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"So, I'm tired of being left out, and I want to do this sex thing, and I figured that I might as well pick someone who knows what he's doing, and I like you, and I trust you, and so will you be my first or what?"

Iroh realized that his teapot was dangling hazardously off his fingers and that there was some very hot jasmine tea puddling on his right foot. He opened the door wider. "Perhaps we could discuss this...inside?"

"...oh. Right." She walked in, leaving dusty footprints on the tile.

Iroh smiled and waved cheerily at his neighbor across the way before closing the front door behind her.

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He made her ask again, just to be sure.

His first reaction was a suspicion that his hearing had finally gone in his old age. His second was incredulity. His third was, quite predictably, to be flattered. His fourth was to start pondering how to have sex on packed earth of some sort and not have major injuries.

"Wait, we don't HAVE to do this in a bed?" The look on her face was rather heartbreakingly relieved.

Blind, he thought, with no idea where the other person was, or what they were going to do, or how they were reacting.... "Of course not. I'm sure we can find something suitable where you'll still be able to see." He patted her hand. "I won't have it any other way."

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She didn't seem to have any particular place in mind, so in the end they settled on his guest bedroom. It was easy for her, the day before, to smooth the floor, then, blushing, smooth it again when Iroh pointed out delicately that there would be some fairly vigorous rubbing against it going on. There wasn't much to be done about the hardness. There was no way to lay anything else down without separating one or both of them from the stone, blunting her senses. Iroh finally chuckled and concluded that bruised knees would be a small price to pay.

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She arrived after sundown, hair still wet from a bath. He made her some chamomile tea. She made a face. "You're trying to calm me down, aren't you?"

"Do you need calming?" he asked, innocently.

She scowled at him but drank her tea, allowing him to get her talking about her work with the earth king. Halfway through the conversation he laid a hand over hers, his thumb tracing lightly over her palm.

"--stupid bear knew it too and...that's...that's really distracting."

"Is it?"

"Yeah."

"Good! Then I must be doing it right."

She smiled, taking a deep breath. Her other hand crept out, laying overtop of his, fingers tracing along the back of his hand. Her hands were rough, scarred, strong. "So are we ready to do this?"

"I don't know, are we?" Iroh asked, raising her hand to his lips.

She was very distracted by that. "Uh. Yeah. Yeah, I think we are."

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He had prepared the room with some blooming jasmine from his garden, setting it and several thick candles about, far out of range of the few pillows he'd laid down. He caught her deep breath and slight smile as she walked in and congratulated himself.

She turned, reaching for her tunic hem, and Iroh said, "Allow me?"

She nodded, but instead of undressing her, he cupped her face in his hands, tilting his face up and brushing her lips with his. She was actually a bit taller than him, but that wasn't unfamiliar. She startled a little at the touch but didn't back down, following his example, then following him when he backed off, tongue boldly stroking his own. Her hands found his shoulders, sliding up to his face. She chuckled softly, fingers petting his beard. "Tickly."

"Mmm. I could stop and go shave if you prefer...." He let one finger follow the shape of her collarbone, just brushing the skin. He pressed his lips to the hollow of her throat, feeling her pulse beat just under the skin.

Her breath caught, her head tilting back. "I will KILL you if you stop."

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She was singularly unlike any woman he'd ever been with: a fascinating mix of bluntness and vulnerability. The years had matured her, and he spent long, fascinated minutes admiring the contrast of her callused hands and feet with curve of her hip, the swell of her breasts. She was hyper sensitive to every touch, as he'd suspected she would be. He hadn't expected just how much that would heat his blood, but neither of them seemed about to complain. She was strong and lovely and curious and a devilishly quick study. It was a delight to show her what her body could feel, and he didn't think that he was flattering himself to think that by the time he finally slid inside her, fingers delicately circling her center, she barely noticed whatever pain she might have felt. Instead, she clutched at his shoulders and wrapped her legs tight around his waist, laughing and cursing, nails pricking his back as she picked up his rhythm. She growled as she came, grinding against him and finding his mouth again, demanding his own pleasure as much as she had her own.

He was more than happy to give it to her.

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"That...was good. Really good. I mean, like...really, really good."

He chuckled. "You sound surprised."

"Well...I mean, I knew that it was SUPPOSED to feel good, but you know...just not the first time." She rolled onto her back, black hair and tanned limbs spread akimbo in the candlelight. One hand found his.

"Well, I'm glad that I could exceed your expectations." He intertwined their fingers.

"Mmmph. So..." She yawned widely. "We're done, right? There's no secret after-sex thing to be done now, is there?"

"Other than falling asleep and me making you breakfast in the morning?"

Her slow, sated smile made him wish that he had any prayer of another round in him. "Yeah, other than that."

"Absolutely nothing." He pulled a blanket over both of them, pressing a kiss to her temple.

"Great." She yawned again, rolling a bit and wriggling so her back was against his side. "I totally knew you were the right guy to go to about this."

He smiled and stole back his half of the covers.