"And then..?"

"I...just needed to stop by. Mushi needed some herbs.

That's all."

That wasn't it. That was the half of it, and Zuko wanted to kick himself for failing to release the words he meant to say. Suddenly, in Songs presence, being bandaged by her...it didn't seem like he had thought of going to her home just for medicine. Although that was the truth; he had been fatally wounded in battle, and since he was in Songs village he decided that it was best to go to her...

So why then, did he feel like he had a hidden agenda? It's becaue she's a girl, Zuko thought forcefully. I've never been too good with those. If she wasn't a girl, this wouldn't feel so strange...

Then again, if she wasn't a girl, Zuko might not have come to her.

A quiet smile lit Songs face, as she slowly spread some ointment on his arm. "Well, Mushi should find plenty of herbs here," Song stated softly...and...was that a smirk? "I'm sure you both will be able to find any transportation if you need it too."

The emu-horse.

Zuko felt his cheeks flush in uneasy. "It..." She had remembered. She hadn't said a word about it when she had first seen him... just taken him in and helped him. It had been reassuring to think she had forgotten that Zuko had stolen one of her animals for travel purposes, but that didn't seem to be the case.

"I needed it." Zuko coughed, keeping his eyes on the floor.

"Why didn't you ask?"

The question seemed to sum up all the idiocy of stealing. Zuko didn't reply, but grunted in surprise when Song smacked some green liquid on his elbow. He didn't feel too comfortable, now, without his shirt on. It was like he was naked, bare; exposed to her in a way he would have preferred not to have been.

"You're from the Fire Nation." It wasn't a question.

"Yes," was the unhesitant answer.

"You're a fugitive?" Good. A question.

"It's...complicated...but yes, I am."

"I thought fugitives would be taller," said Song brightly.

"Am I too short for you?"

Song blushed and looked down. "N-not at all. I'll go see how Mushis doing now." She left hurriedly, and it was only until- moments later- when Zuko himself felt embarrassed at what he had asked. He had made it seem as though he wanted her...and to his added surprise:

He couldn't contradict the thought.

&&&&

Humongous fan of the SongxZuko (Soko) pairing. I'm not sure what the animal Zuko stole from Song is called, but a few other fans of Soko told me it's an "emu-horse", thus I used the term. (Hee hee). This is an old work for me (and pretty short) but I hope it was still an enjoyable read for you. Have a great day all you cool beans out there.