A/N: I was reading a fic in which there was some serious romantic stuff going on, and for some reason I couldn't help but picture this: Aang being embarrassed to the point of pulling his collar up around his nose, as if hiding. It's not the main point of the story, no, but it was so cute in my head that I had to put it into a story. So here you are!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, my little image would have been included in the series by now. :3
Man of the House
"I can't believe this!"
Katara sighed and let her head fall back against the wall. Sokka had been ranting for a few good minutes now, and there was nothing she could do about it. Next to her sat Aang, looking both ashamed and mortified. His knees were drawn close to his chest, but his hands were busy holding his collar up around his nose, as if hiding from Sokka.
In a last attempt to defend herself, Katara made to stand up, a blush painted on her face as if permanent. Aang had one to match. "Sokka, listen to me. It's not a big deal –"
"Not a big deal!" Sokka's loudness made Aang wince. Katara fell back and slumped against the wall again. "How can you say it's not a big deal? This is a very big deal, Katara. What would Dad say?"
"Yeah, but your dad's not here," Toph pointed out from where she sat across the room. Sokka turned only to shoot her a death glare that she could not see before turning back to Katara and Aang.
"And Aang!" He rounded on the Airbender, who winced upon being addressed in such a harsh manner. "My sister, Aang? I trusted you to look after her and this is what happens?"
This comment left open an opportunity for comment that Toph couldn't refuse. She raised one finger and said matter-of-factly, "Well he was looking after her. And with much dedication, from what I got out of it." She laughed when Sokka whipped around to face her again, his machete drawn.
"Stay out of this, Toph!" he ordered. Toph laughed and gave Sokka a mocking salute, but nevertheless remained silent.
"Sokka, will you just listen to me for one second?" Katara had straightened her back in a dignified manner and crossed her arms. The silence that followed was taken as permission to speak. She sighed. "You need to lay off. Aang and I are entitled to do – to do whatever we want, right Aang?"
All eyes turned to Aang, Katara looking as if she were expecting him to back her up, and Sokka looking is if he'd like to kill somebody. His monk shirt still held up over his nose, covering a good portion if his face, Aang's eyes darted from brother to sister. What could he say, anyway? The choices were not very appealing. He could agree with Katara – it was the more… rewarding… of the two choices in the long run – but Sokka would probably behead him on the spot if the did. On the other hand, agreeing with Sokka could cost him what he had waited so long to have, and that was Katara. So, in respect for these two options, Aang said nothing. And, of course, both parties took this as an affirmation for their own argument.
"See Katara? He agrees with me!" Sokka exclaimed, pointing to a red-in-the-face Aang.
Katara put her hands on her hips from where she sat. "You've got to be kidding me," she replied. "He's not saying anything because he doesn't want to get his arrows skinned off! And besides –" she turned her nose in the air in defiance of her older brother, "– if he really agreed with you, then he wouldn't have been kissing me behind your back for the last month, would he?"
Sokka's mouth dropped open. Toph burst into a fit of laughter and hugged her ribs to keep them from splitting open. "A month!" Sokka exclaimed, shocked and appalled. "You two have been sneaking around for a month? You're – you're too young to be kissing all over the house and the town and – and wherever else!"
Her point not proven, Katara sat back down beside the embarrassed Avatar and massaged her left temple with one hand. Clearly Sokka had missed the point here. Now, on top of that, she had a headache caused by exasperation.
"Sokka," she said over Sokka's tirade about Aang betraying his monk-ly duties. "When did you first kiss Suki? How old were you?"
Sokka shut up, absently scratched his backside with his machete, and then replied, "Fifteen."
"And how old am I now?"
He didn't answer.
"Sokka, answer the question!"
Sighing, Sokka muttered, "Fifteen."
"Exactly. So if I am correct, you saying that I'm too young would be very hypocritical on your part, wouldn't it?"
Well, Aang mused as he lowered his shirt away from his face just a bit, she did have a point, didn't she? A point that Sokka couldn't seem to find a loophole around that would make him seem right and Katara seem wrong. So, after a few moments, he decided to improvise.
"I never said that I should have done it," he snapped, crossing his arms. He completely missed the smirk that Toph gave behind his back.
Katara stood up now and pulled Aang up by his upper arm; his shirt fell down from around his face and exposed an embarrassed grin. "But you did," stated Katara, turning to face her brother as Aang scrambled to his feet. "So you can't say a thing."
The older guy's jaw dropped as Katara gave him a look of satisfied determination and began marching towards the door, dragging a somewhat discombobulated Aang along with her.
"Hey wait – where are you going?" Sokka demanded, now sounding more baffled than angry.
Katara only smiled a pleasant smile that made her brother incredibly wary. "I bet you'd like to know, wouldn't you?"
Then, with one last apologetic shrug from Aang (though amusement was clearly on his face), the pair was gone. From behind where Sokka stood in a state of shock, Toph laughed loudly.
"Nice attempt at being the 'man of the house'," said Toph, raising her hands to exaggerate the title, "but the title doesn't really suit you."
At this, Sokka frowned and turned around to face the unperturbed Earthbender. "Well if I'm not the man of the house, then who is?"
Toph gave Sokka the same smirk that Katara had given him just seconds before. With a thoughtful expression on her face, she placed one palm on the ground and replied, "Well, Aang is the one having a kiss-fest in your bedroom right now, so he's the one fulfilling the 'man of the house' role, don't you think?"
Horrified at what he'd just heard, Sokka stared at Toph for a few moments before tearing his eyes away from her smug expression and running out the door with his machete drawn. He had some serious business to attend to with a certain monk.
A/N: Poor ol' Sokka. As an insult to injury, I had to put Katara and Aang in his room for the big finale, and have Toph break it to him. She would have known, after all, from her Earthbending of awesomeness.
At the point where Aang let his shirt go back to normal, I debated making him expose some sort of something that he wouldn't have wanted Sokka to see, but I decided to keep Aang's little hiding tactic just as it is. Sokka can still see you sitting there, Aang; don't bother trying to hide! xD
Anyway, thanks for reading!