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You [Story for renuki] [Story by] 
27th-Feb-2007 01:13 pm
A_ficathon
Ficathon Story for renuki.

Title: You
Author:
Prompt:What is wrong with you?
Genre Preferred: Humor, Romance, Adventure
Ships Preferred: Toph/Aang, Zuko/Katara, Iroh/Ozai(As in a brotherly way, not a romance way. XD)
Rating Preferred: Whatever.
Author's notes: At the beginning
Appearing Theme:


A/N:
I’m not exactly good at writing adventure, especially in the cannon
universe, so instead of writing Taang or Zutara, I’d like to focus
on the brotherly relationship of Iroh and Ozai. Here’s my take on a
bit of fire nation history! And besides, the season finale completely
put me off of Zutara, and Taang has always seemed pretty difficult to
write (especially now that Aang can’t fall in love with anyone).</p>

Once upon a time
in the land called the Fire Nation, the Fire Lord Azulon and his
wife, Ayla, were blessed with a son.

Azulon named the boy Iroh and he
enjoyed taking time away from the heavy duties of caring for a nation
to teach his beloved son firebending. Iroh was naturally skilled and
even at his young age, firebenders and soldiers murmured of the
perseverance and knowledge that the boy held. He was the pride and
joy of the fire nation, as well as his caretakers in the palace, and
especially his parents.

Despite his
harsh training, Iroh was gentle and sweet in all other aspects of his
life. He would talk to birds, look at the night sky, and he would
water the plants of the Fire Nation’s garden. He had a special
passion for tea. His gentle side was the result of his mother,
however. Fire Lady Ayla would drag Iroh away from his training or his
classes at the Fire Nation Academy and she would teach him about
morals and ethics, and how to be a perfect gentleman.

On this
particular occasion, on Iroh’s sixth birthday, Ayla sat next to him
on his bed. She was there to sneak him a last slice of birthday cake
as well as to tuck him in.

He hugged her. It was a bit difficult,
because of her seven-month pregnancy.

She, however, squeezed him tightly and
kissed his forehead.

“Iroh, I’m very proud of you, you
know. I know that when your sibling comes, you won’t be jealous or
cruel; you’ll be fair and sweet. Won’t you?”

He nodded and picked off a last crumb
of cake from her sleeve before he settled in between his blankets.
She smiled. Leaning down to kiss him, she whispered, “My little
dragon” and left.

Iroh thought of what she has said and
felt happy; he absolutely loved dragons.

When Ozai was born, the Fire Lord
Azulon, treated both his sons equally and would, in turn, teach Ozai
the intricacies of Firebending. Fire Lady Ayla, however, did not
bother to teach Ozai morals and ethics, as she had done with Iroh.
Whenever she tried, the young prince would look away and wouldn’t
listen.

Wheras Iroh was
gentle and kind, Ozai was far too cruel. To him, any ends would
justify any means. Iroh, though persistent, wasn’t as violent in
his persistency as Ozai was. Ozai also enjoyed throwing rocks at
birds, randomly shooting fire into the air, and stomping on plants.
He completely loathed tea.

Like Iroh
howeveer, Ozai was soon called a Firebending prodigy, and the Fire
Nation army looked forward to having him as a soldier; his undying
desire for victory was enough to win any war.

After one Fire Nation banquet, in
which the Royal Family dined with the highest nobility as well as the
highest ranking officers and soldiers of the Fire Nation Army, Iroh
turned to his mother after she had just discussed the ongoing war
with a General.

Iroh, now fifteen, looked at his
mother.

“Mother, what will happen when the
Fire Nation wins the war? Will the entire world become the Fire
Nation?” he asked innocently.

“I don’t know, honestly. I really
don’t understand how your father would manage the entire world, if
that were to happen. I say that the best option would be for the Fire
Nation to declare peace. That way, everyone would be happy, right?
The Fire Nation already has all the land it could have, and certainly
doesn’t need anymore.”

Iroh absorbed these words and lay in
his bed that night, thinking deeply about the future of the Fire
Nation. Ebony hair spread over his pillow, he shifted around
uncomfortably. His eyes snapped open as he felt a knee at his side,
as well as a hand grabbing over his elbow.

Rolling around,
he saw his nine-year-old brother. This wasn’t unusual, as sometimes
Ozai would come into Iroh’s room at night and the two princes would
talk about things like firebending. Looking into his brother’s
golden eyes, Iroh could tell that Ozai was just as absorbed in Ayla’s
words as he was.

“What do you think of the war?”
Ozai asked, getting straight to the point.

Iroh shrugged.

“I think Mom’s right. What more
can the Fire Nation gain from this war?”

Ozai scowled and responded, “So
what’s gonna happen when you go into the army? There’s just one
or two years ‘till that happens. Dad said that when you turn
seventeen, you’re considered a man. When you’re a soldier, are
you just gonna refuse to fight for the Fire Nation?”

Iroh replied calmly, “If I go into
the army, then of course I’ll serve my nation. I’m just saying
that this war is a bit pointless. Peace really is the best option.”

To his surprise,
Ozai laughed. His nine-year-old innocence, at the moment, seemed
distorted and Iroh felt almost disturbed.

“Who wants
peace…when you can have victory?”

This statement
left Iroh speechless. He sat up in the bed and looked Ozai strictly
in the eye. As on older brother, he was, after all, expected to act
responsibly towards his younger brother.

“That’s not
a good philosophy to live by. You shouldn’t say cruel things like
that without thinking, Ozai. What is wrong with you?”

“You’re just weak. It’s not fair
that you’re going to get the throne, just because you’re older.
You’ll make a horrible ruler, if you don’t want victory,” Ozai
said condescendingly.

Iroh’s brow
furrowed. His patience was almost gone.

“Go to bed, Ozai,” he finally
murmured, burying his face into his pillow. He could practically feel
his brother roll his eyes immaturely before he left.

-

When Ozai reached the age of sixteen,
there was no doubt that he was an excellent fire bender. Iroh, who
was now a young man of twenty-two, still worried over the belligerent
nature of his brother.

For example, when the fire lord gifted
his younger son with a beautiful woman as an addition to his harem,
Ozai sneered at her. He called her ugly, fat, stupid, old. He told
her that the only reason she was in her occupation was because she
couldn’t find herself a real husband. She literally ran from the
palace grounds crying and the fire lord could do nothing but sigh and
look the other way. A prince could do whatever he wanted, after all.

The fire lady herself moaned at the
thought of her younger son never being able to find himself a proper
woman.

And then she met
Ursa. The young lady has connections within the noble families of the
Fire Nation and was an eligible candidate for betrothal. The fire
lady quickly put claims onto this arranged marriage before any body
else could request her. Of course, Ozai and his bride-to-be would not
be informed of this until the day of their actual marriage.

Ursa, a
beautiful, young, daughter of one of the highest class families
accidentally stumbled into the palace garden looking for her pet
dragon. However, even after she found her dragon, she lingered in the
wide garden, instantly falling in love with every flower, tree, and
blade of grass.

Iroh was the first to find her in the
private garden. When she saw him she leapt up and bowed her head in
apology. He walked past her bowing figure nonchalantly and she looked
up in curiosity.

“It is a beautiful garden, isn’t
it?” he asked, smiling.

“It is, Prince Iroh,” she
responded in a small, polite voice.

“Well, then, you can have it,” he
told her.

She blinked.

“What?” She asked. She was so
shocked that she forgot all formalities.

-

When the young
lady Ursa met her husband-to-be, she looked at his ivory face; the
amber eyes, the ebony hair. His good looks created an aura about
him-one that made him seem untouchable. Any lustful young lady
would’ve been glad to have him as her husband, but Ursa only
thought of her fiance’s brother; the kind young Prince Iroh who
always had so much patience and exceeded gentleness. She quickly
relinquished all romantic feelings, though, when she met Iroh’s
son, a child with charcoal hair and golden eyes.

Several years into her marriage, and
several years after the birth of her own two children, she cries when
she hears that the beautiful child with the charcoal-black hair was
killed.

-

“I couldn’t save him,” he
confides in his brother.

Ozai remains silent. Iroh, who had now
returned from the war, returned a broken man. He had heard the
whispers within the palace, of course, but felt no shame at the way
people called him weak, and how Ozai would’ve burned Ba Sing Sei to
the ground.

“My son is gone. My wife is unable
to have children,” Iroh continued miserably.

“You’ve
never changed,” Ozai says coldly. “You’re still the same, weak
prince. You’ve spent your life being too kind and gentle. You can’t
possibly expect the world to be the same. If your son is gone, then
live with it. He can’t come back. If you want another son, then
discharge your wife as useless and find yourself a wife that is
capable of doing what all women should be able to do.”

Iroh shook his head.

“I could never replace Lu Ten.”

Ozai scoffed.

And for the first time since Lu Ten’s
death, Iroh’s despair suddenly became anger.

“Unlike you,” he responds. “I
don’t value one child over another.”

Ozai went stiff for just a moment. He
curtly stood up and walked away. If Iroh had no heir, then who would
take the throne after him? Has Iroh’s legacy truly ended?

That night, as the younger prince lay
in bed,that was all he thought about.

-

Just a few weeks later, Prince Zuko
came bursting through the palace, searching for his Uncle, his only
trusted person left in the world.

He jumped ontop of the bed, where the
once glorious man slept. His chest rising and falling softly, he lay
completely relaxed.

“Uncle, Uncle! Please, you have to
come! Azula is lying to me, she’s saying that Mom’s gone! She’s
saying that Grandpa’s dead, and that he’s giving the throne to my
dad!”

Iroh, just awake, took a few minutes
to register everything that his nephew was saying.

When he finally
understood the words (particularly the last part), he felt no shock,
but somehow everything seemed to make sense. He knew his brother
better than anyone else, perhaps, and he also knew that a person’s
character never changed.

His deep sigh resonated as terror in
Zuko’s eyes, however, but Iroh could think of nothing comforting to
say. He, himself, felt shame.

How could you?

-

From a distance, Iroh watched the
crowning of the new Fire Lord.

That should
be me.
He thinks for a moment.

When Ozai’s
eyes looked into Iroh’s, though just for a second, Iroh saw almost
no emotion. He wished he could’ve seen “I’m sorry” or
“Forgive me”, but all he saw was, “What is wrong with you?
Won’t you claim your divine right, Brother
?”

And Iroh smirked back.

I will,”
he responded.

But Ozai wasn’t looking anymore.

Through my nephew. This ‘Divine
Right’ belongs to him, and only him.




If you would like to comment after reading, ALL COMMENTS MUST BE ANONYMOUS, except in the case of renuki.
Comments 
28th-Feb-2007 03:00 am (UTC)
Oh, awesome, thank you for such a awesome story!

*shake head* Aha, evil Ozai. XD
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