plum throat

One thing she would not do was remind Sokka what day it was. Azula swung gently back and forth on the swing as she stared out at the canal. Sokka was busy with council, and he had to concentrate on Republic City first. “No, I won’t be that kind of wife,” she said looking down at her son who was busy nourishing himself. Azula ran a finger over his cheek, and smoothed down the lick of hair that never seemed to know which way to go.

Cami had gone into the field and brought her a bouquet, a mix of weeds and flowers, as well as a card and a mug that she promptly declared would make the best flower vase ever, because she did not trust that it would make a very good mug. Not unless she wanted to have her drink in her lap.

That had been in the morning, before she had gotten out of bed, and after Sokka had left.

No, she wasn’t going to remind them. She certainly wasn’t going to do what Mai had done the year before which had resulted in 1)her brother scurrying into town to find the best set of throwing knives that he could find and (they had gold handles) 2)writing reminders six months, three months, one month, one week and the day before.

“And if THAT doesn’t help him remember, well… unfortunately I still won’t be an only child.” Azula grimaced. “No, I don’t really wish death on my siblings,” though sometimes both could be rather frustrating.

Luckily Cami and Atauq did get along. Most of the time. Except for when Atauq crawled into and  knocked down Cami’s block tower, or when Cami decided it would be fun to freeze her brothers feet together. “We do not freeze our siblings,” she had told her daughter firmly. “EVEN if they are annoying us.”

Well, they got along okay.

Atauq released her nipple, looked up and gave her a smile. “Okay, one gift out of three,” Azula said as she readjusted her clothes and snuggled Atauq close. Baby smiles definitely counted as gifts.

She had already given her mother a gift of a large box of the finest cloth in a variety of colors, plus other sewing essentials - Sokka had hugged her for that.

“I’m trying Sokka.” They both were, and it was going slowly, despite her mother having moved to the island.

And that was this morning. He had praised her for reaching out to her mother!

“So it isn’t as if he doesn’t know the date, he knows what today is!” Azula bit her lip.

Still, she hadn’t reminded him, not at all, she had merely asked him earlier as he was getting ready to leave the island if “you have plans this evening.”

Her son laughed. “Hmph!” Azula ran her fingers through his hair. “That wasn’t reminding, it was hinting.” Hinting was allowed. "How else would a husband know to get the gold earrings with the amethyst stones instead of the rubies?” Purple turned out to be her color indeed. “Hints are necessary.” Which is why she didn’t end up with a ridiculous necklace like Katara because Aang simply had no taste at all when it came to jewelry and Katara just grinned and thank Aang for it.

Luckily Sokka did, because even when he just bought something that caught his eye, or better, made her something, it always looked good.

“Take after your father in that,” she instructed her son and then frowned again.

“So how could he forget?” It was nearly evening, and he had been back from the mainland for almost two hours already and still -  

On her birthday she had found her gift on her pillow when she woke up. Last year Sokka had treated her to a spa-day. Hot mineral baths, skin treatments, mud masques, massages. She had come home with two bags full of supplies; mineral salts and masques, and oils and lotions and … “Well, when you are asleep I will treat myself,” she told her son. He gazed at her sleepily. She didn’t really want to put him down.

Sokka had locked himself up in the study, and refused tea or anything else. Something must be going on in the council. She’d learn what soon enough. Surprising her people hadn’t yet told her. Azula wrinkled her brow.

“Why haven’t they?” Her spies were good, and Sokka didn’t mind them because that meant he was on top of things as well.

“What is going on?”

“What is going on?” Azula turned about.  Sokka was standing behind her, their daughter on his shoulders.  Sokka looked up at his daughter who clasped her hands over her mouth. “Can I tell now?”

“Tell?” Sokka asked. “Show! Down you go!” he said and bent allowing Cami to leap off.
“Madam!” he said, lifting  Azula into his arms, he bore her through the salon, down the ramp, into the ballroom, and dropped her into her chair, then sat down on her right, and Cami sat down on the left.

Arrayed in front of her was a coterie of musicians and dancers. At Sokka’s signal they began to play, and as they played the servants brought in one tray after the other of delicious dishes.

And after the performance had ended a servant came in bearing a small gold tray.

“Dessert?” Azula asked.

“You can say that Sokka said proudly, and lifted the lid.

Azula gasped. On the tray was the most exquisite set of daggers she had ever seen. It was obvious that Sokka had made it. The scabbards were of plum wood, with a throat and chape of silver, emblazoned with dragons, the finial well turned. The handle had another dragon carved into the wood and there was a ring of inlaid stones, pearls and amethysts.  Azula balanced one in her hands, switched to holding it by the handle, swung it gently in the air. Heavy enough to mean something, light enough that it was easy to move about. Well balanced.

“Take the baby!” she demanded and as soon as Atauq was out of her arms she slipped the blade from the scabbard.

“This is. Perfect,” she said.

The blade was black. Azula touched her finger to the edge, and blood pearled.  “Like, like your sword?” Sokka nodded. “Meteorite. I found one last year. When I was gone for two weeks? Tracking it down.”

On the blade, one simple sentence:  “To the dragon who rules my heart.”

Azula smiled.

“Tell the truth now, you thought I forgot.”
“Well… I should have known better.” Azula slipped the knife back into the scabbard and placed both on the table. “Anyway, you know what I really want for Mother’s Day?”
Sokka frowned. Azula reached one arm over Sokka and one over Cami. “What I already have.”

Sokka kissed her on the cheek and Cami jumped into her lap, then Sokka clapped his hands and another round of music and dancing began.