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Twenty facts about Katara and Zuko that Bryke never bothered to tell us.
"My sorrow, when she's here with me,
thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be;
she loves the bare, the withered tree;
she walks the sodden pasture lane."
1. She hated the cold. She insisted it was everything she wasn't: biting, easily-angered, harsh, excellent at grudge-holding… She wonders when they blurred into the same thing.
2. The first three days of exile were the worst for him. Sitting up high in the crow's nest for hours at a time, unable to eat. Too many thoughts were swimming around in his mind, making him feel sick and angry. The hate that blocked his throat was for no one but himself, and he can't understand now why he forgave his father then.
3. Jet wasn't the first person she had failed to save.
4. The first time that Azula and he sparred as children, he lost. He was left panting on the grass, on his stomach, his forearms badly burned. He told himself that she only won because he let her; a young girl was surely no match for him. But that thought nagged at him, especially when she beat him again.
There were times when Azula would illustrate the truth that she wasn't completely evil—not during these spars, of course—but he could catch glimpses of her being human. Personally, he had never had much time to devote to his sister, but on those rare occasions, it made him wish he had.
5. Sokka was older, always protective and annoying. She never thought she saw probable cause in her brother's actions until she discovered the boy in the iceberg. Protection became second-nature to her.
It scared her how easily she adapted into her brother's shoes for Aang. But it shocked her to see how good she was at it, too. Being a mother was too difficult for her; it involved too much work. But being a big-sister was a dream that had died long ago.
6. His grandfather was a cold-hearted bastard whose love for power consumed him. But he could never explain the pangs of grief he felt when they cremated him and his father was crowned Fire Lord.
7. She was twelve when she became a woman, and she didn't tell Gran-Gran until she already knew that she was leaving with Aang.
8. His first kiss was with Ty Lee. No one would ever know about it, because he had been curious and she had been a steady test-subject.
Ty Lee still joked—privately—that he was the reason she could only kiss girls.
9. She was so angry when Aang couldn't kill one person, when she had the ability to kill hundreds. Lying within her hands was the power to bend men and women to her will—literally—and if she didn't respect him and love him and care more about him more than the war, she would have killed the Fire Lord herself.
10. Taking that bolt of lightning was the most audacious thing he had ever done—even when he included standing up to his father.
11. She flushed from embarrassment at the play when they had suggested her and Zuko hooking up underneath Ba Sing Se. She could feel his eyes on her, though, silently asking something she could never answer.
Do you regret it?
12. When they had stayed at Ember Island, he had stayed up until four o'clock in morning the first night looking through old stacks of family portraits and notes. It was dusty and full of cob-webs, but when he found a note from three-year-old-Azula telling her mother she was beautiful, he set the box on fire and watched it burn.
They were nothing but smoke now.
13. The first time she helped a woman give birth, the baby was a still-born. The blood was everywhere and the woman had suffered so much to get nothing. Katara threw up all over the floor before she silently left the medical hut.
Stealing a glimpse over her shoulder, she vowed to never have children.
14. When it had been his turn to keep watch, Toph had stepped out of her tent and nudged him harder than he would have liked to admit. Talking to Toph was like talking to Uncle. She was insightful, much more rude, but undeniably loyal. He figured it was because he didn't know of half the evils he had done, but when he asked her, her response surprised him.
"I know when people are trying to fuck with me, and you, Mr.-take-me-as-your-prisoner, don't have the platypus-bear balls to do it."
15. When Aang carved a necklace for her, the first thing she did was run up and down the Fire Nation Capitol, skipping and jumping and hopping. I'm marrying the avatar, she smiled. She repeated those words over and over and over again until she reached the cliffs by the sea.
I'm marrying the avatar. The words sunk in.
16. He was pleasantly surprised when Katara picked Mai to be her maid of honor, thinking for sure that it would have been Toph or Suki. The two got along shockingly well.
17. Moon peaches only grew in the Fire Nation, so when she visited Zuko (with the pretext of "diplomatic business"), they usually ended up in his mother's garden eating moon peach after moon peach. The sugary-sweet fruit melted on her tongue, sprayed her mouth, and warmed her throat as they talked for hours and hours.
She almost told him that this was how it was supposed to be—almost—but when he turned to her and confided in her that he was going to proposing to Mai—mostly due to the urgency of the council—she feigned her happiness, bade him her congratulations, and ate another peach.
18. Their marriage turned more into a friendship as the years rolled on; and his and Katara's friendship budded and blossomed like the midnight passion flower. When Katara gave birth to her only child, he could see the completion in her eyes. Mai and he had never been able to have children, at least not yet.
He didn't know whose fault it was, but he was allowed the smallest relief in his conscience that at least he wasn't hurting Katara.
19. Every portrait, every scroll contained everything she could have ever wanted, yet she found herself finding something missing every time. If she could have wished for something to complete the crack in the circle, she wouldn't have been able to. She could thank the spirits all day long, but at the end of the day, she wanted something in return.
Was it so selfish of her?
20. At her funeral, he stared at the immense gathering, but it wasn't until after the crowd dispersed that he cried. On her headstone, he took out a carving tool:
Destiny is a funny thing.