I need to draw more Mai/Zuko.
This is allegedly from my friend Meredith's AU, Umami. (formerly titled "Restaurant Wars")
It has not been published yet, but it's awesome.
EDIT: Meredith ([link]
) wrote a drabble based off of this picture! (AS I WAS SECRETLY HOPING SHE WOULD)
After dinner, which Zuko had spent listlessly pushing around his plate, Iroh practically kicked them out the door.
Take a little time for yourselves, he said, gentle, but firm. You have spent so much time helping Aang prepare for the competition, I imagine you must be a little exhausted.
Thank you for having me, Iroh, said Mai, buttoning up the front of her coat. The soup was delicious.
I know its your favorite, Iroh replied, his eyes warm. They turned quickly to Zuko, who was playing with the end of his zipper, looking impatient. Mai took his hand, and gave Iroh a little wave.
Ill see you at my fencing tournament on Sunday, I hope? she asked, voice even.
I would not miss it. Now go. Zuko practically threw her out the door in response.
The street was clogged with Christmas tourists, gawking in windows of shops, thronging into restaurants, the open doors sending warm, wafting smells cascading out into the street to meld with the winter sky - smoke and ice. Mixed among them, the familiar strangers of the neighborhood, the sort of people he was sure his Uncle knew, the people he had never really taken the time to know. Zuko felt very small, as he sometimes did, amidst the sea.
Everyone was going somewhere.
Stop staring into traffic and lets get moving, said Mai, raising one perfect eyebrow his way. Its freezing.
Im sorry, said Zuko. The light changed at the crosswalk. But I was just thinking. Theres so much we still have to do, and Im not even sure if Aang is ready, if anyone will...
Mai said Shut up. She took hold of the shoulders of his sweatshirt and pressed her forehead close to his. Zuko was monetarily surprised, then deeply pleased. They kept walking fast, very close together now, and the word was blurring around the corners of his vision - light and sound and the quiet promise of snow.
Somehow, Mai managed to get them safely to the other side without compromising her position. She laughed, a loud, unashamed laugh, pressed her lips to his as soon as their feet were safely on the sidewalk again. Both their mouths were cold, Zuko could feel a welcome shock of warmth flow through him.
Her arms still locked around his neck, Mai lowered her eyes. Its going to be fine, she said, and her voice was a little raw and dark in the very way Zuko loved best. Its your own problem if you dont believe me.
You make a good argument, Zuko said, weakly, relaxing, finally into her arms.