Dark Puck - Runefic
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Title: Hold the Throne
Author: Dark Puck
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Pairing/character: Ichiro (OC)
Prompt: Othila from Verve Challenge's Runes - Elder Futhark table.
Notes/Warnings: AU (Firelord Ozai adopts the Yujiro siblings), OC-centric
This is a rune of inheritance and the discarding of traditional well worn ways in order to move forward.
Ichiro stands on the little-used dais of the Earth King and looks out to the gathered crowd. Many look unhappy, but more still look simply confused. He can't really blame them - after all, it is a motley bunch that stands before the people. Himself, clad in what is obviously Fire armour (looted off the highest-ranking prisoner his size; Ichiro had led the rebellion in black clothing); to his right, Krisuk and Hahn in the gear of Water Tribe warriors; to his left, Smellerbee and Longshot in their mismatched fighter garb; behind him, Liu and General How in their robes of office. Hopefully with the general not shooting suspicious looks at the Dai Li captain.
Besides which, two regime changes in as many months is probably a little much for anyone.
He takes a step forward and a deep breath, then begins his speech.
"People of Ba Sing Se," he calls out, projecting his voice to make sure he'll be heard. "You may have noticed that there was a bit of a scuffle during the eclipse this morning!" That's an understatement; Smellerbee had delivered a report that Ichiro's signal to launch the coup had been seen for half the city.
"No need to panic, everything is under control again. However, there has been another change in regime!" he continues. "I am Warlord Ichiro! Soon-to-be-disinherited son of Firelord Ozai! And I do not claim Ba Sing Se for anyone but myself!" Fortunately, this aspect of the coup had been discussed with General How beforehand; Ichiro has a feeling that the old general would kill him then and there if it hadn't.
He represses a sigh and goes on, "I will hold Ba Sing Se against the Fire Nation and I will protect Ba Sing Se from any who might seek a softened target. I will not hide the war while it rages outside these walls." There are gasps as he firebends to create a model of the Great Walls of Ba Sing Se. "I will not turn this city over to my once-father. And I will not force the veterans of the war to hide their scars from defending this city." He cannot bring himself to call the city herself great, even now that he is its ruler. With a gesture he makes the model vanish.
"Some of you probably are thinking I can't rule a city like this!" He knows they are; he's barely seventeen years old and is of royal blood only by decree - and adoption doesn't work in the Earth Kingdom like it does in the Fire Nation. Probably several of the nobles consider him nothing more than an upstart peasant.
Stop kidding yourself he thinks. You are an upstart peasant.
"In the Fire Nation, we have a tradition for situations such as mine - and I hear Omashu has a similar one to it, so don't go off on that savage Fire horsebull." He hears some snickers from the crowd, and wonders how blasphemy might strike them. Perhaps next time. "We call it an Agni Kai - a duel of fire. If you think you will make a stronger ruler than I, I give you leave to challenge me to a duel."
Before the fervor can rise high, he holds up one hand. "However, I do feel I should mention something." A wicked smile crosses his face. "I am a firebender, and I took the throne of Ba Sing Se during the eclipse. Think about it."
The pitch of the crowd lowers to a murmur, and Ichiro drops his hand. "Carry on with your lives, folks. We're done here."
With that, he leaves the dais.
From the corner of his eye, he sees Liu signal two of his agents, and then follow him; Hahn wanders off to talk to the moon and disturb the nobles with Krisuk at his heels. He slows his walk fractionally until Liu is in step with him.
"So, Yue," he hears Hahn say faintly, "did you see what we did today? You had to, you were the whole reason we managed to do it..." Ichiro smiles as Liu passes him a stone tile. He glances down to see his friend's message.
'Just because you would give up the throne to anyone who defeated you does not mean I would accept anyone else.'
Ichiro nods. "I know," he says softly. "But there aren't many who could defeat me. And I'll cheat if I have to. I only need to hold the city until the proper ruler returns."
Liu holds out his hand, and Ichiro returns the tile. It is passed back to him a moment later. 'Who is that?'
Ichiro looks back over his shoulder at How, talking to the nobles and smiling, and lowers his voice. "I suppose that depends on if the Grand Secretariat wants to rule openly or not."
Liu's face, scarred by a firebender during the Great Siege, is nearly always covered by a scarf so that his expressions aren't visible. But his smile is visible in his eyes.
Current Location: my desk
Current Mood: tired
Tags: au, challenge: runes, character: ichiro, character: liu, fandom: avatar, story: c'est la vie
I really love Ichiro's speech. Good at 'xplaining what's going on, good at setting his terms quickly, and good at being awesome. *ruffles 'chiro* You are such a teenage boy.
The last bit, describing the way Liu smiles, is cute. Also, I am pleased by the mention of the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom having different adoption practices.