Here is the new, lengthened, improved (and this time in-character) version of music! Cookies to the first person who knows what the title means. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own A:TLA. Kinda obvious don'tcha think?
Five Bars Rest
Five Bars Rest: Not all instruments in an orchestral piece play at exactly the same time. Some have a 'rest' while others play their part. A five (or whatever number) bar rest is a part of a piece of music where nothing is played for a certain amount of bars.
'"Ah music," he said, wiping tears from his eyes. "A magic beyond all we learn here!"'
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
Zuko leant against the railing of his ship, staring blankly up at the night sky. The moon shone so dimly from where it was, but the dim light was enough to light the way for anyone up and about at night. He ignored the cool ocean breeze that blew so lightly through his clothes and hair. All he did was gaze at the stars in the heavens above.
"Prince Zuko," came a gruff voice from behind him. "You should come inside--you will catch a cold if you stay out here…"
"I'm fine, Uncle," Zuko said monotonously as he turned to face his erstwhile relative.
"Is anything wrong?" Iroh asked him, more curious than he had a right to be, in Zuko's humble opinion. "You've been out here almost every night this week. Is there anything you'd like to share?"
Zuko turned back to face the ocean again. After a moment's pause, he answered softly, "No, Uncle, it's fine."
Iroh gave his nephew a scrutinizing look—the same look he wore whenever he knew something was wrong. Zuko could feel him staring hard into his back as if trying to read whatever it was he was thinking printed upon it in the most miniscule writing.
"I'm fine, Uncle; now please leave me be."
Iroh, still unconvinced that nothing was wrong, scrutinized his nephew one last time before asking, "Why don't you come inside and get some sleep?" (He already knew Zuko's answer, but it didn't hurt to try…)
"No, Uncle. For the last time, I'm fine. I just need some time to think." Zuko knew his uncle meant well, but that didn't change the fact that he was getting irritated by the old man's prodding. It was his business after all. He heard his uncle give a heavy sigh from behind him.
"Alright, I'll leave you be. Remember, Prince Zuko, I'm here if you need to talk, though…"
Zuko heard Iroh open the door with a loud creak and he heard it shut again, letting him know that he was once again standing alone on the deck.
Thinking about the matters you're obsessed with isn't normally that difficult, but for Zuko, it was becoming increasingly hard to think of new plans to capturing the Avatar. One reason was probably because he was running out of ideas, another being that his mind just didn't want to work and a third something that Admiral Zhao had said not too long ago.
If your father really wanted you home, he would have let you return by now, Avatar or no Avatar. But in his eyes you are a failure and a disgrace to the Fire Nation…
He had never really thought about it until then, and he couldn't help but wonder, was it true? Had his father sent him on this mission because it was supposed to be impossible? As much as Zuko hated to admit it, he was hurt at the thought of his father thinking him a failure.
He shook his head. No, it wasn't true. It couldn't be. Stupid memory, he thought. Stupid Zhao. Stupid, stupid, stupid things were stopping him from thinking about his mission.
Zuko scowled as he failed to push the thoughts out of his mind. The gods must love torturing me. It's probably a hobby of theirs.
He sighed in irritation and stole one last glance at the moon before going inside to retire for the night.
Katara gazed apathetically into the fire, watching it flicker as it danced to unheard music. She should have been asleep, but she wasn't. Why?
Insomnia, she figured, but she couldn't help but wonder if it were something else. Something more…
She looked passed the fire to where Aang and Sokka were snoring loudly. Lucky them, she thought. She was exhausted, she wanted sleep, but her mind would not let her. All she wanted to do was close her eyes and have a good, long, gods-forsaken nap. Was that so much to ask?
Sighing in frustration, Katara buried her face in her pillow and shut her eyes tightly wanting badly for sleep to overcome her. Instead, her mind wandered to the (rather depressing) thoughts that she had pushed away during the day.
What if Aang couldn't save the world? If he failed, if he couldn't master all the elements in time, what would happen then? And, to the events that were currently taking place—how was life in the South Pole without her and Sokka helping around? Surely, it was much harder to get around without them, and what of their father? Was he all right?
Katara shifted to lie on her back. By the looks of the sky and the position of the moon, it seemed as if there were another five hours until dawn. She sighed again and forced herself to look at the bright side.
Of course Aang would be able to master the elements in time. And hopefully her father was all right (still alive at least…Hey! She scolded herself for thinking such a thing) and her tribe was getting along fine without them (or so she hoped).
Katara turned on her side and closed her eyes with the (more or less) comforting thoughts in her mind and slowly drifted off to sleep…
Wow, this is the longest chapter I've ever written. R'n'R