Author: Simply Kelp
Pairing: It was written with Jetko in mind, but I'm not sure how slashy it will be...
Rating: T to be safe
Summary: "I think Li would make a good Freedom Fighter," Zuko heard Jet say. He hoped that it was not a sign that Jet would persist in getting him to join their gang. AU, Jet did not see Zuko firebend.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar; Mike, and Bryan just let me play with the characters as long as I put them back in roughly the same condition I got them.
A/N: I've been going through the stuff I've yet to post, which is kind of fun, but also a bit depressing... I have several chapters of this finished, but after that, I will probably go a bit slower with putting them out.
Zuko, and Iroh were waiting at the immigration terminal of Ba Sing Se. It was taking forever to get the herds of people through the gates. The public officials, however did not seem to care. Most of them were older; probably some sort of retirement job, Zuko thought vaguely. Uncle, he noticed, had found a bench near a large pillar to sit. Zuko wandered over, and threw himself on the bench. He knew he was being dramatic, but he could not quite bring himself to care. The trip to Ba Sing Se was exhausting, and he wanted to get out of this stupid terminal, even if that meant entering the city.
As Uncle was ordering a cup of tea, Zuko heard footsteps approaching- deliberately- from his left. He turned to see the kid from the ferry- Jet, maybe? The kid flashed him a grin. Zuko cocked an eyebrow disinterestedly, and looked forward.
He felt someone sit next to him. The kid spoke: "Hey Li, can I talk to you for a moment?" Zuko had the impulse to correct the kid. He stopped when he remembered that Li was his new name. Hearing the name, tossed so carelessly by the kid, brought an odd sensation in the pit of his stomach. Zuko looked to Iroh, who was currently spewing tea from his mouth, and complaining. If he stayed, Zuko reasoned, he would probably have to sit through one of Uncle's long-winded tea stories. The kid certainly could not be worse than that. A bit reluctantly, Zuko nodded, and followed the kid a few feet away.
"You and I have a much better chance of making it in the city if we stick together. You want to join the Freedom Fighters?" the kid asked. He smiled expectantly. Zuko got the impression that the kid did not often hear the word 'no.'
"Thanks," Zuko began, "but I don't think you guys would want me in your group." Zuko resisted the urge to smirk at his understatement, and the look of shock, and petulance that flashed over the kid's features.
The kid quickly rearranged his features into a charming smile. "I'm asking, right?" he asked; his voice betrayed his annoyance.
Zuko shrugged. "I guess."
The kid's smile grew wider. Zuko wondered vaguely how it was possible to show all of his teeth while smiling. The kid looked slightly deranged, but Zuko was sure he was trying more for roguishly charming. He wondered if the smile actually worked on others. "Come on, we made a great team looting that captain's food. Think of all the good we could do for these refugees. So, what do you say?" the kid asked.
The kid shrugged in an attempt to look nonchalant. "Have it your way," he said. Zuko could hear a hint of surprise in his voice.
As Zuko turned to leave, the heard the two other kids run up to their leader. The girl- he thought her name might be Smellerbee- called the kid Jet. "I think Li would make a good Freedom Fighter," Zuko heard Jet say. He hoped that it was not a sign that Jet would persist in getting him to join their gang.
When Zuko rejoined Uncle, he noticed that he was savouring a steaming hot cup of tea. Had he not just a moment ago complained that the tea was cold? He could not have fire bended; that would be stupid. Zuko quickly knocked the cup of tea from Uncle's hands, and looked- as furtively as he could in his panicked state- to see if anyone had noticed. Thankfully, no one was looking at them.
"What are you doing fire bending your tea?" Zuko asked between clenched teeth. "For a wise old man, that was a pretty stupid move."
Iroh looked sadly down at the puddle of tea on the ground. "I know you're not supposed to cry over spilled tea, but-" at this point, he sniffled, "that's so sad." Zuko rolled his eyes.
It took twenty more minutes for their train to arrive. By this time, Zuko was still annoyed, and very tired. He could not remember much about the train ride. They were seated next to a young couple with a baby, he remembered, because Uncle spent most of the time cooing over the little creature.
After an hour, or so of wandering around, they were able to find an apartment within their price range. It was cramped, and dingy, but, Uncle had said happily, at least they had a roof over their heads.
Zuko stifled a yawn. "You look tired nephew. Perhaps you should get some rest," Uncle told him. Too tired to argue, Zuko nodded. He set up a mat in the far corner- there was only one room-, and quickly fell asleep.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this! I would love to hear what you thought; I'll update once I get a review- please humour me.