And she’s everything you wouldn’t want in a girl. She’s smart, and she can barely finish a book because she’s already planned on what book she wants to read next so she starts to read that book and forgets to finish the other. She’s crazy passionate about the earth and the well being of animals. My god does she love animals. She talks to them as if they could talk back. She cares about people even if they turn her a cold shoulder. She is all for the people and thinks that women should be treated with the same respect as what a man gets. She loves to talk about anything and everything. She’ll tell you about the stars and everything you need to know about dogs and horses. She’s the kind of girl you wouldn’t want. Not because she’s ugly because my god she is beautiful. And not just her physical appearance but her soul. It’s the purest and most raw and magical thing you’ll ever see. She’s the kind of girl you don’t want to touch in a physical way or emotional way. Not because she can’t handle it, because she can. She’s the closest thing you ever get to magic, I mean if you believe in that kind of crap. I sure didn’t until I met her in the coffee shop on 11th street. She was wearing all black and she had the most beautiful brown hair that would fall perfectly in front of her face even when she did pull it behind her ear. Anyways I didn’t touch her in anyway. I just admired her from the other side of the coffee shop. I guess I was a little afraid because I could already feel her existence was something that shouldn’t be messed with and I didn’t wanna screw her up. But I did. Her brown doe eyes locked on with mine and it felt like magic. Again not that I believe in it in that moment. The point is she’s not the kind of girl you want because she’s everything you could ever want in a “perfect girl” if there’s such a thing. She’s not the kind of girl you want because when you touch her for the first time it feels like snow falling and everything in between love. She’s not the kind of girl you want because when you break her heart you’ll see she won’t be the same. She won’t sing in the shower and she won’t radiate warmth from her smile when she looks at you. Like I said she’s magic and everything in between love and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t love her knowing I had all the power in the world to destroy her. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t love her because she’s not the kind of girl who you just fall in love with. No, she’s the kind of girl who you fall in love with because she makes you see that everyone is equal and that animals do have feelings. She’s the kind of girl you fall in love with because you love the way she gets along with your mother and your father adores her. She’s the kind of girl who makes you believe in magic. She’s the kind of girl who makes you see that you have all the power in the world to do whatever you want if you believe and try hard enough. She’s the kind of girl who could be broken so easily if you hit the right spots and when you do.. when you do break her heart it leaves you feeling every bad word in the dictionary. It leaves you with a bitter taste every time you try and talk about her. It leaves you with nothing but a haunting memory of girl who cares more about everyone and everything because no one cared about her. She is not the kind of girl you wanna fall in love with because when you break her heart you’ll never be able to rid the taste of her strawberry lips from yours. You won’t be able to enjoy summer because it will remind you of the time you both sat under a big oak tree near a pond while she read books to you. Shes not the kind of girl you want because when you both part ways and head back home to the grey sheets of your bed it will flash you back to the time you first saw her naked and how you were so scared to touch something so raw and beautiful. She’s not the girl you want to fall in love with because you won’t be able to sleep at night when you part ways because you’re so busy wondering if she is loving someone else. So you see, she is not the kind of girl you want because she is just to damn magical to be real. Or maybe she is and you shouldn’t take my advice and tell me to go to hell but then again you’ll feel like hell when she cries for the first time because of you. So maybe she is the kind of girl you want but maybe she isn’t. Not because she doesn’t deserve love but because she deserves to be loved right, as if there’s a right way to love. My point is she’s herself and in this lifetime? That is something extraordinary and something that extraordinary deserves to be left wild.
Summary: It is late afternoon, and more customers begin to come in. The noise of chatter, combined with the sound of rain, gets louder, but still comfortable enough for Katara to not need earphones to block out the din. A few minutes later, she notices a woman enter the establishment, struggling to close her wet umbrella. She is tall and slender, with the kind of body one would only see on magazines. Her skin is light, especially against the maroon of her dress, and her slightly damp brown hair reaches her waist. She’s pretty, Katara thinks, but she changes her mind when she sees Zuko approaching to assist the woman.
(Just another coffee shop AU featuring a jealous Katara)
A warm hand squeezes Katara’s shoulder from behind. “You know, it’s distracting that you’re always here.”
Without yet looking up from her book, Katara chuckles. She turns in her chair and finds Zuko standing behind her, the corners of his mouth drawn into a small smile. “I’m just quietly studying here,” she says, feigning an innocence betrayed by the mischief in her eyes. “You lose today. You owe me a latte.”
“How terrible,” Zuko says without a semblance of an attempt to fake dismay. He leans down swiftly, giving Katara a peck on the cheek. “It’s not like I don’t buy you coffee all the time, anyway.”
“Hey, you do that on your own, Mr. Manager,” Katara says, absentmindedly smoothing the front of Zuko’s black button-down. “But I appreciate it a lot.”
“You’re bad for business, you know that?” Zuko jokes in a low voice. She hopes Zuko doesn’t notice her blush after he says that, but his grin tells her otherwise. “Anyway, I’ll be going back to work now. I’ll have to pretend that you’re not taking up my attention again. Talk to you later.” Giving her shoulder one final squeeze, Zuko leaves for the counter, leaving Katara feeling warm and distracted.
As a law student, Katara often finds herself studying in coffee shops and small restaurants for hours. Her apartment, which she shares with her batchmate Suki, isn’t far, but she struggles to concentrate with her bed so close to her desk. It just so happens that a café she frequents for its good coffee and cheap meals is owned by a man she finds herself strongly attracted to. It’s difficult not to notice him, really, Katara remembers. The pale skin of his face is contrasted by a faded red scar around his left eye, giving him an intimidating yet arresting appearance. Along with that, even from afar, his amber irises can be seen catching light. The starker contrast, however, lies between that impression and his actual demeanor: he greets the customers with a genuine politeness, greatly tempering the fear one would experience from seeing a man with such a scar. Up close, his bright eyes seem almost molten from the softness of his expression. When Katara mustered up the courage to finally ask him out a few months ago, she learned how deeply his kindness goes, and that along with it runs a sharp wit and sense of humor similar to her own. Two months in and she admitted to herself that she’d fallen in love with Zuko, and to her surprise, she found out that he had been in love with her for a while now.
The months passed like a soft breeze, and the two fell into a comfortable, steady relationship punctuated with moments of intensity. With both of them often occupied with work or school, they would excitedly catch up with each other during their vacant periods, going on all kinds of dates. He’s an adoring boyfriend, always trying to surprise Katara with presents as small as a blue hairpin she didn’t have enough cents to buy, or as big as an overnight getaway at the beach during her weekend. They do see each other often at Zuko’s café because Katara now basically only ever goes there unless she had to be elsewhere out of necessity, but they agreed to interact minimally during his shifts. Zuko would focus on work, and Katara would focus on hers. It also gives them something to look forward to at the end of the day.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Katara then composes herself, shifting her focus back onto her readings. She smooths the page in front of her, uncaps her blue highlighter, and resumes her reading. It starts to rain outside, and Katara sighs relaxedly. The sound of pouring rain helps her concentrate.
It is late afternoon, and more customers begin to come in. The noise of chatter, combined with the sound of rain, gets louder, but still comfortable enough for Katara to not need earphones to block out the din. A few minutes later, she notices a woman enter the establishment, struggling to close her wet umbrella. She is tall and slender, with the kind of body one would only see on magazines. Her skin is light, especially against the maroon of her dress, and her slightly damp brown hair reaches her waist. She’s pretty, Katara thinks, but she changes her mind when she sees Zuko approaching to assist the woman. He closes her umbrella for her, and deposits it in the container by the door. Katara tries to avert her gaze back to her table, but she continues to watch as he escorts her to a single table a few feet from Katara. The woman gives a tight-lipped smile, drawing attention to the fullness of her red-painted lips. Zuko bows after the woman seats herself, and walks back to the counter. Katara, grasping her highlighter tightly in her hand, exhales heavily. Spirits, Katara, she’s just a customer, she reprimands herself. Who happens to be very pretty.
Despite her attempts to let the matter go, Katara observes the following: the woman asks for soy milk for her macchiato, she is almost as tall as Zuko, and she engages in small talk with the cashier. She is also ridiculously pretty with her silvery-blue eyes under thick, long lashes. Katara starts to calm down, but then she sees her calling Zuko, who, as manager, Katara convinces herself, would be happy to assist her in anyway. Her ears perked, Katara overhears the girl asking something that isn’t what’s on the menu or how are you today . She’s asking him what time his shift ends. He’s closing up tonight, he says, and so the girl asks if maybe he could spare a minute to chat with her because she’s new in town. It is still raining outside, Katara notices, so she directs her attention to the sound of rain to help her study. Katara tries to concentrate on the Constitution but the girl’s giggling keeps breaking through her focus. Sneaking a glance in their direction, she finds Zuko now seated across her, and the girl leaning forward with her elbows on the round table. He’s not even looking at me!
“Fine,” she mutters to herself. She loudly shuts her book and shoves it into her satchel along with her other reading materials. She drops her pens and highlighters into the bag, not even bothering to return her pens in their case. Pushing her chair back sharply against the wooden floor, Katara stands up and walks over to the table where Zuko is at. The girl notices her presence first, eyebrows raised subtly but inquisitively at Katara. She tries to maintain her composure despite the seething in her chest, but one look from Zuko’s bright face immediately soothes her.
“Hey, Zuko,” Katara says, moving her weight to one leg to emphasize her hips. In the woman’s presence she starts to feel conscious about her faded blue top and black jeans, but she shoves this embarrassment to the back of her mind. “I’ll have to go home early today. Turns out Suki left her keys in our apartment, so I’ll have to open up for her.” Suki did actually call this morning to ask Katara to wait up for her because she left her keys. But Katara knew Suki won’t be home earlier than 9 in the evening, and it was only five minutes past six. “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow?”
Her heart leaps a bit when Zuko’s eyes widen, visibly dimming with disappointment and worry. “Now? But it’s still raining. Why don’t you wait it out?”
“Oh,” Katara shrugs. “It’s pretty much just drizzling at this point, I’ll be fine.” She looks away, upset and nervous about the whole situation.
“No, Katara, it’s pouring really hard. I know you like the rain,” he insists, standing up. Katara tries not to smirk as Zuko is now completely facing her, his hands on either sides of her face, the nameless girl completely forgotten. In her periphery she could see the girl staring at them, her perfect eyebrows scrunched together. “But you’re going to get sick out there. If you really need to go, I’ll drive you, I’ll just have to let the staff know I’ll be going out for a while. It won’t take long, anyway.” He kisses her forehead. “Okay?”
“Oh, Zuko, you don’t have to.“ Katara freezes—she just wants to kiss him goodbye in front the girl, not pull him from his work out of her pettiness!
“It’s not a problem, Katara.” He assures her with a warm smile and a squeeze on her hand, loosening the tension in her spine.
Before he manages to walk away, Katara gently pulls him by the hand, making him turn back towards her. She stares at his lips, gesturing her desire to kiss him, and she glances slowly at his eyes for approval. Zuko lets out a small chuckle before kissing her right there in the middle of his shop, right in front of the light-skinned girl. His kiss is warm and electric, as always, and as gentle as a falling into place. She hears a soft, deep sigh from Zuko as she tongues his lips open, making her way into the warmth of his mouth. Satisfaction and desire settle in Katara’s belly, and she starts to think that she might have been cruel. For a moment she feels almost embarrassed by her possessiveness, by allowing it to drive her to do such an act in the middle of Zuko’s café, but she couldn’t stand seeing Zuko cluelessly responding to others’ romantic and sexual advances. She finds Zuko’s obliviousness to flirting adorable, but maddening because she’d always have to step in and keep Zuko from unwittingly agreeing to a date. Katara knows she’s not gorgeous, and it doesn’t help that she’s always just bare-faced and plainly dressed. She often doesn’t mind this, but when someone who looks like a runway model shows interest in Zuko, Katara can’t help but suddenly feel insecure and defensive. And Zuko is beautiful, of course people would express interest! Katara has to remind herself, he chose me, he continues to choose me. And when the mental exercise doesn’t work—and it often doesn’t—she has to resort to making sure, in whatever manner necessary, that the other party knows that yes, Zuko chose her.
When they finally pull away, Zuko appears obviously flushed, his gaze fixed on Katara’s face. Her lips, still parted, tingle in the absence of Zuko’s kiss. He lets out another quiet laugh, as he often does in awkwardness, and seals their kiss with another on her forehead. Katara’s jealousy dissolves into tenderness at Zuko’s affections. Shaking his head, he whispers almost seductively, “Bad for business.” She thinks herself silly for being jealous for a moment when Zuko has done nothing but demonstrate how smitten he is by her. It had to be done, she thinks to herself anyway, letting out a breath in relief. Then, turning towards the stranger, Zuko bows lightly. Politely he says, “Thank you for your company. It was pleasant chatting with you, but I’d have to excuse myself now. Enjoy your coffee.” Saying nothing further, Zuko then leaves for the staff area. Katara, herself breathless, holding onto the strap of her satchel with one hand, eyes the obviously upset girl and smiles. “He’s the sweetest.”