Just to prove I'm not dead, I gave you guys a lovely update to kick off the New Year. Don't worry, Fire War Renaissance is in the workings and should be up soon.

Anyway, this was just a random idea I got while watching The Puppet Master on DVD. I loved the ending when Aang finally comforted Katara for a change and decided to elaborate on it.

Also, my Birthday was last week, so BlackRose is officially a 16-year-old woman...girl...person...whatever. Yay!

Disclaimer: I own nothing

Simple Circles

There was the first time…

Nothing could ever sting worse than learning that everything you had ever known, everything you had ever hoped to come back to, was gone.

His people, all his family, friends, everything…was gone. Forever.

But then he felt a calmness come around him. The damp chills of winter and eerie feeling of death curling over him had suddenly morphed into something completely different. Something odd and tingly and not bad at all.

Aang opened his eyes and looked up slightly to see Katara hugging him gently. He blinked. It wasn't like he had never been hugged before. So what was so different about this one? It was as if he could feel some strange energy swirling around him and inside him with every slight movement of her fingers curling over his back and shoulders. Her cheek lightly nuzzled on the top of his head. He leaned further into her touched when she pulled him closer. And it was then he realized something oddly interesting.

He wouldn't have minded staying like that forever.

And sometime after that…

The next thing he knew he was being pulled down out of his rage and the next thing he felt was like sinking into a warm bath. His head rested lightly between her neck and shoulder and he knew exactly what was happening.

It was becoming a common state now, he supposed.

Katara.

She was the only one who would dare to brave his whirlwind to break him lose and calm him down. Even though bridling him would be a bigger task than walking through his funnel she still didn't give up, and it was that determination with the combined effect of her arms being around him that truly brought him back.

She pulled him down to the sand when both of their knees began to give in and she still didn't let go. Not when he tried to struggle away in shame and not when the left side of her sleeve was soaked through the threads with his tears. She just calmed him with her famous hand down his back and arm, and her cheek resting familiarly on his head. And after some time when she finally did pull away she still knew just what to do. She reached forward and dried his tears with her finger. He sniffled and hung his head just barely over her shoulder in both shame and exhaustion. And she just rubbed his back again.

And perhaps it was because of that particular moment in the desert that Aang wasn't surprised when he was in Katara's arms after the fight at Ba Sing Si. Her beautiful eyes shining over him in some kind of sad relief that even made his eyes water. Though he couldn't speak, it was that moment, the most, that he wanted to tell her how much she meant to him. That even though the last thought he was able to think after the lightning hit him was that he wasn't going to make it and he was never going to see her again, there she was…saving him.

And then she hugged him.

Perfect timing, perfect feeling, perfect everything.

He couldn't hug her back, but when he sank into her arms like and she just clutched him closer and closer against her his cold skin was suddenly filled with the warmth of her need for him to live. And he knew he would. So he was able to close his eyes again, there in her arms, knowing he would see her again.

And too many times after that…

If Aang were to think of all the times Katara had comforted him it would probably make his head spin. She had bounced him back into reality too many times with just something as simple as a hug. And he often wondered how she did it. How she knew just how to hold him. Curl her fingers into his back. Rest her head over his so perfectly.

The only thing he could ever register was how soothing it was. And how much he never wanted it to end. And yet, she always knew when to end it too soon. Though one thing had suddenly crossed Aang's mind.

He had never used this particular technique on her.

It wasn't his fault, he also realized. The occasion just never called for it and he was much too nervous just hug her on a whim with no reason.

That is until she was taught blood bending.

"Alright, who's ready to tag in?" Toph asked sometime into the late hours of the night.

"I've already tried twice." Sokka said. "And frankly, I'm exhausted." He looked over into her sister's tent. "I just don't know what to do about this. Hama just messed her up really bad."

"I'll say, the lady's a sicko."

"I'll talk to her." Aang finally volunteered, sitting up from the light sleep he had dozed off into and made his way over to her tent.

"Well, I'm sure a quick visit from you will just bring the sweetness right back into her life." Toph jested and Aang just glowered before folding the flap of her tent behind him.

"Katara?" Aang called. Her tent was completely covered in shadows, making it hard to tell were anything was. But he could see Katara. Not by her clothes or the shape of her body, but by her eyes, those shining eyes of her. Just they were covered in tears when he looked into them.

"Katara," he said again, only this time he sighed, and knelt down in front of her, and placed a light hand on her shoulder for good measure. She looked up from the ground and shined her eyes over directly into his. The sadness looming within them was strong, even a little overwhelming, that he felt her sadness just a heavily as she did. But there was another emotion within them, as well. A fear that made his heart skip a beat and forced him to clutch her shoulder a little harder.

"Aang," she sobbed, enough to make him whimper for her and she immediately moved towards him but stopped herself and scooted away even further.

"Don't push yourself away, it'll only make things worse." He told her. "You're the one who told me not to shut myself out when things turned bad, remember?" She looked up at him again. Her sad eyes looking surprised then.

"Yeah, but have you ever felt like a monster?" She asked.

"Try every time I go into the Avatar State. Like back in the desert." He began to speak, sitting respectively next to her, and she didn't move. He took that as a good sign and let out a much needed exhale. "But you brought me back from feeling like monster, like you always do." He placed a hand over hers and she jumped up slightly. "You always know just what to do."

"Yeah, but-" Katara began to argue, but was quickly cut off by Aang's finger over her lips, silencing her.

"Don't," he told her gently and with no other warning pulled her close against him. She gasped, and even her felt surprised by the swiftness of his actions. He had been waiting so long for an opportunity to make her feel the way he did when she comforted him in hugs so many times.

He positioned himself so that his head was resting gently over hers. His fingers lightly grazing her back and shoulder and lightly running them along, up and down, in the most soothing manner he could possibly conjure. Just as she had so many times. He only hoped that it was enough.

"Shhh," he hushed her light sobbing and pulled her just a little closer, running the pads of his fingers over her left arm, feeling the goose bump trail that was left behind. She shivered against him and only nuzzled the underside of his chin with her nose and got a more comfortable spot on his shoulder. She took her hands from out of her lap and placed them under his arms and around his torso. Sighing in what Aang hoped was relief.

"I'll never think you're a monster, Katara." He told her sometime later when the wind slightly picked up and rustled the tent.

"Just like I'll never think you're one?" Aang nodded and continued the gentle routine his hands and fingers were going through.

"Aang?" Katara suddenly said.

"Hmm?"

"Thank you." She pulled back, then, but just enough so that she could look at him. Her eyes shining in a completely different way.

"F-for what?" He stuttered, feeling captivated.

"For knowing just what to do." With that she winked and leaned back onto his shoulder, closing her eyes and sinking back into his body, sighing again.

Aang couldn't help but smile in spite of himself, running his hand all the way in to her hair and stroking it.

"That's what I'm here for." Were his final words, before he stopped speaking all together. Words would probably just ruin the moment. But he did learn something. He learned how it was that Katara was able to ease him the way he was doing.

He just let his love for her flow out through his touch, circling around her and pulling her closer. Close to his heart. And, apparently, something so simple was all he needed to do.

And then another thought came to his mind.

If he was comforting her out of love…what was she feeling when she comforted him?

He smiled.

He would have to deal with that later. Besides, Aang had a feeling that thinking too hard would ruin the moment, too.

Alright, that was surprisingly easy to write. But I'm glad I'm done. I don't really like the idea that much anymore.

Much love and apologizes…BlackRose^^