A/N: The big important author notes is at the end.
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar.
The Engagement Necklace
The current took them on its own course, and neither of them dared to try and oppose the waves. Occasionally Iroh would row the boat listlessly or Kana would give them a slight push that jetted them rapidly across the water, but otherwise, they did nothing else. The two of them were in the hands of the Spirits, and Kana especially realized this.
After quite a while, they began to grow hungry and weary; the two benders were able to catch a few gulls, and Iroh singed them thoroughly with Firebending after Kana picked off as many feather as she could and washed the meat with saltwater. It was not the greatest meal, but it was fine enough for Kana, who was used to this sort of thing.
Three days after the escape from Hi-Bing, they found land. Kana Waterbended the boat to shore, blasting the water behind them so that the small rowboat zoomed forward at an enormously fast pace. She kept this up for the whole afternoon, until she was weary and could bend no more, and then Iroh took over with the oars and paddled so that they reached the land by nightfall. Nestled in a nearby cove was an Earth Kingdom port city that Iroh had seen from the water.
They spent the night near the shore and then hid their boat amongst the cliffs much farther down the beach, near a jetty that stretched a long way into the ocean. (Iroh had wanted to burn it, but Kana had argued that they might need it again—and she had won that argument.) After traveling to the port city Iroh had seen,a kindly old woman bought a meal for the thin teens and gave them supplies to last about a week. Thanking her, Kana had graciously accepted the supplies while Iroh stared longingly at the tea pouches in the woman's basket.
Kana and Iroh returned to the cliffs and uncovered their rowboat. They wondered where they were going to go next until Kana finally told Iroh that she was escaping from the North and had decided to settle in the South. And so Iroh agreed that he would go with her, for he had nowhere else to go.
It took them about a month to get to the southernmost part of the Earth Kingdom. They landed on an island named after the old Avatar Kyoshi, but were soon chased out by the formidable female warriors because Iroh's golden eyes were a dead giveaway that he was an upper classman of the Fire Nation.
Almost a week after, the South Pole came in sight, and Kana's heart rejoiced; there was a large cluster of huts and tents that she was able to see, the Southern Water Tribe. The architecture was nothing like the North Pole, but that was alright; though the small town was much smaller than the Northern City, there still were strong walls of ice surrounding the settlement, and Kana knew within her that these people were just as strong as the North. And they probably valued women just as much as men, for she could see both women and men fishing in an inlet near the town. There was so much life there—but it was peaceful too, and simplistic, and just happy.
Kana had finally found her home.
She said goodbye at the shore, where the land met the sea and all was calm; and she said goodbye when the sun touched the water, a rare moment of harmony between rival elements. There was just one quick embrace and a whispered "Thank you" into his ear, and then he turned away from her and shoved the rowboat out into the shallows and hopped in. Watching as he retreated into the distance, she could not help but smile. She knew he would be welcomed home; for Maia was gone, and now nothing was holding him back from his home, just as nothing was holding her back from her home. And then she was certain that he would make it home safely. The Spirits would protect him and guide him on his way back.
But then again, who was she to ponder the will of the Spirits? She was nothing but a young woman with nothing to her name. She had no husband, no family. Why had the Spirits blessed her so?
As the small boat disappeared into the distant sunset and night started its reign once more, Kana felt the urge to turn away from the sea and go back home—but her heart would not let her, and so she sat in the sand and watched as the small waves lapped up on the snowy shore.
It did not really come as a surprise when she found her engagement necklace lying in a little tide pool, waiting to welcome her home.
A/N: Sheesh, that was a long epilogue. But I guess it wasn't really an epilogue; it was more of a final chapter, if you will. Okay, this will be a long author's note, so, to business.
First Order of Business:
Yes. The engagement necklace actually does symbolize something—it symbolizes an idea and a concept rather than a tangible thing. However, I'm not going to tell you what it symbolizes. That would just ruin it for you all. Think of it for yourselves. If you think it symbolizes this idea or that idea or whatever, then I must say, you're absolutely right. For each person, it will symbolize something different. That's all I have to say on this matter.
Second Order of Business:
To clarify/to review everyone's futures:
Yogota doesn't remember why Kana left because if you recall, Paku smashed Yogota's head in with a big huge ice ball and Yogota suffered from a concussion as well as memory loss. Yogota does remember Kana, though. Yumi helped Yogota remember what Yogota could, but it wasn't much. Yumi died at a young age, about 23, so Yogota was left with nowhere to go but the Healer's Structure. She stayed there the rest of her life.
Paku became a Master Waterbender because he focused all his emotions into it. If you remember, he felt ashamed for attacking Yogota so violently and he therefore resolved to forget what happened. That is what drove him to put so much passion into his Waterbending, thus why he became a Master.
Iroh was welcomed back into the Fire Nation but never took the throne; Ozai did. Iroh became a General and generally traveled around the world for matters concerning the War rather than spending his days in the Fire Nation where people still thought of Iroh as a non-royal because of his alleged "treason" coupled with the fact that he was born out of wedlock.
Kontun was the younger brother of Kuzon (the friend from the Fire Nation who Aang briefly mentioned to Zuko during The Blue Spirit) (Kuzon had died before the war). Kontun was a generally laid back, soft-spoken Fire Lord who let his Generals and Admirals do most of the work concerning the war. He never married again after Maia's death and had no more children after Ozai.
Kanz's treason was never found out. Immediately after hearing about the death of Shadow, he resolved to never again commit treason and he became very loyal to the Fire Lord. His son was Zhao, who was born a long time after Ozai was. Kanz's son Zhao inherited Kanz's pride and Firebending skills; Ozai took Zhao under his wing because of Zhao's father's loyalty to the Nation.
Both Maia and Shadow's bodies were found in the dungeons and it was assumed they drowned. Kontun never really cared to find out who Shadow's client was.
As for Kana? She married the Southern Tribe Chieftain's son and had one son of her own, Kota, to whom she taught that women are equally as important as men. She gave her necklace to Kota to give to Kota's beloved when proposing, for she knew there was something special about it and that it was important that it was passed down.
And as for the Spirits? They knew of the future of the world, they understood fate. The engagement necklace didn't turn up in the South Pole just randomly, you know.
Third Order of Business:
Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read, review, and/or fav this story. You've really made my day more than once. Just know that this story is all for you, as well as for the world.
With Many Thanks,