a/n: Written quite awhile ago. Haha.

He'd folded his life into itself and stayed hidden for the most part. His days were spent alone, holed up in his apartment. He didn't want the whispers to follow him. He didn't want the sad looks, dripping with pity. He didn't want the questioning glances of the people whose thoughts leaned toward Did he really take it away? Show me.

He didn't want any of that.

He just wanted his bending again, and he wanted it for himself.

He wanted it for himself because he wasn't Tahno without his bending; it was like he was missing now. He wanted it for himself because he wanted the girls to flock to him and the money to jingle in his pockets and the stares of admiration and jealousy to fill him up, to fill the emptiness that had been left behind. He wanted to rid himself of the longing and the fear now that seeped through his cracks. He was afraid that he wasn't amazing after all, but these words would never be spoken aloud.

But then he saw the headline.

The newspaper crinkled in his hands as he read it and reread it, and there was a slow realization that maybe, just maybe, he wanted his bending back for someone other than himself. His stomach knotted, and he denied himself the thoughts of her, of her shock when she was found, her quick anger when she realized he was her savior, and her gratitude, sent with a forced smile. He enjoyed her anger, fierce and rough on the edges, but no, he denied himself that fantasy. No, no. He read the headline again, just to make sure it was real:

Avatar Missing

He folded the paper up and returned to bed.