It was still raining, but Katara hardly noticed. She hardly noticed anything but her own anger and urge to turn back and kill that man. She knew now that it wouldn't help ease her pain, but she thought it might curb the edge of her rage.
"We should be heading back," Zuko said, hesitant, from behind her.
Katara didn't bother to turn around. "Not yet."
Zuko reached out to touch her arm. "Katara - "
Katara jerked around so sharply she knocked Zuko on his back. "Right now," she growled, "the only thing I want to do is hurt something."
"They already know what you're planning," Zuko told her as stood up.
Katara took a step towards him. "Don't you even try to tell me you don't know the difference between hearing something and seeing something."
"And I also know how long it can take to - "
Katara cut him off. "Then you know why I'm not going back just yet."
"You act like you know me," Zuko snapped, "but - "
"I do," Katara said and shoved him back on the ground.
Zuko took a deep breath and rested on his elbows. "Take my advice, Katara. There are some things you can't do alone."
"Don't you dare lecture me," Katara said and just narrowly holding in the urge to kick him.
"Someone has to before you do something you'll regret," Zuko said.
"The only thing I regret right now," Katara said, glaring at Zuko and the rain pouring down his face, "is that the man who murdered my mother is walking free."
"Do you want to go back to him?" Zuko asked as he stood up. It wasn't an offer.
Katara dug her fingernails into her palms and waved her arms, forcing the water to knock down a tree behind Zuko. Her heart was hitting against her chest so hard it felt like it was trying to break through. Her eyes were stinging and dully realized that blood was running down her arms and that the water on her face wasn't just from the rain. "I just want to stop feeling this way."
"I know what that's like," Zuko said, voice kind, as he set his hands on her shoulders.
"I want to hurt something," Katara said.
"That won't do much in the long run," Zuko advised her.
"Shut up!" Katara grabbed his face with both of her hands, pleased in a sick manner with the way her blood looked on his face. She wished it wasn't raining so the water didn't wash it off. "Just shut up."
Zuko said nothing.
Katara thought about how it felt when she nearly killed a man who wasn't the one who killed her mother. She thought and how it felt to walk away from the man who did. She thought about the dreams she'd had the past year about men with scars on their faces killing her mother. She thought about trusting Zuko and then him nearly killing Aang. She thought about how part of her had wanted Zuko to still be evil so she could kill him - because it would almost be like killing the man who took her mother away.
She was tired of thinking.
She moved her hands up towards the top of his head, grabbed handfuls of his hair, and pulled him down. She'd never really kissed a boy before, but the basics weren't too hard to figure out. She was just about to bite his bottom lip as hard as she could when he carefully pushed her away.
"We're not going to do this," Zuko said. "I have someone." He closed his eyes tightly and Katara knew right then that he loved whoever he was thinking about.
"Do you want to help me?" Katara asked. She left do you want me to forgive you unsaid.
"Why do you even think I'm here?" Zuko asked and opened his eyes. He sounded tired and Katara felt a stab of guilt. She shoved it away more easily than she would have liked to admit. "But this isn't going to help you."
"What do you think will help them, Mr. Guru?" Katara asked. She shoved him away and folded her arms. Then she gave him a pointed look.
"Talking to your friends," Zuko said, "and not pushing them away."
"You don't know what you're talking about," Katara said and before he could do something like point out that he heard her tell her brother that he didn't love their mother enough, she grabbed him again and kissed him with all the pent up rage she'd felt since she saw her mother's dead body.
Zuko quickly pulled away from her.
"I'm don't want to think anymore," Katara said, squeezing her eyes shut and yanking her arms back. She heard loud crashes and she didn't have to turn around to know she'd knocked down more trees. When she opened her eyes, she saw Zuko looking at her with fear, and at that, it felt like all of the anger and pain wash away from her like the water had washed away the blood on Zuko's face, leaving her feeling empty. She welcomed that feeling. "Let's go. Appa's waiting."
"I'm sorry," Zuko said.
Katara said nothing.