disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Nathalie, because you are adorable. and B, because this is probably somehow your fault JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE.
notes: Skooch has an accent. what do you expect, he's a street rat.

title: incognito
summary: Oh, so this was what being fifteen and stupid was like. Okay. — Skoochy/Ikki.






"Get down, get down, shut up, they're going to see!"

There was a sound like gargling in her ear.

"Shut. Up," Ikki hissed through her teeth. She ducked down behind the fountain, too busy trying to catch a glimpse of her older sister and her older sister's new boyfriend (new to him, anyway, because Ikki was pretty sure Jinora had been mentally dating Bolin for, like, years) to pay her brother any attention. "Meelo, I swear on Grandpa Aang's grave, if you get us caught I'm going to—"

"I think you're talkin' to th' wrong kid, doll."

Ikki's world went screeching to a halt.

That voice definitely did not belong to Meelo. Her brother did not sound like a sewer rat drowned in cactus juice. Her brother had been raised better than that.

She whipped her head around, grey eyes squinching into slits as her nose wrinkled up, and for a minute, she could have been her elder sister's twin.

(No, that was not something Ikki had ever exploited. At all. Really.)

"You are not my brother."

"Shit, I could'na told you that," he snorted.

Ikki smiled brightly. "Oh, well. Sorry! I should probably go—"

His fingers curled around her wrist. "What'cha doin' followin' the probendin' champ an' his girl?"

He wasn't much older than she was, Ikki thought, quick and calculating. There were probably ways to get around this. She'd been playing word games for as long as she'd been alive, and no street rat was going to get in the way of her spying—er, information gathering.

Ikki widened her eyes, and stared at him innocently. She was the best bald-faced liar, because no one ever suspected a girl with wide eyes even if they found her with her hands wrist-deep in someone's chest (that had only happened once, okay).

"Gosh, I have no idea what you're talking about," she said airily. "I'm just trying to find my sister."

"Sure, sure y'are. You've been followin' the pair of 'em for half an hour, doll. Sure, sure," he snickered into her ear.

Ikki felt her blood rush fast and close to the surface of her skin. Oh. Okay. So this was what Jinora meant when she was talking about being fifteen and stupid. Okay then.

She didn't really like the part where he wouldn't let go of her wrist, though.

"You watch things pretty closely, don't you?" Ikki fluttered her lashes at him.

"I do what'm paid to. An' stop that."

"Stop what?" she fluttered again.

"You know what," he said, and he smiled razor-sharp, fingers biting into her skin so hard she was sure it was going to leave marks.

Well, something to pay back then—Ikki had grown up with Korra's particular brand of justice; blood for blood, an eye for an eye, sharp-toothed smile for sharp-toothed smile. She pressed her fingers into the hollow of his throat, for all the world looking like a love-struck girl fooling around with an older boy, drumming lightly over his pulse.

"And what if I told you that is my sister?"

"I'd tell you to prove it, doll."

"Airbender," Ikki's fingers glowed white-blue, and she stroked ice-cold air through his shirt. She wondered if the goosebumps followed all the way down his torso. "Good enough for you?"


"Too bad," she murmured. "What, do you want a tornado?"

Ikki tried not to be too thrilled when he chuckled, and the sound went all the way through her. She lodged an elbow in his stomach, hard enough to cause discomfort, and she stirred the air once, twice, and felt the heat and the cold merge and rage.

The twister set down gentle as a ballerina.

"Believe me now?" she breathed.

"Call me Skooch, doll," he laughed into her throat.

She smiled, still pleasant, just like how her Aunt Kya had taught her. "Are you going to let me go now, or do I have to rip the roofs all the houses in this district?"

"What, don' I get a name?"

She jammed her elbow down with enough force to make him lose his breath, and then she was up and backing up on light feet, arms tucked behind her back. She laughed outright at the look on his face.

"Maybe next time, Skooch-ey. If you play nice!"

The laughter bubbled up and out of him, startled, rough, unused. He watched her like a hawk watched a snake—a respected enemy, sometimes a rival. She waggled her fingers at him. He'd made her lose her sister in the crowd, and there were just some things that she couldn't forgive.

This wouldn't be the last time they saw each other.

Ikki grinned wide, whirled with the wind, and blew away.