Mai knew the second Azula entered her room, though she didn't hear the door open or close. Could almost see her in her mind's eye, standing tall and regal, a predatory gleam in her amber eyes, and wished instead that she was imagining Zuko's gentle gold one, his scar, his dopey grin. The minutes dragged on in silence, but Mai kept staring out at the palace until she heard Azula's light footsteps, so different from Zuko's heavy ones, and felt Azula's arms wrap around her waist.

"Hello, Mai," Azula purred and kissed just below Mai's ear.

"Azula." Mai pulled out of Azula's embrace and headed back inside. Azula frowned but followed, and Mai closed the glass doors and drew the curtains before turning to face her. "Does Ty Lee know you're here?"

Something flickered in Azula's eyes, and if Mai didn't know better, she would label it as shame. If she didn't know better, she might have thought that Azula actually loved Ty Lee, but she knew better and so she didn't. Besides, she thought, if she does, she has an odd way of demonstrating it.

"No," Azula said, and Mai guessed it was just that simple to her. Azula strode forward. "Zuzu is at a meeting with my father." She wrapped her arms around Mai and pinned Mai's body against her own, smirking. "He won't be here tonight."

Mai knew what Azula wanted, and she knew she was in no position to refuse. If she didn't know better, she would have said that she wanted it too. But she knew better, and so she didn't.