attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
[personal profile] attackfish
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, I wouldn't be able to write something like this, lest somebody assume it was canon.

Summary: Firelord Ozai makes Mai's options very clear to her. She has none.

Warning: Rape by coercion, violent fantasies, general horribleness.

Author's Note: Written, dear God, two years ago for a prompt in the [ profile] avatar_kinkmeme: "Ozai seduces Mai and tries to convince her that she is a suitable Fire Lady for him." The seduction idea got lost somewhere along the way.

The Gleaming Darkness

He held fire in his hand.  It licked against his fingers as he dipped it low to the wick of the oil lamp.  Mai’s expression didn’t change, even when the light flared high and glinted off her eyes.

“Do you know why I asked you here?”  He knelt down on the cushion across from her and picked up the chopsticks in front of him. Mai didn’t follow suit.  “My daughter tells me Zuko left you a letter.”

Mai lifted her head and nodded, her hands frozen in her lap. He sneered out Zuko’s name, like it was something disgusting, something that stung on his lips when he said it.

“I want to see it.”  He smiled at her.

Mai didn’t flinch.  She was probably supposed to. She was angry.  She was so angry the truth turned to ash in her mouth, and all she had left was a lie.  “I burned it.”

That letter was hers.  It was private, it was...  Even if she didn’t know how she was supposed to react to it, it was hers.  She wasn’t letting him see it.

He chuckled.  “I admire your restraint.”

Something cold and hot at the same time washed over Mai’s skin.  “Thank you my lord.”

He smiled again, with that perfect, perfect face, that older, too familiar face, so like the one he had ruined.  He had stamped his son’s face twice, and she couldn’t stop seeing Zuko instead.  “I agreed to your relationship with my son because I couldn’t think of anyone better.”  He smiled and shook his head. He needed to stop smiling.  “To be Firelady.”

You never meant for Zuko to rule, Mai thought, keeping her eyes steadily on his.  It was always going to be Azula.  It was the only-  Even Zuko knew, really, even if he wouldn’t say anything.  She she had never been supposed to be to be Firelady.  “Thank you, my lord,” she repeated.  Her stomach clenched.

“I’m going to be frank with you.”  This man had fathered Azula.  What he said didn’t mean anything.  Mai didn’t even blink.  “My son is a traitor, and my daughter...  I have begun to fear that Azula might not be the worthy heir I thought she was.”

Her thoughts wouldn’t move.  They were stuck, hardened and crystalizing around what she knew he was really talking about.  About what-  “I’m your daughter’s friend.”  Mai murmured.  “Aren’t you worried I’m going to tell her what you told me?”

He raised an eyebrow, but the lamplight glittered in his eyes, ominous and so, so cold.  Mai felt cold.  “You’re a very intelligent woman, Mai.  I still can’t think of anyone better to be Firelady.”

She blinked.  She couldn’t help it.  She had already known where he was going.  She wasn’t supposed to react.  But she couldn’t help it.  “Are you proposing?”  Her face was still.  Her face wouldn’t move.  She couldn’t make it move.  “That I become your Firelady?”

His lips curved up.  She didn’t even know if that was a smile.  For a moment, she thought he was going to tell her she was wrong, that he meant something else, and she was going to have to hide how relieved she would be, how thankful.

“Lady Mai.”  She couldn’t breathe.  “Azula tells me that you and my son have slept together.”

Her eyes widened.  She wondered if he could see.  Azula didn’t know.  They had never told her.  “Your point?”

He reached up to brush one of her long, trailing strips of hair out of her face.  “As young and strong as you are, you might have conceived.  You could be carrying my grandson.”

Just ask, Mai wanted to snap.  “I don’t understand.”

“I could offer you protection.”  He picked up a noodle with his chopsticks and pushed it to his mouth.  Mai watched him chew and swallow as if through a film of water.  “Come to bed with me tonight.  We’ll announce our engagement tomorrow, and I will claim any child, mine or his.”

And if I say no?  she wished she could ask.  He was the Firelord. There wasn’t any question in his words.

He waved on her direction and took another bite of his noodles.  “Eat something.”

She looked up at him balefully from under her lashes.  She wondered if he could see that either.  She lifted her chopsticks to her lips, laden with something.  She couldn’t even taste it.


When his bowl was empty, hers was still nearly full.

He took her hand and led her to his bed, leaving the oil lamp still burning in the other room.  No fire dared die, or tip over and catch on the wood floor, not in the Firelord’s rooms.  She glanced back at it.  His hands slipped under her overrobe and unhooked the clasps holding it together.  It slid to the floor without her help.  She didn’t move.  She didn’t even breathe.  His hands untucked her tunic and pulled it over her head, and shoved her pants down over her hips.  The world around her seemed to grow less real, less tangible, and she felt as if she could run through the walls, and just keep going, far, far away.  But she couldn’t.

She stood next to the bed in her boots, and her knives and her shuriken, and then his hands went for those as well.  A barely perceptible tremble shot through her.  “No.”

He didn’t stop.  The buckle of her bandolier came undone under his fingers, and she breathed in sharply.  “You aren’t coming into my bed with your weapons on,” he told her, breath burning against her neck.  Mai wondered what would have happened if it had been Ty Lee that Zuko had slept with, what the Firelord would be saying to her about weapons, wondered if he would have made her leave her hands, or her fingers beside the bed.  Quickly as he went, there were so many knives to take off, and she stood there yearning for more knives to wear so that it would take even longer.  She wished he would hit the trigger on her shuriken launchers by mistake and kill himself with it.

Zuko never would have asked her to take off her knives, and he never would have been able to make her.  He wouldn’t have wanted to.

She wanted him.

And she wanted him to die.  Or at least hurt.


And the Firelord’s hands pulled her shuriken launchers off her wrists without injury.  He let them clank to the floor, and her teeth gritted against each other.  It felt as if she were the one falling.

Pushing her down onto the bed, he kissed her, tugging her boots off her feet and throwing them aside.  Mai’s lips felt clumsy and disobedient as she tried to open them to his tongue, and soften them against his.  He crouched over her body.  Every point of contact between them felt huge, larger than she was, and ready to swallow her whole.  His mouth sank down onto her shoulder and sucked until the blood gathered at the surface.  She didn’t know what to do with her body, or her hands, or anything else, so she just let it lie there.

He bent low to tongue her breasts and work her nipples with his teeth, the flashes of sensation familiar and foreign all at once, and so, so hard to deal with.  “My lord,” she ground out.

He took his mouth away.  “No.” He kissed her cheek, and that was almost worse.  “When we’re in bed together, I’m just Ozai.”

No, she wanted to snarl.  He wasn’t.  She didn’t even have the right to deny the false sort of equality he had just forced upon her, not when it was the lord part that kept her in that bed and kept her from grabbing her knives and running as far away from him as her legs would carry her.  She was afraid to open her mouth, lest she start screaming at him to let her go.  She was afraid to show anything on her face, lest it all show, and all her disgust and fury, and cold, sick misery become obvious to him and make him angry.

His mouth came down to her breast again, sickeningly hot.  “You don’t have to be scared,” he whispered into her skin.  He was saying all the right things as he touched her, and it made her want to throw up.  “I know this isn’t your first time.  You don’t have to be frightened of me.”

She lifted her arms off the bed like lead weights with joints and wrapped them around his shoulders.  Her fingers tangled in his hair like panda-rabbits in a snare.  Her teeth collided with his shoulder as she pulled him down.  The impact bruised her lips and cut them against her own teeth, and blood from her mouth and his shoulder dripped together down the back of her throat.  The air came out of his mouth in a hiss.  He pulled away and pressed his lips against hers, trapping them.

He kissed his way down her body, down her neck and breasts and belly, down to the tuft of course, curly hair guarding his goal.  Hands too hot against her thighs, he nudged her legs apart, until she let them fall open on the bed.  His hands crept higher, and Mai drew a long, shaky breath.  One finger trailed through the hair and dipped down between the folds beneath.  It dragged against the skin there, sticky and burning.  She was dry.  It was dry, and dead, and his fingers were stabbing at it.

He drew his finger back, and Mai drew in breath after harsh, shuddering breath to keep herself from pressing her legs back together.  He sucked his finger into his mouth.  Mai watched it, and watched his tongue peek out between his lips.  As it slipped out of his mouth and he brought it down again, her knees tilted inwards, like a gate, but he ignored them. The tip of the finger rested against her, against the little nub of flesh right above- The one she and Zuko had found together, back when-

She supposed there wasn’t anything left for her to explore, just things for Ozai to teach her and for her to try to learn fast enough to keep him happy.

He rolled the nub under his finger.  She drew a breath, too loud in her own ears, too sharp to be called a gasp.  “Shhhhhh.”  Ozai put his mouth to her stomach as he let the sound out.  Slowly, heat coiled low in her belly, and the wetness spread outwards from the tip of his finger.  She wondered if firebenders could bend heat into the bodies of other people, and if they could, would it feel like it was supposed to.  The burning in her belly didn’t feel like fire. It felt like acid eating away at her.

His hand, slick with her own fluids, rested on her ribs for just a moment before he pushed himself off the bed and lifted the three layered, heavy collar off his shoulders and over his head. She wished he looked smaller without it.  She watched his robes come off, then his boots, and his pantaloons and loincloth, until all she could see was skin.

Skin and a pair of incongruous gold armbands like the kind worn at an Agni Kai, and the sight of them turned her stomach.  He had worn them that day, too, the day he’d burned Zuko’s face.  Azula had invited her to watch, and she couldn’t say no.  She had been too far away to smell the burn that day, but it filled her nose now as she looked at them.  She wondered if he ever took them off.  She wondered if someday she could make him.

She looked down.  She couldn’t help it, to where his hand curled around his cock, and her face was frozen and brittle, and mercifully unreal, like it belonged to someone else.  Perhaps she seemed too stunned to react.  Perhaps she seemed unimpressed.  She couldn’t make herself care.  Resting one hand against her shoulder, he knelt back down on the bed and pressed his chest against hers, and she felt so much smaller than she was.

She tried not to care about his hands on her thighs, aching, and shivering with the strain of holding her legs apart.

He crawled inside her, air bursting out of his mouth in short little pants, and his face was flushed, his pupils dilated, mouth open, and he still looked so, so smug, and it made Mai want to slink away.  Mai lay there and tried to ignore the way he felt inside her, and the way his finger felt against her as he rubbed in time with the roll of his hips.  And when he came, she tried not to let out a grateful sigh that it was over for the moment.


Before the sun could come anywhere close to peeking over the horizon, Mai slipped Ozai’s sleeping arm off her shoulders and sat up.  Hands shaking, she buckled on her knives and slipped her shuriken launchers into place on her wrist.  Sheath after sheath sank against her body, their familiar weight bolstering her, and helping her steady herself as she dressed herself hastily in the clothes she had worn the night before . But then, she just sat back down on the bed, at a terrible loss for what she was supposed to do.

As the sun rose, Ozai opened his eyes.  His hands reached up automatically to sweep her tangled hair off her shoulders.  “Oh Mai.”  He smiled at her warmly.  It was the smile of a victor, and it made her squirm inside.  “Ursa was so weak.  Your children will be so much stronger than hers.”

And if I die and you lie there like this with some other woman, will you say the same thing about me?
  Mai wondered.

She was angry at Zuko. She was so so so angry at Zuko. But the rage that pooled in her gut was for Ozai.  The rage was mutating so quickly into hate, and it just kept building and building, and her hands clenched around her knives with the overwhelming need to stab him and leave him dying on the bed.

She should say something.

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October 2017


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