Katara astounded
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A Bird Could Love a Fish



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ABCLAF Logo This Kataang one-shot takes place in Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno.

Chapter Forty-Three: Dying

Dying is easy.

It's living that's hard.

He is curled up inside of the ball of rock and stone, his arms shaking in his efforts to keep it solid; his eyes are shut, and his heart pounds, a thousand tomtomtoms, a thousand drums of war.



He braces himself. The fire is coming.

His death is coming.

"You're weak, just like the rest of your people." The Fire Lord's voice is a roar, an endless cascade of rage and unadulterated fury. "They did not deserve to exist in this world—in my world. Prepare to join them. Prepare . . . to die!"

A sudden searing heat pours onto the rocky barrier like a volcano emptying its vast collections of magma in a single explosion of fire and vapor, and he explicably thinks of Avatar Roku's volcano, of his past life, wheezing, on the ground, collapsing.

Of his past life, extending a shaking hand to Fire Lord Sozin.

Of Sozin, turning away, laughing.

History repeats itself.

The Fire Lord shall slay the Avatar where the Princess and the Crown Prince couldn't.

And this time, there is no Spirit Oasis water.

Relief. Coldness seeps in—not coldness, not really, just the same temperature as before.

A brief respite.


And more heat.



He will die.


And suddenly he finds himself imagining Katara.

He left her.

He didn't mean to, but he did; he found the Lion Turtle, and his past lives told him to take the Fire Lord's life.

I can't do that.

I can't take a life.

And Katara . . . she thinks he abandoned her. She must.

She doesn't know where he is—does she imagine he's dead?

Does she think I just ran away from her, just like I ran from my responsibilities? Is that what she thinks?

I ran away.

She needs me.

She needs me.

Another searing blast of fire, and this time it is accompanied by a taunt: "Come on out, Avatar! You can't hide in there forever!"

A massive circle of flame this time, and he can feel it, can feel the pillars of flame that extend beyond his little sphere of protection.

Katara, I love you.

I'll die for you, and you will never know I made my sacrifice for you.

The Fire Lord will say he found me cowering.

And he ended me.

And she will think I ran away . . . she will think I—

And the fires destroy his soul.

He Airbends a shield about himself as his rocky shield breaks away.

He is by himself.

He is alone.

There is no one . . . no one . . . no one who can aid him, no one who can help him . . .

Time has slowed to a crawl.

I'm sorry, Katara.

He slams into the cliff, and he gasps in pain, but no, he is dying, he is dead—


Dying is easy.

It's living that's hard.


Dying. The question is, is Aang dying literally or metaphorically? Both, in fact.

This actually places in both 320 and 321. Hm . . . I'll move it to 320, since that's where it begins.

"He Airbends a shield about himself as his rocky shield breaks away." -> [facepalm]

"I'm sorry, Katara." -> Worst. Line. Ever. I hate you, 220.

"And this time, there is no Spirit Oasis water." -> A nod to the Avatar Tournament. Hi there Azulfans!

"He slams into the cliff, and he gasps in pain, but no, he is dying, he is dead—" -> Avatar State, yip yip!

Oh, I almost forgot. Why the image? He thinks of Katara. Well . . . that was what Katara was doing at the moment. Ha, ha, ha.

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