I want to thank Iwannabeahero, KraZiieTarT, sokkantylee, ML7, and jadelyn3352. You guys mean a lot and I really appreciate the reviews. I only wrote this chapter for you guys! =]
In My Eyes
I watched her as her eyes fluttered into the daylight. I had been sitting in the same position all night, since I got up after I was sure she was asleep. Sleep wouldn't pass over me last night, I was too nervous, too confused, to drift into that state of relaxation. I watched the beautiful girl lying before me smile at the sight of my face as I wished I wasn't there. I didn't want to give her these handfuls of problems that were truly just mine.
"Good morning Zuko," she said as she sat up and rubbed her neck. "Sleeping on the ground sure is different from sleeping in your bed," she added, still smiling.
Her expression seemed to drop with the sight of my, I suppose, very emotionless face. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"I need to tell you something," I answered. I had been repeating the words over my head all night, but now, all of that flew out of my head and all my thoughts were gone. I was working purely on impulse. Then, I quickly grabbed both sides of her face and pulled her into a kiss. I had wanted to do it all night. We kissed passionately until I pulled away to catch my breath. "Katara, I love you," I said. That wasn't what I was going to intentionally tell her, but it was something I needed to get off my chest, and it felt so good to say.
She wrapped her arms around my neck. I was so surprised I almost fell over. "Zuko…" she started and pulled away to look at me in the eyes. "I love you too." I stared and smiled at her, pulling her into another kiss. I felt like we had both been waiting for this moment, and it was finally here. But, there were problems we needed to attend to, so I pulled away again, sick of putting it off.
"But, there's something else," I said slowly, not wanting the words to leave my mouth.
"What is it?" she asked. Her voice sort of trailed off, like she didn't want to hear what was coming next. She was smart for thinking that.
"Katara," I started, taking a deep breath, "Last night when my Captain was talking to me… he told me something important." Her words from last night rang in my head, 'So don't let him,' but I had to let him. I couldn't keep hiding her. "It's… the Avatar," I couldn't tell what she was thinking, her appearance was blank, "He's been spotted in town."
She kind of gasped. As if she… didn't really know what to do. Then, her gaze finally met mine. "What are you going to do?" she asked the one question I didn't want to face.
I stood up; she followed. I kept my back turned to her, still trying to think of a possible solution. "Zuko, you need to do something," she said.
"I know!" I shouted. I felt like I was being pressured. I always knew what to do, except for this time. This time, I was out of control, out of focus.
"Zuko." The word left Katara's lips softly as she placed a hand on my shoulder. I turned to face her. "You know, the Avatar need's a Fire Bender teacher."
She was walking quickly as I tried to pull her hand into a slower pace. I didn't want to have to deal with this, not ever. At first, the idea seemed too unreal to me, but now, I was agreeing to it. I stared at her body as she lead in front of me. She was so beautiful and I was so glad it was my hand she was clasping onto. I was sure I had made the right decison, I never wanted to leave her
We emerged out of the woods and everything around me seemed to suddenly get brighter and louder. I followed Katara's pulling hand until a certain person caught my eye.
"Uncle," I greeted him as he walked towards us. He had a smirk on his face as he was our dirty clothes and our hands intertwined. I knew he would have a good hypothesis of where we were at.
"Zuko," he greeted, and nodded his head to the Water Tribe girl next to me, "and Katara. What a lovely morning!"
I let go of Katara's hand and gave her a little nod as to say I need a little alone time with my uncle. We walked a few steps, next to a building.
"Uncle, the Avatar-"
"I know Zuko. I was informed when the guards couldn't find you," he answered.
I gave him a look of understanding, not sure what to say next. "What are you going to do, young Prince?" he asked me.
I took a deep breath. I still wasn't sure of the decision Katara and I had decided on. "I'm going to join them," I answered.
A grin stretched across Uncle's face. "A wise decision."
"Katara and I want you to come with us," I added, we had already talked about it.
He nodded. "First, I think you should confront the Avatar before we make further plans. I last heard he was seen at the beach late last night, he probably slept there."
I gave him a weak smile and turned to Katara. "Let's go," I whispered to her as I grabbed her arm and started leading the way to the beach, trying to steady my breathing.
"Remember what I said," Katara told me. They were in the woods close to the beach. We had sighted their flying beast and now we decided for Katara to meet with them first. I was replaying everything we had discussed earlier on.
I shook my head, telling her I was ready, and she walked into the area where the Avatar and two other people were sitting around a fire. As she entered, the Air Bender quickly jumped up. He yelled her name and embraced her in a hug. This affection suddenly made me a little upset, and I wanted to jump out to pull her into my arms, where she belonged. But I didn't move.
It was hard to hear all of their words, but the Water Tribe boy hugged her also. Then, they motion to a girl dressed in green with her hair in her face, as if they were introducing her. I couldn't recall seeing her before.
I was becoming impatient. It seemed like Katara was procrastinating even though I knew she was just waiting for the right time.
Then, I heard the words come from the little girl with black hair mouth's saying, "Someone's watching us."
How she knew, I wasn't sure. There was no way she saw me hidden behind a tree, I hadn't even saw her lift her head up to look, but she knew, and I figured that was my signal.
I stood up straight and strolled into the clearing. The two boy's faces were washed with surprise, then, they quickly got into fighting stances.
"Wait," Katara said. "He's not here to hurt anyone," she claimed, putting up her hands.
"What do you mean?" the boy holding a boomerang asked with disbelief. "He's only tried to kill us a hundred times!"
"I'm…" I started. I couldn't find the right thing to say, so I looked at Katara for help.
"Aang, Zuko wants to join us," she said quickly and bluntly. The Avatar dropped his stance and switched his eyes from me to Katara. "You need a Fire Bender teacher," she added for a little extra push.
"Katara…" he said with confusion.
I took a step forward. "I know this seems a little… out of place. But, I'm sorry for my actions before. I now see that this is where I belong. I want to help you." I said, just flowing out the words that came to my head. Then I added, "I've changed."
"Zuko, if that's how you feel, you'll of course be welcomed," Aang said, meeting my eyes.
"How can you believe him?" The other boy asked, lowering his arms. He turned to Katara, "He just kept you as a prisoner!"
"He's not lying," the Earth Kingdom girl said right as Katara opened her mouth. We both has confused looks, I wasn't sure how she knew that.
Katara opened her mouth again, "As much as I don't want to admit it, we do need him. I don't honestly trust him fully, but I do think he has changed Aang. I don't know where else we could find a teacher." These words hurt, it seemed like she was laying it on a little too thick. We had decided we wouldn't confess to our relationship just yet. Katara said me joining would be enough stress and that I should get her brother to like me before bringing up any affection towards her. But, the way she said the words, it just hurt, even though I didn't believe them.
I looked over at Katara as she stared at Aang, and then to her brother, with pleading eyes. I glanced at the girl, leaning against a tree far away from us smiling. I wasn't sure what she was smiling about.
"It would be an honor for you to teach me," the Avatar said, bowing to me.
I bowed back after Katara's brother nodded his head in agreement.
"Thank you," I said to him.
"What about your ship, and crew…" The Water Tribe boy started to question.
"Your uncle?" the Avatar added.
Katara stepped in now, "I think two Fire Benders would be better than one," she answered.
"And as for my ship and crew, they will no longer be needed," I said also.
Katara and I walked through the woods to go find my Uncle, leaving the other three to think over what just happened. We had to convince her brother to let us go alone, but now, here we were. I couldn't help the smile spreading across my face. After walking awhile, Katara grabbed my hand in hers.
"I'm so happy Zuko," she said, continuing to walk.
"Me too," I responded, giving her hand a squeeze.
As I walked into the street, I saw Uncle and a pointed to him for Katara to see. As we strolled towards him, suddenly, two men in uniform jumped out and grabbed both of his arms.
I dropped Katara's hand and put my arm in front of her to push her back. More men were appearing as they started to head down an alley. As my foot left the ground to chase after him, Katara's hands pulled me back.
"There's too many of them Zuko," she said, using all of her force to keep me there. "They're obviously very well trained. Don't let them take you too."
"I have to," I said turning to her, prying her hands off with ease.
"Please Zuko, we can find him, together," she said, her eyes making me stop. "There's too many, we need Aang's help. Do you recognize them?" she asked.
"Yes," I answered. "They're my father's men."
I hope that was satisfying, because it's the last chapterrrr. But, it sets up for a sequel if I decide to do one. I'm not sure yet. But please review, I hope you all liked it.