go make some new disaster (ali_wildgoose) wrote in avatarfic,
go make some new disaster
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Sixteen Facts and One Letter, Regarding Mai and Zuko

Title: Sixteen Facts and One Letter, Regarding Mai and Zuko
Pairings: Mai/Zuko
Summary: See title.
Rating: K+/PG
Notes: 700 words. A different format than usual, to be sure. Originally written at peri_peteia' request.



oOoOo

1) He misses his ship. It was ugly and ancient and creaking and rusty, but it was also his home, and a part of him aches to lie in his old bed again, listening to the engines rumble as the waves rock him to sleep.

2) He has kissed Mai once. He was fourteen, and a stolen bottle of rice wine was involved. It made him even cockier than usual, and when Uncle told him a few days later that it was best to leave the Generals to their own devices, he wasn't inclined to listen.

3) If asked (and somehow coaxed into answering) he would say his worst memory is his Agni Kai -- the sound and smell of his burning flesh, his father describing the terms of his banishment, his sister's laughter in the corridors as the court physicians salvaged what they could. This is a lie. His worst memory is the moment he realized it hadn't been a dream, and his mother was not coming back.

4) He loves his sister, but has never liked her. Even when they played together as children, he was always waiting for her mood to change, and for their game to become a contest that she would inevitably win.

5) He loves his Father, and does not blame him for what happened. He blames only himself, and his own cowardice. He knows that he forced his father's hand, and wants nothing more than to undo the damage he's done.

6) He loves his uncle more than his father, and he knows this makes him even more deserving of his banishment. When presented with a choice between love and honor, he saw it as a chance to redeem himself, and took it.

7) He regretted it immediately, not because of the wisdom of Uncle's words, but because of the disappointment in his eyes as the Dai Li led him away.

oOoOo

Mai,

I am writing this only to say goodbye, and to ask you to forget about me as quickly and completely as you can. I am no longer worthy of notice, yours or anyone else's. Do not worry about our acquaintance marking you, as I have spoken to no one regarding it.

I will not dishonor you by writing any further letters.

Sincerely, and with best wishes,

Zuko

oOoOo

1) She wanted to watch Zuko's Agni Kai. Despite Azula's gruesome predictions, she was sure that the Fire Lord would humiliate his son without doing any actual damage, and planned to tease Zuko about it as soon as the shock had worn off. But her mother, who had been close with Ursa before her disappearance, refused to let her go. "It's not something you should see," she said, and Mai rolled her eyes. Parents could be so melodramatic.

2) When Azula told her what had happened, describing every moment in excruciating detail, she remained impassive. The scar couldn't be that bad. And what use were good looks, anyway? At least ugly was interesting.

3) When Azula told her that he would be sent into exile, she was shocked into silence. It wasn't until hours later, lying awake in bed as the servants whispered just beyond her door, that the tears finally came.

4) The morning of their departure, Iroh brought her a letter from his nephew. She thanked him, and burned it unread as soon as he was gone.

5) She didn't watch as his ship pulled out of the harbor. She didn't see any point.

6) She hates goodbyes. She doesn't see much point in them, either.

7) She keeps a copy of Zuko's wanted poster in her robes, folded into quarters and tucked between the layers of fabric. When Azula mentioned he had changed his hair, she sat cross-legged on her cot with his picture laid out in front of her, trying to imagine what he would look like. She finds the idea of short hair exotic and strange, and wonders how it will feel to run her fingers through it.

8) She has only kissed two people: Zuko and Ty Lee. (She greatly preferred the former.)

9) She's spent many hours -- more time than she would ever admit -- imagining how they'll meet again and what she'll say. "I've missed you" was an early preference, but she dismissed it as too revealing. "Hello" was too understated. A silent smile was too easy to miss. Eventually, she settled on "What took you?"

oOoOo



x-posted to maizuko
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