"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." –Rainer Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar.
-Several Months Later-
It was on one of the smaller and more forgettable islands of the Fire Nation where a young woman screamed in childbirth. Here in her ancestral home, smaller than other noble houses, but her home that she endured this trial. Narimi had given birth once before, but it did not make this time any more pleasant. She held Chen's hand with such a tight grip she swore he might lose it. She looked at his pale face and thought he looked like he would faint. Brown curly hair was astray from its top-knot. A new scar was slashed across his left cheekbone. A souvenir from the Earth Kingdom. It was his dark amber eyes, almost a brown shade, set in slanted eyes that gave her the strength she needed.
Another scream ripped through her throat. A squalling cry greeted the room as her child at last came into the world. Narimi's head fell against her pillow in exhaustion. "A girl!" She heard the healer woman declare distantly. She closed her eyes; relieved it was at last over…
Narimi felt another tirade of pain sweep over her body. She gasped. "You're carrying twins!" The healer cried.
It would take another two hours, granting Narimi a sore throat afterwards and Chen almost losing his fingers to bring their second son into the world. Narimi fell into an exhausted sleep afterwards, but awoke to her husband's loving gaze. "Do you want to see them?"
She nodded and with his help he took her across the room. Their daughter and son slept in one cradle. Koun's old one actually. They would have to get another one soon. Narimi was not surprised by the red roughness of her newborns. That would go away soon enough. "He has my eyes," Chen stated proudly, softly caressing his son's sleeping face. "He's so much smaller then Koun was."
"That's because there was two of them inside of me," Narimi informed him, holding his other hand. Chen kissed her lightly on the forehead. It is traditional for the father to name the son by Fire Nation edict. "What are you going to name him?" Narimi asked amiably.
Chen smiled broadly. "Ryda, after your cousin."
Chen did not know of Ryda's secret, but Narimi was not going to change that. Chen had loved the man as a friend in that ignorance. "That's a good name," She said warmly. Narimi's attention drifted to her sleeping daughter. Her only daughter. She almost gasped when the eyes opened on her babe's tiny face.
The same shade as her sister's. She looked back at Chen to see his amused, but curious face as well. "I had a similar reaction," He remarked jovially, "Do you know where those eyes came from?"
"My sister," Narimi replied in wonderment, "Only certain females in the family get them." Narimi carefully picked up her petite daughter. She was surprised the child was not wailing with hunger. Chen wrapped an arm around her as they both stared down at the infant.
Narimi felt a tingling sensation at the idea that her child could possibly be as her sister is. She thought of Rana often and prayed for her. She hoped that she was happy, wherever she was. "Rana," Narimi said at last, "After my sister." Chen knew of her sister dying as a child, not the different truth as she had learned a few months ago.
"Rana," He repeated, accepting the unusual syllables. It was not Fire Nation and he clearly knew that. "It suits her," He beamed with another kiss on his wife's head. Rana then decided to cry, which proceeded to wake up her younger brother. Ryda started to cry out his little lungs as well. Narimi looked down at the familiar weight of Koun attaching himself to her leg. He stared back up at her with a grumpy face. Chen picked him up and Koun giggled.
Narimi smiled in pure content.
Around the same time in the Fire Nation, but on one of the most significant islands, where the Royal Palace, two men stood before a crowd. They were placed on the coronation platform. One indeed did look like a man while the other a young boy. The crowd was a gathering of Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, and Fire Nation. Most had fought together on the Day of Black Sun.
The young boy was the Avatar.
The young man was the soon to be Fire Lord.
Both had once been enemies, yet now they were friends.
Both had struggled once to know who they were. One much more recent than the other.
The young man spoke to the crowd of the long road before them. He declared it to now be an era of peace and love. The crowd from all three nations roared in approval.
The war was at long last over.
At a small village of the Southern Pole, a small womanly figure stood near the water's edge. Looking in the direction of the Fire Nation...
A golden sun was setting in a vibrant sky. Just like the color his eyes…A regret still lingered, perhaps it always…
The thought vanished when I felt a strong pair of arms wrap around me. "I think we'll return to the North," Enlai said in my ear, "Before…" I knew his gaze was on my flat stomach. That would start to change soon, I thought wryly. It was difficult for me to believe that a life was growing there. I touched the necklace on my throat with my left hand.
When I had returned, Enlai had married me as soon as Hayase had helped me to understand what was wrong with me. The ceremony had been straightforward. Simple. I liked it that way. Thank Agni Pakku had not been here to berate Enlai. Apparently he had left for the Earth Kingdom only weeks after my own departure. Asako was now blooming in health for her husband had returned weeks ago. His companion had returned as well. Apparently others scattered throughout the Southern Pole will be traveling here over the next few weeks. They are going to rebuild their city. A pity I will not be here to see it....Enlai yearns to return to the Northern Tribe.
Sometimes my thoughts went to the Fire Nation and those I had left there. One with regret for what I had done to him…he was praised as a hero here. I had kept my promise to him. Huyu had not spoken a word since the news of Genji's death. Not one. And as for the one other I regretted…I hoped he had found his own way. Part of me would…would always love him. But that part was hidden and minute. The cavity in my chest quaked because of something...else...
Enlai would say those three words at times. He had not resented me at all when I had returned. I knew I did not deserve his love. I had not returned those words to him. Not even once…I turned my head to look up at his dark blue eyes that I love. They shined with love for me. My heart felt as if it were in my throat. "Enlai…?"
"Yes, little lily?" He responded fondly. He grinned in his teasing manner. Dark hair draped around his face, tickling the back of my neck as well. It was now or never...
"I…I love you," I blurted out quickly. Enlai's smile widened on his dark face. He kissed me on my forehead and then on my lips. The kiss was not chaste to say the least. When I had caught my breath, I looked at him expectantly. Was he not going to say something?
Enlai noticed this and looked bemused by it. "I know, Sayuri," He said quietly, but every word was full with his love, "But thank you for saying it. I thought I might never hear it." Enlai than took my crippled hand which I had in my usual wrappings. Slowly he removed it and kissed each ruined finger lightly. I could only stand shocked as he did this. He did not ever touch this hand...I would not have let him. The cavity in my chest disappeared, leaving….wholeness…In Enlai's arms I am safe. The world makes sense. Enlai is my reason. I…truly love him. I just had been too stubborn to realize it when he had first told me.
I love him.
It seems to soar like a song in my being. It is declared at last and every fiber within me hums. Yet there is not only that...
I know who I am now.
I know where I belong.
For the first time in my life, I am...
A/N: It is finished...I am almost sad that I ended it, but in a good way. A special thanks to DarkBluexx who has been my number one reader and reviewer! I am already working on the first chapter for a prequel, for the story of Keiya. It is going to be a short miniseries. The title is My Truth. There is a possibility of a sequel, dealing with the children of Narimi and Rana. I am not sure about it yet.
Just on an interesting side note for anyone who cares, my plans for this ending had originally been different. My original plan had been for Rana to encounter Zuko at Ba Sing Se and for her to die there. Than of course, I had not yet created Enlai or Genji. Once I had, they had protested against that. There was also the fact that after all the growth she had been through, what a waste to just die! Also the quotation did inspire the title for this story by the way.
I have also wondered if anyone noticed the peculiar way that Rana/Sayuri, Keiya, and Keitaro talked? Outside of the characters from the show (much of the dialogue in the early chapters were from the show) and my other OCs?
Now that this the end, I would like to say thanks for reading and please review to make me feel good! :)