it's her essence that always catches him off guard
He's startled, and he's going to hiss about why she's still awake at this hour until he rotates his body the other direction to find her sleeping relentlessly on her sleeping bag. At first, he hadn't liked the idea of sharing a large tent with the whole gang, but he begins to think it wasn't such a bad idea after all.
She does strange things to his name, as if her soft, normal, feminine utterance was foreign to his ears. Usually all it had been was it wrapped in venom or slithered in sarcasm, particularly toward the prince only, but ever since she had forgiven him, things had taken a turn—or rather, a slight curve. But now she's dreaming, and she whispered his name so lustfully that he's taken quite off guard.
He likes the way she speaks, especially when she addresses him with such softness.
The firebender noted the way she licks her top lip first, then the bottom when she's occupied with something like bending, or cooking, lost in thought, or as of that moment, during her sleep. She'll lick her pretty pink lips right before she'll reply to whatever is distracting her, and he finds himself wondering if it weren't her own lips she'd been tasting.
They pucker in the beginning, the first syllable—and it almost looks like she's—
Then it circles, like she's sighing a kind of relief that he's oddly entranced by.
And when she says his name, he wants to hear it again and again and again, because he realizes he'll never get tired of her voice.
She plays with rain, fiddles at the seams, and envelopes her body in a silly splash that drowns her from head to toe, and he can't help but think she was completely and abnormally insane to the gut. With a movement of her wrists, the teen is no longer soaked and the water that had immensely suffocated through her clothes, sticking to her slender silhouette, surrounds her in a glassy crystalline state that guarded her from the rest of the precipitation and it's…it's—
He's automatically hit in the chest with a gut of water and in the midst of the night, and as she pivots her head in his direction, she shoots him her playful smirk and her condescending glare with those ice-like eyes.
"Has anyone ever told you it's not nice to stare?" she speaks with an irritable tone, which had transcended into normality (for him, at least).
He rolls his golden eyes and grimaces, his stubborn interior eager to release. "It's hard not to when the first thing you see when you need fresh air is some crazy ass girl drowning herself under a storm."
She drops the rest of the stiff liquid protection, ultimately allowing the water to pour down on her once more and she does nothing but shut her eyes and look upward toward the sky, which had been undeniably crying down on her.
(or irregularly sobbing)
Her long, chestnut hair clings to the arch of her back, and the sight practically captivates him.
Katara looks at him with friendly eyes, contrasting greatly with the glare that she had just shot at him only a few seconds ago—or had it been minutes—an hour, maybe?—had it really been that long? Time seemed to stop at the scene, working its way around counter-clockwise, or even taking the longest halt—motionless. Time is immovable with her, frozen, like her ice—or like him.
She flashes him a pearly smile and he's not sure what to do, nervously running his hand through his flimsy brown hair.
The poisonous look is back in her orbs with their deceitful shine. "A girl's got to practice too, y'know."
She takes a couple steps forward to him and his stance makes it obvious he's uneasy and confused whether she plans to bend at him again. She laughs for a bit, before she squeezes her hair, ignoring the use of her bending as her tresses drip along the ground under the shade they're both under.
"You better dry up, fire boy."
He's almost forgotten the fact she had drenched him. With a simple twist of her hand, the water absorbed in her attire is on the concrete, and she's simply dried before she steps back inside their hiding.
He wants her to stop teasing him.
No, not the kind of teasing where they both annoy the living hell out of each other and argue it out through tiny insults that surprisingly meant nothing to both of them if they actually gave it a thought or two, but definitely, always heated up the moment in ways that the duo were both left infuriated.
But, it isn't that. He could actually fathom that kind of teasing from her. But, but—the thing she does with her hair flipping and her lip biting and her absent pouts and her glimmering fluorescence that seems to dance off her aquatic seas of stares or gazes or hell, even in the daggers she glares—now that, he cannot deal with.
She's just so damn alluring with her sun kissed unblemished soft skin, which is pretty much revealed when they're at the beach doing Agni-knows-what the avatar thinks is 'having fun'. And he can't help but be indirectly seduced by the annoying, rude, bitchy, completely passionate, feisty—Agni, damn—where was he?
Katara unpins her hair from the clump on her head, letting it cascade along the brim of her shoulders and down to her waist, and he almost loses it.
She needs to stop.
He needs her to.
Just as the prince occupies himself on the sand with the opposing bender off his mind, she takes a seat beside him (and oh, the irony).
"So, I guess the beach just isn't your place?"
"Nothing's ever really my place."
She doesn't know what to say to that, and allows herself to lick at her lips before she starts a new conversation, when he intrudes with an abrupt demand that only makes her look at him stupidly.
The firebender storms off, and he can hear her and her stupid snickering as he trudges along the sand.
There's a day where she ignores him—or really, everyone.
No one mentions it, the silence.
Probably because her brother and the earthbender are at it again with their constant bickering and calling of names that no one has noticed it—or perhaps maybe they already knew, but no one cares to mention the absence of the waterbender that day. Zuko wants to ask, he does, but he doesn't find it in his strength to bring out the words because something tells him he really shouldn't.
Even Aang doesn't mutter a thing about it. In fact, he had been pretty gloomy, as well. He wonders if the whole crew was deprived of optimism that day, but he couldn't tell with Toph and Sokka because, well, they were Toph and Sokka.
When Zuko starts out to find Katara, the avatar replies meekly, "Don't, she wants to be alone."
"It's alright," he says in an indecipherable murmur. His tone is recognizable—sad, almost. He understands.
"Alright, Sifu Hotman," he responds almost happily, but it doesn't fool him, nor anyone else. "But I've tried cheering her up on this day before, and she only ignored me and told me to 'go away'."
The prince hears the hurt in Aang's rigid voice, but shakes it off and continues out.
Katara doesn't need cheering up, he knows that. Nothing would make her happy today, except the sound of her mother's voice.
He finds her sitting on the edge of a boulder, a river splashing at her bare feet. He doesn't utter her name, nor does she show any acknowledgement that he's plopped beside her on the moss covered stone. Her eyes don't even flicker from her reflection to his below them.
They stay like this for awhile—for what seems like hours this time, maybe even days. Time is different, but it never is normal when they're together.
She sits quietly and he waits. Patience isn't keen on him, but he's willing to wait because this time, it's exceptional—and they shared what was exceptional and—
The empathetic firebender doesn't expect anything from her, like a simple 'thanks' or questioning about how he deals with the day the person he's loved the most was taken from him. No, he doesn't expect her to talk at all, because he knows she understands why he's there. He understands better than anyone else—even more than her own brother.
But she does something that he'll never quite forget.
Katara looks at him with her eyebrows slowly tensing up, and she buries her face in his chest before she starts to cry, and he's taken aback for a split second before he wraps his arms around her weak frame.
And it's maybe the fact that they know everything will be okay, when things were most certainly not okay, that scares them both.
Zuko learns a lot about the waterbender (that undeniably loathed him for a certain time period). He learns about her, and he learns from her, and in turn, she learns as well.
He knows the little things, the small, little quirks she doesn't think anyone would have ever noticed, but he does, even if he never really wanted to learn them in the first place.
She's sour about these kinds of things.
She's only sweet on some occasions, but when she is, it's sweet enough to keep him hypnotized.
Katara has this power—this essence—that has that damned ability to always catch him off guard in either lust, desperation, or understanding or—everything, anything—and he's never thought that anything could be this beautiful.
Today, it's his turn. It's time for him to be shocking her, to electrify her, and he'll do it honorably—
Or maybe not honorably, but—it didn't matter—just, not with his bending.
He kisses her so simply, and damn, it startles her. He can tell in the way her eyes are piercing into his with sudden excitement, and her face is flustered and pink, exactly how he expects her to look until—
Her hand is in direct contact with his face as it claps a sound of thunder against one another, as if almost like an instinct—a reflex.
A stupid, little reflex; and he's caught off guard, again.
She laughs, embarrassed, and he decides he loves the sound of her laugh.
She whispers his name, pronouncing the two syllables slowly and evenly, her breath twirling on his lips, before she licks her own and embeds them together, while he plays with the ends of her hair behind her and the clock seems to stop, once again.
a/n: i really had nothing to do at 4am so viola, here. hope you guys like, and review please! :*