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A Bird Could Love a Fish



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ABCLAF Logo This Kataang one-shot takes place in Bato of the Water Tribe.

Chapter Eleven: Memory

She's gone.

And now all he has are the memories.

"I'm so stupid," he says to himself angrily.

Inside, he is hollow.

Everything has been taken out.


By what he, himself, has done.

Now she has left him.

She has left him because he tried to keep her with him.

Plans backfiring.

Often those who attempt to avoid their destinies realize them in their attempts to thwart them.

Or something like that.

He is shivering, though not in the cold. He is shivering because he—

Because he betrayed her.

It is his fault.

And he knows it.

Why did I have to take the map?

Why didn't I just give it to her?

Why was I a selfish fool?

Why couldn't I let her go?




He cannot feel anything but his own sorrow. If he had only maybe given her the map itself, he could have avoided all of this.

She would have agreed to come with him.

She would understand.

And now he sits there, shivering, shuddering, quivering.







She wants to go with him, wants to give up her family, wants to give up everything. "Please. Let me come."

Her voice is an angel singing.

He shakes his head.

"No. I can't let you do this. You don't even know me . . ."

"I'll do anything for you," she answers, the frigid breeze forcing her to pull her coat tighter. Or is she doing that in preparation for climbing onto Appa? He isn't sure, and he doesn't know which he would rather see.

He turns. "No, Katara. I can't."

He should have let her come.

Then her stupid brother wouldn't have been here to get angry and ruin everything—wouldn't have been here to turn her away from him—wouldn't have been here to find the stupid boat and stupid Bato and stupid—


It's not them.

It was his fault.

He lied.

He took the map.

And he didn't give it to her.

And he lied.

Did they know?

They gave me the Mark of the Trusted.

Did they know?

Were they growing to get me to tell?

And I did, I told.

The monks taught me never, ever to lie.

But I did.

I lied.

I did.

I lied.

I deceived her.

I deserve to be alone.

I deserve to be by myself forever.

I'm the Avatar.

The Avatar doesn't have friends.

The Avatar goes alone.

He always, always goes alone.

Like Roku.

And Kyoshi.

And the others.

They were alone.

Because they were Avatars.

And now I am.

I'm the Avatar.

Why . . .

Why does my destiny—

Why does it have to ruin my life?

His gaze drifts to a point on the horizon. If he concentrates, he can see her face in the clouds. He is frightened—he can't remember exactly how her hair loopies moved in a harsh wind.

Even memories fade.

And memories are all he has.

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