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What I Learned at SRU
Chapter 13 - Gone

- Saturday, September 18th, 2010 -

[To: Jane]
[Hey, where are you guys? We're about to start things here but we haven't heard from you. Are you not coming?]
[Sent: 8:04pm]

"Katara, you playing?"

"Oh!" Katara slapped her phone shut and nodded. "Yea, yea. I am."

"Well, git over here, then!" Sokka insisted with a wave of the arm. Katara sighed deeply, her concern for her friend having been spiked up sharply since she had last seen Jane huddled on her bed the other day.

She sat down at the wooden table, Aang to her left, Sokka and Suki across from her, and Toph on the tables narrow side between Aang and Suki. A small pile of red cards had already been laid at her chair. Apples to Apples was a curious card game that Toph couldn't play, of course, but enjoyed spectating. Sometimes the group would alter the rules a bit and have Toph judge the winner of every round, but she wasn't up for it this time, it seemed, preferring to lay her head down on the table and listen.

"You know how to play, Suki?" Sokka checked. Suki nodded back, surveying her hand. "Then let's get on with it." He flipped the first green card from the top of the deck in the center and revealed it: {Burly} "First word is 'Burly,'" he announced. "Have at it."

As the other three players shuffled through their hands, Katara's phone vibrated in her pocket. She hesitated for a moment, but her worry got the best of her and she checked it.

[From: Jane]
[sorry we cant come tonite somethings goin on with the ff.]
[Sent: 8:06pm]

"Hey-hey-hey!" Sokka snapped, jamming an accusing finger across the table. "No phones during the game!"

"It's the other guys," Katara explained, sidestepping his scolding. "They're not gonna be able to make it tonight..."

"Big surprise there," Toph grumbled. Katara shared her irritation. What was keeping the Freedom Fighters constantly busy lately?

"It's not their fault," Katara defended. "It's just that stupid group they're in."

"Their loss," Sokka hurried the topic along. "Let's get playing."

"You're really impatient today," Aang pointed out.

"So I am," agreed Sokka with a shrug. "Now pick a card." After everyone had laid down a card from their hand, he shuffled them a bit and read them aloud with the adjective beforehand. "We have: Burly Abraham Lincoln. Burly Plum? Burly Motorcycle. That's easy, I have to go with Abe. That man was a beast."

Aang's face lit up as he swiped the green card and set it to his side.

"Yea, I'd pick that one, too," Toph commented. "Who got that one?"

"I did," Aang triumphantly informed her.

"Way to go, Twinkles."

Despite the presence of her friends, Katara's focus stumbled out of context and into concern. She knew something strange was most certainly going on, especially after the way Jane had been acting the night before. What if something serious were going on? Should she try and intervene?

"Hey, Katara, you gonna wait all night to put a card down?" her brother teased.

"Right. Sorry." She placed a card in, having not been paying attention to Suki's adjective.

"Spunky Kite, Spunky Harrison Ford, Spunky Wheel Chair." She lifted an eyebrow at her choices and shrugged. "I pick Wheel Chair."

"Whaaat?" Sokka whined. "That doesn't even make sense."

Katara, amused by her accidental victory, grabbed her prize as Suki defended her decision.

"I thought half the fun of this game was not making sense. That's how I've always played it."

Sokka grumbled an exaggerated, "Rizzarazzafrackafrizza."

"Can't always get what you want, Sokka Darling." Suki tapped his cheek with her lips and he smirked back.

"That's why you get other people to get it for you," he coyly countered.

- Sunday, September 19th, 2010 -

Katara was jarred awake by a rough shaking on her shoulder.

"Whaaa?" she moaned, her face buried in her arms. Lifting her tired head, she found herself staring at Frontierville on her computer screen. Her pumpkin batch had died.

"Kuh...Katara," whispered a voice from above.

"Mmm?" She rubbed her drooping eyes and saw Jane's face lit by the pale white light of her computer screen. What time was it? Late at night, clearly, based on the roaring, nasaly breathing from her left where Toph was asleep like a log. She'd fallen asleep at her computer, waiting intently for precisely this moment - for her friend to get back home.

"Jane?" Katara mumbled, confused and dead tired. "What's goin' on...?" she wondered, wiping hair from her face.

"He's dead," Jane whispered with a petrified tone unbecoming of her. Katara's vision was clearing now, and she could see that the normally dulled olive eyes on her friend's face were wide, appalled, baffled.

"What?" Katara grumbled, her brows furrowed, mind foggy. "Dead? Who's dead?"

"Jet," Jane snapped. "Jet's dead. He's fucking dead."

"How...? Why would...?" Katara was finding this hard to believe without an explanation.

"I...I tried," Jane muttered, staring at her right hand. Katara could see that it was soiled, bruised, and stained. "I couldn't...I just couldn't do anything. Shit...Agh." She pounded the side of her fist into her hip in frustration.

Katara was startled wide awake by this situation as she came to notice that the stain on Jane's hand was dried blood.

"Oh my God," she gasped out, managing to contain herself for the sake of her roommate's rest. "Jane, what...What happened?"

Jane was bouncing up and down slightly, like a nervous tick, her hands trembling. She tugged on Katara's hand and pulled her up from her seat, nodding her head as a signal to follow - her hand was clammy and cold and crusty with the dried fluid. Hands clasped together, they quickly made their way across the hall before Jane briskly closed the door as quietly as she could. She spun around, back pressed against the door, and stared at Katara with a pleading expression.

"Jet's dead?" Katara demanded, running her hand over her head through the light tangles in her hair.

"Hit by a car," Jane quickly explained. "Was on his bike, trying to get away..." She shook her head, hands wrapped around her gut as if in reaction to abdominal pain.

"Trying to get away? From who?"

"A gang."

"A gang?"

"The Rough Rhinos."

"Who's that?"

"Buncha thugs," Jane swiftly dismissed. "Doesn't matter." Jane was slowly running her finger across her orange eyebrow habitually, back and forth.

"Why would they be after Jet?" By now Katara felt it was crystal clear that her instincts had been right and that the Freedom Fighters were less than pristine concerning the operations they carried out.

"W-well, Jet, he, erm..." Jane's finger slid up, and her whole hand was on her forehead as she hurried past Katara, sitting herself down on her bed. She hunched over the edge of her bed, her finger digging into her skull. "Fuck," she grunted in pain. "Head's killin' me..." she explained through grit teeth, eyes squinted tight.

"Oh, I...I can go grab some aspirin if you want," Katara offered. Jane shook her head and gestured to her desk's shelf.

"I've got some right here," she informed, blindly pointing her finger up. Katara fumbled her hands around some textbooks before locating the small white bottle. She passed it to her friend who popped a couple of small pills into her mouth. She huffed through the pain, opened one of her eyes, and continued through her headache. "Jet got into a bad scrap with...with their leader the other day. Things got...urgh...outta hand."

"Out of hand?"

"Yea, Kat." Jane's open eye swiveled up, shooting out a glare. She seethed out in a whisper, "He almost got killed so he thought it'd be better if the guy that died wasn't him."

Katara let the idea sink in for a moment, fingertips pressed against her lips.

"Jet...killed someone...?"

As shady as he could seem I never would think he'd have it in him to do something like that...

"Yea, Katara, he did," Jane insisted. "Not like it'd be the first time," she added quietly, her words loaded with anger. "But this was self-defense."

Katara's mind was having a lot of difficulty coming to terms with all of this all at once.

"Wait, so...Jet got killed because he killed someone else?" she concluded incredulously.

"Technically it wasn't a murder that did him in," Jane specified. "But...pretty much, yea."

"So...So what's gonna happen?" Katara's tone was raising the further they got into the conversation, but she was still maintaining her voice at a reasonable level despite the shock.

"What do you...-?"

"What's gonna happen to you, to the Freedom Fighters? Are you guys in danger, then?"

"Good fuckin' question." Jane didn't seem to care much about this detail at the moment, her hand still clutching her skull. Katara sat down beside her and stared deeply at her troubled face.

"What about...What about a funeral, or-or...-"

"I don't know!" Jane hissed, tossing her arms and leaning out. "I-don't-fucking-know, OK?"

Katara arced back at the hostility, propping herself by her palms on Jane's sheetless mattress. Where were Jane's sheets? The angry Irish girl leaned over her knees, head drooping, and clamped her hands over her face. She sat there like this, motionless, for a few moments. Katara noticed the back of Jane's head: more dried blood stained her hair. Katara put the pieces together and realized that her friend must have gotten hurt somehow during...whatever it was that had gone down that evening.

"Jane," Katara soothed, pressing her side into her neighbor's shoulder and slipping a gentle arm across her back. "Are you all right? It looks like you got hurt..."

"Ya fuckin' think?" was the rasping counter Jane forced out through her hands. "Hurts like a bitch. Agh..."

Katara's ever thoughtful mind was resistant to Jane's bitter attitude at the moment, and it immediately found itself exploring the thought, 'What if she has a concussion?' As she pondered this, Jane's body was pressing into Katara, using her friend's side to support her weight. She slowly let her arms drop, and Katara's heart sank at the sight: Jane's freckled cheeks were sticky and damp, her drab olive eyes bleak. The combination of the pain she was in and the sheer shock of her friend dying were likely causing her thorny wall to crumble, but the razor wire defensiveness left over was still apparent.

Katara drew in a quick breath as she herself was now starting to choke up. She wrapped her other arm around Jane's lean stomach and held her tightly, as if her body could act as a shield and protect this already broken girl. Tears came more naturally for Katara, and she led them slide down her face.

Jet was dead. She believed it from Jane's reaction. Only something as startlingly real as that would shatter Jane like this. Immediately after coming to terms with this in full, she found herself regretting how she had acted. What if she had never broken things off? What if in doing so, she'd set him off somehow to act more aggressively? She managed to gather these doubts together and compress them, locking them away and setting them to the side.

This wasn't my fault. I can't blame myself for

his choices.

But this realization didn't make it any easier. Just a few weeks ago Jet had been a rather important aspect of her life. And now he was extinguished, and she'd never speak with him again - and she'd never be able to apologize for abandoning him so suddenly.

Jane's breathing was rough, almost whimpering. Likely, adrenaline had set in earlier, and now that it was depleted, her body was coming to grips with the damage done to it.

"Fucking...shit," Jane spewed out between breaths, her voice cracking. "He's...he's gone. Why'd he have to be such an asshole? He coulda just...-" She coughed and wiped her eyes on her sleeve as her thought evaporated. "Didn't have to be like this," she concluded with a quivering sigh. She dropped her head on Katara's shoulder in a rare instance of vulnerability. Katara knew deep down that this was why she had been woken up - why Jane had seemed to come straight to her room: she needed Katara's shoulder to rest on in this moment of insanity and felt like Katara was the only person she could turn to for this at that moment. This inherently brought the question: where's Johnny?

"Where's...your boyfriend?" Katara asked at last.

"Probably asleep," Jane mumbled, her eyes closed. "He was busy with something else and didn't know they were coming after Jet, and...I didn't want him involved." She shifted her head and pushed some loose hair strands from her eyes. "So I just told him we had to call off tonight because Jet needed me to take care of something." She sighed, digging her ring finger into her tear ducts to wipe them clean. "He'll probably find out in the morning what happened...He'll be mad least he won't be hurt."

"Like you are?" Katara clarified with a sympathetic smile but a furrowed brow. "What were you thinking?"

"I was thinking...-" She paused and her eyes squinted tightly for a moment before she continued. "-...that I could save Jet...with...without anyone else getting mixed up in it."

Katara sat and contemplated her friend's brave but foolish actions.

You're lucky something worse didn't happen to you...You really need to be more careful. For everything bad you had to say about Jet, you really

were still his friend when he needed you. I hope we can find you some people who will be like that for you, like I'm trying to be.

Jane yawned and smacked her lips a few times.

"You should get some sleep, girl," Katara advised warmly, rubbing her hands up and down across Jane's side. She gave two gentle pats before letting up on their embrace. Jane sniffed sourly and got up, going to the shared bathroom at the side of her room. Katara sat at her friend's bed, baffled at the entire situation, as the sink ran.

"Owwww. Fuck," groaned Jane's voice quietly but calmly. "Katara, could you...could you grab the first aid from the closet?" she grunted out a request.

Snapped to her senses, and to Jane's injury, Katara rummaged through the sliding door closet beside the bathroom door. She immediately saw the first aid kit sitting on top of a shoebox and retrieved it. Katara proceeded to help sanitize Jane's head and wrap a bandage around it. With a white band of cloth around her head, Jane's exhausted body was clearly ready for sleep, especially given the bags hanging from her dead eyes. Katara helped her remove her shoes, but Jane was content just collapsing in the dirty, stained jeans and shirt she had been out and about in. As she settled into bed, Katara advised her on the situation.

"I think you might have gotten a concussion," she expressed.

"That...might happen when your head hits pavement," Jane yawned out. Katara sighed at her neighbor's plight and crossed her arms over her stomach with doubt.

"Don't you think you should go to a hospital?"

"Are you crazy? I'm already connected to this whole mess...I don't need any more attention than I've got right now." Jane's eyes were closed.

"Fine," Katara gave in with a sigh. She didn't approve but she also preferred her friends not being in jail if things were quite that bad. This only further confirmed that the Freedom Fighters must've been up to no good. Her mind whirled around the situation, trying to decide the best course of action. She would simply have to let Jane rest at this point.

"I'm going to come wake you in a couple hours," Katara explained, recalling how she'd been informed to care for someone with such an injury. "Get some rest." Jane didn't respond, her eyes closed as she lay on her side, her lips slightly ajar. Katara scratched an inch on her ear as she cautiously left the room, closing the door behind her with hardly a sound. She slinked into her own room and grabbed her cell phone. She set a vibrating alarm before tucking it below her pillow and setting her head above and beside it. She quickly faded back into sleep, choosing to ignore the smoldering questions about the future of this situation.

["~You got designer shades just to hide your face~And you wear 'em around like you're cooler than me~"]
"Katara...Your phone's goin' off..."
["~And you never say 'hey,' or remember my name~It's probably 'cuz you think you're cooler than me~"]

Katara groaned at the music pouring from her phone and the nagging of her roommate. She cracked her eyes open and groped her hand around under her pillow for her phone.


"Ugggh," Katara moaned as the music looped. "What does my brother want?" she whimpered, noting the time: [11:43am]

"Probably buggin' ya about lunch," Toph guessed from her dresser, retrieving clothes to change into.

"Hey...Sokka," Katara greeted with groggy irritation, still lying in her bed.

["Hey, Katara. You OK?"]

"I was better when I was still sleeping, but..."

["I woke you up? Haaaa. Wow. When was the last time you slept in this late?"]

"I had a long night...What is it?"

["It's almost time for lunch - I was just wondering if you wanted us to wait for you, or...-"]

"I'm staying in. I'm too tired to go out right this minute."

"I'll stay, then, too," Toph decided.

"Toph just said she's gonna stay in for now, too."

["Oh. Uh, OK. I guess we'll see ya later then."]

"Yep..." Katara's eyelids were drooping back closed.

["You sure you're all right?"]

"Mm-hm. Tell ya later..."

["All right. Well, see ya, Sis."]



"You want me to check on her?" Toph offered.

"Could you?" Katara gratefully mumbled out.

"Sure thing," said Toph as she grabbed her walking stick from its designated spot: leaning against the corner where her bed and the wall met. She prodded her way across the hall - both doors were open - and called out upon entering her neighbor's room, "Janey Jane! You asleep?" No reply - not a sound. "Jane? Get up!" Still nothing. Toph bit her lip and paused. "Get up," she cried again, louder. Not so much as a shuffling of sheets. "Uhhhh, Katara?" Toph meekly called to her roommate. "Jane's...not waking up...or something."

Katara sprung from her bed and swept into the room, easing Toph aside. She laughed.

"What's so funny?"

"Jane's not here, Hun," Katara chuckled, rubbing Toph on the shoulder.

"Oh...Figures," Toph huffed, suppressing her embarrassment.

"Hey, guys. Morning." Jane entered the room with a large plate full of scrambled eggs, the smell scintillating to the Sunday morning senses.

"Did you make eggs?" Toph gasped with excitement, clearly familiar with the aroma.

"Yea...You, uh...ya want some?" Based on the pile on the plate, Katara had surmised that Jane had intended to share.

"Like that's even a question!" Toph grinned and ran her palms together eagerly.

"We've got some spare silverware," Katara advised, popping back into her room. She continued conversing as she sorted through their closet. "You must be feeling better, Jane."

"Better. Yea." The way Jane said it tipped Katara off that she wasn't feeling well yet, but this was expected.

"How's your head, Fitzpatrick?" wondered Toph, who had been informed of the situation - at least, the head trauma - earlier that morning when Katara had last woken the bruised girl.

"Oh, er...It's, uh...It's been better," Jane tried to make light of it.

"How'd you whack your skull so hard?" Toph further prodded as Katara came back in with a pair of plates and forks to match. "Some o' the ol' Fightin' Irish come out at the wrong place, wrong time?"

Jane shot Katara a humored glance as she replied, "Basically." Toph continued to poke at her for information.

"But the other guy probably walked away worse, am I right?"

"One or two of them? Yea, probably."

"One or two? How many did you scuffle with?"




"I'm surprised you didn't come back with something worse, then."

"Are you saying I can't handle three?"


"'Cuz I coulda taken all three if I hadn't been distracted."

"Why were you distracted, then, Jay?"

At this question, Jane sighed, dropping her humor, and she pleaded to Katara with an expression. Katara shrugged, nodded, and closed the door to the bedroom.

"I was trying to protect someone," Jane explained.

"This is bad," Toph immediately decided, a suspicious face pointed back toward the door that had just closed. "Some shit goin' on with your gang?"

"Yea. And it hit the fan last night."

"Jet died," Katara cut to the chase, scratching her head through her unkempt hair. She sighed, latching a hand on her arm as the reality of the words she uttered caught up to her.

"Say what?" Toph murmured, jaw agape. "Jet's dead? Wh...What the fuck happened?"

"Crashed while riding his bike," explained Jane with more ease than she had the previous night.

"Sounds like you had a hell of a night..." Toph observed solemnly. She crossed her arms over her chest, sticking her walking cane straight into the floor. "Bar fight and then a motorcycle crash...Um...Good times." An awkward silence fell over the trio as Jane and Katara both contemplated whether or not the full story was necessary. They both seemed to have decided it wasn't, as neither clarified things.

"Let's get some food in our systems," Katara suggested. "I'm sure that'll help us feel better."

After they had situated themselves in a circle, plates divied up with eggs, Toph attempted to lament further.

"I never really knew the guy..."

"It's OK, Toph," insisted Katara.

"Probably better that ya didn't," scoffed Jane. This set the tone back down a negative notch. Fortunately, they had eggs to keep their mouths busy for a minute.

"These are pretty good," Toph confessed.

"They're just eggs," Jane dismissed the compliment.

"Ehhhhh, but not everyone knows how to cook eggs right," Toph insisted.

"OK," Jane chuckled with a shrug. "Thanks?"

"Were you planning on eating all of these by yourself?" Katara picked, narrowing her eyes facetiously.

"I could totally eat all of these," Jane denied the implication, avoiding Katara's gaze.

"Thank you for sharing, then," Katara pressed her gratitude.

"Yeh, ffankff," Toph pushed out through her chewing.

"Welcome," Jane muttered, seemingly embarrassed, as she stood up and reached for her aspirin container on her desk. She popped a couple into her mouth and swallowed them before sitting back down to finish her food. Katara fretted herself over Jane's condition as the girl ate, a band of gauze and cloth wrapped around her head. It may not have been necessary waking up every couple of hours to stir Jane to consciousness, but it had been safe, which was what Jane deserved after all she'd been through.

She's going to be fine, Katara. Stop worrying. Jane's a tough girl.

Sokka had been perusing the pages of the Wayward Times issue he'd scooped up on their way up to lunch while Aang enjoyed a chunky peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A particular story had caught his attention regarding a motorcycle accident.

"Looks like Katara's ex died last night," he nonchalantly informed Aang.

"Wuff?" Aang muttered, his mouth sticky and full.

"Apparently our old friend 'Jet' was out joyriding on his freakin' motorcycle and got himself killed."

"That's...horrible," Aang decided, having swallowed his bite of gooey sugar and bread.

"What woulda been horrible would be if my sister was riding with him that night. Then it'd have been horrible."

"Hm," was all Aang could think of to say. Sokka was clearly not feeling terribly sympathetic.

"I'll bet he was probably on something," Sokka continued to theorize with some disdain.

"Excuse me, gentlemen."

A clean-shaven, neatly combed young man, about their age, stood beside their small table, dressed in his Sunday best: a tie, button-down shirt tucked into his dress pants. He had pale skin and slightly slanted eyes - definitely some Japanese in him. He was carrying a clipboard with him, a fancy fountain pen to complement it.

"Errrr...Hi," Aang greeted back.

The stranger stuck out his hand to Aang, who took it and shook, noticing the boy's firm grip.

"Zuko Kurosawa," he revealed his name, shaking Sokka's hand next.

"Ohhhh, you're that kid who's uncle teaches Philosophy," Sokka immediately pointed out. The boy nodded. "I'm in his class - that guy is great."

Zuko chuckled and shrugged.

"So I've heard." He cleared his throat and carried himself with a bit more formality. "Can I have a minute of your time?"

Sokka and Aang swapped puzzled glances before Sokka, lifting a palm up, replied, "Sure."

"How often you participate in dorm-hosted activities?" Zuko asked, pen at the ready.

"All the time," Aang cheerily informed.

"Yea, like, once every week or two," Sokka clarified.

"What dorm are either of you from?"

"We're both in Aero," declared Aang with pride.

"Das right!" Sokka concurred, sticking out a hand, which Aang high-fived.

"And what kinds of activities does your dorm host that you go to?"

"We had a bonfire the first week of class," said Sokka, tapping his chin. "Meet-N'-Greet kinda thing. With hot dogs."

"We went bowling last week," Aang pitched in.

"So," Zuko continued, "What kinds of things make those events appealing?"

"Food," spat Sokka as he chomped into his slice of pizza.

"I just like how you know there will be people there," Aang answered more concisely.

"All right. Thank you." Zuko scribbled something onto his clipboard.

"What's the survey for?" asked Aang before crunching on a couple of croutons from his salad.

"I'm running for president this year, and I'm trying to get a grasp of what kinds of events the budget should be put into."

"Stuff with food," Sokka insisted.

"I'll...keep that suggestion in mind," Zuko conceded, capping his pen and stuffing it in his breast pocket. "Thanks for your time, gentlemen. Have a good meal."


"See ya."

As the man headed off for more volunteers to collect opinions from, Aang couldn't help but recall what they had just been talking about.

"Do you think your sister knows?"

"About what?"

"About...about Jet."

"Oh. Hm. Probably. I mean, she's friends with those thugs, right?"

"Maybe she's feeling upset? Maybe that's why she didn't come to lunch today?"

"Could be," Sokka admitted, cocking his head thoughtfully. "She's probably guilt-tripping herself about it."

"Sounds like somebody I know," Aang taunted with a knowing glance.

"Huh? Th-that was totally different," he defended. "Yue was a freakin' saint."

"I'm sure Jet couldn't have been so horrible if Katara dated him..."

"I'm sure you're giving my sister too much credit for her taste in boys."

"Sooner or later she'll bump into the right guy," Aang assured.

"I sure hope so...I'm gettin' sick of having to be ever-vigilant and keep watch over her." Sokka sighed, shaking his head. "God. Girls, man. They just have no sense."

"Yea, Toph doesn't make sense half of the time, either," Aang agreed. "That's part of what makes her so fun, though."

"Katara's probably gorging herself on chocolate right now."


"Chocolate. When Katara's stressed out or really upset she'll just eat chocolate. It's a girl thing."


"Comfort food."

"I just eat chocolate all the time. It's always comfortable."

"Well, obviously." Sokka was tapping his foot impatiently as he finished off his food. "Come to think of it, I thought I saw some cake up there..." He gathered his tray together and stood up.

"I like cake," Aang announced, joining him.

"Who doesn't like cake?"

"Crazy people."

"I hear dat!"

"Uhhhh, Kat? You hungry? We could, something..."

Katara ignored Jane's suggestion, cramming another square of chocolate into her mouth. She shook her head as she chewed, jamming keys on her keyboard and running a search.

"I'm OK," she explained. "I can wait until dinner."

"If you say so...What are you...-? Why are you looking up videos about kittens on YouTube?"

"Christ," Toph grumbled. "Is that what she's doing?"

"I swear, this is...the most adorable thing ever," Katara insisted, scrolling through the video titles before running another search.

"This is what she does when she's feeling stressed out," Toph informed. "She eats chocolate and looks up stupid videos on YouTube."

"Shut up," Katara snapped meekly, ignoring the criticism and her own embarrassment. "Aha! Found it." She started playing a video, Jane hovering over her shoulder, and contained a grin about to burst from her face.

"Ohhh my God," Jane whispered in an uncharacteristically squeaky voice. "That's too cute..."

"Make it stop!" Toph wailed. "You're taking away Jane's bad-assery!"

"Wh-what? No," Jane cried in defiance. "I have..." She prodded a finger at the side of her head, despite the fact Toph couldn't see this. "I was in a hardcore fight last night! I...I kicked a dude in the balls and I punched another in the jaw, and-and-"

"I'm just picking, geez," Toph laughed. "I guess it's OK if you girl it up now and again, but over a kitten?"

A teeny 'mew' slipped from Katara's computer speakers and Katara smirked at how Toph's face contorted into an 'aw, that's so sweet' expression. It rapidly erased itself in favor of exaggerated anger.

"Damn you, kittens," Toph growled, her fist clenched against her chest. "You've won this round...But the war rages on..."

"You like making enemies of things that can't hurt you, huh?" Janed pointed out, humored. "First ice cream, now kittens? What's next on your agenda? Rainbows? Lollipops?"

"Fuckin' lollipops," seethed Toph without skipping a beat. "You'll be the death of us all..."

"Toph is impervious is rainbows," Katara observed, breaking off another chunk of her candy bar.

"Haha! Them and their...fancy 'colors' that render you pathetic beings mesmerised."

"Wow, Toph," Jane flatly mocked. "What ever is your weakness?"

"I know her weakness," Katara teased, beginning another YouTube search with coyly narrowed eyes.

"No," Toph gasped, throwing herself into her bed and stuffing her pillow over her ears. "Don't do it!"

Jane laughed, confused at this, and waited for Katara's search to end.

["~Picture yourself in a boat on a river~With tangerine trees, and marmalade skies~"]

"Nooooo," Toph wailed, her tone decidedly giddy.

["~Somebody calls you, You answer quite slowy~The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes~"]

"Toph's in love with The Beatles," explained Katara, flashing a satisfied smile toward Jane.

["~Cellophane flowers of yellow and green~Towering over your head~"]

"And potatoes," Toph added. "God, I love potatoes."

["~Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes - and she's gone~"]

"And your boyfriend?" Jane checked.

"Ohhhh, yea. Him, too," Toph confessed with a giggle. "Especially when he feeds me potatoes. Or sings The Beatles."

As the chorus to Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds picked up, both Katara and Jane joined in and sung along while Toph cried out to the disembodied voices.

"Take me away, Good Sirs, to this magical land of which you speak!"

As they took turns picking music to listen to, Katara retreated to her phone briefly.

[From: Aang]
[hey are you ok? sorry about your friend. :( ]
[Sent: 3:21pm]

[To: Aang]
[Thanks. I'm OK. Just spending time with the girls. I'll be fine.]
[Sent: 3:22pm]

[To: Aang]
[Does Sokka know, BTW?]
[Sent: 3:22pm]

[From: Aang]
[ok as long as youre doing all right. and yea he knows.]
[Sent: 3:23pm]

[It's just so strange. I just feel bad. Like it's my fault somehow.]
[Sent: 3:24pm]

[From: Aang]
[well it's not your fault! stuff happens.]
[Sent: 3:25pm]

[To: Aang]
[I know. Thanks, Aang. Toph says 'hi.']
[Sent: 3:26pm]

[From: Aang]
[np. tell toph i said xoxo]
[Sent: 3:26pm]

"Hey, Toph, Aang says...uh...'ex-oh-ex-oh.'"

"He says 'ex-oh-ex-oh?'"


[From: Aang]
[Sent: 3:26pm]

"He also says 'Taterface.'"

"Pssh. Ohhh, Twinkle Toes." Toph sighed happily, flopped on her back on the floor as Jane sang along to some grungy metal music. "I say 'ex-ex-ex' back."

[To: Aang]
[She says xxx back, Twinkle Toes.' You two. =P So cute.]
[Sent: 3:27pm]

A/N: Song lyrics go to Mike Posner and The Beatles. Or something.

[link]<--Previous Chapter
Next Chapter-->[link]
[link]<-<--Chapter 1

Concussions are bad for you, kids.

Also, driving on motorcycles without helmets.
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ThoughtsandWonders Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
The Beatles XD. 21 year old SRU Toph is hilarious. They should have this on Adult Swim
AmericanHorrorStor Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Shoud have played Cards Against Humanity :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ya know, I don't think that game existed back when I wrote this scene, actually.
PhoPhoDrago Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I refuse to believe that Jet's really truly dead! After all, he came back in the televison series, so what's keeping him from doing the same here? Please tell me, I'm right. :O
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Uhhh...? Jet didn't come back in the TV series. He died at the end of Season 2. >_>;
And he dies in this story, too. They have a funeral, and everything.
SRU!Jet is a less-optimistic character than the show because that character tried a LITTLE by the end to be good (after his memory got wiped) but this Jet let his obsession completely consume him, as well, we just skipped the brainwashing part.
PhoPhoDrago Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oops...guess I forgot about him dying during Season 2. Haha...awkward. :XD:
Sangeline Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
WOW. Sokka's such an ass x.x KITTEHS!!!!! No one can resist. NO-ONE.
firewyrm2018 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"probbly cause you think your cooler than me"

add more with Zuko and Tylee is very important
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
thetaleof2sisters Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
LOL! Toph is awesome!
GreetingsFromHell Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Toph has the same weakness as me O_O And I could so imagine Katara comforting herself with chocolate and kittens haha!
Sjobolin Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
So, did anyone else here read the scene where Katara and the girls were looking up kitten videos on Youtube and then they just HAD to go watch some themselves? XD
popwiz15 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
"Fuckin lollipops"
I was laughing so hard my mom came into see what I was laughing at.
Violet789897 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww, does that mean I'm crazy? lol i hate cake. bleh.... that's what no-wheat, no-egg cake every birthday for at least ten years does to you.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, jeez, that sounds horrible and depressing. xD
Violet789897 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ya.. I've learned, and now I just have ice cream cake. :D
EpicallyRejected Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Funniest chapter so far! *dies*
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Glad you're enjoying the story. =)
bushybrownhair Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
DUDE i was listening to cooler than me when i read that part! and it was the same part! no kidding!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Haha. Nice.
bushybrownhair Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, yes it is :3
LaVolpeFemmina Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
JASKSD JETTTTTTTTTTTT *sobs in corner* The badass jackass died. D|
Findichsehrgut Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
"Fuckin' lollipops," seethed Toph without skipping a beat. "You'll be the death of us all..."

hahaha I was laughing so hard at this line!

Awesome chapter! :)
ShodanAllen Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
Favorite thing: Jane kicks guy in the balls and punches another in the jaw. I'm a career self-defense style martial artist..... no animal is the world is more dangerous than a skinny human female... everything they hit you with penetrates like a laser.

But, what really gets me about your writing (have I said that too much already?), is the little things. Like when Katara is scratching her ear on the way out of Jane's room.... that's the real golden details.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. I envision SRU as, like, an animated series, in my head, while I write it, and while I usually don't describe all the visual details like the rooms they're in or the clothes they wear or flowery descriptions of stuff, those details of the body language, intonation, etc. are what's most important to me, usually. =)
Alura-the-Sage Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
*Sigh* if only it WAS an animated series! Maybe it could be on Nick@Nite.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Haha. Or there could be creative bleeping of curse words or something. xD
Midnight4568 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012
Lol, Katara plays Frontierville. But not Farmville?
Poor Jet... Poor Jane!
Well, at least he wasn't brainwashed.
And now, Jane is free to join the gaang. Possibly.
Ooo. Scintillating. Big word.
Is that the first time Zuko meets Sokka and Aang at SRU?
That is a true statement. "Crazy people don't like cake."
Sokka predicted it right. Katara stuffed herself with chocolate. How is she not fat?
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Bahaha. xD Katara doesn't pig out all that often, and tries to usually eat a balanced diet, I suppose? Some people are just blessed with faster metabolism.
lizzy121314 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
is it end with with the freedom fighter now
:\_/ this sign next to my writing means I'm a chatter box and I'm proud of it
Qwerty606 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011
Seriously. This is what you were talking about when you said "Explained?" You kill off Jet? AWESOME!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, I can't tell if that's sarcasm, for "explained," if we're talking the Freedom Fighters, they're still in the picture for quite a ways. Hell, their actions (and Jane's connection to them) will still make ripples even close to the story's end.
Wolfsbane56 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist
Haha! lillipops! XD Toph makes me laugh! :D
Wolfsbane56 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist
Apples to Apples!! YES! I play that game with my friends all the time!! :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I used to back in college, not so much any more. =)
ariatwi Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
awwww,this is adorable!the girl time i mean
kittens ♥
Kawayui-Kage Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
You were right, this is great. I'm actually using it (okay, not the right word but whatever) to keep my mind off a particularly bad breakup and it's working quite well for the time being. I'll definitely be sending some fanart your way once I get out of this emotional... mess... I'm in.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I know exactly how that goes. In truth, writing it has served the same purpose in my own life. You're not the first person to tell me that this story is helping you get through a hard time, and with that being the case, it must be serving its purpose as I had hoped.

If you're just on 13, there's still plenty more to keep you going until you catch up. ;)

And that sounds awesome. Your art style would be a good fit. I very much look forward to that - please send me anything you come up with so I can add it to the collection and share. It sounds like you probably have some ideas of stuff you want to draw, but if you need any creative sparks, feel free to let me know. =)

Good luck sorting things out. I'm dealing with a lot, myself, so I know how it goes.
Kawayui-Kage Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks <3

Yeah I've actually never drawn Smellerbee so that will be a challenge.

Well time go get reading lol I don't know which chapter I stopped on last night though... hmmm...
Fallonkyra Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
this chapter made me cry. really well written. good job
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Avatarluv97 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
ah, apples to apples. such an epic game, where even milk can be harmful =P
MEl0N-l0Rd Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist crazy kid. :XD: sad though...hated to see him go in the series. I do believe i cried. Although, im suprised, now that i think about it, on how much your version matched the series. Both were hit by something...hard and in both the characters seemed to get over it really quickly. It was like, "hey. Jet died. Oh noessss! Holy crap, Appa's back! Who was that angsty kid again? No, not Zuko...". It made me so mad in the series!! :XD: LOVED Toph in this one. Overall, i really did enjoy this chapter. Maybe it's because Suki's not in it. ;)
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Suki was in this chapter. =P Just only for a bit.

Haha, yea, I just saw Jet's death last week a second time and was like, "Oh, hey, that was...sudden."
MEl0N-l0Rd Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:XD: sudden indeed. and then they just leave. it's like, oh. ok. see ya later.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yea, and Smellerbee and Longshot are all sad and crying and stuff. ^_^;
I don't even think you ever hear from Smellerbee and Longshot again, do you?
MEl0N-l0Rd Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
nope. they just fall off the face of the earth. way to fail avatar writers. :P
yanna3000 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
oh okay I was like wth? Why would Jet try to get away on a bycicle, then I read on and it says motor bike
MEl0N-l0Rd Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:rofl: "Jet!! Run away!!!" Jet: "okay!!" *hops on bicycle* ring ring! gah, that's a hilarious sight. The gang members are just staring at him like wtf....
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Hobbyist Writer

The motorcyle that's he's ridden before. I made mention of it at least a couple of times by now.

Motorcyles can be very dangerous. I know at least a couple of friends who know someone who died riding a motorcyle, and I have a friend who was in a motorcyle accident and ALMOST died.
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