I do not own the Avatar or any of its characters.
Katara's eyes flashed in panic as she screeched to a halt, desperately looking for a place to hide.
If she were going to be truthful to herself, she'd admit that there was no place to hide, nothing he couldn't burn down.
If there were one mistake she could erase, it would be angering the fire bender. She had never been so terrified of him, and even though she felt she could beat him on normal circumstances, she knew if she stood and fought her ass was grass, man.
The water bender tucked herself underneath the thick protruding root of a tree, hoping against hope that he would not find her.
She told him that there was nothing honorable in capturing a twelve-year-old boy. And certainly nothing honorable about failing to capture said twelve-year-old multiple times. Or being a monster. It was fortunate that she was standing and he was sitting. She would never have been able to run.
She peered over the root.
"Peasant! Show yourself! Cowardice is dishonorable as exile!" Zuko hollered.
Katara whipped backwards, causing a rustle in the leaves. She prayed he didn't hear it.
"Where are you water bender? You can't possibly be afraid of the fire bender you've beaten. I guess you only like doing things once. I don't like doing things over and over either. So this time, I will capture the avatar. And I'll kill that troubling blind girl." He rattled off.
'What?' She thought exasperated.
"But if you come out now…" Zuko cast a smirk down at the root. "I'll spare your brother and the blind one."
Katara considered her options. He knew where Aang was. He must, but only because he saw her. It was all her fault.
She surrendered herself. She rolled out from under the root.
He grabbed her and slammed her into the tree.
"There you are, water bender." He breathed.
She only glared at him. "You don't know where Aang is, do you?"
"No. I don't. But I know where you are and it's a good thing you are in reach because…" He trailed off, staring hard at her. "No one gets away with calling me dishonorable."
His grip was scalding, blistering. Her wrists burned, finger marks probably permanently engraved in her mocha skin. She tried to summon water but she could not.
"Fire fills the senses, water bender. You can smell it, taste it, see it, hear it, feel it." Zuko drawled. "It hurts, doesn't it?"
"What do you think? Or are you just so stupid you can't see my face twisted in pain?" Katara spat.
"That was ill-advised." He growled, pumping up the heat. "Don't make an angry fire bender angrier."
She bit her lip to keep from crying out. "I… can't believe I ever trusted you…"
"Such harsh words. Such harsh last words. Do you want me to tell your friends what you said when I capture them? That your last thoughts were of me and not of them?" Zuko laughed.
Blood was now flowing down her chin, her lip bitten clean through and tears running from her eyes.
"I didn't think you would be one to cry over that remark." He taunted.
"I'm not. But it helps." She smiled. "When there's no water present."
Her blood and tears shot toward him and he shot a fireball back. She got the hell out of dodge, jumping a fair distance. She hit the ground running, looking back for Zuko. Katara smashed into a wall of flesh, only avoiding falling because he grabbed her, pulling her to him tightly.
"Let go of me!" She cried.
"No. I've got you and I'm not letting you slip by like I did before. You're mine." He whispered with deadly promise striking his voice.
"I do not belong to you! I don't belong to anyone!" The water maiden retorted.
"On the contrary, my dear, you gave yourself over. You belong to not the fire nation, but the exiled prince." He said softy, his warm breath hitting her ear in the most delicious way. She could have sworn her stomach flipped.
"No. You… you're trying to seduce me into telling you where Aang is." She said meekly.
Zuko stopped breathing for a second. "What?"
"Please, just… let go of me, I don't want anything you're offering." She answered sternly, almost as if she were talking to an annoying salesperson.
"I'm not offering anything. I was not trying to seduce you, but you obviously hold more deviant thoughts than I ever imagined you could." The fire prince responded silkily.
Katara leered. "I… believe otherwise. You never talk to me in this way, you always shout, never do you speak calmly unless it is an act."
He smirked. "I said I wasn't offering anything, or trying to seduce you. I will stick to what I have said. I am demanding everything." He made his statement carefully before allowing his lips to entirely devour hers with a burning hunger that made her stomach turn.
"This is…" Katara searched for a word to describe the forbidden-ness of it all. "Wrong. We can't do this."
"Yes, I know it is wrong, but I don't care. You aren't going to get executed for being kissed by me, the exiled monster." Zuko sneered.
"I don't think that will happen either… but I cannot just kiss my arch enemy. It's like hate sex only worse! It's a hate kiss!!" She screeched.
The prince laughed at that. "Exactly. We're hate kissing. Hate making out really. Much better considering you don't have anything to lose when it comes to kissing."
"I guess… but what happens when we see each other next time? You'll just try to take advantage of the hate make-outs and grab Aang while I'm distracted. I don't trust you." She shot back.
"You don't need to. This is out of hate, remember that." He reminded her.
"Yeah… out of hate." She whispered leaning into him.
He defeated her almost immediately in the fight for dominance. His hand fisted in her hair while the other one held her to him.
She felt that after a while, it was her turn. Her lips were soft, but attacked his so ferociously that he fell back in his own conquest.
"Wow…" She said, sitting down next to him. "You sure hate me a lot."
"I more than hate you." He replied.
"You sure hate me a lot as well." He smirked.
"Trust me… it's more than hate."
R & R dudes!