Rated: M for Kataang romance/sexuality.
Summary: Everyone goes through it, and just about everyone is glad when it's over. This is the story of Aang's next great journey through the murky waters of *gasp* puberty!
Disclaimer: In Haiku form!
Avatar is great
The show is owned by two dudes
Bryke is so awesome!
LES: For the longest time, this story has been finished. Why haven't I posted it yet if it's finished? Well… because I finished this story during the time when FFnet was having lots of issues with uploading stories. Just I just uploaded this story on Kataang Forever and then forgot about it. But… since it's been a while since I've been able to post any new stories, I might as well assist in helping you guys catch up. This was something that I threw together in the final days of "Duty Versus Love". It is neither big nor epic, but lots of Kataang fluff plus a Lemon at the end.
Chapter I: Growth
One would think that now that the war was over, the members of the gang that had saved the world would have very little to do. Well... you'd only be half right.
The only thing that Toph seemed to want to do these days was hang out in Ba Sing Se, challenge every Earthbender she met to a duel, and then destroy them utterly with her Earthbending skills. This was occasionally broken up with bouts of finishing Aang's Earthbending training.
Sokka had become even lazier than Toph, and seeing as he was a revered member of Team Avatar and could have an army of servants as his beck and call at any moment, it only worsened the problem. He seemed content to sit around and tell stories of his adventures with the Avatar (read: brag about how he taught Aang everything he knew and how he personally defeated the Firelord and thereby earning Aang's unending gratitude.) The only person who seemed to tolerate Sokka's antics were his girlfriend, Suki, despite the fact that she had personally witnessed Aang, not Sokka, defeat the Firelord.
But that's where the laziness ended. Zuko, it went without saying, was very busy these days. As the Firelord, he had to run a whole country that had nearly been crippled by the war and its subsequent end. Zuko was having a hard time trying to figure out what to do about the Earth Kingdom colonies and the people who made their livelihood on the war. Finding work and housing for millions of people was no small feat. He traveled to Ba Sing Se when he could to visit his friends there, and would occasionally continue Aang's training, but Aang was receiving most of his training from Iroh these days.
Katara's life pretty much continued as it had during the war, except with a lot less running and fighting. A mother hen's work is never done, and the duties of one continued even when the war had ended. Now, instead of maintaining their various campsites, she had a house in the capital to look after. One day, while Katara was cooking lunch for the rest of the family, Sokka took his teasing a little too far and asked her when she and Aang had eloped, because she was acting like such a wife. He had spent the rest of the day frozen upside down to the ceiling.
Aang, of course, was extremely busy. He never would have believed that things would only get busier once he had defeated the Firelord. He was just under the level of being a fully realized Avatar (people took to calling him a proficient Avatar) because he had Mastered both Air, Water, and the Avatar State, and he was just a few weeks away from Mastering Earth and about a month or two away from Mastering Fire. Now he had two types of Bending training and meetings from dawn until dusk. Even then, his work didn't end. He spent most of his evenings answering correspondence from around the world and going over his notes for meetings for the next day. Katara had lost track of the number of times in the last few weeks that she had checked on him in his room late and night, not to find him in bed, but find him hunched over his desk, passed out on his work. She would get Sokka to come and help her move him to his bed, much to her older brother's annoyance.
But there was one more, pleasant reason that Aang and Katara were so busy, and that was because they were cultivating a blooming relationship. Because of their insane work schedules, most of their moments were stolen moments between training, meetings, and housekeeping duties. These stolen moments were not wasted on little chaste kisses, but were moments of exploding, pent up passion between the two. It was more than enough to get Sokka to protest and tell them to 'get a room', which only led to more venomous protesting when they tried to follow his advice.
Aang felt like today was his lucky day, however. Toph had finished his Earthbending training abruptly when she had gotten word that another powerful Earthbender was in Ba Sing Se, the most powerful Earthbender in the Northern Earth Kingdom, it was said. She could not resist a challenge like that and had rushed away, mid-drill.
Aang had stopped Earthbending, confused, and then checked the time. He nearly shouted with joy when he realized that he had over an hour before he had to go meet with Iroh for his Firebending training. Without a second thought of Earthbending, and barely even taking the time to put his shirt back on, he rushed into the house.
"Katara! Katara, are you around?" Aang called, hoping that she had not all ready left for the market like she said she was going to do today.
"Aang?" Katara leaned out of the kitchen. "What's going on? I thought you were going to be training with Toph for another hour."
Aang rushed over and pulled her into his arms, causing Katara to yelp with delight. "She got word of some hot-shot Earthbender in the city and she ran off." Aang said.
Despite herself, Katara frowned. "I need to talk to her about this. Your training is more important than inflating her ego."
"Please, Katara, don't." Aang begged. "Iroh never lets me leaving training early and the day those meetings are done on time will be the day that I eat Appa. Toph leaving early is the best time I have to spend with you."
Katara smiled playfully as she leaned into him. "Your training is more important than me, too."
"Nothing is more important than you." Aang said firmly, pressing a confident kiss to her lips.
Katara sighed happily, returning his kiss for everything she was worth. Despite her ample protests that he should concentrate on his training rather than her, she couldn't deny that some dark part of her, the selfish part, thoroughly enjoyed it when Aang played hooky from his duties to simply be with her. It made her feel like the most important thing in the world to Aang, and to be the most important person to the most important person in the whole world was mind-boggling and a breath-taking concept.
She fisted her hands in his robes, drawing him closer to her without even the tiniest complaint falling from his lips, only an explosion of more passion as he deepened the kiss, thoroughly pleasuring her with his mouth and tongue.
Katara moaned softly as she felt him rest his hands on her hips, gently holding her to him. She pulled back slightly, grinned at him, and then leaned forward to kiss him.
It was then that she noticed...
She pulled back, shocked, and stared at him with a bit more confusion, and leaned forward again, kissing him. Aang had caught the look on her face and, while he did return her kiss, he wondered what was going through her mind to make her look like that. "Um... Katara?" Aang asked softly when she pulled away. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Oh... it's just that..." Katara paused, staring at him, confirming consciously what her subconscious had probably known for some time. "I just never realized before... how much taller you are now from when we first met you."
"Huh?" Aang asked.
"It's just that... when we first met, you barely came up to my nose... and now we're practically eye-to-eye." Katara said. It was true, within a few months, Aang had suddenly grown so much that he was probably just an inch shorter than she was.
"Oh..." Aang said, looking at her and suddenly realizing that they were eye-to-eye. "Wow... uh, I've never noticed. But I guess you're right. I don't ever remember growing this fast."
"It's all a part of growing up." Katara said.
"So... there's nothing wrong with me growing this fast?" Aang asked.
"Nope." Katara said. "In fact... I quite like it. It will probably only be a few more months before you're taller than me."
"Really?" Aang asked, sounding amazing and very relieved.
Katara laughed at his enthusiasm. "Yes, really." She said. "But, you know, Aang... I like you just the way you are... whether you are shorter or taller than me... my love for you is not going to change."
"Mine won't either." Aang said, pulling her into another kiss. When he pulled away, he whispered against her lips. "Though I have to admit, it's going to be great when you have to lean up on your toes to kiss me."
"Don't get ahead of yourself, Tiger." Katara joked. "You've got some more inches to go yet."
LES: Pointless Kataang fluff. Sometimes, it's the best kind.