Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender
A/N: This was a challenge by Wolvenfire86.
The heavy rain fell all around them, but the vibrations were hardly distracting to the earthbender. The tremors of the Avatar's heartbeat washed through her, bathing her with his presence. Their hands were held in each others, silently showing how much they abhorred this separation.
"Toph." Aang spoke. She shook her head, shushing him. He pulled her closer to him, her head coming to rest on his chest. His lips lay against her hair. They both closed their eyes.
"Toph." He said again. She groaned and turned her face more into his robe. "I'm sorry. I can't . . . this is too hard." He tried to find the right words to say but they all seemed too insignificant. "I need to go. They need me to fight." He spoke the same line he had said to all the others. She was the only one who responded differently.
"Then just go, Aang. If you want to leave then get out of here." She felt tears gather in her eyes. Although the vulgarity of her words was evident they both knew she didn't feel that way. She ripped her hands from his and clung to him, squeezing him. He returned the gesture, softer.
"I'll be back. I promise I'll come back." Aang whispered. He pulled away slightly, bring her face up to his and kissing her. Her tears fell down her cheeks, combining with his. He kissed her once, twice, and one final time before pulling away completely.
She felt his footsteps slowly pacing away, one after another . . . then he was gone.
Two months later . . .
Toph stood alone in the middle of her parent's garden. The vibrations around her consisted of small creatures, mainly insects, and the infinitesimal growth of plants. Despite the lack of movement it gave her a sense of familiarity. Anything to remind her of the memorable, faint motions in the ground she used to always feel. The light shudder of a leaf swaying was the closest she came to His weightless footfalls.
The rude, deep pounding of boots on gravel awoke her from her trance-like state. She turned before her intruder could speak.
"What?" Her voice was deep with dissatisfaction. She had told her parents not to disturb her.
"Miss Bei Fong." The commanding voice of an earthbending officer spoke to her. "I have news of the Avatar."
Toph's heart skipped a beat as her body began to shake. "Speak!" She ordered.
There was no immediate answer but she could feel the difference in the air almost instantly. The man's heartbeat slowed. Out of . . . sadness?
"Where is he?" She growled. She felt his armored head lower.
"He is dead." The words were so blunt they did not have meaning at first. She didn't, couldn't understand.
"No." Her voice was sure. He had made a mistake in his report, that's all.
"I'm sorry." There was a moment before she felt him walk away, without another word.
She was alone again. Alone without understanding. The invisible movements of plants and animals were no longer comfort to her.
She walked for, she did not know how long. She traveled south, proceeding by boat whenever she need to. The people she passed rarely recognized her. The few people who did knew better than to approach her.
The trek up the mountain that was her destination was easy. She had all the time in the world, taking every step patiently. The Southern Air Temple was in her view the entire time, drawing closer every minute.
This was where he grew up, the closest to him she could be than anywhere else. The ancient buildings, ruined from a battle long ago remained standing as a monument to his people, to Him.
There were figures . . . stone people around the temple covered with snow. When she touched them she could feel the same tattoos that he had had and she felt the familiar apocalyptic pain in her chest. The few tears she shed froze before they could fall.
She lived there, barely surviving in the place where he once existed. The cold consumed her body, leaving her stiff and useless. Her eyes were locked shut, the key lost forever. Her hands were clasped, so tightly, around the ankles of the newest statue of the mountain. A statue created by Toph Bei Fong. Not a single detail had been forgotten. His eyes, deep and eternal, his body, small and powerful.
The temple became a monument to him . . . and to her.
A/N: I actually got emotional writing this. The song I had playing in the background was "My Immortal" by Evanescence. I thought it was fitting and it helped me form a better picture of what I wanted to write. Thanks for reading. Reviews are appreciated.