So they waited. Time seed to inch as they sat wishing for a sign. Would Katara's body jolt to life, or would Aang come back and tell them that she didn't want to come back. Would their lives ever be the same regardless of the choice that was made. Silence filled the room with only the inn-keeper's checking in to disturb them. Sokka had almost forgot about the three demons looming in the shadows of the room as they held the quiet infants. Zuko had sewn up the gashes on his face, but the ones on his chest still burned. His mind was reeling as he tired to accept everything that had happened in the last year. He thought it innocent enough to help the avatar. He thought it would be an adventure. Something that would make memories. Now he wasn't so sure that he wanted the memories that were being created. How could he one day tell his grandchildren that he was possessed by demons, slaughtered women after raping them, then watched as his sister died in the attempt to deliver demon babies. He couldn't tell anyone that. How would they believe him anyway? He hardly believed it, and he wouldn't if he hadn't been the one it happened to. Then there was all the weird shit that happened to his sister, and Toph. Toph especially bothered him. Would she be the same old Toph after all was said and done or would she retain that sense of evil to her that seemed now to radiate like a tainted aura around her. It scared him to think that she had given her soul over to the demons. Would they take her with them when they left, or would they leave her to walk the earth a little more? He closed his eyes as he once again attempted to crack his knuckles, only to achieve in making them hurt.
Zuko paced the floor pretty sure that there should have been a hole worn in the wood by then. The three demons had made it as if the wood floor had never burst. Zuko's mind reeled. A bitter taste was left in his mouth and he didn't know what he was going to do. His mind didn't want to accepted that Katara was at that moment making a decision. The decision not only affected her, but the lives of two children. Regardless of the particulars of their conception, he still felt as if he was the father of the two. Would he be so selfish to wish that they lived in order for him to raise them? Would he be even capable of raising children with demonic hearts? His father had lived and he must have been of a demon seed. Zuko smiled cynically to himself. Even with the tension so thick one could choke, he found room for dark humor. He sighed as he looked at Katara's death shrouded body. He loved her. This much was true. But the extent of that love was now in question. Would he continue to love her after she rose from the dead, if she even did? If not would he love her even in death? His heart clenched as he scolded himself. He was being entirely too self centered. But was it so wrong to want to raise the two children? Was it wrong for him to want both Katara and the babies? He closed his eyes and shook his head and continued his pacing.
Toph listened to Zuko pace, and Sokka grumble. She wanted all of this other-worldly crap to be over with. She wanted to go beat up some bad guys and throw a few rocks around. Hell she wanted to get out of this town. She swung her legs and let her mind wander. What had she done in order to save her friend? Handing over a soul wasn't like handing someone a few gold pieces or a title to land. It was a major thing. She sighed and shook her head.
Aang's fingers moved slowly as his eye lids fluttered. He drew in a shaky breath and shook his head. Everyone's attention was locked on him as he moved to sit up. Tears started streaming down his face as he opened his eyes. He looked around at the anxious faces and couldn't help but drop his gaze.
"Well?!" Zuko's voice was anything but kind. The avatar hesitated and looked back up at them. His eyes were unsteady and his lips trembled as her tried to speak. His eyes drifted over to Katara's body and everyone took in and held their breath.
The black shroud over her body billowed slightly as wind from one of the cracks in the wood wall slipped in. The tension grew thicker and the air seemed to drop temperature severely. Eyes were locked on the body and a shock jolted through the room as the blanket moved. Slowly the chest began to rise and fall, before a gasping breath was pulled in violently.
No one dared to move. Not a breath was let free or a heart moved. Ice flowed through all the living beings' veins as Katara's arm came up to remove the shroud from her face.
Zuko trembled as Katara sat up, color returning to her face and her eyes fluttering open. His head turned instinctively to the three demons lingering in the shadows. Katara turned to see the three demons as well. She closed her eyes and turned her head from them.
"I've made my choice."
"Very good then." Sliyar said. He looked to his left then to his right as either of his brother's brought the babies up to clutch them to their chest.
Zuko, Sokka and Aang watched in horror as the demons brought their metal gauntlets up. With simultaneous quick movements the gauntlet fingers drove into the base of the infants' skulls. Aang covered his mouth as he felt the unsurmountable taste of acidic bile fill his mouth. His stomach tightened and then lurched as he stumbled from the room. Zuko felt his blood leave his face and a shiver took him violently. Sokka closed his eyes and looked to the floor.
Sliyar looked back to them as he held his hand out to the side.
"The children felt no pain....would you like to see their true forms."
"No....no just take them away." Katara's voice was strained as she covered her eyes. Sliyar nodded. He looked over his shoulder again and his brother's melted into the shadows. He turned and looked at Toph. He moved over and looked at her closely.
"Kuiodio sent her pets to cause your friends, in particularly Zuko, to suffer. As we said...she should not bother you anymore but..." He leaned in his hood draping her face. She could feel his icy lips against her as he finished his sentence. "Those were just two of her pets. She knew we were here...so be warned." He kissed her nose and smiled. "Do call us if you get into any trouble, kitten." With that said he vanished in a swirl of smoke. Toph coughed and waved her hand in front of her face.
"I don't think I will ever get used to that."She frowned as she sensed the tension still hanging in the air. She rolled the blood beads in her hand and pocked them. She shook her head and decided that she needed to get out of the room. She needed to feel some good old fashion dirt on her feet.
"Katara...how did you decide....?" Zuko asked as he walked over to look at her. Katara looked up at him, her face sunken and dark, still looking closer to death than he was comfortable with. She reached her hand out to him but he just stared at her.
"I've never made a harder decision in my life...."
"Was there no way...that you could have come back without having the babies killed?"
Katara's eyes watered up as she felt her chest tightened. She covered her eyes and shook her head.
"No...Aang explained it there was no other way. The babies would have died or been killed anyway." She felt herself scream. She was mad. She was angry but she didn't know why. She looked at him as he stared at her.
"There is no proof of that!" Zuko screamed back. Sokka shivered and turned. The conversation was not headed anywhere he wanted to stick around to here.
"What?! How...how can you say that?! Would you rather I had stayed dead?!" She cried. Zuko shook his head and pushed his hair out of his face, wrapping his fingers in it.
"No...NO I would have rather had you and my children.:
"They weren't your children! They weren't even real children! They were demons." Katara cried as she bought her knees up to set her head on. Zuko stared at her and shook his head slightly.
"What? Katara, you carried them. You gave birth to them. You felt them moving inside of you. They were children. Regardless!" Zuko reasoned. This wasn't the reunion that he had planned. He didn't want to be mad at her. He didn't want to yell but here he was.
"Zuko, I had no choice! There is no proof they would have lived anyway! If I would have known they would have had full successful lives and been happy I would have let them keep their life!"
"There is proof! There was proof! That doctor and his friend that helped you. The one that said it was the fire bender inside of you that was making you feverish, they were demons! They lived healthy lives. Good lives, helping people. They had found love and a life worth living!"
"I know this!"
"Then why are you arguing with me!"
"I DON'T KNOW!"
Kuiodio smiled as she mended a new imp with her thread, while watching the entertaining argument in the mirror. True she had to sacrifice two of her more....helpful demons, but the end result was worth it. She frowned for a second as her mind rolled over to the trio. They had laid Ylidari and Jusiouin to rest and let their bodies die. She tossed aside the imp as she finished it and it curled around until it eventually stood up. She looked down at her ankle and sighed. She only had four blood beads left before she would be once again susceptible to madness She looked back at the mirror again one the yelling had quieted down. She snarled her nose as Zuko sat calmly on the board next to Katara, but the words flowing from his mouth quickly brought her smile back.
"I'm sorry...but this is all too much for me. I need to leave... I need to break off and go clear my head for a while."
"But Zuko.....now is when I need you....You can't leave me now...not after all of this."
"I have to Katara....I can't be there for you if I can't even be there for myself."
"We can find strength in one another." Zuko sighed inwardly. He shook his ehad.
"Katara, I have no strength within me to find. In my life I have witnessed horrible atrocities on man, taken out in the name of the fire nation, but none, not a damn one, can even compare to the horrors that I have encountered in the last few months. I need to find my feet and my place in this world. I need to get my head on straight and then we can see where to go from there."
Kuiodio squealed in delight and clapped her hands. She won. She actually won! She hadn't planned on doing it that way or it taking so long. She let a crocked smile cross her lips as a thought came to mind. If it hadn't been for those three trouble makers the girl, Katara, would have lost her mind. But no. They had to come in and ruin her fun. She frowned as she bit down on a finger nail. She was the one that summoned them and petitioned their services. How was she to know that they would strike a deal and bargain with mortals? She waved her hand and turned to look at her imp. He was already cleaning up the remains of his predecessor. At least should would have to deal with the horrible three any longer. She almost jumped out of her stone throne as her imp let out a screech. She looked over in time to see her newly created imp burst into pieces.
"Dammit! Not another one!" She growled and looked to see just what demon dared to intrude on her celebration. She felt her body grow rigid as three dark shadows appeared on the floor. Slowly the trio rose form the shadows, their cloaks pulled back away from their faces as a menacing grin lit each face.
"We thought you might want to meet your children, Shaion and Dsni " Shurinere said with a laugh as he took a step to the side. Kuiodio stared in fear as two lean fully grown demons stepped forward. The girl had night black hair with two horns curling out from over her ears. Her eyes were sharp and her face was angled. The boy was identical sans the horns, with scales replacing his skin. Sliyar grinned as he let his hand pet the boys coarse hair.
"It seems that they are quiet unhappy about being brought into the world the way they were." Sliyar said with a smile. Saidon tilted the demon girl's chin up and brushed her hair behind her horn.
"Dnsi...did you know that demi-demons are particularly prone to fire?" The girl's lime green eyes looked up at the wraith and then turned to look at her brother. With a grin, Shaion took a deep breath. He threw himself forward, spitting a stream of fire out over Kuiodio as she tried to run. Dnsi grinned and whipped around sending a ball of air over their demi-demon creature. Kuiodio shuttered on the floor as her skin crackled and popped.
"Not...possible...you can't bend...in the spirit world."
"Ah but you made one mistake Kuiodio.... these are benders that were never taught to bend on earth...it's more of a born skill."
Kuiodio's eyes widened and she let out a piercing scream as another wave of flames washed over her.
THE END!!!!! YAY! Haha twist. I've had this in the back of my mind for months. After the first of the year I should start updating fairly regularly again. Disastrous Desires is the next one I am going to work on. Thank you all for reading!