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The Legend of Kyo



Written by

Katherine Rebekah



Last chapter

The Lost and the Found

Next chapter

Crash and Burn

The destroyed northern spirit forest

Warning: This chapter contains vague descriptions of torture.


I watched the orange sun slip down over the horizon, reflecting its dying light across the water, and thought of how appropriate a sunset was for a funeral.

Asaka clasped my left hand, Jin my right, and we watched in silence. June had gathered pink flowers from the forest. She sent a current of air through them, and they swirled around in a breathtaking dance, landing all across the surface of the lake, causing tiny ripples to interrupt its glassy surface. Kogami used his bending to lift the block of ice containing what was left of my father and slid him into the water. The ice floated, and he created a small wave, gently pushing the makeshift casket into deeper water.

Then it was my turn.

They thought that I should be the one to lay him to rest for good. I let go of Jin and Asaka's hands, wiping the sweat from my palms and the tears from my face, regaining composure long enough to do my part.

I lifted a sold chunk of rock from the earth, crushed it into a perfect rectangle, bended it out into the lake, and positioned it directly over the casket. I held it there, above him, for some time, a small part of me not wanting to let go, not yet. But I couldn't hold it forever. I may have been the Avatar, but inside I was crumbling. Once again, I felt my face contorting, a steady stream of tears began to rush down my cheeks, my chest felt as though it would cave in. I had no strength in me to fight it, I couldn't hold on to even that single piece of earth. There was nothing I could do to save him. I couldn't keep him. It was time to let go.

I released the rock, watching as the person I loved most in the world sunk to the lake's bottom.

And I sunk onto my knees in the white sand of the shore.

And they sunk down with me, more than willing to share in my loss.

And the sun sunk, leaving only a thick blanket of darkness.

We sat there for who knows how long, no one willing to move as the night waned on, and the stars turned above us, the moon dancing with them, almost a full moon. I thought about the life that had been given me, a gift, from the Moon Spirit. Of how unfair it was that I had been given a second chance, when he had not.

As we sat there in the sand, I could tell it would be yet another sleepless night. They had all already stayed up once with me, trying to heal him. It was senseless to keep them up again when he was gone.

I finally tore myself away from the cocoon of dark thoughts and pealed my eyes from the moon and stars to focus on my friends. June was asleep, her head resting on Asaka's lap, Asaka stroking her hair gently. The assassin's other hand belonged to Jin, their fingers entwined, her head resting on his shoulder. He whispered something to her, and she nodded. I could see her eyes fluttering, begging to close.

Kogami sat on the other side of me, legs crossed, staring, like I had been, at the moon. Even he showed signs of fatigue in the dark shadows under his eyes.

"You guys should get some rest," I said. "No need for all of us to stay up." Asaka lifted her head from Jin's shoulder and looked at me with droopy eyes. "Are you going to bed?"

"I-" I sighed. "I don't think I can."

"Then it's settled," Jin said. "We don't sleep unless you do. Except for June." He smiled down at his twin sister, and I realized she still hadn't had a chance to change out of the Equalist Special Operative uniform, all because they wouldn't leave my side.

I felt a firm hand on my shoulder and looked back to find Kogami's steady eyes gazing back at me.

"We have a tradition in the Water Tribes. When there is a death in a family, no one goes to bed until the person who was closest to the loss is ready. No one eats until they eat. No one returns to normal life until that person does."

"That's very sweet. It's too bad that he was the only family I had, besides Uncle Mako of course, but he doesn't even know his own brother is gone." I hugged my stomach, feeling terrible guilt at that thought.

"Kyo, don't you get what I'm saying? Me, Asaka, Jin, June, we're your family now. We're not leaving you."

I felt cool slender fingers slip around mine, realizing immediately who they belonged to.

"We won't leave you." June had woken up to comfort me, her huge orbs of eyes were full of sympathy and sadness. "When mommies and daddies leave to live in the Spirit World, it hurts in here." She placed her free hand to her chest. "I don't want it to hurt. I want it to feel better."

"Thank you, June." She nodded and wiped a tear from her own eye. I remembered the terrible way in which she had lost her parents.

"We all know what it's like," said Asaka. "To feel alone and in so much pain."

"We won't be able to fix the pain," Jin finished the thought for her. "It will stay with you all your life, at least in a small way, but we can help with the loneliness. You never have to be alone, Kyo, okay?

I nodded and managed to squeak out, "Okay."

And they were right. The pain was still with me, a hot ember in my chest that felt as though it would burn me up from the inside out. And it hurt, it hurt so bad. But at least I wasn't alone.

I woke up on the beach, sand in all the wrong places, with June hugging my right arm like it was a teddy bear. I pulled the arm away and tried to imagine I didn't feel the sweat and drool that coated it, then rolled over in hopes of getting back to sleep. The sun still wasn't up, an orange haze just beginning to ting the horizon, and I still didn't want to remember what had happened to dad. But the thing about trying not to remember something, is that it only makes you think about it more.

I sat up, looking out across the water and knowing that he still rested beneath its surface sent all the emotions rushing back to me. This time I didn't fight it. Instead, I let myself have a good cry on my hands and knees before it subsided. It would come and go, I had experienced enough grief to know that. The key was to get as much done in the moments of less grief as I could. So when I was done having my cry, I dusted the sand from my clothes and went into the airship in search of food, my stomach suddenly reminding me that I hadn't eaten in a day.

I wandered down the gray metal hallway in search of a kitchen. After opening and closing a few doors, I came across someone's room. Just as I was about to close that door, I spotted a half-eaten chocolate bar on the bed. I snatched it up and took a shameless bite. As I stuffed the rest of it in my face, I took a look around the room in an attempt to discover who had claimed it. There was an airbender's staff in the corner, so I figured it must have been Jin's, but then I spotted a water skin and realized that the two boys were sharing.

I heard a little clicking sound and looked down between the folds of the sheets to find Ara peeking out at me.

"Hey, girl." I gingerly reached a finger down to her level. She sniffed it with her wet nose and gave me a lick. I couldn't help but release a little girly giggle. Then I went for a scratch behind the ears, and she dug her tiny sharp teeth into my flesh.

"Ouch!" I stuck the bleeding finger into my mouth and glared down at the arctic mouse. "This isn't over," I growled. She made an angry chattering sound at me.

After that I left, taking the chocolate with me.

No matter how many doors I opened, I couldn't find any food, just another bedroom, a storage room, a room full of weapons, and so forth. That is, until I opened one door.

I almost couldn't believe my eyes. The remainder of my chocolate bar hit the floor.

The bloodbender was there.

She was hanging from chains, her body slack, an IV stuck in her arm.

I stood there, gawking at her, that cold blue eye meeting mine, the other staring into space. She might have been paralyzed, but I could still sense all the hatred radiating from her.

Suddenly, a wave of horrible memories came crashing over me, and I felt anger flare up inside me. My hands were soon lit with flames as I strode up to her.

"You," I growled. "You killed him." The look in her eyes shifted from defiance to fear. I saw the charred pink flesh on her neck where I had grabbed her and knew that the memory was a terrifying one for her. I held a lit hand to her face, watching her panic grow.

"How does it feel to be the helpless one?" I asked. "How does it feel to know I'm seriously considering shooting you full of lightning right now?"

"I wouldn't do that if I were you, Kyo." It was Asaka's voice. I was startled that I hadn't heard the assassin coming up behind me, but I didn't turn around.

"And why not? What is she to you?"

"To me?" Asaka came up and put a gentle hand on my fore arm. "Information. We need to learn as much as we can from her and then, as far as I'm concerned, she's all yours." I stood there for a moment, contemplating it, then finally lowered my hands, letting the fire go out of them.


I heard the echoes of feet running down the hall before June, Jin, and Kogami burst in. I spun around, a glare shadowing my face.

"Why didn't you tell me that you brought her?" I half yelled at the boys. "I had a right to know that, didn't I?"

"I don't know." Jin had the venom of sarcasm in his voice as he returned my nasty look. "Didn't really seem to fit into the conversation when your dad was dying. What we're we supposed to say? 'Gosh, Kyo. To bad that Bolin is dead. Guess I should let you know the person who killed him is on the airship.' Is that what you wanted me to tell you?"

"Yes." I took a steep closer to Jin. "Yes, it is."

"You would have gone after her for sure. You know that." He stood firm, not backing down from me.

"My point exactly."

"Kyo." Kogami's voice was warm and calm. "You need time to grieve." He reached a hand out to me, and I slapped it away without hesitation, directing my glare to him.

"Don't. Touch me." He put his hands up defensively.

I turned around to face Asaka, who was watching the spectacle with an ever cool demeanor. "Do what you need to. I'm staying to watch." I crossed my arms and walked over to the wall, leaning up against it.

She nodded.

"Asaka." There was a deep hurt in Jin's voice. "Please. Don't."

"Don't give me this airbender bull right now, Jin." She pointed at the bloodbender. "You know as well as I do that we need her information. You know that she deserves this."

"Torture? Really Asaka? Does anyone deserve torture?"

"Yes," I snarled.

Asaka looked at me and nodded, then shifted her gaze to Jin and Kogami. "I've seen it. This one is a coward. I won't have to do much to make her sing." She cracked her knuckles. "But you pacifists should take June out of here. She doesn't need to see this."

"Come on, June." Jin put a protective arm around her shoulder and began to walk her out. He cast a glance backwards at us. "I pity you two. I really do. At least Kyo's anger is fresh, but you, Asaka? When are you going to let go?" Asaka's fists clenched, and I thought I could see a flush of anger behind her white makeup. She wanted to erupt, instead, she cast her gaze to the floor.

"Just get out."

And with no further words, Jin and June left.

Kogami remained.

"Did you not hear my order?"

"Just let me heal her wounds," Kogami pleaded. "Then I'll leave you to do your job."

Asaka nodded. "But be quick."

And he was, taking no more than two minutes to restore her charred throat. When he was finished, he began to walk out but stopped in front of me.

"When Asaka is done, she will let you do whatever you want to that girl, even kill her. I'm going to ask you to have compassion, Kyo. Look inside and ask yourself, is the taste of revenge worth the blood you will stain your hands with to get it? Because I can tell you that it's not." I just stared at him blankly. "And I want you to know, I don't know her real name, but I used to call her Siren when we were team mates. She's a person too, a person that I used to know very well." I couldn't mask my sudden shock. "Everyone deserves a second chance," he whispered.

I stood there, mouth gaping open, trying to find my words. But just when I was about to question him, he walked away.

"Kyo." Asaka jerked me from my shock. I quickly shook the questions from my mind. There were more important things to focus on. "Close the door," Asaka said. I did as she told and with a quick flick of the wrist, metalbent it shut.

Asaka pulled the IV from the bloodbenders arm and waited for her to regain feeling across her body. She pulled a knife from her belt, and I winced as she brought it dangerously close to Siren's neck. But it was unjustified, all she did was cut away a scrap of fabric from her uniform, then stuck the blade back into her belt.

Asaka sighed, "You know, Kogami has told me a lot about you, and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't going to enjoy this, at least a little."

"What are you going to do to me?" Siren tried to mask the terror in her voice with hatred, but the quiver was so obviously there.

"Well, if you cooperate, sadly, I'll have no reason to harm you. So here is how we will do it, I'll ask a question, you answer honestly. If you fail to do so, things will get ugly." Asaka turned to me. "You wouldn't happen to be one of those Earthbenders who are also a walking truth detector, would you?"

I shook my head. "No. I can't do seismic sense."

Asaka shrugged. "Ah well. I suppose I'll have to make educated guesses then." She smiled cruelly at Siren and drew a long, sharp needle from her belt. "Let's begin with what you know about the United Resistance."

"N-nothing!" the girl stammered.

Asaka frowned in mock sympathy. "I'm sorry to say that I don't believe you." She positioned the needle directly above the bare skin at the base of Siren's neck, where she had cut away the fabric, and inserted it deep into her flesh.

Then the screaming began.

Asaka was right, she didn't need to do much before she got the information, and when she was done, Siren looked fine. Through the whole ordeal, not a single drop of her blood had been shed, the only evidence of the torture that she had endured in her haggard expression and the amount of sweat collecting on her forehead. It would be a lie to say that watching the torture hadn't made my stomach flip flop and threaten to expel what small amount of liquid it contained. It would also be a lie to say that, at moments, her screams hadn't satisfied something inside me, but that something was evil and dark and made me feel immensely guilty. In the end, when Asaka gave me a nod and left the room, I had changed my mind.

I clasped my hands behind my back and bit my bottom lip as I walked up to her. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes even as I tried to appear strong and menacing. But despite the fact that I looked less than frightening, she whimpered as I drew closer and chocked on a sob.

"You're lucky," my voice was calm and quiet, "I've decided not to kill you. Even though you deserve it. Even though you deserved every bit of torture she inflicted on you today." I paused, sucking in a deep breath. "Do you regret what you did? Do you regret that you took away my father?"

"Yes." Her voice was weak and breathy. "I'm sorry."

I shook my head and scrunched my nose as if I smelled something bad. "No, you're not. You just don't want me to hurt you." I could feel my breathing get heavy as the anger began to flare up again. "So you want to get out of here alive?"

She nodded. "Please. Please take me down, my wrists, they hurt."

"You're wrists hurt?" I took a steep closer, now only inches from her face. "Really? Oh, you poor baby. Should I fell sorry for you?!" The scream escaped me, along with a spray of saliva that splattered her face. She flinched, turning her head away. "You really expect me to have sympathy for the person who tortured and killed my father!?" A steady stream of fearful tears began to run down her cheeks. "No! I am going to leave you hanging there until they decide what to do with you!" I jammed my finger into her chest as hard as I could. "You just be glad that I don't kill you!" She turned her face to the floor and began to shake with sobs. I took a steep back, suddenly feeling the anger give way to that bone crushing sadness again. I clutched my chest, wondering how it had suddenly become so hollow, and looked up at the bloodbender.

"Everyone deserves a second chance," I whispered.

Then, I left, the sounds of her desperate sobs still echoing in my ear, the terrified look on her face burned into my minds eye.

I found the others in the cockpit. Asaka sat in the pilot's chair, swiveled around to face the table where Jin, Kogami, and June sat. It seemed I had walked in on a meeting of some sort.

"She also told me that there is a new method of genetic testing out," Asaka said. "It can tell from your DNA sample whether or not you are a bender. Those who have been hiding their abilities will be exposed and taken to the camps. Fortunately, it is very expensive to run the test, so it will be a while before it's widely used."

"I can't believe it," said Jin. "She finally found a way to do it. Asami is too smart, Asaka, she has too many resources. How are we going to beat someone like her?"

"More importantly, how do we stop this from happening?" Kogami cut in.

I took a seat beside him to listen to the rest of the discourse.

"As far as we are concerned, there is nothing to do. We are to train Kyo. Jin and I will contact the UR's leaders, and they will disperse a team to take care of the situation. We will also report on... our losses." She shifted her gaze to me. "Kyo, report on the prisoner. What state did you leave her in."

All eyes were on me.

"I didn't lay a hand on her. She was already broken."

Kogami and Jin released relieved sighs. Asaka looked like she had just sucked a lemon. "I see. Well then, let's change topics to the most immediate problem. We need to get rid of her and fly back to the iceberg as soon as possible. I have no doubt that she is being tracked, and, depending on how useful she is, a team will be sent to retrieve her."

"Do you think," Kogami said, "that holding a knife to her throat to escape would have worked if they did not highly value her abilities?"

"Point taken," said Asaka. "In that case, we have two options. One is to kill her and dump the body. Another is to dump her alive, but that always leaves the risk that she will come back and cause us problems."

"If I may?" I addressed Asaka with a question in my voice. She nodded her head.

"I saw that girl. Under pressure, she cracks. I don't see how big of a threat that she could possibly present. We obviously bested her."

Kogami let out a humorless chuckle. "Really? We bested her? Kyo, if you hadn't entered the Avatar State there is a good chance we would all be dead now. And let me tell you something, next time, she won't give you the time to enter the Avatar State. Next time, she will put you to sleep or she will outright kill you in not time flat. No mercy. No remorse."

"Are you saying that we should kill her, Mr. Second Chances?"

"No. I'm saying that we shouldn't under estimate her, that's all."

"Oh, yeah, I forgot, you two know each other so well, don't you? Exactly how well, I wonder?"

"Now that is just uncalled for." Kogami looked away, and with a twang of guilt, I realized that I had struck a nerve.

Asaka rolled her eyes. "This is useless. I'm making an executive decision." She stood, drawing her sword. "It's too much of a risk to keep her alive."

I shot up from my chair.

"No. I didn't spare her life so you could come right behind me and kill her."

"Kyo, I don't seem to recall asking you." She continued to walk toward the door, but before she could cross me, I stepped in her path.


"You don't want to do this, Avatar."

"I will not have that monster's body buried on sacred ground," I crossed my arms. "She will not disturb the spirits, and she will not be placed anywhere near my dad."

"Fine." Asaka shrugged. "We'll dump her over the miles of frozen wasteland between here and the Iceberg."


She raised an eyebrow at me, sheathing her sword. "It's that important to you, huh?"


Asaka sighed, relaxing her muscles. "Well if you feel so strongly about it."


My thought was cut off by lightning fast fingers hitting me in the pressure points. Before I fully realized what happened, my body thudded onto the floor, all the feeling in my limbs gone. For a brief second, Asaka stood over me, she drew her sword, her face darkened with a scowl, enhanced by the devilish look of her makeup.

"One thing you should learn, Avatar. Never. Cross me."

If I could have moved, I would have flinched with the fear of her plunging that sword into me. Instead, she took off toward the door.

The first person to my side was June. She brushed the bangs from my face, a look of deep concern in her eyes. Jin and Kogami were close behind her.

"Did Asaka hurt Kyo?" June asked.

"No, she'll be okay." Her brother's reassurance seemed to settle June's nerves. Jin and Kogami each grabbed one of my arms and heaved me to a sitting position.

"Man," Kogami said, "she chi blocked you good." I would have tried to reply, but my face felt like gelatin.

"Here," Jin said. "Help me get her into a chair."

Kogami and Jin heaved me up, my legs dragging on the floor like a limp rag doll, and sat me in one of the chairs.

"I wouldn't feel to bad if I were you." Jin had a sad smile. "She's done it at one point or another to all of us, accept June of course."

I wanted to scream out at them to go chase her, to stop her, but I supposed they knew better. She was, after all, their superior, and they were bound by her instruction.

Kogami pulled water from his water skins and began to heal me. "This will help the feeling come back to your limbs sooner, but it will still take a while." Just as he was beginning to apply the glowing water, Asaka strode back into the room.

"What did you do to the prisoner, Kyo?"

"She said she didn't do anything, okay?" Kogami had a genuine snap in his tone. "Would you lay off it, Asaka?"

"I most certainly will not. Siren is gone. There is a blood trail leading off the airship. I followed it out as far as I could, but it stops at the water's edge."

Kogami took his glowing hands away from me, staring steadily at Asaka. "Then there is nothing we can do. She obviously escaped due to someone's negligence and left a fake blood trail to throw you off her scent."

"Then we'll go search for her."

He sighed. "There is no time. You yourself said that they would come looking for her. We don't want to be here when that happens, especially with our greatest asset paralyzed."

Asaka bit her lips, weighing the options. "The safety of my team is my top priority," she said. "And no matter what kind of threat that girl may present in the future, right now I need to get you all to safety." Inside I smiled. I had won.

Asaka sighed and walked up to me, bending down so that we were eye to eye. "I'm sorry, Kyo, for any distress or anger that I may have caused you today. I was simply doing what I thought was best for all of us. I hope you have learned your lesson?"

Half of my face still felt numb, but I decided to try for it. "No." My voice came out muffled, and I was probably drooling on myself. "I didn't learn anything. I will always try and stand in your way if I need to."

Asaka smiled and let out a dry laugh. "Alright then, have it your way. Some day the roles will be reversed, and I'll have to listen to you. Until then, just don't be surprised if I chi block you again."

"Fair enough."

"I suppose we'll take off now then," Asaka said. "If everyone is alright with that. Who wants to take first flight shift?"

"I'll do it," Kogami volunteered. "You should spend some time with Jin and June. After all, you three haven't gotten the opportunity to have a proper reunion."

"Thank you, Kogami, but what about Kyo?"

"I'll stay here," I said, my mouth finally having gained back most of its proper function. "I don't want to be alone, and I agree with Kogami, you three need to catch up."

"Alright then, it's settled." Asaka smiled, glancing between us. "Take off when ready."

"I need food," I whined, still slumped in the chair, only beginning to regain feeling in my arms and legs. "I haven't eaten in forever."

Kogami, seated in the pilots chair, spared a glance back at me. "Yeah, stinks doesn't it? Things get so crazy and everyone around here forgets that there are things that we need, the simplest things, like food, and sleep."

"Happens often?" I asked.

"More than you know. But don't worry, as soon as I get this thing off the ground, all I need to do is hit autopilot, and then I'll grab us something. Sound good?"

"Yes, please."

The airship was smooth taking off, and while it took a little while to climb to the proper altitude, it was a relatively short time between me whining for food and Kogami catering to that whining. After pressing the autopilot button, he unsnapped his belt and began to rummage through some drawers.

"Would you rather have lo mein noodles or sea prune stew?"

"Noodles, defiantly."

"Really? Be warned, they aren't anything amazing. I'm going for the sea prunes myself."

I made a face. "That's one thing I inherited from my dad's side, I hate sea prunes."

Kogami chuckled, but making reference to my dad had been a bad idea. When he turned around, two shiny packages in his hands, the smile dropped from his face upon seeing me.

He slid into the set beside me and gently pushed the package into my hands. I tried to regain composure, wiping the tears from my eyes before they could roll down my cheeks, glad to have regained use of my arms.

"They're ready-made," Kogami spoke as though the only thing out of place was the weirdly packaged noodles. He opened his bag and pulled out three little pouches from it. "All you have to do if you want it heated is pore this salt water into this pouch and then put the food pouch into that. The chemical reaction heats the food." He gave the instructions as he made his stew.

"Oh," my voice was empty, "that's cool."

"Here." He grabbed the package from my hand. "I'll make yours."

I watched halfheartedly as he performed the steps again, then pushed a pair of chopsticks and the warm bag of noodles into my hands.

Suddenly, all of the hunger had left me, the bitter sadness filling me up, leaving room for nothing else. I felt my face go all funny again, even as I tried to hold it back, tried to be strong.

"Kyo, I want you to know that you did the right thing today. It may not feel like it, but it was the right thing."

"I know." I sucked in a deep, shaky breath. "But I don't know how I'm going to get through this." I looked into his eyes, hoping to find that peace in them. "Kogami, how am I going to get through this?"

He sighed, and I couldn't find peace, just a reflection of my own sadness, but that was perhaps more comforting.

"I'll tell you what you're going to do," he said. "You're going to get out of bed every morning and breath in and out all day long. There will be nightmares. There will be good days and bad days. Every day when you wake up, it will be the first thing you think about. Until one day it will be the second thing. And one day, you won't have to remind yourself to get out of bed in the morning and breath in and out. Eventually, you will find a way to live with it."

"You know," I half laughed, half sobbed. "That's not the most comforting way of putting it."

"I'm sorry, but it's the truth." He picked at his sea prune stew. "Everything is not okay today, so it would be a lie to tell you that it is, but there is always the hope that tomorrow will be a little bit better, and the day after that will be a little bit better, and the day after that will be a little bit better. Then, one day, I'll tell you that everything is okay, because then it won't be a lie."

I nodded. "Then I will look forward to that day."

"Me too, Kyo." Kogami's lip twitched, as if he wanted to smile but wouldn't let himself. "Me too."


  • The Water Tribe custom of friends and family staying up all night with those who have lost a loved one is based on something I witnessed on my mission trip to Osaka, Mexico.
  • Kogami telling Kyo "We're your family now" is reminiscent of Katara's words to Aang in "The Southern Air Temple".
  • Siren is named for the Greek mythological creatures that lure sailors to them with beautiful music and then wreck their ships and eat them. Siren can also refer to mermaids, which, in some tales, also lure sailors to them with their beauty and then drown and eat them.
  • The method of torture Asaka uses in this chapter is based on a method used by "The Stew Maker" in season one, episode four of The Blacklist.
  • Kogami's quote (You're going to get out of bed every morning...) is a mixture of a quote from Sleepless in Seattle and The Blacklist. You figure out which parts come from which. ;)

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