Naked mishap five! The mishap with Aang.
The day after the auspicious occasion of Zuko's Birthday.
That had been the weirdest party Aang had ever been too. Aang knew a thing or two about parties. It was, like his job, as the Avatar, to be great at parties. Zuko was not great at parties. Who tries to sneak away from their own birthday anyway? It was weird. But then again Zuko had been acting really weird lately. He'd been so mellow lately. Normally Zuko would drill forms with him and be all 'twenty round house fire blasts, followed by 30 swivel kicks. NOW!' But for the past few weeks he'd been, well super easygoing.
Last night though, he'd caught Zuko trying to escape his own party or hide from his own party at least five times. He'd started hiding or making breaks for freedom as soon as it was polite to do so. Once he'd been hiding in the curtains. Katara had been there too, she told him she was helping Zuko hide. Aang helpfully pointed out that it was easier to hide one person behind the curtains and Katara was actually being a hindrance to the hiding process. She'd made a funny face at him then, like she was cross at him, but why would she be? He was just trying to help. She obviously wasn't listening because he caught her trying to hide Zuko twice more.
Katara had so much to learn about hiding.
Once Zuko had tried to sneak out the main doors but had been pulled by Aang and his Uncle into conversation again. He kept looking longingly out the door and it was distracting to try and talk to someone when they had that expression on their face. Uncle Iroh kept talking about tea and Aang got bored of the conversation and wandered off. Tea wasn't that interesting.
Later, Zuko made a break for the backdoor in the kitchen. But Sokka and Aang had been there getting stuck into his cake. Zuko said he didn't want any cake, which was weird in itself, but Sokka and Aang had peer pressured him into staying. Katara had come into the kitchens a little while after that, and Zuko had said "We're eating cake now." as if there were a million other things he wanted to do more than eat cake. Who hated eating their own birthday cake anyway?
Later, when the full desert thing, with the fruit and the cheeses and the strong sweet wine, had been wheeled out, he'd gone looking for Katara with one of her favourite pastries. He felt like he should apologize for something, but he didn't know what. She'd been snappy with him all night. He'd found her under a table with a long tablecloth with Zuko. She'd been trying to hide him again. Katara should just stop helping Zuko! Couldn't she see she was making it hard for him to hide? Aang took her outside and gave her some advice on better hiding techniques.
Zuko must have buggered off at some point because by the time they had gotten round to the speeches He'd vanished and no one could find him. Or Katara either. Maybe she'd taken Aang's advice and gotten better at hiding Zuko.
All in all, it had been a weird party anyway. He'd had a good time. Suki had gotten fairly drunk and did a complicated fan demonstration. He'd gotten a little drunk with Toph. He'd had a very weird conversation with uncle Iroh, who was talking about tea again. Sokka had asked him to help beat up Haru, but Aang had declined, because he was trying to be Zen and non-violent.
Mostly he was worried about Zuko. He didn't seem to have had a nice birthday and Aang wanted to cheer him up. Aang had been practicing all day to master a particularly difficult fire-bending form called the flying Pheonix. Zuko had said it was okay if he didn't get it first time, all he had to do was practice. Well Aang was going to surprise Zuko with how good he'd gotten. When he ran through the forms again and was able to do it perfectly without making any mistakes, he yipped in joy and scooter off to find Zuko. Seeing Aang do it perfectly would definitely cheer his Firebending Sifu up.
Katara and Zuko were have a little naked snuggle now that they finally had a bit of time together. They shouldn't be disturbed for the rest of the night. They'd exchanged gifts again and it had been brilliant! Zuko was feeling on top of the world. He was feeling like he could erase yesterday and all its naked shenanigans from his head and go out and face the world again. Katara lay with her head on his chest, tracing little patterns with her fingers.
"Sokka knows."She said simply.
"Knows what?" Zuko asked.
"About us." She said. Oh that explained so much about this morning. So very much.
"Well, now that's four people who know." Zuko replied.
"No, only three." Katara countered, she had probably erased at least one of their naked mishaps from her memory. Probably the one with his Uncle, Zuko would do anything to erase that memory.
" Nah, Toph, My uncle, Suki and now Sokka." Zuko listed on his fingers.
"Still, it's more people that I would like who've seen me naked." She said lazily as she gave a little stretch.
"It's more people than I would like to see you naked too." Zuko said with a smile. He liked to think that the naked was just for himself.
"Maybe we should just stay clothed the whole time?" Katara offered.
"Don't say that!" Zuko said, vaguely horrified, he'd gotten kind of fond of the naked.
"I was just kidding anyway." Katara said with a cheeky grin and started tickling him, which inevitably lead to rolling about naked together, which would have lead to another exchange of gifts but Katara had something she wanted to discuss first.
"We should probably tell Aang. Everybody else knows now and he'll be miffed if he finds out, especially if he finds out that everybody knows before he does. He'll feel left out." She said uncertainly. It was probably a good idea. He would find out eventually and them telling him would be much better than the other alternatives.
" I want to tell him before he barges in on us naked." Zuko said in response.
"What makes you think he'll barge in on us naked?" Katara said bemusedly. Had he just imagined yesterday? Surely she'd been there for all the naked mishaps.
"Look at our luck so far…" he said, trailing off.
"Good point. You know I used to have pretty good luck before I started going out with you and now people catch me naked everyday. " Katara said playfully.
"I actually think I've had pretty good luck since I started going out with you." Zuko said sincerely. Katara smiled, almost to herself, and then looked up at him quite cheekily with a mischievous glint in her eye.
"Oh you are so being rewarded for that one." She said as she started to move her body languorously. Zuko liked where this was going!
"We need a new lock by the way." Katara said as she started kissing a trail of kisses down his chest.
"Again?" Zuko asked a bit surprised. He'd only just replaced it a couple of days ago.
As of to prove Katara's point, it was precisely at that moment that Aang burst in on his air scooter, full of excitement. He scooted around the room not really noticing the compromising position he'd found his two friends in. Katara had hidden under the covers, quick as a flash. And now it looked like Zuko had a very odd shaped growth coming out of his torso.
"Zuko, I did it! I practiced all day yesterday and today and I've perfected it. Come see. " Aang said brightly.
They'd just been getting to the good bit!
What do we have to do to get some privacy around here! Katara thought crankily. Bloody Aang and bloody firebending and bloody everything. It was her time with Zuko now and she didn't want to share him. She didn't get to spend nearly enough time as she'd like with him and whenever they got a chance to… err… exchange gifts, they kept being interrupted. And it was making her extremely cross.
As she hid under the covers, she came to a realization, quick as a flash. Why was she hiding from Aang anyway? It was better to tell him now; he was going to find out anyway. She made her decision and popped her head out from under the covers.
"He can't right now Aang." She said firmly.
"Katara?" Aang's eyes were the size of dinner plates.
"Yes. Congrats on the phoenix form. But in future remember to knock before coming in." She said in a very brisk and businesslike fashion. Aang started beating a hasty retreat.
"Sorry guys. Wont happen again." Aang said as he sped out the door faster than she knew the air bender could move.
They were alone at last. She got up, and put a chair in front of the door behind Aang. There, makeshift lock. They'd just been a little too keen earlier to think of it. She turned to Zuko, thinking entirely naughty thoughts. Zuko grinned up at her; he was probably thinking naughty thoughts as well.
"Now, where were we?" She asked in her sultry voice.
******** The End*******