I don't own Avatar. Duh.

A submission to machete227's challenge. It's a crackship week thing. If you're interested, check out her profile for details.

There was nothing superior to fire. It was life, it was power, it was everything. To Princess Azula, nothing could rival it. It was one of the only things she respected, maybe even loved. In that she had mastered the art of bending fire, nothing could rival her. However, she easily forgot she was not the only master.

The legendary traitor Jeong Jeong had a certain talent, she could not deny that. Yet she was still confident she could beat him. Bringing her father the Deserter's head would be an added bonus along with the Avatar, her brother, and uncle.

Sometimes, she couldn't believe her luck.

The clearing had a river cutting right through it. There was an area that did not match the rest in that there was no grass, not even ashes to give evidence that there had ever been. She'd heard that the man thought firebending was something to be feared and uncontrollable. Despite that, it would seem that he had no problem practicing it.

As she took in his appearance, there was nothing remarkable about him other than his scars. She idly wondered how many he had. However, there was something about his eyes, the way they measured her, that she didn't like. He was looking into her, picking her apart, assessing her. Then he glanced away. She felt her temper flare. He'd just dismissed her.

Azula drew in a breath and prepared to blast him off of the face of the earth. He didn't move. She exhaled and blue fire and a part of her essence streamed from her fist. He very casually broke his lazy stance, brought his hand up, and swirled her fire around him and back at her.

Amazed that he'd manipulated her fire, she barely planted her feet, brought her arms up, and broke the flame. Then she attacked him with everything she had. The battle went on with the two exchanging fire. With every blast, she felt herself getting more excited. She was enthralled with the fact that not only was he matching her, he was doing it beautifully. Whereas she produced flame and threw it at him, he used fire that was there and molded it to his will. She'd never seen anything like it.

Azula had to admit it: he was incredible. Their fires flowed around and into each other. She felt his heat tease her skin. However, he seemed bored by her. He was holding back. She wanted all of him though. She wanted him to put as much of himself into it as she was. She wanted to see everything that he was.

She arched her arms and pulled the energies apart with her fingers. Lightning danced along her finger tips and she noted with pleasure that he looked at her with some surprise. He was impressed by her; she could see it.

Do I have your attention now?

She fired. For one split second, she thought he wouldn't move. The next, he sidestepped her lightning and shielded himself with a palm of fire along its edge. She absently noted that it hit a tree behind him that instantly caught fire. He wasted no time and threw a huge fireball back at her. It was too big to dodge so she shot one equal its size into it. They exploded, sending dust and spray everywhere.

She felt almost light-headed. Giddy, even. This man had far more to him than met the eye. He was magnificent.

She couldn't see him. Taking a deep breath, she extended her inner flame, reaching out for him with her own.

It was useless though.

He was gone.

She frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. What did she do wrong? Why did he leave? She'd thought that he was having a good time. What was wrong with him? She turned away from their battle field and walked back to camp.

Even as she berated his behavior in her head, she still hoped – prayed – that she'd see him again.

A/N: I think Azula might actually like someone who was stronger than her, and that her idea of a good time would be sending fire balls at each other. Tip for the boys: Girls like to try and dominate their men, but they don't want them to actually let them. They want them to be the man. And Jeong-Jeong is definitely the man.

I'm thinking that firebending is fueled by emotion and that you'd get some kind of emotional feed back from it. Breathing fire out of clenched teeth, for example, could help with frustration and soothe.

…huh. I've never done a completely non-dialogue story before. Queer. Anyway, a little somethin' else about me. I like reviews and appreciate like you don't even know. Just throwin' that out there without outright begging.