Summary: This is the one insult that affects Suki. Azula can call her all kinds of names, but this is the only one that bothers her.
Warnings: Mentions of past molestation/groping.
A/N: Suki has it rough. She stands in the way of a very popular ship (Tokka, I'm looking at you), and as such, she gets called 'boring' quite a bit. This started out as a response to that. As always, I would love any feedback. Enjoy.
This is the one insult that affects Suki. Azula can call her all kinds of names, tell her that she's useless, worthless, but this is the only one that bothers her.
Azula picks up on this fact very quickly, and soon everything that she tells Suki relates to those two words.
Suki doesn't know why she feels this way. Two little words shouldn't be able to affect her this much. After all, they're just words. They shouldn't mean much, especially coming from Azula.
But somehow, they do.
She's never been special. That's the truth. She doesn't have any particular quirks or traits that separate her from everyone else. She's not foreign, like Sokka, with his exotic features. She's not dumb, but she's no genius. She supposes that she's pretty enough. She's not stunning, but she's not ugly either.
She's not even that good at sports. The only reason that she's excelled is because she pushes herself. Even here in prison, she keeps to her strict training regime.
She's perfectly average.
And really, she doesn't have any reason to complain. Compared to other girls of the Earth Kingdom, she's different. She's not 'perfectly average'. She's part of an elite group of warriors. She can best most people in a fight, turn an ordinary fan into a deadly weapon. She can handle a sword pretty well too.
But next to the people traveling with the Avatar, she seems positively flat. Sokka's sister, Katara, is pretty and compassionate and has the heart of the Avatar, though she doesn't know it yet. Toph is spunky and tough and blind, not to mention she's a BeiFong. Aang is the Avatar. Sokka is sweet and funny and sarcastic. He loves meat and bad jokes, and putting the two together. And besides, they're all Benders. Well, not Sokka, but he more than makes up for it with his brains.
They've all had some kind of trouble in their pasts. Sokka and Katara's mother is dead, the Avatar's whole race is dead, and from what Sokka has told her, Toph has a strained relationship with her parents. Suki doesn't have any parents, but that's never bothered her. They died of natural causes when she was young. They weren't murdered by Fire Nation soldiers or anything like that.
She knows that she shouldn't be envious of the problems that the others have had. And she's not really, but sometimes she wishes that she would be interesting.
The only trouble that Suki has had is old women gossiping about her, squawking that fighting is something that no decent woman does and no man wants a fighter.
Sokka wants her though. He doesn't think that she's boring. Why would he bother with her otherwise?
But somehow that doesn't reassure her. The doubt is still there, whispering in her ears with a voice that sounds very much like Azula.
She feels so inadequate sometimes. What can she contribute to Sokka's team?
Before, she had been too busy to pay much attention to the nagging fears, but here in prison, she has more than enough time to contemplate things that she doesn't want to think about. She sighs and lies down on the single bed that is attached to the wall. Staring at the roof isn't very interesting, but it's practically the only thing that she can do in here besides train.
She wonders when Azula will come and see her again. She knows that the princess has other things to do, but Suki knows that Azula enjoys mocking her, tearing her down, even if she is just a "boring peasant with dirt behind her ears."
She wonders if the citizens of the Fire Nation are aware that their princess is a psychopath. The guards here definitely know, but she's not sure if the rest of the nation realizes that Azula is slowly losing her mind. Suki can see insanity beneath the Azula's cool mask. That is another reason why she dreads their meetings. She doesn't want to be there when the princess finally breaks.
For now though, Azula seems to have a grip on her sanity, no matter how tenuous. Whenever she visits the Boiling Rock, she makes sure to come see Suki. She amuses herself with cruel comments, designed to cut past all of the defenses that Suki has built around her heart.
You know he's not coming for you, right? Surely you have to have accepted that fact by now. I mean, really, why would he? You're just a boring peasant. You're nothing special. You'll never amount to anything. Give up now, before you embarrass yourself even more than you already have.
At first, Suki had stood proud, unflinching, as she declared that Sokka loved her and would rescue her. But as time had worn on, her answers had become a little less confident, a little less vehement. She still remembered the day that she had said that if Sokka didn't come for her, she would escape by herself. For a moment, she hadn't understood why Azula started laughing, then her eyes had widened with a horrified realization. She had started to believe the things that Azula told her, and had spoken without thinking.
Now, when Azula comes and spews vitriolic insults, Suki bears it silently, bowing her head so that the other girl can't see her face. She doesn't want her to see the unshed tears shining in her eyes, or her defeated expression. It never does much good; Azula has an uncanny ability to tell what she's feeling.
No matter how defeated she feels though, she can't help but hope that one day, Sokka will come and save her.
Her cell door opens, and she looks up, her heart leaping. Sokka?
No, not Sokka, it's just a guard entering her cell her cell. He shuts the door behind him. Wariness fills her. Suki can think of several valid reasons why one of them would come in, but she doesn't like the implications of the closed door.
When she had first come to the Boiling Rock, there had been a few wandering hands, pinching and grabbing. Some of the guards had thought that she would be too shy to stop them, to say anything about it. After the broken noses and hands and arms started piling up, they got the hint and left her alone.
"What is it? Did I do something wrong?" she asks sarcastically.
"You mean you don't recognize me?"
She's angry at him for interrupting her and she's angry with herself for thinking – even for just one moment – that it was Sokka who has come for her. She turns away. "You people all look the same to me."
"Oh? Then maybe you'll recognize this." When the guard moves toward her, his lips puckering for a kiss, she reacts instinctively. She grabs his throat and pushes. His body flies to the wall, hitting it with a muffled 'ooph.'
Her eyes widen as his helmet falls off, revealing a very familiar face. He came for her! "Sokka! It's you!"
She runs to him, kneels and embraces him. She can't stop the tears that flow from her eyes, nor does she try to. She's so happy and relieved and ashamed for ever thinking that he had forgotten about her. Sokka pulls away and they stare at each other. What she sees in his gaze sends a thrill up her spine.
All thoughts of Azula's cruel comments melt away. Sokka loves her, and when he looks at her, he doesn't see a boring person. For now, it is enough.