Legacy Costs
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Saying Goodbye



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A soft breeze floated through the air, carrying a salty taste to it. It was relatively cool outside, being a beach and all. But so early in the morning, the sun barely breaking the horizon, there was a distinct chill in the air. It was a perfect environment for Tenzin's meditation. He sat on the porch, facing towards the sandy beach and the calming tides pushing in and out. The air bender was trying to achieve a level of peace that had been eluding him the past few days, and it did not go un-noticed by his father.

Aang walked outside onto the porch where his son was practicing his meditation. He too sensed the calming nature of this time of day, but also saw the storm clouds in the mind of his youngest child.

"May I join you?" Aang asked.

Tenzin barely moved a muscle. "As you wish, father"

Aang smiled. His son was always so polite and serious. He often wondered where he got it from. "It's a nice morning."

This time, Tenzin made no reply. This troubled Aang, as Tenzin was frequently willing to converse with his father rather than sit in meditation. But he had been meditating a lot lately. So much so that it was worrying his mother. Aang had noticed this as well, but thought it best to leave his son to his thoughts for now. But seeing as time was not on his side, he decided to press his child as to what was bothering him.

Aang moved in front of Tenzin and leaned on the guard rail. "Something on your mind, son?"

Tenzin's face remained in its position, almost stone like, his eyes staying closed. "I am simply practicing my meditation. Detachment from worldly concerns would do me some good at the moment."

Aang didn't like that answer. "True, we must detach ourselves from our issues, but never away from our family or our friends. The love we feel for one another is what keeps us together. It's what keeps us whole."

Tenzin remained like a statue, but his tongue was sharp. "Seeing as how you, the Avatar, have decided to detach yourself from your family, it must be the wisest course of action. After all, how important can family be if you're so willing to sever all ties from them willingly?"

This was more of a shock than anything anyone had said to Aang this past week. Tenzin was always so quiet and well mannered. He would never say something so harsh to his father. Anyone else's instinct would be to react with anger, but Aang knew better how to handle this.

He sat down with his son, speaking softly and choosing his words carefully. "You think this is my choice?"

Tenzin's face shuddered, eyes still shut. "Forgive me, father. I meant no disrespect."

Aang spoke once more. "You know I would stay with you if I could. It breaks my heart that I'm leaving."

A tear escaped from Tenzin's closed eyes. "I do know that. are my father. My teacher. My hero..."

Tenzin took a moment to wipe his eyes on his robe. His composure returned to him almost immediately. "I'm sorry, father. It's just that you and I are the only remaining air benders in the world. Without you...I will be alone."

Aang leaned forward towards his son. "Tenzin, you will never be alone. How can you even think that? An air bender is not all that you are. You're a brother, a nephew, a friend, a son,"

Tenzin smiled at the thought of his family. "Thank you, father."

Aang was always fascinated by how Tenzin tried to deal with problems. He simply let them drift away in the breeze. "And who knows, you might not be the last air bender for long. You might have a bunch of little air benders running around one day that you'll have to teach!"

Tenzin blushed at the thought of having children, and Aang picked up on it. He tried taking advantage of his son's sudden good mood. "So how's Pema doing?"

The blush on Tenzin's face grew even redder. "She's doing very well."

Aang observed the manner in which his son spoke. "How well are we talking?"

Finally, Tenzin opened his eyes. "I'm going to ask her to marry me."

Suddenly, the biggest grin appeared on Aang's face. "I couldn't be prouder of you, son." Aang loved Pema the second Tenzin brought her to meet him. He saw how happy he made her and that was what made her perfect in his book.

Aang had a thought in his mind. "You know, the day you got your air bending tattoos was one of the proudest moments in my life. I never saw you so happy."

Tenzin remembered that day fondly. "It was a great achievement. I had an excellent tutor."

Aang smiled. "There was a day when we were having a meeting with the other acolytes at the temple. You were sitting at that table, all stern and serious, hearing about all the developments on the island. Then suddenly Pema walks in, and you turn into this giant ball of happy mush. That's when I knew she was the one for you. She's the only woman to crack the stone in your face."

Tenzin smiled at the thought of his love, and hopefully future wife. "She is truly wonderful."

They sat side by side with one another in silence for a moment. Then Aang remembered something. "You know, I'm sorry I interrupted your meditation."

Tenzin looked at him. "It was a good talk we had."

"True, true. But if I recall, two other people in this house had interrupted your practice a when we first got here, right?"

Tenzin's grin matched his fathers. "What did you have in mind?

Bumi was snoring peacefully in his bed. The wild man didn't have a care in the world other than sleeping until the sun was high in the sky. There was a dark figure appearing at the foot of his bed. His sixth sense jolted him awake to gaze upon this monstrous figure, covered in green grime.

The creature leaned forward and released a giant roar! Bumi jumped in his bed, trying to use his blankets to shield himself from the beast. A girlish shriek leapt from his lungs. Just as he finished his panic, the creature shed its skin, revealing his brother underneath with a giant smile on his face.

Bumi finally came to his senses about the matter. "Tenzin?! What is wrong with you?!"

Tenzin replied, still smiling. "Payback for earlier, dear brother."

Bumi, not amused, had a sour look on his face from being woken up. "Why didn't you scare Uncle Sokka? It was his idea!"

Tenzin replied coolly and calmly. "It's being taken care of."

In a different part of the house, Aang could be heard yelling "Boo!" at the top of his lungs, followed immediately by a girlish shriek that was similar to Bumi's, presumably coming from Sokka. Shortly after that, a booming voice can be heard. Toph yelled over the antics, screaming "EVERYONE SHUT UP. IT'S TOO EARLY"

Tenzin and Aang met one another in the hallways of the house, hugging and laughing at the success of their prank.

Author's Note


I don't know why this has taken me close to a year to finish. It has taken far too long. It has been a mixture of life developments and lack of motivation that really caused the delay here, but now that the end is so close... have to finish it.

I can imagine Tenzin being very close to Aang, but it's hard to know exactly how he would respond to Aang's demise. It's such a dark subject, I don't know if he would just react angrily or just accept it, but I feel like I dabbled with a soft balance here.

I also feel that Pema didn't get enough love in Korra. People bashed her because Lin is awesome and she stole him, but I think she's sweet.

The prank at the end...revenge is sweet.

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