Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar.


Slow Burn

"You're doing it wrong."

The voice jarred Mai's concentration badly, causing her to jump. The stiletto she had been carefully aiming shot from her hand in a blur, slashing through the bark of the tree, missing its intended target by inches. Clenching her teeth to keep from screaming, the dark-haired young woman shot a heated glare over her shoulder.

The object of this glare simply crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the tree he was sitting against. Calm confidence radiated from him like beacons of light; Mai resisted the urge to grab her stiletto and ram it into his thick skull. Instead, she simply walked to the tree and pulled the weapon free. "Sokka," she said coldly, trying to keep her voice level. "If you don't mind, I know what I'm doing. I've trained for this most of my life."

"So?" Sokka smirked calmly. "You could still do it wrong."

Another heated glare was aimed his way, eyes narrow. This wasn't the first time Sokka had sat and watched Mai practice, and it certainly wasn't the first time he'd critiqued her on it. Sometimes she wondered if he did it just to piss her off.

Mai knew that if she really didn't want Sokka there, she could find a way to make him leave. In a twist of irony, she didn't want that. It had been a few months since the two met, and already they were bonded by a common wound—the loss of someone they loved. Suki had been killed in a rebel attack against the Fire Nation in Ba Sing Sei (with the intent, it had been obvious, of saving Sokka). Zuko for his part seemed to be trying to shed all reminders of his past; Mai being one of them.

This was how a companionship had formed between Mai and Sokka. She hesitated to say they were friends—he was to annoying for her to think of him without wanting to strangle him—but they both had something in common and had come together during a rough period in their lives.

And no matter what—even when she wanted to shove something sharp and pointy down his throat—Mai never forgot that. So she took a deep breath.

"Sokka." Her voice was calm. "If you find so much wrong with my technique, why do you insist on watching?"

"Who else is going to tell you you're doing it wrong?"

He was definitely doing it to piss her off. Mai gritted her teeth.

"Sokka, do you ever shut up?"

"Nope." He smirked.

"Has anyone ever tried to make you shut up?"

"My sister. She hasn't been successful."


Mai glanced at him again, but instead of the annoyance and weariness Sokka was accustomed to, her eyes were dark and unreadable; something shifted in their depths; he stood as she walked, all but glided really, to him.

"Well, I'm not your sister."

That was his only warning before she tilted her head back and pressed her lips against his.

Sokka liked being kissed. And he liked Mai; if liking translated into constantly annoying her just for the hell of it. Because of this, he expected a nice tingle, a comforting warmth.

But he hadn't expected the jolt.

The kiss bounced through his system, starting at his lips, zipping to his stomach, vibrating into his fingertips. Mai's mouth was warm but soft—and very smooth.

Mai herself was experiencing something entirely different. Her body was on fire from the inside, heating degree by degree. Sparks shot through her like little pinpoints. The next moment she panicked and pulled away.

Sokka flailed and wobbled backwards, his eyes wide. He managed to regain his balance but still gaped at Mai. "What was that for?"

Mai looked at the ground. "It shut you up, didn't it?"

"Yeah… but…"

Neither of them had expected the reaction.

"So…" Sokka blew out a long breath. "What would you… what's your term for that?"


"Yeah. Your Fire Nation term thing. What do you call that? When you kiss someone and it feels… like that."


Mai closed her eyes, which didn't help since the darkness brought the feeling of kissing Sokka back; she opened her eyes again and looked at him.

"Slow burn. In the Fire Nation, we call that feeling slow burn."

The End


I've been dying to write SokkaxMai (or Sokkai as I call it) for awhile now. I really liked how this turned out.

My entry for the Sokkai Challenge Daydream1, Catalyst (known as fearlessgurl238 here) and I held between us. We all worked hard on these and I hope you enjoy them!

Read and review, please!