I think this time I've actually gotten something close to humor going on. Well, it's the closest I can get.

Well, here's the Guidance series installation #2: Azula


Perfectionism

He was not surprised to see this young lady in his office. Too often, students would come to him with their lips tight and bitter as they wrapped around her name. Nearly as often, teachers would seek him out too, their brows wrinkled. She was so bright, they would say. So intelligent and diligent. But her fervent disrespect – her intentional cruelty towards others – was something of concern. Something that needed to be professionally addressed.

As always, her amber eyes glinted with something strictly analytical, her expression bearing a conflicting combination of anger and satisfaction, as if playing a challenging but amusing game.

"Is this about your mother, Azula?" he sighed. Speaking to her was always an uphill battle at best – gruesome and exhausting and likely to end in failure – but he had gleaned a single statement about her mother from one of his many conversations. His brief discussions with her brother had revealed that the woman had left them when they were young.

"Of course this isn't about my mother," she snapped. As soon as the words spat from her lips, though, she crossed her legs and smoothed out the wrinkles in her shirt. "The action of connecting two completely disassociated concepts is a recognized sign of mental instability." A dangerous glint surfaced in her eyes. "Perhaps we should be switching positions."

He sighed, gathering his nose between his fingertips. This was rather typical behavior for the girl. "You locked the cheerleading team in a custodial closet, Azula. You don't just do that without reason."

"I see," she said. "That's what you're accusing me of, is it?" In a sweeping, practiced motion, she ran her manicured nails through the length of her bangs. "I propose you give me proof."

"Proof?"

"Of course," she said, tone listless and lofty. "Doesn't this system run on the principle of 'innocence until proven guilt'?" A dismissive wave had him worried he would be impaled by one of her claws. "I'd like you to present your accusations and your contentions as to why you're making such claims in the first place."

Sputtering, he scrambled to regain his posture. "Are you saying that you didn't lock the cheerleading squad in a closet? Because they all said –"

"I'm not saying that I didn't," she declared, picking at a hangnail. "I'm saying that – by due process of law – you have to treat me as if I didn't until you can prove that I did."

"So you did."

A deceptively delicate brow arched. "What makes you say that?"

"I've already spoken to the cheerleading squad, and they all said that you're the one who locked them in the closet." He made sure to keep his hands spread in his lap. No steepling this time.

"Do you truly believe that a single girl could somehow manage to subdue an entire group of capable gymnasts and lock them in a closet? That hardly seems plausible, does it?" Her supercilious inflection increased with each argument-tearing word. "Besides, you and I both know that they still hold quite a bit of animosity towards me after I got them in trouble for leaving school property during school hours. I'm a more than valid target." She sat up, as if an idea had just struck her. "Do you have security footage? That would certainly clear everything right up."

Her words had been precise, but he momentarily was swept up by a curious observation. He watched her smooth out her shirt again and stroke her bangs back into place again and begin picking at her nails again. A sudden compulsion came over him.

"Can we try something, Azula?" he asked. "If it doesn't work I'll let you leave scot-free."

She continued picking at her sharp nails. "Very well."

Driven by his new theory, he reached across the space between them and carefully messed up her hair. At her look of horror and disgust, he said, "Don't touch your hair and tell me: How did you disable the cameras near the custodial closet in the A-wing?"

"I –" Her eyes darted to the stray hairs that fell in her eyes. "What?"

He sighed. He was hoping her neurotic perfectionism would distract her into gloating. Perhaps this wouldn't work the way he wanted it to. He tried for a new tactic, a question that would garner a simpler, less thought provoking response. "You disabled the cameras, right?" He gave his voice a tone that suggested it was the first of a series of successive questions.

"Yes," she said automatically. Seconds later, her eyes widened. "Wait. No. That's not fair," she snapped. "You distracted me."


I think it speaks for itself. Thoughts?