A/N: I liked this when I was originally writing it. Then I didn't like it. But I decided to continue it. So yeah. This is my theory on Azulon's death and a little bit on Zuko's mom.

Okay Avatar fandom, let's not kill me. This is my first fic for this series, so I'm a newbie over here. Keep flames to yourselves. Constructive criticism is better, thank you.

Disclaimer: I don't own.


Blood on a Knife

Was it there? Had he really looked hard enough? Was it possible? Could she have-

No, no, that was years ago, long ago, far too long. It isn't right to question such things now. That was the past, this is now. He can't lose focus now, not when everything at hand is spiraling out of control, so fast, so dangerous, like spinning blades...

The faintest memories flickered into his head, naive visions filling his mind with fading images. The inscription on the dagger was always true and he took it to heart from the moment Uncle sent it, but the images flickered in and out from the hundreds of times he'd seen it, each blending with the memory of the knife from that morning. Azula had it.

Azula. Had her hands been clean? He remembers, clear as day, that he'd pulled the knife from it's sheathe, but he can't recall the thought of the knife's tip and whether it bore red or not.

Then again, those days had been a whirlwind: Azulon's death, his mother's disappearance, his official rank as the next heir to the throne, firebender training... Days faded into weeks, which melted into months. Whether he liked it or not, time had passed and memories grew dim. His mother's face still shone bright like the sun reflection in a crystalline lake, but he couldn't recall whether his knife wore a bloody sheen. Was it possible that Azula-

She's his sister. His sister! He should have faith in her, family, trust, love. Blood, if nothing else. They share parents if that could be all they would have in common. Azula, as cold-hearted and vicious as she was back then, wouldn't be capable of such treason against her own grandfather. She still knew what honor was, he knows that much.

And what of his mother? Disappearance? A witness to the crime, a fearful escapee? She could be next if she has even the slightest inkling of what her daughter had done...

But there was no blood. His eyes didn't see it. Even now, his heart doesn't trust his eyes, and neither does his mind. Azula lies. Azula cheats. Azula is lucky. Lucky she didn't get caught? Zuko has to purge the grotesque thought from his mind, sickened at the implication of his sister's role in their grandfather's sudden passing.

Maybe suppression...? He's strangled enough awful memories in the past, choking the life out of misery and poisoning the darkest recollections. Suppression is a defense as strong as a fortress.

What did he see that morning? Did he see blood on the knife? Was it his sister's doing? His mother... Could she still be...

Defenses go up, strongholds blocking out the worst thoughts as he tries to push forth the best memories. He wouldn't imagine it all, wouldn't see it.

But if that blade was clean, glinting only silver, did that mean Azula didn't kill him? Or did it just mean that she was capable of covering her tracks? Azula... It was possible, right? Ruthless, coldblooded, spiteful. Azula was all of those things, so labeling her as a murderer isn't exactly hard for Zuko to do. She lies, he knows that much.

In his mind, he resolves to ask her next time. She was once desperate for their father to be Fire Lord and now that it had happened, he could envision her in the midst of such dirty work. Conspiracy. Murder. Blood on a knife was nothing compared to what she'd gained. In asking, if she denied it, he could assume she was lying because Azula always lies. Zuko also figures that he can just destroy her either way. She's ruined his life as is, so why not strike up vengeance-

Was that stooping to her level? Killing her grandfather? Killing his sister? Could they be compared? Yet he had no evidence other than assumption.

Zuko, as he lay in the grass, watching sheep-like clouds float past through the oceanic sky, retrieves the blade from his belt and carefully removes it from the intricate sheathe. He's never killed with it; he never plans on killing with it. More than anything, it's inspiration and hope through broken amber eyes. He searches the blade, maybe hoping to ignite a memory or to find some kind of evidence upon the engraving. There's no change it from the day he got it in the mail from Uncle.

Quietly, he slips it back in the sheathe and places the sheathe back in his belt. No blood. No memories.

For now, she's innocent and he's alone.

He doesn't remember seeing any blood on the knife.


A/N: Feel free to correct my spelling. Please don't spoil, I'm only halfway through the series. Constructive criticism would be helpful, thanks.

~Sky