Wild Roses

Sokka/Suki

A/N: Set during "The Southern Raiders"

. . .

Sokka sure was glad to put his feet down on solid ground again. He longed for the days when he could sleep in without having to worry about crazy fire nation royalty trying to blow him, his family, and his friends all sky high. Ah, those were the days. Lack of imminent death threats, the ability to sleep with at least a 90% assurance that you wouldn't be awoken by assassins and fireballs. The good old days! Oh sure, there had always been the looming threat of fire nation ships coming back to their village but...well...none of the fire nation ships back then had the utter insanity of Azula onboard. That girl was a nightmare in lipstick.

Still, Sokka consoled himself as he helped Suki down onto the ground, things were looking up. Sokka could barely believe that he had managed to find Suki and bust her out of prison. He had gone looking for his father. He never expected to find her there. Lady luck was grinning at him now.

Suki. Sokka gave the girl a huge smile, and got one in return. Their reunion had been serendipitous, a stroke of luck. It felt like destiny. Oh yes, the universe was looking out for old Sokka. For a moment, Sokka nearly forgot how heart-poundingly terrifying the morning had been and just smiled like an idiot at Suki. A few seconds of his goofy lop-sided grin and Suki started to laugh happily in return, giving his hand a squeeze.

Sokka hadn't had much of a chance to be alone with Suki since their reunion. Until then, they had been camping out in the Air temple, his father always near by, and no place to really sneak off and catch up. Maybe, just maybe, if Sokka was lucky, they'd have a chance at more privacy soon. He wanted to do something nice for Suki, something romantic.

"We should be safe here," Aang said, patting Appa on the nose. Sokka was broken out of his twittering daze of happiness.

"Great, just great," Katara huffed. "Separated from Dad, again," she said. Katara was in a bad mood, angry about their dad being split up from them. It was understandable of course. Katara took their father's absences harder than he ever had. He had always been a little more resilient with his emotions than his sister. He was the big brother after all. The man of the house or...er...air bison these days. Sokka wasn't happy to be apart from his father again, but he had Suki with him, and their situation was looking up at least.

Katara gave a small sigh as Aang touched her arm lightly, trying to comfort her. "I'll start on camp," Katara said softly, slightly mollified by Aang's sympathy.

"I'll help," Suki offered. She slipped her hand out of Sokka's. "You go find a source of fresh water, ok?"

"Sure," Sokka replied. He was a little nervous to leave Katara on her own too much, given how paper thin her temper seemed to be running. But he figured that Aang had a better chance of improving his sister's mood than he did anyway. Good old Aang was always useful at calming down his sister. Finding water also meant Sokka could look for fresh food. He was good at it and it made him feel useful.

Sokka surveyed the landscape. Finding fresh water was important. He picked a direction and set off with a confident strut. It wouldn't be too hard to find water. There was plenty of grass and, after about twenty minutes, plenty of trees as well. Vegetation meant water, that was rule number one.

The landscape was beautiful here. Way less creepy than some of the places they had been on this journey so far (that horrible swamp came to mind. Yikes.) The woods rolled up thick and lush around him, silencing his footfalls. Sure, it wasn't as pretty as the South Pole, with its palette of blues and whites, but it had a charm all its own.

If he was lucky he might even be able to do some real hunting before dinner. Meat, glorious tasty meat. He could show off his totally awesome and impressive manly hunting skills to Suki! Sure, squirrel-badgers wouldn't make the most luxurious dinner, but anything was better than their dwindling supply of jerky. There was always the possibility of running across some turkey-ducks. Now that would be a feast!

Sokka walked for another ten minutes, keeping his eye out for any potential dinner meals and enjoying the scenery before he heard the happy gurgle of a stream near by. Mission accomplished! He approached the stream, ready to fill up the several water skins and flasks he had brought with him, but he stopped short, a wide smile spreading over his face.

The stream was wreathed in wild roses. Big, red, and pungent; the roses sprang from tangles of thorns, blooming in the sun. Getting water would be a prickly experience, but Sokka didn't even care. He walked over to the nearest bush and held the biggest rose in his fingers carefully. Suki would love these, he was sure. Damn, he was a good boyfriend.

Sokka gave a tug on the rose and let out a yelp of pain. Several thorns had dug their way into his thumb as a result. "Well, trusty boomerang, looks like you have a job!" Sokka announced happily. Along with all fresh water they would need for the night, Sokka aimed on bringing home enough roses to show Suki exactly how he happy he was that she was back with them. Just how much he, well, loved her.

. . .

Setting up camp was coming along nicely when he returned. Zuko was out gathering fire wood. Katara and Suki had gone off to look for nuts and fruit that would supplement their dinner. Aang didn't eat meat, so their jerky and any meat Sokka hunted wouldn't be much good to him. He had to eat something, Sokka supposed, so foraging was important. Toph was working on making their camp as flat and level as possible with her earth bending. Aang seemed to be busy getting Appa and Momo some food to eat as well. All like clockwork.

After he set up his camp, Sokka planned on returning to the forest to do some serious hunting. He had come straight back to camp after finding the roses. There was no room for game in his bag once he had collected all the flowers he wanted, so he had to go back later. First order of business was to get his tent up though.

Sokka stared at the ground in front of him, trying to visualize how he wanted his personal camp set up. Normally, he wasn't terribly picky about his tent, so long as it was dry and warm. But, well, he glanced over at his bag where the few dozen wild roses he had gathered were. Tonight, there might, maybe, possibly, if the butterflies in his stomach didn't kill him first, have occasion to make his tent a little more...well...nice.

He had his tent laid out on the ground on the far side of the campfire. His tarp, poles, sleeping mat, pillow and blanket were side by side, waiting to be assembled into the perfect configuration. If only he could figure out a way to maximize the over-all coziness factor with what he had. The main problem was that he only have enough tarp for the two sides of the tent and not enough to have a cloth floor as well. A cloth floor would really make the mood. Mood was important. He was the master of mood. The mood master. If mood was an element, he'd be a mood bender.

He circled the length of cloth he had laid out on the ground a few times, trying to brainstorm. He was the guy with the plans after all. The brains of this operation, the smart one, right? Surely he could think of something! He glanced to his left, catching sight of the boulder on the edge of camp. They were using them as natural wind blocks, but could be put to alternate uses as well. Well, that was an idea.

"Hey Toph?" Sokka shuffled over to the younger girl, clearing his throat awkwardly. Toph was walking around what was going to be their fire pit, making sure the ground was level.

"Yeah, Sokka?" She asked, not turning to him when he spoke to her. Of course, she couldn't see him anyway, so there was little point in it. Still, she perked up as she replied to him.

"I was wondering if you could Earth bend that boulder by my tent some for me?" He said gesturing towards the boulder, despite the fact that Toph wouldn't see the motion. "I just want it to um..have a flatter surface there."

"I...suppose so. But, why?" Toph frowned, clearly not seeing the point of the request. Sokka tried not to blush. Toph was a great friend, but she was still a twelve year old girl. Explaining to her the point of making his tent more...comfortable on the first night he and Suki might be able to be...alone...well, it wasn't something he wanted to do. Toph was cool and all, but this was...personal.

"Oh just...for...reasons. Ya know, just, because. I think it'd be...cool. Cool for part of my tent to um...be a rock wall," Sokka stammered out. "Just cool."

Toph took a long second to think about that, frowning. Apparently she decided that trying to understand the thoughts going on in Sokka's brain wasn't worth the trouble and gave a shrug. "...Right. Cool. I can do that."

"Right. Heh. Thanks."

. . .

Sokka was proud of himself. Dinner had been a huge success. He had managed to catch a few squirrel-badgers and some kind of game bird, smaller but fattier than a turkey-duck that he didn't know the name of, for dinner. They had eaten well, laughed, made merry and all that jazz. Even Zuko had been in a good mood! Katara was still a sour grape, but Sokka figured that she would get over her crankiness once she had some sleep.

The others had wandered off to get ready for bed, leaving Sokka to take care of the fire. The idea was to get it so the coals would last the night, without the flames. Those flames would keep everyone up with the light and smoke. They didn't want it acting as a beacon to lead Azula right to them or anything. That was the last thing they needed. He was working on tamping down the fire just enough as he caught sight of Suki.

She was sitting outside her tent, working a piece of flint into a knife. Her weapons had been taken when she had gone to prison, and they hadn't had time to go to a town yet and get her new ones. Apparently she had decided that even a crude weapon was better than nothing if they were attacked. Sokka gave a wide grin. Suki was just so awesome, a real warrior and in the dwindling twilight, Sokka built up the courage to go ask her the question that had been sitting in his mind all day.

"Um, hey, Suki?" Sokka walked up to her, leaving the campfire for a moment.

"Yes, Sokka?" Suki set her makeshift knife off to the side and looked up at him.

"Here," Sokka held out a single wild rose. It was possibly the best rose out of the whole lot, a deep, dark, red bud in full bloom. He had been keeping it close, waiting for the right moment to give it to her all day. Sure, the thorns had pricked him a few times throughout dinner, but it was worth the pain.

"Sokka," Suki gave a sweet smile. She took the flower, holding it like it was precious. The look on her face made Sokka's heart skip a tiny beat. He tried to gather up his bravado.

"I was...thinking...maybe..." He cleared his throat. "...uh...tonight. Maybe...if you wanted to...you could...come to my tent? Um, I have more roses and..." He kicked a small rock on the ground. "Ya know, we could...be alone."

"Your tent?" Suki's cheeks flushed a light pink.

"Yeah. Just...ya know. For some...time. Alone. And things. And just. I..." Sokka scratched the back of his neck nervously. There was a suggestion there, the offer of something more in the aloneness of the tent.

"Sokka," Suki laughed. "...yeah. Yeah, I'll be there. Once the others go to bed."

. . .

Sokka sat in his bed, waiting. He had set up his tent as romantically as possible. He had even broken out his supply of candles for the occasion. So what if it was kind of wasteful to have all of them burning at once? This was a special occasion! The rest of the roses he had picked were arranged around the tent, filling it with the heavy sweet scent.

Only now that he was sitting here, he felt nervous. Really, really nervous. He felt ridiculous for feeling nervous, but he felt nervous all the same. He had never gone farther than kissing with anyone before. His last serious love affair had been cut short when Yue went and became the moon, and he and Suki had chronically been torn apart from each other far too quickly to have a chance like this.

Still, he told himself, he wasn't committing to anything. It was just an evening alone with his girlfriend; with a girl that he was deliriously proud to call his girlfriend; a girl who was a warrior, and sweet, and funny, and amazing, and way, way too good for him it seemed. He would go with the flow. Follow her lead. That was all. He was a man now, after all. He had gone through his manhood ritual with Bato, even if he was a little late with it.

He stretched out on his bed mat, a rose in his mouth, waiting. He knew it would make Suki laugh, and falling back on his humor helped quell the nervousness in his stomach. He was a funny guy. It was one of his strengths. Hey, maybe he'd be a funny bender, or a humor bender! Was that a thing? It should be.

He heard the flap of his tent open and the butterflies seemed to explode inside him. Suki was here! He flipped over, rose seductively in his teeth. "Well hellooooo- Zuko." The look on Zuko's face was priceless.

. . .

. . .

Suki was sitting in her tent, cross-legged. She was taking deep breaths, trying to wait until the rest of the camp was asleep before going over to Sokka's tent. She was a warrior! She had no fear leaping into battle, going toe-to-toe with fire benders, and yet she kept second guessing her rendezvous with Sokka. It was just, well, she had never been...intimate with anyone before. Sokka might not have known it, but their kiss on the Serpent's Pass had been her first.

Her life had been so predictable before she met Sokka. She had lived her whole life on Kiyoshi, finding peace in the simple coming and going of the tides, learning her art, training others. Then the Avatar arrived, and the world became so much larger than just her little island.

She hadn't been able to stop thinking of Sokka after they had met. She'd see things that he would think were funny, or imagine him cracking a joke when things got hard, but she hadn't really expected to ever see him again. Here she was now though, sitting in her tent, waiting to go have alone time with him in his tent.

She gave a frustrated sigh, wishing she could suppress the rising anxiety in her chest. The best thing about Sokka, the single greatest thing he did, was his innate ability to make her feel relaxed. She didn't have to hide herself around Sokka. She couldn't if she wanted to. He made her laugh without even trying. Still, thinking about how they would be alone was loaded with implications that made her nervous.

Then there was the issue of Yue. Suki knew very little about the girl, beyond the fact that she and Sokka had some kind of relationship before she had to become the moon. Sokka had blamed himself for what happened, not being able to protect her. Sokka was like that, taking on responsibility for so many things. Just how far Sokka and Yue's relationship had gone, well, she had no idea. Suki knew that she didn't need to be jealous of Yue, that wasn't it at all, but...well, what if Sokka had more...experience in this kind of...thing? This alone in his tent at night thing?

She stood up. She would feel better once she was alone with Sokka. She knew that Sokka would be able to make her feel less nervous. That's what he did, without effort. He smiled and laughed and made her feel like she was the most important girl in the world. She grabbed the small necklace of meadow flowers she had made earlier in the day for Sokka and headed off towards his tent.

She walked right into Zuko.

"O-oops. Wrong tent," Suki said awkwardly. Crap. She hadn't heard Zuko at all. Her nervousness made her careless and this was about as awkward as she could handle. She was blushing hard.

"Oh, did you have to talk to Sokka too?" Zuko asked without a hint of irony in his voice.

"Nope. Not me. Heh," Suki cleared her throat and slipped away. Her heart was racing. She decided to hide back in her tent and just...uh...wait. Zuko had to leave sometime after all.

. . .

She sat in her tent, heart racing helplessly fast as she fought to bring her heart beat down to a normal speed. Bumping into Zuko had nearly given her a heart attack. To try and collect herself, Suki took a moment to rebrush her hair and pick the last of the dirt out from under her nails. She was fidgeting and she knew it, but it helped calm her down again.

Suki gave Zuko a good twenty minutes before she heard Sokka whisper her name loudly. Suki slipped back out of her tent and into Sokka's. She wondered what Zuko had even wanted in the middle of the night, but she figured she could ask later.

The smell of the roses filled the soft candle-lit tent. It felt like she had stumbled into some kind of hazy rose tinted dream. "Wow, Sokka. The tent is...very...romantic," Suki said softly, looking around. She made an effort to look everywhere in the tent as much as she could to avoid looking at Sokka right away. His tunic shirt was slightly open, pants already discarded, his hair loose and, most adorably, a slightly pink flush had found its way onto his cheeks.

"I hope it's not too much," Sokka said. He was sitting in front of a bouquet of wild roses, his legs loosely crossed. "But well ya know...I...we haven't really had any time alone...what with you in prison and then with my Dad around, and then-" He rambled on, thinly veiling nervousness with chatter.

"Sokka, you talk to much," Suki laughed and shook her head. She held out the small flower necklace that she had made for him earlier in the day. "Here. You're not the only one who can go pick flowers," Suki said softly over the incessant pounding of her heart, as Sokka took the necklace from her.

Suki leaned in first for a kiss. She could feel Sokka's nervousness in the stiffness of his joints, the momentary pause before he kissed back, the way he placed his hand over hers and squeezed as he leaned forward and kissed her. Suki slid her hand onto the back of Sokka's neck, cupping his head, her fingers tangling in his hair.

Together they fell backwards onto Sokka's bed mat, Sokka on his back, Suki on top of him. Their legs intertwined. Both of them giggled into the kiss. Their mutual nervousness slowly dispelled in the daze of happiness they felt around each other.

Suki's hair fell like curtains down into Sokka's face as they separated. Their lips hovered mere centimeters apart, grazing slightly as both of them laughed. Suki was hyper aware of every place their bodies touched, where her curves met his muscles, where his joints pressed against her skin. Her ankles on his calf because he was taller, hips touching hips. Here they were, both warriors, both teenagers, both nervous and happy and in so many ways on the same wavelength.

"I'm glad you're here," Sokka said softly, his hands having found their way to rest on Suki's hips.

"I'm only here thanks to you," Suki replied.

"Nah. You would have found a way out of Boiling Rock eventually," Sokka said with a big grin. "We couldn't have gotten out without you! You're the real hero of the day, Suki, the way you took out the warden and fought Ty Lee."

"Still, you were amazing, Sokka." Suki grinned at all of Sokka's compliments.

"Yeah." Sokka gave a goofy grin. "Yeah I was."

"Sokka," Suki said laughing. She kissed him again, slow and soft. Her heart was picking up, less from nervousness now and more from something else she couldn't quite name. They rolled onto their sides, bodies still pressed together. Sokka didn't seem to know what to do with his hands. They awkwardly rested on her sides, caressing the fabric of her shirt.

"S-sokka?" Suki said, pulling out of the kiss. Their noses brushed against each other as she stared into his eyes. Her skin felt like it was humming with electricity, every touch magnified. The slight friction of Sokka's fingers against her shirt was sending little spirals through her nerves.

"Yeah, Suki?"

"I've um...never really...done anything like this before..." Suki said softly, the blush on her face crawling down her neck.

"Oh. Um. Me neither..." Sokka cleared his throat.

"Really?" Suki pulled her head slightly further back.

"Y-yeah..." Sokka said, sounding just as embarrassed as she felt.

"Not even with, um...Yue?" Suki looked away as she asked. She felt foolish, worried that she sounded jealous or petty about the girl who Sokka had loved and lost. It wasn't jealousy though. Yue wasn't competition, she knew that. Still the idea that Sokka knew what he was doing while she didn't had bothered her, but it seemed she had worried in vain. "I just thought maybe..."

"No," Sokka sounded a little sad as he answered, thinking about the girl in the moon. "We didn't have much time together..."

"Oh...damn. I'm sorry Sokka." She sighed. "I've gone and made things weird..." Suki moved to get up. Everything had been fine, and now Sokka was thinking about his dead lunar ex, and it was her fault. Suki felt like an idiot.

"No, no, Suki, please," Sokka said quickly. He kept his arms around her waist, holding her in place. "Don't go. Things aren't weird. What happened with Yue was...hard, but...I can't dwell on it forever, right?" He gave a smile. "I...I really want you to stay."

"Sokka," Suki sucked on her teeth for a short moment, a smile trying to creep in.

"Suki, please, I mean it," Sokka said, holding her in place lightly. "I...Look, this might sound stupid but..." Sokka looked down, blushing. "I really think I'm in love with you. You're like, the most amazing girl in the world."

A smile broke across her face. "Really?" She asked. Sokka gave a small nod. "Oh Sokka, I think I'm in love with you too..."

"You're just so like, smart, and strong, and I just-" Sokka said, beginning to ramble.

"Sokka, you're talking too much again," Suki laughed. The tiny pinpricks of worry in her heart felt soothed. Suki ran her fingers up into Sokka's hair as she kissed him again. Pressed together like this, Suki thought rather foolishly that it was like they had stopped being two separate people. As silly, and cliché as it sounded in her head, it felt like they were one person, sharing a heart beat.

Suki trailed her fingers over his skin, sliding them experimentally under the hem of his shirt. She slowly pulled Sokka's shirt off, running her fingers over the muscles of his chest. The feeling of skin against skin, the pads of her finger tips tracing the toned edges of his abdomen sent thrilling tendrils of lust, that was the word she was looking for, lust right through her.

Suki sat up for a moment, pulling her own shirt over her head. She felt a little self conscious. More than a little. No man had ever seen her topless before. The candlelight gleamed on her breasts. Her nipples were dark and firm in the cool air. Suki tried not to blush even more as Sokka's eyes widened as he watched her, his own cheeks a deep red. The air felt just a little too chilly, but Sokka's hands were warm and on her skin, pulling her back down beside him. His hands caressed her now bare breasts for a minute, feeling their weight and warmth. The contact was beyond arousing for Suki.

Sokka's fingers slowly roamed away from her breasts to explore the rest of her pale skin, so much paler than his. Slowly his fingers hooked around the waistband of her pants. He slipped the last of both their clothing off quickly, tossing the unneeded garments to the side of the tent.

They lay there, both of them totally bare, pressed together. Sokka nervously trailed his fingers over her skin, feeling her breasts and stomach, running over her thighs. The contact make her shiver, making her ache for more of this. Her own hands founds their way to his chest, lingering over the tiny blemishes on Sokka's chest. A tiny scar here, and an old scratch there. Some day she would ask for the story behind each and everyone of them.

Her nervousness was gone now; she knew what she wanted. She felt safe here with Sokka, and her insides burned for closeness. She wanted, more than anything, to be as close to Sokka as she possibly could, of this she was sure.

"Sokka, please," Suki whispered, his skin flushed all over her body. "Touch me." She kissed him again, his fingers tentatively slowly slipping farther and farther down her stomach.

. . .

Suki laid curled on Sokka's chest, her cheek pressed against his shoulder. While at first it had been too hot and sweaty to cuddle, slowly the tent cooled enough to make it comfortable. Their bare skin pressed together, sharing warmth was more relaxed and at ease than Suki could ever remember being.

She ran her fingers along the curve of his shoulder, taking her time in appreciating how his skin felt against hers, where she could feel his pulse thrumming against her fingers lips, and where the resistance of his muscles was the firmest.

Sokka was already half asleep, his arm wrapped around her. She pressed a light kiss against his chest and closed her eyes, falling into a deep, restful sleep as well.

. . .

Somewhere outside the tent, a Mocking-lark gave a shrill, jubilant cry in the dim morning haze. Suki had spent her life waking up at dawn for training, and the sound of the lark was as effective as any rooster-pig at waking her. Sokka lay next to her, splayed out, his mouth open as he slept soundly. Suki was sure that Sokka was fit to sleep for hours more, and she couldn't blame him.

Slowly, trying not to wake him, Suki tried to find her various bits of clothing that had been discarded in the night.

"Suki?" Sokka gave a sleepy, bleary eyed yawn. He rolled over to face her, rubbing his eyes as he tried to wake up. His hair flopped half in his face, messy with tried sweat.

"Good morning," she said softly, pulling her shirt on. She smiled at him, her affection stronger and warmer than ever inside her.

Sokka gave a small pout. "You're going?" He seemed unhappy that her clothes were back on now.

"Mhm," Suki said with a chuckle. She placed her hand on his bare chest. "Go back to sleep."

"Do you really have to leave?" Sokka asked, reaching out to wrap his arm around her waist.

"Sokka, the sun is coming up," Suki gave a gentle laugh, running her hand down the side of his face before gently unwrapping his arm from around her.

"Yeah but," Sokka protested.

"Sokka," Suki laughed. "I'm just going to go take a quick bath in the river. You don't want to have to explain to Katara what I'm doing coming out of your tent at breakfast, do you?"

"Well...no."

"Good then," Suki said. She leaned over and kissed him quickly. As she pulled away she plucked the flower necklace she had made for Sokka up off the floor and slipped it over his head. "There, now I've been deflowered," she said in a light joking voice.

Sokka gave a sleepy blush, sending Suki into another fit of giggles. "Go back to sleep," Suki said softly and slipped out of the tent, into the early morning light.

. . .

. . .

. . .

A/N: Thank y'all for reading. Every review always makes my day.

I'd like to take a second here to thank my boyfriend who was both the inspiration for this fic as well as the beta for it.

As always, if anyone sees a typo or mistake I've made, please feel free to point it out. No one is perfect, but I do strive to be as error free as I can. :) Thanks!