Once again, thanks for the reviews. It remains appreciated.
Here's the last chapter for now. If the readers want, then I'll continue. Let me know.
EDIT: I decided not to continue. I think it ends in a pretty good place, and I have nothing else to say without making it seem forced.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar
Katara woke up the next morning before anyone else. The sun was just a sliver on the horizon. Katara sat up. She looked out at the cliff again. There sat Toru and Kita, side by side with their legs hanging over the cliff's edge, leaning against each other, fast asleep. Katara got to her feet and quietly slipped toward them. She tentatively tapped Kita's shoulder.
Kita opened her eyes drowsily. "Mm?" she muttered.
"Sorry, but... Toph will be awake soon, and she wakes Sokka up, so..." Katara trailed off, glancing pointedly at Toru.
Kita followed Katara's glance and jumped a little. She seemed surprised to see Toru next to her, despite the fact that her head had been on his shoulder moments before. She blushed furiously when she realized his arm was looped around her waist. But her look of shock turned into a soft smile.
"Thanks, Katara," she said quietly, looking over at Toru again. Her smile only grew. She tentatively shook his shoulder.
"Whassamatter?" he mumbled, falling over sideways.
"Any time," Katara said, smiling a little and moving quietly back to camp. Toru stumbled over a few minutes later, guided by Kita.
"He's a heavy sleeper," she muttered to Katara's questioning glance. "Wakes up kind of slowly at times." She shook his shoulder again. "Come on, Toru. Wake up. We need a fire."
Katara smiled. Kita seemed to have woken up enough to be back to her old self.
"Right, fire, got it," Toru mumbled, sticking his hand into the pile of charred wood and snapping his fingers. The fire burst into life. He jumped and pulled his hand out.
"Whoa, I'm up," he said quickly.
"Great, get breakfast ready," Kita said, patting his shoulder. She grabbed Katara's wrist and hauled her to her feet. "Can I have a word?" she said, pulling the surprised waterbender off toward the cliff.
"What's wrong?" Katara asked, confused.
Kita smiled. "Nothing, that's just it," she sighed happily. "Oh wow, I've never felt like this before. I... I can't believe this!" She spun around and grabbed Katara's shoulders. "He kissed me, Katara! It was amazing!"
Katara just laughed. "Wow, I get the feeling you're excited," she said while Kita tried to calm herself down.
When she did, the smile faded from her face a little. "But I'm kind of… confused…" she admitted quietly. She suddenly looked frightened. "Katara… he kissed me. Oh no…"
Katara watched her, concerned. "What's wrong?"
"It's just… my reasons for not being with him…" she began slowly. "I'm right. I know I'm right. But now… he won."
Katara smiled a little. "I didn't realize it was a matter of winning or losing," she said.
Kita shrugged. "I didn't either… but now it seems like it's just been a game…" she muttered. "He's just been trying to get to me… and he finally did."
"I don't think it's a game to him," Katara said quietly.
Kita looked up at her. "Really?"
Katara smiled sympathetically. "He loves you," she said. "And he just wanted you to love him back. He's not trying to toy with you, Kita."
Kita looked past Katara and her gaze fell upon Toru. "You think so?" she murmured.
Katara placed her hands on Kita's shoulders and turned her to face her. "I'm pretty sure," she said with a light laugh.
"So maybe I was wrong…" Kita muttered. She glanced at Katara. "This is new. I mean… I've been refusing myself the one thing I want because I thought I was right. But… I was wrong."
Katara didn't say anything. She was thinking hard. If Kita was wrong… what if she was wrong too?
Kita started grinning. "You know, I'm pretty sure I've never been this happy to be proven wrong," she sighed. "Thanks, Katara."
"Hm? Oh, sure, don't mention it," Katara muttered distractedly.
Kita was now smirking at her, which made Katara nervous. "You know what this means for you, don't you?" Kita asked.
Katara frowned. "No...?"
"Saying your relationship with Aang is complicated is no longer a good excuse," Kita said.
"What? No, no, you don't understand," Katara stammered, backing away a few steps.
"Then explain it to me," Kita said calmly, giving Katara a level stare.
Katara looked down. "He's the Avatar," she sighed. "He's only thirteen, and he's been thrust into this role and this war that he's not ready for. I don't want to add myself to his list of worries."
"Oh come on, Katara," Kita snorted. "His list of worries? You're already on it, whether you believe it or not."
"What do you mean?"
"He already worries about you, Katara," Kita said quietly. "There's no changing that. So just give yourself a break. You know what you want, just go for it!"
"I... I can't," Katara said quietly. "I mean, we're just kids..."
"But you love him," Kita continued. "Aang is a year and a half younger than you, so what? I'm a year and a half younger than Toru. It doesn't matter. And if you want to get technical about it, he is ninety-eight years older than you."
"Well you've sure turned this around on me," Katara sighed. She smirked a little. "It can't have been that great of a kiss."
Kita just kept smiling. "First of all, yes, it was that great of a kiss… or, you know… five," she said slyly, making Katara blush. "And haven't you been listening? I was wrong. What I thought was complicated really wasn't at all."
"So what exactly is your point?" Katara asked warily.
"That real love has no obstacles," Kita said quietly. "Just excuses."
Katara stared at her. She seemed like a different person. No, that wasn't true. She was the same person. She just seemed more... full. More whole. Complete. Like something about her had been missing before. Katara wondered vaguely if people thought she was missing something.
"Alright, I can settle for compromise," Kita finally said. "Just get a little closer. That'll take one worry off his list at least."
Katara sighed heavily. "I'll work on it," she mumbled.
Kita grinned. "Good." She looked back at the camp. Toph and Sokka were snapping angrily at each other. Toru was making breakfast. Aang was sitting by the fire, yawning. Katara was watching him. Kita cleared her throat loudly. Katara jumped and Kita began shooing her back to the camp, hissing "Go on! Move it!"
Katara stumbled into camp, Kita hot on her heels. She walked past Katara, staring pointedly at her, and sat down by the fire beside Toru. He smiled at her and she grinned, moving very close to him.
Katara took a deep, calming breath. She moved to the other side of the fire and sat down beside Aang. She glanced at him warily. How had she fallen for him? It had happened so naturally, she hadn't even noticed it. But now, it was so obvious. She didn't know how to act around him.
"Um..." she began, not sure what to say. "Aang?"
He looked over at her carefully, still not ready to talk to her after what happened in the desert. "Yeah?"
"...How are you doing?" she asked quietly, gentle concern in her voice.
Aang sighed. "Katara... why are you still worried about me?" he asked sadly.
"What do you mean?" she replied, turning to face him.
He didn't look at her. "The way I acted in the desert... you shouldn't be so nice to me after the way I yelled at you. But you still helped me out of the Avatar State. And now you're asking me if I'm okay. Why?"
Katara gazed at him sadly. "Aang..." she breathed.
Aang sighed again and looked at his feet. His eyes shot open, however, when he felt Katara's lips on his cheek. He looked over at her, surprised. She was smiling gently at him, blushing.
"I care about you, Aang," she said quietly. "You were upset. No one can blame you for that. And when someone you care about is upset, you don't hold a grudge. You help them. You... fix them, so they're not upset anymore." She moved closer beside him and took his hand. "I don't want you to be upset, Aang. Because I really, really care about you."
Aang stared at her. She looked down shyly, smile remaining in place.
"I... care about you, too," he said quietly. "Really." Katara leaned her head on his shoulder and turned back to the fire, hand never leaving his.
After a few moments of intimate silence, Aang muttered, "Katara... I'm sorr-"
"It's okay," she cut him off quietly.
Aang breathed out in relief, smiling with her. "Yeah, it is."
She sighed, content. Maybe it was as easy as Kita said.
Across the fire, Kita grinned. Toru followed her line of vision. He smirked.
"I don't suppose you had anything to do with that?" he asked quietly, looking at Aang and Katara, leaning comfortably against each other just as he and Kita had woken up barely half an hour earlier.
Kita didn't respond. She just kept smiling.