her life is all about trusting boys who shouldn't be trusted
and how they always end up making her love them
"Everything's all set," he smiles, and she melts into putty that he can shift into whatever he likes. He's got her in the palm of his hands and he knows it. He enjoys it.
She's young and impressionable and convinced that she's in love with this pretty, pretty boy. He speaks loudly of freedom and justice. If only she'd take the time to really, really listen she would have detected the cold demeanour underlying just below the surface. It would save her a whole lot of heartache.
"Great," she chirps happily because she thinks it's for good and he's giving her that grin that makes her heartbeat incredibly fast. "S-So," she stumbles on her words because he's made her into a complete fool. "Um - "
Before she can ask too many complicated questions, he grabs her by the hand, causing her dark skin to flush wildly. "Wha -"
He silences her with a crooked smile that promises nothing but trouble. "Do you trust me?"
"Of course," she says, cerulean eyes innocent and wide, and she truly does.
And she learns a lot from this boy. She learns that trust should be something earned and not given to the sly boys with nice smiles and big promises. She learns that she needs to be a bit smarter and less naive. Oh, yes. Jet has taught her a lot and she hates him for it.
He also teaches her forgiveness. Her heart's cracking inside her chest as she watches the life drain out of him slowly, and knows there's nothing more she can do. He still has a nice smile and he still has her wrapped around his fingers and he still knows it.
"Katara," he says hoarsely, meeting her eyes, his lips tucked upwards in that familar grin.
But it's broken. It's all shattered and torn and ripped somehow. She knows that he's going to die and she doesn't want him to, despite everything. She wants him to live so they can maybe try again. Maybe everything can be good for them.
"I'm going to heal you," her voice quivers but her eyes have never looked so determined. She reaches out her palm over his chest but he grips it into his own and smiles sadly.
"I'm going to die."
"No you're not," she says shakily. "I'm going to fix you."
"I am. I'm going to save you."
His grip on her hand tightens ever so slightly. "Katara, it's okay. I..." He shuts his eyes and he looks so saddened that she'd do anything for him in that moment. Jet opens his eyes again and stares up at her. "I'm going to be alright."
"Let me heal you."
"Damn it, Jet," she curses, "You can't die! I won't let you."
"I - "
His lips twitch, and his entire body cringes for a few moments, but his hand never leaves hers. "I liked you too, you know. I know you probably don't believe me," he swallows. "But I liked you a lot."
Katara fights back tears, willing herself to at least appear strong. "Please...Just let me try."
"I think I'm supposed to - "
"Don't!" She shouts angrily, tears welling up in her eyes, and stray droplets spilling freely down her cheeks. "Don't you dare say you are meant to die! Don't!" And she rips her hand from his grip and instead focuses on healing him.
He grimaces, as though it pains him to see her even try. "Katara, I'll be fine."
"Shut up," she says softly. Though she's frightened that the glow of her hands isn't doing much for his injuries and she's terrified he's going to die and she's going to watch his life disappear. She doesn't want to do that. "I can't watch you die," she whispers mostly to herself, but he hears her anyway.
"What?" Her eyes snap to his face and she feels as though she's been slapped. "I'm not going to leave you." She's still trying her best to heal him even though a part of her know it's hopeless.
"Katara, go. Leave me. I'll be alright."
He grants her a weary and spiritless smile. "Please, Katara."
"I hate you." She doesn't mean it, of course. She's fairly convinced that she loves him because the thought of losing him is scaring her more by the minute.
"I like you too." He says because he understands that she can't quite say it. That he's hurt her in the past, and regardless of what he's done, that will never be erased completely.
She leaves eventually and never has to watch him die. It's almost worse this way, she allows herself to think sometimes.
Katara can practically hear her heart breaking to bits when she realises that they've both lost their mothers to the Fire Nation. She shuts her eyes and takes a moment to swallow her pride. She knows it's wrong to feel sympathy for someone who has gone so far out of their way just to cause everyone she cares for harm. But she's Katara and she's always been capable of caring for anyone.
So when he doesn't flinch away as she touches his scar, she trusts that he's changed, that everything from hereon is bound to be different. He's on their side indefnitely.
But then he betrays her and Aang's dead and she's never felt so much hate before in her life.
He's taught her that being soft will get you nowhere. It's time for her to grow up.
Then he nearly dies and she has a panic attack and everyone thinks she's slowly going insane. And this story is so similar to the last that it's almost laughable, except she can feel her mind slowly slipping away with each day he stays asleep, and that's the only thing she really knows.
She doesn't leave his bedside. Sokka brings her meals to her and she only eats when she feels necessary. She's always got a pitcher of water by her side in case she needs to keep him from dying because he cannot die too.
It stays this way for a week or two, she's lost count, until his eyes finally crack open. She's half conscious in her chair and he's confused. "K-Katara?"
Her body spasms in the chair and then she's fully awake. Her eyes that have darkened from lack of sleep widen and brighten considerably. She's sure that her hair is a mess of tangled knots and that she's got hundreds of bags under her eyes but he still looks at her as though she's the best thing he's ever seen.
"You're awake," she smiles widely.
"A - Azula," his golden eyes widen, "What happened?"
Katara bites her lip and throws him a sidelong glance. "She's locked away for now. I suppose everyone was waiting for you to... Um."
He gets it. "My father?"
"Aang took his bending away."
Zuko lets out a breath as though he'd been holding it for a while before turning to Katara, "And you? You don't look so great."
"I wasn't hit by lightning."
"Katara," he says almost exasperatedly.
She ignores this pointedly. "Does anything hurt? The nurses have banaged most of the damage but I could probably heal you if something's bothering you."
"I feel fine," he persists, and then regards her with suspicion. "How long have you been here?"
He doesn't look appeased, but before he can argue, the doors to his bedroom are thrown open and in waltzes Sokka with Katara's breakfast.
His blue eyes widen when they catch sight of an awakened Zuko, "Hey, you're awake!" He nearly drops the tray in suprise. Katara rolls her eyes and grabs it from him. "How you feeling?"
"Okay, considering," Zuko replies dryly.
"I need to go wash up," Katara says through a mouthful of a biscuit. She smiles warmly at Zuko before rushing out of the bedroom and a hysterical laugh resounds in the spacious hallways, sounding ridiculously joyful.
Sokka looks as though he wants to say something.
"What?" Zuko asks, still staring at the now vacant seat at his bedside.
"She never left you know."
"I figured," Zuko admits, "But why?"
Sokka offers him a grim smile. "Tell me you wouldn't have done the same."
A/N: I'm a bit rusty. Haven't written in what seems like forever, not to mention this is a whole new fandom for me, haha. I've been meaning to write for Avatar for a while but never had the right idea. This seemed as good as anything, I suppose.
Let me know if you'd like more, or if not. I know it's definitely not the best but I really tried with this one. Thanks for reading and as always, enjoy!