Zutara Week: Day 6 - Soulmates
@zutaraweek Day 6!
Zuko had been seeing in black and white his entire life. Literally. Few were lucky enough to start seeing colors before their twenties, so it wasn’t that he was an anomaly. It was just that he was lonely. And in the back of his head, the stories of people who never found out what the color red looked like were a constant whisper.
His sister, perfect as she was, had been taunting him most of her life for it. Her soulmate turned out to be her childhood friend, a sparkly eyed, peppy girl with bright smiles that completely counterbalanced Azula’s smirks. They were nearly nauseating to watch, the way even a twitch of Ty Lee’s eyebrows told Azula exactly what she was thinking. The way Ty Lee knew from the way Azula’s eyes narrowed which coffee she wanted to order before Azula herself knew.
Zuko, at the age of twenty five, when most of his friends had already met their soulmates, was seriously beginning to doubt there was anyone out there for him.
Perhaps it was the anxious loneliness gnawing at him that really allowed Sokka to convince him to go out that night.
“C’mon, my sister is back from boarding school and she wants to meet you for some reason, despite the fact I’ve told her exactly what a jerk you are,” Sokka whined, slouched over the table.
Zuko watched him suck in another breath to continue his whining. Before he could, though, Zuko cut him off.
“Fine. I’ll go. Tell me what to wear.”
He regretted it instantaneously when Sokka practically beamed. He had no doubt he’d be staggering home with a drunk roommate at four that morning.
The music was shitty and loud, his beer was lukewarm, and it was so hot in the room Zuko was pretty sure he was going to suffocate.
Sokka had yanked him over to the kitchen, where he wriggled his fingers as he contemplated his various possible alcohol choices. He ignored Zuko’s complaining, flapping an impatient hand at him and frowning at the beer cases before he went back to scrutinizing the rum.
“And so I tell her-”
“Sokka, if you’re hungover tomorrow at breakfast with dad, I’m not covering for your lightweight ass.”
“Shut it Katara, I haven’t even started drinking,” Sokka growled back.
Zuko raised an eyebrow, turning to the source of the voice. He’d never met his roommate’s sister, though he’d seen a few pictures she had tagged him in on his birthday. Sokka had always described her as the usual bratty little sister, which Zuko understood from his own “older sibling experiences”. Then again, Azula was less a little sister and more a spawn of the actual devil. Sokka complained about Katara but also rather nonchalantly described the time he’d gotten suspended from school for beating a boy that groped her once.
Zuko turned and felt his heart stop as he found himself staring into a pair of blue, blue eyes. His whole world shifted, clicked into place. Suddenly, he knew that her skin was a beautiful shade of brown. His hands moved on their own, to touch her hair, maybe, or just to feel her, to make sure she was real. And maybe it was the fact that there were colors and god he knew instinctively her eyes were blue and how did he know that and dear lord she was beautiful - maybe it was this that led him to promptly drop his beer. Right on her shoes.
Sokka yelped, eyes wide as he awaited Katara’s inevitable wrath. But she was staring at Zuko with an open, slack jaw, hands moving toward the boy like she was going to grab his shirt, his hand, his face, something.
Because his hair was black but his eyes were gold and there was a huge red scar that marred his fair skin and he was wearing a dark red shirt and god, he was beautiful.
It felt like hours before he remembered to breath, and longer still until he found his voice.
“Katara?” he asked, voice nearly squeaking.
She smiled, the same glimmering beam that Sokka had given him earlier. But her smile made his heart race and his fingers were suddenly on her cheek without his permission. But she didn’t seem to mind.
“You must be Zuko,” she said.
Her hands were fisted in his shirt, their bodies suddenly close. Zuko’s skin warmed where it met with hers, his eyes unable to leave her face.
“Nice to meet you,” he breathed.
From what seemed miles away, Sokka groaned.
“It’s been ten seconds and you’re already disgusting,” he mumbled, throwing back a shot.