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Prompt: Victorious

She was never my friend. It annoys me that people think that. I was something that was useful and amusing to her. I knew that and she knew that I did.

But we understood each other. As long as I did as I was told, stayed loyal, entertained, we were 'friends'. And friends do things for each other.

Why else would she see to it that the matchmakers were kept away from me? Because she knew I wanted Zuko. Why not help her friend out?

Why else would my uncle be promoted to warden? Of course, after all his long years of service, he deserves it, right?

Yes, Princess.

Why else would the Fire Lord make my father, out of all people, governor? He's almost as qualified as Tom-Tom.

It didn't matter that I'd left the Fire Nation. It's not like she couldn't retrieve me whenever she wished. I'd been expecting her to show up eventually. Two years…and nothing changed. I wasn't stupid enough to believe it would.

Let's play a game.

"We're trading a powerful, earthbending king for a two year old? It just doesn't seem fair."

What could I say?

'He's my brother.'

Yes, that's what I'd say to the girl who'd laughed when she told me Zuko had been burned and banished by their father and sent to find a dead legend.

It was just the same. Nothing had changed. I went along with it only because a blind rabbit-monkey could see that the children who had him were not going to hurt him. If they had, they would have died anyway.

Everything was a test with her. Are you loyal? What about now? What about now? Wait, was that a slip there?

Of course not, Princess.

It was a game. She was going to win. She always won. That would mean someone else was better, smarter, stronger than her. Such a person didn't exist. So play the game. Play and lose.

She had goals. She was going to reach them. If she had to step on your back to get them, bend over. Fire Lord Azula. The girl was ambitious, if nothing else.

Friends don't use each other. Friends don't manipulate you or humiliate you or force you to choose between them and your family.

That is what you do with a tool, a pawn, a soldier. To something expendable. A means to an end.

I have always known this. She was never my friend.

Zuko was. He was always kind. He never tricked me. He wouldn't have made me choose. He went out of his way to protect me. He was so incredibly stupid too.

That's why I didn't even think about it. He was going to die and I could stop it. So I did.

It didn't matter that I was outnumbered. I know what I'm capable of. It didn't matter that it went against the Princess. She could jump in the lake for all I care.

"Why would you do it?"

I honestly almost laughed.

She really didn't know? Was she really not as intelligent as she makes everyone believe? Ah, but this wasn't a head matter though. She was always so logical. She never got ridiculous.

Seriously, who would have thought that I would just jump up and save the jerk who dumped me in a letter and help him escape from his sister who is going to kill me for it? I know I didn't see it coming.

"I guess you don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you."

I was going to die. That was okay because she was too.

Then Ty Lee happened.

I didn't see that coming either.

It really took my thunder for a moment too. I was all set to die and she ruined it by saving my life. But I should have expected that. She was always my friend.

We were imprisoned. That was it. We weren't killed, for whatever reason. I will never believe that it was sentimentality.

The war ended. The Princess and Ozai lost. Both are imprisoned. Azula snapped. I think it was all that pressure to reach those goals. I knew that much driven passion couldn't be good for your head.

Neither will be killed because Zuko is her opposite. He is painfully sentimental. I hope that doesn't cost him later.

For now, things are good. The world is at peace. I have Zuko.

Coincidentally, the title of Fire Lady came along with that.

I win.

To the victor goes the spoils.

It's okay. You can laugh. It's funny.

It seems my muse is in a drabbly mood. There are no set characters for this series. That seems to be the standard case for these things anyway.