I got stuck on Bad People and I needed to get this out of my system. And now I hate it and have to get it out of my documents or I'll go crazy. It's weird and you probably won't like it but there it is.
EDIT: I changed the ending. Made it more in character. Thanks to Saifyre for giving me a push in the right direction. Curse me and my affinity for happy endings!
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar
"Good afternoon, Katara."
Aang sat down beside her on the grassy hill she had been sitting on all morning. He didn't bother to keep his voice down. They were in the middle of a field in the Fire Nation and Sokka and Toph were shopping in a nearby town. Nobody was around to hear him but Katara.
Much to her displeasure.
"How are you feeling today?" Aang asked pleasantly. She didn't respond. She didn't even make any indication that she knew he was there. She just stayed comfortably in her position sitting on the hill, pretending he wasn't there.
"You've been away from the camp for a while," Aang continued, undaunted. "Just wanted to make sure you hadn't been captured or eaten or something."
It was true. As soon as Sokka and Toph had left for town, Katara had left the camp site without a word. Not that this was anything new. Aang just hadn't resorted to following her in a while.
"You know, I'm not going to leave you alone until you talk," he said, finally losing his fake-cheery tone of voice and shooting her a cool glance.
Katara knew he wasn't kidding. So she uttered the first words she had spoken to him in nearly three weeks.
Katara didn't give him the satisfaction of getting her angry. She just went back to ignoring him.
"When are you going to stop this, Katara?"
Once again, no response.
"Okay, that's it. I'm tired of this," Aang snapped. "You're being a…"
He stopped, because Katara had finally turned and looked at him. And he had never seen her look so angry.
"What, Aang? What am I being?" she hissed. "Because frankly, I don't think you have any right at all to be tired of anything. In fact, given the circumstances, you should be glad I'm freezing you out. Am I wrong, Avatar Aang?"
"Hey, that's not fair-"
"Not fair?" Katara laughed spitefully. "I'll tell you what's not fair. So there's this boy, right? He happens to be my best friend. About three weeks ago he walks up to me and tells me that in order to master the Avatar State, he has to let me go. How is that fair?"
"Oh, it doesn't stop there," Katara cut him off swiftly. She pulled her knees up against her chest, staring moodily into the sunlit field. "I pull away. I try to make it a little easier. But this boy keeps bugging me, trying to be with me all the time, trying to talk to me like we're still best friends and it never happened." She got to her feet suddenly. "Well it happened, Aang. It really did. And I just want you to go away."
Aang got to his feet, following her as she stalked off further into the field.
"Katara, would you just stop and listen for a second?" he called after her.
"No!" she shouted back. "I won't stop and listen."
"Why not?" Aang snapped, now jogging to keep up with her.
She finally stopped and whipped around to face him. She didn't quite look angry anymore. No, now she looked furious.
"Because you have to forget about me," she shouted. "And I will never forgive you."
"For what?" Aang shouted, getting angry as well. "For being the Avatar?"
"No! For making me fall in love with you!" Katara shot back as loudly as she could. Aang fell silent in shock. She didn't look furious anymore. Now she simply seemed to be desperate, tired, trying to make him understand. Pleading with him to just go away.
"Because I am going crazy here, Aang!" she shouted desperately. "I am driving myself crazy trying to stop loving you!" She ran her fingers up into her hair in frustration. He looked thunderstruck, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. He didn't seem to be able to talk, so she continued.
"Because I do, Aang," she sighed. "I love you in this really big way. This really… epic, insane, stupid, annoying way that makes me hate you."
"Why do you hate me?" Aang asked quietly, sadness and confusion evident in everything from his tone to his posture.
"Because," Katara continued, that desperate edge back in her voice. "Because I can't have you."
"Katara, I'm so…" Aang began, but Katara stopped him.
"Don't apologize, Aang, it isn't going to fix anything," she sighed. "I don't care about the Avatar State. I don't care about the war. I just want you." Aang looked away, ashamed. "And that's bad, Aang. That's very, very bad. It's selfish and it's wrong, and I can't keep thinking this way. So the only solution I see is for you to go away, because if you keep bugging me like this, I won't be able to let go of you."
Silence fell between them, interrupted only by the wind across the plains. Katara turned away from him and crossed her arms over her chest, waiting for him to leave. She closed her eyes tightly and exhaled slowly, trying to calm her racing heartbeat.
The silence lasted so long, she was sure he had left. She sighed and looked down. Moments later, however, she jumped. There was a hand on her shoulder, turning her around. She found herself looking into Aang's eyes.
"Then don't," he said quietly.
"Don't what?" she asked, looking away from him.
"Don't let me go," he continued. "And I… I won't let you go."
Katara looked at him. She sighed. "What choice do you have?" she whispered.
"I'm going to… find another way," he muttered. "I don't care how long it takes me to find one. I'll just… I'll find another way. And if I don't… it'll just be me and the Fire Lord. No Avatar. Just Aang."
"You would do that for me?" Katara asked quietly.
"I've barely been holding on these last few weeks without you, Katara," he sighed. "I can't imagine a whole lifetime without you. I'm so sorry."
Katara just smiled and pulled him into a gentle embrace. "Thank you," she sighed. "I'm tired of trying to stop loving you."
"So you… you really love me, Katara?" Aang asked quietly. She nodded against his shoulder, closing her eyes so she could focus on the feeling of his hands on her back and his breath on her neck. "Okay, well… I love you too." She laughed lightly and tightened her hold on him.
He said he'd barely been holding on the last three weeks without her. He didn't realize what a toll it had taken on her as well. Resisting the urge to speak to him, to look at him, to touch him, had hurt her as much as it hurt him.
"I've missed your voice," he said suddenly.
He kissed her.
It was rather remarkable, kissing Aang. There was something about his breath. Maybe it was because he was an airbender, she wasn't sure, but whatever it was made his lips taste better and his hands feel warmer and her head spin. So when he pulled away from her, after such a short, gentle kiss, she was completely out of breath.
He smiled at her. She looked away.
"Katara?" he said immediately, concerned. "Did I do something wrong?
"No, no," she said quickly. "That was… you were…" She sighed in distress. "I can't let you do this."
"Do what?" Aang asked, bewildered.
"Give up your strongest weapon for me," she continued quietly. "I'm a fighter, Aang. I fight for what I want." She sighed again, frustrated. "But I wasn't fighting for you. There's a reason I wasn't fighting for you. And just now… I lost sight of it."
"I can find another way, Katara," Aang said desperately, grabbing her by the arms to keep her from pulling away. "I will, I'll master the Avatar State some other way."
Katara smiled sadly. "Can you blame me?" she sighed. "You're standing here, telling me these things… Someone is fighting for me for once. I couldn't help but lose sight of my reasoning."
"No, Aang," she said quietly, shaking her head. "You have to do everything you can to master the Avatar State. And if that means letting me go, then that's just…" She stopped, finally faltering. He was still holding on to her. It was clouding her judgment. She felt tears gathering in her eyes and inwardly cursed her own weakness. She looked down.
"Katara I'm sorry," Aang said hurriedly, taking advantage of her silence. Now he was pleading with her. "I'm sorry I ever told you I would have to let you go. It was stupid and insensitive and I was wrong. I was so wrong… it was just a moment of weakness. It was a mistake."
"You told me for a reason," Katara muttered, still not looking at him.
"I was upset," he rushed on. "I was tired and I'd been keeping it to myself for so long, it just flew out of me before I could stop it. The guru was wrong, Katara. There is another way. There has to be another way."
"How do you know?" she sighed. "You need to master the Avatar State, Aang. You can't leave this up to a hope."
Aang was silent for several long moments. There had to be something he was forgetting. There had to be some way he could have her…
"Avatar Roku!" Aang said suddenly, looking absolutely delighted that he had thought of it. "Avatar Roku mastered the Avatar State, and he was in love with Ta Min!"
"What?" Katara asked, genuinely bewildered. Despite her best efforts, she started to hope.
"I don't know how he managed it," Aang admitted, looking slightly downtrodden. "But he did, I know he did. He was married and he had children and he was happy, but he mastered it. I just need to figure out how."
Katara stared at him. Aang wasn't sure what to do. She looked kind of angry…
But then she threw her arms around his neck, crying.
"Aang you're such an idiot!" she cried into his shoulder. "I was going crazy, trying to stay away from you, trying to stop loving you, and all this time there was another way?!" She punched him ineffectually in the arm, still sobbing against his shoulder.
"Yeah I know…" he muttered. "I'm an idiot."
Then she was kissing him again, reveling in that wonderful windy feeling, that sweetness of his mouth, that tingling warmth of his hands. He could love her, and idiot or not, he was all she wanted.
"I'm still mad at you," she muttered into his mouth, the intensity between them increasing as she grabbed the back of his head and pulled him closer.
"But at least you aren't ignoring me," he replied, lips never leaving hers.
"Don't ever go away, okay, Aang?" she murmured.
"I won't if you won't," he said with a smile.