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Fan Fic / The Once and Future King

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"For eighteen years, Prince Aziru, son of Azula, is raised to feel nothing but burning hatred for his family of traitors, and to win back his mother's throne and his own birthright at any cost. He is trained to fight for the day he dethrones Fire Lord Zuko - the day he kills his father."

Page under construction.

The story can be found here. According to its stats on Archive Of Our Own, it's set to have 18 chapters, eight of which are currently completed.

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Not to be confused with The Once and Future King, T. H. White's retelling of the story of King Arthur.

Tropes:

  • A Boy and His X: A boy prince and his tigerwolf.
  • Action Mom: Azula, Hashira, Mai, even Ursa...Pretty much every living mom in the story.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Aziru. From a young age, takes his training and his duties as the crown prince very seriously.
  • Adult Fear: For a while, Aziru develops a habit of sneaking out of his room at night to get in extra training. Unbeknownst to him, Azula has her own habit of checking on him at night, and the first time he snuck out, she found his bed empty and thought at first that he’d been kidnapped before realizing that didn’t add up.
    Azula: By the way, thank you for the near heart attack you gave me that first night, when I went into your room and you were gone.
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  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Azula has a habit of stroking Aziru’s hair.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Aziru calls Mikuru, Miki, and Iyashi, Ash. Iyashi also calls Aziru “kid” more often than he calls him by his name.
    • After Aziru starts bending, Azula starts calling him "little dragon."
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Tigerwolves (particularly Ikari and Raiden) are shown to be highly intelligent and empathetic.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Aziru to Zuko, although the offspring in question is unaware of it.
    • Mikuru, on the other hand, knows damn well what she's doing. One of the things she most wants to do is to find her Disappeared Dad, Kisho, so she can kill him for defecting to Zuko’s side.
  • Anti-Villain: Aziru. He's a genuinely nice boy who believes he's doing the right thing, but his ultimate goal is to kill his entire family, restore Azula to the throne, and start the Hundred Year War, Part Two.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Zuko to Aziru, although they don’t know it. Mikuru considers her father Kisho to be this, although it’s unclear what his feelings towards her are.
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  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Iyashi cites this as the reason that Azula should be in charge - she's stronger than everyone else.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Tobutaka Nohane, the founder of the Yu Yan Archers. His name means “feather of the flying hawk” in Japanese.
  • Badass Bookworm: Aziru has shades of this.
  • Badass Normal: Azula's Dragon, General Hashira.
  • Bad Dreams: Aziru, constantly.
  • Beast of Battle: Aziru's soldiers use tigerwolves.
  • Big Brother Bully: Iyashi's older brother Nikutai.
  • Bi the Way: Azula and Hashira.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Between Zuko and Azula. Aziru is the result.
  • Cain and Abel: Zuko and Azula, somehow even more so than in canon. They've escalated from being on opposing sides to fighting a civil war against each other for power over the Fire Nation.
  • Call-Forward: Aziru unknowingly makes one to The Legend of Korra in chapter 7 when he wonders if bloodbending could be used to take away someone’s bending.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Aziru notes a couple times that Azula can't.
  • Catchphrase: “My lord!”
  • Cheerful Child: Young Mikuru.
  • Continuity Nod: The name of chapter 4 is "The Face of the Enemy."
  • Corruption of a Minor: Azula training her son to become her ChildSoldier and kill the rest of their family.
  • Determinator: Unless Azula directly tells him to tone it down, Aziru always puts 110% effort into his training.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mikuru's father Kisho, who abandoned her and Hashira before she was born to defect to Zuko's side.
  • The Dragon: Hashira to Azula.
  • Empty Eyes: Zuko in Aziru's nightmare.
  • Entitled Bastard: Azula describes Zuko as this when Aziru asks why he wanted to take the throne from her.
  • Evil Mentor: Azula to Aziru.
  • Evil Uncle: Aziru thinks of Zuko as this, with Azula playing up the "evil" part as much as she can to encourage him. Azula herself is an Evil Aunt to her niece Izuna and nephew Shizen.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Aziru and Azula agree that being captured by Zuko, stripped of their bending, and imprisoned, never to see each other again, is this. The chapter in which they discuss this is even called “Fates Worse Than Death.”
  • Half Truth: While telling Aziru that she was the true winner of the Agni Kai between her and Zuko, Azula tells him that just when she had won, Katara cheated her out of her victory by attacking her. This did happen, but she conveniently leaves out the fact that she cheated first by attacking a spectator, effectively forfeiting the match and leaving Katara no choice but to fight her.
  • Has Two Mommies: Aziru thinks of his mother’s lover, Hashira, as a second mother.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Aziru is very hard on himself, and this is his first reaction whenever he thinks he’s screwed up.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Essentially what Azula describes Aang as to Aziru, who grows up thinking that the Avatar is a monster as a result.
  • I Am Not My Father: Azula's approach to parenting is to be completely unlike both of her own parents.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: A line from "Mordred's Lullaby" by Heather Dale opens each chapter as part of the Whole Plot Reference.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: When telling Aziru about the Avatar, Azula refers to Aang as "that thing," and never says his name, to reinforce in Aziru’s mind that Aang is a Humanoid Abomination that has to be destroyed.
  • Mama Bear: Azula outright says multiple times that she'll kill anyone who tries to hurt Aziru.
  • Meaningful Echo: Azula intentionally echoes her mother during her psychotic episode: “I love you, Aziru. I do.” And then laughs about it, freaking Aziru out.
  • Mirthless Laughter: Azula does this briefly when Aziru asks if Zuko cares at all about honor.
  • Mommy Issues: Aziru’s life essentially revolves around making his mother happy, and he has an internal Freak Out every time he thinks he’s disappointed her.
    • Even as an adult, Azula still hasn’t gotten over her own issues with her mother. In fact, they seem to have gotten worse, to the point that a particularly bad conversation about Ursa triggers a psychotic episode.
  • Mommy's Little Villain: Aziru to Azula. One reviewer even calls him "Mommy's Little Soldier."
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Avatar Aang, to Aziru and the rest of Azula’s followers.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Seven-year-old Aziru has one in which Zuko stabs Azula to death and then has Aang remove his (Aziru’s) bending. Dreams like these end up being common for him.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Iyashi and Mikuru to Aziru. Even if he’s their crown prince and Azula’s son, they have no qualms about telling him if they think he’s screwing up.
  • Parental Favoritism: Azula, having been on the receiving end, wants to avert this by keeping Aziru as her only child, so she'll be physically incapable of playing favorites.
  • The Perfectionist: Aziru believes that he has to be perfect, or else he won’t be strong enough to defeat his uncle, and on top of that, will have failed his mother.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally - Azula seems to genuinely care for her tigerwolf, Ikari. Amazingly, she manages to combine this with Kick the Dog when she claims that Ikari's life means more to her than her whole family's (barring Aziru) combined.
  • Pregnant Badass: According to Mikuru, when Hashira’s husband Kisho told her he was defecting to Zuko’s side and asked her to come with him, she grabbed her sword and tried to execute him on the spot while still pregnant with Mikuru.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: In chapter 8, Azula punches out a mirror that it’s heavily implied she was seeing a hallucination in, and ends up needing stitches from the shards of glass stuck in her hand.
  • Recurring Dreams: Aziru has constant nightmares of him/his mother/his friends being killed, having their bending removed, or a combination of all of them.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Fire Nation Royal Family keeps this particular tradition going strong.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Again, pretty much the whole Fire Nation Royal Family.
  • Royal Inbreeding: Played with. Royal siblings Azula and Zuko have a child by Brother–Sister Incest, but they're not married. Being on opposite sides of a civil war for the throne of your nation is about as far from being Happily Married as you can get.
  • Security Cling: Aziru in chapter 7. He clings to Azula after she scares the crap out of him by saying that if Zuko ever captures them, he’ll subject them both to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: A rare female-on-female example with Azula and Hashira.
  • Shirtless Scene: Iyashi gets a brief one in chapter 8.
  • Shown Their Work: In chapter 8, when he senses that his mistress is upset but cannot get to her, Ikari the tigerwolf's ears flatten down against his head and his tail points straight out, parallel to the ground. This is the body language of a fearful, suspicious wolf.
    • From the same chapter, when Azula is having a psychotic episode, Hashira handles it the way one should in Real Life: she tells Azula that she can freely talk to her and that Hashira is ready and willing to help her, makes a point of not touching her without permission, does not take the insinuation that she is disloyal personally, and is in general very caring, supporting, and nonjudgmental.
  • Sore Loser: Aziru, though the only reason he irrationally hates losing is because Azula beat into his head that her son does not lose anything, and he is terrified of failing her and losing her love. Before she made that clear, he handled loss fairly well, even congratulating Mikuru on beating him in a sparring match and asking nicely if she’ll teach him the moves she used.
  • Succession Crisis: All sides of the Fire Nation Royal Family (Azula and Aziru; and everyone else) claim to have the rights to the throne and are fighting each other to the death over it.
  • Survival Mantra: Not my mother not my mother not my mother...
  • Technically a Smile: Azula does this during her psychotic episode in chapter 8, freaking Aziru out even further.
  • Terms of Endangerment: In chapter 7, Azula calls her niece Izuna “darling” and “precious” while planning to kill her.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Aziru’s obsession with killing every single relative he has (aside from his beloved mother) starts at a young age.
    • He also threatens, completely seriously, to have Nikutai killed for bullying his (Nikutai's) little brother Iyashi.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Aziru, Iyashi, and Mikuru.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Aziru. He just falls short of being the laser-guided kind: though his main target is Zuko, he’s been raised to kill the rest of Zuko’s family, his followers, and anyone else who gets in Azula’s way.
  • Undying Loyalty: Aziru has this for Azula in spades.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Azula is in a relationship with her Dragon, Hashira.
  • Villain Protagonist: Aziru, though he's more of an Anti-Villain Protagonist.
  • Warrior Prince: Prince Aziru.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To The Once and Future King. Zuko is King Arthur, Azula is Morgause, and Aziru is Mordred.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Azula mentions to seven-year-old Aziru that she would kill Zuko's daughter Izuna personally if she had the chance, to further legitimize Aziru's claim to the throne.
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