Zuko X Reader - Hopeless
Request: Could I have an imagine for A:TLA? Zuko is hopelessly in love with you but while you do return his feelings, you refuse to make any ‘big’ decisions before the war is over, so could the imagine include his many attempts of sealing your hand for him? -Anon
Well, here ya go! It’s really long, like over 2000 words oops.
Yesterday you had kissed Zuko. Today you were avoiding him.
While you and Zuko were close, and you both had strong feelings for each other, you wanted to wait until the war was over and done with to make any rash decisions regarding your relationship with him. It would hurt you too much if something happened to him and you were together. At least this way, if one of you was seriously injured, or even killed, you wouldn’t be losing a partner. You’d only be losing your friend.
“Zuko, I told you. I can’t, okay? I can’t make any huge decisions right now.”
“Can I remind you that you kissed me yesterday? That seemed like a pretty huge decision.”
“I was tired and overcome with emotions then. I just think it’s best we not get involved romantically until after… all this.”
“I have to go, Zuko. Toph wanted to spar.” You began to walk away, but paused a moment to look back at the teen. “I just don’t want to risk losing my boyfriend as well as my best friend.” Zuko nodded, which you took as a cue to leave. Zuko understood the reasoning behind not wanting to make the decision before the war, but he thought that was all the more reason to make the decision. If you were about to go to war, it would be good to let go of your feelings, right?
Zuko was determined to at least get you to admit you loved him before the war was over.
Attempt #1: Flowers
“Katara?” Zuko held a bouquet of flowers in his hand. It was small, and the flowers were mostly wilted as they had been growing in a shady, sad spot in a forest, but it was a bouquet nonetheless. He was bringing them to the waterbender to see if she could maybe perk them up, or at least to see if the flowers had the stamp of approval before being given to you.
“I have a question. If someone gave you these flowers, would you accept them?” He held the small bouquet out to the girl, and she looked at them before reaching out a hand to hold them closer and take a better look.
“Well, they’re kind of sad, Zuko. Are these for (Y/N)?”
“Yeah.” He pulled his hand away as Katara grabbed the entire bouquet.
“Oh, nice flowers. I didn’t know you and Katara were a thing, Zuko.” You seemed to come out of nowhere, just in time to see Katara taking the flowers from Zuko’s outstretched hands.
“Oh no, I’m not- we’re not… I was just-”
“Relax, I was joking. Katara, Sokka wants us to go get some supplies.”
“Alright, I’m coming.” She handed the bouquet back to Zuko, giving him a quick look of pity before walking off with you. As you walked away from Zuko, Katara leaned closer to your ear. “They were for you, you know.” You sighed, nodding your head.
Zuko simply frowned at your receding figures. He was going to have to try harder to get you.
Attempt #2: Fire
It was a rare night, everyone huddled around a fire, laughing and acting like the world was alright. Katara and Aang sat next to each other, talking in hushed tones to themselves. Sokka was poking at the fire, making sure he kept it aflame despite the fact there were two individuals who could firebend sitting across from him. Toph was doing her best to make Sokka’s attempts fail, sticking rocks up into the fire and kicking pebbles in Sokka’s general direction. You and Zuko just sat next to each other, watching the others and occasionally saying a few words.
You were tired. It was rare you had a night that you weren’t stressing or working, and you wanted to take this opportunity to sleep early, but spending time with the rest of the Gaang was so rare that you were sticking it out. After your fifth yawn in twenty minutes, though, Zuko nudged your shoulder.
“Hey, go to bed if you’re so tired.”
“I’d much rather stay out here with everyone. Besides, it’s more comfortable out here, right?” You and Toph had bent some makeshift couch-like seats for everyone to sit on, and sitting with Zuko on one of the rock couches by a fire was much more comfortable than laying on the ground with only a blanket and a small, worn pillow.
“Go get some rest, (Y/N).”
“I’m not-” you yawned “-that tired.” Zuko simply rolled his eyes, as if to say, “Whatever you say,” and wrapped his arm around your shoulders.
Only thirty minutes later, however, you had fallen asleep. You were pressed against Zuko, arms wrapped around his waist and head resting on his shoulder. Your hair tickled his neck, and your breathing was loud, but he made no effort to move you. Instead, he asked Sokka to grab his blanket and pillow and got comfortable.
The next morning you woke up to the sound of Aang’s laughter and Appa’s noises. You opened your eyes to see Aang playing with his beloved animal, which as strange because you didn’t remember falling asleep outside. It wasn’t until you sat up that you realized you and Zuko had fallen asleep around the fire. You quickly got up, leaving Zuko with the blanket, and went to change. You ran into Katara moments later, and she looked at you with knowing eyes.
“Friends fall asleep with friends, Katara,” you insisted, but she knew what was really going on. Zuko might just succeed in his quest after all.
Attempt #3: Sparring
It was good to practice, especially with the war coming up. You and Zuko were doing just that, sparring in an attempt to brush up on your skills.
“I’m probably not the best person to be practicing with,” you had said over and over, knowing that Zuko planned on going after his sister and that he should be practicing with Aang, a firebender. But Zuko had other plans. He didn’t really need to practice, he just wanted to spend some alone time with you, and work on getting you to admit your feelings out loud.
“It’s fine. It’s always nice to spar with an earthbender.”
“I can go get Toph, she’s a better opponent.”
“No, no, you’re fine.” With that, you two began to train. Toph had taught you some moves, and you were now able to sense where people were with your earthbending. You were practicing that by trying to spar Zuko with your eyes clamped shut.
“You sure you can do that?” he kept asking you, but you nodded every time.
“I’m good. I’m pro.” You would laugh and send a rock his way. Now, you were far from pro. You could kind of sense where he was going, but when it came to his bending, you had no clue when it was coming or where it was going. You were on your butt more than you were on your feet.
“Yeah, you’re a real pro,” Zuko said, holding his hand out to help you get up. You sensed this and reached out to grab it. He pulled you to your feet quickly, and you were launched up. You opened your eyes to see Zuko’s face mere inches away from yours, and you felt his arms hovering around your waist. “Sorry. You’re light,” he said, not making an effort to move away from you. He was staring into your eyes, and you were staring into his enchanting gold ones. You two stayed like this for what seemed like ages. You wanted to pull away, but you simply couldn’t bring yourself to it.
“Hey, (Y/N), using those techniques I’ve been teaching you?” You were broken from your trance and quickly pulled away from Zuko, knowing that Toph would be able to sense how close you two were.
“Yeah. I’m not too good, though.” You laughed, glancing over at Zuko as you did so. “I kept getting knocked off my feet. Think we could practice some more?”
“Sure, I’m not doing anything.” Toph waved, motioning for you to follow her, and you shot Zuko a quick apologetic look.
“I’ll ask Aang if he wants to spar you. Seriously, it’d be better to train with someone who would actually be a challenge.” Zuko shook his head.
“No, it’s fine. I’ll go to town for some food or something.” You shrugged and walked off with Toph, who was shooting you a grin.
“So, you and Zuko were pretty close together back there.”
“Oh, shut up.”
Attempt #4: Clothes
“Zuko! Hey, I need your help with something.” You had your head stuck out of your tent, and you were motioning for Zuko to come in. He slipped in and you immediately began to talk. “Okay, so I thought that since we’re hiding out in the Fire Nation for a bit I should wear some Fire Nation clothing, right? But I think I look ridiculous in it.”
“Ridiculously out of place.”
“Let me see.” You dropped the blanket you were using to cover yourself to reveal your outfit. A red, midriff-baring top and a pair of simple red pants. Zuko began to laugh, and you quickly went to cover yourself again. “No, no. You only ridiculous because you tied the top wrong.”
“Yeah. Here, turn around, I’ll fix it.” You spun, and Zuko began to fix the top.
“Thanks. I’m glad I didn’t go outside looking like a complete idiot.” You could feel Zuko’s breath against your neck as he chuckled softly.
“Only I would’ve noticed.”
“Still.” You felt his hands brush against your back as he finished tying your top.
“There. I fixed you.” You turned around and gave him a smile.
“No problem, (Y/N).” Once again you were in a situation where neither of you could look away. You were frozen.
“Well, I better leave. Now that I can go into town, I want to look at some stuff in this shop Katara told me about.” You broke the trance, moving around Zuko to leave your tent. “Thank you again.” Zuko simply smiled in response, and you left him alone in your tent.
Attempt #5: Before the Battle
“(Y/N).” You stopped to turn to Zuko, who had just called your name.
“Yeah?” You were getting ready to go with Katara and Zuko to find Azula, and you still had to grab one more thing when Zuko called you.
“Look, we’re about to go fight my sister. She’s really dangerous.” You nodded your head.
“I know, Zuko. Can I go? I have to grab something…”
“(Y/N), just wait.” He put his arm on your arm to keep you from leaving, and you looked up at him. Once again, you were trapped in his golden eyes. Slowly, he leaned down and connected his lips to yours. You found yourself almost kissing back, but you pulled away.
“Zuko, I-” Words escaped you. You couldn’t think of what to say. “I can’t kiss you.”
“But you have.” Zuko had tried to understand, but at this point, he couldn’t. You were kissing him back, dammit! But you still wouldn’t admit anything. “(Y/N), I love you. I’m in love with you, you know that. How could you not? But you still refuse to admit your feelings for me. I just want to hear it once, ‘I love you, Zuko.’ Just once, (Y/N).” You bit your lip.
“Zuko, I’m sorry. I’ve made my decision. Not until after this.” You shook your head, a sad look on your face. “Look, I have to grab something, then we can leave. Go get Katara.”
Zuko had messed up. He realized that as you walked away.
What Got You:
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Zuko was taunting Azula, something about not using lightning. Azula then shot some lightning at Katara, who Zuko quickly jumped in front of. He was struck, fell to the ground, and you heard yourself and Katara scream as Azula laughed. You began to sprint towards Zuko, but Azula shot at you with some fire, so you stayed back. Katara tried to approach him to heal him, but Azula then began to fire at her.
There were tears streaming down your eyes. You watched in fear as Azula went after Katara, but you knew the waterbender could handle herself, so you ran to Zuko. You collapsed beside him, held his hand, begged him to be alright. It felt like ages before Katara chained Azula down and ran over to heal the fallen prince.
“Thank you, Katara,” he mumbled after she had worked her magic. He sat up slowly and looked from Katara to you. You were both crying.
“Zuko,” you whispered through your tears. “Zuko, I thought you were going to…” You broke into tears again, wrapping your arms tightly around his torso, momentarily forgetting his was injured. “I thought I was going to lose you.” Zuko loosened your grip around his body and looked you in the eyes. He reached a hand up to wipe a tear from your cheek.
“You tied your top incorrectly,” he said after a moment, causing you to giggle slightly through your tears. “It’s actually better that way, I think.” You couldn’t stand it anymore. You leaned in and captured his lips with yours. It was a gentle, sweet kiss, and you never wanted it to end.
“I love you,” you whispered against Zuko’s lips. “I’m in love with you.”
“I know,” Zuko mumbled back, a small smile playing on his lips. “Now kiss me again.”