He could still feel the lightning coursing through his veins, hot as ice, crisp as yesterday.
But it wasn't. It had been ten years. And somehow every time he looked at her it was all he thought of. Not the caverns beneath Ba Sing Se and her hand on his cheek, not the tears when she was so close to ending Yon Rha, slivers of ice so close to making that a reality.
Not any of that, but only her out of the corner of his eye, the slight change in aim of his sister's fingers, the bright flash…and then the adrenaline and numbing pain. Her looming over him, so close, so terrified, before configuring that fear into something greater.
That was the Katara he knew. Something fierce, something at the edge of determination. When fire was born in her waterbender's eyes.
Zuko looked pensively out the window at the flashes of lightning against the dark clouds and thought of her. It wasn't often that it rained in fire country, but when it did, he could swear that she was in the storm.
It was then that his eyes turned to the far away coast to the boat that had been docked for some time, and turned, knowing. It was time.
And unfailingly she was there, dry as if the rain had not touched her—which it probably hadn't. It never did. "Fire Lord," she said, bowing deeply, as he turned around to face her.
Always so formal. Somehow, despite the storm, there was still so much distance. A smile tugged at his lips, wistful.
She looked up, all nostalgia and deep blue. "Zuko."
notes: been thinking about reposting this here for a while, now. decided to do so, today. review?