Chapter information

Seven Days in the Clouds



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Release date

22 July 2013

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"Hands" is the first chapter of Seven Days in the Clouds, as well as the first theme of Kataang Week 2013. This writing takes place during "The Waterbending Scroll".


There was something relaxing about the waterbender's hands in his. Something that made this task seem far less challenging than it appeared to be.


Aang paced around Appa's saddle, struggling as he tried to swallow Roku's words - he had just nine months to do what had taken his previous incarnations several years to do or the world would be doomed to end in fire.

Panic entered the young airbender's mind. Nine months? Nine months or goodbye world? I'm twelve years old! How can I accomplish all this before summer ends? What am I going to do? I thought being told of my identity four years early and being told I had to separate from Gyatso was bad enough...'

Sokka, seeing Aang pace around on the flying bison, warned him, "Would you sit down? If we hit a bump, you'll go flying off. What's bugging you anyway?"

The Avatar couldn't believe what he heard. What does he THINK I'm worried about!? Calmly as he could, though that inflection of fear still in his voice, he responded, "It's what Avatar Roku said. I'm supposed to master all four elements before that comet arrives."

"Well, let's see. You pretty much mastered airbending and that only took you a hundred and twelve years. I'm sure you can master three more elements by next summer," Sokka replied back, sarcasm in his voice. Talk about something Aang didn't need to hear at that point.

"I haven't even started waterbending and we're still weeks away from the North Pole. What am I gonna do?" Aang said, clearly shaken.

That's when he felt Katara's hand on him, pulling him down across from her. "Calm down. It's going to be okay," she assured him.

As Aang sat on his knees, now facing the young waterbender, her hands in his, he could feel himself relaxing a bit. Those hands, her words, her smile...they spoke to him in a way that said she believed in him, and would stand behind him in this mission. It only got better when she said, "If you want, I'll teach you some of the stuff I know."

The Avatar felt a smile spread across his face. "You'd do that?" He asked, in disbelief but in much better spirits. Here was his close friend offering him such a large helping hand.

The waterbender nodded and advised, "We'll need to find a good source of water first."

"Maybe we can find a puddle for you guys to splash in," Sokka answered with further sarcasm, which drew a glare from his sister before she turned back to Aang with a caring grin.

His hands still within her grasp, Aang could feel his breathing slowing down, and his mind coming more to rest. It was a reminder that he would not have to do this alone. "Thank you, Katara...I'm so glad you're offering this."

"Anytime," Katara replied. "As we told you back at the Southern Air Temple, we're here for you, Aang, for anything." She tightened the grip on his hands further. "We'll make sure you get this done."

Aang looked down to their intertwined hands once again. Oh, how he wish he could hold those hands every day...they brought such a calming presence to him in this moment. It wasn't the first time either, as he thought back to when she gripped his hand and brought him out of his pain after he found out of Gyatso's murder...what pain and rage he had felt back then...but her hand in his helped relax him and assure him of his newfound friendship...the shattering of a lonely feeling.

Now, her hands in his meant that she would help him, no matter what the situation...and as long as Aang had Katara, nothing would be impossible. His mind came to rest. How lucky I am to have Katara...I can't thank her enough...nine months is still not easy, but with her, all things are possible.

What a feeling the simple locking of the hands brought.

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