“I actually have something to confess to you guys” Aang starts, gaining both Katara and Sokkas attention from the fire nation ship seen in the distance approaching their small village.
“Like what, that you are some kind of Fire Nation spy on top of being some strange air bending kid we found frozen in an ice burg?” Sokka asks sarcastically, causing Aang to look down at his feet.
“Sokka I told you it was an accident how were we supposed to know that old fire nation ship still had some sort of traps on it, it isn’t Aangs fault!” Katara shouted at her brother before pulling the distraught 12-year-old into a hug.
“Exactly that description! ‘Old Fire Nation Ship'” Sokka remarks, quoting in the air to emphasize his words. “And I know it isn’t truly his fault I’m sorry for exploding like that” he says hurriedly, causing Katara to chuckle under her breath about her brothers’ usual antics. They may argue a lot, especially about her water bending, but he is her brother and she wouldn’t want to trade him for the world.
“What were you trying to tell us Aang?” Katara asks, turning their attention back to the yellow clad kid as Sokka glanced over to their haphazardly put together defenses before returning his attention to them.
“I…I am the avatar” Aang whispers under the curious looks he’s greeted with, flinching when Sokka sighs in exasperation muttering something along the lines of ‘of course my weird sister oh so happens to find the long-lost avatar, this is my life now'
“You don’t hate me? But I hid such a big secret from you.” Aang asks as he watches Sokka panic more the closer the Fire Nation ship gets to their location.
“Look Aang, I’m not gonna lie, we are a bit angry but we have bigger concerns right now like that ship over there. Now go with Katara into one of the igloos and wait for my signal. Someone has to protect the children and I can handle one ship” Sokka says as he ushers Aang and Katara into an igloo shutting the door on them before they can protest.
The ship finally arrives, breaking through the ice smoothly as it slows down to a halt almost right in front of Sokka causing him to have to leap back when the gangplank drops down revealing an older white haired man and a teenager with a topknot and a scowl.
“What business do you have here, Fire Nation” Sokka booms, trying to hide his nerved behind bravado.
“Where is the avatar” the teen states, seemingly not seeing the worried look the elder shoots him before giving a soft smile to Sokka.
“Not. Here.” Sokka spits back, tensing as there is no telling what horrible things these fire nation people could do to Aang. He may he the avatar but he is still a child after all.
“Where. Is he.” The tee growls even darker this time, shooting a fireball and melting the closest and thankfully empty igloo. “Tell me and we wont melt your village into this cursed ocean.”
“Right here” Katara cuts in through the tense silence, right beside Sokka walking quickly towards the two before he can protest. “do you promise if I go with you you’ll leave them alone?” she asks hopefully.
“Yes we will, young one” the older of the two says, his voice sounding softer and weathered by age. The younger turns and heads back into the ship with Katara and the older one behind him leaving behind a shocked Sokka who scrambles as he chases the boat on foot as far as he can before it clears the ice caps.
“This is all your fault! If you hadn’t convinced my sister to go into that ancient ruin of a ship the flare wouldn’t have gone off and they wouldn’t have came and she wouldn’t have willingly did that!” Sokka shouts at the stunned air bender as Aang arrives in a burst of air.
“I know” Aang states solemnly “Which is why we are going to get Katara back”
“And how will we catch up to that warship, huh? You’re not-flying giant bison?!” Sokka asks sarcastically to Aang pointing to said flying bison who merely huffs at them.
“Appa can fly and I can prove it too! And we are going to ride him to go save Katara!” Aang shouts back, shaking his fist before sighing.
“Well I suppose you two kids will need supplies then.” Gran Gran states from behind Aang, startling them both.
“Gran Gran when did you get here?” Sokka asks, motioning to the bags behind her.
“You three are going to need supplies where you are going. The avatar needs to learn all four elements to save the world and you and Katara must join him in his journey.” The elderly water tribe member tells the two boys as she motions to the bags behind her. “Be careful out there” she warns, Sokka and Aang nodding merely
Loading Appa up with the supplies left by Gran Gran didn’t take long, Sokka particularly skilled at tying things down to the saddle the large bison is wearing.
“So how do we get him to fly?” Sokka asks Aang from his spot on the saddle as the young air bender hops to his own spot at the end of the reigns on Appas head.
“It’s simple Sokka, yip yip Appa!” Aang calls, prompting a rather girly scream from Sokka as Appa lunges upward, soaring through the air rather fast. “When we get Katara back we’ll have to visit the southern air temple Master Roshi will love to meet you”
Sokka doesn’t have the nerve to tell Aang about what happened to the rest of the Air Nomads or that he had been gone from the world for one hundred years, mainly focused on getting his sister back. She’ll know what to say.
It takes a few hours to find the ship mainly because of how much distance it had covered before they had gotten on Appas back and chased after it, the dark colors of the ship’s hull standing out against the white of the surrounding glaciers.
As they get closer, they see Katara standing on the deck, water surrounding her in what appears to be a heated argument with the younger fire bender who is being held back by the elder.
“Katara, jump on Appa!” Aang calls as they fly downwards right next to the side of the ship she is on, Aang jumping down and creating some distance with a blast of air.
Katara quickly jumps on, barely dodging the flame flung her way by the teenaged fire bender. Pivoting on his heels, Aang lets out an angry growl as his tattoos glow brightly. Air circles around him lifting him up as Aang bends part of a glacier pinning the ship there. Aang gives the damaged ship one last look before falling out of that state onto Appas back exhausted.
The gaang leave in a hurry after that, not speaking until the ship is a dot on the horizon.
Sokka places the reigns down, scrambling to Katara and enveloping her into a hug, Aang joining after Katara motions him in.
“They didn’t hurt you, did they?” Aang asks once the trio parts from their hug.
“Actually, no.” Katara answers as she settles herself against one of their bags.
“What did they want then?” Sokka asks, failing to hide his worry as he flails before sitting across from Katara with Aang between them in a semicircle.
“They wanted me to heal someone. Someone badly hurt. I don’t know if I did but…they gave me plenty of water and I just…followed my instincts” Katara answers, a thoughtful look on her face.
“Well let’s hope we don’t see them again. We need to get to the north pole and somehow get Aang a earth bending teacher as well as a fire bending teacher.” Sokka, ever the planner, says as he rolls out a map of the world from one of their bags.
“ooh we should visit Kiyoshi island and Be-Sing-Se. But first, the Southern Air Temple” Aang declares, pointing them out on the map and not seeing the looks Sokka and Katara shoot each other.
“Looks like our adventures are starting then” Katara remarks, smiling at Aangs excited rambling about people long gone, not that he knows that yet.