So, this is my first shot at ATLA. Long time reader, first time writer to this genre. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with an awesome concept for a one shot…and finally, after viewing a picture over at deviantart, I got my idea. A very talented deviant by the name of sylvacoer drew the Freedom Warriors in period clothing that got me thinking…
So, this is a tweak of the Jet episode. Roaring Twenties meets Avatar? Everyone wins!
Also, strangely enough, I'm totally a Zutara fan! Yes – I still believe they will get together, so I have no idea why I wrote this…
AN: I do NOT own the characters.
7.8.08 - Update - so, if you've never been a beta before and want to try you hand at it? Why not start here? Speakeasy could use a major edit. I actually think there is a semi-decent story hiding in here. Let me know if you're interested...
Speakeasy: Chapter 1
On their seemingly endless journey to the North they had somehow taken an inevitable detour to the big city. Katara knew they were lost…they had been walking for the better part of a day, forced to leave their plane, The Appa, and pilot, the mysterious Mr. Momo, on the runaway. With promises of returning no more than a week later, the gang struck out into an unknown territory, with no allies and no doubt, danger at every turn. Sokka had suggested the detour as a way to possibly throw their would be captors off the trail, citing "his instincts." It had sounded like a good idea at the time, but as they walked into the city, Katara looked down at her clothes and knew they might as well be wearing signs that said, "We don't belong here."
Where she and Sokka came from, people wore simple, functional clothes. She was clad in a modest blue dress that had seen better days. It fit her, but in recent months sixteen-year-old Katara had been growing…and now the old garment was tighter in some areas than she would've liked. The looks she was drawing from young men made her uncomfortable. Sokka looked like he had walked right off the farm, with tattered khaki pants, serviceable brown shoes and a faded blue button up shirt. They were both tanned from their youth which made the pair stuck out even more in this town. Aang looked even more out of place than they did. As he had been asleep for one hundred years, his vintage fashion completely stood out. They had tried to stop the stares by covering fourteen-year-old Aang in a simple black suit jacket. It slightly hung off his still growing shoulders, but it hid the old clothes well enough. If that wasn't enough, the sky blue tattoo on his head certainly made people take notice. There wasn't much they could do, but fortunately, in this day and age, no man was seen in public without a fedora or some sort of hat.
A cold gust blew up and Katara pulled down her own old Cloche hat that had seen better days. She had looked longingly at the fringy dresses that the stylish "flapper girls" and "Jazz babies" of the city were wearing. She knew it was a waste of their dwindling funds, but secretly, Katara longed to wear something similar and kick up her heels…even if just for one night…
Breaking her reverie, Sokka shivered next to her and said, "We'd better find a place to crash."
Pooling what meager resources they had left, the exhausted trio was able to rent a dirty room in a bad section of town. Katara had a bad feeling, but was too tried to worry. The weeks of travel had finally caught up with her…and now tonight, even if it was a dirty bed – it was inside and out of the elements. Her eyes grew heavy and she immediately fell asleep…only to be roughly grabbed awake. Her hands were immediately bound, so that she had no chance to use her bending abilities. Screaming obscenities, she kicked and squirmed using all her strength, but was no match for the four grown men who dominated the room. In the melee, she saw that both Sokka and Aang had been gagged and bound, her heart suddenly felt heavy – they were captured! Their captors hauled them roughly down the hall.
Katara's blue eyes flashed ice cold – she knew they had been tired, but she never expected to go down like this – without a fighting chance… The cold night hit her and the wind blew through her light dress as soon as they got outside…where an old truck was waiting.
"Going back to the Fire Nation with these three."
"I heard Zuko's ready to pay anything for their capture."
"Did you get a look at the girl? Are you sure we have to return her—"
The surprising sound caught Katara's attention. She looked up to see twin blades easily handle the would be captors and her hands were suddenly set free. A steady masculine voice from behind her spoke quietly, "Split them up – Smellerbee, Longshot – take the guys. Meet you back at HQ. No doubt there will be others here soon."
Katara could only blink in disbelief at the accuracy and speed in which the Fire Nation soldiers had been taken care of. Large callused hands gripped hers and cut through the bindings. She vigorously rubbed her hands to get circulation flowing through them once again. The voice from behind her took her elbow and guided her down the street – in the opposite direction that Aang and Sokka were going. She felt warm breath on her ear, the voice whispered, "This way."
Out of the frying pan…?
Now that she had sensation back in her hands, Katara began furiously trying to get feeling into her arms.
"Here," the gruff voice said and Katara found herself wrapped in warm black wool that smelled of tobacco, cologne and freshly mown hay…? It was one of the most perfectly masculine smells she could ever remember.
"Thank you," she whispered as she and her rescuer walked quickly down the street. To any passerby, they might have looked like a regular couple, coming home from a night out.
"Can I ask your name?" Katara queried.
Her rescuer spun her around and gazed down at her from under a streetlight, "You can call me Jet."
Somehow, the name suited him. Under the soft glow of the lamp, Katara's breath was momentarily taken away as she looked up – her hero couldn't be much older than Sokka! As he tucked the twin hook swords on his back, the motion pulling his shirt tight as his broad shoulders, she was able to study him …Jet… Katara saw a strong jaw line and floppy brown hair tucked under a pageboy cap. Sturdy black suspenders held up gray pinstripe pants and his rolled up shirtsleeves revealed not only strong forearms, but also a small tattoo on his inner left arm. His outfit was completed by a single piece of straw that he moved fluidly through his lips as he talked.
"Come this way."
Katara had no choice but to follow. Jet didn't say anything as they wove their way through the complex maze of the city streets. Finally, they turned down a narrow alleyway. Katara's nerves shifted from anticipation to concern. What did he plan on doing with her? Nervous as she was to be in the situation, a rush of adrenaline and excitement coursed through her body. In her pocket she had enough water to get herself to safety, but she only wanted to use that option as a last resort – she needed to see that Aang and Sokka had also made it to safety. Lost in her own thoughts, the brunette didn't realize Jet had stopped walking and was suddenly in very close proximity to her rescuer. She risked an apologetic look at him and a jolt went through her system. Intelligent dark brown eyes met ocean blue and smirked. Katara's cheeks pinked.
"Wha-what are we doing here?" Katara found her voice, "Are Sokka and Aang okay?"
The young man looked around again, and satisfied the coast was clear, tapped out a complicated rhythm on the wall. Katara's eyes grew wide as she heard a series of levers and mechanisms in the wall which lifted to reveal a door. Jet opened it with a sweeping bow of chivalry and said gallantly, "Welcome to The Forest Pub."
Cautiously stepping inside, Katara could only gawk at the sheer amount of energy and people that swarmed though the packed club.
AN: Like it? Hate it? Let me know. Ensuing chapters are longer.