The Out Come
I leaned on Katara heavily as we moved towards the palace. The Fire Sages were discussing something furiously amoungst themselves. As we drew closer they pulled out of the conversation to face us. Every step we took was incredibly painful for me, it was like I was getting hit by the lightning again and again with each step. Katara was supporting more of my weight than I would have liked and I couldn't let the Fire Sages see any signs of weakness in my body. The oldest of the sages stopped us as we came to their side. He was an ancient man with many wrinkles and deep set light brown eyes. He cleared his throat and began,
"Prince Zuko, there is a complication that we must address immediately." I stood up a little straighter and let go of Katara. This was the time when I had to be a prince no matter what the pain I would just have to stomach it and hope he got to the point quickly.
"Yes what is it?" I said, I honestly didn't see what the problem was Azula had been defeated that would make me the next in line for the throne. He clasped his hands together tightly in front of himself and pursed his lips. He continued to pause and I began to grow impatient.
"You see, your highness, when Princess Azula took aim at Miss…" he trailed off obviously having no idea who Katara was.
"Katara of the Southern Water Tribe daughter of Chief Hakoda." I said quickly giving the sage full knowledge of who she was and that she was to be treated with respect.
"Yes well, when the Princess took her aim at Miss Katara and you took the blast, you became eliminated from the Agni Kai." My eyes grew wide at this I had never been fully aware of all the bi laws associated with an Agni Kai. Most of the time it was a very straight forward dual. "Seeing as Princess Azula fired at Katara she there for changed the person with whom she was fighting for the crown with. Your action of taking the lightning bolt, as noble as it was, became nothing more than an outside interference." This was becoming too much to take in but I had to stay focused on what was going on. "There for the crown of the Fire Lord cannot pass to you Prince Zuko but instead must pass to Miss Katara." That was the point where my brain gave out. I felt myself starting to lean too heavily to one side, only to feel a strong arm wrap around my waist. Katara was there holding me up right. How could it be that she was going to be Fire Lord, she wasn't even a firebender, which was one of the credentials to be the Fire Lord.
"I respectfully request that we continue this conversation at a later time." Katara said in a tight voice. "Prince Zuko is very exhausted and needs time to rest and heal." The Fire sage bowed to Katara and backed away not leaving the bowed position. This was something only done to the Fire Lord.
"One last thing," I said to the Fire Sages "Have Azula put into one of the prison cells completely chained so she cannot hurt anyone." My head began to spin even more as Katara lead me back into the palace to rest. It was all I could do to keep my balance and show Katara the way back to my personal chambers.
Once we reached the lavish room, she led me over to the bed and helped me sit on its edge. She undid the belt that was around my shirt and helped me remove the destroyed garment. She then knelt down and pulled off my shoes before instructing me to lay back on the bed. With much relief I obeyed, this was her area of experts after all. I closed my eyes as I felt her cool hands touch my now scared stomach. Another scar to add to this of wounds inflicted on me by my own family. As Katara worked the wound I feel into a deep dreamless sleep.
After I had finished working on Zuko's wound and was sure he was asleep I went to go find a place to sleep. I looked around his room really taking in the details and majesty. There was no doubt that this was a room meant for royalty. There was a separate sitting area and a meditation alter on opposite sides of the room. I also noticed several doors leading off aside from the door we had come through. The first one I looked into was a lavish private bathroom and the other was a guest bedroom. I was very thankful that this was here, I didn't want to sleep with Zuko tonight and have a servant to come in and see us together and have world get out before we were ready for everyone to know. I walked over the bed and pulled back the sheets and climbed in. Once I was comfortably settled in the bed I noticed something glittering on the bed side table. I reached out and picked it up to find that it was a throwing knife. My heart snack at this when I realized that this was Mae's. She must have slept here when she had come to stay with Zuko. I set the knife back down on the table, rolled over and closed my eyes to go to sleep.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of a light thud. I opened my eyes and sat up to see a very surprised looking servant. She was about my age with long black hair and a simple red dress. She had just dropped a small box which she was picking. Her eyes stayed locked on me as she quickly picked up the box and scrambled out the door. I sat up to try and stop her but she was already gone. I got out of bed and quickly ran my finger through my hair and went back into Zuko's room. He was standing up leaning against the bed post. I could tell that he was in a lot of pain. I walked over to him and he straightened up trying to hide how much pain he was in. I bent some water out of the air and covered my hands.
"Come on. You can't just take off right now. This is going to take a long time to heal." He gave me a sad look and sat down on the bed.
"Why do you have to be right?" I smirked at this and began to work on his stomach. I could help him heal internally but the scare would stay with him for the rest of his life. I looked at his face to see that what I was doing was taking some of the pain away.
"Do you have any bandages?" I asked her nodded and pointed at the table. The box that the girl had dropped was sitting on one of the tables. I bent the water off my hands and into a bowl that was next to the box and then opened it. Inside was a large supply of clean white bandages. I picked them up and walked over to Zuko. I wrapped the bandages around him trying to put them on quickly and as painlessly as possible. I caught a smirk on Zuko's face as I tied of the end of the bandage.
"What?" I asked.
"I was just thinking about how nice it is to have you taking care of me like this. It's something I could get vary used to." I would have liked to give him a light punch but I knew that would be very unfair given his current state. I merely rolled my eyes and went to his dresser and grabbed him a shirt. It was a bit of an ordeal to get him into the shirt without him wincing in pain every few seconds. Once he was fully ready he looked at me a little more seriously.
"We have to go see the Fire Sages and try and figure out what we are going to do about you being the next Fire Lord." I shuddered at the thought. I was not the right person to lead the Fire Nation I wasn't even a citizen. Zuko should be the Fire Lord he had been groomed for this position since he father had taken the throne.
"I hope that this is a simple solution." I whispered, Zuko placed a hand under my chin and lifted my face to his.
"Don't worry we'll figure it out." He smiled and this gave me a feeling of hope.