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A Second Chance

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Katara lay on her deathbed at an old age thinking back on her life. She’d had a life filled with regret for the choices she’d made and because of those choices, she had no one by her side as she passed on. Toph, Sokka, and Suki were dead and Zuko was in the Fire Nation watching his son Iroh rule. Aang wanted to be with her but Katara had forced him from her room. She did not want him there. He had been the cause of all her regrets and now she would leave this world alone and without the person she wanted by her side the most. She wondered if Zuko would care that she was gone. Probably not. They hadn’t spoken in many years. It was her fault. She had pushed him away because she believed she was meant to be with Aang. It had led to a marriage that was entirely one sided love and they even failed to produce a child, one of Katara’s biggest regrets. She’d always wanted kids but given that she never loved Aang and he was always a man-child anyway having a kid had proved to be a challenge. Katara had grown to hate Aang and herself for the life she could’ve had. One where she wasn’t relegated to being the Avatar’s wife. One where she would be remembered as a warrior and a hero in her own right and not Aang’s trophy. One where Fire Lord Iroh was her son. She resented Aang so much for the life she’d lived that she’d rather die alone than with him by her side and she’d told him as much. She’d screamed hurtful things at him so he’d leave and though she realized that her choices were all on her, she wanted Aang to live with a fraction of the pain and regret she had endured for years. She pondered all these things as she closed her eyes and let death embrace her. She was surprised when she awoke in the Spirit World in the body of her young self and was greeted by the spirit of Avatar Roku.

“Hello Master Katara.” Roku smiled.

“Avatar Roku.” Katara bowed. “Why am I here? Shouldn’t I be in whatever hell I belong in?”

“No my dear.” Roku answered. “You are here because I have a very important task for you. How would you like to go back and correct all the mistakes you made?”

“I wish I could. More than anything.” Katara wiped tears from her face. “I hate the life I lived. I regret almost every choice I ever made.”

“What if I told you I could give you a second chance?” Roku said. “The chance to live the life you wanted and not the one yu felt you were supposed to live?”

“Why would you do that for me?” Katara asked.

“Because as his predecessor, I was supposed to teach Aang to be a proper Avatar.” Roku answered. “I failed. Previous Avatars are meant to guide the Avatar to be the best people they can and to teach to overcome their flaws. I failed. Aang’s selfishness pressured you into a life that drove you to misery. His selfishness forced Zuko to kill his own father because Aang refused to kill Ozai. (AN: There is no energybending in this story. Aang captured Ozai alive and once the comet passed they stuck him in a cooler. Since they can’t leave him in a cooler forever, Zuko is forced to execute Ozai) His selfishness led to him running when the world needed him the most. You deserve the life you wanted. And now you can have it.” Roku snapped his fingers.

---

Katara woke up to see Zuko lying on the bed with bandages over his torso. It was the day after his Agni Kai with Azula. Her memory of that was much more vivid than before while her memories of her life with Aang seemed much more distant yet still clear to remember her feelings of regret. She lunged on top of Zuko and wrapped her arms around him, tears streaming down her face.

“Katara are you okay?” Zuko asked.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!” Katara sobbed.

“For what?” Zuko asked.

“It doesn’t matter.” Katara sniffed. “All that matters is that you’re here. I love you Zuko and I never wanna live without you.” Before he could say anything Katara pressed her lips to his in a very passionate manner. She couldn’t help the excitement in her her heart when he kissed back with just as much passion. When they separated, Zuko cupped her face and looked into her eyes.

“I’m not going anywhere.” Zuko promised. “You’re welcome here as long as you want. I thought you loved Aang?”

“It’s a long story but right now I don’t think I even like Aang.” Katara sighed. “And if you’ll have me, I’m yours and you’re mine, scars and all.”

“I like the sound of that.” Zuko smirked. “I love you.” With every kiss, Katara fell for him more and more. And with every kiss, her miserable regret filled life felt more and more like a bad dream.