A/N: This probably isn't what you had in mind when I said Holiday Fluff (if that is what I said, I can't remember) but I was watching the Avatar DVD's and I was just...struck. I'm sure you authors know what I mean.

So this is my first attempt at something new. Let's hope it came out better than my Eragon one.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Happy Reading!

Skin Deep

She stood in the doorway, her hair now falling around her face in dark waves. After a trying day, though considerably harder for he than she, dusk had fallen over the seaside and they had both gone to get some sleep. However, she herself had not been able to even close her eyes, for neither Toph nor Sokka had returned that day from their trip.

A cold breeze swept in through the open window like a bad omen. She shivered and hugged her arms. Under ordinary circumstances she may have closed the wooden frame, but she didn't want to have to step over him to get to it. He deserved some sleep, if anybody ever did. She turned to leave, but a rustling sound stopped her feet.

"K-K-Katara?" It was a failed attempt to stifle a yawn while talking.

Katara turned. Aang sat up and rubbed his eyes with another yawn. Those blue arrows on his arms and the way they twisted down from his back were so strange, and yet so common. She'd never known him without them, and yet they fascinated her. An air bender. The last air bender. It was amazing to think about!

"I'm sorry, Aang," Katara apologized profusely, wringing her hands. "I was trying to be quiet –"

He grinned at her and interrupted, "I was awake anyway."

"Were you really?" Her eyes narrowed in suspicion, she gave the smallest of smiles.

"No, but it was worth a shot, wasn't it?"

Thoughts of her brother and Toph vanished, if just for a moment, and she took a step forward. She stopped, though, and forced the thoughts back into her mind. Why was she thinking about him this way, when so many things were so wrong in the world? When her brother could be in potential danger, she stood here, falling steadily to the game Aang had been playing with her since day one.

And why not? It was as they'd said back in the beginning: a little fun never hurt anybody. Well, not irreparably, at any rate.

When Katara didn't answer, he moved away a pile of books with a wave of his hand and patted the now empty space next to his floor mat. She hesitated, then finally crossed the room and sank down onto the floor beside him. Oh how Sokka would have a field day if he walked in right now and saw the two of them sitting together in this empty house, side by side. The thought alone cracked a smile on her face. And, of course, it didn't go missed.

"What'cha grinning for?" asked Aang, pulling his blanket up around his waist with one blue-arrowed hand.

Katara shrugged. "Just about Sokka. There's a lot to grin about."

He laughed, went crimson, and turned his head towards the window so she wouldn't notice. She did. She always did. It was old hat for the both of them. Aang shivered as another breeze swept through the window and he stood up, closed said window, and sat back down again. He swung the blanket back over his legs and looked down at his clasped hands.

For the longest time, neither of them said a word. Katara toyed with the notion of bringing up something to talk about – anything, actually – but for some reason remained silent. It was highly unusual to have a silent Aang unless he was doing some meditation exercise or something, so maybe it was best to just sit in silence. And still…

"Aang, can I ask you something?" Katara questioned hesitantly.

He opened his mouth to say that she already had, but instead came out, "Sure."

"Do you –?"

She broke off as the sound of the front door opening echoed throughout the house. She jumped slightly and her hand slid over his. They both turned to face one another, shared a wide-eyed look of horror and embarrassment, and Katara pulled her hand away, grinning in embarrassment. It was then that they realized that potential intruders were in the house, until –

"Katara! Aang! Are you guys here?" it was Sokka, and presumably Toph as well.

For her brother's safety, Katara breathed a sigh of relief and clambered to her feet. Aang stayed back for a moment before following suit and the two of them headed for the doorway.

"What were you saying?" he asked conversationally, shooting her that same glance.

She grinned to herself, but made no reply. Some things were too dependant upon a particular moment to say any other time, and the moment was lost.

For now.


A/N: On a final note, I'd like to say one thing: I'm Mac-tarted.

Happy Holidays!