"Katara," Zuko grabbed her wrist as she turned away from him; his voice was pleading, "Don't go." Katara dared not look back at him because if she did it would surely be the end of her. He was the enemy after all and she could not afford to be in love with him, she just couldn't. No matter how much it pained her to walk away. She yanked her wrist from his hand and clenched her fists trying to keep her voice from cracking and revealing her true feelings.
"Goodbye Zuko." With those final words she walked away from him and sealed away her heart so no one could ever hurt her the way he did again. He did not go after her because he knew there was nothing that could be done to change her mind. His head fell and his shoulders slumped as he tried to hold his heart together so it wouldn't break completely. It didn't matter though, because it was already broken from his childhood. She was the only one who could put that broken piece inside of him back together and now she was leaving him.
It was never the same after that night, but then again he supposed he had it coming. After all he did betray her in Ba Sing Se. Perhaps he didn't deserve anyone as good as her. Sure he had Mai, but it just wasn't the same. She couldn't bind him back together like Katara did. After a while, Mai left him too and he was alone again.
Four years after the fall of Fire Lord Ozai
Fire Lord Zuko let his head fall onto his oak desk as the sun began to dip below the horizon. At times his work could be quiet stressful and tiring, but he had to continue. He let a deep sigh escape his lips before lifting his head and continuing his examination on some building plans.
"Fire Lord Zuko." His heart stopped and his breath caught in his throat. He recognized that voice and it caused great pain in his heart to hear it again. After a few seconds he looked up, "Katara" he replied in greeting, "I didn't know you where coming. You should have sent a letter so I could have greeted you at the docks." She gave him a half smile.
A chilly breeze came in through the window disturbing all the papers laid out on his oak desk. It was autumn in the Fire Nation and it brought about a kind of emptiness to the Fire Lord because it reminded him of her. Seeing her again, on the other hand, brought a little bit of serenity to him. At least she was his friend if nothing else.
Watching him look at her with his eyes so full of pain weakened Katara. She knew she was responsible for some of that pain.
"I've been thinking about that night" she whispered. Her voice betrayed her as those words were spoken and she became tense. she didn't mean to say that. She hoped he didn't hear her, and if he did, she hoped he didn't know what she was talking about because there was no possible way for them to be together now. To her bad luck he did he just thought that he shouldn't say he did.
All was silent then, neither man nor woman able to say anything else. Moments passed and, finally, her voice broke the silence. "Perhaps, I should go." Katara turned and began to walk away from him for the last time. He said nothing, to her it seemed he really never cared and that hurt her more than anything.
Zuko shot up out of his seat and cleared the room in three strides. He wrapped his arms around his beloved water bender and nestled his face in the crook of her neck. He wouldn't make the same mistake twice, not this time. This time he was going to hold onto her and fight for her like he should have all those years ago.
"Stay." He whispered in her ear, "I need you." Katara sucked in her breath and closed her eyes. Oh, how she longed to hear those words from him, but now... She placed her hands on his arms and loosened his grip on her so she could turn to face him.
"Zuko, I" He cut her off, "Please Katara," he leaned his head against her own and closed his eyes. "Stay with me." Katara sighed, placed her hands around his face, and pushed away from him. He opened his eyes to look at her, still holding onto her waist. He couldn't lose her again.
Katara looked into his glowing amber eyes and made up her mind right then and there. How could she have ever left him before? She needed him, she needed him her whole life; it just took until now for her to realize that. "I will stay."
Relief filled Zuko's heart and he brought her closer to him. She was the only who could heal his broken heart and he was the only one who could heal hers. Now that the war was over and all was at peace they could start mending their broken souls together. As it should have been all those years before.