A/N: Well, kids, I suppose it's time that I talk about my new fandom... Avatar and I have been seeing each other for about a year, and it's getting pretty serious. Like, introducing-him-to my-effeffdotnet-account serious. I even have a full-length fic in the works over on ExcessiveKallie that, due to formatting reasons, can't be posted here. I even had a friend beta this, and if that doesn't tell you how serious I am, you must be new.
Five People who Woke up in Ozai's Bed... and One Person who Didn't.
One: We got drunk and had sex. How did you think your mother and I met? The tooth fairy?
(Man, I hope you smarten up when you hit your teens.)
-A Softer World 418
The night before, after spending a few hours hanging out on the balcony, sipping fruity cocktails and watching the other guests dance, it had seemed like a good idea. She never would have been there had her parents not insisted that she go to this ridiculous ball and 'network' with the other noblemen's children. Well, she had networked, all right. She had networked the hell out of the guy next to her. Teach them to make her further their political agenda.
In the cold, sober light of day, however, her elaborate revenge against her parents by sleeping with the first guy to take an interest in her seemed a little lacking.
Her young-adult act of rebellion still had an arm wrapped around her when she woke up, which was either sweet, or maybe a little too possessive. She shrugged it off her shoulders, along with a lavish silk counterpane, so she could twist onto her other side and face what she had done last night. He wasn't bad-looking, proving her fruity-cocktail-and-bitterness goggles were as functional as ever. He even looked age-appropriate, finally past that horrible insecure pimply-faced stage and starting to look like a man who could totally grow a beard, he just chose not to.
His eyes were closed, but since he had moved his arm in a rather sentient manner to give her room to roll over, she assumed he was awake. Well, no sense shirking her damage-control responsibilities now. She cleared her throat before saying nervously, "Um, I, ah... had a good time last night?"
"Good," the young man next to her grunted. He opened one narrow, golden eye and frowned, as though processing what the correct response would have been. "I mean, uh, I did, too."
"You don't remember my name, do you?" she asked, calculating the odds that her parents would even notice she had been gone all night, let alone assume that she had spent it cavorting at a strange boy's house. This was my dumbest rebellion ever.
"Ursa" he countered, so quickly that she suspected he had remembered specifically in case she accused him of not knowing. "Do you need me to tell you mine?"
"Uh..." Ursa tried to recall relevant snatches of conversation from the night before. They'd complained a lot about their parents, but had he actually introduced himself? Let's see, we had one dance together once the entire party was too tipsy to notice us… we stole half a plate of those shrimp off the buffet table and ate those together… I think he sucked cocktail sauce off my fingers, which was hot at the time but doesn't really help… Then we walked back to his place, right? Wait, did I call him anything when we were fucking? I seem to recall screaming some- Oooh. Oh, did that even really happen? Who asks for something like that? She sucked in her breath, preparing for the worst. "It isn't 'Ozai' by any chance, is it?"
He opened both eyes, looking mildly surprised and a little grateful, like he had woken up with a hangover to find a bowl of fireflakes from the night before on his pillow. "Yes."
Ursa winced. No, that had really happened, no matter how much she might wish otherwise. "...did you ask me to call you 'Firelord Ozai' last night?"
"Ah..." he hesitated for a second, then decided that he had already done whatever damage resulted from expressing his kinky political fantasies to a stranger. "Yes. I did."
"And I did it, didn't I?"
The answer came faster this time, and with a consoling tone to it. "Yes. Yes you did."
She groaned as she rolled into him, burying her face in his shoulder. "You have to hold me until I stop being ashamed of myself," she informed him flatly. "You owe me."
Ozai shifted to hold her more securely against his chest. "Is this going to take a while?"
Ursa cringed again as her brain replayed her a snippet from the night before. A snippet involving, among other things, the phrase 'royal scepter.' "Probably."
She was just dozing off to sleep again when another memory hit and she raised her head to look at him. "Did you really offer to declare a national holiday honoring my breasts'..." She wrinkled her nose in distaste, trying to recall the exact phrasing in all its glory. "...services to their country?"
"What can I say, I'm a poet when I'm hard," he said with a grin that was trying to be embarrassed but looked a little too pleased with itself. He rubbed his fingers invitingly over her neck, and she decided she could let last night's phrasing slide. "You're not going to hold me to it, are you? Your breasts are really nice, don't get me wrong, but my father already thinks I'm not fit to lead, I don't think that would help my case." The neck massage stopped abruptly as Ozai glared moodily at the dragon tapestry on the opposite wall. "At least I'm interested in breasts and not tea, but no, precious Iroh's fetishes are-,"
"Iroh?" Her subconscious finally woke up with the rest of her and started screaming that she was missing some key information on her situation. "General Iroh?"
"Oh, don't," he whined, shooting her a betrayed look. "It's my own damn room and he's my damn brother, I'll call him whatever the fuck-,"
"Your brother?" There was a flashing moment of clarity. "Then that makes you-," Ursa sat bolt-upright, astonished into forgetting the arm trying to cuddle her. Her hair caught in the hand at her neck, tugging sharply at her head as she whirled to stare at him in something akin to panic.
"The Firelord's son?" Ozai finished for her, sitting up beside her. He shrugged and set to work disentangling his hand without scalping her further. "I assumed you knew. It's not like there are a lot of nobles named 'Ozai' kicking around parties and- Are you all right?"" He laid his now-free hand on her shoulder as she turned an unhealthy shade of green.
She clamped a hand over her mouth, moaning, "Oh, spirits. I think I'm gonna be sick."
"...my reputation isn't that bad," Ozai muttered resentfully.
"It's not you, it's your family, and my family..." she whispered, mostly to herself. Her hand left her mouth to rub her temple uneasily. Her brain was threatening to develop a migraine solely as a coping mechanism. "You don't know who I am, do you? Of course not, you never would have talked to me..."
He caught her as she tried to turn away and pulled her back to face him. "Shh, calm down. Listen, I would have talked to you no matter what. Do you have any idea how long I was lurking in the balcony doorway trying to figure out a way to talk to you last night? Like two people asked me if I was looking for the bathroom." She smiled a little, and he leaned in to kiss her. "I don't care who your family is. It's not like you're... I don't know, Avatar Roku's niece or something."
Ursa's face went completely blank. Ozai smiled reassuringly at her. She raised her eyebrows pleadingly. Ozai stopped smiling.
"...Granddaughter?" she suggested timidly, trying to grin hopefully and just half-grimacing instead. He closed his eyes, fell forward slowly, and would have flopped right over the side of the bed if his forehead hadn't run into her collarbone first.
"...fuck," he whispered into her cleavage. She reached up automatically to pat his head.
"There, there. It was an honest mistake. I'll just slip out the back door and we'll never see each other again."
Both of them contemplated this for a long, dejected moment.
"You said you wanted to get dinner with me sometime, last night," he reminded her breasts.
"I know. I remember," she sighed, then resolutely put her hands on his shoulders and pushed him back up. "But it doesn't matter. Now that we know, we can't-,"
Some of the fire flashed back into Ozai's eyes. "Why not?" he demanded. "Why shouldn't we see each other again? There's nothing wrong with you. Every family has its bad eggs. It's not as though you're a- a pacifist."
Ursa drew back, offended. "Of course not!"
"Then why can't we go get dinner? It's absurd. Who cares?"
"Well, my parents, for starters."
"Your parents? I understand why my father might object, but why wouldn't they like me? So I'm not my brother, I'm still OK. You could do worse for yourself."
"It's just, they'll say..." She growled and clenched the sheet under her into a fistful of silk. "Oh, they'll say that you couldn't possibly have any honorable intentions towards me because I'm just so undesirable, and that you're just going to take advantage of me and ruin my reputation."
His eyes swept over her body. "Um... last night..."
"Don't confuse 'virginity' with 'reputation', you're too old for that. No, my parents ignore me, unless it's something that affects their social life, then I'm worth yelling at."
"Aw, they sound like Dad," he said. "Well, do you still want to see me again?"
"I would like to," she sighed, shaking her head, "but I don't see how-,"
"We'll find a way!" Ozai declared, grabbing her hand and sounding rather excited about the unexpected challenge he was accepting. "I don't care if I have to show up at your door with an armed escort and make your parents let you out for the evening! This can happen!"
She smiled, a little sardonically, and cocked an eyebrow. "You aren't used to not getting want you want, are you, Prince Ozai?"
He seemed to miss the wry tone behind the statement. "No, just the opposite, I never get anything I want," he said earnestly. "My father thinks I'm worthless and my brother doesn't think of me at all, and between them I'm chopped liver. But this time I'm taking a stand, burn it! You were a good idea, and I'm not going to give you up without a fight. I'm not running away and hiding just because-,"
Something rustled and chinked outside the door. Ozai's voice immediately dropped to a hoarse, urgent whisper. "Shit, it's the servants! Hide!"
Ursa threw herself down flat on the mattress as he yanked the counterpane over her. He pushed some of her hair off the pillow and under the covers as the door opened.
"Breakfast, Prince," a man said pleasantly.
"Just put it on the nightstand."
"And should I bring something for your guest?" the servant asked amicably as he set something down next to the bed.
Ozai's tone could have frozen lava. "What guest?"
"Ah- er-...right. Enjoy your breakfast, Prince Ozai."
The door closed again, and, after a moment, Ursa wiggled inquisitively. Ozai lifted the coverlet.
"The coast is clear, you can come out now," he said. When she emerged, he offered her a fruit from the ornately-decorated bowl that had appeared during her time in hiding. "Strawberry?"
She nibbled on the strawberry absently while glancing between the breakfast tray and the door. "Um... did anyone... see us come in last night? I wasn't paying attention... My last boyfriend didn't exactly have servants awaiting his every whim and spreading gossip on the side."
"No one saw us. I'm not a total rake, whatever your parents might think. I know how to be discreet about these things. And I can order a covered, unmarked rickshaw to drop you off at home. No one'll be able to say you didn't spend the night at one of your girlfriends' manors."
"That's a relief," she admitted, licking some berry juice off her fingers. "I was getting worried about what I would do if one of the royal guards caught me climbing out your window and over the garden wall."
Ozai gaped at her. "You were planning on doing that?"
"Well, a girl has to be prepared for anything if she's going to last long in this game," she said with a bright smile. "Are you going to eat the rest of that fruit salad? I had a bit of a workout last night... and I love pineapple."
Ozai blinked, picked up the dragon-patterned bowl off the tray next to him, and held it out to her. "How do you even scale a wall in a party dre-," he started to ask, then regrouped his mental forces, smoothed back his silky black hair suavely, and put on a charming smile. "So... about next week... I know a place that makes great manta-shark fin soup."