I couldn't protect him. That's all I keep thinking about, although the Siege is over and we're leaving the North Pole. I couldn't protect Aang, just as Sokka couldn't protect Yue, and that scares me so much.

Yue and Aang had so much in common. They were both so nice, with good hearts. All they wanted was to help people, even at the risk of their own lives. If I imagined Aang at sixteen, he would probably have Yue's personality. And that scares the hell out of me.

Yue died protecting us. She smiled, she let go of Sokka's hand, and she died. She touched the koi fish, and she just died. She gave her life so that we may live, and I know that Aang would do the same thing, without hesitation, if he had to. And if he did that, I wouldn't be able to stop him, because once that boy gets something into his head, it's impossible to get it out.

I just want to protect him. He deserves it. His whole life was destroyed; his people, dead… Monk Gyatso, his guardian, dead. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking over Gyatso's role, because God knows Aang needs someone to watch over him. And sometimes I wonder if I'm good enough.

Zuko beat me. He beat me, and took Aang away. I was supposed to protect him, and Zuko took him away so easily. And when the spirit of the ocean took Aang, to get revenge for the death of the moon spirit, I was so scared that he wasn't going to come back. When I saw Aang standing there after the Siege, I was so relieved. I was just so happy to hug him again, because I almost lost him as easily as Sokka lost Yue.

I've come to depend on Aang so much. Maybe… more then a friend is supposed to, because if it weren't for Aang, I would still be in the South Pole. I haven't been as happy was I was when I went penguin sledding with him for a long time. It felt wonderful.

Maybe I depend on him more then he depends on me… and I'm older.

Sokka says I can't protect Aang forever. I know that. One day he will have mastered all the bending he needs, and who knows… maybe one day he won't need me anymore. And that scares the hell out of me like nothing else. I couldn't bear losing Aang, not after everything that's happened.

I know I can't protect Aang forever, but that won't stop me from trying.

I look down at Aang, who is sleeping in my arms, his head resting on my chest, his arms wrapped loosely around my waist as we fly. He seems so peaceful.

I know I can't protect Aang forever. But I'll try for as long as I can, until he's ready to be on his own.

And when he's ready, I'll know. Because I'm his guardian now.

All guardians have to let their charges go someday… but I'm not quite ready yet.

The End

This is basically like "Nobody Asked"... maybe you could even call it a sequel. Maybe not... it's a seperate story really, because how often has Katara tried to protect Aang? It must have scared her to fail him that one time, when he needed her most, and that's basically what she's thinking here.