Summary: The fire and water nation choose to form some kind of alliance, so the lords meet and decide that a simple marriage would be the best answer. Zutara (I do not own Avatar!!)
Chapter one: No choice
Katara uncomfortably squirmed on the ostrich horses back. It had been a long ride until Ba Sing Se, the capital of the earth kingdom, finally came into view before the group of about ten people, most of them guards. Katara and her brother where leading the way, the large gates towering above them.
They were set to have a meeting with the fire nation leaders, her father, Hakoda, came along to try and set peace between the fire and water nation. She was bound to meet Zuko there as well; she hadn't seen him since the death of his sister. Azula was killed as the two fought, shortly after, the war finally ended, jet still leaving the nations broken, hatred still clouded between them.
Once the gates opened and they were greeted kindly they made their way to where they were to meet the fire nation people.
Katara followed her father and Zuko in utter silence, not knowing what would happen during the meeting, would they find a solution, or would they break out in fights during the meeting? Her mind wouldn't stop wandering until her gaze fell on Zuko. He was kneeling on the floor, beside his uncle and father, guards surrounded them as well.
Zuko had changed, he was more muscular, his hair was still a tad longer, reaching just below his ears, his robes were the blazing color of red with gold details. She didn't even notice that she was smiling. Her brother nudged her and they sat down across from the fire nation people.
Silence settled around them, it seemed like forever until Iroh's voice boomed loudly through the hall, he was holding a cup of tea, as usual. "Greetings, we are glad you all could come, as it seems, we are still not at peace, we need to settle this once and for all." Everyone around him nodded in agreement, and then her father spoke up. "We thank for the warm welcome. Indeed, we have to settle these matters tonight." The men got to talking about all sorts of things, including resources and territory. Katara and Sokka left them after a while, to explore the town a bit.
The entire time they were walking, Katara was silent, her mind wandering back to Zuko. She didn't know what to expect when they got back, what would they decide on? Sokka joked and flirted with a few ladies on the way back to the palace, Katara just smirked. She was eighteen now, her hair was a bit longer and she had clearly gained curves over the years.
The first thing she noticed when she walked back to where her father sat, crouching at his side, was the grimace on Zuko's face. Clearly, something was bothering him, she just couldn't figure out what. Her father turned to her and looked at her calmly; she could see the worry he had behind his eyes. "What's going on?" she asked with a timid voice. "We have decided what would be best for us to gain peace." His voice was stern jet quiet. "And?" she asked slightly confused. She could see her brother from the corner of her eye, his mouth wide open, staring over at Zuko. "Don't tell me…" he hissed. Her father nodded. "Katara, you are to marry prince Zuko to strengthen our alliance, it is the best way."
Katara's moth fell open, she looked over at Zuko, who was staring right back at her. She didn't know what to say, she looked questioningly at her father. "You have no choice." He said, he sounded hurt. Katara stood, her fists balled and was about to turn and leave when her father called back to her. "We have your things packed, you are returning to the fire nation's capital with Zuko tomorrow." She said nothing, didn't even turn, she just stomped out of the room, walking to her sleeping chambers.
Once she closed the door behind her she dropped herself onto the bed, not even bothering to undress, she started to sob uncontrollably, how could this be happening to her? That night she cried herself to sleep, the last thing she had on her mind was Zuko's handsome face.
Katara groaned as the light from outside stung in her eyes. Quickly she got out of bed, her eyes still feeling sore from all the crying. She walked into the bathroom, took a bath and got dressed. Taking one last look at herself in the mirror she smirked. "Maybe it won't be so bad after all." With that she left the room, heading to get some breakfast.
No one beside her brother was up jet. He looked at her sadly as she entered and sat down at his side. He didn't say anything, just turned towards her and pulled her into a hug. Once he let her go, they ate in silence, until it was time for Katara to leave.
Zuko, his uncle and everyone else were already mounted on the ostrich horses as she walked outside of the large Ba Sing Se gates. Her father pulled her into a heartfelt hug and kissed her forehead. "I will miss you." He stated flatly, she felt sad again. Silently she turned and walked towards Zuko, who held out his hand to her. She was supposed to ride with him? She flushed as he took her hand and pulled her up, to sit right before him. With one last wave to her brother and father they turned, on their way to the fire nation.