Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar, and I never will. I don't own the song, either.

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Azula's Reason

Rain fell in blinding, dark gray sheets from the clouds above, pounding mercilessly on the earth. Dazed, still aching from battle, Princess Azula of the Fire Nation pushed loose strands of rain-darkened hair out of her eyes; her side throbbed, and her breath came in painful gasps.

The attack had been unexpected; in the downpour, Azula had not recognized the attackers, had only fought for her life, blinded by rain but hearing the cries of her friends as they struggled. Now she had to make sure they were okay. "Mai! Mai, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just… ow…"

The rain lessened slightly, and Azula saw a figure stagger over to her; as it came closer, she recognized the pale face and drawn gray eyes. Mai was favoring one foot slightly, trying to keep her weight off it, her face twisted in a grimace of pain. "Where's Ty Lee?"

Azula shook her head, pulling her hand away from her side to shake off drops of thick blood. "I don't know. Hold on." She cupped her hands around her mouth.

"Ty Lee! Ty Lee, where are you? Are you hurt?"

There was nothing but the steady roar of falling rain; then, a soft groan of pain. Straining her eyes, Azula saw a dark figure sprawled on the ground; a stricken cry escaped her.

"Ty Lee!"

I'm not a perfect person

There's many things I wish I didn't do

But I continue learning

I never meant to do those things to you

And so I have to say before I go

That I just want you to know

Mai and Azula ran to their friend, falling to their knees next to her. Ty Lee lay on her side, her eyes closed, breathing shallow and rapid. At first Azula couldn't see what was wrong, but when she and Mai carefully turned their friend over, she saw the long, ugly gash that slashed along Ty Lee's chest. "Ty," Azula choked out.

Ty Lee's eyes slowly opened; she smiled weakly, wincing. "It's not that bad," she whispered.

"Not that bad? Ty Lee…"

Suddenly, on a jolt, Azula remembered when a fighter had reared over her, with the intent of killing; she had felt something slam into her shoulder, knocking her aside, and heard Ty Lee scream. She gasped.

I found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

"Ty," Azula choked out. "You didn't have to…"

"Yeah, I did."

"Why?"

Ty Lee shifted slightly, ignoring the pain that ripped mercilessly through her body at the movement, her gray eyes meeting Azula's amber ones. She smiled tiredly. "That's what friends do."

"Ty Lee, just hold on." Mai's voice trembled. "We can get you help; we'll get you to a village…"

I'm sorry that I hurt you

It's something I must live with everyday

And all the pain I put you through

I wish that I could take it all away

And be the one who catches all your tears

That's why I need you to hear

Azula knew she should be trying to assure Ty Lee that everything was alright, to, but she was frozen. Ty Lee's words—"That's what friends do"—had ripped at her heart in a way that no enemy could. The complete, unquestioning trust and affection in those four words seeped into her bones like a chill and made her perfectly secure world lurch beneath her feet.

"It's okay, Mai," Ty Lee murmured, slowly closing her eyes. "Don't. I'm not afraid to die."

Those words snapped Azula out of her trance; a cry escaped her.

"Ty Lee, no!"

I found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

"You're not going to die!"

Mai's cry mingled easily with Azula's. Both friends felt as though their hearts were being ripped out of their chests. Ty Lee just smiled calmly, closing her eyes, sighing.

"It's not that bad, guys," she murmured. "I'm okay with it."

"We're not!"

Azula felt wetness on her cheeks, but couldn't tell if it was caused by her tears, rain, or a combination of both. "Ty Lee," she choked out. Ty Lee opened her eyes briefly.

I'm not a perfect person

I never meant to do those things to you

And so I have to say before I go

That I just want you to know

"Azula, Mai." Her voice was soft. "I have to go now. Take care of each other."

"No… no! Ty Lee, just hold on!"

Mai's plea came to late; Ty Lee sighed softly, the light died from her eyes, and her body went limp. Her eyes fluttered shut, never to open again.

"Ty Lee, no," Azula choked out, but it was to late. Mai leaned against her friend, turned her face into Azula's shoulder, and sobbed. Dazed, Azula closed her eyes.

"No," she whispered, tears streaking her cheeks. "Please, no."

I found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

But only silence answered the princess, and the only sound was the steady pounding of falling rain. Azula lowered her head, trembling; her hands clenched into fists, and finally she gave in to her tears, racking sobs pouring out of her body.

Ty Lee was dead.

I found a reason to show

A side of me you didn't know

A reason for all that I do

And the reason is you

The End

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I know Azula and Mai are OOC in this fic, but we don't know how they would react if Ty Lee was hurt or dying. This is a first for me, to.

Read and review please, and I should have Turtleduck posted soon!