Five People who Woke up in Ozai's Bed... and One Person who Didn't.
Two: Go on, guess. Guess whose shit I am totally sick of. (It's yours!) -A Softer World 641
Those initiated in the ways of the human spirit know that there were many ways to assess the caliber of a man's soul, the inner workings of his mind, the deepest yearnings of his heart. Each man is unique, and interacts with the universe around him in a way that is unmistakably his own. Everything from the way he chooses his words to the slightest movements of his fingers, his favorite bending forms to how he buttons his jacket, left some clue to the infinite mystery of his identity, if only you know how to read him.
Generally, though, when trying to get the measure of a man, the members of the Order of the White Lotus agreed that fucking him was your best option. A good game of pai sho would suffice, too, of course.
Jeong Jeong had decided to go the safe route on this last assignment. After all, this affected not only the Order's affairs in his home country, but what he was going to be doing for the next forty years.
For fuck's sake, what had happened to Prince Iroh? They'd spent a long time on him. Jeong Jeong had been ready for Firelord Iroh. He had, in fact, been looking forward to Firelord Iroh, something he had apparently done a very poor job of concealing.
Ozai had called him out on it the day before. He had greeted in their first private audience together with a cup of tea and a "I suppose my coronation was something of a disappointment to you. My brother seems so into surrendering these days, I'm sure you were looking forward to advising him."
He was still annoyed with himself over that. It had been almost a decade since Jeong Jeong had realized what kind of monster the Fire Nation had turned him into, and since then he had kept his position on the War Council through sheer bloody dishonesty. It had not been easy to plant the seeds of pacifism in Firelord Azulon's court, especially when simultaneously restraining the urge to punch General Buijing right in his loud, fire-forsaken mouth. * He had thought he had the others fooled, that he could gently guide his whole country to the truth without ever revealing his disgust with the whole bloody element and everything associated with it.
(*Pacifism is a hard habit to learn.)
He'd never paid Prince Ozai the least bit of attention. There wasn't much to pay attention to, just a vain, spoiled second son grubbing for as much inheritance as he could get his entitled little hands on. It had never occurred to him that Ozai might be paying attention to him. It wasn't good strategy to go into any confrontation with the element of surprise working against you, but that was the thing about element of surprise. It was surprising.
Tradition was on his side, at least. It was customary for high ranking advisers to play an introductory game of pai sho with their new sovereign. And while it was not strictly traditional to end the introductory game by inviting said sovereign to rip off your clothes and have his way with you, it was certainly not a novel concept.
Jeong Jeong awoke the morning after his 'private audience' to find himself alone in the royal boudoir. Apparently starting one's reign as Firelord required one to wake up before dawn, which was fine with Jeong Jeong. He needed time to meditate and formulate his report. His friends in the Order had recommended the practice to 'gain a more enlightened view of himself', but mostly it just made him feel bitter and broken. A waterbender wouldn't have the kind of trouble he did clearing his thoughts. Fire simply did not create a conducive mindset for quiet self-reflection.
He assumed the position they had taught him, sitting cross-legged on the floor in only his trousers, hands resting lightly on his knees (check), spine straight (check), tongue resting on the roof of his mouth (check), breath steady and deep, (check). He closed his eyes and called back his memories of the night before.
What could you say about someone who started his game with the Starboard Current Opening? Impulsive, flashy. And that Sitting Nightingale Gambit... that had been unexpected. He would say it denoted a lack of worldly attachments, a certain nonchalant attitude towards personal sacrifice. Ozai's game was very offense-heavy, although not as lacking in strategy as purely offensive strategies generally were. Not a planner, but no idiot. Outwardly-focused energy.
The sex confirmed this impression. The foreplay had been... not rushed, but fast-paced, fierce. Impatient, goal-focused, not someone who spends much time in the moment. More teeth than tongue in the kisses. He had definitely drawn blood biting down on Jeong Jeong's lip. What did that suggest?
Lack of consideration for your partner, Jeong Jeong thought bitterly, licking his injured lip. He took a few steadying breaths and forced his mind away from his aching body and into a more objective state. Last night had not been about having a good time. Nobody was asking if Ozai was good in bed, they wanted to know what kind of man was leading the Fire Nation. So what could Jeong Jeong gather from the bite mark on his lip, bruises on his chest, burn welts on his shoulder.. and his back… and his left asscheek- son of a bitch, was that sex or an Agni Kai? he thought as he yanked a pillow off the bed for some extra padding.
Six of one, half dozen of the other, really. Jeong Jeong was no stranger to a little bending in the bedroom. Indeed, it was one of the few places he felt he could use his bending without causing any harm. A little added heat on all the right places was the opposite of destructive, and, not to brag, but nobody who had been on the receiving end of a Jeong Jeong handjob had ever had cause to complain.
This was not the sort of bending that Ozai's presence encouraged, though. Frankly, for the amount of practice Jeong Jeong had keeping his temper banked, it was disturbing how riled up the new Firelord had gotten him, (just by being himself, so far as Jeong Jeong could tell). It had taken more self-restraint than he had used in the last ten years combined not to mortally injure the man and his smug pretty face.
But at least he had restrained himself. Ozai's definition of 'restraint' probably involved shibari. Or shackles. Probably both. If you brought up "meditation" around him, he'd probably laugh himself silly and keep on thrusting. Jeong Jeong was not much of a pacifist and he wasn't great at sitting calmly and dispassionately dissecting himself, but at least he made the effort! Was it too much to ask of this sun-forsaken country that their leader stop and think about his own actions once in a while? It wasn't safe to have a ruler with that much anger bottled up.
And Ozai was angry. One didn't get to that level of focused violence without having some sort of strong emotion behind it. Jeong Jeong could tell that Ozai had told himself it was hatesex with a political dissenter, but last night hadn't really been about punishing a suspicious counselor. Oh, he pulled his head back by the hair and dug his nails into his thigh and said things like "I'll teach you to respect your lord," but it had seemed so impersonal. Ozai was having hatesex with the world. Jeong Jeong was just the nearest part of the world.
He opened his eyes and stretched his legs out of their crossed meditation position. It worried him that Ozai was so unaware of his own mental state, but on the other hand, hadn't he once been an angry, confused, oblivious wreck? Couldn't Ozai's anger be the beginnings of the same disgust Jeong Jeong felt with his country? Maybe one round of pai sho and a little casual fucking wasn't enough to decide something of this magnitude. If only he had paid the second prince a little more attention before this.
His eyes lit on a ceramic teapot and cup on the dressing table, next to the remains of breakfast. Ah, that could help. Where pai sho and sex failed, seeing how Ozai took his morning tea would decide the matter. Jeong-Jeong unfolded himself, joints cracking audibly all the way, and ventured over to the breakfast dishes. One glance into the teacup was enough to confirm his worst fears.
The Order wouldn't be happy. He knew for a fact that Piandao had been practically holding his breath for a truce, something about wanting to spend a year at some famous forge or other in the Earth Kingdom without losing his Fire estate. Well, Jeong Jeong had no sympathy. If it meant so burning much to him to learn to make more of his little people skewers, he could sacrifice a little comfort.
Said the man who hasn't been willing to give up so much as his suite in the palace for the sake of peace, Jeong Jeong berated himself mentally. If there was one thing his night with Ozai had convinced him, it was that he was well past due for picking a side.
"Just when I thought my camping days were over," he grumbled to himself as he set down the cold half-finished cup of coffee.