Okay, this was much more explicit before I decided to upload it here. For the uncensored version, it could be found in my journal at ice-of-dreams. livejournal. com / 85665. html without the spaces. But mainly that's just pRN. The first part is pretty much the same, just some deleted contexts, but the entire scene in the throne room has been cut from this version and Mai's part is definitely in my journal because that's light BDSM. Otherwise, here's hints that ff.n wants, with none of the lemons and lots of the limes.


CONTROL

Sometimes, Mai was in control.

When she was, there were knives. There was blood. There was fear. But always, always, there was trust.

Sometimes, Zuko was in control.

When he was, there was fire. There was passion. There was discipline. But always, always, there was love.

So they had agreed, in their stand-offish and nonchalant way that they should finally get married. The five years after Sozin's comet had been hard on Zuko as Fire Lord, and he had been so young, and there had been too many political and stability problems that there hadn't been any time than just simply be with each other.

Now that most of the short term goals had been achieved, advisers had finally started noticing the time they spent in each other's company, and they had taken an active interest in it. Marriage to each other became the logical choice.

They had wanted to announce the engagement privately, to a group of small friends, but his advisers would have none of it. And politically, it was better that they endured a public event. So Mai had found herself in the swirl of engagement planning, until finally, she had been caught by Zuko and been firmly ordered to undergo a royal hair combing.

Mai enjoyed the water pulling her hair and the combs gliding on her long locks. There was something soothing about the sounds of tricking water against the rocks, that she had fallen asleep in short order. She woke up sleepily just as the sun cast orange hues on the room, a comb still working on her hair. She blinked her eyes open, still languid from sleep. She almost always fell asleep through the combing. There was a bone deep contentment when someone was caring for you, brushing your hair, lulling in a way.

"I was wondering if I was going to be forced to go to the announcement by myself," Zuko's gravely voice was serious. Mai tried to turn towards the direction of his voice, but his firm hand settled her back on the chair. "You're going to ruin an hour of my combing."

And Zuko hated for any of his work to go to waste. So she didn't move, even when he stopped and she heard the clink of the comb against its marble case. A white towel was wrapped around her shoulders as he gingerly lifted her hair out of the water and helped her up. Even with the towel, her hair was long enough to make her dress damp.

"You're getting me wet," Mai scolded a little. He had never actually gotten used to drying. And he had dismissed everyone competent enough to do it. He had tried fire bending before, but it made her hair so unnaturally frizzy that he usually just let it drip around the floor. It was a mess to clean up, but there were benefits to being Fire Lord.

"You'll need to change anyway," he said softly as he used another towel to pat some of her hair dry. He held her hair away from her bodice anyway and gave her a small nudge. "Come on, I have your dress in my room."

She lifted an eyebrow at that, but didn't comment further. His suite was closer than her house, and it was more practical and time-saving to do all the preparations there. She wanted to turn to him, but he had clamped down on her shoulder again. It was one of his days.

Only a small corridor separated his room from the combing chambers and he started undressing her from behind as soon as he closed the doors. He untied the strings that kept her dress together, barely touching bare skin in the process and dropped them to the floor. He was uncommonly untidy today. She shivered lightly at the cold, and subtly the fires that lit his rooms burned stronger.

He took out the breast-bindings carefully, unwrapping her from it slowly. He urged her to lift her arms as he peeled it off gently, and then exchanged it for the red silk bindings that came with the dress she would wear that night. She reached for one end but he nudged her hand impatiently away as he smoothed out the fabric over her skin. His right hand unrolled the silk slowly, while his left followed, laying it against her breasts in the weaving pattern that was more intricate than the usual.

"Is it difficult to breathe?" he asked as he tied the knots. She tested it slowly. There was restriction, and it was hard to take deep breaths, but breathing was not a problem, and she wouldn't faint from his ministrations. Not unless he meant other things. He always made her a little breathless. She shook her head. "Good. All those sprains when I was younger managed to make me good at managing bandages at least."

He finally walked in front of her, eyeing her critically. His eyebrows drawn in concentration. He was already dressed in his formal robes. The high collared shoulder guards and the black, gold and reds always made him look too serious. It helped him look older when he needed. It helped that the crown was displayed prominently as well.

"Found what you're looking for?" Mai asked solemnly as she underwent his scrutiny. She was wearing her knife straps and her underwear. Stripped down to minimum essentials, he had managed to make her feel special instead of insulted. He touched the small stilettos at her wrists and the knife holsters along her forearm.

His eyes rose to meet hers. He turned around without answering and went to his desk where a small wooden box was placed. He opened it and beckoned for her to come. Curiously she peered over his shoulder and he tugged her in front of him, holding his arms around her. The box contained an array of small steel orbs, almost the size of the small marbles that she had seen him playing as a child.

"Choose two," he ordered.

They were all identical but she weighed them against her palm and picked the most even weighted spheres from the lot, presenting them to him purposefully. He touched one and it warmed suddenly as it rolled around continuously shifting on her palm. When he touched the other she almost dropped them as his lightning sent a little shiver through her. He closed his hands over them helping her to hold on to them.

"Don't lose them," he admonished lightly as he picked both and rolled them against his fingers. He propped his chin against her shoulder. Mai could only lean back against him in support. "They were my old practice beads; to contain the smallest of my fire and lightning. Did it hurt?"

She failed miserably to answer the first time, before she cleared her throat and try again. "No."

"I think your hands are too unsteady to hold them, Mai," he whispered. She licked her lips as her breath hitched. He rolled them against her abdomen before he pressed them deep within her folds. She moaned slightly as she felt them move and slide before his fingers left her as well. She tightened her muscles, and gasped when he gave her a small buzz. If he hadn't been behind her, supporting her up, she wasn't sure if she would have remained upright.

She caught his smile as he took her formal regalia, all laid out in his bed, and held it up for her to step into. There was a smile hovering on his mouth. "I'll be really upset if you lose them, Mai," he reminded her.

"Let's see if you say that when I have my go at you." Mai complained as he heated one of the balls up. She barely managed a thought as he wrapped her in her formal red robes. The silk was almost unbearable against her skin. It was a wonder that the breast-bands contained her. He didn't allow her to help him, so she let him arrange her like a well loved doll. "And you're not making it easier!"

His hand lingered over the last elaborate tie, ignoring her complaints. He looked at her eyes again and must have liked what he saw because he spun in front of her and offered his hand. "Come on my lady. Your engagement party waits."

She took a step towards him and almost stumbled. They were the most exquisite form of torture, the shifted inside her as she walked. And she had a feeling he was going to keep buzzing her the entire night. "How am I going to socialize without a straight sentence in my head?"

"You hate socializing."

oOo

They announced them at the entrance of the great hall. He buzzed her as they walked down the steps, which caused her to almost lose her footing again. She gave him a glare but he said in a low voice, "Careful, others might think you have some other emotion than ennui."

He was proud that he was the only one who could elicit her stronger emotions. He succeeded in tweaking her emotions quite well. He wondered if she could manage to keep up with Ty Lee with the way he'd wound her up. And as soon as he'd deposited her with the Kiyoshi warriors, he was eaten up by the crowd of politics.

There were ambassadors of good will, chieftains of water tribes, he spotted some of the old gang and he smiled when he spotted Toph. "Hey, Sparky, finally convinced Mai to take a chance on you?"

He shrugged as he looked back at Mai again waved a small finger to send her yet another buzz, in which she nonchalantly turned around to look for him. He smiled and focused on Toph. "Mai has always believed in us. We just never had the time to settle."

"Hmmm..." Toph asked curiously. "What's that bending you're doing?"

He shouldn't have kept with Toph. He knew she'd find out. He rubbed his knuckles against her hair, even though she was dressed as a proper Earth Kingdom heiress. "Keeping some sparks alive, squirt."

"Hey, watch the hair! I am not going to sit another round combing." He smiled as he remembered Mai's combing. He liked taking care of her. Toph snorted and pulled him towards old friends "I don't get why you separated from her when you would just think about her. Come on, you might as well talk to Aang and everyone else."

oOo

Ty Lee had the attention span of a three year old. After they talked about their respective lives, about Kiyoshi and all the other things friends did to catch up, a young fire nation noble caught her attention and she was off to perform. It left Mai with the need to circulate and to mingling.

It was just so tiring. It was hard to nod thanks to congratulations because all she wanted was to find Zuko and an empty room somewhere. He was making it quite unbearable for her to stand without support.

There was only need and want and him.

She didn't like losing control in public places. She leaned against a wall. It was so against her character to be anything but bored in a public gathering. It was probably why Zuko had done it in the first place. She was going to kill him. She needed him now, but he was off talking to important people.

She took a steadying breath and nodded at another noble before leaning against a wall. She needed fortification. Zuko was bending lighting hard right now. It buzzed deliciously against the ball that held it, as it continually shifted as she moved. It touched her core then traveled to her spine. It was driving her completely mad.

She closed her eyes to enjoy the feeling, that ache of continuously wanting him.

He was getting jealous. She could tell. Any time she talked to a guy, or anybody male dared to walk up to her and talk to her, he would send her a punishing jolt of bending. So she just had to surround herself with all of these pretty males in the hopes that he'd lose patience soon and fetch her. And cling to her. And burn for her too.

She opened her eyes. Three males, around her, talking about politics. The most stimulating of all topics. But if she was going to be Fire Lady, and not just consort, she had to at least show some sort of interest. She raised her eyebrow. Okay that was all the interest she could muster. Not when Zuko was sending her flames.

"Lady Mai, do you believe all of these changes in the curriculum? Dancing?" From a male whose name she'd forgotten.

Dancing. Zuko hated dancing. He did it for her though. He hated it, but he did it if she requested it. And then afterwards, there wasn't much to hate if she danced with him. Against him - the jolt he sent her almost sent her knees weak. She leaned more heavily against the wall. She was going to kill him. Slowly.

She found three expectant male faces in front of her. Dancing. Of course. "I don't find anything wrong with, dancing, gentlemen," her voice was low, almost intimate. Damn it. If someone propositioned in the middle of the party, it was not going to be her fault.

All three males cleared their throats. She closed her eyes and leaned against the wall again. She hoped that was the most that they would ask of her. They'd been asking about land reform. Military. Anything that they could think of. She'd stayed because they were the prettiest males this side of the kingdom. And Zuko hated pretty males.

"Lady Mai, would you like anything?" The voice was not rough, it was not gravely and she didn't want to answer anymore.

Mai opened her eyes a crack. "The fires are just slightly warm." Goddamnit Mai, you live in the Fire Nation. Your fiancé is a fire bender. Surely there was another reason for her to be losing the battle against staying up right? She cleared her throat.

Someone touched her shoulder, and there was heat in the touch. She turned towards this new intrusion and almost fell to her knees when she saw it was Zuko. She moved to him, and he caught her, making it appear like she leaned into him. Her face pressed against his shoulder blade he bended into her again as he dismissed the unwanted males. She bit into his shirt lightly and he gave another punishing buzz before he focused on her, "You're showing your flushed face to everyone, Mai."

She groaned slowly and she wondered if the sound maddened him as his bending was doing to her. She hoped it did. In a secluded corner in the great hall his arms protecting her from other eyes she rubbed herself against him, satisfied when she felt his reaction to her outlined in his robes.

"I think I might just scream in want," she whispered as she hid her face in his arms, her voice cracked a little. The buzzing had been constant, erratic and hard at times. It raised her temperature and made her breathing shallow. "Claim I'm tired. People will believe it. Hell, tell them I'm bored. Please, Zuko. Let's go to your room. You made me want it enough."

"We haven't announced the engagement," he admonished. Which was the point of the entire gathering. They were the only ones calling it an engagement party. Every one thought they were going to announce some proclamation. She just wished he wasn't practical. The constant bending kept his voice rougher than usual. His bending always roughened his voice and deepened it. It almost reminded her of his moments when he whispered her name in release. "Let's duck in the throne room. No one should be there."

The sight of her almost undone, exited him. She could tell by the way his golden eyes had flared. He breathed her in as if it could calm him. There was no calming him tonight. He pulled her with him towards the throne room. How he managed the trek without meeting anybody she didn't know. They were conspicuous enough. The Fire Lord and his lady.

They'll be distracted by the firebending masters. Zuko had planned the entertainment well. He led her towards the less populated halls of the main castle. He nodded to the two guards before pulled her in the throne room and then shut the heavy doors behind them. He tugged her into the low dais of the throne room and then hugged her close to him.

"It's too dark here," she said as she took in the black tiles and the black pillars. He bended fire into the river of oil that separated the throne from the rest of the people and council members, and the gold reflected the dancing flames. "And hot. How do you stand it?"

"By moving most of the meetings in an informal receiving room. And using this room only when strictly necessary." He licked her ear, and she shuddered. "This is necessary. Look at all of these people here, Mai. Thousands of petitioners bowing before us." He kissed her ear. "They want to see their Fire Lord take his lady on the throne, against it."

oOo

"The guards got a free show," Mai commented dryly as Zuko helped straighten her dress. She had to give him credit. He hadn't creased the dress beyond repair.

"We had a wall of fire between us and them," Zuko scoffed. "They couldn't have seen you."

"They heard me though," Mai pointed out as Zuko smoothed her ribbons and tucked her hair.

"They know you're mine," Zuko said as he held out his hand to her. "And they know the consequences of gossip."

Mai sighed. He was usually shyer with sex than she was. But he hadn't gotten over the post-coital glow... yet. "One of these days I'm shoving those balls up your ass and see how you like it."

His grip tensed and then relaxed. She laughed. Turn about was fair play after all. "Fire Lord, present me to your subjects one more time."

He almost stumbled.

oOo

That night, the Fire Lord announced his intention to wed Lady Mai. The whole kingdom rejoiced.

They also approved of the fact that the Fire Lord was deeply in love with his lady that he stuttered when he presented her to his court and almost fidgeted with thanking them for coming to see her.


Author's Note:

Largely sanitized due to fanfiction. net's policy of no NC-17. Again, full fic is at my livejournal. Most of what happened in the throne room and Mai's control scene is there because it's light BDSM.

Okay, this is the first foray in writing both avatar and this type of fic. I haven't written in a while but had gotten so hooked with MaixZuko so I decided to step back into writing once again.

I realized once I started looking for Zuko fics that there were tons of Zuko Jet smut, and lots of Zutara smut, and lots of Zuko x Sokka smut, but where the hell was all the Maiko Smut? Too few and far between. Hence this. And while I enjoy almost any pair up Zuko ends up with, I find that Mai x Zuko settled against my romantic side quite easily.

It didn't end up as expected, and it was harder to write than I thought, with no beta and no experience at this so comments and criticism are welcome.

A good bloodplay/knifeplay story found in ff. n is: Release by RueBroadway. So I hope I tackled my story differently... and for the Mai part, again I point to my journal.

I am unsure about Toph's characterization, hence the extremely few lines present here.