Our First Day As Friends is the first chapter of The Waterbender and the Kyoshi Warrior, and takes place shortly after the end of From Enemies to Friends.
Katara and Ty Lee opened up and began a new friendship. With Team Avatar set to leave the Capital in a few days for Ba Sing Se, the two girls decide to spend a day together.
The Story Edit
Katara walked out of her guest room in the Royal Palace. Everyone of Team Avatar was there as honored guests of their fellow member; the newly coronated Fire Lord Zuko. Katara was in her new standard look: Unbraided hair, some of it made into a bun, the hair loopies at the front on either side of her face, a blue Water Tribe dress, a pair of pants underneath the dress, and a pair of boots.
In her room, Ty Lee had prepared her style; she was dressed into the typical Kyoshi Warrior get-up. All that was left for her was to put the face makeup on. She already had her face painted white, it was just a matter of the red paint above her eyes. As she was working on this, she heard a knock at her door.
"You almost ready?" Katara's voice came through.
"Almost!" Ty Lee responded. "I'll be out in a couple of minutes." With that, she continued on finishing up her eyepaint. A few moments later, she was ready. The Kyoshi Warrior walked out to her new Water Tribe friend, who was sitting across the hall. "Ready!"
Katara got up and hugged her new Fire Nation friend, which was returned by Ty Lee. "Hey Ty Lee, how are you this morning?" She asked after their embrace.
"Pretty good, yourself?" Ty Lee responded.
"Nice and well-rested," Katara answered. "I'm ready to spend this day with you. It's been so long since I've done a girls' day out with anyone. The last I did was with Toph while we were in Ba Sing Se."
"I know what you mean," Ty Lee said. "Fighting the War, serving under Azula..." the name hissed from her with a shudder. "It's been so long since I've had a day to just relax."
The two girls walked out of the Palace and into the magnificent capital. It was back to normal operations as three days had passed since Zuko officially became Fire Lord; most of the out-of-nation visitors had returned home. Yesterday, Katara and Sokka bid farewell to their Dad, Southern Chief Hakoda, who was returning to the South Pole to oversee reconstruction efforts. Ty Lee would remain for a few days before going to Kyoshi Island; she would help oversee the Kyoshi Warriors while Suki would go with the rest of Team Avatar to Ba Sing Se. For now, Katara and Ty Lee had planned their day; it would start with a breakfast, then they would do some shopping, grab lunch, and go to a local spa before returning to the Royal Palace.
They found a diner near the city gate. "Hmmm...the Gateway Diner..." Katara took a look. "What do you think of it?"
"That's one of the best places here!" Ty Lee remarked. I went here when the circus was playing one time in the Capital...it was awesome! Let's go!"
"You know the place better than me," Katara replied. The two girls walked into the diner, and were able to take their own seats. They each looked over the menu, and Ty Lee was able to make her decision fast. However, Katara wasn't. "Hmmm...any recommendations?"
"I would get the omelet," Ty Lee answered. "See all those ingredients there? You can pick whatever ones you want, and they'll cook it for you. They cook the omelets over fire pits, and let me tell you, they come out hot and fresh!"
Katara nodded at her new friend, taking her up on her advice.
Soon thereafter, a waitress came to the two girls. "Good morning, welcome to the Gateway diner. I'll be taking your orders this morning. What can I get each of you?"
"I'll have an omelet with ham, bacon and green peppers," Ty Lee answered. "One of my favorites. Also, a glass of fruit juice."
The waitress nodded and took down Ty Lee's order, and then turned towards Katara.
"I'll also have an omelet, and I'll get ham and cheese with it," the Water Tribe girl said. "To drink, just water will do."
"Very well," the waitress responded. "I'll be back with your drinks shortly, and your omelets will be ready not too long after that." With that, the girls handed her their menus, and she left to get their drinks.
"So, how does it feel to be a Kyoshi Warrior for real?" Katara asked.
"You know, I never thought I'd feel this way," Ty Lee started, "but it feels really cool. I didn't think much of them at first, but, I mean, with all the bonding I did while we were imprisoned, I got to know them! They're all cool girls, and they really can kick butt. I just think they could have used some help," she added with a wink, referencing her chi-blocking lessons to them.
"How did those go?" Katara again queried her new friend.
"Well, it started out good," Ty Lee responded. "There's still a few more things to work out but I think they all will get it. I know Suki's really excited about things as they continue to develop!"
As their talk continued, their drinks arrived in medium-sized cups.
"To be honest, Katara," the Kyoshi Warrior continued, "I was surprised you didn't go along with Sokka and Zuko when they came for your Dad and everyone."
"The thing of it is," the Waterbender replied, "Sokka kind of sneaked out on us. Zuko told him about the Boiling Rock, and Sokka intended to head out on his own while we were sleeping. However, Zuko caught him and so those two went together. They lied and said they were on a fishing trip. A fishing trip, Ty!" Katara added a laugh.
"Clearly it was one heck of a fishing trip," Ty Lee said with a laugh of her own. "Uhhh...did you just call me Ty?"
"Why not?" Katara responded. "I don't need the extra 'Lee' do I? Ty just seems to...hmmm, I don't know, flow easier?"
"So be it," Ty Lee responded with another laugh. "All right...guess I'll need a new name for you at some point. You know, for fun! Also so it, you know, flows easier!"
"Very funny," Katara cracked back with a smile and took a drink of her water.
After a few more moments of idle conversation, the two girls' omelets arrived. They took some time to eat them, taking occasional breaks for more general conversation. After they finished their meal, they each chipped in to pay the bill and leave the tip. They then made their way outside and looked for a place to do some shopping. They came up on a jewelry store.
"Ah ha, here it is," Ty Lee remarked. "Sana's jewelry store has been open for over 75 years, Katara. My mom knows the current owner, who is Sana's daughter. Sana herself passed away I think twenty-five years ago."
"Do you think she will recognize you?" Katara asked. "After all, you haven't been home in some years."
"Probably not," Ty Lee responded. "I was only a little girl when we last visited her, and now add on that I have all this makeup on, have a green dress, my hair's all twisted up...she won't recognize me."
The two girls walked into the store. Sana's daughter, Malia, was at the cashier's desk. Under her was cased jewelry. On the walls of the shop were various necklaces, bracelets, wristbands, and other jewels.
Katara looked around at the various jewels and something caught her eye. "Wow! Ty, look at this!"
Ty Lee turned to her friend and saw the piece of jewelry she had come upon. "Ohhh...that's pretty! Looks like it's right from the Water Tribes too!"
It was a silver wristband, and in the center was a circle with the Water Tribe emblem in its standard coloring. It shined in the candlelight that illuminated the store.
"Indeed it is," Malia began, walking up to the two girls. "Someone appeared to have seized this from the Southern Water Tribe about twenty years ago during the raids. When the soldier who took it died, his wife gave it to me. That soldier died a few months ago."
Katara sighed sadly. "The Southern Tribe, huh?"
"My friend here is from the South Pole," Ty Lee said to Malia. "She was...personally affected by the raids." Although Katara hadn't explicitly told Ty Lee what happened in that fateful raid five years ago, the former's story had become well-known in several circles.
"I am terribly sorry to hear that," Malia then said to Katara with a regretful look. "This war certainly did a lot to tear friends and family apart. At least it has ended."
"It's okay," Katara assured the shopkeeper before her. "Although it did have its negative effects...I actually, in ways, have the War to thank for bringing me close to many people as well." She then thought about her new friends, and also about her newly found love, bringing a smile to her face.
"Well, it's good to hear someone did make a positive experience of the War," Malia replied. "So, are you interested in the bracelet, young lady?"
"I am," Katara stated eagerly. "How much?"
"It's ten gold pieces," the shopkeeper replied.
The young waterbender shook her head. "I only have a few on me...I guess I'll have to try some other time. Come on, Ty. Let's go." Katara then left the store, but Ty Lee lagged behind.
Ty Lee looked at the bracelet and back at her disappointed new friend. "Hmmm..." she then reached under her kimono and pulled out her coin purse. Within it she found nine gold pieces and three copper pieces.
"Excuse me," she asked Malia. "Will this cover it?" She placed the currency on the keeper's desk.
"It's not quite enough," the shopkeeper began. "However...your voice sounds familiar." She looked into the Kyoshi Warrior's eyes and tried to think of her face from a past meeting. "Hmmm...I think I know your mother. Your name, by any chance...would it happen to be..." Malia tried to think harder, as all the girls she recalled had a similar face. However, her voice seemed to stick out more. "Is it...Ty Lee? I heard that girl calling you Ty."
"Yes...it's me," Ty Lee responded.
"My goodness!" Malia said with a gasp. "You look a lot different from the last time I saw you. Not to mention...you are a Kyoshi Warrior?"
Ty Lee nodded. "A lot has happened in the last few years, and it's led me to this point. It's complicated, and would take a lot of time to explain. I must be getting along."
"Wait a second," Malia stopped her. "I could allow you to purchase the wristband with that amount...consider it a friendly discount to a daughter of Sachi."
"Really?" Ty Lee responded with a smile. "Awww, thanks! I have the perfect idea for it as well." She quickly thought back to a point in her earlier conversation with Katara. "Do you have any gift wrap?"
"Of course," the older woman responded.
Moments later, Ty Lee was walking out of the jewelry store with a small bag, a smile on her face. Within it was the wristband, sealed in a box and wrapped in blue paper. Katara will love this for her birthday...
"Got something for yourself, huh?" Katara asked.
"Actually, it's for someone else," Ty Lee responded. "I'd rather not say who right now."
"What are you, trying to impress my brother again?" The waterbender asked with a laugh, referencing Ty Lee's crush on Sokka.
Ty Lee laughed back. "Oh no, I understand he's involved with Suki. Don't worry. It's for someone else I know."
"Whatever you say," Katara finished with another laugh of her own.
"Come on, let's keep it moving!" The Kyoshi Warrior suggested. "It's not even midday. I've got a good idea."
The two girls walked outside the main part of the caldera, and out towards a lake. The small lake was filled with various creatures, including badgerfrogs and turtle-ducks. The two girls took their seats on the grass near the lakeshore, watching the various creatures swim around. A turtle-deck approached Ty Lee, causing her to chuckle somewhat at an old memory. "Back when I was younger, and I visited the Royal Palace...these ducks were so cute, they'd always swim up, you'd give them a little bread, and they'd love you."
Katara smiled. "I'm sure they would. If there's anything any animal appreciates, it's a little bit of food. That's how Aang said he found Appa...he fed him an apple, and Appa came to him pretty fast."
Ty Lee then added a sigh. "When things were different...all peaceful...I miss those days."
The waterbender then placed an arm around her new friend's back. "Well, the good news is, those days are coming back. We've all done our job to save the world, and now we can start on that new direction, right? Hey, this is a good start...we used to be on opposite sides, and now here we are, at peace and now friends."
"It is a refreshing feeling," Ty Lee said, the smile returning to her face. "It's still weird...after so many days of war news...no more. It feels strange waking up."
"A strange but satisfying feeling," Katara noted. "Now things are just as peaceful as this little lake."
Indeed, the water of the lake was flowing slowly and calmly, a perfect representation of what the world was becoming. Peace was at hand for not just Katara and Ty Lee, but for the entire world populace.
Katara splashed some water around with her bending. "I do also owe this war one thing...helping me realize my potential. When I was growing up, I didn't think I would ever become a good waterbender at all, because I didn't know if I'd ever get the instruction. All I could do was teach myself. Then I got to the North Pole, and that all changed."
"Like you said earlier," Ty Lee noted, "we do owe the war for helping us make a lot of what we are. This war has helped me realize the true meaning of friendship, and help me discover who I really am. I feel really glad about it."
"I'm sure you do," Katara replied with a smile.
Ty Lee also smiled brightly at her new friend.
They then met for another warm hug, further solidifying their new found friendship with another. They closed their eyes, happy for what they had made in just two meetings.
"Come on," Ty Lee said. "I'm feeling up for the spa."
Katara nodded, and then got up. The two girls began their walk back to the city. The Water Tribe girl then clasped her necklace. Mom...I know, if you were here, you'd want me to make friends of my old enemies. I know you'd be happy with me today...and I know you're still with me.