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THE ANNIVERSARY DISASTER
“Alright,” Aang whispered, “I want to do something really special for Katara for our anniversary this year…”
“Why the sudden interest Twinkle Toes?” Toph scoffed.
“Yeah…the Big 9th…really isn’t that big of a deal, save it for next year?”
“Look, the past couple of years, it’s just been Republic City this---Kya Bumi that---things have just gotten so chaotic between raising the kids and working on our careers that it would be nice to do something together for once?”
“Well what did you have in mind Chung?” Toph asked with a half-enthused tone of voice.
“I know! What about just a simple dinner date, and a romantic walk through the park---you know, chick stuff?” Sokka introduced.
Toph punched him in the arm harder than usual, and replied, “Dinner, yes. Mushy walk, no. If I know Katara, she’ll want some action---take her to a Pro-Bending match!”“What!?” Sokka exclaimed, “The last thing my sister wants to do is watch a Pro-Bending Match!?”
“Guys, you’re not exactly helping me out here…” Aang sighed.
“Well, she’s your wife---” Sokka shrugged, before his body jittered in a grossed out way.
“Seriously!?” Aang complained, “You still have the oogies because of me and your sister?”
“That’s just sad…” Toph added.
“Ugh…” Sokka groaned, “Look, I have to get back to Suki and the kids---we’ll babysit for you if you want, but the rest of it, you’re on your own. You better figure this out yourself Aang or I know for a fact Katara won’t like it as much as she could.”
“Much as I hate to admit it,” Toph stood up, “Councilman Oogie is right---you need to be sincere and personal…so you better get cracking before you waste your whole anniversary asking us stupid questions.”
The two of them left and Aang pounded his head against the tabletop in frustration…then, all of the sudden, he had his idea, and was ready to put his plan of events into motion.
Aang took Katara on a fancy dinner trip to her favorite Water Tribe themed restaurant in Republic City. He hated nearly everything served there, but sucked it up and ate like it was the best food in the world.
“Aang, this was so nice of you to plan out our little date…” Katara laughed.
“It’s our anniversary…I wanted to do something special for you.”
Katara gave him a “what are you up to” smile and waited for his response.
“Really Katara….” Aang laughed, “Can’t a man just spend one night giving the whole world to his forever girl?”
“Aang,” Katara stated in a touched tone, while taking his hand from across the table, “I have everything I’ve ever wanted just by being married to you and raising our two lovely, rambunctious children. Honestly, I don’t need anything else, I’m set for life!”“Oh?” Aang shrugged in an honoree voice, “Well then I guess we won’t get to go the part-two of your anniversary surprise…”
“Part-two?” She replied intrigued, “What’s part-two?”
“Oh…just a little something---tickets to a play---what was it called again?”
“Aang…” Katara warned.
“Oh, that’s right, I remember…The Notebook of the Earthbender…”
“You did not!?” she gasped, “That show has been sold out since the performers started doing it! How in the world did you get tickets?”
Aang gave her a look and pointed to his forehead…”Avatar----It has it’s selfish advantages.”
She hopped up from the table and kissed him, before dragging him away to the theatre. Aang stumbled behind her and knocked over his chair, hollering, “Wait---Wait, Katara we haven’t paid yet!”
The play was sad and romantic all at the same time. Katara and Aang were walking the night streets of Republic City to get over to Sokka and Suki’s house to pick up the children, talking about it the whole way there.
“Wasn’t that play fantastic honey?” she asked, squeezing his arm for a reply.
“It was nice…” he shrugged.
“Oh whatever…by the last act you were bawling like a baby moose-lion!” she teased.
“I think you still have tears stuck to your cheeks sweetie…what was that again, tearbender?” he laughed.
“For your information, I found it to be very….touching...is all!” she protested defiantly.
“Hey Katara,” Aang whispered…
“What?” she gruffed.
He put his hand right in front of her nose and blew a swift puff of air into her face before running away in maniacal laughter.
“Ugh!” Katara groaned, “Aang! Don’t you think you’re too old to be doing things like that?”
"You’re the one with the water-whip loaded behind your back!” Aang argued heartily.
“Water-whip?” she wondered, before turning around… "Aang…Aang, that isn’t me!?”
The Avatar’s laughter melted all at once as he rushed back over to his wife. The water whip came and shot him across the small walkway before a masked man came out of the shadows.
“You…Lady…give me your money!” he demanded.“Come and get it!” she growled back, shooting him with a water-whip of her own.
Aang pounced back to his feet and shot over to the masked thief, shooting him back in a gust of wind before he could do anything else. In his place, an entire horde of bending delinquents dropped down from the rooftops and surrounded Katara. She was fighting them all off with no problem, but stopped when she saw her husband nearby, groaning in pain. She washed the other thugs away and froze them against the wall in one massive move, and hurried to Aang’s side only to have the very familiar sense of pain hit her veins…Bloodbending. Katara struggled to glance up at the moon, but it was hidden away by clouds. Was it full? It didn’t matter, full moon or not, this person should not be able to Bloodbend---only Katara was the sole remaining Bloodbender after Hama died in prison?
“I’m gonna ask you again lady…give me your money now!” the Waterbending thief ordered.
Katara’s face shot into rage-mode and she stood up, counter-bending the strong Bloodbender. He was shocked, and now the one writhing in pain, but Katara walked in closer and screamed at him, “WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO BLOODBEND!?”
He didn’t reply, so Katara twisted his arm----literally…“A MAN----I DON’T K-KNOW HIS N-NAME!” The thief grunted.
“WHERE!?” she bellowed, "TELL ME WHERE YOU LEARNED IT!"
“KATARA!” Aang shouted.
She looked at him and the worried way he stared back at her. This made Katara gasp and she dropped the robber, looking to her own shaking hands in remorse. The full moon peaked behind the clouds and Katara stared at it in tears as the mob of street thugs thawed off and ran away…the leader, hobbling off with a broken arm. So, Bloodbending exists outside of the two Southern Water Tribe women who learned it….there were others…and others were being trained in it---those people were coming into the city, and using the dark form for nefarious purposes.
“We need to tell Toph about the gang…” Katara said tonelessly… “And I need to talk to the council first thing in the morning---and tell Sokka.”
“Are you okay honey?” Aang asked, touching her shoulder.
She jumped and took a step out of the way, still shaking as she replied, “Fine…let’s just go…”
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