Azula was still asleep Weiter to Cheng when Zuko lead the others to the lower floor. He couldn’t say for certain whether oder not Cheng was sleeping too oder if he was simply lying awake waiting for Azula to do the same.
Zuko knew it wouldn’t be long before his sister woke up when P’Li bounced down the stairs. She skipped right on over to the sofa and with her tiny hands, shoved Cheng to the floor so she could take his place. Naturally the plan had backfired when Cheng dragged Azula down with him. She landed face up on oben, nach oben of the man and woke with a startled cry.
“Daddy did it!” P’Li shouted right away.
Azula grumbled, rubbed her head, and slowly (using the couch as a crutch) stood back up.
“You alright?” Cheng asked.
Azula sat back down. “Fine.”
P’Li crept back over and flopped down on the couch, leaning against her mother. Azula ran a hand over the child’s hair and pulled her closer.
“What do Du want to eat?” Cheng asked.
“Doesn’t matter.” Azula shrugged.
“Ice cream.” P’Li chirped.
“Not for breakfast.” Azula murmured in the girl’s ear.
“I’ll figure something out.” Cheng retreated into the kitchen.
At this point, P’Li was holding Azula’s hand, attempting to pull her off the sofa and into the küche too. Azula picked the restless child up and cradled her in her arms.
“Mind if I sit down?” Zuko asked.
“Why do Du need to ask?”
“It is your house…”
Azula sighed. “You always make something out of nothing don’t you? If Du want to sit, sit. If Du want to stand, stand.”
“You look kind of funny.” P’Li pointed at Zuko’s scar.
Azula didn’t bother suppressing the slight smirk.
“She’s defiantly your daughter.” Katara nodded from the corner.
“Indeed.” Azula stated with much pride. “I taught her well.” The smirk widened.
“I’m sorry about last night.” Zuko “I shouldn’t have just come here and…”
“Don’t be so dramatic Zu-Zu.” Azula gave a dismissive gesture.
P’Li looked up at Zuko and shouted Zu-Zu thrice. His cheeks darkened a hue oder two. It was bad enough that Azula still called him that…but her daughter too!?
“I have raised Du well, haven’t I?” Azula drawled.
P’Li didn’t quite understand so she just nodded and gave an ‘mmhm.’
“Our mother is worried about you.” Zuko pointed out.
Azula sighed. “If she really cares, she can come for a visit. Bring her along Weiter time Du stop by…if there is a Weiter time.”
“Of course there will be a Weiter time.” Aang answered for Zuko.
“At least the Avatar seems to be egger to visit me.”
“I can bring Mai and Ty-Lee along too.”
“Or Du can leave them behind.” Azula suggested.
“I think Ty-Lee might like P’Li.” Sokka pointed out.
Azula thought for a minute. “Perhaps. P’Li could use a baby sitter.” She paused. “Cheng and I haven’t gone out for dinner…alone in a while.”
“Hey!” P’Li yelled.
Azula smiled at the girl. “You didn’t even like the restaurant anyways.”
“Did too.” She pouted.
There came a slight pounding on the door. Azula frowned. “We don’t usually get company. Much less this early in the morning.”
“I’ll get it.” Toph and Cheng shouted at once. After a brief back and forth conversation it was decided that Toph was closer, so she’d take the task on.
She hadn’t even reached the door before it loomed to the floor—held up just Von a hinge oder two.
Azula stood abruptly set on spinning a slur of angry words. She looked from the intruder to Zuko. “Who are they?”
“The White Discord…” Zuko answered with much reluctance.
“They tracked us all the way over here?” Aang stepped forward. Sokka stood Weiter to him, mouth ajar.
“You’re going to kick my arsch for this aren’t you?” Zuko asked.
“You bet.” Azula sagte through clenched teeth. She bent down so that she was level with P’Li. Her voice lowered to a sweet and soothing hush, “why do Du go play with the jungle spirits? Mommy needs to…talk to these men. I’ll get Du when we’re finished.”
P’Li nodded. Azula gave her a light pat on the head. “Alright, don’t wander too far, but don’t stay too close either...”
Azula gave a quick glance over her shoulder. In this time it appeared that the men had taken out Toph and the water tribe siblings and were quickly advancing on her brother.
“See ya later mama.” P’Li smiled.
“Yeah…later.” Azula gave a half smile. She kissed the girl on the cheek. “I Liebe you…”
P’Li nodded. Azula watched the little girl flounce out the door. She felt something cold…metallic graze her neck. She turned slowly, drawing out a thin trail of lightning as she did so. She let it direct it’s self at the metal sword that came so close to leaving her dead.
It’s owner let out a yelp before falling to the floor.
“So this is why we needed her help.” Sokka called from in the corner—trapped within a Wand of rock.
The earthbender whom had bested him still working on Zuko.
“Azula Du have to leave.” Zuko shouted.
“I can’t.” Azula declared. “Cheng can’t fight these guys, he’s a wimp.”
“Can’t he bend?” Sokka asked.
“Nope. He’s just like you…born in the Water Tribe, can’t bend…a wimp.”
“Thank Du dear.” Cheng retorted as his dagger embedded itself in one of the attacker’s arms.
“Lucky shot.” sagte the man as he pulled it out and flung it back. The dagger had barely left his hand when he drew out a stream of water and pinned Cheng in place. Azula sent a wave of feuer to knock the dagger out of position.
“I got him.” The earthbender remarked. Zuko lie on the ground in a similar state to Sokka.
A tall woman with snowy colored hair slide her way into the room. “Great, where’s the Avatar?”
“I’m over here.” Aang replied adding a whirl of air for emphasis. The woman remained on her feet.
“You’re going to have to do a bit better than that aren’t you?” She seemed to glide closer to Aang. She now stood practically nose to nose with him. “You’re just beaming with power aren’t you.” She murmured slowly. “It will suit me nicely as I take the thron in the spirit world.”
“There is no thron in the Spirit world!” Aang hollered.
“There will be shortly. All I have to do is transfer your power…your soul, to yours truly.”
“And Du people sagte I was crazy.” Azula mumbled to herself. She ignited a handful of fire.
“Don’t Du dare.” The other woman growled.
Azula ignored her.
“Azula get out of here!” Zuko hollered.
Azula brushed him off with a “don’t tell me what to do Zu-Zu.” She then paused and muttered about he was the one who wanted her to do this in the first place.
“You’re going to get yourself killed.” He tried again. “You’re going to get your baby killed.”
Azula sent the feuer at the half-sprit woman. “As if they’re going to just let me leave.”
The woman smirked and stepped out of the way. “She’s right Du know. I would have killed her the Minute she left the door. At least she has a chance now.”
Azula scowled and sent another wave of fire. It became rather rhythmic. Azula would attack and her opposer would dance around the fire. And of course Azula would take special care to extinguish the flame before it could claim her home.
Aang had busied himself with keeping the earthbender and the waterbender from interrupting.
The woman yawned. “I am tired of this game.” She came to a dead halt and then sent a spiral of punches in Azula’s direction. The Princess hadn’t seen anyone Bewegen that quickly since Ty-Lee. Her fist first met Azula’s left arm (she could already feel it bruising) and then her other arm.
She shielded her face as another blow met her left arm again. It was now throbbing and screaming for a break.
It was now a game of sheer defense, Azula couldn’t seem to find time—or room—for that matter to make any counter attack.
Zuko made an attempt to break from his rocky entrapment. He however only succeeded in burning himself.
Azula deflected a cheap shot aimed at her stomach. She was growing dizzy and tired—very much so. It had her wondering how she’d even made it this long. She felt sick. Out of breath, lungs burning.
It only took a Sekunde really—a Sekunde Azula utilized for catching her breath—for the woman to land another cheap shot. This one actually hitting it’s mark in one way oder another. The half-spirit woman had caught Azula’s ankle with the hook of her own and sent the Princess to the floor.
Azula gave a sharp cry and rolled onto her side clutching her stomach. The pain—physical and mental was unbearable.
She should have listened. She should have ran. She killed her baby…she killed her own baby…
She may as well have at least.
Her thoughts then turned to Zuko. It was his fault. If he didn’t have the audacity to come to her house and let them follow him, then she wouldn’t have had any need to flee in the first place. Her need to cause her brother harm, resurfacing.
Azula’s agonized cries and fists pounding violently on the floor proved sufficient enough for the woman, as she now slinked past and came back nose to nose with Aang.
It was a simple twirling motion—done with only her pinky—and Aang’s soul took to exiting his body in a thin, transparent, shimmery trail. Misting along towards his attacker’s pinky like Azula’s lightning to the man’s sword.
They’d lost. Aang knew he’d made a terrible mistake in coming to Azula. He just thought that Azula herself would have been the reason for it. He hadn’t even considered that he’d be putting her at risk. And now everyone was paying for it.
He let his head dip…ready to take his punishment.
Whatever this woman had in store after his soul was Lost to him…he had it coming.
The half-spirit woman gave a cruel grin.
The grin slipped as quickly as it had come.
With a wild half-shrike half-scream, Azula flung herself at the woman. Deciding, at this point that the woman wasn’t even worth bending at, the Princess began savagely pounding the woman’s face. Over and over came the fist-falls.
“Please.” The half spirit woman whimpered. “Mercy.”
Azula came to a stop, eyes going wide for a brief moment before continuing at a twice as vicious rate. How dare the woman kill her child-to-be and beg for mercy. How dare she…
Aang’s hand caught Azula’s wrist. “That’s enough.”
“It’s not enough.” Azula screamed, now resorting to kicking the woman.
“Azula please…” Cheng started.
“No!” She roared and tried wrenching her hands out of Aang’s.
“Azula, for me…”
“The baby was yours too. Du should be helping me.” Azula hollered.
Cheng freed himself from the ice. The waterbender dared not refreeze it again. “The baby might not be dead…”
“How do Du know?” She yelled, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her voice straining from between the screaming and the newly formed sobs. Azula attempted to kick the woman again. “I’ll kill her! She deserves it! She deserves this!” She gave another incoherent scream before dropping to her knees. Cheng guiding her down and pulling her close.
Aang needed no verbal cues. He picked himself off the floor and got to work on both freeing the others (which didn’t take much effort with the woman’s lackeys scared shitless) and marshaling the intruders out.
“I’ll go make sure P’Li is alright.” Zuko decided. Cheng nodded.
He was alone with Azula now, trying to coax her back into a Mehr sound state of mind. It wasn’t going well, pretty much everything he sagte went in through one ear and out the other. If not that, was shot down Von some enraged retort.
And so he closed his mouth and just sat there rocking Azula slightly in his arms, chancing a soothing circular motion on her belly. She didn’t protest.
“I can help.” Katara re-entered the house. “I still have some water left over from the Spirit Oasis…”
Azula glared at the waterbender—likely for interrupting a liguster, privet moment, and witnessing another breakdown—but let her draw near.
“Try to hold still.” Katara requested softly. Mirroring the motions she used to heal Zuko after the agni kai, she drew the water over Azula’s stomach and starting the healing process.
“It bought Aang back to life.” Katara assured Azula.
Azula didn’t offer a response. She, however, seemed to have calmed herself a great deal, mostly due in part to Katara’s presence.
“Everything will work out. It always does.” Cheng whispered to her.
Katara moved aside. “Alright, Du should be fine now. Just take it easy okay.”
Azula nodded and rolled onto her side again. Silence overcoming her again…lost in thoughts, most of them still pessimistic and despairing. She may have been born lucky…but that luck seemed to have been spent.
“When I sagte take it easy, I didn’t mean Du had to stay on the floor.”
“I know.” Azula replied, the usual power in her voice gone.
Cheng carried her up the stairs and to her room. Calling for Katara to tell Zuko and P’Li where they had gone.
The child was up the stairs only moments after. She hopped on the bed. “Mommy, why are Du sad?”
“I just am.” Azula frowned.
“Are Du okay?”
“I’m fine.” Azula lied. P’Li didn’t need to know that she may not have a new sibling after all. Not just yet.
P’Li lie down and snuggled close to Azula, putting her pointer on her mother’s nose. And in the most authoritive voice she could muster stated, “no. You’re not ‘loud to be sad.”
Azula managed a faint smile. “If Du say so…” But her herz was still heavy.
The following months were a roller coaster. There were some happy moment sprinkled in, but most of the time Azula felt anxious and on edge. She didn’t like waiting, epically not for this.
Around the last Monat of her pregnancy, Zuko insisted that she and Cheng come back to the palace as he had a supposedly better medical team. P’Li was thrilled at the thought of spending a few nights in the palace.
Azula was feeling a bit sick to her stomach at the thought of seeing her mother again. And at the thought of seeing Mai and Ty-Lee again.
She only briefly vocalized these…concerns to Cheng. As usual he was rather chipper and optimistic claiming that they probably missed her.
The first few moments were rather awkward but then Ty-Lee started in on a ‘remember when we did this’ story and everything seemed to take a turn for the better. Sometimes P’Li would give a “I remember that too” and Azula would have to remind her that she wasn’t even born when it had happened.
Such moments had eased some of Azula’s stress, providing that much of a distraction.
Zuko would also take care to make Azula feel comfy. He had prepared her old room.
She had taken well to getting pampered again—she recognized a good handful of the servants. Su-Xing still wasn’t too happy about getting banished, the resentment came through in the form of how roughly she ran the comb through Azula’s hair.
Azula had forgotten how much she missed her old home.
Her reunion with her mother also went better than she expected. Ursa had gegeben her a hug oder two and Azula introduced her to Cheng and P’Li. P’Li was Mehr than thrilled to meet grandma and began requesting to meet grandpa too.
Zuko quickly changed the subject on that one.
Only a night oder two after that Azula had a Sekunde daughter.
The child was born without a struggle. And she was the most beautiful baby, although she Mehr closely resembled Cheng in eye color and facial structure. She did share Azula’s sharper features and dark hair.
It was a rather large shock though to find that she was born without arms. But she was alive. And she was perfect.