Title: Downward Spiral
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Series: atlaland lottery
Characters: Azula, Ty Lee, Ozai, Zuko, Katara
Prompt/Challenge: Life is Beautiful
Warnings: Character death
Disclaimer: I'm in their world,messing with their characters, but I'm not Bryke.
Summary: Azula’s on her way down.
1. till you find your way back home
Pieces of hair flew in her face. She brushed them back in annoyance; this Earth Kingdom disguise was getting on her nerves. She’d won, so why was she still dressed in these inferior colors? The conqueror of the impenetrable city didn’t let her feeling of slight homesickness show, however. Princesses weren’t homesick.
Ty Lee, standing next to the throne that had held the Earth King not too long ago, saw the look in Azula’s eyes. Though she wasn’t quite sure what that look meant, she knew her friend was upset. For what reason, though? Zuko was back, Ba Sing Se conquered, and Mai was happy. There were too many reasons to rejoice. It never crossed her mind that the princess would miss anyone or anyplace.
Worried by the flash of sadness, however, the acrobat placed a hand on Azula’s shoulder. Never startled, the firebender turned around to her best friend. “Are you alright, Azula? You seem down,” her friend asked, concern in her voice. Just like Ty Lee to notice, mused Azula.
“Of course I’m fine. I just want to get back home, the servants here are awful!” she justified. “Also, I’m about as bored as Mai. Let’s go on a surprise inspection of the Dai Li quarters,” she grinned scarily. Yes, that sounded amusing. Perhaps she might even fry a traitor or two.
2. what came next was so much worse
She stood upon the platform, frozen in disbelief. First her friends betrayed her, now her father? She had thought her father loved her, as much as it was sensible for anyone to really love. After all, love ruined lives. Lives like Mai’s, she thought bitterly. What in Agni’s name was her father thinking, though, not taking her with him?
As he explained the new position she was to be given, as well as his own new title, she still felt cheated. Her father could still outplay her, after all she had accomplished. He knew she was a danger to him and his reign. Of course the smartest, safest idea was to leave her here at home, where she couldn’t harm him. Damn him.
All alone amongst the sea of soldiers, Azula let her last vestiges of sanity slip away with her father’s ships.
3. took a funeral to make me feel alive
Ha! Her stupid brother would never defeat her, prodigy princess of the Fire Nation, on the day of her coronation! With the comet overhead, she was unstoppable. Yes, his firebending was amplified as well, but nothing compared to her power. With her abilities, it didn’t matter that mother had never loved her as much as him.
While she was distracted by her feelings of overwhelming power, her brother somehow managed to strike her down. From her perspective on the ground, her red-blurred vision saw her brother risk a small glance back at the water tribe girl. Oh, so her failure of a sibling had a friend. There, lying on the ground, she knew what she would do.
Standing up shakily, she started the familiar movements she had worked hard to master, and that now came so naturally to her. The lady lightning had arrived. An insane laugh tumbled out of her smirking lips. Her brother only brought it on, taunting her. As soon as she felt the bolt fully formed within her, she turned slightly and released it. If she couldn’t have friends, why should her brother?
She was too blinded by her insanity to see her brother jumping in front of the girl, and only turned in time to see him lying on the ground, twitching.
4. will you swear on your life that no one will cry at my funeral?
Later they said she had died from sadness. All her inner fire had dissipated. Katara had tried to heal her, but there was no physical wound to be healed. Nothing worked. The formerly great princess sat on a bed in a cell and deteriorated.
Fire Lord Zuko decided the funeral should be small. His uncle would preside over it as the oldest member of royalty, and there would be no Fire Sages. Azula had hated them. Now, gathered around in a small garden were some of the most powerful people in the world, come to pay their respects to a mutual enemy that none of them had hated in the end. In the crowd was a gap, unspoken, left for Ozai, who would not be allowed to come.
Looking at the fallen princess, her face hallowed and all dressed in white robes she would never have worn, Ty Lee knew her friend had gone a long time ago. She had been too afraid to tell anyone, but that specter in the room had had no aura. Azula’s aura had disappeared after her defeat at the waterbender’s hands.
As she was consumed by flames, her ashes swirling skyward, Ty Lee cried for a girl she felt she could have saved.