Disclaimer: If I owned A:TLA, Zuko would have set Katara's hair on fire. I would so read a zutara fic trying to overcome that.
After Avatar Aang had defeated former Fire Lord Ozai, the hundred year war was officially over, and the world was on the road to an era of peace and love.
"You can tell the ambassador to go to Koh's lair in a hand basket for all I care!"
It wasn't a well paved road.
The grand doors to the Negotiations Room, previously the War Room, burst open, and the young Fire Lord Zuko stormed out, smoke curling from his snarling mouth.
The Imperial guards posted at the doors visibly flinched at the outburst. It'd been six months since his coronation, six months worth of meetings with obstinate old pig-goats that would wear on even a saint's patience. They'd been witness to some of the new Fire Lord's show of temper, and while he was not as talented as the Fire Princess, he was still beyond even the most adept firebender in the Nation, a force to be reckoned with. So far, he hadn't set anyone on fire…yet. But they were sure it was coming.
A few moments after the Fire Lord's grand exit, his Fire Lady swept gracefully threw the doors after him. Though her face showed no emotion, there was an air of irritation about her. The politics had gotten to her as well.
"Left or right?" she addressed the guards.
"Right, my lady," he responded quickly with short bow. It was possible they'd feared her temper more than their Fire Lord's. It was well known that you should always watch the quiet ones.
She nodded her head in thanks, continuing on her way at a sedate pace as the political officials in the Negotiations Room worked themselves into a frenzy. As she walked, she slipped a kunai knife from out of her sleeve into her hand absently spinning it around her finger.
Sauntering her way through the glorious palace halls, the sunlight streamed between the pillars. Having deduced where her husband had gone, she made a quick detour to speak to the Avatar who was staying as their guest and then to their rooms, changing out of her official robes into something more accommodating and retrieving a few necessary items. Once done, she went to the balcony that looked out over a courtyard surrounded by gardens and leapt down, if for no other reason than walking was boring.
Fire Lord Zuko was in the center of the courtyard, dressed only in black pants, flashes of fire following every furious kick and punch. His robes and shoes had been carelessly discarded to the side, though his head piece was placed on top. As his wife stood to the side silently watching, she noticed he'd gotten better. His movements were less stiff, more grace and flow to them, than before, ironically, he'd been struck by lightning. Her gaze flitted to the starburst scar on his abs, and she frowned slightly. Did he even realize how lucky he'd been?
Zuko became a blur of punch, kicks, and fire before he performed one final roundhouse kick. He breathed heavily for a moment when the sound of clapping came to his ears. He turned and saw his wife of five months and three weeks standing with a small smile playing over her lips. He sighed in relief and held out his arms to her, and she came to him. He pulled her closer, pressing his face into her hair.
"It was easier fighting a war."
"Less boring, anyway," she murmured.
"It's just so frustrating," she pulled back and looked at him.
"Hm. Like being sent on an impossible mission to find the Avatar," she arched a brow at him.
He smiled at her, catching her meaning, and kissed her. She curled her fingers in his hair, drawing him closer. When they came apart, she pulled him along over to the bundle she'd brought from their room. She bent down, pulled a shirt out, and tossed it to him. He looked at it, confused.
"This isn't exactly appropriate for arguing with the politicians over whether or not we should continue to blah, blah, blah."
"You're right," she walked over and scooped up his headpiece, tucking it into the bag. "It's perfect for a visit to Bah Sing Se, though," she tried to keep a straight face, but the excitement coming from Zuko was contagious. He tugged his shirt on over his head, took her hand, raising it to his lips, not breaking eye contact.
"My lady fair is also wise," he kissed it.
She rolled her eyes at his antics.
"You're such a dork," her tone belied her harsh words, and she smiled despite herself. He laughed as she pulled him along next to her.
"So how are we going to get away without the council breathing down our necks?" he questioned as they walked back into the palace. At that moment, Lord Quan Gi, one of Counsel of Codgers, as Sokka had dubbed them, walked by. His wife quickly tugged Zuko behind a pillar to avoid being seen. He peered out to make sure the hall was clear before they kept going.
Zuko considered his wife.
"You already have a plan."
She just gave him a mysterious smile.
"What? You're not going to tell me?"
She ignored him.
"You're so cute when you're devious," he said with a dreamy sigh.
She did her approximation of a giggle.
Before long, they arrived at Avatar Aang's quarters and entered, not even bothering to knock.
"Alright, we all ready to go?" he grinned brightly. If anything, Aang had only become even more hyper and energetic since the end of the war. Toph had once made the offhand comment of Aang having a child with Ty Lee. Everyone had gotten quiet after that. It was a sobering thought.
"I guess," he glanced at his wife who assured him with a nod.
"Flamio! Let's go," he jumped to the rail of the balcony, blowing on his bison whistle. The beast sailed to the boy with a bellow of greeting. The lemur curled into a ball atop a pillow in the sun did not deign to move. As the two boarded Appa, Aang instructed his spirit guide with what to do.
"After you drop them off with Uncle Iroh, come right back here, buddy. Okay?"
He gave a yawn in response.
"Okay! See you soon," he hopped back onto the balcony rail. "Have fun, you two! Yip yip!"
With a roar, Appa ascended into the sky, headed for the Earth Kingdom. His two passengers were situated in his saddle, with Zuko cradling his wife to his side.
"How long have you been planning this?"
"Honestly? The day you became Fire Lord."
"And you're just using it now because?"
"Because any sooner would have been pointless since you weren't really worked up and any later you would have set somebody on fire. Which may or may not be a good thing in the long run."
"Thanks," he kissed her cheek, trailing kisses to her mouth.
Appa roared, protesting to anything too frisky while he was flying. They broke apart.
"You are welcome," she drawled out.
They sat together, in comfortable silence save for the breathing of the great beast beneath them and the wind.
"I love you, Mai."
"Of course you do."
"Idiot. I love you too."
A/N: If it seems that I used his title a lot, I don't apologize for it. It's hot!(pun intended) Even better, it's FLAMIO! Fire Lord, Fire Lord, Fire Lord, Fire Lord Zuko! It just sounds good, I like it, DEAL with it!
It's so cute, it's FLUFFY! Who remembers Lilo and Stitch? Anywho, I think it is. I don't think you can really get too smushy with these two unless Zuko gets all dorky and tries to do something romantic which will end terribly unlike he planned it in a humorous but endearing way.- Hey, basic plotline right there, people. Get on that.
REVIEW please! Or else you'll crush my self esteem