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H/C bingo postage stamp square

I decided to try the February amnesty challenge at [community profile] hc_bingo (a 2x2 block of prompts; you have to use all of them in one fanwork) and got ... this.

near death experience
first transformation

It would be fantastic if not for that "first transformation" square, which kicks it firmly into AU territory for everything I currently want to write for. :/ I mean it's not like I can't see how you'd get a fic out of that; actually that set of prompts lends itself beautifully to a particular kind of plot. I'm just not quite seeing how to get a fic I actually want to write out of it ...

ETA: The brilliant [personal profile] trobadora suggested the transformation could be metaphorical, which gave me all kinds of ideas. Hmmmmmm ...

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