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|Book 4: The Avatar - Chapter 3|
October 26, 2014
They had only been traveling for a couple of days, but Suki and the Water Tribe members were already terribly bored of the scenery and the environment on their ship. The sea had been calm and still, but no other sign of life had accompanied them on their journey thus far. No gulls, no whales, the journey had been dull and uneventful.
Katara stood at the front of the ship, leaning forward with her head on her arms. She wondered how Aang was doing, how the meeting was going in Yu Dao, how Aang was coping without her. She was excited to see her father again, and her Gran-Gran, but now she was on the ship headed towards the Southern Water Tribe all she wanted was to be back with Aang. She had to laugh at herself ... how had she become this love struck little girl? When back in the village she had grown up in she planned to ask Master Pakku to start training her again. As much as she adored Aang, she needed her independence back, and to become a Master as great as Pakku. Plus, it would keep her mind off him, she mused bitterly.
She felt someone come up behind her and looked round to see Suki standing there, holding out a sweet bread with a small smile on her face. Katara accepted the bread and smiled back at Suki. "Thank you."
Suki came and stood next to her, leaning onto the walls of the ship and looking out of the sea ahead of them. "Doing okay?"
"Yes I'm fine," Katara replied. "I mean, I miss him. But I'm trying to focus on what's needed of me for now. I'm so worried about Gran-Gran, and that I'm too late to help."
"You're the greatest healer I know, Katara," Suki replied with a smile. "You'll get there in time."
"Yeah, right, I'm the only healer you know," Katara said with a snort. "But thank you, Suki."
They stood in silence for a little longer, eating their bread and staring out over the disturbingly chilled expanse of water ahead of them. They both knew this would be a long journey.
"I guess this is how normal people travel," Katara said with a smile. "You know, people without flying bison and Avatars."
Suki laughed aloud. "Hey, it sucks doesn't it? Bison beats ship any day."
"You know, sometimes you sound like Sokka -"
"I love him and all, but don't ever say that again." Suki nudged Katara and laughed once more. "So, what is your plan once your get back to your home? Aside from tending to your grandmother, you must have other plans? I don't think the village can be that ruined, can it?"
"I really don't know what to expect," Katara replied honestly. "Nutha hasn't spoken a word to me since I apologised for Aang yelling at her, and Niyok is too busy flirting with your fiancé to say anything worthwhile."
"Oooh the girl can dream."
"But I would like to start my training again. I like helping Aang and travelling about the world with him, but lately I feel like I don't have anything that's mine any more. I want to teach water bending."
"I can respect that," Suki said. "Truth be told it's why I didn't mind spending so much time in the Fire Nation. I'm a Kyoshi Warrior, it's who I've always been, and I can't do that when I'm around Sokka."
"But you're engaged," Katara said, her eyebrows raising. "If that's how you feel how're you going to make it work?"
Suki looked up at the sky. "I love Sokka, and he loves me. We'll make it work."
Katara felt a slight pang of sadness in her stomach when she thought of Aang again. What had been wrong with him? He had all but run from her when she had tried to take things further between them. Did he maybe not love her as much as she thought? Suki must have seen the look on her face because she reached over and put a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm guessing things aren't working out so well between you and Aang then?"
Katara looked up at her, judging her answer, and whether it was something she could truly tell Suki.
"Katara, been there, done it. You don't ever have to feel embarrassed about talking to me."
She played with the hem of her dress for a while, before taking a deep breath to answer. "He doesn't want to, you know, take things further. Each time I try and can feel he's desperate to run away from me. It's like he doesn't really see me ... like that, you know? Like he's still just a kid."
Suki looked up at the sky again, considering her answer carefully. She was silent for a short while before responding.
"I guess, for Aang, there's a lot of pressure on him all of a sudden. Now he's nearly seventeen the world expects him to marry, the council will only be asking more and more of him, and he's dealing with all these new stresses he hasn't had before. To me, he always seemed like the kinda kid who never wanted to grow up. He loves you very much, Katara, that's a clear as day. But he's just confused."
Katara sighed. "I guess you're right, Suki. Our age difference never really occurred to me until now. Women in my tribe would have having children by now, and I never really imagined I'd be any different. But then, I'm not sure either of us want children right now. There's way too much going on for that."
They remained in silence for a while longer, mulling over their futures and expectations, Katara absently bending small waves into the water in front of them.
"One day it'd be nice to talk about something other than horrid boys," Katara said with a small laugh.
"Tell me about it," Suki mumbled back.
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