...I don't know why I wrote this. Just... got the idea, and it was different, so I wrote it down. Fans of my usual work... probably won't like it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar

Katara jumped when she heard footsteps behind her. She turned away from the bowl of water she was practicing on, sitting cross-legged on the floor of one of the many sanctuaries of the Western Air Temple. She smiled.

"Hey, Aang," she said quietly. "Where've you been?"

Aang had been unusually quiet for a few days, and then just this morning he had wandered away from the camp in the center of the temple. Katara had been worried about him, but Toph said she was keeping an eye on him. Or a foot, as it were. So the young waterbender had resolved to practice by herself in the afternoon sunlight, streaming in through the tall windows and crumbling roof.

"I was meditating," he said simply, standing undecidedly behind her. She frowned, getting to her feet and looking at him curiously. There was something different… something wrong…

"Are you okay?" she asked hesitantly, taking a few steps toward him.

He shrugged. "Fine."

There was something about his voice that wasn't right. And the way he was looking at her was… wrong. He was looking at her the same way he looked at Sokka and Toph. Katara wasn't stupid, she knew he looked at her differently. But now… he didn't.

"Why were you meditating?" she asked slowly.

"I was trying to master the Avatar State," he replied evenly.

Katara frowned. "I thought that last chakra was blocked or something," she said quietly, trying to remember what he had told them about it before.

"It was, but Roku told me I could still unlock it," he said, shrugging again.

"Did you?" she asked, curious.


"You mean you mastered the Avatar State?"

"Seems that way."

Katara beamed at him. "Aang, that's wonderful!" she exclaimed, grabbing him by the shoulders.

He smiled at her. She froze. That wasn't Aang's smile. No… something was empty about it…

"Um… what did you have to do to master it?" she asked warily.

Aang looked at her impassively, completely neutral to her hands on his shoulders. "I had to let in the cosmic energy of the universe by letting go of my worldly attachments," he replied. He looked straight into her eyes and she shivered. There was no emotion there… not Aang's eyes. "I let you go."

Her hands dropped from his shoulders. "…What?" she asked at length, a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"You were the one thing that attached me to the world enough to keep me from the Avatar State," he said reasonably. "I loved you."

Katara took several steps away from him, eyes wide. "You loved me?" she whispered, sounding mildly horrified.

"Yes," he replied, nodding.

"But now you… you don't," she murmured, breath coming with more and more difficulty.

He shook his head. "No."

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Aang… why would you…" she began slowly, shaking her head. "I don't understand."

"I had to master the Avatar State," he said lightly. "You told me."

Katara pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes, frustrated. "This is my fault," she realized quietly. "I waited and… now it's too late."

"What do you mean?" he asked, curiosity being the first emotion she'd heard from him.

She looked up at him, miserably meeting his unfeeling gaze. "I do love you, Aang," she whispered. He looked a little surprised, but nothing else. "I was waiting… I was scared. I didn't want you to be thinking about me when there was a war going on. I was waiting until… after the war…" She looked up at him. He still just looked surprise. "Tell me I'm not too late."

He just shook his head. "I'm sorry, but you are," he said quietly.

Katara stared at him. "No," she whispered. She grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him a little. "Look at me."

"I am looking at you," he reasoned.

"No," she snapped. "Really… really look at me." He continued staring at her. "Don't you feel anything?"

He just shook his head slowly. "I'm sorry, Katara," he said quietly. He didn't sound sorry.

She closed her eyes. "Aang… oh, Aang, why did you do this to yourself?" she muttered under her breath.

"I'm fine, Katara," he pointed out.

"No, you're not," she sighed. "The Aang I know would never be able to stop loving anyone… He cares about me… more than I realized."

"The Aang you knew wasn't a very good Avatar," he replied darkly.

"That's not true," she said instantly. "He was a great Avatar because of how much he loved. You can't just stop feeling, Aang. You can't just… feel nothing."

"It's for the best, Kata-"

He didn't finish. She had grabbed him by the collar and pulled his lips to hers, stealing his breath away in a fierce kiss. She pulled away from him several long seconds later and took a deep breath, looking down at her shoes. Her fists were still clenched in the fabric of his shirt. She glanced up at him, tears in her eyes.

"Please…" she whispered. "Tell me you felt something."

...Yeah, that's the end. Decide for yourself.