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Settling Down

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Ty Lee walked down the corridors of the palace, stopping at a particular door. She briefly wondered whether she should knock or not, but decided not to. As much as the princess would deny it, the acrobat knew that her presence was enjoyed quite a lot. They even shared a room now…

She fingered the item in her pocket. She hoped that her plan would work. They’ve been dating for quite a while, after all. Zuko had asked her to help Azula settle down… maybe it was time for her to fulfill that promise.

She pushed open the door and slipped inside. Gently closing the door so it wouldn’t make any noise, she saw that the door to the balcony was open. Stepping through it, she was met with a beautiful sight; Azula, head tipped back, gazing at the stars. A smile filled with wonder bloomed on Azula’s face, making Ty Lee’s chest explode with happiness.

Ty Lee would’ve leaned on the door frame and enjoyed her lover’s pose all night but Azula turned to her and held her arms out for a hug. Unable to resist such an offer, she sank gratefully into Azula’s arms. Oh, Agni , her scent shouldn’t be so intoxicating…

“I was waiting for you to join me,” Azula said softly. “A night out enjoying the stars? Hm… how romantic.”

Ty Lee chuckled, lifting her head and stepping on her tippy toes to kiss the other girl on the cheek. “Who would’ve taken you as the romantic kind, princess?”

A happy gleam shone in Azula’s eyes. “No one except you. As it should be.”

A light blush spread across Ty Lee’s cheeks and she snuggled deeper into Azula’s arms. “Aw, that’s so sweet.”

Azula just laughed and pulled Ty Lee closer. “Only for you, my love.” She turned Ty Lee around so they could face the stars together. “Hey, see those stars over there?”

Ty Lee nodded enthusiastically. “Yep!”

“Well…” Azula mused quietly. “I call that one Ty Lee.” She took Ty Lee’s arm and pointed. “But of course, you mean much more to me than just a star.”

Ty Lee pointed to another star, one that was next ‘Ty Lee.’ “And that’s Azula!”

The princess raised an eyebrow, surprised. “Okay,” she said. “And why is that?”

“So you can always be next to me,” Ty Lee said softly. She turned to the princess, hope brimming in her eyes. “Right?”

Azula pressed a kiss to the side of Ty Lee’s head. “I love you.”

Ty Lee pulled the item out of her pocket and gently hung it around Azula’s neck. “Will you marry me then?”

Azula touched the red betrothal necklace with an intricately carved dragon pendant hanging from it. “You do know that regardless of whether you actually gave me this or not, I would say yes, right?”

“Well,” Ty Lee shrugged. “Maybe I wanted to mark you as mine.”

Azula tugged Ty Lee inside, making sure she sat in one of the beds before rummaging through one of her cabinets. “I never thought that you were the territorial kind.” She pulled something out of her drawer, closed it, before walking towards Ty Lee.

Ty Lee just smirked at her and turned around before Azula could tell her to. Feeling the gentle weight of an acrobat pendant slowly resting on her neck, she curled a hand around it gently before turning and kissing Azula gently on the lips.

“When do you want to tell everyone?”

Azula tucked a stray piece of hair behind Ty Lee’s hair and pulled the covers over the two of them, settling on the bed. “Tomorrow. Hey, let’s surprise them!”

Ty Lee smirked deviously. “I like where this is going.”

~.~.~

As the sun rose in the quiet and stillness in the peaceful palace, a shriek sliced through the calm.

“NO! Azula! You-you couldn’t have!” Ty Lee broke down, sobbing. Zuko ran into her and Azula’s room while guards snapped to attention. Mai rushed in after him, carrying Izumi in her arms.

“What? What happened?” Zuko asked. “Where’s Azula?”

“She-she’s gone,” Ty Lee wept. She clutched a letter in her hands and held it towards the Fire Lord and Lady with shaking hands. “R-read this.”

Zuko took the letter but turned to the nearest soldier before reading it. “You! Have you seen princess Azula today?”

The soldier cowered a little before answering. “Yes, sir. She left early today. Woke up way before the sun.”

“Did no one stop her?”

“N-no, sir.”

Zuko gritted his teeth before he unfolded the letter, Mai reading it over his shoulder.

Hello Zuzu,

If you’re reading this message, it probably means that I’ve already made my way to the courtyard. We have some news to share with you, and that is that we’re engaged.

Zuko blinked, rubbed his eyes, shook the paper up and down, and read it again. “What?”

… we’re engaged…

He shook the paper up and down harder as if doing so would make more words fall out. “What?!”

Mai put her hand on his arm and stopped him from moving, leaning in closer to read the paper. “Stop dancing about,” she said blandly. “I can hardly read it.”

… and that is that we’re engaged. Congratulations, you guys are the first to know. Are you impressed by Ty Lee and I’s acting skills?

Signed,

Azula and Ty Lee

Zuko and Mai tore their eyes away from the parchment to eye the figure that had suddenly come to lean on the doorway of Ty Lee’s room. Izumi curled up on even tighter, cuddling into Mai’s chest.

“How is it?” Azula asked, sauntering towards Ty Lee on the bed. “Do you really think I’d just ditch Ty Lee like that, after spending so much time courting her?”

Zuko was about to reply that yes, she would before he realized something.

Azula would have done that, years ago, but now she’d changed. She wouldn’t do something so insensitive nowadays.

Mai just sighed, as she usually did. ¨Congratulations. Can I take Izumi back to bed now?”

Azula shrugged, slipping her hand into Ty Lee’s. “Sure. We have to do our morning workouts anyway.”

The four exited the room, Zuko and Mai heading off to their chambers, while the other two walked off to the courtyard.

~.~.~

Ursa and her family were the next to be told, respectively. There hadn’t been a lot of excitement about that, especially since the relationship between Ursa and Azula was still a bit unstable at times. But what was surprising was that Azula had volunteered to tell Ursa. Which led to Azula and Ursa having tea, Ursa smiling at Azula over the cup, who sat stiffly. Kiyi toyed with a ball of flame to Ursa’s left, occasionally asking Azula about tricks of firebending.

“I have been told that we’re having tea because you have something to tell me,” Ursa said warmly. “So, what is it? How’s your life going?”

“You’re right, mother,” Azula replied. “I’d say that my life is certainly at its climax right now.” She felt Kiyi nudge her and she looked down, noticing that Kiyi’s fire had formed a messy circle. She corrected it, trying to find the words that were suddenly stuck in her throat. “I am here to notify you of that I will formally join my family name with Ty Lee’s in a few weeks.”

Ursa turned the words over and over again in her head before she brightened. “You’re getting married! To Ty Lee!”

“Who’s getting married?” Kiyi interrupted excitedly. Her hands formed a heart with fire. “Who?”

For a second, Azula let a rare, small smile flit across her face before it vanished behind her emotionless mask. “Me. And Ty Lee.” She stood up. “I must get going, mother. I have work to do. I look forward to joining you for dinner tonight.” She left without a word.

Ursa raised an eyebrow. Azula was still a bit stiff around her, but it was definitely an improvement.

Definitely.