Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar.

Summary: Sworn not to be rescued Sokka gives himself up for the Fire Nation only to fall into the hands of Zuko.

Ripples In The Water

Chapter 1

Sokka hardly heard the sounds of footsteps on the metal ground of the ship, or the painful creak of the oil thirsty hinges on the door. He didn't even feel the weight of his arms flop to the ground as they were removed from their hanged shackles at the sides of his head. His mind was numb but he did feel the slight tug and pull of the guards hauling him up to his feet and even then, his body acted like a dead weight forcing the two men to grabbing him under the arms and at the end of his ankles.

The visions that moved around him were a blur as he faded in and out of consciousness and the men above him mumbled a few words to each other as they huffed whilst trying to maneuver around the ship with the body of the Water Tribesman, Sokka noted that he wasn't even smacked into anything at all this time oppose to the last time he was first manhandled around the ship.

He legs were lowered as the guard let go of them to reach for the door handle they had now come across. Once opened, he was picked up again and carried inside and dumped into a tub of warm water. Blue eyes widen slightly but he didn't panic, he just laid there in the water still clad in his blue tunic and pants and then something was slopped onto his skull and he felt his hair tie being pulled out and a hand came to scrub into his head. Shampoo… His mind registered as he closed his eyes and more hands attacked him and started to pull at his clothes, removing them slowly. Their cleaning me… But … why? It wasn't long before he was left bare in the water and the feel of rough soapy rags was upon his skin scrubbing and rinsed.

Pulled by the arm, he was heaved out and he stepped out of the large basin only to be suddenly splashed down with more warm water to rinse away any soap that was still left on him. Towels were hot as they were draped on him and there was another that rubbed hard on his head. No sounds escaped him as he felt a painful tug on his hair as someone had started to comb through the brown threads and pulled it into its usual fashion of a wolfs tail. Ointments and perfume were dabbed onto his skin and soft, red, silken materials were wrapped around his body. All awhile despite being watched upon by the many that cleansed him, Sokka could feel a particular intense stare that never left him ever since he had entered the room.

The energy that was spent on standing for so long finally wore out as his legs started to buckle under him and pale strong arms encircled him and he felt that person breath in the scent of him and felt hot lips pressed where his neck joined his shoulder. Then with a familiar voice, he heard him murmur something to one of the guards that approached them and he was once again carried by two men out of the room.

Soon Sokka was pulled into another room, it was dark except the lone three candles that burn at a small table in the middle of the room and Sokka was laid carefully and gently on a bed and the men turned away and left, and Sokka heard the distinct sound of the door being locked. Everything in the room was decorated with colors of red and hints of gold and its atmosphere was warm and relaxing, very much different to the cold and wet cellar he had spent days in prior to this. Sokka wasn't one to complain and he invited the waves of sleepiness that washed over him as he slowly forced himself to even crawl under the blankets that strewn across the bed and the moment his head hit the soft pillow, he was asleep.

He wasn't sure how long he had slept. Just like in the cellar below, out in the ocean, time wasn't something that someone pondered upon. Minutes felt like hours, and days felt like seconds, but sleep was something that everyone was more then welcomed to do to spend the time. So when a sharp click was heard and the door was swung wide, a groan left his lips as he turned around in the soft bed and forced his mind to fall back into the darkness, but something kept it awake. With a deep breath he slowly pushed himself up onto his elbows and opened his eyes tiredly just in time to catch the door closing with that familiar click of the lock. By the bed was left a meal fit for a king.

He knew exactly how he had ended up like this. He watched as the skinny looking man entered the room and retrieved the half eaten meal and walked out leaving the door opened to a pale skinned Fire Bender who stepped in and closed the door again followed by the sound of the lock falling into place.

He had been traveling with the Avatar just about a month ago. They were in the tightest spot they had ever encountered with, which lead them to having to choose the most important decisions of their life. Out of every idea that was thrown at each other, Sokka's was the most point making. Give himself out as false bait to the Fire Nation to diverge them of the Avatars where abouts and with a blood promise, the others would not return for him, even if there was a chance he'd live. Zhao had believed him and when he realized he was being had, he had cursed the Water Peasant and thrown him over board into the treacherous sea. With nothing to hold onto Sokka has struggled to keep afloat and was well aware of the creatures that lurked underneath the waters. But after the Spirit's only knows how long, he had woken up to find himself aboard another Fire Nation's ship. He had woken up to peer into golden mismatched eyes. He had woken up in the Fire Nation's Princes presence, and for some reason, he felt relieved.

Zuko simply stood there by the door as he watched the younger man pushed himself to dangle his legs off the side of the bed before coming forth and grabbed Sokka's hand in his own and tugged him off the bed and turned him so that he was now facing the bed. Stepping around him, Zuko seated himself comfortably on the bed and stared at the Water Tribesman's dead spirited eyes. "Dance."

End Chapter 1