A/N: Man oh man, after watching "The Avatar and the Fire Lord" this whole plot of Avatars not allowed to get married stuff, can't happen in the canon verse. Hehee. I'm sorry for the long wait too, please forgive me. But for the last week I didn't have internet, and so yay I got to finish!
Warning: Long chapter, it just says what happened to everyone really. So if you were expecting something spectacular, I'm sorry.
Opposites attract because they are not really opposites, but complementaries.
- Sydney J. Harris
It came as a shock to everyone, when they found out that Sokka did have a girlfriend. However him having a girlfriend wasn't as shocking as it was when they found who she was. Princess Azula of the Fire Nation. Prince Zuko looked like he was about to have a heart attack or stroke, despite his young age. It was the talk of the world, suddenly. Fire Lord Iroh looked perplexed, since he didn't see it coming despite being very observant. After all, who would have thought that Azula would find someone sane? Or maybe Sokka wasn't sane at all since he was committing himself to the Fire Princess.
Katara, although shocked at her brother and sister-in-law's decision, was very happy for them. She congratulated the odd couple with warm embraces and a beaming smile. Unfortunately for the couple, things didn't go that smoothly for Zuko. He refused to give his blessing for his little sister to marry. It took his wife, uncle, the Avatar, Toph, and a few guards to hold Zuko back from attacking his brother-in-law. It was, in some sorts, an attempt to get back at Sokka for giving him such a hard time when he married Katara. In addition, a feeling---an instinct that had risen out of nowhere—telling him to protect Azula. His mother and father would've wanted him to protect Azula from men, wouldn't they?
Besides, having a man in Azula's life was never a good thing. Last time, she almost helped destroy the world because of him...their so-called father.
"You will not marry him! I forbid it!" he yelled at his sister. Azula fanned herself and looked at him with boredom.
"You are on no grounds to forbid me Zuzu," she pointed out. Now he wanted to play "over protective, older brother" with her? She would not have it.
"As the prince and heir---"
"As your sister, I will not listen. I will marry Sokka no matter what. We'll elope if we have to," she glared at him defiantly.
"Why are you doing this? I mean when the hell did this happen?" he demanded.
"I don't know...a few years ago?"
Azula mentally smirked, wondering what would happen if she told her dear brother that she was with child. He'd probably have a stroke, after killing her fiancé of course.
The door opened, and Iroh smiled as he walked in. It was just grand for Azula: a family meeting.
The princess sighed, exasperatedly. "Are you done yet? There is no reason to have a discussion about this, now is there?" she asked her uncle.
"Azula calm down, I'm only here just in case your brother does something stupid."
"Like what?!" Zuko asked, still trying to control his temper.
"Drive your sister away that she never comes back to visit us," he said with a smile. Zuko glared at Azula, wondering if that would be such a loss to her. It was obvious she wanted to get away from them; however to marry Sokka of all people just to get it was insulting.
"Where is Zuzu's wife?" Azula asked her uncle.
"With Sokka and the others."
"Uncle," she began, ready to lash out at him too if he dared dissuade her of her decision.
"Azula...it would seem Sokka genuinely loves you—and you him. I just hope you're not marrying him, so soon, for the wrong reasons."
"What do you mean?" she bit out. "What reasons would I have to marry Sokka so soon?"
"Because you want to escape your family as soon as possible?" he offered with a smile. "I don't want you to rush things, that's all."
"We've been together for a long while now Uncle."
"And he is a good man," Uncle added.
"Uncle you can't be serious!" Zuko asked, in infuriated.
"I give you my blessing as your uncle and Fire Lord."
"Uncle!" Zuko cried out.
"Are you serious?" Azula asked in disbelief and shortly masking her stunned reaction.
"Yes," he walked over and held her as Iroh gave his neice a kiss on the forehead. "May your life together be a long and happy one, my niece."
Azula looked at him, unable to think of something to say except a quiet, "Thank you."
He nodded in acknowledgment and walked out of the room. Azula smirked at her brother, "Well since I have Uncle's permission I really won't need yours, now will I?"
"No! I am your older brother—I have more right than him to decide if you marry him or not!"
"He is Fire Lord," Azula finished. For once, she was glad that her uncle was sovereign and not her brother. "His word is absolute."
"Just you wait until I am Fire Lord!"
"By that time I'll probably have a child or two and there won't be a thing you can do about it," Azula smirked, resisting the urge to laugh. If he only knew...
"Uncle I don't understand, she hates peasants! She hates Katara's family--she hates him! I mean what happened to her marrying someone of Fire Nation--not to mention, noble blood?"
"Nephew, there is a fine line between love and hate; a very fine line indeed--but that very fine line is also very thin."
"I'm sorry to say, but I think she loves the young lad."
"Loves him?" he asked incredulously.
"Zuko, why is this bothering you?"
"Because it's Azula! She's...well it's not right! She must have something plan! I mean she could be using that idiot!"
"What do you mean?"
"Well Sokka's the son of the chief of the Southern Tribe right? Doesn't that mean that one day, he will have that job?"
"Zuko, are you saying that by marrying Sokka, she'd have the power to turn the Southern Water Tribe against the Fire Nation?"
"Zuko, Katara's from there right? I doubt that they would attack Hakoda's precious daughter."
"You never know!"
"True. But you forget, the Southern Water Tribe is small, we could easily defeat them. In addition they aren't really a monarch like we are. Their people get a say in what the chief says, and if they disobey they won't be punished."
"Really nephew, why is this bothering you? Didn't you say that you could care less what Azula did?"
Zuko slumped further down on his chair, and remained silent.
Hakoda looked at his son, "Are you sure about this Sokka? We are talking about the temperamental Fire Nation Princess, Ozai's favorite child and only daughter."
"I mean how does she feel about the fact that you helped kill her father?" Kana asked her grandson.
"Dad, I know Azula has a temper...boy do I know it...but I can handle it. I can handle her. Gran Gran, as for that whole killing her father and her people starting a whole war that involved Mom, well we talked about it. We wanna be together despite that. I mean it's not like we meant to kill her dad anyway and well...she had nothing to do with Mom's death." He answered quietly and yet firmly, defending his fiancée.
Katara looked at her brother and asked, "So wait. You gave me and Zuko a hard time while you were going behind our backs and courting Azula?!"
"Well about that..."
"Hey...that was before I got together with Azula! Me and Azula happening was also after Aang and Toph realized they had feelings for each other! Come on!"
Katara continued to glare at him, and Sokka knew that he did not win the fight.
"Ow! Ow! Katara stop! Dad make her—ow!"
"Sokka I ought to..."
It was settled, Azula and Sokka would marry. Also half the year Sokka and Azula would live in the Southern Water Tribe and the other half of the year, they would live in the Fire Nation—since neither refused to move permanently to the other's native home. Azula argued that it was always cold; and Sokka argued that it was always hot. Then occasionally, they would either travel with the Avatar since Sokka felt bad leaving Aang all by himself since the man couldn't be left alone ever since Toph married. In addition, if Sokka and Azula wanted a vacation they would go to the Earth Kingdom since they both didn't mind it's changing weathers.
"Traveling with the Avatar?"
"Of course. Don't you want to?"
"Yeah...but you know..."
"Oh don't worry. It'll be after the baby is born. I mean it should see the world shouldn't it?"
"But a baby while on a journey..."
"Don't worry babe I'll handle it."
"Babe?" she eyed him.
"Sorry," he said with a simper, shrugging his shoulders.
Toph, despite being blind, noticed the change in Azula and Sokka. Azula wouldn't drink sake (though apparently that had been going on for a while now; so the her relatives didn't suspect anything), and Sokka wouldn't either. Now why was that, Toph wondered. Azula loved drinking—and Sokka loved getting drunk, okay maybe not.
They would always have a contest on who could drink the most alcohol and of course Azula would always win.
"I'm gonna abstain for awhile," Sokka replied coolly as he took a bite off his meal.
"Why?" Katara asked, confused.
"Because it's not good to have toxins in your system all the time," he growled, hating where this was going. "Why can't I be good at least for one day. Noooo my own sister suspects something."
"And you Azula?" Zuko asked eying his sister.
Azula exhaled, irritatedly. "No reason. I'll drink when I want to drink, all right?" Azula excused herself, wanting to get away from everyone's staring eyes (save Toph's of course). Sokka immediately followed her and Toph heard the princess mutter a very quiet curse, that she was sure no one else heard.
"Don't go," Sokka asked softly. "It's not good to go to bed hungry."
"I'm not hungry," she hissed. "Now go sit down! I don't need to be taken care of."
"Leave me alone!" she shouted before storming off the dinning room.
"So Sokka, you still want to marry my sister?" Zuko asked with a smirk.
"Why so sudden anyway?" Aang asked.
"It's only sudden to you guys because you only found out about Azula and me. I mean we've been together for a long time now. It's been awhile for us."
"But the wedding Sokka," Katara began, "is so soon. I mean it takes at least half a year to prepare for a wedding. A grand wedding. Especially something Azula would approve of. And now, it's being so rushed."
"After all, people who marry suddenly are those who are..." Iroh suddenly stopped talking, as Zuko jumped out of his seat.
"No! No! It's not what you think!" Sokka explained as Zuko stomped toward him, furious.
"You son of a bitch, if I find out you've touched Azula before you two are married, I'm going to kill you!"
"Sokka please tell me that this is not why you're marrying Azula!" Katara demanded. Hakodo eyed his son, crossing his arms waiting for his son to explained. He hoped that too. What could have possibly possessed his son to do such a thing in the first place?
"It's not. I promise you. While I was traveling, I realized I missed her a lot...enough that I was ready to settle down, ya know?" Sokka said truthfully.
"So when should I congratulate you and Azula?" Toph asked as she met Sokka in his room. She could feel Sokka ponder what she was talking.
"Toph you already did."
"I'm not talking about the wedding," she said firmly.
"You should know by now, that no one can lie to me." She walked toward him and turned her head upward so she was facing him, not that it would really matter. She smirked, "You two must have been busy the last time you visited because there was no way she just got pregnant."
"Ah come on. I can hear an unborn child's heartbeat by the 21st day since it's conception," she informed her friend. She smiled happily, "It's one of the upsides of being blind but having my other senses heightened."
"You could hear my child's heartbeat even from where you were?!"
"No. I have to use my earthbending remember? Well when I was near your darling princess, I just happened to notice she was carrying some bit of extra pounds, and I doubt she would allow that to happen if she could control it."
"How long have you known about her and me?"
"A while. But I was having my own problems during that time." She walked over to the counter and grabbed an apple. "I'm worried though. About Aang...you're leaving him."
"I know, but I promised that I would join him whenever I can."
"After the baby is born, Azula's not gonna let you leave her with the baby."
"Then I'll take him or her."
"Sokka," she began. "Aang shouldn't be alone. At least for awhile."
"Why? I mean it's been awhile since you married that Jiang guy."
"Yeah but he recently found out something."
"I have to marry Azula as soon as possible, you know that. It's not like I can leave her hanging, she's gonna show soon. Besides what's so bad that Aang can't be alone?"
"Aang just found out that my daughter is his too," she told him as Katara walked in and drop what was in her hands.
Sokka's eyes bulged.
"Look this is killing him and I don't know what's going to happen if he's left alone. Momo and Appa can't really help him."
"Easy," Azula remarked. "We can go with him after our wedding."
Sokka looked at her, "Huh?"
"Well since you think the Avatar's gonna die without you by his side, we'll go with him. It can be like our honeymoon," she explained to him. "I don't understand why the Avatar needs you so much though."
"He's the youngest of our family, Azula. It's hard for him to see us moving on while he's still the same you know? I mean what does a guy like him do when he can't get married to the woman of his dreams?"
"I don't know."
"But the baby...can you...will you be able to---"
"Sokka stop it! I'm very capable of anything that comes my way and our child's. Do you think just because I'm pregnant I won't be able to defend myself?!"
"No! No! Never, of course not! I'm just worried about the baby and all. You know?" he said. However the look that his fiancée gave him, Sokka knew that there was no room for arguments. They were going.
Sokka and Azula were married and they joined the Avatar in his travels. When it was finally known that Azula was pregnant, Katara's heart broke¹. She was happy for her brother and his beloved; but it pained her to know that Azula provided an heir to the Fire Nation before she did. It was worst when it was a boy, insuring that he would be one day sovereign.
It would be seven more years before she could give Zuko a child. A daughter. It wasn't really a problem, until they realized that the girl was not a bender. She would never be able to rule unless she married her cousin and became his consort in life and in throne². There were even arrangements for this, but Katara refused for her child's future to be decided for her. It may had something to do with Kana and Pakku's past. Katara wanted her daughter to be able to choose the person whom she spent the rest of her life with, despite that the cousins got along well.
Renshu and Toph's marriage survived, somehow. They raised their beautiful girl until she was the age of the twelve, when she had to join Aang on their travels. No one really knew how the Bei Fong heiress looked liked so they didn't have to worry about the commoners finding out, however Toph made her daughter swear to her that she would never reveal her last name to the people she meets or sees in her journey.
"Mom," the twelve year old whined. "You're not gonna get all sappy on me are you? Come on. It's not like you."
"It takes years to master an element. You're late in learning it, so it may be awhile until I see you," she told her child sternly, embracing her. "Be good. And don't give Uncle Aang too much trouble."
"Just once in awhile right?" she smiled. She was glad her mother was blind, so Toph didn't have to see her tears.
"Right," Toph grinned. She didn't want to cry in front of her daughter, because it could be more painful for the both of them.
"You love her don't you?"
"You love my mother...as more than a friend that is..."
Aang and Toph's daughter would be 15 going on 16 before she learned the whole truth, in which is demanded from Aang. She never understood why Toph seemed to care for Aang more than Renshu; she never understood why her father was so jealous of the Avatar; she never understood why there was so much tension---why she was an airbender when her mother was an earthbender and her father was a descendant of the Earth Kingdom nobles who have not mixed.
They knew the truth had to come out eventually. They knew that the child could not be kept in the dark forever, even if that's what they wanted---because children don't stay children forever---they do not remain naïve forever.
"What?! Are you saying that Renshu Bei Fong is not my father?! Are you saying I have no connections to the Jiang family whatsoever?! You're my father?! Does my dad know this?!"
"How could you?! How could both of you?!"
She knew Aang's circumstances and how he could never marry, but she was so confused. She felt betrayed by her mother—she did not take the news about her true paternity well, and ran back home. There she confronted her mother and Renshu, where they were both able to explain both of their sides alone with her.
"Papa you're so kind," she told Renshu as she laid her head on his lap. "How do you do it? How can you live like this?"
"Don't blame your mother. It wasn't her fault. She's been a good mother to you; and good wife to me. She's faithful despite that her heart yearns for another. That is not easy, when you love someone but they don't return it."
"You still love her?"
"Of course. I love you too. You're my daughter---I don't care if we share blood or not. Blood is not what makes family, but love."
She would continue to recognize to Renshu as her dad, before she would welcome Aang as her father. Eventually she learned to love them both, in her own way, as her dads. After all, she always liked "Uncle" Aang—she always loved him, he was just closer to (immediate) family than she realized. Though she continued to call Aang, uncle—and on rare and intimate occasions, dad—because Renshu will always be Papa and only him.
"She's not being troublesome is she?" Toph asked Aang.
"Well not more than her mother was, when she was at that age," Aang chuckled only to have Toph elbow him the stomach. "You taught her well."
"Oh? But you seem to have influenced her too Twinkle Toes," Toph grinned.
Aang smiled but changed the subject, fearing they would stray. "Hey did you hear from Sokka?"
"Not for a while, but I'm sure he'll be there for our little 'family' reunion thing," she said. "It's coming up right?"
"Yeah. Shouldn't you know? You're being the hostess this year."
"Yeah," she laughed. "It's going to be great. The kids will get to see each other too."
"Oh yeah. And soon they'll probably want to join you on your journey," she told him. It was true though they didn't know it then. One day all of the kids would travel with Aang. Times when they're all together, and times when it's individual.
"That'd be great," Aang said with a grin. "Well anyways Sokka and Azula's little boy is a firebender did you hear?"
"Yeah. He's apparently going to be the next Fire Lord, since his cousin is unable."
"It must suck...just cuz she's not a firebender."
"And that marriage arrangement."
"It's a good thing Katara put her foot down."
"If her daughter were to marry the boy, she wants it to be out of love."
"That's how it should be," Toph smiled sadly.
"Sure it's no problem Sokka," Aang told his friend happily. "The more the merrier. Another person to add to the group. What more can I ask for?"
"Thanks Aang. Azula and I want him to see the world first before taking on his duty for preparing to become Fire Lord. It's a good experience you know?"
"Yeah definitely," the Avatar nodded. "So after a year he's going to the Fire Nation for training?"
"Yeah Azula's gonna be with him for awhile, to help him settle in. I'd go but I'm needed in the South Pole."
"Will you miss her?" Aang asked.
"Of course! She may be insane, but I do love her," he sighed. "She has another side to her, that hardly anyone else sees."
Just like the way I see Toph.
"I'll miss my son too—man Fire Lord? Who would've thought?"
Aang laughed, More like Princess Azula and Sokka—who would've thought it would work out?
Renshu wasn't innocent as he let his daughter to believe. She was twenty-one now, and a beautiful lady. She was great friends with the Fire Lord's daughter, and the Fire Lord's sister's son; she was wonderful. The perfect child he could've asked for, no matter how much of a headache she was.
She loved him, despite that her father was the Avatar—she didn't care. She accepted him, and acknowledged him as her dad—not the Avatar, though many children would proudly say they were the Avatar's child. Of course, then again, she couldn't really expose her true identity to anyone.
If she only knew what kind of man he was.
He loved Toph, and he knew and acknowledged her undying love for the Avatar. His daughter thought him noble, to love someone so much—and not be loved in return, to just sit by and allow it to happen. She probably thought, that if there was a way to annul their marriage—he would do it for Toph, because he loved her that much. That wasn't so, however.
He could've gotten the marriage annulled, after all his wife wasn't pure when they married; and she carried another man's child. They were nobility, anything was a possibility for them (it certainly called grounds for an annulment), but he didn't do it—and it wasn't because he didn't want Toph's reputation ruined, but because he couldn't let her go. He couldn't allow him to have her, Toph was his wife—she was his.
"Hey how are you?" Toph asked as she entered the room, with a tray in hand.
"I think I'm feeling better," he told her. He'd been ill lately, and Toph surprisingly played the attentive wife.
"Well that's good, so you can get off your high horse, and do something other than just lie there in bed," she told him as she brought over the tray next to the night table, near him. Renshu laughed, until he found himself coughing.
"You're still not well huh?" she concluded, softly. The doctors have done everything in their power, and Katara as well to heal him but to no avail. It was internal, and maybe even terminal. "Well don't worry, I won't be going anywhere, so I can look after you."
They hoped he would get better, they prayed for it. Renshu wondered if it was a test from the Spirits, or even a punishment from them for causing the Avatar pain. However he wouldn't lose.
He caressed his beloved's face, she was his, until his dying day.
Crying at his grave, there she was. Her beloved husband was gone, and surprisingly it broke her heart. True she couldn't give something to Renshu, like she did with Aang, but Toph loved him nonetheless. He was definitely a good man too, more than she deserved.
"I let you go once, I won't make that mistake again," Aang told her. "I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
It had been so long, so long of suffering and fighting, that Toph was so tired that she could no longer say no. She didn't want to be strong anymore, she didn't care anymore, she had forgotten why she had fought for so many years to not be with him—and now, when their daughter had just turned 22 years old, and her husband gone, they were finally together.
"I want the same thing Twinkle Toes," she smiled. "I've always wanted the same thing, for so long."
They leaned in for a kiss, sealing the deal.
A/N: It's finally completed!
1) If you've read my drabble in Relationships and Contemplation, Punishment; you'd know why Katara's heart broke in a more specific detail.
2) To me Azula and Sokka's child do marry Katara and Zuko's child and then they have two kids—part of some deal cuz both of the nations needed heirs/representatives, so one child became chief of the Southern Water Tribe and the other became sovereign of the Fire Nation. Yes I know the two kids marrying would be cousin/cousin but remember, that was done often in the old days.
The annulment deal with Renshu, I didn't want him to be a Gary Sue thus I decided to show a not too "good" side of him, so I hope it worked. I didn't want to show him as the villain either, though.
Also Sozula was my only happily ever after ending pairing--you can think of it as the "heaven" part of the story, while Taang was the "hell" part, and the (minor) Zutara was the "earth" part. XD