|Quoth the Zutara
Author: robin's clone PM
Based on a prompt from a quote. See Author's Note.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 1,778 - Favs: 2 - Published: 01-25-07 - id: 3360520
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: This is the part where I insert something clever about how I don't own anything.
Author's Note: This is a new series I'm starting. Basically there's a prompt in the form of a quotation that I like. But I'm also issuing a challenge for you to write a one shot based off the same quote. Send me a message or say that it's for robin's clone's challenge in the summary. If I like your story I'll send a message to you indicating your status as the chapter winner and ask you for a quote that you'd like to see as a story and dedicate that chapter to you. I don't care what pairing you use, but I will probably only write Zutara stories or ones where there really is no pairing.
"But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way."
-Jane Austen Northanger Abbey
In my life I've always had to do things on my own. My brother was so involved in becoming a warrior that he had little time to play with his younger sister. My father was a traditional warrior, very masculine, he was a loving father, but he didn't know what to do with a young daughter. Finally my mother; she'd died protecting me and my brother. She was a powerful bender and taught me many things. But she when she died, she left me to do things on my own.
After the war killed my mother, it took my father away too and I had to learn how to do more things on my own. My brother swore to protect me, but he also had to protect the rest of the village.
Then my brother and I found the Avatar and I learned how to teach myself and Aang to bend. We took care of each other, but I was the one who looked out for everybody else. I took the weight of the responsibilities.
We traveled all over the world meeting many different people, from many different places. But one person stuck out more than everybody else. His name was Prince Zuko, the banished prince of the nation that killed my mother.
Prince Zuko was chasing Aang, something about needing the Avatar to regain his honor. He tried to capture Aang many times and never really succeeded. I fought Zuko many times. I couldn't let him take Aang, the world's hope. More importantly my hope, because if Aang helped save the world, my father would come home and I would have to do things on my own anymore, I wouldn't have to be a hero.
Later a new person joined our group an earth bending master named Toph. At first I'd thought that she would be just one more responsibility for me to take on. She's blind for goodness sake. Actually she did the opposite; she stole the Avatar's heart. She swore to protect him no matter what, and she always has. Thanks to her I didn't have to keep as close of watch on Aang as before, but still I worried.
In the time since Toph joined our group we'd only seen Prince Zuko once or twice. I seriously thought that he'd fallen off the face of the earth. That is until one day.
One day we were in the market buying food, because as usual my brother Sokka had eaten it all. To tell the truth I was the only one buying actual supplies. Aang and Toph were off some where doing who knows what and Sokka was just across the road at another stand flirting with the girl who worked there. I was looking at the peaches when suddenly a hand closed over my mouth and a voice hissed in my ear, "Come with me and keep quiet."
I nodded. I would have to wait for the perfect moment before I attacked. The owner of the voice led me to a deserted alley. Once there he removed his hand after warning me that if I screamed he would kill me where I stood. I turned around to see who my attacker had been and gasped, "Zuko!"
I stared at him, he looked different his hair was longer and while he still had the bearings of a prince he carried himself differently. More confidently, stronger, surer, but at the same time there was an air of humility that I hadn't seen before. After a few seconds my brain kicked in and realized that I was staring at my enemy. I quickly uncorked my water skin and formed a water whip that was poised and ready to attack if he tried anything sneaky.
But instead of attacking me he kneeled in front of me, confused I put my water whip away and kneeled down so that we were once again almost eyelevel, (he's taller than me, what can I say). Cautiously I spoke, "Zuko, what's going on?"
His golden eyes stared into mine and when he spoke it was with the utmost care as if he was picking and choosing the words very carefully.
"I know that in your eyes I'm the bad guy and I understand why, I chased you and your friends all over the world, I've fought with and stolen things from you that I had no right to. You know part of the reason is because I am trying to regain my honor, but I never actually told you how I lost my honor.
When I was 14 I asked my uncle if I could attend a war council meeting with him. After much pleading on my part, he finally agreed, but only on the condition that I stay silent. I broke that promise, they were planning to sacrifice a group on new recruits, and I couldn't allow that so I spoke up, breaking my promise to my uncle.
As punishment I was forced to fight an Agni Kai, a fire bender's duel. I was confident thinking that I would have to fight the old general that I'd insulted, but instead when I stood up I was facing my father instead. I refused to fight him, saying that I only had the Fire Nation's best interests at heart. But he wouldn't listen to my pleas. He said that I would learn respect, and that suffering would be my teacher. Then he my scar.
When I woke up the next morning I went to see my father in the throne room, he took my honor away from me saying that I had none, and that I was banished until I could bring the Avatar to him.
I know that this doesn't excuse what I've done, but it may help you understand why I did what I did."
I stared at Zuko. I'd always wondered how he'd gotten his scar and why he was so determined to capture Aang. All I could think to ask was, "Why? Why did you tell me this?"
"So that you could understand. So that I could ask you for forgiveness, and say that I am sorry. Also, because I wish to join the Avatar in his fight against my father. My uncle and I can teach him fire bending."
"Why would you want to help us defeat your father? Why did you bring me to this alley?"
"I stopped thinking of him as my father a long time ago. He's never really acted the way a father should. I brought you to this alley to tell my story. I thought that you, out of everyone else in your group would understand me best. My past is not something I like to relive. In short I needed an ally when I join your group."
I couldn't believe it. Zuko wanted to help us. I was torn between believing his story and questioning if it was another trick to capture Aang. He must have read some of my emotions in my eyes because he then said.
"I understand why you don't trust me, because I have given you no real reason to. But consider this; we're alone in an empty alleyway. If I had wanted to capture you and use you to lure the Avatar to me, there's no one here to stop me."
I pondered this information. And I knew what my decision was.
"Alright you can come with us."
He nodded and made to stand, I grabbed onto his sleeve and he sank back down on his knees.
"On one condition though."
He nodded as if to say, "Anything I will do it."
"You must never say that you have no honor again, because honor is only something you can lose if you allow someone to take it from you. And because you have shown me more honor in these last few moments than anyone else I've ever met."
This time when he made to stand up I let him. I also allowed him to help me stand up. We walked back to the rest of the group predictably he wasn't well received. Aang enclosed him in a rock box and Sokka waved his boomerang in a threatening manner. But Toph on the other hand just stood there unmoving. Zuko to his credit didn't flinch although he did glare at my brother, when he mentioned removing Zuko's reason for wearing a loin cloth.
It took a little while but I finally managed to convince Aang to release Zuko. I explained why Zuko was here and that we had to go rescue his uncle from Azula. Eventually everyone got used to the idea of Zuko being around. Out of all of us he probably talked to me the most, but mostly he just stuck to himself or talked to his uncle.
We spent a lot of time sparing together and on more than one occasion saving each other's lives. Eventually we fell in love; it seemed fitting seeing as how he trusted his story to me first. And also seeing as how our respective elements are yin and yang. He helped me realize that I didn't have to do things on my own anymore. That we could share the burden. He told me that I didn't always have to be the heroine. In any case he became my hero.