Slipped Away by Taiyo-chan

Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender or anything related to it.

A.N. I can explain. My friend made a video to one of her shippings from Stargate SG-1 with Avril Lavigne's Slipped Away and...it made me eerily depressed so I wrote this wondering, "Hmmm, what would Aang do if Toph died?" So pretty much I wrote this when I felt like crap on crap. Though after finished this it only resulted in a headache.

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Eighteen-year-old Aang the Avatar crouched down in front of a tombstone. It was small and rough, just like its host. The Airbender had brought with him some incense. He pulled them out of his sac bag. They were twice the length of the tombstone, perfect for them to lean against it. With a small hint of firebending he lit the incenses. He stared at the tombstone with solemnity. It had been two years ago since that day.

I miss you, miss you so bad
I don't forget you, oh it's so sad
I hope you can hear me
I remember it clearly

Aang forced a smile. "Hey, Toph." He stroked the ground softly. "I'm here again just as I promised myself." He hardened. "But the other promise...I think I'm getting better."

"You dwell on me and I'll make sure to come back from the dead and hurt you myself," a bedridden Toph threatened with a smile. She grew serious and grabbed his head with a squeeze. "Seriously, I don't want you to do that."

Aang placed his other hand on top of hers. "You're not going to die, Toph."

"How do you know that?" Toph asked impassively.

Aang was silent. Knowing she pegged him, she continued to hold his hand. "Again, Aang, don't let me hold you back."

It sounds like you're giving up," Aang said bitterly. His grip on her hand tightened.

"I'm not," Toph stated simply. "I'm just telling you. Can you promise me what I just told you?"

His head hung low. "I don't think I can, Toph."

"At least try," Toph told him. "You still have Katara and Sokka, you know."

He looked up and looked into her eyes. They weren't begging him. They were telling him. The Air Nomad sighed and surrendered. "I'll try."

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same
Ooooh

"I'm all right on most days but on this day I can't help but think of you," Aang confessed to the tombstone. "You died on this day and...that's something I can't forget."

Aang slowly woke up the next morning and felt something cold in his hands. He groggily looked up and saw that it was Toph's hand. He really hadn't let go of it last night. Other than the coldness, her paper white skin troubled him. She was already pale to begin with but this pale was not natural.

"Toph?" Aang called out tentatively.

Toph, normally a light sleeper, didn't respond. Aang, gradually growing desperate, shook her. "Hey, it's morning. Wake up."

Her body merely went with the rhythm of his shaking in a lifeless fashion. Aang's eyes widened. He rose from his chair, the hospital blanket falling off his body. "Don't tell me." He placed his ear against her chest; there wasn't a single heartbeat. Aang felt like his heart had stopped as well.

Nah nah la la la nah nah

I didn't get around to kiss you
Goodbye on the hand
I wish that I could see you again
I know that I can't

"And there were some things I wished I could've done with you," Aang continued. "Some things I could've said."

"You make great company," Toph teased with sarcasm then she said genuinely, "Why don't you and Katara and Sokka go somewhere for the night? Really you guys' melancholy feeling is not leaving a good mark on me."

Reflecting on Toph's last words, Aang was actually able to smile without forcing himself to, "I'm not leaving you." Toph felt Aang bring her hand closer to him until Katara quietly walked in. Aang and Toph turned their attention over to her.

"I'm afraid you have to," Katara objected sadly. She looked at Aang apologetically. "The shamans want us out for at least an hour."

Aang looked back at Toph and vowed, "I'll be back."

"I know," Toph said coolly.

His hand tentatively left hers and he joined Katara to leaving out for some fresh air.

Oooooh
I hope you can hear me cause I remember it clearly

"We thought about you while we were out," Aang breathed heavily. "I know that was something you didn't want. We…we just couldn't help ourselves."

The incenses were burning closer to the tombstone. Aang paused in order to move them up and prevent them from going out.

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same
Ooooh

Aang came in thirty minutes after Katara and Sokka went in to talk to Toph. Sensing his presence, Katara looked over her shoulder and smiled at him sadly. "You want to talk to her now?"

"I just came in to see how she was doing," Aang said.

Toph rolled her eyes. "Same as always, Twinkle Toes."

She must have been in a good mood to call him that. That was good he supposed. Katara patted Toph softly on the shoulders before getting up. "It's getting a little late."

Toph smiled. "Is that so? Heh, I'll be going to sleep then."

Katara smiled at her. "You'll need it…Good night, Toph."

"You too, Sugar Queen."

Sokka ruffled her hair. "Later, kiddo."

Toph nodded to him and closed her eyes as they exited. Aang stayed where he was.

"'Night, Twinkle Toes."

Aang earthbent the chair towards him and took a seat in it. He rested his arms and head on Toph's bed, taking her hand in his and closing his eyes. "You too."

Toph took a breath. "You're not leaving, are ya?"

Smiling some at Toph's exasperated voice, Aang replied softly, "Nope."

He felt Toph turn in her bed, presumably facing him. "Fine." She closed her eyes without saying another word.

Aang didn't care. As long as she was alive and he was with her, that was good enough for him.

I had my wake up
Won't you wake up
I keep asking why
And I can't take it
It wasn't fake
It happened, you passed by

"Oh no," Aang heard Katara gasp quietly. He sunk to the ground; shock dominating his face.

It can't be, Aang thought. She didn't seem to have gotten worse last night. What happened?

He couldn't control it. The tears poured out of his eyes and glistened down his cheeks. He closed his eyes to stop them but that only made them slide down faster. He felt Katara wrap her arms around him and rest her head on top of his. Her tears landed on his forehead.

"Sokka!" Katara called to her older brother, who was in the next room. No matter how much she tried to control it, her voice was shaking. "Get the shaman!"

Sokka rushed into the room. "What? Why? What happened?"

"She can't be dead," Aang whispered.

The siblings gazed at him.

"Toph can't be dead."

Now your gone, now your gone
There you go, there you go
Somewhere I can't bring you back
Now your gone, now your gone
There you go, there you go,
Somewhere your not coming back

"I'm sorry I wasn't there for your funeral," Aang apologized. A few tears began to form in his eyes but he ignored it. He promised her he would try. This was one of his many steps of fulfilling that promise. "I didn't want to face the fact that you were gone. Just like everyone else, I saw you as someone invincible. Someone who couldn't die or at least not at a young age. Nobody would've thought a sickness would take you away from us. But it did. And I think that was one of the factors that made your death hurt the way it did."

He resumed caressing the ground. "And we all loved you." For some reason, Aang chuckled a little bit. "I found it funny how I'd use to dream of the day where we'd all live together for the rest of our life." His face immediately changed to grim. "I've learned this lesson over and over again. I only wished you didn't have to be the one to teach that again. That life doesn't always have those happy endings that most stories cover up for us. But you reinforced another lesson that I learned when I found Gyatso's skeleton; life really is precious. People can be there today and gone tomorrow and never return. That's why I remind Sokka and Katara everyday in small ways that I'm glad to have them in my life. If anything were to happen to me, I want them to know."


The day you slipped away
was the day I found it won't be the same noo…
The day you slipped away
was the day that I found it won't be the same oooh...

"I'm not saying that I'm over it but...I don't think Toph would've wanted this," Katara told Aang one night. "Especially for you."

Aang sighed. "I know." He looked her in the eyes. "I feel like I can't though."

Katara wrapped an arm around Aang's shoulder and brought him close to hers. "Aang, someday, we will get through this. We have to. For Toph's sake. And ours."

Aang nodded reluctantly. "I know."

Aang took a deep breath when he saw that the incenses burned out. He slowly picked up what was left of then and placed them in his sac.

Clunk.

Aang felt someone small fall on his head. He reached for it and brought it to his sight. It was a nut. Aang smiled a little bit. It reminded him of Toph when she first taught him Earthbending. She had manhandled his staff to get him to find some courage. It didn't seem like a success at first but the second test proved wrong. He may have been mad that evening when she did that but now, it was a cherished memory. Satisfied, Aang rose from the ground and walked over to a sleeping Appa and Momo. He decided it was time to go visit Katara and Sokka at the South Pole.

Nah nah, nah nah nah, nah nah
I miss you

Aang pulled up Appa's eyelids to wake him up. Since Momo was sleeping on Appa's saddle, Aang left him alone. He grabbed the reins wrapped on Appa's horns and whipped them. "Yip. Yip."

Appa, with a good amount of rest, effortlessly flew them into the sky. Aang looked down at the nut again and clasped it into his fist. For a strange reason, he felt more determined to move on. Even when he does, he would always miss her.

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El fin