame, as he searched her expression for some hint of deception.
When he didn't move and continued to stare at her in confusion, she pushed his hands away and ripped open his kimono styled-shirt.
"What are you-?"
He was cut off by her loud gasp. He noticed her blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight as they widened at the sight of his skin. A large bruise, about the size of a large boulder, circled his abdomen and ribs. The skin was distorted in dark shades of black, blue and purple, and some yellowing around the edges. Cool tanned fingers brushed across the sensitive skin; he hissed at the contact.
"What happened to you?"
Amber eyes locked within her blue orbs, it was clear she was worried and confused. He moved to close up his shirt from her view, but her cool hands pressed against the warm skin of his wrists, preventing him from doing so. He had forgotten how warm his skin was because of his fire-bending skills- he assumed the same for the coolness from her water-bending.
"It's nothing. I got into a fight with a few earth-benders." He grunted.
Her eyes glanced back down at his toned yet marred stomach. "There is internal bleeding…" She muttered more or less to herself before glancing back up at the Fire Nation's Prince. "Do you have water?"
Zuko frowned. "Yes, why?" She held out her hand expectantly, and reluctantly the prince handed her the flask.
"Do you have a knife?" She asked next earning a startled glare from the young prince.
"Like I'm going to give you my knife!" Out of instinct, his hand flew to the sheath of his dagger.
"Look you spoilt brat! I need to break the skin to heal you; it would be common decency not to accuse me of further injuring you!" She hissed and held out her palm expectantly.
With hesitation he gave her the knife, glaring back at her tenfold. Who did she think she was? Calling him a spoilt brat? What would she know? He was hardly spoilt; he was exiled!
Ignoring the intensive glare, Katara gingerly pressed the blade against the skin. "I only need to break the skin… it's going to hurt, though…" She said slowly, hesitation grasping a hold of her. When he said nothing in return, she pressed the blade harder.
Zuko hissed out in pain, gritting his teeth refusing to cry out as blood spilled down his abdomen. Out of reflex, Zuko grasped her right wrist tightly; he would not allow her the chance to press the blade further.
Katara gasped loudly; she was not expecting his sudden movement. But still he refused to let go. "Zuko!"
He growled as the pain grew stronger and more blood seeped from the wound. Katara yelped in pain when he tightened his hold around her fragile wrist. "Zuko!" She gasped again. "Let go! Please! You're hurting me!"
"I'm not giving you the chance to kill me." Zuko snapped back. "Drop the knife." He ordered.
"I can't! You're squeezing too tightly." The brunette tried not to whimper, but she could already feel her skin begin to bruise beneath his grasp. Instead, she locked her eyes with his in a pleading stare. "Trust me!"
She knew what she was asking of him was impossible but at this point, he would die from the extensive injuries if she did not heal them fast enough. He was bleeding out; he needed to understand she only wanted to help him!
Reluctantly he released her.
Muttering a quiet apology and ignoring the pain in her wrist, Katara quickly set aside the knife and quickly opened the flask, bending the water to her will. She eased it across his wound and around her hands. She didn't touch him at first as her hands started to glow with the source of the healing power. Palms inches away from his skin as she shut here eyes focussing on his injury and the water… willing it to bend from beneath the skin outwards.
She heard Zuko gasp out, and felt his skin press against her palms. She opened her eyes to find his back arched, his eyes shut and his expression showing that of relief. The bruise was gone, so she concentrated on the cut.
Zuko could feel the pain fade away… His skin was tingling beneath her fingers. The water was cold against his warmed skin, but that didn't matter at this moment. When he felt her hands press down more firmly on his wound, he opened his eyes to watch her. It was fascinating, this ability she had; to soothe away the pain. She had the ability to make his skin tingle and his muscles relax beneath her touch.
In short, it was amazing.
He wanted to know her secret. He wondered if this ability she had did more than heal physical wounds, but emotional scars as well. He could see it was only water bending, but as he watched her, he felt spellbound. Zuko was certain there was more to this ability of hers than the water.
There had to be.
Eyes still focused on her hands as she bended the water back into his flask. Both the pain and the wound were gone. He was finally shocked out of his trance when her cold fingers met his skin again.
His eyes flickered to her face, but she was too focused on his stomach to notice. She needed to make sure the internal bleeding was gone, and there were no other life-threatening injuries. When she healed with her water, she often lost focus of that around her and concentrated on the wound. Katara could never explain the trance she went into when she let the water take control of her as she bended it to her will.
Her hands grazed up across his toned abdomen. Not even a scratch. There was no tenderness in the muscle; she had done well this time. She exhaled heavily, finally noticing how much strength she had drained to heal the Fire Nations prince.
When she noticed him still staring at her, she moved to pull back her hands from his body, only to be stopped when he grasped her wrists. Katara winced visibly, finally remembering the bruise; Zuko too also seemed to come to this realization. He released her other hand before bringing her right-hand closer to inspect.
Out of pain and distrust he had wounded her, when she only wished to heal him… and with this bruised hand she had relieved the pain. His eyes narrowed; maybe it was her hands that held the ability.
Her hands could be very useful to him.
"Zuko?" He ignored her.
She was too exhausted to fight him, even if she wanted to. Instead, she watched him finger the bruise on her inner wrist gently, before trailing fingers up the inside of her palm to her fingers, as if memorized, as if trying to decipher some hidden code.
She didn't understand his eyes. She didn't understand his expression; she could not even begin to imagine what the Fire Prince was possibly thinking. After all he showed no intentions of apologizing.
These hands will be mine…
Even as unconsciousness slowly wrapped its claws around Katara, she couldn't help but notice the blatant lust pooling in the prince's eyes. She had exhausted herself to her limit today; she hadn't drunk water in almost two days, she had vented and stormed about in a semi-violent temper tantrum for half the day, and she had used the last remaining energy she had to heal the prince with her water bending skills.
She needed sleep. If he hadn't been holding her wrist, she would have fallen back into the fire; but upon feeling her straining to fall back, Zuko's hand wrapped around the small of her back.
His gaze was still focused on her delicate hand.
"Zuko, what are you-?" Her voice came out in languid breaths as she tried to fight off the exhaustion. Her breath hitched as he brought the palm of her hand to his lips and gently pressed his warm lips upon her skin.
Such a sensual action got Katara's heart pumping loudly in her ears, as she watched in a fatigued fascination as Zuko pressed butterfly kisses up the inside of her bruised wrist.
"These hands will be mine." He voiced his thoughts in a whisper, his golden eyes finally catching with hers- damn, that made breathing so much harder. "You will be mine." It was a stern confirmation, and that cocky bastard didn't even need her voiced approval to know he was right.
"I-" Katara was unsure of what to do now. Zuko wasn't supposed to have this much control of her! She was meant to be with Aang, Toph, and her brother. But Zuko knew how to control her in ways the Avatar could only dream of.
And with the darkness of sleep slowly creeping over her, the water-bender had no choice, but to bend to Zuko's will, as she collapsed against him.
The fire was dimming when Katara woke in a haze during the night. She felt her entire body pressed against something warm… someone warm; Zuko's chest to be exact.
She couldn't bring herself to move, though. The exhaustion was still coursing through her muscles, and her tired mind was wondering if her heavy eyes were playing tricks on her.
He was still holding her wrist in his grasp, the other hand wrapped around her waist to hold her close and warm. The brief notion of Zuko being the enemy barely grazed her thoughts. She didn't understand.
"Katara, why are you alone?"
Her eyes flickered towards the voice; Zuko was awake, staring at the fire, unmoving. "We had a fight." She murmured softly, leaning her head back to gaze up at the stars.
Was this a dream?
"He told me he didn't need me anymore…" She whispered sadly, catching his full attention. "He doesn't need my skills anymore… he told me I shouldn't water-bend anymore."
She told herself countless times she would not cry, but then, why were tears streaming down her tanned cheeks?
"They made me give up the last of my water…" She choked back a sob. "They didn't even care if I had nothing to protect myself with if you and your fire-benders decided to attack us."
Zuko stared at her now, were her wet rambles the exhaustion talking? Or was she really this upset? Because the Avatar didn't want Katara to protect herself from him… Zuko?
"He doesn't think I'm strong enough…" She whispered.
"Did he say that?"
Katara shook her head, staring back up at the stars. "He didn't have to. He's the Avatar. He's supposed to be strong enough to protect everyone… but is it so wrong of me to want to fight? To want to protect myself? To prove myself? I just need to know I'm not completely worthless." Why was she telling him all this? What would the Prince of the Fire Nation care?
"You are not worthless…" Zuko trailed off, staring at her bruised wrist he held in his hand. "You saved me… when you could have… should have killed me…" Slowly he unwrapped his arm from about her waist and slowly trailed his fingers over her hand; he continued to hold her wrist tight, to make sure she wouldn't pull away. He let his fingers trace over hers, in soft, fluid and circular like patterns, with a gentleness she wasn't used to seeing from the fire-bender.
"Katara, alone, you do incredible things…" He paused as if to consider what he was about to say next. "With me… you could excel past the Avatar in ways he could only hope to imagine."
He caught her teary blue eyes in an intense gaze. "What are you asking of me Zuko?" She posed in a tired, weary voice.
"I'm not asking."
Her eyes flickered down to her palms which Zuko was slowly caressing with his thumbs. So sensual, so intimate. He wanted more than her hands… he wanted her. Zuko had made that clear.
"I believe you can heal my people, Katara." He continued before reaching out and brushing away the tears from her skin. "I believe you have the ability to heal me."
"But I already-"
"Not here Katara." He pressed her hand against where his wound once was. He lifted her palm and placed it over his heart. "Here."
He needed her to heal the pain… why couldn't she see that?
"Zuko… my loyalty towards Aang…" She sighed softly; sleep was trying to claim her clouded mind again.
"This isn't about the Avatar." Zuko almost growled. She was delirious in her exhaustion, why couldn't she grasp what he was telling her? "I won't hold you back the way he does… I want to embrace your ability…" He stared down at her hands once more. "I want your hands to be mine alone."
Grasping both wrists he pulled her forward, pressing her palms against his chest. And as she parted her lips, about to answer, he leaned forward and captured them with his own, running his lips over them. Savoring the taste. He didn't require any confirmation. He always got what he wanted. And really, hadn't there already been enough talking for today?
She leaned against him, far too exhausted to fight it. Why did she have to go and use all her energy to save his sorry ass if he was just going to get all possessive on her?
"You are a healer Katara. This is what you were meant to do." He whispered, pressing his warm lips on the sensitive skin below her ear lobe, trailing kisses down her throat.
"But…" Katara trailed off when his lips found hers. She was supposed to be loyal to Aang, not fraternizing with the enemy.
This kiss seemed to slowly suck every damn reasonable thought out of her head. In fact, it appeared to suck the very breath out of her as she succumbed herself to his heat.
The contrast of water and fire pressed up against her sent her body into overdrive. She couldn't handle this. This was so intense… almost intimate. They weren't supposed to be together.
She broke her mouth away from his, leaving her dazed and him confused. "Zuko…" She let out a breathy moan, trying to concentrate on her breathing rather than his explorative hands.
He seemed to be getting frustrated as he trailed a hand slowly from her elbow to her wrist, sending more goosebumps up to her skin. He growled in a low husky voice, "We aren't doing anything wrong." He seemed so sure of himself. How could he be so sure!
"You want me! And I need you." He hissed leaning forward as he grabbed her hand and brought it back up to his lips as he did once before. So sensual. So intimate. She shivered as he kissed the insides of her wrists. "It's simple as that." He whispered.
"I wish it was…" She brought her voice down to a whisper, trying to hold back the pain in her chest. But nothing was ever that simplistic. Nothing.
"It is! Damnit Katara!" Zuko growled and pulled her hand and placed it over his heart. "Can't you feel what you fucking do to me? I finally understand what I need to stop the pain!"
Katara blushed deeply, feeling his pounding heartbeat beneath her palm that he had just kissed. How could he be so sure of himself? So confident? Even though he knew, she was the Avatar's companion, his Nation's enemy?
"But that's just it…" She whispered sleepily, placing more pressure where her palm met his heart. Even though her body was reacting this way, the water-bender knew better.
"I only think I want you because my body is too exhausted to comprehend common sense. And you only think you need me… because you're in pain…" Katara didn't know why he was in pain; she didn't dare to ask. But it must have been bad if he succumbed himself to desiring her… a mere water peasant from an enemy water tribe.
Nothing more was said.
Only heated kisses in the haze of exhaustion and confusion followed.
Was this what they called healing?
When Katara came to her senses, she was lying on a blanket, soft and warm, plush and comfortable. Her sweaty clothes were discarded, leaving her body naked and oh so vulnerable.
She remembered Zuko taking advantage of her fatigued haze and leading her down on her back.
And now she was here; Zuko had undressed her, kissed her senseless before taking her again and again. Now she lay awake and dazed, alone with her thoughts.
She vaguely heard the sound of the crackling fire as she continued to stare up in aimless thought at the open sky above. Why had she willingly let Zuko take her here?
He was her enemy and yet… there was something in his eyes; there was something deeper, heart retching, something so confusing yet so pining that Katara couldn't help but fall into his pleas. Helpless as she seemed, as she felt, she gave herself up the moment he lifted her head to meet her in a painful gaze.
How could she deny him? How could she deny him the one thing he seemed to be longing for, for a very long time?
Placing the back of her hand on her forehead, she let her eyes fall shut. What was she supposed to do? She had already betrayed Aang far beyond any forgiveness. She felt as low as all those damn fire benders; yet at the same time, being with him made her feel more alive than she had in the past four years.
The water tribe girl turned over to her side.
She felt lips press against the bare of her shoulder, arms tightening around her tummy. She could still feel his entire naked body pressed up against her, hot and demanding.
"I'll be back for you…" He promised in a low voice. She felt his lips continue to press gently against her back.
"You can't…" Katara whispered back. "You can't have me…"
She could have sworn she heard him laugh at her. "I already do."
Tears streaked down her cheeks, never in a million years would she have wanted this… but now… lying in his arms, Katara knew, this was all she would ever want. "I know." She cried softly, letting him take her hands in his.
"Next time you're alone… these hands will be mine…" He whispered against her cheek. "They will heal me."
Turning over to face him, both naked bodies pressed against each other, Katara stared up at the Fire Nation's Prince. He snaked his muscular arms about her waist, bringing her closer.
She brought her fingers to his lips and traced the softened flesh. "I shouldn't…" She whispered and almost cried harder when he brought his hand up to wipe away her tears.
"But you will…"
"Yes." She sobbed, her eyes falling shut beneath his touch.
She could feel his breath warm her lips as he leaned in closer. "You want to heal me, don't you Katara?"
"Yes!" That last desperate cry was enough for him; kissing her deeply, letting the tears from her eyes begin to heal him in ways her hands never could.
When Katara awoke, she was alone. It was daybreak, bright and hot like it always was in the Earth Country. Despite her lack of clothing aside from a foreign blanket that was draped over her naked figure, Katara felt sweaty.
But it was not the heat of the bright sun that woke her. It was her name being called, in the distance.
She sat up slowly, her head throbbing slightly, but most of her energy was back. She felt rested, slightly achy, but rested none the less. Running her tanned fingers through her disheveled hair. She wounded briefly if it was all a dream…
Was Zuko a dream? Her tears? His kisses?
Dropping her hands into her lap, she continued to stare down at her palms. She could still see the outline of his fingers in the bruise over her right wrist, and the gentle love bites and nips which trailed up her arm.
Despite the delirium last night, it was no dream.
She still could not understand how it happened. She remembered feeling hot and drained. Her skin tingled beneath his touch, yet she was too weak to fight it. She couldn't even recall wanting to fight it.
Did that make her a traitor?
Was this betrayal?
"Katara! There you are!"
"Where the hell were you? Why didn't you come back?"
Blue eyes flickered up as she watched Appa land in the clearing a few feet away from her. Aang and Sokka jumped from his back and raced towards her but paused when the noticed her clothes scattered behind her.
Blushing and spinning around immediately, both boys turned their backs to her.
"Uh Katara, why are you naked?" Aang asked hesitantly.
"My clothes got sweaty, and I was hot. So I took them off." It wasn't completely a lie, but it was the best she could do without telling her brother and Aang the truth. "Can you guys give me a minute?"
Toph tilted her head in curiosity… she could smell the sex everywhere, but remained silent. This was Katara's secret to keep. "Come on boys, give the girl her privacy." The blind earth-bender grunted.
Both nodding Aang and her brother followed Appa and Toph back into the forest to give her some time to get dressed. There would be time for apologies and explanations later. They were just at a relief they had found the water-bender unharmed.
Katara sighed heavily, pulling on her robes and sash.
'I'll be back for you…'
Getting to her feet, she gathered the blanket in her arms. There was no trace of him anywhere, no footprints but her own. Perhaps he was in some sort of delirium as well, but had enough common sense not to leave any traces behind to give the Avatar and her brother suspicion.
'Next time you're alone… these hands will be mine…'
She shivered as images from the night before came rushing back to her, flooding the foremost of her thoughts.
Zuko planned to find Katara alone again; he would make sure of it.
She would be waiting.
AN: okay i originally posted this as a lemon version in the LJ community 'katara zuko'. but after much needed constructive critism, i agree its best without the sexual content. not as long either. minor edits that most of you wont notice unless you are a member of 'katara zuko'.
This is a oneshot, but i may write a sequel in the future. no promises.