Author's Note: Grammatical/Spelling errors corrected-June 21st.


Sokka was beginning to lose track of time. How long had he been here? Weeks? Months? Or just a few days? All he knew was that he had been taken captive on the twenty-seventh of May, and was now a hostage of the Fire Nation army. He could hear other prisoners wailing from the other sides of the stone walls that surrounded his new 'home'. He wouldn't cry. He wouldn't beg for food. Not like the other captives. He was strong.

Had Katara, Aang, and Toph been taken prisoner, too? No, Sokka thought, they only need me as a hostage; they know Aang will come to try to break me out. Once they have him, they won't need me anymore. He shivered and leaned against a wall. But will he come? Aang was busy enough trying to complete his mastering of earth and water, and he still needed to find a firebending master. And with the comet on its way…

He might not come. I could be here forever.

And it was true. He wasn't needed. Not to fight the Fire Nation. Katara and Toph were help enough. They were benders. He wasn't. Maybe after the war…


His head turned sharply to the side, and he saw a small crack in the wall, one he hadn't before noticed. A faint black shadow swayed on the other side, and he moved forward.

"Hello?" He asked. He feet as if he should say something else; 'hello' sounds far too formal for this place.

"You're the Avatar's friend," the shadow whispered, "I've seen you before."

"Who are you?" Sokka asked, frightened. If he had seen him before, there wasn't much chance of him being a friend. Those who knew him simply as 'the Avatar's friend' weren't usually on good terms with Sokka. Usually, they were enemies.

"It doesn't matter. We're both prisoners, aren't we?"

Sokka nodded, then realized the mysterious shadow couldn't see his slight head bob.

"I guess not."

"So how'd they capture you?"

Sokka sat on the cold stone ground, knees bent. How had he been captured?

"There's someone coming!" Toph had murmured, causing her three companions to look around, frightened.

"Who?" Katara had asked.

"Where?" Sokka had questioned.

But Aang has asked what was probably the most important question.

"How many?"

Toph had turned then, and the look on her face horrified the other three.

"A lot."

And then they attacked.

The next half-hour had been filled with confused fighting. Sokka struggled to defeat one firebender, and Katara, Aang, and Toph held off about a dozen soldiers each. When Katara was struck with a burst of flame, Sokka yelled and started towards his sister. And then-


"In a fight," he replied, finally, "They captured me when I tried to help my sister."

"What happened to her?"

Although Sokka wasn't usually comfortable with confiding in strangers, it helped him to forget the fact that he was imprisoned.

"She was attacked by a Fire Nation soldier. I think…" he paused to wipe a tear from his eye, "I think she might be seriously hurt."

"She can heal, can't she?"

"I don't know…There have been things she couldn't fix before. Like when Toph broke her arm a few weeks ago. She couldn't fix her. It's only really minor things she can do right now."

"I guess she isn't as skilled as I thought, then."

Sokka jumped to his feet.

"My sister is a great bender! She's a water-bending Master! If you even knew-"

"Calm down! I didn't mean it like that…I just-never mind."

Both inmates paused. Finally, the stranger spoke again.

"You're not a bender, are you?"

"No," Sokka said, with a slight twinge of self-pity.

"But your sister is."

"One of the best water-benders alive."

"And the blind girl?"

"Toph. She's an earth-bending master."

"And the Avatar, obviously."

"Yeah? What's your point?" Sokka was beginning to get annoyed with this strangers cryptic speaking.

"So you're the only non-bender in your group then. What's that like?"

"What do you think it's like?" Sokka yelled. A guard walked by and glared, and Sokka dropped his voice a few levels.

"You know Aang is technically only twelve years old? And he's going to save the world someday. He's already mastered air-bending, and is very close to mastering water and earth. Toph, well, I'm not sure exactly how old she is, but she can't be more than eleven or twelve, and she's probably one of the world's best earth-benders. She's also the only person in the world who can bend metal, that we know of. My sister, Katara, is fourteen years old, and, as far as I know, the world's best water-bender. A few weeks ago, we met back up with her old master, and she beat him in a fight in less than twenty seconds.

They're all master benders, and all of them are going to fight in the war against the Fire Nation. Everybody idolizes them."

He took a moment to catch his breath.

"Honestly, I think I just get in their way most of the time. The only reason I still travel with them is because Katara's my baby sister, and my father instructed me to protect her. I can't bend, I'm a mediocre warrior, and they don't need me. My baby sister is a better warrior than me. She'll help save the world someday. She'll be a hero, and I'll just be…the stupid, klutzy, boomerang-guy."

Sokka paused to throw his boomerang across the cell. In true Sokka fashion, he threw it too hard, and it came back to (literally) hit him in the head.

"See!?" he exclaimed, rubbing the red spot on his forehead, "I can't even do that right!"

There was a slight lull in the conversation as Sokka sat silently, hating himself for being such an untalented, normal---thing.

"I know how you feel." The stranger said quietly.

"What, you travel with the Avatar, too?" Sokka said sarcastically.

"No." Apparently this guy didn't get the whole 'sarcasm' thing, "I mean about your sister."

Sokka was interested now.

"Let's just say that my sister is a very talented bender, too. She's probably one of the best in the world, too, and isn't too modest about it. My father loved my sister because of her bending, and never let me forget the fact that I was worth less than she was, because I didn't share her 'wonderful' ability. I can bend, too, but I'm not near to her level. You have it better though, in my opinion."

"What d'you mean?"

"The benders you know are nice. I've seen the Avatar and your sister try to help people that had attempted to hurt them before. And you didn't say anything about being mocked for being inferior to them."

"They've never mocked me," Sokka replied, "Well, Toph has, but she makes fun of everyone."

"See, my sister brags all the time about being a better bender than me. She's challenged me just to laugh at my failure. Even as a child, she would think of herself as superior just because she was more skilled."

Sokka waited for more, but the stranger remained silent.

"So I guess we're in the same boat, then, huh?"

He could hear a faint chuckle from the stranger.

"Guess so. Both always been inferior to our baby sisters, both trying to fight for respect and honor…"

"And both trapped in a Fire Nation prison, don't forget that!"

"Yeah, that too."

"So," Sokka said, "What did you say your name was again?"

"I didn't."

"Well what is your name?"

There was a short pause.


"I'm Sokka."

"Nice to meet you, Sokka.