Let me put you to bed tonight and enfold you in these arms of mine. Together we can while away the moonlight as long as I stay by your side. Listen to me and close your eyes, sweet dreams are my promise; this is your lullaby.
Written at work thinking of someone. It's the little things and simple thoughts that people can inspire.
I am fully aware of the way promise is supposed to be pronounced. It should be said the right way but there is a specific way to sing it that makes it fit without changing the way the word is to be pronounced. This, for the people who know at a glance that it wouldn't rhyme. It wasn't meant to. There is a different beat that is stressed.
I'm trying to apologize for the damage I've done. I'm trying to apologize for the man I've become. Because I stand with my feet in a bloody mess, I'm undeserving of your sweet forgiveness. You wonder if I take pleasure in this savage game, Or if I play for any possible gain. But I promise, all I wanted was for you to be happy. Some of my sweetest memories are of you laughing.
You wanted to find out why I was leaving. You wanted to find out if my promises ever had meaning. I always said what you wanted to hear, Just to make you want to stay near. Whether I felt that way or not is a mystery to ponder, That is, if you care now that "we" are no longer. Now there is only one thing left for me to say, And that's that I hope you find a man that'll stay. I hope that he will actually earn your love.
couldn't decide on the tittle so its either love is adjourned or cherish it... now i'm just making little snippets of poems that i might eventually use in a song...i always come up with some good lines but can never use them in an entire song so i'm saving some ideas that i might use in the future
"Why doesn't my picture have more favorites?" "Why did they give them a DD but not me?" "Why won't anyone comment on my photo?" "Why do I have so few watchers?"
Everyone has asked themselves these questions one time or another. It's the thing we all desire here on DeviantART: Popularity.
When you make a wonderful piece of fanart that you're extremely proud of, but no one cares to tell you what a good job you did. When you pour your heart out in a flowing piece of poetry, but no one sympathizes with you. It's happened to all of us.
Here are my tips and guidelines on popularity!
How can people admire your work if they never see it? Simple: they can't. The solution to this is to join groups. Maybe one, maybe two, maybe over three-hundred. Find groups that will show off your art for all of DeviantART to see!
However, it's best you only join active groups. Some groups will simply accept your art, and that will be it. They won't hold contests, or have features, or news updates, or challenges to get your creativity flowing. You can still join and submit to groups like this, but also join groups that have lots of activities!
Submitting to groups will get your art "out of the house", as it were. It will help spread the word.
Just putting a "." in the artist's comments may work for some people, but that doesn't mean it will work for you.
If you're new and you don't have many comments on your art, leaving the description blank isn't going to change that. Show people that you're friendly! Show them that you appreciate their feedback. Politely ask for critique in the artist's comments. If you ask questions about your art, people will want to answer.
But don't just say, "What do you guys think?". Be specific!
Here are some good questions to put in your artist's comments:
- "What do you think of (character's name here) personality?"
- "Does the pose in this picture look natural or casual?"
- "Does the photo need more or less emphasis on the background?"
What Goes Around, Comes Around
Feedback goes both ways. If someone is kind enough to comment on your work, don't try and play it cool by not replying. Say thank you!
You don't have to tell everyone "Thanks for the fav!", but you can visit their profile and give them a llama. If you like their art, go ahead and watch them! If they give you a llama, give one back (they are free, after all).
Remember, your art isn't the only art out there. Favorite things you like, comment on other people's work, congratulate them on their Daily Deviations, etc. Be social and friendly; if you find someone who's a new member, welcome them. Make some friends! And, if you see art you really like, suggest it to one of the CV's (Community Volunteers) as a Daily Deviation.
What Really Matters
One thing you must never, ever, forget is this: Popularity isn't everything. Only having three watchers/friends who give you good, constructive criticism to help you improve is better than having fifty watchers who never say anything.
Don't drop everything just so you can get more favorites on you're art. Don't try and be someone you're not just so people will like you more.
If you're really in a slump, try making a guide or a tutorial about something you have experience with.
Roundel form poem. First attempt at this form for me.
I must correct for those who don't know that the art I posted with my poem is not mine. If you know the artist I would love to give credit where it is due. Thank you.
The only thing I do know about the wheel art is that it is Celtic designed, traditional Celtic art, to be sure.
IF you are going to download this you must notify me who you are. If not, then please don't make me track you down. Funny, we can't actually do that so who knows who is downloading stuff on DA?! I find this unsatisfactory. Please respect my rights.
"Hear, hear!" the ragtag group of warriors chorused, raising their cups in a toast to the fire prince. The glowing firelight illuminated the content grin from Aang as he elbowed the bender at his side and brightened Toph's unseeing eyes when she punched Zuko's arm.
"I'm touched. I don't deserve this," Zuko murmured gratefully.
"Yeah, no kidding," Katara snapped, partaking in the conversation for the first time. Her glare was flooded with a coldness that was equivalent to the ice she bent. Troubled stares followed her retreating form that drifted toward the side of the cliff.
"What's with her?" Sokka asked, not really caring.
Dignified and determined, Zuko stood. "I wish I knew," he replied before taking off after the distressed bender. He had proven himself worthy to the Blind Bandit, the Kyoshi Warrior, the Water Tribe idiot, and the Avatar. It was the cryptic carapace of the water maid that he couldn't seem to make a dent in, let alone break down.
"What's with him?" The boy's question was met with a round of ambivalent shrugs before the lively chatter from minutes earlier began again.
Katara heard the soft shuffle of footsteps approach her; she knew which member of the group is was in an instant. His stride sounded different than everyone else's. Toph's was boisterous, Aang's was little more than a whisper among the grass or gravel, Suki's possessed the grace of a dancer, and Sokka's was clumsy. His footsteps were enemy footsteps, mistrustful and heavy and arrogant.
"Go away," she demanded coolly, never taking her eyes off of the craters and mountains on the moon or the ephemeral ring that glowed around it.
"This isn't fair!" Zuko tried to reason with her, earning a harsh glare over the waterbender's shoulder.
"I said, go away," she repeated.
"No." The short syllable was solid, sturdy. "Why are you so mad at me? Was it something I did?" A short pause and no answer, then: "Was it something I didn't do?" She didn't answer his questions and simply tuned him out as he continued to ramble on about how everyone else trusted him now and she was the only one who didn't.
"You know," Katara interrupted his lengthy tirade with casual cruelness, "I can kill you, right now, without even getting up." Her storm-blue eyes cast their gaze back up to the tiny white pinpoints in the sky and their mistress. "A lot has changed since the North Pole. The moon can do things you never even imagined."
It infuriated Zuko to have her disregard him in the way she was doing, not even bothering to look at him while she berated him. Crossing his arms in his usual stubborn manner, he challenged her. "Do it." This time, she spun around, her eyes wide and her lips drawn in an uncomprehending scowl. "Just try to kill me."
A sarcastic laugh rumbled through her throat. "Try?" she echoed, like it was the most ridiculous thing she'd ever heard. "I can and I will."
He waited while she closed her eyes peacefully; every breath he drew aided her in her focus. She could see his body in its entirety despite their distant proximity. She could see every sinewy muscle under his skin flex and contract as he shifted impatiently. She could nearly feel his blood ebbing and flowing around his body, through the veins and arteries, pulsing at every paced beat of his heart.
When the angry blue of her eyes opened once more, she found a smirk playing at the corner of her unkind mouth. At this uncharacteristically smug grin, Zuko grew uneasy, and, to his horror, he found that his legs wouldn't move even a fraction of an inch, nor could he raise his arms. He let out a low, raw gasp as the reality became apparent.
Of course, he mused grimly, her plan was to watch him suffer. Watch him as she took complete control.
"See, I don't just rise with the moon," she explained leisurely. "I gain this wicked, terrifying, exhilarating power." With the simple wave of her fingers, he was on all fours. His chest was heaving with strangled, heavy breaths, as though he had just completed one of his lengthy training sessions. She crossed her legs on the boulder she was perched on, and as she did so, the incapacitated prince rose sharply to his feet again.
Katara saw the fear in his eyes, an emotion that did its best to not be seen often, while she slowly squeezed her fingers into a fist. She was cutting off his circulation in precise places: a slightly harder squeeze and Zuko was nearly choking. She would have closed her fist all the way and snapped his lifeline then and there, but the sky-clear film of tears disrupted her sight.
The waterbender dropped her hand and released her captive from her deadly hold. Zuko, over taken by utter shock and horror, staggered backwards before tripping and landing on his back. With precise steps, Katara shuffled toward him in tears and knelt by him.
"Right here," she whispered shakily, touching a finger to his neck where the thick blue vein was clearly visible beneath his ghostly pale skin. "All I have to do is stop the blood from flowing here and you'll die in a matter of seconds." Her hand dropped then, and she glared at her fingertips. "I could kill you right now," Katara sighed painfully, "but I won't. Since Aang needs you, the world needs you. And this war must end."
Her back turned, Katara stumbled toward her tent, leaving Zuko behind with her beloved moon above and cherished ocean below.
Links~! Day One: Family.....[link] Day Two: Change.....[link] Day Three: Pain.....[Here] Day Four: Date.....[link] Day Five: Harmony.....[link] Day Six: Alternate Universe.....[link] Day Seven: Storm.....[link]
The ABCs of Zutara: KINDLE Written by Katie Jo aka AVidZktjo
AN OFFICIAL SEQUEL TO DISTRACTED (I refer to that one-shot in this story, so I recommend that you read that one first)
The firebender was in love with a Water Tribe girl. Shaking the distraction from her mind, Katara reined in her thoughts, forced them into submission, and tried to focus on the flow of water in her hands. Up and down. Back and forth. The clear, blue liquid moved with grace through her fingers and around her body in measured motions of fluidity. In. Out. Push. Pull. The only sounds that reached her ears were the misty splash of the waves and the crash of the ocean's current against the sand. Her mind was fixed on the present. Nothing else existed. No past. No future. Only the here and now. So, are you pleasantly distracted?
The water abruptly dropped from her command and the waterbender stood as rigid as a block of ice. Why did his voice have to constantly disrupt her thoughts with that blasted question!? The answer was the same every time. It hadn't changed and it wasn't likely that it ever would. Yes, she was distracted. In fact, there wasn't a time these days when she wasn't distracted. And when she tried to escape from the distraction, it only came back to, well, distract her!
Bending the water back into her hands, Katara sighed and told herself, "Just focus. He's not here so there's no reason for me to be distracted. He doesn't exist. There's only me and the ocean. Nothing else." The water obeyed its master's command and cascaded through the various movements with polished skill and elegant style. Each technique was pristine and perfect in its execution. No mistakes. No blunders. No slipups. Just grace and poise and Katara's lips slowly curled upward as the image of Zuko's captivating smile invaded her mind. To her disappointment, her motions broke out of their smooth flow the minute her thoughts turned in favor toward the distraction.
"Ugh!" In a huff, Katara threw down her disobedient element and lifted a wall of water before her. With rage in her eyes and a curse on her tongue, she pushed the wave away from her, crashing it into the rocks up ahead. "I'll never get it right!"
"Actually," Katara whirled around to face the intruder "I think it was perfect."
"Zuko." Just the man she didn't want to see. "What are you doing up so late?"
Zuko, who had been casually leaning up against a tree intent on the waterbender's movements, stepped out from the shadows and walked towards Katara. Ignoring her question, the intrusive firebender waded into the water beside her and lit his palms aflame. "That last move you did, it almost looked like a firebending technique Uncle taught me."
"My last one? That wasn't a waterbending move. That was just anger."
A grin appeared upon Zuko's mouth. "I know."
Katara narrowed her eyes at him. "Then what technique are you talking about?"
"This one." With more grace than Katara thought possible from a firebender, Zuko drew out his flame and made it circle around him in much the same pattern as she had done earlier. It was beautiful, but it wasn't a firebending technique. It was a copycat. "See. It's the same as firebending," Zuko spoke up in the middle of his motions.
Pulling water into her hands, Katara mimicked his move. "No. Actually it is the same as waterbending. You're the one who stole my moves not the other way around. Not that I'm surprised. You've done it before."
Zuko extinguished his flame and stared over at Katara. "What are you talking about? I've never stolen any of your bending."
"Sure you have. In Ba Sing Se."
"What? Ba Sing Se?"
Katara sighed and let the water fall back into the ocean as she turned to face the puzzled firebender. "Yes. Ba Sing Se. Don't you remember? When we were fighting, you mimicked my every move."
Zuko rolled his eyes and shook his head. "That's called adapting to your opponent."
"No. That's called stealing," Katara argued while putting her hands on her hips.
The simple gesture caught Zuko's eye and he couldn't help but focus on her scantily clad body. He tried to avert his attention away from what little clothes she was wearing and how much skin she was showing and the water cascading down her "What does it matter? Fire and water have similar techniques. It's all the same."
"No, it's not. Fire is nothing like water. You can't do my moves and I can't do yours. The elements are all different," Katara continued to prove her point, failing to notice the way Zuko's eyes roamed.
In an attempt to regain his focus, Zuko turned from Katara and looked out over the ocean, producing flames in his palms once more. "That's not what my uncle told me." As the fire in Zuko's hands flowed like water through the air, he tried to explain. "The elements are all connected. Each one takes from the others and learns from it, and at the same time each one gives to the others and contributes to the whole. It is an endless cycle. We may be different in our elements, but our bending has similar aspects and techniques. They are all related, each one building upon the next. It is how the Avatar learns them all. Therefore, we are the same."
"Hmmm " Katara hummed as she watched Zuko's graceful motions. His firebending was proof in and of itself. Each movement was as fluid as the next and looked as if water could have taken the place of the flames. Katara thought that Zuko must be right, but she wanted to prove his theory before fully accepting it. "Alright. If you're so sure that our elements are the same, let's see you do this." Katara lifted a wall of water before her, split it in two, and formed massive water whips around her arms. After moving them around her in a complex pattern, she shot them off in the firebender's direction and watched the wall of water evaporate into steam.
With a teasing grin on his smug face, Zuko provoked her. "Is that all you've got?"
As Zuko effortlessly imitated every action of hers with fire, Katara couldn't help but stare after him in amazement. I guess he was right, she thought. After lifting a wave before her to block the flames he spewed her way, Katara voiced another question. "So you've got some skill in adapting to waterbending techniques. How about you teach me something now?"
Zuko paused for a moment. "Alright. I've got the perfect one," he eventually complied. Focusing on the rising fire in his hands, Zuko molded it to his will and then circled the flames around his torso before spiraling it off into the night sky. It was a simple move save for the image that Zuko produced.
"A dragon? You want me to make a dragon? I can't do that and you know it," Katara pointed out to him as her hands found their way to her hips yet again.
She looked annoyed, not that Zuko was focusing on her face. "Sure you can," he encouraged her as he stepped up behind her. "If I can do it with fire then you can easily make it with water. It's not that hard. Here, I'll show you." He couldn't believe he was doing this, but there was no stopping himself now. Not that he wanted to. With a cautious air to his gentle touch, Zuko wrapped his fingers around each of Katara's wrists and raised her hands. "You need to focus more on the wrist and finger movement than the overall bending." As Katara pulled water up into her hands, Zuko breathed in the scent of her hair and about fell over from the intoxicating scent.
"Is this right?" Katara asked in a hushed voice.
Zuko quickly shook off the aroma and focused on Katara's bending. "Uh, yeah, that's, um, that's good." He wanted to kick himself for his stuttering.
As Katara's unlikely teacher guided her through the intricacies of his bending artistry, she couldn't help but fumble a bit through the motions. Normally, she would have been able to pick up the move as quickly as any other, but with Zuko standing behind her, his warmth seeping into her skin, her focus on the technique had all but vanished. The only thing she could focus on was the feel of his gentle hands upon her arms, the sound of his deep voice in her ear, and the searing heat radiating from his body and into her own. Her mind was anything but focused. In fact, it seemed as if distraction was now her constant companion.
Zuko was having about as much luck as Katara. His attention to the lesson at hand lasted about a millisecond and then his focus became fixed upon the waterbender for every second after that. The smell of the ocean in her hair was driving him crazy. Why did she have to smell so good? And on top of that, she was dressed in her training gear, though gear was the wrong way to put it. She was wearing next to nothing, which gave his eyes plenty of space to roam over. Ugh. Focus, Zuko. Focus, he tried to demand of himself, but it was no use. He couldn't even seem to get out a syllable let alone an entire word. He was fumbling all over the place and she wasn't picking up the move much either. This was a disaster.
"Uh, Zuko?" Katara whispered his name.
Why was her voice so quiet? "Yeah?"
"I don't think this is working." He could tell by the slow constricting of her neck that she swallowed hard. "Maybe uh, maybe we should try this again tomorrow or something."
Zuko cleared his throat and then dropped his hands from around her wrists. "Yeah. Sure." Before stepping away from his captivating student, he breathed in one last whiff of her hair, letting the scent burn within him. Oh, spirits, she smells good. It took all of his strength to back away from the enticing aroma, but somehow he managed to retreat.
Hesitantly turning around, Katara faced her tutor and gave him a timid smile. "I think you were right, Zuko. Our elements have their similarities both in style and technique."
All Zuko did was nod.
Tucking a strand of moist hair behind her ear, Katara looked down at the water around her calves. "I, uh, well, thank you for showing me that. I'll have to practice a little more, I think, before I get it." Katara glanced up at Zuko. His eyes seemed to hold hers with such intensity. What was wrong?
Focus. Fo-cus, his mind reprimanded through gritted teeth. His wandering eyes were turning into an annoyance, a very dangerously frightening annoyance. And yet, it was rather exciting as well. No! Her eyes. Look in her eyes and nowhere else. With concentrated force, Zuko stared into her big blues. There was no way he was going to let his thoughts and emotions control him like this. He couldn't let them. Katara was well, she was Katara, a waterbender, a Water Tribe girl. She couldn't He couldn't They couldn't. It just could never would never work! But then why for the first time in his life did Zuko have no control over the heat within his body or the thoughts in his head?
"Well I guess " Zuko's eyes never dropped from hers and the intensity of his stare only seemed to increase with each passing moment. It was wrecking havoc on Katara's nerves and she had to get away before he burst out in anger or some other random emotion. The fire prince was not easy to read, especially now. "I'm just gonna " Katara's gaze fell down to the waves and she walked past Zuko without looking back. "I'll see you tomorrow then."
"Wait." His plea was but a whisper in the dark.
Katara stopped and turned to face the back of her midnight companion.
After taking a deep breath, Zuko softened his gaze and met once more with eyes of blue. "It's beautiful out." Glancing above him, Zuko took in the vast expanse of the clear sky. "The stars are shining brightly tonight."
Katara furrowed her brow in confusion. "Yes. They are."
"I was just wondering if you " Zuko closed his eyes and sighed. This was a stupid idea. What was he thinking? It wasn't like anything could come of this. The only thing this was going to accomplish was the same thing that taking her to the fountain accomplished. Nothing. Lifting his gaze to meet hers, he finished, "Never mind." With a dejected look in his amber eyes, Zuko passed by the waterbender and tread back to camp.
Stupid! What were you thinking! he cursed himself. Katara was his friend now. That was all. And he couldn't ask for anything more than that. In fact, he didn't dare to. It was out of the question! Insane! Crazy! Only an idiot would think on such things. Then I guess I'm an idiot because I can't stop thinking about her. "Ugh!" In a fit, Zuko threw open his tent and crashed down upon solid earth.
What was I thinking? Asking her to spend the night under the stars with me? That was the stupidest, craziest, most ridiculous idea I've ever had! I can't believe I even thought about asking her. Ugh, I can't believe I almost did. What's wrong with me? It's Katara, not some Fire Nation girl. Therefore, I can't. Throwing the covers over his head, Zuko screamed out one last command in his mind. So stop thinking about her!
In an instant Zuko was up on his feet and out of his tent. "What is it, Katara?" Though her Water Tribe outfit still revealed her budding curves, the struggling prince couldn't help but thank the spirits that Katara was fully clothed now.
Zuko could tell she was nervous about something because she never bit her lip on any other occasion. "Well, I I was just wondering if you would " Katara moved her hands from around her back to reveal her sleeping mat. "It's a beautiful night, as you said, so I thought it would be a great time to sleep outside. Those tents can get a little stuffy. It would be nice to take a break from them."
Amazing. His plan had worked, not that it had been much of a plan to begin with, but it had worked all the same. She actually wanted him to sleep under the stars with her. Amazing. "So does this mean that "
Averting her eyes to the ground, Katara stuttered through the invitation. "I well, you you could join me if you'd like."
A smile lit up Zuko's face and he burst out, "Of course, I'd love to!" Her big blues eyes met with his golden ones. "I mean I would like to. Yes."
Katara found herself mimicking his grin. "Great. I'll meet you by the ocean then."
Dropping her gaze from his penetrating eyes, Katara brushed past him and made her way to the ocean front. She could feel the heat of his stare on her back as she left his side and it sent shivers down her spine. What was I thinking? This is crazy! I can't believe I actually asked him to join me. I mean, why did I ask him to join me? What's the point? Katara knew why she'd asked. All was forgiven. They were friends now. But still there felt like something was missing. She wanted more. She wanted to get to know the fire prince better. And she wanted to see his distracting smile again.
As Katara spread out her blankets on the sand, she scolded herself, "Stop it. This is crazy."
Oh, great. "Nothing. I was just, um, well " Katara said the first thing that came to her mind. "I'm a little cold is all." Cold? Yeah, right. She was a waterbender who lived in the South Pole. Nothing was cold to her.
Zuko stepped up beside her and spread out his own mat right next to hers. Then he glanced over at the waterbender and held her eyes with his. "I think I can help with that."
Katara wrinkled her forehead. "How?"
Zuko's lips curled in a teasing grin. "I am a firebender after all. I can warm anything." Zuko leaned in closer to Katara and whispered with an even deeper tone to his voice, "Even you."
Katara's eyes popped and she could feel her cheeks getting redder with each passing second. Brushing her hair from her shoulder, she dropped her eyes and turned her attention to the blankets they each had spread out on the beach. She practically tripped as she lowered herself into a seating position. So, are you pleasantly dis - Yes! I am. Okay. Enough already! This was going to be one interesting evening to say the least.
Sitting down next to her, Zuko immediately tried to apologize for his idiotic statement. "Katara, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. It was stupid of me. I didn't mean it like that." Zuko smacked himself in the head and sighed. What was wrong with him? I can warm anything. Even you. What kind of reply was that? Katara must have thought he was trying to seduce her or something, which was just ridiculous or was it? Enough! I'm not attracted to Katara. I want nothing more than to be friends with her. And that's the end of it! But as Zuko's eyes lifted and locked onto the understanding gaze of the waterbender, he knew nothing was further from the truth.
His companion lifted her hand and waved off his apology. "Don't worry about it, Zuko. I thought it was rather cute what you said. Actually, it was kind of funny." A small chuckle rocked her shoulders and Zuko found himself growing weak at the sound.
"So you're not cold then because I can well " Zuko's gaze fell from hers. "I can still, um, help with that. I mean, I can, well, I can what I'm trying to say is that "
Katara bit her lip in an attempt to hold back her laughter. This had to be the first time she'd ever heard Zuko ramble on uncontrollably. When had he ever stuttered? Well, there was the time he had tried to join them, but that was just nerves. Then what was this? Was he nervous? No, he couldn't be. What could he possibly be nervous about? "Zuko."
A sigh escaped the firebender's mouth and he lifted his eyes to hers once more. "Yeah?"
Now was her chance. She could either tell the truth and say that she wasn't cold or she could lie and say that she was. It wasn't that hard of a decision to make. "I think my waterbending practice gave me a bit of a chill." Wrapping her arms around herself, Katara tried to imitate shivers. "I am a little cold."
"Well, uh here." Zuko lifted his arm in an inviting gesture, and to his utter joy, Katara fell into the embrace and even nestled in closer to him. "There is, uh is that better?"
Aside from her racing heart, everything was much better. "Yes." Through the use of his firebending, Zuko had somehow made his body even warmer than it usually was and Katara found herself melting in his arms. His embrace was nothing like her brother's or her father's or even Aang's. It was something else. Different. Unique. Special. And it warmed her in more ways than one. The heat from the firebender's arms seeped through her skin, filling her up with fire, a fire that ran deeper than the simple flames of his element.
Was this really happening? Was Zuko actually holding her? She couldn't believe it. Against all odds, she had trusted this man and even befriended him. But now there was something more, something deeper, something much greater than mere friendship forming within her heart. Glancing up at Zuko's face, Katara marveled at the beauty there. Even though he was scarred, he was handsome and very beautiful to behold. Dropping her eyes, Katara bit her lip. What was happening to her? Was she actually attracted to Zuko? Without thought to her action, Katara pulled out of Zuko's embrace and inched away from him.
Lying down on her sleeping mat, Katara stared up at the starry sky. "Nothing. I'm just a little tired."
She could hear the disappointment in his voice, but she ignored it and focused on the stars up above instead.
Zuko didn't know what he'd done wrong. He had tried to keep his temperature at an even level, but maybe he had warmed her too much. Or maybe maybe he had moved too fast. Maybe this had all been a mistake and she was just now realizing it. Looking over at her still form, he let his eyes take her in. She was so very beautiful. Any man could see that. And he had seen that. Zuko had recognized his attraction to her almost instantly. He'd been thinking of her as a woman now ever since he'd tied her to that tree all those months ago. And now he looked on her as the loveliest sight he'd ever seen. But it was in the moment he'd been able to talk with her for the first time that he realized her beauty was more than skin deep.
That sounded so clichéd but it was true nonetheless. She was compassionate and kind and understanding. He'd never found anyone like her. Of course his uncle had provided him with the same understanding heart, but finding it in the waterbender had been unexpectedly rewarding and quite different from his uncle. Katara had become a dear friend to him and he would do anything to keep her in his life. Betraying her trust had been one of the biggest mistakes he'd ever made, but scaring her away would be an even bigger one.
Lying down beside the rigid waterbender, Zuko did as she and turned his attention to the stars. It was one of the clearest nights he'd seen since joining their gang and picking out the constellations was a breeze. There was Sozin, the great dragons, even the Fire Nation symbol, all brilliantly displayed in the sky.
"I've never seen Tui and La so clear."
"Who?" Zuko asked upon hearing her murmur.
"Tui and La." Katara glanced over at Zuko and then lifted her hand up to point out the two circling koi fish. "Don't you see them? They are circling one another in their never ending dance."
Zuko followed Katara's tracing finger but he didn't understand what she was talking about. Shaking his head, he lifted his own hand into the sky and traced the same figure, explaining the true meaning of the constellation. "No, that's the great dragons of old. They are spewing fire from their mouths. Their tails meet at the center. See?"
Katara turned her head toward Zuko. "What are you talking about? That's Tui and La, the two koi fish at the North Pole who represent the moon and the ocean."
Zuko furrowed his brow. "What? That's the two great dragons who were the first to teach man how to bend fire. That constellation has been a part of our culture for hundreds of years."
"No, it has been a part of ours for hundreds of years."
Zuko rolled on his side to face Katara better. "Wait. Are you telling me that we have different constellations?"
Katara's eyes grew wide at his question. "We do?" She mirrored his position. "How is that possible?"
"I don't know. I guess our varying cultures came up with different images in the sky."
"Hm," Katara murmured as she stared into Zuko's golden eyes. In an instant, the constellations were forgotten and all she could focus on was the handsome face in front of her. Once she had called him her enemy and thought him ugly, but now all she could see was his beauty. And that scar Katara reached to touch it but quickly drew back her hand when she saw Zuko's stunned expression. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have."
But the fire prince grabbed her hand and gently placed it upon the rigid skin of his face. "It's alright. You can touch it."
Feeling the roughness of his burnt skin under her fingers should have been a familiar sensation but it wasn't. Something had changed in Zuko since Ba Sing Se and even his scar felt different somehow. It was still a scar, rigid and hard, but the face of the man that possessed it had become much softer. Katara could sense the change in him. The mark upon his face was no longer a failure in his life but it had finally become what it had been all along. Just a scar. It may have been a part of his face, but it no longer had any control over him the way it had before. "You've learned to accept it, haven't you?"
Zuko was amazed that she could read him so easily. "Yes. I have. I realize now that healing my face of this blemish would have done nothing but remove a scar. Nothing can heal the past. Not even a skilled waterbender like you."
A slight smile appeared on Katara's lips as she lifted her hand from his face and put it back in front of her. "Then you truly have changed."
"It's about time you see that," Zuko replied with a playful grin.
Katara chuckled but then grew serious. "Have you ever let anyone else try to heal it?"
The fire prince's teasing grin dimmed as he replied. "No. I've never let anyone come close enough to touch it. Not even my uncle."
Katara's eyes widened in surprise. "Then why did you let me?"
Zuko put his hand over Katara's and captured her eyes with his. "Because you were the first person to offer me real hope. You saw past the scar and into a destiny I had not yet realized. You understood me more than anyone else has since my uncle. You saw the real me."
Katara didn't know how to answer. She knew that something deeper had taken place in the crystal catacombs than just the simple gesture of kindness she had made to the fire prince. But she hadn't known what it was until now. Friendship had sparked between them in the cave, a fire had begun to kindle within their hearts, and now it was starting to rise. "I'm the only one who has ever touched your scar?" was all the response Katara could give as his amber eyes seemed to dig deeper into her soul.
The smile on Zuko's lips lifted higher. "Yes. You're the only one."
Katara bit her lip as her heart sped up its beating. The warm hand he had placed over hers was wrecking havoc on her nerves and his eyes were putting color in her cheeks. As gently as she could, Katara pulled her hand out from under his and then turned on her back to look up at the night sky. "So which of the constellations are different?"
The blush that had spilled over on Katara's face only made her more captivating and Zuko's internal struggle with his eyes returned in full force. The only way to combat the distraction was to turn his attention back to the sky and join Katara in her star gazing. As they took turns explaining the different patterns, their hands inched towards the middle of their sleeping mats. Before they knew it, their fingers had met. With one quick glance, the decision was made and their hands intertwined in an innocent touch.
As the quiet evening wore on, their eyes began to tire and their conversation slowed. Though it was clearly a lie to her, Katara shivered as the wind picked up. Ever the gentleman, Zuko wrapped his arms around her shoulders in another warm embrace. Her head rested within the crook of his arm and Zuko set his cheek atop her intoxicating hair. The sweet smell that filled his lungs and the warmth of her hand within his made no difference at all to the truth of the moment for the truth had been burning within him long before that evening. It had begun to spread like a budding flame, but now it was reaching towards his heart. If he wasn't careful, the simple kindle would become a raging fire that would consume his whole being. But who was being careful.
Its so ADORABLE!!! Awww In case you didnt figure it out already, this was all FLUFF and nothing more. Hehe. Seriously, Im more of a plot person than a fluff person so this was something different for me. Dont get me wrong, I love the fluff, but I like plot within the fluff. LOL. Anyway, it doesnt matter. This was just cute and adorable and had the awww-factor. I didnt plan on it being a sequel either, but it worked.
As for the word KINDLE it means the beginning of a fire. Great word, right! Basically in this story I wanted to show the beginning of the great romance between Zuko and Katara. It starts with attraction and then moves into more. So in this story they are both attracted to each other, though they may try to fight it, and they are starting to like each other in that deeper way. Yay! So cute!
And stuttering Zuko gotta love him! When it comes to a romantic Zutara, I guess I picture Zuko kind of awkward because hes never really been in a real relationship before. Hes been too occupied with chasing after the Avatar, but now he has time to relax and his manly desires are kicking in. Hehe. Focus, Zuko. Fo-cus on Katara that is!
I thought that the difference in constellations was a cool idea. Since they are from different cultures, I believe that they would have a difference in many things not just their images in the sky. Plus, it was a cute scene. And I had to go into the scar bit because Katara needs to know that shes the only one whos ever touched it. And the part at the beginning where she scolds him for stealing her moves in Ba Sing Se was just too funny. Weve all thought it. It was time they actually talked about it.
Oh, and I gotta give a shout-out to LavenderLeo because she kind of inspired a moment in this one-shot with her own brilliant story. I wonder if she can pick it out. Let me know, girl! In the meantime, check out her amazing Zutara story Where the Sun Meets the Ocean[link] one of the best Ive read!
Thanks for reading! And dont forget to REVIEW!!!
*** Liars is sure to be fun! Cant wait! Oh, and I tried to keep this short, but it still kinda went a little long. Sorry. Can you find it in your hearts to forgive me? ***
i wake up to a beautiful morning. the trees are dancing to the melody of the sunset and you are the only one that crosses my mind.
i want to bury my- self and fall in love with your smile. the tone of your voice, the scent of your soul, the taste of your skin the blood that keeps me warm. this noticeable feeling you send me whenever you are near me, whenever you are breathing. whenever you are waiting.
[withdraw.] follow the depths of love; the visions of love.
these gorgeous flowers the smell of paradise, the touch of summer, the chills of winter, love blooms in spring.
new formations - negative parabolas, slope equations, distant formulas, quadratic equations -- circulates the pupils of your
dark. distant. ey.es (malfunction) i have done the math.
replicate these dreams and i will sink underneath this word you call love.
f all down [vanish.] till the sun repeats its mode and ill look deeply into your eyes. till those three words crumble out of your mouth. till those three words appear in thin air. the transition between me and you will never fail. the lines that lie between us will never form into parallel lines, perpendicular forms.
"Zuko," the ephemeral figure whispered at the openings of the aforementioned boy's tent. Her gauzy robes fluttered in the light breeze, her red face paint reflecting nearly silver in the full moon's brilliant light. "Zuko," she repeated, then dashed away as swiftly as she could manage.
The confused young man shuffled out of his ragged blankets and into the humid night, rubbing his good eye and stifling a yawn. He stretched and was suddenly on guard, glancing around anxiously for whoever dared sneak into their camp. Zuko spotted the feminine silhouette on the hilltop, standing gracefully with the moon as her backdrop. Even standing perfectly still, she seemed to possess a fluid elegance similar to the gentle push and pull of the ocean's tide.
"What are you waiting for, Blue Spirit?" she called out quietly, raising her voice just enough so he could hear her.
His eyes darted around and he spotted a blue oblong shape resting against the side of his tent. Upon closer inspection, it was the horned mask just like the one he used to wear on his midnight expeditions. His jaw set in a hard line as a look of confusion crept across his face.
"Who are you?" he shouted. He was unnerved that the spirit-like girl knew his past identity.
"Come," she coaxed, stepping backwards.
With a slight growl, Zuko reached down, grabbed the mask, and ducked back inside his tent to quickly dress in the suit of pure black. Fully transformed into the Blue Spirit, he grabbed his Dao swords and slung them over his back. The moonlit lady was still waiting for him.
She already knew he was there, so instead on focusing on stealth and anonymity, Zuko concentrated on his speed. The girl, seemingly satisfied, took off through the trees and led their newly formed game of chase. Her lithe steps took her soundlessly through the forest, feinting through the trees until she reached the nearest town where she clambered up onto the rooftops and performed a sort of ballet on the peaks of the roofs. Zuko tried to catch her, but his effort was in vain and she vanished before he could even understand what happened.
That was the first time the Painted Lady had visited the Blue Spirit. Their rendezvous recurred almost nightly, and Zuko was able to pick out only a few blatantly obviously facts about his mysterious companion.
First, she always seemed to find him, no matter where he was, and never did she make it seem like it was a coincidence that she ran into him. Second, she would not let him get close enough to discover her true identity, even though she knew his alias. Third, she disliked speaking and only called out to him to begin their chase, and fourth, he was utterly fascinated.
The familiar scenario played out for maybe the eleventh or twelfth time one night, and the moonlight lady only had to say his name once before he appeared in full Blue Spirit costume and followed without so much as a moment's hesitation.
After emerging from the thick forest and nearly gliding across the flat, short plain, she scrambled gracefully up the side of one store after she made sure he was still following her. A tiny grin cracked her lips when she saw him not too far behind, one hand gripping his swords, as he always did.
Zuko would follow her soundlessly across the rooftops and then when they got to the last building in town, she'd vanish and he would just stare at the spot she had just been occupying for a moment, confused or amazed, before turning around and heading back to the camp where the other members of Team Avatar still slept. This time, however, she had a different idea.
At the last store on the edge of town, she jumped down from the roof, glancing up at the masked man and nodding encouragingly. He followed suit, his jump lacking her grace but silent and effective, nonetheless. Then he was running again, until the salty brine of the ocean met his nose. The spirit girl had stopped on the ragged line of sand that marked where land ended and water began, letting the languid tide sweep over her bare feet.
The deep violet robe she wore pooled by her elbows and hung loosely over her shoulders, the plentiful material clasped together with a wide, flat seashell and some rope. Her hair, not agreeing with the humidity of the night, curled wildly down her back. The red flourishes on her face were contorted by the sheer cascade of a veil that hung in front of her.
She turned when she heard him approach, her eyes tracing the gleaming blades of his twin swords that were suspended steadfastly in the air. "Stand down, Blue Spirit," the Painted Lady suggested, her voice a sultry murmur.
Zuko tore his gaze from the top of her woven hat--she never looked up enough for him to see her face clearly--to the dagger strapped around her waist. The Painted Lady laughed softly when she realized what he must have been looking at and discarded her weapon onto the stretch of sand in front of him. He lowered his prized swords but didn't return them to their sheath.
"Who are you?" he asked, now that he had the opportunity to speak to her.
"There's a storm coming tonight," she replied instead, swishing the white crest of waves with her feet.
Zuko looked up through his mask at the still sky. "How can you tell?" he demanded. The waves were calm and the air was still; she must be crazy if she thought there was a storm brewing.
"I feel it in my blood, just like the way you can feel the sun's path, firebender." Her low voice was smug, self-assured.
"I'm not--" he countered immediately, stopping short. He had refused his power for so long in Ba Sing Se, and it was just by habit now to deny his bending when someone made the assumption. He had forgotten that she already knew who he was. "I see," he conceded at last.
"Prince Zuko," the mystic woman started, trailing off and never continuing her sentence. Instead, still making sure he couldn't see her face, she stepped over her dagger and stroked the thin wood of his mask. His fingers seized her wrist, overlapping and nearly bruising the delicate skin, then let his hands drop in defeat when he heard an aggravated sigh. Thunder cracked across the dark sky as the clouds began to swirl.
The Painted Lady smiled at the thunder and his compliance, finding the edges of his mask and slowly sliding it up and over his head. Amber eyes were troubled as she brushed the hood of his shirt back as well, tousling his hair. The mask was his security, and without it, he felt vulnerable and exposed.
"Mmm," she murmured in approval, touching her fingertips to the rippled scar that dominated the left side of his face. Her thumb lightly brushed over his lips; his breath teased her fingers. Just like the catacombs, the girl thought. But this time we're friends.
The familiarity and uncanny déjà vu began to seep into Zuko's mind.
You have no idea what this war has put me through.
That's something we have in common.
This is water from the Spirit Oasis. It has special properties.
"You're " he breathed, and she stepped back. A droplet of water plopped on his face near his right eye, sliding down his cheek. Another fell, and another, and another. Soon, a steady sheet of rain was falling in a torrent around them.
The Painted Lady removed her hat and for the first time looked up at him. The red swirls on her cheeks blurred to a scarlet river, dripping over her cheeks and collarbone. The crescent moon on her forehead mingled with the swirls in a berry-dyed current, staining her caramel skin.
"Hey, firebender. Lovely night, isn't it?"
"You're the Painted Lady?" he tried in vain to hide his surprise. He blinked as she nodded her head sheepishly, water spattering off of the ends of her hair. "And you knew I was the Blue Spirit?" Katara nodded again, shrugging.
"Are you mad at me?" Katara asked eventually, titling her head guiltily. She shifted on her feet and sank an inch in the soaked sand. Another boom of thunder followed her murmurs.
Zuko thought for a moment, looking her over. "No," he said simply, pawing at his bangs in a poor attempt to stop the water from dripping directly in his eyes.
As the wind whipped the rain around every which way, the icy droplets were drumming a tattoo on the ocean's fidgeting surface. Suddenly, rain wasn't pelting Zuko or Katara any more, and the young prince noticed water dome had formed above their heads, shielding both warriors from the impending rain.
"It was actually kind of fun," he admitted, wringing water from his shirt. "It's been a while since I played the Blue Spirit."
A brilliant smile overtook Katara's ruby-stained face. Almost as if it were an after thought, she curled her fingers and drew streams of water from both their clothes, swirling it into an obnoxiously fancy design before discarding it outside of her dome.
The convex water shield followed overhead as they slowly and silently made their way back to the camp where the other four members of the gang were sleeping though the storm.
Zuko seemed captivated by his old mask as they walked while Katara had her own thought mulling around her mind. Now that he knew that she was the spirit girl that visited him nearly every night, would their games of chase end? She could see their camp now, and it was all too possible that her nights of being the river spirit were going to end in a matter of minutes.
Almost as if Katara had spoken aloud, Zuko's voice sliced the chilled, damp night as they reached their tents. "Same time tomorrow night, Painted Lady?"
A look of pure delight followed her shocked expression. "Of course. See you then, Blue Spirit."
This was originally my idea for Change, but Storm was being a pain in the ass, so I decided to use it for Storm and think of another fic for Change. I think it would have been better for Change. Oh well.
ďI feel it in my blood, just like the way you can feel the sunís path, firebender.Ē Her low voice was smug, self-assured. After this line, I donít like the rest of it. Everything before that line, Iím somewhat fond of.
I own nothing! Zuko, Katara, Painted Lady, Blue Spirit, and anything else recognizable belong to Mike/Bryan/Nickelodeon/Viacom!
Links~! Day One: Family.....[link] Day Two: Change.....[link] Day Three: Pain.....[link] Day Four: Date.....[link] Day Five: Harmony.....[link] Day Six: Alternate Universe.....[link] Day Seven: Storm.....[Here]
PS--I can't believe Zutara Week is over! It was a ton of fun, though!
Mask (n.):A mold of a person's face, often made after death. ____________________________________________________
Her skin, normally as caramel-colored as a candied treat, was whiter than snow. The cherry flush to her cheeks were drained and gone forever, leaving behind no trace of ever having existed. Her long and slender limbs were stiff and straight, unfamiliar to the curved and flexible movements before. Her fawn-colored hair had lost its shiny, sleek luster and was hanging limply around her face in her traditional Water-tribe style. Even her hair-loops seemed to wilt against her face.
She was nestled deeply into her native water-tribe blue fabric and traditional white water lily petals surrounded her on all sides. The boat she rested in was hand crafted by her brother, which took weeks of work to make. It was made of mahogany, an exotic and rare tree pulled from the center of the Earth Kingdom, compliments of Toph Bei Fong.
Her family surrounded her on all sides, their tears falling continually from their cheeks. Gran-Gran's grey hair was chopped haggardly, and faint cuts were visible all over her legs and arms. Hakoda stood before his daughter, her limp hand gently cradled in his, the tears sliding down his cheeks and the pained look on his face were the only ways to know he was in pain. Sokka had Katara's other hand and looked down on his little sister with pity and sadness, but with a slight joy almost undetectable to the untrained eye. Suki was behind him, her hand on his shoulder. Tears slid from her eyes, falling onto Sokka below. The unbreakable Toph Bei Fong was also at the funeral, her eyes wet and full of sadness.
The sun slowly set on the group, the pink shades of the night sky slowly hardening into a dark blackness around them. Hakoda and Sokka both reluctantly let go of her hands and gently set them back into the boat. Each took a side of the canoe in gloved hands. Both looked at the other, hesitant and waiting. Finally, Hakoda nodded. Sokka and Hakoda heaved, their grunting the only sound echoing through the bleak and cold Southern Water-tribe landscape. Soon, the boat scraped off of the blue ice and found purchase in the water. It began to float away calmly, barely making a ripple across the water. The boat drifted farther and farther away and the whole group could be heard crying and moaning.
The only thing left in her tribute was a blue and white mask, in the shape of her face, painted with the moon and the stars, and her mother's necklace resting beside it on a cherry table. ____________________________________________________
His skin, a pale-white color that rivaled that of the man on the moon, was completely devoid of its color. The redness of his skin had vanished with his spirit, leaving him with a granite-white face. His limber arms were limp and flexible, so different compared to the strength and sharpness of his movements before. The midnight black hair had lost its floppiness and its color, but it was pulled up into the formal topknot of the Fire Lord.
Scarlet silk blankets and buckets of orange fire-lilies surrounded his body as he lay on the funeral pyre. Uncle had hand-carved carved and gathered all of the cherry wood used to create the platform and tinder from the palace gardens.
His people surrounded him on all sides, tears streaming down their faces for their loss of a great ruler. Ursa found her way over to the pyre, her long hair pulled up into a short, tight bun. She wore nothing but white and had a white flower resting gently in her hair. Her eyes were redder than she had ever seen before. She stood on one side of her son, her bell sleeves covering up her arm while she held her son's hand in her own. Uncle stood on the other side, his hand closed around his 'son's' own. He was turned to face the crowd and made a monologue he knew the young Fire Lord would be proud of. Sokka and Suki were in the crowd in each other's arms, tears streaming down their faces. Toph Bei Fong was on the stage beside Iroh, a slight smile on her face.
The sun slowly began to rise behind the palace, the warm yellow sunlight slowly approaching the gathered crowd. Ursa and Uncle turned to one another and removed their hands from his. They gently placed them back beside him on the pyre. In unison, they stepped away to opposite sides of the stage and slowly brought their fists into a beginning firebending position. With one nod, they both punched out one fist and blew the flames into the wood. The orange flames licked the dark wood, crawling quickly up to the tower. Black smoke plumed up into the air, billowing out like a sheet in the wind. After a few moments, the only thing you could see was the orange flames engulfing everything.
The only thing left in his tribute was a full mask of his face, painted yellow and orange after the sun and the dragons of fire, and the duel broadswords on a cherry table resting next to her mask and her mother's necklace so both may be together.