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|Are You Challenging Me?|
Chapter Seventy-Four: Are You Challenging Me?
"I just want to try this one move first," she explains, "and then it's all yours."
He nods and takes the scroll, examining it for a moment before unrolling it. She looks at the images depicted on the paper, thinking about which one to begin with.
That one looks easy enough. "The single water whip." She thinks, then smiles. "Looks doable."
She raises her arms, and the water streams into the air gracefully. Now for the whip. She somehow manages to snap the whip at her own forehead. She cries out slightly and jerks back. Her brother chuckles. She glares at him.
"What's so funny?"
Sokka sniggers. "I'm sorry, but you deserve that." Her brother shifts his position on the rock. Oh no, what does he have to say to Aang? "You've been duped." She glances at his expression and is relieved to see some sort of disbelief. "She's only interested in teaching herself."
"Aang will get his turn once I figure out the water whip . . ." She winces at the intense guilt barely hidden in her voice.
Once more, she whips the water, yet this time the wicked whip bites Momo, and the bat lemur chirrups in anger. Instead of apologizing, she roars, "Why can't I get this stupid move?!"
"You'll get it." She turns on him, and he is standing near the riverbank, a goofy expression on his face.
Oh, sure, Aang. Go ahead. Prove that I'm worthless.
He streams the water, and she can see how he moves as if he were the flowing water itself, and he appears to be an exact copy of the pictures on the scroll. "You just got to shift your weight through the stances." With nimble fingers, he plays the water, then allowing it to flow back into the river. "There. See? The key to bending is—"
I am so tired of you being the best thing since cooked rice! Her hands form fists, and she snaps, "Will you please shut your air hole?! Believe it or not, your infinite wisdom gets a little old sometimes. Why don't we just throw the scroll away since you're so—" She bites her tongue to keep from cursing. "—naturally gifted!" She glares at her brother. "What?"
She hears a whimper and glances back at him.
His expression is one of absolute misery, and her need to prove herself evaporates. "Oh my gosh, Aang, I'm so sorry." She winces. "I don't know what came over me, but you know what? It won't happen again." It pains her to do so, but she rolls up the scroll and hands it to him; he hesitantly takes it. "Here. This is yours. I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore."
The scroll beckons to her.
Are you challenging me? she growls.
It seems to say, Yes, I am.
"It's okay, Katara," he says, but it's not.
She has to prove herself.
She has to.
""Oh my gosh, Aang, I'm so sorry."" -> She actually says "Oh my God" or "Oh my gawd", but it really didn't feel appropriate. "Oh my spirits" anyone?
"chirrups in anger" -> Hi there, Shade Silverwing. How's Dusk the chiropter, by the way?
"'I am so tired of you being the best thing since cooked rice!" -> Did you know that rice enlarges seven times when heated in hot liquid? You know what else enlarges? [retreats to the safety of her gutter]
" She bites her tongue to keep from cursing." -> Katara cursed once because of ABCLAF. =P
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