Happy 2014 everyone. Now it's time to excuse why it's taken me forever to upload:...I've been lazy. That's it haha.
Dacyon: Thanks! I do try to put a lot of effort into my stories :D
kataang21: This is one of my favorite stories too lol. I wanted to try a nice Ozai for once, even if it's Out of Character
WhenIAmGone: Well the next step for the relationships (mostly Zuki) is going to hit it's first road block in this chapter, so you'll have to wait and see ;D
TwinkleToes: I will! Thanks for your review!
child who is cool: great review
Proudturtlecrab: This story absolutely ADORES you too :)
JustLucky05: I actually have good character development? That's a first for me lol
Logan1300: well here's the next one :D
GibbytheSecond: Well tell the guy in the apartment downstairs that I said sorry and I'll take your suggestion into consideration :D
kingofnerdssince2013: Maybe I will, maybe I won't lol, just kidding, you'll have to find out
may96: I find that having a nice Azula once in a while is a breath of fresh air
AnimeLuv Angel: You don't have to wait anymore :D
jack bower: the guy from 24 loves my stories? Go me!
zizzar: my story is too good? well that's awesome to hear :D
idstealer000: I will continue this...just don't steal my id please
Guest: Well here is my 2014 chapter...
Katara sat in front of the woman that had birthed the Avatar, the woman she had wanted to thank for bringing Aang into existence, the woman, who her out of control mind, wanted to one day call 'Mom'. She quickly looked down at her appearance, hoping everything was still in place like it should. She straightened her dress at her knees, making sure it didn't ride high and her neck line hid most of her chest. She cleared her throat of phlegm, "My son will not stop talking about you. He had me watch a few of your Pro-Bending matches. You are a very talented bender Katara."
She smiled, "Thank you so much Ma'am, you have no idea how much that means to me."
"Please, call me Sashi," Aang's Mother told her, "I think we are past pleasantries since you and my son have gotten intimate." Katara's eyes widened as she sat up more in her chair. "Why do you look surprised dear? Aang tells me a lot, he didn't go into detail if that's what you're thinking. I had asked about your relationship and he let it slip that you were at an intimate level."
"It didn't take too long for it to get that way," Zuko mumbled, earning him a look from Katara that could have burnt his skin.
Sashi lightly slapped the Prince, "Zuko, hasn't Ursa taught you not to give out someone's personal information like that? If I heard correctly, you are in the same boat as Aang. Though I saw that she is getting national attention now."
Zuko awkwardly chuckled, "You saw that huh?"
"I did, she is very pretty Zuko, though I feel as though she could do much better," Katara poorly hid her laugh as Zuko sank in his seat. She was surprised that this woman would talk to the Prince of the Nation in such a way, but it was quite enjoyable either way. "Now back to you Katara," Sashi said. "I fear I must be quite serious with you about my son. While he's the Avatar to the world, he's our little one." Gyatso stood behind his wife's recliner, silently joining the conversation. "We want nothing but happiness for our son and Ursa has told us about your…background and lifestyle. While we don't believe anything negative of you, we just hope that you have our son's best intentions in mind as you handle his heart."
Katara nodded, "I want nothing more than Aang to be happy and I know he thinks the same of me. When I first met your son…" A smile spread across her face, "I don't know, I just felt connected to him. Our first kiss was just…the word amazing can't even be used to describe it. I've fallen hard for your son Mr. and Mrs. White and I find it hard to believe no one else has either." Sashi smiled at Katara's heartfelt admission, "Please understand that I would never be after your son for his fame…I'm only after his heart."
"-So Zuko makes a comment about her not being a good Earth Bender teacher, next thing you know, he's up to his neck in rock. She says 'I may be the blind one, but you're the one who didn't see that coming'," Aang finished the story, both of them bursting out in laughter.
"She sounds like a really cool girl, do you still talk to her?" Suki asked, eager to find out more about her best friend's boyfriend.
He nodded, "Yeah. She jokes all the time that she would write me letters, but she can't read or write." Suki laughed again, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'm sure you'll meet her one day if you and Zuko stay together."
"You think we might break up?" She questioned.
Aang shook his head, "I don't want really want to say that you and Zuko are definitely going to stay together forever. I'm rooting for you two to stay together, but I don't want to say for sure."
"Thanks? I guess," Suki laughed. They had finally reached her and Katara's apartment and they rode the elevator up, "Are you sure you're okay with just hanging out at the apartment with me until Katara gets back?"
"Yeah, an hour dinner isn't going to scare me away from hanging out with you," He joked.
They walked to the door and Suki attempted to unlock it, but found it already unlocked, "Huh, I wonder if Katara and Zuko are already back." She opened the door, both of them walking into the living room where an older couple was waiting for them. "Mom? Dad?" Aang looked back and forth between the older couple. Suki's Mother looked almost like her, but her eyes were emerald instead of teal and her auburn hair was graying. Her Father still looked strong for his age, obviously keeping healthy in his later years. His black hair pulled back in a small wolf's tail and his pepper colored goatee kept neatly. "What are you two doing here and how did you get into my apartment?"
"Honey, we came because your face is plastered all over the news and we used the key you gave us in case you got locked out," Suki's Mother softly spoke, "We called you multiple times, but all of our calls went straight to voicemail." Suki pulled her phone out and sighed, seeing that it had died. "I'm sorry I haven't introduced myself, I'm Rei Teng, Suki's Mother and this is her Father, Jared Teng. You look a little bit smaller than you do one TV Prince Zuko."
Suki and Aang shared a quick look, "Uh Mom…this isn't Zuko. This is Avatar Aang, Zuko's friend and student."
"Oh, my apologies, so are you with him now? Or does Zuko not know about him…Or does he?"
"Mom…I'm in no way sexually involved with Aang, he's Katara's boyfriend. Zuko and I are together and that's it," Suki tried to hold her anger in. "Why would you assume that I would move on that fast or even be cheating on Zuko…or apparently having some sort of polyamorous relationship with the Prince and Avatar?"
"To be fair, I would be the nice and gentle one," Aang commented.
Suki glared at him, "Not helping."
"I'm just making sure all the options are covered honey, we haven't talked in a long time, how do I know you haven't changed?"
"Mom…it's been a month and you were the one who hasn't returned my calls when I tried," Suki reminded her Mother. "I haven't changed and I won't ever change to treat boys like tissues. I'm sure you two raised me better than that."
Suki's Father leaned against the back of the couch, "So when will I meet this boy?"
"I don't know, he and Katara are currently at Aang's Parent's house, so it's going to be a while." Suki told him, going towards his room. "You can stay and wait for him if you want to."
"That sounds lovely dear, I'll start some tea," Her Mother said, going to the kitchen, leaving Aang and her Father.
Aang cleared his throat awkwardly, "So, uh…want to play Apples to Apples?"
Katara sat silently as they drove back to her and Suki's apartment, the day with Aang's parents playing through her head. She looked over to Zuko, "You won't tell Aang what I said, right?"
He shifted in his seat, "It's not my place to tell him."
"Thank you…" Silence fell on them once again. While the day was mostly fixed on meeting Aang's parents, she and Zuko had tested the waters of their friendship. Even with silence between them, it wasn't uncomfortable. It was more relaxing than anything else. Katara could understand why Suki really cared for Zuko, seeing him around Aang's parents made him seem…normal. Zuko parked his car a little bit away from Suki and Katara's apartment. After seeing his face plastered on the news with Suki, Katara didn't blame him for not wanting to announce his arrival at the apartments. "Today was, nice, Zuko."
Zuko lifted a brow, "Why so much emphasis?"
She shrugged, "I don't know actually. I guess it wasn't what I was really expecting. For our first time hanging out with each other, I wasn't awkward or anything."
"Well I was going to say the part where you were seconds away from telling Aang's parents that you were ready to bear Aang's kids was pretty awkward for me," Zuko joked, Katara roughly elbowing him. "I can't wait until Thanksgiving, that's going to be magical. Your parents are going to be in the same room as Aang's, hopefully you'll put your foot in your mouth again."
Katara froze in her tracks, "I totally forgot about them…I haven't even told them I was dating anyone yet."
"Well don't feel so bad, I haven't met Suki's parents yet, so it's not like Aang is the only one who hasn't 'met the parents'," Zuko assured her as they continued to the apartment. He pressed the call button for the elevator, "With how your brother reacted to meeting Aang, do you think your parents will have a worse reaction?"
"If I introduce him the same way, possibly," Her fingers began to nervously play with her hair. "My Dad doesn't really know that my sex life exists…as in, he thinks that I'm still a virgin."
"What has it been? 2? 3 other guys?"
Katara chuckled nervously, "More like 6…"
"Including Aang and Jet," Katara said as they entered the elevator. "Only two other ones didn't mean anything to me, they were one night stands. Aang knows about my past and he knows that while I may have had more than usual partners and that he's the one for me now."
Zuko leaned against the back wall of the elevator, "Well I hope you're 'ex-partners' understand discretion."
"What do you mean?"
"When you and Aang are in the spot light, they're going to find everything…and I mean everything," Zuko explained. "Watch, in a day or two, reporters will be knocking at Sokka's door trying to get information on Suki. As long as it's new information, the press and news outlets will blast that 24/7. The first 5 years of my life were broadcasted in Capital City. Everything was brought up, what diapers I was wearing, if I was spending more time on the swings than a slide and what brand of clothing my Mom dressed me in." Katara's eyes widened at the thought. "Like I said before, you're the Avatar's girlfriend, everyone thinks they have the right to judge you for your past and they will."
The doors opened and Katara shook the thoughts, "You're just a broken record about this aren't you?"
He shrugged, "It's been hammered into me my whole life. You're the one who is entering this life on her own choice." Zuko walked down the hall to the apartment, "Until you realize what you're getting into, I'll keep repeating it." He opened the door, to find 4 sets of eyes on him. "Uh…hi."
Katara walked in behind him, "Mr. and Mrs. Teng?"
Zuko's heart stopped as he met the older man's heated stare, as if his face read exactly what he has done, did and will do to his daughter. Suki got up from her seat, "Zuko, meet my parents, Jared and Rei Teng…Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend, Prince Zuko of the United Republics…"
"It's an honor to meet you Prince Zuko," Rei slightly bowed.
Her Father stood up and crossed the room to him, which seemed to go in slow motion for Zuko, the feeling of running as fast as he could the other way continued to go through his body. He stopped in front of him, his height barely surpassing Zuko's. Unexpectedly, Jared stuck his hand out, "It's great to finally meet you Zuko."
Zuko returned his hand shake, making sure it was as firm as possible, "It's great to finally meet you too sir, I'm sorry you had to learn about me and your daughter through the media."
"It could be worse I guess," Jared said, "She could still be dating Sokka." Suki rolled her eyes while Katara debated on agreeing with Suki's Father or be slightly offended. "My daughter has been telling me a little about you, she assured me that you're treating her right and that's all I've wanted for my little girl."
"I want nothing but to make your daughter happy Mr. Teng," Zuko truthfully answered. He glanced over to Katara for a second, "I think I actually might think she's the one to make me happy for the rest of my life." Suki's heart skipped a beat. Her Mother softly smiled as her Father put his arm around his shoulders, softly patting the Prince's shoulder.
"Well having the Prince as our son-in-law isn't a bad thought," He laughed. "How about we sit down and talk more before Suki decides to start planning a wedding." Katara met her boyfriend's gaze and nodded her head towards her room. He quickly got up and followed her, she flipped on the light to her room as he shut the door. Lying down on the bed, Katara sighed softly before he joined her, both of them staring at the ceiling.
"So…" He looked over to her, "How was meeting my parents?"
She turned to him, "It would have been better if you were there instead of Zuko. I think that was the first time I've met my boyfriend's parents with his best friend."
"They wanted to meet you without me being there and I didn't exactly want you to face the awkwardness of being alone with my parents, so I suggested Zuko should be there too," Aang explained.
"Well it wasn't really awkward once we began to talk, I really got along with your Mom, she's sweet," She smiled, "She really cares a lot about you Aang."
Aang grinned, "I hope so, since she's my Mom." He grabbed her hand, interlacing their fingers, "They told me they absolutely loved you."
She froze again, "Wait, you talked to your parents?" He nodded, "Did they say anything else?"
Aang thought about it for a second while Katara's mind raced, hoping his Mother didn't tell him how she felt before she got a chance to. "Uh, nope, I don't think so. They just called to tell me they really enjoyed meeting you, asked how Suki and I were doing and then that was basically it."
A minor silence fell on them before Katara spoke up again, "How long have we been together Aang?"
"About 2 months now I think," He quickly calculated, "Why?"
She turned on her side, her head resting on his shoulder and her right hand on his stomach, "I'm just wondering if it's too early in our relationship for something I really would like to get off my chest…"
"Didn't you do that the first night we met?" Aang asked, Katara gave him a heated glare, "Oh, you mean metaphorically." He took a moment to think about his next words. "Whatever you have to get off your chest Katara…I think I'll be fine with it."
"I've fallen for you Aang…hard," She confessed.
He looked into her eyes as she waited for him to answer her. "You've fallen for me?" She nodded. "As in…"
"Sorry," He smiled, "This is the first time a girl has told me that she's fallen in love with me…it's hard to comprehend."
"Because I have a million things running through my mind…like how I feel about you."
"I shouldn't have said anything…"
He pulled her body closer to his, "No, I'm glad you did. I just don't want to say the wrong thing. So I guess I'll just say the first thing that comes to mind…I feel the same about you Katara. I just don't want to go too far…"
Katara cocked an eyebrow, "As in?"
"You say you love me…all I can think about it marrying you…making love…family…forever…" Aang trailed off. "I just don't want to scare you off."
"I just told you that I've fallen in love with you and you think you'll scare me off?" She laughed with amusement. "You are so weird."
"Yeah…but that's one of the reasons you love me isn't it?" Aang's smile grew wider.
"Of course," She softly placed a kiss on his lips. "What are you doing tomorrow?"
"Hopefully I'll be spending my day with you," He leaned in and kissed her neck.
"Well," She lost her train of thought as he continued his kisses, "I was thinking about…you know, you're making this very hard to talk."
"That's kind of the point," He mumbled against her skin. "This is basically what I would like to do tomorrow."
She squirmed when he found the right spot on her neck, "I was thinking more about going to my parent's house."
He stopped, "Wait, what?"
"Since I met your parents and Zuko and Suki met each other's parents, I was thinking it was time for you to meet my parents," Katara said, finally gaining a semi-clear head long enough to speak. "I haven't seen them in a while and I thought it would just be two birds with one stone."
Aang thought it over for a second, "Okay, what time?"
"Around two o'clock?"
"Sounds good…can we have sex now?" She smiled and kissed him in response.
Aang crossed his right leg over his left, his left arm around Katara's shoulder, as he got comfortable in the subway seat. "We could have driven there you know, it would have taken less time."
"I know, but I like taking the subway because the stop is right by my favorite place in Republic City," Katara told him. "And since when has the Avatar not wanted to use public transportation huh?"
"I think it's more of the fact that my nerves are getting to me," He admitted with a chuckle, "I'm a little nervous at the thought of meeting your parents. I've never had to meet a girl's parents before. Though watching Zuko go through it last night was pretty interesting."
"Well, that won't be even close to what it will be like when you meet my parents," Katara sadly informed him. "My Dad is kind of a hard ass. He is Ex-Military and was the leader of the Tundra Wolves."
Aang's eyes widened, "As in…"
"Yes, the ones who did secret covert missions into enemy territory," Katara finished for him. She placed her hand on his knee in comfort, "It won't be that bad Aang, I mean, as long as you don't tell him that we've been sleeping together…or how we really met, I'm sure everything will be fine." Aang thought about all the possible ways Katara's Father could 'deal' with him for the rest of the ride. Katara led him out of the subway at their stop, coming into the Kuruk Plaza, a district for Water Benders in town. A giant fountain made out of blue glass was set up in the middle of the plaza, standing at least 3 stories with the water soaring even higher. She stopped in front of the fountain, holding onto Aang's arm, a giddy smile on her face. "Isn't it beautiful? My great grandfather was one of the Water Benders who helped build it. It took the Fire Benders a month to make it look perfect."
Aang smiled, "Things like this show that even nature made enemies can create something beautiful as this."
"I think you're another one of those things," She kissed his cheek. "Come on, we should probably get to my parent's house before I decide to stay here all day." Aang's nerves returned as Katara hailed a taxi. It was a shorter ride than Aang wished when they pulled up to a small house in the suburbs. She paid the driver as Aang got out, spotting the older man mowing the lawn. By his bronze skin, chestnut hair and similar features to Sokka, it was obvious he was Katara's Father. He stopped the lawn mower once Katara got out of the taxi.
"Well, look who is all grown up," He smiled, crossing the yard where Katara met him in a hug. With his height, he was able to pick her up in a hug. "I haven't seen you in forever honey, how is the city treating you and Sokka?"
"It's great Daddy," He set her back down, she turned towards Aang. "Daddy, this is-"
"Avatar Aang," He finished for her. "I thought I would have to keep hearing about you either from the news or my son." Aang wasn't sure whether running would be a good idea or not. "Well come over here boy, I don't bite." Aang got closer and he stuck out his hand, "I'm Hakoda."
Aang shook his hand, "It's nice to meet you Mr. Aqua. I've heard…a lot about you too."
"While it's an honor to meet you, you'll have to forgive me for not treating you with the utter most respect since after dating my daughter for so long, I had to hear about you from my son," Hakoda told him.
"That's my fault Daddy," Katara spoke up. "Things were just moving so fast and-" She saw her Father's fierce gaze at the idea of them moving fast. "-I mean, like we went from a friendship to dating and I've been so swamped with Pro-Bending and everything."
He held up his hand, "Honey, relax. Your brother has told me everything…he told me that Aang has been a true gentleman. I was just trying to see what kind of man your boyfriend was going to be. A man that knows when to be quiet when he's dating someone exactly like your Mother is already perfect. I already like him more than that Jet guy. Your Mother is cleaning the house, but I'm sure she would be willing to take a break to see you. I'm going to finish the lawn and I'll be in shortly. It was nice meeting you Aang."
"You too sir," Aang responded. Katara led him up the path, walking into her parent's house. She shut the door behind them and he released the breath he didn't realize he had been holding. "I'm still in one piece."
"The most powerful man in the world is worried about my retired middle aged non-bending Father?" Katara asked, trying not to laugh. "I can't wait to see you in a real challenge."
"Rebels, Criminals and groups of rogue Benders are a piece of cake. I've been training for that for years…but the thought of your Dad finding out how we met and that we have sex on a regular basis…that's a complete nightmare."
Zuko casually strolled through the garden, something he had found himself doing ever since he and Suki had started their relationship. Something about walking through the colorful flowers only encouraged his rare good moods. A strange sight caught his eye, his sister and Mother sitting beside the small pond in the middle of the garden feeding the ducks. Azula and their Mother didn't have the best relationship, but Ursa had been trying for many years to re-establish their relationship. Zuko quietly approached, finally hearing their conversation. "Why do you find this entertaining? These ducks have obviously been fending for themselves well if they're still alive." Azula growled, watching her Mother gently toss the small pieces of bread.
"They deserve a little treat now and again dear," Ursa replied with a smile. "And you always loved doing this when you were younger."
"That was also when I couldn't even use the bathroom by myself Mother," She sighed. "But you don't see me asking you to change me."
Ursa tossed another piece of bread, "You also used to tell me you loved me every day, are you too old for that also?"
Azula crossed her arms and legs, "I don't want to talk about this…"
Zuko decided to make his presence known, not wanting to let the awkwardness spread between the estranged Mother and Daughter. "What's going on you two?"
His sister turned towards him, he could have sworn he saw a 'thank you' in her eyes, "Ah Zuzu, it's good to see that you're no longer attached at the hip with that girl."
"Unlike us Azula, she actually has to work for a living," Zuko said, "I'm surprised to see you out of the Palace. You've just been lounging around since we got here."
"And that's why I decided to bring her out here," Ursa spoke up, she patted the spot beside her, "Come and sit honey, it's been forever since I've been able to just relax with you two." Zuko sat down on the other side of the bench, watching the ducks. Ursa put her arms around her kids, pulling them to her and placing a kiss on both of their heads, "Have I ever told you how much your Father and I are proud of you two?"
"Yes," Both of them replied.
She smiled even wider, "You two are the best things in your Father and I's lives. We would give up anything for you two."
"Are you dying? Because usually someone who is dying says these kinds of things," Azula said.
Ursa shook her head, "No honey, I'm not dying. I'm just really happy and I feel like sharing my feelings." Azula rolled her eyes.
A servant clearing their throat interrupted their time alone, "I'm sorry to interrupt Queen Ursa, but the Governor's daughter is here to see you." Zuko's eyes went wide while a sinister smirk came across Azula's face. The two siblings turned to see the brunette in the white floral dress with small green flowers as the design. A small pair of sun glasses rested on her head, a green clutch in her hands.
Ursa stood from the bench, "Jin, it's so good to see you dear." She hugged the younger girl while Zuko stood back, Azula standing beside him, thinking up ways to increase the awkwardness. "What brings you to our side of the United Nations?"
"Father has some business with King Ozai and Mother and I decided to tag along," Jin said. "I couldn't miss seeing you and my favorite Prince now could I?"
Azula nudged her brother, "Isn't it great to see Jin Zuko? I mean how long has it been?"
"1 year, 3 months and 13 days," Jin and Zuko both spoke, a smile forming on Jin's lips. "I thought you would have forgotten Zuko."
He shook his head, "I could never forget…"
She held out her hand, "Would you mind escorting me around the gardens Zuko?"
"He would love to," Ursa answered for him. He would have usually fought it every step of the way, but he silently approached her, letting her hook her arm around his.
Jin placed the glasses back over her eyes, "It's more beautiful here than I remember, but then again that was when Iroh had them restore it." He nodded, making her chuckle. "You don't have to be so awkward Zuko. I forgave you long ago for dumping me."
"That's not the reason why I'm acting awkward," He answered shortly.
"Is it because you offered me one of the Ember Islands after I did that thing with my tongue?"
"That's not funny Jin."
She sighed, "It's because of Suki isn't it?"
"How did you know about her?"
Jin rolled her eyes, "Zuko, I care about you silly. I don't try to avoid information about you. Since you and Suki are plastered on every channel, it's also kind of hard not to know how your life is going." She grew quiet for a moment, "I'm guessing you're acting awkward because I've come walking back into your life. Need I remind you that you broke up with me?"
"It's not that because you're an ex, it's because you're the ex."
Jin smiled, "Because I swiped your v-card?"
"Basically," Zuko truthfully answered.
"Good, then she and I have some notes to compare, I really hope you fixed your 40 second 'sprint' problem," Jin brought up, making Zuko cringe at the thought.
It's not a story unless Jin is in it, am I right? Test #1 of Zuki has started and it only gets harder from here.