An/: I hope you don't find this confusing. Recently, some people have mentioned that my drabbles were confusing! Let me know!

Dance

The peasant looked gorgeous tonight; but he obviously wasn't going to tell her.

"What happened to your face?" Zuko criticized the flattering make-up.

"You don't like it?" Katara looked crestfallen, but the rebuke didn't come as a surprise.

"Of course not! It looks like you smeared some dirt over your eyes." Zuko scoffed at the lovely bronze and red powder that delicately coated her eyelids. Her lashes had been thickened by some Fire Nation wonder gadget and her glossy, soft lips seemed much fuller than usual. The hair loops had long been replaced by a Fire Nation style: half of her hair was drawn back into a bun, capped with a golden clasp, as the rest cascaded freely around her shoulders. The style reminded him faintly of his mother. Katara's dress was flowing, red and pleasing. If only Zuko had the guts to tell her; instead, he found himself ridiculing and lowering her already depleted confidence.

Katara glanced up at him with searching blue eyes, pleading that he was only joking. As the examination went on for several, drawn-out seconds, Zuko grew increasingly guilty. Still, amber eyes hardened, despite his inner feelings, they drilled into the vulnerable blue ones.

"Zuko, Ms. Katara, are you ready to go?" An older voice called from the hallway.

Katara, not saying another word, spun towards the voice; Zuko paused a few seconds before following her.

Iroh surveyed the deflated Katara to his nephew who had the hidden smirk on his face.
"You look wonderful, Ms. Katara." Iroh said softly as she passed him.

Katara looked up at him, and the ex-general saw the doubt lingering there.

So, his nephew had hurt her again. That insolent…

"Thanks." Katara returned quietly before heading out the door, into the night air.

Iroh glared at his nephew as he walked by, head held high. Zuko caught his uncle's glare, but was unperturbed. Iroh would never know how he felt.

"So remember, no matter what you do-"

"Don't bend." Katara, Toph, and Aang finished the phrase. As a part of Aang's firebending training, Iroh had decided to let them experience the culture. Also, they frequently changed their location. Until recently, they had been camping out in forests. Now, they were residing in a local Fire Nation village. Tonight, they were taking a break from training and attending a Fire Nation festival and dance, a fieldtrip, if you will.

Katara followed Iroh into a large building, already it was crowded with people. There were long rows of tables set up next to a large stand, the restaurant portion; the rest was an open floor, the dance arena.

"Shall we take a seat?" Iroh whispered, weaving through the crowd good-naturedly towards an empty table.

The dancing was exhilarating, to watch that is. Aang was looking side ways at Toph, teasing her if she would dance with him. She blew him off by saying he'd get them all in trouble by attracting attention. After two earthbenders were identified for their exotic dancing and thrown out, the gang wordlessly agreed to no dancing.

Sokka and Aang decided to check out the food display, Toph decided to go with Iroh and check out the various teas. That left Zuko and Katara alone. Katara mentally grimaced; she hated awkward silences.
Luckily, with Zuko, silence was good. Katara stared out at the assembled, dancing people. They looked so happy, dancing together like that. Did they even know they were in a war? How could they look so blissful? Who would she have danced with? Mentally, she crossed off Sokka and Aang. Sokka was her brother and Aang was too short. Iroh was out of question… that just left Zuko.

"What peasant?" Zuko had caught Katara observing him. He turned to her and said cruelly, "Did the peasant want to dance? Dance with the Prince, every little girl's dream?"

Apparently, Zuko was aware of all of those 'Prince Charming' stories. Darn.

"No… of course not…" Katara stuttered.

"Good. I'm glad you don't clutch to that hope, because no Fire Nation man in their right mind would ask you to dance with them."

Katara broke eye-contact, looking back at the dancers. Distantly, she noticed that her throat was parched; but all she wanted to do was get away from Zuko. Why did he always say the meanest of things? Putting her two thoughts together, Katara took her course of action. She rose to her feet shakily and quickly headed towards the food court.

"Where do you think you're going?" Zuko asked casually.

"Thirsty." Katara replied over her shoulder and cranked up her speed.

Katara spun around the corner and leaned against the wall; safe! Now that Zuko was out of her hair, she decided to tour the food court properly. She glanced around for Sokka and Aang; they were nowhere in site. She cautiously approached the first table, which was heaped with foods and looked into the first dish.

"Hello there."
Katara whirled to face the person that she knew was Zuko. That little rat, he had followed… Katara gaped at the handsome Fire Nation boy staring curiously down at her. His hair was raven, and tied back in a short topknot. Yet, his hair was cutely shaggy and some of his hair escaped its tie, shading his eyes. Mentally, Katara flushed, but she was able to keep her face clear.

"Hi." Katara smiled with a slight bow, the typical Fire Nation way. "I'm Tara, who're you?"

"Hi Tara, lovely name," The boy, who looked to be about eighteen, spoke flatteringly, bowing in return. "My name is Chan. My father is a lieutenant to General Lu Sho, former advisor to Admiral Zhao."

"Oh, wow. My father is a merchant in the common bazaars. He sells tiles… we're hoping that some of the military officers' homes will need refurnishing. That would be our big break! He's an expert in tiles, and it's one of his famous stories that our great-great grandfather replaced many tiles in the palace!" Katara fibbed easily, remembering that background stories were common and expected on first meetings.

"Amazing." Chan said politely.

"Not really…" Katara admitted, "Your's is far better than mine."

"Anyways," Chan paused to brush away a raven-black lock of hair from his eyes, "I was wondering if you're alone."

"Alone?" Katara repeated, eyebrows raised. What on earth was that supposed to mean?

"I mean to say," Chan instantly corrected his mistake, "does the beautiful young lady standing before me have a dance partner?"

"Oh, no." Katara said, blushing slightly, "No. I'm with my friends, enjoying the sites."

"Well then, Tara, would you be my dance partner for tonight? I would be honored if you would."
"Oh…" Katara said for the millionth time, "I'm not very good…"
"Nonsense!" Chan stepped forward, "It's easy. All you have to do is follow me. It's so much fun and it's one of our nation's greatest events."

"I'm not sure…" Katara paused for several moments, thinking of Zuko.

No Fire Nation man would dance with her?

"Oh… alright then." Chan said disappointedly and began to walk away.

"No wait!" Katara said suddenly. He spun eagerly back to her. "I'd love to dance with you."

Chan's wide smile made Katara's head spin.

"Where's Katara?" Sokka hissed at the older warrior. He left his sister for two whole seconds, and she disappeared!

Zuko shrugged his shoulders ignorantly.

"Perhaps she went to visit the Food Courts." Iroh added helpfully.

"I already told you! I was just over there! She's not there." Sokka growled, still glaring at Zuko.

"Well, I've clearly told you that I don't know where your little sister crawled off to!" Zuko snarled back, obviously close to losing his temper.

"Guys, chill." Toph reprimanded, "I thought you two were the elder, more mature ones, I guess not."

"Yeah. I'm sure Katara's fine. She'll be here at any moment." Aang said cheerfully, looking around expectantly.

"Yet again, always the optimist." Sokka grumbled, huffing and flopping down in a nearby chair.

Chan was right; this dancing business was fun! All she had to do was feel his body move in the proper motion before she copied his move. The music was loud, but as the instrumentalists were preparing for the next song, she and Chan talked. She found out that he was indeed eighteen and was soon going to join the Fire Nation army. He was a firebender, but a terrible one, so he would enroll as a foot soldier. Chan said that his country needed his support now that the Avatar was at large. Then, he muttered darkly under his breath about forced enlistment.

Katara had added much more information about her tall-tale story of her life in the Fire Nation. She gave enough information to be satisfactory, but nothing that was unique that an enemy, should he be one, would be able to use on her later.

This song had a slow melody. All too clearly, she could feel Chan's well-formed body moving against her own. Were all firebenders this muscular? Katara didn't know how long they had been dancing, but she didn't want it to end. The background torches were flickering in Chan's eyes. His eyes reminded her of Zuko's, but Katara instantly pushed that thought away.

Not now. I'm here with Chan. Enjoy Chan, Katara thought, but Zuko wouldn't be pushed away.

The music was getting softer; the singer was lowering his voice dramatically. Chan slowed his pace and Katara followed. She glanced up to look up into his eyes. He was smiling gently down at her; the smile wasn't at all like Zuko's predatory smirk, Katara wasn't sure which one she liked better…

Suddenly, as the music was whispering away, Chan leaned down towards her.

Caught up in the moment, Katara tilted her head up further and delicately went on her tip-toes.

"Oh snap." Toph said suddenly, cutting through the haze of the Avatar's crew.

"What?" Sokka whispered instantly, looking at the blind girl expectantly.

"I think I've found Katara." Toph answered softly, a rare tone.

"Where?" Sokka continued on his questioning.

Toph pointed in return; all eyes turned to look where she was pointing.

"Oh my…" Iroh said, with a soft twinkle in his eye, before glancing at his nephew.

Zuko averted his eyes as a commoner kissed his peasant.

Katara opened her eyes as Chan's lips brushed against her own as a parting. Wow. That guy could kiss! Katara felt distantly light-headed, but would have no trouble staying on her feet.
When Chan's lips finally left hers, and as Katara's senses came back to her, a series of hooting met her ears. Finally, she noticed the many pairs of eyes trained on her and Chan. She was surrounded on all sides by Fire Nation citizens; had they been watching the whole time?

"Thanks for making my last night in my hometown worthwhile." Chan gazed down at the beauty in his arms.

"N-no problem." Katara whispered, a slight smile on her face. Yet, the moment was over. She didn't like everybody watching her; someone might say something or recognize her nationality. Chan had an arm tucked around her shoulder and waist, but she didn't take comfort from it anymore. Now, she felt restrained.

"Shows over." Chan turned to the watching crowd before beginning to walk towards the backdoor. "Let's go somewhere else." He whispered quietly to Katara as they left the dance floor.

"Actually," Katara said suddenly, realizing this was the perfect timing, "I promised my father I'd be home soon. I'm really sorry! I'd love to stay but… well, the tiles must sell on."

Chan studied her for a minute before nodding his head, "I suppose so. I wish I could see you again but I'm won't be back for quite some time…"

"Yeah…"

"So," Chan leaned forward once more and brushed Katara's cheek with his lips, "thanks for spending the night with me. It was great."

"You're welcome." Katara, blushing a bit, gave the soon-to-be soldier a small smile.

"Bye Tara." Chan called softly as Katara turned around a corner.

Katara waited until Chan had left before slinking back to the tables. Aang spotted her immediately, a grin spread across his happy face. Out of all of them, Aang had changed the most. His full head of black hair was change enough, but his attitude had… matured, to say the least. He was no longer that 'goofy kid' who had a crush on her. Now, he was tranquil, as if he knew all of life's wonders and had tried them all. Sometimes, Katara missed the old Aang… only in the moments of innocent fun, like these, would the boy peek out of the Avatar.

"Oh look, Sweetness is back from her smooching session." Toph crowed, a smile plastered on her face. "First kiss?"

"Shut up." Katara flushed and quickly sat down by Aang, who was still grinning.

When she felt it was safe to look up, she saw Sokka staring at her from across the table. Toph still had a faint smile on her lips, as well as Aang. Iroh was looking thoughtfully at her, but Zuko wasn't looking at her at all. No surprise there. Although, secretly, Katara wanted him to react the most… to tell her if he really didn't care or if… never mind.

"You can stop glaring at me now, Sokka." Katara said smartly, breaking the silence.

"You-" Sokka was about to start some long, undeserved lecture about relationships, when Katara cut in again.

"You're one to talk, Sokka! How many girls have you kissed anyways? Three? Four?"
"Two!" Sokka growled.

"What about Yuri?" Katara asked innocently, remembering the meek Water Tribe girl back home. She had accidentally walked in on a lip lock. Sokka had been too engrossed to notice.
"What? How do you know about that?" Sokka sputtered for a bit, then wisely decided to let the subject drop.

Katara unclasped the golden hinge that held her hair up. She shook her head and sighed as her loosed hair spilled about her shoulders. The make-up was soon gone, along with her dress.

Although Sokka hadn't said anything more, he had continued to glower at her for the remainder of their time. When they had finally left, Katara was relived. It was now about twilight.

As Katara finally slipped the light red nightgown over her body, the door flew opened.

"So, did you have fun with your little dancer?" Zuko snarled from behind.

Katara stiffened, but didn't reply. What was the point? All he would do was slam her retort back in her face; it was easier to stay neutral.

"Well? Was that little make-out session satisfactory?" Zuko cooed, which was definitely not a voice for him.

"Go jump in the lake!" Katara growled, this was getting to be too much. What if he had walked in, like, two seconds earlier? Who knows what he could have seen?

"Ooh… you just love drawing attention to yourself, don't you peasant? What? Not enough passion for you? Or did you want to go a step further?" Zuko continued to stab at her.

"Zuko!" Katara hissed angrily, spinning around to confront him. "You know, if I didn't know better, I'd say you're jealous! Imagine! A Prince jealous over a little kissing between two commoners!"
Katara knew it was the wrong thing to say. Instantly, Zuko had taken three steps forward and caught onto her shoulders. Katara flinched. As she stared into his molten eyes, she expected to feel burning hands. What warmth she got was far more surprising…

Zuko, holding her tightly, suddenly flashed forward and caught her lips with his own. Katara could only open her mouth in a silent gasp before she was swept away in one of the most passionate kisses known to mankind. Katara moaned as she felt his tongue run along her teeth. And she had thought Chan was the kisser.

After a couple minutes of lip locking and tongue sliding, Zuko finally pulled away, which earned a regretful moan from the waterbender.

He still held Katara's shoulders firmly as he leaned down and whispered seductively in the quivering girl's ear.

"Good thing you know better…"

An/: Confusing? Hopefully not! Okays… wasn't the Awakening AWESOME! Isn't it hecka weird how Aang now sounds so much like Zuko?

I just noticed several more facts on Zutara...
One- The writers say Katara will be far less trusting, because of Zuko's betrayal. HEY! What does this say? Katara's been betrayed once before, by Jet. More or less, she was totally unaffected by his betrayal, unless it was dealing with him later on. Hello- I think this is a pointer! Katara's been betrayed before by a boy, but only when Zuko does it, does she become all upset and change! Heck, how did Zuko really betray her anyway? It's by being nice to her in the caves and then switching sides, right?

Two- Check out the new Avatar magazine! It finalizes the ships. Zutara's not DEAD! It's a race between Kataang and Zutara. You know what side I'm on!

Three- Maiko… if you have already read my essay, also think about this. In The Awakening, when Mai kisses Zuko, Zuko doesn't even smile or look slightly happier. He just lets her do her work! I'm telling you, he doesn't love/or really like/ her! He's just depressed and needs affection and if a girl is the only one willing, he doesn't care!

That's all for now!

Oh ya.. And a bit of a SPOILER for the next episode… IT"S A DANCE PARTY! September 28th!

Review!