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Chapter Seventy-Nine: Starvation
"Katara . . . what is it?"
The words float through the air like clouds, and he wonders if she will ever answer. Her face . . . she's blushing, just the barest hint of a blush.
She turns away from him. "I was thinking . . . the curse says we'll be trapped in here forever unless we trust in love."
"Right . . ."
She raises her torch so that the light flickers on the walls. "And here it says, Love is brightest in the dark, and . . ." She raises her head just slightly, but he can't see her eyes. She's not meeting his gaze. ". . . has a picture of them kissing."
He blinks slowly. What? What about it? "Where are you going with this?"
She doesn't look at him . . . but somehow, she does. She looks through him. Into his soul.
"Well . . ." He hears her inspiration. "What if we kissed?"
Her expression is one of longing, of needing, of wanting. The faint blush solidifies, turning from a hazy pink just barely there to a full sea of scarlet, covering her cheeks, and the firelight reflects from her eyes.
He stands there, frozen, and it feels as if his feet have grown roots.
By the time he finds his tongue, his heart is beating. So loudly. So swiftly.
"Us . . . kissing," he murmurs.
She turns away from him. "See? It was a crazy idea."
He can't help it; his eyes close halfway, and he can't keep himself upright. His legs grow weak and wobble like jelly. "Us . . . kissing . . ."
"Us kissing." She laughs nervously. "What was I thinking?! Can you imagine that?"
Oh? What? He blinks again. "Yeah!" He points at her. "I definitely wouldn't want to kiss you!"
A split second of sound.
"Oh, well, I didn't realize it was such a horrible option." Her eyes narrow and darken in her fury and humiliation. "Sorry I suggested it!"
He attempts to backtrack, and he knows how desperate he sounds. "No, no, I mean . . . if there was a choice between kissing you and dying—"
She huffs in anger and turns away.
Why can't I get this right?!
He takes as many steps towards her as he dares and raises himself slightly to look over her shoulder. "What I'm saying is I'd rather kiss you than die!" He puts his hands together and shakes them. "That's a compliment!"
She whips towards him, her clear blue eyes a stormy navy. Slapping the torch into his hand, she speaks with the wrath of a thousand swarms of cricket locusts. "Well, I'm not sure which I'd rather do!" Swiveling on her heel, carrying a gale behind her, she storms off.
He watches her leave; his heartstrings tremble on a minor do and silence themselves.
His words echo his feeling of hopelessness.
"What is wrong with me?"
If you don't see how the theme fits, well, you're not looking hard enough. They're each starving for affection . . . but they can't quite put their thoughts into words. If that doesn't make sense . . . then you don't make sense, my friend.
This chapter was originally going to be Light, and Light was originally going to be Dark, but then I had a better idea.
"His legs grow weak and wobble like jelly." -> This would be an Artemis Fowl reference, if you squint.
"He blinks slowly. What? What about it? "Where are you going with this?"" -> Really, Aang? Really?
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