Everything he had done had been in vain. He felt her wriggle her legs a bit and had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep himself steady. The vodka he’d drank–a bit too quickly–seemed to be catching up to him, because he felt like he was teetering on the cusp of doing something he really, really oughtn’t.
Especially when he could feel the ghost of her breath against his mouth. When had she gotten so close? he thought frantically. The staccato of his heart filled his ears and thudded in his chest. She wet her lips and it was all Zuko could do to remember to breathe. He let out a ragged breath and watched her eyes fall to his mouth.
The mattress will function just fine.
It’d been a long while since he’d found someone he wanted to do anything with, but his eyes fell again to the shadow along her collarbone. His lips parted slightly as he raised his hand to her shoulder, lightly brushing the bare skin there with callused fingers and watching the spread of goosebumps that followed his wake.
“I’m sure it does,” he heard himself murmuring, his focus now intently on where he placed his thumb at the juncture of her clavicle. He could feel the echo of her pulse beneath the pad of his thumb–or maybe it was his? He didn’t know for sure, but the soft intake of her breath at his touch emboldened him. Even as his cheeks burned with their own heat, he turned to face her more, his other hand remaining on her bare calf. It slid up, feather-light, as he moved, but stopped just below the knee with a shaky sort of trepidation. The very tips of his long fingers just barely brushed the beginning of the back of her knee.
Though he had no conscious thought to do so, he leaned closer to her; she was a flame and he but a doomed moth. Her back mirrored the curve of his spine and they maintained a tremulous distance with his thumb skimming along her collarbone and one of her hands now come up to press lightly against his ribcage. He would have stopped if she had put any real kind of resistance against him, and as it was he hesitated even still; the rush of his blood demanded he keep going, but he exhaled and forced patience upon himself.
All thoughts of sleep or putting a bed frame together were completely gone from his mind, with Katara as his sole focus. He spared no thoughts for seams on the ceiling now. The alcohol in his system made him braver, the way her head had fallen against his shoulder earlier made him breathless, and the blue blaze of her eyes made him ache. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this attracted to someone this quickly. Turned now as he was to face her better, he could easily press her back into the cushions on the couch, and if the heat coming from the juncture of her hips was any indication, he thought she just might let him. His hand drifted up to encapsulate her knee, fingers now finding her thigh and the muscles beneath her skin. His grip tightened a little, just to see, just to test–and when she flexed her leg back against his hand, he bit back a pleased growl when he found it strong. He immediately wondered if she would wrap them around his waist or if he could sling one up onto his shoulder.
Her hand fisted in his shirt where it lay on his ribs, and he thought for sure she would feel the thunder of his heart beneath. His only saving grace from bearing down flush against her was the twist of his hips and the sweep of both her legs still collected in his lap.
moment he brushed her shoulder, she knew she was doomed.
sparked across her skin. Her heart beat so wildly, Katara swore he could see it:
the fast, hard rhythm beneath her breast. Her breath, too, slipped from her
control— so quick, so shallow. If he couldn’t see it, he could feel it in her
pulse. It thundered, almost painfully, when his fingertips brushed the curve of her neck. It set a tremor in her limbs, muscles shaking and tensing under his
was a mess. She was falling apart so quickly. He tickled behind her knee, pulling a sharp
sigh from her, a little exhalation that accompanied fresh tension in her hips.
Katara squeezed her legs again, her eyes flicking to his. Maybe that’s what
melted her, ignited her— watching gold come alive as his hand settled on the
muscular curve of her thigh.
stopped. Right there. Far enough from the damp heat between her legs to feign propriety, yet close enough that there was no mistaking his caress for innocence. She flexed,
eyes begging him. His body was a taut line; hers was on edge. He was fire, eating up all the oxygen, and she
was lightheaded, dizzy.
wasn’t sure what she meant by it, by that desperate whisper of his name. A
warning? Possibly. If he didn’t stop looking
at her like that, she’d whither away. An invitation? Just as likely. If he didn’t keep looking at her like that, didn’t
touch her like that, she’d burst into flames.
that make his name a plea…?
said his name again, testing it, tempting him. “Zuko.”
a moment, just a moment, a thread of indecision stretched between them. She
didn’t wait for him to make up his mind.
Her hand tightened in his shirt. Her other found Zuko’s where it dug into her
thigh, and Katara followed his arm up to
his neck. She twisted her fingers into his dark hair, tilting her head, holding the back his. They were so close… close enough, now, that her nose nudged his. Her breath
tickled his lips.
that was all it took. If there was any, any resistance at all — There wasn’t.
She gave him just a beat to pull back, but he was rushing into it all the same.
— It vanished.
lips collided like they’d been starved of each other. Katara closed her eyes,
humming approval from low in her chest. She was immediately pliant, following
his lead. His mouth was soft and insistent; warm and demanding. She let her
lips open partway, granting Zuko the access he seemed to want. His tongue found
hers and suddenly, Katara was overwhelmed by the lingering taste of vodka, the
taste of lust. She moaned— moaned,
when the fingers on her collarbone ghosted up her neck, when the hand on her
thigh slid further up, gripping the thick of the muscle right at the junction
of her leg and hip.
he feel it? The energy beneath her skin? Could he sense it? Surely, he could
smell it on her, the smell of sweat and the scent of sex. Her blood thrummed
with the unrelenting need to feel his weight on her, to have his hips flush
wasn’t sure who did it. If Katara had to guess, the answer would be her. She
was… greedy. For this. For him.
leg closest to Zuko’s waist, the one barring him from coming closer, from
bearing down on her, hips-to-hips, shifted. Katara pulled it from his lap, gave
him the space he needed. Her fingers tugged his hair and his shirt, tugged him
down with her as she fell back on the couch.
moan. Louder this time. And, swallowed by him.
kiss turned feverish as her legs parted for him. She’d found that friction she
wanted, the feel of calloused palms on her hips, the rough scrape of denim
against sensitive skin. She whimpered with it, the sounds in her throat hungry.
Zuko drank them in. Zuko made sounds of his own.
if Katara had to guess again— Though, was it really a guess? When she knew? When she could feel him, the hard, thick length pressing against her through tight
jeans and wet satin? — She’d guess that he wanted her as much as she did him.
Zuko was going to lose his mind.
That was it. It was a simple as that.
Katara tasted of vodka and something a little sour, and it was an intoxicating mix that drove him careening to the edge of rational thought. Then, he tasted his name in her mouth and decided losing his mind was worth it.
Her hips rolled beneath his hand and he was flush against her, the only barriers between them agonizingly, frustratingly thin. The throb of his heart dropped to nestle itself between her legs, driving his need, his want to a singular head. Zuko rolled his own hips in automatic response against her, acutely able to feel her damp even through the thickness of his jeans. Some distant part of his mind registered that he couldn’t do much more clothed as he was, but a more prominent instinct kept him succumbing to a daringly slow rhythm against her.
Her camisole rode up beneath the spread of his fingers, and her side shuddered warm and smooth beneath them. The desire to snag the bones of her hips bruisingly tight flashed through his mind, but Zuko somehow kept his hands under control; gripping but not clutching, strong but not quite gentle.
She sighed against his mouth again and he captured it, forgetting for a moment everything else but the focal point of how her lips felt and tasted against his own. Katara made him feel like he was drowning mouthful by mouthful, and happily, he gasped for more.
Somehow he dragged his lips from hers and buried his nose against the hinge of her jaw. Sweat and the sea and her skin’s own scent engulfed him and made his breath flare out hot against her throat. He heard her suck in a sharp breath and he tested his lips against her skin there. She shuddered beneath him, prompting another small roll of his hips and a soft groan against her neck. His skin burned wherever her hands roamed over him, even when they weren’t directly touching it. The hand that had lingered on her collarbone skated down her side, his thumb tracing the outer curve of her breast. Where his fingers came to rest just beneath, on her ribs, he could feel the shaking beat of her heart. Zuko was going to come undone with no virtually no effort on her part.
It’d been too long, some part of his mind suddenly hissed. She was going to unzip his jeans and would only have to run a single stroke along him before he came. Zuko was plunging headfirst and he was going to embarrass himself and leave her woefully unsatisfied. He had to pull back, make sure this was drawn out as long as she wanted it–it would take so very little to get him ready again, and he desperately wanted to explore her before letting himself unravel.
Drawing in a ragged breath, he could not find the immediate motivation to separate himself from her; she was supple and firm in ways and places that were driving him wild, why would he ever want to drag himself away from that?
Katara threaded her fingers through his hair again and pulled him back to kiss him. Unbidden, unwanted, her dark hands trembling against the white of her apartment door flashed through his mind. Zuko tasted vodka on her tongue and the reason why it flooded his senses made his own mouth suddenly become bitter. His lungs protested as he peeled back, bracing himself up with arms on either side of her, his heart still pounding at the apex of her thighs.
“Katara,” he said, nearly breathless. The syllables of her name made him want to taste more of her, but he bit that thought back. He’d just learned it not more than a handful of hours ago, and here he was, ready to fuck her like he didn’t even care who she was? Especially after how they met in the first place, why he didn’t learn her name from the get-go, it felt more than a little disingenuous to keep with his current trajectory.
With a great deal of effort and self control, Zuko forced himself to back away from her, to sit with the small of his back jammed hard against the arm of her couch. The skin down to his chest was hot, and he only stopped himself from dragging her against him now by scrubbing a hand roughly over his face. Even then he couldn’t dismiss the sight of her from his memory (and wagered he wouldn’t be able to for quite some time): both straps of her camisole were hanging off her shoulders, her lips were swollen from kissing him, her eyes dark and hooded with desire. It was almost enough to send him crashing back into her, but he bit down on his tongue to distract himself from the insistent pulse in his cock honing in on her like a dowsing rod.
“Katara,” he tried again, swallowing thickly and feeling like his mouth was full of sandpaper. “I… I don’t…” God it was difficult to think when he could still smell her, so close to him even still, when he wanted her so badly.
Confusion warred with arousal across her face, and it was enough to send a lump of despair plummeting into his stomach. An entirely different kind of desperation clawed at his insides. “I just… fuck. I don’t feel so well.” He unfolded himself from the couch, blurting the first thing that came to his head, and bolted to her bathroom. With any luck, she would think he was going to go throw up or something from the alcohol.
Zuko hoped he had a sliver of luck, for once in his life.
Shutting the door a little too quickly behind him, he pressed his back and tipped his head against it, unsuccessfully trying to will away the throb against the fly of his jeans. He’d nearly just blithely fucked a girl he barely knew, and he never did that. She’d trusted him, a complete stranger, enough to step in-between her and Jet, and he’d nearly just fucked her, wham-bam-thank you-ma’am, without so much as a flyaway thought spared. Zuko clenched his teeth even as the thought well now you may never get to flit through his mind, and he hated that he gave it weight. He wanted to, oh he had wanted to sink himself deep into that dampness of her until he forgot his own name, but was that really worth taking advantage of her in an arguably compromised state? Adrenaline and alcohol were dangerous bedfellows, this he knew, and more than he wanted her, Zuko knew he would have never forgiven himself if he would have ignored that combination and continued.
“Shit,” he said softly to her bathroom ceiling.