Rated: Teen for romance (Kataang).
Summary: Only the Earth King would be dumb enough to plan a party on Aang and Katara's one year anniversary…
Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender is owned by Mike, Bryan, and Nickelodeon.
LES: Written for the KayEff Avatar writing contest. The theme is Celebration.
There were many things that was great about being the Avatar, but there were also just as many things about being the Avatar that just plain sucked.
One of those things was that Aang's entire life had to be planned around his Avatar duties. He could no longer just fly off to the other side of the world on a whim, nor could he take his girlfriend out on random dates, or anything. In fact, it took him nearly four years after reaching manhood and marrying age for him and Katara to finally get married. He had proposed at eighteen years old, but it took a full two years for all the wedding details to be set in place.
During the first year of their marriage, they had not been trying for children. Of course, if it happened it happened, but they had taken small steps to ensure that they did not have children during the early points of their marriage when the world was still unstable and they were still getting used to marriage.
But that was to change soon. The world was about as good a shape as they could ever hope it to be, and their first year anniversary was coming up very shortly. Aang was taking Katara on an extended vacation to Ember Island for their anniversary. They would have a private villa and beach all to themselves for two weeks. It was there that they were finally going to start trying for their first child.
Needless to say, both Aang and Katara were very excited about the trip and they were eager to go.
That is… until they received a message from the Earth King while they were in Ba Sing Se the eve before they were scheduled to leave on their trip…
Katara sighed happily as she packed away the last of her and Aang's luggage on Appa's back. They would be leaving for Ember Island the next day. Katara mentally ran through her check-list of duties in preparation for her and Aang's trip.
Pack. Check. She had just finished that. She and Aang both had more than enough clothes to last the two weeks they'd be gone.
Letters. Check. She had sent letters to all the members of the World Council, the leadership of Republic City, and their friends telling them that, on no uncertain terms were they to be bothered during their vacation for anything less than the end of the world.
Zuko. Check. He knew that they would be arriving tomorrow and had the villa all set up for them.
Katara paused in her musings when someone knocked on the door of her and Aang's house in the Earth Kingdom. She ignored it. Their wait staff would get it, and Katara figured that it was just the custom-made nightdress that she had made as a 'special' gift for her husband.
And speaking of her husband…
Aang stepped into the room, smiling at her. She smiled back. He moved over towards her, and wrapped his arms around her. "You excited?" He asked softly.
"Of course." She replied. "We've worked a long time for this."
"For this… and many other things." Aang breathed against her ear while his hands drifted down to her abdomen. If they had anything to say about it, there would be a child growing there soon.
Katara turned in his arms and was just about to pull him into a kiss when their butler stepped into the room. "Excuse me, Lord Avatar, sir?"
Aang sighed and gave Katara a look that clearly said 'we'll continue this later' and turned to face the Earth Kingdom man. "Yes?"
"I have a message from the Earth King." The butler said, handing over the roll of paper sealed with the symbol of the Earth Kingdom.
Aang took the message, broke the seal, and quickly read the contents. Katara watched as Aang's expression quickly morphed from surprise to anger. "What is this?" Aang demanded.
The butler was obviously very put-off by the expression of anger on Aang's face, as was Katara. It was rare for him to get angry. "Shall I… send a reply?" He asked.
"There's no need. I'll go talk to the Earth King myself." Aang tossed the message on the ground and stormed off without a word.
Katara reached down and picked up the message. She read it, her expression almost exactly mirroring Aang's as he read it.
Esteemed Avatar Aang and Lady Katara,
It would be my great honor to invite you to the Palace the evening after next for a party in celebration of your one year anniversary. Consider it a gesture of thanks for the work that you've done on the behalf of the world since the end of the Hundred Year War.
Yours in friendship,
Kuei, King of the Earth Kingdom, Lord of Ba Sing Se, ect.
Katara groaned when she realized: she forgot to send a letter to the Earth King.
It took all of Aang's self-control to not burst into the Palace in an explosion of Avatar State fury. However, he couldn't manage to hide all of his anger. He was like a dark thunderhead, and anyone who saw him instantly moved out of his way.
He and Katara had been planning this vacation for months! Months! He had been working himself to the bone for nearly that long just so that he was sure that he could afford to take two weeks off. There was no way on this planet that he would allow the Earth King to delay his and Katara's departure for two days for the sake of a party!
He stormed his way towards the huge double-doors that led to the throne room. The guards saw him coming and hurried to open the doors in time. Unfortunately for them, the doors were just not made to be opened quickly. Aang growled at them to get out of the way, and then used his own Earthbending to force the doors open with extreme force, an extreme feat considering that it took two average Earthbenders to move the door at all. The doors flew open, hit the walls, and were nearly knocked off their hinges.
Needless to say, everyone inside the room jumped in shock at the Avatar's less-than-subtle entrance. Aang stalked his way up to where the Earth King sat on his throne, apparently petrified by the sight of the angry Avatar. "Avatar Aang… you've… received my invitation?" He asked.
"I certainly did." Aang said, stopping just short of the throne. "Where in the world did you get the idea that Katara and I would be willing to postpone our vacation, which we've been planning for six months, just for the sake of a party?"
The Council of Five instantly gazed at the Earth King in shock. They had all received Katara's letters threatening painful retribution if they did anything to interrupt her vacation with the Avatar.
"What vacation?" The Earth King asked.
"Um… your Majesty?" One of the Earth Kingdom generals spoke up. "The Avatar and his wife sent us notices that he and his wife were taking an extended leave of absence in honor of their anniversary. If you had told us that you wanted to throw them a party, we would have told you that they all ready had plans."
"Yes, we have plans." Aang said. "Six months, Kuei!" No one missed how Aang neglected to call the Earth King by his title. Technically, Aang was allowed to do that considering that he was the Avatar and higher ranking, but he normally spoke to the world leaders with respect. "Katara and I have been looking forward to our private trip to Ember Island for six months!"
"Private? Why in the world would you want to celebrate such an important event in private?" Kuei asked, confused.
Aang stared at the Earth King, while the generals face-palmed themselves behind the king's back. Of course, Kuei was not exactly the best person to understand wanting to have alone time with your wife. He was married, but Aang had only met the Earth Queen a few times over the years. She was an exceptionally quiet woman with 'a weak constitution' as the maids put it. That really just meant that she was content to sit in the Palace, working on her sewing all day. Aang couldn't imagine her having passion for anything, least of all her husband. So was it really a shock that Kuei had no idea that Aang's private time with Katara was filled with activities besides sitting quietly together, twiddling their thumbs?
Aang groaned loudly, following the general's lead and pressing his palm to his forehead. "Very well, I was trying to be subtle, but I suppose I'll have to face this like an Earthbender." He met the Earth King's eyes. "Katara and I were planning on trying to conceive a child while we were gone."
Before the generals could offer their heart-felt congratulations to the young Avatar, the Earth King spoiled it once again. "I fail to see the problem. Surely you and Katara do not need two whole weeks to, um… conceive? Simply attend the party and go the day after."
There were very few times in his life when Aang felt like he wanted to go into the Avatar State and thrash someone around, and he realized that now was another one of those moments. His eyes closed, and his fists clenched, and the others in the room saw a slight glow in those areas as he struggled to contain himself.
"Um, sire? Perhaps it would be best to let the Avatar have his way?" One of the generals spoke slowly, as if a misplaced word would send Aang's wrath down on him. In reality, though, he had very little to worry about. Aang was not in the least upset by the generals. They were on his side. It was the Earth King himself who was the only one in danger.
"I'm afraid it's out of the question." The Earth King said. "Nearly everyone in the upper ring has pledged that they would come all ready, and we simply cannot have this party without the guests of honor! It was lucky for all of us that you were in Ba Sing Se at this time!"
"Yes… lucky us." Aang grumbled, wishing that he had stayed at the South Pole those extra weeks and just traveled to Ember Island from there.
So that was how, the evening after next, Avatar Aang and Katara were dragged into going to the Earth King's party even though what they could really think about was the fact that they could have been making love in the surf of Ember Island at that very moment. Needless to say, that thought alone soured their party mood.
Looking at them didn't show it, though. Both Aang and Katara were dressed in clothes fit for royalty. Aang wore his finest robes: mostly white with yellow, orange, and gold accents. The way he looked and carried himself (not to mention his unique tattoos) let everyone know immediately that they were in the presence of the most powerful Bender in the world.
Katara looked no less radiant: her clothes following a cooler color palette than her husband. She went with blue and silver accents for her clothes. Her hair was pulled up in an elaborate style with silver threads woven through it. The threads would catch the light and only add to her dazzling beauty.
Everyone stared in wonder as Aang and Katara stepped into the room. Many references were made that the married couple looked like the sun and moon, and they were not far off. It really was impossible to tell that neither Aang nor Katara were highborn. The Air Nomads, of course, had no concept of nobility or of someone being born at a naturally higher rank then their peers. Katara was the daughter of the Chief of the Southern Water Tribe, but the Southern Tribe put far less status on this than the Northern Tribe. Like Aang, who was born the Avatar but raised as normal as possible, Katara was born an almost-princess but never lived the lifestyle.
"Introducing, tonight's guests of honor: Avatar Aang, Master of the Four Elements, Speaker of the Spirit World, Head Monk of the Air Nomad Nation, and hero of the Hundred Year War and his wife, Katara, Master Waterbender, Princess of the Southern Water Tribe and hero of the Hundred Year War." The doorman announced, sounding out-of-breath once he finished their titles. He took a deep breath and continued. "Tonight is the celebration of the one year anniversary of their marriage."
This was met with applause, and both Aang and Katara bowed to greet the applause. And it was soon after that when they were drawn into the party.
Well… the Earth King would call this a party, but both Aang and Katara knew what parties were like and this was not a party. This was an excuse to stand around in their best clothes making small talk, eating finger food, and listening to the musicians never play anything faster than a waltz.
So, was it a great shock that it only took about an hour for both Aang and Katara to grow bored with the whole atmosphere?
Aang had just managed to pull himself away from one of his general friends on the Council of Five. The Council, at least, seemed sorry for the Avatar's plight. Well, that wasn't entirely true. They had friends among the nobility of Ba Sing Se who knew very well that Aang and Katara did not want to be there.
Katara, in turn, managed to get away from the Earth Queen, an exceedingly boring woman who seemed to think that this party was the highlight of her life (which, sadly, it probably was.)
Aang and Katara made their way back towards each other. "Aang? Having fun?" Katara asked with a sour voice.
"What do you think?" He replied. "There would be hope for this party if the musicians would play something a little bit faster, but I'd rather be with you… alone… right now." Aang whispered this last part in her ear to discourage eavesdroppers.
Katara sighed. "You can't imagine how much I want that right now."
For a few moments, they did not say anything, simply commiserating together, and look towards tomorrow with the hope that they could leave Ba Sing Se behind and go on their overdue vacation. And then he grinned at her. Katara mentally sighed. Uh oh. She had seen that look before, when Aang's mischievous side was about to be exercised in full force.
"I think I know a way to get us out of here." He whispered to her. "Do you trust me?"
"Of course I trust you, Aang. But what…?" Katara's question was caught in her throat as Aang pulled her off the 'dance' floor and off to the side. Then right there, in full view of everyone in the ballroom, Aang kissed her.
Though this was not the sort of kiss that Aang normally gave her when they were in public. Katara was very familiar with all the different sort of kisses that he gave her, and this kiss was clearly a 'pre-sex' kiss.
Katara had a hard time forgetting that they were not in the privacy of her bedroom, but Aang's incessant kisses soon had her moaning and forgetting her own name, let alone where they were.
It happened in waves, as the people at the Earth King's party soon started to notice the Avatar and his wife about two steps away from having sex right there in the ballroom. Some of the nobles grumbled about public displays, while the majority, who knew the couple, only giggled in amusement.
Perhaps the best reaction came from the Earth King and Queen. The Earth Queen stared at the two in shock, as if she had never seen a couple behaving so intimately before. And, judging by the rest of her life, she had probably never been taught about sex for pleasure. Well… she was certainly getting a lesson in sex for pleasure now.
It was only when Aang's hand began to dip into the fabric of Katara's shirt that the Earth King, blushing nearly from head to toe, moved over towards them. "Um… Avatar Aang?" He began with a small voice that clearly said that he'd rather be anywhere else right now rather than having to break up the show of passion between the Avatar and his wife.
Aang pulled away from Katara, a small whine escaping her at the aborted kiss. Aang met the Earth King's eyes as if he didn't have his hand down his wife's skirt. "Yes, Kuei, did you need something?"
"I, um… I know that this party is in honor of you and your anniversary, but perhaps this is not exactly the best place to… um…" The Earth King gestured wordlessly at them.
"Really?" Aang asked, sounding genuinely surprised. "Because I told you two days ago that I wanted to spend my anniversary with Katara in private, and you didn't seem to think it was necessary then. So I thought you would be okay with Katara and I simply enjoying our sexual relationship in public."
The Earth King blushed deeply when Aang said the words 'sexual relationship'. Near-by nobles who knew the situation, however, could no longer keep their giggles quiet and started laughing out loud. This increased the Earth King's blush.
It was clear to all that the Earth King was backed into a corner. He didn't have the guts to tell the Avatar that he had to stop, but he also clearly did not want them having sex in the ballroom. He made the only choice he could. "Go, then. Just go if it really means that much to you."
"Thank you." Aang said, bowing and finally removing his hand from Katara's dress. She gasped, both at the loss of his hand and also with the realization of what they had almost done in public! She glared at her husband, promising punishment for this. Aang just smiled in return. He turned his attention to the ballroom at large. "Thank you, everyone, for the well wishes to Katara and myself in honor of our one year anniversary. Unfortunately, we are required to leave now, but I hope that you all will be willing to stay here and enjoy yourselves. Goodbye!" Aang took Katara's hand and, together, they rushed out.
Just before they left, they heard the Earth Queen ask her husband "Why do you never do that to me?" and the ballroom laughed.
The couple jumped into Appa's saddle and took off for Ember Island. "Oh, Aang, you are in so much trouble!" Katara growled at her husband.
"I got us out of there, didn't I?" Aang laughed.
"You didn't have to practically give me a hand job to do it!" Katara replied.
"No, I didn't." Aang admitted. "But you know that I can't resist you, Katara. Besides, you could have stopped me at any time."
Katara sighed in defeat. It was true. She could have stopped him. But she didn't want to stop him, because in some weird way, it was thrilling. "You're still in trouble." She said lamely.
Aang smiled. "As long as we are on our way to Ember Island, I will gladly accept any punishment."
"Okay." Katara said with a smile. "My punishment for you is…" She paused dramatically. "Give me a baby."
Aang smiled. "I was planning on it." He whispered, pulling her into another kiss.
LES: And, about nine months later, Kya was born. LOL!