*okay, this is my first fan fiction so please feel free to give constructive criticism. This story is really just the beginning of a zutara fan fiction I am thinking up. This scene is towards the end of the avatar series after zuko and katara fight azula and how I feel it should have ended :)

Katara ran over to Zuko's limp body. His breathing was quick and pained. Carefully, she crouched over him and gently pulled away the layers of clothing surrounding the place where Azula's lightning had hit. As she came upon the last layer, the cloth tore away his skin and Zuko cried out. Pain struck her heart.

"Zuko, I'm so sorry." Katara sobbed. This whole situation was so awful she could hardly bare it.

Zuko gave Katara a reassuring glance before another wave of pain hit and his face twisted into a grimace. Katara knew there wasn't much time left. She would have to work fast if she ever wanted to save him.

Taking a deep breath, Katara motioned her arms and let water slide out of her pouch and shift through the air, bending around her palms to create a glove. Too many times she has had to do this, too many friends she has had to heal. Who would have ever known that, right now, the life in need would be none other than the person she had once considered her enemy. The one that she had hated and not trusted and had on many occasions wished that he would in fact die.

Katara rested her hands upon Zuko's body and took another deep breath, trying to keep her full concentration on her healing abilities. The pungent scent of burnt flesh hung around her face like the thirsty pant of death. Slowly, feelings of remorse for her unfair treatment of Zuko began to fill her heart. Why had she treated him with such dislike and suspicion? He was always trying to prove himself to her and she rejected him. Only now, after risking his life to save hers could she see his true compassion.

The water covering her palms began to glow. Katara focused all of her energy into Zuko's failing body. Even though she could not physically reach inside Zuko, she could feel her energy meticulously healing and replacing the damaged areas. There was so much that needed to be mended. Could she possibly do all of the work by herself? Katara made a silent prayer to the water spirits and the ancient healers of her tribe. Please…please…give me the strength to help him.

Katara let her concentration shift towards the rest of Zuko's body. So much lightning had gone through him; enough to kill anybody. It was her fault, if she had just stayed out of the way Azula wouldn't have directed the strike towards her and Zuko could have concentrated on redirecting the lightning like he had planned. But she did interfere, and Zuko was left no choice but to leap in front of Katara to protect her from Azula's deadly hit.

The scene played over and over in Katara's head. Azula aiming her hand towards Katara, the fiery blue light racing towards her, the terrified look on Zuko's face as he ran to place himself in front of her. When the lightning hit Zuko, his body was thrown up into the air and then slammed back down with a sickening force. Katara will never forget the way his body twitched and jerked uncontrollably as blue light twisted around him.

Unable to find any more damaged areas, Katara reluctantly pulled her hands away from Zuko's body. There was nothing more she could do until the others found them, and then Zuko could be taken to a proper healer. Katara watched Zuko's breath get slower and slower, until she couldn't tell if he was breathing at all.

"Zuko?" Katara rested her hands around his face. His eyes were closed and his skin was cold. "Zuko!" She shook his shoulders and then rested her ear against his chest to listen to his heart. Silence. "No, please, Zuko." Katara placed her hands upon Zuko once more and allowed the healing water to run through his body. Katara removed her hands and placed her ear to his chest. It was quiet. "No." Katara crumpled upon Zuko, her head above his heart. "Please don't go. Stay here." Tears welled in her eyes as she pulled Zuko in closer, wrapping her arms tight around his shoulders.

This whole mission had gone so incredibly wrong. Though Azula had been stopped, was it worth the cost of a dear friend? Katara's heart sank. Zuko knew what he was getting himself into the moment he defied his father and allied with the Avatar. They all knew that their roles in life were to help Aang defeat Firelord Ozai, and bring peace to the four nations. She only hoped now that Aang and the rest of the group were safe. Katara began crying, "Please stay Zuko, you have to survive…for your nation… for Aang, and Toph, and Sokka…" Katara choked back a sob, "for me." Sitting there, the world around them began to fade away and soon the only thing that Katara was conscious of was her and Zuko. Katara could hear her own heart beat as it quietly thumped a soft cadence inside of her chest.

Thump…thump…thump…..thump…thump-thump…..

Katara started at the extra heart beat.

Thump…thump….thump-thump...thump-thump

Katara froze and listened to her heart. What was happening?

Thump…thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump

"For you?" a voice murmured. Katara lifted her head from Zuko's chest and was greeted with a weak smile. His chest slowly rose and fell from each breath as he gained strength.

Katara embraced her friend. "Zuko!" She began to cry again, however from joy rather than sorrow. Before today Katara never truly realized how much she cared for Zuko and now that he was alive, she would never take his friendship for granted again. Only now, she wondered, could they be more than simply friends?