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|Worlds Collide, Part 4: A Hero's Sacrifice|
February 25, 2011
Katara helps Zuko recover from his injuries. Aang races to stop Zuko, who intends to take drastic measures to ensure Azula's defeat.
Book 3 Finale: Worlds Collide, Part 4: A Hero's Sacrifice
Zuko twisted and turned in pain as Katara continued spreading the healing water over his body. He cringed and groaned as pain surged up his body, and the slight tingle of the water slowly taking effect did little to calm his convulsions.
Finally, he felt his muscles begin to relax and his wound start to seal slowly up.
"The lightning went within an inch of your heart," Katara said, "but it didn't touch. You were lucky."
After another minute or so, Zuko was able so shakily get to his feet with Katara's help. He grunted in pain as he stared at his blackened hand where the lightning had exited his body.
"Thank you, Katara," he said softly, "but you didn't need to do that."
"What are you talking about?" Katara demanded. "You would have died!" As he stared back at her, searching for words, a cloud of dust appeared in the distance. In a moment, it had caught up with them again, and the cruel face of Azula was scowling at the fact that Zuko had survived her attack.
"I'm sorry," Zuko said to Katara as he rose slowly into the air with Airbending. "But this is the only way to stop her for good."
"What is he doing?" Sokka asked as he stumbled up to them. All around them, the fighting had ceased. The spirits, good and bad, all had their eyes glued to Zuko as he rose higher and higher into the air.
Mai and Ty Lee emerged from the crowd of spirits as Azula rose into the air to confront her brother. The siblings leveled out high up in the air as Suki and Toph joined the group during the momentary break in the battle.
"Is that...Zuko?" Mai cried. "What is he doing? Where has he been?"
"And is that Azula?" Ty Lee exclaimed. "What is she doing?"
The rest just gazed up at the blood-red sky without saying a word.
As Zuko and Azula had a heated exchange unheard to those still on the ground, Aang sped up to the group and collapsed, clutching his side and gasping desperately for breath. Then, seeing the dot high up in the sky that was Zuko, he shouted, "NO! HE CAN'T DO THIS!"
High in the sky, Zuko was saying to his sister, "...so I have to be the noble one. I have to do what's right, even though I'll pay the price. It's my duty...as Fire Lord."
Azula screamed in delight at Zuko's proclamation. "FIRE LORD?" she shrilled. "You're no more fit for that title than you are the respect associated with that scar of yours!" She contorted her arms around and summoned another lightning attack.
"What's Zuko going to do, Aang?" Katara asked, switching quickly between staring at Zuko and back at Aang.
"He doesn't know that I'm human again!" Aang exclaimed. "He doesn't know that we can kill her without her being reborn as another Avatar...so he's going to take away her bending by killing himself!"
"WHAT!?" everyone exclaimed at once.
"The Spirit Amulets are inside of him...the only way to destroy them would be to kill himself! I have to stop him!"
Aang skyrocketed into the air in a desperate attempt to save his friend, while Mai stepped forward and cried, "ZUKO! NOO!!"
Zuko knew what he needed to do. "Your powers will only be destroyed if the Spirit Amulets are destroyed. And there's only one way to do that now." He glanced down at his friends and began to cry. "Mai...I'm so, so sorry."
He barely even felt Azula's lightning attack as it penetrated his heart. He closed his eyes and accepted his fate. The world darkened as he plummeted toward his death. He didn't even feel when Aang caught him midway through his fall, nor did he see when Azula's Airbending disappeared and she too began to fall. He had done his duty...he had done what was right...
"Katara, catch Azula!" Aang cried as he rushed Zuko down to the ground. Ignoring her protests, he yelled, "Just do it! I know what I'm doing!" Reluctantly, Katara used Waterbending to propel herself into the air, and she caught the flailing Princess. Katara brought her down slowly to the ground. Aang and Katara switched places the moment they had both touched the ground; Katara rushed to the right to heal Zuko while Aang dashed past her to the left to deal with Azula.
Before the Princess could do a thing to stop it, Aang had placed a hand on her forehead and another on her chest. He focused all of his energy on what he was trying to do.
Azula was evil; she always had been and always would be. She destroyed the Spirit World, and almost the mortal world as well. She tried to kill her own brother...
Aang's head tilted upwards toward the sky and blue light streamed from his eyes and mouth. Azula's eyes filled with fear in the moments before red light burst forth from her eyes and mouth in unison with Aang's. The entire world seemed to tremble as time itself stood still. Blue light from Aang traveled down his body and into Azula's.
The only way to restore balance is to take away her bending, Aang thought. Please, don't fail me...
Suddenly, a blinding flash of light burst up into the sky and spread across it. Everyone shielded their eyes from the light as Aang and Azula separated. Azula crumpled to the ground and Aang stumbled backwards into Katara's arms. As the sky dimmed, they saw that the reddish hue was gone, replaced by a normal, peaceful blue sky. It was over...
Azula knew well what Aang had just done; she had heard that it had been done to her father, too. She punched through the air at Aang, but nothing happened. She collapsed back to the ground in a fit of sobs, rocking back and forth and twitching incessantly.
"My destiny," she sobbed, tears streaming from her eyes. "My destiny..."
"...is to be locked up forever like your father," Aang finished for her. Sokka and Suki came over and grabbed Azula roughly, pinning her arms behind her back and carrying her back to the rest of the group under Toph's scrutiny.
Azula's eyes were swollen and red as she opened them to face the group. There, in the front, were Ty Lee and Mai. Both turned away from Azula, causing her to cry even more. She dropped her head and shook with grief. In one final effort, she lashed out at Katara with her foot. Nothing happened, and she accepted her defeat.
Katara stood up and smiled weakly. "He'll make it," she said, regarding an unconscious Zuko. "He's okay..."
And so concludes this epic (in my opinion anyway) fanon... *tear tear* ;') Look out for an epilogue chapter that covers a few brief things after this, but other than that be on the lookout for my next fanon entitled 'Chuan the Airbender,' which will be out soon!
So, did the ending live up to your expectations? :) Please leave a comment; I'd love to hear what everyone thought!!
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