ZW '10 Day 3: Pain

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By ericmh126
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Zutara Week 2010 Day 3: Pain

"I know you are there," the Fire Lord spoke aloud in his apparently empty throne room. The intruder was stealthy, but Zuko always had a keen sense of his surroundings. "Come on out into the light and we can talk about whatever you are here for face-to-face."

Still silence, the phantom refused to reveal his hiding place. Zuko walked towards the center of the chamber and readied his hand to light up the room.

"I'm going to firebend now," he announced to the shadows, "but I'm not attacking you. It's too dark in here, I need more light to see." A flame sparked in his hand and illuminated the throne room around him. By the light he saw a cloaked figure move at the top of one of the columns, back into the remaining shadows. Before he could track the intruder's movements, all the fire in the room jumped to a single point behind him. Zuko spun around, now facing the ball of fire and his golden throne. He couldn't make out anything behind the glowing orb.

Suddenly he sensed movement behind him. How could I be so stupid? He thought as he was about to spin around once more. But he wasn't able to. The assailant had already reached his target and was pressing a sharp blade against the Fire Lord's throat.

"What do you want?" Zuko tried reasoning with him. He's voice not once betraying the panic he truly felt.

"You." The faceless voice whispered into his ear. "Dead." The blade pierced the Fire Lord's skin and tore across his throat, blood spewing from the lacerated artery. The assassin pushed his victim's body to the ground, leaving his blade buried in his flesh, a signature of sorts, so all would know who was responsible for this crime.

"You'll … never …" the Fire Lord coughed, blood pooling around his face.

"Get away with this?" The assassin mocked. "But I will, my name is Gann, and you have my word on that. From your ashes the Phoenix will rise again."

Zuko watched in horror as Gann disappeared back into the shadows, he felt numb as the last of his blood dripped out of his body and on to the floor. Then everything went dark.

Zuko's eyes flicked open, the pain had vanished, he was able to stand up. He looked around at the still empty throne room and then down to where he had fallen. His body was still lying there at his feet, the crimson pool surrounding him reflecting gold from the fire light. He was in shock, he wondered what would happen next, how his people would react, how friends would take it. More importantly, how would Katara take it?

Almost as if his thoughts had summoned her, Katara pushed open the curtains and entered the room, freezing when she saw his body.

"I'm sorry Katara," he said as she fell to her knees, turning his lifeless body over in her lap. She removed the knife and started to cry, her tears making ripples in the blood she was kneeling in.

He moved to comfort her, placing his glowing blue hand on her shoulder. Then he noticed something he hadn't before, standing next to him, hand on Katara's other shoulder, was a woman of the Water Tribe, around her neck was an all too familiar blue pendant. She leaned down and whispered something into her daughter's ear.

Between them, Katara was staring at her blood soaked hands, Zuko barely caught the words she said to herself, "Just maybe."

Zuko looked back up at Kya, who was now smiling a smile that reminded him of his mother. "You will be fine," she told him. "My daughter is a strong person. I am so very proud of her."

He smiled back at her, then turned his gaze back to Katara. She was bending his blood back into his body. Zuko could feel its warmth in his ghostly form. Once she had healed his neck, Katara turned to his body and attempted to restart his heart. As he watched her manipulate his heart with her hands he could feel the blood racing through his body again. Slowly his form started to fade, "Tell her that for me," Kya's voice echoed in the darkness.

Zuko gasped for breath once more, the pain had returned but was significantly less. Katara's arms wrapped around his head, he could feel her tears falling into his hair.

"Thank you, Katara." He was just able to manage.

"Don't ever leave me again." She told him through her tears.

"Katara?" Zuko wanted to make sure he kept his promise. "Your mother says she's so very proud of you."
Day 3: Pain

I particularly enjoyed writting this one. You may recognize the story, it is last year's Zutara Week Day 2: Blood told from Zuko's POV.

Also, what's this? Kya? Again? What is up with me and Katara's dead mother? That's twice she's come up in three days. Well I promise she won't come up in any others, well 3 of the 4 remaining prompts. I still don't know what I'm going to write for Day 5: Harmony, so I can't promise anything on that one. But trust me, she's not in any of the others.

What else? As with last year's Blood, the story fits into a Book 4 project that will probably never get posted, sorry.

Also, if anyone thinks this is a little gory and deserves a warning for 'mature content' let me know, otherwise I'm just saying 'no.'

I can't say it enough, constructive criticism is always welcome. So please comment.

Day 1: Family | Welcome to the Family
Day 2: Change
Day 3: Pain
Day 4: Date
Day 5: Harmony
Day 6: Alternate Universe
Day 7: Storm [To Be Posted]

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DragonWarrior24's avatar
awesome work :)
Dirt-the-Panda's avatar
I almost cried reading this.
It was beautiful.
ericmh126's avatar
Glad you liked it, feel free to check out the original too, then tell me which one is better.
Dirt-the-Panda's avatar
I think they're both equally wonderful.
Though I feel this one has more emotional effect than the other.