DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own the characters of Avatar. They belong to Nick. I also don't own the words to "How Far". They belong to Martina McBride. But I do however own Katara's daughter, Hope as well as Sokka's nickname for Katara.

May the light of God shine upon everyone and keep everyone safe

Lauren

A/N: This song fic may have some spoilers in it for Secret of the Fire Nation. But just so there is no confusion, I'm using my own character of Hope for this story, not the baby that is born in the movie. In fact, the family the kids help aren't even in this story. And if you want to know a little more about my character of Hope, look for my story, "Finding Faith in Hope" which I will write soon.

"How Far"

The sun rays dipped down below the horizon as night fell. It had been a long two weeks for the kids but they had finally made it. Now the only two things left to do were to find Appa and warn the king of Bah Sing Sei about the upcoming eclipse. It was imperative that the king know. The sooner he knew of the approaching advantage, the sooner the war would be over and things could get back to normal for everyone.

But as this thought floated through Katara's head, she heaved a heavy sigh. Things wouldn't be getting back to normal for everyone, most of all, she and her brother, Sokka.

The two water tribe siblings had lost their mother in a fire nation raid back when Katara was eight and Sokka was ten. This had brought the siblings closer together, but it had also left Katara with an aching longing in her heart. A longing for someone that she loved and now her mother was gone. Katara missed her terribly, but the young waterbending master knew that her mother was watching over her, which comforted Katara somewhat and made the longing not hurt so much.

As Katara watched Sokka sharpen his boomerang and Toph playing with Hope, who was Katara's daughter, Katara smiled a little bit. It was nice to have a sense of stability in their lives for a change.

But even as Kataara watched her family doing their thing, she knew the stability wouldn't last long. The kids had come to Bah Sing Sei for a reason and they still needed to tell the king about the eclipse.

Sokka had tried to get in to see the king, along with Aang, but they were told that the king couldn't see them for another month.

Aang tried to explain to the court jester what was going on and that their news was urgent, but to no avail.

On the upside, the kids had been given a house to stay in on the upper east side of the city. This allowed them to sleep on beds for a change, which was nice and it even allowed them some privacy, seeing as the house had five bedrooms.

Sokka was a little weary of this concept, especially since Katara and Aang had finally admitted their feelings for one another. They had been inseparable ever since and Sokka was worried that their love would take them too far. He had spoken to Katara about this and she had promised him that she would NOT let it go that far and neither would Aang.

Sokka believed her, but had left grumbling something about girls and their teen hormones.

Katara had heard him and had thrown a water whip at him for being cheaky.

Katara's gaze shifted from Toph and Sokka to Aang. As her blue eyes landed on her boyfriend, a look of worry crossed her face. She could also feel herself becoming frustrated with the airbender yet again.

This had been a routine ever since they had arrived in the only strong holding earth kingdom city left.

The kids had traveled the deadly serpent's pass in hopes that when they had arrived at their destination, which was Bah sing sei, they would find Appa. But their hopes were dashed the instant they stepped through the entrance to the magnificent city only to discover that Appa was nowhere to be found.

The minute Aang found this out, he had slipped into a realm of uncertainty and despair that even Katara couldn't get him out of.

Katara had tried to comfort him and tell him it was going to be okay, but he was either ignoring her, or he didn't believe her words of faith anymore.

Whether it was one or the other, Katara didn't know. All she did know was she was growing weary of his mood and she was doing everything she could to help the young Avatar feel better, but there was only so much the waterbending master could do.

As Katara watched Aang from afar, she sighed. She was going to try one more time to help him, but if he refused her comfort, she wasn't going to try again that night, maybe not even try again for a few days. It wasn't like Katara to give up on anyone, but she was feeling the tension as well and she wanted to make the environment less tense for the rest of them, especially her daughter, Hope.

Katara had found Hope abandoned in a part of the earth kingdom.

The woman who had given Hope to Katara, told her that Katara was a blessing that she had been waiting for ever since the baby had been abandoned two weeks before.

The baby hadn't had a name, so Katara had named her after the baby she had helped deliver a week before. The family that the kids had helped had long since gotten on their way, but not before thanking Katara endlessly for her help.

Katara had been happy to do it and would do it again in a heartbeat. She enjoyed helping people and nothing made her heart soar more than when she knew she had made someone else's life a little brighter.

And now, Katara was determined to do that for Aang. That's if he would let her.

Katara sighed as she walked over to where Aang was sitting. She had left Hope in Sokka's care, even though her brother was a little reluctant to take care of the infant. He had complained that Hope resembled Katara too much, except for her appearance. While Hope and Katara had the same eyes, Hope's skin was lighter and she had light brown, almost blond hair. Other than the physical difference, Hope had Katara's temperament and personality to a T.

"Aang?" Katara asked, sitting down next to her boyfriend. "Aang, do you wanna talk?"

Aang looked up to meet his girlfriend's eyes and felt the sudden urge to tell her everything he was fearing and feeling, but he fought his heart and shook his head.

"Aang, please. I can't help you if you won't talk to me. You know you can talk to me about anything. You always could. Nothing's changed. I'm here for you."

Aang nodded, but still stayed silent. He wasn't about to give Katara what she wanted. He loved her and he was happy that Katara had excepted his true feelings for her and they were now moving along with their relationship, but he still couldn't bring himself to tell her what was on his mind.

"Aang?" Katara asked, trying yet again to get his attention. She reached out and put a hand on the young airbender's shoulder, but was surprised and a little hurt when Aang pushed it away.

"Kat, don't." Aang said, using his own nickname for Katara.

Katara had hated the nickname of 'Kat growing up, but something about the way Aang used it, made her reconsider her opinion and now she liked it whenever he said it. But this time, instead of sounding loving and friendly, Aang's tone sounded frustrated and full of irritation.

"Aang, please, talk to me." Katara pleaded. "I just want to help. I know it's hard for you and I know it hurts to hope and it hurts to care, but you need to promise me that you wont' stop caring. Promise me."

"Whatever," Aang said, his voice full of bitterness.

This scared Katara to the core. She had never seen Aang this way before and she wanted so desperately to reach out and comfort him, but she didn't want to risk Aang pushing her away again, so she refrained herself from doing so.

"Aang, I know you miss Appa. We all miss him. I know you were hoping to find Appa when we got here. But look on the Brightside. Bah Sing Sei is big. We haven't even scratched the surface of the city yet. We'll find him. I know we will."

Aang looked up at Katara for a brief second and gave her the teeniest of smiles. This alone, made Katara's heart soar. She knew she was getting somewhere now and Aang's gesture of ease proved it.

"Do you want to come in now?" Katara asked, gesturing to the door of their new and temporary home.

Aang sighed and shook his head.

"No." He said, his mood going downhill once again. "Maybe I'll go and search for Appa again."

Katara shook her head.

"no you won't." She said, a stern, motherly tone to her voice. "You're staying right here with us. We aren't getting separated in an unfamiliar place. We'll continue looking for Appa tomorrow."

Aang glared at her.

"Katara, it's my choice. You can't tell me what to do."

Katara glared right back, but her expression softened almost immediately when she saw the look of longing in Aang's eyes.

"Aang, I-I'm sorry. I just don't want anyone of us getting hurt or lost. We need to stick together just like in the desert. We can't afford to be separated from each other right now."

Something Katara had said, struck a nerve in Aang and he suddenly gave her a glare and planted his hands on his hips while standing up.

"That's what started this mess in the first place!" He shouted, still glaring at his girlfriend. "The stupid desert! If we hadn't gone down there, Appa would still be here! If you would have let me go and search for him, I probably would have found him by now!"

"Aang, calm down!" Katara pleaded, not wanting him to go into the Avatar state this late at night. "Please."

Aang did so. He then stared at the ground as his lower lip started to quiver.

"Katara, I-I'm sorry," he said, sincerely sorry for his outburst. "I didn't mean to take it out on you. You don't deserve it. All you're doing is trying to help me and I shouldn't have treated you that way."

Katara nodded and reached out to touch Aang's arm.

"It's okay, Aang."

"No, it's not!" Aang said, his voice strained with regret and tears. "All you've ever done is help me and comforted me when I needed it and this is how I repay you? I don't deserve you, Kat."

Katara shook her head and pulled Aang to her.

"Aang, listen to me. I love you and we're going to have fights every now and again. We're best friends before we're boyfriend and girlfriend and even the best of friends have arguments. That doesn't mean that I won't love you or that my feelings for you will change, because they won't. I will never stop loving you or giving you comfort and encouragement when you need it. I'm always going to be here for you. Do you understand?"

Aang nodded and laid his head against Katara's shoulder. He relished in the safety he felt when he was in her arms and berated himself silently for not accepting her comfort earlier.

"Aang, listen," Katara's soft and gentle voice broke the silence. "I know you're hurting right now, and I know it's hard for you, but I promise you, we'll find Appa. We have to."

Aang nodded, not wanting to move at the moment. He was comfortable and he felt safe and he didn't want to lose the feeling of security Katara gave him.

Katara sat there for the next half an hour, just holding Aang and soothing him through touch and soothing words. She wanted Aang to feel better and she knew she was a key factor in making that happen. The other key factor was finding Appa, which Katara was certain they would in time. All they had to do was keep looking and have faith.

Later that night, Katara was woken up by Aang' screaming. She jumped out of bed and raced to Aang's room in a flash. She and Aang would have been sharing one, but when Katara had suggested it, in light of the recent revelation of their feelings for each other, Sokka looked like he was going to have a heart attack. Sokka's jaw had nearly hit the ground when Katara had suggested the idea and he kept saying half sentences, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

The sight was priceless for Katara to see and she burst out laughing, but in the end, Sokka won and Katara was glaring at him as she put her things in her own room.

Katara opened the door and made her way over to Aang's bed. She sat down on the edge of it and took the upset and scared airbender into her arms.

"Shh, shh, Aang, it's okay. I'm here. Katara's right here. I have you. It's all right."

Aang struggled for a minute, but stopped the instant he heard Katara's voice.

"Kat?" He asked, using his nickname for her involuntarily.

Katara smiled in the dark. She loved it whenever Aang called her that.

"Aang, it's okay. It's me. I'm right here. You're safe. You're okay. Did you have a nightmare?"

Aang nodded and buried his face in Katara's shoulder, letting out a sob.

"Okay, it's all right. You're safe now." Katara started to stroke Aang's cheek in the way her mother used to do for her when Katara was younger and had a bad dream. "It's okay. I'm right here. You're safe now." Katara just kept repeating her soothing mantra over and over again, pleased when Aang's breathing went back to normal and his sobs subsided a little bit.

Ten minutes passed before Aang broke the silence.

"Thanks, Katara."

"Aang, it's okay. You don't have to thank me for being there for you. I Love you. I'm always here for you."

Aang nodded and sighed.

"I didn't think you would be after how I treated you earlier tonight. I'm really sorry."

Katara nodded.

"Aang, it's okay. Really, it is." She kissed his cheek as if to emphasize she had forgiven him.

Aang returned the kiss, but Katara could feel that his heart wasn't in it. This worried the teen and she ventured to fix the problem.

"Aang, do you want to talk about your nightmare?"

There was a few minutes of silence before Aang answered her question.

"No." Was his simple reply.

Katara growled in frustration inside. There he went again, putting up the wall that she worked so hard over the last few weeks to bring down.

"Are you sure?" Katara asked, hoping Aang would relent this time.

"I'm sure!" Aang said, his voice full of frustration yet again. "I don't want to talk about it, all right? It's my decision! Just leave me alone!"

Katara could feel her own tears stinging at the back of her azure eyes. It wasn't how Aang had said it, but the fact that he had told her to leave him alone, that hurt her the most. He had never done that before. Never.

Katara relinquished her hold on the young airbender and got off the bed. She left the room and returned to her own without so much as a backwards glance or a word to Aang.

Sokka, who had been up getting some food, saw Katara enter her room and shrugged. He didn't think anything of it until he heard her let out a sob. The minute he heard his baby sister crying, his brotherly instincts took over and he went to see what was wrong.

Sokka knocked on Katara's door, only to be met with a tearful, "Leave me alone!" When he asked her if he could come in.

Sokka smiled to himself. His 'Tara would never change, and for that, Sokka was grateful. With a last smile to himself, he pushed open Katara's door and walked in. He sat on the edge of her bed and took his little sister into his arms.

Katara sank into her brother's embrace and continued to cry. She buried her face in Sokka's shoulder and let out a heart wrenching sob.

"Shh, shh, it's okay, Tara. It's all right. Your big brother's here now. What happened? What's wrong?"

Katara tried to calm down, but it was hard. Aang had really hurt her and she wasn't sure how long it would take her to heal.

"Aang…Aang…" Katara said, trying to get the words out.

Sokka stiffened at the way Katara said Aang's name.

"Did he hurt you?" Sokka asked, protection for Katara in his voice.

Katara, without thinking, answered honestly.

"Yes!" She whimpered, her voice tearful and full of hurt.

"I'll kill him!" Sokka said, hugging Katara closer.

Katara, realizing her mistake and Sokka's interpretation of it, hastened to fix her foe paw before Sokka went crazy on Aang for no reason.

"No, it wasn't anything like that. We just had an argument, but then he told me to..he told me to leave him alone! Aang never did that before! I was only trying to help!"

Sokka got the message and gave Katara a comforting hug.

"Shh, shh, it's going to be okay, Tara. I promise. I know Aang hurt you when he said that. I know how much you've helped him. He's just frustrated and worried about Appa. We all are, but I think he took it out on you because you're the closest one to him. He didn't mean it. I know he didn't. Tara, airhead is crazy about you. He loves you. He would never hurt you on purpose."

Katara nodded and let out another sob.

"I just wanted to help him. He never turned me away before!"

Sokka nodded and tried his best to calm Katara down.

"Shh, shh, I know, Tara, I know. And I'm sure Aang does too. He loves you. He'll apologize in time. Shh, shh, it's okay. Try and take a deep breath. That's a girl. That's a girl…" Sokka continued to talk to Katara gently, hoping that would calm her down. He started stroking her cheek, hoping that would help her feel better. It did the trick and Katara was asleep in minutes.

Sokka sat there a few minutes after Katara had fallen asleep and just held her. He loved his little sister and it killed him to see Katara in any kind of pain. He wanted to make this better for her, but he knew the only one who could do that was Aang.

As Sokka lay Katara down, he gave her a kiss on her cheek and stroked her hair a few times.

"I love you, Tara. It's going to be okay. I promise. Sweet dreams, sis." With that, Sokka left the room, intent on eating a snack before going to sleep. He only prayed that Katara and Aang would work out whatever problems they were having. Sokka couldn't stand it when his sister was unhappy and he hoped Aang had enough sense to fix what he had done.

Katara was awoken by the sound of Hope crying. She opened her eyes and stretched before getting out of bed to tend to her daughter. Katara loved Hope with all her heart and she would do anything for her.

"Shh, shh, it's okay, sweetheart. Hope, it's all right. Mommy's here. Mommy's right here. Shh, it's okay, honey. Come here, baby." Katara picked Hope up and the child snuggled into her for a cuddle, making Katara's heart melt.

Katara went over to a chair and sat down, rocking Hope back and forth gently. She started humming to her, hoping it would help her baby girl fall back to sleep.

"You know, Hope, I love Aang. I really do, but he really hurt me. I was only trying to help and he pushed me away. But that didn't hurt me as much as when he told me to leave him alone. I was only trying to help. I hope he knows that."

"I do now," a familiar voice said in the doorway.

Katara glanced up to see Aang standing there. He had an apologetic look on his face and Katara could tell he was genuinely sorry for what he had said and done.

Aang made his way into the room and sat across from Katara on her bed.

"I'm really sorry, Katara. I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm just so frustrated right now and I want to find Appa so badly, that I started to forget about the people, or person who loves me." He gave her a small smile.

"You really hurt me," Katara told him, giving him a Look. "I wish you would just talk to me. Let me in. You always talked to me before. What's different now?"

Aang couldn't answer that question at first, so he did the next best thing and started playing with Katara's quilt.

"Aang, please don't shut me out. I want to help you. I love you. Please, talk to me." Katara's blue eyes were full of a pleading desperation that made Aang feel even more guilty for his actions.

Aang thought about this for a long time. He was sitting there for at least ten minutes before he came to a decision. He wasn't ready to talk yet and he hoped and prayed that Katara would accept that answer.

"I'm sorry, Kat, but I can't. I love you and I know you only want to help me, but I can't talk about it right now. I'm sorry."

Katara nodded and felt a sting in her heart.

"I'm sorry too," she said, getting up to put Hope back in her crib. Katara was about to continue her statement, but was interrupted when Hope woke up.

The infant started to cry and tried to reach for Katara.

"Shh, shh, it's okay, sweetheart. Mommy's right here. It's all right. Aw, come here, honey. Are you hungry? Does your tummy want something to eat?" With that, Katara picked Hope back up and cradled her close.

Aang couldn't help but smile. The image of Katara holding a baby was just enough to make him smile a little. He knew Katara would make a great mother and here she was, proving him right.

As Katara bounced Hope on her hip, she turned her attention back to Aang.

"I'm sorry because when you do want to talk, I'm not sure I'll be around." With that, Katara left the room to feed Hope a bottle.

Aang followed her, not sure what she had meant by that.

"What do you mean?" He asked, stopping short of the kitchen where Katara was preparing a bottle for Hope.

"Just what I said," Katara replied, not looking up from her task. "I love you and I want to help, but you're making it hard. You won't talk to me and you refuse my comfort. You're shutting me out and it's hard for me to see you like this. It's hard for everyone to see you like this, but me especially. I want to help you, but you won't let me. I want to make this work so badly, it's breaking my heart. But it hurts so much sometimes. It hurts me to see you like this and I want to make it better, but I can't. I can't because you won't let me in. Ever since Appa was taken, it's like you've given up and that scares me, Aang. It scares me so much because I know that's not you. You can't give up. Please, let me help you. Please talk to me. Please."

Aang didn't answer her. He did look her way, but he couldn't answer Katara. Her words had hit him hard, but he didn't have an answer for her, or at least, not the answer she wanted. He didn't even have a proper answer for himself at the moment.

Katara could tell that Aang was trying to please her. She knew he wanted to please her and let her help him, so she gave him one last glimmer of hope for their relationship before going to bed.

"Aang, like I said before, if you want to talk, I'm here. But I honestly don't know how much longer I can wait." As Katara took the bottle off the stove, she turned around and walked out of the room. As she got to her bedroom, she turned back around and gave Aang a hard stare.

Aang backed up a little bit, but as much as he wanted to look away, he couldn't. There was just something about Katara's eyes that made him not be able to look away.

"You better think long and hard about what you're doing to us. I love you, but I don't know how to help you anymore. You wont' accept my comfort or advice. I don't know how far I have to go or what I have to do to help you understand that all I want to do is help. I need your help here. I'm lost as far as how to help you. It's up to you now. Until you know what you want, I can't help you. If you want to talk, you know where to find me. I love you." With that, Katara went into her room and closed the door, leaving a confused and stunned Aang behind.

Katara prayed that Aang had gotten the point and would do his part to put their relationship back together. She wasn't mad at him, but she needed time to think and apparently, so did he. But if there was one thing Katara was sure of, it was that they would get through this. They would get through this because their love was strong and no matter what happened, they would survive. All they had to do was trust in love and let it lead the way and they would come out on top.

But as Katara sat in her room, feeding Hope, she wondered if love was enough to get them through. She hoped it was, but only time would tell.

There's a boat

I could sail away

There's the sky

I could catch a plane

There's a train

There's the tracks

I could leave

And I could choose

To not come back

Oh never come back

There you are

You've given up the fight

Here I am

Begging you to try

Talk to me

Let me in

But you just put your wall

Back up again

Oh when's it gonna end?

How far

Do I have to go

To make you understand

I wanna make this work

So much it hurts

But I just can't

Keep on givin'

Go on livin'

With the way things are

So I'm gonna walk away

And it's up to you to say

How far

There's a chance

I could change my mind

But I won't

Not till you decide

What you want

What you need

Do you even care

If I stay or leave

Oh what's it gonna be

How far

Do I have to go

To make you understand

I wanna make this work

So much it hurts

But I just can't

Keep on givin'

Go on livin'

With the way things are

So I'm gonna walk away

And it's up to you to say

How far

Out of this chair

Just across the room

Halfway down the block

Or halfway to the moon

How far

Do I have to go

To make you understand

I wanna make this work

So much it hurts

But I just can't

Keep on givin'

Go on livin'

With the way things are

So I'm gonna walk away

And it's up to you to say

How far

THE END