Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender; Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have me beat in that area. I don't know if I would want to own it, anyways, with all the shipping wars going on. Hmm...

Author's Note: This is my first story for Avatar: The Last Airbender and hopefully it isn't my last. I just am in love with these two characters so much I had to attempt writing them. Besides Sokka, they're my favorite thing about this fandom. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think and if it needs any improvement.

Please, review when you're done and tell me what you think!


Forever

Rating: G

March 21, 2008


Forever may be a long time to wait, but I've got time. I'm not going anywhere.

Forever, for the Avatar (whether he or she wants to or not), transcends lifetimes. The only thing that is unique to each is their memories, and those are held dear in their own respect. I would imagine so, since I don't know anything of, say, Roku's past other than what has been told to me or his happy marriage–otherwise, I would put that knowledge to good use and not make a fool out of myself when it comes to her.

Her.

Katara.

My focus on the water beyond us becomes more hazy as I feel myself begin to space out at the pure blue–which resembles something I'm positive you can guess easily enough. To be honest, it was a toss-up when it came to her: I either became extremely focused or drifted off into a daydream. A lazy smile grew on my face I remembered daydreams of my past. Sure, they could result in something embarrassing, but as long as I was the man in waiting, so to speak, daydreams were all I had.

However, back to a more pressing matter...

It's no secret, really, that I'm in love with her. Sure, I'm young, but I've never been more sure of anything in my life. I'm more sure of being in love with her than defeating Firelord Ozai. That's a scary thought if you really think about it, since I have to be sure about saving the other nations from the Firelord. I have to, before the end of the summer, which is also another scary thought that I have fluttering inside my head almost constantly.

Though... is it bad that I'm more nervous about being rejected by Katara than being killed in battle? I figure that I would feel like I died then and there rather than physically dying.

Is it bad that I'm more nervous about her in battle than I am about myself? She's always on my mind, and when I'm in trouble, she generally is, too, because of me. I worry.

I can't talk to anyone about this, which is disheartening at times I actually would like some feedback. The one person I go to talk to about what's bothering me is the one person this "problem" is about–so, for now, Katara's out of the question. She normally is the one who helps me sort through my thoughts. Of course, right?

I sigh, nestling deeper into my crossed arms as I watch the ocean at a distance, leaning against Appa's saddle for balance.

I can't talk to Toph about it since I'm pretty sure she already knows by how my heart speeds up around Katara; that smirk I see every so often when I get flustered is unnerving. She unconsciously has one-up on me and I don't like that. Maybe she can tell about Katara, too? I don't want to know, especially if it would weigh heavily on my heart.

And I definitely cannot talk to Sokka about anything, since it is his sister we're talking about. I have a sinking suspicion that he already knows, though. Whenever Katara wears something new and I can't help but gawk, he butts in. Whenever she kisses me on the cheek I get that pointed look. And also, which is very annoying, when I try and get out the words to Katara about how I truly feel about her, he always interrupts like he's being paid to. There must be a specific phrase for what he does by blocking me like that. Although... he's somehow really good when it comes to girls, so he must be doing something good. He's already been kissed a few times by at least two different girls. That's saying something, right?

I've only kissed Katara in my lifetime.

That thought alone made my heart rate skyrocket. I chanced a glance at Toph, who was presumably sleeping. The smirk that suddenly appeared on her face made my lips twitch into a frown. I sighed again.

"Want to talk about what's on your mind?" I heard softly in my ear, and I almost jumped off of Appa right then and there since I definitely wasn't expecting that. "Sorry," the voice also said, seeing how I was startled from my thoughts.

"Talk about what?" I asked, hoping to sound innocent enough to get off the hook.

"What you've been over here sighing about for the past twenty minutes, maybe?" she asked, giving me a look. I had to avert my eyes so I wouldn't blush.

Stupid cheeks with their stupid blushing. I was a guy, I shouldn't blush nearly this much around anyone.

"Oh, I'm just thinking about this and that," I replied lamely. I couldn't come up with anything better than that? Jeez, way to go, oh mighty Avatar.

"This and that?"

"You know," I fumbled, trying to find something to say, "things neither here nor there."

"No, I don't know. Could you be any more vague?" she rolled her eyes but followed it up with a good-natured smile. "Come on, something's troubling you. I can tell." The worry in her eyes was evident; she worries about me too much, and eventually that's going to take a toll. I should know, I worry about her (as well as the fate of the world, but somehow not as much as her).

Oh, hell. "It's not important, I'm just getting a bit stir-crazy. I can't wait to land and actually stretch out my legs." Well, that wasn't exactly a lie–just not entirely the truth.

"Oh," she said, getting better situated next to me. Good thing Sokka was at the reigns, otherwise I would have to have to stand his stare (or glare, depending on his mood and whether or not he had eaten). It's vicious if you're at the receiving end. When it came to Katara, I was, nine times out of ten, at the receiving end.

I didn't respond, but I laid my head on my arms again, watching the water with more seemingly interest than I previously had. With her so close to me I couldn't think as straight as I did before. Her hair flowing in the breeze in my peripheral vision, her sweet smell flooding my nose despite the high winds... she was always overwhelming me whether it was within my senses or thoughts, but I loved it. I sighed again. I was in deep.

"There! You're doing it again," she said suddenly, now facing me.

"Doing what?"

"Sighing!" she said, giving me a sympathetic look. "Are you sure you don't want to talk about whatever it is that's bothering you?"

"It's not really bothering me," I admit, "but it's more of a guy problem."

"A guy problem?" she asked, slowly rolling the words off of her tongue. I could tell it was something weird for her to think about. I was probably too much of a kid to her to come off as a young man. "How 'guy problem' is it?" she asked again, cautiously treading on ground she wasn't all that familiar with.

"Uh, problematic enough," I nodded. It wasn't a lie.

"Sokka! Talk to Aang about his 'guy problem,' won't you?" she suddenly shouted to her brother, leaving me pretty mortified where I sat.

"No, no, no–"

Toph's snickering in the background didn't help my frame of mind, either.

"He's thirteen, he shouldn't be having any 'guy problems' yet, especially the type I'm thinking about or any that are relating to anyone in this–er, on this flying bison."

He knew.

She tried again, "Just talk–"

"No, no, it's fine." I tried to nip this in the bud. "Sokka's right," I glared in his direction where his laughter floated in the air. "Let's just drop it, okay?"

She nodded, smiling at me. "Sorry," she leaned forward and kissed my cheek. To my imagination (maybe), her lips lingered a couple extra seconds and then pulled away; I was met with her smiling face once again. "Just don't worry yourself too much. You know what it can do to a person."

Phew.

I nodded, smiling back, hoping I wasn't blushing too hard.

"But," she began, putting her hand on my shoulder and giving it a light squeeze, "If you need to talk about anything, and I mean anything, you know I'm the better sibling to come to. Sokka will just make things worse."

"I heard that!"

My heart jumped into my throat. That shouldn't be too healthy, I mused to myself with an inward smile. I nodded.

Even though our lives were about to drastically change, for better or for worse depending on the outcome of the war, I still had hope for the future. Maybe even for a future I would share with Katara, if I'm lucky. I have hope for what time brings. After all, I had been frozen in an iceberg for a hundred years; and, despite the repercussions of that, I still met Katara.

Time might be on my side after all.

I chanced a glance at Katara, only to be startled at the fact that she was looking at me already. Blushing and quickly turning away in what could be assumed as embarrassment, she chuckled to herself and then let out a soft sigh. That sigh sounded familiar. My hopes soared despite my better judgement.

And even so, as I said before... forever may be a long time to wait, but I've got time. I'm not going anywhere. I have hope.

"Something on your mind?"