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Chapter Eighty-Four: Out Cold
The arrow glows.
His arrow . . .
His arrow is glowing.
In the light . . . white . . . so bright . . .
The octopus form around her stills. Doesn't drop. She can't drop it . . . or she'll die. The Dai Li agents will take her.
But . . .
They are all watching.
They cannot believe it.
It's so . . . so beautiful.
He . . .
The Avatar State.
The very essence of his being.
Aang . . . I'm so proud . . . so proud of you . . .
She hears the crackling a second before it occurs.
That . . . that crackling.
The sound of electricity.
And then . . .
The whiteness of it burns into her eyes.
And he is hit.
For an instant, no one reacts.
For a single instant . . . no one reacts.
He hangs there in midair as if even he can't believe it.
He was glowing.
He was in the Avatar State.
But now . . . now . . .
His clothes are burned. Completely and utterly. There is nothing left.
Nothing at all.
Nothing at all.
She can feel the tears begin to flow down her face.
She gathers the water around her and creates a wave. Her Waterbending . . . fueled by pain . . . fueled by terror . . . fueled by grief.
She spreads her arms.
Like an embrace.
How many times . . . how many times she hugged him . . . embraced him . . . even kissed his cheek . . .
And now . . . the love she feels for him . . . he will never . . . never know . . .
She moves forward, her body shaking, and her grieving fury washes away all of his enemies. All of them.
She doesn't care.
She just . . . she needs . . . she needs to catch him.
And she . . .
Like a petal.
In the wind.
Like . . . a single panda lily . . . borne by a breeze . . . a sea breeze . . . through the sky . . . the blue, blue sky . . .
He floats, ever so gently, in her arms, and she knows that it is too late.
His heart has stopped.
She lands on the ground. The water flows away.
She stares up, hopeless, every single thing she could ever have wanted . . . gone. Pulled away.
The armies advance.
The Dai Li.
Zuko betrayed them.
Aang . . . please . . .
Her shoulders shake.
The tears drip onto his body.
He . . . is out cold.
Oh, I've been waiting to do this one. I decided to write Heaven, only from Katara's POV . . . and it ended up spanning four chapters.
Zutara jab there.
This chapter was sad to write . . . but I had a certain sadistic thrill from it.
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