Senseless Author Rambles; This stems from utter boredom and me sitting at a Seattle's Best Coffee in Borders book store, quite alone and incredibly tired and trying oh-so very hard to come up with another chapter for any of my stories. Any, really. I must have opened each of my Avatar documents, including the one for Sokka's Field Guide III which I have just started, and also the Harry Potter stories I've just begun, but inspiration was lacking for all of them. And then I watched this amazing video that promotes My Chemical Romance's newest album, and started listening to them on my itunes and well…this is the outcome. Enjoy C:
Summary; A one-shot inspired by Demolition Lovers by My Chemical Romance. This chronicles the Final Battle against the Azula and diverges from canon incredibly, but I couldn't help but think of Zuko and Katara when I heard this song again.
Hand in mine, into your icy blues
And then I'd say to you, we could take to the highway
With this trunk of ammunition too
I'd end my days with you in a hail of bullets
The wind whipped about them as they all but flew across the city, bounding along the streets, their steps lithe and silent with practiced stealth. Katara felt her heart racing with every step, following after the dark blur she knew was the firebender prince she had grown so accustomed to. They ducked into the shadows, unseen and lethal, silent in their mission. Neither dared to speak, though there were a thousand words to say. She closed her eyes for a moment, recalling her airbender, the Avatar to whom many believed she belonged, and her lips tingled at the memory of his kiss – though it was not a pleasant feeling, only familiar. At the time she had wondered if he bruised her lips, crashing onto her like he did…
There was a time when she could have seen herself with him, after the battle, once peace was restored, when they were both grown and could live without the trifles of war. There was a time when she wondered if he did care for her the way she once might have cared for him, wondered if a twelve-year-old boy was even capable of such a capacity to love in a way that her mother once told her would make her heart flutter.
As the war waged on, so did the realization that they simply could not be.
Zuko's voice drew her from her thoughts and she opened her eyes, seeing his face in the faded light. He stood near, breath weaving through the loose locks of her hair. His eyes, amber, honeyed, everything warm and golden and beautiful, peered down at the waterbender, penetrating and searching, and the fractured picture Katara had envisioned of wise, innocent grey eyes was instantly replaced with something far more welcoming.
His breath stopped for a second then, and he stiffened, biting down on the inside of his lower lip, before continuing. "You're worried."
"Of course I'm worried," she whispered, frowning at his words, at the softness of his tone, at the way his eyes captured her apt attention in a way they did many times before, in a way insouciant grey eyes never could. "We're facing a battle that could decide the outcome of the fate of the world."
"You're worried about Aang. You're worried about him dying."
Katara said nothing, only lowering her gaze to his lips, watching them part just slightly as he took a deeper inhale of the cool night air. She was worried about Aang, about his battle with Fire Lord Ozai – if Aang failed, if he died, then the world was doomed. All they had fought for, all they had sacrificed, would be in vain. And yet, at the mention of death, it was not Aang's face that crossed her mind.
Zuko's warm hand caught her cheek and the touch was so welcome and comforting and flashes of a happy future that once might have been with Aang flickered through her mind, only with blurred faces. He tilted her head up so that her eyes had to meet his, and what she saw in their golden depths reminded her instantly of her mother's tales of princesses and love and happily ever afters. "I promise you—listen to me, Katara—I promise you, that once this is all over, he will be alive, and you will be alive, and all will be well with the world."
There was a sadness in his words despite the reassurance, a sadness that grew to envelope them both when his hand fell from her face.
I'm trying, I'm trying
To let you know just how much you mean to me
And after all, after all the things
We put each other through
His body flew through the air, radiating blue lightning before skidding across the cobblestone ground, hunched over and unmoving. Katara's eyes widened at the sight of him, breath held for any sign of movement on his part. The prince grimaced, letting out a breathy grunt of undiluted pain and something in the waterbender's heart ached at the sound. She barely took a step towards him when his own sister barked out a maniacal laugh that sent shivers down her spine. Katara met the princess' golden eyes – eyes that in color resembled Zuko's and yet held a sinister and wild ferocity that would never ever be found in the prince's gaze. Katara fisted her hands, preparing herself for an attack, wanting more than anything to rush to her fallen friend, the boy who saved her life, but resisting the urge.
Azula came towards her, and lightning met water. Zuko had been right, Katara realized as they battled – Azula was off. She was slipping. There was something in the young firebender's eyes that revealed a desperation that was never there before, and Katara returned the princess' assaults with vigor, fighting not only for the peace of the world, but also the fallen prince. Her prince.
Katara dodged a bolt of lightning, leaping to the side and landing unceremoniously on her knees, having lost her footing on the uneven ground. She hissed as the fabrics of her pants barely served as a cushion between her skin and the rubble, knowing that the sticky liquid she felt on her legs would stain red, unseen through the dark cloth. She picked herself up at once, seeing Zuko's limp body in her peripherals, unable to blink away the image of him taking her death into his heart, the way he flew across her like an angel, a savior, a sanctuary, granting her a second chance without so much as hesitation when she had fought so stubbornly to give him his own second chance.
Azula approached, hair undone and falling in tangled rivulets of ebony down her shoulders, clinging to her face with sweat. Her motions were fluid and yet awkward, as though she was losing control over her own limbs yet maintained a certain grace she was born with. The princess laughed, the unsettling sound echoing in the arena, but her words fell on deaf ears. All Katara could hear was Zuko's voice as he promised her that she would live…
A fierce heat seared at her feet then, prompting a scream from the waterbender and she jumped back, stumbling in pain before falling to her knees, eyes shut with the white-hot torture. She knew her feet were badly burned, possibly beyond repair if she did not address her wound immediately, and she glared up at the approaching princess. There was a loftiness to Azula as she swayed towards the waterbender, mocking and jeering in that cruel way of hers, and Katara could only blink away the tears that dared to impair her vision at most crucial moment in time. Beyond the princess, Zuko's body lay still on the ground and Katara wished, more than anything, that she could at least be near him, feeling death hovering near, trapping and suffocating.
"Well, peasant, it looks like you're out of tricks," Azula taunted, coming to a halt before the waterbender. "Any last words?"
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Zuko—I'm sorry. Katara staggered on the ground, fighting to stand, but the pain was far too fresh, too strong, and she only crumbled to the floor. "This isn't the end," she said between gasps of breath, arms trembling to support her tired and scorched frame, "this isn't the end. The world must end in peace, Aang will defeat the Fire Lord. Aang will win."
Calculating golden eyes narrowed in victory. "Perhaps," she said with ease, "But you will not be around to find out."
Katara closed her eyes, bracing herself for the fate that awaited her, wondering if happily ever afters were only meant for princesses.
But this time I mean it
I'll let you know just how much you mean to me
As snow falls on desert skies
Until the end of everything
A flash of bright light grew behind Azula and Katara scrambled backwards, before summoning what little energy she could to bend the water around her in a shield as the flames licked towards the firebender victim. Azula dodged, the assault hitting water before rising to steam and Katara squinted through the haze, making out an indistinct figure where Zuko lay. Azula's sharp yell went unregistered and she started towards her brothers who stood on trembling limbs, face paler than was normal, eyes darker than was normal.
"Don't touch her," he demanded in a rough and husky voice that betrayed his weakness. He wavered on the spot, the threat falling flat at his appearance, and Azula only laughed at the attempt. Zuko glared, taking in a trembling breath to relieve his lungs. "I mean it. She's not a part of this."
Azula frowned. "How are you even still alive?" She asked with little interest, regarding her own kin as a constant nuisance. "No matter, you will not be alive for long," the princess declared, taking on a firebending stance. Her gestures were quick and sharp, the precision and restraint infallible, and Zuko stood, unable to do much aside from watch her step through the stances, harnessing the core of her heat to her finger tips so that the danced with lethal azure static. "Sleep, now, Zuzu. Sleep like mother—" She gasped out in choked shock, as her lightning was directed into the sky, and her limbs jerked about out of her control for a moment, eyes wide in fear and confusion.
Katara was stooped low on the ground in a graceful pose, one that Zuko instantly recognized. He saw his single opportunity to take down his sister, and yet as he summoned the fire power needed to finish her a sharp pain shot through his chest and he fell onto all fours, coughing so harshly that blood splattered the ground beneath him. Katara lost control, collapsing onto the cobblestone floor as well, hopeless, useless, and Azula spun to face the water witch who had strung her about like a puppet.
"You," the princess spat out in rage, shooting fire at the waterbender.
Zuko saw the attack long before Azula finished the forms and with a burst of energy and much effort, he propelled himself towards the girl just as Katara did what she could to evade the flames. Azula simply delivered a sound blow into her own brother's side, sending him flying back towards his comrade. "You would give your life to save her," Azula sneered, staring at the two pitiful excuses for benders, "How far you have fallen, Zuko."
Katara immediately clung to her friend, grasping his hand tightly in hers and there was a fear in her eyes that was entirely uncharacteristic of the strong waterbender Zuko knew. Her face, beautiful and broken said everything that neither dared to say, unspoken words that did not belong to either of their lips, and he returned her squeeze, gripping her hand in what he hoped would be comfort, for that was all he could offer, though she deserved so much more than that.
"Your energy is depleted, you have no hope."
It was Katara's broken voice that dared speak out, "There will always be hope." And with Zuko's strength, she managed to stand, taking the firebender up with her, a single thought running through both their minds. Neither had enough in them to continue to fight, neither could last much longer in battle and all they had left was one shot. She gave Zuko a sad smile, understanding in her eyes, and in his golden gaze she could almost hear his apologies.
Just as Azula began her stances to take the two out in a single shot, so did Zuko and Katara moved swiftly through the bending forms they had practiced to perfection weeks prior. They shifted together, palms lightly pressed, limbs united with every gesture and motion and lunge and step, and a large blast emerged from Azula, and the duo fighting for peace released a bolt of electrifying lightning that consumed both the princess and her attack in a static explosion of massive proportions. The impact shook the arena, sending down the pillars and tiers and smoke filled the area and the two benders fell into each other, knowing without looking that Azula was dead.
"I'm sorry," Zuko whispered, hand still holding hers, fragile and weak, fighting for breath.
Everything around them crumbled, just as the princess had fallen, just as they had fallen, and Katara smiled that smile of hers that made him feel as though things would be alright. "It was never Aang I was so worried about."
He watched her, watched her blue eyes fade and flutter with her diminishing strength, and he cringed with the effort to caress her face, and he shifted close enough so that he might kiss her, wanting her lips to be the last thing he remembered before surrendering to the darkness, and he closed his eyes and only managed to place the swiftest of kisses against her forehead before both water and fire were finally consumed.
And as we're falling down, and in this pool of blood
And as we're touching hands, and as we're falling down
And in this pool of blood, and as we're falling down
I'll see your eyes, and in this pool of blood
I'll meet your eyes, I mean this forever
SHORT D: sorry.
but it didn't feel like it was supposed to be very long
neither was it my best writing,
i might revise it at some point
but for now i'm lazy :D