Alpha and Omega
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly enough.
Warnings: OC, Speculation, Spoilers
AN: For Avatar_500 over on LJ. The prompt was #13: Memory.
In the end, she is forgotten. Her name is erased by the sands of time. Swept away by the currents of life and subsequent generations. All those who lived with her, who laughed at her stories and delighted in her antics are now gone. Dead and reborn a thousand times over while she remains here and stays the same.
She's the Avatar after all, and they are unique. A spirit but never truly dead. Each life a separate branch of the same tree. A different thread of the same tapestry that weaves together endlessly.
She's the Avatar. The first of many. She who came before all the others. The start of the cycle. The foundation for everything.
She's the Avatar. And at the end of all things, they are alone.
Her beloved is gone. Her children are gone. Her family is lost. Their voices are the echoes of yesterday on the wind. They've had so many lives since then, since her. So many other mothers and sisters and daughters.
They don't even remember her name. She's little more than a stranger to them. To her own incarnations.
Yangchen. Kuruk. Kyoshi. Roku.
Just a child. Just a boy. Just like she was once a girl running through the fields with her siblings. Before she could bend water or earth or fire or even air. Before anyone even knew what the word Avatar meant.
And she knows a thousand generations from now that he too will be forgotten. That no one will remember him or the great things he did. Not his name or that he was the last of the Air Nomads or even that he was a mere child at the time. All the world will recall is the horrible war and that the Avatar put a stop to it.
Perhaps not even that much.
Just as he doesn't recognize her now. Doesn't know that she struggled to discover herself and her calling. That she fought and bled and suffered. That she had no guidance, no helping hand to show her the way. That she died and was reborn and has nurtured and watched over the world for longer that he can imagine.
He doesn't remember any of that. He doesn't remember her, doesn't know her at all.
"Who are you?" Aang asks then in a boyish voice that matches his still boyish body. His gaze is earnest and hopeful. Full of life and optimism and all the things she gave up millennia ago.
She simply sighs, long and deep. Her heart has already shattered too many times to break anymore; it doesn't even hurt that they are strangers. She just looks at him with eyes that are too old and a spirit that is too heavy.
"Does it matter?"