Fandom: Avatar: the Last Airbender
Characters: Duyi (OC), Ichiko (OC), Liu (OC)
Summary: The Dai Li track Ichiko down after a fight and have her come down to the station. There, she meets a Dai Li captain named Liu...
Notes: Genderbending is fun. Duyi and Liu belong to Bex; she was kind enough to allow me to use them.
"I've got it!" called Yuu when someone knocked on the door. He started that way, and squawked when Ichiko caught him by the collar and hauled him back.
"You stay with your sister," she told him sternly, and gave him a gentle push to where Koto had ducked behind their rolled-up futons. Once the twins were both down, Ichiko answered the door.
On the other side was an Earth man wearing a dark green uniform trimmed in both black and gold. He was around her height, with a full beard and dark green eyes.
Ichiko blinked. "Can I help you?"
The man offered her a half-bow. "Miss," he greeted her. "I am Agent Duyi."
She bowed in turn, the Earth-style bow as natural to her as Fire-style. Agent. That was bad. Shit, had they found out she and the twins hadn't entered Ba Sing Se legally?
No, wait. This had to be about that fight.
"Is there a problem?" she asked. She knew how to play innocent convincingly.
"Only a minor one," Agent Duyi said reassuringly. "It's standard procedure to check paperwork after a fight. However, yours appears to have been misplaced."
He was lying. She knew he was lying, and he had to know she knew. But apparently she wasn't in trouble for it, if he was pretending the paperwork had gone missing somehow.
"That sounds problematic," Ichiko replied. "Is there anything I can do?"
Agent Duyi nodded. "I just need you to come with me to fill out new forms."
Ichiko considered this. "Do the twins need to come with me?" Surely the Dai Li wouldn't want to wrangle a pair of ten-year-olds for gods only knew how long paperwork would take.
"No," said Duyi. "They will be fine here with whatever sitter you require."
"All right," she said. "Just a moment?" When he nodded, she went to the twins. "Koto," she said quietly. "You're in charge. Don't fight me on this, Yuu. Stay inside, both of you."
The twins looked at her, then they both nodded. "Okay," Yuu said.
She smiled and hugged them both, then returned to the Dai Li on her doorstep. "All right," she said. "I'm ready."
He gave her that half-bow. "Please follow me," he said.
With a soft sigh, Ichiko obeyed. She'd really hoped to avoid a paper trail. At least the policy of hiding from the war would work in her favour -- there was nobody in Ba Sing Se who would connect Ichiko the war-child with Ichiko of New Sozin or Lord Torao's adopted daughter.
It was a long walk to where Ichiko would fill out the paperwork, but then, she'd picked her apartment with that idea in mind. The farther away she lived from Officials, the happier she was.
The building Agent Duyi led her to was simple, like most of the buildings in the Lower Ring. However, it stood alone, with no neighbours pressed against it, and it only had one floor.
Ichiko's eyes narrowed. That building had to have multiple basements, or she'd eat her hat.
The first thing she noticed when Duyi led her in the budiling was the Dai Li agent with a green scarf wrapped around his face and throat. She forced her gaze to move beyond him, but her mind lingered. Why the scarf? she wondered.
(There is no war in Ba Sing Se.)
Ichiko could feel eyes on her, but she was used to that -- after all, she dressed like a man, in a farmer's pants and short tunic, and wore her hair cropped close to her skull. If her stupid tits weren't so big, she could probably pass for a man. The look certainly made her memorable, though.
To her surprise, Duyi led her to the scarved Dai Li.
His eyes were green.
That shouldn't have struck her as much as it did; a lot of people in the Earth Kingdom had green eyes. But his were soft, like grass, and completely belied his occupation.
He was dangerous, she realised.
Okay, not thinking about that. Thinking like that was bad. Also her lord father would have a fit.
Was she blushing?
Ichiko bowed to cover for it, in case she was. Icy mountain streams.
When she straightened up, the Dai Li agent looked mildly confused.
"Miss, this is Agent Liu," said Duyi. "He'll handle the paperwork. Agent Liu, this is the young lady I spoke to you about."
He nodded, and offered Ichiko a sort of half-bow. Curious.
"Thank you, Agent Duyi," she said, smiling at the older man.
Duyi bowed in farewell -- again with the half-bows -- and drifted off, leaving Ichiko with Liu.
The scarved agent gestured for her to go with him, and she followed him to a table where paperwork had clearly been prepared. It seemed fairly standard, wanting her name, age, place of origin, occupation, and so on. After filling in the first two, she paused, as if considering, then looked up at Liu. "When they say 'origin', do they mean where I was born, or the last village I lived in?"
Liu raised an eyebrow at her, and she shrugged. "We left our home village when I was thirteen and wandered for awhile."
He nodded, and chalked something on a bit of slate he'd been holding. 'Both.'
"Okay," said Ichiko, and inked in the name of a village some fifteen miles from New Sozin, as well as Sen Lin Village, then worked on the rest of the form. She was very careful with her writing -- letting some of the ink drip, nearly running her sleeve through something she'd written, and using children's characters more than once.
She glanced up at Liu while she was waiting for the ink to dry. Better not to comment on her amaturish mistakes, unless he had something to say.
He was watching her.
She flushed and dropped her gaze. Stupid sexy earthbender.
Ichiko heard chalk against slate again, and looked up just as he finished writing. 'I will walk you home, miss.'
"Thank you, Agent Liu," she said, smiling.
He half-bowed to her, then offered his arm.
Well then. Ichiko awkwardly put her hand on his arm -- though her Lord Father's ettiquette instructors had walked her through this kind of thing, she had never gotten used to it.
Liu led her outside, and she directed him back to the apartment. It was unusual, to be walked home by a government agent -- in fact, it was the kind of thing Ichiko usually strove to avoid. She'd have to be very careful from now on. Especially if the Dai Li kept watching her.
Also, it was weird walking home in silence. But Ichiko definitely liked it. Better than having some idiot boy chattering at her about things he thought she'd like. But after several minutes, they were at the door of her apartment. She turned to look up at Liu.
He reached past her to touch the wall; she glanced behind her to see that characters had formed there. 'Take care in the future, Miss Ichiko.'
She gave him an impertinent wink. "Of course."
Liu turned to go, and Ichiko was struck by a sudden inspiration. "Would you have dinner with me some night?" she blurted.
The agent stopped and turned back to her, as if he didn't believe what he had heard. She grinned in response to the expression in his eyes. "Or do girls not ask boys out in this city?"
'It isn't unheard of,' appeared on the ground before her.
"So," she said, looking at him again. "Dinner?"
The characters on the ground vanished, but for a moment there was nothing. Then a new character appeared: "Yes."
Current Location: my old bed at Oma's
Current Mood: sleepy
Tags: au, character: duyi, character: ichiro, character: liu, fandom: avatar, fanfic, genderbend, one-shot