Disclaimer: I, in no way, shape of form, own Avatar: the Last Airbender.
A/N: The first of ten.
Dedication: Kantama, who made a crappy, crappy week a lot better, and thus gave me the energy to finish this one little vignette.
Something was not quite right, yet this night seemed no different from the rest.
Katara groaned, it had always been affliction that if a single variation on the normal conditions occurred, she couldn't sleep a wink. After her mother's death, she had hardly found sleep at all for weeks. The night after they had found Aang, she had paced up and down the length of her village all night, nervous energy interfering with her normal rhythms.
A perfectly clear night. Sokka to her right, Aang to her left. Zuko across the fire, still not trusting enough to sleep near them. Iroh between the formerly separated groups.
Aang would occasionally sigh, Zuko would mumble, and Sokka and Iroh would attempt to outdo each other in terms of snoring fits.
Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, something seemed off.
'Must be the moon,' she thought, peering up at the orb. Her senses always seemed more acute when the moon was more visible. Embarrassingly enough, it also came with a heightened awareness of the other sex. She could be feet away from a man and still be able to feel the heat from his body, and smell his scent.
It was utterly indiscriminate, as well.
She found herself noticing anyone from Zuko and other men her own age to Iroh, much to her alarm. Was that what was causing her restlessness? She took a deep breath. Yes, there was a scent she couldn't quite identify, and it was certainly a boy smell.
But it was not the smoky, woody aroma of Zuko, nor the scent of tea that always accompanied Iroh. This was a clean smell, musky and distinctly masculine. There was Sokka, but she was so accustomed to his smell that it could not have possibly disturbed her.
She frowned. It couldn't be . . .
She turned in her sleeping bag to face the young Avatar. Careful not to wake him or her brother, she scooted a little closer and took another deep breath.
Sure enough, it was Aang.
She pulled back, resting her head on the makeshift pillow and observed her best friend. The last year seemed to be draining the child from him, but Katara had not realized it in the physical sense.
His cheekbones had become more pronounced, emerging from the roundness that had been there when she first met him. The chin was more defined, the nose more proportionate to the face. He had grown, too, she realized. His wrists jutted out from the long sleeves of his tunic. She was sure if she moved the blankets away from his legs, his ankles would be sticking out from his leggings.
Aang would one day be a man. A handsome man. She supposed she had duly noted that fact, but now here was actual proof. She had only thought of him as Aang the child, never Aang the child-who-would-one-day-be-an-adult. But he was, and he was already on his way there.
She felt a stomach do an odd flip, and heat rise to her cheeks. Oh, for goodness sake! Thinking about Aang like that!
She flopped onto her side, facing away from the boy, determined to fall asleep.
Sleep did not come to her for a long time. When it did, it was filled with fracture images of a young man in the robes of an Airbender monk.
A/N:...Hm, all my fics take place at night. Just noticed that. Must be some bizarre fixation I've developed due to my insomnia. Weird. Well, anyway, I think Kinesthesis is up next, but don't quote me on that. Note that the vignettes do not necessarily take place in the same universe. And, with Bob as my witness, I will have the next fic take place during the day. Don't worry, they'll get more romantic.