Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. I lack that creative genius.
A/N: Written for andromedacblack, winner of the aangxkatara journal's February Fanfiction Contest. I'll get on to Synesthesia next, I just hit a snag with Taste, so I may skip that and move onto sight. It'll be up soon, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy this little oneshot.
So listen up - the sun hasn't set.
I refuse to believe that it's only me feeling this.
Just hear me out - I'm not over you yet.
It's love on the line can you handle it?
- Frou Frou, Hear me Out
Rainy Day Parade
Every time it rained, Katara told Aang that she loved him.
Of course, she didn't know this, only Aang did.
Now, confessions of this variety are usually done with full knowledge of the act, but not in this case.
He remembered his first time away from the temple, at age eight. It had been the New Year's celebration, the one day a year that the Monks descended from their temples and mingled with their fellow Air Nomads.
It had rained that year, the cold sleet pelting down on the fields where the festival took place, brightly colored tents sagging with the weight of the water and bison making low, moaning noises of displeasure. All around Aang, the elders of his temple discussed that such weather had never been noted before in recorded history, and surely this was a sign that Feng Li, the great spirit of air, had abandoned them.
While all the other young proselytes all stared, eyes wide in terror, at this prophecy of doom, Aang's focus lay beyond their small huddle.
A young girl and boy, their cheeks flushed, stood under a wide umbrella, embossed with weaving patterns of red and gold. A group of teenage girls, jogging to get out of sleet, stopped to giggle at them before hurrying off. The couple only blushed a deeper shade of red, and offered shy smiled to each other. Tentatively, the girl reached out and took the boy's gloved hand in her own. Her beau made no move to remove his hand from her grasp.
"It is a sign of affection." Aang nearly jumped six feet in the air(which was the limit of how far he couldjump, at that time.) When his master's voice came form directly behind him.
"What is master?"
"For a young lady to come under an umbrella with a young man is a sign that she accepts his love," Gyatso explained.
He adopted a serious expression, but the twinkle in his pale eyes belied the overall impression.
"So I best not catch you under one with a companion of the opposite sex, do you understand?" He completed the mock command with a playful wink.
Aang wrinkled his nose.
His knowledge of girls was greatly limited, the only interaction he had experienced had been with his dearly departed mother, but she had become only a fading memory of grey eyes and auburn curls. From what he had observed, they were loud, obnoxious creatures. The reason for why you would want to show affection to one escaped his comprehension.
"Of course not, master."
In retrospect, how strange the workings of Karma.
Now, here with her, each time the first drops of a rain storm fell, he eagerly opened one of the two umbrellas that his traveling group owned, and beckoned her under. She would always accept with a smile; and as she sidled up next to him, he would take a small thrill from imagining she knew the underlying meaning of her action.
Time and time again, he would open his mouth to tell her the Air Nomad tradition associated with umbrellas. But he would lose his conviction at the thought of her laughing, or even worse, awkwardly ducking out of his presence with a feeble excuse.
So he continued to pretend that the girl he loved returned his affections.
And as he glanced up at the black, ominous clouds overhead, he knew the rainy-day routine would be repeated, yet again.
The sky opened up, creating a torrential downpour that instantly soaked the travelers and their surroundings. Aang opened up the covering and wordlessly invited Katara into its protection with a beckoning wave of his wand.
She joined him, offering a grateful grin as she wrung the water from her thick braid.
They walked in silence for a time, trudging through the thickening mud. Aang found himself once again mulling over the idea of telling her about his people's belief.
His musings were interrupted as he felt the soft warmth of her hand slip into his. He looked to her, but she continued to look straight ahead at the road, though a soft blush graced her dark cheeks. Aang smiled, and clasped her hand securely in his own.
He didn't need to tell her.