I hated this. Nobody enjoyed my company. To them, I was an evil creature that was domestic enough to train their precious Aang. The worst was Katara. She hated me. Absolutely was disgusted by me. Girls have always been distant from me, excluding Mai, but she absolutely could not stand to even breathe the same air as me. I didn't get it. What did I do to her besides almost burn her, try to capture Aang several times, and hurt her friends. Well, maybe she did have a reason, but that was a long time ago. I changed; I used to care about nothing than getting my honor back. No, I didn't care about that, I- I just wanted my dad to love me. I wanted someone to love me. No one cared about me except my Uncle. I treated him so awful; I must apologize when this is all over. Yet, Katara is simply acting as if I abuse her everyday, have no mercy, laugh at others weaknesses. She acts as if I am a ruthless being that has no heart. I may be like that sometimes but deep down, I'm not. Hell, the only reason I have this damn scar on my face is because I'm too 'soft'. All I wanted was to spare a few souls from my father's wrath, and what do I get. It wasn't just a scar, it is a daily reminder that no one loves me, no one wants me, no one will ever care if I die, on one will cry if I do. It is a daily reminder that my family wishes for me to never have existed. And Katara sits here moping that I am within a hundred feet of her.
I started a small fire to heat up our meal. Sokka grinned at me, as did every one else, except Katara. She simply scowled, muttering about Fire nation scum. I sighed, what can I do to make her see that I am not the person I was?
Later that night, we all sat around the campfire waiting for our food. Aang and Sokka had already accepted me with open arms. Toph was like the little sister I always wanted. Suki and I had gotten on good terms and now she and I talked; like friends. Momo and Oppa had taken an extreme liking to me. I have no idea why. The only person that seemed to have a problem was Katara!
The person in question was passing around food. She got to me, then handed it to Aang. Oh what, is she gonna starve me!
"Katara, give Zuko some food." Aang said gently.
I looked up hopefully, only to meet cold blue eyes filled with hatred.
"Why," she yelled, "why give him some food?"
"How do you know that he wont turn on us!" she shouted at the gang.
"How do you know that he wont turn back to his daddy," my blood boiled at this one, "I mean, he is the Prince, why wouldn't he go back to his wonderful life in the palace!"
I had enough, she wanted me to yell, well spirits I was gonna yell! I stood and looked down at her, my amber eyes blazing.
"Because my dear Katara," I said in a low menacing voice, "I never had a wonderful palace life."
She raised her eyebrows and was about to talk back, but I beat her to it.
"My father hated my guts ever since I was born," I hated talking about my life, but if she wanted to keep bringing what 'my' nation did to her, then I'll tell her what crap I've been through, "he always thought I was a piece of crap, because I was never good enough."
"I practiced hours on end, I worked my butt off trying to please him, and he repays me by burning my face all because I wanted to spare a few lives!"
She looked shocked, and I mean like gasping, wide eyes, eyebrows raised.
"Your father did that?" she asked sorrowfully.
"Yeah, I know you lost your mother to the Fire Nation, but I didn't plan that, and they took my mom too sweetie," smoke was building inside me, "so you can cry all you want, but guess what, you don't have half the crap I do."
I stormed away, tears rolling down my cheeks. Every one looked at Katara. Good, I hope she feels guilty. Hope she doesn't get sleep for two nights because of the guilt. But it won't happen; no one cares enough about me to lose even three minutes of sleep. I shot fire at anything in my way… or anything within twenty feet of me.
Oh spirits. What have I done? Zuko, oh Zuko. Poor thing. His father… that was un-fathomable to imagine. My own father loved me to death, would do anything for me. Zuko didn't have that luxury.
Everyone looked at me, sorrow and pity swirled in their eyes. None of us had known why Zuko was the way he was, or why he had that scar. We all just assumed it was a training accident. Well, I've decided to stop assuming, I am going to find out everything about Zuko. He is my main goal, but first, I need to apologize. He was crying- oh, the guilt was over whelming.
I stood and ran after the steaming fire bender. He disappeared into the trees; the only sign of his existence was the fire shooting into the inky sky. I ran towards his general direction, more like sprinted. I needed to find out more about what his father did, and what happened to his mom.
I found him in the middle of a burned clearing, which was full of bushes and small trees yesterday. He was sitting on a scorched tree stump; shoulders shaking, arms hugging his knees, and his head buried in his arms.
So this is the Zuko that we never knew. A softer one that held feelings and hurt. He hid it from us, from everyone. This side of him was one that I almost knew, down in the cavern. This was the boy who had no mother, the one that cried himself to sleep because no one loved him. This was the boy that had no childhood, the one that tried for years to get his father to be proud of him. This was the boy that I yelled at; I made him cry for all the pain and suffering he has been through. My heart throbbed.
I walked over and lifted his chin up so I could meet his eyes. What met my gaze made me want to go kill Ozai myself. Crystal tears streamed down his pale skin, a red puffy eye, red nose, and a hurt look in those beautiful golden eyes. My face twisted in disgust when I knew that I had brought this out. He saw my expression and looked down, more tears fell. I gently brushed the ebony hair away from his eyes, and I wiped the tears away with my thumb. His eyes flicked up to look at me, confusion written clearly on his face.
"What are you doing?" he asked softly.
"Apologizing." I said as my fingers traced his scar.
His eyes closed and he leaned into my hand. He was warm, must be a fire bender thing. The rough and smooth skin of his scar was interesting in a way. I expected it to be kind of gross, but it wasn't. He looked kind of cute when a soft smile revealed itself. I pulled my hand back only to brush the hair away. His hair was surprisingly silky. Soft and nice, but thick. Golden orbs opened to look into my oceanic eyes.
"I thought you hated me though." He whispered.
That was my cue to sigh. I sat down on the stump and sat him in front of me on the ground. He facing away from me so pulled him down to rest his head on my lap. I played with his hair and he closed his eyes, enjoying the moment.
"I don't hate you," I said softly, "I hate the Fire Nation."
"But I'm from Fire Nation." He whispered.
"You may be from there, but your different." I said, hoping to convince him.
He simply sighed. A slow, soft smile played on his lips. I hated to chase that smile away, but I needed to know.
"Why did your father burn you?" I asked cautiously.
Sure enough, that smile disappeared, a tight line replaced it.
"Because I refused to fight him." He said quietly.
"Why did you have to fight him?" I asked, still running my fingers through his hair, enjoying it silky texture.
"Because of the Agni Kai."
"Oh, why did you have to go to the Agni Kai?" I knew I was risking it but I had to know.
"Because I spoke out of turn at a war meeting."
"What did you say?"
He paused on this one. Tears were running down his face again, I felt bad for causing them. I swept them away and rubbed his cheek with the pad of my thumb.
"I said that they couldn't kill those soldiers that were loyal to us, just because of a trap."
The tears were non-stop now; he got up and walked further into the woods. I ran after him. So we walked, side by side. Neither speaking. Finally, I had enough.
"I'm sorry Zuko."
"I don't want your pity." He growled.
I gasped. After all I did, he says that. I was about to give him for until I saw his face. It was an angry mask, covering up the tears and pain. The one we were all used to. I realized that this has been tormenting him for quite a while. But the scary thing was that the angry mask, looked just like Ozai. You could tell that this was his son. I did the only thing I could, I hugged him.