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#atla x reader
maddywritez · a year ago
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questions that need answers
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There were times Zuko became needy, and you seemed to become very understanding as his childhood had forced him into insecurity whilst in search for solace. Typically, it was you that Zuko seeked for during these times, as you were his lover.
You would find yourself going to sleep alone only to wake up with his mop of black hair tickling against the tip of your nose, or the occasional tug of your sleeve as a silent plea for you to grasp his hand, or even the occasional resting of his chin on your shoulder whenever you found yourself studying Sokka’s map while he gave insight of the given terrain.
Zuko’s way of showing his neediness due to being touch-starved was something he believed was in a begrudging manner, but the gang’s teasing had proven itself wrong. Typically, you found yourself in several very similar situations.
In the early morning, before anyone except Zuko and Momo were awake, Zuko had already inched his sleeping bag closer towards yours until he was able to comfortably throw his arm over your waist. There was a faint smile playing on his lips when he could hear the soft murmurs ridden with sleep leaving you with a twitch of your nose. It was when you let out a questioning tone, “Momo…. Why are you earthbending…?” when Zuko let out a snort. The hand that was previously resting across you had risen up your body to haphazardly brush away any stray pieces of hair. 
“G’morning, Zuko” You let out in a murmur full of sleep, as your face leaned towards the natural warmth his palm emitted. “Morning,” He returned the greeting as softly as he could while pulling you closer until your forehead bumped into his jawline, nose brushing against his neck. He basked in the sound of the nearby river flowing, Sokka’s snoring, Momo’s chirping, and your own mumbles that he pretended to understand, only for his train of thought to transition into what you claimed as pure insecurity. It was as if you could feel the amount of self-doubt radiating off of him, accompanied by his uncontrollable heat. Though, you tended to enjoy the latter, especially during the early morning chills that racked everyone’s body when they had to resort to sleeping in the midst of the forest.
“S’wrong, Zuko?”
The soft scratching of your fingers against his spine seemed to easily coax it out of him. Zuko asked softly, “Do you love me?” The sound of Momo’s coos was nearing closer towards you.
His heart swelled at the lack of hesitance, “Of course, Zuko,”
Momo, at this point, has resorted to burying himself between you and Zuko’s body, being engulfed in body heat that was drawing himself and you back to sleep as the early morning light was barely reaching the campground.
He raised his previous question as he felt your hand move rather quickly to the spot between Momo’s ears and give a flurry of scratches that caused Momo’s coos to increase. “More than Momo?”
“Know your limits, dear,”
**
The gang busied themselves with daily chores before settling down, chattering away about who was to do what specifically and praises of the ability to sleep inside Zuko’s former vacation home, rather than the forest once again. 
It was the third night in the luxurious house, everyone had slowly adjusted into a state of comfort and a sense of ease, despite the current situation. You were designated chef, alongside Katara. Irrelevant and previous stories from Katara’s and your own childhood were shared as if the two of you were gossiping. That’s where Zuko found you after his chore of shopping in the local market for weekly supplies and his daily amount of sulking.
When he entered the rather large kitchen area, Katara weakly hid her smirk at the way Zuko barely acknowledged her and went straight to you, where you continuously stirred the pot. Over her shoulder, she told the pair, “I’m going to feed Appa - make sure nothing burns!”
“Hello, my love,” You cooed when you felt his arms snake around your waist and his chin fall onto your shoulder, a huff leaving his nose. It seemed as if you knew was what to come-
“Are you sure you like me?”
You placed the spoon on the counter to turn around in his hold of you and see the pouty prince. As you expected, a scowl was embedded on his face. Softly, your palms cupped his cheeks, thumb softly brushing against his cheekbone. You questioned into the silence of the room, “Zuko, do you not remember what happened last night?”
His face heated and flushed a soft pink color beneath your palms as he stammered out another question, “Y-Yes, of course I remember - but do you like-like me? Like the way I like you?”
When hearing that, a blank expression fell upon your own face and all of your movements came to a stop, as if asking Zuko if he was truly serious. The flickering gaze he had between you, the wisps of your hair, and the boiling pot of soup behind you had answered your question: he was actually serious.
Rather than continuing the motion across his cheekbone that Zuko found soothing, your fingertips pushing back the hair that hung flat in front of his face. With a press of your lips against his forehead, you murmured, “Zuko - sweetie, my love, sweetheart, honey, baby, sifu hotman-” An eruption of giggles jumbled past your lips, due to the reoccurring nickname he grew to dislike, causing his frown to worsen as well as the blush he didn’t attempt to fight. 
“We literally had sex last n-” You stopped speaking when Zuko came to a sense of defeat in this conversation as he had forced his head out of your grasp to abruptly drop his forehead against your shoulder. A sigh left your past your lips when you felt his arms tighten around you as he roughly nuzzled himself into the crook of your neck, as if he was trying to hide from you. It was quite cute, especially coming from such a grump who didn’t particularly enjoy revealing this side of himself.
Your own deft fingers found themselves twirling the ends of his mop of black hair as you spoke softly, “You know what? Yes, I like-like you.”
There was a soft kiss pressed onto your neck. You assumed it was his quick, wordless gesture to say ‘thank you.’
Before the endearing moment could continue, there was a loud thunk against the floorboard at the kitchen’s entrance, which caused yours and Zuko’s gaze to land on Sokka in the doorway with a look of disgust. His bag laid on the floor, as well as flyers and posters around town he wanted to show the two of you.
“You guys did what last night?”
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beifongsss · a year ago
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the boiling rock [zuko]
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Pairing: Zuko x reader
Disclaimer!: The reader is Sokka and Katara’s older sister!
Requested?: Yes! By @thegirlwholikestomanythings​: “ Hi! I have a Zuko x reader request if you don't mind. Maybe something like the reader being Katara and Sokka's older sister and Zuko having a big crush on her after he joins in S3?”
Summary: Sokka goes to break Hakoda out of The Boiling Rock and is shocked to find you there as well. He’s even more shocked when he figures out that Zuko’s a simp for you.
this is based off of the boiling rock episodes but there are a few changed made! there’s also like a pov change halfway i’m sorry. TIS A LONG ONE!!
.masterlist.
~
When Zuko defeated Combustion Man, Aang didn’t let him join the group until he gained approval from all of his friends.
“Toph, you're the one that Zuko burned. What do you think?”
The blind earthbender smirked, a sinister look on her face as she pounded her fist into her palm. “Go ahead and let him join. It'll give me plenty of time to get back at him for burning my feet.”
Satisfied with her answer, Aang turned to the Water Tribe boy. “Sokka?”
“Hey, all I want is to defeat the Fire Lord. If you think this is the way to do it, then, I'm all for it,” he said, crossing his arms as he leaned against the wall near him.
“Katara?” Aang asked uncertainly, noticing the stony look on the Water Tribe girl’s face.
“I'll go along with whatever you think is right,” she replied, glaring at Zuko.
“Great!” Aang said, ignoring Katara’s reaction. “Then that’s settled. Welcome to the group Zuko!”
Zuko paused slightly, looking around as he noticed the absence of the other Water Tribe girl he had always seen with the Gaang.
“Not that I’m complaining,” the prince said, a questioning look in his eyes. “But isn’t there someone else you should be asking? Where’s the other Water Tribe girl?”
The group went silent at Zuko’s words as Katara’s face hardened and Sokka looked away, a sad expression making it’s way onto his face.
“She’s gone,” Sokka said roughly as he began to storm off.
Katara reached out for his arm, grabbing onto him as he passed her. “Sokka, it wasn’t your fault.”
“Not my fault?” Sokka roared, stray tears escaping his eyes as he faced Katara. “It was my invasion plan Katara! I should’ve taken the fall. Not her!”
He shrugged her hand off before walking off deeper into the Air Temple. Katara sent Zuko another glare before hurrying after her brother, leaving him alone with Aang and Toph. Zuko glanced at Aang uneasily, not wanting to ask about what had happened. With a sigh, Aang sat down looking at Zuko expectantly.
The prince sat down across from Aang as Toph sat to his left, the usually loud-mouthed girl abnormally quiet.
“The other Water Tribe girl that would travel with us is (Y/N),” Aang explained quietly. “She’s Sokka and Katara’s older sister.”
Zuko nodded in response before speaking. “W-What happened to her?”
“She got captured by the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun,” Aang replied, looking down at his lap. “You know about the invasion right?”
Zuko nodded once more.
“Well it was Sokka’s invasion plan,” Aang continued. Zuko’s eyebrows rose up in surprise, going unnoticed by Aang. “He came up with it and (Y/N) and Hakoda, that’s their dad, fine tuned it. They thought of everything that could possibly go wrong and when the day came, Sokka was the one leading it.”
Aang’s face suddenly turned into one full of guilt. “I-It was actually my fault that she got captured. If I hadn’t gotten distracted by Azula, we could’ve gotten away before the eclipse was over. Instead, they caught up to us before we could get back to the beach. Hakoda told us all to leave on Appa and to take the youngest members of the group but (Y/N) didn’t fit because we had Teo, Haru, and The Duke with us. So she decided to stay behind and take the blame for the invasion so that they wouldn’t go out and look for us. She said that they’d believe her because she was traveling with the Avatar and because she was the daughter of the Chief of the Southern Water Tribe and she had a reason to want to attack the Fire Nation.”
Aang couldn’t stop the tear that slipped out. “I guess she was right because we weren’t followed after we escaped.”
“C’mon Twinkletoes,” Toph said, leaning back on her hands. “(Y/N) knew what she was getting into. She’s not dumb. She’s strong, smart, and patient. In fact, I’m willing to bet she’s making those Fire Nation guard’s lives hell.”
Zuko observed Toph as she spoke about the missing Water Tribe girl. “How are you so sure?”
“Please,” Toph scoffed, cracking her knuckles. “She’s the only idiot here that can beat me in a fight. She’ll be fine.”
“Oh,” Zuko said, slightly surprised. “Is she a waterbender too?”
“Nope,” Toph said. “That’s how I know she’s okay. She can beat me in a fight, and I’m the greatest earthbender in the world! I invented metalbending.”
Zuko’s eyebrows shot up in surprise at Toph’s words. “She beat you without any bending?”
“She did,” Sokka’s voice rang out. The group (except Toph) turned around to find Sokka walking towards them. “Which is why we needed her here, not in prison. She shouldn’t be paying for my mistakes.”
Without another word Sokka climbed onto Appa, shooting Aang a look when the Air Nomad shot him a worried glance. “Don’t worry Aang. I’m just gonna clear my head. Yip yip.”
The conversation ended with Sokka’s departure and silently, Aang showed Zuko to his room.
~
“Hey, can I talk to you for a second?” Sokka asked, catching Zuko’s attention as he handed him a cup of tea. Zuko set down the tea and followed Sokka to where he was standing, softly petting Appa when he opened his eyes to look at them.
“So, what’s up?” Zuko asked, looking back over at the group before focusing on Sokka.
“If someone was captured by the Fire Nation, where would they be taken?” the Water Tribe boy asked, trying to look nonchalant. At Zuko’s suspicious look, he spoke again. “When the invasion plan failed, some of our troops were taken. I just want to know where they might be.”
“We both know this is about your sister, Sokka,” Zuko replied. “I can’t tell you.”
“What? Why not?” Sokka asked, mildly irritated. 
“Trust me,” Zuko said, turning to leave. “Knowing will just make you feel worse.”
“It’s not just about (Y/N)!” Sokka hissed, causing Zuko to stop in his tracks. “It’s my dad. He was captured too. I need to know what I put them through.”
“It’s not good Sokka,” the prince replied, not meeting his eyes.
“Please.”
Sighing deeply, Zuko gave in. “My guess is, they were taken to The Boiling Rock.”
“What’s that?”
“The highest security prison in the Fire Nation,” Zuko ignored Sokka’s horrified look. “It's on an island in the middle of a boiling lake. It's inescapable.”
“So,” Sokka said, trying to appear indifferent. “Where is this place?”
“Why do you need to know?” Zuko asked, eyes narrowing. “What are you planning?”
“Nothing!” Sokka tried reassuring the prince. “Boy, you’re so paranoid.”
Zuko rolled his eyes before replying. “It's in the middle of a volcano between here and the Fire Nation. You guys actually flew right past it on your way here.”
“Thanks Zuko,” Sokka said before letting out a very fake yawn as he stretched. “Just knowing makes me feel better.”
“Sure it does,” Zuko scoffed, watching the Water Tribe boy walk away. Noticing that everyone was getting ready to go to bed, he stealthily climbed up onto Appa’s saddle, gently shushing the sky bison when he once again opened his eyes.
~
At this moment, Zuko sort of regretted joining Sokka on his journey. After having successfully convinced him to take his war balloon instead of Appa, the two boys found themselves existing in awkward silence.
“Pretty clouds,” Sokka spoke first, slightly startling Zuko.
“Yeah...fluffy,” the Fire Nation prince replied before focusing on the fire again. Sokka began whistling casually, drawing Zuko’s attention. “What?”
“What?” Sokka asked, the awkwardness between the two boys palpable. “Oh, I didn't say anything. You know, a friend of mine actually designed these war balloons.”
“No kidding,” Zuko said with slight surprise.
“Yep. A balloon...but for war,” came the other boy’s reply.
“If there's one thing my dad's good at, it's war.”
“Yeah, it seems to run in the family.”
“Hey, hold on,” Zuko said, slightly offended. “Not everyone in my family is like that.”
“I know, I know,” Sokka replied, hands raised in defense. “You’ve changed.”
“I meant my uncle. He was more of a father to me. And I really let him down.”
“I think your uncle would be proud of you,” Sokka said, looking at Zuko intently. “Leaving your home to come help us? That's hard.”
“It wasn’t that hard.”
“Really?” Sokka asked in disbelief. “You didn't leave behind anyone you cared about?”
“Well I did have a girlfriend,” Zuko replied, smiling slightly. “Mai.”
“That gloomy girl who sighs a lot?” Sokka asked, trying to hold back his smile.
“Yeah. Everyone in the Fire Nation thinks I'm a traitor. I couldn't drag her into it,” Zuko explained before hesitating slightly. “Besides, I didn’t truly like her. Trust me, I know that sounds bad. When we were kids we liked each other, but we’re not kids anymore and we’ve both changed and things just weren’t working out.”
Sokka nodded in understanding before crossing his arms. “My first girlfriend turned into the moon.”
Zuko paused for a few seconds, looking up at the moon and wondering if Sokka was being serious before turning to him. “That’s rough buddy.”
Silence ensued again, the scene almost relaxing if it weren’t for the fact that the two of them were heading for the most high-security prison in the Fire Nation.
“So,” Zuko broke the silence, looking at Sokka uncertainly. “What happens if we get there and (Y/N) isn’t there?
The question caught Sokka off guard, causing him to scowl. “She will be.”
“But,” Zuko pressed, trying to make the boy understand. “What if she isn’t?
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Sokka replied, crossing his arms and looking away as he tried not to think about Zuko’s words.
“Why don’t you just wait until after Aang defeats my father to set everyone free?” Zuko asked softly. “You’d have a much better chance then.”
“You just don’t get it!” Sokka yelled, looking back at Zuko. “See you and your sister might not get along very well but (Y/N) is the most important person in my life. She was the one who took care of me and Katara after our mom died. She was the one who basically led our tribe after the men went off to fight. She always knew what to say and what to do. We need her Zuko. I need her, Katara needs her, Aang definitely needs her, heck even Toph needs her!”
Zuko stayed silent as he focused on the fire, giving Sokka a few minutes to calm down.
“You’re right Sokka,” he finally said. “I don’t get along with Azula. We’ll find her.”
Sokka didn’t reply, instead choosing to look up at the moon, hoping that he had made the right choice.
~
Soon enough, they had reached The Boiling Rock. Zuko followed after Sokka, a bit disgruntled at the fact that his war balloon had been destroyed. They had somehow managed to get guard uniforms and sneak into the prison, a feat Zuko found impressive considering that Sokka didn’t have a fully thought-out plan.
“I hope these disguises work,” Zuko hissed, shoving Sokka softly with his shoulder.
“We just need to lay low and find (Y/N) and my dad as soon as possible,” Sokka quietly replied, rubbing his shoulder. “Ow!”
“Guards!” another guard ran past Sokka and Zuko, causing them to flinch. “There’s a scuffle in the yard. Come on!”
The two boys exchanged looks before running after the guard, eventually coming to an open space where a guard was harassing a prisoner. The rest of the guards were trying to keep the other prisoners away from the confrontation. Sokka subtly tilted his head, motioning for Zuko to join the other guards. They split up slightly, trying to keep the crowd in control.
“I didn’t do anything,” the prisoner in the middle of the platform stated, walking away from the guard. “I’m going back to my cell.”
“Stop right there Chit Sang,” the guard said, sending a fire whip towards him. “I’ve had it with your unruly behavior.”
One of the prisoners Zuko was trying to hold back began to slip past him and he reached out to grab them. His eyes widened when he made eye contact with the girl, who then promptly proceeded to shove him off of her and onto the ground. Zuko stared at the girl, his heart speeding up slightly and his stomach lurching as she shot him a glare and marched right up to the guard who had created the fire whip.
“Leave him alone!” she growled, stepping in front of Chit Sang. The guard simply laughed before stepping forwards.
“What are you gonna do Water Tribe scum?”
Zuko flinched as Sokka swatted him, tilting his head towards the girl. “That’s her! That’s (Y/N)!”
Sokka grasped Zuko’s arm tightly, knowing that he couldn’t jump to his sister’s defense. The two of them watched in anticipation as the guard shot out a blast of fire, aiming it at you. Zuko’s eyes widened at the sight. You weren’t a bender, you were going to get burned.
His jaw dropped as you gracefully slid underneath the blast before coming up and swatting the guard’s hand away. When the guard tried to aim at you again, you swept your leg in a graceful arc, knocking him down. You were amazing.
“Cuff her!” the guard barked, embarrassment clear on his face as all the other prisoners cheered. Two of the other guards grabbed you roughly, cuffing your hands behind your back and shoving you roughly in front of the guard you had knocked down.
“You think you’re tough, don’t you?” the guard asked. You didn’t look at him.
“Look at me when I speak to you!” the guard screamed. The yard went silent as everyone waited to see what you would do. Slowly, you lifted your head and met the guard’s eyes. His face held a smug expression, which was soon wiped off when you leaned forward and spit in his face.
The yard went wild again, the guards struggling to keep the prisoners under control. The bully guard lunged forwards, gripping your face tightly in his hand. He stared you down for a few seconds before tossing you to the ground. Scowling, he turned to Sokka and Zuko, who seemed to be the only guards not busy at the moment. “You two! Take her to her cell.”
Sokka picked you up and Zuko led them inside, stealing glances at you as you walked. At one point Sokka caught his gaze, giving him a confused look before his eyes widened in realization. He looked between you and Zuko before glaring at the prince and shaking his head furiously. Zuko avoided his gaze after that. They found your cell quickly enough and Sokka softly pushed you in before stepping inside and pulling Zuko with him.
He took off your cuffs easily enough and you stepped away from him, rubbing your wrists gently.
“What do you want?” you snarled, eyes shifting from one guard to another.
“(Y/N)!” one of them cried out, moving towards you. You sidestepped quickly, grabbing his arm and shoving him up against the wall. He groaned in pain as you pulled his arm back.
“What do you want?” you hissed, not taking your eyes off of the other guard.
“(Y/N/N),” the one you were holding squeaked. “It’s me!”
Your eyes widened at the voice and you stepped back, still keeping your hand on the guard’s arm. “Sokka?”
Sokka used his free hand to take off his helmet, a large grin on his face as he turned to look at you. “Yes! It’s m-”
His words were cut off when you yanked on his arm, pulling him close to you as you wrapped your arms around him in a tight hug. Sokka melted into the hug, wrapping his arms around you tightly as he held tears back.
“Spirits,” you whispered, pulling back and looking at your baby brother. “Sokka what are you doing here? How did you get here?”
“Uh, we took my war balloon,” the other guard replied. You froze slightly at the familiar voice, turning to find Prince Zuko standing there, waving awkwardly.
“You,” you snarled, stomping up to the prince and pushing him up against the wall. You held your forearm against his throat, staring him down. Zuko didn’t do anything in return, a dazed smile on his face as he stared back at you.
“(Y/N) what are you doing?” Sokka yelped, placing a hand on your shoulder. You looked away from Zuko, glancing at your brother in disbelief.
“What do you mean? Have you forgotten that he’s tracked us all over the world? Or that he’s tried to kill us? Multiple times!” you glanced at Zuko again, noticing that he was still smiling. “Why are you smiling at me? Sokka, why is he smiling at me?”
Sokka snorted softly, the scene in front of him reminding him of the first time Aang had met him and Katara. Shooting a tired look at Zuko, he gently pulled you away from the scarred prince. “I don’t know why he’s smiling at you but I do know that he’s part of the team now, so lay off okay?”
You looked at him in disbelief before whirling around and facing Sokka. “Alright but that still doesn’t explain why you’re here.”
“We’re here to break you out?” Sokka said, rubbing the back of his neck as he turned his gaze to the floor.
“Seriously?” you hissed, stepping closer to him and causing him to stumble back. “This couldn’t have waited until after Aang defeated Ozai?”
“I told you so,” Zuko mumbled, shooting a pointed look at Sokka.
“Stay out of this,” you whisper-yelled, pushing him back up against the wall with one hand. “You have to leave. Both of you.“
“Well you see,” Sokka said, chuckling slightly as he met your gaze. “We can’t exactly do that.”
“Yes you can,” you replied, grabbing Sokka and proceeding to push the two boys towards the door. “Just get back on your little war balloon and leave.”
Zuko and Sokka exchanged nervous glances at the mention of the war balloon, causing you to narrow your eyes at them.
“Don’t say it.”
“It popped!” Sokka squealed, bouncing away from you as he noticed your expression. “But we’ll get out of here, and you’re coming with us.”
You couldn’t help but facepalm at your brother’s words.
~
The guards had only released you from your cell when it was your turn to do the cleaning. You hadn’t heard from Sokka since he had left you, and you were worried that he had gotten caught. You were so distracted by your thoughts that you didn’t notice the other prisoner who was mopping, resulting in you bumping into them and falling down.
“I’m sorry,” the other prisoner said, extending a hand to help you up. You glanced up, making eye contact with Zuko. Your eyes widened almost comically and you grabbed his hand, simultaneously pulling yourself up and pulling him closer to you.
“Where is my brother?” you asked as you leaned in close, panic in your voice as you whispered in his ear. Zuko tried to ignore the blush on his cheeks as your close proximity, focusing on your question.
“He’s fine,” he whispered back. “It was just me who got caught.”
You let his hand go, stepping back and nodding subtly before going back to mopping. Zuko stayed close to you, pretending to be focused on his mopping as he stole glances at you. Feeling his gaze, you looked up and arched an eyebrow as you made eye contact. The prince flushed when he realized he had been caught, looking back down before speaking.
“I-I never introduced myself,” he spoke softly. “I’m Zuko.”
“I know,” you replied flatly, walking further away from him. Zuko stood awkwardly for a moment before inching closer to you again.
“So you’re (Y/N),” he spoke again. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
You snorted at his words, your eyes not leaving the ground. “Yeah I’m sure it is.”
“You’re a really good fighter,” Zuko continued, still trying to make conversation. “Even back when I was still hunting the Avatar you were the one that I was most worried about holding off.”
“Good to know,” you said drily, finally looking up at Zuko. “Look, Sokka may trust you but I don’t, okay? First of all, you haven’t really done anything but cause trouble for us. Second of all, you actually brought my brother here. I appreciate the sentiment but I’m not exactly thrilled at the idea of my baby brother breaking into a Fire Nation prison.”
Zuko swallowed harshly, looking away. “I’m sorry. But he was really adamant about rescuing you and your dad and-”
“Wait,” you interrupted Zuko. “I’m the only Water Tribe member here. My dad is still being held somewhere in the Fire Nation capital.”
Zuko’s eyes widened briefly before he composed himself. “Oh. Alright then I guess that means we can leave as soon as Sokka comes back to meet us.”
The two of you continued to mop in silence before someone suddenly grabbed your upper arm, causing you to stiffen and causing Zuko to get into a defensive stance.
“Calm down, it’s just me.”
“You really have to stop doing that Sokka,” you hissed, yanking your arm away from him. “Zuko told me about why you’re here. I hope you know we can leave now. Dad isn’t here.”
Sokka’s face fell briefly before he forced a smile onto his face. “He may not be but guess who is? Suki! Why didn’t you tell me she was here (Y/N)?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” you whispered. “Maybe because I was too busy freaking out about the fact that my kid brother and the Fire Nation prince broke into prison and don’t have a way to get out!”
“Shh!” Sokka hissed, putting his hand over your mouth. “Be quiet! And I’m not your ‘kid brother’, you’re only a year older than I am.”
Zuko stayed quiet as the two of you stared each other down before Sokka let out a yelp and took his hand off your mouth. “Did you just lick me?”
You didn’t reply, a smirk on your face as you crossed your arms. Zuko stifled a laugh at the scene in front of him, coughing quietly when you shot a look at him. The three of you stood still as a new voice interrupted.
“So, what’s the plan?” Suki stood near you, hiding in the shadows that the staircase provided. You exchanged a glance with Sokka, nodding in encouragement.
“So, listen, I think I have an escape plan,” Sokka began, a little nervous at being in charge of the escape plan. “I checked out the coolers again, and the point of them is to keep firebenders contained, right?”
“Yeah,” Zuko replied, unsure as to where this was going. 
“So, they're completely insulated and sealed to keep the cold in. Well, to keep the cold in, it also has to keep the heat out, right?”
Zuko and Suki exchanged confused looks before looking over at you, only to see you smiling widely as you caught on.
“Just get to the point Sokka,” Suki said, glancing around nervously.
“It's a perfect boat for getting through the boiling water!” you said, eyes sparkling as you looked at Sokka proudly. Despite the situation, Zuko found himself smiling at the sight of your smile.
“Sokka,” you said, leaning in close to your brother while keeping your eyes on Zuko. “He’s doing it again.”
Sokka scowled and smacked Zuko’s head, causing the boy to straighten up and ignore Suki’s smirk. “The cooler as a boat? Are you sure?”
“I’m telling you, it’ll work,” Sokka said, giving them each a serious glance. “I walked around the perimeter. There's a blind spot between two guard towers. It's the perfect launching point. I already tested it out. We'll roll the cooler into the water and just float with the current. It'll take us straight across. As long as we don't make a sound, no one will notice. And bing-bang-boom, we're home free.”
“But how are you going to get the cooler out?” Suki asked, a worried frown on her face.
“Yeah. How are you gonna get the cooler out?”
The four of you turned as Chit Sang landed next to you, causing Sokka and Zuko to stutter as they tried to tell Chit Sang that they weren’t planning anything. You rolled your eyes, stepping closer to Chit Sang before speaking. “That’s easy, isn’t it? We just need to get a firebender into the cooler.”
Sokka and Zuko gaped at you, shocked that you had given them away.
“Calm down,” you scoffed, patting Chit Sang’s back. “Chit Sang and I go way back. He’s the one who made all the other firebenders leave me alone.”
Chit Sang nodded before turning back to the group. “Look I won’t tell the warden about your plan if you let me come along.”
Sokka stared at you intently, the two of you having a silent conversation before turning back to the group. “Fine! But we need to get someone into the cooler.”
Sokka handed Zuko a wrench. “Here. You’re going to unbolt the cooler, from the inside.”
Zuko looked back at Sokka, confused. “How am I going to get in there?”
You grinned widely, patting Zuko’s chest as you walked past him. “I got this. Follow my lead.”
You picked up your mop, motioning for Zuko to do the same. You began mopping, casually walking around as you kept Zuko in your periphery. The prince didn’t dare look at you so he was caught by surprise when you bumped into him from behind.
“Hey!” you snapped, turning around and glaring at him. “Watch where you’re going.”
Zuko froze for a split second before realizing this was your plan. “You’re the one who bumped into me. How about you watch where you’re going?”
A smile played at the corner of your lips as you stared each other down. Zuko noticed and felt his cheeks grow warm as he tried to hold back a smile of his own. The two of you stood there for a few seconds, staring at each other until Sokka coughed loudly.
Tearing your eyes away from the prince, you lunged at him. He easily dodged your swing before throwing a halfhearted punch back at you. You rolled your eyes as you kicked at him, losing your balance slightly as he swatted your leg away. You recovered quickly and threw another punch, a soft gasp leaving your mouth when he grasped your wrist and twirled you around, your back pressed against his chest as his arm held you tightly in place.
You struggled for a moment, sighing in defeat when you realized just how strong he was. You tilted your head back slightly, your lips brushing against his ear as you whispered into it. “You have to firebend at me Zuko.”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he mumbled back, causing you to roll your eyes again.
“I’m a big girl. I can handle myself,” you replied. With a grunt, you elbowed him in the stomach. He let out a soft ‘oof’ and you took that chance to break out of his hold. You dropped down and spun, your leg outstretched as you tried to knock him down. He jumped over your leg easily before shooting out a blast of fire at you. He held his breath for a second, sighing in relief as he noticed you roll out of the way.
“No firebending!” a guard shouted, roughly grabbing Zuko from behind. You sent him a soft smile, receiving a smirk in return. As he was led away, Suki came up to you, a big smile on her face.
“So,” she said, her tone teasing. “What was that?”
“Yeah (Y/N),” Sokka said, crossing his arms as he came up to you. “What was that?”
You rolled your eyes before walking past the two of them. “It was a fight.”
“That’s not what it looked like from my point of view,” Suki called out after you, causing Sokka to send a glare at her. You simply chuckled at her words.
~
“(Y/N)?”
You stood up from the floor of your cell, looking at Sokka as he stood outside your cell. “Yeah?”
“It’s time.”
Sokka opened your cell and threw you a guard’s uniform before quickly closing the door and allowing you to change. When you were done, you knocked on the door three times, fixing your helmet as you waited for him to open the door.
Together, the two of you made your way towards the cooler, trying to avoid any guards on your way.
You opened the door to the cooler, a small frown making its way onto your face when you noticed that Zuko was shivering.
“I can take you back to your cell if you’ve learned your lesson,” Sokka said, looking way too smug. You rolled our eyes and focused on Zuko as he looked up at the two of you. His eyes met yours as he let out a breath of fire, his shivering stopping completely. He sent you a cocky smirk and you ignored the flopping you felt in your stomach at the sight of it. (A/N: y’all know what smirk i’m talkin bout)
“Yes I have,” he breathed, showing you both all the bolts and screws he had removed. “Completely.”
“I got Suki and Chit Sang out of their cells a few minutes ago,” Sokka whispered. “They'll be waiting for us at the shore.”
“Someone’s coming!” you whisper yelled, letting out a small yelp when you were pulled into the cooler. The three of you barely fit into the cooler but that didn’t make it any less cold. Even though you had grown up in the South Pole, you found yourself shivering at the temperature, your breath coming out in icy clouds.
Zuko glanced down at you, a frown appearing on his face as he noticed you shivering. He hesitantly wrapped his arms around you, bringing you in close as your expression changed into a bewildered one. You opened your mouth to say something, but quickly shut it when you realized just how warm he was. Sokka, unfortunately, didn’t stay quiet at the scene playing out in front of him.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he screeched quietly, trying to pry the two of you apart. You quickly pushed him away.
“Sokka, shut up,” you mumbled as you wrapped your arms around Zuko, your teeth still chattering. “He’s warm and I’m freezing.”
Sokka’s jaw dropped as you casually buried your face into Zuko’s chest, a content sigh escaping you as you got warmer by the second. Sokka stayed quiet as the voices outside got closer, instead miming a throat slitting motion as he stared Zuko down, causing the prince to swallow harshly.
“...Yeah. new arrivals coming in at dawn,” a male voice sounded, catching your attention.
“Anybody interesting?” a female voice asked in reply.
“Nah, just the usual. Some robbers, a couple traitors, some war prisoners,” you and Sokka exchanged a disbelieving look.  “Though I did hear there might be a pirate.”
“No fooling!”
The voices faded as they walked away and you all took that chance to leave the cooler.
“War prisoners,” Zuko stated, his eyes not leaving Sokka’s. “Could be your father.”
“I know.”
“Well, what should we do?” Zuko asked. “Are we going ahead with the plan or are we waiting another night?”
“I don't know!” Sokka cried out, looking distraught. “Is it right for me to risk Suki and (Y/N)’s freedom, all of our freedom, on the slim chance that my dad is gonna show up?”
You stayed quiet, not knowing what to say.
“It’s your call Sokka,” Zuko finally said, trying to let the other boy know he was there for him.
Sokka thought about it for a moment, eyes focused on the ground. After a few seconds he looked up and scowled, crossing his arms as he glared at you. “You can let go of him now (Y/N).”
A bright blush erupted on your cheeks as you looked at Zuko, an embarrassed expression spreading across your face as you realized you were still holding onto each other. You stepped away from him quickly, clearing your throat as you did so.
~
The three of you had somehow managed to get the cooler down to the shore, not that it mattered considering the fact that Chit Sang had just taken your only means of escape. It wasn’t his fault really; it was you and Sokka who had been extremely hesitant to leave, not wanting to risk the chance of your dad being on the gondola the next morning.
Suki and Zuko had stayed behind with you, the four of you waiting in the blind spot for the gondola to arrive. It had almost been light out when alarms were set off, causing all of you to whip your heads to where the cooler had been floating off.
“The plan failed!” Sokka said sadly. “They got caught.”
“I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t go along with them huh?” you said, earning a dull look from your brother.
“The gondola's moving,” Sokka said suddenly, grasping your hand. “This is it. If my dad's not there, we've risked everything for nothing.”
“We had to,” you whispered back, squeezing his hand. The four of you now stood in the yard as you waited in anticipation, looking up as the gondola doors opened.
“Is that him?” Zuko asked as the first prisoner got out.
“My dad doesn’t have a nose ring!” both you and Sokka exclaimed, looking at the prince weirdly. More men came off the gondola, both you and Sokka shaking with anxiety as you kept an eye out for Hakoda.
“Where is he?” Sokka asked as the last man stepped off. “Is that it? That can’t be it.”
“I’m sorry,” Suki whispered, rubbing both of your backs.
“Hey you!” the guard called out, drawing your attention. “Get off the gondola.”
You waited with bated breath for the last person to emerge, your hand tightening around Sokka’s and causing him to wince. Your eyes widened as you watched the final prisoner get off, dark jaw-length hair surrounding a face that held tired blue eyes. You immediately turned to Sokka, tears threatening to spill.
“Sokka,” you whispered. “It’s dad.”
~
You had been pacing back and forth worriedly ever since Sokka had gone to join the other guards and quite frankly, both Suki and Zuko were tired of it.
“Please just stand still (Y/N),” Suki said, gently reaching out and grabbing you. “If something was wrong, we would’ve heard it already. Your brother isn’t exactly the quietest.”
You nodded in agreement and sat down, nervously biting your lip as you waited for Sokka to return. You barely flinched as Zuko sat next to you, Suki giving him a knowing glance as she wandered off slowly.
“Look,” he began, staring straight ahead. “I know you don’t like me, but I need to tell you this okay? As much as you can’t help but worry, you shouldn’t. Sokka’s smart and he knows what he’s doing...sort of.”
He chuckled at the halfhearted glare you directed at him. “I’m kidding. But really, Sokka’s smart and brave and he was so set on coming up here and breaking you out and I know he’s going to do it because he has heart. Plus he has you helping him out. So stop worrying so much okay? Also, never repeat any of what I just said to him”
You snorted at Zuko’s words before bumping his shoulder with your. “Thanks Zuko. You know what? Maybe you’re not as bad as I thought.”
The prince’s eyes widened in shock and he smiled down at you, blushing slightly when you smiled back. Your moment was ruined when Sokka came sprinting back, causing Suki to join you as well.
“(Y/N), c’mon! I found him,” Sokka exclaimed. Without another word, he grabbed your arm and dragged you away from the group. A wide smile was on his face and you felt yourself smile as well when you came to a stop in front of a cell.
Sokka slid the door open, looking around before ducking inside and draging you with him. “Thank goodness you’re okay!”
“Oh you’ll see just how ‘okay’ I am,” Hakoda replied, swinging at what he believed to be a guard. You stepped in front of Sokka before pushing Hakoda’s arm out of the way, ducking under it and pushing him softly before pulling Sokka out of the way.
Hakoda’s eyes widened at the familiar movements,searching the faces of the two guards standing before him. “Sokka? (Y/N)?”
"Dad!” you cried out in unison with Sokka, the two of you removing your masks as you smiled at Hakoda. His eyes filled with tears as he brought you into a hug and you couldn’t help but let a few tears slip as well.
“Where’s Katara? Is she okay?”
“She’s fine dad,” you said, tightening your hold on Hakoda. “She’s not here.”
“Where’s Bato?” Sokka asked, pulling away. “Where’s everyone else from the invasion?”
“The others are being held at a prison near the Fire Nation palace,” Hakoda replied. “They sent me here because I kept being difficult after they singled (Y/N) out as the leader and sent her here. But before I left, I met some young women who said they knew you. The...Oshinama Fighters? ”
“You mean the Kyoshi Warriors?” you asked.
“That’s right.”
“Their leader Suki is here,” Sokka said, a blush visible on his face. “She’s gonna escape with us too!”
“Good. We'll need all the help we can get.”
“And you know Prince Zuko?” Sokka asked, getting excited at the thought of finally leaving.
“The son of the Fire Lord?” Hakoda asked hesitantly. “I don't know him, but I know of him.”
"Well he’s here too!” Sokka exclaimed.
“That sounds like a major problem,” Hakoda replied, crossing his arms as his face hardened.
“Actually,” Sokka said, smiling nervously. “He’s on our side now.”
Hakoda shot him a disbelieving look, causing you to step in.
“I had the same reaction dad,” you said, putting a hand on Hakoda’s shoulder. “But he really has changed. He came here with Soka to break me out. He’s been a big help.”
Hakoda’s face softened at your words. You had always been a good judge of character, so if you approved of the prince, then he did too. “So, do you have a plan?”
“We had one,” Sokka said, looking down sadly. “But some of the other prisoners got involved and ruined it. I dunno if there's another way off this island.”
“Sokka, there's no prison in the world that can hold three Water Tribe geniuses.”
“Then I guess we’d better find two more to help me plan something,” you teased, making Hakoda laugh and earning a dull look from Sokka.
~
You sprinted towards the yard, having been distracted by another guard for a few minutes before all the prisoners had been let out. When you reached your dad, Suki, and Sokka, you were surprised to see Chit Sang speaking with them.
“Hey you! You're lucky I didn't rat you out,” Chit Sang said, staring Sokka down. “But my generosity comes with a price. I know you're planning another escape attempt, and I want in.”
You nodded at Sokka, telling him to go along with it. He sighed softly before facing Chit Sang. “Actually, we're trying to escape right now, but we need a riot. You wouldn't happen to know how to start one, would you?”
“You seriously couldn’t start a prison riot?” you asked in disbelief, looking at the three of them in disappointment. “C’mon Chit Sang, let’s show them how it’s done.”
The two of you stepped forwards, Chit Sang picking up another prisoner as you strutted up to one of them.
“Hey everybody!” you yelled, the yard going quiet as you spoke. Without hesitation, you punched the prisoner closest to you. “Riot!”
The yard exploded into chaos as people began fighting and throwing stuff around. You quickly fought off the prisoner that you had punched before returning to your friends.
“Impressive,” Hakoda said, looking around at all the chaos.
You turned and swung as you felt someone bump into you, the person letting out a loud grunt as your fist met their face. Your jaw dropped as your eyes met piercing gold ones, your hands coming up to your face in slight horror as you realized that you had just punched Zuko.
“Yep,” he said, clutching his face. “I probably deserved that after everything I’ve done to you.”
“I’m so sorry,” you choked out in between giggles, earning a smile from the prince.
“Zuko! Good, we’re all here,” Sokka said, drawing you all into a huddle. “Now all we need to do is grab the warden, and get to the gondolas!”
“And how do we do that?” Zuko asked.
Sokka hesitated for a few seconds. “I’m not sure.”
Zuko groaned, throwing his hands up in frustration. “I thought you thought this through!”
“I thought you told me it's okay not to think everything through”
“Maybe not everything, but this is kind of important!” Zuko cried out.
“Hey fella,” Chit Sang interrupted, tapping Zuko’s shoulder before pointing at you. “I think your girlfriend’s taking care of it.”
“You’re dating my daughter?” Hakoda asked, glaring at Zuko.
“W-What? No!” Zuko cried out, slightly fearful of the Water Tribe Chief.
“Damn right you’re not,“ Sokka said, crossing his arms before Chit Sang spun him around.
“Your girlfriend too buddy.”
All four males went silent as they observed both you and Suki. You swiftly made your way up the tower, effortlessly taking guards down as you inched towards the warden. Suki took a stance at the base of the tower, fighting off any other guards who attempted to rush to the warden’s rescue. She was a truly impressive sight, her training as a Kyoshi Warrior shining through as she took down every guard that came at her effortlessly. Sokka stood a few yards away, awestruck at the sight in front of him.
Meanwhile, you had successfully made your way up to the top of the tower. You made quick work of the remaining guards before finally facing the warden.
“You wouldn’t dare,” he snarled, getting into a defensive position.
“Watch me,” you quipped, lunging at him. You avoided his punch, grabbing his wrist and spinning him around before shoving him up against the railing. You grabbed his sash, tying his hands before knocking him down and making sure he was tied securely before smiling over at your dad. “You’re my prisoner now warden.”
Down in the yard, Hakoda, Zuko, and Chit Sang all stared at you in awe, Sokka still focused on Suki.
“That’s my girl,” Hakoda stated, a proud look on his face as he looked up at you.
“Do you think she’d want to be my girl?” Zuko muttered dazedly, unintentionally speaking louder than he meant to. When he realized what he had said, he looked up in embarrassment, being met with an amused glance from Chit Sang, a harsh scowl from Hakoda, and a sharp slap from Sokka.
“Shut up!” Sokka hissed before grabbing Zuko’s arm and rushing to join you and Suki.
You all ran to the gondola, making sure that the warden was still tied up as you dragged him with you.
“We’re almost there!” Suki cried out.
“Spoke too soon,” you groaned as a group of guards came across your path, immediately sending two blasts of fire at you. You yelped as Zuko pulled you out of the way before stepping in front of you and dissipating the blasts. He sent a series of blasts back at them before grabbing the warden from you.
“Back off! We've got the warden!“ he shouted, successfully stopping the guards. When they didn’t make any movements he grabbed your hand and tugged you along. “Let's go”
Suki was the first to make it to the gondola, holding the door open for everyone else. “Everyone in!”
You all clambered on and you glanced around, realizing that someone was missing.
“Zuko!” you yelled, looking back at the prince. He started the gondola and you felt yourself panic as the guards closed in on him. “What are you doing? Hurry up!”
“I’m making it so that they can’t stop us!” With a few kicks, Zuko managed to break the lever that controlled the gondola before sprinting towards you. You leaned out of the door slightly, watching him in anticipation.
“C’mon Zuko,” you whispered to yourself, biting your lip as the gondola left the platform, now hanging freely. Zuko sped up and jumped, his feet landing on the edge of the gondola. He wobbled for a bit before you grasped his arm, fully pulling him into the gondola and into your arms. Zuko looked at you in confusion before wrapping his arms around you as well.
“Are you sure they’re not dating?” Hakoda asked, his voice quiet as he addressed Sokka. Sokka sent Zuko a menacing glare, the scarred prince gulping and loosening his hold on you when he noticed.
“What were you thinking?” you cried out, finally pulling away from Zuko and slapping his head.
“Ow!” Zuko hissed, rubbing the spot you had hit. “I was thinking ‘let me get rid of this lever real quick so that they don’t catch us’.”
“You could’ve gotten captured!” you yelled at him, taking a step towards him.
“Way to think ahead,” Sokka commented, saving Zuko from another slap.
“We’re finally on our way.” Suki sighed, sharing a soft smile with Sokka.
“Wait,” Hakoda said, leaning out of the window. “Who’s that?”
You leaned out of the window on the other side of the gondola, resisting the urge to blush as you felt Zuko’s chest press up against your back as he tried to get a good look at the platform.
“That’s a problem,” Zuko groaned. “It’s my sister and her friend.”
“This is a rematch I’ve been waiting for,” Suki growled, cracking her knuckles.
“Get in line,” you scoffed, your eyes narrowing as you watched the princess approach. You climbed out of the gondola and onto the roof, being followed by Sokka, Suki, and Zuko.
Suki and Sokka turned to face Ty Lee as she landed onto the roof gracefully, quickly becoming preoccupied with the chi-blocker. You carefully observed Azula as she landed a few feet away from you, staring you down as she stalked closer.
“Well, well, well,” she spoke, her voice taunting. “If it isn’t the Water Tribe scum.”
“Don’t speak to her like that,” Zuko barked, stepping slightly in front of you.
“Aww, does Zuzu have a little crush?” Azula teased, pouting as she shifted her gaze to Zuko. “Snap out of it Zuko. We raided her village multiple times. She’ll never see you as anything other than a monster.”
“Still not over what your mother used to say about you huh?” you shot back, missing the hurt look in Azula’s eyes as she shot lightning at you. You swiftly dodged the blast and ran at her, sliding onto the ground when she let out another blast.
Zuko watched as you stood up, landing a solid hit on his sister before bouncing back and dodging the hit she sent your way. He tried to find an opening to attack Azula but eventually gave up for fear of hurting you. Instead he chose to jump into the fight and wipe out the blasts Azula kept sending at you, even if you were expertly dodging them.
Azula soon grew tired of the fight, and knowing that she couldn’t beat you in the moment decided to send a blast of fire at Zuko. She caught him off guard and although he managed to wipe out the blast, he ended up tumbling back and landing dangerously close to the gondola’s edge.
“Zuko!” you yelled, momentarily distracted from the fight. Azula took this chance to kick you down, punching you before kicking you once more when you tried to scramble to your feet. You were sent stumbling against the metal handle that attached the gondola to the cable, gasping in pain as you crashed against it. She grinned widely when your head hit the metal.
You blew your hair out of your face, wincing as you reached up to touch the sore spot on your head and sighing when you noticed the blood on your fingertips.
“You have nowhere to go,” Azula stated, stalking towards you. Blue fire danced at her fingertips, her eyes hungry with anticipation as you struggled to stand. “Such a shame, you could’ve been a great asset to me.”
“I would rather die than join you,” you shot back, finally managing to stand up.
“Fine,” Azula spat, the fire growing as she narrowed her eyes. “Have it your way.”
You closed your eyes and braced yourself, knowing that you were in no shape to block her attack. You felt the heat approaching before it disappeared. Opening your eyes, you gasped softly as you saw Zuko standing in front of you. He sent blasts of fire back at Azula before the gondola swung dangerously, sending them both stumbling.
“They’re about to cut the line!” Ty Lee shouted at Azula.
“Then it’s time to leave,” the princess smirked. “Goodbye Zuko.”
Azula blasted away as Ty Lee backflipped gracefully onto the other gondola. Zuko glared at Azula briefly before rushing to your side, reaching down and gently picking you up.
“Are you okay?” he asked, his face twisting with concern as you stumbled.
“Yeah,” you breathed. “Just peachy.”
You tried to walk on your own only to stumble once more and fall right into Zuko’s arms. You shook your head slightly, trying to walk off once more.
“(Y/N), stop,” Zuko said, scooping your legs up and fully carrying you.
“P-Put me down!” you yelled, drawing Sokka and Suki’s attention.
“Hey! Put her down,” Sokka cried, rushing over to your side. He was stopped when the gondola swayed again.
“Stop struggling,” Zuko hissed, tightening his grip on you. “You can’t walk without stumbling. You probably have a concussion.”
You pouted but stayed silent, knowing that the prince was right. Carefully, he made his way over to the edge of the gondola, noticing that Hakoda was leaning out of the window. Carefully, he handed you down to him, making sure that you were safely inside before swinging himself in as well. Sokka and Suki quickly followed.
“They’re cutting the line,” Zuko stated, exchanging glances with everyone else. “The gondola’s about to go!”
“I hope this thing floats,” Hakoda said, fussing over your head wound as you tried to push him away.
“Hey!” you suddenly cried as the gondola began to move. You glanced out the window. “Who’s that?”
“That’s Mai!” Zuko exclaimed, his eyebrows furrowing as he observed her fighting with the guards.
The gondola made it to the other side without any other mishaps. When you got there, Zuko carefully picked you up once again, making his way out of the gondola. Sokka kept his gaze on him, only looking away when he felt Suki grab his hand. She shook her head at him before looking at you and Zuko. “Calm down. There are worse people she could be with.”
Sokka rolled his eyes at her words before trailing after Zuko, a barely visible smile appearing on his face as he noticed how Zuko was fussing over you as well. Hakoda and Chit Sang tossed the warden back into the gondola before joining the group. They all walked for a while before Zuko paused, standing on the cliff that was overlooking the rest of the volcano.
“What’s wrong Zuko?” you asked quietly, your eyes not leaving his face as he scanned the landscape in front of him. At this point, everyone else had backtracked to where you were standing.
“My sister was on that island,” was his only response.
“Yeah, and she's probably right behind us, so let's not stop!” Sokka said, trying to convince Zuko to keep moving.
“What I mean is she must have come here somehow,” he replied, his eyes still looking around.
“There!” you exclaimed, pointing at a large airship. “That's our way out of here!“
~
The six of you all managed to make it to the airship quickly enough and Zuko quickly lit the fire and guided it away from The Boiling Rock. The atmosphere was lively as everyone tried to catch up with each other, the excitement from the day eventually leaving everyone as the sun began setting. One by one, everyone fell asleep until it was just you and Zuko awake.
You had been looking around the ship, smirking in victory when you found a first aid kit. Silently you wandered out to where Zuko was, trying not to startle him.
“Long night?” you asked, leaning on the wall next to him.
“Someone has to keep the fire going,” he retorted, a faint smile present on his handsome face.
“Can you help me?” you asked quietly, meeting his eyes as he turned to face you. He nodded and you handed him the first aid kit before sitting down in front of him. You flinched slightly as his hand grabbed your jaw, closing your eyes as you reveled in his touch, remaining oblivious to the way his heart was racing at the close proximity. His touch was feather light in comparison to the guard who had grasped your jaw in a similar way back at the Boiling Rock. You snorted softly as you recalled the incident that had taken place a mere day ago; it seemed like it had happened ages ago.
“I’m sorry,” Zuko whispered, tilting your head to get better access to the cut on your head.
“It’s fine, it doesn’t hurt,” you murmured back, eyes still closed.
“Not about that,” Zuko replied, cleaning the wound as best as he could with the supplies you had given him. You hissed softly as he tried to place the bandage on, breathing deeply to try and ignore the pain. “I’m sorry about everything. I’m sorry for hunting the Avatar down and chasing you all around the world. I’m sorry about your mother. I’m sorry for the raids that tore your village apart. I’m sorry that I kept causing you harm even when I had the chance to do good.”
You opened your eyes at his words, reaching up and gently grabbing his hand to bring his attention to you. He could’ve sworn his heart skipped a beat. You stared at him in silence, his golden eyes never leaving yours even as he fidgeted uncomfortably under your gaze. Your face softened as you realized just how full of guilt Zuko really was, your heart aching as you realized that you couldn’t spend any more time hating him. Not when he had already done so much to try and make up for his mistakes.
“No Zuko,” you finally spoke, guiding him to take a seat in front of you. “I’m sorry for being so harsh towards you. You did more than enough to prove that you aren’t the same bratty prince you were when we first met but I wasn’t willing to look past the fact that you were once our enemy. You left the Fire Nation to help Aang and I can’t imagine how hard that was-”
“Trust me,” Zuko interjected, laughing humorlessly. “It wasn’t that hard. My father and sister are horrible people.”
“Still,” you said, leaning in a bit. “They’re your family. Betraying your family isn’t easy, even if you don’t get along with them.”
Silence ensued as Zuko stood up and carefully finished bandaging your cut. He took his seat in front of you once more, watching the fire as you watched him.
“What?” Zuko asked, his cheeks heating up he realized that you were still staring at him.
“Thank you Zuko,” you stated, finally looking away from the golden-eyed boy.
“Don’t thank me,” Zuko replied. “It was Sokka’s idea to break you out.”
“I mean for saving me from Azula,” you whispered, looking back up at him. “She really had me backed into a corner.”
“I wasn’t going to let her hurt you,” Zuko stated, staring into your eyes. “Sokka would’ve killed me if we came all this way just to lose you to her.”
You giggled at his words, causing him to smirk in satisfaction as he realized that he had made you laugh. “He would’ve, wouldn’t he?”
There was another silence before you spoke up again. “In all seriousness, thank you. I never thought that I’d be calling Prince Zuko my hero.”
Zuko gulped as he realized just how close the two of you were. Neither of you made a move to back away and you flushed when you caught yourself glancing at the prince’s lips.
You blushed harder when you realized he had caught you in the act.
“Zuko,” you whispered, squeaking softly when said boy leaned forwards and connected his lips with yours. The kiss was soft and hesitant, with both of you holding your breath as you realized you were kissing each other.
Pulling away, Zuko’s eyes widened. “Oh spirits. I-I’m sorry. I can’t believe I just did th-”
You cut Zuko’s apology off with another kiss, this one a little less awkward. His hand came up and grabbed your waist, pulling you a little closer as his other hand cupped your cheek. Your hand came up to grab his forearm, your brain trying to comprehend the fact that you were kissing Zuko and wondering how in the world he was such a good kisser.
“I thought you said you weren’t dating my daughter.”
The two of you flew apart as you heard Hakoda’s voice.
“D-Dad!” you exclaimed. “We weren’t- I wasn’t-”
Hakoda held up a hand to stop your stuttering. “It doesn’t matter. He risked his life to help your brother break you out of prison which means he’s good in my books. Just please don’t kiss in front of me. And maybe don’t let Sokka find out about this just yet. Good night.”
You turned to Zuko in embarrassment as Hakoda walked away, making eye contact with him before the two of you dissolved into laughter.
“Well that’s one way to get the parent’s approval,” you muttered, smiling at Zuko as he wrapped his arm around your shoulder and pulled you into him.
The two of you spent the rest of the night awake, talking about everything and nothing, stargazing as Zuko kept the flame alive.
“You know, I used to know the moon spirit when she was alive,” you said smugly, glancing up at Zuko as he smiled widely at you.
“Oh really?”
“Yeah! In fact, she was Sokka’s first girlfriend.”
Zuko smiled and pressed another kiss to your lips, smiling softly when he felt your hand come up to his chest.
And in that moment, Zuko knew he had made the right decision by deciding to join the Avatar. After all, if he hadn’t then why would the universe have chosen to reward him with something as amazing as you.
~
taglist!
@musicalkeys, @mywigglybaby​, @bubblebars​, @iguessthefloorislava​
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fandomlit · a year ago
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past lovers (zuko x reader)
summary sokka and zuko talk about their past loves.
a/n if anyone has any avatar requests, feel free to send them in!!
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gif cred belong to @fireladyazula​
“do you ever think about what life would be like without the war?” sokka wondered aloud. him and zuko were relaxing on appa’s saddle as katara and aang practiced waterbending and toph commented on their movements.
“all the time,” zuko admitted. “especially when i was little. i might have had a healthy relationship with my family, a decent childhood...” he sighed as sokka nodded along sadly. “maybe even a girlfriend.”
“you’ve never had one?” sokka asked with wide eyes, sitting forward. zuko shook his head.
“never had the time,” he shrugged. “nor the state of mind.”
“have you ever even had a crush?” sokka gaped.
“a what?” zuko asked, finally looking over to the non-bender.
“you know..,” sokka blinked, “someone you’d want to be your girlfriend. that you think about all the time, you wouldn’t mind kissing them and all that... ever had one?”
zuko considered, looking away from sokka again. “yes. i suppose i have.”
“can i ask who?” sokka prodded slowly. zuko sighed.
“when i was young, my father and i went to lure an earth city into a false sense of security with a fake alliance,” he started. “the city was named kina.”
“hey, i remember kina,” sokka spoke. “it was one of the major earth cities when i was a kid, right up there with ba sing se.” 
zuko nodded. “yes. that’s why my father sought to destroy it. it was more open and accessible than ba sing se. it was a way to send a warning out to the major city itself: ‘look what we did to your sister city. look what we can do to you.’” he took a breath. “anyway, while my father was shown around the city by their king, i wandered off. i found a girl earthbending and stood by to watch. she must have heard me approach and turned around just as i came near.” zuko paused, looking to his lap. “she was the most beautiful girl i had ever seen.
“her name was y/n. i remember how...” sokka watched as zuko narrowed his eyes at his hands in his lap. “...scared she had looked when she saw my uniform. she ran and hid, and i didn’t see her until the next day. i had gone looking for her, and when she went to run away, i called out to her and she listened. we spent the rest of the day learning about each other’s cultures and each other in general. she showed me how she bended, and i showed her how i did. we promised to see each other the next day, and we did. and the day after that, and the day after that.”
when sokka realized zuko wasn’t going to say anymore, he nudged, “so why didn’t it work out?”
“because we destroyed the city,” zuko said bitterly.
“did you ever see her again?” sokka asked, shaking his head.
“yes,” zuko hummed. “when i was first banished from home. before i focused solely on the avatar, i used my freedom to search earth cities that were near kina. i found her in omashu, working as an assistant to an earthbending master. for the first week i was there, she ignored me completely. i would try to walk and talk with her, but she would just walk faster or tune me out. it wasn’t until i was under attack by some earth creature did she come to my rescue and finally talk to me.”
“what’d she say?” sokka asked, leaning forward with interest.
“that she’d never forgive what i did to her city,” zuko explained. “that there wasn’t a day that passed where she didn’t think of my betrayal. that there wasn’t a day that passed where she didn’t miss her home. and that there wasn’t a day that passed where she didn’t hate herself for missing me most.” sokka smiled. “i stayed with her for another week. it was the best week of my life.” he leaned back and looked to the clouds in the sky. “but my search had to start some time. we said our goodbyes and i promised one day i’d find my way back to her. and i haven’t seen her since.”
after a minute of silence, zuko looked over to see sokka sniffing. “that was so beautiful.”
zuko gave him a shadow of a smile. “yeah. she was.” he looked back to the sky. “so, what about you? have you ever had a girlfriend?”
sokka looked sadly to his crossed legs. “my first girlfriend turned into the moon.”
“that’s rough, buddy.”
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fandom-what-ifs · a year ago
Text
Sparring
Zuko x Reader
Requested by Anon: Since I've been rewatching Avatar, my love for Zuko has been reignited. Could I request a Zuko x reader with the prompt “Don’t act innocent, you had me pinned underneath you 5 minutes ago.”
Word Count: 1.2k
A/N: This went from a drabble to a full-blown fluffy oneshot. I’m still warming up my writing skills once again so this isn’t as good as I would love it to be, but I hope you enjoy!!
Prompt List - Requests are still open!!
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Your head spins as your back hits the ground for what feels like the fifteenth time this hour. 
“Zuko: 16! (y/n): Zero!” 
Make that 16th time this hour.
“Monkey feathers, Zuko,” you wheeze. “It wouldn’t kill you to sound less enthusiastic. Couldn’t you go easy on me just once?”
Your boyfriend’s face appears above you and, despite your pain, you’re happy to see him grinning. “Monkey feathers? Now I know you’ve been spending too much time around Aang.” 
“Oh, shut up.”
Zuko chuckles and reaches a hand down as an offer to pull you to your feet. “Despite how often you end up on your ass, you are getting better.” You roll your eyes and take his hand, letting him drag you upwards once again. 
“Well I’m definitely getting better from when we first started, but I still can’t disarm,” you huff in frustration.
“That’s one of the hardest sword-fighting skills to learn, don’t think too much on it.” Zuko grins. “You’re already a proficient fighter...we’ll make you a master yet.”
“I still don’t understand why I had to learn...I’m perfectly capable of defending myself with a dagger and hand-to-hand. Why were you so insistent on the sword?”
Zuko smiles and doesn’t let go of your hand once you’re on your feet. “Daggers are well enough for defense, but against benders, a sword is your only chance. Considering your current company, I fear that you’ll have more encounters with hostile benders than I’d like.”
You smile slightly. Though his protectiveness can sometimes be exhausting, it’s also endearing. He’d been like this since you were children and he would yell at Azula for nicking you with a dagger when you would spar, or burn you when she got frustrated and accidentally firebent. Your proficiency with a dagger made you one of Princess Azula’s first choices for her ladies of the bedchamber, and you and her sparred whenever she wasn’t training with Lo and Li.
You acquired quite a few scars that way, which is how you originally became friends with Zuko. Although still a prat, he was more tolerable than his sister, and you were devastated when he was banished. You’re the sole of Azula’s ladies who weren’t banished or executed...a fact you thank the universe every day for. When Zuko returned as Fire Lord, your friendship returned quickly.
No one officially knows of your relationship. Both you and Zuko agreed that it’s too much of a hassle to make a real announcement, and most everyone in the palace already knows from simply observing. But outside of the palace, no one. After all, the majority of the Fire Nation is still fairly prejudiced. What would they think of their ruler having fallen for a lady of no royal blood?
“One more round?” Zuko asks, pulling you out of your thoughts. He kicks your sword up from the ground and tosses it to you. “For good measure?”
You twirl the sword uneasily in your hand. “Don’t you want to stop at 16? Stick with an even number?”
Zuko shrugs. “Who says I’ll win?”
You roll your eyes and settle into your stance. “Fine. What strengthens a relationship more than being humiliated by your boyfriend, right?”
Zuko grins and matches your stance. “Three...” You readjust your grip on the sword. “Two...one.”
The seventeenth round is an all-out war. You and Zuko are a whirl of motion, he a master of his own fighting style and you doing everything you can to emulate him. You can tell from the start that it’s not going to be a long fight — you’d already pushed each other toward the edges of your endurance, making the fight less than pretty from the sloppiness of your tired limbs.
Though, this time, you manage to disarm him. 
It surprises both of you as you watch it clatter to the ground, but before you can let out the whoop of triumph you’re feeling, the young Firelord’s knocked your sword out of your hands too, leaving you both weaponless. You stare at each other for a moment, briefly at a loss, then charge again, exchanging flawless punches and kicks. Although you’re blocking more blows than you land, you’re so evenly matched in hand to hand and so good at reading each other that you manage to push him back a bit. 
Your sparring quickly becomes grappling when you manage to sling an elbow around Zuko’s throat and pull him into a chokehold. His hands scrabble at your arm as you yank him down, causing his black to bow and you chuckle breathlessly. You have him. 
Then, before you realize it, Zuko’s hands lock around your wrist and he rears forward, flipping you over his head. You slam into the ground with enough force to drive all of the breath out of you, but Zuko doesn’t take any chances, bending down and pressing an elbow to your throat, just as you had him moments ago. “Yield.”
You stare at him for a moment, enjoying this view of him hovering over you, eyes glowing gold in the sunlight. He’s breathing heavily from the workout that was that last match, and you make the split-second decision to lean up and peck him on the lips. 
“Ugh!” He splutters and rolls off of you. “Don’t kiss me!”
You giggle. “Why not?”
“We were just fighting! It feels...wrong!”
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic. You can’t tell me you never kissed Aang after fighting him,” you tease, and the horrified look in Zuko’s eyes makes you burst out laughing. Your laugh is cut short though when something tugs uncomfortably at your side. “Ow. I think you cracked my ribs.”
Concern immediately takes over his face and he rolls back toward you. “Wait, really?” 
You giggle. “No, I’m probably just sore from you hitting me with the hilt of your sword, you domestic abuser.”
He rolls his eyes, but before he can snipe back, a royal guard approaches and slams his staff once. “Fire Lord Zuko, Sokka of The Water Tribe has arrived to see you.”
Zuko looks up in surprise. “Sokka? Of course, let him pass.”
Zuko stands up as the guard retreats and helps you to your feet once again. You take note of how he drops your hand almost immediately this time. “I didn’t realize Sokka was coming,” you say.
“Me either,” Zuko admits. “It was supposed to be Aang. Something must be wrong.”
The guard leads Sokka out into the training dais. You’ve only met the Water Tribe warrior a handful of times, but he was always friendly and even bubbly at each encounter. Now, his gaze is scrutinizing as it flicks back and forth between you and Zuko, and you can’t hide your smile as you realize he saw the kiss. 
Zuko’s told you that Sokka isn’t usually one for subtlety, and that’s proven when after being announced by the guard, Sokka immediately points at Zuko and shouts, “Are you two dating?”
Your boyfriend’s eyes widen, taken aback by the not-entirely unfriendly greeting, but not exactly kind either. “W-what?” 
He flounders for a moment before looking at you. You hold up your hands in surrender. “Don’t act innocent, you had me pinned underneath you 5 minutes ago.” You look back at Sokka and bow courteously. “It was nice to see you, Sokka of The Water Tribe. I would love to stay and talk, but I am in desperate need of a bath.” 
Before you leave, you press one more kiss to Zuko’s cheek and say, softly, “See you later,” and leave the dais with both men staring after you. 
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azucanela · a year ago
Hi! i’d like to request a Zuko x Reader oneshot please and it takes place a few years after he’s crowned as the Fire Lord: Zuko is entering suitable age for marriage and yet he has no one that he likes enough to take as his queen, what if Uncle Iroh hired the reader whom is a famous matchmaker that usually arranges the courting & marriage between nobles, but instead of all these ladies that she threw at him he ended up falling for her instead but he’s just so awkward and inexperienced Thank u
INAMORATA | ZUKO X READER
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SUMMARY: after a few years of being Fire Lord, Zuko still hasn’t found a companion. so naturally, when Iroh comes upon a matchmaker, he does what he does best and helps Zuko out by hiring her to help him find someone. and inadvertently... iroh ends up playing matchmaker himself. 
WORD COUNT: 12.6k
WARNINGS: mentions of death, death threats, kissing, pining, very mild innuendos, blood, injuries, crying
A/N: this is literally art omg i feel kinda honored to be seeing this ngl and i ended up researching matchmaking and they’re basically therapists that help you find love?? kinda. the profile thing is something that some matchmakers do and idk i have fun analyzing zuko so
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in·am·o·ra·ta/iˌnaməˈrädə/
noun
a woman with whom one is in love or has intimate relations.
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ATTEMPT ZERO
After years of being the Fire Lord, Zuko had come to realize the job was pretty basic if you thought about it long enough. There were just a few major things to deal with. First, there’s the internal relations, like the civil wars and uprising he deal with at the start of his reign because people disliked his ways. Then there’s the external relations, Zuko worked alongside Aang to repair those, helping the Southern Water Tribe rebuild itself from the ground up, and hosting meetings between the nations, friendly and work related. Those are the more diplomatic aspects of the job, and sadly, even as a ruler who sought to end a war, there was still violence in the world. 
When Aang and the rest of Team Avatar ended the One Hundred Year War, that only exposed a variety of other problems within the world, problems that the team seeked to end. There were people out there who disliked this line of thinking, and similarly wanted it to end, but ending the lives of Team Avatar.
Zuko was used to the death threats, and the assassination attempts. He’d had a security detail in place to ensure he lived to rule his nation, this was especially necessary since he lacked an heir and the only other people eligible for the throne were an old man who ran a tea shop and a psychopathic teenage girl in a mental institution. This is where the social aspect of the job came in, the part that Zuko had never been good at. The Galas and the girls who threw themselves at him, the nobility of all nations that approached him offering their children’s hand in marriage. Zuko was an enigma, a young and powerful bachelor, and now all the nobles with children were lining up for a minute alone with him to try and sell their own kids.
It disgusted him. The way they treated their children like cattle reminded Zuko of his own father, how willing he was to get rid of Zuko since he had a replacement on standby. Though, Zuko sincerely doubted he ever would’ve gotten the throne if Ozai had a choice, even if he hadn’t been banished. 
Alas, even Zuko could recognize the urgency of it, the death threats weren’t letting up, and the assassination attempts were only getting more and more elaborate, leaving Zuko wondering when they’d no longer be attempts. He needed and heir, or at least a wife who could rule alongside him and take over entirely in the event of his death.
The problem was, he didn’t want this.
He was in a unique position, where the person he married would have an immense effect on society, on politics. If it was an Earth Kingdom girl, then maybe the years of violence against their people could be mended sooner, and they could begin working together to combat a variety of issues. If he ends up with a Fire Nation girl, it could be viewed as strengthening the traditional ideals of Fire Nation independence and sovereignty because the Fire Nation is “supreme.”
Dating was political now and he hated it. It wasn’t like Zuko wanted to be alone, it’s just that now everything mattered far more than it used to. Of course, even as a prince it had been the same, but now that he was the Fire Lord, things seemed to be ten times worse. Perhaps it was excessive but Zuko couldn’t help but feel paranoid whenever a new person entered his life, he couldn’t help but assume that they were just using him for some other agenda.
Of course, his friends had tried to assure him this wasn’t always the case, and they’d even made attempts to set him up with girls. All of which had failed. Zuko knew he wasn’t an easy person, much less an easy person to date. As Fire Lord, a lot of his time was taken up by meetings, and diplomatic missions, and not-so-diplomatic missions alongside Team Avatar. That and he was rather awkward when it came down to most social interactions, though he’d improved over time, especially as the ruler of a nation, his speeches were elegant and so was the way he negotiated with other kingdoms. 
And yet he struggled to talk to strangers.
Iroh seemed to be tired of this as well, he’d sent Zuko several letters in regards to his lack of romance, insisting that he was a “handsome young man” that had “lots of potential” and he was “wasting” his prime with so much work. Zuko didn’t consider managing a country as a waste, though he understood where Iroh was coming from, Zuko probably should’ve been spending time with friends, going to clubs. Not saving the world.
Regardless, there wasn’t much he could do about, he didn’t have time for dating, and Zuko wasn’t willing to compromise his morals and beliefs just for an heir in the event that he got brutally murdered. He refused to raise a child just for that purpose. He learnt the hard way that you should only have kids if you intend to cherish them. And the idea of marrying someone just to strengthen his nation felt wrong, though he could see the benefits.
God, he hated being Fire Lord sometimes.
On the other hand, Y/N L/N liked her job. Amongst the nobility of the Earth Kingdom, she was a rather famous woman, Y/N had brought together some of the most powerful couples in the country. A lot of people owed her favors, and the money that came with the job was more than satisfactory. If Y/N had to guess, she was one of the richest people in the kingdom, considering how much people were willing to pay to fine “the one.” Her business had been rather successful since she’d gotten renowned in the inner ring of the city, and now, Y/N was considering expansion, to the Fire Nation. The borders had long since reopened, when the new Fire Lord came into power.
A whole new set of nobles for her to profit from. 
She’d decided to head to a high end tea shop in celebration of her choice to expand her business. Y/N had heard it was only for the best, since the tea shop served the best. One of her clients had insisted that someone of her esteem try the tea there, given that she was the best in her own profession.
So, here she was. It was a nice place, she wouldn’t deny, and Y/N had heard of the shop before. The Jasmine Dragon, run by some old guy who’d appeared in Ba Sing Se just before the war ended with some major talent when it came to brewing tea. The interior was fancy, but not excessive, several people were already seated within. Y/N even recognized one of the couples there, who waved at her enthusiastically, “hello! Lady L/N, how lovely to see you!” One of them called out.
Y/N smiled at them, “how are you two?”
The other beamed at her as she responded, “oh we’re just lovely! Preparing our wedding invitations and one of them has your name on it.” This wasn’t abnormal, most of the couples she’d brought together attributed their love to her. In actuality, Y/N found that if you found two people with compatible personalities, then they’d work things out on their own. All she did was introduce them. 
“I’m excited!” Y/N assured, moving past their table, “now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to try this famous tea. But, I’m looking forward to the invite.” 
The pair nodded, before returning their attention the friends seated across from them, and Y/N made her way to the front of the shop, bag of coins in hand. An older man stood behind the counter, a smile on his face as he brought his attention to her, “what can I get you today Miss...”
“Y/N. Y/N L/N.” She replied, small smile on her face as she looked at the menu, “what’s your name?” Y/N asked, meeting his eyes to see the flicker of recognition within them before returning her gaze to the menu.
He nods slowly, “I’m Iroh, and you’re a matchmaker, no?” He’d recognized the name, her business had begun gaining traction amongst the nobility of the Earth Kingdom shortly after the war, and she was one of the most sought after matchmakers in the nation. Iroh himself had looked into her business, seeing as his nephew was yet to find love in his chaotic lifetstyle. 
Y/N smiled at him as she nodded, “indeed.” She placed the menu down, “any suggestions?”
“Perhaps, Jasmine tea?” He suggested.
Y/N nodded, “sounds good.” She places extends a hand with coins, dropping them into his palm, “so are you looking for love?” Though she was certainly famous for her skills, Y/N tended to work behind the scenes, and she was surprised to find this man recognized her.
A small laughed escaped him at her words as he shook his head, “no. I believe it is a little too late for that.” He was working on her tea beyond the counter, and Y/N began to wonder how he was steaming the tea pot when she noticed there was no stove beside him.
“Don’t say that! You seem like a fine man that anyone woman would want.” Y/N assured, though she now wondered why exactly this man knew who she was in the first place. It was rare for those outside of nobility to know who she was.
Turning around, his hand pressed to the pot that Y/N was positive had to have been burning his hand in some way, “oh, you’re too kind.” He replies, a small smile on his face as he poured a bit into a cup, “I was looking to help my nephew find love actually.” 
“Really, now?” Firebending, that was the only explanation for the way this man was handling the tea. “I was looking to expand my business to the Fire Nation, perhaps I could help him out.” He didn’t hold himself the way most Earth Kingdom citizens did, and coupled with the possible Firebending, he was likely from the Fire Nation.
Iroh raises a brow at this, “what gave me away?” He stirs the tea a few times, before placing it on the counter for her to take. 
Y/N shrugs, “it’s my job to know people well enough that I can find them a match.” Taking a sip of her tea, she smiles, “so this nephew of yours. He wouldn’t happen to nobility, would he?”
He laughs at this, pouring himself a cup of tea as well as he sighs, “actually, he is nobility. In a way.”
Now Y/N did not expect the nobility Iroh spoke of the be the nobility. As in the Fire Lord, the actual ruler of the entire nation, though this would certainly be great for business. Once the world hears of how Y/N found the Fire Lord, someone who had been notably difficult to woo apparently, a match, her business will be set. 
“Isn’t this exciting, guys?” Y/N exclaimed, looking to her assistants, they were both on the younger side, Marcella and Evelyn. She’d brought them along since this would definitely be a valuable learning experience, and Y/N figured she’d need a lot of help if the Fire Lord was as difficult as they made him out to be. That and Y/N didn’t want to leave them alone in the Earth Kingdom, both of them had been orphaned at a young age. Y/N couldn’t help but relate to them, so when she’d come upon her newfound wealth, brought about by her job as a matchmaker, she’d taken the pair under her wing. 
With a bag thrown over her shoulder, Evelyn simply nodded while Marcella exclaimed, “yes! I’ve always wanted to see the Fire Nation. Do you think we could find a client in one of the Water Tribes next?” 
Y/N couldn’t help but smile at the young girl’s excitement, “if this goes well? We’ll be able to find clients anywhere.” She wasn’t wrong, Y/N had never had the opportunity to work with the actual Earth King, the true ruler of the nation. Now she was working with the ruler of a nation she’d never stepped foot in, entirely new customs and traditions to research, a new social structure, new everything.
What a fun challenge.
With a smile on her face, Y/N followed closely behind Iroh, the palace was stunning, she couldn’t deny it. And compared to the crumbling infrastructure of the lower rings of cities like Ba Sing Se, Fire Nation cities were prospering Fire Lord Zuko’s rule. From what she’d heard, things weren’t always this way.
“Y/N and I are going to wait here,” he gestured to the open space before them, dozens of paintings within it, “these two will take you to your rooms.” He explained to the pair of young girls, nodding to the servants beside them, who began to guide the young girls away.
Y/N’s eyes found their way to the paintings, the newest one being of the current Fire Lord, Zuko himself. She wondered how accurate the painting was, and seeing as she would be meeting him soon, Y/N figured she’d find out as she sighed, turning to Iroh, “so how does the original heir to the throne become the owner of an infamous tea shop?” 
Iroh smiles to himself at her words, “age brings wisdom. And tea is a nice substitute for alcohol.” He jokes, though Y/N can see the pain in his eyes, along with admiration as he stares at Zuko’s portrait alongside her.
“Uncle!” A voice exclaimed, joy clear in his voice as he called out. Y/N watched as Iroh spun around, a broad smile on his face as he moved forwards to embrace the person.
He looked better in person, Y/N quickly decided, though the portrait did its job just as well. She wouldn’t deny he was attractive, but she already knew looks weren’t the issue. Iroh had informed her of the situation, Zuko’s constant rejection of any and every single person that approached him, and the stress he experienced because of the politics of it all.
“Nephew, it is good to see you,” Iroh said, releasing him from the hug, “how are you?” Initially he seemed fairly comfortable at the sight of just his Uncle, but as the Fire Lord’s body seemed to stiffen, Y/N realized she’d been spotted.
So, he wasn’t comfortable with strangers, “I’m alright Uncle... who is this?” He asked. There was an edge to his voice as he spoke, sizing Y/N up, not in the way you did for someone you were attracted to, but for an enemy.
Uncomfortable with new people, clear trust issues, and his mind was always alert. She’d have to write these things down and take them into consideration prior to finding him a potential partner. Though it was starting to look like he was completely unaware of her purpose there as she extended her hand out to him, “Y/N L/N. Professional matchmaker.” She explained with a bright smile, though, based off his personality, that would likely ward him off more.
He was polite though, shaking her hand despite his clear suspicions of her, “Zuko.” Y/N couldn’t help but raise a brow at this, he hadn’t mentioned his title in his introduction. Zuko turned to his Uncle, brows furrowing as he said, “you hired a professional matchmaker?”
With a shrug Iroh responded, “we met by chance! So, it must be destiny.”
Zuko gives him a tight lipped smile, nodding slowly before returning his attention to Y/N who stood away from the pair, examining the decor of the palace. It was minimalistic, truly basic if she was honest, despite the clear amount of riches they possessed, it lacked evidence of them. Bringing her eyes back to him, he spoke, “you don’t need to be here. You can receive your pay, but I personally see no purpose for a matchmaker.”
Iroh frowned at his words, “Zuko, you need to give it a chance! Unlike all those ladies who keep throwing themselves at you. Besides, she seems rather good at her job.” His gaze was on his nephew as he sighed, giving Y/N an apologetic look that she simply waved off.
“Oh, it’s fine. It just won’t be for long.” Zuko raised a brow at her words, and Y/N watched his feet shifted, “no need to prepare for a fight, your majesty.” She hummed, rolling her neck, in the corner of her eye she could see shock flash in his own. “You see, as a matchmaker I do several things, including developing a little... profile of my clients. Now we just met but I can already tell you a variety of things about you that’s making your love life rather trivial.” Even before she had to develop the profiles professionally, in the lower rings of Ba Sing Se, being capable of reading others was a necessary skill.
Zuko’s eyes narrowed at her, “and what have you determined, in the very short time we’ve known each other.”
A small laugh escaped her as she extended her arms and cracked her knuckles, “well. You have major trust issues, which is why you are desperately trying to keep me at arms length. That’s one reason why you have yet to find someone.” Turning her attention to the decor of the large room, Y/N closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Given the lack of interior design, I would say you’re struggling with social aspects of your job, and you need a partner. One that I can help you find.” 
“See! I told you she’s good at what she does.” Iroh exclaimed, moving forward to clap a hand onto Y/N’s shoulder, much to Zuko’s dismay. 
Y/N gave the older man a small smile before looking back to Zuko, who eyed her wearily, “you keep avoiding the portrait of your father. But you can’t bring yourself to take it down.” She said, and Y/N could practically feel the tension building with each word. “He’s one of the reasons you’ve yet to find a lover-”
“Because he gave me the scar?” 
Y/N paused, brows furrowing at his words, her eyes found his, “I’m sorry, was that a joke?” She asked, and Iroh stared between the two, amused. “You’re actually rather attractive, which is why I know this is a personality thing. Probably tired of the whole fancy court thing they have going on here, which I’m going to need to research...” Y/N pursed her lips, failing to notice the clear shock on Zuko’s face at her comment, and red flushing his cheeks. Waving off her thoughts, she looked back to him, “anyways. My assistants should’ve already cleared out about an hour in your schedule each day for our sessions. I’m going to be asking you some very personal questions. So, be ready!” 
And with that, Y/N waved to the two, bowing rather questionably shortly after, before heading off in the direction she’d seen Marcella and Evelyn go in. Effectively leaving behind a baffled Zuko, and a rather satisfied Iroh, who began to laugh at Zuko’s reaction. “I really like her, quite the character she has.” 
“Yeah, quite the character.” He brought a hand to his temple, “is this really necessary, Uncle?” 
Iroh simply sighed, looking to his nephew, “whether you want to admit it or not, she was right. Ruling a nation is difficult, and ruling it alone is even harder.” A small huff of laughter escaped Iroh, “and she figured that out by your lack of interior design!” 
Exhaling deeply, Zuko reminded himself that this was all part of the job, the job that consumed his entire life. The life that this girl had analyzed in a matter of moments. 
Yeah, he wasn’t looking forward to their meetings.
Though his morals and his disagreement with practically selling your own child were a major factor in his lack of a love life. There was also the simple fact that there was no love in many of the interactions he had with potential suitors, much less genuine interest. They all wanted the power he could give them should they get married.
There was also the fact that Zuko had very little relationship experience, a fact he was trying to ignore. At the end of the day, he couldn’t bring himself to approach anyone, and if he did, he wouldn’t know what to do. Zuko also doubted that people would act... genuine around him, especially if they knew who he was. And all he really wanted was something real, considering his entire day was surrounded by fake smiles that belonged to both him and others.
It seemed that Y/N wasn’t prepared to ignore this piece of information though, since the following morning she’d seated him down and begun to speak of it, “so. You’ve been in two relationships.”
His brows furrowed, “one actually.” He and Mai had broken up about six months into his work as Fire Lord, “Mai.”
Raising a brow at him, she leaned back in the seat. Zuko couldn’t help but wonder how she managed to decorate the place in such a short period of time, as he could’ve sworn there hadn’t been a desk here the previous day. Then again, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d toured his own palace. “Well, I’ve heard rumors of you and a Southern Water Tribe member, but I’m not sure which one so I just-”
“Okay! That’s enough.” His cheeks were flushed red as he looked away.
Y/N grinned at him, leaning forwards, “then let’s discuss Mai. You two were pretty on and off, right?” 
Zuko grimaced at the thought, they were. He wouldn’t deny that he’d gone back to her a few times during his time as Fire Lord, “yeah.” 
Y/N began to write into her notebook, “tell me about her.”
“I don’t see why that’s important.” Came his response, looking at her quizzically as he frowned.
Tilting her head at him, Y/N gave Zuko a look, “come on. Let me do my job, I need to know about her to gauge what types of personalities you like while also determining why the two of you broke it off entirely.” She placed the book down, and Zuko could very clearly see the words ‘commitment issues’ underlined. “The goal isn’t just to find you a suitable wife that can help you rule, but someone you can be happy with.”
He’s silent for a moment, eyes on Y/N, her words seem honest. And this was her job, “she was blunt. Honest. Kind of mean at times, but she could be sweet as well. Pretty stoic, expressing her emotions was always... difficult for her.” 
Y/N nodded slowly, scribbling a few more things down, “okay. And what’s your favorite color?” 
“What type of question is that?” Zuko asked, brows furrowing in confusion. 
Crossing her arms, Y/N shrugged, “well. Favorite colors can tell you a lot about a person.” Came her response, “mine is green. Maybe that’s because I associate green with the Earth Kingdom, where I lived. Or maybe it’s because I happen to like nature quite a bit.” Looking around, Zuko could see that she’d already gotten a variety of plants native to the Fire Nation, most were succulents due to the almost year round heat.
At the mention of colors, his mind immediately went back to his first experience with the dragons, when their fire encircled him and Aang. “I.. don’t know how to describe the color- colors?” Zuko’s brows drew together in thought, and Y/N looked at him.
“How would I not understand a color?” The confusion is clear in her voice as she looks at him. Y/N can practically see the nostalgia in his eyes as he looks to the balcony.
Sighing, Zuko shifted in his seat, “these dragons I met ended up making a circle of fire around me and there were just... so many colors. But together it was just,” he paused, searching for the right word, “beautiful.”
Y/N’s mouth gaped open for a moment, “you met dragons?” She exclaimed, nearly throwing her notebook aside. Y/N had never seen such creatures, in fact, the general consensus was that they were still extinct
Zuko seemed to forget about this fact as he straightened himself, eyes meeting hers, “you can’t tell anyone about them!” He exclaimed, “they were hunted to extinction, though I intend to outlaw such things it’s just...” 
She nodded in understanding, “people break laws.” Y/N leaned back into her seat once more, “you owe me a dragon story.” She said, before crossing her legs in her seat and continuing, “favorite food?”
“Well, Aang took me to Avatar Day, and they had these weird Avatar shaped dough things.” He explained, recalling the time he’d gone with Aang and the others. Apparently they used to burn his statue, but now they worship him for some reason.
Y/N brought a hand under her chin, “I have no idea what that is.” She began to scribble something down on her notepad, “but okay.”
“What about you?”
Y/N hummed in response, “what do you mean?” 
Zuko felt his cheeks warm, “this just feels like an interview.”
“Probably because it is an interview.” Y/N said, gesturing for him to elaborate.
Looking away, Zuko frowned, “it’s weird.” Sighing, he spoke once more, “so, what’s your favorite food?” 
Y/N was silent for a moment, staring at Zuko, who was trying his hardest to avoid her gaze. This was a rare occurrence, seeing as most nobles were rather self-centered and liked talking about themselves. She’d never had a client who felt uncomfortable with this portion because it was basically a one-sided conversation. “Jennamite is a good rock candy.”
Zuko turns back to her, a small laugh escaping him, “my friends were nearly killed in Jennamite by the King of Omashu once.” 
“I’m sorry, what?”
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ATTEMPT ONE
Y/N wouldn’t deny how odd it was, to be sharing as much information as she was learning about Zuko. She’d never really considered just how personal some of the questions were until she found herself answering them. But, after about a month, she had assembled a pretty good array of potential suitors for Zuko. Along with a few of her own clients, Y/N had found some girls that from the Fire Nation that seemed pretty acceptable.
That’s what she had thought at least.
“What do you mean, you already rejected her?” 
Turns out, Zuko had met half the women, and rejected them. The other half were either from the Earth Kingdom, or yet to attend one of few Galas that Zuko hosted. Seeing as he handed off most of that work to his advisors, it was rare for him to remain at Galas for an extended period of time. 
He grimaced at Y/N’s words nonetheless, his Uncle had informed her of his situation, but clearly not the extent of it. “She was more interested in her guard than me. It was a power grab her parents likely forced her into.” He remembered the girl, she’d been kind to him, but she clearly didn’t want him as much as her parents did.
His words brought about a new level of understanding for Y/N, who nodded slowly, of course it was the parents that Zuko had a problem with. It wasn’t uncommon for nobles to practically throw their children at potential suitors as though they’re a bag of coins. It was something that disgusted her as well, her job found people companions that they liked while these people simply wished for an addition to their power.
Zuko was the ultimate power grab. Y/N could only imagine how many times this had happened to him, random people he’d never met approaching him, offering their child’s hand in marriage. 
Bringing a hand to her temple, Y/N sighed, “but the rest are fine?” 
He nodded slowly, flipping through the pages he had yet to remove, Zuko skimmed what Y/N had written. Taking note of her handwriting, he wondered if she’d written his profile like this. “Yeah...” Y/N narrowed her eyes at him, and Zuko sighed, removing a few more pages from the binder she’d presented him with. 
Exhaling deeply, Y/N brought a hand to Zuko’s shoulder, “be honest with me. I’m not gonna yell at you for removing them Zuko, this is for you.”
Sometimes he forgot it was her job to be nice to him. 
“Right.” He mumbled, trying to shake off the feeling he got as she removed her hand. “That’s still... a lot of people. Some of which aren’t even in this nation.” Zuko pointed out, a queasy feeling within him as he looked at her.
Y/N plopped down onto the couch in the common room they’d met in, sprawling her body across it, “you’re right, there is a lot. But,” She twisted her body so that she could see him, wiggling her brows suggestively, “it’s been a while since you hosted a Gala.” 
Zuko’s face dropped at her words, in his years of being Fire Lord, he’d had about three total, and hated every single one. But given how rare the Galas were, people got pretty excited when he threw them. “I hate planning those, it’s a waste of time and-” 
A small smile was on her face as she interrupted him, “and you suck at planning them? I can tell by the decor of your palace.” Glaring at her, Zuko watched as she shifted so that her head hung off the couch upside down, “well. This will be the best Gala yet, you’ll impress all the ladies that you can’t meet in the immediate future in about...” Y/N looked to the watch on her wrist, brows furrowing, “eight months. And I’ll help you plan it, since you desperately need help-”
“Alright, I get it, I’m horrible.” He grumbled, crossing his arms as he leaned back against his seat across from her after placing the binder on the coffee table between them. “Eight months isn’t a lot of time,” traditionally, Gala’s took at least a year’s worth of planning and preparation, especially since Zuko was so busy he barely had the time to assist in the process. Eight months was no where near enough.
Y/N was still frowning at his words, “no self-deprecation.” She ordered, taking Zuko by surprise, before continuing, “regardless. I’ve planned Gala in less time with less resources. It’ll be fine.” Pursing her lips Y/N sighed, “now we need to discuss your inability to talk to people in general due to your immense trust issues and constant battle field mentality.” 
Zuko’s mouth gaped open at her words, “excuse me?”
Bringing her hands to rest on her stomach as she laid upside down, Y/N spoke, “when we first met you looked like you contemplated attacking me. And when you met Marcella and Evelyn, I’ve never seen someone so awkward.” Zuko is silent and looks away, only proving her point as Y/N continued, “so we need to practice your people skills, and flirting for future reference, seeing as your first date is in about a week-”
Almost immediately, Zuko straightened his posture, sitting up and looking to her as though she’d thrown a bucket of ice cold water onto him. “A week?” He winced at the way his voice cracked.
“Yeah, I spoke with one of the girls, not her parents, and asked her to meet with you later in the week.” Y/N explained, “her name is Elara, she’s in there.”
Frowning, Zuko reached for the binder and began to flip through the pages, “how’d you know I wasn’t going to get rid of her page?” Only to find the girl’s page, details on her personality, skills, hobbies and more on them.
A smirk spread across Y/N’s face, “she was one of few I was sure you’d keep.” With a sigh, Zuko looked back to Y/N, who still sat upside down, “now. You need to practice your romance skills, so come on.” She twisted her body, her legs falling to the side of the couch, and then moving onto the floor, Y/N stood. As the blood rushed to her head, a wave of dizziness came over her, and Y/N found herself stumbling slightly.
A hand came to her back and forearm, steadying her, “you need to practice walking.” Zuko laughed slightly, a nervous edge in his voice as he eyed her. 
Y/N brought a hand to her head as she laughed as well, “oh my...” Y/N blinked several times as the wave of dizziness passed, her hand gripping Zuko’s arm as she grounded herself. Looking up to him, she quickly realized how close they were and cleared her throat, releasing his arm.
He followed suit, removing his hands from her, “sorry-”
“You didn’t do anything wrong, Zuko.” 
The look her gives her almost hurts. Because Y/N can see the shock within his eyes as he nods slowly in response. She wonders what he’s thinking of as he she gives him a tight lipped smile, clapping her hands together as she turns back to him, “practice.” She repeated, mostly for herself.
And maybe offering to be the person he practiced on was her first mistake. 
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ATTEMPT FIVE
Y/N had learnt a lot about Zuko in the past four dates he’d been on. One of these things being the fact that Zuko was a wild card when it came to dates, and they seemed to either go very well with the girls contacting Y/N to let her know they wished for a second date, only for Zuko to reject the possibility. Or, they went very bad. And Zuko returned with some sort of drink splattered onto his clothing.
So, Y/N decided that the best course of action was to discover what exactly Zuko wasn’t mentioning, and to follow him with a disguise. Evelyn had suggested it, Iroh supported the idea full-heartedly, though Marcella had believed it would be a huge invasion of privacy, Y/N didn’t really care, seeing as it was her job to be involved in Zuko’s love life. She was getting paid to ensure he found love. 
And she was curious.
That’s how Y/N ended up dressed in some very suspicious Fire Nation clothing alongside her assistants and the apparent Dragon of the West, famous tea shop owner, and member of the royal family. 
What a wonderful assortment of people.
Marcella and Evelyn had separated from Iroh and Y/N, sitting in another booth across from them, it was a feeble attempt to keep them from sticking out. The girl had chosen a rather upscale restaurant, so dressing appropriately while also maintaining a look that prevented Zuko from recognizing them. 
Y/N pulled her hat further down on her face as she looked to Iroh, who was browsing the menu. She wouldn’t be shocked if he entered the kitchen just to make himself a ‘decent’ cup of tea. He’d been rather helpful during the whole process, anything she didn’t find out from Zuko, Y/N had learnt from Iroh. “See anything you like, Iroh?”
He smiled at her, nodding slowly, “I think I’ll just take some tea.” 
Looking to Marcella and Evelyn, Y/N smiles, the two are speaking with one another like they aren’t supposed to be spying on the Fire Lord. But Y/N doesn’t mind, this was more of a recreational activity anyways, and she was glad they were having fun. Since they’d gotten to the Fire Nation two months ago there had been an... adjustment period to put it simply.
Y/N nodded at Iroh’s statement, and her eyes fell back onto Zuko and his newest date, Amaya, she was a simple girl. She’d possessed organizational skills that Zuko lacked, planned dozens of events, had the expressive qualities that Zuko yearned for in a partner. Amaya was one of few that Y/N was sure Zuko would take a liking to. Especially since she also had training in a variety of fighting styles, and was quite the Firebender. She’d been a little skeptical when she first contacted Amaya, the girl seemed hesitant, but she agreed.
And from the looks of it, he had. The pair was laughing along with each other, but Y/N could see the way Zuko stiffened at any physical contact, in general he’d yet to relax. If Y/N was honest, it was basically like any first date, awkward.
Zuko didn’t really know how to feel about Amaya, she was what he should be looking for in a girl, everything he needed if he was honest. She had an interest in the art, something Zuko had never taken to and the main reason his palace looked, ‘dull’ as Y/N had put it. And she was expressive, the main issue he’d had with Mai was her lack of expression. But, for some reason, Zuko just couldn’t see her as anything more than a good friend. There was something... off about her.
“When that Earth Kingdom girl approached me, I was skeptical.” Amaya explained, taking a sip from her glass, “you know how most Earth Kingdom folk are...” She gave him a look as Zuko listened in confusion. “The Fire Nation citizens simply have more class.” Amaya settled for with a shrug.
Oh.
Zuko laughed nervously, “I’m not sure I understand. I find Earth Kingdom citizens pretty pleasant actually, and Y/N, the one you met, she’s actually very resourceful and kind.” His mind went to Toph as well, who had invented an entirely new type of bending. She was an impressive young woman from the Earth Kingdom, and Y/N was as well, she’d started her own business at a young age and turned it into something incredible.
“Really? She didn’t seem too smart when I met her, but who can say no to a meeting with the Fire Lord?” 
Zuko was pretty sure her words were meant to be taken as a joke. But Amaya wasn’t the first person Zuko had encountered with this mindset, she was just more subtle about it. The supremacy of the Fire Nation was still an idea that ran rampant in some people’s minds, though Zuko had dealt with most disputes regarding his peaceful relations with other nations. Many still missed the time when the Fire Nation practically owned the world, where Fire Nation citizens could treat the people who had their homes taken from them however they pleased.
It was a dark time in his nation’s history, nonetheless, several people missed it. This was something rather prevalent amongst Nobles though, they were the ones who lost an immense amount of land when the war had ended. Many of them were bitter about what had happened. 
If Zuko was honest, she’d probably had these ideas drilled into her since birth, and simply hadn’t grown out of them, which was a shame. But as the ruler of a nation, he couldn’t rule beside someone who looked down on others simply because they weren’t from the Fire Nation.
Zuko shook his head, “Y/N built her business from the ground up. And now she’s helping the Fire Lord get dates.” He knows he sounds defensive, as though he’s prepared to fight her, something his Uncle would likely scold him for, but he doesn’t care at the moment.
“All she does is set you up with people.” 
Zuko’s brows furrowed at this comment, and he raised a hand to get the attention of the waiter, “excuse me, could I get the check please?” The young man nodded, heading off to get the check, and Amaya looked at him incredulously. 
Y/N had done far more than set him up with people, she’d helped him begin planning a Gala, she’d tried her best to find a good assortment of people that would fit both Zuko’s needs and the Fire Nation’s, and that list was probably very difficult to narrow down. Zuko had seen the work she put in for formulating profiles of the potential suitors, and throughout all of it she had done nothing but support him. 
“What are you doing?” Amaya asked, shifting in her seat as she stared at Zuko quizzically.
The waiter came over and handed Zuko the check, and Zuko placed a pouch of money on the table, “thanks. Keep the change.” He explained, nodding to the boy, who’s mouth gaped open in surprise as he took the pouch of money, bowing to Zuko repetitively, though Zuko wasn’t paying much attention to him as he spoke to Amaya. “I don’t think this is going to work out, I’m sorry.”
Amaya is still seated in shock as Zuko rises from his table, and Y/N can’t help it when her mouth gapes open at the sight of him simply abandoning his date. She makes eye contact with Iroh, who raises a brow, and they both sit up. She moves to follow Zuko, only to bump into someone. 
“I’m so sorry!” Y/N exclaims, moving down to help them pick up their hat, that had fallen when they collided.
“No, that was my fault entirely!” He responds, shaking his head as they both leaned town to pick it up.
“Aang, come on! He’s leaving.” The woman behind him exclaims.
Y/N’s brows furrow in recognition as she looks up to see a blue arrow tattooed on the man’s head, and her eyes widen in realization. Zuko had described Aang several times during their conversations, he and the rest of his friends came up often. But Y/N did not expect the first time she met the Avatar and his friends to be when they were both following Zuko on his date.
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ATTEMPT FOURTEEN
Y/N simply sighs as she opens her door to see Zuko, in the outfit she’d helped him pick out. “What was it this time?” He’d been on thirteen dates thus far, and Y/N was slowly realizing that Zuko was likely one of her most difficult clients. This was purely because he’d yet to get a second date, though there had been offers, Zuko had declined all of them. 
“She was just-” His hands gestured rather broadly, he was practically throwing them into the air, “she was so rude to the waiter.” This had always been a dealbreaker for him, since he’d worked as a waiter in two different tea shops, Zuko had come to understand the importance of treating a waiter with kindness and how difficult the work could be. 
His eyes dart between Y/N and her door, she’s rubbing her eyes due to the exhaustion and Zuko can’t help the guilt that floods him. Nonetheless, she opens the door wider, heading inside her room and signaling for him to close it as she falls back onto her bed. “You were a waiter once, yeah?” He’d told her a fair share about his life in the Earth Kingdom, she’d inquired quite a bit about that part of his life. 
He asked about her life in the Earth Kingdom too, and she’d told him how poor life could be the in the outer rings, something he’d experienced for himself. Zuko listened as she describe living after her parents had died, working for a matchmaker only to discover she was actually good at the job, making a name for herself in the outer rings and then making her way inwards until she was one of the most sought after matchmakers in the kingdom. Y/N spoke of how she’d met Marcella and Evelyn, and how she’d taken them in when she’d discovered they were both orphans, living on the streets as pickpockets.
Zuko wouldn’t help but laugh at this, he could imagine Evelyn as a pickpocket, but Marcella? She was a sweet girl, he couldn’t imagine her in a life of crime. Of course, desperation made people do questionable things. Zuko knew that much from experience. 
“Yeah, I was.” Came his response, taking a seat in the chair by her desk. 
Y/N sat up in her bed, bracing herself with her elbows as she raised a brow at him, “what are you doing?”
Zuko frowned, shifting in the chair, “sitting...?” He moved to get up but Y/N waved him off.
“Just lay with me, idiot.” She allowed her head to fall back onto the bed, patting the spot beside her. Clearly, her suggestion wasn’t bothering her, but Zuko felt his face flush at the possibility.
If he’s honest, he’s not even trying anymore when it comes to dates and women and love. There were three reasons for this, one of which was the fact that he simply wasn’t connecting with any of the women he had met thus far. Sure they were nice, and they probably would be his type has it not been for reason two. The fact that Zuko had realized he had feelings for Y/N, what feelings? He wasn’t sure, but they sure as hell weren’t platonic, if they were he would not be blushing this much. He wouldn’t get that weird feeling in his stomach whenever he spoke to her.
Then there was was reason three, if Zuko succeeded in finding love, then Y/N would leave. It was selfish, but he already knew he wouldn’t find anyone considering he pretty sure he loved someone else already. So now, Zuko was basically procrastinating letting Y/N know that this just wasn’t going to work out, mostly because he didn’t have a plan.
He was debating just firing her, but that likely wouldn’t go over well, and he wanted to see her business succeed. If you get fired by the Fire Lord, that just looks bad. Now Zuko wondered what the best way to go about this was, since there was no point in working for him, even if she was getting paid. He was a waste of time. 
He couldn’t help the smile graced his lips as his own thoughts reminded him of the time she’d scolded him, telling him to quit being self-deprecating. 
Zuko sat up from the chair, making his way over to her bed, Zuko found himself simply plopping down onto it face first, earning a laugh from Y/N.
He rolled over onto his back, turning to look at Y/N, only to find her eyes were already on him, bringing a blush to his cheeks as he mumbled, “what?”
“I’m just trying to figure out why you haven’t gotten a second date yet.” Came her response, propping herself up on her forearm. “You have a nice personality, you’re attractive, I’m sure at least one of the girls caught your eye.” Y/N sighed, running a hand through her hair as she began to wonder if she’d incidentally allowed her own feelings to get in the way of her work. Maybe that’s why this was going so badly.
This was a problem. 
Zuko simply shook his head, his face on fire as he listened to her words, though he couldn’t help the hand he brought to the scar on his face. Y/N had pointed out before that he was allowing his Father to control his actions even now that he was imprisoned, and Zuko was beginning to see what she meant. 
Removing his hand from his face, Zuko sighed. Though he didn’t have much time to dwell on his thoughts as her hand hesitantly came to his face, placing a hand on his cheek and allowing her thumb to brush against the scar. Zuko jumped at the sudden contact, and Y/N moved to withdraw her hand almost instantly, but Zuko’s hand came to hers and held it there. Looking to her, he couldn’t read the look in her eyes as she gazed at him, and suddenly he wished he was as good at reading people as she was. 
“No self-deprecating thoughts.” Y/N mumbled, “bad Zuko.” She removed her hand from his to flick his head, causing his brows to furrow.
He pouted, and Y/N let out a laugh as he spoke, “how come you haven’t found someone?” Zuko looked to her, “you’re beautiful, and smart, and just... perfect.” He didn’t notice when her cheeks warmed, “you’re a literal matchmaker, surely you’ve considered who your perfect person is.” 
Y/N fell onto her back, running her hands over her face as she shook her head, “how have you not gotten a second date?” A sigh escaped her, “I haven’t had time for love before, and I just haven’t found that,” looking to him, she pursed her lips, “perfect person.” Growing up in the lower rings, she didn’t have time for an actual relationship, and her business as a matchmaker grew incredibly quickly. At the end of the day, long term just didn’t work out, Y/N barely had for herself, much less another person.
“I guess we both suck at love.” Zuko said, his tone was serious and Y/N couldn’t help but burst out into laughter as she swatted at his chest.
Too bad they couldn’t suck at love together. 
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ATTEMPT SEVENTEEN THROUGH TWENTY EIGHT
Smoothing over her green dress, a sign of her citizenship in the Earth Kingdom, Y/N moved to answer the knock on her bedroom door. Given how long she’d been in the Fire Nation, Y/N wondered if the Earth Kingdom would still feel like home when she returned. The idea of going back felt odd, and though that time likely wasn’t soon unless Zuko met the love of his life tonight, it was inevitable.
And it horrified her. 
Holding the edge of the dress slightly to make it easier to walk, Y/N sighed and opened the door, seeing Zuko. A small smile on her face as she eyed his Fire Nation robes, “you look nice.” She complimented, tilting her head at him as she allowed her eyes to travel over his figure.
Zuko nodded, a blush coming over her cheeks, his mouth gaping open as he looked at Y/N. “You look beautiful.” She did, the dress looked amazing on her, her hair styled just right, and bracelets adorning her wrists.
“Thank you, Fire Lord Zuko.” His nose crinkled at the use of his title, coming from her it felt even weirder, wrong almost. But she continued, “mind helping me out?” She asked, moving back to her desk and taking a necklace in hand. Y/N had been struggling to put it on for the past few minutes, and now she had someone to do it for her.
He nodded, closing the door behind him, he took the necklace from her hand, and when Y/N ensured her hair was out of his way, Zuko brought the necklace around her neck. He secured the clasp, hands lingering as he adjusted it to the center of her neck. Zuko couldn’t help but notice a small scar on her shoulder, hand brushing over it.
Y/N looked over her shoulder and to him, brow raised, “how’d you get this?” He asked, brows drawn together. His hand traced the raised skin gently, Y/n could feel her cheeks warming at his touch, inhaling deeply. 
She grimaced, “a knife fight I almost lost my life to.” Was her explanation. Y/N didn’t like to think back to the days when she’d resorted to several... questionable actions to stay alive. But she pushed those thoughts away as she turned to face him. “You ready?” Y/N asked, they had to get to the Gala soon, considering the fact that Zuko was the host, Y/N was shocked he’d even stopped by her room in the first place.
Zuko was silent, simply nodding as he extended his arm for her to take. And Y/N did, looping her arm around his as she smiled, “you are gonna woo so many Earth Kingdom women tonight!” Y/N exclaimed, more confidence in her voice than Zuko had.
Shame the only Earth Kingdom girl he wanted to ‘woo’ was her.
When they’d arrived at the Gala, descending the stairs together, they were greeted with the claps of the other guests. Zuko would feel the anxiety flood him, but he paid it no mind. Though Y/N could feel the way he stiffened as he ended his speech to the diplomats of all nations, “let this be a peaceful, and joyous night!” 
They all burst out into cheers before the party continued, the music starting once more, and everyone returning to feasting upon the buffet, dancing along the ballroom floor or speaking with one another. All while Y/N led Zuko down the stairs, dragging him by the hand, “come on. Enjoy your own party, meet some girls.” She winked, and Zuko swore his face heated up even more than it already had. 
Y/N wasn’t a fool, she knew that if she’d stuck by his side the entire night, she would serve as a repellant of any potential suitors. So naturally, much to Zuko and Y/N’s dismay, she removed herself from him, playfully shoving him towards a group of Earth Kingdom girls she’d mentioned earlier. Though there were several other clusters in the ballroom.
Zuko simply sighed, giving Y/N a small smile before making his way to the group of girls. If he was honest, he would rather be spending the Gala by her side, but he had to put in some effort. He owed Y/N that much. Besides, this was an entirely new group of girls, maybe he would find someone tonight. 
“Hi there.” Zuko greeted, waving awkwardly at the girls. 
This action earned him a few laughs, and he was unsure if they actually found it funny or felt the need to laugh since he was the Fire Lord. Shortly after they began introducing themselves, speaking like there was no tomorrow. 
If Zuko was honest, the number of women here was overwhelming. So, as he excused himself from the conversation, much to their chagrin, he placed his cup down on the platter of one of many waiters. Making his way outside, Zuko couldn’t help but feel relieved at the fresh air that hit him on the balcony. Though he contemplated heading back inside when he noticed another girl was already there, eyes shut as she faced the sky, she turned to see him, eyes widening a fraction. “I’m sorry, I can go-”
“No!” She exclaimed, cheeks flushing in embarrassment due to her outburst, “no... it’s fine.” She turned back to look at the sky, hand clasped together, fidgeting.
Zuko stepped forward, finding himself situated across from her, leaning against the railing, “so why are you out here?”
A small laugh escaped the girl, and she ran a hand through her hair, “it’s rather stress relieving. You have a lovely view in your palace.” 
He couldn’t help but feel disappointed when he realized she recognized him, though Zuko nodded along, “what’s your name? If you don’t mind me asking?” It was a stupid question, and Zuko nearly facepalmed as he pursed his lips.
“Aileen.” Came her response, and Zuko realized he recognized her name as well. She was the child of one of the more well known members of Fire Nation nobility, her parents had approached him in the past in hopes of arranging a marriage between the two of them. He had declined almost immediately. And now that Aileen turned to him, he had a feeling he made the right decision, “you’re Zuko, right?” 
He exhaled deeply, nodding, “that’s me.” Sometimes, Zuko wondered what his life would’ve been like if he wasn’t Zuko, perhaps things would’ve been simpler. No, things definitely would’ve been simpler. There would be no diplomatic meetings, no wars, no idiots trying to hurt other people, no more assassination attempts, no more fake smiles and no more Galas. Of course, if he wasn’t Zuko, he never would’ve met Y/N.
“I heard you’re looking for a partner in crime.” Aileen prompted, “why aren’t you in there finding that future love of your life?” 
Shrugging, Zuko looked up at the sky, “I found her. She just doesn’t want me.”
He can feel Aileen stare at him, she’s silent for a moment, and Zuko wonders what she’s thinking. Though he doesn’t need to wait long to find out as she responds, “I understand.” Aileen focuses her gaze on the glass she’d placed on the thick railing of the balcony, “the person I love probably doesn’t love me back. And even if they did, my parents disapprove.”
“Did you ask?” He felt hypocritical, Zuko himself had never spoken with Y/N in regards to his feelings, and he likely never would, but he wanted to know. “If they love you?”
Aileen laughs slightly, shaking her head, “I couldn’t bring myself to. I’m scared.” She replied, looking back to him curiously, “did you?”
“No.” He responded lamely, tapping his fingers against the railing with a sigh.
Aileen laughed at this, “I guess we are both cowards then.” She pursed her lips, “I didn’t ask because I was scared, why didn’t you?”
And then the words come spilling out, “whoever I end up with will greatly impact the whole world, whether I want to acknowledge it or not. And she doesn’t deserve that burden, nobody does.” He laughs bitterly as he continues, “she’s also the person that was hired to help me find love in the first place.” Zuko pauses, looking away from Aileen, “and I guess I’m scared too.”
“Ironic.” Aileen mumbles, bringing her eyes back to the sky, “let’s make a deal, Your Majesty.” 
Zuko cringes at the use of that title, almost asking her to simply refer to him by his name, though he simply responds, “what deal?”
“We both confess. And if it goes horribly wrong, we can get married.” 
Y/N can’t see the shock on Zuko’s face, but she can see how comfortable he feels with this girl, Y/N hadn’t seen her before, but she was just happy Zuko was connecting with someone. Except she also wasn’t, a bitter feeling enveloping her as she turned away, looking for something else to focus her attention on, something that didn’t hurt. 
She turned to see Marcella and Evelyn in the distance, speaking with each other. Y/N supposed if she wouldn’t be finding love tonight, then at least they would. She was no fool, she saw the way they looked at each other, the glances when the other wasn’t looking. Maybe it was dumb, but Y/N found herself feeling jealous as she moved over to the buffet with a sigh. Food solved everything in her experience, after a client had a particularly bad day, food made things better.
“Perhaps some tea?” Iroh stood beside her, a kettle in his hand, he had insisted he serve tea at the Gala, though Zuko had assured him it would be just as easy to find someone else to do the job.
Y/N smiled at him, nodding as she took a cup from the array of them within the buffet, allowing Iroh to pour her some tea. “Thank you, Iroh.” Her voice is quieter than normal, and it’s clear that Iroh can tell something is wrong.
“You know, you deserve to be happy to Y/N.” His words catch her by surprise, though she doesn’t have much time to consider their meaning before flames lighting the room begin to move erratically, causing her brows to furrow.
Something was wrong. 
Iroh nods to her, placing the tea kettle down as his brow furrow and she nods back, Iroh disappearing into the crowd of people. Y/N’s eyes fall back to Marcella and Evelyn, and she quickly moves to their side of the room, ignoring the hush that had fallen over the room, panicked gasps amongst them. Her hands fall onto both girl’s arms as she nods to them, “Y/N, whats going-”
Y/N is already dragging them in the direction of the exit, “get out of here, find the guards. I’m going to find Zuko.” The girls didn’t have much time to argue, as Y/N was already working her way through the panicked crowd, back to the balcony where she’d last seen Zuko. But, people were already pushing against her movements, making it difficult. Raising her head above the crowd in an attempt to see what’s going on, Y/N realizes whats happening. 
Firebenders were trying to force them together, and Y/N couldn’t help but panic as she wondered if Marcella and Evelyn managed to escape and find the guards. 
This was an ambush.
No, this was an assassination attempt. Zuko already knew as he watched the atmosphere of the party begin to shift, that and the person who stood before him in all black, brandishing several weapons. Alongside four others who stood by her side. 
“You know, it wasn’t until I met you that I realized how bad it had gotten.” Aileen stood beside Zuko, eyes meeting his in horror as they exchanged looks. Zuko simply hoped the nod he gave her provided some semblance of comfort as he returned his attention to the person before him. “I mean, defending some lowly Earth Kingdom matchmaker? What type of career even is that?” 
Her voice is almost maniacal, and Zuko can’t help but wince as he feels reminded of his sister. But he recognizes it nonetheless, Amaya. It had been months since he’d seen her, but he could still remember her voice. Her face was covered by a mask, and she wielded a sword, and if Zuko remembered correctly, she had been trained in dozens of fighting styles and was a talented bender herself. Alongside the four other men, Zuko couldn’t help but panic internally as he spoke, “Amaya, why don’t you put the swords down, and we talk about this.”
She laughs in response, ripping the mask that covered her face off and throwing it aside, “people have tried to talk to you about this. Your-” She grappled for the word, a hand yanking at her hair as she gestured to him with a sword, “your radical ideas!” 
Zuko didn’t find having morals radical, but he wasn’t going to say that, not while Aileen’s life was on the line. Zuko suddenly realized why having an heir was important as he shook his head, “Amaya, look. Why don’t you let Aileen here leave, and then you and I can talk.” 
Aileen looks like she’s going to protest, but Amaya glances at her red robes, a sign of her Fire Nation citizenship, and gestures for her to leave. “Get out. My problem isn’t with you.” 
When Aileen doesn’t move, Amaya quickly grows frustrated, calling out to one of the guards she’d brought along that lied inside, “take this fool away.” 
There’s no response, and Zuko can see panic flood Amaya’s face. And looking behind her, he quickly realizes that most of the guards have been subdued, Y/N holding one of them in her arms as she knocks them to the ground. Moving towards the balcony stealthily as Amaya’s hands begin to shake, fire sparking in her palms as she focused her attention onto Zuko. “You’re going to pay for what you’ve done to our nation.” 
But Zuko wasn’t looking at her as he shook his head, hoping Y/N would understand. There was no way she could overpower Amaya, not with her bending. Y/N didn’t even have a weapon.
Now, Y/N knew for a fact that no matter how talented Zuko was, he wouldn’t put the girl beside him in danger. His priority would be keeping her alive, and given the training Amaya had as a noble, in both Firebending and fighting, she might even be as good as Zuko in a fight.
Meaning she had to be taken out of the fight.
Everything happened pretty fast after that. Zuko was shielding body coming forward to shield Aileens as he extended his freehand to Firebend at the people who’d surrounded them, only for Amaya to move out of the way. The girl was practically screaming bloody murder as she lunged at him, now wielding her sword. 
Zuko didn’t have to figure out what to do next because Y/N moved faster than Amaya did, tackling the girl over the railing and down below as he began to scream. 
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THE FINAL ATTEMPT
Zuko’s knee is bouncing rapidly as he sits beside Iroh, who knits a scarf of some sort despite the blistering heat of the Fire Nation. He’s insisted that when Y/N returned to the Earth Kingdom she’d need it, and Zuko didn’t have the heart to disagree. Iroh had started stress-knitting about four hours ago, when Y/N had entered the room they all sat before, anxiously awaiting news of her condition.
Marcella and Evelyn are to Zuko’s left, Marcella’s sobs had quieted down, but Zuko wouldn’t be shocked if he looked over and saw tears silently streaming down her face. The girl hadn’t taken it well. Evelyn remained composed, doing her best to comfort Marcella, but the wait was clearly getting to her as well as she fidgeted with Marcella’s hands.
Seeing as Y/N had fallen from several stories up off the balcony and into the water below, Zuko didn’t really think it was possible to take the news well. But he was trying. 
A pang sounded from inside the room, and Zuko practically shot up onto his feet, moving to knock on the door to discover was was wrong, only for Iroh to grab his wrist, shaking his head. Zuko exhaled deeply, beginning to pace across the hall. He found himself wishing that Katara hadn’t been busy with Water Tribe business, she was an excellent healer. Alas, Katara wasn’t there, and Zuko had to settle for one of the skilled Water Tribe diplomats instead, alongside a few others skilled in medicine. 
As he paced, Zuko could feel Evelyn’s eyes on him, and it became clear she was itching to speak and he sighed, “what’s wrong?” There were dozens of answers to this question, the main one being the fact that Y/N could die today, so he hoped she understood what he meant.
The girl is glaring at him, and Zuko can’t help but feel uneasy. Because maybe she blames him for this as much as he blames himself, and maybe she’s going to tell him off, blame him for everything. Because if Y/N dies, she and Marcella will have no one again. 
Not that Zuko would allow that. He’d grown attached to the girls as well, they were kind, and helpful. They’d help improve the interior decor of the palace, and if he was honest, it looked better than anything he ever could’ve done.
“You better tell her how you feel after this.”
Zuko’s mouth gapes open at the girl’s words, and he swears the breath leaves his longs, and its as though everything hits him then. 
He would never get to tell Y/N how he felt if she died. He’d never get to listen to her try and tell a story just to go off on dozens of tangents, he’d never get to watch as she attempted to cook again, and he’d never get to hold her in his arms once more. There would be no more late night talks, and he wouldn’t hear her laugh, she wouldn’t tease him anymore and they wouldn’t walk through the courtyard feeding turtleducks again.
She’d never know he loved her.
Zuko finds himself nodding to Evelyn’s words, frozen in place as he looks to her and asks, “was I that obvious?” His voice is hoarse, and its probably because he didn’t stop screaming, even when Y/N’s body hit the water. 
Marcella is laughing at his words, blowing her nose into a tissue that Evelyn hands her before she speaks, “painfully obvious.”
“For someone who’s job revolves around love, Y/N is one of the most oblivious people I’ve ever met.” Evelyn grumbles out, rubbing her eyes as she yawns.
It was late, Zuko knew that much, the guests of the party had gone to the infirmary in the palace, being tended to by doctors and any other available healers if injured. Otherwise, they’d all returned to their rooms to sleep, or more likely stay up in fear of another attack. Zuko surely would.
“Go to bed guys, it’s getting late.” 
Evelyn looks at him like he’s one of the dumbest people she’s met, and if Zuko was honest, he probably was. But he simply nodded to Marcella, who had started leaning her head against Evelyn’s shoulder, eyes fluttering shut. “Uncle, why don’t you take them back to their rooms?”
Considering the fact that Zuko’s guards were around the corner, he wasn’t scared for his safety, but their presence just made him want to remain awake. 
“Nephew, you should sleep as well.” His Uncle replied, though he rose from his seat, bringing the yarn and the start of the scarf under his arm. 
Zuko gave his Uncle a smile, “I will. But if anything happens before then, I’ll be sure to alert you all.” He assured, nodding to Evelyn, who eyed him wearily. But she relented, shaking Marcella gently before standing up alongside her and Iroh. 
When they were out of sight, Zuko plopped back down in the seat, his elbows resting on his knees as he brought his hands to his face.
And for the first time in the night he cried, his body racked with sobs as tears streamed down his face and he struggled to breathe. The pain of all that had happened felt almost unbearable. She had to live. Y/N had to live. Because Zuko was going to confess. 
His fear of losing her outweighed his fear of rejection.
Wiping his tears away, Zuko suddenly felt grateful that Evelyn had left the box of tissues as he blew his nose. He sighed, his eyes piercing the door, hoping that something would happen.
As though his stare had willed her to exit the room, the healer came out, a grimace on her face as she looked to Zuko, likely because of his bloodshot eyes. The woman simply sighed, the grimace becoming a more sympathetic look. “Miss L/N lost a lot of blood... several of her bones were broken when she hit the water, especially her ribs. Her internal organs were damaged as well and... well it wasn’t very likely for her to survive.”
She’s dead.
Y/N is dead.
Oh.
“Wow, you look like a mess.” 
Zuko’s head whips up, his eyes meeting Y/N’s, she’s leaning against a wooden crutch, grinning lazily at him. The healer beside her looks rather apologetic as she frantically explains, “she woke up far quicker than we anticipated and only agreed to rest if we participated in her rather cruel prank.”
So, she wasn’t a ghost.
Zuko launches himself up from the chair, nearly tackling Y/N, but the wooden crutch she uses for support serves as a reminder of her fragile state as he asks, “can I hug you?”
Her smile falters at the sound of his voice, hoarse and jagged, so she simply extends are free arm outward. Zuko takes this as an invitation for a hug, gently wrapping his arms around her waist and burying his head in her neck, Y/N wrapped her free arm around his neck, hand finding its way to the hair at the nape of his neck. “Im s-”
“It’s not your fault Zuko. I swear if you say its your fault I will throw myself over the balcony again.” She threatened, hand tightening in his hair.
Zuko laughs quietly, inhaling deeply before he speaks again, “please never do that again.” 
“I make no promises.”
Sighing, Zuko releases her, “I hate you so much.” 
Y/N scoffed, “you love me.” She was limping over to the bed in the middle of the room, blood coating the surrounding area. Though the doctors in the room were moving across the room that they’d placed Y/N on, and dealt with her injuries on, Zuko couldn’t help but feel sick at the sight.
She could’ve died.
“Yeah, I do.”
Y/N pauses, turning to look back at him, her mouth gapes open. Zuko’s looking away, eyes on anything but her as he inhales deeply.
The healer simply sighs, “before we do this, I should inform the two of you that Miss Y/N cannot do any... strenuous activities for at least one month.”
Zuko’s cheeks are flushing red as he shakes his head rapidly, “ma’am-”
“We’ll be taking our leave. Have fun, but not too much fun. Please.” The woman closes the door behind her once the other doctors are out of the room, and Y/N can’t stop laughing at the mortified expression on Zuko’s face, despite the sharp pain she feels in her ribs.
Taking a seat on the fresh sheets of the bed, Y/N sighs, “so you love me?” She’s picking at the sheets, “as a friend?”
Zuko suddenly realizes just how right Evelyn was as he slowly shakes his head, “no. More than a friend. I think I inadvertently sabotaged half of the dates you sent me on because of it.”
Y/N laughs quietly, eyes falling on Zuko only to see he’s looking anywhere but her, she calls out to him quietly, “Zuko. Look at me.”
He doesn’t hesitate to bring his gaze to her, eyes meeting hers as he begins to fidget with his hand. Y/N simply reaches her hand out, and he takes it. “I love you too, idiot.” She mumbles, pulling him closer and wrapping her arms around his waist. “I just wish you had told me sooner so I didn’t waste so much time trying to set you up with other women.” 
A small laugh escapes him as he brings his hand to her hair, “how do I know you weren’t purposely giving me bad matches because you were in love with me?” 
Y/N removes her head from his stomach, looking up at him, her nose crinkles, “unlike you, I am a professional.” Zuko flicks her forehead, and Y/N pouts at him, hand coming up to his face, “can I kiss you?”
She can feel his face warm, but he nods rather enthusiastically nonetheless, and Y/N finds herself smiling at his as she uses her hands to pull his face downward towards her. His lips meet hers, and Zuko finds himself feeling complete, hands coming to Y/N’s face in an attempt to pull her closer while hers move to his ball up his robes that he’d yet to change.
 Zuko pulls away first, forehead resting on hers, “you need to sleep.” 
Y/N scoffed, eyes narrowing at him, “you need to sleep.” Looking to the bed, she raises a brow at him, “wanna lay with me?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, I could accidentally injure you or-”
Rolling her eyes, Y/N yanks him onto the bed, making her way to the other side and getting comfortable, “I’ll be fine.”
Yeah, everything would be fine. Maybe not for the Fire Nation, seeing as Y/N would potentially help rule a nation but...
Everything would be fine.
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in·am·o·ra·ta/iˌnaməˈrädə/
noun
a woman with whom one is in love or has intimate relations.
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A/N: i hope this was good enough!!! i tried!!! and idk how it ended up over 12k... that’s crazy man um kjhdsajfhjkah omg i really liked this concept though i hope i did it justice
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TAGLISTS [lmk if you want to be added or removed via askbox or replies]
ATLA: @bubblebars​ @jada-cleo​ @Art-flirt @the-deli-meat​ @wemissyou3000​ @ajediherowitchrunner​
ZUKO: @outerxorbit @shawkneecaps @lil-lex1 @boxofteenageideas @izzieserra @eridanuswave @bigbuckyenergy @celamoon @savemesteeb @shephard17895 @ijustwannabecanadian @duh-dobrik @anime-simp @lammello  
4K notes · View notes
maddywritez · a year ago
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during my break?
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pairing: zuko x reader
request: Hi! can I request a zuko x reader where sokka keeps flirting wt her but is turned down every time bc she’s engaged but didn’t say to who. She wore neutral clothes and said she’s a non bender so the gaang doesn’t know which nation she’s from. They only find out who she’s engaged to and where she’s from when they have a run in wt zuko and had a fire bending duel between y/n and him (they kept flirting wt e/o while bending) then kissed mid-battle (“I’m confused are they fighting or flirting?”)
a/n: i’m so sorry that i changed the end part. i did try to write a sparring/fighting part but when i was done with it, i just wasn’t that happy with it :( i also feel like i wrote him a lil ooc so sorry about that too if it bothers you
**
“Honestly,” Sokka crossed his arms. “I think she’s lying with the whole engagement spiel.” Aang snorted loudly, his shoulders shaking violently at Sokka’s claim as he tried to lessen his laughter. He saw straight through the younger boy’s poor attempts. “I’m serious!” He spoke emphatically. That had caused Aang to howl into laughter.
The type of laughter where you can’t help but to gasp for air after a minute of laughter as tears were slowly fighting their way to escape. That kind of laughter.
Sokka’s accusation had even caused a look of bewilderment from Toph, who sat across the room.
She sat up from her previous relaxed state, and asked into the room, “Have you ever thought about - I don’t know -” She shrugged, “maybe she genuinely doesn’t like you like that and wants to let you down easy?” This had caused a second wave of hysterical laughter from Aang due to the blank stare Sokka sent towards the blind bender.
You and Katara were currently out of the luxurious house in Ba Sing Se, searching for various things in the market to cook at the temporary home. Sokka believed this was the best time to seek the most reasonable possibility. You have rejected him several times and he has attempted to ask you out.
After another minute of Aang’s wheezes, his laughter already dissipated, he raised Toph’s possibility, “Yeah! Plus, we don’t really know where she’s from, so she could actually be engaged.” Toph nodded in agreement, fingers tapping at her chin in deep thought. Sokka scoffed at both tween’s attempts to reason.
When Sokka declined the two girls' offer to join them in the market, he had the intention of gaining the support and to brainstorm with the other two on why you were lying to him. He didn’t want actual possible hypotheticals.
It seemed like he was purposefully ignoring the two as he suggested, “I think we should follow her.” He wore a smug grin, as if his plan was supposed to earn praise. When he had little to no response, excluding the cough from Aang, his eyes blinked open. 
Sokka excused with a stammer as he could feel the judgement radiating off their gazes, “I-I mean- she literally leaves on her own and won’t come back for hours!”
Aang tried to make an excuse for you, him not seeing it as much as an issue as Sokka, “I dunno’, maybe she got a job?”
“When we live here? Part of the upper rings? Pffft, yeah right.” Sokka rolled his eyes.
“Sokka might be onto something-” Toph briefly nodded as her own curiosity peaked through her tone.. The conversation ended there as you bumped the door open with your hip, both yours and Katara’s arms full of various fruits and perishable goods.
Whilst the three begrudgingly got up to assist putting away the purchases items, they all recollected the times where you would dismiss their questions with a toothy grin and a ‘shooing’ motion wave, as you would coo, “It doesn’t matter, does it?” By that point, it was Katara who would support your decision of remaining the mysterious figure in the entire group. It didn’t bother anyone that much, except for Sokka.
It wasn’t because he didn’t trust you, either. He accepted the fact that you didn’t feel the same infatuation as he did, and he respected that, but being engaged so young? It seemed too good to be true.
That’s why Sokka found himself, a trail of two preteens behind, following you with terrible disguises. Occasionally, whenever you would halt before a stall and carry friendly chatter with the business owner, Sokka would put his arm back to halt the two. 
Katara, obviously, dismissed their activity with a shaking head. She had jabbed at Sokka’s forehead, for one, dragging Aang and Toph into your personal business, and two, for not understanding that there would be nothing between the two of you.
Sokka couldn’t help but notice, the way you spoke to the small business owners as you ventured further into the lower rings. It was simple small talk as you fiddled with the knick knacks that they were selling. He didn’t question the various toys or snacks you peered at, but his interest was piqued when he saw you roll a pair of rings between the pads of your fingers.
“What’s she looking at?” Aang questioned, standing on his toes whilst his hands rested on Sokka’s shoulders for some sort of balance. They watched as you handed the elderly woman, who stood behind the table full of various pieces of jewelry, several silver coins and off you went.
Toph crossed her arms, muttering as she followed behind the two boys, “This is boring. I should’ve just stayed with Katara.” She declared with a scowl as she began sauntering back towards the upper rings of Ba Sing Se.
The boys continued their investigation of your possible ‘secret’ life outside the secluded group. They had followed you until you reached a tea shop. Already, this had caused Sokka and Aang to tilt their heads in confusion.
“Do you see her fiancé?” Aang inquired before leaning around Sokka’s taller frame.
From across the crowded street, they watched as you seated yourself at an empty table. Zuko had hastily untied his apron, handing it on one of several hooks against the wall, as he spoke to his uncle, “I’m taking my break now, Uncle.” He had barely missed Iroh’s soft smile and his murmur, “Young love.”
“Oh my god - she actually has a fiancé!” Aang snorted at the sight of a man sitting beside you whilst pressing a chaste kiss against your temple to force your attention from the flyers strewn against the wall, unaware that it was Zuko.
“Bleh - it’s like they’re a married couple.” Sokka wrinkled his nose. Though, this had caused Aang to remind him, “But, Sokka, technically, they are.”
Sokka gave a mere shrug before leading the way back towards the upper rings and the various shopping stalls. He still held his own suspicions, but the small voice in the back of his head - who was typically Katara’s ‘words of wisdom’ - had pressured him to leave you and your supposed fiancé in the moment the two of you shared. He wasn’t prepared for the downfall of his ego at Katara’s words he just knew she was going to say, “Just admit you’re wrong!” He sighed at the thought.
Ever since the day you had tackled him when he shuffled outside of the tea shop as the day was setting, Zuko found a sense of giddiness and adoration wash over him as he spent his breaks basking in soft laughter and recollection of your respected journeys up to this moment.
It took one glance at the way your lips curled upwards to greet him for Zuko to pinch your cheek. “You keep coming here is starting to make me think you like me or something,” He tittered, seeing the way your face grew into a scowl that you’ve managed to maintain since your shared childhood filled with babyfaces and squeals of laughter.
Zuko didn’t stop you as you leaned until your lips slotted against his in a way that he would describe as blissfully perfect. To his disappointment, you pulled away almost as soon as it ended to mumble, “I got you something.” This had his brows furrowed in confusion as he pulled back whilst you opened your palm to him.
In the center of your palm laid two gold bands. Although the mediocre condition they were in, he couldn’t help but feel a rush of excitement run through his body. 
He spoke softly, as it seemed best to fit the quiet atmosphere of the tea shop, “Why’d you buy them?” After gently placing the rings on the table that you both leaned against, you grasped the thicker one and his left hand. “I figured since we don’t know exactly when we’ll get married,” Your nimble fingers pushed the dulled golden band up his ring finger. “This would be just as good.”
Zuko spoke with a lilt in his tone, “Are we getting married? In the middle of my break?” His emphasis had caused a flurry of giggles to slip past your lips as he grasped the more dainty golden band and your left hand. “I’m kidding - I love it,” He assured. Now, he had something to fiddle with in any sparse time he managed to find, which he was mildly satisfied with. Though, seeing the ring hugging your finger - the one he placed there - had caused his heart to swell, and that was more satisfactory than the newly found opportunity to have a small ‘toy’ always in his grasp.
He pressed his lips against the jewel that jutted out from the dulled gold band. “-but I’m going to buy us better rings for our wedding.” You rolled your eyes at his words, but that didn’t mean you thought he was lying.
These were the moments you began to cherish, especially in the midst of tough times you found yourself in alongside the others. After his banishment, there weren’t that many shared letters between the two of you, but you understood to an extent. Zuko was still the grump you knew, who held his nose high when it regarded Azula or the whereabouts of the Avatar - not knowing you were working beside him. It wasn’t rare to see Zuko as sweet as he was now, but there was an obvious difference between post-banishment and the present.
You were so caught up in the comparison of the past and the current moment, you almost missed Zuko’s words spoken against your temple, “Spend the night with me.” Once he finished speaking, he pressed another kiss against your temple. He knew you were drifting off in thoughts. The specific thoughts, he didn’t know, but he did crave the attention back onto him. The two of you knew that he wasn’t suggesting anything crude. 
To your eyes, it would’ve been treated like a silly sleepover you would share with Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee years ago, where giggles and gossip would occur. For Zuko, his intentions were simply to eat dinner with you and Iroh, press his lips against yours several times, then end the long day by nestling against your frame until sleep washed over the two of you.
“You know I can’t,” You raked your fingers through his growing hair, a small pout playing across your face. “Just say you’re going to bed early and sneak out to avoid your parents.” Zuko murmured as he pushed your head until he could rest his chin on the top of your head.
Your parents. Unbeknownst to him, your ‘parents’ were Katara and Sokka in the upper ring.
Despite how it became mildly uncomfortable, you dropped your head against his shoulder. He tried to further persuade you, “I can wait for you outside and I probably can buy the three of us dinner and if you don’t want to share the futon, I’ll sleep on the floor-” Zuko’s words came to a stop when he felt your head shake against his shoulder.
He knew he sounded desperate, and that was because he was.
“I miss you, that’s all.” He spoke as if he needed an excuse, “I miss you more than my fifteen minute break every other day.” This time, you nodded against him to agree, “I miss you too, Zuko.”
There was a sigh from the entryway from the back of the shop. “Honeymoon’s over.” Iroh smiled softly. It was nice to see his nephew in a state of calm and comfort, especially if it was caused by you. 
You attempted to ignore the way Zuko’s fingers loosely curled into the fabric of your shirt as you stood up. “I gotta go,” You murmured, raising his left hand and pressing a peck against the gold band around his finger, as he had done earlier. The flush against Zuko’s paler cheeks wasn’t ignored, but also not spoken about as you bid a goodbye to both Zuko and Iroh with a wave.
“So,” Iroh goaded, “If the two of you were curious about baby names, I would be honored if you decided upon ‘Iroh’.” 
Zuko let out a groan.
Already, he found his fingers swiveling the gold ring around his finger, staring fondly at your small figure as you returned to the upper rings.
“Is that a wedding ring I see? What happened during your break?”
“Uncle!”
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beifongsss · a year ago
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flirt [zuko]
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Pairing: Zuko x earthbender!reader baybeeeeee
Summary: An anon request <3 “ zuko and a super outgoing/confident/flirty reader? all the fics i’ve seen so far are super shy reader x zuko, they’re super cute, just not very relatable to me lol”
i hope i do your request justice :3 also i’m sorry that I keep making the reader a bender but this fits bc they have to fight Zuko lol
.masterlist.
~
You don’t even know how you ended up traveling with the Gaang.
One day you had been living in a small Earth Kingdom town, helping out the Beifongs as Toph’s etiquette tutor and the next, you found yourself being tugged away from your home by the youngest Beifong. You couldn’t deny the fact that you finally felt free flying on the (abnormally cute) sky bison as you headed to who-knows-where.
You had nothing left for you back in the Earth Kingdom town you had been born in. You were the only daughter of a well-known family who had always been loyal to the Earth King. Unfortunately, they had been captured on a trip to Ba Sing Se and subsequently killed by the Fire Nation. With no family left to turn to, you proceeded to accept the Beifong’s offer to stay with them in return for you teaching Toph about high class etiquette.
Toph was an interesting girl and you found yourself being impressed with everything she did. You were always her number one supporter, especially when it came to her being The Blind Bandit. She was an extremely talented bender and in return for you tutoring her, she was your bending instructor and you became her only most promising student.
Eventually, Aang, Katara, and Sokka all filled you in about the banished Fire Nation prince and how he had chased the Gaang everywhere they had gone in an attempt to capture the Avatar. You and Toph were upset at the stories and were immediately anti-Zuko, promising to help Aang master earthbending as fast as possible.
You got along well with everyone, especially Sokka who was almost as talkative as you were. Of course the good vibes didn’t last long and you all found yourselves arguing as you found yourselves being chased by Azula and her friends. The situation had culminated in a battle at a small, abandoned town. You had arrived to see Aang being cornered by two people, each of them throwing fire towards the young Air Nomad.
Engaging with the person closest to you, you thrust your hands out, shooting a pillar of earth out and tossing the person into the closest building. Sharing a look with Aang, you waved him off. “Go! I’ll hold him off.”
“Be careful,” Aang warned, looking towards Azula uncertainly. “That’s Zuko.”
Your eyes widened as Aang ran off before turning your attention back to the boy in front of you. He struggled to get up before a burst of fire left him, sending rock debris everywhere. Quickly, you sent up another wall of earth, protecting yourself from the flying rocks before breaking it apart and sending it towards Zuko. The banished prince grunted before throwing a few fireballs towards you, causing you to stumble back and fall.
Eyes narrowing, Zuko made his way to you, pulling back his fist as fire formed around it. Groaning, you sat up, finally getting a good look at the boy in front of you. Almost immediately, a flirty smirk made it’s way onto your face. You quickly scrambled to your feet, bouncing up to him without any hesitation. You dodged his attacks, fighting back as you bit your lip.
“So...you’re Zuko?” you asked, dodging another punch. At this point, you were engaging in hand to hand combat instead of relying on your earthbending. Zuko didn’t reply, his eyes narrowing as he kept sending blasts of fire again.
“Aang told us about how you haven’t been able to capture him,” you continued, blinking innocently as Zuko became visibly angry. “But he failed to mention just how handsome you are.”
At your words, Zuko’s eyes widened and he misstepped, losing his focus at your words. You took that opportunity to step back as well before taking a strong step and raising your hands, encasing the banished prince in a slab of rock.
“Let me go!” Zuko cried out, steam coming out of his nose as he struggled. You stood in front of him, arms crossed as you stared at him. He truly was handsome, with piercing gold eyes and soft-looking black hair. You opened your mouth to speak, only to be interrupted by Sokka.
“(Y/N)! A little help here?” the Water Tribe boy yelped, narrowly dodging a blast of blue fire from Azula.
“Coming!” you replied, eyebrows furrowing in slight concern before you addressed Zuko once more. “It was real nice meeting you Prince Zuko. I hope to see you again under more pleasurable circumstances.”
With a wink, you sprinted away, jumping in front of Sokka and sending up a wall of earth as Azula struck again.  You continued to sprint around, helping out whenever called out to you. The fight came to an end when you all had Azula cornered, and you sent a brief smirk to Zuko as you saw him standing near you. “Finally made it out huh?”
He had glowered at you and you simply rolled your eyes before turning back to Azula. “The whole tough guy act is hot but something tells me you’d look better with a smile.”
You missed his surprised look as Azula shot a blast of fire towards an older man, who you later learned was Zuko’s uncle Iroh. In the ensuing chaos she escaped, and you were left with a shaken Zuko and an injured Iroh. At Zuko’s threats insistence, the five of you left, looking back at him as you flew off on Appa. It was silent for a few minutes before you finally spoke up. “So, why didn’t you guys mention that Prince Zuko is hot?”
The only sound that was heard was Sokka slapping his forehead.
~
The next time you saw Zuko was in Ba Sing Se. You had been walking around with Katara, having stayed behind with her to plan the invasion. She was talking quietly as you looked around the city, pretending to be listening to her. On your shoulder, Momo was chattering quietly, also looking around with his large eyes.
You sighed softly as you entered a cozy-looking tea shop. You looked around in appreciation before you heard Katara gasp. Quickly, she grabbed your hand and whirled around hurrying out of the shop. You felt yourself crash into someone else, losing Katara’s hand and falling to the ground. You looked at the door before looking at Momo, shaking your head at Katara’s weird behavior.
“Are you alright?” a soft voice ask. You pushed yourself up, ignoring the hand in front of you before looking up. Your eyes widened in surprise as you found yourself staring at Zuko’s uncle. Iroh, you recalled vaguely. Recognition flashed in his eyes as he looked at you, remembering you as the earthbender who had trapped his nephew. Bracing yourself for the worst possible scenario, you nodded in response to his question, holding Momo to your chest.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” the retired general asked, a warm smile on his face as he guided you to a table. “You look like a jasmine type of girl.”
Sensing no ill intentions from the smiling man, you nodded. “Jasmine happens to be my favorite.”
“I see. It is my nephew’s favorite as well,” Iroh continued, gesturing to the boy behind the counter. You smiled as you noticed Zuko standing behind the counter, his back to you as he focused on whatever he was doing. Noticing your smile at the sight of his nephew, Iroh smiled as well. “I’ll send him over to give you your tea.”
“I would greatly appreciate that,” you said, your eyes not leaving the handsome boy.
You played with Momo when Iroh left, silently speaking to the winged lemur as you waited for your tea. You placed Momo in your lap when you heard someone set down a tray on your table, looking up to see Zuko standing there. “Hey handsome.”
Zuko glanced at you, doing a double take when his eyes met yours. “Y-You!”
He grasped your hand, pulling you out of your seat and towards the back as you struggled to hold on to Momo.
“Ow! Ow! Can you stop?” you hissed, pulling your hand away from him. You placed Momo on your shoulder before rubbing your wrist. You glanced down at it, noticing how raw it looked. “You really need to learn how to control your temper Zuko.”
“What happened here?” Iroh’s asked before Zuko could speak again. He gently took your hand in his inspecting the burn before turning to his nephew. “Now Lee, is this any way to treat our customers?”
“She isn’t a customer uncle,” Zuko replied bluntly. “She’s traveling with the Avatar. She is the earthbender who fought me the day you were injured.”
“You’re the earthbender who trapped my nephew?” Iroh looked at you in surprise. You nodded, causing the older man to chuckle. “You are a very talented bender.”
You blushed at the compliment before answering, thinking about Toph. “Thank you, I was trained by the best.”
“We must get this wrapped up. Come with me,” Iroh led you to a back room, where he proceeded to get some type of salve and some wrappings. “Zuko if you could please do this for me, I’m afraid I have to get back to the customers.”
Iroh left the two of you, but not before stopping and handing Momo a few litchi nuts. Momo chittered before jumping off your shoulder, landing on a windowsill as he began eating the fruit. You glanced at the burn once more before looking back at Zuko. “You know, you just gave the term ‘too hot to handle’ a whole new meaning.”
Zuko tried to hold his blush back at your words as he sat in front of you. He grabbed your arm, applying the paste and then gathering the wrappings, beginning to tie them around your wrist.
You hissed when he tightened it a little too much, pulling away from the boy. “Ow! If I wanted you to be rough with me I would’ve told you.”
This time, Zuko could not hold his blush at your double entendre. A faint smirk appeared on your face as you began to wrap your wrist.
“Let me do it,” Zuko muttered reaching for your arm.
“No,” you replied leaning away. “Trust me I can do it myself.”
“Why are you being so difficult,” the boy groaned, lunging for the wrapping. You leaned back too far, falling onto your back as you reached out for something to grab on to. The only thing you succeeded in doing was pulling Zuko down with you.
You stared at the boy above you. “When I told you that I hope we’d meet under more pleasurable circumstances, this wasn’t what I had in mind. Not that I’m complaining.”
Zuko stuttered for a few second before deciding to scowl at you instead.
“If I had known I was interrupting, I would’ve stayed outside. Prince Zuko, I never knew you were so good with the ladies,” Iroh’s voice floated in. You sat up immediately, only succeeding in getting closer to the prince. You tried to ignore the blush that you knew was visible on your cheeks.
“I would be honored to be wooed by such an attractive man,” you said, looking up at Zuko through your eyelashes. Iroh raised an eyebrow. “Unfortunately, I simply fell back and pulled your nephew down with me.”
“Well, as an apology on his behalf from earlier, let me offer you a nice warm cup of jasmine tea,” Iroh said, setting down a tray. “On the house.”
You smiled as you pulled yourself up, leaving Zuko on the ground. “It smells delicious but I am afraid I must get going. Katara must be wondering where I am. Thank you very much for the offer.”
You bowed before whistling sharply, causing Momo to fly to your shoulder.
“My nephew will walk you out. It was nice to met you...” Iroh trailed off as he realized that he had never asked for your name.
“My name is (Y/N),” you supplied, smiling.
“A truly beautiful name,” Iroh said, stepping away from the door. “It was nice to meet you (Y/N). I hope to see you again soon. Zuko, please walk her out.”
You bowed once more before you followed Zuko back out to the store. When you reached the steps, you turned around and faced him once more. “It was nice to see you again handsome. Let’s do it again sometime.”
Zuko’s reply was lost as you stepped forward, leaning up and pressing a soft kiss to his scarred cheek. “Have a nice evening.”
Momo’s chittering was the only thing that could be heard as you walked away. Zuko stood on the steps until he could no longer see you, the blush on his cheeks only intensifying when he remembered how your lips felt pressed against his cheek.
“It seems to me that she is the one wooing you,” Iroh said, hiding a smile.
“Shut up uncle.”
~
You didn’t see the handsome prince again until you had all safely escaped to the Western Air Temple. You had been trying to talk to Aang about learning firebending when you and Toph had felt someone arriving.
“Aang, I think we should be making some plans about our future!” Sokka exclaimed, trying to get Aang to pay attention.
“Okay, we can do that while I show you the giant Pai Sho table! Oh, you're gonna love the all-day echo chamber!” the air nomad replied, already preparing to run off.
Aang came to an abrupt stop when you sent up a wall of earth in front of him.
“I think that’ll have to wait,” Toph said, turning to face the newcomer.
“Hello, Zuko here,” the prince said, raising his arms up in greeting. Immediately, everyone except you took a fighting stance. You didn’t really pay attention to most of the conversation, too busy staring at Zuko’s hair. It had grown out some and to be honest, you thought it looked really good.
“Wait,” you interrupted, stepping forward slightly. “You look really good with your hair like that. Not to say you didn’t look good before but this, wow. you’re even hotter.”
“(Y/N)!” Sokka and Katara exclaimed at the same time. Sokka pulled you back before smacking you lightly. You smacked him back, the two of you bickering nonstop. You missed Zuko’s bewildered expression, along with most of the conversation.
“There's no way we can trust you after everything you've done,” Aang spoke, catching your attention. “We'll never let you join us.”
“You need to get out of here,” Katara added, a hard expression on her face. “Now.”
Zuko looked at you, his eyes pleading.
You sighed before speaking, your arms raised in surrender. “Look, I think you’re probably the most attractive guy I’ve ever seen-”
“Hey!” Sokka cried indignantly.
You ignored him. “But to be fair, you did send an assassin after us. Not to mention everything else you’ve done. I can’t help you handsome.”
“If you won't accept me as a friend, then maybe you'll take me as a prisoner,” Zuko said, kneeling with his hands out. You looked at Katara, a suggestive smirk on your face.
“(Y/N), stop,” she sighed before turning back to Zuko and bending some water. “No, we won't! Get out of here, and don't come back! And if we ever see you again, well, we'd better not see you again!”
Zuko bowed his head and turned to walk away, glancing back once more. For once, you didn’t meet his eyes.
~
“Has anyone seen Toph,” you asked as you rushed into the courtyard. “I haven’t seen her since yesterday.”
“I haven’t seen her since she stormed off yesterday,” Sokka said, polishing his sword.
“Maybe we should go look for her,” Katara said, noticing your distress.
“We’ll look for her!” The Duke said, rushing off with Haru and Teo.
You whirled around when you heard a loud rumble, only to see a gaping hole in the wall. Toph tumbled out of it, her eyes wide.
“Toph!” you exclaimed, wrapping her up in a hug. “What happened?”
“My feet got burned,” she replied, pushing you off of her.
Her feet were an angry red and you felt your anger rise up as you realized who had done it. “The next time I see Zuko I swear to the spirits that I will-”
“It was an accident,” Toph interrupted you, placing a hand on your arm. You bit your lip as Sokka carried her over to the fountain.
“Ah that’s the stuff,” Toph said, closing her eyes as she dipped her feet in. Soka opened his mouth to say something only to be cut off by an explosion. Being the closest to the source, you were flung back, metal and stone landing on top of you.
“(Y/N)!” you heard Aang yell as everyone else ran away.
“I’m fine!” you called back. “Go I’ll be okay.”
You bended as much earth as you could away from you, only to still be stuck when you realized you couldn’t move the metal.
“We have to get (Y/N),” Toph said, worriedly grabbing onto Katara.
“We will. Hold on,” Sokka said, staring at the blasts Combustion Man was sending their way. After a few more blasts, he was able to tell where he was and aimed his boomerang. The boomerang met it’s mark and they all ran out, Sokka and Toph immediately going over to you.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but thanks Zuko,” Aang spoke softly.
“Hey! What about me?” Sokka asked, helping you up. Your leg was injured but luckily nothing had been broken. Sokka was fussing over you, looking at the nasty bruise that had been left from the metal and you were trying to push him away, claiming that you didn’t need his help.
“...I’d like for you to teach me,” Aang’s words gained yours and Sokka’s attention. Zuko bowed.
“Thank you. I’m so happy you’ve accepted me into your group.”
“Not so fast,” Aang said. “I still have to ask my friends if it's okay with them. Toph, you're the one that Zuko burned. What do you think?”
“Go ahead and let him join,” Toph said as the pounded her fist into her palm. “It'll give me plenty of time to get back at him for burning my feet.”
“Sokka?” Aang asked.
“Hey, all I want is to defeat the Fire Lord,” the Water Tribe Boy shrugged. “If you think this is the way to do it, then, I'm all for it.“
“Katara?”
“I'll go along with whatever you think is right,” she said simply, glaring at Zuko.
“What about you (Y/N)?” Aang asked, already knowing what your answer would be.
“You’re telling me I’m going to have to see him every day?” you asked, gesturing towards Zuko. “That sounds like a dream come true.”
“Thank you,” Zuko said, redder than a tomato. “I won’t let you down.”
“I’m sure you won’t,” you replied. Groans were heard from everyone else.
~ “Come on (Y/N)!” Toph yelled at you. “Do it!”
You stared at the metal in front of you, trying to concentrate on it. You were in the courtyard, a few days after Combustion Man’s downfall. Zuko and Aang were firebending a few feet away from where Toph was trying to teach you how to metalbend. Ever since you had gotten trapped, she had been insistent on teaching you.
With a loud huff, you closed your eyes. You reached out focuising as much as you could and turning the pieces of metal in front of you into smooth, shiny balls. You opened your eyes when you heard clapping, turning to see Aang cheering softly for you. Zuko stood behind him, shirtless.
“That wasn’t so hard now, was it?” Toph taunted, bending the balls of metal back into scraps. “Do it again. This time concentrate harder. I don’t know why you’re so distracted today.”
“You don’t know why I’m distracted?” you said turning to face Aang and Zuko. “Prince Handsome over here is training shirtless and you expect me to not be distracted by that?”
“I don’t get distracted by that,” Toph countered.
“Of course not,” you said, facing her again. “You’re blind.”
Aang snickered and Zuko coughed as he tried to choke back his laughter.
“Do it again,” Toph barked. “Zuko come stand next to me.”
Zuko complied and crossed his arms as he stood next to Toph. You found yourself blushing lightly as you stared at the way his arms flexed before focusing on the metal once more. You struggled for a few minutes, feeling Zuko’s eyes on you. You glanced at him once more, watching his arms flex once again as he shifted in place. Looking up at his face, you saw him already looking at you, a smirk on his face.
You looked back at the metal trying not to look at the prince again. He knew exactly what he was doing to you.
~
It wasn’t until Ember Island that you got to spend more time around Zuko. After the day Toph had made him stand next to her as she trained you, you made sure to train as far as you could possibly get from the prince. That didn’t stop you from flirting with him every other chance you had though, always commenting on how you couldn’t train around him because he made you flustered.
Your comments seemed to make him equally, if not more, flustered.
The day you guys went to see the play, you had sat next to him, intertwining your fingers when the lights went off. He had stiffened up, an unreadable look on his face when he felt your hand in his. Thinking he had been uncomfortable, you pulled back your hand, only to blush when he pulled it back towards him this time taking it upon himself to intertwine your fingers.
Your hands remained intertwined for the rest of the play, even when you exited the private box for the intermission. You didn’t miss the smug looks from everyone else and while Zuko blushed, you had simply leaned up and pressed a kiss to his cheek the same way you had back in Ba Sing Se.
When the second half of the play started, you proceeded to lean on Zuko, nestling your head in the crook of his neck. His heart racing, Zuko disconnected your hands before wrapping his arm around your waist and pulling you in closer. You closed your eyes as you leaned into him, enjoying the warmth that seemed to radiate from him.
~
The next few days were spent watching Aang and Zuko training as you lounged around the beach house. You spent most of your time with Toph as she kept drilling metalbending into you until you could do it with your eyes closed.
A few nights before Sozin’s comet, you found yourself sitting on the roof of the house, staring up at the moon. You jumped slightly when you felt someone sitting next to you, the warmth emitting from them telling you it was Zuko.
“What are you doing up so late?” he asked, his eyes never leaving you.
“I could ask you the same thing,” you hummed, still looking at the moon. You looked at him to see him scowling. “I couldn’t sleep so I came out here to look at the moon.”
“Sokka’s first girlfriend turned into the moon,” Zuko said, fidgeting under your gaze.
“That’s rough,” you said, looking back up.
It was silent for a few minutes before Zuko spoke up again. “Why do you like teasing me so much?”
You looked at him, bewildered. “Teasing you?”
“Yeah,” Zuko said, turning to face you. “All the compliments and the kisses and everything. Why?”
“It’s called flirting, Prince Zuko,” you said with a smile. “People typically do it when they’re attracted to or like somebody.”
“So why do you do it to me?”
You stared at him in disbelief, wondering if he was joking or if he was truly that oblivious. “Because I like you!”
Zuko’s eyes widened in surprise at your words. “You like me?”
“I thought you knew! I thought that’s why you kept flexing the day Toph kept trying to get me to metalbend,” you hissed poking his arm.
“I was joking around,” Zuko replied, swatting your hand away. “I thought you saying I was distracting you was a joke so I kept flexing to tease you.”
“Well you did tease me,” you mumbled. “Just not in the way you’re thinking of.”
“So,” Zuko said, not meeting your eyes. “You really like me?”
You rolled your eyes before leaning forwards, pressing a firm kiss to his lips. His eyes widened in shock before he closed them, his hand reaching up to cup your face as he melted into the kiss. You pulled back and giggled as his lips chased yours, pecking him once more before leaning back. “Does that answer your question?”
Zuko nodded quickly before grabbing your hand. “I like you too.”
You smiled as you shuffled closer to him. “Good. I’d be pretty upset if you didn’t.”
You gasped lightly as Zuko pressed his lips back to yours, sliding his arms around your waist and pulling you into his lap. Your arms wound around his neck, hands tangling in his hair as you eagerly kissed back. Zuko pulled away first, a chuckle escaping him.
“What?” you asked leaning your head against his shoulder.
“I can’t believe uncle was right,” he replied. At your questioning gaze, he explained.
“You did end up wooing me.”
~
AHAHAHAHAAHHHH i hope this is good i spent a lot of time on this one and i’m not too proud of it but i hope you enjoy <3
3K notes · View notes
blkgirl-writing · a year ago
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"Head Game" part 1 Zuko X Reader Smut Hcs
Warnings: complete filth. Zukos first blowjob at like 20, poor guy.
Requested: yes! By many beautiful, horny anons.
A/n: as always, Reader is assumed as a WOC. Though, everyone can read it, as its left a bit vague. My requests are always open!
[Part 2 found here!]
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Zuko was having a really, really hard day.
Years had gone by as a king, and yet he felt less equipped the longer the title was held to his name,
Meetings became white noise, training because a dull pastime. There was no adventure left in life,
That's why he started the arrangement between you two...
You, a representative of a small city in the fire kingdom, and most importantly, his good friend.
A good friend who shot him the most dirty, lust filled looks at any given chance
He definitely shot some back too.
The touches you shared were getting longer, hugs a bit tighter,
You started to kiss his cheek, staining his skin a dark red. A memory of where your lips were.
He had a wet dream about you,
Lipstick still painting his skin
Zuko was fucking confused. Sure, the pair had flirted playfully, maybe he had placed his hand on your thigh one or two times, but no one had spoken about it.
The picture of your head bobbing, unholy moans from your lips on his-
It was wrong. Really, really wrong.
For the next week, Zuko avoided you at all costs.
If course you noticed the fire lord ignoring you clearly calling his name down the hall.
Had you miss stepped? Maybe he had a girlfriend and you had gone too far?
The week after that, you decided enough was enough. You had to know.
After a meeting, you asked to speak alone with Zuko
Zuko was freaking out.
He had three more dreams about you since the first. His only thought was how the fuck you found out about them. (This boy actually thought he was being so sly and smart with his avoidance)
"Do you hate me?" Your words came out far more desperate than you wanted. "I'm so sorry if I messed up. I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable-"
"What?" Zuko was so confused, oh my god. Where the hell? What the hell were you talking about?"
"Well, you've been avoiding me, so I assumed that I was coming on too strongly and you don't..."
"Don't what?" Still confused Zuko can't imagine a girl liking him, even when shes flirted with him for years...
"This is already embarrassing, zuko, don't make me-"
"Tell me~" His voice changed, a bit more buttery, lower, sexy...
"I was worried I was too clear with my flirting, and you were disappointed? Disgusted? I don't know, honestly." You huffed.
There was a really, brutally long length of silence.
Zukos mind was going at full speed...all thise touches, all the small kisses that you gave no one else. You wanted the same thing he did...maybe. was it worth the risk?
The answer was yes.
"I think about you. I dream about you, even." Zuko forced himself to look up at you, who sat with your painted lips slightly parted. "My imagination went wild. I couldn't look at you without thinking of my...dreams."
"Oh."
"Well, I'm sure I can help with that-" you stood up, zuko quickly following. He didnt know what to do, so he just stood there, looking like a shook puppy.
"Tell me about your dreams, Zuko. Tell me how I made you feel."
Your hips pressed into his, lips inches away from his ear, hot breath sending shivers down his spine.
Zuko rested his hands on your hips, urging you so very softly to just come a bit closer. Maybe then his words wouldnt fair him.
"It's okay, Zuko. You can take your time." You hummed, placing a small kiss on the exposed skin if his neck. A perfect canvas to paint love marks.
After one or two, hickeys, you asked "is it okay if I keep going?" Followed by - "do you want this.
"More than anything-" "I dreamt that you
"Keep going-" you hummed, untying his pants as he spoke.
Zuko barely even breath. You so easily made him weak. So easily hard...painfully ficking hard as you palmed him though his boxers.
"You sucked my cock," Zukos voice was low, forcing himself to to whimper as you wrapped your fingers around his length.
You looked up into Zukos eyes, his yellow ones staring into your brown eyes with a desire you hadn't ever seen before. Lust beyond words.
The motions were quick...pushing his underwear down, his cock springing free from the cloth, spitting on his length as you used both hands to pump
Honestly you fought the urge to gasp, cause hot damn, he was packing
Your jaw was not gonna be okay after, holy shit
"What next, my king~" you purred, kitty licking his tip.
Zuko hummed under your touch, the way you talked to him was just pure filth, and he loved it.
"Can...can I touch your hair? I...i remember helping you take me in," for a man on the verge of being a puddle, his words were affirming and deep.
"You can pull my hair," this is how you knew you found Zuko attractive. Any other time you'd shamelessly swat the guys hand away. "Guide me."
His fingers intertwined with the hair near the nape of your neck a gentle motion to take him inside your mouth. Nothing too hard, just a bit of pain.
"Just like that-fuck" Zuko let out a strangled breath, shutting his eyes tight as you hollowed your cheeks around his cock.
It was slow, taking what seemed like minutes until you got as far as you could go, still quite a few inches left at his base. The muttered gagging sound as his length hit the back of your throat fully fucking aroused and confused Zuko
"Are you okay?" He choked out, moaning when you hummed a reply.
You bobbed your head at a decently slow pace, not wanting to overwhelm the king, who clearly hadn't gotten a blowjob before. Giving a soft pump from your right hand, just to give that extra amount of pleasure.
His eyes shot from how you sucked on his cock, lips pushing in and out, leaving a streak of red lipstick down his shaft, down to your exposed breasts. How did he not notice you unwrapping your blouse?
And how fucking soft your hair was in his hands, how you moaned around him if he pulled hard. Sometimes he just had to close his eyes for a few seconds, bathing himself from the moaning mess he had become. His free hand brushing through his messy hair,
"When I came," zuko muttered, licking his chapped lips. "You drank it all, licked your lips of the rest."
Your free hand came up to Zukos thigh, squeezing his skin softly as your own little reply.
Then you start going faster, hand moving to to caress his balls, and zuko comes undone.
"F-fuck, you're doing so good, fucK"
His grip on your hair became much tighter, his hands forcing you to go just a bit deeper, faster, harder. Then he looked into your eyes,
Looking up at him, eyes begging to drink up every drop he would spill into your mouth
Zuko was literally shaking, his hands coming down to your shoulders as he came, knees so close to giving out.
The deeper angle of him, plus the weight of zuko keeping himself upright purely by hanging onto you made you honestly think you might drown in cum
Not the worst way to die, but still.
You brought both of your hands to his hips, steadying him as he bucked his hips into you
It seemed like he was cumming for hours, an absolute mess, black hair draping down on his sweaty face.
Eventually, Zuko pushed himself up from his slumped form, running a hair through his locks, trying to play it cool
The sight of you was dirty and so, so beautiful. Lips plumped, curls springing out left and right from your hair, tears of arousal brimming at the corners of your eyes. Fuck. Fuck fuck.
"Enjoy yourself?" You managed to smile, voice weak and throat a bit sore. With the help of Zuko, his hands held yours to help you balance. The long time on your knees had certainly taken a bit of a toll.
"Fuck yes-" he sighed, nuzzling his head into the crook of your neck. Just as you did to him, he placed small kisses along your neck, up to your ear, nibbling on your earlobe. "You're so good. So beautiful."
"Can I return the favor...?" Zuko whispered, voice hoarse and raspy from the moans.
"Of course, my king." You replied, bringing your hands up to his hair, pulling slightly. "Let's recreate one of my dreams."
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imagines-dreams · 3 years ago
Text
So Can You - Zuko Imagine
Rating: PG
Warnings: mentions of violence, being drugged/poisoned, gets a tiny little bit heated near the end
Summary: You were part of Team Avatar, and you didn’t think you were going to get anything out of it besides your own redemption. Then, you became friends with them. Then, they became family. Then, a fire bender turned up in the Western Air Temple. You didn’t know it, but that was the moment you gained something else. Love.
Word Count: 4074
The Western Air Temple was the most amazing place to explore. You and Haru were exploring another training room, when you spotted something out of the corner of your eye. “Did you see that?” you asked.
“See what?”
You pursed your lips. You were so sure…
Then again, you had just fled a failed invasion of the Fire Nation and had to say goodbye to your parents once again. Maybe you were just being paranoid.
But, hey, being paranoid sometimes meant staying alive another day. “Haru, I’m gonna head back. Need some food.”
“Ok, but hurry back.” He gazed at another pillar in awe. “These carvings are very interesting.”
“I bet. “ You laughed and ran. The sound came from above, but it was falling, floating maybe, fast. You stared at the sky and pictured where whatever that thing was had fallen.
When shouting met your ears, you didn’t need much visualizing. You ran straight for the trouble and found the team squaring up one Fire Nation… something. Instinct forced you into a defensive stance. You tilted your head. He couldn’t have been a soldier. He didn’t have armor or any hair accessories. In fact, he looked like a regular person.
You stared at your friends, and all of them were still in defensive stances. What was so special about that Fire Nation person?
“Oh, and I can teach you firebending,” the man said.
You smiled. “That’s great!”
Your friend turned around and stared at you like you’d grown two heads.
You looked at all of them. “What?” You stared at the man, his lips pressed into a fine line as he stared at you. He smiled only slightly.
“(Y/n), that’s Zuko,” Sokka told you. “As in Prince Zuko.”
You couldn’t help the gasp that escaped you, and it wiped the slight smile off of Prince Zuko’s face. The firelord’s face flashed in your vision. That man was his son, the son of the man who burned down your town and left you with nothing. You took a deep breath and pressed your palm against your forehead. You had enough problems, and you did not need more worry and anxiety.
“See,” Sokka pointed out, “she doesn’t even know you, and she’s getting a headache!”
Katara continued, “You can’t possibly think we’d trust you.”
You rubbed your temples as they continued to argue. “Guys.”
They continued to shout, and it was not helping to keep the memories back. You stumbled around and fell against Appa. “Guys!”
Your voice silenced your friends. You leaned against Appa. The air bison turned to you and licked your length of your body in affection. You yelped and laughed. “Appa!” You patted his side. “You silly bison.” You turned to your friends, who were all trying to tell you to get out.
Zuko, the prince of the nation who had taken everything from you, was staring at the ground, and he looked, for a lack of a better word, devastated.
Your friends, however, were stubborn. They were not going to accept him. Not at that point anyway. “Guys, if you’re not gonna accept him, at least let me escort him out,” you said.
“What?” Sokka screeched. “No, absolutely. No way. You are not escorting the guy who attacked us several times out of the temple.”
Katara glared at the man. “Yeah, he might just lie to you about his past to make you feel sorry for him.”
You smiled. “Guys, I can take care of myself.”
“I’ll go with her,” Toph volunteered.
“Toph-” Aang tried.
“He can’t take us both down,” Toph reasoned. “Come on, (Y/n).”
Appa nudged Zuko affectionately and turned around.
“Appa?” Aang stepped forward, but the bison just roared.
You giggled. “Come on, Princey. Appa wants to give you a ride.”
“I’d rather walk,” Toph said. With that, she bended herself out of the western air temple. You took a deep breath and climbed onto Appa’s back. You held out your hand for the prince and pushed down all the memories that were pushing against your skull.
Zuko blinked a few times before taking your hand.
You don’t know why, but immediately, the horrible visions stopped pushing and pulled away from you. You smiled and pulled him onto the addle. “Yip yip, Appa.”
Then, you were off. You let Appa follow Toph and faced Zuko.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “For escorting me back.”
You nodded. “I’m sorry.”
He glanced at you and stared back at the sky. “I’m the one who should be sorry.”
You recalled the stories you were told about the prince. He was ruthless, according to them. He had threatened them with Katara’s necklace. He had burned down villages. He had backstabbed everyone back in the catacombs, too. You had to keep your guard up. “You’re right,” you admitted. “You did some bad stuff, but so did I.”
Zuko looked up at you, his expression curious.
You sighed. “For a long time, I was a part of a band of orphans who raided Fire Nation camps, but…” You blinked away tears. “We killed so many as well, soldiers and civilians alike.” You squinted at the sky and let the guilt weigh upon your shoulders once more. “I didn’t realize how wrong it was until a family of travelers walked through my assigned path. I was ordered to kill them.” You laughed at yourself. Even after I did and found out that what I was doing was wrong, I didn’t have the courage to do anything about it.
“Then, Aang dropped by.” You smiled a little. “They showed me that I could have courage and do the right thing.”
Zuko grinned. “Well, if I can’t get my redemption, at least you can.”
You scrunched up your eyebrows. “Hey, just because my friends are too clouded by emotion to even consider you as a firebending teacher doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing. If I can learn to do the right thing, so can you.”
“I don’t know. Doing the right thing isn’t exactly my strong suit.”
You laughed. “It wasn’t mine either. It’s hard, and for a while, it sucks.” You took a deep breath. “But you’ll get through it.”
Zuko nodded. “Thank you. (Y/n)?”
“Yeah. Princey?”
He rolled his eyes. “You’re lucky I’m good now.”
“So are you,” you shot back.
“Katara just holds grudges a lot.” You turned to him and shrugged. “It took me a solid two months before she let me alone with Aang.”
“Ugh! I’m never going to get her to trust me.”
You bit off another piece of bread and raised an eyebrow at your friend. “Zuko, it’s fine. Just roll with the punches and-”
“I don’t want to roll with the punches!” He paced in front of you. “She shouldn’t be so mad about everything, right? I mean, everyone else is ok with me.”
“Katara. Holds. Grudges.” You sighed. “If I were you, I’d talk to Sokka.”
“Why?”
“Their mom was killed by the Fire Nation.” You pursed your lips. “That event shaped Katara like nothing else.” You shrugged. “That and being told girls can’t fight by an old man.”
“Seriously?”
You nodded and giggled as you retold the story.
The play portrayed you so horribly. Apparently, you were a cold assassin that was only there to add more dramatic flair in battle. The actress playing you was also way too flexible. You may have been trained for a long time, but that did not mean you were perfect by any means.
After the play, you nudged Zuko. “You never told me Katara hated you for breaking up with her.”
“We’re not together, (Y/n),” he stated plainly.
You inhaled through your teeth. “Sensitive topic, I see.”
“You’re ridiculous.”
“Definitely.”
Zuko smirked. “At least, I was a crucial part of the story.”
“Hey!” You flicked his forehead. “Says the honor-obsessed freak.”
“Says the frivolous ribbon dancer.”
You punched the air next to his head. “Frivolous?”
Zuko was wide-eyed, caught off guard from your impromptu attack. Then, his lips curled into a smug smile. “Definitely.”
For the next hour, Zuko and you fought. Although, to the outsider, it looked more like a dance. Both of you moved in sync, as if you had trained the same forms for years. All that while smiling and making snarky remarks.
Finally, the two of you were out of breath.
His breath fanned against your nose, and you yours against his chin. You were inches away from each other, and it felt exhilarating. Never had a person’s presence been so confusing. Not only did the close proximity make you heart race, it made you feel safe. Zuko was the prince of the nation that destroyed your family and forced you to turn into a murderer, but you had never felt any more comfortable than in that moment.
Then, Zuko pulled away with awkward stammers. “I should actually, uh, get to bed.”
You gasped for air and nodded. “Right. I’ll join you.”
Zuko stared at you.
“Oh no.” You laughed. “No, I did not mean it like that. I mean, I need to go to my bed. My bed.”
“Right, yeah, and me to mine.” Zuko nodded. He turned around and walked to his room, his form stiff. “Tomorrow, (y/n).”
“Yeah.” You gulped. “Tomorrow, Zuko.”
That was the only awkward moment you had had with Zuko. After that night, you were best friends again, but you yourself were different. You felt different. You wanted to… be with him. You wanted to hug him whenever you wanted. You wanted to be held by him whenever you needed it. You wanted to….
You shook your head and sat next to Zuko. Katara had just talked to him, no doubt telling him how much he had changed. But, you could see that he was still nervous. “Princey?”
His eyes were downcast.
You gulped. “You’re going to be fine. No matter what happens, I‘m right out here.” You smiled and patted his shoulder. “And whatever happens, you need to know that…” He needed to know a lot of things. “You need to know that you’ve done so much good.”
The man smiled. “Thank you.”
Then, he disappeared into the tent.
The next time you saw him, well, you didn’t exactly see him first.
You were talking with Master Pakku when Zuko called your name. You had turned around just in time to let Zuko run into your arms. You froze for a second and took in the warmth and jittery feeling in your stomach. You blinked a few times and laughed. You wrapped your arms around him. “I told you so, Princey.”
You woke up in the night because you heard something suspicious. You always slept next to your weapon. You took the dagger and twirled the dagger around your finger. You slowed your breathing. Suddenly, the earth beneath propelled you upwards. You screamed and scrambled to get out of your tent. Just as you did, everything turned black.
The next thing you knew, you were in a hallway. You were being dragged. You had also been gassed or drugged. You were exhausted. Opening your eyes took so much energy. You heard words here and there. You knew one of the voices.
Princess Azula.
“(Y/n)!”
Zuko! You opened your eyes, but Azula was blocking Zuko from your sight. You pretty sure you whispered his name, but you couldn’t be certain.
“Let her go, Azula.”
“I have a better idea.” She snarled crazily. “Agni Kai for her. You win, you get her back. You lose, I keep her as my new practice dummy.”
Zuko growled. “Fine.” Now he had to win. He couldn’t lose. Not when your life was on the line.
Heat. Heat, scalding heat, flashed across your skin. However, it never touched you. Zuko made sure of that. You pried your eyes open as often as he could. He needed to be ok. You couldn’t lose anyone else.
Soon after, the floor rumbled from your left. Right. The guards were down. You breathed out, “Katara?”
She smiled and took off the shackles binding your hands and feet. “You’re gonna be ok.” She squinted at your body and let water engulf her hands and your stomach. Katara healed you slowly but surely. When she was done, she smiled and helped you up.
Your mind immediately cleared, and you patted your sides. Like you expected, there were no weapons on you.
“Here,” Katara handed you a ring dagger. “You always taught me to have one.”
You smiled. “Thank you.” You searched for Zuko through the blue and red flames. You covered your face and finally found him. He smiled at you, and his fire grew even more powerful afterward.
Even in her deranged state, Azula noticed the change in her brother’s mood. She shrieked at the sight of you free from bonds. “No!” Without a plan or clear train of thought, Azula wielded lightning and aimed for you.
You couldn’t move. You couldn’t think. You couldn’t even breathe properly. The heat was so close. Memories flooded your brain. You could hear the screams of your family and see the fire destroy everything in its path. You could feel the heat engulf you at last. After years of running away from it, it was finally going to catch up to you. No matter how much training you’d undergone or how many battles you’d fought, you couldn’t outrun lightning.
But, Zuko was damn sure he could. “No!”
Azula’s lightning struck your best friend, and it was all your fault. “Zuko!” you screamed. He fell to the ground and twitched unnaturally. You were by his side, but lightning struck at your feet.
“I said you were a practice dummy!” Azula screamed. Fire pushed you away from Zuko, but you could see Katara. She was by his side, hands already engulfed in water. You had to hold Azula off. You stared at your knife. Your only knife.
You quickly scanned the area. There were a few things you could use. Some spar spears and chains. Better than nothing. You spun your knife in your hand. “Come on, Princess. Scared of a nonbender!”
The fight between you and Azula was legendary. You hid behind pillars and sacrificed many spare weapons to Azula’s fire, but in the end, a chain was her demise. You had tricked her, cornered her, and brought her to her knees. With one leg pressing her shoulder and head to the ground, you chained her arms together and smirked. You let out a breath and stepped off of her. She shrieked and spat fire, but all her attempts were useless.
You wasted no time getting back to Zuko. You knelt by his side and brushed the hair away from his face. “Zuko?”
Katara pressed her hands against Zuko’s chest as tears welled up in her eyes.
“No,” you whispered. “Come on, Princey. You’ve gotta wake up.” You pressed your palm against his cheek and gasped as your tears fell on the floor. You gasped for air, but it did nothing for the emptiness that was settling in your stomach. “Come on, please. Not you, too, Zuko. Don’t leave me.”
When only silence met your ears, you bowed your head and sobbed as quietly as you could. You could feel every ounce of pain from your fight, from your past scars, from the future you would never have with him. It burned more than the Agni Kai’s fire. You closed your eyes and desperately wished for the darkness to surround you.
“(Y/n)?” he coughed.
“Oh spirits,” you exclaimed. You shook your head and laughed. “Zuko.” You smiled and wiped your tears. “You stupid stupid-”
“I know.” He laughed. His laughter turned into fits of coughing.
You held his hand and took a deep breath. You nodded at Katara. “Thank you,” you mouthed.
She just nodded.
The both of you helped Zuko to his feet as the two of you wondered how everyone was doing on their missions.
“We’re going to be fine,” Zuko reassured you.
You nodded curtly. Your eyes wandered to his torso. Another scar on the man who least deserved it, and it was all your fault.  You bowed your head and clenched your fists. Your imagination and hope was not in the right place. Out of all things to happen, Zuko and you… No. It couldn’t. You were a nonbender. You couldn’t even take lightning meant for you.
“Hey.” Zuko slipped his hand into yours. “You’re going to be ok.”
You gazed at him with tears in your eyes. “How do you know that?”
“Because if I can make it through, so can you.”
You laughed a little. He remembered that? How could you deserve such a person in your life? You nodded and let him hold your hand.
You bumped into a girl on your way to visit Zuko.
“You’re (y/n),” she stated.
You recognized her, the knife-throwing girl who fought with Azula. She was also Zuko’s ex. Her knife gleamed in her sleeve, and you involuntarily beamed. “It’s beautiful.”
She took it out. “This little thing? Took out a guard with this one.”
You whipped out your signature ring dagger. “Slashed into a rapist’s back with this one.”
The two of you chatted for a short while, sharing stories about your signature weapons. Finally, she told you, “Take care of him.”
You nodded. “Take care of yourself.”
“What else was I supposed to do?” Then, she left.
“Princey’s not a princey anymore,” you stated.
“(y/n).” Zuko smiled the winced when he turned to look at you.
You were at his side and shaking your head in a second. “You got struck by lightning, Princey. You need to be careful.” You slipped his arm through the sleeve and smiled. “There.” You straightened it out and took a deep breath. When you looked up, your eyes met his, and you immediately forgot the witty thing you were going to say.
Zuko gazed at you with so much emotion. You swear you could hear his heart beat frantically under your fingers. His body heat was pressing against you, and that feeling of excitement and comfort came back.
“Thank you,” you breathed. “For…” You stared at the robe, knowing that the bandages covered a scar meant for you.
Zuko hummed and took a deep breath, his chest rising and falling against your palm. “You’re welcome.”
The two of you stayed silent for eternity, thoughts mixing together into a jumbled-up mess n both of you.
“Zuko, I’m-”
“I wanted to ask-”
You both laughed. “You go first,” you offered.
Zuko blushed. “Well, you see, I’m going to need help with peace and all. I, uh…” He cleared his throat. “(Y/n), you’re my best friend, and I would love it if you became an ambassador for the Earth Kingdom’s islands.”
Your jaw dropped. You stared at the ground and laughed.
Your best friend’s face contorted into a disappointed expression. “I see. If you-”
“Zuko,” you interrupted. You cradled his cheek in your hand and smiled. “Zuko, I would love to become an ambassador for the Earth Kingdom’s islands.”
He beamed.
“Sokka, my dagger is bigger than my leg,” you laughed. You held up your dagger and showed him that it wasn’t longer than your face.
“It’s not my fault you have too many knives!” Sokka exclaimed.
Zuko whispered, “Hey, can I talk to you?”
“Of course.” You followed him to the back of the tea shop. ‘Everything ok, Zuko?”
He sighed. “I know the war’s over, and if you don’t want to do this, I understand.”
“Zuko, you took lightning for me. I’m pretty sure I owe you my life at this point.” You smiled and slipped your hand into his. “What is it?”
He gulped. “I want to find my mother,” he admitted, “and I would be honored to have your help.”
You nodded immediately. “I’d be honored to help you.”
After a few seconds, the two of you laughed. So much honor to go around now that the war was over.
“You’re in love with my son,” Ursa told you so plainly. It was as if she was pointing out your hair color.
You froze in your spot. “I don’t deserve your son.” You stared at your reflection on the lake’s surface. “Lady Ursa, I’ve killed people, and Zuko, he deserves some perfect woman. Someone who can heal him, or at the very least, bend.”
She pursed her lips. “I killed my father-in-law.”
You blinked. “Oh,” was the only thing that escaped your lips.
She nodded. “We live with the consequences of our actions. All of us do, and that includes my son.” The woman smiled at you. “As far as I know, your skill far exceeds that of a bender. You took down my daughter with no bending, while my son himself couldn’t subdue her in that time. The way I see it, he may be the one who doesn’t deserve you.”
You stared at her.
Lady Ursa giggled. “Don’t tell him I said that.”
Fireworks lit up the sky, and from the palace, it looked like a moving piece of art. “It’s breathtaking,” you whispered.
Zuko smiled at you. “Definitely.” Your best friend shook his head and handed you a drink. “To the end of the war.”
You lifted your drink. “To one year of peace.”
After touching glasses and taking sips, the two of you stood side by side and watched the fireworks.
You stared at Zuko’s hand, so close to yours. You exhaled sharply before slipping your hand in his.
Zuko stiffened and stared at you. He beamed and pulled you closer.
Naturally, you looped your arm through his and rested your head against his shoulder. You closed your eyes and listened to the celebration around you. The laughter, fireworks, the beating of Zuko’s heart. You smiled and pressed your cheek into his arm just to get closer to him.
Zuko pulled at his collar. “Uh, (y/n)?”
“Yes, Princey?”
He cleared his throat and opened his mouth. No words came out, so he closed his eyes and asked, “Can you believe it’s been a year?”
You shrugged. “I don’t know. Feels longer than that. I mean, meetings with everyone drag on for centuries.” You laughed.
Zuko nodded. “You’re right about that.” He groaned internally. He was so bad at those type of things. He gazed as your relaxed form against his side. “Did you ever think we’d end up here?”
Feeling his eyes on you, you lifted your head and smiled at him. “To be honest, I’ve imagined scenarios like this.”
“Really?”
“Yeah.” You felt heat rush to your cheeks, and you desperately wanted to turn away. However, those amber eyes wouldn’t let you. You were trapped, and part of you absolutely loved it.
“Did you imagine anything else?” Zuko whispered.
You gulped. You raised your head then let your chin his his arm. You grimaced at the awkward nod.
Your best friend closed his eyes as he reveled in the feeling of you so close to him. “What did you, uh, imagine, if I may?”
You inhaled deeply and breathed, “I think you know, Princey.”
You don’t know who did it, but your lips were suddenly pressed against his. You reached up and pressed your palm against his scarred cheek. You rubbed his scar as you tried to communicate that you were sorry and that you wished you were there to help him when he needed it. Your other hand automatically rose to his chest and rested above the scar he bore from the lightning meant for you.
Zuko kissed you harder. His hands pulled you closer by your waist, because he had wanted you that close for that long. With your touch on his scars, he knew what you were trying to tell him. So, your best friend rubbed your shoulders in comfort, because he knew how you felt. One of his hands rubbed your cheek slowly and tenderly, because he appreciated you like no one else.
You smiled against his lips, hearing each of his messages loud and clear. Your heart swelled with love for the man you had befriended and saved and cherished. You pulled away just to kiss scarred cheek, his jaw, his neck.
“(Y/n)?”
You separated yourself from him and inhaled deeply. “Sorry.” You blushed. “I just…”
Zuko lifted your chin and kissed you chastely. “Nothing to be sorry for.”
uuuummmm I have no explanation. I was rewatching atla, and... I may have hyperfocused for, oh god, uh, five hours???? And this is the biproduct??? Sorry for mistakes, because its late so I probably missed many simple mistakes. 
.... now that im not writing zuko, i can feel how tired i am. night night.
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maddywritez · a year ago
Text
empty threats
pairing: zuko x reader
request: Hello! Could you write a lil mini story about Zuko x reader where the reader is a dual air bender and water bender who made it out with Aang and a lot of their escape plans involve using her as a decoy, but one day she gets caught by Zuko who while trying to break her and learn what he can about the avatar he learns that the Gaang doesn’t care about her as much as he thought they did as they never come for her, and he offers comfort and some fluffy times ensue after? 🥺👉🏽👈🏽
a/n: i’m sorry about the reader’s bending-identity and also if  the entire thing isn’t what you exactly requested for. when i write stuff for atla and other stuff in the near future, i want to respect the plot lines and character developments for the most part and i feel like i could go on and on about that on a separate post! but to save you from that spiel, i’ll just say that i personally do enjoy and am interested in the possibilities of dual bending stuff but from what i know because of the show, there aren’t any.
**
“Why the hell are you here?”
You could hear the venom in Zuko’s voice, causing you to not even want to glance up and return with a snarky comment.
“Why do you think?” Your grumbled as you flicked a pebble at his feet. “Isn’t this a jail cell? I obviously got arrested.”
He scoffed. “Uncle, let’s go.” His voice was firm, exhaustion lacing his words together. You barely glanced up from your spot against the stone wall. There was an audible hitch in your breathing when you made eye contact with the softened gaze that belonged to Iroh. Neither you or Zuko suspected Iroh to stoop down to your height and ask, “Are you okay?”
He took your silence and avoidance of his gaze as a no.
“Zuko,” Iroh stood up. “Help her up. I believe we should be taking our leave now.” With that, he started walking away. Zuko let out a soft groan, “You can’t be serious, Uncle. Her? She’s associated with the Avatar!” You assumed that Iroh gave him a look that only parents were able to form.
Iroh had stopped walking at this point to turn around. “Zuko, if you don’t help her up, then I will myself.” That’s all it took for Zuko to grumble and tug at your wrist. He threatened under his breath, “Don’t think of doing anything stupid, alright?” For an unknown reason, your subconscious convinced you that despite the hostility in his tone, it was an empty threat.
You didn’t know how to describe the situation, whatsoever. 
What would everyone else say - where was everyone else? Did they even notice that you were gone?
Of course they did. They were the ones who told you to sneak into Royal Palace, in hopes of searching for the Earth King. They were the ones who promised to find you if something happened. Yet when something happened, it being your arrest, nothing had happened. 
Did they worry about your disappearance? You hope so. With a little too hopeful mindset, you convinced yourself that the entirety of Lake Laogai held secrets that were invisible to the human eye, especially to your friends.
**
You were unsure how to feel about sitting between former Fire Nation Prince Zuko, and former General Iroh, inside their apartment, occasionally sipping on tea. The stark differences between the two felt uncomfortable as you delved further into the silence of the room, possibly even reaching a point where you declared yourself queasy.
Zuko’s stare was quite harsh, as it could easily be considered a glare, whilst Iroh’s was soft and tended to cancel out Zuko’s hostility.
“Thank you for the tea. And for getting me out of there,” You spoke into your cup. Zuko scoffed, “Oh, good, she has manners.” A blank expression was sent towards him as you placed down your glass. 
Before you could quip back a response, or even worse, start a fight, Iroh poured more tea into your glass whilst inquiring, “If you don’t mind me asking, why didn’t your friends come save you? I don’t mean to be rude, but it looked like you were there for several days.” Zuko simplified his uncle’s words with a gruff tone paired with a scowl, “He means you looked fucking disgusting sitting down there.”
“Gee, thanks.” You muttered.
Neither of you missed the disappointed look Iroh had sent his nephew. It was obvious he was readying himself to scold the teenager, but closed his mouth as soon as it opened as you began to speak, “It’s stupid, really.” You cradled your glass, staring at the intricate designs on the teapot that sat in the center of the table. “They told me to try to sneak into the Royal Palace to talk to the king. We were waitlisted and we got desperate after a week with no information about anything. Did you know I used to pickpocket people beore I joined their group?” This had caused the two to raise their brows. In Zuko’s words, the group associated with the Avatar were a bunch of goody two shoes, or even good kids who haven’t been caught just yet.
“Yeah, not my proudest moments. They knew that though and they accepted it, for the most part. I can’t bend stuff...and I like to think I’m good at fighting but-” You stopped explaining to let out a sigh, placing your glass on the table again. They watched as you pulled your knees to your chest, resting your chin atop your knees. 
At this point, almost several hours of being out of the secret headquarters beneath the lake, you had come to terms with it all.
The others didn’t care. Not about you, anyways.
That’s why you didn’t hesitate as much as you would before about giving the two an explanation. It seems like they enjoyed their life as refugees in Ba Sing Se. It seemed almost perfect. You believed it would be perfect if Zuko didn’t maintain the furrow in his brows as he stared at his hands that rested on the top of the table.
“They told me - they promised me - that if something happened and I didn’t come back by the next day, they’d come find me. Here we are though, right?”
The smile you gave Iroh was heartbreaking, and even Zuko could determine that your smile that was slowly quivering - wait quivering? The two men were unsure of how to react as you hastily wiped at your eyes, which did not stop the onslaught of tears.
“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to start crying like this.” Your voice was cracked already.
Silence fell over the room once again.
How do two people, who have been chasing you and your former group to capture one of your ‘closest’ friends, console someone who is crying in their living room? Zuko nor Iroh exactly knew how to handle the situation. The best that they could do, they believed, was to allow you to stay with them for at least the night.
You sat beside one of the windows that allowed the pale moonlight to dance in, to rest upon yourself and the wooden flooring. It was late, and you felt tired, but your thoughts ran a mile a minute.
It was understandable that Aang, or Katara, or Sokka, or even Toph didn’t find you right away. At the same time, you questioned whether or not they actually searched for you. They must’ve, right? That’s what friends do. Though, hearing their voice down the hall, which seemed like it was neverending, and you crying out from the dingy holding place you were placed in had convinced you that maybe they weren’t even looking for you. Most likely Appa, unless someone else happened to be arrested.
“You must be really stupid if you’re trying to find a way to defend them.” Zuko muttered as he plopped beside you. He maintained some distance between the two of you, but you were close enough to barely feel the natural heat he emits.
He crossed his arms over his chest and his legs as he stared at you, the want of sleep apparent in the ways his eyes were half lidded. “I didn’t-” You murmured but he sighed, “It’s written all over your face, don’t lie.” 
Despite the situation you found yourself in, you wouldn’t deny that he looked somewhat attractive in the pale moonlight that peeked through the window you both sat beside.
“You’re allowed to have feelings - and hell - I’m surprised you haven’t done anything other than cry.” He chided. There was an evident teasing lilt in his tone, which eased the tense atmosphere between the two of you. “I can’t bend anything so what am I gonna do? Rob everyone?” You snorted into the collar of the shirt he loaned. 
He flicked your forehead.
“What the - “ You groaned, hands immediately hiding your forehead in case he planned on flicking you again.
His voice was firm when he spoke, brows knitted together once again, “Don’t make it seem like you’re useless. Because you’re not.”
The fact that you were having this conversation with Zuko, of all people, was surreal. The fact that you found him attractive when he’s not chasing you across the world followed behind on bizarre things that have occurred in the span of twelve hours. Zuko could add onto that imaginary list you had with the fact he noticed just how he felt at ease sitting beside you. Possibly even, dare he say, lovely.
It was Zuko’s sigh that tore you out of the depth of your thoughts full of self-doubts and ‘what if’ situations. His foot nudged your calf as he murmured, “Hey, go to bed. I can tell you’re tired.”
You supposed that this was as nice as Zuko could be. There was the possibility that it could truly be worse, and you were thankful that it was, what you believed, his way to comfort you.
“No, ‘m not tired,” You denied, but the yawn slipping past your lips had easily contradicted your words. He snickered. “Don’t lie to me, go.” Zuko motioned towards the futon that was set up for you.
After judging his claim as something true, the heaviness in your eyes being the evidence, you had stood up and trudged towards the futon. Once your head hit the pillow, you were quickly dozing off into a needed, deep sleep.
You swore you heard Zuko threaten as he plopped onto his own futon, “I swear to god if I even think you’re doubting yourself again, I won’t hesitate to beat your ass.”
You knew, even half asleep, it held no ill intentions towards you. If you saw the small smile playing at his lips you would definitely know that he didn’t mean it.
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beifongsss · a year ago
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life-changing field trip [zuko]
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Pairing: Zuko x waterbender!reader (I’m a sl*t for the opposites attract trope I’m so sorry)
Requested?: Yes! I am once again combining two requests that I thought fit together, I’m sorry if that upsets the anons who requested :( The first anon request: “ooh maybe flirty/yn with zuko while in the ember island house or while sparring (or combine the two LMAO)” The second anon request: “Hi! Can we have more simp Zuko plz 🥺 How about that scene where the gAang looks for Aang, and Toph is like “I want to go with Zuko because I have not had a life changing field trip with him yet,” but instead of Toph it’s y/n and Zuko is all blushy and flustered because he has a crush on her 🥺”
Summary: You just want to test the waters and see if Zuko likes you back, after all, Sokka has been telling you that he does indeed like you. However, every time you try to get close to the prince, he either runs away or ignores you.
not as flirty as it could’ve been but i like how it turned out :) short & sweet
.masterlist.
~
Ember Island was beautiful.
You had all arrived there a few days ago, joining Katara after she had gone off to hunt down the man who had killed her mother. When you heard that she hadn’t ended his life, you had hugged her tightly and quietly told her that you were proud of how strong she was.
Aang had come up behind you soon after and you retreated from the two to give them a bit of privacy, crossing your arms as you stood next to Zuko. The two of you observing the scene that was unfolding in front of you, a smile twitching at the edge of your lips as they embraced.
“I’m glad the two of you came back safely,” you said quietly to the prince, never looking away from Aang and Katara. Zuko didn’t reply and shifted uncomfortably. “Especially you. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t look at your pretty face every day.”
You didn’t have to look at the prince to know that he now wore a scowl on his face, displeased at your words. In reality, Zuko was trying to hold back a blush at your words and instead of replying, he simply rolled his eyes and stormed off.
He burst into his family’s beach house, cheeks still ablaze. Toph and Sokka sat there, looking up at Zuko blankly before going back to their conversation. Slightly disappointed in their lack of response, he threw himself onto the nearby couch, releasing a loud groan. 
Toph paused her words for a second before continuing to speak. Sokka glanced at Zuko before focusing on Toph, knowing what he was trying to do. At the sound of his friends’ conversation, Zuko threw his arms over his head and groaned loudly once again. This time, their conversation stopped completely before Sokka turned to face him.
“Yes, Zuko? Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing,” he replied gruffly. Toph couldn’t help but snort.
“Why is your heart beating so fast then, Sparky Pants?” Toph asked. “It can’t be ‘nothing’ if it’s got you all worked up.”
Zuko shot her a glare, forgetting that she couldn’t see it, before burying his face in his arms and mumbling something.
“What was that?” Sokka asked, a smirk on his face.
“(Y/N) was out there,” Zuko repeated, lifting his head up slightly. “Why was she the only one to greet us out there?”
“She wasn’t alone. Aang was with her,” Toph said. “Besides, she said something about making sure that you weren’t injured or anything.”
Zuko’s face went bright red once more. “Why couldn’t one of you be there with her?”
“Because your reaction every time she gets too close to you is hilarious,” Sokka replied. “Just tell her how you feel. The worst she can do is say no.”
The conversation died down as you entered the room with Aang and Katara trailing behind you. You aimed a smile at Zuko, heading over to the couch he was laying on. At the sight of you, Zuko scrambled up and all but sprinted away, a frown on his face as he muttered that if anyone needed him he would be in his room.
The smile melted off your face at Zuko’s actions. Katara noticed and came up behind you. “C’mon, help me with dinner?”
You nodded.
~ “Hey (Y/N/N)!”
You looked up when you felt Sokka sit next to you, drawing your attention from the two boys who were training in the courtyard. He followed your line of sight, smirking when his eyes landed on Zuko. “Enjoying the view?”
You hummed in response, still not facing the Water Tribe boy before replying. “I’m just studying them. It’s not every day you get to see firebenders just casually practicing their moves.”
“Whatever you say,” Sokka replied, leaning back on his elbows. “You don’t have to hide your feelings. He feels the same way y’know.”
The snort that left you was unintentional, but still drew Aang’s attention to you. He perked up immediately, his tiredness leaving his body in a second. “(Y/N/N)! How long have you been there?”
A blush covered your cheeks as Sokka nudged your side and snickered. “O-Oh, a few minutes. I was bored so I came out here to watch your lesson.”
“Great, can you do me a favor?” Aang asked, his eyes sparkling. You groaned internally knowing that you couldn’t deny the young Air Nomad anything. Silently, you nodded. “I promised Toph that I’d learn how to sandbend today but Zuko’s not done training. Can you please spar with him?”
“I’m not a firebender Aang,” you replied, crossing your arms. “Shouldn’t he be training with a firebender?”
“It’s fine, you don’t mind, do you Zuko?” Aang didn’t wait for Zuko’s response before continuing. “Besides, how often does he get to fight waterbenders? This is good practice!”
Before either of you could reply, Aang was already bouncing away. “Thanks (Y/N/N)!”
You stood up slowly and made your way to the middle of the makeshift arena, stretching as quickly as you could. Once you were done, you faced Zuko. “Ready?”
He nodded silently, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion as he realized you didn’t have a water skin near you. Just as he opened his mouth to ask, you lunged at him. He barely had time to duck, dodging your fist but not your leg. His knee buckled under your kick and he ended up on his knees. He glanced up at you to see you smirking.
“Cute. I always thought that I’d end up on my knees for you, not the other way around,” you commented, stepping further away from him. You dropped to a defensive position as he got to his feet, his cheeks burning as he stared you down.
The two of you moved at the same time, Zuko throwing a blast of fire at you as he ran. You slid underneath it, quickly standing and aiming a kick at him. He dodged it gracefully before sending another blast at you. Just when he was about to ask why you weren’t using your bending, you reached out, focusing on the water in the air around you and forming a thin stream of water.
Zuko’s jaw dropped slightly, he had never seen a waterbender pull water out of thin air. He managed to dodge the water whip you had created and sent up a wall of fire, turning it into a wall of steam as he evaporated the whip. You didn’t stop there however and managed to turn the vapor into ice shards which you quickly dropped onto Zuko.
He rolled out of the way, sticking his leg out at the same time. He succeeded in toppling you, and you squeaked as you fell onto your back. He moved to attack and you reacted quickly, drawing water out from nearby plants and sending it at him full force. The fire he had ready was extinguished and he ended up soaked from your attack.
“Nice one (Y/N)!” you heard Sokka yell, reminding you that he was still present. You shot him a look as you stood up before turning to face a now shirtless Zuko. 
“Spirits,” you whispered, trying not to stare at him. “How is this fair? Put your shirt back on! Or don’t.”
“You’re the one who got me all wet,” Zuko replied, tossing his shirt to Sokka and walking back to the middle of the arena.
“If only it were the other way around,” you whispered jokingly, causing Sokka to cackle. You joined Zuko once more, having no time to prepare before he attacked. The fight continued on for a few more minutes, the two of you all sweaty and tired. You decided to try and attack with ice again, dodging a punch from Zuko as you accumulated water from around you.
You couldn’t hold yourself back from making another comment as Zuko pushed his hair back from his face. “You know, I can think of a few other activities that can make us equally sweaty, if you’re interested.”
Zuko stumbled at the same time you attacked, allowing some of the ice shards to nip at his skin. He hissed lightly as the cuts began to bleed, silently chastising himself for letting you distract him.
“Oh no. Zuko!” you yelped, running over to the boy. Your face showed nothing but worry as you knelt next to him, taking in his injuries. “Let me get you healed.”
Your face scrunched in concentration as you waved your hand, a globule of water forming around it. Both of you were silent as you healed his cuts, biting your lip as the guilt crawled up on you.
“Stop doing that,” Zuko said suddenly, drawing your attention to him. You looked at him confused before you noticed his gaze was on your lip. Blushing, you looked back down to his wounds. You tried to ignore his gaze as you moved your hands up to his chest, healing the wounds there. Zuko wondered if you could feel his heart racing.
“I’m really sorry Zuko,” you whispered, finally done healing his chest. You glanced up at his face, wincing when you noticed a shallow cut on his cheek. He closed his eyes as you reached up and cupped his cheek, unintentionally nuzzling his cheek into your palm. After a minute, you pulled away. “I’m done.”
Zuko opened his eyes, meeting yours and causing you to stop completely.
“It’s okay,” he whispered back, his voice raspy from speaking so lowly. “It didn’t hurt that much.”
For once you were at a loss for words, no witty or flirty comment on the tip of your tongue as you stared into Zuko’s eyes. Remembering Sokka’s earlier words, you stepped closer to Zuko. He swallowed harshly but didn’t move.
“Zuko,” you whispered, dropping your gaze down to his lips. “Can I-”
“Hey! Aang needs you, Zuko,” Sokka suddenly called out, making the two of you jump apart. You whirled around, eyes narrowed as they landed on the Water Tribe boy. Despite the smug smirk on his face, he couldn’t help but flinch at your reaction, knowing that you were going to bite his head off once the two of you were alone.
Zuko’s eyes widened and he all but sprinted into the house, only pausing when Sokka grabbed his arm. “Forgetting something?”
“Oh, r-right,” Zuko said, taking his shirt from Sokka. He glanced at you briefly one last time before running into the house.
“Sokka,” you growled, stomping over to him. “What was that for?”
“What was what?” Sokka asked innocently, walking backwards to get away from you. A wide grin spread across his face. “The real question is: what was happening between the two of you back there?”
You pushed Sokka up against the porch railing and quickly froze his hand to it. “It might’ve been a kiss if you hadn’t interrupted.”
You stormed away after that, an annoyed expression on your face as you made your way into the house. Behind you, Sokka was trying to get free. He was unsuccessful.
“(Y/N)! Don’t leave me here! I’m sorry! (Y/N)?”
~
Zuko had managed to avoid talking to you the rest of the day, even when the two of you had been paired up to fight the Melon Lord. Toph had enjoyed that a little too much.
He sat furthest away from you during dinner and went to bed immediately after, giving a mumbled goodnight to the group. Everyone turned to face you after he left, a questioning look in their eyes (well, except for Toph). You had simply glared at Sokka, who had then proceeded to explain what had happened earlier between the two of you. The group couldn’t help but laugh, only annoying you further as they teased you about it.
You had gone to bed early too.
Katara had woken you up early the next morning, panic on her face as she dragged you out into the courtyard. “Aang’s gone!”
That statement woke you up immediately, and you found yourself looking at her with a confused expression. “What do you mean gone?”
“Look,” Sokka said, pointing to the spot next to you. “He left his staff. That’s so strange.”
“Aang’s not in the house,” you heard Zuko say as he joined you all outside.
“Let’s check the beach,” you said, walking away before you finished your sentence. The six of you trekked down to the beach, perking up slightly when you noticed Aang’s footprints. You followed them all the way to the edge of the water where they suddenly disappeared. “The trail ends here.”
“So he went for a midnight swim and never came back?” Suki asked skeptically.
"Maybe he was captured,” Katara said worriedly.
“I don’t think so,” Sokka muttered, looking at the footprints. “There’s no sign of a struggle.”
“I bet he ran away,” Toph said, her voice a little dull.
“No way, he wouldn’t leave behind Appa or his glider,” you countered.
“Then what do you think happened to him, oh sleuthy one?” Toph snarked back.
“It's pretty obvious,” Sokka suddenly said. “Aang mysteriously disappears before an important battle? He's definitely on a Spirit World journey”
“But if he was, wouldn't his body still be here?” Zuko asked.
Sokka bowed his head down in slight embarrassment. “Oh yeah. Forgot about that.”
“Then he's got to be somewhere on Ember Island,” Katara said. “Let's split up and look for him.”
Your eyes widened and you immediately grabbed onto Zuko’s arm, hugging it tightly. “I’m going with Zuko!”
“W-What?” Zuko stuttered, a bright blush coating his cheeks as he tried to ignore the fact that you were hugging his arm. Everyone else stared at you knowingly.
“What?!” you asked. “Everyone else went on a life-changing field trip with Zuko. Now it's my turn.”
“Try not to make it too life-changing,” Sokka muttered as he walked past you, earning a snicker from Suki and Toph. Sokka and Suki left on Appa and Katara and Toph headed into town to see if they could find him there. You kept holding on to Zuko’s arm as the two of you walked further along the beach. It was silent for a few minutes before you finally spoke up.
“Hey pretty boy, why have you been avoiding me?”
Zuko’s eyes widened and he turned to you. “W-What did you just call me?”
“Pretty boy,” you chirped, a smile on your face as you looked up at him. “Because y’know, you’re probably the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen.”
Zuko cleared his throat and dragged his gaze away from you. His eyes didn’t leave the water as you kept walking side-by-side.
“So,” you nudged him softly, sliding one hand down his arm to intertwine your fingers with his. “Why have you been avoiding me?”
“I haven’t been avoiding you,” Zuko replied quickly, shaking you off his arm as he proceeded to walk a bit in front of you. You kept quiet as you caught up to him, biting your lip as you thought about the boy next to you.
“I thought I told you to stop doing that,” Zuko snapped, stealing a glance at you.
“Why?” you asked, releasing your lip. “Does it turn you on?”
“What?! N-No!” Zuko exclaimed. A faint trail of steam escaped his nose, letting you know that he was flustered.
“Relax, Zuko,” you chuckled. “I’m joking. Now, why have you been avoiding me?”
“We should be looking for Aang.”
“You and I both know that Aang isn’t here,” you replied, looking out at the vast ocean. “He’s probably doing some Avatar-related thing right now so why don’t you just tell me why you’ve been avoiding me.”
“I haven’t been avoiding you!”
“Yes you have! Ever since yesterday. Ever since I-” you cut yourself off, a blush appearing on your face as you thought about the almost-kiss between the two of you. Zuko swallowed nervously, also thinking about what had happened between the two of you.
“Ever since you almost kissed me,” Zuko filled in for you, his head hanging low. “That’s why I’ve been avoiding you.”
“Because you didn’t want to kiss me?” you asked, slightly upset. “You could’ve just said so, it doesn’t have to be weird.”
“Because I did want to kiss you,” Zuko replied almost immediately. The two of you came to a stop. “I’ve been avoiding you because I want to kiss you and be with you but I can’t.”
“Why?” you asked, thoroughly puzzled.
“I’ve done so many things,” Zuko whispered. “So many bad things. To Aang, to Katara, to you. I’m from the Fire Nation; I don’t deserve to be with someone like you.”
“That’s absurd,” you whispered back. “Your past doesn’t define you Zuko. You chose to make the right decision and sure, it took you a while but you realized that you were doing more harm than good. You changed, that’s what matters. You made the right choice even though you knew it could mean trouble for you and that’s why I like you.”
Zuko finally looked up at your words, his eyes full of wonder as he looked at you. A small smile appeared on his lips at your words and he found himself approaching you slowly. “Do you?”
You nodded softly.
“Zuko?” you asked quietly. “Hypothetically, if I had gotten the chance to ask if I could kiss you yesterday, what would you have said?”
“I- Hypothetically, I would’ve said yes,” Zuko whispered back. Feeling bold, you walked up to the prince and wrapped your arm around his neck.
“Do you trust me, Zuko?” you breathed, your lips inches away from his. You felt your heart speed up as his golden eyes met yours. Silently, he nodded. You wasted no time as you leaned up and pressed your lips against his. He stumbled back slightly, his back hitting the cliff that surrounded the beach as he grabbed onto your waist.
Almost immediately, he turned around, kissing you roughly and pressing you up against the wall as his body covered yours. Your hands tangled in his soft hair, your heart racing impossibly fast as you realized that you were actually kissing Zuko. You pulled away first, giving him a soft smile as you stared at him. “I take it you like me too?”
Zuko chuckled before nodding. “I do.”
He pressed another kiss to your lips, this one gentle as you enjoyed each other’s presence. The two of you were so distracted that you didn’t hear Appa land on the beach a few yards from you.
“Hey! I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure Aang isn’t in either of your mouths.”
The two of you pulled away from each other to see Sokka looking at you with a wide smirk. Suki sat behind him, giving both of you a suggestive look. Zuko helped you climb onto Appa before joining you and sitting next to you.
“Yip yip,” Sokka said before he turned to you. “So (Y/N), how was that field trip of yours?”
You turned looked at Zuko beore intertwining your hands, making him blush and earning a smile from Suki and Sokka.
“Best field trip ever.”
~
taglist!
@musicalkeys, @mywigglybaby​, @bubblebars​, @iguessthefloorislava​, @dekahg​, @boxofteenageideas​, @purifiedbottledwater, @butterflycore​
2K notes · View notes
maddywritez · a year ago
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random zuko hcs
zuko is abnormally warm and he doesn’t even know it until his s/o says something drowsily as they shuffle themselves closer to him and falling back asleep
growing up, his mother had raised him with a variety of vegetables incorporated into his meals so usually he’s not that picky. with this knowledge, you assumed that he would be okay with brussels sprouts as a side for dinner one night. the pout and crossed arms over his chest had told you otherwise
zuko is a picky eater and absolutely refuses to eat brussels sprouts, so you learned that either you just can’t cook it or secretly cook it with whatever you may cook
he will 100% listen to any gossip that you may have from your hometown or family drama or literally anything
one of his favorite bonding moments is shared with sokka when you and/or katara are ranting about something and just talking shit and bitter and angry
they both just want the tea and really invested into issue. he may even offer his own input
“So wait - she only married him for his money??” “YES” “that’s actually really fucked up” “that’s what I said!!”
I feel like either a modern au zuko and/or a slightly older zuko in the plot line has a tattoo and its definitely a dragon 
lowkey i can see him as a good cook, it’s just that no one knows. you’re the only one who knows but you also know that he cooks spicy food and no one else likes it because it’s just too much for everyone else.
but you can’t help but to coo at the way zuko gets so happy when you eat what he cooks and compliments it genuinely
i’ve briefly brought it up in a couple things i wrote, but zuko sometimes has to compete with momo for your attention/affection
it gets to the point where sokka and aang keep score of who wins your attention
he got really depressed for a period of time when momo’s score was above his
if/when the two of you go into town and there’s a lake or a pond or something with turtleducks, he will lose interest at whatever he’s looking at and just stare at them. he’s so into staring at the animals across the street, he doesn’t realize that you have left
zuko didn’t know that you left until you came back with a loaf of bread one hand and his in your other
for at least an hour, the two of you sat in front of the pond or whatever, feeding the many turtleducks that would swim up and just blink at you
when he is crowned firelord and if/when you move in with him to continue with your life together, zuko doesn’t really think about how big the palace is. so when he hasn’t seen you after several hours because you got lost, he gets really stressed
don’t worry, he found you
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beifongsss · a year ago
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nightmares [sokka]
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Pairing: Sokka x reader (hopefully the tags work this time)
Summary: Another request from an anon. “ your writing is so good aa!! what about having to share a bed w zuko (or sokka tbh i’m a simp for both) for a couple nights bc there weren’t enough beds for everyone and no one else wanted to “. First of all: thank you!! I’m glad you enjoy my writing :) <3. Second of all, the ideas I had for this fic just seemed to work best with Sokka so forgive me for not choosing Zuko.
Also, I apologize if I haven’t gotten to your request. Some of them really stump me and I have trouble with planning out a fic so some of them might be done in bullet format instead of a fic.
Note!! Suki and Sokka didn’t happen!! pls i’m sorry.
masterlist.
~
It had been Aang’s idea to go back to Ember Island to celebrate Zuko’s coronation. Zuko, although hesitant, eventually agreed. The royal family’s beach house stood empty and Zuko was finally ready to go back, finally being part of a happy family once more.
It was a larger group than originally anticipated. You had accidentally let it slip to Suki, who then let it slip to Ty Lee, who then informed Mai. The beach house seemed too crowded, not that anyone minded. The only issue was that there weren’t enough rooms to house everyone, even with Zuko and Mai sharing a room already.
The ones who were left didn’t want to share a room, claiming that it was supposed to be a relaxing getaway and that sharing a room with someone wouldn’t exactly be relaxing.
“Alright, alright,” Aang had finally said, his Avatar peacemaking skills coming out. “Look, there’s not enough rooms for everyone to have their own so two of us will need to double up.”
Grumbles spread throughout the group as Aang’s words settled in.
“Listen,” Zuko said. “Whoever chooses to double up can have the master bedroom. Trust me, that bed is big enough to share without ever touching each other.”
“C’mon everyone,” Katara said, picking up a hat. “Write your names on a piece of paper, put them in here, and then Zuko will choose.”
Everyone did as told, crossing their fingers and holding their breaths as Zuko moved his hand around, shuffling the papers before picking one out.
“Okay the first person is,” Zuko began, unfolding the paper. “(Y/N)!”
You huffed silently, crossing your arms and ignoring the relieved sighs of everyone else.
“Don’t celebrate yet, there’s still one person left to choose,” Zuko said, rummaging around the hat again. Everyone went silent once again, waiting with baited breath as the prince Fire Lord plucked another piece of paper out of the hat. A large smirk spread across his face as he silently read the name. Looking up, he made eye contact with the water tribe boy, aiming a teasing glance at him. “The second person is Sokka.”
The group went wild, but not in celebration. Everyone knew about the feelings that the water tribe boy had for you, and everyone knew that you liked him as well. Everyone, that is, except for the two of you. You both remained oblivious to the way the other felt, causing everyone else to feel frustration whenever the two of you interacted.
“Alright,” Katara said clapping her hands to get everybody’s attention. “Let’s go get settled in and meet at the beach in thirty minutes.”
Everyone made their way to their respective rooms and you found yourself following Sokka as he entered the master bedroom. You looked around the room, gazing at the decor and the large window. There was a balcony outside, giving a clear view of the beach. The bed was pushed against a wall, a fluffy loveseat off to the side and a dresser pushed up against another wall.
“I can uh, I can take the couch,” Sokka’s said, drawing your attention back to him. He was standing in the middle of the room, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck as he avoided your gaze.
You glanced at the bed. Zuko hadn’t been lying, it was ridiculously large. Breathing in, you turned back to Sokka. “N-No. It’s okay we can share the bed.”
Sokka’s eyes widened, causing you to backtrack. “Unless you don’t w-want to. That’s-”
“No!” Sokka yelled, a little too loud. He quickly cleared his throat. “No. We can share. I don’t mind.”
You nodded silently, face burning in embarrassment before grabbing your swimsuit and heading into the bathroom to change. Once you were gone, Sokka sat on the bed, burying his face in his hands as he wondered just how he was going to survive these next few days sleeping in the same bed as you.
~
The rest of the day passed normally. You had helped Aang and Toph build a sand Appa, gone surfing with Katara, and even learned a few tricks from Ty Lee.
It was nice to have everyone together, especially now that they didn’t have to worry about the war. Now they had the opportunity to be normal teenagers; well as normal as one could be when Zuko was the Fire Lord and Aang was the avatar. You had gone to a local restaurant for dinner, enjoying each other’s company as you teased and told jokes.
After dinner you had gone to see a play, much to Zuko’s dismay. The Ember Island Players hadn’t gotten any better since the last time you had seen them, causing you all to leave the play early, instead choosing to head to the bustling streets. There was a festival going on, music playing and fireworks blasting as you walked through the town.
A performer jumped out at you, causing you to yelp and grab the hand closest to you. An upward glance told you that it was Sokka who you had grabbed onto. You blushed furiously, smiling softly when you felt his hand tighten around yours. You spent the rest of the night hand in hand, pretending not to notice the teasing glances from Katara and the knowing smirks from Toph.
When you finally got back to the beach house, it was late. Everyone mumbled their good nights and went straight to bed, too exhausted to stay up any later. You collapsed into bed after taking a shower, snuggling into the pillows. You opened one eye when you heard the bathroom door open, humming as you saw Sokka standing at the foot of the bed awkwardly.
“Hurry up and put out the lights,” you mumble keeping your eyes closed as you buried yourself under the covers. Sokka fidgeted and put his hair down before crawling onto the bed, lying down stiffly and putting out the candles at the bedside. You snorted as you shifted, noticing that Sokka was anything but relaxed. “Just go to sleep Sokka. It’s not like I’m gonna bite.”
Sokka blushed at your words before turning onto his side, trying to ignore your body heat as he drifted off to sleep.
~
It was the middle of the night when you landed on the ground with a dull thud. Sitting up, you looked over to the best, glaring at the water tribe boy when you noticed him lying spread eagle on the bed. He had unintentionally kicked you off the bed as he slept. Shaking your head, you took one of the blankets and made your way over to the couch, silently thanking the royal family for choosing comfy furniture.
It was half past dawn when Sokka was woken up by you shuffling around the room. Groaning, he sat up, running a hand through his hair before halfheartedly shooting you a glare. “Why are you up so early?”
You jumped slightly when you heard his voice before whirling around, ready to give him hell for kicking you off the bed. Your angry words were cut short however, when you noticed Sokka’s hair was down. You felt a blush rise to your cheeks before turning back around. You had always thought that Sokka was attractive, but something about him with his hair down always got you extremely flustered.
“You kicked me off the bed last night,” you replied flatly, picking up your hairbrush before taking on a teasing tone. “If you didn’t wanna share a bed you should’ve just said so.”
“I-I, no that’s n-not it,” Sokka stuttered, jumping out of bed.
“I’m joking,” you said, turning back around and flashing him a small smile. “Just...try not to kick me tonight okay?”
Sokka silently nodded his head, a sheepish expression on his face as he began to get ready for the day.
~
The second night came quicker than you anticipated. Ty Lee had proposed a girl’s day and had planned out so many activities that all you wanted to do by the end of the day was sleep. Luckily, you had gotten back before Sokka allowing you to shower and get ready for bed with no distractions.
By the time Sokka had walked in, the candles had been blown out. He smiled softly as he noticed your sleeping figure before showering as well and settling into bed.
Sokka was in the state between being awake and asleep, lying blissfully as he relaxed, when he was woken up by soft whimpers. Looking over to you, he frowned as he noticed a distressed expression on your face, tears beginning to stream down your face. You were having a nightmare.
“(Y/N)?” he whispered softly, not wanting to wake you up harshly. You didn’t respond to his voice, instead flinching in your sleep. Sokka hesitantly reached out to you, laying a hand on your shoulder to try and gently shake you awake. At his touch, you stopped moving, leaning into him. Sokka held his breath as you rolled over, moving closer to him in your sleep. Sighing softly, you nestled your head onto his chest, your scared whimpers subsiding as you relaxed against him. Carefully, Sokka wrapped his arms around you, bringing you closer to him.
Your breathing evened out once more as you fell into a deep sleep, no longer being plagued by nightmares. Sokka couldn’t help but stare at you in his arms, wondering how someone could be so beautiful. His heart raced as he held you and he found himself pressing a kiss to your forehead before drifting off to sleep as well.
~ The next morning you woke up because of the sunlight coming in through the window and proceeded to snuggle deeper into your pillow to avoid it.
“Good morning,” you heard Sokka chuckle, causing your head to shoot up from what you now knew was his chest, not your pillow.
“S-Sokka!” you exclaimed, trying to pull away from him. “W-What?”
“You were having nightmares,” Sokka mumbled, still half asleep. “You rolled onto me and this seemed to calm you down so I went along with it. Now shush and let me go back to sleep. In case you forgot, you woke me up early yesterday.”
You swallowed as Sokka shifted, blocking the sun for you and still holding you close. His soft snores filled your ears as you thought back to the previous night, realizing he was right after remembering your nightmares. Trying to calm your racing heart, you took another look at him before snuggling into his chest and drifting back off to sleep.
When you woke up again, Sokka was gone. A part of you was glad, knowing that you weren’t fully ready to face him after the previous night. You stepped into the dining room, being greeted by everyone smiling at you. Greeting everyone back, you made your way over to the table, taking a seat next to Aang. Looking up, you made eye contact with Sokka, causing the two of you to look away from each other immediately, blushes on your face. You took a sip of tea.
“So anything interesting happen last night?” Zuko asked, causing you to choke on your tea. You received a few weird glances. You shook your head as others replied.
“What about you Sokka?” Zuko questioned once more, noticing that Sokka was abnormally silent. Sokka glanced at you, his face softening slightly before turning back to the Fire Lord.
“Nope. Nothing at all,” he replied.
“Then why is your heart racing?” Toph asked, an innocent look on her face. Sokka’s face heated up as he shot her a glare (not that she could see it) and kicked her underneath the table, causing her to release a low hiss before kicking back. Your face went even redder, causing Mai to speak up.
“Is it hot in here (Y/N)?” she questioned, exchanging a knowing glance with Zuko.
“N-No,” you replied, looking up at her. “Why?”
Mai picked up her cup of tea, taking a sip before putting it back down, a smirk on her face. “Oh no reason, you just seem a little flushed.”
The rest of your day proceeded normally, with the exception of a few comments made to either you or Sokka, which usually ended with the two of you looking like a bright red mess.
~
That night, both you and Sokka lied wide awake next to each other. Sleep had been evading the two of you, yet neither one of you had acknowledged it.
It wasn’t until Sokka turned onto his side, facing you, that the silence was broken.
“(Y/N)?” the blue-eyed boy questioned, causing you to turn and face him. You stared at him for a moment, noticing the way his hair fell over his eyes and how his eyes seemed to shine brightly even though it was dark. You didn’t say anything, merely humming in reply to tell him that you had heard him. “What was your nightmare about?”
You hesitated slightly before answering, something that Sokka noticed.
“You don’t have to tell me,” he whispered. “I’m sorry for asking.”
“No,” you replied immediately. “It’s okay. It’s just, it’s not really something I like to think about.”
Sokka nodded in understanding as you breathed in deeply.
“In my nightmare,” you began, looking away from him. “We’re aboard the Fire Nation’s airship fleet. Everything is going as planned until it’s not. Suddenly there we are, separated from Suki and Toph and you’re hanging on to the railing of the ship. I keep trying to get to you but there’s just so much fire and debris and I can’t reach you until all of a sudden I can. But when I reach you, you’re gone. You’re gone and Suki and Toph are crying and I’m crying because I wasn’t strong enough to save you.”
“Y-Your nightmares are about me?” Sokka asked, staring at you with a look that can only be described as a mix between sadness and astonishment. You nodded, still not meeting his eyes. “Why?”
“Because I’m afraid of losing you,” you whispered back, finally looking at him. “Because losing you was the only thing that was on my mind when we were taking down the airship fleet even though destroying the ships was supposed to be our priority.”
“But why?” Sokka asked, still not understanding what you were talking about. “Zuko was out there fighting his crazy sister! I think that’s a little more daunting than taking down a few airships.”
“But I don’t love Zuko,” you said, effectively shutting him up.
Sokka’s eyes went as wide as saucers as he took in your words. “You mean...you l-love me?”
You nodded your head, holding your breath as you realized that you had just confessed your feelings.
“I love you too,” came Sokka’s quiet reply, a blush overtaking his features as he smiled at you. Now it was your turn to look at him in shock. “I have ever since you told me off for being a hotheaded, sexist jerk.”
You chuckled as you remembered that argument. He had made a comment about you and Katara being girls and you had gotten upset, resulting in you insulting him. By the time you were done with him, he had been looking at you in a way you couldn’t really describe until right now. He had been lovestruck.
“I can’t believe it took you this long to confess,” you teased
“Can you blame me?” he retorted. “You’re pretty intimidating when you want to be!”
You chuckled before shifting closer to him. You grew quiet before speaking. “You know, last night was the first night that my nightmares didn’t keep me up all night.”
“If you wanted to cuddle with me you could’ve just asked,” Sokka replied, smiling smugly as he wrapped his arms around you. You rolled your eyes before tangling your legs with his. “I’ll keep you safe from your nightmares.”
You smiled softly before looking up at him, being taken by surprise when you noticed him already looking at you.
“C-Can I kiss you?” he asked quietly.
You nodded wordlessly, closing your eyes when you felt Sokka’s lips brush yours. You shuddered slightly before leaning up and fully pressing your lips to his. His arms tightened around you as he kissed you, and yours wrapped themselves around his neck. You pulled away, meeting Sokka’s eyes as he smiled down at you. Silently, he pressed another kiss to your forehead before resting his chin on your head.
The two of you drifted off into the most peaceful sleep either one of you had had since the end of the war.
~
Sokka woke up grumpily the next morning, reaching out for you when he realized you were no longer wrapped up in his arms. Letting out a low whine, he sat up, realizing that you were gone. He quickly changed into his day clothes, too lazy to tie his hair up before heading downstairs. He entered the dining room groggily, rubbing at his eyes before making his way over to you, leaning down and pressing a kiss to your lips.
You melted into the kiss, only pulling away when Katara dropped her fork.
“When did this happen?” she asked, eyes wide as she looked between you and her brother.
Finally wide awake, Sokka looked at everyone with an embarrassed expression. He looked at you in a panic before answering. “Last night.”
“You guys really just had to confess last night, didn’t you?” Toph groaned, pulling out a handful of coins and handing them to Zuko.
Everyone else grumbled as they handed Zuko their coins as well. You sat there gaping at them, before scoffing in exasperation. “I can’t believe you guys placed bets on us?”
“I can’t believe Zuko won,” Aang muttered, looking at the Fire Lord before looking back down on his plate.
“It wasn’t that hard. I said you’d confess in the bedroom,” Zuko said, a smirk on his face as he made eye contact with you. “The best part was pretending that the second name that came out of the hat was Sokka’s.”
The room exploded into chaos at Zuko’s words, with Toph shouting all kinds of insults at the Fire Lord as she realized that he had rigged the bet to work out in his favor. 
You and Sokka sat silently as you watched everyone argue.
“Y’know what?” Sokka asked, putting his arm around you. “I can’t say I’m mad about what Zuko did.”
Looking up at Sokka, you smiled before pressing a kiss to his jaw. “Me neither.”
~ ahahahaa i hope this is good and i hope you like it and it turned out completely different than what i originally had planned and i hope the tags work this time.
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zukoszukhoes · a year ago
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Don’t Speak- Zuko x Reader
// Soulmate au- Zuko x reader
// summary: In the Fire Nation, when you turn 16, the first words your soulmate will say to you appear on your wrist. Just after y/n’s 17th birthday, they don’t think they’ll ever find their soulmate. Until a certain prince, back from his banishment, comes to stay at their family’s estate on holiday. Suddenly, y/n is faced with a complicated problem; after all, what do you do when your soulmate is the crown prince of the nation you hate?
//part 2 here
//warnings: none, just some angst and a little threatening
// (Y/M/N)= your mother’s name
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“(Y/n), the royal procession is here! Come quickly!” The head maid, Lotty, cried into your room.
Shit! You thought, lurching up from your bed. You’d gotten so engrossed in your book you’d forgetting to keep track of time. And now your hair was a mess, your clothes were wrinkled, and you still couldn’t find your shoes. Your father was going to kill you when he saw you.
“Lotty, have you seen my shoes? The ones we got last week for the procession?” You shouted, throwing on your banquet wear as fast as you could.
“It’s in the closet!” Lotty called back from the other room, her voice panicked. Having visitors always put Lotty on edge.
“No, they’re not!”
Lotty rushed in your room, face scrunched up with stress and hair resembling a bird’s nest. “What do you mean they’re not in the closet?” She screeched.
“I checked the closet and I’m telling you they’re not there!”
“Spirits, child! Could you at least try and be organized?!” Lotty cried, digging into the closet. She emerged a minute later with the shoes held triumphantly in her hands and shoved them into your chest. “Now, go, quickly! The prince will be here any minute!”
The prince. The words echoed bitterly in your mind. Despite being the child of a powerful Fire Nation government official, living in the Fire Nation brought you no joy.
Growing up, you’d watched as the Fire Nation conquered the rest of the world. You’d been taught that it was the right thing to do, that you were sharing your success to create a better world. But when your father told you of the lives lost-on both sides- you couldn’t help but hate the war, and the Fire Nation. To you, it was all senseless killing, poorly disguised under the name “progress.”
When you heard about the prince’s banishment for speaking out against the Firelord’s war plans, you’d hoped it meant that he was a fair, wise, and just person. And, that maybe, one day, he would come back and be the Firelord the world needed him to be. However, when you learned he’d killed the avatar in Ba Sing Se, you knew in your heart that he was just as evil as the rest of his family.
Still, your reservations about the royal family did not deter your own family from idolizing them. After all, the Firelord had given your father a respectable job, a good home, and a steady living. Being a high-ranking government official had opened all kinds of doors for your family. So when the Firelord asked your father to host his son, Prince Zuko, while he was meeting with his war generals, how could he say no?
“You’re late.” Your father grumbled as you fell into line in between him and your mother. “Why, on today of all days, did you choose to be late?”
“I’m sorry, father.” You replied, fixing your shirt surreptitiously. “I lost track of time.”
A horrified gasp escaped your mother’s lips. “(Y/N)! Your mark!” She whispered, grabbing your wrist.
In the Fire Nation, everyone had the first words their soulmate would every say to them imprinted on their wrist. However, it was considered improper to display your mark in public. Anything having to do with soulmates was considered private, intimate, and extremely personal. To show your mark to the public, when you haven’t met your soulmate yet, would be considered betraying your soulmate’s trust before you’d even met them. Your parents seemed to believe in this idea more than most. They’d gone to extreme lengths to make sure no one other than themselves, Lotty, and yourself had seen the mark.
You glanced down, reading the words you’d read a hundred times over: “Your shoe is untied.”
“Here,” your mother huffed, handing you her own wrist cuffs. Her mark was gone, disappeared the first day she had met your father. You slipped on the cuffs, watching the words disappear under the bronze metal. “And next time, be more careful!” Your mother scolded you.
You rolled your eyes. But before you could respond, the front gates opened. A palanquin, painted blood red with regal gold detailing, appeared through the gates. Held up by four exhausted-looking palanquin bearers and flanked by guards, it was a statement of royalty that could not be ignored. You couldn’t help but roll your eyes at the pomp of it all.
“It’s a bit excessive, don’t you think?” You snorted. Your father glared at you, but cracked a smile nonetheless.
Gauzy white curtains fluttered in the wind as the palanquin bearers strode their way up to the house. In between the curtains you caught a glimpse of a high ebony ponytail, a flaming crimson scar, and two golden, piercing eyes. Eyes widening with surprise, you quickly averted your gaze, a shiver racing down your spine. What was that? After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the palanquin finally stopped in front of your family.
“Please bow for Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation!” One of the guards barked, dropping to one knee. Immediately all of the other guards followed. You slipped into a low bow, watching out of the corner of your eye as the palanquin bearers parted the curtains for the prince to descend.
You’d expected to find the prince revolting. When you imagined meeting him before, his image only conjured anger over the war, anger over all of the injustices you’d heard of over the years. But when the prince emerged from the palanquin, you didn’t feel anger; instead, you felt your heart skip a beat.
Tall and regal, Prince Zuko had a commanding presence that seemed to wrap around your heart and squeeze. You’d always heard that the royal family was cold and calculated- but the prince reeked of raw emotion. He did not smile- or show any expression at all- but his presence emanated raw angst. And those eyes. Once again, the flash of molten amber met yours, one eye haloed in dark red, and sent a jolt down your spine. Looking into his eyes, you felt as if you could watch the gears in his head turn and twist as he studied you. All of his turmoil, rage, and sorrow swirled in those pools of amber, shaking you to your core. He narrowed his eyes, his gaze of liquid gold seeming to find something interesting in you.
You knew it was improper to hold his gaze for so long, but you couldn’t look away. He was incredible, yet turbulent; beautiful, but terrifying. Part of your brain saw him and thought he was nothing more than a teenage boy. The other part screamed that he was nothing but another killer.
“Prince Zuko, it is an honor to have you with us,” your father greeted in a booming voice. He clasped his hands behind his back and stood to attention, looking very much like the important official he was. “I am Executive (L/N). This is my wife, (Y/M/N), and my child, (Y/N).”
“Thank you for hosting me. It is a pleasure to meet all of you.” Zuko replied, his voice quieter than you expected.
“We hope the home is to your liking. If you need anything at all during your stay, feel free to take full advantage of the staff,” your mother said with a gracious smile.
The prince dipped his head in a subtle nod. “I appreciate your hospitality.” He paused, gaze sliding to yours once again. His eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly. “You’re (Y/N)?”
You simply nodded. It seemed better not to speak than to speak and say something out of turn (which, as your mother liked to complain, was a frequent and annoying habit of yours).
The prince walked forward until he was standing just a few paces away. He continued to study you up and down, face devoid of emotion. Finally, he remarked in a flat tone, “Your shoe is untied.”
Immediately all of the blood drained from your face. Underneath your cuff, your wrist burned. Your mother let out a small gasp, her excitement palpable. But you felt nothing but dread.
This is impossible. It has to be! Your thoughts raced frantically. Your heart began to thump loudly in your chest, fueled by panic-induced adrenaline. It had to be fake. It had to be.
Because if it wasn’t, than that meant that the crown prince- heir to the throne- of the nation you hated was your soulmate.
You glanced to the side and caught Lotty’s eye. She was practically jumping up and down with excitement, coaxing you to say something. Of course, she, your mother, and your father all knew your words. They knew that Prince Zuko’s first words to you were the first words your soulmate would say to you. No doubt they thought this was a good thing, a cause for celebration. How could they not realize Prince Zuko being your soulmate was the last thing you wanted?
A bead of sweat traveled down the back of your neck. Your father nudged you inconspicuously, prodding you to say something. But you couldn’t. Because those words would cement you as the crown prince’s soulmate.
Suddenly, an idea popped into your head. If speaking would make you Prince Zuko’s soulmate, then you just wouldn’t speak at all.
You clamped your mouth shut, choosing to nod again instead of replying. The prince raised an eyebrow, tension thickening in the air as he waited for a response.
“Excuse my (Y/N).” Your mother laughed suddenly, breaking the tension. She placed a hand on your shoulder in a seemingly harmless gesture, but her nails dug into your skin. “They can be so forgetful sometimes!”
The Prince’s eyes never left yours. “I understand.” He said flatly. His gaze lingered on you a moment longer before he turned away, towards your father.
“You must be tired after your journey. Let me show you to your quarters.” Your father said, lowering himself into a bow.
“Thank you.” The prince replied. He nodded to the palanquin bearers to bring his luggage forward.
“Come, right this way.” Your father directed him towards the entrance. They walked inside, thankfully releasing you from the prince’s presence.
You exhaled slowly, feeling some of your anxiety melt away that the prince was gone. However, your mother’s tension was clearly rising.
“What were you thinking?” She hissed, nails digging deep into your shoulder. “Refusing to speak to a royal! Spirits, (Y/N), I knew you could be headstrong but- but- this!”
Quickly, you looked around for the prince before turning back to your mother. “You heard what he said to me. It matches.”
“I know!” She squealed. “All the more reason to speak to him! You don’t want to insult your future husband more than you already have, do you?”
“Future husband?!” Heat rushed to your cheeks. “Spirits, mother, I just met him!”
“Darling, he’s your soulmate.” Your mother’s voice softened along with her grip on your shoulder. She smiled gently, her other hand raising to caress your cheek. “You two will be together, whether you want to or not.”
You swatted your mother’s hand away, a furious blush scorching your cheeks. “We don’t know that he’s my soulmate. After all, I haven’t even spoken to him yet.”
Your mother’s eyes narrowed and she leaned back, crossing her arms. “So that’s why you refuse to speak to the prince?”
You simply looked away. Lotty caught your gaze, concern swimming in her eyes.
Your mother scoffed. “Don’t be a coward, (Y/N). You have a great opportunity here. You could rule alongside the Firelord, and bring glory to our family!”
You turned away, anger simmering inside of you. “I’m not a coward. And I don’t want to rule beside the Firelord.”
Your mother opened her mouth to reply, face red with rage, but before she could, a servant came out of the front doors and rang the dinner bell.
“This is not over.” Your mother glowered, sweeping past you towards the dining hall. You sighed, about to follow, but stopped for a moment. Glancing down, you groaned. Your shoe really was untied.
~~~
The night was cool and clear. A breeze drifted lazily through your open window, bringing sounds of toad-crickets and beetle-sparrows with it. The last embers of a dying fire crackled in the fireplace. Under your mountain of blankets, you should have been fast asleep. Instead, you were wide awake, the day’s events replaying over and over again in your head. Having a soulmate was terrifying enough, but having the prince of the Fire Nation as a soulmate? That was something else entirely.
Throwing back your covers, you slipped out of bed, abandoning your futile attempts at sleep. You lit a candle and silently left your room, making your way towards your favorite spot in the house. It was a small balcony situated just off of the hallway leading to the servants quarters. Small and hidden from outside view thanks to some nearby trees, it was the perfect place to hide and think. You often found yourself seated there on nights you couldn’t sleep, listening to the cicada-frogs until you were tired enough to go back to your room.
You quietly opened the door to the balcony, looking forward to the solitude, but that night it seemed you had company.
Prince Zuko sat on the weathered stone, staring up at the stars with a dying candle next to him. His head turned as you opened the door.
Panic flared in your chest and you immediately receded, but before you could retreat fully, the prince’s voice called out to you, “Wait!”
You paused, your heart hammering in your chest. Your mind screamed at you to ran back to your room and forget the interaction had ever occurred, but something compelled you forward. Slowly, you opened the door and stepped out onto the balcony.
Zuko was staring at you inquisitively, like you were a puzzle he was trying to piece together. A slight blush colored his cheeks. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take your spot. I couldn’t sleep.”
You didn’t respond.
The prince’s face suddenly soured and his hand curled into a fist. “Why won’t you speak to me?” He yelled, features scrunched in rage.
Your eyes widened, a jolt of fear electrifying your heart, until you remembered who you were. Yes, you were technically one of Prince Zuko’s future subjects. But you were also not one to be bullied.
Crossing your arms, you glared at the prince, daring him to yell at you again.
It seemed to work. The rage melted into annoyance. Zuko huffed, blowing a stray lock of hair out of his eyes, and turned his attention back to the stars. “You’re very frustrating.”
You cracked a smile and slowly relaxed a bit.
“You have a nice house. Do you like it here?” Zuko asked, doing his best to appear nonchalant.
You grinned and shook your head, as if to say, Your tricks won’t work on me.
Instantly, Zuko’s demeanor changed. He become more guarded, more shrouded in angst. “Do you want to know the real reason I’m here?” He started suddenly. He waited for your slow nod before continuing. “My father thinks there’s a spy here.”
Shock sliced through your chest despite your attempts to appear indifferent. A spy? At your house? You shook your head. It was impossible.
Zuko turned to you again, his gaze suspicious. “Maybe I should be looking at you more closely. Maybe you won’t speak to me because you’re the traitor.”
A laugh burst out of your mouth. You, a spy? You certainly had your qualms with the Fire Nation, but your town was tiny and your father barely let you talk to anyone outside of his own circle.
“I know you hate me!” Zuko snarled. “Everyone knows you hate the Fire Nation and the royal family. Who else would betray their country but you?”
You stayed silent, unsure whether to be afraid of Zuko or laugh at him. His anger was impressive to be sure, but it was all bark, no bite. It was a facade to protect himself from his true feelings. You could see that it in his eyes.
Finally, Zuko looked away, a frustrated groan escaping his lips. He leaned against his knee, his other leg sprawled out on the cobblestone. He radiated nonchalance, but there was an uneasiness in his stature that betrayed the turmoil raging beyond his perfectly-measured exterior. Slowly, you reached out with your hand and placed your palm on his shoulder, trying to convey as much compassion as you could in the touch. You knew Zuko didn’t really think you were the spy; if he did, you would have already been in a Fire Nation prison.
The prince shrugged your hand off, still refusing to look at you, but you could see some of the anger dissipate from his frame. Cautiously, you sat down against the opposite railing, keeping your gaze on Zuko. For a minute, the two of you simply sat in silence, you waiting for Zuko to say something and Zuko too proud to do so.
Finally, Zuko broke the tension with a sigh. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. Things are just a bit... complicated, at the moment.”
You found yourself nodding in agreement.
Zuko glanced at you from the corner of his eye. “You can talk, can’t you?”
You smirked teasingly. Zuko grunted and looked away, running a hand through his unkempt raven hair.
“Good. Glad to know I didn’t just yell at a mute person for not being able to speak.”
A quiet laugh escaped your lips. Zuko whipped his head to you in surprise, his blush deepening. Despite your determination to hate the prince, a blush of your own warmed your cheeks. 
“I’m... glad I was able to talk to you tonight. Even if you didn’t talk back. Lotty said you’d probably come out here, but I wasn’t sure if you'd be here,” Zuko said.
You frowned. Of course Lotty had told him where to find you. She may not have been your parents, but she definitely thought highly of the royal family and would be thrilled if the prince was indeed your soulmate. 
“Don’t blame her. I asked her to tell me,” Zuko reassured you quickly, seeing your frown.
You nodded; of course you didn't blame her. Suddenly, you yawned, a wave of fatigue washing over you.
“You’re tired.” Zuko stated, regaining the calm, princely demeanor he wore earlier in the day. You nodded again, crossing your arms to keep yourself warm in the cool night air. “Let me walk you back to your room.” He offered, standing up and holding out his hand. Quickly, you shook your head, launching to your feet. If one of the servants saw, rumors would no doubt spread like wildfire. Besides, you were trying your best to dislike Prince Zuko, and every second you spent with him was waning away your hatred. It was better to stay away.
Zuko’s outstretched hand fell to his side. His face settled into a steely glare and he raised his chin slightly, trying his best (but failing) to appear unaffected. “Fine. Until tomorrow, then.”
You paused, part of you wanting to stay back. Instead, you bowed hastily and retreated from the deck, quickly walking back to the safety of your room. When you were safely nestled under your blankets, heart racing from the encounter, you finally allowed yourself to breathe fully.
In the matter of a few hours, your life had become more complicated than it had ever been before. There could be a spy in your midst, you may have found your soulmate, and that soulmate may have been the crown prince of the Fire Nation. Despite the thoughts running through your head, however, you found yourself yawning. Burying yourself deeper into your pillows, sleep slowly tugged at your brain, sinking you deeper and deeper into darkness. But your thoughts of Prince Zuko spiraled with you, until, when you finally tumbled into sleep’s warm embrace, it was Zuko’s amber eyes that watched you fall.
~~~
The next morning, you decided you needed to do whatever possible to avoid the prince. You couldn’t risk another meeting with him, especially after your meeting from the night before, which had left you with certain... sympathetic thoughts towards Zuko. So when Lotty came into your room that morning, you proclaimed sudden illness and told her to leave you for the rest of the day. “To prevent the sickness from spreading to the prince,” you had claimed. Lotty, thankfully, had obediently left you alone and promised no one would come to see you. However, you still felt defenseless in your room, susceptible to a visit from Zuko. Thus, you found yourself following a path towards the back of the gardens, searching for seclusion. The gardens, lush, green, and sprawling across a whole acre, provided plenty of solitary clearings and hidden grottos to hide in. As you walked through a tunnel of trees towards the back edge of the gardens, you felt the tension from the past day melt from your shoulders. Vines spilled from trees and onto the path, dotted with Fire Lilies in bloom. The intoxicating smell worked its way into your muscles and dissipated the stress. Finally, as you reached the end of the path, you pushed through one last wall of leaves, feeling the last of your anxiousness fade away with the promise of solitude-
You gasped and immediately withdrew, your heart beginning to thump in your chest. Where you were sure you would find solitude, a moment of peace and quiet, you found something else entirely- Lotty. And, to make matters worse, she was speaking with Prince Zuko. 
Luckily, the pair didn’t notice your presence. They were too busy arguing to notice you behind the wall of vines. 
“Please, your Highness, have mercy!” Lotty was saying, a tremble in her voice. Peeking between the vines, you watched her sink to her knees in front of the Prince, her head bowed and hands clasped together.
Zuko’s face was scrunched up in anger, cheeks red. Faint wisps of steam curled outwards from his clenched fists. “You are a traitor to your country. How dare you ask for mercy, after all you’ve done?!” He shouted.
“I know I don’t deserve it. I know I don’t deserve your kindness. But, please, your Highness... for the sake of the girl... for the family... spare me!” Lotty whispered, face wide-open and terrified.
“When I was thirteen, my father permanently scarred me for speaking out of turn. If I didn’t receive mercy, you won’t either,” Zuko snarled. “Espionage is a far worse crime than foolishness.”
Your eyes widened. The spy. Lotty was the spy!
Lotty, the woman who had practically raised you. Lotty, the woman who had cooked for you, cleaned for you, and taken care of you your whole life. Lotty, who loved the Fire Nation so ardently- had betrayed your family to the rebels.
You sagged against the tree, shock paralyzing your limbs. She had betrayed you. And now, she was going to receive her punishment.
You forced yourself to look back through the curtain of vines, hands shaking. 
“I’m sorry, Prince Zuko-” Lotty gasped, shielding her face. Zuko had a blazing fireball poised in his hand.
“Apologies won’t save you now.” Zuko growled. Raising his arm to strike, the fire cast monstrous shadows over the scene, highlighting Lotty’s terrified expression. You watched as her eyes widened, fraught with the knowledge that she was about to meet her doom- and before you knew what you were doing, you were running towards her, screaming at Zuko to stop.
“Don’t you touch her!” You cried, skidding in front of Lotty just as Zuko prepared to strike.
Zuko’s fireball disappeared.
Chest heaving, you glared daggers at Zuko. “If you want to get to her, you’ll have to go through me.”
Zuko’s mouth dropped open in horror, his face becoming pale. “No,” he whispered, a look of horrible realization dawning over his face. He ripped off the cuff on his right wrist, exposing his pale skin and the black words inked into his flesh:
“Don’t you touch her.”
His eyes met yours, panic filling his gaze. “What does yours say?” He whispered, his voice eager yet terrified.
You slipped your cuff off and your own words came to light. The words on yours and Zuko’s wrists began to turn golden from the inside, shining brighter and brighter until the words vanished from your wrists in a blaze of light, confirming the worst.
You and Prince Zuko really were soulmates.
Except, after seeing what he was capable of, you knew you'd never love him.
2K notes · View notes
patchofsunlight · a year ago
Text
Back to You | Zuko x Fem!Reader
SUMMARY: Fire Lord Zuko falls in love with one of the Kyoshi Warriors sent to protect him. Thankfully, she falls in love with him too.
WORD COUNT: 5.2k I wanted it to be shorter than Pretty Eyes and succeeded... kind of
WARNINGS: okay so there’s some kissing, some swear words, some obvious mutual pining, some frustration, and that’s it. it’s pure fluff ngl
I hope you all like it! I actually had a lot of fun writing this and I think it came out pretty nice. Also requests are open! Thank you for reading and here we go.
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“Hey, Fire Lord, your date is here.”
“Y/N, we’ve talked about this. You can call me Zuko, and it is a diplomatic meeting, not a date.”
“You sure? He’s wearing such nice clothes. I can do your hair real quick if you want, get you ready and cute in like five minutes.”
“No, Y/N, thank you. You can let Ambassador Gamu in.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll be just outside the door if you need me.”
“Of course.”
Zuko tried to ignore the cheeky blink the Kyoshi Warrior sent his way before leaving his office, a teasing grin adorning her painted face. When Suki told him she would bring the most experienced and talented of her warriors alongside her to protect him and serve as his guards, he definitely did not think he would have to deal with someone like Y/N.
He knew she was, for sure, a strong and intelligent fighter, being Suki’s second in command and impressively skillful with every single one of her weapons. He had watched her spar with her companions more than once and seeing Y/N fight never failed to take his breath away until his lungs were filled with only admiration and pride. However, one could call her less than professional, and her treating of the Fire Lord troubled most of the palace’s staff. And yet, to be honest, Zuko found it really hard to pretend he didn’t absolutely adore her.
Y/N felt like a breath of fresh air, like sunshine on a cloudy day, like seabreeze. He loved the way she always teased him and tried to make him laugh, loved the way she seemed to brighten up every room she walked into. Somehow she managed to bring joy to the same place he always associated with sadness and anger — every corner of the palace was happier with her around. That’s why he chose to keep her as his closest guard, even after every single one of his advisors told him time and time again to send the disrespectful Kyoshi Warrior away. Zuko knew he probably should, but he was slowly learning how to accept and cherish the things that made him feel like smiling, and Y/N was undoubtedly on that list.
He refused to admit how in love he was with her. He had convinced himself it was nothing but a crush, some sort of appreciation for her amazing fighting skills, but a small part of him knew that was not true. He had it bad for her and would kill a man to keep a smile on her face any day of the week.
“It is very good to know the Earth Kingdom is so willing to tighten its relationships with the Fire Nation, Ambassador Gamu. I hope I can assist you in every way possible to guarantee a brilliant future for all nations.”
The Earth Kingdom official smiled politely, “thank you very much, Fire Lord Zuko. Nevertheless, it is crucial you are made aware that not all our citizens are happy with the new… Arrangements between our countries. I heard you have had a similar problem here, haven’t you? I truly hope the Kyoshi Warriors have been good servants and protectors, sir.”
Zuko couldn’t help the upwards movement of his lips as he gazed at Y/N’s silhouette through the door crack. “They certainly have,” he watched her look behind her, probably feeling his stare, and grinned when she shot out her tongue at him in an amusing manner, “I am extremely grateful for having them here with me.”
-----
“Hey, Fire Lord, your date is here.”
He glanced up from his desk and furrowed his eyebrows at her, “it’s Zuko, and I don’t have any meetings scheduled for today.”
Y/N beamed and he was sure his heart did a somersault inside his chest, “I know! I was talking about me. I’m your date.”
He lightly blushed, “what?”
“Come on, Fire Lord, you’ve been working for hours on end. You need to take a break,” she scratched the back of her neck in embarrassment and thanked every spirit there was for the white paint hiding her reddened cheeks, “I thought we could take a walk around the palace, y’know? I’ll be beside you doing the whole protecting thing and you can rest a bit from the whole rebuilding the Fire Nation thing.”
Zuko hesitated, “I don’t know, Y/N. I really need to finish this,” he gestured to the awaiting letters and reports in front of him, “I can’t simply leave. I have obligations as Fire Lord and—”
“I’m aware of that,” she bit down on her lower lip teasingly and he couldn’t help but think about the inevitable gasps she would have earned if anyone else heard her interrupt him like that, “but you shouldn’t overwork yourself. Besides, I’m tired of standing around doing nothing. Please? It will be so fast no one will even notice you’re gone!”
He sighed, “Y/N…”
“Please, Zuko?”
It was probably the first time she had ever called him by his name. She knew how much he hated being called Fire Lord, only accepting it during important gatherings, assemblies or introductions, but insisted on calling him by that anyway. Zuko was absolutely sure she only did it to spite him and had to admit it was kind of endearing — he loved the small ways she found of constantly challenging him. However, he quickly learned he loved hearing her say his name a lot more.
He sat up suddenly, “five minutes.”
Y/N grinned so brightly he had to bit back his own smile, “fifteen!”
“This is not a negotiation. Five minutes and then I’ll come back to my duties as a leader.”
“Okay, okay. Ten minutes then.”
“What? No, I didn’t agree to that.”
“Oh? I’m sorry, Fire Lord. Fifteen it is.”
Zuko opened his mouth to oppose when he heard her chuckle in amusement before taking a hold of his arm and pulling him towards the gardens.
“We could feed the turtleducks, but I don’t really think that’s a good idea,” she chattered lightly, somewhat begrudgingly letting him walk arm in arm with her instead of keeping on dragging him around, “I already did that earlier today.”
He wrinkled his nose and stared at her with a silent question in his eyes, “why did you feed the turtleducks? We have people here to do that.”
“I know,” Y/N shrugged her shoulders, “but they are cute so I asked to feed them,” she threw him a smile, “I’m pretty sure they liked me.”
Zuko shook his head cheerfully and smiled back almost instantly, “Of course they did. How could they not?”
She turned her head to look at him so quickly he wondered how she didn’t get whiplash. The Kyoshi Warrior smirked, “are you flirting with me, Fire Lord?”
There was a tingling session going through his body as the color red creeped upon his neck, face and ears. Zuko wanted to say something smooth like “yes, I have been for a while, haven’t you noticed?” or “how could I not flirt with such a pretty lady like you?”, but he only managed to stutter, slightly panic, and then answer in a high-pitched voice, “what? No! What?”
Y/N lifted her free arm in surrender, trying not to laugh at his reaction, “alright, sorry for asking,” she smirked again before muttering, “I wouldn’t mind if you were, though.”
The Fire Lord’s eyes widened in surprise at her words, his tone now back to normal, “what do you mean?”
For some reason, his inquiry seemed to make her self-conscious of their conversation topic. Zuko wished for nothing more than to punch himself in the face. “It’s nothing. I was just joking.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah.”
“Okay.”
“Great. Look, it’s been five minutes already!” she stared at her wrist so confidently he almost didn’t notice the lack of anything to actually check the time there. “You must go back to your Fire Lord things, right, Fire Lord?”
“We can still go see the turtleducks if you want?”
“Don’t worry! We can do that another time, when you’re not busy.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am. Hey, that’s Suki! I need to talk to her! Bye!”
“What? Y/N—”
“Bye, Fire Lord!”
Y/N was going absolutely crazy. When Suki first brought her to the Fire Nation to protect the so-called revolutionary and strong new Fire Lord, she had been skeptical. After all her years training and helping people around the nations with the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors, she couldn’t care less about the damn Fire Lord — she had spent a long time locked up after Azula and her stupid gang captured them and no new or old Fire Lord had come to their rescue. In conclusion, the bitch could catch on fire himself and be an On-Fire Lord for all she cared (she had spent too long thinking about that joke but that definitely did not matter), even though Suki had told her she knew the guy and that he was a great person or whatever.
Now she was biting her own tongue and trying to keep from flirting with him. In her defense, though, Zuko was a thousand times more good-looking and a billion times nicer than she expected him to be. She couldn’t help but always look for ways to make him smile, loving all his little quirks and habits, and suddenly found herself by his side a lot more than she needed to. She constantly acted as a personal guard, waiting outside his door during private meetings and accompanying him on walks, assemblies and gatherings in a somewhat intimate manner. She didn’t need to be right beside him the whole time — she could protect him from afar and maintain her distance like the other Kyoshi Warriors had chosen to, but Y/N simply didn’t want that. The stupid feelings she was slowly building towards the Fire Lord were dangerous at worst and annoying at best, constantly distracting her from her duties and responsibilities as Suki’s second in command.
It was infuriating, since love and relationships had never been really the type of stuff Y/N liked to partake in. She was good at fighting and giving witty responses and making jokes, but not at liking someone. Specially not liking Fire Lord Zuko, who was one of the most powerful people in the world and would certainly end up marrying some rich Fire Nation girl to guarantee a great and honorable successor to the throne or something like that.
When she finally went back to her individual palace room after a long day of trying not to embarrass herself in front of Zuko anymore and just all-around avoiding talking with him, she sat down before the mirror and started to take her facepaint off. That part of her routine, alongside putting on the paint in the mornings, had always felt like a ritual of sorts, calming her down and enabling her to let go of any unimportant worries. 
Y/N let out a tired sigh, stared at her bare face and grinned. She might have fallen in love with the Fire Lord, but at least living in the palace allowed her to sneak into the kitchens in the middle of the night and steal some fruit tarts. She got up from her spot in front of the mirror and exited the room as quietly as possible, strongly believing that eating something would take her mind off the Fire Lord and his beautiful golden eyes. 
-----
After another full hour of fruitlessly waiting for sleep, Zuko decided to put on an old cloak and walk around his palace. Pacing had always made wonders for helping him collect his thoughts and calm down from whatever it was that troubled him that day. It was not the first time he took on that habit and it would not be the last.
He honestly didn’t notice the person creeping up on him until he was pinned to a wall, an arm to his throat not pressing hard enough to hurt him, but enough to quicken his heartbeat. Zuko stared at the one responsible for the assault with confusion shining in his eyes, unable to recognize her without her greasepaint until she blinked and stepped back.
“Fire Lord?”
He widened his eyes, “Y/N? What are you doing here?”
“I was headed for the kitchens. What are you doing here? Did something happen?”
“No. I just couldn’t sleep.”
“I see,” she nodded and yawned, averting her eyes from him, “you shouldn’t be out and about without a guard, tho. You know that.”
“I’m pretty capable of protecting myself, Y/N.”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure.”
He crossed his arms in defense, “what is that supposed to mean?”
“Do you want to go grab some snacks with me?”
“I—” he stared at her, for the first time seeing her blush under his gaze, “okay.”
“Great! Let’s go, Fire Lord.”
Zuko stayed quiet while they walked through the palace. He watched Y/N greet every single night servant they met on their way, earning big smiles and excited waves. For some reason, knowing how loved she was by his workers made his heart swell with pride. She would make an excellent Fire Queen someday. Or Fire Lady. Was there an official name for the Fire Lord’s wife? He couldn’t remember.
Zuko felt all the blood in his body drop to his feet when he noticed where his thoughts had wandered to. He shouldn’t think about Y/N as his wife — she was merely a protector, the help. He was not in love with her and therefore should not deliberate such things, not even by accident.
But he had never seen her bare faced before and he couldn’t help but take note of how alluring she was. He had always considered her pretty, but now he could really see her and she was so much more than just pretty.
“Come on, Fire Lord. I’m sure they have fruit tarts.”
He smiled as she sneaked inside the door to the kitchens, following soon after. In a matter of minutes they were sat before each other on the ground, sharing a bunch of fruit tarts Y/N had found hidden inside one of the cabinets. There was a comfortable silence surrounding them and Zuko appreciated how easy it was to be near her, without expectations or curious looks. Whenever he was next to the Kyoshi Warrior, he came close to forgetting his titles and obligations, satisfied with being simply who he was.
It felt nice.
“You look good with your hair down,” she announced suddenly, unaware of the thoughtful look on his face, “I like it.”
He felt his cheeks burn, “thank you, Y/N,” the young Fire Lord inhaled deeply to gather the courage necessary to express the response that came to mind, “you look good all the time.”
She stilled her movements with a fruit tart inches from her mouth, eyes blinking in surprise. After a tense moment, she grinned and lowered her arm, “do you really think so or are you just being nice?”
“I mean it, Y/N. You are… You are absolutely beautiful.”
The pair studied each other for a few instants, eyes sparkling with a breathtaking feeling both easily recognized but were not ready just yet to deal with. Y/N beamed at him, her face pink at the compliment. Zuko could feel his heart twist and turn inside his chest, butterflies flying in his stomach. “Why, thank you, Fire Lord. For the record, I have found you beautiful since I first saw you. I was expecting some rude and cranky old guy and there you were, with your pretty eyes and nervous smile. It was pleasant in a very surprising way.”
The Fire Lord was pretty sure she could hear his heartbeat as she leaned in almost subconsciously, her smile brightening up every small spot his eyes could see of the dark kitchen. 
He was, indeed, very much in love with her, and there was no use in denying it, not while she averted her gaze to his lips and seemed to get closer and closer until their noses touched. Zuko’s breath hitched inside his throat as her lips ghosted his, eyes fluttering close before a loud bang sent them jumping in opposite directions, searching the source of the noise.
“Y/N? Is that you?”
The Kyoshi Warrior scratched her neck shyly, adamantly avoiding Zuko’s stare, “yes, Izum. How are you?”
The servant walked up to her with crossed arms, “I told you to stop invading the kitchens at night! You’re gonna put an end to our fruit tart stock, young lady.”
The Fire Lord watched the interaction curiously. Y/N and Izum smirked at each other as if they were old friends. “Well, if you don’t want me to steal your fruit tarts, you should maybe stop making the best fruit tarts in the entire universe.”
“Flattery won’t get you anywhere, honey.”
“You sure?”
“Yes! Fire Lord Zuko will be alerted about this.”
“I think he might already know.”
The young man seemed to finally notice Zuko’s presence, widening his eyes in surprise and bowing respectfully, “I’m so sorry, sir. I didn’t see you there, it’s too dark and—”
“It’s fine, Izum, don’t worry. We’ll be off your kitchens in a second. Right, Y/N?”
“Of course,” she brushed the dust off her pants and walked to stand beside the Fire Lord, ignoring her friend’s raised brows, “I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“You will,” Izum looked from her to Zuko and then back to her, a teasing smile on his face when he greeted them goodbye, “good night, Y/N. Good night, Fire Lord Zuko.”
“How do you know him?” the Fire Lord asked after they left the kitchen, some sort of discomfort growing inside him at the way the Kyoshi Warrior had interacted with the servant.
“Oh, Izum is a good friend. He regrets deeply telling me where they keep the fruit tarts, but it’s too late now. We met during my first week here.”
“I see.”
“Let me take you back to your room, Fire Lord. It is already very late.”
Despite his unacknowledged jealousy, he wasn’t fast enough to bit back his smirk, “shouldn’t I be the one leading you to your room?”
“I am the guard, Zuko. I am the one taking care of you, not the other way around.”
He chuckled, “right.”
“I can put you to bed if you want, I used to do that to my younger sibling sometimes.”
“Shut up, Y/N.”
She threw her had back in laughter and he grinned.
They didn’t ever talk about what happened (or more accurately didn’t happen) during that dark night in the kitchens. Zuko was progressively busier with meetings and peace treaties, slowly putting the Fire Nation back in good rails. Y/N would routinely force him to take a break every once in a while, be it by leading him outside his office or taking his attention away from work and starting conversation.
Spirits, he was so in love with her.
It was during one of those breaks that one of her fellow Kyoshi Warriors knocked on his workroom’s door and entered with a nervous look on her face, nodding at him in respect before turning her attention to her friend, “Y/N?”
The young warrior smiled, “hey, Naya. Is everything alright?”
“Suki wants to speak with you. Privately.”
Y/N’s expression was instantly filled with worry and concentration. She gripped her katana tightly, walking towards the girl, “I want three warriors guarding the Fire Lord at all times, we are not taking chances regarding his safety. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Y/N.”
“Good,” she turned to Zuko, her stone-cold face easing momentarily. She marched up to him with conviction before planting a kiss on his cheek that made his body burn with surprise and happiness. “Be careful, Fire Lord. I’ll be back soon, okay?”
“I—I… I mean… I’m—” he kept on stuttering, unable to form an entire sentence with his feelings all over the place, “You… I—”
She smirked, walking away backwards, “see you, Zuko.”
Naya looked at him with a cheeky smile after Y/N left the room, crossing her arms and staring in a teasing manner. Zuko was still rooted into place, widened eyes and reddened cheeks watching the now closed door. “Are you alright, Fire Lord Zuko?”
“I—yeah. I am. Yes,” his tone was definitely not as certain as he wanted it to be, “of course.”
The girl giggled, “sure.”
The Fire Lord would only see his favorite guard again on the following day. She came to visit him in his office and had a gravity to her eyes that he was unfamiliar with, lips pressed together in determination.
“What happened?” he immediately asked, the letter he was working on quickly forgotten. “Are you okay?”
“There have been attacks to the warriors in Kyoshi Island,” she declared, “not everyone is happy with our new arrangements. People think Earth Kingdom fighters shouldn’t be helping the Fire Nation in any way.”
“Oh,” he managed to answer, anxiety building up inside him at her hardened expression. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault, Zuko,” she looked away from him, “but we can’t leave our companions to fend for themselves.”
He could feel his heartbeat pick up, “I see.”
“Suki is sending me back to Kyoshi Island,” Y/N confessed, a hint of sadness to her tone, “I’m her second in command and I should be there to help our warriors through this.”
A heavy silence fell upon the room, tension sparkling between the couple. He knew what that piece of information meant, knew what it would cause.
“You’re leaving.”
She softened almost instantly, taking a step closer to him and then hesitating, “no!” he stared and she sighed, “I mean, yes, but I’ll return when it’s over,” she looked at him with some sort of desperation, eagerly searching for something she couldn’t find, “when everything’s done and dealt with, I’ll return.”
Zuko nodded, a disheartening sting running through his chest, “I understand. Leaving is your duty as a leader.”
“I’m not leaving, Zuko,” another step, “I’ll come back. I’ll—” she hesitated, taking a final step towards him and reaching for his hand uncertainly, “I’ll come back to the Fire Nation,” she interlaced their fingers carefully, “I’ll come back to you.”
It was his turn to step closer, bringing his free hand up to her face and sighing when she leaned onto it, hopeful eyes shining at him. When he finally spoke, his voice was a whisper, “will you?”
She chuckled sadly, moving to rest her forehead on his, staining his face with the white paint and rubbing circles alongside the back of his hand with her thumb, “I will. You are not getting rid of me this easily, Fire Lord.”
“Good. I didn’t want to.”
She smiled. On that exact moment, Suki opened the door and studied the scene before her with a bittersweet gaze, “Y/N, it’s time to go.”
His chest clenched in pain and distress, glancing from Suki to Y/N with anguish, “you are going now?”
The Kyoshi Warrior distanced herself from him and Zuko could’ve sworn he felt physical pain at the space between them, “I’ll come back, Zuko. I promise.”
-----
It was like he had a constant sunshine right beside him and now it was gone. He was pretty sure every single person in the palace had noticed the liking he had taken to moping around and staring sadly at the turtleducks, missing the one he had come to love. He thought his feelings for her would subside after her departure, but, oh dear, was he wrong. The deep ache that settled in his chest was enough to constantly remind him of how much he liked her, how much he missed her. Not having her around hurt so much that it became inconvenient, making it difficult to work and complete his responsibilities when he was constantly thinking about her safety and about what could have been if she had stayed just a little longer. Zuko thought they had finally reached the start of something new but she wasn’t here anymore and he would have to wait to find out.
Suki tried to report to him what was going on at Kyoshi Island whenever she could. Y/N was working hard to calm down the conflicts while at the same time training the new and old Kyoshi Warriors as well as possible. Suki told him it would take a while until things were okay enough for Y/N to return to the Fire Nation, but it would happen eventually.
He was so desperately in love it was embarrassing. He craved her presence, her voice, her laugh, her touch. He wondered if she felt the same and concluded that no, probably not. To be honest, however, he would accept anything coming from her, even some second-hand love. He would still be happy if she decided to settle for him after being made aware of his feelings.
The Fire Lord was adamant on telling her everything he felt when she came back — and she would come back, she had promised —, because being away from Y/N made him realize how much happier he was with her and he refused to let her leave again without knowing that he just absolutely adored her.
Meanwhile, Y/N felt incredibly overwhelmed. Between helping train the Kyoshi Warriors and trying to solve any misunderstanding with the Earth Kingdom citizens in a diplomatic way, she found it hard to breathe. It was somehow good, to be honest, because it didn’t leave her with much time to think about him. And, Spirits, did she think about him when she could. She was extremely excited to finally go back to the Fire Nation and just be by his side again.
There was a part of her that worried. Even though they had had multiple moments when she truly believed he felt the same, they never really spoke about it. Zuko didn’t seem the best at communication, and Y/N generally chose to joke around and tease instead of actually voicing her emotions. 
“Miss Y/N, you must understand—”
“No, Mung, you and your so-called rebels are the ones who are not understanding. Fire Lord Zuko is trying to rebuild and strengthen the ties with Earth Kingdom in a healthy way for both nations—”
“But Miss Y/N—”
“—and the Kyoshi Warriors are collaborating with that by being a part of the official guard. How, for Spirits’ sake, is you attacking my warriors a good way of achieving anything you might want to achieve?”
The man swallowed harshly while he fidgeted. Y/N had worked hard to get a meeting with the rebels on Kyoshi Island, but was pleasantly surprised to notice how unorganized they were. “The Kyoshi Warriors shouldn’t collaborate with the Fire Nation, Miss Y/N,” a young man guarding the rebel leader’s door interrupted their staring contest, “the Fire Nation has done nothing but cause destruction and suffering. We won’t have our beloved warriors being corrupted by such a horrible mindset as the Fire Nation’s.”
“I appreciate your concern, but Zuko,” she cleared her throat in embarrassment at the verbal slip, “Fire Lord Zuko is different. He cares about people and he seeks redemption for Fire Nation’s wrongdoings. Having a good relationship with him is a great deal for the Earth Kingdom, believe me.”
The two men exchanged a look before returning their gaze to her. She tried to bit back a smile when she noticed the meaningful expression on their faces, signalizing she might finally be able to go home.
She tensed at the thought. Was that what Fire Nation was now? Home? 
Or was she ready to admit the real home she had been thinking of was a certain Fire Lord all along?
-----
It was a hot day in the Fire Nation and Zuko was busy with his daily amount of sulking and missing his favorite girl when he heard a commotion going on somewhere near him. He confusedly followed the sound, finding the Kyoshi Warriors gathered around and talking loudly. The Fire Lord furrowed his brows.
“Is everything okay?” his voice quieted them down and he watched while the young fighters exchanged knowing looks. “Did something happen?”
“Yeah, Fire Lord, it did,” his heartbeat picked up immediately and he turned towards the voice he had fallen in love with, finding her dazzling smile. Y/N crossed her arms in a teasing manner, “told you I’d come back.”
Zuko stared at her while the other warriors scrambled towards somewhere else, aiming to leave the couple alone. He smirked, “you did tell me.”
She walked closer to him until they were chest to chest, and he wondered if she could feel his jumping heart against her, “I think I even made a promise.”
“You surely did.”
Y/N grinned, “well, then I guess—”
“I’m in love with you.”
This was not in his plans. He meant to say a lot of things about how he slowly fell for her during the months they spent together, but Zuko simply couldn’t help from blurting a confession out like a dumbass. He had craved being around her so much during these weeks apart and now she was finally there, just within reach. He couldn’t take any more dancing around each other.
She beamed, “that surely makes this less awkward.”
“Wait, what?”
Before he could wrap his head around her words, Y/N took a hold of his collar and pulled him to her, gazing at his lips as their noses touched, just like weeks ago in the kitchens. She smiled softly, eyes fluttering close, “I’m in love with you too, Fire Lord.”
“Oh, thank the fucking Spirits.”
The Kyoshi Warrior laughed against his mouth, sending a tingling sensation down his back. His hands held onto her waist, extinguishing any space between them before he kissed her deeply, relief and happiness flooding his senses all at once. His own personal sunshine was finally next to him again and he revelled from the pure warmth she provided, chasing all insecurities and fears away until only his love remained.
“I missed you,” he mumbled on her lips, so intoxicated by her presence he could have forgotten how to breathe.
He could literally feel her smile between kisses, “I missed you too, Zuko,” she moved slightly away so to be able to stare at his eyes, “but don’t you worry, Fire Lord. I’ll always come back to you.”
Zuko chuckled, “you’re so cheesy.”
“You love it. Can I be even cheesier?”
“Go ahead, pretty girl.”
“Hey, Fire Lord, your new permanent date is here, and she’s not leaving.”
“That was horrible, Y/N. But good to know.”
He attached his lips to hers again and, for the first time, Zuko didn’t have a single worry for the future or for his fate. For better or for worse, he had his favorite guard by his side, and that was enough.
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ATLA taglist: @bottledcostcowater​ @officiallydarkgeek (for some reason I can’t tag you I’m sorry??) and @beifongsss​ and @azucanela​ I know you didn’t ask to be tagged but you didn’t seem to mind last time so here I am again?? if you don’t want to be tagged anymore just lmk!!
I hope you liked it!!
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maddywritez · a year ago
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head over heels
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pairing: zuko x reader
request:  can I request a zuko imagine where basically he’s just so entirely smitten with the reader, and every time he sees her, he’s immediately flushed and is tripping over his feet, and she’s completely oblivious to it?
**
“You might as well go propose to her if you keep staring at her like that.” Sokka tsked, crossing his arms over his chest as he pushed his nose up in the air.
Zuko stammered, tearing himself away from the gaze he unknowingly directed towards you to scoff at Sokka, “I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” This had caused Sokka to guffaw as everything about Zuko at this moment was hilarious.
His brows were knitted together, annoyance and frustration tying them together, as he watched Sokka continue his howls of laughter that had caught almost everyone’s attention. There was an evident red tinge to Zuko’s face, either from anger or adoration that he held for only you. A minor detail that Sokka took note of was the way Zuko’s fingers curled into the palm of his hand. To top it off, the stammer in his voice reminded Sokka of a child being caught red handed in the midst of doing something they weren’t supposed to.
“This doesn’t remind you of anything?” Sokka asked before emphatically imitating the flustered prince, “Oh, [Name]! If only you knew - how madly in love I am with you!” His over exaggeration had caused Zuko’s face to fully flush a red that blended well with his crimson tunic.
Obviously, tackling Sokka to the dirt floor was the best way to silence his relentless teasing and hopefully, hide the two of them from the utterly confused gaze you held.
Zuko hissed, “Shut up!” This had caused Sokka’s body to shake as laughter racked through, tears threatening to well in his eyes at the sight of Zuko fully embarrassed. The group had been graced by the sight of the vague ways that Zuko expressed his embarrassment, but never to this extent. 
Sokka’s hands slapped against Zuko’s arms, a weak attempt to push the firebender off of him. At this point, his laughter had died out and he was growing antsy. “Dude, get off of me-” Before he could continue to complain about Zuko’s weight and abnormal body heat making it mildly uncomfortable, your head popped into view.
“Uh,” You spoke. The sound of your voice typically would cause a wave of goosebumps against Zuko and an unexplainable queasy feeling in his abdomen, but all he managed to do now was feel his body tense. “What’s going on over here? I thought I heard my name.” Your head was tilted, attempting to analyze the predicament you found the boys in.
“Yeah, Zuko,” Sokka snorted, “Tell her what you-” Zuko pushed himself until there was an ample amount of distance between not only Sokka, but you as well. “Nothing. Nothing’s going on over here, it’s all good. Don’t need to worry about anything!” Zuko’s words were rushed, one of his hands waving you away to dismiss the confused look in your eyes.
His plan didn’t work out as well, though. “Zuko!” You gasped at the sight of how red he was, stepping over the supplies that he and Sokka tugged off of Appa’s saddle. Your hands were outstretched as you neared the spot where he sat on the dirt.
Usually, he would be scoffing and grumbling about the dirt caked on his pants and shoes, but Zuko found himself frozen. The back of your palm was pressed against his forehead, whilst your other cradled his jawline to raise his chin up. Sokka didn’t know someone could turn that red. Howls of laughter bubbled out, once again, fists slamming against the Earth’s crust. You tended to ignore Sokka’s antics, the present being one of those times.
How can someone be this precious and fucking cute, Zuko asked himself silently. You carried a determined expression with your brows furrowed together as a pout slowly grew upon your lips. If he wasn’t convinced that he would die of embarrassment, Zuko would’ve pushed himself up to press a chaste kiss upon your lips. He wished he had the willpower to allow himself to rup the creases against your forehead due to your brows knitted together.
Yet, he sat there, in your grasp, frozen as if he was one of the many statues seen in the local town. His eyes were wide, because how the hell did he get to this point?
To be completely honest, Zuko didn’t even realize he was staring at you with a longingly gaze until Sokka started his ruthless teasing. It was the sound of your laughter from across the campsite that had him pulling his focus away from the several tents from the back of Appa’s saddle. It was the slight crinkle in the corner of your eyes when you laughed at the feeling of Momo scurrying about upon your shoulders. Maybe, it was the way you cooed back to the lemur, who tilted his head in response. Hell, for all he knew, it could’ve been the way you looked angelic in the setting sun’s glow, despite the scrapes against your cheeks and forearms due to falling earlier in the day.
“You’re burning up, Zuko,” You murmured, as the hand previously holding his jaw pushed back the mop of black hair that laid flat against his forehead. “Are you okay? You feel sick or anything?” The back of your palm returned to its spot on his now exposed forehead. When he lacked an answer, he quickly recognized the amount of worry filling your expression.
His hands shot up, gingerly grasping your wrists to pull them away. “Yes! Yes, I’m uh-” Zuko stammered as he cupped both of your hands between his palms. “I’m fine,” He finally spoke out. Though, he saw the lack of belief in your eyes. “I promise.” He assured, giving a squeeze of your hands paired with a soft smile.
Has this feeling of your stomach being tied into a million knots always been there when speaking to Zuko?
A wave of silence washed over the two of you, and you both would describe it as awkward. He mumbled, quickly releasing your hands, “I’m uh….gonna go over there now.”
Oh how Sokka wished you saw the way Zuko zipped past, a hand covering his mouth as he slowly registered what just happened.
Too busy in his thoughts, though, he had failed to notice the hole in the ground, causing Zuko to slam his head into the dirt. Everyone who witnessed the entirety of that situation - you, Sokka, and Zuko - believed that it was Momo, who was at the time in search of bugs.
At the sound of his groans of pain, Katara perked her chin up to see you already rushing towards him, worry already inscribed over your expression. She could hear your concerned-filled interrogation and the return of the former shade of red upon Zuko’s face. The stammer in not only his, but yours as well, had caused a matching cheeky grin upon hers and Sokka’s expression.
It was quickly erased when she heard Toph snort loudly as the sound of Zuko falling. She questioned, “Toph! Did you trip Zuko with earthbending again?!”
The younger girl let out a groan, “No! I swear - it was [Name] this time!”
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beifongsss · a year ago
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firebending [zuko]
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Pairing: Zuko x reader
Requested?: Yes! By a wonderful anon: “your zuko fics are all so well-written! I have a request for a firebender reader who hates the fire nation and was never trained in the art of fighting. then she/they join the gaang and learns firebending with aang from zuko. it’s awkward between them at first but cue ~ romance ~”
Summary: If someone told you that you’d end up dating the Fire Nation prince one day, you would’ve laughed in their face. If only you knew how right they were.
wc. ~5.2k
.masterlist.
~
When you first joined the Gaang, everyone expected you and Katara to hate each other. After all, you were from the Fire Nation and everybody knew Katara was the biggest anti-Fire Nation enthusiast there ever was.
They were quickly proven wrong when you didn’t fight against Katara’s harsh remarks, instead agreeing with them and even adding more scathing words of your own to show your distaste towards the Fire Nation. Since joining them, you never wore anything related to the Fire Nation. Nothing that is, with the exception of an elaborate hairpiece that your mother had left you. The hairpiece never left your body, the sunstone in the middle of it shining from its place on your head.
Escaping Ba Sing Se (and therefore the Earth Kingdom) had simultaneously been the best and worst thing that had happened to you. You were glad that Aang was alive, obviously, but being back in Fire Nation clothing was making you anxious.
Ever since the battle in the catacombs, you had been avoiding everyone. You had revealed your firebending in a panic, shooting a strong blast of fire at the banished prince as he snuck up on Katara. He had been taken off guard just long enough for you to subdue him before he realized that you didn’t know what you were doing.
There had been no time for Katara to question you after that. You had all fled and met up with her father, Hakoda, before seizing a Fire Nation ship to use as a disguise. As soon as you stepped foot on the ship, you had scrambled to an empty room and locked yourself inside. You had ignored Katara’s pleas for you to open the door, never once moving from your spot unless it was to use the bathroom or to get the tray of food that you knew had been placed at your door.
No one had known you were a firebender, and the initial shock eventually wore off as everyone found themselves missing your presence. It wasn’t until Aang woke up that you finally emerged.
~
“(Y/N)?” Sokka asked hesitantly, knocking softly on your door.
“Go away!” was the muffled reply that came from your room.
“Nope. I think Aang wants to see you.”
Sokka waited for a few seconds before the door swung open, reveling you standing there. You were wearing your Earth Kingdom clothes, trying to delay the inevitable. You looked up at him, making his heart hurt when he noticed the exhaustion in your eyes.
“Is he really awake?” you asked, your voice small. Sokka nodded.
“Hurry up and get changed. He’s on the deck.”
You nodded softly before closing the door. You opened it again a few minutes later, now dressed in red. As much as Sokka hated to admit it, you looked good in red. The Fire Nation was your home, after all. You followed him up to the deck, your finger nimbly twisting part of your hair into a knot big enough for your hairpiece.
“(Y/N)!” Aang yelled when you came into view. He launched himself at you and you caught him with a small “oof”. You giggled softly as you rubbed his head, making his hair stick up in all directions.
“Aang!” you cried in reply. “You have hair!”
Aang made a funny face at your words before fixing his hair. “Yeah, I guess I was out longer than I thought.”
You leaned down and swept the boy up into another hug, pulling him close as you held tears back. “I’m so glad you’re okay Aang. I don’t know what we would’ve done if you-”
“Don’t worry! Look at me, I’m fine!” Aang said, trying to make you feel better. He led you over to where everyone else was, Katara looking up and smiling softly as you glanced at her. “They also told me about your firebending! How come you never told us?’
You reeled back in shock, looking around wildly as everyone heard Aang’s word. When there were no negative reactions, you relaxed slightly.
“Everyone already knows huh?” you asked drily, being met with nods from everyone on board. You sighed and tapped your foot before speaking. “Okay, yes I’m a firebender. The reason I never told you guys is because I never wanted to use it. I was young when I fled and I never got a chance to learn anything other than the basics.”
Aang nodded in understanding. “But you could’ve built your skills that time we met Jeong Jeong.”
“No. After my family...” you trailed off, thinking about why you never became a master bender. Aang gave you an encouraging look and you breathed in deeply. “I promised myself I wouldn’t firebend ever again. Not after that.”
Aang nodded in understanding as you fell silent, thinking about your past. The Fire Nation was the reason why you had been all alone. They had killed your family with the weapon you now hated: firebending.
The silence engulfed the entire ship, everyone lost in their own thoughts. There was a peaceful atmosphere as the ship drifted along, but of course it didn’t last long.
Soon enough, you found yourself chasing after Aang, eventually being forced to hide in the Fire Nation as the Day Of Black Sun loomed closer and closer.
~
The promise that you had made to yourself to never firebend again was still intact. You hadn’t let any bursts of fire out, not even when you had found yourself surrounded by Fire Nation troops on the Day of Black Sun. The eclipse was a blessing to you, the brief eight minutes just long enough to make you feel normal.
Of course, you soon found yourselves fleeing to the Western Air Temple, silently mourning the loss the rest of the invasion army. Once you all settled in, you kept wearing the red top you had acquired in the Fire Nation. You don’t know why; it just brought you some type of comfort. Aang had grinned when he noticed, wondering if all your adventures in the Fire Nation had lessened your hatred towards the nation.
It had.
But not by much. Wearing the color red weighed heavily on your soul and you spent many of your waking hours debating whether or not keeping the red clothes was the right choice. It frustrated you to no end, how a simply piece of cloth could jumble your thoughts so easily. The red reminded you of the pain and grief you had experienced when you had lost your family, but in a twisted way it also reminded you of them. It reminded you of the days back when you still had them, back when you still had a home and you were happy. Deep down, you knew that you were Fire Nation but that knowledge didn’t stop your inner turmoil. And over the next few days, it only got worse with the arrival of a certain someone.
“Hello, Zuko here.”
You tried to hold back your groan, you really did. But it was as though the universe wanted to test you and had decided to do so by sending the Fire Nation prince your way. Zuko’s soft smile had dropped at your reaction, the corners of his lips quirking downward.
“Hey, I heard you guys flying around down there, so, I just thought I'd wait for you here,” he continued. Appa walked up to the prince and sniffed him before proceeding to lick him. Zuko’s face twisted up in disgust. “I know you must be surprised to see me here.”
"Not really,” Sokka said. “Since you've followed us all over the world!”
“Right,” Zuko said, wincing slightly as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, uh, anyway, what I wanted to tell you about is that I've changed, and I, uh, I'm good now, and well I think I should join your group, oh, and I can teach firebending to you. See, I, uh-”
“You want to what now?” you asked sharply, exchanging a look with Katara.
“You can't possibly think that any of us would trust you, can you?” she asked, opening her water skin. “I mean, how stupid do you think we are?!”
Zuko’s eyes shifted to you before he answered. “You trust her. She’s a firebender.”
Your eyes widened in anger and you began to march up to the prince, only stopping when Katara held you back.
“I am not, a firebender,” you hissed, staring Zuko down. “And I am not Fire Nation.”
Zuko stayed quiet, his eyes drifting from your red shirt to the hairpiece on your head. You followed his line of sight, eyes widening when you realized he was staring at the sunstone. You yanked your arm out of Katara’s grip, angrily stomping out of the room. You quickly stripped yourself of your red top as soon as you were out of sight before sighing deeply and pulling your hairpiece out. You arrived at the sleeping chamber and sat down on your sleeping bag quietly, holding the hairpiece in your hand tightly.
You stared at it sadly, the sunstone glinting in the dim light. Without hesitation, you pulled your arm back and flung it away, watching the sunstone glint in the sunlight as it rolled towards the edge. It was gone in a second, tumbling over the edge of the temple.
Now you were truly no longer Fire Nation.
~
Your life had just gotten ten times harder now that Zuko had been allowed to join the group. The defeat of Combustion Man had been intense and you had found injured when it was all over. Unlike Sokka, you had never been good with fighting, always relying on your intelligence to get you out of dire situations. With Combustion Man however, that proved to be a problem, and you had found yourself caught in the middle of a fight with no protection whatsoever.
In addition to the pain of your injury, you found yourself dealing with the prince’s presence. You found yourself avoiding the group entirely, taking on the more tedious chores (like laundry) to avoid spending time with the group and even hanging out with Haru, Teo, and The Duke as they explored the temple.
Tensions didn’t rise until a few days later, beginning when Aang approached you with an idea. After your tragic failure with Combustion Man, Aang believed that you needed to learn how to protect yourself and he thought that the right way to do that was by learning how to firebend. You had vehemently refused, accidentally yelling at the Air Nomad as everyone else watched in silence.
The argument was put on pause for a few days when Aang and Zuko traveled to the Sun Warriors’ ruins but when they came back, Toph had sided with him as well. You felt slightly betrayed by the small earthbender but still refused, stating that there was no way you would willingly learn how to firebend. At least you still had Sokka and Katara on your side.
At least you did until Sokka and Zuko took a trip to The Boiling Rock the next day. When they got back two days later, Sokka was on Aang’s side as well. The fight with Azula on the gondola had left him shaken as he realized just how hard it was to fight a bender with just a sword. You didn’t know how to use a sword, but you could firebend and so Sokka became one of Aang’s supporters. Katara was the only one who was still on your side, but that changed when Azula raided the temple.
Everyone had been woken up suddenly, reacting a bit slower than normal as Azula appeared. She immediately lunged at you, shooting blasts of blue fire as she stalked closer to you. Your eyes were wide with fear, dodging her attacks as much as you could.
“Watch out!” Zuko yelled, tackling you from the side, a pillar crashing down where you had been standing as a result of Azula’s lightning. You grunted softly as you landed, the breath leaving your lungs as Zuko landed on top of you. You opened your eyes immediately, meeting bright gold irises before they looked away as Zuko began to scan you for any visible injuries. Zuko’s hands rested on either side of your head as he tried to keep his weight off of you, not that it helped considering you were still struggling to catch your breath.
Or maybe you were struggling to catch your breath because of how close he was.
“Are you okay?” Zuko asked, drawing your attention back to him. Scowling, you threw him off of you before scrambling to your feet, rushing to help Katara when you heard her yelp. Zuko noticed Toph earthbend a tunnel into the side of the temple, and rushed to join the others. His eyes landed on you as you threw yourself to the side, narrowly dodging another one of Azula’s deadly blasts. The princess grabbed you by the hair, laughing maniacally before dragging you to the airships.
“What are you doing?” Aang yelled, noticing that Zuko had stopped in his path.
“Azula has (Y/N)!” Zuko replied, turning around and facing the airships. “I’m gonna go get her.”
Katara rushed to Aang’s side, exchanging a worried look with him before getting on top of Appa. The rest of the Gaang joined them, holding on tight as they tried to maneuver the sky bison through all the debris. 
Zuko ran and launched himself onto the airship, landing safely on top of one. He glared at his sister, noticing that she was still holding onto you.
“Let her go, Azula!” Zuko yelled, his eyes never leaving hers.
“Hmm, I don’t think I will,” Azula replied, the blue flame in her palm growing brighter as she held it up to your face. “I think I’ll get rid of her instead. Then I’ll get rid of you. I can’t wait to celebrate being an only child.”
She inched the flame closer to your face, prompting Zuko to shoot a fire blast near her head. Growling, Azula tossed you to the side before confronting Zuko. The two siblings fought for a few minutes and you tried your best to avoid any wayward blasts. The fight stopped when they both struck at the same time, the resulting blast blowing both of them backwards.
“Zuko!” you cried, sprinting to grab the boy before he fell. You managed to grab onto his hand but his momentum sent you both tumbling into the chasm, a scream getting stuck in your throat as you plummeted. You were so overcome with fear that you didn’t notice Zuko pulling you into him, holding you close as you fell.
The fall didn’t last long, Appa managing to swoop in and save the two of you. You sat quietly on Appa’s saddle, both you and Zuko watching Azula as she kept falling.
“She’s...not gonna make it,” Zuko said softly, his arms tightening around you slightly. You watched with wide eyes as Azula used firebending to propel herself to the cliffside, sliding down a bit further before she took out her hairpin and stuck it into the side of the cliff, effectively ending her fall. “Of course she did.”
The seven of you sat in silence for a few minutes before Katara spoke up, tears in her eyes as she looked at you. “(Y/N), seeing Azula capture you got me thinking. I think...I think that you should learn how to firebend. You need to know how to defend yourself.”
“And I think that you can let go of each other now,” Sokka said cheekily, trying to diffuse the tension that had settled upon the group at Katara’s words. You shimmied out of Zuko’s hold, walking up to the Water Tribe girl and looking at her in disbelief.
“You’re supposed to be on my side Katara,” you hissed, flinching when she tried to reach for your hand. Without another words, you walked away and took Appa’s reins. The rest of the flight was silent, everybody knowing that now was not the time to be chatty.
~
Once again, you had retreated from the group. It wasn’t exactly hard considering the fact that now it was Katara and Zuko who had disappeared, gone on a quest to find her mother’s murderer. After a few days, Zuko reappeared alone and you found yourselves traveling to Ember Island.
Upon your arrival, you made your way over to Katara, who was standing quietly on the deck.
“I heard what you did,” you spoke first. “I’m glad you didn’t kill him.”
“I couldn’t bring myself to do it,” she whispered back, still looking straight ahead.
“Why?”
She turned slightly, facing you before speaking. “It’s not in my nature to kill. I couldn’t bring myself to use my bending for that. I have the chance to prevent other’s from going through what I went through; from going through what you went through. I want to use my bending for good.”
You mulled over her words for a few seconds before sighing deeply and walking away. Aang watched you quietly as he walked over to Katara, his eyes widening slightly when you walked up to Zuko.
“Ok,” you said quietly, looking up at the prince. “Teach me how to firebend.”
Zuko’s eyes widened briefly before he crossed his arms and composed himself. “Tomorrow at dawn. Be ready.”
And ready you were. Every day. Firebending was a lot easier than you expected, and you found yourself breezing though the basics and the intermediate moves. It wasn’t until you got to the advanced moves that you began to have some trouble.
“No!” Zuko barked. “That’s not how it’s done. Again!”
Your eye twitched before you took your stance again, launching yourself into the move that you were currently working on. You sighed deeply when you realized you had done it wrong again.
“Wrong. Again.”
“If you’re so good at it then come and show me,” you snapped, fed up with his attitude. Zuko straightened up before walking over to you, motioning for you to take your stance once more. You rolled your eyes, blowing the hair out of your eyes before complying.
“I will,” he said, moving your arms into the right position. He walked around you and you opened your mouth to make another comment, stopping when his hand came around from behind and gently shut your jaw. “Don’t say anything.”
Your breath hitched in your throat as he spoke. He was closer than you thought, his lips brushing your ear as he spoke. You shivered when his hands landed on your back, fixing your posture before they made their way to your waist. He gripped your waist firmly, shifting you into position before leaning forwards slightly, whispering in your ear once more. “Do it again.”
Fighting a blush, you did as you were told. You chuckled breathlessly when you did it correctly this time, a blast of fire leaving your hand at the right moment.
“See? You did it,” Zuko said, a faint smirk on his lips. “You’re a natural.”
You bounced up to him, wrapping your arms around his neck in excitement. His arms immediately wrapped around your waist, enjoying the closeness of the hug. You leaned back slightly, meeting his eyes as you smiled cheesily. “It’s only because I have such a great teacher.”
The two of you walked back to the beach house, joking around after a long day of training. Upon entering the beach house, Katara pulled you aside. “(Y/N)! Thank goodness. I need your help in the kitchen!”
You gave Zuko an apologetic smile as you followed Katara, being met with an understanding nod as he went off on his own. Katara handed you a tray of cups, smirking slightly before speaking. “So, you and Zuko huh?”
“What? N-No,” you replied immediately.
“I’m talking about firebending. How’s that going?” Katara said, filling the cups with watermelon juice as she arched an eyebrow.
A bright blush spread across your cheeks as you realized what she was talking about. “O-Oh. It’s going great. Zuko’s been teaching me some advanced moves now!”
Katara hummed in reply, waving you away now that the cups were full. You headed out of the kitchen in a hurry, loosing your footing when you heard Katara speak yet again.
“I bet the next move he makes is gonna be on you.”
~
The conversation between you and Katara was basically forgotten as the days went by. 
Zuko had informed the Gaang about his father’s plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom, causing you all to worry greatly. In addition, Aang had disappeared overnight and all attempts to find him had been futile.
And that’s how you found yourselves following June and her shirshu as she led you to Ba Sing Se, where Zuko’s Uncle Iroh was supposed to be. You had been warmly welcomed by the Order of the White Lotus and Zuko and Iroh had made up, leaving you with only a day to plan out what you were going to do before Sozin’s comet arrived.
It was quickly decided that the Order of the White Lotus would stay behind and reclaim Ba Sing Se while Sokka, Suki, and Toph would set out to destroy the airship fleet. Zuko had asked you and Katara to join him in defeating Azula and although Katara had agreed immediately, you were a bit hesitant. Of course, Zuko noticed and he decided to confront you about it.
“(Y/N),” Zuko said, coming up to you when you were prepping Appa for the ride. Katara was a few yards away, giving the two of you privacy. You glanced at Zuko before climbing onto Appa’s saddle, the prince following closely behind you. “What’s wrong?”
“Zuko, I,” you paused, breathing deeply. “I shouldn’t go. I just started bending and what is something goes wrong? I don’t want to be a liability to y-”
“Hey,” Zuko whispered, ducking his head to make eye contact with you. “I meant what I said on Ember Island. You’re a natural. You’ll be fine.”
You sighed before hugging your knees to your chest. “I just can’t believe that I’m actually returning to the Fire Nation, even if it’s to help you reclaim your throne. I’m just glad that maybe under your rule, things might finally change.”
Zuko stayed quiet before standing up and reaching for his bag. He shuffled around for a moment before kneeling behind you, his fingers gently grabbing your hair.
“What are you-”
“Shh,” Zuko cut you off. “Give me a second.”
His fingers weaved through your hair, putting it up into a style you were all too familiar with. He was gentle with his actions, letting his hands fall to your shoulders when he was done. “There.”
You reached up, your fingers trembling slightly as they brushed over the sunstone that you had known your whole life.
“M-My hairpiece,” you gasped, tears springing to your eyes as you realized how much you had missed it. “How did you-”
“I found it at the Western Air Temple,” Zuko interrupted quietly. “It was after I came to you guys the first time. Katara sent me away and when I was walking under a balcony, it fell onto the ground. I recognized it so I picked it up. I assumed you would want it back at some point.”
Zuko fell backwards when you threw yourself at him, wrapping him up in a tight hug.
“Thank you,” you whispered, leaning up and pressing a kiss to his cheek. A tiny gasp escaped him and you pulled back, meeting his eyes as he stared down at you. The two of you stared at each other for a few tense seconds before you both leaned forwards rapidly, your lips meeting in the middle.
Maybe it was a spur of the moment decision, kissing Zuko. Maybe it was due to to the anxiety bubbling up in you, your emotions hard to control as you prepared to end of the war in one way or another. Or maybe, it was simply two teenagers too shy to tell each other how they felt, finally sharing a tender moment.
“So, are we ready to go?” Katara asked. The two of you sprung apart, blushes on both of your faces as the Water Tribe girl smirked at you. Zuko nodded and you looked away, taking your place at Appa’s reins.
“Ready as I’ll ever be. Yip yip.”
~
The fight had been a blur to you. You didn’t remember much other than the fact that Zuko had taken a bolt of lightning meant for you. After Zuko had been injured, you and Katara had teamed up to take Azula down. She had challenged you to an Agni Kai after striking Zuko and you had accepted in order to lure her away from his body. To say she had been surprised when you actually fought back with fire was an understatement.
With Katara’s help, you managed to chain her to an old grate before rushing over to aid Zuko. After Katara had done all she could, you helped Zuko into the palace where he had been taken to the infirmary. You hadn’t seen him since.
You had however, met back up with Aang, Sokka, Toph, and Suki. They informed the two of you of what they had done and in turn you had told them about Zuko’s injury. They were all worried about him but after hearing that Katara had healed him, they were slightly relieved.
The next time you saw the prince was on the day of his coronation. Some of the palace guards had come for you, stating that Zuko was requesting your presence. You felt your heart jump into your throat as you nodded, allowing them to lead you through the palace until you came to a pair of gilded doors.
“He’s in there,” one of the guards said. “Would you like us to announce your arrival?”
“No, it’s fine. I can just knock,” you said meekly, causing the guards to smile amusedly. You bowed shortly to them before turning to face the door, gently knocking and waiting for a response.
“Come in!”
The door swung open at your touch and you awkwardly stepped inside, still standing near the doorway as your gaze landed on Zuko.
“Close it,” he said, his voice quiet yet rough. You complied, stepping aside and shutting the door before inching closer. He was shirtless, thick bandages covering his torso. Covering the new scar he had earned because of you. He turned around, his face softening when his eyes met yours.
“Hey,” he said softly, his eyes scanning you for injuries the way he did back when Azula raided the Western Air Temple.
“Hi, how are you?” you squeaked, shuffling awkwardly. You winced at your words, blushing in embarrassment as Zuko’s lips quirked up. He walked over to his bed before picking up the shirt he was going to wear.
“I’m fine. How are you?” he asked, a teasing smile on his lips as he began to put it on. His smile dropped as he moved too harshly, pain shooting through his torso as he struggled to pull the fabric on.
“Spirits! Be careful,” you said, all embarrassment leaving you as you rushed forwards and took the shirt from his hands. “Here, let me.”
You helped him slide one arm in before slipping it over his shoulders and guiding his other arm in as well. You grabbed the belt used to hold it in place before standing in front of him. Your breath caught in your throat as you eyed the bandages, guilt settling in your stomach as you softly placed a hand on his chest. Zuko’s hands automatically went to your waist, pulling you closer to him as he stared at you worriedly.
“I’m sorry,” you whispered, still looking at his chest. “This was my fault.”
“Hey,” Zuko replied, one of hands leaving your waist to lift your chin. You shivered softly at the action, your eyes finally meeting his bright gold ones. “It wasn’t your fault. Azula shouldn’t have done it in the first place. She challenged me to an Agni Kai, not you.”
“You should’ve let it hit me,” you said, looking at him sadly. “I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if Katara hadn’t been there. Zuko, you could’ve d-”
Your eyes widened and your words died on your throat when Zuko leant down, softly pressing his lips to yours. The hand that was still on your waist wrapped around you, pulling you closer as Zuko kissed you gently. He began to pull away after a few seconds, noticing your lack of response. Mentally kicking yourself, you began to kiss back, closing your eyes as you wrapped your free arm around his neck to keep him close. Zuko couldn’t help but smile at your response.
“I took that hit because I love you, (Y/N),” Zuko whispered, finally pulling away and leaning his forehead against yours. “I couldn’t let Azula hurt you.”
“Zuko, I-I love you too,” you confessed, your eyes still closed. Suddenly, you pulled away before gently swatting his head. “But that doesn’t make what you did any less stupid.”
“Hey! I saved your life!” he exclaimed, rubbing his head.
“I know,” you said, rolling your eyes before hugging him close once again. “And I love you for it. But never, and I mean never, do that again.”
“No promises,” Zuko replied, guiding your lips to his once more. This kiss was different, full of trust and love and peace.
You pulled away reluctantly, fixing his shirt and looping the belt around him before taking his hand. “Now let’s go. You have a coronation to get to.”
Zuko stopped for a second, pulling you back to him as he looked at you uncertainly. You looked up at him curiously, prompting him to speak.
“Are you-” Zuko stopped abruptly, trying to get his thoughts in order. “Will you stay with me? Here? Even after everyone else leaves?”
You hesitated for a split second, remembering everything that you had suffered at the hands of the Fire Nation. You opened your mouth to reply, looking up to meet Zuko’s gaze. You faltered for a moment, taking in the way he was looking at you. Here in front of you stood the crown prince, the very symbol of the nation that you had spent the majority of your life hating. But he was also just a teen, and he was willing to put in the work to fix the Fire Nation’s past mistakes.
Your heart swelled in your chest as you thought about the golden-eyed boy , and everything he had done to help the Avatar. Because of him, the Fire Nation now had a chance at redemption, and you knew it wouldn’t be easy to undo centuries of imperialism and pain. Especially not when it was so deeply rooted in the nation. And so you answered his question, confident that you were making the right decision.
“Of course I’ll stay, Zuko. And I’ll be here to help you every step of the way.”
~
taglist!
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fandomlit · a year ago
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saved (zuko x reader)
requested by anon “Hello! I was wondering if you could do a zuko x water tribe reader where the reader is the sister of Sokka and Katara and they both hate each other, like more thank Katara did. Something happens, and zuko starts falling for her, and she for him? Totally understand if you can’t or don’t want to. Hope your doing well!”
summary you and zuko always seemed to be against each other. but when azula’s about to strike to kill, you can’t help but intervene.
warning swearing, angst
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gif cred belongs to @tiredwasp​
you found zuko absolutely insufferable. after all the things he had done to the gaang, aang was still willing to let him in. and while you knew it was for the better, it was infuriating.
and you knew he hated you, too.
“i can’t believe that jerk!” you exclaimed, using your waterbending to create another huge wave that crashed down on an unsuspecting momo, toph standing next to you. you had all just gotten back from a village that was attacked while you were there. you and zuko had accidentally gotten trapped together, forced to fight side by side, but he did nothing to aid when you were overwhelmed by five men at once.
“he was surrounded, too,” toph defended. “im sure he would’ve helped if given the chance.”
“toph, you literally can’t see what i do,” you sighed, shaking your head and dropping your shoulders. “but in that same situation, i would’ve helped him!”
“would you have?” she wondered. “or would you have laughed at him?”
“i would’ve helped, then laughed,” you assured. you both burst into giggles as zuko came through the trees, his arms full of firewood.
“why don’t you do something useful instead of playing with water?” he coughed, quirking a brow at you. your smile dropped as he turned and walked away.
“i take it back,” you said to toph. “the next time he’s in trouble, im not helping for shit.”
you ate your words two days later.
azula had found the camp the gaang was set up at, waking you all up with the sound of lightning and fire. you all ran and fought in different directions. as you ran from one of the salamanders, you nearly ran into zuko.
“not you again,” he grumbled, but continued to run by your side.
“im not too happy about it either!” you exclaimed over the rush of wind. you both abruptly stopped when azula appeared in front of you. you looked around in panic, spotting the lake you had been bending at a few days prior. you got into a determined stance as azula smirked down at you two.
“a waterbender and firebender walk into a fight with a fire master..,” she hummed cynically. “i can’t wait for the punchline.”
she threw a shock between you two, which you both evaded, sending you closer to the water. you began to gather a wave as zuko and azula engaged in a one on one.
you watched, making sure nothing was coming to harm you as you gathered the biggest wave you could. you stuttered your actions, your wave crashing back into the lake, when zuko was thrown against a tree with a yell.
azula stalked over to him, lightning charging in her palms. you quickly dropped your water altogether and sprinted over. before she could lay the final blow on her own brother, you jumped in front with a declaration of, “no!”
you didn’t remember anything after that moment.
when you came to, katara was kneeling over you.
“oh, thank the stars!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around you. you grimaced as she sobbed into your shoulder, your body feeling heavy. you barely managed to lay an arm around her as sokka burst in, joining the family hug.
“i healed you as best as i could,” katara sniffed, wiping her tears after she pulled away. “but you’re going to have these scars forever.” sokka helped you sit up to let you look at your body. you immediately grimaced.
you lay in your cropped shirt and underskirt, giving you a full view of your exposed skin, covered in stray lines that zigzagged across your body. “oh no...” you looked up to your siblings. “what did i do?”
“you saved me.” you looked to the opening of the building you were in, seeing zuko standing in the doorway, arms crossed. “you took the shot from azula for me.”
“well.. yeah,” you shrugged. your shoulders burned at the simple movement. “what was i supposed to do?”
he sighed as you propped yourself up on your hands and your siblings scampered out to leave you two alone. 
“thank you,” he said softly. you looked up to meet his eyes, but his were scanning the scars on your body. for some reason, that made you shiver.
“you’re welcome.”
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patchofsunlight · 11 months ago
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Purple Strawberries | Zuko x Fem!Reader
SUMMARY: Three times Zuko says Y/N isn’t his girlfriend, and one time he doesn’t.
REQUEST (by @elia-the-bibliophile​): “hi there! can I request a Zuko x reader fluff where the best of them are the best of friends and they were just strolling around the fire nation capital market, but someone complimented them on what a handsome couple they make, and then another people ask “Is that your girlfriend? bla bla bla” and so on? thank you!”
WORD COUNT: 3.9k
WARNINGS: I was doing well on not cursing but then I failed. the editing is sloppy at best. there’s a lot of mutual pining. a bit of angst, not much. and jealous!zuko (we stan).
OBSERVATIONS: uhhh you’re gonna see that I really,,, changed the concept lmao!! i hope you don’t mind!! it’s just, i saw the opportunity of making this differently and i took it!! and i actually really like it!! so i hope you like it too!!
anyway, thank you for reading and i hope you like it!! and remember feedback is always appreciated!! here we go
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“Zuko, look! They have purple strawberries! That’s crazy!”
The firebender smiled fondly at his best friend while she fussed over the curious berries, babbling with a nice merchant about the science of hybrid produce or something like that. It had been her idea to visit the capital market of the Fire Nation, arguing that the soon-to-be Fire Lord could take a break from his coronation worries and just spend time as a regular person for once. Zuko had a billion things to do and couldn’t waste a second on trivial matters like taking a walk through the market or talking about purple strawberries, yet—
He could never say no to her, regardless of how much it was needed.
“Young man, you should buy some strawberries for your girlfriend,” the merchant stated playfully, grinning at the two of them, “I bet they will be a great addition to a nice picnic date, no?”
Y/N giggled at the old man’s words, passing him some golden coins while he wrapped a bunch of purple strawberries for her. Zuko, however, found himself glued to the ground, eyebrows furrowed.
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
Both the girl and the elderly merchant turned their attention to the firebender, smiles faltering.
“Oh,” the man scratched his neck in embarrassment, “right. I’m sorry for assuming.”
“It’s alright!” Y/N reassured almost immediately, forcing a grin on her lips and taking the berries delicately. “Have a good day, sir.”
“Of course! You too.”
 They walked away arm in arm, and Zuko yelped when she pinched him, “why did you say that? He was just being nice!”
“But you’re not my girlfriend,” he remembered, confusion filling his eyes at her manners, “you’re my best friend, and a random guy in the market calling you my girlfriend is weird.”
“Okay, Zuko,” she rolled her eyes, leaning her head on his shoulder while they strolled through the narrow streets, sighing in content at his warmth, “okay.”
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“Do you think they liked the strawberries?”
He turned to her at the sound of her nervous tone, catching her biting her nails almost absentmindedly. Zuko was fast to take her hand into his, guiding it away from her teeth. “Yes, Y/N, I’m sure they did. Thank you so much for all your help.”
She looked at him, the dazzling smile on her face enough to make the air leave his lungs while his heart danced around the room. She squeezed his hand affectionately, “you don’t need to thank me, Zuko. I love being able to do stuff like this for you.”
Zuko had finally become the new Fire Lord. The big gala going around the two best friends was lively and colorful, attended by people of all nations. 
And thank the Spirits for Y/N.
They had met when they were still children, young and naive and in search of a friend. Their connection was instantaneous and, soon enough, you couldn’t find one without the other. They did everything together, from training to playing to pranking to napping, and the whispers of a future marriage were held upon them like dark clouds on a nice day — not quite disrupting the perfect sky, but still annoying.
When Zuko was banished, she wanted to leave with him. Y/N felt her heart crack at the prospect of not being around the person she had learned to call home, at the prospect of not hearing his laugh or his voice, at the prospect of not seeing his smile or his eyes or the way his nose flared when she made fun of him. She had always felt like Zuko was a crucial part of her life, a space of quiet and peace but also fun and love found inside this person she considered her favorite. Yet, she couldn’t leave. She had her own trainings to complete and a thousand of duties as the daughter of an influential Fire Nation man.
For three years, he dreamed of her. He missed every inch of skin and personality from his best friend and wrote letters almost daily, sending them out to the Fire Nation whenever they set foot on land, offering her every single emotion and thought within him because, even if he couldn’t be by her side, he refused to be forgotten. She could never answer, unable to know where he would be next and therefore not having an address to add to her own letters, but his endless envelopes and pieces of paper were saved deep within her heart, taking more than just one drawer out of Y/N’s room. She cherished greatly those little bits and pieces of the life he was still living without her, happy to know he was still out there and that, one day, when she was old enough, she would sail after him, looking through the entire planet if so necessary — even if just for one last hug, she would find her best friend again.
And she might have fallen in love with him, too, drowning between the words and stories and rants entrusted to her and only her inside the confines of paper. She knew the firebender would never reciprocate her feelings, but she couldn’t quite help it, smiling at the mere sight of his neat handwriting even after he came back to the Fire Nation and the letters stopped.
He came back and it felt like fresh air. She felt like she still knew him as well as she did years before — she had watched him grow through his letters, watched him mature, and his hugs were just as good as she remembered. 
He had to leave again, of course, but Y/N was warned beforehand and knew he would eventually come back. He had said it in his last letter to her when he was still in Ba Sing Se: “I’ll always come back to you.”
Now here they were, side by side during the coronation-celebrating gala they had organized together. He had kept his words like she knew he would, and they both revelled on the unique comfort and familiarity they got through each other’s presence.
Meanwhile, her feelings would remain buried deep — it was not a good time for Zuko to find out his best friend was in love with him. A lot of things were changing and many problems were arising within the Fire Nation. Besides, being next to him, being the main receptor of his worries and cheers, was enough to suppress her need for him.
Everything was going well.
An Earth Kingdom couple came to greet them, smiling politely and bowing respectfully to who they thought were the new Fire Nation rulers. The best friends copied their actions, very aware of how much Earth Kingdom elite like this was important when mending relations between the two nations.
“It is an honor to be here, Fire Lord Zuko,” the man’s voice was deep, nice to hear, “thank you so much for the invitation.”
“No need for thank you’s, sir,” Zuko smiled warmly and Y/N could bet her cheeks flushed just by looking at it, “I’m glad you’ve chosen to come.”
The other man opened a wide smile to match with the Fire Lord’s, “it was a pleasure to meet you and,” his gaze hovered to Y/N, eyes shining in delight, “your fiancée, I imagine? You two surely make a beautiful couple.”
Zuko practically choked on air, coughing loudly in surprise while his best friend patted his back worriedly, heartbeat picking up at the mere idea of being engaged to Zuko. The two Earth Kingdom men stared in shock and confusion, “is everything alright, sir?”
“Yes, yes,” the Fire Lord coughed two more times before clearing his throat, face completely red from embarrassment and from the brief non-breathing seconds he had just gone through, suddenly realizing his hand still held Y/N’s and letting it go immediately, “Y/N is not my fiancée.”
The men exchanged an intrigued look before the first one asked, “are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure,” Zuko chuckled nervously, trying to ignore the heat covering his cheeks and nose, “we are simply friends.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah.”
“Okay, then,” they went back to smiling despite the hint of disbelief in their eyes, “we’ll go back to enjoying the gala.”
“Of course,” Y/N smiled too, fighting the urge to start fidgeting her fingers in both disappointment and nervousness, “we hope you have a lovely night.”
“Thank you very much. We’ll see you around.”
They watched silently while the two men disappeared in the crown of people, avoiding each other’s eyes as much as possible.
“That was weird,” Zuko let out a forced laugh, trying to make non-awkward conversation (and obviously failing), “why would they think we’re a couple? We’re clearly not romantically involved, right?”
For a reason she knew very well, his affirmation sent a pang through her chest, ache invading her heart, “right. Yeah, I don’t know why they would think that at all.”
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Zuko felt calm. There was this weird sense of tranquility within him, sipping on tea and exchanging meaningless conversation with Sokka during a sunny day. It was rare for any of his friends to visit, so with Toph spreading the wonders of metalbending through the world, Aang being the Avatar, and Sokka and Katara rebuilding the Southern Water Tribe. He cherished these small visits that were few and far between, holding them dear to his heart with the knowledge that these people were an essential part of who he was.
“So, is your girlfriend around?” the young man from the Water Tribe questioned after a moment of comfortable silence, looking around him in the small garden as if the person he was referring to was hidden somewhere.
The Fire Lord widened his eyes, clearing his throat nervously and staring at his friend with confusion in his eyes, “what are you talking about?” his tone was defensive, embarrassed. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
Sokka’s gaze wandered back to him, brows furrowed in surprise and intrigue, “you don’t?”
“No. No, of course not! I don’t have time to go on dates, Sokka.”
“Then what about the girl?”
“What girl?”
“The Y/N girl? You’re always babbling about her in your letters.”
Zuko could feel the heat forming in his face at the mere mention of her name, “Y/N isn’t my girlfriend. She’s my best friend and one of my counsellors, not my girlfriend.”
“Are you sure?”
He crossed his arms, staring at the master swordsmen with a hint of annoyance in his stance, “yes, Sokka, I am sure.”
“Right,” he seemed unconvinced, taking another sip from his cup, “isn’t that the same girl you were writing letters to all the time during the war? The one you were constantly gushing about when we were eating dinner around the campfire because campfires reminded you of her or something?”
“It’s nothing like that! We—We are just friends!”
“Okay, okay,” Sokka chuckled, lifting his hands in surrender, “sorry. No need to get all worked up about it.”
“I’m not worked up about it.”
“Hm,” he only hummed in response, shaking his head in amused disbelief and letting the comfortable silence return. This time, however, Zuko felt something far away from tranquility.
Many of his advisors had warned him that, after he was crowned, the Fire Nation people would take a sheer interest in his love life, suddenly worrying about marriage and new additions to the royal family. Zuko had tried to prepare for it, had rehearsed good answers to hypothetical questions in which he would dodge the subject and free himself of this concern, yet the questions never came. He thought maybe his people hated him and simply didn’t care about his life, or maybe they understood how difficult it was to take care of such a damaged nation with such damaged external and internal relationships, but that line of thinking was cut off early on: they didn’t ask because they were sure Y/N was his soon-to-be wife, fiancée, or whatever.
It was stupid, really. Yes, he brought her as a plus one to every event, meeting, or visit, and yes, there was a painting of the two of them placed in one of the palace walls, and yes, he constantly craved her presence, and yes, the palace now had an endless supply of those stupid purple strawberries only because she liked the funky color, and yes, he had the palace servants arrange a room right beside his for her, even though she usually ended up sleeping in his room anyway because “you’re cold, stay a little longer”, and yes, they were constantly seen strolling through the capital market hand in hand, and yes, he felt hollow whenever she wasn’t around, but that didn’t mean they were together.
None of that mattered because it was just meant as friendly, friendly touches to his jaw while they laid together in his bed, friendly smiles that got his heart racing, friendly pecks to his scar when he was feeling a bit under the weather. It was all friendly, nothing but the result of a lifetime of close friendship and letters that were not love letters, not really, not ever. They were friends even when his skin burned to the feeling of hers, even when he couldn’t breathe, even when his heart ached. They were friends and nothing but, besides, or despite. Just friends. Best friends, actually.
Did it hurt? No, not really — it was more of a stinging feeling, some sort of shapeshifting unease that coated his heart and squeezed until it was too much, thriving in the deflated look in her eyes when he, once again, denied a romantic relationship between them.
Sometimes who we are is not enough. Y/N deserved to fall in love with someone that could reach every single expectation she had.
Someone who buys her purple strawberries, his noisy mind offered.
Yeah, he agreed with himself silently. Someone who buys her purple strawberries and can hear a question about marriage without choking on air. Someone like that.
“I think she likes you,” Sokka piped up suddenly, taking him away from his intense thinking, “It’s curious. When I arrived, she was by your side and just—the way she looks at you, you know? It’s like,” he hesitated, a certain heaviness to his quiet next words, “it reminds me of how I used to look at Yue. I love Suki,” he was quick to add, cheeks slightly pink under Zuko’s attention, “Suki is amazing, but Yue… Yue was my first love and, no matter what happens, I know she’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Even if I fall for all the girls in the world, none of them will make me feel like Yue did,” the Water Tribe teenager finally met the Fire Lord’s stare, determination clear in his eyes, “I think you are Yue for this best friend of yours.”
Zuko didn’t answer, deciding to simply study the cup of tea in his hands, a million thoughts going through his head.
Spirits, maybe if he wished for it enough times, Sokka would be right.
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In situations like this, Y/N was sure she had to be attuned to her best friend somehow. She could sense his discomfort from the other side of the room and it kept distracting her from the conversation she was currently having, forcing her to apologize and ask the cute guy smiling at her to repeat his words for the fourth time.
“Would you like to go out someday?”
His unexpected question finally caught her whole attention, which made the tall boy grin excitedly.
It was a party similar to the other hundreds she had accompanied Zuko to before, filled with rich and influential Fire Nation citizens that searched for a reason to dislike their ruler, and making sure a good relationship was kept with them was nothing short of essential — cue the unending, boring parties the pair of best friends had to attend where they usually just walked around side by side and made small talk with many people. This time was different, though, since Y/N had caught the eye of a young man that didn’t waste a second to spark up conversation.
He’s not your boyfriend, she reasoned inside her mind while ignoring the firebender’s glares from the opposite side of the room, you don’t have to be with him all the time. In fact, he probably doesn’t even want to have you with him all the time. You can have fun and spare him for once.
“Go out?” she questioned, clearing her throat, cheeks acquiring a red color. “Like, on a date?”
“Yes,” he ran his hand through his hair charmingly, “you are pretty, nice, and fun, even though you keep getting distracted because you’re staring at the Fire Lord guy,” she could feel her face burn with even more intensity, “we could get some tea, talk a little. What do you think?”
“Well, I—”
“Excuse me, can I talk to my girlfriend for a second?”
The guy froze in place, glancing at Y/N with confusion in his eyes. The girl was too shocked to speak, heartbeat going ten miles per minute while Zuko glared.
“Uh, yeah, I didn’t—I didn’t know she had a boyfriend. I’m sorry,” he apologized directly to her before waving awkwardly and walking away. Y/N kept on staring at her best friend in complete disbelief as he scowled at the leaving boy.
“What the fuck?” were the only words she was able to muster, confusion and shock quickly overthrown by anger and annoyance. Zuko seemed surprised at her reaction, widening his eyes before taking a hold of her hand and dragging her through the backdoor. “Where are you taking me?”
She snatched her arm away when he finally stopped walking, closing the door behind them. The night was cold and Y/N shivered slightly, crossing her arms for both warmth and forming her defensive stance, ignoring how beautiful Zuko looked under the night sky in the gardens of a rich Fire Nation family.
“What the fuck was that?” she asked again, rage bubbling in her stomach.
“What do you even mean?” frustration coated his voice. “He was bothering you!”
“No, he wasn’t! We were having a great time!”
“Oh, were you now?” he sounded far from convinced and it fueled her fury even more.
“Yes!”
“Then why did you keep looking at me? I thought it meant you wanted me to go and help!”
He was lying. Zuko was absolutely lying and he prayed to all the spirits and gods and whatever so that she wouldn’t notice.
Seeing her smiling and laughing at that guy turned his vision red, blood boiling with what he could only describe as the more raw and pure jealousy. How dared this unknown man come up and talk to her so smoothly, how dared he make her eyes shine like that? Who did he think he was to be like that with Zuko’s girl? How dared he even think he was worthy of her voice, her attention, her eyes? How dared he?
And why the fuck did she indulge that boy? It made his fingers twitch with the urge to punch the dumbass who thought he had any right to even look at Y/N, made his throat itch with the urge to scream. She shouldn’t smile in that way to anyone but him, shouldn’t give the time of the day to some weirdo who didn’t know her as much as he did, didn’t love her as much as he did, didn’t cherish her as much as he did. She shouldn’t even look at a man who didn’t buy fucking purple strawberries, didn’t write hundreds of lovely non-love letters, and didn’t deserve her. It was wrong and unfair and it caused his body to shake with anger.
“I did not want you to help me, Zuko! There was nothing for you to help me with! He was asking me out and then you ruined it!”
He had to bite back a growl, “why would you even want to go out with him? I’m pretty sure he is a fucking idiot, did you see his face? Looked stupid as fuck.”
She scoffed, venom dripping from her words, “why do you care? I’m not your girlfriend.”
Wow, okay, he thought. That hurt.
“It doesn’t matter,” he barked in a raspy tone that sent a pleasant chill down her spine, “I’m your best friend!”
“So what? That’s got nothing to do with this!”
“Of course it does! I care about your well-being!”
“And?” Y/N felt more and more confused by his reasoning as the seconds passed. “Again, that’s got nothing to do with this.”
“It does! You shouldn’t go out with random fucking guys! It isn’t safe.”
“Oh, really?” she couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Then who should I go out with, Zuko?”
“Me! You should go out with me!”
Any irritation inside the Fire Lord’s best friend died out immediately. She stared at him intently, curiosity and uncertainty clouding her eyes, a blush creeping on his neck as Zuko took notice of the words he had just said.
“What?” her voice was now soft, cautious. 
“I just,” he exhaled deeply, looking up to the stars with the intent to escape her gaze, “I’ve liked you for such a long time and seeing you with someone else, I—,” he sighed in frustration, covering his face with his hands, “I shouldn’t have done that.”
“You… You like me?”
 “I want to be your Yue.”
“What?” the confusion was back at full force and Zuko facepalmed at his own stupid phrase.
“I mean—I mean that I love you, Y/N.”
He peeked through his fingers when she didn’t answer, finding only her absolutely dumbfounded self trying to process his confession. Zuko groaned in exasperation and instant regret.
“Look, I’m sorry, I know you don’t feel the same and—”
“Say it again.”
“I’m sorry?” 
Her breath was shaky as she took a step forward, raising one hand and letting it cup his face oh so tenderly, massaging the creases of doubt from his face in such a loving way Zuko felt he could die. “Say you love me again.”
She had waited for this for too long and her heart seemed to burst open, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes as she tried to fathom if this was another dream or reality. She had waited for him for too long and now she had to be completely sure.
He leaned into her touch and sighed, warmth taking over his chest, “I love you, Y/N.”
“Again, please,” there was a slight crack to her voice that sent his heartbeat in a frenzy.
“I love you.”
“One more time, please? Just one.”
“I love you so, so much. So much that I can’t even put it in words, but, if you let me, I swear I’ll try to every day.”
Y/N smiled and Zuko looked at her as if she had put the stars in the sky, “every day, huh?”
The Fire Lord nodded bashfully, “every day for as long as you’ll have me.”
She giggled before pressing her lips to his as Yue shone brightly above, painting the two lovers with her beautiful light.
“I love you too, Zuko.”
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A/N: I hope you liked it!! I really did my best!! thank you for reading!!
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