Uh… I don't know where this came from. I feel like I heard someone say something or read something somewhere and I was just like WHOA. So I wrote it down and this came out.
It also has something to do with the fact that the Zutara side of things is getting kind of oppressive lately. I'm not bashing Zutara or anything, I'm just saying it's kind of everywhere recenty. I'm a very canon person, so it just doesn't really work in my head. That's all.
But uh… whenever you see a fic in which Katara has to choose between Aang and Zuko, Zuko wins. Which is sad. So um… here's my version of events I guess.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar
Katara was used to the cold. Her life at the South Pole had built a tolerance within her blood. She was never cold. But after Aang brought the war to an end, after life settled back down, after Katara was allowed to think about things like boys and her future, she realized that what she craved in a relationship was warmth. Heat. Anything but cold.
Which would explain why, when Fire Lord Zuko began to show interest in her barely two years after the war, she wasn't completely nauseated. He was a firebender. Heat was in his blood, just as cold was in hers. The animosity of their past still loomed large over Katara, so she didn't reciprocate any attempts he made to gain her attention. But she didn't rebuff him entirely. As much as she hated to admit it, she was curious.
Katara first noticed his attention when she and Aang, who had been travelling together since the end of the war, visited the Fire Nation for the second anniversary of Ozai's defeat. He smiled at her in greeting. He kissed her hand.
And that was all it took for her to make her decision.
Some time later, as Katara lied in bed beside her husband, she wondered if it had been the right decision. That kiss to her hand had told her everything she needed to know about Zuko.
He was cold.
His skin was hot, like any other firebender, but his touch was chilling. His conversation throughout the rest of her stay was polite and dull. He didn't know how to act around her. He didn't seem to know how to act around anyone. Sure he was tall and dark, surrounded by this constant aura of mystery. But he also had this habit of displaying no more emotional range than a piece of driftwood.
As the two of them developed a kind of wary friendship, Katara learned that there was no middle ground with Zuko. He was either devoid of emotion entirely, or he was angry or grumpy or sullen to an extreme. Even at the height of his anger, however, she saw no heat in him. Only cold.
If she picked Zuko, she would be cold the rest of her life. His affection did nothing to warm her. He wouldn't make her laugh. He wouldn't make her cry. She would be quiet, cold, and still, like a porcelain doll sitting on the throne beside him.
She never did anything to make him believe she was interested in anything more than friendship. But on the third anniversary of Ozai's defeat, to her great shock, he proposed to her. Right in front of the entire Fire nation. She almost laughed, but out of respect, she didn't. Despite that, it took her less than a second to turn him down.
As was his way, he got angry, demanding a reason for this apparent betrayal. She calmly explained to him that she had never interacted with him in a way that could be construed as romantic. And besides, she was already in love with someone. She had been for nearly four years.
The Avatar? Zuko had scoffed. You're in love with the Avatar?
Katara smiled. Of course she was in love with the Avatar. He was the one who was there, through thick and thin, every moment of every day, for her. He made her laugh, he made her cry, he made her feel more than she ever thought she could. He freed her from the confines of her provincial life and showed her a world full of possibilities, asking nothing in return. He didn't just want her. He loved her. He adored her. And he stood silently by while she tried to figure out who she really wanted to spend her life with. He didn't say a word when she carelessly tossed his future between her hands. While she was examining her curiosity about Zuko, he was still her friend. He never stopped loving her. And that was more than she deserved.
She found his eyes in the assembled crowd, wide in surprise, and smiled. He wasn't cold. His skin was cool, but his touch raced over her like fire. He had heat and passion to spare, and he directed it all to her. His affection warmed her to her core. And oh, she thought as he emerged from the crowd and pulled her into a lover's embrace, oh was the heat divine. She could live forever, wrapped up in the warmth he provided.
And as it turned out, the young wife thought as she glanced at her sleeping husband, she would live in his warmth forever. She smiled and moved closer to him beneath the covers. He wrapped his arms around her out of instinct, yawning.
You cold? he asked. Ever mindful of her, ever adoring.
Not at all, she replied, sinking into him and his wonderful heat.
Katara was used to the cold, but she was made for passion, for warmth. She was made for heat.
She was made for him.