attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)

Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part Six )

The End.
attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)

Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part Five )

To be continued...
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part Four )

To be continued...

attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part Three )

To be continued...
attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part Two )

To be continued...
attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part One ).

To be continued...

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be a a lot more Mai.

Summary: After escaping Ozai's school for the Gifted and Talented, Mai and Zuko fumble their way to love, trust, recovery, and redemption, and maybe, to learning how to be human. Superhero AU.

Author's Note: Written for May Maiko Week 2017. There is a five headcanons post for ths universe here: [link].


Neither Queen nor Pawn )


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be no dead mothers.

Summary: Ursa lets her secrets slip to Kya one by one, until the trickle becomes a flood.

Author's Note: Someday I will be able to fill a drabble request from avatarsymbolism.


Meltwater )
 
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be girls dating in that as well as Legend of Korra.

Summary: Mai has a car and Katara needs a ride, or seven firsts for high school students Mai and Katara.

Author's Note: I'd say this was the Maitara high school AU nobody asked for, but somebody did, and I have the ask to prove it. For avatarsymbolism.


I’m an Engine and your Secrets are Gasoline (They Make me Run) )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did there would have been a lot more boring politics

Summary: More than a hundred years before, when the Avatar disappeared, life began to ebb out of the world, plunging the world into chaos. With his return, hope and vitality returned, and with them, a mad rush for power by clan chieftains, eager to make kingdoms out of the ashes of the old order. In the old Fire Nation, two chieftains remain, Mai in the west, and Zuko in the east. Each awaits the day that the other will seek to claim all of the Fire Islands for themselves.

Author's Note:
Written for Maiko Week 2016. Takes place in the Life Spirit AU. You can find a masterlist of commentfics and some meta about the 'verse here: [link] and some additional meta here: [link].


Where the Morning Light Shines )


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender, for which we are all very grateful, I'm sure.

Summary: It was just before the winter solstice when Earth Kingdom soldiers captured the prince of the Fire Nation and his uncle, the Dragon of the West. It was the dead of winter when they were brought to Ba Sing Se.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] floranna for the hurricane Sandy auction. Thank you to [tumblr.com profile] aromantic-eight for beta reading. Any remaining errors are all mine.

Until the Walls Break Like Waves: Part Two )

Part One

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender, for which we are all very grateful, I'm sure.

Summary: It was just before the winter solstice when Earth Kingdom soldiers captured the prince of the Fire Nation and his uncle, the Dragon of the West. It was the dead of winter when they were brought to Ba Sing Se.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] floranna for the hurricane Sandy auction. Thank you to [tumblr.com profile] aromantic-eight for beta reading. Any remaining errors are all mine.

Until the Walls Break Like Waves: Part One )

Part Two

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, it would never make a Y7 rating.

Summary: The first rule of the Spirit World is that Jet doesn't belong.

Author's Note: Written for [archiveofourown.org profile] lilpocketninja in the [community profile] trickortreatex Halloween Exchange.


Hope Like Ash Like Memory )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for the tumblr meme prompt, Mai, Steampunk.

Queen of Gears and Sorrow

Ty Lee cocked her head and looked at her sideways. Mai wondered if that made it easier or harder for Ty Lee to orient herself when looking at something, given that she was currently hanging upside down from a very ugly, very heavily reinforced iron chandelier. “What’s wrong?”

Even more disconcerting than hanging from assorted bits of architecture was Ty Lee’s gift for always knowing what Mai was feeling. In fact, Mai was tempted to go so far as to say it was the most disconcerting thing of all about Ty Lee, though it had remarkably stiff competition. Anyway, it meant there was no real point in denying it. “Some academy kid told me to tell my designer she’s amazed how realistic I am. Again.”

“That’s probably just because of where they saw you leaving from.” With a swing and a leap, Ty Lee descended to the floor, her feet alighting on the tile with flawless grace. “Don’t worry about it.”

That’s what Mai had told herself last time. They had probably seen her leaving her ancestral home, for a given value of ancestral, since families that had won their land in the conquest two generations back, and had only gained a title one generation ago, didn’t have ancestral anything no matter how grand. They had seen her leaving her ancestral home and now the home of the greatest clockwork inventor in the world. Yes, that was probably it, except: “I was leaving the tea shop.”

“Oh,” Ty Lee hummed, sympathetically. “Well if it helps, I’m pretty sure you’re real.” She wrapped her arms around Mai. “You feel real.” She squeezed. “Yep, I can feel your ribs.”

Mai squirmed. “You can feel my ribs crack.”

“Don’t be silly Mai,” Ty Lee chirped. “I’m not hugging you nearly hard enough to crack any bone in your body, including your ribs.”

Mai was pretty sure Ty Lee could tell her exactly how many pounds of pressure per square inch she was exerting, too. The six identical copies of Ty Lee in storage downstairs probably could too, and Mai had a sudden horrible vision of all of them hugging her.

Letting go, Ty Lee stepped back. “They’re idiots. You look perfectly human to me.”

“Thanks, Ty Lee.” She almost managed to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. Maybe next time she would succeed.

Ty Lee smiled as if she hadn’t noticed. “Like I said, don’t worry about it. Now, can you wind me up? I’m kind of at the end of my rope.”

Mai nodded as Ty Lee came forward and lifted up her braid. Deftly, Mai unbuttoned the little flap on Ty Lee’s jacket and pressed the key into the warm, living skin between her shoulder blades and turned. A shudder ran through Ty Lee’s body, her limbs curling tight into her body as if she really were made of the gears and springs she so skillfully manipulated. Her head bowed, and her braid flicked Mai’s arm, and when Mai was done, Ty Lee waited for her to button up her jacket flap before planting a quick peck on Mai’s cheek and darting away down toward her favorite workshop. Ty Lee was the greatest clockwork inventor in the world, and if she needed to pretend she was one of her own inventions sometimes, who was Mai to argue?
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender, which is why that show is actually quality.

Summary:
Zuko's pretty sure he has a ghost of a chance of escaping Azula's trap.

Author's Note: This was written for a tumblr meme, for which the prompt I was given was Zuko, modern fantasy/sci fi/horror.


The Spirit of the Thing )


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, I would never have time for my quest to write the Great American Novel.

Summary: Toph has always had people trying to help her and hold her back. Or, the story of a little girl in a great big household.

Author's Note: Written for [archiveofourown.org profile] Bonpri in the [community profile] trickortreatex Halloween Exchange.


On the Wings of a Boar )
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, it would be one long angstfest and you know it.

Summary: Zuko sorts through the wreckage of his childhood and comes across a doll given to his sister.

Author's Note: It's been a while since I wrote a fic just because. Feels good.

Empty Bodies, Empty Smiles )


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for the [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 Out with a Bang Blowout, prompt - Element.

Summary: An old man takes a nap on the beach.

A Fire in the Sun

There were rows and rows of them, the figurines on the table, and the portraits on the walls, showing dozens of variations on the same kind of tall, stern, martial man, with gleaming armor and long black hair.  "I suppose these are supposed to be Agni," he said to the clerk minding the shop next to the sun temple.  He rubbed the topknot on the head of one of the statues, and then ran his fingers over his own bald head.

The clerk nodded eagerly and started jabbering about house shrines and family blessings while he tuned her out.  He set down the figurine, and gave her a wide smile as he left the shop.

The sunlight hit him full in the face, and bounced off his nose and cheeks until it seemed to be shining out of him.  He waddled down the beach town streets on his short, pudgy legs, breathing in the playful avarice that floated palpably on the air as the locals did their best to fleece the tourists with their mouths gaping open.  As the cobblestone streets turned to sand, he idly contemplated going back to purchase one of the statues, to show it off, and to wonder at how the people of the Fire Nation saw their god, as they saw themselves.

But the smell of island flowers wafted towards him and children laughed as they ran half naked into the surf.  So instead, Agni flopped down on the sand to lie in the sun.

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
I wrote these drabbles for rounds 76-100 of [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 which has now come to the end of it's natural life.



76: Space - Cavernous (200) Asami, It's easier to pretend he still takes care of her. )

77: Lotus - Flowers in the Snow (350) Korra and her White Lotus guards, She's a little girl alone. )

78: Truce - The Sun Sets Burning (300) Ursa and Iroh, he understands why she had to do it. Part of the Zenith and Nadir verse. )

79: Tomb - Morning (200) Zuko and the Fire Sages, To his son, his death is like the sunrise. )

80: Tryst - A Maiden's Dishonor (200) Yue, Yue is free and unmoored. Part of the Zenith and Nadir verse )

81: Kind - What Comes Unforeseen (200) Yue and Pakku, It's the natural conclusion of what he had begun. )

82: Greed - Deserving (275) Zuko, Back then, love had seemed like a fever dream. )

83: Loyalty - If We Never Meet Again (450) Mai and Ty Lee, It feels like the end. )

84: Hide - Corridor of Ghosts (200) Mai and Azula, A children's game. )

85: Creep - Sacred Duty (200) Aang, It's too late to avoid killing. )

86: Mood - Daring One (250) Mai, her mother, and Azula, Mai can only push so far. )

87: Lie - At Home (150) Asami, The lies in our own mind become worn and comfortable. )

88: Circle - A Sweet Sound (120) Zuko and Lin, To him, the word means family. )

89: Look - Open to the Possibilities (275) Aang and the second Bumi, Aang isn't going to stop looking. )

90: Find - Examples (200) Mai and Ozai, She has all the bad examples she needs. )

91: Character - Live With It (200) Aang and Ozai, Power is a cold thing. )

92: Stare - Flower Chains and Teapots (150) Zuko, Zuko has lost. )

93: Glass - Fire Snipe Hunt (300) Zuko and his crew, If they had ever had the opportunity to read Lewis Caroll, they would tell you they had gone through the looking glass. )

94: Weak - Pure Ideals (150) OCs, Hisa listens when others speak. )

95: Knock - Like Tears in the Sun (350) Katara, Toph, and Zuko, They go to each other. )

96: Run - Like the Wind (350) Korra and Tenzin, How do you teach a girl who has been locked away her whole life about freedom? )

97: Truth - Cold Dark Clouds Wrapped Around (250) Ty Lee and Azula, Ty Lee has always known she was safest when the lies she tells herself match the ones Azula tells her. )

98: Whisper - Circus (200) Ty Lee, No one told her her leaving was the easy part. )

99: Wise - Poking at Her (175) Katara, Somehow Katara became the wise old woman others look to. )

100: Betray - Friend (250) Azula, Ty Lee, Mai, and Zuko, That word doesn't mean the same thing to Azula that it means to everyone else. )
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #75, Thrill.

Summary: Because the Fire Nation had taken her freedom away from the people who had taken it from her, and nothing had changed.

Day Trip

She showed the train attendant her passport and sat down on the bench with the throngs of farmers and laborers heading out for the day to the agricultural district.  The tenements and shops sped by, below and beside the train tracks, and she could hear the faint whoosh of earthbending as it pushed them along.  As the tunnel through the wall that marked the end of the lower ring blocked out the buildings and the streets, Jin closed her eyes.

And when she opened them again, Ba Sing Se's outer wall lay in the distance, beyond the hills, and trees, and rippling pastureland.

When the train at last stopped at the outer wall, Jin didn't climb down with the rest.  She slipped away and clambered up on the ladders and handholds meant for the people whose homes were built into the wall's inward face.  There was no one on top of the wall.  No soldiers, no interlopers, no Fire Nation princess, as far as Jin could see on the miles of undulating wall, there was nobody but Jin.

Now that the Fire Nation had conquered the city, she guessed there was nobody to watch out for anymore.

Here, on the top of the wall, Jin could look down on the outside and see the barren desert stones, so different from the fair farmland and parks just inside.  She could look out over all of Ba Sing Se, and see the fields, and roofs, and courtyards, the palace, and the glittering lake waters in the distance.

There were still Dai Li agents hidden behind the walls,.  There were still tens of thousands, millions of people.  There was still the same job, and the same landlord to pay, the same hunger, and the same gang to placate.

There was nothing new except that crippling feeling of loss.  And out there, on top of the outer wall of Ba Sing Se, Jin sat hugging her knees, and trying to find something, anything they had really lost, something, someday, they could win back.

But Ba Sing Se was silent for her in the distance.


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, I wouldn't be able to write something like this, lest somebody assume it was canon.

Summary: Firelord Ozai makes Mai's options very clear to her. She has none.

Warning: Rape by coercion, violent fantasies, general horribleness.

Author's Note: Written, dear God, two years ago for a prompt in the [livejournal.com profile] avatar_kinkmeme: "Ozai seduces Mai and tries to convince her that she is a suitable Fire Lady for him." The seduction idea got lost somewhere along the way.


The Gleaming Darkness )



attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #74, Isolation.

Summary: Somehow, Ba Sing Se isn't quite big enough for them to lose themselves in it.

Forest of Rooftops

Smellerbee propped her chin up on the edge of the roof.  On the street below, Fire Nation soldiers clustered together in small groups.  Right then, she would have given anything to be able to drop down in the middle of all of them with her knife, and when she was finished, disappear back into the treetops, no, the rooftops again, safe and free.

She felt Longshot more than she saw or heard him as he sat down on the roof behind her.  "I know," she muttered.  "But it's not like any of them ever look up."

The Fire Nation soldiers never looked up.  Nobody ever looked up, and Smellerbee knew in her bones that as long as they could be high up, they would be safe.  As long as they were high up, they might as well be in the trees, in the forest, home.

"I want to go home," she heard herself say, so, so softly.

And she looked up into Longshot's you-still-could-have-been-caught face.  His expression changed, and she felt her own face fall.

"I know," she whispered.  "I know we can't leave the city like this, but it's not like we're doing any good here."

Longshot shook his head.  She let him pull her back and put his arm around her shoulder.  She looked up at the sky.  The sunlight had never been this bright in the forest.  No matter how high they climbed, there had always been the leaves of bigger, taller trees to block it out.  I wish Jet were here, she almost said.

"We're not doing anything," she said again, and Longshot didn't speak.  And that night, she knew, when he had taken her home, she was going to fall in and out of sleep, dreaming of the forests and the treetops stretching out forever.

attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #73, Revolt.

Summary: Even when Sokka says the right thing, it becomes the wrong one.

Small and Afraid

He used to joke about it.  He told the kids the story a couple of times, shaking his head and smiling.  It isn't a funny joke anymore, not with the Equalists saying that that's what all benders really think, and how they treat anybody who can't bend.  Tenzin sometimes tells the story, with a tight, unhappy look.

She asked her uncle Sokka once, about it, when she was fourteen and gawky, and taller than her mother already; he was the one who kept telling the story anyway.  She remembers folding herself up on a bench in a back room of her mother's school, and watching him attempt some new fighting move.  "You want to help me practice?" He asked her.

Lin stood up reluctantly, shoulders hunched.  "Okay."

"Your mom riding you hard?"

She shrugged.

He waved her close.  "She does that to everybody, don't worry about it.  You know what she said to me first time we fought together."

Lin rolled her eyes.  "Yeah.  You only told us all the story a million times.  Why she say that anyway?  You can fight as well as anyone."

Grimacing, Sokka rested his hand on her arm.  "I think when she was a kid, she hated the way people pitied her, and assumed she was helpless because she was blind, and that for a little while she believed it."

"What does that have to do with anything?"  She stood back and slipped into a guard stance, waiting for him to do the same.

Sokka didn't move.  "What I mean is, and I don't think your mom's got any idea she's doing this, she decided that we're the ones who should be pitied everybody who isn't Toph Bei Fong.  She has these amazing powers, and she feels like that's all she's got, so she has to think that's the most important thing, or she'll feel small and afraid again."  He sighed and copied Lin's stance.  "She used to say she felt bad for everybody who can't see with their feet, the same way people felt bad for her because she couldn't see with her eyes."

"But I can see with my eyes and with my feet," Lin pointed out.

"And nobody will ever pity you," Sokka assured her.  "Now, I want you to block this punch, and I'll try to get around the block."

Lin snorted weakly, aping her mother's bravado.  "Yeah, you'll try."


attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, children would have been traumatized.  In so, so many ways.

Summary: She blows into Toph's life like a flurry of snowflakes, and Ty Lee promises that this time, she won't melt away.

Warning: Potentially triggering discussions of Azula and Ty Lee's abusive friendship herein.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] serpentine in the [community profile] white_lotus Lunar New Year Exchange.


Trail the Footsteps of Shadows )


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender, and if I did, there would be Appa and Momo plushies for all.

Summary: AU from Episode 3.16: The Southern Raiders. Azula wanted this, didn't she? This was her decision. All of this was her choice, and she didn't make mistakes.

Author's Note:
Written for [livejournal.com profile] floranna in the [community profile] white_lotus Lunar New Year Exchange.


Move the Mountains that Aren't There )



attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #72, Patience.

Summary: Azula has taught her to see the world as she does, as a collection of weaknesses.

Blood, Water, and Fire

He was such a tiny, soft, helpless thing, a living spot of weakness, that stood out bright and unavoidable to any enemy of any member of her family.  As he lay there in the arms of some gawky boy her age, Mai stood tall. "You brought my brother?"

"He's here. We're ready to trade."  A wide-eyed boy in a hat stood in front, hugging his staff to his side.  It was strange, Mai thought, that she hadn't noticed him until he started to talk.  What else was she missing, she had to ask, that she just couldn't make herself notice with her little piece of weakness in the arms of a stranger.

There was a girl there too, and a blue sky, and the planks of the scaffolding creaked under her feet.  She could feel King Bumi's eyes on the back of her neck.

Azula turned to her, Azula who wasn't a stranger.  "I'm sorry, but a thought just occurred to me. Do you mind?"

"Of course not, Princess Azula," Mai intoned.

"We're trading a two year old for a king," she smirked, and Mai wondered if she understood anything about weaknesses except as something to exploit.  "A powerful, earthbending king."

King Bumi hummed an affirmative, and Mai wished she could ask him, please, just please pretend like you wouldn't be dangerous.

"It just doesn't seem like a fair trade, does it?"  Azula smiled at her like she was thinking the same way.

Her brother was in the arms of a teenage boy who was playing finger games with him whenever he didn't think anybody was looking, a boy who was a stranger when Azula was not.

"You're right," Mai said without inflection.  "The deal's off."

After the battle was over, and her brother back home with the parents who had left him alone to be kidnapped, or just walk away, as she had so many times as a child, Mai convinced herself Azula never would have hurt him just for being a weakness.  But Azula was always going to be so strange to her, even if she knew her.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #71, Equal.

Summary: Azula has learned from her brother's mistakes.  Companion to Words Lying Dead in Him.

Esteem

"I think you should take their precious hope  and the rest of their land, and burn it all to the ground."  She hoped Zuko was listening.

"Yes... Yes, you're right, Azula."  Her father said softly, and Azula felt herself beaming inside, but only the smallest sliver of a smile showed through.  "Sozin's Comet is almost upon us and on that day it will endow us with the strength and power of a hundred Suns.  No bender will stand a chance against us."

"What are you suggesting, sir?" one of the generals asked cautiously, and for once, Azula was glad someone had asked, so that she would learn the answer, and no one would ever know she hadn't guessed.

Her father stood up and left his throne for the map at the foot of the dais.  "When the comet last came, my grandfather, Fire Lord Sozin, used it to wipe out the Air Nomads.  Now, I will use its power to end the Earth Kingdom."  He smiled and stepped out onto the map, his robes swishing against the continents and tiny army figurines.  And Azula's heart dropped like a stone.  "Permanently.  From our airships, we will rain fire over their lands, a fire that will destroy everything.  And out of the ashes, a new world will be born, a world in which all the lands are Fire Nation and I am the supreme ruler of everything!"

As the generals clapped and cheered, the best and brightest that her father could find to surround himself with, Azula smiled, and kept smiling as she felt herself made small, as small as her brother on the other side of the throne, and felt his words caught in her own throat, "Well, that's not exactly what I..."

He thought she had meant it literally.  He thought she was brilliant and clever, wise beyond her years, and worthy of him, so she smiled, and knew she could never let him see through.  Out of the corner of her eye, she looked at her brother, at his face, and the price of failure to hide the cracks.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #70, Chakra.

Summary: There is no Avatar that has not felt the icy touch of failure.

The Shadow of Inaction

The hand that held the paintbrush didn't shake, as steady as the earth beneath her.  Kyoshi's mirror was a rock in her hand.  The face she painted onto herself was still as stone.

Three days ago she had changed the very shape of the earth itself.  She had made an island, a new born land torn from the edge of another.  She had felt down to the depths of the earth and touched the fires that burned within.  She had seen the slabs of stone that fit over the earth's brightly burning core like a child's puzzle and ripped out a new piece.  In her very body, she had felt the slow shift of the earth, and forced the earth to roar.  The fires of the earth had bubbled up.  She had quenched them.  The ground had quaked.  She had quelled it.  There was a man who had fallen to his death at the bottom of the new-made cliff, and she had done nothing about that.

The black line of coal she painted over her eyebrow sat above the red like a shadow.  There was a man who had died who should have died a long time ago before his shadow had spread over the Earth Kingdom.  It was the Avatar's duty to care about the whole world, not only her home.  She could remake the world.  She had.  She just hadn't bothered before.

No matter how hard she looked, her eyes didn't glow, and the shame that clenched at her made her wonder, afraid, if she had so failed her duty that the universe itself had taken it away.

She couldn't feel the world around her, only the earth under her feet, the air she breathed, the sunlight from the window, and the water in the ocean beside her.


attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Anybody able to do a reeeeeeally quick beta of a ~2500 word white lotus exchange fic?  PM me if you want specifics.  (Please dear God, please!)
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #69, Temple.

Summary: They have grown, and they will make their home grow to fit them.  Sequel to Ice Cold Change

All the Patterns of the World

The shadowed recesses of the shrine made the numbers on her measuring tape hard to read.  "Come on, Sokka, bring the lantern over here."

"Can you hurry it up a little?  They're giving us funny looks."  As Sokka held the lantern up for his sister, the northern Water Sages stood gathered together in the middle of the shrine, faces set in severe expressions.

"It was your idea to do this," she shot back, scribbling down the measurement on her scroll.  "I told you I could build a temple just fine without it, but no, you wanted to see how everybody else in the world made them."

"Hey, you were the one who said you liked the swirly things they had at the temple in Omashu."  The lantern bounced with every gesture her brother made.

Letting her brush drop, Katara put her face in her hand and rubbed her forehead.  "Look, I'm sorry if I'm a little crabby, but-"  As she picked the brush back up and turned to him, Sokka tried to stifle a snicker behind his hand.  Katara's mouth twisted when she saw the ink on her hand.  "No."  She touched her forehead and cheek where the ink had smeared.  "No, you don't get to laugh at me right now."

But that just turned his snicker into a fit of giggles.  Glaring, Katara bent the ink at him.  "Hey!" he yelped, dodging.

"This is a holy shrine," one of the Water Sages moaned, unable to contain himself any longer.  "A place of peace!"

"Well, I've got everything I need anyway," Katara said waspishly.  "Let's go Sokka, this better be worth it."

He smiled.  "Don't worry sis, the temple you build will be better than all of them."

She gave him a warm smile before smearing ink onto his cheek.


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #68, Revisit.

Summary: It feels too small around her, like her little girl's clothes.

Ice Cold Change

Her braid just felt right hanging from the back of her head.  Her parka felt the way clothing was supposed to feel.  The air on her face, the bight of the wind, the shining white ice all around her, all of it whispered home to her.

Katara stood in the middle of the village, in the middle of the tents and undersized huts, the tiny circle of home, run down, small and too tight around her.

Aang, she knew, could never go home.  Toph she knew, wouldn't go home.  She wondered if Zuko felt this way back in the Fire Nation, or if being Firelord was big enough for him.  She wondered if Sokka and Suki felt this way, on little Kyoshi Island, surrounded by people who had never left home.

But so many people here had left home.  The South Pole was full of people who had seen the world. 

It used to be that this was the world, it used to be that when her father left, he left her world completely.  It used to be that the empty space around them felt so big.

She ran to Gran-Gran's tent.  "Master Pakku, can you get your students together?"

attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #67, World.

Summary: She's starting to think she never should have left home.

Bright Lights, Big City

Korra hugged her knees and stared out the window, listening to the wind hissing through the tree branches.  The radio sat off on a shelf above her, silent and foreboding.  It seemed like every time she turned it on, Amon's voice billowed out.

She was starting to wish she had never left the South Pole.  Growing up there, nothing had ever scared her, not like this.  She had never doubted that someday, she was going to be the Avatar the world needed, one of the greats, as great as Aang or greater.

And now, even Tenzin was starting to notice, and Tarrlok was throwing a party in her honor.  There was no getting away from it, and all she wanted was the ice and isolation of home, the simplicity of training with the Order of the White Lotus, and her old confidence in herself.

She had still seen so little of the world, just one city in one country.  There could be more little wars, and more Amons all over the world, and she wouldn't know it yet.  If Republic City was too much for her to handle, how was she ever going to keep the whole world in balance?

attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #66, Regret.

Summary: Earth is the element of substance, not of change.

Frozen as Stone

When they had been kids, it had been all of them, Tenzin and his siblings, Sokka's kids, Zuko's kids... and Lin.  And never for a moment had she thought that someday that could change.

As Tenzin left with the Avatar, the paperwork on Lin's desk seemed so unimportant, and so distant from her.  They had been friends long before they had ever started dating, she remembered, and just because she wasn't sleeping with him anymore didn't mean she wasn't one of their own.  Just because he had left her for some fresh faced university student didn't mean she didn't belong.  But she had left, and that might just mean she never had belonged.

She sat at her desk and inked her brush scowling at the paperwork under her hand.  She missed it, like she didn't miss Tenzin.  She missed it like she missed being a child on her mother's knee.  But she had left, and the way it would be was set, and her ways were set, and she wasn't going to go crawling back.

So she was trapped outside, and it was always easier to leave than to go back, and it wasn't going to change again for her.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #65, Air.

Summary: She feels it around her when she walks in its emptiness.

Marking Boundaries

Toph remembered when she was very young, before she met the badger-moles or became the Blind Bandit, sitting in her window and listening to the wind blow through the trees.  She remembered hanging her feet out the window, with the ground only a few feet below her, and feeling like it was miles below instead.  She remembered the way she used to crawl, or cling to walls when she thought her mother wouldn't catch her, and she remembered feeling like nothing in the world existed except the ground underneath her feet. 

Once, after a party, where a bunch of her father's friends had all sat around and talked about the way the moon looked reflected in a pond, someone told her it was a shame she was never going to see the sky.

Aang and Katara told her that when they were on Appa, they were flying through the sky.  Aang talked about being in the temples, high up in the mountains that touched the sky, but Toph had been in the temples.  They didn't feel any different.  They all talked about the sky and how far away it was, and only Toph remembered that they all touched it, always.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] floranna for the prompt: "Zuko does something to prove he is not Bellatrix and Voldemort's kid, but his own good person. To someone who doubted him before."


Chip on his Shoulder

"You're not a teacher."  Zuko looked down his nose at Professor Smith.  "You're a bully."

"Detention, Lestrange," the professor said boredly.  "Move along.  You don't want me to take any points.  Your house doesn't like you much as it is."

Zuko's fists clenched, but he left his wand in his pocket.  "He's going home on the train tomorrow already.  You don't have to scare him like that."  He glanced down at the eight-year-old stowaway, glaring back and forth between Professor Smith and Zuko himself.  "He's gonna have to come back in a couple of years."

"And that's why he needs to learn now that you don't play with Hogwarts."  Professor Smith glanced down at the kid, who was looking at Zuko like he was the dangerous one.

"You're Zuko Lestrange?" the kid spat.

"Yeah," Zuko unclenched his hands and tried to smooth the front of his robe, nervously.

"My brother told me about you," the kid, Sensu's brother, growled like it was supposed to be a challenge.  "I don't want any help from You-Know-Who's kid."

"If you're so worried about the kid, you can take him back to the Headmistress, Lestrange."  Professor Smith gave him a cruel smirk.  "Have fun."
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. I don't own Twilight. I don't own NCIS. I don't own Star Wars. I don't own Harry Potter. I did however, have to go to high school, and that's as close to ownership I come to anything in this fic.

Summary: There are so many ways for it to blow up in their faces, but that's what makes it fun.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] mihnn in the [livejournal.com profile] orderofthelotus fic exchange. Also, I would like to take this chance to thank [livejournal.com profile] lavanyasix and [livejournal.com profile] floranna for betaing this. (Thank you!)



Five Worlds in which Sokka Never Did Manage to Propose to Suki, and One in which He Didn't Have To )



Some of the vignettes in this fic take place in universes I have already written for.

NCIS:
Fire and Brimstone

Star Wars:

Another Wacky Day for Sokka3PO and KataraD2


Harry Potter (Hufflepuff Zuko):
Zuko's a Hufflepuff
Over the Summer
Zuko and Azula's father is revealed
Failko

High School:
Toph and Aang
Sleepover
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #64, Green.

Summary: Uniforms are symbols which hold meanings.  When she puts it on, those meanings change, and change her.

Into Ashes

The first time Ty Lee put on that uniform, it meant nothing.  It was beyond nothing, a trap for someone else.  It was one more lie she was telling on Azula's behalf, and one more example of how far she had learned to go to satisfy Azula.

The second time Ty Lee put on that uniform, she felt it sink into her, into her skin, into her bones into her being, into everything except her blood.  It wasn't a lie, and the paint on her face didn't have to be a mask.  She had taught the Kyoshi Warriors the skills she had once used to defeat them and lock hem away, and they had forgiven her.  They were letting her come with them, giving her a place to settle down, making her a part of them.

The second time Ty Lee put on that uniform, she was going to live earth.  If she married, she would probably marry earth.  Her children would be earth.  She wore green, and held fans that would be wielded for the sake of Earth Kingdom citizens.  Inside, she felt the future trying to choke off the fire, to smother it, to drown it, and she had no idea if it was enough, if any of it was enough to make up for the part of her that had fought earth, and stood at Azula's side, or if it was just covering that part of her up, and this was just the biggest lie of all.
attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] elrhiarhodan's Promptfest VII (f-locked)

Summary: Because Zuko hunted the Avatar for three years, and Peter hunted Neal for three years. See? Meant to be. What do you mean that's just a coincidence? Crazy talk!


The White Collar/Avatar: the Last Airbender Fusion That Was Always Meant to Be

"It's about honor."

"What?"  Neal's forehead wrinkled, and his mouth hung a little bit open with bemusement.

"Honor," Peter tried again.  "You need to stop stealing things and going around lying to people, because you need people to think you're honorable, so they can trust you."

"I've never really had a problem getting people to trust me."  Neal leaned back against the pillar, and gazed out over the edge of the Western Air Temple and into the mists beyond, mirroring Peter.

"You're the Avatar.  Word's going to get around."

Neal heaved a sigh and stood up.  "Don't we have firebending to practice?"

"Later."  Peter didn't move.  "This is important.  You're going to be ending the war, remaking the world.  People have to be able to trust you."

"Wow," Neal said.  "Diana's right, you really do suck all the fun out of everything.  I mean, I thought she was bad, with the waking me up at the crack of dawn for earthbending practice, but no, you're the worst."

"I am not!" Peter yelped, startled.

"Are too..." Neal singsonged, pressing his advantage.

"I'm not."

Neal grinned and started walking away, back towards the temple and his friends.  "Just keep telling yourself that."
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #63, Between.

Summary: Her shoulders aren't ready for the weight of the world.

Flaw in the System

She ran through the grass, her glider opening to take in the wind.  It pulled upward, stretching her arms above her head, and lifting her up off the ground.  The woman who had been watching her out of sight through a window above turned away and ducked behind a wall.  "We can't keep letting her get out like this."

"Yangchen is a spirited child.  The closer we hem her in, the more she will try to escape."
 
"You think I don't know that, Amala?"  She rubbed her temple with one hand.  "But I'm trying to keep her alive.  If we could just tell her what she is-"

Amala's lips turned up wryly.  "You think she would understand?"

The child playing below dove towards the ground and pulled up sharply, just before impact, giggling wildly as the grass skimmed her toes, stomach, and nose as she glided.  The other nun shook her head as if she were trying to shake a way an insect that had flown into her face.  "There should be a better way.  The Avatar before her is dead.  She is what we're left with.  It will be years until she is any use, and the whole world knows it."

"So for a few short decades, we are called upon to keep the peace ourselves."  Amala didn't blink.  "How dreadful."

Nam Kha sighed and saw in her mind's eye, the changing map, as a thousand small wars in the Earth Kingdom, Water Tribes, and Fire Nation let city-states swallow their neighbors whole, in the name of unity, and in the absence of anyone to stop them.  "If every tinpot tyrant and petty warlord weren't just waiting-"

There was a loud thud outside the window, as the girl managed to collide with a small rise in the grass.  "Ow..."
attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #62, Anonymous.

Summary: Other people worked hard to put him where he is.

On the Building of a Fortune

She sucked in a breath and made the flames as hot as she could.  Metal melted and fused together as each half-finished satocycle passing her got an exhaust pipe welded into place thanks to her firebending.  When the break bell sounded, she grabbed her lunchbox and joined the escaping throng.

~*~

The healer bent the water low, close to the burn on his client's chest.  The water glowed blue as it soothed the pain.  "Try to keep it clean, Mr. Sato," he said with a bow when he had finished.  "That's a nasty burn.  You don't want it to get infected."

~*~

"So, boss," one of the earthbenders said as she bent the rubble into the underground wall.  "Why you been having us clear out this hole under your place?  Wine cellar?  Laboratory?"

Hiroshi's expression slammed closed.  "That really isn't any of your business, is it?"

"Okay," she said.  "Just curious, sheesh!"

~*~

He almost left the arena twice.  It just wasn't right for his kids to see that kind of cheating.  He worked hard, had a good job at the power plant, that was the right example.  But when the Equalists stormed the arena, he felt his own lightning crackling in their gloves.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #61, Speech.

Summary: The Dai Li ruled with silence. Shangyin has a voice.


Voice

Shangyin struggled uselessly against the Dai Li hustling her down the tunnel. "If you just tell me what we did wrong, I promise, we'll never do it again!" she gasped, panic seeping into her body like water through the cracks in the tunnel ceiling. "I swear, we didn't know..."

Tears ran down her face as they strapped her into the chair and set the lanterns spinning. She screamed to block out the agents' voices.

The gag came down over her mouth to choke away the sound. "Your name is Joo Dee, and you are honored to serve our wonderful city."

~*~

It was so strange tha they all were named Joo Dee just like she was. She didn't remember having ever met another one before coming to work here. Of course, Joo Dee's memories from before were a little hazy. Everything paled in comparison to the honor of serving their wonderful city.

Joo Dee lay down on her mattress in the dormitory and watched the other Joo Dees flit by, wishing she had something to call them each, but it didn't matter. It didn't seem like there was much to distinguish them.

Still, it would have been nice to make friends.

~*~

Eight years later, Shangyin walked the tunnels under Lake Laogai and opened the door to the Joo Dee dormitory, forgotten and ignored in the end of the war. The women who blinked back at her, empty eyed and smiling, saw her stolen Dai Li uniform and her stolen Dai Li posture. "Lian," she read from her list, her long, long, list of women for her to return their names and their voices to, one by one.

One woman's head shook at the name, and Shangyin pointed at her. "Joo Dee, come with me."

The woman, unfed, unwashed, and dehydrated, followed.



Author's Note: The story of how Shangyin reclaims her own name and memories can be found in a longfic titled Xenolith, which will be posted after I have finished it.
attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #60, Fanatic.

Summary: Two strangers talk before the Probending tournament.


Light that Shines in the Shadow of a Doubt

"I've been waiting for this all year!" she told him, hefting her juice cup high.

He slid into place next to her on he bench. "Hah, I've been waiting a lot longer than that."

She patted his shoulder with a sharp laugh. "I know it seems a lot longer, but they do have these things every year."

"Sure does." He smiled at her, eyes sparkling. "Feels like I've been waiting my whole life for this."

"So this is your first match?"

He nodded.

"Don't worry, I'm old hat at this." She grinned. "I'll get you through it without embarrassing yourself."

He blushed. "I wasn't worried."

"Don't be," she said more seriously. "Just relax and have fun." She cocked her head, uncertain. "It's been really nice meeting you, by the way, after the match, if you want to go out for drinks or something..."

"I'd like that." He blushed again.

"Then it's a date." She slipped her hand into his.

He held his popcorn in the other hand and felt the electrified gauntlet shift comfortingly within. "This will be some show."

"Yeah," she said, snagging a few grains of popcorn before he could stop her, grinning on obliviously. "It'll be great."
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #59, Escape.

Summary: He's betraying his entire culture.  She doesn't know what she's doing.

The Rising New Moon

Yue touched the betrothal necklace hanging from her throat.  "I don't know how to thank you."

The old waterbending master scowled in the darkness.  "For starters, you can give me back that necklace."

She pulled off her mitten.  Her fingers found the knot and pulled it free, and as she handed him the necklace, he clasped her hand.  "Good bye, Master Pakku."

"You remember the waterbending form I showed you?" he asked voice harsh with the same kind of resentful guilt her one time betrothed had shown her every time he showed her the one and only waterbending move he had consented to teach her, a wave to push her boat along.

She nodded.  "I'll be okay."

"You're sure you remember how to use the line and tackle?"  She nodded to him again.  "And the net?  And the spears?  If you break one, can you repair it?"

"Don't worry, Master Pakku," she told him, stepping onto her boat.  "Really, I'm not your problem anymore.  I can take care of myself."

He gave her one last, disbelieving look and waved goodbye.  "Good luck, girl."

Yue whirled her arms, and her boat drifted away from the dock.  "Thank you," she said again.


attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #58, Silence.

Summary: Zuko should say something, but he remembers what happened last time

Words Lying Dead in Him

His father's war room had loomed so much larger in his memories than it did in the real world.  Zuko tried not to glance at his sister as he crossed the floor and sat down next to his father's throne, palms sweaty, skin clammy, a thirteen-year-old boy and sixteen-year-old man pulled back together and into one.  He took a deep breath and forced the memories far away.  He had permission to be here this time.  He was wanted.

The war meeting flashed by around him, through a frozen carefulness, foreign to him, that kept him pinned to his seat, and when his father looked to him to ask him to speak, his tongue stuck to the bottom of his mouth.  Song with her scars, and Lee with his lost brother, the refugees pouring into Ba Sing Se, and Jet's band of fierce, damaged souls forced their way to the forefront of his mind.  "The people of the Earth Kingdom are proud and strong. They can endure anything as long as they have hope."

"Yes, you're right," his father said with a small smile, and sense of dislocation that accompanied those words, after he had imagined them in the dark of his ship's cabin so many times, left Zuko empty.  "We need to destroy their hope."

And the cold feeling that had been born when he had come home, the shiver in his spine that said his father approved of him, but only for things he didn't do, or didn't mean, only when someone lied for him, or... knocked his mouth open.  "Well, that's not exactly what I..."

Azula pressed her lips together in a thin, cruel smile.  "I think you should take their precious hope  and the rest of their land, and burn it all to the ground."

"Yes," the Firelord hissed.  "Yes, you're right, Azula.  Sozin's Comet is almost upon us and on that day it will endow us with the strength and power of a hundred Suns.  No bender will stand a chance against us."

One of the generals blinked.  "What are you suggesting, sir?"

Ozai rose to his feet.  "When the comet last came, my grandfather, Fire Lord Sozin, used it to wipe out the Air Nomads.  Now, I will use its power to end the Earth Kingdom, permanently."  He stepped onto the map and cast his shadow, thick and heavy over everything.  "From our airships, we will rain fire over their lands. A fire that will destroy everything.  And out of the ashes, a new world will be born.  A world in which all the lands are Fire Nation and I am the supreme ruler of everything!"

The generals burst into applause, and Zuko couldn't help but wonder if underneath it, they were as horrified as he was, if underneath Azula's mask, their father's words made her sick too, or if he was all alone.  The last time he had spoken, but this time his tongue wouldn't move, and he felt his honor wither away.

attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Written for [livejournal.com profile] avatar_500 prompt #57, Mercy.

Summary: Bending hasn't done him much good.

Even Out the Playing Field

"Listen you little punk," the girl spat, grabbing his arm.  "You're going to give me back my money right now."

Skoochy was a punk.  It wasn't like he didn't know it.  It's all anybody from off the streets had ever called him.  It's what they called anybody who didn't back down from getting what they knew they deserved.  "I'm sorry, but I don't have your money," he drawled.  "If I did, I'd be living in a sweet little apartment somewhere with my mommy and daddy."

With a growl, she unzipped her backpack and thrust her hand in, down past the university textbooks and the leaflets.  "You're an earthbender, right kid?" she said calmly.  "I saw you playing with your friends."

"Yeah, you caught me."  He rolled his eyes.  "What, you going to call the cops on me for putting holes in the sidewalk?"

She pulled her newly gloved hand out and shoved her electrified palm into his face.  "You make me sick kid," she hissed over the crackle of electricity.  "Lying, stealing, bet it's only a few years before you join up with a triad."  She dropped him as he sank down to his knees to vomit on the sidewalk.


attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
This fic will make a lot more sense to the people who have played The Legend of Korra: Last Stand game on Nickelodeon.  I may have gone a little crazy on the token gathering.  As such, this makes no character or plot sense as far as the show itself is concerned, and is just meant to be silly.

To the Rooftops

Noatak's heart pounded as he coiled his legs to spring to the next piece of scaffolding.  That little...  She was fast.  She leapt from balcony to ledge, to scaffold like she was flying, ceaseless and sure-footed, like some kind of machine, never letting him stop, never letting him catch his breath as she chased after him, ready to bring him down.  His face behind the mask was slick with sweat.  He had tried to bloodbend her, but she flitted around, too fast to catch.

She soared into the air.  Noatak fingered the gas canister tucked into his robe, hoping it would distract her for long enough to put a little distance between them...

She flew right over his head. Noatak stared as she climbed higher and higher on the scaffolding, bending over to snatch something up.  "What are you doing?" he demanded, before he could stop himself.

"You would not believe how much money's gotten dropped up here," she called back.  "I mean, I've collected a thousand yuans already!"

"What!"  His eyes bugged.  The only reason she hadn't captured him already was because the Avatar was broke and greedy?

"Hey, I do not get an allowance," she justified sulkily, folding her arms.  "And if I want to go out somewhere nice with my friends for a change, that's none of your business.  And personally, I think Tenzin's just being..."

He sighed as she continued her tirade.  He was going to lose to this... this child, he just knew it.  Pathetic.

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attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
attackfish

August 2017

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