Your Eyes Tell
You break up with Zuko when Ozai threatens his life if you continue with your relationship. But when you find out Ozai sends an assassin to kill him when he leaves to join team Avatar, you leave the Fire Nation to save him despite knowing how much you hurt him.
It's been two months since you broke up with Zuko and now he's gone.
You heard from your father that Zuko switched sides and joined the Avatar. You tried to hide your concern at the dinner table as your father broke the news to your family. Your mother gave you a worried look as she always had suspicions about your relationship with the Prince.
"Ozai is furious. I don't think he's going to give Zuko another chance after this." Your father stated as you continued to fiddle with your hands. "That's his son. I don't think...do you think he'd go that far?" Your mother questioned. "I don't know...you saw what he did to Zuko after he questioned him..." Your father sighed. You tried to remain calm but you felt like your heart was beating out of your chest.
Your father was a high ranking general and was a close confidant of Ozai. Although, lately you could tell he's been questioning Ozai's methods after seeing the destruction and death he's been laying upon the other nations. Your father was loyal to the Fire Nation would do anything to protect its people, but you'd overhear him and your mother talking about how he was worried about Ozai's methods.
"He's sending an assassin after Zuko." Your gaze shot up, "WHAT?!" You blurted out. "A-are you sure?" Your mother asked and your dad nodded. "He's sending the combustion mad." You froze. He was known to be one of the most ruthless assassins in the Fire Nation. He was known to master a rare style of fire bending that allows him to trigger explosions from a tattoo on his forehead. "I'm not feeling well...can I go to my room?" You asked and your father nodded leaving your mother with a concerned look in her eyes as you left.
As soon as you entered your room you fell to the floor and cried. You hated this. You hated yourself for breaking up with Zuko but you had no choice.
It was two months ago and you were walking around the palace. Thanks to your father's close relationship with the Fire Lord, you spent your whole life within the palace walls. You grew up with Azula and Zuko and your families were close as well. It wasn't until Zuko returned from his banishment that the both of you began your relationship but decided to keep it a secret as he still had a lot to prove to his father. Zuko wanted to prove he was focused and determined and if Ozai found out he was seeing you, Zuko would be right back where he started before leaving to capture the Avatar.
Unfortunately, your fears came true and Ozai discovered your secret relationship. You were on your way home after sneaking into Zuko's room and as you made your way to the throne room until you heard voices. You recognized one to be Ozai's and the other Azula's.
"Your brother appears to be distracted these days." Ozai's voice boomed throughout the room. " Well it's because he's with his little girlfriend most of the time." Azula replied
"Girlfriend?!" Ozai fires back and you gulp. "Yes, your favorite general's daughter." There was a hint of disgust in Azula's voice which made your blood boil. Despite being "friends" with Azula, it was obvious she looked down on you along with Mai and Tai Lee.
"First, Zuko questions me, now he's frolicking with that girl instead of focusing on his duties as Fire Prince." Ozai growls and you heard his footsteps walk back and forth as he paced around his throne. "He has to be taught a lesson that boy."
"I couldn't agree more, father." You could almost see the smirk on Azula's face at the tone of her voice. "I wonder...does Zuko really need his other eye?" Your heart dropped. His father was about to punish Zuko again...because of you. Your memory shot back to the moment Ozai burned Zuko's face in their Agni Kai. You remember burying your face in your hands while trying to shut out Zuko's screams. .
"Bring him here." Ozai commanded. You don't know what came over you, but you found yourself running into the throne room.
Azula and Ozai both stared at you and Azula chuckled. "Don't hurt him." You were surprised at your own voice coming out. "And why shouldn't I? He's being careless and has to be taught a lesson."
"I'll end it." Your voice shook as you were being stared down by the two of them. "Would that even do anything?" Azula rolled her eyes as she lazily observed her fingers.
"It will. You'll see...it was my idea to start a relationship. Not his. If you're going to punish someone...punish me." Azula raised an eyebrow at your suggestion and looked towards Ozai who began to think.
"Not necessary." Ozai stated and Azula frowned. "Your father is an important ally of mine, wouldn't want to upset him."
The room fell silent as the three of you stared at one another. "I suppose...if you end your relationship with my son...that will do for now." Your shoulders dropped in relief.
"But, I don't care if you're together or not, if he upsets me in any way again I won't hold back." Ozai turned his back and left the room. Azula smirked at you and followed him out.
You were lying in bed that night and couldn't sleep. Your mind was racing with thoughts of Zuko and how you were going to end it. You heard the window open and the sound of familiar footsteps making its way to your bed.
Before Zuko could slip in next to you, you immediately turned away from him.
"Hey, what's wrong?" he chuckled but you refused to answer.
"I don't need you anymore." You spat out and he stammered back. "What do you mean you don't need me anymore?!"
You buried your head in your covers, trying not to look at him. "I mean, I don't need you anymore, Zuko. I'm done."
"Done?! W-what do you mean done—did something happen?" you heard his footsteps come over to your side of the bed and you huffed.
He lifted the covers over your face and you had no choice but to look at him.
Zuko's eyes were a mixture of sadness and confusion and you chocked out a sob. He slowly brought his hands to your face, but you swatted it. Knowing exactly what to say to get him to leave, to leave you for good. "I can't be with a coward." Zuko stumbled back after this. You knew about his never-ending torment about betraying Iroh out of fear of his father. How he barely slept every night thinking about his uncle sitting in his cell, about how he was scared to do the right thing because he would lose his honor in his family again.
"W-what?" Zuko was farther from you now, sad eyes staring into your like daggers. You were fighting the urge to break right there, tell him everything you knew about his father's warning, but you had to protect him. "You left Iroh to rot in a cell. You can't even stand up against your father and you're a disgrace to the Fire Nation. What kind of future is that?" You said coldly, biting your tongue to fight back the tears that were fighting to come out. "
"Do you really mean it?" His voice broke and you were dying to apologize to him, to tell him you thought he was so much more than what he thought of himself, that he was one of the few genuinely good people here, but you had to do this to protect him.
"Yes. I hate you, Zuko...I didn't realize it till now but...I'm embarrassed of you. Being with you...makes me hate myself too." You stated, face blank. Zuko's face dropped. You've never seen him like this, so empty, like he lost all the hope he had in the world. You wanted to reach out to him, you did...but he was gone before you could.
You'd see him in State events but never spoke, and the one time he had to greet you out of courtesy it was like he was talking to a stranger.
Now, here you are somewhere in the forest, looking for him. You heard from one of the guards who was loyal to you that combustion man was able to track Team Avatar near the mountains next to the refugee camps. He told you that he got his scent and was close by.
You heard voices and crouched by the bush. You saw a figure by the river and crawled closer to see who it was. It was a girl, probably your age dressed in blue who was doing laundry. This must be the water bender you thought. Mai and Ty Lee would tell you stories about their time chasing the Avatar and reuniting with Zuko.
Deciding to confront her and ask where Zuko was you began to walk towards her. Her shoulders tensed at the sound of footsteps behind. The girl whipped her head around and her eyes grew wide. Before you could speak, she was shooting water in your direction. "HEY!" You dodged, but she kept going. Grunting in frustration, you began shooting fire back at her.
You were fighting for a while now until suddenly, a boomerang was flying next to your head which caused you to duck.
There was a boy in blue running towards you with a smaller girl in green running next to him.
The girl stomped her foot on the ground and rocks in the shape of bars began to form around you but you were able to roll out of the way. The water bender was about to attack once more but then you heard your name being called behind you.
"Y/N?" You froze and your heart dropped. You haven't heard Zuko's voice in so long and you swore you almost crumbled right there. Slowly, you turned around and faced him for the first time in months. "W-what are you doing here?" he asked, and you couldn't answer. The Avatar arrived and the whole group was staring at you.
You couldn't speak. You didn't know what to say to him and time just stopped. Your eyes never left Zuko and he was staring right back at you.
"Who is she?!" The water bender asked as you and Zuko continued to look at each other.
"Y/N." Was all Zuko said which caused everyone to look at one another in confusion except the guy with the boomerang. "Oh...is she the one you were telling me about?" Zuko blushed in embarrassment but walked towards you.
"I'm sorry, I'm lost...who is she?" The Avatar asked.
"Zuko's ex-girlfriend." Boomerang guy attempted to whisper but failed as everyone heard him. The water bender stared at you curiously while the earth bender huffed and stuck up her nose.
"What are you doing here, Y/N?" Zuko was in front of you now and your heartbeat was rising. You missed him. All you wanted was to kiss him right then and there, but you knew whatever you two had was over. Before you could reply, you saw a figure suddenly appear behind Zuko. The rest of the team was too busy waiting what would happen that they didn't notice combustion man's arrival.
Combustion man's eyes turned red and he smirked, the eye in the middle of his head started to glow and you knew he was about to attack.
"LOOK OUT!" You shouted and shoved Zuko to the side before Combustion man could strike.
The rest of the group were on the floor from the explosion except the Avatar who was on a tree.
"WHO IS THAT?!" Boomerang guy yelled above the explosion.
Looking down, you realized you fell on top of Zuko. Your eyes met his and you noticed his expression change to somewhat of realization. He looked like he was putting the pieces of a puzzle together while looking at you and he was frozen. Combustion Man tried to attack Zuko again but you pulled him away.
"WHAT IS HAPPENING?!" Boomerang guy yelled once more. Spotting the boomerang attached to his waist, you created a plan.
"AVATAR!" You yelled and he looked down at you from the tree. "Distract him!" He looked at you with confusion. You realized they didn't trust you yet, still being in your Fire Nation clothes, they still weren't sure what side you were on. "Come on! Do it!" You yelled and he nodded.
"BOOMERANG GUY!" You shouted once more and he looked at you in fear. "When the Avatar has him distracted, throw your boomerang at the eye on his forehead, it will block his chi."
"Why should I listen to you?! You were just attacking my sister!" he yelled back. "GOSH SOKKA JUST DO IT! THIS IS NOT THE TIME!" The earth bender yelled and Sokka jumped back in shock. "ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT!"
The Avatar shot an air ball at Combustion Man which caused him to stumble. While he was caught off guard, Sokka threw his boomerang hitting him directly on the eye.
Combustion Man grunted in pain but suddenly lost control and shot an explosion to the nearby mountain. Suddenly the rocks began to shake and immediately rolled down the mountain and crushed him.
The whole group sighed but Zuko was still looking at you. Suddenly, you felt rock squeeze around your wrists. Looking down, your wrists were bound in handcuffs made of rocks.
"Seriously?! I just saved your lives!" You yelled but the group continued to stare at you. "Yeah, but you were attacking Katara when we got here." The earth bender stated.
"SHE ATTACKED ME FIRST!" But they weren't having it. You looked at Zuko and his expression changed. He looked deep in thought as he stared back at you.
"Come on...just let me go and I'll be out of here." You whispered still looking at him. "We still don't know why you're here. You could be a spy." You rolled your eyes at the small girl.
"If I as a spy I would have let you all be killed by Combustion Man." You stated.
"That makes sense..." Katara nodded slowly but earth bender was still not having it.
"Still. It's risky to let you go, you're coming with us." She announced and began to walk away. Sokka grabbed your elbow and began to lead you behind her.
Zuko wasn't moving for a moment, watching the scene unfold like it was a movie. "Zuko...are you coming?" The Avatar asked. Zuko nodded slowly began to follow.
The earth bender, who you learned was called Toph made you a makeshift cell in their campsite. Rolling your eyes as you watched them enter their tents to go to bed, you sunk down and sat on the ground.
You started to drift off to sleep until you heard the door of your cell open. Slowly opening your eyes, you look up to see Zuko.
Your lips part in surprise as you slowly stand up to stare at him.
"What do you want?" You finally gained the courage to speak to him.
The Zuko in front of you is a different one than the one you left. The broken Zuko. The Zuko you hurt. Now, all you see are his golden eyes pouring into yours, mixed with anger and determination.
"Why are you here?" he asked, his tone was serious.
"Your friends put me in here! I don't wanna stay in this dumb cell—"
"No. Why are you here?!" He almost yelled at you, but he kept his voice low enough so he wouldn't wake the others.
"I don't know what you mean—"
"Bull Shit." Zuko interrupted but moved closer to you. "I don't know what you want me to say—"
"Do you still hate me?" His question caught you off guard. Unlike last time, there was no sadness in his voice, now, it felt like he was challenging you.
"Did you come here to protect me? I know you knew about Combustion Man." You looked away, refusing to meet his eyes. You didn't know why you were being so difficult. It wasn't like Ozai or Azula were here. But you felt immense guilt for what you said to him, you didn't deserve him.
"When you broke up with me...there was something else right? You were just saying all of those things to protect me?!" Zuko was angry. He had every right to be, for you to just show up here, and not even telling him the real reason why you came.
"I'm not stupid, alright? I know combustion man is an assassin under my father! I know he was here to kill me...and after everything, you show up out of nowhere...I know you were here for me!" He was yelling now but you refused to budge.
"You made me think all this time you hated me! I thought the person I loved the most in this world hated me! For months I couldn't get you out of my head and it was torture seeing you around the palace looking like you didn't care! And you won't even tell me the real reason why you're here?" You looked at him in shock but still refused to speak and he shouted in frustration.
"Y/N...tell me right now why you're here—"
"Yes. I still hate you." Was all you said. You didn't though. You loved him. You were so proud of him for finally standing up to his father and carving his own destiny, but you didn't want to cause him anymore pain. You wanted him to continue being the man he was meant to be...even without you. You felt like you would bring him down, that you didn't deserve Zuko. You wanted to leave, to finally leave him, for good.
"No you don't." His voice was hard and his eyes didn't leave yours. "Zuko, what do you want from me?" You asked and he sighed.
"Do you really hate me?" He asked once more but he took a step closer to you and you backed away.
"YES! God, Zuko I don't know how many times I have to tell you! I hate—"
Before you could finish, Zuko's lips were on yours. Your eyes widened in surprise but as soon as his arms snaked around your waist, you melted around him.
You missed this. The feeling of his lips on yours. His touch. The way he clung to you like his life depended on it.
"No you don't." Was all he said when he pulled away. You were out of breath, and you looked up at him. The hard expression he had was replaced with tender eyes and you felt tears forming.
"H-how'd you know?" Your voice cracked as Zuko began to gently wipe the tears on your face.
"Your eyes tell." Was all he said and before you could speak, his lips were on yours again.