Here it is. The Finale chapter. All will be revealed, all will be tied in, and all of it will blow your mind….hopefully. Again, sorry for the long wait. Summer just rolled around for me so I gave myself a much needed break. Plus, as you all well know, Korra just started and it's FUCKING awesome! I stand by my statement when I say that so far, Korra is looking BETTER than the Last Airbender. Yeah, I said it. Who wants some! C'mon? *holds up fisticuffs*
No, but in all seriousness, the show is spectacular. The voice acting is good, but there were some moments here and there which kind of threw me off a bit. But whatever. It's still very good. And what really holds the show together is the design which screams of steam punk, and the action which screams old style Jet-Li mixed in with alternative filming tactics and experimental camera angles. Bei Fong is GOD! And Bolin is funny!
So, with Korra out, I guess its perfect timing for me to put up this story. Not just shelf it, but burn it as well. This is it, the official last chapter. I hope you all enjoyed the experience as much as I had, and although this story is gone, please send it to all your friends on the interwebs. I'm sure they'll dig it.
Without further ado, here it is.
When she awoke, she found herself in a padded cell. For some odd reason, the walls comforted her. Year behind padded walls caused her to be accompanied by them. She got up off the ground, and studied her surroundings. It was a small padded cell that much was certain. Unlike her first experience behind these walls, she did not react so violently. She did not feel the strangling grasp of claustrophobia. Instead, she felt calm, at ease, and in fact, a little bored of the situation. She began to pace back in forth in her cell.
Meanwhile, outside the cell, two guards watched over her. And in the time span that she paced her cell, she knew the guards based on observations. She overheard conversations between the two, and picked up on key details. In approximately, two hours, Zuko would arrive back to his post. This confused her greatly. Had her brother watched over her while she slept? But this also amused her as well. Did he have to be taken off of her by force? Did he beat her to a bloody pulp in rage and transgression? She wondered how her face looked, and unfortunately for her, the only mirror present was the window between the cell and the dark room which lied beyond.
There was nothing to do really. In the old days when she was in a situation like this, she would concern herself with tiny details to malevolence plans. But now, she had nothing to be concerned about. There was nothing to fret over. Her grand master plan worked. And soon, her employer would arrive to work out the last little details. She was in the free and clear. She thought she could sleep. She more and well deserved some rest.
But just as soon as that thought crossed her mind, her two hours were up. She was brought back by the sound of the door outside her cell violently opening. Through the window, she saw that a ray of light was bestowing itself onto the room which the guards stood post. Behind the door frame stood several silhouettes of vaguely recognizable figures. It wasn't until one of these shadows spoke that she smiled hideously in wicked mischief.
"You're free to go." Zuko told the guards.
And so it begins, she stated in her head with juice and vile content. She was so happy that he could arrive; it made her heart swell with hope. If Zuko was here now, that meant her employer wasn't too far behind.
The rest of the figures moved into the black room while the guards began to exit. Azula, through her pacing, was able to mark a few key figures. Toph was there, Katarra was there, and even Aang was there. The whole gang was here to greet her. Oh how quaint! She thought.
Once they took their seats, their faces could no longer be seen. It wouldn't have mattered as long as one of them was to have spoken up. But that was the problem. They entered and objected with nothing but silence. Silence was all that befell from their lips. Silence was in all abounds. Silence was pecking its way into Azula's skull, driving her absolutely mad (as if she wasn't mad before). And it was this silence that finally, caused her to crack.
She looked out the window, and asked in possibly the most polite manner possible, "So how's everything with you Zuzu?"
There was a momentary pause, before the former banished prince, now Firelord, stated his piece. "You failed," he interjected. "My wife and Aang were realized from the palace hours before the bomb went off and were in the asylm being taken care of by doctors."
"How ironic that the one place which was safest for them," Azula replied, "was an insane asylum."
"I don't know what you were going for." Zuko said. "Whether it was for me to hate you, you succeeded in that plan long ago. If you were intending on killing Mai and Aang, you failed miserably. And I am not sorry to inform you of this."
Azula licked her lips and looked at the ground to her left, her eyes dilated with deep thought. She could just image him, sitting down in his own special chair, grasping his own precious wife, holding her tightly, comforting her and keeping her shielded from the horror that lied beyond the window. She felt like an animal at a zoo; on display for simple mockery of her natural nature. It filled her with vile and hate.
Then, she saw Sokka. In the dim light, his brown face gleamed with effortless monotony. He was not amused by the whole situation. In fact, it looked like the water warrior wanted to be somewhere else. Azula hated when someone felt excluded from the crowd. She thought she would talk directly to him. Get him involved, and possibly more into the situation.
"Aren't you going to thank me Sokka?" Azula asked with a decent smile.
Sokka's ears picked up and his neck twitched towards the window. He was positively certain that he was not going to be involved in any way, shape, or form. Now, out of nowhere, she asked for his response.
With a degrading 'hmph,' Sokka replied. "For what?"
"For Killing Suki."
The room turned cold. Sokka's balled his fists up; hard. He wanted to knock her lights out.
"I mean," Azula continued. "With Suki gone, you now got thousands of women to hook up with." She grinned and then chuckled darkly. Her eyes scanned the room and immediately, they fell upon Toph. "I got several coins saying that Toph will be Sokka's next squeeze."
Sokka rushed the window and smacked the glass. His animal nature and hatred overflowed. Azula began to laugh. Sokka continued striking the glass. "I'll kill you!" he proclaimed through clenched teeth. Katara and Toph both dragged his arms to pull him down. He pulled back, freeing his arms, and shocking both Katara and Toph. He looked around the room, unashamed, and filled with anger. With a gruff, almost incoherent whisper, Sokka proclaimed, "I'm leaving," and did just that.
Once Sokka left the room, Zuko spoke up again. "I think you should show us a little bit more respect." Zuko countered, pulling his wife even closer to his chest. "As of right now, we are not even supposed to talk to you. The new chief of staff contacted me through a letter stating that no one was allowed in your observation room. I say f-him."
"That's the spirit," Azula stated with a smile. "Because nothing in the letter ever said I couldn't talk to you."
Zuko continued on with the flow of conversation, but his brain picked up on the subtext of her ramblings and stored it in his subconscious, to pick at his brain and haunt him for years to come. Did she actually read the letter?
A silence, once again, struck the crowd in the dark abyss. Azula spoke up once more. "Did any of you here the joke, about the room of onlooker who got shards of glass in their stomachs?"
Sick creature was the only conceivable thought running through Aang's head.
"It's a particular favorite of mine." Azula continued.
"We don't want to listen to your jokes." Aang told her.
She stared down the Avatar with slanted eyes of pure seriousness. "When I tell a joke, you better pay attention," she commanded. "Otherwise you might miss the punch line. In fact, you might end up being the punch line."
Again, the room went to a freeze. All activity shut down. It was as if she had killed a baby bunny before their very eyes.
"Oh come now," Azula proclaimed as she stepped back from the window. "Don't fret. Please, allow me to explain something that I've always wanted to unfold." She continued to step back and observe her room. She did so with a smile and a glimmer in her eyes. Truthfully, what she said was what she felt. She wore no masks. She was who she was, and she liked who she was. She was insane, and insanity befriended her long time ago.
"You know…I missed this place." She exclaimed happily with a sigh. "It's unfortunate that soon I will have to leave, but I'm glad that you and the new advisor decided to let me stay for the night. It will be nice to allow me one last time to sit back and watch the crazies' role in. you see…you think that it was only till the wars began that we were separated. But oh no…..no…..the battle lines were drawn long ago. As for the new republic city, the lines are starting to reveal themselves. And soon you, Aang, the police and maybe even some non-benders will cross those lines….with a little help from me of course. There's no denying it."
She leaned into the glass and breathed heavily, causing mist to apply itself in front of her face. With ager and bile rising in her stomach, she growled demonically, "This, Is, War."
Then, she stepped back once more, and continued her speech. "And I'm right where I wanna be. You see, Zuzu, you've got your palace to go to when everything starts to crumble. As for Aang, you my dear can outrun your problems. Appa is a fast little beast. But me, I have my spirit. And my spirit is passed on through remembrance of me. For those who remember me, carry my spirit. And my spirit infects and spreads like a virus. Soon, I will be amongst you all once more, even long after I'm buried six feet under. There's no need to be alarmed. I'll stay put for now. But whenever you feel me beginning to rise up within your stomach, whenever you feel the need to scream in terror, or laugh chaotically, just know that it's my doing. Just know that I'm the reason you wake up at night with sweat all over your body, and urine all over your sheets. And if my spirit, if I ever feel the need to come back into your world, if ever you need to jump off a building or slit your wrists just because you've received some compelling notion to do so, just remember one thing."
She leaned against the glass again. "The reason you want to die, is because I'm the one holding the knife." Her voice got darker. "I tend to get what I want." And then, with her last few words, she screamed them, banging the glass with each word.
"DON'T, TRY, TO, STOP, ME!"
Silence was amongst them once more. This time, the silence was dreadful for both parties instead of one. It filled them with not only fear, but anxiety.
"I'm sorry," Azula said. "Am I making you all nervous?"
"…..No." Came a frightful little peep from the corner of the room. Probably Katara.
Azula shook her head and switched gears, from vindictive to loving, and gave forth a warm and loving smile. "That's ok. As I said, at this particular moment I have everything I need. Fear rooming, one last meal; all due to our great new benefactor."
At that moment, the door opened once more. A new shadow presented itself.
"Speak of the spirits." Azula commented.
Zuko was rather shocked to see the new owner of Republic city asylum so soon. And judging by the way his face distorted into a scowl, he was not happy to see Zuko either. Slowly, the gang rose from their chairs to greet the man. He looked harsh, hard, and cruel. But maybe it was just for the moment. After all, he specifically told them NOT to go anywhere near Azula. And here they were.
So he said it again. And when spoken, the words had much more impact than they did when they were written.
"Leave the room," came the solemn, cold, powerfully commanding voice.
"Now you listen to me," Zuko objected.
With more power added, the new owner looked him straight in the eyes. "I said, leave the room, now."
Out of nowhere, Zuko sensed a feeling of fear and danger. Aang picked up on it as well, and before anyone else could pipe in, the Avatar exclaimed, "Ok. We are leaving," and the gang proceeded to do just that. The owner watch as each member fled out the door one by one. His eyes shot back at his subject, who smiled at him behind the glass. And finally, the door shut behind Toph; the last one to leave. It was now just him and her.
Now they could finally get down to brass tax.
He made his way to the side of the padded cell, where a door was all that stood between Azula and the outside world. He fumbled about eagerly with his keys till he found the right one. He unlocked the door and stepped inside. He closed the door behind him and eyed Azula intently, but not with a motive of neither harm nor fowl nature. He only stared because he cared.
"You'll have to forgive Zuzu," Azula made light talk. "He just….is that way. You know?"
"Oh believe me, I do," the new owner replied. "Run into trouble?" he asked concerning her mission that she was compelled to complete.
"Wouldn't be me if I didn't." Azula replied. She stepped forward just a bit closer, and with a whisper she asked, "Did you hold up your end of the bargain."
The owner, her employer, sighed. "It wasn't easy." He explained. "Mailto has a whole bunch of screws loose up in his noggin when I found him, thanks to you of course."
"It's my specialty." She bowed filled with self-confidence.
"But," he persisted. "I managed to finally make him agree to get on board the ship. Once he realized that you were going to be onboard with him, I think he decided to tag along. He seems to be very smitten by you."
Azula's face broke. With curiosity in her voice, she said lightly as though her voice would break, "He is."
"Oh believe me, he is." The new owner said. "He is madly in love with you. I take it that was your goal."
Not paying any more attention as to what the owner was stating, she mouthed to herself, "It worked. It finally worked." And then, in her mind; he's mine. He's finally all mine. And I'm his as well. And we can be together forever, as lovers.
"Besides that," the man continued. "How does two new identities for you and your lover, along with free housing and food on an island sound to you?"
Azula smiled. "Terrific. How does owner and chief of staff of Republic City Asylum sound to you?"
"Amazing. I'm surprise you were even able to pull it off. How did Zuko not read what he was writing?"
"Oh believe me," Azula conjectured. "He was so caught up in the insanity of the situation I highly doubt he would've read anything I asked him to sign." Then, she smiled. "And because of this, you are now the owner of Republic City Asylum."
"Wonderful." The man breathed.
Another bout of silence struck them.
"Were you able to find a replacement girl in time?" Azula asked.
"It was no sweat. She's so insane she actually was on board for the idea. Best part is, your face is so swelled up right now, Zuko and the gang won't be able to realize that they hung the wrong girl before it's too late, and your off on an island kicking it with Mailto, stirring up trouble whenever you two feel like it just because it pleases you both. Your plan has succeeded. Congratulations Azula."
The man held out his hand, waiting for it to be shaken.
Azula shook his hand, and stared him dead in the eyes, and smiled.
"Pleasure doing business with you…Jet."
For those of you confused with the ending, Check out chapter 15 and read it over and over again. You'll get it. Thank you for the kindness, love, and support throughout all 17 chapters. This has been a blast and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I've had. Please check out all my other stories and review them as well.
With many regards,