Zutara Week 2016 - Chapter Five (Fever)
AN: I’ve got a pretty funny story to tell. Partway through Zutara Week, my family conducted an intervention and packed us off (because they needed it too) to Digital Detox. No phones, no tablets, no computers. No tech except the communal record player. It sucked. And it rocked. I’m confused. It’s freeing, but at the same time highly isolatory. And worst of all, since this was pretty much sprung on me I didn’t remember to bring along a notepad and pen to jot things down!
Not much of an excuse. But I’ll carry on with the week. The chapter will be uploaded on the days (somewhat) they should have been last week.
‘An abnormally high body temperature, usually accompanied by shivering, headache, and in severe instances, delirium.’
‘A state of nervous excitement.’
Three years, eleven months and three days ago, Katara and Zuko sat quietly in the safe house’s conservatory.
Katara idly stirred a cup of hot chocolate, Zuko sipped silently at his mug of ginger tea.
Aang had finally succumbed to the flu that had been going around for a month, of course, since he had resisted all other variants of the bug, he had ended up with the strongest strain possible. Which was accompanied by a fever so high he ended up in ice baths more often than not and medication that kept Aang pretty much unconscious the entire time.
Zuko placed his mug down, staring into the amber depths of his tea contemplatively. “Katara?”
“After this, what happens next?”
“I don’t know really, it’s been a pretty wild ride hasn’t it?”
“Not quite what I meant. I pretty much know what I am going to be doing – don’t have much of a choice about it really – I just, you know, wanted to, if you didn’t mind telling me, know, again! If you don’t mind –”
“Zuko! Remember what I told you about questions, form the question in your mind, and then ask. It’s perfectly fine to.”
“– What do you think you’d be doing after all this.”
Zuko paused for a beat, stared at her and asked somewhat incredulously, “Well why ever not?”
“It just seems that that’s what everyone defines me as. Katara – the girl who got her nursing degree alongside her A-Levels. Katara – the one everyone protects (aside from Aang) because she needs to be well in case someone gets hurt. Katara – the medic. Katara – the healer. Katara – the nurturer. What if I don’t want to be that? What if I want to be Katara – the girl who caused three-quarters of the guards protecting Azula to defect? Katara – the girl whose words crushed her mother’s murderer? Katara – the negotiator that always strikes the best deal for her side of the table?”
“Then you be that Katara.” Came Zuko’s quiet response to the fevered, impassioned speech Katara was working her way into. “Be the Katara that makes you happiest. And we’ll support you.”