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One Incurable Existence

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One day, Azula will escape this run down moldy prison, and—don't mistake it—she will have her revenge.

She'll get out of this forsaken ruin. High on sunlight, electricity, and emotions, she'll burn a path straight to the Fire Nation. That weakling Fire Lord, his wife, and children will be dealt with in a manner suitable for traitors to the Fire Nation. Azula will secure her rightful throne, and the flame crown will grace her ponytail. If all goes right, she won't even wait for her coronation—she'll simply pluck it from the head of her dearly departed brother. And then, her rightful place as the true Fire Lord assumed at last, Azula will direct her vendetta to more personal matters.

Wherever Ty Lee's destiny has taken her this time, Azula will sniff out and ambush the little traitor. She'll separate her oldest and dearest friend from the pageant of so-called "warriors", cut off any escape routes, and tie her prey up well. Then of course, Azula will take a knife—one of Mai's or—if Azula feels a poetic urge—Ty Lee's very own fan—and cut that ugly Kyoshi armor right off Ty Lee's body. Of course, her face will likely be painted white and red with that stupid make up. That will have to be dealt with. All signs of another affiliation must be erased from Ty Lee. Azula will push her into a stream and scrub the paint right off, and the water will make the lightning collar and cuffs that Azula will bind her with sting that much more. It'll be just like old times, only more so. Ty Lee will be at Azula's mercy, mercy that will never come. It would serve Ty Lee right if she had to be paraded across the entire Earth Kingdom—no, the entire world—naked, tied up and electrified as Azula's personal prisoner and plaything.

Ty Lee's betrayal is the ultimate one, and thus Ty Lee must become the ultimate example of what happens to those who incur the Fire Lord's wrath. Azula will demand Ty Lee's services. Threats and arcs of blue electricity will ensure those demands obeyed. Then, Ty Lee will curl that curved body down into a bow and beg for permission to pleasure Azula. And maybe—after of plenty slow, lingering shocks in Ty Lee's interesting places—Azula will attempt to let her prisoner make up for the betrayal. If Ty Lee's fingers are as nimble as the rest of her body and her tongue as sweet as the words she says, then perhaps Azula will forgive Ty Lee and permit her to be the Fire Lord's personal companion and consort. Ty Lee will be hers…forever…

--

Forever. That's how much time Azula might as well have spent in this hole.

As always, the fantasy dissipates quickly and completely in the chilled darkness. Azula groans and wills her limbs to cease shaking. Orgasms are the worst. They sneak up and feel so good, and then just at the best point, they dump her right back to the reality of this damp prison. The mold smells especially strong right now. Azula takes her hand out of her pants and wipes her nose. The scent mixture torments her. She leans back against the earthen walls and curses those who did this to her.

The clip of footsteps alerts Azula to an approaching visitor. Has another day passed? The hardness of the heel against the stone floor marks a guard, not a visitor. Azula sparks a reluctant flame and burns another mark into the brick. Her ration of old rice and half-rotten cabbage arrives. Joy. Azula closes her eyes and flares her nostrils. No, it's different this time. There's a hint of luxury mixed in with the common smells of the prison—chili, lime, and fresh basil, not to mention the savory scent of duck. It's not just a guard that approaches but her, the only person in this place who would dare extend a kindness towards Azula.

The long brown braid and the eyes—still large and bright—of the Kyoshi warrior confirm Azula's suspicions. Ty Lee carries the tray forward and sets it down on just outside Azula's cell. The motion gives Azula a good view of the cloth wrinkles playing over the side of Ty Lee's breasts, and the fantasy becomes that much harder to push away.

"I see you've finally decided to visit me again." Azula keeps her voice deliberately cold.

"Hi, Azula. Would you like a hot towel?" Ty Lee doesn't wait for Azula's answer or even acknowledge the edge in Azula's voice, just unrolls the warm damp cloth, and wipes Azula's hands. She lingers on the one previously occupied with giving Azula an orgasm.

"You know, Ty Lee, one day, I'll escape this hell hole in the middle of nowhere, and then do you know what will happen?"

Ty Lee kneels down and unlocks the small door at the bottom of the cell. The meal slides in—roast duck, fresh rice with vegetables that weren't harvested back in the good old days, even some leechi nuts and sliced papaya for dessert. The accompanying pot of fresh brewed jasmine tea mocks her. The logo on the sideof the pot belongs to that teahouse in Ba Sing Se. "What's going to happen?"

Azula smiles and pins Ty Lee's wrist to the cell's floor with her ragged nails. "When I escape, I'm going to get my revenge on those who put me here: my brother, Mai, that waterbender who dared to chain me like a beast, the Avatar. And when I'm done with all of them, and I've secured my rightful place on the Fire Lord's throne, I will come after you."

"Oh, well…that's nice Azula." The words sound like the old familiar Ty Lee who feared Azula the most, but the tone remains unconcerned. It's obvious this place doesn't conduct heat and electricity well and that Azula's will has been so sapped that firebending each day's tally mark into the wall becomes pinnacle of her prodigy level abilities.

"And do you know what I'll do with you once I have you?"

"Something horrible and terrible that I couldn't have possibly imagined until you decide to tell me?"

"I'll cut that uniform from your body and drag you back to the Fire Nation myself. You'll be dragged—naked—across the entirety of the Earth Kingdom—Omashu, Ba Sing Se, all the towns. And don't even think about escaping because I will personally collar and bind you with lightning. One wrong move, and it's…zap." The crackling arc of electricity that Azula fans out between her thumb and forefinger is as much as she can manage down here, but Ty Lee doesn't need to know that.

Anyway, that wrist jerks away and Ty Lee takes a few fearful, gratifying steps back. "Then I suppose it's a good thing this cell is locked up all nice and tight."

"It is for you. Or else I would have you exhibited in front of my father's statue in the Fire Nation Colonies and force you to perform for all of the Fire Nations' most important guests. And when I say perform, I mean all sorts of fun and horrible things."

"Sounds scary." A flicker of Ty Lee's old fear comes back into her eye, and touch of satisfaction that comes with knowing that the old threats still work makes the roast duck all the more succulent. "But there are no Fire Nation Colonies anymore."

"I always knew Zuko would mess things up. Tell me, has my brother at least managed to avoid giving the Fire Nation away to the other nations?"

"It's not that at all. Surprisingly, he's doing a really good job. Oh and he and Mai just had their first daughter a few months ago. She's so cute. I'll bring you a picture next time I visit."

Azula clears her throat. "Stay on point, Ty Lee." Orders come easily, the remnants of a habit never to be buried.

It's just that the colonies are a new nation now, one where people from all the old ones can live together. And you should see the capital. It's amazing."

"Fine. I will drag you through the streets of this new capital on a cart and make you say horrible humiliating things about yourself and make you beg for my forgiveness. Won't that be fun?"

Ty Lee shakes her head, and in the torchlight her figure—slightly taller, definitely more muscular—cuts a fine shape. "The world has changed, Azula. Faster than you can even imagine. No one uses carts anymore, except to park them at the edge of a street and sell food out of them. And I've changed. You can't scare me anymore, even if you did manage to escape."

"I could always scare you. I could hunt you down, kidnap everyone you love and set fire to your belongings. And you would kneel before me, helpless but to serve me."

Ty Lee approaches her again, and crouches down. One glove comes off, and a bare hand with worn and rounded nails reaches through the bars to touch Azula's cheek. The fingers are tentative, but they don't shake the way they used to. They brush a lock of Azula's hair behind her ear. "Your hair's getting ragged again. I'll talk to the warden and see if I can get permission to do something about that."

Azula realizes. She grabs Ty Lee's hand and yanks it forward until Ty Lee's cheek smushes against the metal bars of the cage. "You think I'm something to be pitied don't you? Is that why you're being so nice to me?" She kicks the tray of half-eaten food into the darkness. Oh, she'll eat it of course—no use letting good food go to waste—but Ty Lee needs to learn that a ruler will never accept pity from a traitor.

"No, not at all." Ty Lee pulls away and shakes her wrist. "Look, no matter what happens, no matter how much things change, no matter how horrible and creepy your fantasies are, I'll always remember our friendship."

"You really think my fantasies are creepy and horrible?" Azula pours some tea and smiles.

"The worst. When I'm done here, I'm going to have a bath and not just because it smells like badger-rat poop down here."

"Thanks. You really are a true friend."

"Well, I try." Ty Lee lowers her painted eyelids and smiles. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

Azula moves close to the bars. "Could you do a handstand? I'm afraid with all that make up and that Kyoshi uniform, I still have hard time believing it's really you."

Ty Lee kicks up and her hakama makes a beautiful flare as she shifts her weight to her hands. Upside down, she walks towards Azula. Perfect. "Like that?"

Azula leans forward and rests her chin on her hands. Their faces are now a mere fingernails' width apart. "That'll work."

"Phew. It's a lot tougher to do that in armor. I'm a bit out of practice." Ty Lee bends her waist to return to her feet.

"Stay like that. I have another request."

Ty Lee straightens. "Uh…go ahead."

Azula licks her lips. "What do you say—for old times' sake—that you let me kiss you?" She plays with a lock of Ty Lee's hair. When Ty Lee hesitates, she clarifies. "Just one little kiss. Not even a tongue. Princess's honor."

"Sure, I guess." Ty Lee closes her eyes and Azula takes her kiss. Ty Lee's lips are as warm, soft and hesitant as Azula remembers. Azula can feel the tension of Ty Lee's arms supporting her while Azula lingers and waits for the perfect moment to—

A tiny, insignificant spark jumps from Azula's lips to Ty Lee's. "Ahh!" Ty Lee bends backwards to her feet, almost falling over before she regains her balance. Ty Lee's arm raises—presumably to touch her lips—but the gesture disappears into a slash of the hand by the time Ty Lee whips around to face Azula. "That was out of bounds!"

"What? There wasn't any tongue involved at all, was there? You're getting sloppy. You should have seen that one coming."

"Fine, it's just like old times. I should be going." Ty Lee turns her back and storms off.

Azula leans against the wall—self-loathing coated with victory churning inside her. No matter the temptations and promises, she'll never really have Ty Lee again. "Yes you should. And don't come back."

"Azula…" Ty Lee's gait is back to the no-self-esteem-shuffle again.

"I mean it." Azula always says that. She's determined to make it true this time. It's better to only have guards who openly hate her, who mock her, who serve her half-rotten meals and perhaps give her a dirty rag to clean up with. Azula turns her head upward, to where a window should be if this were any kind of humane prison. Better hatred, than…

"Fine. I'll go." Ty Lee's voice quavers. It always does. It's the least Ty Lee can show her after all their years of tense friendship.

"Good." And finally, Azula is left alone in her cell, but when she closes her eyes, Ty Lee never really leaves.