Warning: contains infidelity
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters & I'm making no profit out of this. Written strictly for fun.

"Aren't we friends?" Ty Lee asks, in a shaky whisper.

It's so incongruous; they were never friends, and she should not be sneaking into Zuko's bed either way. She must have come in through the window at least; it's unlikely anyone saw her.

"Leave now, and I'll forget your impudence," Zuko answers, just as quietly. It ruins the effect, comes out far less menacing than he was going for, but really he has no way to force her to obey him. Violence would attract the guards' attention, and there are too many reasons he doesn't want to have to be rescued from a naked woman's unsolicited sexual advances.

"Don't you like me even a little?"

Zuko's clutching her elbows, trying to keep her at a distance. His fingers sink like pincers in the soft flesh, but Ty Lee doesn't seem to notice. She's slipping and sliding like a snake against him, trying to get closer. In the faint light of the rush lamp her face is shadowed by her hair, loose for once, fanned over her shoulder in their struggle. Her pointed nipples surface and dip back into darkness every time she arches her back, before the strain becomes too much and she relaxes in Zuko's hold once more.

It's like a dream. Neither the good, nor the bad kind - just impossible.

"Aren't we- I thought we were friends," she says, despondent. Zuko can just imagine her liquid eyes. They'd never worked on him, she gets over her upset too easily for Zuko to think her emotions anything but shallow. But this is all too unexpected, too sudden, too much. Maybe everyday rules don't apply here.

"I'm married. To your other friend," Zuko counters, and he sounds harsher now to his own ears. That rasp belies his irritation, that must be it.

"Mai wouldn't mind," Ty Lee says, and since this is her this might not even be the shameless platitude that it sounds like, she might even believe it. "I shared Azula with her. Or Azula shared her with me, anyway. I'm not sure which."

Zuko doesn't want to analyze thistoo much, the not so hidden meaning. He doesn't want Azula to ruin his marriage for him, the way she did so much else, by being first. The slim body on top of him seems no threat in comparison. It's a ridiculous thought, of course, but there it is.

It occurs to Zuko then that it's not a struggle at all. The weight of Ty Lee's knee on his thigh, her smooth skin rubbing against his through two layers of fine silk, a dozen little touches all play to her hand. She doesn't need to free herself of his hold at all.

As if she'd read his mind Ty Lee sighs, and slumps onto his chest like a puppet with her strings cut. Zuko's fingers slacken in surprise, surrender, curiosity, who knows. Not him, anyway. Ty Lee's slick hair caresses Zuko's collarbone when she lifts her head, when she comes closer to kiss him, and oh, it's still impossible. More cool silk shifting and a heated, cautious touch to his neck, a bolder one against his cheek before Ty Lee's rough kittenish tongue licks across his lips.

Zuko could have never, in a thousand lifetimes, believed he'd agree to this, if he'd thought she'd offer. He wouldn't have thought himself capable of it. He should be better than this, a different kind man.


He'd betrayed his view of himself over and over again, gone back on his word too many times to be truly surprised by another change of heart.

Zuko's mouth opens. His hand travels the length of Ty Lee's spine, skitters on the delicate curve at her waist, before coming to a stop between her shoulder blades. Then he flips her and their legs tangle together in the cover, then he can finally see her face, then he's kissing her neck, licking against a quivering tendon. Then then then. Then it doesn't matter what happens, in which order.

His first lucid thought after it's over, with Ty Lee's leg still languidly draped over his side, is to wander how Ty Lee is the same shade of pink on her lips, her nipples, between her legs. How succulent she was, when Mai was colorless and thin-lipped and hard all over, and the comparison seems to Zuko a worse disrespect than anything else he did that night.

"I'll make sure you don't suffer for this," he promises with his lips against the very edge of Ty Lee's well-used mouth, fervently, like another man might have professed devotion. His fingers skim the lips in a different place, where she is still wet from his release. Ty Lee's thighs clamp and relax around his wrist, a brief restless motion in discord to their mutual languor.

"Zuko," she says musically, the way she'd used to say his sister's name. A-zu-la. Like it was a discovery every time, or like it belonged to her. And then, like it just occurred to her, Ty Lee adds. "I'm turning twenty soon. Mai said that after she comes back from her uncle's, she'd talk to you about marrying me off."

Zuko freezes, but the shock of the realization lasts only a moment. When Ty Lee reaches to card her fingers in his hair he turns to kiss her wrist, and he's fine, just like that.

"So I was wondering, if you could make sure it's someone... nice. Not too horrible. Or too old. Mai isn't sentimental about these things." Ty Lee's eyes are trained on him, wide and guileless, able to withstand any scrutiny.

"I'll take care of it," Zuko says, and places her hand on her own chest, gently. He means to let go, but Ty Lee's fingers turn in his and she clutches at him, almost apologetically.

Zuko falls asleep with his nose against her throat. If he's going to pay for this he might as well enjoy it to the last.

He'll have time enough to loathe himself in the morning.