Note: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. If I did I wouldn't have time to write slash about it (I would be making episode slash).
I've written my little summary thing enough times. You get it already. If not, now is the time to contemplate your own existence.
Zuko opened his eyes for the first time in years to the warmth and comfort of his own room. His own room, back in the firenation palace. He smiled, and rose up on his bed. Moving over to the edge, he got up with a yawn and stretched his hands above his head. Without his knowledge, this stirred little Aurora. She was sleeping in a little baby bed next to his, and could easily hear any noises her father would make.
She opened her eyes and began to whimper. This immediately caught Zuko's attention, and he rushed to his new born. "Shh...shh...baby, what's wrong?" He asked, wrapping his hands around her and picking her up. He held her close to his chest and began walking in circles and rocking her. She whimpered a little more, but soon was quiet and falling back asleep.
Zuko smiled, and placed her back in her bed. She would need feeding soon, but for now, she could sleep. Zuko walked over to a coat rack and pulled off a long reddish robe and wrapped himself in it. He then walked outside his door and looked for an available servant. It didn't take long, since many were camped out next to his room, ready to attend to any of his wishes.
"Sir, is there anything that we can do for you?" One servant ran up to him, others soon following. Zuko smiled. "Yes, could one or two of you keep an eye on my baby? I want to go eat breakfast with my uncle, and she is asleep right now. Just bring her to me if she wakes." He said, and before he could wave his hand in dismissal, the group of attendants was off. Zuko shook his head, then began his walked down the long hallway.
It took him a few minutes to reach his destination, but when he did, there were two guards on either side of the door, waiting to open it for him. He nodded his head, and they did so, letting him in the dining room. There, waiting for him, was his uncle, Jet, Aang and the rest of the gaang, and Ling.
They all turned and smiled at him. Zuko looked first to his uncle, then Jet, Ling, and finally, Aang. He couldn't help but feel a bit of anger towards the boy, but he figured that it would die out eventually. He decided to do the most to help this, and sat in between his uncle and Aang, with Jet right in front of him.
"Good morning, beautiful." Jet said with a slick smile, and Zuko smiled back. "Good morning to you to, jerk." He responded. He then looked to Iroh. "Good morning to you also, uncle." Iroh smiled and nodded. "As you, my nephew." Sky was sitting happily at her own little table off to the side, eating the small plate of meat that had been set in front of her. Upon hearing Zuko's voice, she squeaked. He turned around in his chair and looked at her. "I wouldn't forget you either, Sky, good morning." She eeped in approval, and got back to her meal.
"Morning Zuko." Aang said quietly, a little nervous of the firebender. Zuko turned and looked at him, an almost blank look on his face. After a second's quiet, he nodded. "And you to Ava...Aang." He corrected himself, turning his attention to his uncle. "So, what are we having for breakfast?" He asked. Iroh smiled. "Well, I thought me and you could have a traditional spicy firenation breakfast, while the rest could have some only slightly seasoned firechicken eggs, hippocow milk, and turkeypig bacon."
"Umm...I'd just like a salad..." Aang chimed in, reminding Iroh that he was a vegetarian. "Oh yes, and a salad for Aang." The servants who lined the inside of the room got right to it, running to go fetch breakfast. Iroh looked back at Zuko. "How is my granddaughter doing?" He asked, a little curious. "She's still sleeping, I'll feed her when she wakes." Zuko replied, looking at Jet.
Everyone was silent until the food came, then Sokka chimed in. "Well, since everyone else seems to be avoiding the subject, I guess I'll get started. What are we gonna do now?" He asked, looking at Iroh. Everyone glared at him for a moment, a bit angered that he had ruined what had intended to be their first no-stress breakfast for years, but then looked back at Iroh. He sighed, knowing that this had been coming since the previous day.
"Well, my plan is to have an inauguration ceremony within the week, where I will accept the position of Firelord. From there I will have all earthkingdom and watertribe prisoners of war released, all firenation claimed land in any nation besides our own restored, and any colonies we might have in the earthkingdom turned into trading posts, if that be alright with Avatar Aang?"
He then looked to Aang, trying to show his enthusiasm at the restoration of the power of the Avatar. "That sounds good to me," he replied, "I mean, I don't want to just send all those people home without having any place to live, and trading between the firenation and earthkingdom could help calm some prejudices that the citizens might have towards one another." Iroh smiled. "Spoken like a true leader."
Zuko glared for a moment, his jealously undeniable, then decided to continue. "My sister will be banished from our nation, without the possibility of return, and I will be crowned heir to the throne." Everyone nodded. "Well, that sounds good to me." Katara said, smiling at Zuko in a declaration of peace. Zuko smiled back, deciding that it would be better to be kind to the Avatar's girlfriend.
"Yeah, so everyone knows what Iroh and Zuko are gonna do, but what about the rest of us?" Toph asked. She was a little worried of going back home to her parents after such a long time. Jet was the first to speak. "Well, I for one am staying here in the firenation." He said. Sokka glared. "Well of course! That's obvious, but I think she means all of us here who aren't citizens or mates of citizens." He said. Jet blushed a little, embarrassed.
"Well, I guess me and Sokka can go back home..." Katara began. "NO!" Aang screamed. Everyone looked at him in shock. "Um...ha ha...I mean, wouldn't it be better if one of you stayed here with me? I've already decided that the firenation is the best place to stay in right now to start putting the world back together, and I think it would help if there could be a representative from each nation staying here with me to, you know, make everyone feel like their nation has a voice in it all..." He quickly saved himself.
Toph smiled. "That's a great idea Aang! I can stay here and represent the earthkingdom, that way I'll never have to go home!" She chimed in. Sokka laughed. "I guess then I'll be the one who has to go home. But first, I'd like to take some time and find out where Suki and the other Kyoshi warriors are." Toph smiled at this, pretending to be happy for him. Ling, who had been silent, then spoke. "I'd actually like to go back to the earthkingdom and find my grandma. After that..." She trailed off, not knowing what to say next.
"You and your grandma will return to the firenation. There's no way I'm giving up the best physician that I've ever had." Zuko said, smiling at her. She smiled back and nodded her head. "Well, I guess that takes care of it." Sokka finished. "Let's eat!" He said, a bit to enthusiastically.
Zuko swayed back and forth silently in the rocking chair his uncle had placed in his bedroom. His eyes were shut, and he was humming his mother's "Goodnight" lullaby. In his arms was his daughter, Aurora. Her eyes were also shut, and she was nursing slowly. Together they looked like the perfect picture of maternal love.
Zuko's eyes only opened when he heard the door to his room open. He smiled when he saw that it was Jet, who smiled back. "Hey..." He said quietly, worried of disturbing Aurora. "You ok?" Zuko nodded his head, then looked down at Aurora. "She's really hungry this morning..." He whispered, shutting his eyes again. Jet walked over and placed a hand gently on her head. She opened her eyes, looked up at him, then shut them again.
"She knows you're her daddy." Zuko said happily, opening his eyes and watching his baby nurse. Jet nodded. "Looks like she does." He then looked at Zuko. "I have something very important to talk to you about." Zuko looked up at him, then back at Aurora. "Can it wait? I want to finish nursing her first." Jet nodded again. "Of course." He then walked over to the bed and sat on it.
Zuko continued to nurse Aurora until she was full. When she stopped he carried her over to her bed and placed her in it, covering her with her little red silk blanket. He then went and sat by Jet on the bed. Jet looked at him sternly, and this made Zuko laugh a little. "What?" He asked, chuckling. Jet continued to stare, suddenly bringing his hand up to Zuko's jaw-line, tracing it, then holding it firmly.
Zuko stopped laughing, and looked back at Jet with curiosity. "Jet?" He asked. Without saying a word Jet leaned in and kissed Zuko's lips. Zuko shut his eyes and kissed back. Jet then parted his lips with his tongue and deepened the kiss. After a minute of that, without breaking off the kiss, Jet pushed Zuko back onto the bed and crawled on top of him. He then allowed his hands to trace up and down Zuko's sides, his fingers slipping slightly under the hem of his pants.
Zuko moaned, getting really turned on. After another few minutes of this, however, he pushed Jet's head away gently. Jet looked down at him questioningly. Zuko smiled back tiredly. "Not just yet, not this soon after having the baby. Let's wait a few weeks or so, ok?" He asked. Jet smiled and nodded, laying himself down on Zuko so that their cheeks were touching.
Zuko shut his eyes, relishing in the rhythm of Jet's breathing. "Marry me." The words floated in Zuko's ear. "Hmm?" He asked, remaining in his tranquil state. "Will you marry me?" Jet asked again. Zuko heard him this time. His eyes shot open and he flipped Jet off of him. Jet was in complete shock. "What?" Zuko asked.
Jet smiled at him. "Let's get married." Zuko just blink dumbfounded. This made Jet a bit angry. "Well why not? We've already made love like a hundred times, we have a child together, it's pretty obvious this is the way it's gonna stay! Let's get married!" Zuko looked away for a moment. "Jet..." He began, "I'm not sure, I mean, what if it doesn't work out?" He then looked back at Jet.
Jet frowned. "We've talked about this before. We've planned on this forever. Nothing is going to go wrong." Zuko smiled slightly. "It sounds really nice, but it can't just sound nice..." Jet then sat up, and motioned for Zuko to do so also. He did, and they looked each other in their eyes. "Zuko, do you love me?" Jet asked.
"Yes, of course I do." Zuko responded. "And do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?" Zuko's smile grew. "Forever." Jet smiled. "Then why shouldn't we get married?" He asked. Zuko shut his eyes, his smile fading. After a moment, his eyes opened and his smile returned. "Yes, Jet, I will marry you."
"But Zuko..." Jet was cut short when he realized what Zuko's answer was. "What?" He asked. Zuko's smile grew. "Yes Jet, I'll marry you." He repeated. Jet smiled and gave a nervous laugh. He then brought his hand up to his forehead. "Are you alright?" Zuko asked. Jet nodded, an almost crazed look on his face.
"We're getting married..." He said, looking at the wall in front of them. "Were getting married..." He repeated, turning his gaze back to Zuko. "We're getting married!" He almost shouted, grasping Zuko by his sides and hoisting him up in the air, spinning him around. "Jet!" Zuko laughed, looking down at his soon-to-be husband.
Meanwhile, all the screaming had disturbed little Aurora. She opened her eyes and gazed on at her crazy parents. After Jet put Zuko down and began to kiss him, Aurora began to cry. Both of her parents brought their attention to her, and Zuko hurried over and picked her up. He rocked her in his arms, all the while keeping an eye on his mate. Jet walked over to them and placed a kiss on Zuko's cheek, and another on Aurora's head.
"I'd like to talk some more later, after she goes back to sleep." Jet whispered as Aurora ceased her crying and began to coo. Zuko nodded lightly, then began to whisper words of love to his daughter to ease her back to sleep. This made Jet chuckle, and he left the room with a wave of his hand, 'goodbye.'
Iroh and Aang sat alone talking at the breakfast table, all other parties having been departed after finishing their meals. "So...I've been meaning to ask..." Aang began, his right hand raising up and scratching the back of his forehead. "Yes?" Iroh asked. Aang giggled nervously. "Well, um...what is the legal marrying age in the firenation?" He spat out quickly, then gazed at Iroh curiously.
The old man laughed. "Well, it's customary for young ones to wed on or after their sixteenth birthday..." At this point Aang lowered his head, "but, with permission from their parents or guardians, two youths may wed at the age of thirteen." Iroh finished, giving Aang a sly smile. Aang smiled back. "Thanks." Iroh nodded.
A minute later a servant hurried up to Iroh, a nervous look on his face. "Sir, we may have some bad news for the Avatar and his friends." The servant said, glancing at Aang sadly. Iroh raised an eyebrow. "Oh, and what would that be?" He asked. The servant frowned. "I'm sorry sir, but I don't quite know how to put it. It'd probably be best if you saw it for yourself, if that would be to your wishes?" The servant responded, trying to sound as respectful as possible.
Iroh looked over at Aang, the problem obviously having to do with him. Aang nodded. "Ok, take us to it." Iroh replied, and the servant nodded. He was soon off so quickly that Iroh and Aang both had a bit of a problem keeping up with him. He took them down various halls, eventually leading them to a lone suite on the opposite side of the Palace as Zuko's.
It was Azula's room. Hesitantly, Iroh followed the servant inside, with Aang right behind him. Inside of the room were three other servants, all glancing sadly at a green garment laying upon Azula's old bed. When they caught sight of Iroh and Aang they all fell silent. Iroh glared questioningly at the garment, but Aang knew exactly what it was.
"That's Suki's dress!" Aang almost screamed in surprise, pointing to it. An older woman servant nodded. "I knew it came from a Kyoshi warrior. I'd seen them before when I was little and lived in a Firenation colony not far from the island." Iroh looked up at her. "How did you know this was significant to us?" He asked. She smiled at her lord.
"Well sir, I work as a cook in the royal kitchen, and one of the servers came in after presenting you your breakfast and mentioned to me that one of your guests was looking for the Kyoshi warriors. I remembered seeing the princess with one of their dresses, and thought that it would be important for you to know about it." The old woman replied, bowing her head after finishing her short speech.
Iroh nodded, but Aang gasped. "Azula had Suki's dress! She must have taken it from her!" He said, pacing back and forth across the room. "But in order for her to take it, she had to find Suki, and if she found Suki, they must have fought, and if she fought Suki and stole her dress, she must have won, and if she won, she must have..." He stopped himself short. "Oh no, Sokka..." He whispered, then looking down to the ground.
Iroh walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Aang, we don't know that yet. The only person who knows is Azula, and she's locked up in the dungeon. If it pleases you, we can go talk to her about it." He said, trying to ease the boy. Aang looked up and smiled, then nodded his head. "Yes, we should do that as soon as possible." He added, motioning to the door.
Iroh nodded, then turned and looked back at the servants. "You have all done very well, you are dismissed." He said, and they all bowed in reply. As soon as he turned back towards Aang his hand was grasped tightly, and in a pace where he was more flying that walking, he was dragged off towards the dungeon.
/In the dungeon/
Azula sat quietly in the corner of her cell, glaring at her hands resting in her lap. They were bandaged tightly, as well as her arms, chest, and stomach. Her face throbbed badly, but the burns were not of a degree that they would need bandaging. Soon they would heal, and the only marks left would be on all places except for her perfect face.
Her perfect face. It was blank. There was no malice, no wickedness, no evil found in it. Just nothingness. He's gone... She thought, that evil, perfect man is gone. He and all his hatred, and honor, and admiring, all gone...She repeated. The injuries to her body had been more deeply rooted in her mind than on her flesh. As mentioned earlier, she knew her father never truly loved her.
He admired her, yes, he even held her high so that all the world could see how perfect his daughter was, but he never truly loved her. Love had always been reserved for her brother, Zuko. Their mother loved Zuko, their uncle loved Zuko, even their stupid dead cousin Lu Ten had loved Zuko. Zuko was loved, and Azula was admired.
But no more. No more would experienced masters look upon the female child and smile proudly at all she could do. No more would the world cower when it saw her raise her fist. No, now there was only Zuko. Zuko would be loved, and Zuko would be admired. And Azula would be forgotten.
She didn't raise her head when she heard the metal door to the hallway creak open. She was confined to a special cell, used for only the worst and most dangerous offenders, hidden far beneath the other cells with at least a mile of hallways and various metal doors to open before one was to reach it. It would be impossible for anyone but a metal bender to escape from.
Iroh and Aang walked inside the last hallway, the one that lead directly to the cell Azula was held in. They had decided that it would be better if they didn't tell Sokka about the discovery until they were sure what happened, mostly due to his habit of overreacting. Iroh walked in front of the Avatar, making sure that should an attack happen, he could deflect it.
When they reached the cell she was in they both peaked inside. She was motionless, her face hidden entirely behind her long black hair which was rarely freed from her bun. Her ankles were chained, but her arms were left free due to the serious burns on them. There would be little she could do with them at the moment anyway.
"Princess Azula?" Iroh asked, his voice firm with resentment. She didn't move. "Answer your lord." He commanded, still firm, but not with harshness. "My lord is dead..." She hissed out, not looking up. Aang gulped, but Iroh kept a steady stance. "Princess Azula, we have questions for you." He stated.
Her head twitched to the side. "We?" She questioned. Aang chuckled nervously. "Yeah, I'm here to." Upon hearing the voice of the boy who had burnt her, Azula's head shot up, and she glared at him. She then smiled wickedly, the way her eyes seemed to see nothing but the Avatar making them look insane. He gulped again, and Iroh remained firm.
"During your travels did you come upon the Kyoshi warriors?" He asked, the tone of his voice rising. She never took her eyes off of Aang, but answered Iroh's question. "Yes." She hissed. He nodded. "And did you fight them and steal their clothing?" Azula shut her eyes for a moment, and chuckled.
"Why yes, we did." She joked, then opening her eyes and looking back at Aang. Iroh nodded again, then asked his last question. "And what became of the girls?" At this, Azula straightened herself up. She shut her eyes again and raised her arms above her head and yawned. When they fell back to her side she leaned into the wall and crossed her legs.
After bringing her gaze upon Aang again, she licked her lips, then answered. "Such pretty little dolls. We played with them for a little while, but when we were done we smashed them all up so no one else could have them and stole all their pretty little dresses." She said maniacally, then giggled.
Aang's heart sank, and he looked away from the obviously insane princess. Iroh glared angrily at her. "You killed them." He more stated then asked. Azula nodded. "Yes, but not before I took the prettiest and did all I had ever wanted to with her. What was her name again?..." Azula looked up at the ceiling and tapped her fingers. "Hmm...oh! That's right! Her name was Suki!" Her fingers stopped and she looked back at Aang.
"Suki she was. I remember her, because when I had all of her cloths off and she was crying and begging for me to stop she cried out a single name. Sokka. And she said that he was her boyfriend and that I would never get away with it because he was best friends with the Avatar and you would hunt me down and kill me." She then smiled wickedly and laughed some more. Aang couldn't stop himself from throwing up.
/A few hours later/
Jet lay lazily on a soft couch in what was one of the various room of the Firenation palace. Laying on top of him, in his arms, was Zuko. Jet was gently petting Zuko's hair, and Zuko was squeezing Jet's shoulder.
"Zuko?" Jet asked gently, the tiredness easily evident in his voice. Zuko smiled. "Yes?" He asked slowly. Jet sighed. He knew he had to ask this, no matter how bad it was. "Are we going to tell your uncle?" Zuko yawned. "About the wedding?" He asked, that being the main thing currently on his mind.
"Well, of course we're gonna tell him about the wedding, but I mean..." He trailed off for a moment, "...about the rape?" This made Zuko tense up. His eyes opened and he sat up on Jet. "Your just not gonna give me any peace at all today, are you?" He asked, a little anger in his voice. Jet sighed. "I'm sorry, it's just that, well, he's a big part of our family and I think he deserves to know."
Zuko glared. "Aurora is our daughter. She is the biggest part of our family. Are we gonna tell her?" He asked, the sarcasm in his question evident. Jet looked at him questioningly. "When she gets older." He said. This angered Zuko. "What the hell is wrong with you! We can't tell her that, ever! And we are certainly not going to tell my uncle!" He said, pushing himself off of Jet and standing up.
Jet stood up with him, and placed a hand on his shoulder. "They deserve to know. And how do you think they'd feel if they found out from someone else?" He asked. Zuko jerked his shoulder away, and glared at the ground. "What good would it do anyway? He's dead..." He said, feeling the pain swell in his eyes.
"Because it's honest, it's the right thing to do." Jet said, wrapping his arms around Zuko's waist and pulling him close. "You're an honest person, pretending something that happened didn't would only drive you crazy." Zuko was about to object to the idea of his 'pretending,' but he was cut short by his own tears. He sniffled and rested his head on Jet's shoulder.
After a minute of swaying back and forth, Zuko turned himself around to look at Jet. "Ok, we'll tell him, but only after the inauguration. He has enough on his mind right now." Jet smiled at this, and leaned in and kissed Zuko's forehead. Zuko giggled a little, and was about to kiss Jet back when an incredibly loud scream broke the silence and echoed through the hallways.
/Not far off/
"NOOOOOOOO! NO NO NO NO NO!" Sokka screamed and screamed and he ran across the bedroom ripping everything he could from it's place and chucking it into the walls. "NO! WHY SUKI! WHAT DID SHE DO TO DESERVE THIS?!" He screamed again. Aang, Toph, and Katara all stood at the corner of the room, being careful to avoid the flying objects and the crazed watertribesman.
"Sokka..." Katara trailed off, reaching for her brother with tears in her eyes. He turned quickly and slapped her hand away, his face soaking wet from sweat and tears, and his eyes full of rage. "Why?" He asked, looking from her to Aang. "Why would she do that to her?" He pleaded, stumbling forwards and onto his knees.
He buried his face in his hands and wept uncontrollably. "Why?" He asked again, not knowing what else to do. Everyone was quite. Outside of the door to the bedroom stood Iroh, guarding the kids. The screaming and crashing of objects didn't surprise him, for he had reacted similarly upon the death of his beloved wife.
Within minutes Zuko and Jet came running up to him from a distant room, soon followed by Ling. "What's going on in there?!" Zuko asked, panting. Iroh gave him a sad look. "Sokka, the watertribe boy, has just found out that his girlfriend was murdered by your sister." Iroh said. Jet, Zuko, and Ling all looked at the door, then back at Iroh sadly.
Back inside Sokka remained on the floor crying as his friends looked (or in Toph's case, felt) on, they themselves with tears in their eyes. No one had any idea what to do to help him. Then Toph decided to try to help. "Because she was beautiful." She began, walking over and placing a hand on his shoulder. "She was beautiful, and honest, and strong, and full of love. Things that Azula wanted to be, but couldn't."
Sokka opened his tear filled eyes and brought them up to Toph's blind one's. They were beautiful, even with their dull grey tint. In a moment of weakness, from all the pain and hatred he was feeling, and because of his terrible need at the moment to feel human contact, Sokka closed the distance between them and kissed Toph lightly on her lips.
Aang and Katara gasped, but Toph was frozen completely into the lips that she had often made bloody. After a few seconds, Sokka's eyes shot open and he jerked back from her and stood up. He looked down at her, complete disbelief in his eyes, then over at Aang and Katara, then towards the door.
He was running out of it in a split second, past Iroh, Zuko, Ling, and Jet, and as far as he could get from those he called friends. Toph stay silent and didn't move, but Katara then broke down and ran into Aang's arms. So they remained, the two lovers weeping and comforting each other, the four shocked onlookers all standing dumbfounded outside the door, and the little blind girl, alone and motionless on the floor.
Finally! I update! I know, probably every one of my readers wants to kill me at this point.
All I can say is sorry, I've had a lot of school work and other stuff preoccupying my time. Plus, I've had a bit of fanwriter's block.
So, I've decided that Tokka is gonna happen. Yep. Next chapter will be the last (so I've planned, but as you can tell, I've very unreliable), and it will include the inauguration, the wedding, the sending off of Azula, maybe some Tokka action, and a serious talk between Iroh, Zuko, and Jet. That's it for now. Hope you have enjoyed my rambling.