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Story [Avatar:The Last Airbender] Hope of a Thousand Lifetimes (An Aang/Katara Oneshot)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by devilinthedetails, May 9, 2021.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Hope of a Thousand Lifetimes

    Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Genre: Romance; Hurt/Comfort; Angst

    Characters: Aang; Katara

    Summary: Aang wonders and worries about second chances.

    Author's Note: Written for @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha's Springtime Meadow Event for the prompt: "Second Time Around."

    Hope of a Thousand Lifetimes

    Aang studied Tenzin, his quiet, serious son, who was his youngest child, but somehow always acted the most mature. The oldest. As if weighed down by the grief, the sorrow, the lost of what had happened to the Air Nomads more than a century ago. As if their pain flowed through his veins and beat in his heart. As if the memory of their genocide hovered over him like a ghost or an angry spirit.

    He couldn’t help but brooding when he should have been meditating, brooding about Tenzin, his little boy who was old before his time. Old perhaps because of Aang’s training. Aang’s determination to do things right the second time. Not to fail as he had when he fled the Southern Air Temple into a storm and got trapped in it for a hundred years while the Air Nomads were slaughtered by the Fire Nation. But maybe he was so determined not to fail, so focused on righting the wrong he had committed so long ago when he was a child, that he was failing again and wronging his own child with too strict training. Too much responsibility and burden to the future at too young an age.

    “You seem troubled.” Katara, who could always sense his fears and sorrows like ripples on the serene surface of an otherwise tranquil pond, came to sit cross-legged beside him, copying the meditative posture he had assumed.

    “I am troubled.” Aang sighed. “I’m wondering if I’m a fool.”

    “Wonder no more. You definitely are a fool.” Katara’s gentle grin, encouraging him to confide in her, took any sting out of her words. “What are you being a fool about now?”

    “Second chances.” Aang pressed a hand to his forehead, struggling to describe the depth of his grief, his guilt, his gnawing doubts. “Am I a fool to believe in second chances, Katara?”

    “I didn’t believe in second chances until I met you.” Katara pulled his hand away from his forehead and wrapped it between hers. “Then you showed me second chances are possible. I didn’t believe that Zuko could become good and be an ally, a friend to us, but you did. You made it possible for him to become good and be a friend to us because you first believed in him and his potential to be good.”

    “The second chance I’m talking about is different than Zuko’s redemption.” Aang felt as if his ribcage was crushing his lungs, forcing the air out of him so that he couldn’t breathe. “It’s the second chance of the Air Nomads. I’m worried that I’m putting too much pressure on Tenzin, the only airbender in the world, to continue the legacy of the Air Nomads.”

    “The pressure isn’t on him alone.” Katara’s voice was soothing as a fountain trickling over rocks in a garden. “There are also your Air Acolytes to share the burden of continuing the Air Nomad culture. When a burden is divided among many people, it can much more easily be carried.”

    “The Air Acolytes aren’t airbenders.” Aang’s stomach squeezed in on itself like a punching fist as he wondered if this was another one of his follies. “Before Sozin attacked their Temples and killed all the Air Nomads, every Air Nomad was so pure and detached from the world, that they were born an airbender. Things were so different before the Fire Nation attacked, and, no matter how hard I try to restore things to how they were before the war, to bring back that elusive balance, I fail. As if the universe is telling me there are no second chances.”

    Aang felt like screaming his frustration. If he weren’t bald in the Air Nomad tradition that allowed him to better feel the air currents stirring and whirling around him, he would have yanked out his hair, he was certain.

    “The universe is telling you the exact opposite if you would just pay attention to it.” Katara’s fingers, twined around his like veins about a tree, grounded him in her strength, rooting him in her faith in him and his vision for the future. “Everywhere you look, you would see second chances if you open your eyes wide enough. A rain drop falls from the sky into a river that eventually flows into the sea, and then the sun burns hot enough that the rain drop rises into the clouds again to be reformed into another rain drop. The rain drop isn’t the same, but it gets a second chance at life. And when a plant, its remains are returned to the soil from which it sprang, and new plants emerge from the dirt fertilized by the dead plant. It is not the same plant, but it has been reborn and given a second chance.”

    “Air Nomads aren’t rain drops or plants.” Aang shook his head, wishing he could be comforted so easily. “They’re people.”

    “People can be reborn too.” Katara kissed his cheeks. “Isn’t that what the Avatar represents. The wisdom of a thousand lifetimes. A thousand second chances to get things right, and a thousand more lifetimes to get things right after that if the first thousand lifetimes don’t fix everything.”

    “I’ll definitely need the thousand more lifetimes to get everything I messed up right again.” Aang smiled as he envisioned the reincarnation cycle of the Avatar, of which he was only a small part, stretching out into infinity, righting all he had done wrong in this lifetime. Fixing his mistakes. Giving the world yet another second chance on into unimaginable eternity.

    “Sozin broke the world. You’re still trying to remake it. Remaking it is going to take time and patience, and when the world is remade it’s going to be different than it was before Sozin attacked the Air Nomads, but different doesn’t have to mean worse. It could mean better.” Katara’s lips were dancing on his like waves cavorting with the seashore now.

    Aang kissed her back, losing himself in her promises of second chances and hope of a thousand more lifetimes to get things right. To see things reborn from ashes.
    ZV-83, Emperor Ferus and amidalachick like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Exquisitely wise and lyrical. Katara is loving and wise. Aang's concerns are proof that he cares deeply and wants to get it right. =D=
  3. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    This is so beautiful, both your writing itself and the subject matter!

    What a great start to their conversation! I have such a weakness for this gentle kind of teasing. :D

    So true!

    I love this description and the tree and root imagery. This entire paragraph is just gorgeous.

    This is so gorgeous too, and it really resonates with me. Forgiveness, redemption, second chances. Trying, failing, trying again. These things are so universal and so powerful and so human. Your writing here is so, so beautiful. [face_love]

    Again, this is so true and so gorgeously written and it just hits very close to home for me. I love the sense of hope and, to borrow a Springsteen lyric, "something like faith" that broken things can be remade and can be okay again.

    Really beautiful work on this. Thank you so much for sharing! =D=[face_love]
  4. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting![:D]I'm so glad that you found this piece lyrical and wise because it was a very powerful and spiritual one for me to write. I really wanted Katara's love for Aang to shine through in this story, and it's awesome to know that it did for you, and it was wonderful to be able to write about her offering him important advice as they are married and parenting their children. I agree with you that Aang's concerns are proof that he cares and wants to do things right. That desire to do things right is one of my favorite parts of Aang's character. It makes him so pure and admirable!

    @amidalachick Thank you so much for your kind comment![:D] I'm so flattered that you found this beautifully written with beautiful subject matter because the idea for this fic came to me and I really wanted to do it justice but it seemed so spiritual and powerful to me.

    The opening to the conversation was one of the things that came to me first when I was thinking about this fic so it is marvelous to know it was a highlight for you. I definitely like to imagine that sort of gentle teasing continuing between Aang and Katara all throughout their life as one of many ways they show their love for one another.

    It warms my heart to know you loved the burden being easier to bear when divided among many people line since somehow it struck me as wisdom one might learn growing up in the Water Tribe that values community so much.

    That description was one I have to admit I was proud of so it is wonderful to know it worked for you too! [face_blush]

    Forgiveness, redemption, second chances, and trying again after a failure are really some of the most meaningful themes for me, which is probably why I explore them again and again in my writing, and so it is really touching to hear that you found that section so powerful and human as it explored such universal concepts.

    And it was really nice to write something that celebrated and affirmed the value of hope, faith, and that belief that broken things can be remade. In these tough times, that sort of hope, faith, and belief can be inspirational!

    Thank you again for your kind and thoughtful words!:)
  5. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Jul 29, 2016
  6. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Thanks, @Emperor Ferus! So glad you love it since it is my first real attempt at writing an Aang/Katara fic:)
    Emperor Ferus likes this.