"He's never going to come, you know. Might as well just give up."
Azula's voice was conversational, almost easy to mistake for amiable. Suki knew better; knew much better. She spat bloody spit on the floor and shook her head, even if it made her battered skull ache. "He'll come," she said, deliberately. "Sokka will come. And he will tear you apart, piece by piece, for what you've done."
The princess laughed, richly. "You think he could? How? He's not even a bender. You know what?" She smiled. "If he does come, just for you, I'll let you watch when I fill his veins with lightning. You're just that special to me." Azula leaned down, and patted Suki's cheek. She snarled, and lunged, but the chains held her back.
The door clanged closed behind her. "I'll be back," she murmured. "That's a promise."
"Has your dear, sweet, Sokka come yet?"
"No," Suki said, defiantly. She squirmed against her bonds; only rope, this time, though they chafed her wrists. "But he will. He will."
"No, my dear," Azula murmured, her voice sweet like poison honey. "He won't. Never ever." She leaned forward. "And didn't you hear? The Avatar is dead. Any day now the others will die as well."
Suki felt the air leave her lungs. "You're lying," she gasped. "You're lying." The Avatar – Aang, dead? Impossible. Katara would have died first. Katara… no.
Azula shrugged. "Any day," she murmured. "Any day." She stood, and turned to go.
"You'll never catch him!" Suki yelled. "You never will!"
Azula tapped her fingernails against Suki's cheek. "Tell me," she murmured.
"No," Suki mumbled. Her mouth felt swollen, though all her teeth were still safe. She shifted uncomfortably.
"Oh, come, Suki. Tell me. Tell me what's going to happen to me."
"I won't give you – the satisfaction." She looked up. "You haven't caught him yet. That's why you're playing with me, still."
Azula punched her in the stomach.
"Untie my hands," Suki hissed, "And do that again."
Azula laughed. "The next time I untie your hands," she said, "It will be to kill you. Are you so excited for that? Come, Suki. Don't you want to say it? Don't you want to believe it's true? Or…oh." Azula pursed her lips and shook her head. "Don't you believe it any more?"
That did it. Suki licked her lips. "Sokka will come," she said, "Sokka will come and he'll kill you."
"Wrong," Azula said, leaning close. "I'm going to kill him."
"It has been," Azula said in her smooth voice, "Six months exactly since I captured you and locked you away. Tell me again, Suki. Please, tell me again. I think I need reminding."
Suki panted for breath and tried to say it with conviction, but she could hear her voice trembling. "Sokka-"
"Yes, go on…"
"Sokka will come," she said, keeping it short. "Sokka always comes."
"Not this time," Azula assured her. "Not this time."
And laughing, she ran her fingers through Suki's limp hair before she left.
"He's forgotten you," Azula hissed. "Given you up for dead. He's never coming."
"Sokka wouldn't leave me," Suki said, but even she could hear the desperation in her voice. "He wouldn't. He just – he wouldn't!"
"There's no hope," Azula said. "Just repeat after me, and I'll be kind to you. You are my favorite prisoner, Suki. Just say it. He isn't coming."
Suki swallowed hard. Her throat was dry. She wanted to see the sun. "I won't say it," she said, defiantly. "I never will. Because it's not true. He's coming."
"Then answer me this," Azula murmured. "Why hasn't he come yet?"
She was cold, so cold. She missed the feel of light on her face, on her limbs. Missed the feeling of a fan whirling through the air and the companionship of her sisters. She missed blue eyes and a warrior's wolf tail and a young man she loved.
Suki was all alone, and Azula's was the only voice she heard.
"All you have to do is say it," Azula murmured. "You know it's true. You know it's always been true. You're all alone. There's only me."
"Only me, and that's all there'll ever be, unless you just…say it. He isn't coming."
"He'll come," Suki said, but her voice shook.
"Will he? Do you really believe that?"
"He'll come." I have to.
"Will you just repeat that, over and over, until you're old and dry and rotten?"
She looked up at Azula's golden eyes, and defied again. "Yes," she said, "Yes, I will."
He didn't come. He was never coming.
Azula braided her hair.
"You could leave this place," she said, calmly. "You could leave this dark, awful place. The Boiling Rock. It's not bad. Not as bad as this. All you have to do…is say it."
Suki opened her mouth and swallowed. She could feel the tears in her eyes, tears she hadn't shed in spirits knew how long. She blinked them back and yet they spilled over anyway.
"He's not coming," she said.
They transferred her the next day.