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January 12, 2013
This is the thirteenth chapter of the series,.
Two weeks later
A large crowd of friends, family, and grateful citizens are gathered for a very sad occasion; the funeral of Avatar Korra. Korra's mother and father are seated up front with Tahno, Nilak and Sakari holding onto him. Behind them, Tao, as well as Tahno's other siblings have journeyed from their home to be in attendance. The service gets under way as no small number of people take the stage to speak on how the Avatar has helped the city, among theme; her former teacher, Tenzin, Lin Beifong, and Mako. After many of them have taken the stage, Tahno moves to the stage, leaving the children with his in-laws.
He stands at the podium and looks over the large crowd. "I...uh." he stutters over his words, trying to force them out over his grief as he rubs his eyes. "Korra was a very unique woman, and I'm truly fortunate to have met her. When I lost my bending, I felt like the world had deserted me, but Korra gave me and a lot of other people hope. She showed compassion to someone like me, who if any of you knew before the incident know I didn't deserve it. I remember when I first met her, she wanted nothing more than to knock my teeth out. I guess I caught her attention after a while, because she sure caught mine. I am truly grateful to her for loving me, for bringing our two children into this world, and I am truly grateful to her parents for giving all of us the opportunity to know her. And I'd like to thank all of you for supporting us in this difficult time." before he can go any further, tears fill his eyes and he excuses himself from the stage. The service concludes about an hour later as the coffin is lowered into the ground, Korra's parents standing with Tahno and the children as the earth-benders cover it over.
Afterward everyone is invited to the Sato mansion for refreshments and association. "Tahno." the water-bender turns to see Hasook approach him and the two shake hand. "I just stopped by to deliver my deepest condolences and thank you again. If it hadn't been for you and Korra, a lot of people would have died that night."
"Thank you, that means a lot to us."
"If you ever need anything just let me know what I can do." he says excusing himself as he exits as swiftly as he entered. Tahno's attention then turns to Tenzin and his family, joined by Shaozu. "Tahno, how are you and the children?" Tenzin asks
"Alright I guess. It's just I never thought for a moment I'd be the one here. I mean she was the Avatar and me, I'm just some swamp hick who made it big in the city."
"I know it will be hard the next few months, but we all know you'll get them through this." Pema says as Tahno turns to see Sakari and Nilak with their grandparents.
"You've never let any of us down before pal. After all it was your leadership that made us eight time champs. We know you'll make the right call and so did she." Shaozu says confidently to his former team captain.
"Yeah, don't forget we're here for you." Ming says as he and Sasame walk over. They are joined by Mako, Bolin, and Asami.
"Korra was one the greatest people I've ever met, and after all the things she did for this city and us you can bet we'll do whatever we can to repay her." Mako says.
"That goes double for me." Bolin says.
"Thank you, everyone for all you've done." he looks back to his children to see Sakari impressing Tao and her other relatives with her water-bending skills by bending the punch on the refreshment table around. Shaozu stops and looks down to the cup in his hand as he spits out his drink, causing everyone else to laugh.
That night Tahno sits on the couch in his living room, in his hand he holds the necklace he made for Korra. He reaches over to the end table and grabs a picture of the family taken only a few months ago. He wipes the tears from his eyes and gets up. He walks up the stairs to check on the children, walking passed the door where Senna and Tonraq are staying in. He opens the door to see the two sleeping. Walking in, he quietly walks over to Nilak's bed and gently rubs his head. He looks over to see his daughter wide awake. "Hey, what are you still doing up little lady?"
"I miss mommy." she says with tears coming down her face. He walks over to the bed and picks her up, holding her close to him. "I know baby, so do I."
One week later
Tahno stands at the dock as he sees his in-laws off to the South Pole, Sakari with them, dressed for the weather with her bags. Naga, Korra's companion, is also with them. He leans down to her level, "Now you be good for grandma and grandpa okay?"
"Aren't you coming daddy?"
"No, daddy's going to stay here with Nilak to make sure he doesn't get into trouble. And someone needs to take care of Gigi. You go and have a good time. And remember to practice your water-bending every day like you promised. Understand?" he says, placing Korra' necklace on her as she nods. She then runs to Senna as the two board the boat, Naga following them. "Thank you so much for taking her. Her water-bending master should meet you in a few months." he says to Tonraq as the group says their good byes.
"Is this really what you want?" Hasook asks him as they watch the ship depart.
"I just want to make sure she gets the best start possible. Nilak..." he turns to see his son standing next to Asami and Mako. "I have high hopes for him too, even if he's not a water-bender. For now I just want to make sure she's in good hands."
"She is, I assure you. The United Forces Bender Recruitment Program will see that she receives the best training possible. And I'll be watching over her every step of the way." Tahno thanks him as he takes his leave.
"Ready to go?" Mako asks as Asami and Nilak wait in the car.
"Yeah, let's go." Tahno says in a somber mood. As they arrive at the Sato estate, Asami takes Nilak inside as he happily runs around the large house. Mako and Tahno open the trunk of the car and grab Nilak's suit cases filled with toys, clothes, and just about everything he needs to feel at home. "I know Asami will take good care of him, but are you sure you want him to stay here and not with you?" Mako asks
"He'll be better off here than with me. I'm a mess right now and he's always had a good connection with Asami."
"Take care of yourself Wolf-bat." Mako says as the two shake hands.
That evening Tahno arrives back home with a bag of food in his hand. He reaches inside and throws a large chunk of meat into the small pond in front of his house causing Gigi, the cat-gator to emerge, consuming the food. She then crawls out and follows the water-bender inside. He falls on the couch as the creature rubs up against him. He puts his hand on her head and looks over at the picture of his family, hoping to himself that he's done the right thing.
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