A/N: Somebody over on the forum asked for a sequel, and I was happy to comply.
So, as mentioned before, this is the sequel to Improvised Romance. You don't have to read the other story to understand this one, though it may make certain visualizations easier.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
LaterLong after the rest of his friends had turned in for the night, Aang remained awake. Clips of the day's previous events continued to flash through his mind, as if he were dreaming. Images of knocking out Prince Zuko and stuffing him in a closet, Sokka's tired and pale features as he collapsed into his sister's arms after they rescued him, and the startling image of Aang himself spinning a smiling Katara on a Fire Nation dance floor. Now that hours had passed, he wasn't even sure that it had happened. Judging by the way Katara had acted afterwards – as if nothing had happened – Aang was willing to bet that he had dreamed the whole thing up. But it had been a good dream.
With a sigh, Aang picked a stick up off the ground and poked at the wet sand. In the dark of night, he sat on a rock with his feet in the cool river shallows. Maybe, he thought, he had just been exposed to some sort of chemical that had made him hallucinate the whole thing. Dancing with Katara, the feel of her body close to his and the touch of her lips. He sighed and leaned his chin on his hand as he tossed the stick into the water. Perhaps, he thought, the heartache would end if he just kept telling himself that it was all a good –
Startled, Aang lost his balance and toppled into the water. When he resurfaced, gasping and cold, he found that Katara had darted over and clapped a hand over her mouth. Whether she was horrified or amused, though, he couldn't tell.
"I'm sorry!" She exclaimed. Her voice was quiet enough to keep Sokka or Toph from waking up on the other side of the clearing.
Aang hauled himself out of the water, put his hands together, and Airbended the water off of his body and clothes. Katara's smile was both genuine and a little hesitant. They shared a significant silence, in which she watched him and he tried not to blink too much.
"So…" he began. The silence was not awkward, but nor was it comfortable. In his head, Aang was trying to figure out if his dream had been reality after all.
With a nervous laugh, Katara reached behind her head and scratched her neck. Her hair was back to normal now, her makeup washed away, but to him she looked just as breathtaking. Heart now pounding in his chest, he watched as she stepped forward until there was only a foot or so between them.
"You owe me," said Katara, her voice serious and informative while her smile said otherwise.
This time Katara did laugh – albeit a quiet one, but a sweet one nonetheless. She took another step forward and grasped one of his hands. He made to move backwards a step, but his subconscious sense held him fast.
Her face dangerously close to his, the moonlight reflected in her eyes, she whispered, "A dance. Remember?"
Meanwhile, Aang's brain was throwing a celebratory party because he had evidently not been dreaming after all. It took him a moment to get a grip back on himself, but when he finally realized that he had been staring, he smiled back at Katara and squeezed her hand.
"I remember," he answered, then added, "but right now?"
"B-but you said later," he stammered, heat rising to his face.
Still smiling pleasantly, Katara moved to assist him; she took his spare hand and placed it on her waist. "Later," she said, "is now."
Aang snuck a glance over her shoulder to see if Sokka was still asleep. He was, curled up in his sleeping bag with his back to them. Toph's earth tent was closed up tight; he and Katara were completely alone.
The idea both scared and intrigued him. He looked back into her blue eyes and his heart melted.
"There's no music," he observed in a quiet voice, his hand twitching the slightest bit on her waist.
Katara leaned in closer than before. Aang's breath hitched in his throat as the memory from their previous endeavor flashed before his mind, but she stopped short again. She raised her free hand and placed it, palm-down, on his chest. A small blush was visible on her face, but her smile didn't falter.
"We don't need any," she murmured, her warm breath tickling his ear, "I feel all the rhythm we need right here."
Well, that last comment was enough for Aang. In one sweeping motion, he leaned her back in a false dip, causing her to gasp and grab him around the neck. His mischievous grin was all too apparent. He brought her back up, slower than the last time he'd tried, and shifted his hands to a better dancing position.
"I thought you wanted to dance," he teased.
She rolled her eyes and fixed her arms around his shoulders as if he had annoyed her, but her smile gave away her true feelings. "You caught me off guard," she snapped.
"Sorry," he apologized.
Katara let go of him – his heart gave a pathetic tug – and placed her hands on her waist. "That wasn't a dance," she said teasingly. "Now are you going to dance with me or am I going to go to sleep unhappy?"
Aang's reply was taking Katara up in his arms, much like he had earlier that day. Katara caught on quickly, settling into the rhythm and allowing Aang to lead her around the moonlit clearing as smoothly as if he'd been dancing all his life. She beamed at him.
"I guess dancing is an Avatar thing, isn't it?" She asked.
He spun her around so that her back was to him and placed his hand on the lower part of her abdomen. In his head, a sultry music was playing as clear as day. Aang nodded and said nothing. This very moment was something he'd always fantasized about – not this exact scenario, no, but something similar to it. Here he stood, in the middle of a clearing in the Fire Nation, one hand on her lower abdomen and the other holding hers out to the side. Never in a million years could he have ever thought that he'd be in this elegant and – there was no other word for it – sensual position with a girl, and especially not Katara. It was taking all of his concentration to keep from thinking of her slender body pressed firmly against his own.
His heart rate kicked up slightly as he became more in tune with himself and Katara as one unit rather than two people. Two pairs of bare feet kicked up a small cloud of dusty earth as they continued to step together. Thus far, Katara had showed no displeasure at his leading the dance; her smile couldn't be seen from where he stood, but he could feel it. Never during the Fire Nation ball had he felt as comfortable as he did now, though he was still incredibly nervous. Then again, he had thought that he was going to be kissed back there, when they were sneaking across the dance floor. Speaking of which –
"Did you mean it?"
He hadn't put any thought whatsoever into asking; the words had just spilled from his mouth before he could stop them. Katara seemed confused by his question and stated as such. Aang brought his arm around and guided Katara into a quick turn that left them face-to-face. Both took in sudden breaths at the same time, for neither had been expecting their faces to be as close as they wound up.
"Oops," he offered in a meek voice, letting an embarrassed smile of apology show.
"Guess I spun too fast."
One of Katara's eyebrows shot up. "That kind of stuff seems to happen to us a lot, doesn't it? We always seem to end up in a… compromising… position."
Aang's mouth ran dry. All he could manage was a quiet, "Uh…"
Katara helped him along by asking, "Now what were you saying?" He took a brief moment to realize that she hadn't pulled away yet. Subtle hints like these were only one of the many reasons – some of which were more telltale than others – that he was blushing scarlet.
"Oh, uh, right." He'd forgotten for a moment what he was going to say. "Well, I was wondering if you – earlier today, at the ball – if you meant it when you…"
Sighing, he broke off and fell silent. Head bowed the slightest bit, he looked at her with an almost sad expression on his face. Rejection was one thing, but rejection after being really and truly kissed for the first time was more than Aang was prepared to handle. No amount of preparation could have made him ready for what he had been expecting to hear, and no amount of preparation could have prepared him for what Katara actually wound up saying.
"Of course I meant it."
Surprised, Aang's mouth fell ajar as he stared. A small giggle came from Katara, and she took her hand away from his shoulder in order to graze her fingertips along his jaw line. Her light touch made a shiver run down his spine. He closed his mouth and gulped.
"Would you mean it?" she asked, hesitant. This time she was the one who blushed; the occurrence gave him a strange boost in confidence, yet still took away any words that he might have been thinking of. So, instead, he leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers in an innocent kiss.
"Yes," he murmured, "I –"
A loud snore brought Katara and Aang crashing back to the present. Alarmed, Aang jumped and let go of Katara as if he'd been burned. In a similar fashion, she moved away from him and whipped around to face the campsite. When they saw that the noise had just been Sokka, Aang laughed weakly and sighed.
"Heh, I forgot about Sokka," said Aang. He shot a sidelong glance at Katara, then a devious grin came to his face as an idea planted in his mind.
In a flash, Aang turned away from Katara and took the stance that Toph had taught him what felt like years ago. He set his focus, took the proper form, and raised two hands up in front of him in a grand gesture. The earth shook a slight bit, then shuddered and sent upwards a tall sheet of rock, forming a high wall between the campsite and the clearing where Aang and Katara stood.
After a meditative breath, Aang stood up straight and turned to a smirking Katara.
"What were you saying?" she asked in a sweet voice, stepping forward.
Aang moved across the ground to meet her, and once again took her up in a close dancing form. "How about I show you instead?"
Katara laughed and took his hand like she'd done back at the Fire Nation ball. "Interpretive dance," she mused aloud, a smile playing on her lips. "Sounds like a good time. Shall we, then?"
He spun her around in a full circle and kissed her again, this time a lingering kiss that made the both of them shiver. "You read my mind."
A/N: Hey look! Sexual tension!
Anyway, I love it when Aang Earthbends. It makes me cry a little on the inside. Therefore, I had to have him do it. Hope you enjoyed reading!