Title: Pietas
Fandom / Pairing:
Avatar: the Last Airbender, Zuko/Katara
T (PG-13)
Disclaimer: I'll own Avatar when I master Firebending. Kukuku.
Summary: Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.
Notes: For Sophie. ♥ I told you I'd get to this!

He kisses her hard and unforgiving, pressing and pressing against her even as she presses against him. It's her back flush against the wall and her hands heavy on his shoulders. Those are his hands braced against the wall for leverage, his tongue running across her bottom lip.

It's the week after the fall of Ozai, the month after the end of summer, the season after the completion of their destinies. He doesn't know what to do with himself, outcast turned refugee turned reluctant hero. He didn't ask for his, didn't ask for his scar to be healed by Waterbending magic (all the best Fire Nation doctors couldn't make the angry, red scar even fade, but one small, Water girl managed to make it go away). He didn't ask for a month of travelling with a motley crew of the most powerful benders in the world. He was supposed to capture the Avatar, rejoin the Fire Nation, and ascend the throne, marry a Fire noblewoman, and rule.

Instead, he's here, in the garden where he saw his father at his weakest moment, the one time Ozai showed anything other than the fierce anger he always possessed, kissing the Water girl.

Katara, his mind supplies, and the names tastes like her even as he touches each of her teeth.

He didn't ask for this. He hasn't asked for a lot of things, it seems.

He decides, instead, to keep kissing her, hard and bruising, and hope maybe that this, which he didn't ask for either, works out in the end.

1. "Do your duty today and repent tomorrow." - Mark Twain

2. "Pietas" refers to the epic idea that a hero must follow his fate and duty first, before romance or family.

Wordcount: around 500

I wrote this about four days after the Book Two finale. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed in Zuko, but I remain firmly entrenched in my belief that he's got something up his sleeve with Iroh, and that his alliance is to take Azula out from the inside. I base this solely on his insistence that he has changed, and because I believe he chose to honor the memory of his mother before the demands of his father long ago.