Korra peered over the edge of the cliff, watching as her tears rolled down into the water. The waters lapped them up, another few small drops in a pool of salt and liquid. The sun bleached the blue waters with reds and oranges, and the snow stood out as a contrast. She stretched a hand out, feeling the cold bite, but no tug from the lapping waves. It was really gone for good.
With a choking sob, her knees buckled. Snow and ice crashed into her hands, cold. It scraped a cut and she cried out. The pain hurt, the red spilled onto the white snow, but the real pain sat deeper. The worst Avatar in the world. All her bending, all those years of practice and training, taken by a single thumb pressed hard against her head. She rubbed her forehead, her eyes.
Scuffs in the distance. Two feet falling one after another. The breeze picked up and Korra scowled.
"Go away, Tenzin," she shouted over her shoulder.
"But Korra, you called me here."
Her eyes widened and she spun, clambering to her feet as an arm wiped at her face quickly. Standing before her was not her mentor, but rather her past life. Tall and clad in orange, a pained smile on his face, blue tattoo bold against the sky. Aang stood before her, wise and a master and a million other things.
"Why? Why are you here now?" Korra breathed. Her feet stumbled towards him. She searched his face for a sign, a clue.
His expression softened. "Because you called."
"Of course I called! I've always been trying! And now I'm here and I'm the biggest failure! How can I be the Avatar without my bending? How can I help people like...like this!"
Korra squeezed her eyes tight. Her hands balled into fists. A heat bubbled in her, pressing in her chest. She took short breaths. A weight on her shoulder, and a hand on her cheek, brushing away the rolling tears from her cheeks.
"You are still the Avatar, Korra. You have faced hardships over a thousand years, and will face them for thousands more. Don't give up."
"But it's different! You could all bend, you could actually do something! Aang, you helped end a war! I've got nothing! I've ruined this, and I should just give up now because-"
"No!" Aang's voice was crashing and loud, and Korra opened her eyes. He stared down, grey eyes dark with worry and kindness. His hands squeezed her shoulders.
"But Aang, I've really messed up."
"Giving up isn't the answer. If you had given up airbending, you would never have met me. And now, I can help you."
A light flickered in her mind. Could he really help? She looked up, her lips tugging into a smile. "So you can bring back my bending?"
"That is a journey you will need to take yourself. I cannot fix this for you."
Korra shoved the hands away. She stepped back, fists tight, knuckles burning. "I can't do this anymore! I'm so scared and confused and I'm not good. I shouldn't be the Avatar."
"The Avatar needs to learn how to balance, Korra. Between this world and the Spirit World, between benders and non benders, and within themselves." His moves were flowing and he glided across the snow, a hand resting on the top of her head. "I've seen you do some pretty amazing things Korra. I don't think you're a bad Avatar at all."
The sun shifted, hanging low and bright behind Aang. Korra closed her eyes, shielding her eyelids with the back of her hand. "Thanks Aang, but that doesn't fix anything."
"It doesn't. Not yet. But you'll never know without trying, will you? You can get your bending back, Korra. It isn't gone. You just need to unlock it again."
The weight disappeared. The backs of her eyes were dark, and when she finally opened them the sky was darkened and she was alone. A faint breeze picked up, brushing her cheek and slipping outwards, back towards her home.
The snow was bitter and biting against her legs and feet, but Korra began the slow walk, the wind pressing against her back.