LES: The last chapter was really short, but this one is better. The ante is upped! Also, if you can't stand the thought of Aang flirting heavily with someone besides Katara, just remember it's all in the spirit of the game.
Chapter V: Flirting With Disaster
Sokka and Katara barely had time to change out of their dresses before Toph called the group together.
Toph hated to admit it, but Aang got her good that time. The first time they played, he'd never been able to pick a dare that made her lose a chicken. Now he had done it on his first try. And he'd done it without pissing off his girlfriend. She hated to admit it, but that boy had gotten good. (She could mentally hear Aang protest: "I'm not a boy, I'm sixteen now!")
"Okay, Twinkletoes. I admit it. You got me." Toph conceded. Aang couldn't help the smug grin that formed on his face. "But, trust me, I'm going to be the one laughing when either do what I tell you or take a chicken."
"Do your worst." Aang replied. There were really only two things that he knew he would refuse to do: eat meat and kill someone. Sokka already made the meat dare, so it wasn't going to be reused, and Toph would ask him to kill anyone for a dare off… would she?
"I dare the three of you to flirt with someone of the same sex."
"Can we pick who?" Sokka asked, thinking that he'd just flirt with Aang a little bit to satisfy the dare because Aang knew that whatever flirting may occur was not serious.
"Hell no!" Toph said quickly. "I'll tell you… only after you accept the dare."
The three glanced at each other. "Chicken!" Sokka and Katara said at the same time.
"I just… can't." Sokka said, shaking his head. "Who knows who we'll have to flirt with."
"Yeah." Katara said. "If I know Toph at all, she'll stick me with the older councilwomen who are three or four times older than I am."
Aang glanced at the two of them. "I'll do it." He said. The other two stared at him in shock.
"You would? Really?" Sokka asked. "Even though you are dating my sister?"
"Katara knows that I'm not being serious." Aang said, glancing at her. "Right, Katara?"
"Yes, I know." Katara said.
"It's settled, then." Toph said, gaining some new respect for him. "Aang, you get to flirt with Zuko. AND, to make it a little more interesting, if you can tease him to the point where he gets aroused, I'll start teaching you Metalbending."
"Really?" Aang gasped in shock. Toph had been dragging her feet on teaching him Metalbending ever since he'd mastered normal Earthbending. She was reluctant to give up her title as the only Metalbender in the world. "Okay… I'll try."
"Don't worry, Twinkletoes, he doesn't like you like that, so he's not going to jump on you or anything."
"That's not what I was thinking about." Aang said. "How are you going to be able to tell if he… well…"
"Earthbending vision, Twinkletoes." Toph said.
"Oh." Aang said, and then he heated up. "You mean you can tell when…"
"Go get 'em!" Toph said, flashing him a smile.
Aang turned to face Katara and pulled her into a deeply passionate kiss. After a few moments, they pulled apart and he walked back into the council room, while Toph, Katara, and Sokka hid around the door.
Zuko took no notice of Aang stepping into the room, nor when he took a seat right next to his chair. He was too busy studying the papers in front of him.
"Are you still working on that?" Aang asked suddenly. "You know, you really shouldn't overwork yourself like this."
Zuko sighed. "You know that it has to get done, Aang. No matter how bored we are."
"Yes, I do know that." Aang said. "But that doesn't mean that our work has to dominate our lives. We shouldn't let stupid stuff like that get in the way of living."
Zuko glanced at Aang, but couldn't quite place the look that the young Avatar was giving him, his eyes half-lidded and a soft smile on his face. His first thought was that Aang had gotten drunk, maybe because of the stupid dare challenges that he and the others were doing. "Are you drunk?" He asked.
"No, I'm not drunk. I'm completely sober and clear-headed." Aang said. "My judgment is not clouded, and I know what I want." Suddenly, he leaned in towards Zuko so that their faces were only about an inch apart. "The question is, what do you want, Zuko?"
Zuko pulled away from him. "I think I want you out of my personal space. You're acting really weird, Aang."
"Or maybe I'm finally being myself." Aang whispered, stealthily placing his hand on Zuko's thigh. Zuko definitely noticed that and stared at Aang in shock. He seemed to be completely frozen. "Come on, Zuko… let's have some fun. Aren't you at least curious?"
"Um… Katara…" Zuko spoke slowly like he was broken.
"She's nice, but I'm curious in a way that she cannot satisfy." Aang replied, actually daring to bring his hand a little higher up on Zuko's thigh and brush a soft kiss to Zuko's jaw line.
It was at that moment that Zuko apparently decided that he couldn't take anymore. He stood up abruptly, taking a few steps away from Aang. "Look… I don't know what sort of liquor or cactus juice that you've been drinking, but don't come near me again until it's worn off, okay?" Without another word or another glance at the young Avatar, Zuko stalked off.
Aang remained where he was seated; a little shocked at what he'd just done. Toph, Katara, and Sokka came out from behind the door. Toph looked on the verge of laughing; Katara had a bright blush across her face, while Sokka looked like he was going to be sick.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you really do have feelings for him." Sokka gasped in horror. "I don't know how you managed to do that!"
"Oh… yeah… that was totally disgusting." Katara whispered, and Aang couldn't help but think that she was lying. It only took Toph to confirm it.
"Liar." Toph laughed at Katara. "You were totally turned on by Aang's hot male-on-male flirting!" Katara blushed harder. "Oh, by the way, Twinkletoes…" Toph paused. "You start Metalbending at the end of the week."
For a while, Aang stared. "You mean I actually managed to…?" And then he trailed off. "Okay, I don't know if I should be flattered or disgusted."
"Try flattered." Toph said, with a shrug. "Sugar Queen certainly enjoyed the whole thing."
"Toph!" Katara hissed.
"What? It's true!" Toph laughed. "Ohhh! Sugar Queen likes her some man-on-man action!"
"That's it, Toph! You are so dead when it's my turn!" Katara hissed.
LES: Chicken Count:
Aang: 3 Chickens
Sokka: 3 Chickens
Katara: 3 Chickens
Toph: 3 Chickens
LES: I took a perverse pleasure in writing this. I'm not a Zukaang shipper by any stretch of the term, but I think it's a great crack ship! (In this case, crack ship is a compliment.) I flip-flopped on Aang's little kiss, but in the end, I decided to just do it.