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The Fickle Finger of Fate

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Aang

Anytime he was in a town for more than a few days Avatar Aang made sure to go to the local school and visit with the children. She started that trend when they were together. She told him that the kids would get a kick out of meeting the avatar and seeing that he was a real person, and she was right. Every time he stepped on a gym floor or an auditorium stage he thought about her, looked through the crowd for her even though he knew she wasn’t there. Those weren’t the schools she worked at, but this one was.

They’d had a month-long affair with a messy ending that ruined a friendship they’d started while they trained with Master Pakku as children. The argument was stupid, really, nothing that they couldn’t have worked through, but they were both so stubborn neither would talk to the other, and soon it was time for Aang to be on hi way to the next place. He thought often about calling her, but he let time slip away. After a month, he thought he had waited too long, but he’d give it a try.

He cared about her, and though he didn’t want to admit it to himself, he knew he loved her. Aang decided it was time to give her a call so they could talk things out. When she didn’t answer he left a message, but she didn’t call him back. Common sense told him to let it go, but his heart wouldn’t let him. It was then he decided to leave it up to fate.

If we cross paths again, it’s a sign. If I see her again, then we’re meant to be together.

After five years he’d given up on seeing her again. She was probably dating someone, or married. Raava knew he hadn’t been lonely all this time. His mind briefly jumped to the handsome jetsetter from the Fire Nation. Like him, she was in the past.

He walked across the gym floor, and scanned the crowd for her as he answered the children’s questions; he couldn’t help it. This was her home town, the school she’d just started at when they’d gone their separate ways almost six years ago.

He considered pretending to fall and bump his head so he’d have to go see the nurse, but he decided against it. She’d laugh at him…if she was even still there.

The teachers filed the children out and the administration came to speak to Aang. As he talked to the principal he considered asking about the nurse, but he didn’t. It was best that he leave it alone. He shouldn’t meddle with fate. It had been too long. Things had changed

Aang walked out of the gym, into the entry way and saw her standing there “Katara.” He breathed as if he thought he was seeing things “Hi.”

“Hi Aang.” She said quietly with a soft smile on her face “I heard you were here.” She slid her hand into her scrub pockets.

He brushed his feet across the floor “Yeah. I figured the last set of kids I talked to here were in middle school by now, so it would be good to show my face.”

“Makes sense.”  Her smile dropped, she seemed nervous “Um, I’m sorry I didn't call you back then.”

He held his head down “Yeah. I probably should have tried again.”

“If you have some time later, maybe we can go to the coffee shop and talk.”

The both turned when the heard the gym door open. A woman stuck her head out and smiled when she saw Aang “Oh good,I found you.” She laughed as she stepped out “Would you believe I got lost.”

Aang felt his cheeks get hot as she walked toward him. She stopped beside him and grabbed his hand with both of hers “You were great, I’m so glad I came.”

He looked a Katara, hoping she could understand the apology he was saying in his head, then he looked at the woman “Honey, this is Katara.” He turned and saw the split second Katara squinted her eyes at him “Katara this is Yee Li.”

Katara gave Yee Li a kind smile and a shallow bow “Hello.”

Yee Li bowed in return “Katara. The friend from training. It’s so great to meet you. Aang has told me so much about you.”

Katara looked at Aang and he considered borrowing into the ground “Oh really. I hope they were nice things.”

“Only that you’re the best water bender he’s ever seen. And you and your family are very nice.” She leaned closer to Aang “I told him that he should take some time and visit, but he’s so hard headed. I’m glad he ran into you.” She looked up at him “It’s fate.”

He let out a nervous chuckle “Yeah, fate.”

“We should all go out.” Yee Li chirped, she reached into her pocked and offered Katara her phone “Can I get your number so we can plan something.”

Katara reached for the phone reluctantly “Sure.” And added her number.

Things were getting really strange really fast and Aang didn’t know how to stop it

Yee Li took the phone back “Great. Can I give you mine?”

“Oh, yeah.” Katara handed her the phone.

Aang was happy for the sound of someone coming down the hall, someone to draw attention away from this uncomfortable situation.

“Mom! Guess what!”

Aang turned to see a little boy release the hand of the woman he was walking with and start running toward them.

“Walking feet” The woman called after him, but the boy didn’t stop.

He looked at Katara, who had a bright blush across her cheeks. She turned and looked at the boy.

“I saw the Avatar.” He said as he skidded to a halt and bumped into her leg. He looked at the people in front of him and his mouth dropped. He grabbed her hand and whispered “It’s him.”

Katara brushed her hand across the boy’s wild hair. She spoke sweetly “Sweetie, Miss Nutha said for you to walk. You have to follow directions so you don’t get hurt.”

The boy turned to his teacher who had reached the group “Sorry Miss Nutha.”

“It’s okay.” She said with a smile. She bowed politely at Aang and Yee Lin and they did so in return “Half of the kids forgot their coats, so my Helper-of-the-day and I came to get them.” She turned to the boy “Come on.”

The boy didn’t move. He was looking at the Avatar. Katara looked at Nutha and waved a hand “He can stay a minute.”

She smiled “Okay.” And went into the gym.

Aang looked at the boy, then at Katara and back. Katara had a protective hand on The child’s shoulder, but she was looking into Aang’s eyes like she was trying to read his mind. She didn’t look away as she spoke to the child “Sweetie, this is Avatar Aang and Miss Yee Li.” She finally looked down at the boy, brushing her hand through his hair again “Guy’s, this is my son,” she looked at Aang again, a hint of moisture dancing in her eyes “Bumi.”

Yee Li stooped down to the boy’s level “Hi. How old are you?”

“Five.” The boy said shyly.

“You’re so tall.” She said in her chipper tone.

Nutha came back with an arm full of coats. Katara looked down at Bumi “Sweetie, go help Miss Nutha. If you don’t do your job, she and Ms. Misu might not give you a new one next week.”

“Okay Mom.” He went over and took the two coats his teacher was handing him “Bye Mr. Avatar.”

Aang forced a smile “Bye buddy.”

Chapter Text

Katara stood nervously in the entranceway, wondering how she would start. She had to tell him. She felt horrible for keeping this from him for so long.

They’d had that stupid argument and stopped talking. Even when he called her a month later she’d been too stubborn to answer the phone or call him back.

I should have. I should have called him back.

But she hadn’t, even after she realized she was pregnant. She decided that she could raise the baby alone just as her father had raised her and her brother alone. But she hadn’t taken the fact that her father had no choice into consideration.

She managed well. Her brother and father helped her often. Motherhood was tougher than she imagined, but nothing she couldn’t handle, until a week earlier.

“My Daddy’s getting on the plane today. He’s coming to see me for a whole week.” The little girl said as she placed a large block on top of the house she and Bumi was building.

“I don’t have a daddy.” Bumi said matter-of-factly.

Katara stopped in her tracks and looked at him. She sat the sandwiches on the table and walked over to them “Ming, why don’t you go wash your hands for lunch.”

“Okay.” The little girl said jumping to her feet and running to the bathroom. Katara caught Bumi’s hand as he went to follow “Wait, I want to ask you something.”

She walked him over to the couch and they sat down together “Sweetie, why did you tell Ming you didn’t have a daddy.”

The boy shrugged “Cause I don’t.”

Katara’s heart broke. This was her fault, she had to fix it “You do have a daddy Bumi,” she said, trying not to let her voice betray the guilt she was feeling.

Bumi looked confused “I never saw him.” He looked at his mother “You look sad. Did my daddy die like GranGran?”

“No Baby.” She gathered him into her arms “Your daddy is alive. He’s just…he’d been on a really long trip. I’m going to get in touch with him and see when he can come see you.”

The boy smiled, excitement dancing in his eyes “Really?”

She smiled “Really. But for now, let’s just keep that between us. Okay?”

“Okay Mom.” He hugged her and ran off to the kitchen with his friend.

She was lost in thought when she heard him “Katara. Hi.”

She fought the urge to pull at her low pony tail “Hi Aang. I heard you were here.” She stuck her hands in her pockets, trying to look relaxed and casual even though her stomach was doing backflips.

He was shifting his feet, and trying to make small talk. “Um, I’m sorry I didn’t call you back then.” She needed to get to the point. Ask him to meet her somewhere they could talk. “If you have some time later, maybe we can go to the coffee shop and talk.”

Then pretty, pretty Yee Li showed up, and then Bumi. Fate was grinding its heel into her and she knew deserved it. She knew the second Aang saw Bumi he would figure it out, the fact that the child was named in honor of his closest friend didn’t help either.

Aang could barely take his eyes off her and Bumi. She wanted to tell him everything right then and there, but it wasn’t the time or place.  And, to make matters worse, Yee Li was there. Katara knew she had to figure something out, but not right now. “I, uh, I better get back to my office.”

“Okay. We’ll be in touch.” Yee Li answered so pleasantly it made Katara sick. Why couldn’t she be unlikeable, it would make all this a tiny bit easier. Katara smiled, nodded, and walked away.

That was a disaster. It started out going well, then went awkward faster than a snowball rolling downhill. She hoped there was no one waiting in her office so she could wallow in her embarrassment in peace. Then she felt a hand catch her wrist. She turned and found herself looking into Aang’s face.

“What time can you come to the coffee shop.” There was an urgency in his voice, a desperation in his eyes.

 “A little after nine. Sokka won’t be able to come babysit until then.”

“I’ll be there.” He let her go and turned to walk back to Yee Li.

She played with her ponytail as she walked back to her office.

Chapter Text

Aang walked into the little coffee shop and looked around. Very little had changed since he, Katara and Sokka hung out there in their late teens and early twenties. He walked up to counter and ordered an espresso before heading to the booth in the back of the shop. He looked at his phone, he had fifteen minutes to get his nerves together before Katara got there.

Katara had a baby, his baby, there was no doubt about that. Bumi was five years old, and, if Aang’s math was right, his birthday had been in the past month. He missed his son’s birthday…five of them, because Katara didn’t see the need to tell him she was pregnant.

~

‘You’re late.” Katara snapped at her brother from the end of the hall as he let himself in.

He paused “Hi Katara. Yeah work was great.” He closed the door “No, I didn’t mind changing my plans at the last minute so I can babysit.”

Her shoulders sagged “I’m sorry.”

“So where are you going what’s so important.”

“I gotta go meet someone.” She said quickly as she pulled her coat on.

He blocked the door and crossed his arms “You mean I gave away pro-bending tickets so that you could go on a date?”

“It’s not a date, Sokka. Move. I don’t want to be late.”

“Then what’s so important?” he asked, planting his feet firmly on the ground and leaning on the door.

“I need to be in the coffee shop in five minutes.” She huffed “Move.”

“It’s right down stairs.”

“Sokka.” She growled.

He shrugged and crossed his arms “Guess you’re gonna be late.”

She turned her head to the side and mumbled “I’m going to meet Aang.”

Sokka twisted his head the side “You’re what?”

She looked at him “I’m going to meet Aang, okay.”

He reached behind him and opened the door. When his sister walked out he said, “About damn time.”

~

Katara walked to the little coffee shop next to her apartment building. She went there nearly every day but, in that moment, she was nervous to walk in. She knew that Aang had been stewing over the situation for hours and, by now, he was probably ready to yell at her and storm out.

That’s what they did, air benders, deflect and evade. It always pissed her off when they were training, and it still did. That’s why she’d stop talking to him, instead of finishing the argument and dealing with the consequences he danced around the subject and left.

The argument she built up in her head bolstered her courage. She walked in and spotted him sitting in the booth in the corner, their booth. She spoke to the barista, then went over to him.

“Hi, Aang.”

He looked up at her, “Hi.”

Katara sat down across from him “Sorry I’m late, Sokka cut it a little close.”

“Actually, you’re right on time.”

She smirked “Good.” She laced her fingers on the table in front of her and twiddled her thumbs for a moment, then she looked up at him. It was time to get to the point “I’m sorry you met Bumi like that. I wanted to sit you down and talk to you first.”

He looked down at the table and exhaled. Then he asked the first thing that popped into his mind “Why’d you wait so long.”

 She looked at him. He was so calm it was eerie “When I first found out I was still mad. Then I was just being hard headed.” She sighed. It was so hard to admit this “Then I was scared.”

Aang looked up at her. He had never known Katara to be afraid of anything “What were you scared of.”

She exhaled “That you wouldn’t believe me, or you would think he wasn’t yours,” she didn’t want to tell him her biggest fear, but she’d kept it all for too long. It was time to put it all out on the table “or that you wouldn’t want him.”

Aang was taken aback “Why would you think I wouldn’t want my own kid?”

Katara opened her mouth, then she closed it and turned her head.

“Katara. Tell me.” He urged.

She didn’t look at him “I was scared you wouldn’t want him because you didn’t want me.” She tried not to let the tear fall, but it rolled down her cheek.

He was confused “What makes you think I didn’t want you?”

She finally looked at him, “You basically said it.”

“I never said that.” He defended, a hint of anger in his voice.

She didn’t like his tone “You said you couldn’t change your life for me.”

He started at her, his mouth agape. Had he really said that? “That’s not what I meant.”

She held her head down again “That’s what you said.”

Now he understood why that argument all those years ago went south so fast. Katara thought that he was saying that he didn’t want to be with her. He put his hands on top of hers and spoke gently “Katara. Will you look at me?” she looked at him “That’s not what I meant. I guess it just didn’t come out right. What I meant was I was still trying to get the hang of all this diplomatic and Avatar duty stuff and I couldn’t change anything, not even for you.” He squeezed her hand “I wanted to be with you. I’ve spent years wishing we would cross paths again so I could tell you I loved you.”

Katara smiled a bit, then she remembered Yee Li. She pulled her hands away “And then you met Yee Li, and now you love her.”

“I…” Aang bit his lip “I don’t exactly know how I feel about her.” he confessed. He didn’t know why he was spilling his guts to Katara. “We’ve been dating for a few months. This is the first time we’ve been on a trip together.” He shook his head “When she asked if she could tag along I started to tell her no, but I just couldn’t.”

Katara sat back farther and dropped her hands into her lap “So, does she know where you are now?”

“No.”

“What did you tell her?”

“That I was taking my glider out for a while.” He tapped the collapsed glider beside him.

“Why didn’t you tell her the truth?”

“I didn’t know how to. What was I supposed to say? Hey Honey. I’m going to see the girl I unknowingly knocked up to talk about the lovechild I just found out about today.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have put it like that.”

They were quiet for a moment. Aang smiled at the thought of Bumi “How is he.”

Katara smiled “He’s great. He’s smart, and active, and imaginative.”

Aang laughed “So he’s hyper and he tells wild stories.”

Katara laughed “How’d you kow?”

“Because that’s how my teachers used to describe me.”

“He’s more like you than I thought.” Her smile faded “I’m sorry you’re just getting to meet him.”

“Yeah.” Aang said, his face becoming serious “I am too. Does he know about me?” Katara sadly told him the story of how she decided she needed to get in touch with him. Aang deflated more “I hate that he felt like that.”

She shook her head “It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”

“What are you going to tell him?”

“I want to tell him the truth, if that’s okay with you?”

He smiled “I want that more than anything else. Can I be there when you tell him?”

“I’d like that.”

He grinned “Can we tell him tonight?”

Katara laughed “He’s asleep right now.”

“Well can I see him? I promise I won’t wake him up.”

~Sure. Just let me order something for Sokka and we can go.”

“Great.”

Aang watched Katara slide out of the booth and go to the counter. He pulled out his phone and texted his girlfriend:

                Ran into some old friends. Don’t wait up.

Then grabbed his glider and walked over to the counter. The barista glanced from Katara, to him and back and smiled as she handed Katara the drink “Here you go.” She raised her eyebrows at Katara a couple of times “Have a good night.” She said suggestively.

“You stop that.” Katara said with an embarrassed giggle “It’s not like that.”

She looked at Aang “Sure it’s not.” And winked. Aang blushed and she giggled. She leaned on the counter “Tell that sexy ass brother of yours I said ‘Hi’.”

Katara shook her head and started walking away “You’re sick, you know that?” Aang followed her.

Chapter Text

She felt the tension when she walked into the entryway. At first she chalked it up to them being old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while, but it felt like more. Then little Bumi showed up. The little boy looked so much like Aang, especially his eyes. They were this grayish blue and reminded her of a stormy sea. She always told Aang that she loved the way his eyes looked like the sky before a storm.

Yee Li wondered immediately why Aang didn’t tell her, but when she saw his face, she knew. Aang hadn’t told her because he didn’t know himself.

On the ride back to the hotel she wanted to ask him questions, but she wasn’t sure how to approach it, so she didn’t say anything. She would leave it up to him to tell her. Instead she talked to him about what it was like to be in the audience with the children and their teachers while he spoke. He held up his end of the conversation, but it was half-hearted, and he was even more quiet when they got back to the room.

Aang meditated for an unusually long time, then took a shower, got dressed and said he was going out for a glide. She knew better. Yee Li knew he was going to meet Katara, but she didn’t get why he felt like he had to lie about it. He wasn’t gone very long before she got a text.

Ran into some old friends. Don’t wait up.

She frowned at her phone. Why did he feel the need to tell her half-truths? Was this something that Aang did? He certainly didn’t seem like the lying type. He’d been open and honest until this point, now he’s sneaking around and lying.

Yee Li was starting to upset herself, so she called her friend Won Yee to talk about it.

“And how do you know this kid is his?” Won Yee asked.

“Its obvious. Bumi looks so much like him, it’s eerie.” Yee Li answered.

“And what does that mean? Yee, he’s the Avatar. I’m surprised he hasn’t had this issue before. Girls love to claim they have babies for famous men.”

“Katara seems nice.” Yee Li defended “I don’t think she’s like that.”

Won Yee sighed “So she just happens to come out of the blue after all these years and she has his kid. Come on Yee Li, don’t be stupid.”

“What can I do about it. He hasn’t even told me anything yet, I figured it out. What if he doesn’t say anything about it””

“Then tell him that you know. Tell him that it’s obvious what’s going on and that he needs to go have a DNA test before he does anything.”

Yee Li was hesitant, but she knew that her friend had a point. There were a lot of unscrupulous people in the world, and, although it didn’t seem like it, Katara could be one of them. “I’ll think about it. Thanks”

“You know I’m just looking out for you, right.”

“I know. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay. Keep me updated.”

Yee Li nodded “I will. Bye.”


 

Bumi laid across the twin sized bed, his head half off the pillow, his mouth wide open and snoring like a 50-year-old man. Aang stood at the bedroom door smiling.

“He’s amazing.” He said quietly, worried he would wake the boy.

Katara laughed “He sleeps like Sokka.”

Aang smiled “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Katara shook her head and walked away, but Aang didn’t notice. He was too busy admiring Bumi. His son Bumi, who was the most amazing thing he’d ever laid eyes on in his life.  He turned around when he heard Katara clear her throat.

She looked up at him, almost shyly “I think you should have this.” She held a thick, royal blue book out to him.

“What’s that?” he asked, looking at book, then back to her.

“Come on.” She held the book to her chest with one hand and took his with the other “I’ll show you.”

Aang followed Katara down the hall, closing his hand around hers. She’d forgotten that feeling; his hand wrapped around hers, strong yet gentle. But then she thought about those times when his grip was just strong and came with the sound of her name groaned into her ear.

She bit her lip as they entered the living room and fought back the blush that was spreading across her cheeks. This was not the time to be thinking about sex; those times were over. Now was the time to talk about Bumi. She released his hand and they sat on the couch.

Sokka walked by whistling. He paused and announced “I’m crashing here tonight. See ya later.”

Katara looked to the doorway “Where are you going?”

“Coffe shop.” He answered with a wink and a couple of clicks of his tongue.

Katara shook her head and laughed “Tell Amaka I said Hi.”

He opened the door “I’ll be back.”

“Alone!” Katara called out and Aang laughed as Sokka closed the door.

Katara rubbed her hand across the cover of the book then handed it to Aang. He took it, sat it in his lap, then opened it. There was a picture of Katara, visibly tired and happier than he’d ever seen her She was holding a newly born Bumi in her arms.

He looked at the picture for a moment, trying to control the ache in his heart and the emotion, then he looked back at Katara “I can’t take this.”

He looked heartbroken, but Katara forced a smile onto her face “Yes you can.” She looked down at the picture “I lived it.” She looked up at him “It’s my fault you didn’t. I have copies of all of the pictures, you should have these.”

He looked at her for a moment, then nodded before he started flipping through the pages. There were pictures of feedings, bathtimes, playtimes, storytimes, every milestone and many happy moments. The farther Aang got into the book, the sadder he got, the angrier he got. He’d missed five years that he didn’t have to, that he never would have had he know he had a child. He couldn’t take it anymore. He shut the book and closed his eyes “I missed so much.” He whispered to himself.

Katara felt ashamed “I’m sorry.”

He didn’t look at her “I, uh, didn’t bring a bag or anything. Can I leave this here and come and get it tomorrow?” he stood up.

She stood up, her head down “Yeah…okay.” He started walking and she followed him to the door “We’ll tell him when you get back.”

He put his hand on the doorknob, then looked back at her “What time should I come?”

She looked up, but not into his eyes. She just couldn’t “Whenever you want. We don’t have any plans for tomorrow.”

He quietly said “okay” and left.


 

Aang landed on the balcony of his and Yee Lee’s hotel room and looked out over the Southern Water Tribe. His life was completely different than it had been 12 hours ago, and he hadn’t really taken the time to talk to anyone about it. He decided that he’d call Gyatso when the sun came up, but, for now, he needed to talk to Yee Li. She deserved to know what was really going on.

He turned to knock on the glass door, but saw her walking up to open it for him. He pasted a pleasant smile on his face as she opened the door.

“Did you have a good time with your friends.” She asked sweetly, closing the door when he walked in.

He leaned his staff against the wall and took her hand “Li. I need to tell you something.” He walked her over to the bed and they sat down together. He looked away and took a deep breath.

“What is it Aang?” she asked, concern written all over her face.

He steadied his nerves and looked at her “Before I left the last time I was here Katara and I had-“

He was drawing his words out, so she decided to help him along “Sex?”

Aang stretched his eyes for a second and embarrassment showed on his face. He scratched the back of his head “Well, it was more than sex.”

Yee Li raised an eyebrow “A relationship?”

He shrugged “Not quite a relationship.”

“An affair?” she pressed.

“Well I wouldn’t call in affair. That sound like an old married couple cheating on each other.”

Yee Li pulled her hand away and crossed her arm “Aang.” She called him in frustration.

“Sorry. The point is, we had a…something, and it didn’t end well. We had this big, stupid misunderstanding and we haven’t talked since. Until today, that is. When I left here I went to talk to her.” He was rambling, he knew he was, but it wasn’t easy for him to get right to the point.

The more Aang talked, the more it sounded like he had feelings for Katara. She crossed her arms tighter across her chest “And what did you talk about?”

He held his head down “We talked about the past, and the misunderstanding,” he looked at her “and Bumi.”

“So, you think he’s your son?” she asked.

“He is.” He answered matter-of-factly.

“Are you sure?” she challenged.

Aang looked at her, his brows furrowed “Yes. Katara said-“

“Katara seems nice and all,” Yee Li interrupted “but you never know.”

He was offended “I know.” He sat up “Katara is the most straightforward person I know. If she says Bumi is my son, then he is my son.”

Yee Li unfolded her arms and drew back “Why are you getting so defensive?” she snapped “I’m just trying to help you. All I’m trying to say is maybe a DNA test is in order.”

“I don’t need that. I trust Katara’s word.”

She huffed “You’re mighty anxious to accept whatever Katara says.”

He stood up “And why wouldn’t I?”

She stood up and got into his face “I don’t know, maybe because she lied to you for five years.”

Aang stared at Yee Li for a long moment. As much as he hated to admit it, she had a point. He plopped down on the bed “You’re right. I’ll talk to Katara.” 

He started standing up “I’ll go back over there-”

“You don’t have to do that.” She reached over and got her phone “I have her number, remember.”

Aang looked at the rose gold phone and sat down “Oh yeah, I forgot.” he took it from her, stood up and started walking to the door.

Yee Li stood up “Where are you going?”

“Outside. To call Katara.” He realized she wanted him to make the call with her there. He squinted at her “I think I better handle this alone.”

She sat on the bed “Oh. Okay.”

Aang shook his head a bit and walked out the balcony door.

Yee Li watched him take a deep breath then make the call. Aang looked at her, then turned his back. His posture said it all, Katara was not the least bit pleased and she was letting him know it. He was also nodding way more than she liked. When he took the phone from his ear she turned and acted like she’d been watching TV.

“How’d it go.”

He threw the phone on the bed as he walked by and plopped down on the couch “She’s going to text a time and address. She knows someone who works at a lab and she may be able to get them to process everything tomorrow.”

Yee Li couldn’t believe her ears “You’re going to trust her to set everything up with her friend? Aang, really?”

“Look!” Aang said louder than he meant to. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temple “I just want this done, and the sooner the better. If she can get this over with, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’m sure this person wouldn't risk their job and reputation for Katara.” He laid down and turned his face to the back of the sofa “It’s been a long day. Please wake me up when the text comes.”

“Aren’t you coming to bed?”

“No.”

Her shoulders sagged as she exhaled “Aang, I’m sorry, but it’s best that you know for sure now instead of wondering your whole life.” He didn’t say anything. She stood up and walked over to where he laid, perching herself on the sliver of space behind him. She rested her hand on his arm “Please don’t be mad at me. I was just thinking about what was in your best interest.”

“I know.” He mumbled

She leaned over him “I didn’t want to upset you.”

He turned over and she slipped onto his chest “I know you didn’t.” he rested his hand on her back “Today was just a lot to take in.”

“I know it is.” She slid up and kissed his cheek then whispered in his ear “Maybe we can end it on a better note.” she slid her hand down his chest “Maybe I can make you feel better.”

He smiled “Maybe you can.”


 

Aang walked into the office and saw Bumi sitting on a stool with his back to the door. The technician was swabbing his cheek. Before he could walk all the way in Katara pushed him back into the hallway.

“You need to stay out of sight.” She sniped at him. “I don’t want you around Bumi until you know for sure you want to be in his life.”

He blinked at her “Why wouldn’t I want to be in his life.”

She pursed her lips at him “One minute you’re excited to tell him you’re his dad, and the next your calling me for a DNA test. I need you to make up your mind, because you will not jerk that little boy around.”

Aang wanted to argue, but he couldn’t. Katara had a point. He nodded his head. When the door started opening, he slipped behind it.

“Mom, that was gross, but the lady gave me this.” He held up a sucker “Can I eat it now?”

Katara put her hand on Bumi’s back “After breakfast. Dad has everything ready.”

They turned to leave and saw Yee Li walking down the hall. Katara cut her eyes, what was she there for? She was the one who put this idea in Aang’s head and Katara knew it. What was worse, he was silly enough to listen to it.

“Good morning Guy.” Yee Li said to Bumi as she stopped in front of them.

“Hi Lady. Is the Avatar here too?”

Yee Li looked up confused, then she saw Aang step from behind the door and shake his head. She looked back at the boy “No, he’s resting.” She glanced at Katara “yesterday was a very exciting day for him.” She stooped down to Bumi “so, what are you up to today.”

“We’re going to eat breakfast with Gramp and Uncle Sokka.”

She smiled “That sounds great.” She stood up and looked at Katara “Have fun.”

Katara cut her eyes “You too.” And nudged Bumi to start walking.

The tech came back to the door “Oh, Katara, do you want me to email the results to you when everything is done?”

Katara looked over her shoulder “Send them to him.” She looked at Aang “I know what it says.”

The technician looked at Aang “Well didn’t you grow into a handsome young man.”

Aang looked at the woman for a moment, then smiled “Malina?”

She smiled “Come on in, lets get this out of the way.”

They walked into the office and Malina directed Aang to sit on stool and open his mouth. As she swabbed his cheek Yee Li asked, “How do you all know each other?”

Malina took the swab, put it in a tube and closed it off “I used to date Katara’s dad a while back.” She handed Aang a post-it pad and a pen “Write your email address down for me.” She turned to Yee Li and patted Aang on the back “This one spent a lot of time at Hakoda’s house.” Aang handed her the pad and pen. “Ok. I should have it by this afternoon.”

“Thanks, Malina.” Aang hugged her. “I’ll stay in touch.”

“You’d better.” She patted his back “But I don’t want to see you for this again.”

He chuckled as they released each other “You won’t.”

 

Chapter Text

It was late afternoon when the email came. Aang looked at the numbers and codes that he didn’t understand and went on to the part he was looking for.

The alleged father, Aang Nima, is not excluded as the biological father of the tested child, Bumi Tibeluk.

Based on testing analyses of DNA loci listed, the probability of paternity is 99.9998%.

He showed it to Yee Li, then called his adopted father, Gyatso, to tell him about the last two days.

“Gyatso?” Aang said when Gyatso didn’t say anything. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” The old man said in his cool way “I’m just a bit shocked…shocked, but not surprised.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I knew that you and Katara were together at one time or another, I just wasn’t sure when. I also always felt that you two would have a family together eventually. Perhaps not like this, but the  boy is here now.”

Aang smiled a bit “Yeah, he is.”

Aang was quiet, Gyatso asked “Well, when can I come see him?”

“Um, I don’t know. Katara’s not so happy with me right now. I think she thinks I didn’t believe Bumi was mine, and it wasn’t like that. It was just that Yee Li had a point.”

“Did she?”

Aang paused for a moment “Yes, she did. Why would you ask that?”

“Well, son, I don’t know the young lady, but do you think what she said was really in you’re best interest, or was it out of distrust of your relationship with Katara.”

“Yee Li isn’t like that, Gyatso.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Aang hesitated “I am. I would have had do it eventually. I mean the Avatar has a kid out of the blue, I’d have to come up with some answers.”

“If you say so.” The man said “I think Appa and I will head that way. Katara’s upset with you, not us.”

Aang pursed his lips “That’s real nice Gyatso.”

The old man laughed.


“Hi, it’s me.” Aang said, trying to sound chipper.

Katara didn’t share his enthusiasm “So I guess you got the results.”

“Yeah, I did.”

Katara huffed and rolled her eyes “I suppose you want to see him now.”

Aang smiled a bit “I’d like that, if you don’t mind.”

Katara was quiet for a bit “You’re at my door right now, aren’t you?”

He chuckled “Yeah, we are.”

“We?” Katara snapped. Hadn’t she meddled enough. Couldn’t Yee Li just let Aang and Bumi have this time and butt out.

Aang heard the disdain in Katara’s voice “Yes.” He answered simply. He didn’t want Yee Li to know that Katara was upset, and he didn’t want to tell Katara that Yee Li had invited herself along and he didn’t have the heart to tell her no.

“We’re still at Dads.” Katara grumbled “Do you remember how to get here.”

“Yes. We’ll be there in a few.”

“Great.” She said sarcastically.


Aang drove out to the edge of town. He was enthusiastic. He’d get to spend time with Bumi, and it would be great to see Hakoda and Sokka again. And, even though she was angry with him, he wanted to see Katara. Things could feel like old times.

He looked over at Yee Li; maybe not so much like old times.

He pulled into the driveway and put the car into park. Yee Li asked, “Is this it?”

He looked up at the large cabin and smiled “This is it.”

Aang thought about the last time he’d been there, the night he and Katara argued. He thought about earlier that night, before they’d gotten into that cursed conversation. He smiled at the thought.

“You have some good memories here, huh?” Yee Li asked.

He nodded. He’d spent so much of his teenage years at Hakoda’s house, but that wasn’t the memory on his mind. He was thinking about Katara, in his lap, the two of them sweaty and naked as the day they were born. He wondered if that was the night Bumi was conceived.

“Let’s go.” Aang said and he opened his door.

They walked up to the door “I didn’t know cabins were this nice. I thought they were all dirty places in the woods.”

He laughed “No. Most of them are really nice.” He rang the doorbell.

Hakoda opened the door and gave polite smile “Hello Aang.”

“Hi sir,” he said with a bow. He stepped aside “This is my girlfriend, Yee Li. Yee Li, this is Katara’s father, Hakoda.”

Hakoda looked at Aang and raised an eyebrow, then he looked at Yee Li.” Hello. Welcome.”

“Thanks for having us.” She chirped.

Hakoda stepped aside and let them in. He led them to the den at the back of the house where Katara was standing at the window looking out.

“Hi.” Aang said quietly.

Katara exhaled and turned around “Hello.”

The two just looked stood stiffly and looked at each other. Hakoda knew they needed a moment alone. He turned to Yee Li “Why don’t I show you around.”

“That sounds great.” She said “I’ve never been in a cabin before.” She looked at Aang.

Hakoda saw her about to say something and he interrupted “I’m very proud of our cabin. My father and I built it when the kids’ mom and I got married.” He offered her his arm. She looked at Aang again, but he was still focused on Katara. Hakoda stepped closer and whispered “Young lady, I think they need a moment to settle things, don’t you?”

Yee Li looked a Hakoda, then put her hand loosely on his arm “I bet everything is as beautiful as the outside.”

Katara watched her father and the interloper walk away then she looked at Aang “She’s a little slow on the uptake, isn’t she?”

Aang sighed “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Take your anger at me out on Yee Li.”

“I’m not.” She said “That’s my anger at her.”

Aang shook his head “That’s so petty. You can’t be mad at her because we’re dating.”

Katara let out a harsh chuckle “You can’t be serious.” He obviously was “Come on Aang. I know she’s the one who put the idea of a DNA test in your head.

He looked at her dumbfounded. He knew he couldn’t deny it. “She had some very valid points.”

“I didn’t know jealousy was a valid point.”

Aang drew back “Excuse me?”

Katara crossed her arms “You saw her, she wasn’t going to budge an inch without you. Why is she here anyway?”

“She’s my girlfriend.

“Yeah? For how long?” Katara challenged.

Aang squinted at her “Why does that matter to you?”

“It matters to me because I don’t want Bumi getting attached to her, then she’s gone and there’s somebody else.”

“Oh, because I’m sure you haven’t had men in and out of his life.”

She glared at him and landed her hands on her hips “haven’t. In all his life he’s met one guy I’ve been dating and that’s only because we ran into him at the store. I don’t let men just galivant in and out of my son’s life.”

Aang’s brows furrowed “Our son.” He corrected.

“Oh. You’re ready to claim him now, or are you two going to decide tomorrow that DNA results aren’t good enough.”

Aang huffed and looked out of the window behind Katara. He saw Bumi run across the far end of the yard, laughing as Sokka ran not far behind him. His face softened as he thought about how that should have been him playing outside with the boy.

He looked at Katara “I’m sorry I asked for the test. I always believed you, I just needed to have proof. If Yee Li had questions, I know others would too.

She dropped her hands to her side “You could have told me that.”

“There was so much going on yesterday. I couldn’t think straight.” He smirked at her “maybe we need to go to counseling to work on our communication skills.”

She snorted “We?”

“Okay, maybe just me.”

Katara laughed and walked over to Aang. She reached out and took his hand “Come on.” She walked him to the door and told him to stop there, then walked out onto the deck “Bumi, come here Sweetie.” Bumi ran toward her and she met him at the bottom of the steps. Sokka wasn’t far behind him.

 She got nervous for a second, then she saw Sokka look at Aang standing at the door, then look at her and give her a thumb up. She smiled “Bumi, remember I told you that I would call your dad and tell him to come and visit.”

Excitement lit in the child’s eyes “Yeah. Is he coming?”

Katara smiled “He’s here, and he can’t wait to see you.” She took her son’s hand and they walked up the steps together. She stopped midway and gestured to Aang to come outside.”

Aang stepped out slowly, nervous as could be, and smiling at Bumi. The boy looked at the man “Hi Mr. Avatar. Did you bring my dad?”

Katara chuckled and stooped down beside him “Bumi,” he looked at her “Aang is your dad.”

Bumi looked at Aang, then looked back to Katara, confused “Really?”

Katara nodded at the boy and he walked up to Aang, slowly and shyly. He extened his finger and beckoned his father closer. Aang stooped down to him and Bumi whispered “I’m really glad you’re my daddy.”

Aang’s eyes went wide and tears welled in them, but he fought them back “I’m really glad I’m your daddy too.”

Bumi held his head down “Can I give you a hug?”

Aang opened his arms “I’d like that very much.”

Bumi smiled and then his little mouth turned down and tears fell from his eyes as he launched himself into his father’s chest. Aang couldn’t hold back any more.

“I’m here buddy.” He said though his tears “I’m here.”

Chapter Text

“I’d love to show you the basement, but that’s Sokka’s apartment now.” The man chuckled as he lead his guest back through the house “Tui only knows what down there looks like.”

Yee Li laughed “That’s alright. Your home is beautiful.”

“Thank you. It just feels empty with just me and Sokka here. I told Katara she and Bumi can have the upstairs, but she wants to stay in town.”

“Maybe she just wanted to see what it’s like to be on her own. I know I couldn’t wait to have a place that was all mine. She may change her mind later.”

Hakoda continued to walk, saying something about the house, but Yee Li didn’t hear him. She stopped when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. It was Katara taking Aang’s hand into hers.

The two of them looked at each other so tenderly. Yee Li’s heart broke, there was obviously still some kind of love between the two of them. She watched Katara turn and Aang follow her to the door where he stopped and watched her go farther out onto the porch.

She was about to do it right then, Katara was about to tell Bumi Aang was his father. Yee Li took a step to go to him. She wanted to be there with Aang for this moment, to share with him if things went well, or support him if they didn’t. She moved to go to him, but she felt a hand land on her shoulder.

“Let him have this.” Hakoda said quietly “The first time you see your child is a special one, and, from what I heard, his wasn’t ideal.” Yee Li turned and looked at Hakoda who had a sweet smile on his face. “Let him have this moment for him and Bumi.”

She just looked at Hakoda, not wanting to admit he was right. Aang and Bumi deserved this time that Katara had cheated them out of. It wasn’t fair to either of them that things had to go like this.

She watched as Aang walked out. She and Hakoda stepped a little farther into the kitchen and watched quietly as Bumi walked up to Aang. The boy was timid at first, but he was in Aang’s arms quickly and they both cried with happiness. She took a picture.


Katara stood on the edge of the porch with tears in her eyes as Sokka took several pictures with his phone. She glanced up and saw Hakoda and Yee Li walk out onto the deck. Aang turned to his girlfriend.

“He’s glad I’m his daddy.” He said with a great smile on his face and his cheeks soaking wet. He wiped his palm across his face, then turned and brushed his thumb across Bumi’s cheeks to wipe his tears away. “I can’t wait for Gyatso and Appa to meet you.”


Katara sat on the middle step and smiled as she watched her son play with his father and uncle in the yard. This moment had taken far too long to happen, but she was grateful it was finally here.

She inhaled, taking in the smell of the meat in the smoker and vegetables on the grill. Her father and Yee Li had gone to the market down the street to get some things for dinner and came back with more food than even Sokka could eat. Hakoda said that this was a day to be celebrated.

She looked up and grinned as an old, familiar sound echoed through the air. “They’re here.” She announced watching the shadow move across the sky.

Bumi stopped and went to her “Who’s here?”

She looked at him and smiled “Gyatso and Appa. They were so excited to see you they came right away.”

Aang and Sokka walked up behind the boy “Who’s Yatso and Papa?”

The adults giggled at the cuteness. Aang said “Gyatso is my dad, and Appa is-“

“A big, hairy monster.” Sokka cut in with an eerie tone and his fingers clawed.

Katara hopped up and slapped her brother’s hand “You stop that.” She stooped down to Bumi “Appa isn’t a monster, he’s a flying bison.”

“Really?” the boy asked with wide eyes.

“Yes, really.” His mother answered, “And he is very gentle and nice.”

A loud bellow sounded and Bumi launched into Katara’s arms and looked up. He inhaled at the sight of the huge ball of fur coming towards them and buried his face in her arms.

Aang was worried, but he just watched as Katara rubbed Bumi’s back and spoke quietly to him until the boy raised his head and looked up as Appa landed in the middle of the yard. Aang held his hand out to the boy “Come on. I’ll take you to meet them.”

Bumi looked at Aang’s hand and snuggled closer to his mom. Aang’s face fell and he looked at Katara.

“Just give him a minute.” She said quietly.

Aang nodded sadly and looked over to his girlfriend. Yee Li walked with him to Gyatso and Appa.

Chapter Text

Aang tried to look happy, but he was hurt. He was Bumi’s father, but he was a stranger to the boy. Ever since he found out Gyatso was coming he could see himself walking hand in hand with his son. The two of them walking proudly together so that he could introduce Bumi to his grandfather. But now he was taking that walk with Yee Li.

Yee Li…he had gotten so caught up in how he was feeling he’d forgotten that this would be the first time Yee Li would be meeting Gyatso. And what a way for her to meet him. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand as they stopped and watched Gyatso bend himself down from Appa’s saddle.

Aang and Gyatso hugged each other “My Boy.” Gyatso laughed as he hugged Aang. They pulled apart “or do I have to call you Young Man now.”

Aang laughed “Whatever you want.” He let go of the man’s shoulders and turned to his right “Gyatso, this is Yee Li.”

Gyatso looked to the woman and smiled “What a lovely young lady.” He bowed a bit “It’s nice to meet you.”

She bowed in return “I’ve heard so much about you.” She chirped “It’s nice to meet you.”

He turned back to Aang “So He’s afraid of Appa?”

“Yeah,” Aang said sadly.  He went to Appa hugged his cheek “Hey Buddy, guess what.”

Yee Li and Gyatso smiled as Appa groaned in returned.

“I’ve got a son. His name is Bumi and I want him to meet you, but he’s a little scared.” Appa huffed. Aang turned to see Hakoda walking up to Gyatso.

“It’s good to see you again old friend.” Hakoda said as he hugged the older man.

“Yes.” Gyatso said “What an odd, but wonderful occasion.” He released Hakoda who moved out of the way for Sokka to greet the man. Gyatso laughed “You young people have a way of making me feel old.”

“No,” Sokka said with a grin “We’re just trying to be like you.”

“Hi Gyatso.” He heard from behind Sokka. He looked to see Katara walking toward him hand in hand with Bumi.

He took a few steps to meet them “Katara.” He sighed with a smile and his head slightly tilted “You’re even more beautiful than I remember.”

Katara chuckled “Thank you..” She hugged the man, Bumi still holding tight to her hand. She looked down to her son “Bumi, this is Gyatso. He is Aang’s dad.”

The boy looked at Katara, then Gyatso, then back at Katara “He’s a grandpa.” Bumi said matter-of-factly.

Gyatso laughed “Well, I am now.”  He bowed to the boy “I’m pleased to meet you, Young Bumi.”

Bumi smiled at the old man and bowed sheepishly in return.


They sat in chairs spread out across Hakoda’s deck and enjoyed the food from the grill. Everyone quietly smiled about the fact that Bumi, who at first wouldn’t budge from his mother’s side, had inched his way to where Aang was sitting and had settled himself beside his father in the lounge chair.

Little conversations were going on. Gyatso and Katara sat at the table and spoke quietly to each other. She looked solemn until he patted her hand and said something, then she smiled. Sokka and Hakoda stood at the grill, talking over the foil wrapped fish they had just placed on it Bumi and Aang sat in the lounge chair, Aang showing his son how to play a game on his phone.

Yee Li sat alone. The food was good, and she was happy to see that Aang and Bumi were bonding, but it was hard for her to be there. Everyone there knew each other, they all had this long history together or a familial connection and she felt like a third wheel. It was true that everyone was being nice to her, well, everyone except for Katara who was clearly acting like the other woman wasn’t there. She felt alone.

Every so often Aang would look over and smile at her. She’d never seen him so happy, so, every time he asked if she was alright or if she needed anything Yee Li would smile and say, “I’m fine.”

She looked around her. Hakoda and Sokka stood by the grill, drinking beers and talking. Yee Li thought they were nice, and rather pleasant to look at, even if they were a bit rough around the edges.

Gyatso and Katara sat at the table, talking and laughing with each other. Gyatso, Aang’s adopted father, seemed very sweet. She’d expect nothing more from the person who raised Aang.

Then there was Katara. She was nice enough, Yee Li supposed, but she was untrustworthy. Why did everyone like her so much?

Beautiful. Gyatso called Yee Li ‘lovely’ but Katara was ‘more beautiful than he remembered’. She was cute, sure, but beautiful was pushing it. Maybe Gyatso was just being a nice old man.


Time went by all too fast. As it started getting late, Hakoda told Gyatso that he was welcome to stay there. After all, where would Appa be able to sleep in the city. As Katara gathered Bumi’s things, the boy ran up to Hakoda and kissed him on his cheek. “Good night GranPop. Have a good grandpa sleepover.”

Hakoda laughed “I will. You sleep well, okay.”

“I will.” He hugged Hakoda and looked over at Gyatso. “Goodnight Mr. Yatso.”

The old man laughed “Goodnight My Boy.” Aang looked at Gyatso and smiled.

“Alright Bumi. I’m ready.” Katara said as she came down the stairs “Did you say goodnight?”

“I am.” The boy called. He ran over to his uncle “Goodnight Uncle Sokka.”

“Goodnight buddy.”

He ran over to Yee Li “Goodnight Miss Yee.”

She smiled “Good night Handsome.”

He went to Aang and grabbed his hand “Come on. It’s time to go.”

Yee Li’s smile dropped. Everyone stopped and looked at Aang. He kneeled down “I have to go to my room, Bumi. I’ll come see you tomorrow.”

The boy pouted “But I want to have a sleepover too. You can sleep in my room.”

“But who will keep Yee Li company?” Aang asked.

Bumi looked at the woman “You can stay with Mom.”

Katara and Yee Li spoke at once “That’s not a good idea.”

Katara stepped up to where Bumi was “Sweetie, it’s past your bedtime and you’ll probably fall asleep in the car. Aang will come and have breakfast with you,” she looked at the man “Won’t you Aang.”

He looked at the boy “I sure will. I’ll be there bright and early, maybe even before you wake up.”

But that wasn’t what the child wanted to hear. He threw his arms around Aang’s neck “No. I want you to go with me.”

Aang was flabbergasted. Bumi had a tight grip on his neck and was crying hysterically and screaming “No.” as Katara, first, tried to cajole him into letting go, then physically tired to get Bumi to relax the death grip he had on Aang’s neck.

“I’ll go. Don’t cry. It’s okay.” He rushed out to get his son to stop crying.

“You will?” the boy said, letting go. He was red in the face with a runny nose.

Aang took a breath rubbing at his red neck “Yes, I will.”

Katara cut her eyes at Aang “Bumi. Go up clean your face.” She said in a stiff voice.

The boy didn’t care about the fact that that voice usually meant he was in trouble. He was having a sleepover with his dad. He ran off to the bathroom.

Katara stood up with a look on her face that could freeze alcohol. Sokka’s eyes stretched. “Yeah. I better go help the kid before there’s snot everywhere.”

Hakoda was no fool “I’ll go with you.” The men rushed out of the room, Gyatso followed them quietly.

Katara stepped to Aang “I know you’re new to this,” she said, trying to keep her calm “but you can’t give into him when he throws a fit. He has to know that he can’t always have his way.”

“It’s not a big deal.” Aang defended “Like you said, he’ll fall asleep in the car. I’ll tuck him in, then I’ll leave and be back before he wakes up in the morning. No big deal.”

“And when he does that tomorrow? What about when you have to go back home?”

“I’ll figure it out.”

Katara scowled at him and rolled her eyes “Whatever.” She turned and walked away.

He turned to Yee Li “I’m sorry. I’ll come to the room as soon as he’s settled.”

She smiled “Don’t apologize. You’re doing the right thing.”

“I hope so.”

“You are.” She said trying to assure him…and herself.

Chapter Text

Aang sat in the back seat with Bumi who had fallen asleep with a contented smile on his face before they were off Hokoda’s street. Katara, however, was irritated. She understood that Aang was inexperienced, but the fact that he buckled so easily irked her to no end.

Katara looked into the rearview mirror. Bumi was asleep, his head to the side and his mouth slightly open. Aang brushed the hair out of Bumi’s face. He was looking at him with fascination, awe, and what can only be described as love. She looked at the road and remembered a time that Aang looked at her something like that.

It wasn’t the first time she’d thought of those memories. They used to come to her often, not so much lately, usually late at night when she was alone.

Things didn’t have to be like this.

The thought skittered through her mind so quickly it surprised her. Tears filled her eyes, but she held them back and wiped them away before they could fall. I can’t do this right now.

“Katara?” Aang’s voice brought her out of her thoughts “Are you okay?”

She gripped the wheel tight and looked out at the road “Yeah.” She answered simply.

He knew she was lying; he could see her eyes in the mirror “I don’t believe that.”

She glanced into the mirror, cutting her eyes at him “Why would you ask me something if you weren’t going to believe my answer?”

“I…I thought, maybe, you would want to talk about it and that would give you an opening.”

“Well, I don’t want to talk about it.”

He looked at her eyes in the mirror. She was still lying “Okay.”

They rode quietly for a while then Katara said “We’ll be there soon. He’ll probably wake up just enough to use the bathroom and stumble to his bed.”

Aang looked at Katara’s eyes in the mirror, they still looked sad “Okay. Then we can talk about all of this; like maybe we can figure this whole situation out.”

“Not tonight.”

He tilted his head and leaned to the side to look at the side of her face “Wouldn’t this be the best time, while it’s just us?”

He was right, but she didn’t want to admit it “Maybe tomorrow.”

“Why?”

She ignored him.

Aang carried Bumi up to the apartment. Once they got inside, he put the boy down and Bumi staggered off to the bathroom and then to his bed just as Katara said he would. Katara mentioned something about Bumi taking a bath in the morning. Aang took Bumi’s shoes off and tucked him in as promised.

Aang stood at the bedroom door and watched Bumi sleep. Katara walked back by. “Am I being weird?”

She stopped and smiled a little “No. I still do it sometimes.” She turned to walk away.

He turned a bit “Why won’t you talk to me?

She stopped but didn’t look back “I’m talking to you now.”

He sighed “You know what I mean.” She turned and looked at him, then walked away. He followed her into the kitchen “I’m not going to let this go.”

Katara sat down at the kitchen table “I told you we can talk tomorrow.”

“I don’t accept that. We need to talk now.”

“No, what you need to do is go to your room where your girlfriend is waiting for you.”

Aang chuckled “That’s the problem, isn’t it? You don’t like seeing me with Li.”

Katara was fuming “When did you turn into such a pompous prick?”

“When you turned into a jealous ex.”

“I’m not jealous of you and your little girlfriend, believe that.” Katara stood up and started walking toward him “Time for you to go. I’ll show you to the door.”

“I don’t need you to do that.”

“Good,” she turned her back on him and walked back toward the table “then find your way out.”

He crossed his arms “Not until you talk to me.”

“Why?” she swung around “Why is it so important that we talk right now? Why can’t this wait until tomorrow.”

“Because I want some time to talk to you…alone. We need to talk. Just us. No interruptions, no distractions.

Katara looked at Aang. She figured she might as well get this over with. “Sit down”, Aang sat at the table. “do you want something to drink?”

He smiled at her “Yes.”

“Papaya juice?”

He smiled “I thought you didn’t like papaya.”

“I don’t, but Bumi does.” She put a glass on the table and poured the juice, then made herself a glass of water and sat down.

They sat quietly for a while. Katara shifted her glass around in her hands, watching the water swirl around inside. Aang looked at her, he couldn’t help himself. “I missed you.”

Katara shook her head as she looked up at him “We’re supposed to be talking about Bumi.”

Aang smiled “He’s amazing. I want to see him whenever I can. And I missed you.”

Katara sighed, closed her eyes and rubbed her temple “Aang, don’t do this.”

“I can’t help it.”

She looked at him “You need to.”

Aang put his hand on Katara’s “what if I don’t want to?”

Katara pulled her hand away from Aang, shaking her head, she got up and walked over to the refrigerator “And what would Yee Li think of that.”

Aang held his head down “I don’t know.” He looked back up at her “I just know how I feel.” He got up and walked to her “When I saw you at the school all I wanted to do was tell you that I should have stayed and talked it out. I wanted to tell you how much I missed you and nobody could ever take your place in my heart,” he stepped closer to her “or in my bed.”

Katara pressed her back against the refrigerator “Aang, don’t do this.”

“Then I saw Bumi and all I wanted was to be here with the two of you.” He put his hands around her upper arms “I don’t care what happened before, I just want to be here.”

“Even if what you’re saying right now is wrong?”

“How is it wrong? It’s how I feel, and I’m sure it’s how you feel.”

“You’re in a relationship.” Katara countered. Aang’s hands dropped to his sides “It doesn’t matter how I feel; I’d never come between the two of you. That’s not the type of person I am. And I hope that’s not the type of person you are."

Aang stepped back “You’re right. I can’t just hurt her like that.” He took another step back “She already thinks there’s something between us.”

Katara shook her head “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything. She can just…tell, I guess.”

“Then you need to set that straight.”

Aang nodded “I know.”

Chapter Text

It was a nice dream.

Aang, Katara and Bumi came home after a long day out. They sat at their little kitchen table and had dinner. While Bumi took his bath, Katara and Aang cleaned up. Bumi came in and kissed his parents goodnight before running off to bed.

After the child was asleep, the adults went off to their own bed to do the things that grown-ups do.

Aang opened his blurry eyes and saw the deep brown hair moving across his lap. He laid his head back. He thought he was awake, but the dream was still going. But it felt too real; her lips wrapped tight around his shaft, the warmth of her mouth, the flick of her tongue. He gripped the chair arm.

“Katara.” Slipped from his lips with a ragged moan.

She pulled away so quickly that he jumped. Aang looked up. Standing in front of him was a very naked, very angry Yee Li.  “What the FUCK, Aang!”

He was shocked, all Aang could say was “Yee Li.”

“Yes! Not KATARA!”

“Li. Listen.”

“Listen? Listen to what?”

“Well…I was dreaming and…”

Yee Li crossed her arms “So you’re dreaming about her?”

“Well…um…” there is no way he could explain his way out of this.

“And what happened to cause this dream? You were supposed to be spending time with your kid, not” she threw her hand up in frustration “…I don’t even want to think about what you did.”

He slid to the edge of the chair “Nothing happened.”

“And I’m supposed to believe that?”

“You should, because it’s the truth.”

She pursed her lips “Sure.”

“It is. Bumi fell asleep in the car, I carried him to the apartment and tucked him in and we talked.”

Yee Li cut her eyes at Aang “Talked about what?”

“Mostly Bumi and how we’re going to co-parent. Then I came back here, and I meant to watch TV. But I must have fallen asleep.”

“And you dreamt about her.”

“I can’t control my dreams. I don’t know, maybe being with everyone stirred up some old memories.”

“Maybe it stirred up some old feelings.” she rubbed her hand down her face “You’ve been acting different ever since we got here.”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Yes, you have. I understand you just found out you have a son, and that is a lot to digest, and I can deal with that. I just can’t deal with you and her.”

He stood up “There is no me and her.”

“Yes, there is. I’ve seen it. And now you’re calling out her name.” The anger finally turned into hurt and tears fell “What next?”

He stepped toward her with open arms and she stepped back “Nothing next. I slipped up. It won’t happen again.” She turned her back and he walked up behind her. “I promise. I admit, I loved Katara, for a long time, but now I’m with you and this is where I want to be.”

“Sure.”

“I mean it.” He sighed “Look, things between us ended on a real messed up note, and maybe I needed to get that out of my head, but it’s gone now. When I get home, I’ll make everything up to you.”

She cut her eyes at him over her shoulder “Don’t think you can charm your way out of this. I’m mad at you.”

He wrapped his arms around her “I know you are. I’m going to have to work hard to get back into your good graces.”

“You’d better. I can’t wait till tomorrow so we can get away from this place.”

“About that,” Yee Li pulled away from Aang and turned around “I’m staying for a while to spend more time with Bumi.”

“I can’t stay here. These were the last of my vacation days. I have to get back to work.”

“I know that, but I need to spend as much time as I can with my kid.”

Yee Li huffed “Him, or her?”

“I thought we were past this.”

“Apparently not.” She walked over and plopped on the bed.

He sat beside her “I’m telling you, there’s nothing between us. Katara would never come between a couple, she said so herself.”

Yee Li drew away from him “Oh, she did, did she? And why would she have to say something like that.” Aang just blinked at her. “You can’t get over her, can you?”

“I can.” He realized what he said “I have.”

She stared at him for a moment, then shook her head “I can’t do this.”

She stood up and he caught her hand “Li.”

She snatched her hand away “No. I can’t do this. If things are like this now, they’re only going to get worse.” She walked around the bed, threw on her night shirt and got under the covers, her back to him.

He placed his hand lightly on her hip “Let’s talk about this.”

“There’s nothing left to talk about.” She answered quietly, wiping the tears from her cheek.

Aang held his head down. He’d made a complete mess of everything with one word. He decided that he needed to give Yee Li time to cool off.

~

Aang came out of the shower hoping that Yee Li was in a better mood. He walked out of the bathroom and saw that she was still laying the same way.

“Are you asleep?” he asked quietly.

“No.” she answered in a sad whisper.

“I have to go so I can be there when Bumi wakes up.” She didn’t respond “I’ll be back so that we can go to lunch, talk maybe.”

“Don’t bother.”

He looked at her back and sighed “I’ll take my glider so you can get around.”

“Whatever?”

“I’ll see you when I get back.”

He stood there for a moment, but she didn’t say anything. He walked out.

“No…you won’t.”


 

His name fell from her lips in a combination of rapturous praise and a desperate plea. Katara reached up, gripping the back of his head and pulling him closer. She placed a quick kiss on his lips before their sweaty foreheads touched.

Aang held on to the headboard with one hand to keep it from banging against the wall, but it did so a few times anyway. He threw his head back.

“Katara. Katara?”

Her eyes popped open at the sound of tapping at her door.

“Katara? I’m here.” Aang’s voice came through the door.

Katara rubbed her hand up and down her face cursing the fact that she gave him her key so that he could just come in early that morning. “Yeah. Okay.” She said groggily.

“Sorry I woke you.”

“ ’S okay.” She pushed her hair away from her face, holding it back for a moment “Is Bumi up?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay.” She sat up and dragged herself to the edge of the bed. “I’ll be out in a few.”

Katara shuffled her way to the shower to wake herself up. Maybe a shower would wash that dream out of her head.

She hadn’t had a dream like that in a long time, and she’d never had one that vivid. It felt so real.

I should have told him to come in.

Katara groaned. These intrusive thoughts were getting to be too much. Her mind was betraying her, and her body was more than willing to follow. Things would have been so much better if she had just told him to get lost, then she wouldn’t have to think about him as much.

But Katara knew she couldn’t do that. She had already kept Aang and Bumi apart for too long, she had to do whatever it took to fix it.

She got out of the shower, dried off, threw on some clothes and walked out to the kitchen. Aang wasn’t there. She looked into the living room where he was sitting on the couch. Katara moved to the doorway.

“Good morning.” She said. He smiled at her.

That smile. Fuck him. Fuck him and his stupid hansom face…. well...not fuck him…or his face. What the fuck am I thinking?  

Aang sat up. A humored smile on his face “Katara. You’re wet.”

Her eyes stretched “Wha-What’s that supposed to mean?”

Aang walked up to her and bent the water from her hair and shirt and sent it into the kitchen sink. “I’ll never understand why you don’t take the time to dry off completely.” He smirked “What did you think I meant?”

She waved a dismissive hand “just heard you wrong. That shower didn’t wake me up as much as I thought.” She turned and went into the kitchen “You want some coffee or something?” If Bumi’s still asleep, he must have been really tied. It could be a while.”

He got up to follow her “Coffee sound good.”

Aang sat at the table as Katara put the coffee on. She walked to the table and sat across from him, putting her head down in the nest of her arms. She was still tired, and she wanted to go back to sleep-

-to finish that dream, because, apparently, it’s not going to happen today.

She slipped her head deeper into her folded arms until it hit the table and she groaned.

Aang tapped her arm and she peeked out “Are you alright?”

She propped her head on her arms “On Sundays I usually get to sleep until Bumi wakes me up. It’s the closest thing I get to sleeping in unless he’s with Sokka and Dad.”

“I’m here. You can go back to bed if you want.”

Not unless you come too. “No. I’m up now.” The coffee maker clicked off and she starts to get up.

Aang stood up quickly “I’ll get it. Where are the mugs?”

Katara tucked her face in her arms to cover her smile “Above the coffee maker.”

She watched him pour their drinks and sat up as he brought them over “Thanks.” He nodded and sat down. They took a few sips of their coffee. He looked so good sitting across from her. Something had to make her stop thinking about having sex with him. Oh yeah.   “Is Yee Li coming over later?”

Aang’s cheery disposition faded away “No…I don’t think so.”

Katara’s shoulders dropped “She’s mad at you about last night?”

“No. This morning. I said something stupid.”

He looked so sad. “Do you want to talk about it.”

He couldn’t tell Katara that he called her name out during a blow job, that would only make things worse, and more awkward. “No.”

She gave him a sympathetic smile. “It’s going to be alright. She probably just needs to cool off.”

“You think so?”

She nodded “Yeah. It’s been a rough couple of days. We’re all a little tender. It’ll be okay.”

Aang smiled. Katara really cared. “Thanks.”

He felt bad about the way he’d approached Katara the night before. The fact that Aang had called Katara’s name had him feeling like scum. He knew it must have made his girlfriend feel horrible. He wished that Yee Li would forgive him.


 

Aang went back to the hotel room and called out for Yee Li, she didn’t answer. He checked the bathroom and the balcony, but she wasn’t there, then he noticed a piece of paper on the bed. He sat down and read.

I thought about staying around to talk, but there’s nothing left to talk about. I was able to get on an earlier flight, so I’ll be on that.Don’t try to come after me, by the time you see this, I’ll be on the plane.

Tell Bumi goodbye for me. He’s a lucky little boy to have two parents who love him, and each other. I saw it at the school, and at her father’s house. You two have something I can’t describe. I can’t compete with that. I won’t compete with that.

I wish you could love me like you love her, but I know that’s not going to happen, so I’m taking myself out of the equation.

                                                                                                                                                                                   Yee Li

Chapter Text

It had actually been slow for a Monday. Mondays were usually the days where kids faked stomach and headaches to get out of class. There was one child who had a fever, but her mother had picked her up hours ago. Katara knew why it wasn’t busy. That particular Monday was an event day, and none of the kids wanted to miss out on one of those.

She spent the morning in the little office inside the nurse’s station going over shot records and noting those who needed boosters. The letters were printing when she heard the door open. She looked at the time and groaned, she knew exactly who it was.

“Break time already, huh Nutha?”

Her friend stuck her head in the door “No kiddos today?” She gave Katara a mischievous smile.

“One,” Katara pulled the papers out of the printer tray “she went home already.”

Nutha came in and leaned on the wall next to the desk “So?”

Katara folded the first letter “So what?”

Nutha crossed her arms “We’re doing this, huh?” Katara put the letter in an envelope “Okay.” She sat in the chair on the other wall “So the most interesting person showed up to Donuts for Dads today.”

Katara wrote the child’s name on the envelope “Sokka?”

“Yeah. And guess who was with him.”

Katara took a deep breath and turned to Nutha “Aang.”

Nutha leaned forward, her demeanor turned serious “I never asked who Bumi’s dad was because I didn’t know why it was this big secret, and I figured if you wanted me to know you would tell me. I thought maybe he was a bad person, or that something horrible had happened to you. I had never once thought that the Avatar was Bumi’s father.” She sat back “Like I knew you guys all hung out together, and it was obvious he had a huge crush on you from the day he showed up, but I never guessed.”

Katara shook her head “Nobody really did.”

They were both quiet for a bit, then Nutha said “So can I ask why he hasn’t been around?”

Katara looked at her and felt shame rise with her words “He and Bumi didn’t know about each other until a couple days ago.”

Nutha’s mouth dropped open as things pulled together “So when Bumi and I came to get the jackets-“

“That was their first time seeing each other.” Katara held her head down “I was just about to ask him to meet me so that I could tell him everything and then his little girlfriend came out and then you two came down the hall-“

“Oh my god, I can’t even imagine.”

“Hopefully you’re smarter than me and never have to.”

Nutha wanted to ask more, but Katara looked so down she decided to save the questions for another time “You should have come down today, they were so cute together. They’re so proud of each other.”

She smiled “Yeah. They’ve been together almost all weekend.”

“Oh really.” Nutha said with a smirk “And where did dear ole dad sleep?”

 “At the hotel, with his girlfriend.”

She sighed “What a shame.”

They heard the door open “Hello?” Aang’s voice called out.

Katara stretched her eyes at Nutha “He’s still here.” She said in a hurried whisper

Nutha grinned “Yep. Did I forget to mention he asked if he could spend the day.” She turned and called “In here.”

He came around the corner “The kids went to sleep, so I came to say ‘Hi”

Nutha stood up “Well, I’d better go.”

“I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?” Aang asked.

“No, I’m just going so Misu can get a break before naptime is over. Will you be back Avatar Aang?”

He smiled “Definitely.”

“See you then.” She waved at her friend “See you later Katara.”

“See ya Nutha.” Katara said with a straight face. She turned to Aang “I heard you’re having a ball.”

“Yeah. Being with Bumi and the other kids is so great.”

She smiled at him, but there was a sadness in her eyes “Good. I’m glad everyone’s having a good time.”

“I thought you would have come by today.”

She went back to her letters “Naw. He gave Sokka the invitation two weeks ago, he wanted him to go, and then he told you yesterday, so I sat out of this one. He had plenty of company.”

“Oh. That makes since.”

There was a hint of sadness in his voice. She looked at him and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” He answered, putting a smile on his face “Hey, I came to see if I could take Bumi out after school, like for a movie and dinner. I’ll have him back way before bedtime.”

She looked at him “Are you sure you’re ready for that? Bumi can be a handful.”

He shrugged “I’ve been with him and 19 other little kids all day, I think I can handle it.”

“Sure.” She answered cautiously before something crossed her mind “Will your girlfriend be with you?”

Aang’s smile faded “No, she went home yesterday. She had to get back to work. Gyatso’s going though. He has to get back in the morning, so I thought it would be cool for all of us to hang out before he goes.”

“Oh. Okay. Don’t let him have too much sweets, and don’t let him con you. If you tell him ‘no’ you have to stick with it.”

Aang smiled again “I will. We’ll see you later.”

“Okay.” Aang headed to the door. Katara got up and stepped out of her office “Hey, can you guys stop by before you go?”

“Yeah.” He nodded.

She squinted at him “Are you sure you’re okay? You seem off today.”

“I’m fine. Maybe I should have taken a nap with the kids.” He chuckled before he waked out of the door.

He started down the hall, sticking his hands in his pockets and letting his head drop a little. He’d kept his mind on Bumi most of the day, but Katara mentioning Yee Li reminded him of his troubles.

Yee Li had left him with a Dear John letter. She’d gone home because he’d hurt her deeply. She was already sensitive about Katara because she felt that Aang was still in love with her and he’d gone and said another woman’s name during an intimate moment. And on top of everything else, Yee Li was absolutely right. Aang still loved Katara.  He felt low.

He should have been upset with Katara and he knew it, but he just wasn’t. Yes, he was hurt by the time he had missed with his son, but he couldn’t bring himself to be angry about it. He spent years hoping to run into Katara, and now that he had, all he wanted was for his dream to come true. Him, Katara and Bumi, living together as a family.

But there was Yee Li. He never wanted to hurt her, he cared about her. And, although he was in love with Katara, he didn’t want Yee Li to leave. The entire thing was a mess.

Aang looked through the window in the door of Bumi’s classroom and saw that the kids were still asleep. He leaned against the wall and took out his phone. He’d texted Yee Li every chance he’d gotten since he found out she left, but she hadn’t texted back. He called a few times, but she didn’t answer his calls either.

He let out a sad sigh as he looked at his phone and didn’t see a new notification. As he reached to put his phone back into his pocket when he felt it vibrated. He looked. It was an email for Yee Li.

I read your messages. I accept your apology, but I stand by what I said. You love her and I can’t compete with that.

I’ve attached a zip file with the pictures I took of you, Bumi is in a lot of them. Make sure you back them up because I’ve deleted them from my phone.

Please Stop contacting me. I may be able to handle it later, but right now it’s too much.

Take care, Li

Chapter Text

It was almost eight o’clock when Katara opened the door for an exhausted looking Aang with Bumi happily riding his back. She covered her mouth to hide her smile as she stepped aside to let them come in.

Aang kneeled to let Bumi down, then flopped on the floor. Bumi ran to his mother “Mom, we went to the park, and that movie was cool, and I got a burger and Aang got some noodles, and it was great.”

Katara smiled down at him “Well that sounds great. Why don’t you go get your PJs together and I’ll get your bath started.”

“Okay Mom.” He answered and ran toward his room.

Katara went and stooped down beside Aang, not trying to hide her amusement anymore “Are you okay?”

“How is he not tired?” Aang groaned as he rolled his forehead back and forth on the rug.

She laughed and patted him on the back “That’s just Bumi.” She stood up. “I’m going to get him ready for bed, are you still going to be here.”

“I don’t think I can move.”

Katara laughed again and walked away “The all mighty Avatar taken down by a little boy.”

Aang grumbled “That kid has a car battery for a heart.”

Aang wasn’t sure how long he was lying on the floor before he crawled over to the couch and climbed on it. He settled his head back and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath before he suddenly felt his son landing hard in his lap.

“Good night, Aang.” The boy said happily as he threw his arms around his father’s shoulders, not noticing that he knocked the wind out of Aang.

“Yeah,” Aang said, getting himself together and hugging his son back “Goodnight Bumi.”

The boy ran back to his room and Aang rested his head back, asking again “How is he not tired?”

A few more minutes later Katara came into the living room and sat on the other end of the couch “Are you going to make it?”

He rolled his head to the side and opened one eye to look at her “How do you do this every day.”

She shrugged “I just do.”

He closed his eye and rolled his head back “You’re my hero.”

She tilted her head at him “Are you sure you’re okay. You never used to get tired so easily.”

He shifted to sit up “I’m okay. I think I just haven’t got enough rest 'cause,” he almost told her what happened with Yee Li, but he caught himself. “Uh, it’s jut been a really crazy weekend.”

Katara sighed “Yeah, it has, and that would throw anyone off, but you haven’t seemed quite right since yesterday. You’re not getting sick, are you?”

He gave her a little smile “Nurse Katara, always on the job.”

Katara pursed her lips “Yes I am.” She stood up and walked over to him placing her hand on his forehead “Well you don’t feel warm.” Before she could take her hand away he used his fire bending to raise his temperature. She gave him and incredulous smirk “Very funny.” She sat beside him “Okay, I get it. You don’t want me to pry. You just seemed …not like you today.”

“I’ll be okay.” He said and started to push up off of the couch “I just need to get a good night's sleep.”

Katara put her hand on Aang’s and he paused “You’re worn out. Maybe you could stay with us tonight and get some rest. You can sleep here or in the extra bed in Bumi’s room.”

He sat down and looked at her for a moment, then smiled “Thanks.” He sat back “Here is good.”

She nodded, “Good.” Katara got up and went to her room. She gathered a blanket and a pillow and headed back to the living room, stopping short when she saw Aang. He’d taken off his shirt, his wispy white undershirt clinging to his body, and was pulling his sneakers from his feet.

She hugged the bedding tighter to her for a second and started moving toward him again “Here you go.”

He stood up and took the things from her “Thank you.” And turned around, putting the pillow down and fanning the blanket open over the couch.

Katara stepped back, “Do you want to take those jeans off?”

Aang turned his head quickly, his eyes wide. They both flushed red faster than the cover could flow down to the couch.

“Sokka left some things here for whenever he stays over.” She rushed to explain “Like shorts and stuff. You know what, I’ll just get you some.”

She turned and grimaced, trying to move casually down the hall.

Oh La, I can’t believe I just said that. She thought as she eased into her sleeping son’s room. She slowly pulled the bottom drawer open Stupid Aang and his stupid muscles. How dare he take his shirt off in my house and look sexy. Damn him. She shook her head at the thought and grabbed the first thing she put her hands on.

Katara went back into the living room where Aang was looking at the pictures on the wall “Here you go.”

He turned around and took the pants from her “Thanks. If it’s cool, I think I better go take a shower. It’s been a long, occasionally sweaty day.”

Mmm. Sweaty Aang. “Sure. There’re towels and things in the closet next to Bumi’s room.”

“Thanks.” He smiled at her and walked toward the bathroom.

She took a breath I need to take a shower myself. A nice cold one. Then maybe I can get myself together.

Katara went to her bathroom and took a shower. She was aggravated that Aang being there has not only stirred up old feelings, but old desires. She cursed herself for telling him to stay over. She’d been doing that a lot in the past few says, cursing herself. She felt bad for wanting to be a bigger part of Aangs life.  Even after not telling him about Bumi for so long, even after meeting his perfectly lovely girlfriend. She wanted to be with him, in every way.

More than once she’d hoped that she had taken him back when they talked a couple nights before, but she knew that would have been the selfish thing to do. She also knew that things wouldn’t be easy. Even though Aang seemed to forgive her, she knew that one day his anger about not knowing about Bumi would surface.  She had to stay her course, no matter how nice he was, or sweet he talked, or good he looked.

Katara stepped out of her bathroom and walked across to her dresser. She looked at herself in the mirror and sighed. Stay the course. She took up her comb and started pulling it through her long damp hair.

“Um, where do you want me to put this?”

Aang was standing by the door, holding his wet towel, his clothes rolled and tucked under his arm and wearing nothing but the gray pair of jogging pants she’d given him.

Holy shit She willed herself not to look down “You can just throw it in my hamper.” She pointed toward her bathroom with her comb. She watched him in the mirror as he pulled the water from the towel and send it into the tub. You just have to make things hard for me. Wouldn't mind making things hard for you.

When Aang started to turn she went back to combing her hair. She heard her hamper close and glanced into the mirror at him walking out. He stopped at the door. “So, um, thanks again.”

“No problem.” She fought to only look at her reflection in the mirror.

He rubbed the back of his head and cocked that crooked smile she liked so much “Funny thing, I’m wide awake now.”

“The remote should be on the arm of the chair.”

He looked down at his bare feet “Yeah.” He walked up beside her “That’s a lot of hair you have there. You need help?”

Let him. She glanced over at his reflection and back to her own “Nope. I do it by myself all the time.” And it's a damn shame.

He shrugged “Just trying to pay back the favor.”

I know how you can pay it back She turned to him “Don’t worry about it. Happy to help.”

He turned to her “I just want to show you I appreciate it.”

“I know you do.” Oh, come on. Katara sighed “Fuck it.”

She kissed him.

Chapter Text

Sex

 

Aang stepped out of the shower and dried off. He looked at the pile of clothes on the floor and contemplated putting his underwear back on, but then he remembered Katara yelling at him and Sokka when they were kids for doing just that.

“That’s just gross!” She yelled at them “Why would you take a shower and put the same underwear back on? That defeats the point of washing your ass!”

I guess I better free ball it he thought as he reached for the gray jogging pants Katara had given him. Aang put the pants on then gathered his cloths, rolling everything up in his jeans. He tucked his bundle under his arm, then looked around for a place to put the towel. Hmm. No hamper.

He headed down the hall and stopped at Katara’s open door. She stood there, combing her wet hair and looking amazing in a cotton pajama short set Would you look at that.  “Um, where do you want me to put this?” he held the towel out to her.

 “You can just throw it in my hamper.” She pointed toward her bathroom with the comb.

He went in and pulled the water from the towel She is so beautiful. She’s killing me. I should just tell her Ying Li dumped me. He threw the towel in the hamper and headed out of the bathroom “So, um, thanks again.” But how do I start it, I can’t just blurt it out.

“No problem.”

Do I tell her what really happened? He rubbed the back of his head “Funny thing, I’m wide awake now.”

“The remote should be on the arm of the chair.”

He looked down at his bare feet “Yeah.” He walked up beside her “That’s a lot of hair you have there. You need help?” Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

“Nope. I do it by myself all the time.”

 I’m a damn idiot. “Just trying to pay back the favor.”

 “Don’t worry about it. Happy to help.”

He turned to her “I just want to show you I appreciate it.” Why can’t I just tell you

“I know you do.” Katara sighed “Fuck it.”

Aang squinted his eyes confused, but, before he could ask her what she meant, she kissed him.

Katara pulled away. Shocked at her own actions she put her fingers to her lips “Aang. I-“

Katara kissing him had unleashed a rush of wanton need in Aang. He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her deeply. He felt his clothes bundle fall to the floor, but he didn’t care. He wanted to show her how he felt. He wanted to show her the years of looking into to crowds, longing to see her face. The years of willing fate to bring them back together.

Katara leaned into Aang’s kiss, placing her hands on his hips and pulling him closer to her. He granted her wish, pressing his body against hers and moaning against her lips as he felt his arousal grow. Aang knew she felt it too. He felt her smile and she slid her hands up his back before drawing her nails slowly to his waist, sending a shiver down his spine.

He felt her grin as he tucked his lips, trying to muffle a moan. So that’s how you want to play? He slid his hand down her neck, pausing to brush a thumb across her collar bone before he slid his hands down her back, under her shirt, then down into her shorts, gripping a cheek in each hand.

Katara gasped and looked up into Aang’s eyes. He smiled at her. She lifted a hand to his chin tugged on his beard, pulling his lips to hers. He pulled her even closer, but it still wasn’t close enough. Aang slid his hands to Katara’s hips and slid them around the band of her panties. He tucked his thumbs inside the band, moving his fingers to grab the band of her pants.

She moved back a bit and gasped “Aang. Stop.”

He did so. They stood for a second, breathing hard as they looked at each other. Katara stepped back slowly and took a deep breath, then she walked away.

Aang looked down at his dick pressing against the borrowed jogging pants, begging to be set free. Not tonight, I guess. Sorry

He looked up when he heard the bedroom door close. Aang watched Katara turn the lock and head back to him. He bit his bottom lip. Damn

She walked to him and hooked a finger in the waistband of his pants, pulling him over to her bed. Aang followed her dutifully and watched as she let go of his pants and slide back onto her mattress.

Damn.

He followed, crawling over her. Katara reached up, laid her hand on the back of his neck and led his lips to hers.

Their bottoms were quickly tossed aside. Katara wrapped her legs around his waist and took hold of Aangs cock. She urged him forward, moving her hand once he slid inside. As he slowly slid deeper inside herthey looked into each other’s eyes. Then the floodgates opened.

Each touch, each kiss was desperate, as if they would never see each other again. Each movement became frantic. They came together fast and hard, as if if they slowed down the feeling would go away or they were never going to see each other again.

Aang came hard with a loud groan. Katara covered his mouth to stifle the noise. The last thing they wanted was to wake their son. She moved her hand once he quieted and giggled “You okay?”

He took a deep breath trying to calm his breathing “Yeah.” He said with a laugh “Sorry ‘bout that.”

“It’s okay.”

He pulled out of her slowly and plopped tiredly beside her. They both laid on her their back looking at the ceiling for a few moments then Aang turned to face Katara. She was pushing the sweat slicked hair away from her face. Beautiful. I just want to stay here forever.

Katara looked over at Aang “What?”

“Nothing. I just like to look at you.”

She smiled at him “I’ll be back.”

Katara got up. Aang’s eyes followed her until she got into the bathroom, then drifted closed.

When he woke up everything was off except for the television. The sound was turned down so low he could barely hear it. The bedroom door was cracked open. Katara had put her pajamas back on and was sleeping cuddled under the covers. She’d thrown part of the blanket over him, presumably to keep him warm, as he was still naked. Still naked and very sticky.

He got up and went into Katara’s shower. As he let the warm water run over his head he thought, This could be my life. This could be my life every day. This could have been my life all this time if only-“ he shook his head. He didn’t want to think like that, especially not now. He just wanted to enjoy this time.

He walked out of the bathroom and looked around the room for his borrowed jogging pants, which he found barely hanging from the nob of the closet door. He put the pants on and headed to the door.

“Aang?” Katara groggy voice said from behind him “Come back to bed.”

He stopped and tuned around, the tiniest bit of a smile on his face and a wistful tear forming in his eye “Okay.” This could be my life.

Chapter Text

It was a little after 1a.m. when Katara awoke to the sound of her front door opening. She shot up, but then relaxed when she heard the familiar sound of Sokka’s keys landing in the clay bowl next to the TV. She laid back down, then it hit her.

“Sokka.”

She jumped out of bed and hustled across the hall “Sokka,” she whispered harshly at him. “What are you doing here?”

Sokka looked up from where he sat in the computer chair taking off his shoes. He raised an eyebrow at her “I was hanging out with Amaka and I didn’t feel like going all the way home.” He whispered back “What’s your problem?”

“Nothing,” She crossed her arms and shifted her feet “I just wasn’t expecting you. You usually give me a heads up.”

He sat back and squinted at her “I texted you almost two hours ago. What’s your deal?”

Katara vaguely remembered hearing her phone vibrate earlier in the night, but she was otherwise engaged. She’d meant to check her phone, but she’d forgotten. “I fell asleep early.” She lied.

“Oh.” Sokka stood up and stretched. He was about to tell his sister goodnight, but he the sound of a slap and his sister tipping forward a bit stopped him in his tracks.

Aang’s voice came from behind Katara “You're awake again.” He slipped his arms over her shoulder and spoke into her ear “Whatdoya think about a round 3.”

Sokka’s expression melted into one of utter disgust and horror “Uh, oogies, oogies, oggies.” He flailed his hands as if he could shake the feeling off of him.

Ang’s face turned bright red. He stood up straight and looked up “Heyyyy. Sokka. How’s it going?”

“What..” Sokka threw his hands up “You know what. I don’t even want to know. It’s late. I had a couple of drinks.  I’m sleep walking and this is a really fucked up dream. I’m going to bed and pray for a better one.” Aang and Katara stepped to the side so that Sokka could walk past them into the dimly lit hall. He stopped when something caught his eye and turned around “Are those…my pants?” he noticed that the pants were a size too big for Aang and were riding low on his hips. Low enough for him to see that Aang wasn’t wearing underwear. He shook his head “Nope, they’re yours.”


Katara got Aang to hide out in her room because she knew if Bumi saw him it would take them forever to get out the door. Before rushing out of her room that morning Aang asked if it was okay for him to pick Bumi up and she said “Okay.”

Katara spent the better part of the day trying to figure out a way to avoid Aang.  She knew he’d want to talk about the night before. She didn’t want to talk about last night. In the cold light of day everything became clear. Aang had cheated on his girlfriend with her and it made her feel horrible. As much as Katara didn’t care for Ying Li, she didn’t want to hurt her.

The day went by way too fast for Katara. Before she knew it, Bumi was running through her office door.

“Hey Mom.”

She waved at Miso who had walked Bumi down “Hi sweetie. How was your day?”

“It was great. I got the Great Day award.” He waved the paper and handed it to her.

She took the paper and looked it over. “Wow.” She hugged her son around the shoulder “Great job. This is one for the fridge.”

“I wanna show Aang.”

She squinted at him “So it’s just Aang now?”

Bumi took his award and put it in his backpack “Yeah. He said I could call him what I want.”

She nodded at him and offered him her hand “Well, Aang should be outside.”

The little boy took his mother’s hand and half skipped down the hall. He was happy to see his father, but she didn’t share that joy. She’d been dreading seeing Aang for hours.

As soon as they walk out of the front door of the school, they saw Aang walking down the sidewalk toward then. Bumi let go of Katara’s hand and ran to him “Hi Aang!”

Aang scooped the boy up “Hi Buddy.” He gave him a squeeze the walked up to Katara “Hey.”

She glanced down at the sidewalk and then back at him. “Hey.”

“So we’re not going to be out long today. We can bring some dinner when I bring him home. Maybe we can talk after.”

“Um I can’t.” she saw her friend out the corner of her eye “I promised Nutha I would help her out today.” She turned “Right Nutha.”

The woman paused “Yeah Katara?” then she saw Aang and walked toward them “Well hello Avatar Aang.”

“Hi.”

Katara grabbed Nutha’s hand “I was just telling Aang that I promised…um yesterday…to help you out and then we’re going out.”

Nutha squinted at Katara “You did?”

Katara squeezed her hand and looked at her “Yes. I. Did.” She stretched her eyes “Remember, you needed me to help you get up that spilt tea.”

Nutha smirked “Oh. Ohhhh. Yeah. I forgot. “She looked at Aang “Nasty stain on my carpet. I just can’t get it out.”

“Yeah.” Katara said “And since there’s no school because of Founders’ Days I told her we’d just get it done tonight.”

“Yeah, then we can hang out.” Nutha added.

“Yeah. So If it’s cool, you can just take Bumi to Dad’s, and I’ll pick him up in the morning.”

Bumi bounced in Aang’s arm “Cool. I get to stay with GranPop.”

Aang looked at Bumi and then at Katara “Yeah, Okay. See you tomorrow?”

“Yeah…tomorrow.”

Nutha and Katara watched Aang head to the car and put Bumi in. “So, we need to handle some ‘spilt tea’, huh?”

Katara sighed. “You don’t know the half of it.”


Nutha handed Katara a glass of cola and sat across from her at the table. Katara looked around the room. “So, are those new curtains? They’re nice.”

Nutha chuckled “We’re not going to do this. Go ahead and tell me what happened.” Katara sighed and twisted her cup in her hand. “Oh, so we’re playing the guessing game…okay. You lied to the Avatar, so is it something to do with him?”

Katara held her head down.

“Yep. Def about him.” Nutha studied her friends face “You still like him, don’t you.”

Katara put her head down in her folded arms and mumbled “I’m the scum of the earth.”

Nutha looked at Katara and then she realized what happened “Oh La,” Katara groaned “You two slept together.”

Katara sat up and rested her forehead on her hand “He has a girlfriend. What was I thinking?”

“So how did that happen?”

“He brought Bumi home, and he was exhausted, so I told him he could stay on the couch. And I gave him a pair of Sokka’s pants. And he took a shower and he looked so good.” She put both hands on her face “And I’ve been dreaming about him and I just. I kissed him.” she dropped her head again “And the next thing I knew we were naked and sweaty.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up a second. You’ve been dreaming about him.”

Katara peeped over her arms and nodded.

“And you kissed him?”

Katara nodded again and whimpered “Yes. I’m horrible.”

“So,” Nutha leaned in and smirked “how was it?”

Katara put her head down again “It was amazing.”

Nutha nodded “Of course it was. You wouldn’t feel so guilty if it wasn’t.” she took a sip of her drink. “So, can I ask something else.”

Katara took a deep breath and sat up again “Sure.”

“So did you two make sweet, slow jazz in the back ground, flowers and candles, love, or did you have a filthy, sweaty, nasty fuck?”

“Nutha!” Katara balked at her friend.

She shrugged “Hey, you know me. You knew I was going to ask.”

Katara sighed and looked down at the table “We fucked,”

“Girl. Yes. Get it.”

“And then we made love.”

“Damn. You were busy last night.” Nutha took a breath and dipped her head trying to look in Katara’s face. She looked miserable “Look, I know this is bothering you. I’ll be serious.” Katara looked at her “Can I ask you something else.”

“Yeah.”

“You love him. Don’t you?” Before Katara could say anything, a tear dropped from her eye “Oh, honey.” She got up and went to Katara, bending to wrap her arms around her.

“I never stopped loving him. The other day he told me we could be together, but I told him I wouldn’t break up his relationship, and then I go and do this.” she cried “This is all my fault. I just keep doing dumb shit. I don’t know how to fix this.”

Nutha squeezed her “You know you have to talk to him, right.”

Katara nodded “I know, but I’m not ready.”

“I know it’s going to be hard, but when you see him tomorrow, you two need to have a nice, long conversation.” She stood up and brushed her hand across the top of Katara’s head. “Talk. No fucking.”

Katara chuckled a little “Okay.”


It was almost ten when Katara parked her car. She noticed Sokka’s truck parked in front of the coffee shop and shook her head. “See you later, brother.” She thought aloud as she headed to her apartment.

When she walked in, she noticed her brother’s keys in the little clay bowl. “Sokka I thought you were hanging out with Amaka.” Then she looked into her living room “Aang?”

Chapter Text

Aang stood up. “Sokka gave me his key so I could wait for you. I hope that’s okay.”

Katara held her head down and shook it “It’s really not.”

He started to walk toward her and she took a step back. He stopped. “I just wanted to talk to you. Last night was so great, but today- “

“Last night never should have happened.” She interrupted. She put her hand to her forehead “I’m not ready to talk about this.”

Hurt spread across his face “Why would you say that?”

She took the keys out of the bowl and held them out “Maybe you should go to the coffee shop until Sokka’s ready to go. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Katara. I need to tell you-“

“No.” tears started flowing from her eyes “You cheated on your girlfriend. With me. I just…I can’t deal with that right now.” Her arm dropped in defeat and she wiped her tears with her other hand “Please. Just go.”

He walked up to her and took hold of her arms “No. Katara. Listen. We didn’t cheat. Ying isn’t my girlfriend anymore.”

She pulled away from him “You broke up with her?’

He held his head down. “No. She dumped me before she left.”

She shook her head “I don’t believe you.”

“She did. When I went back to the room Sunday she was gone and there was a Dear John letter on the bed.”

“If that was true then why didn’t you tell me then?” She asked angrily.

Something about that question and her tone made something snap in Aang. “I don’t know. You’re the expert with keeping important information from people.”

Katara walked to the door, snatched it open and growled “Get out.”

“Gladly” Aang walked past her and headed down the hall. Katara threw the keys being him and slammed the door.


Katara looked up from her folded arms when she heard her door open. She wiped the tears away from her face.

Sokka came into the doorway looking disgusted. He frowned at his sister then looked in the direction of the front door “Get in here.” Sokka snapped, pointing into the living room. Aang appeared in the doorway looked exceptionally angry, with tear-filled eyes and holding an ice pack to the back of his head.  Sokka grabbed him by the arm and pulled him in “I said get your ass in here.”

Katara stood up “I don’t want him here.”

Sokka crossed his arms “I don’t care.”

“This is my apartment and I don’t want him here!” she yelled.

Sokka pointed at the picture of Bumi on the wall “Well that’s my nephew and he deserves better than the way you two are acting right now.”

“Bumi doesn’t have anything to do with this.” Aang mumbled with a scowl on his face “This is about me and her.”

“Yes, this is about him.” Sokka barked “One minute you two are being gross together and the next you’re getting into arguments” he turned his head accusingly at his sister “and throwing keys.”

She crossed her arms “I wasn’t trying to hit him.”

“Well you did. What if Boom was here.”

“We wouldn’t have argued in front of him.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Sokka said “Kids pick up on energy you know, and right now, your energy is trash. You two are going to stay here and talk this shit out so you can co-parent like adults. I’m not going to let you two screw that kid up.”

Katara huffed “Sokka, you know we would never do anything to harm Bumi.”

“Really? Because I gotta admit, my grown ass feels kinda harmed right now.” He nudged Aang away from the door “I’m going home. Me and Boom will meet you two at the parade. By then I expect you have your shit together.”  He walked toward the front door.

Aang leaned back and looked at him “And how are we supposed to do that?”

“How should I know?” Sokka opened the door “Figure it out!” And he walked out, slamming the door behind him.

Katara scowled at Aang and sat back down on the end of the couch. Her eyes followed him as he walked to the computer chair and sat down. He took the ice pack off his head and dropped it on the desk. She sighed “Sorry I hit you.”

He cut his eyes at her and gently touched the band aid on the spot where a key cut his head “Yeah. Thanks.”

They sat in an awkward silence for a while until Aang finally spoke. I wanted to tell you yesterday, but I didn’t know how.” Katara didn’t say anything, she wouldn’t even look at him “You still don’t believe me, do you?” she glanced up at him, then looked back at the floor.

Aang huffed and took out his wallet. He pulled a little folded piece of paper from behind his driver’s license. Aang walked over and held the piece of paper out to Katara. She looked at him for a moment, then she took it. She opened the paper and read the little note written on paper from a hotel notepad. When she looked up Aang was holding his phone out to her. She took it and read the email Ying Li had sent Aang the day before. She took a deep breath and handed him his phone back. As he took it she said “So last night was a rebound thing?”

Aang stretched his eyes at her. “Oh my-“he groaned and threw his hands up, taking a few steps away from her and turning back “Rebound! You kissed me. As a matter of fact, I was following your lead.”   

Katara inhaled and sat back, crossing her arms and legs “You know. You can leave. Sokka can’t make you stay here.”

“He can’t, but he’s right. We need to figure something out.”

Katara huffed and sank deeper in her chair. Aang sat on the other side of the sectional and turned to stare blankly into the kitchen. She cut her eyes at him and started shaking her leg. The longer she looked at him, the more she calmed down.

She uncrossed her leg and sat up “You’re right.” He looked at her “I did start things last night, and I was wrong for doing that. I’m sorry.”

He shook his head “Don’t be sorry for that. Last night was...wonderful.”

Katara let out a harsh chuckle “Yeah. I bet.”

“No. I wasn’t just about sex. Don’t get me wrong,” a little smile pushed through and he blushed a bit “the sex was amazing.” Katara held her head down but he saw her little smile “but it was more than that.” He turned toward her “It felt so good to wake up with you there. and when you told me to come back to bed, I almost cried. I want that feeling all the time.”

Katara’s expression had softened with his words “I liked being with you, too, but we can’t just jump into being together all the time.”

“Why not? We’ve known each other since we were kids. We have a son. We love each other. What else do we need?” a terrible thought occurred to him “You don’t love me, do you?”

Katara took a deep breath “Aang,” she slid forward on her seat “I do love you, but that’s not enough.”

“Yes, it is.”

“No, it’s not. We went from being friends, to having sex, to not talking to each other for years. We’ve never really had an actual relationship.”

He nodded “You’re right.”

“Not to mention that you just got out of a relationship. It’d be a disservice to us and Bumi if we jumped into something serious.”

“So what do we do?”

She thought for a moment “Maybe we could date?”

“Huh?”

Katara got up and started walking toward Aang “Yeah. Whenever you’re able to come here, you spend time with Bumi, just like you’ve been doing," she sat down next to him "and we can start dating.” She nudged him with her shoulder “Maybe we can send Bumi to Dad’s sometimes and you can spend the night.”

He blushed “That sounds good.”

She smiled at him, but a thought made the smile melt. She held her head down. “Another thing.” She glanced up at him “You have to stop acting like the fact that I didn’t tell you about Bumi doesn’t bother you.” His face was suddenly sorrowful. She took a deep breath and looked away from him. “I know I hurt you deeply. I can’t imagine how you must feel.” She looked at him again “I know I can never make it up to you.”

Aang held his head down “It does hurt. I try not to think about it. I just want to push it all aside and enjoy my son.” He chuckled “A week ago I didn’t even know I had a son, and now I can’t imagine my life without him.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Aang put his hand on her leg “We’ll get through this.”

She smiled at him and nodded her head “We will.”

They gave each other a tight hug. Aang said “Hey. I had a crazy idea earlier today.”

They pulled apart “What was that?”

“I’ve been thinking about moving here.”

Katara sighed “Aang-“

“No. Hear me out. If I’m not on some kind of diplomatic mission or going to a meeting, I’m just home.” He laughed “I’m home a lot.

“Anyway, instead of traveling back and forth, I could get an apartment here. That way I can spend way more time with Bumi.” He took her hands in his “And you.”

She smiled "I'd like that."

Chapter Text

 

At the end of the week Aang kissed his son and girlfriend goodbye and got on a plane. By the end of the next week he was back. He rented a little house on the edge of town with a yard big enough for Appa. The owner was so honored to have the Avatar living in one of her houses that she immediately said yes when he asked if he could build a shelter for the bison in the back yard.

He loved being able to see his son every day, even after the newness wore all and Bumi started showing his true color. He soon realized why that “Great Day Award” was such a big deal. Gyatso had told him that being a father wasn’t easy and he learned full well what the man meant.

Things between him and Katara were going well too. He enjoyed dating her, though that wasn’t as easy as he’d thought it would be either. They’d recently started going to couples' counseling to help them deal with their issues before they turned into serious problems, and it was working.  Dr. Yugoda helped him process his feelings about Katara not telling him about Bumi, and she helped Katara deal with why she felt the need to always be the strong one in every situation.


Aang turned the fire under the curry off and moved the pot. He’d started humming as he lit the candles on the kitchen table when he heard the doorbell ring. He grinned and used his fire bending to light the last candle as he walked toward the door. He opened it with a great grin on his face. “Happy Winter Solstice.”

Katara gave him a half-hearted smile “Yeah, Happy Solstice.”

He grabbed her hand “Hey I have a couple of surprises for you.” He walked her around the corner waved his free hand “Ta daaaaa.”

She smiled “You bought a dinette.”

“Yep.” He said proudly “And I cooked.” He pulled a chair out and gestured for her to sit down.

Katara sat in the chair and placed a little white bag on the table, resting her hands-on top. “Thank you, but I don’t feel much like eating now, if that’s okay.”

“That’s okay.” He chirped reaching into his pocket. “I can give you the other surprise now.” He pulled a box out of his pocket.

Katara sighed “Aang, I thought we said we weren’t going to do presents.”

He shrugged “This isn’t quite a present.” Aang got down on his knees “Katara. I love you and Bumi more than I ever thought I could love anything. You’re my forever. Will you marry me?”

He started to open the box, but Katara put her hand over the top to stop him. “Aang. I love you, but it’s too soon. We haven’t even been dating two months yet.”

He looked at her, his smile faded a bit, but his optimism didn’t “We both know what we’re working towards, this is just the next step. I’m not trying to get married tomorrow.”

She smiled at him “Can I have some time to think on it?”

“Sure.” He hugged her “I’ll take that over a no any day.”

Katara wanted to laugh, but something else was on her mind. She’d played the conversation fifteen different ways in her head, but, in that moment, they all just went away. She held him tighter “Aang?”

“Yeah?”

She took a deep breath and exhaled “I think I might be pregnant.”

He pulled back and looked at her, confusion all over his face “You said what now?”

The words just started pouring out of her “I’m a week and a half late. I’m never late…Well I was once, and you see how that went. And I’ve been nauseated the past couple of days and tired. I called the doctor’s office, but they don’t have an opening until tomorrow afternoon, and I couldn’t wait to find out, so I went and got these on the way over.” She handed him the bag.

He looked at her as he unrolled the top of the bag, then looked at the three pregnancy tests inside. Aang looked back at Katara. He finally saw how perplexed she looked “What do we need to do?”

“I need to pee on them, but I don’t have to go right now. "I wasn’t thinking and I went before I left home.”

He stood up “Okay. Will some water help.”

She nodded “The biggest glass you have.”


Katara capped the sticks and lined them up on the counter, then she washed her hands. When she waked out Aang was standing by the door “Well, are you?”

Katara smirked at him “We have to wait a few minutes.”

He looked anxious “How many is a few.”

“They all should be ready in five minutes.”

He pouted “But that’s so long.”

Katara chuckled “Not as long as tomorrow.”

“So, what do we do now?”

“We wait.”

Aang slid down the wall and sat on the side of the door “Was it like this the first time?”

Katara sat on the other side of the bathroom door. “Kinda. I was more of a nervous wreck though. I was also too stubborn to admit it.”

“I can imagine. My nerves are shot right now.”

“Are you going to be okay?”

He nodded “Yeah. I’m fine. I’m mainly worried about you.”

Katara smiled at him “I’m okay.” She crossed her legs “It’s kinda nice to do this with someone this time around.”

“Yeah.” he smiled a little “Thanks for including me.”

She nodded then her mouth turned down and the tears started to fall “I’m so sorry.”

He crawled over and wrapped his arms around her “I know you are.” Her rubbed his hand down her hair “Lets just focus on now, okay. I don’t want you to be upset. It’s not good for the baby, right?”

She laughed “It’s the baby’s fault I’m hormonal.”

Aang sat back on his heels “So you’re okay with this?”

Katara wiped her face with her shirt “Yes. I was worried you wouldn’t be.”

“What? The woman I love might be having my baby, again. I’m more than okay with it.”


They stood arm to arm and looked down at the counter. “What does the two lines mean?”

Katara nodded “Means I’m pregnant.”

Aang nodded “And the fancy one just says pregnant.”

“Yep.”

“And the plus sign means pregnant.”

She nodded again and leaned her head against his shoulder “We’re having a baby.”

He smiled “We’re having a baby.”

~

Aang looked at Katara in awe. “That is so amazing.”

She pursed her lips at him “Yeah, come and let me hook this up to your chest and milk you and we’ll see how amazing it is.”

He shrugged “If I could, I would.” He cuddled the infant swaddled in his arms closer to his face “Wouldn’t I, Kya. Daddy would milk his boobs all day for you if he could.”

Katara rolled her eyes and shook her head “You’re ridiculous.”

He grinned “And you love me for it.”

A knock came at the door “Are you guys ready?” Sokka yelled through the door “People are getting restless.”

“Tell them to keep their pants on!” Katara yelled back and she detached the breast pump from the bottle.

“Hurry up!”

Katara fixed her top and sat the bottles into the mini refrigerator. Aang smiled at her as she looked into the mirror on the dresser and checked her hair and makeup. He stood up and offered her his free arm “Are you ready to get married?”

She took his arm and squeezed it “Extremely.” Katara reached out to the boy playing by the window “Come on Bumi. It’s time.”

The boy ran to his mother and took her hand “Yay. We’re going to get cake.”

The adults looked at him and laughed, then Aang looked at the mirror and smiled “That’s one good looking  family.”