you never fell in love

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Her dress billows out at the waist, light blue, shimmery, satin. She hates it, wishes for something simple, something light, something warm, something red

Katara shakes her head. She won't go there, that taboo place, especially not on her wedding day. Their chance had come and gone, and neither had the courage to act on their obvious feelings for one another. Her heart drops as she remembers him sailing away from her, watching her from the back of his ship, hands clasped behind his back, crown on his head. She had watched him sail until he was just a speck in the distance, just a figment of her imagination. He had asked her to come with him, to be his Fire Lady, help him lead his Nation out of the darkness.

She had said no, Aang needed her more.

But now. Now she wasn't so sure. It occurs to her now, that maybe by saying no, she'd made the biggest mistake of her life. It's not that she doesn't love Aang, because she does, it's just that she doesn't love him the right way. The way she should love him. When she looks at Aang, she sees a brother, the scared little boy she'd pulled from the ice.

She doesn't see a husband, a lover, the would-be father of her children. It just never clicks like that for her.

Katara hangs her head. She's made her bed, and she supposes she has to lie in it now. She wipes at the tears welling in her eyes, and practices her happiest smile in the mirror. Her friends and family are waiting for her outside, waiting for her to say her vows to the world's savior.

But she can't. She can't say them and mean them. She can't be "till death do us part" with him.

She sinks into the chair she'd sat on earlier, presses her face into her hands, and dry sobs. She sucks in a ragged breath, looks back up into the mirror, and curses her smeared make up. The door to her room swishes open, and she growls, "Get out!" without turning to see who it is.

"You look terrible." a familiar voice states, a little amused.

Katara freezes, wipes a bit more at her eyes, and slowly turns. "Zuko?" she breathes, eyes wide.

He smiles a little at her. "I'm here to rescue you." he says. "Get out of that dress, and sail away with me." he tells her, voice raspy and masculine, music to her ears, just like it's always been. He holds his hand out to her.

She doesn't hesitate in taking it.

fin.