She sits meditating in center of the garden, hummingbirds flit across the flowers and the warm earthy smell envelopes her. She stands, eyes shut, and pauses, listening closely to the natural surroundings. She can feel the ground around her, every creature of the soil. She smiles then steps to the side, her hand strikes forward in a clenched fist. Her feet never leave the ground and she begins.
The earth around her moves at her request, a stone the size of her head rises and hovers next to her. With a grin, she spins and hurtles the rock at a nearby wall.
"You learned to bend earth." She opens her eyes and turns to see him standing by a juniper tree. She nods and sees she left a large hole in the ground. With a sigh, she shifts the soil to repair it. The dirt and rock trickle into the hole, shaping and molding to fill it.
"You have managed to master earth and water, so we shall take up your studies on air," he says stepping into the sunlight.
"Why can't the Sages just claim me as a Water Sage and be done with it," she mumbles pushing a loose curl behind her ear.
"You can't claim your element until you've mastered them all, that's why you are here."
"But it's obvious I'm better with water, I mastered it quicker than any other student. I know I'm not earth or air and I'm definitely not fire." her voice was sharpened steel and her hands clench into fists.
He notices she has her gloves on again and sweat beads her brow. Her eyes shift from melted chocolate to copper. She scrutinzes his form until he has no choice but to drop his gaze. "Maia, the Sages are a great society, only the best and strongest can join their ranks. If you are water you will have to be tested by the head Sage, I have seen what you can do but until you complete your training you are not fit to be a Sage."
Her eyes darken,"What did you just say?" her jaw clenches.
"It's not that you aren't talented, it's just that—" he starts to say.
Her hand shoots up, sparks dance through her. "You have no right to tell me what I can or cannot do. What happened to you thinking that I was the most talented bender in the nation? You used to say I had the strength to tear down the walls that bound us, and now you are saying I don't have what it takes!"
The fountain was churning and the wind was picking up, at their feet the earth trembled and quaked. He takes a step back, realizing his mistake. Suddenly her gloves burst into flames and the fire dances between her fingers. Her gaze was a storm-filled sky overfilling with electricity and rage. The tears poured relentlessly down her narrow face, dripping to the already damp ground.
He inhales, knowing if she got out of control he would have to stop her. She could come at him and kill him in a second if she couldn't come to reality with her emotions. "Maia control your anger!" He shouts over the rising hurricane. With the flick of her hand, she hurtles an ice dagger at him. The blade cuts through his shirt leaving a small gash on his ribs.
The water was scalding from the heat of the fire rising in her. He rushes to her, feeling every bit of her power in the air. He tackles her to the ground and jerks as she shocks him, her eyes are shut tight as if she's afraid of the sudden energy. He pulls her close, shielding her entire body with his own.
So little yet so powerful, he thinks as the wind continues to tear against him. For a moment all the pain being inflicted on him didn't matter, all he could think of was her pressed tight against him. Stones beat at his back and electricity rushes through his veins, hot water splashes across him and wind slash his skin.
Her eyes remain shut through it all but then he feels her hands grip him back. She holds onto him as if he were the last line holding her to earth. The elements lessen on him and finally stop altogether. Slowly she glances up at him, their eyes meet and she whispers, "I'm sorry."
She sounds so small and helpless like she would break if he let her go. Slowly they stand but she never lets up her hold on him. "Ikarus...why did you hold me?" she whispers, eyes wide.
"The force you were using was out of control. If I hadn't covered you, you would have been hurt." He whispers, hesitantly he brushes a lock of her hair away. When she doesn't pull away he cups her face.
"Are you going to kiss me?" She hums gently gazing up at him.
"Yes," he murmurs then brings his mouth down to hers. Her lips are softer then he dreamed and much more gentle. The kiss lasted only a second but she seems to be gasping for breath when he pulls away. He tastes strawberries on his lips and wonders for a moment if thats how she tastes naturally, and pulls her tight against him. She molds into his chest, his body warmer than she ever imagined.