Soooo I got a little stuck on Parlor Tricks. But I've had this idea lying around for a while... a ton of people have asked me to continue my oneshots, but one in particular has gotten a lot of attention. ADDICTION, for some reason, everyone wants to continue. So I finally got the idea down in document form. I don't know what to think about it, so... I don't know. It's a little weird, a um... stream-of-consciousness type of thing. Just to warn you.
You should probably read ADDICTION before this, but I don't think you have to. It'll help, I'd wager. Katara's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar
If you ask my brother, he'll give you his philosophy on addiction. Everyone is addicted to something. It's a human flaw. You can't avoid it. It's all around you.
Ask him, and he'll tell you I'm addicted to the Avatar.
Ask me? I might just agree with him.
Scary, isn't it?
Just the fact that I admitted that should tell you a lot. I'm supposed to be the strong one, the one that isn't afraid of anything. I have to be strong for everyone. But Aang scares me. Caring so much for a boy I met barely a year ago scares me a lot.
But what scares me the most is the fact that I am addicted to Aang, the Avatar, and I think I have been since the day we met. What scares me is that I didn't even notice until it was almost too late.
That fluttering feeling in the pit of my stomach when he first opened his eyes and focused on me. That smile that I couldn't seem to get rid of whenever he was looking at me. That absolute knowledge that I would do anything to keep him near me. I felt that, all of it, on day one.
But what is an addiction, really? Is it as simple a thing as Sokka says? If you ask me, addiction is a physical condition more than a mental one. It's when you substantially need something. You can't run properly without it.
So I apply this theory to Aang. And it's scary, how true it is. Looking back at our journey together, all the toughest times I went through were spent without him.
Yes, I am addicted to the Avatar. The first step is to admit it.
Problem is, this addiction of mine is apparently not a secret. Sokka, of all people, has confronted me about it. So here I am, sitting with my brother in a big empty sanctuary within the Western Air Temple in the middle of the night.
"Look… Katara, you might not like me saying so, but you have an addiction."
"What are you talking about?"
"You're addicted to him, Katara. Don't try to tell me you aren't."
That's where we are now. I'm blushing, I can feel it. I look away from him. "Sokka…" Oh no, I have nothing to add to that.
"Well, are you going to talk to him?"
I look at him in surprise. That was about the last thing I expected him to say. "What?"
He sighs. "Katara, I promised Dad I would protect you," he begins. "That includes protecting you from yourself. I've been watching over you these past months, and you're tearing yourself apart."
I look down. I don't know what to say.
"You do know he's got it just as bad as you, right?"
I nod. "He kissed me," I say quietly. Even as the words come out of my mouth, I'm surprised. I haven't told anyone Aang kissed me, and I choose my brother to confide in?
Oddly enough, he doesn't seem surprised.
"So, what are you going to do about it?" he asks gently.
This doesn't seem like the conversation I should be having with Sokka right now. We were just handed a massive defeat at the hands of Azula. Dad and Bato and everyone have been captured. We don't know where Suki is. We're all tired and lost, and I'm having a conversation about my love life with my older brother.
"I don't want to push him," I say evasively. "He's so down right now…"
"Exactly why he needs something to cheer him up."
"But what if…" I blurt out before I can stop myself. I can't help it, he has me talking now and I couldn't stop if I wanted to. "What if he changes his mind?"
He shakes his head, and for a moment it looks like he's going to laugh. "Don't be stupid, Katara. He isn't going to change his mind. Just go talk to him."
I smile. I can't help it. "Okay."
He gets to his feet and returns to the camp fire a few rooms over. Now it's just me, alone with my thoughts.
Addictions are usually bad things. Nobody wants to be addicted to something. But what if you're addicted to something good? I smile. I'm all by myself in this big empty sanctuary, but I'm smiling just thinking about him. If there's one thing you can say about Aang, it's that he's good. At the core of everything, he's a good person. So is being addicted to him such a bad thing?
Or maybe I'm not addicted to him. Maybe I'm addicted to the way he makes me feel. That natural high I get whenever he's around. Then it occurs to me… that feeling…
I jump. Aang is peeking into the room. Sokka sent Aang in after me. I shake my head, smiling a little.
"Hey, Aang," I say quietly. "What brings you here?"
"Sokka said you had to talk to me about something…"
He sounds nervous. A little edgy... a little sad.
"Come sit," I suggest lightly. He does immediately. It's so dark in this room I can barely see him, the only light provided by the moon through the crumbling roof. But even in the gloom I can see how tired he is. How drained he is…
"What did you want to talk to me about?" he asks quietly.
I pause, wondering how to go about this. My mind seems to have stopped giving me information. I'm stuck.
So I look at him. I just… look at him. He's watching me, waiting. Quiet and polite and just there. And that feeling hits me again. That feeling that my heart doesn't belong in my chest anymore. And the words start coming before I have time to think.
"It's not normal, the way you make me feel," I finally say, rather more abruptly than I intended.
He looks nothing but surprised. Not tired, not sad, not excited or confused or repulsed. Just surprised. Completely surprised.
"What?" he whispers after what feels like hours.
"It scares me a little," I admit quietly. Why do I have to be blushing right now? "I've never felt so strongly for anyone." He's staring at me, eyes wide. I can't tell if he's breathing or not. So I finally just go for it. What have I got to lose at this point?
"Aang, do you love me?"
He's silent for a long time. Surprised.
"Do I… do I… what?" he finally stammers.
I smile, albeit rather miserably. I still don't know what to think. I'm as surprised as he is, just taking it a little better. "You kissed me, just this morning," I point out gently. "I thought maybe…"
"I love you," he blurts before I can finish. I stop, surprised yet again. I saw it coming, but… hearing him say it…
"You do…" I mutter. "You love me…" He nods. He still looks surprised. I'm guessing I do too. "Oh... well then… you probably want to know how I feel about you." He nods again. I smile at him. "I love you, Aang. It sounds stupid now… but I don't know how else to say it."
"It doesn't sound stupid," Aang whispers. "Hearing you say that will never sound stupid. Not to me."
I smile at him. In the stories people tell, things like this happen on mountaintops and beaches and all manner of beautiful places. In our story it happens in a ruined temple that has seen unparalleled horrors in its past. In the stories people tell, the man is smooth and confident, the woman is beautiful and elated. In our story, we're both young and scared and so… surprised.
But then… our story has never been normal.
"So this love thing," I begin quietly. "It's mutual?"
"I guess," he says. He's smiling at me now. The surprise is gone. Now it's just anticipation.
This addiction of mine is never going to go away. I can't function without feeling the way he makes me feel.
"What do we do now?" he asks quietly, still smiling.
I shrug. "Wing it, I guess," I whisper in reply, and I lean forward. And I kiss him. All things considered, he shouldn't be surprised. But he is. I don't mind.
But this kiss… I'm losing my train of thought. The way he smells and tastes and feels is too much to take in at one time. He gets over his surprise quickly enough. He's pulling me close, he's holding on to me, and oh… this feeling.
Kissing him can only be described as addicting.