The sunset was beautiful. Reds and oranges bled into one another, reflecting off the sparkling water. It wasn't the first sunset, nor the last, but it was more amazing today than any other thing on earth.

Aang stood right on the edge of the stone. The southern air temple was beautiful this time of year, but then again it always was stunning. Eternally bathed in snow, which was always soft and clean, the building was one of the things he loved most on earth.

The others were of course Momo and Appa. They had their own part of his heart, and he could not imagine life without him. Someone though was noticeably missing from his life now.

After the war was officially over, he'd gone to the fire nation. There they had celebrated the end of Ozai's tyranny. The three nations had gathered together and Aang had stood by the new fire lord's side as he announced the end of war and the beginning of an era of peace.

Surrounded yet alone Aang had worn traditional robes and the beaded necklace of the Air Nomads. Iroh had found some in a forgotten room, revealing some great treasures that he had thought disappeared along with his people. It was these things that he had packed up for their trip to Ba Sing Sai, claiming that he didn't want them out of his sight. No one had guessed at his ulterior motive, and he had wanted it that way.

In fact he hadn't even bothered to talk to his friends about his decision to leave. It would only upset them, and he didn't want that. Peace was important to him. This world was torn and ravaged, and he would be damned if he disturbed it now that chaos had ended.

No, he couldn't bring himself to do that. It went against his nature almost. Instead, he had spent that last day with his friends that had turned into family, with the only mother, sister, brother, and father he had ever known. They had ended up in Iroh's teashop, a remake of the original that he and Zuko had been managing for so brief a time.

Sokka had been caught up in painting their little group, their family, that was growing slowly but surely. All the friends they had made on their journey would always be in their hearts, but there was a boundary there, that separated family from all else. And no one would be able to take that away from them.

For a moment, Aang felt guilty for what he was about to do, and he walked outside to think about things. He hadn't known she'd walked up behind him until he caught movement from the corner of his eye. The sunset before them had been a lot like this one, and he'd let the moment carry him away.

Their kiss had been sweet, with no spark of fire but wonderful warmth that he hadn't been able to shake for hours. He had smiled and held her in his arms, pretending that it wouldn't be that last time. He pretended that they had all the time in the world instead of a few hours.

Later on, they'd all gone to bed for the night, wishing each other sweet dreams in their own way. And when he was sure that they were all asleep, Aang had crept out of bed, setting a note on top of the covers. The scene was so familiar that for a moment he was caught up in the past, remembering another time and another place. Unlike that time though, he was sure this was right. This time, he was running towards his destiny, not away from it.

Appa's eyes had shimmered at him, looking sympathetic, and Momo had chirped a few times as if pleading with him to reconsider. He was not selfish; he had given them a choice, and they had chosen to go with him. They understood that their place as the last bison and lemur of the Air Nomads belonged with the last Airbender.

They had made it to the outskirts of a courtyard, ready to take off when a voice sounded from a side door.

" You're just going to leave? Just like that?"

Aang was not surprised that he had been caught, so he didn't jump. He didn't turn around to try and explain, because no words were really needed. This man had been his confidant, his friend through the late nights and dark thoughts.

Instead he turned to stare at the man with sad eyes, trying not to cry. His former teacher came to stand beside Appa, Momo perching upon his shoulders as he looked up at Aang.

" Are you sure about this?" Zuko asked. He didn't try to tell him this was wrong, and he didn't try to make him stay through force. He had accepted that there was nothing he could do to change the path the Avatar was about to go down, but he did want to know why.

The nighttime sounds wove around them, and for a moment he thought the monk would not answer. But then his voice, sounding so small and young, replied softly, " I have to. The Avatar must be here for the world, not just one person. The truth is, I belong to the world, but nothing in the world belongs to me."

His friend looked down for a minute, raven hair concealing his features. " I used to envy you for how important you were to so many people Aang, but now I can see how lonely you must be."

There was really nothing he could say to that. It was fact after all. Being the hope for the world, it's savior, was lonely. There was no one to turn to when the world turned to you for salvation and guidance.

Seemingly in tune with his thoughts, Zuko looked up at him with something like loyalty in his eyes. " Aang…"

Gray eyes found his and a moment of understanding passed between them. They understood each other and their place in the world. Nothing could change their destinies, but at least they knew now that there was someone out there that they could turn to.

" You will always have a place with me. And there will always be a piece of me that belongs to you, just as there will always be a piece of your friends that belongs to you."

Although he knew what it would take to continue, Aang took it all in. He swallowed the feeling of belonging Zuko had just given him, even though he knew he would have to cast aside all worldly ties to realize his destiny. In the darkness, he smiled and turned to go.

Zuko said no more, just watched him leave with a feeling that Aang would be back someday. He just wished it was sooner rather than later, and that Aang was still the Aang they loved. He also made a note to check his room. The monk more than likely left a note for his friends to find in the morning, and if Zuko was going to be forced to go who-knows-how-long without him, he would scrounge every piece of him together that he could, to keep the memory as alive as possible for as long as possible.

And if somewhere in the darkness, he shed tears for his reason for redemption, no one would know…

Thus after visiting the guru at the western air temple, Aang had returned to his true home. It had changed so much but at least he had memories here to keep him company. He had companions in Momo and Appa, and statues of the past avatars.

He had long since found Gyatso's remains, burying them properly and attaching his necklace around his throat. It was the last piece he had of his father, his friend, and mentor. Their history would haunt him forever, and he would gladly remember everything, even his betrayal on that awful night.

Gray eyes belonging to a one hundred and sixteen year old boy watched the stars come out and thought about his place in the world. It was time to consider visiting a certain raven-haired fire lord…


I have no idea where this came from, just like Lost, which I wrote directly before this. This is weird, but I like the creativity. So I hope you enjoyed this. It might be a little confusing, even to me, but I think that Aang thought he should master the avatar state, and let go of all worldly attachments. But it's hard for a kid, and he's spent years away from everyone. After all, he still has attachments to Momo and Appa, as well as his people and history. It is almost impossible to detach yourself completely once you've lived in the world and made connections with other beings/places.

So…yeah. Also, I guess this could be considered Z/A if you look really, really hard. That wasn't what I was going for, I was going for an Aang-centric thing, so whatever. Please review and tell me what you think. Goodnight.