By: Sophie LeBlanc
Monday, April 5, 2010
Dedicated to anyone with an imagination.
- ten years later –
Sitting in Appa's saddle, the wind gently caressed Katara's copper coloured skin, blowing freely along her matured body. The navy blue tunic-dress that layered her slender frame rippled lightly in the cool breeze. She rested peacefully with her eyes relaxingly closed, absorbing the beams of light the sun cast down upon her grown face as she and Aang enjoyed a comfortable silence.
Alike Katara, Aang had matured. He was taller, now standing nearly a head higher than his wife, and had especially broadened throughout his shoulders and torso. He was slim and rather angular throughout his figure. In his face, any semblance of his youth had been outgrown throughout the past years. Although in his eyes there resided an immortal twinkle that withheld a segment of his spontaneous character, despite his physical maturity.
Aang was sitting on Appa's head, steering. The sun beat down upon his shaven head and casted a bright shine against his blue arrow.
Aang sighed easily, and deeply breathed in the pure summer's air.
"We're almost there Katara," he said happily, "Just a few more minutes." Over the years Aang's voice had developed a deeper tone.
"That's great! I'm so excited to see everyone again," Katara replied eagerly, opening her eyes and looking upon the earthy ground. From her position, she could see their nearing the Great Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se.
Katara sat up and crawled her way toward Aang, being careful to keep a steady balance when edging over the rim of Appa's saddle. She curled herself beside his body, leaning her head against his shoulder, and sighed contently.
Aang looked down at her long dark hair which streamed over his shoulder like delicate threads of ribbon. He smiled to himself, taking a minute to appreciate the beautiful person that was bundled beside him. He welcomed her easy closeness and the warmth of her touch.
A few minutes passed and Appa landed in a familiar courtyard made of stone. Exhausted from the day's travel, he flopped his belly against the ground and let out a fatigued groan.
"It's okay Appa buddy, we're here now so you can rest all you want," Aang reassured.
The large square was surrounded with many trimmed hedges and bushes. There was a spatial house that encased three sides of the courtyard entirely, leaving only the south end of the square empty where a stone pathway led elsewhere. The house was made from red brick and was very grand with many flower beds and patio decks bordering it.
Before either Aang or Katara could slide off Appa, a dark haired woman came leaping out of the house. The woman was smaller in size and clothed in a green and white dress. Her black hair hung just past her shoulders and was styled to either side of her face, exposing her beauty. Her bright smile stretched far across either of her cheeks, thickly expressing her eagerness. Everything but the woman's eyes revealed her enthusiastic excitement, as they were hidden behind a dense shield of white shadow.
"Toph!" Aang and Katara called brightly.
"Hey, Aang. Hey, Katara!" The woman greeted, "Hey, Appa."
Aang and Katara slid off the Sky Bison.
"It's so good to see you again!" Katara smiled, embracing Toph in a warm hug.
"No kidding – I've been missing you guys like crazy. How long has it been now—six months?"
"It feels like longer." Aang said, giving her a close hug..
"Where's Sokka? He's home right?" Katara asked, looking past Toph; towards the house.
"He's coming – he's just at the door now," Toph stated. Both Aang and Katara peered expectantly at the house and sure enough the door quickly slid open and Sokka step through.
He was tall and sturdy, having broadened in his shoulders and chest. His dark hair hung past his ears, ending just above his shoulders. Alike this younger years, it was pulled back into a warrior's wolf tail, though on the left side of his head he now additionally fashioned a thin braid with two water tribe beads strung into the pattern. His posture was slightly more erect, and as he walked toward his family there was a certain natural confidence in his stride.
For a moment, Katara saw her father.
"There's my Generall!" she said, lunging herself at her older brother.
"Admiral," Sokka corrected with a laugh, embracing his sister. His voice also, had grown a prominent base.
The siblings held each other fondly. Over the months apart it felt unimaginably wonderful to be in each other's presence once again, and even more so to be embraced in their arms.
After Sokka and Katara had finished their warm reconnection, Aang and Sokka greeted each other with a sturdy nod, however, their smiles said much more despite their manly concealment. While Sokka and Aang exchanged summaries of their living, Katara stood beside Toph, whipping blissful tears from her eyes.
Feeling the vibrations through her feet, Toph was aware of Katara's proximity. However, as she absorbed her sister's pulsating energy Toph encountered a peculiar unbalance; from deep within Katara's body and all the pulsations it emit, there was an additional source of vibration.
Confused, Toph concentrated carefully on Katara's beating body. The added vibration source was exceedingly small, nearly unnoticeable, and was rather fast in pace. Focused, Toph could feel what seemed to be a tiny heart beat set between Katara's hips.
Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...
Toph gasped imperceptibly. She focused harder, concentrating all of her energy on verifying what she had just discovered.
Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...
Toph was beyond words—which was slightly beneficial because it assisted her in silently containing her joy. Unbelievably high spirited, Toph impulsively had the desire to reach over and give Katara a giant congratulatory embrace, but she fought the urge—Toph wasn't positive that Katara even knew of her future motherhood, as the speck of life growing inside her body seemed too small to be detectable yet.
Toph's thoughts were suddenly centered on Aang, who was still listening to Sokka.
At a be, Twinkle-Toes, at a be, she thought to herself. Swallowing her voice, she further concealed her astonishment by subtly smiling to herself, and quickly resurfaced her attention to the people before her.
"—and I'm really liking the whole 'Admiral' thing now," Sokka was saying, "even though I can't Bend, the Earth Kingdom army is really working for me."
Completely disregarding the conversation Aang and Sokka were engaged in, Toph affectionately reached her arm out and punched Aang in the shoulder.
"Ouch! Toph, what was that for?" Aang cringed while rubbing his arm, noting an increase in Tophs' strength.
"Oh, nothing..." Toph hedged. "It's just good to see you again."
"Why don't we all go inside?" Katara offered, "We can sit down and finish talking, then maybe we can all go out for tea later?"
"Yeah, we can go to the Jasmine Dragon—Iroh will be happy to see you guys again, Aang and Katara." Toph added brightly.
"I agree, let's go inside – I'm hungry." Sokka said, patting his stomach.
Toph cocked an eyebrow. "But you just ate."
Katara giggled. "...Always thinking with his stomach."
Ignoring his sister's comment, Sokka slide his arm around Toph and they made their way back into their house, Aang and Katara following closely behind.
"Wait a second!" Sokka suddenly said, stopping his tracks and turning around to cock a questioning eyebrow at Aang. "Where's Momo?"
"He's back home with Zuko," Aang said, then jokingly added. "Momo's too busy ruling the Fire Nation to come visit you Sokka."
Both Toph and Katara chuckled slightly.
Sokka jutted out his bottom lip. "Ha, ha very funny."
Happy to be in each other's long missed company, the growing family continued their way into the house, cheerful and content to be with one another once again.
I do not own Avatar; Last Airbender, but I do, however, own this story.
© Sophie LeBlanc
© Sophie LeBlanc 2010