Chapter 1: Good Morning, Omashu
"Good morning, Omashu! This is the Blind Bandit with your wake up call. It's six thirty in the A. M. on this chilly Monday morning, so only an hour to get yourselves to school. On your feet, twinkle toes, don't wanna be late. I feel sorry for anyone walking today, most of the snow is gonna melt off by lunch, leaving a nice mixture of slush and mud for that trip back home. Good luck. On a brighter note, today is my favorite day of the year. That's because we now have three hundred and sixty four days until we have to bear through another Valentine's Day. Happy February fifteenth everyone! Time to do a little bill paying around here. The Blind Bandit show is brought to you by Gaoling Sports Drinks. When you can't drag yourself another step, reach for one of their seven exciting flavors. Gaoling Sports Drinks, proud sponsors of K teen, the only radio station for teens, hosted by teens. Now, let's play some music to kick your butts into gear."
A hand shot out from underneath a heavy, white comforter and fumbled with the volume knob on the stereo as music began to pound out of the speakers. The volume rose, much louder than was necessary. The comforter shifted again to reveal a very disheveled, thin boy spread out on a small bed. The boy raised his hand to his bed-mussed, dark brown hair. He dragged his fingers through it roughly, pulling it away from his icy blue eyes. He let out a loud yawn and stretched his back as he sat up, twisting awkwardly, before dropping his hands to his lap and letting out a groan.
The boy climbed out of bed and stumbled his way sleepily down the hall towards the bathroom for a shower. The hot water was exactly what he needed to wake up and get moving. Within fifteen minutes, he had showered, brushed his teeth and was standing in front of the mirror in his boxers, starting to dry his hair. A loud pounding on the door made him shut off the hair dryer and scowl.
"Sokka, are you almost finished in there?" a girl's voice came through the door. "I need a shower too."
Sokka rolled his eyes and turned the hair dryer back on, smiling at the sound of a groan that could be heard over it. He finished styling his hair, straight down, short in the back and angled towards his face, reaching his chin at the very tips. He smiled at his reflection in the mirror and ran his tongue over his bottom lip, flicking at the thin silver ring that wrapped around it on the left side. That was his newest piercing and so far, it was proving to be his favorite.
His left eyebrow held an identical silver hoop and both of his ears held thick black studs. He smirked as he recalled the look on his sister's face when he first came home with his ears pierced. It was nowhere near as funny as the two hour lecture he had gotten over the tattoo. He held out his right arm, flipped it to reveal the underside and grazed his fingertips over the bright red and orange flame which contrasted nicely against his tanned skin.
Another loud knock on the door pulled Sokka out of his trance. He flung open the door and pushed past his sister without a glance in her direction. "There, Katara, it's all yours," he spat, annoyed at her impatience. He walked back into the bedroom and glared at his now-silent stereo. His eyes wandered around the still unfamiliar room.
Two twin-sized beds sat against opposite walls of the room. A large screen room divider cut through the room, separating the areas, though it gave the impression of separating two different worlds. On one half of the room, the bed held a shiny, satin, pink comforter and was tidy, almost military style with its make up. The walls around the bed were covered in cut-out daisies, colored in purples, pinks and yellows. The night stand was neat and the desk was pristine, holding a large poster of a kitten above it.
On the right side of the room, the small bed held a white comforter, still half tossed onto the floor from when Sokka climbed out of bed. His night stand was just a clock sitting atop his large stereo with the speakers lined up beside it. The walls were bare since everything he would be putting up still sat in a taped box on his desk. The box set along side several empty pretzel bags and a scatter of skateboard magazines.
Sokka crossed the room and flicked his stereo back on, smiling as the music came blasting out. "This Blind Bandit chick has got good taste," he mused to himself as he rifled through an open box on the floor at the foot of his bed. He pulled out a pair of faded, baggy, black jeans and stepped into them, then secured them with a thin, white corded belt. He groaned at the closet before pulling open the door. Katara's clothes filled almost the entire thing, leaving his shirts crammed against the wall of it.
He pulled free a bright red, fitted tee-shirt with an anti-smoking slogan on it and pulled it on. His stomach quickly made itself known and he hurried into his socks and black shoes. Leaving the stereo on, Sokka dashed into the kitchen and pulled open the pantry door. As he was about to grab a box of cereal, a hand fell onto his shoulder, making him cry out and spin around.
"You scared me, Gran Gran," he said, a small laugh escaping with his words.
An overweight, heavily wrinkled woman with snow white hair, pulled into a loose bun, stood in front of Sokka with a sneaky grin on her face. "I didn't mean to scare you, hun," she said, sweetly. "If you wait a few minutes, I'll make you some pancakes." She reached past the now excited boy and pulled the bag of pancake flour from the pantry.
"Sweet," Sokka said, bouncing in place. He snagged a granola bar from the shelf and closed the pantry. "What?" he asked, innocently, when his Gran Gran gave him a questioning look. "It's for the wait. To tide me over. I'm a growing boy." He laughed again and gave the old woman a tight hug.
"Yeah, you keep eating that way and you're going to start growing out," Gran Gran said, poking Sokka in his stomach.
Sokka laughed again as he sat down at the table and unwrapped the granola bar. "Nah, I won't. I'm not one of those couch potato, video game kids. I get enough exercise." He crammed the bar into his mouth and got up to fix a glass of juice.
"I know you aren't," Gran Gran answered, focusing on her cooking.
"Know you aren't what?" Katara asked as she stepped into the kitchen. She rushed over to the old woman and gave her a quick hug. "Morning, Gran Gran."
"None of your business," Sokka spat, closing the refrigerator.
Katara folded her arms over her chest, her eyes narrowing at Sokka. Katara's eyes held the same blue as her brother's, but where his were shiny and clear, hers held a dull, cloudy appearance. Both kids had the same soft features, resembling their mother, and their father's dark brown hair. Katara wore her hair long and pulled into a low ponytail with two shorter strands hanging down to frame her face. Katara was shorter than Sokka, which was to be expected with their two year age difference, and a bit thinner. She did, however, have their mother's wide hip set that Sokka was thankful he didn't get. Her skin was tanned, same as his.
"Don't look at me like that," Sokka whined, putting his half drained glass of orange juice on the table in front of him. "It isn't your business what we talk about." He sat down and kicked back on two legs of his chair, smirking.
"Don't lean back in your chair, you could fall," Katara said, pointedly, as she joined her brother at the table.
"Thanks, mom," Sokka said with an eye roll as he sat his chair back on all four legs.
The inevitable fight was, luckily, cut to a stop by a large plate, overflowing with pancakes. Gran Gran put several bottles of flavored syrup onto the table and handed both kids a plate. Sokka quickly snagged four large pancakes and tore them into bite sized pieces, making a pile in the middle of his plate, which was soon covered in a heavy drizzle of strawberry and blueberry syrup. Katara grimaced at her brother as she neatly arranged two pancakes on her plate and drenched them in the same syrup combination.
"Is that what you're wearing to school?" Katara asked as she neared the end of her breakfast.
Sokka scowled and began to tear apart another two pancakes. "Better than what you're wearing," he laughed.
"I look great!" Katara cried out, looking down at her button up, light blue blouse and knee-length, white, pleated skirt. "At least I don't look like a pin cushion," she spat, tapping her manicured nails on the table. Unlike her pierced brother, Katara did not condone putting holes into her body, even her ears were bare of jewelry.
"Stop!" Gran Gran cried out, smacking her hand on the table. "Can't you two not go at it, for one day?" she asked, clearly annoyed.
"Sorry, Gran Gran, I just think that Sokka should find something more suitable to wear. This is our first day at a new school and I don't wanna be embarrassed." Katara put down her fork and leaned towards her brother. "I just think that this is a great chance for you to start over. No one here knows you. You have an opportunity to start fresh, be a whole new person."
"I don't want to be a new person, Katara. I like the person that I am." Sokka shook his head and put his eyes on his plate. "The only thing I find embarrassing is having an intolerant sister like you," he muttered, under his breath.
Katara pushed away from the table, noisily, and headed back down the hallway towards their bedroom. Sokka and Gran Gran both flinched as the door slammed, echoing loudly through the tiny apartment. Sokka put his fork down and let out an annoyed sigh.
"There is nothing wrong with the person you are," Gran Gran said, kindly, reaching over and squeezing the boy's shoulder. "If your mother were still around, she would be quite proud of the young man you turned out to be."
Sokka smiled over at the old woman and threw himself into a tight hug with her. He stood up and picked up his plate, shoveling the last bits of soggy pancake into his mouth as he carried it to the sink. He dropped the plate in and returned to the table to grab Katara's. His hand was smacked sharply and Gran Gran shook her head.
"Katara, get back in here and clear your place," she called out loudly.
Sokka grinned and snagged the last pancake from the center platter. He shoved it into his mouth as he passed Katara in the hallway, hiding a smug grin. Katara scoffed at her brother's display as she headed back into the kitchen. She rolled her eyes as the music from Sokka's stereo once again filled the apartment.
"You're just going to let him play that crud all loud like that? What about your neighbors?" Katara asked, her tone full of disapproval.
Gran Gran waved her hand uncaring. "Most of the old goats around here are flat deaf anyway. They don't care. You've been here almost a week, if someone had a complaint, we'd know it. Trust me," she added with a laugh.
Katara picked up her plate and raked the uneaten pancakes into the sink, then ran some water on them as she flicked on the disposal.
"You shouldn't be so down on your brother, he's a good kid," Gran Gran said as the disposal was flipped off. "I know that you two don't have a lot in common, but that doesn't mean you can't get along."
"If you ask me, we have too much in common," Katara said, pursing her lips. At her grandmother's frown, she cut her eyes away. "Is it so wrong to want a normal brother? Other girls have to worry about their brothers making a move on their friends. I have to worry about mine making a move on my boyfriends."
"You aren't still whining about Sanook, are you?" Sokka asked, stepping back into the kitchen. "Honestly, Katara, I've told you a thousand times, the jerk came on to me. I did not hit on your damn boyfriend." He tightened his jaw and looked towards the door. "Are you coming?"
Katara stayed silent as her and Sokka grabbed their bags and hugged their grandmother goodbye. The Crescent Island apartments, where Sokka and Katara now called home, were only four blocks from Omashu High School, so they were walking. As the two, still not speaking, teens neared the front of the brick-faced school with herds of students running around on the lawn, Sokka grabbed his sister's arm and pulled her to a stop.
"Wait...your necklace," Sokka said, quietly. He reached up and retied the loosening blue ribbon around Katara's neck, which held a small, round, silver pendant.
Katara mindlessly touched the pendant and looked at the ground. "Thanks."
"I didn't do it for you. It was mom's, and I don't want you losing it." Sokka stepped around his sister and into the school.
A Note From the Author: Hey Hey, everyone. Let me know what you think of this first chapter. Will you be subscribing? I certainly hope so. Many things to come. Sokka and Katara are off to their first day of school where they are going to be meeting up with some familiar faces from the series. We get to see Suki, Jet, Haru and even Jin. Keep following by clicking that "alert" button and don't forget to leave me some opinions. Love it or hate it? I wanna know. :D -Jenna
Now Beta'd by Endless Eclipse.