I don't own A:TLA. All I want is Sokka though…

The time period in this is really screwed up…at least I think. It's before the whole Lake Laogi thing, but Zuko is already travelling with his uncle.

"Where is it…? It has to be around here somewhere…" she mumbled, crawling around through the forest, scattering leaves and overturning rocks, in the hopes that she would find her necklace.

She was too focused on her search to notice the sound of someone sliding down a rope, but she did notice when feet landed in front of her.

"Hey, Katara."

Said waterbender stiffened, before rising to look the male in the eye.

"What do you want, Jet?" she asked coldly, crossing her arms at her chest to show that she was not pleased to see him.

"Looking for something?" Jet asked, almost mockingly, before dangling her Water Tribe necklace in front of her face.

Katara's eyes widened, and her expression changed from angry, to shocked, to confused, and then back to angry when she made a grab for it and Jet pulled it back.

"Ah ah ah," he sang, leaning forward so that their noses were touching and she could see the reflection of her eyes in his.

"Give me my necklace!" she shouted, raising a hand to slap him but he gripped her wrist so fast that it took her a few seconds to register what had happened.

"You really oughta learn, Katara. You don't just give things away for free…everything comes at a price." His unsettling grin grew larger and larger and he began to laugh, and Katara felt an unbearable feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach, though she didn't know why.

But when he started stepping forward to match his body with his face, his leg touched hers, and he grabbed her other wrist, it became all too clear what he wanted.

Katara's eyes widened and she immediately began to struggle. She started with kicking, but he pinned her to a tree and leaned against her, rendering her legs useless unless she just wanted him to bounce a little bit.

Next, she tried biting. She bent her head down and clamped down on the hand that was currently restraining her left arm, and to her satisfaction, he hissed in pain and released her wrist. She punched Jet in the face but tensed when all he did was wince slightly. He gripped her free hand and twisted it to the point where Katara thought it would break. She grit her teeth and exhaled loudly when he moved his hand up to her forearm.

'What have I gotten myself into…?'

Zuko was not one to get lost.

In fact, if you questioned him about 'that time he got lost in the woods', he would make up an excuse like 'I was exploring' or 'I was looking for food'.

But, just a secret between you and me: Zuko was more lost than Toph on a glacier.

He scratched his head and sighed, wondering why he'd decided to let his uncle go ahead.

'Oh yeah,' he thought, 'He wouldn't shut up about tea.'

For a few minutes he grumbled unintelligible speech to himself while walking through the unfamiliar territory.

He halted, however, when he heard a shriek.

He resumed walking, dismissing it as nothing but an animal cry, but stopped again when this time it was words:


First, he noted the obvious—it was a female, and she sounded distressed. Probably getting mugged or something.

Then, he pondered his options:

Keep walking and pretend he never heard it.

Follow the sound and see what was going on.

Go back to his uncle and-

His thoughts were interrupted—and changed—when he heard the woman scream again.


Zuko groaned, knowing he would regret it later, and turned to track down the voice.

After her cry for help, Jet had leaned in until his lips were touching Katara's ears and whispered softly yet roughly:

"There's no one out here but us, sweetheart. Don't waste your breath." He chuckled after, and caressed her face with one hand, holding both of hers above her head with the other.

"No, please—I'm begging you, stop, please—"

"As I told you," he growled in her ear, "you and your friends stopped me from destroying the people in that village…no one or thing is going to stop me now."

A crushing wave of defeat swept Katara away, and silent tears ran down her face.

"Come on now, don't be like that…" Jet murmured, licking the tears away, to which Katara cringed and stifled a sob.

He tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear and began to trace her figure.

"Such an amazing physique for someone your age," he said, smirking as she stiffened when he passed her hips.

She kicked as a last resort, and felt a very brief moment of pride when it caught him by surprise and knocked him off of her.

She fell to the ground, scrambled to her feet and began to run.

Jet was faster.

He tackled her, placed his elbow at her throat and moments later replaced it with a knife.

"I suggest you play nice, Katara. It'd be a shame to harm such a beautiful girl like yourself."

She whimpered, tears welling up again, and she made no moves or sounds as he started to feel her up.

Her eyes were squeezed shut, and she was too scared to open them, but when he abruptly stopped, tightening his grip on her, she couldn't resist the urge to peek.

Through her lashes, all Katara saw was Jet's face—she could feel his breath.

What confused her, even in her state of mind, was the fact that his eyes were open wider than she thought possible.

Then he pulled back a little and she saw a knife against his neck—karma, she thought briefly—and she tensed again when she heard a voice she thought she'd never hear at this time.

"Drop the knife and let go of the girl." The voice was raspy yet young and sounded tired, like he'd been through a lot. Her eyes darted upwards and were met with narrowed gold ones.


Never had she been more confused in her life.

Okay, maybe when a boy came out of an iceberg and airbended.

But Katara was still pretty damn confused.

"I said," Zuko growled, eyes narrowing further, "drop the knife and let go of the girl."

Jet released his grip on the knife, allowing it to fall to the ground harmlessly, and then on Katara. He was immediately yanked to his feet by his hair, and Zuko spoke.

"Get out of here. If I ever see you again, I will not hesitate to kill you."

With that, Zuko shoved Jet away and said Freedom Fighter shot Zuko a glare, Katara a smirk, and walked away.

Shakily, Katara stood, brushing dirt off of her clothes.

"Um…thanks," she mumbled, a faint blush tainting her cheeks.

Zuko stepped towards Katara.

"This changes nothing."

"Changes nothing? If it weren't for you, I might as well kiss my life goodbye. He would have killed me when he was finished with me." She shuddered at the thought.

"You still have a chance to die, if you'd like," Zuko hissed, lighting a flame in his palm.

"Woah, woah, hold it, Zuko," Katara backed up. "I was just thanking you…that's all."

Zuko paused for a moment, blinked, then turned around and scoffed.

"Whatever." He began to walk away, but stopped, as if trying to make a decision.

Seeming to have chosen, he tossed something over his shoulder and resumed walking.

The object landed at Katara's feet, and she gasped softly when she realized it was her necklace.

She picked it up and stared at Zuko's back.

She smiled.

'Oh, this changes everything.'

Whew! Once I started, I couldn't stop!

If you guys want, I can expand this into a multi-chapter story.

No reviews necessary, I just like to get my work out there.