Zuko had always browsed the Internet carelessly, hardly ever paying attention to the ads that appeared by chance whenever he was scrolling down a random website. Some ads were about stores, others about quick ways to lose weight. There were also some about jobs, others about dating sites… but the ones that showed up the most were ads for online games.
He had just cleaned his browser's history (he did so every time his sister decided to look around the net to find new positions to try out with her boyfriend. Zuko rather doubted they needed to become freakier than they were, but he would lend her the computer anyways) when he realized he had nothing to do right now. Suki wasn't home, since she was working an afternoon shift, and he had arrived home after work to discover his other two roommates were locked inside their bedroom. Zuko was currently trying to ignore the noises in the room, since he knew Sokka and Azula were trying out whatever Azula had researched earlier, but he had no idea how to focus on something else whenever a random moan traveled all the way to the living room.
Zuko sighed and figured he would watch a few videos to pass the time, not having any better ideas at the moment. As he loaded the video, he caught sight of one of those annoying ads. He frowned at first when he saw the shiny colors in the ad, wondering if they had to be so colorful… obviously, they did, since it was the best way to catch the eye of people such as himself. He raised an eyebrow as he read the premise of the game:
"Dannan: fight for your dreams and honor!"
Zuko's eye was caught by that last word for some reason. He blinked a few times as he analyzed the ad intently. A blonde girl wearing a crown and with a gigantic sword on her back seemed to be the bait to lure in new players. Yet Zuko was surprised… most the times the girls in these ads were wearing really suggestive outfits. Yet this girl was wearing an interesting armor without any cleavage…
His eyes lit in pride when he realized the game lived up to its slogan. Indeed, Dannan was bound to be quite honorable, just like the girl in its ad.
He moved the cursor towards the ad before he knew what he was doing, but he stopped on his tracks before giving the game a go. Was he really going to do this? Was he going to bother playing a dumb online game just because it was pouring out the word 'honor' all over the place? What was his deal with honor anyways? Had he been an honorable man in another lifetime or something…?
A loud cry from the nearby bedroom made him wince in disgust. The sounds kept slipping out of the room even when the door was closed. He was growing accustomed to Azula's screams of pleasure… and that revolted him.
He plugged in his headset and set up his favorite music player to try and ignore the noise the infamous pair was making. He rubbed his temple and looked at the clock in his laptop, realizing, to his dismay, that Suki wouldn't be home in around three hours. He sighed and returned to his web browser, forgetting all about the video he was going to watch and, against his better judgment, he clicked on the game's ad.
As he listened to the beat of one of his favorite bands, he downloaded the game's software and began reading the game's storyline. So… you were supposed to be a young hero arriving into a Celtic world to stand for a nation of your choice. There were a handful of different types of heroes he could be, namely: warrior, sorcerer, priest and archer. From what he could see, it seemed to follow the usual standard for online games.
He was pleased when the game was done downloading and he dedicated himself to install it while reading more about how to play. The more he read, the more he found the game fascinating. He continued looking at the classes, wondering what he should pick… seeing how he was a firebender, and sorcerers could perform elemental magic, he decided sorcery would be his choice.
He kept looking at the game's information until his blood was boiling with excitement. When had been the last time he had played anything online? The patches were still being installed, but he couldn't wait to get going with the game. He would get around killing bosses and monsters, fulfilling quests, and if he managed to rise high enough in levels, he could become a trusted sorcerer by the nation he belonged to! He would be working for royalty!
Zuko couldn't even realize it was just a game anymore. He was so thrilled by the thought of playing he couldn't help himself. As soon as the game informed him that it was done installing, he opened it and his grand adventure began.
It wasn't an easy feat to pick his name. He frowned for a moment, struggling with the choice… and he decided to go for 'HonorboundDragon'. To his joy, the name was open.
He tried his best to pick an avatar that looked like him, yet there was no way he would find a face with a scar like his. He shrugged at that thought. Why would he want to keep the scar? He could be anything he wanted to be in an online role-playing game like this one, he didn't have to be exactly the same… therefore HonorboundDragon ended up having long, black hair, dark green eyes and a skin slightly more tan than his. Zuko beamed at his creation and jumped into the beginner's tutorial, wishing to get to the part where he began developing his skills, picking his class, slaying monsters and impressing other players with his astounding talents…
Suki arrived home feeling a little worn out. She frowned at the sight of the closed door in Sokka and Azula's bedroom, and she figured those two would, most likely, burst out of the room in a few minutes to ask her to make dinner. She sighed and left her purse in the counter before finding Zuko with her gaze.
She smiled at the sight of him, thrilled to see her fiancée, as ever, but she froze when she noticed there was something odd about him today. He wasn't one to wear a headset when he was working on his laptop… not that she blamed him, because with all the noise their roommates made, she had also resorted to listening to music from time to time to muffle the sounds. Yet the eager look on his face as he stared at the screen, his fingers hitting the same keys repeatedly as his lips drew into a snarl…
"Die, stupid goblin, die!" he muttered under his breath.
"Zuko? Honey?" she asked, approaching him.
With those earphones on, he didn't even notice she was there. Suki frowned before taking the headset off his head to force him to return to reality. Zuko jumped and looked around in shock when the music on his ears stopped abruptly.
"S-Suki? I didn't notice you were home…" he said, blinking a few times.
She frowned when she saw the way his unfocused eyes stared at her, as if hardly recognizing her. There was something seriously wrong with him today…
"What's going on, Zuko…?" she asked "What are you…?"
Her question was answered when she looked at the laptop's screen. A young man dressed in red, wearing a ridiculous pink hat, was the main focus of the camera. On the bottom-left of the screen was a chat-box, there was a toolbar right next to it with items and whatnot. There was also an open window with equipment on the left side of the screen and, right above it, a map. The character on the center of the screen was standing in a green field, mountains splaying ahead of him as a group of weird creatures, labeled as "Ugly Goblins" wandered around him without attacking him.
"Zuko…" she muttered "What's this?"
"O-oh, well… you see, I didn't have much to do today" Zuko started, nervously "I was bored and this ad for an Online Role-playing Game showed up…"
"A role-playing game, Zuko? Seriously?" asked Suki "Don't you have enough things to do to let yourself get sucked by something like this? You hardly even play videogames with Sokka nowadays because you say you're always busy!"
"Well… I wasn't busy just now!" Zuko stated, pouting a little "Besides, this game is amazing! I'm on level eight by now, and I've got long ways to go if I want to become a Chief Sorcerer of Finias…"
"Chief Sorcerer of what?!" squealed Suki, aghast
Zuko sighed and rolled his eyes, to Suki's annoyance. It was typical behavior by any gamer to act as if the entire world should be as deep into their games as they were.
"Look, this is Dannan" said Zuko "It's a freaking amazing world with some really cool creatures, with a map divided in four nations, see?"
He opened the map to full size and Suki frowned a little.
"Uh… is that the map of Ireland?"
Zuko blinked a few times before realizing she was right.
"Huh, I didn't notice that before… well, yeah! There's the thing, the northern country is Fálias, the western one is Gorias, the eastern one is Murias and the southern one is Finias! And my character is from Finias, see?"
"Uh… sure" said Suki, thinking this game was a little too generic for Zuko to be so excited about it "What's the big deal with this thing, Zuko? Why are you so thrilled about something so… common?"
"Common?! This is no ordinary game, Suki!" Zuko squealed, outraged "This is a game of honor!"
Suki was left staring at him, aghast, as Zuko placed his headset on his head again and let himself grow mesmerized by the Celtic music in his ears. He had shut down his music player because the game's music was far more relaxing and perfectly suitable for playing. By this point he was so immersed in the game he probably wouldn't have heard Azula or Sokka even if they had been having sex right next to him.
"Okay…" muttered Suki "Well, I guess I'll leave you to that…"
Zuko didn't answer, busy as he was chasing goblins once again. Suki sighed and headed into the kitchen, seeing how she wasn't going to get lucky right now. A videogame addiction had swept her boyfriend away for a while.
"What smells so good?" asked Sokka, once he and Azula left their room at last, both enthusiastic at the prospect of dinner "You're making pasta?"
"Yeah, it's nothing fancy" said Suki, shrugging.
Azula didn't enter the kitchen as she did on most days. Her gaze had found her brother and she was frowning as she wondered what was the matter with him.
"What is he doing?" she asked, looking at Suki with concern.
"He's been sucked by some random role-playing game" said Suki, sighing.
"Huh… I was in the middle of a role-playing game just a while ago" said Sokka, walking to Azula and surrounding her waist with an arm. Azula couldn't hold back a smirk while Suki merely rolled her eyes and sighed.
"Not that kind of role-playing game, clearly" she grunted "Else I'd be the one playing with him"
"Huh" said Sokka, his chin resting on the top of Azula's head as he looked at his roommate "I suppose you've got a point there"
"No, she doesn't" said Azula, her smirk growing crueler for a moment. She hadn't pestered Suki in a while, had she…? It seemed like the right time to annoy her… "For all she knows, Zuko might be having cyber-sex with some random fat, old, gamer with his face covered in pimples who chose to be a girl in the game and hasn't bothered telling Zuko his true gender…"
Suki grew pale at Azula's words. Oh, she knew the girl well enough to know she was just kidding but the mere thought was unbearable.
"I… I don't think Zuko is engaged in something like that" said Suki, grinding her teeth "People have cyber-sex when they can't get laid in real life, and Zuko can. Why would he…?"
"Perhaps your lame routine has finally bored him…" Azula whispered dramatically, earning herself a glare from Suki.
"You have NO idea what kind of things Zuko and I do!" Suki retorted
"Uh, actually, we have a few ideas" said Sokka, grimacing "And believe me, we don't want to have more of them"
"Yeah, you're right about that" said Azula, chuckling "Relax, Suki. It was just a joke"
"A very bad one at that!" Suki retorted, turning off the stove angrily.
"Still…" said Azula "It does seem like he's far too intent on what he's doing. I'm not going to say it's on you, Suki, but the main reason why a man like Zuko would play a game like that is boredom"
"I have no idea what drove him into it, really" said Suki, sighing "But there's one thing I can say: he's completely addicted to that damn game"
"So… Zuko! How about some arm-wrestling?! The winner gets the other's dessert!" Sokka exclaimed the next day, sitting on the couch and looking at his friend with excitement.
Zuko raised an eyebrow, looked at him and returned to his game, his mind completely focused on his current quest. Sokka sighed and looked around, trying to find something he could use to draw Zuko out of that wretched computer…
"Ha! Look what I found!" he called out, lifting their Guitar Hero plastic guitar enthusiastically "I'm gonna play Guitar Hero and I'm gonna kick all your records in the ass without breaking a sweat!"
Zuko didn't even bother responding this time. He typed something quickly before focusing on the direction keys, intent on reaching a town that was infested by weird creatures called Alpluachra.
Sokka sighed and looked at Azula with concern. There was nothing he could do to get Zuko's attention… it was her turn now. Azula nodded and walked all the way to Zuko's side, standing by him as she looked at his character sprinting through the village. Azula raised an eyebrow as she eyed the strange getup worn by 'HonorboundDragon'.
"Why are you wearing such a stupid hat?" she asked.
"I found it in a Lucky Treasure Chest" her brother replied.
"That's not what I meant… Why are you wearing something so dumb?"
"It expires in twenty-four hours" muttered Zuko "And it heightens my endurance and my intelligence…"
"I don't think there's an item in the world that could help you with that, Zuzu…" Azula muttered viciously, expecting Zuko to respond somehow…
But she got nothing, to her utter disappointment. Even Sokka was surprised to see Zuko had ignored such an insult completely.
"I-in any case… couldn't you get it in a different color?" she asked, trying a different approach.
"It was the only color it came in" Zuko replied, finding an Alpluachra and getting ready to attack him "Come here, you sleazy little git!"
"I would run away from a weirdo with a pink hat too, if I were that little green thing…" said Azula, but Zuko remained unresponsive.
Azula and Sokka exchanged a look of concern. There was something wrong with Zuko, no doubt about it.
"Do you have anything else in mind?" Sokka asked, as Azula walked to his side of the couch.
"I don't think there's anything we could do to change the situation" muttered Azula "We could have sex right here in front of him and he wouldn't even notice"
"We've done weird stuff, Azula, but that one's out of question" said Sokka, grimacing.
"I didn't mean it, Sokka" said Azula, rolling her eyes "In any case, there has to be something we can do to get him out of that stupid game"
"Something like what? Turning off the Wi-Fi?" asked Sokka, raising an eyebrow.
"Not a bad idea…" said Azula, smirking "But he would notice right away… He would try to kill us for what we did and turn the Wi-Fi back on later"
"I suppose" said Sokka, grimacing "Then what? Unplug his laptop's battery?"
Azula frowned before smirking in devilish joy.
"That could work! It would take him an hour or so to realize the battery is dying, and by then you and I could be…"
"In Mexico?" asked Sokka, smiling stupidly.
"W-well, maybe we won't have to go so far, but we'll be gone and we'll take the charger with us…"
"And he won't be able to play anymore!" Sokka yelled, jumping off the couch in joy "You're a genius, Azula!"
"You were the one who suggested this in the first place, I won't take all the credit…" said Azula, smiling at him…
"Don't even think about it" said Zuko suddenly, startling both of them. They had been certain he was so drawn into the game he wouldn't have noticed they were plotting against him right by his side. Zuko glared at them furiously before stating powerfully: "No sex on the couch"
Both Azula and Sokka stared at him in disbelief at his completely screwed up timing. Yes, that was typical from online role-players too, listening to only a fragment of a conversation and respond to a subject that had been long gone by then. There was one sole conclusion they could reach after that: Zuko definitely needed help.
"… Zuko… Zuko! ZUKO!"
Zuko winced and took off his headset in annoyance at the persistent call of his girlfriend. He was in the middle of something! Couldn't she lay off him for five seconds?!
"What do you want?" he whined, glaring at Suki.
"What do I want?!" said Suki, horror-struck "Zuko, I've been calling you for dinner for ten minutes now! What the hell is the matter with you?!"
Zuko cringed and shook his head as the other three occupants of the apartment glared at him from the kitchen table.
"I'm… I'm in the middle of something, okay? Chasing down a Dullahan isn't an easy matter!" he complained "My party dumped me a while ago and I'm in the middle of nowhere trying to…"
"Zuko… please" said Azula, sighing. Zuko raised his gaze when he realized his sister seemed to be requesting his presence genuinely, something most unlike her. It only took him a second to understand she was doing it because Suki's unrest was starting to become unbearable.
"You're going too damn far with that stupid game, Zuko" his fiancée growled, earning herself another glare from him.
"I'm not going too far with anything! I'm only level 35! I've seen guys out there who are already at 142!"
"Zuko, are you even listening to yourself?!" asked Suki, staring at him in disbelief.
He merely glared at her before throwing his headset on the couch and getting up, his brow contracted in a frown as he walked to the table.
"Go wash your hands first" Suki muttered angrily. Zuko huffed in irritation but complied anyways.
"Is it just me or are they acting like a strict mother and a spoiled child…?" Sokka whispered to Azula, who chuckled slightly.
Suki glared at him, prompting Sokka to grimace and hide behind Azula, who was merely amused by his fear. Zuko came back shortly later and gave his fiancée another glare before dropping on his seat and nibbling at his food without much interest, although it was clear he wanted to be done with his plate soon so that he could return to his computer.
"Zuko, we have to talk about that game of yours" said Suki, sighing "This is going too far! It's been three days in which you've done nothing other than playing on your spare time! You're hardly getting any sleep because you're too busy playing! You have to get a hold of yourself!"
Zuko huffed and rolled his eyes.
"Whatever" he grunted "Can't you just leave me alone?"
"No, I won't" Suki declared stubbornly "I'm not going to let you lose yourself in something as foolish as a silly online…!"
"Would you stop?!" Zuko cried out "It's not as stupid as you think it is!"
"It's a game, Zuko!"
"It's not just a game to me!" he grunted.
"Why?" asked Suki, aghast "What on earth is the matter, Zuko?! That thing has sucked you into it! You don't even remember you have a life anymore!"
"I have a life in there too!" Zuko yelled "And it's just the sort of thing I need when I can't cope with all the crap I have to deal with on a daily basis!"
Suki stared at him, hurt by his words. Azula and Sokka exchanged a look, wondering what he was talking about now.
"S-so you're saying… you're saying you care more about a virtual life than about what you have in real life?!" asked Suki, gaping at him in disbelief.
Zuko cringed and looked at her, furious over their discussion… but he lowered his head when he digested her question. He realized what his latest actions had seemed like to Suki. She had no idea he was going through hardships in work, no idea he was at his wits' end with the mediocre life they had been leading for a while now. He knew he had the potential to give her a better life, but things hadn't played out as he wanted them to. He kept feeling like a failure, thinking he had disappointed her… because he had disappointed himself, too. So when that weird world had appeared before him, he had dived into it without a second thought. Yes, the appeal it held went beyond using it to ignore the sounds Azula and Sokka made in their room. The appeal of it was that it provided him a life in which he was a hero, in which he felt his fate was in his own hands. His current life was the entire opposite of that.
Yet… he had her. He had his sister. He had his best friend. Even if other things were bad in his life right now, he had the three of them. And although they drove him nuts most the time, they were his family. And that was something an online game could never replace.
"I'm not saying that" he muttered "I just… I needed a break. I wanted to try another life for a change for a moment…"
"So… what, this life bores you now?" asked Suki, hurt
"I didn't say… it doesn't, okay?" said Zuko, his hand in his hair now "But at times you just want to get away, to lose yourself in something different just for the fun of it. I'm not… I'm not choosing a virtual life over reality. Even if that's what it looks like I'm doing"
Suki frowned. You've got a funny way of showing it… she thought, but she decided to hold her tongue this time. They had bickered enough so far… and she could see in Zuko's eyes that he was sorry for his behavior these past few days.
Still, he had to go find that Dullahan. Zuko offered to wash the dishes after dinner, something quite unusual, yet he returned to his laptop as soon as he was done. Suki could still sense his sadness, but if he didn't pull away from that addiction himself, there was nothing more she could do for him.
"You know… what he's doing isn't all that unusual" Azula told Suki later, once Sokka had tucked in and Zuko was back in Dannan, his ears covered by his headset "People do that all the time"
"You mean online gaming?" asked Suki, sighing.
"No, I mean turning away from reality and head into another world just for the sake of it" said Azula "It's the reason why people read books, watch movies, play games… they're trying to have a taste of the lives they won't attain in any other way"
Suki was surprised by her explanations. She knew Azula was a highly analytical person, but she hardly ever shared her innermost thoughts with the rest of the world.
"So… that's what he's doing?" asked Suki, grimacing "He's trying to have a taste of a life he can't have?"
"Well, you can't chase monsters and fulfill quests in the world we live in, can you?" asked Azula, raising an eyebrow.
"But… is chasing monsters that much fun?" asked Suki, grimacing "Is it better than what he has in real life?"
"I don't know. I doubt it" said Azula "He doubts it too. You can see that, can't you?"
Suki glanced at Zuko over her shoulder and caught sight of his sorrowful face.
"So you think he's not going to be hooked on that thing for too long?" asked Suki
"I don't know" said Azula, shrugging "But I think you can leave him be. Everyone needs a break from reality once in a while"
Suki sighed and looked down at the floor with disappointment. Azula raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her disheartened friend.
"What's the matter? You don't want to give him that break?" she asked.
"It's just… well, I don't think you'd get it" muttered Suki, sighing.
"Try me" said Azula, staring at Suki with exasperation.
"Well… Zuko is the biggest part of my life" said Suki, sighing "Nearly everything I do revolves around him. It's not so much that I don't want him to get out of this reality… but he's such a big part of my life that I can't help but feel lonely and hurt when I think he's trying to get away from his life. It feels as if… as if he was trying to push me away, too"
Azula rolled her eyes and shook her head
"You two are so dramatic… no wonder you're together" she said "Suki… if there's one thing Zuko lives for, it's you. He's having fun in that weird world of his, but he's upset too right now. Why do you think that is?"
"Because he realized that virtual life of his doesn't have you in it" said Azula "And he's starting to regret getting involved in it because he fears it'll drive you away from him"
Suki's eyes widened at that. Azula merely looked at her nails, acting as if her words should come as no surprise to anyone.
"What he's doing is absurd, but there's nothing actually wrong with it. No denial, he's somewhat addicted… but that's the price that comes to online role-playing games. And if it makes him happy…"
"I should be happy about it too" said Suki, sighing "I should stop being so upset about it and leave him be, then…"
"Now, now… that's not the only conclusion you can come to" said Azula, smirking "A wise person said once 'If you can't fight it, join it'. Get what I mean?"
Suki blinked blankly a couple of times as Azula turned around and headed to her room, knowing Suki had caught the message she had sent her way. Suki frowned and looked at Zuko for a moment, an idea gleaming in her eyes as she watched him stabbing his keyboard furiously…
Zuko sighed when he arrived home after work that day. Suki had taken the day off and he figured he should, most likely, go talk to her about the matter that was straining their relationship.
He walked to their room to find the door was closed. He sighed, realizing she probably didn't want to talk right now…
His laptop beckoned him to get back to Dannan even when he was close to swearing off the game altogether. He had nothing better to do while he waited for Suki to want to talk to him, though…
Feeling miserable and disappointed with himself, Zuko logged into the game and entered his preferred server. His avatar materialized in the middle of the desert of Finias, right in the outskirts of the nation's capital. Monsters roamed nearby, but they wouldn't jump to attack him unless he charged against them first.
He worked out his daily stress by butchering massive lobsters, wondering if perhaps he was ready to travel to the Nation of Murias by now… ugh, he wasn't that strong yet. Maybe he ought to wait a little longer…
He saw a yellow spot on the map that let him know another player was approaching him from behind. Zuko continued beating lobsters, trying not to pay much attention to whoever was behind him… until a message appeared on his chat box:
"Care to teach a beginner how it's done?"
Zuko blinked a few times as he read the player's username. Did that thing actually say 'Honorbound Dragon's Wife'?!
It took him a second to find the courage to spin the camera around and catch a glimpse of the other player. That red hair, those violet eyes, the green clothes of an archer and the cheerful smile on her face had been enough to give her identity away, but the name alone was enough to clear any doubts he could have had about who this girl was.
"Suki? Is that really you?" he typed, his fingers shaking as he did.
"How many wives could the 'Honorbound Dragon' have? I don't remember having read that there was polygamy in this world…"
Zuko couldn't help but laugh at that question. Of course it was her. Why? How?
"What are you doing here?"
"What, so you don't want me around?"
"I didn't say that!" Zuko typed right away, grimacing. It was a lot more difficult to express feelings through chat than face-to-face… "I just thought you didn't like these games"
"Oh, I'm not a big fan, but I wanted to know why you're so into it. It's a little more fun than I thought it would be, I'll admit that"
Zuko chuckled again as he wrote his answer.
"I'm glad you think so"
An awkward silence followed as Zuko smiled at the screen, certain Suki was doing the same thing. There was simply no way for him to put into words how happy he was for her to be in the game with him… if he had thought he could have gotten her to join it, he sure would have asked her to hop into the world of Dannan sooner!
His eyes gleamed eagerly as he looked through the menu of things he could do with the player in front of him. His grin grew wider as he found the option he was looking for…
Suki had downloaded and installed the software for the game on her own laptop, which she hardly used nowadays since she had her iPad. But she had made up her mind to play with Zuko. She had brought out her old computer and gotten that weird game started so that she could find Zuko as soon as he logged in. She had been lucky to find him that quickly, truly…
Her eyes grew wide in surprise when a window showed up on her screen to inform her that Honorbound Dragon was asking her to marry him.
"W-what did you just…?" she said out loud before heading into the chat box and typing the same question "What did you just do, Zuko?"
"You can get married in these games, Suki. It's got some nice perks, getting married"
"Yeah, you get bonuses and special events all the time"
"So you're doing this because you wanted those bonuses rather than because you wanted to marry me?" asked Suki, raising an eyebrow.
Zuko rolled his eyes. She couldn't stop misunderstanding everything, could she?
"I'm telling you about that because I figured I've been such a jerk lately you wouldn't want to marry me unless you could gain something from it"
Suki smiled and shook her head before writing an answer.
"Do you think I chose that username just because I had nothing better in mind?"
"I suspected that"
Suki laughed and shook her head.
"You're so silly, Zuko. I love you. You don't need to give me anything to reward me for marrying you. Spending my life with you makes me happy enough as it is, any bonus would grow pale next to becoming your wife"
Zuko couldn't help but smile as he saw a renewed status showing up on his character's status: "Married to 'Honorbound Dragon's Wife'"
"I'll marry you in every lifetime, Zuko. Every. Single. One"
Zuko couldn't help but sigh in joy as he read those words. So he hadn't screwed up so badly this time, had he…?
"So…" typed Suki, a smirk playing in her lips "Does this game let us consummate the marriage somehow?"
Zuko couldn't help but let out a bark of laughter at that question, a laugh loud enough for Suki to hear from inside their room.
"Not from what I know, it doesn't"
"But that's boring! What's the point in having a wedding if you don't get the honeymoon?"
Zuko couldn't stop laughing as he read each line that showed up on the chat box.
"This is a light-weight game, Suki. There are other games where you can do that… but not here"
"That's lame, Zuko. C'mon, at the very least we can take off all our equipment and make out while we're naked, can't we?"
Zuko couldn't help but stare at the screen in shock, still unable to stop laughing.
"Suki! Are you crazy?! We're in the middle of the desert!"
"I don't see any other players around, though! Come on, Zuko… this is daring and freaky, isn't it? Almost having sex in front of angry lobsters…"
Zuko threw his head back as he laughed even more. Suki herself was laughing as well as she looked at their silly chat box.
"Please, Honorbound Dragon! You're honor bound to please your wife, you know?"
Zuko rolled his eyes, still amused, as he wrote his reply
"What setting are we talking about, exactly? Real or virtual life?"
Suki smirked cruelly as she licked her lips, pondering the answer to his question.
"How about you come to the next room so we can find out, Zuko…?"
Zuko's smile faded away as a blush showed up on his face.
"Wait, you actually want us to have sex in real life? Was this all a ploy to get into my pants?!"
"Why… for all you know, it might have been… Gee, it's so hot in this desert, Zuko! I'm just going to start taking things off…"
"Stop it! This is just a role-playing game! You're not feeling so hot in real life!"
"Nah, I'm not… because I'm already naked and ready for you, sweetheart"
Zuko grew even redder as he felt his groin grow stiff. Oh, drat. He was supposed to earn some items from those lobsters he had been killing to finish off a quest… but it seemed there were plenty of urgent matters he had to tend to first.
"So… you're going to join me or not, Zuko?" asked Suki, as her character's armor vanished suddenly, leaving her dressed only in a camisole. Zuko cringed and rolled his eyes, knowing he had had it coming. Suki needed to be pleased… and, truth to be told, he would rather please her than play this game, no matter how addicted he was to it.
He left his laptop on the couch and walked to the room, opening the door swiftly.
"Okay, okay, you win…" he whispered, rubbing his forehead "I was a jerk, I shouldn't have spent these three days neglecting you and I'll get down to doing everything you want me to… Suki?"
To his disappointment, she wasn't actually naked. Suki was sitting on the bed, her eyes keen on the screen of her computer as she bit her thumb.
"Wait a second… What's this? I had a better armor than that one and I didn't even know it?!"
Zuko grimaced as he walked up to her.
"Oh, look, look, Zuko!" she exclaimed happily as she equipped her character with her new discovery "She looks so pretty! And that enhanced my strength and defense! I'm pretty sure I could go down the Catacombs of Finias now and finish the High Priest's quest at last!"
Zuko smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand as he shook his head. Suki, enthusiastic as she was, ignored him completely.
"Who's the one addicted now…?" he asked, smiling down on her and pressing a kiss on the top of her head as Suki sent a request to his character to join him as a party.
"Come on! We can do this together! You can show me all over the place and help me get better at this game!" she said, cheerfully.
Zuko smiled and nodded. That game was already fun… and he couldn't start to imagine how much better it would be now that Suki had decided to join him. Just as she had said she would marry him in every lifetime, he would belong to her in heart, body and soul in every single lifetime as well.