Greetings and salutations, Avatards! :D Today marks a very special occasion in my career as a fanfic writer: Exactly one year ago, on June 6 of 2011, I posted my very first fanfic story "Avatar: The Last Airbender - Book 4: Air" here on this very site, launching my career as a fanfic writer.

And here I stand one year later with 49 (now 50 because of this story) stories underneath my belt.

Let me tell you, it's be an incredible journey that I enjoyed immensely, and I would like to thank each and every one of my readers, whether they've been with me since the beginning or are just discovering me now with this 50th story of mine.

Actually, this story is a collab fic I did over on the KataangForever forum with fellow member Kataangled. Just so I'm clear, the first half of this story was written by her, not me. We've gotten a lot of positive feedback about this story, so I decided to post it here on this site for you all to enjoy. :)

Alright, enough of my mindless ramble, on with my 50th fanfic! Thank you all for being such loyal fans, and have a wonderful day!

*Cover pic is not mine. It belongs to ~xcgirl08 on deviantART*

DISCLAIMER: I do not own "Avatar: The Last Airbender". The show and its characters belong to Mike and Bryan, the brillant geniuses behind one of the greatest cartoon shows in the history of cartoons. Their work is legendary, and I salute them for it. I also do not own "The Legend of Korra" or any of the characters associated with it. I am merely a fanboy with a passionate love for this series.

Nearly Losing You

Korra was at her limit.

Not her physical limit. She mercilessly disabled her adversaries, using the most advanced tri-bending techniques that she could muster. Months of training combined with the acquired knowledge of new chi-blocker techniques gave the young Avatar an improved edge over the stealthy henchmen of Amon.

Amon.

Once again, although this was his battle, he remained absent from the battlefield. Korra held the highest disdain for him not only because he held an all-consuming hatred for benders and a need to unbalance the world. No. Korra abhorred Amon due to his cowardice. His refusal to face Korra head on in a fight made the Avatar seethe. Bending be damned. She would use her bare hands, rip that mask off of his face, feel the thud of his skull meeting concrete...

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

She heard the thud of a skull hitting concrete.

It was as if her body was turning in slow motion. Everything was happening so slowly. Her cerulean eyes were bombarded with violent flashes of electricity. Her ears heard his piercing cries. She watched as Bolin crumble to the ground in an electrocuted heap. She could feel the muscles in her face tense up into an expression of anguish. She heard her own scream before she physically made the sound, but when the sound finally made it past her vocal cords, it was not a sound of grief, but of rage.

"HOW DARE YOU!"

The words were barely decipherable due to the thick column of fire that expelled itself from Korra's mouth. She summoned water from everywhere: from the streets, from the plants, the underground sewers, the air...and with it she thrust the water in all directions throughout the prison square. She would drown them. She would drown them all for hurting her cherished friend.

Or better yet...Korra thought maliciously...

With a wave of her hand, she raised the water off of the ground, and solidified it. What would happen to these chi-blockers if this ice were to come pummeling down to the ground, shattering their bodies with the impact? There would be no Amon to help them...and they would pay.

For what?

Miraculously, Korra's rage subsided for a split second to consider the magnitude of her actions and what they would cost. These men...all 14 of them would lose their lives, for fighting for something that they believed to be right. Although they were extensions of Amon, although they wanted the same ends...these men, most likely with dreams and families, just like anyone else, did not deserve such a severe punishment...even if it meant everything for Korra.

Slowly, she let the block of ice containing the men down to the ground, leaving them to be judged for their crimes at a later date.

She rushed to Bolin.

Bolin, who had been with her through the best and worst of times,

Bolin, who supported her when the city turned its back on her for failing to contain Amon.

Bolin, who tried to cheer her up when she felt like the most incompetent human being on the planet.

Bolin, who vowed to fight by her side when she had to face Amon. A promise that may cost him his life, if she did not get there faster. She felt like she was dreaming. Bolin was only a couple of feet from her; however her legs seemed to move through quicksand. She had to get to him. She had to save him. Her Bolin.

Thud.

She sank to her knees beside him as a cry of anguish pushed through her mouth. The force was great enough to loosen her ponytail, causing it to fly in all directions from her head, framing her face in a wild mane. One of her shaking hands, hands that almost killed 14 men...once again gathered all of the water near to her and began to heal the enormous chest wound that was a result of a chi-blocker attack.

She picked up Bolin in her arms as she pressed her glowing hand to his ravaged chest, forcing her healing chi to focus on the charred skin. Tears, salty and full of despair, began to fall down her face as the Earthbender's eyes slowly cracked open. "K...Korra..." The words came out of his mouth in a ragged, grating whisper, full of pain and agony. "You...y-you came back for me..."

"Shh, don't talk," she quietly soothed, resting his head in the crook of her neck like she would a child. "Just keep still, Bo. I'm going to heal you right up, OK?"

Bolin painfully hissed as Korra continued to heal his gaping wound. "But the Equalists-"

"I said don't talk!" reiterated Korra, fighting back her rising panic. "Please, Bolin," she insistently begged, her tears growing ever hotter, "I just need you to relax right now."

Bolin winced and gasped as he felt his skin meld itself back together, her energy mending his malicious injury. "Just go, Korra," he managed to choke out through the mind-numbing pain. "Get out of here before more Equalists show up."

"NO!" screeched Korra, her eyes going wide with utter shock and disbelief. "I am not leaving you behind, Bolin! I'm going to save you!"

"I'm only slowing you down," retorted Bolin, scrunching his eyes closed as he hissed again. "Just leave me. Save yourself, Korra."

"Forget it!" exclaimed Korra, biting back a grievous sob. "I will never leave you behind! I'm going to save you and that's final!"

Even through all the madness and chaos of their situation, even through the blinding pain and throbbing agony in his chest...Bolin managed a small smile. "Stubborn Avatar," he lightly chuckled, open his eyes ever so slightly as his smile grew in its curvature. "What am I going to do with you?"

More tears veiled Korra's face as she smiled for the first time that day, her tears mercilessly stinging the large scar on her right cheek. "Never leave me," she softly whispered, her fingers trembling against his chest. "Don't ever leave me, Bolin."

"Of course I would never leave you, Korra," rasped Bolin, managing an airy chuckle. "Who else is going to eat Narook's famous Water Tribe noodles with you?"

"Who else would let me snuggle with Pabu at night?" asked Korra, playing along with him and finding some comforting solace in Bolin's calm smile.

"Who else would help you pull pranks on Mako?" whispered Bolin, his eyes slowly beginning to slide closed.

"Who else would make me smile the way you do?" continued Korra, holding on to Bolin as if he were her last anchor to reality.

"Who else would I say...I...love you...to..." murmured Bolin, his words seeming to incoherently jumble together as his eyes finally closed, his body slumping against hers.

Korra's eyes widened to their utmost extent, a horrified gasp ripping itself out of her mouth as a torrent of tears spilled forth. The world seemed to come to a complete standstill, her heart pounding like a reverberating drum in her ears. She began to violently shake, choked sobs finding their way out of her mouth and into the tense air. "No..." she fearfully whispered, her voice filled with denial and disbelief. Her panic began to overwhelm her, consume every trace of sanity until she was forced to scream, "No no no no no no!"

Blasting her chi into her water-encased hand with blazingly unbelievable force, she violently screamed, "You can't die on me, Bolin! I can't lose you!" The tears never stopped flowing down her face the whole time, her sorrow and grief spilling forth out of her shattered heart. "Please, Bolin..." she pleadingly moaned, holding on to his quiet form as hard and as tightly as she could. "Please don't go..." she sobbingly whispered, pressing her hand ever tighter against his chest. "I need you here with me, Bolin..."

Visions of Bolin began to flash before her eyes: his warm, charming, and inviting smile; the softness and tenderness in his friendly emerald eyes; the reverence and care with which he held her on those awful nights when visions of Amon haunted her. The faint ghosts of his pure, joyful laughter rang in her ears like a distant memory. She recalled the sweetness and pleasantness that his company always provided for her, how he never failed to make her smile.

Something began to burn deep inside of her, a resolve that grew in its intensity until it was a raging inferno of determination. Gritting her teeth with the fortitude of her iron will, she blasted her entire being into her healing hand, making it piercingly hum and brightly glow as she ragingly exclaimed, "NO! I refuse to let him die!" She looked down at his still face, waiting for any signs of him stirring, only to find no. Intensifying her efforts, she shouted, "I am notgoing to let you die on me, Bolin! We've been through too much just for you to die like this!"

She felt her soul intertwine with his, fighting to revitalize his spirit with her life-giving energy. It was if she was melding with him, becoming an irreplaceable part of him, forever bonded to his heart and soul. Her emotions began to wash all over her soul, bringing a sense of clarity to the madness. She felt so connected, so one with Bolin at that moment, all she could do was whisper one thing...

"Please, Bolin...I love you..."