Here's a late Valentine's Day, Kataang, roman-tic, oneshot, Aang's POV. Thanks to Saylisk for editing. Anywho, enjoy!
First things first: she's the popular girl with the popular boy friend. I'm the shy guy; running from class to class, hoping no one will see me. She has the perfect life and the perfect friends. I have the worst life and only a few friends. She lives in her world, and I live in mine.
Conclusion: Katara doesn't know I exist.
It's not like she's a stuck up rich girl who judges people on how they look. It's just that she would never pay attention to the kid with the hand-me-down clothes. That kid would be me, unfortunately.
Valentine's Day was my only chance. After that, she was moving to a new town. She would have never known me and would never see me again, so I had to do something.
The whole "secret admirer" note stuffed into her locker was obviously not an option. She had so many of those last year that she had to get a new locker because it was over stuffed and the door burst off it's hinges.
I had to be clever. Think outside the box; something romantic, but not pathetic. What would she like, anyway? We've never even talked. The only thing I know about her is that her favorite color is purple; which I overheard from one of her friends.
Purple roses? No. I'm not thinking outside the box. I'm thinking inside the square.
I didn't have much time to think, anyway. The bell was about to ring and I needed to eat some lunch. I hadn't eaten breakfast, because I had woken up late. My stomach had been growling all morning.
I barely had anything to carry, just a worn out dirty old binder and my gym clothes. I ran out the door and stuffed them in my locker.
Even my locker was hand-me-down. Great for me, huh?
"Hey Aang. What's up?"
My friend, Zuko, walked up to me.
"Nothing much. You?"
"I heard Katara is going to break up with Haru."
If you've heard it once, you've heard it twice.
"Didn't that happened last month?" I asked, closing my locker and walking to the lunch room with Zuko.
"It's real this time. I heard Katara's friend, Mai, talk to Suki about it." Zuko insisted.
I laughed sarcastically.
"Yeah, like Katara would ever break up with perfect, pretty boy Haru,"
Suddenly, I smashed into someone and fell backwards. My head hit the floor with a loud THUMP. Here comes the dizziness. I sat up slowly, and as my eyes came into focus, I stared at the person I'd smashed into. Ocean blue eyes with a splash of tears. Salty tears. The girl was crying.
Then I realized it was Katara. She was blushing hard, staring at me with wide eyes and mouth open, and she was carrying a wet tissue.
We stared at each other until she finally said,
"No, it's my fault!" I quickly said. I stumbled up and grabbed my binder, and then I picked up her books, which had fallen out of her hands, and gave them to her.
"Um... thank you." She sniffed quietly and took her books.
Zuko and Katara's friend, Toph, were staring at us with interest.
Zuko seemed to be thinking, Score!
Toph seemed to be thinking, Stupid punk should watch out.
"Um, I... like your eyes!" I blurted awkwardly.
A small smile appeared on her face- and then she hurried away. As Toph ran after her, I could hear her say,
"Dorks these days should watch where their going."
The next sentence made my heart stop.
"No... he's not a dork. He's nice." After that they turned the corner.
"Aang?" Zuko asked, waving his hand in my face.
Katara, the girl I had had a crush on since 8th grade, had finally seen me. She had finally talked to me. And she had given me a compliment.
"Come on, dude, she doesn't even know your name." Zuko said jokingly, washing away all my hopes and dreams.
"Gee, thanks a lot." We continued walking to the lunch room.
"Hey, I just don't want you to get your hopes up. So, it was an accident that you guys ran into each other. Just a freak thing. She'll never think of it as a sign or something. She won't even remember it when she goes home today."
I drifted off into thoughts. Katara was crying when we bumped into each other. I wondered why. Was Zuko right? Did Katara and Haru really break up?
"It wasn't a freak thing." I told Zuko sternly.
It turned out Zuko was right: Haru and Katara did break up. Haru was sitting with a bunch of other "pretty boys" during lunch, and Katara was surrounded by millions of her friends, still teary-eyed.
I wanted to rush up to her and hug her; make her forget about Haru completely and fall in love with me, which I knew would never, ever, ever happen. Still, it was a nice thought.
"Aang, forget about it. You and Katara are on two completely different levels. It would never work. She is cute and all, but there are girls way hotter then she is in this school. And they're easy to get to." Zuko said, eying Katara's friend, Mai, suspiciously.
I sighed dreamily.
"But would you look at her eyes. And her hair! It's like a big field of sweet-smelling silk up there! She's just so... perfect!" My head rested on my hand, and my elbow sat in the bowl of mashed potatoes. My hand slipped and my face collapsed in the food. A few girls from the other table laughed.
"Zuko, why are you even my friend?" I asked dully, wiping the food off my face and elbow with my napkin.
"We've been friends since elementary school, Aang." Zuko answered as if it explained everything.
"Yeah, well, we were kids in elementary. Now we're teenagers, and you're still my friend. Aren't you embarrassed to be around me?" He was about to answer when suddenly, Meng, a bushy-haired freshman, walked up to me. She was blushing wildly, her cheeks matching her outfit.
"Hi Aang! My name's Meng, remember me? I worked in the Nurse's Office and I cleaned your bloody nose one time." She said happily.
"Uh, yeah." I replied shortly.
"I was just wondering... well, the Valentine's Dance is coming up soon, so I was hoping-"
I dazed off and stared at Katara while Meng was still babbling.
Katara was rubbing her hair nervously. She looked around the lunchroom in search of someone. Her eyes sparkled like jewels. They were like the dark blue color of a Chrysocolla, and her tears had dried away. I felt a tingle in my stomach.
Then I figured out why: she was staring right at me.
Our eyes were gleaming into each other's like fire works sparkling in the sky. It felt like Heaven. I was about to collapse in my food again when I heard Meng say,
"-and if you weren't too busy, I mean I know a lot of people are busy, especially this time of year, but I bought this dress, you see, and it was a lot of money and they said I couldn't return it so I-"
"Um, Meng?" I interrupted.
"Not to be mean, but can you just tell me what you were going to tell me?" I asked as politely as I could.
She blushed shyly and rubbed behind her head.
"Oh yeah, sorry!"
She took a deep breath and said slowly, like it was the most important thing in the world,
"Will you be my date to the Valentine's dance?"
Zuko freaked out. He flapped his hands and pointed at Meng, then pointed to the garbage, then stuck his tongue out.
He obviously didn't like Meng.
"I'd like to, Meng, but, I, um..., I, I... I'm going to the dance with Katara!" I said quickly.
As soon as I realized what I had just said, I clapped my hands to my mouth and froze.
Meng looked really surprised. As if wondering how a guy like me would get a date with a girl like Katara. Then she frowned, and tears started forming in her eyes.
"Oh... oh..." She repeated.
"Okay, I guess... n-never mind, then." She sniffed sadly and then slumped away.
I stared at Zuko, who looked like he had just died.
He grabbed my arm and ran me out into a hallway on the other side of the school.
When we were completely alone, he yelled at the top of his lungs,
"WHY THE HECK DID YOU TELL MENG YOU WERE GOING TO THE VALENTINE'S DANCE WITH KATARA?"
There were a lot of expressions in his voice; irritation, alarm, disgrace, and... was that a hint of jealousy?
"I don't know- I panicked! It was your fault! You were the one telling me not to say yes to Meng!"
"Yeah but I didn't tell you to make up a stupid excuse!"
"Then what was I supposed to do? Dump my lunch tray on her face and run away?"
He stared at me like I was an idiot.
I sure felt like one.
"Well I'm sorry I can't read minds! And aren't you overreacting a bit? It's no big deal! Meng was the only person who heard me, no one else. So it doesn't even matter." I said.
He stared at me, and decided if it really mattered or not.
"If someone does find out, then don't come crying to me." He crossed his arms stubbornly and stormed off.
I didn't go crying to Zuko. In fact; he came crying to me.
Not literally, of course.
"Aang," He said quietly with his teeth clenched together.
"Have you realized something today? Anyone, I don't know- staring at you?"
At first I didn't get it, but then I had an epiphany.
"Did you hear? Katara is going out with that little runt, Aang!"
"Katara's going to the dance with a dork!"
"Katara talked to Aang? Ew! That's just sick!"
The whole entire school seemed to think Katara was going to the Valentine's dance with me. No one had actually heard it from me, but I knew who they had heard it from.
I found her at lunch today sitting with a few other girls wearing pink. She looked up to me in annoyance.
"Aang?" She said snobbishly.
"Meng! Why did you tell everyone that I was going to the dance with Katara!" I asked furiously.
"Because that's what you told me. Ugh! It's too late to ask me to the dance now, so go away!" She stood up with her friends and they stalked off.
"I wasn't going to ask you that!"
Every single eye in the cafeteria was staring at me. I groaned in frustration and ignored them, walking to an empty table, sitting down, and covering my head. My day was not going well.
Everybody in the entire school knew that Katara was going out with me, thanks to Meng. Even Katara knew! Great. She must think I'm a lunatic or something. She's probably babbling to her friends right now that I'm the stupidest person on the planet for telling everyone that I'm going to the Valentine's dance with her, even though it was Meng who told everyone.
Zuko appeared from the crowd and sat down across from me. He tapped his fingers on the table and appeared to be brainstorming. Finally he looked at me and sighed.
"Well, looks like you got your wish: you're going to the dance with Katara." He said quietly.
I didn't even laugh sarcastically, because he was right.
"Yeah, except that she didn't even know about it." I looked at him and frowned. "And she probably thinks I'm a loser."
"Well... I mean, think of the bright side- maybe she'll actually want to go with you." Zuko tried smiling encouragingly.
"Wasn't it you that was mad at me in the first place? Why are you suddenly trying to help me?"
He looked away and sighed again.
"Listen dude... it's not your fault this happened, and I'm your friend. Friends have to stick together, right?" He said awkwardly, trying to smile.
"Thanks, Zuko." I turned around just in time to see Katara walking up to me with her friends, Toph, Suki, Mai, and Yue right behind her. Her friends did not look happy, but she seemed really determined, like nobody was going to change her mind about something.
Zuko and I gaped at her, and she stared at me, smiling.
"Where were you? I thought we were going to have lunch together, since we're going to the dance together." She said, with a mix between sadness and happiness.
My jaw went on vacation and my eyes widened bigger than a watermelon; same thing happened with Zuko.
She giggled, and then pulled me off my chair.
"Come on; let's go outside. The weather is perfect!" She waved good bye to her friends deviously, whose jaw's dropped to the floor like mine, and then pulled me away.
I stared back at Zuko, who was in a state of complete and absolute astonishment. Once Katara and I were outside, she pulled me over to a marble table and sat me down, then sat opposite of me.
She was staring at me gleefully and I was staring at her surprisingly.
Finally, Katara looked away and frowned.
"So, uh... do you really want to go to the Valentine's dance with me, Aang? I know it wasn't really you who said it, it was Meng. I'm sure she just made it up... but I really hoped it would be true."
I could hear the sadness in her voice, it was- wait! ...Did Katara just say she wanted to go to the dance with me?
"Wait... why would a girl like you ever want to go out with a guy like me? And how do you know my name and who I am?" I asked confusingly.
She groaned angrily and slammed her fists on the table.
"There it is again! Why must everyone always assume that just because someone is popular, it means they wouldn't want to go out with someone who isn't popular?"
Rage flashed in her usual calm and peaceful eyes.
I ducked down, afraid that she was angry at me.
She looked at me, and her expression grew softer.
"I'm sorry, Aang... I just..." She breathed out slowly, closing her eyes. "I'm not one of those stuck-up popular girls who judges people based on what they look like or how popular they are, and I hope you don't think I'm that way. I've... I know who you are because I met you in 8th grade, but you probably don't remember. We sat next to each other in Math and I asked you if I could borrow your pencil, and you said yes. But we never really became friends. I've liked you a lot since then, and even though it's extremely embarrassing to tell you, it's the truth. When I heard you and I were "supposed" going to the dance together, I thought that it was true, and that it was time to show everyone that I don't judge other people, and to show you that... I liked you. But then I figured out Meng was the one who spread the rumor, so I guessed you really didn't want to go with me. When my friends asked me if we were going together, I told them yes. That's why I acted like you and I had already known and talked about in the lunch room so that I could pull you away and talk to you. I... I understand if you don't like me back..."
Her eyes opened and tears were streaming slowly down her cheeks.
Everything she told me was pretty overwhelming, especially that SHE remember I let her borrow my pencil in 8th grade. I'm not the shiniest apple on the tree, so it took a few seconds to process the information and figure out that Katara had liked me the whole entire time.
BOOYAH! KATARA LIKES ME! SHE LIKES ME! IT'S THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
Then a sudden thought made me frown.
"But...what about Haru?"
"I broke up with him. He was too impossible to take anymore. That's why I was crying when we bumped into each other the other day."
Aha! She DID remember it! I smiled with satisfaction inside my mind.
"So...you've liked me this entire time, and you want to go to the dance with me, and you don't like Haru anymore?" My dream was coming true.
"Yes... I really like you." She stared at me tensely, blushing and half smiling half frowning. Then she cleared her throat,
"But the real question is," She said, "Do you like me back?"
I was flabbergasted. It felt as though fate had pulled us together, and in a second, Katara would know that I really liked her.
I didn't know what to say, but then I just started talking.
"Meng asked me to the dance," the words escaped my mouth. "I didn't want to go with her, I wanted to go with you, so that's what I told her. I remember when we met in 8th grade, and ever since then I started liking you. I like you a lot, actually." My face was red.
Katara's eyes went wide, and she smiled insanely, her cheeks also red.
"That's... that's crazy how we both liked each other but we never knew!" she told me. "I would have never guessed..."
"And I would have never guessed you liked me." Awe struck my voice.
"So... we both like each other and we're going to the dance together?" She asked.
She took a deep breath and stood up. I stood up too, and suddenly she gave me a kiss on my cheek.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Aang."
Katara smiled and walking away, leaving me frozen, speechless, and happy.
It was a few days later, the day of the dance. I had told Zuko everything, and Katara had told her friends everything, and most of them had accepted us being together. Toph was actually pretty cool about it, and her and I were starting to become good friends. I met Katara's older brother, Sokka, and him, Zuko, and I had begun to hang out a lot.
The dance was tonight, and I was super nervous. Katara, Sokka, Toph, and I had gone to a picnic in the park a few days ago, but this was going to the first real date with only Katara and I.
It was after school. I was in my bedroom holding up my black tuxedo I had rented. I took a deep breath and smiled.
Suddenly my cell phone rang. I flipped it open and read "Incoming Call: Sokka." I pressed talk.
"What store did you rent your tuxedo from? I'm renting one, too, but the stores I've checked are all out."
"No prob. I got mine from Fancy Dressing. It's down the corner from the Ice Cream Parlor, and I'm sure they have a few tuxedo's left."
"Who are you taking to the dance?"
There was a pause.
"Yesterday at school I asked Toph to go with me, and she said yes."
I raised my eyebrows. Sokka likes Toph? Woah.
"Sweet! Good luck finding a tux."
I hung up and slipped my cell phone back into my pocket. I hung my tuxedo in my closet and then left my bedroom to take a shower. It was one hour before the dance, and I wanted to look my best for Katara.
I still can't believe she likes me back! And I can't believe we're going to the dance together!
Two weeks later I was carrying a brown box to a rusty old truck. Katara was by my side, carrying another brown box.
"Promise you'll call me every day?"
"Every day? That's a lot of phone calls. How about... every month?" I joked.
Katara giggled and bumped my shoulder with the box.
"Fine. Every week- take it or leave it."
We set the boxes down in the back of the truck and then stretched. I yawned loudly; scratching my back.
The night of the dance was all a blur, but I can remember this: it was one of the funnest nights of my life. Katara was in a long, flowy, silk blue dress. She look beautiful! Her and I hung out with Toph and Sokka all night. I saw Zuko at one point with Mai. And at the end of the night, I worked up the courage and I kissed Katara.
The last two weeks have been a blast with her. But guess what?
She's still moving.
"I'm really going to miss you." Katara's voice turned serious and sad.
I put my hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry Katara, once I get my driver's license I'll be able to visit you; you're not moving very far." I said, trying to comfort her.
She rubbed her eyes and then gave me a warm hug. Her head rested on my head.
"I love you, Aang," She whispered quietly.
I reached in slowly and started kissing her. Her cheeks turned cherry red, but she kissed me back. I wrapped my arms around her waist and she wrapped hers around my neck. The kiss was heated with fiery passion, or something like that, but then we broke apart.
"I love you too." I told her.
Suddenly Katara's parents and Sokka walked towards us carrying a few small boxes. Katara and I quickly unwrapped our arms from around each other, embarrassed.
"That's the last of it. Okay, Katara, it's time to go." Her father said.
Sokka patted me on the shoulder. "Let's hang out again soon, Aang. See you later."
"See you later, Sokka."
Sokka and his parents got into the giant truck. Katara was about to get in too when I grabbed her arm.
"Uh, wait, I have something for you,"
She looked at the object in my hands and raised her eyebrows.
"I know you like the color purple so I, um, well,"
Her hands rested around the bouquet of purple roses, and then we said our goodbyes.