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The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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"Hey," Aang knocked lightly, "Dinner's ready, and our children are eagerly awaiting their mother. I mean, I tried to do that "here comes the Sky Bison" maneuver with the spoon, but none of them will eat without you."
"I'll be right there..." Katara gruffly replied back; she was lying across the bed, looking out the window as she clutched a pillow between her arms. Momo was doing his best to cheer her up by tapping her on the back repeatedly, but that wasn't proving very affective.
"Hey, what's the matter?" he asked concerned."Another bloodbending report---" she groaned, "It's my fault for introducing the idea to the city---I never should have convinced the council to make it illegal!"
"If you hadn't, the reports would still be on the radio, and they would be worse...Come on, do you want to talk about this?" Aang eased, stepping in, and shutting the door quietly behind him.
"No Aang," she barked, causing Momo to flee beneath the covers... "I really, REALLY don't want to talk about this---I never want to talk about this!"
"Katara...you and I both know that you'll feel better if you do..." Aang sat beside her, and rubbed her back, adding, "I love you, but this self-loathing, angry person isn't the real you...and you can never find peace if you bottle up everything you don't like. You need to talk this ou---"
"I'm sick of your enlightening statements about inner peace, Aang!" Katara shouted, as she shot the pillow at him... "You don't know what it's like to be a Bloodbender, to have this darkness always looming inside of you...to be afraid of your full power!"
Aang stood up, shoved the pillow back on the bed, and stated firmly, "Katara...I'm the Avatar! On top of having all of the cosmic energy in the universe to keep intact, I also have to deal with the fact that every time I go into the Avatar State, it's slowly killing me bit by bit!"
"What!?" Katara's anger melted away instantly, and she shot off the bed, gasping, "What did you just say?"
Aang's mouth was still wide open, but he was too late to take back his words. He sighed and rubbed his face in his hands before answering her... "I wasn't going to tell you---I didn't want you to be worried."
"YOU DIDN'T WANT ME TO BE WORRIED!?" she exclaimed, "What's so hard about saying "Oh, Katara...by the way...the power used to keep me alive, just so happens to be killing me faster, what time's lunch!?"
He covered her mouth with his hand and whispered, "Shh, I don't want the kids to overhear. Look, I've known about this for a while...and I've been exploring my past lives for an answer, but they say it was because of the Iceberg.""The Iceberg?" Katara wondered quieter now...
"Being in such a constant Avatar State for one-hundred years took a toll on my health. I cheated death and now he's trying to find a way to make things equal again..." he brushed against Katara's cheek, and smiled at her, "I'm not sick honey, and I'm perfectly healthy...there really is nothing you need to worry about..."
"Except that you're dying! And, there's nothing I can do about it!" she huffed with tears quickly forming in her eyes before she turned away... "First Ohev, then Mai---not you Aang, I can't lose you...you can't be dying..."
In an honoree tone, Aang said, "I hate to break it to you sweetie, but we're all dying. Each and every day we get closer to our final days on this earth---it is inevitable for everybody, even the Avatar."
"You know that's not what I meant, "she chuckled between sobs.
"Hey, hey..." he comforted, wiping away her tears before kissing his wife softly on the forehead... "Look at me, look...I'm the picture of health, I have a good fifty years or more left in me---I'll probably outlive all of us just to be safe---and when my time does come I won't be afraid...and promise me that you won't be either."
She sniffed, "Okay...I promise."
"Good," Aang grinned, sealing the deal with a tender kiss, "Now you need to promise me one more thing Katara...don't tell anybody about this okay? Not Sokka, not Zuko, don't even tell Toph---though...she might already know?""What!?" Katara screamed, "You told Toph before you told your own wife!?"
"No, no, no, no..." Aang pleaded as she started mercilessly beating him with the pillow, "She might have figured it out when I took Azula's Firebending...I just got really tired in front of her---it was nothing, really!"
"Ugh!" Katara groaned, "Who's keeping all of their secrets bottled up inside Aang...I can't believe you would keep something this big a secret from me!" Katara started muttering as she left the bedroom to go have dinner with her children...
Meanwhile Aang was blue in the face in terror and he called timidly out to his wife, "I'm so glad we can open up about our feelings like this, dear!"
To which all he heard replied throughout the hallway was a loud, agonizing, "UGH!"
It had been an extremely hard time for the Royal Family. From the loss of Zuko's father, his wife, and his son, the return of his mother, his uncle, and his sister---things were hard to mend, but life was getting better. Once a year, the entire family would go to Ember Island for a vacation, and even then, Azula was becoming easier to manage. Iroh opened up his own tea shop in the Fire Nation and pursued his dreams closer to home. The only problem now was Honora...the loss of her mother was too much for her to bear, and by her father keeping it a secret for so long after---made it hard for her to trust him. Honora started rebelling, she dressed in black and acted----well, a lot like her mother did at that age. In fact, her attitude was getting so bad, she almost turned into another mini-Zuko (the one that hunted the Avatar).
"I'm going to talk to her..." Zuko stood up."Don't bother," Azula scoffed, "You'll only make things worse."
"I'm her father....I think of all people I can handle my depressive teenaged daughter!?"
"Zuko," Ursa eased, "Sometimes all a girl really needs---is time alone to think---and space."
Zuko gave her a look and she started giving him another speech about why she had to leave in the first place. Meanwhile, Uncle was at the shop and it looked like this was a job for the loving, Aunt Azula.
"Hey, Princess Gloom n' Doom..." her voice snickered.
"Leave me alone Azula," she sighed, "I'm not in the mood..."
"Funny," she teased, "You're not in the mood for much of anything anymore, are you?"
"What do you want from me Azula?" Honora gruffed while folding her arms and turning her back on her aunt.
"You want to know something...your mother asked me that very same question....right here, right where you're sitting. We were here on Ember Island, "expressing" our feelings...." She tittered, "She was a really "Depressing Bessie" too----until she married my brother, and she changed for the sappier."
"So what..." she gruffed.
"My secret was that I never had my mother's love---not like Zuko did---but things have changed now."
"If this is payback for what I said last year----SAVE IT! I don't want to hear about how you have a mom now, and mine ABANDONED ME!"
"I wasn't going to say that..." Azula sat down, "Okay, I'll admit, I was thinking it....but look here you little Fire-Brat...your mother DID NOT abandon you----she died."
Honora snorted, "Same thing---I said goodbye to her before I left and she promised she would be there waiting for me when I got home...she lied."
"Your mother loved you more than anything else in the world---the fact she had to die just for you to know that, is just sad."
"What are you talking about, I know she loved me!" Honora exclaimed.
"Oh yeah," Azula snickered, "Then why are you acting like you never had a friend in the world?"
"Because I----" Honora stopped cold.
"Exactly...now stop acting like a brooding brat and forgive your father for delaying news that would have made you this way a lot sooner if he'd told you."
Honora sat up and her voice stopped sounding all slow and depressive..."Azula...why did you do this?"
"What?" she scoffed.
"Help me...why did you help me?" Honora frowned in concern.
"I see a lot of myself in you Fire-Brat----and trust me little princess, you aren't cut out to be her..." she scoffed in a tiny, amused chuckle... "Ha! Not even close."Azula started walking back up the small hill near the shore of the beach, when Honora stood up and under her breath, she said, "Thank you..."
Azula overheard and threw a shell at her niece's head..."Tell anyone and I'll ship you to the South Pole in your sleep. Glad we could have this little chat."
And that was the end of Honora's gloom-period...all thanks to something Azula said for once. Needless to say, that this kind of helpful speech was never given by Azula again.
- This is the first time a Radio has been seen in the Fanon, but not the first time it was mentioned.
- This is not the first fight Aang and Katara have been in together, but it is the first time Aang's told anyone about the Avatar State effects.
- The pictures hanging on the wall of Aang and Katara's bedroom are of their Wedding photo "Farewell"... and of Kya, Bumi, and Tenzin as their older selves that you will see later on in the Fanon.
- Zuko has a large scar covering his chest from when he and Azula had their epic Agni Kai during the ATLA finale, "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang".
- Note: Ever since Zuko told Honora the truth about her previous years stuck in Ba Sing Se, she has rebelled against him in a moody, teenager way that reminded Zuko very much of Mai.
- Azula has many cruel nicknames for her niece---but as much as she hates to admit it, Aunt Azula somewhat cared about Princess Honora.
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