A/N: Zuko and Katara team up to convince Aang to get some rest.
"Really, Aang, you should get some sleep. You've been flying Appa since the moment we left. I can take over for the next few hours, it's no problem. I know the way..."
Two worried faces were watching him as Aang turned around, swaying a little from weariness. Zuko had spoken, while Katara nodded in agreement. They'd just taken a short break and the young Avatar had automatically resumed his place on Appa's head when Zuko had drawn his attention.
Aang frowned. He had noticed that Zuko and Katara were teaming up quite often lately, and for some reason he didn't like it.
Still hesitating, he was finally convinced by the prospect of getting a couple of hours of sleep next to Katara.
"Let the man give up his night's rest if he wants it so badly, Aang," Sokka yawned, definitely not willing to give his up. "We need you in good condition anyway, if you want to stand a chance against the Fire Lord."
Aang's face fell, and Katara shot Sokka a murderous look.
"What?" Sokka responded while trying to climb on Appa.
For some reason, he failed miserably and yelped as he landed miserably at Toph's feet. As quickly as it had appeared, the stone column disappeared into the ground again. Toph smiled serenely.
The sky bison silently sailed through the calm night sky as the little group on his back slept peacefully.
Sokka was stuck between Suki and Toph with his mouth hanging open, while his head rested on the edge of the saddle. Next to him, a green bag with long white ears moved slightly with the even breathing of a sleeping Momo. Aang had made use of the opportunity to snuggle into Katara, curled up like a shrimp, his head resting on her waist. Her arm lay loosely around Aang's shoulder.
The only person awake sat on Appa's head, holding the reins, the bright red of his clothing having turned into a murky brown in the night's sky, his hair billowing in the air current Appa created.
Occasionally, Zuko would put his hand on Appa's fur and pet him while mumbling inaudible words to the bison. Appa sometimes responded with a gentle rumble deep in his throat. He had become quite fond of the young firebender.
Unbeknownst to Zuko, his voice woke Katara from her sleep when the moon rose to its highest point. She blinked and looked down, a little panic coming over her when she saw Aang sleeping peacefully next to her, instead of holding the reins. Alarmed, she looked up to see Zuko's relaxed silhouette on Appa's head, standing out against the gentle moonlight. Then she remembered.
Katara let out a trembling breath and rested her chin on the edge of the saddle, silently observing the unusual sight of their former enemy flying Appa, as the bison's smooth movements lulled her back to sleep again. Vaguely, she noted that the Fire Prince looked quite handsome, an observation she had made before but had buried when he had betrayed them. But since he'd made things up to her, her interest in him was growing as rapidly as her appreciation for him, if not quicker. The last thing she noticed was Zuko looking over his shoulder and giving her a bright smile when he met her gaze. He whispered something to Appa she couldn't hear and the sky bison rumbled softly in response. She didn't know why her heart skipped a beat at the sight, but she resolved to ask him what he'd told the bison when they had reached their destination.
Katara fell asleep with her chin still resting on the edge of the saddle and her wavy hair sprawled around her. A smile lingered on her lips as she drifted away and Appa, guided by Zuko, carried them to safer places.