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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2094719
Rated: E · Fiction · Drama · #2094719
sometimes what could have been is stronger than what is.
prompt: The Ultimate Hook Up
word count: 866
paring: zuko and katara from avatar: the last airbender
notes: these two never get together romantically and really that was the way it was meant to be. sometimes these are the pairings that are the most fun. sometimes the thought of what could have been hits stronger than what actually happens.

***


He had first noticed it after he had captured her. She was tied up and outnumbered, but even so had refused to comply with his demands for information. “Go jump in the river,” the brave girl yelled back. He switched tactics, moving behind her, his mouth inches from her ear as he whispered his promise to return something important to her in exchange for her help: her mother's necklace. She denied him again, only wavering for moment in her surprise.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

They met again soon after, but she was different. She was stronger, and he knew she had been training, honing her skills with the obsessive dedication he could sense within her. She opposed him, fierce, pulling water from a nearby pond and manipulating it to her will with deadly precision. He summoned his fire from within, countering her water attacks with powerful blasts from his fists, closing the gap between them to better use his superior strength to his advantage. She fought him back, overpowering him with her strength heightened by the full moon overhead. Then the sun rose and his strength was superior and she was finally subdued. He moved passed her to his target.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

He didn’t see her again until much later. Things had changed. He had changed. He was alone, alone with her, both locked prisoner in a dark cavern underground, the only light coming from the small cracks of sunlight peaking through above to reflect off the sickly green crystals that grew from the ground. She yelled at him, her voice shaking with righteous anger that had seemingly been repressed finally able to find release. He was quiet. He felt he deserved her wrath, and in a way it seemed like a penance, even though he knew it in no way made up for what he did. Then she mentioned his father. “War and hate are in your blood,” she spat venomously. He felt the anger well up inside of him. He verbally fired back, no longer able to control his famous temper, but she was unfazed, yelling more before she finally broke, collapsing to the ground holding her knees to her chest. She began to sob quietly and he did not know why, but his anger instantly vanished and turned into something he was not sure he recognized. He turned to her and did something he rarely did: apologized. She turned around surprised and her crying stopped. They spoke to each other, not friendly, but not with the animosity from earlier, each sharing stories they never shared before. She moved closer to him, asking about his burn scar that covered a quarter of his face, wondering if she could heal it. Her soft healing hand brushed against the scar, examining it. He closed his eyes.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

Minutes later they met up again. He fought against her, matching her water whips with his own of fire blow for blow. They fought to a draw, neither having the advantage of the sun or the moon where they were underground. Reinforcements came to his aid and her side was eventually outnumbered and forced to retreat. Tears pricked at the corners of her eyes. She was able to keep her distance from him, but space didn’t seem to matter.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

Much later he tracked her down a final time, truly changed for good. She was furious with him, only begrudgingly allowing him to accompany her group after some convincing by her friends. Later that evening she leaned in his doorway, marching towards him after he turned to face her. Her expression was hard, and with her face inches from his she threatened to kill him if he tried to betray her again. He knew she would.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

Then they were on a dock, just returning from a mission to find her mother’s killer. He was the only one who could help her, and he wanted to help her, wanted to prove himself, wanted to earn her trust. He wanted this closure for her. He understood her pain. The journey was dangerous and emotional, but successful. When they returned to the group she wrapped her arms around his neck and he wrapped his around her waist and she forgave him.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.

When he dueled his sister she was at his side, the fire blazing wildly around them. He earned the advantage and was nearing victory, but then the lightening bolt left her fingers not towards him, but her. He moved before he could think, and the next thing he felt was the electricity coursing through him. He could hear his sister cackling, shooting blast after blast of fire at her. His vision clouded as he struggled to get to her. Then he felt her healing hands and cool water on his chest and the pain subsided. She helped him stand and together they looked on at the shackled, defeated, sobbing mess of his sister.

He could smell fresh rain on her skin.
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