I nudged Katara and she woke up.
“Aang?” she asked. “Did you have a nightmare?”
“Well, yes,” I said, “but that’s not why I woke you up.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Happy Birthday!” I said, pulling out a card from my pocket. She opened it and it read:
I hope your birthday is one of the best days of your life.
P.S.: We’re going somewhere special today.
Katara’s face lit up. “Oh, thank you, Aang!” she exclaimed, hugging me.
“Oh, it was no big deal,” I said. “Come on, the others are up. We all planned a party for you, and after that, it’s just you and me. I’ll take you somewhere you’ll probably remember.”
So I led Katara to a clearing with a river, and there was a big party for Katara.
“Happy Birthday!” everyone shouted.
“Oh, you guys…” Katara said.
“Hey, it wasn’t our idea,” Sokka said. “Aang deserves the real credit.”
Katara turned her head to me.
“Well…it wasn’t entirely my idea,” I said. “Everyone made suggestions for this, and I was just happy to comply.”
After the party, we all jumped onto Appa.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“That’s for us to know, and you to find out,” I said with a devious smile.
A few hours later, Katara asked where we were going again.
“All right. I guess I can tell you now that we’re close,” I said. “We are going to the South Pole.
“The South Pole!?” she said excitedly.
I nodded and smiled at her. “I knew you’d be excited. And word’s gotten out that your dad is there, too, with good news.”
“Dad’s there, too? Wow, today couldn’t get any better,” Katara gushed.
“Oh, I highly doubt that,” I said, landing Appa.
Suki helped Toph down and Hakoda stood a foot away.
“Hello, Chief Hakoda,” I said, shaking his hand. “Sokka’s here, too. Please excuse me for a moment.”
I walked around Appa.
“Sokka, are you done polishing that boomerang?” I asked. “Your dad will be happy to see you.”
Sokka shot up and skidded around Appa, falling on his stomach. I slapped my forehead.
He got up and he, Hakoda, and Katara all hugged. I heard “Happy Birthday”s coming from lots of people. I took a minute to admire the scenery. Master Pakku and the Waterbenders sure did a great job.
Pakku himself was with Kanna, who was spending time with her grandchildren. I smiled and walked around until I came across Avatar Roku, his face reflecting on the ice.
“Roku?” I asked.
“Hello, Aang,” Roku said, smiling. “I hear your friend is turning fifteen. You know, you’ll be turning thirteen in three weeks.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Roku,” I said, laughing. “I’m really not in any hurry to give up being twelve yet.” I looked at Katara from a distance.
He followed my gaze. “Ah, young love,” he sighed.
“Yeah…I’ve been enjoying that, but it’s kind of cliché when you really think about it,” I said. “I mean, I save the world, then I get the girl of my dreams. It’s happened in all the stories I’ve read. Though, I suppose it wouldn’t happen any other way.”
“I suppose,” Roku said.
DING, DING, DING, DING, DING! Five o’clock!
“Gotta go! ‘Bye!” I panted, receiving a “Farewell” from Roku.
I found Katara on the bridge, Waterbending.
I tapped her shoulder.
She twirled around. “Oh, hi,” she said.
“Come on,” I urged excitedly, tugging her arm.
We hopped on Appa and flew for a few minutes.
Katara gasped. “Oh, Aang, it can’t be…” she gushed.
“The iceberg where we first met,” I said, beaming.
“How did you know where to find it?” she asked.
“You thought I’d forget where I met you?” I asked.
She smiled at me and I landed Appa.
“It looks exactly the same as it did when Sokka and I found you,” Katara said.
“Except it didn’t have that huge crack,” I said, pointing.
“Hmm…that wasn’t there before, and the water’s too low for it to crack the iceberg.”
“Eh, it’s barely noticeable,” I said. “Crack or no crack, it’s still pretty.”
“You’re right,” she said.
“I’ve seen prettier, though,” I said, smiling at her.
“Oh, Aang,” Katara said. “You’re so sweet. What have I done to deserve you?”
“Well, you’ve always looked out for me, you comfort me when I’m sad, and you’re always nice to me,” I pointed out.
She smiled at me. “I love you, Aang," she said.
"I love you, too," I told her.
I kissed her, and I felt her smile into the kiss.
We were all on Appa, flying toward the Fire Nation Palace.
"Thanks for all this, Aang," Katara said.
"Anything for you, Katara," I said, smiling. "Anything."