AN:A super short one for day two of Zutara Week. I hope you all like it! :)
Disclaimer:I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender. Nick does, but if I did, Zutara would have been cannon from season two.
Out of every second he had ever lived, the moment he saw her face would always stand out as the greatest of them all.
It had barely been a glance, a single look as he tried to pick out the features that didn't belong amongst the peasants his search had taken him to. He had seen many pictures of the Air Nomads that had been wiped out nearly a century ago, had studied them during his time as an exile, and so he had been sure that he could have picked out the minute differences that would have set the man he was looking for apart from the crowd he hid in. So intent was he in his search that he almost, almost, missed her.
But the moment their eyes locked, both furious-he at his seeming failure, her at the intrusion into their lives- his heart seemed to flip in his chest and stop him dead.
It was the blue, he would later explain to himself, shaking off the feeling in the solitude of his cabin. Although blue was common enough amongst those who lived outside of the Fire Nation, never before had he seen a shade so brilliant outside of paintings of the spirits. It had startled him, that was all, and that was the only reason he had stopped to stare at her for so long. It was the exact same reason that he had lost his battle against her, her brother, and the Avatar earlier that afternoon, for finding himself facing those eyes in battle had made him lose his concentration and had allowed them to escape.
But it wouldn't happen again.
Now that he had seen her as an enemy, someone who he had to fight no matter how beautiful their eyes looked, he would perform his duty and regain his honor. Now that he was prepared, he wouldn't fall captive to her spell again.
But little did Zuko know that, in the single moment that had passed as he looked into the peasant Katara's eyes, he had just seen the eyes that would continue to haunt him for years, mocking and admiring him in equal measures as he worked to become the man he had always been destined to be. Little did he know that, one day, he would wake up to those eyes looking back at him in the dawn of the early morning, sleepy and shining with love that his own would gladly reflect. Little did he know that they would multiply and become the color that he saw each day as he played with his children, the harsh amber of his own replaced in the royal family with that clear, crystal blue. Little did he know that those eyes would become everything to him, that his world would eventually come to revolve around them, and that he would spend the rest of his days seeking any chance to look into them once again.
At the time, Zuko knew none of this. All that he knew was that he had seen a young girl with blue eyes who was his enemy, and the next time they fought, he would have to face them once again. But in that moment, his heart had know, and it would be because of his heart that, eventually, he would join her and her friends to save the world.
All because of a moment.