Title: Ozai's Travels

Characters: Ozai, Azulon, Piandao

Rating: PG

Warning: AU, Crack

Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar.

Summary: Ozai travels to all four nations seeking wisdom and a plan to overthrow Piandao.

Azulon sat, hunched over, on his throne. He was depressed. But he had a good reason to be; his family's legacy was about to end because of his younger son's failure. The young prince lost his rightful place to a common man. The usurper was nothing special. He was certainly not deserving of the honor he had been accorded. He couldn't even bend fire, yet he was going to be the next Fire Lord.

Azulon had tried everything he could think of to stop the man from becoming his successor, but every single plan failed. He was sure it was going to lead to his premature death, and that would be the worst thing in the entire world. But he couldn't continue this madness.

"You summoned me, Father?" the Fire Lord's younger son asked as he knelt before his father.

"Ozai, I have realized that you are never going to learn anything if I simply regain our family's right," grumbled Azulon. "Your stupidity is why we lost it in the first place. It's now your job to get it back, and then your brother can rule our nation after I'm gone."

"That doesn't seem fair," whined Ozai.

"Fair? What do you know about fair?" screamed the Fire Lord. "Was it fair for your brother and me that you choose not to run in race?"

"But, I'm going to have to do all the work to get it back," Ozai complained.

"Your brother came in second place," Azulon replied sternly. "You came in dead last. No one wants the biggest loser to run anything let alone the nation. Be gone!"

Ozai lowered his head and left the room. There was really no arguing with his father some days. There had to be a way around for him to win back throne and not have to give it to Iroh. Growing up he had been told of the great Avatar, a person who lived thousands of lives, who had great wisdom. Perhaps the Avatar could help him?

~8~8~8~

The first place to look for the Avatar that crossed Ozai's mind was the Western Air Temple. The Air Nomads were known for their kindness, and not only that, the Avatar is supposedly one. It would be perfect. He would kill two birds with one stone. He would get the advice needed to get back his rightful place and he would capture the Avatar.

The prince ran from door to door throughout the monastery, knocking on each one. No one answered.

"These are the rudest people in the world, they aren't even answering their doors," Ozai angrily complained.

"Uh, Prince Ozai, don't you remembered Air Nomads history?"

"Of course I do," grunted the prince. But the truth was that, after reading the first couple pages, he decided it was pointless to learn about such goody goodies. He was unaware that they had been wiped out.

"Maybe we should look elsewhere for answers," the guard suggested. He hated going on wild goose chases and his prince's stupidity.

~8~8~8~

"I would like your advice on a concerning matter," the Fire Nation prince said as he swung his long sword.

The Water Tribe warrior blocked the prince's attack with his traditional Water Tribe club.

"Why should I? You threaten me?" the warrior snarled. He was around Ozai's age.

"Threaten you? I did no such thing," Ozai replied, offended. If he wanted to threaten someone he would've used his fire bending skills, not some weapon.

"What?!" the warrior exclaimed flabbergasted. "Your people are raiding my village! If that's not threatening, what is?"

"I have no control over this raid, my father called it," Ozai explained. "I'm just trying to regain my place on throne."

"You're not his successor? Thank goodness!"

Ozai snarled angrily, this man obviously didn't understand his dilemma.

~8~8~8~

His men needed rest, so they headed back to the Fire Nation. But Ozai didn't want for his time to be wasted while the crew was resting, so he decided to gather some intelligence. He wanted to figure out what was on the minds of citizens of his nation.

He found a man who wasn't in a large crowd and called him over to an alley way to avoid looking suspicious.

"Greetings," Ozai said, looking away, in hopes on not being recognized. "I'm taking a survey on what people think of our future leader Piandao."

"Oh, I don't know the man," Piandao said, trying to keep a straight face. "Could you describe him to me? Maybe I've seen him around, what does he look like? What has he done?"

Ozai described Piandao. In fact he described him so perfectly that if he looked the man in the eye he would know exactly who he was talking to. Piandao suspected that the man doing the survey was Azulon's son, seeking to win the nation back.

"That man sound terrible," Piandao said, in an almost mockingly tone.

"I'm glad you agreed," Ozai replied. "Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with the problem?"

"I want to help, give me a minute to think of situation," Piandao said trying to think up the worst advice possible. He grinned as he imagined how Azulon would react to various ideas. "I got one!"

"What is it?" Ozai excitedly asked.

"First you need to flick off your father," Piandao said in a hushed tone. He watched the prince eagerly jotting down notes. "Then get on the good side of this man you speak of, the one who will be Fire Lord."

"Uh, thanks," said Ozai. The idea was strange, but it was better than anything he had thought up. He was mostly just overjoyed that he found another person who agreed with him and wanted to help him. The best part was that the man didn't want anything in return for him to use the plan.

~8~8~8~

How did Iroh do this? He did it all the time. It was dreadful visiting the Earth Kingdom. He felt like everyone he tried to speak was hiding behind a brick wall. A traveling merchant caught his eye; he figured that at last a merchant would be willing to talk to him if he bought the man's wares. Merchants tended to be worldly.

"Greetings," Ozai said as he approached the cart full of cabbages.

"Hello," the merchant replied examining the man, noting that he wore Fire Nation clothes. But business was business to him. "Would you like to buy a cabbage?"

"Could I ask your thoughts on forcing a man to resign?" the prince asked.

The cabbage merchant was silent and began to rearrange his cabbages, as if Ozai was not there.

"I could really use some advice here," Ozai pled. "It's a matter of honor. My family must regain our rightful place on the throne."

"I am sorry," the merchant replied shortly. "I only give advice to paying customers."

Ozai reached into his bag and took money out and bought one cabbage.

"Thank you, sir," said the merchant.

"You're welcome," Ozai insisted. "Now that I'm a customer, do you have any advice?"

"You know, I've always found it was best for me to stay out of political matters," merchant stated. "Everyone easily blames the cabbage merchant if it something goes wrong."

If it hadn't been for the crowded location, and the guards that were within earshot, the only thing left would've been burnt cabbages. Unfortunate for the merchant his sales dropped severely from that day forth due to the news of him selling to the 'crazy Fire Nation man.'

~8~8~8~

The young prince flopped down upon his bed. He was exhausted from his travels. He had adventured in all of the four nations and found almost nothing – it had been just a waste of time. Four months of work and only one idea on how to tackle the 'Piandao' problem. After talking to people from every nation (that he could find) he only was given one plan. He decided that he was going to use that plan, even though he did not fully understand it. He studied his notes and waited for the right opportunity. He knew his father would summon him soon. His father knew he was back, and was impatient to find out if his son learned or did anything useful.

Sure enough, there was a knock on the door and a guard walked in.

"Prince Ozai, your father wishes to see you."

Ozai got up and followed the guard to the throne room where his father was impatiently waiting. He knelt down before Azulon in respect.

"I think I've gave you plenty of time son," Azulon began. "Have you found the solution? Do you have a plan for how to deal with the problem?"

He was annoyed. Perhaps Iroh would have been the better choice to take care of matter. He would never have gone four months without a word.

"Yes, I do Father," Ozai replied confidently.

Azulon smiled. Maybe his youngest wasn't as stupid as he had thought. "Go ahead, please."

Ozai paused for a moment and then began making the most vulgar hand gestures he knew. Azulon's eyes widen with anger, but Ozai was too absorbed in his task to notice. He wasn't sure how he would know when the man's plan was working, but he knew he wanted to make sure he didn't quit too soon or do too little. He continued making various gestures until his father stopped trying to get him to explain himself. Eventually Ozai ran out of obscene hand-gestures and looked up at Azulon.

"So you came up with that brilliant idea?" Azulon grumbled in disbelief at his son's stupidity.

Ozai stood up straight and spoke proudly, "I thought of it all by myself."

Azulon wondered how his son became such a complete moron. It had to be his mother's fault.