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Capital crater
Reuniting and Talking
Chapter information
Series

Reunion (Story)

Chapter

Two

Written by

PSUAvatar14

Editor(s)

Dcasawang1

Release date

4 August 2011

Word count

5,711

Chronology
Last chapter

Journey and Worries

Next chapter

Endings and Beginnings

Reuniting and Talking is chapter 2 of Reunion.

Fear

Between the two lovers, who were separated by a numerous quantity of miles, it was hard for there to not be an element of fear. Days had separated their last sight of one another, the last time they heard their words. Outcomes were still unknown. Questions remained unanswered. Thoughts still racing.

The Feng

Aang and Katara had now gone five days since their last talk ended in his yelling at her in a debate over whether or not he should have taken Ozai's life. Aang's last week with Katara didn't go well at all. He kissed her without realizing her true confusion, something he didn't get until it was too late. What was done had been done. Not to mention that he had run away from it all. What could she think of me? However, he didn't have Katara right there with him, leaving him the bigger question. Is she okay? Please let her be okay...please...I couldn't stand to lose her...

All he could do was just look out the window. He had been lent some fresh clothing by Zhito: A small sleeping robe worn by young recruits, and a pair of black and yellow boots, similar to those worn by Zuko. As the Capital approached, all Aang could do was watch the ship continue to float over the large expanse of water. They were still several hours away from their destination, likely not arriving until later that night. His fears weighed heavily on his mind, cancelling out the joy that surrounded his victory over Ozai. He feared...for her.

Aang made his way out to the cockpit. The sun had barely risen, but its first pieces of light were shining into the mighty Feng. Zhito returned to the controls after taking some time to sleep, which had resulted in Suki controlling the ship the day before. Things went well.

"You are up early, Avatar," the commander said, quickly turning to him before putting his eyes back on the ocean in front of him.

"I couldn't sleep well at all, Zhito. I have so much on my mind, now that I have beaten Ozai. Sokka filled me in on what I missed. So I'm a little worried about things. However, there's one thing that's really bothering me."

"Really, now? Just what is that?"

"Well, before I fought the Fire Lord...I sort of left someone behind. This girl...I...love her. However, I sort of..." he gulped. "...Sort of ran away from her, and everything. I was so scared about this fight and what to do. Now, I feel so stupid for what I did. More than that; I don't even know if she survived the Comet."

"Is this girl a great fighter?" Zhito asked.

"Yeah...she is. She's amazing! She's an incredible Waterbender. She taught me most of what I know about it. I know she is, I just...haven't seen her. So I'm so scared for her."

"Your friend sounds familiar to me. The rumored last Waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe. I have heard of her. The name escapes me, however."

"Katara."

"Ah, yes, that's it. She's a master, apparently. I don't think you'll have too much to worry about with her survival. She can hold off many people very well."

"That may be true Zhito, but what if she doesn't like me?"

"Well, I can't help you much there, as I don't know much of her relationship with you." Zhito looked to suddenly see some storm clouds approaching from the west. A storm system was dropping down in their direction and the Capital's. "Looks like we're going to have some trouble. I apologize, Avatar. I'll have to retain my focus now."

"I understand, Zhito." Aang walked away from the Commander and returned to his room, his love still on his mind. As he saw the storm clouds, he couldn't help but be reminded of that first time he opened up to her, in the middle of a firelit cave. The first time she truly understood him, and the first time he felt so close to her.

The Capital

Katara woke up to an unpleasant sight, having just fallen asleep a few hours ago after being up most of the night. She could hear the thunder clapping and the rain pouring down outside the Royal Palace. "Great, cruddy weather. Just what I needed to see," she mumbled to herself. Not sure of the whereabouts of the storm, she feared greatly for the rest of the Gaang. What if they get caught in this? I hope this storm isn't going this far...

After re-doing her hair in her bun, she replaced her hair loopies. Her tired eyes looked outside at the pouring rain. She placed on her black cloak that she had acquired prior to attacking the Southern Raiders, and placed the hood up over her long brown hair.

"Katara? Where are you going? It's miserable out there," Zuko turned to her, curiously.

"I need time right now, Zuko. Just some time."

"Be careful. This looks like an ugly storm."

"I'll be fine." With that, the Waterbender stepped outside the palace, her footsteps trudging in the rain. She searched the Capital desperately for any sign of an airship, any sign of her brother, her friends, and him.

Her search came back fruitless. They were all still out there, flying through possibly a storm themselves. Katara moved her head up to the stormy sky, where the rain poured down on her face like a waterfall. It was some of the heaviest rain she had seen. Her look was sinking into great sadness and fear, as she realized that the rest of the Gaang was nowhere to be seen. She then saw a lightning strike.

Lightning.

Like the lightning with struck in the Crystal Catacombs. Katara closed her eyes, and the scene played out in front of her, like she had gone back somehow to the very day, and was watching it happen. She saw Aang rise above the ground, eyes and tattoos aglow, ready to save her. Then, came the lightning. Aang quickly lost his consciousness, his breath, everything. She broke down in tears, and then quickly wiped out her octopus form, changing it to a wave that she rode in an attempt to catch him. She remembered wiping out the then-traitor Zuko, and all the Dai Li agents that blocked her path.

Then she saw him...gone.

In that moment, she felt like her heart had been ripped out and shown to her.

You did it once... Her thoughts took over from the flashback. She dropped to the ground in the pouring rain, her knees coming first. Her agony became vocal. "You can't...just...you CAN'T DO IT AGAIN!" The tears began to flow from her eyes. She felt the combination of teardrops and raindrops rushing down, hitting the ground. Her eyes became flooded. "Spirits...please! Don't take him from me AGAIN!" They were the same words she echoed in a troublesome sleep just two nights ago.

She buried her head and cried out her fear.

Aang...where are you?! Please...come back...please...I love you so much...I can't lose you!

Katara returned to the inside of the Palace, her cloak soaked from the pouring rain, her head hanging down.

"Is everything okay?" Zuko asked her.

"Zuko...I don't know. I'm so scared...between his outcome still in doubt...and now this storm...I don't know! Will he come back? Will they come back? I'm just so...unsure! I wish I went with him...I wish I didn't chase him away...look what I've done..."

"Katara," he placed a hand on her shoulder. "It will be alright. They will all return. Have faith."

"It's so hard, Zuko...when you've already had the person closest to you ripped away once...please, just leave me be. I need time."

Katara ran upstairs, returning to the guest room. She buried her head in her pillow, pouring out tears.

"My friends...my brother...Aang..."

She thought out her apology, in case he was never to hear it.

Aang, if only I understood. I didn't. I let you go away from me. Now I don't know where you are. Just...come back...please. I'm so sorry if I took you the wrong way. You're my life...you complete me. You've come so far. I can't lose you now! Please, Aang! I love you...more than you'll ever know!

She watched the rain fall, in time with her tears.

Turbulence

Commander Zhito was facing his first dangerous situation as a pilot. He had never traveled in a storm. "Attention! All engineers below! Slow it down a little down there! We're going to have to be careful!"

The ship was shaking against the strong wind and heavy rains. Lightning struck near it.

"What's happening?!" Sokka quickly made it to the cockpit, helped out by Suki.

"We have a storm! You all shouldn't really be here right now; I need to be focused! This storm looks pretty ugly!" Zhito yelled back to the pair, trying to guide the Feng through the storm.

"Wait, a storm?" Toph wondered. "I thought we were supposed to have smooth sailing! What gives?"

"I guess that's not the case anymore," Suki pointed out, taking Sokka and Toph out of the cockpit. "Come on, we have to make sure we're safe. I've never flown through a storm before."

"If I may offer one last piece of advice, just brace yourselves. Try to hang on to something if we start seriously tilting or shaking," Zhito said to them quickly as they exited, closing the metal door of the cockpit.

In his room, Aang meditated, trying to shut out the impacts the storm was having on the Feng. However, he found this hard, as all he could think of was her. His apology was echoing through his thoughts.

Katara...you were confused...so scared, and I moved too fast. Why did I do that? Then I abandoned you...I ran away instead of listening...I should have talked it out, but my anger and confusion got the best of me. I hurt you Katara, I know I did...I love you...I don't want to hurt you. If you're still around, I just hope you know how sorry I am...

His thoughts were cut off as Suki entered his room. "Aang! Bear down! This storm's starting to get horrible!"

"Well, Suki, what do we do? I can't do anything!"

"Just try and stay safe. Zhito's going to do all he can. You just have to hold on. It's all any of us can do."

The storm started to get worse as they flew towards its center. They were not a long distance from the Fire Nation, but the trek's time was now trending longer, as the storm prevented the ship from making further progress. The wind and rain forced the ship slower and off course. It began to shake, throwing its passengers around.

"Grab on to something!" Sokka yelled out. The four were gathered in the hallway, then moved into their rooms.

"Wait! Don't you all remember?" Toph pointed out. "I can keep you all safe." She led them to the hallway, and bent out some metal. She trapped all four within, which would be enough to hold them tight for the moment.

"Well, this shows our friendship, I suppose..." Aang looked at the remainder of his friends, all enclosed, tightly together.

"It has to do for now," Sokka said. They all stood as still as possible, as the outside storm continued to rage. Sokka and Suki stood closely next to each other, while Aang closed his eyes in his best attempt to meditate. "You know, the universe just keeps making this harder..." Sokka complained, after yet another obstacle kept them from being safe. "Well, stop making it so easy," Toph yelled at him.

A few hours passed as the storm continued. Zhito was working his hardest, pushing whatever buttons he needed, pulling levers, and maintaining a steady hand on the wheel. Suddenly, he could see the clearing ahead. However, the storm was still harsh. "Steady..." he said to himself, fighting the storm with all his piloting might.

The Gaang remained in their metal holdings, hoping they would survive. "We're going to make it guys! We've been through too much to lose now," Sokka said with a fierce determination. "Hey, Boomerang Boy, what do you suggest to stop this storm?" Toph yelled at him. "Aang, you have the Spirit World thing! Why don't you try something?" Sokka asked him. "Sokka, it doesn't exactly work that way! I need a gateway to the Spirit World!" Aang reminded him.

Suddenly, as some time passed, the shaking stopped, and the vicious weather came to an end.

"Wait...is it over?" Suki wondered out loud.

"I don't know..." Sokka said to her, looking into her eyes.

Toph removed the metal which had bonded them. She knocked at the cockpit's door. "Zhito!"

"Come in."

The Gaang walked into the cockpit, where Zhito had regained control. The sun was visible again, now preparing to depart the horizon, leaving the moon to take over. The storm clouds continued to head east. The lingering showers helped create a beautiful rainbow, its seven colors only being so appropriate to signal the new found peace.

"It's all over, everyone. The Capital is straight ahead. We'll be there in a few hours," Zhito said to them.

The four cheered and came together in a group hug, now all safe. They had made it through the storm, and now were home safe to Zuko and Katara. Aang looked at the window, and managed to crack a smile.

Katara...I'm coming. Remember, we're just like clouds...we can be dark and grey. But at the end of the storm...there's always a rainbow.

Reuniting

A/N: The first two subsections present clear transitions between the Feng + FNC. Starting with subsection "Landing", these transitions will not be separated, as the Feng will be at the Capital.

On the Feng

The moon took over the horizon as the Gaang looked out the window to the calmed sea below. They were now less than an hour away from the Fire Nation Capital. Their long journey was almost over, ready to meet their friends again...or, in one case, even more.

All four members were in high spirits. For the first time that day, hopes ran quite high.

"Let me say this...it has been an honor to guide you to the Capital," Zhito broke the silence. "I know that you guys did defeat my nation, but you are all brave young men and women, and also clearly advanced. For three teenagers to take out an entire Airship Fleet, and for one teenager, Avatar or not, to defeat Ozai...well, it takes a lot. I will swallow my pride and congratulate you all."

"It's a high honor, Zhito, to be praised by the likes of you," Sokka smiled at him. Zhito briefly took his hands off the wheel to shake all their hands. He returned to the controls to prepare for the final approach into the Capital.

"We should probably go to the plaza. I doubt Katara and Zuko roamed too far from there," Sokka suggested. "Where else would they go?"

"That landing can be arranged," Zhito replied.

Aang still carried some nervousness, hoping that Katara still loved him, still cared for him...that is, if she won... Come on Aang, release your fear....she won. Have faith!

Time was left to be the ultimate teller of the tale.

The Capital

Zuko and Katara looked at the night sky. "They should be arriving tonight, if I'm correct," Zuko said. "It's been nearly three days since the Comet."

"What if they don't come back tonight, Zuko? My brother...Suki...Toph...Aang..." She couldn't emphasize her love enough. Katara could only fear, knowing that he had the most difficult battle. The Phoenix King. Then came the storm. She paced the plaza, hoping for the best. She looked at her face in the puddles left behind from the storm. All she hoped was that her next sight would be her friends...her brother...then Aang.

Where are you Aang?

She tried to sit down, but she felt very uneasy. They all remained at-large, their outcomes in doubt. It was hard with news slow to move. In fact, there was still no news from Ba Sing Se. Rumors were spreading through the capital, all ranging from great victories for the Fire Nation to their devastating defeat. There was too much uncertainty.

She didn't know he was almost there, that mighty ship closing in on the Capital.

Landing

The Capital was in sight.

"We'll be on the ground in five minutes!" Zhito yelled to his passengers. "By the way, it's in your best interests to leave these soldiers behind. I'll help take care of them."

"Looks like we'll be back to our old friends soon," Suki said.

"Yeah...our old friends..." Aang said, his head figuratively in the clouds. He was focused on her again, a mix of happiness and nervousness.

"This has been one heck of a journey," Sokka said. "It's over now. No more fighting. No more war. I'm glad. Aang, Suki, Toph, you ready?"

"I am. Let's go meet our friends," Toph said. The blind Earthbender was satisfied with her present state. She had come from the shelter of her parents to being, essentially, a war hero.

Sokka had proven himself a master strategist.

Suki had enhanced her warrior skills.

Aang had become a fully-realized Avatar. He was now up there with all of his past lives. Like Sokka had said, Gyatso would be proud of him.

Reuniting

In the Capital, the master Firebender and Waterbender were watching the night sky. They looked at the moon shining down, lighting up the Capital. Zuko stood steady, while Katara continued to pace the plaza.

Suddenly, a sight caught Zuko's eyes.

"Katara! Look up."

The young woman looked up to the night sky and saw the ship. "Is that...an airship?"

On board, Zhito saw his landing area. "All right guys, I'm bringing us in."

Zhito started to drop the ship's altitude gradually, starting at the Gates of Azulon. He maintained enough height, however, to keep it on pace with the high mountain the Capital rested on. The ship's flow was very smooth, with little turning needed, showing how skilled the veteran soldier was.

At the capital, Katara's eyes began to light up as the ship drew closer. "It's got to be them!" She told Zuko.

"We can never be too sure, Katara. Let's wait until we do see them."

On the Feng, Aang anxiously awaited. He paced around somewhat, awaiting the ship's landing.

"There! Katara and Zuko!" Sokka yelled, seeing both of them.

Aang got highly nervous now. He began to sweat somewhat, nervous as to if Katara still liked him. He was glad Katara was alive, though. She's safe. Thank you spirits. Now...does she still love me?

Zhito dropped the ship in front of the Royal Palace, as Katara and Zuko backed off. The landing went easily. The two saw the Feng in all of its might.

The mighty doors opened. Off stepped Sokka, Suki and Toph.

"Welcome back, everyone," Zuko said to them, wearing a smile.

"Sokka! Suki! Toph!" Katara started to run, but decided to wait after seeing a problem with her brother. As they all approached her, she hugged all three. "Sokka...what's wrong? Why are you..."

"Long story, sister. In short, I broke my leg."

"Oh my goodness, Sokka," she hugged him again. "I'm just glad you're still here." She regained her smile, if only for a moment.

She peered around and then her smile faded once more. "Where's...Aang?"

"Oh, there goes Twinkle Toes again," Toph sighed heavily.

Suddenly, Commander Zhito's voice could be heard. "Hey kid, you coming or what?" His gruff voice demanded him.

The Avatar stepped out, showing his face to everyone. They all turned to him.

The world faded out to him and her.

"Hi...Katara."

A smile appeared on her face, and the tears started to flow like waterfalls.

"AANG!!!!"

They could only see each other. The rest of the world didn't exist for those moments. Aang only took a couple of steps forward as Katara ran up to her hero, the tears flying from her face.

She threw her arms around him, nearly knocking him over. She hugged him as tightly as she ever had. He returned the embrace warmly, welcoming her back into his life, and into his heart.

She placed her head on his shoulder and cried. Aang could feel Katara's constant tears wetting his clothing, but he did not care.

"Aang...I was...so scared for you...but...you did it! Oh my gosh...I'm so glad you're back..."

He had nothing to say.

They held each other tight, refusing to let go. They had not seen each other in days. They had feared for one another.

"All right you two lovebirds," Suki said to them in jest. "Break it up."

Aang released his arms from her and turned around. Katara, however, followed this turn and kept her arms around him. Aang allowed one arm to rest around her upper back, his hand on her shoulder.

"So...Aang...did you...you know...end my father?" Zuko asked.

"I didn't," Aang said. "I found another way. I took his Firebending away."

Katara looked to him with more focus, as did Zuko. "You did....what?" Zuko asked him, shocked.

"It's a new form of bending I used. I learned it from a Lion Turtle," Aang replied.

"A what?" Zuko asked.

"What is that?" Katara asked him, releasing her arms from his body.

"It's just a giant floating animal I saw in the middle of the ocean. Nothing special," Aang sort of laughed it off.

"So...you can...take away bending abilities?" Zuko wondered out loud. "That's....I've never heard of that before."

"It's complicated."

"Does it matter? You finally saved the world, Aang. We're finally safe," Katara smiled at him, and started to tear up. He's not the goofy kid I found in the iceberg anymore...he's so much more. Do I tell him...the truth?

The Avatar and the Waterbending master hugged each other once more.

"All right," Zuko announced. "The Royal Palace is open. There is more than enough room for everyone to sleep tonight. Aang, I can find some better clothes for you."

"Sure, Zuko, thanks," he turned to him, breaking free from his embrace with Katara.

The re-united Gaang retreated to the Royal Place, finally victorious, knowing that all was safe. All was finally settled. No more fireballs, no more coups, no more comets.

Still, there was one unsettled matter.

He saw her, walking by the hallway of his guest bedroom. At the same time, their voices spoke, as their eyes caught each other.

"Aang, can I talk--"

"Katara, can I talk--"

The Talk

After their simultaneous words, they each looked at each other. They tried to speak, but again, their words ran together. "You go first," they each said. They then chucked a little awkwardly.

"Well, uhhh...who will go first?" Katara asked. "Aang, do you want to?"

"I guess," the words seemingly crawled out of his mouth. His hands were wringing around, as his nerves increased.

"Katara..."

"What is it you want to say, Aang?"

"Katara..." Will she understand? "I'm sorry."

Her eyes grew a little wider. "Sorry? For what?"

"For all that I've done in the past few days. Katara, look what I did. I tried to move our relationship too fast, by kissing you when you weren't ready. You were confused and I didn't even listen. You could have liked someone else for all I knew."

"Aang..."

"I'm not done, Katara." His hands made it to his face, as he buried his look in them. Knowing he had to speak, he brought his hands to his lap, crossed. He dropped his head away from her look, now too regretful to even see her.

"I ran away. Again. I've left you so many times, and right before the biggest battle of my life, I left you. Who knows what fear I put into you. All because of my lack of desire to kill Ozai. I just left you. How could I have been so stupid?"

She took a seat on the bed, to his left. "Aang..."

"I was so selfish, I didn't even consider your feelings. I was all about myself...Katara...I'm so sorry...." He could feel tears coming on. Although he fought hard to hold them back, some trickled down the side of his face.

Katara looked at him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Aang...you didn't have to do apologize." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "In fact, if anyone needs to apologize, it's me."

Aang looked at her like she had just become a moose-lion or something of the like. "What do you mean, Katara?"

"Aang...listen. I don't think I exactly helped matters out. I didn't understand your struggle. I should have talked you, just us. I know what the Air Nomad way is, that all life is sacred. I should have been more calm with you too. I do wish you didn't run, but, I never thought you were abandoning us. Of course I was worried about you, I had no way of knowing if you survived or not. I just should have understood you. I'm sorry for that."

"I guess I can understand your apology. I still don't think you owe me one," he said, looking at her.

"Also, about what happened on Ember Island...you were right. I was confused...because I didn't like you."

Aang's head quickly dropped, in an apparent defeat. She doesn't love me...after all that... he could feel his heart breaking like glass, as tears started to flow. "What? You...don't? Katara...why?"

"Aang, I don't like you. I..."

"Yes?"

"I...I...love you."

His look quickly changed from one of defeat to a mix of happiness but also confusion. He looked back up at her, and gazed into her crystal blue eyes. "You...love me?"

"I've known it for a while, Aang. When I first found you, I thought of you as a friend. However, you became more than that to me over time. I saw you grow up so fast, became so duty-driven, ready to take on the world. I knew you loved me as well, for a while. I got confused....because I didn't want to lose you. I mean, I already lost you once, Aang. When you died for that short amount of time in Ba Sing Se...a part of me died..." her voice was whisper-quiet, only audible to him, as she sat close. She could feel tears coming on at the awful memory. "I didn't want to be in a relationship with you, only to lose you again. It would have been devastating. When you were in that coma, I was hurting. I was so scared for you. I just...needed peace. I've suffered so much loss because of this war. I didn't want to lose the person who I grew closest too," she finished as she smiled at Aang, wrapping her arms around him.

"All right, Katara. I can understand. You didn't want me to be torn from you. You have lost a lot in this war. We all have seen a lot, just how tough it can be. You lost your mother, I lost my entire people, your father left you...it hasn't been easy."

"Well, Aang...now it's over." She hugged him tightly, her tears becoming those of happiness again. He returned her hug. They fell into a trance, forgetting the rest of the world as they stared into each other's eyes and rested their hands upon each other's arms.

"Katara, the war is over....but this is only the beginning...for us."

"Aang..." she whispered.

"I love you, Katara," he had no problem saying now that it was out there that she loved him.

"I love you too, Aang."

They returned to their deep embrace, warming their hearts into great happiness. Just like when they got off the airship, they found it hard to let go of each other.

When they split, they looked long and hard at their faces, seeing the love for one another.

This may be the right time...she loves you...we're at peace...

Show him that you love him.

They puckered up and interlocked their hands, like they did in the Cave of the Two Lovers. They only could see each other. With hearts beating, their lips began to interlock. Just as they kissed though, they heard footsteps. They looked outside to see Sokka, who was being helped through the palace by Suki.

"Katara, Aang...hello," her brother looked at her with a look of curiosity.

"Hi, Sokka," she said looking slightly annoyed. Uggh, he has to ruin everything!

"Hey, Sokka," Aang quickly removed his hands from hers. "We weren't doing anything...just talking."

Suki smiled at the two lovers. "Awww, you two..." Aang and Katara blushed slightly, looking at each other than back to Sokka and Suki.

"Well...I was just wondering how you two were doing," Sokka said. You'd better not have tried anything with my sister. He grew a slightly angry look at Aang.

"Aang's right, Sokka. We were just...talking. Believe me."

"All right, Katara. I'll believe you. Good night." He walked away with Suki, holding a slightly suspicious look.

Unbelievable! I can't believe him! I never said anything about him being with Suki, but I can't fall in love with Aang?!

"Katara?" Aang looked at her slightly angry look. However, she calmed down upon the sound of his voice.

"It's okay, Aang. I just don't know what's with Sokka. Don't worry about it though, Aang. I love you, and that's all that matters," she said, and she kissed him on the cheek. He followed this with a kiss to her cheek, leaving her slightly blushing.

With that, she hopped off the bed, to return to her room. "Good night, Aang. I love you."

He looked at her with a deep smile. "Good night, Katara. I love you too."

She walked way, happier than she ever was, having the Avatar's love with her.

He laid down, smiling, looking at the ceiling. He was happier than he ever was, having the Waterbender's love with him.

Zuko's Decision

The sun arose on the early Autumn morning, its radiant beams reflecting off the Crown Prince's face. He was finally reunited with his new friends, however, he was still missing one.

Mai...is she okay?

His thoughts were quickly cut off by approach of the remainder of the Gaang.

"Zuko, we need to talk," Sokka said to him. "We need to look to the future now."

"All right, what exactly are we looking for though?" Zuko said, an apparent look of worry and distraction on his face. "My father and sister may be beaten, but we don't know if Uncle and the Order of the White Lotus took back Ba Sing Se. For all we know, the War could still be going."

"I don't think so, Zuko," said Aang, with Katara by his side. "From what I was told, the Order had some very powerful benders. I think that we're going to be alright," he smiled, a look of hope on his face.

"I do have faith in Uncle, at the same time though, their outcome is still unknown," Zuko reminded the Avatar.

"Still, Ozai and Azula are defeated. So, we need to talk. If Ba Sing Se is indeed liberated, the War is over, and then we focus on rebuilding and peace. The Fire Nation will need a new Fire Lord," Aang responded.

Zuko thought back to the words that Iroh told him a couple of days earlier, that he would have to be the new Fire Lord. It has to be you, Prince Zuko... the words echoed through him, loud and clear as a sunny day. Zuko buried his hands in his face.

"Come on Zuko, your Uncle told you, you have to be the new Fire Lord," Sokka calmly told him. "Why wouldn't it make sense?"

"Yeah," Toph followed. "You've redeemed your honor by joining us, you helped us save the world, plus, you kind of were supposed to be the next guy in line, anyway. So...why not do it?"

"It's not that easy," Zuko picked his head up and finally responded. "Even if I truly wanted to become the next Fire Lord, the Fire Sages would have to decide it. Technically, I'm still labeled as a tratior by my father. They would have to grant me amnesty, then decide if I am ready to take over the nation or not."

"But your father is now imprisoned," Katara reminded him. "He has no say in this."

"Katara, without him in power, the Fire Sages currently control the nation, but all of his rules, laws, decrees, everything, they all still remain in effect. They would have to reverse my status as a traitor. You wouldn't want a traitor to be the leader of your nation, would you? It all rests on them," Zuko looked at all of Team Avatar.

"Zuko, let's say that they do pick you...would you go for it?" Aang asked curiously.

The Prince fell silent as his thoughts began to race. Am I ready? I'm still only sixteen...but...Uncle believes I should...have I...?

"Zuko, you can do this! Remember what your Uncle told you. You satisfied your destiny, we all think you've redeemed yourself. You have your honor back. You should become Fire Lord," Katara said as the remainder of the Gaang gestured in agreement with nods and smiles. "You're ready to lead."

"Come on Zuko...my sister's right. Go for it," Sokka added.

"I have had my doubts about you in the past for obvious reasons," Suki remarked, thinking back to when he attacked Kyoshi Island. "I can see though that you have changed, and you have helped save the world. It's only fitting that you do take the position as Fire Lord...help the world re-build."

"We'll re-unite the world...together," Aang smiled at him. "The Avatar and the Fire Lord. Just as Roku would want it."

"Roku..." Zuko trailed off into his thoughts. He remembered how Iroh told him his secret relative, that he did not even know. Sozin was your great-grandfather on your father's side...but your mother's great-grandfather was Roku. "I...I can do this. Fulfill my destiny....my true fate. Help the Avatar restore balance."

"Say it!" A few of the Gaang yelled.

"I'll do it. I'll become the Fire Lord." Zuko stood tall and smiled. He was soon surrounded by a group hug, which, this time, he was not too shy to participate in.

Team Avatar was back together. It was almost time to move on to the next step. Tasks had been done. There was still one more battle outstanding, however....

Author's Notes

A storm. Of course! This adds to some of the (Kata)angst. Also helps to trigger memories. Plus, as a weather geek and hopeful meteorologist...yeah. :p

Daang it TAD, you make ABCLAF Chapter 22 too good. This is my second writing that I have referenced it!

"The Avatar and the Fire Lord" <----A reference to the episode of the same name, and the friendship Aang and Zuko share, of course compared to the one shared by Roku and Sozin.

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