"By decree of Phoenix King Ozai, I now crown you Fire Lord" the head fire sage started, stopping before he said her name and placed the flame in her topknot.
"What are you waiting for? Do it!" Azula said angrily, looking up at the sage. Everyone heard a roar and Azula looked over quickly to see Appa land with her brother and the Waterbender as his passengers.
"Sorry, but you're not going to become Fire Lord today. I am" Zuko said, dismounting from Appa.
"You're hilarious" Azula said, chuckling at her brother.
"And you're going down" Katara said confidently, stepping next to Zuko.
"You want to be Fire Lord, fine. Let's settle this in the showdown that was always meant to be; Agni Kai!" Azula said.
"You're on" Zuko said, shocking Katara and causing a smile to appear on Azula's face.
"What are you doing? She's playing you. She knows she can't take us both so she is trying to separate us" Katara warned.
"I know, but I can take her this time" Zuko said confidently.
"But even you admitted to your uncle that you would need help facing Azula" Katara argued.
"There's something off about her. I can't explain it but she's slipping; and this way, no one has to get hurt" Zuko said. Katara reluctantly agreed.
Both Firebenders then took their places on each side of the Agni Kai chamber and stood to face each other.
"I'm sorry it has to end this way, brother" Azula said.
"No you're not" Zuko replied calmly.
Both Firebenders took a stance and Azula started the battle off with a fire blast. Zuko blocked the fire blast with a combined fire blast out of each of his hands. The blasts connected with each other and the attack went sideways, crashing into the sides of the Agni Kai Chamber with brutal force.
When the attack ceased, Azula attacked Zuko with three fire blasts coming from her feet. Zuko blocked the attacks with a fire shield.
Azula and Zuko were throwing fire blasts around that were so bright they could be seen over the rim of the volcano. The attacks came with such speed and heat that the fire burned into their surroundings.
Both Firebenders went for a large fire blast and they connected in the middle. Then the fire blasts split. Zuko's flew in Azula's direction and Azula's flew in Zuko's direction, but the fire did not connect with either Firebender. Zuko's fire blast did so much damage to the buildings behind Azula that she looked back in shock at her brother's power.
Azula then did a front flip and brought down all of the fire she could down at her brother. Zuko hopped and stopped the blast with a circular wall of fire that left him completely unharmed. The fire spread to the buildings but neither Firebender was harmed.
After that exchange both Firebenders somehow were not breathing hard.
Zuko launched two large fireballs out of both of his fists at his younger sister. Azula knew she wouldn't be able to block the attack so she dodged the attack, but just barely. She looked in at her brother who was still on the offensive as she was doing everything she could just to stay alive.
Azula then used Firebending to propel herself toward her brother while shooting fire streams in his direction. Zuko blocked the attacks and propelled himself into the air to dodge the attack. Zuko landed and used Firebending to split his sister's Firebending attack to make it bend around his body, keeping himself safe.
Azula dodged the defensive move that her brother was able to turn into offense and continued to pursue him.
Azula circled Zuko and both Firebenders sent attacks at each other but to no avail. Zuko's attacks were too slow and they only hit the fire coming out of his sister's feet and Azula's attacks were blocked by her brother.
Finally, Zuko spun around and kicked fire out in all directions. Azula couldn't dodge that attack and she flipped over a few times before landing hard on her stomach.
"Give up, Azula. You're beaten, it's over" Zuko said, remaining in a defensive stance.
"This is not over" Azula spat, slowly rising.
"What, no lightning today? What's a matter? Afraid I'll redirect it?" Zuko asked confidently.
"Oh, I'll show you lightning!" Azula hissed. As she charged up her lightning Zuko got into his stance. As Azula prepared to fire, she saw Katara in a vulnerable position. Azula fired the lightning right at Katara. Zuko saw this and ran. He jumped right in front of the lightning and stopped it from hitting Katara. Zuko was thrown back and landed hard. He looked up and pointed two fingers at Azula. Suddenly, lightning shot out at her and she screamed as the lightning connected with her chest, killing her.
"Zuko" Katara screamed as she ran to check on him. She turned Zuko onto his back lightly and looked down at the mark left by Azula's lightning.
"Katara, are you alright?" he asked weakly.
"I should be asking you. Let me heal you" Katara said, bringing water to Zuko's chest, but Zuko held up his arm.
"It is too late. The lightning went through my heart and I only have a few seconds. Before I leave I want you to know that I love you, Katara. I do" Zuko said weakly.
"I love you too, and I will never let go" Katara said, crying.
"Read the inscription on my dagger. It will tell you what I want you to do for me" Zuko said, breathing slowly.
"Never give up without a fight" Katara whispered as she read it.
"Don't give up Katara. I love you" Zuko said as his eyes closed.
"Zuko, come back, come back, come back!" Katara begged, crying hysterically.
When she finally stopped crying, she saw an airship in the distance and a figure out front with a glider. She frowned and took Zuko's dagger.
"I will see you again, Zuko" Katara whispered as she took the dagger.
"Don't do it Katara!" Zuko ordered from inside her.
"I will see you again, Zuko" Katara argued.
"If you kill yourself now my death will have been for nothing. I want you to be strong, and though it may not be easy I want you to fight through anything, even this" Zuko said, as his spirit world form appeared in front of Katara.
"I love you" Katara said, kissing spirit Zuko.
"Your friends are returning. I need to go. Goodbye Katara" Zuko whispered as his spirit form deteriorated. Katara once again fell by Zuko's lifeless body, weeping out of control. She didn't even hear Aang, Toph, Sokka, and Suki come from behind her.
"Katara, we did it!" Aang said happily, before noticing the body of Zuko.
"What happened?" Toph asked. Katara shook her head and continued crying over Zuko. Sokka knelt down next to Sokka and looked down at Zuko, tears beginning to form in his eyes as well. Toph and Suki were also crying over their friend. Aang stood near Zuko's head and saw the scar on Zuko's chest beginning to form. Aang compared the scar on his own chest to Zuko's.
"Zuko got hit with lightning, didn't he" Aang said, though it wasn't a question. Katara nodded.
"He saved my life by jumping in front of his sister's lightning, and he sacrificed his own life as well" Katara finally said.
"Sparky loved you, didn't he" Toph remarked. Katara nodded and finally stood up.
"He gave his life for the good of the world and now I will not see him again until I die" Katara said, slowly stepping away from Zuko's body.
"Zuko will always be with you" Aang said.
"If I would have just listened to him and stayed out of the way, Zuko would still be here. This is all my fault" Katara said quietly.
"Don't say that Sugar Queen. If I know Sparky, he would have done this for you either way" Toph said.
"You're right" Katara said.
Later that night, Katara stood on the balcony outside the Fire Lord's room, overlooking the Fire Nation capitol.
"I love you Zuko and I will never love anyone else" Katara breathed. As if in response, spirit Zuko appeared in front of her.
"This is the last time I will be able to see you, Katara" spirit Zuko said.
"The last time" Katara breathed.
"So let's make it memorable" spirit Zuko said. Quick as a whip Katara and spirit Zuko were in the Fire Lord's bed. Their first time was amazing and Zuko stayed until morning. They did everything fairy tales foretold and it was perfect, until Zuko had to leave.
Zuko did not leave without making his mark on the world. A few weeks later Katara realized she was pregnant with the heir to the throne.
"I love you" Katara and Zuko's voices chimed simultaneously.