Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar, the Last Airbender, or any of its characters.
Chapter 1: Skya
The air was warm and the sun was out. Aang and his friends had just swooped in from the air and were now walking in an Earth Kingdom forest to give Appa a break. Momo was jumping from branch to branch along side Aang, who had his shoulders slumped inward as far was they would go.
"I hate walking," he complained to the back of Sokka's head. "Why can't we fly over?"
"It's dangerous," Sokka answered, not turning around." And Appa has been flying for more than 2 days straight. He deserves a break."
Appa let out a low growl in agreement.
Aang grunted and looked up at the blue sky above them. There were no clouds, no smoke puffs, nothing of Fire Nation Ships.
It was then there was a fast whoosh of something, something that ran past Aang and in between Katara and Sokka. It was fast, they could not catch hold of what it was. It jumped in the air and landed in the branches and leaves of a tree.
Before Aang, Katara, and Sokka could exchange looks of oddity, another rush swooped past them, growling and hissing, as it reached the tree of the first and started jumping up and down at the base of the bark.
Aang and Katara stared but Sokka tightened his grip on his club and grimaced his teeth. "Hey!" Sokka yelled at the jumping thing. "Who are you! You almost ran into my sister!"
The thing stopped, and the threesome gasped in surprise. It was a young boy, no older than 10 or 12, with ears that started where regular ears start and went up above his head and to a tip, much like Momo's. He parted his lips, showing pointed fangs and pearly teeth. Something brown behind him swayed, and as they noticed, it was a tail, the same color of his hair and eyes, a hazel brown.
Sokka screamed and ran behind Apa.
The first figure jumped from the tree, landing infront of the boy.
"Oh shut up, Til!" She told the boy, hushing his hissings with her hand. They noticed she looked like the boy in characteristics, the tail and ears. Her eyes were ice blue and her hair, tail, and ears were orange with light brown stripes. She turned to them.
"I'm very sorry about Til..." she explained to Aang. "He's protective like that." She turned to the boy again, anger flaring through her eyes. "Til! Can't you see that's the Avatar?"
The girl herself looked only about 13, maybe even 12. The boy was only about 2 centimeters shorter than her. He slumped to the ground, his back to the tree.
Aang came up to the girl and smiled. "How did you know I was the Avatar?" He asked crossly.
The girl shrugged. "My name is Skya," she told them boldly. "And it's nice to meet you, Avatar. Who are your friends?"
"Well," Aang began. "My real name is Aang, and this is Katara." He pointed to Katara, who smiled as well and gestured a wave with her hand.
"My brother is Sokka," Katara explained. "He's...um...behind our bison..."
"Til is my brother, unfortunatly," Skya told her. "He's younger than I am." She moved a strand of orange hair from her face. "So where are you heading, Aang? Saving the kingdoms can't be easy work."
Sokka came out from behind Apa, his arms crossed over his chest. "The North Pole," he answered sourly, listening to the conversation. "Well, nice meeting you, but we really have to go. Come on--"
"Oh no!" Skya interupted. "You can't leave, not now. You just got here! You have to be tired or hungry or thirsty or something. If you come with me I can get you food and water, and a place to rest if you like." The tail behind her swayed and her ear twitched.
The group exchanged looks of hunger. Sokka could feel his stomach grumble and Aang could sence his mouth water at the mention of food.
"Don't pay any attention to Sokka," Katara told Skya. "We'll gladly go with you, and thank you."
"Do you know where you are?" Skya asked them as she cleared the branches and shrubs from her path, Til behind her using her as a sheild.
"Yeah," answered Aang. "Meekoh Forest."
Skya stopped and let go of the handful of branch she was holding to the side, turning around. "You're definitly not in Meekoh, you've passed Meekoh. You're in Tenkay." She crossed her arms. "I'm not surprised," she said, annoyed. "Many lost travelers come here and think it's Meekoh."
Sokka let out a grunt. "I don't think so," he said to Skya, pulling out their map. "See? Meekoh, right there." He pointed to a large area of forest in the Earth Kingdom. Til shook his head, his ears flapping.
Skya shook her head as well and looked at the map. "See? That's why everyone thinks it's Meekoh. Tenkay isn't on any maps." She rolled the map up and gave it to Sokka and kept walking, Til still sticking to her back.
She moved a large bunch of branches and went through, waiting for her guests to arrive; Appa first. The travelers came through, looking around Skya's village.
The trees had been cleared out and sand had been spilled about the ground, thick and warm. Near the north Katara could hear water moving in and out, and smells of cooked meat tempted Sokka's hungry stomach. What surprised them most were the people, all with tails and ears and wide eyes, going about their day as usual. This one playing, this one eating, these few fighting. Old ladies in Earth Kingdom clothes, sitting on the front steps of an old cottage, sipping hot milk and swaying their tails.
"What...are you?" Sokka asked, watching Til jump on a much younger boy.
Skya shrugged. "Most of us are Earth Benders...most..." She watched their faces, staring at the tails and ears. Her brows furrowed. "You mean the tails and stuff? Well that's what happens when you're native of this forest, you know." She shrugged again, obviously getting annoyed.
"So you're tails and ears are real?" Asked Aang bluntly, resulting in a nudge from Katara's elbow.
"As real as your tail bone and your ears," she answered, moving uncomfortably. "You can start unpacking if you like," she said.
"How were you able to survive the war?" Katara asked, looking at the cat people.
Skya shrugged again, her tail twitching in discomfort. "I don't really know...it's a long story..."
Katara nodded. She wanted to ask more, but obviously it would be worthless. She could sense Skya's uncomfort and looked for something else to ask.
"So you're all Earth Benders?" Katara asked now, watching Til bite the ear of the younger boy.
"Most of us," Skya answered casually. "Except my sister. She's a Water Bender. I really don't know how that happened. She always was obsessed with the river..."
"Can I meet her?"" Katara asked anxiously.
"Yeah, sure..." Skya answered, looking at Aang unpack Appa's bags. "I have to warn you though, she isn't like the rest of us."