I don't own the Avatar: The Last Airbender or any of its characters.

Zutara 25 Drabbles Challenge

By Last Butterfly alias MrJensen~

15. War and Peace

There was no point in denying it anymore. He could not undo what he had done. He had seen it in Mai's golden eyes. Like a dragon that had been kept in chains for centuries, her anger had finally found release. And even though she was not a bender like him – thank Agni, - the long scratches upon his chest and neck burned just as much as deep her words cut.

She did not yell, she did not beg, she only spoke but with such fervor he had never even heard her before.

She said she had known about his 'foolish obsession with that waterbending little witch' since day one. And even if she hadn't been sure before, that time when the avatar had returned hand in hand with her right in this very place, his actions would have told her anyway.

The way his temper rose, the way he technically pushed her aside to have his 'own space' to mourn the fact that he never had a chance afterwards.

"Just how stupid do you think I was?" She almost sneered, and from the moment she had gotten dressed, he was sure that her sharp weapons had also gotten back to her possession. "It's been years. Years! I hoped you would eventually forget that… wench, but nooo," Zuko's good eye narrowed at the words she used. The hatred Mai seemed to have built up against Katara over the time they were together had been too much to handle from the start. He believed he had never given her any reason to be jealous of her up till that moment, but then why? Why would she hate her this much?

"I have known she'll mess with your head if she has the chance…"

"You don't know what you're talking about. She had never-" He finally spoke, raising to his feet without expecting her to use one of her throwing daggers that grazed his shoulder just enough to make it ache.

"How dare you!" She hissed, but this time he didn't answer, only met her glare with his amber eyes. The same eyes that had once met hers and spoke of love. The ones that were now only reflecting her anger, and the reason behind it. "I believed that even if you wanted to break up then sure, just do it. But for her? The avatar's whore?" Mai's laugh made Zuko's frown deepen further. That voice... that single laugh had sounded so much like any of his sister's that it sent a shiver down his spine. Mai had been a true Fire Nation noble. Her true self, her true identity perhaps, had always remained hidden, even from him.

"Way to go, Fire Lord Zuko,"She spoke, with her eyes boring into his. "You are going to be the very reason for the next hundred-years-long war if you go on like this! Millions of men have killed each other over women more times than they did for land or money together. And your oh so loyal people have been hoping for nothing more than another reason to fight and conquer ever since you've ordered them to retreat with their tails between their legs-"

"That was enough!" The scarred bender yelled, his fists being engulfed by flames as he stared at the woman who he had almost gotten engaged with as if he had seen her for the first time in his life. The first and the last time. "I have indeed been a fool. A fool to not see what you had in your mind all this time!" He wished he could have let go of some of his anger through his bending, but instead he let his flames die. He knew he would never forgive himself if he hurt Mai, no matter what she just said. It was him who made her say these things. His actions... his foolishness... his feelings towards another. But that didn't mean he would let her go on and on, poisoning his soul and talking about Katara like this.

It was over. They were through and this time there was no turning back.

A/N: I'll leave it shorter this time. :( I really don't like break-ups, but this... just had to be done, I guess.