Disclaimer: Sigh. I'm never the lucky one.

Author's Note: Ehmm. This has been circulating around in my brain for quite awhile. Or, more accurately, since I started watching Avatar again. Anyways, I thought it was important to get this thing out. Hopefully it's not too OOC for my first Avatar fan fiction. Also, this was sort of a challenge from a friend of mine: the use of repetition, and such.

Note: Yes, it's vague on purpose.

Warning: Slash! AU; Sometime in the Modern Era.



Service With A Smile


Sometimes he can smell him, sugar and rain and clouds, when he walks past. It is a strange scent: sweet and soapy like fresh air, subtle yet pungent, and when he breezes by, he can't help but lean in.

As always, he sits in the window seat, long legs basketing his hands as they warm slowly. Long fingers press on the chilled pane, and he closes his eyes as faint chills creep through his body.

Then he straightens, pulling away from the window with twitching lips as the familiar sound of feet on checkered linoleum advances.

He stands there, as he always does, one hand sprawled languidly on the black countertop, the other tapping the corner of his mouth with an order board. His eyes are big and brown and wonderful, and when he looks him over (always at least three seconds; he counted) his thin lips curl into a wry smile.

"Hey, welcome to Café Dante. This your first time here?" he laughs, waggling his eyebrows at the joke.

Because he's always here, every morning, every Friday, no matter the weather.

But he smiles a little, as he always does, at the bad joke, and murmurs the expected response: "Yeah. Any recommendations?"

The younger man smirks, leaning a little harder on his bent arm, cupping his face with tan extremities. His fingers are small, and not much to look at normally, but he knows from experience that they have a sort of unnamable grace when in motion.

"Well, I recommend the Bloody Frappachino." he says after a moment, glancing quickly at the black-and-red menu pasted to the front. "That, and Dante's Danishes, the cherry ones. They're pretty good." He passes over the menu, not even caring as the laminate grates against the surface.

"Are they?" he says softly, more to himself than to his companion. But the waiter doesn't care; he doesn't mind intruding on a customer's bubbles.

That, and the fact that he could take certain risks with this particular customer.

"Yup. My taste is absolutely impeccable." he vows wholeheartedly. "Great taste in music, food, and…" he lets the last bit dangle off suggestively, brown eyes assessing what his customer will say before he says it.

"And?" the older man says, playing along. The waiter's smile widens devilishly and, as the other man notes the irony in this, he leans over, hot breath tickling the inside of the other's ear.

"I have an astonishingly great taste in men." he breathes softly, and for a split second a hot little mouth latches onto his ear, and he gets a whiff of the delicious smell of oncoming rain. Just as quickly as it was there, it is gone, and the waiter is moving away, coy smile on his lips.

But his customer isn't done yet. Reaching up, he grabs the dangling red thread of his apron, pulling him close behind the cover of the booth, amber eyes gleaming.

He trails his lips against the line of his jaw, savoring each shudder that ran through his body. He makes his way to his earlobe, and, almost mockingly, he returns the favor from before. Pulling the tip of the lobe into his mouth, he sucks gently, using his tongue to suggest something entirely different. He pulls away after a moment, speedily capturing eager lips with his own. His kiss is sweet, soft, and passionate, and when he releases him, he sees that his waiter is eager to reciprocate.

But instead he stops him, placing a finger on his soft lips. Leaning in his seat, he murmurs:

"I'll take the Dante's Danish, if you please," he releases his tangled hold on his apron, and the waiter straightens, unable to hide the wide grin blooming across his face. He stands there for a moment, smiling.

"Do I have great taste, or what?" he says aloud as he steps away, disappearing into the back room.

The young man watches him go. "Of course, Aang." he agrees, poking dreamily at a salt shaker. "Of course you do."

And, humming softly to himself, Zuko waits patiently for his Danish.

….And, after Aang's shift is over, maybe more.