Title: By Blood
Word Count: 518
Pairing: UrsaxOzai, though there is much angst and dying and family love.
Warnings: Character death, ANGST!
ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE, IF YOU'VE TRIED TO EMAIL ME LATELY, I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T RESPONDED! MY EMAIL IS ACTING SCREWY! I'LL TRY TO GET BACK WITH YOU WHEN I CAN, BUT UNTIL THEN JUST KNOW THAT I HAVE GOTTEN YOUR EMAILS, I JUST CAN'T RESPOND TO THEM!
Stupid Yahoo. :kicks it:
Azula looks different now, with her hair disheveled and her face coated with blood and dirt and tears, but a part of him reluctantly admits that she's never looked more human than she does at this moment, her head cradled in her mother's arms as the world ends around her. Her breathing is scattered and torn and she's terrified, because she's dying, dying, dying…
Zuko's doing what he can, but it isn't much. His head rests against his mother's shoulder and he keeps his hand steadily moving through Azula's blood-coated hair. He's dying, too, but in a different sort of way. He's dying of a broken heart, of losing his (father) Uncle, losing his sister, losing his family.
In a way, Ursa's cradling them both, one arm steadily rocking Azula back and forth like a newborn while the other arm holds Zuko securely against her as she sings softly a lullaby she sang to them both so long ago. She's dying, too, in her own way, because no parent should have to bury their child and she knows it won't be long until Azula passes on.
They don't look like the Fire Nation Imperial Family.
Zuko's hair is short and his scar is inflammable and irate and stands out now more than ever, but he looks so much stronger than the little boy Ozai sent out into the world to die, and for that the Fire Lord feels a surge of pride if not dishonor.
Azula's armor is gone, replaced with a simple black cloak, and she's so pale, the blood caked onto her face standing out like a scar in and of itself. She's not the strong, prodigy she once was—she's just a girl, just a girl who needs her mother's love and her brother's support and her father's acceptance. That almost hurts him more than looking at Zuko's scar, because this time it's Azula, and as always Azula always comes first to him.
Ursa is Ursa, just as she's always been, beautiful and sad and strong. She doesn't look like a noble lady, and maybe that's for the best. Her self-inflicted exile has made her strong, yet as desperately as she's clinging to her children maybe it's hurt her, too, because she doesn't want to let them go now that she has them again.
He wants nothing more than to go to them, to carry Azula to someone (anyone?) who could help her, to take care of his beloved daughter like always should have. He wants to wrap his arms around Zuko, to tell him how proud and how sorry he is. He wants to touch Ursa, to make sure she's real and to kiss her and tell her he loves her and to ask why, why did she leave?
But he can't.
They may be dying, but they're dying as a family, and all he can do is watch from a distance, his hands chained and bound as he's dragged off to the Earth Kingdom to face trial he knows he's already guilty of.
He just wishes it didn't hurt so much.
(I want fanart of this.)