Chapter 6

fandom: Avatar: the Last Airbender
POV: Katara:
wordcount: ~3999


It Was Just Simple

The sun bore down on her relentlessly; no clouds marred the sky and its light bounced back up from the crest of the waves surrounding them. Sweat beaded across her forehead and down the line of her spine. She grinned.

There was no way he was going to defeat her, even in with the sun at its apex.

Across the deck from her, Zuko slid into an easy stance, hands raised toward her as if he could keep her at bay with that simple motion. They both knew better.

Reaching out with the smallest curling of her fingers, Katara pulled at the ocean on either side of the ship, and drew up two slender streams of water, sending them directly for him the moment the streams breached the top of the hull. Zuko glanced at them, and dodged out of the way at the last minute, both of the streams narrowly missing him and crashing instead onto the deck itself. He came up in a fluid roll, fire following his momentum and curving toward her in a vertical arc from a sweep of his fist. She tugged up the water that remained on the deck and extinguished the arc into nothing more than steam. But, she knew better than to stay in one place, and using the sudden steam as a cover, she raced to one side, pulling up again at the ocean water, this time in small parcels that she brought to ring her in undulating globes. Zuko came at her through the steam, cutting through it with his body like a knife and jabbing several bouts of flame at her from his fists.

Katara was anticipating something like that, and with each fire burst he sent toward her, she wove out of its reach and sent one after another of her globes of water to engulf the flames. As she extinguished the last of his jabs, however, she almost didn’t turn in time to avoid him leaping straight at her. She turned the moisture on the deck into ice and used the momentum of her dodge to slide out of his way, while also hoping the ice tripped him up and gave her more time to counterattack. It was his turn to anticipate her move, though, and he landed with flames beneath his feet, melting her ice almost instantly.

With a fierce grin, Zuko spun to face her as soon as his feet touched solid ground after his leap and he went on the attack again—only he was a hair too slow. Katara had already drawn up yet another arcing stream from the ocean and sent in spiraling his way, dousing the flames even as he summoned them to his knuckles.

“What’s the matter, Zuko, can’t keep up anymore?” she taunted, grinning so hard her face hurt.

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