Title: a glimpse behind the mask
Summary: In the most abstract way, Amon is Batman, and Tarrlok is the most begrudging Alfred ever. Vigilante!Amon AU. Follows the man with no face
Character: Tarrlok, Noatok
Shirt on his lap, Noatok sat on a barstool, fingering singed and torn holes as his brother healed the burns and bruises across his bare back. Though he couldn't see his face, he knew Tarrlok's face was a firm mask of disapproval. According to Tarrlok, Republic City's criminal underground couldn't be taken down by one insanely determined man.
Though he argued on behalf of his career, Noatok knew his brother was concerned for him as well. They had no one but each other since they were boys, having escaped the North Pole and their father's influence years ago. Yakone had once been Republic City's most notorious gangster, ruling with a powerful form of bloodbending until Avatar Aang freed him of it. When Yakone had discovered that his sons were waterbenders, he sought to use them as his tools of revenge.
Instead, they became the saviors of the city in their own way. Tarrlok lived in the spotlight, the shining hero of the common nonbenders. He agreed with Noatok that people with power abused their privilege, but the brothers differed greatly on the way to remedy the problem.
Such as lulling mob lords into a false sense of security and dominance only to sever their connection to their chi. Noatok snickered at the memory of shock and horror on Zolt's and his men's face.
"Something funny?" Tarrlok asked, voice tight and annoyed.
"You wouldn't get it. It was a 'be there' moment."
Tarrlok huffed. "All right, done." He bent the water into the sink.
Noatok turned to see Tarrlok glaring at Amon's porcelain white mask with dark intensity. He grinned at the sight of his baby brother, looking as though he was considering smashing it to pieces. It wouldn't matter if he did, Noatok had more than one.
"Thank you, little brother."
Tarrlok pressed two fingers against his temple, leaning against the counter. "Yes, please make sure no one sees you when you leave."
"Are you ashamed of me?" Noatok smirked, pressing a hand over his heart.
He was only partly teasing. Tarrlok, he knew, hadn't bloodbended since they left the North Pole together years ago. He hated it as much as Noatok hated their father. As Amon, it was a skill he used often. As Noatok, out of respect for his brother, it had been five years and not even within the walls of Republic City. He'd left for some time, studying to find a technique to block someone's chi permanently.
Republic City had initially been their home after coming to the Earth Kingdom. Both brothers had an idea of how they'd help the city, making up for what their father had done and proving that they weren't like him. One in the light, the other in shadows.
Tarrlok quirked a brow. "I'd rather there be as little connection between you and me so that my entire life isn't ruined when you get caught. Which you will. Let them think we're still not over our 'falling out'."
"You have so little faith in me."
Noatok began looting through his brother's pantry, looking for a certain brand of cookies that Tarrlok didn't even eat. Tarrlok sighed and crossed his arms. Noatok had food at his own home, and Tarrlok knew it too. But it was more convenient for him to eat his brother's.
"You know that's not it. But I have been present during some of the chief's more candid moments concerning your alter ego. The woman wants your head on a pike."
"I truly don't understand her problem with me. I'm helping. I'm saving people."
"You're a vigilante, you 'steal' bending, and you wear a mask. She is a cop. Therefore, problem."
Tarrlok had taken That tone. The 'Need I remind you that you are the elder brother, and I shouldn't even have to explain these things to you?' tone. Noatok fully understood the problem, but teasing Tarrlok was too good an opportunity to ever pass up.
"Unfortunate," Noatok said, returning to his seat with a box of cream covered cookies. "It would be nice to have some support."
"Well, then you should be glad to know that the Avatar is your number one fan. To quote, 'Amon is seriously kick butt.'"
"The Avatar is in Republic City? When?"
"Get. A. Radio. She arrived two days ago. She and Beifong didn't get off on the right foot, and even now Tenzin is threatening to send her back."
Noatok took his time chewing, running the information through the various scenarios he'd planned for. None had planned for the very person who was arguably responsible for his life being what it was.
"You said she?"
"Korra of the Southern Water Tribe. She's mastered everything but airbending."
"How old is she?"
Noatok hummed thoughtfully. Beifong and her metalbenders were a problem he'd taken into account when he crafted the Amon persona. Dealing with a teenaged, half-baked Avatar hadn't been planned for.
However, nothing he couldn't reconcile.
"I know that look, Noatok," Tarrlok said, tone wary. "What are you thinking?"
"Don't worry, little brother. It's probably not as bad as you're thinking. But I need a favor."
"That P.I woman you use? May I borrow her?"
"The less you know, the better. You know how you like plausible deniability."
"Oh, spirits," Tarrlok moaned, dropping his face into his hands.
Noatok tucked a cookie into his brother's hand, gripping his shoulder briefly.
"Not nearly as bad you think."