Disclaimer: Not. Mine. Nickelodeon's. Capice?


A/N: Just a little shortie. But I thought it was worth writing.

Metempsychosis

The swells of the ocean were of deepest blue-black, lifting and dropping in unending rhythm, like a heartbeat, like a drumbeat, like a dance. In the predawn darkness, the moonlight shimmered off the breakers, flickering, rippling.

Kunchen looked down at the deep from the head of his Sky Bison, watching the waves rise and fall. He normally found watching the sea to be very calming to the spirit, but that night he could not fall back to sleep, no matter how he willed it.

"You can't sleep either."

Kunchen turned around, and saw his sister-in law, Tashi, looking at him in the moonlight. He smiled sheepishly. "No. I don't know why. I just can't."

"Well, I know why I can't."

"Oh?"

"I'm too excited! I dreamt of the dragons. Oh, I just can't wait, Kunchen! I've never seen a dragon before."

"I'm surprised. Haven't you been to the Fire Nation before?"

"Yes, of course! But the dragons were never around when I was there." The fifteen-year old pouted slightly.

"Well, we'll see them soon. I promised Nyima that I would get their blessing for our child, and I will.

"Hmm? What about me?" The third rider on the bison (and the fourth as well, to judge by the size of her abdomen) stretched and yawned before pushing herself upright off her pad of blankets. She blinked around blearily.

"Oh, Nyima, I'm so sorry!" gasped Tashi. "I didn't mean to wake you!"

"It's okay. I wasn't sleeping particularly well anyway." She smiled at Kunchen. "My dreams have been very vivid lately."

"Not nightmares, I hope?"

"No, they're good dreams." Nyima looked at her belly, and placed her hands on its swollen curve. "I hope the baby is dreaming them too."

The three nomads fell silent for a moment, letting the breeze from the sea below caress them. Tashi broke the silence.

"I'm so grateful that you two are taking me with you. I know I was only just inducted, and I know that Sister Pema didn't want to let me go. But I feel like I'm ready to fly the cage. I'm glad you convinced her."

Kunchen chuckled. "Actually, Sister Pema only agreed because we told her we were going to keep you in our sights the whole time."

Tashi's face fell. "Really?"

"Yes," spoke up Nyima. "It's true. But don't feel too bad. We'll be going to the Western Temple after this and staying until the baby arrives, so you won't have to return to the Eastern for a long time."

"The Western Temple…" muttered Tashi. "I don't want to go to a temple. The temples are for old people and babies. I'm practically an adult! I want to travel the world like you guys, not sit in a room and meditate!"

Kunchen laughed lightly. "You'll have plenty of time for both, Tashi. Let life's winds blow you. I'm sure you'll end up where you want to be."

The father-to-be looked up at the stars, checking his position by the slow-spinning constellations. But there was something odd on the horizon. A red glow, reflecting off gathering clouds.

"What is that?" asked Tashi, her young eyes wide.

"A volcano," said Kunchen. "They are not uncommon, in this area. But the wind is blowing away from us. The ash won't block out the sky."

"Oh!" came a sudden cry from behind, Kunchen and Tashi turned to face Nyima, whose hand lay on her stomach.

"What is it?" asked Kunchen, looking panicked. "What's wrong?"

"The baby… it kicked! Kunchen, it kicked! It's waking up!"

Kunchen's face lit up. "It kicked?"

He quickly handed the reins to a protesting Tashi, and ran over to place his hand on his wife's belly. And indeed, there was movement within.

Kunchen swept Nyima into a passionate kiss, and she laughed. "Our baby is awakening, love," she whispered. "Tian has blessed our child with a spirit."

"Did you think otherwise?" asked Kunchen. "I knew He would."

The bison soared over the endless black sea as the sun broke over the horizon, with its passengers celebrating their good tidings. They were much too far away to see the blue dragon cutting its way through the sky like a knife, flying like a thunderbolt for the Fire Nation's Capital.