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|Chapter 8: Lost|
23rd of August 2013
One week later
Aang hadn't really thought what it would be like to see Sokka, Toph and Zuko again, moreover he actually felt a little hesitant to see them all again well more for them to see him.
Sure they were his friends and had helped him save the world but he still had a lot of questions on his mind. What would they think of him? Would they blame him for the destruction that had been caused in the Earth Kingdom? Would they even know about it? Would they even recognise him?
After all he had been through a slight change. Sure he now had a beard growing and some spots here and there on his face yet they didn't change how he looked although Katara had made a reference that he should shave the beard, but Aang thought it made him look more manly. She may have had a brief chuckle when he told her this but that wasn't a big issue.
He was also much taller having grown a lot. He was even taller than Katara now. He always thought how strange it was to have to look down on her. Of course he wasn't that much bigger; just about half a foot but it was a big change for him.
Aang had been focusing and thinking through all these questions so much that he hadn't even realized they were all ready at the edge of the South Pole. Aang sat up from Appa's comfy fur and stared out into the vast blue ocean that lay in front of him with the occasional iceberg dotted in here and there. He got tired of the familiar view and decided to look at something familiar although something he could never get bored of. No sooner had he thought that, he turned to Katara who was sitting on Appa's saddle trying to keep Momo from eating all the berries they had taken along with some meat (which made Aang sick) and bread from the air temple for the long journey.
Aang hadn't really looked at Katara much lately. Sure he looked at her though he never really properly looked at her. Her body had changed a lot over the short two years. The change on her was noticeable to say the least. She was far more beautiful. Her hair was no longer was in loops and now looked more like when they had spent the summer hiding in the Fire Nation. Her face had matured and had lost much of her baby fat and beamed more beauty than ever before. But what caught his attention the most was her eyes. They shined right into him as though they stretch to his heart and stole it right from the moment they connected.
"What are you staring at?" Aang was so lost in thought he hadn't realized Katara had noticed him staring at her.
"Hmm....oh nothing I was just looking at the clouds" Aang uttered hesitantly, turning away as he blushed. Katara too blushed when she realised Aang had been looking at her. Aang remembered how he had looked at Katara when they first rode Appa together with Sokka. He remembered how he had stared at the same way he had then and thought how beautiful she looked and how she had asked him the same question. "It's great to be young" he thought.
Sometime past before they finally made it to the depths of the South Pole. Appa landed on the solid icy ground. Aang jumped off Appa, soaring high into the air then floating ever so slowly back down. Katara climbed off with Momo still trying to snag a berry or two.
Aang turned to them "Come here Momo." called Aang, holding out his arm as he did. As soon as Momo heard the called he leaped over to Aang and landed delicately on his shoulder.
Katara began brushing off Momo's excess hair to her disgust. She gave a slight shiver and wrapped her arms around herself. "So what now Aang?" Katara huffed.
Aang turned to her "Well...I'm not sure. Don't give me that look! It's just I don't know how to find your home. Appa and I haven't been here in two years!" Aang said, trying to get Katara to stop giving him the "You forgot didn't you?" face. Aang had no idea where Kataras' home was. He knew it was in the South Pole, though he hadn't been there for so long he had no idea where it was exactly.
Katara shivered even more so "It's freezing here. I've never felt this cold before." Katara shivered.
Aang leaped into the air taking Momo with while saying "I've just the thing!" he landed on Appa saddle and began rummaging in the stuff he had brought with. After rummaging through some berries, his Air Nomad necklace, head shaver and his staff he found what he was looking for. He jumped out of Appa holding Katara's clothing she had worn when she was at the North Pole. It looked e same apart from some of the wool being loose at bottom and e hood being slightly ripped it was still in wearable condition (even the moon insignia was still perfectly stitched on).
"You kept that all these years?" she asked quizzically.
"Yeah I kept it in case you ever wanted to visit your family."
It was then Katara realized she hadn't thought of Sokka, her dad, or even Gran-Gran. She realised how all she had really cared about over the last two years was herself and Aang. Katara walked over and took the overcoat from him and climbed into it. It only just fit her but the tighter it felt, the warmer she felt.
Aang smiled "Feel better?"
"Yes" Katara replied no longer shivering as violently as she had been.
"Aren't you cold?" Katara quizzed referring to how Aang was only wearing his apparel clothing of an orange robe and shawl and shirt-like robe that only extended to his knees which left most of his body exposed to the unsettling wind.
"Not really. I guess living high in the sky all your life means you get used to it."
"That doesn't apply to me because?" Katara asked proposing the question as to why she felt cold even though she had lived in the South Pole for fourteen years.
Aang replied "Because you keep yourself warm, me and...my people...didn't." Aang said hesitantly.
Katara looked at him. She knew that it was best to change the topic.
"Anyway, we won't find my home just standing here. Appa has had his rest so let's get going."
"Yeah ... sure." Aang tilted his head to the ice below them and turned around. He didn't want Katara to see him cry.
Katara made her way to Appa and climbed up his tail. She glanced at Aang who still seemed a little disheartened at the fact Katara had accidentally made Aang bring up his people. Aang had tried to revive the Air Nomad culture over the past two years and even tried to give them the ability to bend air but for some reason he was unable to do so and still had a long way to go with teaching people about the Air Nomads. No one really cared to become a monk or nomad which really saddened Aang deeply.
Aang was about to cry when he heard a cracking sound.
"Aang are you getting on?"
But Aang could not hear her, he was too busy focusing on a disturbing rumbling sound which was creeping ever so closer and louder "Do you hear that?" Aang asked quietly. He listened even more deeply.
"Aang I don't hear anything. Now can we please get movin-"
"Katara shut up for one second would you?"
Aang felt what was coming. He felt the ice shift. The ice then split separating him from Katara and Appa.
"Appa yip yip" Aang quickly shouted.
"Aang come on?" Katara screamed wanting Aang to reach them.
Aang leaped into the air trying to propel his body towards them with a gust of air but it was no use. Appa had taken off to escape the collapsing ice. They were too far. Aang fell into the ice glacier, hitting his head as he fell. As he drifted from conscious whilst falling in to the freezing water that proceeded to drowned him, the last thing he heard was Katara calling his name.
To be continued...
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