[17:19:09] <@Ultimate> Evening was beginning to dawn on the Fire Nation Capital, the sky streaked with orange. Aang sat in a room at the Fire Nation palace where the team was briefly staying. There was a lot to be thought about now with the War over, but his mind was focused solely on one thing he wanted to do: ask Katara out on a date.
[17:23:21] <@KataraFanboy> In another room not too far down the way, Katara was in her own room, just relaxing and taking the postwar days in. /It feels good to finally not have to deal with the war.../ she thought quietly, sitting on her bed and playing a card game.
[17:26:40] <@Ultimate> Aang stared out onto the palace grounds, thrumming his fingers on the window sill. He and Katara had talked about their feelings for one another, not too long, when they had reunited after the final battles. But it didn't take away from his jumble of nervous feelings.
[17:29:06] <@KataraFanboy> As she continued to play her game, Katara's thoughts wandered around for a little bit. The war may have been over, but one thing wasn't. She knew, for the longest time, that Aang had been interested in her. She also knew that she had developed feelings for the Avatar as well. However, just before the comet, Katara was worried she may have chased Aang off with some of her words to him. /I wonder if he still likes me that way.../
[17:33:55] <@Ultimate> After pondering it for a while and knowing full well that this was something he wanted deeply, the young Avatar decided it was now or never. With the world at peace, it was the perfect time. He tried not to think too much about the what-if, if she said no.
[17:37:30] <@KataraFanboy> Katara continued to think, /What if I did chase him off?/ She had come to like Aang much more than she had any other boy in her life. It wasn't just a simple crush, it was a great admiration and desire to have him closer than anyone ever before. If, by chance, he no longer returned those feelings, she wouldn't know what to do. /Maybe I should just talk to him about my feelings and get it over with./
[17:40:06] <@Ultimate> Aang drew in a deep breath and opened the door to his bedroom, knowing Katara was only a few doors down. You can do this..., he thought as he made his way down the silent hall. Just one question, that's all.
[17:42:32] <@KataraFanboy> Katara didn't know when she would get up and address her feelings to Aang again. It hadn't been since just before the invasion since she said anything down that way. She ignored his last attempt to express his feelings, but she knew she had them for him -- did he still have them for her?
[17:44:20] <@Ultimate> At last he arrived at her room and with a shaky hand, knocked on the door a few times, hoping she was there and hadn't gone off somewhere else.
[17:47:02] <@KataraFanboy> Katara popped her head up upon hearing the knock at her door. She got off the bed and walked over, placing her hand on the doorknob and opening it. There, she saw Aang before her. "Oh, hi Aang," she said somewhat nervously. "What brings you here?"
[17:49:25] <@Ultimate> "Oh, I just wanted to talk to you," Aang replied. He noted the slight edge in her voice and grew anxious. Does she not want to talk to me? he wondered.
[17:52:02] <@KataraFanboy> "Oh," Katara replied. "All right." Her mind began to wander at what the Avatar could say at that moment, if it was going to be about them or just something more general.
[17:55:17] <@Ultimate> The two made their way over to the table where Katara had been playing the card game and sat down, both acting slightly out of sorts. Aang fiddled with his fingers, not wanting to jump to the question. Instead, he started off, saying, "So, uh, are you happy now that the War's over?"
[17:58:58] <@KataraFanboy> "Yeah," Katara replied, trying to speak as smoothly as she could. "I just..." she was trying not to directly address her feelings. "I...guess I just don't know what comes next now," she added, chuckling and playing with her hair somewhat.
[18:02:51] <@Ultimate> I know what I want to come next..., he thought silently. I hope you do, too. "I don't think anyone knows what to do exactly, being so used to fighting and all," he remarked. Stop evading the matter at heart here... "But we all get used to it together."
[18:04:30] <@KataraFanboy> Katara continued to brush her hair with her hand, not knowing what to say. All she got out was, "That is true. Even if the war is over, we're still all together, all as great friends..." /But I want to be more than just friends, Aang.../ Her thoughts echoed within her mind.
[18:07:30] <@Ultimate> Aang couldn't help but grow a little discouraged at her statement of them all being "friends." So... maybe that's all she sees it as, sees us as, he thought. But he couldn't exactly back out now - it was why he had come to her to talk. "Um, actually, I kind of wanted to talk about that," he said.
[18:08:54] <@KataraFanboy> Katara grew a more intrigued look towards Aang. "Really? Is there something wrong?" She was still nervous about directly approaching anything about additional feelings.
[18:13:08] <@Ultimate> Although on edge and a bundle of nerves, Aang chanced a faint smile, hoping this would go over smoothly. "Not exactly... It's just... We've been really close friends for a long time now and have gone through a lot together. And I think I should just... come clean."
[18:14:54] <@KataraFanboy> Katara grew more intrigued and even somewhat excited. /Oh my gosh.../ "What is that you want to say?" She said with her eyes even more focused on the young Avatar before her.
[18:18:34] <@Ultimate> The young Avatar exhaled, looked straight into her eyes. Unable to contain himself any longer, he blurted, "I like you, Katara. More than like really, love and not just platonically. I've known this for a while now, but... I didn't know how you would react."
[18:20:21] <@KataraFanboy> Katara was taken aback by the words, knowing they came out somewhat rushed. Still, her thoughts changed to a more excited feel. "Oh, Aang..." she began, but stopping as she couldn't figure out what words to say next. "I...I..."
[18:22:45] <@Ultimate> Aang wasn't sure how to read her hesitation, if it was because she was figuring out a way to let him down gently. "I'm sorry. I know it kind of just spilled out," he said nervously.
[18:26:22] <@KataraFanboy> Katara could feel apparent disappointment in Aang's voice, something she didn't want him to have since, after all, she shared those feelings. Thus, she placed her hands on Aang's face, her palms over his cheeks. "No, don't be sorry." She was still full of nerves, not knowing exactly how to say it. "I...I like you a lot too...you know...more than friends. I...I think...no, I know...I love you too." She smiled as she finally fely her nerves relaxing.
[18:29:26] <@Ultimate> It didn't take long for the words to sink in, for a slow smile to spread across his face at her admittance. "Y-you do?" Aang asked, a relieved and tremendously elated feeling rising.
[18:31:17] <@KataraFanboy> Katara nodded and then proceeded to say," Yeah...I do. I've known it for months now..I just...I had to wait because I wanted everything to be at peace, first. I knew you loved me, too...but I was worried I chased you away from those feelings with my words before the comet. But...yeah...the feeling here is mutual, Aang."
[18:35:32] <@Ultimate> Aang broke into an earnest grin and said, "No, you didn't chase me away from that love at all, you had nothing to fear. I was just afraid me turning my back on you and leaving like that had made you think differently of me," he admitted, growing a bit ashamed.
[18:37:39] <@KataraFanboy> Katara ran her hands down to Aang's, and then took them in her grasp. "No, Aang...I still loved you, even then. You know...while you were still coming back from your battle with Ozai...I could think mostly of only you. I just wanted you back...I don't know what I would do if you didn't return."
[18:42:15] <@Ultimate> He thought back to when they had reunited once more, the way they both embraced one another like they would never let go. "Well... here were are," he told her, tightening the hold on her hands. "The world is at peace and we have each other."
[18:44:16] <@KataraFanboy> Katara blushed somewhat as Aang tightened the grip. "Yeah, we do...and I couldn't be happier," the waterbender said, smiling brightly. She then leaned down and gave Aang a kiss on the cheek. "So...is there anything you want to do now?"
[18:48:10] <@Ultimate> Aang could feel heat rise to his cheeks, his mind wandering back to the sole thing he had wanted to ask her. Now that their feelings were out in the open, he felt a bit more confident. Still, he had to muster up as much courage as he could to say, "Well, I was hoping... Katara, will you go out with me?"
[18:56:32] <@KataraFanboy> With all the feelings out there, the answer came rather easy for Katara. "Of course, I would love to, Aang," she said with a smile growing from cheek to cheek. "Do you want to do so tonight, or tomorrow?"
[19:00:08] <@Ultimate> "I was thinking maybe tonight... Unless you're doing something else, I don't know," Aang replied, feeling such a sense of rapture that had replaced the unsureness and turmoil.
[19:01:22] <@KataraFanboy> "No, I didn't really plan to do anything," Katara replied. "So, we can absolutely go somewhere. Is there anything inparticular you had in mind?"
[19:03:40] <@Ultimate> "There's this excellent restaurant nearby that's supposed to be pretty high-class that we could go to," Aang told her. "And maybe afterwards we can just talk a walk on the palace grounds. How does that sound?"
[19:05:40] <@KataraFanboy> "All right," Katara said, nodding agreement. "I am pretty hungry, and well, we haven't really visited much in the way of resturants during our journey. I could use a change in plans down that way."
[09:46:35] <@KataraPlushie> "Excellent. I'll meet you outside the palace in, oh, let's say, an hour," Aang told her, unable to stop grinning. Katara nodded at this and the two got up from their seats. "I'll see you then," he said, pulling her into a tight hug.
[09:49:28] <@AangPlushie> Katara wrapped her arms around Aang, sinking into the warm feeling his hugs had always brought her. "I'll see you then," she said happilly.
[09:51:46] <@KataraPlushie> Once they separated, Aang made his way back to his bedroom to get ready for their first date. With his mind now at rest, he was able to look forward to the night ahead.
[09:55:28] <@AangPlushie> Katara looked around for better clothing to put on, knowing that this was a rather high-class spot they would be going to, and that her Water Tribe clothing could use a washing, given how dirty it had gotten as a result of the fighting that ended the war. She then found a longer, more elegant blue dress and laid it out on her bed, before stepping out of her room and heading down to the in-palace spa to get cleaned up herself.
[09:59:07] <@KataraPlushie> About an hour later, after showering and getting ready, Aang stood outside the palace gates, waiting for Katara to arrive. The sky was a brilliant orange as the sun dipped below the horizon. At last, he saw his love coming down the steps of the palace.
[10:01:14] <@AangPlushie> Katara stepped out of the palace, her dress flowing down to the ground, her neck still decorated by her mother's necklace, her long brown hair flowing beautiful and straight from the clean-up it had received, and even a small pink flower decorating it. She smiled as she made her way down to Aang.
[10:11:14] <@KataraPlushie> "You look beautiful," the young Avatar complimented her, taking her hand. "As always, though," he added, flashing her a sheepish smile. This brought on a smile from Katara. "Well, shall we?" he said as they began making their way through the capital.
[10:16:46] <@AangPlushie> Katara blushed at Aang's compliments. "You look quite handsome yourself," she said, taking a second to take in his look. Katara then locked her hand into his. "Indeed, we shall," she then said.
[10:23:21] <@KataraPlushie> The couple made their way past houses that bore slight damage from the supposed Agni Kai that had occurred just a few days before. Aang was hopeful that they would soon be able to repair not just those homes, but all areas that had been affected by the War. They passed a few kids running around and playing in the streets freely, finally able to after so long. "It still feels surreal," he said. "This peace."
[10:25:51] <@AangPlushie> "I guess it's just a general feeling now," Katara began. "Here we are, walking through a place that, for a hundred years, was the capital of war. Now...it's all over." She took a moment to let the words sink in. "It's all about...peace now."
[10:30:30] <@KataraPlushie> "Well, I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out," Aang remarked. He knew there was still a lot of work to be done, but the future looked very bright indeed. "And in a few days, we'll be on our way to Ba Sing Se, along with the rest of Team Avatar."
[10:33:15] <@AangPlushie> "Indeed we shall," Katara replied. "It will be great to go to Ba Sing Se now and not have to worry about some conspiracy or something like that," she added, recalling their first time to the Earth Kingdom Capital. "Or, even worse..." she then stopped walking for that moment, remembering when the city fell, and she nearly lost her boyfriend forever.
[10:36:41] <@KataraPlushie> Aang frowned in concern as they stopped in their tracks, knowing full well what she meant by that. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, drawing her closer, and ran his hand across her cheek. "It's okay... That was the past. I'm here now and here to stay," he said softly.
[10:39:06] <@AangPlushie> Katara took comfort in Aang's words and acts, feeling glad that he was there for her now. She re-grew her smile and took her hand back into his. "Aang...that was probably the hardest time of my life," she finally said, as they again started walking. "Not just that night...but even in the weeks thereafter.
[10:43:45] <@KataraPlushie> "I can only imagine," Aang said, somewhat solemnly. "Sometimes I still feel guilty for having hurt you like that. But we can always start anew. And I will forever be in your debt for saving me."
[10:45:43] <@AangPlushie> "You don't have to worry about that debt," Katara assured him. "Just being here, together with you, and you being what I have known is all fine with me. Don't worry...you didn't hurt me. You couldn't control what Azula did that night."
[10:49:50] <@KataraPlushie> "I guess you're right... You know, even after all she's done, I can't help but feel a little sorry for her, ending up having a mental breakdown like that. From what you told me, it was pretty bad. Shame for that to happen to anyone," he said.
[10:52:31] <@AangPlushie> "I know what you mean," Katara added, nodding in understanding. "I know she was a very mean-spirited person, and she had antagonized us even worse than Zuko did...when I watched her break down, I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry. She had...nothing. It's just...like you said how Ozai was always still human, Azula is too. So, I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for her too."
[10:58:08] <@KataraPlushie> "Maybe one day she'll recover, start over like all of us are about to," Aang pondered this possibility to which Katara nodded thoughtfully. They fell silent for a while, simply holding tight to one another, as they neared the restaurant. A few citizens watched as they passed, the two easily recognized.
[18:28:44] <@AangPlushie> "Look! That's the girl who beat Azula!" One of the citizens remarked towards the waterbender. Another one recognized Aang. "Yeah, and there's the Avatar! He beat the Phoenix King!" The two idly waved at the passersby, not overly comforatble with all the attention.
[18:33:19] <@KataraPlushie> "I guess that's another thing we'll have to get used to - hero worship," Aang remarked, letting out a slightly sheepish laugh. He looked ahead at the line of small shops and businesses, catching sight of the restaurant where they had wanted to go. "Good thing we're almost there. We'll be able to escape the crowds."
[18:35:45] <@AangPlushie> "I know," Katara replied. "I can't say I'll entirely like being eyed up and called on all the time, especially when I want time to myself. But...I guess we will have to deal with it. So comes the perks of being a hero I suppose." She used her free hand to brush a strand of hair out of her face as they came to the doors of the resturant Aang had pointed out.
[18:40] <@KataraPlushie> The interior of the restaurant was indeed elegant looking with dark wood-paneled floors and lit chandeliers; it wasn't terribly crowded. A host came up to them and bowed respectfully. "It's an honor to have the Avatar and his close friend here," he greeted them. "Please follow me." He led them to a table tucked away in a corner.
[18:42] <@AangPlushie> "Actually, we're...kind of more than close friends," Katara said with a slight chuckle. The host then looked to notice their held hands. "Oh...very well then. Regardless, a server will be with you shortly."
[18:47] <@KataraPlushie> The man then left the couple alone at the table, draped with a white tablecloth, a candle burning in the center. "This place is quite lovely," Katara commented. "Yeah, it really is. Zuko was actually the one who pointed it out to me. When I first saw it, I knew it would the perfect place to go to," Aang told her.
[18:49] <@AangPlushie> "Well, so far, looks like he made an excellent recommendation," Katara noted. "I hope the food is just as good as the atmosphere is." "You won't have to worry about that," Aang assured her. "Zuko also told me that this restruant turns out perhaps the best-tasting food in the Fire Nation." Katara nodded as her eyes scanned the menu. "Well, I'll take his word for it."
[18:53] <@KataraPlushie> As promised, a waiter came up to them, expressing his happiness to be serving the two heroes. "And what will you be ordering tonight?" he asked. "I'll take the vegetable lo mein. How about you?" he asked Katara.
[18:55] <@AangPlushie> Katara looked towards the waiter. "I think I will have a bowl of the roast duck," she answered. "I've never tried it and I'd really like to do so." After taking down the orders, the waiter received their menus from them. "I'll have those out shortly," he said, before returning to the kitchen.
[19:02] <@KataraPlushie> Aang sighed in content, gazing admiringly at the young waterbender sitting across from him. "You know, when you told me you felt the same as I did about you, I was just so incredibly happy," he said. "I don't know what I would've done had you told me you felt otherwise."
[19:04] <@AangPlushie> Katara placed her elbows on the table to support her arms, and placed her head down into her hands, smiling brightly at the Avatar before her. "I felt the exact same way," she replied. "If you had said you didn't like me...I don't know where I would have turned to next. I've had crushes before....but with you...I really have felt a lot more."
[19:09] <@KataraPlushie> "I haven't really had too many crushes, living at the Southern Air Temple," Aang admitted. "So it was definitely a whole new feeling with you. And gosh, was I nervous to approach you back there. Even with the War over, my mind wasn't exactly at peace." He let out a small laugh at this.
[19:12] <@AangPlushie> "Well, as you can see," Katara began, "You had nothing to worry about." She then drifted back a little more into her past. /I don't know what I ever saw in Jet...I mean, it's sad that he died...but.../ Her thoughts took her over in that moment.
[19:15] <@KataraPlushie> Aang noticed a thoughtful, almost solemn expression settle over her face and tilted his head in curiosity. "Is everything alright?" he asked her.
[19:29:27] <@KataraPlushie> Aang noticed a thoughtful, almost solemn expression settle over her face and tilted his head in curiosity. "Is everything alright?" he asked her.
[19:31:42] <AangPlushie> Katara turned back to the Avatar facing her. "Oh...it's nothing," she began. "I was just kind of...thinking about what happened to me in the past, prior to when I started falling for you. It kind of just makes me appreciate what we have even more."
[19:35:44] <@KataraPlushie> Aang nodded slowly at her words. "You seem a little glum. Is it anything you want to talk about?" he offered, hoping he didn't sound like he was pushing it.
[19:37:18] <AangPlushie> "I was thinking about my crush on Jet," Katara said. "I...I couldn't believe what happened to me back then. I fell head over shoulders for him while shutting out everyone else. I should have known that we had wasn't true...I mean, I didn't want him to die....but...falling from him was probably one of my biggest mistakes."
[19:43:44] <@KataraPlushie> The young Avatar reached across the table, laying his hands over hers in solace. "It couldn't be helped, though. You didn't realize his true intentions; if you had, I know you would have had the sense to walk away. It's terrible, what happened and who he turned out to be, but you have to forgive yourself for that." He smiled at her as he offered these words.
[19:45:19] <@AangPlushie> Katara looked back to him and smiled brightly, as he again comforted her. "You're right...I just wish I didn't shut you and especially Sokka out when I fell for him...but, it is in the past now," she remarked. "Regardless, here we are...all at peace, and together."
[21:31:21] <@KataraPlushie> "And I have a feeling we have a bright world and a promising future ahead of us," Aang said encouragingly. Just a few moments later, their waiter came back to the table with their dishes and two glasses of mineral water. "I hope you enjoy," he said with a slight bow.
[21:34:17] <@AangPlushie> "We will, thank you," Katara said, before focusing her attention back on Aang. "I am sure we will. It's going to be interesting what's going to happen over the next several months. On more serious matters...you and Zuko will have a long process to bring the world back together after a hundred years of war."
[21:38:37] <@KataraPlushie> "Indeed. It'll be quite tedious, especially in the beginning," Aang told her. "There will be probably be plenty of post-war meetings, discussions on what to do with the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom. And then there's the threat of rebellion, seeing how some may not be satisfied with the Fire Nation's loss and this new era."
[21:42:55] <@AangPlushie> "I just hope everything goes smoothly," Katara said. "I would hate to see the world fall back into disarray. I've been enjoying the peace. Also, I don't want to see you have to risk your life again. I guess it all comes with being the Avatar..."
[21:45:59] <@KataraPlushie> "Truth be told, it does... But it's a risk that has to be taken if we ever want to set the world on the right path," Aang replied. "I'm not saying it'll be easy, but it will get better as time goes on. The thing I'm really dreading are those long, boring meetings I'll have to sit through."
[21:47:31] <@AangPlushie> Katara laughed at the end of the statement. "Oh yeah, and the people will drag on and on...I'm sure at some point it will just get to be a bit overdone. Just try not to fall asleep and have some weird nightmares again," she said, continuing to laugh. "Otherwise the delegates might think there's something wrong with you."
[21:52:14] <@KataraPlushie> Aang also laughed at this prospect. "Right, wouldn't want to give the wrong impression as the Avatar... I'll do my best to stay awake. I have to say," he began, looking upon his dish, "the food here is very good. Just as I had hoped."
[21:55:30] <@AangPlushie> Katara began digging into her roast duck, picking up a piece between the chopsticks and biting in. "Hmmm..." After a second, she took the food down. "It does taste rather good," she then stated. "This was a great suggestion." She then resumed eating.
[22:01:29] <@KataraPlushie> For a few moments, the couple simply sat there, enjoying their meal and the comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant that was almost empty. Aang broke the silence, saying, "Do you have any plans as to what you'll do when we get to Ba Sing Se? Are you planning on staying there or going back home to the South Pole?"
[22:03:49] <@AangPlushie> "Well," Katara began. "I wouldn't mind staying in Ba Sing Se for a little while...but, after that, I'd like to return to the South Pole. We haven't been there in a long time. However...let's try not to talk about that right now. Let's take things one day at a time."
[09:32:42] <@Ultimate> "Of course," said Aang, leaving it at that. Another thought crossed his mind and he asked, "What exactly did you and the rest of Team Avatar do when I, well, stormed off and disappeared like that?"
[09:35:45] <@KataraFanboy> "Well," Katara began. "When you first stormed off, we decided to just let you go and take time to sort things through. However, when we saw you had disappeared the next morning, then we spent the morning looking around Ember Island for you. We were worried...myself especially. So, after that, Zuko took us to see June...you remember, that bounty hunter who came after us when we were with Bato? We tried to use your staff as a tool to help her shirshu find you, but for some strange reason, her pet couldn't get your scent." (Cont'd)
[09:37:40] <@KataraFanboy> "Zuko then broke out Iroh's old sandal...and let me tell you, that smelled disgusting. Anyhow...June's shirshu led us to Ba Sing Se, we met up with the Order of the White Lotus, and after a day there, we split up into the battles we told you about."
[09:44:04] <@Ultimate> "Wow, you guys really went all around. Yeah, I remember June - that's odd that her pet didn't know where I was. Then again, I myself couldn't even figure out where I was," Aang replied, pushing around his lo mein absent-mindedly.
[09:47:01] <@KataraFanboy> "I don't know what happened there," Katara recalled. "She said something about you being gone...for a second, we thought you had died, but then she said there would still be a scent if you were dead. It was something she had never seen before, and it certainly didn't help us much. So, all we could do was hope to find Iroh, because, if by chance you couldn't fight, we would have needed his help. But, he had faith in you, and we knew we had to keep the faith as well...and we were right."
[09:54:49] <@Ultimate> "Iroh certainly is a great man; not surprising that he kept the energy up in the group. Still, if I could go back and have things differently, I wouldn't have walked out on all of you and caused you to go run around like that worriedly. I should've listened to you when you started calling after me," Aang said regretfully.
[09:59:32] <@KataraFanboy> "As worried as we were," Katara began, "The fact is, you still showed up when it mattered. I had faith that you would still turn up and do your duty. We were worried that we couldn't find you, sure, but you still did your duty. Honestly, you were just going through a difficult time...no 12-year-old is exactly used to having the fate of the entire world on their shoulders. You persevered and accomplished the task. I'm really proud of you, Aang."
[10:06:56] <@Ultimate> The young Avatar smiled gratefully at Katara's reassurance. "Thank you, Katara. I'm equally as proud of you, all of you, really, the way you came together during battle. And thankfully, no one was killed. That possibility really troubled me for a long time before we all met up again."
[10:12:06] <@KataraFanboy> "It was certainly a long wait," Katara added. "Those days when you, Sokka, Suki and Toph were all still traveling back to the Capital...I didn't know what to do. I kept thinking about all of you...especially you, Aang. You remember how relieved I was when you all returned, though, so there's no real need to say it all again."
[10:17:48] <@Ultimate> "Indeed, I do," Aang said nostalgically, recalling the immense relief, the hugs and tears. "I felt the same way." He pushed back his plate slightly, having finished, and sat back a little, surveying the room before settling his gaze on Katara.
[10:19:58] <@KataraFanboy> Katara took the last bite of her roast duck and looked back at Aang to notice him gazing at her. She returned the gaze and sighed happily, lost in thoughts of great happiness as she thought about everything they had been through. /Amazing how things work.../ she thought quietly.
[10:24:50] <@Ultimate> The young lovers simply sat like that, enjoying one another's company until their waiter came up to them to clear away their dishes. "I hope you found everything to your liking," he said. "Oh, everything was excellent," Aang commented. "We'd definitely come back again."
[10:26:42] <@KataraFanboy> "I'm sure this isn't the last time we'll be here in the Capital," Katara added, thinking about the possibility of traveling with Aang to the postwar meetings or maybe even for just a vacation. "No doubt that we will be returning to this place when we get the chance."
[10:30:38] <@Ultimate> "I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. In fact, don't worry about paying; it's all on the house." The waiter smiled appreciatively. "Oh, well thank you," Aang said, clearly surprised, but intent on leaving a generous tip.
[10:32:57] <@KataraFanboy> The couple then rose from the table and pushed their chairs in, leaving the resturant to make their way back down the streets of the Fire Nation Capital. By this point, the sun was nearly set, its light to the capital starting to fade away as the night began to take over. "So...I guess we should get back to the Palace and take that walk you wanted," Katara said to Aang. "Looks like night is settling in."
[10:36:44] <@Ultimate> "Yes - it's one of those clear, beautiful nights, perfect for a little walk around the garden," Aang said. The two locked hands and fell in step as they walked back to the palace, a quiet blissful mood in the air.
[10:39:13] <@KataraFanboy> It was a quieter walk than their one to the resturant, with most citizens just passing by the two without much of a word. Some did keep their eye on them with amazement, but didn't really say much. The couple enjoyed their quiet walk, taking time to look at each other with loving smiles every so often as they continued to the palace.
[10:45:02] <@Ultimate> They soon arrived at the grounds and a little more walking took them to the vast garden of the royal building. It was quite charming, the last of the summer's flowers in bloom, the pond where unknown to them, a young Zuko used to sit with his mother, lying at the center.
[17:38:04] <@KataraFanboy> Katara walked over to the pond and decided to take a seat, a movement which Aang followed. She looked at her reflection in the pond, the bright smile bringing her even more hidden joy. /It's been such a long way....we've all come so far./
[17:41:57] <@Ultimate> The moon threw pale light on their faces as they sat together, taking a quiet moment to take everything in. Aang felt extremely content and could see Katara felt the same. The place where his former enemy once lived had become a place of pleasure and refuge.
[17:44:07] <@KataraFanboy> Katara idly splashed some water around the pond, minding a couple of turtle ducks that were swimming nearby. As she saw Aang's reflection appear to her, she turned and smiled brightly at him. "It's all...so quiet. So beautiful...so...perfect," she whispered.
[17:48:08] <@Ultimate> "It really is, isn't it?" Aang said with relish. "This place used to have such a negative connotation in my mind. I never would have thought it to be so... calm." Or romantic, he added as an afterthought in his mind. He let out a sigh, treasuring the moments that passed now.
[17:49:09] <@KataraFanboy> Katara then took Aang's hand once again. "Shall we walk some more?" She asked. "There is more to this place, after all."
[17:52:27] <@Ultimate> "Sure," Aang agreed, holding onto her hand and helping her up. The two strolled past the duck pond, down a narrow stone path. With the evening growing late, fireflies had begun to appear and now flitted about.
[17:54:37] <@KataraFanboy> The rapidly growing moonlight combined with the light of the fireflies continued to brighten up the scene and make things even prettier. Katara was lost in a wave of happiness as they continued to walk. "Aang...it's amazing...how far we came. You evolved from a kid into a young man, knowing all the elements...and one who has grown wise. I just...I can't express how proud of you I am."
[17:59:07] <@Ultimate> Heat rose to Aang's cheeks as Katara praised him. "I'm just as proud of you," he told her sincerely. "You went from being a girl striving to learn waterbending to a young woman who's no doubt the best waterbender out there. And even after all the strife you've endured, you never lost your charm or kindness."
[18:01:29] <@KataraFanboy> Katara could also feel some heat rise to her cheeks at Aang's praise. "Thanks, Aang. I can't express all that you have given me. It's not just you being the Avatar...when you're at my side, I always feel like everything's going to be okay. I know I can trust you...I know you'll be there. You are, without a doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to my life." She then stopped walking, and turned to face the Avatar, taking his hands into hers. "Thank you...for everything."
[18:06:10] <@Ultimate> Aang looked upon her with a compassionate smile, a faint twinkle in her blue eyes. "No, thank /you/ for all you've given me. You've made this past year so very fulfilling and I know you'll continue to do so in this new era."
[18:08:24] <@KataraFanboy> Katara felt a tear drop in her eye, which she quickly wiped away. She then drew Aang into her arms in a tight hug. "Oh, Aang...I love you...I love you more than you could ever know." She closed her eyes, relaxing in the embrace.
[18:11:35] <@Ultimate> Aang returned the embrace, wrapping his arms around her just as tightly. "I love you so much, Katara," he whispered. He couldn't express his happiness or his gratefulness to the spirits for blessing him so.
[18:13:00] <@KataraFanboy> For a couple of moments, Katara and Aang simply stood, locked in their embrace, lost in one another. Katara slightly rocked herself and Aang around, holding her new love as close as she could, before finally stepping out and looking deeply into his eyes.
[22:29:52] <@KataraPlushie> Aang gazed just as dreamily into Katara's eyes, wondering if he should make the move. He saw, though, how perfect that moment was and decided to take his chance. He tilted his head up and leaned in ever so slowly.
[22:31:23] <@AangPlushie> In that time of peace, Katara was able to release all her previous reservations about showing her love. As Aang drew closer, the waterbender closed her eyes and leaned in herself, shifting her lifts into a pucker, waiting for that moment to feel his lips on hers.
[22:36:26] <@KataraPlushie> His lips brushed against hers and in that moment, it felt so... right. This was unlike two past kisses they had shared, where it had been sudden or just a peck. Aang could feel himself getting lost in it.
[22:40:00] <@AangPlushie> Katara wrapped her arms around Aang and drew him closer as the kiss continued. The rest of the world didn't exist to either of them at that moment, as they grew lost in the moment. Finally, after some time, the kiss broke, but they were each left continuing to gaze happily into eachother's eyes.
[22:46:26] <@KataraPlushie> A feeling of exhilaration that Aang couldn't quite explain rushed through him as they stood together alone in the garden under a luminescent moon. "You are so amazing," he said, knowing it may have sounded cliche but not caring.
[22:48:49] <@AangPlushie> "I think you're even more amazing," Katara replied, poking his cheek with her finger, getting lost in his love for her. "Having you by my side is the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life."
[22:54:00] <@KataraPlushie> "You took those last words right out of my mouth," the young airbender said brightly, thinking that the night couldn't have been any better. He held his gaze several seconds later, their hands intertwining, before he looked out over the scene that lay before them.
[22:56:11] <@AangPlushie> Katara looked around in amazement. However, her eyes then caught another couple stepping into the garden. "Well, if it doesn't seem to be a new couple," one of them, sounding like a girl, said. As they came closer, they noticed that it was Fire Lord Zuko, hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, Mai.
[22:58:54] <@KataraPlushie> "Oh, wow what a surpise," Aang said as the couple approached them. Both bowed respectfully before the newly-crowned Fire Lord and his girlfriend. "Lovely night, isn't it?"
[23:00:36] <@AangPlushie> "Emphasis on /love/ly?" Mai teased to the couple, all four of them laughing. "Well, I was wondering when you two would finally make it official that you were together," Zuko remarked. "I don't think I've ever seen people like yourselves keep it hidden for so long." "Well, some things just needed to happen," Katara replied.
[23:05:10] <@KataraPlushie> "Katara's right, but in any case, yes, we're together," Aang confirmed, putting his arm around her, smiling proudly. "And I see you and Mai have found your way back to one another. That's good to see."
[23:08:07] <@AangPlushie> The Fire Nation couple kept their hands locked with eachother. "Indeed, we have," Zuko said. "It was a long ride, but, we made it back." "We couldn't be happier," Mai added, dropping her head onto Zuko's shoulder. "Well then, join the club," Katara replied. "Because me and Aang couldn't be happier either."
[23:12:20] <@KataraPlushie> "Well, we're happy for you both," Zuko told them. "I'm glad you two found love in one another. For the brief time that I've really known you guys, I could see there was something special there. I guess you were right and it was only a matter of time."
[23:14:56] <@AangPlushie> "We certainly did have something special," Katara said. "We've been so close for so long...I just, I wanted to wait before I made the move. All we needed was peace...and we found it."
[23:20:37] <@KataraPlushie> "And the best part is, is that it's only the beginning," Zuko replied brightly. "Just imagine what we can do for the world. The days ahead may be rough, but in the end, everything will be worth it."
[23:23:35] <@AangPlushie> "It will certainly be," Aang said. "We're all going to be in this together." "Speaking of being together," Mai said. "You know, we saw you two walking around the palace grounds, we thought up an idea. How about, maybe when we're in Ba Sing Se, all four of us could go on a double date? Myself and Zuko with you two."
[23:25:32] <@KataraPlushie> Aang and Katara exchanged a thoughtful look to make sure they were on the same page. "That sounds like a good plan," Aang remarked. "What do you think, Katara?"
[23:27:43] <@AangPlushie> Katara nodded. "Well, I think it would be a great idea," she then said. "It would certainly help to break the ice, keep the conversation going, you know. We get to be with our loves, but at the same time, we're also still friends, and it keeps things nice and comfortable. I say, let's go for it."
09:17:17] <@KataraPlushie> "Alright, then it's a double date," Zuko declared. "I guess we'll figure out where to go once we get to the city." After a pause, he asked, "Does Sokka know yet about you guys?"
[09:19:51] <@AangPlushie> Katara's eyes then lit up in a bit of shock and worry. "Oh my gosh...if Sokka saw us together, he might not like it. He's so protective of me ever since our mom died...and well, I don't know what he'd think of me dating now. Hmmm...uggh. It's going to be hard to keep this hidden too."
[09:22:16] <@KataraPlushie> "Are you really planning on keeping this secret?" Zuko inquired, frowning at her words. "Would your brother really oppose it to that extent? I thought he'd be happy for you two, you being his sister and," he addressed Aang, "you being the Avatar and a close friend."
[09:24:53] <@AangPlushie> "To be honest," Katara began. "I really think he'd be in opposition. He never liked me being around Jet all the time when we had that encounter with him, and I just don't think he'd trust anyone who tried to engage me romantically." "You're going to have to tell him at some time," Mai said. "You can't expect to keep it hidden forever."
[09:28:54] <@KataraPlushie> "Mai has a valid point. Sooner or later, Sokka is going to have to know about our relationship," said Aang, although he didn't exactly relish in the idea of confronting him. "And I think it would be worse if we kept this hidden for however long and then decided to come out with the truth. He'd be pretty upset..."
[09:30:54] <@AangPlushie> Katara weighted all the options in her mind. /Have him get upset now or upset later...uggh, either way we lose./ "I don't know what to do...I guess it is just best to be honest, and hope that he does accept us being together," the waterbender finally said. "I just doubt he'll accept it."
[09:33:14] <@KataraPlushie> "Even if he is suspicious at first, he'll come around eventually," Zuko assured them. "He'll see how happy you both make one another and how could he have the heart to end that?"
[09:35:35] <@AangPlushie> "I suppose you're right," Katara replied. "Yeah, he should be happy if his sister is," Mai added. "Come on, he knows Aang very well, and I think he's proven to be trustworthy. I think he's still awake, me and Zuko could hear him stirring when we came out here just now."
[09:38:55] <@KataraPlushie> The couple exchanged a slightly anxious glance, the what-if scenarios racing through both their minds. "You really think we should tell him right now?" Aang asked warily, clearly not expecting to have it done at that moment, to which Zuko nodded.
[09:45:02] <@AangPlushie> "Well, if he is going to find out eventually, and we have the chance to just get it out of the way now, we may as well do so," Katara said. "We'll be right behind you two if you need it," Zuko added. Soon, the couples made their way out of the courtyard and back into the palace, seeking out Sokka's room.
[09:49:37] <@KataraPlushie> They made their way down the long hallway where the guest rooms. At last they stopped in front of a door more towards the end of the hall. "I believe this is his room," Zuko said. Aang drew in a deep breath. He feared, if Sokka vehemently disapproved, would it be over between them?
[09:51:48] <@AangPlushie> Aang knocked on Sokka's door, and fearing the worst, quickly took his hand out of Katara's grasp. The tribal warrior opened the door to see Aang and Katara, with Mai and Zuko out of his sight but still close by. "Katara, Aang, what can I do you two for?" He asked.
[09:54:29] <@KataraPlushie> At first, the two were both at a loss for words, but eventually Aang mustered up the bravest smile he could and stepped further into the room along with Katara. "Hi Sokka. We, uh, just came to tell you something," he said.
[09:56:54] <@AangPlushie> Sokka's eyebrows arched up in curiosity. "Okay...what is it?" He asked. Katara then decided she figured it would be best if she broke it. "Well...Sokka...me and Aang...we're...dating now." Sokka's eyebrows then shifted to a more shocked, followed by a somewhat disturbed look. "Oh...uhhh, please tell me you're joking, you two."
[10:00:22] <@KataraPlushie> Katara let out an uncomfortable laugh and Aang bit the inside of his cheek, seeing this wouldn't go over so smoothly. "Actually, we aren't joking," he said in a wary voice. "We have mutual feelings for one another and we are, in fact, together."
[10:03:46] <@AangPlushie> Sokka crossed his arms, still not enjoying the news. "I'm sorry, if this is some attempt to be funny, it's not working well." Katara could feel disappointment settling in, but tried to speak up anyway. "What, is there something wrong with me and Aang being in love?" She asked, some anger in her voice. "Katara, do you really think it would be wise to date someone right now after what you went through with Jet? Plus, no offense to him, but Aang's just a kid! He doesn't know how to date. It won't end well."
[10:07:12] <@KataraPlushie> Aang's initial joy at his date with Katara vanished hearing Sokka say these bitter words. His head hung low in defeat, the warrior's words stinging. "This has nothing to do with Jet," Katara said darkly. "You of all people should know Aang is not that way."
[10:10:22] <@AangPlushie> "He's not mature enough, Katara," Sokka fired back. "He's only 12 going on 13, and you're almost 15. Don't you think you need someone a little more mature?" Katara's anger was rising. "Aang's not mature? You mean to tell me that the guy who had to save the entire world, which he did in case you forgot, enduring the loss of his entire people is not mature enough to date someone? Are /you/ kidding /me/, Sokka?!"
[10:16:31] <@KataraPlushie> "No, I'm not! I'm just trying to look out for you. But, hey, you want to continue with this and then get hurt, find out it wasn't right? Go ahead, be my guest," Sokka snapped. His gaze locked on Aang who stood there miserably. "Why aren't you saying anything?"
[10:18:52] <@AangPlushie> His head dropped, Aang just looked away from the scene and then walked away slowly. "Yeah, you'd better stay away from my sister!" Sokka yelled as the Avatar walked back to his room. "Thanks a lot, Sokka!" Katara shouted. "Thanks for chasing away my true love! I can't believe you!" Tears were in her eyes as she stormed out of the room. "Aang, wait!" (Cont'd)
[10:20:50] <@AangPlushie> Zuko and Mai emerged from the scene. "Should we go find them?" Mai asked her boyfriend. "I don't know," Zuko remarked. "This might be something they should talk amongst themselves. We can't get into all their matters." As they passed through to return to their room, each took a moment to glare at Sokka, but the warrior didn't care.
[10:26:57] <@KataraPlushie> Aang heared Katara call after him, but still didn't turn back to face her. He walked into his room, now dark and empty, tears pooling in his eyes, some running down his face. He sat by the window, unsure of where to turn now, not angry, just dejected.
[10:29:43] <@AangPlushie> Katara saw the door open, and walked into the doorway of her boyfriend's room. Her face fell at the scene before her; her boyfriend, whom just moments ago was happier than anyone could be, now in a depression. Tears dripped down her face at the scene. She tried to say anything, but couldn't. All she did instead was run over to Aang and then take him into her arms, hugging him tightly as she cried along with him.
[10:35:45] <@KataraPlushie> It was somewhat comforting to feel Katara's embrace, but the despondent feeling still prevailed. The two remained like that for a while, sitting in the dark together through silent tears. At last Aang broke the silence. "I'm sorry, Katara, for walking away like that," he said in a hushed voice.
[10:38:08] <@AangPlushie> Katara wiped her tears off her face, and then proceeded to wipe a lingering tear away from Aang's. She then said, "Aang...don't be sorry. What Sokka said about you was mean and hurtful, and I could see that it left you feeling a mess. You don't deserve what he gave you, Aang. You've proven yourself time and time again, and yet Sokka wants to let age stand in the way of us. I don't get him."
[10:43:19] <@KataraPlushie> "I guess he only means well," Aang replied. "You are his little sister, after all. But he didn't come across as gently... I knew this would be rough. But I guess I didn't prepare myself for what happened." He looked up at her and asked, "You'll still stand by me, though? After all this?"
[10:46:48] <@AangPlushie> "Of course," Katara said. "You know I wouldn't give you and your love up for anything in this world," she added, hugging him tighter. "Sokka has to realize that I'm not little anymore. He's my brother and of course I love him, but he has to know that I'm growing up...and so are you. You may only be 12 going on 13, but you are mature beyond your years."
[10:50:49] <@KataraPlushie> Aang couldn't help but smile a bit as Katara reassured him. He then put his arms around her, returning the hug just as tightly. "Thank you, Katara," he said gratefully. "I feel so lucky to have you by my side."
[10:53:21] <@AangPlushie> Katara smiled and let a tear of happiness slip down her face. "Words can't express how thankful I am to have you alongside me through this. We'll get by this, Aang. I promise. If we don't...you can break up with me," she then said. "We're in love, and when it's real, love will find a way."
[10:55:56] <@KataraPlushie> "I would never end things between us," Aang promised her. "You're right; we'll make it through this. I hope Zuko was right when he said that Sokka will come around soon enough."
[10:58:00] <@AangPlushie> "He will," Katara said. "He should know that you can be trusted, and you are a more mature person than it appears on the surface. I know he'll also see how happy I am with you. It's going to be all right, Aang."
[11:03:09] <@KataraPlushie> Aang sighed, feeling more reassured and at peace, confident that Sokka would see the light in the end. "You're right... It's only a matter of time. Even so, I'm sorry if this night didn't turn out perfectly. I had wanted it to."
[11:05:21] <@AangPlushie> "You can't blame yourself for Sokka being a jerk," Katara told him. "I just don't get my brother sometimes. I mean, like I said, he has known you for months now, he knows you can be trusted...but suddenly it's like this dating is all such a bad thing to him. Just don't worry about it. You're perfect, and that's good enough for me."
[11:09:24] <@KataraPlushie> Aang decided to take Katara's word for it and tried not to let the incident or Sokka's bitter thoughts get to him. "I don't think 'perfect' is the word," he replied. "But no matter, as long you're happy."
[11:11:02] <@AangPlushie> "Don't sell yourself short," Katara said. "You /are/ perfect, and I am happy to have you as my boyfriend. Just forget him. We're together and that's the way it's going to be."
[11:17:02] <@KataraPlushie> A sense of calm and warmth filled the air, the dark room no longer seeming gloomy and foreboding. The fallout was behind them and although it wouldn't be easy, they would endure it every step of the way. After separating from the hug, the two just sat by the window, Katara's head leaning on Aang's shoulder as he rubbed her back.
[11:19:19] <@AangPlushie> The serenity was a welcome relief for Aang and Katara, enjoying each other's company as they looked outside to the quiet night, knowing that even if not everyone agreed, they would always have each other and that was good enough for them. Katara gave Aang a quick kiss on the cheek before resting her head back on his shoulder.
[11:25:29] <@KataraPlushie> Aang blushed slightly at this and rested his head atop hers. In the end, for him, the night was a good one and they had found a partner in one another. Long live the world at rest and long live this, he thought.
- Fourth roleplay where Katara and Aang have a non-romantic status, though this is short-lived.
- Third roleplay where non-romantic Kataang eventually turns romantic.