The World is too Many

Disclaimer – I don't own Avatar. This idea is based loosly on the movie 'The Core'.

'Zuko-has-joined-gAang' AU. (Yes I know, I'm using a cliched topic but all cliches are cliche fore a reason.)

Aang sighed as he dropped down to join Zuko. The young prince didn't bother to acknowledge the Airbender but continued to concentrate on his swirling thoughts. They sat like that for seemingly hours, Aang entertaining himself by tracing the cracks in the ground, pacing and practicing bending and Zuko by staying still, keeping quiet and not moving. The silence was suffocating to Aang. The dread of battle already hung ominously around them but the quiet only made the situation seem even worse.

His firebending master hadn't moved an inch since Aang had last glanced at him and all it did was irk him. Aang and his friends had gone through the plan to infiltrate the Fire Lord's palace so many times that it felt it had been etched in their brains with a red hot iron. Sokka in the end had gone off to hunt even though the last thing they needed was more food supplies since they all knew that they were going on a suicide mission. Toph and Katara had marched away in the opposite direction muttering about something that Aang didn't quite catch so the young monk was left alone at camp with Zuko.

"Zuko, how can you act so calm?" Aang suddenly burst. He wanted the boy beside him to at least show some kind of emotion, just show any sign that he was human.

Zuko opened one eye slowly and fixed his piercing gaze on the Airbender. Knowing he had the older boy's attention, Aang continued ranting.

"How do you cope knowing that if you fail, the entire world will fall?" Aang mumbled his voice dropping so low that it could barely be heard over the wind.

Zuko snorted at this comment and re-closed his eye in a manner that clearly suggested he was annoyed to be bothered with something as trivial as the Avatar's worries of failure. Despite Zuko's obvious lack of interest, Aang carried on talking not caring whether his friend heard or cared.

"I failed the world already, I can't fail it again. But what if I'm not strong enough? If I can't defeat the Fire Lord, thousands… millions of people will die. I know I have to win but there are so many people to save. What if I can't save them all? How do you cope knowing that the world depends on you?"

He vaguely saw Zuko flinch at the mention of the Fire Lord but didn't press the matter. After a few moments, Zuko turned to face Aang, a look of deep resolve etched across his face.

"The world can crash and burn for all I care. I'm not fighting for the world; I'm fighting for just one person."

The lines on the firebender's face deepened and his brow furrowed in determination as he looked towards the direction of the Fire Nation capital. The setting sun set his features aglow making him look like a true child of Agni. Zuko paused before continuing.

"Just fight for someone you care about. If the world can be saved in the process, then so be it."

Just a few people…

Aang thought of a waterbender he had grown to love. He pictured her beauty and grace and how she cared for all those around her. He would save her at all costs.

A warrior of the water who gave the team something to laugh about even when the days were black blazed in his mind's eyes. He would make sure he was never lost.

The image of a proud earthbender came to Aang. Her sightless eyes which took in more of the land than anyone could ever see and the way she always stood rocklike to her resolve inspired him. He would not let her burn.

Aang glanced at the fierce firebender that he had once called a foe. He let the boy's determination and power seep into him warming his soul. He would fight be his side for all eternity.

I think I still need practice at third person past tense -.-U