A/N: Well, it is the end of the road. This story is now complete. Or is it? That's right, faithful reviewers, if enough people say yes, I will write a sequel! And I will put Zuko and Azula in it! Just say the word in your reviews!
The ground had stopped shaking the marsh was eerily silent. Looking up from his current position, Sokka decided that it was safe to go back inside.
"I'll go back in," Sokka suggested to the exhausted warriors, figuring after seeing what they had seen, no one else would want to.
"I'll come with you," Toph said to him as she bounded over to his side.
"Us too," Winterfrost and Autumnleaf added as they ran up to him.
Sokka looked at the two Thunderclan warriors questioningly before asked, "Are you sure?"
They nodded. "Goldpaw is our friend too, Bravepaw," Autumnleaf murmured. "We want to make sure that he's okay."
Sokka nodded before leading off, his three friends following him.
It didn't take them long to reach the center of the marsh cat camp. Or what had once been the marsh cat camp. In truth, the place was in ruins, torn up earth and drained bogs everywhere. But where was Aang?
Sokka's question was answered soon enough when he located the young apprentice's motionless body, his golden colored pelt muddy and bleeding. His arrows were not glowing anymore, as he lay completely still. It was a far cry from the power he had just radiated before.
At first glance, Sokka thought that Aang was dead. However, as the four of them walked over to his body, Sokka noticed Aang's flank rising and falling slightly.
"He's alive," Toph announced, feeling the vibrations of his heartbeat in the ground.
Winterfrost nodded. "C'mon then," the white warrior said seriously, "We'd better take him to Pandafur."
With that, Winterfrost picked Aang up gently by the scruff and dragged him out of the camp followed by Autumnleaf.
Sokka surveyed the ruined marsh cat camp quickly once more before he asked Toph, "Is anyone else here?"
Toph paused before she said solemnly, "No. All the marsh cats are gone."
Sokka nodded in understanding before he headed off with Toph at his side.
It was almost dawn before Aang began to stir. He opened his eyes groggily, not sure exactly where he was. The last thing he really remembered was finding Katara's motionless body…
Aang sat up, trying to push away the unwanted thought. They were outside of the marsh, he noticed, and he also noticed that many of the clan cats were sleeping, although some were awake. Some were having their wounds being tended too, others were drowsily sharing tongues.
The sounds of Aang's awakening brought Sokka to attention. The stone colored apprentice immediately rushed to his friend's side.
"How are you?" Sokka asked, concerned.
Aang replied, "A bit sore, but I'm okay."
Sokka nodded, then he noticed his friend look down at the ground in sadness.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
Aang was silent for a moment before he whispered, "Katara…she was…I couldn't…" he trailed off, anguish in his voice.
Sokka gazed at him for a moment before he said, "In that case, you'd better come with me."
With that, Sokka walked off, Aang following him rather reluctantly. They didn't stop until they had reached Pandafur. The Thunderclan medicine cat was crouched over the body of another cat, pressing cobwebs onto it's wounds. The cat underneath her stirred and yelped, "Ouch! That hurts!"
"They're only cobwebs," Pandafur said to the squirming cat at her paws. "Just hold still."
The she cat complied. All was quiet for a minute before Sokka spoke to Aang.
"Pandafur saved this apprentice's life. I don't think it would hury if you went and talked to her for a while."
Aang looked apprehensive, but he did as he was told. Pandafur looked up from her work and smiled before she stepped aside, although wasn't quite sure why. He found out once he was directly over the blue grey apprentice…
"Katara!" he exclaimed, happiness and relief replacing sadness.
Katara lifted her head and a look of relief crossed her face as well.
"Aang," she murmured his name.
Aang bent down and touched the side of his face to hers, a delighted purr escaping both of them.
Sokka smiled at the tender scene. At least they were back together. Then suddenly, he saw Sunstar approaching from behind him. The Thunderclan leader's eyes were full of thanks.
"Words cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am," he said. "You saved us. All of you."
"Well, thank you," Toph responded to the praise as she padded up to Sokka's side.
After another pause, Katara asked quietly, "So what are the casualties?"
Sunstar bowed his head in sorrow for a minute before he murmured, "Lightningbolt is dead. So is Wolfstar's deputy, Cougarclaw. Scarface is dead and Samurai is gone as well…" he trailed off, unable to finish.
The four apprentices glanced at each other before Aang asked, "So, who are the new deputies?"
Sunstar looked up to address the young golden colored cat before he replied, "Winterfrost is the new deputy of Thunderclan, and Wolfstar told me that he has appointed a cat named Sunshineagle to be his deputy. I'm only worried who is going to lead the bending cats now since Samurai died."
There was another pause before Aang piped up again, "I was there when Samurai died. He said I was the leader of the bending cats now. And I've been thinking. Maybe, if it's okay with you and the other clans, well, maybe we could let them join the clans."
Sunstar's eyes widened before he asked, "What do you mean, Goldpaw?"
Aang continued, "Well, think about it. We could split them up depending on what element they bend, kinda like the four nations. If they have kits with some of the other warriors around here, some of those kits could be benders as well. It would make the four clans stronger. What do you say, Sunstar?"
The Thunderclan leader paused in thought, before he said, "I'll discuss it with the other clan leaders.
Then, he walked away to make his decision with the other leaders, a decision that might affect the whole clans.
A long time had passed before Sunstar arrived back. He yowled out, "Let the cats from all of the clans join here for an important meeting."
Everyone complied, even Katara, thought she was still injured. When everyone was settled, Sunstar began to speak.
"I have talked with the other clan leaders and with the bending cats. We all know that their leader, Samurai died in the battle. Starclan will honor him. But now, we have decided that these cats need a permanent home. They will join the clans."
Murmurs of surprise were heard from all the clan cats, but none of them seemed to object. They knew how powerful the bending cats were.
"We will split them up based on the element of which they bend. Wolfstar has agreed to accept the airbenders, Reedstar will take in the waterbenders, Lonestar will accept the firebenders, and I am taking the earthbenders."
Meows of approval were heard. Clearly, the clan cats thought this was an excellent idea.
"There is one more ceremony to perform," Sunstar continued. "One for four special Thunderclan apprentices. Without them we would have all been destroyed, I think they deserve warrior names."
The clan cats once again yowled their approval.
Sunstar called, "Nightpaw, Bravepaw, Seapaw, and Goldpaw, come forward."
The four apprentices did so, stopping only when they were in front of their leader.
Sunstar yowled to the night sky, "I, Sunstar, leader of Thunderclan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look upon these four apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of you're noble code, and I ask you to condemn them as warriors in their turns. Nightpaw, Bravepaw, Seapaw and Goldpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect and defend this clan even at the cost of your lives?"
"I do," the four young cats murmured in unison.
"Then by the powers of Starclan," Sunstar continued, "I give you your warrior names. Nightpaw, from this moment you will be known as Nightbandit. Starclan honors your loyalty and spirit, and we welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."
Toph licked Sunstar's shoulder.
"Bravepaw, from this moment you will be known as Braveheart. Starclan honors your bravery and your strength, and we welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."
Sokka stepped forward and licked Sunstar's shoulder.
"Seapaw, from this moment you will be known as Seamist. Starclan honors your courage and determination, and we welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."
Katara limped up to Sunstar and licked his shoulder.
"And Goldpaw." Sunstar paused, as if considering something before he continued, "From this moment you will be known as Goldspirit. For I am sure that like me Starclan has never seen a spirit hat burned as brightly as yours. We welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."
Aang was humbled by his leader's unexpected praise. But all the same, he walked forward and licked Sunstar's shoulder, purring his thanks.
As he went over to join his friends, he heard the clans cat calling their new names. All of the clan cats.
"Nightbandit! Braveheart! Seamist! Goldspirit!" they chanted.
The four new warriors exchanged glances with one another as they listened to the chanting. They looked up into the night sky. And the stars seemed to be getting brighter…
Gasping with realization, the four of them huddled together before the stars flashed and everything went black.
Aang looked up, shaking his head, and not knowing where they were. He tried to sit up, but something felt different. Looking down at the rest of his body, he realized that he was no longer a cat, but a human once more. His friends were the same way.
They rest of them sat up, realizing that they were in the same location they had been in before they had changed into cats.
Not wanting to talk about, Sokka said, walking over to Appa and packing their things, "Well, we should get moving. We need to get to Ba Sing Se if we want to warn the Earth King about the war."
The others agreed with him and also began packing.
Aang started to help them, but he was stopped by a rustling sound in the bushes. He looked over in the direction of the forest…to see a pair of gleaming amber eyes.
"Well done, young Goldspirit," the owner of the eyes said. "Starclan will honor you and your friends for what you have done for us. Good luck on your journey, and remember that the spirits of Starclan are always with you." Then, the eyes disappeared.
Aang smiled. "Thank you, Sunstar," he whispered.
"Aang, c'mon!" Sokka called out. He and the others were already on Appa's back, ready for takeoff.
Aang raced over to join his friends before airlifting himself at Appa's front. With a cry of "Yip, yip!" Appa soared into the sky, leaving the territory of the four clans far behind them. However, the four young heroes would never forget their adventure, and how they had fulfilled the prophecy, bringing peace to the forest.
A/N: Well, there you have it! And like I said before let me know it you all want a sequel because I'd be happy to do one!