Aang and his friends walked through Wave Country and were observing the people looking for any signs of Azula's influence. It was a bustling town with many shops and smiling people. They didn't seem to be under the control of an 'evil' fire throwing princess.
Sokka watched with an interested eye at all the different things that were being sold at the vendors and the peacefulness of the town. "This is not what I was expecting." He stated in a slightly disappointed voice.
Anng looked at Sokka, "Well what were you expecting?" he asked in a curious tone.
Sokka put a hand to his chin and thought about it for a moment, "Well I was expecting everyone to be sad or something," he stated, stopping in his tracks. "I was expecting for Azula to be ruling."
Zuko looked at Sokka and shook his head, "Azula is good," he stated in a knowing tone. "But she couldn't take over this land that fast."
Sokka looked at Zuko, the glanced around, "You never know?" he replied in a paranoid tone. "She could have spies watching us right now."
Everyone just sighed at kept on walking as Sokka began to glare at the villagers with supision. Toph walked in the back of the group as this was going on, using her earth bending to see if anyone was watching them. Some of the villagers had stopped to look at them, but it was only for a moment, just normal curiosity when someone new comes into town.
What she did notice was that Ty Lee and Mai, stood to the side a little away from the Gaang. They were following the group but they could also slip away and do their own thing. She watched as they slowed down and turn into an alley, leaving the group.
"What are they up to?" Toph thought and was about to voice the disappearance of Azula's former friends, but something kept her silent. The words of the foxes coming to her mind, maybe if she went with Mai and Ty Lee she would get her answers.
Toph used some earth bending to create a hole in the ground and disappeared into it, following May and Ty Lee as they went their own way.
-With Mai and Ty Lee-
Ty Lee and Mai walked quickly through the village, wanting to put some distance between them and the Avatar's group. They wanted to find Azula on their own and see if they could convince her to come quietly with them home. Mai was against the plan at first, but after much begging from Ty Lee she relented.
Secretly she wanted to find Azula first as well; she wanted to see how her former friend was doing. "Ty Lee," she stated as they walked, and appeared onto another main road. "Let's ask one of the villagers for help. They might know of a bigger city we can go to and find more information about Azula."
Ty Lee smiled at this and did a quick cartwheel, "That's a great idea Mai," she stated in a happy voice, and looked around for someone to ask. She spotted an old man wearing a black shirt, black pants, white scarf, with glasses walking by.
"Hello Sir," Ty Lee called out and skipped over to the old man who stopped at the sound of her voice.
He looked at Ty Lee with a warm smile, "What can I do for you today little lady?" he stated in a grandfatherly tone.
"My friend and I are new here," Ty Lee stated in a happy tone. "And we are looking for our lost friend, but don't know where to look. Do you know of a large city or place we can go to see if we can get more information on our friend?"
The old man thought for a moment, "There is always Konoha," he stated as a small smile spread across his face. "That is probably the best place to start; you can hire Shinobi to help you find your friend."
Ty Lee nodded, a bit confused at some of the words the man had said, "Umm how do we get there?" she asked.
"Actually I will be heading to Konoha soon on business," he replied as he wiped his face with his scarf. "You can come with me and my grandson, my name is Tazuna, nice to meet you."
"I am Ty Lee and that is my friend Mai." Ty Lee replied and grabbed Tazuna hand. "Thank you for the help."
Tazuna just smiled, "It not a problem little lady," he replied and started to walked, "lets head to my home and we will head to Konoha from there."
Ty Lee nodded and was about to follow Tazuna when someone grabbed her wrist, "Ty Lee," said Mai in a cold tone. "Can I talk with you for a moment?"
She turned to Tazuna, "we will be with you in a few moments." She stated and Tazuna nodded.
Ty Lee nodded, "What is it Mai?" she asked in a confused tone.
"Should we trust this man?" Mai asked in a quiet voice. "He might be leading us into a trap."
Ty Lee smiled, "He's fine," she replied with a smile, "His aura is quite nice, and is someone you can trust,"
"I have to agree with Ty Lee," a voice said from behind the pair, making them jump. They both quickly turned and saw Toph standing before them. "I couldn't feel a lie come from him at all."
Mai glared at Toph, "what are you doing here?" she asked in a defensive tone.
"Well I was wondering why you two left the group." Toph stated in a knowing tone.
"We just want to find Azula," Ty Lee stated quickly, "we want to make sure she is safe before the Avatar locks her away again."
Toph was silent, "Well I am going with you to make sure you are not trying to do something to hurt my friends." She stated and stood her ground. "Or I will call everyone here."
"Fine come," Mai stated in a cold tone. "Just don't attack Azula on sight."
"I make no promises." Toph stated and they all walked toward Tazuna.
Azula stood next to Ino as they walked through the village, they had just left the clothing store and she was dressed in an entirely new outfit. She wore a red shirt that hugged her form, a pair of tight jeans, sandals and Naruto's crystal. It had taken over two hours for Ino to be happy with the new look. Ino had also gotten her some other clothes as well as dresses for all occasions.
"You can never have too many clothes," Ino told Azula as they walked toward a restaurant after their long shopping spree.
"If you say so," Azula replied in a slightly annoyed tone. She didn't like being used as a dress up doll, but she did have fun. Not that she would admit that. "So where are we headed now?"
"We are going to the Dango stand to meet with the rest of the girls." Ino stated with a knowing tone. She had planned this beforehand and couldn't wait to get all the juicy information on her and Naruto, also to see if she had a chance to steal Naruto from her.
Azula was nervous about meeting other girls, she knew that they were all friends with Naruto, or at least knew him. She wondered if they would accept her or would they shun her like the girls in school, except Ty Lee and Mai.
They arrived at the restaurant and walked toward a crowded table. There was three girls sitting at the table they were headed toward. The first had pink hair, green eyes, and a bored look. The second was a girl with brown hair, up in two buns, and a large scroll at her side. The final one was a girl with long blue hair, purple eyes, and a shy look on her face.
Ino waved at them, "Hello," she stated in a happy tone. "I brought a new friend. This is Azula."
"Hello," the three girls said at once.
Azula just nodded, "Hello," she replied as she took her seat next to Ino and the panda hair girl.
Ino chatted animatedly with the other girls while Azula sat in silence. She didn't know what to say or what to do. These people were entirely new to her and could potentially be harmful.
"Azula," the panda girl said in a warm tone. "My name is Tenten, it nice to meet you."
Azula looked at Tenten, "Nice to meet you." She replied quickly and turned to look at the menu.
Tenten could feel Azula's nervousness and wanted to get her to relax. "Let me introduce you to everyone else." She stated in a calm tone. "The girl with the pink hair is Sakura; she is Naruto's teammate, the other girl in Hinata Hyuga."
Azula just nodded as she learned the names of everyone there. "Thank you for informing me." Azula stated quickly.
Tenten just smiled, watching as Azula relaxed just a bit. "So Azula where are you from?' she asked, making Azula freeze for a moment.
"I come from a kingdom far away," Azula answered quickly. She was told by Naruto, and everyone else not to mention anything about the Fire Nation or it will cause problems that would be very troublesome to deal with.
Tenten just nodded, "That's interesting," as she took a sip of her drink. "Do they have any interesting weapons?"
"Just swords and spears mostly," Azula stated in a calm tone.
Tenten just nodded a little sad she couldn't learn about new different types of weapons. Soon the waiter came over and they all ordered their food. The food soon came and everyone ate, small conversations going on between the friends.
Hinata had spent most of the time glancing over at Azula, much to Azula's annoyance. Azula finally had enough, "Why are you staring at me?" she asked in an annoyed tone.
Hinata seemed to shrink into her jacket, "Um…well…" she stuttered trying to form her words. "I wa..was wondering how … do you come to live with Naruto?"
Everyone went silent; Azula looked at Hinata for a few moments, slight steam starting to come off her body, "That is none of your concern." She stated in a very angered tone, talking through her teeth.
Hinata seemed to flinch at this at first, "I want to know," she stated in a more demanding tone. "I want to see why you are with Naruto-kun."
Azula began to get even hotter, "Why I am with Naruto is none of your concern," Azula stated as she slowly stood up, glaring at Hinata. "Now leave me be!" suddenly the table caught fire, much to everyone surprise.
Azula quickly ran out of the restaurant and headed back to the Nara's home. Suddenly a familiar voice filled Azula's mind. "Such a disgrace," Ozai's voice stated in a disgusted voice. "You should have burned the stuttering girl to a crisp. Where is your fire?"
Azula ignored Ozai and kept walking, she just pictured her special place and soon Ozai's voice was all but a whisper. "Um Azula?" a voice suddenly said form behind her.
Azula turned and saw Hinata standing there, her fingers touching in a nervous tick.
"What is it?" she replied in an angered tone. Ozai voice slowly starting to creep back up in her mind.
"I am sorry if I angered you," HInata stated in a embaressed tone. "I wasn't looking to upset you."
Azula just nodded, not wanting to hear anything for anyone. "Tell her she is a worthless girl what she can do, make her burn!" Ozai voice shouted at her, making Azula flinch.
"Just leave me alone," Azula demanded and started to walk away, but Hinata grabbed her wrist.
"W…wait," she stated in a worried tone. "I want to clear the air."
Azula stopped, ignoring the shouts of Ozai's voice in her head. "Fine clear the air." Azula stated as she held a hand to her head in pain as Ozai got louder and louder.
"I just wanted to make sure Naruto was ok," Hinata said as she looked at Azula with a concerned expression. "I have always been worried that Naruto is happy."
Azula looked at Hinata with confusion. "Why are you worried about Naruto?" she asked in a heated voice.
Hinata looked away, "Well….I …" she stammered much to Azula annoyance.
"Just shut this girl up and be done with it," her father voice demanded and for once Azula agreed with him, not that she was happy they agreed.
"Enough of this," Azula stated and turned away, her anger building. She didn't understand why Hinata's questions were making her angry. She ignored Hinata as she tried to continue the conversation and headed back toward the Nara compound.
She walked into the Nara home, her angered steps could be heard all around. Yoshino heard this and came out of the living room to see what was going on. She watched as Azula walked toward her and the anger that rolled of her. She wondered what had caused her to become so angry, it was a change from her usual sad/scared countenances that she had since she arrived in the village.
Yoshino walked over to Azula and put a hand on her shoulder, making Azula stop. Azula turned and looked at Yoshino, anger in her eyes but that angered softened. Yoshino smiled at Azula and led her to the back porch, they both took a seat on the edge looking out into the yard.
"Azula dear," Yoshino stated in a loving tone, as she watched the girl before her, "What is wrong?"
Azula was silent "There is nothing wrong," she replied as she tried not to look at Yoshino.
Yoshino just smiled, her son Shikimaru did this to her all the time but she was always able to get out what was bothering him with a good talk and maybe a threat or two. With Azula she knew that as they talked she would learn what was the matter.
"I know that something is bothering you," she said in a motherly tone as she put a arm around Azula, who went a bit stiff at the gesture but that slowly faded away. "I am here for you Azula so you can tell me anything."
Azula thought about Yoshino words, she heard Ursa voice telling her that Yoshino was lying but she ignored it. She knew that Yoshino cared for her, after all that she had done for her over the last two weeks that Naruto had been away. She knew she could trust Yoshino.
"At the restaurant one of the girls, kept asking me what I was doing with Naruto." she stated the anger still evident in her voice. "I didn't like the questions, why does she have to know about why I am living with Naruto. It is none of her business, yet she kept on pressing it. I got so angry and came home."
Yoshino nodded, taking in all the information, planning on asking Ino more about what happened there at a later date. "So you didn't like the questions and got angry," she said simply and Azula just nodded. "That is ok, everyone gets angry at things that bother them or make them uncomfortable so that is fine."
Yoshino reaction to her anger surprised Azula greatly. She didn't get angry with her for being angry or use that anger to hurt others. So she didn't know how to respond to her. She just looked at her with slight awe, not much if could be seen on her face though. She tried to figure out the best way to respond but nothing came to mind.
Yoshino stood up and motioned for Azula to follow her, "I think we should go and do some training." She said in a sure tone, even more confusion appearing on Azula's face. Yoshino noticed this and chuckled to herself. "When I am mad and want to get rid of those feelings I like to train. So that what we are going to do. Now go change and meet me out here when your done."
Azula nodded and headed into the house. What Yoshino stated about training did make sense, it was a good way to release energy and feelings, that was one reason she trained so much before. Also she had to be the best so no one could touch her. She entered her room and changed when the a voice she had not heard before came into her mind.
"You are regaining your fire," it said in a deep, booming tone. Azula listened and focused on the voice. She closed her eyes and found herself standing in the hall of fire lords. This surprised her a bit due to the fact she had not been alone in her mind for the past several months.
"Please meet me out here" the voice said through the hall and Azula slowly approached the main doorway. She rested her hand against the door, a slight hesitation as she thought of who was out there. Yet she felt as if she need to go and face the voice. So she took a breath and opened the door.
She walked out and came face to face with the blue dragon, it eyes peering into hers with calm intent. "Welcome young one," the dragon said.
Azula looked at the Dragon "Who are you?" she asked a slight commandish tone to her voice as she looked up at the dragon.
The Dragon chuckled for a few moments, "You will find out when you are ready my dear child," he replied in a sage like tone. He leaned in closer till his eye was directly in Azula face. "I am here to give you back a small piece of your fire."
Before Azula could say anything the Dragon had moved away from her and opened it mouth, breath a large breath of Blue fire at her. Azula was consumed in the fire and soon found herself back in the waking world laying on her bed. She slowly sat up a bit dazed from the small adventure in her mind.
She heard Yoshino call her and she went outside, the talk with the dragon still on her mind. As she reached Yoshino she saw that she had changed from her usual outfit to one that was suited more for training.
"Are you ok?" Yoshino asked her in a slightly worried tone. "You took a bit longer then I expected."
Azula just nodded, "I am alright," she replied in a calm tone.
Yoshino looked at Azula for a few moments trying to detect anything amiss, but found nothing, much to Azula's relief. "Ok. Now shall we begin."
Yoshino lead Azula through a series of different exercise and other things. She even showed Azula how to throw a kunai. Using weapons was something foreign to Azula, since before all she did was fight with fire bending so it took a bit to get her throws on target. As they moved onto the next part of the training Azula vowed to become proficent at Kunai throwing as soon as she possibly could.
Yoshino walked back to the house and sat on the porch, she let out a small tired sigh, "I haven't trained like that in years," she said in a tired tone as she rested. "I need to get back into shinobi state."
Azula had joined Yoshino and nodded, "So you were a shinobi before?" she asked. She had learned about the shinobi after talking with Naruto about it before. She like the system a lot and was very interested in all the abilities they had, she could see how if they had shinobi were much more adaptable then most of the people back home.
Yoshino nodded,"Back before I was married," she said in a nostalgic tone. "I only made it to Chunin level but I was still pretty good. I was known for my skills in taijutsu, one of the few Naras who could do it very well."
Azula just nodded, "Can you show me some of your taijutsu?" she asked a hint of excitement in her voice.
Yoshino looked at the younger girl before her a smirk appearing on her face. "Shall we have a small spar?" she asked.
Azula thought for a moment and slowly nodded, "I would like to, but all I have is my fire bending stances, and I can't fire bend. So they are useless." she stated in a frustrated tone.
Yoshino nodded, noting the frustration on Azula's face, she placed her hand on Azula's shoulder, "How about you show me some of those stances." she said in a caring tone, standing up. "We can see what training you have and work from there to help you learn something new."
Azula was silent as she processed the information. Learning a new way of fighting would be hard for her, but it would give her something to focus on. She knew that without her fire bending she was useless, and she didn't want to be useless because in her experience people always throw away useless things.
"I would like that," she replied in a calm tone as she set her resolve, she would not be useless. A small smile spread across her face as she prepared to move forward. She could hear in the back of her mind the voices of her parents but they couldn't touch her.
It had been over a month since Naruto had left the village and Azula was on her own once again. She had started her training with Yoshino and she had been slowly getting back into fighting shape.
Yoshino had looked over her stances and stated that they were perfect for adapting to close combat. She had taken her to see a funny looking man named Guy, who looked over her stances as well and agreed with Yoshino's assessment. He did say she needed to gain some more muscle to have power behind her strikes. So they created a training regiment to help her gain muscle as well as get use to fighting hand to hand.
She enjoyed the training and it help to block out the voices of her parents even more. She had spent the last few weeks without their torment in her mind. She was happy to be free of their cries for the time being yet she knew she would have to get ride of them completely at some point.
She let the thought drop as she entered the home of Inoichi. They had made progress in her mind and more and more of the broken pieces had reformed, bring much of the landscape back into place. What was once a broken set of floating lands were forming a beautiful island and castle. There were still areas that had yet to reform such as the courtyard where she faught Zuko and the mountain behind the palace.
She knew that she had to enter those places to fully be healed but as she was now she was not ready to face all of those things yet. She let out a small sigh, as she assessed herself, knowing there was much work for her to do. She was pulled out of her thoughts as Inoichi came over to her and gave her a hug. Since the time of the Dragons he had taken it upon himself to act like a loving Father to her. It had surprised her at first but she quickly came to enjoy the time they spent together, he even showed her a bit on how to arrange flowers.
"How are you feeling?" he asked as he broke the hug and looked at her with a comforting smile.
Azula just let a small smile grace her face. "I have been doing well, Yoshino has been helping me train, it has been wonderful." she replied as she looked up at Inoichi.
Inoichi nodded a smile on his face. "That is good." he replied as they moved through the house toward his office. "I am glad you are enjoying training." Azula nodded in agreement as they entered the office.
Inoichi watched as Azula lay on the couch and close her eyes. He quickly preformed his jutsu and found himself standing next to Azula in the Hall of Fire Lords. Azula lead him out and into the palace. They walked past the pond and down a hallway lined with pillars,
They stopped at an area where there was no ground, this was where the gate to the rest of the palace would be. Inoichi looked at the floating lands in the area and then to Azula. They had made much progress on her mind, and much of her personality and traits were beginning to come out once again. Since this was occurring he knew they were coming to the hardest part of her healing.
"Azula," he said in a calm tone as he looked down at her. "I want to ask you about your relationship with your mother."
Azula was silent, not wanting to talk about that, a small fear that she would appear to try and torment her. "all right," she said as she steeled her resolve, casting away her fear. "My mother and I never seemed to get along, when I was little she seemed more concerned with my older brother Zuko"
The world around them changed as Azula's memories started to play. They watched as Ursa would spend more time with Zuko and leave Azula alone with her father. Sometimes they would spend time together but Ursa would always seem to be worried about they way Azula acted. The memories played until Ursa was banished, and they soon found themselves back at the edge.
"She seemed to always have love for Zuko and I was only a monster." she stated in an angered yet sad tone. "It got to the point where I actually agreed with her." Inoichi watched as another memory played before them. It was Azula, Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee at a beach surrounding a campfire. They each shared something and Inoichi saw as Azula talked about Ursa and agree with her, but Azula said it still hurt. "She never really seemed to love me."
Inoichi nodded, placing a arm around Azula shoulder, "I do not know her reasons behind why she was the way she was," he stated in a comforting tone, "but one thing I do know is that you are not a monster."
Azula looked at him, "Are you sure?" she asked in a low tone. More memories of her past appeared. The taking of Ba Sing Se, the hunting of the Avatar, capturing the Kyoshi Warriors, and other things played for Inoichi to watch. Azula looked at him. "I did all these things, I enjoyed the suffering of others, I controlled others, if you did not do as I say I got rid of you. Does that not make me a monster?"
Inoichi was about to answer when Ursa voice rang about, "That makes you a monster." she said in a sad tone as she appeared before the pair. "Only a monster does those things."
Azula just stared at her mother with anger and hatred, "You did nothing to stop it!" she shouted at Ursa, her right arm thrown to the side to emphesis her statement.
Ursa just looked at Azula with confusion on her face, "What could I have done to stop it, you seemed to enjoy being that way." she replied in a matter of fact tone. "Ever since you were a child you were that way."
Azula began to shake, "That was the only way I could receive attention from you or father." she replied through her teeth, her eyes baring into Ursa. "You only loved Zuko! You never cared for me at all!"
Azula was about to head towards Ursa when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She saw Inoichi give her a calm smile. He turned to Ursa, "She is not a monster," he stated in a authoritative tone. "A monster indicates someone who cares for no one, who hurts all those around them, from what I can see Azula is not a monster. She did cruel things, but she cared for others, the few that she had"
"Your opinion does not matter," Ursa stated as she started to walk towards them, slowly drawing a knife. "She is and will forever be a monster."
Azula was shaking as she listened to the conversation. She had listened to Inoichi's words and saw the truth in them, yet her mother's word still clung to her. She look down and saw Naruto's crystal, remembering the times they had been together and how she had come to care for him.
Azula looked up at Ursa, fire slowly building in her eyes, "You say I am a monster," she said to Ursa in a heated tone, slowly taking a attack stance. "well, your opinion no longer matters!"
Azula shot her fist forward and a large ball of red fire shot from her fist, surprising Ursa, who barely had time to dodge out of the way. Azula didn't stop there, she sent another large blast of fire at Ursa. Ursa moved out of the way a angered look on her face as she faded away.
Azula panted as she stopped her attacks. She turned towards Inoichi a small smile on her face. "I am not a monster." she said in a quiet tone.
Inoichi smiled as well, "That's right," he replied as they walked back toward the Hall of Fire Lords, his arm around her shoulders in a parental manner.
Hello my friends, I am here again. It has been an amazing two years and I have learned so much from my journey. As for my stories there will be changes but this is the first one I wanted to update because I really like this story. I Hope you all enjoy it and that everyone is looking forward to more. I am happy to be back my friends!