Sorry Brother

Author's note: This chapter takes place from Ozai's point of view. It immediately follows Lu Ten's death as well as Azulon's.

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Father is dead. My nephew is dead. My brother is grieving over his son. I understand his pain. Even though I don't show it, I love Zuko and Azula with all my heart. I'd take on the devil and all the legions of hell single-handedly to protect them.

I've been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time. It's the perfect chance to seize the throne while Iroh is too broken to challenge me for it. But… something feels wrong. This feels like a horribly cruel and despicable thing to do to my brother in his worst moment.

Now just to be clear, I do not hate my brother. In fact, I love him. He was never mean to me and even stood up to father for me when I was too scared to. I hate to do this to him. I feel so… evil yes, evil is the only way to describe it.

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I've just been coroneted as Fire Lord, supreme rule of my home. I'm second-born, this shouldn't have happened. Only by taking advantage of my brother's grief did I get this. I feel so ashamed.

Iroh walks in the throne room. I look up and try to face the brother whose birthright I stole. I can barely manage to look at him. I feel like the worst scum in the world, unfit to lick my brother's boots.

"So, brother, I hear you're the Fire Lord now," he says.

"Iroh, brother, I-" I begin.

"Save it," says Iroh. He turns to leave. I sink to my knees in despair over what I have done to get the throne. I begin to weep. As he is about to get out the door, I speak to Iroh one last time.

"I'm sorry, brother."