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|Crafting his Masterpiece|
(Section: Those Curious Eyes)
12 July 2011
Crafting His Masterpiece is chapter 2 of: Katara and Aang.
Set Date: 9 December, 104 AG
A quiet night
The night was set well for the Avatar to do his crafting. The moon was nearly full, its light shining down on the South Pole, reflecting off the ice and snow like a mirror, casting its light almost as if it were the sun. The Tribe seemed quiet; most were settled into their homes, whether they be igloos or tents, looking for ways to keep warm against the stinging cold.
Aang sat in his own igloo, his thoughts swimming like the fish in the sea. However, he recalled the vision that came to him just two nights earlier.
It had been a magnificent vision. Before him, he had seen the symbols of Air and Water. Like the flow of the air around him, he could see them progressively begin to merge. They combined and mixed well, just like yin and yang. Although the two were opposite, air and water, dry and wet, one knows, that if one of air or water does not exist, life can not be properly supported. There would be no balance in the world. They represented the essence of yin and yang; supporting each other in order to sustain life, and worked together in harmony, as they had all their lives. If they weren't there for one another, they would each fall out of balance, and their respective worlds would crumble.
Going to work
The room had grown dark with the departure of the daylight. Some natural light shone from the moon, but it was not enough. Aang gathered up his skill of Fire and lit up a few candles to make some new light, as he needed all the light he could get; to make this craft work he would need to see as much as possible, as it was the most important thing he would ever make, far from the small flower necklace made of fishing line he made for her several years ago.
He sat down at this desk and took another look at the picture of her on it. Her beautiful face, her bright smile always warming him even on the coldest of days and nights.
Without any further delay, Aang located and took hold of the bone dagger he had acquired from the craftsman, as well as the blue stone on which the design would be engraved. He followed this up with a look at the stone-his canvas to draw the ultimate symbol of his love for her. The image of the mix of air and water, wind and sea, was burned in his head. He started at it the same way a painter stares at his scene in question.
However, this love symbol didn't mean much if it was merely in his thoughts; he had to bring it to real life, on this blue stone, his own canvas, his place to truly express his love for her.
Taking a deep breath, he pressed the dagger to the necklace softly, only the slightest touch. He started to carefully carve out the symbol of air, the small swirls of the wind that circled through the world always, his world. The Avatar's World. His native element, the element of freedom. Gently, he crafted out the small swirls into the upper half of the necklace, the design starting to take shape.
He prepared to move on to her half of the design, that of the smoothly flowing water; unfortunately, something took him by surprise: The sound of footsteps. "Who's there?" Aang called out, shaking with worry. Who could this be at this late hour? A variety of possibilities entered his mind, ranging from the benign to the most awful. Regardless, he quickly worked to hide his work, knowing that it could be--
Those curious eyes
Partially written by Vulmen
The gentle crunch of snow sounded just outside the cloth doorway. After a moment had passed, the tan cloth slipped back as Katara gingerly stepped into the candle-lit room. "Aang?" She shuddered lightly beneath her large coat, clutching her arms with her lavender mitts momentarily. "What are you still doing up?" she questioned curiously, tilting her head to one side as she peered at the desk ahead of him.
Aang looked at her, wearing a nervous look in his eyes, doing what he could to keep the surprise under wraps. "I'm just...uhh...meditating, and nothing else!" he blurted out in a quivering voice, not sure how to stop Katara from finding out.
Her eyebrow arched curiously at his sudden behavior. She straightened her body, lowering one arm to her side as her other hand rose to her mouth to catch a soft chuckle. "You know, you're not a very good liar..." She slipped her hands behind her back, clutching her gloves together before stepping across the room to join him. "Come on, what are you up to this time? Another poem, or were you practicing a new song again?" Her words carried an air of joy, gently teasing him with a laughter just behind her deep blue eyes.
With the nervous look still present, his gray eyes met her sapphire eyes. Thoughts raced through his mind quickly, looking for anything to keep her curious mind from catching on to his plans. "I don't know what you're talking about, Katara; there is nothing going on here!" He tried to chuckle, but instead it came out more like a nervous hack. "You know, they say curiosity killed the cat-penguin," he smiled. What do I do? I can't let her find out what I'm doing. It's not finished! the thoughts raced through his mind like him and her raced on penguins on their first day together, five long years ago.
Reaching his side, she smiled warmly and leaned over. For a moment, her eyes ran over the simple wooden desk in front of him, taking in the various notes and dates he had penciled in and various scribblings - some of which she couldn't even understand. She sighed quietly, rounding behind him as she wrapped her warm arms around his neck, tossing her thick gloves to his desk. "You really need to rest. I'm sure whatever it is can wait until tomorrow." He felt a light pressure on the back of his head, on the middle of his arrow, and she gave it a soft kiss before exhaling loudly. "Why are you always like this?" she teased, giving his shoulders a gentle shake.
Again, another tough question was presented to Aang. He knew he would do anything for her. She had always meant the world to him ever since his release from the iceberg; at the same time though, he knew he had to be careful to not to say too much that might spoil the planned proposal. "Well, it's just that I want to make sure everything is perfect for you, Katara. I want to get everything right, no matter what."
Her breath braced against his bare skin, clearly taking a moment of thought in his words. For just a moment, her own heartbeats resounded in his every thought. "Aang; get what right?" She leaned closer, wrapping her arms around his chest to pull him back against her. "And since when do you need have to try be perfect?" she added with a slight jeer, affording a smile at her crass joke, poking him in his chest with one finger. Her lips pressed against his ears, breathing ever so softly into them. "You already are." She gave him a quick peck against his ear.
Aang felt some goosebumps as the breath and kiss tickled his ears slightly. However, the warmth of her lips against his skin helped to calm him. "Katara...knowing you feel that way means the world to me. You're perfect for me too. It always has been this way, hasn't it? Our worlds changed when we met each other...and it was for the better. I love you...and I always will." The words poured smoothly from his mouth, like hot tea into a cup on a cold day, the days that gripped the South Pole. He could feel his thoughts calming...like a great storm within was reaching its end. He had his girlfriend's undeniable love, and he had diverted away from the big surprise.
She hesitated, allowing silence to creep over them as she turned her eyes upon the side of his head. "Yes, hon." For some odd reason, her two words resembled more a chide than anything else, releasing him as she stood up. "But you really need to stop acting so strangely, staying up all night and keeping secrets from me," she added, giving him a soft flick on the back of his arrow followed by a short chuckle. "Goodnight Aang."
Aang offered his girlfriend a peck on the cheek. "Good night, Katara." The two embraced, and the Waterbending Master took her leave.
Back to Work
He heard those same footsteps in the snow get quieter until he finally could not hear them at all. The storm of fear within his mind now broken, he took out the necklace once more and retrieved his dagger. Once again, the Avatar closed his gray eyes, re-focused, and saw the mix of air and water before him. The inspiration hit him again like a powerful wave on the sea.
He saw the symbol of air was done. Now it was to her symbol, the free-flowing water, mixing with the just as free-flowing air. Together, they formed a flow of peace, quiet, and harmony. Just like those two had made for one another over their years together.
Aang recognized it was getting late. However, love knows no time of night, and so he pressed on, wanting to do this for her. With his dagger in hand, he began to craft out the symbol of water, the swirling waves and flow of the sea that went in time with the similar movements of air.
He fought off his closing eyes, battling against sleepiness. It was a hard battle, almost like he was batting Ozai again at Wulong Forest. He continued to craft the symbol of water into the necklace, still maintaining his drive for perfection. With her on his mind, there was no way he could let this drive end.
Katara...this is all for you...
He crafted three waves of water to occupy the lower half of the necklace, much like those that were represented in her native element's emblem. They were the waves of water flowing beautifully with the swirls of wind.
Finally, Aang looked in awe at the design he had just crafted. The two elements mixed together, living in harmony, support, and balance. As opposite as air and water seemed, they could be together. They worked well together. The sea flowing with the sky.
Their two elements could create clouds, light and puffy, or gray and stormy. However, no matter what, these clouds always ended with peace and love between one another. Whether it be just the continuous bright sunny day with the fluffly clouds, or the formation of a rainbow starting with the exiting of the storm clouds. They could be happy with each other, or they could argue with each other. No matter what, they always came back to love. Love amongst the bird and the fish. A beautiful love, as beautiful as the magnificent flow between their elements.
Now, he needed to do one last thing. He was awestruck, but would she be? What was the right way to go about finally proposing to her? He knew he would give up anything to be with her, having already decided to go against an Air Nomad tradition of no marriage. Still, he had to make her his forever. How to ensure the bird and the fish would remain together for life.
However, his eyes were tired and longed for sleep. He decided he could come back to this in the morning. He took out a small box and placed the necklace within; he then locked the box and safely concealed it and the key, so no one else could try and take it. Afterwards, he took one last look at her picture. He said to himself, "Katara, right now the only way I see you here is by this picture. Soon, I won't have to go a night here without seeing you...I hope. Good night."
Dropping into his bed and pulling up the covers, he closed his eyes and smiled wide, thinking about her, wondering about making their own family together.
Yeah, I know the title is "Crafting /His/ Masterpiece", but I went with a Katara image because I and others couldn't find a good "Aang trying to hide something" look.
Another thanks goes out to Vulmen here for helping me write this chapter. He helped me write the scene for "Those Curious Eyes", as a result, I have credited him with a guest writer title.
I made some references to TAD's. Some of the ideas I wrote in the first and last sections are derived from of that fanon.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Zuko and Mai|
|Zuko Thinks - One More Date - Zuko Makes His Move|
|Aang and Katara|
|Craftsman's Class: The Final Lesson - Crafting His Masterpiece - It All Comes Together|