Title: Do Not Cry

Prompt: #046 Grateful

Notes: Sometime after The Chase but before Bitter Work.

Do Not Cry

She never healed his uncle. Her small brown hands never touched the raw wound on the older man's side, and her soft voice never lulled the refugees into a sense of calm. She was not there as Zuko did everything he could to make sure that his uncle, the last and only person in the world that Zuko is absolutely sure will always, always be there for him, lived.

But she could have been there. She had offered, stepping forth as her voice gave him a message of hope. When he closes his eyes and tries not to cry as his uncle does not wake for another dawn, he hears her gentle voice saying his name so softly, in a way that no one else has ever said it before.

He is grateful to her because she is what keeps him steady in these bleak moments. The memory of her voice, the way that she offered forgiveness and salvation without saying those words. It burns at him that he turned her away and yet he thinks that when the time comes he will be ready to take her offer, to stand before her and let her healing hands touch him and let her healing voice soothe away the wounds of his soul. He thinks that next time, next time, he will let her save him.