Azula reminisces
Love, Where is Your Fire?
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9 September, 2014




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Avatar: The Last Airbender


The untold scene that takes place in "The Beach", episode 5 of Book 3 of Avatar the Last Airbender.

Love, Where is Your Fire?

The view was spectacular from the balcony. The dark crests of waves gently splashing onto the black sands. Swirling clouds just above the horizon, drifting slowly and elegantly across the oceans. Stars flickering ever so slightly, small specks of light scattered across the dark blue and black swirls of the night sky. Ember Island was truly a remarkable place.

The other spectacular view was the boy walking with her on the balcony too, only a mere few steps away from her. But even from this far away she could sense his warmth and passion, radiating from his whole body and from his light brown eyes. She had told him that she was ready for a tour of the house, though they had only seen one room before making it here.

"Is this your first time to Ember Island?" He asked her, his voice smooth and his eyes locked into hers.

"No," She replied, resting her arms on the handrails of the balcony, "I used to come here years ago."

The boy, named Chan, smiled at her reply while leaning his back and elbows on the railing. "It's a great place, if you like sand," He joked with a slight cheeky tone to his voice and a silly grin.

The girl named Azula, though Chan had no idea who she was, remembered the words of her friend Ty Lee downstairs. After her brief moment of supposed jealousy, Ty Lee had told her that if she wanted a boy to like her Azula needed to look at him and smile and laugh at everything he said, even if it wasn't funny. She had done an awful job at it when she had practiced with Ty Lee, her cackle was so loud and strange that it had awkwardly silenced the entire room. Though she gave it another shot now, and this time she nailed it. Her pitch and volume were perfect, and her laugh sounded so natural that one would think Chan had actually said something quite humorous.

Chan grinned at the sound of her laugh, his pride boosted by the fact that the girl before him found his remark funny. "Yeah, it's like, 'Welcome to Sandyland!'" He exclaimed, turning his body around and sweeping his arm in the air as if he were advertising something. The pair chuckled afterwards, their shoulders moving up and down with each burst of laughter. It really wasn't that funny, but Azula was just happy that something had gone right. She hadn't blown it with some lame comment or strange look that would intimidate people. She was just glad to be another random girl on this island, no one special or noteworthy, and certainly not the Princess of the Fire Nation.

Once the laughter had ceased, Chan gazed back at the girl, his handsome features almost glowing under the light of the fire poles lit at each end of platform. Without another moment's hesitation, he walked over to her and leaned once again on the railing, making sure that his arm gently rested against hers, the golden metal bands on their arms making a slight clink as they met.

Azula's stare shifted to the sudden touching of their skin, his elbow slightly in front of hers, both resting on the railing. She didn't think Chan was a firebender, yet his skin seemed so warm. She put on a slightly seductive smile, her voice silky smooth, "Your arms look so... strong," in the short time she paused she took a moment to gaze once again into those soft brown eyes of his.

Chan took the compliment and tensed his arm, his biceps bulging, "Yeah, I know." His eyes shifted downwards ever so slightly, focusing on her scarlet lips. This small movement was enough of a signal to proceed. Both of their lips met, a gentle collision of their skin, passion and desire. His breath was so warm, comforting to her lips which were cold from the night air.

After their exchange he pulled away for a second, laying his eyes upon her face ever so softly and elegantly, like a bird landing perfectly from flight. "You're pretty," Chan remarked.

Azula smiled at the comment. Perhaps she should express her feelings too. "Together," she began, "You and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world!" She held both her arms out, producing flickering and hot tongues of blue from her hands, and a wicked and devilish smile emerged on her face, "We will dominate the earth!"

The poor boy next to her could only gape at what was just said. What was with this girl? One minute she would seem normal and even down-to-earth, and the next she would be declaring some evil ambition of hers, or some sort of violent joke. Of course she was quite beautiful, stunning really. But despite the fact that he was attracted to her looks, he couldn't help but be put off by her strange behavior.

"Uh...," Chan responded, "I gotta go." An awkward grin appeared on his face, and he snuck back inside the house.

And just like that, Azula's chances of getting with Chan sunk like an Empire-Class Fire Nation battleship with a punctured hull, leaving thousands to drown at sea.

A disappointed frown formed on her face. What was so hard about this? She had taken Ty Lee's silly advice about laughing at everything a guy says, and it had paid off. Things had been going well until she decided to express her feelings. Was it too much? Or did Chan just not appreciate her raw power?

Azula sighed and turned back to the view of the beach and the oceans. All her life she had managed to get what she wanted. When she wanted entertainment, she orchestrated a game which ended in her brother Zuko tackling Mai into a pond, in an attempt to embarrass Mai since she had a secret crush on her brother. She had needed a team to help her capture her treacherous uncle and at the time her brother, and so she had manipulated her friend Ty Lee into joining her. Yet this one thing she wanted, this one thing that she thought she yearned for, was just out of reach.

Love and romance were often described as fire. An inferno of passion and warmth, an expression of desires that could only be expressed through intimacy, the touching of skin and the pressing of lips. Her whole life she had been adored by others. Worshiped and lavished by servants, though this was not out of love, but out of duty and fear. And she had naturally taken to this method of getting what she wanted; she was royalty, and so it made sense that people would treat her like that. Though as she stood on the balcony, the cold wind sweeping over her exposed skin, Azula realized that even fear had its limits of what it could obtain.

She turned back to face the house, the warm light from the candles and fires inside illuminating the walls of the hallway. What was this trip about? Well, there were many reasons Azula had brought them all here, and a few reasons she had brought herself to Ember Island. But one of them was to simply live as if she were someone else. It deserved another chance, whatever she had with Chan. She deserved another chance at love.

Azula made her way back inside the main room, watching her brother storm out of the house from the other side. At least her puppets were behaving just like she wanted them too. Zuko would probably end up at their old place; he was always so caught up with the past, those distant memories that happened so long ago they almost seemed like legend. Chan had sent him out after his grandmother's vase was broken, since Zuko was the one who had pushed a guy into it. Now that the commotion was over, it was time for Azula to make her move.

Making her way past the statues and other simpletons in the room, Azula made her way to the drinks table. Her target was busy chatting with a group of other guys, his arms moving around as he spoke. She knew she couldn't simply ask him for another tour of the house, no, she had already tried that tactic with him. She would need a new way to grab his attention, perhaps a distraction. While standing at the table, Azula noticed another girl making her way towards the group with two drinks in her hands. The Princess followed the girl with her scowl, her amber eyes so deadly they looked like they belonged on a dragon, or some other fierce animal. Chan seemed weak-minded and ignorant, and if this girl walked past him she would certainly grab his attention. But thankfully Azula had come up with a way to steal Chan, and end this promiscuous woman who was getting in her way.

After filling her cup with punch, almost overflowing, she began her prowl through the other party goers. She approached the rear of the black-haired bimbo, who was only a few steps away from Chan and the others. Azula made a subtle and swift sweep forwards with her right foot, purposely stepping on the girl's sandal at precisely the right moment, causing her to trip. Her rival had fallen flat on her stomach, her leg tilted in the air. Azula pretended to stumble into the girl's leg as she was sprawled on the ground, and 'coincidentally' spilled her ridiculously filled glass of punch all over the girl's back.

The poor girl on the ground began to stand, gasping and gritting her teeth angrily. "My, I am such a klutz, I am so sorry," Azula's voice sounded so genuine and sincere that one would believe that it was merely an accident. Others around them had begun laughing at what had just happened, especially when the girl felt around her back and let out an outraged gasp.

"You stupid bitch, watch where you're walking!" She yelled at Azula. By this stage, one of the guys had fetched a hand towel and had started wiping her hair and back.

Azula felt like ending this disrespectful wench's life with a blue-flamed kick to her perfect face. How dare she talk to royalty like that! But then she remembered that here on Ember Island she wasn't royalty. She wasn't Princess Azula of the Fire Nation. She was simply another girl at this party.

Even though she had been tempted to say something back, she wasn't given the chance anyway; the girl stormed off and slammed the front door behind her, the guy who had been cleaning her following her outside. Instead of saying any more, Azula knelt down to start picking up the broken pieces of glass. She had purposely dropped the glass next to the girl rather than on top of her, lest she cause an injury and have Chan feeling sorry for her, and run her to get help or something. The thought nearly made Azula hurl. Instead of landing on her, the glass had been dropped right next to where she had fallen, providing the right environment for something to happen...

"Hey, I can clean that. It is my house after all," His voice came from behind, carrying its usual smooth and warm tone. He knelt down next to her, picking up the small pieces of glass and placing them into a bag he had brought.

Azula picked up the hand towel and started dabbing the floorboards. "Nonsense, it was my silly mistake I can help," She sighed deeply, "I'm... Just a bit clumsy at times," She remarked, a light and embarrassed chuckle made its way past her scarlet lips. In reality, her actions where far from clumsy, but rather a carefully and meticulously planned sequence of movements resulting in her love rival leaving the building coated in punch with a wound to her pride and perfect self-image.

By this stage, everyone who had watched the scene unfold had gone back to whatever conversations they were having before. Azula noticed that Ty Lee and Mai had also left, right on time too. She couldn't have them witnessing this, since they knew that she was never so clumsy that she would trip a girl and spill her drink on her and would probably suspect something was up.

With the quiet chatter around her, Azula looked up at the boy helping her, "I'm not normally like that," She began, waiting for Chan to look at her, "You know, on the balcony."

"Ah," He nodded in response, his awkward grin emerging, though not as obvious as before.

"I've just had a lot on my mind lately."

"Right," He replied, emphasizing the first vowel sound.

Azula's heart sank after he had said this. Clearly he still found her strange. She thought maybe she should explain it further, though he didn't give her a chance, "Those were some cool blue flames though, I never knew you were a firebender."

A smile formed on her face. Perhaps all was not lost. "Yeah, I've been training my whole life."

"They looked pretty sweet. Man, my dad is an admiral you see, and so he knows some pretty important people," He explained with an impressive hint to his voice, "And he told me there's only one person he knows who can do that."


"Yeah, Princess Azula of the Fire Nation." Azula smiled at his reply. This was all too ironic, though she managed to refrain from laughing. "Are you like...related to her or something?"

"I'm afraid not," Azula answered, "I come from a simple, middle-class family from one of the islands," The fact that she had made up a back story on the spot made her laugh, though Chan didn't think twice about it. "Though we had rich grandparents who owned a home here, who we used to stay with every summer."

Chan smiled back at her once she had finished, "Well, you should talk to Princess Azula or something. I'm sure she would be impressed, since there aren't many firebenders who can make blue flames."

Azula looked up again, internally laughing in hysterics at the irony, though revealing nothing more than a smirk on her face, "Hmm, I suppose I could." It was quite impressive that she had managed to fool him. Either that or Chan wasn't the sharpest bisento in the armory.

He had just placed the last piece of glass into the bag when Azula spoke to him, "Careful Chan," She warned, "You wouldn't want the glass to break any further if it touched your arm."

Chan only stared back, a puzzled look on his face. "You know, the glass is sharp so it could break even further... since your arms are so strong they would break the glass into even smaller pieces." After it became apparent that she had made the same mistake again, Azula lowered her head. The joke had made perfect sense in her head, so why was it just not that funny?

Despite what had happened, Chan smirked, "Oh, you think the glass would break and it wouldn't puncture my arm? Like my outfit would do to an Empire-Class Fire Nation battleship?" As he started laughing he placed the bag of broken glass back on the floor. Though his laugh wasn't a mean or mocking one, but more of a genuine one, as if he really did find the joke funny. Azula gazed back at him and started laughing too.

After letting out a sigh, Chan looked back to Azula, "You know, I don't normally say this, but... I sometimes say weird stuff too."

The Princess of the Fire Nation looked quite surprised at his confession. She thought it was only herself who was having a hard time being funny and acting casual.

"I just sometimes try too hard to impress people I think. And sometimes it works, though other times I must seem like I'm not really that funny. How about we don't tell each other anymore jokes for the rest of the night?" He suggested with a grin and a short burst of laughter.

Azula chuckled lightly too. Once she had finished, she locked her amber eyes into his, "How about we don't say anything at all?" And with that she tilted her head to the side and went in for the kiss, her lips lightly and delicately placed into his. She ran her hand so elegantly over his neck and jaw, feeling the smooth, warm delightful pleasure of his skin. He kissed her back too, and with her eyes closed she pictured his strong hand moving over her cheek as she felt it, his lips perfectly fitting with hers.

Azula pulled away and stared into his brown eyes, her hand delicately sliding down his neck and exposed chest, "You know, when you gave me a tour of the house you never did show me where your bedroom was."

Within minutes she had him pressed against the wall. Her fingers of her left hand were intertwined with his right. Her other hand she slid over his muscular shoulders, feeling each and every crease and form of his tanned skin. His hands were placed either side of her, his fingers dancing up her exposed skin between her clothing like the legs of a spiderpede, delicately making their way up until they reached her shoulders, at which they turned into a firm grip. All the while their lips pressed together, scarlet against tanned, an expression of burning desire and lust blending together like two different flames colliding. It was Thrilling. Exhilarating. Electrifying. It was exactly how she had planned it to be, how she had calculated it would feel. All the things she did to get the two of them alone here, how she had made up a past story and excuses for her not so funny jokes, how she had sent that waste-of-a-space girl home drenched in punch. It was so...Worth it. The thought made her burn even brighter with passion and joy.

His firm grip on her shoulders turned more into a nudge, and then out of nowhere Chan pushed her away, though not in a way that would hurt her. Their interlocked lips parted, and Azula flicked her amber eyes open with a confused and nervous look on her face. What was going on? Had she done something wrong? Had she miscalculated or made some kind of error?

Chan awkwardly frowned, "Uh... I can't... really do this." He mumbled.

"Wh... What do you mean?" Azula's eyes were fairly wide, shocked at this turn of events. It was a look she hardly ever displayed, not wanting to ever appear weak in front of anyone.

"You know that girl, the one who you spilled punch on? Yeah... She, well... I kinda asked her out on a date, so I probably shouldn't be kissing you."

He may as well have punched her in the face. It was like her mind was away with the spirits somewhere, as if she were watching some kind of dream devoid of reality. "When did this happen?" She asked after a lengthy pause, still completely puzzled.

The boy sighed, "It happened after I kicked your friend out, you know, the one with the scar? I had been talking to her before then and she seemed really nice, good-looking too. So after the... way our conversation on the balcony ended, she told me that she liked me and so I asked her out."

Finally, the hurt and anguish, humiliation and rage started to seep into Azula's face. Her eyes narrowed, her brows furrowed, her amber balls burning with the scorching heat and power of an erupting volcano, "And so why did you start kissing me now?" She asked, her words hot with enmity.

"Well," Chan was becoming more and more uncomfortable with Azula's rising anger. His voice nervous and unsteady he answered "I just thought, you know, that I felt bad for you. And so I thought, that I would kiss you back to be... well, nice. You know, like... polite."

"Polite!" The seething princess bellowed in reply, "Polite is when you hold doors open for people. Polite is when you say please and thank you. Polite is when you bow before officials or royalty. It is not kissing a girl just because you felt sorry for her!"

"Um... I'm sorry," He responded, nearly peeing his pants by this stage.

Azula shrieked and punched the wall to her left, her blue flames spreading across a good portion of it. Chan could only leap back in terror, screaming and hiding behind his bed. Her rage-fueled strike had left a sizable hole in the wall, which she stormed out of without another word, leaving behind wisps of blue slowly dissipating.

The view was spectacular from the beach. The dark crests of waves gently splashing onto the black sands. Swirling clouds just above the horizon, drifting slowly and elegantly across the oceans. Stars flickering ever so slightly, small specks of light swept across the dark blue and black swirls of the night sky. Ember Island was truly a remarkable place.

The other spectacular view was the burning house only a short walk down the beach from where she was. It burned so brightly against the dark sky, flickers of orange and tongues of yellow slowly spreading from the lower floors and nearly reaching the roof. There were probably some firebenders there who had stopped the inferno from claiming the whole house, though it was still taking some time to extinguish the blaze. The screams and cries of people who were losing everything they owned (Specifically Chan) was like sweet music to Azula's ears, and brought a satisfied smirk to her lips. Though it didn't last long, quickly replaced with saddened eyes and a downcast head.

Lo and Li had told them that just as "waves wash away footprints in the sand, Ember Island gives everyone a clean slate." And this is what she had done with her 'clean slate'; she had vandalized and nearly burnt down an entire house. She had thought she wanted to feel 'love's blazing fire', and although she had found her exchange with Chan pleasurable all the things she did to get there made her feel even better. She took delight in treading on others to obtain what she wanted, in seeing others fall by her actions.

Only a few hours ago she had gathered Mai, Ty Lee, and Zuko at the beach before the group of them went to destroy Chan's home. Something about the moment had caused them all to share what they went through as children. Azula had tried to stay completely composed, as if she had somehow planned all of this to happen, which to an extent she did. But she didn't plan to be sitting out in the sand at this late hour, now shedding tears about what her mother had thought of her.

Her mother was right; she was a monster through and through, and for once in her life she could actually cry about it. Chan had deserved it; why, he was a complete son of Koh for treating her that way. But the fact that she had mercilessly retaliated, and manipulated the whole situation in her favor by disposing of that black-haired bimbo, revealed her true nature. She was cold and calculating, manipulating everyone and everything to further her own goals.

But her tears wouldn't last long. She had work to do, and work required manipulating, and manipulating required fear. And there was nothing to fear from a teary-eyed insecure princess of the Fire Nation.

Love and romance were often described as fire. An inferno of passion and warmth, an expression of desires that could only be expressed through intimacy, the touching of skin and the pressing of lips. But even this belief implied that fire was warm, blazing warm and comforting, full of life. Azula formed a small flickering ball of blue in her hands. They just didn't get it. Her fire was so, so different.

Author's Notes

I always get so nervous about writing for canon characters... I'm always worried I'll misrepresent them somehow, which is why I don't normally do it. The reason Azula may behave a little differently in this story (in that she was actually crying and it wasn't because of a mental breakdown) was because I feel that 'The Beach' was one of the few times we get to see a more vulnerable side to Azula. She wanted guys to like her, yet she couldn't control them out of fear like she could her friends. She was also reminded that her own mother thought she was a monster (or at least that's what Azula felt her mother thought of her) and since in the last scene of this story she is alone, she is able to let it all out. It's also one of the only times I've ever written anything romantic (if you could call it that) since I haven't come to those scenes yet in my main fanon series Spirit of the North, so I hope it sounds okay :)


  • The 'Black-Haired Bimbo' as Azula named her, appears in The Beach. She is chatting with Chan before Azula interrupts them and steals him from her. This also contributed to her angry response when Azula spilled punch on her in this fanon.
  • In the episode, if you look at Chan's expression when Azula and the others return from the beach to destroy his house he looks quite upset, which led this author to believe that between the events of him kicking Zuko out and when we see him again that something bad had happened to him (Like kissing a girl to make her feel better, then telling her you can't because you like someone else and then having her burn a hole in your bedroom wall) :P
  • This Author knows that blue fire is actually much hotter than orange (due to the electrons being in a higher energy state or something like that), though the point of the story is that while Azula's blue flames may be hotter in temperature they carry no warmth, or life. They are cold and merciless, just like she is.
  • The title for the fanon is inspired by a song by Brooke Fraser, 'Love Where is Your Fire?', though the meaning behind the song has little to do with the fanon.

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