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|The Past's Future (Inheritance)|
January 10, 2013
"Aang, don't worry, he's our son, and that's all that matters," she quietly murmured. Katara's eyes drifted shut, as the force of the past hours crashed on her. Aang rubbed his son's face, as he relaxed by Katara while she slept.
"I know you already know this, but I... I love you, Katara," he said, as he held his child in his arms, and lied down next to his wife. A slight smile crept across her face, as Aang stared into his son's eyes. "Hey there, little guy," he whispered, with a goofy grin, "I'm your dad."
"Twinkle toes, what's taking so long?" said Aang's friend, Toph Beifong, as she pulled the blue curtain above her, poking her head in. Katara sat up, and Aang spoke, slightly annoyed.
"We'll be right out, Toph," Aang said, turning to his wife, "but Katara might need to rest first." Toph nodded, and relinquished the curtain.
"I'm fine, Aang," Katara said, as she slowly rose from the pallet, "Let's go, I think we have a bit of an audience waiting on us."
"Katara, are you sure? You seem really tired," Aang said, focusing on his wife.
"Aang, we talked about this earlier. You need to stop worrying about me so much," Katara whispered, as she sat next to Aang. "Can I see him?" she asked quietly.
"He's beautiful," she said, as she gazed into her child's eyes.
"Well, his mom is the most beautiful woman I know," he said, as he put his arm around his wife.
"C'mon, I think they're all waiting on us," Katara replied briefly. They both walked over to the curtain, and Aang pulled it back.
"His name?" Aang doubtfully posed, "Well, I had one in mind anyway." He looked over at Katara for a look of consent, in which she gave a faint nod in response.
"Really, Aang? You didn't name the kid?" Sokka questioned impatiently.
"Hey! I was getting to it!" Aang softly exclaimed, raising his voice just enough to get his point across.
"Well?" Toph asked in her typical annoyed tone. Aang responded with a quick dagger-like glare.
"Like I was saying, his name..." Aang continued, "his name... is Tenzin," He paused in silence for a few moments. Aang silently fell into a reminiscent flashback, as his eyes glistened from the small fire glowing in the fire pit; a tear fell from his chin after rippling down his cheek. He then continued, "After Gyatso... he- he was like a father to me." Aang got more emotional, and said, "I need to step out, Katara, I'll be right back." He handed Tenzin over to her.
"Aang," she called, as he walked out the sliding door. Aang was sitting on the steps leading up to the house. Katara sat right next to him, as she put one arm around him, and cradled Tenzin in the other. "Aang..." she whispered, as he looked up from the ground.
"K... Katara... wh... what if Tenzin isn't-"
"Aang, that's what I wanted to tell you. I can sense it," she started, "Tenzin is an airbender." Aang wiped the pooling tears from his eyes, and put his arms around Katara and Tenzin.
"I'm sorry Katara, I just- I was... afraid," Aang stuttered, as he held his embrace around his son and his wife.
"Aang, I know," Katara replied, as she buried her head in Aang's chest
"All those memories, they just flooded back into my mind." They both remained in silence, as Aang gave Katara a faint kiss on the head.
"Aang, you love Tenzin right?" Katara pondered aloud, breaking the period of quiet.
"Of course, with all my heart," Aang whispered in Katara's ear, as he placed his chin on her shoulder.
"And you love Kya and Bumi as well, just as much, right?" Katara asked, staring out into the icy flatland of the South Pole.
"Yes, Katara, I love our children... why are yo-" Aang started, but was instantly interrupted.
"Aang, we love Bumi just as much as Kya and Tenzin, and he isn't even a bender," Katara countered brazenly.
"I know, Katara. You don't need to brin-" Aang tried, but was halted yet again.
"Do you remember what you told me right after you found out Bumi wasn't an Airbender?" Katara seemingly demanded. Aang sat in silence and finally replied.
"I promised that I wouldn't treat him differently, and that it didn't affect how-" Yet again, Aang was cut off in an untimely manner.
"How much you loved him, I know," Katara finished his sentence, "but now you have Tenzin, so you need to promise me something." Katara turned her head, and she gazed into Aang's eyes.
"Katara, what do you mean?" Aang slowly loosened his grip around his wife.
"What I'm trying to say is... is that... no matter how much you want to isolate Tenzin, to teach him his culture and inheritance, please remember that you have other children to love, not just him." Katara looked down at Tenzin, and gently rubbed the back of her hand across his cheek.
"Katara! Why would I ever even... Ugh!" he whispered, "I love our children, I would never even think of..." Aang was lost in thought for a short time, and had a slight realization. "This isn't just about the children, is it."
Katara turned to look at Aang. "Aang- I love you... but I've seen how you can get. Just please promise me tha-" Katara began, but this time, she was cut off instead.
"I promise," Aang whispered, as he kissed Katara, and leaned back and gently cooed.
"I love you."
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