A moment of Avatar: The Last Airbender erotica
by Fox Lee © 2013

Avatar story and characters and whatnot belong to Nickelodeon and Michael Dante DiMartino/Bryan Konietzko, and I love the hell out of them for making Zuko so bloody sexy.

A quick, post-canon, one-scene fanfic because I cannot reconcile any vision of the future where Zuko is not a huge tsundere masochist. Technically porn, but barely so. Everything else is deliberately ambiguous, because I am more interested in poking at your own imagination than telling you what I think. Enjoy!

Fire has many moods.

Everybody knows the flames of anger, fire in its simplest form; insatiable and selfish, it destroys without remorse. Lightning is the cold fire, swift and unpredictable, yet drawn to its target. There is the volcano of jealousy, long repressed and suddenly unleashed; the sparkling firework of unexpected joy; the soft and steady glow of deep affection.

Guilt, then, is an ember; in the ashes of pride and folly, it survives long after the living flame has died. The tiniest breath of air brings it new strength - but to bury it is to protect it, to sustain it. Only when it is exposed, raw and furious, can it begin to cool.

The ember is what burns him inside, worrying away at the part that has always watched, always regretted. It all happened so suddenly. After so many stupid choices, he had scarcely found his stumbling way to the right path before destiny was upon them. And then, suddenly, he was Fire Lord Zuko, upon whom no man or woman would dare lay a hand.

He deserves nothing. By rights, he should be languishing in an Earth Kingdom prison. Instead, he is an emperor in a new world, and he has everything. He is waited on by servants, exalted by his people, and gifted with the friendship and love of so many who are better, stronger, kinder than himself. And what has he done to earn it?

The truth is in the ember, dull and sullen but impossible to ignore: it has all been too easy.

He made so many mistakes... yet they were all so quick to forgive, so willing to invite him in from the cold. If only circumstance hadn't forced the Avatar's hand. If only they had put him in chains when they had the chance! Truly, it was what he deserved. Instead they fought alongside him, even for him. That any of them should risk their lives for his makes him twist inside, fans the ember until it's a white-hot ball of shame. And then, more than anything - Iroh. The man who truly was his father, not by birth or duty but by love... what could he possibly do, that would ever be enough to atone for his uncle's pain...?

The truth is, he owes a debt to the world, but it will never ask him to pay - not because he has redeemed himself, no, but because he is Ozai's son. Because he is Fire Lord Zuko, history will call him a hero, a friend to the Avatar, unjustly banished and triumphantly returned. His mistakes will be forgiven - or worse, forgotten! - until nobody knows what he truly was.

In this room, though, he is not the Fire Lord. He is not even the master firebender who fought alongside the Avatar; here he is just Zuko, the boy who hurt people, who will always have more than he deserves. From the moment he was banished, his life was defined by pain and humiliation. Perhaps it is odd that he would invite them now - or is it that he started doing so long ago? He has always believed that his suffering brought him strength. Perhaps it was also bringing him absolution.

There are rules, of course. His duty is to be a fit ruler for the Fire Nation; he must not endanger his health, or his judgement. Nor can there be any visible sign - no bruises to the face, no blood on his hands. When he leaves this room, the Fire Lord will look perfect. I will make sure of it.

For now, though, his chest heaves in the cold air, red lattices rising and falling across his back and thighs. His arms tremble, wrists hanging loosely in their shackles; he has the body of a warrior, but he loses weight easily when he worries, and he always worries about something. I can make him smile, but I'm not sure anybody can make him happy.

Watching his breath - a little ragged, a little desperate - I wonder idly if the gag actually stops him from firebending. He never talks about what happens here, not once he goes back to being Fire Lord - but even if it's not true, I think it helps him to pretend. How could he possibly surrender, while he still has the fire at his command?

I lift his gaze with a handful of hair, reminded again how that scar does nothing to ruin his beauty. His eyes seem to carry defiance, but what isn't directed inward is merely for display - even now, he is proud to a fault, hating what he clearly wants. As if I didn't know. As if I'd never wrestled him into chains before, never heard him scream, never left him marked and trembling and grateful.

I almost smile; he gives me his token resistance like some sort of offering, like I require tribute. It could hardly be easier to step in and do as I wish with that "helpless" mouth, and that quickly brings a different light to his eyes. That's the point, of course; desire and suffering are tangled at the core of him, and only together will they bring him relief.

Like fire, I feed them both, inviting them to rage. It's not hard - we have been here for hours already, and every inch of him - all, except that precious face - is weakened and sensitive. He won't look at me now, trying to hide his flushed cheeks behind loose hair, but it's not as though I need to see. He's already in my hand, straining and twitching, desperate for a single welcoming touch -

And then, like water, relief.

Later, while he rests, I wipe away the sweat and blood and semen with a much gentler hand. He's too exhausted to move now, and really, that's the point - maybe for a while he won't have the energy to hate himself. His face twitches a little where the heat and water sting, but even so, his expression is one of peace.

When he wakes up, hours later, his robes are already laid out, and I'm almost done combing the tangles from his hair. He always looks a little embarrassed when he wakes up in my lap, as if he shouldn't allow himself to need sleep; I really shouldn't laugh. Then he winces, which I really shouldn't enjoy.

My fingers play with his fringe a little. "Ready to go back?"

He looks up at my hand and reddens ever so slightly, then sharply rolls over. After a moment, I hear him mutter, "...A little longer."

It's an odd privilege, to be the one who can share this room; of all people, I can't say I really expected to. When he no longer needs it, perhaps he will no longer need me, either; I never asked for something as foolish as a promise.

One day, surely, he will feel he has earned forgiveness, will grant himself absolution. Maybe on that day, I will be content just to watch the embers fade.

But surely, not today.