Well, I've got writers block for "A Lifetime of Love". :P So I had this little idea for a oneshot in my head for a while, and now was the perfect opportunity to put it down on paper...or computer. You know what I mean. :P I sincerely hope you enjoy this powerful oneshot, so all that's left is to read and review! XD Have fun, kids! :D
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. The show and its characters belong to Mike and Bryan, the brillant geniuses behind one of the greatest cartoon shows in the history of cartoons. Their work is legendary, and I salute them for it.
As Team Avatar made its way back to Zuko's vacation home, Aang felt like the biggest idiot in the world. During the play, he had let his emotions take hold of him when he watched the scene where Actress Katara and Actor Zuko confess their 'feelings' for each other in the crystal prison of Ba Sing Se. He had stormed out, furious that Katara could only think of him as a little brother. He had stood out on the balcony, and during the intermission she came for him. He had confronted her about her feelings for him, telling her that since they had kissed at the Invasion that they should have been together…but they weren't. He sees the scene play over and over in his head again, constantly reminding him of his mistake:
"Aang…I don't know," she softly says, her hands on the wooden railing as she sadly looks out to the ocean. He can see the confusion in her blue eyes, the eyes that stood out amongst all the red of her Fire Nation outfit…but the aching in his heart is too great for him to pay any heed to her turmoil.
He leans forward slightly and raises his right hand, asking, "Why don't you know?" She knows of his feelings for her. Why doesn't she know how she feels about him? How can she not know?
She looks at him as he asks and her eyebrows furrow slightly, a firm look in her eyes as she says, "Because we're in the middle of a war, and we have other things to worry about." As she says this, she looks up past his side as she holds her arms, wanting to avoid his gray eyes. She sighs as she closes her eyes and softly adds, "This isn't the right time."
He looks down as she says this, his heart completely taken over with his longing pain for her. He wants to be with her, to love and call his own…but it's like she's pushing him further and further away. He looks up as he desperately asks, "Well, when is the right time?" She's turned back again to the railing, her arms sill folded across her chest. She looks down at the railing, her eyes-half open and filled to the brim with uncertainty and doubt.
She briefly closes her eyes and looks to her left as she says, "Aang, I'm sorry," she looks up at him briefly to show him her eyes before she tugs her left hair braid and closes her eyes, "but right now I'm just a little confused." He looks at her in disbelief, hurt filling his sad gray eyes. He sadly looks to his right, slightly averting his gaze from her…but he cannot keep his eyes from her, and soon he looks back. A crazy idea pops into his head, one that he had at the time of the Invasion…perhaps it will work again.
Her eyes are still closed, so she does not see him as he approaches. He closes his eyes and plants his lips against hers, reveling in the taste of her soft lips as he kisses her. For some reason, he thinks that she'll return the kiss…until he feels her pull away sharply. He opens his eyes to see her shocked eyes, her left hand held up to her slightly open lips as if they were poisoned. Her shock turns to anger as she irritably says, "I just said I was confused!" He blinks at her, his heart aching as he realizes his mistake. Her eyes are closed now, her head held down in disappointment. He can see the betrayal on her face, the pain that he was causing her. He can see it in the soft torchlight as she opens her eyes to look to her left, averting her gaze from him. A trace of anger seeps into her voice as she says, "I'm going back inside."
She runs back up the small staircase, and when she disappears behind the curtain he hits himself on the arrow as he angrily shuts his eyes. "Ugh! I'm such an idiot!" he exclaims as he slams his fists on the railing, his forehead also connecting with the hard wood. He has driven her away, even making her angry at him for showing his affection to her. He doesn't realize her confusion, and his eternal ache takes hold of his heart once more.
He threw his disguise hat to the floor and threw himself on the bed, the mattress squeaking slightly under the young Avatar's weight. He looks up at the ceiling, regret filling his young heart. She must hate me… he thought to himself, the recurring scene tormenting his young mind. She was supposed to be his best friend, but his feelings for her have driven her away. He realized that it was his own selfishness that led him to kiss her, and instantly his regret triples as the ache returns. I have to make this up to her… he thought to himself. I have to apologize. He gets up from the bed using his Airbending, landing softly on the wooden floor.
He walked out of his room, and as he closed his door he heard a voice say, "Hey, Aang!" He looks over to his right to see Sokka walking towards him, a piece of jerky in his tan hand. He took a bite of the meat and asked, "Awful play tonight, huh buddy?" Aang wishes he could be as relaxed as Sokka, to not have a care in the world. But there is always one thing on his mind…Katara. No matter how hard he tried, he cannot get her out of his head. He had a special connection to her, a bond of friendship that no one else could understand.
"Yeah, awful play…" he mutters as he looked down at the ground, still hating himself for his actions at the play. He looked up and asked, "Have you seen Katara?" He knew that Sokka wouldn't think that anything was going on between him and Katara, so he knew that it was safe asking Sokka.
Sokka pondered for a moment, a chunk of jerky hanging out from his mouth from his second bite. "Yeah," he said as he swallowed. He pointed out from the vacation home with his piece of jerky and said, "I think she may have gone down to the beach to do some Waterbending." He quirked an eyebrow at Aang and asked, "Why do you ask?"
"I, uh…just need to tell her something," nervously said Aang, fearful that his secret had been revealed to the rare cunning side of Sokka's mind. The young warrior stared at Aang for a few moments before shrugging nonchalantly, walking off to his room as he bit off another piece of jerky. Aang quietly sighed in relief and began to make his way to the beach, worried about how his confrontation with Katara would go. Would she forgive him? Or will she just turn his back on him again? Even if he doesn't know how she feels about him, he doesn't want to lose her friendship because of his selfishness.
He walked down the rocky path to the beach and, true to Sokka's word, there was Katara practicing her Waterbending. Aang watched as she gracefully streamed the liquid around her body with flowing hand motions, completely one with her element. He watched her for a few moments, standing back about fifteen feet away so she didn't see him. Finally, her movements caused her to turn and face him. Her eyes widened as she saw him, and she quickly turned away as she sent the water stream back into the ocean with a soft splash. She crossed her arms, her back to him as she stared at the ocean. The two stood there for what seemed like an eternity, the only sound in the silent night air the continuous pounding of the waves upon the shoreline.
Finally, she firmly said, "Aang, I told you that I'm confused right now. I don't want to talk about it anymore." Her words drill a hole in Aang's already damaged heart, but he knows he's not here to pressure Katara about her feelings.
"I know," he replied sincerely, "but that's not why I'm here." He looked down at the sand and lightly kicked the gritty grains, sending a small clump away from him. He looked back up at her and said, "I…I just want to say…I'm sorry. My behavior back at the play was unacceptable, and I shouldn't have kissed you." He looked back down at the sand and added, "I was just being selfish…I let my emotions get the better of me…and I wanted to apologize for what I did." He closed his eyes as he pleadingly said, "Please, Katara…I never meant to hurt you."
"I know…" she said softly, causing Aang to look up at her with surprise. Perhaps he had been wrong the whole time…maybe she did have feelings for him, but she just didn't know yet. But there is something in the back of his mind that keeps bugging him, something that made him ask the most unreasonable of questions:
"Why are you so confused?"
He heard her sigh heavily, her shoulders heaving with the force of her exhalation. She was silent for a few moments, and then the realization hits Aang like a speeding arrow. All his worry and anxiety burst forth from his heart as she said, "Aang, I told you-"
"I know why," he said suddenly, his gray eyes wide with fear. She turned around to face him, a confused look on her face. Her arms fell to her side, the moonlight illuminating her olive skin. He remembered the scene at the play that had sent him over the edge, the scene that had led to his confrontation with Katara. The impossible suddenly became possible in Aang's frightened mind, and his fists clenched in anger. His eyebrows scrunched downward with rage, fury burning in his gray eyes. He snapped an accusing finger at Katara and shouted, "You have feelings for Zuko!"
Katara's eyes widened with absolute shock, her mouth dropped open in astonishment. "What?" she screamed in a horrified voice, her own fists clenching in anger. All of Aang's anger burst out of him at that moment, unable to control himself as he threw more fuel into the fire of his rage.
"Don't deny it, Katara!" he shouted as he dropped the accusing finger downwards, his arm falling down by his side. "I've seen the way you look at him!" He threw his arms in the air and shouted, "I bet you'd just love to go and steam it up with Sifu Hotman!"
Her shock turned to anger as she shouted, "Aang! Do you even hear what you're saying?" She shook her head and angrily said, "You're being absolutely ridiculous!"
"Am I?" yelled Aang as he placed a hand on his chest, his eyes boring a hole in Katara's heart. "Or am I being realistic?" He narrowed his eyes as he dropped his hand back by his side and said, "I bet when you and Zuko were trapped underneath Ba Sing Se, you two must have gotten real cozy!"
"Aang!" she screamed, completely mortified with Aang's behavior. "What's gotten into you?" she furiously asked. "Where's all this coming from?"
"My broken heart!" screamed Aang in reply. "You took my heart and completely froze it with your uncaring feelings! Admit it, Katara…I'm nothing but a brother to you!" All of his regret from before had completely burned away, replaced by the conflagration of madness and anger.
"How dare you!" she screamed at him, fury pouring into her normally soothing voice. She placed a hand on her chest as she stepped forward and angrily said, "Do you have any idea of how worried sick I was about you during the time you were unconscious?" Her hand dropped by her side as she added, "You died in Ba Sing Se!"
"And if I wasn't the Avatar, you wouldn't have brought me back at all!" he yelled at her, the fire of his rage now an unstoppable inferno. Her eyes widened in shock, but he didn't care. His heart had been messed with for the last time, and all his anger was now pouring out on Katara with a force that was comparable to the Avatar State.
"Aang, how can you even say that?" she screamed, pain and anger filling her blue eyes. "You're my friend, and-"
"That's all I'll ever be to you!" explosively interjected Aang. "I poured my heart to you at the Invasion, and you didn't even care!" His fists shook with livid rage as he angrily bellowed, "Since it's so apparent that you care for Zuko way more than me, WHY DON'T YOU MARRY HIM?"
Silence fell over the two of them, the only sound that could be heard was the crashing of the waves…and the breaking of a soul. Katara's face contorted into one of pain and betrayal, disbelief and sadness filling her eyes. Aang's angry scowl slowly melts as he realized what he's done, and shame pours into his soul like a flash flood. "Oh Spirits…" he said breathlessly, his voice filled with regret. He stammered as he said, "Katara, I-I'm sorry! I…I didn't mean any of that! I was just angry and-"
"Aang…" she moaned sorrowfully as tears welled up in her eyes, her soul completely broken by the Avatar's cruel words. "How could you?" she asked as her voice cracked miserably, and soon she began to sob. She closed her eyes and looked down at the sand, tears falling from her tan face as she wept.
What have I done? thought Aang to himself in horror, guilt gripping his heart like an angry Armadillo-Bear. He stepped forward as he said, "I-I just let my emotions get out of hand and…I didn't mean what I said…please, Katara…you have to believe me…"
As he walked closer to her, she quietly whispered, "Get away from me…" There was such a deadly seriousness in her voice that it made Aang stop in his tracks, surprise and shock in his eyes.
"What?" he asked, not believing what Katara was saying. No…he could believe what she was saying, for he had broken her heart. He had burned her again, not with the flames of his Firebending…but rather with the raging fire of his heartless words.
"GET AWAY FROM ME!" she screamed, raising a stream of water from the ocean and throwing it at him. Aang yelped as he raised his arms, bracing himself as the liquid hit him and sent him flying overhead. The water stream carried him over Katara's head, slamming him down about twenty feet from the shore. Aang sputtered as he broke the surface of the ocean waves, the bitter taste of sea salt on his tongue as he coughed. He turned around and saw Katara running back towards the vacation home, her dark brown hair flying as she fled from him.
"Katara!" he yelled as he held a hand out, but it was too late…she was gone from his sight. His hand fell in the water, the waves lapping at his body as tears appeared in his eyes. He closed his eyes and raised his head upward, screaming "GAAAAAHHH!" The water around him pushed back ten feet as he screamed, leaving a wet circle of sand around him. He blasted himself onto the beach, crashing into the rough sand as the water fell back into place. He stopped screaming as he crashed into the sand, and he laid on his back as he looked up at the stars with agonizing eyes. "Katara!" he yelled again as tears fell from his eyes, begging for her to come back…but he knew she wouldn't. "Please…" he moaned mournfully as he gripped at the sand, the loose grains slipping through his fingers…just like her. The young Avatar laid there as he cried, fully regretting everything he had done to Katara that night.
Zuko walked the halls of his vacation home, a cup of Jasmine tea in his hand. The others had gone to bed, but he wasn't tired despite the horrible evening they had had at the play. He held the cup to his nose and inhaled the sweet scent of the tea, and he sighed with contentment as he softly smiled. Just like Uncle used to make it, he thought to himself as he took a sip of the tea, filling the warm liquid fill his insides with blazing refreshment. As he brought the cup down from his lips, he heard a sound. He stopped and listened, trying to determine what the noise was. As he leaned toward the source, he could slowly make out what it was…the sound of someone crying horrible, heart-wrenching sobs.
His eyes widened in surprise, confused by what he was hearing. Who would be crying like that this late in the night? He walked through the hallway, the sound of the crying grower louder with every step he took. Soon, he came upon the northern side of the courtyard where he and Aang practiced their Firebending. He looked down at the small steps to see a figure clad in red sitting there, hunched over in their sobbing with their back to Zuko. The teenage Firebender could see that the figure was a girl with long dark brown hair, hugging her legs close to her and sobbing into her knees. His eyes widened as he realized who the girl was, and he quickly made his way over to her side. He set the tea cup down next to him as he came up on her right side, saying, "Katara?"
The young Waterbender looked up at Zuko with surprise in her eyes, which were flooded with tears as she continued to sob. Zuko had never seen Katara so distraught before, not even when they had been imprisoned together in Ba Sing Se. "What's wrong, Katara?" he asked, concern filling his usually gruff voice.
"Nothing," muttered Katara quickly as she turned her head from him, wiping her tears away with her hand. She kept her gaze away from him for several seconds as she bit her lip, but when she glanced back at him she let out a choked sob. She buried her face in her knees again as she cried again, her sobs reflecting the torn and tattered state of her heart.
"That sure doesn't sound like 'nothing'," said Zuko incredulously, causing Katara to only sob even harder. Zuko mentally hit himself and thought, Agni, I'm terrible with words… He had to find some way to make Katara feel better, even if he didn't know what was causing her this much sadness. He raised his left hand to place on her shoulder, but his hand hesitates as it hovers above her right shoulder. He slowly puts his hand on her bare shoulder, eliciting a slight shudder from the Waterbender. He patted her shoulder and awkwardly said, "Umm….there, there. Everything's uh….going to be fine." Why am I so bad at this? he mentally asked himself as he stopped patting, but he kept his hand on her shoulder.
"No, it's not…" Katara moaned sorrowfully as her eyes peeked above her knees, tears flowing down from her broken blue eyes. "He hates me…" she said in a cracked voice, letting a choked sob as more tears fell down her face. Zuko didn't think it was possible for anyone to cry this much as he sat next to her, his feet on the bottom steps.
"Who hates you?" asked Zuko, confused by what Katara was saying. He picked up his tea, letting the wafting scent of the beverage calm his mind. He wanted to be as tranquil as possible while he was helping Katara, and the tea was certainly helping. I'll have to thank Uncle when I see him again… he thought to himself with uncertainty, remembering how he had betrayed his Uncle in Ba Sing Se. But he couldn't concern himself with his sage-like Uncle now, for his friend needed him more at the moment.
She sighed as she wiped away of tears, trying to collect her scattered and distraught thoughts. "Zuko…" she said softly, "…can you keep a secret?"
"I suppose I could," he said nonchalantly as he looked at her. She glanced angrily at him, and he said, "Of course I can. Now what's on your mind?" Her brief flare of anger died down as she looked back down at her knees, sadness filling her eyes.
"Well…" she began, "it's kind of like this…back during the Invasion…rather before it…I talked to this guy who I've known for a long time…we talked and he told me that he was afraid that he wasn't going to come back…I tried to tell him otherwise but then he…he…" She gulped nervously and said, "…he kissed me..." She hugged her knees closer to her and whispered, "Now things between us are getting worse and worse…and now he hates me…" Zuko worked to connect the dots from Katara's somewhat cryptic message, and his eyes briefly widened as he realized who the mysterious guy was.
"It's Aang…isn't it?" he asked, silence falling between them as she continued to look down at the ground. After a few moments Katara sadly nodded, confirming Zuko's suspicion. He nodded in understanding as he looked away from her and said, "Makes sense."
She looked at him with surprise and asked, "You knew about Aang's feelings?"
Zuko looked back at Katara and said, "Yeah, I've known for a while…probably since I first joined you guys." He let a small smile creep on his face as he said, "Every time he would look at you, he'd get weak at the knees and a dreamy look would appear on his face." The smile fell as she looked away, grief apparent on her tan face. "But how can he hate you?" he asked.
"We…kind of talked at the play tonight…" she said softly, remembering the events of earlier. "He wanted to know why we weren't together yet, despite the fact we kissed at the Invasion."
Zuko scoffed and said, "It's because we're in the middle of a century-long war."
"That's exactly what I told him!" she softly exclaimed, glancing up at Zuko briefly before returning her gaze to her knees. "But he just wouldn't listen…I told him I was confused and that we just couldn't be together right now…" Her anger flared briefly as she said, "And then he goes and kisses me again! Even after all I had said!"
"But that's not enough to make him hate you," countered Zuko. He paused and said, "You're not telling me everything…the play was hours ago, and yet here you are crying now. What happened between you two?"
"Aang came by to apologize for what he did…" she said distantly, the memory of her disastrous confrontation with Aang playing over and over again in her mind. "…and that's when things went completely wrong…" As Zuko looked out at the courtyard and drank his tea, she said, "For one thing, he thinks I have feelings for you."
Zuko's reaction was instantaneous.
The Firebender's eyes shot wide open with shock as he spat out his tea so fast that it actually burst into flames, causing Katara to jump at the unexpected combustion of hot leaf juice. He hacked and coughed with such force Katara was surprised his lungs didn't fall out of his mouth. He pounded his chest as he tried to recover, violently coughing as his eyes bulged. Finally, he stopped coughing and looked at her with wide eyes. "What?" he exclaimed hoarsely, disbelief in his amber eyes.
"I know! It's completely ridiculous!" she said angrily. Her eyes narrowed as she said, "He just doesn't get it. I'm not trying to hurt him, yet he thinks I've broken his heart! Why doesn't he get the fact that we can't be together right now?"
"So you do have feelings for him?" calmly asked Zuko, having recovered from his initial shock. Katara snapped her head to look at him, surprise in her eyes as she blushed. Her blush remained as she looked down at the ground, her anger being replaced by sadness.
"Zuko…I don't know how I feel about Aang…" she said softly. She gripped the sides of her head as she said, "I care about him a lot…he's my best friend…" Her voice cracked as she said, "I don't want to lose him…"
"I think he feels the same way," Zuko said, causing Katara to look up at him with confusion. "Aang is never one to stay angry at anyone, especially you." His voice softened as he said, "He really does care about you, Katara, and I doubt that he could ever bring himself to hate you. You guys share a special bond of friendship that I've never seen before…you guys have been friends for not even a whole year and yet you two are completely inseparable. You've both gone through countless hardships together…you've even brought him back from the dead." He chuckled as he put down his tea and said, "If that doesn't make a friendship stronger, than I don't know what will." He paused and said, "Think about it, Katara…would Aang want to intentionally push you away, even after all the things you've been through together? Would he change it all just because his heart's been broken by his own selfish actions?"
Katara stared at Zuko, surprised by his unexpected wisdom. She stared at her knees as she pondered his words, thinking deeply about her friendship with Aang. He was always there for her, lending his support and comfort to her when she needed it most. She thought of how, when she desperately wanted revenge for her mother, he told her not to seek the murderer's death. She knew he didn't want to see her tear herself apart by her want of revenge, and in the final moment his words had taken hold of her…she didn't kill the murderer. She thought about how completely desolate and depressed she had been when Aang had been killed in Ba Sing Se, and how she brought him back…caring for him during all those weeks he was unconscious. She thought about everything they had been through together, about how much the young Avatar meant to her. He was her best friend…and she knew she couldn't lose him to the fires of his own angry and hurt heart.
She looked up as she said, "I know what I have to do…I have to make things right." A happy look entered her eyes as she looked at Zuko and said, "I need to find Aang!" She started to get up, but she stopped briefly before she threw her arms around the Firebender. "Thank you Zuko!" she happily exclaimed. The Firebender hesitated for a moment, but soon he smiled and returned the hug.
"What are friends for?" he chuckled as the two separated. He patted her elbow and teasingly said, "Now go make up with your boyfriend."
Her face instantly burst into a profuse blush as she said, "Aang's not my-"
"I'm kidding, Katara," laughs the Firebender, only causing her blush to intensify. He smiled and said, "Now go. You've got a friendship to save." Katara smiled and nodded, running towards the other side of the courtyard as she headed to the beach. Zuko watched as she ran, a smile on his scarred face. He picked up his tea again and sipped again, only to discover that the warm liquid was all gone. Zuko slipped the cup into his pocket and got up, making his way to his room. He smiled to himself and thought, I guess my Uncle is rubbing off on me after all. He chuckled to himself, jokingly thinking to himself that he might grow a beard like his Uncle's one day.
Katara found Aang right where she left him, on the beach at the end of the rocky path. He was sitting on the middle of the beach, sitting in a meditative pose. His legs were crossed while his hands rested on his knees, his body rising and falling slightly with the softness of his breathing. Her initial excitement at making things better with Aang died away as she walked up behind him, fear taking its place in her heart. She stopped seven feet behind him, her eyes focused on the young Avatar's back. They remained silent for several minutes, the rhythmic pounding of the waves thrumming in their eardrums.
Finally, Aang calmly said, "I've been thinking about what I've done to you, Katara…my actions were entirely heartless and inconsiderate." He paused and said, "You deserve better than me…I'm nothing but a cruel monster who seeks to destroy any happiness between us. If you've come to break off our friendship, I understand." A trace of anger entered his voice as he said, "It's what I deserve…"
Tears filled Katara's eyes as she stared at him, upset by his self-loathing. "Aang…" she said softly as she walked over to him, coming up on his left side. As she kneeled down by him, he turned his head from her, his eyes still closed. "Aang, please look at me," she said pleadingly, an aching pain taking hold of her heart. His eyebrows furrowed with frustration, refusing to even look at her.
"No," he said firmly.
"Aang, please…" she said as tears fell from her eyes. "Do it for me…I want to see your eyes…I want to know that you're still in there…" He slowly turned his head towards her, opening his eyes as he did so. They could see the pain in each other's eyes, the very rift that had torn them apart.
"Why do you even bother with me?" he asked bitterly, his voice iced with anger at himself. "I've completely torn us apart because of my own selfish actions!" he said loudly, tears appearing in his angry gray eyes.
Katara let out a choked sob and said, "I bother with you because you're my best friend…and I…I…I c-care about you a lot…maybe not in the romantic sense or…" She shook her head and said, "No, that's not what I mean…" She looked at him and said, "Listen…I know you have strong feelings for me…and I'm sorry, but like I said before…I don't know how I feel…" She smiled at him and said, "But just because I don't see you in a romantic way doesn't mean I don't love you as a friend…you're my best friend in the whole world, and I love you as a friend."
"But my feelings go way deeper than that," he retorted. He buried his face in his hands and miserably asked, "Why can't you see that, Katara? My heart's been hurting for so long…I…I just can't take it anymore…"
"Yes, you can," Katara said firmly as she placed a hand on his shoulder, causing him to look up at her in surprise. "You're a strong person…and I'm sorry that I may not feel the same way as you right now…but I care about you as a friend, and no amount of anger you throw at me is going to keep me away from you." She pulled him into a hug, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and resting her head in the crook of his neck. "I forgive you…" she whispered, causing Aang's eyes to widen.
"How…how can you forgive me so easily?" he asked in astonishment, his face wet with tears. "I was a complete jerk!"
Katara chuckled and replied, "Because you're my jerk. You're my best friend, and I don't want to lose you…" Aang felt her body shaking, as if her entire being was afraid of losing him to the aching of his suffering heart.
Aang hugged her back and whispered, "I don't want to lose you either…" Both of them closed their eyes as they held each other, mending the chasm that had been torn between them. They remained that way for almost five minutes, the soft moonlight illuminating the two best friends as forgiveness and support flowed from their healing hearts.
Finally, the two wiped away their tears and stood up. Aang felt something slip into his left hand, and he looked down to see Katara's right hand in his left hand. He blushed and looked up, nervously saying, "Umm, Katara…we're…we're holding hands…"
She smiled teasingly at him and said, "So?"
His blush intensified as he stammered, "Well, um…people don't hold hands like…like this unless they're…together…" He felt nervous sweat on his forehead, and his heart was pounding like a drum.
"That's not necessarily true," she playfully retorted, a small smile on her face. "Best friends can hold hands like this, and…" She squeezed his hand as she said, "I just want this right now…I want to know that our friendship isn't going to die…" She blushed as she asked, "You'll at least allow me this one time, right?"
"Of course," he quickly replied, his face on fire with the blazing of his fierce blush. Despite all the nervousness he was feeling, total relief was flooding into his heart. He and Katara were friends again, and all was right with the world. He chuckled and said, "I-I think we should go back and…get some rest. That play really took it out of us tonight."
Katara blushed as she chuckled and said, "Completely." She yawned and said, "See? I'm yawning it was so bad, and it's been over for hours now." They both laughed lightly as they walked off the beach, hand-in-hand as they made their way back to the vacation home. Soon, they were in front of Katara's room, and their hands fell from one another. They hugged and she happily said, "Good night, best friend."
Aang smiled and replied, "Good night, best friend." The two separated and Katara went into her room, a smile passing between them as the door closed. Aang sighed and leaned with his back against the door, a bright smile on his face. He couldn't believe it; just a little while ago, he had driven Katara away…but she had come back after all that he had done. He smiled to himself, glad to have a friend like her. "Thank you, Katara," he whispered, standing up and making his way back to his room, sheer joy in his young heart.
Little did Aang know, but Katara was also leaning with her back against the door. She smiled as she heard his whisper, and she quietly said, "You're welcome, Aang." Her smile was pasted on her face as she laid on her bed, staring up at the ceiling with happiness in her heart. She silently reminded herself to thank Zuko in the morning, and soon she drifted off to a peaceful sleep. Over on the other side of the house, the Avatar slept peacefully as well, a smile on his young face.
The moon smiled down upon the two best friends, happy that their friendship had been saved from the fires of a broken heart.