I don't own the Avatar: The Last Airbender or any of its characters.
Extra II – One for Sokka
Sokka had a wonderful week. Everything went on perfectly and this time even he didn't have to worry about being killed, kidnapped or scared to death…
They've finally met the warriors of Kyoshi and he could reunite with Suki again. After finding out Azula had encountered them he didn't dare to think about the things that could have happened with her. Once he lost someone dear to him… he didn't want that to happen again.
So he felt like he would have been in heaven all week. Just as I said everything was fine… no, it was more than that. Everything had been Perfect. A wide smile spread across his face as he was walking through a forest road heading to their camp. Nothing could happen now that could ruin my perfect…
"Auch!" He suddenly turned his head to the side as he heard the voice of a certain banished firebender. …day? He took some steps in that direction but in the next moments he had to realize something that could have ruined any day of his entire life. "D-don't bite…"
For a moment Sokka raised an eyebrow but then as the next voice rang in his ears his hands clenched around his boomerang. Because whose giggle sounded right from the same spot belonged to his sister.
This time Katara smirked at the scarred prince who was leaning to a tree with his back and rubbed a spot between his neck and shoulder. "I won so this means I can pretty much do as I please…"
Zuko looked at the spot with a disapproving look. "Still… it's going to leave a bruise." As the girl giggled again he turned back to her. "Or do you want to make me wear long sleeves all year?" He asked.
"Take that as my revenge…" The waterbender said then crossed her arms. "Last time I had to worry for a week about one similar bruise on my neck." She looked away. "I even had to lie to Sokka…" The prince raised an eyebrow but as she turned back with another smile his light uneasiness flew away. "I told him it was made by a bee…"
Zzzz... Zuko made a half smirk. "And did he believe it?"
"Of course…" Katara said and turned to lean her back to his shoulder. "I've never lied to him. Why wouldn't he have?"
Sokka had never known that his face had enough muscles to create such an angered frown he wore now. His tanned skinned fingers turned pale as the pair remained in silence. That… that brat! I'm killing him!! That… that filthy... that!!! He raised his boomerang and was about to run on them before something made him stop. Something that was not spoken by his sister but that Very-close-to-be-killed-firebending-bastard…
"Why don't we tell him?" Zuko asked on a calm voice but still the question made the waterbender turn fully to face him. As she looked at him with a slight frown and disbelief he went on after a sigh. "My uncle knows, Toph knows, even the avatar…" As he was hit in the ribs once hard he went on another way. "Aang... even Aang knows. Why don't we tell him?"
Katara looked ahead of her for a while before saying anything. "It's just…" She slightly lowered her head before going on. "Not a good idea…"
The prince made a frown before lifting up her chin with a hand. "Why not?"
"Because…" She looked away waving around. "Because he's Sokka! He…" She hugged her knees with her arms still not looking at him. "He wouldn't understand."
Zuko waited if she wanted to say something else but as she didn't he spoke again. "The others did." She bit in her lower lip turning back to him. "My uncle did."
"No, your uncle cheered…" She said as a smile appeared on her face.
"Then what's wrong?" He asked watching her face.
"Nothing, but…" Katara heaved a sigh. "It was not in question how your uncle would react… I mean I'm not so bad that he had to really worry about me, but Sokka…"
Zuko's eyebrows snapped together hearing this. "So you mean you'd deserve someone better?"
Katara looked at him surprised. "That's not what I said…"
"But that's what you thought!" He snapped then stood up. After all what happened with them Zuko's pride was still able to stronger his temper.
"Zuko…" She said and pulled on his hand before he could leave standing up also. "Don't be silly I was just…"
"No." He said pulling his hand away. "I just start to see things clear!"
"Zuko…" She frowned as he started to turn away but she put a hand on his shoulder stopping him. "Please, I just don't want to complicate things more." He looked back at her but she saw he kept his mouth shut. "I mean, we're fine now… we have a lot of time to involve him if this turned serious, right?" She realized before he spoke that she said something she should have not because hurt appeared in his eyes.
"I thought this was serious." He said then shook his head as she put a hand to her forehead. "You know what? I just don't understand why I'm still here…" He murmured this time turning away and started walking away.
"I didn't mean it that way! Please let me explain!" She yelled and already took a step but as he shouted back she stopped.
"You've explained more than enough!"
She clenched her fists next to her as she looked after him angrily. "Then just go if that's what you want! You'll come back!" After he disappeared between the trees she brought her hand to her necklace as her sadness showed on her face. This was not the first time they talked about her brother… and Zuko was patient every time.
She let her hand through her hair as she sat down again looking at her feet. What's wrong with me…?
Hardly did she know though what thoughts appeared in her brother's genius mind.
"No!" Suki snapped at him with crossed arms as she hurried to meet the other girls from Kyoshi.
"But why?" Sokka asked on a high voice. "This needs to be done!"
She quickly poked him in the chest with her fan, which he didn't know she had in her hand already, before she went on. "Because I'm not going to let you involve my warriors in such a stupid, ridiculous and definitely childish 'plan' just to test the guy, forget it!"
"I'm not asking you to order them…" He started and as she narrowed her eyes and opened her mouth angrily with a 'just-try-it-and-I-will' face he quickly went on. "Just to allow me to ask them if they were in a little 'trick' with the guy… I mean he set aflame your whole village once, don't you want revenge?"
Suki closed her mouth and looked away for a while like she'd been in deep thought so the water tribe boy used this occasion to make a wide smile. "Oh Suki, I knew you'd be in it!"
"I…" She tried to protest but he quickly leaned in to kiss her once stopping her.
"You're an angel!" He said with enthusiasm and she decided to leave it his way.
"All right, all right." She said with a smile as they reached the others. "Just don't overdo it, ok?"
"Sure…" He said widening his smile and she couldn't help but wonder how this was going to hit him back later…
"Hello ladies! How are you?" Sokka beamed with a smile and all the other girls gave him weird looks so he cleared his throat and went on. "So now…" He had a glance around and his eyes caught sight of Aang, Zuko and Iroh who practiced firebending a distance from them so he reduced his voice's intensity as he continued.
"I have a mission for you…" He started and the girls turned towards him this time and he smiled again as he saw their faces became serious.
"It's really like a one-man… I mean one-person mission. I'd like to ask one of you, who has enough courage, will and strength to…"
"Hi Sokka!" He jumped in his place as the avatar's voice sounded from behind him so he turned with a nervous wide smile looking at both him and the Dragon of the West who stood not far from them.
"Aang!" He cleared his throat looking at the old man. "General Iroh…"
They nodded towards him before Aang said on a cheery voice. "We're going to have some tea with Sifu Iroh, would you or Suki like to join? Toph's coming too…"
"N-no Aang, we're quite busy right now, but thank you!" Sokka said quickly and some of the girls looked at him again with raised eyebrows.
"All right…" Aang said then made a bow. "Then see you later!" He waved once then hurried away.
"Yeah, yeah… later!" The water tribe boy yelled after him with another wide smile then looked behind him once again to watch the banished prince who stayed behind before turning back to the warriors of Kyoshi with a serious face.
"So, what I need your help in… more like your assistance, is a…" Sokka peeked once at Zuko who sat unmoving in the distance with closed eyes as a little flame circled him, which slowly grew and reduced with his breathing. The water boy turned back whispering to the girls ahead of him. "Firebender problem…"
The Kyoshian warriors looked at each other and started to talk amongst themselves and Suki then looked back at him while one of them asked. "We thought they've joined you willingly and helped you since."
"That's…" Sokka waved once then stepped closer to them lowering his voice. "That's right, the problem is not with that. The problem is with the fact that one certain firebender…" He had a dark look at the banished prince. "Is trying to get close to someone who's dear to me…"
Another girl raised her eyebrow. "Do you mean Suki?"
The said warrior chuckled at the dumb expression on her boyfriend's face and answered the question instead of the gaping boy. "No, he meant his sister…"
"Oh…" Some of them sighed and turned back to him. "But what's wrong with that?" One of them asked.
Sokka narrowed his eyes. "What is wrong with that? Only the fact that he's just messing around her!" He said and some of the girls furrowed their eyebrows or nodded also glancing at the meditating firebender.
"The mission I need your assistance in, involves him." He said and they looked at him again. "Basically it's a way to get sure that he'd fall for an 'occasion'. So I need your help in bringing the guy into an 'embarrassing' situation…" Some of the girls gasped or murmured again having side glances at the prince.
One particular warrior of Kyoshi who wore her light brown hair in a braided bun did not turn back when her teammates did. She watched the peaceful expression on the firebender's face then slowly let her green eyes wonder on his form.
Zuko wore a sleeveless brown shirt and trousers in the same colour. He sat far from them and turned to a different location so they could only see the unscarred side of his face… and she couldn't even fully see that because of his hair fell in the way. As her eyes went to his neck, back and shoulders she let her lips curl into a half smile.
After a moment of silence Sokka made a slight frown, when Suki looked at him with crossed arms, then started speaking again. "I understand if you're not into this, I mean I myself wouldn't want to…" But he stopped as a girl from the side turned to him.
"How embarrassing that situation should be?" She asked and a smirk appeared on Sokka's face in return.
He stepped to the girl and put a hand on her shoulder as he started to lead her away from the other warriors. "I believe we're going to figure out something together, Kimi…"
The next day the members of the new Aang-gang wondered around a little city. Aang, Toph, Katara, Zuko, Sokka, Suki and for some reasons one of Suki's friends walked around while most of them kept on smiling or cheering two boys from the group seemed to be lost in their thoughts.
Zuko had some glances at the smiling waterbender who walked next to Aang and Toph, and didn't even act like she'd have noticed his existence. They hadn't talked since that last argument, which he kind of regretted already but his pride didn't let him act against it till then… after all he was right.
He heaved a sigh before looking at her again. She told him once that she was afraid that his brother would go crazy if he found out… she didn't want to hurt Sokka, Zuko understood that, but with her words she managed to hurt him instead. He made a promise that he wouldn't do anything to anger or hurt her brother and that he's going to be even nice in case he should be, but she just couldn't get over her uneasiness about the situation.
Sokka watched the prince from the corner of his eyes during their little walk. He ran through this city three times to create 'The Perfect Plan'. When they reached one important part of the city he made an almost evil smile. The marketplace…
Aang's and Katara's faces lit up at once.
"Market!" Aang yelled happily and pulled on Toph's hand while he was heading in that direction.
"Wow…" The blind bandit said with sarcasm in her voice. "A market… lots of stuff to see and not to touch."
Katara made a chuckle before turning to the others. "Are you coming? Sokka…" Her gaze finally turned to the prince for the first time of their walk. "Zuko?"
Zuko just opened his mouth before the water tribe boy – unlikely from him – put his hand on his shoulder. "No, Zuko's coming with us now…"
The prince frowned ahead of him before turning to him. He didn't understand what happened just then. "I actually…" He started but it was Katara who didn't let him finish.
"No, it's… it's ok." She made a smile at the two. If they could finally get along well… "Just don't do anything stupid guys…" She said looking at them both.
"Of course we won't!" Sokka answered with a wide smile and turned away bringing the confused prince with him.
Zuko peeked back once more at the girl, unsure of what he should do, but the bright smile on her face erased his confusion. She waved once and formed 'I'm sorry…' with her mouth without saying it out, so when he finally turned away a smile appeared on his lips.
"So Zuko…" Sokka started after he stepped next to the firebender again while they were walking on the street. "I know we were not on the best terms yet but still…" The prince frowned as he listened to the water boy's voice and couldn't get over the thought that in that moment he reminded him Azula… "I'd like to ask you a favor."
Why did I count on this? Zuko thought to himself. "And what would that be?"
Sokka forced himself not to smile. "Yeah… you know I haven't seen Suki for a long time now. And there is her girlfriend who is, well… a bit in my way you see, so…"
The water tribe boy knitted his eyebrows looking at the other again. "Why not?"
The prince was taken aback. How can I explain this? "I…"
"You don't have a girlfriend by any chance, do you?" Sokka narrowed one of his eyes.
"No!" Zuko said then quickly went on to try to erase the other's suspicion. "N-no… I just…" He had a peek at the girl next to Suki then back at him. "Don't think it would be a good idea."
Sokka made a wide smile putting an arm around his shoulder. "Oh, come on… she looks good…" Before Zuko could say something he popped in again. "Do this for a friend…"
The prince froze. Friend…? He heaved a sigh. I'm not sure what Katara would want me to do now… "I…"
"Thanks dude!" Sokka said punching his arm once. Then hurried to the girls and caught Suki's arm to pull her away. He said something to the other girl pointing at Zuko then hurrying a bit forward but still looking back at them.
As the girl looked at him he made a sigh slightly shaking his head. What did I get myself into?
For some time Zuko and Kimi – because she told him that's her name, and basically she kept on talking happily while he only answered in a kind way without really saying anything – was walking around the village, keeping a slight distance from Sokka and Suki.
Zuko tried to keep distance from the girl too though. After all, he did have a relationship even if he couldn't admit it to the unknowing brother. But the girl didn't seem to realize this, and remained cheerful reminding him Ty Lee somehow. And after some time…
"Oh, look at this!" The girl caught his arm with her own, pulling him with her as she pointed at a shop's window where some jewelry was placed. "These are so beautiful!" She said on a dreamy voice.
He unconsciously tensed after she pulled him closer, even though she turned towards him with a friendly smile, because a part of him sensed it was the moment when he'd reached the line he thought about when agreeing into this favor. "Look, Kimi…" He slightly shook his head taking a step away from her and with his other hand he slowly removed her hand from his arm. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the truth is that I…"
But he didn't have the opportunity to continue because at that moment – like he'd have felt the flaw in his plan – Sokka appeared next to them, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Now, now… isn't it great to just hang around?" He asked with smiling at the Kyoshian warriors and almost dragged the prince forward with him, in the direction he came before, changing to a low whisper. "What are you doing?"
Zuko scowled ahead of himself, but he didn't protest now that the distance between him and the girl grew. "What I should have done at the beginning! I hope you had your fun, because I'm leaving!" He said and he tried to get rid of Sokka's grasp in vain.
This stubborn jerk tries to directly ruin my plan… Sokka thought annoyed then he saw that they've finally reached their destination. But he's late with that now! "Nooo, you can't leave now!" His cheerful voice sounded made the prince frown again, and when he even saw the smirk that appeared on the warrior's face he suddenly felt that something was not right. "Would you truly leave out the fun?" He went on and waved ahead of them where a small lake laid.
When Zuko's eyes caught sight of a wooden sign at the lakeside, his expressions showed a mix of surprise and disbelief, and he was sure now that if he had a bad feeling about something the next time at first then he should listen to his instincts right then and there. And that feeling only strengthened when Kimi yelled happily behind them…
"Rowing boats!" The girl let out a giggle next to her friend, and the two of them hurried forward leaving them behind.
The line of boats waited for passengers, and in every one of them sat a person who would row them throughout the lake.
Suki peeked back at the two boys and when she saw Sokka's smirk and Zuko's hesitating expression, she made a disapproving frown but remained silent while the green eyed girl hopped in the first boat to the passenger's side.
The water tribe warrior didn't have problems with bringing Zuko to the dock, because he concentrated on bringing up excuses why he should really leave now, but once they got there, he didn't plan to move any closer to the boats and even turned his back on the one that Kimi was inside.
It was the time when Suki finally leapt forward. "Sokka, it's okay… if he doesn't want to, I'll go with Kimi after all she's my friend."
Sokka's left eye twitched looking at her and the disapproving look she gave him in exchange made him realize that his girlfriend finally took the prince's side. Oh, don't say that he convinced you! But the girl turned towards the prince ignoring Sokka's glare and clenched fists.
Zuko heaved a relieved sigh and made a grateful smile at Suki. "Yeah, that… that would be gr…"
No way! Sokka's blue eyes narrowed and when the prince wanted to take a step he made his move and pushed him hard, which was enough for the firebender to fall backwards right into the wooden boat, rubbing the back of his head after the impact.
"Sokka!" Suki put her hands to her hips but this did not stop the water tribe boy.
"Okay, the boat is ready!" Sokka yelled to the man who sat in the boat, and he started rowing now that a couple was 'aboard'.
As the boat moved Zuko's eyes opened only to see worrying green ones. "Are you all right?" Kimi asked with slightly raised eyebrows leaning closer to him before helping him sit up – not that he'd have needed it, but she felt it would be the least to do after how he was pushed in next to her.
The prince's golden eyes opened narrow and for a moment the Kyoshian warrior was taken aback by the furious stare he shot towards the other boy standing at the dock.
The water tribe warrior made a wide smile rubbing the back of his neck then - while waving towards them - he started laughing like it would have all been just a joke. The smile remained on his face after Zuko's anger seemed to fade, and he finally turned away from them, sitting reluctantly down next to the girl in the boat.
Then Sokka hopped in the next boat that was ready to leave before talking. "Now all we need to do is follow after them, you'll see…" He said to Suki and already sat down facing the boat the other two just left on, but after some time he realized that his girlfriend didn't talk or move at all. So he turned his head to the side looking at her. "Suki?"
She stood with crossed arms and a rather annoyed look. "I'm not coming." She said turning her head away from him.
"Wha...? But why??" His eyebrows rose but as she remained silent he shook his head waving to her. "Come on, they're getting too far!"
"Sokka, it's you who's going too far!" The Kyoshian warrior let her hands fell behind her with clenched fists.
The water tribe warrior rolled his eyes before going on. "Look Suki, we were over this once… he's going to cheat on her sooner or later, so it'll be better if we could prove it now, before he'd…"
"No, you're not doing this to know if your suspicion was right! You directly want to ruin whatever relationship your sister had, just because you don't like the guy she chose!"
"B-but Suki…" Sokka tried to protest but she silenced him almost immediately.
"No! I'm done discussing this. You should be ashamed of yourself, I hope you know it!" She yelled one last time then turned to leave without looking back.
Sokka didn't get out of the boat, not even after she didn't answer to his call, but let out a groan turning back to the direction where the prince and the other girl went. He waved once to the man in his boat in the meantime. "All right, let's go after that other boat!"
The man in the boat uncaringly chewed on something – probably no one will find out what it originally was – with one of his boots hanging over its edge, but this time he had a side glance at the teenage boy. "Can't you read kid…?" He started spitting to the side, then pointed outside to another wooden sign. "The ride goes for only couples."
The water tribe warrior looked in the pointed direction then turned back with a scowl. "Hey, look, let's just forget that rule and pretend it does not exist, all right?"
The other chewed once again then slowly shook his head. "That could happen if you'd been either a woman…" Another spit. "Or two women." He said and made a smirk that probably every man wore after a certain age if it came to jokes like that then waved once before putting his arms behind his head, closing his eyes. "Now go, don't hold up the boat…"
At this point Sokka's eyebrows furrowed. He looked around to see that nobody waited for a ride, except him, and that even Suki was nowhere to be found now. He bowed his head to the side with disbelief then changed to 'the business voice'. "Com' on man, my money is as good this way as it had been with my girlfriend, right?" The man's eyes slightly opened in thought, and if Sokka had chosen his next words wiser, then he'd probably have truly forgotten about the rule, but of course the water tribe boy was not known because of his speeches. "I'm just going to have fun on my own…"
Ouch. That was the last thing that crossed Sokka's mind when he was thrown out of the docks less than three minutes later…
Silent growls and continuous landscape analyzing: for Zuko that was the meaning of this little boat trip. He was sitting there, next to a girl who - at least in the last minutes - remained silent, and he hoped that she'd finally run out of topics not just breath this time.
The man who was probably paid enough not to care much about them, was rowing with his back turned towards them, and even this little fact made the prince's anger rise because it might have given someone the idea that he was there willingly.
Well he was not actually pulled into the girl's arms or anything like that… but for heaven's sake he was tossed in that freaking boat!
He groaned again, cursing to himself. He had no idea why Sokka forced this thing so much… it was even possible that he just wanted to help. But gods know I prefer if he simply hates me than trying to help me!
He leaned on one of his elbows, still looking out the left side of the boat without saying anything when he heard a sigh next to him. He silently hoped that the boat would return to the docks soon, because even Kimi sounded bored – thankfully – as she shifted next to him.
For a slight moment he started to feel almost relaxed. He even recognized a pair of small Koi fish that just swam out from under the boat – one red and one blue – and a slight smile crossed his features when something happened. Something that suddenly made him tense from toe to neck: because a hand fell on his thigh. And his eyes slightly rounded when she made him sure with a squeeze that it was not just an accident.
Ok, at this point: this will stop! And he started to turn in his place to face and stop the girl. But when he saw her green eyes slowly closing, only inches away from his face, and panic ran through him, the only escape he could suddenly think about from this situation was…
Even after the sudden swaying of the boat, when Kimi opened her eyes she was surprised that the prince left her side. Only the circles on the lake's surface showed the location where he must have jumped in, because in the next moment when Zuko finally came up – only lifting out the upper half of his face – he was at least nine meters away.
Her thoughts were a bit confused after all she was told that he only waited for an occasion like the one he just a kind of… ran away from. But she managed to smile when the prince remained under the water from below his nose. "Are you all right?" She asked on an almost giggling voice when she leaned on the edge of the boat, while he was looking at her with almost guilty golden eyes.
He thought for a moment while breathing in a big amount of breath through his nose, but didn't raise his head out to speak, only shook his head.
One of her eyebrows rose, but she kept on smiling as she reached out an arm towards him. "Come, I'll help you get in."
He wanted to simply shake his head again, but realized it was finally time to talk. So he heaved a sigh before coming to the surface fully then started to speak. "No, I'm… I'm sorry, I can't."
Kimi surprised even more. Does he look like someone who's planning to seduce anyone? "Why not?" She asked, but he didn't answer just sank in the water like before, so she decided to go on with a sad expression. "Is it… because of me?"
A sudden pang of guilt ran through him. "No, n-no it's not that! It's just that I… I already…" He started quickly then averted his eyes finishing it. "Have someone."
He even admits it? She inwardly smiled at the thought. "But Sokka said…" She started but he didn't let her finish as he spoke again with letting a hand through his wet hair.
"Because he doesn't know… that…" He murmured but when she asked further his gaze left her again. He felt as his anger rose: because he realized he let the situation come this far without saying anything. And it was all because he didn't want Sokka to know…? This only made things worse!
"Doesn't know what?" She asked while her green eyes searched his confused and angered ones.
Her question still lingered in the air when he inwardly swore and his fists clenched under the water as he closed his eyes. "That I'm in love with his sister!" He almost yelled in the middle of the lake.
He took deep breaths when he looked back at the girl in the boat and the dreamy smile that appeared on her face made him slowly sunk back to the water… this time because he wanted to hide the fact that a blush appeared on his face.
"You are in love?" She asked with her fingers crossed above her heart while she was looking at him with a smile.
Zuko slowly rose up again when his original colour mostly returned only to reveal one of his rare smiles. "Yeah…" He said peeking to the side. "Though I've never said it out before…"
"This is wonderful!" She almost squealed. "And here I thought that…" She started then waved once before going on. "I mean after what Sokka said…"
"Sokka?" The prince frowned hardly. Was that why he dragged me into this…? "He knew?"After the girl made a nod the water's temperature around him slowly started to rise…
Sokka couldn't say that it was his lucky day. After he couldn't follow his 'prey' he went to look for Suki, who was not more understanding than at the docks, so for the second time of the day he got hit because of his big mouth. But she stayed near to him, to keep an eye on him - as she said – but he was sure that she was simply curious about what have happened. She decided not to talk to him before that though…
But it didn't matter, because once Kimi arrived back, they would hear the exact thing from her that he had expected, and he could stop his sister before she'd have made the biggest mistake of her life. Because he knew that being with a banished firebender, whose family didn't have a normal person at least in the last century, was that type of mistake she'd definitely regret…
So just imagine how he felt when the said girl came back. And all of his expectations fell into ruin. Because when she started speaking, the words that left her lips sounded this way:
"Oh. My. God! Your sister is so lucky!" She yelled happily and the most horrible of all was that she meant what she said. She believed in it. Probably this was the only thing that Sokka's brain could understand because after this his mind seemed to loose track of the world, though she continued anyway. At least Suki listened to her, and what was even more: she smiled with her friend like it would have been the best news she heard since months. "You see, I thought it's going to be easy, but oh… we were so wrong! I tried so hard and then he just… just…"
At this a part of him so wanted to hope that she'd finally say he was right, that it even hurt more when she went on the same way. "He totally freaked out and even jumped out of the boat!" She chuckled here, but even now Sokka was only gaping at the two girls like a fish. "And then he admitted that he's in love! Can you believe that?"
Suki giggled with a hand covering her mouth before she spoke instead of her boyfriend, who seemed too lost and shocked to ever speak again. "This is so great! Kimi, you couldn't have brought better news!" Sokka's eyes twitched. "A job well done!" She said hugging her once before she turned to Sokka again and punched in his arm once, which made him rub at it but otherwise the only thing that changed was the narrowness of his eyes. "You see? You were wrong after all…"
Sokka didn't move when the two girls walked away, though he heard they were still chatting as they left. "Gods, and he even had a blush on his face when he said it!" Kimi said between Suki's light laughs. "I mean I have met some shy guys, but in his age…!"
"You know… I start to truly envy Katara…" Suki said before heaving a sigh, and that was the only thing he heard.
It took Zuko some time – and some trees, he set aflame - to calm himself down before going back to the others. He'd simply go back to Katara, tell her that her brother knew about them, and… he'd tell her how he'd found it out. He hoped she'd understand…
But unfortunately the first one he'd met close to their camp was not Katara… but her brother.
Sokka walked around in a semi-circle, obviously waiting for something deep in his thoughts. And when a twig snapped under Zuko's leg and the other recognizing him gave him an icy stare, he stopped.
For a moment the two of them held a not too friendly eye contact, but then the prince heaved a sigh and turned towards his original direction to do as he planned.
The water tribe boy clenched his fists and as the other passed next to him he didn't bare it anymore. "So how was your date?"
Zuko stopped in his place and his face turned stern as his golden eyes almost burnt a hole in a tree not far from him, but he tried his best to ignore the question. Don't hit him. You've promised. Not. To. Hurt. Him… After some inner struggle he managed to get over the urge to do what every inch of his being wished for, and slowly took another step, then another.
"I've asked you something!" Sokka gritted his teeth in frustration as he was completely ignored this time and shouted angrily at the prince's back. "Can't you hear me, scarface?"
That was the last thing he could say before Zuko's fist connected with his face.
Shit… The warrior was on the ground when the prince unclenched his fists realizing what he had done. He let out a growl putting a hand to his forehead. "Damn! I just broke a promise because of you!"
Sokka rose up, rubbing his chin while turning back towards him. "You brutal jerk…"
"Oh, I may be a jerk, but at least I'm honest unlike you!" Golden eyes met blue ones again as they've finally let their fury shown. "After I've joined your group I thought at least we're on good terms enough that you'd tell me openly that you hated my guts!"
"Hah!! You might have joined the 'good side', but definitely not my side!" Sokka shouted getting a hold of his boomerang. "You've betrayed me every single time you laid your filthy hands on my sister, you-you, YOU BACKSTABBER!" He yelled swinging forward to smash the other in the head, but Zuko easily stepped away without being harmed.
"Hey, first: you need two persons for a relationship!" He leaned away again from the angered brother's second blow before going on. "And second, I wanted to involve you, but…"
Sokka ran at him openly and this time Zuko grabbed his wrist, which held the boomerang to stop him while he yelled at him. "Yeah, since yesterday?! You should have known better than to try and seduce my sister, you firebending scum!" His last words mixed with his yell when the prince pushed him away as he tried to kick him, but Sokka just groaned again. "And would you stand still so I can beat you up?!"
When the water tribe boy ran at him again he jumped away only in the last minute, so he ended with his face on the ground. "Look, I didn't want to mislead you, but just look at us! We're acting just like she feared we would…" Sokka lifted his face with another annoyed look while the prince leaned down, offering him a hand. "…and I don't want to do this with her. I hope we agree in at least this."
Sokka blinked as his mind slowly realized that the tables were suddenly turned. He was Katara's brother after all… wasn't it him, who should have been right? "And since when do you think you are the one who knows what the best is for her?" The brother asked with only slightly furrowed eyebrows.
"I don't. I only know that this is definitely not it." Zuko said honestly and for his surprise, the other accepted his hand.
After the two of them stood up, Sokka put his hands in his pockets peeking to the side while the prince let his hands fell to his sides.
"Well…" The water tribe warrior started without looking at him. "Maybe I should have simply tried to beat you up at the beginning instead all of this." Zuko made a slight smirk but didn't say that he wouldn't have been more successful back then either… "So I'm saying – but don't misunderstand me, I still think my sister is way too good for you and if she starts to have doubts, which she obviously will, I'm going to agree with her dumping you at once… " At this the smirk fully disappeared from the other's face. "But."
After that Sokka fell silent, like he'd have been deep in his thoughts, but after Zuko got annoyed with the silence he asked loudly. "But what?"
He slowly shook his head. "No… let's put it this way: if you hurt her, in any way it is possible…"
"I'm not going to…" The prince protested but the other silenced him with a wave.
"If you do, you're dead. Is it clear enough?" Sokka asked with a side glance towards him, who only made a slight nod.
"Good." The brother made a nod then crossed his arms. "That's all that I want you to know, and if you understood it clearly, then maybe… I could let… the two of you…" He slowed down seemingly like it would hurt him to say out the last words, but Zuko looked up at him when he realized what he started. "Be… together." The prince's lips curled upwards when he heard this, but unfortunately Sokka didn't plan to stop here, at least not yet. "But till then…" He started and already made a half smirk, but Zuko didn't let him go on.
"No. You don't understand… There's more into this than you think." The prince spoke when Sokka looked back at him. "I'd sooner kill myself than let her come to any harm."
As the water tribe warrior was watching the firebender, only now did he see the determination in his eyes, and it suddenly made himself remember back to a time where he'd said the same thing, when he was guarding the princess of the North, with probably the same feelings in his heart…
Sokka heaved a sigh as he let go of the doubt about him in the inside. "So, you truly love her?" Zuko didn't answer, only made a slight nod, bowing his head. "And… does she love you too?"
"Well…" He started with looking down at his feet. In fact she hadn't talked to him since their argument… how could he know if she'd felt the same way as he did? We'll have plenty of time if this turned serious, right?
I thought this was serious…
What if she didn't? What if he was truly not good enough for her…?
The two of them turned to the side when a silent sob sounded from the edge of the camp. The waterbender stood there with teary eyes looking at the duo.
"Katara…?" Her brother raised an eyebrow, and suddenly felt the urge to snap at the firebender for making her cry already, but Zuko stepped closer to her almost immediately.
"Are you all right?" He asked worriedly, but then she smiled brightly at them making both her brother and the prince calm down.
She whipped one of her eyes when she came close to them, directly walking to Zuko as her smile slowly reduced to a nervous one.
"Did you mean what you said?" She asked and looked up at him with her wonderful blue eyes that not even a brainwashing could make him forget. A slight smirk was about to appear on his face, but in the next moment her fingers reached out and clench into his shirt, as if she had been desperate until knowing the truth. "Did you?"
His golden eyes softened when he lifted his own hands to cover hers above his chest. "I have never been more serious in my life… I love you." By the time he said this, her smile fully returned but now it was him who needed to know what was in her mind. His eyebrows rose and he tried to search in her eyes but as if she'd known he wouldn't bear it, she remained silent while looking up at him.
For a long moment he didn't even breathe, but finally she pulled him closer to her as she whispered. "I love you too…"
This time he finally made a genuine smile when he breathed again and when she'd lightly chuckled he kissed her passionately, leaning down to her. His hands slowly slid down to her lower arms when she unconsciously raised hers to his shoulders and neck.
Then her eyes opened round when she suddenly remembered that her brother was still standing there behind him. She surely but softly pushed the prince away while trying to catch her breath and turning to him. "S-sokka, you know… we… t-this…"
The water tribe warrior shook his head and waved once as both of them were looking at him. "Don't mind me… I know." Katara looked at him in surprise, because she only heard their last sentences before, but her brother only made a smile before nodding to the prince then turned to leave the two alone. He slowly walked back to the camp, and before he'd have disappeared between the tents he made one last glance at the two.
They were in each other's embrace, her arms around his neck, his rested on her hips, and in the orange light of the setting sun, when the two of them looked in each other's eyes with smiles, a part of Sokka felt that perhaps this was the first and only time he needed to encounter his sister's chosen one.
There was a slight smile on his face when he turned away from the duo and he only had to take one step forward to see Toph, Aang and Suki waiting for him. He cleared his throat and made his smile fade when he walked up to them. "So… Zuko and Katara…"
"Are in love." Toph said with a smirk while one of her hands held the avatar's arm.
"We know." Aang said also with a smile when Sokka made a frown.
It was Suki who asked the last question, they all thought about. "And what did you say to them?"
The water tribe boy looked from the younger couple to the Kyoshian warrior's dark blue eyes, remembering everything what she'd said that day. You were right Suki, from the beginning… He thought and his smile returned when he finally spoke. "Well, you know… I can't stand in love's way, can I?"
He was suddenly pulled into an almost choking hug by all the three of them, but his girlfriend was the one who stayed that way after the other two let go of him.
"Sokka, I'm so proud of you." She murmured into his ear while he wrapped his arms around her.
He made a slight smirk as he pulled away to look at her again. "So are you envy of Katara now?" She bit in her lower lip looking upwards like she truly had to think it through. "Oh, so is it so hard to decide?" He asked with a scowl. "I'll just go and get you another crazed firebender if that's what you w…"
He started ranting, but she only smiled at him and pulled him into a kiss so that he'd finally stop. "And you're still talking too much." She said and when he only hemmed at it without opening his mouth again, both of their lips curled into smiles. She wrapped her arms around him and leaned her head on his shoulder when he returned the hug. "I wouldn't change you to anyone, stupid…" She whispered while their eyes wondered up to the moon, which shone now that the sun went down and both of them had a gentle smile on their faces. "Not now, not ever…"
A/N: Okay, so this is truly the end guys... I'm sorry if Zuko ended a bit OoC here, but I wanted to concentrate too much on Sokka! XD This one is mostly his chapter. So Zutara, Taang and finally: Sukka. These are my favourite pairings.
So Zutara, Taang and finally: Sukka. These are my favourite pairings.
If you've come this far, please tell me what you think about my story, it would mean much to me - mostly because I've written the first 6 chaps and uploaded it in a week, so I've done the extras to bring some attention to it...
Anyway I'd like to thank to all of you, who faved or left a review or simply stayed here to see its end. Your support meant a lot to me! Thank you again!