[identity profile] shes-unreal.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sparklefiction
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Characters: Zhi (Zuko/Mai), Bohai (Sokka/Suki), Ren (Ty Lee/?)
Warning: AU
Pairings: Bohai/Zhi, REN/ZHI XD But uh... I can't write Ren. :(

It seems the Fire Lord is running out of candidates for son-in-law...

There were men who said that the Fire Lord's eldest daughter Zhi was the loveliest young woman in all of the Fire Nation, if not in all of the world. And it was entirely possible that this was true. She had inhereted her height, slender figure, and fine, glossy hair from her mother and her striking features and liquid eyes from her father's side of the family. But when her eyes went predatorially wide and her soft lips tightened in fierce disapproval, people still whispered about how much she looked like Princess Azula and got the hell out of her way.

Of course, the current object of her barely-restrained fury didn't have that option. Aside from the nervously fluttering drudges who both served their tea and policed their activity, there were guards at the door. And when Zhi's old nurse had left the unlikely pair together, it sounded as if they had been locked into the room.

Zhi hated Ren. She hated his hair, she hated his clothes, she hated the way he spoke; all of which was made abundantly clear with the way her brow furrowed and the corners of her mouth twitched with disapproval every time he was presumptuous enough to move or breathe. A cup of steaming tea had been set before her, and she had gone as far as to rest her perfectly manicured nails upon the porcelain before she had settled upon giving him the most pointedly savage stare she could muster.

Ren might have shrugged and tucked into the delectable-looking spread on the low table except for the disorienting way smoke kept curling from Zhi's nostrils and the rumors that had been circulating that she had set her last suitor on fire.

Date: 2006-11-20 11:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Hee! :) I thought you did fine?

It occurs to me that I've never given an image reference for Ren's appearance. As I am lazy, instead of writing a description I will just give you this picture of Shouhei Narumi (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/megaten/char-narumi.jpg) from Devil Summoner. Just... uh, mentally replace the hat and suit with something period-appropriate. :P

Date: 2006-11-20 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Wall, the reference is mostly just he hairdo, which reminds me of Ty Lee for some reason. Narumi is lazy and not at all Renlike. :P

Date: 2006-11-20 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
In the interests of Ren not running screaming off to BSS, it's probably a good thing he doesn't know that. :P

Date: 2006-11-20 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Ah, the charm of the royal family. The Princess Zhi was glaring him as though it was his fault she'd pissed off every other male specimen in Court. As though it was any of their faults that she'd up and decided to fall for a guy that was completely politically unsuitable.

Ren had very little sympathy for the Princess' situation. If Zhi was so steamed at the way her stars looked from this sky then she could up and leave, just like Ren's mother had. It didn't take no genius scholar to read that equation.

Still, he had to admit that the Fire Lord's offspring were a uniformly beautiful breed, all sharp hawk-like eyes and glossy black hair. With their particular attractions Ren figured that they were trying to breed up some kinda superhuman clan of prettiness, all Foggy Swamp style.

"S'cuse me, Princess," Ren politely poured himself a cup of tea, knowing full well that it was Zhi's job. He picked up a tray. "Dumpling?"

The glaring continued unabated.

If Ren hadn't been aware that royalty was way out of his league, he might have been alarmed by the marriage talk. As it was, Ren suspected that this setup was all part of some kind of elaborate warning from the new, improved, bloody-aura'd Xi Feng. He made a mental note to check that out and, if necessary, carry out a benevolent countermission to re-arrange his bestest pal's personal library according to the laws of Feng Shui.

"I think you oughtta relax," Ren advised her, as cheerful-charming as he'd ever been. "We both know you're going to turn this down, but I'm all flattered to have the invite. Really makes me feel included in the Fire Court. Since we're stuck here why can't we make the best of the afternoon?"

For a moment, Ren wondered if the legendary Azula had looked as threatening as that when she was angry.

It was going to be a long afternoon.

Date: 2006-11-20 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Well, well, well. Underneath that pretty hair and heaving chest, Ren's third eye was detecting a buildup of spoiled-bitch-related chi.

He might have spent the last few months making nice with an older princessy-princess figure, but Azula Jr. was no moonchild, and this was Ren's turf. The worst that could happen was she'd up and attack him, which was what the court rumors expected from one of the Fire Lord's crazy daughters anyway. Win-win for him.

It was so on.

"I can see why they made you a diplomat," Ren drawled, politely. It wouldn't do not to be polite. They could trump up some half-assed treason grumbling on that. "Alla that royal charm and poise under fire."

He tilted his head and give the princess a once-over. "It's been a real honor to meetcha, Princess. I've heard you've got a real... touch with the common man. But if it's your royal whim, I'll let you waste a day with yerself."

With that, Ren pulled a notebook out of his pocket, and began nonchalantly scrawling out an inventory list.

Date: 2006-11-21 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Ren glanced up from his inventory list.

Well hello, Azulas Jr.

Ren took a moment to appreciate the view. Then he looked right back down at his list, on account of he didn't trust no one who shut down that easily.

Damn. Ren'd been prepared to be a war hero for the cause and everything. There were plenty of dudes out there waiting to rally behind the plight of an injured suitor after Princess Irana's swath of carnage.

On the other hand, he sorta liked not being on fire. You won some, you lost some.

"Don't matter what I gotta offer. It matters what you want, and what I am." He wrote some more. "This offer isn't serious. Plus, I don't like wearing skirts. Fucks up yer mobility something fierce."

Date: 2006-11-21 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
For a moment, looking into the abyss between Azula Jr.'s perfectly-proportioned breasts, Ren had a strange, compressed, caged-animal feeling. He knew full well that there was no way he could answer that question without screwing himself over.

So he decided to call the Princess' bluff.

Ren blinked, faux-innocently, as though his poor ignorant ass had no idea what kind of negotiations she was talking about.

"Begging pardon, but I figure I musta misheard you." He shifted as close as he could to the Princess without leaving his seat. All the better to shut her arms down if necessary. Among other things. "It's nice you gotta interest in commerce, but maybe you aren't in the know? Where I come from that kinda bartering's liable to get a guy arrested."

Date: 2006-11-22 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
Ren had his self a serious think on that.

"That's true," he considered. "You'd be within yer royal rights. But if the Fire Lady could arrest me without causing a serious shitstorm she'da trumped up a charge before now. The Fire Lord didn't send you here to provoke me. I'd be a martyr to all the courtiers you and your sibs have ever scorned, my investors would be pissed, jobs would be lost, the deal with the North would fall through, and Xi Feng'd have one helluva job on his hands."

The Fire Lord Zuko was a whole lot of thinga, mythical and majestic and even kinda frightening, but he was not capable of beating Ren at his own game.

"I wonder why he did send you," Ren mused, darkly. Princess Zhi was very beautiful and Ren studied her bone structure, trying to see what his mother had loved, the great Azula's sharp bone structure beneath all that pale skin. "I think... he sent you here to remind me of my place."

Date: 2006-11-23 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
"With my mother," Ren stated the obvious, because apparently Princess Azhila ran a little slow. The contrast between them could not have been more blatant. She looked like she'd stepped out of a propaganda poster.

"He knew you'd think this was beneath you, and he wanted me to know it, only..."

Ren stood and walked to the door, resolving to leave before he said something that'd get him clapped in irons no matter what.

"If that's the message the Fire Lord was trying to send me, you maybe oughtta think on what message he was trying to send you."

Date: 2006-11-23 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdsarecalling.livejournal.com
"But you were right. This proposition is a waste of my time, and yours," Ren countered. "Everyone knows that the Fire Lord wouldn't force his daughters into marriage. So the only thing it can be about is the message. I figure yer not in on that, now, so as a gesture of goodwill Imma make this easy for both of us."

Most of the shit Ren pulled when he first got there were stupid and petty, and by the time he'd learned how to conduct himself all proper-like, there was nothing the Fire Lord could pin on him.

Ren did not even bother to force his smile to reach his eyes.

"It was an honor to meet yer ladyship, but I believe I'm feeling a kinda ill. Damned shame of a thing. I would not wish to expose the Princess to that kinda terrible malady."

He coughed a single fake cough.

"I'll see you around the Court, my lady."

With that, Ren bowed his exit, and retreated off into the halls of the Fire Palace.


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