Elderly Aang
Chapter information

OneShot Songfic

Written by


Release date

July 26th, 2015

Babel is an entry for the Fanonbenders' Fanontastic Fanon Contest, Round 13. The prompt was to write a songfic. This is actually my first songfic, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. The song is Babel by Mumford and Sons.


I know the time has numbered my days,

And I'll go along with everything you say

Barefoot on the beach, facing the wind, Aang stood still, looking at the distant sun low on the horizon. Behind him, the high rocks of the Air Temple Island echoed the howling of the wind and the shattering sound of the waves on the white, thin sand. Before him, under the setting sun, the great Republic City stood with all its might, with plenty of little artificial light spots beginning to shine. Even from here he could sense it vibrate. Even from here he could sense it... live.

But I'll ride home laughing, look at me now,

For the walls of my tower they come crumbling down

He knew she was coming. He had felt her long before she came this close. Still, he acted surprised when she put her arms around him and her chin on his shoulder. He turned his head to see her and saw her smile, her gorgeous smile that made him fall in love with her again and again every time he saw it. Untied, her beautiful hair were floating in the wind. He couldn't resist. He kissed her. She kissed him. He looked in her eyes. She had been crying.

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons,

And I know the choices color all I've done

Together, they spent the night on the beach. Together, they watched the sun set. Together, they looked at the dark sky illuminated by the endless stars. Together, they loved each other. He held her tight and she hugged him gently.

"Why so soon?" she whispered to the sky.

But I'll explain it all to the watchman's son,

I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love

The warm morning sun woke him up. At his side, Katara was still sound asleep, but tears marks were showing all over her cheeks. His heart suddenly ached. Gently, he kissed her forehead, woke her up and they left the beach for the temple. There, all their children had gathered for the occasion. They greeted them with bright smiles, but he could see in each of their eyes the sorrow consuming their souls. He forbid himself to cry. He smiled. All together, they ate, talked and laugh. And lived.

Cause I know my weakness, know my voice

And I'll believe in grace and choice

And I know perhaps my heart is fast

But I'll be born without a mask

Sokka came in the afternoon. As cheerful as always, he brightened the mood of everyone with his not-so-funny jokes and puns. Yet, Aang knew it, when everyone was too busy laughing, one could read the pain on Sokka's face.

"When?" the latter asked to his sister when they had a moment alone.

"Soon," she replied, her voice shaking.

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,

I stretched my arms into the sky

The next day, Aang, Katara and Sokka mounted the old and tired Appa towards the Earth Kingdom. The four of them, travelling the skies, just like old time made them smile from the nostalgia. Then it made them cry. They've been through so much for so long together. From the day two siblings found the lost Avatar in an iceberg to the one they founded Republic City, not without saving the world from a mad Fire Lord on the way.

I cry Babel, Babel, look at me now

For the walls of my tower they come crumbling down

Heavily, Appa landed near a small wooden house. Then, a woman with milky green eyes came out of it, smiling cheerfully as her visitors came to share a hug. With a punch on Twinkletoes shoulder, Toph invited her three guests inside her modest home. Again, a burst of memories of the four of them adventuring the world, sleeping in cramped places like this one, stormed their minds. The four old friends passed the night catching up with Toph.

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl

Is all we see we'll slipping to the cloud?

Two days later, under a heavy rain, Appa landed on Ember Island. There, a dragon and its master were taking shelter from the downpour. Toph, Sokka and Katara quickly rejoined Zuko, grief invading their faces. A lightning broke out of the dark cloudy sky.

"Where is he?" the firebender asked.

"On Appa's back," replied Katara.

So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been

You know our breath is weak and our body thin

"Hello, old friend," said Zuko after sheltering under the makeshift roof on Appa's saddle.

"Is that you Zuko?" asked Aang while reaching out in the air with a weak voice.

The former Fire Lord quickly held his hand. "Yes. Yes it's me Aang."

The Avatar smiled. "I can't even see your face, and your voice is like a distant whisper."

"It's okay, I'm here. We're all here. Team Avatar of old. You're gonna be fine just like you've always been."

"We both know that isn't true," replied Aang.

Press my nose up to the glass around your heart

I should've known I was weaker from the start

"You're crying aren't you? I can feel your tears dripping on me."

"It's... from the rain," replied Zuko, sobbing.

"It's okay my friend. I had a great life, filled with great friends."

"But you're only sixty six! That isn't fair."

"A hundred and sixty six, in fact. Isn't that more than most?"

"Don't give up!" cried Zuko. "Katara's the best healer of the world, she can help you!"

"She tried. There's nothing we can do. When the doctors said soon, I didn't expected..." Unable to refrain it anymore, tears began to run on Aang's face. "Ah, look at what you've done. I didn't want everyone to feel bad for me but I just can't help it, Zuko. I... I don't want to go." With feeble gestures, the Avatar tried to wipe the tears off his face as best as he could, but new ones appeared as soon as he wiped them off. "Can you call them?" he asked.

Zuko waved at their three companions.

You'll build your walls, and I will play my bloody part

To tear, tear them down

Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down

"My friends," said Aang in a whisper to the four people holding tight his hand and to his oldest companion of all. "Do not weep, for I'll always be with you. My death is not symbol of sorrow, but of new hope. Soon, a new Avatar will be born into this world and a new era shall begin. It couldn't be in better hands than yours." Seemingly exhausted, Aang took a deep breath and closed his eyes. "I have only one thing left to tell you." With great efforts, the Avatar opened his eyes one last time. "Thank you."

Cause I know my weakness, know my voice

And I'll believe in grace and choice

He knew she was coming. He had felt her long before she came this close. Still, he acted surprised when she put her arms around him and her chin on his shoulder. He expected her to be ugly, but now he knew she was actually beautiful and peaceful. He welcomed her. He welcomed death.

And I know perhaps my heart is fast

But I'll be born without a mask

On this day, tears of four companions flowed, a roar of a sky bison thundered, and the Avatar took his last breath.

And her first.

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