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After the unbelievable journey, Aang reflects on the amazing new friends he has come to know. Under the radiant glow of the sunset, Aang feels perfectly content for the first time in his life.
"Destiny is a funny thing. You never know how things are going to work out. But, if you keep an open mind and an open heart, I promise you will find your own destiny someday."-Iroh
From a short distance, Aang smiled. Iroh's Tsungi horn filled the Jasmine Dragon with song, Zuko served steaming cups of tea, and everyone scrutinized Sokka's "art," for lack of a better word. For the first time, everyone gathered together to simply enjoy the phenomenon of friendship and relaxation. It felt as if the world had been lifted off of everyone's shoulders, and nobody felt more at peace than the young Avatar.
"Zuko stop moving! I'm trying to capture the moment!"
The warrior's tone softened, "I wanted to do a painting, so we would always remember the good times together."
"That's very thoughtful of you Sokka," said Katara.
But, then she looked a bit closer, "Wait, why did you give me Momo's ears?"
"Those are your hair loopies!" argued Sokka, obviously offended.
Zuko held a full tray of tea, but craned his neck to glimpse Sokka's portrait.
"At least you don't look like a boar-q-pine! My hair is not that spiky!"
"I look like a man," Mai added.
Suki glanced over, "And why did you paint me firebending?"
Sokka was at a loss for explanation, "I thought it would look more exciting that way!"
The flying lemur chattered and pointed at the painting, mocking its unprofessional nature.
"Oh you think you could do a better job Momo?"
Even Iroh stopped playing the familiar melody to take a look, "Hey my belly is not that big anymore. I really trimmed down."
Toph capped off the ridicule. "Well I think you all look perfect!"
Aang placed a gentle hand on Appa's nose. "We made it buddy."
Only a few months ago he was still frozen in a block of ice, and he opened his eyes to a world filled with war and hurt, a world where everyone he ever knew or loved was gone, vanished like smoke in the wind. One day he was playing air-ball with the other monks; the next day, he was lost and afraid, cast beyond the point of no return into a world that he didn't understand. The worst part was that he couldn't do anything about it. Gazing across the oriental rooftops of Ba Sing Se, Aang smirked; fate works in peculiar ways. He used to question why things turned out this way, but nothing seemed to make sense. After traveling with his newfound friends and meeting countless people, he began to understand why. If he had learned anything from this life-changing journey, it's that his heart has plenty of room for more amazing people.
Aang admired the bright faces of his friends who were laughing and living in the moment. Each person had strengths and weaknesses; all had something to prove. From penguin sledding to the siege of the North, from the Cave of Two Lovers to the Crystal Catacombs, his friends were always there, growing up alongside him. Together, through victory and defeat, through happiness and pain, they made it. Aang always used to search the sky for meaning, and until now it had remained silent. Ensconced in the blazing sunset of reality, the young Avatar reminisced about the wonderful people he had come to know.
As a child, Sokka stood numbly on the iceberg, feeling the hollow pain of being left alone. The sails of the ships disappeared into the horizon, and the young boy turned to face the village where he would remain. It took an incredible amount of loyalty to stay behind and take care of the tribe that needed him the most. Without his quick thinking and leadership, the group wouldn't have made it through the destruction at Roku's temple, the deception in Jet's Earth Kingdom forest, or the collapsing library in the Si Wong Desert. Aang held a profound respect for the valiant warrior and aspiring painter.
The first time he met Suki, she, along with the other Kyoshi Warriors, protected their village and stayed out of the war. But, she realized how much good she could do for people in need. Ferrying refugees across Full Moon Bay, saving Appa from Azula, and being at his side during the final battle, the Kyoshi Warrior truly impacted the world. Aang felt eternally grateful to have met the young woman.
The Blind Bandit was no exception. Locked away by her parents in Gaoling, Toph may have never realized her potential as an earthbender, or as a person; nobody even knew she existed until recently. In all situations, Toph was brave and strong beyond her years, and she had an unmovable sense of purpose. Even though she technically couldn't see, Aang secretly believed that with every step, she understood more and more how fascinating the world could be. He couldn't have asked for a better earthbending teacher. He couldn't have asked for a better friend. Utterly destroying everyone and everything in her path, nobody would be able to forget the self-proclaimed "Greatest Earthbender in the World."
For so long, Zuko's face was the face of the enemy, the Prince of the Fire Nation, tasked to capture the Avatar and eliminate the last chance for the world. In reality, Zuko was lost and confused. Everything he ever knew was taken from him, and every day, Zuko stared out across the open ocean, searching for the answers. His search for meaning lead him across the frigid tundra of the North Pole, on top of the peaks of thunderous mountains, and into the dancing vortex of fire at the edge of the ocean. At his lowest point, when all hope seemed lost, Zuko rose from the ashes of doubt and redeemed himself. After toughing the stormy seas, he found his purpose, his pure belief. Aang couldn't wait to rebuild the world with Fire Lord Zuko, son of Ursa and Ozai, true identity of the blue spirit, and traveler of the road less taken.
All of the twisting paths lead back to the tranquil dusk at the Jasmine Dragon. Aang reckoned the most extraordinary thing was right now, this moment, right here: friends from divergent pasts gathered together, laughing and enjoying a pleasant evening. These people went through so much, but somehow they never lost themselves. In a way, they were still the same as when Aang first met them. The young airbender figured that he was still the same, too.
Whoever said Ba Sing Se sunsets are the most beautiful in the world was completely correct. Every color imaginable cleansed the sky of its smoke stained scars. Aang stood in awe of how nature always seemed to find a way to heal itself. For the first time in his life, Aang felt completely at peace. Once again, he felt new to the world, but unlike before, he couldn't wait to take his first steps into a mysteriously bright future. The boy in the iceberg closed his eyes and listened to the quiet euphoria.
Timid footsteps joined him on the light-cloaked balcony. The girl with the flower in her hair took her place perfectly by his side. Eyes met and whispered a sweet story, one that not many people would believe, not that the storytellers cared anyways. She wore soft green silk and looked breathtaking even while she blushed. The two souls embraced in wordless understanding, a silent acknowledgment of everything they had been through, and an indescribable excitement for everything still to come. The brown-haired girl wrapped in his arms healed him in more ways than one, and in return, he gave her the world of her dreams. Fate certainly works in peculiar ways, and there is such a thing as a happy ending.
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