Um, yeah. I'm still not exactly sure why this occurred to me, but I thought a one-shot crossover between Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Avatar:TLA would be unique and fun to write. So here we go.
All characters are the property of their respective creators and animation studios. Don't own or profit from them, never have, and never will.
"Remember how they always thought there wasn't a way to kill a toon? Well, Doom found a way. Turpentine, acetone, benzene. He calls it 'The Dip.'"
"I'll catch the rabbit, Mr. Valiant. And I'll try him... convict him...and ex-e-cute him."
A long, powerful arm covered in shaggy orange hair reached out to grasp the door handle and pulled back, and a bell chimed inside the Mexican restaurant as King Louie politely held the door open for Sokka as they stepped inside.
"Thanks Louie," the Avatar character acknowledged before getting the door for the orang as well.
As the ape waddled up behind him, the youth went up to the waitress on duty, a Hispanic "fleshy" as humans were sometimes known. She was in her mid-twenties and admittedly rather attractive.
"Table for two please," he said simply.
"Right this way," the waitress replied, leading the teen and the ape to a table.
As they sat down across from each other, the waitress handed them each a menu, asking, "Would you two gentlemen like anything to drink?"
"I'll have two tangerine Jarritos, please," the orang replied.
"And you, what would you like?" she addressed Sokka.
"A margarita," he said hopefully, adding a pleading, innocent grin.
While it was illegal for humans under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in California, the question of whether the law also applied to teenage toons like Sokka was somewhat up in the air. Some places might serve you, others might not.
Unfortunately, Sokka's reputation preceded him (There'd been an embarrassing incident once where he'd ended up trying to come onto Jem and grope her after downing several glasses of Bombay Sapphire at a club), and the waitress frowned before saying, "I'm sorry sir, but we don't serve alcohol to any minors here, human or toon."
Disappointed, Sokka slumped before grunting, "Then I'll just have a glass of Pepsi instead."
"I'll be back with your drinks in a bit then," she smiled cheerily before leaving.
"She knows you too well cos," Louie laughed once she was gone.
Sokka simply rolled his eyes before opening the menu and scrolling through the options.
The Appetizers section was an appropriate place to start.
One enticing option was the Nachos with Spicy Cheese Dip.
As he read the last word though, a here-and-gone feeling of unease was suddenly triggered in the back of Sokka's mind. It was curious, and he frowned at the thought. Why had that simple three-letter word caused him to be nervous?
Then the teen toon remembered. It was a half-formed memory of something Suki had told him once in their apartment, of a story one of her good friends, Betty Boop, had related to the Kyoshi Warrior.
It was something that had happened over sixty years ago, and involved a cold, remorseless judge who seemed human but was actually a toon himself, five toon weasels, a private detective, and a zany toon rabbit named Roger and his wife Jessica. And a terrible chemical called "The Dip."
" Louie," he then said cautiously, "what do you know about Dip?"
"I know it tastes mighty good on chips and fruit, my good fella," the orang beamed.
"No." Sokka said. "I mean the Dip."
The effect on Louie was automatic, and the orang blanched at the realization, inhaling sharply. Regaining his composure, the ape asked, "Why would you want to know about that?"
"Well," Sokka replied, "Suki once told me about how one of her friends, Betty Boop, told her about how Toontown and everyone who lived there came close to being wiped out with this Dip stuff by this evil guy who was actually a toon himself, long ago. Since you're older than I am, I thought you might know something about Dip I don't."
Louie was silent for a while, drumming his leathery fingers on the table. "I'm flattered you respect my experience and knowledge," he said at length, "but that stuff happened even before my time. Still, I can tell you this, Sokka fella," he gravely went on. "Dip is nasty stuff. It's a mixture of turpentine, benzene, and acetone from what I understand, and if we hand-drawn toons make contact with it, it's just like a human touching sulfuric acid."
The implications chilled Sokka to the marrow. His brown skin lightened as he gasped, "By all the spirits! Are you saying Louie, that this stuff actually-"
"Yes," the sober orang replied, nodding grimly. "It dissolves you. Even if you're an 'indestructable' type of toon."
With the understanding came a supreme horror and a race of revulsion bordering on nausea. Sokka felt himself sag against the back of his chair, mouth falling open in disbelief. The sheer thought nearly made him wet his loincloth.
"But-but, what human in their right mind would invent such a horrible brew? And why? I mean sure, we toons can be disruptive and a nuisance at times, but that's no excuse to just do away with one of us! Not like that!"
"It wasn't a fleshy, young'un," a deep, gravelly drawl came from Sokka's right. "It was one of our own."
Startled, Sokka whirled about to see the legendary Yosemite Sam, flowing red mustache, oversized hat, and all, sitting at the table next to them and nursing a bottle of Corona.
Instantly the Water Tribe youth went on the alert, trying to seem as respectful and inoffensive as possible. Not only did Yosemite Sam command respect by virtue of his age, he was also infamous for his very short temper and the pair of six-shooters that went with it. Even in a laid-back moment like this, he could still be unpredictable. You never knew with ol' Sam.
Right now though, Sam just laughed as he gave a quick, dismissive wave of his left hand, telling "Eh, no need to start behaving like I'm some schoolmarm with a ruler, young'n. You just keep on as you are," he told Sokka in a good-natured growl.
As the teenage toon relaxed, Louie said, "Great to see you Sam old buddy! What brings you here to this joint?"
Sam laughed again, taking a pull at his Corona before saying, "The beer and the burritos, Swinger. The mole and tamales here are pretty keen too."
"Anyway," he went on, "I couldn't help but hear our boy here start asking a few questions about that accursed witches' brew."
Turning his chair to face Sokka, Sam crossed his legs and addressed the Avatar character, enormous mustache bristling as he said gravely, "Swinger's right boy. That Dip stuff is bad news, and will kill a hand-drawn deader then a pile of dry ox bones."
"You said it was a toon that came up with that stuff," Sokka told Sam. "Wasn't he a judge too?"
"That's right," Sam confirmed. "Judge Doom, he called himself. And believe me, the name suited him," Sam added with a shudder. "I know a lot of you folks are scared of me, but I couldn't hold a candle to Doom even at my absolute nastiest."
"Didn't he disguise himself as a fleshy?" Sokka asked hesitantly, probing his memory.
"Yeah, he did," Sam nodded. "Even we toons didn't know until it was all over that he wasn't actually what he came across as."
"What was he like?" Sokka inquired.
"Terrifying, Sokka boy," the outlaw toon said simply. "He wore all black and carried a black cane that had a sword in it and a skull on its top. Black fedora, black trenchcoat, black shoes, the whole works."
"And he was grim," Sam drawled on. "Very grim. There was just something about his very presence, the way he walked and met your eyes that terrified the blazes out of you, like brutality and killing and nastiness and cruelty were all just part of a day's labor for that devil. Hell, I'd sooner trust a rattler then I would've trusted him!"
"Okkaaayyy," Sokka squeaked. "Now that's what I call one creepy toon."
"Sure made you wanna fill your britches," Sam agreed.
"But why did he invent something as horrible as Dip?"
"Partly because he just plain had a scrambled-egg mind, and partly because he was more vicious then a mountain lion," Sam told him. "But the biggest reason was that it was a way to terrorize us toons, which he felt would maintain order. And he'd use it faster than you could shout stampede too."
"That's disgusting," a sickened Sokka whispered. "I mean yeah, sometimes we toons-especially the "indestructibles" like you two-can get out of hand and up to no good at times, but we'd never harm a fleshy willingly, and all our pranks are just in good fun! It sure doesn't call for execution! And how, HOW could a toon turn on his own kind like that?"
"I don't know, Sokka boy," Sam replied, shaking his head. "No one ever will, I reckon. Maybe he spent too much time around the bad sort of humans for his own good."
"He was crazy, and that's all there is to it," Louie supplied simply.
"Yeah, and greedy as a pack rat too," Sam agreed, chugging another swig of beer. "You see, his long-term goal was to dismantle the streetcar system we had at the time, than replace it with this newfangled super road that he called a freeway and would make him rich. Unfortunately though, we toons and our community of Toontown were in his way."
"But didn't Toontown get moved anyway a long time ago? Last time I checked, there's a pretty obvious freeway there now," Sokka commented.
"Yeah, but at least the bigshots in transportation had the decency to work out a cash settlement with us toons and help us move the place a couple miles," Sam responded. "But Doom's intentions were downright sociopathic. He just wanted to mow us all down with a tank of Dip and be done with it. Something definitely not right upstairs with that toon," he grunted. "And that's saying something," he added.
"I can't believe it," a chilled Sokka said in shock. "He was willing to just slaughter hundreds of innocent fellow toons that brought so much joy to people and kids around the world, just because they were in the way of a project he was behind? Now that is pure, complete evil!"
"Sad but true. Thank Windsor Roger and especially Eddie Valiant were able to stop him and his weasel stooges in the nick of time!" Yosemite Sam exhaled gratefully.
"You can say that again," Louie heartily agreed.
"So what did Eddie do to stop Doom in his tracks?" Sokka asked.
"Well, I wasn't there, mind ya, but he busted open some valve in Doom's tank with a mallet while they were fighting, and it all poured out of the vat onto the floor, causing that no-good varmint to be killed by his own creation. The weasels all died before that, either by laughing themselves to death or taking a bath in Dip themselves, from what I was told."
"Ah, poetic justice. You've gotta love it," Sokka sighed in smug satisfaction.
"And it couldn't have happened to a nicer toon," Louie sardonically chimed in, showing his canines in a grin.
The youth and the orang were both distracted then by the return of their waitress, who set a glass and two bottles of tangerine Jarritos before Louie, and then plunked a tall glass of bubbling Pepsi in front of Sokka.
"Would you two like to start out with any appetizers?" she asked.
"I'd like a Cowboy Salsa Salad," the orangutan requested.
"I'll have Nacho-I mean, Carnita Bites with Salsa Verde," Sokka hurriedly replied.
His moment of vacillation was both understandable and forgivable.
After all, as harmless and delicious as spicy cheese sauce might be, this was one hand-drawn toon guy who'd suddenly decided he really didn't want anything to do with the concept of dip for the time being. Like, for the rest of the week.
Hope you all enjoyed it.