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Katara woke up with a start, breathing hard. She sat up and groaned, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Her room in the house was dark, only a stream of moonlight coming in from the window. Katara walked over and looked out. The moon was almost full and she could feel it, the power and energy it’s light gave her. She wanted to believe this was why she had awoken in the middle of the night, but it wasn’t. She couldn’t shake off the dream, the one she’s had every night since she and Zuko had returned from Whale Tail Island. The first night she thought it was the gratitude she felt that made her dream of his mouth on her neck and his hands on her hips. But as the days went on, turned into a week, she couldn’t help but think it meant more than that. Katara yawned and climbed back into bed. She pulled her thin blanket up to her chin and closed her eyes.

*** *** *** *** ***

A few hours later, Katara awoke again. Her hand was down the front of her sleep pants and she realized she had been touching herself in her sleep. It was becoming ridiculous. Every night she dreamt of laying under Zuko as he had his way with her. She didn’t like Zuko. She couldn’t. Aang would be crushed. And Zuko was well- Zuko. He was angry and entitled, he was the son of the damn Fire Lord for Yue’s sake! But he had helped avenged her mother. And he was training Aang to help save the world. And he was so, so hot. Damn it. Katara shook her head, trying to clear the thoughts, and started getting ready for the day.

It was still dark when Katara made her way to the living room. The sun had not quite risen and everything was quiet. It would be a few hours before everyone else woke up, far too early to start breakfast so she made her way to the courtyard to practice her bending. She stripped down to her underbindings, her usual training attire, and shifted into her stances, clearing her mind of anything but her element flowing in the fountain.

When Zuko walked outside to do his morning meditations, he was more than a little surprised to see Katara. He woke up before anyone else every morning, and used this solitude to meditate on the dawn sun’s warmth and his own internal fire. He watched the waterbender as she manipulated the water around her, admiring her controlled but effortless movements. At some point, Zuko wasn’t quite sure when, he stopped watching her bending and watched the way her body moved. In the few years he had known her, Katara had grown from barely a teen, slight with baby fat roundening her face, to nearly a grown woman, all soft but ample curves and high cheekbones. He had always had tender feelings for her, even when they were enemies. He had often daydreamed of another world, where she was just a girl (not the Avatar’s girlfriend and waterbending master) and he was just a guy, the possibilities. But he folded those ideas up small and packed them away in a corner of his mind. There was no way she could ever feel the same, whether she truly had forgiven him for everything he’d done or not.

He had seen her in just her bindings before, of course, but something about the pre-dawn light on her nutmeg skin and the stark contrast of the white cloth that held her, was affecting him in curious ways. Zuko could feel heat spreading in his lower abdomen as his eyes skimmed the fullness of her hips, the softness of her thighs and suddenly he felt dirty. Like a peeping tom. Surely dishonorable for any man, much less a prince. Stop it you creep, his mind yelled at him. He cleared his throat, getting Katara’s attention.

“Hey Zuko!” she called, “You’re up early.” She stood and bent the water off her skin, shaking out her hair. It had gotten so long and all Zuko could think of was grabbing a fistful. Again, creep. He coughed.

“I’m always up this early,” he started. “I ri-” Katara cut him off with a slight smirk.

“You rise with the sun, or so I’ve heard.” Zuko felt his face warm up but ignored her.

“Right well, what are you doing up at this time?”

“Couldn’t sleep,” she said, looking down at her feet. Zuko could’ve sworn he saw a blush darkening her cheeks. He took a breath and made his way over to her, standing just a couple of feet away.

“Bad dreams?” he probed. She glanced up at him through her lashes and shook her head.

“Definitely not bad,” she replied in a voice that he had never heard before. “More like… Intense.” Her blush deepened. The way she was reacting made Zuko confident.

“What were they about?” He kept his voice soft, raspy. Katara shifted awkwardly as he stepped closer.

“Well, you were in… lot’s of them.”

“And what, intense thing was I doing? In your dreams?” He raised his eyebrow and she flushed a dark pink now. Zuko subconsciously wet his lips and Katara was hyper aware of the color of his tongue and the wet sheen on his bottom lip. He watched as her eyes locked on his mouth. Kiss her moron.

“Um. Well, you know…” She was incredibly flustered. Get it together Katara. She thought to herself. She took a big breath and leaned in, kissing him hard on the mouth. Zuko was too shocked to respond and she quickly pulled away.

“That,” she muttered, feeling small and rejected. Katara walked away, into the beach house and before he could stop her, she was gone. As soon as she was out of sight, a small pebble hit Zuko in the back of the head. He cursed and rubbed the sore spot, looking to see where it had come from.

“You really fucked that one up, huh Sparky?”