The Art of Letting Loose

By Light-Eco-Sage

Rated: Teen for drunken shenanigans.

Summary: Second companion piece to "Duty Verse Love". Anil is a dutiful young man, the perfect example of what an Avatar's son should be. This is the story of the one time he decided to let loose and have a little fun… and how he learned that he would never do it again.

Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is owned by Bryke. The "Duty Verse Love" universe was imagined by me.

Requested by: This was one I was going to do anyway, but it was also requested by Square-EnixFanGirl.

LES: This is a story that's been on my mind for a year. The idea has been there ever since I created Anil's character. If you are willing to look, there is a Deviantart Journal of mine going way back where I had Anil answer a bunch of questions, and he actually mentions this event. Anil is just passed 15, because this takes place on Michiko's 15th birthday. One small note before we begin: 'Anila' is the feminine form of the name 'Anil'. So… on with the story!

"Please, Anil! Pretty pretty please?" Michiko begged, giving her cousin big puppy eyes.

Anil, however, was unfazed by her pouting. "How old are you again?" He asked, somewhat amused by her display of immaturity.

"Fifteen." Michiko answered. "And fifteen is the drinking age in the Earth Kingdom. Since it is my birthday, I want you to take me to the local tavern."

"And I would want to do this… why?" Anil asked.

"Because I said so." Michiko said. Anil gave her a glare. "Oh Spirits, you are such a stiff! You've been fifteen for how many months, and you still haven't gone out drinking?"

"There's no reason." Anil said. "What's the point of drinking? You just make a fool of yourself and end up getting sick and hung over. That's not exactly my idea of fun."

"Oh, I forgot. You're idea of fun is being locked up with your family in an old Temple for weeks on end." Michiko said.

"Insulting the way my family lives is not going to endear me to taking you to the tavern." Anil pointed out. "Why do you want me to do anyway?"

"My dad says you should never drink without a drinking buddy." Michiko said.

"And Uncle Sokka can't be your drinking buddy because…"

"Because he's my dad, duh!" Michiko said, rolling her eyes. "If dad had his way, I wouldn't touch a drop of alcohol until I turned sixty… if I were lucky." Anil rolled his eyes and began to walk away. "Ugh, you are such a girl! Maybe I should tell Uncle Aang to change your name to Anila; it would fit you much better!"

That caused Anil to freeze in his tracks. No matter who you are, no man anywhere could stand an insult to their masculinity. He turned around, facing his younger cousin. "Fine. You want to see what it's like to go out drinking? You'll see that there's nothing special about it."

The tavern on Kyoshi Island was busy that night, but it was a pleasant atmosphere. Pretty much everyone in there knew each other, and they all wished Michiko a happy birthday and shared whispered amazement that they were joined by the Avatar's eldest son for this night of drinking.

Anil, however, was less than charmed by the drunken idiocies happening around him. He had a short, quiet fight with his cousin: she wanted to sit at the bar and he wanted a booth in the corner. She pulled the 'birthday' card on him, so she quickly won.

He took his seat and was welcomed by the smiling bar maid.

"Oh wow! You're the Avatar's son! It's a great honor to have you join us tonight!" The bar maid said, flashing a bright smile. "And Michiko… happy birthday! Is this your first time?"

"Yep." Michiko said with a smile.

"What will you two have?" The bar maid asked.

Michiko studied the list the drinks and eventually that she would start simple, with an Earth Kingdom beer. Anil, however, ignored the list of drinks.

"I'll just have a wa…"

Michiko cut him off. "You'd better not be ordering water. If you order something without alcohol in it, I'm gonna punch you."

Anil glanced at her nervously. Michiko had learned her punching technique from her Earthbending master, Aunt Toph. Her punches were more than strong enough to knock the slight Airbender off his feet, and he had no desire to be on the receiving end of it. "Fine. I'll just have some wine."

The bar maid nodded and went off to get their drinks. Michiko glared at the young man next to her. The guy seriously needed to let his hair down, and she resolved that she would get him to do just that, no matter what it took!

It took Michiko less time than she expected to get Anil to loosen up. It had taken only a few glasses of wine for her to convince him to try a beer with her, and then, together, they began moving their way down the list of mixed drinks.

"Hey, Anil… ya gotta try this sake." Michiko said, pushing the little bottle in his direction.

Anil stared at it in confusion. "I thought we decided we didn't like it." He commented.

"Well, yeah, but it kinda grows on you. Try." She said firmly.

Anil accepted the bottle, poured himself a generous amount, and drank some more… and some more… and some more. "Hmm… I guess you're right. It does grow on you. Kinda like the Fire Nation."

"Sake is from the Fire Nation, right?" Michiko asked.

"I think so…" Anil laughed. "I don't really know."

Michiko raised her little sake cup. "To the Fire Nation!"

"To Fire Nation sake!" Anil corrected, and they drank together.

"Hey, I heard that they have some good rum here."

"You mean… like pirates?"


"My parents met some pirates one time…" Anil said, frowning as he tried to remember the story, but it felt like his brain had been disconnected. But, he was too warm and comfortable to care about it. "They were trying to get something from them… I think."

"Was it rum?"

"Maybe." Anil said.

Michiko tapped the bar, summoning the bar maid. "Bring us some rum now! We wanna be pirates!"

"Haha!" Anil laughed as if Michiko had made the best joke ever.

The bar maid brought them glasses of rum, and they clicked them together, giving each other a hearty "Arrrr!" before downing the liquor.

They both got so drunk that they began to loudly talk about just how comfortable they both were.

"This is so great… I feel so comfortable…" Anil sighed. "Why didn't I do this before?"

"Because you were a sober idiot." Michiko commented.

"A curse on sobriety!" Anil said, suddenly jumping up and standing on his chair. "Hey, everyone! A round of drinks on me!"

This announcement was met by a cheer from the other patrons of the bar, which quickly turned into a laugh when the Avatar's son lost his balance and fell off the chair and onto the floor. Anil, however, didn't seem to care at all. He laughed right along with everyone else, struggling to get back up on his feet, but he couldn't seem to get his legs to work right. He was only able to get back up on his feet when the bar maid took pity on him and ran around the bar to help him.

A young Kyoshi man approached Michiko, holding out his hand. "Would you like to share a dance with me?" He asked.

"Of course I'd like to dance with you!" Michiko said enthusiastically, leaving her drunken cousin at the bar.

Thankfully for Anil, he was not left on his own for long. A few moments after Michiko left, her spot was taken by a young Kyoshi woman. "Are you really the Avatar's son?" She asked curiously.

"Yep. I can do Airbending and everything!" Anil said proudly.

"Wow! It must be great to have such a famous family…"

"Yeah… the fame is great." Anil said distractedly. The reason for his distraction was that this woman was probably about his age, and very beautiful. He had seen his fair share of beautiful women during his world travels, but there was something different about this time. He'd never had the courage to approach a woman before, but the liquor seemed to turn into liquid courage. For the first time, he desired a woman and had the guts to just go for it. "Wow… you are so beautiful."

The woman laughed and blushed. "Wow… you flatter me."

"It's true." Anil continued boldly. "I've seen beautiful women all over the world, but your beauty eclipses them all."

"Well, I'm very glad that I could provide you with visual pleasure." The woman said. "Perhaps we can give each other some other type of pleasure as well?" Anil almost passed out right then and there.

Michiko laughed as she and her dance partner came to a stop. "Thank you for the dance." The man said.

"It was my pleasure." Michiko said, pulling away from him and turning to go back to her cousin, but she stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes going wide with shock.

Was that really her cousin seated at the bar, with a woman in his lap, and making out wildly in view of everyone in the bar? Long black hair? Check. Air Nomad clothing? Check. Master Airbender tattoos? Check. Even with all this evidence, it still took Michiko a moment to realize that it really was her cousin and not just some imposter.

She did the only thing she could. She collapsed on the ground in a fit of laughter.

Michiko's laughter drew the attention of the other patrons, and they noticed the Avatar's son and the Kyoshi woman at the bar. Several loud wolf-whistles pulled the two teenagers apart, both of them grinning brightly.

The young woman crawled out of Anil's lap. "You are such a good kisser."

"You too." Anil said. In his drunken haze, he thought that the lust building up inside him was love, and he quickly blurted a confession. "I love you."

"Oh!" The girl gasped happily.

"Wanna get married?" Anil asked.

"Yes!" The girl screamed happily. The entire bar applauded, all except Michiko, who was still laughing like an idiot at the whole situation.

Aang and Katara were rather rudely awakened by someone knocking on their bedroom door. Aang groaned and rolled over, closer to his wife. "Go away." He growled. "We're closed."

"Dad! Dad! Mom! Get up, please!" Both parents recognized the sound of their eldest, but why in the world would he be waking them up in the early hours of the morning?

Both parents groaned and began to pull themselves out of bed. "This better be good." Katara groaned.

"It is, I promise!"

Aang and Katara pulled on some clothes so that they were decent and opened the bedroom door. They were shocked to see that Anil had his arms around an unknown woman. She gazed at Aang in amazement. "Oh wow… the Avatar!" She gasped.

"Um… Anil… what is this about?" Katara asked. "And is that alcohol I smell?"

"Mom… Dad… I'm in love and I wanna get married!" Anil announced happily.

Aang and Katara stared at him in disbelief. "What?"

"Yeah. But there's this Earth Kingdom law that says we need a parent's permission. So, can you… give me your permission… or something?" Anil finished with a drunken laugh.

"You're drunk." Aang observed.

"I'm not drunk! I'm in love! I'm in love with…" He trailed off, glancing at the woman next to him. "What's your name again?" The girl only seemed to find this amusing because she laughed.

Someone else laughed, and Aang and Katara looked up to see Michiko standing in the background, laughing at the whole situation.

"You've done nothing to stop this?" Katara asked coldly.

Michiko held her hands up in surrender. "I'm just as drunk as he is. Besides… this is the funniest thing I've ever seen! Why would I try to stop it?" She continued laughing like a fool.

"Okay." Aang said with a sigh. "We'll talk about this again… tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" Anil asked, disappointed. "But I love…"

"It can wait until tomorrow." Aang said firmly. It was just a delaying tactic and he knew it. But it had to be done. There would be no talking him out of this until he was sober.

"Okay… tomorrow it is, then." Anil said, forgetting his disappointment almost immediately. "But we can get an early start on the honeymoon, right?" The girl giggled and blushed.

"No!" Aang and Katara yelled together, finally waking up long enough to haunt their son's footsteps, and making the girl was sent home without sneaking back to Anil.

It was a long night…

Anil woke up with a groan of pain, which only got worse when the curtains in his room were thrown open, letting in sunlight. It was like torture. "Shut them!" He groaned.

"Nope." Anil's father said. "You caused us quite a bit of trouble last night. It's not every day we have to deal with our son waking us up at two in the morning wanting to marry a girl that he doesn't even know the name of."

Anil's memory of the night before came back slowly, and he groaned with embarrassment. "The girl?"

"We sent her home." Aang said. "And we stayed up the rest of the night making sure she didn't come back. I'd say that you owe your mother and I."

"Please, Dad… I'm really hung over. Isn't that punishment enough?"

"I'll decide when you've been punished enough." Aang said, pulling out his old flute. "It's been a while since I've practiced."

Anil's eyes flew open, but then he quickly shut them again. "Dad, don't…" He groaned.

Aang played the flute for a few moments, being intentionally bad, releasing several high-pitched shrieks that Anil felt for sure would kill him. When Aang stopped, he set down the flute. "So… you can either get up and attend to your real punishment, or you can lie there and listen to me play a little longer."

"Oh Spirits, I'm getting up!" Anil groaned, falling out of the bed.

"Good. The first thing you can do is go tell that girl that your little wedding is off, if you even know where she lives." Aang correctly read the look on Anil's face. "Well… good luck finding her. You're not coming back until that's taken care of. And then you can take care of the Bison. Oh… by the way… it's shedding season, so that will probably take you a while."

Anil limped out of the room, feeling like he was going to die at any second. He knew that his parents were going to make his life hell for what happened last night.

As he stepped out into the bright sunlight and almost passed out in pain, and knowing that he could not escape inside until he found the unknown girl who could live anywhere on the island, only one thought could go through his mind.

I'm NEVER drinking again!

LES: Poor Anil…