A/N: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm pretty far behind all the cool kids who already started these, but they've been sitting around for long enough and I've decided to dig them up. I had originally planned on doing all the prompts in the correct order, but I honestly didn't think it would really matter. Especially since most people don't have the list right under their noses...and because some people like myself are too random to stick to a set list :) Some will relate, others will not, some will have multiple installments. Oh, and none are in chronological order either, since that's kind of a drag. I like to switch things up. Also, for the record, I'm trying my best to make these prompts completely different from any others that have already been published. So whatever you're expecting the prompt to be about based on title...well, don't. Chances are you'll be totally wrong, but that's what makes them different and fun :) Enjoy! And don't forget to review!
Prompt #38: Obsession
Mai was genuinely amazed at his ignorance. And admittedly, a little jealous too...of the ignorance, that is.
They gathered around the palace wall every morning, with pathetic little glances and sighs. They followed him around town with suppressed giggles when he was feeling adventurous enough to journey out there. Some of bolder ones even sent the occasional gift to the palace.
It may have been all right with her if she didn't have to witness it. She was secure enough in their relationship that all they were to her were silly, stupid girls.
But there were some days that she wished Zuko would do something about them. Perhaps he was a little caught up in the glory of it all and saw them more as admirers rather than desperate hopefuls competing for his attention.
She had tried to ward them off herself, but it had been largely unsuccessful. She'd tried making a point of walking closer to him when they were together, giving death glares when he wasn't looking, and even conspicuously holding his hand. All in vain. With the exception of that one time when the hand-holding had earned her an eye-roll from a particularly audacious girl (who Mai quickly put in her place with a few choice threats while Zuko was unaware and speaking to a companionable vender).
It wasn't a serious problem or anything, although it was a constant irritation. She felt like she had a decent amount of control over the situation, and she really didn't want to bring it up with Zuko. She imagined that asking him to start slaying his personal fan girls probably wouldn't go over well. So she tolerated it all.
Until the breaking point.
Sure, she had overheard many of the adoring comments that they not-so-quietly whispered to each other in the past. How handsome he must look with his hair down (she had seen and felt it between her fingers countless times); how they wished he would practice firebending shirtless for them (she had seen him do plenty of other things shirtless...and pants-less, even); how dreamy they thought his scar was (that confirmed the fact that they were, indeed, crazy, because no sane person would be attracted to such a horrifying mark from such a horrifying incident).
But this new little comment topped them all. And she didn't even need to hear it for herself.
The creature with eyelashes had so boldly violated all royal conventions and took Zuko's forearm while he and Mai were admiring various tapestries and muttered something in his ear. And instantly, Zuko's entire face turned crimson while he gaped in horror at the she-beast's obscenities. She just stared back with twinkling eyes and a plastered-on smile, batting her eyelashes and hoping he would succumb to her overwhelming appeal.
He chanced a glimpse at Mai, who of course had witnessed the little exchange and was glaring daggers at the daring young woman from the other side of Zuko, while fingering the actual daggers she had up her sleeve.
Zuko honestly felt that he should have been saying something to remedy the situation before all-out violence broke out in his nation, but he found himself too tongue-tied and admittedly, a little curious as to what his girlfriend would do to the unsuspecting girl.
But when her eyes met Mai's, pushing her limits to the point where the knives almost flew out of her sleeve, Mai suddenly broke the glare and exchanged it with a complacent expression.
She finally knew how to end the problem entirely. And she was honestly surprised at herself that it took her that long to find a solution to the dilemma that was the Zuko-obsessed female population.
Just as Zuko looked as if he was about to tell the girl off, Mai gave a final smirk to the offensive victim and the crowd around them that had gathered once they realized that their Fire Lord was present in town and roughly pulled Zuko to her before he even realized what was happening. Their lips crashed together in an instant and her arms wound tightly around his body in a way that he was very familiar with.
Something seemed to click in Zuko's mind, because Mai felt his own smirk against her mouth and a low snicker before he responded in turn.
There were gasps and wide-eyed stares that neither paid attention to, as the crowd witnessed what was sure to be the most public display of affection in Fire Nation history.
After both were satisfied some long minutes later, they broke the kiss to garish catcalls and applause from some of the more manly men, sniffles and despair from the wretched girls, and some poor, innocent old man's fainting. They both saw the girl from before standing on the edge of the crowd, who gave them what she must have thought was an intimidating glare before turning on her heel and storming off. Zuko just looked at Mai sheepishly, still feverishly red from the overwhelming attention and their own passion.
"You're welcome," she murmured with just a hint of smugness.