Through Every Life

The Harmonic Convergence had ended. The Era of the Avatar had begun. Raava, the Eternal Spirit of Light, of Hope, Wisdom and Peace, had chosen to bond herself to a human – much opposed to her own previous disposition, and together, they had become the Avatar. It had been a tale that had spanned the very extents of the world that they shared with the humans, as Raava and Wan had travelled to the great Lion Turtle Cities, one of each element and had together learnt to control the four elements, an achievement that Wan alone had accomplished. But he was a human, not a spirit, and it had not been enough against Vaatu, not until Wan and Raava had merged. They were then bonded forever.

But then the Avatar made a decision. It was for the best of both the Spirits and the Humans that they live in separate worlds. So he was going to close the portals in a way that only he and his future incarnations could easily traverse from one to the other. Almost all the spirits accepted this decision, as did the humans. Even those that didn't want to were persuaded. Well, almost all of them were.

Aapta wasn't happy with that at all. The little spirit had always been with Raava. She had been as much like a family as it was possible for the Spirits to be and so leaving Raava was simply out of the question.

"I am not leaving," the little pulsating sphere of colours squeaked stubbornly. "I was always with you, always," reiterated Aapta mulishly. "You can't leave me now!"

"But you have to, Aapta," Raava kindly explained. "I can only remain here because I have bonded with a human soul and become a bridge between our worlds. It took us a lot of power to merge with each other. And there aren't any other humans I would trust to let you merge with them, yet. And you can't merge with a child, Aapta, even though children are the only humans quite similar to spirits. They won't be able to bear the Merging."

Wan wasn't sure what to say. Well, okay, Raava was him and he was Raava, but he didn't really know the little Aapta, now did he? And after all, it may have been his decision to close the Portals to the Spirit World, but it wasn't all his, was it?

It was at this time that Mula, the cat-deer looked at them with her big eyes. Mula, the faithful creature – was she really just a creature? She had been with him through his journey as he went from an exiled thief to becoming the Avatar. While Raava was with him out of their shared objective and eventually through mutual trust, Mula had been with him out of love and sheer loyalty – just as Aapta seemed to want to be with Raava. He wouldn't want to be separated from Mula either.

"Raava, I may have a solution," Wan cautiously replied. "Maybe Aapta won't have to be parted from you at all."

"How?" asked Aapta, now certainly interested.

"Well, Raava doesn't want you bonding with any human that she doesn't trust. But she doesn't really know any other mortals, human or not. Still, there is one being that she knows and trusts and which would be able to bear the merging." He bent down to pat the cat-deer between her horns. "I know that Mula is my best friend. I wouldn't want to be separated from her either."

"You want me to bond with the Cat-Deer?" asked Aapta neutrally, not sure about the whole idea at all.

"Why not?" countered Wan. "She and I, now that I think of it, have changed and learnt together in much the same way in the mortal world as Raava and I have changed and learnt spiritually. She has become a teacher for me with her understanding and caring nature which she shows in the only way she can. Who else do we know that is as attached to me as you are to Raava?"

Both Raava and Aapta pondered over the matter for a moment. Raava did love Aapta. He had been helping her in all the little and big ways he could while she was embroiled in her struggle with Vaatu.

"So Mula can stay with you all your life while I can stay with Raava?"

"Raava and I are one, just as you and Mula will be too. She has a spirit, you are a spirit, I have a spirit and Raava is a Spirit. We are one and the same, after all, aren't we?"

"You have learnt well, Wan," commented Raava. It was a good thing that they were in the Spirit World still. It would have been disconcerting to hear him but not him speak in a female voice, all things considered – even including what he had learnt. "Do you consent, Aapta?"

Aapta considered it for but a moment and the proceeded to bond himself with Mula's spirit.

As their merged spirit left the old battle ravaged body of Wan, the first Avatar, born on what would become the progenitor of the Fire Nation, Mula settled down beside her friend's body and exhaled one last time. As would Raava reincarnate, so would Aapta.

"Here we are again, my friend," Roku wheezed as Fang protectively covered him from the poisonous fumes and dust of the volcanic eruption. "Again and again I beseech you to save yourself..."

"And again and again I tell you that my life is tied to yours, Raava."

Roku let out one last weak chuckle.

"I wonder which Airbending animal I will be now," thought Aapta as he relinquished his hold on the dragon.

"Choose well," the matron instructed the little children, as they were exposed to the sky bison for the first time. "A sky bison is a companion for life."

Appa barely had to look up as Aang was drawn to the sky bison calf. Aapta made a show of sniffing the apple the young boy who was now Raava held for him, but he couldn't contain his joy any longer at the reunion.

With a slobbery joyful lick, he announced with a bellow (though Raava wouldn't understand quite as yet) "Hello, old friend!"

With a twinkle in his eyes, Aang cheekily replied, "I guess this means we'll always be together."

The humongous calf just licked the boy again.

The name "Aapta" is derived from Sanskrit and means "kin", just as "Mula" derived from the Indonesian word is originally derived from the Sanskrit word "Moola" meaning "Roots" or "Beginning".