Summary: There are days of good and days of bad. A drabble of sorts.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except for my brain. And trust me, you do not want to take claim to ownership for that.
There are three days in his life that Iroh's heart breaks to remember. These are specific times that he struggles not to remember, yet he cannot stop their nightly visits.
He has no order of hurt for these, except for one. The death of his son. While his wife had been the love of his life, the little boy who grew into a man, and then lost far too soon in a world of blood and fire, had been his soul. The memory of Lu Ten as a child, laughter chiming through the grassy plains, hurts just as much as when he recalls the time he received word of his demise. He had left Ba Sing Se broken, desperate to reclaim the pieces of his shattered heart.
His wife had died years before his son had. The pain was nearly as great as his love for her. Her illness had been slow and painful, and when he sees the young Waterbender and her gift for healing, he wonders if he really had done all he could to save his beloved.
Then last, but he was certain it was not least, there was the day his nephew had begged to be allowed into the war meeting. If Iroh had held his ground, then Zuko would probably be in a different place right now. It was easy to say that all things happen for a reason, but when the old man looks at his nephew's face, it is just too hard not to blame himself. That was a day everything had changed. He no longer felt that his younger brother had any good left in him. If he had, how could he abuse a son, someone who was supposed to mean the world to a father?
There is one day in his life that Iroh's heart soars to remember. This is a specific time that he could never wish to forget, and it helps to chase away the sadness he had endured in life.
His nephew had lost his way, but Iroh knew that the young boy would be able to find it again. He never realized how it would feel to be there when Zuko finally did, kneeling before his pallet as the morning sun kisses the sky. His heart had soared as he crushed the young prince in a fierce hug. He had gone with the boy during his exile, hoping to be the father figure that Ozai could never be, but it had not been until then that he realized that this boy was his soul, just as much as his own son had been.