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A Bird Could Love a Fish



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ABCLAF Logo This Kataang one-shot takes place in The Headband.

Chapter Seventy-Seven: Test

This is it, Aang. It's now . . . or never. You just have to tell her how you feel, Aang. Come on! You can do it!

He waves to some of the assembled students before gracefully making his way towards the table where she sits. She seems to be so alone, so fragile, as if a single word will shatter her presence forever.

He loves her.

She appears unreal. The world falls away. The entire room? Gone.

Just him.

And her.

The ultimate test.

He walks up to her and grins. Resting his weight on his right foot, he offers her his hand.

She finally notices him, and she seems surprised.

Is that a good thing?

You have act . . . No. This isn't an act. You just have to be yourself.

Just be yourself.

"I don't know, Aang . . ." She tugs on her hair. "These shoes aren't really right for dancing, and I'm not sure that I know how to . . ."

He smiles, and every single word of eloquence he knows is vested upon the next phrase that tumbles out of his mouth and hangs in the air:

"Take my hand."

She inhales.


And that single word, spoken in such a melodious voice, is all he needs to hear.

His heartstrings sing with the beauty of the moment. He gently takes her hand and leads her onto the dance floor; his heart pounds, and he knows that his palm is slick with sweat. He tips forward and whispers into her ear, noticing how his breath stirs the hairs along the back of her neck. "So I was thinking that we could do a combination of some Water Tribe traditional dancing—they don't know it, so it doesn't matter if we mess up—and some Waterbending drills, okay?" She nods. "Follow my lead."

He moves away from her and holds out his arm. She hesitates, but then she touches her wrist to his. Ooh, I thought she'd hold my hand. But that's okay.

He begins to move in an arc. A circle. The others are watching.

Let them watch.

I want everyone to know how much I love her.

His heartstrings sing on, a romantic melody.

"Aang . . ." she whispers, her voice trembling, "everyone's watching."

He smiles suavely, raising an eyebrow, and puts every bit of persuasion he can muster into his voice.

"Don't worry about them." The ultimate test. How is she going to react? This'll tell me everything . . . but whose test is it? He grins confidently. "It's just you and me right now."

She blushes, blinks, and smiles.

That smile.

The smile he fell in love with.

It warms him as Firebending never will.

He resists the sudden urge to kiss her passionately, as she has never been kissed before.

But her smile . . . so innocent . . .

And in that instant, he knows that he has passed her test.


Yes! Finally! The chapter we've all been waiting for!

Er, for which we've all been waiting.

"But her smile . . . so innocent . . ." -> Not so innocent, actually.

"It warms him as Firebending never will." -> You know what this is? I just realized it doubles as a Zukaang jab. [facepalm]

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