Shards of the Elements @kelseyalicia
Into the Unknown

Ah ah oh oh oh
Ah ah oh oh oh oh oh oh

13 years later

It remained a stunning autumn afternoon. The air was crisp. The leaves were jaw-dropping colors. The innocent laughter of children permitted the air. The picturesque scene was unfolding on a captivating island in the middle of a greenish-blue body of water.

Over the horizon, the beginnings of a magnificent cosmopolis were being established. Currently, the correct terminology would be organized chaos—loads of brand-new structures popping up. However, no genuine sense of identity yet.

Nevertheless, with time the United Republic would become the crown jewel of the world. Surveying all this from Hope Island was a handsome young man in his mid-twenties.

His charming gray eyes twinkled with glee. He then caught the sound of a particular child's laughter. Switching his gaze to the courtyard, his smile grew even more prominent. A tall eye-catching woman with graying chestnut locks appeared to be playing hide-and-seek. From his position, he saw she was having the time of her life.

While he couldn't see the child, she searched for he already knew the child's name. Suddenly an origami crane flew over to him. Looking away from the window, he saw his domestic partner, Zephyr.

Considering Zephyr was genderfluid, they never consented to become either husband or wife. Therefore they settled on the term partner. Yes, they'd married when they turned twenty-one. Today Zephyr was male. He seemed quite satisfied with himself today. His partner grinned then promptly signed, "Hello, Zephyr. How are you today?"

"I'm fine, Aang. I just returned from the council meeting. I rather not bore you right now with the details."

"That's fine. I don't desire to be bored out of my skull before our trip."

"Preciously. How is our son?"

"Mom and Fujin are playing hide-and-seek right now. However, I believe Mom is going to win."

Zephyr giggled before signing, "At least we kept our promise to Anil. Now all Airbenders raise their own children. We unquestionably helped improve the weaker points of our society."

"That's true. I still feel blessed that Fujin is our son."

"Haven't I told you before? Blood doesn't make a family. Love does. However, Alanna bestowing us with a child of our blood remains a gracious gesture on her part."

"You've got a point. But, either way, let's go see how Mother is handling her grandson, shall we?" Nodding, they flicked open their gliders then cruised down to the courtyard. Indeed Akanke was showering her five-year-old grandson with an abundance of kisses.

"Hi, Mom! I see you and the little trouble marker are having plenty of fun," Aang called out warmly. Immediately the pair looked up before smiling. "Hello, my son. You're back earlier then I expected." Akanke noted with some amusement in her voice.

"Daddy! You're home!" exclaimed the child jubilantly. Fujin was quite a remarkable child. He'd Zephyr's petite body and angular face. He was sporting the same hairstyle and an oversized earring. Even his clothes were in Zephyr's style. They're a traditional Airbender training outfit, except in aquamarine and fuchsia, which matched the highlights in the boy's hair. However, his coloring matched Aang perfectly.

Aang gave a hearty laugh, then smiling. "Yes, I'm home for now. Have you been giving your grandmother a hard time?"

"No! We play and make pots!" referring to his son's love of ceramics.

"Well, I can see you've really got into the clay. Why don't you go with your other daddy to get cleaned up?" his daddy suggested. Nodding, Akanke handed the child over to Zephyr to scrub him down.

I can hear you, but I won't
Some look for trouble while others don't
There's a thousand reasons I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away, oh oh oh

"He's such a delightful child. I do hope your sister gives me a grandchild soon as well," his mother replied wistfully.

"Mom! You're fully conscious Ari currently occupied establishing her school with her gang of friends."

"Yes, all your teacher's cousins became their own little gang. I'm extremely proud of the four of them. Brock's a good husband to your sister."

"I'm thrilled they're taking part in shaping Republic City into reality. For example, having an establishment for teaching bending as an art form. Rather then simply a fighting style."

"I hope this dream of Republic City indeed becomes a reality in your lifetime. It sounds sincerely marvelous—a land where all nations can live together in peace.

Both benders and non-benders of all backgrounds. I pray each day. It becomes closer to the reality you and your friends envisioned for. Right down to how you'd desired the government to be established.

"I hope so as well, Mom. We want people to elect a president, vice president, finally an administrative body to represent all the nations."

"I do agree with that. The fact you desire it be a mix of both genders, benders, and non-benders. However, I believe the most desirable idea is Zephyr's."

"To incorporate representatives for the LGBT community. Plus those with handicaps? Yes, having equal representation would be idealistic. However, Kenai also insisted there be a representative of families of mixed backgrounds."

"Well, hopefully, it will come to fruition one day. By the way, my son. How long do you plan to be gone? You've scarcely been home for a week."

"I wish I could stay longer, Mom. However, I feel Hope Island is in good hands. I'm grateful Zephyr convinced me to change it to Hope Island instead of Air Temple Island."

"Given Hope Island has become a sanctuary to all? People from everywhere have come to find sanctuary moreover belonging on Hope Island. Until hopefully Republic City becomes a reality."

"That's true. I'll be leaving next week to visit my teachers and their families. I should only be gone two to three months at the latest. Then I'll be back home, and you can throw me the biggest welcome back party ever!"

"As long as you come home, sweetheart. Go out for adventure, come home for love."

Ah ah oh oh
Oh oh
Ah ah oh oh

A week later, they'd saddle up Appa to begin their journey. Before they left, Fujin had a gift for his grandmother. It was a duality bust. He'd come to enjoy creating art pieces with two faces. This was in honor of Zephyr. She kissed him for the statue before reminding him to behave himself with his parents. With one final hug, the small family chirped, "Yip Yip!" and off they were.

You're not a voice
You're just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don't
I'm spoken for I fear

They flew towards the South Pole for their first stop on their journey. They'd meet all their Water Tribe friends in the South. Aang wondered what had changed since they'd been there last.

Zephyr busied themselves stitching up their wintertime garments. They'd frayed a little since the last time visiting a pole and considering the temperatures? They needed to be as warm as possible.

"I can't wait to have a snowball fight with Yuki and Nokomis! I'll beat them this time for sure!" Fujin exclaimed with exhilaration.

"I'm confident you'll have tons of fun with the Water Tribe Princesses. Just remember to be careful, Fujin."

Zephyr sent a small gust to get both their attention. "Remember to tell us if you decide to go penguin sledding. Remember, none of you can go unless one adult can accompany you. We don't want any accidents, Fujin. Even if you're all benders, that's no reason to lose all sensibility."

"Yes, I understand."

Everyone I've ever loved is here within these walls
I'm sorry, secret siren, but I'm blocking out your calls

Eventually, the family arrived safely in the South Pole's seaport. Both chiefs' families came to greet them. Chief Sokka, his wife Yue, and their six-year-old daughter Princess Yuki.

Princess Yuki was a miniature version of her mother, except with a different hairstyle. She wore her hair down with two pigtails framing her face. Unlike her mother, she carried a weapon. Princess Yuki inherited her father's kyanite charm. She remained the first warrior princess of the Northern Tribe. Indeed showing times had changed in the last thirteen years.

Chieftess Katara and her husband Kenai were also present. They, too, had a six-year-old daughter, Nokomis. She, too, resembled her mother with her father's coloring. Thus she'd light skin, gold eyes, and black hair. Her hairdo combined both Fire Nation and Water Tribe hairstyles as one.

While they'd expected Sokka and Katara's family to greet them, they're shocked that each woman carried a small bundle of fur with them. The two princesses rushed forward. Jumping up and down, they exclaimed with delight. "We're big sisters! We're big sisters! We're big sisters!"

"Girls, calm down. Give them some room to breathe!" admonished Yue gently. She looked at Aang apologetically before speaking. "I'm sorry, Avatar Aang. They've been bursting with excitement to tell everyone and anyone they come across the good news."

"You've each been blessed with another child? When did you plan to tell me?" Aang asked, a little indignant.

"We wanted to surprise you when you came to visit, Aang. Like their older sisters, their brothers were born on the same day as well," Katara explained, adjusting her son.

"What are their names?!" Fujin demanded. Before the adults could reply, his friends exclaimed, "My brother's name is Mizuchi!" Yuki said while her cousin said at the same time. "My brother's name is Watasumi!"

Zephyr came closer, smiling. "They are as beautiful as their mothers. Strong as their fathers. I see a bright future for both of them. I believe they'll have great sisters as well."

"Thank you, Zephyr, that kind of you to say," Kenai signed for the families.

"Come on, we need to get going, or all the good food will be eaten!" whined Sokka, to which Yue shot a look of disapproval.

"Sokka, we've guests. They're a little more of the essence then stuffing your gob."

"Sorry, honey, I get a little crazy when I'm famished."

"A little? That's an understatement, Sokka. Ugh. Either way, let's get inside and warm up. I don't think the children should be out in the cold any longer. Particularly not three-month-old," Katara suggested, to which everyone nodded.

The fathers held their children's hands as they went inside to warm up, eat, and discuss crucial matters. The children promptly lost themselves playing with some toys after filling their bellies. Sokka indeed stuffed his gob while Katara and Yue attended to their babies. Kenai was having an animated conversation with Zephyr. Eventually, Aang was able to talk.

He gratefully learned how much advancement the Water Tribe had been making to improve themselves. With the Northern Tribe now having equal rights for women. The women themselves were quite happy to hold political positions.

Joyously they'd done away with arranged marriages, which everyone cheered for. Sokka chatted for a while regarding the other improvements he'd made since moving North. Including how delighted he was training up a new generation of warriors, both boys and girls.

He was particularly proud of his daughter for being both a warrior and bender. Not mention having his brains and sense of humor. Nevertheless, Yue remained happy Yuki hadn't inherited her father's terrible table manners thus conducted herself properly.

Katara talked regarding the difficulties she'd with her daughter's training. Seeing how she'd inherited her father's hot style of waterbending. Yet having invented new techniques of bending was refreshing.

The children were put to bed about an hour later. Then over cups of steaming cocoa, they talked more regarding their ideas for the future Republic City. It remained a joyous visit, but a fortnight later, Aang's family had to leave.

I've had my adventure. I don't need something new
I'm afraid of what I'm risking if I follow you

"Do we have to go to Ba Sing Se, Daddy? Why can't we go meet Auntie Toph at their summer estate?" whined Fujin while Zephyr taught him cats cradle.

"Unfortunately, son, they're not at the summer estate, or we would. We're all aware they don't like being locked up in the palace anymore, then they have to. I, for one, think they should invest in a winter estate. Someplace they can go in the wintertime to get out of that overpopulated metropolis!"

Zephyr lightly smacked his better half's head before signing. "They can't even think about building one until Gaia is at least two years older. You know this, Aang. She's only three, for Alanna's sake! They barely can keep track of her in the palace. Least of all, if they built themselves another hideaway."

"It'd likely help if Gaia wasn't a prodigy earthbender like her mother. But, she's only three and can already metalbend? Scary!" Aang said to his partner.

As luck would have it, thanks to the unworldly abilities of Aella's feather? It helped Zephyr keep up with conversations he'd otherwise miss if he couldn't read their lips. Or if they didn't sign quick enough.

"What will be alarming is if she learns to lavabend, which her mother cannot do. That's a chilling thought."

"Aren't lavabenders usually of both Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom lineage? Isn't that how its more likely to work?" questioned Fujin, to which his parents shrugged? The universe remained to overflow with over a dozen unique benders. Thus as far as anyone knew? The possibilities were endless. That rightfully remained a terrifying thought.

Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Ah ah oh oh
Ah ah oh oh oh oh

A delightful sight awaited the Avatar's family when they arrived in Ba Sing Sa. The urban center no longer housed any Dai Li agents. After the events of thirteen years ago, a broken Long Feng's last wish before being imprisoned was to dissolve them. For him, the thought of Dai Li only reminded him how he failed his niece. He'd rather not have anyone else feel his loss by being corrupted with the seductive power of the secret police.

Consequently, Daichi and Toph commissioned the Kyoshi Warriors instead to help Ba Sing Sa. Plus the rest of the Earth Kingdom. Suki's private group remained to guard the Royal Couple.

Toph didn't mind Suki 'protecting them' given they're friends. Furthermore, it was nice to have a genuine friend nearby. Instead, then being besieged by overbearing, senseless bodyguards who are too big for their britches.

"Hello, Twinkle Toes," greeted the Earth Queen. Toph refused to dress like a proper queen regnant. She remained as uncultured and unpolished as possible. Which remained one of the reasons Daichi loved her so much. Thanks to being a quasi-avatar, plus years of physical therapy, King Daichi didn't need to utilize his wheelchair as much. He could utilize a walker for shorter distances.

Standing between the sovereigns was a toddler with sloven chestnut curls and enormous light-green eyes. She looked very much like Toph, from her unpolished appearance to her size and facial features.

What do you want? 'Cause you've been keeping me awake
Are you here to distract me, so I make a big mistake?

"Looks like you, Two-Face, and Twinkle Toes Jr. finally made it to the party. Not that Ba Sing Sa is much of a party. What I wouldn't give right now for a good mud bath," Toph replied, to which her daughter looked up at her.

"Can we go have mud baths then, Mommy? I love the mud so much!"

"I don't understand why people want to bathe in mud. I mean, how is it a bath when you're covered in mud?" asked Fujin, to which Gaia shrugged.

"How about we worry about personal grooming another time? We've much to discuss," Aang started for Toph to cut him off. "Yo! Twinkle Toes? We aren't talking shop right now. Not until we've had some fun and banged up a few rocks. Hence let's have some fun first? I'd rather be more play then work."

"Of course, Toph. It's been a long journey. So let's have some fun." Zephyr's feather communicated for him. Seeing how he was deaf and she's blind. Consequently, he'd used his feather to share thoughts whenever they visited Toph.

"Two-Face, that feather is still quite freaky," she commented as they proceeded inside. Gaia dragged Fujin to her bedroom to play while the adults looked for whatever grownups found fun.

"So, how're tricks, Gaia? Have you gotten any clay?"

"No, but I can conjure up a sandbox for us to play in. So I've been trying to learn sandbending."

"You're in such a hurry to claim your mother's title as the greatest earthbender, aren't you?"

"Don't you want to be a great Airbender?" she questioned. He shrugged. "I'd like to be a master someday. However, right now? I rather focus on my art then my bending."

"Did your auntie teach you how to do ceramics?"

"Well, Grandmother says I get my artistic abilities from my aunt. Now that I think about it aren't we family?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, my aunt's married to your mommy's cousin. So aren't we related in that sense?"

"Hurts my brain too much to think. So let's stop thinking and start playing!" Which both children agreed was far more important than their family tree.

Or are you someone out there who's a little bit like me?
Who knows, deep down, I'm not where I'm meant to be?

However, Aang himself had some difficulties with Toph for this specific reason. She hadn't just been his earthbending teacher. She was his cousin-in-law. Toph finished picking her nose before propping her unwashed feet on the table. "So, Twinkle Toes, you got any news from Brock and Feather Girl?" referring to the fact his sister always wore a feather in her hair.

Toph may not have seen the feather. However, Brock described Ari enough times. Not to mention made a few jewelry pieces modeled after her.

"As far as I know, Toph? Nothing new. They're still seeking to build a school to teach bending as an art form. Not a combat-ready form."

"I'm still surprised my cousin ended up with your sister, Twinkle Toes. No offense."

"None taken. So how are you and Daichi getting along?"

"We're getting along just fine. I'd love it if we could escape to the mountains for a short spell. Regrettably, there are some ho-hum political matters we need to get through before we can even think of taking a rain check."

"Have you given any more thoughts regarding who you'd like to serve as a representative on the upcoming united council? We'd like very much if we'd like a representative from Ba Sing Sa to help represent those who have a disability. If it's not too much trouble," Zephyr signed, to which Daichi signed back.

"Working on it. We might have to wait a few more weeks before we can give it serious thought. However, it shouldn't be long before you have your answer."

"Okay, don't wait too long. Also? I rather not get on Toph's dad's bad side. Given he's financing quite a bit to bring the dream Republic City into actuality."

"Do me a favor, and don't mention my father-in-law? Toph's having her monthly blood, and so doesn't need to hear about him."

"Eww! Too much information, Daichi! But okay!"

Two eventful weeks passed quickly by. The children caused quite a bit of mischief between exploring, bending, and various arts and crafts activities. Yet Aang's family had to go and see Crown Prince Zuko's family now. Promising to return as soon as possible, the family headed west to the Fire Nation. Aang couldn't help but feel again he was going to another family reunion.

Every day's a little harder as I feel my power grow
Don't you know there's part of me that longs to go…

Given Crown Prince Zuko's mother's grandfather been his previous incarnation Avatar Roku. It always felt slightly awkward between Zuko and Aang. Zephyr found all the awkwardness ludicrous. After all, everybody was related to everyone else. Given they're the Children of Alanna. Therefore everyone was kin to everyone else.

Their son was still too young to understand the concept. Philosophy wasn't something a toddler should spend time thinking about. Of course, Fujin was likely thinking about playing with his friend Izumi, the seven-year-old daughter of Zuko and Akiko.

Into the unknown?
Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Ah ah oh oh
Ah ah oh oh

The Crown Prince and his wife were awaiting them at the Jasmine Dragon, retired Fire Lord Iroh's tea shop. Much like his father Azulon, Iroh simply retired about two years after the events of the Shards. He and his wife were enjoying their retirement by operating both a tea shop and a flower shop. Of course, they still lived in the royal palace with the rest of their family.

Surprisingly, despite being 112 years old, Azulon and Ilah were still kicking. Agnimitra explained this was due to the family being spirit-touched, plus all being exposed to the great comet's spiritual energy.

Each blessing extended one's longevity. How long no one knew. Therefore they simply enjoyed the time they had. Either way? Merely enjoy the life and time you've got. That's true immortality.

Oh oh oh
Are you out there?
Do you know me?
Can you feel me?
Can you show me?

Ultimately, the family reached the Jasmine Dragon. Waiting patiently were their friends and their daughter. They were simply sipping some tea. They noticed them and waved them over. "Sorry for being late. We ran into some bad weather," Aang explained, to which Akiko waved it off.

"All the more reason to have tea! You'll love this blend. It's one of Lord Iroh's best!" Zephyr, always one for details, noticed the bags under Akiko's eyes. "Excuse me, Lady Akiko. I'm wondering if you're getting enough sleep."

Lady Akiko signed and spoke at the same time. "I'm a little exhausted because we've got a six-month-old son. Name's Zhurong. We asked Kiyi to babysit for a couple of hours so we can unwind."

"Well, I guess more congratulations are in order then! Seeing how both Katara and Yue were blessed with sons as well!" laughed Aang.

"We're already aware of that one, Aang. They sent us a letter about it. However, I know they wanted to surprise you about it," Zuko explained calmly as he sipped his tea. Then, glancing at his daughter, who was having her own tea party with Fujin, he smiled. "Children can be quite wonderful. However, not everyone is cut out to be a parent."

"No, some people aren't meant to be parents, I agree. However, I hope none of us fall prey to showing favoritism or spoiling our children. My mother's already warned me of the consequences of such behaviors," Aang confided with them.

"You shouldn't ever spoil a child. If you do? Then they'll never learn to work for what they want. Instead, they'll just feel its owed to them. Children need rules, boundaries, plus love and affection.

However, they need to learn the value of hard work. They should be instilled with good morals. Most importantly, to treat others with respect," Akiko added her thoughts on the subject.

"How about we worry about parenting styles a bit later? I assume you're here to discuss more regarding the foundations for Republic City?" Zuko asked to which Aang nodded.

Everyone enjoyed spending time at the tea shop. They swung by the Dragon Lily, Kimana's flower shop, four hours later before retreating to the royal palace for supper.

Ah ah oh oh
Ah ah oh oh
Ah ah oh oh
Ah ah oh oh

Two more weeks quickly passed, leaving the Avatar's family only one place left to visit. Getting there be a bit more tricky, seeing how they'd to find a portal to the Spirit World first.

Naturally, their host opened one for them, ensuring safe passage to her rebuilt home. The family arrived at Keaparaberu by sunset. Alanna's palace had been restored to its pristine beauty over the last thirteen years.

In Zephyr's opinion, he believed it was even grander then before. He did have to make sure that Fujin didn't run off to play with the birds or cause any unwanted mischief-making.

They entered the palace before bowing to the Almighty Mother. Her renowned beauty seemed to intensify with each passing day. Everyone in her presence was bathed in her light of purity.

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

"Welcome, my children. I pray you've had a safe journey thus far. Is there anything I can get you? Perhaps tea? Or a bite to eat?"

"We'd appreciate having tea a little later, my Lady. You can put your mind at rest. Our journey has been safe thus far," Aang assured the mighty spirit.

"Very well. I assume you'd prefer to be shown your accommodations and rest up a little before dinner. Then, my butterflies will escort you to your quarters."

"Thank you, my Lady."

"Lady Alanna is always so nice! She's the nicest person in the whole wide world!" chirped Fujin happily as he skipped down the hall after the heliotrope-colored butterflies.

"Yes, Lady Alanna is quite a remarkable woman, son. Very remarkable indeed!" Aang agreed then Zephyr signed.

"She blessed us with a child. Since I'm genderfluid, she created a child for us out of our spiritual energy and love for each other. That way, we didn't have to adopt or anything."

"Yes, its true. A child for us out of love. Do you think she'll bless us with a daughter in the future, Zephyr?"

"I don't know, Aang, possibly. Let's not ask her for now. Let's simply see how things play out from here?"

The rest of their visit went according to plan. They were first discussing the state of the Spirit World and its inhabitants. How the Spirit World would interact with the future generations.

Possibly opening more portals for people to come and go. Suppose the spirits should represent the future United Republic council how even the Avatar would fit into the changing world yet to come.

Alanna voiced several concerns for what laid in store for her children as the world continued to evolve. Again how both worlds would interact, she also asked what she should do with the Shards?

She'd been keeping them safe for the past thirteen years. However, she still worried about what might happen if they were brought together again. How could they ensure history wouldn't repeat itself?

Aang asked if the Shards could merge with his friends who'd become quasi-avatars. Like how the Avatar was reborn, could the Shards be reborn in their respective bloodlines? As part of their souls? Intangible and unreachable?

She informed them she'd have to discuss it with the others before they could enact it. However, it seemed like the best idea. Thank them all, she started to open a portal, then paused.

Smiling, she revealed a secret she'd been keeping. Informing Aang and his family that her powers would accumulate enough to create a daughter for them within two years.

She hoped they could wait two years before their next child was born. They assured her they could. With hearts full of love, the family returned home—the world for now at peace with a hopefully bright future ahead.

Where are you going?
Don't leave me alone.
How do I follow you
Into the unknown?
Oh oh oh

Princess Yuki- Sokka and Yue's daughter- Lara Woodhull- Young Yuki Wolf Children

Princess Nokomis- Katara and Kenai's daughter- Tara Strong

Princess Gaia- Toph and Daichi's daughter- Cree Summers

Aang and Zephyr's son- Fujin- Izaac Wang- Boun- Raya and the Last Dragon.

Akanke- Lupita Nyong'o- Nakia- Black Panther

An Exercise In Movement and Happiness

List five songs that make you wildly happy. Don't judge what the songs are; simply write them down.

Set aside ten minutes a week and dance to them. Don't worry about who might watch you. Instead, move your hips and smile.

Give it a try, and notice how it makes you feel. It's challenging to dance and be miserable at the same time, I promise.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Chapter 1 454 0 0 2. Spirit Wind 2004 0 0 3. Blue Moon Ball 2398 0 0 4. A diamond in the rough 3506 0 0 5. Soul on Fire 1542 0 0 6. Let it blow 1876 0 0 7. Let it flow 2798 0 0 8. Let it Grow 2412 0 0 9. Let them burn 1615 0 0 10. Let it fall 1962 0 0 11. Let it Shine 3563 0 0 12. Let It Out 2032 0 0 13. Let it Spark 1947 0 0 14. Let it blow II 2114 0 0 15. Let it flow II 4337 0 0 16. Let It Grow II 2229 0 0 17. Let it glow 3727 0 0 18. The Six Elements 3292 0 0 19. Let it show 2420 0 0 20. The Seven Elements 2464 0 0 21. Overcomer 3354 0 0 22. Lose Somebody 4345 0 0 23. Into the Unknown 3913 0 0