We walked back to the palace, my arm around her waist, her head resting lightly on my shoulder.

In silence, we stood on the porch step. I invited her in, and she accepted faster than the Avatar can bend air.

I made all of the servants and maids go home for the night as Mai and I layed on the couch.

I held her in my arms, tightly, hoping never to let go.

My robe's back pocket felt hard with the little trinket inside.

I didn't mind it, but I had to rid of it soon.

And I would.

Mai's eyes were closed, and I smoothed her hair out.

So soft.

I flipped her over, so that her stomach was to my chest and she could see my eyes.

Her eyes slowly opened to face mine, and I kissed her head.

"I love you." I say, with a content sigh.


Hm? What did that mean?

Oh dear, I better make this quick, otherwise she'd answer incorrectly.

I moved off of the couch with a grunt.

"Zuko, what are you doing?" Mai asked, weary.

"Mai. I've grown up with you. I've grown up because of you. Even as a young firebending child, I knew that you would always be the one I was meant for. Ever since that fire-set apple was placed upon your head, ever since I sat on top of you in the fountain, you were the one for me. I love you everyday and you've made me so happy. Mai, dear. Will you marry me?"

I bowed as a firebender would do while proposing to a lady.

I peeked up as I bowed.

Mai was blushing the bright pink I always loved to see.

"Zuko, of course I will marry you!" She bowed back, in honor, then I hugged her and spun around.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you." I gradually thanked her.

We looked into each other's eyes and kissed.

Her tounge went exploring my mouth as we kissed, and I brought my lips to her neck after it as she breathed heavily.

"Oh, Zuko. I love you."

"Forever and always?" I asked.

"Forever and always." She repeated.

And we kissed for which seemed to have lasted a lifetime.