A/N: Yes, yes, it HAS been a while. I'd like to take the time then to truly apologize to everyone who's been waiting for this chapter along with my other previous chapters. I know I have a lot of readers for this story, and to those of you who haven't given up the hope of me updating, I thank you. Thanks for sticking with it, because I know I haven't been doing a good job keeping up this story, or any of my others for that matter.
Speaking of which, I'm thinking of putting 'Perfectly Piratical' on hiatus. There aren't many people that read it, and to be honest, it's not as good as my other stuff. I think it's because I had it all planned out. You'd think that would make it better than my others, but I think that I'm so worried about getting my plot points to go right that I'm focusing less on the characters, and that's not good at all. But anyways, onto what we've all been waiting for!
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar!
Sokka: And what ELSE do you not own?
Me: …Was there something else I was supposed to say?
Sokka: Oh! I, uh… no, because it's not like I was trying to make you feel bad… or anything… nope…
Separated We Are
Aang slowly turned, his eyes shut tight. Once he had turned towards Long Feng's general direction, he risked a peek. Long Feng was silently fuming mere feet away from him. Jeong Jeong just glared solemnly. Iroh sat wide-eyed, looking left and right, hoping nothing too out of hand would happen in such a public place.
"What are you doing here?" Long Feng growled. "Among peasants?"
"Hey –" Sokka began, but was cut off by a sharp pain in his rib as Toph elbowed him. Now was not the time to argue.
"Do you have any idea what you're doing? Any idea of how this could ruin your reputation, our reputation, Avatar? You fool!"
"Long Feng," Iroh said, placing a hand on Long Feng's shoulder. "Don't you think we should give Avatar Aang a chance to explain?"
Long Feng glared at Iroh, but crossed his arms and looked at Aang. "Tell us, then, Avatar, why you are here conversing with peasants when you should be at the palace."
Aang couldn't bring himself to tell him about Katara yet. He needed to start with something small, and ease him in some. "I can't stay in the palace all day. I have to get out of there sometimes, not to mention, like we've been talking about, I can't stay in a room with Yen for more than five minutes much less all day –"
"You will not talk about royalty that way!" Long Feng yelled. Aang flinched.
"And…" Aang thought about what to say next. "Toph is nobility. She's here, see?"
Long Feng merely looked at Toph with disgust. Toph couldn't see his expression, but she had never liked Long Feng so she glared back at him.
"What are you doing here?" Long Feng asked in a fierce whisper.
Aang looked around at the others in the restaurant, now looking on in interest and possibly fear of the shouting advisor. He looked at Toph who nodded at him, silently telling him that it was time to tell the truth. He looked at Sokka, who looked back with confusion in his eyes, gesturing to Aang's advisors. And then he looked at Katara whose eyes kept asking him question after question.
Aang took a deep breath. He was the avatar. He was meant to be brave. He could do this.
"I'm here, because I refuse to marry Yen or any other member of high society."
"What?!" Jeong Jeong and Long Feng both exclaimed. Aang saw Iroh give him a nod, and he narrowed his eyes at the advisors he'd grown up with.
He stood up. "I've snuck out of the palace nearly every day since we've been here. I've experienced a culture I've never seen before. I learned what people are like and what they want and how they live. I've discovered friendship which you've never let me have before, because I wasn't allowed to be young – I could only work and do as my idiot advisors told me to! I'm not doing what you tell me to anymore. All you ever did was boss me around; you never truly helped me with anything! Well, I can be the avatar on my own. I can be my own person."
Aang gestured towards Katara. "This is Katara… And I love her with every fiber of my being. If you don't like it, though, well… I don't care. You can't stop me."
Sokka and Toph timidly clapped before seeing the look on the advisor's face. Long Feng was seething by now. He looked at Katara. "You…" he said with ice in his voice. "You're the female warrior, the one that should be healing or cooking and cleaning. You ungrateful witch, what do you think you're –"
"Don't talk to her like that!" Aang yelled at him. He was about to say more, but Katara stood up.
"Aang," she said. "You… you didn't tell them about me – about us."
Aang's eyes widened and his breathing became faster.
"Were you – ashamed of me?"
"No!" Aang screamed, taking her hand. "No, Katara, I love you more than anything, anything! It's just that I knew they wouldn't let us be together. I knew they wouldn't approve, but I realized what's important, and I don't care about their opinions anymore."
Katara slowly nodded. "Okay. If you're absolutely positive…" She proceeded to swing her leg around, lifting Long Feng's legs out from under him, making him fall to the ground with a thump.
"Who should be cooking and cleaning now?" she spat at him.
Long Feng pushed himself off the ground. "Foolish girl," he said. "First you corrupt the avatar with your peasant beliefs, and then you assault me?" He pulled out the earth he carried up his sleeves for such occasions and before anyone could think about what was happening, Katara's wrists were bound by rock.
"What are you doing?!" Aang yelled, trying to bend the earth away as Katara struggled. Sokka stood up angrily and Toph, too, tried to free Katara from her bonds, but Long Feng held it strong. "You can't do this, let her go!"
"There's no need for this, Long Feng," Iroh said. "Jeong Jeong will agree with me."
Jeong Jeong was silent, but finally answered, "It… is for the best, I think."
Aang tried and tried to break the bonds, but Long Feng's hold was too strong. He was shoved to the ground by Long Feng who grabbed Katara and began to drag her out of the café. Katara, her waterbending useless, could only thrash about more, shouting "Let me go!"
"Stop!" Aang yelled. "Where are you taking her?"
"She's being arrested, on the grounds of assaulting a noble." Katara began to struggle more.
Aang was furious. He lunged for Long Feng, but Jeong Jeong grabbed him and held him back.
"Let go of me!" he growled at him. "Jeong Jeong, you know this is wrong. Don't let Long Feng do this, let me go after him!"
His advisor merely shook his head. "If it weren't for the best, Long Feng wouldn't be doing it."
Toph wanted to do something, but without any earth, she was useless. Sokka took out his boomerang and threw it with all his might at Long Feng's head, but Long Feng caught it in hand and threw it on the ground.
"Nice try," he smirked. Sokka glared and pounced, but Jeong Jeong threw out his leg, stopping Sokka in his flight.
Iroh formed fire in the palm of his hand. "I'm warning you, Long Feng. Let her go, or you'll regret it dearly."
"If you even touch me," Long Feng countered, "you'll be on a boat back to the Fire Nation faster than you can blink. Then what use would you be to the Avatar? After all, he severely needs help."
Iroh glared, but sighed and extinguished the fire.
Aang was still fighting to be free from Jeong Jeong's grasp, nearly in tears. Long Feng smirked at him. "With her in jail and out of your life forever, maybe you'll realize what's truly important, Avatar. Hard work. Discipline. Power. People who are worth your time." He heaved Katara out of the restaurant with him.
Aang shouted after her. "I'm sorry, Katara! I'll fix this, I swear!" His head sagged and with Jeong Jeong still holding him tightly, he whispered more to himself than anyone, "I'll fix this."
A/N: Heh… so, anyone hate me yet? Cliffhanger… lack of updates… anyways.
Anyone else feel like this chapter is really short? There wasn't much to put in it, really. I just needed Katara to get arrested. Poor Katara. People keep wanting to put her in jail.
Jeong Jeong is having difficulty deciding what to do. Aww.
I wrote this chapter pretty fast, actually. Yay me! I'm not sure if I really like it, though. Yeah… I'm pretty sure I don't. But, it's been too long since I've updated, and it's going up! :D
And now… REVIEW!! OR HAWKY WILL EAT ALL YOUR MUFFINS! BIT. BY. BIT!
Sokka: Gasp! The horror!
Me: I know, right?