Disclaimer: No, I do not own Avatar: The Last airbender.
There were times when Zuko had to ask himself, why? Why didn't he care that thousands of beautiful women were being paraded before him? Why did he care that some earthbender was flirting with Toph? Why did he feel his finger tips burn with the desire to fry that pretty boy's hair off?
It was a banquet in his honor and also a way to find a potential bride. It had been six years since the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai and he was now the right age, twenty-one, to accept the throne that his uncle had temporarily taken over. All women who were worthy within the fire kingdom was there and each vying for his attention. To be able to capture the Fire Lord and become the new Fire Lady was all of the women's dream.Yet here he was sitting on his throne, watching Toph laugh at something the earthbender- he believed his name was Haru- had just said.
Unable to take the uncomfortable feeling that burned within his chest at the sight of the two. Zuko finally stood from his throne, earning several excited glances from women hoping he was to approach them. To their disappointment, Zuko merely went towards a table near his throne where the honored Avatar and his friends were sitting. The women watched, green with envy, as the Fire Lord leaned over besides the blind girl and whispered something in her ear.
How dare she? Thought some women as Fire Lord Zuko escorted the blind girl towards the dance floor. Zuko felt the stares and found he honestly didn't give a damn. His arm slipped around Toph's waist as she gently placed her own hand on his shoulder, their fingers linked and they began a slow dance. Much to Zuko's surprise, Toph was a rather good dancer, which he should have expected with her coming from such a high class family.
"So what do you think of these women?" Zuko asked quietly.
Toph snorted at his question. Her face scrunched up with obvious disapproval and Zuko could't help the small quirk of his lips tilting into a smile.
"They're heavy footed, so obviously they have no training and are probably large in size. I overheard some of them and they sound like morons and gold diggers."
Zuko nodded though he knew she couldn't see him. She was right, then again Toph was usually right no matter much he hated to admit it. She could 'see' beyond appearence into the deepest core of someone and instantly know their true nature. He found that out by personal exprience. Toph had pulled something out of him that went past the bitter young man he had grown to be, a person who still had their doubts and insecurities, a person who merely wanted someone to be there in place of the lack of love from his past. Of course, he would never admit that he was that kind of person and it was somewhat nice for someone to be able to see it without telling them himself.
"Is there anyone you think is suitable?"
Toph fell into silence for a few moments. Zuko looked over her face to find any signs of what she was thinking of. He didn't find any but he did find that Toph looked rather nice all dressed up like she was, however, for some reason or another he found he prefered how she normally looked. The true Toph was even more beautiful.
Here was a time where he asked himself, why? Why did he care about Toph's opinion on his potential brides? Why was he thinking of her in such a manner? Thinking she was beautiful? Of course, she was, but that besides the point. The biggest question he was asking himself though was why would he rather have Toph by his side for just this moment, then these other women by his side for years?
"You should find a new batch," Toph said suddenly breaking him from his thoughts.
The song ended and Toph took a step away from him. Something was different about her, Zuko noticed. She seemed tensed and he could swear he heard a distant rumble somewhere far. What was going on?
"Keep looking Princess. I should get back to Haru."
Her actions did not cooperate with her words. Zuko wouldn't let her. For some reason, he didn't want to let her go. His hand on her wrist, tugged her closer to him and once again he whispered in her ear.
"Come with me."
Toph looked confused for a moment, but at Zuko's tugging, she followed unaware of the hateful glares at fell upon her form. Zuko wasn't sure what he was doing at the moment, all he wanted to do was make sure Toph didn't go back to Haru. It would drive him crazy and he didn't think he had that much restrain on himself not to accidently burn something on the earthbender boy. Finally he stopped, they were far away from the room where the banquet was being held. They had traveled dowm a large hall with little to no light, which didn't bother Zuko and Toph couldn't tell the difference. So here they stood, Toph looking impatient with him and Zuko trying to figure out his actions.
Why was he doing all of this? Then it hit him and he couldn't help but groaned quietly. He had feelings for Toph! It was so obvious to him now, how could he have been so blind? Though, in his difference he was unfamilar with the things he was feeling and couldn't believe he would have such feelings for someone like Toph. Toph! She was brash, loud, and egotistical. She always tore him down...but she did build him back up into something better but she...well perhaps it wasn't as far-fetched as he believed. So how did Toph feel about him? Probably nothing seeing how she couldn't seem to wait to get away from him.
This should have been much easier than it was, after all he was the Fire Lord! Who wouldn't want him? Then again, Toph wasn't into titles or anything like that. Perhaps that was another reason he was attracted to her.
"Oh come on Princess, what is it already?" Toph snapped, obviously annoyed at him by now.
Now or never.
"How do you feel about me?"
And then the akward silence filled the air. Toph seemed to be thrown off guard by his questions as her eyes widened and then squinted as though she was digesting the question.
"What do you mean?"
Zuko wanted groan in frustration, how couldn't she know what he meant!? He needed to calm down. Why couldn't he just say what he felt? It would make everything so much easier. Of course, everything is easier said then done. The words seemed to be stuck in his throat and refused to budge. He hoped he wouldn't stutter, it would be the end of him.
"Toph," he started quietly, "How would you like to be Fire lady?"
Again, akward silence. Zuko shifted on his feet anxiously waiting for her reply. A reply that could really make or break him. A reply that could enable him to have a fufilled life with someone very dear to him by his side or could enable him to have a empty life devoid of emotion. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. He could still take it back and save himself the embrassment, right?
He didn't finish as the front of his shirt was jerked down and warm lips pressed against his own. Zuko had never thought anything was hot before, but this was hot. It felt as though his lips were on fire and was spreading throughout his body. When they had parted, Zuko was sure his cheeks were red and attempted to will it away though Toph couldn't see it. Toph was looking quite smug but Zuko found he didn't care as he usually would.
"About time, Princess."
Toph always had a way of knowing things before people themselves knew. Zuko couldn't help but growl a bit at that. He was positive that she had known all along but she would never tell. So he simply opted for claiming her lips once more because at the moment, he had the right to do so as she would be the last person he ever kissed and he would be the last person she ever kissed.
Note: Toph is psychic