Author's Note: I'm sorry that I haven't been updating this story. Had a bit of writer's block. Enjoy the chapter and please review :)
Disclaimer: I don't own ATLA
(Italic is Fei. Bold is Azula)
Mama where are you going?
Out. There is some business that I need to take care of.
Will you be back soon?
I don't know, but I will come back.
I don't want you to leave mama. I'm afraid that you won't come home.
Nonsense, I always come home Fei. Now go run along with the other children.
I love you mama.
And I you.
The next morning Fei stuffed a few essentials into her sack for her trip back to the royal city. After a few items were placed into the sack, she would stop to relieve her sore back. The tattoo that she now sported there was throbbing in a way that reminded her of how the ink was admitted. She never really wanted the tattoo. There was no doubt that it symbolized everything that the Order represented, but suppose that one of its occupants was apprehended. Not all of the Order's tattoos were done on the back like hers was. The Fire Nation could easily notice a similarity in the rebels they capture and force them into telling what it means. It could threaten the Order of the Blue Dragon and potentially become its downfall. However, it was something that her mother wanted her to have and Fei most of all knew better than to go against her mother's wishes.
Her said mother entered the large tent a moment later and leaned against the wooden pole that kept the tent raised in the center. She watched her daughter pack as she filed her nails into a fine point.
"Did you pack throwing knives like I told you to?" Azula asked as she continued to file her nails. "The smith has some freshly sharpened and polished knives if you haven't already run by there this morning."
"I already have some," Fei stated with her back to her mother. "And for your information mama, I am capable of taking care of myself."
Azula snorted. "No one is truly capable of taking care of themselves until they've been through hard times and you, daughter, have yet to experience anything remotely durable to consider yourself as such."
"Hey, I've had my share of hard times," Fei retorted as she adjusted the strap of her sack over her shoulder.
"A few run-ins with petty bandits and living in a tent all your life does not pass as hard times Fei," her mother said.
"And growing up in a palace does?" the younger woman countered. "Having servants wait on you every waking moment? Being the leader of the largest and most dangerous rebel unit in the Fire Nation? Oh you sure had your own share of hard time's mother."
Only after she had shouted the words did Fei truly wish she could take them back. Of course her mother has been through a lot in her life. She made sure that her daughter knew of her troubling life every day. Fei only said what she said because she was blinded by her own anger. Her mother's past was simply taboo in their family and even though Azula wanted Fei to know that her life was more complex than anybody would ever know there was no reason for Azula to be reminded of the earlier years of her life.
Azula's face grew an ominous red color as she angrily strolled over to her daughter. She pointed her finger at Fei's chest and continued to poke her there as she spoke.
"What did I tell you about mentioning my past Fei?" Azula asked roughly. "Did I not say that it was a strictly forbidden subject?"
"Then why would you bring it up if you already knew that I did not want you to?" her mother interrogated.
"I'm sorry mama. I was angry when I said it," Fei apologized. "Please forgive me."
Fei made her eyes glisten with fake tears and jutted her lower lip out to gain sympathy from her mother. It was a technique that usually worked when she was younger, however, her mother saw right through it. The desired effect of the pout and tears was brushed away by Azula smacking her daughter on the back of the head. Fei slightly winced in pain from the blow and rubbed the spot where she was hit so that the pain would go away. By the time she had made the feeling disappear, she noticed that her mother was leaving the tent. Fei shifted the weight of her sack on her back and followed her mother out into the rebel camp.
Outside, fellow rebels were either training or preparing weapons for when they were needed. They bowed as the two women passed, much to Fei's chagrin. Some even chanted Azula's name to so loyalty and how she was to be the rightful Fire Lady. The people called her the Savior of the Fire Nation and the Matron of the Order since it was she who had created it. They came up to a small red tent with gold and black trimming and pulled back the flap.
"Are you ready?" Azula asked from outside the tent, waiting to hear an answer.
"One moment please, Matron," a feminine voice said from within.
Azula closed the flap and gave her daughter her full attention.
"You are not to travel alone on this trek to the capital," she said. "I have arranged for someone to accompany you."
"I don't need anyone to-…"
Azula cut her off by waving her hand sharply. "Like I said before, you will be accompanied by someone of my choice to the city. And for this you should be grateful, for I have chosen someone that you would have picked if you were given the choice."
The entrance of the tent was opened and a slender girl sauntered out. She had her hair pulled up into a ponytail which was then separated into multiple braid loops on her right side. The way she dressed was almost too provocative yet it had some versatility to it. A sack was tied over her shoulders and she smiled widely at Fei.
"Good morning Fei," the girl said. "How are you?"
Fei sighed and couldn't help but smile back. "I'm good Kit and yourself?"
Kit put her hands on her hips and tipped her chin towards the sky. "I feel absolutely fantastic."
Azula's daughter chuckled at her friend's playfulness and shook her head at how childish she felt Kit was being. Kit was born into the Order just like Fei and was her exact opposite. While Fei was more on the serious side, Kit was more juvenile. Azula had once told Fei that Kit reminded her of a friend from her past, but had refused to mention their name. The girls even served different purposes for the Order. Azula had trained her daughter to be a killer, just like herself. Kit's father had once been an expert in espionage and deception. Kit decided to follow in her father's footsteps after his death and became a worthy ally for Azula.
The Matron rolled her eyes.
"Isn't it about time that you left?"
The two girls lowered their stances to bow at the powerful woman.
"Of course, Matron," Kit said, backing away slowly. "Right away."
As the girl began to leave, Fei stayed behind to get in one last word to her mother.
"Are there people in the city that I should contact if I learn anything new about the Fire Lord?" Fei asked. "Is there a place set up for me to stay while I'm there?"
Azula pulled out a small scroll from her sleeve and handed it to her daughter. "I have written down a list of addresses in the capital that you can go to. Tell them who you are and they'll take care of you."
Then the woman smirked.
"However, you will have to find your own form of shelter in the city. Didn't you say before that you were perfectly capable taking care of yourself?" she boasted.
Fei opened her mouth to counter, but quickly closed it shut to avoid conflict. She tucked the scroll deep into her pack and turned back towards her mother. This mission her mother was sending her on didn't quite feel like the others. Sure she had wiped out Fire Nation senators and popular generals (all very powerful men to the royal courts), but to be sent out to destroy the Fire Lord and the Avatar. It sounded more like a suicide mission though Fei was more than happy to be considered worthy enough to be asked to deliver the killing blows.
She noticed that her mother looked a bit tired, more than likely due to the lack of sleep and constant planning she was always doing. The slightest hint of wrinkles tugged at the corner of her eyes and small strands of silver hair mixed themselves in with her dark mane. Fei took a step closer to the woman and wrapped her arms around her figure.
"Good-bye mama," Fei muttered into her shoulder.
This was one of the rarest occasions that Azula would show affection out in public and she pulled her daughter tighter.
"I want nothing, but good news when I hear from you," the Matron stated in a warm tone that was very uncharacteristic of her. "Only good and important news."
"As you wish mama," Fei said as she pulled away.
The daughter of the ex-princess bowed her head before she left to catch up with her friend. When she reached the girl, Fei quickly glanced around to see her mother staring right back at her for a moment only to turn around in a haste to yell at another member of the Order. This made Fei smile. Though her mother was a harsh woman, Fei still loved her more than anything.
Kit and Fei walked until their feet could no longer hold them up or take another step. They set up a small camp at the base of a large tree and made a fire with some of its fallen branches. While Kit made tea in a tiny kettle, Fei stared at the barely visible stars above the forest canopy. There were so many of them, all glistening in the night sky in a variety of sizes. They were all the same yet at the same time different. She tried to look for the moon, but it remained hidden by the trees.
A teacup was held out in front of her nose and the aroma brought Fei back down to earth. She took the drink from Kit and sipped on it quietly. Her friend had made her jasmine tea; Fei's favorite.
"I wonder what the capital is like," Kit asked out of the blue.
Fei raised a dark brow and set her teacup beside her. "How do you not know what it's like? I thought being a spy allowed to go all over the place."
Kit nodded and took a sip.
"Well it does, but I've never had an order assigning me to go there," she explained. "I've been practically everywhere, but not the capital."
"It's nothing really special," Fei told her. "It's just like any other Fire Nation city, but bigger and more crowded."
"Oh," was the response.
Kit looked at her cup, fidgeting with it in her hands. She took the tea kettle and poured herself some more. Fei realized that the young woman was hoping for a more extravagant answer, to have something more cheery to look forward to. Doing the job they did was not a happy one and it was always nice to think of something good about the destination of the assignment.
"The shopping there is a whole lot better there," Fei assured her. "We could go shopping for a little bit when we get there."
This brighten up Kit's demeanor. The one thing that Kit loved more than anything was shopping. There wasn't any place to go do that sort of thing around the Order's encampment so it was nice to actually go out to a place that allowed you to once and awhile. Even Fei could say that she enjoyed the activity. Kit clapped her hands together and pulled out a piece of parchment and an ink brush. She began to scribble something on the paper.
"What are you doing?" Fei asked.
"Writing a shopping list," Kit answered. "You never know what we're going to need in the capital."
"As long as it's nothing too childish then I'm okay with it," Fei said. Then she noticed the sly grin on the other girl's face. "Kit, what are you thinking about? Why aren't you answering me? Kit?"
Author's Note: And that's the end of the chapter. I'm not sure when the next one will be, but hopefully it won't be long. I'm thinking of posting some pictures of what Fei and Kit look like sometime in the near future as well. Once again, I hope you enjoyed the chapter.