He's six years old and thinks his sister's gone crazy.
Azula sits surrounded by headless dolls with a smile on her face. She raises the dagger he failed to notice earlier.
The head of the doll in her hands pops off cleanly.
She smiles and asks if he wants to play
He's seven years old and his uncle won't shut up.
General Iroh thinks everyone needs to know about a girl he met once upon a time. By everyone, he means his sister-in-law, Ursa, who's too kind to say no, and her seven year old son, who knows better to tell his mom no.
He looks at his uncle and realizes that this is his bloodline.
He's doomed and he knows it.
He's eight years old and girls are weird.
Especially one brought home by his sister.
One of them is pink and bright and bubbly won't stop moving. She cartwheels across the courtyard and folds herself up so small he almost can't see her.
The other is dark and gloomy and won't stop staring. She has a sharp looking dagger in her hand, which she tosses and catches without looking.
He's not sure which is worse.
He's nine years old and has a turtleduck mark on his leg.
With a laugh, his mother pulles the creature off and tells him she was just looking out for her babies. Mothers are like that, she says. They do anything for their children.
He wonders if she's trying to tell him something.
He's ten years old and his mother is gone.
He doesn't know where she went but somehow thinks that better. She came in the middle of the night to tell him goodbye, he thinks. He prays he wasn't dreaming that last moment with her.
He's not surprised that Azula doesn't seem to care.
He's eleven years old and thinks he's short.
He wonders if he's taking after his uncle after all and pictures himself sipping tea and playing Pai Sho. He shudders violently and runs before Iroh can see him.
He's twelve years old and Mai is kissing him.
Her lips are clumsy and unsure against his and he freezes. It's the first time a girl has ever kissed him and he doesn't like it.
He doesn't want Mai to love him, but thinks maybe he needs her to.
He's twelve and a half and Ty Lee is bugging him.
True, she's never been his favorite person, but he's absolutely sure she can't get any more annoying than she is right now.
She found him and Mai kissing in the garden. The result is the scene before him, where she's bouncing off the walls. Literally.
Azula doesn't seem to care.
He wonders why that makes him relax a little.
Agni help him if she tells his dad.
He's thirteen and the world is cruel.
He has the scar to prove it.
He's fourteen and his voice is starting to crack.
It makes his uncle sad for some reason, but he's too embarrassed to care. His crew is running wild because he doesn't want to open his mouth to yell at them.
He's suddenly taller than his uncle and not sure how that happened.
He's fifteen years old and hates the world.
No matter where he goes, people always stare at his scar. He likes to pretend he doesn't care, but the truth is it hurts that no one can see past it.
He hates that his uncle knows that.
He's sixteen years old and freezing at the North Pole.
The Avatar is on his back as he trudges through the snow and ice to find shelter. He won his fight against the waterbender and wonders why he's angry at himself for hurting her.
He can't help the feeling of relief when he sees her about to attack.
He's six months older and running from his sister.
His uncle's hurt badly and he hates himself for snapping at the pretty young waterbender who only wanted to help.
He always knew his sister was crazy.
He's seventeen and he's hurt her again.
Trapped together under Ba Sing Se, he learns she has no mother and feels guilty. The gentle fingers that touched his scar without flinching are the same ones that fight him ten minutes later.
He's seventeen and a half and feeling smug.
His lips are still warm where they touched hers. His heart is still warm from the way she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into his kiss.
She opens her eyes and smiles at him in the moonlight.
Blue's always been his favorite color.
He's nearly eighteen and thinks Sokka wants to kill him.
Why else would someone be sharpening their sword for nearly two hours?
He's not sure if he should be worried about Sokka's glare, or the fact that he needs to be glared at.
He's eighteen years old and couldn't be happier.
He became Fire Lord. His sister and father are both locked up tightly. He has friends who actually care about him.
He takes his girlfriend's hand and kisses it.
In six months, the Fire Nation will get a Fire Lady with deep blue eyes and temper to spare.
He's nineteen years old and scared out of his mind.
His wife is with child.
While that news made him extremely happy, the arrival of her brother and father did not.
He leaves them to their business and goes to hide in his office until it's all over.
He's twenty-two and exhausted.
He has two children now, one a toddler just learning to run, and the other an infant that discovered she could crawl.
He didn't think children could be this tiring. Katara tells him he just didn't think.
He's inclined to believe her.
He's twenty-nine and he can't stop crying.
Even in times of peace and prosperity there must be death. People always die.
He stands over his uncle's grave and thinks that most die too soon.
He's thirty-two and can't stop laughing.
His son is glaring at him and yelling for him to shut up while Katara tries to heal his swollen lip.
Later, he calms down enough to tell his son that first kisses aren't supposed to be perfect and it's okay to screw it up.
Katara warns him not to practice on the turtleducks anymore; they bite.
He's thirty-six and grounded.
Katara made him promise to stay in their room while his daughter, his baby, went out with a suitor.
He manages to keep his promise.
He knows her overprotective brother will tell him everything tomorrow.
He's forty-three and his robes itch.
His son wiggles in his own robes but grins at him and he can't help but grin back.
They manage to stay in their robes for the forty-five minutes it takes his son to get married.
Later, Katara admitted she didn't even notice when they snuck into the palace and changed.
He's forty-five and wonders where the time has gone.
His son is expecting his first child.
His daughter-Daddy's little girl, his sweet little baby- is getting married.
Katara sighs a lot lately. All he can do is hold her and tell her he knows.
They're his babies too.
He's forty-eight and feels old.
He watches his two grandchildren while his son prepares for his coronation the next day.
He doesn't remember children having so much energy, but then again it's been a while.
Katara tells him he's not that old.
He just squints at his Pai Sho board and reaches for his tea.
He's fifty-six and his heart is breaking.
The birth of his third grandchild two years before was a blessed event. Katara smiles weakly and tells him she's getting too old to babysit so many children.
The doctors say she's getting too sick.
He's sixty-one and all alone.
She was the greatest waterbender the world had ever known. She could bring a man to his knees with a flick of her wrist. She ruled the nation with the kindness its people had never known. She loved him until the day she died.
He only wishes that day hadn't come so soon.
He's sixty-seven and laughing.
Being a great-grandfather makes him feel young and old at the same time. He holds the squirming infant gently and kisses her wavy brown hair. Deep blue eyes stare up at him.
He tells his grandson to watch out for her temper.
He's seventy-two and ready.
He's led a good life.
He lays in bed, too weary to open his eyes and tell his family goodbye. He's faintly aware of his brother-in-law beside him, wishing him happiness.
When he goes, he's surprised, but not sad, to see his mother beside his wife. He's thinks that's okay and takes his wife's hand, ready to spend forever with the only two women that ever truly mattered to him.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed! Please review! Meep!