Yarr. There be a rather long AN down below. Please read it? Enjoy the thrilling conclusion of Zuko Knows Best?
Katara sat on the curved sill of one of the rounded windows that lined the airship's broad sides, hugging her knees to her chest as she looked out at the white expanse of clouds that blocked the ground from view.
Aang had brought the whole gang along. Sokka was taking the news about well as she had expected, pacing and muttering frantically underneath his breath, and Toph was waiting patiently next to Appa.
She already knew what the Water Bender had to say.
The poor flying bison looked exhausted; apparently Aang had taken off after his wayward friend the moment the poor thing had found his way home.
The ship would have seemed mysteriously quiet had she not known that it was by Azula's orders that the Fire Nation soldiers weren't attacking on sight.
That didn't mean they weren't waiting, watching, and she could feel the dozens of pairs of eyes on her from the viewing deck. Azula had introduced Katara to her men earlier that morning, threatening those gathered with death should they even dare to look at the Water Bender cross-eyed.
Her protectiveness had been… endearing. Even despite the fact that Katara knew the teen could actually follow through with the threat. /
She shivered, her mind replaying the terror she had felt at watching the lifeless, still-smoking form of a Fire Nation soldier fall to the earth.
The sun had been high in the sky when she had first stolen away to this quiet little corner. Now, it was kissing the horizon, setting the clouds ablaze.
The result was what appeared to be a soft blanket of flames—a foreboding sight given the path she had chosen.
/ "Hey, Aang…"
Sokka let out a particularly exacerbated sound and came to stand before his sister as well, a maelstrom of thoughts and emotions in his eyes. He didn't say a word while he stared, only to throw his hand up and go back to his pacing.
Soon after, Toph grabbed him by the back of his tunic and yanked him into a sitting position, her brows drawn together.
"I'm sorry," Katara began.
"I don't understand," Aang said at the same time.
"To be honest, I don't either." She would have laughed had she not felt so emotionally drained.
"Clearly she wants Azula," Toph volunteered helpfully, prompting a distressed exclamation from the girl's brother.
"That's my SISTER, Toph!"
"Yeah, she is. So you should be happy for her."
He began to grumble, crossing his arms over his chest, but didn't comment.
Katara shot Toph a grateful look. /
Speaking of family, Zuko had stopped by briefly to see how she was doing. He hadn't said much beyond telling her that her dinner would be waiting for her in the galley when she was ready and he didn't comment on her presence.
In fact… he hadn't seemed surprised—or, more importantly, repulsed—by his sister's announcement earlier that day.
Was this the "angry boy" that they had come to know?
Perhaps they had been too hasty and misjudged their Fire Bender adversaries…
/ ".. Take care of yourself, Katara." He threw his arms around his sister and she buried her face in his shoulder, her eyes tearing up despite herself.
This wasn't goodbye, and yet…
"When he released her, it was Toph's turn. She patted Katara on the shoulder none too gently, smirking and remarking slyly, "Don't have too much fun."
And then she joined Sokka in Appa's saddle and Aang was left, his gaze trained on the ground. /
Azula was standing in the doorway. Behind her was Mei, though the weapon's mistress inclined her head in greeting and swiftly made her exit. She thought she caught a glimpse of the young acrobat, but if Ty Lee was outside, it seemed she didn't have any intent of making her presence known.
The door closed, leaving them in silence.
"Are you…" The dark-haired beauty crossed her arms, drumming her fingertips against her bicep. "How are you?"
"Fine." It was the only thing she could think to say. The slight wrinkle of Azula's brow made her want to reassure the girl, but the response wasn't entirely untrue.
/ "I'm happy for you."
He was such a good person. A good friend.
His arms tightened around her and she hugged back, her heart thudding against the inside of her chest.
She didn't say a word. What could she say? /
She didn't ask Azula where they were going. Would she be expected to conquer nations alongside her lover?
She didn't ask Azula what they were going to do. Would she be expected to join in the Fire Nation's tyranny?
She didn't ask Azula what it would mean now that she was no longer with the Avatar. Would the Fire Lord even allow his only daughter to pursue this relationship with someone who had played a part in thwarting his plans so frequently?
And what of her friends? Would she have to fight them? Just because she wanted to be with Azula didn't mean she wanted the same
She didn't say a word as Azula sat down next to her, choosing instead to lean against the older girl. There was a moment's hesitation before the Fire Bender enfolded her in a hug. Soon, the steady beat of Azula's heart lulled Katara into a blissful calm and she relaxed against her partner, letting the stress from the day's events leave her in a rush of air.
Whatever happened, Katara had made her choice.
And there you have it at last: the conclusion. I hope you folks enjoyed it—particularly Spikesagitta, who requested it in the first place. Thank you all for your patience.
I'm not dead—quite the opposite! I've been working on a YouTube gaming channel by the name of NeedtoKnow Gaming with my fiancée and we've been chugging along, building up a following ^^ We cover lesser known indie games of all genres with a particular attention to titles seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. We even do let's plays. For those of you who are interested, I'd love some feedback and a subscription would be even better. :heart:
(YouTube) dot com /c/ needtoknowgaming without any of the spaces and unnecessary bullcrap you have to add to make links appear on Fanfiction.
But enough about me, let's talk about fiction. This is my 99th fic completed and I think for numero 1-hundo, I should do something special. A certain someone would be thrilled to hear I had a Mass Effect fic in mind, but… That will take time. A lot of time. It'll be some grand, sprawling, mult-chaptered fic, sure, but It'll be slow in the making. Alternatively, I just so happen to have five or six quickies I've typed up that I can release on a monthly basis. They're all gaming related (because that's what I've been focused on when I'm not slaving away at school) and they range from K-M in rating.
So which will it be: instant gratification or patience? I'm personally not biased towards either one, though I will say that some of these quickies are adorbs. Let me know via a review! Either way, you won't be hearing from me until December when I'll have something nice to share. Wink.
Thanks for reading as always, guys 3 I hope to see some familiar faces around the channel soon~