Disclaimer: Avatar: the Last Airbender belongs to its creators. Not me.

Shocked by her actions, Katara jumped, blushing furiously. Her mouth moved, but no words would come out. What had she been thinking, just hugging royalty like it was nothing?

Zuko just laughed as he wrapped his arms around her. "It's okay, Katara. Really, you act like we've never hugged or had any... Moments before," his voice faded as he recalled the time she touched his scar in the caves, as well as their journey to find her mother's killer.

"True," she hugged him again as her stomach growled. "Um, do you have anything to eat?"

"Of course we do, Katara," he let her go and briskly walked to the door leading to the rooms on the ship. "Follow me."

The two made casual conversation as they ate their supper. When the silence got to be too much, the Fire Lord blurted out, "So what caused the split between you and Aang?"

It was only when she gave him a look that he realized he'd been thinking aloudwhen he'd asked the question.


"I'm sorry, Katara. I shouldn't have asked that, I should've just - " he was cut off by a finger on his lips.

"It's okay, Zuko. I'm not afraid to tell."

A few hours later, the Water Master lay in her bed, restless. She was glad to have finally released some of the burdens on her heart, there were some she kept hidden.

Perhaps those, too, would be released during her time in the Fire Nation.

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Zuko had fallen asleep quite easily, but the dreams he had disturbed his slumber. They consisted of memories - as they usually did - however, one dream in particular made him sit up in his bed, heart racing - a silent question upon his lips.