Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar. This story was written for fun, not profit.

Does Not Say

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"Here," Sokka says abruptly.

It is the first light of dawn, not that any of them have slept. Katara stares at his boomerang with heavy shadows under her eyes. "What?"

"Here." The word is more forceful this time. "I've got to teach you stuff."

She doesn't understand. He thinks maybe it's because she's like Aang. She believes in innate human goodness the same way most people believe in the rain and the air.

"Sokka," she says, a hint of exasperation creeping into her voice. "What?"

He does not say how proud he was that he was the warrior of the tribe, because this was something as special as his sister's Waterbending, something all his own.

He also does not say that he might as well have been halfway around the world from Katara instead of an arm's length from her, because they were both absolutely helpless in the Fire Temple and there was nothing he could do to protect her.

And he most especially does not say that one day there will be a place with no water for her to bend and no Avatar to save them, because he knows she will not believe him.

"I'm gonna teach you to fight," is what he does say, and he says it strong and cocky as always. "Then you can be useful like me."

He hears Aang's snort of laughter -- the first he's heard in days -- and he has to dodge Katara's irritated swat and listen to her rant about getting his priorities straight. Just as it should be, really.

And he does not say that he is deadly serious about teaching her -- that this is his family, and he will die defending them.