Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar. I never have, and I never will.
The Third Time
She was doing it again.
Aang didn't mean to be aware of her gazes, didn't really want to be aware of her gazes, because just her looking at him made his heart do crazy acrobatics, but he was. Although her eyes were the color of ice, her gaze burned into him like the hottest fire, and the burn couldn't be ignored.
He also didn't mean to keep count of the number of times she gazed at him, but so far he had counted at least… twenty-seven. Maybe thirty. He wasn't quite sure yet.
Aang hadn't really noticed the first time she was watching him. He noticed the second time, but didn't really mind. By the third time, though, he had noticed, and was painfully aware of the heat of her gaze.
Biting his lip, Aang sat on the ground, letting Momo leap onto his arm and scramble onto his shoulders, nibbling at a moon peach Katara had given him. Aang gently scratched the lemur behind one ear, thinking.
He had crushed on Katara practically since the first day he had met her, after she had freed him from the iceberg. When he had first opened his eyes, he had wondered if he was in the Spirit World, and after seeing her face decided he wouldn't mind it. When the crush had actually changed into love, he had no frigging clue. Still didn't.
The cave of two lovers. That had changed things quite a bit between Aang and Katara. For better or for worse, the young Avatar didn't know.
What had happened in the darkness, Aang concluded after much thought, hadn't really been… well, a kiss. At least, not a kiss in the way Monk Gyatso had told him about, not a kiss in the way Yue had kissed Sokka.
Katara had reached out to him, in the darkness, and he had gently entwined his fingers with hers, to let her know he was still there. And then it had happened.
It wasn't really a kiss. Then again, Aang wasn't sure. It had only been the gentlest sensation of her lips gently brushing his, soft like a gentle breeze, but even that had made fireworks explode within Aang and had left him staring dreamily into space, grinning like an idiot, for hours.
And Katara had the faintest blush on her cheeks. It hadn't faded for a good few hours, and now, whenever Aang brushed past her, she blushed again, and looked away.
She had started watching him, to. And after the third time…
After the third time, he had definitely noticed. Lately he felt brave enough to look up and meet her gaze. At first she had quickly looked away, blushing deeply, but as time wore on she began to hold his gaze, and for a time they would just stand like that, gazing at each other, until one of them blinked or looked away or something.
Aang was snapped out of his thoughts when Momo chirped softly, leaping off his shoulder to greet Katara. The young Waterbender paused to pet the lemur before sitting next to Aang. Momo curled up in her lap and promptly fell asleep, snoring softly. For a moment the friends sat in silence, then…
"What are you looking at?"
Aang glanced at Katara. "I have no idea."
"How can you look at something if you have no idea what you're looking at?"
"I don't use that kind of logic."
Katara giggled. Aang looked at her in surprise. Katara blinked, meeting his gaze, and for a moment time seemed to freeze, this time neither looking away because of dust or a bug had flown into their eyes. Aang trembled inwardly.
"OW! OW! OW! Stupid fish! Get back here you little… OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!"
Katara leaped to her feet at Sokka's howl, and Momo let out a shriek as he was dumped unceremoniously onto the ground.
"Sokka, what's wrong?"
And so she went, tending to her brother. Aang watched her for a moment, and a small smile lit his face.
Yes indeed, he had definitely noticed her watching the third time.
My longest story yet, I believe, out of all the Watching stories...
The next story will be from Gran Gran's point of view, titled Destiny. Be on the look-out for it!