Avatar the Last Airbender

For Fi.
(... so with the prompt I couldn't come up with anything else but redeemed!Azula. and now it's trying to evolve an epic about how *that* happened and how people (his subjects especially) believe Zuko is a fool and being tricked by his devil sister again, but this time he can tell it's different. yay sibling loev.)

Standing Still

He remembers Azula differently. Even sitting, even asleep, she was always full to the brim with the potential for explosive movement, for attack. Hers was the perfect stillness of the waiting predator.

He stands beside her in the morning sun, and for the first time in his life he doesn't see a tigerdillo, he doesn't see a dragon, waiting to strike. He sees a tree.

It's strange how getting the ground yanked out from under her allowed her to finally grow roots.

"Are you glad to be home?"

She doesn't roll her eyes, but so pointedly she might as well have. "Please do stop begging for reassurance, dear brother, that's unbecoming of the Fire Lord."

He doesn't think she'll ever not have thorns, though.

"I've never been very becoming," he replies, and when she predictably throws a quick barb at the opening he just handed her, he smiles, because he can hear the awkwardness, the 'I cannot fathom how you can still love me' in it, and Azula has always hated things she cannot understand.

He's waiting for her to get bored and leave, but in the end they stand together until the sun has detached entirely from the horizon and a secretary comes to get him. The man finds Zuko smiling, Azula not, but she's still standing right here and that's more than enough for him.