((A/N- My first fanfic ever is now up! Woo! I've had this one-shot in my head for awhile and I finally put it down in words. I'm just glad that it's Kataang. I love Kataang in all its fluffy fluffiness. If you have any good fluffy Kataangs, let me know. Kay?
Okay, well, this one-shot takes place right after Toph joins them. Also, I switch between Aang's and Katara's point of view. Just to let you know. Here goes! Please R&R!))
Disclaimer: Me. No. Own. Avatar. So. Sad.
The Avatar dodged a stream of fire and sent a slice of air at the attacking firebenders. He turned and saw something that stopped his heart. Katara was captured! Her wrists were tied behind her back, preventing her from waterbending, and she had been thrown over the shoulder of a fleeing firebender. Her canteen was lying on the ground. She screamed his name again and that was enough to send him over the edge.
They had stolen her! He loved her more than life itself and they had stolen her! Now they would die.
Aang slipped into the Avatar State subconsciously. He almost welcomed it; it would make it so much easier. His tattoos and eyes glowed. His features twisted in rage as he damaged a dozen soldiers effortlessly with a blast of fire.
Suddenly he fell backwards into the earth, leaping out one hundred feet away. Directly in front of the man with Katara. The firebender jolted to a stop, his fear evident. He put up a hand in futile defense. His other hand kept a firm hold on Katara.
Aang had never hated this war, nor the Fire Nation, as much as he did at this moment. The waterbender was his soul, his guide, his love. He would be shattered without her. No, it was more than that. He would die without her. His scowl deepened.
Manipulating the air, he lifted the girl and gently dropped her inside a cave directly behind him. He turned his gaze back to the soldier, who desperately looked around for help. Indeed, a battalion of firebenders was already on their way. But it was too late for this man.
The Avatar had already decided to kill him.
Aang whirled his head to look at the girl he loved. She was standing just inside the cave, her hands still tied behind her, a look of fear marring her beautiful face.
Even in the Avatar State, he loved her.
And a part of him softened. He faced the soldier, who held up his hands in fear, and he kicked the ground, earthbending himself back into the cave with her.
The Fire Nation soldiers were closing in and Aang was slipping out of the Avatar State. His surreal glow flickered as he sent a cluster of rocks from the ceiling flying at the enemy.
The roof shook. It couldn't support itself anymore and fell to the ground, sealing the entrance. But Aang was done; the spirits of his successors had fled, leaving him unconscious. Katara screamed and pulled him out of the way. The cave gave a final shudder, then settled in silence.
The Water Tribe girl knelt by Aang. She struggled to pull his head onto her lap, but barely managed without hands. And she cried.
Aang had been ready to kill. For her. She had seen it in his eyes. It had scared her to see him that way, so full of hatred. But she couldn't be responsible for the death of another, regardless of their nationality. She couldn't bear to see Aang take someone's life. She didn't want him to lose his innocence. That was one of her favorite things about him.
Katara knew he cared for her, but she was unsure of the depth of that feeling. Did he love her, or was it purely platonic?
And do you love him? said that pesky voice in her head. The answer came without hesitation.
Of course I do. How could I not?
He was so full of life. Every day was a new adventure for him. His optimism had rubbed off on her. She looked forward to waking up and beginning a new day. Or perhaps she looked forward to seeing that smile. That smile of his came easy and stole her breath. No matter how often Aang grinned at her like that, she always waited for them and searched for ways to cause them.
And those eyes of his. They were usually filled with humor, childlike innocence, and mischief. Lurking behind them, however, was always the seriousness of his Avatar side. She could see the entirety of it when she gazed into those storm-gray orbs. When she did, her heart melted.
She didn't know if they could ever be together. There were so many reasons that they couldn't. He was the Avatar, he was a monk, and he needed to focus on defeating Fire Lord Ozai. Those were cause enough, but if he didn't love her back, that doubt was what stopped her from voicing her feelings.
Katara's tears had stopped. Just staring at the airbender made her smile. Only a few moments had passed and Aang was awakening. Wishing her hands were free to touch his face, she whispered his name.
The word was soft and gentle, caressing him as he became aware of his surroundings. He seemed to be lying somewhere dark and his head was on something soft. He opened his eyes and looked straight into Katara's. They were full of concern and… something else. He found himself staring at those blue eyes. They were the color of everything he loved: the sky he flew in, the water he bended, and, of course, her.
Realizing what he was doing, he airbended himself up. Katara, he noticed, had trouble standing.
"What's wrong?" he asked, fearing he hadn't saved her in time.
"My hands…" She turned and he remembered the ropes.
He breathed a sigh of relief, and sliced the bindings with air. She rubbed her hands to get the feeling back in them and he studied the pile of earth blocking the entrance.
"Not one of my better ideas, huh?" He sounded as embarrassed and amused as he felt. Katara started to reply, but he held up a hand and got a solemn look on his face. "The firebenders are still out there." She nodded and they stepped farther into the cave. As Aang had guessed, it was small and no path led to an exit. They sat down at the back, facing each other in the darkness. He could barely make out her form sitting a few feet away.
Now would be a good time, a part of him said.
For what? He asked himself, but he already knew the answer. He had just been thinking it.
To tell her you love her.
Aang was glad the subject of his conversation couldn't hear him. Or see his face turn red.
He wanted to tell her. He really did. But what if she didn't love him back? What if the L-word scared her off? What if she didn't want to be friends anymore?
What if she loves you back?
Gees, he was stubborn.
Just tell her!
Sooo… the voice prompted.
"Sooo…" Aang said out loud before he could stop himself. He shut his eyes and banged his head against the wall behind him, leaving a dent in the earth.
"What is it, Aang?" Katara asked.
"Yes?" Her heart fluttered at the hope of what he might say.
"Do you… remember… The Cave of Two…" He cleared his throat. "…Lovers?" He sounded anxious.
"Of course. What about it?" How could she forget? They had almost kissed. For a moment, she lost herself in the memory. A movement brought her back to the present. Aang seemed to be rubbing his bald head. He must really have been nervous.
He mumbled something she couldn't quite hear. Then he spoke louder.
"I lied. Back there. In the cave." He wasn't talking straight. His sentences were all jumbled up. She wondered why and silently crossed her fingers.
"What do you mean?" She tried to keep the eagerness out of her voice.
She blinked. And was suddenly very angry for no apparent reason. Probably hormones. Or disappointment. Could be both.
"Well, fine them!" She crossed her arms and stared at the wall irritably.
Aang didn't speak and Katara wished he had learned earthbending. Then they could get out of this miserable cave. Wasn't that what Toph was supposed to do? Teach him earthbending? Of course, she'd only been instructing him for a day or so before the Fire Nation soldiers had stumbled upon their encampment. Earth was his natural opposite. Maybe he was just having trouble with it.
Aang closed his eyes and silently berated himself. He'd chickened out, yes, but she didn't have to be so mad. He hated making her upset.
Then tell her. There was that annoyingly persistent voice again!
The pause stretched longer before the Avatar gave in. He couldn't stand her not speaking to him.
"IwaslyingwhenIsaidIdidn'twanttokissyoubecause…Ireallylikeyou." It came out in a stumbling rush. He winced, ready for the rejection.
"I really like you too, Aang." He blinked. Had he heard right?
"I'm glad we're friends," Katara continued.
His heart fell. She didn't love him. How could he even think she could? He wasn't good enough for her. He dropped his head.
"Oh." She heard the quiver in his voice and realized what had happened. She felt like smacking her head. When she heard what he said, she spoke without thinking, a rush of emotions in that single sentence. Then, when he didn't respond right away, she assumed she had heard him wrong and spoke quickly to cover herself. But he had said he liked her! Admittedly, like wasn't as strong a word as she would use, but it was something.
Stupid, Katara, stupid, she chided herself. She had just inadvertently shunned the guy she loved. What was she thinking?
The silence mounted. Then a plan dropped into her mind.
"Hey, Aang? There's something I want to talk to you about."
"Yeah?" He sounded so dejected, and it hurt to know it was because of her, but she pushed on.
"I know this guy. He's so sweet and funny, and I can't get him out of my mind."
If it was possible, his heart broke even more. Here he was, announcing his love for her, and she liked someone else! He didn't know how to respond, so he kept silent.
"So…um…" She had obviously wanted a response. "I think I love him actually, but the thing is, I don't know if he loves me back. He's always flying off before I get the chance to say anything."
Does she have to do this? I mean… Then her words his him. Or word, rather. Flying. Flying? Did that mean…? He decided to say something without assuming anything. Or giving anything away.
"I think you should tell him."
"I thought I just did." His eyes widened.
"Oh, well. I love you, too, Katara." He did it. He finally admitted it. He felt her close the space between them.
Their lips met.
The kiss was amazing. It was everything he imagined. He felt like he was flying. Only it was so much better than that. He couldn't even begin to describe it.
Aang pulled her into his arms, never breaking the kiss for an instant. He poured out all his love for her into their connection. He wanted that moment to last forever.
They finally broke apart, panting slightly. He reached up with his hand and touched her cheek softly.
"I like this cave better," he said. She smiled and he barely saw her blush in the darkness. He kissed her again before standing up, pulling her with him. He grasped her hand as they walked back to the front of the cave.
"Now, how about we get out of here so I can see your face again? It's torture not being able to." He grinned. She blushed.
"But, wait. How are we getting out?" she asked. His grin widened.
"Just watch." Aang took a breath, then raised his arms straight out in front of him. The rocks that blocked the entrance followed his arms as he moved them to the side. He turned back to Katara. She was staring at him.
"You mean you could have earthbended us out earlier?" It was his turn to blush.
"Well, yeah. Should I have?" Knowing full well that they wouldn't have professed their love, she shook her head adamantly.
"That's what I thought," he said, taking her hand in his. "Besides, the firebenders were here for awhile and then…" He grinned again.
"Just because I could, doesn't mean I wanted to."
Katara laughed and pulled him into a kiss.
((A/N- Yay! It's done! Okay, now obviously he didn't tell her he could earthbend in my little fic, so just pretend that he hadn't. Sorry if it's kind of sporadic there. I'm sick and obviously not thinking clearly. In my opinion, not one of my best pieces. But I'm a horrible judge of myself.
Yeah, I know the general consensus is that they did kiss in The Cave of Two Lovers, but I really hope they didn't. Why? Because I want to see their first kiss! If you're a Kataang fan (which you probably are if you're reading this) then you have to at least admit that you wanted to see the kiss in The Cave of Two Lovers. So anyway, I might add more on here and just make it a series of one-shots. Maybe even a little Tokka piece as a side chapter for what they doing during this. But we'll see. Okay, now please hit that Review down there!))