Zuko had forbidden gifts of any sort to be brought to Ozai. She rarely defied her older brother but on this occasion she was willing to risk a fight. It's not like he would win anyway. Besides, it was just a book...just a book.
The guards looked bored when Azula swept into the dungeon. She dismissed them with a glare.
"Azula." Ozai greeted his daughter.
"Hello Father." She moved the stool for visitors in front of his cell. "Happy Father's Day."
"Thank you, Azula. I trust the Fire Lord is well."
"He won't be joining." She said getting to the point.
Ozai smirked and held his hand out to stroke hers. "You always were my favorite."
She wanted to ask why. Why her instead of Zuko? Instead she asked, "Am I still?"
Ozai laughed bitterly, "I'm not your mother, Azula. You will always be my favorite."
Azula's eyes lit up, "I brought you something." She pushed the book through the cell bars.
"The Tales of Kaji the Dragon." Ozai closed his eyes for a moment as memories came flooding back. "I was the only one who could put you to sleep when you were younger. I had this book memorized because of how often you demanded I read it to you."
"No one else could do the voices." Azula recalled those night from a different time. A time when he would place her on his lap and stroke her hair. A time when he wouldn't leave until she was all the way asleep.
Ozai opened the book and pointed to a page, "This tale was always your favorite."
Azula bit her bottom lip, "Read it to me Father."
Ozai was about to scoff at the idea but something in her eyes changed his mind. "Okay." He laid the book flat on his lap. "Kanji the dragon was not afraid of anything..."
Azula closed her eyes as he read. For this story she could pretend she was in a different time again.
Author's Note: So this isn't Azulaang but it's still an Azula story I like to imagine that Azula might be the only person Ozai had allowed himself to truly love. In my imagination, Ozai never really knew his mother and he feels bad when he sees Zuko, the oldest, being Ursa's favorite. Azula is someone he connects with not just because of their amazing skills as fire benders but as the spare heir.