A/N: Thanks to Wulf for betaing!
Do not own ATLA and other related things.
Saying he had an addiction felt a bit extreme.
It wasn't like he went through some kind of crazy limb-shaking withdrawal whenever she wasn't around. True, it was hard to sleep; he'd spend his time memorizing the cracks in the ceiling or finding patterns in the stars instead of getting the rest he so desperately needed...And yeah, okay, so his appetite kind of shrank to the point where he only ate the bare minimum, and it's probably a good thing that he doesn't have to travel away from her much because then he'd probably lose more weight than he could afford...
But he was not addicted. No.
He thought about her fanatically when she was absent, his mind hardly able to focus on the task at hand for the dim, swimming visions of shining blue eyes and richly colored skin and stupidly unfairly ridiculously silky brown hair filling his mind. Her voice seemed to follow him, the memory of smiles and touches and sighs haunting him until he thought he'd lose his mind.
When she was present, he caught himself staring at her. Just...staring. Like the neurotic creep he probably was. He took in every bend, every curve, every graceful move that she made, watching them all with an intensity that suggested that he was memorizing what he saw and storing it in some corner of his mind for later.
Guilty pleasure? Probably.
He had come to discover that, much to his horror, he could not keep his confounded hands off of her. It was insane. He kept his forearm touching hers when they sat together at conferences and summits and obscenely formal banquets; his hand rested protectively (like she needed his protection) on the small of her back when they stood together at diplomatic balls and ceremonies, united in their mind-crushing boredom; his fingers interlaced intimately with hers when they navigated through crowded markets, talking and giggling as though the world didn't surround them with all of its intruding noises and colors and smells; his arm draped across her shoulders at teashops and in the sitting rooms of friends, keeping her warm weight pressed close to him.
It was worse – so, so much worse – when they were alone and he didn't have to contend with the offended scowls of noblemen and the rolling eyes of diplomats. Their contact was nearly constant. He'd catch her by her waistband and tug her close, cradling her against his chest and inhaling the sweet, subtle smell of whatever she had last used to wash her hair, free to listen to her light, musical laughter as she nuzzled his throat and squeezed him tight.
The scary part was that she seemed to know what kind of sway she held over him. She very quickly seemed to realize that her touch immobilized him faster and more effectively than a chi-blocking routine, and used this power for a delicious mix of good and evil. He didn't know whether it was torture or bliss, feeling her fingers tracing his arrows and her lips against his. Was it possible to be both? If it was, she had not only discovered the combination, but perfected it.
He didn't mind it, though, this obsession or addiction or guilty pleasure or whatever it was when their skin brushed. The feeling he got from her touch was totally worth whatever name his future brother-in-law could throw at him.