As the sun rose over Ba Sing Se, the city came alive. Bakers, blacksmiths, newspaper services, vendors, and more began their day, still blissfully unaware of anything unusual happening over the past month. But we don’t care about them. We care about two teenagers currently stirring in their bed.
Since the normal morning wood kept Zuko’s manhood erect, any movement either of them made stimulated both of them, especially when they instinctively flexed their genital muscles. That stimulation, combined with the energy surge from the sunrise, set them both off for one morning round. One turned into three and would’ve turned into at least five if their bodies hadn’t started alerting them to their biological needs. Needs other than intercourse, that is.
“Hey, Zuzu? Why didn’t I need to use the washroom when I woke up yesterday?”
“I used my flame to not only clean and groom you, but it also got rid of your excrement.”
“Show me.” So he did, repeating all the steps and explaining them all, including washing his hands at the end. “Do you really need to wash your hands? It did clean everything, didn’t it?”
“Yeah, but it still feels weird.”
“Hm. Let me try.” She actually managed to pick it up immediately, grooming and cleaning him better than he had been since he was a child, getting bathed by servants. She even cleaned him out and, to prove a point, shoved her finger in his mouth.
“Ghah!” he sputtered, trying to get it out.
“Taste anything?” After a moment of consideration, he shook his head. “So it’s clean, right?” Hesitantly, he nodded. “So we don’t need to clean our hands after?”
“I guess not. It’s still weird.”
“This whole thing is weird. Fire that heals? That does everything we try and make it do? What’s next, an earthbender that flies?”
“Fire is more than we were taught. Clearly it’s more than just death and destruction, because if it wasn’t then how could anyone bake or forge with it? Baking is life-giving and both are creative processes and both also are only possible because of their respective fires.”
“Well, this isn’t a conversation to be had right now. Right now we’ve got some executions to carry out,” she said with a bloodthirsty smirk.
“No, I have executions to carry out. You are to be the new Queen, which means your hands should be clean of Earth Kingdom blood.” That earned him a pout.
“But I wanna have fun, too,” she whined.
“No. I am your executor in this city. That means I do the heavy lifting, I get my hands dirty, and my face is the one they fear…for multiple reasons,” he finished softly.
“Oh, Zuzu,” she reached out to cup his scarred cheek, which he instinctively nuzzled. “Well, if you insist, then I’ll sit on the throne. All alone. Bored. While you go terrorize the masses. But I should prove myself, to father if no one else, that I’m worthy to be a royal.”
At this, Zuko grabbed the hand on his face and glared into her eyes. “You stop that. You were the one to take the city. You succeeded where thousands of others failed, including our uncle.” He leaned in close. “And you have nothing to prove. If he hasn’t accepted you by now then he never will. You’ve done everything he’s asked, pushed yourself to mortal limit and beyond, doing things lesser beings could never even dream of, all for scraps of affection. He doesn’t deserve you.”
“He doesn’t deserve you, either. Not after what he did.”
“I’m finally realizing that. It’s all thanks to you that the thought even occurred to me, and already I feel freer for it.” a sigh. “Azula, what if we deposed him?”
It was a mark of how far Ozai had fallen in his children’s eyes that either of them would ask that and the other would honestly consider it.
“I…I think the only thing stopping us is our age.” Looking up with resolve in her eyes, she said “Give me a few years and I can have every one of Ozai’s loyalists in the palm of my hand. It’ll also give you enough time to grow up into the normal age of a Fire Lord’s ascension.”
Zuko sighed again. “Do we have that much time? The Comet is coming early autumn this year. That barely gives us five months.”
“What about the Comet?”
“Sozin used it to exterminate the Air Nomads, remember. That’s a hard act to follow.”
“You think he’ll do something drastic with the Comet’s power?”
“You tell me. Can his ego handle letting the Comet pass without incident?” He pressed her hand into his scar, punctuating his point.
“No. But how do we do it?”
“I’ll think of something.”
“You’ve already got something in mind. Don’t lie to me.”
“Until we get back to the Fire Nation, it’s simply idle thought. It would only distract us at a critical moment right now.” I always knew the Avatar was like Azula, always lucky. Is he lucky enough that the waterbender found some way to keep him alive? She was half-dead herself, but if she can keep him breathing long enough for them to make their way north, the healers at the Pole can work wonders, from what my research has told me. But that’s a thought for later. Right now, I have to secure my sister’s rule.
He felt himself get dragged back to reality to see his sister with a thoughtful, devious, and deviant look on her face. “What are you thinking about, Lala?”
“Well, there’s one more orifice we can stick your manhood in.” At his blank look, she specified: “My rear. You did clean it out, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Wait, wouldn’t that hurt at least one of us? And how would this feel good to you at all?”
“We could never hurt one another anymore. If you’re that worried about it, just set your shaft on fire to make it easier or something. And don’t worry about my pleasure. If it really isn’t doing anything for me, I’ll make sure to complain at you.”
After considering her words, Zuko nodded. “All right. Turn around and kneel down.”
She did so with a smirk, presenting her rear to her brother, who was starting to simply accept how much his sister turned him on. Grabbing hold of her cheeks, he spread them to gain better access to her entrance, got frustrated at how he couldn’t hold them and finger her at the same time, and then realized that there was a second pair of hands he could use.
“Spread your cheeks for me,” he said, backing off. When she did so, she had to let her head and shoulders go to the bed to support her weight, arching her back further. Now, with unrestricted access to her rear opening, Zuko slowly inserted his claw, easing it in. “Let me know if it hurts, okay?”
“Yes, yes. I know. Get on with it.”
When his claw was fully buried, he started wiggling it to get her channel to expand. Noticing the strained look on Azula’s face due to the uncomfortable sensation, he used fire along his claw to ease the sensation and give a layer between her flesh and its unyielding hardness. This also had the benefit of making her flesh more malleable. After a short while, he pushed further, allowing his fingertip to breach the entrance. This allowed for deeper manipulation and more range of motion, since now there was a joint on the inside.
After deeming her entrance prepared enough, he withdrew completely, putting his hands on hers and lining himself up for entrance.
“Ooh, finally getting to the good stuUUGHN!”
He cut her off by burying his fire-coated manhood in her anus, the flames fueled partly by his own hungry lust and partly by the need for her to get as much pleasure out of it as she could, essentially turning her anal cavity into a second vaginal cavity in terms of how it felt to both of them, just tighter.
As he pulled back and started to piston into her, he instinctively grabbed her wrists and used her arms as a way to more forcefully pound into her. She had no complaints, and even started moaning louder at the sensations of their hips slamming together, his sack slapping her nether lips, and her arms feeling like they might get ripped out of their sockets at how hard he was pulling on them. Naturally, it didn’t take long for her to climax, which signaled his.
Letting go of her and withdrawing from her, he leaned back panting while she did the same, her face still buried in the sheets. Noticing the mess in her anus and that her hole wasn’t closing to trap it the way her vagina would, he put a lit finger on her opening to clean it up. She clenched when she felt his finger, though relaxed when it didn’t actually go in and all she felt was the soothing warmth. Finishing with the cleaning, he pushed her rear to the side so she could lie down, which she didn’t resist.
“Should…should we get dressed now?”
Noticing that the sun was already at least twenty degrees above the horizon, he agreed.
“Don’t you have any clothes of your own?”
“Not really. And why would I need them when yours fit so well?”
“They shouldn’t,” she says with narrowed eyes. “You should be much bulkier than you are.”
“Three weeks on a raft with nothing to eat or drink except the seavultures feeding on the bloated corpses of La’s victims. Then a couple months as a starving, broke refugee wandering the continent until settling here where Iroh and I were underpaid, overworked employees of a copper-pincher who didn’t even give us enough money to buy food for a couple non-benders, never mind firebenders. Iroh only opened up that shop about two days before you walked in. You could very well have watched me eat more food during our dates than I’ve eaten since the Siege of the North.”
“…oh. Well, that’s a state of affairs that will not continue. You need meat on your bones.” With that, they left their bedroom and she went to the outer door. She was a little startled to see Mai leaning against the wall.
“Yes. Lots of it.”
“I figured, after watching him eat yesterday. You know, there is a dining hall you can eat in. Your rooms aren’t exactly equipped for regular meals.”
After a moment of consideration, Azula looked back to see Zuko standing closer than she thought. After exchanging nods with him, she opened the door wider. “Lead the way. Will you and Ty Lee join us?”
“Maybe,” Mai shrugged. “We’ll sit at the table at least. I had breakfast before the sun rose so I could stand guard. Ty Lee had evening shift, so she might not be awake yet. Boyun, escort them to the dining hall,” she said as she split off.
“Yes, ma’am,” the agent said, moving in front of them. When they got there, Mai and Ty Lee were already seated, Ty Lee looking a little tired, for some reason. When she saw them walk in, she raised her head a bit.
“How are you two so awake? I was still hearing your voices when my shift ended,” she said, before resting her head on her arms.
“You…you could hear us?”
“I think there were a few guards on the Outer Wall that couldn’t hear it.” At that, the siblings’ faces turned crimson. Sitting at the table, they used the teacups to hide, drinking them faster than was strictly proper.
Busy trying to salvage a single drop of dignity, they didn’t notice Mai looking intently at them as they drank the tea. She was expecting some kind of reaction from the taste, but she underestimated just how little they shared in common with their uncle. After all, to them all tea is simply hot leaf juice, so they didn’t notice the medicinal taste of the contraceptive tea they were drinking.
Soon enough, the servants came in with the food and the two still-embarrassed siblings were able to focus on eating.
“Why are we bringing in so much food for these children?”
“One of them ordered it. You haven’t been here very long, Ming, but royals and nobles are always like this. They order more food than they can ever eat, and when they finish, we have to throw all the leftovers away.”
“That’s horrible. My cousin lives down in the lower ring and she can barely feel her children, yet these upper class mudholes are throwing away enough food every meal to feed a family for a week?”
“That’s just the way it is. Sometimes they don’t even touch some of the dishes that the cook spent so much time on.”
“Hey, girls, get this. Those kids apparently prefer food that’s spicy enough to set your mouth on fire.”
“Well, they are Fire Nation, after all.”
“No way, really?”
“Yes, Huang. The boy and the girl with chin-length bangs are apparently the children of the Fire Lord.”
“So, wait. Why are we hosting foreign royalty here? Royals of an enemy nation at that?”
“Because, Ming,” a Dai Li agent appeared as if out of nowhere. “These are our new rulers. Today Prince Zuko will be announcing to the city the crimes Long Feng committed against all of us and tomorrow he will crown Princess Azula as High Earth Queen. Now, they have finished their meal, so you should go collect their tableware.” With that, he walked off like some kind of ghost.
When Ming and Liang went to collect the remnants of the royal breakfast, they were amazed that the dishes were picked clean. “Bu Lin, what happened?” Liang asked a guard.
“It was almost all eaten by the two golden-eyed freaks. You should’ve seen it, they just attacked the meal like a pair of ravenous dogs.”
Liang glanced around before responding, “I’d be careful of what you say about them. Apparently they’re taking this place over.”
“Well, if this is any indication, they’ll eat us out of house and home.”
“Look on the bright side! I’m sure the Avatar won’t let this stand. I heard he went off to train, so when he hears what’s happening he’ll come back even stronger!”
“I hope so, Ming. I hope so.”
All morning, the residents of the Upper Ring were finding excuses to wander the vast courtyard before the Palace. It was a normal occurrence for them to show up there occasionally, simply to be seen or something, but this is the first time since Kuei’s coronation that everyone with the ability to be within sight of the Forbidden City spent the entire morning loitering. The reason? Two square wooden platforms, three steps across with a pole at the center standing as tall as a man. None of them had seen anything like it within the Upper Ring. The nobles that had homes outside Ba Sing Se might’ve seen something similar and spread the rumor that there was to be an execution, but the platforms didn’t look like any executioner’s stand they were familiar with. All the unknowns combined with what little speculation they could make made for a very popular pacing ground, to the point where every shop that could had set up a kiosk somewhere in the square, since that was the only place where they would get any business that day.
Unfortunately, their blissful ignorance only lasted to the fourth hour because at that time, the great doors opened and two dozen Dai Li agents marched out in two columns and lined up behind the platforms. Behind the main lineup came another dozen, three on each side of a pair of prisoners. Very familiar prisoners.
“Is that General How?”
“What could he have done to deserve this?”
“What does the Council of Five even do? It’s not like we’re at war or anything, right?”
“Maybe he attacked a foreign nation unprovoked?”
“I heard the Avatar came and disrupted things. Maybe something came to light?”
“Well then, it’s a good thing the Avatar’s arou-”
“Oh, that poor boy. It is a boy, right?”
“He doesn’t have the body type to be a girl, but what boy would wear his hair that long?”
“Well, considering what happened to his face, he probably doesn’t bother with proper styles anyway.”
Standing above the chained generals, Prince Zuko prepared himself for another speech. I go from being a nobody last week to the face of our takeover today. Let’s see, I don’t need their loyalty the way I needed the Dai Li’s loyalty, but I do need their obedience. Well, my plans never work anyway, and my last speech went well enough, so here we go.
“Citizens of Ba Sing Se. For nearly a century the Council of Five, along with the Grand Secretariat, has been lying to you. The Earth King, with the support of these generals, has been waging an unjust war against the Fire Nation, one that has devastated both the Earth Kingdom and my own Fire Nation.
“Yes, I referred to the Fire Nation as mine, because I am Crown Prince Zuko, son of the Fire Lord and heir to the throne. And I, with my sister Princess Azula, have led a coup to take over the government of Ba Sing Se, finally put an end this war, and bring peace and prosperity to our nations. The Earth King wished to conquer the Fire Nation and subjugate it, stealing our inventions and increasing the power of the King and his generals using the taxes they take from you.
“I’m sure many of you have had your lands beyond these walls stolen by the King and sacrificed in an attempt to stop us from retaliating, but no longer. With the Fire Nation in control of this city, all your wealth can be returned to you and these presumptuous few will no longer threaten the peace of our nation.”
With that, he sent a pair of green fireballs at the two generals, setting them alight, burning the wood, and leaving a pair of charred corpses.
“We shall bury them as generals, for they held that prestigious title, but that is all they shall get. Tomorrow, Princess Azula of the Fire Nation shall be crowned High Queen of the Earth Kingdom. That is all.” With that, he turned around and walked back into the palace, the original two dozen agents filing after him, leaving the last dozen to dispose of the bodies.
“Master? I’ve never seen you make green flames before.”
“I was practicing while Ty Lee was arranging my hair. I thought it more fitting than the normal gold or Azula’s blue.”
“Ah. The young miss has…interesting taste.”
That earned him a sigh. “She merged her own style with Mai’s and Azula’s to create a monstrosity, I know.” She had given him Azula’s bangs, braiding the rest into a pair of buns and making an intricate, yet not very aesthetically pleasing arrangement of the rest. “We’ve got more time until the other executions, so I’ll have her just make it into Azula’s style. It’s simple and actually looks good.”
“That sounds like a reasonable course of action.”
After lunch, the situation in the Lower Ring was quite different from the one in the Upper Ring. For one thing, not a single person had the time to loiter for even a single second, never mind all afternoon. They also had far too much going on in their lives to worry about what poor fool managed to piss off someone important enough to earn them a public execution.
All this meant that they weren’t particularly surprised at the summons to the district center, but they were surprised to see the Dai Li chaining up General Sung. When Zuko stood on a stone pillar, they almost rioted until he sent a wave of fire just above their heads and suspended it there for a few seconds before letting it fade away.
“Now that I have your attention, I’m going to explain a few things. The Avatar is dead. I killed him and sent the Earth King running. This means Ba Sing Se has been conquered by the Fire Nation, along with all the rest of the Earth Kingdom. To prove it, I will be crowning Princess Azula of the Fire Nation as Earth Queen tomorrow. I can see you’re not convinced.” At this, he set the general alight with a gesture. “You have spent your entire lives running from us, but we are willing to help you live better lives. The choice is yours: continue to resist and live in squalor, or submit, live your lives, and be happy under our rule.” He then nodded to Ping, who sunk the pillar and Zuko into the ground where he could travel with the agents he was holding in reserve to the second and third sites, where the situation played out essentially the same way.
At the eleventh hour, the citizens of the southwest region of the city heard a horn coming from the Outer Wall, where they saw their worst nightmare: a river of red and black flowing from a wide opening in the Wall towards the southern gate of the Inner Wall, which also opened, giving the citizens in the southern quadrant a front-row seat to the parade of invading soldiers ready to enforce Fire Nation rule upon the Earth Kingdom. Everywhere that word spread, hope died. The Avatar was dead, Ba Sing Se had fallen, and the Fire Nation was taking over.
“I must say, the sunsets in Ba Sing Se are very beautiful.”
“Heh, you’re not looking at the sky, are you?” Zuko wrapped his arms around her bare waist.
“What’s so interesting about the sky?”
Zuko chuckled and buried his face in her hair. “Big day tomorrow.”
“Do you have a present for the new Queen?”
“Yes. A piece of jewelry,” he said, retrieving it from a drawer. “Hold still.” Azula had been turning to look, but at his behest she stayed as she was. She felt him press her forehead with something, then drag it around her scalp under her hair. When it had circled her entire head, it suddenly was snug on all sides as some kind of clasp latched.
“Take a look,” Zuko pointed her to a mirror.
“It’s beautiful,” she gasped. When she tried moving it, nothing happened.
At her confused glare, Zuko explained how he was the only one who could remove it and that it had a hidden feature.
“…Well? What does it do?”
“It’s a secret. I’m sure you’ll find out eventually, but not from me.” He then laughed at and kissed her pout, leading to more intimacy, which led to them only sleeping for half the night again.
“Is it weird that I’m nervous about tomorrow?” Azula asked Zuko, nose buried in his collarbone.
“Of course not. You’re being given an official position, one you can’t simply walk away from if you want to,” he said with his scarred cheek resting atop her head.
“Will it be a real position? Not just an empty name for a wallflower?”
“I won’t let it be empty, and neither will you. These peasants will respect you if we have to cull half these vermin to convince the other half.”
She smiled at that. “I like it when you get all murderous for me.”
“And I like it when you get all scheming for me,” he said, nuzzling her.
“Good night, Zuzu.”
“Good night, Lala.”
“Behold, High Queen Azula of the Earth Kingdom!” Zuko announced as she exited the palace. When she got to the stairs, she stopped, positioning herself above everyone, or at least everyone visible to her audience.
Seeing the doubt and hesitation before her, she issued her first command, directed to the Earth Kingdom at large: “Kneel!” And with that, all the Earth Kingdom citizens in sight, both Upper Ring residents and workers, as well as the Dai Li agents, knelt. Within seconds, the only people still on their feet were the Fire Nation soldiers surrounding the square and her companions.
But her command had effects far more far-reaching than she thought.
“Hey, Toph, you okay?”
“I’m fine, Snoozles. I just slipped, is all. Not everyone was born on the water like you.”
“She has a point, son. Earth Kingdom people don’t take to the seas as easily as we do. Especially on their first week aboard.”
I don’t think it was a stumble. I got my “sea legs” yesterday and I’m grounding myself to the ship. My knees gave out. I felt an imperative need to kneel. I hope this isn’t related to what’s going on in Ba Sing Se.
But it was. Across the Earth Kingdom, each and every single citizen felt the urge, however small, to fall to their knees. Many barely felt a twitch, especially if they were sitting or walking, but everyone who had ever heard her voice found themselves on their knees, pointed at their new Queen. Only those within the walls, all of whom had been forced to obey, had any clue what the cause was: A new Queen had just been declared over the Earth Kingdom. The entire continent was now under the rule of High Queen Azula, first of her line.
Looking over the sea of devastated faces, she couldn’t help but look to her brother, who gazed back at her, her adoration and joy mirrored in his face. They had won.