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Zelda // Shad

Tale as old as Time..

Posted by fichan on 2007.01.13 at 21:08
Title: Tale As Old As Time
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Character/Pairing: Zuko/Katara (Zutara)
Word Count: 1,513 (I think this is the longest thing I've ever written in one sitting! :O )
Rating: G
Comments: Yeah, yeah. I realize that it's a little cliche, bringing Yue in, but deal with it. >_> And Zuko dosen't wear his armor to sleep in this fic. Kthxbai. xD He has a shirt underneath it, I think, so yeah. :3 Also, this is my first ever Zutara fic, so be gentle? :3


Katara sat up, taking a look around to make sure that everyone was, in fact, asleep. She stifled a giggle at her brother’s sleeping position; it was just too cute! He had an arm protectively draped around Toph, and Toph looked like as if she didn’t mind in the slightest. Aang was curled up next to Appa, and Iroh was asleep not far away. Momo was asleep in the older firebender’s lap; he had taken quite a liking to the kind uncle, and they had been nigh inseperable ever since Iroh and his nephew, Zuko, had joined their little group.

Katara frowned as her thoughts turned to Zuko. He was sleeping with his back facing her. She stood up as noiselessly as possible and made her way a little ways off, where she could get some time alone to think.

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

She flopped down on the grass, staring up at the full moon. Lately, she had been talking to the moon out loud whenever something was on her mind. She knew that she could confide in Yue; and she usually felt better after it, too.

“Yue, I’m not sure what to think about him,” she said. “I don’t know what his intentions are..I don’t know if he’s truly given up trying to capture Aang. Though, his uncle is nice enough, and Toph seems to trust him, so I will too,” she continued, completely oblivious to fact that the prince himself was standing not far from where she was laying.

Zuko decided to wait to see what else she would say before revealing himself to her.

“Why does he keep saying he needs to restore his honor? And what about that scar on his face? I thought I heard Azula say something about his father, but how could his father be so cruel? Why would he do that?”

Zuko stepped forward, intentionally stepping on a twig to alert her of his presence. ‘This girl..Katara, was it?..why does she care so much?’ he thought as he stepped forward.

Katara gasped and sat up, her hands instinctively going to her pouch just in case. She relaxed when she saw it was just Zuko.

How much did he hear..?

Zuko walked over and sat down next to her, his eyes unreadable. After a few minutes of akward silence, he decided to do the unthinkable: he was going to open up to someone. And not just anyone.

He was going to open up to Katara.

“I was thirteen, and it was my first time sitting in on my father’s war chamber discussions. During the meeting, one of the main generals told of his plan to sacrifice thousands of newly recruited fire nation warriors. He wanted to use them as a distraction. Uncle warned me not to speak, but I couldn’t sit and let that happen,” Zuko began. He looked at the ground as he talked, his voice betraying the anger he felt at that old general. “Because I spoke out against my elders, I had to face the consequences of my actions. My father became deeply enraged, and said that I had shown complete disrespect, and that there was only one way to resolve my wrongdoing: an Agni Kai. A duel to the death between firebenders. But, I was young and stupid. I thought that I would be in an Agni Kai against the old general, and I was confident enough in my abilities to think that I could beat him. I told them I was not afraid. I didn’t understand, however, that it was my father whom I had disrespected by speaking out in his war room,” he went on. He paused before continuing. “I was wrong..so wrong. The one I would be dueling..was my father.”

Katara gasped, her eyes widening. ‘His own father..? A duel to the death..?

“I was to duel my own father, the Fire Lord. Once I realized this, I fell to my knees. I apologized to him, and I begged for his mercy. He insisted that I fight him for my honor. I refused, saying I was his loyal son. He became angry, and..” Zuko’s hand reached up to touch his scar as he closed his eyes, recalling the memory. “He said that I must learn respect, and that suffering would be my teacher. I’ve been banished from the Fire Nation ever since that day. My father said that I could return if I captured the Avatar..he said he would restore my honor,” he finished, taking his hand off of his scar and looking away.

Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

After Zuko finished his story, they sat in silence. Zuko was looking away from Katara so that she wouldn’t be able to see the look in his eyes. He turned back, startled, when he heard the sounds of sobbing coming from the waterbender.

She sat with her hands covering her face, sobs wracking her petite form. Her shoulders, which were slack, shook with each new sob. “Z-Zuko..I..I’m sorry..I didn’t know,” she said in between sobs.

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

He just gaped at her. This girl..The waterbender, the Avatar’s friend, whom he had been chasing for quite some time, was crying..

..for him.

He wasn’t sure what to say to her. So, he followed his gut instinct and moved closer to her, wrapping her in a hug.

“It’s okay, you don’t need to cry. It..was a long time ago,” he whispered, trying to calm her down. He felt her tears on his shirt, but chose to ignore the fact that she was soaking it.

“I..I could p-probably heal it, if you’d like,” she managed to get out, drying her eyes a bit. He froze, pulling back slightly to look at her in disbelief. She nodded to reassure him that yes, she could do so, and waited for his answer before proceeding.

It’s a scar, but..maybe I can heal it from the inside out anyway..after all, I am a waterbending master, right? And since when have I backed down and not kept my word?’ she thought.

He couldn’t say anything. His mouth just wouldn’t work. So, he nodded, letting go of her so she could heal him. He closed his eyes and waited.

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

She uncorked her water pouch, her hands still wet with her own tears. But they were water too, so she didn’t really think twice about mixing her tears with her bending water.

“This may feel..odd,” she said, moving him so that he was lying on the ground with his head cradled in her lap. “But don’t worry, you’ll be fine..” She then coated her right hand with water and used her left hand to hold his head steadily in place.

Her hand glowed blue as she concentrated on healing the scar. ‘Please work, please work,’ she begged.

(Scene change -- to spirit world)

Roku chuckled and turned to Yue. “Go ahead Yue, you know what to do. Lend her some of your power,” he said.

(Back to Zuko and Katara)

Katara almost gasped when she saw Yue’s ghost put her hand on top of Katara’s right hand. “Do not be afraid Katara, I’m going to help you,” she whispered. Katara nodded and looked back at the prince she was trying to heal.

She gasped as the scar slowly disappeared, leaving his skin unmarred. Yue smiled and winked at her, fading off into the distance. ‘You’ll thank me later,’ Yue said, though Katara hadn’t seen her lips move.

“Z-Zuko?” Katara said, removing her hand from his face. He opened his eyes in response and sat up quickly. “Did it work?” he asked, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. She smiled at him and used her waterbending to make a mirror, handing it to him. He took it and gasped, his free hand reaching up to touch the area where his scar once was.

Certain as the sun (certain as the sun)
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

“It..worked..” he whispered, looking up at the girl whom he had spilled his heart to. She just smiled in response.

It wasn’t until then that she noticed just how close she and Zuko were. She barely had time to react before his lips were on hers.

She didn’t complain, though. She just wrapped her arms around his neck and returned the kiss.

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast

Off a few yards away, the old firebender chuckled. He turned to go back to camp, satisfied that his nephew had finally found the one to heal the wounds that time hadn’t been able to heal.

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