Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender does not belong to me. That being said, neither does Zuko, and that's just a bummer.

Author: Nothing is explicit, hells, I don't even name name anyone, but please don't roast me over the implied pairing. thanks.

"I care about you more than anyone in the entire world," she said to him, unbound hair framing her face, throwing it half in shadows.

His face softened and a genuine smile graced his face. "Thanks. I feel the same about you."

"I wouldn't know what I would do in a world without you. You've just always...been there. For me."

Her arms wound around him and she rested her head against his shoulder. It took him a moment to adjust, but eventually he placed his arms around her, holding her close. He rested his cheek against her dark tresses, breathing in a scent that was both familiar and alien.

She was becoming a woman and he had barely noticed until now.

Well, his mind had barely noticed. But his body was very aware, especially when she began to fill out and catch the gaze of all the boys in every town they passed through. When her voice rose just a little–enough to make it sound more feminine without being too nasal and annoying, when clothes she had forgotten to mend were just a little too tight around her hips and chest, when her waterbending, instead of terrifying and repulsing many would-be suitors instead added to her allure; he subconsciously was aware of all these things and that might well have been the cause for his surge in protectiveness. No one would date her that he did not approve of and that was law.

Sometimes he wondered, though, if anyone would ever really be good enough for her. He guessed that guy could have been–had he not fallen gradually, and perhaps unwittingly, for someone else. No-one else was even remotely strong enough or smart enough for her. Ah, well. Things would work out in time, he had thought.

She looked up at him, the moon reflected hauntingly in her eyes, reminder of a lost love. His heart ached, but it was old and familiar and did not weigh on him as heavily as it had before. Instead, it augmented the beauty of the young woman who embraced him. He was about to say something mushy that he would get teased for later when her lips gently, hesitantly covered his. His eyes widened as hers closed, but found he could not let go, even though every moral that he had held was screaming at him to let go–this was wrong.

Then why did it feel so good?

His eyes closed and he pulled her close, their bodies conforming to each other perfectly, his hands on her supple waist while hers pressed against his muscled back. Slowly, reluctantly, their lips parted and eyes sluggishly opened.

"That shouldn't have happened."

"I know."

"What does it mean?"

He smiled wryly, and said, "We're moonstruck."

She giggled and kissed him briefly, lightly, one last time before their arms left each other and their bodies reformed separately in the darkness.

"No matter what happens, remember. I love you."

A pause.

"I love you too."