Hell's Rain
by Kaline Reine

Disclaimer: I do not own the Avatar series or any of the characters/settings. This is just a fanfiction story written for my own amusement.

WARNING: Adult situations and graphic sexual content. May also contain borderline, if not full-on, rape. Also some angst, cursing, romance, possible character death, and other things. Sort of AU and they might be a little OOC at times. The pairing is Zuko X Katara. (That's right, I ship Zutara hardcore!) If it's not your thing, then turn back now. You have been warned. This is written solely for my own amusement. If you don't like the pairing or the plot, then go elsewhere for your entertainment. This is my first Avatar fanfic... That being said, if you think you can handle it, then I hope you find it an enjoyable read. Feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thank you for reading.

Chapter 1:

She struggled in her bonds, unable to believe that she'd even allowed this to happen. She was ambushed... It happened in mere seconds.

Blue eyes looked up at her captor, pleading to be let go. Katara put her head down, crestfallen. She knew it wouldn't happen. Yellow eyes glared harshly at the bound girl; his new hostage. She could tell by the look of sheer cruelty in his eyes that this man was not playing games anymore. The Fire nation Prince that she once knew was no more.

It was clear that Zuko had long since tired of toying around. His search for the Avatar hd been met with failure, time and time again. That was when it became clear that he'd been trying the wrong strategy all along. Instead of relentlessly pursuing the Avatar, he should have gone after his loved ones instead. He'd been mulling his plan over when he'd strumbled upon the girl. Fate seemed to be on his side today.

Iroh was stroking his beard, and gawking at their young prisoner, seeming to consider her for a long moment. "And what will we do with her, now that we actually have her?" She glared at the old man, and he just chuckled. They were just out of earshot, and using hushed tones, so she couldn't hear what they were discussing.

"That's for me to decide, Uncle." Prince Zuko ran a hand through his unkempt hair. It had been a long while since he'd cut off the symbol of his royal bloodline, of his very honor, and his hair had regrown hastily afterward. The same scar given to him by his father was still clearly visible; an eternal reminder of his banishment. And the very reason he was still seeking out the Avatar.

Zuko turned to face one of his henchmen. Luckily he'd been able to hire some new recuits, even after Azula had taken his original crew with her. "Take her to the ship. She can stay in my cabin until we arrive."

"Where are we going?" His Uncle, who was very much like a father to him, demanded to know.

"I know of the perfect place to wait. It's not too far from here."

Tears rolled down Katara's cheeks, as she was pulled away from land and the forest where her friends awaited her return. They were making camp and she'd been sent to find firewood. Instead, Fire nation had found her. Her enemy had planned this out. It was an ambush. After a brief struggle, she'd been captured and tied up before she could even scream for help. They had her gagged right now, using a red Fire nation cloth. She didn't know what they planned to do with her, but it wasn't good. From the way Zuko was acting, he most likely intended to use her as bait.

She was afraid of what would happen to her now. There was nothing she could do about it right now. Her hands were tied with rope and her pressure points had been used to ensure she could not bend. At least temporarily, her arms did not work. They just hung limply, tied behind her back. The effects would wear off eventually, but it would be too late by then. The men carried her away.

The Prince scribbled something on a scroll, and used an arrow to secure it to a nearby tree. 'Avatar- We have the girl. If you want to see her alive, you will follow this map and face me head on. No tricks.' He left it unsigned.

The rest of Zuko's men piled into the ship and he joined them in somber silence. He was ready to put his latest plan into motion. This time it would pay off for certain. The Fire nation ship set sail. They were on their way at last. And with the girl in tow, this would be almost too easy.

Iroh was surprised at how thoroughly his Nephew had actually planned all of this out. He seemed to have thought of everything. He wasn't going to complain or add in his two cents. There was no point in doing anything yet. He would wait to see how things played out, as always.

It did concern him a little that Zuko would want the girl to stay in his room with him. That didn't sound very much like the young Prince... He was antisocial and hated sharing his space with anyone; a very private person. But he most likely wanted to be sure to keep an extra close eye on her. The Avatar's friends were just as ruthless as he was, and there was no doubt that she'd be trying everything she could to escape. It was most likely a wise idea. There still remained that trickle of doubt, however.

"Are you certain this is for the best?" Iroh once again tried to persuade him. "We could just go after the Avatar, you know. She could lead us to him."

"That's never worked before. And it's not like she would do that anyway. I can handle it this time. Just trust me."

"Alright, you know best. I'm going to make more tea. Can we stop off to pick up some supplies on the way there?"

Zuko sighed. "No. There's no time. And we won't be needing them, where we're going."

Katara wasn't told anything about where they were headed. She wasn't told anything at all, actually. The soldiers just dragged her aboard the ship and tossed her into a dark room. She landed on the cold, hard floor face-down with a thud. Grunting, she struggled once again to get free. It was no use...

They'd taken away all of the belongings she had been carrying on her person. She kind of wished she hadn't been carrying her bag with her, but it had made carrying the firewood back to their campsite so much easier. They were very thorough. Even her necklace had been removed. Perhaps they were looking to see if they could sell any of it? The thought made her so angry, but she was at a loss.

All she could do was rest, and wait for whatever fate had in store for her... After such a hard battle, the young Waterbender really was tired. And she knew she'd need her strength soon. Her eyes slowly drifted shut, despite her obvious discomfort of being left on the floor.

It felt like a few hours had passed. Or days? It was impossible to tell. But Katara opened her eyes for the first time when someone opened the door to the room she was being kept in. Light filtered in and it was too bright for her eyes to adjust. She squinted, trying to decipher the figure which loomed just at the edge of the darkness.

"Tch. Really?" The voice belonged to Prince Zuko. To her surprise, he lifted her up and placed her on a much softer surface. It was a bed. "I can't believe they left you on the floor like that. I thought they'd have at least some common sense. Sorry. I think we can remove this for now."

Agile fingers easily removed her gag, much to her appreciation. It took a moment for her jaw to stop hurting. She was lying on her back, and he was above her head, causing her to have to strain her neck to get a clear view of him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Zuko?!" She shrieked, resuming her futile struggling. "Let me go right now! I don't know what you're planning, but whatever it is, it won'twork! Take me back!"

Zuko frowned. "I'm afraid that won't be happening. I'm sorry..." He was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at the ground.

It confused her. How could he do something so horrible to someone, and still manage to be so apologetic about it? He seemed so sincere. Part of her wanted desperately to believe him...

He looked into her eyes, seriously then. "I need you, Katara. It's for a plan. It's really important, but you'll just have to trust me. I know it seems bad-"

"Seemsbad?!" She scowled angrily, glaring daggers at the boy. "You kidnapped me and you're probably using me as bait to capture Aang. On second thought... I know exactly what you're planning. It's written all over your face!"

"So you have it all figured out? Okay then." Zuko stopped talking after that. There was nothing he could say to make her believe him anyway. He wanted to explain his entire plan, but why even bother? It's not like she'd listen.

Sighing, he lightly moved the prisoner to the far side of the bed. Katara was still on her back, against the wall. She was still glaring at him, and the young Prince felt like it may not be safe to sleep here tonight.

"Goodnight, sleep sweet Princess..." He muttered, not knowing if she heard him or not.

Sadly, he walked out onto the main deck of his ship. Gazing at the stars as they reflected over the water, he tried to figure out what to do.

He had to get out of there... Being around the girl was upsetting for some reason. It made him feel weird, in a bad way. Zuko didn't like this part of himself. The fallen Prince had a lot to think about.

After some deep soul-searching and pondering his new path, he decided it would be best to retire for the night. He felt weird about sharing his bed with someone. But what else could he do? This was a war ship, and while it did have a holding cell for prisoners... It just didn't feel right to keep her in a disgusting cell where the guard could abuse her all they wanted and-

He had to stop his mind, before it took things further. Going through the door that led to his cabin, he was stunned to see that she was already asleep. That battle must have really worn her out. Zuko couldn't help but feel bad for her. Nope. There was no way he could have kept her as a normal prisoner on his ship.

Especially after she'd nearly healed his scar bck at Ba Sing Se. There was so much more to it than that, though. She'd made him feel again; given him hope... And then the world took it away again. How cruel. But he'd gained a greater understanding of what he was facing. That was important. And yet, it had raised far more questions for him than it had answered.

He wasn't even sure how to go about sharing a bed with someone. It was something he'd never done, even once in his life. Taking a deep breath, Zuko decided it was best to sleep in his clothes for the time being. No sense in freaking the girl out. Lying on his side, facing away from her to be clear, he lied on the pillow gazing toward the door. And silently daring anyone to come in and disturb him.

Thank you for reading.