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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
Detention - Chapter 4Chapter 4
At four thirty, Ms Joo Dee dismissed them and ushered them out of the library hastily, following them to the main entrance of the school building and locking the door behind them. She marched back down the corridor with a nervous but smiling glance over her shoulder as they watched her through the glass doors. At the end of the corridor, Mr Long Feng was waiting for her, and Katara snickered again. Zuko gave a soft chuckle and stepped away from the building.
The sky was dark with clouds and the pitter-patter of rain murmured through the empty school-grounds, and murmured again through the empty streets of the city.
"What are you doing?" he asked her as she stepped out from under the shelter and looked up at the sky.
"Standing in the rain," she answered simply.
She smiled and looked at him. "I love the rain. Why not?"
"You'll get sick."
She shook her head. "Not likely. I grew up in the rain. And the cold. And the snow. It was hardly ever sunny where I grew
Detention - Chapter 3Chapter 3
At ten minutes past four, Mr Long Feng entered the library and bent over to murmur something into Ms Joo Dee's ear. Their supervising teacher looked up from her pile of corrections and she gave a small nod and stood up, clearing her throat. "I will be back shortly. Please remain silent and seated until I return." She left with Mr Long Feng and Katara smirked quietly to herself: it was obvious that they were having an affair.
The library door thudded shut. Zuko sighed.
"What did you mean by that?" Katara asked him, almost gently.
"What you said earlier. That's something we have in common." He didn't respond for a moment and stared solemnly at his hands. She prompted him again. "What did it mean?"
Zuko leaned back in his chair and looked at her. She felt a little stupid under his gaze, as if the meaning of his words should have been obvious. He looked down at the open maths book on the desk in front of him. "The Red Army is the reason that my mother is
Detention - Chapter 2Chapter 2
Katara listened to Ms Joo Dee's retreating footsteps echoing in the empty corridor beyond the library. Her hands clenched into fists on the table in front of her and she gritted her teeth. She felt stinging tears in her eyes. It was like nobody understood that her best friend was in hospital, possibly dying, and all she wanted to do was be with him and do what she could to get him through to whatever the end of his illness would be. She'd promised him that picture and she would damn herself until her dying day if she did not give it to him.
She glanced up at the soft thud of the library door swinging shut and caught Zuko in the corner of her eye, still staring at her. She wouldn't cry in front of him. "What are you doing in here?" she spat, facing him. Zuko looked back down at the desk in front of him with a shrug. Katara snorted and quietly labelled him a coward. "Let me guess, you were caught making plans to help your father overthrow King Kuei. What a stupid
mechanici want to kiss every aching wound you have,
bandage your heart every time it bleeds,
and patch up your mind over and over
because not a single tear deserves to fall
from your brandy-drenched eyes
but this dripping heart of mine can only feel
and the healing honey words it flames get caught
in the back of my throat and on the roof of my mouth
so i only have these passionate guttural cries
to tell you that i care all too much
and in order to fix you up again,
i would need to tear myself to tatters
and trade all of my working parts
for your leftover, fading pieces
but i just haven’t figured out how.
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