Katara said he didn't understand, oh, but he does. All too well. Set during 3×16 Southern Raiders. Slightly AUish. Dark Aang.

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar.

"I knew you wouldn't understand." The words are thrown at him, and he feels it like a physical blow. Katara's eyes bore into him, Zuko wordlessly agreeing with her as he stands by her side.

Aang takes a deep breath, trying, trying so hard to follow what the monks taught him.

He fails this time.
Katara mistakes his silence for doubt, and goes to speak. Aang stops her with a hand. He looks up; there is a burning behind his eyes that is almost tangible.

"You forget," the words come out as a hoarse whisper. Aang's voice is trembling as he breathes."You lost your mother, and that is terrible…terrible beyond measure." In the background Zuko's scar puckers as his eyes widen in realisation of what is to come.

"But I lost them all. Everyone that was once dear to me. And not just once, I lost them over and over and over again. In every life. So don't tell me I don't understand." Anger is radiating off him in waves. But just like that, he walks away into the distance, Sokka and Toph moving aside to let him past.

No one tries to stop him.

The silence of the group is eerie. Because it's at times like these that they remember; remember the indescribable suffering their friend has been through; times when they remember the ancient entity that walks among them in the shape of a grey-eyed little boy.