|More from Theavatardemotivator||Romance||G||Very Positive|
Chapter Ninety-Five: Together
I'm such an idiot.
I can't believe I just . . . left her like that.
She thought I abandoned her.
She must have . . .
He notices how badly his arms are shaking and how white his knuckles are as he grasps Appa's saddle. Zuko flicks the reigns again, and he can feel the sky bison descend.
"Be careful," warns Zuko. "Katara's just been through a lot. I told you what—"
But he isn't listening. How can he listen, when he has abandoned her? When he has made her suffer, made her think that he was gone, made her think that the world would soon be destroyed in a great torrent of flame and fire?
With his seismic sense, he feels her approach, and though he cannot see well in the moonlight, he knows where she is, and he drops to the ground just in front of her, sliding the last few inches on his knees, and embraces her around her middle, his hot tears wetting her clothing.
"KataraI'msosorryIshouldn'thaveleftit'sallmyfaultI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry," he mumbles, and he hears—no, feels—her fall to the floor beside him and fling her arms around him.
"Oh . . . Aang . . . what—what happened? They told me you faced Ozai—what happened?" she inquires, and he can feel her heart pulsating against his.
"I . . . I faced the Fire—Phoenix King," he explains slowly, carefully, deliberately. "I took away his bending, Katara. I'm a fully realized Avatar now! But that doesn't matter. Zuko told me what you did—Katara, I'm sorry." He pulls away from her and leans over, placing his forehead against the cool stone. "I shouldn't have left. I abandoned you. I abandoned everyone! I didn't mean to leave—the island called to me—but I'm such an idiot. I just left, and then I—"
He feels her place her hand, so cool against his heated skin, onto his cheek and gently draw his head up until he is gazing into her eyes.
"Katara . . ." he breathes.
She embraces him again. "I don't care, Aang. All that matters is you're here, and you're safe. That's all that matters. Are you okay? Are you injured? Do you need a healing?"
He rubs one finger over the skin on his forearm. "I don't know. The Avatar State just seemed to sort of . . . heal me. I can't really explain it, Katara, but—you forgive me?"
She laughs, and her laughter is music to his ears, a melody for him alone.
"Forgive me?" she echoes. "Aang, there was never anything to forgive. You did it. You beat the Phoenix King. You saved the world!"
"I couldn't protect you from Azula," he mumbles, but she shakes her head.
"No, Aang. Don't."
He struggles for words, and he cannot think of anything to say but one line:
"I love you."
He hears her sharp inspiration.
"I love you, too."
This is my condensed-Reunion-in-a-can. Enjoy.
"I'm such an idiot.
"I can't believe I just . . . left her like that.
"She thought I abandoned her.
"She must have . . ." -> Fact. Solid. Fact. He totally thought this.
""KataraI'msosorryIshouldn'thaveleftit'sallmyfaultI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry,"" -> I love these one-breath-quotes.
"so cool against his heated skin," -> This is a reference to The Thing that Sucks about Being a Monk", a one-shot Kataang fanon I wrote . . . which will never be on the Wiki. Hah!
"Do you need a healing?" -> [cough] There's this DeviantArt, and it's -
"The Avatar State just seemed to sort of . . . heal me." -> No, seriously, what the monkeyfeathers? He was all like scratched up and then nothing?
"He hears her sharp inspiration." -> Yes, that's inspiration. Do not chaange it. Look up the alternate meaning of inspiration.
This theme is actually supposed to be, mm, "Advertisement", but I said: "Suck it!" Here's the original version of the chapter:
Chapter Ninety-Five: Advertisement
"Aang . . . I don't know about this. Can we skip the festival?" Her voice quivers. "Really? We're just going to skip? If we leave now, we'll only be a few minutes late. It'll be okay."
He shakes his head and takes her hand. "It's okay. Come on. Don't you trust this face?"
She laughs. "Okay, but how are we going to—"
He walks forward, and she pauses in midsentence as she hurries to catch up with him. Airbending the door open, he gestures to the balcony outside. "I think that answers all your questions, right?"
Propped up against the railing are two gliders. One of them is a simple stick, and she knows that it will open into an orange fan. That's the glider Aang made for himself after the War, she realizes.
But the other one?
It's green and large, with a rail at the bottom clearly one meant for hanging on.
Is that the one from the . . . from the Northern Air Temple? "Aang . . . what's that? Is that . . . is that what I think it is?" She glances at him, and she notices how goofy and wide his grin is. "Is that a glider, Aang? The glider that Teo showed me how to use?"
He nods eagerly. "Yeah! I was thinking that maybe we could go glide together, because, see, there's something that I sort of want to show you." He blushes fiercely, and she tilts her head to one side and lowers her eyelids halfway. "Want to be a flying fish?" He pauses. "I mean . . . you're like a fish . . . you know, like Waterbending? And I'm like a bird—Airbending? But then there are flying fish. So do you want to be a flying fish?"
She blinks. "Do I want to be a flying fish?"
"Not literally!" His eyes are large and pleading. "Please?"
She nods. "Well, okay, but—" He grabs her wrist and forces her onto the glider.
"Come on come on come on come on come on!" he cries, and he Airbends her clear off of the balcony.
She screams and tries to right herself, but the air currents push her this way and that, and she hangs on for dear life.
"Come on, Katara! Just feel the wind. Don't fight it. Feel it!" he says encouragingly. "Hey, what's that in the clouds?"
She glances up. "What? I don't see anything!"
"Look!" He points. "Over there! It looks like someone's advertising something. Let's take a look!"
He Airbends her towards him, and she can faintly read something in the clouds themselves.
She blinks. "What is—oh."
I love you so much, and I don't know what I'd do without you 'cause my life wouldn't make any sense. Love, Aang.
She turns to glance at the young Airbender soaring next to her, and he blushes fiercely again. She smiles.
"Oh, Aang . . ."
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