The night was cold and crisp, a starless void. At least, for Katara. The only part of the night she could see was him.
His back was turned to her now. He'd been strangely distant since that moment. The moment when she'd finally confronted the monster. The moment when she'd tried to avenge her mother... and failed.
She wasn't sure how to think of herself. Was she weak? She had been water's master and thought herself strong- but maybe she was just the opposite. Katara realized she was sinking further into herself and snapped back into focus. She wanted to help him. Besides, self-pity was weak, even if her actions beforehand had not been.
She tried to recall when he had distanced himself. It wasn't when she'd used her bloodbending on the Southern Raiders' ship- to be honest, he seemed completely accepting of that as just another thing Katara could do. He obviously respected her strength.
It wasn't when she'd frozen the rain, created those freezing daggers that could and would take a life. He had wanted her to do it. He understood her need for closure.
And then Katara knew. He was thinking of his own mother, wondering if he would never have that kind of closure. She thought to the crystal catacombs. She touched a hand to her cheek, remembering the feeling of his. So much rage and pain and fire... Her thoughts flew to Aang, who had urged her to forgive and forget. But Zuko's past was in that scar.
It would never let him forget.
"I'm proud of you." The voice, though soft, jerked her out of her reverie. "I could never have done it."
"I wasn't strong enough, Zuko. I'm sorry." Katara looked down. He had turned to her again, and the sudden appearance of those two gold stars in her night sky was too much.
"What are you sorry for?"
"I wanted to do it. I could have done it... for both of them." She didn't say who the other person was. She didn't need to.
He put a hand on her shoulder. She struggled to suppress that wonderful butterfly sensation and listened. "During the eclipse... I found out that she may still be alive. When this is over... I'm going to find her. That will be my closure, Katara. I don't need someone else to do it for me."
He was silent for a while, and she drifted into her own thoughts again. This time, though, the quiet was companionable. Zuko's grip on her shoulder didn't lessen.
It might have been minutes, or maybe hours, when Katara lifted a hand to the real night sky. "Look, Zuko. A shooting star."
He looked sullen again. "Knowing my luck, it's Sozin's Comet come early to kill us all." Katara couldn't tell if he was joking or not, but then, it was always hard to tell with him.
"Oh, stop it!" she laughed away his sudden bad mood. "Just shut up and make a wish."
More silence. After a few seconds, Katara spoke again. "What did you wish for?" It was a whisper, almost as though she was afraid to break the stillness.
"I wished you would forgive me." he was solemn as he said it.
"I wished Aang would forgive me." she replied in soft tones.
"Because I've already done more than that."
Two amber orbs widened in surprise as she leaned closer to him.
The kiss was quick, but both of them were happy. Katara warned him that he could never tell Aang, that this had to be their secret, but he was still happy.
Thousands of feet into the air, they still had each other to lean on.
well, there you have it- my first oneshot! sorta fluffy ending, but i like it well enough. R&R please!