What is Home?
Water, Earth, Fire, Air
When Kyanna was young and her mother used to tell her stories of when the four nations lived together in harmony, she believed every word.
The Avatar protected the world, and kept balance, but everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Kya’s betrothed left to fight in this war, and her brother and mother are now gone.
She prayed to the spirits to grant the Nations peace, but the Avatar still hasn’t come to help them. Now, she even doubt he exists.
Kya believes it’s time to take things into her own hands, and help in any way she can.
“I gotcha Kya!” Soro yelled, causing the nine-year-old to drop her sewing.
“So that’s how you want to play?” She said mischievously, and waterbent to snow soldier to chase him.
His giggles and shrieks of delight made Kya happy for the first time since Mama died. She died because she couldn’t take the fact both of her children had powerful chi.
Papa told her that it was okay, but she threatened to leave if she got pregnant with another one. She said she couldn’t risk her children leading the Fire Nation to the village.
She got pregnant again, and the little family went to the Village elders. The woman in charge said that she felt a powerful bender being created inside Mama.
At that, Mama sewed rocks in her pockets, and jumped into the sea.
Kya sobbed quietly, thinking of her life, intertwined with dark and light, like the koi fish, swirling in front of her in the pond.
Unbeknownst to her, another had come to sit by the pool.
“Nice to see you again, Kya.” A voice said behind her.
“Wish I could say the same.” She said bitterly.“Go away, I don’t feel like talking to you, or Katara. Why do you think I wasn’t at the feast?”
The girl tried to say it calmly, so Sokka couldn’t see the bitter rage boiling up inside. She had taken care not to let herself show anger. Anger could kill you.
“Come on! You say you have gotten over it, but you don’t mean it!”
“Shut up, Boomerang Boy. Enough.”
“All you do is mope, and pretend like everything’s okay!”
“I said enough, Sokka.”
“Why shut me and Katara out. Why shut the world out? What did we ever do to you?”
“My brother is dead because of you.” Kya said under her breath. It was not a day she liked to remember.
6 Years Ago
“Kya?” the younger girl said
“Katara!” Kya ran to her best friend, and flopped with her into the crystal white snow.
“Girls are weird.” Sokka said, and threw a snowball.
The girls threw a couple back, and it turned into a snow fight.. Soro ran out from the hut.
“Katara!” Soro giggled. He was only 6 years old at the time.
“Hello Soro!” Katara smiled.“Mummy made a snack for you!”
“I wish my mom was here,” Kya said sadly.
“We can share.” Katara suggested, and the slightly older girl shook her head. Kya was only two years older, but she knew a little better.
Suddenly, black snowflakes started falling. Kya stuck out her tongue, then coughed at the taste. It was bitter.
“I’m gonna go find Mom.” Katara said, before running off.
“I’ll come with you!” Kya said, and put Soro in a snow drift. “Sokka, can you watch Soro?”
Kya took one last look, and ran off.
“Two people in my life are dead because of you.” She said coldly and quietly. This wasn’t her first time doing this. Kya had dreamed of when she could tell Sokka this. “The first wasn’t your fault, but Soro was. I hate you.”
Sokka yelled back, “Just say it out loud! ’I AM SOKKA AND KATARA’S SISTER! I AM FROM THE SOUTHERN TRIBE! What is so hard about that?!?!?!?”
“I am not your sister. Maybe by maternal blood, but certainly not by anything else. Mom foolishly gave me away.” She said coldly, “She gave me up so you and Katara could be better off! I never knew my real family. Soro was my family. And you couldn’t watch him for 5 minutes.”
“I was nine!”
“And I was 10!” Kya retorted, “10 and I saw our Mother get killed! Kya is my mother, but not my mom.”
“What happened to you in the time you were here? This isn’t like you!” Sokka said, sounding like a brother for once in his life.
“I’ll tell you later. Tonight meet me at the crescent bridge when the moon is at its highest.”
“Just let her go, and I’ll give you the information you want.” Katara’s Mother, and to Kyanna, an Aunt, pleaded with the man.
“You heard your Mother, get out of here!” The man barked at Katara.
“Mommy, I’m scared.” Katara said, as the other girl hid in the enveloping folds of the tent so she could watch.
The older woman just smiled at her and assured her. “Go find your Dad, sweetie. I’ll handle this.”
Katara ran out to go fearfully get Hakoda.
The brutal man looked upon Aunt Kya, a glint in his eye. One that Kya gre to hate about firebenders “Now, tell me. Who is it? Who’s the waterbender?”
The girl in the tent folds gasped quietly. Both Katara and her showed signs of being waterbenders. They were going to take them away!
“There are no waterbenders here.” Katara’s mom frowned, “The Fire Nation took them all away a long time ago.”
The man snarled viciously at her “You’re lying. My source says there’s one waterbender left in The Southern Water Tribe.” The man walked closer to her, yet she showed no fear. “We’re not leaving until we find the waterbender.”
“If I tell you, do you promise,” She gently lowered her head and narrowed her eyes to make a decision, “to leave the rest of the village alone?”
He solemnly agreed, and she offered herself up. “It’s me. Take me as your prisoner.”
His passionless voice echoed in the little house, “I’m afraid I’m not taking prisoners today.”
“NO!” The girl who was hiding screamed shrilly, as he released a pure red and orange ball of burning flame. The elder Kya’s charred body fell lifelessly to the cold, hard ground.
“Shut up!” He said, and the now traumatized girl started crying uncontrollably. What 10 year old can undergo that and not cry?
“I thought I told you to shut your trap!” He yelled furiously. “Or do you need a reminder?”
He burnt her leg, and Kya howled in pain when it started, but bit her lip when he threatened to do it again. She heard the men running towards the tent and yelled for them.
The Fire Nation soldier had left by then, and there was only the ten-year-old, and the stench of her Aunt Kya’s murdered body in the little hut.
At the local bridge, Sokka was waiting attentively. He perked up when he spotted Kya.
He had just gotten back from speaking to Princess Yue. She had been acting very strangely lately, but Sokka liked to focus on the positive. I mean, at least he got to come here in the first place. Um, you got to see Kya? He thought.
“So, you want to talk now?” He asked.
“Not here. Kerala lives right there, and she is the gossip queen of the North.” She rolled her eyes. Kya knew these streets like the back of her hand. She lived there for almost half her life, after all. She knew where you could get the best of the best, whether it be sea-cow milk, or wood to create anything. She knew all, and all knew her as the wild child.
Sometimes, people would stare and point, yet Kya would laugh it off. Never a real laugh. She hadn’t had a real laugh in years.
They said she had to be some bastard, a father from the Earth Kingdom, most likely, or Tui forbid, a firebender. Why else would she be so different? Why else would she posses this crafty being, that seemed to stare into other’s sols?
“Girls are crazy!” Sokka said and thrust his hands violently up in the salty air. “Like Yue. One minute she wants to be with me, the next, she tells me to hit the road.”
Yue had run off, saying it wasn’t right. Sokka still didn’t know why.
Kya’s eyes widened in shock. “The beloved princess is engaged to Hahn.”
“WHAT?” Fierce jealousy washed over his puzzled face.
“You are in love with the princess? Wow. Grand Prince Sokka, you strive high!” She sincerely tried lightening the mood as the duo walked to her favorite spot, right outside the healing hut, and into the cobbled courtyard. It was where she would practice bending in secret. It was where she would meditate and get dreams.
“What about your guy? Hakano? The one from your letter a year ago.” He asked wonderingly. It was the only time she had sent one. And that was meant for Dad and Gran-gran.
Kya smiled and showed her betrothal necklace to Sokka, “We are getting married in the spring, after he comes home. He said he was going insane being ‘neutral’ when innocent people were dying in the Earth Kingdom. He left under a different name, and I’m waiting for his messenger pigeon back.”
“You did a lot since we were kids, huh?”
“I miss being a child, Sokka. I really do. I miss all the time we spent.” Kya revealed, looking longingly at the moon. She narrowed her eyes, “But I don’t miss the pain.”
“What has happened since the invasion?”
“After the, incident, I ran north. It took forever, but after a dull month of travelling, I got there. I barely remember my time in the earth kingdom. I remember stowing away on ship after ship. At the North, I was taken in by Yagoda and was taught to heal, and...”
Kya made certain no one was listening in, then leaned in close. “To fight.”
“But Katara wasn’t allowed to fight. She said Pakku wouldn’t teach her.”
“Who says someone has to teach you?” The older girl smiled, “I, ahem, ‘snuck’ some waterbending practice outside the capital city.”
“Aang is teaching Katara waterbending from Pakku.” he said.
“Not in the open, right?” She asked, worried. Such things were extremely looked down upon here. And Katara was already 14. Such disobedience could be expected by a kid, but a teen? Nope.
“Um, I think so, by the river, over there?”
“They’re gonna get caught!” She ran up, and already a disorderly crowd was forming.
“You better go talk to your sister.” Kya told Sokka, and they were led away to the meeting room. She desperately hoped Katara would keep her chill about this one.