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Chapter Ninety-One: Drowning
"Katara . . . I wanted to tell you something."
She glances up at him. "Okay, shoot."
"Well . . . I guess ever since you, uh . . ."
All of his beautiful thoughts from yesterday—all of his plotting and planning—disappear. Vanish. As if they were never here.
"You look beautiful in your . . . uh . . . dress," he blurts out, and it's true. Her dress . . . it's green . . . and so beautiful . . . no, not green.
He smiles and notices the lighter mint band that runs up the side and forms spirals at the collar.
"Aang, how long were you in that iceberg?"
He blinks and stares at her, suddenly fearful. His voice reeks of his uncertainty. "I don't know . . . a few days, maybe?"
"Thanks," she answers, blushing. "You know, you've been awfully quiet ever since we came to Ba Sing Se. What are you thinking about?"
He glances at his hands. "Me? Oh . . . um . . ."
"Excited for our big date tonight?" she asks, laughing. "Think about it! We'll be gliding through the ballrooms of the Earth King's palace."
He blinks. Wait . . . what?
"I think it was more like a hundred years!" she whispers, her face aglow in horror, shock . . . and awe?
His heart pounds. "What? That's impossible." His words take on a snappish quality, but inside, he quivers. "Do I look like a hundred twelve year old man to you?"
"Didn't you say we were going to the festival at the Earth King's palace?" she inquires, fixing one of her hair loopies. She's taken to wearing her braid again, and he smiles.
I missed it. I really did.
"The festival?" he echoes.
She nods and smiles. "See, we got an invitation in the mail. It's promised to be a major event! Everyone's going to be there! My dad, Zuko, Toph, Chief Arnook, the Earth King—everyone!"
His smile is frozen on his face. Yeah, that sounds great. We'll be drowning in people. It was supposed to be just you and me.
"Think about it. The war is a century old," she explains. "You don't know about it because, somehow, you were in there that whole time. It's the only explanation."
He falls down, shaking his head. "A hundred years! I can't believe it . . ."
"Katara . . . how about instead, we go by ourselves?" he tries.
She glances at him, tugging on her loopy. "By ourselves? And miss the festival?" She seems doubtful.
He takes her hand and gently kisses it. "Away from all the noise. Just you and me."
She kneels down next to him. "I'm sorry, Aang. Maybe somehow there's a bright side to all this."
He smiles and glances up at her.
"I did get to meet you."
I've always wanted to do that scene, but I couldn't due to it not being long enough . . . so . . . hah! Take that!
""Excited for our big date tonight?" she asks, laughing. "Think about it! We'll be gliding through the ballrooms of the Earth King's palace."" -> This is a reference to Kataang: First Date, an amazing comic . . . which you can read here. It's awesome. Read it.
"We'll be drowning in people." -> "Oh my spirits it's the Avatar!" "Can I have your autograph?" "Can I lick you?" "Can I take a portrait with you?" "Can I lick you, too?"
"He takes her hand and gently kisses it. "Away from all the noise. Just you and me."" -> Hm . . . festival with a whole bunch of people . . . or a private relaxation/getaway just for the Kataang couple? Right!
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