Mako took a gulp of water and looked at Iroh. "So I'm guessing after three hours of practice I'm in the band?"
Iroh nodded drinking some of his own water. "Yup, you are officially part of the…hey guys what is our band name?"
"How about the blue spirits?" Karrem offered walking in.
"And have Rohku figure out who one of the lead singers is in five seconds? Um…no."
"The Boomerangs? Cause you're coming back?"
Iroh shook his head. "Dad, that's a horrible name too."
"The Dragons of the West!"
"Dad! How about we use a name that won't tip my brother off? The goal is not to die during the first song."
Mako snorted. "How about we call ourselves 'Nothing to see here', that shouldn't tip him off."
"I hate you both."
"Or how about 'At least we aren't the Ember Island Players!'?" Karrem asked smiling.
"That name is impractically long and no."
"The Fire benders who won't kill Rohku?"
"Red Zepplins!" Offered Jet, the drummer.
"Angst! We have Angst!"
"Not plotting to kill you."
Iroh buried his face in his hands. "Ugg."
"Hey I don't hear that low flying airplane!"
"The meat and sarcasm guys!""Hi! Mom!"
"Gay boys' flying dragon show!"
"We're not all gay!""Denial!"
"The Foaming Mouth Guy Band!"
"Hey! If you cut this guy's hair he'd totally look like your dead brother-band."
"Divorced and Widowed."
Iroh looked at the group. "Go sit in a corner! All of you, now! We can think of a name later, it's not that important. Let's just take a break." He stood up. "Yeah, let's do that. I'm going to go take a nap or something." He rubbed his temples. "I think you guys gave me a migraine."
Honora arranged the flowers in her room for the fifth time that morning. She stepped back admiring her handy work before frowning and redoing the whole thing. Zuko watch her frowning.
"Honora you had them prefect before. Please stop."
She looked over at her father and pouted. "But if I don't make sure they're prefect Karrem might not return safe." She hung her head. "I didn't pay the flowers in my room any attention the day Iroh di-disappeared or when Lafey was injured, I can't chance it. They must be prefect." She went to reach up to fix another flower but Zuko stopped her.
"They're prefect, my dear. Now let us go and see how Lafey is doing today. Hmm?" He looked at his daughter with warm but pained eyes. "I think she might be better today."
They walked down the halls of the palace as people drifted by in a daze. Zuko frowned, if he were younger he'd have done something but as it was he was over 90 and if he did strike out he didn't know what would happen to Honora. He shook his head and hid the pain he felt for his own people, they lived in fear of the witch in the palace and he couldn't blame them. While he rarely thought about his own father he knew somewhere he was laughing at him and calling him weak.
They walked into a room where Lafey sat, doll like, at a table set for tea. She was dressed in a girly outfit the real Lafey would have torn to shreds and had a giant pink bow in her hair. Zuko put a hand on her shoulder catching her attention. She greeted them with a smile. "Hello Mother, Grandfather, are you here for tea?"
Zuko nodded. "Yes we are. I see you've already set the table."She smiled her eyes vacant. "Yes, I was able to do it all myself too!"
Zuko nodded sadly. "I'm impressed." Uncle I wish you were here maybe you could help me. I'm so old and yet the family I thought was so strong is crumbling like the first dynasty.
In her prison, Korra perceived everything and nothing, as there was nothing to perceive and then out of the void came a voice, a deep soft fatherly voice. Calling to her.
"I am no child. I have existed for hundreds of years, I am no child." Korra answered as a warmth wrap around her, it was a safe warmth not a burning heat or anything painful.
The voice chuckled. "And yet to me you still are, sweet princess of the first dynasty, your many years upon this earth would hardly amount to a tenth of mine."
"Fine, you're an old spirit what do you want?"
"You do not even ask my name? Have you lost your manor's princess?"
"Maybe, What is your name spirit?"
"So the spirit of fire and of the sun, to what do I owe this visit to my prison?"
In Korra's perception a gold dragon appeared the head facing her but the body wrapped around her. It wasn't threatening more like a protective coil to keep her warm.
"I am here to apologies, my child. You asked the moon for help and I became jealous and contributed to your misery."
She tiled her head. "It's not like a spirit to apologies. What is your game?"
"No game, I truly am sorry for how I have treated you and let your tragic life keep repeating."
Korra raised an eyebrow. "Why? What changed your mind?"
The dragon if possible looked sheepish. "Well, the new moon spirit did not approve of the arrangement." The dragon looked away. "Yue can be quite wrathful when she wants to be, but she did show me the error of the past. So here I am, a visitor in your prison, to ask for forgiveness and to bestow a gift as a further token of my regret. Even if you do not forgive me, I shall give you my gift."
The dragon looked back at Korra and she petted the dragon's snout but didn't look him in the eye. "It does me no good to hold a grudge against you, or any of the other spirits, so I forgive you, Agni." She looked back up. "So what is your gift? Is it your company so I don't have to be alone anymore? Or is it away out of here and to a place of peace?"
The dragon nuzzled her shoulder. "You will see."
"When?" Korra asked, as the dragon became a gold inferno around her.
Far beyond the flames the walls of her prison cracked, shattered, and fell away. She felt hot like she herself had become the inferno. In her ears she hear a pulsing thud like a drum keeping prefect time. She felt light, heavy, and balanced all at once. All she saw was golden flames and for a moment she was nothing but that and then she was something again, the pulsing thud became a beating heat, the heaviness became flesh and the lightness became her strength, the warmth became came her own, and her eyes saw the last moments of a sunset. Then the gold flames died away and her lungs filled with air for the first time. She was too weak to stand on her new legs and she feel into strangers's arms and her eye closed.
Iroh looked at Dragona and shook his head. "I don't even want to know how you got a sore throat. I don't, but what are we going to do? You were supposed to be such a distraction my brother won't notice anyone else."
Dragona frowned and flipped Iroh the bird.
Iroh crossed his arms. "Oh that's real nice." He sighed running his hands through his hair. "What are we going to do? He's going to figure out it's me for sure, just like dad did."
Karrem looked at Iroh and suddenly smiled. "What if you distract him? Do a version of your General Irony act and he'll be so caught off guard by the whole drag queen thing he won't look further then that."
Iroh looked at his father. "You want me? To do what? You realize my first instinct when I see him is going to be to punch him right?"
"Yeah, but you're also a good actor." Karrem sighed. "Look it's either that or we dress Mako in drag and make him do the hula!"
Mako looked up from him book. "Huh?"
Iroh shook his head. "Find I'll do it. The other option won't work in a million years."
Mako crossed his arms. "Why? I'm already dressing in drag!"
"Yeah, but seriously, you are so stiff there is no way you could move your hips and do the Hula.""I'll show you hip movement!" Mako paused and blinked. "I well retract that statement and thank you for being the distraction so I don't have to do the Hula."
Iroh looked over at the ship's captain. "How long until we make port?"
"Two hours Sir, I would start getting ready and changed if I were you. No doubt the Fire Lord will be meeting his son at the docks."Iroh nodded. "No doubt in deed."
Mako rubbed his rib cage. "I can't breath L'ten, how did you manage to run through the streets of Omashu with your waist snitched so much?"
Iroh snickered. "Years of practice Mari, years of practice." He walked over and adjusted the scarf around Mako's neck. "You need to keep this scarf almost to your chin or else people will see your Adam's apple." He stepped back. "There now most people will think you're a real girl."
Mako looked at himself in the mirror. "Now I know what Korra meant when she said she felt painted. I think there's a inch of makeup on may face and can some one please explain to me why this outfit looks like the one Asami wears all the time?"
Dragona smirked and spoke in a very horse voice. "Because your ex-wife has excellent taste." She snapped a picture. "And I promised a good friend that I'd help you get into her pants, not what she meant I know but it's a start. Smile child you look cute!"
Iroh looked over at Bolin. "And how are you doing?"Bolin looked down and back up. "Is there a reason why you and Mako are total knock outs and I'm the fat one?"
Dragona patted him on the shoulder. "Sorry but you're shoulders and thick muscular arms would make it too obvious that you're a man if we tried to go the same route as the other two. So we had to go the other way. Look on the bright side you can still breathe."
Mako nodded and gasped. "Trust me, it's better to breath, Bo." He looked at Iroh. "What ever you were paid to do this was not enough."
Iroh smirked. "From your mouth to my boss's ear, and you're not even in high heels."
"What? These are like 3 inch heels!"
"Cut the chit-chat ladies," Karrem walked in sporting his royal uniform, "We're about to dock." He looked at Iroh and shook his head. "Why are you prettier than your sister?"Iroh shifted his weight to one leg and put a hand on his hip. "Because I was always the pretty one."
Karrem glanced up at the ceiling and mouthed something. "Ok, let's go and hopefully not end up dead."
"Amen to that." Iroh mumbled under his breath fixing his hat and smoothing out his black dragon army uniform.
Korra wasn't sure if she was dreaming or wishing but she sat on the hill over looking the graveyard. She was leaning against Iroh and all her friends were around her eating food and laughing. In the distance she could hear her daughter laughing and squealing with delight. Mako was holding Asami's hand and Bolin had his arms around Opel who was holding a small bundle.
Everything was warm and hazy like she was seeing it thought rose tinted glass. She looked up at Iroh who was smiling down at her. He kissed her and it was just as sweet as the first time. She rested her head against the dream Iroh's shoulder and felt his arms wrap around her and then it was all gone.
Korra's eye fluttered open and she sat up. She was in a stone room that had a view of the sea. The sun was just starting to rise. Sleeping on one side of the room next to a gold mirror was a black dragon so much larger then Druk. Korra shook her head she couldn't remember the dream she had just had, her name. The memories in her head were jumbled and miss matched along with the many reflections of a different face. She rose to her feet and waked to the mirror to see her reflection. A golden-eyed woman with light brown skin and black hair looked back. It was her first face but not, the red tattoos that had once been there were gone. She looked at her hands they did not have the scars of her first life. This body looked like her first body but it was new.
"Was this your gift, Agni?" She mumbled.
A sudden sound behind her made her turn to see a man with the same dark skin and red and white markings on his face. He wore an impressive headdress and decorative clothing. He bowed his head.
"Welcome back to the land of the living Princess Mi'tem, and welcome home."
Korra looked around her. "Home?"
The man nodded. "Yes, Home."
Korra shook her head. "But how? I was dead." She looked at hands."Am i in the spirit world or where ever we go after death?"
"No, The Golden Dragon Agni spirit of Fire and the Sun, gave you the gift of a second chance to live again. To be the princess you were so long ago."
Korra shook her head again trying to make everything clear. "I don't understand my memories seem jumbled, was I the avatar?"
The man sat down. "In a part life you might have been, but you are Mi'tem now. Your memories will sort themselves out eventually just give it time, Princess. There is no need to rush here."