BONUS TIME! Yays!...actually, considering this and 'Dawn' were the two that made me write all the others, its not technically bonus. ;p hehe...besides, 7 is a lucky number! :D
Inspired by: Avatar
Also: a GINOURMOUSLY loud thunderstorm at night back in summer...any Portlander should be able to remember it.
Also Also: the song "I Love a Rainy Night"
Disclaimer: I don't own the three listed above. Most certainly not the thunderstorm, anyway!


Midnight
Showers wash all my
Cares away
I wake up to a
Sunny Day!
Cos' I love a rainy night...

Thunderous roars from black clouds bolted Katara awake from her dreams. Falling out of bed with a shriek of surprise, the she accidentally entangled herself in the bed sheets. Bare feet and ankles stuck out of the white heap on the floor, with her head wrapped in one of the blankets. Sitting up with a groan and removing the ridiculous costume, she looked around. Her head ached from her fall; ears throbbing with echoes of the dangerously close thunder. Placing a hand over her chest, the waterbender inhaled slowly to soother her rapid heartbeat.

Looking up at the bed, Katara wondered briefly if she had woken up her husband with the fall. To her surprise, she found no one on top of the bed. Peering over to the other side, she wondered if he had fallen off the bed as well. Apparently he hadn't.

Curious as to where her husband had gotten himself to, she stepped out of their room and began walking down the stairs.

The couple's apartment in Ba Sing Se was not extravagant. However, because of their high placement in power and society, a much more elegant house had been offered to them, but they declined. After all, the apartment was occupied only a third of the year, so it was not a permanent home. Besides, the two didn't need much: there was a nearby well, their neighbors were friendly, a stable for Appa had been found close to home, and it was an easy commute to The Jasmine Dragon.

Rounding the corner of the staircase, the waterbender found what she was looking for. Wrapped up in a blanket on the window seat, with a mug of hot drink: the Avatar, the last airbender, and her husband.

Aang looked up from his mug when she entered. Immediately his thoughtful expression turned into a glowing smile.

"Couldn't sleep?" he asked her softly, voice piercing the background patter of steadily-falling rain.

"I don't think anyone could have slept through that kind of noise." She replied, amused. Walking over to where he sat, she settled down next to him as he put a warm arm over her, covering her with the blanket. She snuggled closer to him, sinking into his body heat.

"The thing I don't get is how you got up earlier than me." she said, letting his warmth and comfort wash over her.

"There was a little thunder before the one that woke you up," Aang murmured softly. "Guess I'm just a light sleeper." He added mildly.

The waterbender frowned. "Are you suggesting that I'm a heavy sleeper?" She asked.

"Not nearly as bad as Sokka..." he told her, taking a sip from his mug. "But yeah." He tried to kiss her, but she held him back, a smile on her face betraying her glare.

"At least I don't snore," she grinned mischievously at him.

"One time," he sighed exasperated. "Only one time and you never let it go! Besides, I had a cold then." She laughed.

"Next time you have a cold, you can sleep in the other room." He smiled and put a hand up in defeat, quickly taking the opportunity to sneak a kiss on her cheek.

Sounds of the gentle pitter-patter of rainfall outside were not to be disturbed by conversation. Both were content to simply sit in the quiet together. The airbender merely sipped from his mug, deep in thought while staring at nothing in particular. Katara found the rainfall accompanied by Aang's breathing to be soothing; she could listen to it all night.

After a while however, Katara realized that she didn't have all night; she really needed to go back to sleep. Tomorrow was to be a busy day: politics and meetings and stuffy nobles. Busy, but boring.

Stretching her limbs as she stood up, Katara realized painfully that she wasn't tired in the least. All the same she turned around to kiss Aang goodnight. "I'm going back to bed now," she whispered, about to leave the room and go up the stairs again.

"But you're not sleepy." Aang commented. Katara whipped her head around, possibly too quickly.

"And just when did you become and expert on my sleeping habits?" she asked him, leaning against the doorframe. He merely looked up at her, eyes seeing right through her. She sighed.

"How did you know, anyway?" she asked, admitting the fact that she truly wasn't tired one bit.

"If you had really been sleepy..." Aang told her casually, "Then you would've fallen asleep already. Meaning I'd have to carry you up the stairs again." She frowned at his blunt response.

"What do you suggest then?" she asked him. A grin rapidly crossed his face. Getting up and taking her hand, he led her towards the door. Confused, Katara decided to simply let him take her to wherever it was they were going. Without allowing her time to grab a coat or umbrella, he led her outside off the porch and into the street. Katara looked at him, vaguely wondering if lack of sleep had caused him to have lost all sanity. She was beginning to wonder if she herself had lost her mind, allowing him to take her out in the middle of a public street in the nighttime rain.

Apparently he must have lost it, because turning around to face the waterbender, he smiled and bowed.

"May I have this dance?"

To say Katara was surprised would have been and understatement. Katara was completely blown away; she had definitely not seen that one coming.

The reasonable part of her told her to step away, grab him and force him back inside, give him a serious healing session, and possibly lecture him with some choice words. Yet in the back of her mind, a small, nagging piece of her–the one closely associated with her heart–told her to play along. For reasons unbeknownst to even herself, Katara did.

Accepting his hand, Aang immediately spun her in, and taking her other and lightly with her back to his chest, they moved.

Fluid and graceful to the rhythm of the rain, they entered a slow, dream-like quality dance. Katara wondered if the steadily dampening clothes were the only things keeping her awake. Feeling as though she hardly had to move, he suspended her his sturdy arms; an airbender's graceful touch. They were a cloud: soft and thick and pillowy. It was pure contentment.

Flashes of lightning caught Katara by a sudden wave of reality. She looked at their current position: outside, in the middle of the street, during a midnight storm, dancing. If anyone was watching them, (which wasn't so unlikely due to the storm) she could only guess what sort of stares she would receive the following morning.

"Um...thanks for the dance," she started hesitantly, still following the steps and his lead. "But how is this helping me get to sleep?"

"This?" he asked, twirling her around to hold her waist as they looked at each other through a window created by their arched arms intertwined above. "Oh, this wasn't to help you get to sleep. This was just for fun."

Katara blinked, staring at him. Before she had time to process what he had said exactly, he let go of her hands above them, bowed to her, and began walking back to their apartment door. He would have made it too, had Katara not jumped out of her trance and run up to him. Putting a hand on his shoulders, she quickly forced him around to face her.

"What was that for?" she asked, hands on her hips. Sodden brunette hair clung to her face, and her clothes were soaked clear through with rainwater. "You brought me out in the middle of the street, in the rain, at night, and tell me it was 'just for fun'?"

His eyes looked up in thought before he made a reply. "Yup." he answered. "That about sums it up." This wasn't exactly the reply Katara was looking for.

"So you weren't going to try and help me get back to sleep, when you told me that I wasn't sleepy?"

"No, I am." he replied instantly. "Just not back then."

Turning around again, he motioned for her to come inside. He opened the door, but not before receiving a swift water whip to the rear. Katara had merely been bending the water out of her hair and clothes. Moving to face her, Aang's eyes narrowed in suspicion as Katara smiled sweetly at him. Shaking his head, the airbender took her hand to lead her back inside, shutting the door firmly behind them.

An hour later the two were snuggled up under a blanket, holding mugs of what had once carried warm, cinnamon-flavored milk as the storm quieted to a flow of sprinkling rain. The Master Waterbender's head was placed comfortably against the Avatar's chest, previously slumped against the wall and now sliding down onto the floor. The airbender's mouth was left slightly agape, breathing in the smell of her hair.

Both were fast asleep.


Like it? Hate? Please comment!
...Y'know, warm cinnamon milk is a really good way to get to sleep. Just take milk, add a dash of cinnamon (optional sugar/honey) and heat up in the microwave. Voila!
...Ps: yea, this is the REAL end of 'Through Days and Nights'. Thanks to all my regular R&R pplz! And to my two awesome cousins, who didn't really help much, (except in this last one) but I love 'em anyhowsers! ;D