As They Watched…

Chapter 1: The Merchant

"No, we don't need any more Elephant Seal Jerky. You and Sokka will just have to do without it for the next week."

"I told Sokka I'd get him some, so I will."

"You think you can just drop that kind of money for something you and Sokka finish in minutes?"

"You eat the jerky also, and seem to enjoy it." The scarred man smirked as he poked the tanned beauty in her stomach.

The merchant watched the pair playfully bicker back and forth over the need of Elephant Seal Jerky.

What a handsome couple he mused to himself.

"Well Miss, how about I make a deal for you and your boyfriend?"

"Excuse me?" Katara stammered, blushing.

"What did you have in mind?" Zuko confidently inquired.

"For every three Papayas you buy I'll give you half off a quarter bag of jerky."

Zuko stood considering the deal; he smirked as he saw Katara's pouting lower lip.

"Make it Mangos and you got yourself a deal." Katara suppressed a full on grin at the fact that Zuko remembered her full on contempt of Papayas.

"Deal" The merchant continued watching as they picked through the Mangos. Laughing, hands touching, cheeks flushing. He watched the young man's golden eyes protectively watch the tan woman as she inspected Mangos for buying.

He watched said woman brush raven hair out of the young man's eyes, momentarily caressing the scar that covered his face. He watched how he melted into her hand, closing his eyes and seemingly finding relief in her touch.

He watched as the young man carefully packed everything into his knapsack so that his companion needn't carry anything. Again he watched them playfully bicker over who was carrying the supplies and continued observing as they silently came to and agreement with their eyes.

After they'd paid and thanked him, the merchant watched as the two headed back, hands intertwined, smiles radiating happiness even as they moved further from his stand, the merchant watched as love blossomed amidst war.