Please refrain from putting your view of the chakra/Avatar state thing in your review. I debated over that with someone until 3 in the morning the other day, and I'm tired of it. Also, I don't own Avatar, nor do I own Regina Spektor's "Samson," which I will use a line or two from towards the end of the fic. XD

Sweetest Downfall

She clung more tightly to him than ever before, for this time, she truly was holding on for dear life. One of his arms gripped her waist tightly while his other arm shot firebolts at anyone who dared pass nearby. His eyes glowed with all the power of the thousands of Avatars before him. The fury contorting his features was enough to scare even the bravest of the men, yet it was not the fury itself which had caused the young Airbender to cross into the Avatar state.

It was love. His love for her.

"Aang, you don't have to do this!" Katara cried desperately, wrapping her arms even more tightly around his neck. They were so high above the ground, and Katara knew that if Aang let go of her, she would fall to a certain death. This thought should have terrified Katara, but somehow she knew that he would never allow harm to come to her. The hatred and fury radiating out of Aang was directed toward everyone but her. At any other time, Katara might have been flattered by Aang's concern; now, however, she was just afraid for the others' lives. "Aang, stop!" she shouted over the howl of the windstorm surrounding them.

"No," the Avatar Aang insisted.

"I'm fine! Aang, you'll hurt them! You don't want to hurt innocent people!"

"They're not innocent. They tried to kill you." Mixed in with the mechanical roar characteristic of his Avatar state was Aang's normal voice; yet it expressed an unfathomable and amount of painful emotion. He sounded much too angry and hurt to be the same fun-loving, carefree Aang that Katara was used to. It scared her, and her bright cerulean eyes began to spill repressed tears.

"I don't care! Aang, don't worry about me! I know you're upset, but please don't hurt these people. Aang, I'm begging you, stop! Come out of your Avatar state! Please!" Katara's voice grew louder and louder, reaching its crescendo at the last word. Her throat stung miserably from the effort to control her tears long enough to talk. "They've already said they regret it. Aang, they're just a bunch of teenage rebels. They didn't mean it. Stop trying to hurt them."

Again, Aang's voice resounded through the dust-ridden air. "No. I love you too much."

At this, Katara went numb. She should have been happy, confused, shocked, even repulsed--after all, he was just a friend, right?--she should have felt something. But she didn't. Her brain took the admission as a simple fact, another piece of the unsolved puzzle of her and Aang's relationship. Her tears flowed freely as she pressed her cheek against Aang's. And as she felt his warm skin against her own, she remembered.

She remembered all the times he had saved her, given her gifts, complimented her, sacrificed something of his own for her sake. He really does love me, she realized. He would do anything for me. And... and I would do anything for him too.

I love him. Now I know what that emotion is that I could never put a name to, the feeling that I get whenever I'm around him. I understand why I get butterflies in my stomach, why I'm always smiling, why I'm happier than I've been in years. It's because I'm in love.

I love him.

Katara took a deep breath and clasped her fingers around Aang's free hand. He stopped shooting firebolts, realizing that if he continued, he would injure the girl he loved. Katara turned her head, her lips barely an inch away from Aang's. "I love you too," she said with a strong surge of confidence, and she was more sure of that than of anything else in the world. "I love you with all my heart."

The temporary cease-fire had attracted everyone's attention, and people were starting to peer hesitantly from behind scorched trees and buildings. In the middle of the scene stood a small blind girl clinging to her warrior companion. He whispered in her ear, "Leave it up to my sister to calm down the Avatar."

Then, with everybody still watching, Katara closed the gap between her lips and Aang's. And she felt secure, like nothing could ever harm her again. The world stopped, and she could read every thought going through Aang's mind.

I'll never let any harm come to you, Katara.

Aang and Katara descended slowly to the ground, lips still locked in an incredible kiss. Katara began to feel dizzy--the realization that she loved him plus the kiss itself were making her mind hazy. But she loved the feeling. She took her hand out of Aang's and gently touched his cheek. Her feet reached solid ground, and she felt Aang slip out of his Avatar state. Reluctantly, she pulled away from his kiss and stared deep into the gorgeous gray eyes she loved so much.

"I'm sorry," Aang apologized. "I know I keep saying that every time I go into my Avatar state, but I can't help it! When someone I love is in trouble, I just... I... I love you way too much to let anything happen to you--"

Katara brushed her finger against his lips, silencing his stammered apology. She leaned her cheek against his and whispered softly into his ear, "Aang, it's okay. I know you can't help it."

The Airbender smiled and embraced his love, not caring that people around him were oohing and aahing at the new couple. All that mattered was that Katara was safe.

"I love you," Katara whispered.

"I love you too," Aang answered. are my sweetest downfall

i loved you first...


A/N: Meh, don't even ask about this one. MC