Set after Azula gets out of the mental hospital (there is no chance that she didn't go to one).
Also, WARNING-this story contains course language, mental health issues and everything else you'd expect from Azula (aka, pure hatred and paranoia of the world).
Disclaimer: I do not own.
She's recovered (finally, oh finally), the mental hospital to be left behind in her past forever. Her mind is clear and functioning well. But guards still follow her- under her brother's orders-where ever she goes, because she's considered a threat (and that's the way she should've liked it).
The first thing she does is visit her father (oh how I've missed you, Daddy). The prison is dark, foul smelling and guards are everywhere (reminds her of the asylum, of home). Her father sits in the corner of his cell, his golden eyes flickering, holding the smug smirk that was once always upon his face (he defeated you, get used to it).
"Azula." he says as she steps inside the cell. As soon as she's near him, she slaps him forcefully; the red mark she leaves matches the colour of his eyes; like glowing embers, waiting to be fed.
"Hello, father." she answers, sitting across from his cross legged (like she used to when meditating with him). Her eyes flicker, and her mind burns with images from the past-of private fire bending lessons and meetings that she was privileged to go to, and the cruel, uncaring look in his eye.
"Why have you come here?" he hisses. She smiles and pulls the hair out of her face (it's uneven and messy, a look of imperfection).
"To say goodbye." she says. Her father glares at her, his eyes glowing violently as his body tenses. She smiles back, and stands up, brushing herself off. As she walks away, she notices the dirt and grime from the prison floor has stained her hand, like the blood and darkness that stains her mind.
Her smile grows bigger.
Next, she sees her brother. Her feet tap against the polished palace (it's still just another prison) floors, reminding her off the thud of bodies that used to fall down at her will (thudthudthud). She hopes her brother has better servants than what she was given (you will all bow down to me).
Her brother walks towards her cautiously (she's still just a threat), and she can see Mai flash across the doorway (traitortraitortraitor). Her brother comes closer to her, his eyes revealing the wisdom that he's been complimented on many, many times (yet you still know nothing).
He stares at her, looking her straight in the eyes as he tries to read her; look for any trace of revengefulness, anger or insanity. Her eyes challenge him, her lips curving up in one sided smirk that reminds him of the agni kai she lost seven years ago.
"It's good to see you." he finally says. His eyes have finished there investigation, not being able to find the same look on her face that has been burnt into his mind.
"I'm surprised that I'm here. Didn't think I'd be allowed." she responds, now looking down at her nails (they're bitten and uneven, but they're still s h a r p. Besides, they'll g r o w).
"Yeah, well, I believe in second chances." (And that's what makes you weak) and she looks up to see him staring at her, looking expectantly at her for the sharp remark.
"Thank you, Zuko." she says. "You make a wonderful fire lord." she adds. She can't tell if he's suddenly much more wary of her, or if he's relaxed slightly, but she feels the mood change. She smiles at him anyway.
"Would you care to join me for tea?" he asks. Her lips form a straight line, remembering Ba Sing Se, and the smell of tea all around her (she hated how they all secluded themselves, why couldn't she be able to do that?).
"No thank you, Zuko. Actually, I think I should probably leave now." she says.
"Ok, if you think that's best." answers Zuko. "Have a good trip."
Oh Zuko, you're so like Uncle. It will be your
She's been back for three months now. The cold stares still remain, she can still feel the hatred under her feet, hear the sweetsweet murmurings around her (oh Azula, how they fear you) and one guard still walks next to her wherever she goes (but whose protection is it for?). She tries to make the fire in her eyes warm and more comforting then vicious and scary, but most citizens stay away from her, with the exception of some brave souls (just wear my insecurity like a medal around your neck).
She then means Fersona, with his ash coloured hair, big smile and deep brown eyes (she'll fallandfallandfall into them). She drops the apple she just picked up (and with one bite, Snow White came crashing to the floor) at the sight of him (stupidstupidsmile) and she shows off her best smile when he picks it up for her.
"Hello, I'm Azula." she says (please don't be a mistake).
"Hi, I'm Fersona. I saw you drop this." he answers, letting the apple fall out of his hand and into hers. He continues smiling at her and she smiles back too (just a little).
"Thank you." she replies. She doesn't know what do to, whether to walk away or to turn her back on him, or whether he'll walk away (the easiest thing to do would be to banish him).
"So, how long have you been out of prison?" Fersona asks. It's as if he shouted it out to the whole nation. Everyone around her tenses, and she hears the heavy boots of her guard as she comes closer to her (oh stop trembling already, all of you). She smiles and picks another apple from the street cart.
"About three months." she answers, her eyes calm with a hint of amusement in them (he wonders if she's thinking of torturing him…oh grow up). "How long ago were you dared to ask me that?" she asks, smirking at his blush.
"I, ugh, um, sorry." Fersona stutters. "Sorry I asked you that, it was insensitive." he says.
"I like someone who knows to apologise." she answers, and then curses herself for coming on too strong (stupidstupidstupidbitch). "It's fine. You've at least had the…you've at least talked to me." she says, smiling at him. She can feel the relief from him. As well as the embarrassment from everyone else around her (if you guard someone for three months, you could at least say hello).
"Good point." Fersona agreed (good boy). "I was just wondering, do you want to go and get some tea?"
She's been out of the mental hospital for nine months now. Every week she goes to the palace (homesweethome) to meet and greet her brother. The third time that happened, her, Mai and Ty Lee or reunited (Ivemissedyousomuch) and the fourth week the Avatar's gang joined them to (Katara has a hard slap). In the fifth week, Azula invited Fersona, who nervously sipped to tea and dealt with the suspicious looks that everyone gave him (why would I need to a partner to create a conspiracy? I'm perfectly capable of doing it by myself).
She sips her tea slowly, looking over the edge of the tea cup at the people around the table (how many of them can you call friends? How many can you trust? Do you even know them?). Ty Lee and Fersona are smiling at each other and laughing (somuchbetter), Aang and Sokka are re-enacting something funny that happened on the way here, with Sokka's arm draped around Suki (ah yes, the prisoner who escaped). Katara, Toph and Suki are watching and occasionally adding a small remark (look at this; you're sitting with them all as if they're equal to you! You disgust me). While Mai sits at the back of her seat, her legs curled up around her, a small, almost undistinguishable smile on her face. Yet her eyes are still secluded and slightly dull. But then Zuko comes back in with a plate of food, and her smile widens, and her eyes sparkle when he comes down to kiss her on the cheek lightly (itsickensme) (and she wants that too).
She looks back at Fersona.
She's been out of the mental hospital for fifteen months. Everyone greets her, and occasionally they start a conversation (). Her guards have left her now (everyonedoes) and she's been trusted to walk alone in the streets (ohyouresonaive). Though she's rarely alone; Fersona often accompanying her wherever she goes, their footsteps creating a soft rhythm on the dusty path (marchmarchmarchhult).
Her hair is neat and tidy, often pulled up into a plait like she used to wear (but sometimes, when she's feeling relaxed, she'll let it down. Shh!) Her nails are long and neat, often painted red or any other colour that Ty Lee chose to paint (she's still got that loved, childhood innocence that you crave). Her face also has the tendency to look calmer than it used to, her eyes no longer the colour of a raging fire (butitwillneverburnout).
She attempts to hang the necklace around her neck, but the clasp won't catch (workworkwork, why won't you work?). But then she feels two soft hands come and take the string from her hands, and tie it up for her (shecouldhavedontitherself). The mirror shows Fersona, traditional robes on his body, and his traditional smile on his face.
"You look beautiful." he says, looking at her in the mirror. "All those fire nation princes better not steal you away from me."
"Maybe we shouldn't go to the ball then." she answers, smirking up at him.
"No, no, Azula. You promised your brother." replies Fersona. "Speaking of which, we need to go soon." he adds. She nods and smiles at him, and lets him take her hand as they leave for the palace (just this once).
She feels so powerful as he spins her around, her red gown blowing around her and her hair coming loose from her pony tail. There's fire in her eyes (and in her heart and mind) and she feels so light as he lifts her up. She loves it like this, and as Fersona kisses her, she never wants it to end (haha).
It's been twenty four months since she first stepped out of the mental hospital. She's at the palace having just slept over for the night, as Mai gave birth to her first child, Orithiam. Down the hall, she can hear soft murmurings to the small child in its crib and quiet whisperings.
Sitting at her old vanity, she starts to brush her hair (it's still quite messy). The glass of the mirror reflects her emotionless face (oh it looks ever so familiar) and her unfocused eyes. She doesn't know how to feel (emptyemptyempty, you've always felt empty) and she's not sure she knows what she wants either (you want to be h a p p y, just like Mai).
She's brought out of her trance by the echoing sound of boot hitting floor, and sees her brother behind her in the reflection of her mirror.
"Congratulations, you're a father." she says, still brushing her hair. She sees her brother's smile and his eyes sparkle with happiness (it's new to him).
"Thank you, Azula." he replies, looking at the mirror (because that's how everyone sees her, a r e f l e c t i o n). "I came here to tell you that someone's here to see you." he adds, looking to the side now.
"Send them in." she replies, her brushing stopping before beginning again. Zuko motions to the doorway, and as soon as Azula sees the figure she immediately looks down from the mirror.
"Oh sweetie, you look so beautiful." She puts the hairbrush down, and continues to look away from the relfection.
"This is quite a surprise, mother." she answers, turning her head to see her mother out of the corner of her eye. She sees her smiling, her folded hands in front of her (soperfect) and her eyes comforting and warm. She can also see Zuko, his arms crossed over his chest and his face the happiest it's ever looked (he's got everything).
She hears her mother walk up behind her and feels her place a hand in her hair and run her fingers through it. Her mother still smiles at her, and she doesn't know whether she should return it or run screaming (traitortraitortraitor). Bending down to her level, her mother kisses her cheek softly.
"Oh honey, I've missed you so much. I promise you I'll never leave you again, I love you, Azula." she says, and wraps her arms around her daughter.
(Oh the lieslieslies)
She's been in the Fire Nation for a continuous thirty months (it's been such a long time). Fersona moved in with her three months ago, the small house much livelier than it was before (getmeout). Her mother comes every week to join them and everyone else for a cup of tea (it makes everything better). Every week she gets to see Orithiam grow (he looks so peaceful and secure), looking more like his father each week (oh good, another Zuko).
Currently, Orithiam sits in his mother's lap, her arms tightly around him, holding him to her body. He smiles at everyone in the room, his eyes shining (he's so loved and secure) as Ty Lee makes funny faces at him (you're all so immature).
Fersona's arm is around her shoulders, and she tries to get that feeling of safety and compassion (getawayfromme). She lays her head on his shoulder, and he pulls her closer than before (soconstrictedicantbreathe) and she smiles softly. She sees Orithiam (she's an aunt, she can't believe it) clap and laugh with joy when Ty Lee starts to play peek-a-boo with him.
It's then that she realises, she hasn't laughed in a hundred and two months.
She doesn't know why it matters to her, but in some odd way, it does. She watches Orithiam in silence, noticing how his cheeks flush and his smile seems to cover his whole face as he laughs, and she listens to the bell like sound that reverberates off the mud walls of her house. He spots her looking at him, and quietly his laughter dies down. He then tilts his head at her questioningly, to which she just smiles at him brightly.
"I'll go get us some more tea." she says, smiling at the happy mother and hoping that her nephew will start laughing again.
She decides that laughter is for children; a way to express mindless fun or the recognition of a funny joke. It has no time in the adult world, only time in childhood's play land (but you never laughed).
But for the rest of the day, a child's laughter can not be heard.
The sheets are creased, and in some places, torn. Her hair is tangled around her face, her hairline slightly damp with sweat. Her sharp nails dig into the bed sheets as images flash across her mind.
It's been thirty three months since she's breathed the air out side of the aylum for the first month, and three months since the nightmares started. Every night, she'll toss and turn in her sheets as her body temperature rises and her face becomes more and more distressed. When she finally awakens, her hair will be an unruly mess, her face will be extremely pale, despite her temperature, and her eyes will be red.
It's because the dreams travel into the deep crevasses of her heart, mind and past (no one wants to go there). The memories of so much betrayal and loneliness claw at her and try to break her down (keep trying, it won't happen). There have been plenty of nights where she's awoken to her hand tingling and a large, perfect black circle against her world, glowing embers often underneath it (shecravessomuchmore).
She's calmer when she's in Fersona's arms. They wrap around her small torso and hold her close to him (getawaygetaway). She'll fall asleep to the gentle beat of his heart (thudthudthud) and breathing. He'll kiss her forehead and tell her he loves her (lieslieslies), and she'll mumble in agreement. His glorious, care free laugh is the last thing she hears before she slips into unconsciousness.
It's on the last day of the thirty-ninth month that she sleeps at the palace (it's looking more and more like home). It's because of the birth of Ty Lee's daughter, Irahone. She needs to keep Ty Lee's trust; she needs to be a good friend because she failed last time and needs to make up for it. So she sleeps on the cold, hard floor of the palace floor that night (maybe it will cool her temperature down), and listens to the cries (it sounds so familiar) and soft cooings coming from the room down the hall.
It's six-thirty in the morning when she wakes up. The floor beneath her is warm, and he faintly notices that the fire place across from her is burning (waking up to the smell of smoke feels so normal). She decides to take a walk around the quiet palace, enjoying the still, cool air around her rather than the breathless and hot air that has been produced from a room with far too many people in it.
She finds herself heading towards her old room. It's exactly as she left it so many months ago; her items lined up on the shelves neatly, her bed made with clean new sheets, and everything on her vanity in perfect order.
She frowns as she walks into the room, folding her arms over her chest and walking glaring at everything around her. She walks over her to her bed, and immediately rips the sheets and pillows off it. She remakes it, folding the sheets extra crisply and trying to get her pillows in perfect alignment. It's needs to be neat and perfect, because otherwise it won't fit. She then goes onto the bookshelf, ordering them by height.
When she's just about to start on the vanity, she catches sight of herself in the mirror. Her eyes are burning from frustration (nothing's perfect), her face looks tired and worn out from her relentless nightmares, and her hair is messy and uneven (it's all the same). She'll fix that; she needs to look perfect.
The brush is in her hand, the same place it's been for ten minutes. She brushesandbrushesanbrushes her hair, but it still looks untidy and hideous (why can't she manipulate it the way she wants to?). She's been so busy with her hair she hadn't even noticed the other presence in her room.
The other pair of hands carefully takes the brush out of her own hands, and starts to brush her hair slowly and evenly. The hands feel soft as they touch her hair, leaving the brush a clear path way (followtheleader).
"You've always had such beautiful hair." her mother whispers behind her. She continues to stroke her hair-up down up down- it's so simple (then why couldn't she do it?).
"There." her mother says, putting down the brush. "You look so beautiful. Fersona is a lucky boy." she adds with a warm smile.
"Thank you, Mother." she replies, eyeing herself if the mirror. She sees, rather than feels, her mother stroking her hair again, evening up the loose ends with her fingers.
"We're having breakfast now. We'll save you a plate." she says, once again smiling down at her daughter. Azula nods in acknowledgement, and listens to the sound of her mother walking out and closing the door behind her (youcantescape).
Looking at herself again, she brushes her one more time (just this once).
Her brush is left burning on her desk five minutes later when she's gone for breakfast.
It's been forty-two months.
She stands in the middle of the doorway, watching Fersona yell at her with her arms folded.
"Azula, you've gone so cold! And you've gotten angrier too! I mean, today, when Ty Lee dropped your cup! You didn't need to yell at her and call her useless." he says, running a hand through his hair.
Oh god, oh god. This is not who I wanted to be. This wasn't supposed to happen!"
"Well maybe it's just that time of the month again." she replies dryly, looking her down at her nails in pure boredom (they're so ugly). She sees Fersona looking at her sceptically, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Have you ever thought that maybe it's your fault? That maybe, it's not someone else's and that you caused this?" he asks (ohitburns). "You know Azula, you don't need to be perfect! For God's sake, have fun occasionally! Laugh a little!"
"I don't believe fun is in my vocabulary." she replies (her eyes are burning).
"Well it should be!" Fersona shouted back. "Look around you! Mai and Ty Lee never act as serious as you do! They have more of a life than you do (oh just compare me to everybody else, we all know I'm not nearly as perfect as them)! You don't need to be perfect!"
And at that, she b r e a k s.
The mirror's shattered; most of the walls have crumpled under the heat or force of her kicking them, while the rest are blackened or charred. Some of the tapestries are burning, the fire slowly travelling up to finish them off. The front door's kicked in and the furniture's turned over.
She just sits in the middle of this c a t a s t r o p h e.
(Can't you see what you've caused? Can you see the destruction you've created?)
She has her knees against her chest, her head resting on them as she rocks (what a sicksick lullabye). She hears footsteps travelling towards her, and more are added; some running, others walking for precaution (oh you're still just a threat). She smirks and cries as they come closer to her, but continues to focus on her rocking (oh you're position just screams weak).
The guards pull her up harshly by the wrist, and she struggles against them, her deluded smile returning as she burns one and hears his cry of pain. They handcuff her and try to position her against them so she can't attack them as they quickly march her out of her broken house (her walls are crumbling, some one, protect me!).
She sees Fersona as she's marched into the street. His arm is covered in a bandage from where she burned him (she always hurts the ones she loves). His deep brown eyes (now a pit of despair) are sorrowful as he comes closer to her (oh, you think I can't see the destruction I leave? You're so naïve).
"Why, Azula? Why?" he whispers. "I love you."
Her answer is a smug smile (oh you poor, sad, weak bastard. You thought you meant something).
"Goodbye, Azula." he says (heleftyouheleftyou).
It's been three days since they threw her back in the asylum. It's cold, dark and guarded (this is home) and it makes her feel eversosafe (sotrapped). Cold, manic laughter fills the halls. It's the sound of insanity, the sound that blocks out all the despair and depression and anger. It blocks out the sound of cries and whimpering that makes the chance any of sanity impossible.
Once a week, a therapist comes to see her, trying to fix her (she's so broken). She asks the same questions overandoverandover, and saying the same string of words that mean nothing (I just want to help you). The therapist tries to break her, tries to make her weaken, but that won't happen (you can't hurt me).
She laughs at them and their incompetence.
But always silently.
Because she's not insane, she doesn't need to be here as she's perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She's not like the other people in here; the deluded and pathetic messes that walk these halls. And she won't become like them (she's too strong).
On the fourth week of being in the asylum, she finds a knife behind a loose brick in the wall. She fingers it, deliberately pricking herself to feel that sharp pain that's been there all her life (to remind herself that she's alive). Her mind plants images of suicide, some part of her trying to say that it's what she should do (it's her common sense). But she just silently laughs the idea off.
Because she's too strong to admit to defeat. Death would be the easy way out, but it would show how weak she is; reveal the side of her that settles for second best (I've won I've won). And she still has so much to prove, so much to win. She knows she'll get out, because she's always won before (you stupidstupidbitch, you saw this coming).
It's two months later when her brother comes to visit her.
You don't need to be perfect.
She bursts into laughter.
K, my second shot at writing Azula & Avatar. It's sort of a companion piece to my other one. If you didn't get it, she sort of has two sides to her. One side is sane and the other is like how she was in the series finale. As the story progresses, her second side takes over her.
Extra info: The owner of the knife in the wall died by the way (my friend-WHO LEAVES A KNIFE IN A WALL?)
Anyway. If you loved it, please review. If you hated it, please review. If you favourite it, YOU MUST REVIEW!