Book 1: The Middle War

How can you love someone who doesn't fully love you back?

Chapter 1: Moon Princess

Suki rested her head on Sokka's shoulder. The two were laying beneath a blooming sakura tree in a patch of moonlight that shone through a crevice in the ancient Air Temple. She closed her eyes and listened to the peaceful sounds of the temple. An iguana-pidgeon was whistling a sweet melody, and the trickling from a silvery stream of fountain water put the two lovers at ease.

For this simple moment in time there was no war... no broken bonds... no harm... no pain or suffering. Sokka wrapped his muscle toned arms around her figure. He felt the rise and fall of her breathing with his arms as he held her close to his body. Sokka planted a tender-loving kiss upon her forehead, causing Suki to giggle lightly.

He never wanted to let go... he wanted her to stay in his safe embrace. Sokka had lost the Northern Water Tribe's Princess, Yue. He hadn't been able to protect the princess... he would never allow that to happen again... especially not to Suki.

She snuggled in closer to him and exhaled a heavy sigh. She'd never really been in a relationship with a boy before, considering how all the men on Kyoshi Island were either old farts or weren't potty-trained. Suki could hear the steady beating of Sokka's heart pounding against her ear. Yet somehow, the rhythm seemed to soothe her.

The thudding resounded over and over again in her mind, like the beating of a drum; it was the beating of a warrior's heart. Suki smiled. She could rest here forever... eternally in the warmth of Sokka's embrace. A light breeze swept the loose strands of her hair out of her face. This delicate moment... she never wanted it to end. A sweet aroma reached them before Katara ruined the moment.

"Hey! Oh... I-uh... I hope I'm not interrupting anything?"

Sokka jolted upright, still clutching Suki in his strong arms. Her eyes flared open, and she found Katara staring at them with those questioning ocean eyes that she possessed.

"What do you want, Katara?" Sokka asked her, obviously upset his secret haven suddenly wasn't so secret.

Katara replied, "Well, I was just gathering everyone up to let them know that dinner was ready... I didn't know—"

"Alright... whatever... we'll be there in a minute!" Sokka hastened to respond, "Now go away!"

Katara left with a snicker. Apparently she was still trying to decide whether or not she was going to tell everyone else what Sokka had been up to before dinner... or if maybe she was just going to keep it to herself. Either way, Sokka wouldn't know which one she chose.

Sokka sighed as Katara left from his view. "It's all right, Sokka..." Suki attached her mouth to his and began kissing him passionately.

When they finally unlocked their lips, Sokka stood up and offered her a hand. She took his hand in hers and allowed him to pull her to her feet. Their hands seemed to fit perfectly together, like two pieces of the same jig-saw puzzle. She stared into the pool of mystic blue that was Sokka's eyes. Lovely.

xXx

Suki sat down around their fire. Katara gave her a plate of food. "Thank you Katara, it looks wonderful!" Suki exclaimed.

Katara smiled and continued to pass out plates of food to the others. The Duke sat in Suki's lap while he ate. He had become quite attached to her. Suki removed the boy's helmet and stroked his cinnamon hair gentley. He nestled closer to her and leaned against her chest as young boys would do to their mothers.

The Duke had never really had a real mother. He'd never told anyone about what had happend in his past, not even the Freedom Fighters. It was something he'd rather leave a secret to all but himself. Suki was the closest thing he'd ever had to a mother.

Suki didn't mind the boy huddled up to her; she thought it was cute. He began to slowly fall into a deep sleep. Hakoda smiled, remembering a time when Sokka looked the same way; slumbering closely cuddled up with his mother. It was a painful memory, but it was also quite comforting.

Katara was somewhat jealous of Suki. She was always so perfect, and all the boys seemed to take notice of her. Katara was tired of it... Suki never really did anything except cling to Sokka anyway! When was she going to start pulling her weight? Frankly, Katara was tired of being the only one doing all the women's work.

Of course she couldn't really count Toph... considering the girl was blind and acted like one of the guys anyhow. Yet Suki was just dead weight, and Katara was fed up with it.

"Suki..."

"Hm?"

Katara chose her words carefully, "Erm... Why don't you make dinner tomorrow?"

"Well... I've never actually tried to cook before... but I suppose I could give it a try," Suki added in, "although, I doubt anything I could make would ever end up as tastey as your cooking, Katara."

Katara wasn't expecting such a compliment... now she felt kind of bad for being jealous of Suki in the first place. Sokka handed his dirty plate to Katara then went over to Suki. He lifted The Duke out of her lap, being careful not to wake him, and then placed the boy in the pile of hay that he enjoyed sleeping in so much. The transfer didn't phase the boy in the slightest.

Suki gathered up her plate, as well as The Duke's, and took them over to Katara. "Hey... uhm... if you want to just leave a wash-rag and some water here, I'll take care of the dishes tonight. Then you can have some free time before turning in." Suki offered.

"That's nice of you, Suki. Okay, thanks."

Suki smiled warmly at her friend.

xXx

Stealth happend to be a signature trait of the Kyoshi warriors. Suki hadn't been able to fall alseep, so she figured it would be beneficial for her to go get some fresh air. She quietly dodged all the sleeping people sprawled out in various spots on the temple's stone flooring.

Katara woke, sensing something out of the usual. She caught a glimpse of Suki leaving the area. Katara rose from her warm sleeping bag, the chilly night air sending shivers up and down her spine. Ignoring the temperature change, Katara followed Suki.

When Suki felt she was far enough away from the group, she sat herself along the ancient temple's railing. The railing itself was slowly crumbling away. Suki stared at the silver moon hanging in the sky. She wondered idly if she would be with Sokka had the moon princess not returned to her place among the stars.

Suki heard footsteps coming from behind her, and she leapt to her feet. It was just a habit of hers; to be ready for an attack at any time.

"Whoa, hey... Suki, it's just me."

"Katara?"

"Yeah."

Suki lowered her guard, and the two girls sat down together and stared at the lovliness of the moon. They sat in silence for awhile. Eventually, Katara broke the night's hold on the silence, "Suki, what are you doing up here anyway?"

Suki sighed, "I couldn't sleep... I just... have a lot on my mind..."

"That a lot doesn't have anything to do with my brother does it?" Katara asked jokingly.

"..."

Katara had expected at least a smirk from Suki, but apparently Sokka was the thing causing Suki's mind to cloud. Katara tried to think of something she could say that might help Suki. "Well, if you want to share any of your thoughts with me, I'm willing to listen... of course if it's too personal, I understand if you don't feel like sharing."

Suki exhaled heavily, "Oh... it's not... like that... It's just that... my sixteenth birthday is tomorrow..."

"Sixteenth? In the water tribe that means you're old enough for marriage!" Katara wasn't really thrilled, but she didn't want to show that to Suki.

"Yeah... that's why I didn't tell Sokka... I didn't tell anyone, in fact."

"What?"

Suki nodded, "Yeah... you're the only one I've told... Please don't tell anyone, okay?"

Katara smiled, "Don't worry, I won't. It'll be our secret."

Suki was relieved to hear that. "I don't want Sokka to know... he's still in love with her..." Suki's sentence trailed off and her gaze shifted up to the moon.

Suddenly, Katara understood. Suki couldn't handle the fact that Sokka refused to let go of Yue entirely, so as much as Sokka loved Suki and she loved him, he would always be somewhat distracted by any remaining love for the moon princess.

Katara hugged her friend. Despite the fact that she constantly felt inferior to Suki, she still cared about her a lot. Suki began speaking again, "I know that water tribe members normally get engaged when they turn sixteen... and..." Suki paused for a moment, "... I know he had wanted to propose to the northern tribe's princess, but she had gotten engaged before he had the chance... that's why..."

Suki was unable to finish her thought. Katara held Suki tighter, "It's okay... you don't have to say it... I understand. You want him to propose to you, but you don't want to be fully commited to someone who isn't fully commited to you..."

"I keep wondering if maybe... I'm just not meant to be with Sokka..."

Katara let go of Suki, "I saw you two before dinner! You looked so happy together! And when The Duke fell asleep and Sokka came over... the three of you looked like a real family!"

Suki smiled a bit, "Maybe... what do you think the moon spirit would do?"

Katara gave Suki one of those knowing smiles, "She would tell you... duty comes first... that you have a duty to yourself and to your heart... and that she wants Sokka to be happy..." Katara stood up and winked playfully at Suki, "And I know for a fact that you make my brother very happy."

Suki smiled as Katara began walking away, "Katara..."

The waterbender turned around to face Suki, "Thanks."

She nodded and went back to the campsite, leaving Suki to her thoughts. She would make the following day special for the Kyoshi warrior; after all she'd been through, Suki deserved it.

xXx

"Wake up, Lazy Bones!" Toph called over the fair skinned girl's head.

Suki groaned and opened her eyes to the bright world. She sat up and looked around at everyone who was already awake... but... a couple faces were missing.

"Hey... where are Sokka and Hakoda?" Suki asked.

Zuko, who was making some breakfast tea, replied, "They said they'd be back in a bit... something about Father-son bonding or whatever..."

Katara was busy hashing away at the eggs in her skillet, while Aang was doing hotsquats out of everyone's way under Chit Sang's watchful eye. Teo, Haru and The Duke were all caught up in an enthralling game of tag, as Toph lounged around picking her nose.

Momo flew onto Suki's head. She laughed, "Momo, what are you doing?"

The lemur began playing with her short-cropped hair. She rose from her makeshift bed on the stone floor and asked Katara if there was anything she could do to help.

"Absolutely not! You just take it easy today, alright?" Katara winked at Suki.

Suki smiled, she knew what Katara was doing.


Originally this story was posted under the title Meadows of Heaven with my old pen-name xxExplodingxHairballxx. lol XD. I've since changed my PN (obviously) and also decided to change the story title since I am going through and updating ALL THE CHAPTERS! Yay! Please leave me kind reviews! Thanks!