Quick Note: I am unsure of pairings thus far, and any done will probably be canon. I am not planing on doing any Yaoi pairings, though some Yaoi is alluded to in this chapter and may also be talked about concerning past events. This is mainly because the Loki in myths did have an instance of transforming into a women and having a family with a man she married before Odin killed them (the jerk). I figure that with shape shifters like Loki, your sexuality is as fluid and flexible as your changing form. I figure that Zuko/Loki in this story can still appreciate the male form as much as female, but I do not plan to have any Yaoi pairings with him in this story. I will put a note at the beginning of the chapter if anything that could be considered Yaoi is alluded to or mentioned (Loki's mortal family that I mentioned may come up again at a later point).
Disclaimer: I own nothing...its very sad
Iroh wondered. He had noticed a change in his nephew since he had recovered from his fever. Not that this was entirely unexpected, given the true nature of Zuko's illness, however some of the changes seemed a bit…odd for lack of a better word. Not that Iroh had any concrete proof that Zuko had anything to do with what happened to those two tea house owners that had tried to cause trouble for him; but the glint of humor and satisfaction in his nephew's eyes had told Iroh enough. This new sense of humor seemed strange, though Iroh did remember a time when Lu Ten and Zuko often played small tricks a pranks on each other, and sometimes on him, though this behavior had stopped after his return from Ba Sing Se. Iroh was inclined to take this as a positive sign, that Zuko was reclaiming the parts of himself that had been locked away due to Ozai's harsh treatment. That was another concern for Iroh. He had often wondered if there had been something else that had caused his sweet young nephews dramatic personality shift after the loss of Ursa. These suspicions had become a near certainty after what Ozai had done at the Agni Kai, though Iroh had assumed that that had been the worst incidence of abuse Zuko had endured. Now however, there were times Zuko got this look, usually after Iroh had praised him or treated him in a fatherly manner. A look of awed disbelief and wonder, as though his nephew couldn't believe someone found him worthy of care and kindness. A look that Iroh had seen before and did not like the implications of. He knew Ozai preferred Azula as soon as she had proven herself more talented than her brother. He knew that Ozai had neglected Zuko (though Ursa tried to compensate for it) and after Ursa had disappeared, had regularly hurt his first-born emotionally and verbally. Iroh had thought…had hoped that this was Ozai's own poor attempt at trying to get Zuko to improve. That look however…it spoke of deep scars, horrible hurts of a lifetime. Had he or Ursa missed something in Zuko's early childhood? Was Ozai truly such a good actor?
There were other changes of behavior that Zuko had. These ones odder and accompanied by their own looks. Zuko had never been very fond of children, most likely due to his experiences with Azula when they were younger, but now he would sometimes go out of his way to interact with them and did so with such ease and, seemingly, experience. From calming tantrums to keeping the little ones entertained with conversation or small treats while their parents enjoyed a cup of tea, it was certainly giving the teashop a wonderful reputation boost. However, Zuko would at times get such a look of sad, wistfulness when watching the children with their families. A look that seemed familiar, though Iroh could not seem pinpoint where he had previously seen it. His nephew also had more nightmares and he would sometimes catch Zuko staring at the night sky, his eyes looking so old and tired. A look that would be more appropriate on himself than on his young nephew.
There was a final change that Iroh had noticed, though it had taken a while. One just as surprising as the other changes, though considerably more normal. Zuko seemed much more open to the attention of the young women that sometimes came to the shop, even engaging in some friendly flirting, which delighted Iroh to no end. This however was not the surprising part. What had taken the famous Dragon of the West by surprise was seeing his nephew send appraising glances to both females and males alike! Iroh had no issued with this (and same-sex couples were much more accept than in the past) but refrained from making any comments on it, or the friendly flirting with the girls, not wanting to ruin his nephews new-found confidence.
Yes, this transformation had caused many changes in his dear nephew, some good and others worrisome. But Iroh was patient and ready to wait until Zuko was ready to come to him with his explanations. Even if that time never came, Iroh was willing to always wait, wonder, and make sure Zuko knew he had someone who would love and accept him no matter his changes.
End Notes: Sorry for the long wait, it is very had for me to get ideas for this fic and, thus far I only have a few general ideas for which way the plot could go, so any suggestions are welcome. The one thing that worries me most is that Loki is a very smart and clever character and I am not sure I can accurately represent that since I am not that clever. So as I said, any suggestions are more than welcome. I can't promise quick updates for this fic since life happens. Plus, my sister is getting married in less than a month and there is still so much to do. Anyway, thank you for you support and reviews.