The wind surrounding the Western Air temple was lazy that morning, hardly managing a breeze, and it made the world seem quiet and at peace. The sun also seemed to rise lazily that morning, slowly bringing light over the horizon. Katara stirred in her sleep--she was having a wonderful dream that didn't want to wake up from--but she had a strong feeling that someone was watching her. She resisted opening her eyes. She had this feeling often, and it always turned out the same.
"No one's there," she thought to herself. "No one's ever there. Just stay asleep..." But it was too late for her wonderful dream. It had already ended and been replaced by this nagging feeling, so she sighed and gave in, opening her eyes. There he sat, in the middle of her room, his dark, ruffled hair hung messily in his face and his golden-colored eyes staring unblinkingly into hers. "Zuko?!" Katara exclaimed, sitting up quickly. She pulled the blankets up with her and backed into the wall her bed rest against. For a second she thought she had been captured by the Fire-nation. Taking a better look around the semi-dark room, she remembered that she was in the Western Air Temple and that the prince had actually joined the group (much to her disliking). She looked back to Zuko, who sat in the middle of her room. Her instincts sent a chill running up her spine, giving her goosebumps--the prince's presence always induced a sense of fear. Although, Katara always managed to hide it behind her anger. Still untrusting of Zuko, she began to frantically feel around for her water pouch. Not being able to find it, she felt another shock of fear. Where did she put it?! She always kept right beside her incase they got attacked in the middle of the night. Her heart pounded in her chest and she could feel droplets of sweat forming on her forehead. But she could never allow the prince to see that she felt scared, even for a moment, so she quickly composed herself--allowing her fear to turn into anger. She turned her attention once again to Zuko.
He sat there with an innocent enough look on his face, but Katara knew that face all too well, and she no longer trusted it. She eyed him--he still wore his pajamas, which were a deep blood red shirt and pant ensemble made of silk, with a subtle embroidered pattern sewn along the hems in golden thread. Although the delicate clothes the prince slept in didn't really fit his rough personality--they were beautiful, and probably more expensive than anything Katara had ever owned. Her glare deepened. It seemed everything about him, even the boy's pajamas, angered and disgusted her. She glanced down at her own set of pajamas--which were really just her underclothing--made of simple white cotton. No embroidery, no silk--just simple, plain cotton. She felt her face get hot as she realized how little clothing she wore and even though she was completely hidden behind her blankets--she felt incredibly uncomfortable. Mainly because of her lack of clothing and the fact that the prince, whom had been her enemy for so long, sat in the middle of her room saying not a word. Zuko opened his mouth to say something and then realized (a little too late) how creepy this probably was, so he stopped. He really was no good at judging social situations--he was no good at figuring out what was okay and what was... weird. "Um.." he managed to murmer. "I--I seriously just got here. I was gonna wake you up, but... you--you were, uh, sleeping and.. Y'know, I-I didn't wanna.. I mean--It... It wasn't like I was sitting here watching you all night or something--" Katara's face turned an even deeper red with the thought of Zuko watching her sleep, but not because she was flattered--she felt angry more than anything, and well, a bit creeped out.
"What do you want?" she snapped.
Zuko stopped speaking and suddenly felt very nervous. His eyes dropped to the floor. He didn't know why she made him feel like this. Who was she anyway? She's just some Water-tribe girl who travels with the Avatar. But even still, he's felt uneasy since their last conversation together.
"Give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang, and you won't have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I'll make sure your destiny ends right then and there, permantantly."
He took a breath and tried to calm down. It made him sad, nervous, and a bit angry that she didn't trust him. But thinking back to the caves in Ba Sing Se, he also realized that he had this coming. His anxiety climbed higher and higher as he sat there--he knew Katara was waiting for him to say something--but his mind had gone blank. Actually, it had not gone blank at all, his mind just was cluttered with all the different things he felt and wanted to say. It made it hard to keep his thoughts straight. But the look on Katara's face made it crystal clear that he should start talking, or get out. So he stopped thinking and started talking. "I just.. wanted to ask you something," he mumbled.
Katara continued to glare at him. "Well? What is it?" she asked sharply.
"I was just..." Zuko paused, raising his eyes to hers. Finding them staring at him angrily, he dropped them to the floor again. He coughed, trying to clear both his throat and thoughts. "I was just wondering why you seem to be so angry at me," Zuko blurted. Not before he uttered the last word of his sentence, he began to curse himself. That was definitely not the right thing to say.
As Zuko and anyone could have predicted, Katara's face twisted into a look of fury. "Why am I ANGRY at you?!" she screeched, "You're really sitting in my room right now, asking me that?!" Zuko flinched at the loud, harsh sound of her words.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid...," Zuko kept thinking to himself. "I--um, I mean, I know why you're angry with me and I mean, I completely understand," Zuko continued hastily, "I didn't mean to say that. I just--I wanted to really apologize. I know you don't believe me, but, especially about Ba Sing Se, I'm sor--"
Katara's mind flashed back to the caves in Ba Sing Se for a moment--Back to the horrific moment where Zuko, whom she believed to have changed and become a good person, began attacking both her and Aang. And the most horrible part of the memory--when Zuko's sister, Azula, almost succeeded in killing Aang. Katara formed two tight fists, her body shaking uncontrollably from anger. She didn't want to hear some stupid apology.
"You've already done all this. Get out of my room. Now." Katara spat. Zuko clenched his fist. He didn't know how much more of this humiliation he could take. He may be on the Avatar's side now, but he's still Zuko. He still has his pride. He glared at Katara.
"I'm trying to apologize!" He yelled, standing from his chair. He took a step toward Katara. "What do I have to do to make you believe me that I'm on your side?! I just want you to see that!" Katara's angry face didn't change, but one could tell she was feeling a little vulnerable as she clenched her blankets closer to her body. Zuko didn't notice though, he was infuriated by Katara's stubbornness. He took another intimidating step torward the water-tribe girl. "Actually, you know what? I don't even care if you trust me or believe me because I know what side I'm on now, but stop treating me like some piece of garbage! It's irritating--just treat me like you treat everyone else!" he bellowed.
Although Zuko loomed over her fuming and the fear inside her climbing, Katara managed to look down her nose at him. "Zuko, I will never trust you and, unfortunately for you, I don't think you're even capable of caring about something, or someone, like I care about Aang, Toph, and my brother--You don't even come close to being as important as they are to me. And because of that, no matter what side you think you're on, I'll never treat you the same as I treat them."
The angry, golden eyes softened their gaze and looked away. He stood there, defeated. She was right. Undeniably right. He didn't have a connection with anyone like she had with her brother and Aang. He combed his mind to think of someone, anyone--but even the closest person to him, his Uncle, didn't share a connection with him like the one Aang and Katara shared. He closed his eyes. "..You're right," he admitted. He felt ashamed, and pathetic.
For the first time in their whole conversation, Katara's guard dropped. She stared at Zuko, feeling a little (just a little xD) sorry for saying what she said. But she didn't apologize--she didn't say anything--she just sat on her bed and watched him stand there. Zuko finally lifted his head and his eyes met hers. By this time, the rising sun had made its way through her windows and played on her face bringing light to her dark, uncombed hair and her soft, carmel-colored skin. The sunlight crept onto Zuko's pale skin and across his scar--lighting up the sadness in his eyes. Katara looked away, it pained her to see that undeniable sadness on his face. She felt sorry for him and she didn't like feeling that way. Not about Zuko. He didn't deserve to have someone feel sorry for him. He was a confused, angry, spoiled little prince who has constantly hurt her and her friends. She nodded to herself. "That's right, that jerk doesn't deserve any sympathy. Not from me." She hid behind her anger once again and turned to him sharply, her wild hair dancing around her face. "Well, anyway, it'll be time for breakfast soon. So why don't you get out alr--" she started.
Zuko clenched his fists. He couldn't take it anymore.
Cutting her off without using any words this time--Zuko grabbed hold of Katara's arm, pulled her to him, and kissed her.
And as quickly as the kiss came to happen, it ended. The two teenagers had backed away from eachother clumsily. Zuko stood there looking just as shocked as Katara did. The awkard silence between the two dragged on for what felt like an eternity. Zuko stumbled back a few more steps, his face flushed and his heart beating fast. His heart wasn't alone though, Katara's heart was booming within her chest so loud she was afraid Zuko would hear it. Her face felt hot all over again, but this time, it definitely wasn't because of anger. Zuko swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and realizing what he had done, was now dreading what Katara was going to do. Fortunately for Zuko, Katara was too bewildered to be angry or worse, violent. Zuko decided that he should take advantage of this. So he nodded awkwardly toward Katara, turned stiffly, and strode out of her room.