Word Count: 1050-ish
Summary: Aang rethinks why his and Katara's relationship didn't work out, years after the war. [Taang, Zutara, Katara/Aang friendship.]
"Sparks," She explained with a smile, while sipping her tea quietly. "You and I never had any sparks. That's what went wrong with out relationship."
"I don't know." Aang said quietly, the tea steaming around his face as he warmed it in his hands. "I was always attracted to you. At least, I thought I was attracted to you. But it's…I dunno, different with Toph." Better, he thought but didn't say.
She was thinking the same. "It's because it wasn't mutual. " She answered, her blue eyes laughing, the same eye he thought he'd been in love with years ago. "Sparks have to be mutual. I---I guess that silly old play on Ember Island was right. I did think of you as a younger brother."
He gave her a half-crooked smile. "You certainly treated me like one, that's for sure." He thought back to the few years after the war, when they were dating. It had been awful, now that he thought about it, but at the time he had thought, it will get better. You'll see. She's in love with me, and I love her, and it will get better. But it hadn't: she never stopped babying him, even when he was fifteen and knew quite well how to clean up after himself. She never stopped. Didn't know how to.
She never once babied Zuko. Never needed to. Zuko knew how to take care of himself.
More importantly, Zuko knew how to take care of her, something Aang never quite learned. Saving her, yes, he could save Katara, protect her, keep her out of harm's way. But he didn't know how to help her when she needed it the most, and Zuko did.
That's why she married him, after all. That, and---
"Sparks, huh?" He gave her a small grin. "So you and Zuko…spark?"
There it was: that glow. The one that let him know he had done the right thing, letting her go. The same one Toph got, too, the few times he managed to make her blush.
"Yes, we spark." She snorted unladylike into her cup. "Figuratively and literally. He is a firebender, after all."
Aang believed her. He and Toph sparked, too. He could feel it, the electricity in the air when they kissed, the static in their touches. Fire was energy and fire was passion, and you needed both in order to spark like in those romance scrolls.
"Well, I'm glad you're happy." He said, and it was true. He was glad she was happy. He was happy, too. He had missed this, their conversations. They were best friends. Always had been, always would be. She had missed this too, and that's why they were here, now, talking about things that didn't have to do with war or politics or the Fire Nations or—
"The baby!" Zuko cried from beyond the garden, and Katara jumped faster than Aang had ever seen her move. "Katara, the baby, she's---"
"Pooping." Toph snorted, and Katara instantly relaxed, her breathing leveling. "Man, these things are fun. We should get one of these, Twinkles."
He did not miss the smile on her face. "You want your very own poop-machine? We have Momo for that, dear."
"Yes, but this one cries and poops! Definitely an upgrade!" She walked over to her husband gracefully, her tongue clicking in her cheek as she listened to the panicking new father behind her.
And Zuko was panicking, holding the baby as far out as possible, as if it were poisonous. "Katara!"
"I'm coming." She sounded annoyed, but he could tell by the way her eyes sparkled that she was secretly relieved. "Goodness, I leave you with the baby for three minutes—"
"Try three hours!"
"---she was asleep! And at the first sign of a dirty diaper you come running to me---"
"Because she was crying! I don't know what to do when she cries!"
"Zuko, she's a baby, of course she's going to cry! Anyway, I don't see why I should have to change all her diapers---"
"Because you love me." He said matter-of-factly, as though he had no doubt about that. He didn't, Aang realized. If he looked close enough, he could almost see the sparks in the air surrounding the two. "And---Katara, she's still crying."
"I realized." But the new mother just smiled and took her daughter. "Come on little one, let's go show Daddy how to change a dirty diaper."
She turned her head for just a second. "I'll talk to you guys later, okay?"
"Later Katara." He said with just a small smile.
"Good luck with that, it's a doozy of a poop!" Toph called out, but it was too late for the new parents to hear. "Actually, I think that what I'll call her: Poopy!"
Aang couldn't help but smirk as he wrapped his arms around his wife. "Zuko and Katara would never forgive you."
She snorted, and the placed her hands alongside Aang's arms. "So what did you and Katara talk about?"
Toph perked her head up. "Sparks, huh?" It was quiet. "That's a good name, actually. For the baby, if it's a firebender. Since Sparky is Sparky, it makes that his spawn is Sparks."
He was curious, now. "And if it's a waterbender?"
"Princess Sugary Cuddlepuffs."
Aang laughed. "Sorry I asked! Poor kid, Katara'll hate that."
"I'll give her a choice: Poopy or Princess Sugary Cuddlepuffs. She'll pick Cuddlepuffs, I know Katara." Toph's confidence radiated: it was one of the things Aang loved so much about her. He wished he could be half as confident, at times.
She twisted around in his arms so she was facing him. "You know, we could a Sparks, if The Royal Pansies' baby isn't Sparks-material."
He kissed her forehead. "Yes, except that any children we have will be airbenders. All of them."
"Children? Who said anything about there being more than one? I'd like one poop-machine, not three."
"Three is a good number." He said, and briefly pictured children of his own, like the newest Princess, only with Toph's eyes and his hair. "We could have three. One at a time, you know. Let them grow out of the crying-poop stage before we get another."
She pushed up on her tip-toes and kissed him. Sparks. "Better get started on making that poop-machine, if we want to keep up with the Royal Couple."
Another kiss. Spark. "Do you think doing it in the guest room would be rude?"
She pulled his closer and kissed him fiercely. "Do you think I care?"
A/N: #1 reason why I dislike Kataang: It takes a really great friendship and ruins it.
I started writing this as an attempt to write Katara/Aang friendship (which I love but there isn't enough of) but then it sort of evolved into…this. But I'm happy with it so here you go.
I'm...not real sure which two characters are the main ones, so I put it under Z/K because that's what I usually write. If you have issues with it being under that subheading, let me know and I'll change it.