Wishing by Night

Summary: Sometimes she wishes she was like other girls.

Author Notes: Um, nothing to really say about this piece. I guess I wanted to explore another side of Azula, and even then she came out demented. LOL. Obviously this fic is slightly AU - I have Ursa dying instead of disappearing. Sorry for the confusion.

Enjoy.


Sometimes she wishes that she were like other girls.

In moments of weakness (or fear) she yearns for the pointless spinning, the iced pink ribbons, and satin twists of hair. Fondly she thinks of days spent in the park – clutching Father's hand and holding tight Mother's smile.

Yet, Father dreams of holding the crown one day. She won't be able to hold his hand then, so he refuses to let her now. Mother is gentle – yet worried, she fears for who (or what) her daughter will become.

Other girls (she knows) would never have to see this.

At first Azula can tell herself that Mother's only sleeping, like a fairy tale princess from the stories Mother would tell before bed. Yet, there was no Prince in sight, and Father has long since given up that role. The Fire Lady's eyes are closed as if in slumber. Around her her moon streaked ebony hair floated and fluttered. Like a halo, she thought absently. With trembling hands (though she'll never admit it) the little girl stepped into the calf deep pond, and strode silently to where Mother laid. She reached out a not-trembling hand to touch Ursa's ivory skin and shuddered when it was cold to touch, like ice.

She jerked her hand back, as if burned.

"Mother." She snapped. "It's silly to sleep in the pond. Get up."

Yet, Ursa didn't move. The waters cradled her body, hissing and withdrawing and still her Mother didn't rise, not even to admonish her for her sharp tone. Unwilling to admit that the emotion curling at her stomach was fear, Azula's eyes flickered to Mother's chest. Yet, the wine colored robes were still – stiff without the animation of life. Still she watched, looking for a flicker of indrawn breath, unable to admit . . .

"Mother?" She whispered, a question this time.

Other girls would be crying by now. Not her. A single tear loitered in the corner of her eye, but it doesn't fall, it just stays and shines. Angrily she wipes it away, only to pause in horror upon seeing the glint of red upon her hand.

Other girls would have screamed. Yet, she merely gets shaking to her feet, watching the crimson on her hands in a way that one might observe a serpent about to attack – with morbid fascination. The pale red water dripped from her splayed fingers, rippling as it rejoined the pool below. Her eyes turned to the water, watching the scarlet that threaded through the pond stones – angry and stark in the moonlight from where it flowed from Ursa's prone form.

Other girls would have ran, she knows. They would have screamed for help.

Other girl would have felt something (never nothing) other than this quiet fascination.

"Mother." One last chance. One last attempt to feel -

- nothing.

"Your mother is dead, Azula."

The Princess stepped out of the water, distantly she noted that the smell of copper and soot followed her – covering her hands, seeping from her clothes. Still she turned to her Lord Father and bowed.

Other girls would have ran into Father's arms.

Other girls would have abhorred the sight of blood.

Other Fathers would have grieved too.

"She was weak." Ozai continued, looking intently at his daughter, judging her reactions. "The weak can't be aloud to live."

Other girls would have protested.

When her eyes were able to tear away from her mother's broken form, they came to rest on the three pronged crown in her father's hair. Slowly a smile spread over her crimson lips. "I know, Father."

Ozai nodded his approval. Other Fathers would have smiled.

She came over to his side and just this once he took her hand. Because, like other girls, the lose of a mother stung. Yet, it did not hurt as much as gaining a crown.

The blood on her hand mingled with the blood on her Father's.

Other girls would have recoiled in disgust.

She merely smiles and clutches her father's hand tighter.

FIN

MJ