A few months ago I gave this story a complete makeover, because I found it on my computer and almost crinched from how terrible it truly was. So now I am uploading it once more so you people can enjoy it!
This was one of my first Avatar fan fictions, and let it be known that there is NO ZUTARA in here at all. The themes that are related to Zuko and Katara, are just friendly Kazuko comforting. Because Katara knows how he is feeling, because she has felt the same way with the loss of Kya. :P So hush all you shippers. And just enjoy the story and the angst!
(Avatar: TLA and all it's characters belong to Bryke and Nick only. I only nothing expect this story. :D)
She shuddered as a cold chill rushed down her back
She shuddered as a cold chill rushed down her back. She hated graveyards. They were so full of death, hopelessness, and so many forgotten allies. She walked near different headstones, a small frown placed against her lips. They were of different sizes and shapes, but all of being of the entire same subject. Daughters without their fathers, mothers without their beloved sons, wives without their husbands. Why must the world suffer so much pain? She thought quietly to her self, placing her hands upon her chest in a mournful matter.
She detested each time she was forced to come to this quiet place; the feeling of such pain seemed to grow until it was it was almost unbearable. A voice suddenly brought her mind back from her thoughts; causing a gasp to escape her lips. She prayed that she would never have to hear his voice among these grounds.
"You should have seen me today Uncle,"
The voice was soft, and raspy. She however immediately recognized it. It was her friend, Zuko, the now great ruler of the Fire Nation. He kneeled before a beautiful gravestone. It was one that stood out from the others. It was carved of rich black stone, with large gold ridges falling from its sides. This was one of the few times she had seen him in many weeks. For the Fire Lord would suddenly retire to his room without any notice, and stay there for hours on end, allowing no one to see him.
Often times she would pass by in worry, and hear him inside. Occasionally she was able to make out words, even sentences, but it had become rare. But she knew that they were full of pain that she wish her friend would never feel again. The ending of the war was supposed to bring peace, not sorrow. Now, spotting him among these fields, she could tell his suffering was slowing overpowering his figure. She stood quietly behind a gravestone that rested beside the quaking boy, as he continued to speak.
"I took the crown without hesitation, just like you told me. The citizens bowed before their leader with great pride, as I sat upon the throne proudly. You…would have been so proud…" His voiced cracked as he began to trail off, tears filling his eyes.
"He is proud of you Zuko. There was never a moment in his life that he wasn't." She spoke up, breaking the silence.
"K…Katara!" He said surprised, quickly wiping away his tears, he had hoped that he would be alone.
"What are you…doing here?" He asked. His voice still ranked with pain.
"Zuko, you know that he's happy for you." She said softly, quickly changing the subject. "He wanted you to have the throne, he knew how important it was to you." Zuko stared at her for sometime before speaking again, as tears found their way back to his eyes.
"We…we shouldn't have split up. H…He didn't have to die."
"Zuko, there wasn't anything you could have done."
"Yes, there was! If we hadn't separated…if I had stayed by his side I could have help him, stopped her, and prevented this from happening!" His voice grew louder, anger stealing away his words.
"Zuko, neither of you could bend, she attacked from the shadows; this came out of nowhere." She softly placed a hand on his shoulder, he refused her pity, and he jerked away from her. "It doesn't matter!" He screamed, slamming his hands into the ground below.
"Why did you take him away from me?" He managed to utter out in his cold voice, questioning an unknown target. His expression twisting with emotions, his tired eyes meeting the gravestone. Grief overwhelmed his heart,
"Why? Why did you leave me Uncle? I…I cannot do this alone. I need your guidance." Tears quickly ran down his face, and left salty tracks down his cheeks. And yet he made no movement to stop them. "You shouldn't have died. It isn't fair! I am not ready for this! It's too difficult! I need you!! U…Uncle! Come back to your son!!"
Katara looked to him with a blank glance, yet she said nothing. I know the pain you're feeling. She still had nightmares of the day her mother was stripped away from her life. Mom…it was such memoriesthat only made the tears, which threatened to fall for Zuko's sake, more difficult to keep in. And yet, she refused to cry in front of him. She would not show weakness, not when the Fire Lord needed her comfort. Not the other way around.
Only then did he realize that he had spoken out loud, and it hadn't remained within his thoughts. There was a pregnant pause between the two teenagers; the only sound heard was the wiping of the wind against their bodies. A deepened sigh escaped Zuko's lips, as he reached within his cloak sleeve pulling out a vibrant colored flower. He spun it around in his grip, examining its full beauty. Its petals were tinted with rich shades of red, yellow, and orange. The stem was forest green. Katara, who had been locking her eyes with him, turned down to face the flower, her eyes soft.
"This is a Longing Lilly." Zuko said, answering her silent question. "This is a rare exotic flower in our nation. I recall stumbling across one when I was a child, Uncle told me these were given to someone when they truthfully and sincerely cared about that person. I was too young to understand, although he had told me that if I ever found one again…I should give it to someone I love..."
He placed it upon the grave. Katara placed a tender hand on his shoulder, as she looked to him with a kind expression of care. He looked up, and for once in many months, she saw a smile resting upon his lips.
"Who would have thought it ended up being him?"