Ero looked over at her roommate. Ty Lee was standing on her hands doing chin-ups on the end of the bed. Ero smiled. Ty Lee had really welcomed her into the Kyoshi Warriors. She remembered her fist day in the group. Suki, the leader, had paired them up for sparing practice and Ty Lee took her duty above and beyond. They had become quick friends though the private chi blocking lesson. Ero had come in as a subgroup of girls specially picked to become part of the chi blocking unit of the warriors.
"Ty," Ero turned around in her chair. She had just taken out her long brown hair for its intricate knot form the back of her head and was sitting by the dresser between the two beds in the room.
Ty Lee, still doing chin ups on the edge of her bed upside down, looked over at Ero and smiled knowing what she was going to ask. "Yes?"
"Did you see the man in the square today?" Ero blushed as she wiped off her makeup.
Ty Lee giggled and did a cartwheel over to Ero and sat down on her bed next to the dresser. "You mean the cute one that helped you with your bag? How could I miss him?!"
Ero laughed. "I knew you wouldn't! But what do you think? Should I try to find him?"
Ty Lee giggled, "I like him. What was his name?"
Ero frowned; she actually didn't get his name. "I never asked."
Ty Lee sighed at her friend. "Ero, how are you going to find him if you don't know his name?
Ero yawned and stretched moving over to her bed on the other wall form Ty Lee's. "I really don't know but I'll work something out," she said, yawning, as she laid down and fell asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.
The next morning the girls got up and into uniform. Ty Lee braded her hair and Ero placed her hair up in a complicated knot in the back of her head. They finished getting ready and walked out to the common room where the other girls were gathered. The leader, a girl named Suki, stood up and addressed the group.
"I know that some of us have been here before, but this time it will be different. We are here to rebuild the city with the help of the Dai Lei," some groans went around the room, "I don't want to hear them! The King has assured me their corporation. When we get to the palace I will let you all know who you're working with and where you will be working."
The girls filed out and when they all got outside they formed six lines and made their way to the palace talking animatedly to each other. Ero found some girls that didn't want to work with the Dai Lei and for good reason. They had at one point worked for the Fire Nation Princess Azula and had betrayed their Kingdom. Ero believed that people could change. Ty Lee did, why not some boys that made some bad choices?
The Kyoshi Warriors entered the throne room to see King Kuei was sitting next to his bear Basco. Ero thought this animal was an odd looking creature. She had seen polorbeardogs, platups bears, and wolfbears, but until that day she had never seen just a bear. He seemed tame and kind but she didn't know about just a beer. The King was sitting tall and proud gently petting Basco on the head. The Kyoshi Warriors knelt down before King Kuei as the Dai Lei came into the throne room bowing themselves when they came to the front of the room.
"Welcome, I know that we have had some troubles in the past but I know that we have to put that all behind us now. We have a greater mission to accomplish. Avatar Aang has been working on relocating the refugees back home. I need you," Kuei looked at the Kyoshi Warriors and the Dai Lei, "to work together to keep the peace in my city. I have talked to the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors and we have decided the best way to do this is to team up the members. There will be one senior member and on junior member in each group. Suki will let you all know your assignments," he looked over at the Dai Lei agents his face was set, "if I hear about any issues with my agents they will have the strictest punishment come down on them. Do I make myself clear?"
As one, the group of men said: "Yes sir!"
Suki moved in front of the staircase that lead up to the king's thrown holding a large piece of parchment. "If I could ever everyone's attention I will read off the pairings, after I'm finished find your partners and patrol the city. Some of you will be rounding up refugees some of you will be on security." Suki started to read over the names one by one. It seemed that one warrior would be working with one agent. Ero heard her name be called, "Ero, you will be working with Ishi security on the wall."
A man in his early twenties walked up to Ero and bowed. Ero was taken aback. It was the boy that had helped her with her bags just the other day. She felt her face grow hot, she was grateful for all the makeup. Ero bowed back and when she looked up she saw a look of confusion on his face.
As the two made their way down to the wall he kept looking at her face, like he was trying to place it. When the warriors had arrived in the city they were not in full uniform. They were wearing their travel uniform of green and brown, no makeup was worn with that uniform.
"How long have you been an agent?" Ero looked over at the handsome young man. She saw that his eyes were a very deep shade of green and his face was smooth. He must have just shaved that mooring.
"Six years now. I joined when I was sixteen with my best friend Kemeny. Once the princess had taken over the agency Kemeny and I left and went into hiding," Ishi looked over at Ero. He felt like he had seen her somewhere before but could not work out where. "Will that answer all of your questions?"
Ero frowned at him. "I wasn't going to ask all of that. What's your problem?"
Ishi shook his head, "I apologize. I have been under a lot of pressure since the war ended. My father died and his pregnant wife has never been found. I have a little brother or sister out their somewhere." Ishi sighed, he did not really know why he was telling this girl his life story but he thought that if they were going to spend hours together they might as well be friendly.
Ero gave a small smile to Ishi, "At least you have the Dai Lei. I know how you feel. In my village I was an orphan that was taken their by a fishing boat that found me as a small child. It was only a few months ago I got old enough to join the Kyoshi Warriors. I joined the day that I turned fourteen just a while ago."
Ishi looked over at the young girl. In many ways her life had been like his. Actually her life had been harder. Ishi remembered the day that he joined the Dai Lei. He was nerves and exited that day. He shook his head to remove the thoughts. He had to focus on the task at hand.
The two had made it to the wall without any trouble. Ishi looked at Ero, "I'm going to need you to sit down we are going to be moving fast and I don't want you to fall." Ero made a noise of protest. "Have it your way." Ishi grabbed onto the wall and willed the large chunk of earth under their feet to move up the side of the wall. Ishi heard Ero fall flat onto her butt. He laughed to himself. It happens to them every time.
They made it to the top of the wall. Ero stood up and rubbed her backside gently, muttering to herself. "I take it you enjoyed hearing me fall."
"I told you to sit down you didn't listen," Ishi looked over at Ero and finally recognized her. "You! You're the girl from the square the other day! I helped you with your luggage!"
Ero smiled, "I was wondering if you would recognize me with my makeup on." Ero started to walk to the other side to the wall. "I never realized how high this went." She looked over to the right and saw a team of earthbenders rebuilding the wall. "How long is that going to take?"
"The king has the best construction benders on the job but they still say it could take weeks. The damage goes all the way down to the foundation and that part of the wall could go down at any second." Ishi looked over Ero's shoulder at the damage.
They could see in the distance the earthbenders reinforcing the ground work and making it so the rest of the wall wouldn't come down. Hours passed and the two spent their time enjoying each other's company. They found that they had a lot in common. Ero learned that Ishi loved music and wanted to be a professional tsungi horn player before he joined the Dai Lei. She had admitted that she wanted to travel the world in the circus as an animal trainer. They spent their time in happy enjoyment, talking about everything, Ero was amazed that a man eight years older than her was so relatable.
As they walked up and down the wall Ishi excused himself to relive his bladder, on the way back he found a batch of purple flowers. Making an earthen hand he picked them and bent them over to Ero. She was so taken aback by the gesture she gasped audibly and took them form the makeshift hand.
She turned around and found herself looking at Ishi's back. "They're beautiful."
"I was wondering if you would like to go out with me after work."
Ero felt her face grow hot again. "I would love to!"
The made their way back their respective dormitories each one wrapped in their own thoughts. Ishi opened the door to his room and found Kemeny sitting by the table in their room taking off the heavy hat that they had to wear. "So how was your assignment?"
"It went well and I got a date toning."
Kemeny sat up straight, "With whom?"
"Ero, the girl I was with, she was that young lady that I helped the other day when you and I were out shopping."
Kemeny frowned at his friend, "Lucky, I got refugee duty with some girl named Ty Lee that was a few hogmunkies short of a zoo."
Ishi laughed. Ero had told him about Ty Lee, he wondered if his friend had tried any of his signature 'moves' on her. "So what became of that?"
"Man, she was too strange to hit on."
"Well, I want to get ready for my date do you want to go to the bath house with me?" Kemeny nodded.
The boys grabbed their bath kits and walked over to the bath house on the other side of the small court yard that the Dai Lei owned. They checked in with the clerk at the front of the house, it was a private house so no civilians were allowed inside. Ishi was happy to see that it was empty. The two men undressed on got into the large tub in the middle of the room. Kemeny immediately dunked his whole head in the water. It had been a long day.
Ishi washed himself and Kemeny spoke: "So are you going to quit the agency for her?"
"One of you is going to have to give up your jobs. You are a servant of the Earth King. You do not control what happens to you until our contract is up. We're in this for anther twelve years. You and I both signed a twenty year contract." Kemeny's face was set as he looked at his friend now washing his hair with a bar of shampoo.
"I never really thought of that," Ishi frowned. "This is only a first date, let's see what happens."
An hour later he was walking down to where the Kyoshi Warriors were staying and found Ero standing outside wearing a lovely dress in different shades of green. Ishi felt a squirming in his stomach. He had never seen a girl look so pretty before.
"You, umm, look amazing!" Ishi saw Ero blush. She looked quite different without the makeup of a Kyoshi Warrior on. He found that she had a cute button nose, beautiful blue eyes, and perfect cupid bow lips.
She nodded her head blushing, "Thank you." He was wearing a green and yellow tunic with traditional Earth Kingdom pants and shoes. "You look nice as well."
Ishi put out his elbow and Ero took it. There was a festival down in the middle of the city that they were going to attend together. They both found themselves enjoying the party and each other. Ishi had won Ero a stuffed trutleduck at a shooting game table. The clerk didn't know that the man with the rocks was an expert shooter for the Dai Lei.
Ero forgot about the curfew until she heard a clock chime in the distance. "Oh spirits!"
"All the girls going out tonight were supposed to be back an hour ago!" Ero's face was stricken with a slight panic, "Suki's going to kill me."
"Let's get you back. I know a short cut," Ishi took Ero's hand and ran down back alley ways and dark corners. They were about a block away from the dormitories and he stopped.
Ero looked at Ishi still holding her turtleduck toy. "What is it?"
Ishi didn't answer with words. Instead he placed his hands on Ero's arms and kissed her full on the lips. When they broke apart all Ero could do was blink.
"Oh spirits, you did-" Ishi was cut off by Ero throwing her arms around him and kissing him back.
"Thank you for the best date I've ever had."
"I'm glad you liked it. When are you going back to the island?"
"A group of us have volunteered to stay behind and help the king, myself included so indefinitely."
Ishi broke into a smile, as they stood outside of the door to were Ero now would live, "So we can go out again?"
Ero nodded. "I hope so! I think next time we should watch the time better."
Ishi laughed, "Good night."
"Good night." Ero hugged Ishi.
Two years later Ero and Ishi got married. Ty Lee was Ero's maid of honor and Kemeny, much to his dismay, was Ishi's best man. Every one of their friends was there to collaborate with them. They lived their lives in Ba Sing Sei and died very old and happy together.