A bit more Smellershot, because I could. Maybe another story tonight, based on Iroh's short in "Tales of Ba Sing Se", because it was absolutely beautiful. I heart that whole episode (all the shorts), almost more than Cave of Two Lovers. Almost..Kataang shipper at heart
Setting: During "Tales of Ba Sing Se". Smellerbee and Longshot's 'lost' tale. . Because I want to write sweet pure shipping. And Smellershot/Longerbee is probably the purest ship in the whole show, XD
And not really a ship, but Zuko discovering how to 'date' is adorable. He's so bad at it that it's endearing and sweet.
She bit her lip, and looked out the door.
It'd been a while since she actually bothered to think about Jet anymore. She had figured, after the first day, that he'd come back when he could. If he could; he was probably still in jail. She didn't think he'd be getting out any time soon.
She didn't think about him, but they both worried.
Longshot stepped through the backdoor and closed the door softly. Smellerbee looked back. It was her turn to bathe.
They were on the bottom ring, and not all that popular, in a certain sense. They had no basin at their 'home', so they snuck baths in the nicer area of the bottom ring. It was just them; Jet never knew. It was their thing, something private from him. She thought it a little strange that they'd even want to do something apart from Jet, but his behavior was erratic and he didn't keep an eye on them like he usually did. Not since coming to Ba Sing Se.
She quietly asked if Longshot would help her undo the chest plate. She hadn't needed help before Ba Sing Se, before Jet was taken away. But now she couldn't.
He nodded slightly; looking a bit odd without his usual sando-gasa. He looped his fingers around the strong, thin leather straps. It was short work to undo them, but Longshot took his time. He undid them one at a time, and neither of the two young fighters would look at each other.
The plate slipped forward into Smellerbee's hands. She set it aside.
She felt naked without the chest plate; maybe because it was like a security blanket for her, masking her gender so that she would be taken seriously. It hadn't mattered at first. Jet hadn't cared, and she admired him. But she found the chestplate in the woods one day and kept it. Then the other boys hadn't laughed when she fought.
Smellerbee shivered; it was cold now. It was cold, and she was going to go bathe. She began to strip down like always. After all, she was raised among boys; the differences between the genders hadn't mattered until now. Now she felt odd about it; like she didn't want someone to see her now, now that she was older. Now that she had grown more.
Longshot had donned his sando-gasa again. He pulled the brim over his eyes, indicating that he wasn't looking. Smellerbee still only stripped to her undergarments. She always had here; it wasn't safe to sneak a bath totally nude. Not down here.
Jet hadn't made notice of how the men leered in the lower ring. He hadn't noticed how the women were scared sometimes. Jet hadn't noticed a lot of things.
Longshot did. Even if no one saw past Smellerbee's half-hearted attempt to mask her gender, he wouldn't let her travel alone. Not every; it wasn't safe. He always had an arm around her, tightly. He kept watch on her.
The water was nice and warm, but it could have been warmer. She bit her lip at she slipped in; she'd kill to be a firebender for three seconds. To warm up the water, that was it.
It was rushed, too. She didn't trust herself to stay in too long. She'd think too much, and not be aware of her surroundings, and they'd get caught.
She jumped out quickly, and dried as fast as she could. Absently, she fluffed her hair.She regretted wanting to look like Jet; it wasn't becoming for her. Her fingers were already cold then; she smoothed them over her cheeks; the deep marks were still there. She remembered getting them; they weren't intentional. They were deep wounds given to her at a young age by a village shaman; that's why the red stayed. It was to mark her as a future defender of the village, at the last moment. The Fire Nation had attacked their town; they knew it was coming. They fought. They lost.
And she had run before it all happened. Run with cheeks still bleeding and stinging from the ink.
Longshot looked up, and smiled. He held her chestplate in his hands, rocking it back and forth on the floor.
"Thanks for keeping watching" she spoke softly. He nodded. She tried to pull the plate back on after dressing, but gasped softly when Longshot's warm arms wrapped around her from behind. Warm, arrow-callused hands rested on her breastbone. She tried to pull away to hide her deep blush, but Longshot's grip was firm. It had to be, to pull back the bowstring.
He kissed her cheek as he held her. Right where the red stripes were. She relaxed slightly, then tensed really quickly and pulled away.
Longshot's eyes were trained on the floor now; a blush played across the silent archer's cheeks. Smellerbee didn't speak for a moment. Then she stepped foward, and wrapped her arms around his waist, and held him tight. He was warm, comforting...
...and he loved her. He loved her enough to protect her, and loved her enough to know what was appropriate for where they were, in all aspects.
They didn't speak the whole way back, but he held her in a different way that time. He left the chestplate strings tied tight; Smellerbee felt safe in it, and that was what mattered to him.