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November 23, 2009
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(Contains: sexual themes and strong language)
Chief Hakoda watched as Bato placed the final piece on his pyramid of empty shot glasses. All six belonged to the dark-haired warrior. More were sure to come before the night was over.

"Ya know what the problem with women is?" Bato asked without taking his eyes from his creation. "They care too damned much about the little details. Mess one of 'em up and..." He yanked one of the glasses from the bottom, sending them crashing to the table. "Everything goes to shit. They'll never let it go."

Not again. Hakoda hated seeing his best friend like this.

He glanced around at the other tables, thankful the majority of them were empty now that the orchestra was playing. The ball guests had migrated toward the dance floor, the only other souls present in the back of the throne room being Fire Lord Iroh and four senior members of the White Lotus. Judging from the amount of empty glasses at their table, all five men were as inebriated as Bato, thank the Spirits.

But Hakoda knew his friend would be flagged tonight regardless of where they happened to be sitting. If Bato wasn't trying to drown his past between a woman's legs, then he was drowning it in drink.

Hakoda cleared his throat. "Maybe you should lay off the vodka for the rest of the evening."

"I mean, what'sa big deal about a name, anyway?" Bato went on, ignoring him as he started construction on a shot glass tower. "They're justa buncha letters, am I right?"

Ah... his date.

Bato's woman of the week had canceled on him a half hour prior to the ball, the reason being he'd accidentally called her by the wrong name. By the way she'd raced out of the guesthouse with her hair in disarray and her clothes disheveled, Hakoda had a good idea what they were doing when the name was spilled. Not the first time Bato had come down with a case of foot-in-mouth with a woman in his bed.

Bato still hadn't come clean over what name he'd called her. He never did.

Hakoda only hoped it wasn't Miksa's.

~~~

Bato frowned as he placed the final piece on his shot glass pyramid. Six drinks and all they'd gotten him was twenty bronze pieces lighter.

"Ya know what the problem with women is?" he asked his friend of thirty-four winters. "They care too damned much about the little details. Mess one of 'em up and..." He yanked a glass from the bottom, sending the rest to the table with a satisfying crash. "Everything goes to shit. They'll never let it go."

Hakoda remained silent, but Bato hardly expected him to spout off an agreement. His chief crawled into a hole the day their wives died, cutting himself off from feeling anything for another woman. Hiding his pain under the mantle of leadership.

Bato wondered how Hakoda even came up with his Operation Procreation, Project Broodmare, or whatever the hell the plan was called. It all boiled down to whipping it out for the good of their tribe. Sounded easy enough.

Too bad it would never work, at least not for Bato. Not if he had to get married to do it.

Hakoda cast a nervous glance at the table of old fart White Lotuses--probably embarrassed now that he was a big shot world leader--and cleared his throat. "Maybe you should lay off the vodka for the rest of the evening."

Riiight... not gonna happen.

He wasn't nearly drunk enough. It was still there. The emptiness.

Needing a distraction, Bato started stacking the glasses one on top the other. M... I... "I mean, what'sa big deal about a name, anyway?" K... S... "They're justa buncha letters, am I right?" He crowned his creation with a fifth glass.

A...

Miksa.


The most important letters of his life.

Not a day went by when she didn't haunt his mind, but the images she left him weren't the ones he'd wanted to remember. Hollow blue eyes fixed in permanent horror at an invisible attacker. An abdomen ripped open, spilling blood on their bedroom floor. Their child lying lifeless beside her, the cord still attached to its mother...

Both of them... gone.

Bato's vision blurred as he spotted a tray full of freshies moving their way.

Nope. Definitely not gonna happen.
Update 11/22/10 - More polishing. Because stalling seems to be what the muse is good at this week.

Update 11/29/09 - I've revised a bit to, hopefully, make their backstory a little bit clearer. These two are from a series I'm writing, so they have a lot of :poo: going on in their pasts.

Just a little something for the latest :iconwriters-workshop: exercise--third person limited POV. In this, you write a scene in third limited then redo the same scene but in the head of another character.

This little spin off isn't from the Night Duty canon, but the Water Tribe Romance one. Mature for language and sexual themes, because I just can't help myself.

Crits and comments are appreciated. Enjoy!
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:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, yeah I totally had to read the gallery description to realize what was going on in the second half ('cause I'm oblivious, not that you didn't do a good job writing both perspectives) I'm totally going to need to start the Water Tribe Romance story now...

I thought this was wonderfully done. I really liked getting into their heads and the different things that were going through their minds. It really put a different spin on the dialogue too. Poor Bato :cries: That's horrible! You're so evil to your men... :no:

BTW I found this one through #TheWritersMeow ;p
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:iconkira73:
Kira73 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Gah, WTR was my first foray into writing. Half of it reeks of suckage. Half doesn't. But it's done, which is something I can't say for the rest of my stories. :lol:

Thanks. :)
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:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Lol, Yeah that's how I feel about The Resented... I actually took it down 'cause I was so blah about it. :XD: Knowing you though and what you consider 'rough' I probably won't notice a thing, lol.
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:iconkira73:
Kira73 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I've considered taking WTR down, but I have a few chaps of the sequel started. And since it's a fanfic, the Avagroupies will kill me.
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:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Lol, I'm sure they would. It's hard to find a good fanfiction. You're killing me with Night Duty :eager: But I will wait patiently like a good little watcher! :nod: :)
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:iconmasumikasoko:
MasumiKasoko Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009
I looove this piece. I'm a big Avatar fan, so I found it fantastic how you took these sort of simple characters from the show and added so much dimension to them.
Also, I was taken aback by the harshness of this story compared to the show, but in a good way. A really good way. =)
I don't really have any good critiques for this. Great writing! Can't wait to read more!
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:iconkira73:
Kira73 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :D I've been writing about the adults for a while. The kids got too much attention. The Water Tribe men (and Ozai) are my faves. I've kicked out a dozen or so OCs too. All the fics are pretty 'harsh', to put it lightly. :lol:
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:icongirlwithahat:
GirlWithAHat Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I enjoyed reading that, you have a very good writing style. :)

The only thing that got me confused was Bato's POV. Especially the part about his chief. That would be Hakoda? Because he was introduced as his friend and you didn't mention very clearly that he's also a chief.
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:iconkira73:
Kira73 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. :D

I see what you mean. I'll stick something in the first POV to indicate he's a chief.

Thanks for reading and the feedback.
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:icongirlwithahat:
GirlWithAHat Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :)
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