Four times he made a mistake, four times he needs to seek forgiveness.
A/N: I came up with this when I was on vacation in Italy and wrote the first one there. The other three will come when I've written them. So this is about Zuko who made four different mistakes on the show with each girl and this is just a little story on how he wants to apologize. This is about Maiko, him seeking forgiveness after he pushed her in the fountain in "Zuko Alone". Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own.
l'autunno: Possum Chicken Soup
Zuko x Mai
She never thought life could be this boring when you're stuck inside the house.
As she sighed dully, she turned her head to the left to look out the window and noticed how spirals of golden and red leaves swirling up and down by a sharp, brisk wind shushing through the air. She shivered a bit as if she could feel the cold breeze blowing inside and she wrapped her blanket closer to her small body. The bald branches tapped on the windows with a steady rhythm and if it wasn't such an eerie sound, she would have thought someone was making music solely for her.
Suddenly she heard footsteps dawning closer to her, the sound of shoes clicking on the tiled floor and she looked up to see one of the servants before her. He had long, grey hair of which the upper half was pulled in a topknot and he wore a half-long, black robe with red pants underneath that was reserved for all the servants.
He straightened his back when he came to a halt and bowed slightly as he spoke to her. "Lady Mai, Prince Zuko is here to see you."
Her eyes widened by surprise at the name of Zuko and a faint blush crept on her cheeks because he was here to see her. Suddenly she had the urge to run to a mirror, to redo her two buns, to make a better knot in her ribbons and to check if she didn't have anything on her face that would make her hideous. But there was no use for it, she already thought she looked ugly and there was nothing she could do to make herself a bit more presentable because she did have a cold since the accident with the apple and fountain, and pretty much looked like it too. Her amber-coloured eyes were red and puffy, she had bags underneath them and her nose was dry and red from blowing it so often. Nonetheless she wanted (desperately, in fact) to see Zuko—especially when he was the one who came to visit her.
She replied to the servant in a polite manner. "Please, send him in, Luan."
The servant bowed deeper before he retreated to the hall-way, where Prince Zuko was patiently waiting and did what Mai had ordered him to.
A timid Fire Prince popped up from behind the corner and slowly but surely ambled over to where Mai was seated on an azure cushion on the ground by the window. He stopped in his tracks a few steps before her and swallowed nervously.
Mai couldn't help but notice and scraped her dry throat before she began to talk to him. "Of what do I own this honour of seeing you, Prince Zuko?" she asked, politely and humble like she was supposed to act towards Royalty. (She learned all that in the Fire Nation Academy and at home by her mother.)
"I wanted to talk to you about something," he said, with a serious face. "And I wanted to give you this for your cold." He put a hot bowl of possum chicken soup in front of her.
"Thanks, I'm all ears, my Prince," she answered with a too high voice, she was after all curious now to know what he wanted to talk about. She patted on the cushion that was lying next to her, to motion him to sit down. "Please, have a seat."
His lips turned into a small, shy smile and he nodded twice before scooting down next to her on the floor. He sat down cross-legged, while she had her knees pulled against her chest and rested her chin on them. When she moved ever so slightly, her blanket fell from her shoulders and they both reached out to grab it on reflex. Their hands touched and they looked into each other's golden eyes for what seemed like an eternity but was really just five seconds. All because Mai felt her cheeks heathen up rapidly and she retracted her hand as fast as the moment passed by.
He laid it on her shoulders again gently, while saying. "Here, you should keep yourself warm now."
"Thanks," she muttered, her voice dry again and coughed thrice. "What did you want to talk about, Prince Zuko?"
He averted his eyes away from her and suddenly found it much more comfortable to stare at his feet. "Well—," he began, but paused to think of the best way to formulate his next sentence. "I wanted to apologize for being the cause of your cold."
She quirked an eyebrow confused and asked. "Huh? I don't understand why you should apologize for being the cause."
"I did push you in the fountain, didn't I?" he explained, his voice pained. He hung his head for being ashamed of what he did, but was startled when he felt her hand on his shoulder suddenly.
"You pushed me to save me," she reassured, tenderly. "I had a burning apple on my head. The water of the fountain extinguished the fire, otherwise my head would have caught on fire too. You don't have to blame yourself." She smiled reassuringly at him, and when he looked at her again, he returned the smile relieved of her answer. "In fact, if anyone is to blame, then it would be Azula," she added quickly, shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly.
Suddenly, she started coughing endlessly and he asked her, worried. "Are you okay? Do you need something?"
The coughing slowed down and began to fade away, while she waved her hand dismissively. "No, no. I'll be fine."
"Here, have some of the soup," he remarked, picking it up and held it in front of her, but then slipped on the cushion and spilled most of the hot context all over her lap.
Immediately, she stood up, screaming from the shock and dabbed the wet spot on her robe with her blanket. He stood up as well, helping her clean it off, but she pushed him away rather harshly.
"Oh Agni, I'm so, so sorry. I—I—I am such an idiot," he stammered out, looking around the room frantically and noticed wild flowers in a small, china vase. He ran over the table to fetch it, threw the flowers out of it and poured the water over the spot to cool down the heath.
She heaved a relieved sigh, sagging down her shoulders and murmured. "Thank you. I needed that."
Zuko lowered his head and drooped his eye-lids, embarrassed by his clumsy behaviour. "I'm so sorry, Mai. This is the second time that you get a cold 'bath' because of me."
"No, Prince Zuko. It's the second time you rescued me," she amended his comment and planted a soft, sweet kiss on his right cheek. "Thank you," she said while going to her room to put on different and dry clothes.
He stood there, unmovable and felt both his cheeks heathen up because of the kiss.
Now he needed to find another vase to cool himself down.
A/N: Sorry for the OOC-ness, but we don't really know their characters when they were younger, they did seem different then.
Hope you liked this and leave me some feedback so that I know what you liked and what you didn't like.