Story: Through Blind Spirits
Summary: It's been 6 years after the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai. When the avatar is called to settle a dispute, something goes terribly wrong.
Author's Note: Warning: character death. This chapter was hard to write…
It was an awfully hot morning for the beginning of summer, Katara had noticed as she opened her window. Fresh air would be the panacea for her throbbing head. The twins had kept her up all night, and without Aang to help her, it was a bigger problem than usual.
She stared at her little ones as they played with their toys. Oh sure, they were quiet now. A smile would loom on Katara's face when Mei would giggle as her sister made funny noises while talking to her dolls.
The three year old looked up at her mom, "When's daddy coming home?"
Her mother smiled weakly, "Soon darling. Soon."
Life was simpler when Toph Bei Fong wasn't pregnant. She could earthbend. She could stand for more than two minutes without falling over. She could feel useful. "Sokka, for the tenth time, I got it." Toph spat at her husband as she tried to carry a basket of food in their house. Sokka just sighed and tugged the basket away from her. She grumbled and sulked to the couch. He frowned, dumped the heavy basket off at the kitchen, and sat next to his wife.
"Toph," he whispered to her as he put his arm around her and nuzzled his nose in her neck. She giggled loudly. Sokka smiled, "Now that's what I want to hear."
"I'm sorry, it's just I feel so lazy and useless." She pointed to her stomach, "And fat."
Sokka laughed, "Well I sure hope you're fat or I'd be worried!"
Toph punched him in the arm and grinned widely. She felt her two year old song wobble in the living room. He clutched a blanket to his chest and wiped his teary face. Toph's happy expression fell, and she stood up quickly to comfort her son. "What's the matter Hakoda?" she said, wishing she had the ability to pick him up and hold him.
He sniffed, "Bad dream mommy."
"Aww," she said and ruffled his hair, "Mommy and daddy are here to make it all better, okay?"
"Okay," his tiny lips slowly rose into a smile. Toph was about to smile back, when a surge of pain overtook her body. She grunted and fell over.
"Toph!" Sokka screamed and jumped to his wife's age. Hakoda did not cry, but dropped his blanket and hugged his mother, whispering you're okay over and over again.
Then water poured out near Toph's legs. She grunted, "Not again."
Sokka looked into his wife's foggy eyes and said, "What? What's the matter?"
She glared at him and said, "You did this to me! You…"
Finally, Sokka understood, "Oh my gosh. KATARA! Oh man, KATARA!"
Baby number two was on its way.
"Lady Katara! I have an urgent message for you!" a voice shouted from outside. Katara gasped and ran outside. Is it news of Aang? She thought to herself.
The messenger tipped his hat and handed her a small scroll. She thanked him, and he darted off. Katara quickly unwrapped the scroll and read it. It wasn't news of Aang, but her sister in law. She was having her baby!
"Oh no," Katara muttered to herself, "not today, not now." She didn't have time to think about this inopportune time for her big brother's wife to be delivering.
"Hey kids, want to go for a ride on Appa?"
"Toph, stop screaming! These are just contractions! You aren't going into labor yet!" Katara yelled. Toph stopped screaming and gasped for air.
"I'm sorry! Why does it feel like a badger mole is trying to, ugh, rip out of my body?!"
Sokka stifled a laugh. Toph gripped his hand harder. He winced.
"Lady Katara!" the same voice as before was heard outside of Toph bedroom's window. She sighed and held out a hand, "I'll be right back."
She ran outside and saw the same smiling man as before. However, instead of his usual perky smile, he looked horrified, "Um, this is for you." He handed her another scroll and dashed off again.
Katara frowned, and opened the scroll slowly, praying to Yue that it wasn't bad news.
Apparently she wasn't listening.
Upon reading the note, Katara's knees fell weak, and she dropped to the floor. The world seemed to be spinning around her. She hyperventilated, thinking she wasn't breathing. The scroll only said, Your husband has been in an accident. He has been transported to your home. He does not have much time left, and he wished to see you.
Katara, with tears strolling down her cheeks, ran in the house to tell her family of the news.
"Please, watch the kids…I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
Sokka swallowed hard and hugged his sister, "Go and see him. I've got it under control." His sister nodded, and dashed out the door.
I opened the door to our room slowly. I was afraid to open it. What if he was already gone? What if the last image I had of him was his dead body, sprawled upon the bed we shared?
Then I looked. He was perched up with pillows behind his back. A healer stood by his side, her hands on his abdomen, the blue healing light glowing. She turned to look at me, with tears in her eyes. I knew that he was fading.
My heart felt heavy, and my vision was blurred with salty tears covering my eyes, not wanting to fall. To be strong. To not let him show that I am afraid, that I am scared.
"Hey Katara," Aang croaked without opening his eyes.
The healer beside him stood up and walked over to me. She stopped, searching for her words, then whispered with her head down, "He was sent in to settle a dispute between two villages. A riot broke out, and before he could react, he was stabbed."
My eyes widened. Who would want to do that to anyone, and why did it have to be my Aang? My love, my life, my everything. He was now slipping away into the spirit world, because someone didn't get it their way. I nodded to the young woman, acknowledging what she had said to me. She nodded back, and left me standing there.
I walked and sat down next to him in the bed. He smiled, and slowly opened his eyes. I couldn't take it anymore, "Aang, I love you…" then I collapsed above him, sobbing uncontrollably. He lifted his arm and stroked the side of my face.
"I love you too. You mean everything to me Katara. You, and Mei, and Lei."
I stood up and looked him in the eyes. His big brown eyes were not filled with pain, but with happiness. He was, happy?
But of course, he was dying in the arms of someone he loved. He looked at me, long and hard, as if he's memorizing every different shade of blue in my teary eyes. I kissed him softly on the lips, and he kissed back. I didn't want our love to end like this; I didn't want him to die. I just wanted him to hold me, to cradle me when I was crying, to whisper to me that he loved me, and that everything was going to be OK.
He clasped his hand with mine, and closed his eyes for the last time. His hand slipped out of my grasp, but I grabbed it back quickly, holding it tightly. Not wanting to let go. Not wanting him to go.
"Aang…" I said, choking on my sobs. I hugged him; his limp body was lying there, and he didn't returning the hug. I buried my face in between his neck and shoulder, inhaling his aroma, not wanting the scent to disappear.
Just then, a bright blue light lit up around us, traveling through our roof into the skies. And I knew then what was happening. His body was going into the spirit world. I stared blankly up into the blinding light, and I swore I saw Aang floating up, looking down at me and smiling. I smiled back through my tears.
I couldn't tell you how long I laid there, or how long I sobbed into his shoulder. The great Avatar was lying dead in his own bed, not because he had died valiantly in battle, but because of a punk kid stabbing him during a riot. He wouldn't want to have died like this; he would have wanted to have died in battle. Though, my heart was telling me a different story. Aang would have wanted to die in his loves arms, than on a deserted battlefield, with hundreds of other loss souls.
I smiled again, and rose slowly, looking down at him. Crying was such a selfish thing to do when one died. He was obvious in a better place, and he wouldn't want me to sit here for an eternity, waiting for him to wake. I wanted him back. I wasn't crying because he was in pain, but because I was in pain.
When my legs found the strength, I rose, and then stood next to the bed. I kissed him for the last time, and held his hand. Although his soul was in the spirit world now, I knew, and he knew, that a little of him would always be within me. To his enemies, the Avatar was dead. To the world, he was living in each of us. In me. Especially me.
"Push!" Sokka yelled. Toph grunted loudly and pushed, wishing her husband was beside her. The large stone he had given her to hold broke instantly, and everything else she grasped would also break. Man, Sokka must have one hell of a hand.
"Okay, you are doing great. One more push! And…now!"
"ARGH!" Toph screamed, pushing hard once more. She expected to hear tiny screams from the infant. Instead, a bright blue light shined around the family. Sokka was in awe as he held his new born. Toph was getting nervous, not hearing her child scream. "Sokka, what's happening? Is our baby okay?"
Sokka closed his mouth, and looked down at their new baby girl. The light faded, and she opened her tiny mouth and screamed at the top of her lungs. Toph sighed with relief, and laughed through her tear-soaked face. Sokka bundled up the newborn and handed her off to her mother. Though she could not see, Toph glanced down at the baby, running her fingers over her child's face. "It's a girl, isn't it?"
He nodded, "Yep. She's so beautiful, just like her mother." She rolled her eyes, "Like I care. She's perfect." She continued to cradle her tiny girl, humming various songs. Sokka just stared at his new child, and beautiful wife, her black hair hanging over her pale green eyes. Hakoda should be here seeing this, he thought, knowing his son would want to be here.
"I'm going to get Koda. I'll be right back." He kissed both girls on the cheek and went into the next room, where his son and his nieces were confined.
He opened the door, and saw two crying children. Hakoda was just staring at them with a blank expression. When he saw his father, he ran over and hugged him. "What's the matter Mei? Lei?"
They too stood up and walked over to hug their uncle, "Something's happened to daddy, Uncle!"
"We can feel it!" little Lei said, clutching onto her uncle's pants. Sokka pried her hands off of his pants, picked up his son and ran into his room. "Follow me Lei and Mei."
He plopped his son down on the foot of his bed, "Look at your new sister and cousin. I need to go…"
"What's wrong Sokka?" Toph asked with worried eyes.
"I don't know, but I'll be right back-"
A woman then rushed into their room, almost collapsing on the ground. She gasped for air, and Sokka went over to her and said, "Are you okay? Who are you?"
She swallowed and said, gasping for air, "The Avatar…he didn't make it, Katara…"
Sokka and Toph's face fell. Their hearts sank, and their minds wandered. What had happened? Where were they? How did Aang die? Tears streamed down Toph's face. She glanced down at her newborn and whispered, "I know now what to name you."
The children had started to cry, but they all hugged Toph and the newborn. Sokka came over too, and joined his family in their hug. "Jaang. You, my child, born on the 5th day of spring, born at the same time as the Avatar's death, are named after him."
Sokka nodded, and trying to hold back the tears, he said, "It's perfect."
10 years later…
Ending Author's Note: Don't worry, this story will get a LOT happier and funnier (is that even a word? Oo). I had to start it off this story like this, and I'm sorry if it was like…terribly depressing. I promise I'll make it up to you guys! Oh, and yeah, Aang died. It was hard to do, because I love his so much. And writing it…ugh. Made me almost cry. Plus, the way he died? Lame, I know. Bleh. Well expect frequent updates with this, I'm on winter break. That means lots, and lots of free time