Okay here it is. My first Avatar story. I'm a huge fan of the show but that doesn't mean I have any experience writing about it. It's my first try so….try to keep an open mind I guess. I hope you enjoy it!
The Ties that Bind
The snow was so delicate. If all ears nearby were capable of hearing the smallest of sounds the falling flakes would still be undetectable. Through the cold snowy blanket a single figure treaded. Her black hair was kept in a tight bun, though her hair being in her face was not something she worried about. Her greyed irises showed her nothing of the world around her. Despite the freezing cold she walked barefoot, using the minute vibrations to help her see.
Someone was coming; or rather some people were coming. She detected their careful steps from all directions, they were surrounding her. Her eyes narrowed in readiness. One of her attackers drew a sword and dashed forward. She allowed him to get almost within striking distance and then with a stomp of her foot raised a wall of solid earth. So fast was he running that he could not stop himself from crashing right into the barrier. The tiny whimper he uttered brought a smirk to her face. She was not safe however; suddenly two jets of water were aimed on either side of her. Quickly she raised herself up upon a stony platform and proceeded to shoot stone disks out from under it. Her platform shrunk with each projectile she sent flying in all directions.
Eventually she was once again ground level and on the run. Behind her the two waterbenders pursued her upon large waves created from the snow around them. Again the swordsman charged her only to be sent flying by the earth beneath him suddenly popping up like a spring. Soon she began forcing the earth to ripple beneath her feet and began riding her own wave. Behind her the two waterbenders tried to catch up to her by crisscrossing from side to side. Upon finish his maneuver one of the waterbenders slid around in a large circle to the earth bender's front. With a quickly movement he produced a strong gust of wind and sent her flying backwards.
It was no trying task to catch herself in mid-flight with a rocky platform. Ferociously she dived her fist into the ground and upon pulling it back up brought a large sphere of earth with it. Spinning in place she heaved the rocky sphere at her attacker, only for him to take immediate control over it and begin charging forward. She readied herself and at the right moment forced the rocky sphere to collapse around his fist and pushed it away, taking him with it. The second waterbender suddenly slid from out of nowhere and using a pillar of water forced the earthbender up into the air. In another second she was suspended in the air by the now frozen pillar. Her three attackers converged on the pillar. Her hands and feet were held completely.
"Let me down Katara!" Katara pulled off her face mask as did Aang and Sokka.
"I warned you there was too much of my element out here."
"And I said I didn't care, so let me down now!" Aang beat her too it, carefully turning the ice back into water and cushioning her fall with a short gusts of wind.
"Its not like she cheated," said Aang as Toph righted herself.
"I'm not whining okay. And who said anything about cheating?"
Sokka scratched his head. "Well I did notice that you seemed to forget about fighting me and just liked launching me all over the place." Toph said nothing but once again smirked.
Katara then herded them back to the village in which they were staying. "Come then, let's get back." As they walked Katara's eyes drifted down to Toph's feet.
"You know Toph sooner or later you're going to get frostbite if you keep walking around barefoot in the snow."
"I'm fine, besides if I put on shoes I'll be completely blind rather partially blind."
Quite unexpectedly Sokka piped in, "Well you know what they say, 'no blind is good blind'!" Three simultaneous groans sounded in the air. Aang and Sokka both exchanged a few well placed snowballs all the way until they made their way back into the village. Appa sat between two small huts which had been rented to them for a few nights. The village they were staying in was a quaint little outpost on the very edge of the Northern Water Tribe. There were some complications when the group arrived dressed in Fire Nation clothing. However a quick show of waterbending from Katara was enough to prove they were friend rather than foe. Today they were leaving and after breakfast they decided on a brief training session.
"Seriously Toph you'll be completely blind either way if your feet freeze off."
"They are starting to feet numb……actually I can't really feel them at all."
"Aang why don't you take Toph back to your cabin, and Sokka and I will get some supplies."
"You got it," replied the eager Avatar. The two siblings barely made out Toph's grumbles about being helped.
"But again Katara, didn't you see how she just kept throwing me everywhere?" His sister laughed.
"Well you are light on your feet."
With a scowl he replied, "I can see we have great concern for ones siblings."
"Just go get some food will you?" Mimicking Toph's grumpy demeanor Sokka veered away from his sister. Katara made her way to the shore, a small area where a tributary flowed fresh water into a pond. It was of course freezing cold but by the time they needed it the water would surely warm up just enough to be drinkable. She opened a few canteens, one for each of them, and began filling them all to the brim. As she finished filing the last one she noticed someone standing off to her left. She found that a very young girl, probably no older than six, was staring curiously at her. Carefully, Katara put her canteens aside and fully faced her visitor.
"Hi there." The girl made a small whimper sound and backed slightly. "Its okay, I was just getting some water. My friends and I are planning to leave soon." She could see her words did little to lighten the girl's nervousness. "My name is Katara."
"I know who you are," came a little timid voice. Katara raised her brows slightly. "You are with the Avatar."
"Are you going to destroy the Fire Nation?" Katara smiled.
"Well I don't like to say something like 'destroy', but we will stop them." She was becoming more and more comfortable around Katara. She smiled also and stepped closer.
"My name is Aleu."
"Aleu, that's a very pretty name." Aleu flushed.
"I love watching you waterbend-I can bend to!"
Standing Katara responded with an enthusiastic, "Really? Why don't you show me." Aleu positively glowed with excitement. Careful to keep her breath steady in front of this waterbending great, Aleu faced the water. She positioned herself in a stance Katara recognized as one taught to a youth novice. Aleu shut her eyes tight, concentrating hard on her task. She kept her palms facing down toward the water. From her trembling hands and head Katara could tell she was putting in all of her effort and concentration. Finally Aleu managed to make a tiny sphere of water rise up from the surface. The young waterbender levitated the small sphere to her eyelevel but as soon as she dared peek an eye open to glimpse it her control was lost and the sphere burst back into the ocean. Katara's hand instinctively flew up to her mouth. As any young child would at the sight of failure Aleu began fighting back a rush of tears. Katara knelt down beside her and held her shoulder.
"Don't worry about it, just keep up with your training and always practice the simple stuff. Remember, no matter how masterful you get it is always the basics that could one day save you." Wiping her eyes, Aleu nodded. "Who's teaching you?"
"My big sister, Yue. She's like you; she's such a good waterbender. I want to be just like both of you." It was now Katara's turn to blush. It was nice but also strange to be idolized in such a way; Aang was always the one in the limelight.
"Aleu!" Called a voice. They both turned to see someone approaching. Katara guessed she was Aleu's older sister since she basically looked like an older version of the former. She carried herself quite properly but not in any way that was arrogant. Her ebony hair nearly reached her waist. Aleu walked up to Yue obediently.
"Do you know why you could not hold the sphere just now?" Aleu dropped her eyes. "Because your mind was far too divided to concentrate, you must not be concerned with people watching."
"I know, I'm sorry."
"No apologies are needed Aleu. Just as Katara said, persistence and training will help foster your skills." She placed two fingers beneath Aleu's chin and raised her younger sister's eyes to her own. "And they shall grow, you can be sure." Aleu replied with a toothy smile. "Your dinner is prepared, go inside." Aleu waved goodbye to Katara and trotted back into her hut.
"No mother huh?" Yue turned back to Katara.
"Nor a father either," replied Yue. "May I ask, how did you know?"
"Aside from having to teach my brother waterbending, I can see you have every responsibility that I did. Our mother was killed in a Fire Nation raid. If you don't mind my asking, was that how you lost your mother." Yue softly shook her head.
"No, she died of sickness. It was our father who was killed in battle. I hope you will forgive Aleu, she has an…eager spirit." Katara waved a hand dismissively.
"No no, it's fine. To be honest I was actually rather flattered. I'm not usually the one who gets the looks of awe." Yue nodded with a smile.
"I understand. It is unfortunate that you are leaving, I would have liked to speak with you more." Katara stepped closer and extended a hand. Yue willing took it and they shook.
When Katara stepped back into their rented hut she found Toph sitting before a small tub made entirely of earth. Within the small tub her feet soaked in warm water carefully heated by a small fire.
"How you doing?" she asked the blind earthbender.
"Almost as good as ol' twinkle toes over there."
"You know I'm not asleep yet Toph." grumbled Aang.
"Just fine I see," chuckled Katara. Not long after, Sokka returned with a respectable bundle of food. He also returned with a story about how a traveling salesmen almost sold him three jars of pickled cow eyes. With everyone's appetite suspended until further notice they took places about the hut and quickly fell asleep.
Once again Katara found herself shaking Yue's hand as they took their leave. "Our prayers will go with you."
"Here…" Katara's eyes were drawn downward to see Yue handing her a roll of parchment. "I am not sure how stock you put into magic, but it will greatly assist your healing powers." Katara took the scroll.
"Thank you…again." Yue bowed her head in gratitude of Katara's acceptance. "Maybe we'll see each other again some day."
"I would hope so."
After long goodbyes from many of the villagers the group found themselves once again continuing on their journey. There were not a great many forests in the North Pole, but this time their problem was not trees preventing Appa from taking off…it was high winds. Their only choice was to keep walking until they reached a lower point from where Appa could get off the ground. Toph meanwhile, reluctantly had to take Katara's advice about her feet. With her feet kept comfortably warm in her shoes her radar-like sight was almost completely shut off. It was such a change for her that it nauseated the earthbender slightly.
"You okay!" Shouted Aang over the winds. She held onto his arm for a guide and had tripped at least twice so far.
"What do you think?!" she barked back. Aang glanced back at his bison with a fretful grimace.
"Katara! We're never going to get in the air right now! It doesn't matter where we go! We have to wait it out!" Katara surveyed the land, reminiscent of her homeland.
"I think I know 'wind' Katara!"
"Yeah and its freezing!" exclaimed Sokka while shivering. "Like more freezing than we're used to, but of course I'm just thinking of Appa!" It was unfortunate, for they hadn't gone far and distance was something they needed. At Katara's request Toph slipped out of her shoes and formed a very large cave for them to shelter in.
Unbeknownst to them a band of Fire Nation raiders, obviously hoping for a surprise attack, spotted the unusual activity. The team leader raised his balled fist to bring his troops to a halt.
Moments later they sat around a good sized fire and more importantly, out of the winds.
"Weather sure acts differently from the south," commented Sokka. "No wonder I thought we should stop for a while."
Toph shrugged. "Yup, or it could be you're just a big wimp." She sent a quick smile at Sokka's perturbed glare. Aang took a seat next to Katara as she shifted the water through a patch of snow, presumable to remove impurities.
"How's it coming?" She shrugged uncertainly.
"Hard to say, I never tried this before. The idea just came to me I guess."
"I saw you talking with someone last night, and then this morning she was the first one to say goodbye. Who is she?" Katara smiled while she concentrated on her work. "A new friend?"
"A kindred spirit." Even as Katara spoke it aloud, she had absolutely no idea just how much of a relation her new acquaintance would turn out to be. All the while the company of freedom fighters took rest, unaware that in the soft snow an enemy approached.
Well, my first chapter on my first Avatar story. Yes it's a little short but I don't first chapters so be all that long. What d'ya guys think? Tell me the truth now. If it's horrible and you start humoring me it's going to keep on being horrible. And that's not good reading. Laters!