It had been at least a week since the dramatic incident with Azula, a week since Zuko's already rambunctious half sister had become even more of a handful since discovering she was a fire bender. Zuko didn't have the time to teach his small sibling firebending, he had duties to attend to and fire bending training was not something he had the energy or patience for. Iroh was busy at Yu Dao for the time being and Kunyo had established a life in the colonies and simply couldn't drop everything at his fire bending academy in Yu Dao to train Princess Ursa's daughter. Kiyi was without a fire bending teacher but that didn't stop her from continuing to beg Zuko into giving in. Every time she'd see him, she'd run up to him and tug at his robes while begging,
"Please please please Zuzu, please show me fire bending, I wanna firebend and be like you," she'd say in her small voice. Zuko loved his sister, but he was getting a bit fed up with her constantly following him everywhere and embarrassing him in front of the palace staff. Some guards passed as Kiyi was desperately trying to get the Firelord's attention. Zuko couldn't help but see their subtle laughing behind his back.
"Zuzu please teach me fire bending, I'll be good, I promise," Kiyi begged as she grabbed his arm. The guards were now laughing audibly enough for Zuko to hear and that did it.
"Kiyi I don't have time, I've told you a thousand times already, we will find you a teacher when one is available, you are embarrassing me now leave me alone," Zuko said bluntly. He'd never snapped at her before and he could tell she wasn't used to it.
"Zuzu?" Kiyi said softly. The two guards laughed slightly louder at the nickname. Zuko had lost his patience.
"STOP CALLING ME THAT!" Zuko finally snapped. The guards flinched at his tone and left while Zuko turned away to regroup, only to hear soft sobbing. Great, now he'd scared his little sister. Kiyi was on the palace floor curled up and shaking, Zuko had never seen her like this, the usually energetic and brave girl was no longer there.
"Kiyi I'm sorry I yelled at you, please calm down it's ok," Zuko said softly while attempting to pick her up and hold her. He was shocked when she shied from his touch and took off running from him. He'd forgotten how intense he could be when he was angry. As he was about to go follow her, he heard a voice from behind.
"Sir you are wanted in the war room," A guard said approaching Zuko. Zuko sighed and followed the guard, he'd deal with his sister later.
Kiyi ran to the palace garden to be alone for a while. she found a place by the courtyard and wiped away her tears. If she wasn't going to learn fire bending from Zuko, she was going to learn it on her own. She'd seen Zuko practice before in the courtyard and was able to repeat the move she saw him preform while trapped with the other kids in the bunker. For sure she could certainly try something more advanced. She was related to the Firelord, she could handle anything, though she'd never thought Zuko could be so frightening. Kiyi sniffled a little at the thought of her "brother" being so angry, but quickly brushed it off and got into a fire bending position. She'd remembered a form she saw a performer demonstrate at the Fire Days Festival when she used to live back home in Hiraa, something like taming a dragon. Quickly, she rehearsed the movements without any fire to get a feel for them.
Meanwhile, after the meeting in the war room, Zuko decided he'd head to the court yard to calm down before trying to find Kiyi again. He'd never thought his seemingly strong willed sister could be so fragile. Mulling some thoughts trough his mind as he strolled over to the garden, Zuko thought he'd possibly consider making a little time to teach Kiyi the basics until Iroh came back and could official start her training with him. First, he'd have to get her trust back, he'd lost one sister for the time being, and was not willing to lose another. Stepping outside and entering the garden area, Zuko could hear the sound of small flame bursts. "If that's Kiyi, she'd better not be Firebending on her own," Zuko thought, suddenly becoming worried for her safety. He'd known Kiyi could get into dangerous situations at times, and he should have known she'd probably try to firebend on her own. Zuko frantically ran to where the sound was coming from, he was not about to let his little sister get into danger again.
Kiyi had produced a small flame and had been playing around with it, tossing it around and creating small bursts of flame attempting to imitate the fire bending form she'd remembered. She'd decided to try and make the flame a little bigger and try to form the dragon shape. Quickly moving forward, she tossed the flame upward when she heard the sound of footsteps getting closer.
Zuko ran to where he heard the noise and saw Kiyi attempting a dangerous fire bending move.
"KIYI STOP YOU'RE GONNA HURT YOURSELF," Zuko shouted frantically as he ran to her. Kiyi flinched at his voice and the flame she was playing with suddenly landed right on her arm.
"KIYI!" Zuko shouted as he heard her screech in pain. She was on the ground sobbing in pain from the burn. Zuko moved closer to attempt to aid Kiyi. Kiyi was breathing heavily and sobbing in fear as she felt Zuko pull her to his chest and rock her. She was too hurt to try to get away so she just sobbed into his robes.
"Kiyi shhhh, shhhh, Zuzu has you, you're safe, I got you, you're safe" He repeated softly, stroking her back. "You have to be so carful with fire, it can be very dangerous and you shouldn't have attempted to firebend without me or your parents around," Zuko scolded her slightly. Kiyi buried her face into Zuko's chest, continuing to sob.
"I'm s-sorry," she choked up quietly.
"I know you are, and I'm sorry too," He reassured her.
"Zuzu, make it go away, it hurts," Kiyi said looking up at him.
"First we need to tell your mom what happened and get you to my physician to get that burn bandaged, can you do that for me?" Zuko asked her, lifting her chin up. Kiyi nodded and lifted her arms up for Zuko to carry her. The two guards from earlier saw Zuko again and laughed. Zuko responded by scowling at them, and they finally stopped.
"Come on let's get you to your mom," Zuko said gently as he lifted Kiyi up, taking her back inside.
After he'd gotten Kiyi to her mother and her arm treated, he decided to check on her while she rested in her room.
"Zuzu?" Kiyi said as he entered. Zuko took a seat next to her on the bed.
"Kiyi, I've decided that it would be best if I teach you the basics of fire bending until Iroh gets back so that this doesn't happen again," He suggested as he handed Kiyi her doll that had fallen on the floor.
"No Zuzu, I'm scared to do it again," Kiyi stated in a worried voice.
"Kiyi, I know you can get it right if you learn from me, I'll make sure you are safe," Zuko said softly as he brushed a strand of hair off Kiyi's small face. He could see that she was still afraid from the experience.
"When I trained the Avatar, he was afraid to firebend too, but I helped him get his confidence and he's now a master, I know you can do it too and I'm so sorry for being hard on you, I promise, I won't yell at you anymore, and I'll help you be the best fire bender you can be," Zuko said while rubbing her hand.
"Promise you won't be mean?" Kiyi asked.
"Promise," Zuko replied, offering her a hug. Kiyi accepted his invitation and wrapped her arms around Zuko's neck, rubbing her face on his chest. He held her for a while, wanting her to know how much he loved her and how sorry he was. Kiyi began to relax, her brother she knew and loved was back. After a little while, Zuko placed Kiyi back into her bed, happy he'd won her trust back. With that, he'd decided he'd let her rest and walked out the door.
About two days later, it was time for Kiyi's first fire bending lesson. Zuko brought her out to the courtyard and demonstrated the basic positions and postures for fire bending.
"Now follow me but with no fire, one two one two step down pivot turn," He coached her. He'd found that he enjoyed the training session, encouraging Kiyi when she correctly preformed a move and stopping to correct her when she made a mistake. He knew that over time, she'd be a master like him, now all he had left to do was bring his other sister home.
I let out and audible "awww" while reading this. ^^ Warmed my heart~
I thought it would be interesting to explore the whole Zuko finding out his baby sister is a fire bender thing because she basically hero worships him and him being her fire bending instructor is just awwwww ^-^
awwwwww!!! this is so cute