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Chapter Sixty: Rejection
"Katara . . . did you really mean what you said in there?" He frowns and folds his arms over his chest, leaning against the metal railing. Did she . . . ?
She tilts her head and gazes at him, and the sight of her sapphire eyes, like jewels, tear into his soul. "In where? What are you talking about?"
He stares at her and blinks. "On stage . . ." His hand spasms into a fist. "When you said I was just like a brother to you . . ." He flings his arm towards the door. "And you didn't have . . ." He lowers his gaze, his hand pressed against his heart. "Feelings for me."
"I didn't say that." She turns towards him. "An actor said that." She rubs her elbow almost nervously.
He glances up at her, and his eyebrows slant into an upside-down-V. "But it's true, isn't it?" he chokes out. "We kissed at the invasion . . . and I thought we were going to be together . . ." His voice is barely above a whisper. ". . . but we're not. "
She shakes her head, gazing out into the sea, rising and falling with her breaths. "Aang, I don't know."
"Why don't you know?!" he growls, his anger rising.
"Because we're in the middle of a war," she explains, an uncharacteristic worry in her voice, almost as if she is thinking of things past, "and we have other things to worry about. This isn't the right time."
He feels like breathing fire. "Well, when is the right time?!"
Is there ever a right time?!
Katara, don't you understand?!
I could die . . .
But I love you.
I . . . I love you, Katara.
Or maybe you do understand.
"Aang, I'm sorry," she whispers, one hand fluttering over her hair, in a Fire Nation style, "but right now I'm just a little confused."
Or maybe you understand, he muses again, and inside, his heart is breaking, cracking, shattered into a thousand pieces.
Maybe you do understand.
I could die.
You don't want to get attached.
He takes a deep breath.
Now or nothing, Aang. You can do this.
He raises himself onto the tips of his toes, leans forward, and gently brushes his lips over hers.
She pulls away roughly, opening her eyes, her brow furrowed.
"I just said that I was confused!" she snaps and turns away, her eyes dark with anger. "I'm going inside."
He lifts a hand, able to speak, but she is already gone. Angrily glaring at the ocean as if is its fault, he brings his knuckles to his forehead and hits himself.
He hits his head against the railing. "I'm such an idiot!" he roars, and his heart is busily ripping itself into pieces.
He hits it again and again, each time more painful than the last.
You're definitely going to see a lot of chapters from Book 3 and beyond, other than the four parts of the song arc. I really started to dig in here . . . or maybe not. [facepalm]
So here's the scene that some people have been asking me to write for a while. I considered writing it from Katara's POV, but . . . uh . . . this might sound weird, but . . . I could perfectly visualize it from Aang's POV - from the guy's - but not from Katara's . . . I don't know what that says about me.
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