Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar :The last Airbender. Don't rub it in.
I opened my eyes, and took in my surroundings. I saw that I was in a cave, with crystals everywhere. It was damp and mossy where I was laying, and there was a horrible smell of something rotting. My head hurt, and my tongue swollen. What happened? I tried to remember but just to think, it hurt. My body was covered in bruises and cuts. It was nothing serious, but it hurt like crazy. Taking a deep breath, I heaved my aching body up, using my elbows. I then closed my eyes and searched my mind for an explanation. My mind produced a picture of the fan I was looking at before…. Before what? Ending up here? I didn't even know where "Here" is. Giving another deep sigh, I opened my eyes.
"Here, you must be thirsty." An unknown voice said to me.
I whipped my head around to see who was there. Big mistake. My whole body hurt from the small movement.
There next to me was an old man. He had a smallish white beard, he was round, and looked like he had felt a lot of pain and disappointment in his long life. His eyes were kind as he held a cracked mug up to my lips. I didn't realize that my hands and feet were bound until just now. The liquid inside the mug was brown, and it didn't look like any tea. Taking a tentative sip, I practically choked on it. Definitely not a tea. The man chuckled to himself as if it was a joke.
"The guards here are not very kind to prisoners."
I nodded, not trusting my voice. Somewhere in my mind, a voice sounded the same. Thinking back, I remembered a voice like this one. It had said something about a tea.
"Are you Jr.'s uncle?" I asked carefully.
He smiled sadly and said, "Sorry, but no. I was once, but not anymore. My real name is Iroh."
"Oh." I said, confused as ever.
"I was traveling with the Fire Lord's banished son, and we had to assume different identities. I'm sorry I had to lie to you and your wonderful mother, you both were very kind to my nephew and I."
"So, Jr. is… the Fire Lord's son?" I asked.
My mind was trying to understand what he was saying. Jr.? His scar, talking to him, nothing seemed to make sense.
"Yes. His real name is Zuko." He said, staring into a group of crystals on the far side of the cave.
This horrible feeling suddenly hit me. My stomach churned and a bitter taste entered my mouth. I finally got it. Realization hit me hard. At first, I wanted to get angry, I wanted to curse, hit, and do anything to make me not feel like such a fool. I should have known, why was I so stupid? I had told him….. stuff, he was just so easy to talk to. He was also in a lot of pain. I reminded myself.
My head started hurting again. I went to rub my forehead, when I realized that my hands were still tied up.
"Please, do you think you could untie me?" I asked, a little embarrassed.
"Oh! I'm so sorry. I tried to untie them when you were unconscious, but they wouldn't budge. The only way I could get them off is to burn through them. I didn't want to hurt you."
I nodded in understanding. Back home, I wouldn't treat a wound with a painful procedure without the patience permission.
"I don't mind, I've been burned before."
"Okay. Hold you wrists as far apart as possible."
I did what he told me to, and waited. I waited to feel my hands to be burned, but it didn't happen. All of a sudden, my hands were free. The singed rope fell to the ground as I rubbed my sore wrists.
"I'll get your feet too." He said while moving himself in front of me.
I held my feet as far apart as the ropes would let me. He laid my feet on his lap and pointed his forefinger at the ropes. I watched in amazement as a tiny flame cut through the thick binding.
"Thank you." I said, feeling relieved.
"You are welcome. If I may, can I ask you a question?"
"Anything." I answered earnestly.
"You didn't know that Jr. was Zuko, but there are posters for his head everywhere, why didn't you know?"
"To be completely honest, after you left, my mother told me that we had to move. We couldn't pay to live there anymore. So, we traveled to Ba Sing Se, looking for a home. While we were on the ferry, my mother met a nice man. He was a general, a high ranking man. When my mother introduced me to him, he seemed like a king. His air, the way he kissed the palm of my hand. It doesn't matter though. She had told him of our situation and he offered her a trade. A home for me."
I took a deep breath before continuing. I had formed a lump in my throat. It was hard and I couldn't swallow it.
"My mother refused, she said that she would rather live on the streets. But I, I agreed to the trade. I couldn't let my mother sleep on the street. My mother was angry at me, well at first. But then she was all happy that I had finally found a husband. He was very nice after all, and he will provide a home."
"But none of that matters to you, does it Song?" Iroh said quietly.
I shook my head. "No. I guess what hurts the most is that, it was my choice. I'm sure my mother could have found a place for us, but I wasn't willing to take that chance. Anyway, so like I was saying, I agreed. The next day we were married right there on the ship. When we got to Ba Sing Se, he took us to the upper ring. He had a beautiful home. There was even a little garden home, for my mother. I was dressed to the finest, dined with people of importance. Lived in one of the most amazing homes. We went to parties almost every night. He showed everyone his "beautiful wife". That's all I was. An accessory. I still did what ever he asked of me. He was kind to me after all. I wanted to please him. I wanted him to think of how good I took care of the house, or how nice I was. Just something, something to make him think, "Wow, I have a wonderful wife"."
"You wanted his love." Iroh said to no one in particular.
The way he said that made me feel uneasy, so I decided to change the subject.
"I didn't make any friends, all of the other women were horrid. They just used their husbands for there money. They constantly bickered over who was richest, or who was prettiest. None of it made sense. They all said that I was different. Apparently, that's a bad thing. My reputation was no longer a nice one. One day, when my husband came home from a "meeting", he yelled at me. He was obviously drunk, so I said nothing to anger him. He said that I nothing, worthless. I was hurt, but not badly. It would have been so much worse if it was someone I cared for, someone I loved. It was then that I realized, I was trapped. I couldn't ever fall in love with someone. I knew, for a fact that I did not love my husband. The one thing I wanted, I could never get. I wanted to be loved, and to love."
AN: I hoped you liked it, the story jumped out at me when I was watching "The Guru". I'll try and update asap, but this was a spur of the moment thing. It wasn't planned.