summary: He thinks she is crazy, all sorts of crazy, with her crazy optimism and her crazy nagging and her crazy, crazy, crazy desire to dance in that kind of rain.
genre: Romance, Surrealism
zutara week, day seven
He sits beneath a small haven to keep the rain from his hair, the cold wetness from drenching his clothes and overcoming the little warmth burning between his palms, and he thinks it is the worst of nights to be outdoors. His friends had hoped for some star-gazing, with the exception of Toph, but there are no stars to idolize – if there are, their twinkling is disrupted by the sharp rain that comes from the sky, the booming clouds above threatening and ominous, and he sulks underneath the tent that sags with the force of the rain that he hates.
Zuko wonders how anyone can enjoy that crazy weather, and then he looks out towards the clearing and sees her twirling in the midst of the chaos, the rain battering the ground around her feet, her bare-feet. And she dances in the mud that clings to her toes, her ankles, and up her calves that are shapely and toned even in the dark.
He thinks she is crazy, all sorts of crazy, with her crazy optimism and her crazy nagging and her crazy, crazy, crazy desire to dance in that kind of rain. Because it isn't the dancing or kissing type of rain, it's the stay indoors and curl up with a warm cup of tea and hope to Agni the rain doesn't smash through your window kind, and he watches her with his golden eyes that are tired and curious as she dances in the rain that is not at all for dancing.
"She's crazy," the prince mutters and Sokka lets out a loud snore as if in agreement.
The others are sleeping beneath the tent, even Toph, though she had difficulty managing with the pitter-pattering of the rain and the steps of Katara's dancing feet.
He can't sleep, though, and so he has nothing to do but hold the fire in his hands to keep warm, and watch her as she dances in the not dancing sort of rain.
She stops her twirling then and she is soaked from head to toe, her hair, like the mud, he realizes, matting against her face and her shoulders, and her clothes shape around her form that he knows is slender, and there is this wild excitement in her eyes as she approaches him and holds out a hand.
Zuko only stares in shock and he wonders at how crazy she is if she thinks he will dance with her.
But she simply takes his wrist and drags him out into the crazy weather and the flame disappears in his palm and suddenly he is drenched and cold and irritable.
"You're crazy!" He says as she laughs at his expression, "Insane!"
But he remains there with her, in the crazy weather with that crazy girl who continues dancing.
"The rain is a beautiful thing, Zuko," she explains through the thunder, "Don't fight it."
And she lifts her palms to face him and he meets her hands and he realizes that in the dark, he can't tell the difference in their complexions. Where she is dark and he is pale is only a muted shadow and it is difficult to see where they separate.
"Embrace the gift nature is giving," Katara says with that crazy manic excitement in her eyes that, for the moment, are pale in the haze.
Gift? Gifts are to be enjoyed – this rain, this rain is crazy and uncomfortable and replaces the warmth that fills him with something like cold dread.
Her laugh is silenced by the thunder in the clouds and she steps back, taking him with her because their hands are joined in the darkness. She begins to spin around so he is caught in the momentum and together they swirl and swirl, and the heat and the cold that also swirls between them rises and falls, and slowly he sees they create their own little storm, just the two of them, and steam rises into the sky, lost to the stars they can't see.
When they cease their spinning, the fog lingers, rising and rising, before disappearing completely.
"It is beauty," Katara states with that smile of hers, "that we just created."
Zuko agrees, and they spin again.
This time they spin so fast that he has to close his eyes and he throws his head back and welcomes the rain that beats down onto the muddy ground, and he laughs because it is all so crazy and the strange tingling in his fingertips trails up along his arm and he knows she feels it, as well, and then suddenly static.
They jump apart and Zuko knows that if it isn't for the rain, their hair would be standing on end.
Their eyes meet, and as lightning cracks the sky, the flash reveals the blue vastness there, and he sees her tan skin and her smile and he remembers how different they are.
But as she holds her hands out for him once more, he smiles.
Again, the familiar steam circles towards the sky, and as they stop, the mud clinging to their toes and ankles and calves, their hair matting to their faces, Zuko breaks through the separating fog and the static is shocking as their lips meet.
And Zuko decides that the crazy stay indoors and curl up with a warm cup of tea and hope to Agni the rain doesn't smash through your window kind of rain can also be the dancing and the kissing kind, if there are two people crazy enough to embrace it.
AND THIS MARKS THE END OF ZUTARA WEEK 2010
it was fun to write these and to read all the others, as well
and i'm glad i joined in the crazy zutara-ness this time around
thanks to everyone who reviewed my submissions
and i hope you all enjoyed each day as much as i did!
let me know what you think?