Disclaimer: Nope don't own Avatar the Last Airbender, but I might in an alternate dimension.

Author's Notes: Originally I was going to make this the first chapter of a trilogy, but for now I'll leave it as a standalone. Please enjoy!

Self-Inflicted

A life of misery and anguish…most of it self-inflicted….self-inflicted…

On days like this I think back to Aunt Wu's words. That tone of certainty in her voice, those old eyes reflecting her pity, one glance and she had defined the rest of my life in a few words. From the place I stood then to the place I lay down now, her words always hung over me like dark clouds marking me for nothing but tragedy.

There are screams of terror, shouts of victory, noise my mind easily drowns out as I shift slightly to get more comfortable. The soft grass contrasts greatly with the rough and tattered remains of your uniform, but the feel of your calloused and bloody hand in mine is what I'll remember most.

I wish I could kiss you. Just once more in case this is the end, but my body has reached its limits. All I can do is lay here by your side and wait for fate to pull my life again.

As I stare at the folds of your shirt I can't help but think about how we got to this point. If I had the strength to smile right now I would.

I won't see how this war ends; I won't see my sister and friends ever again, but at least I'm going to die next to you.

I remember how heavy your body and my heart was, as I half-dragged you underneath this tree. I'll always wonder why you didn't protest.

I remember your fight with your sister; did you feel remorse in her death? What did she whisper to you before she took her last dying breath?

I remember Aang fighting your father, all the chaos, the mayhem, of their clash. The sheer awe at seeing the power the world had waited 100 years for.

I remember the last time you held me in your arms and burned me with the heat of your hands. We spent that entire night relearning each other's bodies and I'll never forget how you said with your body what you could never say with words.

I remember how the violent arguments and snarky banter began to be replaced by comfortable silence and a shaky friendship. I wonder when your gaze on me changed. When did you start looking at me as more than a comrade?

I remember the first day I laid eyes on that scar of yours. It intimidated me and secretly fascinated me. For a moment I wondered if your pain was the same as mine. Yours was obvious, mine was hidden underneath war paint.

I stop reminiscing when I feel your body shift a little. I hear your breaths grow shakier and feel you pull me the tiniest bit closer to you. You murmur your last words to me and a paralyzing fear grips me as I feel the life slowly flow out of you. I whisper my reply and feel the barest trace of your hand holding mine tighter.

I've lived a lifetime in only 15 years and the rest of my life in these few minutes. When I was younger I told myself that I would die a warrior's death, but laying here in your slackened arms gives me more honor than anything else I've ever done. I feel my eyes grow heavy and let my exhaustion catch up with me.

When I open them again, I'm not surprised to see your smirking expression.

"About time," you say arrogantly.

I'm about to retort, but your outstretched hand stops me. I take it and you pull me up towards you. Before I can do anything else I feel your hands on my face and close my eyes as our lips finally meet.

When you pull away I'm left breathless and blush slightly at the soft gaze in your eyes.

"I owed you that, peasant."

I smile briefly before smirking and saying, "You owe me an eternity of those, you jerk."

I feel a pull moving me forward and momentarily stop when I feel your fingers intertwine with mine. I look at you in surprise, but you only look ahead and before I know it we're walking forward. The brilliancy of the light around us grows in intensity and swallows us as we walk toward the warmth.

The last thing I'll never forget is how you saved me from a life of misery and anguish.

End

Author's End Notes: Please feel free to give me your thoughts; even flames are helpful (for roasting marshmallows anyway). Either way, thanks for reading it and I hope you guys liked it.