Cicadacrickets chirped loudly in the clear evening as we ate our meals in silence. We never really talked during dinner, for obvious reasons. Longshot never really talked in the first place. It's not like it bothered me. In fact, I welcomed the silence a lot of the time. You notice a lot more when you don't speak, things you wouldn't have really noticed if you were talking. It's not like I needed to hear Longshot's voice to know he was there, anyway. Somehow I just...knew.
Of course we had talked. But as I said, he wouldn't speak audibly. But it wasn't necessary, because I could understand him. I could read him- his expressions, his body language. I could understand exactly what he was thinking.
Well...most of the time, anyway.
There would be times where Longshot would have this...look in his eyes. I would catch him staring at me, and he'd give me that look. I couldn't understand it. His face was stony and impassive, but his eyes had a fire in them- almost a hunger in those dark chocolate orbs. I'd feel them pierce my body, almost as if he were looking right through me. I felt something weird whenever he gave me this 'Look', as well. From the warmth in my cheeks I could have called it embarrassment, but the butterflies in my stomach said otherwise. I couldn't take my eyes away from his dark brown ones. His stare would burn into me, and after a while of this I'd have to look away.
It had been like this ever since we were still Freedom Fighters. When we still lived in the Hideout with the other kids. When Jet was our leader, and I looked up to him more than anything else. When all we had to worry about was taking out Firebenders and helping villages.
And then Jet went crazy and tried killing off an entire village. Seeing the person you once idolized and looked up to suddenly trying to pull a stunt like that...and none the less helping with the plan myself...the whole situation had a big impact on me. It was much more than a slap in the face. Jet had led me to believe what we were doing was right. That to win, there needed to be sacrifices. It was the Ponytail guy who made me realize what we had almost done to those innocent villagers. I couldn't look at Jet the same way after that.
Longshot had taken the blow better than I had, to say at the least. He consoled me, assuring me that Jet had been so desperate for revenge against the Fire Nation soldiers that he had been blinded. But even after Longshot's silent words of comfort, I was still bothered with Jet's obsession, his thirst for Fire Nation blood.
The Freedom Fighters had split up that day. Many of the others had left Jet, proclaiming that he was insane, and they could no longer follow him after what had happened. Only Longshot and I stayed loyal to Jet. I wasn't quite sure why I had not left with the others. Perhaps it was because I had nowhere else to go. Maybe I didn't want the possible company of the other boys- Longshot was the only one I ever stayed around, anyway. Maybe it was because I was naive enough to believe Jet when he said he wanted to make a fresh new start in Ba Sing Se.
But she knew that that was too good to be true.
I took a bite of my fish, closing my eyes as my teeth sunk into its flesh. It was no use remembering further than that. Longshot and I had decided to leave the past behind us. After what...happened in Ba Sing Se, Longshot and I had left before the Fire Nation had taken over. Now, even after four years, they had not returned and still remained nomads.
But no matter how much I tried, there was a moment every once in a while when memories of Lake Laogi would seep into my mind. Like a bitter taste that you couldn't get out of your mouth. I could tell that Longshot would remember, as well. His face would twist in an almost sour, pained expression. He'd stiffen, and he'd clench his fists.
And then he'd look at me again.
I turned my head to the left, where he was sitting, and glanced up from my meal to see his face. His usual, worn conical hat sat beside him in the grass. I contemplated on getting him a new one- Spirits knew that he needed it. Maybe in the next town, I decided.
The hat wasn't the only thing that had aged. Longshot too had gotten taller, his shoulders broader. His arms looked more muscular, from his training with his bow and arrow. He had always been good at his archery, but he seemed to grow better each and every day. Almost flawless, even. I hadn't met anyone as great as he was in archery, anyway. So to me, he was flawless. He ate his fish carefully, patiently. Longshot always liked to savor the taste of his food.
I had grown too, pretty much. I didn't look much like a boy anymore, at least. My womanly curves were starting to fill out. They weren't much, but I expected to grow at least a little more until I reached adulthood. My hair started growing out, but I made sure to cut my bangs regularly so that they weren't in my face all the time.
He noticed that I was looking, his own eyes traveling up to my face. Instead of keeping the gaze, I quickly turned my head, turning the piece of fish in my hands. I took a small bite, avoiding his eyes as I chewed slowly. For some reason, the silence was...uncomfortable. Awkward. And for a moment, I yearned for the companionship of the old Freedom Fighters. I yearned for my ten-year-old self, instead of the fourteen year old I had grown to be. I wanted Pipsqueak. I wanted the Duke. I wanted Sneers. I wanted Jet. I wanted...to go back.
It must have shown on my face, because when I looked back up I saw Longshot shooting me a quizzical look. I sighed, running a finger of the flash of the food in my hands. "Nothing's wrong. I was just...thinking back to the Freedom Fighters." I answered, the volume of my voice dropping a few pitches as I said the last part. Longshot's eyes widened, then narrowed slightly as he gave me a stern look, lowering his food near his lap.
I sighed. "I know, I know. We said to put it all behind us. To...bury the hatchet. But I just can't help it sometimes, you know?" I explained. I looked to the small fire in front of us. We'd have to put more wood on it soon- very soon the sun was going to completely set, and if the fire went out we'd have no source of heat. "I can't help but think of the rest of the old Freedom Fighters, and wondering where they are. And if...if anyone ended up like J-"
I was cut off by Longshot leaning over and taking a hold of my forearm firmly. It was a sign of comforting me, but it was also him telling me not to finish that sentence, to say Jet's name. I looked down at my arm, and then up to Longshot. I smiled a little, trying to show him that I was going to be strong.
"I'm alright, don't worry. I was just thinking." I assured him, going back to my food. I wiggled my arm to signal him that it was alright to let me go.
But he did no such thing. Mouth agape to take a large chunk out of my fish, I turned to see what was the matter. I froze. He was giving me that look again. I instantly closed my mouth, my eyes widened a little. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't tear myself from his intense gaze. Slowly, I sat up straight, my arm still held by Longshot. I felt the heat rush to my face and my stomach starting to do flips.
"Longshot...what's going on?" I asked, sounding nervous. Was I really nervous? I must have been. It felt like Earth Rumble Ten was being held in my stomach. I tried pulling my arm from his grip, but that only caused him to hold on tighter. "L...Longshot, come on, let go." I stammered.
But instead of heeding my request, he set down his food and scooted over to me, not stopping until he was right next to me. I gulped at the rather small distance between us. Of course we've walked side by side before, and we've sat next each other more times than I could count. But something about this was more...intimate. His face was less than a foot away from mine. From a longer distance, the 'Stare' was at least almost bearable. But with it in such close proximity, it was making my mind go haywire.
Slowly and cautiously, Longshot raised his other hand and cupped my cheek. I gasped silently. I felt my face grow hot, and for a second I thought his hand might get burned if he kept it there. He caressed my face with his thumb and gazed into my eyes. I searched his, trying to figure out...something. Anything that could have explained the situation. I saw the intensity in them. The...passion.
Longshot kept his fixated stare on me for what felt like forever. He traced his thumb down my cheek and to my lips. I took a sharp intake of breath, stiffening at the touch. He trailed his thumb across my lower lip, then back again. My heart felt like it was going a mile a minute. His own lips parted as he took in a deep breath. His hand slid forward a bit, so that his fingertips sifted through my hair and pressed gently against the back of my head. Longshot's movements were slow. He was patient, whereas I was not. Every second seemed agonizingly slow as he sat there, staring.
Longshot's face then began to gradually come closer to mine. His eyelids slowly descended. My eyes were as wide as dinner plates as he advanced. My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest, and my face was almost on fire. I couldn't look away, I couldn't move. He suddenly stopped, our faces only a couple of centimeters apart. I felt his hot breath on my lips as he exhaled, and I almost died of a heart attack. Longshot's chocolate brown orbs opened to meet mine. His thumb stroked my face again.
"Bee..." he whispered, almost inaudible.
My heart leapt into my throat when he whispered my name. His eyes searched my face. It was a different look now. This look was yearning, hopeful, uncertainty, questioning. I didn't respond- I only returned his gaze, my mind being too frazzled to give him a reply.
Longshot's eyes glossed over. He then closed his eyes once more, and slowly closed the gap between us. My eyes widened even more, if possible. His soft lips against mine set my whole body on fire. I wasn't sure on how to react. The food that I had just remembered I had been holding gently rolled out of my hand and into the grass.
After a few moments, Longshot pulled away, searching my face again. My face was flushed, and even though it wasn't a passionate kiss, I felt out of breath. His own cheeks were slightly tinged pink. His hand slipped from my cheek, and even though my face felt white-hot I immediately missed the warmth. His eyes fell downcast. Knowing he was about to turn away, I felt myself reach out, holding his face with my small hands. Longshot's eyes widened slightly at the touch, and his face gave off a bit of heat that I could feel with my hands. My eyes darted around his face, from his eyes to his lips. Taking in a deep breath, I closed my eyes and leaned up, my lips meeting his once more. I felt his hands slide to the back of my neck and pulling me into this kiss.
Fireworks were going off in my mind. Through that kiss I could suddenly what Longshot had been trying to tell me all that time. Every time he stared, every time he comforted me...I suddenly knew. He was trying to tell me how much he cared for me. How much he loved me.
I pulled out of the kiss, my face radiating with heat. I stared at him breathlessly. Looking down at me, Longshot took a moment before giving me a small smile. I grinned back.
"Yeah, me, too."
A/N: Mmkay, I have to say that Longshot/Smellerbee is one of my FAVORITE pairings, just because of how cute they'd be. And yeah, so you know, I said "Earth Rumble Ten because four years ago, before the war ended, Toph was in Earth Rumble Six. Thought I'd let you know.
So yeah, my first Avatar fanfiction. Honestly, I've been an Avatar nut for a really long time, but I've never really written anything for it before or drawn fanart(aside from little doodles drawn of Aang going to save the Internet). So now that the show's over, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself anymore. xD Kidding. I've decided to do more fandom things for Avatar and actually write fanfiction. Woo, fandom!
Please Read and review. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. At all. Sorry.