The First Date: A Series of Oneshots
Bad Hair

Description: This is a collection of oneshots that serve as a mini-sequel to "College Daze." Katara Kuruk and Zuko Sozin, students at Ba Sing Se University, are on winter break and are finally going on their first official date.

Disclaimer: I don't own "Avatar: The Last Airbender" or anything associated with it. This story is for amusement purposes only—so I hope you're amused!

She stood there at the mirror, checking her make-up for the umpteenth time. Had she smeared her eyeliner? Was she wearing too much eyeshadow? Did she look pretty or more like a clown? Was it simply too much for a first date?

Granted it wasn't really a first date, just their first "official" date as boyfriend and girlfriend. Zuko had insisted on keeping some kind of aura of mystery shrouding the event, no matter how much she begged to know what they would do. As far as Zuko was concerned, it was a surprise…Momentarily remembering her last conversation with her boyfriend about the event, Katara sighed and re-examined her appearance.

She briefly wished that one of her girlfriends was there to provide her opinion and assistance, but quickly dismissed the thought. If Suki were here, Sokka would be in the bathroom the entire time, trying his best to drag her away, and if Toph was there, well, Katara didn't want to even imagine the sarcastic remarks she'd have to endure if the teenager were present.

As she smoothed her hands over her long and wavy chestnut-colored hair one more time, Sokka appeared at the doorway. He stood there, his hand on his chin as he appraised her appearance—in his opinion, her jeans were too tight, her blue sweater too low cut, and she looked way too mature with her make-up like that.

"Okay, time for a costume change—there's no way I'm letting my baby sister go out looking like…that," Sokka announced as his hand pointed at her accusingly.

"Excuse me, Sokka, but what would you suggest I wear?" she queried, her chin pointed out defiantly as her hands went to her hips. "If I remember correctly, Suki was wearing way less than I am now when you two went out earlier this week," she finished as she poked him squarely in the chest as her other hand rested on her hip.

"Yeah, well, we've been seeing each other for a lot longer than you and Zuko have and…and that's not the point!" he said exasperatedly. "As your older brother, I cannot, in good conscience, let you leave the house looking like a…like a…" he trailed off, unable to think of an appropriate name for his sister's appearance.

"Good one, Sokka, good one," Katara supplied, playfully punching her brother in the shoulder. She then quickly pulled her cell phone out of her pocket to check the time, "Look, Zuko's gonna be here any minute now, so I don't really have time to change anyways. Just promise me you won't act too weird when he gets here, okay?" she requested, her eyes widening and lips pouting in hope that her big brother would do this for her, just this one time. When her pleading look failed to get her way, she upped the ante. Quietly, she stepped towards him and tugged on the front of his shirt, "Puh-lease, Sokka, think of it as an early birthday present…"

As soon as Katara said "birthday," he shrugged her off and mumbled, "Fine."

He hated it when she got that look and he knew he was weak every time he fell for it, and, now, she was invoking her own birthday! How was a brother supposed to resist that? But his eyes went hard for a moment as he continued, "But if he lays a hand on you in my presence, I swear I'll break every one of those pale little fingers of his right off!"

She smiled and shook her head at her brother's expected over-protectiveness and his empty promise, "Okay, okay." Then she looked at him as her eyes crinkled thoughtfully and sincerely said, "Thanks Sokka. I know you only mean well."

"Well, that's what big brothers are for—" he was going to say more, but he was cut off by the ring of the doorbell. Instantly, his face darkened, "Oh joy, looks like he's here already," he mockingly said aloud.

Katara shot him a glare as she sped towards the front door, desperate to get there before her crazy brother. She swung the door wide open.

"Hello—" she started, but promptly paused and burst into a fit of laughter. On the other side of the doorway stood a frustrated-looking young man, dressed in dark jeans, a satiny button-up black shirt, and a charcoal peacoat, while holding a bouquet of flowers. However, none of these items induced the laughter she was now experiencing. Unfortunately for Zuko, Katara was laughing at how his hair was slicked back ridiculously—like some kind of stereotypical Asian gangster, she mused.

At the sound of her giggles, he shoved the flowers in his girlfriend's direction, "These are for you. Now if you would kindly stop laughing, I'd greatly appreciate it."

Knowing he'd done his hair like that for her, she forced her mouth shut and did her best to stop herself from laughing any further. Her face twitched with the strain, but she managed to eek out a tiny "thank you" as she accepted the bouquet and beckoned him inside. Escaping without another glance at him, Katara trotted off to the kitchen so she could put the beautiful and fragrant panda lilies into a vase of water.

Zuko stepped into the large apartment and shut the door quietly behind him. As he saw himself in the hallway mirror, he quickly realized how silly he looked. At that moment, of course, Sokka appeared and immediately fell to the carpeted floor, clutching his sides as he guffawed furiously. In between desperate breaths of air, Sokka managed to shout out, "Katara…boyfriend…bad hair…so funny!" That is, until Katara's pair of feet came into view.

As Sokka looked up, he realized that while his sister may have been laughing, she apparently did not appreciate him laughing at her boyfriend. It was one thing for her to laugh at him, and it was another thing entirely if Sokka laughed at him.

"So, what's so funny, Sokka?" Katara asked menacingly as she stared down at him. As Sokka looked back up at his sister, he realized she was very serious and his stomach tightened at the prospect of her wrath, should he incur it. Suffice to it to say, he stopped laughing immediately.

Picking himself up from the ground as nonchalantly as possible, he dusted himself off and responded, "Well, I wouldn't be laughing so hard if your boyfriend over there didn't have his hair like that." He pointed at Zuko, emphasizing his excuse and hoping his sister would understand.

Not willing to deal with any more unrestrained chuckles, Zuko immediately began mussing his hair with both hands, returning it to its normal state. "Please blame Uncle for this—it was entirely his idea. Is this better?" he asked plainly, turning to his girlfriend for her approval as he imagined all the ways to get back at his uncle for his misdeed.

"Much—at least now you look like my boyfriend again as opposed to some well-intentioned imposter," she smiled sweetly. She quickly grabbed her purse and winter coat off of the hallway table and effortlessly slipped on her boots. She then turned to her brother, "Well, we're going to head out now, Sokka. Guess I'll see you later!"

"Fine," Sokka replied begrudgingly. "Just be careful, okay?" Especially since you'll be alone with him all night…

Flashing a bright smile at him and looking at her boyfriend, she responded, "Okay, Sokka, but I think I'll be okay."

"You better be…" was all Sokka would respond as Katara led her boyfriend out of her brother's apartment by the hand and closed the door behind them. Sokka's eyes thinned to slits as he closely watched the couple exit. He decided immediately that there was no way he was going out that night, and he would absolutely be waiting for his sister to get home later that evening.

Katara started to make her way towards the elevator, but before she could take another step, Zuko stopped her. She looked at him questioningly, her head tilted to the side.

"I just wanted to stop and admire you for a minute, now that we're out of the presence of that exasperating brother of yours," Zuko stated as his eyes adoringly looked over her. As his topaz eyes met her sapphire ones, he whispered admiringly, "You look beautiful…"

Her eyes were demurely downcast as she quietly spoke her "thank you" back to him. But before they could get too lost in the moment, she tugged his hand and led him towards the elevator at the end of the hallway. As she pushed the button, she turned to him with one eyebrow raised, "So, what have you got planned for this 'first date' of ours, anyway?"

Author's Note: Well, my life is busy with school and work and I'm not sure how much I can commit to a multi-chapter sequel to "College Daze." But, with the season premiere and all, I found myself itching to continue their story. So, for the time being, I decided to write up a series of oneshots revolving around Katara's and Zuko's first official date. Since my writing's a little rusty and this is unbetaed, what did you guys think? Horrible, needs work, or just right? Please read and review. Thanks!