Title: Reach For Me Now

Author: Neldluva ()

Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Pairing: Zuko/Sokka

Rating: this chapter NC17

Beta: the incredible banditjoeykuba

Disclaimer: The characters belong to the creators of Avatar, but the story is mine.

Warnings: Fairly explicit m/m sex. If you're a minor or opposed to boylovin', pass this chapter by.

Summary: Insomnia leads to friendship, bonding, and the promise of more.

Zuko awoke the next morning to the peculiar sensation of Sokka's tongue on his earlobe. He grumbled quietly and batted, not wanting his sleep interrupted.

"Morning, sunshine," Sokka said cheerfully, and though Zuko couldn't see him, he could still hear the smirk in his voice. "Sleep good?"

Zuko grumbled more, intent on going to sleep again when he noticed Sokka's dark hand sliding down his chest. His breath caught, and he opened his eyes, watching the hand in its downward path. He watched as it drew open his shirt, rough fingers dragging along his pale skin and tracing the lines of his muscles.

"Take your gloves off," he muttered quietly, voice rough.

Sokka shivered a little behind him, reaching around to pull off his three-fingered gloves. Once bare, they continued tracing down Zuko's chest, sliding down to his pants and pushing them down. Zuko's breath hitched again as he felt Sokka's fingers wrap tight around him.

"Hmm," Sokka sighed warmly against his neck, sliding his fingers up and down. "Guess you aren't too tired…"

Zuko just bit his lips against a moan, moving against Sokka's hand. It still felt incredibly good, giving into the pleasure his body wanted. He reached back, finding the angle of Sokka's hip, and pulled him closer. Sokka moaned and pressed closer to him, and Zuko could feel how hard he was.

It was easier this time around. He was better able to relax, knowing the pleasure that was coming. It was so easy to just let Sokka move and bring him closer. His groans of pleasure grew more difficult to contain, and he breathed harder, and he felt his muscles tense in anticipation.

Sokka's lips brushed over his neck. "Feels good…" he murmured, squeezing gently as he stroked.

"Mmhmm," Zuko grunted in reply, squeezing his eyes shut. "Fuck, Sokka … almost…"

Sokka bit gently at his neck, stroking just a little harder. Zuko gasped, his back arching as he moved into Sokka's grip and came hard into his hand. He panted quietly, still holding Sokka's hip steady as his heart rate returned to normal. Sokka gently let go of him, at a loss with what to do with his hand for a moment before reaching to wipe it on their clothes.

"Wait," Zuko rasped, gripping Sokka's wrist and bringing it to his mouth. With barely another thought, he slid Sokka's fingers into his mouth and sucked gently. He reflected for a moment on the taste, which wasn't extremely off-putting. Sokka's fingers were slightly rough on his tongue, callused with handling his weapons. They squirmed a little, though not to get free.

"Fuck," Sokka hissed, pressing harder against his back. "Your mouth … hot…"

That made Zuko grin a little, and he licked at Sokka's fingers once more before letting them go. He slowly turned on his back, then over again to face Sokka.

Sokka looked back at him, eyes wide and dilated, lips parted to pant. He squirmed, looking uncomfortable. "Zuko," he whispered, sliding his fingers through Zuko's hair to hold at the base of his skull.

Zuko sighed and tilted his head. The skin along Sokka's jaw looked smooth and tempting, so he bit lightly. Sokka squirmed harder, and he smiled internally. He was the one evoking this response, and it felt glorious. He gently pushed Sokka onto his back, hovering over him and nibbling along the thudding pulse in his neck. He bit a little harder, just to hear Sokka moan and tug at his hair, and he just managed to pull away before he bit hard enough to bruise. The last thing he needed was a mark on Sokka's neck. Katara would be sure to notice, and he doubted he would survive that. Any bruises would have to stay hidden.

So he slid down slowly, tugging open Sokka's shirt. He traced his way down with his teeth biting mouthfuls of warm brown skin and noting how much pressure was required to make impressions, or a bruise. Sokka hissed and made quiet sounds above him, but so far hadn't pushed him away, so he kept biting. Sokka's hand remained in his hair, pushing him down lightly and probably unconsciously.

Zuko continued down, biting hard right below Sokka's navel and pleased to note the lasting impression of his teeth. The hand in his hair tightened. He glanced up at Sokka, trying to figure out his next move. Living on a ship for more than two years with only men for company had done amazing things for his knowledge of what men did together. He knew, in theory, just how to touch Sokka to drive him crazy. Theory didn't include how it felt to have Sokka's hand in his hair, or the way Sokka's skin felt almost feverish-hot as he tugged down the pants, or the expression on Sokka's face that made his eyes look all pupil.

He shifted his gaze, watching his hand as he stroked tentatively at Sokka's cock. That had worked well enough the night before, and in theory he'd just have to do about the same thing with his mouth. He was honestly curious to see what it would feel like, what it would taste like, and just how long it would take to make Sokka come. Sokka made a desperate noise through his nose, yanking roughly at Zuko's hair and smoothing it apologetically afterwards.

"Not to rush you or anything," he said breathlessly, gaze intense on Zuko's face. "But I'm going kind of crazy here."

Zuko nodded, focusing again. He took a deep breath and leaned in, licking tentatively. He heard Sokka moan above him, but he tried to ignore it as anything other than a sign that he was doing something right. The taste wasn't too bad, and the texture was interesting, enough to make him want to explore. He opened his mouth to slide more in, one arm holding Sokka's hips down and the other hand holding him steady. He hummed thoughtfully, rubbing gently with his tongue, and felt Sokka's fingers tense in his hair. Slowly, he started moving, experimenting with how deep he could fit Sokka in his mouth. He gagged once on the hot flesh, swallowing through it and moving back a little.

Sokka's muttered curses and moans quickly grew louder and more explicit until at last they were just plain incoherent. Zuko moved a little faster, glancing up at him through his hair. He sucked harder at the slick flesh in his mouth, urging him closer until finally Sokka tensed and shouted. Zuko shut his eyes as his mouth was filled, shocked and unsure what to do with it. After a moment he decided to swallow, backing off and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

Sokka blinked up at him, still looking mostly dazed and spaced out. "Hey," he managed, voice hoarse. He tugged at Zuko's hair, more gently this time. "Come on up here."

Zuko slid up again, not trusting his voice. His mouth still tasted strongly of Sokka, and he quietly savored it, feeling weirdly content with what he had just done. He felt Sokka's arms wrap loosely around him, the brush of his breath as his nose ran along Zuko's jaw.

"That was fucking amazing," Sokka whispered, dropping kisses down his neck. "Whoa. Definitely going to have to try that again."

Zuko just chuckled, allowing the touches for a little while before sitting up. "I believe there was a matter of meat?" he reminded, feeling his voice rasp more than usual.

Sokka snorted as he got up, arranging his clothing. "Fine. Killjoy." He pecked once more at Zuko's lips before leaving the tent. Zuko felt an uncharacteristically happy grin spread over his face and followed him out.

Skinning, cleaning, and preparing meat turned out to be more work than Zuko had anticipated. He returned the fire to a tolerable blaze while Sokka went to collect the animals from his snares. Sokka came back with a couple of rabbitbadgers and a quailfrog, setting them at Zuko's feet.

"I'll take the bird," he offered. "That's the messy one."

Zuko eyed the rabbitbadgers, picking one up. "Um," he said quietly. "I don't know what to do with it."

Sokka gaped for a moment, then seemed to swallow his first teasing reaction. "It's not that hard," he said, scooting closer to show Zuko where to cut. "A little messy, but that's okay, right? So just right along here…"

Zuko followed the directions, using the sharp knife borrowed from Sokka. It was messy, and his meat was cut less skillfully than Sokka's, but it seemed to pass muster. In celebration, he cooked some of it for them to share.

"Mmm, meat!" Sokka shouted joyously, wolfing down his portion as though he hadn't eaten in days. "Oh man, that's almost as good as seal jerky … I think I can die happy now."

Zuko smiled slightly, eating his meal more slowly. "If that's all it takes to please you, I don't know why we don't go hunting more often," he noted, relaxing before the fire as the rest of the meat cured in the smoke. "It's not that difficult after all."

"Nope," Sokka agreed happily, looking up at the sky through the trees. "Think we'll be able to make it back tonight?"

Trying to school his features to neutrality, Zuko stared into the fire. He had almost forgotten that they would have to return to the others, back to inquisitive Aang and Toph who could watch them with her feet and Katara, who tended to be nosy, especially about anything to do with her brother. Zuko quietly dreaded the reunion and the subsequent loss of privacy they would have, particularly since he couldn't seem to stop touching Sokka every chance he got. So he shrugged noncommittally. "Don't know."

"Yeah." Sokka picked up a stick, drawing meaningless patterns in the dirt. "I mean … while we're camping, we might as well stay out here, right? At least we don't have Katara waking us up at the crack of dawn."

Zuko fell quiet again, concentrating on raising and lowering the fire for a moment. "I … I might have an idea," he started. "Probably nothing like your ideas, but … well, my family used to vacation on this island. We had our own house there, but we haven't been there in a really long time. We'd be in the Fire Nation, but my father would never look for us there. And we would be able to live in a house, on beds." He shrugged again. "Could be a nice change from camping."

"Huh," Sokka said thoughtfully, looking at him. "And it would be safe?"

"The house is pretty remote, and has its own beach. I bet no one would see us, even if we flew Appa in. I think we'd be safe."

"Sounds like a great idea," Sokka sighed happily. "Beds again … I haven't slept on a bed since before the Invasion, when we stayed at this creepy old lady's inn. Not the most restful sleep, I'll tell you that."

Zuko lifted his eyebrow, mildly amused. "Well, I can't guarantee our old house isn't haunted. My dad lived there. But the beds should still be good."

"And that's all that matters." Sokka stood again, starting to pack the meat again for their trip back to camp. "Let's get going!"

Katara's reaction to Zuko's idea was slightly less explosive than they had anticipated, but it still went something along the lines of, "Sokka you idiot how can we trust him why would we go back to the Fire Nation now this is all too dangerous!" Fortunately, Aang and Toph both seemed to be in favor of sleeping under a roof in real beds again, and with their help Sokka and Zuko managed to talk Katara into the plan. So shortly after their return with fresh meat, they were all in the air again on a direct course for Ember Island.

It was late in the night when they finally reached the beach house, and most of them went directly to sleep as soon as they had landed. Zuko left them in the room they had chosen, a large guest suite with room enough for all of them. Instead, he went to search out his old room, trailing through the thick dust covering the floor. He stopped in front of the doors, taking a deep breath before opening them. The candles lit with a thought, illuminating his old bed and some childhood possessions. A small collection of seashells was spread out on a bureau.

He ran one hand over the red quilted silk of the bedspread, smoothing away the dust that had accumulated on the fine sheets. They still smelled faintly of the sachets tucked around the bed and between the pillows to keep the insects away. He brushed away more dust and settled on the bed, curling up on his side. He sighed quietly, appreciating the mattress after days of sleeping on the ground, or on thin straw bedrolls.

He had nearly drifted to sleep when he heard Sokka's footsteps enter the room. The old wood of the floorboards creaked under his weight, though he tried to be quiet. Zuko felt a faint smile curl around his lips, and he shifted to let Sokka settle behind him.

"Night," Sokka yawned sleepily, pressing his nose under Zuko's hair against his neck.

Zuko just smiled and pulled Sokka's arm a little tighter around his chest. Pressed close, they drifted to sleep.