Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of any of the characters or ideas of Avatar: the Last Airbender. I make no profit with the posting of this collection.
Notes: This is a collection of one-liners written for the livejournal theme-challenge community 1sentence, the goal of which is to write a single sentence for each of fifty themes. None of the following sentences are directly related, though a few are thematically similar (for example: one and twenty). Crit is welcomed. :)
In the great hall of the Fire Lord's palace she turned to him: "When you've finished," she said, touching his cheek, "when you've come back to us, I'll be here."
He kissed her only once, the sort between friends, a chaste touch to the corner of her mouth as she laughed at his joke (something about tempers, and princes); the next day he smiled when he ought and said what he should, and it did not hurt so deep when she married the prince.
Katara inspired within him the sort of delicate yearning so vital to first love: gentle and exquisite; crumbling if held too tightly to the heart.
What was it that stung most? the rough elegance of her hands, the shape of her throat, the way she said his name: Aang, trusted; Aang, beloved; Aang, friend.
When the coin purse is fat enough she buys small things at market, trinkets and treats not particularly needed but quietly craved: a new knife for Sokka, a roll of ribbon for herself; for Aang a bag of candied potatoes, sticky sweet and warm.
"Come inside," she says, gently, taking his hand: "You'll catch cold if you're out here too long."
"Try it," he said, "you'll like it," and laughed when she asked for another piece; larger, please.
Do you recall the warmth of another sleeping soft beside you; the slow, helpless, swelling joy of waking to a sweeter world?
She says his name and it sounds to him as though from a great and terrible distance: Aang, Aang, look at me, wake up, Aang.
one beat, another
His heartbeat trembled in his ears, and when she smiled he thought his heart might burst.
Gyatso taught him the religion of names, the lilt and call necessary to each; when Aang spoke they were prayers: Gyatso, Kuzon, Bumi, Katara, Katara, Katara.
The tongue to taste, the nose to smell; the eye to see, the ear to hear; the hand, then, to touch, and beneath his fingers at her wrist the heart, beating -- very softly she says his name.
She held his hand to her breast, knuckles to the beat of her heart, and though the film of her eyes burned, she did not cry.
Aang is fifteen, Katara seventeen, both somewhere ungainly in the rough grace of burgeoning adulthood -- he reaches for her hand; "hello," she says, and he smiles.
She thought to touch the soft skin at the nape of his throat, a pale line curving gracefully as he bowed his head.
"Don't worry," she told him, squeezing his arm gently, "I'm not about to be your weak flank, Aang."
A simplicity to her sorrow: she wept in silence, and dried her eyes, and soon again she would smile at him.
"Keep up if you can," she tossed off, grinning over her shoulder, and Aang dug his toes in the dirt.
The wind cut her flesh, brought tears to her eyes; "Aang," she said -- the wind swallowed her words -- "Aang, please, listen to me, you have to listen to me," and all around her the wind: rising, screaming, devouring her whole.
good-bye (hello) redux
"It's over," he said, and she folded him into her arms, pressed her mouth to his cheek as he shook, said: "It's all right; I'm here -- it's all right."
"It's not easy," she said, watching the light on his face, "but it's worth it, I think."
the lady protests
"I'm not jealous," she snapped, and three feet behind Aang a jug of water exploded.
Like him Katara has two hands, but there the similarities end: her fingers are graceful, and rough; the skin dark and cool; when she moves her hands it's like poetry -- fluttering, rising, swinging low on the note of her voice.
He likes sugary things most, candies and certain sweet fruits; Katara tends more to the practical -- what's near, what fills her belly -- but when he asks, she accepts, and behind them a trail of peach pits.
"Where ever you go," she tells him, "I'll be with you."
dust to dust
Life, death, and life again -- "I'll never forget you," he tells her, and who can say if he will?
beneath your fingernails
She mends flesh, bone, the long lines of muscle beneath and above; after, in the ash of the battlefield, he watches quietly as she douses her hands in water, washing and washing until the water turns to rust.
Am I dying? no, she says, smoothing a hand across his brow; no, I'm here with you.
memory like glass
She sang in the still of dusk: clever moon, who birthed the sky; clever sun, who stole it back; clever earth, who saw them both... -- how strange, that they remained the same songs he remembered from the bittersweet days a hundred years gone.
"There," he said, and she followed his finger to the faint, wavering light of a star lost in the dark.
This is what remains: puppets of ash and bone in place of the living and the loved; temples of metal workings and steam; a girl with dark hair and blue eyes and the sea at the end of her fingers.
The sequestered childhood of a monk did little to teach Aang the workings of girls, much less girls from the Water Tribes (though he wasn't quite sure what difference that made) -- "trust me," Sokka said, dryly, "you're never gonna figure out what makes 'em tick."
She boils water for tea and he arranges tea leaves in the bottoms of their chipped pair of teacups; midnight, at the sleepless, dreamless center of the world, and when she pours the water she asks if he'd like to tell her.
Storms roll in and storms roll out; always he finds her watching the rain fall, palms held up to the sky.
How selfish: he wanted to touch her hair, count the number of fingers on each of her long hands; melt with the beating of her heart and in so doing forsake the world.
Beautiful things at market, strange things: glass bottles blown thin as ghosts, dried fruits sweeter than rain -- "not now," she tells him, counting apples to the copper, "we've only enough for food."
This is the history of air, he tells her, which does not change but grows.
He sends her the seeds of twining trees in a blue silk bag; he sends her an oak box of small stones from a river; he sends her letters and they read: I'm fine how are you it's cold where I am but there's hope I miss you love Aang.
She smiled and turned away -- Katara, he wanted to say; Katara.
He loves her - that's all.
A week after the end of the world they skipped rocks out to sea -- "where to now?" she said, and he shrugged, handing her another stone as he said, "With you, I guess."
At night a thousand miles above the ocean blue below, she taught him how to peel beads of water from clouds; "training," she explained, "for concentration," and rolled the beads to her fingertips with a long flick of her wrist.
"Isn't it beautiful?" she said -- sunset turning the sky to fire; on the horizon the moon -- he looked to her and then the sky, and had no words he could say.
side by side
"Hey," she says, gently, "it's about time you woke up, sleepyhead."
She learned to keep her eyes off the sky and her feet on the ground; when asked if she was Katara, the Katara, she would smile and shake her head and say no, she doesn't live here, I'm sorry.
He curls up beside her in the morning: dawn turns her skin copper, his a softer shade of gold; where he ends she begins.
Painful, the sharpness of the moonlight, the curve of her cheek as she turned from the sky.
The tide rolled against her ankles in a cold froth and he laughed as she danced on her toes; "shut up," she said, holding her hand out to him, "and come on: it's not all bad."
He helped, once, braiding her hair -- aware, sharply, of the heat of her throat just beyond his fingers.
"Hey," he said, touching her cheek with his fingertips -- "hey," she said, and covered his hand with her own.