A/N: This is a un-beta version of the story, my beta reader is going through some tough times and I thought I would just give them a copy and then post this one for you guys.
This is my first Avatar: The Last Airbender story so I hope you like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own A:TLA nor its characters, the only thing I own is the plot and a tiny little theory of mine.
The day was scorching, as any day in mid summer of the Fire Nation would be, the gardens in the royal palace was constantly watered, however only when the wife of the second prince was not present. This was one of those times.
She remembered sweltering in the heat feeding the turtleducks with her firstborn. He was only a toddler at that time. She remembered his warm smile even back then.
She could also remember that day was also the day of her secondborn's birth.
The labor was intense, the birth equally so, however she enjoyed it greatly. In her efforts she now held her baby daughter as a reward. In the spitting image of her father. Those amber eyes groggily looked into her own and small lips form a tired smile.
She returned the smile softy while playing with a turf of dark, almost black, hair.
At that moment however, she knew, she knew for certain that was the time she discovered it.
No maternal bond.
She played with her newborn's tiny palm, gently running her fingertips over the new flesh, hoping to spark something within her.
She felt nothing but a cold disappointment.
Her husband came in an hour after their second child's birth, only to examine it and announce its name. She noticed how disappointed he was at the examination of its gender.
"The child would have had the name of her grandfather, however because of her... gender, she will be Azula."
Oh how she hated the name, it made the child sound like a replacement of the tyrant of a king. Yet at the same time, as she glanced at the half lidded irises, it fit her perfectly.
Many times she held her child, in hopes of forging a mother's bond with her daughter, however she became disappointed and terrified as it dragged along, no bond was forged.
Days to weeks, weeks to months. She tried. Over and over she tried, till early in the mornings to late in the night.
Her child was glad for the attention of course yet did not know of the reasons behind her mother's constant visits into her nursery.
Zuko had began to feel left behind because of this as well, she had noticed just before Azula turned three months old.
So today she decided to spend the day with him by taking him into town to a festival.
Her husband was not with them gratefully, he claimed that he did not have time for such silly nonsense. She didn't mind, he usually brought a dark cloud of irritation with him anyway.
Her son was enjoying the time with her she noticed, she had also noticed that she felt a bond to him.
A mother's bond.
One she tried to find for her daughter.
The nights were long and quiet, exactly what she was dreading. For this was the time of guilt and thoughts haunting her conscience.
She tossed and turned in her bed yet she couldn't get comfortable. Her mind constantly ran.
"What if I will never love her?"
"How can I not find that connection!?"
"I'm a terrible mother!"
She opened her reddened eyes to look out at the star littered sky, dark grey clouds lazily trailed the sky in hopes to hide the moon's view of the land.
She tiredly sat up and walked to the window. With her mind still clouded, she failed to hear her secondborn's cry for her.
Therapy visits... that was something she was embarrassed about, even though it was for a dire situation.
The man simply told her that this was normal, some mothers do not love immediately after their children's birth. It sometimes took time for it to awaken.
She had never went back to him, yet... she clung to that belief.
Maybe this was such a case.
Her child was only four months old after all.
A whole year.
Nothing had changed.
However her daughter was more out to get her attention.
That much was certain.
Yet she tried desperately to forge any bond with her child.
She noticed her mind asking herself daily, "is she truly mine?"
She would spend time with Azula as she did with Zuko, yet not in enjoyment.
It was for the sake of her daughter. She did not want to shun her away.
Yet she knew she was, secretly she knew all along.
It didn't take long for Azula to catch on to her mother's emotions.
It truly hurt.
To know that she was hurting her child every year. That she was pushing her away slowly each day.
Yet she had to do it. For the sake of both of them. She had discovered a urge... an affection... however not of a familial category...
She had discovered this attraction just before Azula accidently set aflame a servant who was unfortunately there at a wrong time.
At first she finally thought that this was it, the bond that she longed to have. Yet as the days went by, she'd noticed she would glance at her daughter in a certain light. She'd admire her daughter in a way she knew was not appropriate. Until one day she was in the baths, she remembered that horrible fantasy. She still does.
That was when she vowed cut all ties to her secondborn, she feared herself too much to allow herself around the child.
Azula had caught on to her mother's behavior and stayed away, her attempts of affection slowly died away as well. She was now her father's shadow. Much to his annoyance. Much to her sorrow.
Zuko was glad she was not around all the time, as he said to his mother every once in a while. She was quick to chastise him for such words.
Unfortunately she secretly agreed with him. She knew her daughter wanted her attention again, if the attempts to play with her wasn't obvious enough, the gifts certainly were.
Small bobbles and crafts were presented to her with a proud smile.
They now collect dust in a old chest hidden in her bedchambers.
She however clung tightly to her child's final gift for her attention. A small necklace of soft strings that held a small red crystal. With a burned mark of the Fire Nation in its center.
To not encourage her daughter she simply put it in her pocket, she had noted the sharp pain in those dragon eyes. It clenched her heart greatly with pain to know she was the reason of it.
She was grateful for the gift, really she was, but she could not let her daughter see her wearing it. Thankfully the robes concealed many things.
Azula had become desperate for her attention she noticed.
A final act.
After many pranks on her brother, outbursts of temper, and the cold remarks toward her. She knew her child was giving up.
It was pitiful, however it was her own actions she thought was pitiful.
She had tried to force herself, something she had done before with another person, she forced herself to love her daughter as a mother would.
But those disgusting fantasies.
They never went away.
That attraction had grown through the years.
She would scold the child greatly in hopes to fend off the emotions within her. Pushing the child even further away as possible. She would not indulge.
She would fight it.
"Monster..." she whispered the word to herself, she sat down with numbed limbs and a heavy heart.
She wanted to chuckle, her daughter was not a monster.
And she has been ever since Azula was born.
She had seen the shadow dash away as soon as she said the word, she knew at that moment she had completely cut all the ropes to her daughter.
Perhaps this was for the best, finally she did not need to force herself to love the child as she should. Finally no more awkward moments between mother and child.
Perhaps now those fantasies will leave her mind.
She packed quickly, there was no time to choose which object to bring.
She had done what no other could dream of doing.
She had protected her son.
By assassinating a Fire Lord.
She had packed light and had only things of importance to her. She looked down each corridor for guards.
They did not discover the body yet, this was good. This will give her time to say goodbye.
She snuck to her son's room first. She could hear his light snoring even from the door.
She ran her fingers through his hair before kissing his forhead, he stirred in his sleep and groggily look into her sad eyes.
Before he spoke she quickly shushes him and spoke quickly.
She told him to be himself and never to doubt his ability, she had told him that she loved him dearly and would always be with him. Even if she was not there physically.
He eventually fell back into a deep slumber and she wiped a tear off of his cheek that had fallen on him.
She quietly closed his door and paused, she looked down the hallway to the only other door of the corridor.
She deserved a goodbye.
Yet... maybe she should stay away.
For her own protection.
She blinked in surprise as she found herself slowly twisted the doorknob until a small click was heard.
She swallowed heavily as she once again checked the corridors for any activity.
As she stepped into he daughter's room, she felt a strong urge to walk away, she was intruding, she did not deserve to be here.
She watched the girl sleeping soundly in her bed, clutching a small pillow as if it was a lifeline.
Yet her mind fantasied that it should be her in her daughter's arms.
She cringed, now was not the time for such twisted things! She was here to say goodbye!
She sat at the foot of the bed and glanced at her daughter, guilt sank in as she leaned close to her ear.
With her throat dry and her lungs restricting she spoke only two words.
The child stirred yet did not awaken, she now slept on her back, her lips parted slightly.
She swallows hard as she stares at her child's angelic features in the moon's rays, some would say this child was a monster.
Yet she was only a victim.
She couldn't control herself.
She leaned forward once more and lightly kissed those soft lips.
To say that the feeling was euphoric would be an understatement, her whole being pulsed was an electric charge, her limbs tingled and her mind went blank.
Her heart beat rapidly rose as she pulled away for a small inhale.
Fear began to seep into her veins, horror began to overthrow the euphoric feeling.
Yet at another point, she felt peace.
She glanced at the child again and allowed a small smile to grace her quivering lips. This child didn't deserve this.
She slowly tucked a strand of dark hair behind the child's ear. Oh how she hated herself for these cursed feelings.
She had wanted to watch the child sleep for a little while longer however she knew she couldn't.
She spent too long in here, she needed to go. As she got up she glanced at the child again, the girl had tossed again in her sleep and now slept on her side facing her mother.
She could almost swear she saw a ghost of a smile.
She hears footsteps echoing in the far right corridor, she had to leave.
A/N: Hope you guys enjoyed it, it was supposed to be a oneshot yet as I kept writing I thought I'd do this one then a second to current events. The second I don't know when I'll write because I have surgery to deal with.