The Air Nomads Reborn
Rated: Teen for romance (Kataang)
Summary: Newlywed Aang leaves his wife and the South Pole for a few months to restore the Southern Air Temple to its former glory. Two months later, he takes Katara back there.
Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender is owned by Mike and Bryan, and Nickelodeon too. XD
LES: This was written, once again, for a KayEff contest. The new bi-weekly theme is "Renewal". And, since I love the Air Nomads so much, I just had to make it about them again. But Aang gets more than just a cameo this time. Haha.
In other parts of the world, the world would be just starting to heat up with the beginning of spring. But, in the Southern Water Tribe, the seasons worked in reverse and the world was starting to cool down in response to the coming endless night of winter.
Days only lasted a few hours at a time now, and all the residents knew to take care of their business while the sun was shining, including the newest resident of the Water Tribe.
Avatar Aang had only been an official resident of the Southern Water Tribe for the last week, after he married into their culture by marrying the Chief's daughter after eight years of courting. Everyone was proud to have the Avatar there, but they all knew that it would not last.
Normally, it would be Aang's duties as the Avatar that called him away, but now he was being called by his own Air Nomad wanderlust and the spirits of his people calling him on the wind. He was going to travel to the Southern Air Temple to make it livable again. Once he was done, he would send Appa back for Katara so that she could join her husband at the Southern Air Temple, along with the small group of people who had come from the other nations who decided to join the Air Nomad culture in the hope that if people lived by Air Nomad values and on their land, they would eventually start to produce Airbenders. There was all ready hope for the people at the Northern Air Temple because there was no longer any Earthbenders being born to them.
It was time for Aang to leave, but the newlyweds were having a hard time separating. Aang had Katara pulled into a hard embrace, which she returned, holding on as if she would never let go. She had her head buried against his chest, while Aang pressed his head against her hair.
"I don't want you to go yet." Katara whispered to him, digging her fingers into his robes as if she could convince him to stay if she could just hold on him tighter.
"I know." Aang replied, running his fingers through her hair. "I don't want to leave either. But it's something that I have to do. The Southern Air Temple is not livable right now, and the first group of immigrants will arrive there in just a little over two months. It has to be ready for them before they arrive."
"I know." Katara replied. "It's still hard. We are still newlyweds, and the last thing I want is for you to go."
"Katara, my love…" Aang whispered, brushing his lips against her cheek. "I promise that I'll send Appa back for you as soon as possible. A month and a half… two months at the most… and then we'll be together for the rest of our lives." The couple pulled each other into a hard and passionate kiss; but before they could really express the depth of their feelings for each other, there was a knock on their door. The newlyweds pulled apart, absentmindedly straightening their clothes. "Come in." Aang called.
The front door opened and Sokka walked in, glancing at his sister and new brother-in-law. "Ah, good… you're not 'doing' anything." He commented.
Katara huffed. "Sokka, I can understand why you would be against Aang and I making love before we were married, but we are married now. Sex is sort of expected between us."
"Hey! I'm not saying you shouldn't have sex." Sokka said, holding up his hands in a gesture of surrender. "By all means, you are free to do what you want. I just don't want to walk in on you two doing anything. There's a big difference between knowing that you two are having sex, and seeing that you two are having sex." The Water Tribe warrior turned his attention to Aang. "Hey, have a safe trip, buddy." He said, suddenly pulling the shocked Avatar into a tight embrace.
"Um, Sokka? Why are you acting like we'll never see each other again?" Aang asked from within Sokka's embrace.
"Well, you are going to be living at the Southern Air Temple now, aren't you… watching over the new Air Nomads, right?"
"Yes, but that doesn't mean that I won't be able to visit." Aang said. "Even if my Avatar duties didn't keep me on the move, my Air Nomad wanderlust would stop me from being stationary for too long."
"Even still, I'm gonna miss you, buddy." Sokka said, finally releasing Aang. "I just stopped by to wish you luck and also to get your solemn promise that this whole thing is not just an elaborate scheme to get my sister to have sex with you by marrying her and then you run off and she never sees you again."
Aang's mouth dropped. "I would never do that! Katara means too much to me!" He turned his attention to Katara. "Katara, if the repairs take longer than I thought, I will send you a message. I promise that you will join me at the Southern Air Temple when it's livable again."
Katara kissed him. "I know, and I trust you, Aang." She kissed him again, but this time, Aang returned it. "I love you."
"I love you too." He replied.
It took another ten minutes for everyone to finish their good-byes, especially Aang and Katara; but the Avatar was finally able to tear himself away from his beloved family and take to the sky with only Appa and Momo as his companions.
Down on the icy ground, Katara and Sokka watched him leave. For a while, they just stood there together. Sokka wordlessly wrapped his arm around his younger sister and she turned into his embrace, burying her face in his chest. The siblings stood there silently until the rest of the village began to wake up.
(Two months later)
Just as Aang had promised, before two months were up, Appa had appeared on the horizon with a letter from Aang tied to his horn. The note had said that the Southern Air Temple was nearly finished, and that it was safe for Katara to join him. Katara had waited only long enough to say good-bye to her family before she climbed on Appa's back to be reunited with her husband.
Appa flew quickly and with no direction. He knew the way to the Southern Air Temple very well, so Katara was not required to steer. Instead, she spent the time talking with the great Sky Bison, telling him all her news from home. She loved talking with Appa. He was just as spiritually connected to Aang as she was, and even though she couldn't understand the great beast the way Aang could, there was still some basic communication between her and the bison.
Two days later, Katara gasped with wonder as Appa flew up to the Southern Air Temple. From a distance, it looked almost exactly the same as it did when she first visited it during the war, but closer inspection proved all of the structural damage had been repaired, the weeds had been removed, and the orchards were finally being attended to by a human hand rather than being allowed to grow wild as it had in the last one hundred years.
Appa let out a great bellow as they approached and a small form took to the air from the Temple. Katara was happy beyond her ability to say when she saw that it was her husband. Aang apparently couldn't wait for Appa to land properly, so he flew up to them. He landed in the saddle and instantly attacked Katara with the pent-up passion of two months.
"I missed you. I missed you so much." Aang whispered against her lips.
"I missed you too." Katara replied, pulling him back into a passionate kiss. Appa landed on solid ground while Aang and Katara continued to release their pent up passions in Appa's saddle. Appa allowed them to have their reunion, but he was eager to have the saddle removed, so he growled loudly to get Aang's attention.
Aang pulled away from his wife once Appa got his attention. "Oh. Sorry, boy." He stood up and offered his hand to his wife, pulling her up. Aang swept her up in his arms and Airbended themselves out of the saddle. Once he set down his precious wife, he set to work with removing Appa's saddle. Once it was loose, he used more Airbending to get the saddle off him. Once Appa was free of the weight, he shook himself out and took to the air, flying to a different part of the mountain.
"Where's Appa going in such a hurry?" Katara asked. "He barely took the time to greet you."
"Appa's fine." Aang assured her. "He really didn't want to leave the Southern Air Temple, so I'm not shocked that he's eager to get back."
"What are you talking about?" Katara asked.
"I'll show you later. But, first, how would you like a new tour?" Aang asked, offering her his arm.
"Of course I would like the tour. After all, I'm going to be living here now. I should know my way around."
Aang nodded and smiled at her, leading her off into the Temple.
The tour did not have many surprises until Aang lead her to a small building on the outskirts of the Temple. Or, at least, it had been a small building the first time they visited the Temple. It had been where Aang discovered Monk Gyatso's skeleton and the majority of the building had been destroyed when he entered the Avatar State.
The building had been cleared away, leaving only a field in its place. All of the bodies had been cleared away, probably buried by Aang elsewhere in the Temple. The only thing left was a cherry blossom tree flowering at the head of where the building used to be. It took Katara a moment to realize that it was the same exact spot where Monk Gyatso's skeleton was. But the tree confused her. Obviously, she wasn't the expert on plants and trees, but it was approaching winter here at the Southern Air Temple. The tree shouldn't have been blooming.
"Aang, where did the tree come from?" Katara asked.
Aang glanced at it and laughed. "Would you believe me if I told you that it wasn't here when I got here two months ago?" Katara stared at him, shocked. "When I got here, the first thing that I did was bury all the bodies. I buried all the monks in our cemeteries, and I found another field to serve as the final resting place for the Firebenders who died here, but I couldn't move Monk Gyatso's skeleton. It didn't feel right, so I buried him right here. The next morning I got up and came down here to pay my respects, and I just it just as you see it right now. The tree literally grew here overnight. And, as for why it is blooming… move closer." Aang encouraged her.
Katara glanced at him, and slowly approached the tree. Once she got closer she realized what Aang was talking about. The air around the tree was warm as a spring day. She had only seen something like this once before: in the Spirit Oasis at the North Pole. "This has become a Spiritual place." Katara realized.
Aang nodded. "I can feel it. When I stand here… I feel like my people are standing at my side, watching over me and the Temple. I can feel the Spiritual World seeping over into the physical one. But, that's not all. You'll never believe what else I found up here."
"What?" Katara asked, glancing at her husband.
"Cover your ears." Aang warned her. Katara did as he asked as he brought his fingers to his mouth. Even covering her ears, she could hear the loud whistle that echoed over the mountains. No one could whistle louder than an Airbender. Once he was finished, she uncovered her ears.
"What was that about?"
"Just watch." Aang told her, smiling, and then turned his attention towards the mountains. Katara followed his gaze. From behind the mountains rose the form of a Sky Bison. At first, Katara assumed that it was Appa, but she doubted herself as the Bison drew closer. The Bison's markings were different. It still had the bold arrow on its broad forehead, but the stripes on its back were different. There were more brown stripes than Appa had.
Just as Katara began to realize that Aang had found another Sky Bison, the sky exploded with them. There were not many of them, about twenty at the most, but there were far more than anyone would have ever imagined! The sight of the great spiritual beasts taking to the sky as naturally as any bird was one that Katara knew that she'd never forget, and she stared in awe.
The familiar form of Appa flew among them, though he seemed drawn to the first Bison that had appeared. He flew by the Bison's side, never flying far from that particular Bison.
Aang moved to her side, also grinning up at them. "I found them quite by accident. Of course, all of them are completely wild, except for Appa, and it took them several weeks for them to trust me enough to allow me to approach. I think that they like me well enough now. But, that's not all… look closer." He pointed, and Katara followed his finger.
At first, Katara could see nothing except the Bison flying through the air… until she noticed the much smaller forms flying among them. They were flying their way towards Aang and Katara, and she knew what they were before they arrived. A small group of flying lemurs, of all different types and colors. The lemurs instantly attached themselves to the two Benders, settling themselves down on any perch they could find, including the top of Aang's head and Katara's out-stretched arms.
"As you can see…" Aang began, laughing as a lemur crawled down his chest, tickling him. "They are a bit friendlier than the Bison were."
"This is amazing, Aang!" Katara gasped with wonder. "But…" She glanced at each of the lemurs in turn, but did not see the one that she was most familiar with. "Where's Momo?"
"Oh. He's got a mate, would you believe it?" Aang asked excitedly. "He's probably off with her right now. And, as for Appa…" He turned his attention back to his Sky Bison, where he continued to fly in formation with the same Bison. "He's taken a great liking to that female."
"You mean that Appa will have a mate too?" Katara asked.
"Well, Bison courtships last a long time, and there's every chance that it won't go through… but I don't think so. She likes him. I can tell." Aang said, smiling happily at his wife. "Finding this… especially the Bison, has given me more hope than you can imagine. My people originally learned Airbending from the Bison. Perhaps we can try to do that again."
Katara gently lowered her arms, giving the lemurs that were perched there time to find a new, more stable perch. Once her arms were free, at least, she pulled her husband into an embrace, heedless of the fact that he couldn't return it because he was still swamped with lemurs. She pulled away and looked up into his grey eyes, which she could still read as easily as the day she met him. Right now, she saw him looking happier than she'd seen in a long time, with the exception of their wedding, wedding night, and their short honeymoon. She leaned up on her toes and pressed a soft kiss to his chin.
"This is amazing, Aang. But it's not perfect yet." She said seriously. "There's just one thing missing…"
"And what would that be?" Aang asked, honestly confused.
Katara smiled and nodded towards the cliff. "Imagine a young Airbender taking his or her glider out for the first time under the watchful eye of the man who is both their Sifu and father."
Aang followed her eyes and also imagined the sight of his future sons and daughters learning the ancient and nearly forgotten Bending arts under his direction. He could not think of anything more perfect. "You're right. That is just the thing to make it perfect. Well… someday." He sighed.
"Someday means a lot of things, Aang." Katara pointed out.
"What do you mean?"
"Well… 'someday' could mean years from now. But I don't think either of us what to wait that long. Or it could mean months from now… seven months, to be specific."
A silence fell between them as Katara waited for Aang to pick up the hint. From the look on his face, he had caught the hint readily enough, but was afraid to ask for confirmation in case he had misheard. For a while, he could do nothing but stare at her, but then he finally managed to find his tongue. "Ka-Katara?"
"You'll be ready in seven months time, won't you?" Katara asked.
"Are you saying… are you really…?" He slowly brought his hands to her lower abdomen. There was no bump there to confirm the news yet, but it at least let Katara know that he was on the right track.
Her fingers met his. "I really think so." She replied. "I mean, I only started to realize it a few days before Appa came for me, and it's too soon to be one hundred percent… but I do think that I'm pregnant."
Without waiting a moment longer, Aang scooped up Katara in his arms in an enthusiastic hug, which violently dislodged the lemurs using them as a perch. They took off, shrieking angrily at the young couple, but they didn't pay any mind to them.
The sounds of the future-parent's laughter echoed over the Bison and lemur-filled mountains.