Disclaimer: I don't own Simple Plan or Avatar.

Hey yo! It's Mika-chan! This took me a while to write, so it better be good! It's a song-fic to Save You by Simple Plan. And I really don't mean to offend anyone who is in this position. I know cancer is a very serious thing and should not be treated lightly. anyway, on with the deadly tale!

This story is dedicated to those who have lived through the nightmare, especially to those who never woke up.

Take a breath. I'll pull myself together. Just another step until I reach the door. You'll never know the way it tears me up inside to see you.

It's horrible to watch someone die, isn't it? Especially when it's someone you love and you can't do anything to save them.

I guess I've known it was coming for a while now. Ever since Mai found out a few months ago that she was dying. I had been reading the newspaper in the living room when I heard the front door open and shut.

Somehow, it sounded ominous, like I knew already that something was wrong.

Mai hadn't been feeling normal since before Yuri was born. I never questioned it; I just figured that it was one of those things and didn't give it another thought. But when Mai was feeling worse a few months later, we both knew that something wasn't right.

She had told me that she was going to see a doctor about it, which I thought was a good idea. If there was something wrong with Mai, we didn't want to catch it before there wasn't anything we could do. So I volunteered to drop Yuri off at Uncle Iroh's while she went to the doctor's and I attended a meeting with the generals about the Earth kingdom's civil war.

When she saw me, I knew that it was bad. Mai isn't one of those weepy girls, not by a long shot. But when I saw her, I realized that we'd been right.

"Do they know yet?" I asked.

Mai didn't say anything, but nodded, as if she was too afraid to speak.

"What is it?" I asked as I pulled her down on the couch.

Mai avoided looking into my eyes as she said, "Ovarian cancer."

I wish that I could tell you something to take it all away…

For a devastating second, my heart stopped. How could this happen? Why did this happen?

"Did they say…?" I asked softly.

"They said it's still controllable right now, but it's getting worse." Mai's voice was barely more than a whisper.

"Does this have to happen now?" I asked myself. "Not that there's ever a good time to get cancer, but you've just had Yuri."

"They think that's what caused it." Mai nodded, her ochre eyes blank and still avoiding mine.

"So what are the options?" I wanted to know.

"I'm starting on chemo in three days." Mai replied. "I'll need you to take me, though. I won't be able to get back after the treatment."

"How long is this session?" I wrapped my arm gently around her waist.

"About four months." Mai answered. "They hope that this one treatment will do it, but they're not sure it will."

"Hopefully it will." I nodded.

"But if it doesn't…" Mai didn't finish her sentence, but I knew what she was thinking.

"Don't think like that, Mai." I told her. "If you don't think that you're going to make it, then you won't."

"Face it, Zuko." Mai finally looked me in the eye. "What's the chance of me making it through this?"

"It's better than it could be. We caught this early, so we have more options than we would if we'd acted later." I told her.

"The options are going to run out fast if this first session doesn't work." Mai said.

"We'll worry about that when we get there." I pulled her closer to me. "There's no point in worrying about something when we don't need to."

"Don't need to? Zuko, in case you've forgotten, we have a daughter now that we have to think about." Mai said.

"Believe me, Mai, I'm thinking about her." I answered. "Do you really think that I want her to live without knowing her mother?"

"So we need to think of a plan in case this one backfires." Mai told me.

"Let's wait a little while before we make any harsh decisions." I suggested. "Maybe this session will work and it'll be over."

Sometimes I wish I could save you. And there's so many things that I want you to know. I won't give up till it's over. If it takes you forever, I want you to know…

So the treatments began. On the morning of the sessions, I'd drop Yuri off with Katara and Aang before taking Mai in. The three-hour session was obviously hell for her. She got sick a lot, which was a side effect from the chemo in addition to the almost constant fatigue.

But the first round of treatments did absolutely nothing for the cancerous cells in her body. In some instances, the patient had to undergo multiple chemo sessions before improvement could be noted. Unfortunately by that point in time, the patient's body was ready to give up the fight.

"I can't go through this anymore." Mai said one night after she had thrown up for the third time in fifteen minutes.

"You have to." I wrapped my arm around her and led her over to the couch. "I'm not letting you give up."

"What if I want to?" Mai's eyes were pleading.

"You're not going to die on me." I told her. "You're too young to die."

"That doesn't mean I will." Mai's voice trailed off into silence.

It was getting to the point where I knew that the chemo wasn't doing much good. A few weeks after the second round of treatment started, Mai had to be hospitalised, something neither of us wanted, but knew had to be done.

There wasn't anything I could do. I couldn't stop her from getting to that point. I couldn't get rid of the malignant cells and I knew I never would. And it was killing me to watch her die.

When I hear your voice, it's drowning in the whisper. You're just skin and bone. There's nothing left to take. No matter what I do, I can't make you feel better.

With Yuri in my arms, I walk into the hospital and check in, knowing the hospital's procedures well enough by now. I take the stairs instead of the elevator to allow myself time to think.

How much longer does she have left? The chemo is definitely taking its toll on her and I don't know how much more she can hold on. And if Mai does win the fight, will it come back? Will we have to go through this for a second time? Will she be forced to suffer the agonizing treatment that does as much harm as it does good?

I reach the floor where Mai's room is and stop before the door. Part of me knows I have to go in and see her, but a part of me wants to run away. I know she needs to see me, but it's killing me to see her suffer.

I feel something poking my arm. Looking down, I see Yuri staring up at me like she's saying, "Come on. I want to see Mom."

"I know, I'm going." I tell her as I open the door and walk into the hall.

As I walk through the hall, I realize how little power I have. I'm the Fire Lord, yet I can do nothing to ease the pain of the suffering, at least those suffering from something like this. It makes me feel useless and I wish I could change that, but I guess that's how it is.

Opening the door to Mai's room, I brace myself for what's inside. What's inside that room isn't Mai, the girl I've known and loved since I can't remember when. The disease has taken her and turned her into someone I don't recognize, a stranger.

Not only has it changed her body, but it's changed her mind as well. Or it's forced to, anyway. Mai is no longer the somewhat cheerful girl I fell in love with. Now she's depressed, even more so than usual.

If only I could find the answer to help me understand…

"How're you feeling, Mai?" I ask as I walk through the door.

"The same as any other day." Mai is so weak she can hardly manage more than a whisper. "Dying and feeling helpless."

Seeing her makes me want to destroy this disease myself as revenge for changing Mai so much. She's lost so much weight I can practically see her bones. The ochre eyes I love so much are sunken and tired, always looking for a way out of her personal hell. Thankfully, the treatment has allowed most of her hair to remain unharmed.

"You brought Yuri this time." Mai is surprised.

"I told you I would, didn't I?" I smile slightly.

"I sort of wish you didn't." Mai avoids my gaze and stares out the window into the raven-black sky.

"Why?" I wonder, adjusting Yuri slightly on my knees.

"So she doesn't have to see me like this." Mai answers softly.

Keeping one arm wrapped around Yuri, my other hand finds Mai's and holds it tightly, but not too tightly. I don't need to be reminded how frail Mai is. Just looking at her is proof enough.

"I don't want her to remember me like this." Mai says as a tear falls from her eye.

"She won't have to because you're going to live, Mai." I take my finger and gently wipe the tear from Mai's face.

"No, I'm not." Mai shakes her head, barely more than a centimetre in either direction. "We both know I won't make it through this."

"You don't know that." I tell her as I take out Yuri's favourite badgermole plushie and give it to her.

"I can feel it, Zuko." Mai takes a deep breath, which is a huge effort considering how weak she is. "I can feel myself getting weaker every day and there's nothing I can do to make this whole thing stop."

"Believe me, Mai, I would rather I go through this than you." I tell her.

"I couldn't let you do that. You know how much this hurts, Zuko." She looks into my eyes and says, "I could never watch you go through what I am."

"Who says either of us has to suffer?" I ask.

Mai's voice is sad when she says, "Apparently one of us has to."

Sometimes I wish I could save you. And there's so many things that I want you to know. I won't give up till it's over. If it takes you forever, I want you to know…

"I wonder what it's like to die…" Mai says in a faraway voice.

"Just like falling asleep." I reply, holding Yuri closer to my chest.

"But do you ever wonder what happens after you die?" Mai asks me. "I've been thinking about it a lot lately."

"What do you think happens?" I ask softly.

"I'm not sure. Maybe I'll go to a place where there's no hurt and no suffering." Mai painfully takes a deep breath so she can continue. "A place where everyone is treated the same and there's no war…a utopia."

"A true utopia." I say. "But we shouldn't be talking about this."

"Everyone talks about it sometime." Mai says. "Some talk about it more often than others and others only think about it in passing."

"You won't be going there anytime soon, Mai." I watch as Yuri stares at the heart-rate monitor above Mai's bed.

"We can't know that for sure." Mai says.

A nurse walks in and says, "I'm sorry, but visiting hours are over."

Mai's eyes are on me as she says, "You'll come back tomorrow?"

"Of course I will." I reply as the nurse leaves.

"Don't bring Yuri." Mai tells me. "She shouldn't have to see me like this."

"If you say so." I stand up to leave, making sure Yuri still has her badgermole plushie. "Besides, you'll be seeing her all the time when you get better."

Mai doesn't respond and says, "Good bye, Zuko."

"Bye, Mai. I love you." I tell her before I walk out of the room.

Yuri looks at me in a confused manner while I walk down the stairs. She knows that something is wrong, even though she doesn't understand the seriousness of the situation. When Mai first went in the hospital, Yuri kept looking like she expected her mother to show up at any minute. Even though she is barely eleven months old now, she knows that Mai is her mother and finds it strange that she isn't coming home anymore.

If you fall, stumble down, I'll pick you up off the ground. If you lose faith in you, I'll give you strength to pull through. Tell me you won't give up cause I'll be waiting if you fall. You know I'll be there for you.

The truth is I know that Mai doesn't have much longer left. She's fought her hardest to stay alive, but the malignant cells are winning and she doesn't have the strength left to fight back.

I think I knew from the beginning that it was over. At first, there was a little bit of hope, but it gradually faded away as I saw Mai get worse before my eyes. I told her that she would get better even though I knew that she didn't believe it.

I was lying to myself. There's no way that someone as sick as Mai can survive, not when she's been robbed of everything that's vital to her. Her body had been inhabited by the cancerous cells for far too long. Maybe I was attempting to convince myself that she'd be okay. I knew deep down that she wouldn't make it, but could there still be a chance? Could she make it? Yes, but she'd never be the same again.

I think one of the things that bothered her when this whole thing started was that I wouldn't love her anymore. I have no idea where she got that idea. When I married her, I told her that I'd stay with her no matter what happened. Did she seriously think that I would leave her because she's dying?

If you really love someone, you don't leave them when they need you the most. And if you do leave them, then what does that make you? What does that show about your love for the one you supposedly care about?

These past few months have been a living nightmare and I want it to be over. I want Mai's torment to end. If that means that she has to die, I'll accept it. Sure, I'd rather see her live and I know couldn't stand to live without her, but I'd rather have her pain be erased by death than to watch her live in agony.

If only I could find the answer to take it all away…

When I get home, I find Aang waiting in the kitchen, reading yesterday's edition of the newspaper. I frown and ask, "Aang? What are you doing here?"

"I came to see how you're doing." Aang says, following me into Yuri's room so I can put her down for the night.

"Okay, I guess." I shrug.

"Don't lie to me, Zuko." Aang says.

"What are you talking about?" I question as I walk back to the living room.

"I know how close you are to Mai and I know how much you're hurting to see her like this." Aang says, sitting on the couch. "It's affecting you, even if you can't tell."

"I just…it's so hard to watch her die while I can't do anything." I say. "Think about it, Aang. I'm the Fire Lord, but I can't do anything to save her. How do you think that makes me feel?"

"I guess that's how it is sometimes. We don't understand why things are a certain way, but we can't do anything about it." Aang says.

"And she's so sure that she's going to die." I say.

"What do you think?" I hardly ever hear Aang this serious about anything.

After a pause, I say, "I don't think she's going to make it."

"I don't think she will, either." Aang said. "It's been a while since I saw her, but when I did, she didn't look good at all."

"And she's accepted it! She knows she's going to die!" I exclaim. "I know that death is going to take her pain away, but she'll never see me again. She won't see Yuri grow up and Yuri won't get the chance to know her mother."

"But Yuri has you to tell her." Aang says.

"It's not the same and you know it." I sound harsher than I intend to.

"It's going to have to be good enough." Aang says. "I don't want to see Mai die either, but we have to accept it."

"I know. I..I just don't want to loose her yet." I try not to let the tears escape from my eyes.

"I know, Zuko." Aang says, "I know."

Sometimes I wish I could save you. And there's so many things that I want you to know. I won't give up till it's over. If it takes you forever, I want you to know…

A week later, I get a call from the hospital. Mai's dying. She only has a few more hours left to live at the most. So I drop Yuri off at Uncle Iroh's and make my way over to the hospital. I know that Yuri won't make dying any easier for Mai.

I know this is the final time I'll walk through these ivory halls. I know light colours are supposed to make people feel better, but it's doing nothing for me today. My beloved is dying. Nothing can make me feel better. Not now, not ever.

When I open the door, I realize my suspicious have been confirmed. Mai looks so much worse than when I saw her yesterday. I always told myself that I would die before Mai, that if I could, I'd take her place. Now it looks like neither of these things will happen. When she sees me she says, "Zuko…" so softly that I barely hear her.

I wish I could save you…

"Don't say anything." I take her hand in mine and try not to let the tears form in my eyes.

"I'm…I'm sorry, Zuko." Mai says, looking into my eyes.

"Don't apologize." I say. "It's not your fault."

"I don't…want to…die yet." It's getting harder for her to speak.

"I know, Mai." I can't hold the tears back any longer.

I want you to know…

"I want…you to…promise me…something." I know that this is almost over.

"What is it?" I can feel a tear slide down my face.

"That you'll…love me…after…I die." Mai says.

"You know I will." I promise her.

"I love you, Zuko." Mai says and her last breath marks the end of everything.

I hold her hand in mine, even though I know it's over. And as the continuous melancholic tone of death from the heart-rate monitor sounds above me, I allow the rest of the tears escape from my eyes.

"I love you, Mai." I say. "And I always will."

I wish I could save you…

I hope it wasn't too angsty. I cried at the end...I'm weak, I know. I'll write oneshots for anyone who wants something done. Just PM me and we'll talk. reviews equal love! thanks for reading!