A/N: This fiction originally started out as a one-shot in my 30 Kisses collection. However, the idea grabbed me, and at my current count I have over eight chapters written. I have decided to make this an independent fiction, and have re-posted the start for clarity.
Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to expand. This fiction is dedicated to you guys.
"Just for the record," Katara said, in case she hadn't made it clear enough yet, "this does NOT count as a first kiss."
"First kiss? You mean you haven't even had one yet?" Sokka asked smugly. Katara opened her mouth to retort, but Aang stepped in.
"Please Katara, you don't even have to kiss him, just heal him!" The object of their attentions was one bedraggled, unbreathing fire prince. Aang had decided to go surfing with the big nasty looking fish, little realising that the waves he was bending were currently in the process of first capsizing the two fire nation men's raft, and then drowning the young prince. Iroh had been saved due only to the fact that he had been sunbathing au naturale, and thus had nothing to weigh him down.
Not that this thought comforted the three young heroes. In fact, as Katara later confided to her sympathetic brother, she would rather have had to bring Iroh back to life than see that. Iroh merely commented on the invigorating effects of cold water, and wandered off to find something to wear.
But it was the prince who needed help, and it was Katara who was stuck with saving him.
"I wish I'd just stuck to Pakku's classes." She muttered as she drew the water out of Zuko's lungs. "But no, I had to be able to save people as well as kill them." The blob of fatal, perfectly blue water splashed onto the ground.
"He's not waking up." Aang said anxiously.
Katara's fingers pressed into Zuko's neck. "He hasn't got a pulse, that's why." She said crisply. "His heart's stopped." The boys' chatter slid into the background, taking with it the thought that Zuko was the enemy, and that they really should just let him die. There was only cold flesh beneath her touch, and a life that needed to be saved.
So she tilted his head, repositioned his body, and began saving his life. In a tiny part of her mind she reflected that as far as kisses went (which this was not) it couldn't get any less romantic. He was cold, and ikky, and she had to keep his nose covered. Within a few minutes he stirred as she thumped his heart back to work. Once more her mouth closed over his, but this time his lips moved to respond to her touch. Warmth flushed through her and for an instant she thought she understood what all the fuss was about.
Then Zuko rolled over, and threw up what appeared to be his lunch, breakfast, and last night's dinner.
No, it definitely didn't count as a kiss.