-1Here Again

The wind blew through the small valley like any other day. Its currents gently brushed against the trees creasing the leaves, it's fingers traveled down to the ground and touched the blazes of grass and flowers, and it swept through everything until it stopped at a small stone. It was flat on the ground with strange script on it.

Dressed in simple blue traveling robes a woman stood tall. Short locks of brown hair that was more like a boy's cut then a girls. It was a sloppy hair cut that if you would have saw her on the street you would have think a blind man cut that hair. Yet if you look closer you could see the tips of some of the locks were burned slightly.

Her hands were clapped firmly in front of her. Blue eyes glazed downwards at the stone under what to say or do. It was hard to believe she was really here, really doing this. Everything about this was so wrong to her.

The wind gently started up again and stroked her wet cheek.

It would always be here.

Not in body, but in the wind, the earth, the water, and even in the fire. She could see him any time and any where.

Yet she felt cheapen, cheated, so very cheated. It shouldn't have ended that way, not like that, not at that moment.

However, people were happy again, they sang songs of heroes, Princes who saved a kingdom, A master of all elements who saved the world, a brother and sister who helped with the long fight, and a giant flying bison.

To bad none of them seemed to remember Momo.

At the age of 16 Katara could only stand and grieve, the will to leave the once dead and burned valley seemed scary. Everything about the outside world appeared tainted, shallow, lonely. This was the only place she felt safe wrapped within the wind's breezes, the life that bloomed here in wake of the Avatar's death.

A noise sounded behind her but Katara refused to move to even look at it. Her brother was close by, Momo found a nice girl version here in the valley and would make more little ones, who else would it be?

"Peasant."

Of course it would be the reason for the Avatar's death. Katara's hands balled, it would mark the anniversary of his death. Vile thoughts ran through her mind, bitter, hateful thoughts things that Katara guess Aang would be shocked and ashamed if he knew them all.

"If it isn't the might leader of the Fire Nation." They slipped out with all the hate one could muster.

"You still blame me it seems." Funny how clam a person's voice could be.

"What do you think!" The water in a nearby stream rippled. "I hate you."

"so you are going to live here? Within this little illusion? Your people need you."

"Like yours needed the son of a murderer to take the throne!" Head ducked slow Katara screamed it out before logical thought could stop it. Tears streamed down her face, it was the same every year. Nothing really changes, no one really changes over time, we think they do but they don't.

"You don't mean that."

But people can surprise you with the things they say,

"Of course I do."

It can be hurtful, bitter, and cruelly honest

"This wouldn't be what he wanted for you."

It can be sweet as honey, kind, warm, and loving

"How would you know! How do you know anything Zuko! If it wasn't for you… If it wasn't for you he would still be alive! He would still be here! Aang never had a chance to live!"

It can be shameful, disgusting, and the last thing you want to hear

"He ran away from his duty Katara. It was his fault all those years that people died, that his own people were nearly gone. If it wasn't me it would have been someone else that was just how he was."

It can be reassuring, bash the darkness in your heart, and even open it up

"Shut up shut up shut up!"

Out of all the things they can say, that is only one thing that can end up changing a heart. In truth it is their actions that truly touch deep within your soul.

Zuko stepped forward, the great leader humbled himself to wear simple Fire Kingdom robes with no sign of his status in the New Fire Kingdom. It was a place no longer ruled by a king, but an elected official, with branches of government to even the power that would never allow for a repeat of events. His large warm hands gently gripped the weeping girl's shoulder. They waited for the rejection but none came.

Katara stiffen at the touch but relaxed. The tears rolled down freely. She couldn't let him see her cry, not like this, not now. He didn't force her to face him, just stood silently and quietly behind her. The leader allowed her the moments needed to weep, to let go the bitter feelings that swelled and fester within her heart.

"Why… why are you here…." Her voice was barely above a whisper of wind.

"It is a secret."

"Lair…. You just don't want to tell me."

"That too. The new Avatar has been found. I am off to met with the other leaders, you should be the one to teach him Katara. There is no one better then you with your skill, if you stay here… who will I spar with? I still owe you for that time within the volcano." Zuko leaned forward a small smirk on his face.

"I can't….I… Aang… he…" Blue eyes stared at the stone.

"He would want you to teach the new Avatar."

"Why…."

"because… out of all the others… you can teach him heart."

Numbly Katara looked at Zuko then the stone again.

"Think about it."

"When did you, hot headed Prince Zuko get so calm minded…. So… noble."

"I always been like this."

"Lair"

"No, Princes do not like, they simply bend the truth."

"Now you are quoting that Uncle of yours."

"Who else would I? He was my true father."

Katara turned to look at him. "you burned my hair last time you came here."

"Accident."

"Lair."

"It will grow out if you let it."

She looked at him, everything he said was cryptic now. When did he become so wise?

"What about Sokka?"

"Take him with us, someone has to teach him to fight"

"what about the old ways?"

"Clearly that didn't work."

"why must it change?"

"Nothing changes Katara, when things don't work, you fix them. This is fixing the last problem."

"Alright, but here….we train him here."

"Oh?"

"…this is the final battle ground…. This is where he should learn…. Here…"

"I was thinking the same myself."

"Lair."

The end-