When Jet sees the scar on another refugee's face, he is both appalled and drawn. It's a really ugly scar, taking over half the man's face and distorting one eye and ear. All red and brown and broken. He isn't sure why but all he can think about for five minutes straight is that he wants to touch it. He's pretty sure the guy would not approve of this. He stands like there's a pole up his ass and an apple under his chin to keep his face high. The old man he travels with is quite a bit more relaxed and it's pretty damn obvious they're close. Father and son, maybe. Right ages for it, even if the old guy is really old. Jet's met some pretty kick ass old people, so he wouldn't put it past the guy to be able to kick his son/relative/companion's ass. Not that he could beat Jet, of course. Jet is the shit.
It is while staring at the young man's face and his horrific scar that Jet finds himself walking over and talking with them. The two claim to be refugees from some tiny little farming village but Jet smells a foul. The scar guy can't lie his way out of a water jug if his life depended on it. And he sure as shit doesn't move like a farmer. Jet pegs him as some kind of soldier or soldier in training. Maybe even a bodyguard to some royal punk. The guy, introduced as Li, certainly has the grim expression of a body guard. Whatever the real story, Jet doesn't feel like prying. Not yet anyway.
They have fun on the ship, at least. Li is… Well, frankly, Li is fucking hilarious. The guy has absolutely no social skills. And he isn't all that bright, either. Jet's pretty sure by now that Li had been a bodyguard. The guy is pretty much useless for anything else. He sure as hell can't take a joke. But that just makes Jet have more fun messing with him. He likes the way Li blushes when he's pissed off and how he gets so frustrated he can't even talk anymore. Li probably would never be able to bluff anything. He's a living tell. Jet, of course, takes advantage of this and beats him mercilessly at any betting game he can remember. They don't play for keeps, of course, but it's pretty damn funny how pissed Li gets at his constant losses. He doesn't get it and that just makes it even funnier.
It's funny enough that Jet is almost okay with Li saying no to joining him. Almost. It's still a huge disappointment. Jet heads back with Smellerbee and Longshot and wonders about what could have been.
Settling into Ba Sing Se is… okay, so Jet doesn't really settle so much as stop killing people. A promise is a promise. He still moves around way too much and sleeps on rooftops more than in the tiny apartment he shares with Smellerbee and Longshot. Jet just can't deal with the confinement. Everything is too small here, too cramped. The refugees are packed like pickled fish in a jar. Jet has to get out so he roams the streets restlessly, looking for something to give his life meaning. There are no Fire Nation to fight here and he's not really allowed to protect anybody. There are soldiers for that, badly trained as they probably are. They didn't live through the school of hard knocks that the Freedom Fighters did.
He's wandering when he finds Li again. Bitchy, awkward Li. Jet doesn't know what started it but he has fun watching Li flush and grumble at his uncle Mushi. He figures out pretty quick that they're working there and, okay, so Li serving tea is probably the funniest thing on the planet. He's so stiff and holier than thou and so not a servant. Li's getting the idea that the kid was probably some kind of noble before the Fire Nation trampled on everything. Of course, thinking about what all Li must have lost is kind of a downer. So Jet doesn't. Instead, he stops staring through the window and walks right in. He doesn't have much money but it's at least enough for some tea. Smellerbee might kill him if she found him wasting money like this. It wasn't as if they could just live off the land anymore.
And that's how it starts. Li's suspicious, of course. There are definitely some secrets hiding behind that scar of his, but he lets Jet worm his way in as a friend anyway. Mushi seems rather approving of it. Jet doesn't really know what to do with the old guy but hey, any guy who sneaks him a tea cake here and there is all right by him.
It's after two weeks of near daily visits between side jobs that Jet realizes maybe he's a little too interested in Li. He's started dropping by the shop or Li's apartment just to glance in the windows to make sure Li and Mushi are still there and breathing, when he doesn't have time to chat. The roof of Li's building becomes the one he roosts in most often. It's safe, somehow, and Jet wonders if he's going soft for wanting that. But maybe it's okay to go soft. They're safe in Ba Sing Se and they're not supposed to be fighting anymore. It's someone else's job.
But he's restless. Ba Sing Se is so slow and steady, even in the refugee district. He's itchy and irritated and there's nothing to take it out on. Picking fights with Li, Longshot, or Smellerbee is absolutely not happening. They're all just as stressed. It's like they can feel something is going to happen, something big. Something Jet wants to dread but he doesn't. He can't stand this simple life much longer. Even getting under Li's skin and annoying his sensibilities isn't much of a balm, funny as it is. Besides, Li's getting a bit off his high horse as time goes on and he's an awkward kid instead of the pissy noble he once was.
When the big event comes, it comes quietly. No one expects the Fire Nation's quiet infiltration. That's not how Fire Nation does things! But suddenly, the city is overrun with soldiers coming out of the woodworks everywhere. As he's fighting, Jet wonders if his wish and need for something to change caused this. Then he realizes he doesn't really believe in fate and watches a neck break while he slings his hook violently and Li slices through bodies at his side.