Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar. How cool would that be, though?
Hey yo! It's Mika-chan! This may seem familiar to some. Well, it originally started out as Hajime Kara Yarinaosu, my first Zaang fic. It felt kind of forced, so I'm writing it as a Maiko instead. It'll work out MUCH better this way.
Just as a note, I have no intention of offending anyone in Zuko's situation. While I have no extra personalities, I understand how hard it is and I don't mean to upset anyone with this fanfiction.
As a note, here's a guide to the diologue:
"This is regular speaking"
"This is thinking"
"This is Kuroyami"
"This is Akurei"
That being said, let the deadly tale being!
Walking this road without you…to remake forgotten promises…to meet you at road's end.
There are people who say that Dissociative Identity Disorder is cool, that it's fun to have other personalities of yourself, that you can call these people whenever you want to and they'll be there. They think that you can choose which personality you want to come out and which you want to stay inside your mind.
Zuko knew that those were lies.
Zuko Kanashii knew that those who thought those things were ignorant and had no idea what it was really like to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID. Most people thought that it was called Multiple Personality Disorder. Well, that was true for a while. How did Zuko know this? Because he had DID. He had two personalities: Kuroyami and Akurei.
Ozai Kanashii, Zuko's father, had started abusing his son ever since Zuko started school. Whenever Ozai felt angry, he vented his frustrations out on Zuko in ways that usually involved beatings and whippings. It got so bad that Akurei appeared. Akurei was the violent and aggressive side of Zuko, the side that wanted to slit his father's throat and burn the body.
When he first appeared, Akurei would stay for hours and sometimes days on end, which terrified Zuko. He thought that he was going insane, that someone had possessed him. A few days later, Akurei went away and Zuko returned. Ozai found out and sent the then nine-year-old Zuko to live with his uncle Iroh and his cousin Azula.
Iroh found out what Ozai did to Zuko and requested that he be made Zuko's legal guardian. It was then that Iroh found out about Akurei and how Zuko had tried to hide him. Iroh understood that it was hard to have his nine-year-old nephew with Dissociative Identity Disorder, but he took him in anyway.
When Zuko was twelve, he met his mother, Ursa, for the first time. She had apparently been trying to find him for years and had finally succeeded when her only son was a pre-teen. It became apparent that she knew about Akurei when the violent personality appeared one night shortly after dinner and tried to destroy an entire china set. When Akurei became dormant and Zuko returned, the horrified boy retreated to his room, terrified of what Ursa would think of him. She remained calm, taking Zuko by complete surprise. She told him that Iroh had revealed to her the presence of Akurei inside Zuko.
Their time together was short-lived, however. On the third day of her visit, Zuko had returned home from school to find no one home, or so he thought. Knowing that it was strange for the house to be unoccupied, Zuko ventured up to Iroh's room. As he opened the door, Zuko found Ursa lying on the bed, throat sliced and lying in a pool of her blood, and Ozai lying above her with a crimson butcher knife in his hand.
Zuko tried to escape, fearing that Ozai would turn on him, but he wasn't fast enough. His father found him cowering behind the door and smashed a nearby vase over Zuko's head, knocking him unconscious and sending him into a coma from which he wouldn't awake until four days later.
Attending his mother's funeral was difficult for Zuko. True, he was just getting to know her, but that made it all worse. Ozai was a poor excuse for a father and Zuko had never known Ursa until recently. For the first time in what felt like forever, Zuko felt normal. He forgot about Akurei, or as much as he could, anyway. But now that he'd found his mother, the one thing that could possibly make him feel like a normal person, it slipped between his fingers and was now far beyond his reach.
From these incidents, Zuko's second personality was born: Kuroyami.
Because he created in the midst of Ursa's funeral, Kuroyami was the dark side of Zuko's personality. There had been many a time when Kuroyami wanted to kill himself, so he took control and tried to overdose on drugs. Fortunately, Zuko forced the personality back into submission before things could go too far, but he thought it was best to alert Iroh of what Kuroyami was thinking.
A few years after Zuko's mother died, Iroh moved Azula and Zuko to another city in an attempt to get Zuko to forget about his mother. So after staying in Kobe for a few years, Iroh's teashop wasn't doing as well as he had hoped. So the family moved once again, this time to Nara.
It was Zuko's first day of school and he could feel the nervousness taking over his body. He'd never had friends as a child: he'd always been too afraid that someone would find out about Akurei. Now that he was in a new town, Zuko knew that he wouldn't have that problem again. He wouldn't get attached; he wouldn't let people discover his secret.
Zuko had always been different from other kids. He was somewhat anti-social and didn't like talking with other people very much. And other kids didn't seem to like him very much either. He drew a lot for a kid and he was very good at it. But there was one thing that always made people ignore him, yet force them to stare at him at the same time.
As his iPod blasted Revolution Deathsquad, Zuko's golden eyes slowly opened and scanned the room for any trace of his cousin. Azula sometimes woke him up if he was being particularly slow. After getting out of bed, Zuko looked at his reflection in the mirror and saw the second reason why people ignored him: the scar.
This wasn't just any scar: it was a scar that Ozai had given him when he was a few years old. Ozai had forced the toddler Zuko to play with matches around a barrel of gasoline and the end-result was disastrous. Fire erupted everywhere and covered the right side of Zuko's face. Fortunately, the inferno hadn't spread past his face since a neighbour had heard the chaos and came to see what was wrong, forcing Ozai to pretend to be the caring parent and put out the blaze. But the scar was always there as a reminder of the terrors of the past.
"Zuko, are you up yet?" Azula's voice could be heard from outside the door, bringing Zuko back from his thoughts.
"Yeah." Zuko replied. "What are you doing up so early?"
"I have school earlier this year, remember?" Azula snapped. "It's not like I want to be up this early."
"No need to get snippy, Azula." Zuko scanned his CD rack for some music to listen to. "Akurei will come out if you're not careful."
Now that was a threat to Azula. Zuko's thirteen-year-old cousin wasn't afraid of much, but Akurei scared her witless. This was probably because he had given her a concussion when Azula first met him.
"No need to get drastic, Zuzu." Azula said before leaving.
"She's so annoying…"
"I know, but you can't do anything."
"So the first day of school, huh? Are you nervous?"
"Kinda, now that I think about it."
"Lying won't do any good, Zuko."
"What are you talking about, Kuroyami?"
"He means we know you're scared shitless."
"Must you be so rude, Akurei?"
"I guess so."
"Both of you stop it, okay? I have enough to worry about today without you two interfering."
Zuko was still arguing with the two personalities as he made his way downstairs.
"That brings on another point. Both of you stay inside my head today, okay?"
"Aww, why can't I come out?"
"Because you'll terrify people, that's why. I don't think I'll make any friends here, so it probably won't make any difference."
"You'll make some friends."
"You know me better than that, Kuroyami."
While he had been talking to the personalities, Zuko had apparently travelled to the kitchen, where Iroh and Azula waited at the table.
"What?" Zuko asked.
"You were ignoring me." Azula glared.
"I was telling them to behave today." Zuko knew that Azula and Iroh knew what he was talking about.
"Kuroyami's okay." Iroh said, drinking some lemon tea. "It's just Akurei we need to watch out for."
"Don't I know it?" Zuko grabbed a breakfast bar before slinging his backpack over his shoulder and walking toward the front door.
"Just a minute, Zuko." Iroh said, causing Zuko to stop in his tracks. "I haven't given my pep-speech yet."
"Oh, come on, Uncle!" Zuko exclaimed. "I'm not five anymore."
"Obviously not, or you'd be living with Ozai." Iroh said blatantly. "You listen too, Azula."
"Come on, Dad!" Azula protested.
"Both of you know how important your education is." Iroh began, to which Zuko responded by sighing. "Take advantage of the opportunities given to you and make the best of them."
"Yeah, yeah." Zuko said, turning back to the door. "I'll stop by the shop after school."
And with that, he was off, headphones in his ears blasting Freak on a Leash, a song that he didn't particularly like, but he knew that Kuroyami liked it.
Upon arriving at school, Zuko found his first class, which looked like a great class to have first thing in the morning. Digital Communications mostly dealt with creating the morning announcements, something Zuko had wanted to do for quite a while.
When he walked into the room, the golden eyes meet multiple rows of desks, some of them occupied by students. Zuko found a seat that was as far away from the other students as possible and sat down before taking out a sheet of paper and continuing his drawing of a burning tree.
He drew for a few minutes before he stopped to see what kinds of kids were in this class. Many of them looked like preps, the kind of kids that went to all of the sports games and had new lovers every other week. Others were jocks and were wearing their sport's jersey. Not many kids seemed to be interested in the same things he was.
That's when he saw her.
She was sitting by herself as well, though she was in the middle of the classroom. Her raven-black hair kept getting in her golden eyes, which apparently annoyed her because she kept brushing it out of her face in an agitated fashion. She didn't seem like the other girls in the room. She seemed more…real. The other girls were clearly trying to act like someone else, someone they weren't. This girl acted like herself and Zuko thought that she was a bit like him, that she could possibly avoid people and distance herself away from others.
He was forced to tear his eyes away from her, however, since class started. The teacher gave a lecture about expectations in his class before going over school rules and other whatnot.
Zuko heard the teacher's words, but he was paying more attention to the drawing on his desk. Since his childhood incident with fire, Zuko had a habit of drawing things in violent infernos. Iroh had taken him to a psychologist in an attempt to determine why this was, but she had told Iroh that Zuko was expressing his anger through the drawings and to allow him to continue. It was better than Akurei coming out.
More was on Zuko's mind than the burning tree on his paper. His ochre eyes kept finding the strange girl in the row in front of him. He knew that he shouldn't think about her. If he thought about her, then he'd get attached. And attachment was never a good thing, but Zuko had to at least learn her name…
It's a lot to take in, I know. And I know Azula is his sister and not his cousin. I thought it would work better. reviews equal love!
next chapter: full-fledged abnormality