You hear the laughter before you can even see anything, ashes and smoke cloud your vision.
And he looms at you, your worst nightmare, larger than life and blacker than the night sky.
You taste blood and bile and wonder if you're going to die.
When the heat of the flames lick at your skin, that's a yes.
You awake silently, sitting ramrod straight, your breathes shallow and panicked laced, tears streak down your face and you know they are likely not to stop anytime soon.
The worried voices of your friends-no your family-reach your ears. Katara and Zuko are the first to approach you, they keep instructing you to breath, in and out, and soon you begin to mimic the pattern they've set.
Sokka brings a glass of water, Suki an extra blanket, and Toph, awkwardly begins to pat your head.
And in this moment your burden isn't there, you are surrounded by love and feel safer than you ever remember.
You briefly think that you love them more than the monks at the temple.
You briefly pray that come tomorrow none of them join your fallen family.