It shames him, hurts him, brings him as low as rocks and dust. But when he feels the air up high, the altitude so great that his lungs survive where others would give in or pass out, he remembers things he doesn’t want to remember. Tastes the nightmares of memories he’s never had but has imagined that he deserved to.
Flying high makes him think of ashes, and dust, and fires on the mountainside, and blinking and all the people of the wind - his people - just gone. Forever.
No, mountains aren’t his home anymore. Steppes and plains are not his now, and they never will be again.
But, and there is a but.
Now, the ashes are worn away by the crashing of waves, and the sun’s blazing glare across miles of ice, and the howling wind flush with frost answers a song in his own heart.
And a warm hand in his, and this girl that is teacher and ally and mentor and love, all at once, and now it doesn’t matter that the mountains aren’t his flight place anymore.
He flies over ice and snow and frost now.
The South Pole is his home now, and he is glad for it.
If i ever see someone at a convention as Aang and Katara, i will plead and beg them to re enact the “baby, your my forever girl” scene. oh plz plz plz all u awesome people will someday make this happen, and turn it all into a gif for meh.