NOTE: I am updating this only to let everyone know that I have decided to continue this fanfic. Updates will be slower, mainly because I will be dedicating more time to Illusions of Deception, but in the mean time I will be posting bits and pieces up. First Impressions
Well, this is my last chapter. It was initially meant to be a one shot, which is why the end is, of course, abrupt. I hope you enjoy!
There was nothing but silence as Zuko looked at his reflection. Katara stood solemnly behind him, amazing herself by her ability to keep in the laughter that threatened to spill out. Moving his arms, the Fire Lord expected his outfit to squeak from the mere largeness. And it was so…poofy.
"Is it really necessary for me to wear something so ridiculously huge?" he questioned with less enthusiasm than he had earlier with his original parka. "I don't even feel that cold, really. If you're worried about me getting sick…"
Sighing before rolling her eyes, the waterbender was tempted to dump the entire contents of her pouch onto his head. Instead, she opted for proving him wrong, which was also just as satisfying. "Worried about you getting sick? You're already ill."
"It's just a cough!"
"You haven't stopped sneezing for a space of thirty seconds!" Punctuating her point, Katara tucked a fur scarf tightly around his neck as he tried to spit the fuzzy strands of hair from his mouth.
"Come on, what would the Fire Nation say if we let their Lord die—of a mere cold, no less—in the South Pole? It'd be war all over again, and where would that put us? Besides, my father wants to talk to you and he'd be very disappointed if you didn't show up the ceremony. Especially if you won't even lie down and eat something."
Rolling his eyes now, Zuko would have crossed his arms had he currently been capable of it. "Yeah, yeah. Can we just get this over with?"
Sighing once more, Katara grasped for Zuko hand before dragging him along. "Come on, let's go before you whine anymore. And remember to be nice to Sokka. I realize he can be and idiot, but he's almost family to you now. So get used to him."
"Like I could ever get used to that clumsy—"
"Hey!" she cut him off quickly before he could manage to continue his rant. "If I recall, you were the one that fell off the gondola an hour ago. We're probably late, now, so come on. You'll miss out on all the fun. We might have missed the seal-roasting!"
"Oh, how disappointing. What will I do with my life now that I missed that? And not to mention your brother running around with his boomerang. I may advocate the throne if we don't make it in time for that."
The only response he got was a slap.
"Ouch! I was serious! I have great hopes that he'll clock himself in the head."
The second slap met him upside the head.
"I would like to start the Winter Solstice ceremonies by welcoming my daughter back to her home, and presenting her future husband who has graced us with his presence—the Fire Lord Zuko."
A round of clapping and cheers extended through the Southern Tribe as they greeted the legendary pair that had come together while fighting against the once great, now fallen Ozai. Their union had been unexpected, but was eventually accepted by all.
Except for perhaps Sokka, but he didn't count.
"Hakoda, it is an honor to be received with such respect by your—"
Oh Spirits, please don't let him say natives…or peasants…inhabitants wouldn't be smart, either. And if he says heathens one more time, I'll kill him. Katara's kept her occupied—so much that she didn't even hear what Zuko called them. Realizing, however, that no one had started chasing after him with pitchforks, he had kept a level head. She breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't want a dead fiancé.
No, he would wait until after they were married before he died on her.
Her father nodded in response before gesturing towards where her sister-in-law, Suki sat. "My other daughter, be it by marriage but still a beloved child to me, has agreed to perform a dance in their honor and in the honor the Moon Spirit on this Winter Solstice."
Katara couldn't help but notice Sokka's glance towards the moon, reminding him well of the time when he though Yue would be the only one for him. Apparently there were two for him. It was even more apparent of even Yue's approval of Suki; the moonlight drifted across the Kyoshi Warrior's figure as she stood before them all. As they watched her intricate movements, Katara found herself drawn in by fascination. She had seen these tessenjutsu moves several times before, both in combat and performance. Still, they caught her breath every time.
Smiling as she turned to look towards Zuko. Her expression quickly changed to a frown, however, the moment she saw his face. He was even paler than usual, and looked as if he was using every muscle he had to stay up straight.
"Zuko?" she whispered softly, bringing her hand up to his arm slowly, trying to look into his eyes. "Are you alright?"
Slowly he turned to look at her, his golden eyes barely focused as they ran across her own. Quickly he sucked in his breath before Zuko darted up, not even looking back before he ran—or rather, waddled—to the house they had come from.
"Zuko!" she called once more, their sudden commotion causing everyone to look at them. Standing up, she quickly made an apology to her tribe. "I'm so sorry, he hasn't been feeling well since he fell into the canal. I need to go check on him. I'm sorry, Suki," she sent a nervous look towards her friend before darting after her fiancé.
It didn't take long for her to find him. He was sprawled out on the furs of their room, sucking in his breath while his arms were stuck out from his side by the force of his parka.
"I think I'm going to throw up," he moaned, grimacing. Never before had he ever had a cold like this.
"Oh please, not on the furs, I don't know if we can get a replacement all too quickly and they would be ruined…" Katara started before pausing. "Sorry."
"Here, we'll just get you out of the parka and into the bed. I'll make some soup…or maybe see if Gran Gran could help…and then you can just rest up. Don't worry about the ceremony, they understand," she reassured him, kneeling down next to him as she started to unbutton his thick coat.
"No," he shook his head, sucking his breath. "You need to go back out there. This is your people's biggest ceremony. You need to celebrate it."
Pausing, Katara took the moment to think about his comment before she shook her head.
"I would rather spend it with you than be out there wondering if you were alright," she assured him before leaning in to give him a meaningful kiss. Pulling away from her after their lips met, he glared at her.
"What are you doing? You're going to get yourself sick."
Katara only laughed at his suggestion before flicking her hair back. "Zuko, I'm a waterbender and I've lived in these climates all my life. I assure you, I won't get sick."
As if to confirm her statement, she met his lips once more before the two settled into bed, her checking to make sure he was fine before making trips to get him some hot soup and tea, he smiled at her. He couldn't have been more grateful for anyone else as his wife.
"I'll be fine," he murmured as she checked his temperature once more. "Just relax, a nights rest will do me good."
Sighing, as if unsure whether or not she should agree with him, Katara slumped her head against his shoulder, kissing his cheek softly. "Fine. But if you start coughing I'm going to get you some more tea."
Zuko found himself drifting off to sleep when a sharp sneeze interrupted him from his thoughts. Eyes widening, he smirked softly before wrapping his arm around Katara's waist.
"I told you so."
Yes. That is the end. Thank you so much to all of my readers. I MAY write more into this later...but the reason I had to end it there is because it was supposed to be a one shot and just a Zutara romance. And I have a deadline (not to mention a lot of Chemistry homework.) If I update it later, I may. I just have to see what comes. Love you all and once more, Happy Holidays!