It is only the second time since Aiko was born that they’ve been forced apart, with matters in the South Pole serious enough to demand Katara’s attention while Zuko is too swamped with recent issues in the capital to accompany her. Since the child is just old enough now to eat soft, mashed food it has been decided that it’s Zuko’s turn to look after her alone while her mother is away.
It’s gone better than expected, thus far. He’d panicked the moment Katara had set foot on that boat, afraid that Aiko would throw a fit seeing her mother leaving and that would set the trend for the rest of the day. But for one so small the child’s faith that the waterbender would return was apparently strong enough to stave off such a tantrum for the time being.
Meals were messy, but that was nothing new, and it was more hectic than usual trying to balance his duties to his country with his duties to his daughter, but all in all things went far more smoothly than he’d expected.
It was only as he was putting her to bed that she seemed suddenly upset by the separation, and for a long moment all Zuko could do was stand staring down at her, pained by her frightened, angry squalling. But he quickly scooped her up and began rocking her, murmuring anguished assurances of his love and promises that her mother would return soon, that they would all be together again, that everything would be alright. As she began to settle he began to hum, ancient Fire Nation lullabies that he could only faintly recall his mother singing to him, and eventually even her ragged hiccups smoothed into the deep, even breathing that signaled sleep.
He hesitated to lay her back down, and even after returning to his bed he slept lightly, prepared to repeat the whole routine, over and over, as many times as it took to make his little girl feel safe.
My heart is a puddle of anguish and adoration and omfg-I-can’t-handle-Dadko-ever. I love you for doing this to me again!
/drowns in tears
Very few bad days that I’ve had in my life can top how bad today’s been so far.
~ Lurker, attempting to cheer people up with Zutara drabbles since…uh…like a week ago. I Shannon’s okay with me using Aiko.~
By the time they got back to the house all three of them were soaked. Aiko was snuggled under her father’s chin, her big, bright eyes blinking through the water dripping into them as the family dragged themselves inside. Her parents weren’t worried about her catching cold - it was a warm summer rain, and her father’s inner fire was more than enough to keep them both safe. But their clothes were heavy and abrasive and dripping everywhere, so her mother bent all the water away and said “Let’s have some tea.”
Zuko nodded and as his wife headed for the kitchen he sat down by the open door, looking out into the rain soaked garden with their daughter in his lap. “Sorry our day at the beach was cut short,” he grumbled softly, resting his chin on the top of her head.
But Aiko beamed up at him and said “That’s okay Daddy, we can play tomorrow. Besides, I like the rain.”
He looked down at her, lifting an eyebrow, and prompted quietly “Oh?”
She nodded and looked back out at the storm. “Uh-huh. Cause when it rains I get to snuggle with you and Mommy, and tell stories and make shadow puppets and all sorts of fun stuff.”
He smiled softly and squeezed her closer, resting his cheek against her hair, and murmured warmly “Then I guess we’ll just make the most of it.”
~FIN! *rolls away hoping it doesn’t suck*~
How could this possibly suck? I don’t understand.
This is beauty in its greatest form. Thank you, darling!! ksjlfkjsdf
/curls up and weeps at dadko
“Don’t touch me,” she says, bracing her arms on the ship’s side, watching the waves bounce and roll with all the enthusiasm of small children. She gnaws on her bottom lip, thinks of the small child she’s been torn from. The small child, the world’s last hope.
Not to mention her brother and the only real support in her life.
Both are gone now, because Prince Zuko has ripped her away from them on the slim chance (she tells herself that the chance is slim, over and over) that he’ll get what he wants.
She really ought to hate him.
Eee, thank you! =D Please though, I am only Bean. So not worthy of such a title.
Of course I’ll draw that more. I hate drawing armor because why-is-it-so-complicated, but that look is one of my favorites, and as I’ve mentioned probably a few times already, an AU where Zuko and Katara meet up before he joins the gAang is one of my greatest weaknesses. Augh, all the potential angst kills me sljdflsdf.
“What are you looking at, peasant?”
That is a very good question, Katara reflects.
What? This beauty was inspired by my work?
Oh my, I’m honored, thank you!