Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar, The Last Airbender
Katara stirred in her bed uneasily. She tossed and turned across the old mattress in complete agony. She could not manage to even get comfortable with the stinging cold that continued to torture her. Even through the three blankets she managed to feel a horrible breeze crawl along her skin. It was unbearable.
It was not like the South Pole where a constant cold filled the air. Katara could manage that, but she couldn't manage the random gusts of freezing air that passed through the Western Air Temple. Confident that she was going to get no sleep at all she raised out of bed with a groan. Another night of hardly any sleep.
Sighing, the waterbender stood from her bed with the blankets still around her and yawned. Another breeze sent a shiver down her spine. Katara walked slowly from and room and looked up and down the hallway. Darkness still filled the halls and she guessed it to be close to midnight.
She decided that a nice walk might clear her head and allow for her to get tired enough to ignore the cold. Her eyes half open, Katara began walking down the hall.
Bags rested below her eyes as she miserably dragged herself passed her comrades rooms. She noticed that she was approaching her most hated enemies designated area of the temple and scowled as she passed. Her scowl suddenly turned to a look of surprise as heat immediately tingled her senses.
Genuinely surprised and automatically deciding that she needed that source of warmth she looked around. As she walked in circles for about a minute the waterbender finally concluded that the warmth came from Zuko's room. He must have lit a fire inside or something because the warmth radiated from the room like waves of pleasure to Katara.
Cautiously and quietly she peeked in to find the source of warmth that she craved. Her blue orbs scanned the room to find no fire at all, not even a source of light. Her senses still told her that the warmth was present and it prodded her onward. Silently, Katara stepped into the room entirely and felt the temperature rise to a perfect level.
Sighing with delight she dropped the blankets. Her curiosity continued to pull her further into the room. By now her eyes adjusted to the dark and she was able to see Zuko sleeping on his bed. The Prince of the Fire Nation was facing away from her with only a small blanket on.
Quickly Katara began to prod around the perimeter, searching for the source of sense pleasing heat. As she did she noticed Zuko's things, like the picture of the old man that had traveled with him. On several occasions she heard him call the old man Uncle and pondered where he was at that moment.
Pushing the thoughts aside she continued to search through his things, expecting to find some weird Fire Nation device that generated heat. Unfortunately she found nothing although her sense continued to confirm the presence of heat. Slowly she crept closer to Zuko's bed and found the temperature grow slightly.
Katara's eyes widened as she realized it was close to the prince. Maybe under his bed he had lit some coals to warm to ancient room. Slowly and quietly she looked under the furniture to find nothing.
Officially confused Katara scratched her head as she pondered what was going on. Suddenly an idea formed in her head and her gaze fell over the firebender resting peacefully in the bed. Was it possible that it was coming from him?
Katara reluctantly reached out a hand. Very careful not to wake him she rested in on his shoulder. Immediately her arm was filled with waves of pleasurable heat. The feeling overwhelmed her and without thinking she rested both hands on the firebender. Again her senses went numb as the feeling she had been longing for came over her again.
Suddenly she seemed to remember who she was touching and backed away. As soon as she did however a tingle ran down her spine as a horribly timed gust rushed through the doorway.
Curse her luck. Now that she had found the source of heat she could not stop thinking about it. Katara knew that she was never going to get used to the cold now knowing that a certain firebender could generate all the heat he wanted.
Silently Katara gathered her blankets and went back to her room. On several occasions along the course of the horrible night she fought urge to go feel the firebender's warmth again. Maybe there was someway she could work around it. As night turned to day she developed a few ideas in her mind on how to get the heat that she desired.
That morning she went to the usual spot to eat breakfast and found Zuko and Aang getting ready for training. Katara immediately fought the urge to sit next to him and absorb the heat. Casually she sat with the two.
"Good morning Katara," said Aang cheerfully. Behind him Zuko mumbled something to a good morning.
"Good morning Aang," said Katara. She made it a point to avoid talking to the firebender although his unique ability was all that occupied her mind. "I have a question for you Zuko."
Both boys seemed surprised that she would even speak to him outside of an insult. "Yes?" asked Zuko.
"Can firebender's change their body temperature?" she asked already knowing the answer.
He seemed to eye her suspiciously. "Yes, yes they can."
"So you can...but can Aang?" she asked.
Zuko looked Aang up and down as the confused airbender looked between the two teens. "No, he can't."
"Why not?" she prodded.
"The Avatar is just learning firebending. Something like changing your own temperature takes years of understanding your inner fire. He has spent so much time with the other elements that I don't think he will be able to do it for years if that," he explained.
Katara seemed crestfallen as her first plan was shot down. So Zuko was the only one who could generate what she wanted huh? Maybe there was still some way to make it work. "Okay, thanks." With that she stood and left, leaving the two very confused.
Katara found herself waiting out of Haru's door early in the morning. When he finally emerged she approached him. "Good morning Haru."
The earthbender seemed a little dumbfounded at the sudden appearance of his comrade. "Oh, hello Katara."
"So, how is it sleeping in the room next to Zuko?" she asked. "He hasn't...uh, been any trouble has he?"
Curiously the earthbender looked down the hall and then back at her. "Nope, no problem. He seems fine so far."
"I see," she said. "I was wondering if maybe you and I could...switch rooms...so I could keep an eye on him," she quickly added.
Haru seemed to think for a moment while scratching his mustache. "I don't see why not, if you really feel that you need to."
Katara sighed in relief. "Good, thank you," she said. "I'll bring my stuff over at noon, until then I'll go make breakfast."
Katara silently patted herself on the back. She could always get what she desired. The rest of the day passed uneventfully for her as she awaited the night. Anxiously she sped through her chores and training in hopes that her plan would work. That night the group sat around the fire exchanging stories.
The entire time Katara eyed Zuko, waiting for him to call it a night. Unfortunately the firebender had grown curious in the stories told by Aang about their adventures in between being chased by him. She sighed as she realized that she would have to wait longer.
Eventually the prince gave a yawn, immediately calling attention of Katara. She watched as he stood with a stretch. "I'm going to bed," he said with another yawn.
Katara looked around the fire as the other faces seemed to not notice the absence of the firebender. Slowly she stood as well and feigned a yawn. "I'm going to call it a night also," she said.
"Okay, goodnight Katara," said Aang with a smile.
The conversations around the fire picked up again as she slipped away. She didn't notice that in her haste she had caught up to Zuko.
"Going to bed as well?" he asked curiously.
Katara was surprised to hear him. "Oh...uh yeah."
He nodded and slowly made his way into his bedroom, all the while watching her. She pretended not to notice but couldn't help but ponder why he was so suspicious about her. Katara went into her room right after.
As soon as she stepped foot into the room she felt the effects that had cursed her. Breezes swept through the room right on cue as darkness officially claimed the sky. Katara eased herself into bed and leaned up against the wall that separated her from her mortal enemy. She waited for a good hour until she was confident that he was asleep and tried to sleep herself.
Unfortunately nothing was felt like she expected. Katara had hoped that Zuko's heat could be felt through the wall. She didn't rule out the possibility that he just wasn't asleep. Her need to feel the warmth pushed her to investigate.
Just like the night before Katara went to his room. The waterbender peeked her head in to see Zuko in the same position that he had been in the last night. "Zuko?" she whispered.
He didn't answer and she assumed that he was asleep. The waterbender stepped into the room and almost collapsed as the warmth came over her again. It was like a drug that compelled her with unparalleled ecstasy. Although the warmth was amazing it made her realize that her second plan had failed. As great as the warmth was she could not feel it through a stone wall.
The waterbender realized that it was a lost cause and she couldn't do anything to have the amazing feeling of the heat. Slowly she began to turn around and step out his door. Almost like it had a mind of its own the breeze tantalized her. Katara shivered uncontrollably and cursed the gods for their sick tricks.
The feeling immediately made her turn around and enter Zuko's room again. The heat was so amazing Katara felt as though she had melted. The last two weeks of restless sleep and cold nights made her need that heat more than anything. Slowly she walked up to the firebender again like she had done the previous night and touched his shoulder.
Katara could not help but let a moan escape her lips as the feeling compelled her to get more. Again she put two hands along the Prince's arm and closed her eyes. At that moment she had noticed how chiseled he was and took a second to not only admire the warmth but the feel of his bare arm against her skin.
It was official, Zuko had become her drug. The question though was what she could do to satisfy her new addiction? A million thoughts came to mind...unthinkable thoughts. One involved her bringing the prince to her room every night and leaving him on the floor as her personal generator. Another made her think of destroying her room and insisting on staying in Zuko's. Another involved her just sneaking in his room and sleeping in there.
All the ideas were immediately erased from her mind though as she remembered how early he woke. If she was in his room he would surely notice her. Maybe she could work around it some how though. She immediately investigated the room and couldn't help but notice the small gab between the far side of the bed and the wall. Maybe she could fit there and Zuko wouldn't see her.
Wait, what was she thinking? Was she seriously going to hide in Zuko's room just because of some warmth? A new aura of common sense around her, Katara left the room and went back to her bed. She told herself that she was overreacting and that she could easily get over some cold breezes. With her new sense of confidence Katara went to bed.
Or she tried to. With every attempt to close her eyes a spine chattering breeze opened them back up. Not only the breeze itself but the distant feeling of warmth that she remembered. The prince had taken over her thoughts.
The idea of sleeping in his room returned to her despite her efforts to push it out. Katara found herself coming up with excuses to try it. She couldn't sleep and she needed her energy in case they were ambushed and to train Aang. She did have chores to do as well.
Katara once again lost her senses and decided to go for it. Her addiction needed to be craved immediately.
As quietly as she could the waterbender picked up her blankets and tip toed next door. Upon entering she immediately felt the pleasure of her new bliss. Sighing in rapture she took a moment to absorb the feeling. Then she began her plan and traveled to the other side of the bed. Zuko was in the same position he had been in since the hour or two ago she had been there.
Upon lowering herself to the floor next to his bed she caught a glimpse of his sleeping face. Before she fell completely to the ground she admired the rare peaceful look. Zuko didn't look half bad when he was sleeping, almost mildly peaceful. Katara sighed as she rested along the floor.
She decided that it was worth feeling like a crazy person. It was even better than her bed, the hardness of the floor being outweighed by the great waves of warmth. The best she could describe it was a fire that didn't get too hot, just the right temperature.
Katara fell asleep almost the second she rested along the floor. She didn't care if she was insane for sleeping on the floor of her mortal enemy's room because she had managed to get the sleep she had been craving for two weeks. She slipped into a peaceful dream filled sleep like never before.
Katara was rudely awakened by a low groan and the movement of the bed next to her. Her eyes fell open as she realized that it was almost morning but not quite. Light attempted to overthrow darkness in the air surrounding her. She still felt the warmth but it changed tones.
She realized that Zuko was waking up. The waterbender remained motionless as she quietly listened to what the prince was doing. With a low yawn he stood from the bed. She barely got a glimpse of the top of his head from her position. Stretching his muscles he proceeded to the old wardrobe in the corner of the room. Katara held her breath as he stepped almost right next to her.
With just a simple glance to his right he would get a full view of her. Lucky for her the prince seemed groggy and tired. He took his time with slipping his shirt and tunic over his exposed chest. Katara didn't realize she had her breath held the entire time. The prince hesitated before walking away from his position and leaned over the edge of the wardrobe.
Katara studied him curiously as he let his hair hang over his face and he seemed lost. Slowly his face rose to meet the picture of his uncle. Immediately he picked up the portrait and lifted it to his face. "I promise I won't fail you again Uncle," he whispered barely loud enough for her to hear.
The moment surprised Katara. She shook it off though as he set the picture down and proceeded to leave. The waterbender took a few minutes to verify that he was gone and peeked her head over the edge of the bed. She saw nothing but the empty room and doorway.
Breathing easier she slowly climbed across the bed. She stopped dead in her tracks though as she felt the warmth still present on his bed. Without hesitation she fell into the sheets and basked in it. Like a child she cuddled into a ball and closed her eyes as the last of the warmth radiated over her. Katara couldn't help but notice the lingering scent of the firebender as well; a mix of smoke and ash, raspberries, and flowers.
The scent overcame her and she pulled the fabric closer. Suddenly the realization of what she was doing came over her and she stopped. She was smelling Zuko's sheets? What was wrong with her? Slowly the prince was finding a way to overtake each of her senses without even knowing it.
With hesitation Katara went back to her room, again longing for Zuko's warmth and now his smell. The rest of the day was torture for her as she awaited night. Most of the day consisted of doing chores and trying to sneak a sniff of Zuko to see if he smelled as good during the day as he did at night.
Unfortunately most of her attempts resulted in an awkward tumble onto his back in which she jumped up in a flurry of apologies. The firebender seemed to study her with suspicion and confusion. She wasn't surprised with how her attitude towards him had gone from pure hate to awkwardness in less than three days time.
That night Katara followed the same schedule of waiting for the prince to turn in. He went to bed rather early that night and Katara decided to wait for a while until she went to her room at all.
"Katara?" The waterbender was a little dumbstruck hear Aang's voice.
"Uh...yeah?" she asked.
"I just wanted to say that you seem a little more acceptant of Zuko and I think it's good, for the both of you." He offered her a smile.
"Oh yeah," she said. "We're getting along a lot better."
This seemed to attract the attention of a certain blind earthbender. "Yeah, a lot better," she said. "If I didn't know any better I'd say you're actually starting to like him."
"Of course not," said Katara. "But that doesn't mean I can't be civil."
"Huh," Toph scratched the top of her head. "Your heartbeat seems to say otherwise."
Katara ignored the earthbender and proceeded to excuse herself to bed. That night she went right to Zuko's room to see if he was sleeping. "Zuko?" she whispered. To her surprise he turned around.
"Yeah?" Katara cursed her luck as he propped himself up on his elbow.
"Oh," she pretended to not care. "I was just checking is all."
"Still don't trust me?" he asked with a low voice.
Katara thought about her answer. She remembered what he had said that morning. "I'm...coming around."
He looked surprised and the answer prompted him to completely turn around. Katara couldn't help but admire his shirtless chest. "You are?"
"Well, let's just say that you may have proven yourself a person to keep around in some areas," she said while leaning against the wall.
"I'm glad you feel that way," he said. "Sleep well."
Katara turned to walk away, upset that she would have to wait to get what she wanted. Later that night she came to his room again, this time in hopes to find him sleeping. Gladly she found what she was hoping for as she whispered his name again to have no response.
Quietly she went back to her new sleeping spot. When she rested down though she failed to feel the heat. Confused she looked over the bed to see Zuko still sleeping yet no heat radiated from him. For some reason she felt anger boil inside her.
Katara reached over the bed and felt his shoulder. To her surprise she felt the heat lingering there, close to his body. The heat was receding closer and closer to it's master. Katara growled quietly as she realized that sleeping in her spot wasn't going to cut it. What was she going to do?
The waterbender immediately realized the only option she had would be sleeping right next to Zuko. Katara's spirits fell as the idea was stamped as absolutely unthinkable. Even if she mustered the nerve to sleep in the same bed as Zuko, what would happen if he awoke?
Katara felt crestfallen as she realized there was nothing she could do to get her new drug. It was over. Standing to leave she watched the prince sleep quietly while holding her blanket around her. The least she could do was soak up as much as she could from him before she left.
Letting the blanket fall from her form she leaned over him. The warmth rose to meet her and she responded with a sigh. At that moment she craved the feel of his warmth more than anything. Remembering that this was probably going to be the last time she felt it Katara let her weight down on the bed and rested her head on Zuko's shoulder.
Instantly she felt overwhelmed and she let her body relax. Her hands glided along his arm, soaking in the feel of his skin as the rest of her body absorbed the heat she loved. It took until now for her to realize that she was cuddling with Zuko. The feelings overcame her and she had no control of herself at that moment.
Trying to fight the weariness that was engulfing her she told her body to just get up and leave. The rest went blurry as Katara felt herself fall asleep.
The next morning Katara awoke with her new favorite smell of Zuko lofting lazily into her nostrils. She smiled as she pulled the sheets closer to her and embraced the lingering warmth and smell. Katara was confident that she would never get those two things out of her mind.
Suddenly the events of the previous night rushed back to her. Her eyes shot open and she mentally pleaded that it had just been a very real and good dream. Instead she was horrified to find herself still in Zuko's bed, although he wasn't there.
Confused and tired she stretched and looked around. The room was in fact empty as well as the bed. That meant that Zuko had gotten up...and had found her sleeping with him. Her face turned red as she imagined him waking to find her arms wrapped around him and her face buried in his neck with no doubt a smile on her face.
Silently she removed the sheets that she found tucked over her and stood. The anxiety began building in her as she thought about what she was going to say to him. The only excuse she could think of was sleep walking but she knew he wouldn't buy it. Basically she had nothing.
Calling upon what courage she could muster the master waterbender walked out into the hall. Luckily no one happened to be out and she continued to the breakfast spot. Aang and Zuko sat talking on the bench but stopped their conversation as she approached.
Katara had to look away from Zuko as she felt his golden orbs fall over her. "Good morning Katara!" said Aang happily.
"Good morning Aang," she said distantly. "Um, good morning Zuko."
"Good morning," he replied. After their greeting he stood and stretched. "Let's go Avatar, we have training to do."
Aang nodded and eagerly stood to join his master as they began to walk away. The entire time Katara felt heat rushing to her head. It was going to be a long day of avoiding and evading. It certainly was as she put all of her energy to avoid being alone with Zuko. To her surprise he made no attempt to corner her and didn't even approach her.
That night he excused himself to bed without even looking at her. Katara felt confusion fill her as he walked away. Thoughts of last night swirled inside her mind and she convinced herself that it wasn't a dream. Did Zuko just not care?
Strange questions filling her mind she went to bed as well but stopped by his room. "Zuko?"
Darkness subsided as her eyes focused on the form resting in his bed. "Zuko?" Again she whispered his name into the darkness.
When he didn't answer she proceeded into the room and stood over him. His heat and smell rose to meet her and she suddenly felt her hands reach for his arm. Nothing would ever crave her new addiction for the prince. Pushing her confusion away she hopped into the bed this time in front of him and looked at his face. He had the same peaceful look she remembered and concluded that he was asleep.
Of course she also felt that she couldn't trust her mind because she couldn't even tell if last night had happened. In any case she decided to go for it. If it was another dream then she was going to make the best of it and if it wasn't then it was his fault for not talking to her about it.
This time she slipped into his arms with her back facing his front. With some maneuvering she managed to get his arms around her waist and she snuggled closer. Katara almost fell straight asleep as she rested peacefully in the arms of her new addiction. That was until she felt his hands warm considerably on her stomach and send waves of bliss along her frame.
The feeling overwhelmed her and she moaned in content while closing her eyes. "Don't tell anyone about this or I'll kill you," she whispered.
"I'm sure you will," he replied.
I hope you liked it because I liked writing it. I was planning on making a few more chapters if this one gets good enough feedback.