A small girl sat in the corner of a cold cargo hold, shivering in the frosty air.
Her knees where drawn to her chest, her small arms hugging them tightly for warmth. Her delicate face was buried in her arms, streaked with tears.
She wanted to go home, To be with her family.
It was so cold...
The girl was only about five, too little to be on her own.
Too young to be captured by the Fire nation.
So small compared to the large amount of empty space and the huge crates that filled the room.
The door opened...
A tall man dressed in a fire nation uniform came in, smirking in a way that made the girl want to get away from him.
A small boy followed him, hanging back in the doorway.
Slowly the bad man advanced towards her, and she scooted away, the tears running down her cheeks.
The scary man reached down and grabbed her long brown hair. She screamed, sobbing in fear and pain.
The sounds was so pitiful, so sad.
The evil man let her go and stepped back, startled by her outburst and the pitifulness of her cry.
Without a word, he left, brushing past the boy and leaving the little girl alone in her cold prison.
The cargo hold darkened, the little girl didn't move from her tucked position.
After what seemed like hours, the door creaked open again.
The small boy crept in, a bundle in his arms.
He was older than she was, maybe seven or eight.
From his robes, he looked like a prince.
Carefully, he unwrapped his bundle.
It was a blanket, with some food and water wrapped inside.
He gently put the blanket around the little girl's shoulders, then sat next to her, trying to keep her warm.
The little girls blue eyes followed his every move.
The boy flicked his fingers, and a spark of fire flickered in his palm.
She watched with interest.
He flicked his wrist, and it made a fiery orb.
Carefully, she put her hands out, warming them.
The boy smiled.
The girl's gaze flicked to the jar of water he had brought.
Carefully, she stretched out a hand and made the water snake out of the bottle.
she rummaged around behind her with her other hand and found a small cup.
She dropped some of the water in it, then made the rest go back into the bottle.
The girl handed the the cup to the boy, her eyes bright.
He took it and drank some, then handed it to her.
She drank eagerly, then set the cup down and pulled the snake of water out of the bottle again.
she made it circle her head, then the boy's head.
She made it do figure eights, then she reached out a hand to do something else, but cringed in pain, dropping the water snake.
Right on the boy's head.
His eyes flared in anger, and she scooted back.
For a few seconds, they just stared at each other.
Then a small giggle escaped the girl's lips.
The boy stared wide-eyed at her.
The giggle exploded into full-blown laughter, and soon they were both rolling on the ground in laughter.
The boy warmed his hand and ran to over his clothes, drying them quickly.
The little girl's eyes still danced with laughter.
In the back of his mind, the boy knew he should go soon, but he couldn't get the thought of the little girl's sobs out of his head.
He wanted to make her happy...
But alas, it was not to be.
the door burst open, and the scary man from earlier burst in, yelling at the boy.
His gaze turned to the girl, and he started on her.
the boy stood in front of her, protecting her from his father's tirade.
The man pursed his lips, then left, calling for the boy to follow him.
The prince gave the girl an apologetic look, then slipped something into her hand.
It was a fire nation pendant made of ruby and Obsidian.
The smiled, then stood on her tiptoes, kissing him lightly on the cheek.
He flushed, then turned and quickly left.
The girl watched after him, then slipped the pendant over her neck.
That night, the boy snuck in and pulled the girl to her feet.
He led her out the door and past the sleeping guards onto the top deck of the battleship.
The wind blew through her brown hair, causing it to float around her head.
The boy led her over to a lifeboat that was packed with supplies.
"I heard that they were going to hurt you more, so i'm going to let you go" It was the first words that the little girl had ever heard him say.
"Thank you" She whispered, giving him another burning kiss on the cheek.
"Just go in the opposite direction of the ship, and you will be home"
The Prince picked her up, noticing that she was as light as a feather.
Gently, he placed her in the boat, then started to lower it.
That was the last time the little girl saw the little boy.
Or so she thought.
-Nine years later-
Zuko woke up in a cold sweat.
It was that dream again, the same one he always had.
Slowly, he got up.
Ever since he was seven, he had that dream.
He couldn't get the little girl out of his mind, she was the only one that he had ever felt some kind of attraction to.
He could remember everything about her, the hair, the smile, the laugh, the scent, the face.
Even after almost a decade, she haunted him.
A loud knock at his door startled him otu of his thoughts.
"Sir, we've captured a prisoner" The guard outside said.
"I'll be there in a minute" Zuko replied.
He grabbed a shirt and put it on, then went to the bridge.
He was met with the captain.
"It's the Avatar's co-hort, sir. We've already interrogated her, but came up with nothing. She's down in cell 9"
"Good" Zuko replied.
As he opened the door to cell 9, he was hit by such a strong feeling of Deja Vu tat he almost staggered.
In the back of the cell, a girl sat, knees curled tightly to her chest, arms folded over her knees, face buried in her arms.
Zuko knew immediately who it was.
How could he have not seen it?
The Avatar's beautiful consort, the one person the Avatar trusted, was a Watertribe bender.
The ONLY bender in the Southern Water tribe.
How could he have not seen it?
Zuko spun away, going back to his quarters.
After three in the morning, he gave up.
Walking the familiar hallways to cell 9, he grabbed a blanket and some water.
Why was he doing this?
Even he had no clue.
The guards were no where to be seen, but they had locked the door with a fire charm.
He undid the charm and slowly let the door swing open.
The girl, her name was Katara...he had heard the Avatar call her that.
Slowly, he stepped into the room, then strode quietly over to her and put the blanket around her shoulders.
She looked up, recognition flickering in her eyes.
"What are you doing Zuko?" the recognition turning to fear.
Zuko sat down, crossing a leg underneath his other leg, resting his elbow on his upright knee.
"Do you happen to remember a boy, who saved your life, many years ago?
The silence stretched.
"Yes" She whispered.
Zuko's heart thudded.
Out of the corner of his eyes, Zuko saw her pull something out of her bodice and stare at it.
He turned his head.
She was cradling the necklace he had given her in the palm of her hand.
Then she ripped it off her neck, throwing it across the room with a bang.
"Why did you try to kill us?" SHe whispered, turning her head tot he side.
"It's what I have to do to win my father's love back"
Her lips quivered in anger and she sniffled.
Zuko took breath, then gently touched her cheek. She slapped his hand away.
He bit his lip.
"You know, in nine years, i've never stopped thinking of you. I've dreamed the same dream every night, always you, always the same"
This time, when he touched her face, she didn't shy away.
"I've never forgotten about the boy who saved my life"
She turned to him and gently put a hand to his cheek.
"If that boy is still in you now, escape with me"
He froze, thoughts running through his mind.
Then he pressed his lips to hers, searching for the touch that he had never had.
Her lips were warm, her scent was overpowering.
She broke away from him.
"We have to go now" She said, taking his hand.
They stood and started out the door.
Zuko turned, and retrieved the necklace from where Katara had thrown it.
He slipped it into his pocket, then followed her up the stairs.
She ran as if she knew where she was going, so he followed, keeping his guard up in case they ran into anyone.
Up on the main deck, the leaned over the side and whistled.
"What are you doing? We'll be caught!" He hissed.
"Don't worry, Aang and Sokka have been waiting for my signal"
"You planned this?"
"In a way"
A white shape began to take form on the horizon.
Then, fire soldiers began to troop out of the doors, surrounding them.
Zuko looked at Katara.
"We have to hold them off"
She drew up a wave of water from the side, throwing it over their head an onto the soldiers, then freezing it into rock-solid ice.
"Harder said than done"
Zuko looked at her in amazement.
Appa was close, she could see Aang waving.
Then, a fresh brigade of soldiers burst out of the doors, and this time they didn't waste a second, they sent blasts of fire at them immediately.
Zuko fought fire with fire, Katara put out the flames with her water.
Appa was closer, but not close enough.
Zuko glanced at Katara, she was tiring quickly.
He gritted his teeth and took another swing at his opponent.
Katara was being backed up by a large warrior, he had a sword, and she could barely dodge his attacks in her exhaustion.
Zuko was tiring as well. Where was Appa?
Then, the giant buffalo appeared, Aang hopping off and throwing a blast of air at a group of soldiers, Sokka leaping off, slipping on the ice, then throwing his boomerang at one of the warriors.
In the hubbub, Zuko had lost Katara.
Where was she?
Then a scream pierced the air, and everyone froze.
Katara stood on the edge of the ship, the only thing holding her on the boat was her heels and the spear.
There was a spear.
In a last effort to keep on the ship, she had grabbed onto the spear as it penetrated her stomach.
Blood dripped off her chin and the spear.
"AHHHHHHHH!" Aang flew at the fire soldier, knocking him over board and catching Katara before she fell in the water.
Quickly, before anyone could react, he flew over to Appa and jumped on, Sokka and Zuko following suit.
"Sokka, fly Appa!" He said desperately as he laid Katara down on the bottom of the saddle.
Zuko hovered, unsure of what to do.
Aang quickly uncorked Katara's water bottle and pulled water out of it.
He levitated it over her heart, then it was almost like it was pulled into her body.
Katara gasped as it healed her.
Zuko took her hand.
When she opened her eyes, they fell right onto his.
As she sat up, Zuko took the necklace out of his pocket and tied it around her neck.
She turned to him, and he laced his finger through her hair, kissing her as hard as he possibly could without hurting her.