I now humbly place this before the altar of St. Jun, on this her sacred day, and fervently hope that my offering to her is well recieved, and that she, in her approval, may bless me with much Zutara goodness. Long live St. Jun!
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar the Last Airbender. In fact, I'm pretty sure St. Jun owns my soul by now...
Now, please enjoy this: A dialogue between...friends.
" What in the name of all that is holy and good on this earth is that?!"
" What are you freakin' out abou-No way."
" You see? You see?!"
" I see, I see, calm down."
" Calm down? Calm down! How can I 'calm down' when…when…when the universe is unraveling right in front of me?!"
" I think you're going a little overboard."
" Listen lady, I'm never wrong. Never. That boy has got it bad for somebody and it sure as hell ain't Cloak-and-Dagger. His tastes run a little…colder."
" You can't get much more frigid than Miss Doom-and-Gloom over there."
" Not that kind of cold."
" Darling, I knew what you meant. You're just cute when you're pissed."
" …Did you just call me cute?"
" That I did."
" Do you have any idea who I am? What I've done?"
" Yes, yes, Earth Rumble, you kick ass, blah, blah, blah, heard it all before."
" Face it, you may be the greatest earthbender in the world, but you're still a 13-year-old who's short for her age."
" I am not."
" Doll-face, you're short."
" You are so lucky I like you."
" So I've heard. Now then, what are we going to do about that?"
" About what?"
" Oh. That. I was thinking of puking my guts out."
" After I bought you that nice meal."
" It was steamed fish."
" Damn good steamed fish."
" I hate fish."
" Don't care. You are not vomiting up my hard earned cash, understand?"
" Why do I hang out with you?"
" Because I am the always the most incredible person in the room."
" I thought that was me."
" You're what I like to call a protégée."
" What exactly are you teaching me?"
" How to be badass while simply sitting still."
" …Why didn't my teachers ever show me stuff like that back home?"
" Because the world is mainly comprised of self-possessed, stuck-up losers who can't see past the ends of their own noses. I mean, we had to get a whiny, self-righteous, pre-pubescent coward to save us."
" Should I take offense to that?"
" I was one of his teachers."
" And Doll-face, I'm sure you did your best, but some wimps are beyond help."
" I can't believe that. He's had…his moments."
" Few and far between."
" I think I can whip him into shape."
" You can borrow mine if need be."
" Don't you need it?"
" Nah, Nyla's tongue does all the work. It's mostly just for show."
" But I thought you used it on a daily basis?"
" Nightly basis more like."
" …Oh Spirits! No! Nonononono! You did not just say that!"
" I think I did."
" Oh, oh Spirits! Ew! Gross!"
" Oh, lighten up, you're old enough to know about the grasshopper-bees and the otter-birds, aren't ya?"
" There are only two things in this world I need to know about: Fighting, and sleeping."
" What about food?"
" …Three things. Speaking of food, I don't care what you say, that fish is comin' right back up."
" Well, at least there'll be something going 'up' tonight."
" Tap your foot and aim your echoes yonder, Doll-face."
" He…isn't into it?"
" Completely uninterested. I wonder how Gloomy hasn't noticed yet. I mean, I can spot it from across the room."
" But why is he…if he doesn't like her…"
" You really don't know?"
" Don't tell me…"
" Hey, next best thing."
" Wouldn't the next best thing technically be Sokka? …Oh Spirits, the images!"
" You'll learn to appreciate them soon enough."
" Why would I appreciate two guys?!"
" Because there's nothing like two sexy, angry, half-naked men rolling around in the mud…"
" Are you still with me?"
" Not now, Doll-face. I'm in the middle of a daydream here."
" Focus, would ya? Why is Sparky over there…with Cloaky if he doesn't even like her?"
" The same reason you hang out with the wuss."
" Cloaky sure as hell doesn't seem to be teaching any earthbending."
" I just realized that you and Prince Pouty have similar tastes."
" 'Similar tastes'?"
" You both seem to like it…cold."
" That is untrue and unfair!"
" So's life. Hop a flying bison and get over it."
" I don't…that's not…I got over it!"
" Sure you did. Like Psycho Princess got over not being the Fire Lord."
" I don't like him anymore! I mean…I like him…but not like that…like I like Twinkle Toes."
" Ah, and now we arrive at the heart of the problem."
" What are you talking about?"
" Pouty is over there shoving his tongue down Doom-and-Gloom's throat and thoroughly hating it because our darling Peasant Princess is too busy tending to the suffocating attentions of the Wannabe Hero to have any time for him. Ya get me?"
" So…he like her, but she's with him, and he's clingy so she can be with him, so he has to settle for making out with her when he doesn't even like her and is probably thinking of her right now?"
" Something like that."
" My head hurts."
" Have some black spike-whiskey. Cures all headaches except the one you get the morning after drinking it."
" I'm under aged."
" And I don't care, so we're even."
" This stuff tastes weird."
" You don't drink it for the taste. You drink it for the disorientating and hazy shroud it places over your senses, and the surge of confidence all alcohol gives you."
" It makes you feel more awesome than you actually are. Of course, in my case, it makes me feel as awesome as I actually am."
" What'll do to me?"
" You have anymore, and it'll knock ya clean offa your feet. Now get up Doll-face. We got work to do."
" That sure as hell ain't gonna resolve itself, now will it?"
" Then saddle up, Doll."
" I'm not riding Nyla."
" No, I'm riding Nyla. You're gunna stumble over there, pretending that I set you drunk, and break up that little love fest."
" You're abandoning me?"
" No way, Doll. We're in this together. I just need to send some messages out."
" So who are you going to get?"
" Just some back up."
" Back up?"
" Trust me, Doll-face. This mess is gonna take some serious man power to clean up."
" …You're grinning and it scares me. Why are you grinning like that? Hey! Hey, don't walk away from me!"
" You just worry about acting drunk, Doll. In fact, finish off the whiskey. I've had enough for one night. I am riding, after all. See you in a few"
" But…but…who the hell are you gonna call?!"
From outside, in the shadows, away from the warm light of the pub, Toph heard Jun's reply, her smirk almost palpable.
" I think the Grand Lotus will be very interested to hear about his grandnephew's exploits, don't you?"
And, still bathed, in the light from the many lanterns scattered about the room, Jun watched Toph's face morph from pained confusion to devious delight. The girl gave a sweeping salute to the leather-clad woman as she walked off.
" See if you can't cause a little tension."
Toph's grin was just a tad but feral.
" You got it, High Black Lotus."
Don't worry, I have more planned. In Which There is Plotting is the next one I was thinking about. And 'High Black Lotus'? You all know Jun is the leader of a very elite, very hush-hush sector of the White Lotus, that deals with all the assasination and blackmailing and drugs. And who better to head it up than the patron saint of all that is dark and intriguing?
Hope you liked it.