Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender is property of Nickelodeon and Bryke. I'm only playing in their universe for a while.

The night air that drifted in through his window was the only comfort to an airbender still unused to the heat of the Fire Nation. Aang slept with confidence, secure in his knowledge that even here, in this city laying in the bones of a volcano, the change of seasons could be felt in the winds. It had gotten to the point where this particular night, the Avatar had felt comfortable actually sleeping on the bed for once, instead of lying sprawled out on the floor underneath the window. Even better, he wouldn't be waking up to Zuko's servants tittering and gossiping at the door. Not that he cared of course. But Zuko did…and Aang cared that Zuko did.

The airbender sighed and pulled the blanket closer, trying to shield his neck from a breeze that continued to brush against the same spot on his skin. The Fire Lord was the last thing he needed to be thinking about if he wanted any sleep tonight. However, the memory of the other man's piercing eyes, almost permanent scowl, imposing height...and burning, passionate kisses kept creeping into his mind. Aang had only returned to the Fire Nation after a year's absence because of him, after all. And of course, the Fire Lord was gone, attending some meeting in the Fire Nation colonies of the Earth Kingdom. The Avatar huffed in his sleep and rolled over. He didn't even really know why he was waiting.

The tingle at the back of his neck suddenly turned into a very warm and very physical tug. Aang jerked himself awake with reflexes he had earned through a year of being chased, but it didn't help him much as he was pressed against the black figure who had been standing over him. The man pressed a hand to the Avatar's mouth before he had the chance to speak.

"Not here. Follow me up to the roof," the black clad man said, in a firm but not unkind voice. Aang nodded slightly and as quickly as he had come, the other man was out the window. Involuntarily, the Avatar shivered at the absence of the other man, the night air that had been so blissfully cool before now like ice across his skin. The heat acted like a beacon, drawing the airbender out of the palace and across some treacherous footing before reaching the rooftop where the black clad man stood.

"I hope Mai treated you well?" the man in black said, pulling down the fabric that had masked his face to reveal his too bright eyes and too red skin. Aang's heart seemed to skip a beat.

"Of course she did. I can still claim to be on official business, you know? No one would throw the Avatar out. That's got to be…three lifetimes reincarnated as a mosquito or something," Aang chirped happily, a grin playing on his lips. "Besides, I didn't wait that long."

Zuko glared at Aang. "Mai's smarter than that, Aang, and doesn't care too much about karma as far as I know. I'm sure she suspects something. I…I shouldn't even be here," he said, setting his jaw and heading for the edge of the roof as if he was going back to the palace. Aang stayed still, used to this. Zuko was frightened, both of the double life he had been leading, and of love in general. But no matter how he protested or how many times he had stalked off, Zuko always came back, and Aang would always wait for him.

The Fire Lord stopped at the edge of the roof and turned, facing but not quite looking at the Avatar. "What are you doing here, Aang? You know I can't give you what you want. You're only making it worse for the both if us," he hissed.

Aang watched his lover fidget, staying silent until Zuko finally looked him straight in the eye. "I understand, Zuko. I know why we can't continue this. It's okay if you go," he offered, shaking slightly as he said it but knowing in his heart what the older man's decision would ultimately be. Not even Mai noticed Zuko's shaking hands or that certain glimmer in his eyes better than the man who had been his prey those many years ago. Besides, Aang refused to think about what would happen if the Fire Lord finally rejected him.

The Fire Lord just stood there, watching the Avatar for a long time. Every minute, Aang found himself cursing the previous Fire Lord, who even now was forcing his son into this continuous internal struggle between what he wanted, and what his country wanted. Aang opened his mouth to say something, before it was quickly sealed with the other man's lips.

Zuko loved without words, and that was just fine with Aang. The feel of the firebender's lips against is and the caress of one hand over the other told him all he needed to know anyway. He had been surprised the first time at the other man's passion, but now he was very aware that while the Fire Lord was scared to death of loving someone, he had no problems with fucking them. Expensive clothing was torn as easily as the cries were torn from each other's throats, illustrating exactly why it was better for them to have this awkward needy sex on the rooftop while a huge room and a comfortable bed waited for both of them in the palace beyond.

It was later that Aang, wrapped up in warm firebender limbs, traced the edges of Zuko's scar and grinned. The older boy sat unflinching, his cheek pressed against his lover's tattooed neck. "This won't last," Zuko murmured to himself, almost as a mantra until the Avatar leaned back to kiss him silent.

"If you say so. I'm still planning on being here until it falls apart. You're just going to have to keep making that choice," Aang replied softly.

Zuko huffed in protest and glared at the younger man in his arms. Even so, those arms tightened slightly, protectively, and Aang couldn't help but grin. Zuko was his…for another few nights at least.