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|Travel to the Temple|
April 23, 2011
Previously on Around the World (Again)....
The gang arrived on Ember Island and competed in a tournament and then went to the theater to see a double play event.
Travel to the Temple
Aang, time for breakfast! Come on, get up!" said Katara from outside Aang's bedroom. "I'm coming!" Aang said and he got up from bed. He then quickly got dressed, and left for the kitchen.
The night went by fast for Aang. He didn't know if he had a dream or not, but he still remembered When Air Nomads Walked the Earth. He didn't want to remember it, but it couldn't leave his thoughts. The play reminded Aang that the Air Nomads were no longer on earth. He walked into the room and sat down at the table, where the others were.
"Here you go, Aang. A fruit pie!" Katara put a fruit pie in front of Aang on the table. Though the fruit pie was delicious, this only made Aang feel worse. It reminded him of the times Monk Gyatso would bake him fruit pies. He thanked Katara for the food and then ate the fruit pie in silence.
"Hang on! Why are we going to the Western Air Temple? There's nothing to do there," said Toph.
"Because we're waiting for a message from Mai. Before she left, I told her that we would be at the Western Air Temple by the time she would be ready to be picked up. The only problem is we don't know where she is. She told me, before she left, that after the family reunion in the Fire Nation, they were to go on a vaction somewhere," Zuko said. "So, just to recap, we have to wait for the message to arrive at the Western Air Temple. We talked about this when Sokka showed us the map he and Aang worked on in Ba Sing Se, remember?"
"Oh yeah, I forgot," said Toph, smiling a little.
Once he finished eating, Aang got his traveling supplies.
After everyone got their things packed onto Appa's saddle, they jumped on him. Aang saw someone walking on the beach and he knew who it was; Kala.
"I'll be right back guys. I have to go do something," Aang told the gang. He jumped off Appa and walked towards Kala. The other members of Team Avatar stared at Aang in confusion.
"Kala. Kala wait!" Aang said to her. She stopped and looked at him.
"You're Avatar Aang, right?" she said, looking at the arrow on his head.
"Yes. I wanted to talk to you," said Aang and Kala nodded her head. "Your play was amazing! But the only problem is it made me think about the Air Nomads and how they're not alive anymore except me. And I was wondering if Syra and Siro were real people?"
"I don't know about that. We don't know much about the Air Nomads, but something's telling me that they are real."
Silence passed for a few moments until Kala spoke again. "I know what this is about. You want my advice on how to make the pain go away. The pain of remembering the loved ones you lost."
"How did you know that?" Aang asked.
"I'm not sure. I just know it. It's weird, though," she said. "Well, I'm pretty sure you've dealt with this situation before, right.
"Yes, when I got out of the iceberg," said Aang.
"Let's put it his way; you can't bring them back, Aang. But, as I'm sure you've been told, you still have a family. Your friends." She nodded towards Appa and the gang, who were still watching them. "They'll be there for you. Just remember that though your old friends are gone, I know that they're proud of you. And if you hadn't left the Air Temple a hundred or so years ago, then you wouldn't have met Katara and your other friends."
"They've written books about you guys. I love reading about history, so I read them," Kala said, smiling.
"Thanks, Kala! You really helped me. Thanks so much," Aang said.
"No problem! Maybe we'll meet again someday."
"Maybe. See ya." They shook hands and then Aang walked back to Appa.
"What was that all about, Aang?" Katara asked when Aang jumped onto Appa's head.
"I'll tell you in a moment," Aang said, in a much happier mood than when he woke up. "But first, Appa, yip, yip! Lets go to the Western Air Temple!" Appa kicked off the ground and into the blue sky. Aang told them about how he was feeling about When Air Nomads Walked The Earth and what Kala said to him. Afterwards, they talked about the tournament they played in and the other play they saw, Legend Of Mei Lien.
Aang, now feeling very happy, thought it best to get a little more sleep since it felt to him that he didn't get the right amount of sleep. So he told the others that he was going to take a little nap, laid down on Appa's head, and closed his eyes, drifting into a sleep.
"Aang! Come sit! I made fruit pie, your favorite!" Aang was in a room that had a table. Aang was looking at the person who just spoke; Monk Gyatso.
"Gyatso!" Aang bowed to him and sat down at the table with him. They ate the fruit pie together. Aang knew that he was in the Southern Air Temple.
"So Aang, what shall we learn today?" Gyatso asked him after they finished eating.
"I wondering if we could just walk around the temple. I'd like to see some of my friends."
"Of course, Aang! You worked really hard yesterday. You deserve a break." Gyatso smiled at him and then they got up from the table.
They walked around the temple the whole day, seeing Aang's friends, playing games with them. But it felt too short of a day for Aang. Before he knew it, the sun was now setting and he and Gyatso walked back home, a smile on Aang's face.
"We still have yet to eat dinner. I'll make us something." Gyatso walked to the kitchen and began to prepare the meal. Aang suddenly remembered Team Avatar.
"Gyatso? Umm..." Aang didn't know how to put it into words. "How did I come here?"
"Why, you were born here, Aang. I thought you knew that." Aang heard Gyatso chuckle.
"No, I mean when did I return to here?"
Gyatso looked at Aang, a look of confusion on his face. "What? What do you mean 'return'? You never left the Southern Air Temple, Aang. Well, except when you went to the Eastern Air Temple to choose a bison when you were six. But other than that, you've lived here all your life."
"Huh? No, I traveled the world with my friends from the other three nations and- Where's Katara and Sokka? A-and Toph an-and Zuko and-"
"Aang, you need to calm down. Breath a little."
"But- but, what about Momo?"
"Momo, my lemur." Aang was starting to feel sad.
"You don't have a lemur, Aang. Only a bison, Appa." Gyatso was looking very concerned at Aang.
"But," Aang didn't want to come to this since he had been enjoying the whole day (except for now) and he didn't want to ruin it, but he had no choice. He had to say it. "But, you're supposed to be dead."
"Aang, you need to rest. Come on now, off to bed. Those games must have tired you out," Gyatso said. "Go on. Aang. You don't seem very hungry so I'll just eat by myself."
"But what about the war with the Fire Nation? The hundred year war? The Fire Nation killed all the Air Nomads except me."
"What are you taking about, Aang?" Aang needed to know what time period he was in. He only knew of one way, "Who's the current Fire Lord?"
"Fire Lord Ozai. Why do you ask?" said Gyatso.
"Just wondering." So he was in the same time period as before. But were was the gang? Then, when Aang looked down at his arms and hands, he saw something that he couldn't believe at all.
"Where are my Airbending tattoos?" He didn't notice that they were gone the whole day.
"You have yet to get them," Gyatso said.
"But I got them when I was twelve!"
"The only Airbender I know of that got their tattoos at such an age is Ateng."
"Ateng, you know him, don't you; Avatar Ateng." "Avatar!?" said Aang. "No, no, he didn't master Airbending at age twelve; I did! And he's not the Avatar, I am!" Gyatso stared at Aang, looking more concerned than ever. Then he finally spoke,
"Aang, please go to bed. You need to sleep."
"Fine, but I need to ask you something." Aang had to know the answer. It would explain a lot. "How did Avatar Roku die?"
"He died peacefully in his sleep about a few years ago. Yes, he almost lived to be Avatar Kyoshi's age. He was a great Avatar."
"Thanks, Gyatso, that helps me. Good night."
"Good night, Aang! Get a good rest."
Aang nodded and left the room for his bedroom. On his way there he thought,
So if Roku died a few years back, then that means that he didn't die during the volcanoes' eruption. That also means that Sozin must have helped him battle the volcanoes. So if Roku didn't die the day I was born then that means that I'm not the Avatar. And Sozin must have been a nice and caring person, so he didn't start the war, explaining why the Air Nomads are still alive. And that means, that since I'm not the Avatar, I didn't run away and get encased in the iceberg, meaning that I never meet Katara or Sokka, therefore I didn't travel the world. But wait! If it's been a hundred years since I was born, then how come everyone looks the same as they did a century ago. This doesn't make any sense. I want to go back to the way things were, with the gang. I love living with the Air Nomads, but I love traveling with the gang more.
And then suddenly, a comet appeared from out of nowhere and came flying towards him.
"What?! No!!!!" Aang screamed. Something hit his chest and then-
Aang opened his eyes and let out a gasp. He was back on Appa with the gang. And in fact, something had landed on his chest,
"HAWKY! You're back!" Sokka yelled, startling everyone.
"Who's Hawky?" Zuko and Suki asked.
After Sokka told them the story of how he bought Hawky and where he went, Toph asked, "Does Hawky have my parents' answer?"
"Let me check." Sokka said. Then he opened the tube on Hawky's back (which was where the messages where placed) and saw that there was indeed a piece of paper inside. Sokka took it out and read it out loud,
"Dear Toph, after reading your letter, we realized how badly we were treating you. We were keeping you secret from the world for no reason. We were the worst parents ever and we would like a second chance. We want a fresh start Toph. Please, send us another letter and you can come home if you want. Its your choice, Toph. Whether you come home or not, we will still love you. -Lao and Poppy Bei Fong (Dad and Mom)"
There was a long silence. Everyone was looking at Toph, waiting for her to say something. Finally, Katara asked her, "So, Toph, are you going to send them a letter? I'll write for you, just like last time."
Toph still didn't say anything.
"Why don't you think about for a while?" Suki said, patting Toph on her back.
Everyone, except Toph and Aang, began to lay down, their eyes staring at the white clouds above. Hawky was sitting next to Sokka.
Aang was thinking about his dream or rather nightmare.
I-I- That was terrible. Though I was with my old friends and Gyatso, I didn't have the gang. I wasn't the Avatar. I wasn't really.....happy. Yes, the Air Nomads used to be my family, but they're gone, and I have a new family, Team Avatar. Everything happens for a reason; the whole war happened so I could the gang. I do miss the Air Nomads a lot, but I have to appreciate what I have now; my friends.
The issue now settled, Aang lay back down and for some reason, his eyelids began to close. He was apparently still sleepy and so he didn't fight the feeling back so he fell asleep again.
Aang appeared in his house in Ba Sing Se. Before he had time to think, the front door opened and Joo Dee was standing in the door way.
"Avatar Aang! You must come to the palace! Hurry!! It's the Earth King!!" said Joo Dee.
"The Earth King? What happened?" Aang said. But Joo Dee wasn't in the doorway anymore, instead was a dark figure. The walls of the house began to close in on Aang. An evil laugh came from the figure as the walls were only inches away from each other. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Aang gasped as he opened his eyes again. He didn't know what to think. He didn't want anymore nightmares so he sat up and looked at the locations around him.
Meanwhile, Toph was thinking about the letter and her parents. They want me to send a letter to them. They are letting me choose whether or not I want to go home. What should I tell them? Should I abandon the gang and go home? I don't know what to do. I guess Suki's right, I need time to think.
Then Toph, like the others, laid back.
"The Western Air Temple!!" Katara shouted while pointing to temple. Everyone sat up and looked at the Air Temple. It hadn't changed one bit.
Appa landed near the broken upside down fountain. Everyone jumped off Appa and onto the ground. It was nearly sundown. Everyone got their sleeping bags and set them up.
"Sleep time." Sokka yawned. Then he fell asleep.
"Toph, are you okay?" Katara asked Toph who was looking confused.
"I'm thinking about my parents. Should I go home, Katara?"
"Well, I can't tell you what to do. Why don't you send them a letter, saying that you need time to think about it. We'll be in Gaoling in a few weeks."
After Katara wrote what Toph had told her, she sent Hawky off again. Just as Hawky left, another messenger bird came. It landed on Zuko, who wasn't asleep.
"A message from Mai." Zuko said as he took out the letter.
"Read it out loud," Katara said.
And Zuko did, "Dear Zuko, I'm at the Boiling Rock with my family. Could you come and pick me up? It's so boring here. Please, write back. Love, Mai."
"We can pick her up tomorrow. Send her a message letting her know that. Hopefully she'll be able to sustain the boredom," Aang said and he smiled.
"Okay, Aang," said Zuko and he turned the piece of parchment over and wrote on it, Yes, Mai, I will pick you up tomorrow. See you then. Love, Zuko.
Then, he took the letter and put it into the messenger bird's message tube.
"To Mai." Zuko said to the bird and then it went flying into the nighttime sky.
"Come on, lets go to sleep now," Katara said as they lay back on their sleeping bags and closed their eyes.
Aang, hoping that he would have no nightmares tonight, fell asleep.
Then, the temple went silent, except for a moving shadow behind the stairs. It said in a whisper,
"You may think that you ended the war, Avatar, but there are many more to come."
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Around the World (Again) Chapters|
|Prologue - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Epilogue|