Dance with Me
Rated: Teen for romance (Kataang).
Summary: Kataang Romance and Katko friendship. At Aang and Katara's wedding reception, Katara asks Zuko to dance with her… so she can thank him for kidnapping the Avatar. Maybe the stress made her crazy after all?
Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is owned by the two geniuses, Mike and Bryan.
LES: My two favorite relationships in the whole series… Kataang and Katko (Zuko and Katara friendship)! Yay! This takes place three years after the end of the series. Aang and Toph are 16, and all ages go from there. My second entry into the Kataang Festival Fanfiction Contest! You can think of this as a continuation of "Old Wives Tales" if you want, but it can be read stand alone. Also includes a little Maiko and Sukka.
If you had asked Zuko where he thought he would be four years from when he was still hunting the Avatar, the last answer he would have given was 'at the Avatar's wedding reception'.
And yet, that is exactly where Zuko found himself.
The festivities were taking place at the Eastern Air Temple, which was easily the biggest Temple, and also the only Temple that was easy for all the guests from around the world to get to. Zuko had thought that Aang was the one who decided on having his wedding be at the Air Temple, but he was shocked when he found out it was actually Katara who had suggested it; a symbol of hope for the Air Nomad culture, she called it.
The wedding was over, and his young friends were now husband and wife. A smile played across his face as he watched the two of them together, seated just a few seats down from him at the high table, laughing, smiling, and kissing one another.
It made the young Firelord glad to see his friends so happy and in love.
The quiet contentment of the room was shattered when Sokka stood up and lifted his glass to address the crowd. Zuko knew what was coming. Most wedding receptions now-a-days were for people to give their congratulations to the bride and groom. However, knowing the group of friends the bride and groom belonged to, Zuko was almost certain that these speeches would be little more than an excuse to embarrass them in public.
"Excuse me; may I have everyone's attention please?" Sokka called out over the crowd.
"Sokka! Sit down!" Zuko heard Katara whisper to her brother. Of course, he didn't listen.
"First of all, I'd like to say…" Sokka paused dramatically. "The Avatar is my brother-in-law!" The assembled crowd laughed. "Oh… I guess I should also give my congratulations to my sister and her new husband. As most of you know, when I first met Aang… I didn't like him at all. But, as we went on our journey to help him achieve mastery of the four elements, I grew to really like this little dork. But, for some reason, he thought that meant he could woo my little sister. Aang, you'll be paying for that privilege for the rest of your life, I can promise you that!" The crowd laughed. "And, Katara… my little sister…" Sokka paused gravely, making the crowd think that he was finally going to take things seriously. "I thought you knew better than to marry a cross-dresser."
This time, Aang responded. "As I recall, I'm not the only one who has cross-dressed. Remember how Suki make you wear the Kyoshi Warrior's uniform on Kyoshi Island?"
Sokka blushed as the joke was turned around on him, and the crowd laughed.
"Uh… to the point… Katara, my little sister, you couldn't have found a better or more famous man to marry. Congratulations to both of you. A toast to Avatar Aang and Katara for a happy marriage!" He said, finishing his toast. The assembled crowd raised their glasses in toast to the newlyweds.
As Sokka sat down, Toph stood up next. "Oh no." Zuko heard Aang whisper as he buried his face in his hands.
"Hello, everyone. You all should know who I am, so I won't introduce myself. If you don't know who I am, please punch yourself in the arm right now." Toph said. "Twinkletoes, AKA: The Avatar, here was my first ever student in Earthbending, and let me tell you something about him that you might not know. He is a wuss. From the day I met him, I knew that he was completely head-over-heels in love with Katara. For months I watched them beating around the bush with their feelings for each other. I watched and waiting for Twinkletoes to man up and tell Katara that he loved her. To my eternal shock, Katara was the first one to admit her love! There are two things that I know for sure about their marriage. The first thing is that they will love each other for the rest of their lives. The second thing is that Katara will wear the pants. I wish you both a long and happy marriage." Toph said, raising her glass in a toast. Everyone else except for the blushing bride and groom joined in the toast.
The rest of the toasts went by relatively well; or at least no more embarrassing stories were brought up. The rest of the toasts consisted of people talking about the amazing depths of love that the bride and groom had for each other, and wishing them luck with the start of their new lives together.
Once the speeches were finished, the band started up with a slow romantic song for Aang and Katara's first dance. Aang stood up, bowed gracefully to his new wife, and offered her his hand. She accepted with a gracious smile and he led her out onto the dance floor.
Zuko watched them swaying to the music from the high table with slight jealousy. Growing up in the Fire Nation had never given Zuko the opportunity to learn how to dance. At his own wedding to Mai a few years ago, Aang tried to teach him a few steps. He had two left feet when it came to dancing. Give him a Firebending form any day. Zuko tried to dance with his new wife, and spent more time stepping on her toes than actually dancing.
Aang and Katara gazed at each other through the course of the entire song, their eyes glazed over with love and passion. Zuko wasn't even sure that they knew they were in the middle of a dance floor with hundreds of people watching them anymore. They were so consumed by their love for each other.
As the dance came to a close, they kissed each other passionately, drawing applause from the watching crowd.
Zuko turned his attention to his food. At least he wasn't alone in that endeavor. Sokka and Toph were stuffing their faces all ready. It seemed that Sokka wasn't quite as bothered by the shortage of meat-based foods as he had been when Aang and Katara first announced the menu, judging by the way that he ate everything within arm's reach with gusto.
Other people began to dance, and Zuko lost track of the bride and groom. The Firelord took the opportunity to think about the fact that he was here, a guest at the Avatar's wedding. It was rather shocking.
"Zuko?" A voice spoke. Zuko looked up and saw Katara standing in front of his place at the high table. "I was wondering if you'd share this dance with me."
Zuko froze, and choked on his food. He hastily cleared his throat. "Okay, first thing: I dance like a Platypus-Bear that has had his back legs cut off; secondly, what about your husband?"
Katara pointed through the crowd, and Zuko saw that Aang was dancing with Suki, his new sister-in-law. "Besides, the bride can dance with whoever she likes. Come on, Zuko."
Zuko hesitated for several more moments before he got up and slowly followed Katara onto the dance floor. He robotically put his hands in the right places, and clumsily led Katara through the dance. He kept staring down at his feet, making sure that he didn't step on Katara's toes.
"Zuko, there's a reason that I wanted to dance with you." Katara said.
"What?" Zuko said, clearly more interested in watching his feet than devoting his attention to her.
"I wanted to talk to you… to thank you." Katara said.
"Thank me? Thank me for what?" Zuko asked.
"I just wanted to thank you for kidnapping Aang at the South Pole." Katara said.
At Katara's words, Zuko froze and stumbled over himself, barely managing to avoid crashing into Katara. He stared at her in shock. Maybe the stress of the wedding really has gotten to her… Zuko thought to himself.
As he recalled, Katara held that incident over his head for nearly a year, and punished him for it every chance she could. If he could have a copper piece for every time Katara held that kidnapping against him, the Fire Nation would have no need to conquer the world… he could buy the world!
Zuko's mouth hung open for a few seconds, but then he was able to recover… at least enough to close his mouth and stop looking like an idiot. "Why in the world would you thank me for that?" Zuko asked.
Katara began to lead him through the steps of the dance again. Surprisingly, Zuko was a much better dancer when he wasn't really concentrating on it. "You see, Zuko… before you showed up at the Southern Water Tribe looking for Aang, he had been banished from the tribe by Sokka… and I had let him walk away." Katara said thoughtfully. "I let the boy who would become the love of my life walk away from me. But, he came back to rescue my village from your Firebenders, and gave himself up to you to save us. After you kidnapped Aang, I chased after you… and him."
Zuko couldn't say anything about that, so he just remained silent.
"Don't you see, Zuko? If it were not for you capturing Aang at the South Pole, I never would have gone on that journey to help him master his powers. I never would have gotten to know him. I never would have become friends with him. And, most importantly, I never would have fallen in love with him." Katara said. "Zuko… everything good that has ever happened to me… I owe to you… for kidnapping Aang that day." She gazed up at him. "I think that's worth a 'thank you', don't you?"
"Um… yeah, I guess it is." Zuko said. "I'm glad I could have helped lead you to your future, even if it was with a kidnapping."
Zuko and Katara laughed together, but Zuko stopped when he felt someone tap on his shoulder.
Zuko released Katara and looked around. It was Aang, who was apparently finished dancing with his sister-in-law. "Do you mind if I cut in?" He asked.
"Of course I don't mind." Zuko said, stepping away from Katara with a bow and allowing her husband to take his vacated place. Zuko made his way back to the high table, shocked and pleased by what had just happened: not only Katara thanking him, but also the fact that he managed to get through the whole dance without stepping on her toes once!
Aang quickly pulled Katara closer to his body as they began to dance to the music, completely enamored with each other.
"So…" Aang whispered quietly into her ear. "What were you and Zuko talking about?"
"Oh, I was just thanking him for everything he's done for us." Katara said truthfully. "So, Aang, are you going to use your legendary dance skills to sweep me off my feet or what?"
Aang grinned at her, and pulled her into a passionate kiss. He pulled away briefly. "Of course." With little warning, he preceded to quite literally sweep her off her feet.