Introduction and disclaimer: This is the first in a series of thirty stand-alone Avatar one-shots originally written for the 31days community over at livejournal. I will be uploading the fics as chapters to this one story since some of them are only a few hundred words in length. In terms of pairings, there's some implied Sokka/Yue, Sokka/Suki, and Longshot/Smellerbee, but not much else.
The characters and universe I'm playing with here are obviously not of my own creation, and these stories were written solely for entertainment, not profit.
1. Keep your eyes on her horizon
"You'll learn to love him."
That's what her mother said, and her grandmother, and five aunts, and any number of cousins.
"Kanna, give it time. Your heart will eventually come around--it's the way of things."
Kanna was savvy enough, even back then, just to smile and nod and pretend to agree with those who clearly knew better. She would say nothing about the desperation in her cousin Aakulu's eyes, or the quiet resignation in her sister Naitaka's voice when they said:
"At least he's a good man..."
But having a good man just wasn't good enough. She wanted to yearn for someone they way that her heart yearned to know what lay beyond that distant line that separated sea from sky.
"But he loves you, Kanna. He loves you more than anything. Surely you can see that, can't you?"
She saw it, and it made her feel guilty every time she stared out at the southern horizon and thought about a place where she could follow her heart and not simply wait for her heart to fall in line with tradition.
One day, she took a double ration of seal jerky and a triple ration of water, and set off in her canoe to see what she could find. She chased the horizon for weeks, nearly dying several times over, paddling until her shoulders burned and her arms felt like twisted and knotted rope, going days without food, and not caring if she ever saw land again.
At times she took off her necklace and studied the carved pendant as if she'd never seen it before, turning it this way and that to catch the light as she lay back in her canoe. The waves would rock her to sleep and she would wonder if she could ever learn to love anyone more than she loved the far horizon, the open sea, and the endless journey.
Author's note: OC names in here were taken from Inuit folklore.