Eating With Peasants
Zuko strode away from the pond with a sense of dread. He couldn't be sure if his unease was second-hand, courtesy of Azula, or if it was his own. It was probably a mix of both. Not to mention the guilt finally settled in.
Perhaps instantly assuming his little sister was insane wasn't the smartest. But her father was insane…the excuse was becoming less helpful in easing the guilty feeling. And she was a terrible sister anyways, somehow even less so.
And of course there was the matter of relaying the message to Aang. And then convincing him to help the woman who literally zapped him to oblivion. On top of that, Zuko would have to work around Katara, Sokka, and Toph who would certainly have their objections.
Yup, he would be in for a Hell of a time.
Azula wasn't much better off herself. Zuko hadn't said that he wouldn't give Aang the message. However he never said he would either. Azula kicked a rock into the pond.
She never felt so frustrated before. She liked to be in control, of everyone and everything. As of late, she had no control over anything. Not even her own life. She hated relying on Zuko of all people to deliver important messages for her. And on Shou to get her simple luxuries.
"Well it's a start." Xin appeared behind her.
Azula ignored him and tossed another rock into the water.
"Did I do something wrong?"
Azula looked to either side. Shou was out of ear-shot, but still able to see her. She turned her back to Xin and more importantly to Shou. "No."
"Then what's going on?"
"I can sense your distress."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Don't want to talk about what Azula?" Lu-Ming asked.
"Anything. Not with you." She turned her gaze to Xin. "Not with anyone."
Lu-Ming handed a pillow to Azula. It wasn't as fluffy and comfy as the ones she had back at home, but it was something.
"I'm still not talking." Azula muttered. "That wasn't the deal."
"If I recall, the deal was that you'd eat with the others." Lu-Ming smirked. "Good thing it's lunchtime."
The man had managed to make dinner sound menacing. She'd have to ask Zuko if she was that bad. Azula looked towards the dining hall. She wasn't in the mood to associate with the peasants.
"Do you want me to come with you?" Xin offered.
"No." Azula replied.
"No, is not an option, unless you want me to take that pillow back."
One of these days Xin was going to get her in big trouble. She'd just have to ignore him until he figured out that she couldn't talk to him in public. Not until she was recognized as the world's strongest Spirit Beacon.
"I'm going." Azula hissed before storming off.
Shou gave a jump. "Wait for me! I have to come with you!" She dashed after Azula.
Azula continued walking despite Shou's desperate cries. She kicked the door open and stomped inside, far less than gracefully. She looked for an empty table and took a seat.
"I can go get you some food." Shou offered.
"Go ahead." Azula waved her off.
"You will stay put right?"
"Anything you want in particular?"
To go home. "No." Azula wasn't feeling very hungry anymore. So naturally, when Shou came back with a plate full of food for her all Azula could really do was nudge it around with her fork, missing her fancy high-class meals.
"Please eat something. Even just a little."
Azula sighed and just to humor Shou, took a bite of the first thing to meet her fork.
"Do you want to…you know, talk to someone?"
For what had to have been the eighth time that day Azula said no.
"Well, I think the whole point of you eating in here was so you could talk to other people."
"Don't care." Azula continued poking at her food, wearing that same unentertained look she swore she wore on the night she lost it all.
Truth be told—other than Shou, Lu-Ming, and that one sentence she shared with Ta-Yoon—Azula hadn't really talked to any living person in a long while. But she didn't trust any of them anyhow. Yet deep down she really wanted to.
But she wouldn't risk anymore dignity in trying to be social.
"I'm going to go…"
"Have fun Shou. I won't." Azula cut her off.
"Are you alright? I haven't seen you this upset since your first night here."
"That bad huh?"
"No, not quite that bad, but still."
"Just go do…whatever it is that you do." Azula waved her off.
Just as Shou stalked off, another young man decided to drop his plate of food next to Azula's.
"Did I say you could sit by me?" Azula asked.
"Did I say you could destroy my house?" The boy asked.
"What?" Azula frowned. Upon looking up at the boy she found a familiar face. The boy from Ember Island…Chan. "You didn't seem to want to be anywhere near me on the beach."
"Yeah well, world domination wasn't exactly my idea of a date." Chan rubbed the back of his neck.
"Ha. Ha." Azula rolled her eyes.
"Aren't you going to ask me why I'm here?" Chan asked.
"I'm not interested." She took an absent minded bite of her food.
"Oh. Well, why are you here?"
"That's none of your business Chan. Besides, I'm going to get out of here very soon." Azula boasted. "I hope…"
"Can I go with you?"
"Not even if I invited you to another one of my parties?" Chan offered.
At that point Azula was about ready to start talking to herself. Anything to get him to leave her alone. Of course she could also try just screaming psychotically at him. Maybe a disturbing combination of them both would even have Lu-Ming letting her eat alone again.
Azula opened her mouth to do just that when Chan spoke up again. "Ya know, overall the party wasn't that bad with you and your brother there. You should have just told me that you were royalty. Do you know how cool everyone would have thought I was?"
Azula positioned her arms on the table, groaned and let her head fall into them. This guy was infuriating. All he wanted to do was talk about himself. It was as if he thought he was actually more important than she was.
"I'm glad you found a friend." Shou smiled.
"She hasn't really talked to anyone since she got here." Shou informed Chan.
Azula could feel her face grow hot. She buried her head in her arms again. Thanks to Shou, Chan was probably thinking that Azula would let him hang around.
"She's actually been lonely enough to talk to herself." She heard Shou whisper.
If Azula's face wasn't flushed red already, it sure as hell was after that.
"I'm so glad you found someone to talk to!" Shou chirped. "It'll make lunchtime much more enjoyable."
Azula ran a hand through her hair, drew in a deep breath, and let it out. Shou's optimism would surely be the death of her. That is unless the spirits get to her first.
"I'm here for anger issues." Chan shared.
"I said I wasn't interested." Azula's frown deepened even further.
"This is going to be such a beautiful friendship!" Shou clapped.