My first Avatar fanfiction. Obviously Zutara. Please comment and let me know what you think of the story. This is set after the boiling rock episode.

Disclaimer: I unfortunately don't own Avatar The Last Air Bender or any of the character from this amazing show.


She could not remember why she was running. All she knew was that she had to put distance between her… and where she had been. She could not stop; if she stopped, it would cost her the race. This was a race where there would be only two places: Freedom or capture.

Distance. Some part of her brain told her to keep running, even though her legs were burning inside. To keep going. She had to increase the distance, but she was so tired.

It was pitch black; but she no longer cared. The darkness was not what was scaring her. What she feared wasn't apparent, only the fear itself. Fear was what kept her stumbling through the forest, especially when her body was screaming for her to lie down and rest her tired muscles.

She had no clue where she was. She didn't know where she had been or what she was running from. There was no memory of the forest that engulfed her. No memory of anything.

She was crying, but she couldn't stop the sobs that wracked her body. These sobs only increased the fear that was running through her veins. Her mind was so clouded and her legs were so unsteady that she had trouble keeping her thoughts straight. A small voice suggested 

that she simply curl up under one of the many trees and sleep peacefully. But that would mean defeat, so she pushed on relentlessly. The thought of defeat kept her going, strengthened her determination to reach her goal. It was no longer the fear, or the confusion, but the possibility of defeat that drove her beyond her limit. She wouldn't return to the place she had just left. This gave her only one place to go, which was forward through the dark forest.

How long had she been running? It no longer mattered anymore. She could have run one mile or ten, she had no idea. Tears blinded her as she ran, her legs screaming with the pain and exhaustion. She didn't even notice the person that blocked her path until she almost collided into him.

Upon hearing deep breathing and the snapping of twigs under hurried feet, Zuko whirled around and immediately dropped into a firebending stance. But instead of facing an enemy, he was faced with an exhausted and injured Katara who froze, like a frightened doe, when she saw him, her breath suddenly cut short. He wasn't sure who he was looking at for a moment: This wild woman whose eyes portrayed deep fear could not possibly be the strong Katara he knew.


Oh no, they have found me, she thought wildly. They'd come after me, I should have known. They…


Submitting to her exhaustion at last, she crumpled to the forest floor, unconscious, her legs finally able to rest.