attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
[personal profile] attackfish
Disclaimer: If I owned Avatar the Last Airbender, it would be about the epic adventures of Yue, Zuko, Mai, and Toph, and it would have been canceled.

Summary: Tui and La are different from Yue and La: The Moon and the Ocean in ten drabbles.

Author's Note : Written for the [livejournal.com profile] atlaland lottery, prompt 19. Water Tribe Weddings.


Versions of Themselves



The Spirit World was still unformed when she first walked over to him and sat down beside him. The sky was mist and more mist as far up as they could go, and the ground was only real when she walked on it. (Only real while she walked on it; it disappeared so fast.)

He didn’t look at her, not then. He stared into the mists and saw the waves on the ocean before he knew what the ocean was.

She poked his arm, grin shining like the crescent moon, eyes shining like the full moon, nose wrinkled, cheeks crinkled.

~*~

“The other spirits are complaining because you’re still teaching humans.”

“If I don’t teach the girls, no one’s going to.” She smirked. “They should learn.”

“Why do you do that?” He closed his eyes and shook his head helplessly. “You don’t really care.”

Tui laughed. “Oh yeah? You know what I care about?”

“I have no idea what you really think or believe,” La told her, doing everything he could to sound resentful. “All I know is you like to cause trouble. It’s unsettling.”

Her mouth twisted. He was too used to it anymore. “Yeah, you don’t fool me either.”

~*~

He didn’t know how it happened.

One day he was pushing her away so he could flow smooth, and tranquil, and cold; the next he held onto her hands as tightly as she held onto his.

One day, she was his partner, and he wanted her gone. The next, she was his wife, and he couldn’t let her go. He wondered if she could tell him when it started, or how.

Then she grabbed his hand, her eyes brimming with the hot, hidden love they always did, and he realized it hadn’t started for her. It had always been there.

~*~

There was something strange in Tui’s expression when they dipped the frozen baby girl beneath the water of the oasis. La watched warily as Tui moved her hand as if to card her fingers through the little girl’s hair. “You going to?” he murmured.

“Hey, kid,” she whispered. The girl’s hair glowed white as she let out a cry.

A real smile, one that made Tui’s eyes shimmer and look kind for once found its way onto her face. She slapped a grin over it as soon as she realized it was there, but La knew. He rubbed her arm.

~*~

Tui flopped around in the sack, thrashing against the cloth. She tried to drag air into her lungs, but there was no air in space. The air flowed past her gills instead, uselessly.

In the water below, La circled, flitting around where she should be, faster and faster, their balance disrupted, their world off kilter. She wheezed, fighting to breathe, to hang on, fighting against the cloud falling over her mind, fighting.

Fighting...

Fighting...

Fighting...

The sack opened. She slid into the water, back into orbit, back into balance with her cool, cool ocean, her La.

But the fire... burned.

~*~

She tumbles into the Spirit World, and into the sky. There isn’t any air, no wind blowing across her face. Yue touches her face just to assure herself it’s still there.

She feels the water flowing over her gills. She feels the empty space around her.

She feels her own face under her hand.

The other spirits watch her, closed off and shadowed. She smiles at them politely, like she does when there are guests in the palace, but they don’t smile back, and when they talk to her, they don’t ask her name, and they don’t tell her theirs.

~*~

Yue holds her breath when she sees him crying. Faint, silvery threads of light linger where her hand touches him, and the light pouring off her glints off the tears on his face. She wishes she could dim the light just for a little while. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” He swipes the tears away, his hands quick and jerky. “Why would you be sorry?”

Her hand rests on his shoulder, and it feels as if it were bolted down.

Yue looks him in the eye and sees the black koi, spinning alone in its pool, around the body of its mate.

~*~

There’s no wedding, except her death, if it can be called that. But there is a marriage between them, if it can be called that. She holds onto La and pulls him up out of the ocean bed, and he rises to meet her. He keeps his eyes on her hands, and grips her wrists with his own hands. Their eyes never meet.

They talk. She talks. She talks to him, about her home and her parents, about everything she sees when she isn’t looking at him. La’s supposed to be her family now.

If it can be called that.

~*~

Sometimes, Yue wonders what would have happened if she had been born crying, screaming, and fighting into the world. Sometimes she wonders what the world would have been like without the moon.

(She doesn’t wonder about what kind of wife she would have made Hahn, or what kind of husband he would have made her, or if she would have been able to tell her father no. She doesn’t.)

Sometimes she wonders what it would have been like if Tui hadn’t died. Would Yue have lived and died, or would there have been two moons, pulling the ocean between them?

~*~

Yue’s heart still pounds with the dizzying freedom of traveling the world every night. It is raw and wild and new still, and she drinks up as much of it as she can stand.

She rises early that afternoon as a thin crescent, drawn and faint from the new moon just behind her, and more from the way La stares at her, lost, frightened, not knowing what to do with her still there, her and not Tui.

His waters touch every shore. She pulls gently at his edges as she travels, and he laps forlornly against the lands in reply.
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attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
attackfish

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