DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own the characters from Avatar. They belong to Nick. I also DO NOT own some of the dialogue and references in this story. It belongs to Nick as well. I also don't own the words to "Valentine". They belong to Martina McBride. I do however own Sokka's nickname for Katara. If anyone else wants to use it, please ask me first.
May the light of God shine upon everyone and keep them safe
A/N: This story just came to mind while listening to "Valentine". I got to thinking of Sokka and Yue and this story came to me.
Sokka turned away as he watched Katara and Aang embrace. The couple had spent the whole day together, just enjoying each other's company. Sokka had suffered through breakfast and lunch, without saying a word. He kept his pain to himself, but now, he was fit to burst with frustration and longing. He missed Yue so much and he couldn't help but think if things had turned out differently, that he and Yue would be doing the very things that Aang and Katara got to enjoy on a daily basis.
Katara glanced at Sokka out of the corner of her azure eyes and felt a pang of guilt rise in her. She gave Aang a quick pek on the cheek and patted his shoulder.
"I'll be right back, Aang. I need to talk to Sokka."
"No, that's okay," Sokka said, getting up and glaring at his sister. "I need to take a walk anyway. Far be it from me to spoil your romance with airhead." With that, Sokka left camp, leaving a concerned Katara behind.
Katara glanced back at Aang, signaling to him with her eyes that she was sorry but she had to go after her brother. Sokka was hurting and it was Katara's job to help him feel better. After all, Sokka had done that very thing for Katara over the last six years and it was time for her to return the favor.
Katara found Sokka staring at the sky while sitting on a rock overlooking the lake. She saw the pain in her brother's eyes and her heart went out to him immediately. She knew what it felt like to lose someone you loved and long and pray for that person every day. Katara knew they both had lost their mother, but Katara had been closer to her than Sokka had, and Katara missed her terribly.
"Sokka?" Katara asked, sitting down next to the warrior. "Sokka, I'm here. I'm here if you want to talk." She put her arm around the older boy and was surprised when he pushed her away.
"Tara, don't." Sokka said, using his nickname for his little sister. "Just…don't, okay?"
Katara could sense Sokka was trying not to cry and she was now fighting back tears, herself.
"Sokka, it's okay." She told him, patting his shoulder gently. "It's okay to miss Yue, and it's okay to cry. It helps us heal. But you can't shut the people who love you out. We want to help you."
Sokka pushed away from Katara and turned his back on her. He then glanced up at the moon, which was now visible in the sky. A lump formed in his throat and he fought furiously to fight back the tears threatening to fall from his eyes, identical to his baby sister's.
"Sokka, it's okay," he heard someone speak those words again, but it wasn't Katara this time. The voice was so familiar and Sokka longed to hear it again, and at the same time, it pained him to hear it. It made his heart break into a million pieces. Sokka found himself collapsing to the ground and letting out a sob that he didn't even know he was holding in.
Katara was on her brother like a shot. She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a hug. She kissed his cheek and the top of his head before hugging him close and encouraging him to just cry it out.
"Shh, shh, it's okay, Sokka. It's all right. It's going to be okay. I'm here. I know what you're going through, believe me I do. I know you miss her. It's okay to be angry and it's okay to cry. It really is. That should never have happened to you. It was unfair."
Sokka couldn't take it anymore. The comforting embrace of his sister, mixed with his feelings of pain and longing for Yue caused him to break down right there in Katara's arms. He had never cried before, never. Not since his father had left for the war over two years ago. He had always been strong for everyone else, mainly Tara, and now that he needed someone, he was glad that Katara could return the favor.
Sokka suddenly felt a pang of anger and pushed away from Katara. He faced the other way and glared up at the moon.
"Why did you leave me!" He shouted, his anger coming to a boiling point. "I loved you! I wanted to marry you! I wanted us to be together! But you had to go and do what was right for everyone else! You didn't even care about my feelings or how much I loved you! All you cared about was doing your royal duty! You didn't care about me!" His voice caught in his throat as he spoke the last three words. "I love you, Yue. I loved you and you left me! Why! Why did you do that! You were the first person I ever really loved! You were the first person that I ever felt that special way about. You were the one who taught me how to love someone. You did so much for me and then you had to go and leave me! Why! I loved you! I loved you!" With that, Sokka broke down again.
Katara was at his side in seconds, embracing her brother once again.
"SHh, shh, it's okay, Sokka. It's all right. I'm here. I have you. It's all right. Just let it out. Just cry it out. It's okay. Shh…. " Katara took to stroking Sokka's cheek like their mother used to do for her back when Katara was younger and would be scared or not feel good. The calming motion always calmed Katara down and she hoped it would have the same affect on her brother as well.
To Katara's relief, it did. Sokka's breathing went back to normal and his tears lessened somewhat.
"Sokka, Yue loved you. She loved you so much." Katara assured him, hoping her words would help Sokka feel better.
"Yeah," Sokka said, bitterly. "She loved me so much that she left me."
Katara shook her head.
"No. She didn't want to leave you, Sokka. She didn't. If it was her choice, I know she would have stayed with you."
"How do you know?" Sokka asked, his voice barely above a whisper. His faith in his late girlfriend was slipping away and he was looking to his baby sister to put it back together.
"I just do. Yue and I had a conversation before…well before it happened. She told me everything." With that, Katara's mind floated back to the day her brother's life changed forever…
Katara was sitting by the citadel, practicing her waterbending when she felt someone sit down beside her. She looked over to see Yue watching her.
"Hi," Katara said, cheerfully. She was beginning to grow fond of Yue and she now saw her sister as a friend. She knew Yue and Sokka had a thing for each other and secretly, Katara hoped it would work.
Katara wanted to see Sokka happy and she knew Yue made Sokka happy. Whenever Katara saw the two of them together, she saw a glimmer in Sokka's eyes that she hadn't seen in a long time. She longed for the glimmer to stay permanently.
Katara was interrupted by Yue's voice.
"Master Pakku really taught you well."
Katara nodded and smiled fondly, thinking of her waterbending master.
"Thanks. I owe a lot to him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have gotten this far."
Yue nodded. She then sighed.
"Can I tell you something, Katara?" Yue asked, giving her sister a desperate look.
"Sure," Katara said, resting her chin on her right hand. "You can talk to me about anything. Just like Aang and Sokka can. What is it? Is it about Sokka?"
"I really like him. I mean I really like him. But…" Her voice trailed off as she looked down at the icy ground below.
"What is it?" Katara asked, sensing there was something Yue was scared to admit.
"I love Sokka, but I…I'm engaged."
Katara nodded to show Yue she understood.
"But isn't there a way around it?" Katara asked, desperately. "I mean if you love Sokka, you should be with him."
Yue nodded, a sad smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"I know, but there's no way to change it."
Katara nodded and then her eyes widened in realization.
"Change it! That's it! Yue, can you go to your father and talk to him honestly? Will he listen to you?"
"Of course he will."
"Okay. Well, why don't you go to him and ask him to switch the person you're going to marry? Tell him you don't really love this Han guy and tell him how much you love Sokka. If you speak from your heart, your father will have to listen."
Yue smiled and gave Katara a hug.
"You're right. I'll go and talk to him right after my picnic with Sokka."
Katara smiled as she watched her new friend and sister leave.
"We will," Yue said, giving Katara a wave as she left to meet the love of her life.
Little did Yue know that just a few short hours from now, she and Sokka would be torn apart forever by the same forces that took Katara's mother away.
But sadly, Sokka and Yue never made it on their picnic. They had decided to take a ride on Apa instead. This was a better idea, according to Yue. She liked the feeling of flying and she liked being with Sokka. She felt free when she was on Apa and being near Sokka made her feel complete.
As they flew, Sokka spotted something on the ground and gave Apa the command to land.
Once the bison had landed in the soft snow, Sokka examined it more closely and gasped.
"What?" Yue asked, getting concerned herself. "Sokka, what is it?"
"Fire nation," Sokka said, making a half fist in anger. HE calmed down and let Yue put a hand on his shoulder.
"How do you know?" Yue asked, her fear showing a little bit. She had heard the nightmare of the attack on the Southern Water Tribe and prayed that would not befall her home and tribe.
Sokka gave her a grim look.
"I remember seeing soot in the snow the day my village was attacked."
Yue nodded. She gave Sokka an understanding look.
"I'm sorry that happened to you and Katara," Yue said, pulling Sokka close.
Sokka rested his head on her shoulder for a minute or two. It felt good being in Yue's arms and he prayed and hoped that once all was said and done, he would still have her warm embrace to come back to.
"We need to warn Tara and Aang," Sokka said, getting serious once again.
Yue nodded and gave Sokka a strange look.
Sokka caught it and blushed.
"Katara. Tara is my nickname for her. I've called Katara 'Tara ever since she was little."
Yue nodded and smiled, despite herself.
"That's cute. It's good that you two are so close. Come on, we have to find them." With that, she led the way back to the village.
The attack felt like it had lasted a week, but in reality, it had only lasted two days. And in that space of time, they had all suffered in one way or another. But none more than Sokka.
Sokka had been entrusted by the Chief to watch over Yue and see that no harm came to her. Sokka took his job seriously and vowed to protect Yue the same way he protected Katara.
But sadly, it didn't stop Yue from doing what she felt was her duty to save her people, and ultimately Sokka as well.
Sokka looked on helplessly as Yue walked over to the fountain. He knew what she was going to do and he was going to do whatever it took to stop her. And it wasn't just because her father had entrusted Yue to him, but because Sokka loved her.
"No!" Sokka shouted, pulling Yue back gently but firmly. "You don't have to do this! Please!"
Yue gave Sokka a pleading look while grabbing both of his hands in hers.
"It's my duty, Sokka. I-I'm sorry. But I have to do this."
Sokka wasn't giving up.
"No you don't. You don't' have to…You can't…" His voice trailed off as two sets of blue eyes met. Each of them speaking silent words that couldn't be comprehended with speech.
Yue turned away from Sokka to glance at the fountain once again. She then turned back to glance at Katara, who was now holding her head slightly, the affect of the dead fish taking its toll on her as well.
Pakku noticed his student's distress and put his hand on Katara's shoulder.
"Katara?" Are you okay?"
Katara merely gasped in pain and put a hand to her forehead.
"No. I…I I don't' feel so good."
Pakku nodded and guided Katara over to a bench to sit down. He laid her down upon it and checked her forehead. Indeed, the just turned waterbending master was burning up.
Pakku thought of getting Sokka, but he knew from what he had just witnessed near the fountain that the warrior had his own problems. After all, Pakku could take care of Katara on his own with Yugota's help. Yugota was a healer after all.
Meanwhile back at the fountain, Sokka and Yue were now engaged in a full out war of words, oblivious to anyone around them.
"You don't have to do this!" Sokka shouted, giving Yue a pleading look.
"Sokka, you don't understand!" Yue shot back. "It's my duty! I have to do this to save everyone I love! And that includes you." She said this last part in barely an audible tone, so Sokka didn't catch it.
"No you don't," Sokka said, his voice firm, but full of love at the same time. "You don't have to do this at all. Please, don't do this."
Yue shook her head and turned back to the fountain, knowing that the decision she had made was the right one.
"Your father told me to protect you!" Sokka exclaimed in a last attempt to keep the love of his life from doing something he viewed as stupid and totally pointless.
"He did what?" Yue asked, totally taken aback. She wasn't aware that she had moved closer to Sokka until she felt him pull her into a hug.
"Your father told me to protect you," Sokka repeated. "And that's what I intend to do. And not just because he told me to. But because I…I…I love you. I Love you, Yue. I've never felt this way about anyone before. Sure, there have been girls I've been interested in, but I've never felt for them what I feel for you. You've taught me something they could never teach me. You've taught me how to love in an unselfish way and you've also opened my eyes to what love really is and how beautiful it can be. You've given me so much in the little time that we've spent together and I…I…I don't want to lose you. I don't know what I would do if I lost you. I love you, Yue. Please, don't do this. Please."
Yue had tears streaming down her face at this point. She had no idea Sokka felt this way, although she had felt the exact same way about him ever since they had first met. She didn't' know what to say at the moment, so she just continued to cry tears of love, frustration and fear, letting Sokka hold her.
"Shh, shh, it's okay, it's okay. Yue, it's all right. You don't have to do this. You don't. We can find another way. I promise. We'll find another way. We always do. It'll be okay." He gave her a kiss on the cheek and put his hands through her hair gently, hoping it would help her feel better.
"I don't think there is another way, young man," Iroh's calm voice broke the two teens out of their thoughts and conversation. "If the moon spirit does not recover, I fear for all waterbenders." He looked solemn and Sokka knew that Iroh was telling the truth.
"There has to be another way," Sokka said, holding Yue tighter as she started to calm down a little bit. "Yue, please. I can't lose you. You're the only one I've ever truly loved. I would do anything for you. I want us to be together. I love you."
"I love you too," Yue told him, her tears subsiding a little bit. "But I have no choice. I-I'm sorry." With that, Yue gave Sokka a kiss on the cheek before clinging to him for a good five minutes. She then gave him a passionate kiss on the lips, which he returned. The kiss was full of ever lasting love that would never fade.
"I love you, Sokka. I'll always be with you." With that, Yue walked over to the pond and put her hands over the dead fish. Almost instantly, the fish started to glow and Yue concentrated with all her might.
As Yue felt her own strength weakening, she smiled. She knew she was doing the right thing. As she felt the last bits of strength leave her body, she turned to Sokka and gave him a peaceful smile. She would always love him, but she had a duty to fulfill.
But just as Yue's strength was transferred to the fish, Sokka ran over and took his love into his arms.
"Sokka," Yue said, a bit taken aback, but knowing what was coming all the same. "Sokka, what are you doing?"
"Yue, I love you. I have to hold you one last time. Please, just let me do this." Sokka's voice was pleading, almost tearful.
Yue nodded and laid her head against Sokka's shoulder as she felt her last bits of energy being drained from her body. She knew she would always be able to watch over Sokka and she also knew that she would always be with him. She loved Sokka immensely and if there was another solution, she would have jumped at the chance to stay with Sokka. But the fact was, there was not. This was the only way to fix things.
As Yue took her second to last breath, she gazed up at Sokka and touched his cheek with her hand.
"I…I…I'm sorry. I…I…I love you, Sokka. I love you and I'm sorry I…" Her voice trailed off due to exhaustion.
"Shh, shh, it's okay, it's okay. Shh, Yue. It's all right. Stay quiet. I love you. It's all right. I'm not mad. I promise. I…I love you so much."
As Yue felt her strength leave her body, she found the strength from within to do the only thing left. She planted a kiss on Sokka's lips, touching his cheek gently with her hand.
"I love you, Sokka," Yue said, her voice stronger than ever.
"I…I love you too," Sokka said, returning the kiss. "I'll always love you, Yue."
After they broke apart, Yue rested her head on Sokka's shoulder and he held her close as her body went limp in his arms.
Sokka looked up at Iroh, tears in his eyes. He held Yue's body to him, wanting so desperately to turn back time.
Iroh knew exactly how Sokka and Katara felt. He too had lost a loved one at the hands of his own nation.
"No!" Sokka shouted, but he knew Yue was gone as he rested her body upon the snowy ground. "No!" He then felt Iroh's hand on his shoulder in a comforting way. "She's gone."
Sokka was never the same after that. He had changed and he didn't know if he would ever be the same again…
Katara sat there, hugging her brother close. She had been sitting there for a good hour, just trying to calm him down. It seemed to be working, but now, the flashback had caused Sokka to start shaking. Whether Sokka was shaking from rage or sadness, Katara didn't know. The only thing she did know was that she had to get Sokka to relax before he caught a fever.
"Sokka? Sokka, it's okay. I'm right here. It's okay. It's going to be okay. Come on, we need to get you back to camp. Toph and Aang are probably worried."
Toph had been out earthbending while Katara and Aang had spent time together earlier that day.
Sokka wasn't paying attention to Katara. He was shivering and feeling awful.
As Katara attempted to guide Sokka back to camp, she found he was too weak to walk on his own. Katara hoisted him onto her hip and carried him back. Katara might have been small, but she was stronger than she looked.
Once they arrived back at camp, Katara lay Sokka upon his sleeping bag and put a strip of water across his forehead. She needed to bring his fever down.
"Sokka, it's going to be okay. I'm going to take care of you."
"It's not fair!" Sokka exclaimed, the first three words he had spoken since Katara had finished her story. "It's not fair! She shouldn't' have left me! I Loved her! I loved her and she…she…she left me!"
"I know," Katara said, putting a hand on Sokka's shoulder. "Shh, I know. But you're going to be okay. Yue will make sure of that. She's watching over you now. Just like Mom is watching over me."
Sokka nodded and let a few tears fall. He let Katara take care of him and found himself falling asleep to her sweet singing voice. He had forgotten how beautiful Katara's voice sounded. Katara had gotten that talent from their mother.
"I love you, Tara," Sokka said, as he drifted off.
"I love you too," Katara told her brother, planting a kiss on his forehead. "I'm right here. I'm not going to leave you."
"everyone else did," Sokka mumbled, making Katara's heart break into a million pieces for the second time that day.
"Well I wont," Katara said, a determined look crossing her face. "And that's a promise. Good night, Sokka. I hope you feel better soon." With that, Katara sat there, watching Sokka sleep. She prayed he would be okay, but Katara knew her brother was strong. He would pull through in a few days.
As Katara sat there, she looked up at the moon and closed her eyes.
"Please, Mom, Yue, please help Sokka be all right. I'm scared. I've never seen my brother like that before. I really hope he's going to be okay."
"He will be," a familiar voice answered.
Katara gasped and looked to her right to see Yue, standing there. She looked exactly like she had when she had sacrificed herself for the Northern Water Tribe, Sokka, Katara and Aang.
"How do you know?" Katara asked. "He really misses you."
Yue nodded and frowned.
"I know he does. I miss him too. And I'll always love him, but I had no choice. I had to do what I did. Tell Sokka I never meant to hurt him. Tell him that I love him and that I'm always watching over him." She said, walking over to where Sokka was laying.
Katara nodded and gave Yue a small smile.
"I'll tell him," she promised. "I promise."
Yue smiled at her sister and then bent down and planted a kiss on Sokka's lips and one on his cheek.
"I love you, Sokka. Sleep well. I'll always be with you." With that, Yue disappeared.
Katara stared at the place where Yue had just been standing and smiled. She glanced up at the moon and sighed with relief.
"Thank you, Mom. I love you." With that, Katara got into her own sleeping bag and fell asleep to sweet dreams. But before she drifted off, she checked on Sokka one last time. To Katara's relief, Sokka's fever seemed to have broken.
But what made Katara smile even more was the smile she saw across Sokka's face. It looked like he was finally sleeping peacefully and that was enough to calm Katara's worries for the moment. And as Katara continued to watch Sokka, she knew he would be okay. Her brother was strong and as long as Sokka had her and Aang and even Toph to help him through the hard times, he would be just fine. And as long as he had Yue to look out for him, Katara's older brother would make it.
If there were no words
No way to speak
I would still hear you
If there were no tears
No way to feel inside
I'd still feel for you
And even if the sun refused to shine
Even if romance ran out of rhyme
You would still have my heart
Until the end of time
You're all I need, my love
All of my life
I have been waitting for
All you give to me
You've opened my eyes
And showed me how to love unselfishly
I've dreamed of this a thousand times before
In my dream's I couldn't love you more
I would give you my heart
Until the end of time
You're all I need,
my love, my valentine
And even if the sun refused to shine
Even if romance ran out of rhyme
You would still have my heart
Until the end of time
'cause all I need, is you, my valentine
You're all I need, my love, my valentine