The young monk ran down the steps of the Southern Air Temple, heart thumping with excitement. He was joined by the other boys, all eager to get a glimpse of the temple's newest airbending student. "Gyatso!" his friends shouted. "Over here!" Gyatso joined his friends, sitting on the handrails of the steps. The crowd that had gathered to welcome the guest was enormous…Gyatso and his friends had no chance of getting closer. "Don't worry, we'll be seeing more of him soon enough." The children in the crowd were pushed to the front so they could get a better look. They all stood in the temple's main plaza, watching the sky intently.

Soon, they saw what they were looking for. A red dragon had appeared on the horizon, with a flying bison on either side of it. The three animals flew gracefully over the Patola mountain range. The monks stared in awe…for many of them, even the older monks, this was the first time they had ever seen a dragon. Gyatso admired the dragon's features…even from the distance, he could tell that this creature was a force to be reckoned with. It was a stark contrast to the gentle bison that the monks were accustomed to.

The real object of their attention, however, was not the mount, but the rider. Perched on the dragon's neck was the new student, and after a smooth landing, the young man hopped down. Sixteen years old, clad entirely in red, hair in the traditional Fire Nation topknot…he was a handsome young man, but he seemed somewhat timid, even shy. It certainly was not a trait that Gyatso would have expected from such a special student.

The bison escort landed as well, and the head monks dismounted. The senior monk, Monk Nashi, stepped forward and bowed to the student. "Avatar Roku," he said, loudly, "it is an honor to welcome you to the Southern Air Temple." The monks, young and old, erupted into cheers. In spite of the warm welcome, Gyatso noticed that the Avatar appeared to be putting on a brave face, if only for their sakes. He seemed nervous and hesitant. Is it us, or is he just homesick? He had always thought of the Avatar as some high-and-mighty monarch or something, even greater than the kings. All of the young monks were educated about the Avatar and his vital role in bringing balance to the world. Surely, being that important would get to the Avatar's head.

But Avatar Roku was nothing like that…he was extremely humble and meek, and he even seemed embarrassed by the special attention he was getting. Hmm, Gyatso thought. Maybe later, when things have settled down, I'll seek him out and talk to him. Roku began to follow Monk Nashi to his quarters, while the crowd noisily followed behind.

If I can reach him, that is.


Author's note: It's finals week, and what do I do? I write fanfics. :) Anyway, here's my latest fic, and it will be centered around Gyatso and Roku, and Aang will come into the picture later. Enjoy! (And don't worry, the chapters will get longer eventually.)