The Wild Man
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Saying Goodbye



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In the black of night, everyone in the house lay silent. Only two people remained awake at the moment. Aang stared at the ceiling, thinking about the days events, and thought more about how he would leave the world. As much of a straight face he kept around his family, it worried him to leave the world behind. He was very unsure about how things would be after his passing, how society would deal without the Avatar for some years.

He quickly pushed those thoughts away. It was not just the duty of the Avatar to keep balance, it was the responsibility of all good men and women who wish to keep peace in this world. For even the darkest men may rise, they will always fall to the brightest and most purified light of the good.

But something else was on the mind of the Avatar. Someone else was awake in the house. He could feel it. He looked towards his sleeping wife, then tried to slide out of bed without her waking. As he walked out of his bedroom, he could feel a draft coming from the outside. Looking out the open door, he saw that his first son Bumi was leaning on the railing of the porch, looking over the ocean.

It was not like Bumi to stay up nights. Normally you had to fight with him to keep him awake in the bright hours of the morning. Aang walked onto the porch to speak with his son. "A lovely night, isn't it?" Aang said to his son. Bumi said nothing. Aang walked up to the railing next to him, staring over the beach and ocean along with his child. He knew that now was Bumi's turn for a heart to heart talk with the Avatar, and Bumi knew this as well.

There were many things on the mind of the wild man on the porch of that beach house. His thoughts swirled in his mind, words coming at him left and right, every emotion he felt and all the pain he was feeling tried to let itself out, but Bumi remained stone faced. Then, all of those feelings let themselves out into one simple word that was filled with so much expression that Aang couldn't help but be taken aback. "Why?"

That one word put a dagger into Aang's heart. It was accusatory, as if the pain that Bumi was feeling was from the will of his father, as if he wanted for Bumi to feel such sorrow. But it was also sad, and behind the wild and ecstatic exterior of this great and confident man was the small child that the Avatar had raised. "I don't always know." Aang had no idea what to say. There was no justifying the situation to Bumi. He had always looked up to his father as a hero, and now, as if in a terrible turn of fate, his hero was being taken from him.

"I still need you." Bumi was showing very rare emotions right now, and Aang was frequently his confidant. He knew how to talk to his son. "Remember that time I took you to Kyoshi Island?" Bumi turned to his father with a solemn smile. "Yea, I remember." Aang now beamed his trademark grin, knowing that his son was starting to feel better. He continued the story. "You were nine. Your mother was with Kya practicing water bending while Sokka and Suki's kids were by the beach." Bumi's mood started to improve upon the recollection of this tale. "And then I saw the biggest elephant koi I have ever seen to this day!"

Aang continued the story. "You saw it and sprinted towards the water, dove in, swam all the way out there.."

Bumi stood straight and picked up the tale again, "And I hear mom yell out, 'BUMI GET BACK HERE! AANG GO GET HIM!'"

Aang resumed despite his laughter. "She was so mad at you! I had to dive in and swim way out to grab you by the hair."

Bumi started to laugh with him. "Mom got really upset when she saw the both of us gliding in the ocean holding for dear life on that giant fish!"

Now the father-son duo were laughing with one another, holding onto the porch railing in order to keep from toppling over. Aang spoke up again. "I had a lot of making up to do. I think she was pregnant with Tenzin at the time...or was she? Eh, to hard to keep track of how old you three are."

Bumi smiled at his father. "We had dozens of adventures like that. The wild hog-monkeys, the penguin sledding, the hopping llamas..." Aang interrupted with his own memories. "The badger moles, the Omashu mail shoots, that time you wanted to joust on komodo-rhinos, the list can go on a while." Bumi's smile suddenly vanished, for he knew that those memories were fleeting. "We'll never have those moments again. We'll never be able to do that kind of stuff anymore."

The wild man dropped his head, the weight of his father's upcoming demise pressing on him. "I don't want you to go..." This was especially heartbreaking for Aang. Bumi had always been a happy-go-lucky person, and to see him like this tore him up inside. But he knew what to say here. "Bumi, I know you're scared. But you don't have to be." He moved closer to his son, putting both hands on his shoulders, meeting the sad eyes of a defeated wild man. "The times we had together will never go away. The love I have for you will persist through a thousand lifetimes. It may be hard, and there will be times when you will feel saddened," Aang smiled at what he was about to say. "but I will always be with you, and you will be the mad genius you always were."

Tears rolled down the wild mans face as he embraced his father, feeling as though a giant weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. Aang always had a way with words, and Bumi always knew to heed them. "I love you, dad."

Tears built up in Aang's eyes as well. "I love you too, my son. More than you could ever know."

Author's Note


Bumi is definitely something interesting. He is so much fun and full of life, but when he has his emotions you can see them.

The way Aang handles his son is similar to how he handles his other members of his family, but there is something more personal in his interactions with his own children.

Sorry again for so many delays, but I'm trying :)

If you need some reading to pass the time, try out Wordbender's fanon, Air

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