It's flashback time! Hooray! I've always wanted to know what happened to Ursa on the night that Azulon died and this is what I think happened. Just my interpretation of how things played out. Enjoy xx
This time, it was Zuko who was pinned against the wall and Azula glaring at him.
"Where is my mother?"
Zuko approached the prison with a grim face. The full moon shone brightly overhead as he counted each of his steps along the pavement. No one knew he was here, not even Mai. If she knew... he didn't want to think about it. He pulled his hood more tightly around his face and silently entered the gates. A guard rushed up to him, but he merely held up a hand to silence him and continued walking.
After Zuko had walked up a large number of narrow stairs, he took a sharp right and briskly walked down to the end of the corridor until he came to the last cell. A sliver of silver moonlight peered in through the high, barred windows, giving Zuko a good look at his father. Ozai was slumped against the back wall; his long, black hair hung drab around his pale face. As Zuko approached, he trained his eyes on him.
"I should count myself lucky," Ozai drawled sarcastically. "The new Fire Lord has graced me with his presence in my lowly prison cell." His lips turned into a sneer as he tried to break his son's resolve, but Zuko stared blankly – almost pitifully – down at his father.
"You should count yourself lucky that the Avatar chose to spare you." Ozai turned his head away. "Banishing me was the best thing you could have done for my life. Maybe your time in here can do the same for you."
At this, Ozai barked a laugh. "Why are you really here?" he asked darkly.
"Because you're going to tell me something. Where is my mother?"
"You will never find her. Ever since her banishment, no one has heard even a whisper of her whereabouts. You have no chance."
Zuko's eyebrows furrowed together and he clenched his fists. "I have control over the entire Fire Nation forces and am allies with the Avatar. I assure you that I will find her. But I will need your cooperation."
"And what makes you think I will give it to you willingly? My own son; traitor of the Fire Nation... We could have had it all, Zuko! We could have ruled the world!"
Ozai's eyes lit up and bulged slightly, dancing with madness. It was then, Zuko realised, that his father had fallen victim to insanity, much like his sister Azula had. The man in front of his wasn't his father anymore. Ozai had never been a father to Zuko; had never loved him like a son. Merely treated his as a pawn to his success. Zuko felt no love at all for the estranged man in front of him – merely pity.
"There would have been no world to rule, father. And we never would have ruled it together. You never wanted me as a son. You never loved me like mother did."
"Ha! Your mother!" Ozai cackled loudly, whipping his head back around to face Zuko; his dark eyes burning into Zuko's gold ones. "She was always insistent on protecting you. She claimed it was her duty as a mother to do what she did that night. Told me that you were too important to die and she wouldn't let it happen. Foolish woman."
Zuko gripped the bars of the cell tightly and glared down at this father. "What did she do? Why was my life spared?"
A smile curled Ozai's lips into a malicious smirk. "Are you sure you want to know? I wouldn't want to tarnish your image of sweet, loving Ursa."
With an angry cry of frustration, Zuko shot a jet of fire at his father, which singed the end of his beard. "Tell me!" he roared.
Ozai sat back on his heels and smiled wickedly. "Very well. As I have said, your mother did vicious, treasonous things that night. Azulon had ordered me to kill you, in order to feel the same pain that my brother felt after losing his first born son. And I was going to do it, too. Until your mother found out. She intervened and pleaded with my father to spare your life, but he wouldn't listen to her. So, she had to resort to even more desperate measures. Ursa was so determined to make sure you were not harmed that she did the unthinkable."
"What? What did she do?"
"She plotted with me and together we formed a plan that would ensure your safety and my ascension to the throne. She knew of the consequences. She knew what was at stake. But she didn't back down. She wanted to protect you." Ozai gave Zuko a wry smile. "She killed Fire Lord Azulon."
Zuko froze. The words echoed numbly in his mind as he tried to comprehend them. He couldn't believe what his father was telling him. She killed his grandfather? That couldn't possibly be true. His mother was the kindest, gentlest, most beautiful woman in the world. She wouldn't hurt a fly let alone kill her father-in-law. Feeling outraged, Zuko glared down at Ozai and shot another burst of fire his way.
"You're lying!" he bellowed, tears welling in his eyes. "She would never have killed anyone!"
Ozai laughed darkly. "You're a fool, boy. You underestimate the power of your mother's love. She would have done anything for you. If it meant killing the Fire Lord to keep you safe, she would have done it, regardless of the consequences. Me, on the other hand – I would have simply silenced you. It would have been a lot easier."
Zuko scowled and gave a cry of frustration. "You're a monster! Aang should have killed you when he had the chance!"
"That would not change anything. Ursa still killed her own father-in-law to protect your worthless life and then fled the Fire Nation. That fact still remains whether I'm dead or alive."
"Where did she go? Come on, you must know!"
The former Fire Lord's face turned dark as a shadow passed over his skin. His eyes were downcast and Zuko noticed a slight change in him – something almost sincere. He kept his guard up.
"I don't know," Ozai said quietly. He looked up at Zuko with honest, defeated eyes. "I don't know."
Zuko sighed heavily and turned on his heal. "Did you even love her?" he asked as he paused by the door, resting a hand on the wall.
The silence was deafening as he waited for an answer.
Zuko glanced at Azula sadly, his golden eyes – his mother's eyes – betraying his uncertainty.
"I don't know," he said softly. "I don't know."
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