This was written for the LJ community atlaland Favorite Character Fic challenge. Just as it sounds, participants were asked to write a little fic about their favorite character, so I wrote this about Zuko. It's something I've always wondered about since the series ended. Anyway, enjoy!
As a jagged bolt briefly illuminated the darkened sky, its cry sent electricity racing through Zuko's blood.
The feeling was so foreign, an unusual sensation that made him pause and watch the storm looming outside. He experienced the touch of lightning before, courtesy of fighting his father and sister, but never had he felt it stir within him as it seemed to now. Not even when he attempted to generate his own, that day his uncle had tried to teach him. For all his enthusiasm to do so, his efforts resulted in nothing but another source of personal shame.
Now though, as rain drummed against the palace roof and walls, he vaguely wondered if things would be different. His golden eyes watched the skies intently, held by the unpredictable flash of energy that called to him as fire called to all firebenders. A promise of power in intense cackling strands. If he tried, would he be able to produce it himself? It beckoned to him to find out, enticing him with its burning light.
Yet it was something strange, unlike the usual burn of his firebending. He shifted slightly, and as fabric ghosted over the leathery surface of his newer scar, he remembered the white-hot sensation that caused it, jolting through his body in a streak of pain and leaving him cold. Pressing a hand to his midsection to dull an ache that was no longer there, his uncle's words suddenly played in his mind, a whisper compared to the booming thunder chasing its light.
Lightning is a pure expression of firebending, without aggression. It is not fueled by emotion the way other firebending is.
Lightning. The cold-blooded fire.
Zuko inhaled deeply, releasing it in a long, drawn-out breath. Back then, he had been unable to generate lightning because of his turbulent emotions. But now, though he had a solid grasp over them and a peace of mind he lacked before, he was uncertain of trying to create it. For lightning wasn't fueled by emotion…the way he was. To separate him from his emotions was like separating the yin and yang energy needed to form lighting. It created an imbalance that, no matter how temporary, was unpredictable and potentially dangerous, leaving behind an inescapable chill.
An imbalance that Zuko preferred never to feel again.
Perhaps someday, he would discover if he had the ability to generate lightning…if he needed to. For now though, he had no qualms of turning away from the storm, of ignoring the lightning's call.
The lightning continued to rage though, demanding his attention back. But its sparks only cooled his blood, so Zuko continued on his way, feeling no need to oblige.