fandom: Avatar: the Last Airbender
With Just the Company of Dawn
He woke up over water.
The sun was still low on the horizon, glittering pale gold over the bay waters. For a moment, Aang didn’t remember where he was. He shot up with a gust of wind beneath his feet, staff ready in his hands. Then—he remembered. He dropped his staff and sat back down, a small cloud of dust rising around his legs.
It was an impulsive thing to leave in the middle of everything like he did—impulse bolstered by a tugging sensation deep within him that pulled him eastward. He’d flown through the night, not even stopping long enough to retrieve Appa. The compelling urge to just go was too strong. When he’d finally collapsed, exhausted, onto a narrow outcropping overlooking Chameleon Bay, it was deep night. The only reason Aang woke now was because he’d felt the sun rise and stir his qi, something he began noticing after learning from the dragons.
Now that he wasn’t caught up in the urgency he’d felt last night, driving him back to the Eastern Air Temple, Aang couldn’t stop his mind from trying to sort all the things reeling within him into some kind of order. The hurt from Katara’s choice to abandon traveling together resurfaced again, keen as ice biting against bare skin. To entertain the thought that she would no longer be there for him to reach out for comfort or even simple conversation settled gloom around him like a shroud. No small part of him wondered how long she’d been wanting to leave, if she had ever really wanted to go with him to begin with.