Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar...or any of the characters...or the places named...or...you get the point.
We have been traveling the world for a year now; and I enjoy every minute of it, but…
Everywhere we go, I hear people talk behind our backs. We go to festivals, balls, parties, celebration, events, weddings, practically any type of shindig you can think of. It doesn't matter if Aang and I are the guests of honor or just faces in the crowd, I hear it.
Voices of people we have met or don't even know ring in my ears constantly. Tones of different people chime together to join the chorus. Every different melody has come to make the song that has scarred my heart and has beaten at my confidence since I began this second journey with Aang.
You don't belong.
You don't belong with him. Who you are, what you act like, what you say, think or do; none of it belongs. Look at who you are and then look at him. You don't belong.
It didn't bother me in the beginning. Jealous women and young girls would speak these words.
"Look at her! She's a peasant. Why is she with him?"
"He probably pity's her."
"She's not worthy. Just look at her!"
"I know, an ugly duckling who is never going to become a swan."
These people were jealous and I passed it off just as that; jealousy. But, as it continued it became harsher and said by more and more people.
My confidence fell. I started to distance myself from Aang. As stupid as it was, I started to take these people's words to heart.
For some reason, I stopped eating as much and I wasn't as happy as usual. Parties were no longer enjoyable, not when you hear people cursing you, thinking that you cannot hear them.
Aang stood through all of this not knowing of the people's words or of their constant song in my ears. It was eating away at me and I just wanted it to stop.
So a few days after Aang turned fourteen, I asked if I could go home. Aang agreed, like always, and said he needed a break, too. However, I explained to him that I wanted to go home…for good.
His was a face of pure sadness. Yet, he still agreed. Saying that if that is what I wanted he'd bring me back.
He brought me back and left the Southern Water Tribe, never turning back.
That was two years ago.
I was now a shell of what I once was. I was now quiet and more reserved now, and new song came.
The song I heard was different now. Now I was back among friends and the notes changed…and so did the words.
They were no longer words of hatred and envy, but ones of sadness and empathy. Words like:
"Why did she leave him?"
"He was crushed."
"She seems so sad now."
"That's because she was at her happiest when she was with him."
I hated this song even more. For this song wasn't fueled by lies and jealousy, but by the truth and pity.
Once again I couldn't take it. This song didn't beat at my confidence, but it filled me with guilt. Why had I done something so stupid?
Every day I sat on this block of ice wondering where he was and how he was doing. Nothing else seemed important, unless it had news of him in it.
I grew tired of the pity, guilt, and the distance between us.
So I left to see him. To apologize and to travel with him once again.
That was three years ago.
Now I wandered the world looking for him with new notes calling out.
I went from town to town looking for him. If a single word of his existence was spoken, I would be there listening.
When I arrived wherever my quest brought me, I was always either a few days late or one clue short.
It started to become hopeless; however, some good did come out this. I created a name for myself. When people were ill, I would heal them. When people were in danger, I would defend them. When people needed help, I was there to help them.
People began to sing a whole new tune.
"That's her! The Waterbending Master, she can so anything!"
"She's a saint! No! She's an angel!"
"She healed a man at death's door."
"She saved a whole village from a fire!"
"She's simply amazing!"
My confidence, that was once shattered, grew and grew. I started to become my old self. I enjoyed helping people, yet it wasn't enough. I still wasn't as happy as I was when I was with him.
I became a heroine; I served as a healer to the people. Once again, I was back to being invited to parties and other grand festivities.
At the Earth King's birthday party, the song once again changed, but it was much different from the first three.
It wasn't a song of jealousy or pity or praise, but one I had yet to experience.
This song wasn't comprised of many voices coming together to sing out as a group. It wasn't loud or demanding of my attention. It wasn't off pitch and unlike some of the other songs; it was something I wanted to hear.
It was a soft, quivering note that was barely heard above the noise. It held the perfect melody. The voice was low, but it was light. This was the song I was dieing to hear for so long.
I turned around to see the composer and conductor of this song. He stood tall across the crowd. He was no longer the boy I once knew, but the man I just had laid my eyes on.
He was adorned in his monk's robe and his arrow was shown proudly on his forehead. His stormy grey eyes met mine. The crowd almost seemed to have parted for me. I walked directly through, not taking my eyes off his.
When I finally stood in front of him, I was speechless. Years of thinking out what I would say to him when I finally met him again vanished.
But, he spoke the question I wanted to ask him, "Katara? Katara is that you?"
I nodded. He reached out and touched my cheek almost like testing to see if I was real.
As soon as his figure tips met my skin, his eyes brightened with recognition, "It is you!"
I clutched his hand and held it my face, "Yes, it's me."
He was now holding my face with both hands talking excitedly, "You're here! I haven't seen you in five years! I heard you were traveling the world, but I could never find you-"
That surprised me, he was looking for me? I began to laugh.
His face was painted confused at my sudden outburst, "Why are you laughing?"
I led him out of the ballroom and to outside on the balcony where we could talk in private. This is when I began to explain. I explained how the last three years I had been traveling the world looking for him and all my adventures.
At the end of the story he just stared at me, "You have been looking this whole time for me?"
I only nodded.
He raised an eyebrow at me, "You have been looking for me while I have been looking for you?"
I nodded again.
Aang stared at the open night sky for a moment before asking, "Why have you been looking for me? I thought you wanted to stay away from me?"
I shook my head, "I never wanted to stay away from you! I was just tired of…never mind…" I lowered my head, "…just forget it…"
He grasped my chin and lifted my head up until I met his eyes, "Come on 'Tara, tell me…please."
I sighed, "Everywhere we went together people spoke behind my back. The insults became too hard for me to bear. I left to get away from that. But while I was gone, I realized how much I missed you and I just wanted to see you again. So that's why I came back."
He tilted his head to the right, "What did they say?"
I paused, "Cruel, little things about me like being a peasant, homely, and…and that I didn't deserve to be with you." I looked to my left back at the party.
Those notes always bothered me and they still bothered me. That was until I heard the concerto I had been longing to hear.
"I think you are beautiful." I whipped my head around to see Aang's calm eyes gazing at me.
I wanted to say something, but I couldn't. Yet, that didn't matter, for Aang continued, "Who cares if you are a peasant? I don't. Does that even matter? That's something you are born into, not who you are. Besides, you are the most worthy, loyal, kind person that I have ever met." Aang chuckled, "I mean just listen to the people you have helped! They are singing your praises!"
My eyes began to water. I began to wipe them away, but Aang beat me to it. His thumb was gently stroking away my ever tear.
"Katara, don't listen to them. Listen to the people that really matter, the people who actually care for you….I want you to listen to me."
I caught something in Aang's eyes that had always been there, but I had failed to notice.
"I want you to hear what I have to say. Like I said you are beautiful, and kind, and worthy, but you are so much more. That's why I was crushed when you wanted to return home. However, I knew I'd have to let you because when you feel like this you only want to do what makes the person you care for happy."
Aang paused and sighed, "What I'm trying to say is…that I love you, Katara."
I gasped. That's what it was! The emotion in Aang's eyes, the feeling I had, the song that I had always wanted to hear him sing: love.
I had stopped paying attention, but when I didn't get over my shock Aang was rambling on and avoiding my gaze, "…if you don't feel the same it's fine. I didn't mean to spring it on you. I just had always wanted to tell, but never had the courage and now-"
I cut him off by placing my finger on his lips. He stared at me waiting to see what I had to say.
"Aang this is one song I have been longing to hear and it is one that I have been longing to sing, I love you, too." I closed the distance between us.
It was everything I imagined. Our notes harmonized to create the perfect symphony of what we had been longing to sing. It sent shivers down my spine and filled my soul with a soothing melody.
When we finally parted for air I saw Aang's twinkling gaze on me. His wild smile said it all.
"You want to ditch this party? The Earth King doesn't need me any way."
I returned his smile and nodded in agreement.
As we walked off, hand in hand, Aang spoke, "Hey Katara, can I ask you something?"
"What did you mean by saying you heard this and now you wanted to sing it? I don't recall singing anything." Aang asked in confusion.
I gave out a laugh and leaned into his side, "I'll tell you later."
A/N: Okay this was poorly organized and I had no clue where I was going…but when do I ever? See I never actually plan what I'm going to write…I just wait for something to happen. So I played the song 'You'll be in my Heart' fifty times looking for inspiration. (I play random songs for inspiration) I got this idea about Katara feeling bad and Aang comforting her. It was suppose to be a simple talk, but then it grew.
I stretched it over a few years. Then I randomly added that the theme would have to do with songs.
For the people who might have gotten confused about the ages, Aang is around 19 and Katara is about 21.
Read…well you had to have read the story to get this far…or you just scrolled to the bottom…but whatever. Read and review, tell my you think, you like, dislike, what you are having for dinner jk. But, overall just review!...but don't actually tell me what you are having for dinner tonight. That's nice for you, but I don't need to know.