“Okay- we still have some of the produce I bought yesterday, about a pound of seal jerky, I refilled all the water jugs,” Katara paced back and forth, ticking off items on her fingers, “So Aang, you boarded the windows and picked up candles and firewood, right?”
A puff of air pushed Aang into an upright position on the couch. “Wait- you got the jerky and water? I thought that was my job!”
Katara stopped in her tracks. “Do you mean that we have seal jerky to last us a month but nothing for a fire?”
Aang flashed a smile, holding a flame above his fingers as he snapped. “Hey, I got your fire right here-” Before he even finished he was waving away her reprimands.
“Aang, I’m serious,” Katara’s brow pinched, “You were supposed to go to Cho’s after the council meeting while I was in Yu Dao!” A sudden slamming at their window made the pair jump. Katara bit her lip, “That must be the shutter, the storm must’ve started early-”
Five minutes late found them standing in what was already driving rain, Aang perched precariously on a ladder as Katara tried to keep them dry. “Why didn’t I learn metalbending?” He called against the howling wind, struggling to drive the iron nails into the shutters.
Eventually they clamored into the foyer of the apartment building, sitting heavily on the stairs that led to their rooms. Katara tsked, moving to stand up again. She didn’t bother hiding the annoyance in her voice. “I guess I should go out and get the wood-”
Aang hopped up, pulling the hood of his cloak over his head as he rambled, “No, no, I’ll get it, this is my fault anyway, just go upstairs, I’ll be back in two shakes of a rabaroo’s tail, if the storm sweeps me away just start cracking icebergs love you honey!” He kissed her cheek and slipped back out into the swirling gray street. Katara stood huffing for a second before she stomped back upstairs.
It had been awhile. Too long, right? No, Cho’s was pretty far. But not that far. But the weather would slow him down. But this slow? Katara bit her lip, continually glancing at the windows she knew were boarded up. She wouldn’t even have to be worried if he had just remembered what she told him! Right?
She squeaked when the door burst open and Aang, soaked despite his best efforts, trudged into the living room. “The wood’s dry,” he said with a smile, pulling aside his cloak and setting the pile of firewood on the floor.
She bit her lip, trying to look miffed for a moment before she sighed and wrapped her arms around him. “No more going outside, okay? We’re officially trapped.”
“I’m sorry, Katara.” Aang kissed the top of her head. “And sorry again, I got you all wet!” He pulled away from her, holding the dripping ends of his cloak at arm’s length.
She looked down at her dampened dress with a raised brow. “Nothing we can do about that, huh?” She pulled water droplets from the fabric, playfully flicking them at Aang’s face. “Get changed, and then come help me in the kitchen.”
Outside thunder and lightening tore through the sky, but their kitchen was still and cozy, the soft whispering of candles echoing the chowder that bubbled on the stove. Katara stood with an arm threaded around Aang’s waist as he swirled his hand over the pot. “-but I guess it’s lucky this storm cancelled tomorrow’s meeting, now I can get a headstart on some of my paperwork,” Aang was saying.
Katara smacked her forehead, “I can’t believe I forgot! The deadline for that proposal I was telling you about got moved up, it’s due next week!”
Aang glanced at her with half a smile. “Adulthood, right?”
“Adulthood,” Katara echoed, gazing into the simmering pot. Suddenly her hand tapped his chest, “I have an idea! You keep on dinner- don’t come into the den!”
Aang fought against his curiosity as a cacophony of sounds drifted in from the den- a soft scratching sound, heaving grunts, a heavy thud. He was ladling the soup into two bowls when he finally heard the call, “Aang, come in!”
He hurried into the living room, bowls in hand, to find Katara standing triumphantly in the center of the room. She wiggled her eyebrows, pointing to what looked like their overturned couch covered in every pelt they owned. “Is that a…fort?” He asked, unable to keep the grin from his face.
“Loosely based on traditional Southern Water Tribe Blizzard-Survival designs,” she winked, “Sokka and I had to get creative all those winters at Gran Gran’s. What do you think?“
Aang laughed heartily, handing Katara her dinner, “There’s nowhere else I’d like to do paper work with you.” He leaned in to kiss her before crouching at the fireplace, holding his hands over the logs until they caught fire.
Katara and Aang settled cross-legged onto a pelt, leaning into each other as they appreciated the glowing fire. The windows rattled faintly with the wind, but their sound was masked by the crackling flames and the murmuring conversation.