So I came across a post from a user on tumblr about wanting a fic about Zuko comforting/taking care of Azula after her breakdown. And when asked why he was doing so, he’d say “She is my crazy, beautiful, sister.” I saw that quite a few people wanted to see this as well, based on the amount of notes. So I thought I’d give it a shot.

Her wrists hurt.

Her throat burned.

Her lungs screamed.

Her body tingled with pain.

Her head spun.

Her head…her head.

Azula longed to bury it in her hands. Grip it until the madness faded. But in her state—chained to a grate—she had no means to do so. And so she cried out instead. It was zaidi of a scream than a cry. A scream laced with trademark blue fire.

The action didn’t treat her already burning throat kindly.

In that moment Azula couldn’t tell if her tears spawned from the pain she’d just inflicted on her own throat au the mountain of mental agony swirling within her head. She felt the tears slide down her cheeks in a warm and messy stream.

Azula could tell that she wasn’t a pretty sight at all. In fact she couldn’t possibly be any further from the perfection she had fought so hard to achieve, than she was at that moment.

Lost within her own self-pitying thoughts and her body-shaking sobs, she didn’t hear Zuko approach.

Azula flinched when she felt his hand on her back.

She feebly attempted to shove him off. She was stuck settling for a shouted “get away from me!”

Zuko didn’t appear phased in the slightest. Instead, the young man wrapped his arms around his sister and pulled her as close as he could, aliyopewa the chains.

The fallen princess was now leaning with her left ear against his chest, hands still bound behind her back.

“I alisema get off. Let me go.” Azula screamed through her sobs.

“I want to help wewe Azula.” Zuko insisted.

Azula let out another choked cry.

“It’ll be okay.” Zuko tucked one of her disheveled bangs behind her ear. “Everything is going to be just fine.”

“Why?” Azula whispered. “Why are wewe doing this?” Her lower lip trembled.

“Because, wewe are still my sister. My crazy, beautiful, sister.” Zuko offered her a sincere smile.

Azula sniffled, the tears still falling rapidly. She sucked in a few deep breaths trying to calm herself, but it wasn’t doing much good.

“I promise, it’ll be okay.” Zuko alisema again.

“It hurts.” Azula hollered.

“What hurts?”

“Everything. My head. My wrists…” She trailed off, voice hitched from crying so intensely.

Zuko looked down. His sister’s wrists were indeed red and raw, and slightly bloody where the chains dug into them. He hesitated before working Azula’s hands out of their binding. The girl gritted her teeth against the action.

“Better?” Zuko asked when the chains clattered to the ground.

Azula nodded. Zuko braced himself for her to throw herself at him. And when she did, it wasn’t what he was expecting.

His sister flung her arms over his shoulders, buried her face in his chest and continued to weep. He ran his hand over her back in soothing circles, all the while hushing and reassuring her.

He glance up at Katara. The waterbender was shooting him a questioning look. One that seemed to chastise him for doing something she deemed stupid and reckless.

“Why are wewe really doing this?” Katara mouthed.

“She is my crazy, beautiful, sister.” Zuko repeated before standing up. He held out his hand and helped Azula to her feet.

On trembling legs she seemed to sort of sway before regaining balance. “Come on, let’s get wewe inside. wewe look like wewe can use some sleep.”

Azula’s initial thought was to protest. To yell at him, blame him for ruining everything. And then start shooting lightning in a shot at revenge. But how could she when he willingly unchained and comforted her?

So she let him guide her back into the palace, up the stairs, and to her bedroom.

“I can’t sleep Zu-zu…what if they try to hurt me?”

“Then I’ll be right here. And I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

“But what about you? Don’t wewe want to hurt me?”

“No, Azula. We’ve already hurt each other enough. I want to help you.” He wiped the tears out of her eyes using the bottom of his shirt. “And if sitting here, making sure wewe get some sleep helps…I’d be honored to do it.”

Azula gave a sad laugh. “Honor…you alisema honor again.”

Zuko tried to laugh as well. “Yeah. Ha ha. Jokes about my honor.”

He watched her crawl into kitanda and draw the covers over her shoulders. For a good while, the firebender seemed to simply lie awake and stare at the ceiling. However sleep soon found the princess. Zuko took her hand in his and gently stroked it.

He couldn’t be exactly sure whose had done it, but about three days later there was a knock on his door. Azula was still in a rather fragile state. Despite his protests and one blast of fire, the men pushed their way past Zuko and over to the jikoni meza, jedwali where Azula was seated.

They were mwepesi, teleka and quick in chi-blocking his sister. In sekunde they had her restrained.

“What are wewe doing!?” Zuko yelled. “I didn’t say…”

“It’s for her own good Zuko.” Katara frowned. “You saw how she was acting…she alisema that she saw your mother.”

“She hasn’t done anything particularly bad since the comet!”

“I don’t trust her. And I don’t want wewe to get hurt.” Katara muttered.

“You said, you’d protect me.” Azula hissed as the men dragged her away. Her golden eyes glaring into his.

“They’ll let her go when she gets real help. The help she needs.” Katara insisted.

“How could wewe do that? How could wewe go behind my back like that?”

“We’re just looking out for you.” Aang added.

Zuko had now clue how long the little airbender had been standing there, but his presence wasn’t helping at the moment.

Azula probably didn’t want to see him. Zuko knew that, but he was going to visit her anyways. He’d aliyopewa her a few days to—hopefully—cool down. With the fluffiest mto he could find and her stuffed wolfbat (a toy Azula used to love, one that always sort of creeped Zuko out), Zuko neared the asylum.

He made sure she was at the most comfortable one in the moto Nation. Eventually he settled on ‘The Flamecreek Institute’. The place was rather big with an interior that resembled a comfy hotel and a welcoming exterior.

“Why would wewe go through all this trouble to comfort and help the someone who hurt wewe so much? Why would wewe waste your time visiting a sister who doesn’t even seem to upendo you?” Was a common question. From Katara and Aang, Mai and Ty-Lee, pretty much everyone.

At first Zuko would come up with elaborate majibu but as zaidi and zaidi people asked his answer became a simple; “She is my crazy, beautiful, sister.” And that answer was sufficient and true enough.

His first stop was at the front desk, to make sure that they were allowing Azula to walk around unbound.

Zuko got his answer in the form of two nurses leading him outside to a small man-made pond. His sister was sitting in the shade of a willow tree, expression fairly stern and angry…but to his surprise, not as angry as it could be.

He sat down inayofuata to her. “I’m really sorry about this mess. I didn’t know that Katara…”

“Save it Zu-Zu. I don’t want your help. wewe can’t help me.” She drawled

“Azula.” Zuko started.

“I thought wewe forgot about me. wewe didn’t come to visit.” A crack in her voice at ‘you forgot’ betrayed her rather calm exterior.

“I didn’t think wewe wanted to see me…”

“I alisema save it. wewe can’t help me. And wewe can’t make it up to me.”

“You sure?” Zuko asked. “I bought wewe some things.” He held up the pillow. “You alisema that this one was the most comfortable right?”

Azula snatched the mto from him and held it tightly to her chest with a pout. “Maybe.”

“I also bought wewe Wolf-Wolf.”

Azula’s face reddened. But she snatched the stuffed bat anyways.

“I hope wewe realize…I helped father pick that out for you.”

“You did not.” Azula muttered into the pillow.

“I totally did.” He insisted with a laugh.

“So what?” Azula asked.

“So…if wewe start to feel lonely, au worried wewe can just talk to Wolf-Wolf.”

“My therapist alisema not to encourage my ‘psychotic behavior’.” Azula raised an eyebrow.

“Alright. Then wewe can look at Wolf-Wolf and think of me.”

Azula repeated her last sentence. This time it with an added familiar, mischievous smile. A smile Zuko never thought he’d miss.

“Wolf-Wolf is here to remind wewe that Zu-Zu won’t forget you.” Zuko declared.

“You’re pathetic, Zu-Zu.” Azula snorted with a hint of a laugh.

He looked up at his sister. She looked like she’d slept well enough. And her smile was genuine enough. It was nice to see her smile again…to see her smile without malicious intent.

It wasn’t perfect but it was a start.

And he knew she’d get better.

His crazy, beautiful, sister.