A/U: This is a short series I have written that takes place amidst The Search. You may be able to guess by the title who the main characters will be. Don't worry, it is not a Sozula or Azokka, or whatever the ship name for Sokka x Azula is. It is simply their growing relationship as FRIENDS, a concept people have difficulty understanding when it comes to boys and girls these days. Hehe. I do hope you enjoy it.
Boomerang and Lightning
Some several months following the climatic fall of the Fire Nation's ruling, life within the world had begun to settle down. But even with peace declared upon the land, trust remained difficult to come by because of all the damage that colored history. Yet, somehow, the world managed to move forth, primarily due to the efforts of its saviours. The team operated as one, even when scattered abroad to help those in need. Although, said saviours had to deal with many hardships, some of these not being impersonal.
Zuko was challenged in many ways. Haunting childhood memories revealed themselves in the depths of the night as he tossed and turned in his bed, and many unanswered questions and enigmas orbitted his thoughts. On top of this, he was leading an entire nation (and assisting the remainder of the world) out of 100 years of misdeed and exploitation. This wreckage was not to be taken lightly. A majority of his complications and contentions-- both internal and external-- were to be indicted upon his father.
From his rotting prison cell, Ozai continued to taunt and mock the new Fire Lord regarding his search. With all of his worries, nothing troubled Zuko more than the crippling hunt for his mother. His weekly meet-ups with his father were proving to be useless. All the iniquitous prisoner could do, powerless since his defeat against the Avatar, was feed Zuko futile information that expanded his quest to undesired regions that he wanted no part in.
At his lowest, Zuko turned to the only person that was as devious and cunning as his father. The only difference between them was that she may have been willing to help. No, Zuko knew she would help. She would have to. Occasionally, he would visit Azula at the asylum, checking on her progression. In the beginning, following directly after the war, not much had changed. But compared to then, there was a significant difference regarding the recovery of his sister. She began to regain her self-worth, and all her old tactics and precision that was once present was almost fully restored.
But there was a vital piece of Azula that was missing; not her firebending, for Aang had allowed her to keep that, of course, under strict terms. But what she was missing was something the two siblings had shared. It was a feeling of loss etched deep into the past, the emotion shielded for the better or the worse. And after confronting her about it, Azula-- whose eyes once danced as a passionate wildfire, but were now dulled into a deep void of hazel-- had suprisingly agreed. The search was then on. The search for their mother.
And so, it was decided. Team Avatar was to be rounded back up for a minor mission that was just desperately needed to escape the reality of what terms the world was really on. Luggage was packed and basic neccessities and supplies were provided by the warm care of the Fire Nation Palace. Once the flying bison with the name of Appa was ready and loaded, they went off into the sea of clouds, soaring into the great unknown seeking a great perhaps that would very soon lead them to great discoveries.
Suki was addled. Or rather, she had been for the past several days. Ever since arriving in this town, Sokka's behavior suddenly became peculiarly eccentric. They all knew Sokka was consistently abberrant, that was no secret. But he was different. She could tell there was something wrong about how he was inexplicably remote.
Could they have been growing apart? She wouldn't doubt it. Suki observed his actions attentively, and she picked up on the sudden decrease in communication and the lack of contact. She hadn't even got so much as a single hug since arriving, and he only greeted her quietly on a daily basis. Maybe she was being paranoid. Everyone needs time alone, and perhaps this was it for Sokka. No, this was too weird.
She was beginning to think the entire situation was beyond her ability to fathom when Sokka joined her on the balcony. The townspeople made sure to give them the most cultivated room with an exquisite view of the ocean's coast. It only seemed appropriate, considering they were the world's saviours, minus Azula.
"Hey, Sokka," Suki said, not letting any uncertain emotions seep through her cheerful smile.
"Hey," he replied. His voice was low, quiet and empty. It almost wasn't him.
Placing a hand on his, she asked, "Hey, what's wrong?" The sullen-sounding warrior responded with a quick "nothing" and turned toward the other direction. "Oh, come on, Sokka," Suki said through a smile while pulling on his arm, "you're basically inviting me into your problems. What's been going on?"
No response, as expected from a hard-headed fighter. "Does this happen to have anything to do with catching that hog? Because Zuko and Katara will still let you go, I'm sure. Azula, though, I'm not so sure about. Why do you want to bring her anyway?" Sokka turned towards her, his eyes casting a new shade of blue Suki had never seen before. It was also a new side of Sokka she had never seen before.
"Azula!" shouted the trio as they walked through town. Zuko, Katara and Aang kept shouting her name and questioning the locals if they'd seen the missing princess. So far, their efforts were to no avail. It almost seemed futile. If only Sokka had kept an eye on her, this never would have happened. This whole situation-- catching 'The Great Ino' and Azula wanting to tag along-- was interfering with the real matter at hand: finding Zuko's mother.
"Guys," Katara said, stopping in her tracks. Aang didn't notice and ran into her. Zuko barely stopped himself from walking into Aang. "Guys," she said more forcefully. Aang offered a contrite grin. "We won't make any progress together. We should split up to cover more ground."
"But what do we do if we find Azula?" Aang inquired.
"Just try to tame her somehow and bring her back to the hotel. It's not the first time we had to control Azula."
"Er, okay," Aang replied, but he already knew this was a bad idea.
Just a few blocks down, Azula sat on a decaying fountain, glowering at the passersby. Normally, she wouldn't resolve to such unpalatable sitting conditions. But, sadly, nothing about this trip was conventional. She rested her head on her hand, thinking about why she was here. Then she remembered.
I know what you really think of me. You think I'm a monster.
I think you're confused. All you're life you used fear to control people. Like your friends Mai and Ty Lee.
But what choice do I have? Trust is for fools. Fear is the only reliable way. Even you fear me.
No, I love you, Azula. I do.
"Azula!" Aang cried out as he saw the blue fire consuming the plaza.
Of course not! It's only her most vital weapon. But I think the general idea of being able to shoot lighting out of your fingertips is horrifying enough and doesn't really need to be emphasized, haha (:
Sokka even knew he'd be in trouble yet carried out with it anyway, hehe. Oh, Sokka, we will always love you, despite your asininity.
Anyone & Everyone,
I really should have a set timespan for when I post. Three, four days? A week? Huh, I'll just try to keep it within a week, I suppose. I shouldn't grow too lazy.
Wow, this is great, Ally! Your writing is very descriptive and you have a very wide vocabulary, I love it! And you don't see too many fan-fics about Azula that don't involve a lot of shipping as well, good work. : )
A/N: This is an extremely short chapter. I'm sorry. (Oh, and I finally posted, hehe.)
Boomerang and Lightning
It was nearly sunset and the hue of the sky was a mash of scarlet and violet and a pale yellow. It blended together, making what could be a beautiful painting. But there was no time for fatuous thoughts. Not now.
At a hasty speed, Sokka darted for the nearest shop that sold camping supplies. He opened the door rather aggresively, upsetting the frail, old man at the counter. The elder simply shook his head as the adolescent skimmed the aisles for what he needed.
Not long after, Azula strolled in, curious to what the foolish boy had in mind. She observed him attentively, her eyes darting back and forth as he piled various gadgets in his arms. On his way to the counter to pay, he tripped over his own feet and went stumbling down, all his supplies scattering across the floor. Azula pinched the bridge of her nose, shaking her head.
One might be surprised that a royal princess like her-- albeit infamous for her wrong doings-- would have taken interest in a silly dolt like himself. But truth being, under all of his asininity, Azula believed be possessed a tactical intellect that she could put to use. Part of why she offered to come along was to observe this peculiarity about him. Of course, she would never admit that to anyone, not even herself.
"Oof," Sokka said, his chin colliding with the floor. "Azula, you could help me gather these things back up insteading of just standing there, examining your latest peticure."
Azula laughed. "Help you? No way. You shouldn't have been so incompetent to carry it all." Sokka glowered at her.
After exiting the shop, Sokka stuffed his new supplies into an immense backpack. By then, Azula had wandered off, growing weary of watching him prepare. Of course, she was not supposed to, and Sokka would surely be blamed, considering he was watching her. But he didn't care all that much. What he did care about, though, was getting his search on.
"Where have you been?" Katara demanded as he walked into the hotel room.
"I had to get supplies," Sokka answered, shrugging his shoulders.
"You didn't care to tell us? What if you left already and we didn't know? You know, Zuko still wanted to go over some rules with Azula. She's like a child, we have to explain things to her over and over again. Speaking of Azula, where is she?" Katara and Zuko stood up, waiting for Sokka to reply.
Sokka smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck. "She kinda, uh, walked away."
Eek, sorry I hadn't posted! I don't think it's your writing that needs to change... Maybe it's that your NICKname doesn't show up too high when alphabetically organized? Good last chapter, and I'm excited to see Azula and Sokka's interactions.
-By The Way
Okay, who else is totally rooting for LOK's Zaheer and his partners?!
Okay, okay, I get it if you don't like my fanfic, but, if you could give some feedback on what you don't like about it, I could use that to hone my skills. I'm just asking for one chance, people of the ATLA FanFiction Message Board. Feedback, constructive criticism, a review, ANYTHING FROM ANYONE.
Sokka had proposed the idea of him hunting for Ino later that night as they all gathered together at the hotel they were occupying. He walked in the room with high spirits, confident his comrades would support his claim. Now he hung his head as Katara chastised him for his "unbelieveable stupidity".
"I still cannot believe what you are saying!" his younger sister demurred. "You want to hunt down a worthless beast?!" She threw her fists in every direction, almost whacking Zuko.
"It is not worthless!" Sokka cavilled back. "There happens to be quite a big reward." Toph instantly tuned in on the squabble, the mentioning of money sounded very enticing at the moment.
"There is still no reason to put your life on the line. Zuko has broughten plenty of money from the Fire Nation palace. Sokka, why are you really doing this?" Katara crossed her arms, giving him a deadly glare.
Noticing this, Aang stepped between the two siblings. "Guys, let's just all calm down. We have enough things going on already."
"CALM DOWN?!" Katara shouted in his ear. Aang took a couple steps back, suddenly frightened by his girlfriend. "I am perfectly calm," she stated after recolleting herself.
Azula scoffed from the corner she sat in. "There are maniacal theives-- some of which I'm personally acquainted with-- that are significantly more placid than you. But you, peasant, wouldn't understand how boisterous bandits and thieves can be."
Katara shot her a look, but Zuko stepped in, soon making them forget about the princess's snide comment. "Katara, although I'm not positive about Sokka's motives, I think he should go. Sometimes we all need time to ourselves, to try to understand and figure out some things."
"Thank you, Zuko," Sokka said, crossing his arms and eyeing his sister. Suddenly, Azula cleared her throat. He almost forgot she was there. He also almost forgot about their little deal.
"Oh, and there may be one important detail I'm leaving out." Everyone's eyes turned towards Sokka. "Azula may or may not be... um, tagging along?"
The next few moments were indescribably hectic.
Katara nearly fainted.
Aang restrained Zuko.
Suki observed with wide eyes.
Katara raged wildly.
Sokka coward in fear.
"No, no, no, Azula is absolutely not 'tagging along'!" said Zuko.
"You're darn right she's not" Katara concurred. "She could harm Sokka."
"She could run away!"
"That's probably her whole plan!"
Sokka wasn't sure who was saying what anymore. He just wanted the perpetual bickering to halt. And to his luck, an unlikely salvation ensued.
"Everybody, shut up!" Azula shouted. "To my understanding, the major two reasons preventing me from accomponying this peasant on this hunt is because I will harm said peasant or I will elude from this search. I can assure you all, niether of those will happen... most likely."
As all heads turned towards the firebender, they processed what she just said. It was not much to go by, considering there was a messy history between Azula and the rest of them, and her claim wasn't exactly beneficial towards her. But, it was out of character for her to say something like that. Perhaps they could trust her?
"Ridiculous!" Katara said. "She's lying, and we all know it. She will try to escape. And Sokka isn't strong enough to handle her on his own."
Zuko hesitated. Then he said, "I don't know, but maybe we oughtta give this more thought. If Azula would agree with our terms, then perhaps-"
"What are you saying, Zuko? You'll let your derranged and psychotic sister travel with Sokka? Alone?!" The waterbender gave him a sour look.
Zuko sucked in his breath, not looking Katara in the eye. "Um, yes?"
And although there was much argument over the next several hours, and more protesting after that, it was soon decided. Sokka was permitted to hunt for the desired Ino, which was terrorizing the town's merchants for months, and Azula was to consort with him, under strict conditions. Although, befriending the Water Tribe warrior was not at all what she had in mind. She was simply bored and needed a good laugh. Or so she told herself.
Sokka however, was not sure how to feel. He wasn't exactly thrilled or delighted for the Fire Nation princess to come along. Having Azula present made him uneasy. There was churning in the depth of his gut when she was around. But, if he were to run into trouble he alone couldn't get out of, it was nice to have a companion. Sokka knew one thing though, Azula or anybody wouldn't steal his thunder. He would catch Ino, all by himself. All that was needed was a bit of assistance.
A Random A/U: To any reader (if there are any) that has read The Search: You must have noticed how I've changed a few things about this little expedition the Gaang is having. For starters, I made Suki tag along. And while we all adore the Kyoshi Warrior and her mad power that makes grown men cower in fear, she sadly was left behind with Ty Lee and Iroh in The Search graphic novel. Also, the original search only took, what, a few days? I made it so that it is wayyy longer. A few months, at most. Okay, I'll stop talking. Carry on with your day :3