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|A Friends' Departure|
March 5, 2012
Start of Series
A young man and woman sat next to one another on a grassy hill. Together they watched the sun set into the ocean. The young man, about sixteen-years-old, smiled as he draped a bare arm over the woman's, about 15-years-old, shoulder. The woman smiled as she leaned up and kissed the man's cheek, then cuddled against his chest. "Hey Zhu can I ask you something?" she asked.
"Of course Sifa." The young man replied. "What is it?"
Sifa looked up into Zhuyi's emerald eyes gently touched his cheek. "Do you think we'll ever drift apart?" Zhuyi blinked twice at his girlfriend's question, then he started chuckling believing she was kidding. When her green eyes narrowed hostilely at him he quickly stopped and gazed at her beautiful face.
"Why would you ask such a thing?" he asked her, a hint of concern creeping into his voice. Then he groaned as he slapped his forehead, "It's Zhong isn't it? I knew it, that sneaky, conniving little..."
"No, no it's not Zhong." Sifa assured, slightly amused that he still believed his best friend was trying to steal his girl. "It's just that you'll be leaving soon and I thought that maybe you'd want to put us on hold or something so you wouldn't feel guilty if you... well you know."
Zhuyi gently lifted Sifa's chin and passionately kissed her. Sifa ran her hands through Zhuyi's dark brown hair as she returned his kiss. When they separated Sifa took a moment to catch her breath as Zhuyi cupped her face in his hands. "Sifa, there's no other girl in all the four nations like you. You're the only one for me." Sifa blushed as Zhuyi reached into his backpack and removed a medium-sized stone. Sifa watched as Zhuyi used his earthbending to shift the round stone into a heart and handed it to her. "Here take this."
"Why?" she asked taking the stone heart from Zhuyi's hand. She gave a quick yelp at the stones unexpected heat. A heat stone, a rare type of rock found only near active volcanoes. They were often gathered for spa treatments due to their constant warmth.
Zhuyi smiled at her mild surprise, "As long as that stone is warm, my heart will be yours."
"This is a heat stone Zhu." Sifa told him, "These things are always warm."
"That's the point." Zhuyi replied smiling before kissing Sifa once again.
"Avatar Zhuyi, it is time to depart!" a voice called from the bottom of the hill. The two looked down to see Wong, a tall bald man dressed in dark green robes, waiting impatiently for Zhuyi to come down. Zhuyi groaned as he stood up with his backpack and started down the hill.
"Zhu, wait!" Sifa cried, rushing down the hill after him. The young Avatar turned as Sifa threw her arms around his neck and madly kissed him.
"Avatar Zhuyi." Wong uttered trying to interrupt the two lovers. The two just ignored him as they separated a moment to catch their breaths then were at it again. "Avatar." Wong pressed.
Finally the two separated, "Yeah, just go on a head Wong, I'll catch up." The bald man rolled his eyes and started walking towards the port. "Well I'm off to become the most powerful man on the planet." He joked, planting one last kiss on her brow.
"Zhong has a surprise for you at the docks." Sifa announced as she and Zhuyi started walking towards the port town Peiqui, hand in hand.
"I don't think I can take many more surprises." Zhuyi commented reflecting on how much his life had changed after just a few surprises.
"Well there's Wong. Now where's Zhu?" a young man commented as he lazily leaned against a wall. He was dressed in black and green robes, with the addition of a black conical hat that shielded his eyes from the sun. As Wong came closer the young man straightened up and walked towards his teacher. "Master."
"Zhong, where've you been?" the bald man asked his apprentice. The young man adjusted his hat and smirked at his master before he gestured to a moderately large crate behind him.
"I had to pick something up for the Avatar." He explained. "Speaking of which where is he?"
"I'm over here Zhong." The Avatar's voice called. Zhong and Wong turned to see Zhuyi walking up to them with Sifa next to him. As always Zhong's heart rate spiked upon seeing Sifa and the young man was reminded why he and Zhuyi would damn near kill one another in their fights for her.
"Hello Zhu." Zhong greeted extending his hand, "Or do you go by 'Oh Great and Powerful Master of all Elements Avatar Zhuyi' now?"
"Only to you smart ass." Zhuyi laughed as he took his friends hand, "So Sifa tells me you have a surprise for me."
Zhong gestured to the crate resting by the wall, "It's in there. Just be careful, it's been a couple of hours since I boxed it up. It may be a bit... unhappy."
Zhuyi glanced nervously at the crate, but approached it casually nonetheless. Zhong and Sifa giggled lightly as the young Avatar unlatched the crate's lid and stepped to the side as the lid fell to the floor. Zhuyi peered into the shadow filled crate, making out the slight silhouette of something inside. Suddenly something shot out of the crate and tackled Zhuyi to the ground. Zhong laughed as Sifa covered her mouth in concern, the young Avatar found himself staring into the blind eyes of a badgermole cub. The cub bared its fangs as it tentatively sniffed Zhuyi with its nose.
"Alright Baby, you can get off him now." Zhong called, prompting the small beast to turn its head slightly before returning its blind gaze to the Avatar and giving him a small lick on his cheek.
"Aw, isn't that sweet? She loves you." Sifa teased as she helped Zhuyi get the cub off his chest. "So what are you gonna name her?"
"Name her?" Zhuyi echoed casting a confused glance at Sifa and Zhong.
"Well yeah every Avatar needs an animal traveling companion." Zhong commented, "And she needs a better name than Baby."
Zhuyi looked at the badgermole cub as she rubbed her heavy body against his leg. "How about Huan girl? Do you like that name?" The badgermole barked happily as she thrust her head into Zhuyi's palm.
"Avatar, the Captain's waiting for you!" Wong called from the ships boarding ramp.
The three all looked at each other. "Well I guess this is last time I'll see you guys until I'm a fully realized Avatar." Zhuyi lamented.
"Looks like it." Zhong agreed before extending his hand. Zhuyi took his hand and they both squeezed before pulling each other into a hug. "Take care of yourself out there man."
"And you watch yourself here bro." Zhuyi said before pulling away and turning to Sifa. "Wait for me Sifa. I'll come back for you."
Sifa reached up to wipe away a tear, "I know." The two lovers embraced one another one last time before the Avatar turned and walked up the boarding ramp, the newly named Huan following close behind him. Not long after the ship set sail for the Fire Nation.
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