Chapter 10

[A Few Weeks Ago…]

[Summer, 104 AG – Republic City]

The Avatar groggily rose from his slumber as the rays of the morning dawn passed through the curtains of his bedroom window; sitting up on his bed, he shook his eyes as he took in his surroundings.

It had been roughly a day or two since he got back to Republic City, needless to say he was both elated yet sad to be back home.

He felt as if a massive burden was lifted off his shoulders the moment he left the Fire Nation Imperial Palace, as he soared through the air on-board his trusty flying bison and companion, he felt impeccable freedom in the skies just as any airbender would.

He was relieved that his relationship with Kata–err, the Ex That Shan't Be Named, was finally over. Don't get him wrong though, he loved her to the bitter end, it's just that when he saw the two of them making out in the corridors that night, it broke something within him. His feelings of brokenness and hurt ratified when he confronted them in the Bastard Lord's sleeping chambers.

As peculiar as it may sound, his grief wasn't due to his break-up with the waterbender, rather, it was because he had to leave the Princess behind.

After giving it some thought, he'd soon realize how foolishly selfish it was of him to ask her to drop everything behind and come with him. Though she loved him, she still had duties and responsibilities back home and she couldn't just leave them all behind to elope with him. He soon felt stupid asking her that question, he doesn't really know if the Fire Lord would allow her to visit him, but silently, he's looking forward to the next time both him and the Princess were to meet.

The Avatar stood up from his modest yet comfortable bed, he wasn't really into luxury and extravagance, almost everyone in the world knew that; raised as a monk, he was taught to appreciate everything and anything life were to offer him as well as to be thankful for everything he's already had.

Aang soon grabbed a robe and made his way to the desk he had in his room. He'd usually fall asleep topless, wearing nothing but boxers and sweatpants going to bed. Sure he was all alone in his home, but his conscience would often berate him to be a little modest, even if he's alone in his own home.

The home itself held true to Aang's life principles and philosophy of being a monk; it was a gift to him by his friends during his birthday after the founding of Republic City two years ago.

It was a modest two-story house located in the hilly suburbs in the outskirts of Republic City Proper; it had 2 bedrooms (the master bedroom and a guestroom) and a storage closet in the second floor, two bathrooms (one in the second floor and one in the ground floor), a homey living room in the ground floor, and a dining room which also seamlessly blended into the quaint kitchen.

At the back, he had a garden which encompassed a majority of his backyard, a small bridge over a pond with the pond acting as a makeshift pool whenever he was in the mood to waterbend or to go for a swim, and a stable for both Appa and Momo, the entire compound being encompassed by a traditional home perimeter wall.

The house overall looked like something akin to a traditional Earth Kingdom home, what only set it apart from a traditional Earth Kingdom home was the presence of orange and yellow Air Nation colours and Air Nation symbols rather than Earth Kingdom green and beige.

It was Sokka who'd undertaken the home's design and architecture, Toph was the one who built the entire compound from the ground up, Suki did the interior decorating as well as the design for the backyard garden and pond, Ty Lee and Mai surprisingly helped in the painting, all of which was paid for and financed by Zuko.

Come to think of it, Katara didn't contribute whatsoever in the construction of the home, when Aang asked both her and Sokka about this, Sokka replied that it was best that they didn't inform Katara about the construction of the home in the first place, reasoning that she would've spoiled the surprise akin to her notorious reputation of not being able to keep secrets (and look how well that reputation would soon turn out).

Aang had initially rejected the home, stating that as a nomad, he didn't need a permanent place to stay and that he could just stay wherever he could, his friends though countered the notion, saying that it would be a shame that the Avatar, ender of the Hundred Years War and soon-to-be First Consul of the Republic had no permanent roof over his head; that, and Zuko saying that he'd already paid for the entire place out of his own personal coffers (say what you want to say about the Fire Lord, but even he wouldn't dare spend Fire Nation citizens' tax money on his own personal expenses; a bastard he may be as shown in his affair with Katara, but he wasn't corrupt like his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father before him).

Eventually, Aang had (reluctantly) accepted the gift, at first he felt too overbearing receiving such a grandiose (in his eyes) gift from his friends, but after getting assurances that it was the least they could do for him after everything he's done for them, he'd eventually grown to like the home as his own.

After learning that the Avatar now owned a new home, President Qing (the newly-elected First President of the Republic) offered his own present by hiring housekeepers and caretakers for the home and placing the home under protection of the Republic Secret Service.

Aang, as usual, objected to such a notion, saying that he doesn't need housekeepers and caretakers as well as a strict security detail, he was very much capable of caring for his own home as well as protecting himself; eventually, he and the President compromised with the President offering that the housekeepers and caretakers stop-by for home maintenance once every two weeks and that his home would only be placed under RSS protection whenever he was away, to which Aang agreed.

Returning to the present, Aang immediately set to work writing a letter to the Princess, with him fully much intending to keep his promise of writing to her whenever he's able, with that completed, he'd go on and start his daily cycle.

His usual daily routine would consist of early morning meditation, a quick morning workout regiment, take a shower, eat breakfast, clean the home, tend to the plants and the garden, leave for work, lunch, go back to work, go home, eat dinner, brush teeth, sleep, and repeat.

As one would suspect, such a bland routine would get boring very quickly, Aang was no stranger to this yet he'd come to accept it nonetheless, sure things would be a little different whenever Katara was with him or whenever his friends came by for a visit, but it was still the same nonetheless once they left.

Speaking of Katara, Aang had suddenly remembered that she still had some of her belongings here; sighing, he'd still have to pack them all up, he doesn't really know if he should drop her stuff in Sokka's apartment in Downtown Republic City, send it to Zuko in the Fire Nation, or mail her stuff back to the South Pole and hope that they get thrown overboard and sink at the bottom of the ocean when the cargo ship encounters a freak storm (which may or may not be of his making).

Come to think of it, he could always do all of that; drop 1/3 of her stuff in Sokka's apartment, send 1/3 to the Fire Nation, and mail the remaining 1/3 back to the South Pole and hope that they get thrown overboard and sink at the bottom of the ocean when the cargo ship encounters a freak storm (which may or may not be of his making).

Eventually, after contemplating on what to do with his ex's belongings (he'd just cross that bridge when he'd get there), he went on to send his letter to the Princess via messenger hawk, did his morning meditation, quick morning workout, took a shower, cooked and ate breakfast, did some cleaning, tended to the plants and the garden, and left for work on-board Appa.

[Present Day]

[Spring, 104 AG – The People's Palace, Republic City]

The Avatar groaned as he landed his massive ten-ton flying bison into the grandiose courtyard of the People's Palace, the home of Republic City's Executive and Administrative Branches of Government which also serves as the headquarters for the Office of the President, Offices of the Presidential Cabinet, the Convening Office of the Four Nations Council, as well as the Office of the First Consul/Avatar.

When Aang envisioned the creation of a fifth and neutral nation built and governed "for the people, by the people, of the people" regardless of race, nationality, heritage, gender, or bending ability, he thought that it would obviously be a fuckton of work for him to maintain it.

He just never thought it would be this much of a fuckton of work.

Aang could only sigh as he entered the People's Palace and made his way into his office. Along the way, he was saluted by members of the RSS and by the Republic Security Service as usual.

As he entered and made his way into his office and closed the door behind him, the Avatar sighed as he slid down the door. Clenching his head in his hands, mentally preparing himself for another day of paperwork, paperwork, and of course, paperwork.

"Spirits, the hell did I do to deserve this?", he told to no one in particular.

Just as he was about to stand up, he was suddenly caught off-guard by a familiar and seductive feminine voice.

"Took you long enough to get here, Lord Avatar. I was beginning to think that I hid in the wrong office.", the woman said.

As if on cue, the Avatar's strength and vigour returned to him ten-fold, he'd recognize that oh so beautiful voice he'd come to know and love from a mile away…

To be continued…