Just and extremely random idea I had. Takes place during the Boiling Rock at the Western Air Temple. Includes the reasoning behind the "ZOMG I'm confused!" line in Ember Island Players. I usually don't write mid-quels, but here's one.
Inspired by: Avatar
Also: A lovely hiking trip last summer where all of my cousins and I went on a hike, and after setting up the tents, went around giving massages. (I just cracked pplz backs lwlz XD)
Also Also: I see very few Kataang massage fics out there, and the ones I do find seem to always have Katara massaging Aang. Can't a girl get a break?
Also Also Also: Just remembered! Toph's "raindrop" line came from Jessie, who actually did say "ow" when a raindrop fell on her. Knew I kept her around for a reason!
Disclaimer: I dont' own Avatar.


Adding to the Confusion

"Ow."

Rising from her position, Katara felt the word come off of her lips. She hadn't meant to say it, but somehow after sitting for so long, it hurt to move. Now her back seemed to be giving her a bit of trouble.

"What's up?" Toph asked, standing up with her. They had been sitting together on one of the edges of the Western Air Temple. Katara called it "Girl-Time". Toph called it "Sit With The Sugar Queen-Time". Either way, it was pleasant enough for both of them, and at the very least not completely boring.

Placing a hand on her back, Katara replied, "My back hurts. A lot. Ow."

Scoffing at her excuse, Toph waved it off. "Oh, puh-LEEZ, Sweetness. A raindrop could've hit you and you would've said 'Ow'. Come back to me when you're feet get burned." The blind girl turned around and walked away.

Her words stung, and Katara called out, "What? No help?"

"Well, you're the Healer around here." Toph pointed out. "Just go stretch! She tossed the suggestion over her shoulder, muttering a "Sheesh!" afterwards.

Ignoring that last word, Katara figured Toph had a point. Making her way over to the sleeping area, she decided to follow the young earthbender's advice.

Unfortunately, Katara noticed Aang practicing his firebending only a few meters away. Shoot.

Since the invasion, ever since he had kissed her, Katara had been avoiding the airbender. At the same time however, she had to keep him under her watchful eye at all times, because of Zuko. She still didn't trust him. In fact, Katara loathed him. This didn't help her already complicated life, especially now that Aang–well, she didn't even want to think about it.

Trying her very best to sneak away without really coming off as being sneaky, Katara made to go past the sleeping area. Too late, Aang saw her.

"Hey Katara!" He called out to her, looking up from his fire-fists.

Drat. Turning around, Katara smiled at him, and called in a fake cheery voice: "Hey, Aang!"

Motioning for her to come over, Aang continued his sets of fire-fists. Katara hadn't found a good excuse yet, so she obeyed.

"Just a second," Aang said, beginning yet another set of hopsquats. He had been at thew exercise all morning, and it was now late afternoon. Zuko had picked the right animal: the badgerfrog seemed to never give Aang a break.

Sitting down on one of the sleeping bags, Katara rolled her shoulders to no avail. Her back was still bothering her, but it wasn't the only thing that was making her uncomfortable.

Aang noticed.

"Something wrong?" He asked, looking up again from his hopsquats.

Katara looked up at him, and immediately looked away again. Staring determinedly at her feet, her fingers began twiddling through her hair.

"No." she replied.

"Yes, there is." Aang insisted. "What's wrong?"

Sighing, the waterbender mumbled, "My back."

There was a moment of silence, before, "Do you want me to massage it?" Katara shook her head, still staring down at the cold stone floor of the Air Temple. Her hands continued to fiddle around with her hair.

"Why not?" Aang asked. He sounded slightly insulted. Katara merely shook her head again.

Two warm hands gingerly touched her shoulders, lightly rubbing them. Somehow, Katara got the sudden urge to talk, to stop him, to stop the world from being so darn complicated.

"It's nothing, really..." Katara sputtered. "Just a little sore..." Aang continued to caress her back and shoulders. "Toph and I were just sitting..." She bit her lip as Aang gently soothed her muscles, making it harder to resist him. "And...and..." She couldn't think of another excuse.

Finally, he began to massage her tender spot. "Ohh, that feels soooo good." Katara moaned.

Slowly relaxing her tense muscles, the Airbender's smooth hands worked their way around her shoulders to the base of her neck. All the while his contact left a warm trail over her skin. Katara's whole body seemed to hum in response.

"It'll be easier for me to massage your back if you're lying down." Aang said, his words awakening her. Nodding, Katara instantly sank into the sleeping bag, her head resting comfortably on the pillow. Saddling her waist, Aang immediately resumed massaging her.

"Mmmm..." Katara sighed contentedly. "Where did you learn to be such a good masseur, Aang?"

Aang paused, and Katara could feel his smile. "I don't know. Must be an airbender thing."

Katara giggled at the thought of a masseur class at the Air Temples, with hundreds of little bald, arrow-headed kids running around giving massages. Must've been nice. His hands continued to rub her back in a most satisfying way, clearing it of cramps and aches. The result was a lovely, warm feeling that spread to the tips of her toes. Aang carried on massaging her, until..

The hands that had been working on her back so diligently slowed, then stopped. Why did he stop?

The waterbender called his name quietly, "Aang? Is something wrong?" He didn't respond. And then it hit her.

Aang was massaging her. Aang had touched her (not necessarily in places he wasn't supposed to) and she liked it. Shouldn't that worry her? They were still just friends. Yet Katara knew that was so far from the truth, it was mental to say so. But they couldn't be together, not with this crazy war going on. If she lost him, Katara wasn't sure what she would do. It was simply too painful to love someone and then lose them. She should know; she had first-hand experience. Oh, why couldn't her life be simple?!

Two fingers placed lightly on her neck brought Katara back to her senses. Aang's fingers. Delicately, they traced their way down her spine. Katara grew more and more nervous as they traveled down, her skin tingling under their touch.

As if on cue, a badgerfrog's croak echoed through the Temple. Getting to his feet, Aang went over to his original workout place to start on some more hopsquats, groaning and mumbling the whole way. Katara wasn't sure if she was glad at the badgerfrog's timely croak, or mad at it's intervention.

Standing up, Katara made a resolution as she walked away. She couldn't be with Aang...not until the war was over. It was just too complicated.

Still, throughout the days while Sokka and Zuko were gone on their little "fishing trip", Katara couldn't help the occasional blush on her cheeks or butterflies in her stomach whenever she thought of Aang.


Like it? Hate it? Please comment!
If you found this story unsatisfying, then you're just not trying hard enough.

Poor Katara, you really have to sympathize with her. The best of her 14 years of her life were so easy and simplistic, and then WHAM! Thrown into a chaotic new world, and a love life. And then there's Aang, who's simply trying to get closer with her, (who can really blame him?) but not realizing he's almost making it worse. I pity him. =(