Chapter 1- Zuko
Zuko woke to a start in cold sweat. He breathed fast. This was the fifth night in a row he had dreams about his long lost mother. He could still hear her voice ringing painfully in his ears from his dreams, “Zuko…help me Zuko…Where are you? Why haven’t you searched for me?”
“Because I don’t have the time,” Zuko said aloud.
He sat up in bed, close to tears. Ever since he became Firelord, he and Avatar Aang have been working for what seems like non-stop. He truly didn’t have the time to search for his mother, who he hadn’t seen since she was banished when he was ten.
Zuko pushed away the silky, red bed covers and put his feet on the floor. He slipped on his gold slippers, which were under him. He got up and walked over to his dresser, where his fancy robe was located. He took the robe and slipped it on. Without a lantern he walked out of his room and through the Royal Palace until he was outside on the large porch. He walked to the golden rail and leaned on it. Zuko looked up and saw all the stars in the night sky and the moon, which was bright and full. He breathed in taking in the crisp night air.
“Zuko, you are so weird,” He heard suddenly from behind him. He turned around and saw that it was only Mai, his girlfriend who was sleeping over in the guestroom.
“Expecting someone else?” Mai asked, obviously stunned that her boyfriend was shocked to see her.
“No,” Zuko muttered.
Mai walked up to him. Her dark hair nearly matched the sky. Zuko went back to leaning on the rail.
“You are so strange,” Mai said again, “out here with not even a lantern. Not to mention you’re still in your pajamas.”
Zuko didn’t say anything.
“I want to tell you something,” Mai told him.
He looked at her.
“I’m going away for a while starting the night after tomorrow,” Mai said.
“Where are you going?” Zuko questioned.
“Oh, just to the Earth Kingdom. I figured since you’re the Firelord now you’ll need some help,” Mai explained.
“Thanks,” Zuko replied. “I want to tell you something too.”
“What is it?” Mai asked.
“I think I’m going away for a long time too. I need to get away for a while,” Zuko answered.
“Who’s going to look after the Fire Nation?” Mai asked.
“My Uncle Iroh. Even though he’s at his teashop in Ba Sing Se, he’ll come by anyway. He’s always there when I needed him. He was always by my side, thick through thin,” Zuko told her.
Mai took his hand.
“I can be there for you, too. Only if you let me…,” She said.
She put her hand on his face and turned his head toward hers. She gave him a short kiss on the lips.
“I love you,” She whispered. “Maybe one day I’ll rule the Fire Nation with you, as your Fire Lady.”
Zuko was shocked. He never thought about getting married to Mai. She was old enough now for she was sixteen (and he was seventeen), but the thought frightened him.
He took her hand and lowered it from his face. Then he turned away.
“Is something wrong?” Mai asked.
“I-I’m just tired. I’m going back to bed,” Zuko replied.
Without another word, he walked back inside the Royal Palace.