[16:54:54] KataraPlushie It was late in the morning in the Southern Water Tribe, the air cold as it was during the winter, snow falling from a dismal sky. Katara sat cooped up in her house, having been up since dawn. The weather matched her mood; today was definitely not a day she liked the remember... It marked the seven-year anniversary since her mother's death.
[16:57:29] AangPlushie Aang walked through the snowy path of the small Southern Water Tribe village. Although he knew that Katara's mother was killed, he was oblivious to the exact date. It would not be long before he was told of the date, when he saw Katara's father, Southern Chief Hakoda, walking in his direction. Aang saw the chief and bowed to him. "Good morning, Hakoda." (cont'd)
[16:57:57] AangPlushie "Avatar Aang, how are you doing?" Hakoda asked, a tone of sadness in his voice.
[17:01:23] AangPlushie "Are you okay, sir?" Aang asked. "Well, Aang, not really," the chief responded. "Today was the day my wife, Kya, was killed. It was seven years ago," he explained. Aang held his hand over his mouth in shock. "/This/ is the day?" he asked. "It is. I can see it before my eyes, as if it were yesterday," Hakoda bowed his head down. "I guess that's why I haven't seen Katara today...I should probably talk to her," Aang said. "Is she home?" Hakoda looked to him and said, "I am not sure, probably though. She might not want to be bothered, though, but you can try." Aang nodded his head and walked towards Katara's house.
[17:10:33] KataraPlushie Katara continued to sit motionless in her living room, unable to find any comfort or will to get up and carry on with the day. The day still haunted her to no end. She tried to push it to the back of her mind, but couldn't.(cont'd)
[17:12:20] KataraPlushie Memories came back to her, even ones before that fateful day. She suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness; a few tears slid down her cheeks. Just then, she heard the sounds of heavy footsteps approaching. She hastily wiped away the tears and looked towards her door.
[17:13:51] AangPlushie Aang peered into the small icy house, looking around for her. "Katara?" He said quietly. "Are you there?"\
[17:16:06] KataraPlushie Seeing that it was Aang who had come to visit her brought her some solace, but she still found it hard to stir from her spot. "I'm right here," she said in an equally quiet voice and raised her hand slightly. Judging by her boyfriend's serious, somewhat saddened expression, she could tell her knew.
[17:17:17] AangPlushie Aang looked at her downbeat look and remembered Hakoda's words. "Do you want to talk to me?" He asked, his look taking on a frown.
[17:21:21] KataraPlushie Katara looked away for a moment, feeling too depressed to even look him in the eye. But then she remembered that it was Aang and he was only trying to help and found herself looking up at him, tears glistening in her eyes and trying to find words to say.
[17:22:13] AangPlushie Aang was not sure what to do, with Katara being silent. "Katara?"
[17:25:40] KataraPlushie She sighed, pushed a few locks of loose hair out of her face and said in a shaky voice, "It's just hard, you know, with today being... well, you know... You think I'd be over it and kind of moving on, but... I can't."
[17:26:52] AangPlushie Aang walked in and took a seat next to her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I understand...your Dad just told me what today is. Do you want to talk about it?" His voice had dropped to a whisper, a look of concern and sadness reflecting in his stormy grey eyes.
[17:31:31] KataraPlushie "Well, yes and no...," she admitted. It always pained her to talk about her mother's death, but she figured that just keeping her feelings to herself wasn't going to help her much. "It's so hard for me to think about that day, but I can summon the will to talk about it."
[17:33:32] AangPlushie "I've never heard of it from you," Aang said. "Please...talk to me."
[17:38:33] KataraPlushie Katara sighed again and began reccounting the day seven years ago. "It's still so clear in my head. I remember me and my brother were simply enjoying ourselves, having a snowball fight as kids are wont to do. I can still picture how Sokka was ready to hit with one when the black snow suddenly started falling.(cont'd)
[17:40:46] KataraPlushie We knew instantly that it meant a Fire Navy raid as our father had once told us. I didn't know what to do or where to go as our village had never been raided for as long as I had been around, so I decided to seek out my mother for safety. I ran to our house, knowing I'd find her there. What I didn't know was that someone else was there, too.(cont'd)
[17:44:18] KataraPlushie I burst through the front door and saw him..." She said "him" with such a bitter, poisonous tone. "He was tall and intimidating, a man full of power and hate. My mother pleaded with him to let me go, saying she would give her information he apparently wanted. The man demanded sharply, 'You heard your mother; get out of here!'(cont'd)
[17:46:12] KataraPlushie I was frightened out of my wits of him, but Mom assured me everything would be alright and urged me to find my father. I took one last look at the man and saw this hateful, monstrous look in his eye. Helpless and with no other choice, I ran out of the house in search of my dad.(cont'd)
[17:48:10] KataraPlushie It didn't take me long to find him. I screamed for his help, saying that Mom was in huge trouble and warned him of the man that was threatening her. We both ran to the house as fast as we could, but it was already too late..." She found herself growing emotional.(cont'd)
[17:49:10] KataraPlushie "The man had already disappeared by that point and my mother was already gone..." She huddled up and shivered, the horrible memory dawning on her. Outside, the snowstorm raged on.
[2011-10-18 17:49:29] <AangPlushie> Aang's mouth hanged open as he heard the whole story. When she finished, he could only feel a wave of sympathy coming on. "I'm so sorry, Katara...that must have been scary. I wasn't there when my people died...you saw your mother's death..." In this light, he could only think to hug her.
[2011-10-18 17:52:40] <KataraPlushie> Katara tried to relax in his embrace, but she only felt numb and un-nerved. A fear tears trickled down her face. She tried to compose herself as best she could. "It's still hard for me to this day. That's why I felt so obligated to kill him that day when me and Zuko went to track him down. In the end, though, I couldn't..."
[2011-10-18 17:55:52] <AangPlushie> "I remember that day," Aang said, hugging her tighter. "You were so hurt, and angry, and I knew you needed to see him. I am so proud of you for sparing him. Though, out of curiosity, why did you hold back?"
[2011-10-18 17:59:14] <KataraPlushie> "I can't say for sure," she answered, tracing back that moment where she stood over Yon Rha in the pouring rain, suspending the ice spears in mid-air. "I just didn't have the heart to take out my anger on him. Something told me that killing him was not the solution, that it would only make things worse."
[2011-10-18 18:02:43] <AangPlushie> Aang had a feeling that he may have been that something, but would not declare it out loud. "Whatever that something is, Katara, it's true. Stooping to his level would, honestly, not make you any better. Show that you're stronger and won't give in to rage. That's also why I was proud of you...you proved yourself stronger than him," he said, brushing her hair lightly.
[2011-10-18 18:06:56] <KataraPlushie> "I guess you're right. Be the bigger person, as they say... But still, it didn't change what happened that day... Nothing will," she said, still feeling sorrowful. She ran her fingers across the snowy ground.
[2011-10-18 18:12:24] <AangPlushie> "Katara, I want to tell you about something," Aang started to explain, as he pulled himself away from Katara for a moment, his hand moving towards his heart. "When I met with Guru Pathik at the Eastern Air Temple, he told me about chakras. We have seven of them, and the fourth one is called the air chakra, dealing with love and blocked by grief," he spoke softly. (Cont'd)
[2011-10-18 18:14:20] <AangPlushie> "Your grief for your mother, right now, is blocking your air chakra, as mine was blocked for the grief I had for the Air Nomads, especially Monk Gyatso. You obviously had a great deal of love for your mother," he continued softly. "Close your eyes, and think. Does that attachment, that love, still exist? It did for me."
[2011-10-18 18:16:06] <KataraPlushie> Katara sat up straighter and at his command, closed her eyes, although she didn't have to think twice about his question. "Yes, that love still exists."
[2011-10-18 18:19:13] <AangPlushie> "Tell me, Katara," Aang smiled brightly, knowing where the love for his people was reborn in to, or rather, who. "Is there anything, anyone you can see where your love has been reborn into?"
[2011-10-18 18:21:17] <KataraPlushie> She felt herself smiling a bit as she immediately envisioned the face of the young Avatar who sat only inches from her now. "Yes, there is," she told him. "Need I say who?" She felt her spirits rising quite a bit at this.
[2011-10-18 18:22:37] <AangPlushie> "I don't think I need to say where the love for my people lives now," he smiled. Seeing a smile appear on the Waterbender's face, he put his arms back around her.
[2011-10-18 18:25:14] <KataraPlushie> She found herself able to relax as he hugged her again. "That's an interesting concept, love being reborn. I never thought about something like that. That guru taught you quite a bit, I'll bet."
[2011-10-18 18:28:57] <AangPlushie> "It wasn't until I met Pathik that I saw that love could be re-born...I was fortunate enough that I met you, to give me that new love," he said, continuing to hold her. "Believe me, it still hurts that Gyatso is gone. I know it still hurts for you that your mother is gone, but, as long as we have each other...we will always have that love to end our grief."
[2011-10-18 18:33:41] <KataraPlushie> "I can imagine it still does for you and it still does for me as well," she admitted, "but you're right. We have each other and that makes it better. Thanks for teaching that to me."
[2011-10-18 18:35:12] <AangPlushie> "Any time," Aang said. "Anything for you, Katara." He gave her a kiss on the cheek, continuing to brush her hair lightly, as the snow continued to fall at a heavy clip.
[2011-10-18 18:39:46] <KataraPlushie> She smiled, leaning on him and feeling a lot more relaxed than before. That day was still dark and nothing would change what happened, but out of that strife was reborn a new love for someone else. And that was all she needed.
[2011-10-18 18:43:06] <AangPlushie> Aang allowed his girlfriend to remain snugged in his arms, giving each other warmth on that cold and trying day. He too knew he could not bring back Gyatso, but knew that Katara was always with him, and he was fine with that. In fact, it was perfect.
- First appearances of Yon Rha and Kya; though only by flashback mentions.
- Kya's only appearance.
- Yon Rha will factor much more later.
- First appearance of Hakoda.
- Appearing in Aang and Katara's discussion after her flashback are the events of "The Southern Raiders" when Katara and Zuko tracked down Yon Rha.
- Aang recalls what he learned about chakras in "The Guru".