Detention - Chapter 12Chapter 12
Within minutes, Katara deemed herself thoroughly lost. The streets she found herself wandering down were dark and unfamiliar, in a part of Ba Sing Se she didn't know by day. She was tired and the air was chilly. To make things worse, the smell of rain clung to the air, and the stars and moon were completely obscured by clouds; it was going to start pouring down on her any minute. All she wanted to do was go home and forget about her hazardous afternoon.
What was so hazardous about it? She thought to herself. She turned a corner and slowed down for a moment, but a prickling feeling at the back of her neck convinced her to speed up again. Someone was watching her; she could feel it. But as she peeked over her shoulder, she was met with nothing but darkness. This is weird… She turned another corner and looked around for anything that might be familiar, or a street-sign she might recognize. Instead, she realized half-way down that she'd turned not int
Detention - Chapter 11Chapter 11
The Jasmine Dragon was just as quaint and peaceful as Katara had suspected. They became a part of the steady flow of customers and sat across from each other at a small table. The afternoon was quickly disappearing into the night, and streetlamps and shop-lights were starting to compensate for the lack of sun. A tiny dinner candle flickered on the table between them, and Zuko ran the tip of his finger back and forth over the top of the flame.
"Doesn't it burn you?" He shook his head. "I've seen my brother do that trick before too, but I've never been game enough to try it."
She shrugged. "I guess I'm afraid of getting burned."
Zuko gave a low chuckle. "You don't have to be afraid. That's the only reason you will get burned. It's easy; you just have to be quick." He demonstrated again, running his finger over the small flame. He showed her his fingertip, just as unmarred as the rest of the pale skin on his hand: it showed no resemblance whatsoe
Detention - Chapter 10Chapter 10
Sokka went to the hospital after school to visit Aang and Toph and annoy Suki while she worked. With this lucky coincidence, Katara didn't bother to explain who Zuko was or why he was following her home. Gran-Gran was asleep on her recliner and Momo barked excitedly, running around in circles at the sight of Zuko. "Momo, shh!" Katara hissed, checking to make sure Gran-Gran hadn't been disturbed. She slept soundly and Katara led Zuko up to her bedroom, picking Momo up as she closed the door behind her.
"It's very blue in here," he remarked, eyes looking for a different colour on her walls.
"I like blue. What of it?" Zuko just shook his head. "I have the picture here," she said, picking it up in the plastic pocket. At the sound of the crackling plastic, Momo wriggled free of her arms and hid underneath her bed. "He hates plastic."
"I see..." Gently, he took the picture from her hands. "This is really good."
"I wish I could give it to Aang already. I don't want to
Detention - Chapter 9Chapter 9
The Intensive Care Unit was much different to the ward Aang had been in earlier. It was more impersonal and somewhat scarier with all of the machines and chords and needles and sounds. The patients seemed hopeless and lifeless in their beds, in their comas, in their crippled bodies. Aang's skin was paler than Katara had ever seen it, the dark circles beneath his eyes prominent and the ominous machine beside his bed the only thing keeping him alive. Katara ran a hand over her friend's face.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there," she whispered. A tear escaped her eyes and she swiped it away angrily; crying wasn't going to help her friend. "I'm sorry."
She felt Suki place a hand on her shoulder. "Dr Pakku said I can go home." She looked at Aang, lost in unconsciousness. "Come on, before it gets too late. It's almost six o'clock." Katara nodded and followed the young nurse through the endless corridors of the hospital.
The streets of Ba Sing Se were crowded with people who had been d
Detention - Chapter 8Chapter 8
Katara was out of bed late the next morning. She didn't feel like going to school. All she wanted to do was return to the hospital and sit by Aang's bedside. Surely he'd wake up soon, and she'd finally be able to give him the picture. Katara ran her fingers over the artwork and tucked it into a plastic pocket on her desk. Aang's puppy, Momo, had a bad habit of rummaging through her belongings and chewing on things he shouldn't, but Katara had quickly learned that the creature she was babysitting for her friend while he was sick didn't like plastic. The picture would be safe.
Ms Joo Dee gave her a dirty look as she came late into her first class. Katara made a mental note not to open her school-bag too wide or take her sketchbook out, just in case the smiling woman realizing it was no longer in her confiscation box. She sat down and started her work, feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate. Outside, the clouds from the previous day had cleared to make way for the sun
Detention - Chapter 7Chapter 7
Suki and Katara stopped by a noodle shop; it was too late to start cooking and Sokka would be desperate for food by now. They carried the warm square boxes in plastic bags through the nightlife of the streets. The pitter-patter of rain kept them under sheltered areas of footpath as they moved towards home, and Katara had to resist the urge to cross the street when they came to walk opposite The Jasmine Dragon.
"So who was this boy you were hanging out with after detention anyway?" Suki asked, hoping to lighten the mood.
Katara tore her eyes away from the café and bowed her head against the wind. "Just a guy from school. He was in detention with me and he helped me get my sketchbook back after Ms Joo Dee confiscated it."
Suki giggled. "That's so cute! Is he cute?"
Katara was taken aback by the question. "Oh um, yeah, I guess."
"Really? What does he look like?"
She could feel herself blushing as she fumbled to answer the question. "Well, he's tal
Detention - Chapter 6Chapter 6
By the time Katara made it to the reception area of the hospital, the rain had drenched her from head to toe and an aching chill was setting into her bones. She rubbed at her arms as she paused to catch her breath and tried to ignore the concerned glances she was receiving from the hospital staff.
"Katara?" a familiar voice said uncertainly.
Katara looked up. "Hey Suki, how are you? When does your shift end? You should stop by for dinner later, I'll save you something. Sokka would love to see you." Suki gave a gentle laugh and looked down at her feet. Katara felt herself stop smiling and straighten up, body going numb to the cold. "Suki, what's wrong?"
With a deep breath, Suki brushed a crease out of her nurse uniform and looked back up at Katara. "I was wondering when you were going to show up."
"I got stuck in an after-school detention," Katara explained nervously. "Has Aang been asking for me?"
Suki bit her lip. "He asked if I knew why you weren't here yet. Apparent
Detention - Chapter 5Chapter 5
They left the school behind them and wandered down the wet streets. Katara clutched her sketchbook to her chest to protect it from the rain. They wound up in a run-down skate-park and sat down in the makeshift stadium seats, out of the rain.
"I've never been on this side of Ba Sing Se before," she commented.
"It's not the friendliest neighbourhood."
"Do you come here often?"
He shrugged. "Now and then. When I'm bored. When I need to clear my head."
"Is this your rain?"
He frowned. "What?"
Katara giggled. "You said you come here when you need to clear your head. I stand in the rain when I need to clear my head."
Zuko nodded slowly. "I see " Katara looked down at her sketchbook, a little embarrassed, and played with the corner of the plain black cover. "Can I see the picture you were drawing?"
Katara looked up at him, surprised; she'd forgotten she'd told him about that. Opening the sketchbook, she flicked through the book and found the page. "I only just sta
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