I told you all that I absolutely love writing Azula. So here is another piece on her. What I did for this piece was I flipped through a dictionary, and randomly picked words from each letter. It was fun tyring to work the word into a drabble about her. Some of the words were perfect, though, and I got really lucky with them.
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar
The Girl Who Would Be Fire Lord
" I admire you, 'Zula."
If Zuko had said this even once to her, she may never have hated him. Because it meant she was doing something right; it meant that the brother she adored approved of (not resented, not hated) her.
B. Barnyard (Animals)
Ozai permitted no pets in the royal palace, even though his daughter secretly yearned for a pet koala-terrier. Zuko, taking pity on her, promised to take her to the zoo when he had time. He kept putting it off until before he knew it, he had been banished.
(Azula never truly forgave him.)
Zuko could always make his swords flash and gleam in the sun overhead, or shine and flicker deadly specs of silver in the pale light of the moon at night. (But he never offered to show Azula how to use the dual swords.)
And she became sick with envy as he whirled flashing lights around him in ways her fire never could.
He was her brother, but never ever his friend, because he never tried to be, and by the time he was ready to give it a shot, she had already had her heart torn out of her.
Though her doll was probably of more physical value (because Zuko's dagger had been an offer of surrender) Azula felt cheated.
Because she was given a pretend friend in an ugly dress, and Zuko was given hope and strength forged into steel.
If Zuko had offered his hand to her when they were children, run off with her to go play, and snuck her out of lessons, then Ozai's influence would have had a significantly smaller impact on her.
Zuko once beat up a boy who was romancing his sister and using her to get him cakes and rides in her palanquin when she was eight.
Azula never found out what happened, and never learned that Zuko had been protecting her, and so she grew up thinking Zuko's biggest goal was to destroy her happiness.
(So she made it her life's mission to destroy his.)
They were a perfect triangle, Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai. But Mai and Ty Lee made the supporting sides, while Azula was the longest, most important edge that they upheld. But her power was equal to the strength that held her up, and when Mai and Ty Lee discovered courage and abandoned her, she fell.
(If the three had been an equilateral, no one would have fallen.)
I. Invest (Time)
Iroh was away through out most of her life, fighting the great walled city. When he did return, it was only briefly, and then he left again with Zuko.
Her mother's time in her life was blurry and swift in all her memories, and Zuko was always her favourite.
Her father showered her with empty affection that meant nothing because he'd forgotten how to love, and in his time with her, he was teaching her how to forget too.
She only ever saw her grandfather through a veil of smoke and flames,
Her grandmother had died too early for her to remember her.
Lu Ten used to smile at her, but he was buried somewhere in a lonely grave in the Earth Kingdom.
(No one ever paid attention to her because they loved her. Least of all her own brother.)
Azula learned to fly because it was something no one else could do, something she could lord over everyone else.
(Mai was unimpressed, and Ty Lee gushed lies about how fantastic it was. Zuko wasn't even there to see it)
Azula loved the heady, thick stews of the Earth Kingdom. They were warm and good and made her feel full after one sip, racing down her throat hot and full of meat.
(She's only had those stews a few times in her life)
Nobody thought to ask the crown princess of the Fire Nation what she wanted to eat. They just assumed she wanted something spicy.
Azula suffered from massive cramps for the first few days of her time of the month. It was never unbearable, but it was extremely uncomfortable. In her childhood, Zuko used to press his fire-warmed hand on her lower back to soothe the ache. By the time their father sent her after him, she'd learned to deal with the pain because (neither Mai nor Ty Lee offered her the pain relief plant, neither Li nor Lo thought anything of it, she never said a word because her father hated trivialities) because he'd been gone for so long.
Azula never wanted to be a robot, a tool for her father.
But no one tried to save her from that fate, so she accepted it as her path.
Azula was not a saint; she could never have been a saint.
But she could've been a hero. If someone hand offered her the choice early on, if her brother had been a little closer to her, if her mother had been a little more attentive, if her friends had seen past all her anger and lightning to the frightened girl reaching out, then she might have found the strength to save herself.
(But no one ever gave her the chance to be anything but the villain.)
O. (A Rare) Occurrence
Zuko and her never played very much as children, He was with their mother, being loved, and she was with their father, being trained.
(She never complained, because whining wasn't something Ozai tolerated, but she missed being with him)
Zuko never hugged her much either, and that hurt even more.
Azula didn't die a hero's death; she died a lonely, insane woman, locked in a cell, spitting lightning and crying her eyes out until they bled white flames.
(Zuko placed fire lilies, and her favourite hair ribbon on her grave.)
" I know it doesn't mean much now, but for what it's worth, I did love you, 'Zula."
She and Zuko argued quite a lot, but their parents usually broke it up; Ozai taking Azula to train her anger off, and Ursa letting Zuko talk his problems out by the turtleduck pond.
(It never occurred to either parent to let their offspring work out their own problems. The fire siblings eventually do, but by then it is far to late for both of them to walk away unbroken, unscarred.)
R. (In The Same) Region
Azula and Zuko weren't often in the same room, because they tended to squabble when they were, and they each had their respective parent to spend time with.
Azula could remember sharing a bed with Zuko when it rained really hard, the kind of rain that could extinguish her flame in an instant. That kind of thing stopped when Zuko reached nine, because he was a man, and men didn't let their little sisters crawl into their beds at night, for any reason.
Azula never stopped missing it.
Her father said she was born lucky, and Zuko was lucky to be born.
(She looked at him, smiling at the waterbender and standing tall and straight and proud against the rumbling sky. And then she realized that she may have been born with all the luck, but all that did was spur Zuko into making his own.)
Tofu was a dish commonly found in the Fire Nation, made spicy with crush fire flakes and sizzled over a grill.
(Azula despised it, but no one ever thought she didn't like it. She wasn't allowed not to.)
She fell from the air ship, and watched as the group of insufferable brats flew towards her tumbling brother. A figure in blue reached and snatched him right out of mid air, pulling him into the saddle.
She whipped out her hairpin and jabbed it into the sheer cliff face, screeching herself to a halt.
(Because there would be no hand to stretch out and save her.)
Azula was a very truthful child, once upon a time.
She started lying just to see how far she could push Zuko before he realized she was doing it.
She often tricked him into playing with her for hours before his teacher marched up and demanded why he had missed his lessons. She would always smile innocently when he glared at her.
Later, it just became another way to make everyone around her do what she wanted, when she wanted, because there was no way they'd do it out of any love for her.
Nothing could penetrate her defenses, because she had spent years making them impregnable, strong and steadfast and dangerous.
But she forgot that even the best armour could be chipped away at, worn down year after year after year by the enemies' swords.
(Mai and Ty Lee were the breaking point; she'd already suffered more than one betrayal.)
Azula liked to believe she could see right through people, and read them like they were the books in the palace library back home.
She figured it was one of the many powers the Spirits had decided to grant her.
(She told herself that because she didn't want anyone to see through her. She pulled it off, to her subconscious dismay, because if someone had just seen through her, they might have saved her.)
Y. (Not) Yet
Azula had spent her whole life waiting: waiting for Zuko acknowledge her, waiting for her mother to love her, waiting for her uncle to make tea for her, waiting for her father to make her Fire Lord, waiting for the Avatar to fall, waiting for Mai and Ty Lee to be her friends because they wanted to be, not because she was forcing them…
(And then, she was waiting in a rotting cell; waiting to die, because she realized that all those other things were never going to happen.)
Z. Zoot Suit
Zuko visited her once, dressed in his Fire Lord robes and looking royal and right, the crown gleaming in his hair.
She wanted to scream at him, burn his fancy clothes and laugh at his dismay, but the prison cell had zapped all her strength and she barely had the effort to look up at him when she came down.
(If he had unlocked her chains, she would have walked at his side, docile and quiet. She would've breathed the fresh air, and poked the flowers, and looked up at the endless sky. She would've healed.)
Azula lowered her head, and refused to look at him, because he had stopped loving her when he turned nine, and made she listen to the pounding rain, alone in her dark bed.
Azula would never have been a kind woman, like Katara, nor a righteous warrior, like Suki. But she could've been on their side, could've been one of them, if anyone had given her a chance.
(One more smile, one less betrayal. A little more love, a little less power. Funny how small things could shape a person.)
But Azula stopped believing in chances the day her brother's ship sailed off into the horizon, and she decided she didn't care if the world didn't love her.
(She would send out armies and bring every continent to its knees, and then make it love her.)
I hope you enjoyed it.