Calor, A Zutara Week 2013 Story
Title: Calor, A Zutara Week 2013 Story
Author: Eternity in Seconds
Rating: T
Genre: Humour/Romance
Words: 3,040
Pairings: Just look at the title…
Summary: All Katara wanted was to see Zuko again… Now, she's on the run with a shirtless Zuko, with Fangirls hot on her tail! Midsummer Nights are always fun!
Authors Note: Welcome to Day 1 of Zutara Week. I have decided that all these stories will be from Katara's POV (third person limited), except for two (tentatively). This is my FIRST Zutara Week, so if these stories are longer than normal, let me know! I am pretty chuffed to be able to be a part of Zutara Week this year, and look forward to creating something for each of the prompts. Hopefully, the time-zone difference thing doesn't get in the way!
Disclaimer: Bryke (Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko) and Nickelodeon own EVERYTHING. I may own the story herein this FanFiction and I may own some of the Original Characters, but the original idea belongs to them.


Playlist:
Wild, Jessie J
Teenage Crime, Adriana Lux


calor (noun): Spanish for heat


Calor

Katara couldn't decide what she hated more: the Fire Nation summer heat, or her brothers incessant, persistent whining about the Fire Nation summer heat. Either way, Katara was this close to throwing herself overboard so she can escape Sokka. And the heat. Both are wonderful ideas at present and will both provide something she needs: her sanity.

"I mean, seriously, what idiot thinks that this kind of hot is worth celebrating for a full week? A week?" Sokka rages, storming back and forth along the metal hull of the dignitary ship sent specifically to pick both of them up from the South Pole two weeks ago. "Why? I could crack an egg open right now – at this very second – I would have an overly done and burnt egg."

"Cheer up, Sokka," Aang chirps from under the shade of his sky bison, Appa, "at least it gives you the perfect opportunity and reason to go to the beach!"

Sokka's whole face transformed and he smiled almost diabolically, making Katara sigh in exasperation as she fanned herself with the complimentary silk fan. "Oh My APPA! AANG! You are a genius! The smartest man alive! Bikini's and girls and water and girls covered in water wearing bikini's…"

"Because just saying bikini didn't get the message across at all," she snarked, collapsing in a chair.

Katara resisted the urge to slap her own forehead as Sokka continued on with his description of why the beach was so awesome. Ever since he and Suki had officially – and permanently, this time – split up at the end of winter almost five months ago Sokka had been obsessing over girls and his architectural designs for the Southern water Tribe's new city. No matter how much Katara prodded and poked, both Sokka and Suki were staying tight lipped about the whole thing. In her last hawk-message from Suki, Katara had heard all about Suki's new boyfriend.

"And who thought that sending a metal heat-conduction cinder box as our official second annual Peace Summit craft was a good idea? Why is the hsip metal anyway? Metal sinks! Metal is hot! Metal is Metal!"

Katara snapped back to attention and saw Sokka in a heated argument with no one in particular. She turned to Aang and sent him a quizzical look, taking of the very thin travel cloak Sokka had forced her to wear. "Has the heat finally gotten to him?" Aang flushed and hurriedly flew away to play with Momo.

Alone, Katara decided to stop Sokka's hallucinations. "These ships were built during a war with the Fire Nation, Sokka. Sure, wood floats and is a much better material then metal, but it burns. In a war where the enemy have a relatively unlimited access to fire, it's a really stupid move to make ships of wood."

Sokka turned a flabbergasted expression in her direction. "You. Have. A. Tail… SEA WITCH!" Then he sprinted into his cabin and slammed the door shut.

xZxKx

"Announcing the arrival of the Avatar, Airbender Aang, General Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe and Master Waterbender Katara of the Southern Water Tribe!" The finely dressed announcer cried out to the gathered crowd. Katara smiled graciously as a few young girls shyly sprinted up and shoved a collection of Fire Nation flowers into her arms.

She looked up after they left; scanning the crowd for the face she had been dreaming about since leaving the Fire Nation two years ago. She had realised after Aang had kissed her, in Ba Sing Se, that she had feelings for Zuko. But then, he was back with Mai. Toph had told Katara that the two had broken up about a year ago, unfortunately, though; Katara had been stuck in the south since then.

Katara stood up gracefully and went on her tiptoes, scanning the crowd for a flash of Zuko's face. She found none. She did, however, see one very short earthbender. Luckily, Sokka had the same though. "Toph, what are you doing here? Where's the brilliant and magnanimous Firelord Zuko?"

Toph punched Sokka, making him stumble back, before snickering. "Wow, Sokka. It's really nice to see you too. I have been great, kicking some rouge Fire Nation booty with my boys and winning."

Sokka gave her a dry look. Toph sighed. "Firelord Sparky had to deal with a problem in Traders District. I will be your escort. Now, hurry up and get moving. Sparky promised that he would take me swimming later and if I miss it, I will personally rip out your small intestines through your larynx, comprendé?"

Katara blinked in surprise, taken aback by the rather techy conversation and Toph's immediate greeting. Sokka gulped and trotted back to the ship to get his belongings together. Aang sent Toph a concerned and confused look, activated his glider and disappeared after Sokka.

Katara stood awkwardly with Toph, toeing the ground and slowly sweating to death. Finally, Toph spoke. "Thank Agni. I was worried that they would never leave. Now, Sugar Queen, Sparky is actually in the Market Square. If you caught through the next alley on your right and then take you're second left, then the fourth left, you should find him."

Katara gaped at Toph, the heat stunting her brain processes. "What?" If she was being honest, she had lost all proper thought after Toph had said Sparky.

Toph grinned dangerously. "Look. You and I both know that you're heart starts up like a rabbiroo in heat whenever Sparky's within three hundred feet. Now." Toph earthbent a rock slab to slap Katara on the butt, causing her to stumble toward the blind girl. "You and I also know that you have been in love with Sparky since you came back from your little life-changing fieldtrip. So, I am giving you the opportunity to get some balls and man the hell up."

Katara blinked again. Then once more. Then she started sprinting. "Thank you Toph!" She called back as she sprinted around the alley corner.

Katara followed Toph's instructions and arrived at Market Square to find it in full out party mode. Banners, lights and ribbons hung from every surface, criss-crossing over the Square.

She turned down another lane and smashed into another running figure. She landed on top, straddling the innocent bystander, and started apologizing profusely. "I am so, so sorry! I should have been watching more closely! Oh my Tui, can you even hear me? Did you hit your head? Please, whatever you do, don't go into the light!"

She heard a throaty, scratchy chuckle, felt it reverberate through her body. "Nice to see you too, Katara."

Katara's heart was about to collapse from exhaustion. "Zuko?"

He looked so different, but still seemed the same. His jaw and face were more defined and pronounced, all baby softness gone, replaced by aristocratic angles and cheekbones. His jaw was strong, half his hair pulled back while the rest fell around his shoulders. She felt lean iron muscle coil beneath her legs and body.

Nineteen had never looked so good on a person. Zuko was all grown up and she was never going to get over him.

She shifted from her perch on his stomach and heard him hiss as she brushed against his groin. "Katara… get up… right now… please."

She jumped up, blushing furiously and watch as he moved his hands to rest palm down beside his head He rocked back and flung himself upwards, landing in a low crouch. He dusted off his maroon clothes.

"Zuko, why where you running?"

Zuko turned, heading towards the end of the lane, his duo blades secure on his back. "No reason." He replied lightly. Katara watched him, loving the fact that he looked so relaxed. His shirt was partly opening, revealing the top edge of his lightning scar (and his six-pack, washboard abs) and his hair was half out of its top knot. His breathing was slightly laboured like he had been running or exercising for a very long time and the sound set shivers down Katara's spine and put very sinister scenes into her mind.

She struggled for a moment before regaining her breathing and tried to school her face into a natural, I-was-not-just-thinking-about-you-kissing-me-every where expression.

"Let's go." He mumbled, turning around and trying to hide the pink that was travelling along his pale cheek. Katara noticed and wondered what was wrong with him. They were just passing the gate when a cry of what might have been harmonized voices echoed from the surrounding trees and mist.

"FIRELORD ZZZZUUUUUUKKKKKKOOOOOOOOO!" the voices sang. A group of girls walked out of the mist slowly, and it would have been impressive if it wasn't so bloody cliché.

Katara blinked back at them, seeing only their elaborate and revealing dressed and robes and trying to discern the sheer number of them. She counted quickly while Zuko straightened in front of her, no longer threatened, but his posture hinting at something more panicked.

Seventeen? Katara's eyes widened in alarm as she watched their clichéd approach. Why are they all female?

The girls promptly fell into formation, the mist swirling dramatically around their ankles. Zuko took a hesitant step back, his fingers inching towards the handles of his blade, Katara wondered why he didn't just light up. Zuko took another step back, revealing Katara behind him, looking curiously at the girl's odd expressions of determination.

"Ah… Zuko..?" Katara stuttered, completely baffled and confused, as the alarmed and morbid feeling in her gut progressed to a very, very bad and fearful feeling in her gut, heart and mind.

The girls' focused rapidly on Katara, zeroing in on their target like wolf-lions, their eyes locating their next target with predatory efficiency.

Katara followed Zuko's example and took a surprised step back, blinking rapidly at their narrowed eyes.

"Just a question Zuko…"

It was two seconds flat that it took for the girls to surround them both, easily manipulating the space to their advantage like they had planned it.

"Who are you?" One of the girls snapped, taking a threatening step forward. The waterbender blinked again, rubbing her hip where her empty water pouch rested teasingly close. Why did it have to be so hot?

"Me? I'm just-" she began, feeling the heat as it sunk under her skin, feeding her already frazzled temper and disposition. A group of five came forward, easily walking between Zuko and Katara, shoving Katara away for good measure and creating distance between the two.

"Hey, sweetie." One of the girls started, walking forward towards the Firelord. He took a step back for each of her steps forward until his back was to the wall. "I don't like your girlfriend." She smirked, leaning in close, making his eyes widen in surprise despite himself. "I think you need a new one."

"I could be your girlfriend!" A dozen different voices shouted suddenly.

It hit Katara like one of Toph's rocks. They thought she was with Zuko. Katara shook with feeling (She allowed herself a moment to swoon and cheer like Ty Lee) before settling herself down. Then, she heard the girl dressed in the tea rag.

"Why would you want that, my Firelord, when you could have me? She's a peasant with no breeding and stupid! But don't worry. I'll help you break whatever savage spell she had you under!"

"I'm not a peasant!" Katara breathed slowly, rising up and moving towards the female that had Zuko pinned against the wall. Katara knew that Zuko wouldn't ever go against these girls. They were his people and they were female.

Then, Katara felt the pull of the water and smirked. The silence that met her ears was good as she pulled the water towards her, bending it effortlessly. It was so satisfying. There was an instant addiction to that silence.

Slowly she breathed in, lowering herself into a fighting stance. "There's no way…" She smiled at them, flicking the water whip threatingly, "that you'll win."

Zuko shifted, managing to shove the girl out of the way and let loose a quick, warning burst of fire from his mouth. The girls shrieked, momentarily distracted, and Katara pounced on the weakness.

"He'd never go for someone like you."

"You're a sneaky little slut who has used her savage witchery. That's why he-"

Katara didn't give them another moment to talk, ignoring their voices she shot forward, her water whip trailing behind her, glistening and shining in the suns setting light. Spinning around she connected rapidly with the first dozen girls, easily knocking them fault.

Breathing in slowly still to control her feelings, she spun around to face Zuko. They exchanged a silent conversation with their eyes and ran.

xZxKx

"Hey Zuko, I have a question," Katara started innocently as they screamed around another sharp bend. "Who were they and why did they want to kill you?"

"That was my official fan club," Zuko winced, trying hard not to turn as red as she did when she was embarrassed. Katara noticed and realised that he was utterly ashamed. "And they don't want me dead. They want me for… other, less fun things."

"Death is fun?"

"Absolutely."

Katara felt another vindictive smirk tugging at her lips and a laugh rising in her throat, but she contained it, trying not to focus on the way her hand felt in his as he led her through the labyrinthine streets of the capital. Zuko was actually explaining what they ran by as he led her, pointing out historic residences and heritage sites. Katara privately wondered if this would be considered a date.

Zuko stopped them, gesturing with his hand in the universal wait sign. A procession of performers and acrobats was making their way up the street; fire benders performing intricate tricks that made Katara feel young again. In their dark little lane, Katara decided to ask the question that was burning inside her.

"Why?"

"Why what?" Zuko asked distractedly as he moved himself beside her, pressing against her unintentionally. Katara felt herself flush as the small lane became even smaller.

"Why are they like… that."

"Midsummer heat can get to a person. Especially a fire bender. Today is the longest day of the year and it has been the hottest on record for years. All these things are like drugs to fire benders. You just… act. You are blinded by the passion."

"You seem fine."

Zuko looked down at her; an arm pressed against the brick above her head while the other one was held stiffly by his side, and gave her a burning look. "Don't let appearances deceive you." Katara felt her stomach churn as her heart grew butterfly wings. Her heart pounded erratically against the cage of her chest, and she wanted to cover the bare inch that separated her face from his…

"There they are!"

Startled out of her decidedly euphoric thoughts, Katara tightened her hold on Zuko's hand, letting out a shriek. Zuko tightened his grasp in response and spun them around, dragging her behind him.

"Run!"

Finally they burst out of the shaded streets and into the dying light of the sun. They were on a completely crowded beach, fires dotting the sandy ground as a band played hypnotic songs from a gazebo. Couples danced and ground against each other, lost in the heat and Fire Nation sweet wine.

Zuko pulled her along to a series of tents and shoved her into one. Next, he chucked a skimpy white thing at her after he blindly and unthinkingly stole it from a nice looking girl. "Put this on."

Katara blinked, but did what he said. It was a bikini. The top was barely two triangles held together by flimsy, thin back strings and halter strings. The bottoms were just as bad. She saw a thin white, semi-transparent scarf discarded at the bottom of her changing tent and tied it around her hips.

Zuko was waiting for her. Without a shirt.

Katara felt her throat grow dry and blamed it on the heat. "Come on," Zuko finally said after staring at her intently for a long, joyous moment. He took her hand gently and led her through the crowd. The song changed and they were smothered by couples, swaying with no real direction to the lyrics of the Fire Nation woman.

Katara stuck out like a sore thumb, her dark skin and white bikini like a flame in the dark. She noticed quite a few Fire Nation boys staring; their eyes hooded, and curled up against Zuko's side. His eyes flickered down and saw where she was staring and narrowed dangerously. One of the boys started, seeing the scar and backed away, whispering to a separate group of boys and girls, who in turn turned to look.

Zuko bought her close, taking her arms and winding them around his neck. "Dance with me," He murmured against her neck, his breath hot and heated. Katara could only nod wordlessly as she fell into step. She felt all their eyes on her, heard the whispering like a hum around her.

The boys continued staring and the fangirls searched the crowd. Katara felt her gut clench, waiting for that one citizen to cry out or make everyone else aware of their Firelord's presence, when she felt Zuko's lips press against hers. All dark thoughts slipped away and the heat consumed her.

She eagerly reciprocated the kiss, hungrily kissing him as her arms tightened around his neck possessively. She vaguely comprehended the crowd moving away from them, forming a circle and falling silent.

He broke the kiss.

"What?" She tried to demand, failing when she realised her voice was more of a husky breathe.

He bent down and she felt his breath against the shell of her ear. "Midsummer is also the night of lovers and dreamers. It's been my dream to do that too you for far too long, love. I couldn't watch you leave again without knowing if you…" He pulled away and smiled roguishly. "And if I'm going to die at the hands of my fangirls, I wanted to make sure the top thing on my bucket list was checked off."

Katara felt her face split in two. "I'm not going anywhere." And she kissed him again.


A/N: Well...

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So... what do you people think of the interesting shenanigan that is Calor? I don't know where I was going with this when I started, I still don't know, but I really don't care. I like it, so TOUGH TITTIES! I really wanted some Toph and Sokka craziness, so I chucked them in with no cares in the world. I hope everyone is in character (but I doubt it). And I hope you enjoyed the wild ride! Next up, tune in tomorrow for EUPHORIA!

Check out my DeviantArt page (EternityInSec) for some of my original poetry!

READ AND REVIEW (PLEASE!)

- EIS