Story [Avatar: The Last Airbender]Like the Raging Ocean (Katara Pentathlon for 2021 Summer Olympics)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by devilinthedetails , Jul 1, 2021.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Like the Raging Ocean

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender

    Genre: A variety of genres.

    Characters: Katara; Hakoda; Aang; Sokka; Zuko; Kya.

    Summary: A compilation of stories written for my Summer Olympics Katara Pentathlon.

    Index of Entries:

    A Father's Blessing. 200 Freestyle. Katara; Hakoda. Post #2.

    Snapped Control. 110 Word Hurdle. Katara; Sokka. Post #3.

    Motherly Lessons. 100 Word Sprint. Katara; Kyo; Sokka; the Gang. Post #5.

    Warring Pride and Sorrow. 400 Word Cross Country. Katara; Hakoda. Post #7.

    Blood Cold as the Southern Ice Caps. AU Archery. Katara; Aang; Zuko. Post #9.

    Pentathlon complete on 7/9/2021. Thread always open for comments, obviously! :)
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  2. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: A Father's Blessing.

    Genre: Family; Drama; General.

    Characters: Katara; Hakoda.

    Event: 200 Freestyle

    Summary: Katara doesn't ask for her father's permission to marry Aang.

    A Father’s Blessing (200 Freestyle)

    “I want to marry Aang,” Katara told her dad as they watched shapes shift in the fire.

    “I know.” A smile tugged on his features.

    “I’m not asking your permission.” Katara felt fury at this antiquated, degrading custom of a woman not marrying without her father’s consent welling in her like a tsunami bursting beneath the ocean floor. “I think that’s sexist and backwards.”

    “I know.” Was that pain in her dad’s face now? Pain at how she’d grown since she was a little girl or how much she hadn’t? Pain she was so fierce even though he’d encouraged her waterbending from the moment it was clear she had that gift? It was hard to read his expression in the flickering orange of the firelight.

    “I’m not asking your permission,” she went on. “But I would like your blessing if you would grant it to me and to Aang.”

    “You’re my daughter.” The smile had returned to her dad’s face as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “You’ve always had my blessing, and you always will. So will Aang. As long as he never does anything to hurt you. Then my blessing will turn into a curse, of course.”
  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Snapped Control

    Genre: Family; Drama; Angst; General

    Characters: Katara; Sokka.

    Event: 110 Word Hurdle

    Summary: After her mother's death, Katara's control over her water bending snaps.

    Snapped Control (110 Word Hurdle)

    After her mom died, her grief and anger roiled inside her like a perpetual storm. Her control over her waterbending snapped too easily. If she lost a game, icicles would skewer the snow, or the snow itself would carve into craters. So it was to her older brother she fled for comfort when the other girls refused to play with her.

    It was into his shoulder she sobbed how they called her a freak.

    It was he who wrapped his arms around her and informed her fiercely that she was a freak but she was his sister, and he’d always play with her because he was the master of fun.
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    I just adore Katara as a character. She's such a wonderful balance of being loving and hopeful and fiercely protective and determined to stand up for what's right, and I could really see her spirit shining through in these first two entries.

    Oooh, great imagery of the tsunami bursting beneath the ocean floor! Also, Katara going up against the sexist traditions of the Water Tribe will never not make me happy. You get 'em, girl. [face_mischief]

    Aw! Because that's how it should be. [face_love]

    But of course! :p This really was a perfect balance between Hakoda wanting to protect his little girl and respecting the young woman she's grown into. [face_love]

    This just hurt my heart in the best of ways! Sokka and Katara really do have one of the best sibling dynamics portrayed in fiction, IMHO, and this was a great blend of Sokka being his goofy, yet very protective, deeply caring self. [face_love]

    Plus, the entire idea of Katara struggling to control her water-bending after her mother's death - and in the years to follow without anyone to guide her - is just too heartbreaking when you think about it. This was a very poignant glimpse at a very difficult time in Katara's childhood, and I really enjoyed this scene coming to life through your words!

    This pentathlon is off to a fantastic start, and I can't wait to read what comes next. Keep up the great work! :D =D=
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Mira_Jade I'm like you in that I absolutely adore Katara as a character. You're right that she is a wonderful balance of being a very loving and hopeful person while also being this very protective and determined one. A combination of gentleness and strength that is super complex and interesting. So it will be exciting to try to explore those different facets of her personality in this Pentathlon. Hopefully this Pentathlon can be a sort of tribute to her and what makes her so awesome.

    So glad that you liked the imagery of the tsunami. I loved how Katara consistently pushed back and fought against the more sexist traditions of the Water Tribe (whether it is the idea that women can't be warriors and can only be healers or it is Sokka's ideas about girls being better at sewing). So I knew that I had to highlight that side of her in this Pentathlon by having her continue to challenge the more sexist aspects of the Water Tribe.

    My heart did melt when Katara asked for her father's blessing to marry Aang so I'm so happy you loved that bit as well.

    Yeah, I like to think of Hakoda trying to find that balance of being protective of his little girl and respecting her for the young woman that she is. I also like to imagine him always being supportive of her waterbending and being overall a pretty great dad.

    Writing "Snapped Control" definitely tore my heart. On the one hand, I was so sad for Katara losing her mother and then having struggles controlling her water bending which left her as a type of outcast from the other children of the Southern Water Tribe, but then it also warmed my heart how Sokka was able to comfort her and show his loyalty to her, while still being the goofy, teasing big brother. I agree that the sibling dynamic between Sokka and Katara is one of the best in fiction. It is very authentic in showing both the annoyances and the very real positives of having a sibling.

    Last time I watched the first episode of Avatar, it occurred to me how easily Katara lost control of her water bending when she got angry with Sokka and then was all like, "You mean I did that?" Like she was just shocked by the amount of damage she could do. So I began to wonder if her control over her water bending wasn't the best when she got upset or angry since she didn't have any water bending teacher to guide her in the South Pole. Which makes her rejection by Master Pakku when she gets to the Northern Water Tribe all the sadder really. Because she has some serious waterbending skills and needed to be taught how to use them and control them. I just really love Katara's evolution as a waterbender and a character. It is so fascinating and compelling to me. Anyway, I'm so glad that you found the scene to be a poignant glimpse of a difficult time in Katara's childhood, and I hope you enjoy the next entry as much, which will focus on the impact that Katara's mother had on her like a celebration of motherhood.

    Title: Motherly Lessons

    Genre: Family; Friendship; General.

    Characters: Katara; Kya; Sokka; the Gang.

    Event: 100 Word Sprint.

    Summary: Katara and the lessons she learned from her mother.

    Motherly Lessons (100 Word Sprint)

    It was Katara’s mom who taught her how to repair clothes with neat, straight stitches.

    It was her mom who taught her cooking meals wasn’t frustrating because her family (especially Sokka) soon gobbled them up, but satisfying because she knew she’d provided for those she loved.

    And it was her mom who taught her the secret of penguin-sledding. Of offering the penguin a fish before attempting to ride it over snow and ice.

    Her mom was her greatest inspiration as well as her greatest loss, so it was no wonder with her mother gone she became mother to her friends.
  6. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Well, don't mind me, just over here ugly sniffling in the corner. Because this was stunning. There's already a beauty to mothers and daughters and what one generation passes to the next, but that was especially poignant here with Katara taking those lessons to heart to remember her mother.

    =(( Beautiful and heartbreaking all at once!

    Keep up the great work! =D=
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Mira_Jade As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting!:)I may have gotten a case of ugly sniffles too writing this piece. Especially that last ling which tore my heart into pieces as I was writing it.

    I'm so flattered that you found this piece to be stunning because I really wanted this to be a tribute not only to Katara and Kya, but also to motherhood in general and to the women of the Water Tribe whose amazing strength and wisdom should not be underrated ever. I agree that there is a special beauty about mothers and daughters as well as the knowledge and experience that one generation passes onto the next, and it was very moving for me to try to capture and showcase some of that unique dynamic in this short story. And that was definitely made all the more poignant as you say by the fact that Katara took those lessons to heart in as a way to really remember and honor her mother.

    And the last line was probably my favorite in this piece so it makes me so happy that you chose to highlight it in your review!

    Thank you again for the kind words, and I hope you continue to enjoy the Pentathlon as it progresses!

    Title: Warring Pride and Sorrow

    Genre: General; Family; Drama.

    Characters: Katara; Hakoda.

    Event: 400 Word Cross Country.

    Summary: Katara and Hakoda talk on their journey to the Fire Nation.

    Warring Pride and Sorrow (400 Word Cross Country)

    “I’m sorry that you had to go to war, Katara,” her dad said to her as they stood on the rolling deck of the Fire Nation ship they’d captured.

    “Did you say the same thing to Sokka?” Katara’s eyes narrowed to blue slivers of ice. She hated and instinctively recoiled from the idea that her dad, the man she had once admired most in the world, could be as sexist about women fighting as Master Pakku had been when she first met him. She liked to believe he was better than that.

    “No.” Her dad pinched the bridge of his nose as though suffering from a sudden migraine. “But it’s different for a man when his daughter goes to war than when his son does. When a man’s son goes to war, it feels natural and expected. When a man’s daughter goes to war, it seems sadder, so he’s left with a feeling of warring pride and sorrow.”

    “Fathers in the Fire Nation don’t cringe from sending their daughters to war.” Katara remembered the daughters of the Fire Nation she had fought. Ty Lee who could cut off people’s chi so they couldn’t bend. Mai who could throw knives with terrifying accuracy. Azula who battled with azure flame and could hurl lightning bolts from her fingers. “They let their daughters fight with fire, lightning, and any other weapon imaginable.”

    “You sound as if you admire that about them.” Her dad’s voice was a sigh almost swallowed by the ocean and wind.

    “Perhaps I do.” Katara was unapologetic and unflinching. “Perhaps that’s why they are winning the war. Their daughters took Ba Sing Se for them, after all.”

    “Maybe that is why they are winning the war.” Her dad stretched out a hand to stroke her hair loops. “Because their fathers don’t love and worry about them the way I love and worry about you.”

    “I love and worry about you too, Dad.” Katara wished the salty tears wouldn’t sting her eyes so much.

    “I pity Fire Nation fathers.” Her dad hugged her against his strong chest. The strong chest that had once seemed to promise to protect her and her family, her tribe, from every menace in the world.“They’ll never know the warring pride and sorrow I feel when I look at you and who you’ve become. Who you’ve had to become. Who the war has made you become.”
  8. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    "A Father's Blessing": Katara seems like a very strong and independent woman. I like that.

    I love the imagery of the tsunami. And she's so right!

    "Snapped Control": Awww. Such a poignant and touching sibling moment. [face_love]

    "Motherly Lessons": Another very poignant and touching glimpse at family relationships.

    I love this mental image so much!

    "Warring Pride and Sorrow": Such a great discussion and a sweet father-daughter moment.

    This line really struck me, because it's so true. I think we all want to believe our loved ones are better than that.

    Awww. I loved the entire ending bit.

    Fantastic work on these, as always!
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    @amidalachick As always, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful reviews[:D]I'm so glad that you enjoyed "Father's Blessing," and I totally agree that Katara is a very strong and independent woman, and it was a joy to be able to showcase that in this fic.

    The tsunami imagery came to me and seemed to fit so well with Katara as a waterbender so I am so happy you appreciated the imagery of it. And I totally understand why Katara finds the sexist and backwards, and I love how she pushes back against it in her own way while still showing how much she loves her dad.

    So glad you liked the sibling moment in "Snapped Control." I really loved the brother and sister relationship between Katara and Sokka so I definitely wanted to highlight it a bit in this pentathlon and try to do it justice!

    I'm so pleased to hear that you found "Motherly Lessons" so poignant and touching. I love the idea of Katara learning from her mother how to penguin sled, so I'm thrilled that you were a fan of the idea as well.

    So glad that you found the discussion in "Warring Pride and Sorrow" great and that you enjoyed the sweet father and daughter moment. And I think you are spot-on that we all want to believe that our loved ones are better than that.

    Endings can so often be a challenge, so it makes me super happy that you loved the ending! And I'm so happy that you found these fantastic:)I hope you will enjoy the last entry in this pentathlon just as much, and thank you again for your kind words, which are very much appreciated!

    Title: Blood Cold as the Southern Ice Caps

    Genre: General; Drama; Angst

    Characters: Katara; Aang; Zuko

    Event: AU Archery

    Summary: Katara decides not to spare the man who murdered her mother. An AU of the Southern Raiders episode in Season 3.

    Blood Cold as the Southern Ice Caps (AU Archery)

    “I killed him,” Katara announced to Aang after she and Zuko returned from their journey. Her quest for revenge on the man who had murdered her mom. A crime never to be forgotten or forgiven. “Even though he was old and no longer a soldier.”

    “I hope you’re happy.” Aang turned his face away from her. As if he couldn’t bear to look at her after what she had done. How ruthless she had been.

    “Happy.” Katara gave a bitter, disbelieving snort. As if she could ever be happy after what the Fire Nation had done to her and her family. As if she could ever be happy after what she had done. “How can I be happy when my mother is dead, and I needed to kill the man who murdered her? How can that not haunt my nightmares forever?”

    Aang had been raised by pacifist monks to seek harmony above all, and so he couldn’t understand the wrath that drove her to vengeance. That would never let her have peace until her enemy was destroyed. Not the way that Zuko did. Zuko who wanted his own father dead more than Aang wanted the Fire Lord defeated. Zuko who blazed with that righteous fire for justice. But she wanted Aang to understand, because she wanted Aang in a way she didn’t want Zuko. A romantic way that might lead to cuddles and kisses if he could ever forgive her for what she had just confessed to doing.

    “I hope you find peace at least.” Aang’s voice cracked, and Katara wondered if he did understand more than she thought about her burning need for revenge on the man who had stolen her mom from her.

    Before the Air Nomad Genocide, Katara remembered from the stories her grandmother had passed along to her like worn threads in a blanket, people from the other nations would travel to the Air Temples to find solace and spiritual wisdom in their grief. Another refuge ruined by the Fire Nation. Another wound in the universe she couldn’t heal. Another wrong that she could never truly make right.

    “Peace.” Shattering like smashed glass inside, Katara shook her head. “I’ll never be at peace after what the Fire Nation did. After what it made me do in this war.”

    “Katara.” Aang did turn to face her now, and somehow him looking at her was worse than him averting his gaze. When he gazed at her, she saw herself reflected in his gray eyes. Glimpsed the shadows of the monster she had become because what other word was there for a broken girl’s thirst for vengeance? For a girl who killed in blood cold as the southern ice caps?

    “I’m not saying I’m sorry.” Tears stabbed at Katara’s eyes like her dead mother’s whalebone needles. “I’m saying I hope you can forgive me.”

    “I can forgive you.” Aang reached out, closing the distance between them to take her hand and squeeze it. “The question is: can you forgive yourself?”

    The question hung between them in the air without answer. Maybe forever in the air without answer.
  10. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Jul 29, 2016
    You're great at writing ATLA characters @devilinthedetails
    I always enjoy reading your work
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  11. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Such a heartbreaking but beautifully written wrap-up to this pentathlon!

    This is so powerful. The desire for revenge and justice is definitely understandable. But there's such a high cost. :( You do such a great job of exploring that in this fic.

    Sometimes that really is the harder struggle - to be forgiving and compassionate to yourself. And I love the detail of Aang taking her hand here. Another very powerful moment.

    And the ending line is just the perfect way to wrap it up. It feels so real - it's not a neat, tidy ending where everything is nicely resolved. But there's still that possibility, that someday she will be able to answer the question.

    Fantastic work, and congratulations on completing this pentathlon! =D=:)
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  12. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Emperor Ferus Thank you so much for reading and commenting!:)I'm so flattered that you think I do a great job writing Avatar: The Last Airbender characters because I've fallen in love with so many of them from the show since it has such great characterization, and I always want to try to remain true to those excellent characters when I write about them in my fanfics. I'm so happy you enjoy reading my work and I hope you will continue to do so in the future!

    @amidalachick As always, thank you so much for reading my work and leaving such thoughtful comments!:)My heart did break into about a million pieces as I was writing this last entry for the pentathlon, but I also wanted to still capture something beautiful in the writing itself, and it is great to hear you felt I succeeded with that.

    I agree with you that Katara's desire for revenge and justice is definitely understandable, but there is such a high cost associated with it, and it doesn't even really bring peace with it. Just more heartbreak and sorrow in a way.

    And I do think that being forgiving with yourself can sometimes be a harder struggle than being forgiving with others (it certainly is for me. I'm very quick to forgive others, but will beat myself up for mistakes I made years ago).

    I really wanted to have Aang reaching out to Katara in a literal way at the end of the story, and I figured there was no better way to achieve that than him taking her hand, so I'm so happy you loved that detail.

    I'm so touched that you found the last line to be so real. I didn't want a neat, tidy ending after Katara had done something of this magnitude. I still wanted to give her time and space to process what she had done. But at the same time, I also wanted to give her that hope of forgiving herself and finding some peace at last. So that is why I left the story on sort of an open question, and I'm so happy that worked for you and didn't feel like a narrative cop-out or anything.
    Emperor Ferus likes this.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent pentathlon =D=
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Mod star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting on my work! I'm so glad that you found this to be an excellent pentathlon because I so wanted to do Katara justice:)
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.