I know everyone is getting sick of my Older Kataang stories, but I got this idea and I liked it too much not to write it. I just can't help but like these little ideas of pieces of Aang and Katara's life after the war. I can't help it at all! Plus I still like this one, which is like... a huge accomplishment for me.
In other news, how over the moon psyched am I about the finale tomorrow? And yes, I'll keep writing Parlor Tricks even though the show's over and yes, I'll keep writing oneshots for a time. Maybe a long time, I dunno. Depends on how many ideas I have left.
EDIT: So I'm doing something unprecedented and editing one of my oneshots. I KNOW. I still really like this one, but I just wanted to spruce up the dialogue and such here and there, just for funtimes. I doubt anyone will notice or anything, but it made me feel better. Carry on.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar
Aang grinned when he heard Katara shriek from upstairs. He shook his head a little and went back to making breakfast. Right on time, Momo came soaring into the kitchen, screeching in irritation. He grabbed a moon peach from the table and bolted through the window. Katara's voice came floating down the stairs after him.
"Okay, see, last night when I said to you 'tomorrow no matter what make sure I get up at seven,' what I actually meant was tomorrow no matter what make sure I have the option of getting up at seven, in case when seven comes, I actually want to get up, which, as it happens, I didn't," he heard her calling conversationally. A moment later she rounded the corner into the kitchen. She was in her silk nightgown that Aang liked so much with the lace straps and neckline and the hem just above her knees. She stopped just inside the room, hands on her hips.
"Therefore you're currently responsible for the Great Momo Massacre," she continued lightly. He raised his eyebrows at her and she rolled her eyes. "I tell you, if I didn't love that flying furball so much there would have been casualties."
Aang shrugged, returning his attention to their breakfast. "Hey, I take things very literally," he said airily. "I would think you'd know that by now. But as it is, it seems said flying furball escaped through the window with a mild decapitation. Of ego."
A smile tugged up one corner of her mouth and she fixed him with an appraising stare. "You, Avatar Aang, need a lesson in tact," she sighed, very aware of his eyes on her legs as she walked over to the table to pour herself some tea. She turned to face him, leaning back against the edge of the table and arching an eyebrow. He snapped his eyes up to her face and smiled, just a little sheepish. "Mmhmm," she hummed as if emphasizing her point, rolling her eyes again. He turned back to the counter, laughing.
"You know better than to even try to give me lessons in tact," he replied. "Old dog new tricks and all that."
He heard her laugh behind him and the next moment she was leaning on the counter next to him, passing a hand over the rim of her teacup to swirl the dregs at the bottom. "Just because you saved the world at twelve," she began in a singsong voice. She leaned over toward him a little, grinning. "Doesn't mean eighteen is an old dog."
"I dunno," he sighed dramatically. "I kind of feel like an old woman, making your breakfast for you every morning." He turned toward her and held a bowl of porridge aloft between them. She took hold of the other side of it, smiling innocently.
"Aww, you just do that because you love me," she said in her best koochie-koo voice, smiling in a way that wrinkled her nose a little. She knew Aang thought it was adorable.
Aang smiled. He knew what was coming next. This was his favorite kind of kiss, the morning kiss. She leaned up toward him, the bowl still between them. She placed a hand lightly on his chest to steady herself. And she kissed him. It was short and soft, like it was a habit. That was what he loved about the morning kiss. It was like something they would do every day for the rest of their lives.
Her lips left his, but he stopped her, leaning close and kissing her again. When he pulled away from her, she was still smiling. She eased the bowl out from between them and returned to the table. Aang stayed on the spot, frowning a little. There was something different about the morning kiss today. He couldn't quite figure out what it was. It felt the same, it wasn't any longer or shorter than usual. Then it hit him. She tasted different.
Aang licked his lips, confused. How could she taste different? In the six years they had been kissing, she had always tasted the same. He remembered the first time he noticed it.
When they first started kissing, he was twelve. Hardly experienced, hardly paying attention to much besides not screwing it up. There was the one on the submarine before the first invasion, the one on Ember Island before the comet arrived, the one right after the battle with the Fire Lord. They were getting used to it, testing the waters. It was new and strange and a little frightening. He didn't become quite comfortable with it until nearly a year had passed, a year of practice between the two of them.
Shortly after he turned fourteen, he began paying some attention. There were differences, nuances in the way they kissed. They were still traveling the world, always with something to do, always busy. Whenever they did have a chance to kiss, it wasn't wasted on the little ones. Their snatched moments together were spent away from crowds, arms around necks, hands on hips, lots of tongue, breathing through the nose.
But then they started growing up. Aang turned sixteen, reaching manhood in the Water Tribe. The two of them were trusted to travel alone together. No more Sokka to sneak around behind. No more Toph spying on them with her feet. Snatched moments turned into whole days they could spend together. They could be open with their relationship. They could just hold hands in the market place, share short, sweet kisses at formal affairs hosted by kings and diplomats.
It was at one of these said formal affairs when Aang first noticed the way Katara tasted. They were at the Fire Nation palace in the ballroom. It was getting late, Katara looked beautiful, and they were dancing at a relaxed pace after a long day. The dance floor was crowded with lords and generals and diplomats and their wives. Aang and Katara were speaking quietly as they moved around the candlelit ballroom. He said something that made her smile. He leaned down and kissed her. It wasn't quite short, it wasn't quite long. It was enough to get a good taste of her, and he pulled away smiling. She tasted like fresh cream and sea salt and wild strawberries, and something else. Something unique. Something, he supposed, that was just the taste of Katara. She smiled and rested her head on his shoulder. He sighed contentedly.
From that day forward, for the next two years, he noticed it every time they kissed. He realized she had always tasted like that, and it rarely changed. He could taste it whenever she ate chocolate, or something with cinnamon or peppermint. But other than that it was always the same. Cream, salt, strawberries, and Katara. It sounded odd looking back, but it was delicious when his lips met hers.
So what was different today?
He started a little in surprise. Katara was frowning at him from the table.
"Are you okay?" she asked quietly, concerned. He'd been standing beside the pot of porridge for several minutes, lost in his thoughts.
"I'm just… thinking," he said simply, waving the matter off and turning to ladle some porridge into a bowl for himself.
"What about?" she continued, eyes fixed curiously on his back. He turned and placed his bowl on the table, frowning thoughtfully.
"You taste different," he said frankly. She just looked at him, perplexed, and reached up to touch her lips.
"I do?" she asked, confused, but he was delighted that she knew what he meant. She licked her lips thoughtfully and shrugged. "I suppose I can't really judge it myself." She beckoned him toward her with one hand and got to her feet. He smiled and stepped close, placing his hands on her hips. She rested one hand on his shoulder, the other on the back of his neck, and got up on her toes to reach his mouth with her own.
This wasn't the morning kiss, Aang recognized immediately. This was the kiss because we feel like it kiss. He liked this one too. It was long and slow, and there was tongue, but it was gentle. When they pulled apart, they both exhaled contentedly. Aang licked his lips again.
"So?" she asked, smiling a little.
"Still different," he replied thoughtfully.
"Hmm… well what do I usually taste like?" she continued curiously, drumming her fingers idly on his shoulder.
"Cream and salt and strawberries," he said without thought. She smiled and he laughed a little, embarrassed.
"Then what do I taste like today?"
He thought about it for a moment. "You still taste like usual, but there's something else," he murmured. "Like… honey. And ginger. And… snow."
She started laughing, leaning her forehead on his chest.
"What?" he asked, startled.
She looked up at him, still giggling. "Sweetheart, that's what you taste like," she said gently.
Aang blinked. "Oh," he said simply. He frowned a little. "Oh, so that was…"
"You," she finished for him. "You tasted yourself on my lips."
"Huh," he continued, smiling. "I guess when people say 'we're rubbing off on each other,' this is what they mean."
She laughed, and he grinned at the sound. "Not quite," she sighed. "But it does explain why you taste like cream and salt and strawberries every so often." He smiled, surprised. She delivered a light, affectionate punch to his shoulder. "I thought you were off kissing someone else."
He knew she was teasing, and he scoffed. "Please, why would I ever want to kiss anyone else?" he asked haughtily, silencing her giggles in another kiss because we feel like it kiss. He really liked this kiss. Definitely a close second to the morning kiss. That one would probably always be his favorite. After all, it was a habit. Something they would do every day for the rest of their lives.