If you would like to skip my overemotional reflections, feel free to scroll down to the deleted scenes (Just after this mark :–:–:–:). Don't worry, I don't mind :)
I've been working on Healing Suki for a long time, and it's so weird to think that it's all done. It's also strange to think that I only started writing fanfics in December of 2007. It feels like I've been writing them forever.
Looking back on Healing Suki, there are some parts I look at and think, "That's awesome!" or "I'm really proud of this," and other parts make me want to vomit and/or scream. I often end up thinking, "Why did I let that get posted?!" or "How much angst was I on that day?" One of these days I'll revise it and replace the chapters with the updated version. But for now, I'm looking at what I have and what it's taught me. I feel like I've learned a lot from this fic, and I'm certain that my next long one (an untitled and untyped fic about Smellerbee) will be much improved in terms of how well it's written because of Healing Suki.
Healing Suki started as a oneshot titled Damaged. Yep, a oneshot. Take a simplified version of chapter one and add it to chapter two and you've got pretty much what this started as. To be perfectly honest, I liked the idea of Suki trying to . . . you know . . . with Sokka because she was desperate to know someone loved her and Sokka stopping her because he loves her. Then I thought, I want to do more with this. I'd like to see what happens afterward. And I had no idea what would happen. I just started writing. And then I liked the idea of her being friends with Zuko and then I got the idea of The Duke, and stuff just sort of happened. I had lots of ideas that never made it into the final cut (other than the deleted scenes below), including Suki taking bread from a little boy while she was in prison because she was starving. But then I decided that whatever Suki did or didn't do in prison was for her alone to know, so that never made it into the final fic. I wasn't sure how to end it, either. There was a time I thought of an ending where Zuko died, and then I realized I could never do that. At least, not in this fic. And I also thought about Sokka dying in the end, but about a minute after that idea occurred to me I shot it down. I also had a really big piece that I cut out and am going to post as its own fic about Suki learning sword fighting. I really like it because it's light and funny (and a little romantic).
Anyway, now Healing Suki is over and I'm going to miss it, but I'm also really excited to finally start my new fics, which have been sitting patiently in my notebook for some time now and are quite anxious to get typed and posted. I hope you all check them out!
Here are some "deleted scenes" from Healing Suki that didn't make it into the final cut for various reasons.
This scene would have taken place at some point after the battle and Suki's illness, but I couldn't really find a place for it without it being just a random distraction.
"There you are," Suki said, stopping in the doorway to Zuko's room. He was lying on his bed, looking at something he held in his hand, but upon seen Suki he hurriedly stood up and slipped it into his pocket. Whatever it was flashed in the light from Zuko's window.
"What?" he asked, obviously trying to divert Suki's attention from his peculiar action.
"What was that?" Suki asked, glancing from Zuko's face to his hand.
"Nothing," he said hurriedly. "Is dinner ready yet?"
"Yes – that's why I came to get you, but –"
"I'm starving," Zuko said, with too much enthusiasm.
"Come on, what was it?" Suki asked playfully, though there was an undertone of seriousness.
"It was nothing," Zuko said, not meeting her eye.
"Come on, you can tell me," Suki said.
"I don't think that –"
"I promise I won't laugh at you," Suki said, grinning.
"That's not what I'm worried about."
"What do you mean?"
"If I show you, will you promise not to get mad?"
Zuko sighed and removed from his pocket a small blade, holding it up so that Suki could see.
"It's Mai's," he explained after a moment.
"Oh," Suki said as it sunk in.
"I know you don't like her – and you've got good reason to – but –"
"It's okay," Suki said. "You really miss her, don't you?"
"Yeah," Zuko said. "I think I really hurt her when I left. And I didn't mean to, but . . ." he trailed off.
"Yeah," Suki said darkly.
"I'm sorry," Zuko said. "I didn't mean –"
"No, don't worry about it. I'll just never be able to see eye to eye with you regarding her. You understand, don't you?"
"Yeah." There was an awkward silence.
"We'd better go get some food before it's all gone," Suki said.
"Right," Zuko said. They walked out the door in silence.
This is another Suki/Zuko scene, but it is light and happy. And short. This would go at some point during or just before Bittersweet Goodbye. Basically, Zuko and Suki are talking and the subject of Aang comes up. It doesn't have a real ending . . . it just sort of ends. But I think it's cute :)
"Aang's getting really good at firebending," Zuko said.
"Wait, what?" Suki asked, staring at Zuko.
"I said that Aang is good at firebending," Zuko said cautiously. "Why are you looking at me like that?" There was a huge smile on Suki's face.
"You said Aang's name," Suki said.
"Yeah? So?" Zuko asked, starting to sound vaguely defensive.
"It's just that –" Suki laughed. "– you've never called him Aang before. Only 'The Avatar'."
"Really?" Zuko said, surprised.
"Yeah!" Suki said.
"I seriously only ever called him The Avatar before?"
"Yep," Suki said.
"Huh," Zuko said, thinking back.
I just realized Zuko does actually refer to Aang by name in an early chapter. . . but if he hadn't, I think this would have been cute.
This one I really liked the idea of, and it would have gone sometime between Driftwood and Decisions; sometime when Suki and Katara are good friends. Basically what's going on is that Sokka wants Katara to tell him what Suki thinks about him. Looking at it now, I kind of wish it had made it to the final cut . . .
"So . . ." Sokka said, approaching Katara as she sliced vegetables and fruits for dinner. "What's going on?"
"I'm making dinner," Katara said suspiciously. "Why?"
"I'm just checking up on how my little sister is doing," Sokka said with a huge, toothy smile.
"Well, I could use some help preparing these," Katara said, indicating the ocean kumquats in a bowl beside her, figuring that as long as Sokka was going to pester her about whatever it was he was about to pester her about, she might as well get some help in the process.
"Sure thing, little sis," Sokka said brightly, sitting beside her and taking a kumquat and beginning to peel it as Katara rolled her eyes. "So, how are things with you?"
"I'm just fine," Katara said.
"And your friends?"
"They're your friends, too," Katara said.
"Yeah, well . . . how was the market?" Sokka asked.
"Busy," Katara said, understanding what Sokka was aiming for. She'd gone to the market the other day with Suki.
"So, while you were waiting in lines and such," Sokka said, trying – and failing – to sound offhand and nonchalant. "What did you two ladies talk about?"
"Girly stuff," Katara said, grinning inwardly. "You know, hair . . . makeup . . . that sort of thing."
"I see. What else?" Sokka asked with too much interest.
"Other girly stuff. Clothes. Boys." Katara stopped to watch her brother's reaction. After the initial aha! expression, Sokka arranged his features to look politely interested.
"Boys?" He said. "What did you guys have to say about them?"
"Oh, nothing," Katara said. Of course, the truth was that they had discussed Sokka briefly, but Katara had been sworn to secrecy and had no desire to break her promise.
"Did she . . . mention me?" Sokka asked. He held his breath, waiting for Katara's answer.
"You know, I just can't remember," Katara said, standing up and picking up a plate of chopped vegetables. "And even if I could," she smiled mischievously, "I wouldn't tell you."
"But, but –" Sokka babbled as Katara walked away. "Come on, Katara!"
Katara continued to walk away, pretending not to hear him.
"Katara!" Sokka tried to stand and run after her, but he took one step and tripped, landing on the pile of peeled ocean kumquats. They burst, squirting juice everywhere. As Sokka lay there, looking rather pathetic, he called weakly, "Come on, Katara . . . at least help me up . . . Katara?"
This isn't so much a deleted scene as a deleted line . . . but anyway . . . When Suki was crying in A Warrior's Tears I wanted to have a little part where it said that
Sokka held Suki tighter as he fought back tears of his own. It just hurt him so damn much seeing Suki in this much pain.
I'm going to make on final review request. I know that WAY more people are reading then are reviewing, so I'm asking for your final thoughts on Healing Suki as a whole. What parts/aspects did you like? What needs improvement? When I go back and do revisions (which I will do at some point!) what should I change/edit? Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? (Wait . . . scratch that last one.) I put a lot of work into this and I'd really like to hear your thoughts. It only takes a minute. And any of you that are authors know how much reviews mean :) So PLEASE review! Thanks!