Zutara Heartstrings

It was the day before the end of war ball, the streets outside was getting set up with lanterns, flowers and fireworks. Zuko was watching them from a window inside the palace marvelling at how the people came together and made something so beautiful.

He took particular interest to a group of children running around playing what seemed to be a re-enactment of some of the more famous battles. Personally he didn't approve of this because he was a part of that battle. All he could remember was the blood the screams and dodging fire and ice.

Suddenly he was brought out of his memories by a noise in the background. He turned looking to see Kataras father chief Hakoda looking at him. Zuko wondered how long he was standing there watching him but decided it wasn't important instead he asked "beautiful isn't it?" The older man's reply was hesitant and sounded harsh "it's a nice view yes". Zuko looked back out the widow feeling a warm breeze float in threw it and thought about Hakoda reply "you haven't forgave us have you?"

There was silence for the next few minutes before the reply was "how can I?" Again Zuko thought about this and found it cold yet true "do you want to hear a story young prince?" his reply was to nod " when the war was still being fought I sent my daughter to help guard our eastern flank" he paused waiting to see his reaction. At this Zuko turned round and finished his sentence "and that base was raided and you lost a daughter." At this Hakoda looked stunned "how did you know?" Zuko looked down for a moment then looked him in the eye.

Zuko went in to detail about how he was ordered to the South Pole in command the 51st reserve shock troops. Hakoda listen to the story of how Zuko got separated from his men, then spent a week running in the cold icy landscape while evading water tribe trackers. Zuko sighed remembering many of those men he left with never came home alive or dead. Looking at Hakoda Zuko finally spoke up "Promise you won't attack me?" To this Hakoda looked confused and replied "why risk another war?" Zuko looked somewhat relieved but then informed Hakoda how he captured Katara and how under his orders she was taken back to the Fire Nation.

Hakoda almost looked like he was going to rip Zuko in half "so it was you who caused the death of so many of my people". Now it was Zukos turn to look angry "I think the same can be said of both of us don't you agree?" To this he got a solemn node and Hakoda walked away going back to his family room. Suddenly he turned and said "it's funny isn't it you were the one to take her from me and now it was you who gave her back", now he smiled somewhat "thank you prince Zuko for keeping her safe". A look of bewilderment crossed his face at this time and Zuko thought about it quickly "I always will to the best of my ability". Hakoda nodded and continued down the stairs.

Now Zuko stood alone then remembered he was supposed to have a training session with Iroh soon, so he started to head towards the courtyard. While he was walking there he saw one of the cutest things he had ever seen. Katara and her family were playing with the turtle duck that lived within the palace, now with a lighter heart he carried on.

"Hey Katara wasn't that Zuko?" Katara looked at her older brother and shrugged. Azula came over and commented "he's been a lot happy since you've come here so" she paused. "When are you telling him that you are leaving?" In a moment the general atmosphere of the pond changed and not the better. Katara finally answered "I don't know" Azula however look pissed "just don't play with his heart it's been scarred before" and she left. Leaving a confused waterbender and a grim looking Sokka

Zutara Heartstrings

It was the day before the end of war ball, the streets outside was getting set up with lanterns, flowers and fireworks. Zuko was watching them from a window inside the palace marvelling at how the people came together and made something so beautiful.

He took particular interest to a group of children running around playing what seemed to be a re-enactment of some of the more famous battles. Personally he didn't approve of this because he was a part of that battle. All he could remember was the blood the screams and dodging fire and ice.

Suddenly he was brought out of his memories by noises in the background. He turned to see Katara's father's chief Hakoda staring at him. Zuko wondered how long he had been standing there watching him, he decided this was not important.

"Beautiful isn't it?" he asked still full of thought.

"What? Oh yeah, it's nice." The older man's response was hesitant and rather harsh.

Zuko sighed, returning to the view out of the window. A slight warm breeze flowed into the room.

Hakoda stood silently for a moment. "You've not forgiven us yet, have you?"

There was silence between the pair before Zuko finally replied "How can I?" Zuko thought about it carefully he knew it was cold, but it was true.

"Do you want to hear a story, young Prince?"

Zuko looked up the only thing he could think to do was nod.

"Back when the war was still being fought I sent my daughter to protect our eastern flank." Pausing briefly to gauge Zuko's reaction.

At this Zuko spun to look at Hakoda and finished the sentence. "The base was raided and you lost your daughter…"

Hakoda looked at him shocked. "How… How did you know?"

Zuko looked down at the floor. Zuko went on to tell him about how he was ordered to the south pole in command the 51st reserve shock troops. Hakoda listened to the story of how Zuko got separated from his men, spending a week running in the cold icy landscape while evading the Water Tribes trackers. Zuko sighed remembering many of those men he had left never came home alive or even dead.

Finally for the first time since he started his tale he looked up. "Are you going to attack me?"

Hakoda looked confused by this, he shook his head and answered. "Why start another war?" Zuko looked relieved by this, but that was until he informed Hakoda how he captured Katara and how it was under his orders that she was taken to the Fire Nation.

Hakoda's expression grew dark. "So it was you who caused the loss of so many of my people?"

Now Zuko looked royally annoyed. "I think the same could be said for the both of us." He look at Hakoda square in the eye. "Don't you agree?"

To this all Zuko got was a solemn nod, Hakoda turned a left to return to his family room. Hakoda spun on his heels. "It's funny, you were the one to take her from me, now it is you who gives her back. He smiled slightly. "Thank you Prince Zuko, for keeping her safe."

A look of bewilderment crossed Zuko's face. He thought about it quickly. "I always will protect her, to the best of my ability."

Hakoda nodded and continued down the stairs.

Zuko now stood alone, he remembered that he was supposed to be having a training session with Iroh soon. He made his way to the courtyard. Whilst he was walking he saw one of the cutest things that he had ever seen. Katara and her family were playing with a Turtle-duck that lived within the palace, with a lighter heart he continued.

"Hey Katara? Wasn't that Zuko?"

Katara looked to her older brother and shrugged. Azula came over.

"You know he's been a lot happier since you came here." She paused and cocked her head to the side. "When are you telling him that you are leaving?" In that moment the atmosphere around the pond changed, just not for the better.

Katara looked down at her lap. "I… I don't know."

Azula looked pissed. "Don't toy with his heart Little Water bender. It's been broken before." With that she left.

Leaving a confused Water bender and a grim looking Sokka.

Disclaimer i do not own any of the people in this fic!

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