This is a fanfic called "See Me At The Show" which I based off of the Nickelback song. It's a Zuko/Sokka rated Pg13
Zuko stepped out onto the balcony of the palace. Raising a hand to the large Fire Nation crowd gathered beneath him. His silk robes rustles against him as a soft breeze blew through the air. The crown he wore tucked into his ponytail reflected against the bright sun, and he felt imperial.
He was imperial. He was the Fire Lord, and all of the people standing below him were just that—below him. They were under his command. They obeyed his orders. They bowed to his feet. They worshipped everything he did. And it was that power that made him what he was. Zuko was their leader. He led the show. He could manipulate whoever. He called the shots. And he liked it.
For the last year of his life, Zuko had finally been able to drink up the power he had strived for his whole life, and he had gotten drunk—so drunk, in fact, that this past had seemed to become a blur. “Citizens,” he said. “It’s been a year since the end of the war. But, let us not forget the power of the Fire Nation.”
Cheers and thunderous applause roared across the crowd. Faces were lit up with awe as they looked up to their Fire Lord. A smile tugged at the corner of Zuko’s mouth—one might not call it a smile, but his lips had certainly twitched for they were looking at him and applauding him. Spirits, it was good.
“Today let’s celebrate that power.” Zuko lifted his arms and lit the candles that surrounded the balcony where he stood. “We will always be bigger. We will always be stronger. Now,” he said motioning to the streets lined with booths for the festival that was taking place that night, “Enjoy the celebration! It’s been a year since the end of the one hundred year war!”
Zuko turned away, but something in him made him turn back towards the crowd, and has he looked across the hundreds of people who were all moving and seemed to make one big blur, he saw him. He was wearing all black, as he almost always was since the end of the war, and he was tucked into the very corner of the crowd where almost nobody would see him. And somehow among everyone, Zuko had.
Shaking his head, Zuko retreated from the balcony to his private chambers.
Stripping himself of his royal garments, Zuko changed into simple pants and a short robe. He undid the crown from his hair, pulling it into a lose ponytail. In the mirror he looked like the old Zuko—the banished prince, and somehow that seemed to remain the real Zuko, the Zuko he knew best. The real Firebender was still the awkward, lost teenager he had been while traveling the world. Sure being the Fire Lord had brought him power and a heighted confidence which had certainly made him cocky, but he was trying so hard to make himself known as the leader, he had put a cover over who really was—a cover even he couldn’t always see through.
Zuko was drunk off of the power trip he was on, but soon drunkenness always wears off. The teenager was trying so hard to be someone he wasn’t that he had himself convinced that he was better than everyone.
A knock came on his door. “Come in,” he said, tying the gold robe he had put on shut.
“Zuko,” his uncle’s voice came from behind him. “I thought you might like to know that Aang has come to the celebrations. I’m sure your old friends would like to see you tonight!”
“I’m going out.” The Fire Lord knew that the simplest answer would keep his uncle from interrogating him.
“But the festivals-,” Iroh began.
“Are for the citizens. I’m going out on my own. The Avatar can wait.”
“If that’s what you desire,” Iroh replied. The old man turned to leave, but stopped and turned back. “I’m very proud of you, you know.”
Zuko turned back to face his uncle. Iroh had a small smile on his face. “You are?”
“Of course I am, Zuko. I’ve watched you grow up, and although it hasn’t always been a pleasure,” here he laughed slightly, and Zuko found he just couldn’t grow angry at the joke, “I feel lucky to have watched you save our nation. The young have the power to change what the old have done, and you have done that better than I think anyone else could have. But, I do worry about you still. I don’t think you are yourself anymore, and I’m not quite sure you’re happy.”
Rubbing his temple, Zuko grabbed a cloak from his closet, pulling it across his shoulders. “Thank you, uncle. Don’t worry about me. I’m alright. Now, I’m going out. Goodnight.” With that, the Fire Lord brushed past Iroh, avoiding the guards who questioned him on where he was going, and left through a back entrance he had discovered months before.
As royalty, going out alone was almost impossible and almost a luxury. He barely got a moment to himself. The festivals, however, were making so much chaos and required more guards to be in the city than at the palace, that Zuko was able to travel down the back alleys of the city unnoticed. It was beginning to get dark, and with the hood of his cloak pulled up to hide most of his scar, Zuko was able to blend in.
It only took a few minutes to reach his destination. It was a small, shabby bar in an old alleyway. The Fire Lord had discovered it one night when he had desperately needed something for his nerves. Ever since then, Zuko had found multiple benefits to visiting that particular bar. First, nobody ever seemed to notice who he was, and if they did, they never said a word. The bartender had caught sight of his face well enough to recognize who he was, but he treated him as any other customer and never asked questions. The location was ideal—there was no way that anybody working in the palace would find him. It was truly a place where he could simply drink until his thoughts went away. On multiple occasions he had run into a certain person, and he knew that that person would always be there, but that wasn’t a reason Zuko told himself he went.
Entering the bar, Zuko took a seat, ordering the drink he knew was the strongest. When it was placed in front of him, he didn’t hesitate to immediately take a long sip. It tasted bitter and made him cringe, yet it didn’t keep him from continuing to nurse it. The effects would certainly overshadow the bitter taste. Zuko finished the drink in no time and had moved onto a second which turned into a third. If he drank more than that, he couldn’t remember how many.
A dark figure came into the bar, walking past his table. Zuko lifted his eyes from his drink. “You always seem to be here,” the Fire Lord said hoarsely.
“Do I?” came the reply.
Two blue eyes met his. “Yeah,” Zuko said, “You do.”
The other sat down beside him, ordering the same drink. They sat in silence for what felt like an eternity. Zuko, from the very corner of his eye, looked to the boy beside him. He was still just as tan, the black clothes making it more apparent. He never seemed to change. But, Zuko liked that. The Fire Lord needed that consistency in his new life.
After the other boy had had his share of drinks, possibly more than Zuko, he stood and spoke. “I guess I’d better be going.” He threw some change on the table. “I think that covers it.”
Noticing how the boy was slightly drunk, Zuko stood too. “It’s getting late.” Without a thought, he departed the bar to make his way back down through the alleys.
The sky was completely dark by then, the alleyway pitch black. Zuko wrapped his cloak tighter around his body, shivering slightly from the cold. The sounds from the festivals were faded from the tall, murky buildings that surrounded him. His people were eating, celebrating and having fun. Their Fire Lord, their leader, slightly drunk, was stumbling down a back alley. He wasn’t taking part in the celebrations, and he didn’t desire to.
Suddenly Zuko heard footsteps behind him, and he stopped. The footsteps were coming closer, and he began to contemplate starting a flame so he could see who was behind him. But, the flame would have blew his cover. Before he could decide, someone had grasped both of his wrists, pinning him against an alley wall.
Zuko could barely see, but two blue eyes which glowed in the darkness were familiar. “You’re following me,” he hissed, struggling against the boy holding him down.
“Maybe.” The boy’s breathing was heavy, and as he pressed himself against the Fire Lord, Zuko felt hijs body temperature rise.
“Peasants tend to follow their leader,” Zuko replied.
“You are not my leader, Zuko.” Hearing the voice which spoke his name made his stomach twist uncomfortably.
“Of course I am. You stand with the crowds; you watch me speak. Just because you’re not from here doesn’t mean I don’t lead you. You haven’t left since the war ended.” Zuko paused, breathing deeply. “And this isn’t our first encounter, Sokka.”
In one, almost violent, motion, Sokka pulled Zuko’s wrists above his head which prevented any movement and kissed him.
Zuko immediately moaned at the contact that was everything but new to him. They had, on other occasions, found themselves in sexual situations. In fact, the young warrior and the Firebender had begun using each other for their sexual needs at the Air Temple before the final battle of the war.
But once more, Zuko was lost in the moment. As Sokka released his wrists, the Fire Lord ran his hand through the tan boy’s hair, deepening the kiss. Their tongues met and danced in a rhythmic motion. The kiss grew more and more passionate, and Zuko finally felt Sokka press his hips against his. As their bodies began to rub against each other, Zuko pulled away.
“Ashamed to be with a peasant again?” Sokka asked bitterly. The Water Tribe boy slipped his fingers into the knot of Zuko’s robe and looked up at him.
“No!” Zuko shouted, finding his voice hitched. “We’re in a public place.”
“Mm,” Sokka simply replied, beginning to work at the knot. He pressed himself closer to Zuko who groaned and found himself thrusting his hips towards Sokka this time, feeling his body beginning to react.
“Please! Not here,” he hissed. “Somebody could see. Sokka’s hands moved across his chest as he pressed his lips against the pale skin on Zuko’s neck. “Sokka!”
The Water Tribe boy looked up, stroking Zuko’s cheek in a way he never had—it was gentle. All the contact between them had been over a very sexual nature, never gentle or caring, and the way Sokka was touching him seemed as if he wanted more than just sex. Zuko, upon this realization, slapped his hand away. “What the hell are you doing?”
“You said I never left the Fire Nation,” he replied, letting his hands travel down Zuko’s side. Zuko could feel himself growing increasingly warmer, and he could feel a blush creeping onto his cheeks. Thank the spirits it was dark. “You’re right,” he growled. “I didn’t.” The Water Tribe boy’s voice was low and threatening in a way Zuko had never heard it. Because of the darkness, the only thing Zuko could really see was Sokka’s eyes.
“Why?” Zuko asked, inhaling sharply as Sokka pulled him by the collar of his robe. Their faces were almost touching. The more Zuko felt his body react, the harder it became to stand. “You don’t belong here!”
“You’ve made that clear.” Sokka kissed him deeply again. “Yet, you’ve kept me around.
Zuko pushed him away. “We’re not doing this!”
The warrior turned away to cough violently. When he recovered, Sokka said, “You’ve lost yourself, Zuko. We’ve had sex, but you act as if it doesn’t mean anything to you, like there’s nothing between us but a need for release.” He leaned in close, stroking the Firebender’s cheek. Zuko flinched, but the touch was so gentle he couldn’t push it away. “But there is more. It’s not just sex. But, of course, you are the Fire lord, and you need a woman, and spirits knows that you can’t be seen with the likes of me. I’m just a peasant to you, right? Just another person below you who you happen to use for other needs.”
Zuko swallowed back a lump in his throat. “You’re right. You are just a peasant! You always come; you always find me, but if you stopped coming...it wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t even notice!” The Firebender began a flame in his fist, finally able to almost fully see the other boy. His tan skin glowed in the flames, and Zuko could see the traces of muscle that lay beneath his shirt. Zuko felt his stomach churn even more unpleasantly as their eyes met. Hating the way Sokka looked at him, he turned away, extinguishing the flame.
The Water Tribe boy wrapped his arms around Zuko’s torso, pulling him so close to his front that Zuko could feel he wasn’t the only one of the two reacting to their close contact. “You would know if I didn’t come; don’t deny it,” he whispered, his breath tickling Zuko’s neck.
“Peasant,” Zuko scoffed.
“It that’s all I am, why are you reacting to me? I can feel it.”
“I—“ Zuko stuttered. “Just stop this nonsense!”
“I’m a peasant, and you’re my leader. I don’t matter. I could just disappear, and it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter if I stopped coming to you. I’m just another citizen below you, but with us, that has more than one meaning doesn’t it? A meaning of a more sexual nature.”
Feeling his emotions mixing and then surfacing, Zuko violently shoved Sokka against an alley wall. He looked down at Sokka who was breathing heavily. About ready to punch him, Zuko did something else. He kissed him.
After they had both become short of breath, they pulled away. “You’re an ass,” the Firebender growled. “You know that, don’t you?”
Sokka reached and took a hold of some of Zuko’s black hair. “If I’m an ass, you’re a bigger one.”
“I refuse to do this here,” Zuko said. He grabbed the other’s arm, dragging him down the alley and back to the palace.
The back entrance was still free of guards, and Zuko opened the door feeling the consequences of his drinking beginning to set in. Sokka grasped his arm tightly as Zuko led him through the corridors.
When they had almost reached Zuko’s room, struggling from drunkenness and exhaustion, they heard footsteps. The Fire Lord grabbed his partner and his behind a large pillar which was large enough to hide them if the stood closely.
Zuko felt like a child. After all, who was he hiding from? He was no longer a scrawny, defenseless child. He was the Fire Lord. Yet there he was, hiding behind a large pillar, clutching a Water Tribe boy to his chest. Both were breathing heavily from the contact—both longing for the same thing.
Though, as he waited for the footsteps to die down, and as he held the smaller teenager close to him, enjoying the feeling, Zuko silently cursed himself. Why did this peasant have such an effect on him? The young teenager was leaning against his chest as they managed to hide both of their bodies. Zuko was touching his tan arms, and the skin there was so warm. Without even realizing it, Zuko was holding Sokka tightly to his chest, his fingers naturally tracing across the boy’s features. It felt so right, and he rested his head on Sokka’s. The warrior was so soft in his hold, and it was a feeling he had never had with anyone. Then, Zuko looked down at him, realizing Sokka was leaning onto him, his eyes closed. The way Zuko was holding him implied that he cared about Sokka.
But he didn’t. Zuko used him for sex—for his needs. That was all. If Sokka had left the city, Zuko wouldn’t have cared. After all, he could get sexual pleasures from anyone. He was Fire Lord. Sokka was just an easy target. Sokka was smaller, weaker, and horny. Zuko used Sokka. Sokka didn’t matter.
“They’re gone,” Sokka whispered.
“Right.” Zuko pushed Sokka off of him, finding that he felt suddenly cold without the contact. Shaking it off, he continued towards his chamber.
Once the door was shut, Zuko turned to face the warrior. He was dressed in all black clothes with his hair pulled back into the knot he had always worn since the day he had first seen the boy. But, Sokka had aged a lot since the end of the war. It wasn’t the first time Zuko had seen Sokka since the end of the war—it was far from the first, but it was the first time he was truly looking at him. The boy looked hurt; the emotions swimming in his eyes were hard to read.
“What are you staring at?”
“Nothing,” Zuko replied, tossing his cape off of him and into the corner.
Slowly they made their way towards each other, Sokka being the one to make the first move. Their lips met gently this time with short, sweet kisses. It had always been deep, violently kissing. Something was different between them, but Zuko didn’t question it. The kisses drew deeper and deeper until Zuko found he was being pressed against the back of his metal door.
Sokka looked down at him. “Do you still deny caring about my presence?”
Zuko closed his eyes, fighting the conflicting feelings boiling inside him. His life had always been full of confliction. He could never figure out how he felt or what was right. This was no different.
Why was the night becoming so emotional? It was always sex—just bodies pressed against each other. Now the damn Water Tribe boy was trying to turn it into something emotional. “I already told you,” he growled, pulling Sokka’s black tunic off to reveal the boy’s lean chest. “You know what you’re here for.”
Feeling fingers undoing the ties of his robe, Zuko closed his eyes as Sokka’s hands made their way across his body, dropping his robe onto the floor beneath him.
Zuko awoke with a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Opening his eyes, he steadied himself as best he could so he didn’t vomit. The drinks he had had the night before had finally taken their toll. Holding his throbbing head, he shifted among the mountains of blankets on top of him.
The other side of the bed was made—the covers tucked in the way he always made it and the pillows rearranged as if nobody had been there. Sokka always made the bed before he left. It seemed better that way.
However, amongst the pillows, Zuko noticed a small red object. Picking it up, Zuko realized it was the Fire Nation piece Sokka kept in his hair.
And then, for the first time since he had become Fire Lord, Zuko felt everything surface. His emotions could no longer be held back. His wants and his needs still weren’t satisfied. And he broke.
Tears began to flow from his eyes, splashing down his cheeks. He sobbed loudly, covering his face with his hands. His entire body was shaking with sobs which had caused him to bang his back into the head board behind him. It hurt, but Zuko couldn’t stop.
A knock came on his door. “Zuko! It’s morning! We’re all waiting for you!” His uncle’s voice startled him.
Looking down at himself, he was still completely undressed. His cloak and robe from the night before still laid haphazardly on the floor. He began to protest, but the door opened.
The Fire Lord pulled his covers up to his chest, turning his head in hopes his uncle wouldn’t see his breakdown, but he did.
“Zuko!” he exclaimed, slamming the door and running towards the bed.
In an attempt to control his sobs, Zuko turned further away, but Iroh reached out and pulled the teenager into a strong hug. Zuko wanted to refuse, wanted to remain strong, wanted to push Iroh away, but he couldn’t. His uncle simply held him tightly.
After a few minutes of harsh crying, Zuko pulled away. “What’s going on, Zuko?”
“You should go,” he replied harshly.
“Why aren’t you happy?”
“Zuko, there is something going on. Ever since you took this title, you haven’t been yourself. And I know that you are not happy with this situation. Either something is missing or there is something you want, and the only way you will be happy is if you admit that.” Iroh paused, sighing. “Zuko, what is it that would make you happy.”
Rubbing his eyes, Zuko sniffled, trying his best to get angry and cover up the sadness welling inside of him. “It’s nothing. Now please go.” Zuko grabbed a robe from a hook beside his bed and quickly covered himself. He walked towards the large window in his room, facing away from his uncle and towards the city below.
“What’s this?” Iroh asked. Zuko turned back to see the old man holding Sokka’s hair piece. “This looks so familiar, but I know it isn’t yours…”
The Fire Lord snatched it back, holding it in his palm where he conjured a small flame. The little red hair piece caught on fire, melting into his hand. Ashes were the only thing left in his palm. “It was nothing. It means nothing. Now get out.”
“Please, let me help,” Iroh begged.
“GET OUT!” Zuko shouted, pointing at the door. He turned away so he didn’t have to see the hurt look on his uncle as he left the Firebender alone.
With one hand, Zuko opened the large window in his room as he threw the ashes out with the other. He watched them drifting in the breeze. A sob caught in his throat—almost choking him. He had to slam the window shut and turn away. He was acting ridiculous, he stubbornly told himself.
What was he crying for? He was the Fire Lord—the most powerful leader in his nation. As Fire Lord, Zuko had everything—the best robes, the best chambers, servants, guards, an army under his control, access to valuable information, fame, and a huge fortune. He could make anything happen that he wanted. If he wanted to be alone—he could retreat to his chambers and request no visitors. If he wanted to declare a holiday—it was a holiday. If he wanted to attack another nation—the army would march. If he wanted someone arrested—they were jailed for as long as he saw fit. If he wanted a wife—girls would be lined up at the palace doors. If he wanted Sokka…
He didn’t want Sokka! On multiple occasions Zuko has used him for sexual needs. It wasn’t that he cared for him or even liked him. And that was what Zuko had told himself time and time again.
But the previous night, the previous night had changed something. Zuko had gone from feeling himself to be Sokka’s dominating leader to the awkward teenager he had been before rising to power. It was like the power trip he had been on for a year had stopped. Zuko had been the awkward teenager who wondered why he was kissing a boy, having sex with a boy and falling for a boy. He had, for a few blissful minutes, held the tan warrior in his arms—longing for touch that wasn’t just about meeting erotic needs. Holding Sokka the way he had had surfaced emotions he had drowned for so long. And Sokka had confronted him with it. Zuko had denied it.
Zuko moved to the gold trimmed mirror, looking at himself. Who was he? What did he want? Tracing the scar on his face, the Fire Lord groaned.
He knew very well what he wanted, rather, who he wanted, albeit he had never admitted it to himself until his latest encounter with the Water Tribe boy. But, those encounters were over. Zuko had made sure of that. He had told Sokka exactly what he thought he felt for him emotionally—nothing. He had told Sokka that if he never returned it wouldn’t bother him; he wouldn’t notice.
But that was far from the truth. Zuko wanted Sokka for more than just sex; he ached for Sokka. He, Zuko, the imperial, proud Fire Lord cared for that Water Tribe peasant. Hell, he even, though he would never say it, may have loved him.
Pulling out his mostly lose ponytail, Zuko stared at himself in that tall, long mirror. No matter how hard he had tried to feel powerful and how much authority he had felt he had and how much he thought people worshipped him, it had never truly been Zuko. It had been a drunken Zuko, but now he was sober. The Fire Lord who stood out on the balcony making speeches dressed in expensive clothes and walked around with a cocky attitude was just an act—a way to cover up who he was.
“I hope boomerangs really do come back,” he whispered aloud to himself as tears began to blur his vision once more.