Disclaimer:Avatar isn't mine, it's owned by Nick and Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko
Okay, so this is just a little piece about Mai because I find it fascinating how she went from being so apathetic it drove me insane to actually beginning to show emotion. Hopefully I got her character down, she's really hard to pin down.
As for those reading Revival, I swear, I'll have a new chapter up soon, just run into some writer's block.
When Mai was eight she had the misfortune of overhearing her governess tell the maids that she was so apathetic that she might as well be emotionally dead. At the time she passed if off as the ignorance of one so new the world of the elite and her mother seemed to prove her theory right because two weeks later the girl was dismissed from her post and replaced with one who was older and knew how to hold her tongue. Mai heard no more talk about her outward personality or lack thereof for many years. It should come as no surprise then that her mother's orders of being demure, silent and of showing restraint became the façade that so many mistook for her personality. She thought nothing of it until that night at the beach where they had all confronted her, each one of them forming a tiny crack in her façade. Unsurprisingly Zuko made the most cracks but then he left her without even a proper goodbye and while she would never show it or admit it he had hurt her more than she had anticipated so she furiously filled in all the cracks. When she saw him at the Boiling Rock she had been angered to find that despite the history they shared he had nothing more to say except to repeat the very essence of his goodbye letter. As they argued she could tell from his eyes that he was both surprised and relieved to find her arguing so passionately with him over the subject but then he left her locked in the cell presumably for her own safety. The last thing she saw in his eyes was regret.
The next pair of eyes that she saw held surprise that was soon overpowered by rage fueled by an uncalculated betrayal by the two people that she considered trustworthy.
Now she was stuck here in a prison with Ty Lee and the Kyoshi warriors that she had helped captured. As she watched them each day she was genuinely surprised to see that each and every single one of them still had that passion that she had seen countless times in Zuko, Azula, the Avatar, the Waterbender, the Water Tribe boy and Ty Lee. How was it that they could hold on to it in such a despairing environment such as a prison while she had never experienced it before? Ty Lee had asked her numerous times what really drove her to betray Azula but each time she had brushed her off because in truth Mai was not sure. Had her declaration to Azula been the truth or something she only said in the heat of the moment? She cared for Zuko, that much she was sure of but Mai had never really cared for anyone like she did Zuko and she was unsure of how deep her affection for him ran. No one was more shocked than Mai when she found the key that unlocked the door to her answers in form of one of the Kyoshi warriors. The girl's simple admission that something had changed in Mai since she last saw her, something for the better, cemented what her subconscious had already known.
"Your aura's changing, it's no longer dingy and gray," Ty Lee commented to her the next day.
"Really?" asked Mai somewhat uninterested.
"Yeah, it's brighter and sort of blue," Ty Lee told her with a smile.