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Chapter 21

So he did cheat!

Zuko's comfort level faded drastically as he sat before a man who could either make or break his relationship with Katara.

"I understand that you and Lady Katara have been having some relationship issues, yes?" Dr. Shung's eyes loomed from the informational clipboard that lay solemnly on his lap to Zuko's harshly drawn face. Zuko scrambled uncomfortably in the softly cushioned chair he occupied and sharply looked down, averting his eyes from the man who asked so many damn questions.

Noticing Zuko's for lack of a better word…irritation, Katara spoke before him. "Preferably marital problems." She stated sternly, she was not very keen on considering their circumstances "relationship" problems. The doctor nodded in acknowledgment and considered the term.

Zuko groaned softy, eyes still glued to the floor beneath him. He knew he had to agree to see the damn shirk, or Katara would leave him for sure, but it was so beneath him. What would the men of the nation think if they knew that their own Fire Lord was having problems with his wife?

Katara informed him of an Earth Kingdom owned Marriage Counseling Center that would be just "perfect" for his incognito attitude. It was funny that Zuko never remembered signing any forms or documents permitting a Marriage Counseling Center owned by the Earth Kingdom to be located in the Fire Nation. "Damn, Uncle…" he thought angrily to himself. Only his uncle would do something so damn stupid. Out of all things to sign for, he signed a Marriage Counseling Center form...why not a Shopping Mall or something that didn't make him uncomfortable.

"The past few months have been….different from when we were first married." Katara was very serious, and she scrambled her mind, looking for good examples to give the doctor on problems they were having. Katara glanced once more at Zuko from the corner of her eye before continuing. Zuko wasn't aware of the glances she shot him because his eyes were too busy counting the floor's tiling.

"You see, before we were married, we argued quite a bit. Frequently, actually." She glanced at Zuko once more as she reminisced about the times her and Zuko fought when they were with the Gang and began again with what she had to say. "When we got married, we argued as much as we did before we were married." This statement was very true. Katara could not think of a time when she and Zuko were not arguing. Well, not unless they were making up, which they did a lot of, when they had the chance. Dr. Shung nodded occasionally and scribbled on his clipboard.

"Over the course of time, we've begun to argue a little too much and our arguments have become…lets say…more aggressive and …forceful." She fiddled with the beads on her golden dress that was purchased for her by Iroh. She always loved the dress.

"Ah…" Dr. Shung held his head up as he understood.

"He doesn't understand." Zuko thought bitterly to himself.

"He never wants to talk about what I want to talk about…." Zuko found himself getting annoyed. Shifting his eyes from their previous position, he found himself looking at the doctor who gave him a very distasteful stare. Zuko didn't like that, not one bit. "That's because the things you want to talk about involves things like THIS!" Zuko blurted out, annoyed, as he gestured at the doctor with annoying facial features.

Katara tried her best to ignore her husband whose body heat showed his irritation and discomfort. "If you haven't noticed, he gets annoyed pretty easily, which causes more arguments."

Dr. Shung looked at Zuko from the rim of his glasses, questioning him with a raised eyebrow. "Oh, don't look at me. Why don't we just let her go on with her whole fucking list…"

Irritation Level? Very high.

"I don't know if abusive would be a good word but---"

"ABUSIVE!?" Zuko was truly flabbergasted. Was she really describing him as abusive?

"This comes from the woman who purposely drops vases on her husband's head, knocking him unconscious?" Zuko rose from his seat, griming Katara questioningly.

She was making him seem like the bad guy…!

Katara quickly got angry after that small comment. It was not that her feelings were shattered, it was the fact that Zuko could possibly bring that up, not explain what he had done. Was it her fault that he provoked her to no ends?

"Did I not have a reason, Zuko?" She asked head on, staring Zuko straight in his golden orbs. Zuko resorted back. "Did I not have my reasons?"

The room's whole atmosphere turned to something drastic. Katara's composure faltered in a second and she was crying miserably and Zuko was starring, horrified. She had been crying a lot, lately.

"You want me to go into detail, huh, Zuko?" She screamed, causing Zuko to back away from her. Dr. Shung's eyes played on Katara as she nearly exploded. Now they were getting somewhere.

"I. Can't. Believe. You." Her sentence came out broken, putting emphasis on her astonishment and her pain. Salty ribbons of tears adorned her face as she spoke, harshly, trying to keep her composure.

Slowly she lifted her hands, showing her mocha colored wrist, having examined them carefully, she spoke. "I could smell my skin burning." She whispered, but made sure the two men in the room could hear her. Zuko gulped.

Katara gestured towards her back. "My back burned from the pain of being rammed into our room's stone cold wall." Dr. Shung's brow lifted, questioningly at Zuko, not bothering to write anything down, he continued to listen.

Zuko's throat suddenly became dry as he listened to Katara's pain and suffering inflicted by him. He was devastated by is his own actions, having not really looked them through, because of his pride.

Her neck tilted to the side, though, no bruises, Zuko could still see the imaginary line around her throat from when he choked her. "I struggled to breathe." She was still crying, but her words were not hard to understand.

Then she touched her cheek, remembering the swollen feel that once was. Zuko's head slouched, as she brought that particular incident up. His promise had been shattered and so had Katara's heart. He still hadn't forgiven himself for hitting her that day.

"It wasn't the sting that hurt but the action it self and the history behind it." She was more hurt over the fact that a promise had been broken rather then the actual hit.

Dr. Shung once again glanced at Zuko, studying his facial expressions. He then continued to listen to Katara.

"But the worst of it all is not the burning, or the choking or the hitting but the breaking of promises." Tears still flooded her face but all hints of crying had vanished from her tone of voice. Suddenly her tone was hard and her eyes burned, as she held Zuko's stare. "Instead of coming to bed late, he never comes, and pretends he was there. He slept with a shirt on the other night, which he finds uncomfortable. He hasn't touched me in a month, and gets irritated more then usual."

Surprised by the news, Dr. Shung began to write his finding down, analyzing new data. After scribbling a few notes down, he waited for a reply from Zuko.

Zuko's face scrunched up, somewhat afraid of what Katara was going to say next. He wasn't shocked that she still had her thoughts, but he hadn't known she noticed all of those somewhat clues, though he wasn't exactly cheating one her, just caught between a rock and a hard place.

"I suspect that he is cheating on me and I just want to know." She barked, that once hard voice fading into a delegate whimper. Her hands continued to play with the hemming of her dress as she starred at nothing but her feet.

Dr. Shung once again looked at Zuko, expecting some kind of input but received none. Zuko was so caught up in his conscience, that he couldn't even get a word out, telling her that he wasn't, not that it would matter, Katara didn't know what to believe. Zuko's face showed sheepish guilt as he thought about his encounter with Ember. Though, he couldn't remember much, he knew he had done something wrong.

Remorse dawned over him and as hard as he tried to keep it from her the more she suspected. The more that she suspected the more guilt would ride over him, killing him softly.

Instead of having her find out the hard way from hurtful gossip, Zuko gently took his mate by the hand, sat down, and told her about the small incident that left love marks on his chest.

Katara's eyes bulged from her face as she felt disbelief. She nearly felt like she was punched in the stomach, as her stomach hurt and her mind reeled. All she wanted to do was lash out and beat him and call him every name in the book but she was too hurt to even scream. Zuko told her he remembered nothing but she quickly pulled her hands from his grasp turning towards the doctor.

"Katara…" Zuko wanted to continue but the doctor began his research, and voiced what he though.

"Katara it seems that your husband feels that you control his painful emotions and, therefore, feels entitled to use anger, or abuse as a defense against you. He will resist any attempt to take away what he perceives to be his only defense. In other words, he is unlikely to give up his moral superiority - he's right, you're wrong."

Zuko stared at the doctor in pure shock and horror, what the hell was the man talking about? That theory was far from true, Katara didn't control his painful emotions and he damn well didn't think he was right all the time. He hoped Katara wasn't taking in all this shit.

"That's preposterous. That's just my personality. My father made me this way, Katara knows this." He turned to face Katara but she looked away, she was listening and wanted no influence from her cheating husband.

In Katara eyes, Zuko had committed the greatest sin in marriage history. Though, he said he remembered nothing and had no idea how he found himself in Ember's room, Katara could hardly fall for it. It was hard to believe that a man did absolutely nothing with a beautiful woman who left passion marks on his chest. How could he have just blanked out like that? Something was wrong with his story and he must have thought she was a fool to believe him.

"Fire Lord, do you know why you sought for another female companion?"

What the hell? The fucking doctor was trying to get him killed. Why was he twisting his words up like that?

"If you are insinuating that I would actually seek another woman's warmth as a substitute for Katara's then you are extremely wrong and might I add pushing it."

Katara's breathe hitched in her throat at the mere thought of Zuko substituting anybody for her. But as painful as it was she continued to listen to Dr. Shung and his discovery.

"Did you or did you not just confess to Lady Katara that something did happened between you and this other woman."

"There IS no other woman!" Zuko complained, almost ignoring the question asked.

"Did you or did you not?" Dr. Shung asked again, awaiting the reply to analyze the situation.

"I did." Zuko sighed as he thought the doctor was trying to turn everything on him.

"Ah…" Dr. Shung nodded his head and once again began to scribble. "There are many reasons why a man might cheat in his marriage: Unfulfilled desires, nagging, the excitement, just because, to boos their ego's, and some times a man just feels that he doesn't love his wife anymore."

Zuko quickly turned to Katara at that last reason, hoping the doctor wasn't putting any ideas in her head. Her face was a bit sour at the thought of Zuko not loving her anymore. She turned her face to the side as she felt Zuko's gaze. Tears once again wailed behind her eye lids as she thought about the worst.

Before the doctor could mess up his marriage anymore then he already had, Zuko was on his knees before Katara grabbing her hands gently as he tried to keep a gaze between them. "Katara, baby. You know I still love you. You mean the world to me; you know I could never live without you. I will die in love with you; I can not see myself with anyone but you. You are my better half and I need you. I swear I fucking need you in my life…your heart beats with mine." His hands trembled with hers.

Katara's hands and legs shook. It was hard to believe him but she wanted to. She loved Zuko with all her heart and couldn't see herself ever loving another man as much as she loved him. He had the key and combination to her heart and it was sealed shut.

But why!? Zuko had broken her heart, shattering it into a million pieces. Could he really take her for a fool? How in the world could he not remember anything? There was no way he just end up having a rendezvous with Ember thinking it was her. She hadn't heard of such things when a man just blanks out and cheats on his wife.

What else had he done with Ember? That one night when he didn't come to bed until the morning, was he with Ember? What about when they were eating dinner, what were they talking about? That smell…was is Embers? So many clues…he really thought she was a fool!

All tears aside, Katara's head lifted, as she spoke with authority. "I think we're done for the day." She said to the doctor, before yanking her hand away from Zuko's and yelling an order for the guards to escort her out.

She squeezed her way past Zuko and was out the door in a second. Zuko pulled himself off his knees and grimaced at the doctor. "If this shit ruins my marriage, you will pay." His voice was like poison venom.

"Blame no one but yourself." Zuko heard him faintly as he exited the room, thinking the doctor was absolutely right.


"Side-effects!" Ember's scream made Toru jump, and he ran to Ember's side to see what she meant by side-effects.

Side-effects, Toru, side-effects. Don't you get it?"

Toru shook his head. He knew nothing of what ran through the crazy woman's head.

"There were side-effects to the 'no sex' potion and look here!" Ember smiled with glee. A small frown adorned Toru's cute little face as he read what she had shown him. Poor Lady Katara, he thought. The print read: "After the spell wares of, the victim will be in a full state of heat. The victim will turn to the first person of the opposite sex that they encounter for release. The victim will not stop until desire is fulfilled. " That meant that whenever Zuko saw Ember, he would become in heat until full penetration occurred.

"Don't you see, Toru! Me and Zuko will finally be together again, after all these years. I will finally have him back in my arms and we will be together forever." Ember thought out loud, as she swirled around with the big black book in her hands as if she were in a fairytale. "Dreams really do come true, even if there's an evil waterbending bitch involved." She sang with joy.

Toru shook his head sadly and walked away, trying not to pay any attention to his psychotic Lady and her horrendous plans of torment.

"Toru, what are you doing? Don't go anywhere! We have to go shopping!" She called to him. She had to get ready for her big day with the king of her heart!


After counseling, Zuko was called to a meeting as soon as he left the coach, not getting any time to talk to Katara since she ignored him the whole ride home.

It wasn't until later that evening he was able to go back to his bedroom and have a long conversation with his wife. Two guards stood at the door and Zuko expected a greeting, but was halted at the entrance of his own bedroom. "Sorry My Lord, but we were order by Lady Katara not to let anyone in, including you, sir." They both looked somewhat sad, as if something bad had happened.

"What? " What is going on!? "Out of my way!" Zuko pushed passed the two cowering guards.

"You don't want to go in there, sir!" He heard one of the guards say.

He opened the door, "And why wouldn't…," he was unable to finish his sentence.

To his horror, he was surprised to find her rummaging through things….packing!

"Katara!?" Zuko gasped, he couldn't breathe.

She looked up.

""Wh-wh-what are you doing? What are you doing?" He asked twice, he didn't mean to, he just did.

Darkness took hold of him, and engulfed his soul, as the bitter horrifying word left her dry mouth. His whole world shattered, and bliss was too far away from him to reach. Life seemed to have no meaning and dying just looked so good, as he thought of welcoming it.

"I'm leaving."

He crumbled.

A/N: So yea....it's been a year....um....sorry! Really sorry....thats about it.

Um, so there's more drama.... 0_O DRAMA! DRAMA! DRAMA!

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Smooches W23