It was going to be a big day for everybody.
Sokka needlessly brushed off his blue warrior's uniform.
It had been five years since he'd first met Suki. He was ready to get married. He loved her.
"It's almost time," said his best friend and best man, Aang. "You ready?"
"Yeah," said Sokka, smiling at himself in the mirror.
"See you out there, then," said Aang. He stopped at the doorway and said, "I think Katara wants to see you – should I send her in?"
"Yep," said Sokka, and as Aang left Katara swept into the room.
"Everything's all set," she said. "Suki looks beautiful."
"She always does."
"I can't believe my big brother is finally getting married!" Katara exclaimed, throwing her arms around him. "And the reception is going to be just wonderful," she added, stepping back to survey her brother.
"Yeah, it will be." Sokka was smiling again. He knew that Aang was planning to propose to Katara at the reception.
"It'll be nice having everyone back together again," Katara said, thinking about all of their friends that they hadn't seen since the end of the war – Toph and Haru (who had been exploring new regions of the Earth Kingdom lands for the past year), Teo (who was still living in the Eastern Air Temple), Zuko (who was now Fire Lord), Iroh (owner of the finest tea shop in the world), and the many others they'd met on their travels. But Sokka's mind was on the face they wouldn't see.
"Not everyone," he said.
Katara understood. She placed a hand on her brother's shoulder and said, "Dad would be proud of you."
"Thanks, Katara." The siblings embraced again, and after a moment of silence Katara said, "I'm going to go check on Suki and make sure she's all ready." She looked at Sokka with understanding eyes and gave his shoulder a small squeeze of support before she left the room. Sokka returned his gaze to the mirror. He stood a little straighter and readjusted the boomerang slung across his back – it had been a gift from his father.
"Dad would be proud," he said solemnly to his reflection, a faint smile appearing on his lips. He was ready.
Sokka stood at the altar and watched Suki walk down the aisle. She looked stunning. She was wearing a magnificent Kyoshi green gown and her gold headdress glittered in the light. Her warrior makeup couldn't hide her smile.
She stood before the alter and held hands with Sokka as Guru Pathik began to speak. Sokka looked into Suki's eyes – but the eyes he saw weren't hers. Eyes the color of ice met Sokka's. He blinked. Suki was back before him, her violet-gray eyes shining.
What was that?
Sokka held Suki's hands a little tighter. He glanced at the Guru, but when he looked back at where Suki had been standing, she wasn't there.
The ice blue eyes were back, and instead of seeing Suki's auburn hair, he saw a halo of white locks falling around the face of a princess.
He shook his head slightly and when he opened his eyes to Suki once more, she was looking at him concernedly. She stroked his hand gently with her thumb in a comforting gesture, wordlessly asking him what was wrong.
I love Suki, Sokka thought.
Then why did you see Yue? a voice in the back of his mind asked.
I'm just nervous . . . I'm just nervous about getting married. I love Suki. She loves me. We both want to get married. We want to be together for the rest of our lives.
Sokka thought about all he and Suki had been through together. They had fought side-by-side when Kyoshi island had been attacked. They witnessed together the crowning of Fire Lord Zuko, the act that officially ended the war. And Suki, incredible, compassionate, understanding Suki, had been by Sokka's side when – during the battle that decided the war – his father had been killed. And Suki had been there for him at every moment of mourning – her support pulled him through that hard and trying time. Sokka loved Suki. He knew he did. But he couldn't silence the voice in the back of his mind that whispered Yue's name. He hadn't been able to since the day she died.
Suki, I love you, Sokka thought, gazing at Suki as she said, "I do."
But you love Yue, too, don't you?
Sokka tried to drown it out.
I love Suki. I love SUKI.
You do . . . but you also love Princess Yue.
Sokka squeezed Suki's hands a little tighter.
No . . . I love Suki.
Yes, you do . . . but as much as you love Suki . . .
His lost love stood before him.
. . . you will always love Yue, too.
He couldn't silence the voice that he had been fighting for five years.
No, Yue . . . I love Suki!
He knew it was right – he'd fought this battle before and lost.
Yes . . . but deep down there will always be a part of you that loves Yue.
I love Suki!
Yes, you do love Suki. You love her deeply and truly – but you love Yue, too, don't you?
No . . . I love Suki . . .
He was finding it harder and harder to fight – and always had, especially in the recent months.
You still love Yue, too, don't you?
Sokka kissed his beautiful bride – Suki. And for the first time since Yue's death, he was at peace.