A/N: So, I decided to go ahead and write my epic after all. This will be long, but I'm cutting it into four books (just like the show! Well, five if you count the prologue book) that will show Koda/Keij (the son of Zuko and Katara who was kidnapped as a babe by Zula and Jet who raised him,) as he masters waterbending, earthbending, firebending, and airbending, as well as finds out the truth of his origins.
Koda is the Avatar spirit reborn after Aang vanishes.
Pairings include: ZukoxKatara, JetxZula, SokkaxYue (I will explain, I promise) One-sided KataraxAang, and hints at a former ZulaxZhao relationship.
Hope you enjoy.
Book Prologue: Threads of Sand
Chapter One, Book Prologue: The Last Airbender
It was a bright and warm summer day, which only encouraged Aang to go on with his decision. The warmth of the sunlight glowed on Appa's back as the one hundred and twenty-two year old Avatar stretched, yawned, and said two very familiar words to the flying bison. "Yip yip, buddy."
The bison flew in the air, a little slower than he did in the past, but that was to be expected. Age had caught up with Appa, another deciding factor in Aang's decision to leave. The other had been the expectance of another member in the Fire Nation Royal Family.
"Growl?" Appa yipped, turning his head sideways to Aang, who knew exactly what the bison needed to know.
"To the Fire Nation, Appa." Aang said slowly, pulling the sack of toys close so that none of them would fall out during the long flight from the Southern Air Temple to the Fire Nation capital. "We're going to visit Katara."
It took them two days flying nonstop in order to reach the capital, but to Aang, it was well worth it. If he got there and the baby had already been born, he would have hurt himself he would have been so angry. He had plans for that child, after all, whether Zuko or Katara knew it remained unseen.
Katara may have loved Zuko and not him, but that didn't mean he couldn't love their children as his own, did it?
Appa landed swiftly on the roof of the capital midday of Friday, burring his furry head in the roof the capital while Aang floated off his back. Aang petted his old friend quietly before jumping through the window below in hope to see his friend.
"Ever hear of a door, Aang?" Katara's oh-so familiar voice called out playfully, and Aang smiled.
It was so good to hear her again.
"Where's the fun in that?" He laughed good-naturedly as he was bombarded by what seemed like a giant flying squirrel.
"Uncle Aang!" The squealing voice of the three year old around his waist brought a smile to his lips. He lifted Kimi high into the air, swinging her around as she giggled from excitement of seeing her godfather again.
The girls' room was exactly as it had been the last time Aang was here. The light purple walls decorated with everything two three year olds could ever imagine. A wide variety of toys, with everything from dolls to horses to stuffed animals, scattered the floor messily, no doubt the after-effect of the two girls' combined energy.
Sitting on a cleaned spot on the floor was his old friend, and in her lap his other goddaughter, Kita, who was scowling as her mother braided her hair to match her sister's. It was a wonder Katara was able to sit on the floor, her round belly bulged out due to her pregnancy.
"Did you bring me any toys, Uncle Aang?" Kimi cheered, her blue eyes sparkling with mischief. The young Princess no doubt had everything her small heart could ever ask for, and yet every time he came, without question, she or Kita would ask him if he brought any toys for them.
Was he really that obvious?
"Of course." He grinned, pulling the bag off of his shoulder and opening it up. Kimi dived in immediately while Kita sat back sadly, tied off by her mother and her hair.
"There." Katara finished, letting go of Kita. Kita's golden eyes lit up like firelights as the young Princess jumping right into the bag Aang had brought.
Katara smiled at her daughters before turning to Aang. "Your ruining them, you know. They'll be unbearable by the time they're five."
Aang grinned. "Just like their father, right?"
A soft glow appeared in Katara's eyes. "Just like their father."
It was uncomfortable for the two adults, just for a moment. Old memories, harsh memories, came flooding back in Aang's mind, and it was all he could do not to scream.
"They're mostly for the little one, you know." I thought I was over this. "I wanted to make sure he or she had some pretty good toys to play with, too, you know." He continued, hoping to make the sore silence vanish.
Katara smiled lightly. "Thank you, Aang." She said quietly, picking up one of the toys Aang had brought and observing it wordlessly.
"That's one of my favorites." Aang said gently, taking the toy from Katara's hand. He sat down beside her, playing with the toy from his memory, watching in childlike amusement as it flew in the air before coming back down again. "I use to play with it all the time when I was younger…"
She looked at him curiously. "Was it one of the one---"
"That said I was the Avatar? Yeah." He dug around in the bag for a moment, pulling three more toys out. "All of these were."
"Why are you giving them to my kids?" Katara asked curiously. "They're yours, Aang. They're all you—"
"Have left of the past?" He finished for her. "Yeah, I know."
Katara put her hand on his knee comfortingly. "What's wrong, Aang?"
He sighed. "I'm tired, Katara. So very tired."
Katara stared at him; her expression was one that was hard to read for the airbender. "Aang…your only twenty-two…"
"A hundred and twenty-two." He corrected.
"A hundred and twenty-two, then." She amended. "Point is, you aren't that old. What are you tired about?"
"It's…difficult to explain." He said tiredly. "Do you ever get the feeling that your through? That you've done all you can, and you need to move on?"
Katara looked at him, puzzled.
"I do." He continued. "All the time."
Katara's gaze softened. "Aang…Listen to me. You aren't worthless. You're my best friend…I love you, Aang."
But not like that. He remembered an awkward conversation they had had years ago. He forced a smile on his face. "I know you do, Katara. And I don't think I'm worthless. I just think it's time for me to move on."
"Aang, stop it! You're confusing me! What are you talking about?"
He sighed quietly, wondering if Rokku had had as hard of a time letting go as he was now. He held the Avatar relics in his hand before setting them in Katara's lap. "I'm leaving, Katara."
She gasped. "Leaving? Where? Where are you going to go, Aang?" She screeched at him.
"I don't know yet." He said, standing up. "But I'll figure it out." He walked toward the window, picking up his staff near the window where he left it. He gave her one last sad smile before he left. "You'll see me again, I promise. Maybe even sooner than you think. It'll just be…different."
After he flew out of the window, it was the last anyone ever saw of Avatar Aang ever again.