A/N: Welcome to Invaderk's second attempt at Avatar fan fiction. Though I have other important things I should be doing, my Avatar Theory is driving me insane, so I'm tweaking it and putting it here. This is the prologue/first chapter, and I'll add more if people want to read more. If not, it'll stay a oneshot.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
In Love, Death, and Life
Chapter One - Together
Aang and Sokka sat together at a long wooden table covered with fish, meat, bread, ginseng tea, and fruits for a light lunch. While Aang steered clear of the meat, the other man was more than happy to finish off the rest.
The actual war had been over for a few years, but the combined nations still had trouble rounding up all the Fire Nation rebels, such as those who believed the other nations to be inferior.
"So what do you think?" asked Aang, only it sounded muffled due to the vast amount of food he'd stuffed into his mouth.
Sokka plucked up another slice of meat with his fork and pointed it lazily at the Avatar. "I think," he responded, swallowing a bite of food and putting another in his mouth, "that something's up. Something that Katara hasn't told you about."
Aang laughed. "Katara tells me everything, Sokka!"
"How can you be so sure?" Sokka countered, narrowing his eyes. "If I know my sister – and I do – then I know that she keeps things to herself. If she's got a problem, sure, she'll blabber about nothing 'till the bison come home. But other things she keeps to herself. Women her age just do that."
"So it's a twenties thing, huh?"
Aang tapped a thoughtful finger against his chin and 'hmmed' in consideration. Then, in a rush of revelation, he had a dawning suspicion. "Hey wait," he said. "You don't think she could be –?"
The door burst open and green-clad guard staggered into the room. Aang and Sokka leapt to their feet in alarm; trailing from behind the guard was a steady flow of blood.
"Fire Nation rebels," the guard gasped. "They've launched an assault on the city. They're here for –" he fell to his knees and clutched at his throat "For –"
Aang darted forward and dropped to his knees beside the guard, who began to fall forward. He caught him around the middle and almost pulled his hands away at the feel of blood on the guard's back, but held him steady as the guard managed to choke out one last fragment:
The guard gasped, shuddered, and fell both still and silent. Aang looked up at Sokka with a horrified expression as he set the corpse down on the wooden floor.
"We have to fight!" he exclaimed, leaping to his feet.
"Way ahead of you," Sokka answered. He snatched up his best weapon from the table and tossed Aang his staff. He ran for the door, the sound of his boots pounding on the wood seemingly louder than ever before. "Come on, let's go."
Aang nodded and began running after Sokka in haste.
Sokka didn't stop running, even after his sister's house loomed into view near the riverside. Katara came running out of the front door, her bare feet stirring up a good deal of dust and dirt from the warm ground. When she saw her bruised and bleeding brother running up the road, she knew that something had gone terribly wrong. The absence of a certain Airbender had already told her that.
"Sokka! What's wrong?" shouted Katara.
Sokka didn't answer until he stopped in front of Katara, bent over double and gasping for breath. Even then, when he could hardly breathe, she could still hear his response.
"It's the – the rebels," he gasped. He stood up straighter to look at his sister and she saw tear tracks embedded in the dirt on his face. "We beat them, but – but Katara, they…" he trailed off.
She grabbed his by the shoulders and shook him. He dropped his weapon to the ground, where it made a distant clatter as it connected with the earth. "Sokka, where is Aang?" she asked, furrowing her eyebrows. He didn't answer and she shook him harder. A lump began forming in her throat and tears welled up in her eyes when realization began to set in. "Sokka! Where is he?" Her voice was desperate and pleading.
Sokka shook his head. "Katara," he muttered, his arms hanging limp by his side, "Aang is – he's dead."
A/N: So here you have it. If you don't want more, we'll leave it off here at this sort of morbid ending. Whatever floats your boat is good for me.