LES: Well, I've got my two winners!
Chapter 5 is hereby dedicated to Kataangled from the Kataang Forever Forum and also to Salve-SiS from Fanfiction dot net! Both were the first to correctly identify the illness that Katara came down with.
For those of you who didn't figure it out, Katara got an illness called Eclampsia. It is a condition where a pregnant woman's blood pressure becomes dangerously high. There are lots of symptoms, but the most recognizable are swelling, headache and abdominal pain, high blood pressure (of course), dizziness and confusion, and (in extreme cases) seizures. It is also a disease where, if you get it or its precursor illness (pre-eclampsia) once, you are very likely to get it again.
And I have to apologize. I wanted to post this chapter over the Memorial Day break, or at least write it, but I didn't. My Memorial Day weekend didn't start off very great. I had a few bad days, and I didn't want to write this chapter while I was in a bad mood. Writing something as emotionally delicate as this in a bad mood is just asking for trouble… But, I'm better now! Yay!
Chapter V: The Break-Up
The next morning, just as Lin promised, she made her way back to the Air Temple. She had taken the day off, which was most unlike her. Ever since she'd joined the force, she'd never taken so much as a sick day. The people of Republic City meant more to her than that. But, she had a bad feeling about today. It was hard to say if Tenzin would change his mind or not. Before yesterday, she would have said that he'd never go back on his word, but wasn't he going back on his words of love now?
He had been different, so different from the numerous other men that she'd taken to bed before him. They were immature boys, hardly worth her time. She hadn't really cared for any of them, simply fulfilling a biological need. When they started to get too clingy, she'd left them without a second thought.
But Tenzin had been different from the very beginning. She'd known, from the start that she couldn't just cut and run from him when it got too deep because she cared about him. She had cared about him her whole life: as a playmate, a friend, and a brother. She hadn't jumped straight into bed with him, despite the fact that neither of them were virgins. That's because her relationship with him wasn't physical. It was emotional as well.
He was waiting for her, in the fields where he had training in Airbending as a child. She had spent many days of her childhood watching him in his Airbending exercises, fascinated by the utterly different Bending from what she was used to.
Her heart sank as soon as she saw his face. He was wearing an expression that she'd seen many times since he'd replaced his father as the Air Nation representative on the Council. His jaw was squared and he was standing unnaturally straight. It was the expression that he always wore before doing something distasteful, steeling his resolve for something unpleasant. And she had a feeling that she knew what that something was.
She walked up to him, glaring at him. "I suppose that you're going to stand behind what you said last night."
Tenzin sighed. "I am." Lin's eyes hardened and she turned away from him. "Lin, for what it's worth, I'm truly sorry." He said, moving closer to her. "I never wanted it to end this way. Spirits, I never wanted this to end."
"Cut the garbage, Tenzin." Lin said shortly. "If you really wanted this to never end, you'd find a way to make it so?"
"How, Lin?" Tenzin asked desperately. "By having an open marriage? I know that's something that neither of us want, and it's not fair to either of us. If you have another suggestion that works for both of us, I'll happily listen." He paused, giving Lin plenty of time to respond.
Several minutes passed, and Lin did not say anything. "So, that's it then? Cut and run?"
"It's… it's for the good of the world. The world needs Airbenders." Tenzin sighed.
"And I need you!" Lin shouted at him.
"You'll have me. Just not as a lover or a husband." Tenzin said. "Lin… despite everything that's come between us… I still love you. That will never change, I assure you." His fingers caressed her cheek. He leaned in to kiss her, but at the last moment, Lin turned her face away so that his lips pressed to her cheek instead. Tenzin pulled away from her, gazing at her sorrowfully.
"You can't do that, Tenzin." Lin hissed. "You can't just… expect me to pretend that nothing happened between us… to go back to the way it was before we got together."
"Lin… I love you. But I'm not the right man for you. We both know that. I just want you to be happy, and I don't think that will happen if we marry. We'd just be butting heads over the children issue for the rest of our lives. Neither of us can live like that. I wish you happiness…" Tenzin said, turning and starting to walk away. He paused mid-step. "I wish that you find a greater love than me. A man who will devote himself to you entirely, one who shares your desire for a childless future."
Lin didn't respond, she turned on her heel and stormed back down the path to the boat waiting for her. Tenzin sighed, hanging his head. He made his way back into the Temple. He just wanted to be alone right now.
The Republic City Chronicle
Another Delay for the Air Nation
It seems that the whole world has been eagerly awaiting the continued growth of the Air Nation, and once again, they remain disappointed.
The Air Nomad nation has been in a state of crisis since the beginning of the Hundred Year war when Firelord Sozin began his campaign of war against the other nations by committing a nearly total genocide against the Air Nomads.
Fate saw fit to give the Air Nomads another chance to rejoin the world in the form of the only Air Nomad to survive the genocide, Avatar Aang. However, people were once again sorely disappointed when only one of the three children that he had with his wife, Master Katara, gained his Airbending abilities.
That son was Tenzin, the new hope of the Air Nation. But, thus far, he has failed to provide a continued Airbending bloodline. The whole world has watched each of these relationships with bated breath, hoping for a marriage and children to result. This hope was highest with his latest relationship with Lin Bei Fong, the daughter of Master Toph Bei Fong, Avatar Aang's Earthbending instructor and one of his closest friends.
But sources close to the family have come out and said that Tenzin and Lin Bei Fong have gone their separate ways. "Tenzin decided to break up with Lin." Our source, who wished to remain anonymous, told our reporters. "They had been having issues for a few weeks before the actual break up happened, but I don't know what the break up was about."
Neither Tenzin nor Lin Bei Fong has been available to make a comment, but Avatar Aang issued the following statement about his son's termination of his relationship with Lin Bei Fong.
"They love each other a great deal, and I know that coming to this decision was one of the hardest things that Tenzin's ever done. They did not separate for lack of love, but because they wanted different things for their futures."
Avatar Aang refused to elaborate on what differences split the two famous lovers apart, but our anonymous source gave us one possible answer: "Lin doesn't want children. She's said it several times, and they had at least one major argument about children in the weeks before the break up."
Tenzin is, of course, expected to have children by the whole world. His parents are not capable of having more children in their age, and if he does not have children, the art of Airbending could very well be lost forever. Without Airbenders, the very future of the Avatar and the world itself would be thrown into doubt.
One of the Sages working at the Temple of the Avatar in Republic City who has studied the nature of the Avatar for many decades had this to say on the subject: "No one is sure what would happen if the Airbenders were lost completely in relation to the Avatar cycle. The first and foremost effect would be that there would be no Airbenders to train new Avatars in Airbending. But the cycle would eventually come back to Air and that's when things grow murky. What happens to the Avatar Spirit when there is no unborn infant in the proper nation to take it within them? Theories are varied. It's possible that Air could be skipped, removed permanently from the cycle or the Avatar Spirit's cycle of reincarnation could be broken and the Avatar could cease to exist. No one knows, and we don't want to find out the answer."
As Tenzin ages, it will become more and more important for him to find a wife. And, while we wait for that to happen, the world can only hold its breath and hope that we don't find out what happens when Air is removed from the Avatar cycle.
LES: With an increase in media comes an increase in the negative parts of the media: namely paparazzi. Prying into the private lives of famous people. That's what I wanted to portray with the article.
And, speaking of the article… Republic City definitely has a newspaper; I'm just not sure what it's called. If I could read Chinese, I'd probably know. But I can't and I don't. So I just made up the name. It kinda sucks, but oh well…
I also want to be very clear that the anonymous source in the article was NOT Pema, although it was an Air Acolyte. Tenzin and Lin had more than one argument in regards to children during the weeks of their troubles, some of them in more public places than others.