There's three short pieces here, one of which was never actually posted because the contest imploded directly following its submission. All three are genfic, and PG-rated. If the reviewers for the first two entries, positive or negative, are out there somewhere, I would love to hear who you are!
Title: Ice and Fire
Word Count: 560
Characters: Zuko, Katara
Prompt: Song. If you can figure out how the prompt relates to the fic without having read the A/N at atla_ficfight, I will give you a coupon redeemable for one (1) cookie.
Zuko's fist flew forward, sending a burst of flame at his opponent, who deflected it with a water tendril before sending a swarm of frozen flechettes towards him. He stomped the earth, sending up a thin wall of flames, which defrosted the projectiles as they passed through it. The watery remnants splashed harmlessly against his tunic.
Katara took the offensive, lashing out with a water whip. It caught Zuko in the chest, sending him staggering backwards, and he narrowly managed to deflect the next blow with a gout of flame from his left palm.
Zuko tried to regain his momentum, but the young waterbender refused to give any ground. She kept up a steady stream of attacks, assaulting him with water tendrils and shards of ice, never giving him an opportunity to strike back.
Her fighting style had changed since the last time they had fought, Zuko reflected. In the crystal caverns of Ba Sing Se, she had been...well, not exactly holding back. She had been fighting with everything she had. But her style hadn't seemed quite so cold and merciless. He had been battered by waves, water whips, and even huge torrents of water, but it was almost always just water. The impact hurt, and he might crack a rib or two when he was sent flying, but she was obviously not going for a killing blow.
Now, though, she fought back with ice.
Zuko buckled as a ram of frozen water slipped past his guard and impacted in his gut. Katara took advantage of his sudden distraction to whip one hand forward, sending a tentacle to wrap around his exposed neck.
The tentacle froze solid, raising goose flesh all along his upper body, and trapping him. Katara jerked it towards her, sending Zuko tumbling forward. He barely managed to bring his hands up in time to avoid cracking his skull on the ground.
He was acutely aware of how vulnerable his position was, and struggled with the icy shackle holding him in place, but was helpless to do anything as Katara's body shifted, her other arm came around, and with it came a tidal wave, drawn from the river behind her. He could do nothing as the wave froze solid, becoming an enormous projectile that momentum would inexorably place between his eyes.
Zuko inhaled deeply, and then spat out a ball of fire, melting a section of the frozen chain that held him in place. He raised himself up to one knee, facing the incoming ice head-on. He brought two hands together and, pushing himself up to his full height, he unleashed a concentrated wave of flame. He couldn't hope to melt the whole thing, it was far too big for that, but if he could just split it...
The ice and fire met with an earth-shattering sound, and for a moment the entire crystalline structure lit up with the light of his flames. The light was carried to all parts of the projectile by refraction, illuminating him and his opponent. It was beautiful.
And then, as all beautiful things must, it came to an end. The two halves fell harmlessly to the ground on either side of him. He turned smugly to face Katara once more, setting himself in a ready stance. He was going to turn this around, no matter what it took.
Title: Musical Harassment
Word Count: 592
Characters: Azula, Mai, Ty Lee, Chong & Company
Prompt: Language. Yes, I know this one might have been more appropriate for the first prompt. Bite me.
“Oh, the best part of being a rover, is that you never need to start over. You just pick up your stuff and move over, and then...uh...well, I sort of forget the next line so I'll just go duh duh duh duh dum...”
Azula gripped the arms of her chair tightly. Three unkempt vagabonds had been tailing her vehicle for well over an hour now, strumming their primitive instruments and singing their infantile songs. She had gone out to chase them away, but every time they had stubbornly returned. After the third time, she had resolved to simply stay inside until they grew bored and left. That was over half an hour ago and still she was not rid of them.
“Argh!” She shouted, shooting twin jets of fire out of her hands in frustration. “Driver! Isn't there some way to make this thing go faster? I want to get away from those nuisances!”
“My apologies, Princess, but we are already going as fast as the terrain will allow,” the driver responded. “If I go any faster, then we run the risk of overturning, or losing control.”
“That's your problem, not mine,” Azula seethed. “Get us away from them, or I'll come up there and burn the skin off your bones.”
“Yes, Fire Princess,” the driver said, and then the vehicle lurched forward with new speed. Ty Lee looked dejected.
“Awww, Azula, I liked them!” she said, pouting. “They were funny!”
“No!” Azula snapped, finally shutting Ty Lee up.
Unfortunately, the blessed silence was short-lived. A few minutes later, there was a loud bang from the outside of the hull, and the vehicle came to a sudden stop.
“Driver!” Azula snapped, bursting out of the cabin and into the open air. “What is the meaning of this?”
“I told you that going any faster could be dangerous,” the driver said as he inspected the vehicle's underside. “It looks like a root got jammed in the machinery. Should take about an hour to fix.”
“Unacceptable,” Azula said coldly. “I have no need for incompetents such as-”
“Ooh, look, Azula!”Ty Lee interrupted, emerging behind her. “Those music guys are coming back!”
Sure enough, the three vagrants were walking down the road behind them, following their tracks. They were humming some other insipid tune.
“Well, hello again, ladies,” the man in front said as they walked up to the broken-down Fire Nation vehicle. Azula's finely tuned self-control cracked.
“What do you three want?” she asked angrily. “What do I need to give you to make you go away?”
The lead man looked confused for a moment until the woman behind him-his wife?- leaned forward and whispered in his ear.
“Oh!” he said, realization flooding over his face. “All we want is to spread our message of love and understanding. You looked like you could use a little love and understanding, so we followed you.”
“See, Azula?” Ty Lee said, skipping happily over to them. “I told you your aura needed more pink in it! Can you show me how to play that, Mister Music Man?”
“Sure can, little lady,” the musician said as he slipped the stringed instrument from his shoulder and offered it to her. “You just put your fingers here and strum like this...”
Azula gave one final scream of exasperation before retreating back inside the vehicle, sticking a pair of pillows over her ears and trying to block out the outside world.
“Now you know how I always feel,” Mai said.
Title: Good Morning!
Word Count: 272
Characters: Aang, Sokka, Toph
Aang picked up a handful of water from the stream and splashed it against his face. He hadn't gotten nearly as much sleep as he should have last night, and he could see it in his face as he stared blearily at his own reflection.
He turned as he heard a noise to his right, but it was only Sokka, who walked the water's edge and slumped to the ground.
Sokka leaned over the water, squinting at himself. “I look like hell” was his assessment. Aang shrugged.
“Could be worse. You could look like I did five minutes ago.”
Sokka gave a non-committal grunt, and then submerged his head in the icy stream, his breath coming up as small bubbles.
“Good morning, boys,” Toph said from behind him. Aang turned to return the greeting, but the sight he beheld was so horrifying that he recoiled backwards, falling backwards into the stream. Sokka's pulled his head out quickly.
“Aang, what's-yikes!” he shouted as he turned around and saw the same thing Aang had.
Toph's hair was enormous, a massive mane that reached all the way down her lower back in places, but it was also a horrifying mess, flying in every direction imaginable like some terrifying creature trying to break free.
“What's your problem, Twinkletoes?” Toph asked aggressively, and Aang swallowed.
“Nu-nothing!” he said with an innocent grin.
Toph snorted. “It better be,” she said as she turned and walked away.
Sokka and Aang turned to face each other, a faintly haunted look in their eyes. That was a sight that would take getting used to.
Crossposted to avatar_fans