He walked to the window, which he opened to reveal a small but cosy balcony with a straw chair decayed by time. Its view was amazing; the sea expanding its the way through the horizon with the circular and full moon reflected on the water just like a mirror. It was a breathtaking sight and he wished he was sharing that with the same girl who just kissed his cheek goodnight.
“Hey, can’t sleep?” a voice at his right said and he jumped, screaming as he turned to the person on the balcony next to him.
“Zuko?Spirits, you scared the hell out of me.” Aang said with his hand on his chest feeling his heart beating so fast he thought it could jump right out of it.
Zuko was sitting comfortably on a very similar straw chair, his legs stretched and over the handrail and his arms crossed behind his head.
“Sorry.” Zuko said smiling at his reaction. “Having problems sleeping?”
“Sort of…” Aang answered looking at the moon and his hand begun stroking Momo’s head. “I guess I’m just not tired enough to sleep.”
“I understand you.”
“What about you? Can’t sleep either?”
“My mind is just swirling around making it difficult to shut my eyes close and sleep.” He answered and his eyes were unfocused on something deep within his mind. For a moment his comfortable position was shaken by an involuntary shiver. “That play got me thinking.”
“I know what you mean.” Aang felt Katara’s kiss on his cheek.
“Got you thinking too, hum? About what?” Zuko asked curious, observing Aang with an anxious expression that made him feel slightly uncomfortable.
“Nothing special.” He answered quickly. “Just stuff…”
“It’s Katara, right?” he asked cautiously and Aang felt his cheeks burn and butterflies fly on his stomach. He didn’t answer, just stood there observing the moon silently as Zuko stood up. “That play turned us into some kind of pathetic characters, didn’t it?”
He felt Zuko’s eyes on him, impatiently waiting for a reply that he didn’t gave. Zuko had touched a crucial point of the play he didn’t wanted to remember, despite the fact it was that particular thing that made him act like an idiot that night.
Zuko exhaled sonorously and from the corner of his eye, Aang saw him look at the moon as well, his left and burnt golden eye shining.
“You know, I can’t blame Katara for not accepting me in the group straight away. I did betray her… I hurt her back in Ba Sing Se when Azula shoot you.”
The memories of that terrible day when he was shot by Azula’s lightning made him shiver. He had died briefly before being rescued by Katara, her blue eyes and beautiful face the first thing he saw when he returned from the death.
“In that moment I saw how much she cared for you, loved you. She took you in her arms and her tears were filled with pain, loss and something else I didn’t know.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Aang asked facing Zuko, his words ringing loudly in his ears, each one bringing a new sensation of vertigo to him. He was hoping, praying that his words were true.
Zuko turned to face him, a small smile on his lips and his eyes compassionate and understanding.
“Because I want you know that I never saw Katara the same way you do. For me she’s just a friend. But for you, she’s more than that.”
Aang remained there looking at Zuko, his gray eyes searching for a hint on his face, something that would tell him that he was mocking him. But somehow he felt that his firebending master was helping him, telling him silently what he needed to do to redeem himself.
“I love her.” Aang said in a whisper lowering his head and looking at the balcony wooden floor.
“And I know she loves you.” Zuko reassured him.
Aang lifted his head in time to see Zuko disappear through his window door, closing it behind him and pushing the red blood curtains.
Then, as Momo flew from his shoulder into the night, he gathered his strength and entered his bedroom, each step now closer to his door and a new feeling of determination bloomed inside him.