The boy's eyes are golden, but his skin is a dusty mocha color that says he isn't fully Fire Nation, and therefore not whom he thinks he is. There is, however, something about him that is completely and utterly Zuko, that, for a moment, the former Fire Lord's heart breaks before he remembers himself.

The boy before him smiles shyly, two front teeth missing in a row of perfectly white incisors. He is young; five, maybe six at the oldest.

"I'm not suppose to be here," he whispers naughtily, like a child caught in a cookie jar. He speaks in a slow, southern drawl that is found commonly in the parts of the southern Earth Kingdom and the South Pole.

Ozai wonders who the boy's parents are, and why is he down here.

"I'm not suppose to be here," the boy repeats quietly, as if telling a secret. "But Grandma said it was okay."

For a brief moment, he thinks of Ursa; the thought is painful, so painful he feels like he's bleeding from the inside out, but knows he is not.

"My name is Izuri," The boy continues in his southern drawl, unaware of his companion's discomfort. "What's your name?"


He wishes the boy would leave him, leave him to his silence and darkness and brooding.

"Nice to meet you!" The child says happily, blissfully unaware that he's speaking to his grandfather, the greatest enemy of his parents, and possibly the entire world. He talks to Ozai as though he is his new best friend, or perhaps an amusing pet.

He pulls out an old Pai Sho board, setting up the pieces gingerly. "Great Uncle taught me how to play yesterday." He says as he sets up the board, rearranging the pieces however he sees fit, much like a true Prince.

It does not occur to Ozai to tell him the pieces are in the wrong spot, and he'll probably mess up the entire game that way.

"Would you like to learn how to play?" He asks, full of an innocence and naiveté that so bitterly reminds him of the son he never had.

He surprises even himself by saying, "Yes."


Inspired by a drabble on the avatar100. I'm totally stealing it and running with it. Because I can!