This is definitely an Iron Will!AU (or, maybe, I’ll steal the title Reforged as the actual run of Iron Will like how Trailblazers used to be named something else, because this title is SO AMAZING) and because of that I kind of want to do a lot of different reborn!AUs.
Like… in one she’s born to Fire Nation parents which is… okay? She’s okay. Definitely. Hell, she worked alongside the Fire Lord (Zuko, that is) she can handle a pair of normal civilians that just happen to be Fire Nation.
Her parents don’t understand why she shivers in their presence, constantly, even in the summer heat. Why she flinches away from too much red fabric and glances longingly, but not too often, at their kitchen knives.
It’s not entirely fear, though. A lot of it is guilt.
She’s about eight when she stops trying and failing to pretend to be normal and tries to get a meeting with retired Fire Lord Zuko.
Needless to say, the royal guards do not find this child’s requests particularly compelling.
Eventually, though, some guard takes pity on her–or gets fed up–and passes on her bizarre message: Tetsuki wants Jet’s hook-swords back.
And it eventually ends up with Tetsuki as Iroh II’s equally (if not MORE) reckless subordinate in the United Forces (she hates the uniform with a passion).
Every so often, she’ll send a letter watering down her adventures to her parents who–while they still don’t quite understand her–are very proud and love her.
Then there would be her being born to Air parents which means… Tenzin?
Hrm… that’s rather too close, isn’t it? Maybe Bumi, but considering he’s also part of the United Forces that’d be running a little close to the previous, wouldn’t it? Then again, that’s just a small similarity. Perhaps she is biologically Bumi’s daughter but raised by a single mother.
Also, I should clarify, Tetsuki isn’t a bender in any of these–even after the Harmonic Convergence.
And so the story is about Tetsuki as a lost link in the chain that is Aang and Katara’s descendants because Bumi had a ~casual encounter~ several years ago. I’m not sure if Bumi knows about her existence, but she definitely knows about his.
Unsure where I’m going with this particular version of Reforged, but that’s the only thing I can think of for Air.
Water would be… well I have two very different ideas for this. One is the more dramatic and difficult to pull off daughter-and-secret-shame-of-Tarrlok. Secret shame because she isn’t a bender, that is. Because that puts a really weird twist on the “his brother was pretending to be a nonbender but his daughter is actually a nonbender and he created/passed a lot of discriminatory laws against nonbenders”
Like all politicians, Tarrlok is a giant hypocrite.
The second is less dramatic but not entirely devoid of it, because in this Tetsuki would be Tahno’s nonbender sister. Who is largely unimpressed by his arrogance and, later, his lack of arrogance due to his lack of bending.
In either, her name would still be Tetsuki but instead of Iron Will it’d be Hand of the Moon.
And lastly Earth… again.
I guess if I went with the dramatic Tarrlok-daughter for Water I could do a similar thing as the Tahno’s sister except instead use his teammate Ming. And, well, he does have black hair and gray eyes. LIKE TETSUKI.
I’ll be honest, I stopped watching LoK before Kuvira appeared, so while I know of some of the other Earth bending characters later in the series, I don’t know them enough to feel like I’d want to put Tetsuki in their vicinity.
I suppose I could do another sort of dramatic Earth equivalent of the Water ones and have her be the daughter of a Metalbending Police officer. But instead of an evil one, maybe just a highly stressed one–like Saikhan?