Author's note: This is not my first story, but it is the first story I've submitted on this website. It's just an experimental story telling I used to feed my Avatar-crazed hunger. I plan on making this story a long one just so you all know. I enjoy constructive critisism but no flames :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I don't have a funny remark about how things would be if I did. Maybe I should think of one...
Chapter 1: Home
Sokka picked up his new sword and placed it neatly on the shelf. He took his young airbending friend by the shoulder and stood beside him, looking upon the great capital of the Southern Water Tribe.
"Just think… this is where it all began—just over a year ago. So much has changed."
Aang smiled. "Will you be alright Sokka? You seem—different. Sad?"
"No—happy, thanks to you." He looked at Aang and turned around with something in his hand. "I want to talk to you about something… it's important."
Aang adjusted his own heavy blue coat. "You can talk to me about anything Sokka." He was a bit put off by the way Sokka was acting so seriously all of a sudden. He was usually as goofy as ever he was before the war ended.
"Now, I think of you as my brother… I've accepted you as a part of our family… I've acknowledged you as my sister's—um—right… anyways, the point is that I care about your opinion, and I trust you, Aang. So tell me if I'm making the right decision by giving Suki this necklace so early in our relationship."
Aang nodded immediately. "The monks used to tell me that love is sometimes best displayed on a slight impulse. If you really truly care for Suki, then you shouldn't be afraid of anything."
Sokka tucked the necklace into his coat pocket and nodded confidently. "Alright then, I'm going to do it—tonight at your birthday feast—I mean, if you don't mind. I needed a special occasion and the Avatar's birthday seemed special enough."
Aang laughed gently. "It would be an honor to me, if you would propose at my birthday party." With that, Aang started walking out of the room.
Sokka, who seemed moderately pleased, sat on his bed. "Where are you heading?"
Aang pulled up his hood to prepare for the cold air outside. "I'm going to go find Katara. She said she would meet me when she was finished helping Gran-Gran with some things."
Sokka sighed contently. "Go get her lover-boy."
Aang smirked at the fact that Sokka was the one proposing to a girl that very night.
Aang entered the frigid winter air and pulled his hood close to his cheeks. He walked down the shallow steps that led away from the Tribal Igloo (The center of the southern government and his, Katara's, Sokka's, Suki's, and Chief Hakoda's home) and made his way through the streets of wooden and ice buildings that had been beautifully carved by arrivals from the Northern Water Tribe.
When he arrived at the outer areas of the frozen city, he was surrounded by huge tents and igloos that people called home. In the distance was a large port lined with Water Tribe ships and merchant ships from the Earth and Fire Nations.
It made him feel good inside to know that trade wouldn't have been possible if not for his workings in the councils of the other nations. As he reminisced on dreaded politics, an all too familiar voice sounded behind him.
He turned to see Katara—his favorite person to see. She was wearing her blue parka and her hair was braided as it used to be. Her voice was followed by an even more familiar embrace.
They hugged each other warmly and Katara started laughing gently.
Aang looked at her curiously and laughed back. "What is it?"
She took his hood in her hands and pulled it down. "The sky is clear, and it's pretty warm for this time of year. Yet, you still wear your heavy coat and hood."
Aang smiled playfully. "I don't know how you guys do it! I'm just freezing!"
"You'll get used to it." She leaned in slowly and kissed him on the lips. "Happy birthday, anyways, Aang. Fourteen is the age I was when I met you."
Aang began to walk with her hand in his. "I know, and now you're a much wiser fifteen."
Katara laughed at this comment. "So, what did you do while I was helping Gran-Gran?"
"I talked to Sokka—about stuff—and things…"
"About what stuff and things?"
"It's a surprise."
She shot him a mischievous smile. "Alright, then—you know you shouldn't keep secrets from your girlfriend."
Aang's heart skipped a beat. He and Katara had been going out for a few months now—ever since they had left Ba-Sing-Se—but Katara wasn't the type of girl that often referred to herself as a 'girlfriend'. This made the young avatar immensely proud. He had a beautiful girl that was even taller than he was for the time being. He imagined that the suitors from the North Pole, who were Katara's age, must have been extremely jealous of his fortune.
Aang was blushing furiously and Katara saw it. She smiled admiringly at him.
Aang straitened himself up to seem as tall as Katara. "I never keep secrets from you—this is a surprise." He grinned as if he had out smarted her.
She closed her eyes in a stiff fashion. "Well… I have a surprise for you—a present."
Aang laughed excitedly. "What could you have possibly gotten me that I don't have already?"
Katara eyed him carefully, now. "You know there's a ton of things you might want but don't have. Besides my gift to you is special…"
Aang pulled her close. "I can't wait to find out what it is."
She began to pull him back towards the city's center. "Then I'll show it to you now!"
She pulled him up the stairs and through the huge arch of ice that led into their home. This brought them to a large, domed, entrance foyer with centre ornaments of imported plants. At the head of the foyer, was a large, wooden, double door that led to the feasting hall and council chamber. At the sides of the foyer were several small doors. These led to the family lounges, Katara's, Sokka's, Suki's, Aang's, Hakoda's rooms, and the kitchen. It was where Aang had just come from.
Katara took Aang into the family lounge where Sokka sat reading a scroll. He looked up casually at the two and then went back to his reading. Katara sat Aang on a couch opposite of Sokka. "Stay there, I'll be right back."
Aang smiled brightly at her as she walked out of the room. Soon, she returned with what looked like a medium sized frame with a cloth over it. She sat beside Aang and handed it to him. "Here you go." she seemed to be shaking with excitement.
Aang took the frame and pulled the cloth off to reveal a beautiful portrait of him and Katara in Ba-Sing-Se. He was in his Avatar robes and she was in her gorgeous emerald Earth Kingdom gown with a pink flower in her hair. The sun was setting with the most glorious shades of orange, yellow and purple behind them. Their hands were clasped and they looked forward together.
Aang gasped in awe. "This is the painting we had done of us in Ba-Sing-Se!" He looked at the bottom of the painting to see a signature: Gin-Se. "The painter charges a fortune for his work! How'd you get it Katara?"
She blushed lightly. "I secretly bought it with the last of my Water Tribe money before we left Ba-Sing-Se. I wanted to have something to remember those times."
Aang hugged her tightly. "Thank you so much! It's the most beautiful painting I've ever seen."
When they kissed again, Sokka jumped up and interrupted. "So when you realized that my drawing wasn't good enough, you went and bought one!"
Katara sighed, knowing Sokka wasn't really hurt. "Oh, just go back to your reading!" She leaned in towards Aang again.
Sokka grunted. "Eww! Just stop! I don't kiss Suki in front of you guys!"
Aang turned, annoyed at Sokka's interruption. "Yes you do! All the time!"
Sokka gathered his scroll and began to walk out. "Well, Suki isn't a little bald kid with an arrow on her head! I guess I'll just leave then!" This was met with no response.
Katara pulled away from Aang. "I'm glad you like your present."
"I really do. I'll hang it up in my room." He smiled and stood up.