Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. If I did, Zuko would have ended up with me =3
Pairing: Kataang =D oh yeah, sorry zutarians
Raiting: T, but I'm not pretty sure about it...
Moment of the series it takes place: weeks after the final episode.
Aang got back from a journey to the Earth Kingdom and went straight to Zuko's palace to see everyone, all gathered together to celebrate his arrival and the success in his new campaign to create a peaceful pact between both Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom in representation of Zuko himself; who thought Aang's presence would have been better taken than his in this matter. Just a couple of weeks went through since the Fire Lord was defeated and Aang started working on his diplomatic affairs ever since. So, it's understandable he was longing to see his friends again…and much more one person in particular.
Since Aang and Katara kissed, they hadn't much time to talk about it…or talk at all. A lot needed to be done; Katara went back to the Southern Water Tribe to check on her grandmother and Aang parted to the Earth Kingdom, with a clumsy goodbye kiss on the cheek and a lot of thoughts that never got to be translated into words. Aang actually was a bit confused…happy, of course, but confused: didn't she say she wasn't sure? Did she really cared about him or was that kiss just the joy of the moment of long wanted peace transformed into a way of expressing her gratitude? He wanted to believe that her feelings were true, but he couldn't get rid of the shadow of doubt that Katara's former rejections had built on him so many times before. Besides, it seemed that she could get more easily attached to other boys: she got along well from straight with Haru, she developed a crush on Jet and she even got close to Zuko, even if she didn't trust him at first…but Aang seemed to be different through her eyes…sometimes he felt she could love him; like when they danced together as they were hiding in the Fire Nation, or when she seemed so worried after Azula hit him with a lightning; but sometimes he felt like she saw him just as a friend, not more than that.
He was thinking about that as he descended with his glider on a crowded garden in Zuko's palace. He landed in a deserted spot, so he could find Katara before any other person started greeting him and distracting his attention. He found her talking happily with Zuko and his heart started beating fast….what if she didn't love him? What if she hadn't said anything yet to prevent herself from hurting his feelings? Should he just give up? If he couldn't change her mind after all, what was the point in carrying on with those feelings? She looked so beautiful with her blue water tribe outfit, so different from all the red and gold attires that were walking around her, including Zuko with his royal garment, who seemed to be engaged in an interesting conversation with her. She giggled, a soft blush appearing in her cheeks, and Aang wished he could be the one to make her smile like that…
"Hey Twinkle Toes! Aren't you gonna say hi?" Toph screamed from the other corner of the garden and made everyone turn around.
Of course, the blind one can see me better… Aang thought as everyone started coming towards him.
"Man, it's been a long time!" Sokka was the first one to greet him "How has it been?"
"Ok, I guess…" Aang's head wasn't where it should be, drifting from thoughts about Katara and her true feelings and whether he should or not give up on her.
"You don't look very well, Aang, are you all right?" Suki, always next to Sokka, seemed concerned.
"Excuse me, let me through" Katara started making her way through the crowd so she could see Aang, while Zuko, a little farther behind, had an easier way as people respectfully let him through.
"It's not like he's going anywhere, Katara…" Sokka sighed and received a glare from his sister when she finally made it to the spot where Aang was.
"Are you ok, Aang? You do look a little pale…" she took his face between her hands, checking his state.
"I'm fine, I guess I'm a little tired, that's all…" Aang wasn't really feeling ill, but his heart wasn't in its best moment, especially with Katara so close to him.
"Nonsense, come with me," Katara took his hand and started escorting him away from the crowd "I need to see if you're ok"
"I couldn't even say hi to him! That's not fair!" Toph approached them with a frown.
"Hi, Toph" Aang made a sad smile, all he could give with the uneasiness he was feeling.
"Geez, you do look awful" Toph said with sarcasm.
"You can't see me" Aang replied.
"I know" Toph smiled and returned to Ohev, with whom she was talking.
"Don't take too long, we need him so we can start with the food!" Sokka shouted to Katara.
"Sokka, you just had appetizers" Zuko raised an eyebrow.
"Exactly" Sokka's stomach made a noise that indicated his desperate need of food.
Aang smiled for real this time, no matter what happened with Katara, his friends will still be his friends.
Katara took him to a wide room with red and golden tapestries, carob furniture, a wide comfortable sofa with a lot of cushions and a little coffee table, all surrounded by the warm feeling of a beautiful fireplace and drenched in the smell of fresh wood burning quietly.
"Look, Katara, I really don't feel that bad physically…" Aang started explaining as Katara closed the door behind her.
But he couldn't finish. She leaned towards him, with arms wrapped around his neck, pulled him on the sofa and started kissing him passionately. Aang took her by the waist as fast as he could so she didn't fell, but it took some time for him to realize what was going on. Katara seemed to be pretty sure, as she sat on his lap and deepened the kiss, while Aang started responding and kissing her back. It was her who stopped the kiss and pulled back a little so she could see Aang properly, still with her arms around his neck and sitting on his lap.
"I'm sorry, Aang, I know that we came here for me to see if you were ok, but I just couldn't help myself…I've missed you so much…" Katara blushed and avoided Aang's look as she excused herself.
"That actually made me feel a lot better" Aang said, more to himself than to her.
"Did it?" she smiled, looking at him now "Then why didn't you come to see me first?"
"I tried! I mean, I was about to but…" he stopped himself before expressing his true feelings; fearing that letting her know would make them become real "I saw you with Zuko and…I just didn't want to interrupt"
Katara frowned and lifted Aang's chin so he looked at her.
"Do you think a chat with Zuko is more important for me than you are?" she seemed angry about that and Aang didn't know quite well why.
"I just…I…" Aang loosened his grip around Katara's waist and looked down, still afraid of expressing what he felt.
"Aang?" Katara caressed his cheek softly "what's wrong?"
Aang looked at her blue eyes and decided to tell her, even if she hated him afterwards, even if by saying it she realized that she had made a mistake by choosing him.
"I'm scared…you may not love me like I love you" he said finally "You seemed not to be sure about me when I always knew what I felt for you…and I'm afraid you might be with me just because I insisted and you don't want to hurt my feelings…"
Katara stood up and crossed her arms, looking at Aang with skepticism.
"Do you honestly think that I would do something like that? That I could pretend and lie to you like that?" Katara raised her voice more than she would have wanted "That's what you think of me?"
Aang looked at her with a defeated expression and then looked back to the floor. It happened after all, she got angry, she felt hurt. It was over.
"No, Katara. That's what I think of myself" He answered "I feel as if I had to push you to feel things for me that you didn't feel…neither Jet nor Haru or Zuko ever forced you to feel nothing, and you always felt comfortable with them…I love you. A lot. More than anything in this world. But I don't want to force you to feel things for me if you just consider me your friend…I would understand if you don't love me, I'm not like them…" Aang felt a hollow feeling in his chest, as if sorrow had taken every inch of it just by saying those words.
Katara remained in silence. She seemed both shocked and angry, and neither of those were good.
"I can't blame you, Aang, It's my fault, in a way" she answered, sitting beside him in the sofa.
"Your fault? Katara, if you don't feel…"
"It's my fault that you feel like if I don't love you as much as I really do" she turned to him "I wasn't clear about my feelings and I chose to show them instead of telling you how I felt"
"So…you do love me?" Aang wasn't sure if to believe that or not.
"Of course I do, you fool!" she seemed angry, not so much in love "I love you more than I've loved anyone else and if I behave differently with you is because you mean too much for me. I wasn't sure before, those times you asked me, because…even if I knew I felt something for you, I didn't want to say things out of desperation or rush, just because we were in war and anything could happen. If I was in love, I wanted to know it for sure, when there was nothing else to think about" Katara took Aang's hand "It's my fault, I didn't explain myself and you were always the one looking for me and telling me how you felt…I'm sorry"
"You don't have to be sorry, Katara, I just didn't ask you, I only assumed…"
Katara interrupted Aang with a soft kiss on his lips.
"Don't be so nice, I have to apologize" she smiled "I love you" she kissed him again "and now that we've cleared that up…"
She leaned towards him, pushing him on the sofa so he was on his back and she was on top of him, and kissed him again, this time more passionately. Aang wrapped an arm around her back and, with the other hand, he run his fingers through her hair; while Katara leaned her head so she could access Aang's mouth properly as her tongue slipped father from his lips and inside his mouth. They felt complete with each other, in a synchrony that was even more natural than bending, than living, than breathing.
"Hey Katara!" Sokka's voice sounded like approaching from the corridor outside the room "Are you done with him?"
Katara got up suddenly, with a frown, and got to the door as Aang sit on the sofa, with a blush on his face and his heart beating fast.
"What?" Katara opened the door with roughness and discovered Sokka about to knock.
"I…I wanted to see if you were ready…" Sokka gave a step back from his scary sister and looked inside the room "Oh, it seems you are! You look better, pal!" he gave Aang a thumbs up sign and entered the room without an invitation "Well done, sis, I don't know what you did to him but he looks more like himself now"
Aang blushed intensely and scratched his neck nervously.
"I wasn't ready yet." Katara shot daggers to her brother with her hands on her hips.
"Yes you are, let's go Aang" Sokka didn't let her reply and took Aang with him, talking nonstop about how much food Zuko was offering, how beautiful Suki looked in her dress and how he tried to tease Toph and Ohev but he almost got himself buried alive…again.
The party was much more fun now, for Aang, as he received shy smiles from Karata from across the room and took her hand whenever he could. She intertwined her fingers with his every time, just as they've intertwined their lives ever since Aang was released from the iceberg and forever since.
I hope you've enjoyed it! I felt like if Katara owned Aang an explanation about her feelings towards him, because Aang was always honest but she wasn't...I mean she ignored him, then kissed him, then behaved as if they were just friends, then felt jealous about other girls around him, then confused, then kissed him again ._. yeah I know it was what kept the eternal balance between kataangers and zutarians (?) but poor Aang deserved some honesty. Btw, in case you don't know who Ohev is, you should check out the book "Love Potion 8" ;D it was about time Toph had some kind of romance...
Anyway, it seems Legend of Korra won't bring anything new in the Kataang world, so we still have fanfiction =D