Posted Mar 2, 2011

Edited Dec 26, 2011

.x.

It happened suddenly one day. Zuko was working with Aang, Haru, The Duke and Teo were off exploring and inventing, Toph was laughing at Sokka and Katara was cooking dinner.

Zuko had just finished the last set of exercises for the afternoon and Aang dropped a kiss on his cheek as he wandered off to the fountain for a quick bath before food. Katara was picky like that.

Zuko froze in place, Toph turned her head to 'stare' at them and Sokka followed her lead.

"Whatcha lookin' at Toph?"

"Zuko just froze as Aang walked past him. I wanna know why."

Katara glanced up from the cauldron. "What's happening now?"

"…Aang kissed me…"

Everyone, except the young airbender, stilled. Aang was goofing around with Momo in the fountain, freeing himself of the grime and sweat of the day.

Sokka was torn between mocking laughter and screeching in horror. His face spoke clearly of his indecision. Katara was staring at Aang, then at Zuko, then back at Aang.

The young monk finally looked up to see everyone staring at him. "What?"

"You kissed Zuko…" Aang looked at Sokka in confusion. Suddenly he grinned.

"Oh that! That was from Katara!"

And it was Katara's turn to be stared at by everyone. Sokka jabbered an accusing finger at his little sister.

"You gave Zuko a kiss! WHY?"

"Sugar Queen was probably too scared to do it on her own and convinced Twinkletoes to do it for her." The blind earthbender smirked, Katara was glaring at her no doubt.

"Excuse me? I never asked Aang to give Zuko a kiss for me! I don't even like the guy!"

Zuko glared at her, she glared back.

"Actually you did Katara."

"She WHAT!"

Sokka was freaking out on the spot, and Katara was staring at Aang in confusion. Toph was smirking and Zuko was perplexed.

"Sure. Remember when Zuko stole your mom's necklace and used it to track us down with Jun's xirxhiu?"

Sokka's arms paused in their frantic movement and he stroked his chin.

"He's right Katara. When we flew away, after Aang gave you your necklace back, you said, and I quote," He pitched his voice into a falsetto. "'Aww, that's so sweet of Zuko! Would you give him a kiss for me when you see him?'"

Four blank faces and a lemurbat stared at Sokka, who was oblivious to the people around him.

"…I suppose I did say that…" Katara pointedly ignored everyone else as she continued making dinner. Zuko stared at her for a few minutes before moving to the side and relaxing.

"I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that was before I joined and since that was almost 3 months ago, I'm gonna ask, why now? Why wait until this particular time?"

Aang looked at the earthbender. "To be honest, I only just remembered. While I was meditating, I was thinking about things I've done in the past year, all the people I've met, and that memory came up."

They continued chatting until Teo, Haru and The Duke came back, faces covered in some gunk they'd just created. Katara had finished making dinner as the three boys were washing up at the fountain.

Dinner was eaten and conversation about the day's advancements flowed around the small fire. Bellies were filled and The Duke was smothering yawns as conversation continued. Haru and Teo stood to take him to bed while planning more inventions for the following day.

Toph was off practicing with Aang, who was blindfolded, and Sokka was working his way through his sword forms. Katara was washing dishes.

"You do realize that I'm going to needle you about that."

She jumped and water splashed at her feet, her concentration broken. Zuko melted out of the shadows.

Blue eyes narrowed in anger.

"It's not like I actually meant for him to pass it on. It was more mocking than anything."

"And yet you still asked him to pass a kiss onto me. You hated me then."

"I hate you now."

"No you don't."

The waterbender opened her mouth to refute his claim. He ignored her.

"You hated me when I first joined the group. Because I betrayed you, and your anger was justified. But your behavior has changed."

Katara scoffed and turned back to the dishes.

"Before, you did the absolute minimum you could get away with. And you yelled at me every chance you got. Now, you do for me what you do for everyone else, but you do your best to ignore me."

She whirled around, eyes wider than normal. "Exactly how close have you been watching me? Because that's kind of creepy!"

"You aren't special in that regard. I watch everyone that closely. That's partly how I was able to consistently track you guys down before. "

Her eyes narrowed. "Good to know. Any other mildly creepy stalker-ish tendencies I should be made aware of?"

"Yes, I frequently spend a night watching any given person as they sleep. Especially your brother."

Katara froze in horrified silence. "Oh La, please let that be a joke."

Zuko's lips quirked upwards in a barely noticed smile. She sighed in relief. "Oh thank the spirits!"

She turned back to the dishes, "Besides, if I wanted to kiss someone I'd do it myself, not ask someone else to pass it on."

The words were muttered under her breath, but the firebender heard them anyway.

"Well that's good to know. Anything else I should be informed of?"

"Yes, I hate your ears. You weren't supposed to hear that."

She finished washing the last dish and then packed everything away. Spinning on her heel, she walked up to Zuko, her lips grazing his before she turned away.

Zuko grabbed her arm to stop her moving away from him. "That was a terrible kiss." He pulled her back and gently, but firmly pressed his lips on hers.

Katara froze for a moment, before closing her eyes and enjoying the heat radiating from the body in front of her. They pulled back, though their bodies were indecently close.

"Is this the ending that should have happened?"

Zuko looked into glowing blue eyes. "Maybe. Or it could be a beginning. Up to you I suppose."

A slight breeze brushed through brown, curly tresses before a body stepped back.

"Beginnings are always good. But perhaps we should wait for an ending before we start something new."

Soft lips pressed together for a final time and the two opposites went their separate ways.

"I'll find you."

"I know. You always do."

.x.

END