Poison Power Play
by Thyme In Her Eyes
Author's Note: My first dabble in the Aladdin fandom (be kind, guys)! Here's a (sort-of) Jafar/Jasmine piece set towards the end of the movie. I can't help it, this ship is such a guilty pleasure. And just to disclaim, I don't own the characters or the franchise. Happy reading, and remember that all feedback is appreciated.
-- POISON POWER PLAY --
Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.
– Napoleon Bonaparte.
"I wish for the Princess Jasmine to fall desperately in love with me."
Of course, his wish had nothing to do with love. What he truly wanted was submission; to see her prostrated and yielding as she surrendered herself completely to his superior force. To him, that was all love was made of. And like his two previous demands of the genie, this was a wish for power.
It was maddening, how she still refused to give in. How she somehow couldn't see how complete and glorious his victory was. Even the genie of the lamp with its limitless powers understood that it was only a slave, and knew how to behave in the presence of its master, but feeble little Jasmine dared to rebel. In spite of the chains around her wrists, she would not admit defeat. And for a while, it had amused him to let her get away with it.
Perhaps she actually believed she was still a dignified princess who could deign to grant or withhold her love. Or maybe she still had hope. If so, he would have to show her the way things ran now under his rule. For the moment, she refused to surrender her pride, but he would have it in the end. He would have all of her.
She hadn't even cried yet – not for herself, her humiliated father, her stolen kingdom, her blighted future, or even her poor dead street rat. Nothing could reduce her to tears, and he wanted so badly to see them fall. Instead she only glared at him, full of hate and seething fury, her eyes dry and scorching as the desert sands. Those wild desert eyes burned him, as they always did, with prickling irritation and a sharp hiss of something else; something far more potent and dangerous. He loathed her insolence, and itched to make her pay for it, but with each defiance she coated herself in an irresistible perfume. His appetites were very much awake now, and insisted on her.
They had been playing this little game for years, and a part of him had come to greatly enjoy it, but now was the time to end it and bring about the conclusion he'd always anticipated. After years of bowing, serving and endlessly deferring to her bumbling fool of a father – forever placating him with extravagant children's toys and well-spoken lies – she was a most fitting prize. He would settle for nothing less. That she'd somehow resisted him so far was almost an insult.
Jafar coveted power and control, always had. Jasmine had possessed those things from birth, housed them in her royal blood, and yet wore them so very lightly, as if they were no more substantial than the fabric of those breezy blue outfits she was so fond of. And just like the rippling and swaying movements of that thin garment, her power and the way she wielded it had allured as much as it aggravated.
She was every inch the proud princess and royal brat, and had never been taught discipline or deference, and for years she'd made him sick to the teeth. Ever the shrew, she'd always insisted on voicing her thoughts and opinions, refused to let any rules impose themselves on her, and demanded rather than held her tongue. She avoided him, but never feared him. Instead, she was keen to spar with him and assert herself. And of course, the most irritating part of it all was that she'd seen through him from the very beginning and no scheme or manipulation could convince her she'd misjudged him. And each time he'd tried to play her, there was always some tiny miscalculation or unexpected response that ruined everything. Sometimes she was as beautifully and laughably predictable as any spoiled and ignorant girl, and at others the woman and the tigress emerged and her spectrum of reactions was nothing less than disorienting.
He'd always taken care to receive her with utmost courtesy, to readily offer his service and defer to her unfailingly, but these performances made no impression whatsoever. His best, most teeth-grating efforts barely caused a ripple on the surface of her. Spoiled and sheltered as she was, she wasn't stupid. She had never budged on her opinion on him, and he could almost respect her for that, if only it hadn't gotten under his skin quite so much. The princess was nothing if not absolutely sure of herself, of where she stood, and of her own worth. And nothing if not desperately keen to put him back in his place and remind him of who ruled who, the little viper. She had grown into a credible threat, though it galled him to admit it; always so keen to enhance her own power and then use it to get rid of him, as she so charmingly put it.
Her curving and elusive smile betrayed how much she enjoyed her little victories, and how much pleasure she would take in one day finishing him off forever. She was a brat, but a cunning one. And for all this time, so painfully unaware of the fire she toyed with.
They had both been drawn into a delicious and poisonous ritual over time, and had circled each other like wild beasts, hissing and baring teeth to one another in their own covert way, and speaking in codes only the other could read. She must have felt it too. She had often tried to avoid and ignore him, but her eyes stalked him like a tiger. His serpent's gaze always answered her. And now the match could no longer be resisted.
In the past, when the power was still hers to play with, she always approached him with her small fists clenched at her sides and her temper a barely-restrained fire under her skin. Soft features suddenly became fierce, the way he most liked to see her. Her posture was always firm and aggressive, her chin trembling with feeling. Her dark eyes always smouldered. Those eyes had watched him carefully, gleaming like drawn daggers, and his own had glittered at the sight of them. The princess' defiance caught his attention, demanded a response. For years, she'd kept him on edge and never disappointed. She soured the air with her surliness and impunity, and his nostrils flared. Watching her recoil from him, snatch her hand away from his with such sharpness, and then advance on him as though planning to pounce and devour him never failed to send dark shivers through his body. Her arsenal of annoyingly-insightful comments and observations and her armoury of rude and provocative silences were always primed and ready for their every confrontation, forever tempting him to bite into that poisonous tongue of hers.
He couldn't remember when it was that his frustration became something more, when he no longer wanted her neatly out of the way but on his arm and in his bed. All he recalled was that the draw had been slow, but irreversible. Even as her confidence and assurance infuriated and thwarted him, he'd wanted to taste it. Even as a thorn in his side, there was a lick of pleasure in her sting. Power and authority suited her so well, fitted so smoothly and naturally, and he longed to dress her up in it and then strip it from her. After all, Jasmine longed for power just as he did, although she called it freedom. Jafar knew better – freedom was nothing but another word for the power to control one's own destiny. And now he could offer it to her, if only she would submit.
It was humiliating and sometimes mortifying to think of a petulant little princess burrowing under his skin, and a large part of him hated her for it, but it only made the enticement of her all the more persistent. It had sharpened his fascination and promised that the eventual triumph would be so sweet.
And now he had her. He finally had her, as well as everything else he desired. At last, he would be able to put the proud and lovely Jasmine in her place. To have any small thing for herself or her idiot father, she would have to plead directly to him and grovel like her life depended on it. And how he would make her beg. He would make her crawl.
It was a matter of pride as much as it was of control and possession. After all, she still believed she could stand up to him. She had refused to bow to him as Sultan, even as his enslaved genie darkened the skies and lifted her father's palace above the ground. There wasn't even a flicker of panic or uncertainty in her as she stood strong and proud and refused to grant him the power and triumph he so desired. She'd had the gall to defy him in his hour of victory, and in her own way had all but begged him to break her.
And even when he forced her to her knees, indulging in her humiliation, her eyes had still screamed defiance and disgust. There was fear there, real fear at last, but nothing more. Even in her fear, she hadn't cowered or surrendered. There was absolutely no submission in her and no pleas for forgiveness or mercy. Her defiance mocked him, drove him wild. But each time she rebelled and resisted, she only seasoned herself for him.
Even after putting her in chains and subjecting her and her idiot father to a dazzling array of degradations, she still refused to surrender or betray her emotions. No humiliation could satisfy him. He could crush her under his heel, but she still swore to die before calling him her master. She begged for her father's sake, of course, but there was something in her eyes that still refused to be conquered. They still denied him the one thing he wanted to see.
Draped in red and stripped of her pride, she burned hot, bright and dangerous. He always knew she would. And of course, she still played coy. Rebellion flared in every flash of her dark eyes and lashed at him each time she spoke. It was entertaining and enticing as ever, how little had changed between them. He had the power of a sultan and sorcerer, but no power to rule the Princess Jasmine, and she knew it. This was the remaining battle, the one pinnacle he hadn't scaled. Yet.
But now the answer had dawned on him, and he knew what true power was. She would learn to love him, or she would be forced. To win her naturally (and semi-willingly) or to shackle her in chains of magic – both had their individual merits, their sweet touches. What mattered was conquering her. The choice had been hers – he knew what a scrap of control would do for her, after all – and now, she had forced his hand. She would be his red harem snake, his prized prisoner encased in thin crimson silk and living for his gratification, his slave-queen covered in jewels and little else. She would be enslaved for all her life and would live and die by the look on his face. Oh, yes.
Before his wretched genie spoke back, as it always did, Jafar couldn't take his eyes off her. She was completely at his mercy now, and the true helpless fear was there in her eyes at last – the fear he'd wanted to see for so long; the final and awful recognition of his power over her. She was stripped of all pretense of strength and control in an instant, and left nakedly vulnerable. She had never been more beautiful.
Soon, her voice would speak in sultry tones and teasingly remind him of how wonderful he was, so much more delectable than her first taste of love. Her eyes would glimmer like an asp luring her prey. And then she would smile, all curves and cruelty, as she finally let him taste the spice of her skin.
She would adore him and he would rule and master her. And he would at last smile his twisted, gloating smile – the smile she hated so deeply – as she pressed her lovely forehead to the ground and kissed his feet.
-- FIN --