Tetsuki, Toph. ATLA. “Why don’t you bend?” Title: Rust.

@generic-name-goes-here, you asked for Tetsuki! As in, my OC Tetsuki from Iron Will! (✿ ♥‿♥)

And what an excellent choice of title 🙂

Rust

Everyday Lady Beifong visits her and everyday asks the same question.

There is no answer that will satisfy both of them.

Okay so for those who don’t know who Tetsuki is–she’s my OC for many things, but in an ATLA context, she’s in my series Iron Will. As I’ve written her she’s essentially a foil to Jet of the Freedom Fighters, and is very much the human equivalent of a stray cat.

She can sense metal but as far as anyone (including herself) knows she’s not a bender.

Then again, I’ve yet to have her meet Toph in Iron Will and I hadn’t really considered it. I was pretty sure the timing of the Gaang’s actions and the Tetsuki’s own travels wouldn’t coincide that well, but they do all end up in Ba Sing Se eventually…

Hm… I haven’t planned Iron Will that far in advance, but I do quite like the idea of them meeting.

So Rust would be post-canon by several years, when Zuko is Fire Lord and Tetsuki has convinced him that he needs to execute his sister and father to quash any who would try to “restore them to power.” In order to appease the Fire Nation citizens, though, an Earth Kingdom war criminal ought to be executed as well–and Tetsuki is, with Jet having died in Ba Sing Se, the de facto leader of the Freedom Fighters (who, with her guidance were a lot more ruthless and effective than just a rowdy bunch of orphans living in the trees).

Anyway, so she’s being held in prison until then. Despite the summary, it’ll probably be in Toph’s POV. As future Chief of Police (in canon universe, anyway) Toph isn’t the kind of person who would accept someone’s execution as a political maneuver even if it was the to-be-executed’s idea. She probably tries many different routes to have Tetsuki freed–going to Zuko, to Aang, maybe to the Earth King even–but unless she literally breaks Tetsuki out herself (and she can, it’s a metal prison, of course she can but that would just incite awful consequences which the execution was supposed to prevent in the first place.)

I quite like the idea that Tetsuki would call Toph Lady Beifong, in a weird mix of overly formal and sarcastic. Because the Beifong family is RIDICULOUSLY well known to any Earth Kingdom citizen, but also I figure Toph can dish out the nicknames, but she can’t really take it and Tetsuki knows it. But it’s a fond and respectful teasing. Earth Kingdom solidarity even if they couldn’t be farther apart class wise.

Toph visits her everyday, as per the summary, and they basically talk out everything. Tetsuki’s past, Toph’s past, their philosophical beliefs on various things. Bending. It’s basically the confessionals of Tetsuki and she’s entrusting her life story to Toph.

Tetsuki spent most of this life angry and bitter and empty and she took it out on the world around her. Some of that she channelled into fighting, but a lot of it she kept inside herself to fester.

In a way, it’s basically her suicide note. In a different way, it’s a message of apology and gratitude that Tetsuki hopes Toph will deliver for her. To her sister, to her few remaining Freedom Fighters, to the rest of the Gaang who were never as fond of her as Toph. To Toph herself.

I’m actually unsure whether or not Tetsuki ought to be able to bend. Because the reason why I have her able to sense metal is that in her previous two lives she had electromagnetic abilities and it sort of carried over to this world too (and, as she herself learns in her teen years, her father was from Earth Kingdom but her mother was Fire Nation).

Not being able to is okay and stays true to her ruthlessness (if she had the ability she definitely would have used it). But I do kind of like the idea of her being able to. And if so, I think at the end, as Tetsuki is being led away by prison guards to the execution, she gives Toph a chain link. The chain of her manacles is one link shorter than it used to be.

There’s a sense of hopelessness evoked with the title Rust and it works quite well with the slated ending for Iron Will. I’m really happy with this prompt, @generic-name-goes-here, you’ve made me consider a lot of things for the series that I hadn’t touched at all. So thanks! 🙂

Iron Will (2017-01-03)

Seven minute countdown, let’s see how we do.

Fire and metal and the screams. Of blades against armor, of people fighting and afraid. There’s a pounding in your heart, so loud you can feel it in your wrists in your throat.

Your skin is so cold. Hypersensitive. Hairs standing on end, futile, ready, failing.

Four minutes left.

A sudden blast. Heat and sound, concussive force. False wind, blowing your hair back, drying the sweat on your face.

Rumblings of shattered stone.

Flashes of light and false thunder.

You’ve never felt this before, but it’s so familiar, written in your bones and hidden in your blood.

In another world, that’d be you with lightning at your fingertips. Force of nature in the form of a teenaged girl.

Instead all you have is your deep seated resentment. Rage and guilt and sorrow mixed into a heady miasma. A pair of knives and some children who don’t know any better than to follow in your footsteps.

One minute left.

You will never save the world. You are not the hero, not the sidekick, not the antagonist redeemed.

You are a cautionary tale, a warning, a martyr in the making.

Maybe you won’t get out of this alive, but you’ve been a dead girl walking for seven years.

Time’s up.

Word Prompts (I25): Introduction

Konran Uzumaki – Counterpoise

(Spiral in, storm out.)

She wears wire in her hair, braids of red and metal winding round and round her head. Pins blunt against her scalp, sharp points outward, everything hidden under a bandana rigged to blow.

Uzushio’s legacy, beneath dark cloth.

Kiyoshi Utsugi – (In)Difference

(Neutrality brings peace.)

Lightning thrums under her skin, running along her nerves, writhing. Wind at her fingertips, whipping at her cheek, waiting to be unleashed.

Conscious clear, target in sight: shoot.

Tetsuki Kaiza – Trailblazers / Externality / Iron Will

(Fate worse than death.)

The first time around she is furious-regretful-afraid-satisfied, at least, she will be swiftly avenged.

The second time she is desperate: she doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to do this again, doesn’t want this curse.

By the third she is hollowed out and resigned.

Aomi (Inuzuka) – B*tch Please

(Humanity is beastly.)

The rage in her has nothing to do with the fangs in her mouth or the growl in her lungs. She dreams of hunting intangible things–justice, strength, the future–plans like shaky ground beneath her paws.

Truth and loyalty require sacrifice.

Windy Strife – Into Thin Air

(Steps ahead, left behind.)

The suit sits heavy on her shoulders, fabric stiff and blue still new. The bow, long carried, doesn’t quite match but it fits perfectly in his hand.

Zie is a weapon, forged and honed, then and now.

Reyniero Chason – Running Backwards

(Battle fiercely for the king.)

There are no options, train on the track, future written down and read in the past. And yet, here I am, poised to defy the fate put on him.

If anyone is the spare, it’s me.

Branton Evans – Growing Strong (Burning Bright)

(Thorns, sparks, and silver linings.)

He knows much about regret, had felt it even as he continued to walk away, needing to follow through. Time doesn’t always heal, sometimes it erodes instead.

Nevertheless, things can still be salvaged.

Haru Kuwabara – (En)Closure

(Winning might be everything.)

Go is a battle, is a conversation, is life–according to her grandfather anyway. But she knows death, so she knows that despite all the drama, go is just a game.

But against gods and murderers and the stark face of justice, it’s a nice thought.

Ember Ketchum – A Year With The Moon

(Knowledge is double edged.)

Sight beyond does not make her immune, does not make her anything but a liability. Her entire existence is a dilemma and now, it seems, she has made the wrong choice.

Behind a glowing wall in her mind, she watches herself attack her brother.

~

A/N: Surprisingly, the word prompt is relevant to the writing! Except for the last one, each section is basically a motto + three sentence fic (or four sentence fic) summarizing my various OCs. Almost like little trailers for the different series… (The last one isn’t because I realized that Ash having a twin during the first Pokemon movie, ie the one featuring Mewtwo, would have the potential for EPIC FEELS).

Basically, after my weird breakdown/rant/fit of low self-esteem that I had yesterday I kind of wanted to make up for that. Sorry, again, @to-someplace-else, it wasn’t your fault, I go through moods, I hope you (and other readers) enjoy this.

Post Word Count: 422, TOTAL Word Count: 10860

So… last day of November. Unsurprisingly, did not meet the NaNo quota but that’s okay because a lot of my posts this month (like this one) were three sentence fic and for some reason I wrote a lot of poetry…

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 15/? (2016-11-09)

(1 – anonymous – Shikako/Itachi, Death and the Maiden?… I don’t know this movie/play if that’s what you’re asking for, so here’s a more literal interpretation)

Itachi Uchiha is a dead man walking, the countdown on his life swift and guaranteed: the only question is whether it will be his eyes, his lungs, or his brother that kills him.

As it turns out–it’s none of the above.

“Your time is up,” says the Shinigami, reaching a hand toward him, and the last thing that Itachi thinks is that it looks remarkably like his brother’s teammate.

(2 – anonymous – Shikako/Gaara, soulmate!AU?, red string of fate)

It’s a good thing soulmates are the only one who can see their shared string, Shikako thinks, staring blankly at the ethereal red thread tied around her pinky.

Otherwise, it’d be such a point of weakness for any shinobi.

“Soulmate,” says Gaara, voice raspy but still perfectly audible–of course, she sighs internally, ignoring the gasps around her, it only works if the soulmates keep quiet about it.

(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Sasuke, Avatar the Last Airbender!AU)

Shikako literally stumbles upon him, tripping over his bedroll and legs–needless to say, it’s a less than graceful start.

His first instinct is to summon a flame which, given the dark night, would have been smart if he weren’t literally in the middle of Earth Kingdom territory.

In seconds, she has him encased in rock… but the resignation in his eyes makes her release him.

(4 – anonymous – Kakashi & Team Seven, Next Gen DoS, changes for the better)

Kakashi can’t forget the way his students looked after everything: bleeding and drained, war weary in a way he never wanted for them…

But at least they were alive–and alive meant they could heal, even if it took time and distance and the possibility of spiraling apart completely.

Now, decades later, smiling at his honorary grandchildren, he thinks that they’ve all turned out alright.

(5 – anonymous, canon!Team Ten & DoS!Ino, the differences between the two Ino)

Ino is released after a short meeting with her father-but-not, deemed a non threat but still in need of monitoring–who better to monitor Ino than herself and her team-but-not?

Chouji is a welcome, familiar sight, but it’s a shock to see herself without slit pupils, to see Shikamaru with both arms still, and at first she begins to feel a little bit jealous…

… until the topic moves onto how she ended up in this dimension.

Forget jealousy, Ino can’t wait until Shikako brings her home.

~

A/N: So this is the last one for now, I’ll come back to this someday but I think I’m done. It was fun and I really appreciate everyone who participated 🙂

Post Word Count: 340, Running Word Count: 3114

Blood and Water (the Loss and Life Remix), (2016-10-19)

A/N: Based off @bluethursday’s Blood and Water which is a DCUxAvatar the Last Airbender remix… you should probably read that first?

~

The first time Tim met Ra’s, he thought it was a curious and fascinating happenstance.

He never made that mistake again.

Your mother was water–the ocean and the rain and every drop in between–flowing and swelling and inescapable. Your father was the air–free and flighty, head too much in the clouds to worry about the ground.

Combined they made you.

Yet people still wondered why you had ice in your veins.

Bruce remembers his first impression of Tim: a smart but shy boy, demurely following at Ra’s heels. Only a few years younger than himself, a fellow fire bender wanting to learn from the master.

He was wrong on nearly every count.

Water benders are master healers, air benders the experts in spiritual matters. Or, at least, that’s what nature intended.

But your mother pushed and your father reached, and in the intersection they found a secret.

It was meant to be a gift.

Dick’s first impression was similarly wrong, yet somehow in an entirely different way.

A victim of Ra’s that Bruce had rescued, traumatized and reeling and seeking sanctuary with the Fire Nation King.

After all, Tim was clearly from the destroyed Water Tribes, he might have been a bender if Ra’s hadn’t killed them all.

Dick was very nearly right, if things were altered and rearranged.

You turned seventeen-eighteen-nineteen and realized that you hadn’t changed at all. No new scars, but you never had many in the first place, no wrinkles or additional height.

Perfectly preserved.

An abomination, a monster.

Cass is the one to help Tim leave, sees the fear of staying in one place too long, the fear of a threat already vanquished.

She knows he is hiding something, but he knows she knows, and besides everyone has secrets, so she doesn’t confront him about it.

Cass’ father thought he could make her the Avatar–she understands inheriting sins of the parent.

There is a pool of water that no right minded water bender would touch. Not that any water bender has had the opportunity to do so in centuries, so well-guarded is the Pit.

But your parents didn’t need the original to mimic it’s effects–no, not mimic… master.

Jason never met Tim, not properly, only saw him from a distance.

Jason thought he was the Consort of the Fire Nation King–just a fancy term for whore.

He wasn’t right… not yet.

If things were different, you might have chosen death. If the collective leaders of the remaining bending nations hadn’t banded together to take Ra’s out, you would have died to get rid of him.

Anything to even try to make amends, all those villages obliterated as Ra’s hunted you down, blood on your hands.

But your mother was a scholar, your father a dreamer, and combined they made you.

Maybe one day someone will find you and ask to be taught.

Damian is still a child when he hears the name–more myth than reality. It’s for old tales and nostalgia, nothing relevant, until he needs a water bending teacher.

Dick thinks he is sending Damian to a hermit, one who is aged, if not outrightly old. Jason does little more than smirk, but Cass gives a supportive shoulder pat.

Bruce stays entirely silent on the matter.

You are a monster, but there is place in the world for monsters.

Better you than someone else.

(But don’t all monsters think that?)

Iron Will (2016-09-14)

His blade is sharp, but your wits are sharper. And it’s been a long time since the show of steel has made you afraid.

Today will not see the end of you yet.

You are comfortable in the forest, but not at home.

(You’ve never had a home that wasn’t people now long gone.)

But you think, as you and Jet gather others to you–other kids who have lost and have burned but have survived nonetheless–maybe one day.

Gui finds you, wild-eyed and unkempt and suspicious of everything, perched in the trees outside a Fire Nation village and doesn’t say a word.

You save his life, not two hours later, shoving the soldier in red who’s spotted his deception off a cliff in broad daylight, even though it’s ruined your element of surprise.

You’re even.

It’s easy to miss what you used to have, less so to yearn for something you don’t understand.

The triplets are sweet, still innocent for all that they have suffered, too, and you think of ZhuEn and ache.

But you and she were never equals–never more than just daughters of the same man.

~

A/N: trying to write Dreaming of S(haring the World) but it’s getting longer than I thought it would be so here’s this tiny three-sentence Iron Will thing so I don’t end up with a missed post.

Outliving The Ruins, 6/? (2016-02-22)

Carlos is pushed.

Not out of any malice, just a bending mishap, a mistimed pillar of stone jutting out at a different angle and faster speed than originally meant. It shunts him up and, thankfully, away from the nearby cliffside. But that means he is flung towards the ocean instead.

That’s not was he’s worried about–even though he can’t swim, there are a number of water benders in attendance that can easily wash him ashore–what’s worrying is what he can’t see: the invisible barrier surrounding the Isle, preventing people from leaving.

Carlos doesn’t know what the barrier will do to someone vaulted at it at high speed. He’s not even sure how it works–something to do with the Fairy Godmother’s spiritual ability to energy bend–will it just act like an invisible wall? Or is it more proactive than that–decidedly, dangerously, disastrously so?

He can see the wide-eyed dismay on everyone’s faces, his friends’ determined expressions. Jay and Evie have both shifted into bending stances–Jay trying to correct the other earth bender’s mistake by turning the shore into a grasping arm, and Evie sending a wave inland to prevent Carlos’ collision. Meanwhile, Mal is shooting towards him like a rocket, blasts of fire emitting from her hands and feet, trying to reach him first.

Their efforts won’t work.

Time seems to be slipping too fast–he’s falling closer and closer to the edge–and, impossibly, slowing. All these thoughts and observations are hurtling through his mind like he is towards the barrier.

Carlos is pushed–sent flying through the air–and, somehow, goes beyond the barrier.

Avatars are, by definition, capable of mastering all four elements. That does not mean that they can master or even access each element’s subspecialties. There is no rhyme or reason as to which skills an Avatar might gain–whether it’s a matter wanting to learn or some hidden incapability–it has nothing to do with an Avatar’s original element, either.

The previous Avatar, Merlin, had originally been an earth bender. He had been able to metal bend and, despite the clashing elemental alignment, had also been quite skilled at spiritual projection which is an air subspecialty. But he had never been able to master healing, had found blood bending to be distasteful, and while he could technically generate lightning, it would be inaccurate to say he controlled it, much less mastered it.

Mal, as the next Avatar in line, is still young, her powers yet untested; it is too early to say which talents she may learn and master. But Avatars have a tendency to counterbalance their predecessors–in personality, yes, but also in ability. To Mal, lightning comes as easy to her as fire, while Jay’s lessons in metal bending continues to elude her. She hasn’t tried healing, but the rats and vermin of the Isle provide ample targets for her experiments in blood bending.

With all that in mind, what might be deduced about her potential in energy bending?

Carlos goes beyond the barrier.

At first, nobody notices because nothing happens–Carlos keeps falling. There’s no real demarcation of where the barrier is, no corresponding physical wall or visible markers of where to stop. It’s a feeling mostly, according to the water benders who yearn for the sea: sudden onset nausea and weakness and dizziness that only increases the further from the island one tries to go. Not even Uri has gone past the point of the lightheadedness edging into unconsciousness–you can’t bend if you’re not awake, after all, and even water benders can drown.

And so, at first, because Carlos doesn’t show these effects, nobody notices he goes beyond the barrier. They think, maybe they misjudged the distance, maybe it’s farther out to sea than they remember, a difference in high and low tides.

Until Mal, flying too fast to feel her own encroaching symptoms, suddenly stops. The steady flames bursting from her hands and feet disappearing between one instant and the next, all momentum taken from her, so that she drops like a rock. She has the presence of mind to cushion her fall, water bending so that the waves carry her down instead of just slamming into it from height, but for some reason that is a struggle. Absolutely exhausting.

She can’t swim.

Thankfully, from her place on the shore, Evie notices and quickly creates a small ice floe for Mal to rest on. She lets the other water benders tow it to shore because she is still focussed on Carlos who is still in danger from his own lack of swimming ability.

Evie raises a spout of water to catch him, gently lowering him to sea level, before creating yet another ice floe which she pulls back. Carlos still shows no symptoms, even when he crosses back over the barrier.

Already, their fellow islanders are talking amongst themselves; trying to make sense of what they just witnessed and what it might mean.

“Maybe it’s because he’s not a bender,” someone suggests, but that is immediately shot down. Plenty of non-benders have tried to leave–none of them have succeeded.

“What if it’s intent? Or lack of it–he didn’t mean to go so far, after all,” someone else says, which is met with considering noises.

“How does energy bending work?” another person asks.

Another answers, “How should I know–I’m not an air bender.”

For a tiny, eternal moment, everyone falls into silence, considering:

Carlos–an air bender?

~

A/N: I missed this series 😀

I’ve also numbered it for easier reading (though I do have a part one and part two to 3/? because they are both very short and I’ll probably consolidate them when I transfer this series to ao3).

So regarding elemental subspecialties, according to the Avatar wiki energy bending is a separate “element” altogether (or, rather, predating the four elements) but I kind of feel like it has too much in common with air’s subspecialty of spirit projection for them to be separate? So… yeah. I think it’s essentially just really advanced spirit projection and thus an air subspecialty which is why Fairy Godmother can do it even though in the show we only ever see Avatars (and lion turtles) do it.

Outliving The Ruins, 5/? (2015-12-24)

According to Auradon, the Isle of the Lost is a cesspool of villainy, bending, and other forms of degenerate behavior.

Well, they’re not exactly wrong.

“Alright, alright, you miscreants and criminals, villains and minions, benders of all elements! Grab a seat or steal it from someone else, because this tournament is about to begin!”

To Auradon, the Isle’s version of tournaments would be a prime example of their despicable ways. But to the islanders?

The bending tournaments are fun–harmless, collaborative, and light-hearted fun. They don’t even gamble on the outcomes. It’s practically heroic.

Of course, the bending tournaments are a secret from their parents. The kids gather outside of the main town, along the rocky shore of a small bay protected by tall imposing cliffs.

Before the tournament, one of the earth benders–usually Anthony Tremaine, accustomed to literally clearing the path for his many sisters and cousins–creates a tunnel for those in the know. The participants and spectators trickle in small groups then the tunnel is sealed back up.

And then the fun begins.

The first couple of events are usually straightforward bending battles, one on one, or two on two, for the foolish few who think they can take on the Jemma and Uri duo.

Querida and Evie, as the only two blood benders, will occasionally show off–who can draw in the larger sea creature. The Tremaines do their own showing off, more aesthetic than power, but still entertaining to watch, while Jay’s combination of earth bending and parkour is equally mesmerizing.

Given Mal’s unique situation, her participation in tournaments allows for interesting match ups. Being capable of bending multiple elements, she has a flexibility that the other benders don’t have. A slightly modified battle, three on one with altered rules, or inserting herself into any of the others’ shows, or even a unique twist combining all three of her mastered elements.

The tournaments are fun: a way for their generation of benders to enjoy their gifts in a pure, unburdened way. A way to spite Auradon without the pressure of their parents’ schemes pushing down on them. Nothing but youth and joy and bending.

Until Carlos goes beyond the barrier.

~

A/N: Small drabble, slightly late, but given the holidays… not bad?

Outliving The Ruins, 4/? (2015-12-08)

(three)

Of all the elements, water bending is the most common. Which makes living on the Isle of the Lost a frustrating thing.

Being an island, by definition, means that it is surrounded by water–the shores all around it, a river that cuts through it, and rain that falls from above. But the people of the Isle can’t leave the magical barrier, and it is a very small radius indeed.

Their parents had the entire ocean at their control or, barring that, an entire kingdom filled with moisture-retaining plant life. In contrast, trapped on the Isle, they have nothing.

On the rocky beach, Jemma wishes for an endless blue horizon. From the shallow waves, Uri yearns for the briny depths of the sea. And in a jungle made of concrete, Querida dreams of roses as red as blood.

(two)

Lady Tremaine is not a bender, and neither are her two daughters. But her first husband had been one, an earth bender. He had used his skills in his mining business and it had been a satisfactory, if not profitable, marriage.

She learned the second time.

She married a rich man who could provide for her and her daughters; give her emeralds greener than her eyes. As green as her first husband’s eyes had been.

The green eyes which meant power.

No, Lady Tremaine is not a bender, but if she had been…

It would have been easy. A locked door cannot open if the key has been crushed into a useless lump of metal. A shoe made of glass–merely melted and molded sand–cannot fit one foot if it has been resized for another. Gems and gold would have come easily to her fingertips, and she wouldn’t have had to remarry at all.

But Lady Tremaine is not a bender, and neither are her two daughters.

Her eldest and youngest grandchildren, on the other hand, the only boy and the youngest girl–Anthony and Dreda–she sees the way stone trembles under his feet, how metal warps beneath her hands.

And she knows that the Tremaine family will prosper.

(one)

Fire bending is rare. As cliché as it might sound, this is because fire benders are either bright enough to control the flames or get burned by them instead.

And even if she’s no dragon’s daughter, Frederique Facilier is plenty bright, thank you very much.

But she knows she can’t really compete with Mal, even disregarding the whole Avatar thing (hey, secrets are the family trade). Freddi’s fire is smaller, warm instead of hot, and maybe for a voodoo witch doctor that would be fine. But her father’s friends from the other side can’t break through the barrier and reach them–meaning the Faciliers are as magic-less as any lowly minion.

So all Freddi has is her fire bending (and her devastating good looks and sharp wit and excellent fashion sense).

But if she had to tell the truth (though she would never out loud), Freddi is only a candle to Mal’s sun.

~

A/N: Some other bending villain kids on the Isle:

Water benders represent! Jemma Hook and Uri, son of Ursula, I’ve previously introduced in A Tale of Two Kingdoms–a pirate and a sea witch’s son, of course they would be water benders. And then Querida, my “Princess of Hearts,” would almost have to be a blood bender… or at the very least, a plant bender.

Earth bending Tremaines from the horrifying idea that Lady Tremaine would have completely won if she had been a bender. The mice can’t steal the key and free Cinderella if it’s not a key anymore. And it would have been so easy to smash the second glass slipper (if she couldn’t manipulate the glass itself, that is). Dreda Tremaine is also from A Tale of Two Kingdoms as my headcanon Tremaine granddaughter–apparently there are multiple granddaughters in the book, but only Anthony the grandson is named, so I just chose a Dr- name. I’m rather fond of her.

Then Freddi Facilier is from the Wicked World animated short series. Why is she a fire bender? Well… because I needed one and she seemed like a good choice. Also, superficially, her red outfit.

So, basically, we have my Predecessors (The Prequel) gang, my OC Tremaine granddaughter Dreda, and Freddi from the animated shorts which I consider “beta canon” (as opposed to the movie which is “alpha canon”). 😀

Outliving The Ruins, 3 (part two)/? (2015-12-04)

Audrey knows all about playing the political game–she is a princess after all.

One of many, in fact, in a kingdom cobbled together like a patchwork quilt. She’s a princess but unless she can secure a marriage–the right marriage–she’ll never be queen.

So of course she knows about power.

But being royalty–having impeccable breeding, substantial wealth, perfect etiquette, even flawless good looks–means nothing when someone can pull the ground out from under you. Or burn you to ashes in seconds, turn your blood against you, steal the air from your lungs.

Not that knives will do anything either. But it makes her feel better; not safer, necessarily, but as if she has a fighting chance. Even if it is near impossible.

She doesn’t actually think it’ll do anything. A few inches of metal against a bender? There’s courage and then there’s stupidity.

You can’t be a princess of Audrey’s caliber if you’re stupid.

In a way, Xiao Lon–Lonnie, as she’s called here–is as much a soldier of China as her parents are. It’s nothing so obvious as wearing armor and wielding a sword. No, it’s a little more subtle than that.

Amongst her and her cousins, she is the only one that isn’t genetically related–because, unlike her cousins, she’s not one of the Emperor’s grandchildren. Well, in spirit maybe. The Emperor has always been more fond of her parents than her Uncles.

She’s also the oldest, which is why she’s even attending Auradon Prep.

Lonnie is the vanguard.

It’s idealistic, a school full of the social elite: the royalty, the nobility, the wealthy. Even those from other lands, like her, those slated to take over other kingdoms, unlike her.

It’s naive.

Trying to foster good political ties early when the rulers and movers and shakers are teenagers–how do they stop that from backfiring horribly? As if schoolyard grudges can’t just as easily turn into future wars.

On top of that, there is Auradon’s continued issues against bending. While none of Lonnie’s cousins have shown any signs of bending so far, well, Uncle Yao does call himself “King of the Rock” for a reason.

Lonnie’s not going to let any of her cousins come here with this toxic cultural stigma against benders, even if they do all end up being chi blockers like her.

She’s not scared of bending, she’s scared of what these spoiled teenagers with no limits can do. But she’s Xiao Lon, she’s a dragon; she’s a guardian.

~

A/N: Continuing with the “power” theme from this previous drabble. Sorry Audrey’s was so short–what I wanted to say overlapped with what I already put in the previous post, since Audrey and Doug are both Auradon born and bred. I probably should have put Audrey’s section with Doug’s and have Lonnie’s stand alone… Well, if I ever repost this on a different site (probably ao3) I’ll do that instead.

I head-canon that Lonnie’s real name is Xiao Lon (aka Little Dragon (aka she’s named after Mushu)) and she goes by “Lonnie” because it is a westernized way of making Lon into something cutesy, effectively also making it Little Dragon.

Uh, also Lonnie’s “cousins” are the (likely) future kids of the three soldiers Ling, Yao, and Chien-Po and their respective princess from the Mulan II sequel Ting-Ting, Mei, and Su.