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Eight years passed before Rokan once again journeyed up the mountainside to the Northern Air Temple. The damage she had caused so many years ago could barely be seen, and the Temple was as lively as ever with new inhabitants. The Mechanist's contraptions did not take up so much space as they originally had, and the former refugees who called the Air Temple their home had taken it upon themselves to restore the great stone structure to its original state.
The columns that lined the corridor down which Rokan walked were reminiscent of the columns of the gas chamber which she had so dutifully sabotaged. This time, however, she did not sneak about like a thief in the shadows; this time, all eyes were on her. The crowd was small, but filled with her closest friends. Somewhere, she knew, were Zhensu and Azia. Zya, now ten, was on her tiptoes, peering over eleven year old Kyozu's shoulder. Even the elderly couple, behind whose storehouse Rokan had taken shelter, was present. But Rokan had only eyes for the young man at end of the hall, just outside the door to the balcony, which he had gone ahead to open. He stood straight and tall, metal braces clamped firmly on his legs. He had been off his crutches for nearly two years now, and was finally strong enough to walk unaided. Rokan quickened her step, her long white and red dress billowing out behind her. With a startled, delighted cry, she held her right arm to her head, keeping Taiko's headband in place, as well as the sheer white cloth that streamed from it. A shout from someone in the crowd made her stutter to a halt, and she abruptly flung her small cluster of yellow blossoms over her shoulder. A delighted squeal that could only have been from Zya ensured that Rokan's aim was true.
Without bothering to look at the child who had caught her flowers, Rokan gathered up her skirt in her hand and ran as quickly as she could down the last yards of the corridor, crashing into her beloved in a glorious collision. Teo smiled down at her from his considerable height, brushed her hair from her face as he always did, and the two shared their first kiss as one on the mosaic balcony of the Northern Air Temple.
They remained in the Northern Air Temple for several months before creating a home in a coastal city in the Southern Earth Kingdom. The sea made it easy for Rokan to journey to the Fire Nation when she wished, to visit Zhensu and Azia or to pay homage to her family's grave, and the warm climate was very agreeable. Teo opened a mechanic shop which became quite prosperous. Despite the loss of her hand, Rokan had retrained herself in Firebending and the way of the sword. She found employment as a teacher for individual students, though she took care to instill in them the belief that Firebending was an ancient, traditional art, not purely used for warfare.After a year, Rokan ended her private lessons temporarily, as she and Teo welcomed Tima, a little girl with her mother's eyes. Two years after, a boy, called Izu. Life was easy, the days were calm, but Rokan felt no boredom. She had so long experienced a world of danger and trauma that now, even the most mundane of tasks was a blessing in her eyes.
She still, of course, remembered the pain she had experienced in the days of her childhood. The scars she bore served as physical memories of the battles she had fought and every so often she was plagued with nightmares of her trials. And, of course, Taiko's bandana was forever secured to her forehead.
That is, until, when she was an old woman, Rokan finally pulled the cloth from her head. The little baby in her lap, a beautiful mix of Water Tribe and Fire Nation heritage, caught the cloth in her little fists. Rokan chuckled and chided her little granddaughter lightly.
"Now, now, little Tekoa," she smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling with the lines of age, "This is not for you yet! This is for your mama."The child stared up at her grandmother with wide yellow eyes and watched in dismay as the white cloth was pulled from her tiny fingers. The child was soon handed back to her mother, and Tima accepted the white headband with great shock. Rokan assured her that it was what she wanted, and begged her to take care of the old cloth. For countless years, the headband had been the one thing binding her to her old home, to her family. Now, at last, as she neared the end of her life, she found it within herself to let go.
Tekoa groaned when she heard the tinkle of the bells on the door. Seeing as how it was late in the night and the shop was closed, there was only one explanation as to who was at her doorstep.
"We're closed!" Tekoa shouted, though she had little hope that the visitor would leave.
"Then why is the door unlocked?"
Tekoa closed her eyes in a silent plea to the spirits that she could keep her temper under control.
"I must have forgotten. We're definitely closed, though."
"Oh, okay." Tekoa's unwanted customer began wandering around the garage, touching automobiles and tools at random with childlike curiosity. Keeping her back turned to the customer, Tekoa yanked off her work glove in silent frustration.
"That means you should leave now."
"Well, see, I'd love to, but the thing is..."
The customer sidled up next to Tekoa and leaned on the tool-cabinet beside her. Tekoa had no choice but to look at her visitor: a seventeen year old Water Tribe girl with dark hair and electric blue eyes.
"I really need you to fix this bike, Tekoa."
Tekoa sighed, her golden eyes meeting the girl's blue ones.
"I don't work for free."
"How about you do it for half-price?" heckled the girl.
"How about you come back when you're not broke?" Tekoa said in a bored voice.
"Half-price, and I'll throw in a free Firebending lesson! I mean, I am the Avatar."
"I'm not a Firebender."
"I'm not a Waterbender."
"What about Ear--"
"I'm not a bender period. Cough up the money or leave."
The girl growled in frustration and pushed past Tekoa roughly.
"Ugh, fine! See if I ever come to Glider Mechanics again."
Oh, you'll be back, Korra, thought Tekoa, a slight smile growing on her lips. With the jingle of the bells, the Avatar stalked out of the garage.
Tekoa let out a faint chuckle and rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. Reaching back, she clasped the tie that held her dark hair off her neck and pulled it out, allowing her short locks to hang freely. With a sudden sadness in her eyes, Tekoa looked around the big shop, such an upgrade from the little building at the coast. The rumble of the automobiles that chugged about Republic City was eternally disrupting the quiet, and the amount of customers who came for repairs to their vehicles were nearly innumerable. With a small sigh, Tekoa turned her eyes to the old, stained white cloth that was clasped loosely in her thick work glove.
"What do you think of this, Grandma?" she whispered quietly. "I bet you never thought I'd meet the Avatar."
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