I loved her. I loved her with everything that I was— which is kind of ironic for me to say, considering the fact that I tried to kill her when I first saw her. But in my defense, she had it coming.
You see, I was the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, eventual heir to the most powerful throne in the world. We were fighting the Hundred Year War, a ridiculous vanity project started by my great-grandfather in his efforts to take over the world. Unfortunately, every Fire Lord after him saw this is as a chance to claim glory for himself and therefore never put a stop to it. But I vowed to myself that when I became Fire Lord, I would end this. I would end it and give the other Nations their land and freedom back. I had to. We had already exterminated the Air Nomads. How many others would we wipe out?
These were the thoughts that were racing through my head as we sailed through the northern seas that night. I was actually preparing an impassioned speech to try out on my father, General Iroh, before taking it to my grandfather, Fire Lord Sozin. I was going to bring him the numbers, since that's what he liked to see. We were losing hundreds bordering on thousands of men each day, and we were only gaining a few precious acres of land to show for it. Not the miles and miles that were promised to him. So I felt pretty good about my chances.
That is until my first mate rushed into my chambers without knocking and informed me of a threat up above. "Waterbenders," he said. "Waterbenders have taken a Fire Navy ship and are attacking us as we speak!" he cried.
I grabbed my armor as fast as I could and ran upstairs to help my men. That's when I saw her. A young woman, the only woman aboard their ship, but she was waterbending like a true master. In fact, she was besting all of her comrades. Easily. I was momentarily mesmerized by her, until I saw her run to the other side of her ship. "NO! Don't let her get in theâ€”" But the splash told me it was already too late.
What happened next still haunts me, even in the Spirit World. The girl had raised a twenty-five foot waterspout from the ocean, and she had given herself twelve whipping tentacles of water. She was using the tendrils to grab my men and hurl them tens of miles out into the ocean. I wouldn't have any crew left at this rate.
So I did what I thought I had to do.
I stayed my breathing, focused my energies, and created two semi-circles of lightening. I brought my arm up to shoot her, but I stopped myself. Even from that distance, I could tell how strikingly beautiful she was. But as I looked around at my men who laid dead and dying, I know what I had to do. I fired then, sending a bolt of lightning up the water spout and striking her down hard.
I stayed on deck to help clean up then, and to see to the wounded. I went back below deck to try and discover what—if any—information we had on these Waterbenders. Who they were exactly, how they had gotten this Fire Navy ship, and just which ship was it. Unfortunately, the details were scarce.
That's why I was so happy—and utterly surprised—to hear that the girl had lived. I know how much power I put into that shot. She should have been dead. But— but she wasn't? I had to see her. I had to know how she lived. And—if I was being honest—I wanted the chance to really lay eyes on her. If she was that beautiful from a distance, what did she look like up close?
It was a few days before they brought her to me. They had to make sure she was well, they said, and eating. Unfortunately, even then they only brought her to me because she had murdered one of my crew.
She was wearing a short, silken night gown. She smelled like fresh lavendar—my favorite—and her hair was done up in a tight bun at the nape of her neck. They tried to make her kneel before me, but as soon as they let her go, she stood defiantly. I could already tell she was a fighter. And I liked that.
She explained to me that she had only killed my crew member because he had tried to rape her. And I don't know why, but damn it I felt sorry for her. I… I wanted to keep her safe, to protect her from them. So I did. I kept her in my room from then on.
The more I saw of her, the more I talked to her, the more I wanted her. I wanted to caress her skin, kiss her lips. I wanted to hold her and never let her go. She told me her name was Yarah. She explained that she was from the Northern Water Tribe, and after that, she wouldn't say much else.
I spent all my free time with her. As the months passed on board my ship, we grew closer and closer. I knew she was fighting her feelings, but in the end she had to follow her heart. I am quite the charmer, after all. I was worried, though. Would she ever be able to look past my country and love me for the man I really was? Could she see that underneath it all I was nothing more than a man who was deeply in love with her, and not the bloodthirsty Fire Nation Prince that the rest of the world knew me as?
The answer was yes.
After two years of the same song and dance, had finally gathered up the courage to ask her to marry me, and when she said yes, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. I was finally going to make her my wife, to love her the way she deserved to be loved, and I didn't care what anyone thought. I didn't care that I was the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation and that she was a lowly Water Tribe healer. The only thing that mattered was that I loved her and she loved me.
We were married on a warm Autumn afternoon. I remember because she said Autumn was her favorite season, and I wanted to do something special for her. So I gathered some leaves, and—after much trial and error—fashioned them into the shape of roses, and that's what she used as her bouquet. It was a quiet ceremony, just her and myself, along with the officiant.
When it was over, we retired to a small seaside home for our honeymoon, which ended up lasting three months. We simply didn't want it to end. But by the start of the third month, I was worried about her. She was sick, constantly vomiting, and always fatigued. She had even fainted a couple times, and she was complaining of being light-headed. She said she was fine and bade me stop worrying about her, so I quit fussing. But of course I still worried about her.
As soon as the honeymoon was over, literally the next day, I got the letter from my father. He was going to lay siege to Ba Sing Se, and he was going to need help. I didn't want to go—I was still trying to stop this war—but filial piety meant I had to help my father. And, if I was being honest, I wanted the chance to see him again. I hadn't seen him in over two years, since before I met Yarah. I was anxious to tell him about my new wife.
So, I bade her goodbye and set sail for Ba Sing Se. Leaving her in that coastal Earth Kingdom town was the hardest thing I ever did. I wanted nothing more than to take her with me, but I couldn't. It would be too dangerous.
My father would soon come to regret asking me to join him.
It wasn't long after I had arrived, not even one month, that I was killed. I hadn't even been there long enough to receive more than one letter from my wife. I was struck in the chest with an arrow from a stray Earth Kingdom soldier. Luckily I didn't die right away though. I had a chance to tell my father that I loved him, and that there was someone I wanted him to meet. Before I had to the chance to go into any more detail, the spirits pulled me away.
I was in the Spirit World for I don't even know how long before Yarah found me. She said she had stumbled there, by accident, but that she was so glad she had because it gave her a chance to see me again. I smiled at that, and I grabbed her and held her close to me one last time. But before we could part for good, she insisted that I come to the real world with her.
There was someone I needed to see.
She took me to a small hut in one of Fire Colonies, and what I saw brought tears to my eyes. There, in the sand on the beach, were two little children playing. They couldn't have been more than a year old, but I knew right away they were mine. The little boy was the spitting image of Yarah, with her dark skin, brown hair, and blue eyes. And the girl…The girl looked just like me! She had creamy fair skin, jet black hair, and amber eyes. She had my nose, and even my smile. I looked at Yarah then.
She nodded. "We didn't know it at the time, but I was pregnant when you left… The twins were born a few months after…after you—" She choked, and I held her close to me.
"What are their names?" I asked as I reached out to touch them. I knew I would phase right through them, that they wouldn't even feel it, but I had to touch my children.
"Our son's name is Takeda, and our daughter is Kiyumi," she said.
"They're beautiful," I said, as the tears began to run down my cheeks. "They're so precious."
"I know. I just. I just wish—" Her voice started to fade as her body took on its normal colors. She was being drawn back into the real world. She struggled with it, but there was really nothing either of us could do. So, when she returned, I held her gently from behind, and I could swear she felt it, too, because she put her hands right where my arms would have been.
Time has marched on since then, but I'm not entirely sure how much. Yarah is a old woman now, and preparing to join me soon. Our children have grown up and even have babies of their own. It hurts me that I can't physically be with them, but I can watch them from afar. And Yarah works hard to keep my memory alive for them.
And so, at least for now, I'm waiting for the day we'll be together again.
Story by Rampage.
Profile by Athene.
This story is based off my original (and very much still in progress!) work of fanfiction, The Seven Years' Sorrow.
I don't own any of the original characters or themes from Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Lu Ten has a minion!
Yarah the Kohaku Koi
Yarah the Kohaku Koi
Legacy Name: Lu Ten
The Reborn Keeto
Age: 7 years, 1 month, 3 weeks
Born: November 24th, 2013
Adopted: 7 years, 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Adopted: December 1st, 2013
- Level: 2
- Strength: 10
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 0
- Books Read: 0
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Unemployed
Dried Harvest Flower