[2011-12-22 19:45:53] <KataraPlushie> The light of the moon shone down on the couple walking hand-in-hand in the snow, having just come from a dance hosted that night. Katara and Aang had been together for four years and their relationship was going stronger than ever. Although worn out, Katara was still on cloud nine. "Heh, I had more fun than I could imagine," she told Aang.
[2011-12-22 19:47:17] <AangPlushie> "Me too," Aang replied. Unbeknownst to her, he was planning a lot more. /And in just two days...you'll have a lot more to be happy about..../ "I'm glad we could have this time tonight. I mean...it's really fun being with you."
[2011-12-22 19:50:56] <KataraPlushie> "I have a whole lot of fun being with you, too, but you don't need me to tell you that," she replied, giving him a loving smile. The two strolled through the streets until they reached their own houses.
[2011-12-22 19:52:37] <AangPlushie> "Well, Katara," Aang said. "This is the end of another night. Another night with you that I enjoyed...and many more to come, right?" He thought somewhat about how he would propose to her in the meantime.
[2011-12-22 19:56:27] <KataraPlushie> "Many more," she agreed. She noted that the Avatar had a certain thoughtful look on his face and mused about what was going on in his mind. "Well, I guess it's time to say good night," she said, slightly disappointed that the day was coming to an end.
[2011-12-23 13:58:31] <AangPlushie> Aang too did not want to leave her, but he couldn't stay with her all day. /Or maybe I could....please say yes./ In any event, he wrapped his arms around her and gave her a kiss.
[2011-12-23 14:02:11] <KataraPlushie> Katara smiled and then the two parted. "I'll see you in the morning," she told him as she readied to enter her house.
[2011-12-23 14:03:05] <AangPlushie> "Good night, Katara," Aang said, giving her a kiss on her forehead. "Sweet dreams."
[2011-12-23 14:05:06] <KataraPlushie> "Same to you," she replied warmly before stepping inside. In a few moments, she was in bed and because she was extremely tired, began drifting off to sleep.
[2011-12-23 14:08:16] <AangPlushie> Aang returned to his house, and walked over to a small end table. A drawer was a part of it, and he opened it. There, a wooden case revealed itself, and he opened it. Inside was a necklace, crafted like the one Katara had gotten from her mother. Indeed, it was a betrothal necklace. "Katara...soon, we will never have to part." Aang's necklace combined the national emblems of the Air Nomads...
[2011-12-23 14:08:16] <AangPlushie> ...and Water Tribe. He decided to sit out on his back porch, watching the sea. While out there, he saw a boat that didn't appear Water Tribe, but thought nothing of it. (cont'd)
[2011-12-23 14:09:13] <AangPlushie> The boat made its away to the shore near Aang's house, and under cover of night, three Dai Li agents walked off the boat, headed towards the Avatar's home. Aang prepared for bed, in the mean time,
[2011-12-23 14:12:28] <KataraPlushie> Katara fell into a strange, almost eerie dream. She was standing in the village and could hear Aang's voice calling out to her. It sounded urgent, as if he were in danger, but no matter where she turned she couldn't find him...
[2011-12-23 14:14:06] <AangPlushie> Aang was drifting off to sleep when he heard a slamming noise. Alarmed, the Avatar awoke and went down the stairs. "Who's there?" He commanded, assuming a bending stance against the possible intruders. As he finished making his way down the stairs, his hands and feet were suddenly binded by rock gloves. (cont'd)
[2011-12-23 14:23:19] <AangPlushie> He tried to snap free, but it turned out that one of them had also learned chi-blocking. His pressure points were hit, and his bending abilities were disabled. "Someo--" his mouth was then sealed shut by another slab of rock. The next thing Aang knew, he was subdued. His unconscious body was dragged on the boat, and it set sail.
[2011-12-23 14:26:45] <KataraPlushie> When Katara emerged from her igloo the next morning, she was surprised to see a small crowd of villagers gathered near Aang's house. Curiosity peaked, she walked over to see what could be going on. Her brother who was also there caught sight of her.(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 14:28:52] <KataraPlushie> "What's going on?" she asked Sokka who had a very concerned look on his face. The warrior found it hard to speak for a while, shaking his head gravely before finally saying, "I-It's Aang. He's nowhere to be found. We think he's been kidnapped and we might know by whom." He gestured towards the scene.
[2011-12-23 14:30:50] <AangPlushie> Aang had been subdued other times on the way to the unknown destination. The final time he woke up, he was in an underground prison. "Where am I? What's going on?" He looked around to see a familiar site. "Lake Laogai? I thought the Dai Li destroyed this...how did...where am I?
[2011-12-23 14:34:25] <KataraPlushie> Growing shaky and extremely nervous, she approached the scene with her brother. Some villagers were bending over and picking up fragments of rock joined together. One villager stood up, looked their way and said, "Look! I found an entire glove made of rocks of some sort. It's the most peculiar thing..."(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 14:36:35] <KataraPlushie> Katara's eyes widened in horror as she heard this. She took the rock glove from the villager's hand, recognizing it instantly. It had been years ago, but she still remembered. It was the Dai Li.
[2011-12-23 14:39:37] <AangPlushie> Aang saw some Dai Li agents moving through the headquarters. "I thought Kuei banished them years ago...how did they pull this off? What could they want with me?" His cell door opened, and there stood a bald man, dressed up in noblewear. He bore a small beard and mustache. "Greetings, Avatar," he said. "Welcome back to Ba Sing Se."
[2011-12-23 14:43:59] <KataraPlushie> She felt defeated, as this reality settled in. It wasn't written in stone, but she knew that's what had happened and that the Dai Li was behind it. Tears came to her eyes. How could this happen? And without her, without anyone, witnessing it?
[2011-12-23 14:47:30] <AangPlushie> "Long Feng!" Aang gasped out in shock. "How did you get free?" "They thought they could hold me in that cell forever," Long Feng said with a smirk. "Like that silly Bei Fong girl, I too was able to find a way to learn Metalbending. I gathered up the still active Dai Li agents, and so we reconstructed this headquarters. Soon, things will be back to the way they were. And it starts with you,...
[2011-12-23 14:47:30] <AangPlushie> ...Avatar." Aang would not stand for this. "Release me, or you'll see what I can do!" Long Feng shrugged. "If I released you, my agents would just take you again. Why waste their time?" Long Feng left the Avatar to himself, Aang glaring poisonously at him. [2011-12-23 14:51:22] <KataraPlushie> "I'm so sorry, Katara," Sokka told her sincerely, placing his hands on her shoulders. After a moment, she raised her head, bitterness and determination etched on her face. "I'm going after him. Alone," she said, balling up her fists. Sokka stepped back in alarm. "What? Are you crazy?"
[2011-12-23 14:52:53] <AangPlushie> Aang sat alone in his cell. Sadness started to overcome him, as he realized he was alone. He was not going to able to propose to Katara. Tears lit up his eyes. "I'm sorry, Katara...I'll try to get home soon....if only I knew how."
[2011-12-23 14:56:28] <KataraPlushie> "Maybe I am in your eyes," she told him and began marching ahead. "But I'm going and you're not going to stop me either. Aang's been captured; he's in trouble and I need to make this right. I won't have any stupid Dai Li agents ruin the peace we've worked so hard to restore."
[2011-12-23 14:58:10] <AangPlushie> For a while, he just sat, his mind a mess of emotions. Suddenly, his cell door opened. "Come with us, Avatar," an agent said, and again his bending was disabled through chi blocking as he was arrested. The agents led him out to an unknown location, at least it would be for some time.
[2011-12-23 15:02:32] <KataraPlushie> Several moments later, she sat mounted on Appa's head, prepared to leave the South Pole. Sokka stood by the bison, giving her a worried look. "Are you sure you're going to be alright?" She nodded. "I don't know how long I'll be away, but it won't be for long, trust me."(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 15:03:57] <KataraPlushie> Sokka still didn't seem too convinced, but he knew he couldn't stop her. "Do you even know where to look?" he asked. "Believe me, I know where I'm heading," she assured him stonily. Gripping the reigns tightly, she commanded, "Yip-Yip!" and was off.
[2011-12-23 15:05:26] <AangPlushie> Aang was led to a room that had a chair, and a light that ran upon a circular railing. "Oh no..." Aang murmured. /They're going to brainwash me!/ He tried to break free, but the Dai Li's grip was tough.
[2011-12-23 15:10:24] <KataraPlushie> Katara figured that if Appa flew speedily, they would be able to reach her destination by later afternoon. She was filled with fear and anxiety, wondering what Aang was going through now. Her emotions only drove her further on towards the Earth Kingdom and towards Ba Sing Se. Boy, when I get my hands on those Dai Li agents..., she thought.
[2011-12-23 15:12:24] <AangPlushie> Aang was locked into the chair, and slowly, the light began spinning. His mouth was sealed shut, and the agent began to speak as the light spun. "The city is still disturbed. We must stop the rebellion." He repeated these words over and over again while the light spun. Aang's mind grew weirder and weirder. /What's...happening...to...me?/
[2011-12-23 15:17:42] <KataraPlushie> The air grew much warmer as she made her way further into the Earth Kingdom. She wondered how the Dai Li had banded together again and what horrible thing they were planning. She also frowned as she wondered how she would enter the place where she was sure they were keeping Aang. Didn't it require Earthbending? I'll figure something out..., she told herself.
[2011-12-23 15:19:28] <AangPlushie> Aang was taking deep, rapid breaths. Suddenly, the light stopped spinning. Long Feng walked into the room. "Aang...the Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai." At those words, his face fell into brainwashed nothingness. "I am honored to accept his invitation."
[2011-12-23 15:22:16] <KataraPlushie> It was late in the afternoon and just as she had hoped, Appa had arrived at Ba Sing Se. She directed him over the land just inside the Outer Wall. In mere minutes, Lake Laogai came into view. She directed the bison downward towards the shore.
[2011-12-23 15:24:51] <AangPlushie> "All right, Avatar, it is time to clear the rebellion out," Long Feng said. "Correct, master Long Feng," Aang replied, brainwashed. He was released from the chair, and slowly, his chi restored. "Let us capture the rebellion. Save Ba Sing Se." Aang nodded, and slowly, they made their way out of the Dai Li headquarters. "It is time launch or plan," Long Feng said. Aang shot a poisonous glare towards Ba Sing Se.
[2011-12-23 15:32:13] <KataraPlushie> As Katara closed in on the lake, almost ready to land Appa, she noticed figures exiting the underwater base. She took a deep breath, prepared to fight off any agents. Landing the bison in a cluster of trees and dismounting him, she ran off silently in the direction of the figures. That's when she viewed the Avatar among the crowd.
[2011-12-23 15:34:05] <AangPlushie> With four Dai Li agents by his side, the Avatar began to attack at the Royal Guards. With the Avatar and the Dai Li agents together, the attack began on the Earth King's palace. Aang attacked with no thought whatsoever, the Dai Li's brainwashing impacting him. Some guards were even killed as people watched in horror. More and more agents joined him, overwhelming the guards.
[2011-12-23 15:41:31] <KataraPlushie> Stealthily, she followed the agents who guided Aang throughout the city, not wanting to break from under cover just yet. Any signs that they would hurt him, though, and she would emerge. Only they didn't attack him at all... It was him and the agents attacking the rest of Ba Sing Se... She gasped in shock.
[2011-12-23 15:43:26] <AangPlushie> Aang was thoughtless, his mind overwhelmed by the Dai Li. He was continuing to wreck through the guards, the agents defeating other sets of guards as they marched to the giant doors of the Royal Palace. The guards who survived were stunned. "What has happened to the Avatar?" "It isn't obvious?" Another agent asked him. "The Dai Li brainwashed him!"
[2011-12-23 15:48:12] <KataraPlushie> Horrified by everything that she was viewing, Katara quit her hiding place, suddenly growing enraged at the Dai Li. Bending a large stream of water behind her, she leapt into the bloodied arena, a strong stimulus urging her on, and swept several agents off their feet.
[2011-12-23 15:49:25] <AangPlushie> "Who is that?" The same guard asked. "That's that Water Tribe girl...the Avatar's girlfriend! If anyone can bring him around it's her!" Another guard responded. (cont'd)
[2011-12-23 15:51:30] <AangPlushie> The Avatar and the Dai Li broke into the palace, Aang and Long Feng leading the way. Aang smashed the doors of the Royal Palace. Kuei sat on his throne and stood up in alarm. "Avatar Aang...wait, Long Feng? The Dai Li? What's going on here?" The King asked. "Stand down, Kuei!" Aang yelled at him. "The Avatar no longer works for you," Long Feng told the King. "He's our servant now.
[2011-12-23 15:55:31] <KataraPlushie> Katara saw the Dai Li and Aang whisk away into the palace and was about to go after them when she was surrounded by other agents. Although she was indeed outnumbered, she was not outmatched and, with anger coursing through her, she began wiping them out one by one.(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 15:56:55] <KataraPlushie> The citizens of Ba Sing Se stood by, watching in terror. Katara continued fighting them off, saying through gritted teeth as she took more down, "What. Did. You. Do to him?!" She almost wished she could use Bloodbending to defeat them.
[2011-12-23 15:59:14] <AangPlushie> Back inside the throne room, Aang and the Dai Li captured the last of the royal guards. "This is your last chance, Kuei!" The brainwashed Avatar yelled. "Avatar Aang, you have been brainwashed!" Kuei yelled back. "Stating the obvious?" Long Feng asked. "Look, I don't think you want to face the wrath of the Avatar. Just give up the throne." Aang pointed his staff straight at Kuei.
[2011-12-23 16:02:32] <KataraPlushie> It didn't take her long to knock all the agents in sight practically unconscious. Without blinking twice, she Waterbent a stream of water along the palace grounds into the building itself. The Dai Li could've been anywhere in the humongous building, but she felt certain where they were.
[2011-12-23 16:04:20] <AangPlushie> "I will not simply stand down," Kuei said, holding a stern, calm look despite the harsh opposition. "Avatar Aang, please remember what you fight for. You don't fight for these people! You fight for the world's balance." Aang yelled back, "And you are a rebellious force! Stand down, or I will attack!"
[2011-12-23 16:07:03] <KataraPlushie> "No! Don't!" Katara burst into the throne room, feeling exhausted yet empowered. Her hair hung messily in her face and she was covered in dirt as she rode in on the wave of water.
[2011-12-23 16:08:40] <AangPlushie> The Dai Li agents, Long Feng, and Aang turned around. Kuei was surprised. "The Avatar's girlfriend! Katara!" Aang too, was in shock. "How did you get here?" Long Feng barked at her. "No matter. Agents, subdue the Southern Tribe Princess!"
[2011-12-23 16:13:09] <KataraPlushie> The several agents present charged at her. She took in a deep breath and waited until they were within range before striking. With what little water available, she managed to freeze a couple in ice. Two came within very close range which she struggled to overcome. Unfortunately, one agent had snuck up from behind her and clasped her wrists together tightly. She tried to break free.
[2011-12-23 16:14:09] <AangPlushie> Aang stood, watching the battle. Long Feng was disgusted that Katara was still standing. "Avatar, finish her!" Aang complied, and drew his staff at Katara.
[2011-12-23 16:18:37] <KataraPlushie> She stood there subdued by the Dai Li agent, feeling almost hopeless. The hollow look in Aang's eyes as he followed Long Feng's orders and the way he prepared to finish her off scared her. But something told her that buried underneath that brainwashed exterior was the real Aang that she knew.(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 16:22:43] <KataraPlushie> "Please, Aang, don't," she pleaded with him. "Don't listen to what Long Feng says." "Shut your mouth, peasant!" the harsh leader demanded angrily. "Don't let him control you like that," she continued anyway. "This isn't you. You're the Avatar, savior of the world not destroyer of it. But more importantly, you're my boyfriend."
[2011-12-23 16:25:23] <AangPlushie> Aang's mind started to warp. "Boyfriend..." he mumbled to himself. He held his palm up to his face. "What am I doing?" Hearing Aang's struggle, Long Feng snapped back. "Avatar, do your duty to the world! People like Kuei and that girl want to destroy it!" Aang faced an internal conflict. The Dai Li's brainwashing still affected him, but hearing Katara's words started to loosen the Dai Li's mental hold.
[2011-12-23 16:30:13] <KataraPlushie> She started feeling hopeful as she saw Aang begin to return to her. Long Feng was still pressuring him, though. "I'm asking you as your girlfriend to break away from Long Feng's control. You can do it. I know you can. You're strong enough and, in the end, you're a good, kind person. And that's why I love you."
[2011-12-23 16:31:59] <AangPlushie> "Love..." Aang murmured again. In his mind, memories of all the times him and Katara were together began to play out. One of them was four years ago in the very city of Ba Sing Se, when they fought against...Long Feng and the Dai Li. He started to remember more of his good times, all the times /Katara/ was there for him. He looked straight at her, his angered look breaking. He dropped his staff and fell to his knees. (Cont'd)
[2011-12-23 16:33:20] <AangPlushie> The Avatar yelled out somewhat, the mental competition breaking him. "Avatar, end this silly woman now!" Long Feng yelled. He did nothing, his hands over his head. "Do it!" Long Feng again barked at him. Aang continued to look straight at Katara.
[2011-12-23 16:40:34] <KataraPlushie> He was so close to coming back fully. She gave him a long loving look, staring straight into his gray eyes, smiling as best she could despite the situation. "You mean the world to me and I know you feel the same way, too," she told him. "And I know you won't let any Dai Li agent mess with you like that."
[2011-12-23 16:42:28] <AangPlushie> That was it. Aang felt the Dai Li's hold break, as he smiled at his love. He remembered when he said he was saving the world for her, albeit in a daydream, but still. "Aang, do your duty, and end her!" Long Feng yelled again. Aang's look turned to anger, he picked up his staff and swung it, creating a large gust of air that slammed Long Feng to a wall. (cont'd)
[2011-12-23 16:43:52] <AangPlushie> He ran up to the Dai Li leader. "How dare you try to make me destroy the world's balance, and how dare you try to make me kill Katara!" He tied Long Feng's hands and feet to the wall using Earthbending. "You are despicable, Long Feng!"
[2011-12-23 16:46:37] <KataraPlushie> Katara broke into a huge smile as she saw the real Aang break through. "Curse you, Avatar, and that filthy Water Tribe girl!" Long Feng spat out, glaring menacingly at the Avatar.
[2011-12-23 16:49:03] <AangPlushie> "That's quite enough out of you," Kuei said, walking over to Long Feng. "Guards, arrest Long Feng, and any active Dai Li agents!" The guards subdued Long Feng, and captured enclosed him in wooden handcuffs, so he wouldn't break free. "Sir, should we re-investigate Lake Laogai?" Another guard asked. "Yes," Kuei said, as that was where they were headquarted." The guards captured the Dai Li agents that were within and outside the palace.
[2011-12-23 16:51:16] <KataraPlushie> Katara breathed a huge sigh of relief as she released from her bonds. She rubbed her wrists which were slightly sore then cast her gaze over to Aang who still stood in the throne room.
[2011-12-23 16:52:46] <AangPlushie> Once the guards had cleared the Dai Li away, Aang fell to the ground, his hands over his face. "What did I do..." He was a nervous wreck, as his brainwashing was over. Some stray tears fell down his cheeks.
[2011-12-23 16:54:31] <KataraPlushie> Katara dashed from her spot and ran over to Aang. She fell to her knees beside him and flung her arms around him, overjoyed at having him back.
[2011-12-23 16:55:56] <AangPlushie> Aang was traumatized. His mind was a total wreck, and not even Katara hugging him at that moment could help. He ran outside to see just what had happened. There, he saw the horrific site of guards killed, their bodies on the pavement. Stunned, Aang again fell to the ground, on his knees.
[2011-12-23 16:58:00] <KataraPlushie> Katara followed him outside and looked out sadly onto the courtyard which was in shambles now. Some Dai Li agents were still being apprehended. She couldn't imagine how hard it was for him now, seeing this scene, and approached him slowly. "Aang?" she asked tentatively.
[2011-12-23 16:59:39] <AangPlushie> Aang was in tears. "Look what I have done...this is all my doing..." He had no other words, his hands again covering his face. "I can't believe I let the Dai Li control me....I strayed from my Avatar duties, my Air Nomad ways..."
[2011-12-23 17:03:36] <KataraPlushie> She sat down next to him, laying a hand on his back. "You were brainwashed," she said, although she felt this wasn't helping much; she tried anyway. "It's not really your fault. You didn't know what you were doing. It's all over, though, and it could be worse."
[2011-12-23 17:05:04] <AangPlushie> As Katara was trying to comfort her boyfriend, Kuei walked out. Aang turned around to the Earth King, and held his hands up. "If you must, go ahead and arrest me," the Avatar said. "I have disturbed the peace and tried to overthrow you."
[2011-12-23 17:06:43] <KataraPlushie> "Of course I won't be arresting you, Avatar Aang," Kuei told him. "I'm fully aware that you were under the influence of the Dai Li. No, they will be held responsible, but I can assure you that you won't."
[2011-12-23 17:08:31] <AangPlushie> "Thank you," the Avatar said, bowing. "I assure you, this will not happen again. In fact, if you need mine and Katara's assistance, we will help you capture the remaining Dai Li agents." Kuei shook his head. "No need. We will take care of this. You and Katara have had a stressful day. Go, relax. If you want, I can let you stay here tonight."
[2011-12-23 17:15:02] <KataraPlushie> Katara looked at Aang then told Kuei, "That would be best, I think. It has been a long day for both of us." Kuei nodded and said, "I'll have two rooms prepared right away."
[2011-12-23 17:16:38] <AangPlushie> Aang shook his head once more. "I still can't believe myself...how did I let this happen to me...
[2011-12-23 17:19:06] <KataraPlushie> "It's not your fault," Katara reassured him sincerely. "You couldn't control your actions. It was completely the Dai Li's fault. Don't beat yourself up for this."
[2011-12-23 17:20:33] <AangPlushie> Aang was still at a loss for words. He continued to shed tears, but at the very least was glad that Katara was there for him. He pulled her into a hug. "I'm so sorry for threatening you, Katara...please...forgive me..."
[2011-12-23 17:22:23] <KataraPlushie> "I already have forgiven you," she told him, returning the hug and wiping some of the tears off his face. She sighed. "Boy, was I the happiest person in the world when you came back."
[2011-12-23 17:23:47] <AangPlushie> "It was so scary, being possessed by them," Aang said. "I can't thank you enough...it was our love that saved us. Katara...thank you."
[2011-12-23 17:25:55] <KataraPlushie> "You're welcome, Aang," she said, resting her head on his shoulder, feeling worn out but beyond relieved.
[2011-12-23 17:26:38] <AangPlushie> The Avatar rubbed her back and stroked her hair, holding her steadfast in a tight hug. "I love you...so much...I promise, I will never do that again."
[2011-12-23 17:27:41] <KataraPlushie> "I love you, too, and I know for sure that nothing like that will ever happen again," Katara told him.
[2011-12-23 17:28:32] <AangPlushie> For a while, the two sat there, hugging each other closely. Kuei came back out to them. "Aang, Katara, we have your rooms ready," he said to them.
[2011-12-23 17:29:52] <KataraPlushie> "Okay," Katara said, hoisting herself to her feet. "Thank you, King Kuei," she added with a respectful bow, Aang doing the same. The two were led into the palace by the king.
[2011-12-23 17:31:27] <AangPlushie> "Aang, you will stay here for the night," Kuei pointed to a large room. He then pointed to another room. "Katara, you will stay here." With that, Kuei left them. "Before your rest, though..you're invited for a dinner."
[2011-12-23 17:40:35] <KataraPlushie> "Sure, that would be nice," Katara told him. "Do you think you could give us a little while, though, to wash up?" Kuei smiled and nodded. "Of course. However long you please." "Thanks," she replied. "We shouldn't be more than a half hour or so."
[2011-12-23 17:42:27] <AangPlushie> Aang went to his room and cleaned up some of the dirt and blood that he had accumulated during all the fight, in addition to the sweat that dropped down his face. It was a long, hard day for the Avatar, all he wanted was some normalcy.
[2011-12-23 17:45:23] <KataraPlushie> Katara felt better after she washed up and changed into another outfit. Then realizing that Appa was still at the base of the lake, she decided to go get him. Knocking on Aang's door, she called out from outside, "I'm going out to bring Appa here. I'll be back in a little while."
[2011-12-23 17:46:58] <AangPlushie> "Got it," Aang said in response. He washed some of the dirt off of his monk's clothing, using a special cleaning solution they had access to. He was still somewhat of a mental wreck, processing what he had done. But as long as the people he loved were with him, he'd be fine.
[2011-12-23 17:49:07] <KataraPlushie> Outside the palace where some of the ruins were being cleaned up, Katara summoned a small wave of water and cruised along it through the city. The citizens were still abuzz about the day's events, but relieved that good had prevailed over evil once more.(cont'd)
[2011-12-23 17:50:03] <KataraPlushie> She reached the lake's shores where she saw some Dai Li agents being arrested by Royal Guards. She approached Appa, mounted him and with a "yip-yip", flew back to the palace in no time.
[2011-12-23 17:51:33] <AangPlushie> Aang re-donned his clothing, and heard the loud thud of Appa landing outside the palace. He ran outside to see his sky bison had returned. "Hey there Appa," he said, hugging the bison as much as he could.
[2011-12-23 17:53:32] <KataraPlushie> Appa grumbled in reply, lying down on the ground. Katara stroked Appa's fur, knowing he must be worn out from flying for hours on end today. "You did some great flying today, boy," she praised the bison.
[2011-12-23 17:54:58] <AangPlushie> "I'm sure he did," Aang said. "You guys got all the way from the South Pole to here within a matter of hours! That's a hard day's work."
[2011-12-23 17:56:37] <KataraPlushie> As if to justify this, Appa roared in content at being able to rest. A few guards walked up to them. "We'd be happy to tend to your bison while you stay," one of them said.
[2011-12-23 17:57:31] <AangPlushie> "Thank you," Aang said and bowed to the guard. The other guard added, "Dinner will be ready in ten minutes, you two."
[2011-12-23 17:59:58] <KataraPlushie> "We'll be there. Thanks for letting us know," Katara replied. "Anytime," the guard said to the two and they departed. Katara leaned against Appa, lying against his soft fur.
[2011-12-23 18:01:04] <AangPlushie> Aang brushed Appa's fur some more. "Appa, I don't know what Katara and myself would do about you," he said, and then took another seat on the ground, also leaning against Appa.
[2011-12-23 18:03:22] <KataraPlushie> Katara looked out onto the rest of the city which seemed to be operating as it normally would. Some citizens still lingered around a bit, probably still in shock from the surprise attack by the Dai Li. She herself was still surprised by all that had happened.
[2011-12-23 18:05:16] <AangPlushie> The day was starting to fade into night, as the two looked out at the Earth Kingdom capital. "Dinner is now ready," one of the guards told them. "Please, come with us.
[2011-12-23 18:08:34] <KataraPlushie> The two walked hand-in-hand back inside the palace. They were led by the guards to a large dining hall where dinner was waiting for them. Kuei sat at the head of the table.
[2011-12-23 18:10:14] <AangPlushie> The couple took their seats. Their dishes were revealed to them, Katara received a dinner of komodo chicken, while Aang received a dish of vegetables, in accordance with his diet. "Dig in, everyone," Kuei said. "Before I do...once again, your majesty, I apologize for my behavior today," Aang said, still a bit downcast.
[2011-12-23 18:12:17] <KataraPlushie> "Not to worry, Avatar," Kuei reassured him with a smile. "We're perfectly aware of the situation and we know you would never actually cause any harm to Ba Sing Se. And we'll take extreme precautions to ensure this doesn't happen again."
[2011-12-23 18:15:40] <AangPlushie> Aang nodded. "I hope so...we have now twice seen just how dangerous they are...the Dai Li needs to be eradicated for good." With that, the dinner resumed, occasional conversation coming out during food consumption.
[2011-12-23 18:17:50] <KataraPlushie> "How have things been for you down in the South Pole?" Kuei asked during the course of the dinner. "Things are going quite well," Katara told him. "It's amazing how far we've come. We're practically a metropolis compared to the dwindling village we once were four years ago."
[2011-12-23 18:18:27] <AangPlushie> "I'm glad to say that everyone has done their job, and that what Katara says is not stretching the truth," Aang said. "An excellent job to the South Pole, then. You have come far from the clutches of extinction."
[21:48:24] KataraPlushie "We sure have," she replied. After that, the room quieted down for a bit and conversation was minimal. Feeling full, she sat back and simply enjoyed the peace of it all. Spirits knew she needed it.
[21:50:35] AangPlushie Aang finished his dinner as well. He then realized that not only had he just been brainwashed by the Dai Li, he also did not have the necklace he wanted to propose with. He sadly sighed and placed his head in his hand, his elbow on the table.
[2011-12-23 21:52:12] <KataraPlushie> Katara saw a disappointed expression cross his face and she frowned slightly. "Is something wrong?" she asked him, thinking that perhaps he was still depressed about what had happened earlier.
[2011-12-23 21:53:13] <AangPlushie> Aang looked back at Katara. "All the events of today...I am having a hard time getting over them, I guess," he told her. "Don't mind me."
[2011-12-23 21:56:02] <KataraPlushie> "I see," she replied. "But everything'll be alright in the end." She placed an arm around his shoulders and gave him a sincere smile.
[2011-12-23 21:57:19] <AangPlushie> Of course, Aang would not tell her what he was really upset about, that needed to remain a surprise. Regardless, he smiled back at her.
[2011-12-23 22:00:05] <KataraPlushie> Kuei sat back and sighed. "It's been a really crazed day today. I think I'll go to bed a little earlier tonight." Katara nodded. "I'm planning to head to my room soon, too. I've had more than my fair share of catastrophe."
[2011-12-23 22:01:13] <AangPlushie> Aang agreed with his girlfriend and the Earth King. "I too, will retire early. I need a long sleep to get this ordeal out of my head."
[2011-12-23 22:03:50] <KataraPlushie> "We'll all need a good sleep tonight," Kuei agreed with Aang. "If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to start getting ready for bed." He rose and summoned over a few palace servants to clear the dishes before making his exit.
[2011-12-23 22:06:18] <AangPlushie> Aang gave a yawn. "Yes, I will prepare for sleep, too. Katara? What will you do, do you think? I'm exhuasted..."
[2011-12-23 22:08:36] <KataraPlushie> "I'm just about ready to head upstairs myself," she told him. She didn't relish the fact that she'd probably wake up sore the next morning, but right now, all she needed was sleep. She pushed back her chair and got to her feet.
[2011-12-23 22:10:09] <AangPlushie> Aang too, rose. He was sore from being gripped by rock gloves on occasions, and also the impacts of attacks he received from the guards while he was brainwashed. His walking speed was reduced to nearly a hobble as he made his way to his room.
[2011-12-23 22:12:44] <KataraPlushie> Seeing him struggle a bit, Katara wrapped her arm across his back and walked with him to the guest rooms. After several moments, they finally stood outside their respective rooms, ready to say good night.
[2011-12-23 22:14:44] <AangPlushie> "Katara," Aang began, removing her arm from his back. "This has been possibly one of the worst days of my life...if it wasn't for you though...it would have been my worst day. Thank you again for saving me."
[2011-12-23 22:16:42] <KataraPlushie> "Anything for you," Katara replied. "There was no way I would just let the Dai Li get away with kidnapping you."
[2011-12-23 22:19:14] <AangPlushie> "There was no way I was going to be responsible for letting the Dai Li come back to power...but stopping that is something I owe to you," Aang smiled at her, his look getting loving. "It was your love that saved me, as I said."
[2011-12-23 22:22:07] <KataraPlushie> Katara cast a glance off to the side, a warmed smile spreading across her face, before she returned her gaze to Aang who looked at her with an equally loving look.
[2011-12-23 22:23:26] <AangPlushie> "Even though this day mostly stunk," Aang again spoke, "I'll always remember what you did...as a reminder of how much you love me...and I love you."
[2011-12-23 22:26:49] <KataraPlushie> Her grin widened, hearing her boyfriend say this. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and inched closer to him. The hallway had a blissful air about it.
[2011-12-23 22:28:30] <AangPlushie> Aang got a feeling as to what she desired. As a result, he wrapped his arms around her and prepared to give her a kiss.
[2011-12-23 22:31:15] <KataraPlushie> Embracing him around the shoulders, Katara gazed at him a few seconds longer before she closed her eyes and leaned forward slowly.
[2011-12-23 22:34:30] <AangPlushie> Aang's lips moved towards Katara's, and the next thing they knew, their lips were locked in another kiss.
[2011-12-23 22:39:03] <KataraPlushie> Katara felt lighter on her feet as the two shared a kiss. Despite the fact that earlier he had stood before her, close to ending her, she knew it wasn't his will and she loved him all the same.
[2011-12-23 22:41:44] <AangPlushie> Aang wanted his love for her to flow through her as much as possible, so he deepened the kiss as much as he could. He rubbed her back somewhat, ensuring her that he did love her very much.
[2011-12-23 22:45:52] <KataraPlushie> She felt a rush of happiness as she felt Aang deepen the kiss and her embrace grew tighter.
[2011-12-23 22:47:09] <AangPlushie> Aang tightened his grip on Katara as he continued to kiss her, the time growing more and more. He would wait until she broke away, because all he wanted was for her to know that he loved her as much as she loved him.
[2011-12-23 22:50:31] <KataraPlushie> After several moments, she finally pulled back, feeling heat rise to her cheeks, still more joyous than words could express.
[2011-12-23 22:54:30] <AangPlushie> That kiss had so much love in it, Aang actually cried a couple of tears of happiness. All he could add was three simple words. "I love you."
[2011-12-23 22:58:18] <KataraPlushie> Katara beamed Aang and was moved as a few tears ran down his face. "I love you, too," she told him in a near-whisper and gave him another hug.
[2011-12-23 22:59:55] <AangPlushie> Aang held his girlfriend as close as he could. /This is truly the girl I want to marry...if only I had the necklace./ Regardless, he just held her for now, and figured that since they would be back at the South Pole tomorrow, he would take care of the proposal then.
[2011-12-23 23:04:10] <KataraPlushie> The couple stood like that for a few minutes longer before the Waterbender broke away once more. She saw a certain twinkle in Aang's eyes as he smiled at her and once again wondered what was going on through his mind. "Well, I guess it's getting very late," she said.
[2011-12-23 23:05:51] <AangPlushie> "Yes, it is, and I grow tired," Aang replied to her, though he did not want to leave her. However, he knew if she answered a certain question the right way, it would all be worth it.
[2011-12-23 23:09:55] <KataraPlushie> She rubbed her eyes drowsily before deciding to make her way to her room. "Well, I'll see you in the morning then," she told him. "Good night and sweet dreams."
[2011-12-23 23:10:51] <AangPlushie> "Pleasant dreams to you too," Aang told her. "We could use them after today. Good night, Katara."
[2011-12-23 23:13:33] <KataraPlushie> "We sure could," Katara agreed, turning the doorknob, opening the door and beginning to step inside her room but not before giving him one last contented look.
[2011-12-23 23:14:41] <AangPlushie> Aang shot her another smile as he turned into his room for the night. After that, he flopped down onto his bed. Quietly to himself he said, "Thank you, spirits, for blessing me with someone like her."
[2011-12-23 23:17:58] <KataraPlushie> Katara kicked off her shoes as she sat on her bed then crawled under the covers, her mind still racing with thoughts of all that had happened that day. It had been a chaotic one, but in the end, she had gotten back the one she loved. Even with so much going through her head, though, sleepiness still came over her fairly quickly.
[2011-12-23 23:19:41] <AangPlushie> In the middle of Aang's sleep, he had a dream of the future. It was ten years later, the two of them were married, celebrating their wedding anniversary. By their side, they had two children, with a third on the way. Aang's sleep became easier with such a pleasant dream to accompany it.
[2011-12-23 23:27:00] <KataraPlushie> Katara dreamt that night as well and this time, no eerie dreams haunted her at all. She flashed back to when she first liberated Aang from the iceberg way back when both were unaware of what was ahead: there were bad times, but the two always came together in the end and peace always restored.
[2011-12-23 23:28:19] <AangPlushie> Aang rose early the next morning, wondering if this would indeed be the day him and Katara would return to the Southern Water Tribe, and then he could ask the question he feared he would not be able to do so not that long ago.
[2011-12-23 23:30:39] <KataraPlushie> As she half-expected, Katara awoke the next morning, feeling some pain but nothing she couldn't handle. She took in the beauty of the day, rays of sunlight pouring through the window before getting dressed and ready. She hoped to go back home today, if Aang was ready, that is.
[10:36:00] AangPlushie "I figure I'll do this tonight," Aang murmured quietly to himself as he got ready for the day, referring of course to the proposal. He was a mix of excitement and nerves, wondering if she would say yes.
[10:39:18] KataraPlushie A guard came to her door a little while later. "The Earth King has invited you and the Avatar to breakfast in the tea room, if you'd like." "Sounds good," Katara told him and walked to Aang's door, knocking on it twice and telling him of the invitation.
[10:41:23] AangPlushie "I'll be there in five minutes," Aang responded to Katara. He slipped on a pair of shoes, and after this, sat on his bed, hands crossed. "This is it, Katara...you know how much you mean to me," he again was saying quietly. "Later...I'll make you mine, forever." With that he walked out of his room and towards the tea room.
[10:43:11] KataraPlushie Katara brightened as she saw Aang walk into the room a few minutes later. "You look pretty well-rested," she remarked. "Did you sleep well last night?"
[10:44:28] AangPlushie "Yes," Aang said, wearing a bright smile on his face, quite a change from the same time yesterday. "And yourself, Katara?"
[10:47:46] KataraPlushie "I slept well, too, except now I'm feeling a little sore," she replied. "But no matter... It'll feel good to be back in the South Pole again. Sokka's probably worrying himself to death."
[10:49:44] AangPlushie "I can't believe you came alone," Aang said. "I thought you would have brought someone as backup...but, no matter. You proved yourself strong enough to save me, and Ba Sing Se, on your own."
[10:52:29] KataraPlushie "Sokka insisted that he go with me, but for whatever reason, I just needed to go alone," Katara tried to explain. "But, yeah, it'll be good once we're home again. And speaking of that, I was wondering if we could possibly return today. If you're ready, of course."
[10:53:05] AangPlushie Aang nodded. "Of course we can go home today. I'm still a little sore, but I'll be good to go home today."
[10:57:25] KataraPlushie "That's good," she said. "We should leave by noon, so we can make it back to the South Pole before it gets too dark."
[10:59:07] AangPlushie "We wish you the best of luck in your return to the South Pole," the Earth King told the couple. "Oh, and I have made world leaders aware of what happened yesterday. I did emphasize that you were under Dai Li influence, Aang, so they shouldn't turn on you."
[11:01:02] KataraPlushie "Thank you, King Kuei," the Avatar told the Earth King, giving him a small bow. "So what will happen to the Dai Li now?" Katara asked curiously.
[11:03:25] AangPlushie "We have imprisoned all the Dai Li agents that were running around yesterday, in wooden prisons," Kuei answered. "Long Feng will go on trial for high treason, and he may very well be executed. Further, my guards will go to Lake Laogai and destroy it for good."
[11:08:07] KataraPlushie "That's great news," the Waterbender said, although she was surprised to hear about Long Feng's possible execution. "Indeed it is," Kuei agreed. "It still bothers me a bit that we didn't learn of this sooner, but we will take better measures in the future to ensure safety."
[11:10:18] AangPlushie "Thank goodness it is all over," Aang said. He was a little disturbed about Long Feng's execution, but he knew he had a duty to the world first and foremost, and Yangchen told him a while ago that he would have to make some sacrifices to perform that duty. "I understand why Long Feng is to be executed, this is the second time he has tried to overtake Ba Sing Se."
[11:12:14] KataraPlushie "Well, nothing yet is set in stone," Kuei said, "but it's highly likely to happen." Katara glanced at Aang, noting that he was rather cool about the Dai Li leader's possible death.
[11:19:51] AangPlushie "If it must happen, so be it," Aang replied. "We must do what is needed to keep the world in balance and at peace."
[11:26:02] KataraPlushie Katara nodded in agreement. "Well, since we don't have any real belongings on us, it shouldn't take long to get Appa packed and ready to go. I think I'll roam around the palace grounds for a bit. And thank you, again, for letting us spend the night here."
[11:28:33] AangPlushie "Anytime, for the Avatar and his girlfriend," Kuei said. /Soon to be wife.../ Aang thought. With that, Aang and Katara dismissed themselves from the table and prepared to leave.
[11:32:43] KataraPlushie Outside, the air was warm with a slight breeze blowing. The grounds were still in disarray from yesterday, but aside from some battered ground and an occasional weapon here or there, everything seemed normal as always.
[11:34:07] AangPlushie Aang looked at the scene below with still some regret for what had happened, and what he let happen. However, today was too important to dwell on things. He helped put some belongings onto Appa as they set up to leave.
[11:39:18] KataraPlushie Katara couldn't help but notice a few civilians stopping to stare at the two, specifically Aang, and whispering amongst themselves, but she dismissed them. Surely they had to know that he meant no real harm? A guard approached them. "Do you need any help with preparing for your journey back to the Southern Tribe?"
[11:42:16] AangPlushie "We will be fine," Aang said. "Thank you for asking, however." With that, another citizen looked up to Aang and glared at him. The same guard, who had not yet left, noticed this. "I assure you what happened yesterday was not the Avatar's doing," he said to the young denizen.
[11:47:02] KataraPlushie The citizen still appeared suspicious, giving the guard a look as if to say, "That's what he wants you to believe," but walked off indignantly. Katara looked on with some irritation. How ignorant could these people be? Aang was the Avatar, after all.
[11:50:15] AangPlushie Three more citizens came up to the Avatar, giving him glares. Someone even tossed a rock at him. "You were supposed to save the world, Avatar! Now you're trying to destroy it!" A female citizen whispered into Katara's ear. "You still love this guy? Amazing..."
[11:54:04] KataraPlushie Katara turned sharply to view the woman who had said this and gave her an icy glare. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do," she snapped. "And it's not right of you to judge Aang for something for which he wasn't even responsible! Have you forgotten that he helped save Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation?" This last statement was addressed more to the crowd as a whole.
[11:55:52] AangPlushie Hearing the commotion, the Earth King stepped out of his palace to address the crowd. "I assure all of you, Avatar Aang is innocent! The Dai Li brainwashed him. He means us no harm! I am going to ask all of you to leave the palace grounds at once."
[11:58:40] KataraPlushie The people grumbled a bit, a few still casting bitter looks at Aang, before dispersing. "I apologize for such a commotion," Kuei said. "It seems some of the citizens of Ba Sing Se need to be straightened out a bit."
[12:01:38] AangPlushie "It's okay, I can understand why they would be upset with me," Aang said. "Dai Li influence or not, I did nearly destroy the city."
[12:04:53] KataraPlushie "But you /were/ influenced by the Dai Li and, therefore, it's not your fault," Katara told him. "They still need to open their eyes, though, and see that." She cast an angry look in the direction of the receding crowds. "In any case, I think we'd better get moving."
[12:06:24] AangPlushie "Yes, we must," Aang said. "Once again, Aang and Katara, I apologize for the behavior of my citizens," Kuei said as they boarded Appa. "I hope this will not detract you from visiting Ba Sing Se in the future."
[12:09:14] KataraPlushie "Of course not," she reassured the king. "Things will sort themselves out eventually." She bowed politely to the superior before mounting Appa, excited to be returning home.
[12:10:00] AangPlushie "We will return to Ba Sing Se, needn't you worry," Aang also assured Kuei, also bowing. "Thank you for hosting us last night."
[12:12:46] KataraPlushie "My pleasure," the Earth King said with a smile. "I'd be happy to host you again anytime you come to visit. Good luck on your journey back to the South Pole and say hello to Sokka and the others for me."
[12:14:15] AangPlushie "We will," Aang said. "Yip yip!" He then commanded Appa, and the couple departed to the skies.
[12:20:00] KataraPlushie Katara rested on Appa's saddle, wondering whether Sokka was driving himself crazy or not, wondering where she and Aang were. Appa, still worn from yesterday, flew at a slower rate and she hoped they would be able to get home before it got too dark.
[12:21:43] AangPlushie Aang relaxed a bit, still perched on the sky bison's head, needing to control him. "I'm afraid we won't get to the South Pole until after sunset," Aang informed Katara. "Appa is still tired from yesterday, as I feared."
[12:24:16] KataraPlushie "Oh okay," she replied, slightly disappointed. "Does that mean we'll need to stay overnight somewhere in the Earth Kingdom?"
[12:25:16] AangPlushie "It depends on how tired Appa gets," Aang responded. "If he is up for it, we will make the flight to the South Pole in this one shot. If he really starts slowing down, we'll have to make an over night stay somewhere."
[2011-12-24 13:51:41] <KataraPlushie> "Alright," Katara said, lying back down against the saddle. She hoped they would reach the Southern tribe by today, but if Appa really was too tired, they couldn't push him to make the journey.
[2011-12-24 13:53:18] <AangPlushie> Over the next few hours, Appa continued to fly, as fast as he could. Aang was hoping they could get to the South Pole that day, but also wondered if proposing was the right move in light of the recent events.
[2011-12-24 13:56:48] <KataraPlushie> As they flew southward, the air grew colder so Katara pulled on her Water Tribe parka. Conversation was second to none between her and Aang as they simply sped through the skies and her mind often wandered back to Sokka and the other villagers who were surely on edge, waiting for their safe return.
[2011-12-24 13:59:14] <AangPlushie> The sun was getting lower in the sky, as they left the land and were now over sea. Appa still seemed to be in good shape, so Aang said, "Well, we may as well continue to the South Pole tonight."
[2011-12-24 14:02:13] <KataraPlushie> "Are you sure he's fit to make the journey?" the Waterbender asked to which Aang nodded. She brightened a bit at this and looked out across the sea where she knew the tribe lay ahead.
[2011-12-24 14:03:53] <AangPlushie> More and more ice was within the waters as they got closer and closer to the tribe. It looked like they would have just enough time before sunset to land. Aang hoped that the Tribe would not turn against him for the incident in Ba Sing Se.
[2011-12-24 14:09:11] <KataraPlushie> Katara was overlooking the frozen wasteland of the South Pole when she caught sight of the metropolis off in the distance. She straightened up and said brightly, "I think I see the village!"
[2011-12-24 14:10:32] <AangPlushie> Aang began to lower Appa towards the village, simply hoping for the best. "Please let them understand..." he said to himself.
[2011-12-24 14:12:56] <KataraPlushie> She noticed Aang growing a little tense, grip on Appa's reigns tightening. "Is everything okay?" she asked.
[2011-12-24 14:14:25] <AangPlushie> "I got such a cold reception from the people of Ba Sing Se," Aang told her. "What if the villagers don't want me here? What if your dad banishes me or something?"
[2011-12-24 14:16:28] <KataraPlushie> "Don't worry, the villagers here aren't like the citizens of Ba Sing Se," Katara reassured him. "They all know you very well and glorify you. They'll understand the situation better. And my dad would never up and banish you."
[2011-12-24 14:18:02] <AangPlushie> "I know that," Aang replied. "So did most of the world...now, unless Kuei convinces them otherwise, the people of Ba Sing Se don't like me anymore."
[2011-12-24 14:20:14] <KataraPlushie> "They'll come to their senses sooner or later," she told him, her mind wandering back to the scene earlier and that one woman. "I trust that Kuei will have the whole misunderstanding straightened out."
[2011-12-24 14:21:13] <AangPlushie> Aang just tried to focus on the tasks ahead of him, getting to the village and proposing to his girlfriend. The village was well in sight at this point.
[21:26:32] KataraPlushie In no time at all, Appa descended onto the ground, the sun dipping below the horizon by now. The two dismounted; several villagers stopped their work as they saw the safe return of them both. "They're back!" one cried out. "Someone send for Sokka!"
[21:29:02] AangPlushie Aang looked at the village to see good news; no one seemed to be glaring at him, giving the look of understanding within. He sighed and cleared away his fears.
[21:31:55] KataraPlushie The reception was fairly warm from the villagers as Katara had hoped. She caught sight of her brother emerging from a nearby igloo and looking around him. He quickly spotted the couple and his face lit up. "Aang! Katara!" he exclaimed, running up to them.
[21:33:29] AangPlushie As Sokka closed in on his sister and the Avatar, Hakoda followed right behind him with a smile on his face.
[21:36:33] KataraPlushie Katara smiled as her brother came up to her and gave her a bear hug. "You made it back with Aang alright," Sokka said. "Just like I promised," she said. Her father approached and also gave her a hug.
[2011-12-25 21:38:12] <AangPlushie> After Katara was hugged, Sokka and Hakoda stood before Aang. "I hope you understand what happened," Aang said. "I did not me--" Hakoda cut him off. "We got the full word from the Earth King," the chief said. "We do not fault you for what happened, as you were under their influence."
[2011-12-25 21:40:00] <KataraPlushie> Katara was glad to see Aang relax when he heard this. He exchanged a traditional Water Tribe handshake with the chief. Sokka slapped him on the back. "Good to have you back, Aang," he said.
[2011-12-25 21:40:56] <AangPlushie> "It feels good to be back," Aang responded. "I don't think I've been through anything that scary since Sozin's Comet...not being able to control myself..."
[2011-12-25 21:44:31] <KataraPlushie> "I can only imagine what that must've been like," Hakoda remarked. "But the important thing is that you've returned safely and the Dai Li will be paying for its crimes." The civilians looked on with delight at having the Avatar back in the tribe. A few kids yelled, "Aang's back!"
[2011-12-25 21:47:34] <AangPlushie> "Hey there kids," Aang said, as they hugged him. "Aang, were you scared?" A little girl asked. "Yeah, I was," Aang responded. "All right kids, let Aang have his space," Hakoda told them. "If you guys want to get settled first, go right ahead...we'll have a dinner shortly," he then told the Avatar and his daughter.
[2011-12-25 21:52:28] <KataraPlushie> "That sounds good," Katara replied. "We'll be over in a little while after we've settled in and unpacked everything." Hakoda nodded. "Fine by me." He and Sokka walked off; a few others dispersed as well.
[2011-12-25 21:54:54] <AangPlushie> The two made their way to their separate homes. Aang walked in and saw that some damage remained from the Dai Li's initial break-in; his door was destroyed, and some holes were in the walls from rock glove attacks. He figured he would get some new supplies from elsewhere in the Earth Kingdom to get these repaired. However, the most important thing to him remained in a drawer. He opened it to see the necklace was still there.
[2011-12-25 21:57:01] <KataraPlushie> Katara unpacked the few things she had brought with her and put them away in her room. She washed her face and hands then walked outside to lead Appa to the stable where he slept.
[2011-12-25 21:58:24] <AangPlushie> Aang held the necklace up and wondered if tonight was appropriate for some time. /I just told her how much she means to me.../ he thought. After some time, he put the necklace in its case and tucked it into his jacket. /I'll go for it. No time could really be better./
[2011-12-25 22:03:43] <KataraPlushie> After getting Appa settled down, Katara walked over to Aang's house and stood outside the broken down door. "Are you ready for dinner?" she called out to him.
[2011-12-25 22:05:57] <AangPlushie> "Yes," Aang replied, and made his way outside to her. The two locked hands and made their way towards Hakoda's home, where dinner was being served.
[2011-12-25 22:08:45] <KataraPlushie> It was only a short walk to her father's home where Katara knocked on the door. Hakoda came and greeted them, stepping aside and saying, "Come in, come in." The two entered the house.
[2011-12-25 22:10:24] <AangPlushie> Aang looked around to see that the dinner was mostly done. Kanna was also there, but Pakku was not. "Hello again, Katara and Aang," Kanna came up to them and hugged them. "Where's Pakku?" Aang asked. "I'm afraid Pakku fell ill a few days ago and is still resting," Kanna answered.
[2011-12-25 22:13:05] <KataraPlushie> Katara frowned slightly as she hugged her grandmother and heard this news. "That's terrible to hear," she said. "Well, tell him I hope he feels better soon."
[2011-12-25 22:15:17] <AangPlushie> "The same from me," Aang said. "Thank you both," Kanna told the couple. "Now, dinner will be ready in a few minutes you two."
[2011-12-25 22:17:39] <KataraPlushie> The two nodded and then took their seat on a couch. "Where's Sokka?" Katara asked, noticing her brother's absence.
[2011-12-25 22:19:31] <AangPlushie> "Right here," Sokka said, coming downstairs, as if right on cue. "Hey Katara, hey Aang."
[2011-12-25 22:24:40] <KataraPlushie> "Hi Sokka," she greeted him along with Aang who said, "Hello, Sokka." The warrior took his seat in a chair and told Aang, "Like I said before, it's really great to have you back here. You should've seen this one," he gestured to his sister. "Just took off after you and wouldn't let me come along to take part in any of the action."
[2011-12-25 22:26:13] <AangPlushie> "I was surprised that Katara had come alone," Aang said. "I'll tell you what though, she just ripped those Dai Li agents apart like they were nothing."
[2011-12-25 22:31:17] <KataraPlushie> "Figures," Sokka remarked. "She's tough as an ox. But it wouldn't have hurt to accompany you," he addressed Katara. "It's been a while since I've fought now." Katara simply shrugged, saying, "I told you, I wanted to go on my own."
[2011-12-25 22:32:48] <AangPlushie> "She certainly proved herself capable on her own," Aang said, smiling at her. "Both at defeating those agents and breaking me from their hold."
[2011-12-25 22:36:17] <KataraPlushie> Katara smiled as well. The room fell silent until Kanna and Hakoda returned to the room, each carrying a few dishes. "Alright, dinner is ready," Kanna announced, walking over to the table.
[2011-12-25 22:40:39] <AangPlushie> Aang took a seat next to Katara, as the last dishes were placed onto the table. They dug into the various dishes, everyone just glad to be together again.
[2011-12-25 22:45:04] <KataraPlushie> "So, Aang, what'd it feel like to brainwashed?" Sokka questioned as they were eating. "Was it creepy? Cool?" Cool? Katara thought to herself, giving her brother a funny look that went unnoticed by him. What makes him think being brainwashed would be cool?
[2011-12-25 22:46:49] <AangPlushie> "Like I told you, Sokka," Aang answered. "It was the scariest thing I have dealt with since Sozin's Comet. I was out of my own control, destroying Ba Sing Se...I never want that to happen again."
[2011-12-25 22:51:48] <KataraPlushie> "And fortunately, it won't," Hakoda said, "now with the punishments following the whole incident. The Dai Li is gone once and for all, thanks to you guys. Although I here, Avatar Aang, that there was some unrest from the citizens of Ba Sing Se?"
[2011-12-25 22:53:13] <AangPlushie> "Yes, there was," Aang replied. "I actually got a rock thrown at me, people were yelling at Katara and myself, someone said something at her that caused her to snap. Kuei assured us he would address the citizens and get my name cleared."
[2011-12-25 22:56:47] <KataraPlushie> "That's a shame to hear," Kanna said, shaking her head slightly. "Such unruly behavior and especially towards of all people. But I trust Kuei will resolve everything. He's certainly grown more aware and responsible in recent years."
[2011-12-25 22:57:42] <AangPlushie> "He really has," Aang replied. "I think his eyes were opened that final year of the War. He's a much better monarch and takes more charge."
[2011-12-25 23:01:26] <KataraPlushie> "Yeah, talk about being oblivious to the fact that there was a century-long war going on," Sokka commented. "Personally, I think he should've realized the whole second scheme with the Dai Li, too. But he's still improved his leadership skills."
[2011-12-25 23:03:19] <AangPlushie> "It's amazing Long Feng did so well with covering things up," Hakoda said. "But this time, he was not getting his way." "Thanks to Katara," Aang added.
[2011-12-25 23:05:30] <KataraPlushie> "Aw, now I can't take all the credit," Katara told him. "After all, you were the one who managed to defeat Long Feng in the end. I just got myself tied down by an agent."
[2011-12-25 23:06:40] <AangPlushie> "Katara, you were the one who defeated all the agents prior to that," Aang said, "and then you snapped me out of their mental hold. You basically saved Ba Sing Se, not to mention myself. Take the credit, why don't you?" He ended with giving her a teasing poke.
[2011-12-25 23:10:17] <KataraPlushie> Katara laughed and pushed him lightly back in jest. "Oh fine, whatever you say," she replied, although she still felt some credit was owed to Aang.
[2011-12-25 23:11:11] <AangPlushie> The dinner continued with occasional conversation tossed around. After some time, they had filled up on enough food, and began to relax.
[2011-12-25 23:15:03] <KataraPlushie> Katara sat back in her chair, simply taking pleasure in being able to sit once more around the table with family. "So what will you be doing tonight?" Sokka asked casually. "I'll bet you're ready to hit the hay earlier."
[2011-12-25 23:16:06] <AangPlushie> "Well," Aang said. "After I take care of just one more thing with Katara."
[2011-12-25 23:17:54] <KataraPlushie> Katara looked over at Aang curiously, wondering what he had in mind. Sokka simply replied with an "okay."
[2011-12-25 23:19:01] <AangPlushie> "Katara, would you come with me please?" Aang asked. "I want to talk to you...it's very important. Let's go outside."
[2011-12-25 23:20:55] <KataraPlushie> "Sure, Aang," she answered, pushing back her chair and getting to her feet. Thoughts raced through her mind. The others looked on with a silent curiosity.
[2011-12-25 23:22:03] <AangPlushie> The two soon made their way outside to the quiet night. The moon shone brightly on them as Aang eased his nerves and got set to ask Katara the most important question of his life.
[2011-12-25 23:23:34] <KataraPlushie> "So, what is it you want to talk about?" Katara asked, noting a slightly hopeful look on Aang's face.
[2011-12-25 23:24:57] <AangPlushie> "Katara," Aang began. "We have been together for four years now...been through so much."
[2011-12-25 23:26:46] <KataraPlushie> The Waterbender nodded slowly, pondering on where he was going with this. She considered one possibility, but was unsure.
[2011-12-25 23:28:16] <AangPlushie> "In that time...I have seen so much of us," Aang continued. "We have had our ups, our downs, some great moments, some tough moments...but one thing does not change."
[2011-12-25 23:29:46] <KataraPlushie> "And that is?" Katara asked, although she already knew the answer.
[2011-12-25 23:31:22] <AangPlushie> "My love for you," Aang responded. "And our recent ordeal made me realize how much you mean to me. You've always been there for me, ready to help. It's much of the reason why I love you, Katara."
[2011-12-25 23:33:31] <KataraPlushie> A smile spread across her face as he told her this and, in a way, the recent events had made her realize just how important Aang was.
[2011-12-25 23:35:12] <AangPlushie> "For a while now," Aang again continued, "I've thought about our future, where we could go...and that has brought me to the point we're at now. Just us, alone, right now..."
[2011-12-25 23:39:32] <KataraPlushie> Even though she didn't want to get her hopes up too high, Katara knew what was probably to come as Aang told her this. She couldn't suppress growing feelings of excitement as he looked at her with happiness and nervousness.
[2011-12-25 23:41:18] <AangPlushie> "With all that said, Katara," Aang's tone grew more shaky and he shook some more as he reached inside his jacket. "I decided a few weeks ago I would do this. I didn't know if I would get my chance to do this after what happened....but now I have it." (cont'd)
[2011-12-25 23:41:57] <AangPlushie> He pulled the small box out of his jacket, turned the box to her, and opened it to reveal the necklace. "Katara, Princess of the Southern Water Tribe...will you marry me?"
[2011-12-25 23:46:02] <KataraPlushie> Katara held both her hands to her mouth, her eyes flooding with tears. She felt an overwhelming sense of joy that couldn't be expressed with words alone. "Yes," she said in a near-whisper. "Yes, a million times over!"
[2011-12-25 23:47:39] <AangPlushie> Aang smiled brightly at her response. Without any thought, he threw his arms around her, nearly knocking the two to the ground. He held her in a tight hug, and tears began to escape down his cheeks.
[2011-12-25 23:50:29] <KataraPlushie> Katara steadied herself as Aang hugged her and embraced him tightly, tears running down her face. She couldn't have imagined anything more perfect to end the day.
[2011-12-25 23:51:42] <AangPlushie> "Thank you," Aang choked out through his tears. "For everything...Katara. Words can't express how happy I am that you have accepted this marriage."
[2011-12-25 23:55:42] <KataraPlushie> "Thank /you/ for all that you've done and for thinking me worthy to propose this," Katara told him, burying her face in the crook of his neck.
[2011-12-25 23:58:07] <AangPlushie> "I had a feeling for a while now you would be the one," Aang said. "It was just a matter of time and being ready. I am so glad I found you...and now, we can make it forever." He rubbed her hair as he rested in her embrace.
[2011-12-26 00:01:34] <KataraPlushie> "I'm more than glad to have found you," she told him. For a while, the couple simply stood in the snow and continued to hug each other tightly.
[2011-12-26 00:02:37] <AangPlushie> Sometime later, they separated from their hug. Aang wiped away some lingering tears from his face and placed the betrothal necklace around his now-future-wife's neck.
[2011-12-26 00:06:12] <KataraPlushie> Katara saw the design of the necklace was that of a combination of the symbols for water and air. She raised her fingertips to the necklace, barely able to contain her happiness. "This is a beautiful necklace," she complimented.
[2011-12-26 00:06:48] <AangPlushie> "I made it myself," Aang said. "I wasn't sure if you would like the design...it was sort of hastily made...I hoped that would be inconsequential in your decision."
[2011-12-26 00:09:37] <KataraPlushie> "I love it," she assured him. "And whether it had been appealing to the eye or not, I would never have said no."
[2011-12-26 00:11:30] <AangPlushie> "I'm glad you love it," Aang said. "I'm glad we are going to be spending the rest of our lives together, Katara...there's no one better I would want to spend it with."
[20:04:49] KataraPlushie "Likewise," Katara said, "I wouldn't want to be with anyone but you." She beamed at her soon-to-be husband who had the same wide grin on his face.
[20:05:38] AangPlushie After everything soaked in, Aang realized they had been out there a while. "We should get back to your family, and inform everyone of this."
[20:08:26] KataraPlushie "Definitely," she agreed and locking hands with the Avatar, the two made their way back to the house where they saw everyone was still gathered around the kitchen table, talking among themselves. "There you guys are," Sokka said as they walked in. "What's with the huge smiles?"
[20:09:24] AangPlushie "Well...if you notice," Aang began, "Katara has herself a new necklace...you can guess what that means." His smile grew to a point where his teeth were visible.
[20:13:13] KataraPlushie Sokka's eyes widened. "No way... You guys are -" Katara nodded excitedly and cut him off. "Yep, we're engaged!" The others appeared equally shocked, but their surprised expressions broke into smiles as reality set in.
[20:15:34] AangPlushie "My daughter, engaged to the Avatar," Hakoda said, as he got up and walked over to his daughter then hugged her. "Congratulations, you two!" Kanna added, with a beaming smile. "I am glad to be here for the day my granddaughter got engaged...and, to the Avatar himself, no less!"
[20:18:48] KataraPlushie Katara happily returned the hug and hugged her grandmother as well. "Thanks, Gran-Gran," she told the elder. Sokka was still very surprised at this news. She hoped her brother wouldn't view this negatively and she looked at him questioningly.
[20:20:49] AangPlushie "What seems to the problem?" Sokka asked, giving his sister a puzzled look, as if to say /Why are you looking at me that way?/ "Katara, do you really think I have a problem with this? Come on...I'm long over my worries." He walked up to his sister and hugged her.
[20:24:07] KataraPlushie Relief swept over her as her brother gave her a hug which she returned. Katara didn't exactly think Sokka would disapprove, but she did have her doubts which had thankfully been erased. Sokka then addressed Aang. "Congratulations, man," he said, giving him the Water Tribe handshake.
[20:25:37] AangPlushie Aang shook Sokka's arm. "Thanks, Sokka. I'm really glad to say that you will be my brother-in-law." Hakoda then also offered Aang the same handshake. "Congratulations to you as well, my future son-in-law." Aang nodded and said, "Thank you, Hakoda. I could think of no one better than your daughter to spend my days with."
[20:30:52] KataraPlushie Hakoda smiled at this. "And what a beautiful necklace, too," Kanna remarked, examining the pendant. "I didn't know you had such an artistic eye."
[20:32:12] AangPlushie "Well..." Aang said nervously, not sure if he could accept such praise. "It's okay, I guess...I'm just glad Katara said yes, personally."
[20:36:59] KataraPlushie "Don't sell yourself short. It's a work of art," Kanna told him, Katara nodding in agreement. "Well, let's say we celebrate with a little dessert," Hakoda said.
[20:38:17] AangPlushie "I agree," Aang replied and took a seat again, next to his future wife. "What are we having?"
[20:43:24] KataraPlushie "It's a vanilla cake Kanna baked today," Hakoda replied, stepping into the kitchen momentarily. "Great," said Katara. "Gran-Gran can bake like no one else."
[20:45:26] AangPlushie "It's been a while since we've had one of Kanna's cakes," Aang remarked. "Can't wait to have at it!" Sokka rubbed his hands. "Me neither..."
[20:50:02] KataraPlushie Hakoda walked back in with the vanilla cake and set it in the middle of the table. He walked into the kitchen again and came back with dishes, utensils and glasses of mineral water then took his seat. After the cake was sliced and served, he raised his glass and gestured for the rest to do the same.(cont'd)
[20:51:51] KataraPlushie "Well, a toast to my daughter, Katara, and Avatar Aang and may their marriage be a long, happy one," he said with a warm smile.
[20:53:11] AangPlushie Aang raised his glass in happiness, as did Katara, Sokka, and Kanna. "Indeed," Sokka added, and the partons' glasses clinked together in a toast.
[20:59:42] KataraPlushie All then took a drink of water and set their glasses down contentedly. They then began eating the vanilla cake which never failed to please as always. "Excellent job once again with the cake," Katara complimented her grandmother.
[21:01:02] AangPlushie "I have to agree," Aang extended the compliment. "Then again, when haven't you done a good job?" "Well, thank you both," Kanna replied. "I'm glad you all enjoy my cakes. It's a recipe I got many years ago."
[21:03:47] KataraPlushie "And I'm assuming you're keeping it a secret?" Katara asked. "Indeed," Kanna told her, "but I'll be passing it off to you in due time. It'll be another thing passed on throughout the generations."
[21:04:57] AangPlushie "I am sure Katara will carry out the recipe just as well," Aang said, gesturing to his fiancee.
[21:10:30] KataraPlushie "Heh, let's hope," Katara said with a small laugh. "I can cook, but baking is not exactly my forte." "Eh, it's all the same stuff," Sokka said with a wave of his hand. Katara was about to protest, but instead gave her brother a "Not, not really" look.
[21:12:06] AangPlushie The family members and Aang consumed their pieces of cake, some of it being leftover when they were all finished. "That's okay if you don't finish it all," Kanna assured them. "If anyone wants the leftovers for another time, they are welcome to take some of it."
[21:16:47] KataraPlushie "I'll take some," Sokka raised his hand quickly. Figures he'd be first pounce on the opportunity..., Katara thought, an amused look crossing her face. "Alright, I guess I'll take some home as well," she said. "Which speaking of that, I think I'll be retiring to bed soon. It's been quite a day."
[21:18:29] AangPlushie "You can say that again," Hakoda remarked. "This day began, we didn't know if you were still out there...and now you're engaged. What a day, indeed."
[21:25:14] KataraPlushie "I'll say," Aang agreed with the others. After a few moments, Katara pushed back her chair. "Well, I think I'll be off now. And thank you for the dinner."
[21:26:56] AangPlushie "You're welcome," Kanna said. Aang got up off of his chair. "I think I will retire too," he added. "Thank you all so much for this wonderful night...I'm glad to say I will officially be a part of this family soon."
[21:30:14] KataraPlushie "We welcome you with open arms," said Hakoda, the others giving them warm looks. "And you're welcome. Anytime you want to drop by, just feel free to come."
[21:31:18] AangPlushie "We will," Aang assured them, and they said their goodbyes and walked outside. Soon, they were again alone under the moonlight. "Katara...I don't even know what to say right now...I'm just so happy."
[21:36:46] KataraPlushie "I'm beyond thrilled," Katara said, a grin spreading across her face once more. "And I honestly cannot wait to see what the future holds."
[21:38:28] AangPlushie "Me neither," Aang said, thinking back to the dream he had last night about him and Katara with a family. "I can't wait to go on with life in a peaceful state..."
[21:43:40] KataraPlushie "Neither can I," she said. "And what better than to spend those days with the one you love?" Katara raised her hand to Aang's cheek.
[21:44:38] AangPlushie "Exactly," Aang said. He then took hold of her free hand and gave it a light kiss. "The one I love..."
[21:50:07] KataraPlushie A warm feeling ran through the young Waterbender even as the couple stood there in the bitter cold of the night. Amazing to think how catastrophic the past few days had been and now they stood here, happier than anyone else in the world.
[21:51:32] AangPlushie "I am more thankful than ever to be standing with you, here, tonight," Aang said. "Another thing this whole problem with the Dai Li reminded me is how fast things can be taken from us at any time. We have to cherish every day we have, especially those with our favorite things and people."
[21:57:07] KataraPlushie Katara couldn't have agreed more. "Yes, you really can't take things for granted. So I guess something valuable did come out of that whole incident. I know I'll always appreciate having you."
[21:57:47] AangPlushie "As I will appreciate you," Aang said, "especially considering that you saved me."
[22:01:03] KataraPlushie Katara stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Aang's shoulders in a tight hug, feeling as though she were living in a fairytale. "I love you so much," she said in a low voice.
[22:01:56] AangPlushie "I love you too," Aang dropped his tone to a whisper, hugging her tightly. "More than anything in this universe."
[22:05:11] KataraPlushie They stood there in the snow for what seemed like forever before Katara broke away, opting instead to gaze into his stormy gray eyes.
[22:06:05] AangPlushie Aang looked deeply into her eyes, which were as clear a blue as the ocean. They sparkled in the moonlight, and he was entranced.
[22:09:57] KataraPlushie Time sped by until at last Katara, swallowed up by happiness and knowing the moment was just perfect, moved closer, keeping one arm around his shoulders.
[22:10:59] AangPlushie He pulled in, placed a hand on her left cheek, and placed his lips on her to engage in a kiss, their first one as an engaged couple.
[22:17:12] KataraPlushie Everything else faded into oblivion as their lips met, seemingly an official mark of their engagement. It truly dawned upon her in that moment that they would soon be spending the rest of the lives together as a real couple.
[22:19:49] AangPlushie Aang was in heaven for that moment they were in that kiss, lost in her love, dreams coming true. This kiss seemed deeper than most; their first significant one since his capture and rescue.
[22:22:49] KataraPlushie It was another eternity spent wrapped up in each other, Katara gradually drawing him closer. The village was blissfully quiet, the perfect setting. At long last, she slowly drew away, still feeling light-headed.
[22:27:10] AangPlushie Aang just stood in front of her, again at a loss for words. All he knew was that he was as happy as he had ever been. "This has been the best night of my life, Katara," he finally said.
[22:30:40] KataraPlushie "Mine as well," Katara told him. "It couldn't have been more perfect." She gave him a kiss on cheek.
[22:31:40] AangPlushie Aang was overwhelmed, but his long travel also made him physically tried. "I think I am going to head back home now and call it a night," he told his fiancee.
[22:34:54] KataraPlushie "Yeah, I need some sleep, too," she agreed, beginning to realize how tired she was herself. She stretched out her arms and said, "Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
[22:35:40] AangPlushie "Yes, you will, and I hope that in a few days we can start on wedding plans," Aang requested. "For now...good night, and pleasant dreams, Katara."
[22:38:41] KataraPlushie "We sure can," Katara replied, traces of excitement in her voice. "And good night and sweet dreams to you, too." She beamed at him one last time before turning around and starting off for home.
[22:39:54] AangPlushie Aang returned to his home with the broken door, but he didn't mind that. All he cared about at that point was that soon, he would be with his true love...forever.
- First appearances of Long Feng, the Dai Li, and Earth King Kuei.
- Only appearances for Long Feng and the Dai Li.
- First and only roleplay to feature Katara and Aang engaged (they will later be seen as a married couple).
- Second roleplay where a character is captured.