"It's not getting away from me this time," Sokka said, grinning confidently. He looked at me over his shoulder. "Watch and learn Katara. This is how you catch a fish."
I turned back to my side of the canoe. A surprised look crossed my face as I caught sight of a fish swimming beside the canoe. I shot a quick glance at Sokka, who was busy with fishing. I removed my left mitten and stretched my arm out towards the fish. I took a deep breath and began moving my wrist in a wavy motion moving my hand up and down. The water began to ripple as a bubble began to rise, trapping the fish.
I gasped. "Sokka, look!"
"Shh Katara. You're going to scare it away," Sokka whispered. "Mmm I can already smell you cooking."
It was taking all my concentration to keep the bubble of water suspended and I began making circular movements with my arms.
"But Sokka! I caught one!"
The bubble drifted over Sokka's head, with him still oblivious. As the bubble hovered over his head, Sokka raised his spear and popped the bubble of water with the dull end him getting soaked.
"Hey!" I exclaimed, indignantly. He let out a gasp of discomfort as the fish tumbled through the air
"Why is it that whenever you play with your magic water, I get soaked?" he asked, wringing out his parka.
"It's not magic, it's waterbending! And it's…"
"Yeah yeah, 'it's an ancient art unique to our culture', blah blah blah. Look, I'm just saying," he grabbed his warriors knot with his left hand as he turned away from me, wringing the water out of it. I crossed my arms as he continued, "that if I had weird powers, I'd keep my weirdness to myself."
I raised an eyebrow, skeptically, "you're calling me weird? I'm not the one who makes muscles at myself every time I see my reflection in the water!"
He was looking at himself in the water with a confident smile on his face. Upon hearing my comment, however, the smile dropped off his face and he turned to me slowly. Before he could say anything the canoe suddenly shuddered. As we both kept from falling over, Sokka whirled around toward his side of the canoe, a frantic look on my face. The canoe is trapped in a strong current that is taking it farther and farther away from where they were previously.
"Watch out! Go left! Go left!" I yelled.
I looked ahead of us and saw ice pieces moving closer together, narrowing our path. We managed to avoid some of the icebergs, but the canoe veered to the right with the current and became pinned by three large chunks of ice. As the canoe got completely crushed by the ice, Sokka and I threw ourselves from it and onto one of the ice chunks; I nearly slid off the other side into the water but came to a halt at the chunks very edge. I raised my head and looked around. I shuffled on my hands and knees, moving away from the edge toward the middle of the piece of ice.
"You call that left?" I said, bitterly.
"You don't like my steering? Well maybe you should have waterbended us out of the ice."
"So its my fault?" I said, indignantly.
"I knew I should have left you at home!" he responded, "leave it to a girl to screw things up!"
"You are the most sexist," I flung my hands behind me, not noticing the waves I was causing as I continued, "immature," I flung my hands behind me again, "nut brained," I flung my hands again, causing more and more waves that reached the huge iceberg behind me, "I'm embarrassed," I flung a hand upward causing the water to go upward with the movements of my hands, "to be related to you!"
I swung my hands behind me again forcefully.
"Ever since mom died," I pointed myself, "I've been doing all the work around camp, while you've been off playing soldier!"
I emphasized the last word with a strong swing of my arm, deepening the crack in the icebergs behind me. Sokka looked truly terrified now.
I pointed at Sokka's face, "I even wash all the clothes! Have you ever smelled your dirty socks? Let me tell you, not pleasant!"
As I yelled out that last word, I unconsciously waterbends again causing two more cracks in the iceberg.
"Katara, settle down!"
"No that's it! I'm done helping you! From now on, hour on your own!" with that last word, the iceberg broke completely in half. I turned and gasped as the two halves of the iceberg tumble into the water, causing a bigger wave than I ever could make.
"Okay, you've gone from weird to freakish, Katara.
"You mean, I did that?" I asked, astonished.
He smirked at me. "Yep," he nudged me, "congratulations."
I noticed several small bubbles appear on the surface of the water directly in front of us. A small spot of water begins to glow with a bright bluish hue. We scrambled back from the edge in terror just as a large, roughly spherical iceberg breaks the surface of the water. It bobbed for a bit before settling down and I discovered that the source of the vow was the iceberg. Memorized by it, I strayed closer and stared at it; behind me, Sokka halfheartedly stretched out his hand, as if to hold me back. I gasped as I saw two people inside the iceberg. One of them, the girl, had her long dark brown hair in braids. Both had glowing arrows on their heads and hands and I saw them open their eyes, which were also glowing.
"They're alive! We've gotta help!"
Before Sokka could grab it, I grabbed his club and began to run to the strange boy and possibly girl in there.
"Katara get back here!" Sokka yelled, grabbing his spear and running to me. "We don't know what that thing is!"
I jumped across five tiny chunks of ice; Sokka, close behind me, does the same. I reached the iceberg first, and began hitting it. On my fifth strike, the club breaks through the surface and a great gust of wind, which escaped from within the iceberg, threw
Sokka and I back from the side of the dome. Fissures quickly snaked their way over the whole iceberg and, in a massive outward explosion, the entire dome destroyed itself. A beam of light burst from the core of the iceberg and rocketed into the sky.
Sokka brandished his spear in defense. "Stop!"
The figure, now on top of the ice, emerged and stood, shortly tumbling down the side with a groan of exhaustion. I gasped and ran up to catch him before he hit the ground. Sokka began to poke at him with the blunt end of his spear. I waved it off, annoyed.
I placed the boy gently against the base of the crater. He slowly opened his gray eyes and gasped. I looked at him in relief.
"I need to tell you something," he said, in a weak voice.
"Please come closer."
I did. "What is it?"
"Will you go penguin sledding with me?" he asked, suddenly energetic.
"Um… sure I-I guess," I replied awkwardly. A sudden thought occurred to me. "Where's that other person that was in the ice with you?"
He furrowed his brows in confusion. "I haven't seen her."
I heard voices but I didn't want to get up. I had seen a bright light but I still didn't get up. It was only when I heard Aang's voice when I decided I would. I groaned but got up and walked to the edge of the crater I was in. I jumped up and over it landing beside Aang.
"Hi! I'm Kanoko," I said, raising my hand. Katara shook it.
"Katara," she replied. It was then that Aang decided to give me a huge bear hug.
"We weren't in the ice that long, were we?" I asked as we separated
"I don't think so," Aang replied, relief showing clearly on his face. Then he seemed to remember something.
"Appa!" he called out ascending the edge quickly, me following closely in pursuit. As soon as Aang was over the edge, he leaped onto Appa's arrow when I got there. I saw Katara and Sokka taking the shorter and duller path. I jumped in after Aang as he was tugging up on his mouth. It took a moment for Appa to react, but when he did Aang laughed.
"Buddy you're okay," he said happily. I smiled as the two water tribe siblings gaped.
"What is that thing?" Sokka asked.
"This is Appa, my flying bison," Aang replied.
"Right, and this is Katara, my flying sister," Sokka said sarcastically. I snorted, and Aang glanced at me before Appa began to inhale deeply. He and I knew what would happen next and we ducked before Appa sneezed, causing the snot to fling onto Sokka. He squealed in disgust and began to try frantically to wash it off, wiping his face on the ground, under the amused face of his sister. I laughed loudly.
"Don't worry," Aang said cheerfully, "it'll wash out."
Green slime hung from Sokka's face to his glove, dripping down as he retracted his hand. Katara covered her mouth in disgust.
"So, you guys live around here?" I asked. Sokka pointed his spear accusingly at me.
"Don't answer that! Did you see that crazy bolt of light?! They were probably trying to signal the Fire Navy!" he shouted.
"Please," I scoffed, "if we were working with the Fire Navy, they would be here or be close to here already."
"She makes a good point, Sokka," Katara said, thoughtfully.
Sokka ignored her. I sighed.
"You'll never believe us, will you?" I asked.
I sighed again, muttering nonsense under my breath.
Katara turned to Aang, "you never told us your name."
"I'm," his nose started to itch and he sneezed, flying into the air. He came back down, unharmed and continued, "I'm Aang."
Sokka stared at him in disbelief, "you just sneezed and flew ten feet into the air."
Aang looked questionably at the sky, "really? It felt higher than that."
Katara gasped. "You're an airbender!"
"Sure am," he replied.
"Does anyone else feel left out of this conversation?" I asked. "And if you're wondering, I'm an airbender too."
"Giant light beams, flying bison, airbender," Sokka said, beginning to walk away, "I think I got midnight sun madness. I'm going home to where stuff makes sense."
He realized, however, that he is stranded in the middle of the ocean with no way home.
"Well if you guys are stuck, Kanoko, Appa, and I can give you a lift."
He airbended himself onto Appa, me following after.
"We'd love a ride! Thanks!" Katara said.
"Oh no. I am not getting on that fluffy snot monster!"
"Are you hoping that someone other kind of monster will come along and give you a ride home? You know, before you freeze to death?" Katara said. Sokka opened his mouth to protest, but closed it again with a sigh. Soon the siblings were seated, Katara looked excited, Sokka, not so much. I sat up next to Aang
"Okay, first time flyers, hold on tight! Appa, yip yip!" Aang said, as he whipped the reins, and Appa growled before leaping into the air for a few seconds. He then belly flopped into the ocean.
"Come on Appa. Yip yip!" I said, Aang whipping the reins.
"Wow. That was truly amazing..." Sokka said sarcastically. Katara shot him an angry look.
"Appa's just a little tired. A little bit of rest and he'll be soaring through the sky. You'll see," Aang said and Katara smiled at him. He smiled back. As Katara moved to go back, she noticed that Aang was still smiling at her.
"Why are you smiling at me like that?" She asked.
"Oh, I was smiling?" Aang replied. Katara smiled back. Sokka groaned and leaned back, sticking his tongue out. Katara glared at him as Appa made his way back to Katara's village. I was lost in thought, and decided to try something. I mean, Aang and I are the Avatar so shouldn't we be able to talk mentally with each other?
‘ Hey Aang.’ I thought to him. He looked at me in surprise, letting me know it worked.
"How did you do that?"
'Well, together we're the Avatar so I thought that maybe we could talk to each other telepathically.' I thought to Aang.
"Yeah, that makes sense."
"Hey," Katara said.
"Hey," Aang and I responded
"What'cha thinkin' about?" I continued.
"I guess I was wondering, with you two being airbenders and all, if you had any idea what happened to the Avatar?"
Both of us stiffened at that.
"I did hear that this time, the soul of the Avatar was split into two people. But we didn't know them. I'm sorry," I said.
"Okay. Just curious. Goodnight," she said.
"Sleep tight," Aang and I said, turning away from the saddle. That night, Aang and I had the same dream, one that was covered in gray. We were sleeping on Appa's saddle while clouds built ahead of us. Lightning split the sky and the rumble of the following thunder woke us up. We both shot up, sharing a look. Aang leaped to Appa's head, grabbing the reins. I tried to airbend, but the wind was too strong. We were going down into the water, with no way to stop it. Appa resurfaced for a little bit, growled, and sunk back under the waves. All three of us fell unconscious. Aang released the reins and started to drift off, along with me before our eyes and tattoos started to glow brightly. We slammed our fists together, working in harmony, creating a bluish-white sphere that encased all three of us. As the air sphere slowly solidified into an icy globe, a voice permeated the dream.
"Aang, Kanoko? Aang, Kanoko! Wake up!" Katara said. I shot up, seeing Aang do the same as we both gasped for breath. "It's okay, we're in the village now! Come on get ready," she pointed to the door of the tent, "everyone's waiting to meet you."
We happily got out of bed, starting to get dressed. I put on a few pieces of my dress-like outfit (which looked a lot like Aang's outfit and I was wearing most of the outfit). Katara stared in wonder at Aang's tattoos. Before Aang or I could get up, Katara pulled us along by our arms for us to meet the whole village. We passed Sokka on the way, sharpening his boomerang.
"Aang, Kanoko, this is the entire village," she gestured to the line of villagers, "entire village, Aang, and Kanoko."
We bowed respectively toward them, but they cowered away in fear, bringing a surprised look to Katara's and our faces.
"Why are they looking at us like that. Did Appa sneeze on us?" he asked. We checked our clothing as an elderly woman stepped out from the line of villagers.
"Well, no one has seen an airbender in a hundred years. We thought they were extinct, until my granddaughter and grandson found you two," she said.
"Extinct?" Aang and I said together.
"Aang, Kanoko, this is my grandmother.
"Call me Gran Gran," the woman said. Sokka walked up and snatched the staff from Aang, starting to examine it.
"What is this, a weapon? You can't stab anything with this!" he said. Aang grabbed his staff back with a current of air.
"It's not for stabbing! It's for airbending," he said, opening his staff into a glider, myself doing the same, as Sokka gasped in fright, covering his head.
"Magic trick! Do it again!" a small village girl said in excitement.
"Not magic, airbending," he responded, moving his glider around him to demonstrate what he was talking about. I scoffed.
"Sure. Show them the boring way," I said, grabbing my glider and launching into the air. I began to fly around the village, as Sokka stared in disbelief.
"She's flying!" the village girl exclaimed. Aang joined me as we did loops around the village. Aang looked down and saw Katara smiling at him. I looked up and flew up, out of the way of the watchtower while Aang ran into it, his head getting stuck. I laughed landing on the ground and spinning my staff to close it. Aang got unstuck and fell to the ground in a pile of snow. Katara immediately ran to Aang.
"My watchtower!" a shocked Sokka said, rushing to it to try to save it. Snow from the watchtower almost immediately fell on him and I laughed.
"Great. You're an Airbender. Katara's a waterbender. Together you can just waste time all day long," Sokka said, freeing himself from the snow.
"You're a waterbender?" Aang asked, looking at her in awe. I looked between the two.
"Isn't it obvious? I knew it from the beginning," I said.
"How?" Katara asked, looking at me in confusion. I shrugged.
"It's hard to explain."
She looked me up and down, a newfound interest in her eyes. I smiled.
"All right. No more playing. Come on, Katara, you have chores," Gran Gran said, leading Katara away.
Chapter 2: The Twins in the Iceberg
I overheard the conversation of Katara and her grandma.
"I told you they're the real thing Gran Gran! I finally found benders to teach me!" Katara said excitedly.
"Katara, try not to put your trust in that boy," Gran Gran replied, calmly. "Kanoko though..."
"But Aang's special! I can tell!" Katara replied closing her eyes and clenching her fists in hope, "I sense he's filled with much wisdom."
I tried not to laugh as Katara said that. She looked over at Aang, his tongue stuck to his staff.
"See? Now my tongue's stuck to my staff!" He said, his voice muffled. Much to Aang's discomfort, one of the village boys yanked on the staff, pulling Aang along with it's movement. I sighed.
I sat in a small chair off to the side while Zuko trained.
"Again," I said, a bit stern. Zuko spread his arms, his fists facing the two firebenders. He showered them with fire, but they blocked it easily. Zuko then shifted his weight to duck under a retaliation blast from the bender on his left. The bender to his right jumped forward to aim a blast at Zuko's feet. The prince propeled himself out of the way. He twisted around in mid-air and directed another fire blast with his hand to the firebender that retaliated first, and another with his foot to the firebender that aimed for his feet. Both soldiers jumped out of the way of Zuko's flames. Zuko landed and stretched his fists out toward his adversaries, ready to face another attack. I sighed while I got up.
"No!" Zuko lowered his arms and turned to look at me, "firebending comes from the breath," I moved both of my hands up in front of me to emphasize the breathing motion. "Not the muscles," I extended my hand, as if to shoot fire, "the breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes fire!" I shot fire that stopped before it hit him, "get it right this time."
He stormed up to me. "Enough! I've been drilling this sequence all day. Teach me the next set! I'm more than ready!"
"No, you are impatient," I sat back onto my chair, "you have yet to master your basics. Drill it again!"
Zuko clenched his teeth in anger. He turned around and suddenly directed a power fire kick toward one of the soldiers. The firebender attempted to stop the fire blast, but he was unable to and was thrown on his back by its power.
"The sages tell us that the Avatar is the last airbender. He must be over a hundred years old by now. He's had a century to master the four elements! I'll need more than basic firebending to defeat him. You will teach me the advanced set!" Zuko demanded.
"Very well, but first, I must finish my roast duck," I said, a look of delight on my face as I did just that.
I heard Sokka's voice and walked over there.
"Now men, it's important that you show no fear when you face a firebender. In the Water Tribe, we fight to the last man standing! For without courage, how can we call ourselves men?" he said that just as I turned the corner and I laughed when I saw who he was talking to. It was a group of 4-5-year olds. He ignored me.
"I gotta pee!" a boy yelled.
"Listen! Until your fathers return from the War, they're counting on you to be the men of this tribe, and that means no potty breaks !"
"But I really gotta go!"
He sighed. "Okay, who else has to go?"
Every child immediately raised their hands and I laughed harder, falling to the ground. Sokka face palmed.
"Have you seen Aang? Gran-Gran said he disappeared over an hour ago," Katara asked, worry showing on her face. I slowly got up after my laughter died and gasped in relief at being able to breathe again.
"You know, Sokka" breath, "you can't expect," breath, "kids to be able to," breath, "protect the village," I said.
"You ok?" Katara asked, looking at me in concern.
"Yeah," breath, "just laughed," breath, "a bit too hard."
Just then, Aang came out of the bathroom.
"Wow! Everything freezes in there!" he said. I laughed halfheartedly, not wanting to hurt myself anymore.
Sokka looked at him, annoyed, "Uh! Katara, get him out of here! This lesson is for warriors only !"
I turned on him. " Warriors?! You call them warriors! They are barely even five! "
Aang turned to me. "Calm down, Kanoko. Please."
I whipped around to face him. " Don't tell me to CALM DOWN! "
I grabbed my glider and flew to a tall mountain to take some me time. Sighing, I turned to face the village. I took some deep breaths in order to regain control of my emotions. I had almost lost it. How could I have been so stupid! I screamed to let out the anger bubbling inside. When I stopped screaming, I saw Aang and Katara on the backs of penguins, sledding towards the village. I smiled despite my still churning feelings. No matter what, Aang could always make me smile. I opened my glider and flew down in between them.
"Hey guys!" I shouted.
"Hey Kanoko!" they shouted back.
"Feeling better?" Aang shouted up at me.
They began slowing down and I flew upwards, landing on top of the fire navy ship. Something felt... off about this place. I sat down where I was, legs crossed as I meditated. Slowly, memories of this place showed in my mind. I saw the struggle this village has had with the Fire Nation. Suddenly, my meditation was interrupted by an alarm and I glided down to the ground. A second later, I saw Aang jump out of the top with Katara in his arms. Aang and Katara began running to the village but I stayed behind a little. Jumping up a bit, I saw another fire navy ship, this one still in the water. My face paled.
Chapter 3: The Avatars Return
We walked back to the village, steps slow and heavy. The villagers were gathered in a semi-circle, waiting for our return.
"Yay! Aang's back!" we heard from the village kids. Some of them ran over while others remained cheerful in the crowd. Kanoko still hadn't returned and I was getting very worried. I smiled down at the kids, hiding my worry. Looking up at the adults, my smile fell. Sokka stepped out from the crowd of villagers.
"I knew it!" he shouted angrily. "You signaled the Fire Navy with that flare! You're leading them straight to us, aren't you?"
"Aang didn't do anything! It was an accident," Katara protested.
"Yeah. We were on the ship and there was this booby trap, and, well," I awkwardly rubbed the back of my head, "we booby-ed right into it."
"Katara, you shouldn't have gone on that ship! Now we could all be in danger," Kanna said worriedly.
"Don't blame Katara. I brought her there. It's my fault."
"Aha! The traitor confesses! Warriors, away from the enemy," Sokka said, "the foreigner is banished from our village."
Katara clenched her fists. "Sokka, you're making a mistake."
"No, I'm keeping my promise to Dad," Sokka said, persisting in his anger, "I'm protecting you, from threats like him!"
"Aang is not our enemy!" Katara said, anger dripping from her words. She continued in a calm, soothing voice. "Don't you see? Aang's brought us something we haven't had in a long time: fun."
"Fun?! We can't fight firebenders with fun!"
"You should try it sometime. Where's Kanoko?" I asked. "Did she fly back here?"
Kanna shook her head. "We haven't seen her since she yelled at Sokka."
My face paled.
"Get out of our village! Now!" Sokka yelled. I nodded slowly, a look of determination settling on my face.
I glared at Zuko; eyes cold.
"What makes you think I'm the avatar?"
"The avatar is the last airbender," he replied.
"What makes you think I'm the last?" I countered, leaning forward in my bonds.
.................... Line Break ....................
I struggled against my bonds as we cut through the ice leading to the village. The chains cut into my ankles and wrists, the skin burning where they lay. The ship stopped suddenly, and I resisted harder. The door to the outside opened and I sunk to the floor, defeated. Pulling my legs into my chest, I cried. For how long, I don't know, I knew, however, that Aang was coming for me. He would never abandon me. Not on purpose. Sure enough, the door soon closed, and I was led to the top of the ship.
"Aang!" I shouted as soon as I saw him. He suddenly looked to me and relief shone clearly on his face.
"Kanoko!" he shouted back. In just a few moments, we were running down the hallway in the ship, looking for Zuko's chambers, my chains gone but the shackles remained. I winced, the shackles were too loose, and they rubbed against my raw skin. Soon, we reached Zuko's chambers and I sighed in relief. Grabbing our staffs, we turned about to run out before the door was closed to us both. Standing at the door was Zuko.
"Looks like I underestimated you," he commented. I took a fighting stance. Zuko did the same, before firing a blast of fire. Aang and I ran against a corner and I deflected the fire, hitting the metal behind Zuko as he ducked. Zuko spun around, fire erupting from his feet. I jumped over it and airbended a strong blast of air down at Zuko, knocking him to the floor. I grabbed a nearby tapestry and wrapped him in it before grabbing Aang and running out. Soon we were gliding above the ship but Aang's glider was suddenly yanked downward and I continued gliding, not wanting to fight for now. The two plummeted down to the lower deck of the ship and landed with a crash. I winced. Zuko began rising, a look of persistence on his face. Aang rose and assumed a fighting stance, looking very unsure of himself. I looked up and saw Appa, smiling. Suddenly, I began plummeting toward the deck, no reason for it. I caught myself before a crash.
"What is that?" I heard Zuko say.
"Appa!" Aang shouted. I looked back up at Appa and smiled before I heard Aang's scream as he tumbled off the ship. I fell to my knees, darkness closing in before my eyes glowed with the power of the Avatar.
"Aang! No!" I shouted, horrified by what I'd seen. He had just fallen overboard. Suddenly, Aang rose out of the water, eyes glowing. I looked over at Kanoko and saw relatively the same thing happening. She brought her hands to her wrists and shackles fell off them. Aang and Kanoko began battling the firebenders on the deck, completely in harmony with each other. I was shocked. This was the best waterbending I'd seen in my entire life!
"Did you see what they just did?!"
"Now that was some waterbending!"
"They're working in sync," I muttered, still in awe. The fighting was soon over and Aang collapses alongside Kanoko. Appa landed on the deck and I ran to Aang while Sokka ran to Kanoko.
"Aang! Are you okay?" I asked, concern coloring my face.
"Hey Katara. Thanks for coming," Aang replied weakly. "I dropped my staff."
I walked over to grad Kanokos staff while Sokka grabbed Aangs staff. Kanoko quickly thanked me and began leaning on the staff before walking with the staff like a cane towards Appa.
I collapsed on Appas saddle, content to just sleep for as long as needed to regain my strength so I closed my eyes and was instantly asleep. I missed the discussion and everything else after that and just slept on as we flew to the air temple.