Because the best part of the cake is making it.
Notes: Watch out for sex, y'all! Well actually, it's just foreplay... Nothing too descriptive. There might be a squick factor for some people. Written on a whim. And yeah, postseries 3 or 4 years, because as far as I know, twelve year-olds don't have sex. Not that they CAN'T... but... yeah, you know what I mean.
When Aang entered the kitchen, the first thing he noticed was the oppressive heat. Since Zuko was nowhere nearby – with a nation to run and a newborn to raise – he knew the only other likely source was the giant stone oven occupying one corner of the long, low room. He knew also that Toph's birthday was, technically, less than twelve hours away, and he knew that birthdays meant cakes.
The Bei Fong's would no doubt have indulged their only child in an extravagant party that involved lots of choice foodstuffs, but they were hundreds of miles from Gaolin. Toph had feigned indifference, but Sokka had mentioned, once or twice in passing, that a cake would do wonders to improve the girl's more-sarcastic-than-usual mood.
That, of course, explained why Katara was standing in front of one of the counters, long after the sun had gone down, with various ingredients spread out on either side of her. There was a round pan of hammered tin, a wooden spoon, and a large ceramic bowl into which she was pouring the contents of a measuring cup. Those contents looked suspiciously like melted chocolate
He was a little irked by the fact that she'd had chocolate and hadn't bothered to share with him – the damn stuff was so hard to get a hold of, and he knew she knew he was very fond of it – but when she ran one of her fingers around the cup's rim and licked it clean, his mind went to an entirely different place.
He was more than a little terrified that such a simple act could evoke such a violent response, but they had been traveling with their friends for the last few weeks, and it had been a painfully long time since they'd been alone together, and she did have a very pretty mouth, and such long, slender fingers…
S'not my fault, Aang reasoned silently to himself, then cleared his throat to get her attention. Not mine at all…
"I'm almost done," she informed him, keeping both eyes glued to her project. "Will you help me clean up?"
He nodded mutely and shuffled up beside her, paying close attention to the way her clothing pulled when she reached for a small jar of sugar sitting far back on the counter. He watched her measure spoonfuls of the white grains with careful motions before returning the jar to it's resting place.
She stretched her arms high above her head and bit back a yawn before slowly relaxing. Then she heaved a sigh – the rise and fall of her chest drawing his eyes like a magnet – and wiped the back of her sticky hand across her forehead.
"It's so hot in here," she said to the wall, and shook her head before stirring the chocolate and sugar into what could only have been ground almond paste.
By this point, Aang was beginning to feel guilty for all the dirty thoughts running rampant through his deprived teenaged mind.
"Katara?" he began, trying to keep the heat from rising in his cheeks.
She blew out a breath, left off on the stirring, and turned to face him, replying, "Yeah?"
He reached out to catch her around the waist, and bent to kiss her. She tasted like chocolate, and smiled against his mouth when he moved in front of her and pressed her back against the countertop.
"Hey now," she said lowly when his lips began to travel across her chin and down her neck. Her hands were suddenly between them, against his chest, pushing him away gently.
"I'm right in the middle of something," she said, smiling apologetically when he whined, then rose on tiptoe to kiss his forehead before shooing him away with a nudge of her elbow.
Aang refused to be shooed, but if Katara wanted to finish the cake, then he wasn't going to stop her: she'd just have to ignore him.
He waited until she'd turned back to the bowl of batter, then placed a hand on the counter on either side of her, and pinned her again before laying his chin on her shoulder. Her sharp, tiny inhale of breathe was the only indication she gave that she had even noticed he was there. He could see the resolve she was trying desperately to muster: the set of her shoulders, the thin line of her compressed lips, her eyes glued firmly to her work.
"I'm busy," she said in a singsong voice, before going back to pretending she couldn't feel his heart beating against her back, or his breath on neck.
"I can see that," he responded easily, turning his face into her neck and inhaling deeply. The hands on either side of her own strayed to her wrists, then up her arms to her shoulders. One ghosted under the sleeve of her robe to knead at the knotted muscle it found there, and the other pulled the tie from the end of her braid and began to untangle it.
She jumped when he placed a wet kiss below her jaw, then stilled when he blew steam into the shell of her ear.
"Stop that," she said weakly as he pulled her hair aside and continued to trail wet little kisses across the base of her neck. The hand on her shoulder trailed down the underside of her arm and then retraced its path, dancing down the swell of her breast and the curve of her waist to rest on the sash that held her tunic closed.
"Stop what?" he asked innocently, smiling against her skin when she shivered.
"That," she reiterated with a whisper, laying her hand across his wrist as he tugged the sash loose: his smile grew when she didn't try to stop him. The bowl lay forgotten on the counter.
She braced herself against the counter when he pulled her robe open, closing her eyes to focus on the feeling of his hands playing across her stomach. One moved to squeeze her hip and trace the line where it met her thigh, following it to the inside of her legs where he-
"Cake!" she said shrilly, pushing away from the counter and dislodging his hold. She patted her hair frantically, fumbling with the spoon in the bowl, knocking over tiny uncorked bottle of vanilla. "Aang, the cake… I can't…"
He swallowed, watching her shoulders move as she breathed, trying – unsuccessfully - to quell the blood rushing into his lap. His fingers itched to be on her again, and his heart hammered against his ribs, the beat thundering in his ears and drowning out everything but the sound of her breathing.
When Katara took a rag to mop up the vanilla and knocked the salt jar over, she froze. She looked at the bowl of batter, glanced at the greased cake tin and the unwashed utensils, and took a deep, steadying breath.
She turned to face him and leaned back against the counter. Her eyes skimmed over his flushed cheeks, his shaking hands, and his painfully obvious excitement. He shifted uncomfortably under her scrutinizing gaze, until she dropped her head back to give the ceiling an appraising glance and shrugged out of her tunic, pulling her arms from the sleeves and waiting patiently for him to realize what she had done.
"Well?" she asked huffily when he hadn't moved.
His blush deepened, and a small grin spread across his face. He'd been staring at the flushed skin in the valley between her breasts, just barely exposed by her underthings, and thinking about all the things he could do that would deepen the already-rosy hue. He didn't bother to excuse himself when she pursed her lips and shot him a look of silent demand.
He laughed, and reached out to gather her up against him and press a deep, thorough kiss to her mouth. She let him have his way, allowed him to back her into the counter again, and made no protests when he pushed the baking aside and lifted her to sit on the cleared surface. His hands were deft and strong, dancing down the backs of her thighs to hook behind her knees and drag her forward on the counter until she was flush against him from hips to heart, clinging to his shoulders as if he were her only anchor.
The contact sent a shiver up her spine and lit a hot, tiny fire in the pit of her stomach. The warmth spread down to pool between her thighs, where the contact between them was hottest. When she rocked her hips against him, she could feel his reaction in the hands dragging across the skin of her lower back: they would loosen in spasms and twitches before scrabbling for purchase and pressing harder – against her spine and shoulder blades and the soft flesh at the swell of her hip.
When she could think past the feeling of his hands and the heat that burned between them and the knowledge of what was about to occur on the kitchen counter, she reached for his shirt. She tugged it free from the waistband of his pants, and couldn't resist the urge to drag her nails across the muscles of his stomach when he started to suck on the sensitive skin just beneath her collarbone.
He bit down, gently, and then she was watching him drag his shirt over his head, and picking through the knots on her bindings.
When both were stripped bare to the waist, with their discarded clothes in a rumpled pile on the floor, Katara took a deep breath. She leaned back on her hands, content to let her nerves cool and watch the color rise in Aang's cheeks as he took in all the exposed flesh she was laying out for him – and her right hand caught the edge of the batter-filled bowl.
Katara squealed, and let go of Aang's arm to scrabble with the tilting bowl. She managed to save most of the batter, but a small portion of it spilled up over the back of her wrist and ran down her arm to her elbow. She didn't know whether or not to be glad she was naked: her clothing would have been covered, but it would at least have provided some sort of rag.
The chocolate was beginning to drip, and rather than let it get all over the rest of her clothes or the counter, Katara raised her elbow to her mouth and licked the batter off. Aang, who was still watching her intently, made a sort of strangled, choking sound, and a wicked idea came to life in the forefront of her mind.
So, not bothering to look up at what was sure to be a very frustrated young man, Katara continued to lick her fingers clean. She took her time, starting with her little finger, licking the underside clean with a deft flick of her tongue before sliding the digit into her mouth and sucking off the excess batter. She repeated the process with her ring finger, studiously ignoring the heavy breathing that was emanating from the warm body just at the edge of her vision. They were still connected at the hip, her legs wrapped around his thighs, heels hooked behind his knees. By the time she'd gotten to her index finger, she knew he wasn't going to be able to watch much longer: she could feel, very acutely, exactly what she was doing to him.
"Ya know," he said hoarsely, "it's not nice to tease."
Katara gave him a falsely innocent look, and then offered him her batter-coated thumb in apology.
Aang reached for her hand, but instead of drawing her thumb into his mouth – as she'd very much hoped he would – he laced their fingers together and leaned in to kiss her.
She stopped him with a gentle clucking of her tongue, her free hand against his bare chest, pushing him away. Her eyebrows drew down in admonishment, but she was still smiling when she pulled her hand from his and held out her thumb again.
"Katara," he groaned, making only a small effort to push back against the hand whose fingers were still splayed across his chest.
"It's easy," she cooed, as if soothing a fussy baby. "Look," she waggled the fingers of her right hand. "I've already done most of the work. I can show you again, if you want."
She made to dip the tip of her index finger back in the bowl, but Aang's frustrated sigh was enough to pause her actions. She gave him a sunny (only slightly smug) smile when he reached out, grasping her wrist with gentle fingers. He let her thumb rest against his parted lips, before drawing it into his mouth. Not once did he break eye contact.
The nerve endings in her fingers seemed to have doubled in the last thirty seconds. It seemed the only things she could think about were the heat, the damp, and the teeth grazing gently against her knuckles.
"I love chocolate," he mumbled around her thumb, drawing a breathy laugh from her. "You've still got some on your elbow," he added, releasing her hand, leaning down to lick the underside of her arm, where a thin, sticky trail of batter had strayed. "And on you shoulder."
"Really?" she asked in genuine interest, craning her neck to glance down at the aforementioned area. It appeared chocolate-free. "No I don't."
With a smug grin of his own, Aang dipped his hand in the bowl and smeared it across her shoulder.
"Looks like chocolate to me," he said easily while she stared at him. Then, because it seemed like a wonderful idea, he drew a smiley face on her stomach.
Katara laughed outright when she saw what he'd done, and she leaned back against the wall with an expectant look. "I hope you plan to clean that up," she said airily, wondering if she'd be able to sit through the whole process without ripping the rest of her clothes off. The heat between them was growing unbearable.
"I thought you'd never ask," he replied with a grin, before bending over her and dipping his tongue into her navel.
She squealed, and squirmed a little, even though she had been expecting the sensation. His hands at her waist stilled her as he went to work, licking across the smooth plane of her belly, never straying higher than her ribs or lower than her hip bone – much to her frustration. His breath was warm against her skin, the gentle scrape of his tongue sending shivers up her spine.
When her legs began to slip – due mostly to the shaking in her knees – Katara decided she'd had enough. Reaching down, she cupped his chin in unsteady hands and pulled him into a long, slow kiss. His arms wound around her waist, pulling her close, pressing against every inch of bare skin that he could, his mouth moving gently against hers.
She didn't protest when he pulled at the ties on her leggings, and began to push at them. She had to let go of him, and brace herself against the counter, to lift her hips enough to allow the garment to slide down her legs, where it dropped, unheeded, to the floor. The breechcloth and bindings followed, and all too soon she found herself sitting naked on the kitchen counter with a young man who had entirely too much clothing on.
But when she began to fumble with the laces on his trousers, Aang caught both her wrists in a gentle grip and pulled her hands away.
She made a small noise of disappointment, then wrapped her legs around him and wiggled her hips experimentally against his, pleased when she was able to coax a groan.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked steadily, even as he was pressing back against her.
"Of course," she answered, voice low and hoarse.
"How sure?" he pressed, still gripping her wrists.
"Very," she began slowly, rocking against him, "very sure."
Aang gave her a gentle smile, laid a chaste kiss against her open mouth, another against her tanned cheek, and then his lips moved against the lobe of her ear, and he whispered, "Say please."
Katara's breath froze in her throat, and the fire that had curled gently in her stomach began to blaze merrily up her spine before flowing outward in a blush that turned her pink from cheeks to chest. Even her ears felt warm.
"Katara," he said sternly, when they'd passed a few moments in silence.
She licked her lips, which were suddenly dry, and drew a deep breath – just enough air to mumble the desired phrase.
"Please what?" he insisted, giving her chin a gentle nip.
"Please," she murmured, burying her face in his neck, suddenly feeling very shy. "Please, I need…"
"What?" he pushed, dropping one of her hands to grasp her chin and pull her up to look at him. "Need what?"
"You," she breathed, biting her lip. "I need you."
He leaned in, let his lips hover over hers, and enjoined, "Again."
"I need you," she intoned, and she could feel the smile curling at the corners of his mouth. He kissed her.
Again, hands began to fumble at his waistband – though whether they were hers or his, neither would be able to recall – and before he could blink an eye he found himself freed from the confines of his clothing; and faced with a very naked, very eager young woman – and it was at this point, always and invariable, that he began to blush. He couldn't help it. No matter how much time had passed, or how many times they lay down together, his fascination with her always bordered on childlike awe, and never seemed to shrink. He was completely enthralled by every inch of bared skin, and nothing but thrilled whenever she allowed him to bare skin right alongside her. Those moments were few and far between, but they had been increasing in frequency of late, and Aang had yet to become even the slightest bit desensitized.
Katara reacted as she always did. She smiled softly at him, and sat up straighter in the counter, scooting forward to wrap her arms around his shoulders. One of her hands pressed gently at the back of his neck, coaxing him to lean his forehead against hers. His arms came up around her waist, just to hold her. He didn't pull her closer – that would come soon, but later – just let her sit in the circle of his arms, content, for the moment, with the feel of her breath on his lips and the warmth emanating from her body.
The hold of her legs had grown slack again, but it only took a few short moments to lift her knees up around his hips.
"All right," she breathed, her hands stroking across his shoulders. "All right. No more teasing."
"I'm not sure how good it is," Katara said, reaching for Toph's expectant hand and guiding it to the plate containing a cake slice and a large dollop of cold cream. "I've never made cake before, but the recipe looked easy… Don't you want a spoon, or something?"
Toph, who had already used her fingers to shovel a large portion of the chocolate delicacy into her smiling mouth, just shook her head and continued to enjoy her birthday.
"I gotta hand it to you, sis," Sokka said around his mouthful. "This is pretty good."
"I hope so!" Katara replied, handing off a plate to Aang, before cutting a piece for herself and spooning cream onto it. "It took a lot longer than I'd hoped. And the cleanup was awful. Luckily, I had help." She motioned to Aang with her free hand, and then went about enjoying her cake.
Unfortunately, at the mere mention of last night, Aang dropped his plate.
"Who's wasting cake?" Toph demanded, but Katara was too busy ignoring the look her brother was giving Aang, who had by this point turned red.
"I know that face," Sokka said in a low voice. "That's the face of guilt! Aang, why are you making the face of guilt?"
"Oh, he is not!" Katara defended hotly, color rising in her cheeks as well.
Sokka's accusatory stare bounced back and forth between his sister and the Avatar. "You," he announced finally, pointing a finger at Katara. "He's making the guilty face about you! Why does he-"
"Are you gonna eat your cake or not?" Toph asked, completely disinterested in their conversation.
Sokka shoved his plate in her direction, still scrutinizing the couple sitting across from him. He watched them for a few moments, and then Toph mumbled something about divine providence and gifts from on high, and terrible thought dawned on Sokka's mind.
"No!" he shouted at Katara, pulling the plate away from Toph. "Oh no you didn't! Please tell me you didn't!"
"Hey!" Toph shouted, pounding a fist on the table.
"Sokka, calm down!" Katara demanded, making a placating gesture with her hands. "Nothing happened!"
"Liar!" Sokka cried, pulling the platter of cake away from Toph's searching hands. "And stop eating that! You two totally did it in the-"
Whatever he'd been about to accuse them of was drowned out by his sudden squeal of pain when Toph balled her hand into a fist and decked him as hard as she could in the ribs. He coughed and wheezed for a few uncomfortable moments, before demanding – breathlessly – why he'd been hit.
"I don't give a damn what happened in the kitchen!" Toph announced. "They probably fucked. Big flipping deal! As long as no one came on the cake," there was a pain filled pause, broken only by Sokka's wheezing, in which Toph made sure her sightless eyes promised terrible retribution to anyone who broke the silence to say otherwise, "I think everything is fine. Now where is it?"
Aang pushed the platter back towards Toph, who picked it up off the table and made a hasty exit, calling back, "Feel free to resume your bickering. Me and my cake will just go somewhere quiet where we can be alone."
An uncomfortable silence settled over the room as Aang and Katara tried not to look quite so culpable, and Sokka tried to recall whether he'd had two bites of cake, or three.
AN: If you've read Throne of the Soul, by yours truly, and Essence, by Artemis Rae - my bestest Avatar buddy in the world - then you should know by now we're fans of 'Aang and Katara do it in an inappropriate place.' However, seeing as how the poor boy's been blue-balled twice, I thought I'd let him get lucky, and everyone else could suffer the consequences. I'm not sure where this came from. I'm not sure what it did while it was in my brain, and I'm not sure where it went. Hope y'all enjoy.