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Author Topic: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme  (Read 5901 times)

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Offline Saxy

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 06:59:05 AM »
PSU that sounds like such a good idea. Interactions between Ty Lee and Toph sure will be interesting


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Offline bectara

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 02:39:25 PM »
So entering this!
I love my Sweetheart Nate:)


Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 02:41:55 PM »
So happy that you are! ;)
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Offline Light-Eco-Sage

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 04:21:36 PM »
I've got my idea. It's a bit... bigger than what I'd normally write for a contest. Hopefully I can finish it in time.


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Offline Cowboy Colt

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 04:24:16 PM »
Just to be clear as long as it's about gift giving it's okay to enter? It does not have to be something like "Aang and Katara save Christmas!"?


I'll give you guys a hint about my idea:


little Bumi and Katara.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 04:27:51 PM by 1911cowboy »

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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 04:51:24 PM »
As long as there is something in the story about a gift then it counts.

Kataang saving Christmas...interesting...! XD
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Offline Cowboy Colt

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 04:52:43 PM »
As long as there is something in the story about a gift then it counts.

Kataang saving Christmas...interesting...! XD
Kataang makes everything better!

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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2012, 04:53:11 PM »
I've got my idea. It's a bit... bigger than what I'd normally write for a contest. Hopefully I can finish it in time.

Hope so too...LESS holiday nog...MOAR Sage writing.  *cracks whip*
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Offline Light-Eco-Sage

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2012, 05:17:29 PM »
I've got my idea. It's a bit... bigger than what I'd normally write for a contest. Hopefully I can finish it in time.

Hope so too...LESS holiday nog...MOAR Sage writing.  *cracks whip*

No! Don't take away my nog! *hugs to self* I'll get to writing... soon. Very soon.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 06:38:52 PM by Light-Eco-Sage »


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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2012, 05:31:13 PM »
hmmmm....looks like I definitely got your attention!

*gloats at ebil plan working...*
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Offline Cowboy Colt

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2012, 12:39:30 AM »
I have my story alllll planed out. Now I just need to write the thing. xD 

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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2012, 03:27:03 AM »
You have plenty of time. Hope you used some of the Writing Lesson tips. :)
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Offline Cowboy Colt

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2012, 01:30:46 PM »
I have!

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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2012, 08:46:42 PM »
Title: “The Gift Exchange”
Author: A6
Rating: T – Kataang, flashback to the Air Nomad genocide
Summary: The Four Nations’ leaders have just approved the creation of the Air Nation, and a celebration is planned, using their world’s tradition of gift-giving to celebrate building the new Nation like a family  ‘house-raising’.  Aang and Katara are faced with important decisions on what is the perfect gift for the other, leading to each have secret trips unknown to the other.
Author’s Notes:  Gift gifting of just the right present is an important tradition in my family, and sometimes extra ordinary measures are taken, so I wanted to apply that to Kataang.  I was also inspired by O Henry’s famous story, from which I drew some thoughts, though from a happier perspective than that classic.

Accompanying Art:  Once again my dear friend team-megan has created an art piece for the pivotal scene in my story. I hope you enjoy it, done on her new 'bamboo' app: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/363/3/a/the_joy_of_gifting_by_awkwardsauce-d5pg9lv.jpg
"The Joy of Giving" by team-megan (click to show/hide)

The Gift Exchange (click to show/hide)
Aang ran out of the meeting chambers at a dead run. In fact he was running with air bending enhancements.  He was in that kind of hurry.

He made it back to the residence wing of the Fire Nation Summer Palace and into Katara’s waiting arms in a heartbeat. For once he was breathless – not from running, but because of the news.

He kissed her enthusiastically and twirled her around in a circle aided by his air bending. He was so tall and strong that he really didn’t need air bending to lift her, but wanted to do something extra special to celebrate.

Katara laughed, “Aang! Haha! Wow!  You’re always excited to see me, but never this eager.  This must be good news!”

“Better than good news, Katara. It’s great news!” announced Aang.

“They agreed?” inquired Katara.

“Every one of them.  Whole heartedly.  Especially your dad. He was inspirational. The Air Nation is born!”

She chuckled, “Some ‘Nation’ Aang. One air bender and his new Water Tribe bride, and about 500 non-bending Air Acolytes.”

The newlyweds laughed as the said in unison, “Well, you gotta start somewhere!”

“More air benders soon,” Aang whispered into her ear, which tickled and thrilled her, and he gave her his typical look of desire. Katara blushed but drew Aang closer.

“Yeah…” she sighed contentedly.

Aang was still excited and explained, “They’re going to throw a big formal tent party at Air Temple Island where the Nation will have its capital.  They want to treat our new Nation just like a ‘house raising’!  We’re so lucky. They want to give us lots of gifts to get the new Nation started on the right path.”

Katara was ecstatic, “Since we are starting from nothing, Aang, that will be wonderful!”

They hugged and she buried her head into his chest to savor the moment.

They both knew Air Temple Island was little more than a pristine grass and tree-covered spot of land in the middle of Yue Bay where the lost herd of sky bison had been discovered.  For the past year or so, the “capital” of the Air Nation was simply Aang’s study room Zuko had given him in the mayor’s building in Yu Dao. Piles of plans for the temple tower, the garden, their home, the Air Acolyte dorms, eating area, and classrooms littered the top of his desk. Aang worked on them constantly, in between teaching the Air Acolytes, who continued to grow in number at the old Fire Nation colony, now a member of the United Republic of Nations like the other colonies.

But as Katara started to think harder about the big celebration, her happiness was replaced with fretting, “Aang… um… normally I don’t worry about such things, but I don’t have a thing to wear for a ceremony honoring the start the new Nation.”

Aang shrugged, “Well you can wear your formal Water Tribe dress. You are the daughter of the tribal Chief. They are coming with gifts, too.”

Katara frowned, “Let’s get this straight - one more time.  Despite the ‘airs’ that the Northern tribe has about ‘royalty’, we never went for that. I’m no ‘princess’. I’m still and always will be a simple peasant girl.”

Aang rolled his eyes with the familiar lecture, “Yeah, I know.  I think your dad should reconsider that.  You’re royalty to me, Katara.  I married the sweetest girl in the World.”

She blushed, “As long as we’re gonna stand by titles then, here’s mine: I am the wife and spiritual partner of the Avatar and a citizen of the Air Nation. No way am I going to wear my old tribal colors for this. Dad and Sokka will represent the Southern Water Tribe.”

Aang loved the sound of the word ‘wife’, and answered her with a smile, “Oh…OK.  That’s really sweet of you.  So, then. You can wear that wonderful Air Nomad replica wedding dress that Suki made for you.”

“This is isn’t our wedding Aang. People have already seen me in that.  The attention needs to be on you and the Air Nation, not me.”

“I’m the Avatar, Katara, I don’t need the attention.  You know Terrik is going to be the Air Nation Councilman.”

Katara rolled her eyes, “Like it or not, Mr. ‘Last Air bender’, you are the focus of attention for now. And I have to look the part. Neither one of us goes for that protocol stuff, but just this once we have to.”

Aang sighed, “But I’m just a simple air bender. Everything we have is handmade or has been given to us. I don’t think any of our friends have female Air Nomad Elder formal robes lying around in their attic.”

Katara noted cheerfully, “Well, I made patterns of all the old styles.”

While pleased with that nice little surprise, Aang admitted sheepishly, “The Air Nation inaugural celebration is in a week.”

She gulped, “Oh…”

Then it hit Aang exactly what Katara needed as her gift, and realized there was only one place in the world he might find it. He had to fabricate something fast to make it a surprise.

“Um…Katara…another thing.  I’m not done with all the formal Air Nation organization stuff yet.  I gotta run off to some official business with Zuko in the Fire Nation capital, but I will be back well before the festivities.”

Katara was reeling with all the news, now further complicated by Aang’s unexpected departure to tend to nation-building, but she was a good sport about it, “Well, the Acolytes have already been preparing for this, so we’ll both be in their way.  I’ll be sewing my brains out while you’re gone.”

They hugged and kissed, he grabbed his trusted blue-winged glider, popped it open, and started to take off.

A wing drooped.

“Darn it, not again,” he complained.

Katara was worried, “Aang, is that safe to fly?”

Aang tried to stop her worry, “Yeah.  I just gotta tighten it up here and there, and it will be good as new. It was a gift from the Mechanist.  I need to keep using it.  There aren’t any authentic Air Nomad gliders left, and goodness knows I haven’t had a minute to spare to even try to make a replica.  I’m not Sonam.  He was the master glider maker.  I’d give anything to have another one of his creations. It would last forever.”

“Unless you just happen to set fire to it!”  Katara quipped.

They both laughed at the bittersweet remembrance of those hard days.  It was during those first few days after Aang came out of the coma that the stirrings of their emerging but unspoken love began.

But then Katara got very serious, “Aang, I worry about what would happen if your glider would ever come apart in the air.”

Aang scoffed, “Oh I would fall to my death screaming like a girl all the way to the large splat at the end.”

Katara grimaced and punched him, “Not funny, Mr. Avatar.  Who says I’d even think about cleaning up the mess? Just like all the other messes you leave…”

They laughed and hugged.

Assured that his repair was safe, he assumed a takeoff position again, pecked her on the lips and said, “Well, Katara, this time for sure!”

He blasted off toward the western horizon. Katara knew it was only a short flight from the Summer Palace to the Fire Nation capital to conduct the endless affairs of politics and government he had to finish with Zuko.

“Better him than me!” She chuckled to herself.

Katara had no idea that he was going somewhere else.

As he flew out of sight, Katara continued to worry about the integrity of the well-worn glider he used constantly for the past several years. They often flew in tandem, with each held in the other’s grasp. That glider was never built for constant use by two grown young adults.  Only an authentic Air Nomad glider could handle the loads and last the years. She knew that from all her study of Air Nomad history and from Aang directly.

Aang was always impressed at how much she studied his culture. She didn’t have to, but she took being his spouse and spiritual partner seriously, so her studies were a self-imposed discipline of cultural immersion.  She was already a vegetarian, and only ate the meaty Water Tribe cuisine around her father, in respect to him and the family.  Sokka used to give her a hard time about adopting Aang’s ways, but rarely joked about it anymore.  Katara nearly always had her way once her mind was set.  Aang loved her all the more for it.

As she watched Aang fly off to the west to the Fire Nation Capital, she smiled and knew exactly the right gift to give Aang ,

She thought, “Won’t he be surprised when I give him an authentic Air Nomad glider to ‘launch’ the new nation.”

She rushed to the library, and studied her Air Nomad history again to be sure.  She had learned from the scrolls and from Aang that there was a Master glider maker – Sonam – who made the sturdiest gliders for decades in the days of Yangchen, and stored them at the aviary and his flying school in the safety and seclusion of the Western Air Temple. 

It was a perfect surprise.  The Air Acolytes could handle the preparations while she made a 3 day trip to the Western Air Temple and back.  She knew Aang and Zuko would be working day and night for several days to get things right, and so she’d never be missed, and would return long before Aang would come back.

She walked from their Summer Palace guest quarters to the quarters of Air Acolyte Chief of Staff Terrik hard at work, already getting things prepared for the celebration at  Air Temple Island.  Terrik was a Water Bender who changed his ways to become an Air Acolyte with his young wife Yuèliàng liáng.  She was seven months pregnant and Katara was going to be her midwife when her time came.

“Terrik, I could use a favor.”

“Of course Master Katara.”

Katara asked, “I need to go on a quick journey to get a special gift for my husband.”

“I understand Master Katara.  We can handle everything here, at Yu Dao, and the Island just fine while you are gone. All your master plans are under way right now. You and Avatar Aang don’t need to worry about all the heavy duty work. That’s for us to do.”

“That’s wonderful! If Aang comes back early, tell him I am getting something special to honor the big celebration.”

“Of course Master Katara.  We can take care of things here and over at Air Temple Island. In fact we already are.”

“Thank you Terrik, you always make everything so easy.”

“All part of being an Air Acolyte, Master Katara.”

They exchanged bows, and as she walked off, she thought how amazing the Air Acolytes were - so much like the Air Nomads of old. They were always so eager and ready to serve, and so supportive of Aang and her, always making things easier for them.

She went to the temporary sky bison stable at the Summer Palace, where Appa and two female sky bison were quartered, who had carried the Air Nation entourage to the Palace. And just happened to also be Appa's mates.

“C’mon Appa, we’re going for a little trip. You can get back to your girl friends later,” she smirked.

The giant sky bison grunted, but was ready to go for a flight. It had been weeks since either Katara or Aang had flown him anywhere other than the short trip from Yu Dao to the Summer Palace.  She placed a sturdy, long canvas bag in the passenger saddle, and took off.

“Yip, yip, Appa!”

The smaller, younger sky bison cows looked up and lowed their unhappiness at Appa leaving, but they were too uncomfortable from being several months pregnant to want to fly with him.

+++

From high above a deep gorge on an island to the north of the Fire Nation, a special image came into view for Aang, tired from his non-stop 36 hour solo flight. But it was worth it. Distracting Katara into thinking his flight on the glider was simply from the Fire Nation Summer Palace to the Fire Nation Capital was crucial. Flying off on Appa would have been suspicious.   But he didn’t have time to be prideful of his subterfuge with Katara.  In fact he felt a little guilty at lying to her so easily.

But it was no matter either way now.  There it was:  the Western Air Temple.

The Western Air Temple was an all female Temple, and by design it was extremely well hidden, having been built underneath the cliffs of a deep gorge.  It had been the last to fall in the genocide.  It was considered a secret location and thereby considered nearly impregnable by the Elders. They never considered there would be a betrayer, and underestimated the attacks by the Fire Nation’s Dragon Riders, who systematically took out the Air Nomad Master defenders riding sky bison. Once thedefenses were eliminated,  it was easy to invade and murder the elderly instructors, students, novices, children, and infants.

The temple was not as decimated as the other Temples. The fire storms that gutted the other Temples were hard to sustain in a stone city built upside down, particularly with so much of it built into rocky caverns that the Gaang discovered and played in during the War. Aang hoped that there was one place undiscovered and left untouched by the destruction and pillaging.  Aang alighted, folded his glider, and kneeled, knowing he was on sacred ground. He gave the Temple’s deceased a prayer and a blessing.

He was seized by a vision.

“Greetings Aang,” called out a familiar blue gray spirit.

“Avatar Yangchen!” Aang said as he bowed.

The gentle spirit of Avatar Yangchen smiled kindly, “I know what you are here for.  Blessings on what you have achieved in the world by creating the new Air Nation and the Air Acolytes.  We will all live again through you and your disciples, their families, and your children.”

Aang admitted ashamedly, “Only by my own insecurity and selfishness am I here alive.  I failed the Air Nomads.”

Yangchen chided, “You would have perished with them then, Aang, so that does not matter.  Never think of that again. The spirits willed what happened, and you survived. And so do we, as a result.”

“I guess…” said a still-guilty Aang.

Yangchen continued, “But that is not what you are here for, on the very eve of the birth of the new Nation.  Your life mate is precious to all of us, and she will be the mother of the new Nation.  She seeks to honor you and us. We will find her the proper gift.”

“I know. Sometimes I wonder how I deserve her.  Show me where to find what I seek, Avatar Yangchen, that I might honor her too.”

Yangchen nodded and explained, “Deep in the catacombs, there was a tailoring room.  It was untouched by the devastation.  I will guide you there.”   

She reached out a ghostly hand and touched his forehead.

“I understand now,”  he said quietly.

He remained in deep meditation in communion with Yangchen, as she mapped out the pathway to the tailoring room.  Still in the spirit journey, he got up from his kneeling position, and followed Yangchen’s guidance.  Soon he was deep inside the Western Air Temple.  He illuminated his path with a palm-held flame.

He found the room. It was inauspicious and well concealed, and had a miniature, undamaged air lock, which he quickly activated. He entered. The air within the room was dry and crisp.  He turned up the intensity of his hand flame.

Aang smiled as he found himself surrounded by hundreds of Air Nomad garments of every shape and description – children’s, teens, and young adults.  And Elders.  He went straight to that rack.  There were several outfits.  The most striking one was a long and beautiful ensemble, still bright saffron with an earthy orange and tan trim, and was complete with a matching cape and wrap.  It was exactly Katara’s size.  He gathered the hundred year old outfit, folded it carefully, and placed it in a large bag he had brought for the purpose.  He also took some everyday saffron, brown, and tan pantsuits for her, including a maternity outfit for those special days in the future. She expressed many times to Aang her desire to dress more in Air Nomad clan colors. 

It was the perfect gift for her.

His task was done and so he could get back to meet with Zuko, and then return home with a couple of days to spare before the celebration begun.  He gave a prayer of thanks to Yangchen for her help.  His trip had worn him out, and he needed a rest, so he climbed up from the catacombs and sought to find the residence hall for a good night’s rest.

+++

Katara overflew the Fire Nation capital at high altitude on a moonless night, and prided herself in her stealthiness, thinking of her husband now far below her, no doubt working hard side by side with Zuko in the still brightly lit palace below.

She narrowed her eyes in determination, urged Appa to fly north, and mentally reviewed the rolled up map in her tunic to find the Western Air Temple’s aviary and its treasure trove of Air Nomad gliders that may have survived the onslaught.  It was worth the chance.

In the morning, she saw the island and the gorge which concealed the Western Air Temple.  She decided to follow the gorge to the site. It worked for Azula’s air ship armada; it should work again for her and Appa.

She alighted on the main plaza, or at least what was left of it from Combustion Man’s battle to try to destroy Aang.  She winced with the still-fresh memory of the incredible power that the mutant bender possessed, and said a prayer of thankfulness again for her brother’s unerring boomerang throw that saved them all. She prayed even more that he didn’t have a vengeful twin brother.

Fortunately for Katara, she arrived at the Western Air Temple while Aang was deep in his spirit journey to the tailor room, or he would have seen her flying into the plaza area.  From Appa’s silent flight, she could see the expanse of the ghostly deserted Temple.  She shed a tear for all the women who were first tortured or worse, and then either stabbed or burned alive by the merciless Fire nation raiders of Sozin’s time. She could never imagine what would compel warriors to harm helpless women and girls.  And infants.  But those were unspeakably terrible days.

But those days were long gone. Aang had consecrated the dead and their souls were at peace, as he had done at each of the other Air Temples.  This visit by Katara was to prepare for the happiness of a resurrected race, much the same, but different than its predecessor in many good ways.

Appa sat quietly and lapped the sweet, cool spring water of the damaged fountain while Katara opened and reviewed the map of the Temple.

“That way,” she muttered to herself.

She descended into the darkness of the catacombs, lighted by one of several torches she’d packed. Within the cave tunnels, had a sweet memory of her and Aang’s time in the Cave of Two Lovers. She smiled, thinking of their awkward beginning steps toward being together, and knew that if she was successful, the kiss he’d give her would thrill her to her soul just as much as that first tiny kiss.

The distraction from that wonderful recollection caused her to take a wrong turn, and she rolled her eyes, having to backtrack. 

“Funny how just thinking of him does that to me,” she mused.

Katara stopped suddenly. She was faced with a vault.  This had to be the right place. But it was secured with a complex air lock that only air benders could open. She could not summon enough water to break the lock.  She felt it would be sacrilege to do so anyway. But she had another tool.

Steam was like humid air.

She spread her arms with her palms open, with her legs in a wide stance, and created an enormous vapor cloud that hovered above her, drawn from the damp cave air.  Next, she leaned toward the door and thrust one arm forward, fingers pointed, directly at the air lock’s opening funnel.  The steam cloud rushed through the locking mechanism with a hiss, and she could hear clicks and snaps.  Finally the lock unlatched, and the door popped ajar. Aang would have been impressed. The Mechanist had told them both air and water were fluids.  This was undeniable proof.

She lit another torch and eased the vault door open, disturbing a belfry of dragonfly-bats from their roosts, and entered in. 

From floor to ceiling, tucked in every corner, there was an incredible expanse of gliders of all shapes and sizes.  She fell to her knees in awe and relief.

“Thank the spirits!” she whispered, and started to browse.

She found the perfect adult-sized glider for her very tall air bender.

She was about to turn and leave, but got a gleam in her eye. She thought about the future, and grabbed several more child-sized gliders and a couple of gliders built for young adults. 

“Just in case!” she said happily. 

They were all light as a feather and easy to carry, though bulky.

Katara was tired and needed a rest. She knew where the residence dorms were. She’d slept in one while watching Zuko like a hawk in their early, testy days of ‘welcoming’ him into the Gaang when he finally made the fateful decision to join their cause. She headed for the room she stayed in on the far end of the dorm.  She’d stayed there then to better avoid speaking to Aang about that kiss on the sub he was so desperate to discuss.  Why he stayed with her - given how she was avoiding him then - was something she was ever grateful for now.

She walked the halls with her bag full of gliders, but heard a noise.

She crouched defensively, and thought, “Who could possibly be here? Or what?”

Her heart raced. Every species of bear loved caves - especially this time of year - to hibernate at the peak of winter at the solstice.  She inched around a corner, steeled herself for conflict with what might be beast or human, and held her breath. 

Just as she was about to water bend, her jaw dropped. It was Aang, who was also in a defensive stance. He was equally stunned at seeing her as he stood up and dropped his guard.

“Hehe. Fancy meeting you here, Katara,” he kidded.

“What are you doing here, Aang?” Katara asked in shock.

Aang smirked, “I was going to ask you the very same question.”

They were not sure whether to be mad or happy, each caught in a lie about their whereabouts.

Katara stared at Aang’s bulky bag as Aang gave Katara’s long canvas cover a suspicious look.

They both started to speak, interrupted each other, and laughed.

“Katara, you go first,” invited Aang.

“Umm, OK.  Aang I have a gift for you.  A special present for the Air Nation.”

“Funny, I do too, Katara.”

They relaxed enough to smile at each other. Aang offered his hand to her, and she took it affectionately.

“Wanna go out by the fountain?” he asked softly.

“It’s about sunset. So yeah,” Katara answered, still eyeing his big bag.

“No peeking,” Aang teased.

“I promise…” she grinned.

They sat near the fountain together, with their mysterious bags next to them, in an awkward silence.

Aang broke the silence, “Umm, Katara I’m sorry I lied to you. I had a special idea for a surprise for your gift, and I couldn’t tell you. You would have told me not to bother.”

“That’s OK Aang. I had the same idea. And yeah, you would have said the same thing to me.” Katara admitted.

They laughed and held hands.

Simultaneously they said, “You’re sweet.”

And they laughed again.

“Sooo, what’s in your bag, Katara?” Aang inquired.

Katara blushed, “Something really special I hope.”

She reached and pulled out the long, tall glider staff.  Aang’s eyes grew huge, and a grin formed from ear to ear. She saw the twelve year old still in him as she presented it to him. He stood and popped open the glider. She could see his imagination of flying with it in his expression, and she smiled.

“Where did you get this?”  he asked excitedly.

Katara just shook her head, “Aang, someday you have to learn how to read a map.”

They laughed and hugged, and he kissed her long and deep.  Her head spun, like it usually did in his embrace.

She then showed him the other, smaller gliders.  Aang knew immediately the implications of those, and hugged her enthusiastically.

“Katara, truly, you are the mother of a new race. Only you would think of this.”

She blushed deeply, and they kissed tenderly.

When they broke, Aang said lovingly, “And now, Katara, I have something that is just as special for you.”

He pulled out the female Elder’s robe, and she took it gently and held it up against her everyday blue pantsuit. It was like the Elder’s outfit had been made a century ago just for her.

“This is perfect, Aang!”

She cried tears of joy, and threw her arms around him.

“Oh, Aang I love you so much. Now I will truly look like your spiritual partner.”

“No matter what you wear Katara, you will always be that to me.”

“Wait, what’s this?”  she discovered the other outfits deeper in the bag for her.

“Aang, I am overwhelmed.  Everything - just everything – is just so amazing.”

She found the maternity tunic, and her eyes teared again and hugged him tightly. 

“That time will come soon, husband. You are so thoughtful! A pregnant Air Acolyte will bring hope to the world again.”

“I thought so too, Katara….”

She didn’t know where to start, and exclaimed, “I want to go try the robe on!”

So they rushed hand in hand to the nearest spartan room for spiritual partners.  Ironically, they picked one reserved for conjugal visits between spiritual partners to keep the race going in the otherwise mostly celibate society of the Air Nomads.

Aang asked anxiously, “Peeking?”

“Yes, all you want to,” she blushed, well aware that Aang preferred her wearing no clothes at all.

Soon, with a few affectionate moments which interrupted her trying on the robes, she stood before him. She was beautiful in the robes, and looked every bit of a female Air Nomad Elder.

“Wow. You look amazing,” said Aang dreamily as she modeled the Elder’s outfit before him.

“And I feel amazing too.”

She thought for a moment, and then said, “I have another surprise for you Aang.”

“Oh? What would that be, Katara,” half knowing the answer.

She gave him an intense, sultry look, and posed provocatively, baring one shoulder, “Now, Aang, you get to unwrap your favorite present.”

Her giggle was all it took for him to sweep her up in his arms and embrace. The echoes of their lovemaking filled the empty halls of the Temple with happiness.

In the peaceful, quiet time in the bed after their time together, snuggled closely, Katara observed, “Aren’t you glad to not have to live to the old standards?”

She demurred while tracing his arrows, looking fondly into his eyes.

“That’s one mistake my people I am glad to change, Katara. You showed me how much people need to be in permanent relations and have real families.” 

“You’d already pretty much come to that conclusion yourself, Aang,” she smiled.

Aang admitted, “Yeah, that’s so true.  If we’d wed a hundred years ago, I could see it in the news: ‘Avatar Aang excommunicated from the Air Nomads over marriage scandal to Water Tribe Woman.’”

She laughed and rolled her eyes, but changed the subject, “We need to get back, Aang.”

Aang dismissed her comment and reached for her, “In the morning, Katara. There’s plenty of time. Y’know, there were a couple of things we did that I didn’t get quite right.”

“You!” she shouted.

He tickled her all over until the giggles became the gentle murmurings of their next embrace.

+++

Less than a week later, Aang and Katara stood in the early morning light of Air Temple Island in excited anticipation of the day’s events, surrounded by the Gaang, other international dignitaries, and the Air Acolytes. The Acolytes  were of every age, though most were young couples and older adults with families and children, all standing hand-in-hand, punctuating Aang’s teachings that spirit and family can coexist.

It was an impressive sight.

The pair representing the future of the Air Nation stood closely together, as Shamans and Sages blessed them and the Air Acolytes.  Zuko read the proclamation establishing the Air Nation, and together with Aang, swore in Terrik as the Air Nation’s first Councilman. Aang looked very distinguished his long, formal Elder’s robe, grasping his new glider staff that dated back more than a century. Katara stood resplendent in the robes of a Sister Elder.  No one challenged her right to wear the Air Nation clan colors as the spiritual partner and wife of the Avatar. Moreover she a bending Master herself. 

She had accentuated her look as an Air Acolyte by pulling her hair back over her forehead and letting it cascade down her back.  Except for her mocha skin and lack of air bending cranial tattoos, she could have been an ancient Air Nomad. Everyone thought she was stunning. Ever thoughtful of her Water Tribe heritage, Aang insisted that Katara wear a special inverse crescent moon symbol of the Southern Water Tribe.  Its inscription said it all: “The Union of Air and Water”. She never took it off after that day.

The reception and party in the gigantic tent that followed the formal ceremonies honored the new Nation, with many gifts showered on Aang and Katara.  Many presents were the furnishings and tools of government, but some were just personal. Aang was ever the consummate host, and the party went on all night.  The dancing was fabulous.

When at last the last partygoer departed, Katara and Aang strolled arm-in-arm to the easternmost point on the Island, they sat and watched the sun rise behind the mountains of the new Republic City under construction.

For a moment, it was quiet but for the sounds of birds, the gentle sky bison mooing overhead, and the lapping of waves in Yue Bay against the Island’s beach and cliffs.

“What an amazing day, Katara!” Aang observed as Katara snuggled up against his side for warmth.

“More than that, Aang.  What an amazing several days.  Thank you for being you, and for your gifts to me. Today I do feel like an Air Acolyte.”

Aang reflected, “You were the first one, my dear. You believed when even I doubted.”

They clung to each other closely as the sun rose higher, thinking of the gifts they exchanged, both physical and spiritual. Unknown to either, the dozens of Avatar air benders within him and the collective spirits  of the long-dead Air Nomads rejoiced in this couple’s love and for the new Nation - none more emphatically than Avatar Yangchen.

Aang stood, popped open his new much larger glider, and held out his hand to Katara as he invited, “Let’s go flying!”

“I thought you’d never ask,” kidded Katara.

They leaped into the air together as Katara let out a whoop of joy.

Air Acolytes and distinguished world leaders and guests looked out from their tents as they awoke to see the miracle of Aang and Katara flying high over Air Tempe Island, firmly holding each other and the glider.

The laughter of the loving couple in the crisp, crystal clear skies above charmed those below, as they soared, dove, looped, and climbed.

The gift to the World of the new Air Nation truly took flight on that early dawn.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 12:46:29 AM by A6 »
signatures - gift from my talented friends Water Lily and Honey Badger :3

Offline Cowboy Colt

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2012, 09:33:23 PM »
That was great, A6! I can't wait to the the other entry's!

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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2012, 09:55:30 PM »
Thank you Cowboy! 

Yes many more promised and that is good. :)
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Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2012, 10:49:15 PM »
That was a lovely story, A6! Amazing work as usual! :D

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Offline EnshroudingDarkness

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2012, 10:56:12 PM »
I really enjoyed to read this story, that was some amazing work :) . Soooooo Kataang ^^.


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Offline A6

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2012, 12:55:46 AM »
I am very pleased that you liked my story Cassie and ED.  Thank you for the kind comments! XD
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Offline terrik_zion

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Re: TKC Holiday Writing Contest: "The Gift of..." Theme
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2012, 06:53:38 AM »
I liked it! And not just because my name is in it, hehe. Also, Seluna (jokingly) accuses me of meta-cheating on her with another wife, lol!

 

       
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