The others fade into the distance, feeling the obvious tension between Katara and I.
Sokka and Suki leave last, and that leaves only the two of us.
I grin, and pull out my twin blades. I practice for half an hour, then 'slip up', slicing a deep groove into my arm.
I groan in pain, instantly summoning Katara to my side.
"God, Zuko, what happened?"
"My sword bounced back and got me in the arm."
Her hands grip my bicep, and I can't help but watch the way she bites her lip when she concentrates. Her hair slips into her face, and I resist the urge to brush it behind her ear.
My skin comes back together, and when she finishes, her eyes rise to meet mine.
A blush creeps over her cheeks, and it fills me with courage.
I brush the hair back from her eyes, and take a deep breath, "I want to court you.", my voice doesn't quaver, but my insides are doing cartwheels.
"But...I...you..." she trails off, stepping back from me, and taking my heart with her.
"I've already asked Sokka. I mean not for like permission or something, but for his blessing." I start to panic when she still says nothing.
"Just give me one week. If you still absolutely hate me...I'll never bug you again. Please." , I drop to my knees, my hands placed on them with my palms up, "Just one chance."
My whole world revolves around one word. "'Yes' and I get to be the happiest man on earth, even if only for one week. 'No' and she might as well rip my heart out and fry it now.
She takes a deep breath, and my world starts spinning in reverse.
"Yes. I...we can court.", her voice is strong, and her eyes burn with an unknown emotion.
My body moves without me telling it, and she's suddenly in my arms.
Her arms go around my neck, and she looks up at me.
Her chin rests on my chest, and I put my forehead to hers, giving her a rare-true smile.
"You won't regret this."