Howdy to all my loyal readers! You guys are amazing and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me for a VERY long time. To all my new readers thank you all for joining in the fun! I wouldn't be this far in my fic without any of you the old and the new :) And i mean that thank you thank you. I hope that my writing has been up to par with everything that you're expecting and i hope to keep entertaining you with my future chapters. Please keep reading because on the very last chapter i'll be taking a poll about continuation :) Until then enjoy this chapter, i'm getting close to the climax of my story and i'm about to write the chapter that is the second reason for beginning this fic in the first place! Now without further ado! :D
Black surrounded me as I ran through the never ending hallway. I would light a fire but I was running so fast it would get put out so I didn't bother. I could hear remnants of a fight up ahead and I could feel that I needed to be there. The urge was overwhelming as I pushed myself harder and faster. I couldn't be late no matter what because if I was…all would be lost. A piercing scream brought me to a screeching halt as lightening cackled ten feet in front of me and a manic laugh filled the stagnant air. Azula had just murdered my wife.
Aang jolted awake, throwing the covers off his body. What was that? He demanded of himself. This was the second night he had a dream exactly like this, only this time he actually got to see what happened and it sickened him.
Naturally Katara knew every time he was jolted awake because of their bond, "Hey…you ok?" she asked, a little sleepy.
"Yeah…I just need to calm down," Aang answered while rubbing his face.
"Need a distraction?" she asked rubbing his thigh.
Aang smiled, "Maybe?" he winked.
Katara smiled, her body waking up more, "You know I'm not opposed to it. Even if you weren't jolted awake by something that scared you, like now, if you're ever in the mood late at night…"
"I know…I can just start to take advantage of you and you won't mind," he finished her new speech she'd started using on him.
"That's right," she kissed his cheek.
He sighed, "I would totally feel like despicable doing that…ugh."
"Nooooo, I'm giving you consent. I don't care if I'm half asleep, if you have the urge please don't hesitate."
"You know that's not even the reason, we just got off on a tangent," he replied, lying back down.
Katara cuddled into his chest, "So…same thing like last time?"
Aang took a deep breath and Katara could feel his confirmation. "Was there more?" she asked.
"…yes, but I don't want to talk about it…" he closed his eyes, reliving the scene.
"Whatever it is it won't bother me, and you know it's not good for you to hold anything in," she started rubbing his chest with her exposed hand lending comfort.
"I don't…with everything going on I don't want to scare you…" he turned clutching her to his chest.
"Aang please," she leaned up and focused on his eyes waiting for him to open his. He eventually did, staring into deep ocean blues that he loved so much.
With another breath he told her, "I saw Azula kill you again…"
"Where?" she asked with no hesitation.
"I don't know, a dark tunnel was all I saw. No where specific…"
"So all I need to avoid is Ba Sing Se and big dark tunnels," Katara said slightly teasing.
Aang frowned remembering his first vision back in the Earth Kingdom Capitol, "Please don't take these lightly."
"I'm not but you're taking them too serious. Aang we are going to be fine, as long as we're together none of these things will happen ok?"
Aang released his breath still feeling uneasy, "But I wasn't fast enough…I…I'm never fast enough."
"Hush or I'm going to think you need a distraction," Katara told him holding his face between both of her hands, "You and I are training every day. Everyone is searching and we're waiting for some type of confirmation about the rebellions whereabouts. We need to be in top form for this fight. It's just as important as the last battle ending the 100 Year War. If you keep worrying about these things you won't sleep and if you don't sleep you won't be any good and I won't have you running into battle in anything less than your best. You hear me Avatar?"
Aang stared wide-eyed at her not sure of what to say before something quirky came to mind, "You really wouldn't let me come…well if that means I don't have to see crazy lady's face or evil loser lord again I'm set."
Katara rolled her eyes, "That's better…now to sleep?"
Aang chuckled slightly, "Yeah since it's still," he glanced out the window, "…dark."
"Is your internal time clock off or something," Katara teased lying down draping the covers over her body.
"I'm just tired," he poked her side making her jump. He eased back into a comfortable state spooning with his wife.
The morning arrived and Aang and Katara made breakfast for everyone. It'd been a couple weeks since the tattooing ceremony and the remaining Water Tribe and Lady Ursa left a few days ago. Jojo was sad to see Teo leave with the Fire Lady but he was needed in the Fire Nation to help his dad prepare the war machines for the final assault. The only people left in the temple were the Gaang.
"You awake there Sokka?" Katara asked taking in her brother's exhausted appearance.
"I would poke fun but I know it's still a sensitive subject and because I love you I'm refraining for replying," he replied laying his head on the table.
Katara smiled at his thoughtfulness, "How is little Sora?"
"He's a little monster…blasted child never knows when to sleep…" he sighed but smiled as he answered Katara.
She laughed, "It'll get better as he gets older."
Toph walked in next followed by Haru, "That ready yet?" she asked.
"Almost," Aang said sett a bowl full of fruit on the table.
Katara loaded all the bowls with oatmeal as Aang grabbed the honey and settled in. Suki appeared then carrying her newborn.
"Good morning Suki," Katara said as she sat next to her.
"Morning," she replied stifling a yawn.
"Same kind of night as Sokka?" Katara asked opening her hands to hold her nephew.
Suki gladly handed him over, "Yeah…I can't wait until he can actually sleep for longer periods of time before needing to eat or be changed."
Katara held him close as he slept peacefully in her arms. He had bronze colored hair and light green eyes that complimented his slightly tanned skin.
"You know I have no idea you wanted to name him after you Sokka," Katara said, "He doesn't even look like you."
"Yeah, yeah whatever," he waved his hand at her.
Toph snorted, "Somebody didn't sleep last night…running a little low on witty remarks."
"You try staying up at all hours of the night feeding that little mongrel and then you tell me how easy it is to be witty…these 'remarks' take preparation," he preached at her scowling.
The entire table laughed as Jojo and Malu entered. "Hello night owls," Jojo said looking over the group, "Save any for us?"
"On the stove, bowls are next to the pot," Katara answered.
"I hope Sora didn't keep you up Jojo," Suki looked at her a little apologetically.
"Nah I was already awake…pinning over the loss of a sweet and charming young man," she let out an exaggerated sigh.
Malu snorted, "He's not that cute…"
"He's adorable and sweet and kind and,"
"Enough…I don't want to hear about you ridiculous crush," Malu sat down roughly drizzling honey over her oatmeal.
"What's the matter Malu, jealous?" Aang teased eating a moon peach.
"Yes actually, I thought I was the most important person in Jojo's life and overnight I get replaced…no love," she grumbled out loud.
Jojo scoffed in mock hurt, "Malu you hurt me with your words. I could never replace you." She winked at Katara who stifled a giggle.
"See! She's being a total brat! Aang talk some sense into her. Be all sorts of mystical to make her see that…"
"See what?" Aang cut her off, "Malu every here at this table is involved with another person, except you. Way I see it you should be happy she found a nice guy compared to the others."
Malu stopped then looked around the table.
"Besides it's probably just a crush...she'll get over it then coming running back to you in no time," Toph teased.
"You guys don't get it…" Malu mumbled eating.
"You know we could always try to find you someone. Haru has some nice friends and I'm sure Zuko wouldn't mind fixing you up with some sort of Fire Nation royalty. Katara, doesn't your tribe have a thing for…" Toph started.
"Oh no! No no no no! Not uh! No way! You guys just butt out of my social life. I am perfectly fine the way I am right now. I will not be goaded into some sort of stupid lovey dovey junk you all are caught up in."
"Hmmm I wonder if Jet ever survived," Katara mused.
"Or that one guy from the Northern Tribe…Hahn?" Aang continued smirking.
"That loser!" Sokka interjected, "I wouldn't wish him on anyone…the prick."
"Zuko had a good looking cousin at his wedding," Suki offered.
Malu screamed then took her bowl and left to eat in peace. Everyone tried to hide their laughter until Toph called the all clear.
"So Jojo…you and Teo huh?" Aang asked smiling at her.
She giggled, "Not gonna lie he's a sweetheart. Super shy but…he's different. Nerdy, sweet, and most of all innocent; I feel a little unworthy in his presence."
"Don't be. You're an amazing person Jojo. Teo's no stranger to girls but you're probably the first one he's actually noticed," Katara said winking at her.
Jojo blushed slightly, "Thanks."
Breakfast remained short and sweet so they followed their usual routine of training. Aang would rotate between practicing with Malu, Toph, Haru and Jojo, and Katara. Every once in a while Appa would fly them all down to the beach and have a free for all, Katara usually had a lot of healing to do since they went all out sparing no expense. It was during one of these matches that a messenger hawk soared over them announcing his presence. Sokka looked up letting out a whistle as the hawk landing lithely on his extended arm. He unlatched a scroll marked with Zuko's seal.
"Here," Sokka handed the scroll to Aang.
He opened it reading the words carefully, "Zuko says they have a lead…he didn't want to say what is in case the hawk was intercepted. He's sending word to all the other officials saying it's credible and to congregate with my permission on the outskirts of the Northern Air Temple. Is that area large enough for three armies?"
Sokka thought about it, "I don't know but we should find out where he's thinking before we decide that. You said he's already sending messages?"
"Looks like it," Aang handed him the scroll.
Sokka skimmed through it, "Gotta read the end Aang. He's not sending anything to the others until he discusses things with us." Sokka handed it back.
Aang rolled his eyes, "Well let's go back. We caught a break, let's end this."
They boarded Appa and hurriedly packed their things. As they loaded their belongings on the sky bison's back Suki grew worried.
"Sokka…" she said drawing his attention.
"I…I can't go with you guys," she said tears forming in her eyes, "I can't leave him." Suki kissed their son's forehead.
Sokka took in the scene. He stopped to think about it, Suki had been with him since they broke her out of prison. It'd been automatic to think that she would be by his side again. But of course things were different now; they had a son to protect.
"I want to go home, I'm vulnerable here by myself and my warriors will protect me like they did before. And Sora needs me. He needs his mama."
Sokka sighed before drawing his small family into his embrace, "I understand. He's too young to be on his own and there is no better protector for him than his mother."
"You know I would come with you if I could," she pleaded.
"Shhh, I know. I'll just have something to look forward to after we kick some serious butt."
Suki choked out a small chuckle, "I love you."
"I love you Suki," he pulled her in for a kiss.
"Are we stopping by Kyoshi first?" Aang asked from Appa's head, he had a small smile on his face.
"If you wouldn't mind," Suki answered climbing into the saddle with the help from Appa's large tail.
"I figured as much, yip yip!" Aang called as Appa took to the air.
Kyoshi Island came into view late evening. The sky was a dark purple and their arrival would have gone unnoticed except the children all began to scream and wave as Appa landed in the courtyard. The town all came out to visit them.
"Welcome Avatar, what brings you here?" the Mayor asked as Aang jumped down.
"Suki wished to stay here for a little bit. Do you mind if we stay the night?"
"Not at all, I'll have your usual home prepared for you stay just give us a few minutes," the mayor turned to some women and the hurried away from the crowd.
"Welcome home Suki!" Nadia and Loni shouted as they ran up.
Suki smiled at them, "Hey girls."
"You gave birth!" Loni instantly shouted for everyone to hear.
Another round of applause was given as everyone came up to give Suki and Sokka their congratulations. Aang and the rest took a step back letting them easily hog the spotlight as they made their way to their home reserved for them. They walked up the small steps to their door and pushed it open. The women were just finishing with placing new sheets on the beds.
"All is ready for you," a lady bowed as the rest vacated the house.
"There are three rooms so we'll have to share," Aang said to Jojo and Malu.
"Like we never have before, which ones do you usually use?" Jojo asked.
"Don't know what it is about us but Aang and I usually take the room on the left," Katara answered.
"Dibs on the middle," Malu said striding forward through the door.
"Guess we'll take right," Haru said taking their bags in to the last room.
"How early are we leaving tomorrow?" Toph asked.
"We need to sleep. We don't know the situation and if they know exactly where they are we could be leaving as soon as we get there. Late morning," Katara said as they all separated to sleep.
Aang opened the window in their room to see Appa sleeping with Momo curled up on his head. He took off his shirt and breathed in the slightly salty air letting the peace from the smell soak through him. Katara was right, who knows what the situation is but Zuko sounded quite frantic in his scroll about their location. He thought more about it…Where could they be that would cause Zuko to tell everyone…NO!
Aang instantly froze as a thought came into his head, it couldn't be…they wouldn't! But it makes so much sense, why didn't we see it before? It fits perfectly with everything I've see! Gosh why was I so blind to this! He smacked his hands against the window sill as Katara wound her arms around him holding him tight.
"What is it?" she asked. She could feel frustration more than anything from his spirit.
"I'm so stupid…I can't believe I let all things slip past me and I knew about it forever! We even researched it and still I'm so…!"
"If you call yourself stupid one more time I'll chain you to the bed and have my wicked way with you," she cut him off, tightening her grip.
He sighed at her attempt to make him smile but he could feel genuine concern radiating from her.
"Katara we have been stupid…all of us…"
"No we've been pre-occupied with other things."
"But this…I just…I can't…"
"Aang," she sighed releasing her grip and turned him around, "Tell me what has happened to us for the last few months."
It was his turn to sigh, "We were married, rebuilding, you were pregnant, got kidnapped, we lost our baby, Council of Nations, Suki gave birth, Malu's tattoos…"
"And how important were those things?" she asked as the half full moon glistened off his perfect face accenting his strong jaw and bathing him in radiance.
"They were all important," he answered dutifully admiring the way that same moon made her eyes sparkle as if a million diamonds reside within.
"We have been pre-occupied; think about it, we haven't had a moments rest except for those few weeks in between all of these things. It's ok that you missed something," she traced his cheek down to his lips softening his set jaw.
"But Katara my vision, I should've known this…" he dropped his head slightly but lightly traced her sides with his hands, the silky night gown following his movements.
She sighed slightly leaning against his chest. He's right…but how could we have helped it.
"I think Zuko figured it out too, whether or not a spy confirmed it," Aang finished his hands massaging he back.
Katara didn't know what to say to ease his pain…but she knew what she could do. Ever so slowly she tilted her head so her right ear was against his chest as he continued his tender attentions. Her left hand lightly ran up his chest to his neck cupping it then slowly brought his lips to hers. Tender, loving lips met under the soft moonlight as they shared an intimate moment with each other. Katara realized during this kiss that this could be their last night for a few days, but she didn't want some lust filled night but more of the tender love she was currently receiving. She kept the slow pace as she raised her head and brought her other hand to caress his cheek.
He's been so stressed, beating himself up over silly things he has no real control over, she thought then whispered softly with her soul, Aang I love you, be one with me.
Aang didn't know what he felt but all of a sudden he shivered. He dismissed the thought of being cold because it was a perfect 76 degrees on Kyoshi tonight. He couldn't feel any hints of lust or a hungry appetite from Katara but he only had one thing on his mind, he wanted to be connected with the one he loved most in the world in the most intimate way possible. Her hand that was caressing his cheek slowly made its way over his bald head. His grip tightened as the tender kiss continued but Katara didn't want this to turn into a lust filled night. She gently let her left hand slide down his chest before stopping as his right hand. She gently began rubbing his arm silently telling him to loosen his grip. He did and her hand traced his arm up and laid it gently against his chest.
Aang took the initiative next as he slid one finger up her spine making her shiver slightly. His other hand followed as he cupped her neck making her other hand fall to his chest. His fingers laced their way through her hair causing her to stop kissing and take a deep breath. Aang knew she loved feeling his hands running through her hair like this and he loved to feel the silky locks run through his fingers. He did it a couple more times as they pressed their foreheads together breathing slowly and in perfect sync. Aang dropped his hands from her hair and rested them on her shoulders before inching her head up with his chin. Katara looked up to see his breath taking eyes smiling at her. She could feel a small tingle down her spine as Aang's spirit told her how much he loved her. She smiled then ever so slightly as his hands slid the straps of her nightgown down her shoulders. He was familiar with this particular piece of clothing and knew that it wouldn't slide off her body until he undid the small clasp in the back.
Their eyes remained locked on each other's as he released the clasp and the gown fell slowly to the floor. Neither of them moved and neither looked away. She knew it was her turn since his hands left her and hers reached for his waist. She undid the knot then eased her hands around his waist loosening the garment then it fell to the floor. They both stood facing each other in nothing but their underwear, bare-chested and in love. Aang started to reach for her when she took a small step back and holding her hand out to him. He followed her willingly until her legs hit the side of the bed. She gently sat down and he pushed her back until she was lying down. Aang knelt down, his face next to her knees and her legs hanging down off the bed. He kissed the insides of both of her knees then kissed his way up her thigh his hands following his lips. They reached up to the edge of her under wear as he slowly pulled them off her body. His kissed his way down the opposite thigh then deposited her underwear on the floor. One thing he noticed was her scent. In their one year of love making, he had never this area of her sex before until recently. He rubbed her smooth legs and could hear her breathing pick up. Kissing his way back up her thigh his hands gently held her hips as his lips switched from her leg to her lower lips. Katara gave out a choked gasp before silencing herself, she didn't want to give into her lustful, carnal side but keep the tender feelings. But she knew this would be a little hard considering he was using a new form of pleasure they had just discovered together.
Aang took her reaction to his kiss well. He could feel her suppressing the need to pounce on him but he wanted to keep going. Rubbing her legs again to help keep her semi-calm he kissed her again letting his lips taste her. Katara focused on her breathing with her breasts moving up and down as Aang experimented with her body in a very pleasurable way. Katara opened her legs more letting him gain more access to continue his ministrations. He took the offer, kissing her slow and long before running his tongue between her lips. Katara let out a ragged breath, her body shaking for the intimate contact. She didn't need to encourage him with words; he knew she wanted him to continue, her body was telling him so. Aang's hands continued to lightly massage her legs driving her mad with ecstasy. He licked her again, flicking his tongue between the folds, getting the same pleasing reaction as her legs involuntarily tightened around his head holding him in position. Aang knew she was trying to fight but sometimes the aroused body did things on its own. She loosened her grip with prodding from his hands and lips on her inner thighs before returning his attention to her womanhood. Kissing her folds one at a time, licking and sucking on them slightly was driving her to the brink of insanity and it was also having a similar effect on him, he was hard and the way it was pushing against his pants had started to hurt. He decided then to stop and continue these attentions when the object of their love making was more lust filled rather than tender attentions.
He stood up away from her and dropped his own underwear on top of hers. After discarding his clothing he glanced at her seeing her beautiful face flushed with a slight pink and her breathing ragged. She locked eyes with her husband before sliding slowly backward on the bed so he could join her. Once she settled Aang climbed over her taking his position. He lifted his hand to caress her flushed cheek as she opened her eyes placing her hand on top of his. Aang lowered his body until he rested against her in comfort. He kissed her forehead trailing down her nose, took a detour to kiss her now closed eyes, and then ended at her lips. He kissed her sweet and long using the same movements he previously graced on her lower body.
Katara was in heaven, there was no other way to describe it. She could die right now in perfect bliss. These attentions dwarfed every other hot night they had ever had in her opinion. He knew what she wanted and she knew what he needed and tonight they were both getting it. She slid her right leg up running her foot over his slightly hairy but toned legs before hooking it inside running her foot back down. Aang's body slid up slightly and she could feel his hardness rubbing against her before he slid back down. He stayed lip locked with her determined not to break their beautiful connection but their bodies were calling to each other. He slid back up as her hands ran up and down his sides pressing himself harder against her. Katara parted her legs at his unspoken request while he adjusted himself to rub against her easier. Aang covered himself in her juices as he rubbed slowly up and down on her until she started prompting him to slip inside of her by lifting her hips. Aang broke the kiss as he let out a long breathy sigh when he finally connected with her.
Katara's reaction was similar as Aang filled her need. She opened her eyes slightly to gaze at her adoring husband to find him watching her with a small smile. She reached up to pull him closer as he started to move slowly in and out of her. She kissed him then their lips pressed together making them both shiver as he moved. After a couple steady thrusts she opened her lips dominating the enticing kiss while Aang's arms snaked around her upper body holding her as close as possible. Katara lifted her knees holding herself against him as her hands and arms wound around his neck completing their unbreakable connection. Aang slid his knees slightly under his body and began rocking them back and forth. Pleasure coursed through their bodies and Katara had to break their kiss in order to breathe. She lifted her head back gasping for air then sighed when Aang started kissing her tender neck. Loosening her slightly tight grip around his neck she rested her hands on his shoulders drawing small circles as he continued to move them together.
Soon after he could feel himself building. He wanted to stop it but at the same time he couldn't wait for release. Katara then stretched her legs out making him gasp in pleasure at the change of contact. He found himself directed to kiss her collar bone and upper chest. She then wrapped her legs around his hips, directing him to again begin his slow thrusts. Aang unwound his arms propping himself up on his elbows. He kissed her, immediately taking control as he pushed himself all the way in then held for a couple seconds before leaving again. Katara's eyes rolled in the back of her head; he was slow and he was hard, the perfect combination. Her soft gasps continued as he again kissed her chest around her pert nipples. Katara wanted to encourage his actions but allowed Aang to pleasure himself as he saw fit. Controlling her lustful moans she settled on only airy gasps when he finally took her breast into his mouth fulfilling her own desires. He timed one long suck with his deep thrust making her body constrict. She lifted her hands, letting them relax above her head in complete surrender to him.
Aang noticed her movement and smiled to himself; as much as she was taking pleasure in his actions he was enjoying it more. He knew she was controlling the tempo with her constant non-verbal reminders to take things slow but he was controlling the climax. If she wanted the tempo slow then he would build her up to her climax just as slow. He kept his lips locked on her breast as one hand lifted her trim waist closer to him allowing him to dig deeper within her. She gasped again her breathing more ragged than ever. She was so close, just a little bit more and she would be soaring high above the heaven she was already in. Aang could feel it, her spirit yearning to break free in a way only he could make. He dragged out his attentions a little longer so that when she reached her new heaven he would be right behind her. Katara held her breath as Aang slightly increase the tempo of his slower thrusts. While it wasn't a fast pace he didn't allow a lot of time in between thrusts like before.
Katara blossomed. She gripped his hips and let go of her breath gasping in pleasure as Aang let her body ride out her pleasure. He smiled and sat up, pulling her close to his body before he pumped his seed into her. His eyes rolled into the back of his head as he rode himself out then slowly lowered his body back down on top of his heated lover. He kissed her closed eyes willing her to open them. She complied hugging him close to her. The candles that were lit on their nightstands cast a light sparkling shadow over their features from the light sheen of sweat that covered them.
"I love you," Aang whispered close to her ear then gave her a lingering kiss on her cheek.
"Love you too," She replied tilting her head to capture his lips in another tender kiss.
He pulled out of her, making her sad at the sudden loss of contact. Aang grabbed her hands and lifted her up. He held her body against his as he drew the covers the covers down on one side of the bed. Katara helped by turning her body and sliding easily under the covers. Aang joined her on the other side, once he was situation she snuggled close into his chest.
She hugged him before tracing small designs across his chest. "That was beautiful," she whispered.
"Yes…it was," he answered and kissed her forehead.
"We better sleep soon, we're going to need it," she leaned up to give him another kiss.
Aang returned it but didn't let her pull away when she finished, "You're good to me Katara. I don't know what I'd do without you, I truly don't."
"You will never have to know Aang, I'm going to be by your side until were old and grey surrounded by our grandchildren," she promised kissing the hand on her cheek.
He smiled at her, kissed her one more time, then dash out the lit candles with fire bending before holding his sweetheart tightly against him letting all of his feelings pull him into the best sleep he's had in a week.
The next morning Aang grumbled hearing someone pounding on their door.
"Wake up lazy bones before I come in there!" Toph yelled on the other side.
"That wouldn't be wise…" Aang threatened weakly.
"I'm blind, like I care if you and Sugar Queen are lying naked in bed!" she threatened right back.
"We're up ok sheesh give us a minute!" he yelled not wanting to experience Toph seeing him, or not seeing him, naked up close and personal.
"That's more like it," she grumbled leaving them alone.
Katara stirred winding her legs through his, "Not yet…"
Aang smiled but sighed, "Yeah I wish but let's get up…it's almost the afternoon."
"What!" Katara bolted upright then jumped out of bed running to their adjoining bathroom.
Aang laughed to himself as he also got up stretching.
Katara came out a minute later looking a little frazzled, "You didn't just tell me that to make me get up did you?"
Aang turned around enjoying her gloriously nude body, "I wish I did, your reaction was priceless, but no it's approaching noon and we were supposed to leave mid-morning."
She sighed, "Let's hurry then."
They both dressed and packed the bags exiting their room a few minutes later.
"Good morning love birds," Jojo trilled winking at them.
Malu rolled her eyes, "Way to sleep away the morning I thought you guys wanted to leave earlier?"
"This was the best night's sleep Aang has had in a little while," Katara advised, "He needed it."
"Let's go Sokka is packing up Appa," Toph advised as they all exited the house.
As they approached they were slightly shocked to see some of the Kyoshi warriors dressed to travel.
"Are you guys coming as well?" Aang asked slightly shocked.
"Qing and Nadia are staying here to protect Suki and Sora, the rest of us are going with you," Adele informed.
"Wait for me!" they heard someone yell only to find out it was Ty Lee.
"Ty Lee," Katara said shocked when she hugged her, "I had forgotten you were now a part of their group."
"Yup and since I heard this involves my old best friend I figured I better be there since I know Mai would rather die than let Zuko leave her behind," she smiled a little sadly.
"You'd be most welcome, but let's go we're already late," Sokka eyed his sister.
Katara rolled her eyes tossing her and Aang's bag directly up to Sokka who stored them away. They mounted the bison lining the saddle as Sokka gave Suki and his son one last kiss goodbye.
"Come back to me…please," she asked him.
"Nothing will stop me from coming back, you know that," he promised.
"I love you, so does your son," she kissed him again.
"As I love you, I have to go. I'll see you after all this drama is done," he waved as he jumped up on Appa's tail letting the bison lift him up.
"Adele! Keep your promise please!" Suki yelled.
Adele looked over at her and nodded, "Keep that baby safe!"
Appa took off at Aang's call heading west towards the Fire Nation.
"What promise was that?" Sokka asked settling near the top of the saddle by his sister.
"To keep you alive," Adele winked, "I promised her I'd give my life before you'd have so much as a scratch."
Sokka looked at her dumbfounded, jaw hanging open, "Why?"
Adele shrugged, "It's my warriors oath…protect my warriors before myself. Since one of our own cannot be here, I'll protect the next closest thing, that's you."
The rest of the warriors nodded. Sokka looked at them, "You all promised this?"
"No," Keeko answered, "Just Adele, but once our leader can't protect you we will."
Sokka had nothing to say as he sat back eyes wide. Katara smiled, "I'm sure he feels very grateful."
"Yeah," he whispered, "Suki must really love me." He smirked laughing to himself.
Adele quirked an eyebrow, "You're doubting her love?"
"No," he answered simply, "Just don't get in my way." He winked at Adele.
She smiled at him, "Won't be a problem."
They arrived in the Fire Nation an hour after dark. The palace guards spotted the bison and alerted the Fire Lord to the Avatar's presence. Zuko and Mai were dressed down for the evening when they greeted their friends in the main hall.
"Glad you guys made it," he said pulling a scroll out of his robes.
"We came as soon as we got the message," Aang answered.
"You brought help…where's Suki?" he asked leading them into an adjoining room opening the scroll.
"Suki staying with our baby," Sokka answered, "Some of the warriors have come in her place."
Zuko looked at him slightly shocked before smiling, "Congrats, boy or girl?"
"Boy, named Sora," he smiled proudly.
"Strong name, I'm happy for you both," he smiled again sitting in a chair.
"Thanks but let's get down to business," he stared at the scroll he opened next to a large map.
"I'd start explaining but Aang, did you figure it out?" Zuko asked looking at him.
Aang sighed, "Yesterday…I can't believe I was so blind to it…"
Zuko nodded, "We all were, you, me, Iroh…we should've known…"
"Well we know now so spill the beans," Sokka demanded.
"Remember all those months ago when we researched dragons?" Zuko asked.
"Yes what about it?"
"That's where they are…Sun Warriors have an ancient city on an island just north of the Fire Nation main border," he pointed to the spot on the map, "I figured we could have the main army meet here, the outskirts of the Northern Air Temple then ferry over to the island. This way is maximizes our armies security so that they won't know that we know their current location before the entire army is with us. My spy group to the north first caught wind of it from a small town on the coast. They said they had been supplying large amounts of food to a non-descript merchant vessel regularly for a few months now. They asked if they knew the destination and they said no, which doesn't surprise me. So they rented a boat and searched the northern islands. Azula's camp was easy to spot since they were right off the cliffs by the coast."
"Weird place to make camp. After all the hiding it seems like they are hiding their army size from more than just us, or they don't feel like hiding at all. But you have a sound plan," Sokka rubbed his chin, "Have you notified the others?"
"Yes, I told them I would send another hawk if the location is changed," Zuko looked to Aang, "Are you ok with this? I know I said I would wait but…I don't want them to get farther ahead than they already are."
"With what?" he looked a little confused.
"Making camp on Air Nomad land?"
"That's not where the fighting will take place but…" Aang started.
"But what?" Sokka asked.
"Is it large enough for everyone?" Aang asked.
"I've taken that into account. If needed my troops or the Water Tribes will can keep their main sleeping quarters on the boats then we will discard unneeded items before setting sail to the city," Zuko said.
"Good enough for me. Have the other commanders given you a report of their troop numbers? How about the lay out, I know you and Aang have been there before but the rest of us are going in blind…no offense Toph," Sokka asked eagerly.
She snorted, "None taken."
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