Full Summary- All she ever wanted was freedom. But freedom came at a high price. She had to pay…her heart (TophAang one-shot)

Author's Note- This is an idea I fiddled with for awhile. I don't really support TophAang, but using this idea for them made more sense then it did for KatAang. So yeah, don't get the wrong idea; I'm a total KatAanger

Disclaimer- Last time I checked, I certainly didn't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. Let me check again…no, I don't


She spent her life in the dark, both figuratively and literally. To her, the world was shadows and movements. She never saw another living soul. She never even saw herself.

Her parents kept her from the outside world. They wanted to protect her. The world was cruel and harsh. She was born into a war, and they wanted to protect her from it. But she needed to escape.

She needed freedom

She was four when her parents hired an Earthbending teacher for her. They wanted to give her something to do, give her a hobby. It became more than that though. It became an obsession.

The world was open to her. No longer was she confined to a dark, dismal life with nothing but meaningless sounds. The Earth became her eyes. The movements beneath her feet became her guide.

She couldn't tell her parents. They'd never understand. So while her Earthbending teacher kept her on the most basic levels of breathing and movement, she expanded. She spent long hours in the backyard, moving left, right, forward, backwards, learning everything around her. Every ant that lived underground, every tree and bush that swayed in the wind. Her eyes were as useless to her as ever. She didn't need them. She had the Earth.

But still…it wasn't enough for her. She longed for someone who understood her, someone who she could talk to. She wanted a friend.

But the world knew nothing of her existence. No one knew of her outside her parents, the guards, and her Earthbending teacher. And she could never befriend any of them.

For six long, hard years, she worked to keep her abilities a secret. If her parents ever knew, they'd forbid her from Earthbending. She wouldn't have it, though. She pretended to be nothing but a helpless blind girl, scared and alone, just to make her parents happy.

And then she found her opportunity

It happened when she was ten. She heard her Earthbending teacher talking to her parents about a nearby Earthbending competition. Her head had exploded with ideas. This was it. This was her escape.

It was hard for her to find something other than lacy dresses around the mansion. But finally, she found it; the perfect uniform. She knew just from holding it that it could shape her whole identity. So she stole it. And in the dead of night, she snuck out to the competition.

The people at the competition nearly laughed themselves silly when they saw her. A blind Earthbender? Surely she can't fight!

But she was allowed to enter. And she swept the competition right under the arena. She'd shocked them all into silence. And slowly, quietly, they began chanting, "Blind Bandit, Blind Bandit, Blind Bandit…"

She smiled. The Blind Bandit. That was a name she could wrap her mind around.

Her parents never knew. She was back in bed the next morning, and they never thought she'd left. After the thrill, the rush of the competition, it was hard to go back to being an obedient, helpless blind girl. But one thought sustained her: the competition would be there next year.

She went back the next year, and the year after that. The first time she dominated, just as everyone had expected her to. But the second year, something happened. Something that would change her life forever.

The Fancy Dancer, she called him, Twinkle Toes. All he had wanted to do was talk to her. And all she had done was attack. She could talk at home; after all, she was there to fight! But he turned the table on her. The rock never hit her. A rush of air did, throwing her off the arena. She'd walked off in a huff. He'd yelled after her about wanting an Earthbending teacher. She'd blown him off. But he didn't stop.

He invaded her home, her safe place, and turned her life upside down. She'd never once questioned what her life was like. All she'd ever thought about was her escape, her Earthbending. But now, this boy, he changed that. He made her long for more. He made her long…for him. He and his friends, they had it going. They traveled all over the world; they had no one to order them around. Her…she had her life of darkness and Earthbending.

He touched her in a way no one had ever managed to. He broke through the walls, the barriers she'd put up around herself to stop her from feeling the hurt of her world. He made her think. She wanted to get away from her house, her parents. Her life. She wanted to be free.

Her parents didn't understand. They still thought she was just a blind girl. They wanted to stop her from living. They even tried to stop her from seeing him. They underestimated her.

Her parents put guards around her door. She dressed in her Earthbending uniform, packed a small bag of things she thought she'd need, and snuck out through the window. She'd had a taste of freedom. And no one would stop her from getting more.

She caught up to them just as they were preparing to leave. They understood that she'd run away, and opened their arms to her. And finally she had the friends she wanted, and the freedom she longed for.

And she had him

He was goofy, he stumbled, and he always seemed to be talking. He swept her away, as she had once swept the competition of an Earthbending match. He flew into her life, and knocked her away.

And he could never know it

She had learned a long time ago not to let anyone get close to her. So she pushed him away, pining for him at a distance. She wanted him. She wanted his love. And she would never have it.

He loved another girl

She was tall, she was pretty, and she was strong, the girl he loved. She was blind, and still, she knew it. He loved another girl; he would never love her. So she saved herself the from the hurt, the pain.

The rejection

He yelled at her once, said things that weren't true. It broke her heart. When he turned to the other girl for comfort, it destroyed her inside. When she was young, she wanted freedom. When she was older, she wanted love. And now she had neither. She was trapped by a love she could never have

And she had done it to herself


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