Trying to get in one last bit of Smellershot before season 3. It's not nessicarily happy, but I like to think its ending is somewhat uplooking. I think that the Freedom Fighters got out of Lake Laogai; probably with Jet's body, given that the creators have basically affirmed that Jet's gone.

And if he's not, he's kinda screwed, since he was basically body-punched by a rock, which I'm guessing ruptured several organs and broke ribs and his sternum. Which would lead to much pain and some massive internal bleeding. So he'd go pretty quick.

AAAND it's 1.18 am friday, and I've been in zombie mode (aka, so tired that I'm not tired) for the past two days. So I feel reasonably productive. And if it seems a little odd; I just finished up "Watchmen" in one sitting. BRAIN IS DED, for the most part.

Summary: Jet was gone. They had survived, but without Jet, what was left? What were they supposed to do? The same as anyone else; start walking.

Oneshot, Smellerbee/Longshot.

Disclaimer: Seriously; even if I owned this, which I don't, I don't think I could have brought Season three around sooner. It's been, what, almost a year? Double U tee eff, Nickelodeon?


The first thing Jet felt fade was the sense that he was. He felt loose; almost, kinda, free. Like back before the Fire Nation had trampled in and destroyed his youth. He distantly was aware of Smellerbee, weeping.

Quietly, of course. She had never been very loud when it came to matters of emotion. She never let herself--it made her look weak, she said. Too much like a girl. And the Fire Nation always went after the girls first.

He could tell Longshot was still aiming at the door. Strange; no one had charged in after the Avatar and his friends had left; though quite honestly, they'd only left moments before. Jet figured they were far more concerned with freeing Appa, which probably tied up all the kooks working underground at Laogai anyway.

Jet smiled, and chuckled, which sent a spasm of pain through his body. Longshot glanced back, Smellerbee's concern showed stronger. Still, Jet's smile didn't fade.

"No, you'll be okay."

Smellerbee was talking now. Tears traced down her cheeks, leaving fine lines in the grime across her skin. Her voice was shaking. His voice was raspy, quiet.

"No. I...won't."

It hurt to talk. To breathe. He couldn't quite catch his breath, but he didn't quite notice. Didn't seem to need to breathe so much. Now Longshot had lowered his bow, looked back with concern.

"Go."

Smellerbee shook her head violently.

"No! Not without you. We're family, Jet."

"You have to," he rasped. He felt lighter. "You can get out. It's not like they're going to get any secrets or something from me"

"Jet...," Smellerbee's words were almost incomprehensible.

"You can still fight. You should," Jet hazarded lifting his head to glance at Longshot, who understood. But the movement of his neck was too much; he supressed a scream that would have caused even more pain. His hearing was going now. Sight too.

"I...," the girl started, but Longshot shook his head, and re-quivered the arrow. He slung his bow over his shoulder and helped his friend to her feet. She fought it, but something in the archer's gaze subdued the fight in her.

Jet's eyelids were heavy. Longshot knelt beside his leader, his comrade. The dying fighter smirked.

"Hey...'least I did something right."

And he was gone.

---------------------------------------------

It wasn't long afterwards that Dai Li agents flooded the room, moments too late to catch Smellerbee or Longshot. The archer had heard the agents running down the halls, and they'd had to leave Jet's body, much as it pained them. Smellerbee kept stumbling, breath short.

He was gone. Their leader was gone.

Each time she stumbled, Longshot caught her arm, pulled her up, helped her forward. She was grateful.

As they stumbled up the nearest exit, they felt the ground shake ferociously, which hastened their exit all the more. The fighters scrabbled up the rocky beach, watching in confusion as the lake surface swallowed their escape route. A moment of stunned silence, then Smellerbee clung to Longshot, weeping. Shaking. He drew her close and bowed his head, and silently wept.

After a long stretch of time; to them, it could have been weeks that had past; they stopped crying. Smellerbee furiously wiped away the lingering tears from her salt-tight cheeks. Her eyes were swollen from the crying.

"So...now what do we do?"

Longshot looked up, eyes half hidden by his li. He smiled, softly, and stopped Smellerbee in her actions. He pulled up the cuff of his sleeve and dried her tears. She only stared, confused and stunned. Then fresh tears seemed to well in her eyes again.

"We start walking," Longshot's voice was quiet. He disliked speaking; it was always so much easier to say things with his eyes, especially among his friends. Jet understood it first, and then Smellerbee...then the others had caught on. The girl looked up, her voice quiet as well.

"Where?"

"Anywhere. Back to the village, back to the lower ring. Just not here."

Smellerbee nodded, and struggled her feet. The leather armor which once hid her gender and made it so easy to fight now felt cumbersome and heavy. She fell to the earth again, and bit her lip. She could not help feeling worthless; they had not been able to help Jet, and she would be damned if worthless now.

Yet before she could tear off the cumbersome plate, Longshot's long, nimble fingers had unlaced the tight, grubby knots. The armor slipped forward into Smellerbee's hands. She need not even look back to thank him. Smellerbee could run now, she could be agile.
She could not have to think about how they failed, everytime she looked down, every time she touched a hand to her chest.

And she turned to thank Longshot anyway. He had pulled off his li, and was staring towards the summit of the hill. Smellerbee was able to sidle up to him unnoticed, at least partially; a rare occurance. The archer glanced at the scruffy fighter.

"You know, he never thought I was weird," she sighed. Longshot didn't speak. Clearly, words needed to be spoken in Jet's memory, but not here. Not now. Longshot began to climb the hill, and Smellerbee followed. When they felt they were far enough away, they rested, then they moved on.

News reached them later that the Avatar wasn't in Ba Sing Se anymore. Neither Freedom fighter blamed them. Rumor skitted around the lower ring that there were Fire Nation soldiers planning to attack again. But it was just a rumor.

"They go after the girls first," Smellerbee had muttered when rumor passed their way. She was regretting leaving her rough-hewn leather armor far back at Lake Laogai. The archer encircled her and gripped her shoulder firmly. A hint of a blush danced across Smellerbee's cheeks.
He would not let them get her.

"Thank you"

The archer brushed long, slender fingers under her chin, and kissed her forehead.

"You're welcome," his eyes spoke.