| Important Message!
The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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"Dad..." Seven year-old Tenzin sighed, his hand soaring loosely over the end of Appa's saddle as they flew through the clouds... "So, where are we going again?"
"It's a surprise Tenzin," Aang grinned, "But, trust me, you're going to like it.""That's what you said when we were in Republic City---and all we bought there was a couple of apples? Is this some sort of new training exercise?" Tenzin pondered.
"As soon as we get back to the island, you'll find out," he replied. "Loosen up kid, try to have a little fun---I don't know why you're so serious all the time Tenzin, you must get that from your mother's side of the family. Although---have you met your uncle? Nevermind....just relax son and enjoy the ride."
"I'm just saying right now, Dad, that if this is another lesson about marble-tricks---"
"Whoa now! That marble-game is an ancient Airbending tradition---" Aang laughed sternly, before pondering into the air with intrigue... "Plus, it is the best conversation starter---"
"When I tried to show Lin, she Metalbended them at my face!" Tenzin argued, "I had three dots on my forehead for two weeks!"
"Oh, that's just how the Beifong girls show affection---honestly, you should see what Toph has done to me."
Appa landed in the grove near the waterfall and the two Airbenders soared to the ground, a single red apple in hand. Aang tossed it to his son and instructed Tenzin to follow him through the bushes, where they walked right into the Sky Bison grove where dozens of Bison were playing and flying around through the air.
"The Bison Stable?" Tenzin wondered, "What sort of training is at the Bison Stable?"
"I told you it's not a training exercise---more like a---bonding exercise. You have your apple...now go out there..." Aang smirked proudly.
"Alright Dad..." Tenzin shrugged unsurely... "If you say so..." He took the apple in his small hand and started timidly, tip-toeing into the field where the bison all paused to stare at him. He stopped cold in his tracks and looked back at his father, but Aang pointed him further, laughing in the distance... "Go on son!"
Tenzin took a few more steps before Appa's roars erupted from above and he landed near the Airbender, nearly blowing him off his feet in the process. Following close behind him were three mini Sky-Bison all growling happily as they landed near their father. Tenzin gasped in a huge, excited smile and shot back to look at his dad, before Aang called out at him, "Choose wisely son, a Sky Bison is a companion for life! Isn't that right buddy!?"
Appa roared back at him lightly, and watched as his three bison babies started eagerly exploring the stable area. They were all new to this place and curious to learn more about it---all except for one...a shaggy little bison unlike the rest of his family? He was merely waiting for someone to tell him what to do next, and he seemed lost and patient, rather than rambunctious and hasty like his brother and sister.Tenzin gulped and started towards the bison with the apple held out in his somewhat shaky hand. In the same timid fashion, Appa's calf approached Tenzin and sniffed his hand for a long moment before licking away the fruit in one swift motion. After that, Tenzin let out a tiny laugh of relief and the baby Bison tackled him to the ground, immediately showering his face in a flood of Bison kisses. Tenzin and the young Sky Bison had become friends instantaneously---and after laughing and rising back to his feet, Tenzin quickly noticed how he was covered from head to toe in saliva, and the young Airbender had only one thing to say about that...
THE UNITED FORCES
Princess Honora, at the age of sixteen, became the first ambassador to her people. As a strong Firebender, not to mention a secret whiz in the art of knife-throwing like her late mother, Honora proved to be a strong, dedicated leader and in a few more years, she will become the first female Fire Lord to ever assume the throne. She has had many types of teachers and mentors over the years, whether it be her respected father, her unrestrained aunt, her gentle grandmother, or the wise guidance of her Uncle Iroh, Honora has always had someone there molding her into the perfect princess warrior. Though, the life could get a little dull, and that's where Bumi came in.
Bumi was fourteen now and he pleaded for a life of adventure like his sister Kya, who had been travelling the world for a little over two years. Often in secret, Bumi would sneak over to the Bison Stables where he took a random Sky Bison up to the Fire Nation Capitol to visit his partner in crime. It was true...Princess Honora and Bumi did a little bit of sneaking across the globe together... he did it for the thrill of adventure, while Honora tagged along to get out of being royalty for a while. They had wonderful, fool-proof cover stories to tell their parents too...Like Honora said she was baby-sitting for Ty Lee while they went away for the weekend, and Bumi said he was going to hang out with his cousins for a while. Foolproof right?"Yes!" Honora clapped as soon as the Bison was out of sight from the Fire Nation, "Where to this time Bumi?"
"I was thinking we trail around the Earth Kingdom coast and stop just before we hit Kyoshi Island, then we head back to the Fire Nation," He plotted to the map, "How long are you "babysitting" again?"
"I could only manage the weekend," she huffed, "My dad's starting to catch on to my little cover story, Bumi...he was asking me all sorts of questions like: why can't they hire a servant to babysit, or---you're a princess Honora, you don't need to baby-sit Ty Lee's kids...Rawr rawr..blah, blah, blah."
Bumi interrupted in a grin, "Then you told him how much you needed independence and practice with kids before going into some emotional rampage that I don't ever want you to say out loud again! Ever!"
"Don't be such a baby..." she teased, "What about you...your dad notice the missing sky Bison/ son routine?"
"Nah, he's busy training Tenzin---and my mom is just so easy to trick...I have so many cousins, she never knows who to call..." Bumi pouted, "Although, there was that one time Tenzin caught me sneaking out and I had to bring him along, you remember?"
"Oh yeah," she chuckled, "Our trip to the Kolau Mountians---aw, he was adorable..."
"He's my little brother," Bumi huffed, "What am I going to do? It was either bring him with us or get ratted out by Tattletale Tenzin, the favorite child."
"Surely you don't mean that?" Honora frowned.
"Nah, not really..." Bumi waved, "But Tenzin does get a little extra attention because he's the Airbender of the family now... Don't get me wrong, Honora, I love that little baldy, but sometimes---it's nice to get a little attention for myself now and again."
"Do you ever feel out of place at home?" Honora eased, "Being the only non-bender in the family?"
Bumi's smile faded for a moment before he explained, "It used to bug me a little as a kid, but I make up for it now by making my inventions and having my spectacular personality."
She punched him in the shoulder lightly and argued, "Seriously! I mean, my aunt was a total wreck without her bending---she still complains about it---a lot! I can't imagine not being able to Firebend, even if I am a whiz at knife-throwing, sword fighting, hand to hand combat---"
"Easy braggy, I think that crown is getting a little small for your head..." Bumi teased, "But---no...my uncle taught me how to use my head and my sword for any problem I have. So, what I can't do in bending, I make up for in other ways. I barely care anymore that I'm the normal one in the family."
"You!?" Honora laughed, "Normal? Bumi, you are the weirdest, craziest, wildest man I have ever met! You are anything but normal my friend---No doubt!"
"This, coming from the Princess of Politics!?" he chuckled heartily, "What are this year's crime rates on Kangaroo Island---I mean, you are so full of the weirdest information, it's practically laughable!"
With a playful snort, Honora stated, "Alright smarty-pants, land this Sky Bison at once, and we can settle this war of words like real men!"
"Yes sir..." Bumi cackled, as he dove towards the coast of the Earth Kingdom.
As they landed, Honora snickered and asked, "So, who is our travelling partner today?"
Bumi slid down the Bison and pet it on the nose, laughing... "Our lovely lady, Iio," she just got through raising a litter of youngun's and was just begging to get out of the cave for a while, isn't that right girl?"
She roared in reply before Bumi walked over to help the princess get down. He held a hand out to help Honora, but she only laughed at it and did a front flip right off of the flying creature's back, landing professionally on the ground before Bumi even had time to close his astonished mouth.
"Hey wild man," she flirted, "you're drooling all over your shoes."
Iio snorted out a chuckle and then went over to eat berries on a nearby bush that was surrounded in Butterflybirds.
It was true...Bumi had become infatuated with the young Princess, and they both were skilled swordsmen---she was pretty and she opened up to him about everything---the romance just gradually started blossoming over a lifetime of Bumi having a secret crush on the future Fire Queen. Still, he quickly shut his mouth and pulled out a sword, ready to battle."Might I offer the first strike to the lady?" he bowed playfully.
She curtsied and in a pompous voice, teased back, "How gracious...Though I should warn the gentleman, that if my father should see our battle, he would roast thee alive."
"Verily!" Bumi exclaimed in a similar mocking tone, "Thy father be nearly a fort-mile that way...no one can save thee now, Princess."
"Enough talk!" Honora smiled, her voice returning to normal in a split second, "Now we fight!"
The two clashed swords and laughed as they tested each other's skill. Often Honora and Bumi would create odd personas and battle it out, just because they could with no one around to stop them. Honora was trained to fight, yes, but Zuko never wanted her to be violent, rather calm and petite like a princess should be. Bumi had no one to train with unless Sokka or Koda came to visit, and often no one would challenge him with a real life sword either. It was nice for the two kids to just completely let loose and have this time to play and ease their stress in any way they could imagine---they were the best of friends and never once judged each other for anything the other did, no matter how outrageous.
"My Kingdom in mutton!" Bumi huffed, "Certainly is the foe gifted in swordplay!"
"Prithee good knight," Honora chuckled, "Tis hear I, a compliment of the great warrior."
"Uh..." he thought, trying to come up with more fake-words... "Yes? Thou hath surely vanquished me in broadsword...now I switch tactics to---SNEAK ATTACK!" He tripped her and stole her dagger while running to the other side of the beach before Honora grunted back to her feet and chased him down.
"Now you leave me no choice!" she laughed, "but to unleash my full fire on you peasant!"
"Oh no," Bumi hollered dramatically, "Not the Fire, anything but that, humble maiden!"
She laughed under her breath and at once started shooting fireballs at Bumi, who deflected them with his swords and continued acting out the role of a classy, old-time warrior.
Honora eventually had Bumi cornered and had one more hand of fire she planned to pretend throw at him. Bumi was trying his hardest not to laugh while acting his flail of despair before Honora went in for the "kill". She was about one step away when some heavy weapon wrapped around her ankles and tripped her sideways into the dirt.
"Honora?" Bumi blinked suddenly, before a huge mob of Earth Kingdom men came springing through the woods with their weapons aimed at the princess.
"Get out of here boy," one called.
Another hissed, "We'll handle the Firebender!"
"Whoa! Whoa!" Bumi shouted, blocking them off from Honora while she singed the trap on her ankles away. Bumi held his hands high in the air and yelled to them, "We weren't really fighting guys...it as just a little role playing. This is a complete misunderstanding..."
"Right," Honora gruffed, "There's no need for an army...it was only pretend."
"You think we're idiots?" another soldier stated... "We don't care what sort of game this is...all that matters is we get rid of one less Firebender today."
"What?" Honora jumped.Bumi added, "You aren't at war with Firebenders anymore...what cave did you guys crawl out from?"
The big warrior shoved Bumi aside and shot a boulder at the Princess, who dodged it quickly and readied her knives for battle.
"What's your problem!?" she scoffed.
"You Firebenders are the problem---but we intend to snuff you out real soon."
"Wait! You can't touch her!" Bumi hollered, readying his weapon, "She's the princess!"
"Even better!" an Earthbender snarled before shooting another rock.
Bumi slapped it away with his sword and in an instant, the two found themselves battling an entire army of fire-hating Earthbenders.
The two bowed before the Fire Lord in tattered clothes as a tattle telling servant finally released her grip on their ears.
"Thank you Jing," Zuko waved, "Hold my other appointments please, I need to have a talk with my daughter and her friend!" The fire at Zuko's throne flashed once when Bumi heard the word friend and he gulped as the servant fled the room.
"No!" Zuko halted, standing quickly to face his daughter, "I don't want to hear anymore lies from you young lady. I received a call from Ty Lee the other day and she was wondering if I could send someone over to watch the house while her family vacationed on Ember Island. You can imagine my surprise when she said you had never once watched over her children---and she had no idea where you'd run off to."Honora lowered her head and all of the sudden a bright burst of flames echoed the room as the Fire Lord turned to Bumi, "And you...I expect more from the Avatar's son, Bumi! A servant catches the two of you sneaking in, looking like you were blown to pieces, what in the world were you two thinking!? What were you doing!?"
"Sir," Bumi eased shamefully, "Honora and I sometimes sneak off to explore the Earth Kingdom...and sometimes, we have these epic fights with swords and knives---and things..." he eased as Zuko glared down at him even harder than before, "You see...we were playing a few miles from the Senlin Village, when an army got the drop on us and ambushed us---"
"They tried to kill us just because I was a Firebender, Father," Honora added, timidly, drawing some blame off of her friend by lying, "Bumi saved me..."
In reality, Honora blocked their path in a wall of fire until they could escape on the Sky Bison---but Bumi needed help with the Fire Lord, so she tried to ease some of the blame.
"An army..." Zuko wondered... "What sort of an army?"
Bumi took the opportunity to show off some of his warfare skills by answering, "There were well over fifty men sir...and they were simply a reconnaissance squad---their whole army might be much larger."
"And no doubt they are not acting alone---I'm sure hundreds of people all around the world are still angry at the Fire Nation..." Honora continued, "We think everything is okay, but outside these palace walls, Ba Sing Se, and the United Republic, the rest of the world isn't at peace, they're madder than ever!"
"This is just as I feared," the Fire Lord murmured, "I was hoping I'd never have to use this, but it seems it is time to bring the United Forces into the light."
"The United Forces?" Bumi wondered.
"They were a military group designed after the war came to an end...long before either of you were born. Aang and I have kept them a secret from most of the world, but now that there are armies brewing across the seas, it is time to activate them on a global scale."
"You had an army?" Honora pondered in shock... "All this time---a whole army!?"
"It is not solely mine, Honora," her father replied... "It is a secret militia within the Fire Nation that consists of, not only Firebenders, but all benders and non-benders throughout the world who wish to protect their way of life and prevent another hundred year war."
"That is the coolest thing I've ever heard!!! Uh, your Fire Lord-ness..." Bumi saved... "Where do I sign up!?"
"Oh no..." Zuko chuckled, "You two are still in a load of trouble! Plus, you're too young to join the army Bumi...but don't worry because after your parents learn about what you and my daughter have been doing, I'm sure you will be well old enough to join the United Forces as soon as your no longer grounded."Bumi sank and Honora patted his back as Zuko ordered a servant to fetch him a phone and he started talking to someone on Air Temple Island. Honora's father turned his back for a moment, to talk to one of Bumi's parents, when Honora snuck Bumi a quick kiss and whispered, "Thanks for trying to save me anyway...honorable peasant..."
He blushed and tugged at his shirt collar before replying, "The honor is mine fair maiden..."
"---And Katara..." Zuko's voice interrupted. His back was still turned, but to nobody's surprise, he added... "Ground this boy a little while longer for kissing my daughter just now."
And so ends Bumi's life as he knew it, as he sank back into the floor in utter humiliation. Although...the kiss made him smile----well, a little...
- This is the first time we've seen Tenzin since he was a baby. It seems he's grown into a rather serious young boy...
- Aang constantly uses Airbending to impress people with his marble skills...this is one thing that drives Tenzin crazy.
- The events of this year are a joyful memory Aang once experienced in the flashback from the ATLA episode "Appa's Lost Days".
- Oogi is the youngest of Appa's three bison babies---he gets his name from the adjective Sokka uses to express complete-uncomfortable gross-ness, "Oogie" otherwise known as '' The Oogies".
- Let it be known that Bumi has had a crush on Princess Honora for most of his young life.
- The way Bumi takes the Fire Nation Princess to see the world is similar to what Aladdin did to Princess Jasmine in the (1992) Disney Film Aladdin.
- Iio the sky bison was named after Sister Iio, the Airbender Nun who was the Mother Superior of the other nuns and prime care-taker for the Sky Bison at the Eastern Air Temple. It is rumored that she is Oogi's mother.
- Bumi and Honora have over-active imaginations and are both excellent sword fighters.
- Note: there are many armies throughout the world, who do not approve of the new world peace, and want it gone.
- For the record, Zuko is a very terrifying Fire Lord, and a severely strict father figure. He could strike fear into any young man that tried to date his daughter.
- Even though he is a reckless, rowdy, and all around wild spirit---Bumi loves to protect the people he cares about bending or no bending...so an army that will let him do such just seemed too good to be true.
- Alas, Bumi is not old enough to join a formal military...You must be at least eighteen years old to be in the army.
- Attention: when you are in trouble with the Fire Lord, and when he is on the phone to your mother because he caught you sneaking all over the world on a stolen sky bison---it is NEVER a good idea to kiss his daughter behind said Fire Lord's back!
For the collective works of the author, go here.