Katara found the Air Nomad lurking in one of the enclosed gardens in the Palace. True, the sulking expression was not typically one to be seen on Aang's face, but it seemed to Katara that it now was a permanent fixture for him. She supposed that she was right to feel guilty for bringing him down, but her selfish side was tired of watching her so-called friend avoid her.

She assumed that he had heard her footsteps, as he stopped his careful meditation-style breathing and his shoulders visibly tensed. It hurt her terribly to see him rejecting her; it was like whenever she would fight with Sokka. Katara didn't intend to keep hurting her brother, or in this case, Aang, but she also felt compelled to stand her ground and retain some honor in her argument.

Taking a quick breath, she closed the yards that distanced them and stood next to him, a few feet away and not looking at him. She followed his gaze- his eyes were open and glaring piercingly ahead- to the miniature bridge that crossed over a long-dried up pond.

"Aang," she began in a soft, though not condescending, voice, "how long are we going to not talk?" Katara only saw the blur of him standing out of the corner of her eye. She honestly expected for him to have dashed off without saying anything to her, however it appeared that her words had reached some part of her distant friend.

Aang's sigh sounded like a tiger-dillo's growl, but when he spoke his voice wasn't shaking with rage or anger like Katara knew it could have been. "I don't know," he scoffed. "How long did you let me carry on like a fool thinking you actually cared, Katara?" He crossed his arms and glared at her full on.

Katara didn't turn her head, grateful for once that she was actually the less confrontational between the two of them. She winced only slightly, trying to block off the piercing stabs at her heart. "I didn't know how to tell you, Aang," she sighed. "I wasn't trying to get you hurt; I was trying to figure out my emotions, too."

"It didn't feel like it!" Aang yelled, waving his hands in the air and stomping in a quick circle as he ranted. "It didn't feel like for the months we traveled together. Or did you forget all the times that we saved each others lives? What about the dancing? All the times I would try to kiss you? In the Cave of the Two Lovers?" His voice rose to a final furious snarl. "What about before the invasion, huh?" His chest heaved as he stopped shouting, a scowl plastered on his usually peaceful face and his arms crossed over his chest.

At this point she finally turned to look at him. "You don't think I haven't thought of all of that either, Aang? I'm not being selfish here; that's you! All of those times, it was you who initiated it." An annoyed tone had crept into her voice and she snapped, "Just because you're the Avatar doesn't mean that you're the best ever and that I have to fall for you." She saw the pang of pain on his face and she lightened her tone, relaxing her shoulders and opening her clenched hands.

"It's not that I don't love you now Aang," she whispered. "I thought that I had, but I guess that I just never did. But that doesn't mean that everything I did was a lie either. I know I've hurt you and-"

He held up his hands and winced, turning his head and slamming his eyes shut. Aang gritted his teeth and hissed, "Stop, Katara. You think you're helping, but you're really not."

She flung her arms in the air in exasperation and finally shouted, "Then tell me what in Agni's name I have to say to let you see what I mean!" She shut her eyes too and sighed heavily. Her heart was aching from this argument; couldn't Aang see that she didn't want him to be hurt?

Katara barely heard his low grumble. He was already gone by the time the words registered in her mind. "Tell me Zuko's as much of a mistake as I was." There was a flurry of sound behind her and when Katara had whirled around, the bald monk had already dashed out and around the corner, not even the flash of his orange and yellow tunic visible.

Author's Note:

Okay, this is literally less than a one-hour chapter. After not having posted for forever, I recently got quite a few messages from a reader requesting for Aftershock to be updated. Therefore, this confrontation was born. Not really what I'd had in mind for the next step in healing the Aang/Katara relationship, but then again it won't go anywhere if I don't post.

It's not that I didn't WANT to post, my life has just been beyond hectic. When I say that the universe was against me all this fall and winter, I mean it. I am not going to go into detail just to get the pity parade, but let's just go with writing has not been my first priority. School barely even was my third or fourth priority. I digress…

I strongly suggest following my Tumblr Blog to know when/if I am going to update Aftershock. As much as I adore writing for fun, I have two scripts to be doing in the next month and a half, on top of my coursework continuing to skyrocket so is regrettably not my top priority.

Sorry for the long and unnecessarily rambling AN!

Please R&R *heart*

~DragonMaster65