And I'm back! Starting today, I will be updating this series once a week, from Friday to Friday. Friday is the only day I have no classes so I thought it would be the best day for this. Special thanks to Blue-Winter-Angel for beta-reading this for me. Seriously, guys, she is so happy that I'm writing these drabbles. She kills me. So, here you get a bit of Jia action. I'm currently writing chapter five of this series, but after that I'm out of ideas. I can manage, but if you guys have anything you want to see these kids do - they're ages 5-10 in this series - drop me a review and leave your prompt request(s)! I'd love to hear from you.
In the meantime, enjoy the drabble!
Jia had a gift.
She had a connection to animals that could only be described as spiritual. There was something about her that drew animals to her like moths to a flame. She could calm even the most riled beast and make friends with it. From the time she could crawl, Jia had Naga following her everywhere; when she was six, she climbed trees with lemurs. She was always bringing stray cats and dogs back to the brownstone. Often Korra or Iroh would find a wounded bird in Jia's room, tucked into a makeshift nest. Everyone had lost count of how many times she had "adopted" Pabu.
What really took the cake, however, was the day she met Ryu. Ryu was one of three year-old bison calves living on Air Temple Island. He was a bit of runt, smaller and slower than the others. He didn't play with them often and his flying wasn't the best. Often he was left alone to meander around the orchards. This is where Jia finds him.
Being the only nonbender among her siblings and friends, Jia often feels left out of things. Only Asami, Pema, and Rohan can relate to her, but they've all had time to settle into themselves and be happy with the way they are. Being seven, Jia hasn't had that opportunity, so while her brothers are training she finds herself walking among the trees, petting lemurs and bison. Ryu is curled up in a patch of dry winter grass, sulking to himself.
Jia is curious. Ryu is curious.
She approaches him carefully, sitting cross-legged in front of him. They regard each other silently for a time, each taking the other in thoroughly. Then Jia smiles.
"Uncle Tenzin says your name is Ryu. Are you alone out here? Are you not like the other sky bison?"
A soft, sad grunt is her answer. Jia nods sympathetically. "Me, too. I can't bend fire or water. There's nothing for me to do while everyone else is training."
Ryu whuffles his lips over her hair in what Jia perceives as a gesture of comfort. "Thanks. Sometimes it would be nice if I had a friend who understood." Her face brightens then, as though she has had an epiphany. "Do you want to be friends?"
Ryu groans, perking up some. A long, slimy lick to the face is answer enough for Jia.
"This is great, we'll do all sorts of things together. Uncle Tenzin says your flying needs work, but I know you'll be awesome. Then we can go anywhere. Hm. I don't think Mommy and Daddy will let me take you home, though. You'll have to stay here on the island."
Ryu makes an exaggerated noise and Jia giggles. "I'll visit you all the time, though. Don't worry."
They cuddle up next to each other, a sense of contentment settling over them. Jia strokes Ryu's fur tenderly. She feels the beginnings of joy seep into her small heart.
"We'll be best friends."