A/N: Day Four of Kataang Week, and the prompt was 'New Beginnings'. I debated posting all the drabbles I've made so far, but I don't want to wear out my welcome just yet. Thank you so much to all the reviewers and new followers! This one is for you. ~TA
Katara finds she does some of her best thinking late at night, when she's curled up next to her husband, his sweat cooling on her skin.
The restoration of the Air Temples starts with the bedrooms. It seemed practical, at the time, but when Aang spent an inordinate amount of time on the beds and the placement of the baths and types of sheets, Katara had clued in to Aang's intentions.
"You're a dirty old monk," She had teased him, and he had laughed uproariously as he crushed her to his chest.
They've certainly made it worth their money, Katara reflects now, as she stretches languorously on the soft silk. Beside her, Aang is breathing steadily, almost asleep; his eyes are closed, but he tightens his grip around her as she moves, and Katara leans over, resting her chin on his chest and examining his face. The beard she had been so insistent on removing was still there, a dark shadow on the pale moon of his face. The cheekbones were sharper, the jawline, more defined. Avatar Aang had been a handsome boy, a rather attractive teenager, and now, in his early twenties, he was a stunning man.
Katara glances up, smiling when she sees her husband watching her watching him. The grey of his eyes are like molten silver in the half-light, and there's a little smile playing about his lips that make Katara want to kiss him senseless. There's something about Aang's smile that fills you up, bolsters your emotions. Truthfully, there have been very few sad days with Aang.
Her free hand slides across his stomach to wrap around his waist, and her fingers trace a path up his ribs. "You should be sleeping."
"I got distracted." His own hand slides across her bare back, feeling the notches of her spine and gliding up, as light as a feather on silk. She shivers, just slightly, and Aang chuckles.
"We can't have that, Avatar Aang," She tells him, her hand dipping lower, running over his thigh, teasing him with her touches. She can feel his erection press into her leg, and her hand ghosts over the length of it, a promise, nothing more.
Aang's eyes flutter, the lashes sweeping down on cheeks that are now tinged pink, and his breathing speeds up; Katara can feel the beat of his heart, a rapid drumbeat. "You have so many duties to take care of in the morning," She whispers, even though, by now, she's teasing him, and he knows it.
Warm hands encircle her waist, and presses her into the bed, and she smiles up into Aang's face as he is suddenly above her, one hand sliding down her stomach and then cupping her between her legs, a finger tracing lightly over her slit, a smile on his own face as he watches his wife arch up, off the bed. "But I only have one wife," He informs her, replacing his hand with his cock, entering her so deftly, filling her so completely, that she cries out his name before she can stop herself. "I think that's more important, right now."
"Sugar Queen, if you don't sit down, I am going to make you."
Toph reclines easily in her seat, pushing her bangs out of her eyes in a nonchalant kind of way ("Yeah, I'm blind, but it feels annoying, flapping around in my face all the time ") and playing with the meteorite bracelet on her arm. Toph, as a general rule, likes visiting the Western Air Temple. She likes the restorations, likes the memories, likes knowing that Aang has a place to call home. She makes it a point to visit as often as she can, and although Toph will never admit to missing her friends or the adventures they've had, there is a sense of nostalgia in the air whenever she comes by.
What Toph does not like is being woken up at four in the morning by an insistent and irritating Katara.
The aforementioned was pacing the length of the room, wringing her hands clearly nervous about something. Toph, who by all accounts was not a patient person, in terms of social graces, was growing more and more annoyed by the second, as she waited for Katara to divulge what exactly had prompted her to wake Toph up in the first place.
Finally, Katara slowed, halting before Toph, taking in deep breathes, as though to steel herself. "Toph, I ... I really need you to listen to me, okay? I need advice."
"I am literally the worst at this kind of thing. If it involves Twinkletoes, just do a striptease or something, and everything will be fine."
"No, it's not like ... Toph, this is serious!"
At the note of frustration in Katara's voice, Toph sighed, leaning back in her chair and waving her arm, in a gesture indicating for Katara to continue. "Shoot."
"I'm ..." Katara sighed, taking the seat Toph had been trying to steer her into for the past fifteen minutes. "I'm pregnant."
"... Well, it's definitely not mine."
Toph just barely ducks the set of scrolls Katara hurls at her, but she suspects Katara cracked a smile. Even if it was just a little one. "Be serious, Toph! This is a big deal!"
"Yeah, I know . Twinkletoes is going to be a dad. Sokka might die from oogie overload."
"Toph, do you realize how much Aang has on his plate right now? Reconstruction with the Fire Nation, helping the Earth Kingdom claim back their land, restoration of the Air Temples, building up the United City -"
"It's Republic now."
"Dealing with angry - what?"
"Republic. Republic City. Sokka changed the name." Toph shrugged, the meteorite rock turning into the outline of Sokka's form, before being squished back down into some other, unidentifiable shape. "He swears this is the last time, but he said the same thing when he wanted to call it 'Boomerang City'."
"Yeah, well ..." Katara crossed her arms and slouched down in her seat, doing a remarkable imitation of the Earth Bender in one of her mood swings. "Names aside, he's still trying to lay the framework for that, and he doesn't need any more added pressure -"
"Can I make a suggestion here?" Toph interjected, careful to catch Katara before she fell into a full-blown rant. "As much as I appreciate you thinking me worthy of giving you advice on this, I'm the worst person to talk to about it. This is your family, and Aang is the father of that kid, and he should be the one to decide if he has too much on his plate."
Katara wanted to argue; Toph could sense it by the tensing of muscles, the tiny quiver of suppressed frustration that was damn near tangible. Much to Toph's relief, however, Katara rose to her feet, running a hand through slightly bedraggled hair. "Yeah. You're right. I'm sorry for waking you up."
"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be panicking about something else soon enough."
This time, Toph did not duck in time to avoid the book Katara hurled at her.
There was no chance to talk to Aang until early the next morning. She had been afraid that his activities the day before would have worn him out, but Aang was up with the sun, a little weary and a little sore, but awake. She herself woke up to soft kisses travelling down her throat, and she had to smile at the sweet eagerness of her husband.
"You're in a good mood," She remarked as she sat up, kissing him good-morning.
"I woke up next to you, didn't I?" Came the quick, cheerful answer.
"Indeed, you did. How did yesterday go?"
Aang shrugged, stretching his arms above his head, inadvertently showing off his impressive expanse of chest. "All talk and no action, same as always. I wouldn't mind it so much if the discussions actually went somewhere, but all the delegates want to do is point fingers and blame each other. Sokka nearly threw one of the Watertribe representative out the window. My back had seized up from the chair by the time we were done."
"Well, I can take care of that, at least." Katara shifted, putting her hands on Aang's shoulders and pushing him back into a reclining position. "Turn over."
There was a distinct smirk on Aang's face as he complied. "Yes, ma'am."
A light smack to the shoulder caused him to chuckle, which turned into a low moan when he felt her hands move across his back. Katara was wondrous at massages: she always seemed to know exactly where the pain was, and just a few minutes alone with her was enough to melt a person into a puddle of relaxation. Her hands dug deep into the muscles of Aang's, kneading the flesh carefully, pressing against the knots and then rubbing small circles, feeling them pop under her hands and settled into place. His shoulders were particularly knotted, and she rubbed hard with the palms of her hands, feeling the muscles protest at first, then gently release. With each sweep of her hands, Aang let out a soft moan or a little sigh, and sank deeper into the bed.
Katara paused long enough to get comfortable, straddling his back so that she wouldn't pull any of her own joints out of place, before starting work on his spin. Her fingers caressed each nub, feathering out in wide circles, moving from his scar to the edges of his ribs. The sight of the marred flesh on Aang's back always served as a sobering reminder that Aang was, for all his power, mortal. He was a human being, and humans died. Any day now, he could be taken from her.
Her stomach clenched. She would never let him go like that day in Bai Sing Se. Never again.
It was as she was working on the muscles of his lower back, rubbing the line of his arrow up, down, feeling the tension dissipate under her hands - when his breathing was so soft and relaxed that she thought he was asleep - that Katara said, very, very softly, "I'm pregnant, Aang."
The muscles in his back twitched, and then Katara nearly fell off the bed as Aang sprang up, twisting about quick enough to catch her. She squeaked in surprise, fingers digging into his arm, afraid to look into his face, before she realized he was moving.
He was dancing.
He was spinning her around the room, so exuberantly that Katara didn't even touch the ground. He was laughing, too. He was laughing, and grinning, and before she knew it, she was laughing, too. They spun around the room so fast that Katara thought they might have been flying, and they laughed all the while.
Finally, Aang let her down, tumbling down onto the bed and covering her face with kisses, dotting her skin with his adoration. For a minute, Katara let him celebrate, before pulling back and cupping his face with her hands. "I thought you'd be upset," She confessed, deciding to get all of it out now, before Aang really started flying.
"Why would I be upset?" Aang demanded incredulously, snatching at her hand and pressing a kiss to her palm. "This is the best thing you've ever told me, besides 'I do'! How long have you known?"
"About a week." She couldn't help but smile at his expression. "Aang, you're so busy, and there's so much to do -"
"I told you, Katara," Aang interjected, eyes on her face, his tone serious, his expression delighted. "Nothing matters more to me than my family. I think the world will forgive me if I take a little time to raise a few kids."
"Oh, a few , Avatar?" She arched a brow at him, hiding the smile that was threatening to turn into a grin. "Just how many is a few?"
"Oh, you know. One, or two ..." He buried his face in the crook of her neck, kissing her collarbone, where he knew she was sensitive. "Or seven ..."
She laughed, pulling him up to her mouth for a kiss, and then his hand was sliding up her chest, cupping her breast in his hand, and then they were celebrating the creation of one child with the movements used to make it in the first place.
Around noon, they emerged from their rooms, looking a little windswept. Sokka, who had long ago resigned himself to these distressing appearances, merely waved in greeting, turning back to the Pai Sho game Zuko was so clearly beating him at. "What are you smirking at, Toph?" He inquired, studying the board with an increasing sense of desperation.
"She's been doing that all morning." Zuko remarked, throwing a glance over at the girl, then examining the couple coming towards them. "Do those two look ... happier to you?"
"I don't think that's possible." Sokka made his move, paused, and then hastily retracted. "They're already nauseatingly happy."
"Yeah, but I swear, they're both glowing."
"I bet they are," Toph added in a grinning undertone.
"What's that supposed to -"
Sokka was cut off as Aang reached them, throwing his arms around the two men, who immediately started to choke and sputter. "You guys, I have great news! You want to tell them, sweetie?"
"Oh, no, honey, this is all yours." Katara grinned, throwing a wink in Toph's direction.
"I just had lunch!" Sokka complained, trying to wrestle away from Aang's iron grip. "Can we cut the 'sweetie' and 'honey' stuff out until it's at least digested?"
"Sure thing, Uncle Sokka!"
"Yeah, thanks, I - what. WHAT?"
And then they were all shouting, all leaping around the room, and Katara wasn't sure where the congratulations were coming from, but she knew, when she was swept into the group hug, that her baby was coming into the best of families.