A/N: Hey guys!! Here's my second attempt at Maiko. I'm not as confident in this as I was of my first. This is a little darker, and has some blood play. Please enjoy :o)
The sun was setting in the far west of the fire nation. Oranges and reds shadowed the country side in an eerily beautiful wash of color and darkness. The Fire Nation palace stood erect among the rolling hills of the country side. Though the occasional servant would walk the property, tending to their individual duties, the palace's large courtyards and wide hallways were mostly bare of citizens and ambassadors.
The Lord's offices were also vacant with the exception of the Avatar and his assistants. With the war's end only six months ago, work towards building stronger, better peace treaties were at the forefront of every official's mind. Normally the Fire Lord would be working alongside the Avatar, but once every other week he would take a night off for personal time. No one knew what he did, or where he went, but there were plenty of rumors to make up for lack of information (and maybe hyper imagination). These included stories from voodoo rituals with the mythical Sun Warriors to secret love affairs with war prisoners.
Only Mai knew what went on in his personal time, and she wasn't telling anyone.
In one of these silent hallways, vacant and wide, stood an unsuspicious door. Dark brown with a tint of cherry red, the only thing making it stand out from the other dozens was the bronze handle where a wooden usually was.
Inside this unassuming room, with the unsuspicious door, in the vacant hallways of the near bare palace was Mai-- soon to be Fire Lady Mai. Dressed in an all black robe with all black bindings she sat on the torso of the absent Fire Lord. She looked nothing short of frightening, hair piled in a high loose bun, one hand rested on Zuko's chest, the other holding a tiny bloodied knife.
Said Lord lay on the elaborate bed, arms stretched and secured with leather and knives to two opposing posts of the bed frame. Legs free of restraints were bent at the knees, toes curling into the soft red and brown covering. His upper half jerked as Mai's bloodied knife slashed him again, but he dared not make a sound—not without his mistress's consent.
Mai tilted her head as she studied her handy work while Zuko clenched his teeth in restraint. Her skillful hands marked her lord's chest with shallow wounds, each several inches in length. They were deep enough to pull blood but not enough to leave scars. She almost smiled in pride looking at Zuko's face. His eyes were wide and expressive. They held no fear, just deep deep lust, and a little pain. She was the only one he allowed to see like this. He trusted her with his body. He trusted her with his mind. She doubted he knew exactly how much these meant to her, especially with her history with his sister.
His body jerked again as her knife came down, carving another red line into the pale skin. With his want poking her in her back, she was almost willing to give her power up and allow him his release. For then, she would have hers. But no, she would prolong this until he reached his limits.
Some would question why the Lord of such a powerful nation would subject himself to such pain and humiliation. And again, only Mai knew. Zuko was tired of giving orders, of being in control. Day in and day out, his word was law. In his hands he held the future of the fire nation and its people. Such power gets tiring, old, stale, the stress built up inside of him. Unpleasant and rude ambassadors and politicians ruled his life; so once every other week Mai offered him a release. He gave control to the one person he trusted and it was-- beautiful. His face, usually carved in stone, opened and laid bare everything he was feeling. His hair fanned out around his face and his back arched as high as the restraints allowed. She made him like this, and she was the only one who would ever see him like this. He was hers.
Mai felt a shiver run up her back. She wished she could show emotion like that. She was a bit envious, he was so handsome. Eventually she lifted herself off the bed, more than ready for the next phase of his special night. Mai removed her silky black robe and loosed her bindings until she her body was just as bare as her lover's.
Zuko's eyes, which were previously rolled back, were now trained on her form. He followed her every move as his body twitched in anticipation. He never knew what she had up her sleeve. Sometimes, after the knife work, she'd ride him. Sometimes, she'd order him to pleasure her and refuse him pleasure until she was finished. He almost smiled (but didn't lest she punish him). His did suck his lip between his teeth. It was the only thing he could do the keep him from groaning at her.
She was delectable. Her pale skin glowed in the candle light, making her sharp features sharpen even more. Her hips weren't nearly as wide as other girls, but they worked just as well (if not better) when she ground herself onto him. Her long thin fingers brought both pain and pleasure; most of the time he couldn't tell the difference. Right now they were buried in the bun that held her hair, releasing the ebony locks to fall around her face and down her back. Her face was blank but she'd be a fool to think he couldn't tell how much she desired him, almost as much as he her. He could smell the desire she'd left on his torso. His fingers wanting nothing more than to touch what his eyes were seeing. His arms strained in their restraints.
Mai crawled her way onto the bed and positioned herself above him. She gave him a warning glare, reminding him that she is in control, and Zuko promised himself that he would not lose himself in her. But as her heat engulfed him, both fire nobles knew that sounds would soon escape him and Mai wouldn't be able do anything about it.
Oh, but he tried. He bit his lip again as she ground her hips on him. The dull ache on his chest stung again as Mai's fingers gripped at the muscles, slightly soothing, slightly desperate. Her face was flushed as she worked his body, her muscles clenched and unclenched as she moved.
Zuko could barely hold on to thought as he watched his future wife. He knew she wasn't aware of it, but her face transformed when they were together. Her mouth parted with heavy breathing and her eyebrows scrunched together. It was at this point that Zuko always lost the control he kept promising he'd keep. The continuous pulling of his arms loosened the knives that held the leather straps in place.
With his hands free Zuko took hold of Mai's legs and flipped her onto her back. Settling between her he began to plow into her consuming heat. His eyes never taking their sight off of Mai's blooming face He faintly heard sharp breathless shouts, but couldn't place its location. Was it her? Was it himself? He was so so close, she was so tight. He buried his face in her neck, smelling her hair while gripping the sheets under them. The friction against his chest made it sting again, reminding him of Mai's early work, warm blood seeping from the cuts.
And then Mai went completely frigid.
Aang was tired. Bone tired. He hadn't had a good night's sleep in a while. He would have stayed up later in the offices, but decided to call it quits when the words on the scroll began resembling Momo and Appa. Vision fuzzy and legs almost giving, he followed the long maze of hallways, hoping one of them held his room. Aang knew he was lost. Without the sunlight coming into the windows everything looked the same. Was he supposed to take that right? He followed dark red hallways for what felt like more than a candle-mark when finally he reached a door with a bronze handle.
He heard noises coming from the inside the room. Looking around Aang fought between disturbing the busy couple (probably some wayward servants) and wandering through the halls some more. Sighing, he made the decision. The Avatar just wanted to get to his room and snuggle next to his water tribe girlfriend. He checked the handle. It was loose. Stupid servants should know better. They'd better Thank Agni that it wasn't the Fire Lord catching them in the act.
Opening the door, the first thing that caught his eye was the table next to the door. Sitting upon the glass top was a knife, bloodied with use. "Freaks." He thought. Next his bloodshot eyes moved to the frantically moving couple on the bed. But there was something familiar about them. "Mai…" Aang heard faintly.
Mai? Aang froze. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, Aang cursed himself in his mind. Of all the rooms in the whole damn palace, why-- why were they in this one? Aang wondered if he could make it out of the room before they noticed. Unfortunately, as he looked to them again he caught Mai's eyes with his. Her face was already blank, though her glare lost its edge with her face flushed and her lord between her legs. Aang silently begged that she not make a scene. He could deal with an angry Mai later, but he was no match for a raging Fire Lord in his tired state.
Mai may not have made a sound, but she went completely still. Sill enough for caution to creep into Zuko's lust filled mind. Her face was blank, staring at something behind him, towards the door. Quickly turning he faced the door he almost let out a most unmanly yelp. Standing there wide eyed was the Avatar, one hand still on the bronze handle.
There was a long pause before anyone said anything. Aang couldn't help but notice the blood that covered Zuko's chest. Zuko's mind was still heavy with desire, but was clearing quickly. He felt more than saw Aang's eyes brush over his chest and anger filled him. He knew he looked a bloody mess, hair wild and wrists raw. Only Mai was supposed to see him like this. Speaking of whom, had enough mind to cover her body, but that didn't help Zuko's swell of negative emotion. He knew Aang had to have caught a glimpse of his naked Mai and he hated him for it. Under the anger seeped shame. Zuko hated that his former enemy had seen him at his most vulnerable.
"Zuko, I'm so-"Aang tried to apologize.
"Get out." He replied, cutting the Avatar off. His voice was low, almost silent. He turned back towards Mai who had her arms crossed and was faced away from the both of them, refusing to look up.
"But, I just-"Aang tried again.
"Just go!" Zuko roared turning back to Aang, fire flowing through his outstretched hand in a sweeping arch.
"I won't tell anyone." Aang declared silently before leaving, closing the door behind him. Zuko slid to the ground after locking said door (and checking it twice). He buried his face into his hands and sighed loudly. He heard the rustling of covers but didn't look up until he felt long fingers comb through his hair. Staring up at his beautiful lover, he hoped to Agni that Aang would keep his promise. He could only imagine what this information could do to both Zuko and Mai's reputation.
Morning came too early in Aang's opinion. After the little incident the previous night, Aang spent the next two candle-marks wandering the halls (again) until he found his familiar room with his familiar Katara. It felt that he'd just fallen asleep with the waterbender's head resting snugly in the nape of his neck; and now the sun was blaring under his eyelids. Slipping from under the cover and Katara, he cursed the firebender's need to rise with the sun. Aang had to find Zuko. He was well aware that Zuko had trust issues, and didn't want something so small to ruin their new friendship.
Walking through the halls, this time bright and filled with sunshine, he made his way to the one place he knew he'd find Zuko at such an early hour. Entering without knocking, he sat in the chair provided in front of the lord's desk and waited for Zuko to acknowledge his presence. It was a good while before Zuko stopped his writing and nodded at Aang, his face blank. To this Aang smiled.
"I'm not talking about last night." Aang's smile dropped.
"Why not?" He questioned; eyes wide with feigned innocence.
"It's none of your business." Zuko replied forcefully.
"It is now…" he spoke under his breath.
"I'm just saying--" Aang waved one hand airily, "You and Mai have nothing on Katara and me…"
"Wh-What!?" Zuko expected Aang to approach him with this unfortunate subject. He and Mai agreed last night to not speak of it and pretend the whole thing never happened-- and to pick another room (and possibly lock the Avatar in the offices on those special nights). But Zuko never expected that Aang, young little Airbender Aang, would challenge his masculinity in such a nonchalant way. He had half a mind to tell him everything Mai and he did. He opened his mouth, but nothing would come out. He tried again, and still nothing. What was he supposed to say to that?
Aang smirked as he rose from the plush seat. "Katara's a waterbender, use your imagination."
"Look, believe me; I know how you feel when you're with Mai. It's the one person you know won't judge you and the one person you'd trust with anything. I'm the Avatar, but most importantly, I'm your friend. I hope that you'd trust me enough to keep your secret."
Zuko nodded, staring at the avatar intently. He sometimes forgot how wise the kid was, under all that hyperactive happiness. "Always the peace keeper, huh?" Zuko stated after finally finding his voice.
Aang nodded and smiled, "We've stopped a war together. I think that's more important than one night of secrets, yes?"
Zuko shifted in his seat and pointed to the other bender. "You can't even tell Sokka."
Aang's face spread into an even wider teeth baring smile. "You don't even want to know what I caught Sokka and Suki doing!"
Zuko shifted in his seat again, "No, I don't." He couldn't begin to imagine what the genius water warrior did with Suki. He shuddered and Thanked Agni that he didn't have one of these crazy characters as his mate.
The dinner banquet table was quiet. Well, more quite than usual, Katara noted. Mai seemed to refuse to look at Aang, even though he sat right in front of her and Zuko had a permanent blush across his face. Katara sighed, "Mai, can you pass me that knife?"
Mai froze wide eyed as Aang spilled his drink and burst into laughter. Confused, Katara looked to Zuko who had gotten a shade darker?
Mai, coming out of her shock, passed the requested knife while glaring at the hysterical Aang, who by now was trying desperately to catch his breath.
"Katara," Mai addressed the Waterbender, "Aang tells us you can do some interesting things with your water tentacles?" her tone even, still glaring at Aang.
The Avatar chocked on air at the implication Mai made, ears turning bright red. Confused, Katara would have asked Mai to elaborate on her question, but there was a loud, husky sound ringing from the head of the table. Zuko, Fire Lord made of stone Zuko had his head thrown back in a fully bodied laugh. She couldn't help but join the infectious sound with her own light one. She had no idea what she was laughing at, but seeing Zuko laugh was as good a reason than anything. She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen the new Fire Lord smile, not to mention, laugh.
Even Mai let out a tiny smile at Zuko. He would only deny it, but she thought his laugh sounded just like Uncle Iroh. Only she realized the significance of his laugh, even if the other three didn't. He'd finally let them in and they would find soon enough hat this laugh wasn't really so rare. Sipping on her tea, Mai wondered if this change of events would affect their special nights.
A/N: So there it is. I've been editing and re-editing, and I'm not afraid to do it again. Please let me know how it was. I felt the ending was a bit rushed, but the author is always her own worst critic. Looking forward to hearing from you, and Thanks for reading :o)