"This is Shiro Shinobai, ladies and gentlemen, talking to you from the front of the Elephant-Koi Theater in Republic City. What a night, ladies and gentlemen, what a night! Everybody is here to make Monumental Pictures' premiere of The Wind and the Flame the outstanding event of the year! Everyone is breathlessly awaiting the arrival of the stars!"
The radio announcer bounced on his heels as Bolin and Rie approached him.
"Bolin," he said, enthusiastically. "You've come a long way from the pro-bending arena, and even the Nuktuk serials. Want to say a few words about this 'super-jewel' of a mover?"
"Of course." Bolin cleared his throat. "This was a great opportunity. Xing was a challenging role, and I hope I've done the character justice."
"This was a great job, and it took a lot of work," Shiro echoed into his microphone.
"Rie?" Bolin gestured his coworker to the device.
"And now he wants the lovely Rie Nezu to speak to us," Shiro continued.
"You're just repeating everything I say," Bolin accused.
"And now I'm annoying him," the announcer concluded.
EXT. EARTH KINGDOM COASTLINE- DAY
"King Enze?" Avatar Xing rode his ostrich-horse eagerly up to the king of Oma-Shu. "Why have you come here?"
"Since I hosted you before, the Earth King wished me to oversee the transfer of the goods, so to speak," Enze replied, smoothly. "Now go. Make your peace."
Xing bowed in his saddle and galloped to meet Akoko on her mongoose-dragon.
Enze turned to his bodyguard. "You know, Chen… the Avatar really is very dear to me."
As he reached the Fire Lord, Xing slowed his mount and finally stopped, managing a graceful Fire Nation-style bow from the saddle.
"My lady," he said.
"Hello Xing." She replied, looking uncomfortable.
Xing was quiet for a moment, while his ostrich-horse closely studied the mongoose-dragon. "I hear you got married. Congratulations."
"Yes. He's an idiot, and I hate him." Her face screwed up with emotion. "Don't you ever get married."
"My lady, it is no longer in the clouds for me."
Her cheeks suddenly dark, she turned away from him. "If we talk like that, we'll quarrel! And here we are supposed to be making that 'peace' you're so good at. My council and I have come up with a series of articles for you to approve in connection with your return. Read them."
He caught the scroll as she roughly threw it at him, and read it in silence. "I cannot lift the repudiation of Admiral Yuya. But the others I agree to in the spirit of peace."
"Why do you always have to be better than me?" She snatched the scroll back as he held it out. "That Lord Masato… he told me you'd say that. You should have seen his face; I could have killed him."
"I am sorry for your trouble, Akoko. But that is my remaining tool to keep my promise of doing the office of High Sage justice."
"Yes. You've learned to love your responsibilities." She looked back at him with sudden fierceness. "Did you ever love me, Avatar?"
Now it was Xing who looked away. Then his mount reared in fear as the Fire Lord shouted at him.
"You mule! Can't you answer a simple question?"
"I loved you," he replied, quietly, bringing his ostrich-horse back under control. "You knew that."
A long minute passed with only the sound of the waves.
"Go back to your temple," she said at last.
"Thank you." He nudged his mount to take a step back. "And goodbye. I know we won't speak again."
"I allow you to return to your temple in safety. Are you implying I'll betray you?"
"Go! Just go."
He turned and galloped back to Enze and his escort. He hadn't ridden a hundred yards before her heard her cry out "Xing!"
Bolin and Rie took a bow for the audience after the mover ended and retreated backstage where Varrick and Zhu Li waited. The assistant-turned-director looked as calm as ever, while Varrick sweated as he consulted a piece of paper.
"Everything's going according to plan," he said. "We sold out here, so we can afford the publicity visit to Oma-Shu. And to economize, I got you all cheap tickets on the 3am boat."
"What?" Bolin demanded.
Varrick plowed on. "Anyway, that's not for another day, so you've got time to sleep after the party gets out. Besides… I've got something to say to the two of you."
"Don't tell me you're about to propose," Rie said, offering Zhu-Li her arm.
"No. That would be weird! Everybody did a good job on this," Varrick took a breath. "But you two especially. Out there. So… great job. If this works out, we'll make another mover, and another! Now head upstairs. We've still got to meet all those wonderful people out there."