A/N: Back by popular demand! I'm actually a little afraid not to continue this. I've never gotten so many reviews in one day. Thanks people!
But please, One More Dawn Is All We Ask is the work I'm truly serious about and it doesn't get nearly as much love and affection. It's more bookish and not as fluffy but it's gotten ten times the effort that this one will get.
Chapter 2 - Bubblegum
"So, you guys knew eachother when you were little?" Sukki asked Katara who had her tongue sticking out of her mouth as she concentrated on painting her toenails.
Katara smiled as the pleasant thought that she'd found her old friend came back to her, each time she got a funny little feeling in her stomach.
"Story time," Sukki laughed and put her chin in her hand as she rocked the porch swing they were both sitting on.
Katara screwed the nail polish cap back on and hugged her knees to her chest. Ever since Aang had introduced Katara to Sukki and she'd found out about their past she insisted it was the romance of all time waiting to be told.
Katara didn't mind, although it was hard seeing Aang as fifteen years old and even harder to look at him as a possible guy companion, (she still got the urge to put a tissue to his nose and tell him to blow) talking about him had become a favorite pastime.
"Well there was this once-"
Aang had just come strolling down the sidewalk in front of Katara's house. His face was stretched into one of his huge smiles and he was holding a plate with something covered in aluminum foil. There was enough of a pause before he added, "What's up Sukki?" that it was almost an afterthought. Sukki accepted herself as a third wheel and edged over a bit so Aang could sit next to Katara on the porch swing which he undoubtedly would.
It was still so strange to Katara, the logo on his shirt said that he'd swapped Sesame Street for the Ramones and his shoes said Converse instead of Osh Kosh.
'Was he still the same person?' she wondered, and her stomach flopped with nervousness, to the five-year-old Aang she would always be the hero who rescued Mr. Cuddles in his time of need.
What about this Aang, was he too cool for her now?
Just as she thought this, and that there was no time to bolt inside her house now because he had reached the top step, he tripped on it and she ended up catching him by the elbows.
As he caught her gaze and grinned while his cheeks tinged pink she found his ability to make her feel totally cool just the way she was hadn't changed at all.
"You came just in time Aang," Sukki said as Aang scrambled to right himself and laugh off the imaginary sign over his head blinking idiot #1. "Katara was just about to tell me a very embarrassing story that you wouldn't want anyone to hear," Sukki joked.
"That's not true Aang, I was just going to tell her about that time – in fact . . ."
Katara reached out and plucked off Aang's beanie cap, revealing his bald head, not a strand of hair to distract from his features.
That made it a good look for him, she thought, as she looked into his open and bare face, just like his personality. Hair would only take away from those huge, grey St. Bernard eyes and the softness of his face that together made him . . . attractive, she admitted.
"It never grew back?" she asked, "Now I'm really sorry about the bubblegum."
Aang laughed as he sat down next to Katara just as Sukki had predicted, "When I got bubblegum in my hair-"
"When I got bubblegum in your hair," Katara interjected, looking embarrassed.
"Well anyway," Aang said, not too concerned about pointing fingers, "They just decided to shave it off and when I was seven having no hair to brush in the morning sounded pretty sweet," he said, laughing again.
"It suits you," Katara said, running her hand playfully over his smooth head.
"What in the world does that mean?" Sukki asked.
"It just does is all," Katara said, looking into Aang's eyes again, they were so innocent and kind, another part of him that had stayed the same since they'd been apart.
Katara's mother stood stock still in the kitchen where she had been baking a pizza, she hadn't heard a sound from her daughter or her six-year-old playmate for a while. Far from giving her peace of mind, for a mother that was cause to worry.
'If they're hanging off the underwear on the clothesline again,' she thought to herself, straining to hear any indication of their antics.
The funny thing was it usually wasn't Katara that got them into trouble, even though she was the older one and seemed like the obvious choice for a leader.
It was usually Aang that brought out her silly side and convinced her that replacing a tooth in Kana's dentures with a Chiclet would be fun.
Katara's mother bent and slid the pizza into the oven as a chorus of Spongebob Squarepants broke out in the living room with a voice over by the two children.
She couldn't help but catch some of their happy-go-lucky attitude as a stomping noise told her they were also performing a dance sequence to the opening of their favorite show.
Sokka looked up from the table where he'd been doing some pre-algebra problems before the weekend ended and he had to go back to Professor Roku's class. That teacher had temper like a volcano, and he hated being the kid who didn't do his homework in that class.
He was just about to tell them to quiet down, because being the fourth grader that he was he needed to concentrate on his homework when the show started and they sat down on the blue sofa again.
Sokka turned back to his sheet of paper, 4 goes into 20 how many times? Good thing he'd cheated off of Azula for that last math test, or he would have flunked, but her, she never got anything wrong. Much to her brother Zuko's dismay, who was always dozing off in class and then being asked why he couldn't be more like her. If those teachers knew as soon as they turned back around she stuck her tongue out at him . . .
"Aang look, I blew a really big bubble!"
Sokka cast another glance at the sofa from his place at the dining room table to see his sister's face hidden by the gigantic pink bubble she'd blown.
"Whoa Katara, how'd you do that?" Aang asked excitedly.
Sokka turned back to his math problems, at least they weren't doing anything stupid he could get blamed for . . .
"Okay, I'll be the Dirty Bubble and you be Spongebob," Katara said.
"Oh Aang, I'm sorry!"
"Sokka, what were they doing?"
Sokka sighed and put down his pencil as his mother came rushing out of the kitchen to inspect a rather shocked looking Aang's hair. Guess he would be that kid who didn't do his homework.
By the time Katara and Aang were finished telling the story Sukki was in tears from laughter which caused Sokka to open the front door onto the porch.
He had a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth and shaving cream on one side of his face and a suspicious look.
"You missed a spot right there," Aang laughed, indicating the right side of his face.
"Katara, what are you doing inviting strange men to the house, especially ones who make fun of my shaving?" Sokka asked.
"Strange men?" Katara repeated, "Aang is fifteen and he's definitely not a stranger, you should remember him."
Sokka inspected Aang's face, his narrowed eyes showed he was waiting for something to ring a bell.
"Oh, right," he said, his posture becoming more lax, "You're that kid that used to follow Katara around, all the happy memories . . ." he grumbled the last part.
"So, when did you-" Sokka stopped mid sentence and plucked the toothbrush out of his mouth, he had just noticed Sukki.
"Katara, I told you to warn me! I look like I got attacked by a toiletry aisle!" he yelled over his shoulder as he disappeared back into the house.
Sukki giggled as they looked after Sokka for a few moments before Aang spoke.
"You wanna come over to my house tonight?" Aang asked, "You know Gyatso is excited about someone moving into town when he bakes soy brownies," Aang said as he removed the aluminum foil from the plate he'd been holding.
There were about ten brown lumps arranged in a kind of pile on the plate that looked as though they could either be ooey-gooey or very icky.
"No one's ever done that for us," Katara said as she took the plate. Aang could tell she was trying to sound grateful but she didn't know what to make of the small brown concoctions. "How did he make brownies out of-"
"I don't know either," Aang said, looking at the brownies like he didn't seem too sure of them himself.
"He's better at making fruit pies," Aang said, "At the commune we usually eat those for desert.
"You live at a commune?" Katara asked; their lives had gone in different directions.
"Yeah, ever since . . ."
Katara's eyebrows rose in understanding, "Oh, so that's what . . . I see."
Sukki didn't seem to know what to make of the sudden seriousness that had come over her two friends, but she kept quiet as she looked from one to the other.
Aang gave Katara a small smile to break the solemnity and reached into his pocket.
"He told me to be sure you got this too," he said as he pulled a chain from his pocket, at the end of it was the largest sapphire Sukki had ever seen.
Katara's hand shook as she reached out to take the necklace, something told Aang that the longing in her eyes was not there because the sapphire must have been thousands of dollars.
"This is my mother's necklace," she said softly, like all breath had left her body.
"It is?" Aang asked, obviously as shocked as she was, "Why did Gyatso have it?"
"That's what I'd like to know," Katara said as she looked down at the chain and gem in her hand like it was her own mother's face, a mother who had passed away, taking her childhood with her.
A/N: I have Libowiekitty's go ahead so I'll be continuing this fic. I'm now officially in love with it myself so this won't be over for a while.
Thank you also to all those people who reviewed and added my story to their favorites and alert list. I have a feeling there are going to be too many for me to mention all of them in my chapters but you know who you are and I am sincerely grateful and honored.
The curtain had fallen, have a nice night, thanks for coming.