Star Gazing With the Avatar
Rated: Teen for romance (Kataang)
Summary: Just some Kataang fluff. Aang and Katara are star gazing, thinking about their places in the universe, and enjoying each other's company.
Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is owned by Bryke!
LES: When I was little, star gazing was an almost religious experience for me. This is a fascination that has carried over with me in my adult life. But, unfortunately for me, I live in a large city and that means that most of the stars are blocked out by light pollution. (Ugh). So if you ever caught me away from the cities, like up in the mountains at night, I would always be looking sky-ward. Even though Aang is pretty young in this story (fourteen to be exact), his soul is mature enough to start pondering the big questions. After all, I've been pondering these questions all my life.
It was rare for Aang to experience nights as calm and clear as this one.
Ever since the war had ended, his life had turned into an endless cycle of traveling, living in cities, meetings, parties, and more traveling. It was a life that he had resigned himself to, but that didn't mean that he didn't miss the simple pleasures in life.
Tonight was a night when he could experience those pleasures. His last set of meetings in Omashu had ended much sooner than anyone expected, mainly because Omashu's King, Bumi, had everything well under hand. The meetings had ended with a week to spare before the next set of meetings that Aang had to attend in the Fire Nation.
Aang had discussed things with his constant traveling companions, and all had agreed that they had earned a bit of a break from their travels. Thus they had settled down for a short rest; simply enjoy the beauty of nature around them.
The sun had long since set, and there was no moon out tonight, which had done amazing things to the sky. There were an unimaginable number of stars out tonight, familiar constellations and less-familiar constellations that only appeared on moonless nights like tonight because the stars that made them up were so faint.
The sheer amount of stars was astonishing, bright enough to make up for the lack of the moon.
Aang was so spell-bound by the glory of the heavens above him that he didn't even notice that he was no longer alone.
Katara, who had finished with finally setting up camp, walked up to him, intent on joining her boyfriend. She gazed at him, amused when he didn't seem to notice her joining him, and then noticed where he was looking. Her eyes also turned skyward and she gasped at the celestial beauty that spread out before her.
Aang jumped, a little shocked to suddenly realize that he wasn't alone, but he relaxed visibly when he realized that it was Katara who lay next to him. He smiled at her closeness, noticing that she was staring up at the sky as well. "It's beautiful, isn't it?" He asked softly, as if raising his voice would ruin the glory of the moment.
Katara met his eyes, and Aang realized that he could see reflections of the stars in her eyes. It made her look all the more beautiful. "It's amazing. It's been a long time since I've seen this many stars."
They fell silent, both of them gazing up at the stars in silent contemplation.
Finally, after many minutes of silence, Katara spoke quietly. "What do you think they are?" She asked.
For some time, Aang did not answer, and then he whispered in reply. "I doubt even the Spirits know."
"Not even the Air Spirit?" Katara asked.
"The sky does not go up forever." Aang said. "When I was younger, the monks always warned us about flying too high. And, well, you know how young boys are… we don't listen. I took Appa one day and we flew straight up. We got to a point where it was harder to breathe, like there was less air… and it was cold. When I almost passed out, Appa knew that something was wrong and he dived down immediately. The Air Spirit's influence only goes as far as the air does, and the stars are beyond that."
"Okay… then guess."
"Well… I think that the stars are probably spirits of loved ones who have passed on." Aang said slowly. "The spirits of our loved ones continuing to watch over us even after their deaths. I know I'd like to think that Monk Gyatso and the other Airbenders are up there somewhere."
"My mom too?"
"Your mom too." Aang confirmed. "It's just a nice thought, to think that we are never alone."
"I like the idea too." Katara said, leaning into Aang's shoulder. Aang smiled as he leaned into her, resting his head against hers. "You know, when I was young, I asked Sokka that same question."
"Really? And what did Mister Science-and-Reason-Lover have to say?" Aang asked, smiling at her.
"He said that the stars were suns." She said.
For a moment, Aang did not say anything, and then he burst out laughing. "Okay, that has to be the most ridiculous thing that I've ever heard!"
"That's what I said too." Katara said. "But he said that they are really, really far away so that they look really small."
Aang stopped laughing and pondered that suggestion. After a while, he shrugged. "You know… that's actually crazy enough to be correct."
"So does Mister Science-and-Reason-Lover convince the big bad Avatar?" Katara asked.
"Not really." Aang shrugged. "I still like my idea better. It's more comforting."
They both gazed up at the stars in silence. Aang continued to think about what Sokka had said the stars. He wasn't entirely convinced that the stars were suns. After all, in order for the sun to appear the size of a star, it would have to be an unimaginable distance away. But, still, the thought was something to think about. It brought up a lot of questions.
Finally, Aang spoke up again. "Let's say that Sokka is right and that each of those stars really are suns…" He said slowly. "That would be an awful lot of suns out there, and you could say that there could be another world like ours out there somewhere."
"There could be other people out there." Katara finished. "They could be gazing up at the stars right now and wondering what they are."
"Like us." Aang said. "You know… in a way, Sokka's idea is comforting as well."
"Really? How so?" Katara asked.
"Because it shows that we aren't alone." Aang said. "I mean… look at how many stars there are. If they are all suns, and only a few of them had worlds like ours around them, then there is a ton of life out there. It's not just us, here on our world. We're not the only ones here, and I am most certainly not the center of the universe."
"You wouldn't want to be the center of everything?" Katara asked.
"No." Aang said. "I wish every day that I didn't have to be in charge of this world. If I had to take care of everything out there as well, I'd go insane."
Katara rolled on her side, closer to him, pressed up intimately to his body. Aang froze for a few moments, and then relaxed into her. "Whatever is out there, whether it is our loved ones or some other worlds, I'm glad that I'm here with you right now." Katara whispered.
"Me too." Aang replied.
"So, do you want to put on a show for those otherworldly watchers?" Katara asked seductively, running her finger along his cloth-covered chest.
"Hmm, I don't know." Aang said, trying to keep a straight face as Katara's wicked fingers trailed down to his stomach. "Don't you think they have better things to do than watch the Avatar and his girlfriend?"
"What can be more interesting?" Katara asked softly, dipping her fingers under his tunic and running her hands up along his stomach and chest.
"You're right. What could be more interesting than us?" Aang asked, rolling them over so that he was settled on top of Katara.
"Aang… I love you." Katara whispered.
"I love you too, Katara." Aang replied sincerely, leaning down and kissing her passionately.
For the rest of the night, the stars were silent, passively watching the love between Avatar Aang and his lover blossom.
LES: For the record, yes, I do believe in other worlds, other life, and other civilizations. The universe is too massive for us to be the only ones here. To quote one of my favorite movies of all time: "If it is just us here… it seems like an awful waste of space."