“Right… sorry.” Katara’s gaze drifted from his once again, but this time, she focused on the stack of one, two— six books under his arm. They all bore titles related to organic chemistry. No wonder he looked barely three seconds away from chucking the stack across the library.
Her head titled to the left and she held her hands out with an offer. “I can help carry some, if you’d like?”
Her empty fingers wiggled, waiting for him to hand at least half to her. “It’d probably look more natural than me hovering a few inches behind or in front of you. And, it’s only fair… since you’re harboring me from an angry ex.”
And there it was. He couldn’t say he was surprised–probably everybody had that ex that they could go the rest of their lives without seeing again. Zuko’s own had been particularly rough, since they’d known each other from kids on up; it was no easy task extricating oneself from someone whose family were close to one’s own. Luckily, Zuko wasn’t particularly close to the main stem of his family nowadays either.
But, that was neither here nor there, and honestly her offer to help him carry the veritable tomes his major required was an offer he wasn’t about to refuse. This was definitely one of the nights he regretted wanting to go into forensics. “Thanks,” he said, barely even hesitating before handing her a couple of the books, then motioned with his head for her to walk with him to the circulation desk, almost as if that’d been what he was going to do all along.
As he took a checkout sheet and filled in his information and each book’s information for the librarian, in a quiet voice Zuko asked her without lifting his eyes from the paper, “Are you within walking distance, or do you want a ride?”