Break Away
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A Bird Could Love a Fish



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ABCLAF Logo This Kataang one-shot takes place in The Avatar Returns.

Chapter Six: Break Away

It hurts her.

It eats away at her soul.

It poisons her every breath.


Her body calls for it.

She must learn it.

She must.

Or she will be torn apart.

She trembles in her fury. To think, the very people she loves will be people who destroy her. To think, her own family will never understand. To think, the stranger whom she found in an iceberg will be the ticket to her destiny.

"Let me come with you."

Her voice is stranded among the wind.

His eyes, dark and soulful, are filled with sorrow.

And understanding.

"I can't. I can't take you away from your family."

She begs. She cries. She pleads. "Please—I want to belong here, but . . . something feels so wrong here. I want . . ."

"Please." His words ring with an anguish she cannot comprehend. "You don't know what it's like to be without your family."

She shakes her head, and her hair loopies shake with it, yet another reminder of her life, but one she will not give up.

"I do understand, and I'm willing to—to make a wish—take a chance—make a change. Please. I need to . . . I need to break away."

He is so far from her, sitting atop his sky bison, watching her from the air. He understands her. Why can't the others—her own brother—her own gran-gran—her own village . . . Why must she suffer from their ignorance? Why can't they understand? Why? Why? Why?

Because, says the voice in her head, he is a bender, like you. An Airbender. And something . . . something else.

He shifts in his seat, and she tracks his movements. She steps back in time for him to gently land, a current billowing. He shivers; she realizes he is cold. His hand rests on her shoulder, but she can only feel the pressure, not the warmth, through the layers of her coat.

Her very traditional Southern Water Tribe coat.

The traditions are smothering her. She has to leave. She has to break away. She has to go, to move, to breathe, to swim, to live.

She can feel the pressure of the outside world.

But not the warmth.

"You do," he admits quietly, his voice carrying the barest hint of worlds she has never dreamed of, much less seen. "You do need to break away. But not today, and not with me."

Her eyes, crystal blue, lock onto his, stormy gray. "Why not with you?"

He looks away. "I'm sorry, Katara. I'm sorry."

And then, like a shadow, he dissolves into the mist, soaring into a world untold and unseen.

But that is before.

And now she casts her gaze to the iron-gray ship, breaking through the icy water.

With him.

On board.

For her.

He broke away.

For her.

He gave himself up.

For her.

And now it is her turn.

To break away.

For him.

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