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Chapter Fifty-Six: Daanger Ahead
She hums to herself as she works, preferring to stir the soup in the pot with Waterbending instead of with a ladle, her right hand making a circle over the liquid. A sweet melody. A lullaby.
"Hi Katara. That's a pretty song."
Her head snaps up so swiftly she fears it might have broken. "Hi, Aang." She blushes. "I guess it is."
He scratches his head, pausing for a moment, as if still unused to the crop of brownish hair; she notices that he is holding an umbrella in his hands, and she raises an eyebrow. "I think your voice is beautiful," he blurts out, "just like the rest of you."
She notes his deep blush. "Aw, thanks Aang. Have you seen Toph and Sokka?"
He blinks, settling down across from her. "Not all morning. I think they went fishing or something. The soup smells nice." His dark gray eyes narrow suspiciously. "There's no meat in it, is there?"
"No," she answers, "but I was going to put some in just for you, since I know how much you love meat. So, what's the umbrella for?"
His guilty expression is all she needs to laugh. "This?" he asks. His voice trails off, and he slowly rotates around the pot, edging closer and closer to her. "Nothing."
Flashing a smile, he opens it, wedging the handle between his thigh and hers, and she suddenly realizes just how close he is.
Our legs are touching, she thinks faintly. He rests his chin on her shoulder. Tiny alarm bells go off inside of her mind. This . . . isn't . . . good . . .
She can't think. His warm breath tickles the inside of her ear, and it takes all of her concentration to keep stirring the pot. "Aang, I'm making soup," she warns, "so unless you want fish for dinner."
She is so close that she can see the details of his arrow; the edges aren't perfectly smooth, but rounded, a little blurred almost. It's not perfect. No one's perfect. She's not perfect. She's allowed to make mistakes.
He gazes at her behind half-closed lids. "The soup can wait," he murmurs, his hand creeping along the side of her leg to intertwine his fingers with hers, and she completely loses her focus, enjoying the feel of his thumb stroking her palm. "Hi," he breathes.
"Hi," she whispers. This is dangerous. She giggles. No, it's daangerous. He grins, and she leans in, closing her eyes . . .
He abruptly pulls away, his cheeks colored scarlet; the umbrella falls to the ground. "Uh, I think the soup's burning or something," he stammers, pulling the collar of his shirt over his head.
She tilts her head and smiles, her cheeks awash with fire as she continues to stir the soup. "So what was the umbrella for?"
He glances back at her. "Oh, uh. Nothing."
"That was some nothing," she teases, and he blushes fiercely.
Definitely some nothing.
Daanger ahead . . . oh how I wanted to put that as the title . . .
Update: As of 7:27 EDT 23/08/11, it has been renamed. =3
That melody she's humming? [sings] "Winter . . . spring . . . summer and fall . . . winter . . . spring . . . summer and fall . . ."
"He scratches his head, pausing for a moment, as if still unused to the crop of brownish hair;" -> Heh, heh, food joke. Anyway, that's how I would feel if I were to suddenly have hair.
"Pulling the collar of his shirt over his head." -> No, he didn't remove his shirt . . . good grief. He just pulled the collar over his head . . . as in to hide behind it.
One of my beta readers - not Vulmen, if you're curious - thought that the chapter created a perverse atmosphere without actually being perverse. What do you guys think?
Yes, I will rename it. But not right now. =P
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