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A/N: Happy to say that I have finally finished this chapter and hope you enjoy anf would really like to hear what you think. Thank you for reading.
Rising with the sun Zuko roused from his dreamless sleep. Remembering where he was and what had happened the day before but didn't understand what was against his back for he was on his side facing the wall. He slowly looks over his shoulder and doesn't see the prisoner—oh what was her name again—oh ya, Toph where she was curled up last night. So that must mean… Looking behind him he found Toph curled up at his back. Moving away from her he realized only then that she was clutching at his tunic. Turning swiftly fitting to the wall to face her she finally let go to curl back in on herself. Her hands and feet still bound. Her knees to her chest her elbows hugging her sides her hands curled into fists at her face. Not knowing why she was at his back he points a heating hand inches from her face to warn her what that she did next he did not expect.
Her hands grip his heated hand with icy cold fingers pulling his hand to put his palm against flushed chilled cheek. "W-w-w-warm," she chatters between clenched teeth, only then does he realize she is chilled to the bone. His other hand touches her forehead. Here head was feverish, her skin a cold sweat, and her hands bone chilling. She was delusional to think a heated and of a fire bender was an offering rather then a possible threat. A comfort from a prince, though banished, to a prisoner; She was truly delusional.
In her present state, he could not travel to his campsite with out her getting worse. He made her release her grip on his hand as he went about warming her body slowly and carefully running his hands over her skin and clothes without staying in any one spot long enough to burn the pale skin. To keep from thinking to much of it he mumbled to him self how troublesome it was to care of Toph, his prisoner, and how this could have been avoided if she'd just told her but he knew he was the one at fault.
Zuko damned him self for her condition. She was already looking better after the first complete body thawing. Her skin looking a little less blue and a little more pink. She'd already stopped shaking with the possibility of broken teeth from the chattering of teeth on teeth if it were to continue for much longer and was now lightly shivering as if from a sudden chilly breeze. Slowly she became more aware.
Toph woke with a shivering shaky yawn with the feeling of her cold feet being massaged but by unknown gentle hands. Believed it to be anyone but the prince warming her feet but she took a wild guess, half expecting someone else to answer. "Zuko? Is that you," Toph asked wearily. Yawning again still tired having not been able to sleep as peacefully as she'd have liked the night before.
"What, not princie," Zuko asks a little sarcastically in his words.
"Sorry, Princie, just want to know who I was being felt-up by," Toph throws back at Zuko just to get under his skin. "Eep!" She pulls in her feet away feeling just a bit to close to being burned.
Zuko stands and walks toward the entrance. "Get up. We're leaving."
Toph gets upright before she gives him a peeved look, "I can't get up princie you bound my feet together, if you don't remember."
Zuko huffs in annoyance. He kneels and unties the rope binding her feet. Grabbing her hands she tries to pull away, "If you continue you're going to get burned," he heats his hand in warning, all fighting stops.
He ties it around the rope holding her wrists to gather and knots it making a leash. He stands and pulls her to her feet. "We're leaving and if you even try to escape you will get burned."
"You didn't have to mention the getting burned part twice, but can you grab my head band?"
He tightens his grip on the rope as he goes back for his prisoner's head-wear expecting an instant tug. But to his surprise it only pulled tight when she moved her hands to her face to hide a yawn and to rub her unseeing eyes. He stood up slowly examining the blind captive suspecting her to trick him into thinking herself innocent and weak. She seemed as though bored though it was he who should have that right.
Toph felt like she had enough of waiting and walked up to the prince and pulls free her headband to put it on its rightful place atop her black head of hair. "We going to go or what," Toph asks being a little touchy feeling his eyes fixated on her.
Zuko brakes from his trance on the blind earth bender once more. "uh… ya…" He pulls himself out of the hollowed out oak once more, for the last time. His captive in his footsteps, whom always seems to captivate him with her steps. The length of rope in his hands connecting himself to his captive, like the red string of fate that ties to people together.
A few minutes into the walk to his camp and already his mined wondered Why didn't she even try to run? he pondered on that but couldn't come up with any other reason then 'Because I threatened to burn her', but that didn't suit as well enough explanation for the prince. Even he new he wouldn't be any match against the blind bender, So why didn't she run?. Yet another question he could not answer, '…but soon the more important questions will get asked and I will get answers.'
It's all about asking the right questions, and only his mind was asking the right questions. Why didn't she run? Why did she ever drop her walls to only be snatched away? It's as if… she want to be here…with me…? Only time will tell. Trust takes time. Time will unearth even the most buried of truths, like how a burn slowly heals.
-End of Chapter Six-
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