Normal disclaimer about not owning any part of Avatar.

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The guard strode into the room, the sidled up to his cell and grabbed hold of the bars.

"What..." Ozai began. Then the guard removed her helmet, held a finger to her lips.

"Zuko wants to find mother." Azula said as she lifted the helmet from her head.

"You escaped."

"He took everything from me. Everything from you."

Ozai took hold of her arm with one hand, and began to stroke her hair with the other.

"What are you going to do?"

She smirked. "Find mother first. Kill her. Drop clues even Fire Lord Dum-dum can't miss. And then we he finds "us..." She smiled slowly at her father. "Slow father, to get back at him for what he did. I'll get Aang for you as well. And that peasant he hangs out with." Her eyes drifted to the back of the cell. Imagining, he supposed, the deaths of those she hated most in the world.

"In front of you if you like father. You can hear their screams. I'll force Aang to restore your powers first..."

Outside the room he heard shouts, running.

"Azula's escaped!"

Azula quickly donned her helmet and moved away from the bars. A soldier raced in, breathless.

"Azula's escaped. It's feared..." the man began.

"The room is secure. I'll remain here on duty. " Azula bowed to the other guard, her voice sounding nothing like her normal purr.

"Very good." The second soldier returned her bow, and walked out.

His little weapon. It always amazed him what she could do, how she could fool the most intelligent of people. Azula came back to the bars, removing her helmet once more.

"I don't have much time father. I"d take you with me but it is probably best I do this alone. Where is mother? Do you know? Have you any clues?"

He stroked her face. "Of course. You'll make her suffer my little monster?"

Azula smiled. "Whatever you want father."

"The Sharkan Mountains. If she's still alive. I don't know her foraging skills." His hand went to her hair, twirling through the strands. "Azula..." He grabbed a mass of her hair and yanked her head hard against the bars. "Fail me this time and I'll send the Raptor after you. Understand?" he hissed.

"Yes father. I won't fail..."

He released her. She kowtowed to him, and replaced her helmet once more. "when you see again father I will be Fire Lord." She rose and slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her.

Ozai smiled, and sat down on his futon. He knew her skills. It was only a matter of time before he was Phoenix King once more.

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Two pairs of hands grabbed Azula as soon as she exited the room, dragging her down the hall.

"You heard?" she asked when they were far enough away that there was no chance of Ozai overhearing.

"Yes. The Raptor?" Zuko asked, then, shaking her slightly when she did not respond. "The Raptor?"

"Death is a long time coming." She began to laugh and the tears flowed down her eyes.

"I won't let him hurt you Azula. I'll protect you."

"Protect me? When did you ever protect me? When did anyone?"

Aang twisted around so he was face to face was Azula. "I defeated him Azula. I promise to protect you as well."

Azula smiled at the monk and shook her head slowly. "You don't understand what he is capable of. No one does. Not that anyone's ever cared before what happened to me. I'm a monster Aang. No one loves a monster. My mother thought I was a monster. And if your mother doesn't love you who will?