Author: Light-Eco-Sage PM
The world mourns when Avatar Aang passes away due to mysterious circumstances. As the new Avatar, a Water Tribe girl named Korra, begins training, Aang's friends deal with his death in their own ways. Pre-Legend of Korra. Chapter 5 up finally.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Spiritual - Korra - Chapters: 5 - Words: 12,719 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 66 - Follows: 71 - Updated: 02-22-11 - Published: 07-22-10 - id: 6167445
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rated: Teen for Romance (Kataang) and Character Death
Summary: The world mourns when Avatar Aang passes away due to mysterious circumstances. As the new Avatar, a Water Tribe girl named Korra, begins training, Aang's friends remember their fond memories of him.
Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Avatar: The Legend of Korra" both belong to Bryke!
LES: "Avatar: The Legend of Korra" has invaded my brain, can you tell? The internet exploded with info about A:TLoK this morning, and pretty much all the news made my heart soar! (Especially the news about a certain teacher of Korra who happens to be the confirmed canon child of my favorite couple!) This is kind of a pre-series prequel, and begins right after Aang's death at the age of 65. (I'm guessing Korra's around 17.)
Chapter I: The New Avatar
It was an unusually cold day in the Southern Water Tribe. Or… at least it seemed that way to Tenzin. The Airbender shivered and he drew his cloak closer around him.
The snow and the ice had nothing to do with the chill that he felt. Cold was as much in his blood as air was, being the son of a Waterbender. He had often visited the South Pole as a child, visiting his mother's family, and was used to the cold.
No, the chill he felt was because of the event that brought him back to the South Pole: a place that he had not been for the past three years. It had been exactly three years since the death of Avatar Aang… the death of his father.
Tenzin tried to resist the memories, but they came anyway. His father's death had happened so suddenly. One day he was there, energetic and happy as always, and the very next day… he was simply gone. To this day, no one had any idea what had happened, if he had died naturally or if there was something more sinister at work.
The whole family had taken the blow hard, but none more so that Aang's wife and Tenzin's mother. Katara had been inconsolable after Aang's death, and she was still haunted by it. She hadn't said anything, but Tenzin knew… she was simply waiting for death to allow her to rejoin her husband.
Now, he was facing another harsh event… a reminder of the loss they had all suffered a scant three years ago. Today was the day that all eligible Water Tribe children would be tested to determine if they were the next Avatar.
The Avatar system is cruel. Tenzin concluded. My father's only been buried for three years and they all ready seek his replacement. As if anyone could ever replace him.
Like all sons, Tenzin had idolized his father. He had always taken being the Avatar's son seriously, and constantly strived to be the sort of son that would make his father proud. Perhaps that is why, out of all of Aang's children, Tenzin had Mastered Airbending the fastest and had been chosen in an unanimous vote among his siblings to be the next leader of the Air Nomads in his father's place.
That title is what brought him here today… as the Leader of a Nation, he was required to be present at the ceremony to confirm the next Avatar. It was this duty, more than any other, that he wished he could be rid of.
He made his way through the familiar streets of the Southern Water Tribe, which was still very different from his home in the new capital Republic City. He knew that he was running out of time, but he had to make one stop first. He made his way to a familiar hut, one that he had stayed in more than once when he was a child.
He entered the structure and glanced around. He saw who he was looking for sitting down next to the fire, stirring the contents of some pot. Tenzin took a quick sniff, and knew instantly that it was Stewed Sea Prunes, a dish that he was quite fond of thanks to his half-Water Tribe heritage.
He approached the older woman silently, not wishing to disturb her. Eventually, the woman became aware of someone in the house and she looked up at the intruder. She froze as her eyes met his.
Tenzin smiled shyly. "Hello, Mother."
"Oh, Tenzin…" The older woman slowly stood up, seemingly unable to believe her eyes. "Oh, Ten, is that you?" She asked.
"Yes, Mother, I've come back." Tenzin replied.
"My baby!" Katara cried happily as she rushed over and pulled her son into an embrace, which he returned. She pulled away from him, looking up into his face. "Oh, Ten, you look more like your father every time I see you!"
Tenzin had heard that many times in his life. He did strongly resemble his father. He had Aang's features, Aang's eyes, and even Aang's hair (even though he had never seen his father with hair). The only clue of his Water Tribe heritage was his darker skin tone, a creamy mix between his mother and father's skin colors. Tenzin was painfully aware that every time his mother looked at him now, she saw his father. That was part of the reason that he left the South Pole in the first place.
She kissed his check and embraced him once again. "How are you doing in the city?" She asked.
"It's certainly not boring." Tenzin replied.
Katara sighed. "Oh, Ten, when are you going to find yourself a wife and settle down like your brothers and sisters?" Katara asked with exasperation.
The Airbender almost laughed. As she got older, Katara became obsessed with finding her oldest son a suitable wife. Katara must've attempted to match-make him with every girl in the Southern Water Tribe, and constantly told him to beware of 'those city girls'.
"I'll settle down with a wife when I find the right woman." Tenzin said shortly. Father would say no less.
Tenzin felt his heart drop into his stomach when his mother's eyes filled with tears. "I'm so sorry. It's just that… ever since your father died…" She paused, holding back sobs.
Tenzin embraced his mother, allowing her to sob into his robes. "It's all right, Mother. I'm here now."
"I'm sorry, Ten… I just miss him so much." Katara admitted.
"I miss him too." Tenzin said honestly.
Eventually, Katara calmed down enough to see that the prunes were boiling over, and she quickly went back to the pot, serving herself some. "Sea Prunes?" She asked, holding up an empty bowl temptingly.
"Always." Tenzin replied, and Katara gave him a serving.
They ate in silence for a time, but then Katara spoke up again. "I suppose you are here to witness the next Avatar being chosen." She said.
"Yes." Tenzin said.
"I don't know how to feel about it." Katara said honestly. "I've seen the children, and I can't help but think that one of them is the reincarnation of my husband's spirit."
"Do you have any thoughts about which one it might be?" Tenzin asked curiously. Tenzin had left the South Pole when all the eligible babies were only infants, so he could not judge their personalities. "When a child is this young, the past life personality and memories are dominate."
"Others have asked me that." Katara said. "But I don't know. Aang was always very child-like, even in his later years. All the children act like children, so there's no telling them apart."
"Would you… would you like to come with me?" Tenzin asked. "I'm sure you'll be allowed, seeing as you are the greatest Waterbender in the South Pole and the wife of the former Avatar."
Katara didn't answer for many long moments, and then finally spoke. "Okay, I'll go with you." She said.
Tenzin nodded, and offered his arm to his mother for support. Katara gladly accepted, and Tenzin stepped outside and led her through the streets of the Southern Water Tribe.
"You still know your way around here?" Katara asked.
"I did spend half my life here." Tenzin commented. "Remember, when we weren't at one of the Air Temples or traveling, we were always here."
"Oh, yes." Katara said. "We survived the war together, you know… your father and I. It's funny how I thought… 'If we can just survive the war, we can be together forever'. I had no idea that I would lose my husband so suddenly, after nearly fifty years of marriage. I suppose I should be glad for the time I did have with your father."
"It's okay to miss him, Mother." Tenzin said quietly. "I know I do."
They approached the chief's home together, and Tenzin smiled when he saw his uncle waiting for him. "Hello, Uncle Sokka." Tenzin called, waving.
"Oh, Ten, you came back to the South Pole?" Sokka yelled when he noticed Tenzin and Katara approach. Sokka hurried to his nephew and pulled him into an embrace.
Sokka had made quite a name for himself in the years following the war. His intelligence and his determination for peace among the four nations has made him a very respected member of the Four Nation's Council. Eventually, Sokka became the Chief of the Southern Water Tribe when his father stepped down shortly before his passing. And very few people were aware of it, but Sokka was now a Grand Master in the Order of the White Lotus. He had joined when he was eighteen under the tutelage of his master, Piandao, and quickly rose through the various ranks. But the White Lotus was still a secret society and no one outside of Sokka's family knew about his involvement with it… most people only thought that he was a master Pai Sho player.
Once Sokka had finished embracing his nephew, he turned his attention to his younger sister. "Katara… how are you feeling today?"
"No worse than yesterday." Katara answered cryptically.
Sokka sighed. "Katara, its okay to be hurting today. I know you've been in pain since Aang's death, and that today is the day that we have to learn the identity of the next Avatar. If I had to go through this with Suki… I don't know what I'd do."
Sokka pulled his sister into an embrace and allowed her to cry on his shoulder. "Come on, sis, you know that I'll always be here for you. Between myself and your sons, you will be taken care of."
"Thanks, Sokka." Katara whispered.
"Mother, if you need help, you can always come live with me in Republic City." Tenzin said.
"No, Tenzin, not yet." Katara said. "I wasn't made for City life. Republic City reminds me a little too much of Ba Sing Se."
Tenzin was about to remind her that Ba Sing Se was a very nice city, when he remembered that he hadn't been alive during the time when corrupt Dai Li ran the city through fear and propaganda. It was true that the City was relatively new, and that there were some problems, but overall, Tenzin considered it a nice place to live. He also liked it because his father had helped create the city years ago, and everyone there loved Avatar Aang and treated Tenzin with great respect.
Together, they walked into the icy structure, and Tenzin scanned around the room to see who else was there. There was Firelord Zuko, older than anyone else from the old Gaang but still quite vigorous for his old age. There was also Toph… or Queen Toph of Omashu. Tenzin laughed. He had never quite gotten used to the idea of Toph being the Queen of anything. It didn't help that she refused to dress in any sort of finery… something that made her very different from the previous ruler of Omashu: King Bumi. Shocking though it may be, Toph had proven herself a fine ruler… not to mention firmly stepping into Bumi's shoes as the most powerful Earthbender in the world… a title she had held since the age of twelve when she invented Metalbending, and a title she continued to hold to this day. Sokka and the Chief from the Northern Water Tribe was there to represent the Water Tribe and Tenzin was the representative from the Air Nomads. There were also nearly a dozen women in the room and their three-year old children. Every child born into the Water Tribe in the week following Aang's death had been brought here, because one of them was the possible Avatar.
Tenzin ran his eyes over each and every child, looking for some resemblance to his father. None of them looked anything like Aang. A moment later, Tenzin realized that he was being foolish. Each Avatar was their own person. The only thing they all had in common was the Avatar Spirit within them. The next Avatar would not be Aang's clone, but simply someone who carried his spirit within them. Tenzin had known this since he was a child. Besides his mother, Tenzin was probably the most knowledgeable person in the world when it came to the Avatar and Avatar lore.
Sokka elbowed his nephew. "So, any picks on which one it is?"
Tenzin shook his head. "None of them is my father."
Now their presence was noticed by the others in the room. Firelord Zuko barely acknowledged his presence with a nod, thought Tenzin could hardly blame him. One of Tenzin's more free-spirited sisters had an ill-fated romance with one of Zuko's sons, and that left Zuko feeling less-than-pleased at Aang's children.
Toph, on the other hand, greeted Tenzin warmly. "And here he is: Twinkletoes Jr. I never thought I'd say it, but you can step even lighter than your father."
"Well, Father was an Earthbender too, and it grounded him more than me." Tenzin pointed out. He didn't mind being called Twinkletoes Jr. He knew that it was just Toph's way of dealing with the death of her best friend.
"And Katara…" Toph paused, putting a hand on her friend's shoulder. Tenzin could remember a time when Toph never called his mother anything except 'Sugar Queen', but that nickname had disappeared when Aang died. "Are you doing all right?"
"I'm fine." Katara said.
"Are we all here?" The Northern Chief asked, looking over the group that had assembled and then counting the children to make sure that every one of them was present and accounted for. "Chief Sokka, Firelord Zuko, Queen Toph, and Head Monk Tenzin, are you ready to bear witness to the events of today?"
"We are." All four answered at once, taking their places at the head of the Hall. All together, they were the High Council of the Council of the Four Nations, the most powerful people on the planet; each one sworn to their nation and to the world at large.
Katara took a place down among the women, her eyes scanning over the children, wondering which one was held her husband's spirit.
"As we are all aware, three years ago today, Avatar Aang tragically passed from this world and entered the Spirit World." The Northern Chief began. "We offer our condolences to Avatar Aang's widow…" He bowed to Katara. "… and to his family…" A bow to Tenzin. "In light of these hard times. Avatar Aang was much loved by the world, and will forever be remembered as an Avatar fully dedicated to peace. The war will not be what he is remembered for, but for the peace he helped bring this world. But now it is time for a ceremony that has not been completed in over a hundred and fifty years. It is time, once again, to begin our search for the next Avatar within the Water Tribe. Chief Sokka, is everything prepared?"
"Yes." Sokka answered. "I prepared the room exactly as Aang said it should be prepared."
"Head Monk Tenzin, have you brought the objects required of you?"
"Yes." Tenzin replied, pulling a bundle of wrapped objects out of his robes. It had taken years of searching the Air Temples to find these objects, but he had eventually succeeded.
"Very well, go and prepare those objects. We will join you shortly." The Northern Chief said.
Tenzin bowed and rose from his seat, heading alone into the back room.
Once he got in, he saw that Sokka had done everything right. A thousand toys from all four of the nations lay scattered around the room in a random heap. Tenzin wrapped the objects that he carried, four sacred Air Nomad treasures.
Tenzin walked around the room, carefully placing each object down so that it was in plain view, but not completely obvious. The turtle doll, the pinwheel, the Hog-monkey toy, and the hand drum. They were the very same toys that his father had been tested with when the Monks learned that he was the Avatar, and now they would be used to discover the next Avatar.
He finished placing the toys, and settled down in his new place. A minute later, the others walked in, along with one of the children. A young boy.
The boy's eyes lit up at the sight of all the toys in front of him. It certainly was like a child's paradise. He looked up at Sokka. "Can I have them?" He asked excitedly.
"You may pick any four toys you like." Sokka said, gesturing to the room.
The young boy counted on his fingers briefly to see how many four was, and then he rushed into the room, looking around. He picked four toys with relative quickness, none of them being a sacred object. The others glanced at Tenzin, asking with their eyes if the boy was the one. Tenzin shock his head very slightly. This boy was not the Avatar reincarnated.
Sokka let the boy and his mother out of the room, and quickly let in the next child.
Seven children were tested this way, and none of them had given the sacred objects any more than a passing glance before they moved on to the newer, more modern toys.
The eighth child was brought in, a young girl. Just like the other children, her eyes lit up at the sight of the room filled with toys. "For me?" She asked, looking up at her mother.
"You may pick any four toys you want." Sokka said to the little girl.
The girl glanced at Sokka, and then at the room, slowly venturing into the mess of toys that awaited her. Tenzin stiffened as her eyes fell on the little turtle doll. The girl walked over to it, picked it up, and continued her search with the turtle in hand.
That's one sacred object. Tenzin realized, sitting up more attentively. The others noticed Tenzin's shift and instantly realized that the turtle doll must've been one of the sacred objects. Everyone in the room held their breaths as the little girl continued her search.
Next, she came across the hand drum. She picked it up, placed it between her palms, and rubbed her palms together, causing it to play loudly. She laughed at the noise, and added it to her collection.
Not only did she choose it, but she knew how it works. The hand drum was one of the more ancient toys, and most children he knew didn't even know what a hand drum was, let alone how to play one.
With two of the sacred objects in hand, she quickly stumbled upon the pinwheel. She grabbed it without testing it and added it to her collection.
The pinwheel was Father's favorite. Tenzin thought to himself. She knew right away that she wanted it, without even testing it to see what it does.
Finally, she came across the final sacred object, the little hog-monkey toy. She grabbed it, and made it scoot along on its wooden wheels for some distance, was apparently satisfied with how it worked, and added it to her collection also.
The others once again glanced at Tenzin, who almost missed their unspoken question. This… this girl is Father's reincarnation! He realized. Then he realized that the others were staring at him, and he nodded very slightly.
She is the Avatar!
The girl counted her toys, and looked back at Sokka. "I've got four now."
"Very good." Sokka said pleasantly. There was no big announcement, and none of them behaved differently from any of the other children. After all, they were the only ones meant to know about the Avatar's identity. Sokka lead the girl out, and the other children were quickly 'tested', but only to hold up the pretense that they hadn't found the Avatar yet, and to leave the Avatar's identity a mystery to the general public.
Once the final child was gone, Tenzin stood up and walked over to where Sokka stood. "Uncle Sokka, what is her name?" He asked.
"Her name is Korra." Sokka answered. "Avatar Korra."
LES: Next Chapter will be when Korra is older and just got told that she is the Avatar! Be sure to keep an eye out for it!