When Katara and Zuko had both drawn the short straws for taking first watch that night, it had seemed like a recipe for disaster. Aang had even gone so far as to offer to take one of their places, to prevent conflict, but Toph had talked him down from that. Katara suspected that she and Sokka were taking bets on which one of them would have killed the other by morning.
They would be surprised to discover that for the first time since the caverns beneath Ba Sing Se, the two of them had found something they agreed on: Sokka's snoring was obnoxious.
"I swear, if he doesn't shut up," Zuko said, covering his ears with his hands, "I'm going to smother him to death with his pillow."
"I might help you," Katara said, glaring at her brother's sleeping form.
Sokka didn't often snore, but when he did it made a sound that defied description. It seemed to hit exactly the right pitch, volume, and tone to irritate everyone within earshot to just slightly less than the point at which they would come over and bludgeon him with something. You wanted to do something about it, but you don't because it's not quite bad enough that you would feel justified.
It could be quite maddening.
Sokka let out one grunting sound too many, and Katara snapped. She shot to her feet, irritation playing across her face. She stormed over to where Sokka was lying, and kicked him.
Well, to be fair, she really just nudged him with her foot, but it was slightly harder than was strictly necessary. Sokka murmured in his sleep, and she nudged him again. This time he rolled away from her, so that he was sleeping on his side. The noise died down to a tolerable level, and Katara returned to the fireside.
"If it was my sister, she'd have just lit me on fire," Zuko said glumly. "You two are lucky to have each other."
"What, you don't get along? Seems to me that you were made for each other" Katara said nastily.
Zuko disappointed her by not rising to the bait. In fact, if anything, he shrank a little. "No, Azula and I never got along well. Azula...she doesn't really get along with anyone. Not like you and your brother."
Despite herself, Katara felt a twinge of sympathy for Zuko. Sokka might drive her crazy, but she really wasn't sure what she'd do without him. No matter what happened to them, no matter how bad things got, they'd always had each other. One of Katara's earliest memories was a bright sunny day, and Sokka giving her a big kiss, right on the forehead. She'd hit him with water right afterwards, but even her four year old self (five? Three? It was always so hard to tell with these old memories) could tell that her big brother would protect her from anything bad.
Zuko hadn't had that. Actually, from what he was saying it sounded like he'd had the exact opposite. Katara tried to imagine going through everything she had without Sokka's support. All the raids, Dad leaving, and Mom--
Katara stopped herself before her train of thought could arrive at its obvious destination. The memory of Zuko's betrayal in Ba Sing Se was still bitter, far too bitter for her to be thinking about idly. Especially when she was supposed to be playing nice with him, instead of drowning him in a sphere of water as she would really like to.
She poked the first with a stick and glowered at Zuko, who promptly began wondering what he'd done to deserve it this time.