"Uh, oh, you bite your friends like chocolate."
Her pigtails undone, her pink blouse torn, and her lip bleeding, she looked up at the sun to see the silhouette of the Princess of the Fire Nation offering her a hand.
"Get out of your stuffy war room and let's go play outside while the sun's out!"
Azula's casket burned, burned, burned on the sunset hilltop, and when the smoke died and there was nothing left, Ty Lee opened the jar in her hands.
"Stay still!" Ty Lee exclaimed as the blood seeped through the thick cloth of Azula's arm, slashed by an inmate's dagger, and Azula shouted, "Fine, but next time, it'll be his head!"
"How many times do I have to repeat myself, Mai, that Ty Lee's on my right?"
Hooking up with someone more flexible than she had its benefits, Azula realized, especially in bed.
On the day that Azula returned late from her father's training session, Ty Lee noticed an interesting mark on Azula's collarbone that she hadn't seen before, but assumed that it was nothing important.
"Don't listen to those stupid girls," Azula said as fat tears rolled down Ty Lee's face. "Everyone knows that the prettiest flowers bloom the latest."
Even if Azula was the Princess, Ty Lee knew that there were certain limitations as to how far their expression for each other in public could go (in public, in public, in public!).
Azula didn't know what was more embarrassing—the fact that she was at a lowly, platypus-bear inhabiting circus, or that she was buying flowers for one of the performers.
The walls came crashing down and she raised her arms above her head, enduring the destruction, until she couldn't take it any longer and fell onto her back, struggling on the hardwood floor to appear beside Ty Lee and a mass of textbooks and bedsheets, their makeshift tent ruined.
"I know you always hated me," Ty Lee whispered, her hands clenching the iron bars that separated them. "But I can't help it that I love you."
The Eclipse was approaching tomorrow, and still Azula pushed her training far beyond the midnight hour, but when she became exhausted, Ty Lee was there to help her up the stairs.
Giggling as sneaky children do, Azula yanked Ty Lee behind the shades as Zuko ran past them, yelling for who stole his fire gummies while they nibbled on them with glee.
Ty Lee seemed to attract everyone at Chan's party with the way she waved her arms in the air and wiggled her hips, and though the fiery claws of jealousy spurned at her throat, Azula couldn't help but watch too.
It was as if she could see her life flash before her eyes when she glared at herself in the cracked mirror, glass shards digging into bloody palms; everything was gone, gone, .
Sighing exasperatedly, Mai followed Zuko down to the beach, and when she glanced at the balcony to call her two friends over, she was certain that she saw them locking lips.
Now when Ty Lee lies awake at night on Kyoshi Island, it's difficult not to imagine the Princess with an arm around her, whispering bittersweet confessions in her ear.
Zuko could have laughed at Mai's obvious question, but instead replied, "Azula's never been into men!"
Flirtatious as she was, it was no lie that Ty Lee could please a lover, and Azula was grateful for a decent one.
"Oh, Azula, they're beautiful!" Ty Lee exclaimed on Avatar Day, the brilliant pinks and greens illuminating the midnight sky, and threw her arms around the firebender in appreciation and happiness.
"You nearly had a concussion," the doctor explained to his patient, her head wrapped in a thick cocoon of bandages.
At first her eyes were glued hard to the floor, trying hard not to stare, but eventually Azula's eyes snuck up the ground to view the undressing Ty Lee, and she blushed furiously, shouting, "Hurry up, we have to get to Ba Sing Se!"
Though the flaming net was far below her, the circus animals raging, all Ty Lee could watch and fear was Azula.
And the acrobat was drawn to her like a wasp-moth to a flame, and a blue flame at that.
"I miss her," Azula said when the therapist asked her why she couldn't sleep.
"Eat more sushi like your sister and her friend," Lo and Li said to Zuko as they crowded at dusk around the dinner table on Ember Island.
"Don't give me that innocent babble," Azula said coldly. "Everybody knows you're not a virgin, Ty Lee."
And the crushing weight to know that those feelings would never be returned sat heavily in her chest…
"She'll come back, she'll come back, she'll come back," Azula muttered to herself in the corner, rocking back and forth, her smile wide and insane.
Azula knew that it wasn't just by chance that Ty Lee considered herself bisexual.
Everything had to be done in secret, including their lovemaking.
Azula was fool to think that she could have ever the naïve acrobat, flirting with the boys 24/7, and hardly looking her way.
Something about Azula liking boys just didn't fit.
"I'm not perfect, Ty Lee. I really don't understand how you can believe such a lie."
Azula inhaled the enticing pomegranate scent of the back of Ty Lee's neck, her hands running freely through her long, sienna locks and possessively pulling her closer, closer, lips pressed to her smooth, tan skin, whispering in her ear, "I love your new lotion."
She had never seen Azula more afraid than the day Mai pulled the stiletto out on her and claimed who she loved, now and forever.
"What do you mean you don't like boys?" Ty Lee asked, joining her on the balcony after Chan left.
Exhausted, Azula lay her head on Ty Lee's shoulder, and the acrobat reached a hand up to tuck the lone strand of hair that somehow always managed to get in Azula's face.
"Hold still!" Ty Lee scolded as Azula squirmed like a child in her seat. "If you don't hold still, I won't do your hair!"
Azula tugged nervously at her hood, though her face was very concealed in the dark shadows of the shop already. "I'm looking for a very... specifictype of rope."
"I'll always take care of you, Azula. No matter what. Even if you do have fleas."
The water came down at a steady pace from the cobblestoned ceiling—dripdripdrip—and Ty Lee lay on the equally cobblestoned floor, dingy and cold—dripdripdrip—, her chest compressed by an invisible weight (guilt? remorse? regret?) and making it difficult to breathe—dripdripdrip—and she wondered how long it would be until she drowned.
"Look up there, Azula! I see a kanga-rabbit! What do you see?" Ty Lee asked, rolling over in the green grass of the courtyard, only to find the young Princess studying away with her firebending scrolls.
"If you keep frowning, your face will get stuck like that!" Ty Lee shouted, breaking Azula's concentration... again.
Flaunting experience and proclaiming warfare, she bowed to no other dominance, walking as a soldier with a dragon dance, and everyone believed this so (defy her and be maimed), for she donned the hard, cold mask of apathy and malice, but every time she pressed herto the mattress, (not crushing, not forcing, not harming), and removed the mask off her face, it was a surprise to find that Azula's lips were delicate, virgin.
There was just something beautiful about the morning light on Azula's skin.
Ty Lee entered the Princess's chamber, staring at her toes with news to tell. Azula frowned. "If you say you're pregnant, I'll say now that it wasn't my fault."
"Well if I can't say the 'L' word to you..." Ty Lee mused, cradling the convalescent Azula in her arms. "Then... I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, like you, Azula."
Pure, sublime, and irresistible addiction, no matter how bitter or sweet, and neither girl could help herself around the other.