I'm soooooo sorry, I know I was suppose to have had this finished by the 24th but I had so much to do, not to mention mom kept dragging me off the computer and I just started training for a new job but none the less I have updated it within a week of what I was suppose to ^^ I hope you all still enjoy it ^^
Chapter: 7- Merry Christmas Indeed.
Your dream was one; you were sure, of home sickness. You dreamt you where back home. Actually it was of the first time you had been home, when you where 8. The house was decorated in bright colors that mostly varied in different shades of green, red, and gold. You sat on the couch looking around with big eyes. You’d never seen a room so lit up.
“Do you like it?” Said a woman with blond hair and warm yet nervous green eyes; you knew her back then as your new mother, Sarah.
“It’s…pretty.” You said trying your best to correctly pronounce the words. A brilliant smile broke out across her face.
“I’m glade you like it. I decorated it as best I could before you got here.” She explained crouching down in front of you.
“But I thought you’d like to help me decorate the tree.” She continued gesturing towards the relatively barren tree. You’re small eyes widened and you small mouth fell open a bit as you gasped and looked at her in shock.
“You mean we’re going to have a real Christmas twee?” You asked, forgetting to try to keep your words pronounced properly. Sarah chuckled quietly and ruffled your short H/C hair and smiled widely.
“Of course we are, silly!” She laughed.
“What kind of a person would I be if I went through all the trouble of bringing you here for Christmas if I didn’t get a Christmas tree for us?”
“But mama never had a Christmas twee, she said …” You quickly cut off you sentence, snapping your mouth shut. Sarah frowned slightly and searched you now frightened eyes.
“What is it Y.N.?” She asked quietly, carefully.
“N…nothin’.” You muttered quietly.
“It’s okay Y.N., you don’t have to tell me.” She said smiling as she softly pet your hair once.
“Now, why don’t we get to decorating?” Sarah said as she lifted herself up and began moving over to one of three boxes set near the tree.
“Mama used to say… I was a bad girl… that I didn’t deserve a tree…” Your tiny voice was almost inaudible when it reached your new mothers ears. You turned and looked at you in shock. Her eyes softened as she returned to kneeling front of you.
“Y.N., listen to me.” Sarah said and took your chin and moved it up so your eyes met hers.
“I know I’m not your mom; but as far as I can see you are most certainly not a bad girl. You are a beautiful child with a good heart. I think you deserve a Christmas tree.” She said softly.
“You do?” You asked, not daring to hope.
“If I didn’t why would I have gone and bought one just for this occasion?” She asked, a small smile playing on her lips. You looked at her for a moment, judging her expression, then smiling back her and she knew you knew she was telling the truth.
“Now, C’mon, let’s get to decorating this tree, it’s not going to decorate itself.” You chuckled as you giggled and jumped off the couch and joined her.
“Sarah…” You asked hesitantly after a while. She looked down at you from putting on a crystal star on one of the branches.
“Am I going to have to go back after Christmas?” You didn’t want to hear the answer; you knew what it would be, same as always, Ye-
“No, of course not!” She replied in surprise. Your head snapped up in surprise.
“Y.N… I’m not keeping you only temporarily, I adopted you so that you could stay here. Why don’t you want to stay?” She asked, she tried to hide it but a wave of sadness seemed to cross her face.
“Yes! Yes b…but, all the other homes…” You trailed off. After the Christmas season was over you would be passed on to someone else. Every few months it was the same.
“Y.N. I want to keep you, as long as you’ll have me, as long as you’re happy here. I want to keep you, always…” She replied.
“I am happy…” You replied and you where actually shocked at how true your words where. For the first time in roughly two years, you where in a place that possibly would be the home you dreamed of; the home you would be staying at for a long time.
After a short pause you looked up at Sarah.
“Merry Christmas, Sarah.”
“Merry Christmas, Y.N.”
A sharp knocking caught your attention as you groaned in agitation. You didn’t want to wake up. Your dream had been so wonderful.
“Go away.” You muttered.
“Y.N.! C’mon get up; we have to go to the market today!” She shouted.
“Ug, I’m up!” You yelled out in agitation.
“Good, hurry or it’s going to be crowded down there.” She replied in warning. Sighing, you jumped from bed and stumbled into the bathroom and quickly brushed your hair, placing it in a low braid. Straitening out your sweat shirt as best you could you turned and placed your feet in your two week old shoes. Running over to the door you pulled it open making Yumi almost fall backward onto her butt. She had been leaning on the door.
“Okay, C’mon, got your money?” Yumi asked. You had told her about your plan for new bed sheets and by the looks of it, maybe a new top. You absentmindedly tugged at your fairly dirty sweatshirt.
“Yup.” You replied snatching your pouch off of the wooden chest and dashed out of your room, following Yumi who was only a little bit ahead of you.
Yumi had managed to get most of the food by now. You both carried a few cloth based bags and a few jugs of food, drinks (both alcoholic and otherwise), a few tea ingredients and some spices. The spices had taken the longest. It turned out the chief was very particular about the spices he used in his food.
“Now the only thing left to do is check out is that shop over there.” Yumi said looking at one of the many shops in the medium sized town.
(Bed Bath and beyond… psyche! Lol I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself. ^^u *gets stuff thrown at her 0.0 sorry, going…)
The sign above the shop read: Sheets and sheers.
“Are you going to buy some too Yumi?” You asked as you both headed towards the small shop.
“Nope, I bought my own sheets a long time ago when I enlisted as a minor cook in the military.” Yumi replied as you both entered into the shop careful not to drop any of the groceries. The sound of a bell ringing momentarily brought on a flash from your dream.
Sarah rung a silver bell in front of your face making you blink.
“It’s called a jingle bell Y.N. We can put this up on the door so it sounds like Santa’s slay every time someone comes in the front door.” You chuckled.
“Y.N., what are you doing just standing there, these aren’t light you know.” Yumi complained as you blinked and chuckled nervously moved into the shop.
“Sorry.” You muttered embarrassedly. Moving into the shop you notice how old fashioned the shop looked. The shelves where all made out of wood, so was the counter. If you didn’t know any better you’d have thought you’d been transported back into the 1800’s to an old general’s store. On the shelves where tons and tons of sheets, blankets, pillow cases, sheers for both windows and four poster beds.
“Wow, there’s a big selection here.” You murmured.
“Yea, it’s the only place in town that sells this kind of stuff.” Yumi explained.
“You’ve been here before?” You asked raising an eye brow.
“Yea, my family used to come here every year for vacation.” She replied. You where once again reminded of your lack of knowledge when it came to Yumi before you had met her; before she had joined the military.
“Hey Yumi, how long have you been in the fire nation’s army?” You asked trying to make it sound like an off handed question.
“Hm, good question, actually, I think I’m coming up on my 6th year anniversary.” Yumi said pondering. Your mouth all but fell open. She had enlisted in the army when she was that young? No scratch that, the fire nation army let her join when she was that young. Your quickly snapped your mouth shut and chanted in your mind ‘different dimension, different world’ over and over again.
“Oh, so how are you going to celebrate?” You asked, again trying to be casual.
“Well, normally I’d celebrate with Miguel, we’ve been sailing together ever since I started. Hmm, maybe I’ll make some cake for all of us to share at dinner tonight if I find the time.” Yumi said in a thoughtful voice.
“Cool.” You replied returning her smile. You looked at the price of one of the sheets you had found; it came with a set of pillow cases and bit your bottom lip.
Well, so much for buying a new sweatshirt. You thought as you checked the other sheets hoping to be able to cut enough corners but alas, from what you had seen on the clothing while you where grocery shopping you where going to have to wait. However, you were able to find a bed set that had a plan red blanket and some black sheets and two pillow cases that was in your price range. Moving to the cash register you quickly were able to get through the line and pay for them. As you both headed back to the ship another thought ran through your mind.
“Hey Yumi, what day is it?” You asked out loud.
“Friday I think.” Yumi replied as you rolled your eyes.
“No I meant the date.” You replied as she gave a thoughtful look.
“The 15th of the 12th month *1. Why?” Yumi asked, turning to you curiously. Your eyes widened considerably as you stood there frozen in place.
“Christmas is in just 10 days!” You exclaimed.
“Huh? Christmas? What’s Christmas?” Yumi asked cocking her head as you whirled around to look at her in shock.
“Christmas…it’s like the best holiday of the year how could you not-” You cut yourself off and realized that she wouldn’t know. Christmas didn’t exist here…*2
“Oh…” You managed to mutter out in shock.
“What is it Y.N.?” Quickly you stumbled to find an explanation for your outburst.
“I…I think I just remembered something about who I am.” You replied.
“What, what did you remember?” Yumi asked giving you an excited look.
“A holiday we used to celebrate, it was called Christmas. We would all exchange presents and stuff on the 25th of the 12th month.” You muttered concentrating on your story, trying to make it as simple as possible for Yumi to understand leaving out the main history that went with it*3. That would just be a pain.
“It’s a giving holiday, where people give gifts to others out of kindness. You generally spend it with friends and family and celebrate by having dinner or something of the like. Everyone had their own way of celebrating though not everyone did.”
“So it’s kinda like the 15th of the 8th *4month?” Yumi replied.
“Yea, like that.” You replied thanking who ever is up there that you chose China as your project in elementary school even if the details are a little fuzzy.
“Yea, now that you mention it, I kinda remember it; some parts in the other nations celebrate it. In fact I think a few of the villages in the fire nation do too but I don’t know much about it. My village never celebrated it.” Yumi replied, her brown creased a bit in conversation. Relief that you didn’t quite understand washed through you.
“We should tell the crew about it, maybe we could celebrate it. I always wanted to try to celebrate a new holiday.” Yumi said smiling brightly, you smiled back at her.
“Yea, let’s pay for this stuff and go ask General Iroh.” You replied as you both rushed to the counter with your new bed sheets.
You lay silently in your bed looking up at the ceiling in thought.
This world is so different from my own. All of a sudden you realized why you had felt such relief in Yumi’s words. You had been relieved because deep down you feared that this world had nothing in common with yours and that made you feel very… alone… Trying to distract yourself from the fearful feeling beginning to creep into the pit of your stomach, you thought back to when you two had come to Iroh with the idea of celebrating Christmas on the ship.
“Christmas?” Iroh echoed the world blinking as he looked you two.
“Yea, Y.N. remembered her village used to celebrate it and I’ve always wanted to celebrate a new holiday out of the norm.” Yumi replied giving Iroh a hopeful smile.
“Please, I think the crew would enjoy it, plus I can teach Yumi how to cook some of the foods we used to make…including holiday tea…” You trailed off grinning. Iroh tried to hide it as he brought his hand up to stroke his chin in thought.
“Holiday tea you say?” He asked carefully. You chuckled trying to contain your delight.
“Yea, it’s really good.” You replied.
“Well what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!” Iroh exclaimed.
“But what about Prince Zuko? Aren’t we shipping off in the morning?” Yumi asked now running into the minor problems you two had discussed on the way back.
“No worries, we haven’t found any new hints as to the Avatars location so he won’t be too hard to convince.” Iroh replied giving you guys a smile. You and Yumi cheered as Iroh laughed merrily.
You smiled and began thinking about what you should get Iroh and Yumi as well as other members of the crew. You knew who to ask in order to gain the knowledge. Well everyone except Zuko, perhaps his uncle would know? Sighing, you turned over onto your side and grabbed the pad of drawing paper you had found a good deal on and began to sketch with the pencil that had come with it. You longed for a mechanical pencil at least for the outline, so that you wouldn’t have to keep sharpening it but hey, at least you had a pencil. Biting on your tong slightly out of habit you began to draw. Surprisingly it actually wasn’t as difficult as you thought it would be. The faces and bodies of the people in the drawing seemed to appear clearly in your mind upon command. The details where a bit sketchy (pun not intended lol) but you would be able to fix that since you still had over a week to finish the drawing. Humming tunelessly to yourself you smiled as you got to one figure in particular. The details where almost too easy for comfort as you pictured his piercing gaze and shaded in the line of his scare. He stood in the back, as illusive as ever on paper as he was in real life. You almost couldn’t keep from laughing as you debated about putting a Christmas Santa hat on him.
You didn’t stop sketching until you realized that music was filtering through the door to your room. Blinking you hesitantly set your pencil and lifted yourself from your bed that now was covered by the new and extremely comfy blanket and sheets. Walking out into the corridor you followed the lively sound out onto the deck where Yumi was laughing and merrily dancing with one of the crew men. A small band which included Iroh played joyfully. You plinked taking in the scene and noticed Zuko was also there to your surprise. He sat a little ways away from the others but never the less seemed to be enjoying himself. Yumi noticed you and danced her way over to you and dragged you over to the lit area and began dancing with you. You couldn’t help but laugh as you two twirled around in a circle hillbilly style. Soon the song ended. Both you and you fell onto your butts dizzily. You fell back to lay flat on the floor trying to catch your breathe in between laughs.
Clapping caught your attention as you looked up to see Iroh and a few other members of the band clapping with a big grin on their faces. You chuckled along with Yumi as you both cleared the floor for a breather as the band simply played. Almost out of habit you drifted over to Zuko.
“Need anything Prince Zuko?” You asked as he looked at you from the corner of his eye.
“No…you don’t have to do that you know.” He added as you blinked.
“Do what?” You asked in reply.
“Ask if I need anything, its music night, uncle gives all of you the night off.” He replied as you replied with an ‘oh.’ As another song started Yumi and another crew member entered the dance floor and began dancing with mimicking movements. Then a question formed itself in your mind. You bit your lip. You where so going to regret this…
“Do you dance Prince Zuko?”
“Not if I can help it.*5” He replied almost immediately.
Yup, you regretted it. You didn’t notice Iroh’s frown or Yumi eyeing you with a smile while she danced.
The following week went by quickly. You had helped teach Yumi and Zee (remember, that’s the name of the chief, it’s been so long since I’ve said his actual name lol *get’s sharp object thrown at her head* o.0/// Okay, I’m going >.< sowwy!) how to cook a few Christmas favorites. You tried to stay away from ones that required any kind of meat after Zee had given you an ‘are you crazy’ look when you had told him that to make holiday ham you needed a pig; just a normal looking pig, not a sheep pig, or a bull pig. You managed to make the holiday tea you had promised Iroh and also to make some other holiday favorites (I know you all have your own eating’s at Christmas so I’m not going to specify ^^).
By the time the cooking was accomplished for the most part you had almost all your shopping done. You had gotten Zee a new WOK to cook in, new binoculars for the worker in the birds nest, Shu. You had made Iroh a spare checkers set by weaving together some cloth you had found at the market. You had gotten Zhang a book. You had heard from sources which shall remain anonymous (*cough* Iroh *cough*) that he was a personal fan of Gem Flame. You really didn’t know who that was but apparently she was fairly famous because the woman at the small book store knew exactly who it was and where to find her most recent novel. You had bought a new fire bending scroll for Yumi. You weren’t sure if it was real or anything since you happened across a small shop off to the side that didn’t look exactly…legal but you had asked Iroh about it and he had told you that, although the moves where fairly basic they where indeed genuine. You had also bought Yumi a poster from the most recent fire bending championship 2008. The woman you had bought it from had mentioned that the next championship was actually coming up fairly soon. You had gotten the rest of the crew a few things you had heard they would like.
Only one person remained left and that was for a very good reason. You had no clue what to get him! Zuko was one of the hardest people to shop for so said his uncle. You didn’t think he was into any type of jewelry, and he didn’t seem the type to really read. You had found yourself sitting on your bed multiple times almost ready to hit you head repeatedly upon the iron wall. Not even General Iroh had been able to tell you anything. Yumi being her smart a** self had told you to get him some wax to polish his head with but you immediately dismissed the idea. You had no desire to be fired again. So you ended up wondering the market looking for something that might interest the prince. So far the only thing you’d found that might even remotely interest him or at least be of use to him was some armor polish. Yea, that wall was sounding pretty good right about now…
“Hey Y.N. I found some really cool ribbons to put on the ship!” Yumi shouted waving as she caught up to you.
You smiled and showed her some of the Chinese style lanterns you had found to also help decorate the ship. The rest of the day consisted of you two and a few of the others, Iroh included, helping decorate the bow of the ship. Zuko played the role of scrooge muttered about how we where getting in the way of his training by putting all these decorations where they would catch on fire. You two simply rolled your eyes and continued as Iroh suggesting he go to the back of the ship and train there.
Later that night you sat in bed sketching again, you had almost finished the drawing. With a satisfied smile you ran your fingers across the page helping blend the shades into smooth shadows around the faces and clothing. You’d have to go out tomorrow and see if you could haggle the price of a frame down enough to be able to afford it and, alas, the armor polish you where doomed to have to buy for Prince Zuko. You sighed in agitation at the thought. Why did the guy have to be so stubborn? Grumbling you put the picture away, afraid to obsess over it and ruin it. The only option left was to ask Zuko himself. Your eye twitched at the thought.
“I don’t want anything.” You grumbled imitating his voice scowling. Sighing, you yawned and rolled over, covering up as you began to hum to yourself. The feeling of frustration slowly fading as your muscles began to relax.
Zuko sighed as he headed towards his sleeping quarters. His muscles ached from the long session of training and he was ready to just drop onto his bed. As he entered the hall leading to his room a sound caught his attention. Stopping he listened trying to pin point the sound. It was the sound of someone humming. Frowning he followed the hall a bit farther to find it was right near his room. The humming was soft and unfamiliar but it seemed to draw Zuko towards one of the doors. Zuko’s eyes softened as he listened. The music floated through the air in such a manner that he almost didn’t realize when it faded out from hearing. Zuko stood there for a moment, almost hoping who ever was in there would start singing but nothing more came from the room. Zuko frowned slightly but decided not to linger any further. Stepping away from it he moved to his own room. Lying down on his bed he let the unfamiliar yet soothing tune play back through his mind as he too slowly drifted into a comfortable sleep.
The next morning you woke up fairly early so you decided to go out once more in hopes of finding the princes gift. The holiday celebration was tomorrow night and you’d be busy helping all day tomorrow so you wouldn’t be able to go shopping anymore after today. Getting up and taking your shower and doing all the rest of your morning necessities you got redressed into, well the same outfit you’d sadly been wearing for the past two weeks. You had been able to wash it in the sink on your days off so at least it hadn’t started to stink or anything.
When you got to the market you saw the usual things, Chinese decorative umbrellas, books, food, spices, ect. You hesitated at one of the shops. It was a store with lots of different things, most to do with fighting and fire bending. Shrugging you decided to check it out. You’d already been in it once but you had been rushed because you where suppose to meet Yumi back at the ship by sun set and it had been fast approaching. Looking through the store you saw a few more fire bending scrolls. Looking in them you found the moves to be much more complex than the one you had gotten Yumi. Looking at the price you cringed and automatically put it back. It was more expensive than your sheets and blanket had been.
Sighing you moved on. No way would you be able to afford that. Now that you looked at more and more of the price tags you where beginning to doubt if you would be able to afford anything in this shop. You stopped in front of a small book shelf. Running over the titles you read from left to right, Advanced sword techniques, Out numbered!: Battling multiple opponents, Breathe: meditations techniques to calm the mind, Eyes: Reading your opponent. Picking up the third one you chuckled. Zuko could definitely use this, not that he would see it that way. You flipped through it and noticed that there where special meditations for fire benders as well. Reading one it said it was suppose to actually help you keep focus in battle. Nodding to yourself you decided to get it. You also got a red Chinese style shirt, according to the woman running the shop it was a very popular shirt but she put it on sale because she had ordered one to many, it looked about the right size and it looked durable enough for him to wear for his training. You would make sure it wasn’t one of those stupid tourist trap things later when you got back on the ship where you could ask Yumi or General Iroh. Walking out of the store you smiled, satisfied with your purchase and immensely happy to not have to resort to buying the prince, you cringed at the words, armor polish. Quickly you where able to find a low priced, yet nicely made frame for your picture.
Walking back to the ship you helped Yumi with more decorations and also with preparing some of the food that would take longer to make. Iroh, Yumi and you played mahjong for a while as well as a few games of Pi Sho. The day drifted to a close as you decided to head back to the back of the boat to check and see if the Prince was back there. You did this for two reasons; A) None of you officially had the day off so your duties still remained intact and B) because if he wasn’t there you wanted to practice your fire bending. You silently cheered when you found no one near the back of the boat. Walking over to a most flat area you breathed in steadily and then felt the heat from the sun. Channeling that like Yumi had instructed you a few weeks ago you pulled one fist back and then shot it forward releasing the built up energy. The fire blast shot forward and you smiled in satisfaction. It wasn’t as big as Zuko’s, not even close. However, it was almost as big as Yumi’s now. You also could do it much easier now. Closing your eyes you tried to remember one of Zuko’s more basic fire bending stances. Your eye brows knitted in concentration as you brought you leg up and made a kicking motion. A fire blast shot out but that wasn’t new, you had been able to do fire bending kicks for a week now. Bringing your foot down you used your other foot to kick out in the opposite direction to try a combo. It half worked. You did manage to get a fire blast out but in turn you ended up loosing your balance and fell forward, landing most ungracefully onto your face. Groaning you rubbed your nose trying to dull the slightly throbbing pain.
Zuko headed toward the back of the ship. He’d had about as much ‘Christmas spirit’ as the one servant had put it, as he could take for one day. A familiar sound reached his ears as he approached the back of the bow. The crisp sound of fire as is crackled and danced in the air. The small hint of burnt clothing so familiar to him for as long as he could remember made his eye brow knit together in curiosity and confusion. Someone was fire bending. When he reached the back of the ship he stayed within the shadows, his curiosity keeping him from showing himself.
“Gr, stupid clumsiness! Man, this is hard.” A voice grumbled.
Although the voice was both thick and rough with frustration he could easily tell it was a woman’s voice. The sound of a sigh reached his ears as a few scrapping noises also announced themselves. Zuko crept closer in time to see the servant girl, the one who was constantly asking if he needed anything, stand up and close her eyes. He watched closely as she stood there and put her hands flatly together and brought them up against her chest breathing in calmly as she did so. The sun highlighted her H.C. hair and illuminated the color of her smooth cheeks as she remained motionless except for her arms. Pointing them out wards, still keeping her palms together, she pushed them outwards, he breathe pushing it’s way out through her slightly rough lips.
Probably rough because of the recently cold weather. He thought absentmindedly to himself as he watched her hesitate with her arms fully extended before bringing them back inwards taking a slow breathe in as well.
She then brought her palms to point upwards and then slowly brought them to fully extend above her head, her breathe coming out just as slowly. He kneeled there simply watching, almost mesmerized by your movements. She repeated this process a couple of times before finally stopping in her original motionless state*6. Slowly opening her eyes she moved her feet apart inch by inch, her gaze slightly soft yet still intense. Sucking in a quick yet full breath she shot her fist forward unleashing a fire blast and then twisting her body into a round house kick also giving another fire blast.
Both where decent fire blast but her could tell by her movements she was brand new to fire bending. If he remembered correctly from one of the conversations he had over heard his uncle and her having along with the cook’s assistant she had had amnesia since awaking on Zhao’s ship, when ever that had been. Judging by the fact that, although more sold after…what ever she had just done her movements where still rough and a little unsteady. She placed both feet back on the ground and steadied her self. She leaned down into a stance that Zuko recognized well. He had been using it in his practices for about the last week; since this whole Christmas thing had begun. He watched as she tried the exact same set as he had been practicing lately. However one major difference was made known. He never ended up falling flat on his face. He clenched a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out right and giving his position away as she cried out in surprise and began viciously rubbing her now slightly red nose. Zuko quickly calmed himself and stood up, putting himself in full view.
A sound caught your attention as you began to recover from your latest goof, once again falling on your face. Looking over toward the sound almost half expecting nothing to be there you gasped at the sight of Prince Zuko staring at you with an amused smirk on his face. You could feel your own face heat up; you where sure it probably matched the color of his armor by now.
“P…prince Zuko?!” You managed sputter.
“You really are a klutz.” He chuckled. You felt your cheeks heat even more, this time from both anger and embarrassment.
“That’s none of your business!” You managed to shout. At first you where afraid you’d shot your mouth out at the wrong person again but Zuko merely chuckled.
“Is that so? Seeing as this is my ship I think it is my business.” He replied walking up to you. Quickly standing up, you anger igniting again.
“Oh so you think you can do better?” Now why did you go and say that, of course he could do better! You almost smacked your self.
“Yes.” He simply replied as he; without warning shot a fire blast, twice the size of yours (you’re sure he did this on purpose) out to the left of you as you scrambled backwards to get out of the way once he was done with his first kick and made his round house kick.
His moves where jerky but solid; he also managed to not fall flat on his face. Pressing your lips down into a thin line as he ended by bringing his foot down and giving you a cocky smirk that clearly said ‘told yea so’. Grinding your teeth together you tried again as he watched your movements carefully. This time you managed to catch yourself with you hands as your cheeks grew red from embarrassment. You growled in frustration.
“Ug what am I doing wrong?” You grumbled.
“You need to shift your weight more towards your raised foot and lift you body up a bit more instead of leaning back.” Zuko replied.
You blinked; you had almost forgotten his presence. Blinking again you muttered and ‘ok’ and shifted back into your original stance. Following his directions you wobbled a bit at the end but managed to keep your balance. You couldn’t help but grin widely; the happy feeling of accomplishment washing over you.
“What happened?” He asked catching you off guard again. You looked over to him and then followed his gaze to the small burn mark on your sleeve. You chuckled sheepishly.
“Well, I kinda set myself on fire.” You admitted rubbing the back of your head laughing nervously. Zuko sweat dropped in reply.
“You really are a klutz.” You finally said making your cheeks heat up in anger. Okay, happy feeling now gone.
“Says who?” You grumbled back in reply.
“Hey Y.N. you bac-” Yumi called out as she appeared from the hall that lead to the back of the ship. She blinked as you blinked back.
“Oh, uh sorry, I’ll just get Zee to help…yea…” She chuckled and then swiftly turned to leave. You frowned in confusion and looked back at the prince realizing just how close you had gotten to him in your anger. You cheeks heated up once again as he too realized how the situation looked.
“Hhey Yumi!” You called trying to stop her.
“H…hey wait!” Zuko called out at the same time but it was far too late. Immediately you both took a step back, his cheeks now slightly red too.
A blush only makes him look cuter… You blush intensified at your stupid hormone driven thought.
“Uh…I think I’ll go uh, help Yumi now…” You sputtered and quickly dashed away leaving him trying to sort out what had just occurred.
“Seriously Yumi, it’s not what you think!” You blushed as she gave you a cat-that-ate-the-canary look.
“Oh C’mon, I seen how close you two where.” She teased.
“Seriously Yumi, I just got mad and walked right up to him, it had nothing to do with…” You blushed madly at the thought.
“Kissing?” Yumi supplied with a giant chuckle.
“Ug no! Besides, even if he did like me enough to do that, not that I do in the first place, he’s a prince and as of now I’m his servant. I might have amnesia but I do remember enough to know that that’s a big no, no.” You replied as you hung up the last of the red lanterns.
“And here I thought you where a hopeless romantic Y.N.-Chan.” Yumi pouted as she put a candle in the lantern.
“What are you talking about?” You replied raising an eye brow.
“Oh C’mon, you know. The timeless story where the servant falls for the prince and vise versa and although no one approves of it their love is stronger than it all and they end up living happily ever after.” Yumi replied, practically getting hearts into her eyes.
“Funny, I never took you for a hopeless romantic.” You replied sarcastically rolling your eyes.
“Ha, ha, Y.N.” She replied mimicking your eye roll.
“Regardless, it wasn’t what it looked like.” You repeated going back to your earlier argument.
“Sure, sure.” You replied.
“Oh C’mon Yumi.” You whined. She chuckled.
“Chill, I was just teasing you.” Yumi replied laughing. With that you both headed back into the ship to help with the cooking.
It wouldn’t have been hard to find the kitchen even if you hadn’t had the path memorized. The delicious smell of the upcoming Christmas dinner wafted down the hallways, only getting stronger as you two neared the kitchen.
“Man, it smells great Zee.” Yumi replied smiling, her eyes lighting up at the sight of the roast that was cooking in the oven. You made a mental not to stay away from it when the festivities came. As far as you recalled duck boar was not on your favorite lists of meat.
“Good, I spent all morning on it. Now that you two are here you can also help me with these custard pies.” Zee said, as usual immediately putting you two to work.
You both smiled and listened to his instructions. Twice during the day you two ended up having a flour fight twice, both times you two ended up hitting Zee in the face with it. The first time he yelled at you two but the second time he make a fake mad face and ended up hitting you two in the face with a hand full of flour each. You also ended up hitting Iroh once when he accidentally walked in. The room was motionless until Iroh laughed and asked if this was a new tradition.
Later in the day you and Yumi ran on one last errand to the market place to pick up some more pumpkin spice and a set of candles to finish off the decorations.
“You have to admit, I so won that flour fight!” You laughed as you two walked through the market place. Your laugh was abruptly cut off when you where yanked to the side.
“Hey, Yumi what’s the-” She covered your mouth shushing.
“Shhh, look Y.N., its Prince Zuko…” She pointed. Following her finger you spotted him too. He wasn’t far off from your hiding spot. He was looking a little confused and extremely frustrated.
“I haven’t seen him leave the ship since we got here. I wonder why he finally decided to come down here.” Yumi muttered quietly.
“Maybe he finally decided to buy some gifts for Christmas?” You suggested. Looking over at Yumi you found her wearing her skeptical face.
“What, it could happen. Christmas spirit tends to be infective.” You shrugged. She rolled her eyes and looked back to the Prince who was looking more and more frustrated by the minute.
“Man, I wish I could see what he was buying, and then maybe I could get an idea of what was going on.” Yumi said a bit frustrated herself because of her lack of view.
Zuko frowned down at the small stand. Why did he have to do this? Why had he even been compelled to buy a gift for her in the first place? The questions made him think back to earlier in the day when Iroh had come back onto the deck covered in flour.
-Flashy back of awesomeness ^^-
“Uncle, what are you covered in?” Zuko demanded scrunching his nose up as his uncle chuckled and began patting himself down creating puffs of white smoke.
“It’s called flour; apparently throwing it at each other is a new tradition.” He chuckled. Zuko shook his head back and forth; he wasn’t going to even ask.
“We where all covered in it. Y.N.’s black sweat shirt was almost completely white.” His uncle continued.
“She must be planning on changing.” Zuko replied in an off handed voice as he shifted his weight through a new stance his uncle had taught him. He didn’t fire bend however, not with all the stupid decorations everyone had put up.
“I don’t think she had anything to change into.” Iroh replied in a surprised tone. Zuko scowled at him in confusion.
“What do you mean?”
“Well as far as I know Y.N. said she didn’t have any clothes besides the ones that she was found in.” Iroh replied.
“Why doesn’t she just buy something at the market?” Zuko replied knowing the girl had been paid just like everyone on the ship a week ago.
“She probably spent it all on gifts Prince Zuko. She said she bought something for everyone.” Iroh replied as he sipped some tea that Yumi had given him while he was down in the kitchen.
“Zuko you really should try some of this tea, it’s- where are you going Prince Zuko?” Iroh asked as Zuko stomped past him.
“To the market.” Was Zuko’s shot reply.
-End Flashy back of awesomeness ^_^-
Sighing he moved onto the next part of the market. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was looking for. He had no idea what she would like. Not that he cared if she did…not one bit…
You two watched as Zuko moved on. Waiting til he was a safe distance away you both crept up and looked at the cart he had been looking at. It was full of incense and incense burners.
“Incense, some how I really don’t think he’s shopping for himself.” You muttered frowning as you looked to her. Her expression mirrored yours.
“Maybe you where right about him finally getting into the Christmas spirit.” Yumi replied mystified.
“Maybe indeed…” You mumbled looking to Zuko’s retreating back.
The following day was filled with cooking. As the sun fell you where sent along with Shu to set up a table on the deck. You looked up at the sky to find it was a clear night. The star shown clear and bright as you stopped a moment, the table standing steadily now, to look up at the stars. Looking at the first star you had spotted you closed your eyes and whispered,
“I wish I could help Yumi help the avatar to end this war…and I know this is against the rules but…I also wish that we could all have a wonderful Christmas.” Even though the week had been hectic you hadn’t forgotten your annual nightly ritual. You knew you weren’t suppose to make two wishes in one night but you couldn’t resist as you smiled and returned to helping Shu with the table cloth and the small box lanterns on the table. Although Christmas was suppose to be red and green everything within sight was all red. You really didn’t mind since you knew that if a green lantern did mysteriously show up you’d probably get in big trouble since it was the main color of the earth kingdom. Yumi had mentioned this while shopping.
After finishing that, Yumi, Zee, and you began setting the tables. When all was said and done you all where sweaty and if you did say so you’re self, fairly gross. Zee dismissed you two for a half an hour break to wash up and get ready as well as to get any gifts you might have purchased.
Jogging up to your quarters you slipped out of your clothes and hung them up, hoping to air them out a bit and quickly took your shower only taking a few moments to sigh happily as the muscles in your body relaxed against the hot water. Stepping out of the shower you brushed your hair and tied it into a bun in a manner that would make some of your hair fan out. It wasn’t really fancy but it was pretty much all you had to work with at the moment. Grabbing you presents you walked out of your room and knocked on Yumi’s door. A muffled ‘just a minute’ drifted through your door. When she did open it she was just putting to last few bobby pins in her brown hair. Looking at you she practically scowled.
“Okay, Yumi to the rescue.” She grumbled but you didn’t miss the smile that graced her lips as she dragged you into her room.
Not more than 10 minutes later you where released from Yumi’s evil grip. You now had dry and styled hair that was placed into a simple yet elegant up-do that really didn’t match your clothing (although you did protest to Yumi making you wear her clothing, thought you did agree to take off your sweat shirt as the weather seemed to have warmed since yesterday) and you face was adorned with make up.
“Honestly Y.N., you’d think you’d never heard of make up before.” Yumi complained as she joined you out in the hall. She wore a red spaghetti strap top that flared out and ended at odd angles near her waist and black dress pants. Her normal black fighting shoes adorned her feet.
“Well I do have amnesia.” You teased resisting the urge to rub your eye that now was adorned with eye liner, mascara, and eye shadow. Both of you carried a pile of gifts as you made your way up to the deck. Moving over to where a pile of gifts was already beginning to form you both laid the gifts down, some more carefully than others.
“C’mon, we have to help bring up the food.” Yumi said as you both began running down the stairs to the kitchen. You passed a few people in the halls. As you passed Zuko you noticed he was wearing his uniform as per normal and smiled a little, hoping he’d like your gifts. You where so preoccupied in your thoughts you didn’t notice the few packages he carried as you passed him in a hurry.
Zuko hesitated as the same girl from earlier passed him. He turned his head as you passed taking in your appearance. You where in the same clothing as his uncle had predicted, however you appearance had changed somewhat. Your hair had been made up and he got the brief scent of lavender. Shacking his head trying to clear his thoughts he moved on towards the bow. When he reached it he hesitated again, the scene was one that reminded him whole heartedly of a festival back at home. Home… the word made his heart ache as he once again tried to clear his mind of such thoughts. Moving onto the deck he placed his presents among the others and took his place at the one of the seats at the end of the table.
By the time Yumi, Zee and you had placed down the last of the custard pies down on the table everyone was seated. During the dinner you where daring and actually tried one of the roasts. It was pretty good but not near as good as the ham Sarah made every year. After the food was done you all gathered around the pile of presents. Yumi volunteered to help pass out the gifts. You decided to help her, grabbing the first present you recognized it as one of yours. Passing it to Shu he quickly unwrapped it and smiled at the silver binoculars that lie in the white sheer paper. Bit by bit the stack began to wane closer to where almost nothing was left. So far you had received a red traveling cap with the fire nation symbol on the back from Zhang, an array of different spices from Zee (you had a stinking suspicion that he hoped you’d use them when ever you cooked in the kitchen), a pair of mittens from Shu (most likely because you had complained about your hands getting cold while you where on watch one time), a fire nation banner and a Pi Sho set from Iroh, and an wooden flute from Yumi. Yumi had intended to actually teach you how to play it so you could play during music night but you just smiled and played a short scale on it easily. Both she and you smiled.
One of the last presents was addressed to you. It was a soft bundle, nothing fragile like glass judging by the weight. You noticed the tag read to: Y.N. from Zuko. A note read: I thought you could use this. It was odd; you could almost sense him shifting his weight nervously in the background. Opening it slowly, moving a bit away from the others, you found it to be clothing. Not just any clothing, it felt soft to the touch. The top was a crimson red, not so bright to catch the attention of everyone but rich enough in the color to make it attractive to the eye. Setting the box down you held it up. It was a two piece just as you had suspected. The traditional Chinese (or Japanese depending on how you look at it) fighting top had the sleeves cut off at the shoulders only to have them begin again just about where the shoulder ended. The sleeves flared out as they went on to make them loose and probably very comfortable to wear. At the top near the neck there where knots that buttoned up the collar in a slightly darker shade of red, as you looked down you saw that the flaps of the top would reach down almost to your ankles. Looking down you noticed there was also a set of black pants and a red sash that was also a shade darker than the red on the top.*7 Smiling you swiftly put the outfit back in the box and moved over to Yumi grinning.
“Hey Yumi, think you can handle this for a minute. I need to try something on.” You whispered. Yumi blinked, looking a little confused and slightly curious.
“Sure…” She replied a little dumbfounded. You quickly jogged away before she could say anything.
Aparently this content is once again too big to fit into one ^^u Part 2 will be up soon ^^
- Reference Image: