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After having set off the signal flare, Katara and Aang run back to her home. Here, they are forced to part ways as Aang is determined a traitor. After her tribe falls under attack, Aang comes to the rescue, and in doing so reveals who he really is. Taken captive, Katara and her brother chase after Aang, aiding in freeing him from his captivity before setting for the skies.
Additional notes Edit
I named this chapter 'The Rescue', because I like that idea better here, it's more fitting for Katara. First, Aang rescues her and her village. Second, she and Sokka rescue him. Quite appropriate! :)
This chapter has a few extras' added, but ultimately it didn't allow for a lot of 'open time' like the prior chapter had. Regardless, you'd be surprised how much work goes into writing these chapters; don't be fooled into thinking "It's already there, he can just write it all out easily." - No, I pain-stakingly go over and over my writing, to try to make it be of good quality for you, and to attempt to ensure I capture Katara's viewpoint.
An example would be; when going back over this, I pulled out entire pieces I had written that did not belong. Such as when Sokka grabbed Aang's staff and bashed it into Zuko's head; Katara missed that, because near the same time she busied herself with Aang before freezing three soldiers in place. She's not quite used to combat so she can't "take the layout of the land" around her, but rather focuses on one thing at a time. So, I had to remove that part as I felt it did not belong.
- Anyone have suggestions to help make the layout of this page more ... presentable? Please comment below.
Katara had grown tired, having run mostly uphill on their journey home. Slowing to a casual walk, side by side, she and Aang approached the villages’ perimeter. All her tribes’ members had gathered outside the walls, watching their steady approach. “This doesn’t look good.” She whispered to Aang.
The children of her tribe bolted forward and shouted joys at seeing them return; however, they were less kindly greeted by the others. Sokka thrust forward and pointed directly at Aang. “I knew it! You signaled the Fire Navy with that flare! You’re leading them straight to us, aren’t you?”
“Aang didn’t do anything; it was an accident.” She answered with a sharp scowl to Sokka.
“Yeah! We were on this ship and there was this booby trap and, well, we-we boobied right into it.” Aang interjected, choosing to answer this best as he could.
“Katara, you shouldn’t have gone on that ship.” Kanna spoke out, her voice growing far more stern than Katara could remember as of recently. “Now we could all be in danger!”
“Don’t blame Katara!” She turned to stare at Aang, he was defending her. “I brought her there; it’s my fault.”
“Aha! The traitor confesses! Warriors, away from the enemy! The foreigner is banished from our village.” He spoke with plenty gestures, waving his accusing finger furiously.
The children dropped their heads and did as they were told; walking away from Aang sadly. “Sokka, you’re making a mistake.” Katara argued, holding her clenched hands forward in determination, sternly standing against her brother.
“No, I’m keeping my promise to dad. I’m protecting you, from threats like him!” Sokka fought back, making his point solid.
“Aang is not our enemy!” Her voice eased, as she attempted to reason with Sokka. “Don’t you see? Aang has brought something we haven’t had in a long time; fun.”
“Fun? We can’t fight firebenders with fun!” Sokka shouted back.
“You should try it sometime!” Aang commented with a smile; clearly not seeming to understand the heat of the situation.
“Get out of our village, now!” His voice fell stern as he thrust his hands down in retaliation to that comment.
“Grandmother, please! Don’t let Sokka do this.” She stepped forward, seeing she was getting nowhere with her brother.
“Katara, you knew going on that ship was forbidden! Sokka is right; I think it best if the airbender leaves.” Her voice fell still, as she finished her accusation.
“Fine!” Katara felt like crying; but held it back. Anger welled up in her at the darkness of this situation. “Then I’m banished too! Come on Aang let’s go.” She snatched his hand and jerked him back off his feet, walking for Appa.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Sokka cried out after his sister.
“To find a waterbender.” Her voice began to slightly break; this decision was tearing her up. She didn’t want to leave like this, but she couldn’t stomach letting this chance go. She gripped Aang's hand in her own and turned immediately, pulling him with her as she left for Appa. “Aang is taking me to the North Pole!”
“I am? Great!” Aang answered in sheer confusion for the moment.
“Katara!” Sokka cried out one more time, before softening his stern voice. “Would you really choose him, over your tribe? Your own family?”
She froze in her steps, staring down to the snow in front of Appa. She didn’t want to, really, and couldn’t bring herself to answer him. Leaving like this would make her miserable for a long time to come. Aang frowned, and stepped next to her, whispering softly. “Katara, I don’t want to come between you and your family.” He stated as he stepped past her for his bison, not waiting for a reply.
“So, you’re leaving the South Pole?” Her voice softened, as her eyelids lowered, casting a most disheartening stare towards him. “This is goodbye?”
“Thanks for penguin sledding with me.”
“Where will you go?”
“Guess I’ll go back home and look for the airbenders.” He stated, before glancing up to the sky away from everyone in a moment of realization. “Wow, I haven’t cleaned my room in a hundred years. Not looking forward to that.” He airbended himself quickly atop of Appa’s head. “It was nice meeting everyone.” He called out to the crowd.
“Let’s see your bison fly now, air-boy.” Sokka jeered. Her anger relit at her brother’s audacity, but she was torn at how to react now, standing in between Aang and her tribe.
“Come on Appa, you can do it! Yip-yip!” He stated as he flipped his reigns. But the effect was much similar to before; Appa only groaned and rose to his six legs.
“Yeah, I thought so!” Sokka finished his jeer, ready for the traitor to leave.
One of the children cried aloud and bolted forward. “Aang, don’t go, I’ll miss you!” She cried out standing next to Katara.
Aang glanced down to the child. “I’ll miss you too.” But then his eyes shifted to Katara; and she felt his sadness. Appa turned and began to carry Aang slowly away from her. She nearly cried, but replaced the feeling with anger as Kanna approached her from behind.
The little girl whined, before she turned and departed downheartedly. “Katara, you’ll feel better after yo–” Kanna kindly approached, before being cut off.
Whipping around, Katara shouted at her grandma. “You happy now? There goes my one chance at becoming a waterbender!” Simply leaving Kanna standing alone in the snow, she stormed off towards the village.
Her brother began to run around like an idiot shouting something about defenses, but what else was new, she mused. She walked straight for their tent, arms crossed tightly in front of her with a stern scowl she couldn’t shake. Hiding in the tent, she pondered long on what had just happened. She remembered penguin sledding with Aang, and how he was heart-broken to discover he’d been gone for one hundred years. She almost cried again; realizing he was looking for his family, the airbenders. He would find nobody; that would devastate him.
But before she could fall into tears, the ground beneath her shook. Her eyes widened as she gazed out of the tent. “Fire Navy.” She muttered under her breath, and bolted out into the open.
Once out, she quickly began scooping up the children she could find and getting them to safety, escorting anyone around out of harms way. She was still angry at Kanna and Sokka, but now she feared for them more than anything. Quickly she snatched up a child that had stood paralyzed in fear, who almost fell into a crack in the ice running from the incoming icebreaker ship.
After finishing gathering the tribe members to safety, she glanced back to the wall. Sokka stood atop of it, defiantly watching the incoming ship. “Sokka, get out of the way!” She cried out; he was going to be crushed! But he stood there, poised to strike it with his club! That idiot! Always an idiot! But thankfully the wall caved in and he slid away in a falling snow drift just in time.
All grew quiet. Everyone peeked out of tents’ doorways while others stood idly in the town, gazing in awe at the sole ship that was invading their homes. Katara drew a horrified breath as the front of the ship detached with a jet of steam, and lowered forward nearly crushing Sokka. He narrowly missed it, falling into the snow on his back, just avoiding its weight.
Then, firebenders dressed in full crimson red regalia began to descend the ramp towards their village. Katara’s heart skipped a beat, staring at the armored soldiers. Was this going to be like the last time they invaded? Was she going to lose someone else like she had her mother? Gran Gran? Sokka? Dad, why did you ever leave us…
Then Sokka let out a warrior cry and charged the leader, with his club raised high. Katara grimaced; he was still mastering catching fish. This wasn’t going to be pretty. Thankfully, all that happened was his humiliation. The leader kicked Sokka’s club from his hands, then brought his leg back around and sent him sailing off of the ships’ ramp and into the snow face first.
Katara gasped; she hadn't seen fighting for so long. She didn't want anything bad to happen to her brother. Finishing his approach, the leader stood just in front of her. “Where are you hiding him?” He posed in a demanding voice, glancing at all the women and children present. No answer. Nobody said a word. Hiding who? She wondered.
Then, he reached right towards Katara. Her eyes widened and she panicked, pulling back a step in fear as her head dropped, closing her eyes tightly for what would come. This is it! I’m going to go just like mom did! But his hand grasped her grandmother, not her, and jerked her into his hands, away from her tribe. Gran Gran! She cried out in her thoughts, trying to grab her hand as she was pulled away. “He’d be about this age! Master of all elements?” After a moment of no answer, he shoved Kanna back into the crowd.
To solidify his demand, he pulled back his arm, elbow forward, and snapped forward in an arc with a shout. A wave of fire flared above the crowds’ heads, terrifying the children into crying aloud as the adults pulled down in fear of being burned. “I know you’re hiding him!”
Sokka took up the charge, defending the town. He bolted forward and gave another firm warriors cry, grasping his club from the ground in preparation for a strike. Sokka! Katara feared for his life now, especially since he was foolish enough to announce a sneak attack. She admired his courage, but feared he would be taken.
The leader bent back sideways and rolled his arms into the air, forcing Sokka’s own speed to send him sailing into the air to land harshly on the ground. Sokka shouted in determination and rolled out of the way just as a blast of fire struck where he had landed.
He reeled his sharpened boomerang from its’ holster on his back, and slung it for the leaders’ face. This took him by complete surprise, as he gasped in brief shock and narrowly bent back in time to dodge the devastating hit.
“Show no fear!” One of Sokka’s warriors in training cried out as the child threw Sokka his spear. Sokka one-handed gripped the spear mid-air and charged forward.
The leader didn't even budge; he stood absolutely still as Sokka drew closer. Once at arms’ length, he thrust his wrist armor upright and broke the spear-tip right off of the bone it was tied to, before jerking what was now a bone staff out of Sokka’s hands and bashing its’ back-end into his head, knocking him to the ground. To finish his display, he snapped the bone in two with his bare hands, and threw each piece into the ground.
Katara winced; he was making a fool of Sokka. But this was better than what he could do. Maybe he wasn't going to kill him. She only now noticed Sokka had fully dressed himself with war paint, as only portions of it remained on his face which made him look all the more silly. He sat on the ground, rubbing his head where he had been struck.
Then, admiring having overtaken the Water Tribe so easily, the leader simply stood and glowered down at his victims. Sokka’s boomerang finally reeled back around from behind, striking the back of the leaders’ helmet so hard it spun sideways and off-centered on his head. He bore his teeth in anger, straightening his helmet. Then, he clenched his fists tightly as he glared down to Sokka in fury. Two orange-red flames proceeded from the back of his fists; flaming daggers ready to sear flesh.
Oh no! Katara clutched Sokka’s shoulder and held it firmly. She couldn’t watch what was about to happen to her brother; she just knew she would turn away before she would allow herself to see anything. But then, she spotted something small and yellow approaching swiftly from behind the leader. Aang!! Her grip on her brother tightened, as did her heart. He came back!
Aang rode his otter-penguin straight between the leaders’ legs, using his staff to swipe both his legs and take his balance completely. The leaders’ legs flew forward as he sailed into the air, landing backwards on his face, followed by his helmet bouncing onto his up-ended backside. Katara smiled and the children shouted for joy as Aang slid to a stop, launching snow over their faces. “Hey Katara. Hey Sokka.” He stated as calmly as if it were the day they had met.
“Hi, Aang. Thanks for coming.” Sokka uttered dryly, a bit disappointed in his defeat. Katara stood upright with a hopeful smile, withdrawing her hands from Sokka’s shoulders. Somehow, she knew it would be alright now. For some reason, Aang made her feel safer.
The leader rose to his feet, and drew his arms high into the air as he took in a deep breath. Without his helmet on, Katara noticed a large circular darkened scar covering his left eye. His skin had been burned severely there. He was mostly bald on the front of his head, having all his black hair gathered back into a top-knot at the back of his head, which led into a short windswept ponytail. His Fire Nation subordinates quickly encircled Aang, making the odds seven on one, with only his back to the Water Tribe behind him.
Aang approached the leader, staff in hand. With three quick swings, blasts of air launched heaps of snow into the air and into all of their faces. Then, he stood poised ready for a move from the leader. “Looking for me?” He stated, battle-ready.
The snow steamed as it melted off of the leaders’ hands. He eyed the little airbender in surprise. “You’re the airbender? You’re the Avatar?!”
“Aang…?” Katara’s eyes widened. The last airbender, Aang, is the Avatar? This child was everyone’s last hope? Aang didn’t deny it, but stood defiantly against the ship’s leader.
“No way…” Sokka uttered in shock, still seated in the snow in front of his sister.
“I’ve spent years preparing for this encounter.” The leader began to verbalize his determination. “Training, meditating; you’re just a child!”
“Well you’re just a teenager.” Aang answered, obviously confused that this leader made a big deal of his age.
Then, the fight was on. The leader forced blasts of fire into Aang’s direction, which Aang deflected with airbending from spinning his staff. During the assault, Aang glanced behind him in despair as he heard the cries of terror due to flames licking near the Water Tribe citizens’ feet and heads. His eyes softened, spotting Kanna, Sokka, the children and Katara all pulling away from the flames fearfully. He turned back to the leader and snapped his staff to the ground, a show for ceasing their battle. “If I go with you; will you promise to leave everyone alone?”
The leader left his battle stance, and gave an assuring nod in reply. His comrades stepped forward and snatched Aang’s staff from his hands, as well as gripping his shoulders and forcing him forward up the ramp to their ship. “No, Aang! Don’t do this!” Katara cried out as she bolted from her family, raising her hand in horror as she watched him ascend into the bowels of the ship.
“Don’t worry Katara, it’ll be okay.” He grunted as the fire soldiers shoved him forward, and continued before out of earshot. “Take care of Appa for me until I get back!”
“Head a course for the Fire Nation! I’m going home.” The leader called out, making clear that Aang would never be returning to the Southern Water Tribe – he would never see freedom again. Katara’s eyes filled with worry as she watched the giant doors begin to close. Turning back, Aang’s eyes met Katara’s as she began to cry. Even from their distance, she felt his confidence fade to sorrow as a frown overtook him.
How could this happen? She had wasted no time as the ship pulled out of the bay; following after it, stopping only once she had reached the water’s edge. Her deep blue eyes followed the wake of the ship as it drifted from view. She couldn’t believe she had met the Avatar. Aang, the Avatar. She stood with an empty heart, still struggling to believe all that she had heard and seen in the course of two days.
She had managed to stop herself from crying, but there was no distracting her mind from Aang and his fate. Just minutes after her arriving at the shore, she heard the crunch of snow behind her. “Hey. Uh, Katara. . .” Sokka called out as he approached, unsure how to properly address her.
She kept her back to him, still completely unable to take her eyes away from where she had lost sight of the ship that held Aang captive. “We have to go after that ship, Sokka. Aang saved our tribe; now we have to save him!”
“Katara, I–” He attempted to speak, before she interjected again.
“Why can’t you realize that he’s on our side!? If we don’t help him, no one will! I know you don’t like Aang! But we owe him and I–” He actually spoke up quickly to cut her off.
“Katara! Are you gonna talk all day, or are you comin’ with me?” She turned to catch sight of a canoe in the cracks of the ice by Sokka.
She gasped in sheer joy. “Sokka!” Lunging forward, she wrapped her arms around her brother as she leaped into the air, tangled around his neck.
Falling back to the ground, Katara took one step away and smiled at her brother. “Get in; we’re going to save your boyfriend.”
Her heart skipped a beat, followed with a sharp scowl to her brother. “He’s not my–”
“Whatever!” He shrugged off her complaint, interrupting her.
“What do you two think you’re doing?” Kanna questioned as she approached the two standing by their canoe.
They turned to face Kanna, and slipped their arms behind their back. They had been caught red-handed; there really was no excuse to supply. “You’ll need these.” She uttered with a broad grin as she hefted a bundle of supplies up for the two. “You have a long journey ahead of you. It’s been so long, since I’ve had hope. But you brought it back to life, my little waterbender.” She stated joyously, embracing Katara as she prepared to let her go. Likewise, she turned to Sokka. “And you, my brave warrior. Be nice to your sister.” She moved forward to embrace her grandson.
“Yeah, okay Gran…” He muttered as he patted her back, before she backed away from him.
“Aang is the Avatar. He’s the world's only chance. You both found him for a reason; now your destinies are intertwined with his.”
Katara frowned; turning to gaze at their method for transportation with their bundle of supplies under her arm. “There’s no way we’re going to catch a warship with a canoe.” As if on cue, Appa popped over the snowy hilltop, and bellowed out towards the gathered three. “Appa!”
She jumped forward and ran for Appa, as her brother idly commented behind her. “You just love taking me out of my comfort zone, don'tcha.”
Strapping their supplies to his saddle, the two grouped onto his back. Katara crawled carefully forward off of the saddle and onto his head, and gripped the reigns tied to his horns as she had seen Aang do before. She was still edgy over the idea of flying, and still sat quite close to the front of the saddle in case she needed to leap back into it. “Well Appa, let’s get going. We have to go save Aang.”
“This ought to be good.” Sokka muttered, leaning into the back of the saddle.
Appa bellowed, as Kanna backed away to watch what would come. “Let’s fly!” Katara shouted as she gave the reigns a sharp shake. Appa lunged into the air at surprising speed, but then, similar to the first time he did so, he plummeted the full ten feet he had risen and fell flatly onto the water’s surface.
“Yeah, I expected as much.” Sokka sighed, and fully relaxed as he sat in the back of Appa’s saddle, stretching his legs out. “So he’s a giant fluffy snot-monster canoe.”
Katara turned and scowled at her brother. “I’m sure he can fly, you’ll see. He’s probably just still tired.”
“That was only good the first few times I heard it, Katara. Unless…” He tapped his forefinger to his chin, gazing up into the sky haphazardly. “Unless he’s a giant, fluffy, snot-monster canoe that’s an insomniac.”
Her scowl tightened as she sighed and looked away. “Sokka, would you just try and be positive for once? For me?”
“Fine.” Sokka muttered, pausing a moment before continuing. “Go. Fly. Soar.”
“Please, Appa. We need your help, Aang needs your help.” She called out, glancing down to Appa’s head in concern.
“Up. Ascend. Elevate.” Sokka continued his positive attitude.
“Sokka doesn’t believe you can fly. But I do, Appa! C’mon don’t you want to save Aang?” She said as she crawled down to his head and leaned over the side, rubbing him gently as she pressed her cheek against his soft white fur. At this, Appa groaned excitedly as he began to stroke the water with his legs.
“What was it that kid said? Yehaw? Hup-Hup? Wahoo? Uh… Yip Yip?”
That was what it took. Appa’s tail rose and beat the water, before rising again to begin his airbending. He groaned and moaned wearily before forcing his body up out of the water, suddenly taking to the skies with incredible speed for his size.
“You did it Sokka!” Katara ecstatically shouted, though she had been quick to climb back just in front of the saddle. She still was not comfortable being so close to his head, with only the reigns to hold.
Sokka leapt upright from the back of the saddle, leaning over the edge as he watched the water swiftly drift further away. “He’s flying! He’s flying! Katara, he’s–” Sokka paused, realizing his excitement. He peered to the front only to spot a smug grin on his sister. “I mean; big deal. He’s flying.”
“There! It’s the ship! We made it!” Katara shouted as she crawled back into the saddle beside her brother.
“Excellent, now let’s knock some firebender heads.” He patted his back, where his club lay.
“Come to think of it, we don’t really have a plan.” She glanced sidelong to her brother. “How are we going to take on a whole ship of firebenders? We don’t even know where they’ve taken him.”
Sokka’s smile faded to disaster. “I’m sure we’ll think of something. Oh man.” His optimism turned to shock as he jerked back and pointed to the ship. “I think we just found him. They’re trying to kill him!”
Her eyebrows lifted, as she glanced back down to the ship. Sure enough there was the leader, firebending at Aang! “We can make it! We have to make it!” She cried out, just as she watched a final blast of fire launch Aang over the side and into the icy waters. She gasped and gripped the reigns tightly. “Aang, no!” She shook quietly within herself, before shouting as loud as she could, nothing else to do. “Aang, Aang! Aang!”
Sokka placed his hand on her back; they couldn’t dive into that icy water to save him. They’d all succumb to hypothermia. But then, they didn’t have to! An enormous typhoon of water lifted his glowing body from the water; before setting him down on the ship’s deck. The torrential stream of water wrapped around Aang, hovering for feet in the air above him, before whipping around him in a single huge spin and blasting six firebenders clean off their feet, sending the leader overboard.
“Did you see what he just did?!” Katara cried out in surprise.
“Now, THAT, was some waterbending!” Sokka stated in answer.
“Aang!” As Appa descended to the ship, Katara didn’t waste a moment leaping off of him and running to pick up Aang from the ground where he had collapsed after his lavish display of waterbending, with Sokka kneeling beside them. “Are you okay?”
“Hey Katara. Hey Sokka. Thanks for coming…” He answered weakly.
“Well I couldn’t let you have all the glory.” Sokka responded with a sarcastic smile.
“I dropped my staff.” Aang glanced towards the front of the ship, his eyelids halfheartedly remaining open.
“Got it!” Sokka uttered readily as he bolted to pick it up.
Katara finished helping Aang atop Appa’s head. Then her attention switched as she realized three firebenders that had fought before were now back on their feet and approaching. I have to stop them! She boldly imagined the exact move that she had watched Aang perform. How did he do that? He wrapped the water around… She raised her hands, wrapping a stream of water around her. The advancing soldiers stopped and stared; worried they were about to be blasted away again. Now! Release! With a shout and a mighty swing of her arms, the water shot out and behind her, soaking Sokka’s feet as he was running by, freezing him in place. “Katara!” He shouted in protest.
The three grinned and began to approach again. Her heart began to beat madly. She had to do this! Had to! I threw it behind me…let’s try that again… She turned her back to the three men, not attempting to alter how she performed the move in the least. She wrapped the water around her, and launched it similarly to her last attempt with a shout. The water flowed over the three entirely, freezing them in a solid, thick layer of ice.
She turned and gazed at what she had just done. The man’s hand had frozen just a hands’ length from grabbing her. She stared in horror for a moment, unable to move, before returning to her senses. Scaling Appa’s side, she called to her brother with frozen feet. “Hurry up Sokka!”
“Yip-yip, yip-yip!” Sokka shouted as he came into view of Katara a moment later, charging up Appa’s tail. She huddled into the back of the saddle, shaking from her last encounter as they soared away from the ship and into the skies.
“Aang! Fireball!” She sat still with her mouth gaping as it grew closer and closer to Appa.
Aang leapt just past her, and with a violent swing of his staff unleashed a large blast of air that redirected the fireball into a nearby glacier. Snow and ice broke loose from the sudden heated blast, tumbling in an avalanche down towards the ship below. Aang dropped back to the saddle and sat, laughing merrily at the sight.
Katara beamed with joy. It worked! We saved Aang! “We made it!” She shouted happily.
“Thanks again for coming guys, I really owe you one.” Aang replied with a smile, as he leapt forward and balanced on the very tip of the front of Appa’s saddle, crossing his legs out either direction.
“I’m just glad I got to knock that firebender in the head.” Sokka smiled wryly as he leaned back into the saddle.
“How did you DO that? With the water?!” Katara interrupted with sheer wonder. “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!”
“I don’t know. I just sort of. . . did it.” Aang idly stated without much emotion.
A moment of silence passed, as Katara delayed asking what now troubled her thoughts. “Why didn’t you tell us you were the Avatar?”
“Because. . .” Aang glanced away as he hesitated, unable to face her. “I never wanted to be.”
She stared in awe. He didn't want to be the Avatar? But he had to, or he would turn his back on everyone. And everyone respected the Avatar, she did. “But Aang, the world’s been waiting for the Avatar to return and finally put an end to this war.” Katara spoke responsibly.
“And how am I going to do that?” Aang asked in disbelief.
“According to legend; you need to first master water, then earth, then fire, right?”
“That’s what the monks told me.” He seemed to perk up a little, returning his attention to Katara finally.
“Well, if we go to the North Pole, you can master waterbending!”
At this, he discarded his gloom and beamed down to Katara. “We can learn it together!”
“And Sokka, I’m sure you could get to knock some firebender heads on the way.”
“I’d like that, I’d really like that.” Sokka commented coolly with a smug grin.
“Then we’re in this together!” Katara exclaimed, ready to take on the world.
“Alright, but before I learn waterbending, we have some serious business to attend to!” Aang stated as he airbended himself onto the saddle amidst the brother and sister. Unraveling a map, he spread it out before him, pointing at three places as he spoke. “Here, here, and here.”
“What’s there?” Katara pointed at one of his designated locations, a small circle of land not far off.
“Here, we’ll ride the hopping llamas. Then way over here, we’ll surf on the backs of giant koi fish. Then back over here we’ll ride the hog monkeys. They don’t like people riding them, but that’s what makes it fun!” Aang positively beamed, and apparently didn’t feel the presence of a threat in the entire world. Katara and Sokka turned to give each other an inquisitive stare. He’s not serious, right? She returned Sokka’s earlier question, without asking it.
“Look, as much fun as all that sounds, I think we should just stick to the plan and go to the North Pole.” Sokka responded, leaning back into the saddle.
“Ah you guys will love it! You’ll see. But first, I can’t wait to see home again.” Snapping up his map, he leapt forward to Appa’s head. “It’s not often outsiders get to see an Air Temple; but you two are going to be that exception tomorrow.”
Katara’s brow knotted at his hopes. He was really going to try and find the rest of the airbenders. “Aang. . . maybe we should listen to Sokka. There’s a lot you need to learn still.”
“Yep! And what better place to start than home?” He exclaimed as he turned back to Katara. “But first we need to rest for the night; we’ll set out first thing tomorrow.”
Oh no. She frowned, but didn’t protest. “Ugh.” Sokka rolled his head back again, falling into silence as he had no choice but to follow Aang’s every whim. Katara leaned forward and laid her hands on the saddle before her, staring anxiously at the back of Aang’s head. He expected nothing but happiness and fun, but tomorrow was going to be the hardest day of his life.
Props to Ianbernard for helping make this wonderful chapter template with images! (he created the images)
The Boy in the Iceberg
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