Mako and Bolin finally made it back home. The firebender landed face hard onto the couch while Bolin sat beside him. They could not believe the night they had.
"You think the girls will be okay?" Bolin asked.
"Not our problem now." Mako said, his voice muffled in the cousins of the seat.
"What are you talking about?"
Mako got up and began walked around the apartment, launching out in annoyance and anger. "You saw what happened back there right?!"
"Yeah, so what? Korra's a firebender, I'm sure she can explain everything."
"Explain? What, you think we'll ever see her again?"
"I hope so. I know I want to see Asami again."
Mako groaned in frustration as he face palmed himself, "Bolin, you just don't get it! Everything was going fine for us before and now these girls waltz into our lives and all of a sudden we get captured by Equalists!"
"You can't seriously blame them for this!" Bolin stood up, now becoming angry with his own brother. "If it weren't for them we'd bee exactly like Zolt right now!"
"That's another thing, you saw what Korra did! Apologizing to that sleazy slime ball?! If only she'd know the kind of person he really was then…" he stopped for a moment, remembering what she said. That Zolt and the Triads were still people. It still didn't make any sense to him, so how could she possibly feel sympathy for a criminal?
Bolin placed a hand on his brother's shoulder, "Bro, I get you're confused right now, but be grateful we're okay now. Korra and Asami saved our lives, we owe them that much."
"What do you suppose we do? Buy them flowers?"
"That's not a bad idea."
"With the money we have, I doubt it'll matter."
"I'm pretty sure money doesn't matter to them. After all, Korra gave you what she had."
And there it was, another reminder of someone showing him kindness. This really was a crazy night and he really needed to rest. Bolin yawned and stretched. "Well, I'm gonna change out of these fancy cloths and go to bed."
Bolin walked towards the bathroom to change, while Mako remained at the window, looking up at the moon. He use to love looking up at it with his mother. The young man climbed out the window and climbed up towards the roof of the building, standing on the edge beside the glass dome. He simply stood there, allowing the cool night breeze to sooth his body. As he looked up at the sky, he wondered if there was anyone up there listening, or watching him. His mother would tell him the universe was just as alive as he and anybody else, and that there was always a Light shinning the way through the darkness. A Light that is not always seen but felt in one's heart.
Mako never considered himself such a believer in invisible lights that guide people, but a lot still did. Who knows, maybe there was. So far, it was hard for him to see that truth.
I don't know if you can hear me
Or if you're even there
I don't know if you will listen
To a street-rat's prayer
Some would say that it's all in my mind
A waste to speak to you
Still I see the sky and wonder
Could mother's tales be true?
Meanwhile, Korra was also looking out her window, sitting on the sill as she looked up at the moon. Like her grandmother, she believed in the Light that guides us all. She truly believed in it, and she hoped it would guide her on her new journey. She hoped she would be a good Avatar, but she also hoped that the people of Republic City would see through the lies and hate Amon has created.
Light help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth
Love help my people
I look to you still
Help me to help them
Or nobody will
Mako remained on his place, still looking at the moon. There was so much he hoped for in life and he hoped the universe, or karma, or whoever was in charge of all of this, would someway, somehow, help him gain what he wanted.
Mako: I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for one shinning day to bless me!
Korra: I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrod
Mako: I thought we all were
The children of Light
Korra: Love help the outcasts
Children of the…
For a few moments more, the two gaze upon the horizon, completely unaware that they were gazing at one another.
Hiroshi rubbed his forehead, trying to ease his tension. He sat on the chair, behind his desk, with Asami standing before him. Hands behind her back and her head hung in shame.
"Asami, I know that you were trying to do the right thing. And, since you and nobody else got hurt, and so long as you promise never to do this again…I will shorten your grounding to one month."
"A whole month?!" Hiroshi looked at her sternly and she stood back. "That seems fair."
"Now go to bed. We both need some sleep after tonight."
"And, about what I mentioned about my friend's--"
"We'll talk about it in the morning."
"Please promise me you'll think about it. I'm fine with you punishing me but, don't punish the boys. They didn't do anything wrong and they really need the money."
Hiroshi looked into his daughter's pleading eyes. "I'll think about it…I promise."
Asami kissed her father's cheek, "Thanks. Good night."
"Good night, sweetheart." Hiroshi smiled as his daughter left. The man retired to his room when he suddenly heard his phone ring. He answered it quickly, curious as to who could be calling him at this hour. "Hello?"
"Good evening, Mr. Hiroshi. It's been a while."
Hiroshi gasped in horror. He soon recognized the voice. "How did you get this number?!"
"I have my ways." Hiroshi was just about to hang up when the voice spoke once more, "Before you hang up on me, there is something you should know…regarding your lovely daughter."
"If you even think about--!"
"Calm down, it's not her I'm after."
"Look, I already told you, I didn't want to be a part of this anymore!"
"That's one of the many things I admire about you Hiroshi. Your strong will. I assure you, no harm will come to you or your daughter…unless you agree to my terms."
"And if I refuse?"
"Then, I can only imagine what she would feel once she discovers your little secret. Or worse, was the victim of an unforeseen circumstance."
Hiroshi's eyes widened in fear, "You wouldn't dare!"
"I believe we both know, I would. I'm a very busy man Hiroshi, so make your choice."
This was the last thing Hiroshi wanted. He thought he had left this dark part of his past behind, now it was coming back to haunt him. He didn't know what to do. What else could he do?
The following morning, while eating their meals, Tenzin was reading the news paper while Korra, sitting opposite him, was feeding Fluttershy some berries, and shooting a few at Pinkie Pie, who caught them in her mouth while in mid flight. The man noticed this and sighed, placing the paper down on his lap.
"Korra, please, you need to focus."
His daughter stopped her playing, much to Pinkie's dismay as the two dragon birds rested on the table beside Korra. Tenzin was now stern serious about Korra's training.
"Now that you have accepted the responsibilities of being the Avatar, it's time we begun your training. As you know, the Avatar must mater all--"
"--all four elements of the cycle. Water, earth, fire and air." Korra finished his sentence for him.
Tenzin cleared his throat, "Yes, well. Not only that, but you must also---"
"--also learn to tap into my spiritual energy, which will activate the Avatar State, the Avatar's greatest weapon but also his greatest weakness, which I'm going to need to be careful when using it."
Tenzin narrowed his eyes and pouted in annoyance, "Stop that."
"Hey, not my fault I grew up with stories of grandpa Aang and the past Avatars. Not to mention, I've studied the forms of many bending styles and applied them to my self defense skills. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I've got at least half of this info down."
"Yes, well you may have the basic information, but you are new to bending in general. It won't be easy Korra."
"I know, but I'm ready! I know I was scared before but now I'm excited!" Korra smiled with glee, "I've always wondered what it would be like to control one element, and now I can do all four! Well, I will once I learn them, that is."
"Exactly. You need the best masters available. I, of course, will teach you airbending."
"Your aunt Kya will teach you waterbending while your grandmother can teach you the most advanced healing techniques. All that's missing now are your fire and earthbending teachers. I could ask Lin to help, though I'm not sure how she'll take the news. The less people know about this for now, the better. Last thing we need is the media at our doorstep interfering with your training."
"Good point." said Korra, "A supposed dead Avatar appearing out of the blue is definitely gonna push any other news story out of the water."
"Well, we'll figure that out latter. Right now, we focus on your water and airbending."
"Wait, at the same time?" Korra asked in disbelief.
"Yes. Korra, you were born in the south pole, so your native element will be water. It will probably be the easiest for you to learn. And since you grew up in an Air Nomad environment, I'm more than confident airbending will come naturally for you as well."
Korra cringed. While she did know a lot about her father's culture, and had studied a few air bending practice forms, and she did know about meditation…even though she preferred not to do it all that often because she was very restless. She always felt more of a water tribe of 'multi-cultural' kind of gal than just an Air Nomad.
"Well…here's hoping!" she said, trying to sound optimistic.
"Good, we will start today." Tenzin took a sip of his coffee and smiled proudly, "I can't believe it. My little girl, training to be the Avatar. Your grandfather would be so proud of you."
Korra forced a smile, "Yeah…great."
Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie chirped at one another, sharing the same concerned look as Korra
"This one's good to go!" Asami shouted from the assembly line once she was done repairing one of the cars. She jumped down from where she worked and spotted a familiar green-eyed hottie approach her. Asami smiled widely.
"What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see how you were doing and, I took a wild guess and figured I'd find you here."
Asami wiped some oil from her face, "Well, I'm glad you came by. How are you and Mako doing?"
"We're fine. Well, I'm fine at least. Mako's as…broody as ever." he smiled once Asami giggled. He had his hands behind his back the whole time. "Anyway, the real reason why I came was to bring you this. Ta-da!"
Bolin took out a single red rose in one hand and a small bag with a delicious sweet cupcake inside it. Asami graciously accepted the gifts. "Wow, that's so sweet! But, you really didn't have to."
"Are you kidding? You saved me from Amon!"
Asami blushed as she removed a stray hair from her face. "Oh, it was no big deal."
Bolin looked at her in disbelief, "No big deal, are you serious? I was totally freaking out when he was coming at me with his creepy mask going all, "I will take away your bending forever!" as he explained, he began walking in place, his hands stretched out like a zombie, which Asami tried so hard to hide her laughter. "I mean, that's some scary stuff, I still can't sleep well."
"I'm really sorry you were scared." she said sincerely. "I can only imagine what it must be like."
The two teens jolted upwards when they heard Hiroshi's voice appear from behind them. "Dad! Um, this is my friend Bolin. Bolin, this is my father; Hiroshi Sato."
Bolin was at a loss for words. He had only met the man once last night, and that wasn't exactly the best introduction. Bolin straightened himself and saluted to the man in a diplomatic fashion. "Mr. Sato, sir! It is an honor and a privilege to meet you."
Hirosho arched an eyebrow and turned to his daughter. "Is he okay?"
Asami chuckled, "He's just a bit nervous."
Her father smiled at the young boy, "Don't be, my boy. Asami told me all about you."
Bolin's eyes widened. "She did?"
"Yes. I'm glad you and your brother made it out alright after being taken by those Equalists."
"Well, we have your daughter to thank for that. She was really brave." as he said this, he smiled at Asami, making her face even redder than her lips.
"Indeed she is. Takes after her mother." the grown man gestured to his factory, "So, what do you think about my little operation here?"
"It's very impressive Mr. Sato. Sir."
"Please, call me Hiroshi. So, I understand your dirt poor, is that right?"
Bolin stiffed and gulped, "Um, well…uh…"
"Young man, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Like you, I too came from humble beginnings."
Asami rolled her eyes, "Here we go again." she muttered to herself as her father began talking in a dramatic, almost theater-like tone.
"Why, when I was your age I was but a simple shoe shiner. And all I had to my name was an idea. The Satomobile! But I was fortunate enough to meet someone who believed in me. And my work ethic. He gave me the money I needed to get my idea off the ground. And I build the entire Future Industries empire from that one, selfless loan!" Hiroshi had his arm outstretched in a dramatic fashion, making his daughter roll her eyes.
"Dad, stop bragging. You tell that story every single time."
"And it never gets old."
Bolin's eyes were wide in awe, "Wow. That really is an incredible story."
"Thank you, young man. What did you say your name was again?"
"Well, Bolin, I like the cut of your jib. Asami also told me, quite passionately, all about your success in the pro-bending ring. And about your team's current…financial stumbling block."
Asami looked at her father surprised. He did say he would think about helping the boys. Maybe he had made up his mind.
"Now, I'm not much of a pro-bending fan myself, but I understand how much it means to you and your brother. I, in good intensions, wouldn't want you to loose your chances at winning the championship just because you're short of a few yuans. That's why, I have decided to sponsor the Fire Ferrets in the tournament!"
Asami gasped happily and Bolin was wide eyed and jaw dropped. "Wait, are you serious?!"
"Dad, are you?!"
"Indeed I am. You were right Asami, these boys do deserve a chance." he smiled and laughed when his daughter hugged him tightly.
"You're the best! Thanks dad!"
Bolin, getting caught up in the moment, joined in the hug as well, "Yes! Thank you, dad! I mean, Sir!"
Despite Bolin's embarrassment, Hiroshi was perfectly fine. "There is one small catch, however. You'll all have to wear the Future Industries logo on your uniforms."
"I'll tattoo it on my chest if you want sir!"
Hiroshi laughed out loud at Bolin's spirit. "Got a sense of humor too!"
Bolin shook both Hiroshi and Asami's hands, "Thank both so much! I promise, the Fire Ferrets will make the most of this opportunity! You have no idea how much this means to us. Wait till I tell Mako, he's gonna freak out!"
"Are you crazy?!"
Bolin was right. Mako did freak out…but not in a good way.
"We got the money, we can compete!"
"Aren't you forgetting we don't have a waterbender!"
"The city's crawling with waterbenders, I'm sure we'll find a good one in time for the next match."
"How?! The next match is in two weeks, how are we suppose to find a replacement in that time, and a good one at that?"
"Lucky for you, Asami told me the best place where we can find good waterbenders. There's this place down in Kyoshi street, where tons of teenager compete in ammeter bending games. We're bound to find a good one there."
Mako sighed in defeat, "You go on ahead, I've got to get back to work." he took his bag and exited the room, not even holding on to a glimmer of hope that hey could find a new waterbending in time.
Back on the island, on the shore of the island, Kya was instructing her niece in the art of waterbending. The woman could not contain he excitement. She was going to teach her eldest niece how to waterbend. It was truly a memorable moment.
"Wow, I still can't believe it. My niece is going to learn waterbending!"
"I'm excited too. But, do you think I'll get the hang of it. I know I've studied all types of forms but, I've never applied them to bending."
Kya placed a hand on her shoulder, "Relax, you'll be fine. You're a fast learner, I wouldn't be surprised if you get it on the first try."
Korra bit her bottom lip in uncertainty. At first she was excited to learn bending at first, but now her nerves were creeping up on her. Kya took a stance and rose her arms close to her upper torso. "Let's start with the basics. This is called 'push and pull'. You push and pull, mimicking your body movements with the water. The key is the wrist movements. Fluid and relaxed."
Korra observed as Kya moved her body back and fort while waving her wrists and the water in front of her formed a small wave that moved in sync with her body. The dragon birds watched as well and eagerly awaited for Korra to do it.
Kya stopped and gestured her niece to go next. "Give it a shot."
Korra took in a deep breath and did just as her aunt did. She moved her body, back and forth, while gently moving her hips the same way Kya did. "Good form, perfect. Now, try to--"
"Hey, look!" Korra smiled with glee as the water before her began to move along with her body. It was amazing, it was like she and the water were one in the same. She couldn't believe it. "I don't believe it! I'm waterbending! I'm actually waterbending!"
Kya was dumbstruck, "Wow, I can't believe you got it so quickly."
Korra gently stopped her movements and the water stopped moving as well. The young woman jumped for joy, giggling with glee. "Did you see?! I can't believe I did that! I actually did that!"
"Okay, okay, slow your roll, honey. This is only the first step, you've still got a long way to go."
Korra composed herself, "Right, right. Sorry. Got a little excited. So, what's next?"
"This next move is a little bit more difficult. It's called 'streaming the water'." Kya moved her arms and manipulated a stream of water upwards and moved it with her arms in gentle, swift motions. "It may not seem hard at first, but it always is for beginners, so don't be disappointed if…hu?"
Kya practically dropped her stream of water in shock when she witnessed her niece get the knack of the technique in no time at all. Heck, she didn't even struggle like most would. She was moving and playing with the stream like it was a rainbow ribbon. Kya's shocked expression soon faded, turning into happiness and pride. Korra spun around once and stylishly returned the water to the sea, making it look like a snake entering the water.
"That's incredible!" Kya said proudly, "Man, I knew you were talented but this is amazing! What's your secret?"
"I don't really know. It just feels so natural to me. Yue was right, I have been preparing for this, and I didn't even know it."
"Well, I'm not surprised. Water is the element of change. Our people are capable of adapting to many different things. At this rate you'll graduate from student to teacher by dinner."
Korra smirked, "You wanna bet?"
Kya smirked in return, "Bring it."
For the rest of the day, Kya taught Korra all of the basic skills of waterbending. No matter how many times it happened, the woman continued to remain jaw dropped awe at her niece's speed at mastering the skills. She truly was a protege. Water came so naturally for her, which wasn't that much of a surprise.
Korra was impulsive, powerful, and at times unpredictable like the waves. But she was also swift, fluid and graceful. Korra had never been so excited in her life. Being the Avatar was slowly becoming more and more fun. Waterbending was truly wonderful and magical.
Kya: What I like most about rivers is,
You can't step in the same river twice
The water's always changing and always flowing
But people, I guess, can't live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe or lose our chance of ever knowing
What's around the riverbed
Waiting just around the riverbed
Korra's smile grew as her aunt taught her even more, and actually more advanced, skills that truly entranced her. She couldn't wait to see what more she could do, and what changes she could make with her new abilities. Kya had complete faith in her niece that she was going to be a wonderful Avatar.
I look once more
Just around the riverbed
Beyond the shore
Where spirits fly free
I know for sure
What you dream the day will send
Just around the riverbed
Coming for you
Korra: I feel it streaming in my heart
Flowing like a waterfall
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming?
Kya: "You shouldn't"
For a growing sturdy student
Can make strong sturdy change
I can guarantee that something will be coming
Just around the riverbed
Together: Just around the riverbed!
I look once more
Just around the riverbed
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Korra: I know for sure
What you dream the day will send
Just around the riverbed
Just around riverbed--Wow!
Korra might had gotten a bit carried away with her latest attack, for she kind of lost control and the water came splashing at her like a tsunami. The girl was now soak and wet, laying on the ground. Kya giggled as she helped her up.
"Got a little carried away there sport?"
"Maybe a little."
"And maybe it's time you took a break. We'll keep training after lunch." Kya patted Korra on the back before walking towards the Air Temple. Korra remained, moving the water back into the ocean. So far, things were going good. But this was only the first step to her training. She wondered if she would do well with the other elements.
Korra: Should I choose the smoothest course
Steady as the beating drum?
Will I manage what is to come?
Is all my dreaming at and end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the river…
She had a good gut feeling that she as going to accomplish this task.
Mako, once again, had a long day. It seemed like this was his fate. Remain stuck in a deadbeat job for the rest of his life. As he walked, his mind began to wonder off…drifting to the thoughts about Korra.
He began to feel regret for blaming her for the things that happened. Maybe he should be grateful. Maybe he should pay her a visit to say thanks. The rational thing would be to call her but he didn't know her number. Also, he wasn't sure if her father would like him visiting their home. Still, he didn't know what else to do. Bolin might have gotten them the money, but they still didn't have a bender. He assumed he was out looking for one right now.
Maybe one visit wouldn't be so bad. What harm can it do?
Korra was nearly done with her waterbending training, as her two younger sisters watched. Ikki clapped while Jinora smiled with pride. "You're doing great Korra!"
Once she was done, Korra wiped her brows, feeling satisfied with her progress. Then, Ikki noticed someone approaching them. "Who's that?"
Korra turned around and spotted a familiar tall figure walking towards them. "Mako?"
"Oooh, he's cute." Jinora said with a smirk, "Is he that handsome firebender you saved from Amon?"
Ikki began jumping with excitement, "Oh, maybe he's here to thank you! Maybe he'll ask you out!"
Korra shook her head and remained calm and collected, "Girls, why don't you go check on dinner. I'll be there in a bit." her sisters nodded and left the scene, right when Mako was now standing before her. "Hey, Mako. What brings you here?"
The young firebender scratched the back of his neck, rather nervously, before speaking. "I, um, I just wanted to come over and say….thank you, for saving me and my brother last night."
Korra crossed her arms, smirking in amusement, "Wow. You came all this way just for that?"
"Are you trying to make me regret it?"
Korra chuckled, "I'm kidding. It was no big deal, I'm sure you would have done the same thing."
Mako placed his hands behind his back and took one step back, "So…this is where you live, hu?"
"Yep. Me and my family."
"It's even bigger than I imagined."
"Well, it may be a bit boring at times, but the view really is great." the two stood there, gazing at the city, "Probably one of my favorite things about living on an island." she then turned to face him, smiling in a friendly manner, "So, Asami called me earlier and said her dad is gonna sponsor your team. Congrats!"
Mako bit his lower lip, "Yeah, well…I don't think we'll be playing anymore."
Korra looked confused, "What are you talking about?"
"We still don't have a waterbender. Ours quit at the last minute."
Korra lowered her shoulders in sadness, "I'm sorry."
"Yeah well, just my luck I guess."
Korra truly felt awful. He knew that the tournament was important to him and his brother. Then, an idea came to her mind. It was a very, very, very risky move, but she had confidence she could pull it off.
"When is your next match?"
"In two weeks."
"Okay, do me a favor and don't forfeit!"
"What? Why? It's already over."
"I think I may have found you a replacement."
"Yeah. But first." Korra looked around for a few moments before leaning in closer to Mako, standing on her toes to reach him, and whispered in his ear, "Can I trust you?"
Feeling Korra's breath down his neck made Mako feel hot under his collar, "What?"
"Can I trust you?" she repeated. Korra lowered herself down and looked deep into Mako's eyes and he into hers. He could tell that she was waiting for an answer. After everything she has done for him, how could he not give her his trust? She saved his life, and his brother's. He no longer had any doubts. This girl, strange as she may be, was his friend. And he liked having her around.
"Yeah. You can."
Korra smiled her most dazzling smile. "Tomorrow, noon, at the gym, I'll meet you there."
"What's going on? Why won't you tell me--"
"Korra! Korra, time for dinner!"
The two teens flinched when they heard the sound of Tenzin's voice. The air nomad appeared and his eyes widened when he saw the boy. Korra properly introduced them. "Dad, you remember Mako, right?"
The young firebender extended his hand to shake Tenzin's. "Good to see you again, sir."
Tenzin, however, crossed his arm, eying the young man sternly. "What brings you here, young man?"
"I, um, I just wanted to thank Korra personally for saving me and my brother."
But Tenzin remained scornful, making Korra roll her eyes. "Dad, knock it off!" she then turned to Mako, taking his arm, "Would you like to stay for dinner?"
Tenzin's eyes widened, "What?!"
Korra narrowed her eyes at her father. Mako then politely declined, "That's very nice but, I should probably be getting back. Bolin's probably home by now. Thanks anyway." Mako bowed in respect to the airbender and walked away. Tenzin turned his gaze to his daughter.
"Who is he?"
"Dad, will you relax? He's not such a bad guy." Korra then walked towards the temple to eat dinner, leaving Tenzin to face palm himself.