Leiko stayed hidden in the grass. Her target was just a few yards away from her. The brush whispered as her mark approached, getting closer and closer. She crouched down further and readied her bow and arrow, playing the arrow on the sling and wooden bow and pulling back. There was not a sound other than what was right in front of her, mobilizing. She held her breath and raised the arrow higher, just above the tips of the grass blades. Then in one quick snap, she let go, sending the arrow flying through the air and hit her target in the side! The body fell to the ground with a yelp and a thud and then some rustling…and then nothing. She stood up slowly and approached her body, drawing her katana and tip toeing over. This was her big moment. She drew in a deep breath and went to look at the body…but before she could see who it was…
"Leiko…Leiko, wake up!" she heard. Leiko's eyes popped open in an instant and she looked up from where she was lying down. It was Prince Zuko standing over her, looking at her with a small smile on his face. "You were having a dream. I could tell by the look on your face." He said. Leiko sat up and looked back down at the bed she was laying in. Then she rubbed her eyes and looked around the room. It was the same room on the same boat she had been on for over a year now. But after outrunning Kilix last year, she was grateful.
"Oh, thanks Zuko." She said and she smiled up at him. He just smiled back down at her.
There he was, right in front of her. The love of her life and boyfriend for a year now. After she ran away from the wedding she and Zuko took their relationship very seriously. They knew they loved each other, and it was a good feeling. A feeling that would never die.
He was her banished prince, and that was good enough for her. Besides, if he could find it in his heart to love a murderer and most wanted criminal of the fire nation he was worth every second.
"What were you dreaming about?" he asked.
"The same dream I have been having for the last week and a half. I am beginning to fear to it means something." She explained. Zuko looked at her and took a seat in front of her on her bed. They immediately took each other's hands.
"You seem to have this dream a lot. Tell me about it." He offered. Leiko sighed and began.
"Well," and she pulled a wisp of hair from her face, "I'm in some sort of clearing, and surrounding the clearing is a bunch of woods. I'm in the grass, hiding from someone. Whomever they are, I know they're bad, and I set out to…to…"
"To kill them?" he asked. She nodded.
"Yes, and I use my bow and arrow, I aim and I fire, and I hit them. The body falls and I get up to go see the face…and yet I don't see anything. I always wake up before I can see the face." She explained. "Something big is going to happen. I can feel it." Zuko smiled and squeezed her hands.
"Nothing's too big for you to handle. I know that. Besides, it's probably nothing." He said. Leiko smiled at him. "Other than that you have a peaceful sleep?" and she nodded. "Good." And he got up and opened the window to her room, letting the salty sea air flow in. "We're docking soon on an earth kingdom island. Get up and get dressed." And he walked back over to her. "Try not to let the dream get to you." She just nodded and they leaned in for a quick kiss. Zuko parted from her and left the room, closing the door behind him.
Leiko sighed and grabbed her ribbon off the desk and pulled back her hair into a ponytail. She stood up, letting her bare feet hit the cold floor and walked over to her armoire. "Wake up Tila." She said, and her bird awoke from her perch. Tila flew over and rested on the armoire. "It looks like a beautiful out." She said and she took out her normal outfit. A red kimono with a pair of black pants underneath. "I'm going to take a shower." She said and she walked into the hallway. As she did she saw a few crewmembers and greeted them as they did her. She walked into the shower room and stripped. After stepping into the shower she turned the crank under the spout and waited for the water to come. The water from the ocean was sucked up into a pipe that ran underneath the fire pit of the ship to warm it and then up to the shower room where it would come out warm. True it was ocean water, but it was better than no water at all.
The water came on and Leiko showered herself. She got dressed after and walked out of the room, feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Tila flew up to her and perched on her shoulder. Leiko walked to the mess hall, bid the cook good morning and then grabbed a role for breakfast. As she munched on it, and gave a small piece to Tila, she walked up to the deck. She inhaled the salty sea air and smiled. This was her usual routine since she boarded the ship. Iroh was sitting, sipping tea in his chair. Leiko walked over to him and leaned against the railing.
"Good morning Leiko." Iroh said.
"Good morning Iroh." She replied.
"It is a beautiful day. Surely a perfect day to do some hunting." He hinted. Leiko gave him a small grin and a sly look. "What? The crew is tired of fish and bread."
"We shall see. Hopefully the island we stop at has a good selection of duck. Then I would be happy to go hunting." Iroh smiled.
"Bless you, Leiko." He said. And Zuko walked up to them.
"Good morning Uncle, Leiko."
"Good morning." Leiko and Iroh replied at the same time.
"We're docking soon." The prince said.
"Zuko, may I speak to you alone?" Iroh asked. Zuko looked at Leiko, who nodded and walked away. Iroh stood up and leaned closer to his nephew. "Have you asked Leiko yet?"
"Not yet." He answered in a whisper.
"Well you should hurry. It will be a year tonight."
"I will." And he walked away from his uncle, leaving him smiling to himself.