|By Katherine Rebekah||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Katherine Rebekah||Drama||PG||None||None|
|Forgive Us Our Sins|
To my readers, I can not thank you enough.
As many of you know this was my first fanon. It got off to a shaky start. It had bad reviews. I did an entire rewrite. Then I gained a small following. Lastly, I left you all, and Katara, hanging for a long time. For that I must apologize. I'm sorry for all of my screw ups. I wish I could have been a better writer for you all.
But that's in the past.
What's important now is that we've come to the end of the line. I had been planing a whole other part, but upon rereading I realized that it doesn't need one. It may not be ending the way I planed, but that's life. I hope this gives some closure to the story.
So, two years after I first started this, we've come to the last chapter. And let me tell you, I have learned a lot. Much of it has been because of you guys.
You deserve this chapter. You deserve an ending. So, I've tried to put my best writing into it, a way of making up for past mistakes. I hope this last chapter leaves you feeling satisfied.
This one is for you guys.
Anxiety was what woke Katara at one a.m. on Christmas Eve Morning. She sat up in bed panting, pressed a hand to her tightening chest, squeezed her eyes shut and tried to pretend it wasn't happening. Anxiety familiar and dreaded. Anxiety back almost worse than when it had first begun. She had almost forgotten it. Almost forgotten the nausea and the anger and the nothingness that inevitably followed. No. This couldn't be happening. Not now. No.
For two weeks she had been fine, wonderful even. She had regained the taste for life that had slipped from her so quickly sense she heard of Yon Rha's imminent release. She had written off her little episode as a freak incident. An anomaly that would never be repeated. So why now? Why was it all coming back?
Katara swung her legs out of bed, careful not to wake Aang, and got up. She put her hands to her hips, bit her lip, paced the dark room for a while, then went out into the living room where there was more room to breath.
She plugged in the Christmas tree, watching the little twinkle lights chase one another up and down, up and down. It was oddly therapeutic. Katara sank into the couch, tucking her knees up to her chest, and stared at the tree until her eyes glazed over and she no longer saw the sparkling lights, but was bombarded with flashes of memories.
That night that her mother died. The screaming and blood. Being spared by Zuko, his face half bandaged.
Stopping the blood flow from Combustion Man's chest. The talk with Zuko in his Jaguar. The sickness that followed.
The argument about Sokka going to war in the damp parking lot of The Jasmine Dragon.
Going to Phoenix for the first time and snapping at Bato. The look of hurt and guilt on his face.
Visiting Gran Gran and Mom at their graves. Swearing not to let Yon Rha get out.
Having that odd, bipolar conversation with herself as her mental state slipped into oblivion.
Driving that one night, out to the old house. Throwing glass bottles and cutting her hands open. Her all-time low.
Landing herself in the hospital. The hurt on Aang's face. The only time she had ever seen him look at her with such hurt.
The appointment with Yagonda. Her nonjudgmental attitude. Her advice to turn to a Higher Power. Toph's equally convincing arguments against such a Being.
Meeting up with everyone at the house. Feeling cornered. Lashing out like a crazed woman. Apologizing. Reconciling with Bato.
That moment with Aang on the porch. When she realized all of her fault and stupidity. When he so freely forgave her. Aang, who loved her more than she thought was possible. Loved her though all of this. Her entire family that had loved her though all of this, regardless of their religious beliefs, whether they thought Yon Rha should be locked up or free, whether she was acting sane or crazy. They forgave her.
Katara blinked, coming back to the present, and rubbed her misty eyes. She didn't deserve them.
But the issue of Yon Rha still remained. He would be released in the Spring and that thought still set apprehension twisting in her stomach, brought up those feelings of panic that first sent her over the edge.
Katara set her jaw. She would not let the feelings get the best of her this time. Her family deserved a good Christmas, devoid of worry over her and her problems.
She unplugged the Christmas Tree and tiptoed back into the room, slid under the warm blankets, and wrapped an arm around Aang's chest. He responded by grasping her hand and plating a sleepy kiss on her palm. Katara smiled. She closed her eyes and forced herself to take shallow breaths, even though the tightness had not left her chest and she was well aware that she would not get a single minute more of sleep that night.
The morning came slowly, but in the most pleasant of ways. It was one of those soft mornings, where everyone woke up on their own time and lulled around the house, doing whatever suited them.
Katara was the first of them to rise, having never gone back to sleep. She got up while it was still dark out, made herself a ridiculously large cup of coffee, and sat out on the porch, enjoying the cool air, glad that Kyoshi Island was not chilly, even in December.
The moon was still out, it was almost full but had one more cycle to go. Katara trained her eyes on it as she drank her coffee. She could never look at it without thinking of Kya. And there was that tightness in her chest again.
"Come on, Mom. Can't you just tell me what to do? I've got to get rid of this. And that promise I made you, was it right? I just— I don't know."
"Don't know what?" Katara jumped.
"Aang." She turned and smiled up at her husband. A painful, fake smile. "Why are you up so early?"
Aang gave Katara kiss on the top of her head and took a seat in the deck chair next to her. "Because you're awake."
"Oh." She looked toward the ocean, the waves crashing violently against the shore. Not surfing weather at all.
"If there's something you need to talk about..."
Katara flinched inwardly. He was too good at reading her. "I think... I think we should go to the Christmas Eve service at Phoenix tonight." She looked at Aang. "Would you come? Do you think I could get the others to?"
"I'll come, no problem. I can't speak for them." Aang gave one of his dorky half smiles. "I don't even know if Toph has been to a church. And then there's your dad..."
Katara gulped at the mention of Hadoka. He had come back a week ago, but had largely isolated himself from them. Katara didn't know why. All she knew was that he had stepped off that airplane with a missing arm and an empty look in his eyes. She had, naturally, offered for him to stay with them. But he had refused and was staying at a hotel in the heart of town. Katara had only seen him once since the airport. She had gone with Sokka to see him and it had ended with the two of them getting into an argument. She didn't know what his plans were for Christmas, or if they involved her.
Katara shrugged. "It's worth asking."
"I agree." Aang extended his hand and Katara took it. He smiled and Katara could see the concern crinkling in his eyes. "Merry Christmas Eve."
She turned to the horizon, tinged red. Red like Christmas, red like blood. Very appropriate. "Merry Christmas Eve."
"Sugar Queen must have up and lost her mind," Toph said through the candy cane hanging out of her mouth. Her empty gaze was focused on the TV as she pressed "A" on the controller in her hand. "There Sokka, I just activated my tree didn't I?"
"Yes," Sokka grumbled. They were playing against one another on Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. When Katara looked across the game board it was quite obvious that Toph's Elf was beating Sokka's Demon.
"Come on, Toph. It's once a year. Bato's the pastor. It's not that big of a deal."
"Well, I think it's a great idea," Suki said. "It will give me an excuse to put on that new red dress I bought."
"Another excellent reason for me to skip."
"You don't have to wear a dress, Toph, gosh." Sokka was scowling at the TV, obviously more frustrated with the game then Toph's decision. "It is Christmas. You know, Christ Mass."
Toph rolled her eyes.
"Toph, it's up to you. If you don't want to go that's fine. I just thought it would be nice for us to go... as a family."
Toph crunched down hard on her candy cane. "I'll think about it, Sugar Queen. No promises."
But Toph had already refocused on the game. "Sokka, you best tell me what formations you just made."
"Formed a wall in front of your tree."
Toph smirked. "Like that's going to help you."
"Aang, Sweetie, come zip this up for me." Aang peaked his head in the bathroom, then crossed over and pulled up the zipper on her black dress. She smoothed it down. "How do I look?"
He shrugged and scratched the back of his head with a shy smile. "Amazing, as usual."
Katara rolled her eyes. "You're completely bias."
"Of course I am." He but his hands on her shoulders and looked meet eyes with her in the mirror, his gray eyes becoming suddenly serious. "Did you ever end up getting a hold of Hadoka?"
"No. I got a machine. But I left him a message."
Aang squeezed her shoulders, trying to be reassuring. It was working... a little. "That's all you can do, Sweetie."
"I know." Katara tried to conceal her disappointment. "Let's get going."
Katara and Aang went out into the living room, where Suki and Sokka were waiting. Suki had her red dress on and had stuck Sokka in a pair of black slacks and a blue sweater, which he didn't seem too happy about.
"Toph?" Aang asked Suki.
Suki shook her head.
"It's alright," Katara said. "It's her choice."
"Tsh. Don't have such little faith in me, Sugar Queen."
Katara turned and Toph was leaned up against the door frame of the hall. She was even looking kinda nice. She had on a pair of black jeans, boots with a small heel, and an unwrinkled green shirt.
"Don't make me change my mind by getting all mushy."
Katara gave a half smile. "Fair enough. We should get going. Zuko, Iro, and Mai are meeting us at the church."
Katara remembered the apprehension that had seized her the first time she went to Phoenix. It was still there, somersaulting in her chest, for some of the same reasons. She remembered how her mind had been racing. It still was, for some the same reasons. She remembered how she had been sulky and irritable and distant. She was none of those things, but the smile on her face was a mask. A cover up. How was it possible that so little had changed?
When they entered the church the same purple haired girl, Loo, greeted them. Her eyes widened with happy recognition as she thrust a candle into each of their hands. Katara eyed it with question.
"You'll need it for latter," Loo explained.
Katara scanned the jam packed church and caught sight of Zuko, Mai, Iro, and Yagonda in the second row, a set of seats reserved next to them. No Hadoka.
Katara swallowed a knot of disappointment and pushed through the crowd to get to them.
After everyone was done with their hugging and hellos they took their seats and patently waited for the service to get started.
This service was a bit different from the other. There was no singing at the beginning. Instead, Bato got on the stage and the lights were dimmed, causing all chatter to die down. He flicked on a match, illuminating his face from the bottom.
"Hope," he said, lighting a candle on the edge of the stage. "Love." He lit another. "Joy." Another. "Peace." He lit the last candle on the edge of the stage.
Katara couldn't help but feel a small tug on her heart strings. Hope, love, joy, peace. Such simple words. So difficult to truly find.
"These are the things we reflect on during the Christmas season," Bato continued. "But they all come from a single source of light." He turned and lit a large white candle on a platform behind him. "Christ." Bato blew out the match and picked up a small white candle, identical to the one Katara clutched in her hand. "This last candle of advent represents Christ and the light that he gives. We are going to pass the light around, until each candle is lit. As we do this, Loo is going to sing O Holy Night. I would encourage you to reflect on what this means to you, wherever you are in your life today. Remember the reason that Christ came, so that you might be forgiven and find freedom in that forgiveness."
Bato turned and lit his candle. He then walked to the first person in the first row and lit their candle. They passed down the light, the room growing brighter little by little. Loo began her song, old and familiar, haunting sung in the otherwise silent room.
Forgiveness was it? Forgiveness and freedom in that forgiveness.
Before Katara could further contemplate it the light had come to her. Aang lit her candle and she passed the light onto Toph, then guided the blind girl's hand to light Sokka's.
Katara focus on her light until it had burned a hole in her vision. She thought over those words. Hope, love, joy, peace. Forgiveness. She listened intently as Loo entered the second verse of the song. A verse she hadn't heard very many times.
"Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease."
She looked around the room, the peaceful faces illuminated by candlelight. She listed to the music, as it slowly cracked her heart into two. She thought about Bato's words, as all the puzzle pieces started to click together. Soon, another person's words ran through her mind.
The moon pulls the tides of the ocean, and the ocean gives us all life. It seems so small from down here, so far away, so insignificant, yet it affects everything. Never underestimate that power, Katara.
Kaya's words rang in Katara's ears. Katara sucked in a breath as relaxation crashed over her. Everything was becoming clear. "I understand, Mom," she whispered it to herself. "I finally understand."
Katara blew out her candle and Aang looked at her with an adorably shocked expression as she dug the keys out of his pocket.
"What are you doing?" He mouthed.
Katara smiled. She leaned over and whispered in his ear. "Something I should have done a long time ago."
She pushed her way through the sea of knees, getting a little candle wax dripped on her dress, and more than a few bewildered stairs. But Katara didn't care.
She burst through the double doors into the cool night air, the music fading in the background, the full moon perfectly illuminating the parking lot.
Katara yanked open the door to the yellow bug and got in. She was nervous, so very, very nervous, and would have to really on the elation that came with realization to give her the courage to do this.
As Katara drove at five miles over the speed limit to the prison on the outskirts of town nervousness ate at her stomach, giving her sweaty palms and making her feel like barfing. Still, she drove on. She was not going to back out on what she knew she should be doing.
She parked the car in front of the rather large facility and stumbled out.
She flashed her ID at the guard at the door and then pushed her way in.
The front room was small, had dirty white tile floors, cracking plastic chairs, and smiled of pine scented cleaner. The fluorescent lights flickered overhead.
She walked up to the front desk.
"Is there any way I could speak with one of the inmates?"
The man behind the counter looked up at her with lazy eyes, the lights doing nothing good for his pasty white skin. "It's Christmas Eve, so yes we're open to visitors past usual hours. Who do you wish to speak with?"
"Yon Rha." Katara choked on the words as they came out. She must be losing it alright.
"If you'll take a seat, I'll lead you to one of the conversation booths when he's ready."
Katara nodded. "Thank you."
She sat down on one of the deteriorating chairs. What was she doing here? How had she gotten from that beautiful candlelight service to this hell hole so quickly? The plan had seemed so perfect when she was listening to that ethereal music, but in practice was far less romantic. What was she even going to say to him?
Katara closed her eyes and inhaled a trembling breath. "Please, just don't let this be a mistake. Let me say the right thing." Katara didn't know if it was a prayer to God, or her mother, or just to herself but it gave a small amount of comfort.
"If you'll follow me." Katara hadn't even realized the short, dumpy man with the paper skin was standing there. She nodded at him and follow him down an abysmal looking hallway of empty booths, until he halted in front of one.
"Take your time." And he turned back and left her.
Katara took a tentative step forward and peeked around at the man on the other side of the glass.
Yon Rha didn't look at all like what she remembered him.
He was so old. His skin sagged off his bones and his eyes were sunken in, though they held a spark of curiosity as he examined Katara.
Katara had always thought this would be a fearful moment for her but there was no way she could feel fear toward this man. The only solid emotion she could latch onto was pity.
She slid out the chair and it creaked as she sat. Katara just stared at him like that for a while. She knew that he didn't recognize her. He was trying to place her. She wanted to give him an chance to remember. But after several uneasy seconds, realization still hadn't dawned on him.
She picked up the phone and he followed suite.
"Hello, Yon Rha." Katara's voice was stronger than she expected. In fact, she was stronger than she expected. Her nerves were almost completely calmed. Her grip on the receiver was firm.
"Hello." He scrunched his eyes at her, still trying to place her.
"You don't remember me."
"No. Who are you? Why did you come to visit me?"
"Years ago, you were sent on a mission to kill a woman by the name of Kya. You succeed. You almost succeeded in having me killed as well. I'm her daughter."
Yon Rha's eyes widened. "You're the little girl."
His panic seemed to take over. "Why— Why are you here?"
"Isn't it obvious? You killed my mother all those years ago but in all that time I never forgave you. Never let go. Do you know what kind of damage that does to a person? Losing their mother so early?"
"I— I don't. So you're here to yell at me?"
"Am I yelling?"
"No, that's why I'm confused."
"You're going to have a hearing in the Spring." He nodded. "When I first heard that, I was very upset. I didn't think you deserved to get out. In fact, I didn't think you deserved to live."
"So, you came here to tell me you're testifying against me?"
"No." Katara looked down into her lap and smiled. "I've come here to wash my hands of you." She met eyes with Yon Rha, no longer that trembling girl in the ally. "You have my forgiveness for what you've done. As far as what you deserve, maybe you deserve death, maybe you deserve to be locked up, maybe you deserve to be released. I don't know. That's between you and the Kyoshi Judicial System. I'm not going to pass anymore judgment."
Katara let the words hang there, waiting for some response from him. He looked dumbfounded. Confused.
"Merry Christmas, Yon Rha," she said into the receiver and hung it up softly.
He still held the phone to his ear, frozen there. Katara gave him a sad smile. "I hope all the best for you. I really do. I hope you can get rid of whatever demons plague you."
He gave her a questioning look, but she was done.
With that she got up and walked out, leaving behind all the hatred that had plagued her for so long.
The next place Katara found herself was not home, but the cemetery. It only seemed natural that she should visit them after making that monumental decision.
However, she was not partial to dark, moonlit graveyards, and had to muster all her courage just to get out of the car.
She walked though the gates slowly, straining her eyes for anything out of the ordinary and more than once questioning her decision to come. Just as she was coming to the tree they were planted by she froze.
There was a dark figure sitting on the bench.
Katara stood there, her blood seeming to run cold beneath her skin.
"I— am so sorry, Kya." She heard a faint voice and it seemed broken. The voice of someone who had been crying. "I failed our children. I failed you. Katara asked me to come to service today and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't steep foot in a church like this."
"Dad?" Katara took another step forward, whatever childish fears she had melting away, and Hadoka turned around, surprise visible on his face in the pale moonlight. "What are you doing?"
Hadoka hastily wiped at his cheeks. "Katara. Why are you out here?"
"It's a long story. But I'm glad I found you here. Can I take a seat?"
"Of course." Hadoka slid over, making room for her. Katara sat down, grateful for another person out there with her in the creepy place. She noticed how he seemed to sit as far away from her as possible. There had been a time when he would have wrapped a protective arm around her. He had one lass arm with which to do that now.
"I just came back from the prison. I spoke with Yon Rha."
"What? Why?" His blue eyes seemed to circle though emotions in confusion, not sure of which to lock onto.
"I went there to tell him that I forgive him." Hadoka met her with silence, but it seemed an angry silence. "Dad, that's not to say that what he did is okay. That's not to say that I don't miss mom or that I've forgotten about her. I needed to let my hatred go. And I did. That's why I came here. I wanted to talk to mom. To tell her."
Hadoka leaned back and sighed. "You're a brave girl, no, woman. You're a brave woman Katara. Braver than me."
Katara took his hand and lifted it, nesting her head in the crook of her arm. "It's okay, Dad. I can still be your little girl. I know," she bit her lip. "I know you feel guilty about leaving. About missing out. But you're home now. There's still time. We just want you back, okay? Don't run away from us."
Hadoka nodded, "I know. You know," his voice was trembling, "You know that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
Katara heard Hadoka gulp and saw him wipe at his eyes once again. Neither of them said anything else for a while. No words were needed. Katara was just happy to finally have her dad back, after all these years.
"You need to get home," he finally said.
Katara nodded. "I do. Aang and the others will be worried." She stood, dusting off her now thoroughly dirty dress. "I will see you at the house tomorrow for Christmas, right?"
Hadoka nodded. "Wouldn't dream of missing it." He stood up. "I'll walk you to your car."
Katara gave one last glance at Kya's headstone before she walked off. She would come back soon. There were still some things she needed to say.
"You have to stop doing this to me, Katara." Aang had her in a bone crushing hug, her face smashed against his chest.
"I'm sorry," she tried to say, but it came out all muffled. Aang released her. She took a breath. "It won't happen again. But I took care of something this time." Aang narrowed his gray eyes and a small, knowing smile tugged at his lips. He didn't say anything though.
She turned to Sokka, Suki, and Toph who were all laying around the living room. "Aren't you guys going to start on Christmas Dinner?"
"Zuko ordered catering for tomorrow," Sokka said, his eyes glued to the First Person Shooter he was playing.
Katara scrunched her nose. "How impersonal."
"But less work for you," Suki added. "Oh and we bought pizza for dinner." She gestured to the open pizza boxes on the coffee table.
"Come on, Sokka." Aang tried to swipe the controller but Sokka evaded him. "We're going to watch a Christmas movie. It's a tradition." Aang plopped down beside them on the couch and they continued to wrestle.
"I already went to the stupid service!"
"Oh, look who's calling it stupid now," Toph scoffed from her place on the floor.
Katara sandwiched herself between Sokka and Aang on the tiny couch, breaking up the fight, and grabbed a piece of pizza. She was perfectly content to watch Sokka blow out the brains of his enemies for Christmas Eve.
Christmas arrived early that Thursday morning. Zuko, Mai, and Iro were at the door by nine o'clock. All still in their pajamas, blinking sleep from their eyes. Accept for Mai, who always wore the same expression.
Katara stared at them from inside, one arm wrapped around her waist to keep her robe in place.
"What are you doing here so early?"
"We got a call from Sokka," Zuko said. "He said it was an emergency and that we needed to come over as soon as possible."
Katara scowled and swung the door open. "Idiot. He was pulling your leg. You're welcome to come in, though."
Mai's expression was death as she passed Katara. Zuko didn't look too happy either. But Iro had a grin plastered on his face.
"Tea's in its usual place," Katara said as he passed.
When she closed the door she turned around to see that Sokka had emerged, shirtless and waring a pair of blue flannel night pants. Mai had him cornered against the Christmas tree, plastic needles stabbing him the back.
"What's this I hear about a prank call?"
"Prank? It wasn't a prank. Is that what Katara told you?" He gave Katara a quick glare. "I really wanted everyone to come early. I just... I couldn't keep the news to myself any longer."
"News?" Toph lingered in the door in her signature style. "What news?"
"You'll have to wait till my dad gets here."
"Sokka," Suki appeared behind Toph. "Why would you do something like that? You couldn't have waited a few more hours?"
"You said I could tell them on Christmas!"
"Yeah, but I didn't say call them at nine in the morning!"
There was another knock on the door and Katara swung it open. Hadoka was staining there in his pajamas, a panicked look in his eye. "Is everything okay? Sokka called me."
"It's not a life and death situation. But apparently there is some news."
Hadoka came in and there was a small crowd already gathered in the living room. Iro had emerged from the kitchen with a pot of coffee rather than tea, which Katara was grateful for. Aang had come out, thanks to the commotion. Mai had backed off. And everyone was staring at Sokka, who had a wide smile and one arm slung around Suki's waste.
"We're pregnant!" His smile grew wider, if that were possible.
Before anyone could offer congratulations Suki dug and elbow in his ribs. "I mean, Suki's pregnant, obviously, not me." He was still grinning like an idiot.
"Tell them the other news," Suki demanded.
"I've decided not to enlist. It wouldn't be fair to them."
Katara could feel the relief flood the room, just before everyone jumped to their feet and smothered Sokka and Suki. She hung back for a while, waiting for the inevitable group hug to form. It was Sokka who grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her in so that she was in a headlock and squished between the bodies of her friends and family. She couldn't help but drink in the perfection of it, along with the slightly disturbing smell of nine peoples morning breath.
It was one of the best Christmases Katara could remember, not because it was perfect, but because of its imperfections. It consisted of everyone laying around in their pajamas, drinking tea and hot chocolate, watching Sokka blow out brains on his video game, and reminiscing over the stupid things they had done as kids.
It was filled with hope for everyone their and their futures, hope for herself, love that only exists between people who have been though as much as they all had together, joy that put a happy knot in Katara's throat and made her feel of the verge of tears half the time, peace that had stripped Katara of her deep rooted of anxiety. And above all forgiveness. An unspoken forgiveness between all of them that, for all their flaws, failures, and shortcomings, it was okay. This was their family. This was her family.
And yet, there was one last thing missing. So, early in the evening, when the stars were just starting to peek through the black veil of night, and all the cars were pulling out of the drive, Katara snatched the keys to the yellow bug and promised Aang she would be home soon. This time he did not bar her way, did not question her. He just let her go.
The night wind rustled the leaves of the twisted oak above her head. Katara drunk in the smell of it, think with perfume. It would rain soon.
She rested a hand on the bench that Zuko had bought all those years ago, no bad taste left in her mouth because of their tainted past, just gratitude for his gesture.
As she gazed at the headstone Katara felt breathless as all those years of grief and guilt suddenly punched her in the gut with the full force of their pain. She went up to Kya's headstone and sunk to the ground there, mud seeping into the knees of her blue jeans.
"I- I miss you so much, Mom. That's never going to change." Katara choked on her words, the emotion crawling up in her throat. "I'll always miss those days we didn't get to have together. The things you never got to teach me. The walks to the beach at night that we never took. The waves that we never surfed. And... I'm sorry."
Here's where she hid her face in her hands and actually began crying. Because, in the end, it had never been Yon Rha that Katara hated, it had been herself. She was the one who had let secrets slip. She had always blamed herself. She gulped down a breath, slightly calming herself.
"I'm sorry for screwing up and cutting our time together short. But I can't feel like this anymore. Every time I think of you, all I feel is guilt. I know you wouldn't want that, so I'm done with the guilt. I'm done with punishing myself."
Her crying had reduced to a silent, streaming tears. "I realize what you were trying to teach me that day at the beach. The smallest of decisions can change everything. The most insignificant, unimportant person can change the course of history." Katara wiped the tears and smiled. "I understand, Mom. And I know I didn't keep my promise about Yon Rha, but I have a new promise for you. I think you'll like it better. I promise that you'll be that moon for me. I promise that in the future I will always look back on you and the lessons that you, and this whole experience, taught me. I'll let them be driving forces in my life, like the moon pushing the tides of the ocean. I hope you like that promise, Mom. I hope it honors you better than vengeance and self hatred ever could."
Katara sat there for a while, allowing herself to linger on the bitter sweet feeling, the cool wind brushing against her skin and drying her tear stained face. She released a sigh and years of tension seemed to escape with it. The moon was hovering above, a silver coin, waning.
She could never look at it without thinking of Kya. But where it once only brought blood-soaked painful memories and flares of hatred and anguish, she would now look at it and think of how the smallest things affect the big picture. How a single act of forgiveness could turn around an entire life.
It was her new promise to Kya. A promise she would not soon forget. A promise she would work her entire life to fulfill.
Katara looked up at the moon through her teary eyes and smiled.
Katara went back to school and graduated that Spring. She wasted no time in enrolling to start her first year of school for her BSN degree.
That same spring, despite Zuko's protests, Yon Rha was released. He soon left Kyoshi to go live with his mother, a fate worse than incarceration... and perhaps even death.
Suki and Toph continued working on the Kyoshi dojo and opened that January. The dojo was soon a booming business. Their first students included a moody goth, an rich girl who had a weird thing for shoes, a boy far to skittish for his large size, and a mechanic by the name of Satrou who Toph took a quick liking to.
Zuko continued working toward restoring Phoenix Corp.'s name. He began to form relationships with other companies and soon brought fresh blood to the Island, benefiting the economy and his friend's businesses.
As for Mai, she found a place for herself at Kyoshi Dojo teaching a special knife throwing class and generally striking fear in the hearts of the students.
The Monastery's financial troubles were soon resolved thanks to donations from all the tourists. The monks continued their activity in the community and even took frequent trips off of Kyoshi to do relief work.
An expert seamen, even with a missing arm, Hadoka found himself a job with the fishermen off the cost of Kyoshi and soon bought a small house within walking distance from Aang and Katara.
Bato continued doing well with the Phoenix Church and moved to a larger space, where he continued his ministry.
Suki had her baby that August and the family of three moved out of the beach house.
Toph, too, was soon gone as she moved in with Satrou.
Aang and Katara we're left with an empty house. After a long talk about where they stood, they decided that it was time to start filling it up.
The next December Katara was a few months in to her first pregnancy. It was a scary time for her and she frequently worried about letting the child down, about leaving them, about whether she would be a good mother. But all she would have to do to quiet her fears was remember the kind of mother Kya was to her. She would be that kind of mother. The kind of who taught her children lessons, took them for late night walks on the beach, who took them surfing. And she would tell her child about how the moon pushes and pulls the tides and how, even though it seemed small, it affected everything.
It was June that her little girl was born. And it was one of the most satisfying moments of her life when Katara held her for the first time, looked down into those wide blue eyes, smiled, and said, "Welcome to the world, Kya."
Fun little factoid: This fanon follows the 2014 calendar. In 2014 there was not a full moon on Christmas night. However, for the first time in 38 years there will be a full moon this Christmas (2015). I, for one, think that is very, very cool coincidence.
Thank you, to all my readers. Thank you for sticking with the story. Thank you for putting up with me. This would be nothing without you.
A special thanks goes out to. He was my first supporter and I am very grateful for the support he showed me. Thanks, Omashu!
Another special thanks to my illustrators,and . The art is awesome guys! Thanks for putting so much effort into it.
That last song is "Daylight" by Coldplay.
That's all folks!
For the collective works of the author, go here.