- Created By cherrichan13
Vision through a pair of eyes is overrated.
Looks, reading…pfff, who needs ’em?
I do just fine without it. Because I’ve learned to take what I have and use it to make my own success.
This is my world. And in my world, everyone can dance.
I’m not talking tutus and frills and the delicate little hops and steps that I’m sure Sugar Queen enjoys so much. Nuh-uh. I’m talking the grueling, vicious, bloodthirsty movements of a good fight, whether it’s practice or it’s real.
Twinkletoes was never good competition when we were practicing, and neither was Sugar Queen. They were both too nice. But there was something about fighting Snoozles that I never got sick of.
I think it was because he never held back; I scared the crap out of him, and that made him think he needed to try harder. How he ever even got close to me when we practiced was beyond me. I always knew where he was; the earth never lied. And yet he always found a way to surprise me, he always did something other than what I thought he would do. I learned to deal with it. I became used to the unexpected, being able to fend him off from any direction he came from.
But when Snoozles told me he loved me…I didn’t expect that. So I did the only thing I could do.
I kneed him and said, I love you too, moron.
Last day of Zutara Week 2009, guys! I really enjoyed it. The prompt today was lick, and when I couldn't come up with anything good, I found THIS definition:
"Last licks: a final turn or opportunity"
So I came up with this. Hope you like it.
This is it. My last chance.
It seemed to Zuko like he was usually stuck in this position. In a position where he’d done everything wrong, and now he only had one chance to make it right.
Flames licked out of the bonfire and around Katara’s cooking pot, which Zuko was supposed to be watching. He stared into the fire, still amazed by all the colors…all the life…he could see since he and Aang had gone to see the dragons. He stared deeper, and swore he saw the exact shade of her eyes there.
The quiet, nervous chatter of the Gaang drifted in and out of his ears without processing. His palms were slick with sweat. This was the last night the Gaang had together before the Final Battle. No one knew what was going to happen. Zuko wasn’t sure he was ready to face Azula himself.
Katara was especially quiet today, no doubt worrying about everyone except herself. Which didn’t surprise him at all; she thought of everyone here as someone she needed to nurture. They were all too young to have this kind of weight on their shoulders, so Katara tried to wield it all for them.
“Zuko?” Katara’s quiet voice broke through his thoughts. “Is the soup ready?” The dark circles under her eyes stood pronounced on her caramel skin in the firelight.
“Almost,” he sighed. Wordlessly, Katara sank to the ground next to him, her arms holding her knees to her chest. Zuko gulped. Now or never.
“Are you ready?” Katara asked, almost in a whisper. “Are you ready to take on Azula?”
Inwardly, Zuko shuddered. That was the last thing he wanted to think about now, he wasn’t sure he could take on Azula by himself. But then a thought struck him; he wasn’t going to be by himself. “We can handle her…together. As long as it’s you and me, Katara.” A small grin pulled at the corners of his mouth. You and me.
A small spark of hope lit up Katara’s eyes. “You really think so?” she asked, brightening. Zuko was glad to be able to give her some good news, brighten her mood just a little bit.
“I really do,” he said, letting his smile grow a little bigger.
And then she smiled.
It was as if the whole world was a little brighter, a little more hopeful. The rest of the Gaang relaxed a little bit, without even noticing. The affect Katara had over all of them…over Zuko…was amazing.
Zuko gulped, his heart fluttering in his chest. Now or never…
“Katara, I…I love you.”
His heart stopped beating.
Hers beat twice as fast, as though it could beat for the both of them. She let the rhythm of her heartbeat pour through her hands, pour through the water that so lovingly devoured the lightening inside his body.
Her own ragged breathing matched the frantic tempo beat out by her heart. Azula’s maniacal laughter cut through the sound, off key as she shrieked in some sort of twisted joy at the death of her brother. But Katara didn’t notice. It was only sound. There was no music. The only real music she could make now was with her hands. If she could bring her reason to live back to life.
And slowly there came another beat. A little stuttery at first, then steadier, faster until it beat frantically, matching pace with her own.
And suddenly he was in front of her, his hands in her hair, the shot of lightening he had taken to save her life already a distant memory, only a scar.
And then his lips were on hers and she stopped breathing. All she could hear now was the steady tattooing rhythm of their hearts, and the music was back.
The sparks flew higher as Zuko let a little more of the wild energy pulse through his hands.
He felt his heart beat faster as a thrill of fear raced through him. He could never forget how dangerous the fire was. He had the scar to prove it.
Bu the power was intoxicating.
“Zuko?” The flames went out at once.
Katara stepped soundlessly out of the nighttime shadows, a steaming bowl cupped between her hands. “You’ve been out here practicing for a while. I thought you’d want some dinner.” She held the bowl out to him.
Zuko silently reached out to take it, and their fingers brushed. A shudder ran up his spine. Katara was more like the fire he loved so dearly than she realized.
“Thanks,” he said gruffly. She smiled before turning back to the trees, towards the direction of camp.
“You’re welcome, Zuko.”
Zuko’s heart jumped into his throat as he watched her leave. Too soon. “Katara…wait.”
Katara turned back to him, her voice cool and steady. “Yes, Zuko?” Her eyes shining with warmth. Warmth and…something else.
“C’mere…I want to show you something.” Zuko placed his dinner gently at the edge of the clearing before moving to the center. “I know that, even though I helped you avenge your mother, you’re still a little wary of me. But I want to show you that fire isn’t always bad.”
Katara opened her mouth to object, but seemingly thought better of it. She stepped closer to Zuko until they were separated by barely a foot. “Prove to me that fire is a good thing, Zuko.” Her arms were crossed defiantly, but her eyes were pleading.
For a moment, Zuko didn’t move, fighting the urge to close the distance between them. He breathed in deeply, and immediately wished he hadn’t. Her smell was intoxicating.
He closed his eyes, letting the fire trickle through his veins, gently at first. It ebbed from his heart down his arms and into his hands, down his legs and into his feet. Faster, faster.
He opened his eyes, and everything was darker. He was glowing. The only thing he could see were Katara’s eyes, wide with wonder.
And then they came. Only one at first, a little beacon lighting the darkness of the distant trees around them. Then another, and another. The fireflies drunkenly weaved their way towards Zuko, drawn by his light. One by one, they landed softly on his shoulders and in his hair.
“W…wow,” was all Katara managed to gasp out. She reached up to place her quivering fingers next to his shoulder, letting one of the bright little bugs perch there tentatively.
“See?” Zuko said. “Fire isn’t just destruction. It’s light. It’s life.”
“I had no idea that fire could be so positive. All I‘ve ever seen is the destruction,” Katara breathed. She turned her eyes up towards Zuko. “It’s amazing. You’re amazing, Zuko.”
Zuko gulped. He wasn’t used to this much positive attention from Katara. But he loved every minute of it.
“Just drink it, Zuko.”
“Sokka. I don’t trust you.”
Sokka grinned widely. “Dude. What’s not to trust? It’s just some soup. Katara asked me to bring it over here, because you hadn’t come back for dinner and she was worried about you…or something like that. I stopped listening after a while.”
Zuko shot Sokka a look, but took the cup anyway, letting the soup burn down his throat, warm and…acidic. Still good…as it seemed Katara’s cooking always was…but more acidic than usual. “Hmmm,” Zuko muttered. He stirred the bowl in one hand, his brows furrowed. Sokka burst out laughing.
Zuko immediately regretted drinking the soup. Oh, God. What did Sokka do?!
A few minutes later, Zuko didn’t particularly care what Sokka had done. Because this soup of Katara’s was LUUUUUUURVE.
“Oh, I luuurve you, you pretty soup,” he crooned, holding the long empty bowl. “But I would be hap…hic…happier if I had MORE of you…let’s go beg the lurverly goddess for some more!” Zuko bounded up from the rock he was sitting on, settin off in the direction of the camp.
“Skip! Skip! SKIP!” Zuko screamed, skipping joyfully. After a few feet, however, he tripped over his own foot and ended up with a face full of dirt. He realized skipping wasn’t working well for him.
“Aww, I loved skipping,” he whined, unnoticed tears pricking at his eyes as he got out of the dirt. But then an idea struck him. “Well then…I’ll just DANCE!”
Ten minutes later, Sokka couldn’t breathe. He had never laughed so hard in his life as when he watched Zuko come into the camp doing some freaky version of the MOONWALK.
The moonwalk is really fun, Zuko realized as he danced his way into camp. I should have tried this ages ago. He spotted Katara, who was staring at him with a look of absolute horror on her face. “Oh, Katara! Soup Goddess KATARA! I’ve come to SEE you!” He sang loudly, his own voice wailing in his ears.
Katara took a tentative step towards him, her eyes wide. “…Zuko? What’s…what’s wrong with you?”
“WRONG with me? Why, I have never felt better in my LIFE, Goddess Katara! And it’s all thanks to you and your lurverly soup!” Zuko cackled maniacally, eyes bulging from their sockets. “It was LURVERLY, I tell you, just like YOU, Goddess Katara! I think we should have more! More! MORE!” And then Zuko’s knees wobbled and he fell to the ground, still chanting for more soup.
Sokka pounded a fist against his knee, knives of laughter digging into his stomach. Toph laughed loudly next to him. This was priceless.
Katara rushed forward, dragging Zuko off the ground and pulling his am around her shoulders, shooting a dark glance at Sokka. “No, no, I think you’ve had enough. Let’s get you off to bed, Zuko, so I can yell at Sokka.”
“Zuko, still half slumped over, looked up at Katara as she dragged him away, his eyes wide. “I’ll only go to bed if you come with me, Soup Goddess Katara! Come with me!”
Katara blushed a deep scarlet, but made no comment as she dragged him away.
Aang, who had been watching expressionlessly from the sidelines, turned to Sokka. “You spiked his soup with cactus juice again, didn’t you?”
Toph snorted. “As if THAT wasn’t obvious. But extremely funny, anyways. Good job.” She pounded Sokka on the back. Hard.
Aang, looking rather pained, asked tiredly, “Why, WHY did you do it, Sokka?”
Sokka, still laughing, managed to gasp out, “I thought…hahaha…I thought it’d be funny!” Aang put his face his hands.
Toph grinned wickedly. “You’re learning, Sokka.”