would u ever write fire nation tetsukis interaction with zuko? or maybe the gaang? im so intrested in this verse

It’s a fun ‘verse isn’t it, anon? I think I like it better than the “original flavor” 😛

So let’s see… for the first, I’m gonna say yes–and give you a ficlet in a bit–because FN!Tetsuki meeting Zuko has a sort of drama that is entirely different from original Iron Will. But the second I’m going to say… hm… maybe…

It’s partially no mostly because the first meeting Tetsuki would have with the Gaang, regardless of FN version or original version, would be as part of the Freedom Fighters, so not much difference there. And then every subsequent meeting after that–as far as the Gaang are concerned–she’s just one more Fire Nation girl who is trying to kill them. Not much difference than what their brief interactions with Mai and Ty Lee are, then.

But it’s also partially yes because… well… FN!Tetsuki really is a lot more fun than the original flavor Iron Will and so if I ever properly write Iron Will I may just go the FN!Tetsuki route completely. Like with (En)Closure, a lot of the ficlets on here are me throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, and the fact that Tetsuki being Azula’s bodyguard is so compelling is, frankly, sticking really well.

So maybe on the Gaang, which for all intents and purposes of this ask box event means no. But maybe one day I’ll get to writing Iron Will in a coherent, consistent manner. (HAHAHAHAHA, uh, my poor series, what have they done to deserve me as a writer)

Anyway, here’s that FN!Tetsuki meets Zuko ficlet:

The first time you come to court is as Azula’s–friend, follower, servant, plaything, you’re not sure, you don’t much care–you try not to gawk at the sheer opulence like the absolute hoyden you are.

Your origins were humble, for all that your bloodline says otherwise, your early years were spent in forest camps and rough villages with barely enough people to be considered such. Your father worked best on the frontier, amongst people who would never know or care about what kings and lords got up to so long as they could take care of their basic needs.

In another life, you might have been much the same.

But even going from that to your grandparents’ holdings–their mansion only one in comparison  to the utterly tiny buildings in the town around it–is nothing like the adjustments required here.

“You’re making a scene,” Mai sighs, informing but uncaring. Hypocrite. Her family is better off than yours, but they’re nouveau riche–the court is an entirely different sort of splendor than she’s used to as well.

“Who needs ceilings that high?” You respond rather than feel chastened. You’re not the one making a scene, you are insignificant in the trail of Azula as it should be. “How do people even get up there? The servants must, there would be cobwebs otherwise.”

“Who cares what the servants do?” Mai says, a droll sort of thing meant to shame you once more. She is not Azula, her words have no bite.

Ty Lee giggles, “Maybe they stack on top of each other to reach the ceilings.”

You consider the thought, smile at the image, “I doubt it,” you disagree, but temper it with flattery, “I don’t think any servants are as skilled as you are.”

“Obviously,” Mai says–less in agreement to the compliment and more out of disparaging those inferior–but it still makes Ty Lee grin brightly.

“Quiet,” Azula says, not even turning around to address you to your faces. It gets the job done anyway. “I don’t have to remind you to be on your best behavior, do I?”

It is threat more than question, but plausibly deniable permission on top of that.

Then Azula turns around, a small, sideways smile on her lips. “Let’s show the court exactly what we learned at the Academy.”

Nothing catches on fire–both surprising and not in a hall full of benders–but Ty Lee does manage to get up to the ceiling by way of hanging banners and three tactless young officers end up with stab wounds.

Only one of them was your fault.

Bizarrely enough, you meet the Dragon of the West before the Fire Nation prince. Or perhaps it is not so odd given the way the boy avoids his younger sister.

It is incidental when you meet him, the Dragon of the West, the would-have-been Fire Lord were it not for his lost son.

You wonder, briefly, what it must be like to have a father who would ruin himself at losing you. But, of course, you would have no idea where to begin.

It is as you are wandering the halls–not lost, merely… exploring–that you happen upon each other.

“Your eyes,” says the Dragon of the West, surprised, and you look away quickly, flushing, self-conscious. Your eyes are grey and green and nothing at all like flames.

“Please excuse me, your highness,” you murmur before scuttling away.

You get even more lost before a maid happens upon you and is kind enough to guide you back. As befitting your borrowed status, she does not look you in the eyes.

You will never know this, but it was not the color of your eyes that surprised the Dragon of the West but rather their age.

He would have said they were old eyes in a young face.

He would have been right.

The first time you meet Zuko it is from two steps behind Azula as is your place. He barely even notices you–which internally you sneer as a lack of situational awareness, but you know has more to do with the way he practically flinches away from his younger sister.

This? This is supposed to be the future Fire Lord?

Pathetic.

Unfortunately, it’s not so much about him as a person as it is him as a symbol–there is no argument that Azula is the better heir, more talented, more compelling, the kind of leader that would bring greatness to the nation. But there will still be traditionalists and opportunists who prefer him over her. Those who cling foolishly to birth order and sex, those who would rather have an easily manipulated Fire Lord.

His mere existence is a threat to Azula’s reign.

The second time you meet Zuko, you actually exchange words.

In plain clothes and a houndsnake coiled loosely around your shoulders, you look nothing like a royal attendant.

He recognizes you anyway, if belatedly, apparently not so unobservant as you thought.

“Fire Nation Prince Zuko,” you say to the Freedom Fighters, most of them too thrilled at capturing their prey to pay any attention to his face or yours.

“Let me go,” he says. He struggles with the ropes. Futilely tries to burn them away.

“I wouldn’t bother,” you say, “they’re enforced with wire. You’d only end up burning yourself.”

Jet laughs at the irony and, after a beat, so do the others. He takes over at this point, as is his wont. He still thinks he’s in charge. It’s useful, so she’ll let him. “Listen up, Fire Nation scum,” he starts on his spiel, “we are the children of those you killed, those you oppressed. We’re what happens when–”

“Did Azula put you up to this?” Zuko asks, interrupting Jet, and if there is anything bitter in his tone, resigned and expectant, then it is too mild for you to hear.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you say, because why would you ever give up your cover at his behest, “I’m just an Earth Kingdom orphan trying to strike back against Fire Nation tyranny.”

In another life, you wouldn’t be lying at all.

~

A/N: Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

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‘Bend and Break’ for Iron Will (or other Avatar stuff if you want)

Ooh, Iron Will prompts, yay! Thanks, anon!

Hm, let’s see…

The title you’ve given me is very much opposite of Iron Will. Or, rather, an AU!Iron Will in which Tetsuki’s strength of character… isn’t all that strong?

Which would harken to the Fire Nation!Tetsuki AU, but just saying Bend and Break is the title of the Fire Nation!Tetsuki AU is a hug cop out.

So a specific story within the FN!Tetsuki AU… like… outside POVs of FN!Tetsuki while she’s on her travels.

I have two in mind, but I think for a full fic three or more would be better.

So the first one would be Jet’s POV. Because, like in Iron Will canon, Tetsuki does stumble upon the Freedom Fighters, if a bit later, and with her own agenda in mind.

She’s not one of the “founding members,” but she did learn manipulation in the Fire Nation court at Azula’s side, so when she joins them she gains the same amount of influence fairly easily. She doesn’t tell them not to attack Fire Nation settlements/soldiers–frankly, if they can’t handle themselves against a bunch of unruly Earth Kingdom children, they don’t deserve to be part of Azula’s future empire–but she does whisper in their ears ambitions of grandeur. After all, the Fire Nation can easily wipe away tales of fallen squadrons and failed colonies–the Freedom Fighters won’t make a mark like that.

But if they went after the Fire Nation prince? Well… there’s only one of those… and he HAS been traveling around the world on a fool’s errand. Strike the Fire Nation where they’re most vulnerable, she says, end the monarchy before it can solidify their hold over the entire world.

Jet isn’t immune to the idea.

Instead of like in Iron Will canon, where the Freedom Fighters grow and become unwieldy, in this AU, they slim down, become more ruthless. They’re on the hunt for a Fire Nation prince–they don’t have time for kindness among their members, can’t afford to be weighed down by kids who can’t contribute, can’t fight–and soon they’ve been whittled down to a small group. The core members, as it were. Leaner and more effective, which means far fewer people to be betrayed when the truth of Tetsuki’s heritage comes around (of course Zuko recognizes one of his sister’s friends, even if she is wearing Earth Kingdom colors and surrounded by Earth Kingdom teens)

She’s ruined the Freedom Fighters by giving them exactly what they want…

… but before that would be the other POV I have in mind–and I’m not sure why I didn’t say that first, but the Jet/Freedom Fighter POV just had a very nice dramatic reveal to it that it came to mind first. Specifically, the bounty hunter June, aka ZhuEn, Tetsuki’s older sister.

And unlike in Iron Will canon, in which Tetsuki doesn’t reunite with her sister until the last few episodes of the series (or post canon, even) the two of them meet pretty early on in AU!Tetsuki’s travels… mostly because Tetsuki actively seeks her out in the beginning.

Mostly because, while she did have some bounty hunting and survival lessons from their father before their grandparents took her for their own, she didn’t have nearly enough to be effective. And there’s some emotional drama, maybe, because June is just like: my lost little sister has found her way to me but all she wants is to learn bounty hunting and she doesn’t care at all that our father died but I haven’t seen her in years, etc. etc.

Whereas Tetsuki is like: our father made it perfectly clear how much he valued me when he gave me to our grandparents, so I don’t see why I should care about what happened to him, but I just wanted to see if you’d be willing to teach me, I have some foundation, I can pay you if that’s the problem just consider it a strictly business relationship, after all it’s not like you argued much if at all for father to keep me.

And then it’s like, “I was just a teenager, Tetsuki, what could I have done then?” and Tetsuki’s like, “And I was a child–your sister!–you should have fought for me!”

And, really, I don’t think there’s much in the way of resolving it. Maybe June, knowing this is the closest she will ever get to her sister after everything that’s happened, does agree to take her on as an apprentice for a year–which is how Tetsuki gets her training in the AU–or maybe she doesn’t because that’d hurt more, and so Tetsuki leaves immediately because if June won’t teach her then what’s the point of staying, which June immediately regrets?

I dunno. Emotional drama.

I’m unsure who the other outside POVs of FN!Tetsuki would be, anon, but those two in particular fit the “Bend and Break” title best.

~

Ask Box Event Still Open!

Iron Will drabble (2015-10-30)

You try not to project onto them, the Avatar and his friends, but you find it difficult not to. Even when they’ve made their opinion of you clear. But you don’t need them to like you for you to have an alliance, and when it’s a bunch of children up against the strongest nation in the world, you need all the allies you can get.

Even if you see too much of yourself in these allies. A child unable to return to his past yet yearning for those happier times. A girl cut so deeply by soldiers in red it haunts her dreams. A teenager standing up against armies with only his wits and a small blade. You appreciate the fact that when all is said and done, despite contradicting methodologies, you are still on the same side.

But you cannot afford to show any weakness, even if they are your allies. Still, you are grateful for them, and you have Gui act as a counter guide–he may not be able to match Jet’s charisma, but he is your partner for a reason. Gui is smart and honest and kind in his own way, if he can’t win the Avatar’s trust then you Forest Faction had no chance to begin with.

It kills you to say this, but you know you need to split up. The Freedom Fighters, whether they are Jet’s or yours, must be disbanded. Those with living family are to go there, but it still leaves a distressing amount left. Orphans are the lifeblood of the Freedom Fighters.

The Duke and Pipsqueak will never part, though that was not in question. After that, Jet only has Longshot and Smellerbee left, and three is not such a large group. The same cannot be said of your Forest Faction.

You, Gui, Tuzi, and the triplets. Six people. You are loathe to split the triplets, but there is no other way. They will attract too much attention, and they are still young and inexperienced.

In this venture, they need stealth and speed, they cannot stand out as anything more than refugees.

“See you in Ba Sing Se,” you promise to a solemn Gui and Tuzi, each with a triplet as a traveling companion. Beside you, Feng holds back her tears, though the same cannot be said for her sisters.

“You three as well,” you direct to Jet and his lieutenants. For all that you never quite saw eye to eye, especially towards the end, you and Jet were partners. Occasionally friends when you could stand each other, but guaranteed allies at the very least.

“Hey, don’t worry about us. We’ll be back together and fighting in no time,” Jet says with such confidence that you can’t help but believe him.

That’s the last time you see him alive.

~

A/N: First time posting on my mobile so we’ll see how it goes.

Iron Will drabble (2015-10-04)

You’re not a bender.

You know this like you know your left hand is better than your right. Like you know you have better night vision than color differentiation. Like you know your face in a reflection.

(Ah, but a reflection is not the real thing, is it?)

You’re not a bender, but sometimes you can sense things: Jet’s curved, hook swords, and the delicate loop of Gui’s mother’s bracelet. You can tell when a troop of armored Fire Nation soldiers are incoming, and whether or not they carry weapons. You know instinctively where a Fire Nation family keeps their knives, where they keep their gold.

It’s just something you can do.

It’s why you know that the girl in the ill-fitting Kiyoshi warrior uniform is far more dangerous than she appears–each hidden knife calling out a warning.

But that’s just a trick; just a small portion of your perception. You have other methods of observations available to you and years of experience using them.

You know from the way she defers to the other impostor Kiyoshi warrior, that the girl with the hidden knives is not the most dangerous.

When you first join the Freedom Fighters, it is a small group. Your different methodologies are not as important in the face of your successes, your ability to survive. There are only six of you then–you and Jet and Longshot and Gui and The Duke and Pipsqueak–and it makes sense to fall into pairs when you work. It’s only natural for you to use the same pairings–complimentary skill sets and personalities matching you with Gui, Jet with Longshot, The Duke and Pipsqueak always together.

(Lines already being drawn…)

Then along comes Smellerbee, then the triplets, then Tuzi, then more and more and more until the Freedom Fighters are almost a village unto yourselves.

With so many people, survival depends on cooperation more than individual skills. Conformity, or maybe obedience, is brought up frequently. You chafe against Jet’s presumed leadership.

Smellerbee falls in with Jet and Longshot easily, the missing piece of a puzzle. Tuzi, so quiet and shy, was rescued by Gui, making him yours. The Duke and Pipsqueak, always together, are indifferent to the factions forming. Two of the triplets are as well, but one of them, Feng, follows after you in adoration; and where one triplet goes, the other two follow.

You doubt it will come to battle, or at least you hope it won’t. You’d rather leave to wander on your own than kill your allies. But the leaving in itself would be a problem.

Because if you leave, so too will a significant chunk of the Fighters… and the only person willing and able to fight against Jet.

~

A/N: Related to this drabble.

Iron Will drabble (2015-09-08)

“I’m sorry,” Zuko says to you, so softly that you can barely hear it; softly so no one else can hear. It wouldn’t do to have anyone hear the Fire Lord apologize to a war criminal soon to be executed.

You say nothing in response, but you nod minutely–in acknowledgement, in forgiveness, in permission–before you are led forward in chains and forced to kneel.

For crimes against humanity; that’s what you are charged with. It’s certainly what you are guilty of, for all that they didn’t seem human at the time. The Fire Nation soldiers you killed, that is.

It was war and you were a child just trying to survive, you could argue. You never harmed civilians, you could say. And you would be telling the truth.

But it doesn’t excuse the way you crept into the homes and slit the throats of over a hundred Fire Nation soldiers. Killed them in their sleep, in the dark of the night, and left their corpses for their families to find.

Accessions must be made for peace. It does not matter that you are friends with the Fire Lord, with the Avatar; Zuko’s rule is tenuous, Aang’s authority non existant in the Fire Nation. In order for Azula and Ozai to be executed, in order to secure the throne in Zuko’s name, an Earth Kingdom criminal must be dealt the same punishment.

You know this, because you were the one to suggest it.

~

You are six the last time you see your sister, ZhuEn. She is fifteen and father has proclaimed her a skilled enough bounty hunter to begin working on her own. She leaves on the back of her shirshu, off to make a name for herself, and you dream of one day being just like her. It was a bittersweet time–happier, lighter, but the last moment of such contentment.

You are seven when Fire Nation soldiers kill your father for refusing to take a hunt. You are seven when you see him burn and you flee, more from his agonized screams than the towering armored figures. You never really forgive yourself for that.

You live for years, just wandering from forest to forest; occasional stops in towns, wreaking what damage to the Fire Nation army you can by way of murder and theft.

You try to convince yourself you are a hero, but you have always been more of a coward than a liar. There is no point in hiding the truth from yourself.

You are fourteen when you happen upon the Freedom Fighters, the group of refugee children playing at guerrilla warriors. You are not quite the same as them, but you see something in Jet’s eyes–a reflection of someone you could have been–and maybe he sees something in you, too, because he lets you stay.

Perhaps lets is the wrong word, because in a matter of months you find yourself clashing with Jet more and more often. About ideology and implementations–you are a blade where he is a bludgeon. The Freedom Fighters grow, but it also begins to split between you and him, and you are so close to just taking your faction and leaving when–

You are fifteen when you meet the Avatar.

~

A/N: An SI!OC Avatar the Last Airbender fic that won’t leave me alone. Not sure why it’s in second person, but okay… The original idea was that this would be my SI!OC’s fourth reincarnation (after our world, katekyo hitman reborn, naruto, and something else) which is why I’m tagging it with Tetsuki Kaiza. But I think I’m just going to scrap that idea… though the title won’t make much sense without the name Tetsuki…