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30 December 2008 @ 01:39 am
Last of the Zutara Drabbles!  
Title: Laconic V
Pairing: Zuko x Katara
Fandom: Avatar the Last Airbender
Genre: General, Romance, Friendship
Rating: PG
Word Count: 830



She thought she could change the world. She was mistaken.

He thought he could annihilate the world. He was mistaken.

The world continues spinning, and they are just two specks lost in the gamble, never winning. (But they never lose either. The world just is.)


She thought he loved Mai, and she was right—partially. Zuko did love Mai, but not anymore. Because now Mai has ceased loving him, and he realized that he loved the thought of loving more than anything else.

But when he declared his alleged love for her, she would have traded blood to believe it was true.

In Katara’s heart, she doubted everything he said. And also had a horrifying, peculiar thought that he did love someone. And that someone was dead, a long time ago. (Or maybe it had been yesterday, Katara had no idea).

But what counted for was that Zuko didn’t—couldn’t—love the living.

Necrophilia (and incest). He was a king carved from infamy and sacrilege.

So she was always very careful to smile kindly at him and wear the veneer of friendship and trust.


The Blue Spirit learned of the Painted Lady years after everyone else.

He knew of the details, could recite them by heart, but always thought she was a myth. Fictitious, fallacious, a fabrication that floated from dreams and desperation. So, when he met her—living and breathing—he screamed.

It must have been a mirage. It must have been a trick, something. Anything. He refused to believe (see).

She laughed (at him, taunting) and tsked and shook her head in dismay.

“If I am fake, then so are you. I know who you are, and you know me. So stop with the tears and drama.”

He unsheathed his swords and made twin fan-blades for defense. She easily slipped through them and met his nose with hers. The tips touch and release, jerk and jolt, and send him flying against the wall (behind, where the lanterns gave to a shake).

“It’s too early for a fight.”

“Or too late.”

Too late for apologies.

The Blue Spirit shape-shifted into some other entity and gave himself a new name. A caesura inserted itself. And they were transported.

Like it had just been a nightmare.


It was all an elaborate metaphor.

She showed him how to turn ice into water (he was marginally impressed). He showed her how to defrost the ice (she was not at all impressed). They fight, they chaff and ache, they draw.

He took this instance as opportunity and whispered something into her ear. She saw that as retaliation and shoved him aside. He tumbled to the ground, gathering the sheets around him. And she stared down, tired and out of breath and cherry red.


“I can warm us up.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“That’s what I mean.”

She slid over slick and slippery like hot oil across ice. He wrapped his arms around her waist and waited for lights to block out his vision.

They twisted and shirked and thought it might have been one.


Zuko married Mai, and Katara married Aang (it was predictable and it was what happened).

But while Mai teased Aang mercilessly, and he blushed furiously at her jokes, never understanding exactly what they meant, Zuko and Katara played the parents. Chastised their children to be nice and to play fair. And sometimes, when things became too rough and familiar, they acted as mediators.

Mai, stop that, and Aang, quit it.

They were an odd, ill-created family.


Mai said that Katara was jealous. And Katara said that Mai was stupid. And things resulted in a giant, ugly, incessant mess.

On the surface, they are the “best of friends” (even better than Ty Lee or Suki or any other girl they can rant off).

Katara was the one who nursed Mai when she was feverish and dehydrated. A mysterious malaise, quote the doctor. Who didn’t know anything other than their names (and that Mai was the Fire Lord’s wife).


They stopped talking one day.

And watched as the familiar gestures and ways become obsolete, and realize that things could never relapse to how they were.


There were faults and fissures in everyone’s lives, everyone’s stories, everyone. But for them, they had an unending train that cannot be mended no matter how strong the rope or string.

He lunged for her, he faltered, he embraced the air.

In that cave, long ago. By the fountain, long ago.

She had healed him then, pushing reserves and reserves of strength and energy into him. Watched him nearly die. And thought that what would be left of the survivors were simply their shells and names.

But still she tried and stuffed him of life. This one was a prince. Who was no more.

“You’ll be okay, please, you’ll be okay.”

This one was a nobody.

We are all nobodies.

He stirred and she flung herself onto him, reassured.

And she began to mend the cracks, slowly, and maybe—hoping and full of wistful will—one of the stitches will stick on.


(Deleted comment)
smokebendersmokebender on December 30th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering, though: was the statement in "Mistaken" just a flat statement or was it something deeper than that? Metaphoric or whatever?

Loved these! :D
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on December 30th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
A bit of both. xD But I was definitely referring to his mama's boy inclinations.