Bells for Her

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly enough.

Warnings: Speculation, Spoilers up to Season Three

AN: For AtLA Land's bingo card writing challenge. Prompt was "Rare Pair."

Her eyes are blue. He's never seen such a thing before, but he's read about it in books. He knows that it's possible; he understands that it's a mark of the Water Tribes.

Only, it's such a surprise. To gaze at her face and see the sky staring back at him. To watch blue irises like the rise and fall of Lake Laogai in the summer.

Her skin is dark. Not just sun-kissed but truly dark and rich and deep. She's a princess, but she's not pale like all the noble girls and women he's seen at parties.

Her hair is white. Lighter than Tui and infinitely soft as it curls gently around her shoulders.

For Kuei, it's love at first sight.

He doesn't care that it's an arranged match. That he's marrying her in little more than a month or that this will cement their treaty with the Northern Water Tribe. He'd marry her if she was a peasant. If she had nothing to her name and no family to call her own.

She looks at him shyly as Long Feng and her father talk over them both, and he isn't even sure what's being discussed as they are dismissed out to the gardens with Dai Li trailing behind at a respectful distance.

They walk, and Kuei has no idea what to say. How to speak to this woman who will soon be his wife. His mind goes through a dozen different scenarios, but when he finally opens his mouth, Kuei only feels like an idiot. As though she only humors him and nods to be polite.

Still, he can't help but hope that he doesn't sound as foolish as he thinks. That the glances he sees are actual interest, and hope builds as he catches her watching him. Eyes flitting to his face and then away before coming back again and again. Kuei feels his cheeks heat up as she does it for the third time in less than two minutes

"What is it?" he questions finally and for once doesn't trip over his own tongue.

She blushes and looks away once more. But just as quickly, she glances back from beneath her eyelashes.

"Your eyes," Yue murmurs with a sweet smile, "they're green."

Ever Hopeful,