Despite all the conversation with the Swampbenders at supper, Aang thought that Katara and Sokka were both strangely quiet that evening after their wanderings in the swamp. His curiosity was burning about the girl in the swamp and he couldn't wait to talk to his friends about her. When they turned in for sleep, though, he noticed Sokka was staring up at the moon, and that Katara had her hand clenched around her mother's necklace. Aang tried to hold back his questions, but they bubbled over despite himself.
"Why do you think I saw someone I haven't met yet? Why did you all see the past, but I saw the future? Wh- - -"
"I already told you- - -the entire thing is Avatar stuff. Go to sleep!" Sokka demanded.
Katara tried a softer approach, "It's just been a long day and we're all tired. Get some rest- - -we can talk in the morning."
Aang sighed softly, curling up against Appa. He knew they were sad, remembering Yue and Kya, and half-wished he could join in their sadness, simply to be in their company. But he's far too excited and happy tonight to even try. His mind reeled with expectations and questions about the girl. Who is she? When and where will they meet? What will she be like, and would she like him? She looked to be about his age and Aang surprised himself by desperately hoping she was. She'd run from him, giggling, like they were playing a game, but he didn't know how much of that was her and how much was the swamp drawing him to the center. He hoped she was fun- - -he wanted someone to just have fun with. He wouldn't trade Katara and Sokka for anyone or anything, but sometimes they were, well, a bit too grown-up. Katara had taken it upon herself to deal with many of the daily needs and Sokka was always strategizing and planning, even if there was no concrete plan or schedule to be had. Aang knew he was the Avatar and was going to have to be serious about bringing balance and peace to the world, but that didn't mean he couldn't have fun along the way! He loved meeting new people and, to be honest, he wasn't used to having so few friends. He knew times were much different from the ones he'd known 100 years ago, when he'd had friends all over the four nations, but having his only friends now being two water tribe citizens? Well, Bumi still counted, but it wasn't the same. Aang wanted someone to have adventures with; adventures weren't very much fun if they were only happening to you.
His mind came back to the mysterious girl in the swamp- - -they surely were going to be friends. The swamp wouldn't show you an unimportant stranger, or only a passing acquaintance, right? Something, though, was niggling at the back of his mind. What was it that Huu had said? The swamp showed people they had loved and lost. He turned this idea over in his head. Well, if he hadn't met the girl yet, maybe she would be found and not lost. But if that half was opposite, the other half would be as well. Not loved, but hated? Aang didn't like that idea at all. But if she was, well, loved, would that mean she would be lost? He wondered if there was something in between that was happier than either option. He tried to wrap his head around that idea, but the attempt only made his head ache. So he balled the idea up and shoved it away until the issue would stare him in the face again, though he hoped it would be a very long time before it did.
Aang decided to move onto more helpful speculations. He was certain she was going to be very important, she had to be. Maybe she'd even be able to help him find an earthbending master! He hoped they'd get to visit with her for a long while. Or, perhaps, she could come along with them. That would provide plenty of chances for adventures!
He turned over restlessly and let his mind wander semi-absently, coming up with all the things they'd do together. She'd had a winged boar with her. Maybe she'd be excited about him being an airbender. Maybe he could take her gliding with him. Or, perhaps, they could go riding the flying boars! The idea excited Aang. He wondered the altitude you could get on a winged pig and how far they'd be able to fly on them. Appa didn't have wings, but he was great to ride on. Surely she'd love him, too, and enjoy flying on him. Maybe she could travel with them- - -there was plenty of room. And Katara would surely like having another girl around, right? They could sit around and talk about girl-stuff, whatever that was. Just not too much, though. That would be boring. Perhaps Katara and Sokka would come with them and have some fun, too. They could use some more fun in this group, what with all the troubles they'd had. And, surely, saving the world could wait one more day, couldn't it?
Aang found himself wondering how it felt to ride a flying boar. He imagined himself rising higher and higher, going faster and faster. The girl was right beside him and he pictured a look of pure joy and exhilaration on her face that matched what he knew he'd be feeling. He could almost feel the wind flowing past him, his ears filling with the rush and shrieks of laughter. Faster and faster they went; it was so exhilarating and yet so peaceful and calm, somehow, so far above the ground.
With a smile on his face, Aang drifted off into dreams of all the adventures he and his new friend would be sure to have, unaware that even his wildest would be too tame compared to the truth.
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed the story. Please review, though, whether that was the case or not. Constructive criticism is welcomed especially, but any reviews are appreciated. Flames will be sent to the Fire Nation to aid them in their attempted conquering of the world.