"Katara, NO!"

There was a crackle of energy, then a blinding blue light, and the sound of a body crashing into stone with a sickening thud.


Azula's cold, merciless laughter rang through the Throne Room.

"Poor little Avatar." Azula drawled with false sympathy as she walked closer. "Just when you though you'd won… After all that you've gone through, all the sacrifices you've made, all the training and fighting you've gone through, even after escaping death you've still lost. All your little friends are dead (or will be, I'll make sure of that) your pathetic army has been destroyed, and you, YOU are at my mercy. You have lost everything in this pitiful attempt to defeat the great Fire Nation and end the war."

Aang lay shaking on the floor; cuts and burns both minor and serious peppered his body. The scar on his back where Azula's lightning had stuck burned as though still fresh. Katara's body lay beside him, almost untouched except for the few burns and scrapes all along her arms and face. She could've been asleep if it were not for the star shaped burn on her abdomen, nearly identical to the scar on the Avatar's back, which told otherwise.

Please, please just kill me! Aang begged in his mind as the tears rolled down his cheeks. He couldn't take it anymore; it was all too much. It wasn't fair! It wasn't supposed to end like this!

He had finally defeated the Fire Lord; everything was supposed to go right after Ozai was gone! Zuko was supposed to become Fire Lord, Sukka was supposed to find Suki, and he, he was supposed to have a happily ever after with Katara! Not this. They weren't all supposed to be dead! Why, why me? I never wanted this. I never even wanted to be the stupid Avatar! I didn't want all this responsibility; I just wanted a chance at a normal childhood, at a normal life. And now, I can't have either. All my friends are dead, dead or missing, I don't know what happened to Toph though… I hope she is still alive…

"This is the end for you Avatar." Azula was only a few feet away now. "The end for you and the pathetic attempt to resist the Fire Nation's inevitable victory."

Reaching him she grabbed him roughly by his neck and hauled him to his feet. Blue flames erupted from her other hand. She forced him to look at her. She wanted to see the defeat and hopeless despair in his eyes as she snuffed out his life for good. He looked at her in despair, screaming in his mind, begging her to do it, to just kill him. She raised her hand, posed to strike but then stopped. She realized that was exactly what the Avatar wanted her to do. And if there was one thing Azula would never do, it was to comply with the wishes of her victims.

With an evil smirk she lowered her hand and let her flames disappear. She threw Aang back on the ground. "No, I won't kill you Avatar Aang, not yet. You'll have to suffer a bit longer before I'll give you that satisfaction. Ty Lee!"

Aang was vaguely surprised. He didn't remember seeing her there. "Subdue him and take him to the prison cells. Make sure his injuries are tended to. I'll not have him die before I want him to."

A series of quick, painful jabs was the last thing Aang remembered feeling before slipping away into unconsciousness.

(A/N: this chapter has been slightly altered so if you want to read it again, feel free! And if you find grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, or just something you'd like to mention to help make it better, feel free to point them out! I don't mind the criticism 'cuz I know I'm not the greatest writer out there (far from it) and I know there is a lot I can improve on…)

New A/N: I, TwilightG, do solemnly swear to review all the fics I enjoy, regardless of the number of reviews, its age, or anything else. It's a good pledge. Please follow it, because it lets me know how many people actually like the story, rather than those who read it and don't.

This pledge is at the bottom of currently my favorite Avatar story so far (Mistakes of the Past, by Sayle), and it mirrors my own thoughts so closely that I've decided to post it here in hope that you will follow it as I will strive to follow it.