In My Daughter's Eyes
Rated: Teen for romance (Kataang).
Summary: Basically, Katara's thoughts upon the birth of her daughter. Kataang Babyfic. Song-fic.
Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender is owned by Bryke and Nickelodeon. The song "In My Daughter's Eyes" is performed by Martina McBride.
LES: In case you guys don't know, the names of Tenzin's two siblings were recently revealed to be Bumi and Kya, presumably named after Aang's friend, King Bumi and Katara's mother. We don't know which one is the eldest yet, but this story is assuming that Kya is the oldest even though I really think it will be Bumi who is the oldest. If only because I can see this happening…
Aang: *amazed* We have a son!
Katara: What do you want to name him?
Katara: You are the father, you have the right to name your son.
Aang: … How about Bumi? *Katara doesn't respond* Katara?
Katara: Aang… I'm naming the next one.
But that's just my head canon. The canon for this story is that Kya is the first born, so here you go…
It was quiet now, a vast change from how the room had been not twenty minutes earlier. The screams and the sounds of human misery had faded away, leaving only peaceful calm in their wake.
Katara lay on her bed, exhausted, sore, and trembling with recent exertion. But, despite her body which was practically begging to pass out and rest, Katara kept herself awake so that she could stare into the face of the one that she recently worked so hard for.
She had only just given birth to her daughter several minutes ago. But those twenty minutes had seemed an eternity for the young Waterbender.
Her husband, Aang, was there as well. He was not at her side as one would expect. Since the birth had ended, her husband seemed content to sit in the corner of the room, just staring at the two of them silently. Katara glanced up at him and knew the expression on his face: awe. He was in such complete awe that he couldn't move or speak for fear of ruining the moment.
Katara returned her attention to the baby in her arms: a perfectly healthy little girl. For what seemed the hundredth time, Katara cataloged her appearance. At first glance, it was clear that Katara's Water Tribe heritage had won out with her and Aang's daughter. Her skin was dark like Katara's, her eyes blue like Katara's, and her hair brown like Katara's. In fact, all she could see of Aang in their daughter was her nose and her peaceful demeanor. After the initial screams of her birth, the baby girl had calmed down surprisingly fast.
She could understand Aang's sense of awe. She was in awe herself. This is my daughter! Katara thought to herself, amazed. Here lay a tiny creature that would be completely dependent on her parents for comfort, care, and safety. Here lay a tiny creature that would one day call her 'Mama' and live with the absolute certainty that nothing could happen to the two strongest people in her life: her parents.
Katara knew that this little girl would see her and Aang as heroes, but the Water Tribe woman knew better. Aang had gone a long way in healing her heart after the death of her own mother; but it was only now, now that her heart was beating outside her body, that she felt that he was completely healed at last.
Katara looked at her daughter, and she saw her mother… she saw herself.
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise, and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be in my daughter's eyes
Katara, who was unable to hold in her emotions any longer, started to cry. That, at last, drew Aang out of his silent contemplation. As soon as her tears began to fall, he stood up and was at her side. "Katara? Katara? What's wrong? Are you still in pain? Do you need something?" He asked all these questions within the span of a few seconds. Katara sniffed. It warmed her heart to see Aang so concerned for her well-being. He had been so ashamed of himself and the pain he caused her during her labor and birth. It hadn't really helped matters when Katara had threatened him with at least fifteen different and painful deaths over the course of their daughter's birth.
She reached out and took his hand to stop his babbling, while wiping away her tears with her free hand. "I'm fine, Aang. I'm still sore, but that's only to be expected. These are tears of awe and happiness. I'm just so… overwhelmed that there's nothing to do but cry."
"Yeah… I know how you feel." Aang said, smiling. "I almost can't believe it. I keep staring at her… and you, but I still can't believe that this is really real. I keep feeling like I'm going to blink and open my eyes, only to realize that I'm only twelve years old and that this is only a daydream. The best daydream of my life, but still a daydream."
"This is no daydream, Aang." Katara replied. "It's all real. The war's end… our daughter… my love for you." She smiled at him, and he smiled back. He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.
When they pulled apart, Aang took a seat next to her on the bed, so that he could finally look at his daughter up close. "She looks so much like you." He commented.
"She does have your nose, though." Katara pointed out.
"Really?" Aang said, taking a closer look at his daughter's nose. "Looks like your nose to me." Katara laughed tiredly. "I'm glad she looks like you." He said. "She's going to become just as beautiful as her mother."
In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light, and the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe in my daughter's eyes
The two new parents were silent for a while, content for the return to peace. Aang was finally touching her, running his fingers over her super-fine hair in the lightest of caresses. The girl squirmed at the contact, but otherwise did not react to the presence of her father.
Katara leaned against his shoulder, and he nuzzled her in return, turning his attention away from his new daughter and back to his wife for a moment. "I love you, Katara." He whispered. "Have I told you recently that you are the most amazing woman I know?"
Katara did have vague memories of him saying something like that recently. It was about two seconds after their daughter had been born, when Katara has been consumed with the overwhelming relief that it was over that she could barely hear Aang whispering over and over how amazing she was. "Just after she was born, right?" Katara answered.
"Oh, yeah… I didn't think you heard me." Aang said, smiling at her.
"I barely heard you." Katara corrected. "But I did still hear you."
"Well, you are still amazing, Katara. Absolutely amazing." Aang said earnestly. "I love you so much right now that I feel like I'm flying and falling at the same time."
Katara kissed him lightly, and once again turned her attention to her daughter. Her tiny little hand had escaped from the blanket wrapped around her. Katara reached down to adjust her hand, but the baby girl had other ideas. As soon as Katara made contact with the soft skin of her hand, she clutched onto Katara's finger with only the sort of grip that a baby had.
And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh, it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It's hanging on when your heart has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes
Katara felt another wave of happy tears consume her, and she did nothing to hold them back. Aang wrapped his arm around her, holding her close to him. "She's perfect, Aang." Katara whispered to him. "Absolutely perfect."
"Yeah… we did good." Aang replied.
"We? What do you mean, we? I was the one who did all the work." Katara said playfully.
"You know what I mean." Aang said.
Katara nodded. She did know what he meant. She had carried and given birth to their daughter, but it was she and Aang who created this life in the first place. And now she and Aang would work together to raise their daughter. Well… maybe it would be mostly Aang for the first few days. She did need time to recover. Her legs felt like jelly, so she couldn't even imagine standing up right now, let alone hopping back into the routine of everyday life.
Her attention turned back to the little girl when she began to whimper, kicking her tiny feet against the confines of her blanket. They stared at her for a few moments, trying to interpret what their daughter wanted. Finally, Aang spoke. "Maybe she's hungry?"
Katara nodded, it was as good a suggestion as any. With Aang's help, they pulled open her robes to expose her breast. Katara was not embarrassed in the slightest to show her breasts in Aang's presence. He was her husband, and knew her body better than anyone. However, she was a little ashamed of her post-baby body. She still looked like she was about four months pregnant. She knew that it would take some time for her body to return to normal, but it was still embarrassing.
She held her daughter against her breast and the little girl instinctively latched on, taking sustenance from her mother's body just as she had the last nine months. She met her husband's eyes, and she could see that he wasn't seeing her greasy, sweaty hair, nor the dark circles under her eyes, nor her still-rounded stomach. All he could see was his wife and daughter, the two most important women in his life.
Katara returned her gaze to the girl suckling at her breast. Is this how my mother felt the first time she held me? Katara wondered to herself. Not for the first time, Katara wondered what her mother thought of her: of her life, her marriage, and her daughter.
"She'd be proud of you." Aang said suddenly.
"What?" Katara asked.
"That look you're wearing…" Aang explained. "You always wear that look when you're thinking about your mother. I'm telling you that she'd be proud of you. Just like I'm sure that Monk Gyatso and my parents would be proud of me."
"Thanks, Aang." Katara breathed softly, running her fingers over her daughter's hair as she continued to suckle. Neither one spoke as Katara switched breasts, allowing their daughter to drink her fill. "Aang? If it's all right, I think I've thought of a name for her."
"What is it?" Aang asked. While she was pregnant, they'd tossed around both boy and girl names, but they'd yet to decide on a girl that they really liked. He was open to options at this point.
"I want to name her Kya." Katara said.
"After your mother?" Aang clarified. Katara nodded. For a while, Aang didn't respond and for a moment she thought he was going to turn her idea down. After all, they had talked about family names before, especially after Aang expressed his wish to consider Gyatso as a possible name for a boy. In the end, they'd both edged away from names that carried meaning like that, unsure if they would want to see the faces of their dead loved ones in their children. They'd never expressly said that they didn't want to name their children after dead loved ones, but it became one of those things that they didn't talk about. And then Aang wrapped his arms lightly around her, being very careful not to disturb his daughter's meal. "Kya. I think it's perfect."
Katara met his eyes. "Thank you." She whispered, kissing him.
In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
And though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy she made me
For I'll be there in my daughter's eyes
LES: *sniff* I hope that you like it.