Author's Note: I've been reading a lot of fan fics lately. That's where this came from. Totally a mix of fluffy angst. Yes, I said fluffy angst. This is about a year and a half after the defeat of the Fire Lord.
Questions of the Heart
Their journey had been full of danger, the final battle difficult and resulting in the loss of so many Katara had loved and respected. The rebuilding was proving to be a strained and difficult task. The whole series of events over the past few years had weighed down Katara's heart with pain.
But nothing could compare to the anguish in her heart at Aang's silence. She had betrayed him, hurt him with another.
"Aang, please. Talk to me."
It was a tight, pained look in Aang's eyes that tore her heart to pieces. Katara wanted to make everything all right. She wanted to take his pain away. She reached out to hold him, but he pulled away from her.
"I saw you kiss him. How could you?"
"Aang, I'm sorry. But I do feel something for Zuko. I can't explain it."
"But you said you loved me."
"I thought I did…" As soon as the words passed her lips she regretted them. The look he gave her just before he opened his glider and took to the air made her suddenly feel like she was about an inch tall.
"That was real nice, Katara." A voice said from behind her. She turned to see her brother scowling at her, arms folded across his chest.
The girl sighed. "I'm sorry. I don't know what to do."
"Well, I know one thing you could do. You could think before you open your mouth." The young warrior sat down next to his sister and took her hand in his own. "Look, I don't know what's going on in your head. I don't know what you see in Zuko. I don't know what you feel for him and honestly, I'm not sure if I'd understand it. But you and Aang…"
"I know. Right before the Fire Lord was defeated he told me he loved me and at that time I thought I loved him too. But since I've gotten to know Zuko this past year, with the rebuilding and all, I can't help but think that maybe I really don't love Aang in that way." She paused. "You know this is really weird. Talking about all of this with you. Nice, but weird."
Sokka nodded. "Look, I don't want you doing something you'd regret. Dad would kill me. And you need to square things up with Aang. He deserves better than what you just did to him, Katara."
The waterbender looked down at her lap, tears forming in her eyes. "I need to think. I need to be myself to think."
She stood and wandered off, managing to find a secluded spot where she and her mind could battle things out.
There was something in Zuko's kiss, something fiery and almost dangerous. It had been exhilarating and Katara had admitted that she did indeed feel something for the fire bender. What that something was she was unsure, but all she knew was that it made her feel warm and tingly. They had grown closer since the end of the war, the water bender admiring the leadership Zuko had show since inheriting his defeated father's throne.
And it was that admiration that had turned into something stronger than friendship. Something that had made her come very close to betraying the one person who loved her more than anything.
But she had stopped Zuko from moving any further, taking the kiss further. Something had made her stop and sitting alone she realized what it was:
'Aang. I was thinking of Aang.'
Katara felt the tears form in her eyes and she buried her face in her hands. 'Stupid, I was so stupid."
Aang loved her, truly loved her. She remembered back over their journey and Aang doing all he could to keep her happy. Sacrificing whatever he had for her comfort, even at his own expense. She remembered when there wasn't enough food and she was unwell and over her objections, Aang gave her his portion. He went without for nearly two days. Or when he had squirreled away enough money to surprise her with a room at an inn where they could eat a hot meal and she could finally have a hot bath.
She wondered if Zuko would do the same for her.
And Aang's kiss. Never in her life could she have imagined a young sheltered monk could kiss like he did. No more innocent pecks on the lips like in the Cave of Two Lovers. Aang's kisses were an exciting combination of all the elements, like he was, and every time he kissed her she felt like she could fly. From their first kiss, he had never ceased to make her feel weak in the knees, never ceased to send shivers down her spine.
The waterbender heard a twig snap near her and she looked up to see the young Avatar standing before her, staff gripped tightly in his hands and eyes shining with unshed tears.
He shook his head and she stopped. "You'll be happy with Zuko, I'm sure. And that's all I want. For you to be happy."
For Katara, it was that simple statement that gave her heart its direction and she reached out, grabbed his hand, and pulled him into her arms. She felt his body trembling in her arms and she tightened her hold on him. Finally she cupped his chin in her hand and lifted his face up to hers.
"Don't worry, I will be happy." She whispered. "You make me happy."
The boy looked at her in confusion. She winced a little at his apparent inability to believe completely in her words. Her betrayal had done its damage.
"I was stupid. Very stupid. You are what I want. I realize that now and I'm sorry." The waterbender leaned in close and captured his lips in a kiss. She could feel his heart pounding. She could feel her own pulse speed up as she deepened the kiss, wondering how she could ever thought that anyone could compare to the beloved boy now held tightly in her arms, whose soft, sweet lips were pressed against her own, whose sparkling grey eyes could see straight into her soul.
"I love you." She whispered against his lips, before kissing him again.
Katara knew she would never make that mistake again, she would never doubt her love for this boy in her arms ever. Aang had been willing to sacrifice his own happiness for hers. How could Zuko compete with that? Aang truly did make her happy. The questions her heart had asked had been answered once and for all.
A/N: I had to write this. Katara always chooses Zuko in fan fics and poor Aang always looks like some pathetic loser or he ends up really hurt by Katara. Well, I changed that. Aang's so sweet, he'd do anything for Katara, even give her up to Zuko if it made her happy. The poor boy needed to win and Katara needed to choose him instead for a change.