"Katara, have you seen my pants?"
The waterbender glanced up from the stew pot. "Your . . . pants?"
Sokka made a frustrated noise. "I can't find them."
Katara turned back to the pot of stewed sea prunes. Mom would've known.
It had been almost a year since she'd died. The thought left a raw, hollow spot in Katara's heart.
Something rose to the top of the stew, driving the thought from Katara's mind. "Sokka," she said reproachfully as she lifted the article from the pot. It dangled from the spoon, soaked and stained. "I think I found your pants."
Mai stared through the glass divider, fighting the nausea churning in her stomach. This can't be happening.
Her mother wailed; Mai wondered how the glass didn't shatter from the sound.
It was like those awful Ember Island plays her parents made her watch, except the blood was real. Mai's stoic mask shattered as her jaw dropped.
A cry tore through the hospital.
Minutes passed. Eventually, a nurse poked her head out of the room and addressed her. "You're Mai, aren't you?"
The nurse smiled warmly. "It's time to meet your baby brother."
I'm never having children, Mai vowed.
Aang watched the show. Gyatso, more interested in his charge's rapt expression than the entertainment being provided, watched Aang.
The performer smiled, balancing on the ball of his foot as he juggled leechi nuts. Twirling, he snatched the nuts from the air and collected them in his palms. The crowd cheered, throwing flowers.
"Monk Gyatso, can you teach me how to do that?"
Aang nodded eagerly.
Gyatso smiled. "Well, I can try."
Twenty minutes later, the old monk watched his pupil juggle ten leechi nuts while balancing on a platform of air.
Teaching was a very rewarding profession sometimes.