Title: best intentions

Fandom: Legend of Korra

Summary: AU. Who'd have thought the Future Industries CEO masquerading as the Equalist leader, and the youngest nonbender son of Yakone would share their lowest point.

Previously:

part 1:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/36040401327

part 2:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/36119711899

A/N: For amosami week day 4 prompt ‘illness.’ I...skipped day 3 because 'Lackadaisy' stumped me. Let’s see if I can do this basic AU premise across all the days: a sort of age/role reversal between the two combined with other AU elements. Also, some info on ages in this fic: Amon=17, Asami=27, Tarrlok=27, Yakone still alive, Hiroshi and his wife dead, rest of cast should be canon ages. And Asami Sato with a secret identity, so as the Equalist leader, her code name is The General.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.

The constant ache that had plagued Amon as if he were ill himself eased back once Tarrlok woke up. The older man was delirious, but he recognized him. They talked.

 

"Is it gone?"

"What's gone?"

"My bending?"

"I don't know. Maybe. Everyone says you haven't bent since...but everything will be fine. Don't worry."

"The General said it would be gone."

"Never mind her," he said, and was embarrased to find a weird crack in his voice at the thought of her.

"She promised."

Amon stopped, pulled away from his conflicting emotions: reassuring his brother; being relieved at the thought that he could never bloodbend him again, though Yakone had not ordered Tarrlok to do so in ages; why in spirits' names had his voice cracked at the mention of the Equalist leader? But in the here and now, Tarrlok's eyes looked glazed, not really seeing Amon. The teen wondered if he were seeing instead the General, her white mask with green eyes staring unblinkingly back in his mind.

"Tarrlok, what do you mean?"

His older brother closed his eyes, sank further into the pillow. "I asked the General to remove my bending. She promised, she promised, she promised...."

When Tarrlok slept again and the General returned for her daily visit after the healers had made their rounds, Amon tried to draw her into the corner of the infirmary.

"Did Tarrlok willingly volunteer to have his bending removed?"

Without even a hesitant blink, the General said, "Yes."

Though the teen exploded, he still tried to keep his voice down. He did not want to wake Tarrlok. "Why did you use him as a guinea pig-ham when he volunteered?! Is that how you treat any and all benders that want to give up what you call their 'curse,' with experimentation?!"

"Unfortunately, there simply aren't enough benders volunteering to be cleansed–"

"And no wonder, if that's what you do with them–!"

"Not so, Tarrlok is the first."

"Didn't you even think that the heir to one of the city's worst crime lords would've worked better as a symbol cleansed in front of everyone?! Especially when his father was cleansed by Avatar Aang himself?!"

"Perhaps."

Was that...respect, in the General's green eyes? A more careful look at him, her attention finally raised, her interest piqued? It reminded Amon of Yakone. His stomach lurched...but at least the Equalist leader's eyes were pretty. And the teen's stomach lurched even more at that stupid hormonal thought. His stomach threatened to drop when she leaned toward him, arms folded behind her back as usual. Amon leaned back, trying not to blush, trying not to take in the scent of her perfume.

"But as you said before, Yakone would not answer a ransom for Tarrlok," she said silkily, then leaned back, and the teen regained enough composure to narrow his eyes at her. "And perhaps I was curious to see if the child of a cleansed bender would respond better to the formula."

The General nodded to Tarrlok's bed, and Amon reluctantly followed her gaze. "So far, it seems to be working. He's still alive. No one else has last so long."

And then Amon was left to think about escape again, for he and Tarrlok.

###

Thoughts of freedom from the underground base were premature, for Tarrlok seemed to have a relapse.

Amon and the General were back in the infirmary corner again. The teen was yelling now.

"This experiment is a failure, but my brother doesn't have to die for it! Please please, let me try a waterbender healer–"

"I've already given my answer."

"You have to reconsider!"

"I have to do nothing."

The teen continued to rage, unable to even try to keep his composure any longer.

###

Asami focused on weathering out the adolescent's rage. She was impressed he had kept his full temper in check for this long.

As he shouted and entreated her, out of the corner of her eye, Asami saw Tarrlok stir. It wasn't snapping away from a feverish nightmare, just groggily blinking awake. But she saw Yakone's firstborn furrow his brow at his younger brother. Asami saw him mouth a confused, "Amon?"

"–you train your people–"

Asami's eyes darted back to Amon. "–you train them all to avoid killing benders in combat as much as possible–why why can't you show the same mercy to your test subjects, to my brother?!"

She saw Tarrlok out of the corner of her eye again, stretch up on the bed, repeated a confused "Amon?" in a slightly louder voice.

"You keep looking at Tarrlok, have you changed your mind?" Asami almost blinked, almost startled at Amon suddenly grabbing for composure again when lowering his voice in one hitching breath.

She faced the teen again. "No."

Asami had been waiting for this ever since the teen refused to leave his brother's side–his fist darted out. Asami deflected and gripped and twisted, and pinned the teen's arm behind his back. The boy stomped on her foot and slammed his head into her masked face–she felt something crack, heard wood splinter–Asami felt her own spark of temper rise, and kept her grip, and pushed–Amon shouted as she dislocated his shoulder–

 

The Equalist leader's eyes widened, she felt Amon stiffen beneath her grasp, as Tarrlok swept a hand and a wave of fire swept toward them.

Asami instinctively threw Amon to the side and shielded him with her body. She felt the heat, so close, and for a moment she remembered the way the atmosphere was when her parents were killed....

The fire was still there, but Asami looked, and she felt Amon follow her gaze. Tarrlok's eyes were wide, his mouth slightly agape. Unsteadily he stepped fully onto the floor and off the bed, but with a stumbling step–when the earth lurched into a pillar the moment his toes touched the floor, Tarrlok jumped back. He did not land on the bed, but rather almost fell off it–Asami's grip tightened on Amon as he moved for his brother. Tarrlok put out a hand to catch his fall. Instead a burst of air exploded from his hand, and shoved him forward and on his feet.

"I...don't–" Tarrlok held his head, looked at his other hand, as if it betrayed him. Finally Amon broke out of Asami's grip, dashing for Tarrlok. Asami made to follow, but she suddenly felt her blood seize up. Her eyes caught Amon's first, freezing of his own will once he caught sight of her in a bloodbending grip. Then Asami's eyes darted to Tarrlok, his hand clawed, his eyes, unblinking, trained on her.

"You promised," he breathed.

"I did," Asami said, calming her chi and blood flow. She would break free at the right moment. "I thought it would work. Or you would die. I thought you'd be free of your bending either way." Asami's instinct was to lower her eyes, but she could not even do that minor insult to Tarrlok on top of everything else. "I did not anticipate this."

Asami felt despair once Tarrlok laughed–she could hear the slipping sanity there. "Clearly." His hand moved, and Asami braced herself, either to withstand or start moving.

###

Amon's stomach plunged. He stepped in front of his brother, one hand raised, ignoring his other dislocated shoulder and the hand hanging almost limp from there.

"No, we need her alive–"

Amon felt a split-second chill as Tarrlok focused such a hateful look on him, he'd only ever seen his brother give something like that to Yakone. And then he felt the horribly familiar bloodbending grip seize him, though it had been years the last time Tarrlok had done this to him. He would never forget that feeling, would he?

Amon tried to remain calm, though it didn't help that along with the bloodbending the fire was still raging and growing higher, and the earth was rising up and down like angry waves that steadily wrecked the infirmary, roaring gales of wind knocking down equipment. "Tarrlok, she's still the only one who can remove your bending–"

Tarrlok gave that horrible laugh again. "She had her chance."

"No formulas this time, no needles, she'll just–"

"How do you know she can remove it all? No no, she had her chance. She won't have another." Tarrlok gestured, and Amon shouted again as his shoulder was shoved back into place. Then the older man tossed Amon to the side. "Stay out of the way."

Tarrlok was about to close his fist. The General....

Amon threw a tray at him, charged him. No, the General could fix this, they did need her alive and intact....

"Damn it, Brat!" Tarrlok snarled, seizing him in another bloodbending grip.

Throat tightening, Amon fought and fought to move, when Tarrlok ordered his body to stop, stop–he'd endured this for years ever since he'd been a small child, ever since his mother and her family died, and all he had was Yakone and Tarrlok, Tarrlok and Yakone, Yakone had whispered in his ear that maybe Amon would get so used to it he'd shake it off–

Amon lurched forward, slamming to the floor on all fours. He gasped, struggling for air, and he stared at Tarrlok, both brothers shocked at what just happened. Dazedly, Amon realized Yakone would be pleased at being proven right.

Tarrlok must've been distracted enough, for the masked woman broke out of the bloodbending grip on her, darting for him. But he was fast, making Amon lurch up in another bloodbending grip, and the General freeze again.

The teen fought again, but weaker than last time, he couldn't somehow break out of that bloodbending grip again....

Amon's eyes widened as the General completely pulled away from Tarrlok's bloodbending grip, and just kept going. Tarrlok's eyes widened too–but a wall of earth leapt up in front of him, and the masked leader darted back.

"General!" Amon whirled around, finding the Lieutenant arriving with reinforcements.

And then it felt like the world exploded.

###

Amon ached all over. The earth felt broken beneath him, and he could make out smoke all around, could smell burnt flesh–he felt the urge to retch at that nightmarishly familiar scent.

"Brat!" He stilled as he heard Tarrlok call for him, his voice frenzied. "Brat! Amon!" Tarrlok's voice cracked. Amon struggled to get up.

He felt a hand on his shoulder, and looked to find the General, similarly lying like some discarded doll on the ground, as weak and struggling as he. Her mask was cracked. A part had fallen away, so that he could see her dark eyebrow, delicately curved and caked in blood. She pressed two fingers to his lips. Shush, she mimed.

The teen stared at her. He closed his eyes, slumped back down.

Then moved back up, and crawled to his brother. He managed to get to his knees before Tarrlok. For only a moment, then he slumped back down, the dark enveloping him just as Tarrlok's arms did. And yet the very last image was the fresh memory of the way the General had looked at him when advising him to be quiet.

###

Later, far later (or it felt like it), Asami found Amon again. He came to her again. He knelt before her again. Topside, this time, in another neighborhood ruined by Tarrlok, now called in frightened whispers the Other Avatar. It didn't help that the Avatar girl fought him back just as intensely.

"He won't listen to me," Amon said, his voice aged even more than what it had been before, exhaustion stopping it from becoming a completely dead monotone. "I can't do this alone." He bowed his head. "I need help."

Asami noted he looked beaten to hell. She saw new burns. Her own monotone was tainted by her own feeling, her own remorse. "I caused this."

"That's why I need your help."

Asami helped Amon to his feet.

tbc

A/N: Thanks for all the feedback and support. Hope you enjoyed.

 

Title: ring with truth

Fandom: Legend of Korra

Summary: AU. Young Amon tells a story to his sick brother. The Equalist Leader Asami listens.

Previously:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/36040401327

A/N: For amosami week day 2 prompt ‘fairy tale.’ Let’s see if I can do this basic AU premise across all the days: a sort of age/role reversal between the two combined with other AU elements.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.

Asami paused in the door, just watching Amon murmur quietly to Tarrlok in bed.

"Once, a polarbeardog lost her cub. She would not hunt, she would not eat, she would not sleep. Concerned, her mate went looking for another cub they could adopt. He looked, and he looked, but he found none. Giving up, he made to return to his mate. But finally he found a cuba human one, but it would suffice. The polarbeardog grabbed the human infant and raced to his mate, leaving the human parents in despair."

 

"Is this the origin story of the young Avatar?" Asami smoothly asked as she quietly padded into the room. She noticed clearly how Amon's eyes went straight for her mask first, then her green eyes. It was often the reaction of people newly met.

"What do you want?" He bluntly asked, brown eyes narrowing.

"To clarify certain things," Asami began crisply. "If you think to leave to try to bring a waterbender healer back, your absence won't be missed, and Tarrlok will be gone." She leveled the adolescent with a stern look, and was somewhat impressed when he did not look away. "None of my followers will entertain any of your entreaties to help you take Tarrlok out or smuggle in a waterbender healer, though they'll sympathize. Do not bother trying to negotiate with them on that point."

"I'll be sure to keep that in mind," snarled Amon with a roll of his eyes, and pointedly-if-sullenly turned his back on Asami, who was reminded that she was still dealing with a very young man. "Now, if that's it, maybe you could just go and–"

 

"Leave you to tell stories to your unresponsive brother?" Asami bluntly said, no real question in her voice. Her voice softened. "He can't hear you."

Amon's back had stiffened, but he didn't turn back to her to snap, "It's really none of your business, unless you have an actual order from the healers

–"

"No, but a general thank you from them. They were pleasantly surprised that you could provide them with competent assistance." Now there was a question in Asami's voice. Then she voiced it. "A crime lord's son knows healing?"

With the shirt Amon wore, Asami could see the scars come from part of his shoulder to his neck, even wrapping around the back of it. A self-conscious hand gripped the marred shoulder. "I...developed an interest in the craft."

Asami wondered if the scars were from getting caught in the crossfire of Yakone's fights. "The healers say you would do well in that discipline, rather than anything in your father's line of work."

"Not like it's helping Tarrlok now," Amon grumbled, checking his brother's forehead again, his hand pressed in between skin and the dried cloth. He then re-dipped the cloth into the water bowl, twisted it, then reapplied it to Tarrlok's forehead. "And he can. Or he might. Be able to hear, I mean."

"The voice of personal experience?" Asami folded her arms in the small of her back.

"When I'd get hurt or sick in bed, sometimes I heard a little of the stories Tarrlok would tell me," Amon murmured, voice pitched low in remembrance. His back still to her, Asami's eyes lowered, recalling her parents, alive, and tucking her into bed at night and telling her fairy tales about how Princess Yue became the moon, Lady Mai and Ty Lee's victory at the Boiling Rock, the Kyoshi Warriors' rescue of Appa. She could not remember the last story they told her before their murder....

"Is the polarbeardog abduction one of Tarrlok's stories?" Asami asked instead.

Amon finally looked to her over his shoulder. "His by heritage. Mine too, I guess. Same with my uncles and aunts. It's Water Tribe

both north and south."   

Uncles and Aunts--Asami paused over that. She had not heard of Yakone with brothers or sisters–but then, she hadn't heard of a second son. But she asked, "Was that the end of it then? The human child taken?"

The teen blinked at her, then turned to Tarrlok. "The bear took the human child to his mate. She was delighted with the infant girl. She and her mate raised the human as one of their own. They clothed her in the fur of a slain wolf, and taught her to walk on all fours and track down her prey. For claws, they gave her the knives of a slain huntsman. But after some time, the child's first parents found her. They had been searching for a long time. At first the child protested, and her parents thought her hysterical. They were master waterbenders, and soon reached inside their child's body and made her compliant."

Asami's eyes widened at the teen, but his back was to her, his eyes on Tarrlok. Amon was too young to have been around when Yakone could bend. If any of the boy's family had bloodbent him, that left Tarrlok...or any possibly unheard of uncles and aunts on Yakone's side.

"They took her home," Amon continued his narration. "The bear couple despaired, but together searched for their daughter, stolen and human as she was. Meanwhile, once the child was allowed to move on her own, she protested again. She'd been raised as a bear, and wished to live as a bear. Though she'd inherited bending from her first parents, she refused to manipulate the water. She tried to slash at her parents with her claw-knives, she bit at them, she tried to roar at them. Her parents did not have the heart to bloodbend her again."

Amon resoaked the cloth and reapplied it to Tarrlok's forehead. "'My child is lost forever,' the human mother said, and wept. But she and her husband agreed to free the girl who wanted to be a polarbeardog. So halfway across the pole, the humans met with the polarbeardogs. The girl rejoiced, embracing her polarbeardog parents. Her human parents watched, and wept some more. They walked far away, to the icy shores. They kept walking, and did not bend. They would drown."

It occurred to Asami that despite his youth, Amon also showed the potential to be an orator of some skill.

"But a voice cried out, 'Wait!' The benders turned back, and found their daughter on the shore, waving to them, flanked on either side by her polarbeardog mother and father. 'I want to be a polarbeardog, but you are a part of me too!' She said. 'And my polarbeardog parents have wronged you, and they are sorry. They wish to make amends.' The human mother shouted back, 'You would have me share my daughter with beasts?' the child startled, and said, her voice uncertain, 'I thought you wanted to love me too.' The human mother sobbed, and rushed on a wave for her child, along with her husband. And for the rest of their days, beast and human were one family." Amon exhaled. "And that is the end of it." He looked to the masked Equalist leader again. "My mother's sisters and brothers told me that story first–the basics of it anyway,Tarrlok's version was a little different...." Amon shrugged. "They had some Water Tribe in them too, though their skin was more Earth Kingdom. Or Fire Nation, I'm not sure."

"Mixed mutts are common enough these days," Asami said, her voice soft.

Amon gave an agreeable-if-undignified grunt.

"You said Tarrlok's version was different...." Asami's voice was knowing.

"Yeah, he added the bloodbending," Amon said, his voice impatient. "He said that's how his mother told it."

Behind the mask, Asami's lips pursed in thought as she watched Tarrlok. He was unreponsive as ever.

"Have you heard the one about the Earth Kingdom prince locked in a tower of thorns, doomed to sleep until the Fire Nation princess came?"

Amon shot her a baleful look. Asami did not look away, and finally Amon muttered that he hadn't.

tbc

A/N: Fairy tale based on this at

http://www.answers.com/topic/the-boy-who-wanted-to-be-a-bear.

 

Title: vigil(ante)

Fandom: Legend of Korra

Summary: AU. Equalist leader Asami shows some mercy.

A/N: For amosami week day 1 prompt 'illness.' Let's see if I can do this basic AU premise across all the days: a sort of age/role reversal between the two combined with other AU elements.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.

"Now what is this?" Asami asked, polite curiosity drifting from behind her smooth-faced mask as the Lieutenant shoved an adolescent boy down in front of her. She carefully noted burn scars stretching up his neck and to his cheek, but no further up. It was not entirely an unbearable sight.

"An intruder, obviously," deadpanned the teen, though he slightly winced as the Lieutenant tightened his hand around the boy's shoulder.

"But now why would an intruder be here?" Asami said, tilting her head and maintaining her polite tone as she moved away from the wall covered in maps and mech tank blueprints. Her skirts whispered along with the tell-tale beat of her boots, pale lithe hands folded behind her back as she looked down at the young intruder.

"I'm no bender," the teen muttered low enough to growl, though he tensed as Asami pressed a hand to his forehead. She'd had enough of a grasp on energybending to sense whether a person was cursed or not via such touch; no person could hide it from her, like Fire Lord Zuko could do as the Blue Spirit during the Hundred Year War.  She would've sensed even him, if she'd been born in his time.

Her hand pulled away, satisfied. "That you are not." Her voice was kind. But inside her patience was at an end; it had been a long week, and she was on her way to something tiring. And this boy's face was reminding her of someone unpleasant, slight scars crawling up it and the paler skin color and wrong eye color notwithstanding. Such a resemblance raised her suspicions. "Your name?"

The teen was silent at first, but when the Lieutenant squeezed his shoulder again, he reluctantly said, "Amon."

"So you have no bending to lose, Amon–just your life, if you do not tell me right now why you are here." She knelt down before him, taking his chin, uncaring if she touched the scars, though the boy twitched and scowled when she did. Behind such a gesture of power and control was an opportunity to search his familiar face more closely. "There are proper channels for new recruits or allies to go through. Tresspassing like this more immediately marks you as an enemy, and in line to suffer the consequences of that. I'm afraid the times make security an upmost priority among the Equalists."

"There's no need to make a point about the divide between benders and nonbenders to me, or inform me about Equalist policy," Amon evenly said, and winced again when the Lieutenant squeezed his shoulder once more.

The Lieutenant spoke, probably sounding gruff to the boy, but Asami could read the odd gentleness in his tone (Lieu typically had a soft spot for the young when not in the rage of battle, being a father himself long ago). "Just answer the question, kid," the Lieutenant advised.

Amon closed his dark brown eyes. "I'm looking for my brother. He's a bender."

"Your brother's name?" Asami asked, letting go of the teen's chin and standing back up, but still looking down at him thoughtfully. The teen's eyes were opened again, looking up at her blankly.

"How do you hope to be reunited with your brother if you do not give me his name?" The boy opened his mouth, but Asami cut him off, emphasized by a little flick of her hand. "I can assure you, I have all the captive benders' names, so there's no point in being concerned over revealing any sensitive information about his identity."

Amon blew out a shaky breath, then ground out, "Tarrlok."

So that's why he resembled that particular captive. And why he would've hoped to keep the name secret.

Asami first glanced to the Lieutenant; his face was a complete storm now, no longer calm, but at least he hadn't crushed the boy's shoulder. Lieu could be trusted to keep his head, even when Yakone came up.

Then Asami locked eyes with Amon. "I was not aware Yakone had another son."

"He doesn't talk about me much," the teen said in a blunt voice.

"I imagine the leader of the Red Monsoons wouldn't show much interest in a nonbender child, especially with his own bending removed."

"I'm not here to be recruited or gutted or held for a futile ransom, because yes, Yakone won't be interested–I just want my brother."

"Do you have a different mother?" Asami asked, pretending to ignore Amon. "To my understanding, Tarrlok's mother was one of Yakone's prized lieutenants, a full-blooded Northerner–"

"We are half-brothers, yes, sharing only a father.  I inherited my mother's skin," Amon snarled, eyes starting to burn up at Asami. "Please, Yakone won't answer any ransom for Tarrlok either, just let me take my brother–I'll do anything, I will be a new recruit if–"

"The situation is more complicated than you realize," Asami said, her voice softer. The teen looked apprehensive while Asami gestured to the Lieutenant to let Amon up.

###

Amon went to Tarrlok's bedside, taking his hand and rubbing another hand down his sweat-drenched forehead. Asami stood back, watching the half-brothers impassively. The empty beds in the rest of the lab infirmary stretched out before them, and their emptiness did weigh on the Equalist leader's heart.

"Me equalizing all benders one by one isn't that viable, and I've yet to successfully pass that tecnhique to anyone else. Should it truly be necessary to cleanse massive numbers of benders, a medicine mass produced and mass administered would be more ideal. And for that, we do need test subjects."

The teen jumped up as if shocked and whirled on the Equalist leader, fists clenched and looking like he dearly wanted to strike at her. Asami calmly stared at him back, her tranquility matching the white mask's immutable expression.

Visibly restraining himself, Amon said, "He's sick–"

"I'm well aware of that. And we are taking care of him as it would be–"

"–better to have a live, successful test subject, right?" Amon snarled, stabbing a finger at Tarrlok lying pale and limp in bed.

"Good to see you're not unintelligent, if still a little misguided," Asami said, brow arched behind the mask.

"And you're not?" Amon said in a low growl. "Have you even tried waterbender healers?"

"I think you know the answer to that."

"Let me take him to one–"

"No." Asami's voice was final. Amon opened his mouth, and she said, "You cannot bring one here either."

Amon stared at her, then burst out, "Who's unintelligent, who's misguided now?!"

"In this case, your brother's life pales in comparison to the principles I will have upheld." Her green eyes narrowed, becoming cold emerald pinpricks in the infirmary. "If your brother passes on, he will not be the first, and what is one more to me at this point?" She pointedly glanced to the empty infirmary around them. "However, he was the only one to survive the latest group.   He might yet live.  Take solace from that when you leave."

Amon stopped in mid-yell. "What?" He blinked. "You won't take me priso–?"

"I will not hold you." Asami made sure to keep the remorse out of her voice, to keep it utterly neutral. (She did not wish to deprive anyone of their family, but she had done it before, and would probably do it again.) "You can go."

Amon's eyes widened at her–then he spat in her masked face. "I won't." He turned his back on her, sitting back at Tarrlok's side. "I won't until Tarrlok gets better," he bitterly whispered.

Asami stared at him, looking down at the determined, yet weary slump of his shoulders. Finally she left him, and ordered the Lieutenant to give Amon a cot.

In private, Asami removed her uniform, slipping off the hood and untying her hair.  She pulled off the mask. She touched up her make up, refined her hair, donned the formal dress and carefully made her way topside. She went there to flash artificial smiles at the shakers and movers of Republic City, to hear them let slip useful information in the face of her charm and projected carelessness, to criticize those horrible Equalists and divorce her public persona from them as much as possible. No one would ever dream that Asami Sato, scion of the Sato Family and CEO of Future Industries was the masked Equalist leader that only went by the General, for if there was a Lieutenant, there was also a General.

Not if she did her job right, that is.

She danced and she laughed with them, hating them all in her heart, her mind drifting to underground, where Amon waited with Tarrlok.

tbc

Title: Then and Now: the scientists

Fandom: Transformers Prime

Summary: Mirrorverse AU. The former archivist still knew his ancient lore, especially when it came to the blood of Unicron.

A/N: With some recent talk on what SG/Mirrorverse!TFP humans would be like, finally gonna try to share my ideas on that--I just cracked and going to like whenever-I-feel-like-it one-shots in a collection.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Transformers Prime.

Before Cybertron's fall

Keeping notes was part of Ratchet's job. And so they were regularly kept for the Protoform X project at the Omicron labs. Starscream had seemed to be a success, his spark apparently rendered indestructible by the experimental procedure with dark energon and variations of synthetic energon, rather than destroyed by it like the seekers before him. Starscream had been the first to survive. It was natural for Ratchet and Elita-One to assume that Starscream's trinemates could possibly share in that success due to hereditary code. And so they underwent the procedure next.

And so they died next.

The rest of the seeker squadron were tested, despite no close hereditary ties to Starscream. They died as well.

Only Starscream survived.

Ratchet, Elita and the other Autobot scientists realized Starscream's spark had a preexisting mutation, something so subtle they had missed it before, but apparently so critical. Ratchet felt some regret over thatthere was no conceivable way to determine if the mutation of Starscream's spark had been a catalyst for the indestructiblity experiment, or if his spark had always been indestructible. It did not stop Ratchet from wanting to find a way.

But again Ratchet admired Optimus' intelligence, and devotion to ancient lore. Optimus had ordered Ratchet and Elita to test the myths that noted dark energon's ability to raise the dead.

And so Starscream's trinemates and comrades were injected with dark energon, under very controlled circumstances. Security held against the reanimated seekers' fury. Ratchet was entranced. It was all very promising.

Optimus gave another order: have the reanimated seekers and Starscream fight. The objective was to observe the reanimated seekers' abilities and to hone the only live and indestructibly sparked one. Starscream was all they had to show for the Protoform X project's original goal, and could still be a useful tool to Prime. The reanimated seekers predictably fell into line, their increased aggression levels accomodating Prime's order. Starscream was less inclined, but was still forced to actually engage in the whole thing; it wasn't as if anyone would really step in to save Starscream from being ripped to shreds by his former trinemates and comrades (he would survive such physical trauma of course, but Starscream's pain receptors were still active).

Ratchet dutifully reported on it all: reanimated seekers not mindless--show signs of predatory sentience-- though no higher functions comparable to what they possessed when fully alive before--but reanimated Thundercracker and Skywarp possibly recognize Starscream, keep observing closely; Starscream struggles under pressure, but steadily improves--devises traps for the reanimated seekers--employs fast evasive maneuvers--mild nature, but aggression level also steadily increasing....

Though the seekers had been Unaligned and never with the Decepticons, the lab staff took to nicknaming the reanimated ones the Terrorcons. Ratchet found it a useful shortened label.

Ratchet had always regretted how it all ended.

When he and Elita were called away to Optimus' side as the war intensified, the Omicron labs were lost as the Terrorcons finally broke out of their cells. From what information Ratchet was able to glean, the Terrorcons overran the place, slaughtering all the remaining Autobot staff, slaughtering everyone but Starscream of course. The destruction they wrought triggered emergency lockdown mechanisms that sealed the lab shut, preventing the Terrorcons or Starscream from completely escaping.  If only they had stayed locked, but Megatron had to foil that too.  It wasn't until the Decepticon leader crashlanded at the space station that anyone was able to escape at all, though Ratchet assumed Megatron and Starscream rather regretted the Terrorcons' freedom. The reanimated seekers took to prowling the skies and raining destruction down on anything in their path. Though Ratchet had practical concerns for Prime's military and reclaiming Prime's property, he was still rather curious about the Terrorcons' hunting patterns, wishing to track and observe their movements, their behavior in an environment more open than the Omicron labs.

And though Ratchet was impressed with Shockwave's technology that purged the dark energon in the Terrorcons, fully deactivating them, he still regretted the loss of the Terrorcons one by one. Such fascinating creatures, and still with untapped potential.

###

After Cybertron's fall

Ratchet was in awe when Optimus finally returned to Earth, for he was not alone. He brought two Terrorcons, the reanimated forms of Starscream's trinemates Thundercracker and Skywarp. Had they survived the Decepticons' attempts to exterminate them all? And they were much more sentient nowwith the higher functions they had when alive, able to hold a conversation and express individual characteristics. Their aggression levels were still heightened, Ratchet could tellthey were just now restrained somewhat under the individuality: Skywarp's sunny, eccentric nature and Thundercracker's bored ennui. Best of all, they obeyed Prime. What had Prime done to revive them, to return their higher functions, to control them? He'd clearly done something. Ratchet was again filled with admiration for his old friend, his leader, his Prime.

Optimus did not rush to explain. Ratchet had to be patient. But that patience was tested even more when he'd caught the surveillance footage in one of the Autobot underground bases, once Optimus quickly moved away from the screens and left the room. Footage of three human youths dead from experiments and getting prepped for dissection were sitting up again with Thundercracker and Skywarp quietly talking to them, Thundercracker more subdued than Skywarp's hushed eagerness. Rewinding the footage showed the reanimated seekers pierce each of the human youths with a shard of dark energon.  Skywarp later admitted with a sheepish grin that he'd teleported into the cargo hold and pilfered some dark energon to see how it interacted with the human corpses.  And that was another thing, Skywarp and Thundercracker now had more innate special abilities--teleportation to Skywarp, phasing through matter was Thundercracker's domain.  Was it them specifically, had they possessed mutations in their sparks after all?  Or would all Terrorcons get such special abilitiess when re-injected with dark energon?

Perhaps more importantly, could dark energon reanimate all forms of the dead?

And these humansthey showed none of the signs of predatory savagery Thundercracker, Skywarp and the other reanimated seekers had shown before, showed no lack of higher functions.   They retained their native tongues, their individuality right after their reanimation. The first obvious difference was speciesbut how could humans retain such higher functions straight off the bat while Cybertronians could not?   Perhaps it had to do with the humans' smaller size in relation to the dosage of dark energon?   The humans had a lesser capacity to harbor higher functions, and thus that was easier to retain, while Cybertronians' capacity for higher functions was larger, thus more difficult to maintain? Cybertronians were more effective in combat, thus their increased receptiveness to predatory savagery?

Finally Optimus gave Ratchet some explanation, though not about the reanimated humans–that had been a surprise to him too (though not entirely an unwelcome one). Optimus merely said that he found the Terrorcons' discarded bodies on some deserted moon, inside a Decepticon escape pod.   He'd re-infused them with a tweaked mixture of dark energon and synthetic energon variations, and "bound their coding to his will," though the particulars of that, Optimus refrained from explaining (for the moment, anyway). But Thundercracker and Skywarp's return of higher functions had initally surprised Prime as well.   He'd expected them to return to their former status once he had refilled them with dark energon, not change like that.  

Theories were spawned.   As far as knowledge went, Thundercracker and Skywarp were the only Cybertronians to be twice reanimated like this–perhaps on the second time, Cybertronians regain their higher functions. Perhaps it was the tweaked dark energon mixture combined with synthetic energon variations that had caused the change. Perhaps it was Prime's successful binding them to his will that had done the trick.

But Optimus was stricter about experimentation this time, and though it grated, Ratchet would not disobey his Prime. Thundercracker and Skywarp were under his control, and Optimus did not wish to jeopardize it. The Prime judged that it was enough for the reanimated humans to fall in line via Thundercracker and Skywarp, whom they had an immediate connection to. Human or Cybertronian, all the reanimated figures were drawn to each other in some way, sharing purple optics, purple eyes, sharper teeth, more clawed hands. Ratchet wondered if Thundercracker and Skywarp had something of a hive mind with the reanimated humans just as they apparently had with their fellow Terrorcons years before. And if so, perhaps Optimus was counting on that; for if the humans' wills were bound to Thundercracker and Skywarp's, they were bound to his as well.

Ratchet watched surveillance footage of Thundercracker and Skywarp's hunting lessons with their humans Darby, Nakadai, Esquivel in the more isolated caves of the underground bases. With Optimus' approval, Thundercracker and Skywarp brought back live humans for the three reanimated ones to practice on. Watching the violet-eyed humans stalk and kill the non-violet-eyed ones through the caves, Ratchet had to conclude they also had heightened aggression levels under their individuality.

Bulkhead was distressed to find the reanimated humans' new fangs could devour metal and gave them the taste for it, but Ratchet was fascinated. Like the scraplets, also violet-eyed–had those scrap eaters always had a connection to dark energon this whole time? Oh, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and the other Terrorcons had always taken to biting metal, but they had never been observed consuming it.  Now Skywarp crowed with delight over his "little fleshlings' healthy appetite" and fussed over having them properly fed, while Thundercracker regarded them with a quiet fondness.

Arcee was at her wit's end when both the reanimated humans and seekers made little devices and scraps of metal skitter alive with their dark energon carefully bled out, but it had only reminded Ratchet of the Omicron labs.

Optimus did not allow anymore dark energon to be used for more experiments in reanimation, and he did not explain, though Ratchet assumed his Prime wanted to preserve their stocks of that volatile matter for as long as possible. Ratchet only questioned Prime when necessary. He trusted his judgment.

And Ratchet rather thought Thundercracker, Skywarp, Darby, Miko, and Esquivel were adequate enough for observing dark energon's effect on the dead.

A/N: I have been wondering for a while what would happen if Dark Energon mixed with a dead human, especially after learning Earth's/humanity's connection to Unicron.  Checked out Homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist for inspiration, both the first anime adapation and Hiromu Arakawa's original story/second anime adaptation.  I've also wondered about sentient Terrorcons/Cybertronian zombies, so that theory was also written in with dead/undying/reanimated Thundercracker and Skywarp here in this Mirroverse.  And also wondered about the creepy purple-eyed scraplets.... More details on the deal with the reanimated Transformers/humans later.  TBC in Then and Now: the experiments, which should be more Mirrorverse!Terrorcon!TC and Skywarp's POV. 

Title: a very curious case [SNIPPET]

Character(s): Korra, Amon, Noatak, OCs

A/N: Thanks to lantur who started it (http://lantur.tumblr.com/post/30639445091/so-korra-looks-a-lot-like-noatak-she-looks), and plotdesigner (and darkpuck I think) discussing it more, and patripatriae/crushermon/driftycryingwithelieumon's fic, and mixed race twins research like this:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123050/Look-The-black-white-twins-turn-seven.html

And original trilogy Star Wars.


Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.

"It's rare, but it happens--" Adina had heard one of the midwives whisper this when Korra and Amon were born, the girl twin with her father's dark color and blue eyes, the boy twin with his mother's paler color and dark brown eyes.

Adina held her new twins freely, though she noted Noatak held them as if they would break.  She found he grew quieter and even stranger when news of Avatar Aang's death finally reached their farm.

###

Korra asked her mother again and again where Baba was, when was he coming home, can Amon and she stay up and wait for him?

Amon was quiet, except when he and his twin went to bed and under the covers he asked her, "What if he doesn't come back?"

It had been snowing.  Outside a pile of it leapt up and splattered against their window once Korra scowled and pushed her brother.  But at the sound of it both twins were frightened and rushed to Adina's room.
After puzzling it out, Adina realized her daughter took after Noatak in bending too.

###

Korra was excited to take up watering the plants until Baba came back.  She was really excited to bend like Baba, and was certain Amon could do it too, he just hadn't yet for whatever reason.

"But what if I can't, like Mama?"

"You can, too!"  Korra pouted; then grinned, dousing her twin again with water.

Her brother whined that wasn't helping, and Korra repeated it'll shock him into bending the water away or off him, and Amon retorted she just liked splashing him.  When Korra did it again, Amon dodged, and then she whined he was missing the point.

"Is it bad, if I can't bend like you?"  Amon asked in the quiet dark of their room again, when they should have been sleeping.

"It's fun splashing you--"

Amon pouted at his belief that his sister just liked soaking him being proven so right and her saying it so unashamedly. 

"--but it's okay, Mama can't either.  And you're even faster than water!"

Amon beamed.

###

Three years and father was still gone, and Korra fought other children who said he'd ditched them.  Sometimes Amon would help her--only for her, not father, who wasn't really that relevant anymore.  Other times he'd try to pull her back.  He rarely started a fight.

"Come on, Sis--"

"But Amon--!"

One of the older kids snarled as Amon tried to drag Korra back.  "You're so stupid, bending all the time like it's the greatest thing ever, saying your dead beat dad was the best bender ever--"

"It is and he is--!" Korra shouted back, and Amon pulled harder on her scraped up arm.

"--don't even notice those new Agni Kais keeping an eye on you."

"Huh?" Korra stopped struggling, confused.  Amon had stiffened, going very still.

The older boy spat on the ground.  "I hear they're still like the firebenders in the war, dragging waterbenders away, and selling them to the Monsoons--"

For once Amon snapped, slamming into the older boy and just hitting every inch of him that he could reach.

"Amon--Amon--brother--brother, stop it!"  Korra was pulling at him, scrambling, screaming.  "Amon, you're making him bleed--you're making him bleed a lot!"

She finally managed to yank him off the older boy.  Her hands flailed at the boy, panicking, especially when the other kids had gone still with shock at small quiet Amon going off like that.  Her flailing made the blood on the boy's crumpled up nose move, and catching on that, she tried bending the blood off him, like bending the water off people like her twin--

Someone shrieked.  "Bloodbender!"

Someone else pushed Korra, and the bloodied boy with the broken nose ran off.  Amon half-caught her so that she didn't completely land with her flat back on the dirt, but her rump still hit the ground.  Amon began moving away, his eyes glaring and frenzied and barely seeing anything again--Korra wrapped her arms around his legs, again shouting, "Stop!"

Amon shook himself, blinking.  Holding her brother's hand very tight, Korra led Amon home to their farm in a mad run.

Realizing that there was blood on Amon too, Korra began bending it away before Mama could see, and Amon did not shriek.  He didn't make a sound.

A/N: More mixed race twins research:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1103391/Mixed-race-couple-birth-black-white-twins--second-time.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14885513

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01606sk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_twins

http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2008/07/17/4380054-black-and-white-twins-brothers-from-the-same-mother?lite



Title: the showdown that was always meant to be [10/?]

Fandom: The Legend of Korra

Summary: Finale AU. Did you seriously swallow every word from the man that kidnapped you days ago?

Previously: part 9:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/30695598418

A/N2: YES AN UPDATE. :D

A/N: Season 1 finale rewrite GO. And rewritten after a certain scene, because up until certain points in the finale, I had hope.

Preview of this first shown here at

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/25771751420.

This is in continuity with my fic "Misbegotten Sons" at

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8190741/1/misbegotten_sons. In case anyone wonders, this is not really in continuity with "all a dream" at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8292114/1/all_a_dream.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra or Avatar: The Last Airbender.

"Well, deja vu," Lin Bei Fong grumbled as she took out the last guard and leveled a deadplan glance at Mako in his makeshift cell. She kept another eye on her men and their current Equalist allies. One masked Equalist backed off, body language reading alarmed, while another placed a hand on his shoulder and drew close to his ear, whispering. The other Equalists surrounded him protectively, except for those who kept a tense look out along with other ex-metalbenders.

"They've already taken Korra--!" Mako began urgently as Lin checked the guards for keys. There was a metallic clink, and she frowned to find one of the Equalists with the key. Their current leader, the one that had let her out, in fact. Lin had gotten a name out of her, Nila.

"How do you know?" The Equalist with the key asked, her voice flat.

"I overhead the guards talking, and what are they doing here--?!" Mako snarled, glaring at the masked chiblockers.

"We're teaming up with the Equalists to take down Tarrlok and his unified gang front, and you best get used to that fast." Lin explained. "Now, did you hear where they took Korra?" She asked, trying to keep her voice calm as she faced Mako.

"The park--"

"And Amon, the Lieutenant, the chiblockers, the civilian nonbenders--everyone else taken here at the arena? Do you know where they are?" The Equalist with the key asked.

Mako's eyes narrowed, but he said, "I heard they were taking Amon and the...the civilian nonbenders to the park, too. Didn't hear anything about any Lieutenant or the chiblockers."

"They may still be here," Lin said. "Now, Nila, please give me the key, or let Mako out yourself."

One of the Equalists behind their leader, Nila, snapped, "We don't need hotheads like him for this."

"We need every man we can get," one of Lin's men snapped, and he withered when Lin shot him a glare.

Another Equalist piped up, "Not him! Not after he almost burned off Ash's face, just like Amon got his burned off!"

The Equalist who'd earlier backed off, looking alarmed, flinched and further retreated, while another moved in front of him.

"Especially when we didn't even have your stupid Avatar! That was Tarrlok's fault too!" Another snarled behind her mask.

Mako gaped. "I...you were the one who--?"

"Didn't know anything, yeah," Equalist Ash said in a small brittle voice as he stepped back into sight.

"I...I didn't recognize you," Mako said, his voice hesitant. "Not with the m--"

Ash then pulled his mask off. "Recognize me now?"

"I...not really...."

"Guess that fire didn't illuminate much," one of the Equalists sneered.

"All of you--" another chiblocker hissed, turning on Lin's ex-metalbenders. "--keep shooting us dirty looks or pitiful crocpup glances, but we fed you, we didn't beat you, let alone try to burn any of your faces off, Amon just took your bending and spared your lives--do you have any idea how merciful he's being? How many of us would rather see you all dead, but Amon and a whole lot of others have been very insistent and very persuasive about not killing--"

Finally Lin stepped in between Mako and the Equalists and her men. "Mako was a probender at the arena here, he should be able to lead us around the area better."

"We know the arena well en--"

"Actually, Kaoru, we don't; none of us were on the strike team at the probending arena, remember?" Nila pointed out as she stopped twirling the key. The Equalist named Kaoru grumbled, folding her arms. When no other chiblocker protested, Nila let Mako out.

On both sides of bender and former benders and nonbenders, the tension remained, though it had shifted, mutated. The ex-benders shooting the nonbenders less distasteful glances and more considering, guilty ones. Mako's face stormy, uncertain. Lin's mouth pressed into a very thin line. The Equalists silent, focused, but still bitter underneath.

###

The Lieutenant listened closely to the guards talk.

"So did more of our guys come in from Bai Sing Se?"

"No, not since last week...."

The Equalist's eyes narrowed. So, bender criminals from outside Republic City had been reached, too...probably convinced a movement against bending itself affected them all...could any of these benders possibly be unaffiliated with the gangs, and just here to defend bending...?

"Woah, what are you doing--Tarrlok said--"

"You'd have to be blind and deaf not to notice he doesn't give a damn about this guy, and he got my brother's bending taken away, delivered him straight to that freak--"

The Lieutenant tensed, sensing an opportunity, if he played his cards right.

###

Naga was too large to navigate most of the probending arena; same applied to the mech tanks they had. They and the polarbeardog were left with some of the chiblocking Equalists after taking out enough guards. They were to serve as lookout, while the rest of their group searched the arena for their missing. Bolin, being most familiar with the place, led the way.

Eventually, they came upon the noise of a scuffle ahead.

"That doesn't sound good--" Bolin remarked.

"Very astute," deadpanned Hiroshi.

"Perhaps we should--" began Iroh.

Asami and the masked chiblockers bolted ahead for the racket.

"Asami!" Hiroshi instinctively shouted, alarmed. He had never gone into battle with his daughter before, and frankly was still anxious over the whole thing, how could a single father possibly avoid such uncertain feelings? He, Bolin and Iroh ran after them.

They found the Lieutenant chained and struggling madly with a man. Asami fell upon the Lieutenant's attacker while the rest dealt with the other gang benders surprised by their entrance. Shock helped make the fight short, and soon Asami and Hiroshi were helping the Lieutenant out.

"Amon--" The Lieutenant said, pulling away from Hiroshi and Asami's hold.

"We haven't found him yet," Hiroshi said.

The Lieutenant shook his head. "No, I overhead the guards--Amon's been taken to the park, along with the Avatar and the civilian nonbenders."

"Why?" Asami asked, eyes wide.

"No idea," the Lieutenant bitterly said. Then he and Asami locked eyes.

"I--"

"I know you're Lieu." Her mouth quirked a little. "Still can't believe you ended up going by 'Lieutenant' too."

Bolin stared. "No way, Mustache Guy is the Lieutenant who's also named Lieu--?"

"We may be teaming up, but if you would shut up unless you really need to talk, I'd be much obliged," the Lieutenant deadpanned while giving Bolin a withering look.

Undetered, Bolin looked surprised. "Howdidyouknowwewereteamingup--?"

"What else am I supposed to think of all of you here without attacking each other? That, and I know your idiot brother's here too--"

"He is, he wasn't taken to the park too?! Where is he?!" Bolin begged, grabbing the Lieutenant's arms and looking desperate, his voice cracking.

The Lieutenant blinked. Then he said, softly, "Don't touch me."

Bolin immediately let go. "Right, sorry, personal space--"

The Lieutenant sighed. "I don't know where your brother is, or the rest of our chiblockers, but they may still be here--"

"Sir, found your generator and kali sticks!" Everyone's attention snapped to one of the shorter Equalists, who raised the generator and kali sticks above his head like a trophy, the locker left open beside him.

"Good work, Tien--now let's grab the others and then head to the park," the Lieutenant said with a terse nod.

###

Mako closed his eyes, it was too late already, that piece of earth was going to burst his head open--

And then he felt nothing but his brother's hug and his familiar scent. "OhmanMakoIloveyou--"

"What--?"

"Your brother just redirected that earth spike and saved your life, but since we're still in the middle of a fight, it'd be great if he'd hold off on the hugging for later," Mustache Guy said in a very calm voice while whacking gang benders left and right with his kali sticks.

Mako had very little time to think before fire was blasted toward them, and he instinctively redirected it, while Bolin bent a protective wall of earth ahead of them. "And don't hit Mustache Guy--er, the Lieutenant or the other chiblockers--"

"We already saw him fighting with chiblockers and Lin and her men, I think he's up to speed on our little alliance--" Mustache-Guy-slash-Lieutenant again calmly pointed out while he electrocuted a shrieking gang metalbender.

"Oh right," Bolin said, and Mako wondered when he'd wake up from this really surreal dream.

###

Bolin covered an Equalist, knocking down another gang bender, and nodded to the other Equalist who'd helped him out earlier. She gave a stiff acknowledging nod.

The ex-probender turned to his older brother, smiling, ecstatic--but he paused when he saw Mako narrow his eyes at Asami helping Mustac--the Lieutenant up.

"All right there, Sifu?" Asami said with a quirk of her lips, and--woah, was the Lieutenant smiling? Even just a little?

Bolin's eyes widened as Mako's snapped wide and looked like he was about to breathe fire and ohno.

"Sifu? Sifu?" Mako snarled, stepping toward Asami and the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant glared back, as did Hiroshi, and Bolin's eyes were darting between all of them. It looked like the Lieutenant and Hiroshi wanted to step in front of Asami, but she stepped toward Mako too, her face equally stormy.

"He's your self-defense teacher? How many Equalists did you 'not' know--?"

"Don't you dare accuse me, not when you didn't even tell me about the Triads."

Mako's eyes widened. "What--" Then his eyes glared at Bolin, and the younger man flinched. "Bo-!"

"Don't blame your brother again, he assumed you'd have the guts to tell me about this before--though why he did, I have no idea, you didn't have the nerve to tell me about your kiss with Korra yourself--"

Bolin started to really fear for his brother's life with the way Hiroshi and the Lieutenant were staring at Mako, and one still had his Equalist glove, the other with his electrified kali sticks.

"We can't argue about this when Korra's captured right now--"

"You're the one who started jumping down my throat before even giving me a chance to explain myself!"

"Your teacher was an Equ--!"

"Enough," snarled Lin Bei Fong as she stepped forward, and Bolin realized their whole group of Equalists, ex-metalbenders, and United Forces General was staring at Mako and Asami right now.

"Nonbender or not," General Iroh said, "we're all fighting to retake Republic City. None of us are about to join the gangs despite old history, are we?" The general's eyes narrowed.

Someone scoffed. It was an Equalist, one of the ones that had been with Bei Fong and Mako.

"That one--" she stabbed a finger at Bolin. "--was fighting for the gangs in their freakin' turf war not long ago, how could we possibly trust him?"

"That's gotta be a mist--" Asami said.

"I didn't know it'd be a turf war, I was just told it'd be support and we needed the money--" Bolin said.

At the same time.

Asami stared at Bolin, and he felt like sinking into the ground, though he really didn't want to bend in front of her and the others.

"That isn't a small thing, Bolin!" She snapped, and it looked like she would breath fire if she could. "You told me--spirits, the both of you--!"

"Asami, please, I didn't mean--"

"The young man was probably left too unsettled by Amon to willingly speak of anything related to that situation again, even when he agreed to do enforcement for the Triads," the Lieutenant dryly pointed out. "You benders are so disturbed by the possibility of losing all that power."

Bolin blinked. Was that a back-handed defense of him from the Lieutenant that electrocuted him more than once?

"None of you are going to join the gangs, are you?" General Iroh repeated quietly. Bolin and Mako shook their heads. Despite the mask, there was still the way an Equalist's head moved, so Bolin was fairly certain she'd just rolled her eyes at them.

Asami was still glaring at both of them, but she looked really hurt too. Bolin felt like a complete jerkbender.

"Then we need to--" Hiroshi started, and then more guards arrived.

###

Naga cornered another Enemy, and another Shadow Person took him down, just as they had taken Korra down before, but not killed her. If any of the Shadow People had killed Her Person, Naga would've killed them too.

Naga had never seen the Shadow People kill anyone before, and Asami and Bolin were not fighting the Shadow People, who actually smelled nice. Naga decided she liked them. When the Enemies were down, Naga expressed her acceptance again by licking one of the Shadow People.

The Metal People, who had lumbered over them, protective, sometimes shooting out sparking lines, were still now.

The polarbeardog whipped around, growling, just as the Shadow People were at her side again ready for more. It was Asami and Bolin, followed by whom Asami called "Dad" like Korra and the Airpups had people whom they called "Dad." There were more Shadow People, and there was whom Bolin had called Mustache Guy, that daring human who'd actually jumped at her. But of course he had been no match for her. Few humans rarely were.

Behind them were more Enemies, shooting fire and rock and water.

"But Mako--!" Bolin shouted, and Asami shook her head. Naga whined, sensing Bolin's heightened distress.

"Don't worry, he got out okay, him and the Chief and the cops and those chiblockers--they all got out okay!"

"Except for the fact that we're separated! Again!"

"They know to meet us at the park!" Asami called back.

"We have to go now!" Mustache Guy ordered. Naga tensed, waiting--there, Bolin and the General jumped into her saddle. Asami, her Dad, Mustache Guy and the Shadow People took to their four-wheeled and two-wheeled machines, the Metal People following and providing cover.

Naga bounded ahead with the strange pack, darting and evading the Enemy. Again, the polarbeardog hoped the next time she stopped, Korra would be there.

A/N: Ohman, taking a stab at Naga POV was fun.

So in this part, Mako POV, third omniscent POV finally, Bolin POV and Naga POV! (Really had fun with Naga POV, I want to try that more!)

...Also, question, anyone know what happened to Pabu during the canon finale? O_o I just watched it twice, and now I realize I have no idea what happened to Pabu. It makes sense for Pabu to have had a scene like Momo, where both critters were told to clear out for the major fighting...but I don't remember Pabu having a scene like that, though he must've. Or did Pabu stay with Naga? AUGH DID I FORGET ABOUT PABU? I might have to go back and add Pabu in later if that's the case! XD

part 1:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28000760872 with mostly Korra and some Lieutenant POV.

part 2:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28073251687 with mostly Asami POV.

part 3:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28220593926 with mostly Lieutenant POV.

part 4:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28377075819 with mostly Lin and Bumi POV.

part 5:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28796710764 with mostly Amon POV.

part 6:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/29647111132 with mostly Korra POV and some Tarrlok at the end.

part 7:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/29910189757 with mostly Tarrlok POV and his flashback.

part 8:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/30200540393 with mostly Hiroshi POV.

And now part 9:

http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/30695598418 with Tarrlok POV, dream and waking.

Title: you're yakone's son

Summary: Misbegotten Sons AU. The little things about Tarrlok, firstborn to Yakone.

A/N: Late for Tarrlok Appreciation Day.  Quite unpolished, but I still want something for Tarrlok Appreciation Day, and it's still in decent enough shape I think.  And this rather...mutated into other things.  Like MS!Amon sneaked in, and it's even more Tarrlok & Amon thematically.  A mix of new, old-and-expanded from 'misbegotten sons' and 'the showdown that was always meant to be.'

Misbegotten Sons (up to date at my ff.net account): http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8190741/1/misbegotten-sons

the showdown that was always meant to be (up to date at my tumblr, links to previous part at bottom of most recent here): http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/30695598418

1. His parents were his heroes. And after his mother died, only Yakone was Tarrlok's hero. The person he looked up to the most in the entire world. And mother had always said Tarrlok had to honor and respect and protect his father.

Thus when he realized what kind of man Yakone really was, Tarrlok's entire perception of the world was essentially skewed from a young age, in a way even Yakone didn't entirely expect. For if Yakone was like this, Tarrlok's unconconscious child mind grew to think the rest of the world was pretty much like him.

Tarrlok rarely saw anything that made him think otherwise after that. People were simply varying levels of cruelty. Deep down, they would all twist the knife in their neighbor's back. And those who fell prey to the knife were simply too stupid and weak to count.

2. Tarrlok's mother wore her hair in three tails, which he inherited. She could still bend, unlike Yakone. And thus it was she who had first shown him bloodbending, though she'd never explained it alive. Just called it a magic show when she made the rabbit-antelope dance for him. The creatures hadn't looked conspicuously in pain; her control was precise, and she made it gentle with them. Tarrlok had found it all good fun, ignorant of what was really going on. It was Tarrlok's mother that began to recite family history to Tarrlok: how Yakone could bend before, had taught her to bloodbend, and how she had served him and his large empire in Republic City, until Avatar Aang and Chief Toph Bei Fong and the Council got the edge.

3. Tarrlok's name is inspired by his aunt, his mother's sister. Or so mother told him. Mother didn't speak much of her, just a few fond words, before ending it with a sad, longing silence. After mother's death, Tarrlok had asked Yakone about his aunt. It was a bad time, just when Yakone was about to take his drink. He'd moved suddenly, and Tarrlok flinched--but Yakone had simply banged the table. "She doesn't matter," he'd said in a level voice, in contrast to the slightly dented table. And Tarrlok never asked about his aunt again, and he remembered that when mother was alive and she'd spoken of her, Yakone had always looked unimpressed.

4. During their nomadic existence, Yakone had kept up his criminal connections, and often let Tarrlok observe. At first Tarrlok had tried to absorb everything, but at a certain point, he grew weary of it. The gist was the same--Yakone would hurt someone, and people would get hurt. What was the point of Tarrlok knowing every single detail?

5. Tarrlok lost his virginity at fourteen. It was to one of the daughters of Yakone's Agni Kai associates, a year older than he and with designs to leave the family business.

6. It wasn't long before Tarrlok did feel some jealousy over Yakone suddenly bringing Amon into their little family unit. It was just sudden. Out of nowhere. Tarrlok had no time to prepare before he was saddled with a little brat. And it seemed like Yakone paid so much damn attention to Amon, and Tarrlok wasn't used to sharing his father's attention like that. Not like Yakone wasn't the most attentive of fathers per se. He was negligent enough before when Tarrlok had been smaller as to make his only real son desperate for any shred of affection from him. Yakone was attentive to Tarrlok's training, certainly, but that was it. But...that was it, and Tarrlok would take what he could get. And now Amon was eating into that time and attention, and Tarrlok initially felt a petty jealousy over the child.

7. When he was four, his mother had stuffed him into the closet and told him not to move or to make a sound or to look while she dealt with the intruder in their home. But there'd been more than one, and they'd chiblocked her, then killed her, and only later would Tarrlok really comprehend that they had done that because mother had murdered their family years ago. Tarrlok had peeked, and saw the whole thing.

Yakone wasn't pleased.

He'd come, too late, but in time to kill mother's murderers. He'd found Tarrlok. Made the boy tell him what happened, and Tarrlok had to confess he could bend the entire time. He hadn't been chiblocked. The only reason he hadn't acted and left the closet to help his mother was because he'd been a coward. Yakone knew it, Tarrlok knew it.

8. Tarrlok is a full ten years older than Amon, who is a full ten years older than Korra, and sometimes Tarrlok briefly wonders about that rather weird even gap between all three of them.

9. Tarrlok does see himself in Korra. Hell, he'd sometimes wore his hair in the same style, a high wolf's tail. Invested and honed in his bending as he, the extremes she goes to get what she wants--but she's so dense. Tarrlok isn't sure if the Avatar truly realizes what she does, and that is a difference there, a difference Tarrlok doesn't appreciate. Oh, he lies, of course he lies, but he does know his own actions well enough. He knows it's all about power, not right or wrong. But he rather doubts Korra does. Korra seems to genuinely believe in right and wrong, and that she's in the right no matter what she actually does, and Tarrlok is dismissive of such personal ignorance. It's part of the reason why he finally drops his masks and tries to be at least a little frank and honest with her in his office after he has the Avatar's companions and the civilian nonbenders arrested. He wanted her to understand, even just a little. Of course, it was all for persuading her to fall in line, but on some level, he simply just wanted it because he was irrirated with her behavior, and wanted it to be less offensive to him.

10. When Korra refuses him the last time, Tarrlok is reminded of Amon. Younger than Korra, but an adolescent still, Amon had refused him too. And both refused him over nonbenders, essentially. Amon had been so concerned with nonbenders, his people--Tarrlok couldn't understand how Amon didn't realize he was better than them, he shouldn't concern himself with people too weak to help themselves. Tarrlok just wanted Amon to embrace that, seize his own slice of power, not go around wasting time trying to assist that many irrelevant people. It was galling all the more because Tarrlok knew Amon was close to that, his methods were close--but despite the years gone by without seeing each other, Tarrlok was still fairly certain Amon continued to bear a misguided sense of right and wrong.

For all his calculation now, and even in his youth, Amon had still been a teenager with fire, and Korra's own fire sometimes reminded Tarrlok of that--but hers was always an aimless one, while Amon's had been honed and burned fiercer for that. It was a fire Tarrlok never really understood--if he had any fire at that age, it was only a slow burn. Never as bright as theirs. But it could spark occasionally.

Such as when Korra says just the wrong thing, and Tarrlok strikes.

11. It was the wrong thing to say because Tarrlok had already been reminded of Amon, who was frankly a sore topic on every level. And then he'd felt irrationally defensive of his younger brother seconds after damning him in his thoughts--had the Avatar implied Amon was 'bad?' Honestly, when Tarrlok tried to think of a real 'good' in this world, Amon was his first thought. But of course he thought of a real good in this world--and Tarrlok remembered Amon as a creature desperate for affection and fiercely reciprocating warmth he received; a creature still in terrible grief and anger but loathed to take a life, to even really hurt anyone--but would do it if it was necessary; a creature Tarrlok knew was now full grown with desperation driving him to what was called extremism, that was driven by necessity not desire, that still avoided killing. That was the closest thing to 'good' in Tarrlok's mind. And Tarrlok did not believe Amon could keep it up; he may refuse it now, he may've refused Tarrlok, but Tarrlok knew Amon would eventually realize the truth of the world: that 'good' didn't matter, and neither did 'evil.' It was just about power. And Tarrlok knew it was only a matter of time before Amon learned that.

12. Yakone had been the only one to continue Tarrlok's waterbending training. Yakone knew the motions, he would never forget them, and that was enough to teach Tarrlok.

13. Tarrlok never knew if Yakone had the box especially crafted for this, or if it'd been used for another purpose before, and then gained a new one--specifically, to cage Tarrlok. This would be the first time he bloodbent, when forcing his father to open the metal cage, per his father's orders.

14. Yakone continued to use himself as a test subject for Tarrlok, ordering him to break his arm, stop his walk. Tarrlok hated this worse than bloodbending the animals, and would rather bend them than his own father.

Tarrlok could be frankly too observant for his own good, aware enough to know his situation was highly dsyfunctional, and yet it still felt natural, it was all he knew. He knew Yakone was cruel, and how little he thought of his own son--but Tarrlok still loved him and wanted his father's love and pride. And he knew Yakone blamed him for his mother's death, and he did want to make up for it. And mother had told him to always love and respect and honor and protect his father.

15. At seventeen, Tarrlok had enough and left Yakone for good. But Yakone never completely left his thoughts.

16. Before his mother died, Tarrlok had been frightened of monsters in the closet. (The same closet she'd stuff him in later for his own protection.) Mother had hugged him, and explained in such a calm and serious voice, Tarrlok listened intently, for he knew his mother was saying something very important.

"There are no such things as monsters in this world, Tarrlok. There are only people, and what matters is whether they have power, or they do not."

"And animals," Tarrlok had added in a voice still quiet with reverence for his mother.

"And animals. But the thing with power applies to them as well."

And he kissed him good night, and Tarrlok had slept well.

17. But ultimately, Tarrlok did believe in monsters, deep down.

18. Tarrlok has horrible scars on his chest. One of Yakone's enemies had caught him as a child, and they had...it hadn't been pleasant. Tarrlok does not like to remember how he got the scars (but the mind will dream). He'd been loathed to show them at all, but the desire for sex eventually won out.

19. Tarrlok actually had nightmares as bad as Amon, especially when he'd been the same age as the younger boy. And he still had them in his adolescence, but he'd learn to be quieter about them most of the time. Most of the time. Occasionally he became disruptive, and wake to find a terrified and worried Amon shaking him awake. And Tarrlok thought he would've felt a flash of twisted satisfaction, knowing he'd probably disturbed Amon's sleep like Amon had done so much for him--but Tarrlok had only felt a very foreign shock. He hadn't had anyone come for him in an attempt to comfort his nightmares not since--not since his mother, Tarrlok was certain.

Tarrlok supposed it was...nice? No, it was just--he wasn't used it. Eventually he decided he didn't much care for it; Amon looked so worried, and this was not the image Tarrlok wanted, he was not a child anymore, he was not weak. Tarrlok strove harder to keep a lid on his nightmares.

The nightmares did not vanish in Tarrlok's adulthood either.

20. Right before becoming the Northern Water Tribe's council representative, Tarrlok served as Republic City's District Attorney.

21. Tarrlok does have a reputation for promiscuity, courting several ladies, but rarely seriously. He never treats any of them cruelly, and typically the women he chooses know there is no prospect of marriage in the future. This reputation stems purely from Tarrlok's own physical desire.

22. Tarrlok is dismissive of probending. He finds the game waters down bending too much, making it weak, and Tarrlok despises weakness of any kind.

23. Tarrlok killed a human for the first time when he was ten. Yakone spent weeks preparing him. Tarrlok got the gist that this target was a particularly hard one for Yakone and his allies and their underlings to reach, but a small child would have the element of surprise. And Tarrlok did. The overweight man had looked amused at this thin Water Tribe child with long unkempt hair, brought in as a messenger, and was sneering--and then gagging as Tarrlok bloodbent his throat, fatally so. And messily, because Tarrlok had never done such a thing before, he was new at this. Yakone and his men had backed Tarrlok up, taking down the guards and making sure they didn't touch Tarrlok, who had retreated to the corner of the office and curled into a ball, feeling very wet from the target's blood. But Tarrlok had felt better when Yakone had smiled and carried him in his arms, telling him he did a good job. He felt ecstatic, even

24. Tarrlok and Pema had a fling before Tenzin and Lin Bei Fong broke up. They never mentioned it again, and Tarrlok rather doubts Pema has ever told Tenzin. And the fling had been--the actual act was mind-bogglingly pleasant. But Tarrlok knew who Pema wanted, and instead of the gratification he expected at even that little barb against Tenzin, he felt his pride actually wounded. Unacceptable. Now Pema, he had been rather cruel too, but she bit back, they argued--Tarrlok remembers saying Pema should just damn the consequences and take what she wanted instead of wasting time with another. When Tarrlok did hear of Pema and Tenzin's engagement, he'd felt some dark amusement.

25. Tarrlok doesn't actually like dark red wine. He knows its the color, and he despises that horrible predictability and weakness in himself.

26. Tarrlok grew to dislike animals. They simply brought up foul memories of bloodbending, Yakone, and Amon. Amon--spirits, the brat had liked animals. Tarrlok had been the same, once--but that didn't last long after he could see how helpless they were against his bending. His sympathy had morphed to apathy--they just so helpless...too helpless. Literally nothing they could do. They were more like objects to push and pull than real living beings.

Same with people who couldn't bloodbend in general.

27. There were a few really good moments and days with Yakone and Amon, so few and far in between, almost forgotten, but not quite; and cherished all the more. For example, a really good day had been Tarrlok's ice dodging. Somehow it felt even better after Tarrlok's actual fifteenth birthday, when Yakone had ordered him to bloodbend Amon for the first time. From one extreme to the next. Because on that day Yakone did not work the criminal underworld or train Tarrlok and Amon to harm or even serve them a biting remark. It was simply Yakone and the ship and the old man observing Tarrlok work to dodge the ice and Amon had been a little thing looking on in awe with wide eyes and he'd even made for a good little assistant. Yakone had simply given Tarrlok the mark of the wise, and even Amon the mark of the brave, and then they'd gone back to their current home. And Amon had kept going on and on, and Tarrlok found he liked even this change of pace, the little scarred boy was normally quieter than this, had been even quieter after being bloodbent on Yakone's orders for the first time. But this was the first since then since he'd really come alive, and Tarrlok just enjoyed how bright Amon's eyes were when he looked at him. Amon had asked if he'd be ice dodging when he was fifteen, and Tarrlok had promised he would, that he himself would take him out.

28. On Amon's fifteenth birthday, Tarrlok had just walked to Yue Bay and watched the ships dock and depart, its dark waves push and pull. Amon was not here, and at the time, Tarrlok doubted he would ever see him again. Even he understood that something had broke between he and his adopted brother, enough to practically severe their relationship entirely. (And deep down, though he did not want to admit it in any capacity, he knew who was more to blame for that division, the way his brother's eyes had shattered and dimmed, as if someone had killed all light in them.)

29. The very first time Tarrlok bloodbent Amon, Yakone had given no order. It's just that Amon kept screaming from nightmares and Tarrlok wanted to sleep, his exhaustion made his training suffer and disappoint Yakone, and Yakone changed Amon's bandages while leaving Tarrlok to lick his own wounds, he hadn't tended to Tarrlok wounds since he'd learned enough waterbender healing as a child--

So Tarrlok had just bloodbent Amon to make him shut up, silence his vocal chords. And made sure Amon was awake, and had some idea what he was doing. It wasn't enough to make Amon silent for one night, Tarrlok wanted to scare him into the habit of it, he just wanted more than one night of sleep. And for a time, that worked. Tarrlok could hear no noise from Amon's room after that, and he could finally collapse into bed in peace.

30. The first birthday Tarrlok had with Amon around, the child had given him new hair ties. A gift that weighed heavily on Tarrlok when he'd obeyed Yakone's orders to bloodbend Amon that night. But still he'd kept those hair ties, though he never wore them again. Not until his next birthday, when Amon gave him more hair ties. Amon kept giving him hair ties for his birthdays. For some reason, Tarrlok didn't mind the repetitive gift, especially when he noticed how Amon tried to always find him a new sort of hair tie. Even after their estrangement when Amon was fourteen, Tarrlok still kept the hair ties. And wore them. They'd been in his hair when Ikki had wondered why he wore three ponytails.

31. And when Ikki wondered why he smelled like a lady, Tarrlok had been uncomfortably reminded of Amon. His brother had been having a horribly noisy fit of nightmares again, keeping Tarrlok up at night. Tarrlok would not bloodbend Amon again; rationally he told himself if it didn't work last time, it wouldn't work now, and Amon was surely growing accustomed to bloodbending by now, it would hold less shock value; unconsciously, emotionally, his stomach twisted in guilt at the thought of bloodbending Amon outside of Yakone's orders again. But Tarrlok was losing sleep again. In desperation, Tarrlok tried to ask the current village's local healer--ask rhetorically, if someone was having nightmares constantly, what to do about that? The healer had told him about what scents could do, and Tarrlok pressed him on that, it sounded good, probably not unlike the chemicals that could knock a person out Yakone employed for abductions. But the healer had said to first see what scents the person with the nightmares liked. And so Tarrlok quizzed Amon. The boy had rambled on, about bread and grass and Tarrlok struggled to try to get him to narrow it down.

Finally he just took his brother down to the village to essentially browse scents. He arched a brow when Amon dragged him toward the perfume stalls, and eyed the young ladies there, even some of the older lovely ones. But he shook himself, trying to concentrate on Amon, who said that he liked that scent, and this scent, and that one and that one--Tarrlok just bought all the perfumes Amon pointed out, not questioning anything. Tarrlok first tried rationing out the dose of perfumes when lining Amon's pillow with it, he wanted to make the stuff last for a while. And Amon had slept soundly. Tarrlok found the scents to even be agreeable to him too. The brat had good taste, at least.

This procedure kept going without a hitch, until one day when Tarrlok was about to prepare Amon's pillow with the last of the perfumes, and he'd heard a sound--the snap of a fist, and Amon's pained, very loud cry. Tarrlok had jerked, and the last of the perfumes spilled, all over his hair. Tarrlok swore; then he closed his eyes, harshly breathing and counting to ten as he heard Amon continue to wail. Then he strode to where he'd heard Amon's shout, finding Yakone leaving the room without a glance back to the boy huddled and crying on the ground, bleeding. And Tarrlok just felt his patience snap. Amon had suffered worse by now and gotten better at dealing with pain without making such noise or losing control, and he had a better idea of what Yakone was like, he shouldn't be inconsolable like this. And Tarrlok had been extremely irritated with himself for being caught off guard like this, he shouldn't have been suprised by this.

So Tarrlok had snapped at Amon to shut it, crying wasn't going to help, let him see what was wrong.

And Amon had sniffled and swallowed hard, and stiffly broke out of his huddle, unfurling himself to show the small bloody tooth in his shaking hands.

"Tarrlok, can you put it back, please?"

And Tarrlok had felt guilty again. Had Amon not lost a baby tooth yet? Spirits, he hoped this was a baby tooth. Tarrlok examined the small tooth, and checked Amon's mouth, to confirm.

"It's just a baby tooth."

Amon had glared, his eyes burning, still crying. "I'm not a baby--!"

"This is a tooth that was going to come out eventually, to make room for the new grown-up tooth that will come in," Tarrlok had calmly explained, while hiding his discomfort; so that was the first baby tooh Amon lost. "That replaceable one is just called a baby tooth--it's just a name. I'm not calling you a baby."

The boy had sniffled, no longer glaring, and looking curious. "A-are all my teeth like that?"

"Yes."


"Oh." Amon blinked, then looked down. "So you can't put it back?"

"No, I don't want to block the new one that'll grow in--and that's the one you don't want to lose, because it won't get another replacement." Tarrlok slipped Amon's bloodied baby tooth into his pocket. He reached his hands out for the boy's mouth. "But I can tend to your mouth, stop the bleeding."

"'Kay. Thanks."

After that, Tarrlok carried Amon to bed. Amon leaned into Tarrlok's shoulder, pinning part of his hair there.

"...om."

"What?" Tarrlok asked, confused by Amon's sleepy murmur. The boy was sleepy already? Well, it'd been another long day of training, and to cap it off with getting his first tooth (hopefully only) punched out, Tarrlok couldn't actually blame Amon for being tired. But he had been worried this would trigger another nightmare....

"Mom. You smell like my Mom."

Tarrlok remembered the lady's perfumes spilled into his hair.

"These are the scents you liked, that I put on your pillow," Tarrlok said slowly.

"Uh huh," Amon said in a small slurred voice.

Tarrlok sighed, knowing his room would be empty tonight. Tarrlok laid down with Amon in the younger boy's room, letting Amon sleep on his shoulder and bury his scarred face into his hair. Tarrlok was surprised to find he didn't mind that much; training had been long for him too, and he soon fell asleep.

And it just--Tarrlok had just gotten into the habit of continuing to wear those scents. He had grown to like them too, and when worn in public, it had gotten some favorable attention from the ladies. It was just...convenient. Yes, those scents were convenient. That was all.

32. Tarrlok loves books. He was the Jinora of this day. Both of his parents encouraged this. Though admittedly, it was about the only acceptable form of 'play' he was allowed. When not honing his bending, he would devour every book, maybe a puzzle--outside of bending, 'extracurriculars' to develop his mind were allowed and encouraged, but other more traditional forms of play and toys weren't really that heard of. Both Yakone and his wife were agreed to develop Tarrlok to a certain pinnacle of human, and that required certain things, though Yakone was more 'bad cop' about it, while his wife more 'good cop.' Tarrlok wasn't necessarily forbidden to play with other children, neither parent said he couldn't, but they never prepared him for that sort of thing. So Tarrlok was actually very awkward with other children, and ended up avoiding them.

When Amon joined Tarrlok and Yakone, and the boy spoke of and actually played what games he could that were more 'traditional,' 'childish,' Tarrlok felt a small flash of embarassment over having no clue on what Amon was doing--and also an annoying great spark of curiosity. Tarrlok would not only entertain Amon by letting the younger boy pull him into his games out of a sense of a guilt for the bloodbending, a foreign desire to please someone other than Yakone, and because something in Amon so plainly craved his attention and Tarrlok found he liked being needed in such a way--but also due to the fact that on some level Tarrlok finally got to appreciate the sort of young childhood games he never got to play.

But when Tarrlok learned Amon couldn't read or write--it was just unaccepable, he had to teach him.

33. Tarrlok knows Amon is the only person to care about him. Him. Not his bending. Hell, Amon had feared it--Tarrlok could never blame him for that, not after what Yakone ordered, what Tarrlok ultimately chose to obey. But then he knew Amon had grown to hate it, to think it had ruined him. And Tarrlok could not blame him for that either. His brother had suffered too much as a child, it damaged his thinking, warped his reasoning. After what he'd been through, Tarrlok doubted Amon could ever really understand that for Tarrlok...in the end, Tarrlok was his bending. Bending was control, and Tarrlok was control. He doubted he could've avoided becoming a monster even without it. Yakone didn't need it to be one. Amon may've thought that even Yakone was a monster because of the mentality of bending...but no, no, Tarrlok knew.

He knew that's just how people were.

(0. Tarrlok had been Amon's hero. At first he wasn't sure what to make of the teenager, then thankful for his waterbender healing, then embarrassed by what Tarrlok saw and had to do when helping him heal, then just associating him with pain though Tarrlok was trying to fix it. Then secondly he was truly afraid, when Tarrlok had done...something to his throat so that he couldn't make a sound after screaming from another bad dream, Amon hadn't even know what bloodbending was. But finally, finally, worship, when Tarrlok took him on their first village trip together, and he'd been actually nice, no one had been really nice to him since the fire and even then it had felt like ages, though the scars had been new then, and he could actually still remember his first family then. And then Tarrlok had taught him to read and write, and he'd advised him on training, and kept being the one consistent source of care and affection in his life. Despite the...the bloodbending. Amon knew Tarrlok just wanted to please his father. Tarrlok wouldn't ever hurt him or anyone like this if not for Yakone. Tarrlok would retain his kindness more often if not for Yakone. And Amon wanted to be just like Tarrlok. Tarrlok was so smart and he spoke so well and wasn't afraid to speak in front of others, he wasn't scared of anything, he was so brave and so strong--Tarrlok was 'so everything' to Amon when he'd been a child, Tarrlok had been his hero, Tarrlok became god. He was the person he looked up to the most in the world. Childish fervor somewhat wore off in Amon's adolescence, but he still fiercely believed Tarrlok to be a great man.

And then Tarrlok wasn't.

Oh, he was still so very smart, and so very brave, and spoke so very well and did not fear to speak that well in front of everyone, he still feared nothing.

But Tarrlok was so very cruel too.

And there was no Yakone to blame, he wasn't looming in the background observing, judging.

There was just Tarrlok. Only Tarrlok. It had only been Tarrlok the whole time.

And later when the sheer agony over this betrayal wanes a little, Amon tries to rationalize again, to defend his brother again, to believe in him, he didn't want him to be a monster. Yakone wasn't physically there, but he'd left his mark on Tarrlok, he made Tarrlok this way, made it so that he would do this even when Yakone wasn't even there, it was all Yakone's fault; if Tarrlok couldn't bend, obviously he couldn't bloodbend then, and Yakone wouldn't have made him that way, Tarrlok wouldn't think he could do this because he could bend, bending had made him a target of his father, bending had warped Tarrlok's mind, bending had taken his brother away, it took everything he loved away from him--

When Yakone disappointed Tarrlok, Tarrlok thought the world cruel, and he should behave as such, work through such cruelty to control what he could. Go to extremes to get what he wants.

When Tarrlok disappointed Amon, Amon went to an extreme even farther than that--he would change the world. It would not stay that way.

Because of Tarrlok, because Amon appreciated Tarrlok for who he was, and knew bending was to blame for everything else.)

     

Title: the universe needs to self correct [WIP]

Summary: WIP. AU. She never means to curse him.

Pairing(s)/Character(s): Asami/Noatak, Amon, some unresolved Asami/Tarrlok, Mako/KorraA/N: Inspired by http://savagelee.tumblr.com/post/30786389920/on-his-palm-noatak-smooths-her-curls-underneath-his. Thanks savagelee and lunarblue21. Thanks a lot. WHY DO I KEEP GETTING (sorta) CANON-COMPLIANT AU PLOTBUNNIES WITH NOATAK ASSOCIATED WITH CREEPINESS? Also, crossover with another show if you can guess it. 

Warning(s): Dystopian future.
 

Things have been bad for a while now. Nothing was better since the day he was unmasked. Since Asami heard his real name.

###

It had been foolish, of her. Korra recuperated after being kidnapped. Mako kept watch. Mako made her tea. Asami had tried to talk him. Their relationship continued to crumble, and Asami no longer tried to talk. She knew, knew they were going behind her back. The final straw was when Bolin admitted as such. Asami had retreated from the Island, needing the air, the city, her home, her father. This time she was almost run over by a Satomobile. The older man had been very apologetic, then confused when she'd burst into hysterical laughter. Her laughter bubbled higher when he offered her a cup of coffee at a cafe he knew. 'Noatak,' he'd introduced himself as. Noatak had no idea of the irony.

One thing led to another. And weeks after the Avatar was captured by Tarrlok, Amon and the Equalists launched their attack.

And Asami learned Amon's real name.

And she missed her monthlies.

And the Avatar....

###

Asami's in the middle of nowhere, in a farm. The irony. In the middle of delivery, the farming family has been kind to her, despite the state of the world, her lack of funds (no longer some poor little rich girl--just a poor one now). The irony.

The pregnancy has been difficult, but particularly so near its end. She had gotten sick. Was sick. Asami's head was full of fuzz and everything else in pain. She thought and thought of the child's father. Didn't even know if he was dead or alive. What option she preferred best.

In her delirium, when asked for a name for her newborn son, she said:

"Amon."

Still thinking of the father.

Then passed out before she could comprehend the irony.

###

When Asami came to and her fever gone, she heard one of the midwives coo "Amon" to a slightly wiggling bundle, and Asami remembered. But the midwife's voice was so warm, it made the name sound appealing. And it was a name. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with it. A name shouldn't be tainted. The son needn't be tainted. And the father had always changed names. Asami found she felt uncomfortable to change her newborn son's.

Though she never lets go of the thought that this is her cruel irrational revenge, and on someone who never did anything to her, someone who was now her responsibility. (But father was supposed to take care of her too.)

But Asami never speaks of Amon's father while they continue their nomadic existence through the violence-torn country (its natural state, seventy years or so just an unusual reprieve). She never explains the name, and tries to shield him from talk of the infamous revolutionary. It helps that it's no longer a current event, more growing myth. The spirits running rampant terrorizing the countryside were more pressing matters, the Avatar Spirit out of control and deranged, playing (her) its games. And when her boy had heard of Amon the Equalist, she waited, waited, waited for him to ask, but he never did. He was only a child. Why should he see any great meaning behind his name matching a revolutionary leader's? And if he was bothered by the bad talk around the one who shared his name, Amon (the Second) never shared it. There was some good talk as well. No one had really replaced Amon (the First) as someone who spoke most ardently for nonbenders. And again, he was just a child. He was more concerned with the now, with people slaughtered left and right around him by the rampaging spirits and the corrupted Avatar and the people, of course the people. Asami had to make sure he survived.

Ever since he was an infant, Asami had seen that Amon had her green eyes; her fair complexion; the right shade of her dark hair. But even as a boy she could see it in his face--he would look like his father there, in every feature that was not dictated by color. The thought had made her stomach sink.

There is a fire. A firebender. It's always a firebender. Firebenders. Squabbling among themselves. Asami doesn't care, she only has eyes for her baby boy on fire.

Any benders in her way, Asami tears through them. They do not matter. She puts the fire out, throws dirt on it, a kind stranger throws a bucket of water over him. Asami does what she can, what she must, for her little Amon as soon as possible, then drives as fast as she can for this latest town's healer.

Her Amon lives. But the healers quietly tell her there's nothing they can do for his face. They prescribe medications he'll need to take daily to treat the scars. Tell her that the sweat glands in his face are now gone, so he must be particularly careful regulating his temperature, to avoid heat stroke.

Asami's stomach is gone. She had not meant for this. Had not wanted this.

It was all too insane. Had she doomed her child just by giving him that liar's name? That lie that was now becoming truth for him?

Asami tells Amon it's all right to let his face breathe, he doesn't have to cover it up. Amon tells his mother he doesn't like it when people stare--and that was a polite reaction for such people. Asami knows she is a fool.

But as she tucks him into bed each night (young enough to be tucked in, young enough to lose his face, lose his father's face, isn't that what Asami wanted?), Asami makes sure to uncover his face and kiss the scars. "My beautiful boy, inside and out."

Asami liked fashion. She liked variety. Asami can't help herself, she looks for new cloth wrappings and scarves (why didn't you accept the silk scarf?) and masks for her Amon, designs and makes new ones for him when she can. But she tries to remember his feelings.

"Are you all right with these?"

"Sure. It's like when you had all those dresses before, right?"

"Right."

Asami avoids giving him white masks. She is relieved when Amon grows to favor black as his mask color. Her stomach twists when his black masks have red or blue or white markings, but the only comment she makes is that green would go with his eyes. He says that's overkill, it'll clash. (And then she remembers the Equalists with their black masks and green goggles. People she'd fought at first because she had no idea what they would do with those innocent people in the underground; and then rather unthinkingly, things had happened so fast, father had abandoned her for the Equalists, it was their fault.)

She trains Amon herself. She pushes her boy very hard; she needs him to be able to defend himself. (Not a defenseless momma's boy, as she was never daddy's helpless little girl.) She teaches him much of what Lieu--the Lieutenant had taught her himself.

She teaches him science and mechanics and generally passes all her knowledge to him. She teaches him to speak well. But he's painfully shy. The scars and mask do not help. Just the thought of public speaking terrifies him. Asami tries to make her approach to help him get past that public speaking block less half-hearted. His voice has started to crack. She knows it'll be very similar to his father's, even exact--that growling voice that could worm its way into people's ears. Asami thinks she could not take it if she ever heard him on the radio. And would people think him a ghost, a phantom--or even something of the rightful one returning. The one they were promised, whom they deserved, they believed in. Had the Universe itself felt cheated of Amon? Had to craft him back into existence in sturdier form?

There is no father as her Amon grows, but there is an Uncle. Asami had first found him choking on the coast, before things had completely gone insane, before the Avatar had lost her mind, when Asami had no clue she was pregnant. She had built the metal arm for Tarrlok. She'd given him a kit to service himself, and sent him on his way. Particularly did not want to see him when she gave birth to his nephew. But they crossed paths, again, his metal arm broken. He kept watching Amon, his face wrapped up but his hair exposed, and done up in the style Asami remembered. She'd seen some children race in their beat up Satomobiles down the ruined street, and she'd felt nostalgic, and of course she always had to pull her son into her nostalgia.

Asami has never asked about Noatak, and Tarrlok has never told her. Asami did end up introducing Tarrlok to Amon as his uncle, and Amon had been utterly delighted, bombarding him with all sorts of questions on how the world worked and what he'd seen and did Mama make you that arm? If Amon asked Tarrlok about his father, it has never been in front of her, and she has no idea. But she knows Amon adores his Uncle Tarrlok. She knows the former Councilman is very fond of his nephew, too.

She makes sure to let Tarrlok know that if he ever betrays or hurts Amon in any way, he will be sorry. Very sorry. Then their nomadic existence is joined by a third.

Asami and Tarrlok develop a camraderie. Asami realizes that Tarrlok is probably the one she's closest to now. She's fairly certain he can say the same of her. He's certainly the only one who understands Amon's likeness, his scarring, the irony. If their camraderie would ever extend to anything more, Asami will never know.

One night Amon drags Tarrlok's corpse home, and through the holes of the mask Asami can see he's still crying, but her boy doesn't make a sound, except to say the Avatar killed him. After they bury his uncle, Asami holds her son, and he shakes like a leaf on her shoulder. Finally he disentangles himself from her, murmuring he wants to be alone. Asami tries to keep her cries and muffled "Tarrlok Tarrlok Tarrlok" down, but she still fears that Amon hears.

A few years later when Amon is seventeen, there is a crackling broadcast on a half-dead radio of where to avoid the Avatar's latest attack. The location is close. Asami is alone in the room when she hears it. She is relieved that Amon is out buying supplies for them in the village.

But when Asami had gotten up from work to check on Amon, still asleep, she found his bed empty. Her heart sinks.

People stare when she drives in the direction of the Avatar's attack, shout warnings to her. She ignores them all. Curses them even, for clearly the news had spread wide and far in the village and Amon had heard. Curses herself for thinking Amon couldn't have heard. Curses Amon for being seventeen and angry and foolish. Curses herself for the name she'd left him with, and fate's cruelty, did fate really want Amon and the Avatar to collide again? And this time the situation was reversed, it was reversed.

Asami can scarcely breathe when she enters the ruined city. Remnants of buidlings and people litter the ground. Not her baby not her baby where is her baby?

She decides she has to find fresh blood, the freshest would be where Amon is.

Asami's not finding him, she's not--

In growing despair and panic, Asami simply begins digging around in the debris. She startles whenever she finds something dead, then breathes again when it's not her son. Finally at the fourth location of a desperate dig, she touches flesh again. It's warm.

Asami's digging grows more frantic. It's his hand, his hand, broken and bloodied, but it's his hand--

Amon the Second is a mess, but he's still breathing, and no limb has fallen up, though Asami has no idea if amputation will be necessary.

Asami drives like hell again with Amon bundled up in the back seat.

She finds another healer. Again she's informed they'll be scarring. But no amputation is necessary, though he does suffer infection and fever, delirium. Into the night Asami takes up the task of soaking the cloth into cold water and pressing it against her son's bandaged face, singing him lullabies and doing anything to soothe his feverish nightmares. He'll feverishly call out for someone in a hoarse scrape of a voice: her, his uncle. Say "Avatar" in pure terror. Asami has never told Amon that she knew the Avatar before she'd lost her mind and all semblance of control, before the connection between the mortal and the Avatar Spirit had been perverted.

###

But Amon knows, on some level. He snuck around, he listened to people talk, sought information out. Eventually he stopped, when he thought he'd heard enough. Understood enough. It is disturbing, but other than that, mother doesn't want to speak of it, nor uncle. They really really don't want to talk about it. So Amon does hold his tongue, because he doesn't feel like beating against the walls of their secrets, and he doesn't really want to focus on this anymore than he has to. Above all else, he still has himself, no matter what skeletons were in his family's closet. (He doesn't realize that such secrets are practically his family's tradition.)

Then uncle dies, and....

Unbearable. He has no words.

(Mother called him 'shy.')

And the Avatar, when he'd faced her, she'd been so...amused, by the whole thing. By him.

Torn off his mask. Felt so exposed. Repulsed and trembling as she ran her fingers over the old wound. She'd taunted him with fire in her hand, and the stone wouldn't let him move, his hands encased, forced to his knees, the fire was coming closer to his face, he could only close his eyes and bite his lip and look away, heart pounding, deafening....

She didn't burn him there, but there were other places to burn. And she'd had her lightning too. And--no, he doesn't want to remember.

And the things she said--Amon doesn't want to remember. Not now. He'll try to remember later. Look for anything useful in her words.

But for now he'll just curl up into a ball and try to forget.

A/N: That's it for rough WIP snippet. Do I ever need to clean this up and add more stuff.

 

Title: an excerpt from the book of air

Summary: AU. Korra has to deal with being the Avatar born to the country that started the 100 Year War that splintered and corrupted many of the Air Nomads. It doesn't help that now she needs to find an airbending teacher.

A/N: For Amorra Week, prompt 'illusion.' Cast consists of airbender!Amon and Secretive!Korra and a female sky bison named after Leela of "Futurama." Inspired by this fic at http://beckyh2112.livejournal.com/319230.html. And inspired by this fanart (reblogged) at http://fannishcodex.tumblr.com/post/28398494008.

Everything changed when the Water Tribes attacked. They sought the Avatar, master of all four elements, their only obstacle--but he had vanished. The Airbenders, to whom the Avatar should've been born to, could not find him. The nomads splintered as the war went on, but endured. There were those who stayed out of the conflict, and those who chose to fight. All bore the stigma of the lost Avatar.

But then Avatar Aang returned, and calmed the war.

When he died, knowing the next Avatar would be born to the waterbenders, the world threatened to break into full-out war again....

###

Leela gave a low pleased growl as Amon scratched her ear. He tugged gently on her reigns, then mounted the sky bison.

"No," he told the young girl--Korin, she said her name was--and Leela began to walk away.

"But it has to be you!" He heard Korin shout, and the thump of her boots as she raced after Leela and he.

"Clearly not, since I refuse," Amon said, refusing to look back. Finally the girl outpaced Leela, though admittedly the bison's walk was lumbering and leisurely. Her blue eyes blazed up at him--then shifted, trying not to laugh as Leela began to lick at her again.

"See, your bison likes me!" Korin experimentally petted the bison again, even rubbing up the length of one of her broken horns.

"You gave her apples," the masked and hooded nomad dryly pointed out as Leela nuzzled Korin.

The girl moved her face from the bison's friendly lapping tongue, trying to speak again. "Please, I'm begging you, I--"

"Why me?"

For a second the girl's eyes darted away. Then she looked back to him, beaming. "I had a vision!" Korin said, perking up and pumping her fist in delight.

Behind the mask, Amon arched a brow as much as he could despite the scars. "So spiritually attuned, and yet you need a teacher to learn airbending? And how can you be a complete novice, bending usually reveals itself before your age...."

Amon let his voice trail off, skeptical, and closely watched the way the girl shuffled her feet. "Look, m-my parents learned I could airbend when I was really little--" She couldn't keep her eyes on him. "--but they didn't want either of the monk or warrior sects to take me, so they tried to hide it, w-what I could do, y'know--but I really want to learn how to control it, I can't deal with random puffs or gales of air anymore--!"

"I don't believe you," Amon said flatly, his patience growing thin.

"What, it could happen!" The girl snapped, her nostrils flaring. Not it's the truth!

"Yes, it could, and it does, but I don't think it happened to you," Amon said, and gently pulled Leela's reigns just so, guiding her to bypass Korin, and again to signal the bison to crouch down and slap down her tail, getting ready to fly. "And even if I were interested in an apprentice, I'd have no desire to teach a deceptive one."

Leela slapped down her tail the last time, the air began to rush up, they rose--and Korin grabbed onto the reigns. And kept going as Leela accidentally swung her up.

Amon rolled his eyes--then stopped, narrowing them, when the girl yelped, "I'm the Avatar!"

With no prompting from him, Leela settled down somewhat, landing on and standing up only on her hind legs. Korin slammed down on the bison's nose, and squealed as she made sure not to fall off. All the while, Leela just watched the girl, curious.

"You're the what?" Amon asked, now propping himself up on the currently vertically aligned saddle, leaning against Leela's head with folded arms and looking at the girl, feeling a headache come on. She was the right age, looked the right nationality, and it would justify her attempt to hide her identity.

"I'm the Avatar--" the girl repeated, and she blew out a small blaze of fire

the battle had not gone well and master would not be pleased and he was weak and tired and the lightninbenders held him up as their leader lowered her burning hand toward his face and Amon closed his eyes knowing he deserved this for serving his master so

"--and my real name's Korra, not Korin."

Amon grunted. "How creative."

Korra pouted, "It was the best I could come up with spur of the moment, and it just stuck, okay?!"

The masked nomad clucked to Leela, and the bison lowered back down to all fours, and Korra clung as tightly as a rabbit-cat clinging to a branch above water.

Slowly she let go once Leela was on solid ground, and again Amon stared very closely at her.

"You're not good with heights, are you?"

Korra crossed her arms, looked away. "Not...exactly...."

Amon sighed.

The girl's arms flailed. "Hey, I can totally get over that, I can learn, if you--"

"A vision told you I was your best choice for an airbending teacher?" Amon sneered. "Or was that part of your cover?"

"No, I really did have a vision!" Korra was smiling, excited. Then she rubbed the back of her neck, looking away. "But, I did hear about you before that, from my waterbending teacher," she said, and a small fond smile spread on Korra's face.

Amon had stiffened, and Korra kept going, "Tarrlok said you were really--"

His hand instinctively twisted around Leela's reigns, though he had enough of his mind not to pull and disturb her--but a sudden rough wind still flared up and shoved Korra back.

The Avatar's eyes bugged out, and Amon's voice became harsh. "Why not your predecessor's own son, Tenzin?"

"No!" Korra snapped, her eyes even wider. Then she deflated, biting her lip. "I mean, no--no, I don't want anything to do with Katara. Or anymore to do with Aang than what I already have to." Her eyes lowered, and she looked away.

Amon knew how complicated the Avatar's place in the world had become in recent history, and how twisted it was by rumor and myth and heresy. He would not pry or try to untangle that for now.

"The vision," he repeated instead, his voice low.

Korra rubbed the back of her neck, frowning. "I went to the swamp Aang had gone to when he was a boy, because it's a spiritual hot spot, you know? I was looking for more guidance--and I found it!" She beamed. "You were there, or a future vision of you--well, future for me, that vision looks just like you right now, and Aang said it reminded him of Toph Bei Fong, he saw a vision of someone he hadn't met before, and then he met her, so that vision came true, since 'time is an illusion,' and the swamp's priestess still says that, and have you ever been to the swamp before--?"

"It's been years," Amon said, slower than Korra's rushed words.

"See, you've been to the swamp, you've sought out the spiritual hot spots, you're perfect--!"

Amon's headache was growing. "How can you think it's exactly like Toph's situation?" Amon grunted. "Even the stories say that Avatar Aang had to see Toph in action--"

"And I saw you in action!"

Amon actually blinked. "Excuse me?"

"I was in the crowds that watched you take down Lightning Bolt Zolt, I was all incognito-like, and you'd stepped in to help the farmers before I could, you were so fast--"

"You're interested in the energybending," Amon flatly said.

"Avatar Aang could do it, the highest form of airbending--I have to too--!"

"Other than that, I didn't airbend." .

"Exactly! You chiblocked like Ty Lee too, just one touch and bam--!" Korra punched a fist in her hand, practically bouncing on the balls of her feet. "--Zolt's goons were down for the count! You moved like the air, but I'm pretty sure you didn't actually bend the air, you didn't need to, not until, y'know, you had to neutralize Zolt--you just did what was necessary, not any of the extra stuff, though that would've been way cool--but Aang did say that my airbending teacher should know restraint and act really precisely, but still be able to change at a moment's notice in every way--"

Amon's headache grew as the girl again spoke in a rush, and he wondered how she breathed, exactly, when she got like this.

"--and you're pretty much a neutral, not with either of the sects," Korra said, her voice still bright.

Amon considered. "I suppose it makes sense for you to want a teacher who essentially avoids taking either side. And Tenzin has definitely picked a side."

"So you'll take me on as an apprentice?" Korra perked up, looking up at him expectantly.

"No," Amon said, and swept the reigns, Leela taking off.

He carefully watched Korra follow below on foot, on a wave of earth, cursing up a storm.

###

Korra followed Amon everywhere, like a persistent polarbeardog pup.

"You're a rather good tracker," he called down conversationally to Korra as she climbed the mountain, and he sat against a napping Leela.

"I had a good teacher," Korra snarled back, then refocused her attention on the rock.

Amon tilted his head. "Why don't you use a more dramatic display of your bending to come up here? It's not like the mountain is made up of platinum or wood."

He saw the girl pout, but she uncharacteristically kept quiet. Amon continued to watch her closely.

Amon stirred slightly, but made no move to help when Korra slipped and fell. The drop hadn't been far, though the girl had shouted at the impact. Again he wondered why she didn't bend. He thought she would at least do it with water to heal whatever scrape or injury she now carried, but when Korra struggled up, she just continued to ascend the mountain again. She only pulled out one of her waterskins to quench her thirst.

When it got too dark and Amon knew her energy was spent, Korra stopped and curled up, sleeping. Amon meditated, before he too slept.

He woke up early, and he found that Korra did too, albeit sluggishly, waterbenders typically did not do well in the mornings (Tarrlok rarely did). She continued on, and he watched her climb, and fall; get back up and climb again.

When she finally reached his cliff, Korra laid flat on her stomach, chin propped up on the dirt. She gave a low groan.

Amon stared at her. Then he slipped out his staff from Leela's saddlebag. When he tapped it in front of Korra' propped up chin, her nose, she stared entranced, her eyes crossing. Amon began to draw a curving line in the dirt.

"Airbending is about spiral movements."

fin

A/N: I couldn't figure out a way to fit in more backstory, particularly about Airbender!Amon, so here, let him be mysterious for now--he does mystery really well. Hoped the hints at worldbuidling were enough, 'cause--well, I try to be pretty careful about exposition. Also, with this Amon, he's more of an AU of my 'misbegotten sons' fic than canon AmoNoatak--for one, being actually scarred.

               

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.
Title: it's a long way down: file 1: the games we play

Fandom: Transformers Prime

Summary: Mirrorverse AU. Orion Pax falls. Optimus Prime rises. [a collection of stories]

A/N: Also like a Mirrorverse of my fic 'The Orion Pax Files' at

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8104041/1/The-Orion-Pax-Files. Mainly that this Mirror!Orion also started as lower caste dock worker, and schemed and worked hard to covertly join the higher castes.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Transformers Prime.

Megatronus' armor was thick in other ways. He now barely noticed slights to his person from other higher castes when visiting Orion in the archives, though deep down he still detested them.

Orion also continued to become incensed on his behalf, and Megatronus remembered how closely he guarded his secret, his origin among the lower caste dock workers. The gladiator had tried to calm his friend with a careless shrug. "It's amusing, on some level, observing all the time and effort they waste over this, isn't it?"

Orion made no comment, but he seemed appeased, and Megatronus thought he was all right.

But on one visit Megatronus noticed that some of those who snubbed him ignored him--not out of misplaced caste prejudice, but in favor of arguing with another who he vaguely remembered had also sneered at him in the past. Megatronus would've put it out of mind if he hadn't seen a veritable chain of arguments burst out, infecting each person and the next.

It was all very strange, thought Megatronus. When he found Orion, he asked him what happened, knowing how Orion liked to keep up to date on everything in the Iacon records.

Orion had lightly chuckled at that, and gently drew Megatronus closer into a particularly secluded sector of the archives, one of their favorite places. "Oh, that--I simply let slip to Dizon where Dicast had been, and he found him with Altrixt." Orion began to count off his digits. "And I might've given Pentecoast and Literadice the idea that each wanted the other's jobs. I probably spoke too loudly when telling another coworker how Hantizer kept abandoning his post to gamble at one of the lower halls, but I truly was at my wit's end, and I really had no idea Hantizer's supervisor was right behind me the whole time."

Megatronus blinked. "Orion, you did this?"

His friend chuckled again. "Surprisingly easy to set them up against each other, isn't it?"

"But why?"

Orion tilted his head. "They've all slighted you. Me as well, even accidentally."

"I remember Dizon and Altrixt had, but all of them--?"

"Yes, I assure you, that was--well, half of them. I haven't gotten to the rest yet, but in due time." Orion misunderstood Megatronus' look. "I see them all the time, much more than you have--it makes sense that you wouldn't remember them all."

When Megatronus wasn't ignoring them, he knew that he disliked the high castes that unthinkingly scorned him. Still.... "It just seems...unnecessary, Orion," Megatronus said, his voice carefully slow, his optics searching his friend's face.

A lazy smirk spread there, making Orion's optics glow. He turned away for a moment, giving a flippant wave.

"At least I'm not cutting off their heads for this."

Megatronus flinched at that, and Orion startled, his lazy amusement dropped.

"I apologize, Megatronus."

The gladiator shook his head. "It is nothing." Megatronus did dislike them, too. He truly did. Hated the entire caste system. And he was not above revenge, particularly a bloodless sort. "And I suppose you are right--a little in-fighting like this isn't going to severely harm anyone."

The next time Megatronus visited, he learned that two had been disgraced and fired. One of those two had terminated himself in despair.

Orion was shaken, and Megatronus did his best to soothe him. It had gotten out of hand, yes. He hadn't meant it, of course he hadn't.

And yet there was something about Orion, Megatronus wondered--but no, he trusted Orion. Believed in him. It just had been a mistake. It wasn't really his fault, other factors had overtaken the situation and threw it off a veritable cliff. Megatronus should've persuaded Orion to stop. But Orion would never do such a thing consciously.

But Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, would look back. And he would regret.

A/N: I apparently having a thing for creepy manipulative Mirrorverse!Orion/Optimus. Though I hoped to get across that Orion at this point isn't too far gone as he is as Optimus--but he's on the way. There's supposed to be a sorta innocence here, actually--but really twisted. Like, only innocent in that Orion isn't really getting what's wrong with this, and he is actually thinking of his friend Megatronus a lot when doing this. And he actually is shaken on some level when things get out of hand--but it also really just sinks in for him how he can manipulate others that way, what power he can wield.... And Mirrorverse!Megatronus--well, younger and really cares for Orion, believes in him. Affection sorta blinds him, or gives him excuses for Orion, or makes him think this can be dealt with in time. And younger--well, Megatronus is in a way more vicious at that point in time. Bitter enough to not really mind some harm against the caste system in any way, 'do evil unto evil'--but comes to regret that when he believes that getting carried away with that helped cause Orion's corruption, and Megatron comes out of that gentler/less vicious in a way. But Megatron(us) gets massively disillusioned and more wary and even somewhat paranoid after Orion/Optimus snaps.

Title: degrees of attention

Summary: Genderbent!Amon AU. Who says chivalry is dead?

A/N: For Lieumon week, prompt 'flirt.' Inspired by harpalyce to consider genderbending Amon. But genderbent!actually-scarred-nonbender!Amon because why not. XD Even more specifically, pretty much the genderbent version of Amon in my 'misbegotten sons' fic continuity. This actually takes place in an genderbent alternate of chapter 3 continuity, where a fourteen-year-old Amon first meets a Lieu (Amon doesn't refer to him as Lieutenant yet) in his 20s and around Tarrlok's age. And due to that age difference, this pretty much just focuses on Amon and Lieu's friendship (though when Amon's older....).

Dislcaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra.

Lieu waited for Amon; they'd be actually eating out tonight. Sort of. He'd finally learned the young girl didn't really feel comfortable eating in public places, even uncovering her face just enough to eat was something she didn't like to do in front of people. Lieu felt he should've realized that the very first time after she'd pretty much saved his life, but no, like an idiot, he'd invited her to coffee to answer her questions about why he'd been attacked. His one saving grace was that he realized just in time to try to get the most secluded table in the cafe.

But, fresh air would be good. They'd just pick up their food and find somewhere private outside to eat. Lieu had deemed they'd eaten too much take out while busy in the workshop, and that they'd just been cooped up in there too long.

Finally Lieu saw Amon, and he began to wave to her. The masked girl didn't notice, attention focused on some men. They were flushed, one held a bottle. They called to her, reached for her. Pawing. One drew too close, and Amon easily sidestepped him. Her stance appeared neutral, even casual, but Lieu could see the readiness in her body, the readiness that had let her evade so easily. Lieu approved, even as his blood boiled while he began to approach her location.

One of the drunks earthbent, trying to catch Amon's booted foot. She sidestepped that easily too, but Lieu still saw red. He bolted forward, immediately punching the bender's nose in.

Another drunk shouted and began to sloppily firebend, until Amon slipped in and chiblocked him. The rest ran, and Lieu started to give chase--until he felt a small but strong hand grab him. "Can we just go?"

The older man looked at the adolescent, anger still twisting his face. He tried to soften his expression as he looked down at Amon. It wasn't that she looked disturbed; she looked fine, composed. But she still had to look quite a ways up to stare at him so.

"Of course."

They took a trolley to one of the streets near the park, one that would be packed with food vendors at this time. After perusing many stalls, Lieu and Amon settled on completely splurging with a box of sushi and a large bottle of pineapple-orange juice.

The two walked to the park, where the number of people thinned out in the evening. They settled by the lake, and talked about the Painted Lady radio play they'd been listening to while in the workshop as they popped in their sushi.

"You don't usually let your hair breathe," he noted. Much of the time Amon wrapped her entire head in cloth wrappings, but tonight she had wrapped it so that it covered her face, but her hair was allowed to flow out. Not that it had much to flow with per se, coming only to her shoulders and still rather roughly cut.

"Well, we were going out. Sort of," she said. Amon picked at the beads of rice surrounding her koi-shrimp.

"That's never happened to me before." Lieu lowered his chopsticks, his face darkening. He stared when Amon gave a light chuckle. "Those guys were so drunk, thinking I was pretty enough to--but they were probably just messing with me." Amon shook her head, chuckling again, then took another gulp of pineapple-orange juice.

Lieu chewed over another piece of sushi as he considered. He swallowed, then softly said, "That's definitely not the sort of attention you want. But someday there'll be people who'll--"

"--think that I'm pretty?" Amon asked, her eyes and voice flat. The girl tightly gripped the neck of the bottle she still had in hand. "Look at me, do I look--?"

She cut herself off, muttering angrily.

Lieu did. Other than letting her hair down, the girl looked as she occasionally did--wearing a leather skirt and dark leggings and long coat, sewn patches here and there. Her one pair of boots. But more often she favored wearing trousers.

"You look like a young woman, already on her way to being someone strong and capable, and most of all kind," Lieu simply said.

Amon stared at the older man. Cat-owlishly blinked. Then she popped in another piece of sushi and changed the topic.

 

Title: it's not a game for me, but i'll play it for you (all for you, only you)

Summary: AU. Crossover-fusion with Marvel's Avengers movie. "Love is for children; I owe him a debt."

A/N: For Lieumon week, prompt 'spy.' And the Amon used is actually scarred nonbender Amon.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Legend of Korra or the Avengers.

"So this is the Great Equalist Amon?" Lightning Bolt Zolt scoffed as he toyed with the white mask. He eyed the younger man--tied to a chair and slightly slumped down, his clothes still singed from some teasing lightningbending. "Some klutz with a fucked up face?"

And he favored the younger man's face crisscrossed everywhere with scars with a long hard look. His captive just glared back with his dark brown eyes.

"Now, back in the day, you pulled off a lot of jobs for Yakone--"

Amon's eyes narrowed.

"--I'll give you that, pretty impressive shit there. But now?"

Zolt nodded to his men, and they quickly earthbent Amon's chair so that it and he leaned precariously over the gap in the stone floor, hovering dangerously over the lower level of the building.

"Can't even be the middleman for some damned upstart. So, cutting you out, and then the cargo will be--"

"Boss!"

"What?" Zolt snapped, whirling around and breathing fire. He was on a freakin' roll, interruptions were damned inconveient.

A few of his underlings had actually taken pains to drag a phone in here. "Sir, it's really urgent--"

Zolt cursed, snatching the phone. "Who the hell--?!"

"14 Third Street, Unit 10--your current location, and surrounded by mech tanks and metalbenders poised to strike unless you put Amon on the phone right now," sternly ordered some dame's voice that brooked no argument. "You have until the count of five. I'll be going by odds. One, three--"

"It's for him," snarled Zolt, waving the phone at the captive and clearly, silently ordering one of his men to pass it to the scarred prick right the fuck now.

Amon's chair was earthbent back to place, and the phone quickly passed to him. Cradling the phone in the nook of his shoulder, Amon's voice was exasperated. "Who--Lin? This needs to wait, I'm in the middle of an interrogation--no, this fool is giving me everything--"

That was so unexpected, Zolt didn't instinctively feel indignant; just shared a baffled look with his men.

###

Amon stopped when Lin finally said in a terse voice, "The Lieutenant's been compromised."

Eyes narrowing, Amon quickly tore out of the bonds he'd untied quite a while ago. He'd been fortunate the Triad were too careless to try holding him with earth or ice--otherwise escaping would've taken longer, when he needed to go now.

Amon quickly evaded the bender's strikes and invaded their space, chiblocking them into paralysis. He similarly ducked Zolt's lightningbending and knocked him out.

Placing his mask back on and picking up the phone, Amon told Lin that he was ready for pick up, as well as clean up.

###

When Koh pressed his claw into the Lieutenant's chest and gold overtook the blue of his eyes, the whole of his life spread out before the spirit. For a moment Koh paused and lingered--

The Lieutenant stood poised to eliminate one of Yakone's assassins...but it was a child. Culdn't be more than seventeen, could be younger. This was Amon, the one so many spoke of in equal parts fear and awe? Granted, after that fight, he definitely lived up to the reputation of his prowess in battle. But the Lieutenant hadn't expected someone so young, but then intel had always been so vague on this particular target, Amon had always been so elusive....

"What are you waiting for?" The masked boy asked, his eyes and voice detached, just curious.

Narrowing his eyes, the Lieutenant struck--with his free hand, hitting the points that would paralyze Amon.

Tying up the boy and heaving him up on one shoulder, the Lieutenant began the trek back to what was supposed to be temporary HQ.

"What are you doing?" Amon asked, completely baffled now. His voice actually cracked.

"Making a different call," was all the Lieutenant said at the time.

--before moving on.

###

Amon felt a thrill of panic. The Lieutenant had not fought to kill with him since the first time they met years ago. But this wasn't Lieu, and he had to fight, he had to--

The younger man gave a pained shout as the Lieutenant nailed him in the back of the neck with a backhanded swipe of one of his kali sticks. Going down, Amon tried to regain control by turning part of it into a kick sweeping the Lieutenant's stance out from under him. It worked. Though now it was a race to who would get back to their feet first.

The Lieutenant scrambled for his kali sticks, both dropped now. Amon simply threw himself on top of the Lieutenant, struggling to pin him down. The Lieutenant elbowed him--then quickly twisted and had Amon pinned, at least one kali stick back in hand and pressing tightly against Amon's throat--

Amon kneed the Lieutenant in the gut, having successfully positioned his leg in the right spot. The older man recoiled, and Amon threw him off. Hard.

The Lieutenant slammed into the wall again, and did not rise. Amon panted, stayed in his fighting stance after standing back up, just in case. But after more seconds passed and the Lieutenant still didn't rise, Amon limped to his side and tied up his old friend, before pulling him over his shoulder and beginning the trek to the infirmary.

###

"So all I needed was a hard knock to the head," the Lieutenant said in an empty voice, his eyes back to blue.

"Happy to oblige," Amon said, voice trying to be cheery in an effort to make his old friend feel better. But when the older man's eyes remained distant and morose, Amon placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Lieu--"

"Do you know what it's like to be unmade?"

Amon remembered Yakone, Tarrlok....

The younger man leaned his masked face against the Lieutenant's back, whispering. "You know I do."

"So does Koh now," the Lieutenant said in a low growling voice.

"None of it was your fault," Amon said with utter conviction, moving his masked face up and catching the Lieutenant's eye. "I know it probably doesn't feel that way now--but in time, it should. Because it's the truth. You're not at fault for any of it."

The Lieutenant finally gave a small tired smile. "Got a pep talk set to rally all the troops?"

"Definitely didn't get any training in that," Amon murmured, then closed his eyes in pleasure as the Lieutenant leaned his forehead against his. Amon would take what he could get before the final battle.

###

Amon and the Lieutenant leaned against each other as they ate at Narook's Seaweed Noodlery, enjoying the tired and relieved quiet with their new makeshift team.

A/N: Current thoughts on the rest of this 'verse: I love Movie Loki, but Koh--well, I'd say he's only his equivalent in that he's this sorta otherworldly threat. But I think Koh is even more of a cosmic horror than Loki. Korra is Bruce, due to her really dangerous Avatar State when she loses control. Asami is Iron Man, because it really clicks to me. Captain America is Aang because they were both frozen in ice and generally earnestly sweet like that. Princess Yue is sorta Thor, or that otherworldly figure sent to deal with that other otherwordly figure, Koh in this case. Again, Amon is Black Widow and the Lieutenant is Hawkeye. Lin has Phil's role in this for her talk with Amon, but the's more of Nick Fury. But she might do an exactul heroic sacrifice that costs her life? Just thinking less issues with benders and nonbenders in this because there's more equalisty, both benders and nonbenders in law enforcement like Avatar's equivlaent to S.H.I.E.L.D. here. And the crossover-fusion doesn't involve a dip into the Marvel movie's more modern tech, it pretty much stays in LoK's steampunk roaring 20s-ish age. And I guess--yeah, this is sorta like "misbegotten sons" continuity, but further altered, with like Yakone actually successfully brainwashing Amon for a while....

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