It makes me kinda sad that I've only seen half the stars. Can anyone who's been to the southern hemisphere tell me what they look like over there?
People who I think are awesome: Finn the Human, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Shikamaru, Anko, Gaara (of the funk!), the entire Aburame clan, Yobi (the character, not the movie), Alphonse Elric, Lust, Ryuku (Death Note), Idina Menzel, Miss Frizzle, and everyone who deigns to leave a review.
Rubbing his nose and suppressing the urge to sniff, Aang sat in a heavily foliaged tree, waiting for Azula to make her rounds. Everyone knew that she obsessively scoured the woods behind the school when she was on lock-up, so it was only a matter of time before she came into the area where he was perched. Shaking in the cold, Aang pondered what she would do if she caught him. Unconsciously, he reached down and rubbed the raised welts on the backs of his les. Admittedly, those were from a different prefect, but he had always heard that Azula was the hardest hard-ass that ever came from the planet of diamond male donkeys.
His mind drifted into a rather macabre fantasy of Azula being an evil torturer, wearing a black medieval cowl and laughing maniacally with blood in her teeth. He shook himself out of his reverie once her dark-ages dress started to get unnecessarily sexy, and he blushed nervously at himself. He quickly resolved never to fantasize about Azula again.
His resolution, however, didn't keep him from speculating. The girl with the headband in his math class often dozed through class with bruises only possible from a good clock in the face.
That's strange, he thought. The prefects weren't technically allowed to do any punching. That wasn't to say they never did any punching, but it was particularly brazen to leave bruises where they could be seen by every run-down faculty member on the staff.
Aang was filled simultaneously with fear for Azula and hatred for the school (or maybe vice versa) To his surprise, however, his thoughts were interrupted by not one but both of the girls he had been considering dashed into his line of vision. He was so surprised, in fact, that he almost dropped the canteen of water he had been clutching for the past hour.
The dark-haired girl (Aang wished he knew her name) ran pell-mell, her feet bare and a bit blue from the cold. Her pig loped at her heel, its tiny eyes fixed intently on her face. Barely a yard behind her, Azula chased her, her face full of crazy. The prefect was obviously faster, and soon her hands were close enough to snag at the dark-haired girl's... dark... hair (he really wished he knew her name).
Aang closed his eyes. All his curiosity about what the head prefect would do if she found someone out past curfew disappeared. The last thing he wanted was to see someone beaten brutally right in front of him. His tender heart ached and he was actually considering jumping down to help when the smaller girl suddenly made a complicated hand gesture towards her pig, and it immediately fell back and entangled itself in Azula's legs before disappearing into the undergrowth. With the time bought, the girl stopped and spun around, gasping from exertion and adrenaline. Her hair had been yanked down at some point and drifted in a spiky, twiggy, leafy halo around her head.
In a flash, Aang was reminded of a picture he had seen in National Geographic of lions about to fight. One black-maned lion was surrounded by three or four other lions, all snarling for blood. Aang bit his lip. Though she had bought a little bit of time, she was still going to die. Just as Azula leapt from the ground with an inhuman snarl, the smaller girl, with an incongruous grin on her face, suddenly dove into a bush.
Normally, when people say someone dove into something other than water, they're speaking metaphorically; but this girl really dove. She dove like a kingfisher - a legitimate swan-dive sure to snap her neck on the cold ground. When she didn't reappear, Aang was sure she had brained herself. Without a moment for a breath, Azula dropped the flashlight she had been holding and leapt into the bush, snarling.
As she searched the honeysuckle like a pain-maddened bear, another prefect (Aang remembered her name: Mai) loped into view, apparently drawn by the light from the dropped flashlight. Recognizing Azula, she quickly took in her agitated state and with remarkable alacrity rushed up and grabbed her.
"What are you doing!?" She hissed
"Get off me!" Azula screeched, throwing Mai away.
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
"That stupid, repulsive..." Azula said something nasty "...Beifong girl! She's out... she... she's here! I almost had her and she disappeared."
"You're really starting to scare me, Azula... you have got to..."
"Whoo..." said a voice about twenty-five feet away "Azula, I am the ghost of all the shitty things you've done, come back to haunt you!"
Aang whipped his head around to look. He hadn't seen the small girl move from the bush she had dive-bombed into, and though the darkness may have tricked his eyes, he was still completely baffled.
How did she get there? On second thought... Aang suddenly remembered that she was blind, and his mind whirled around in empty circles like a dog chasing its tail.
But still she stood there, gasping for air through a wide, excited grin.
Azula apparently didn't waste any time being confused, but ran at the slight girl with a snarl. Before she got there, however, she had disappeared again, and in a few seconds reappeared in the direction Azula had just run from. The girl in the headband cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted gleefully:
"You can't catch me because you're so damn stupid!"
The head prefect practically screeched, twirling around. She quickly realized that she had been outmaneuvered, and a light bulb went on in her crazed mind.
"You think you're funny" she hissed "You think you're quick. Well, let's see you dodge at the speed of light!" She took up a stance unfamiliar to Aang and held her first two fingers on each hand before her face, taking a deep breath through her nose. In the flickering light of the flashlight lying on the ground, Aang imagined that Azula glowed, and not in the nice, pregnant-lady kind of way, but in a vicious, fire-breathing dragon kind of way.
Her hair seemed to lift as she slowly moved her fingers, and Aang was mesmerized as a mouse is mesmerized by the glittering eyes of a snake. It took all his strength to turn and look out of his peripheral at the blind girl as the air was filled with the smell of ozone. She too seemed to sense the danger and fell naturally into a very deep stance, her smile disappearing and arms lifting at the elbows. The smaller girl hissed something, and Aang imagined she whispered,
"Bring it, bitch."
Time seemed to freeze as Aang watched the two in a mixture of horror and fascination. Azula's hair stood up further as if charged with static; and, across the clearing, the dark-haired girl lowered her head, her green eyes glittering like a wild animal's. Aang was struck with the thought that he was about to witness some beautiful catastrophe akin to a force of nature. Slowly and almost unconsciously, he moved his head to see better around the leaves in front of his face as...
"Azula" Mai screeched in an uncharacteristic fit as she reappeared from the shadows and snatched her fellow prefect by the arm and started shaking her. "You're crazy! You're crazy! Can you imagine what would happen to you if they find a dead body in these woods? They would interrogate everyone with our background! Especially you! People don't just get struck by-" She stopped herself, looking around nervously. The girl in the headband had disappeared, and Mai's shoulder's dropped in relief. Aang strained his ears to hear more, but she didn't continue. She merely shook a panting Azula one more time to make sure she had been snapped out of her hunting frenzy.
Azula shoved Mai back, but calm had collected on her features and she lifted her head and broke her strange stance, brushing dirt and leaves off of her pants.
"She has to sleep somewhere." Azula whispered to herself. Although her hunter's instinct had been subdued, her mind was still clearly on her prey.
"Come on. We're going to the east wing."
"Oh no," Mai moaned, but some of her blasé demeanor had returned to her.
The two rustled through the twiggy undergrowth in the direction of the school, taking the dropped flashlight with them. Aang stared in shock, and his frozen hand dropped the canteen he had been holding. It fell to the ground with a ringing thump.
After climbing down, he shakily made his way back to his room. All his resolve had been drained out of him, and he decided never to go out past curfew again. From what he could gather, the dark-haired girl had narrowly and seemingly impossibly escaped a painful death; and the more Aang thought about it, the less the phrase "painful death" seemed to ring metaphoric. Something had happened that he didn't understand, and, for the moment, he was content to let it simmer peaceably in his mind.
The holidays are only a month away, he thought, Gyatso will know what to do...about everything.
Zuko walked towards the library with his head down, wishing that the prefects would just beat him. All (and I do mean all) the prefects were terrified of his sister, and although it was fairly well known that Azula didn't care a bug's behind about him, her unpredictability was even more well known. To be safe, they always assigned him therapy sessions and community service hours instead of just smacking him around and letting him be on his way.
He was grateful, however, that Azula wasn't assigned to his class. Head prefect was bad enough. He felt bad for the poor second-years that she undoubtedly treated like punching bags.
Now he was stuck spending two hours in the library reading to some idiot who apparently couldn't even read. Grouchily, he stomped into the study room and threw his backpack over the back of his chair.
"Not you." he groaned.
Toph tilted her head towards him and grinned so widely her lips almost cracked. "You look like a pile of crap" he commented dryly. She did. Both her arms were in slings (which explained why her backpack was still on her back, forcing her to perch on the end of her chair) and both her eyes were blackened.
"Worth it!" she trilled, though there was a smear of hollowness behind her eyes.
"No it wasn't." he scoffed, sitting down and folding his arms. "How many ribs did she get?"
"Oh, I don't know" Toph was already sick of his patronizing tone "I don't think I can count without using my fingers 'cause I'm so goddamn stupid!" She huffed and sat back, arching over her backpack. "Why are you so obsessed with your sister anyway? What are you, a Lannister?"
Zuko's mouth dropped open. He didn't even bother being offended.
"You watched those!? How old are you?"
"I hear they're better without the visuals"
"Whatever" he was losing his patience "let's get this over with. What do you need read?"
"Hmm... Paradise Lost"
"Do you have the freaking book?" she nodded "Where is it?"
Rolling his eyes, he reached over and unzipped her backpack and pulled the book out.
"This is in Braille!"
Toph burst out laughing, then coughed and stopped suddenly.
"Hey, I would read it myself, but..."
Zuko opened his computer and looked up an online copy and started reading.
"This first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole Subject, Mans disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac't: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of... um... heaven..." Zuko trailed off, bored out of his mind, then closed the book.
"What do you think of that Aang kid?" Toph asked suddenly "Did he come in during my gap year?"
"He was out the other night ago. Just sat up in a tree like a chicken, but still, he was out past curfew."
"I hate him"
"What" Zuko crossed his arms "Do you care?" He glared moodily into the distance, thinking back to last year, when...
"Yeah, I don't think so." Toph didn't have any patience for unnecessary emotional angst. "I'll ask someone else. See ya." With that, she stood up and left, leaving her book on the library table.
"I hate you, too!" he shouted after her.
Sorry. I don't think I did Zuko justice today, but I really don't understand him. I can't think of a good reason for him to hate Aang, so if anyone has any suggestions that would be nice.
Oh yeah! And I drew a picture of Toph! (badmitton. deviantart art/Toph-424002837_
she looks more angsty than I normally think of her, but that's due to some complications with the original idea in my brain.