By Psalm 136
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender or anything you may recognize. The characters of Daiki and Aiko do not belong to me.
Summary: 'Katara, I know something's wrong.' She wrung her hands, tears blurring her vision. 'Zuko, because of that night… I'm pregnant.' Zutara
Author's Notes: This is the requested sequel to my oneshot, Empty Spaces, during which Zuko and Katara share their first times. However, Continuum may stand on its own. Also, this is my first serious fanfiction in the Avatar 'verse, so if you have any quips, qualms, conundrums, quibbles or colloquialisms, send a review my way and I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks!
A brunette fifteen-year-old girl was bundled up in layers upon layers of blankets and pajamas in preparation for the terrible day she knew she was going to have. Poor girl. She had missed her period the month before, and that only meant that it was going to come back with a real vengeance this month. Nothing good could come of this day, and she definitely did not want to wake up.
But, alas, one eye fluttered open, and a sad groan left her mouth. She squinted in the bright light, and then flipped over onto her other side, throwing the top blanket over her head. She childishly wished the day wouldn't happen and she could go back to her dreams. She furrowed her eyebrows as she attempted to remember what she had dreamt, and then her heart sunk. Of course. She'd dreamt of Zuko.
She shut her eyes and forced away thoughts of the dream. She was determined to remember the fact she was now with Aang. She liked Aang. She did. He was sweet and caring, and it was completely unfair to him that she was dreaming of the Fire Lord, whom he had helped enthrone. After all, she decided, it was just a dream and it didn't mean anything.
Just because she'd dreamt of their single night together and liked it didn't mean a thing. Of course not. She was being silly.
Katara, for that was who the girl was, sat up and pushed the covers off of her body. She reluctantly stood up and dressed in her usual Water Tribe clothing. She brushed out her hair and braided it, setting her hair "loopies", as was her custom. As it seemed with the first day of the monthly flow of every single woman ever born, nothing seemed to go correctly. Her braid was too loose, but she was probably late for meeting Aang for breakfast, and her hair loopies weren't symmetrical. She forced back her tears at that thought, and tried not to dwell on it.
No one was going to care, she tried to tell herself. She was here as a diplomat, keeping the peace for the Fire Lord. No one was going to look at her like a girl except Aang. She smiled to herself. It was nice when Aang looked at her like a girl. He always told her how pretty she was. He was really sweet. Her cheeks burned slightly, but she was thoroughly encouraged by her thoughts.
She left the room, completely forgetting that her monthly flow was due to begin and that she should be feeling terrible. Aang happened to make her forget about those kinds of bad things.
Katara smiled as she took Aang's hand when she found him in the common room of the inn they were staying at for a few days before moving on deeper into the Fire Nation.
"Hey Aang." She greeted him. "How did you sleep?"
"Great!" He beamed enthusiastically, but his expression faltered. "Well, Momo here," He gestured to the lemur on his head. "Gave me a bit of trouble because he thought I wasn't sharing his favorite sweets."
Katara grinned as she picked up the lemur and bumped his nose with hers. "Ooooh, Momo, you're such a bad boy! Let Aangy sleep! Let him sleep!" She ordered Momo in a baby voice. But he just chattered in return and wiggled until she put him on the ground. He zipped over to Sokka and the two began fighting over a piece of fruit.
"Aangy?" The Avatar made a face as Katara giggled.
"Aren't I allowed to give you a nickname?" She teased him, poking his head.
Aang gave her a playful push as they went into the bright sunshine, to the market where they planned to buy their breakfast. "Of course not. I'm the Avatar." He reminded her in a sage voice. "It's undignified."
"Undignified, my left foot." She rolled her eyes. "You know, I think I am going to call you Aangy, and make everyone else do the same."
She couldn't help but burst out in giggles at his scandalized (and slightly frightened) look.
Once her giggles faded into silence, the new couple wandered the market wordlessly, searching for something exotic with which to break their fast. Aang finally settled on two pieces of a blue fruit that smelled, for lack of a better word, blue, and Katara bought two kabobs of chickenmouse, seasoned with a secret Fire Nation spice, guaranteed to require several glasses of water to simply stomach. Hand in hand, enjoying their breakfasts, they walked back to the common room to discuss with the rest of the gang their plans for the day.
Upon being asked, Sokka looked thoughtful. "I was hearing rumors about fights taking place every afternoon at that tavern two streets over." He shrugged, taking a long draught of water. "Apparently, there are two rival gangs, one of Fire Nation teenagers, and the other is Earth Kingdom settlers. I've heard it gets really bloody, and it's apparently just over the fact some of the vendors in the market give preferential treatment to Fire Nation people."
Aang nodded. "We should check it out. Are you guys ready to go?"
There was a chorus of, "Yes"s and "Sure"s, and before long, Aang was leading everyone out of the inn and onto the open street.
Toph's eyebrows furrowed together, as if concentrating on some sound or vibration coming from a distance. "We should probably get there quickly."
With those urgent words, everyone set off at a run, throwing apologies over their shoulders as they shoved hapless villagers aside and rounded the bend. They continued their sprint across another town block, and then turned to the left, entering the second street from their inn. Fifty yards away, there was a crowd of onlookers. Katara felt dread build up in her. This wasn't going to be fun.
Aang airbended the two parties apart and Katara relaxed. She was glad these things had come down to merely a science. Aang would have each side explain their story, and then he would reprimand them for fighting instead of doing the right thing. Then would come the useless bickering as each side blamed the other, and it would take several minutes to simply get them to calm down. Then Aang, Katara, Toph and Sokka would spend a few hours working out a solution, and there would be an uneasy truce and ceasefire. It wasn't the most ideal of endings, but it was all they could hope for.
As had the last sixteen altercations they had had to break up over the last two months, this one ended in a truce seven hours after Aang had arrived on the scene, and the entire gang was beaten down and exhausted. With the good wishes of the two arguing parties, they limped back to the inn.
"Katara," Aang stopped her before she went up the stairs to her room. "Would you like to go for a walk in a little bit?"
His gorgeous eyes were twinkling in the low light, and Katara found herself smiling before she could even think about it. "Sure, I'd like that. Maybe in half an hour?" She suggested, and he nodded. She kissed his cheek and went to her room.
Katara sighed as she closed the door to her room. She was tired, her feet hurt, and she probably smelled like Appa did on a bad day. She shed her clothes and went to the basin in the corner, waterbending herself clean. Then, she changed into a new set of clothing, relishing the feeling of newness they gave her, all the while trying to push away flashbacks of a handsome, scarred prince who had told her she would feel better if she changed clothes.
"… Trust me."
She felt as though she was betraying Aang with these thoughts. She couldn't get over the memories of feeling his hands and lips all over her, and how they had been awkward and bumbling with each other. But it had been perfect. He had been perfect in his concern and how he had tried to please her as best as he could. He had continually asked if he had hurt her, or if what he was doing was okay. He had wanted to be sure that she did want him, and had not pressured her in any way. She appreciated it, in ways she couldn't describe.
But no, she couldn't be thinking like this. She was with Aang. She was happy with Aang. He was sweet and caring and liked to hold her hand and always could make her giggle. He made her happy, so she couldn't be thinking about Zuko. It wasn't as though she had done anything wrong that night, since she had been single, but now, she was with Aang. She couldn't be wishing for another boy.
"I love you."
But she couldn't forget those three words he had whispered into her hair, thinking she was asleep. She was about to quietly tell herself to be sensible when she was suddenly overcome with nausea, and rushed to the bathroom that was attached to her room. She leaned over the toilet, making fists into the cloth of her shirt as she took deep breaths. A couple of minutes passed, and her nausea hit its high point, and her stomach's contents came rushing out of her mouth.
She vomited two more times, and then she was utterly spent. She washed her mouth out, and then shuffled wearily back to her bed. She laid down, kicked off her shoes, and then burrowed underneath the covers again. She felt horrible. She took out her hair loopies and set her head on her comfortable pillow.
She heard a knock at the door, and sighed. "Come in, Aang."
The young Avatar opened the door and poked his head in. "Ready to go?" He was so enthusiastic and happy that it made Katara feel guilty.
"No." Her guilt increased threefold when she saw his face fall. "I'm sorry, Aang. I suddenly don't feel well. Maybe tomorrow." She smiled slightly when he beamed at her. He floated further into the room and placed a kiss on her forehead.
"Well, I hope you feel better. Just come get me if you need me to get you something." He gave her hand a squeeze and gave her another smile.
"Thanks, Aang, but I think I'll be all right. I think I'm just tired." She assured him.
With that assurance, he nodded. "Okay. Then you get a good night's sleep. Bye."
It was then, after her new boyfriend left, that Katara realized that, apart from this nausea that just wouldn't leave her alone, she hadn't felt bad all day. A quick peek let her know that, no, she hadn't started her monthly flow. Well, that was weird. Not only had she never missed one in her entire life, but now she had missed two. Actually, come to think of it, she should have started a few days ago. That was really, really odd.
She shook her head briefly and turned onto her other side. She closed her eyes, intent on getting some sleep and feeling better in the morning, when she shot up in bed.
Memories of Zuko tearing through her hymen went searing through her mind. It wasn't possible that she… he hadn't even climaxed inside of her! He had pulled out before that had happened. They had been careful. There was no way…
Katara forced herself to stand up and take a deep breath. She couldn't go into denial. She had to examine the facts and then face them. She had missed two monthly flows, when she had never before missed any in her life. Gran-Gran had explained to her that even if a boy didn't climax inside of her, there was a chance that she could become pregnant anyway. Not to mention… she quickly did math inside of her head… yes, she had spent the night with Zuko at the beginning of the range of time during which she could conceive.
She took another deep breath, and then looked herself in the mirror. She self-consciously turned to the side and ran a hand over her stomach.
Not to mention the sudden nausea that still wouldn't quit. She didn't have any other symptoms, either. She didn't feel feverish, and she felt fine… except for the small fact she felt she might throw up once more if she didn't sit down. She set herself on the edge of the bed.
Katara ran her hands over her face. She didn't know what else to make of it. There was no other explanation she could think of. She recalled a few lessons that she had picked up from the waterbending healers in the North Pole when she and the others had visited after the war was over, and she called a decent-sized ball of water to herself. She shaped it into a glove, and held her hand over her lower abdomen. She closed her eyes to focus, and then reached out with her inherent waterbending senses, finding small fissures in her own body in which she could reach through and unlock the secrets her lower stomach held. Her hand shook as her concentration nearly faltered, but she pressed on, and then felt a hint of something in the corner of her mind, and then flinched when she realized what it was.
The water that had formed the glove splashed to the floor as Katara exhaled sharply.
She was pregnant with Zuko's child.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed this first chapter. Please, tell what you think in a review. Good? Bad? Mediocre? Allspice needed? Any and all thoughts/ideas are appreciated.