Strangely enough, Azulon felt happy when the signal went off that there was an intruder in the Fire Palace. He'd been in the middle of a rather boring meeting with the Minister of Agriculture when the alarm bells started clanging and the guards had come rushing into the room. He felt a thrill race down his spine when he was told that several people had been spotting sneaking through the hallways.
He'd been cooped up in the Fire Nation capital for years, handling official Fire Lord duties that required more paperwork than fighting. He missed the old days, when he’d led charges against the Earth Kingdom and won honor and glory for the Fire Nation. Since Sozin's death, Azulon hadn't spent much time outside the Fire Nation. He had a country to rule, and he couldn't do that while on some distant battlefield in the Earth Kingdom. He had generals to fight his battles for him now.
And so, it had been far, far too long since Azulon had last had some action.
His excitement was quickly dispelled, however, when someone mentioned that the potential assassins were heading for the palace gardens. The gardens where his wife and son were currently enjoying their lunch.
Formal robes weren't made for running in, but somehow Azulon managed to leave all his guards behind. He reached the entrance to the gardens in record time, ready to blaze blue the moment he'd passed through the arched entranceway—
—and wound up having to stop short and shoot a blast of blue fire at an arrow that came straight at his head.
The charred wood hit the ground, and Azulon saw that his wife had already nocked another arrow to the string and was aiming at him again.
"Oh," she said. "It's just you." She lowered her bow.
"Daddy!" Little Iroh peered around his mother's side, clutching her skirts in one hand.
"Ilah," Azulon said, trying to ignore how close Iroh had just come to his coronation. "There are intruders—"
"There were intruders," Ilah corrected him, and she gestured to a corner of the garden where her handmaidens, Lo and Li, were checking on arrow-riddled corpses.
Azulon sighed. Looked like he wouldn't be getting any action today after all.
He really should have expected this, though. Ilah was a daughter of the Yu Yan Clan. Their speed and skill with the bow was legendary.
"I think we need to rethink the palace's security," Ilah said, reaching down to stroke Iroh's hair. Iroh reached around her for the table that still held their lunch and snagged a cookie. He bit into it absently, curiously watching Lo and Li.
"You may be right," Azulon agreed. "Specifically, I think we need to implement procedures that will prevent the Fire Lady from accidentally shooting her husband."
"That wasn't the first time I've shot at you, dear."
"Yes, but it was the first time you were actually aiming for my head." He frowned. "I should have you arrested for attempting to assassinate the Fire Lord."
"Ah, but I didn't succeed now, did I?" Ilah asked, smirking. Azulon smirked back.
"You're so beautiful when you've just killed someone; did you know that?"
When the guards finally arrived, they found Lo and Li inspecting corpses, young Prince Iroh munching on a cookie, and the Fire Lord and his Lady passionately making out where they stood in the middle of the garden. The captain sighed at the sight, ordered his men to set up a perimeter for form's sake, and went over to Lo and Li to see if he could be of assistance.
Ilah broke out of the kiss and smiled at her husband. "Well, that was certainly enough excitement for one afternoon." Moving over to the lunch table, she asked, "Tea?"
"Tea!" Iroh shouted happily.
Azulon sighed. "Tea."
He hadn't gotten any action, but at least his family was safe.
And judging from the way Ilah was looking at him, he might get some action later, anyway.