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|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Agent Slash||Action/Adventure, Romance||PG-PG13||Positive||here|
|Hearts, Minds, and Desires|
It was a bright, sunny day on Kyoshi Island. The woman known as Hana was sitting in the main room of her house, waiting for her husband to return with the groceries. It was around eight o'candle in the morning and Hana's daughter had not yet woken up. As she sat in the main room, sipping a cup of jasmine tea, her husband walked in. "Hi, Hana. I got the groceries," he announced. "Really, you mean that basket you are carrying would have something else in it? Hana joked.
The man known as Tenshi let out a hearty laugh. "You know your sense of humor is one of the reasons I find you amazing," he said. "I know, dear, but keep it down!" Hana said in a hushed tone. "Or you will wake up our daughter."
"Hey, mom; hey, dad!" a voice said, coming from the hallway leading to the bedroom. Hana and Tenshi turned to see their eight-year-old daughter standing there.
"Good morning, Suki," said Tenshi. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah, I slept great, but I got up extra early today!" Suki said, excitedly.
"Why is that, honey?" Hana asked.
"You mean you guys don't remember?" Suki asked. "Today is the day we go out in the lake for our boat ride!"
"Ah, yes, of course! How could we forget that?" Tenshi asked himself. "You go get ready, sweetie. We will be right there."
"I'm already ready! Let's go!" Suki said, anxious to get out on the water.
Hana chuckled. "Alright, my little sailor; let's go."
The family of three left the house at once, heading for the docks. On the way, Suki spotted something. "Mommy, who are those ladies over there?" she asked, referring to the women wearing face paint and green outfits.
"Those girls are the Kyoshi Warriors," Hana answered. "You know, Suki, if you work hard and train, you could be a Kyoshi Warrior one day, too."
"No, I don't want to. It seems too hard!" said Suki.
Tenshi chuckled at this. "Look, Suki, nothing in life that is really worth getting is easy," he said.
"Whatever. Let's go on the water!" Suki said.
"Tenshi! Hana!" a man shouted the couple's names. Suki looked up to see a man wearing blue clothes and sporting a large, red beard. "I see you are taking the little one here on her fishing trip?" he asked, roughing up Suki's hair.
"Yeah, she has wanted to go for a long time, so we are finally taking her," Hana answered.
"Well, I hope you have fun with that," said the bearded man.
"Thanks, Oyaji. We will see you in a few hours!" Tenshi said.
The family got to the docks and got in their boat, setting out for the seas. "Alright, off we go!" said Tenshi. After about thirty minutes of sailing, Tenshi and Hana noticed there were dark clouds gathering.
"Suki, honey, I think we should head back to the island," Hana said, slightly worried.
"Oh, come on! Can we stay out here a little longer, please?" Suki pleaded.
"Oh, come on now, Hana. I'm sure it's just a little rain," said Tenshi.
"Alright, I guess we can stay out here a little longer," said Hana.
"Thank you, mommy and daddy!" Suki said, gleefully.
As the three of them went further out into the water, disaster struck. The waves were getting larger, there was thunder booming from above, and lightning strikes could be seen off in the distance. "I think maybe we should go back now!" Tenshi said, worriedly. He turned the sailboat around, but was thrown back by a giant wave. In a matter of seconds, the waves had gone from large to monstrous. The boat rocked back and forth as the family of three was jerked around on the water. As Suki cowered in fear, a lightning bolt struck the water right in front of them. Just behind the boat, a horrifying roar could be heard. Tenshi and Hana looked back to see the beast known as the Unagi had surfaced. Suddenly, a huge wave shook the boat, making it tip backwards. Suki and Tenshi watched in horror as Hana was flung out of the boat and towards the Unagi's gaping mouth below. "Hana!" Tenshi screamed. He jumped up to save her, but ended up falling out of the boat himself.
As Suki watched in horror, her eyes soaked with tears, Hana and Tenshi fell into the jaws of the Unagi, which submerged beneath the waves. Then, as quickly as the storm had come, it was over. Suki was huddled in a little ball, weeping as she floated alone in her boat. She then heard the sound of voices shouting. "I see the boat! There is a little girl inside!" shouted a woman. Within moments, another boat came up right next to Suki's and a woman leaned down to look at her. "Hey, sweetie; Are you okay?" she asked. "Wait, what happened to your- oh my spirits!" she said, realizing what had happened to her parents. Suki was silently weeping as she was lifted out of her boat by the woman. "Come on, let's get you back to the island," she said, placing her in her own boat. The two of them sailed back to Kyoshi and arrived in about an hour.
When they got back, Oyaji came rushing to the shore. "What happened? Where are Hana and Tenshi?" he asked, concern filling his voice. Once look from the woman and Oyaji knew what had happened. "Oh, no!" he said. He looked at Suki who had not said one word. "Suki, are you alright?" he asked.
"Leave me alone!" she yelled. Suki bit the woman who had helped her in the arm, causing her to let go. Suki ran away, tears in her eyes as she tried to let out all of her grief and frustration. "I should have listened!" she screamed. As she continued to weep outside of a small building, she heard the door open. Suki looked up to see several of the warriors with the face paint come out and look down on her. "Look, there is a little girl out here," said one of them.
"Why do you think she is crying?" asked another.
"Didn't you hear? She lost her parents in that storm," said a third.
"Oh, no!" said the first.
Suki turned away as one of them extended her arm towards her. "It is alright. There is nothing to be afraid of," one of them said. Suki hesitated for a moment, but eventually took the warrior's hand. "Would you like to come into the dojo and see some of our moves?" the warrior asked. Suki nodded in response. "Alright, come on." The Kyoshi Warriors went back into their dojo and sat Suki down in a corner of the room. "Now, stay right there, okay?" Suki nodded in agreement.
The warriors moved into the center of the room and began their lesson. The leader extended her arm forward, bringing her fan out in front of her. She then closed it, brought it over her head, thrust it out again and then open the fan.
Sitting in the corner, Suki was intrigued by these movements. The warriors noticed this and looked over at her. "What is on your mind?" one of them asked. Suki sniffled and turned away, but the Kyoshi Warrior leaned down to level with her. "It's okay. Come on, tell us."
"I don't get it. I thought you were all about violence and hurting people with your big fans?" Suki said.
"No, no, being a Kyoshi Warrior is about so much more than that," the leader explained. "Being a Kyoshi Warrior is all about defending our home and having a sense of honor. That is why our founder, Avatar Kyoshi created this group. She did not create this organization, because she wanted people to know how to fight, she created it, because she wanted us to learn about the principals of bravery, honor, and grace."
Suki, her eyes wide, got up and walked over to the leader. She got down on one knee and flashed them a look they had never seen before. "Can you please teach me?" she asked.
"You want us to teach you?" the leader questioned.
"I was wrong. I thought you girls were only about violence and fighting, but now I see there is a lot of grace inside of you," Suki said. "Please, I want to learn so that I won't ever lose anybody I love again and so that if anyone else's mommy and daddy or someone they love is in trouble, I can save them and so I can learn the honor-y ways of the Kyosi Warriors," Suki said, messing up the name of the group.
The warriors did not hesitate another moment. The leader extended her arm. "Of course we will teach you," she agreed. "What is your name?" she asked.
"It's Suki," said the girl.
"Alright, Suki, I want you to have these," said the lead warrior. She walked over to the other side of the room, retrieved something, and brought it back to Suki. "These are tessens. They are ancient fans that not only we use, but that Avatar Kyoshi used. I want you to have them and train with them every single day."
Suki nodded in compliance.
"Welcome to the Kyoshi Warriors, Suki," the leader said.
Now I must remember what the code I live by means. Thought a now eighteen-year-old Suki. I must fight to protect those I love and carry on the values that the Kyoshi Warriors stand for: Bravery, honor, and grace. Suki thought. She clutched her fist as she and the others continued riding into the night.
Meanwhile, the others were thinking their own thoughts. Bo recalled how he was originally going to be nothing more than a common warrior of the Southern Water Tribe, but a visit from some wonderful people had changed his life forever and had allowed him to fulfill his dream of becoming a Waterbending master.
Ling was remembering the flood that had killed his mother, leaving he and his father by themselves. He remembered how they had moved to Ba Sing Se, where he signed up for Earthbending classes and excelled past everyone in his class. Once he had mastered Earthbending, he had enrolled in the Beifong Metalbending Academy and had learned Metalbending much quicker than the other three students in his class. He was finally able to learn Earthbending to defend people from evil and to protect himself from it as well.
At the same time, Rong was thinking about how she had been so spoiled her whole life. She had gotten everything she had ever wanted, but could not bear it. She wanted something more, a sense of achievement. She wanted to earn something herself. Although she did not know it at the time, she did the same thing her evil brother had done many years earlier and ran away from home, leaving her parents behind. She set out for adventure and achieved many things while living on her own. She had finally done what she had wanted to do and felt that sense of achievement she had longed for, for so long.
Ty Lee remembered what had led her to the decision that changed her life. She had been treated just the same as her other sisters. At times, her parents did not even remember which daughter of theirs she was. They always yelled at her for practicing acrobatics instead of trying to become a scholar like her older sister, Pekina. Tired of being treated like part of a matched set and not getting any support for what she truly wanted, she ran away to the local circus one night and never saw her family again. She missed her family sometimes, but knew she had made the right choice. Then she had foolishly joined Azula on her mission to capture the Avatar. She had been doing the wrong thing for someone who did not even care for her. It did not matter now, though. She had done the right thing by saving Mai and joining Suki on this mission. That was what was important.
Even Feng was reminiscing memories from his past. He had been captured and taken away from his natural habitat. He was brought to a circus where he was whipped, muzzled, tortured, and forced to perform various circus acts. After having had enough, Feng lashed out at the ring master and escaped, fleeing into the woods once again. The eel hound had been hurt both physically and emotionally. His spirit had been broken until that one day when he had come across a girl and her friends in the woods. The girl showed Feng something he had not known for a long, long time: compassion and kindness. Feng befriended the girl known as Suki immediately and helped her on her mission. Now, Feng took comfort in the fact that Suki would always be there for him.
As these powerful, emotional thoughts rolled through the minds of these heroes, they had approached their next destination, a seedy tavern in the middle of the woods. As the heroes dismounted Feng, they walked inside the tavern. "So, why are we here again?" asked Bo.
"We are looking for someone who can help us, and I think I know who may be here," Suki replied.
The heroes walked into the tavern and saw four figures sitting at a table in the center of the room. "Another drink for the heroes who helped save the Earth Kingdom!" requested a bulky man with a large beard.
The bartender, clearly annoyed, went to serve him another drink. "You know, just because you guys helped liberate an island does not mean you saved the Earth Kingdom!" he said.
"It does when the people we helped defeat were going to conquer everything," said a woman with long, black hair.
The bartender slammed the drinks onto the table and walked away with a scowl on his face.
"Guys, we really should not be taking advantage of these people," said a woman with short, blonde hair and glasses.
"Oh, come on! Just kick back and enjoy it! Why do you have to be such a buzz kill?" asked a man with wavy, jet black hair.
"Excuse me?!" the blonde woman asked. "You are just an obnoxious-"
"Excuse me," said a voice from behind. The four friends turned to see Suki and her friends standing before them.
"Hey, kids! It's so great to see you again!" said the bulky man.
"It's good to see you too, Gahno," Suki replied.
"So, what can we do for you?" asked Otaka.
"We need your help with something."
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