Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar, The Last Airbender
Zuko was in hell. Everyone had something, but him. He had told them he wasn't going to bother with it but Sokka threatened to kill him if he didn't. Aang got her a small marble penguin that he had bought at a nearby village.
Toph carelessly constucted some sort of wave looking thing out of rocks, taking full advantage of the fact that she would not care if it was built.
Sokka had gotten a leaf and wrote one free dishes and/or camp clean-up coupon on it.
Zuko had gotten nothing, and they were planning on going into the nearby village for dinner that night. That very day she walked by him with a pile of dirty clothes heading towards the river. "Hey...water girl."
Katara turned curiously towards him, although her face was filled with anger. "Zuko, it's Katara, for the thousandth time."
"Yeah, whatever, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday."
The waterbender looked surprsied for a moment, but managed a smile. "Thanks."
With a sigh he looked away nervously. But before walking away noticed something on the ground. It reflected the sunlight, shining a brilliant blue. He hesitated, but bent down to pick it up. It was her necklace, and for a moment he almost threw it back down, fearing someone would accuse him of stealing it.
But instead he got an idea. With a smirk he put the necklace in his pocket.
The group was about to leave later that night. Katara stood in camp with her arms crossed. "Guys, we really should keep a low profile and just stay here."
"Come on Katara," said Aang, jumping happily. "It's a big deal, just this once."
"Lighten up waterbender," muttered Zuko, standing reluctantly by the path.
"Thanks Zuko," she said. "And again it's Katara."
Sokka said, "Come on sis, it will be fine."
Katara sighed, looking from face to face, all wanting clearly to go except Zuko. She threw him a glare and he returned it. "Fine."
The group arrived shortly after into the small village, filing into a small resturant. After eating the group started handing presents to their mother figure. Katara accepted Aang's with a smile and a laugh while he insisted on demonstrating how the best way to ride them was with his fingers.
She smiled and gave Toph a hug after she gave her the wave she crafted. Toph managed an awkward smile.
When Sokka gave Katara his gift she sighed but managed to give her brother a hug while he tried to explain it to his friends.
Then everyone turned to Zuko, who sat with his arms crossed. "Well?" asked Toph.
"I was going to give it to you when we get back water girl," mumbled the Fire Prince.
Katara frowned. She knew he wasn't going to get her anything, and it wasn't that that bothered her but the fact that he did not care at all. He didn't care she helped him find the right way, he didn't care she healed him when he needed it, he didn't care she made him dinner and cleaned his dishes, and he didn't care it was her birthday. She was hurt.
Sokka was about to reach for the knife when Toph stopped him. "He's not lieing," she whispered. Sokka gave the firebender a strange look before he returned it.
When the group got back to camp Katara stretched. "Well, thank you for dinner and the great gifts you guys, but I'm going to bed."
"Ehh hmm," Katara turned to an angry looking Zuko with his arms crossed.
"What?" asked the waterbender.
"I was going to give you your gift now."
She was completly surprised, and reluctantly followed him as he pulled her away from the camp and towards the river. Sokka looked nervously after his sister.
"Don't worry about it Sokka, Zuko won't do anything."
"That's what I'm worried about," said the warrior. "I'm afraid he'll just let her down with something lame."
"You're one to talk Snoozles," snorted Toph. "One free dished and/or camp clean up coupon, come on."
Zuko looked nervously over to Katara as she sat next to him by the wide clearing by the river winding down the hill. The moon illuminated the area brilliantly, filling the sky with the sun's reflected light.
"So what is it Zuko?" asked Katara, not only growing tired but curious.
"Well, I got you two things," said Zuko, leaning back on his hands. He stood up, helping Katara to her feet. She was surprised how nice he was being right now and couldn't help but smile at how nervous he was. "I notice you don't have your necklace on."
Katara reached for her neck and sighed. "Yeah, I think it fell off at camp. I've been looking for it all day, great birthday huh?" she asked sarcastically. "I went and lost my mother's necklace on my birthday."
"Well, I found it," he said, pulling it from his pocket. Katara gasped and snatched it from his hand, taking a moment to look at it. The tie was different, decorated brilliantly with water tribe symbols woven with thick string. "I made the string today, it took forever. Happy birthday Katara."
Katara was on the edge of tears, looking up to the firebender with a smile. "Did you just call me Katara?"
He nodded with a smile and offered to put it on. She accepted, a tear falling from her eye. Zuko gently latched the necklace into place. "You're crying?"
"This is probably the best present anyone has ever given me," she said, wiping her eyes. "Thank you for the gifts."
"Well I haven't given you the other yet."
Katara looked up surprised. "You mean calling me by my name wasn't the second?"
He shook his head grabbed her shoulders gently. In a moment of quiet her beautiful watering blue eyes looked into his golden orbs. Zuko pulled her in slowly and the two bender's lips met in a passionate kiss. Katara's knees almost buckled while the exiled Prince of the Fire Nation kissed her.
Zuko pulled away, leaving a stunned Katara. "Thank you for everything you have done for me, and again Happy birthday."
Katara gave him a curious look before smiling. "I don't know who you are and what you did with the old Zuko, but I like you a lot better." She jumped up and kissed him again.
The two walked back to camp that night, both going straight to bed. Katara was beaming when she arrived, and Sokka gave her a strange look. He ran over to Zuko before going the bender was able to fall asleep. "Thanks a lot Zuko, you made all our gifts look stupid."
"If I hadn't gotten her anything your present still would have been stupid Sokka."