A/N: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender or Star Wars. I do think it's awesome that ATLA is on Netflix here in the USA, and I also think it's fun to mix these two properties. Enjoy!
Breathe, Ikem. Breathe. You can do this!
Ikem is a tad nervous. He has an important question to ask of a dear friend. Hesitantly, he steps into the room where she's looking through the props.
Ursa. A beautiful lady, eighteen years of age. Ikem has loved her since they were six. They've grown up together, and now they're in plays together.
"Hey, Ursa!" Ikems greets, trying not to sound scared out of his mind.
Ursa jumps slightly in surprise. "Ikem! You startled me!"
"Sorry," Ikem blushes. "I, ah, I have something to ask you."
"What is it?" Ursa asks, turning away from the trunk full of masks.
"Well…" Ikem trails off, and in the moment, he has forgotten his speech. He had a lovely monologue about love and all that leading into the proposal- but looking into Ursa's eyes has sent what he was going to say somewhere far, far away.
So, Ikem settles for simplicity. He drops to a knee, taking Ursa's hand in his. "Will you marry me, Ursa?"
Ursa is shocked speechless for a long moment. Then, it all clicks in her head and she's nodding. "Yes."
The two kiss before heading back to Ursa's home to announce the engagement to her parents. Ikem likes Ursa's parents, and they like him. Ikem is sure that it will all be okay.
As the lovely couple arrives, they see a carriage parked out front. It is an easily recognizable one. A coach so ornate belongs to only one group: the royal family.
Dread settles in Ursa's stomach, and something about her expression causes Ikem to feel it too.
"You can't do that!"
Ikem yells furiously, his outrage overriding his good sense for a moment. It's a very dangerous thing to tell the Agni-blessed Fire Lord "no."
The prince laughs in his seat. It's an unsettling combination of amusement and danger. "Actually," Ozai intones, and Ikem starts to feel that maybe he has made a mistake, "he can. Because he's the Fire Lord. That's why.
"Now, are you going to fight for her honor and yours like a man, or go home crying like a child? Choose carefully."
Ikem's resolve deteriorates completely. He looks to Ursa, who steps closer (ignoring Ozai's snarl of warning in the process) and says simply "For your sake and mine, go home, Ikem."
Ikem can't get out of there fast enough. As he goes, a stranger watches him leave from a small distance away.
A couple of hours later, Ikem is in the local tavern, nursing his drink.
Someone sits down next to him. "Rough day?"
"Yeah," Ikem says dejectedly.
"Want to talk about it?" The stranger asks.
Ikem shrugs. "Well, there's this girl I know. I proposed to her tonight. She said yes. We were so happy."
"What happened?" The stranger asks.
"The Fire Lord and his spare son happened," Ikem snarls, knocking back his drink and motioning for another one. "They took her from me."
The stranger is silent for a long moment. "That's rough, buddy."
"Tell me about it," Ikem nods. "I wanted so badly to punch that spoiled prince in his smug little face, but I'm no Firebender. I'd get roasted alive!"
The stranger is silent for a long moment. "Take me to them."
Ikem looks over to the stranger now, takes in the shaggy brown-gold hair, bright blue eyes, slightly scruffy beard, and dark attire. "I'm sorry, but did you not hear? This is the Fire Lord! Whatever he wants, he takes!"
"Like Hells he can," the stranger growls. "You don't just take another man's girl because you're royalty. That's not how it's supposed to work, now come with me."
"I dunno what you think you're going to do," Ikem cautions. "Are you even a-"
Ikem's worry is interrupted by the stranger producing a flame from his right hand. It burns a steady blue. "…never mind."
"By the way, the name is Quell. Lars Quell. Now, let's go save your fiancée."
The impromptu engagement party is less of a party, and more of an occasion for Ozai to be the center of attention. He certainly is, though, regaling Ursa's father of stories of his prowess on the battlefield. These stories are lies, but no one dares question a Crown Prince.
"So, anyway, there I was," Ozai is saying. "Surrounded by twenty of the meanest, most barbarian Earth Kingdom savages ever known…"
Lars Quell walks in at this part. He just putters about, which confuses Ikem (who walked in right behind him), casually looking at everything that was thrown together for this party. Padmé would be upset.
Anyway, time to stir the pot.
"That's a lie."
The conversation grinds to a halt.
"I have traveled the world," Lars sneers, looking down at Ozai. "I have never seen you on the battlefield. On the contrary," Lars continues, pulling out a cigar and lighting it with his middle finger, "I have met many soldiers of this fine nation, and they talk, and they tell me many things. They speak of Iroh and his prowess, but they call you 'Pretty-Boy Ozai' and mock you for living in a palace while they sleep in tents."
"YOU DARE?!" Ozai howls in outrage, and Ikem (having wisely found a spot out of the way) smiles to himself at how the tables have turned.
"I do dare," Lars says calmly, taking a long puff on his cigar and blowing it right into Ozai's face. "You are a dishonorable coward who only got a wife because his daddy set it all up."
"I challenge you," Ozai spits in rage, "to an Agni Kai. Right now."
"I accept," Lars says, smiling. "Prepare to die."
Something in the way he says it makes Ozai pause for a moment before Azulon arrives to pull his son away. Lars turns and follows after a long moment.
The road is cleared, but it takes a bit of time for the Agni Kai to actually start because, well, it isn't every day that a member of the royal family is challenged to one. As a result, people line the road.
Ozai comes out first, clad only in trousers, his chiseled torso shining in the torchlight. Many a young lady swoons at the sight.
Lars Quell steps out next. He remains fully clothed, and quite disinterested in the whole thing. The two men kneel, facing away from each other.
Ikem speaks to Lars.
"I hope you know what you're doing."
"I do. By the way, Lars Quell isn't my name. I am Anakin Skywalker."
"Pleased to meet you. I am Ikem."
"A pleasure. Now, let's roast this pig so you and your fiancée can have that happily ever after."
Across the way, Azulon speaks to Ozai.
"My boy, do not fail me, lest you dishonor us all."
"I won't, Father."
Azulon smiles. "That's my boy."
The duelists turn to face each other. Ozai strikes first, sending a massive fireball directly at Lars, seeking to consume him whole.
To everyone's surprise, Lars easily deflects the fireball into the sky. While everyone is looking up, Lars sends a blue fireball of his own back, which knocks Ozai flat on his back. The prince rolls to his feet, enraged beyond all measure, and the duel begins in earnest.
Ozai charges in, time and time again, attacking with powerful blows that would crush a lesser man and roast him alive. And time and time again, Lars simply deflects each attack into the sky. He doesn't even look singed.
Ikem slides in next to Ursa. "He's quite good, isn't he?"
"He is," Ursa breathes. "Where did you even find this guy?"
"The tavern." Ursa is shocked but says nothing.
Back in the arena, Ozai is still attacking, relentlessly battering Lars with wave after wave of Agni-blessed fire, but this Agni-forsaken commoner won't die!
Unfortunately, Ozai is but a finite creature, and he starts to tire. A flaming fist that had the intention of setting Lars' face on fire fizzles out, and Lars snatches Ozai by the wrist and says only two words:
Ozai has little time to react before Lars' other hand comes up, blasting a jet of white-hot fire into Ozai and through Ozai. Ozai doesn't even have time to scream. One moment, he is there, the next, he is not there, and the only evidence that he was there at all is his crown.
Fire Lord Azulon runs up, sees the crown, and then drops to his knees. Lars holds that same white fire above the old man's head.
Lars says nothing, but the expression on his face communicates volumes. Azulon weeps and weeps, until he gasps in pain and collapses. Lars bends down to examine him, finding the old man dead too.
Without another word, Lars Quell- Anakin Skywalker- trudges out of town. The villagers just let him go.
Ikem and Ursa watch in utter shock. Ikem tries to talk first. "I… I didn't know that was possible."
"Well…" Ursa mutters. "That's what happens when you recruit a random stranger in a bar."
Ikem chuckles. "Yeah. I'm sorry, Ursa, for not fighting harder for you."
Ursa leans in. "Don't be, Ikem. I love you too much to see you die."
Ikem closes the distance, kissing Ursa for a long moment. When they break apart, Ikem looks around. "Do you think we could find a Fire Sage? Let's not waste any more time."
Ursa nods. "I agree. I want to marry you, Ikem, and I would really like to get that done before someone else gets any ideas."
"Hear, hear!" Ursa's parents chant in unison.
Crown Prince Iroh staggers when he gets the news.
"Father?" Lu Ten asks. "What is it?"
"Your uncle and your grandfather are dead," Iroh says, voice breaking.
"WHAT?" Lu Ten yells in disbelief.
"Yes. It seems that my brother challenged a man who had insulted his honor to an Agni Kai. The stranger was quite powerful, it seems."
Lu Ten sinks into a chair in front of his father. "Who could have done such a thing?"
Both men turn to see a stranger with hard, blue eyes enter their tent. "Ozai sought to marry a woman who was engaged to someone else. I did not think he had the right. He took offense."
"And what of my father?" Iroh asked.
"I did not kill him," the stranger says. "Not directly. His heart gave out on him."
"And what of me?"
The stranger studies Iroh for a moment, and the old general gets the odd sensation of being looked through.
"That remains to be seen."
And the stranger is gone.
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