Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: Last Airbender or its characters. And like every honest fanfic writer out there, I don't make money out of any of my fanfics.
Author's Note: Chapters One to Three were actually written last year but had missing scenes which I was able to finish just this month. Ever since I started working last year, it's only been recently that I've found the time to write again.
My Sister, My Family
I watched her dress up. I loved every sway of her hips, every movement she made, every breath she took. Everything she did seemed so flawless.
As she finished, she turned around with that lovely smile on her face that was so infectious. She slowly walked towards me, took my gloved hand and pulled me out of the cave. I let her lead me. I'd always trust her. We always took care of each other.
There was no change in the falling snow, it still remained gentle. My sister ran into the vastness of the white cold, holding her arms out open, circling and twirling like she used to when we were children. She loved the snow so much. She loved our home. She loved the cold. And she loved the surrounding waters. This really was the place where she belonged.
Seeing my sister happily being a child again, I myself was thrown back to our younger years. I remembered throwing snowballs at her, and she'd get so irritated with me, giving me puffy cheeks as she stood there, defiant to move away unless I stopped throwing snowballs at her. She was so stubborn.
Of course, I'd always stop. Even back then, I never liked seeing Katara cry. This was my younger sister. It was only natural for me to want to protect her. She was precious. To my family, to our tribe, and to me.
Her twirling stopped and her face was tilted upwards towards the dark night sky, little snowflakes landing upon her cold cheeks. I watched from my distance, and I felt my heart flutter then sink as I realized once again the fine young woman she turned out to be and the burden she was to carry out soon. Add to that the futility of my wishes for her freedom.
She was responsible to fulfill the pact between our father and Hahn's father, responsible to give birth to waterbenders to remedy the lack of them in our tribe, and to basically take care of the tribe once our father passed away. It might seem like I was the natural person to be anointed Chief once Father passes away, but it wasn't what was foretold by our elders.
The next chieftain would be the one who gives birth to the newest waterbender in the tribe. That would be none other than my sister.
Sometimes I couldn't fathom how Katara's entire life was already foretold when she was still in our mother's womb. I remembered every night when Katara was still a baby; our mother would hover over the wicker crib, shush the crying infant and whisper softly that she wouldn't let Katara live the life that was written for her by the elders. That she wanted Katara to live her life the way she wanted. She did this for four years.
I only started understanding our mother's words a few months before she completely ceased saying it. It was after Katara reached her fourth year that our mother stopped whispering those words to my sister. She explained to me a year later that it was Katara's choice whether to do what was right for the tribe, or what was right for her happiness. That our mother wouldn't push this decision onto Katara who was already growing a consciousness of her own at four years old.
Our mother was very different from our father in that aspect. Father, being Chief, knew what should be done. He was strict with the meaning of duty, responsibility, and loyalty. Mother, on the other hand, never compromised when what she was giving up meant her happiness and her freedom.
Despite that, they loved each other and made it work. Father always lovingly bent his ways to make our mother happy. It was only she who could make him forget thinking too logically. With her, Father's feelings always showed. Which was such a rare sight, because as Chief, he seemed like a completely different person from the man we'd see inside our home.
Thinking back on what Mother explained to me, I wondered if Katara remembered those whispered words before our mother sang her lullaby that always lulled us to sleep.
Sighing in defeat, I made my way to my sister. As I stood in front of her, she looked at me, concern in her eyes, her eyebrows furrowed. She knew right away there was something on my mind, but I simply smiled at her.
At that, she took my hands, slowly removed my gloves, placed it in the pockets of my winter coat, and did the same with hers. She then took my hands in hers, pulled them up close to her lips and she breathed out hot air onto our hands to give warmth. Then she pulled our hands closer to her chest until her lips landed on them. This gesture of hers made my heart constrict. It was almost like she was telling me everything would be all right. How could she not be bothered about her impending life imprisonment?
As she lifted her lips away to look up at me with that loving smile, I took a hard swallow and choked back a sob as I cupped her cheeks with such suddenness that surprised her. Crushing my lips against hers, I stayed there, praying that nothing would part us. I didn't want to be parted from her. Nothing and no one would come in between. I wouldn't let that happen.
Releasing my hold on her face, slowly moving away from her lips, I finally whispered the words I knew no longer meant the same when it was uttered back when we were children.
"I love you."
I watched the surprise on my sister's face as her mouth fell open, the dawning of understanding in her bent eyebrows with the generous smile she was offering me, noticed the slight quiver of her lips, until teardrops marked her cheeks, falling down to my fingers that brushed them away.
In my embrace, there she stayed. There she cried. There she finally let herself fall. This was my sister–vulnerable, fragile, strong.
There, I finally let myself love her the way I really wanted to love her. There, I finally let myself love her the way no brother should ever love his sister. As his woman.
A week later, we were out hunting. My sister obviously had the upper hand with catching fish, since she could easily use waterbending for the task, while I had to use my trusty spear and do everything the old-fashioned way. I didn't mind. I was proud of her bending ability. And I loved watching her bend water. There was something so elegant to it.
We were merely looking for fish and any animal that we could find outside on the ice. We had other people in our tribe who were the expert divers, those who really swam down to the depths of the ocean to find more underwater delicatessen.
Katara's basket was almost full, while I only had around ten fishes.
"Sokka! Stop watching me bend! Hurry up, you slowpoke!"
Hearing her shout that to me, since she was quite far from where I was catching fish, I laughed. I guess she noticed what I was so preoccupied with. Smiling, I put down my spear and walked over to her. I was standing right behind her, watching my sister guide the ball of water successfully to the basket full of fishes, adding more fishes as the water splashed down. We both smiled proudly at the full basket.
Feeling at peace and once again basking in this contentment I found with her, I wrapped my arms around my sister, and she allowed it as I felt her lean back against me, her hands covering mine. Dipping my head down, I kissed the side of her neck, the place where I put my mark on her. Then moving up, I planted a small kiss upon her cheek as she tilted her head to the side to give me access.
"I love you," I whispered into her ear and I knew we both were smiling as the words came flowing out.
Ever since I allowed myself to love her the way I wanted to, I've told her those three little words every day. I've never let one day pass by without whispering it into her ear, no matter how early or how late in the day. Because I did. Love her. And I wanted nothing more than to be able to say it to her every day from then on.
The moon reached its full cycle three times before I received news from my wife one night. News that brought out something inside of my sister.
Her arms wound around my neck, pulling me down, and so, I obliged. Bending down to kiss her lips, I continued my thrusts inside her until my lips reached hers, then I stilled deep within her.
"I love you," she whispered as our lips broke apart.
"I love you," I told her back, and she smiled at that.
But it wasn't her smile. Cursing myself for thinking of her at that exact moment, I began moving, thrusting a little too roughly, and she had to bring her hand up to cover her mouth from being too loud.
I was fueled by my anger at myself for desiring someone else at that time, and so, continued slamming into her, urging her to burrow her face into the side of my neck, her teeth clamping down on the bared skin.
The pain barely registered in my mind as I was too focused on releasing my seed, wanting to rid myself of the thoughts of her.
I knew she was reaching her own climax as she tightened around me, and almost right after her, I came.
As we both laid on our cot, panting, basking in the aftermath of our intimacy, she said, "Sokka? I have something to tell you."
I felt her sit up, and as I looked up at her smiling face hovering above mine, I sat up. In our nakedness, my wife and I sat beside each other. She placed her hand upon mine and kissed my lips. And then whispered into my ear the news that brought surprise, joy, and dread at the same time.
Her eyes widened, shock registering on her face, her eyes piercing into me, her brows showing me her distress at my announcement. Her lips hung open, and then, her eyes were frantic, darting from one side to the other, her mind apparently busy absorbing my words. She opened then closed her mouth several times, attempting to speak, but nothing was ever uttered.
Helpless, I stood there in her tent, not knowing what to do, or what to say, or even what to expect her reaction to be.
Before I could take a step closer to her, she ran out of her tent, and I didn't see her until late that night.
"I do not know why, but I felt angry at hearing the news. Although now I see I have no right to be. Of course you'd still do that with her. She is your wife. It's just… natural."
Upon hearing the word 'natural,' the feeling of uneasiness started brewing in the pit of my stomach.
"Congratulations, Sokka. You're going to be a father."
And while she uttered the same words my wife used to tell me the news, my sister had tears streaming down her cheeks.
All I could think to do was kiss her, make her sorrow go away, because receiving the news of my wife was when the painful truth dawned upon us that we could never be together. We could never marry, never produce children, nor have a family together. That nothing could happen between us, nothing more could come out of our love for each other.
Her fingers clutched the back of my sweater so tightly, and I could feel her tears and her sobs as my lips were pressed against hers. I couldn't help but feel my heart break as I watched my sister cry in front of me.
"This isn't fair, this isn't fair…" she reiterated as she now held onto the front of my sweater, her forehead pressed against my chest. I couldn't do anything but tightly wrap my arms around her, trying to absorb her dejection due to our harsh reality.
"I want to be with you, Sokka… In every way possible…" Her voice was barely a whisper, and her words were words a brother should never hear from his sister. But they were words that I absolutely and unequivocally cherished.
After the announcement was made to Father and Katara inside Father's tent, the whole tribe was informed, and since then, Yue and I were the center of attention of the entire tribe. It was hard for me to see my sister, for I had to be with my wife almost every minute of every day. It was expected of a husband to never leave his wife during her entire pregnancy. It was believed by our Elders that the constant presence of the father was already required even while the child was still in the mother's womb, for it was a heavy influence on the child's growth.
My wife's responsibility in the tribe was to make medicine with the herbs that came from the Earth Kingdom. She was knowledgeable in the use of herbs because her mother was from the Earth Kingdom. Yue's mother was very interested in seeing penguins ever since she was a child, so when she was already of age, she travelled to the South Pole, and there, met the man she ended up marrying.
A year later, Yue arrived. After Yue turned eleven, she lost both her parents when an avalanche occurred near their tribe. Two years later, their tribe moved to ours when a huge glacier blocked their source of food.
While Yue was still early in her pregnancy, she made sure to teach other people in our tribe on how to make the basic medications, also making sure that she wrote down the instructions on a scroll.
It took another month's full cycle before the Elders predicted that our child would be a girl. I was overjoyed with the news of having a daughter, and Yue was even more so.
"Congratulations, my darling," she whispered to me that night.
And that night, I made love to my pregnant wife, thinking of us together with our little bundle of joy that was soon going to join us and make us a family.
The following month, I noticed the lingering looks my sister gave my way which increased in its frequency, and I could tell she was having a hard time seeing me and my wife together, what with all the excitement around Yue's pregnancy.
She was right there, right now, on the other side of the bonfire at the center of the tribe, watching me through the flames as my wife walked into our tent. Even through this distance, I could see her brows were in a tight crease, her eyes completely focused on me, and knowing my sister, she was on the verge of tears. I knew she'd take a long, hard swallow before she'd finally turn away from my eyes and go back into her tent.
I knew her very well.
And when she finally turned her eyes away from mine, it crushed me.
With a heavy heart, I entered my own tent.
Once the moon was at its highest, I slid outside of my tent and slipped into my sister's. She was on her cot, asleep in her nightly dress, her blanket fully covering her. Kneeling in front of her sleeping figure, I watched her face. I noticed the dry streaks of tears on her cheek as my fingers brushed away damp strands of her hair.
It hurt me as I realized that she cried herself to sleep.
I didn't know what to do. We were stuck. This was all that we could ever be. Siblings. Nothing more. Nothing else.
I couldn't love her publicly. Couldn't hold her hand, couldn't touch her with others looking. Couldn't kiss her whenever I felt like it without hushed whispers and harsh judgments from every mouth that would be witnessing it.
How could I possibly love my sister openly when we both knew we'd be under intense scrutiny in our own tribe?
Helpless, I placed my head upon her cot, clutched her hand and held onto it as I silently let my tears fall. I was so sorry I couldn't do anything. I wish she knew it.
As I felt a hand upon my head, I lifted my head, meeting her eyes that were filled with worry for me. With her thumb, she brushed away a tear that made its way down my cheek, and then, as she moved close to my face, she softly pressed her lips against mine.
Obliging her request, I removed my boots, climbed onto her cot and laid beside her underneath the fur blanket. There, we laid side by side, facing each other, simply relishing in being together.
After a while, she leaned her head down against my chest, and I pulled her closer to me with my arm slinking around her waist.
"Katara… Tell me something…"
"What is it…?"
"Did you really mean what you said before? The day I told you my news?"
She was quiet for a while before she finally spoke, "Of course I did, Sokka. I do want to be with you in every way possible."
We both knew the implications of her words, and the consequences that could follow. But we both wanted it. And so, determined to be with her in every way possible, I tucked a finger below her chin and tilted it up so she could look at me as I gave her my proposition.
"Let me do so on the day you turn of age."
Her eyes widened, and once again, she said nothing.
"Are you… Do you… really mean it?" she then asked as she found her voice.
I nodded. "Yes. I also want to be able to love you as my woman."
The shock was still on her face, and a slight appearance of pink colored her cheeks. Oh, how lovely my sister looked when she was blushing. A smile was slowly forming on her lips. The smile I so loved seeing.
"Will you let me?"
And then, with one word, she gave me the ultimate permission to take her.
We both waited this long for this day. For her to be of age, for the time she can become tied to somebody, for the moment when she can be claimed as a woman, for the age when she can conceive and give birth…
~to be continued~
Author's Note: I really am interested in hearing comments about how I write intimate scenes. Also, of course, about the story so far. Please and thank you!
Chapter Four: My Sister's Betrothal Dinner