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|More from SifuHotman||Adventure||G (all ages)||None||No update page|
September 5, 2012
Air Temple Island always had a great view of the sunset. On an island just off the coast of the grandness of Republic City stood a waterbending master beside her eternal beloved, the Avatar himself. They stood on the western balcony, viewing the perfect orange glow in the sky over the ocean. "I never get tired of looking at the sunset," Katara said.
The man next to her turned and looked upon her with loving eyes. "I never tire of spending time with you." Even in his old age, Aang had a way of making Katara feel so flustered, like a young girl once again.
She giggled at his comment. "It's so nice having Kya and Bumi home for a while isn't it? I'm proud of them for following their own paths, but the mother in me just wanted them to stay with us, like Tenzin did." Aang put his arm around his wife's shoulder. "I'm happy they're back too. Really it's just nice to have the family all under one roof every once and a while."
Just inside the main section of the temple, they could hear someone yelling. "Bumi, give me back my glider!"
The sound of Tenzin's voice was able to reach the proud parents standing on the balcony. "Come and get it, air boy!" Bumi yelled back at his younger brother as he ran outside, just underneath the view of the balcony his parents were looking over. Tenzin followed in pursuit on his air scooter, both of them disappearing around the side of the temple.
Aang couldn't help but smile. "Once and a while seems to be plenty."
Suddenly Kya's voice echoed from the other side of the temple. "If you both don't quit it, I'm freezing you to the floor of the bison caves again!"
Now was Katara's turn to laugh. "As long as they have their older sister to keep them in check, I think they'll be fine." She drew closer to Aang, placing her hand on his back.
The Avatar smiled. "So strong and capable, able to keep her family together, she reminds me of her mother." Aang continued to compliment his wife. Some days she couldn't take that goofy, cheesy charm.
"Oh, you sweet talker. I know your game. Boys like you are only interested in one thing." Katara jokingly turned her back to her husband, knowing he would quickly pursue her again.
He did. "You caught me. You're the only thing I'm interested in." Katara couldn't help but blush once again. She had grown old over the years, her dark hair turning white, her once perfect skin starting to show the signs of age, but Aang had barely aged a day. His beard kept color, he was as strong and energetic as ever, even keeping wrinkles from touching his face, and he still had that boyish, goofy grin that made her melt whenever he looked at her. Aang pulled his wife close to him once again, and drew her into a warm embrace, meeting her lips with his.
As he drew away after a moment, her blush grew deeper. "Darn it, Aang. How do you know how to make a girl swoon so well?"
Aang just gave her that grin again. "I learned from the tricks my wife used to pull on me. You have to keep your arms close to your center, like this." He made joking hand motions, referring to when Katara used to teach Aang water bending during their travels. In secret, she did like to get him flustered when they were kids. But now that they were older, the tables were turned, and he had become a chiseled, handsome man that used all of his powers to make her blush.
Katara laughed at his mockery, enjoying his still boyish attitude. "I love you, Aang."
She looked softly into his eyes. She expected to see the same love returned, but in his eyes were sadness and guilt.
"I love you too." He responded softly. Aang had many talents, but a poker face was not one of them. After being married for a few decades, she could pick up when her spouse was upset about something.
"What's wrong, dear?" Katara questioned him. He didn't answer, he just returned to looking over to the sunset. She went to him, saying nothing more, placing her hand on his back.
They stood in silence for a moment, until Aang had broken it. "There's something we need to talk about." Aang's expression grew more saddened, and Katara became more worried.
"Aang, you can tell me anything. Whatever it is, we can deal with it. Together."
The Avatar looked to his wife, eyes heavy, but a soft smile on his face. As seconds passed, his face grew darker. "We have lived a long time together. A great and full life. But now...I feel as though my time is coming."
Katara looked to the man before her confused. His time? What is he talking about? He is healthy and lively as ever. "What do you mean?"
His smile fading, he answered, "My place in this world is done, and my time here is passing."
Katara's expression went from confused to angry. "Why would you say something like that? We are having a nice time together with our family...and you just tell me this?" She pulled away from him.
Aang tried to move closer. "Katara, I..."
She cut him off before he could even start. "Don't Katara me! How can you possibly even think that? The Avatar's all-knowing-wisdom isn't always right. You have no reason to scare me like this!" Aang tried to get a word in, but his wife stormed off before he got the chance. She needs to know.
Bumi and Tenzin rushed back into the dining hall followed by Kya when their mother walked in, tears welling in her eyes. Bumi was the first to speak. "Hey, Mom! Are we having sea prunes for dinner?"
She stormed past him without a response, walking down the hall until they heard her slam the door to her bedroom. Kya hit Bumi on the head. "Ow! It was just a question!"
Kya looked sternly at her younger brother. "You could see that mom's upset about something."
Bumi shrugged her off. "Dad probably has to go to some meeting out of the city or something and forgot to tell mom. He'll go in, make kissy faces, and it'll blow over." Kya scoffed at her brother.
Tenzin, upon retrieving his glider from Bumi, spoke up. "Mother seemed very troubled about something. Perhaps we should ask father what the issue is."
Upon mention, their father walked into the room. Aang's expression was solemn. "Hi kids." Their usually cheerful father seemed a bit off.
Bumi was first to question his father. "Dad, what's wrong with mom? She came in pretty upset, and didn't even tell me if we were having sea prunes."
Aang let out a deep sigh. "Kids, I need you three to sit down for a moment." They all paused at their fathers command, but they sat down at the dining table.
Kya questioned the circumstance. "What's going on, dad?" Aang sat for a moment, trying to find the right words. How was he to explain something like this to his children?
"There is something the three of you should know. It's no secret that I am growing older, but as time passes, it has become apparent that my time is passing as well." The kids became very curious as to the meaning of these words.
Bumi was first to ask. "What are you trying to say?"
Aang took another deep breath. This was not going to be easy. "I am not long for this world, and it seems as though that I will pass away in a short time." The room became incredibly cold.
A moment of silence passed before it was interrupted by Kya. "Are you serious? You're dying?" Tears began to fill her eyes. Kya was so strong willed, but she was very emotional when it came to her family.
Bumi stood straight up out of his chair. "Dad, you're not dying. You're older and I know you're trying to prepare us for the possibility of us having to deal with it, but don't scare mom and Kya like this."
Tenzin stayed silent for the ordeal, contemplating what he had heard. Aang tried speaking again. "This is not a bad thing. Everyone goes through their time. I just want you kids to know how much you all mean to me and how much I love-"
Bumi interrupted before his father could finish. "I don't need to hear it!" The middle child stormed off as his mother had before Aang could complete a thought. Kya looked at her father, tears trickling out of her eyes. She took the example of her brother and left the room without a word.
Tenzin simply stood up and said, "You should speak to Mom." Aang was sometimes put off by his son's serious demeanor, but now he was right. He needed to console his wife. Tenzin left the room upon sharing his insight, and Aang did the same, going to the bedroom that he and his wife share. He found her there, sitting on their bed, her back turned to him. He went to sit next to her, but he knew he didn't need to say anything. The bond they created over the years meant that little needed to be said when issues so dire were at hand. She knew that Aang was serious about his upcoming death, and Aang knew that she didn't want to speak of it. What he didn't expect was what she would say next.
"We need to go on a vacation." His wife still didn't look at him.
Aang turned to her in response. "What?"
She answered his short question thoroughly. "The kids are here, there's no business to take care of, and we could use the time off. Let's go on vacation."
Aang thought this was a wonderful idea and had wanted to propose this as well, but he was glad that his wife beat him to the punch. She always knew what was best. "Where would you like to go? Anywhere in the world and we will spend all the time we like there." Aang's upbeat attitude began to return at the idea of a new adventure with his family.
Although she was still upset, Katara was starting to feel the residual effect of his positivity. "Ember Island. It's so nice this time of year. We can take the kids, Sokka, Toph, you could invite Zuko."
Aang showed off his big grin again as his wife turned to face him. "It sounds like a perfect trip." As hard as it would be to say goodbye, it didn't have to be done now, and Katara couldn't help but smile back.
Alright, first chapter is up. Feel free to leave any criticisms, as I will take them all into consideration as I continue.
This chapter started off a bit shaky, but I feel like it picked up a bit toward the end. In the next few chapters, we see a few more of our old pals return, so that should be fun.
Thanks to Wordbender for being super cool about reviewing this chapter for me. Come back next Wednesday for another chapter :)
For the collective works of the author, go here.