Disclaimer: No, not mine.
AN: Honestly? With Comic-Con giving us trailers and the websites revolving around Avatar being updated, and the new cartoon coming out (hopefully) next year, this just came from me wanting to see some interaction between Zuko and Katara.
This could be considered Canon. We just don't know yet. And that's where the fun plays in, and the possibilities are endless.
I wrote this very quickly - any mistakes, errors or general weirdness is my fault.
Summary: Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko have created Republic City, bringing people from all four nations to live together in harmony. Aang plans to reside on Air Temple Island within the city limits, with his partner Katara, while Zuko must return to the Fire Nation to rule and help his struggling nation. But goodbyes are never easy, especially when love and duties are involved.
For the Greater Good of All
Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. ~Author Unknown
"So this is it, then." Katara said softly, the wind of the harbor ruffling her long thick strands of brown across her bare shoulders. Her bindings, white and stark against her dark skin, were wet with the sea breeze.
Zuko stood behind her, his casual robe of black and red blending in with the casting shadows of the setting sun. His eyes were on the rocks of a not yet formed statue. The large statue would welcome weary travelers into the arms of the new city. It would be of the newest Avatar, Aang, after his victory over the late Fire Lord Ozai, staff rising into the air, as if he commanded the wind to push sailors to their destinations.
Shaking his head, Zuko sighed, letting his eyes watch the woman in front of him.
That was what she was now – no longer a young girl, with incredible skill and promise – but a defined, matured woman with passion, honed skills and unbelievable power. She was taller, still slender with well developed hips, still too big of blue eyes and full pouty lips.
He crossed his arms, shifting his weight, keeping his mind from focusing on her lips. She was a woman now, and she was also the Avatar's partner.
"I leave at dawn."
It sounded so final, so dispassionate. Katara turned to the Fire Lord, letting her eyes travel his war hardened, fire bending master body, finding still her eyes drawn to his amber ones. His hair, shaggy and not pulled back like a fit ruler should have, fell across his forehead, whipping in the breeze. The smell of the water was around them, and yet all Katara could smell was his essence and feel the heat of his body though they were feet away.
She had always been so in tuned to him and his moods, yet now she seemed at a loss of how to respond.
"Why so soon?" She asked again, voice not rising as if afraid to break the calm. "The completion only ended yesterday. Your council can handle the nation for one more day without you. You won't even get to see the statue complete."
He shrugged, his eyes going distant as they landed on the rumble. Earth bending citizens had been at it for a few days but the end was in sight. "I don't need to see a statue of Aang, Katara. I know what he looks like."
It was bitter and hurting to Katara but she ignored the sharp pain in her chest at his words. He was only hurting – much like she was. Hurting for something that could never be. Hurting because it was his friend and ally that was causing him so much grief.
How easy would it have been, if Zuko hadn't remained friends with Aang? How easy would it have been to win Katara, if he didn't consider Aang his brother in spirit? How easy?
"You built this city with him. At least stay until it's truly finished. He would want that."
It was a slap to him. His best friend, was also the reason for his pain. And because of the respect he held for the man, he couldn't stay. "I can't," he said, again, pleading for her to understand.
His voice, commanding and impossible reached her ears, but she heard the desperation beneath them. He was hurting. He was hurting so deeply. They both shared the same guilt, the same want and needs that wouldn't be met. Katara, moved, turning towards him and reached for him.
He moved back, one step away from her touch. Her fingertips brushed the silk of his shirt. "No. You and I both know what will happen."
"What? I can't comfort a friend? Who clearly needs it?"
"You can't reach for a man, when you have one waiting for you on the island he created for you and your soon-to-be family." His glare made her blood run cold, tears forming in her eyes. "You have a duty, just as I do. You shouldn't forget that."
"A duty," she snorted, bitterly. Her heart pounded in her chest, blood rushing in her ears. Slowly she wrapped her arms around her bare shoulders. She could feel the end of summer in the air, the coldness of fall trying to make her shiver. "A duty to Aang. A duty to the man I love. A duty to the greater good."
"Right." He nodded once, though his jaw was clenched. His hands were fisted at his sides as he tried not reaching for her, in much the way she had reached for him. He wanted to feel the press of her body, one last time, before he had to reach for another woman. His Fire Lady.
Carefully she walked up to him, and pushed his black hair from the scar at his left eye. He froze and wilted into her touch. It calmed him, much in the way his mother's voice would. He found comfort there, and wanted to bring it back with him to his home. The want to do, startled him. "You can't leave yet. We have duties yes, but for one night-"
"We had one night, Katara." He whispered softly. Without warning, he gripped her wrist and kissed the palm that stroked his skin. "And it almost destroyed everything. You have to be with Aang. I have to be with Mai. For the greater good of all."
"And if I don't think that's fair?" she challenged. "What if I think for just once we should be selfish and run away and-"
"You might not think it's not fair," he sighed, smirking at her burning blue orbs. "But you would never ask me to run away from my responsibilities. You would never abandon Aang and his cause. You wouldn't. Even if you wanted to."
Tugging her closer, Zuko abandoned his distant stance and presence, melting her body beside his. His lips, hard and demanding pushed against her soft and inviting ones, willing himself not to completely lose it. He wanted one last touch, one last taste before he had to leave her. But he couldn't go much further than that. If he did, he wouldn't come back. He wouldn't be the honorable man that he tried to be – he wouldn't be the friend Aang needed of him.
But it was hard when Katara moaned against him, wrapping her arms around his neck, hands burying into his hair to pull softly. Quickly he pulled away, hands still resting at her hips. "I leave at dawn." He repeated, voice raspy. Katara, sighed against him, her stomach flat against his harden ones.
Briefly, he wondered if she remembered the scar at his naval; the one he took gladly for her survival.
"Then this is it."
He nodded, unable to look down at her. He knew she was trying not to cry. He knew he was trying not to comfort her. He wanted so desperately to whisk her away to his homeland, to keep her as his Fire Lady instead of Mai, who waited for his return. But they couldn't.
Because life wasn't fair; especially to a still repenting Fire Lord, and a thought-of-prize, Water Bending Master. She was Aang's to have; his prize for stopping the war. How could Zuko take her from him? How Zuko be that selfish?
Within his heart of hearts, he knew he could. He could – because he wanted her. Like the moon wanted to control the tides, he wanted her. But he couldn't have her.
"I love him," she whispered into his chest. Her voice was steel. His heart broke hearing the words, knowing it was true. "I love him and his cause. I love what he did for this world. But know this Zuko, when I wed him, when I bare his children, I'll wish they were yours'. And maybe, in another life, we'll have what we want, and not what we should."
"In another life," he agreed. It was a silent promise. He would love her afar, and she would love him here, but they would never be. They couldn't. The world needed a stable Fire Nation, the world needed more Air Benders, and the world needed an Avatar with a great woman by his side. It was for the great good of all.
His lips brushed her temple, before pulling away, leaving her standing on the shore alone. He didn't look back as he made his way to the grand Fire Navy Ship he resided on, and he didn't listen when a heart shattering sob racked her chest and captured her throat. Only when in the confines of his room, his uncle at the bow of the ship, watching with knowing eyes, did he break down, and wish he didn't have to worry about the good of all.
AN: Short drabble. Just a scene that came to me after seeing some more of the trailers, pictures and back story for Korra. How is this? Could be right?
Thanks for reading!