Maiko 100: Prompt #100: Thunder/Lightning

Residual Tension

A full year after Zuko intercepted the lightning that was meant for the waterbender, Mai still shuddered a bit every time she sensed a thunder storm coming. When the sky turned that bruised purplish colour, the winds picked up and the low rumble of distant thunder could be heard, she gathered her robes tightly around her and sought out Zuko.

She hated being irrational. While her mind knew that Zuko was safe inside the palace and that the lightning, created by nature, not a mentally unstable firebending prodigy, would not strike him, her emotions 'thought' differently.

"I was waiting for you." Zuko pushed the door to his office open wider and let Mai pass. "You know, Mai, one…..

"Don't say anything," she cut him off. "I know too well just how ridiculous I'm being. There's no need for you to rub it in." She frowned at her fiancé and dropped down onto one of the chairs.

"Okay, I was just going to say that you might not be here for every thunderstorm or I might encounter one on a trip while you're here. You need to stop worrying. I'm fine. "

"So much for not saying anything; and you know that our roles have been completely reversed here, don't you? What is wrong with me?"

Zuko chuckled. "Yeah, I guess that they have been. How many times did you tell me to stop worrying when I first got back to the Fire Nation and on the way here? "

"I lost count after the first few hundred," Mai deadpanned.

"Hmmph," Zuko snorted. "And I still worried, though I was glad that you cared enough to notice."

"Of course, I cared, you big idiot. I was in love with you then. I was in love with you before you were banished. But we were both too dense to figure it out."

Zuko smiled shyly as he thought about those early days of their relationship. How fortunate he had been to meet up with Mai again after those three terrible years. He sat down in the chair next to her and patted his lap suggestively. "Come sit here. You can protect me from the lightning better."

"Jerk," she muttered but there was no sting to the word. It was said with affection and warmth. She pushed herself out of the chair and let herself fall down hard on Zuko's lap. "Did that hurt?" she asked innocently after Zuko grunted loudly.

"No, not at all." The Fire Lord squirmed a bit beneath Mai.

She gave him a wicked smirk then placed her hand where she knew the scar from Azula's lightning strike was located. Her expression grew serious.

"I'm not going anywhere, Mai. Here is where I want to be, with you. And anyone who wants to kill me will have the fight of his life waiting for him." Zuko stroked Mai's hair and he felt some of the tension and worries leave her body.

"He'll have to get through me first," Mai said emphatically as she snuggled deeper into Zuko's chest.