Disclamier: I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender
Zuko ran as quickly as his seventy-year-old body could run to the palace infirmary. He had to see her; he had to see her. His mind filled with more and more concern and worry as he moved closer and closer to his destination.
And as he ran, his thoughts became clouded with this fact- all the wives of the Fire Lords since Fire Lord Sozin had passed on before their husbands. Tears began to sting his eyes as tried persistently to shut out these thoughts that were distracting him so that he could focus on his wife who was fighting desperately for her life.
He burst into the infirmary and was assisted by an elderly doctor.
"Where is she; how is my wife?"
"Fire Lord Zuko, you'd better hurry if you want to see her", the elderly man told him as he shook his head gravely and led the aged Firebender to the room where his wife lay.
Zuko peeked at her through the small gap. She was alone; she had probably requested for this arrangement so she could meet him privately. He assumed their children had already seen her in her weak and feeble state since his youngest was tearing when she delivered the dreadful news.
Tears had fallen freely from his golden eyes and he wiped them off as thoroughly as he could and feigned a smile before entering her quiet room.
"Zuko, come here love", she told him warmly.
He moved toward her as was ordered and sat down on the chair that had been place at her bedside. He gently took her hand in his and held it to his scarred cheek, smiling at her lovingly.
"Zuko, I love you", she told him as she gently stroked his cheek.
"I love you too", he answered as a tear fell from his eye.
She smiled back at him and wiped away the tear with the back of her free hand and he noticed not for the first time that she was very graceful. Even in her most desperate of times, she was still graceful.
Fifty years was a long time but it didn't seem long when he was married to Katara. She had been eighteen; he had been twenty. They were young but both knew that they were the ones for each other and they were right. Over the years, they had their downs but these were overcome with even greater ups that strengthened their marriage and now, fifty years later, their marriage was stronger than ever.
The story of their love story was a well known tale throughout the world and it had become a bedtime story that was often told to young children. Countless plays had been written based on their truly inspiring love story and many admired them.
She was truly indeed the love of his life. He had understood this fact when he was eighteen just after a month of dating the Waterbender. It was never meant to be taken seriously but it eventually was and a year later, he proposed and a year after that, they were wed.
He had often blamed himself for being so shy initially because had he been more daring, they would have been married for a year longer than their present fifty-year union. Their marriage was obviously a success and from this marriage, three children were produced- Yue Han and Yue Jun, his sons and Xing, his daughter. They were brilliant children due to Katara's training. She was brilliant his three children were like her in brilliance and like him in thoughtlessness, he often mused.
He reached out his other hand and brushed a strand of hair from her face and thought about her leaving him. The thought proved too much for him to bear and he let out a sob. And again, with her gentleness, she calmed him.
"Don't cry Zuko", she told him and smiled gently.
He immediately wiped away the tears that had just leaked from his eyes, eager to obey her as much as he could.
"Listen to me", she said weakly and he did.
"I… I want you to live… happily even after I'm… gone", she told him as she struggled to maintain her consciousness. He knew he was probably incapable of doing so but nodded anyway.
"Also, I… love you", she told him again and he smiled at her.
"I love you too", he repeated and she smiled again and with that she laid her head on the pillow and drifted off.
Zuko was fully aware of what had happened to her but didn't move. He just stared and was scarcely aware that his children, his grandchildren and great grandchildren had entered the room. He stood up weakly as his daughter cried hysterically over her mother's death. With that, he stumbled out of the room and went to Katara's cabbage patch.
With a nearby watering can, he watered the plants and smiled through his fallen tears. Katara gave life to the things around her but to him, she was life itself.
A/N: Remember to review!