AN: For some reason, whenever I think of the word 'whimsical,' a feather always comes to mind. So, this is the result. I hope you all like my Zutara Week Day Four story! :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender. Nick does. Sadness. :(
Breathe in...breathe out.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Zuko could feel the tensions of the day flowing from him with every breath he took, leaving behind the calm emptiness his uncle had tried so hard to teach him to find. It had taken him a long time to gain this ability, to reach this state on command instead of having to be led to it, and even now his hold over it was still precarious. Forcing himself to focus on the last warm rays that fell from the sun, it was with another deep breath that he prepared himself to reach that ever so hard sought after state of mind.
Breathe in...concentrate, for the slightest of interruptions would destroy everything he had been working towards for the last half hour...and breath ou-
"No, come back!"
Growling under his breath, it was with an angry sigh that Zuko allowed his hard earned peace to fall apart, leaving him no more relaxed then he had been when he had first started his meditation. Reaching up to rub the knot that was still present in the back of his neck, it was with an annoyed glare that he turned to stare at the source of his interruption, eyes narrowed as he looked for his prey.
Following the sounds of girlish giggles, it was with raised eyebrows that Zuko found his target: Katara.
Surprisingly for the waterbender, at least considering the last few days, it seemed as if she was free of the many domestic chores that had been consuming her time, allowing for a moment of pleasure that was so hard won for the girl. Not surprisingly, it was clear from her antics that the young woman was taking full advantage of her time outside of their kitchen area, using her unique skills to please herself instead of others. What did, however, both astonish and slightly concern the Fire Price was the fact that, seemingly unaware of her surroundings, Katara had unknowingly interrupted his meditation all for the sake of a feather.
"Come back here you," Katara muttered just loud enough for him to hear as she flicked her whip of water towards the brightly colored plume, catching it just it time to keep it from falling off the side of the cliff. Her smile widening as a draft of wind sent it fluttering back towards the inner sanctuary of the temple, it was with a crow of joy that she took off after it, water trailing behind her as she continued her pursuit.
Now he was interested.
Pushing himself to his feet, Zuko quickly began to follow Katara down the hall, his ears pricked for the sounds of her footsteps and laughter. Eventually finding his way into one of the inner courtyards that opened to the sky above, it was while hidden in the shadows behind one of the pillars that he continued his silent observation of the woman he had decided to follow.
Something about this side of her, this playful visual, that drew him.
"Oh no you don't. Not this time," Katara playfully growled as she used her waterbending powers to herd the feather closer towards the center of the room, her whip whirling in a hundred directions to keep it moving in the correct direction. Her eyes gleaming with delight as it came to float right over her head, it was with a hesitant hand that she slowly inched towards it, her other drawing the patterns that kept her waterbending in tact. Her bottom lip slightly pulled between her teeth, it was with a cry of excitement that her hand darted forward, fingers closing around her prize even as her water whip fell to the floor, abandoned for her prey.
"Aww man." Sighing from frustration, Katara huffed angrily as she reformed her whip, her eyes darting across the room as she researched for her plaything. Finding that the air and floor around her was empty of the coveted piece of fluffy, it was with a disappointed frown that her arms fell by her side, allowing the water to fall once again with a splash.
"Looking for this?"
"Zuko," Katara exclaimed from surprise as she twirled on her heel, her eyes widening even as a blush spread across her cheeks. "Wh-what are you doing here?"
"I asked," Zuko said slowly, his hand raising itself so that his own prize could clearly be seen, "if this is what you were looking for." Twirling the feather that luck and a gust of wind had brought into his grasp, his own smile grew as the desire sprang up in her eyes even as they fixed upon the fluff. "I was watching, you know," he continued with a shrug, his smirk growing at the sight of her deepening blush. "Watching you play. And while I was watching, I couldn't help but think that it...looked kind of fun." His smirk transforming into an honest smile, Zuko carefully heated his breath before blowing on the feather, sending it racing towards her on a current of heated air.
Letting a laugh of his own fall from his lips, it was with that deed that Zuko started off another round of 'catch the feather,' both bender using their abilities to their advantage as they tried to capture the floating bit of fluff before the other. With each catch that was completed, it was only moments before the game was restarted, the two teens passing the afternoon in companionable play.
By the time night fell, neither could tell who had won the game overall, but with the feather safely tucked away in his pocket and Katara's challenge still clear within his mind, Zuko knew that it would continue for a long, long time. And really, who needed meditation when they could just be whimsical?