"Alright. You want to know what happened during the fight?" He asked as he turned around to face me.
He walked over and sat down on our make-shift bed beside me. My heart started thumping loudly as I waited to hear his story.
"When we hit land," He began. "We followed our plan. Everything was going smoothly. That is, until Azula showed up. We were in the throne room and Aang had just challenged the Fire Lord."
He paused for a minuet, looking away. I then realized that the Fire Lord was Zuko's father. The Fire Lord is dead. Zuko must have seen…
"Azula came in and taunted us." He continued stronger. "She bragged about being father's favorite and being better than I. I kept her distracted while Aang fought the Fire Lord. It was a vicious and cruel fight. Aang eventually won, and Azula vowed to kill him. She said that she would kill all of us."
"Zuko! You said that she was only out to get me. Are the others going to hide?"
"Please, listen. She then looked at me and said that it was my 'girlfriend's fault that all of this happened. She told me that you would be the last she would kill. It would be a slow and painful death. I couldn't bear the thought. She would do that too. Aang, Katara, Toph, Sokka and uncle can fight Azula. They know what to do. You can't defend yourself. You would be at her mercy. That's why we left."
It was too much to take in. I thought that it was only my life that was being threatened. Now I know that everyone that I held close was in trouble too. My breathing accelerated, and I started to feel dizzy. Zuko laid me back, seeing my reaction.
"It's okay." He soothed. "I won't let her touch you."
"I don't want you to have to worry about me." I chocked out.
"It's my job." He joked. "You're my wife."
"Zuko, we have to go back."
"That's probably the safest place, with Aang, Katara, Toph, Sokka and Iroh. They won't let anything happen."
"But you don't understand. Sokka is going out to look for a missing friend, uncle will be in the Fire Nation, Toph will be going back to Ba Sing Se and Aang and Katara will be going to the Northern Water Tribe. They aren't staying together. Someday everyone will get back together, but not now. All of us have duties to fulfill."
No, everyone was separating. We should stay together, not leave the others.
"I think," I started. "We should start moving."
I felt even more venerable now than ever. Standing up, I straightened my dress and grabbed my bag.
"No Zuko. We need to find a village. I'll feel safer when we do."
He didn't protest. He shook out our bed, rolled it up and strapped it to his bag.
We started walking, picking our way through the forest. The birds screeched and the monkeys howled, making me jump every time. We walked for about an hour before breaking out into a clearing. The sun was in the middle of the sky. It was noon.
A small village sat in the middle of the clearing.
"Oh, thank the spirits." I said quietly.
Zuko grabbed my hand and led me into the village. Seeing this place made it easier for us to breath. The land smoothed out, letting us walk even faster.
"Maybe we can get a room." I said hopefully.
We entered the village to see women and children laugh and play. Here it felt like everything was going to be okay. Hope had filled the air, making the good feelings catching.
"Excuse me." I asked a nearby woman.
She had gray hair, a thousand wrinkles and kind eyes. Small girls screamed and scurried around her, trying to run away from the little boys. I couldn't help but think that someday Zuko and I will have little girls and boys to chase each other. She was hanging up her laundry and scolding the boys for not being nice.
"Yes?" She inquired.
"Is there an inn or a place for us to stay?"
One of the little girls smiled up at me. Her face was dirty, but her eyes sparkled.
"Oh yes darling. It's on the end of the street. It will be on your right hand side."
Before I could say anymore, Zuko grabbed me around my waist and pulled me along.
"Did you see that little girl?" I asked him while craning my neck to see her.
"Yes I did." He was intent on getting to the inn.
"She was so sweet. I hope we have a little girl."
Zuko looked at me and grinned. "I want a boy."
"Well I'm the one pregnant so we are going to have a little girl."
Our moods had improved greatly since we came here. We walked hand in hand through the village. This place reminded me of home. There were homes scattered randomly thought the place, little stands for the farmers to sell their goods, and a little healing hut. Yes, just like my village.
We approached the door to the inn and Zuko instantly became tense. His arm tightened a little, making it nearly impossible to break free.
"What is it?" I asked.
"I just don't want to take any chances."
He pushed open the door to reveal a room full of loud and noisy drunks. The first floor of the inn had turned into a bar.
"Stay close." He muttered into my hair.
"Like I have a choice." I replied, motioning to his arm that wound around my waist.
"Sorry." He let go, but reluctantly. "I'm going to try and find the owner to get a room. You stay here and rest. Don't make eye contact with anyone. These men are drunk and aren't thinking right."
"I'll be okay." I reassured him.
He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before disappearing into the crowd. I sat there and watched the people around me. There was a group of loud and intoxicated men who grabbed nearby women and would twirl them round and round. I made a mental note to stay away from them. On the far side of the room, three soldiers sat around a small table, sipping their drinks quietly. They frightened me even more than the drunks. I slipped off of my seat and started in the direction that Zuko went. A large man blocked my way.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" He slurred.
"It looks like a woman… with no chaperone." Another played along.
Author's Note: I know that I have lost a few readers because I have taken a couple years off of this story, but I hope eventually they will be able to see that I am back. Thank you for the review Lone Fairytale! You have helped me to write this chapter.