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11 May 2010 @ 07:50 am
"Game" Aang, Koh  
Title: Game
Author: Abraxas
Rating: T
Words: 500
Char/Pair: Aang, Koh
Warning/Spoilers: none.
Summary: Aang and Koh play a game of Paisho - but is it a game and can the Avatar win?

written for avatar_500

"Game" by Abraxas (2010-05-05)

Beast and Avatar meet at a field of battle.

Silence - until that innocent string of words: "I want to play a game."


They set tiles carved with faces. Aang's: Avatars too remote to name. Koh's: images of friends and family. Words are not spoken - terms are not reached - the game simply begins.

"Avatar," Beast studies a move. "You think victory over a king changes anything? Your bravery is doubt masked. Where is that boy who vanished? There, still, and I know it."

Koh advances Toph leaving Sokka by Zuko.

Aang sits watching, waiting.

"Why do you do this?"

Koh stretches. Thin, long legs bristle like branches of trees. Rusty. Prickly. Leaving the relic of a dull yet rhythmic timbre.

"You are not the center of creation, my Aang, yet you question as if worthy of answer. The Universe does not justify itself...."

Beast is lifeless at the juvenile's suggestion of emotion. A twitch of the lip. A flash of teeth. It does not satisfy. It is not enough to merely defeat Avatar.

The youth looks up across the demon's tiles - now a mix of old and new faces - as his own pieces seem fewer in number.

Years show their passage through the hesitation that accompany each and every reply.

I erode you like waves tumble mountains.

"The world was mine before man took breath and it will be mine again.... I work through ages even you cannot fathom - you can no more defeat me than stop sunset - I am chaos and the void that comes to you all. Embrace it. As you did once."

There is fear within you, my Aang, as there is throughout the world. It is my doorway into that other realm. My work.... My art.... It is through the doubts of man that they take form. I thrived when you turned away.

Aang gazes blankly as words spew out of Koh.

A hand hovers above the tiles not knowing where to go, what to do.

Yes. Yes. Take your time....

Beast relishes the move - advancing Katara.

Avatar had been avoiding the fight but the confrontation cannot be delayed any longer. He is forced to act against his wife or by paralysis throw the match. Without a word he strikes and the tile melts into smoke.

"How many ages do we play this game?"

Aang does not answer.

Yet to Koh it is clear. His handiwork is all over the old man's face in the lines that history carved out of his youth. Beast is active in the chaos that follows the fall of empires. Avatar knows working toward peace is harder than fighting a war. It is endless. Endless. Endless....

Now it seems as if the enemy controls more than just the tiles on the board.

"It's not too late, my Aang, run away! You never wanted to be Avatar. You doubted everything then and now. Do not continue it. Let it slip away."

Avatar arises

Beast, unaged, smiles.

"Know I'm always here my Avatar."