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|Wish You Were Here|
May 29, 2011
Wish You Were Here is the eighth chapter in the story , written by . This chapter will focus on both Zuko and Azula as they have the few, happy memories of their childhood.
Walking through the still rough terrain, Azula started to feel more and more lonely. She was all alone in a deserted and arid area, nobody to have around with, or even talk to. She was tense enough, having to dodge the movements of the ever-pursuing Dai Li. She knew that she was not alone, for there were two and God knows how many more spirits living inside of her, but she didn't want to talk to either of them. Knowing that she will find even more loneliness in the Si Wong Desert, being alone was the last thing she needed physically.
Feeling that she had nothing else to do, she started to think about her old family, knowing that they were likely the family with the most issues in the history of the world. She thought about the bastard Ozai, the abandoning Ursa, and her brother, Zuko.
Little Zuzu was most likely the one who hated me the most of anybody in my happy little family, Azula thought, But, it seems that he always had a hint of loving me as a sister.
Azula also believed that the feeling was mutual, that she hated him too. But even in her psyche of turmoil and hate, saw a hint of good. Deep in her heart, she felt a brotherly love of Zuko, whom she usually saw as weak and wouldn't have hesitated to kill him. But there was a hint of love for him, as any sister would have for their brother.
Few Happy Times
Azula was now only about seven years old, and she was at the Fire Nation Capital, and she was with Zuko. Their uncle, Iroh, and their cousin, Lu Ten, were trying to finally conquer the Earth Kingdom Capital, Ba Sing Se, and end the War. Since there was nothing else to do, they both were sitting at the garden and pond in the Royal Palace, Zuko feeding the Turtle ducks some bread.
When Zuko tossed in a bit of bread into the water, Azula asked, "Wanna see how I feed the ducks?" Azula then grabbed the bread and threw it forcefully into the pond. The bread hit one of the ducklings and then the mother duck quacked loudly and started to peck at Azula's hand.
"OW!" yelled Azula as the Mother Duck stopped pecking and swam away. Zuko was laughing the whole time. "That's not funny, dumb dumb," Azula angrily said to Zuko.
"Sure it was, you're just the one that made it funny," Zuko answered.
"If that's the case, you what else is funny?" Azula then got close enough to Zuko so that he would lose his balance and fell into the pond, soaking him and making the Turtle Ducks fly away.
"Hilarious, Azula," Zuko sarcastically responded while Azula was laughing, "I'll show you something even more funny."
Zuko then grabbed Azula's arm and pulled her into the pond, soaking her as well. Feeling embarrassed, Azula started to splash more water onto Zuko, then Zuko started to splash her too. Eventually, all hell broke loose as the were in a splashing frenzy. When they started to drip dry, Azula heated the area around her to instantly dry herself and her clothes.
"Can you do that, Zuzu?" Azula tauntingly asked.
"No," the still wet Zuko answered, "and don't call me that!"
Zuko was sitting at the pond that he and his mother once fed turtle ducks, and where he threw a rock at them. He sat there, feeding the mother duck and her ducklings bits of bread while they encircled the peaceful pond. He loved that spot. It was the most common place that he and Ursa could spend some time together and have a few laughs, like a mother and her son always should.
Sitting at the pond, temporarily leaving the duties of politics and leading the Fire Nation into a new era of peace and international trust. His family, at one point and still is, the most important thing to him. Sure, he had big family issues, but regardless, it had it's precious members.
Standing up, Zuko walked over to the other side of the garden, where he saw his three-year-old son fallen fast asleep on the grass. He walked over to him, stroked his head and smiled. Zuko then quietly walked further past his son and walked towards a small slab of stone with markings etched into it. He kneeled in front of it, and read what the inscription read:
Daughter, Sister, and Niece
A confused soul, but deep within, saw a pure heart
Zuko read the date where it said she presumably died, it had been nearly five years since she fell off the cliff, and willingly ended her life. After reading this, a few tears began to run down Zuko's cheeks, and continued to kneel on the soil that held no body. He knew that she wasn't pure evil, that she was simply confused and warped by her father. He placed some recently bloomed fire lilies on the grave, and silently wept for his deceased sister.
"You tried to do many cruel things to me when we were kids," Zuko whispered, "you always thought you were better, and you seemed so evil. I should be happy you're gone, but I'm not. Is it because I feel sorry for you, or is it because you're my sister?"
Zuko asked this and continued to weep for his seemingly dead sister.
Childhood of the Fire Lord
Zuko was now eight years old, his and Azula's grandfather, Fire Lord Azulon, had recently died a mysterious death at seemingly the hand of age, because there was no sign of what killed him. His own mother, Ursa, also mysteriously disappeared, although Ozai told him and Azula that she was most likely assassinated.
Zuko could also see that during Azulon's funeral and Ozai's coronation, Azula was grinning that evil grin of hers. He wondered why Azula would be grinning in a situation like this. She was named after the man, for God's sake, and now she seemed glad that he was dead. Although Zuko did hear that she said that he was too old and that he would likely be overthrown. It seemed possible that he was.
After the coronation, Zuko confronted Azula about her behavior at the coronation.
"Why were you smiling at grandpa's funeral?" Zuko asked, "Isn't this supposed to be a sad time for the entire country?
"Since when is it illegal for a girl to smile?" Azula asked sarcastically, "besides, I know Dad's going to be a better ruler than grandpa or uncle fatso ever would've been. And Zuzu, I have to give you credit, you really dodged a fire ball this time with Dad," and then she walked away.
Zuko hated the constant sarcastic remarks she made to him, he hated how she always seemed one step ahead of him and that she will always be loved by their father, leaving Zuko in the dust.
They continued to bicker and rival each other throughout the years, and they both eventually had a deep grudge against each other. Though, they both had a small, but present, care for each other, despite all of the seeming hatred they had for each other. They were still family, and that was one thing that wasn't broken by the war.
Zuko remembered all of the time he had with Azula, and that they little to no good times together, but still, they had good times. Zuko held those memories closest to him, knowing they were some of the only good times of his life.
While lighting some incense, Iroh gave him for this occasion, Zuko also put out some papayas, Azula's favorite, and a small picture of her onto the tombstone. When laying these out, Zuko softly said, "Hello Azula, I really wish you were here." After saying this, Zuko closed his eyes as a tear rolled down his cheek, holding those precious memories to himself. He then began to softly sing for her.
<p> "Leaves from the vine
Falling so slow
Like tiny fragile shells
drifting in the foam
Little soldier boy
Come marching home
Brave soldier boy
Come marching home."
Eventually stopping from being choked with tears, Zuko quietly left the grave in respect of his seemingly late sister.
- The name of this chapter is reminiscent of the Pink Floyd song and album of the same name, which was made for their late band member Syd Barrett
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Corruption and Redemption Chapters|
|Book 1: Struggles|
|- - - - - - - - - - Ultamatum part 1, The Threat - Ultamatum part 2, The Attack|