Yin's Homecoming
Chapter information

The Road that Never Ends





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Release date

October 15, 2011

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Shared Thoughts

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The Night that Finally Ended

Setting: Western Air Temple waters

Time: 1:00 PM

Heading: Western Air Temple

Mako napped under a blanket, snoring gently. Him, Lee, and Yin flew through the clear blue sky, the bright summer sun glowing with warmth. Lee smoked his shiny new pipe, eyes shut tightly, arms crossed. He still wasn't used to being airborne at all. In fact, it was a miracle he hadn't thrown up yet. Yin took this chance to survey him, inspecting every aspect as though he were a suspicious stranger, which is exactly what he had become to Yin.

He doesn't seem to be concealing any weapons, she thought, looking at Lee's sides expecting to see something out of place. His swords lay next to him, out in the open. I could take them, but that would make it obvious that I knew something.

"What are you staring at?" Lee asked with a raised voice, eyes still closed in fear.

"Nothing," Yin responded.

Lee became a little suspicious, but decided that Yin was just tired. "So why are we going to your Temple?" he asked, trying to make conversation during the boring flight.

"I need to talk to the Sisters. I don't think they know what we do."

"And what's that?"

Yin hesitated, not wanting to bring up the sore subject. "I think you know."

Lee thought for a moment and opened his eyes with an oblivious curiosity. "No. I don't."

"Well, if you're gonna be stupid about it... That the Fire Nation is using a bit more force than necessary to establish Colonies."

"But... Hasn't the Fire Nation always done that?"

You're not helping me side with you, Yin thought, eying Lee again. "No, they haven't. At least, not that I've heard of."

"Okay then, so what will talking to old lady monks do?"

"OLD LADY MONKS?!" Yin yelled, jumping to her feet. "How dare you disrespect the Air Nomads like that!"

"Okay, okay. Don't get your panties in a bunch. I was just wondering what they can help with."

"I'll tell you later. We're here."

Lin landed on the edge of a steep cliff at Yin's command. Lee climbed off the Bison and, after putting away his pipe, wrapped Mako around his back like he had at the beginning of his journey. "Where is 'here' exactly?" Lee asked, nearly falling over from dizziness. Again, Lee wasn't used to flying.

"The Western Air Temple. It's right down there." Yin pointed straight down the cliff. "You didn't see it when we came down?"

"I guess not, considering I had to ask. Why didn't we land down there instead of on this cliff?"

"Because I didn't want you coming with me." Yin grabbed her staff and knocked it against Lin's saddle. Next thing Lee knew, there were two wings coming out of each end. They were a dark yellow color with Airbender designs spiraling over them. "You wouldn't be comfortable down there anyway. All there are are a bunch of coming-of-age women. Not one man at all down there."

Lee yelled in protest, "Yes I would! I would definitely have fun meeting a bunch of girls!"

"Oh, I never said you wouldn't have fun," Yin replied, smiling evilly. "I just said you wouldn't be comfortable, seeing as you couldn't even talk to girls in wherever you're from."

"And who told you that?!"

"Who else?" With that, Yin grabbed the two sides of what Lee now saw was a glider, put it behind her back and jumped off of Lin, down into the abyss. "I've told Lin not to take you down, so don't bother trying!"

Once Yin was out of range, Lee pulled Mako off of his back and shook him awake. "What, what, what?" Mako asked, looking at his brother drowsily.

"Did you tell Yin... that I can't talk to girls?" Lee's voice was as stern as (but a little angrier than) a father's would be when scolding a child.

"Well... You know it's true! I remember that one time a year ago when you tried to ask Mi Shi out, but before you could you-"

"That never happened!" Lee screamed over Mako's words, wrestling him to the ground. "I could've been in a place where a lot of girls probably never even met a guy!"

As Lee and Mako continuously wrestled, Yin landed next to a fountain as a large number of Air Nomad females gathered to greet her. Many different questions and exclamations came from the excited crowd.


"Where were you?"

"That was a fast trip!"

Yin's original smile, which had been absent from her face for quite some time, became as prominent as it was before the Pohan fiasco. "I'm not back for long, though," she yelled over the cheers. "Where is Sister Rin?"

One of the many people, this one seemed to be a teenager, pushed her way to the front of the crowd and wrapped her arms around Yin. "Yin! We all missed you so much! Sister Rin is having one of her meditation sessions with the younger girls. Is that why you've returned? Just to see Sister Rin?"

"Min! I missed you, too! It's actually very important that I speak to Sister right away."

"Well, okay then, let's go!" The teenager took Yin's hand and pulled her as best she could out of the crowd and into one of the sprawling caves of the Western Air Temple. "She should be done soon."

After a few minutes running through the caves, the two Airbenders arrived at the end of one of the caves. In front of the passage to another room was a hard wooden door. Air Nomad symbols went all over it, and in the center was a strange circle.

"Would you do the honors?" Min asked, pointing at the door.

"Gladly." Yin put her hand about a foot away from the circle. She proceeded to push her hand strongly toward the door, air rushing into the circle. The air could be heard whooshing around inside the wood, making the door seem hollow. After a few seconds, the thick door creaked open. Yin shut the door quietly.

In the other room was an older Air Nomad woman, sitting on a purple pillow. Her legs were crossed, hands rested on her knees, eyes shut peacefully. In front of her were other, younger Air Nomads (all without tattoos), each mimicking Rin's form perfectly. The windows were covered with blinds, a low light shining through.

Knowing better than to interrupt an Air Nomad meditation session, Yin and Min went to the back of the room and began to meditate in harmony with the children. In a few minutes, eyes still closed, Rin asked calmly, "Why have you returned so quickly, Yin? You said you were going on a long, eventful journey. Did it not turn out well?"

"No, Sister Rin," Yin answered, eyes closed as well, "the journey is going fine. I wish to speak to you about certain things I've encountered along the way."

The room tensed. The children could not hide their sharp intakes of breath, and Rin took notice immediately. "Do not be nervous, children. Yin, is this a matter of utmost importance? Because, if not, I will have to ask you to wait until the lesson is over."

"It is more important than you could ever know." Yin's eyes opened, and Min could tell this was a talk that couldn't be heard by the children.

"Sister," Min asked tentatively, "would you ask the children to leave the room? Please?"

Rin's face was slightly irritated, but she granted Min's wish. "Fine." Rin's eyes opened, and all the children stood up. "I must ask you all to please forgive me, but this session must be cut short." Rin put her left arm up and blew air at the blinds, and light shone through the windows. "Go now."

As one of the children opened the door and the rest followed her as she shuffled out of the room, Yin and Min stood up and walked over to Rin (if only Lin were in that sentence). "Min," Rin asked politely, "would you mind leaving? I'm afraid this may be private."

"Yes, Sister Rin." Min seemed a little disappointed as she went through the door, but Yin promised herself that she would get around to telling Min about her misadventures eventually.

Rin walked to her pillow and sat back down on it cross-legged again. "Please, sit."

Yin sat down directly in front of Sister Rin and began her long conversation. "Sister... on the first day of my journey, I flew to a village by a large mountain. I was there for maybe an hour or two when... when Fire Nation soldiers invaded the village. I didn't see any warrant for their being there, and I think I'm right in saying there wasn't any."

Sister Rin pondered this for a moment. After a short minute Rin asked, "What did the soldiers do in the village?"

Yin cringed as she thought of the screams she heard as she flew away on Lin. The fire growing larger and larger. The crackling trees. The billowing, black smoke rising into the sky. "They... I think that they burnt it down... But I don't know!"

Rin raised her eyebrows. "You didn't help them?"

Yin dropped her head as she remembered her argument with Lee. His words were etched into her mind. "I didn't... I couldn't, I-"

"You, a great Airbending master, left those innocent people to-"

"That is not what I came here to discuss!" Yin exclaimed, standing abruptly.

"Do not lose your temper. It is not very appealing."

Yin sighed and sat back down. "My point is, the Fire Nation is using violence! Just to get their way! Did anyone ever hear of this before?"

"I know I haven't." Sister Rin shut her eyes again, thinking deeply.

"Well?" Yin asked after a minute of Sister Rin sitting there, not moving a muscle. "What should we do?"

As though there was only one possible answer in the whole world that could be used in this situation, Sister Rin replied "Nothing."

Yin's brows furrowed as she tried to comprehend Sister Rin's logic. "Nothing?" she said, "You want us to do nothing?"

"If it is not meant to be, than the Avatar will stop it."

"Stop what?" Yin already knew what Rin's answer would be.


Most people denied that bad times were ahead, but if there were people who could openly admit that they knew war was upon them, why didn't they speak up? "Are you sure that is the best thing, Sister?" said Yin, becoming more and more irritated with her elder. "I'm sure that-"

"We do not have a military. You know that. And even if we do tell the other Nations what's to come, they will just begin it themselves. The only thing that can possibly work in this situation is to wait for the Peacemaker to do what he has to do."

Yin got an answer that she supposed was acceptable and stood up made to leave, but Rin would not let her go just yet. "Why did you let the people to die, Yin?"

Yin stopped in her tracks. "I couldn't save them. There was no way I could have saved them."

"Did you try, Yin?"

The screams. The fire. The smoke rising above the trees. And finally the image of Lee and Mako. Mako would be alone without you. Those people will be together in death... A tear ran down Yin's cheek as she whispered, "No."

"Very well. Leave this temple now, Yin. Never return."

Yin's sobs became more prominent as she spoke, "Yes, Sister Rin." She ran out of the room and through every corridor of the temple. People greeted her, people she knew. People she would miss.

Sitting on the fountain was Min, safeguarding Yin's staff. "So, how'd your conversation with Sister Rin go?"

Yin ignored Min's question completely. "Goodbye, Min." Yin snatched up her staff, made it into a glider, and flew back to the top of the cliff as fast as she could. Min looked on as her best friend left forever.

Yin landed at the edge of the cliff. Lee and Mako were both napping now, tired after fighting for so long. Yin picked them both up, one at a time, and put them back on Lin. "Lets go, Lin. I'm sorry that I didn't take you down to see your friends. I just didn't have the chance."

As they flew back into the air toward the Earth Kingdom, Yin thought despairingly, And I never will again.


  • Lin, Min, Rin, and Yin. That was entirely intentional.
  • "Nothing? You want us to do nothing?" is a popular quote from one of my favorite episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants.

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