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Deep Breaths: An Avatar the Last Airbender World Story

Deep Breaths: An Avatar the Last Airbender World Story

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Published by Jade Remi Nichols
Set three years before Aang emerges from the iceberg, Deep Breaths is about a young girl from the Northern Water Tribe, adopted a few hours after her birth. She leaves home, looking for a way to find where she truly belongs. She runs into trouble and makes some friends along the way. **This story isn't finished-- I'll update as I write more.**
Set three years before Aang emerges from the iceberg, Deep Breaths is about a young girl from the Northern Water Tribe, adopted a few hours after her birth. She leaves home, looking for a way to find where she truly belongs. She runs into trouble and makes some friends along the way. **This story isn't finished-- I'll update as I write more.**

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Published by: Jade Remi Nichols on Nov 28, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/22/2012

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“Deep breaths, Kashna,” her instructor tells her, frowning at her in herhorse stance until he hears and sees her taking those deep breaths. Eventhough he is a waterbending instructor, he is trying to teach the lone andyoung firebender in the Northern Tribe to control her ability. He sees it assomething they could harness for an advantage; she sees it as a curse, andnothing more.While Pakku teaches only men waterbending, he has bent his rules forKashna, but for her alone. She started her training with him when she was just six, and just discovered to be a firebender, and now, almost eight yearslater, she has some decent control over the fire. It was especially hard forher as she had the unwillingness to accept that she wasn’t a part of herbeloved tribe at all.Her adopted father had found her in one of the Tribe’s few patrolsalong the ice. She was wrapped in a thin red blanket, left for dead, onlyhours old. The man took pity on the girl, and took her back onto the ship withhim, keeping her warm next to his body and under his furs until they couldreturn to the village. The other soldiers that had accompanied him dislikedhis behaviour, but could not object to it. Even they could not leave such ahelpless child to die, even if she was born from the fire nation.Kano had taken the baby home first, and retrieved his wife, who wasunable to bear any children, and together they took her to the chief. Hisvoice had been stern, his eyebrows in a V on his forehead, and his word anabsolute ‘no.’ But his son disagreed with his father, saying that if it had beenan earth nation child, would he be so unwilling then? Grudgingly agreeingwith his son, he allows the couple to keep the child, as long as they kept herin line.Six years passed without an incident. The Chief went to the spirits,and his son took over, and soon he and his wife had a girl of their own. EvenKashna watched on like her adopted parents as the princess’s life was indanger. Never allowed to see the princess, though, made Kashna feeldisconnected from Yue, until that one day.She had been just sitting, making piles in the snow after her lessons,when suddenly a boy stepped through her small snow fort, knocking it overand destroying it. This boy had done things like this before, and she wasabout tired of it. She had stood up, heat blazing from her hands as shereached to touch him, to pull him back around to face her.She burned him unintentionally, but burn him she did, and her parentswere forced to take her before the chief once more. She pleaded with him,small as she was, saying that she didn’t mean to. She remembered the lookon the young’s chief face even years later: that of disgust. “A firebender, anenemy among us!” He had said loudly, his voice booming with anger.“No, not an enemy!” She said quickly. “I will always be loyal to this,the Water Tribe. I might be able to bend fire, but that does not change who Ilove.” She looks up at him, but he does not make the decision then. He
 
conferred, spoke with Pakku, the elders, the people in general. She had it inher favor that she did not make much trouble as a child, that she did herwork in her lessons, that she always tried to be the kindest to everyone. Twoweeks later she was called before him again, and he agrees that she wouldbe able to stay, but had to take lessons from Pakku and try to control herbending.And eight years later, just past her fourteenth birthday, she was goingto leave to try and find a master. A real master for her, a firebending master.Someone who could teach her, could show her the techniques instead of trying to adapt the waterbending moves to her. She had come to grips bynow; she knows the story of how her adopted father had saved her, the stressthey went through in their every day lives because of her—and she iseternally grateful. But now its her turn to take her own path. She needs tofind her biological parents, she needs to control her bending, she needs to join the rebels. She knows her path; she needs to join the resistance, afterher training of course. Without training she could easily harm more of herown than fire nation.Despite her hardships, she now has a few friends, all waterbenders,learning from Pakku as well. All males, of course, though she did have a fewgirl friends, learning healing. It really couldn’t be avoided, considering she isa firebender, and she was bound to get burned at least once.“Hey, Kashna,” Okkam says, cornering her after their training. “Do youhave to go home right away?” When she shakes her head, he grins histoothy smile. “Good. You’re leaving tomorrow, right?” He starts walking hisburly figure along a path leading to an icy bridge, and she follows, falling intostep beside him.“That’s right,” she says, stopping at the peak of the bridge and peeringover the side and down into the water below her. “I’ll miss it here.” He stepsup beside her, looking down into the water as well. He swirls water around afish, bringing it up into a bubble of water. It looks angrily at him, and Kashnalaughs before he lets it drop again. “I will miss the waterbenders, my friends,and you of course.”“I know,” he says simply, swirling a stream of water up into the air infront of them now. “I’ll miss you too. We all will. But we know you will staytrue to us, will come back to us having made a change in the world.” She justnods in agreement, and he sighs, brushing a strand of black hair out of hiseyes. It fell to just past his ears. “Well, in any case, I made something foryou,” he says, pulling something out of the pocket in his furs. He takes herhand in his, dropping something cold in it and then closing her hand over it.“So you don’t forget.”She takes her hand close to her and opens it. Inside is a braceletmade of bone beads, with a tooth as an ornament, sharp and jagged. Shegrins and then embraces him in a hug, glad such things are possible now. Hehugs her back for a minute, and then they part, and she puts the bracelet on,
 
admiring it fondly. “Thank you,” she says, smiling at him.“I just wish I could come with you,” he says, eyebrows furrowing. “ButI have to complete my training a bit more.” He is just a year older thanherself, and she nods in comprehension.“I understand. I’ll come back in a few years, and perhaps you canleave with me once more.”“Years…” he says, sighing.“Well, yeah. I can’t hope to master firebending in less than that, andyou couldn’t master water in less than that time either.”“I know,” he says again, sighing like before.“Okkam,” she says softly, shifting her feet uneasily. “Don’t botherwaiting, alright? I’ll change, you’ll change, and there’s really no help for it.”Her cheeks are full of flush when she looks back up at him.“We will always be friends, and that won’t change. Whatever happens,will.” He hesitates then kisses her cheek softly. She steps back quickly asshe feels her breath getting out of control, looking back over the wall of thebridge, being careful not to touch the ice. Her hands are hot, but she closesher eyes for a second and quickly cools them.“That, at least, will be easy to solve once I find a master,” shecomments lightly with a small laugh. He chooses not to return it, insteadleaning on the bridge side again, looking over it moodily.“Life will be a whole lot duller without you here.”She leaves the next morning on one of the ships that the Tribe use forpatrols. They are going to drop her off on the closest point of the EarthNation mainland, a good few days by sea. She finds herself useful in thekitchens, helping the cook keep the correct temperature in his ovens andquickly boiling him some water. He deftly wishes that all firebenders were souseful. They leave her on the tip of the Earth Kindom. They tell her that to thesoutheast is Ba Sing Se, and to the southwest is the fire nation. She wavesand gives a heavy goodbye to them all, hoisting her pack further on her backas they sail back the way they had come. She carries a small sleeping rollalong with a bag full of cooking and fishing and hunting gear, and a fewpersonal items. She has a water tribe waterskin over her shoulder, and isquickly removing her furs as she starts to sweat from the heat. Her furstightly rolled and sealed in its skin-container, thus making it compact tocarry, she puts the pack back on, and takes the small path she comes acrossdue east. She is in hilly terrain, and soon her legs are tired. She still goes on,only stopping for answering nature’s calls, meals, and for sleeping at night.She grows bored after the third day of such walking, and is glad whenshe reaches a small village. She is greeted friendly enough, and enjoys ahome-cooked meal for a change in the tiny inn, sleeping on a bed and restingher weary feet for an entire day. The morning after her arrival she goes to

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