1AAAAAAHHHH! Sorry for the wait, guys!
Chapter 4: The End?
"Zuko, come on. I said I was sorry."
Zuko was sitting at his desk with his head laying on the desk. He ignored Iroh as he walked in.
Iroh sighed. "All right. I'll admit, I acted without thinking. I just thought a dating show would be exciting, and..."
Zuko sighed and lifted his head. "Why me, though? You could've done Toph or someone else who's single."
"Because...well, like I said: I wasn't thinking clearly." Iroh shrugged. "Can you ever forgive me?"
Zuko thought about that for a minute. "Fine. But first, tell me one thing and be honset: why don't you approve of Mai?"
"It's not that I don't approve of her." Iroh protested. "I just...can't see you two together. I would've thought you'd choose someone more cheerful and expressive."
"Well, am I cheerful and expressive?" Zuko raised his eyebrow.
"So is Mai sometimes." Zuko stated. "Uncle...remember the summer of the Comet?"
"When I returned home from Ba Sing Se, I still wasn't happy. Nothing was what I expected. Mai was there for me, though. She was the only one who made me happy that summer. She was there for me, she cares about me...she listens to what I have to say and I listen to her. And the only reason she isn't as cheerful and expressive as you like is because her parents only cared about their political status and told Mai to shut up and stay silent." Zuko said. He sighed. "She is getting better at expressing herself, though. Plus, she is so strong-willed and brave. I wouldn't have made it across the Boiling Lake if it wasn't for her. Hell, she stood up to Azula! With no bending!"
Iroh smiled. "I never realized how much you love her. I'm so sorry, Nephew."
It's okay." Zuko replied. "And...you know, if you have one full conversation with her without arguing, you'll find her a fun person to talk to and be around."
"All right. I'll try harder to like her." Iroh promised.
Zuko bowed. "Thank you. That's all I'm asking for."
Zuko walked down a hallway and ran into Katra. "Oh! Hey, Katara."
"Hey." Katara greeted. "What's up?"
"Ahh, not much. Have you seen Mai?" Zuko asked.
"Yeah. She's outside practicing her shuriken." Katara answered. "Taking out her anger, more like."
Zuko winced. "She's still mad?"
"Pretty much." Katara answered.
Zuko sighed. "What am I gonna do?"
"Hmmmm. I'd try sending her presents with notes of apologies and love." Katara suggested.
"That's a great idea! Thanks!" Zuko exclaimed. He ran off.
Mai sighed as she finished her breakfast the next day. She heard her doorbell ring and went to answer it. She looked around and saw a parcel laying at her feet. She picked it up and opened to reveal a plate full of fruit tarts with rose petals on top. A note lay on top of the plate.
I'm really, really, really, really, really, sorry I was such a jerk to you. Can you ever forgive me?
Mai smiled and shook her head. Same old Zuko. Mai wondered how far Zuko would go to get her forgiveness. She decided to check and see...
The next morning, Mai found a bouquet of black roses on her porch. Another note was attached.
I'm helpless without you. Will you paint my black roses red?
Mai chuckled. Zuko had a weird way with words. He was such a dork. Mai eagerly awaited her next gift.
The next day, Mai opened her door to find some of Zuko's seervants standing on her porch. A palanquin sat at the base of the porch.
"Um...what's this?" Asked Mai.
A servant bowed. "Fire Lord Zuko sent us to assist you today, miss. Would you like a ride on the palanquin somewhere?"
Mai held back a laugh. The things we do for love, right? "Sure. I was actually planning on going into town."
"Excellent." The srrvant said.
Mai got onto the palanquin. On one side of the seat lay a plate of fruit tarts. On the other side lay a single black rose in a small vase.
The palanquin went around town. Mai didn't return home until sundown. Zuko waited patiently for the servants' report.
"The dayt went very well, sir. Mai enjoyed herself very much." One servant said.
"That's great!" Zuko said excitedly. "Did she say anything about me?"
Zuko's face fell slightly. "Oh. Hmmmmmm...."
Tyhe next morning, a female servant knocked on Mai's door. "Good morning, Lady Mai. The Fire Lord sent me to help you get ready for the day."
Mai looked mildly surprised and amusd. "He did? Well...I haven't visited a spa before in my life, but what the hell? Come on in."
For three hours, five of Zuko's female servants trimmed and combed Mai's hair, waxed her legs and eyebrows, scrubbed her feet, polished her nails, and massaged her back.
"Thanks for coming." Mai said to the servant as they left. She wondered if Zuko had anything else in store to gain her forgiveness. She decided to wait another day.
The next morning came, and Mai found a parcel on her porch. She opened it up to reveal a box full of small shiny, sharp knives and a knife sharpener. Mai gasped and smiled brightly.
'Zuko, you've really outdone yourself this time.' Mai thought. She spent the entire day trying out her knives.
By the next day, it had nearly been a week since Zuko sent his first apology gift. Mai wondered wehat Zuko had in store for her this time. After Mai finished her dinner, she began to get a little worried that he'd given up on her. She went to her room to get ready for bed when she heard music outside her window. Mai went to check it out. She held back laughter as she saw Zuko playing the sungi horn and trying to serenade her.
"Oh, Mai my darling
I was a jerk
Can you ever forgive me?
I feel incomplete
I'm helpless without you
I miss you, too.
Oh Mai, I love you
Hope you love me too."
He played a few notes after every line. Mai laughed out loud when Zuko finished. Zuko waited eagerly for her response. Mai just smiled, closed her window and drew her curtains. Zuko sighed in defeat.
Mai wondered what Zuko would do next. The only thing he could really do was make her jealous, and she so didn't want that.
The next morning, Mai opened her door to find Zuko looking very tired and defeated.
"I give up." Zuko said dully. "I have tried everything I could think of to apologize to you, and nothing works. I still love you, but I can see you've made your choice. I'm meeting with potential wives tomorrow morning. You can still live here, but after I meet my new wife, you'll have to leave. Good luck with everything, and good-bye."
Mai stammered as Zuko walked away from her. Mai groaned and ran after him. "Zuko, wait!" Zuko stopped, but didn't turn around. "I do forgive you. I was just testing you to see how far you'd go to apologize. I'm sorry. And I do love you."
Zuko smiled nd turned around. "Really?"
"Yes, really." Msai smiled. She rn to hug Zuko, who picked her up and whirled her around. They kissed. "What about that meeting?"
Zuko smirked. "There is no meeting. I was just testing you."
Mai gaped, then glared at Zuko. "You're a dork."
"I know..." Zuko sighed and turned away.
Mai smiled and turned his face back to her. "But you're my dork." They kissed again.
Well, guys, this might be my last chapter. I haven't made up my mind yet, though.