"Aang, do you know anything about giving people tattoos?"
The airbender in question looked over at Zuko curiously. He nodded, saying, "Yeah, why?"
Zuko looked a bit nervous, clenching a folded piece of paper in his hands. "Well, I was kinda thinking of getting one... "
"Really? What for?"
He shrugged and muttered something unintelligible. Deciding the reason must be personal, Aang didn't pry for answers and agreed to give the former prince a tattoo.
Before the Air Nomads had been killed, the traditional arrow markings had been given to master airbenders in the most spiritual part of the temple. Now, the room was ancient and abandoned, with dust covering everything within it.
"What colours do you have?" Zuko asked, watching Aang brush some dust off the required equipment.
"The monks sometimes marked chakra points with their corresponding colours, so there are a few different ones. Why? What tattoo are you getting?"
At the question, Zuko knelt in the center of the room, spreading his sheet of paper out. Aang examined the picture and, as Zuko explained what colours he wanted, smiled in sad realization. He understood the purpose of the image.
Later the pair sat together, Aang carefully tracing the lines of the picture; Zuko wincing as the needle pricked his skin, allowing the ink to seep in. It would be permanent, like his scar, but that was what he wanted. This mark had a meaning he never wanted to lose.
"Hey, what's that on your arm?" Katara asked after catching a glimpse of the marking that peeked out from beneath his sleeve.
Zuko found himself blushing slightly as he pulled back the fabric, his hands suddenly sticky with sweat. He prayed she would like it.
Katara's eyes widened slightly as she studied the image on Zuko's skin. She placed her finger against it; he winced, his flesh still tender and sore. Gently, she traced the powerful red dragon, marvelled by how real it looked. It was coiled around a delicate blue flower. Most would think the fearsome beast aimed to harm the flower, but she knew it was acting as a shield, protecting the fragile beauty from the evils of the world.
Katara smiled up at Zuko's nervous face. "I love it."
He sighed in relief, wrapping his arms around her, like the dragon around the flower.
Author's Notes: So, I worte this for a community on LJ called 7rainbowprompts. It's number 6 from the red set. I'll be posting the rest of my entries to that community here, so be on the look out for updates.
Disclaimer: I do not own 'Avatar' or any of its characters.