A/N - So since I am obsessed with Zutara & obviously that didn't work out well, I thought well why not Iroh and Korra? Same elements, different people, more chance of getting together or hooking up. All in all, just introduce a water tribe girl and a fire (nation) bender rich boy and I will ship it! Sorry Mako and Amon, make some room.
So hopefully, some people will too. Though it looks like the pairing Asami/Iroh is winning in this fandom so far.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything!
Warning: Slight choppiness and switching of verb tenses. Takes place after recent ep. so slight spoilers!
Only A Glance, Nothing More
Summary – General Iroh II had seen both Avatars once, in his lifetime in different stages of his life. Setting eyes on Korra once more, he can't help but be enchanted by the bold crass manner of her. Unfortunately, Korra has her eyes on Mako, who has only eyes for the beautiful Asami while Bolin has eyes on her. But Iroh has inherited patience from his ancestors, and perhaps, when the war is over, Korra's eyes will rest on him at last. K/I Oneshot?
General Iroh had been about to go into his cabin and drink his midday tea when he had been approached and told about the wire Avatar Korra had sent. A cry for help. Summons. An urgent order since the Avatar ranked above all despite advances in technology and putting aside the supernatural.
Either way, his fleet would reach Republic City in three days. He had spoken true about this. General Iroh was nothing but honorable. His golden eyes, so similiar to his grandfather's, hardened. He knows Avatar Korra has not mastered the four elements and was not ready to face Amon. This is where the United Forces come in. As the General, Iroh's peaceful moments ended now. He took a few more minutes to gaze out into the sea, recalling his grandfather's tales of being a dishonoured prince on a ship, chasing rumors on the avatar, and later, chasing the avatar himself.
Recalling his grandfather's tales made him think about the first memory he has of Avatar Aang. Iroh had been only five at the time.
(Iroh knows it shouldn't really be his first memory because his mother had told him stories about how Zuko had basically snatched him from her arms and ran to present him to Katara and Sokka -who had teased Zuko mercilessly about not having any more children. The first Chief Beifong would've teased him too -despite the fact that Lin was also an only child but hey, anything to tease Sparky- but she had passed on the year Iroh's mother, Ursala, had finally married.)
General Iroh remembers his grandfather, straight and proud, presenting him to Avatar Aang. With twinkling blue eyes, Avatar Aang had bent down to Iroh's eye level and had shaken his hand as if they were equals. A flash of orange and yellow entered Iroh's memory as well. Iroh had been grouchy, forced to wear formal clothing which he had despised at that age.
"Iroh, you don't realize how important this is. One day you'll look back and realize you have met legends." his mother had said, smoothing down wrinkles before handing him to his grandfather.
Iroh remembers what his mother told him and smiles brightly at Avatar Aang. He didn't want to disappoint or shame his grandfather.
This is all that he remembers by himself. The rest had been lovingly told by his grandfather Zuko.
Avatar Aang had peered thoughtfully at Iroh before grinning up at Zuko.
"He looks just like Zuko!" he exclaimed as he motioned to the rest of the gang forward.
They had reunited on that day. A promise they have made to one another to always see each other at least once a year. As the years passed, it had been extended to their children. Their children had grown up though and had realized that it was their parents' alone time to think about "the good old days." Zuko stood proudly, like the Fire Lord he had been. His grandson was the first grandson in the group.
"I hope he isn't as stubborn as Zuko though. He'll probably be a mini Iroh." said Katara, peering at him from the stew brewing in the fire. Though technology had advanced, the gaang prefered to meet as in their youth, out in the open with Appa.
Sokka, stroking his long white beard, put his two cents in.
"Yeah, last thing we need is an arrogant, temperamental -."
"Hey! Not in front of my grandson!" Zuko said, pointing at Sokka in warning. Sokka waved him off. Sensing a "playful" fight about to happen between his old friends, Aang turned his attention back to Iroh.
"Hey, Iroh! Do you want to see a neat trick?" asked Avatar Aang.
Iroh nodded and as the gaang looked on in amusement, Aang had shown Iroh II his marble in the air trick.
This had been his first meeting with Avatar Aang. It is also his last. Avatar Aang passed away two weeks later in his sleep.
General Iroh leaves the deck and goes into his cabin. His hand reaches for a newspaper sent to him by Councilman Tenzin in Republic City. The front proudly exclaims that the Avatar has returned to her city and ready to start her duties and training. A picture underneath depicts the news conference Avatar Korra had appeared in, wearing her Water Tribe clothes, excitement on her face.
He had seen the Avatar Korra once too.
His mother, Ursala, had told him about Avatar Aang's funeral. How people around the world had come to weep at his passing and pay respects to his family. Six months later, the world waited with bated breath for the next Avatar to be born. Their eyes watched the Water Tribes closely since the Avatar was to be born a waterbender next. In a year, the White Lotus was investigated in the Northern Tribe, looking for the Avatar. Parents claimed their child was the one. How can the White Lotus not see that their child just bended earth?
Iroh had been about to reach his ninth birthday when Grandfather Zuko announced during dinner that the Avatar had been found in the Southern Tribe. In the form of a five year old girl. He wanted to go see the girl, and would his lovely daughter mind if he take Iroh there to cheer up Katara? Ursala had agreed and the trip was set when Grandfather had suddenly fell ill. It took a year for him to recover and Iroh realized then that one day, his beloved grandfather would be gone.
Despite his daughter's protests, Zuko was determined to go see the new Avatar and left with Iroh as was planned before.
He was ten when he was presented once more to Katara. Katara looked frail and thin, old as his grandfather. Katara had greeted and hugged Zuko with joy. He was the last of the gaang, besides herself, to still be alive.
"Do you remember Iroh, Katara?" asked Zuko as he motioned him forward with a wrinkled hand.
Katara had chuckled as she patted Iroh's head fondly.
"How can I not? He's almost your image, Zuko. Do you want some sweets, dear?" she said, directing the last part to Iroh, who had shaken his head and said his thanks.
Without anymore conversation, Katara motioned for them to follow and began to walk away. They were going outside again and Iroh inwardly groaned. Though he was a firebender, and warmly wrapped in layers, Iroh preferred not to stay outside longer than necessary. They stepped out into a deck that overlooked a round snow-covered practice ring where a girl, younger than Iroh, was practicing.
She bended water, before moving to fire, than earth, a mini whirlwind* around herself, before sticking with fire punches at her invisible foe. A minute passed before she catches sight of Katara and runs towards them.
The brown-haired, blue-eyed chubby girl skidded to a halt in front of them before posing in what she thought was a heroic pose.
"I am the Avatar! Who dares to intrude on my domain?" she proclaimed, her eyes flashing.
The curve of his grandfather's lips turned slightly upward. Grandfather Zuko is amused and bows low in respect, Iroh following after.
"A thousand pardons, Avatar. I had thought Katara would have warned you about my visit." said Grandfather.
Sometimes Iroh forgets that his grandfather Zuko had been raised in an old era, where he had been nobility -a prince- of a fire nation. His thoughtlessness is brought up only by moments like these, when Zuko speaks formally and reveals he had once been a ruler of a nation. He sees the Avatar frown and glance at Katara for confirmation. Katara nods.
"Korra, I want you to meet the dowager Firelord Zuko and his grandson Iroh." Katara introduced.
Avatar Korra nods and tells them how welcome they are before her eyes rests on Zuko's scar.
"How did you get that on your face?" she asked bluntly, pointing to it as well.
Zuko laughs hard as Katara and Iroh looked horrified at Korra's bad manners. Korra smiles brightly. That day, Iroh finds out his grandfather didn't have the good life he thought he had. Iroh decides then to enter the military academy.
Zuko visits three more times without Iroh and even writes down -a book Katara teased- a letter of instruction about how to teach Korra her firebending. He would've visited more often if he hadn't had that heart stroke and passed away.
It is the first day of their journey when a cry of alarm goes up. There were people swimming in towards them and what was their general's command of action?
Taking the telescope his second was offering, General Iroh sees the people that so distressed his forces. A polar bear dog swims determiningly towards them as four youths clung on tightly. He focuses it on a familiar blue he recognizes instantly, despite the fact that it had been 12 years since he actually stepped foot on the land of the Southern Water Tribe.
The girl looked to be about the same age, and had the same colorings as the Avatar had looked in the newsclipping. It isn't until she lifts her face and unknowingly makes eye contact that General Iroh realizes that it was the Avatar Korra herself.
Her eyes hadn't changed at all.
"Take some men out and offer them assistence to get onboard. It seems the Avatar herself has come to fetch us." he ordered smoothly as he handed the telescope back.
His orders are obeyed instantly.
This is how he meets Avatar Korra a second time. She sits, drenched with a towel around her shoulders, on the floor of the deck with her companions. They have already introduced one another on both sides. General Iroh had to reassure the Avatar that they were not equalists many times.
"Avatar Korra." Iroh says, bowing in respect to her before continuing, "There was no need for you to come and fetch us. I had given my word that we will be in Republic City in three days time."
Confusion marring her features, she looks up into golden eyes and said bluntly, "What the hell are you talking about?"
It is a shock to find out that Avatar Korra never knew about the United Forces being sent for. Quickly being caught up, General Iroh frowns at the complications the situation turned out to have and start to mentally draw plans.
"Tell the rest of the fleet to push their speed. We must reach Republic City faster than necessary. Put the waterbenders on it as well." he ordered to his men.
zGeneral Iroh turns to see Avatar Korra still besides him, looking at Mako and Asami cuddling on the deck.
"We will save the city." he reassured her.
"Really? Well, you're late then. Amon has complete control over the city now." she sassed at him, turning her back at the couple, and makes eye contact.
It is then that Korra realizes that the General is only a few years older than her and very attractive. A light blush came on her face but Iroh, luckily, takes it as anger. Which is a shame because he finds the bluntness of the Avatar cute, the Avatar herself devestating beautiful but knows that it is not the time.
"Why don't we go into the dining hall and have a cup of tea? We can discuss all that you know of Amon there." he proposes instead.
He notices that she did not pay him attention any longer but focused her attention again on Mako, the firebender. Iroh also notices that Bolin occasionally threw jealous looks over at him. Iroh sighs.
And reaches for the Avatar's hand. Startled, she turned her attention back to him as he began to speak.
"Avatar Korra, I promise on my honor that we will defeat Amon. Whether it is yourself who takes him down or my forces, we will take back Republic City and end this." he said solemnly.
Korra should admit it now that she recognizes him from her childhood but she doesn't. She recalls a faint memory of him, supported by the fact that he is the vivid image of Zuko (without the scar of course) then and now. She recalls fond memories of Zuko and how he will boast of his only grandson Iroh.
He told her once why he named his grandson after his Uncle. She sees it now. She sees Zuko's influences on him.
"Then I will hold you on your promise." she retorted as she looked away to hide her blushing. Silence fell between them. General Iroh knows he should let go of her hand but finds that he can not obey that particular order. If it bothers her so much, he decided, she can free her own hand.
He notices that both Mako and Bolin are throwing glares at him. Asami doesn't notice, peering into a small wristlet for something.
When Avatar Korra regains her composure, she turns her gaze to him once more.
"Some tea would do me good." she admitted.
She doesn't pull her hand away until they are to be seated in the dining hall.
They talk of plans. Some one comes to tell General Iroh that there are no waterbenders on the fleet currently.
Korra curses. Iroh does too, mentally.
General Iroh knows patience well. It is in his blood fused with royalty. His namesake, the first General Iroh, had oozed with patience to the point that he had tested Zuko's anger points constantly.
(This he refused to believe. His patient grandfather, quicktempered?)
Nonetheless, it is his patience that constantly draws out Korra's quick tempers. They are literally opposites - fire and water. Though who is actually water and who is fire is questionable. Korra is the essence of fire: explosive, passionate, consuming. Iroh is water: fluid, tranquil, and bending. This is what always get her temper drawn out and she leaves.
Unknowingly, this teaches her patience as well. She soon decides he is interesting to observe and while he is busy, does observe General Iroh. He pretends not to notice. Secretly honored that the Avatar has found him interesting enough. Secretly pleased when the Avatar's friends (excluding Asami) are miffed that she watches him. Secretly miffed himself when he notices that the Avatar still watches Mako.
One hour, when he knows she is watching him, he turns and "catches" her watching. She blushes and he draws a hand out and beckons at her. A prince beckoning to his subject.
She raises her chin stubbornly before mimicking his gesture. An almost goddess, inwardly immortal, beckoning to her subject.
He goes. They talked. The shipmates and soldiers started to talk. Mako and Bolin fumed. Asami approves.
He notices, on the final day of their journey, that Avatar Korra seeks him out more. Though her eyes rested on Mako for long periods of time, she spends more time with him instead. He notices that those long periods of time grow shorter the more she seeks him out.
It is as the sun is setting that General Iroh pushes his luck and makes a comment comparing the Avatar to the beauty of the sunset.
For the first time, her eyes are on him only and she smiles brightly. He remembers that smile well. It hasn't changed in the years she had grown. She remarks on how silver-tongued he was and did he meant her beauty was fading? He panics and his golden eyes widen in shock.
She then punches him lightly.
As they conversed and traded remarks in the dusk, he notices that Korra had stopped looking over at Asami and Mako. Without realizing it, he smiles and Korra's breath hitches briefly in her throat. After all, he is a handsome man with good qualities and had things been different, he might have been a king.
She doesn't realize she is falling for him. He doesn't realize he is falling for her.
They reach Republic City too soon.
They've planned it all out, Avatar Korra and General Iroh. The plan is perfect and if executed just right, Amon would fall. The revolution destroyed. General Iron and his fleet would distract the Equalizers to give Korra and her friends the cover they needed to get into the city. When five minutes have passed, the fleet would turn into an army and set foot on the city.
General Iroh wishes the Avatar the best of luck and she inclines her head in thanks before wishing him the best also. It is formal, ceremonal pomp, a script.
Just as she is about to embark on her part of the plan, Avatar Korra turns and glances at General Iroh. He catches her glance and nods.
A hint of a promise, of a possible aftermath.
For now, it is enough.
As soon as Naga speeds off, General Iroh gives the command to start firing at the harbor.
They both went off their seperate ways in the battle against Amon. The memory of what had happened before seperating -
Only a glance no more.
A/n -Please review! Tell me what you think! Love it? Hate it? What the hell was I smoking/drinking?
* - I figure she would've been able to have airbended just a little bit since little kids are sensitive to the spirit world and all that. This means she would've locked it unknowingly as she just focused on the pyhsical part of her training.
The name, Ursala - Though Zuko hated Azula, he had shown he still cared for her by the way he keeps trusting/believing in her. Thus, "Azula always lies." mantra. Ursa is self explanatory.
I also figure that Aang would've asked Zuko to give up his throne around eh, mid twenties? Which means his daughter (otherwise Zuko would've named his son Iroh off the bat & we've mostly agreed that Iroh II is too young to be his son going by the gaang's featured children so far) would've had the raising of a princess but perhaps is just mayor of the city or something.
I am writing a long fanfic on this pairing but will probably be posted up after the next episode or the finale. I have to know more on what the United Forces really do and Iroh's characteristics. & possibly on how he interacts with Korra in order to twist it to my needs.
Here's the title and summary so you guys can look out for it. Nostealing my plot or I will throw a huge bitch fit (kidding!).
Meant to Search
AU The Equalizers never came to Korra's rescue and Tarrlok disappears with the Avatar. Chaos erupting, Republic City does its best to look for their Avatar but to no luck. Six months later, yielding no results and no hints, the city must let the world get involved for the finding of Avatar Korra...or the new avatar. General Iroh of the United Forces is given the task and just as his grandfather Zuko had search for the avatar all those years ago, now he must track down the avatar as well. But apparently it won't be easy since it seems Amon is also interested in finding the Avatar as well. I/K, slight Makorra, slight amorra.