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20 August 2008 @ 11:27 pm
100 Days, 100 Drabbles (#96: The Firebending Masters)  
Genre: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Title: 100 Days, 100 Drabbles
Chapter Title: The Firebending Masters (096/100)
Author: catalyst283
Word count: 648!
Rating: G
Warnings: more ramblings…this time from a different character.
Notes: I figured after the last drabble I didn’t need to do another one with Zuko and/or Katara. xD That’s where this one came from—or at least started from, anyway. This was supposed to be a drabble—short and sweet—but once I got writing I just couldn’t stop.

So enjoy…quite the long drabble that it is. XD

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The Firebending Masters

It's like the monks used to tell me. Sometimes, the shadows of the past can be felt by the present.

I close my eyes and in the black void I can see my past—even just this past year—fly by in my mind’s eye. Going back is not so difficult when you have spent most of your life in suspended animation—in an iceberg for a hundred years, no less. The monks always taught me that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it—and so I remember.

I was born into the peaceful air nomads more than a hundred years ago, a time when airbending was not so uncommon in the world. I learned my natural element with ease, mastering it long before other boys my age did. In fact, I may have been the only boy my age with the airbending tattoos signifying my mastery of the element. I’m the Avatar—but I was an airbender first. Waterbending was possibly even easier than airbending for me—because I had a great teacher and a natural knack for it. I came to earthbending and was stumped—my natural opposite, it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do before. But with yet another great teacher I got over my mental block and overcame that element too, bringing my mastery of the elements up to three elements.

Three—out of the four.

All this time, I thought firebending was destruction.

I had only one element left—and very little time to master it in. Even worse was the fact that…well, I was scared. I had hurt the one person that mattered most to me—while firebending. I had then vowed to never firebend again—I couldn’t bear to hurt anyone else (hurt her) ever again. Scared and angry, I refused to acknowledge the firebender in myself—especially when I saw how much destruction it caused.

The Fire Nation may have been masters of their element—but they were also masters of pain and destruction, of war and violence. Of blood and death. It didn’t help that the crown—albeit, banished—Prince of the Fire Nation was constantly chasing me, trying to bring me to the center of evil in the world—the Fire Lord himself.

He just wouldn’t give up—even after all that happened at the North Pole and all that happened in the spring that lead up to the second battle of Ba Sing Se. I died and was reborn and grew hair and shaved it again before he decided what his father wanted wasn’t what he wanted after all.

And then he burned Toph’s feet and did a heck of a lot more damage while trying to join us before we were ready to accept him—before he saved us and said words that brought me into the past once more.

I’m sorry what I did to you—it was an accident. Fire can be dangerous and wild—so as a firebender, I need to be more careful and control my bending so I don’t hurt people unintentionally.

I look at him in another light, a different one than I have seen him in since we met. I realize that this is him—this is the core of who Zuko is, who he has always been. He too knows the pain and danger of fire, the destruction it can cause—and also the life it can bring. We were both just too blinded by our differences—by the war, by different pressures—to see each others’ true selves. Toph was right when she wondered who was really the blind one in our group—certainly not her. The rest of us were looking with our eyes—but none of us were truly seeing. Now that he’s joined the group and we’ve gone a mission to find firebending again—for the both of us—I can see for the first time.

And I know that it’s time to let go (of old grudges, old impressions, old ideas, old fears) and fall—

I’m not afraid anymore.

Fire is life, not just destruction.
 
 
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Current Mood: dorkydorky
Current Music: Star Wars Episode III soundtrack
 
 
 
arthoniel: Zuthonielarthoniel on August 31st, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, as always! I love how you described Aang's epiphany that Zuko's supposed to be his teacher... it's awesome. :)
Lindsay: elizabeth::potc::lighttexture::photoshoocatalyst283 on September 1st, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D