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[November 2] [Avatar] still flying

Title: still flying
Day/Theme: November 2 - animal presence
Series: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Character/Pairing: Momo
Rating: PG

He does not think of himself as the last of his kind. He does, however, keenly remember losing the others in his first troop.

It started out slowly. Just the usual losses due to age, accident, and predation. He himself saw one of his kin punched out of the sky by a leopard-hawk, and he still dreams about the sudden squeal and the baffling emptiness in the air beside him. He knew instinctively that when troop members who were too old and infirm to fly more than a few feet at a time crawled down the mountain to find a sunny spot in the grass where they could sleep, warm and undisturbed, they would not be coming back. Others simply never returned from foraging. There were kits who did not thrive, and wounds that did not heal. Such was the way of things. The troop inevitably and eventually recovered from such losses.

But then came the strange and muddled time when troop-mate after troop-mate simply started to grow weak and listless for no reason that he could smell. At first, it was just that no one had the energy to play, even though winter was a long way off. Then, no one had the energy to hunt. One by one, they each slunk off to dark places in the ruins, curling up into little balls and shivering violently until shivering stopped altogether. He still has vague memories of huddling in a corner of the old temple, struggling for each burning, rattling breath.

He never understood or even asked why his breathing suddenly began to ease again when his troop-mates' did not. He did understand, however, that no new kits had been born to replace those who had been lost. Eventually, he made his way back out into the sunshine, but he was the only one.

He remembers numberless days afterwards, sitting on top of one of the fractured spires of his too-empty home and feeling his ears prick up in excitement and then collapse again as he realized that no, that speck against the sky was just another bird.

Those lonely days are gone, however. One of those specks in the sky turned out not to be a bird after all.

He has a new troop, now. Yes, they look and smell strange, they don't have even a kit's knowledge of the social niceties that keep a troop running smoothly, and three of them are tragically hopeless when it comes to something as simple as flying.

It doesn't matter, though, that they are strange, or that they sometimes make him want to chew off his own fur in frustration (he'll never, ever understand why they keep seeking out threats rather than finding a nice grove of fruit trees where they can sleep, and eat fruit, and hunt insects in peace for the rest of their days). What matters is that he has warm bodies to curl up against at night, and two strange, repeated syllables that somehow indicate him and no other.

What matters is that he now has two others flying along side him. The fact that one is as large as a mountain and the other is strangely furless does not matter.

What matters is that as long as the three of them are still flying, he is not the last of his kind.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
This is so sweet. Oh Momo. ♥
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks!

(I still can't believe I wrote lemur-angst).
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)

(I'll admit, it was my first time seeing lemur-angst. But you wrote it so well!)
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Eee. You've got Momo in a nutshell, right here—and the theory regarding the rest of the lemurs' fate makes sense. It's a rare series where the cute fuzzy thing can provoke stuff like this, and even rarer is the author with the balls to write it...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you've made me very, very happy with this, and thank you so much.
Nov. 3rd, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
You're welcome, and thanks for such a nice review. It was a fun challenge trying to think up a past and a p.o.v. for the little guy.
Nov. 3rd, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Aww, that's very sweet. Great treatment of another oft-forgotten character.

I think you're missing a word in the second sentence of the third paragraph. "At first, it WAS just"?
Nov. 3rd, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
Many thanks! Also, thanks for catching and pointing out that missing word - it's been fixed.
Sep. 22nd, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
I don't know how you did it, but this is awesome. That last sentence just made me want to cry :S
Apr. 29th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
You have written the only good Momo fic in the universe; therefore, you deserve praise of the highest order. Sadly, I can only say this: KYAAAAAAA, SO CUTE! ::Snuggles fic happily:: Thank you, great writing goddess, for bestowing this fic upon us mere mortals!
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
I have no idea how I found this little fic, but I'm so glad I did! I love the thought of Momo viewing the Gaang as his new troop. The last sentence made me a little teary, ngl :)

One little nitpick:

He does not think of himself of the last of his kind. Shouldn't that second 'of' be an 'as'? :)

Oh, Momo &hearts. Thanks for this!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )