I messed up on the last chapter. I mixed the navy with the army. Sorry. I fixed it though, in the last chapter, instead of becoming a general, Brenda becomes an ambassador.
The End Result
". . . . pardon?" That was all Brenda could think to say.
"Please, Brenda. Make me into a noblewoman." Brenda stared at Katara and narrowed her eyes as she tried to comprehend what the waterbender just said.
". . . . what . . . . are you talking about?" Katara sighed and looked down at the ground in embarrassment.
"You told me Zuko wanted to marry me. Please, make me into a noblewoman worthy of Zuko." Brenda felt realization slowly dawn on her.
"You . . . . want to know how to act like a noblewoman?" Brenda clarified, just to make sure. Katara nodded.
"To be worthy of Zuko? He loves you already." Brenda shook her head. "He doesn't care about that kind of stuff."
"But I do!" Katara argued, making Brenda sigh.
"Fine. Tomorrow morning I'll get you and start to teach you." Katara smiled and bowed slightly.
"Thank you. I am honored that you would teach me."
"Good. Now leave me be, I'm tired." Brenda barely refrained from whining the last part. She wasn't mature or smart when she first woke up, it appeared.
- - - - -
"First lesson," Brenda walked around Katara with her arms crossed. They were in the firebender's room. Smirking, Brenda reached up and tugged on Katara's hair.
"Ow!" Katara grabbed her braid and glared at Brenda.
"Cleaning yourself. Even without a lady in waiting, a proper woman knows how to clean herself throughly. The first time I will help you, but from then on, you will clean by yourself." Katara nodded and frowned. "You need to spend at least a hour on brushing you hair to get it soft enough."
"But . . ." Katara held onto her braid. ". . .. my hair is soft." She argued, earning herself a slap upside the head.
"Second lesson, you never argue. A lady respects her superiors and agrees with them." Katara crossed her arms.
"You certainly don't fit the description." Brenda narrowed her eyes and sent Katara an annoyed glare.
"Ha, ha." Brenda muttered dryly before moving on. "A noblewoman does not speak unless to improve the silence." She looked at Katara from the corner of her eye and saw the waterbender glaring at her. "A noblewoman never glares, either."
"Listen, Zuko likes me for who I am. But I want to learn some of the things so I'm not in the dark. Teach me how to clean myself, dance, sing, all that stuff. But you can't tell me to bow down to other people and not voice my opinions. That's part of me. Part of what Zuko likes about me." Katara crossed her arms after she informed Brenda about this. The firebender laughed gently and nodded.
"Good. I do detest having to go over every single rule. Too many woman are to fragile and weak. I am happy that you are not willing to give up your strengths." She walked behind Katara and unbraided her hair. "Come, I'll show you how to clean yourself."
"Um . . . I have a question."
"Go on." Brenda guided Katara to a chair at her vanity. The older woman grabbed a silver brush and began to brush Katara's hair.
"Why . . . why are you helping me?" Brenda smiled as she brushed Katara's hair with firm, steady strokes. She gently brushed out the snarls and knots.
"Prince Zuko deserves to be happy. And . . . you make him happy. Besides, you're a good girl." She paused for a moment in her brushing. "And I suppose . . . you are exactly what the Fire Nation needs. A strong woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind and knows what's right." Katara was quiet as she absorbed Admiral Brenda's words.
". . . but . . . . I'm just a water peasant. Besides, you speak your mind and you knew Ozai was wrong." Brenda shrugged as she finished brushing Katara's hair and pinned it up in a bun.
"That may be true, but I prefer to do things that won't be boring, even if they are wrong." Brenda stepped back and pulled Katara up to standing. "You need to take a bath. Then, once you have cleaned yourself, I will show you more. How to dance, sing, that sort of stuff."
- - - - -
"Now," Brenda looked over Katara as the two stood in her room, the center cleared for room. The girl had scrubbed herself clean, taking her time, doing everything Brenda instructed her to do. She had spent extra time rubbing oils into her skins and had spent more time washing her hair than usual. Brenda smirked as she pinned her own hair up, out of the way. "I will teach you how to dance properly." Katara nodded, determined to learn something that seemed so simple. "Do you know any steps?"
"Well . . . some of the soldiers taught me how to dance when it was music night."
"Music night?" Brenda echoed. "Iroh still has that silly little tradition of his?" She rolled her eyes as she unclasped her cape and draped it over a chair with her sword and extra belt. A knock on the door made Brenda looked over her shoulder. "Come in, Raymond." She called, the door opening to reveal Raymond with a Xongi (sp?) horn. He smiled brightly at Katara.
"Hello, Ms. Katara." He sat down on the chair at her desk and got ready to play the horn.
"Raymond will provide the music while I teach you. Now, come to me. I'll teach you how to do a few of the less . . . intimate dances. I'm sure Zuko will want to teach the others to you himself." Katara blushed causing the Admiral to smirk. Brenda pulled Katara forward and held her hand out to the side while she guided Katara's other hand to her shoulder and then Brenda rested her hand on Katara's waist. "I'll lead." Raymond began to play the horn. "Now, it's one two three, one two three." She guided Katara back and forth, several times Katara stepped on Brenda's feet, causing the Admiral to glare at the ceiling in annoyance and Katara to look at the ground. "Don't look at the ground! Head up." Katara snapped her head up immediately, almost colliding with Brenda's own head. After about five minutes of this, Katara finally caught on. "Good. Now, add in a few steps." Brenda spun Katara out and pulled her back in quickly. Katara was surprised, but managed to stay on her feet. "Very good."
- - - - -
After nearly a hour of learning different dance styles, Brenda had dismissed Commander Raymond and had begun to teach Katara how to move in the more formal dresses. At the moment, Katara was in one of Brenda's old kimonos. It was red with gold trimming and black outlines of roses. The obi was gold also. The cloth was, by a great deal, heavier than what Katara was used to.
"This is one of the less formal dresses." Katara's head snapped over in Brenda's direction, causing the books she had been balancing on her head to fall and cause a heavy thump to echo through the room.
"What!" Brenda smirked and leaned back in her chair.
"Well, if you want to be Zuko's wife, you'll have to deal with some real big Fire Nation balls. In those balls you'll have to wear some big dresses." Brenda's smirk deepened as she watched Katara try to pick up the books without falling down from the weight of the kimono, or how restricting it was. Brenda propped up her arm and rested her head against her hand. "Hm, I can just imagine little Zukos and Kataras running about the palace." Katara, finally managing to get the books, blushed and caused Brenda to laugh. "Honestly, you are too shy!" Brenda leaned forward. "What will you do when Zuko undresses to make love to you, hmm?" Katara's face was set aflame causing the Admiral to crack up laughing once more. Brenda managed to stand up and walked out of the room, still laughing. Katara shook her head and forced down the blush before she continued to balance the books.
- - - - -
Two months and a week. It had been two damn months and a week. Zuko drummed his fingers on the armrest. He tapped his foot impatiently.
"Is something wrong, Prince Zuko?" Zuko glared down at his uncle.
"Brenda is a week late." Iroh shrugged as he dismissed the guards, watching them close the grand doors behind them.
"Perhaps she decided to visit with Katara's family before she left."
"For a week!"
"There are things such as storms, nephew." Zuko squeezed his eyes shut and counted to ten, trying not to lose his temper.
"But a week?" Zuko ground out as he opened his golden eyes. "I highly doubt that she has a good excuse. I need another ambassador! Someone has to negotiate with the Earth King, Bumi. She's the only one crazy enough for them to get along!"
"Well . . . ." Iroh trailed off as the doors opened once more. A servant came in timidly and bowed.
"What is it! Those doors were closed for a reason!" Zuko barked causing Iroh to sigh and shake his head. The servant's trembling voice answered him.
"Announcing Admiral Brenda, Lady of the Fire Nation." Zuko raised his eyebrow as he shared a glance with his uncle. True, his aunt did some crazy things, but she was never one to indulge herself with royalties such as having someone announce her. No, she more likely to barge in, unannounced and unwelcomed.
"Don't take it out on him, my dear boy." Brenda drawled as she entered the room. "Well, at least not before you let him finish announcing us." Once more Zuko shared a look with his uncle. 'Us'? What did she mean by that. Surely there was no one she would bring to him that was of importance at the moment.
"Announcing Lady Katara of the Southern Water Tribe." The servant squeaked out and backed out of the room quickly as Katara stepped into the room. She was a long, trailing kimono that was royal blue and had a dark navy blue obi. The sleeves went to her fingertips. Katara held a large dark red fan with a silver dragon imprinted onto it. She used the fan to wave gentle breezes of air onto her face. Her face was a portrait. A fine powder that matched her skin covered her face. Cherry red lips smiled as she looked at him with her blue sapphire eyes. Those beautiful eyes were outlined in black and her eyelids were covered in a gray powder. White pearl earrings pierced her ears and a white pearl necklace adorn her thin neck. Her hair was pulled back into an elaborate bun with several pins and clips in it. Zuko felt the world disappear as he laid eyes on her. His aunt's voice was in the background as she told Iroh that they were late because it took a few days to get the agreements from Katara's father and GranGran, who were also in the Fire Nation with Katara, and that the kimono was a pain in the butt to get done in such a short amount of time.
". . . . Katara . . . ." Zuko breathed as he stood up. Smiling, Iroh and Brenda snuck away, closing the doors behind them.
"Prince Zuko." Katara bowed slightly as she closed the fan.
". . . . wh . . . what are you doing here?" Katara smiled up at him as he descended down from his throne.
". . . . you can't decide for me." Katara watched him as he looked at her confused.
"What are you talking about?"
"You didn't want me to feel torn between you and my family so you decided to take the choice from me. You can't do that."
"Katara, I know what it is like to have to be away from home. I won't put you through that. You'll return to your home-" Zuko would have continued but was silenced by a kiss from Katara. Zuko reacted before his mind could stop him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer. The two only separated when the need for air got the best of them. Zuko looked at Katara, surprised by her bold actions.
"Zuko . . . Brenda told me everything."
"She did what!" Zuko growled and let go of Katara to go find his meddling aunt. However, Katara grabbed his upper arm and smiled when he looked back at her.
"Everything, Zuko." Paling when he realized what she meant, Zuko began to try and explain.
"That is . . . . I mean . . . well-" Once more Katara cut him off.
"You want to marry me?" Zuko blushed and nodded. "Ask me."
". . . . . will you marry me, Katara?"
- - - - -
Brenda and Iroh, who had snuck out of the room, left the giant doors open a crack so that they could watch and hear what went on between the two.
"Finally!" Iroh muttered to Brenda. "I thought they would grow old, beating around the bush so much." Brenda nodded as she watched over his head.
"Yes. They would have if I hadn't told Katara that Zuko wanted to marry her."
"Thank the Fire Gods you did!" Brenda pulled back and smiled at her older brother who also pulled away.
"Can you imagine little Zukos and Kataras running around?" She whispered dreamily.
"I can't wait to be a Great-Uncle!" Brenda nodded and looked up at the ceiling.
"I can't wait for the teenage years! What fun it will be when they try to discipline the children and embarrass them!"
"Oh really?" Brenda and Iroh froze when Zuko's voice filled the air. The two meddling relatives slowly turned back to see their beloved nephew glaring at them with Katara quietly giggling at them from behind her fan.
"Er . . . . your majesty . . . . how are you?" Brenda asked as she backed up slowly with her brother.
"FOR THE LAST TIME, QUIT YOUR MEDDLING!" Zuko yelled.
Well, I hope you all liked it. Thank you so much for all your support. I tried to make it this chapter as long as I could but as you can see, I only could drag it on so long before it got boring for me to write. Once more, thank you. Well, I am not doing a sequel. However, once I finish up a few of my stories then I'll start up on a new Zutara story! I promise.