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The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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PUBLIC ENEMY #1 Edit
Yakone grows relentless and Toph's attempts to apprehend his schemes seem all but hopeless. He always manages to find a way out of the charges against him. Witness upon witness accused him of his bloodbending attacks ---also of his crime lord activities, but none of it ever seemed to matter because he was always set free. Chief Beifong was starting to get rather annoyed at both the Council and at herself for not being able to apprehend Yakone---and if Toph had to see his smug grin walk out of that courtroom a free man again...she was going to lose it! However, in lighter news, Toph was excited to discover at the age of three and a half, her daughter Lin started showing impressive skills in Earthbending. Then Tenzin, who had just celebrated his fourth birthday, proved to be a young, baby Airbender, much to his parents' delight. He became the first Airbender born in over One-Hundred and Twenty years!
BEING A NONBENDER Edit
Aang was walking around the island with his wife, taking a peaceful stroll on a quiet evening, when the heart-breaking sound of a child’s crying sounded and the parents stopped and listened closer until they realized there was a sad little boy on the other side of the bush about three feet away. Katara and Aang inched closer, thinking maybe it was one of the acolyte’s kids at first, but as they stepped nearer, they recognized the voice and frowned instantly when they had to confront him.
“Bumi?” Aang wondered.
Their young son sniffed abruptly and jumped back in shock; spark rocks flew out of his pocket and he had his tiny hand clutched under his arm.
“Bumi, baby what’s the matter?” Katara worried, “Why are you holding your hand like that?” She yanked his arm away and saw scorch marks in his hand and Katara exclaimed a series of shocked words before using some water to heal his burns, scolding, “Bumi! What on earth were you thinking!?”
Aang just stood there with large, concerned eyes, watching until the hateful effect of the fire vanished and as soon as his son was healed, Aang let out a sigh of relief, before he to crouched to the grass and took his son by the shoulders, yelling, “We’ve warned you all about playing with fire---Bumi---what were you doing!?”
Sobbing, the ten year old tried to explain himself, but his words were incoherent; eventually he just tore away from his parents and shouted, “WHY CAN’T I BEND ANYTHING!?” and then he turned and ran into the forest disappearing in haste.
Katara and Aang exchanged a look and stood back to their feet with concerned sighs.
“We knew one day he would ask—“ Katara teared.
“I should try and talk with him…” Aang sighed.
“I don’t think he wants to talk with either one of us…” Katara admitted, “Now that Tenzin is an Airbender, Bumi feels completely left out of the family---” she grabbed the Spark rocks and shoved them in her husband’s face, “He’s been trying to bend any element he can find!”
“I think I know how to fix this honey…” Aang pondered, blowing on his bison whistle for Appa, “Try to keep Bumi from hurting himself again---I’ll be back in ten minutes.”
“Where are you going!?” she called after him.
Appa soared into the sky and Aang called, “I know what I’m doing, don’t worry!”
Bumi was huddled high up on a branch of a tree sniffing quietly as he thought about his family. His mother and sister were Waterbenders, his baby brother was now an Airbender, and his father was the flipping Avatar---but then there was Bumi---the nonbender in this family of the strongest people in the world. The poor little boy thought that he was simply nothing special at all. Little Bumi climbed down and stepped towards the lake. He stuck his hand in the water and tossed it across the side, screaming, “Bend, stupid, bend!” He stomped and jumped around in a circle on the grass and yelled to the dirt, “Why won’t you budge you stupid rocks!?” Bumi looked to his newly healed hand and shoved it into his pockets… “No water, no earth, no fire…I can’t even Airbend…why can everyone else do all these amazing things, and I can’t? WHY!?”
“Ahem!” a man’s voice coughed.
Bumi gasped and turned around to see his Uncle Sokka a few feet away, with a small smile on his face and his arms folded in front of his chest.
“What’re you doing here?” little Bumi gruffed.
“Your mom and dad are real worried about you sport,” Sokka grinned.
“Why?” he sniffled, “Because I can’t bend anything? Because I shouldn’t even be here? I’m gonna run away Uncle---I’m---I’m gonna run and live somewhere with some nonbenders and let everyone here be all cool and talented benders!”
Sokka chuckled and sat back on the grass by the lake to look his nephew in the eyes. Sokka poked Bumi in the chest and when Bumi looked down, Sokka flicked his nose in a teasing manor that made Bumi chuckle before he realized he was still upset and sat back defiantly with a gruff frown.
“Look Bumi, I know exactly what you’re going through…”
“Nuh uh,” Bumi scoffed, “You’re just saying that cause Mom and Dad told you to!”
“Really!” he laughed, “I swear as a councilman that I get what you’re going through… You feel useless because you’re surrounded by these amazing benders and you feel like there’s nothing you can ever do to be equals with them. Stop me if I’m getting close.” Bumi pouted and wiped his nose once with a sniff and Sokka continued, “You want to know what I did when I started to feel like that?”
“What?” he snorted.
Sokka reached behind him and pulled a small sword out of his pack before handing it carefully over to his nephew.
“Whoa!” Bumi admired… “What’s this for!?”
“When I was feeling left out from my friends---your mom and dad, Chief Beifong, even the Fire Lord---I learned swordsmanship from Master Piandao--- I became a great swordsman and since then I’ve taught all of your cousins how to fight and train without the need of bending.”
“Right… You and Aunt Suki aren’t benders---neither is Grandpa---and um…Uncle Ohev wasn’t a bender… Honora’s Aunt and her mom--- all the Kyoshi Warriors---and the Blue Spirit!” Bumi called off, “None of those guys can bend and you were all awesome during the war!”
“Except for Azula,” Sokka mumbled, “but, yeah, you get the point. Bumi, I am going to teach you everything I know about weapons---Everything!”
“Really Uncle!?” Bumi cheered as his eyes widened with excitement.
“You bet champ!” he clapped, “And your parents have already okay’ed it. Once a week you and I are going to practice in the art of deadly warfare and nonbender awesomeness!”
“Alright!” he exclaimed.
“BUT----” Sokka stopped, “But, Bumi you have to promise that you’ll stop trying to force bending on yourself and that you won’t ever, EVER think that you’re not good enough to be in this family just because you can’t bend. Do you understand?”
“Well, Duh!” Bumi started cackling, “Who needs stupid bending when you’re about to be a completely kick-butt sword fighter!? I won’t let you down Uncle Sokka! Oh wow! I’m gonna go rub this in Kya’s face---I can’t believe that I am going to get to be a sword fighter! This is the best day EVER!”
Bumi charged away towards the house and Sokka stood with a chuckle as he admired young Bumi’s short-term depression and building enthusiasm.
“That was really nice of you to do this for Bumi, Sokka,” Aang said, coming out from hiding.
“Don’t sweat it, Aang,” Sokka waved, “I’m just helping the kid realize his full potential, and no offense pal, but you throw a boomerang about as well as Toph can write a ticket. The boy needs someone who can actually handle a manly tool of precision and skill!”
“Oh really?” Aang hummed, shooting Sokka in the air on a lift of earth.
“Hey!” Sokka groaned from the platform in the sky… “Aang! Get me down from here!”
With a teasing tone, Aang scoffed, “Why don’t you use your boomerang to get down, Councilman!?”
“Oh that’s REAL mature Aang!” Sokka complained, “You know very well that “Trusty” likes to get polished at Wang’s Weapon Shiners on Mondays! Now get me down!”
Aang laughed and waved, “Well, I’ll be sure to tell “Trusty” where to find you when he gets out of the beauty shop, Sokka.”
“AANG!!!” Sokka shouted hopelessly. The Avatar vanished to the point not even his chuckling could be heard, and Sokka looked over the ledge at the ground below before screeching at the top of his angry lungs, “Ugh! KATARA!!!”
TO HEAL MY FRIEND Edit
Tragically, a complication in the birth resulted in the loss of both Zuko's son and also Zuko's wife. Because of such great losses to the Fire Lord, he canceled the Reunion and did not allow the Avatar or his friends into the Fire Nation for many long months---not even to attend Mai and the baby's funeral. Honora was on a week-long visit to Ba Sing Se at the time, and after the tragic events took place, Zuko kept his daughter in the city to live with Uncle Iroh for the remainder of his depression---it is unknown if she even knows about her mother's death? Meanwhile, Aang tried desperately to get through to Zuko, but he was being uncompromising, half of him was in tortured pain, but the other half was envious that Aang got to keep his wife and family, while he had to sit by and lose his own---the sheer sadness of it all was driving Zuko into madness. Toph could relate to his feeling, she nearly broke through to the palace to smack some sense into Zuko herself, but eventually the gang had no other choice but to leave the Fire Lord to mourn. The team believed Zuko would never recover from this loss---that is, until Aang managed to use his spiritual powers of connection in one, three-week attempt to track down the one soul person who could devise a secret plot to heal his friend...Aang was going to reunite Zuko with his mother after a thirty year separation. Now, Zuko had been searching for his mother for years! There was a search that came very close to her whereabouts that Azula led back at the beginning of Zuko's reign as Fire Lord, but it turns out her intel was outdated---half of it was just an attempt to break free of her prison. After Azula's coo, the gang quickly figured out that Ursa had left no more clues for them to follow. The Fire Lord did not give up hope, and not soon after that, Zuko had heard leads from the team of professionals he sent to find her---only leads, they never found any traces and were soon disbanded. Not even June and Nyla were able to find her, they claim she has been changing and masking her scent---she had no smell for the Shirshu to follow---Ursa was simply impossible to track down. That's when Aang knew where he could connect the spiritual trail... Ursa was Roku's granddaughter, if anybody could find her, it was him---and luckily, the Summer Solstice was just a day away.
Roku refused to speak with Aang physically, but in spirit, he did show Aang the right path to follow. This was a slightly more difficult way to track Ursa down, but after severing his relationship with Roku, this was the best Aang could hope for. Ultimately, it took three weeks to find her hiding place, but when he was there, Aang found Ursa in the flesh, and approached her cautiously.
"Excuse me, Ursa? Ursa of the Fire Nation?" Aang asked. He had considered brainwashing, Lion turtles, being trapped in the Spirit World---all possibilities in order to find her, when it turns out, Zuko's mother was hiding out in *CLASSIFIED INFO* with only *CLASSIFIED INFO* and also *CLASSIFIED INFO*
She ignored him and continued what she was doing, "I'm sorry, you must have me confused for someone else? There is no woman here by such a name."
"Let me explain. I am the Avatar, and I know a person when I have been looking for them for a month straight. You're her, you're Ursa."
She barely turned her head, drawing a breath in shock, before she saw a glimpse the Airbender behind her, and at first sight, she threw hot embers towards Aang's eyes and took off in a hasty retreat.
"No, wait!" Aang yelled, blocking the fire, "Please, I need to talk to you!"
She ran her hardest, blocking her path behind her, when she turned round right into the speedy Avatar.
“Leave me alone!” she growled, preparing to fight her way free.
“Please you have to help us Ursa, it’s about Zuko!” he pleaded calmly.
At the sound of her son’s name she dropped her guard and her expression melted away into pure worry. Her voice sounded dry all of the sudden and her skin went pale, her golden eyes shook desperately at Aang before she replied, “Zuko? W-what is the matter with my son?”
“It’s a long story----please, is there somewhere we can talk?”
After a minute of harsh consideration, Ursa led him to a tiny cottage nearby and locked the door behind them. “This home was said to have been abandoned years ago after the Fire Nation---well, you know..." She closed the curtains and told Aang, "We’ll be safe here to talk. Though, I must warn you Airbender, it is not safe to mention my name in the world---with the war---”
“The war has been over for over twenty years!” Aang interrupted, “Why have you not returned to the Fire Nation? Zuko, your son, is the Fire Lord…your husband Ozai---he passed away just last year, and the world is at peace, why haven’t you gone back!?”
“I know very well that the war has been over!” she snapped in a motherly tone, “News may travel slowly around here, but it does find its way... I know Ozai is gone, that is the only way he would ever let Zuko become the Fire Lord, I also know Azula was placed in a mental hospital after the comet came, and I know Zuko has been keeping peace in the world with you---”
Aang’s face was stern, and he looked to Ursa and said in a soft, yet striking tone, “Did you know his wife died?”
Ursa’s face loosened and her mouth dropped. A hand slowly clasped over her lips and her eyebrows arched, holding back tears, she replied… “I did not. I only ever heard of their wedding---nothing more... H-how did this happen? ”
“Mai died----during the birth of their son---her and the baby both…” he frowned.
Ursa’s tears flowed silently over her fingers and onto the floor. Aang stood up and stepped closer, a hand given to comfort her and then another waving towards the world in need of an explanation… “You’ve been running, hiding, travelling all over the world…Zuko has been looking for you for years! How is it that you let him be alone all this time?”
“He had his uncle,” she cried with a slight smile, “Iroh was the best thing that ever happened to our family, his love for Zuko---I knew he would be in good hands. You are the Avatar, you are the reincarnated form of my grandfather Roku---I shouldn’t have to explain myself to you. I did what I had to to protect my son---his father----no...Ozai, he was going to kill him as punishment for his own speaking out against Azulon! He already thought Zuko was a disgrace anyway-----and he was going to do this with no remorse; but, Azula found out and she told me when I was scolding her for scaring Zuko.
I travelled to the deepest caverns of the Dragon Catacombs where I searched all night for a loophole---when I found one… You see, the throne will be given to the firstborn son of the Fire Lord, and if he should die, or become unable to fulfill the position, or if he should be absent in time of great need to the palace...the title would be passed down the line to the most suitable successor...” She gave Aang a half smile and then frowned with shame to continue her story, “I devised a plan with my husband…I sent a fake letter to Azulon, that told of his poor son Iroh who planned out his own demise on the journey back to the Fire Nation. With Iroh gone, the throne would have to be given over to Ozai. Dear Azulon's old heart could not bear anymore sad news---and in by the end of the night he was practically begging me to end this pain of his, so I had to ease him of his suffering before he learned the treachery of my letter was false. As soon as he was gone, Ozai would be Fire Lord long before Iroh could return, and being the greedy brother he is, Ozai would never step down from his rule; and, sweet Iroh would not challenge him for it either...there was only one thing standing in the way of this plan working all the way through, and it was Azulon...so-----I ended him.”
Aang’s eyes shot open and he backed away, “You killed him?”
“To protect Zuko, I had no choice,” she sighed, “Ozai and I were the only ones who would ever know, but that wasn’t enough---I had to leave to avert all suspicion from Ozai. The blame would fall to me and the Fire Nation would kill me for this unspeakable treason. They wouldn’t tell a soul why----in order to protect the image of the Royal Family, but in secret I was public enemy number one. So I said my farewells, I left my home behind, Zuko would remain safe, and Ozai would be the new Fire Lord---it was all perfect...” She spat that last word out coldly and scoffed, turning her back on Aang.
He retaliated, "Do you know that just three years after you left, Ozai challenged Zuko to an Agni Kai duel? He scarred and banished your son, never to return until he captured the Avatar---he tried to kill us multiple times---that isn’t safe, Ursa…”
She looked into the corner, “You don’t know how many times I’d tried to go back---even if it was just for my children---Azula would never leave her father, but Zuko---we could have gone away together. Of course, Ozai refused---after all I did for him, all I’ve sacrificed, he told me that if I ever returned my morals would get the better of me and I would confess, ruin his title. As leverage he threatened Zuko’s life---but in honor of the love we once had, he spared mine. I could never go back. The one time I did----” her voice broke, “he hurt my baby and blamed it on a war meeting!”
“But, Ozai was defeated, imprisoned, and he died behind bars---Zuko needs you Ursa, he wanted you back in his life for so many years, but right now---he needs you. Zuko is spiraling and I don’t know how much longer he’s going to make it. Either you go back to him, or there won’t be any son for you to protect anymore."
"Avatar," Ursa sighed guiltily, "After all that I've done---all that I didn't do...do you think Zuko really cares to see me?"
"I know he does, he still loves you. But...if you love Zuko at all, you will do everything you possibly can to help him now, when he needs you most of all...you're his only hope. Come back to the Fire Nation with me. Together, we can heal Zuko and get his life back on track before it's too late.”
"No..." Ursa shook her head, "I'm his mother. I will fix him, Avatar Aang. You just get me through the Palace Walls, and I'll deal with Zuko on my own."
Poor Zuko was a wreck, the servants fled in sight of him, the palace remained dark and cold; he would march through the halls just itching to take out his frustration on someone, and his eyes were dark from the lack of sleep. He was unstable. This was the routine…he was stomping down the corridor as usual, when one day, Zuko turned around to see a woman in a black hood, standing in the doorway.“WHO’S THERE!?” he roared, fists flaming daggers and ready to strike.
She started stepping closer, and Zuko bellowed, “I SAID WHO’S THERE!? HALT AND BOW BEFORE YOUR FIRE LORD! HOW DARE YOU APPROACH ME THIS WAY! THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!”
The woman kept coming closer, so Zuko shot the knives of fire right at her; however, with a gentle wave of her hand, the flames desecrated into the air, leaving Zuko silent and in shock. “Who are you?” Zuko asked again.
“Zuko,” she said softly, removing the hood as soon as she was standing right in front of him; her hand was held out gently to brush his cheek, but he dodged her and stepped away.
“Mother?” he gasped, jumping as far away from her as he could get, “This is just another one of my mind’s tricks---it has to be…it always is...” you aren't real...
“I am real, my son---but this tyrant that you have become is not. My Zuko, you have forgotten who you are…you are more than this destruction and despair---you are a good, gentle man who never gives up fighting---and you can never allow yourself to become this man that you have always been fighting to keep away.”
He looked away and shut his eyes tightly, trying to keep her voice out of his head, and as her words kept coming, Zuko grew all the more frustrated.
“Zuko...” Ursa stressed defiantly, as she gently pulled his face back to see her, “I’m here for you now son, I know I have a lot to explain to you---but right now your friend, the Avatar, is worried for your health---you’re spiraling into darkness just like your sister, but Zuko, I’m not going to let that happen, I love you Zuko----more than anything else in the world---and I promise you with all of my soul that I will never, ever leave you again for as long as I live!”
“Mom?” Zuko teared, falling right into her embrace; Ursa comforted him and helped him cope with all of the misfortune that has happened around him.
Aang watched their reunion in secret from the other side of the palace columns---his plan had worked wonders, and now Zuko could begin the harsh process of healing over this intense misfortune on his life.
With the help of Ursa, she gradually healed her son of his aching heart and scarred mind, aiding him to become the kind ruler he once was instead of this tyrant that he had become.
Now, Zuko was never the same after losing Mai, but now he wasn't completely unstable either. Ursa explained her story, why she had to leave, how she knew the things she did, and where she was hiding out all this time---Zuko explained his own story and all of its twists and turns---he calmed down and fixed his relationship with both his mother and also the entire palace. The Fire Lord gave his mother a full pardon for her past crimes and convinced the kingdom to forgive her as well---no one dared argue with Zuko after recovering from his dark depression and after they saw how much she was helping their ruler cope, no one had any problem with pardoning Ursa for her brave deeds of misfortune. Why, Ursa even convinced Zuko to send Iroh, Honora, and Azula home where she would take charge of her daughter's actions from now on and watch over her----but mostly, she would be watching out for her son, and this time she would be there in person whenever Zuko needed her, she would always be there for him from now on and forever.
A little while later, Zuko opened his doors to all of his friends again; they were finally able to comfort him, and Toph was very sincere throughout the visit because she could relate with Zuko's feelings about his loss. Later on, Zuko introduced them all to his long lost mother, and even requested he and Aang have a private word out on the balcony. The men stepped outside to see the sun setting over a glorious range of mountains leading to the harbor. Aang recognized the view, and was a little surprised that it was the same after all these years...
"Aang," Zuko said, breaking off his trail of thought, "I just wanted to thank you for what you did---my mother told me that you spent over a month straight just to find her---just so she would come talk to me."
"What are friends for?" Aang replied in a smile, "I made a promise that I would always keep you the Zuko I knew---my firebending master, who occasionally tried to hunt me down and burn me to a crisp..."
The two of them chuckled, as Zuko lead Aang back inside with the others... "We better head back before everyone notices we're gone."
"You go ahead, I'll catch up with you," Aang grinned sincerely; catching the hint, Zuko turned with a sigh of relief and disappeared into the palace.
As soon as Zuko was gone, Aang's smile turned into a concerned frown. Yes, everything was all well and good, but what Aang didn't tell Zuko, was that the power it took on his part in order to locate Ursa was so strong...that same thing happened from the day he took away Azula's bending---that weakness in him came again and felt as though it was draining Aang of all his energy. Now, Aang wasn't sure, but it seemed like the more he used the Avatar State recently...the more and more drained he became. He wasn't sure what to think of this, and no doubt he would talk to Roku about it soon...if he could even do that because it seems even just connecting with his past lives made him weaker nowadays. Either way, Aang knew he had to refrain from using his full-power for as long as he could, or else it may just end up stopping his life, instead of saving it.
Fanon Trivia Edit
- By now, Yakone's trails are turning into annoying, pointless attempts at an arrest from the Chief---mostly because Yakone has an excellent lawyer.
- Bending abilities often appear during a child's early stages of life.
- This is the first time Bumi has really taken notice that he is the only nonbender in his family.
- Sokka went through a similar depression in the ATLA episode: "Sokka's Master".
- This is the first time we really see the “Uncle connection” between Sokka and one of his nephews.
- After knowing that he would become a master with swords, Bumi regained his light and crazy, young attitude and never again worried about being a normal kid in his house---because in all honesty, Bumi was far more than normal and now he knows it too.
- It seems Sokka’s new Boomerang is now named “Trusty”.
- Aang admitted in a later year, that he tried to teach Bumi how to throw a boomerang once, and the outcome was not very successful.
- Complications while delivering a baby are very rare, but common in less advanced societies lacking modern medical care (or Waterbending Healers).
- Zuko has suffered more than any other ATLA character---it is understandable that he might have started losing his sanity.
- Some part of this year will be referenced again, much later in Year 51.
- Zuko was not the first character to lose the love of his life...Toph lost her husband just three years before in the Great Airship Tragedy of Republic City.
- The Avatar experiences great spiritual power on the Summer solstice.
- The reason Roku refuses to speak with Aang, is that he cut him off as a spiritual mentor after Roku urged Aang to end his own great-grandson's life. This happened in The Promise Part 3.
- Ursa's whereabouts are never truly explained or revealed (at this time).
- The story that Ursa tells Aang can be linked to flashbacks from the ATLA episodes: "The Day of Black Sun” and "Zuko Alone".
- Some of the modern-day news that Ursa’s village learned about, had been travelling for miles and years at a time before finally reaching them.
- The last time a member of the Royal Family was seen in the Dragon Bone Catacombs was Zuko in the ATLA episode: "The Avatar and the Fire Lord".
- It is strongly hinted that Ursa is a Firebender. (Spoiler Alert: this rumor will be answered later in the Fanon…)
- By the time things returned to normal, was the first time Honora had returned from her trip to see Uncle in Ba Sing Se…that was nearly a year ago and she still was unaware of why she was never allowed to come home…and she was also unaware of her mother’s fate.
- This is the first time photography is shown in the Fanon
- The Promise Aang made to Zuko can be referenced to The Promise Trilogy.
- This is the first time that Aang actually confess to himself that the health problems occurring are a result of using the Avatar State.
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