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|One More Date|
14 June 2011
One More Date is chapter 2 of: Zuko and Mai.
Set date: 16 June, 103 AG
The sun was still high in the air. The time was the early evening hours. As Zuko was hoping for, this Fire Nation evening was stunning. The day was warm, but not too hot. There was a small breeze in the air. It was a fine summer evening in the Capital. He could not have dreamed of a day any better for his big date with Mai. The date that would decide if they were ready to be together forever.
Zuko left the Fire Nation Royal Palace. He declined a trip with the Royal Procession, electing to do the walk to Mai's house on his own. He was dressed in his royal wear. As this was happening, royal servants were cooking up a dinner for two, and also working to set the scene as well.
When he arrived, he knocked on his girlfriend's door. Mai responded quickly. "Hi, Zuko!", she waved to her boyfriend. "Good evening, Mai", the Fire Lord responded. The two hugged and kissed.
"Come in. I'm just finishing up getting ready. We can go in a few minutes."
She looked beautiful in her standard wear; the red dress and long black hair. She just had to put on her last bits of makeup and perfume. As she was doing this, Zuko started to become nervous of what could happen on the date. What if I don't have those feelings for her that I've had? What if I spill the beans about my plans? What if we argue? Oh great, now I've made my myself anxious. Ugh! The Fire Lord began to sweat a little.
"Zuko! I'm ready!", announced Mai. He turned to look at her and saw his awe-inspiring girlfriend. Her makeup made her look seemingly perfect. Her face was clear, her eyes appearing as shining gold. The smile on her face was great, as she looked forward to get the date started. Zuko quickly got rid of one of his fears. "Mai, you look astounding!", he complimented on the work she had done to be ready for the date. Mai replied, "As long as you think that way, it's good enough for me. People think I don't look good enough, but you always make me feel better about myself." She hugged him tightly. "So, I'm getting hungry. What say we head to your palace?", she queried. The Fire Lord replied "Of course, I'm getting hungry myself."
The two held hands and began their walk to the palace. They looked at each other and smiled beautifully.
Be ready, Mai...you'll soon get to see this everyday. Soon...we will be, forever..."
Fire Nation Royal Palace
The two arrived at the palace, hand-in-hand. The guards bowed to the Fire Lord and his girlfriend as they entered. They made it to the dining hall, where a smaller table was set up, meant for just two. The evening sun shined into the dining hall, lighting it up, making it a pretty scene.
"Over here, Mai," the Fire Lord called, inviting her to her seat. He pulled out the chair for her, allowing her to sit. "Thanks, Zuko," Mai said.
"I hope you enjoy the dinner tonight. I planned a great one. The cooks should be finishing up on it soon," Zuko explained. Soon,, he added nervously to himself.
A servant came by and poured the two sparkling glasses of pure mineral water. All the meanwhile, since they had not seen each other for a while, they talked about what they were up to over the last few days.
"The last few days have been long, Mai. I've been getting many updates on how the nation is doing. However, they were worth it. Our economy is back on track, most of the war damage has been cleaned up, re-building is going brilliantly, and the rebellious uprising that was going on a few weeks back is quiet," the Fire Lord explained to his girlfriend. "However, there has been something lacking."
"What is that, Fire Lord?" Mai asked.
"You. Your magnificent face, your upbeat attitude, your caring, and affection," Zuko said.
"Awww, Zuko, you are the sweetest boy in the world. It's hard to ask for any better," Mai replied.
The two grasped each other's hands and reached across the table to share a kiss.
A fresh komodo chicken was placed on the table in front of the two. They heartily enjoyed the chicken, which was served with some vegetables. The vegetables had been grown in some of the most brilliant, well-maintained fields in the Earth Kingdom, and were imported over.
"You know, Zuko, you always find ways to get the best stuff over here in the Fire Nation," Mai said."
"Well, I guess it comes with the title," Zuko chuckled. "Only the best, however, for my girl."
Mai blushed at this comment. As they finished off their main course, they noticed the sun was getting close to setting, probably within a half hour. "Mai, how about we wait for dessert, so we can go watch the sunset?" Zuko asked. "Zuko, it's fine with me. It makes me think back to one of our first dates. Remember?" Mai said. "Yeah, and you told me you hated the color orange," Zuko replied with a chuckle. "Well, I don't mind orange now, because it makes think about that date. I think we should re-capture those feelings," Mai suggested.
"Okay," Zuko agreed.
I guess this is where I find out if it's time to keep her in my life forever. Watching the sunset, not a cloud in the sky...this is it, I suppose.
The two got up, linked hands, and walked up to the balcony of the palace
Balcony of the Royal Palace
The two stood out on the vast balcony, as the sun was about 15 minutes away from setting over the shores of the Fire Nation Capital. The two looked into each other's eyes, their gazes locked in on each other for one moment, then turning back to the sunset the next. The sunset was a captivating scene, painting the sky a rich shade of orange and reflecting off the ocean.
The two moved closer to one another. Mai wrapped her arms around Zuko, staring up at the still-young Fire Lord, proud of her decision to return to him.
The Fire Lord put his arm around her back, and looked down into her eyes once more. The two then shared a small kiss. However, Zuko, knowing the circumstances he set for this date, couldn't help but feel nervous.
"Zuko, I never want you to leave me," Mai said.
"I won't. Remember when you threatened me?" Zuko laughed sort of awkwardly, feeling his nerves. He was of course referring to when they met again on Zuko's coronation day.
"Don't you ever break up with me again! Ever!" Mai declared with the same style she used on that day, putting her finger on Zuko's nose.
"Oh, Mai...you find ways to make me smile, always," Zuko replied.
"I'm glad to do what I can," Mai said, putting her head on her boyfriend's shoulder. Zuko could feel his nerves soothing somewhat, knowing he had his girlfriend's full attention and love.
The sun continued to recede to the bottom of the sky. The fading sunlight shined on them as they watched. The two were clearly in love each other, there was no denial of it. The sight of one another was more beautiful to them than the setting sun on that early summer evening.
"There it goes..." Mai remarked as the sun faded out into the horizon.
"The sun may disappear, but my love for you is like a never-ending midday sun, Mai," Zuko whispered to her. Mai teared up a little bit at this, and pulled her arms tighter around the Fire Lord. "Zuko..."
The two shared another kiss, and then descended back down into the Royal Palace dining room, to finish their date.
End of the date
With the remaining daylight now giving away to a starry night, Zuko and Mai went back to the dining hall, and enjoyed their desert, a pair of small fruit pies delivered from the Water Tribes from his good friend, Avatar Aang, for such an occasion. Aang and his girlfriend, Katara, helped to prepare these pies. They were well-done, and enjoyed by Zuko and Mai. The Fire Lord decided to write a note of thanks to the two and send it by messenger hawk to their home in the South Pole.
As the two finished, Zuko couldn't keep his mind off dreams he had the previous night. He and Mai, much older, continuing to share the Royal Palace, raising their children, grooming one of his own to be Fire Lord in the future.
"Zuko!" Mai's words snapped him out of it.
"What?" Zuko replied, surprised.
"I'm ready to return home now," Mai said, with a touch of disappointment.
Zuko got up from his chair, took Mai's hand, and the two walked back to Mai's house, hand-in-hand, as they had gone to the Royal Palace just a couple of hours ago. The evening had now given way to night.
The two arrived at her house moments later.
"Zuko, I can not thank you enough for this beautiful night. The food was magnificent..." Mai started.
"Well, you give credit to the cooks for that. Plus Aang and Katara for the fruit pies..." Zuko replied.
"Well, if it wasn't for you being around, Zuko, we wouldn't have all of this, would we now? Not just that, though. I enjoyed watching the sunset with you. It is so great spending time with you." Mai smiled widely.
"I enjoy spending time with you too, Mai. It makes me complete," Zuko responded.
"Zuko...I love you so much," Mai moved in and instigated a deep kiss.
"Good night, Mai. I love you too."
"Good night, Zuko."
Mai closed the door slowly, not quite ready to leave her boyfriend. She watched as he walked away, returning to the Palace.
Zuko could not have been more satisfied with the results of the date. He saw just what he needed to be sure that he would ask for Mai's hand in his marriage. To make his move.
Mai, there is only one thing left for me to do now. We'll be spending all of our time together soon. I hope you're ready. I love you, forever and always...
He returned to the Palace, with a big grin on his face, ready to take his relationship with Mai to the next level.
As far as I knew, no balcony was present on the Fire Nation Royal Palace. Thus, I have added it as a fanon element, as something called for by Zuko in 101 AG.
I can not thank TAD enough for helping me with this chapter. The first draft, was...not good. Her suggestions helped out big time.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Zuko and Mai|
|Zuko Thinks - One More Date - Zuko Makes His Move|
|Aang and Katara|
|Craftsman's Class: The Final Lesson - Crafting His Masterpiece - It All Comes Together|