Rating: PG, probably; some violent imagery eventually, but nothing especially explicit.

Characters/Pairing: Hints of Sokka/Suki eventually; Katara-centric gen overall. No major shipping action in this book.

Summary: Hakoda found the boy in the ice eight days before Kya went into labor. Avatar!Katara AU.

Disclaimer: Places and people you recognize from canon are not mine; I get nothing from this except happiness.

Acknowledgements: Again, massive thank-you to my sister, for the beautiful art (unfortunately, I can't embed it here; go to my profile for links) and the constant nagging. And, of course, to the ladiesbigbang challenge on Dreamwidth; the first half of what would become this fic would never have been written without that challenge and everyone who made it happen.

Posting Schedule: Barring more of those stupid errors, I'm planning on updating this once a week, Sundays. The chapters are really, really long, so to help with wall-of-text issues, I think I'm going to try cutting them in half - each update will thus contain "[Chapter Title] Part 1" and "[Chapter Title] Part 2", unless people tell me they hate that.

Other Notes: Title from Jeong Jeong's line about fish. More detailed notes in next chapter.

Prologue: The Boy in the Iceberg

Hakoda found the boy in the ice eight days before Kya went into labor. There was an animal with the boy, too, a sky bison; it looked just like the ones in the wild herds that still flew over the Pole sometimes, except for the part where it had a saddle. It was already dead when Hakoda found them, but the boy was still alive.

He was an Air Nomad; Hakoda could have told that much even without the bison, just seeing the arrow tattoos on his face and hands. But how he ended up frozen in the ice of the South Pole nearly a hundred years after all the other Nomads were massacred was a mystery. And one that would never be solved, since the boy never woke up before slipping away from them in the middle of the night.

Hakoda hoped he didn't mind being given to the sea, Airbender that he was.


Their daughter was born six days after the boy died. Kya named her Katara; Kanna had already carved the little ivory tiger seal that would make her a good hunter, and she tucked it under the baby's tongue while she asked the spirits for blessings.

Katara was so quiet under Kanna's hands that Hakoda thought she must have fallen asleep; but when he looked, her eyes were wide open, and she was looking back at him with a sudden awareness that made his arms prickle. She smiled at him, slow and calm and infinitely old - and then blinked, and was suddenly a tiny fussy baby again.

Hakoda swallowed, uncertain, but when Kya looked up at him, he couldn't help but smile. "She's beautiful," he said, and it was true.