This is a series of drabbles/one-shots that will focus around Sokka and Katara based off of themes provided by the 30kisses website on LJ. Most will probably be Sokka+Katara but some may be Sokka/Katara. For those chapters I will post a warning.

You have been warned!

Title: The Right Words
Theme: 10
Word Count: 403

"I…I lost."

The beauty contest had ended. Around them the other eleven girls fan out, the winner walking away with the money they desperately needed.

Toph coughs on the dust being kicked up and comments on how stupid this had been. Katara doesn't respond. She stares at the pavilion, unmoving.

Sokka had known it would be a bad idea. He had tried to tell her so but she had only glared at him and demanded to know if he thought she was ugly. In the face of her temper, he could only sigh and let her go ahead.

Out of twelve girls, she had won tenth place.

He had known it would end like that. The Fire Nation loved things that were the same. They hated anything that was different. Katara's hair was too wild, her skin too dark, her eyes too bright for them to consider her beautiful.

"W-Well, tenth place isn't too bad. At least you didn't get last place!" Aang says, trying to be helpful.

Sokka's hand meets his forehead. Dumby.

And as he expected, Aang's comment only made the situation that much worse. Katara turned on him, eyes hard as glass. She opened her mouth, seemed to think better of it, and closed it again. Then she straightened and stormed off.

The silence that hung around them as they made their way back to camp, just as broke as they had set out, was tense and uncomfortable. Aang looked like a scared rabbit ready to bolt. He kept throwing cursory glances Katara's way but didn't have the bravery nor the words to approach her. He had the courage to face down the Fire Lord but facing the wrath of a woman was another matter altogether.

Toph was no help either. She had thought the contest stupid to begin with and the thought of her coddling anybody almost made Sokka laugh out loud.

So it was up to him, the meat and sarcasm guy, to make things better.

He made his way to Katara's side. One would have likened this to throwing themselves into a snake pit but Sokka knew his sister. He knew exactly the words to say.

"I thought you were the most beautiful one up there."

She falters for half a second, blinking, then her shoulders loosen and her eyes lose their hardness. She smiles. "Thank you."

And even Sokka is surprised to find he wasn't lying.