6. And Now For Something Completely Different

"My name is Katara of the Water Tribe – you killed my mother!" Katara shouted as she leapt into the killer's house. Water froze into a single spike of ice that she brandished with one hand, ready to stab the heart of the monster. "Prepare to - ! "

"Take your shoes off, young lady."

"Die?" Katara stopped, her ice spike collapsing into a puddle. Her mother sat by the hearth, in the killer's house, playing patty-cake with a blue eyed toddler of indeterminate sex. This wasn't right at all! Didn't Kya know she was supposed to be dead?

"Mommy?" Katara had to ask. "I thought you were dead! The Fire Nation took you away!"

"I am very much not dead. Who put such an idea into your head?" Kya asked as she stood up, toddler now on her hip. "And I still want those shoes off."

Katara quickly yanked her ninja boots off and piled them by the door. Once her mother nodded in satisfaction, she reiterated the wrongness. "But Yon Rah killed you!"

"Clearly, he did not."

As Katara attempted to refute Kya's irrefutable logic, Zuko entered the scene with a ninja leap to rival Katara's. He almost crashed into Katara, slipped on the puddle left by the ice spike, and crashed into the far wall before moving into a defensive posture with surprising grace.

The toddler clapped her (his?) hands.

Kya looked over the new person and processed his appearance according to her own internal logic. There was only one conclusion.

"Is this what prompted the visit? Did you want Mom to meet the boyfriend?" Kya noted the yellow eyes. "Sweetie, I don't see why you're so upset about Yon Rah. Looks like you know that once you go Fire, you don't ever go back."

Zuko wondered why Katara's mother sounded like his sister. He backed up against the wall, hands ready to spit fire at the first sign of evil. If this was a plot by Azula, he'd be ready.

"I came to avenge your murder," grumbled Katara, crossing her arms against her chest. "And he is not my boyfriend. He's a former enemy who currently claims to be seeking redemption by helping me kill people."

"Back to the murder!" Kya moved the toddler so that he (she?) was on the other hip. "You need to get over that, sweetie."

"But you were gone, and the Fire Nation had just raided!" Katara protested. "What were we supposed to think?" She finally processed what her mother had said. "THAT YOU RAN OFF WITH YON RAH?!?"

"I left a note," Kya protested. "And it wasn't like Hakoda didn't see it coming. I told him it wasn't working out. I thought he told you."

Her world ripped into tiny pieces, Katara got on the floor to have a good cry. Zuko watched her cry a moment before he remembered that he was there for emotional support and not getting killed in his sleep. His fear of the Azula-sounding lady was nothing next to an emotionally unstable Katara. He patted the waterbender on the shoulder. "Look, at least she's not dead."

Kya stared at her daughter's boyfriend. Make him a little younger, picture him in a turtle duck costume for the Spirit Festival … she knew she'd seen him before. Now who had been showing off the baby pictures lately? Of course!

"Oh, you must be Zuko! Ursa from down the street's always talking about you!"