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Chapter Seventy-Eight: Drink
He sits cross-legged before the guru, three of his chakras opened, the fourth awaiting.
"The fourth chakra is located in the heart," the guru explains. "It deals with love and is blocked by grief."
His gaze shifts to the statue of a nun; his smile disappears.
"Lay all your grief out in front of you."
The words of the guru flow over him like water, and he presses his thumb and index finger against his heart; closing his eyes, he imagines himself in a vast mist of emerald green.
From the fog, Monk Gyatso rises.
More monks, rising from the mist, forming from the clouds, until they are in the shape of an arrow, and he can feel the tears pool.
He reaches out to them, his face alight with love and adoration.
And then Monk Gyatso is enveloped in a thick cloud that floats away through the air like smoke.
The Air Nomad Genocide.
The tears transform into those of grief, hot and painful. He reaches for them, but he feels a pressure around his heart, and a powerful, agonizing force drags him backwards.
The words of the guru fill his mind. "You have indeed felt a great loss, but love is a form of energy, and it swirls all around us."
The pain in his heart lessens as he raises his head to see his family float gently above. He lifts his arm towards them, and the sight makes his soul sing with happiness and joy—
"The Air Nomads' love for you has not left this world." Each word is a mockingjay, twittering, gliding, soaring, singing. His inner grief fights, but the love grows, and it washes away the grief as water washes away the blood. "It is still inside of your heart and is reborn in the form of new love."
Water and air.
Water and air.
It moves delicately, and then he can see her, her—the wind playing her hair loopies—her eyes alight with love—a smile upon her face—as she sees him for the first time.
The tears flow freely down his face, each one a reminder of his love for her.
"Let the pain flow away." The edges of the guru's eyes crinkle with his smile. "Very good."
The grief flows down the creek, flows away, and the love fills him, buoys him, uplifts him. As the tears flow down his cheeks, he wipes them away.
He wipes his grief away.
Katara . . .
I love you so much.
Every moment with you is like a drink of water to a man dying of thirst in a desert.
As I was dying of thirst before I met you, my little Waterbender.
He opens his eyes, and a smile forms on his lips. His heart beats out every word.
"Can I have some onion banana juice please?"
This chapter was originally going to be the scene in 309 where Katara puts him onto the bed . . . then, about a week or two ago, I leaped to my email and screamed to Sifu Vulmen: "Oh noes I totally forgot that scene in 219!"
So this chapter was born from the ashes . . .
"Every moment with you is like a drink of water to a man dying of thirst in a desert." -> Specifically, the Si Wong Desert.
"my little Waterbender" -> He uses that same line in the chapter Teamwork.
Clouds? Come on. Kataang anyone?
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