We sit around the fire as Katara prepares breakfast a little ways off.
I'm vaguely aware of Aang and Suki trying to talk to me, but I'm distracted.
I watch Katara work over the pot of what looks like stew, and the way her hair swoops into her eyes any time she bends down to pick up a vegetable to add to the pot.
Aang taps my arm, and I turn to see him smirking at me, "Why don't you just go help her cook instead of being creepy and staring at her?"
I 'humpf' at him, and stand up.
She turns when she hears me walk up, and a breath taking smile spreads over her face.
"Need some help with breakfast? I am a pretty good cook, and you shouldn't always have to do everything on your own."
She blushes, and the smug monster in my heart rears its head.
"O-okay. I guess you can help, I-if you want." She turns back to the pot, and I stand directly behind her.
I chuckle silently when she tenses up.
I put my arms around her, taking the spoon and stirring the pot. My chin lays on her shoulder, and I breathe in the sweet smell of her soap and shampoo.
She turns her face to mine, and I have to remind myself to not kiss her.
I take a step back, and I smile at the disappointed look on her face. I take a taste of the broth, and when a drop escapes my lips I use my tongue to catch it, extremely aware of the way she's watching me.
An evil idea comes to my mind, and I dip the spoon back into the soup. I smile at her sweetly and hold the spoon to her lips, "Come on, taste it."
She takes the spoon into her mouth and drinks it.
"It needs more...spice." her voice is deep and quiet, so only I can hear, and something about her words sends a shiver up my spine.
A fire sparks in my stomach, and I can't help but wrap my fingers into her hair, pulling her close enough for a kiss.
Our faces inches apart, I reach behind me, going for a bowl, and I lean in just a little closer.
Her eyes bore into mine, and I can't help but chuckle.
"Time to serve the food, Kat-baby."
I turn away from her, adoring the small groan that I hear come from her.
I ladle out some food, and walk to my seat, purposely brushing my hand against her side, and I feel her tense up.
"Dinner's done, guys." I sit, and Sokka jumps up, racing to get a bowl.
Katara comes back to the fire, and sits directly across from me.
The Gaang all crowd around the fire, and we eat our food in quiet, Katara and I occasionally making eye contact, and each time I give her a smoldering look.
She finishes her food, and stands to take everyone's dish.
"Why don't you help me do the dishes, Zuko?" I smirk, and stand to help her carry the plates and bowls.
We walk in silence to the river, and when we get there she spins on me.
"What was that all about?"
I give her an innocent look, feigning as if I don't know what she's talking about.
"What ever do you mean, Katara?" She gives me a hard look, and turns away, her hair whipping me lightly in the face.
"All the touching and the look you kept giving me. It isn't nice to play with people's emotions."
I touch her shoulder kindly, "Katara, I wasn't playing with your emotions, I swear to you."
"Yeah, whatever." She doesn't talk to me for the rest of the time of us doing dishes, and when we get back to camp, she goes straight into her tent.
I fwump into my spot by the fire and groan in exasperation, running my fingers through my hair.
"Well that was a bust." Sokka looks over to me, and gives me a knowing grin.
"You need some help with a stubborn little sister, Zuko?" He smiles, and I nod silently.
"Okay. I have a plan."