Disclaimer: This is all from my headcanon. Anything that happens after season 1 of LoK is pure speculation at this point, and I'm joining in on that speculation!
Asami has turned into a fantastic character, and though he wasn't in the show but mere minutes, General Iroh seemed pretty badass. So this is my attempt at a pairing between the two of them.
Please enjoy! Don't hesitate to give me any crit on the writing. I welcome all comments!
Snap judgments have always been a part of her life. No matter how much she told herself to ignore them, to try to correct people or even prove them wrong, they still irk her to no end.
At the moment, she could feel her eye twitch as the man in front of her studied the warehouse. He'd been wary since she met with him, asking for the 'boss' and dropping his jaw when an eighteen year old girl held out her hand in greeting. Since that moment, he'd been nothing but slightly condescending to her, lamenting her father's fall to the 'dark side', as he phrased it, and she was just about to toss him out if he made one more snide comment.
"So..." his voice trailed off as he looked over his shoulder at her and she struggled to bring the calm mask back over her features. "I think we can work out a deal here. Hiroshi wasn't much for taking too many risks, but having fresh eyes on this thing might be the trick that will get it off the ground."
This surprised Asami and she blinked at the man for a moment before she smiled, the very act of it feeling foreign on her lips as she shook hands with him to seal the deal.
Since the end of The Equalists battles, she'd been absorbed in Future Industries. It'd been a little over a year and she was just starting to look into new ventures for the company. Not only had she been close to her father, but she knew just how to run the business she'd inherited. Sometimes she felt a little bit out of her element, but she chalked that up to age. If she ever needed advice, it was only a boat ride away on Air Temple Island, so it didn't worry her too much.
The first thing she'd done when the paperwork was settled was tear down the Sato mansion. It was full of memories, tarnished by her father's betrayal, and even though at the time it seemed impulsive she was glad she did it. She donated the land to Republic City, to do what they wished with it. The council decided to build another health center that catered to Benders and non-benders alike. It was a place that had Healers from the Water Tribes, but it's also becoming the birthplace to new medical advancements. It was a nice feeling to be able to be a part of something like that.
After that, her days were spent mostly at the warehouse where the Satomobiles were made. There was a lot of reorganizing to do before she could really step up to the plate with Future Industries.
Free time wasn't a luxury she could really afford herself, but when she had it she was usually at Air Temple Island. It felt more like home than anywhere else, and there was always someone around so she was rarely alone. If the kids weren't trailing behind her, asking questions or telling stories, she was helping Pema with baby Rohan or talking to Tenzin.
She found herself enjoying the Air Nomads way of life more than she thought she would. After years of being the princess of industry, she found the quiet contentment of the Air Temple just what she needed. Asami Sato had enough excitement to last her a few more years.
The anniversary of when Avatar Aang ended the Hundred Year War was coming up in a few weeks, and the temple was in a flurry like Asami had never seen. Republic City held a huge celebration each year, the streets filled with laughter and drinking for three days straight. This year was expected to be the largest yet, with the defeat of Amon fresh on everyone's mind. Asami wasn't really looking forward to it. She hadn't been in much of a partying mood for a while now.
As she wandered around, Asami found that the activity that had everyone in a tizzy involved some packing. Curious, she set out to find Pema, which turned out to be pretty easy. Meelo was tugging on her robe, throwing her question after question as she changed Rohan's diaper.
"When are we going?"
"Is everything on fire down there?"
"Well, they have a few torches..."
"Does it ever snow there?"
Shaking her head, Pema finished up with her fourth born's diaper, picking him up and planting him on her hip as she answered Meelo. "That's really a question you'll have to ask once you get there."
Meelo opened his mouth, presumably to ask another question, when Asami finally decided to announce her presence with a light knock on the doorframe. Meelo was immediately distracted, throwing himself into the air and landing perfectly in Asami's arms. This had long since stopped surprising her. It was amazing how quickly she fell into a routine with Tenzin's family, but she found she liked it.
"Asami." Pema smiled at her as she adjusted the child at her hip, smiling at the girl. "We were wondering when you'd come by! You've been really busy lately, haven't you?"
Asami nodded, letting Meelo down on the floor. He was getting to be too heavy to carry, and he always seemed to be attached to her when she was on Air Temple Island. Not that she minded - she thought he was adorable.
"It's been crazy down at the warehouse. All additions I had planned are complete, and I'm starting to work out a few deals with some partners. It's more time consuming than I thought."
"I guess that's how it is when you own the most industrious company in Republic City," Pema eased by Asami, nodding her head in a 'come with me' motion as they walked down the hallway. Meelo held on to Asami's jacket, happily following along as the women spoke.
"I do think you need to take some time off, though." Pema's statement didn't come as a surprise - she'd been saying such for a few weeks now. Asami knew it wasn't healthy to be so consumed with Future Industries like she was, spending hours and days there with little sleep and little to eat. At one point, she'd gotten so gaunt Pema had forced her way into the warehouse, the children happily tagging along, and demanded that Asami go to a restaurant with them so she could make sure the girl ate something.
"Maybe soon. Things aren't as hectic now, and I'm sure I could take a day off without anything going amiss."
"I mean more time than that," Pema gave Asami an exasperated look as they left the house, walking toward the training field. "I know! You should come with us for a couple of weeks."
"A couple of weeks?" This sounded like far too long for Asami's taste, but she didn't want to shoot the idea down too soon. "I don't know if I could leave that long. Where are you going?"
"The Fire Nation!" This was Ikki, her hands cupped over her mouth as she called out the answer from a few feet away. "Uncle Bumi's down there, and Grangran is gonna be there, too!"
Raising her eyebrows, Asami looked over at Pema as Meelo raced forward to tackle his sister. "It's true. Kya will be there with her family as well, and we thought we'd make a family reunion out of the anniversary. You should come with us!"
This made Asami a tiny bit uncomfortable - she considered Tenzin's family her own at this point, but she knew she wasn't actually related to them. She didn't want to be invited out of pity, even if they were so kind hearted. "I don't want to be a burden," she said, looking away as she fidgeted with her fingers. "And I don't think I could actually get away that long..."
A familiar howl caught her attention, and when they finally reached the training area she could see the kids were not alone. Three achingly familiar faces were down there, laughing and joking around as they practiced. Korra, Mako and Bolin had been to the Northern Water Tribe, taking care of some Avatar business, and they'd been gone for four months. They invited Asami to come along (Actually, they'd insisted. Incessantly), but she honestly just couldn't get away. Asami also felt that some time to herself would be a good thing.
Naga saw her first, and her eyes widened in excitement. Oh no.
"Naga, dont-!" Asami put her hands up to protect her face as soon as the polar-bear dog started bounding in her direction. Her sentence was interrupted as Naga took a leap and landed on her, knocking her to the ground and licking her face. Laughing, Asami pushed Naga's very large head away so she could sit up, scratching behind Naga's ear as she smiled. Pabu, who had been on Naga's back, proceeded to speed down Naga's nose, landing on Asami's shoulder and cuddling up to her cheek.
Tears filled Asami's eyes, catching her off guard. When she could hear her friend's calls she surreptitiously wiped them away, smiling brightly as Bolin finally reached her. He pulled her off the ground with little effort, engulfing her in a huge hug that was shortly joined by both Korra and Mako. For one second, everything clicked into place: she was home and she closed her eyes as she took just one moment to breathe it in.
After catching up with the trio ("Man, the North is super cold," had been Bolin's observation), she found herself on the receiving end of three expectant looks.
"Is something up?" She asked, knowing exactly why she was getting this look. They'd learned about her hesitance when it came to taking a vacation, and considering that everyone was going, including them, it seemed only natural she would go, too.
"Asami, we really want you to go with us." This was from Korra, who was giving her a pleading look. Since the fighting with the Equalists, they'd grown closer than before. Korra had confessed that her feelings for Mako had kept her from reaching out to Asami, and had apologized. Asami herself didn't see it as too big of a deal after everything had happened, and she knew Korra didn't have many friends her age growing up, so mistakes were bound to happen.
With a sigh, Asami leaned against the railing they were standing near, crossing her arms over her chest. It's not that she didn't want to go, but she didn't think it seemed very feasible. It was hard to stay realistic when all she wanted to do was throw away all her troubles for a week and run off with the people she loved most. Over the course of the year, though, she'd learned that life didn't always allow for such things.
"I don't know..." she trailed off, three equally eager faces watching her as she warred with herself. Bolin seemed to decide for her, grabbing her wrist and tugging her after him, Mako and Korra following along.
"Let's go to the warehouse and see if anyone will cover you while you're gone."
"Oh, I don't know about that, Bolin." Asami was trying to tug her hand free, but she knew it was a losing battle. Earthbenders were notoriously stubborn, and she knew she wouldn't be able to break her friend's grip. "I mean, what if something happens while I'm gone?"
Korra and Mako exchanged a look, one Asami could see from the corner of her eye. Raising an eyebrow, she looked over at the pair. "What?"
"Oh, nothing," Mako said lightly, stretching his arms over his head in a mock nonchalant movement he did when he was caught and knew it. "Just seems like you don't really want to be around us anymore."
His words sunk in, and Asami looked closer at each of her friend's faces. Though eager, they all seemed a little hesitant. As if she made them more unsure than usual, like she'd changed.
Maybe she had changed. More than she'd thought. Pema's words came back to her, and Asami sighed, tucking a lock of hair behind an ear as they reached one of the boats docked on the island. "It's not that at all, I promise. I missed you guys a lot."
"Then come with us!" Pabu chirped in agreement from Mako's shoulder, and Asami had one more small, silent war inside herself before she gave up.
"Okay. Let's see what we can do, and I'll go."
Convincing the manager, Keto, to watch over everything for her was easier than she thought. The woman was logical, no nonsense, and had been in Asami's life for years. She'd been Hiroshi's personal assistant, and knew the ins and outs of Future Industries. So when Asami had explained the spontaneous vacation, she'd expected a glare or a stern lecture on not being flighty and taking care of her duties at home. So she was shocked when Keto threw her hands up in the air with a loud "Finally."
Keto had the same opinion as everyone else, it seemed - Asami needed a vacation, to unwind and just relax for a bit. At eighteen, she was running a veritable empire and it was too much for just one set of shoulders. A pair of young shoulders, at that.
Within a few hours, Asami found herself packed up and ready to go to the Fire Nation. A trip she was excited and nervous for. She'd never actually been to the capital of the Fire Nation, though she knew a great deal about the history. She was a descendent of people from the Fire Nation colonies, and her father had hired the best tutors to teach his little girl about her ancestry. He didn't just stop there - Asami had extensive knowledge on the other areas of the world, immersed in Earth Kingdom customs and Water Tribe history. She knew all traditional dances from each area, and could talk politics with anyone from anywhere.
It helped her feel well-rounded, and the thought about her education actually had her quiet for most of the trip to Air Temple Island. She knew it wasn't common to be educated in all the areas of the world, and that seemed to be such a shame. Filing the thought away for later, she looked up from the water as the boat docked, pushing herself away from the railing to see a group of her favorite people, looking up at her with excited smiles on their faces. For a split second, she felt like she did when she was little and would barrel into her mother's arms – warmth enveloped her, and her answering smile was wide and pleased as she walked down the ramp to join the people she now considered her family.