Aang sat on the floor of Avatar Kyoshi's shrine, his eyes closed and his fists pressed together meditatively. He had been trying to contact his predecessor's spirit for nearly three hours now, but Kyoshi was proving, as was her nature, intractable. She would appear when she felt like it, and not a moment sooner.
His eyes opened as a hand was gently laid on his shoulder. "My Lord Avatar," a smooth, feminine voice said, "you have been at this far too long. Come and take some rest."
Aang swiveled in place. He was mildly annoyed at the intrusion until he saw who had interrupted him. "My Lady Spirit," he said in a mock-serious tone, bowing respectfully.
Both of them held their composure for a few minutes before simultaneously dissolving into giggles. Katara was bent nearly double as the laughter wracked her body.
"I know, I know," she said, holding out one hand as if to ward off criticism, "I look like an idiot. But I saw the face paint outside, and I just couldn't resist."
"I don't think you look stupid," Aang said as he used his airbending abilities to push himself to his feet. "Actually, I think you look beautiful."
If Katara blushed, it didn't show through the paint that adorned her face. "You always say that," she responded lamely. Aang shrugged.
"That's because it's always true," he said. He reached out and took her hand, squeezing affectionately. When she smiled, his face split open in a grin.
"Flatterer," she teased, but there was no malice in it, only affection. For what seemed like hours, but was really only a minute or so, neither one of them spoke, but instead simply looked at the other.
Katara was always beautiful, there was no denying it, but right now she was especially so. She'd used the Kyoshi Warriors' face paint to recreate the Painted Lady persona, although where she found another of those dresses and veiled hats, Aang had no idea.
"Having trouble?" she asked gently.
"A little," Aang admitted. "Avatar Kyoshi just doesn't want to come for some reason."
Katara considered that for a moment, and then grinned wickedly. "I have an idea," she said. "Close your eyes, and don't open them until I tell you."
Aang complied, sealing his eyelids and waiting. After a few moments he felt Katara's hands running over his face, leaving behind a cool and damp substance that soon coated his entire face. He heard the sound of water rapidly freezing, and then Katara declared that he was done.
When he opened his eyes, someone was staring back at him. It took a moment for him to realize that it was his own reflection in a mirror of frozen water. Then he cracked up, laughing until his sides hurt. Katara had painted his face like Avatar Kyoshi's.
"It's a good idea, Katara, but I don't think it'll help," he said with a smile.
"Hey, it worked before. And besides," Katara said as she wrapped her arms around him from behind, looking in the ice mirror over his shoulder, "I think it looks good on you."
"Do you think I should put her robe on, too?" Aang asked, leaning back against her larger (but not much larger, not nearly as much as it used to be) frame.
"You could, if you wanted to," Katara said with a smile. "But somehow," she continued as her hands roamed lower on his torso, "I don't think there would be much point."
And then Aang twisted his head back towards her, and she leaned forward and turned her head in the right way, and their painted lips came together in a passionate kiss.
As it turns out, Katara's prediction was completely accurate.