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Offline A6

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Korra Writing Contest 16
« on: January 15, 2014, 02:34:06 AM »
Theme: Heroes
Info: Your Legend of Korra character, whoever you choose, has to have some kind of experience with someone in their world they consider a hero - a real encounter, a reflection, or something imaginary like a dream. Theme was chosen because we celebrate several American heroes throughout January and February
Word count: Unlimited
Start Date: January 14th
End Date: 12 am FT, 1 March, voting all day Saturday, winners announced Sunday 2 March

Adding two weeks to the contest.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 07:55:10 PM by A6 »
signatures - gift from my talented friends Water Lily and Honey Badger :3

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 04:20:36 AM »
So many great themes!

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Offline divsalley

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 11:38:27 PM »
HoneyBadger and I decided to collaborate for this one. I'm SO EXCITED to for everyone to see what we've come up with! Here it is!

Title: Blind Undefined
Author: divsalley, HoneyBadger
Rating: T
Word Count: 3756
Info/Author's Notes: Lin realizes that her mother is a true hero in the most unconventional way possible

Cover Art by divsalley and HoneyBadger (click to show/hide)

Blind Undefined (click to show/hide)Mid-morning air was filled with dust as the rising sun kissed Republic City. A steady hand falls rapidly toward the Earth, followed by a tremendous bang. The sound slices through the tranquility. A rumble shakes the foundation of a nearby dwelling.  Suddenly, the front door flies open.

“It’s too early for this again!” Shouts an unhappy Sokka. “All I ask is for one, JUST ONE, peaceful morning! And why do you always set-up your training ground by MY HOUSE?!”

Toph grins. “Aren’t you supposed to be meeting with the council this morning?”

Lin chimes in, “Better hurry up if you don’t want to be called ‘Councilman Tardy’ again!” she snickers.

His expression changes into that of a child who realized they’re late for school. He slinks back into the house and dashes out a moment later. “Thanks!” He barks, waving to the Earthbenders while running off.

"Alright, Lin. Close your eyes and get in your stance," Toph orders.

 Lin sighs and obeys. It's been a few hours since they've been at it, but she knows her mother is relentless.

"Good. Now tell me what you see."

Lin scrunches up her nose, it aids her concentration. This new training regime has been harder than anticipated. Earthbending is something she's familiar with, but this? It’s a technique that requires far more work.

"I see... fuzzy images. Someone's standing right in front of me... That's gotta be you," she analyzes further. "And... a little behind you, there's a mound of rocks... A tree.. to my left, and..."

"Not accurate enough!" Toph admonishes. "Lin, you can't be vague about this! You have to be exact and have split second timing to get it right! Do you understand?"

"Actually, I don't! I don't understand why I need to be trained in this technique! I'm great at Earthbending already!"

"Don't you argue with me, young lady! You need to learn it because I say so! Now try harder this time!" she demands.

"We've been at this for hours, mom! I need to catch up on my reading!" Lin retorts.

The older Earthbender groans. "Reading? Since when have you taken that up?"

Embarrassed, the little girl flushes. "I... Well, Uncle Aang and Tenzin keep mentioning some amazing things from their history scrolls, so..."

"Uh-huh.." Toph answers with a smirks. "So I take it you've been having fun?"

"Well, not really," Lin admits. "I have trouble with some of the words... Can you help?" she asks eagerly.

Toph freezes, not wanting to tell her daughter about her dislike for books. “No. I think we should be focusing on your Earthbending.”

The young girl sneers, “I’m not clay! Just because you want me to be like you it doesn’t mean I will!”

The mother feels her heart cringe. “Clay? You are more like sand! I never told you to follow in my footsteps, I’m helping you to be the best at something.”

“I am trying my best! I never back down from a challenge. That’s why I want to get better at reading.” Lin digs her bare feet into the ground. “Not everything is about Earthbending!”

Toph gives a half smile to her daughter, “Perfect stances, close your eyes and try it now.”

Lin stomps down hard, a chunk of earth springs up next to her. Dirt flying off in every direction. “This is what I’m talking about!” her arms swing toward the sky. “UGH! Unbelievable!” And with that she storms off.

The woman stands alone. It wasn’t the first time they had disagreed, but it was the first time she felt uneasy about it. They're both stubborn, direct, and fierce Earthbenders. But through any fight, Toph only gained a mother’s pride. Now their relationship felt unstable.

Lin exhales, clutching the quill and notepad she'd brought for her little study date with Uncle Aang. He'd kindly offered to help her read and write after she'd mentioned what happened with her mother. As the ferry glides over Yue Bay, she spots two figures waiting at the dock for her. She recognizes the tall figure with the toothy grin immediately. The shorter figure makes her brow furrow in slight irritation.

"Little Lily Liver! Come to brag about his skills, typical," she mutters to herself as someone announced their arrival at Air Temple Island. Several Acolytes get off before her, bowing to the pair, standing there in welcome. Tenzin seemed so stoic that she wanted to laugh. Maybe she'd mention it to him before going home.

"How's my favorite Earthbender?" The Avatar greets with a contagious smile.

"Hi, Uncle Aang!" she replies with a hug.

"Say hello, Tenzin," Aang nudges his son.

"Hello, Lin," Tenzin bows all too seriously, even getting a chuckle out of his father.

"'Lo, Tenzin! Been practising your stance I see! Is that why you're so uptight?" she mocks as his expression changes to one of deep dislike, as if unable to discern whether he liked her or wanted to whack her with a gust of wind for her rudeness.

"I see your Earthbending hasn't gone any better... Been falling over rocks again?" he smirked.

As usual, she was covered in dust. "Not bad, Ten! I thought Kya and Bumi had smacked your sense humor out of you for a second!"

Aang simply shook his head in resignation, knowing that sometimes young friendships could be unusual. At least when his son was around Lin, he seemed to let loose a bit more.

"Alright, you two. Time for us to study," he says as he leads them to the massive library.

"Can we read the story about The Great Divide today?" she asks enthusiastically.

"Of course! Have a seat, I'll go fetch it."

Their lessons continued on well enough. Over the next few weeks, Lin constantly went over to the island. She was always eager to read something new. And although Lin tried to get her mother interested in her new hobby, she never got a positive response from it. Sometimes it really bugged her that she couldn't share it, like she had with everything else.

One evening, whilst reading about Wan Shi Tong’s Library with the Avatar and his three children, Sokka and Katara join in. She had fun learning and listening to the adults reminiscing. To Lin, it was all very fascinating! It was opening up a new world of possibilities she'd never known about. They'd just finished up when they felt the earth tremble beneath their feet.

"Lin!" Everyone could hear Toph call out.

"Oh boy," Aang grunts, knowing that tone all too well.

"Lin, didn't you tell her you'd be here today?" Katara inquires.

“Uhhhh..” Lin winces as she realized she's missed the lesson her mother had been looking forward to.

“Sounds like you’re in deep trouble.” Tenzin reacts cautiously.

"We're in the library, Toph," Sokka announces, although with some trepidation.

Everyone felt the ground shake as the mother on a mission made her way to the library. Lin looked as though she wanted to flee. It was the first time she had ever felt that urge in her life. Katara gives the young girl a stern look. She understood that tone just as well as the others, but in a different way. After all, the Waterbender was a mother too.

"Lin, come with me this instant!" the fuming Earthbender orders, uncharacteristically angry.

"Calm down, Toph! She was just-" Aang was cut off.

"You missed your lesson," she states plainly.

"I'm sorry, Mom, I just lost track of time! You see, we were reading, and-"

"You're choosing reading over training?" Toph asks angrily.

"Mom, I-"

"You know how important your training is!" Toph points out.

"This is important to me, too!" Lin fires back.

The mother and daughter went head to head in a no-holds-barred confrontation. Tensions were on the rise, the pressure pounded down making everyone uneasy. Then the two stood, unyielding to the other. Silence enveloped time for what seemed an eternity.

“I want to be a scholar!” Lin was direct and immovable. This was obvious even though her breathing was heavy.

Toph’s expressionless face moved only to spout two words. “Big deal..”

“I’m staying here! You always-” The girls voice became shadowed by her mother’s.

“If that’s what you really want to do, then.. it doesn’t involve me.” Toph turned away. “I’m heading back home. When ready to take your Earthbending more seriously, I’ll be waiting.”

Sokka does his best to be reassuring. “I’ll bring her back first thing tomorrow.”

“No. Katara, Aang, I leave her in your care.” Calmly, she leaves the island.

Sokka shakes his head in shock “What was that?!”

“I think they both need time to sort this out. They’re clearly upset with each other.” Katara replies with a sorrow-filled heart.

“No, I mean, why did she pick you two?” He stands up, “She doesn’t think I could handle the job? She must of been really-”

The outraged Waterbender streams water right upside her older brother’s head. “Sokka! Grow up!”

Aang sends his children to bed. Placing a hand on Lin’s shoulder, he asks the Air Acolytes to prepare a room for their young guest. Everyone leaves except for Katara, Aang, Sokka, and the miniature Earthbender. They all sit around the table to talk to the girl.

“I’m sorry about all of this,” Lin whimpers, “I don’t understand why my mother got so angry.”

Katara places her arm around the girl, “You both said some awful things to each other, but that’s because the two of you have stubborn personalities. It’s a good thing but sometimes it’s hard to understand each other when that happens. She loves you so much, It must have been hard for her when you said you weren't going home.”

“No she doesn’t!” tears well up, “She abandoned me! You heard her! My mom only loves me if I’m Earthbending!” Lin quickly covers her face, burying it in her folded arms.

“That’s not true.” Aang reacts peacefully. “Toph has always been loyal and caring, but I’ve never seen her love anything or anyone more than you.”

“When you were born, I teased her about you possibly not being an Earthbender like her.” Sokka remarks with a confident smile. “You know what she told me? She said, ‘Earthbender or not, my daughter is the best in the world. I’m positive she will be the best at whatever she chooses to do’ No matter what, she would support you doing your best”

Lin sniffles a bit and sits back up, drying her eyes. “If that’s true, then she would help me with reading. I’ve asked her so many times and she doesn’t even try.”

Sokka responds immediately, “That’s not too surprising, she is blind.”

A puzzled look takes over Lin's face. “What does blind mean?”

Everyone looks at the girl. They share the same vacant look for a moment. When they all realize at once she doesn't understand, they stare at each other in the shock. How could she not have known? Toph never told her? It wasn’t really a problem for Toph to point it out to people. Why hadn’t the young Earthbender been aware of this until now?

“Blind.” Lin taps her cheek with her index finger. “I’ve heard that word a few times. But the way you used it just now, I guess it must not mean what I think it does.” 

“Ahhh, what do you think it means?” Aang ask curiously.

“To be the greatest at something?” She recalled the time her mother said ‘I’m the Blind Bandit! Nobody can defeat me! MuwaHahaha!!’

Katara clasps Lins hands between hers. “In your mother's case, that’s true,” she chuckles, “But blind means not being able to see with your eyes.”

“She’s never been able to see. She was born that way.” Sokka adds.

Lin didn’t quite understand. Her mother had seemed so normal; just like everyone else. She couldn’t possibly be blind! People that can't see need help with everything. But her mother had never even asked for help with her.

“She can’t be… Mom can see me just fine! Even when I’m-“ Lin began, but a memory of being found by her mother even when she’d hidden under her bed returned to her, making her wonder exactly how that had been possible had she been able to see.

“Lin, your mother’s one of the strongest people I know,” Sokka clarifies. “But the fact of the matter is, when it comes to admitting to her faults or weaknesses, she’s really hard-headed.”

“She used her seismic sense to find me! She’s always known how to do that! It’s not because she can't see!” Lin asserts, not wanting to believe that her mother would hide something this important from her.

“Sweetie, it’s the ONLY way she can see,” Katara says in an attempt to calm the child. “Listen to me… Your mother is a brave, strong woman. But she’s also stubborn. She’d never admit to feeling weak or helpless even if she’s hanging on by a thread. She keeps training you because it’s the only way she can see you. It’s how she’s always seen you. She sees you for the wonderful girl you are, and she wants to help you in every way she can!”

“But she doesn’t want to help me with reading!” the little girl huffs, crossing her arms in annoyance.

“Lin, don’t you understand? Instead of telling you that she can’t help you, she’s coaxing you into doing something she CAN help you with,” Aang explains sadly.

The realization struck her with the force of a boulder. She remembered all the times her mother had found her without even having to try… how she’d been able to read her emotions without being told a single word. How she’d always taught her to be self-reliant and resourceful so she wouldn’t have to ask for anyone else’s help. Tears mar her vision as Aang and Katara help her into her bed and tuck her in.

“I wanna go home first thing in the morning,” she declares.

“We’ll take you there after breakfast,” Katara assures her.

“She really had no idea!” Aang remarks incredulously.

“Of course she didn’t! If no one told her about it, it’d be impossible for anyone to tell Toph was blind,” Katara points out.

“Still, I think I’d better go talk to Toph first. If we take Lin home tomorrow and she suddenly starts treating her mother differently, she’s not gonna like it!” Sokka declares firmly.

The next evening Lin paces back and forth on the terrace overlooking the sky-bison stable. She was still upset about Sokka telling her that he was going to talk to her mother without her. Everyone knew she wanted to go straight home, but for some reason they were forcing her to stay behind.

"If you're going to mope around, you should do it somewhere else." Tenzin quietly announces from his lotus position. "I'm trying to meditate and you're giving off a gloomy vibe"

Lin snaps back,  "Why don't you go somewhere else then?!"

He opens one eye, "I was here first" 

"No, I was!"

The quarrel goes on for a few minutes until the young Airbender gives in. Lin sits on the ground across from him. They discuss her current situation. Eventually she decides that she needs a plan to get off the island.

"Listen Ten, I need to get home immediately. I've decided. You're going to fly me there on your glider."

"Uh.. I don't think so." He answers swiftly.



She stretches her arms above her head and replies, "That's fine, thanks anyways."

"Really?" Tenzin raised an eyebrow. He was shocked that she had given up so easily.

Lin smiled with a twinkle in her eye. "Yeah. I think maybe I'll go hang out with Kya and Bumi. I've got a great story to tell them about what really happened during that infamous 'sky-bison incident'."

His face turned completely red. In a flash he stood beside her with his glider in hand. "We should get going!"

They flew across the bay, over the harbor, past the stadium, until they finally spotted Lin's home. Although they were pretty high up, Tenzin was able to make out the figure approaching her front door.

"It's Uncle Sokka."

Lin peered down "That's right, he was going to talk to Mom."

"What do you want to do?"

"I want to hear what they are talking about.." She shifts her gaze to and open window.

"But won't you're mom notices a couple of kids eavesdropping?" He asks apprehensively.

"You're right! Just get down close and hover with me on you're back."

Tenzin's face turns red again. "No way!"

She whispers two words into his ear "Sky Bison.."

A rap on her front door wakes Toph up from her nap. Overwrought, she springs up and heads toward the door. But the vibrations she detected weren’t her daughter’s. She sighs and unenthusiastically greets her guest.

“What? Is she calling for mommy now?” she snaps angrily.

“Glad to see you, too,” he quips in a up-beat tone. “Can we talk? Do you have any snacks? I’ll make a fresh pot of tea!”

She moves aside, letting him in grudgingly. “I know why you’re here,” she grouses.

“Really?” he asks with a quirked eyebrow as he pours the tea.

“You’re here to tell me that I should cut my daughter some slack,” she says.

Sokka smiles at how well she reads people instantly. “Not exactly,” he shovels a pastry in his mouth and begins. “But I do want to know why you never told Lin why you use seismic sense.”

“It never came up,” she shrugs.

“Tell me, Toph… How is Lin supposed to understand why you can’t read with her if you never mention it to her?” he asks kindly.

“You don’t understand,” Toph says after a slightly uncomfortable silence.

“Explain, then,” he offers with a smile, she’s learned to discern from his voice.

She pauses, as if trying to find the right words to make him understand. Finally, she sighs.

“Sokka, when you first met me, you didn’t believe I could take The Boulder down… just because I was blind.”

“How do you-“

“I have exceptional hearing, remember? And I never forget a voice,” she reminds him.

“Well, true, but-“

“That’s the point, Sokka! You perceived me as weak without even knowing what I could do! You didn’t care to think that I’d already been crowned champion, or didn’t even bother to find out what skills I had!” she points out.

“Well that’s true, but… once I got to know you, I changed my opinion, didn’t I?” he challenges.

“Would Lin understand that?” she asks sharply.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m her mother. I’m supposed to be able to care for her and protect her. I know I can do it, but would she believe that a blind woman can take down anyone who threatens her?” she asks in a tone that is meant to challenge.

He finally sees her point. “But look at what it’s done to you two.”

“She understands. She’s a strong girl. I made sure of that,” she quips.

“She’s too much like you. Even though she’ll never admit it,” asserts Sokka.

“Exactly! I don’t want her to pity me. I want her to be proud of me, as I am of her,” she finally admits.
Sokka remains silent, deeming it best not to make things worse by telling either her or Lin what they needed to do next.

A loud crash breaks the silence, making them jump up and run outside to find the source of the crash. Two tiny silhouettes were crumpled against each other, bickering and complaining loudly.

“Get OFF!” Tenzin yells, pushing Lin off his back quite unceremoniously.

“Stupid Lily Liver! Can’t even hold an air scooter up properly!” Lin grouses, massaging her scraped arm and knee.

They stand glaring at each other, quite forgetting what they’d come there to accomplish, and not noticing the two adults walking towards them.

“That’s enough you two,” Sokka warns, separating the pair.

Lin looks at her mother, a little wary and unsure. But when she sees the same stubborn expression with a subtle touch of worry on her mother’s face, she slowly begins to understand.

“I thought you said you didn’t want to come home,” Toph states plainly.

“I didn’t,” Lin says, deciding not to avoid the inevitable. “But when I found-“

“I don’t need you to feel sorry for me, too, Lin. I’ve heard that quite enough from everyone else already,” the older woman cuts her off, her temper rising slightly.

“You think I feel sorry for you? After everything I just heard?” Lin asks angrily.

Toph remains silent, her daughter’s words once again bringing that strange uncertainty to her mind. They’ve always been so blunt and direct that not having talked about something is unfamiliar territory to them.

“I thought-“

“You thought I wouldn’t understand,” Lin finishes for her. “All you had to do was tell me!”

“I just… I didn’t want you to think I wouldn’t be there for you,” Toph finally admits. “I didn’t want you to feel like I did when I was your age.”

At a loss for words, Lin approaches her mother and looks up at her apologetically. Not for what her mother had been through, but for never trying to understand. Words had never come to her easily, so she does what she knows best and hugs her mother tightly. And to everyone’s surprise, Toph picks her up and holds her close.

After the initial shock wears off, Sokka snickers and says, “I guess you really aren’t made of stone.” He isn’t surprised at the punch she gives his shoulder.

“I guess I’ll go home then,” Tenzin says quietly, alerting everyone to his presence.

“You are in so much trouble, young man!” Sokka warns. “What’ll your parents say?”

“Take him home, Sokka. It’s been a long night for all of us,” Toph says in a surprising show of lenience.

Sokka sighs and hauls the young Airbender up to take him home, leaving the two Earthbenders to themselves.

No words are exchanged between mother and daughter as they go to sleep. But the little girl resolves to make an effort to understand her mother better, just as she resolves to be a little more accommodative of her daughter.

And every day after that, Lin notices amazing new things that her mother can do and the rest of the world can’t… making her realize how much of her Hero she is in so many ways.

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 11:47:38 PM »
This is wondeful! Love the art and the story! ^_^

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Offline divsalley

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 02:22:56 AM »
thank you, cassie! it was an idea that stuck with us well and we were able to work with it :)

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 04:23:23 AM »
It's a wonderful idea! ^^

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Offline Water Lily

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 10:48:59 PM »
Such a beautiful mother-daughter fic featuring the beloved Bei Fong family! Lovely work, you guys! :D

<< Post Merge: February 23, 2014, 11:11:27 PM >>

Title: Heart of a Daughter
Author: Water Lily
Rating: K+
Word Count: 2,741
Summary: Her father was her hero. Her greatest divine being. And she was his most ardent devotee. Still, these doubts circled her mind.

Author's Note (click to show/hide)This is a companion fic to 'Heart of A Child', my recent fanfic featuring Aang and Bumi II. Again, my sincere attempt at how Aang would have really equally loved all of his children. :3 Enjoy. :D

Heart of a Daughter (click to show/hide)Tip. Tap. Sploosh.   

A pair of divergent blue eyes scanned thoughtfully outside the boundaries of a nearby window. The owner of the eyes was no longer as energetic as she was a few hours ago, but she certainly didn’t lack potential to flash past memories and recall moments of laughter rather than what the eternal silence in the room had to offer. Having seen the happiness on every child’s face regarding the upcoming eightieth birthday anniversary of the deceased Avatar, the owner leaned her head against the window, not changing her facial expression as invading droplets from the sky perturbed her mood.

Drip. “Uh…I think your memory’s a little foggy. Bumi and I weren’t on those ‘great vacations’. It was always just you and Dad.”

Drop. “The Avatar had other children?”

The symphony of the rain pattered on her left cheek and trailed down her blue tunic. Though the droplets soothed and rejuvenated her tensed skin, they weren’t enough to wash away her weariness of the day. She could distinctly feel a long lost voice echoing through the air and calling out her name.


She tried to focus on the atmosphere rather than the uncomfortable feeling within her stomach. Sunlight was no longer peeking inside the same way as it had before. The sun’s rays, which formerly bathed the face and neck of the lone waterbender, disappeared through another of the Air Temple’s infinite windows as quickly as they had come. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder shattered the earth, both factors contradicting each other’s elemental reflections among her perspective.

It was supposed to be a joyful holiday in another twenty four hours… the birthday of her father as a matter of fact. But even though she was ecstatic about these factors…the factors that would definitely soothe a waterbender’s soul…she felt emptiness, nothing but emptiness raging within her. Somehow she hesitated. Even as she gazed calmly out of the window, letting her moderately aged fingers dance over a needle and cushioning her other palm on the long cloth, she could feel her pulse quickening for a sudden odd reason. As her eyes trailed over the stormy sky, they stopped abruptly.

She could have sworn that one cloud looked like an arrow.

“Aunt Kya, you have to see this!”

Kya ceased her sewing and smiled as she saw her ten year-old niece race into the room. In her arms was a large box holding the prized collection of historical scrolls. Her eyes were sparkling with delight. It amazed Kya how much her niece shared the same curiosity and love for scholarly studies that Aang possessed, though in bits and pieces of amounts.

“Look what Dad and Uncle Bumi got me!” Her grin stretched from ear to ear. “The ancient scrolls!”

Kya felt a small leap within her chest. Despite being more than thirty five years or so older than her niece, she seemed to share equal excitement in comparison to the little girl’s hyper mood.

“That’s great, Jinora,” the waterbender said excitedly. These very scrolls that Jinora held in her arms depicted the life of Avatar Aang. Jinora had longed to read the scrolls for quite a while now, and the time seemed to be perfect for her to learn about her prestigious grandfather. All of those scrolls were either officially transcribed from his interviewers or were autobiographical. And although Kya knew every word in every one of those scrolls, she felt her excitement seeping through her awareness again. It was almost like she was psychologically the same age as her niece.

She threw aside her sewing materials and gestured her niece to sit on the bed next to her rocking chair. The pattern of the rain continued to linger in the background but didn’t seem so harsh now.

“Uncle Bumi says that Grandpa Aang wrote these himself!” Jinora breathed as she carefully placed the scrolls in Kya’s hands and tackled the bed afterwards. “A lot of them are about his meetings and his exprences.”

“You mean ‘experiences’,” Kya laughed.

“Yeah, those.” Jinora grabbed a scroll and started to immediately unfold it.

“Careful. They’re antique.”

“I know, I know.”

Kya herself carefully picked up a scroll and let her palms slide over its rough texture. She gently unfurled it, smiling in recognition of her father’s handwriting.

The Imperial Palace in the Fire Nation has its luxuries, but I would say the most pleasant of those luxuries was seeing my lifelong friend, Zuko again. The accommodations were all very well carried out, and preparations for the important meeting sessions were purposefully arranged. It brings me joy to experience time with my friends just as I had experienced during my younger years. Hopefully the generals will agree to reduce the number of armaments of the nation’s army and promote the pathway to peace. This can greatly allow me to have a wonderful time visiting the nation again and reliving the experiences of my teen years.
            --Dated the fifth month-summer of 103 AG
              Year of the Dog

This was two summers before Mom and Dad got married, Kya thought smilingly.

“This one was when Grandpa Aang ended the war!” Jinora cried, bouncing up and down excitedly. “Ooh! Ooh! And this one right here was the official document for the building of Republic City!”

The waterbender nodded. “Yes, there are plenty of documents. You’ll be surprised how much you learn after reading all of them.”

“I bet there are more,” Jinora squealed as she fumbled through the other scrolls.

The next several minutes passed by in nothing but pure bliss. Memories of Aang flowed ceaselessly from the waterbender’s lips, and Jinora’s brown eyes just weren’t able to get any wider with excitement. Kya beamed at her niece’s interest in learning about the past associated with the Avatar family. The normally quiet ten year-old was now jumping up and down with excitement. Kya wished she could have possessed Jinora’s ability to smile at every word comprehended from the scrolls.

It wasn’t until both of them were roaring with laughter and squeals that the brothers of the house raced in to investigate.

 “What are you two doing?” rang Tenzin’s firm voice. The airbender was waiting by the doorway along with Bumi. It was obvious as to who was watching them sternly and who was grinning a toothless smile and flashing a small thumbs-up.

“I’m not too sure about this, Tenzin, but I think they’re reading scrolls,” Bumi stifled back a teasing grin.


“Oh, right. Lunchtime, ladies.”

“Can’t, Uncle Bumi. Maybe later?” Jinora flashed him her best pleading smile. And obviously Bumi was won over.

“Okay but in a few minutes-“

Bumi…!” Tenzin groaned.


“Not again, Jinora.” Tenzin began. “You’ve been stuck in your bedroom all morning and now you come out for the sake of reading more scrolls?”

“It’s not really a surprise, little brother,” Bumi interjected.

Again Tenzin shot him a look.

“Just saying…”

“I’m not going to let you skip lunch just to finish reading all sixty documents,” Tenzin commanded his daughter. “You didn’t even come down for breakfast this morning.”

“But Dad-“

“No buts.”

For a split second, Kya stared deeply at the closed scroll in her hands. She was lost solely in memories. The timing seemed so familiar.

“All in a day’s work for the Avatar Daddy, huh?” a certain airbender winked with a smile.

“All in a day’s work for me, too,” Kya mumbled between chews, slumped over the couch. “I can’t even swallow this rice now.”

“Woah, Princess, you still have one more bite to go.”

“Do I have to, Daddy?”



“No buts. I’m not going to let my little angel go hungry again until night.”

The waterbender started to squirm and eventually raced away from Aang’s attempt in making her eat another spoonful.

“Hold on, Kya, one more-“

Kya raced around the entire house, trying to escape from having to endure another piece of the rice cake.

“You were the one who said-“

“But I’m not hungry anymore.”

For a long while, the Avatar’s daughter squealed as her father tried to catch her from every corner using his airbending skills.

“What about Bumi?”

“Your brother and I have already been through this. Just one more, Princess, I promise…” Aang was running out of breath as he chased Kya continuously. “For me, Kya, please??”

“Daddy, I can’t…!”

“Maybe the tickle monster will convince you otherwise!”

Infinite series of pokes greeted the little waterbender as she was finally caught in her father’s strong arms, stopping only when she agreed to another spoonful successfully entering her mouth.

And Kya…” Tenzin eyed his sister, causing her to jerk out of her thoughts. “We’ve been waiting for you. Any day now.”

Kya softened her eyes at the thought of her father. The laughter of that day seemed to still echo through her ears. The Avatar was her hero. Her greatest divine being. And she was his most ardent devotee. Still, these doubts circled her mind. She sighed.

 “Give us a minute, won’t you Tenzin?” she asked gently. “It’s not like we’re starving ourselves.”

“See? Aunt Kya is with me,” Jinora smiled brightly.

“Eh, let ‘em have their aunt-niece time together.” Bumi mumbled in sync with his growling stomach. “I’m not waiting to eat those fruit pies any longer.”

Tenzin rolled his eyes. “Alright. But let me remind you, Jinora, that I’m the one who gave you permission to read those scrolls. I guess I’ll just have to take back-“

Fine. Coming.”

Tenzin smiled victoriously as Jinora walked past him impatiently. “Blackmailing should be illegal,” she muttered.

“Well now, we don’t want to miss your mother’s delightful cooking,” Bumi assured, giving her a few gentle pokes and sending her laughing the way downstairs.

Tenzin tapped his foot. “I’m still waiting, Sis.”

“Why can’t you be more like Dad?” Kya teased, getting up. “I’m sure he would have never blackmailed us.”

“Because he’s not Dad,” Bumi added. “That’s what makes Dad awesome.”

Tenzin felt flustered.

“Oh cut it out, Grumpy, you’re a good dad, too,” Bumi strangled his brother downstairs.

Kya smiled and was about to follow her brothers when she halted abruptly at the sight of a fallen scroll. The scroll was encased in a golden seal that held another scroll tightly to it. It was the first time Kya ever ran across this type of scroll.

Slowly she bent forward and picked it up. The texture was withered and wrinkled from the merciless blows of time, but it was still legible. The insides of the two joined scrolls were equally wrinkled but seared at certain parts with elevated areas…as if those areas were once moistened. Words somewhat unclear to decipher raced across the first page and unfinished sentences greeted the waterbender’s eyes on the second page.

Today was my little angel’s birthday, and I could never be happier.  She turned sixteen, but I know she will always be my sweet little daughter. She was glowing with happiness today. Bumi is usually at his best in pranks, but he was the one pranked the most today. Even Tenzin decided to help out his sister and rebel against Bumi. Kya and I had a great time. From food fights to gift exchanges, we were a happy family. Katara and I were sure we would probably never stop laughing and smiling.
I wish my sweetheart all the best. In a few more years she will be of marrying age. It’s shocking as I look back now. It seems like just yesterday she was first placed in my hands. Now she is old enough for me to start searching most prestigious and worthy suitors for her. Would she still stay with me after her marriage? Only time will tell. How lonely Katara and I would be if our children had to be away from us! Spirits forbid…
               Dated 121 AG, the eleventh month

Kya felt something striking though her chest. She immediately read the next scroll.

Sometimes I wish sorrow would spare the Avatar, especially in times like these. Council meetings have increased, and the Equalist rebellions have started to rise in number. All of this I can bear, but what strikes me more is that Katara’s health has taken a toll on her, and the only time of day I see her now is whenever I come home late in the night and see her sleeping incessantly with Kya sitting by her side.

A tear drop smear.

It has been forever since I’ve seen Bumi, for I know he is trying to stop the rebellions as best as he can. Tenzin’s efforts in entering the Spirit World have not been successful yet. No matter, I just want my children close to me. They make me infinitely proud.

Apparently, rumor has it that the Avatar has been spending most of his time with his ‘favorite’ child. How upsetting it is to see mankind judge fatherhood so cruelly. A ‘favorite child’? If only I was able to express to Katara my heartbreak. Only she would understand. Even solace has become a stranger to me. Worst of all… what if my children believe that? Would they see their father in a dark light? Would they believe these lies the world has created? Would a humble father Avatar be equivalent of a father who cares not a grain of rice for his offspring? Spirits, hear my cry…

Another smear.

No. I can’t underestimate my family. Katara and the children love me too much to believe these lies. Our memories are the evidence to our love for each other. I look forward to the day they prove the world wrong and demonstrate a husband’s love for his wife and a father’s equal love for his children, NOT an Avatar’s love for opportunity to repopulate his people…for his family members ARE his people.
                  Dated 151 AG, second month

Tears flooded Kya’s eyes, and her hands found their way to her face. Hysterical cries escaped from the waterbender’s quivering lips. All the sorrow trapped within her heart flowed out in the form of never ending tears. Once… just once she wanted to hear her father call her “Princess” again… Smile his contagious smile and promise her that he would never leave…

“What’s going on?!” Bumi rushed inside and held his sister by the shoulders. “Kya, what’s wrong?”

“Kya…!” Tenzin followed behind a millisecond later, accompanied by Pema and the children. Bumi grabbed hold of the scroll in Kya’s hand. He didn’t have to read two lines of the scroll to understand what upset his sister.

The Avatar’s family glanced over the scroll as Bumi and Tenzin knelt by their sister. Jinora took the initiative to force Kya into a hug. Meelo and Ikki clung to a pregnant Pema in sorrow.

“There, there,” Bumi said, clearing his throat. “Don’t be a crybaby, now.”

Kya nudged him angrily.

Ow…” Bumi chuckled, rubbing his ribs. “Going violent, eh?”

“Give her a minute, Bumi...” Tenzin said, making his brother back away a few steps.

Through the haze of her tears, Kya could see a faint silhouette approaching her and stroking her hair. She didn’t understand anything at first. It wasn’t until her head started to spin that she realized. No one else in the room was able to see the silhouette but her. Before long, her vision took the best of her and sent her into a subconscious vision. She was her five year-old self again, rubbing her eyes and hiccupping between cries.

And to her delight her greatest hero was standing in front of her, arms extended.

Kya raced over to the Avatar and tackled him with her fierce hug. Her wails never ceased. They only increased as her father gently rubbed her back and whispered words of comfort. And the most amazing part being that he was no longer encased in a bluish hue. It was like he was actually there… in person…

“You’ve been snooping through my scrolls again, haven’t you?” he teased. “Silly girl…”

Kya cried harder. “I’m sorry…I miss you, Dad…” she murmured, burying her face on her father’s robe. “I want things to go back to how they were!”

Aang laughed knowingly, his contagious smile taking shape. “No need to miss me, Princess. I’m right here…” He pointed to her chest, his warm grey eyes sparkling. "In your little heart." His tattooed hands brushed her tears away.

“Always?” Kya mumbled.

“Always, Princess… I’m always with you…”
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 11:11:45 PM by Water Lily »

~To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.~

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 11:29:34 PM »
Such a lovely story, Lily! You guys sure are doing an excellent job of making voting extremely difficult! ^^'

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Fanfiction | FictionPress | Tumblr | dA

Offline Water Lily

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 12:05:29 AM »
Thanks Cassie! ^^'

~To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.~

Offline HoneyBadger

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 01:33:56 AM »
Oh my spirits! Five-star fantastic, Water Lily! I was very intent on reading it even though I had some distractions. My son is watching cartoons and breaks into a crazed laughter. My, my, what a distraction! I put on my headphones and listened to this..
It's the soundtrack from TLOK. I'm glad I did too! Not only did it improve my focus, it went beautifully with the mood of the story! Hahaha! So perfect!

I dig your style of storytelling. Some time we should all collab together! It'd be fun :D

Offline divsalley

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 02:39:59 AM »
I agree, Lily! This is such an amazing piece! Kya and Aang's special bond is characterized so well here. Love it! Great job!

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Water Lily

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 10:21:23 PM »
Aw, thanks so much guys! *blushes*

And yes, I would love to do a collab with all of you! :D
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 10:24:27 PM by Water Lily »

~To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.~

Offline A6

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 04:14:26 AM »
Two incredible parent/child stories that give us insight into teh parenting skills of our first generation of heroes!   The tough love approach of Toph to Lin, and the premise of Aang loving each of his children equally, but enjoying their likes and dislikes and personalities each in a different way is wonderful.

I do subscribe to the equal treatment theory Lily. I didn't especially like what I saw depicted in Korra Second Season in the cloudbabies constant bickering.  As a father of four who loves all his children equally, playing no favorites, I want to believe this too. I think favoring one over the other is OOC for Kataang and their behaviors toward others throughout the show.  IMHO.

And divs and HB - seeing this great collaboration together brings back very pleasant memories of our own two, three, and four part collabs of FEP!  Great job, and accompanying art to boot!

What a wonderful reading experience tonight with two fabulous stories to enjoy! :)
signatures - gift from my talented friends Water Lily and Honey Badger :3

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Korra Writing Contest 16
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2014, 06:01:30 AM »
Title: Heroes (Lame title is lame. Sorry! ^^')
Author: Cassidy Alice
Rating: T

Heroes (click to show/hide)Hero: a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.


Katara looked up from her book and smiled at the three figures standing in the doorway of her bedroom in her small house in the Southern Water Tribe. After the recent events, everyone had mutually decided a vacation of sorts was very much in order and consequently, Katara's rather empty house was suddenly very full.

"Bit past your bedtime, isn't it?" She wondered.

"We could ask the same of you," Kya said taking a seat beside her mother on her bed.

"You could, but I don't have much of answer," Katara admitted. "What are you three doing up?"

"Rohan was crying," Tenzin said.

"Kept us all up," Bumi said. "You look like you're having fun."

"I am," Katara said, gesturing to the stack of items splayed out across her bed. Tenzin and Bumi took a seat and examined all the items. There was an assortment of book, albums, paper clippings and even a few records. Kya, Bumi, and Tenzin were all aware of their mother's random bouts of insomnia and they'd seen her often in the early hours of the morning trying to busy herself, but they'd never once seen her like this. Katara often liked to reminiscence, but never to this extent. She seemed to have pulled every last book off the nearest bookshelf and emptied out every last keepsake she'd saved.

"What is all this stuff?" Tenzin wondered.

Katara was about to explain when she was suddenly cut off by a cry of excitement from Kya.

"The Little Turtleduck!" The waterbender cried, holding up a small, hand-bound book made from paper. A cute little turtleduck was drawn on the cover and the title was written in elegant calligraphy. "I can't believe you kept this."

"What on earth is that?" Tenzin demanded.

"My favorite bedtime story," Kya explained. "Dad and I used to make up all these great bedtime stories, but my favorite was the one of Kai, the little turtleduck. We made it into a little book one day. Spent all day just drawing and coloring it."

"I remember that. You stole my calligraphy set," Bumi said.

"Technically, Dad did. And you weren't using it anyway," Kya replied.

"I'd have found a way to use it," Bumi protested.

"Probably by painting targets on me and using me for practice," Tenzin said, dryly.

"Now there's an idea!"


"Sorry, Mother."

Bumi pulled out an old faded book. "What's this?"

Kya glanced over and smiled. "It's Mom and Dad's going away present for you, remember? The day you left to join the United Forces, they gave you that so you'd always have a piece of home with you, but being the scatterbrained goofball you are, you forgot it. It's probably been sitting here ever since."

"What is it?" Bumi asked, flipping through the pages.

"A scrapbook, I guess." Kya replied. "Mom and Dad got a whole bunch of people to sign it and they put in little pictures and stuff to remind you of home.

Katara gave a soft smile. "Your father was sentimental that way. When you left the book behind, he had half a mind to go bring it to you. But he figured it wouldn't matter because you'd know you always had people waiting for you back home."

Bumi flipped through the pages, skimming the contents.

"Hey, Uncle Zuko signed this! How much do you think his signature is worth?" Bumi asked.


"I'm just kidding, Mom. I'm sorry I never even bothered to look at this. You could've sent it anyway."

"I could've, but honestly, your dad didn't have the heart to send it to you, even if it was meant for you."

"Why not?"

"We liked just looking at all your pictures," Katara admitted. "It helped take our mind off of your leaving for the forces."

She flipped the book open to reveal a series of pages with a number of pictures with Bumi in them. There were pictures dating as far back as his first birthday and Bumi couldn't help the smile that worked its way across his face.

"Those were the good days," he said, flipping through the book. "We had so much fun."

"Speak for yourself," Tenzin grumbled. "I always got picked on."

"Aww, come on, Tenny. You know it wasn't that bad."

"Don't call me that!"

"Honestly," Katara laughed. "You three haven't changed a bit."

"Ugh, Bumi, what is that?" Kya demanded, pointing to picture of Bumi with something tied around him. "You look ridiculous."

Bumi glanced at the picture and chuckled. "It was such a long time ago. You were probably too young to remember, but Dad made me these awesome wooden swords and we had a sword fight…until Dad accidently broke Mom's vase and then she got super mad. But that day was great. Dad said I had a lot of talent with the swords."

"More than him, anyway," Katara chuckled.

"Yeah, I beat him pretty good, didn't I?" Bumi chuckled. He traced the photograph. "Mom made this little scabbard for it afterwards and I took it with me everywhere until I joined the United Forces. I wonder what happened to it."

Katara pointed to the small trunk at the foot of her bed and Bumi gaped.

"You kept it?" He wondered, opening the trunk and rummaging around for it. When he finally found it, he nearly cried tears of joy.

"Your father kept it," Katara said, smiling softly. "I thought we should get rid of it because I didn't think you'd need it anymore, but he persuaded me to keep it. After you and Kya left and Tenzin went to the Air Temples to continue his airbending studies, your father and I would just get lost in memories some nights. It made us feel more like parents and less like empty nesters."

"So you've kept all of our stuff?" Tenzin wondered, surveying the piles of items spread out around them.

"All of them," Katara affirmed, handing a stack of papers to Kya. The younger waterbender looked completely lost for a moment before she nearly squealed in excitement.

"Oh, my goodness! I remember these! I was crazy into art when I was younger."

"She was just plain crazy," Bumi whispered to Tenzin. The airbender made no attempt to stifle his laugh and Kya stuck her tongue out at them.

"Where were these?" She asked, glancing at all her sketches and paintings. "I thought you must've thrown them out sometime after I started littering our house with drawings."

"They used to hang on the wall in your father's office in City Hall." Katara replied. She picked up a sketch and smoothed out the old, wrinkled parchment. "Your father always claimed he had the best décor in his office and I'm inclined to agree."

Kya seemed surprised. She hadn't recalled ever giving Aang her drawings, but it might've been possible that she had. Still, she couldn't imagine why Aang would hang them up in his office. It seemed an odd sort of thing to do.

"He really hung them up in his office?"

"Every one," Katara said. "Your Uncle Sokka always said he was so sure you'd become a famous artist after seeing your sketches."

Kya laughed. "I was alright at it. Tenzin was better, but he never liked any of his pieces well enough to save them."

"I don't draw well," Tenzin said, simply. "I was never good at it."

"That's your opinion, dear. Your father and I enjoyed your work very much." Katara stated. "We all did."

"All?" The siblings wondered, glancing at Katara with puzzled looks on their faces.

Katara nodded. "Your father and I, Uncle Sokka and Aunt Suki, Aunt, Toph, Uncle Zuko and aunt Mai, your grandfather and…"

"What? You showed them my horrible drawings?" Tenzin asked, looking appalled.

Katara's eyes twinkled as she handed Tenzin a small hand-bound book.

"When you were much younger, you wrote this wonderful little story about our family and Kya and Bumi helped with the pictures and it's been with me ever since you made it."

"I remember it," Kya said, fondly. "You and Dad were the heroes and we were you sidekicks and we'd defeat the evil Overlord."

"It was supposed to be about you and Dad and your adventures," Tenzin admitted. "But, I don't think I did it justice."

"You did fine, little brother," Bumi said, clapping him on the back. Tenzin smiled and began leafing through the pages as Kya and Bumi glanced at the drawings.

"This was some story," Katara recalled.

"Of course it was," Kya said. "You guys were our heroes."

An odd sort of look came across Katara's face.

"It's funny you should mention that," she mused, getting up and rummaging for something in her closet. With a little difficulty, she pulled out an old phonograph and set it on the nightstand beside the bed. Her children watched her as she pulled an old record out from the small collection she kept and set it on the device.

"Your father once did an interview with a reporter on the radio. You guys probably never knew…"


"Not at all."

"I don't think so."

Katara chuckled. "It was well after you three had left home and we were empty nesters. Your father was completely against doing this interview but the only reason he agreed to it was because Zuko consented, so they sat down and did it. Only two copies of it were ever recorded. Zuko has one and we have the other. I don't know if your father ever intended for you to listen to it, but I think it's something worth hearing."

She set the needle down on and the recording played.

The first segment consisted of the interviewer's exchange with Zuko. It wasn't too long and the trio found it wasn't as bad as they expected. They'd been prepared to listen to some drab interview that was all politics, but it was surprisingly interesting. When Aang was finally introduced, the siblings scooted closer and listened intently.

The interview began as most did with a series of pleasantries exchanged between Aang and the reporter. The two then went on to discuss various things from Republic City to airbender. The segment the siblings were most keen on hearing arrived at last and Bumi shut the door to Katara's room so as not to wave up Pema and the children and turned the volume up.

"Would you mind answering a few, more personal questions?" The reporter asked.

"Not at all," Aang replied. "I'd be happy to."

"Earlier in the program, we spoke with Firelord Zuko who credited his uncle as being the most influential person in his life. Who was the most influential person in your life?"

Aang didn't even pause for a moment before he gave his answer. "Katara."

Three pairs of eyes fixed themselves on her and Kya threw an arm around her mother.

"I knew he was going to say you," she said, smiling.

"What's your biggest regret?" The reporter wondered.

Aang must've been deliberating for a moment because there was a pause before he finally answered.

"Not spending enough time with my family," he answered. "I've tried to spend time with all my kids but I feel like I haven't done a good job of that and that I might've spent too much time doing certain things instead of spending time with them."

Kya ad Bumi discreetly exchanged glances.

"What do you think you'd have been if you hadn't been the Avatar?" The reporter asked.

"Oh, that's easy," Aang laughed. "A father."

"No profession?"

"Well, I'm not sure if there's anything I really excel at."

"Always the modest one," the report chuckled. "You don't think you'd be a merchant or anything?"

"Probably not," Aang admitted. "Maybe a farmer. My people were farmers in way."

The reporter murmured something in agreement.

"Now, this next question might be a little odd considering someone of your status, but who is or who are your heroes?"

"This might be a rather unconventional answer," Aang said. "I've always thought of my children as heroes."

"That is rather unconventional," the reporter admitted, chuckling. "It's usually the other way about, isn't it?"

"I suppose so," Aang responded.

"I understand your eldest son joined the United Forces."

"Yes, he did," the airbender said, proudly. Bumi hadn't been there when the interview had taken place, but he liked to think his father was smiling proudly and his eyes were sparkling. "I've always admired that about him. People used to look so shocked when Katara and I mentioned Bumi wasn't a bender and, no one ever told me this outright, but I'm sure some must've been a trifle disappointed that he wasn't an airbender or anything. But, in spite of whatever expectations people may have had, he never let that bother him or stop him from doing what he wanted to do. I'm sure he's a wonderful addition to the forces and I hope I don't sound too arrogant, but I'm sure he's a valuable asset to them. He's a brilliant tactician."

"It must've been hard to lose your son to the army." The reporter stated.

Aang must've shrugged because there was the faintest sound of rustling fabric.

"I don't see it as a loss, really," the Avatar explained. "It's a risky business; that much is true. But I think it's one of the most courageous things a person can do. And the sacrifice one makes in joining the United Forces is truly remarkable. I don't think I'd have had the strength to do what my son did at his age. I'd miss my family and friends too much and I'm probably too selfish to give them up."

"Nonsense! You've lost enough, so it's understandable. Now, I understand your youngest is off studying at the Air Temples."

"Yes. He's undertaken a rather difficult task."

"Oh, yes. I can see why. You must be so thankful that he's an airbender."

"I'm thankful that he's happy," the airbender said. "His bending abilities have nothing to do with it. That he's an airbender is just an added bonus."

"And your daughter?"

"She's currently travelling the world and she's become a master healer, which I really admire. I've always wanted to learn the art of healing, but I never had the affinity for it."

"It must've been difficult to let her go."

"A little," Aang admitted. "But she was destined for greater things than just being an ordinary waterbender. Katara and I both come from different backgrounds, but Kya's found a unique way to blend them together, something neither of us has been able to really do."

"I see. The audience and I would love to have you elaborate, Avatar Aang, but I'm afraid our program is coming to a close, so I'll ask one last question. What do you think your legacy will be, say, a hundred years from now? What do you want to be remembered for?"

"Just as being the father of my children."

"You don't think your legacy will be something greater?"

"I think that's the greatest legacy a father could ask for. To be honest, I haven't given it much thought, but if I had to choose a legacy, that's what I would choose. I think my children. Years from now, that's probably what people will remember me as: being the father of my three wonderful children."

A round of applause ensued from some unknown source and the program finished with some concluding remarks from the reporter. For a few minutes after the recording had ended, neither one of the siblings said a word. At last, however, Kya broke the silence.

"Did Dad really feel that way?" She asked, gazing at Katara.

The old waterbender smiled. "Of course he did. Your father loved you very much. All of you. I know sometimes it may not have seemed like that, but he didn't do that intentionally. We were both very proud of all of you."

"I miss Dad," Kya said, gazing at an old photo of a much younger Aang and Katara, surrounded by Sokka, Toph, and Zuko.

"We all do," Bumi said. "I'd have never thought that Dad really felt that way. We're just…us."

"Doesn't make you any less wonderful," Katara said.

"But no one considers us heroes, except Dad."

Katara's cerulean eyes twinkled with mirth as she pulled out a piece of parchment which she placed in front of the three siblings. It was a crude drawing of several stick figures but upon further inspection, it was apparent that each stick figure represented someone. There were a cluster of three, representing Tenzin and his siblings and then one very badly drawn Lin. A horribly misshapen Korra stood off to the right and some other indistinguishable figures were drawn behind her.

Tenzin gave a small smile. "Did Meelo draw this?"

Katara nodded. "The children were playing a game earlier and Meelo insisted he draw a sketch to commemorate "the best game ever."'

"What kind of game?" Bumi demanded.

"By the looks of it, they were us," Kya said, pointing to a crude drawing of Oogi in a uniform and Jinora dressed in Water Tribe garb and Meelo himself in airbender garb. Ikki was dressed in an odd sort of uniform that was practically indistinguishable.

"Hey, I'm way better looking than that!" Bumi cried. "I demand a new sketch."

"The point is, to those that matter, you'll always be heroes. Look at the children. They adore you." Katara pointed out. "And you shouldn't doubt yourselves. If there's one thing I've taught you…"

"We know," Kya laughed. "We can do anything if we put out mind to it and all that."

Katara just sighed. "I'll miss all of you when you leave again."

"You could come back with us to Republic City, Mother," Tenzin offered. "The kids would love that."

"No, I wouldn't be of much help," Katara said. "When you're my age, all you want to do is sleep. Or stay awake and contemplate."

"Pema and I would still love to have you."

"That's sweet of you, dear, but I don't think that'll work. You'll all just have to move down here."

"I wouldn't mind that," Bumi said.

Kya made a face. "Speak for yourself. I am not living off of stewed sea prunes. They're disgusting."

Katara just shook her head, but she was smiling. "You are your father's daughter."

The small clock in the room suddenly chimed the hour, breaking the festive mood.

"It's late. You three should get to bed."

"In a bit," Bumi promised. "I want to look at this stuff a bit more."

Kya settled beside him and Tenzin was already leafing through a set of papers, so Katara just let them be and wandered to the sitting room with her book. She managed a full seven chapters and a cup of tea before she felt sleepy enough to venture back to bed. But when she entered her room, her bed was occupied by her three children who'd fallen asleep amid all their old mementos. Silently, so as not to wake them up, she withdrew some blankets from the closet and spread it over them, before tiptoeing out of the room and back to the sitting room. With a smile on her face, she settled into a comfy armchair and gazed out the window, waiting for sleep to take hold. The curtains were partially ajar and Katara thought she caught sight of a familiar figure ascend into the skies, but she made no move to get up and check. Once, she'd have watched the skies frantically to determine whether or not her eyes were playing tricks on her or whether she was really seeing a certain airbender but now, she made no move to do so. Instead, she just smiled and glanced up at the stars, as if somehow knowing Aang might be there somewhere, watching her. With a whispered goodnight followed by her standard declaration of Ilove you, the waterbender closed her eyes and fell into a peaceful sleep.

And outside, the stars seemed to glow brighter.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 10:59:01 PM by A6 »

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