Other Stars

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly enough.

Warnings: General Spoilers

AN: First, for Avatar_500 over on LJ; the prompt was #27: Sky. Second, for AtLA Land's fic-prompting challenge.


Piandao isn't her first love. Or even her second. He'll always come in third place.

It's not that he's old enough to be her father or that she could be his daughter. It's not that they are so different but seemingly the same.

He's her husband, and she's his wife. But somehow, she's always tumbling. Always turning cartwheels or doing handstands or anything else that keeps her feet off the ground. Perhaps just dancing through the air as though she owns it. Or perhaps as if it owns her.

He doesn't mind that. He loves that about her. What Piandao doesn't love is how her gaze is always fixed upwards.

"I wish I were a bird," she says often and then again as they exit the house he built her as her eyes go to the clouds. "Or even a butterfly. Anything to be above the ground and flying."

Somehow, he manages a laugh, but it sounds hollow to his ears. She doesn't seem to notice.

"I'm happy that you're just a girl," he replies, but she doesn't look at him.

She just smiles. Bright but distant. Like the sun forever out of reach. Her eyes though are fixed above them both.

He tries to tell himself it doesn't hurt.

Sometimes, he even believes it.



She looked lovely in pink. Her hair was for once not in braids as it hung down her back. Her eyes were outlined in a startling grey that made them stand out even more on her face, but her smile was only for him.

Piandao laughed as he took her hand in his and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. The red that tinted her cheeks then made her even lovelier, and the flush remained as he moved to guide her forward.

They started the first dance and stayed there all night. They didn't leave the floor until even the musicians had long ago given up and only a handful of other guests remained. The sun was just threatening to rise when they finally left arm in arm.

In the background, still at their table, Jeong Jeong and Iroh clinked their glasses together.

Ever Hopeful,