A/N: Well hi there. This is my first story on here and I hope you like it. I've always been interested in constructing one, but for some reason never got around to doing so. Took me long enough. Were studying Al Capone in school and this story snaked it's way into my head. Fire Lord Ozai is kind of like a modern day Al Capone in this story, the rest you will have to read to find out.
Summary: AU. Kataang. Katara hated it. She could not understand it and part of her did not want to. When did this boy become her hero? How did he steel her heart? When did she fall in love with a criminal?
Disclaimer: Avatar the Last Airbender does not belong to me.
The Boy in the Zoot Suit
Bitter wind whipped past the young man's face, little bits of rain drops sticking to him as he shuffled through the windy city of Chicago. Light's looked blury during the dark autumn nights. This part of Chicago had a mysterious feel to it. Most of the shops were closed down, mainly because this was where Fire Lord Ozai did his business. And nobody, and I mean nobody, wanted to mess with Lord Ozai. Even Aang, the adopted son of this notorious gangster, knew better then to cross certain lines.
In some way, he felt as though he was like those lights. Only difference was, he was poor, and didn't shine nearly as bright.
Okay, so maybe that wasn't such a good comparison.
He shrugged his shoulders, letting the analogy go, and stuffed both hands into his silvery black trousers.
At first glance, you would never expect this young man to be poor. Technically, he was not poor. In fact, he was far from it. He was rich. Yet with all the money he had in his pockets, his life felt incomplete.
Adopted into a family of royalty, you could say, he had the outfit to match.
A tilted black fedora cap and a zoot suit, black laced up oxfords that had a clean crisp shine to them, and his dark brown hair slicked back with a side part. Poor would definitely be the last thing to enter a persons mind. Weird might be the first though. This outfit looked as if it came out of a 1920 movie. That day and age had passed long ago.
Still though, this young man was quite the looker. Well toned muscles hid behind his clothes, and stormy gray eyes couldn't keep heart beats down. He was handsome, to say the least, and he knew it. Saying this did not go to his head, would be a lie. A complete lie.
But then again, he lied a lot.
He smiled at a group of young women who appeared to be in their early twenties. They flirtatiously waved at him and he winked back, causing an uproar of giggles and blushes from the girls. Part of him thought they might be laughing at his get up. The outfit he wore looked like he had just come out of 1920s movie or something. But this is what all the members of his gang wore.
He tipped his hat further, to make sure no one could really identify him.
"And what are you doing out at such a late hour Aang?"
Aang turned his head to face the direction in which the voice came from, only to see the face of his good friend.
He smiled slightly and pat his good friend on the back.
"The same thing your doing Zuko," he said with a slight smirk on his face.
"Shall we enter?" Zuko said, opening the door ahead of him. He gracefully waved his arm for Aang to enter.
"Thank you my good sir," he said while entering the abandoned, or what appeared to be an abandoned building.
It was very dark inside when the two young men entered. Zuko felt around for a candle and lit it with his finger.
Aang snorted when Zuko lit the candle.
"I thought you said you were done with firebending." Aang said with a sly smile.
Zuko shrugged his shoulders a sly smile covering his face.
"And I thought you said you were done with this business. I guess we've both told our fair share of false truths."
Aang nodded his head, unable to deny what Zuko said.
The two of them were quiet as they made their way around the empty room to the very back door. Behind that wooden door was a steep staircase that descended to where all the meetings and exchanges were held.
It was a long and steep descend. Every time Aang walked down those stairs he couldn't contain the bad gut feeling he got. He always blamed it on the creaky wooden stairs. But sometimes, other reasons made more sense.
He snapped out of his thoughts when they got to the bottom of the steps and Zuko did the secret knock on the door.
Slowly the door opened, creaking loudly while doing so.
" 'Bout time you two got here." Azula said, as she stepped aside for them to enter.
Zuko rolled his eyes, taking off his jacket and slinging it across his shoulder.
"Shut your mouth Azula. You know we were coming."
Aang couldn't help but smile at the two of them. After all these years they still had that same love/hate relationship. Talk about a brotherly sisterly bond.
"Father," Azula called out, rolling her eyes while doing so. "Aang and Zuko are here."
The room was lit with several candles. Shelves were lined with handmade moonshine. A fairly big size bar was situated at the far back of the room. At least five large jugs of bear were placed nearby the bar. The gang consisted of a man who goes by the name of Zhao; assistant of Lord Ozai, Azula; daughter of Lord Ozai, Zuko; son of Lord Ozai, and that was it. Aang was the youngest member of the gang, being only 18 years old. Uncle Iroh, Lord Ozai's older brother, used to be a part of the gang but stopped a long time ago when his son was killed during a gang war. He no longer wanted to be a part of such a violent club. Instead, he now owns a tea shop in the richer part of Chicago. Aang sometimes wished he had joined him...
Ozai was standing behind the bar, he also kept his guns hidden behind the counters. Not many people knew this, but Aang did. He accidentally stumbled across some one day. That was many years ago though, when he would have been disgusted to see someone have such a deadly weapon in their possession. Now, a little queasy to admit it, he had gotten used to these things. In fact, he had one of his own.
"What took you two so long?" Ozai asked, his slick black hair pulled back into a ponytail and topped with a white fedora cap. A goatee nested his face, similar to the one Zuko was trying to grow. Like him, Azula and Zuko had those same golden eyes and pitch black hair. In fact everybody, except Aang, who was a part of the club had those golden eyes and pitch black hair. Aang felt shivers run down his spine everytime he looked at them.
Aang bowed deeply to Lord Ozai.
"My deepest apologies for being late Lord Ozai," he said, keeping his head bowed at the ground. "I have collected all the money my Lord."
Ozai smiled and looked at his son Zuko.
"You have trained him well my boy." Zuko nodded his head in response. "Well," he continued. "don't just stand there. Let me see it."
Aang dug into his pockets only to find a whole. His eyes widened immediately once he realized his wallet had fallen out. He paced the room, patting himself down thoroughly and scanning the floor with his eyes.
"What are you doing Aang?" Zuko asked through gritted teeth.
"M-my wallet... i-it's gone..." he whispered back. Never had he felt so scared for his life.
"It's gone?" Zuko's good eye widened in response. If anyone knew the punishment for missing money, it was Zuko. He came up shorthanded one day and his father punished him in a way he'd never forget. The memory still brought a sore pain to his one scarred eye.
Aang fell to his knees begging like he never imagined he would have to do in his life.
"I am so sorry my Lord! I am so sorry! Please forgive me! It was an accident! I swear on my life, I would never double-cross you!" he begged, tears asking permission to stream down his smooth creamy skin.
Ozai shook his head, a thunderous laugh echoing through the room.
"Look at me peasant boy," Aang did as he was told. "I took you off the street once your uncle died. I raised you as my own. Taught you all my ways, and yet, you betray me. You steal my dough. Dough that I gladly shared with you. I never hesitated. Did I?"
Aang shook his head. "No sir."
"Explain to me then," Ozai said, gently stroking his long goatee. "why would you steal?"
"I promise you my Lord," Aang looked him straight in the eyes. "I did no such thing. My wallet is missing, and if you just give me the chance, I'm sure I can find it-"
Ozai slammed his fist against the counters top, making glasses vibrate and some spill over.
"Lord Ozai does not give out free second chances. Our time is through." Ozai reached behind his counters, and Aang automatically knew what he was reaching for. Zhao let out a deep breath and smiled, showing all of his golden teeth. Azula leaned against the counters, lazily sipping some moonshine, hey eyes narrowed with excitement.
Aang's eyes practically bulged out of their sockets. He gathered himself to his feet quickly, wanting to dart out the door.
"Father," Zuko stepped in. "Aang has been loyal to this family for 6 years. I believe what he has said. Please don't do anything rash."
Ozai glared between the two young men. "How dare you speak out of terms to your Father. I do not accept that type of behavior Zuko. I suggest you shut your mouth before I really make it so you never talk again." With that said, Ozai pulled out his .45 caliber. He ran his long pale fingers against the smooth gun. Everything was dead silent as he did so.
Ozai smiled into the silence. "I really don't want to this Aang... but you have given me no choice. Nobody double-crosses Lord Ozai." He held his gun out properly, aiming it directly at Aang's heart.
For some reason, at this moment, Aang felt frozen. As if his feet had been nailed to the floor. His throat had suddenly grown to be very dry, and no matter how much water he drunk he would be unable to fix it.
Before he knew it, the gunshot sounded, and he was on the floor. He examined himself for a brief second and saw no sign of blood or injury. He felt no pain. He looked over to see Zuko holding onto his chest. Thats when it all came together. Zuko saved him by pushing him out of the way, and got shot because of it.
A lot of blood streamed down Zuko's shirt, he took quick gasps of air. He fell to the floor with a loud thump and his eyes shut.
"Zuko!" Aang screamed out running over to his best friend. He could no longer hold back the tears that threatened to fall. "Zuko! Come on wake up! Wake up!" He shook Zuko as hard as he possibly could. Aang knew he was still alive. He could see his fast breathing.
Ozai stood frozen in spot, still holding the gun in his hand.
Zuko opened his eyes just slightly and whispered something Aang would never forget. "Run Aang. Run away from here and never come back. Remember that you are the Avatar and never forget that. I love you little brother." He closed his eyes shut for the final time, and Aang cried without sound.
Time felt as if it had stopped moving in those few seconds. His best friend, his brother, just died. Right before his very eyes. Died saving his life. The current time presented itself very quickly when he heard another gunshot, that missed him just by a centimeter. He immediately jumped to his feet an darted up the long steep stairs, gunshots being shot at him as he ascended.
"You will regret this Aang!" yelled Ozai, as Aang stumbled out the door and onto the rainy streets of Chicago.
He ran just like Zuko told him.
Ran as fast as he could down the slippery streets. Once he figured he was a good distance away he slid around an alley corner, fell to his knees buried his head into his hands, and cried his heart out.
A/N: Well there you go! What do you think so far? I'd love to hear your opinion.