Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar

Warning: Rated for a reason, contains explicit male/male scenes

Indeterminate Necessity

The first time that Zuko came to Zhao, the admiral was surprised. Ordinarily he disliked surprises but he was prepared to make an exception.

It was late evening and the admiral was in his quarters, preparing for bed. He turned when he heard a sudden noise and slipped into a fighting stance, one fist extended. One didn't get to the position of admiral so quickly without making a few enemies. He was rather surprised to see Zuko standing in the middle of his cabin. The prince was surprisingly stealthy for a firebender. He didn't even twitch at the implicit threat of Zhao's fist. Zhao relaxed his stance and his expression slipped into something more mocking.

"You should be more careful, prince Zuko. To what do I owe this unexpected visit?" he enquired.

"Shut up, Zhao," Zuko snapped. "I've seen the way you look at me and I know what you want."

Zhao was momentarily taken aback. While it was expected that the prince was forthright and a terrible liar, such a blunt statement was most irregular. Although not unwelcome. "Is that so, prince Zuko?" There was a predatory glint in the admiral's eye.

Zuko stood there in an unconscious fighting stance with his hands fisted at his sides. The prospect of a fight or perhaps something else excited the admiral. He took a step closer and leaned in, gauging the prince's response. Zuko stood unflinching, his eyes hard and defiant.

"So what are doing here, alone, with me?" Zhao asked slyly.

Zuko's breathing was harsh. "I think you know what I'm offering."

Zhao smiled smugly and without warning grabbed Zuko and pushed him against the hard metallic wall of his cabin.

"I see, too proud to ask for it, aren't you?"

Prince Zuko turned his face away and refused to meet Zhao's eyes. "Shut up, Zhao."

Zhao flipped the prince around to face the wall, pressing Zuko's cheek to the cold surface.

"Just because you came to me so willingly, doesn't mean I'm going to be gentle with you, prince Zuko. You do know that?"

Zuko nodded as best he could. Zhao smirked triumphantly.

He tugged Zuko's pants down and felt for Zuko's erection. As he suspected, the prince was hard.

"You really want this," Zhao uttered in amazement. Zuko's only response was his harsh breath hissing through gritted teeth. Zhao sucked on a couple of his fingers before brutally pushing a digit into the prince. Zuko choked back a whimper and clenched around the semi-unwanted intrusion. Without giving him time to recover, Zhao pushed in a second finger. Zuko was ready this time and refused to make a sound.

"So hot and tight," Zhao hissed. "This is your first time, isn't it? It's been too long since I've had another firebender. I'd almost forgotten how hot we are inside."

Zuko tried to say something defiant, but at that moment Zhao curled his fingers, causing the prince to cry out.

"There, that's it. Don't hold back prince Zuko, I want to hear you scream."

Zhao removed his fingers and sheathed himself in the prince with one violent thrust. Zuko screamed. There was no damage as far as the admiral could tell, but he knew how much this would hurt the young firebender. The prince's screams intensified Zhao's enjoyment and he began to thrust hard and fast. With a grudging concession to logic he angled himself carefully. On the next thrust Zuko's scream became a moan as the admiral hit a specific spot.

"What the hell was that?" Zuko exclaimed between thrusts.

Zhao chuckled darkly and focused his attention. If he wanted the prince to come back, he knew he should at least make the experience bearable for Zuko.

Zuko was alternately moaning and screaming as he writhed against the admiral. A few thrusts later and Zhao, not known for his control, flooded the prince with searing heat. Zuko gasped as the unfamiliar sensation pushed him over the edge.

He stood there panting and shaking slightly as Zhao withdrew. As soon as his legs were able to support him he half limped, half strode towards the door.

"Goodbye, prince Zuko," the admiral called after him.

"Shut up, Zhao," Zuko muttered.


The second time Zuko came to Zhao, no words were exchanged. Zuko had come just as Zhao was getting into bed. The admiral sat up and cast a critic eye over the banished prince. He did not look well. Zuko had a horribly vulnerable, bruised look behind his golden eyes. Zhao lifted an eyebrow and patted the covers beside him. His expression darkened when he realised that the prince was trembling.

Zuko sat gingerly on the edge of the bed and wouldn't meet Zhao's eye.

Zuko looked like he could break. Zhao didn't actually want to break the prince. The anger and the spark of defiance in those golden eyes excited him. The resistance and that sweet moment of surrender…no, he definitely didn't want to break Zuko.

Zhao knew that comfort would mean nothing to Zuko, especially not from him, so he would have to approach this from a different angle.

Zhao leaned forward, Zuko didn't flinch, but he seemed to shrink in on himself. The fact that he wouldn't respond angrily to someone invading his personal space was worrying. He was usually so twitchy and guarded. Something definitely had to be done.

Frowning, Zhao slowly leaned in and then ran his tongue up the side of Zuko's neck. Zuko started and stared at the admiral as if he were a lunatic. Zhao gave him his best smugly superior look and blew a cool breath against the prince's damp neck. Zuko flinched and then glowered at the admiral. Zhao smiled inwardly and bit the prince's shoulder, hard. Zuko cried out and pushed against Zhao's shoulders. The admiral intentionally reeled back, just a little. Just this once.

Zuko was definitely annoyed with him now. Zhao decided to put the final edge on the prince's temper. Slowly, deliberately he reached out a hand to brush the scarred side of Zuko's face. Zuko seized his wrist and glared. His hand was smoking and Zhao's wrist was becoming uncomfortably warm.

Concluding that things had gone far enough he tugged his wrist out of the prince's grip and pushed him down on the bed. Zuko scowled, but he didn't resist. His eyes were harder, but there was still something fragile about him. Zhao did not like that at all. How dare someone dampen his prince's rage like this! Still, he had done what he could and stopping now would only make things worse.

He would have asked what had happened if he thought he'd get an answer. Only for curiosity's sake, of course.

Zhao kept the brutality to a bare minimum as he took his pleasure. Even with his anger flared, Zuko wouldn't be able stand much more in his current condition. Zhao was a pragmatist. It was worth going easier on his prince tonight so that he would be stronger next time. The stronger Zuko was, the more pain he could take and the louder he'd scream. Those thoughts were enough to push Zhao over the edge. With a smirk he realised that his semi-gentleness had been satisfying for his prince as well.

His prince rose and staggered toward the door. There was more arrogance and surety in Zuko's stride, despite the slight limp and his eyes flashed dangerously. Zhao watched him go, surprised and not displeased, at the difference he had made.


The third time Zuko came to Zhao, the admiral frowned. Zuko was more himself this time, but now Zhao wanted to know why Zuko came to him so regularly.

Zhao knew what he got out of it. Despite a tendency toward convoluted means, his motives were shorn of all pretence. In the end, everything was about power. Having that proud, angry prince surrender to him (after a satisfying fight, of course) gave him an incredible rush of power. But Zuko… what could he possibly be getting out of this?

As Zuko entered his cabin as stealthy as usual, Zhao began to prod. "Do you think you'll find your honour here, my prince?"

Zuko scowled, "anything to do with you has nothing to do with honour, Zhao." Zhao frowned and rose from his bed.

As Zhao pinned Zuko to the wall, he whispered an enquiry in his ear. "Do you think to distract me from the Avatar or that I'd give him to you if I caught him?"

"Nothing's more important to you than your ambition, Zhao. I doubt even I could distract you from your hunt. You're like an animal." Zhao frowned and began to lick and suck at his prince's neck.

When Zhao finished pounding into the other fire bender and watched him slide down the wall, he demanded, "do you hate yourself this much that you'd give yourself to me like this?"

"I don't hate myself, Zhao. I wouldn't do this if I didn't enjoy it. You're the one that tells me how proud I am."

Zhao frowned and kicked at Zuko in frustration. Zuko choked back a whimper and then gave a rasping laugh. There was no mirth in it, but it carried a certain amount of satisfaction.

Zhao released a burst of fire as he struck the wall with his fist. He looked down at his prince, scowling and panting slightly. Zuko smirked at him.

Zhao stomped toward his bed and lay down. "Do you want to stay for a while?" he asked with only a hint of mockery.

Zuko frowned and then reluctantly nodded. He crept over to the bed and slid under the covers next to Zhao. He tensed as Zhao's arm circled around him. After a few awkward moments he began to relax against that strong and heavy chest.

Zhao smirked.

When Zhao woke up the next morning Zuko was gone. He tried to identify the reason behind his disappointment.


The fourth time Zuko came to Zhao, the admiral was exasperated. He had thought through every possible motive, every possible reason for Zuko's activities. He had discarded idea after idea. Nothing seemed to fit his prince's nature. He prided himself on his ability to gauge people's desires and rationales, it was very useful and he could usually find away to twist them to suit his own ends. Zuko however, was a mystery.

He didn't like mysteries.

He immediately shoved the prince against the wall and marked his neck. Zuko shuddered slightly, but otherwise contained himself.

"Tell me!" Zhao demanded, as he began to tug at his prince's clothes.

"Tell you what?" Zuko gasped. "You usually aren't one for talking during…this."

"Why are you here?" Zhao was now preparing to enter his prince.

"I thought that would be rather obvious, the same reason as always: for this," Zuko replied.

Zhao sheathed himself to the sound of Zuko's moan. "But wh-" The rest of Zhao's question was lost in a groan.

There would be plenty of time for questions later. It was hard to focus on anything other than the feel of Zuko's body. He dug his fingers into the pale, soft flesh of his prince's hips, leaving bruises. Teeth attacked the corded muscle of his prince's shoulders. Zuko moaned and Zuko screamed for him as Zhao drove himself deeper into his fiery prince.

A part of Zhao's mind that was not entirely occupied, idly wondered how much pain Zuko was really experiencing. He wondered if his prince was screaming because he knew that he liked the sound.

Zuko finished first, much to Zhao's surprise. He groaned as spasms and shudders caused Zuko to clench down around him. He didn't last long with that sensation. He withdrew and flipped Zuko around. For a moment he was struck by the hazy, sated look in those golden eyes. He felt a rush of lust at knowing that he had caused that look in those eyes.

He crushed his lips against Zuko's without conscious thought. Zuko's eyes widened in shock but he swiftly returned the kiss, his eyes glazing again. Zhao took the invitation of those soft, open lips and thrust his tongue inside. Zuko tasted of smoke and copper.

After a moment Zhao broke the kiss, panting. He rested his forehead against the wall above Zuko.

"Tell me why, why do come to me?"

Zuko smiled, "you really don't know, do you?"

Zhao grimaced at the mocking tone in Zuko's voice. "No. That's why I'm asking. Now stop answering a question with a question."

Zuko smirked. "Ask yourself this: why did you kiss me?"

Zhao gave him a puzzled look and Zuko slid away from the wall. He strolled to the door, barely limping. Zhao watched him go and contemplated the taste of Zuko that lingered in his mouth.