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Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave) [userpic]
CultureClash draft
by Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave) (rashaka)
at March 9th, 2008 (03:44 am)

Zuko found Katara darning socks at their camp--in the forest, behind Toph's house, two hundred paces from town and a measely four minute walk from the beach; it saddened him to know these idiots were guarding the Avatar, even if one of those idiots was his true love. He approached his true love from behind, one eye fixed on her needle in case she remembered she was holding it at the right moment.

"Katara," he said in a just-below normal tone of voice.

"What is it Zuko?" She sounded bored, not even a decent rush of anger. Zuko almost wilted, but he remembered the old woman and swallowed his fear.

He leaned in, over her shoulder, and said as softly as he could, "Whose are those?"

Katara's needled faltered for a stitch, then resumed. "Mine," she said.

"You're working hard for such a pleasant afternoon," he replied, keeping his voice as non-threatening as possible. He pointed to the sky, one finger just barely in her vision but his thumb and palm touching her shoulder. "You have remarkable discipline."

Katara carefully set her sock on her lap; Zuko's eyes followed the sharp, sharp needle. She turned and looked at him over her shoulder. "What do you think you're doing?"

Here it was: the moment! His hand was still touching her shoulder, and she hadn't castrated him yet. He felt the perfect words rise from his heart up through his vocal chords, sinuous and delicate and unbridled...

"Nothing."

...and he was a pig-chicken, no doubt about it.

"Should be used to it then," Katara snapped. She took her socks and left at a brisk trot.

Toph crossed her backyard and examined the vile enemy prince's murderous firebender heartbeat. She slapped his shoulder like a brick might.

"Thanks, Charcoal Brains. That was the most pathetic thing I've never seen."