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I've spent most of the last two weeks dealing with visiting family, leaving me too tired each night to do much creative writing, so I could use something to get the juices flowing again on my Help_Japan Commissions. So it's time for a fanfic meme...


What's a character swap? Well, it's a trope that occasionally pops up in fanfic. Basically you take two characters and swap them, so that each takes the place of the other person. The most famous AtLA example of this would be "Reconstructed Destinies", where Aang and Zuko swap places, so Aang is a Fire Nation prince and Zuko is an airbending Avatar who was frozen for a hundred years. Swapping allows you to explore characters in situations and relationships, romantic or otherwise, they would otherwise not find themselves in, and explores the interplay between nature and nurture.

* Each person can have one to three prompts. I may only pick one out of three given, or do all three. It depends on how they strike me.
* The prompts can range from one word to a whole situation. However, please try not to get overly complex.
* It has to be a character swap involving only two people. Everything & everyone remains as per canon. Time, place, or situation is all up to you.
* Pretty much anything goes, but if it doesn't, I'll let you know and you can prompt something else.

This post will have 5 requester slots, with 5/5 filled. Each prompt will be written in the comments. Once the post is finished, there will be a complete list of each filled prompt in an upcoming post.

Go nuts. 


(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-04 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

The first thing that came to mind was, oddly, Suki and Sokka switching places: Sokka lives on Kyoshi Island and Suki is raised as Katara's older sister (maybe a cultural exchange?). Would they still meet, share differences, like each other? Or would they both be too different?

Another thing that popped into my head was Hama and Kanna trading places: Hama was betrothed to Pakku (and she is still a waterbender) and Kanna was always in the South. I don't know if that's workable, though?

The last thing that came to my head was, oddly, Toph and Azula: Toph is born blind and still Zuko's sister, while Azula is born a Bei Fong in the Earth Kingdom. Not sure how things would be the same or different, though, or if it's even workable?

Toph<->Azula [1/2]

Date: 2011-08-11 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Toph, according to mythology, was the name of the mythical killer of Shu, lover of Oma. In certain renditions of the story, after founding her great city, Oma exiled Toph across the western sea.

Azula is the feminine form of Azulon, the celestial Azure Dragon of the East, one of the Four Great Constellations. It is also the name of the leader of the Earth Kingdom's mortal enemy and, consequently, a distinctly unpopular name outside the Fire Nation in recent generations.


You couldn't mix blood without consequences, General Iroh knew. If some colonial landlord wanted to bed one his Earth sharecroppers, that was one thing, but blending the lines of Sozin and Roku? Madness.

Nevertheless his father does just that, arranging a marriage between Ozai and the Avatar's traitor spawn in a bid to breed a superior firebender. If anyone was surprised when the children that weren't miscarried had been born cripples, they were lying. One such child could be an unhappy coincidence, but two was a clear pattern of disfavor from the spirits of their ancestors.

Tiny Zuko, born prematurely, straining for each breath past his sixth birthday, lungs wracked with all manner of allergies and asthma. And poor Toph...

Well, at least it was fortunate she born into wealth. A blind child was a burden for any family, but a blind firebender was dangerous. They couldn't see their flames spread, didn't know when they had to rein them in.

It was a shame. If she had been a boy, the Fire Sages could have taken Toph into their esteemed ranks. Their oral histories and fables were perfectly suited for memorization by a perpetual illiterate. As it was, Iroh's niece was destined for a life as a courtier, trading in gossip. A shallow destiny for one with royal blood, however clotted it might be, flowing in her veins.


The perfect daughter.

Seen but not heard. Every move carefully calculated and performed without hesitation. Garbed in the latest fashions out of Ba Sing Se. Expression fixed in a pleasant guise that reveals nothing at all. Demure. Obident. Each step an expression of utter grace. Hands supple. Skin milky white from lack of sun. Were a single stray black hair to fall across her forehead, it would seem an obscene affront to everything else connected to her.

The blind badgermoles that sensed her each night in the subterranean darkness engaged with quite a different creature.


The brush laid down slick, black curves. Faint curls of steam rose off the ink. It had been heated, just like everything else his daughter needed.

When Toph was finished, she proudly held up the drawing for him to inspect. Despite coming from a brush held by the chubby hand of a small child, it wasn't a bad portrait of Ozai, especially coming from a child with a milky gold eyes.

"It's very good," Ozai told her.

His daughter smiled freely. They'd have to work on that.

Toph<->Azula [2/2]

Date: 2011-08-11 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


Wear a mask and people would wonder what was underneath it. So you needed to give them something else to look at. Happily, men were horny fools.

In the beginning, when she snuck around town, one thing Azula did was stuff silk scarves down the front of her shirt. Her needlework lessons eventually got put to practical use, producing a specially tailored chest piece that bolstered her breasts without bunching up. It came in handy once she learned about the Earth Rumbles.

It was a barbaric sport, really, but altogether glorious. When one scored points at a society function, it was an achievement that went unvoiced. Here... the roar of the crowd shook her like thunder. It combined the visceral thrill of thrashing people in dark alleys with the triumph of performance.

Winning the fights was never in doubt. Winning the crowd was another matter. She needed a symbol, something for the unwashed masses to latch onto. There was a reason beyond petty vanity that Oma had named the city that her allies and her enemies found together as she did.

Azula really didn't know what the little people thought about things, but did understand the way people on the street talked about the war. It was something everyone knew, even her parents, although they tried to keep that from her.

Mother gladly fostered her newfound interest in make-up and the theater, so eagerly in fact that even the paranoid would be hard pressed to notice how Azula had tucked away a jar of concealer there and a pot of blush there. The hardest part was getting the textures to look like authentic scar tissue, but she managed with enough experimentation.

The Burned Bandit, they called her.


Every aspect of Princess Toph's life was infused with heavenly Fire. She could watch the flow of hot blood beneath people's skin, identify them by how each person's face uniquely lit up with heat. And what other blind girl could read characters by how their black ink absorbed more heat than the blank parchment around them, or write beautifully with a brush slick with near-boiling ink?

(Too bad she's an apathetic dullard who coasts along on her title. Say what you will about her older brother's incompetency, but at least he gave full effort to his studies and royal duties. The princess was just a]['' thug. And it was fucking creepy how she can tell if you're lying, pregnant, or, as Admiral Rao discovered from an off-hand comment delivered by the princess during a war meeting, riddled with malignant tumors.)

Only those among the court elite, privileged with personal contact with the royal family, could appreciate their princess so.

Re: Toph<->Azula [2/2]

Date: 2011-08-11 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is really interesting. I love your takes on AUs, and this round is no exception. Essentially, they're the same, but they also end up being shadows of what they COULD be as well. Man. I always forget how much I love your style until I'm swept back into another one of your stories. Amazing. Thank you so much!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-04 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First - Jun and Iroh: Iroh as the bounty hunter and Jun as Zuko's aunt that is training and taking care of him in his exile.

Second - Katara and Zuko: Katara is the first borne Fire nation princess and Zuko is the last water bender in the south

Third - Jeong Jeong and Iroh: Iroh is the former Fire nation hero turned traitor and Jeong Jeong is the firstborn Fire nation prince

Refining Fire [1/1]

Date: 2011-08-06 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They collected the traitor at Sozin's Bay.

Jeong-Jeong, acting as both grand admiral and crown prince, oversaw the transfer of custody from the Judicial Soldiers Crops. The dock churned with a human tide held back only by soldiers too free with their firebending. Undeterred, a few threw produce, pelting the prisoner's bodyguards. Only when their crown prince appeared did the tumultuous crowd quiet.

Just as tanned, leathered skin did not suit a prince, the polished armor Jeong-Jeong wore was equally ill-fitting. It pinched uncomfortably in odd places. Golding trimming he had idly adored as a boy was now needless opulence to his eye. Worst of all were the unbroken boots. Polished to a mirror shine, they squeezed his feet like a vice. He longed for his normal uniform, not this costume he wore in public.

Whatever discomfort he felt mounted at the sight of the traitor general. Iroh looked so small now, weighted down by chains that were infinitely heavier than the irons clamped around his ankles and wrists. Until he had seen Iroh for himself, a part of Jeong-Jeong couldn't believe a man so blandly accepting of war's cruelties had become a self-professed traitor of conscience.

If the Dragon of the West himself could turn...

He left that thought unfinished.

* * *

Years ago, Jeong-Jeong had ordered two coolers specially built into his flagship's brig. A day inside for the unprepared meant a week without firebending. The prince ran a tight ship, so rare was the occasion when a crew member committed an infraction that merited such harsh punishment. Mostly Jeong-Jeong used the coolers for his personal meditations.

A bender of Iroh's skill would be undiminished by the cold. To cage him inside a cooler would be simple sadism.

If anyone complained about his softness, Jeong-Jeong will tell them that, after his son Lu Ten's death, anything more would be paltry. He understood, having long-ago lost his wife in childbirth. Iroh's world had ended. He would not be given time to construct another.

* * *

Ba Sing Se was lost, the army withdrawn by a heartbroken general. So in lieu of the city, a man burned.

The Firelord showed no hesitation towards the last Dragon. It took twenty-seven lashes of Azulon's fire to Iroh's back to kill the man; an endurance record, he later learned. Jeong-Jeong had seen men killed before, had spilled blood and charred flesh himself, but never for an audience. With twenty-seven lashes, the mind has time to indulge its distaste in order to let the eyes wander.

Ozai never looked away. Neither did his sister-in-law, or his niece. No one would, except for his nephew, pale and shaky at the blood and smell of cooked meat. And he was the only one! How... how could everyone else not be...

* * *

The breakthrough in Ba Sing Se was lost. Everyone knew it. So the assembled staff in the War Room planned its next campaign. Sitting silently beside his Lord father, Jeong-Jeong took care to observe everyone's face as they blandly discussed kill ratios and causality estimates against the North, against Omashu. They had looked no different than they had while watching a man they had known all their lives being scourged to death.

He tried to imagine his nephew sitting in at this meeting and felt nauseous.

Finally, perhaps noting his long silence, the Firelord asked him, "What do you feel is the best use of my navy, Prince Jeong-Jeong?"

Almost on reflex, he replied, "Finding the Avatar."

* * *

"Uncle." Jeong-Jeong gave the boy leave to rise from his kowtow on the docks. His mother and father followed suit behind. Stiffly, likely drawing from some memorized script, he added, "I am honored to join you on this great mission, just as I am honored to be chosen as your heir."

Ozai couldn't contain the smothered rage in his eyes at that. Since Jeong-Jeong had made his nephew the inheritor of his estate, the Firelord had blessed the tact endorsement by shuffling the boy ahead of his father in the chain of succession.

Jeong-Jeong bowed slightly. "The honor, Prince Zuko, is mine."

Re: Refining Fire [1/1]

Date: 2011-08-06 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, this is wonderfull. Love how you use the canon in the story

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-04 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ty Lee and Azula. Azula is one of seven sisters who all look alike, while Ty Lee is second daughter of Ozai and Zuko's little sister. Hilarity ensues?

Hakoda and Piandao. Piandao is Sokka and Katara's father, while Hakoda is a famed warrior and master, and member of the White Lotus. Sokka's confusion about paternal figures ensures?

Aang and Katara. Aang is a Water Tribe boy and Sokka's little brother, while Katara is the Avatar who ran away and got stuck in an iceberg. Kacest Adventure ensures?

The Pink and the Blue [1/1]

Date: 2011-08-06 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Years ago, Azula had devised an elaborate system of passwords and coded phrases to help her friends distinguish her from her six sisters, should any of them kill her in order to steal her identity.

It wasn't a paranoid concern. Irah had an unmatched talent for impersonation, utilizing her keen eye for mimicking handwriting and using make-up to set up her sisters for all sorts of purposes. Azula had already prepared a fallback identity as a circus acrobat if Irah ever decided to make one of those criminal charges stick. And Sozan didn't realize that Azula knew she watched her practice her acrobatics and chi-blocking, memorizing the movements for later replication. Unless Sozan knew that Azula thought that she didn't know Azula had caught onto her secretly watching, and so on. Azula's baby sister could be tricky like that. Whatever the case, Azula always made sure to strike the wrong spots on her practice dummies at home, degrading the worth of studying her technique during or after practice.

And Irah and Sozan were only her younger sisters.

Not that any of Azula's preparations were necessary. The princess had a bizarre talent for readily identifying any and all of Azula's family members at a glance. Ty Lee played it off with some nonsense prattle about auras, but Azula was no fool. Deep deep beneath that sunny exterior, buried so far down that it was almost plausible to simply accept Ty Lee at face value, lurked the keenest minds that Azula had ever encountered, and knowing her own family that was claiming quite a lot.

The princess was simply ingenious. Not in matters academic, for such things counted for little in court life, but as a social creature Ty Lee was the equivalent of a dragon in a world full of koala-sheep. She could swoop into a room, open her mouth, and in an instant everyone and everything her path would be demolished by that exaggerated innocence she projected. Seeing the princess at work really made Azula question the supremacy of fear as a motivator. It made no sense, but somehow the soft touch worked for Ty Lee. Also like a dragon, her firebending was extraordinary. No human in history had ever bent pink flames before.

It was sometimes taxing on her patience to play along with Ty Lee's elaborate mind games, but Azula couldn't deny that it challenged her skills in a way that even her family's weekly game of Which Cup Is Poison just couldn't.

Also, spending time with Ty Lee often meant interacting with her brother, and nobody, least of all Azula, would argue Prince Zuko was hard on the eyes.

Re: The Pink and the Blue [1/1]

Date: 2011-08-06 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not paranoia if six Azulas really are out to get you. :D I especially loved Azula's misunderstanding of Ty Lee's nature, and the idea of pink flames. Yup, I bet that one is pretty unique in Fire Nation history; the sages are still trying to figure out how it's possible.

Good fill!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-05 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Piandao and Sokka: Piandao coming to be trained by Master Sokka - "No seriously. Where's the master?"

Mai and Katara: Yay for Zutara...Would Mai still be so down on life or just ice?

Ozai and Hakoda: Do I even have to say it? The difference in parenting alone could produce some seriously screw-balled Water Tribe sibs.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-05 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yue and Suki: Forthright Suki, nominal(?) heir to the Northern Water Tribe, and Yue, mild-mannered Kyoshi Warrior.

Toph and Sokka: Sokka (with all his foibles) as the heir to a very proper Earth Kingdom shipping magnate (or whatever Toph's parents did to make their money) and Toph as the blind eldest daughter of the chief of the Southern Water Tribe.

Mai and Azula: Mai as Ozai's second shame and Zuko's non-bending younger sister, and Azula as the ambitious fire-bending prodigy of up-and-coming imperial bureaucrat whatshisname and older sister to little Tom-Tom [which is a terrible name, by the way. What were they thinking?].

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-11 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Toph/Sokka one I can't do because it covers some themes I'm using in other, non-drabble fics I'm writing. I prefer not to double dip. Also, Yue is my kryptonite. Could you please pick two new requests to replace those?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-11 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's cool - thanks for letting me switch them out!

Kyoshi and Roku - Differing conflict resolution styles have lingering consequences.

Suki and Long Feng - They're both leaders of two organizations founded by Avatar Kyoshi, so let's switch 'em. How does that work?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-05 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Rats, too slow. I'm looking forward to reading the fills!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-08 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't believe I missed this.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-08 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't worry. I'll run another one in the future.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-11 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would like to echo clockwerkchaos's despair.


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