"Shush! Asami, will you keep it down!"
Korra was talking with her friend on the phone. While Korra was in her room, Asami had to hide in her closet to talk with her friend. If her father caught her talking she would be in big trouble. "I'm sorry, it's just, are you crazy? You've only just now started waterbending."
"And I'm really good at it! Look, if I practice every single day for the next two weeks, I'll be golden."
"And if you're not?"
"I know you're worried, but I have a good feeling about this. I know I can do it."
"Does your dad know?"
"What are you nuts? He'd kill me!"
"So, you're just going to sneak out, again, and play at a pro-bending match without telling him…again?." Asami said sarcastically.
"No, I'm going to tell him…eventually."
"Look, I'll figure it out, okay. Good night."
"Good luck." Asami hung up and sighed, "She's toast."
Korra groaned as she face palmed herself, "I'm toast."
Korra and Tenzin walked outside underneath a wooden shed as the adorable flying ring-tailed lemurs that flew by as well. Today, was Korra's first day of airbending training. And, even though she would never say it to her father, she was pretty nervous. Tenzin, on the other hand, was beaming with excitement.
"I still can't believe it! My little girl, learning how to airbend. Oh, if only your grandfather could you now, he'd…" he quickly stopped on his tracks, but his daughter had stopped the minute he mentioned 'grandfather'.
Korra sighed sadly, "You know, maybe we should leave airbending for latter. I really should practice my waterbending more." the poor child was worried she wasn't going to be able to master the element of air so quickly as she did water. Despite her air nomad upbringing, she was still far from being an actual airbender.
Tenzin walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Nonsense." he said, "You're just a little nervous is all, that's perfectly alright. You just need to be patient. Often the element that's the most difficult to for the Avatar to master is the one most opposite to the Avatar's personality. For Aang, it was earthbending"
"Yeah. Well, I'm about as opposite an airbender as you can get" Korra said sadly as she glanced to the ground.
"Korra, you are the brightest student I have ever had. You'll be alright." he smiled, which made Korra feel more relaxed. "Let's begin your first lesson."
She followed her father up to where stood the familiar large gates with air symbols on them. Waiting for them were Jinora, Ikki and Meelo. Ikki was jumping and shouting excitedly, "Korra's gonna airbend! Korra's gonna airbend!"
Korra's eyes widened in surprise, "Wait, I'm going to practice on the gates? I thought we were going to do practice forms or meditation or something."
The gates were a time honored toll that taught the most fundamental aspect of airbending. Jinora, Ikki and Meelo practiced on it when they were first learning, Tenzin used it when he was young, and now it was Korra's turn…though, rather late.
Jinora smiled encouragingly at her older sister, "Don't worry Korra, it's easy. You remember how it goes right?"
"Yeah, you yield your way through the gates, get to the other side without touching them. I was there when you kids first did it."
"And now you get to do it too!" Ikki said excitedly.
But Korra was very well aware that the task was not as easy as it looked. For one thing, when it came to airbender beginners, avoiding the gates was not the issue…it was avoiding them while they spun around. That was the tricky part.
Tenzin stood in an airbending stance as he twisted and turned his hands and he thrusted them forwards, creating a powerful burst of air. His coat flapping in the wind as the gates began to spin around rapidly. Tenzin released a small leaf from his hand which them began to move swiftly through the gates.
"The key is to be like the leaf. Flow with the movement of the gates. Jinora will demonstrate."
Jinora headed to the gates and passed through them with complete ease by moving in swift fluid motions, rapidly switching directions each time one of the spinning gates came near her. She moved just like…well, a leaf.
"Airbending is all about spiral movements." Tenzin instructed, "When you meet resistance you must be able to switch direction at a moments notice"
Korra watched in amazement at the way the young girl moved so gracefully through the contraption without a single problem. Once Jinora was out she unleashed a powerful wind to make the gates spin around once again. It was now Korra's turn to give it a try. The young Avatar looked on in determination.
"Let's do this."
Korra ran all full speed toward the gates, but the minute she stepped foot there, she let out a cry in pain. She was already colliding against the fist gate she encountered. She slammed right into the next one, and the next, and the next…and the next. You get the idea.
Tenzin and the ponies all winced as they watched the poor girl struggle. After a couple of more hits to the side, and to her face, Korra was tossed out on her behind. But she was not going to quit. She ran into the gates once more, she managed to avoid the first two gates but collided into the next one. This same routine continued for a while. Try as Korra may, she just kept on getting hit. Everywhere she turned it was, BAM!, SLAM! and OW!
"Don't force your way through" Jinora tells her, just as Korra got hit again.
"Dance, dance like the wind" said Ikki. Just as Korra got hit again.
"Be the lief" Meelo said while waving his arms in a strange, almost unrealistic fashion. Just as Korra got hit…again.
Finally, Korra got hit in the face one last time, the poor girl groaned in exhaustion and spun around on her own axis before falling on her back. She had two black eyes and could barely stand up. Her siblings hovered over her, looking in sympathy.
Jinora smiled awkwardly, "I, really thought you would get it that time, he, he, he"
Korra groaned in frustration as she stood up, rubbing her head. Tenzin helped her stand up. "That…wasn't so bad."
"Can I take a break already?"
"All right. Drink some water, wash your face and we'll try again in a bit."
Korra walked off, rubbing her sore back. This was going to be a long day. But she knew she needed to meet up with the guys at the arena at noon. She promised.
Asami was reading a magazine when she saw her friend, soaking wet and climbing up the docks. She helped her stand up and Korra waterbender the liquid from her cloths.
"Wow, you really got the hang of that waterbending." Asami said impressed.
"Thanks. Are the boys here?"
"Good. Come on!" Korra dragged Asami by the arm, and the heiress felt her arm would rip off due to her friend's strength.
Bolin and Mako awaited patiently in the gym once the girls showed up. Bolin immediately smiled when he saw the raven-haired woman.
"Hi, Bolin." she smiled sweetly, making him blush.
Mako's eyes quickly landed on Korra, who looked like she really wanted to tell him something. He crossed his arms, eyeing her suspiciously, "So, you're being awfully cryptic asking to meet us here in our own gym."
Korra winced, "Yeah, well, you see…" she took in a deep breath before continuing, "Okay, look, I'm gonna tell you guys something but it's very, very, very, very important you don't---" before she could continue, Asami quickly covered her mouth, chuckling nervously in front of the boys.
"Could you give us a moment?" it was now her time to drag Korra away. Once they were a few feet away, she whispered to her friend, "Okay, how can I say this tactfully…you've caught a bad case of the stupid!" she said in a hushed angry tone.
"I thought you were on my side."
"I was kinda hoping you would have an epiphany. Serves me right for trusting your gut instincts."
Korra narrowed her eyes in annoyance, "Look, I know it's risky but they need my help. Besides, they can be of great help in my training too."
"You don't mean--"
Asami bit her bottom lip in uncertainty. It was important for Korra to master the four elements, and from what they had seen in the ring, these guys have got some serious skills.
"Besides, don't you trust Bolin?"
Yeah, Korra had her right where she wanted her. Of course Asami trusted Bolin, why wouldn't she? She realized that maybe Korra was right and they should trust them. Besides, they could serve as great allies to their secret. Asami finally complied and Korra addressed to the boys again.
"Okay, as I was saying."
Mako rose his hand, "Sorry to interrupt but, I thought you said you found us a replacement waterbender."
"I'll get to that in a minute, but first, I owe you boys an explanation." she fiddled with her fingers as the two brothers exchanged curious expressions. "Okay, first of all, just how much do you know about the Avatar?"
Mako arched an eyebrow but complied, "Only that he's suppose to master all four elements and bring balance to the world. Everybody knows that story."
"But ever since Aang died nobody ever found the next one." Bolin concluded, "The whole world thought the cycle was broken."
Korra fiddled with her fingers as she walked around the gym, "Well, what if I told you it wasn't exactly true."
Now the brothers were even more confused. "What's this got to do with our replacement?" Mako asked, already getting a tad impatient.
"Okay, bare with me. Remember when I firebended in front of you the other night?"
Korra gulped as she began moving her hand in swift, fluid motions. At first Mako was confused as to what she was doing, until Bolin tapped on his shoulder. His younger brother's jaw was dropped and his eyes were wide in awe…and that was when Mako saw it.
In the gym, they had barrels of water Hasook once used to practice with in the gym. Only now, for the first time in weeks, the water was moving again. A long stream of water came rising up and Korra moved her arms and body, synchronizing with it as it moved. The boys were dumbfounded. They didn't know what to say. Asami stood there, completely calm, smiling at them.
Korra gently placed the water back into the barrel and the boys were starring straight at the girl with the white streak, who held her hands behind her back, nervously awaiting their reply.
Bolin was the first to react, nearly screaming until Korra stopped him. "Please don't freak out!"
His mouth was still wide open but he stopped his could-have-been scream. Mako's mouth was open as well, but not as wide as Bolin's. They could not believe what they had just seen. The girl who firebended in front of them two nights ago…had just waterbended in front of them. So many questions were going through their minds right now.
Bolin finally closed his mouth and tried to act cool, "I--I'm not freaking out, why would I be freaking out? I'm just, really curious about your bending and--wow! How long have you been doing that? Am I right Mako?…Mako?"
"She waterbended." his eyes were still wide and he was literally frozen. "I didn't see that coming. She can actually waterbed." he then grabbed Bolin's shoulder, shouting frantically, "Why did she just waterbed?!"
Korra removed a stray hair from her face, "It's not just water and fire I can bend."
The dragon birds were settled on the window, hight up on the gym's wall, as Korra and her friends sat on the floor. The brothers were still trying to process everything. Bolin placed his palm over his fingers in a 'time out' gesture.
"Whoa, whoa, time out! Let me get this straight. You were kissed by the moon spirit ,which was what caused your hair to turn white, which actually made your powers, in terms of a better word, 'sleep' for seventeen years because you're….the Avatar?"
Korra shrugged, finally calmed that she had told them everything. "That about sums it up."
Bolin blinked twice before suddenly kneeling before Korra like she was royalty, catching everyone by surprise. "Your majesty! I gravel at your feet!"
"Bolin, stop it." Korra insisted, feeling embarrassed enough by the attention.
Asami placed a hand on his back, "And it's not 'gravel', it's 'grovel'." she corrected.
Mako ran his fingers through his dark spiky hair, "This unbelievable. It's the biggest discover in decades! Wait until the whole world finds out!"
Korra immediately stood up, "No! Nobody can know about this! Not yet."
Mako stood up as well, "What are you talking about? With you around the city has a chance against Amon."
"You don't understand. I still have to master the elements first. By far, I've pretty much mastered waterbending since it's my native element, but I still haven't matered fire, earth or air."
Asami stood up as well, "Besides, if everyone already knew who Korra really was, there would be reporters and cameras following her everywhere. And if Amon finds out who she really is---"
"--he'll stop at nothing to get to her." Mako concluded, having finally realized why they could not reveal the truth. Not yet. "Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away."
"So, can I trust you to keep this secret?" Korra asked, a hint of hope in her voice.
The shimmering of her eyes was enough to convince him how much this meant to her. He nodded his head. "Yes."
Korra and Asami smiled with glee before hugging and jumping excitedly. Once they stop, Korra turned to Mako once more, "Oh, about your replacement waterbender."
Now there was when Mako drew the line. "Whoa, whoa, slow down there. You just said you started learning waterbending. This tournament is the big leagues. We can't afford to have beginners."
Korra and Asami shared the same cocky grins. "You wanna see what I can do?" Korra said rather smugly.
Mako has seen this side of Korra before…her confident and assertive side. He knew he shouldn't mess with her now. Still, he wasn't afraid, which was rather new for Korra. No other guy would show such backbone when it came to her standing her ground. But Mako did. She had to admit, it fascinated her indeed.
"Okay, blue eyes. Why don't you show me what you got."
The dragon birds chirped in excitement was Korra proudly stood her ground, ready to fight the firebender while their companions stood on the sidelines.
"Those two are crazy." said Bolin.
"You have no idea." said Asami
The firebender had never seen a more confident sparkle in anyone's eyes, not even in his own brother. He had to mentally remind himself that she was the opponent and so he unleashed the first attack, but Korra easily, and nimbly, dodged the attack. She bended the water from the barrels and attacked him with her water bullets. The same attack Kya taught her. It was her favorite move. It was direct and effective. Mako easily dodged the attacks and aimed another attack at Korra. The young woman had years of self defense training, so dodging attacks were a walk in the park for her. She leaped up, with her water tentacles around her arms, landed behind Mako and used her tentacles to knock him down on his face. For good measure, she froze his legs onto the floor.
Bolin and Asami's mouths were wide open in awe, and the dragon birds had their beaks down as well. Asami closed Bolin's mouth and they both cheered for Korra. She returned the water to the barrels and Mako melted the ice to free him. She helped him up and he accepted the offer before rubbing his wrists.
"Not bad. Not bad at all. You got the talent, but you're still a rookie."
Korra crossed her arms, "Oh, and I suppose you could teach me, oh great master?" she said in a teasing tone.
"Well, I can show you the basics on how to survive in a real match."
"I'm a fast learner. So, what do you say?"
The room was silent for a moment. Bolin and Asami certainly believed in Korra, and Mako was aware she was gifted. With her rapid learning and determination, and Asami's money, it seemed like their luck was changing. He extended his hand for her to shake.
"Welcome to the Fire Ferrets…Avatar Korra."
Korra gasped happily and took his hand, shaking it with much enthusiasm, "Yes! Thank you! You won't regret it!"
Korra released his hand once she realized she had squeezed it a bit too hard. Bolin smiled happily, "Congrats new teammate! Anything you need, just name it!"
"Actually, there is one other favor I was hoping to ask."
"I still haven't found a fire or earthbending teacher yet, and you guys sure know your stuff, so…"
The boys knew where this was going and Bolin couldn't be more excited. "No way! Me, teach the Avatar earthbending?! Somebody pinch me!--Ow!" he was indeed pinched, but it was by Pinkie Pie, who chirped before flying off. "Not even gonna question it. We're in, right Mako?"
The firebender opened his mouth until Korra stopped him, "That's all I will ask of you. Promise."
"Well then…we've got a long way to go."
And so it began. With Tenzin, Korra trained airbending and with the boys, she trained fire and earth. With Kya, she still practiced her waterbending. Everyday, Korra trained for hours in the day and night, took a good night sleep and continued the routine. She did not stop. For now, she mastered a few basic fire and earth moves, but she mainly focused on her waterbending, which she mastered in no less and five days. However, while the other three elements were alright, for some reason, airbending proved to be her hardest. But Tenzin was not one to give up on her.
Tenzin: Let's get down to business
To defeat Amon
Water, earth and fire, but there's still just one
He signed seeing his daughter hit herself with the gates again, making her more and more frustrated.
It's the hardest task you'll ever faced
But you can bet before we're through
I will make a master out of you
He kindly assisted her up, trying his best to be gentle and encouraging. But after she trained, she would say she was going to practice at the gym with her new friends. She never told him about secretly mastering the other two elements. Since Korra had learned various bending movements for her fighting style, it was a tad easier for her to get the moves and attacks down.
For today, Mako was teaching her a basic firebending move. He punched and unleashed a flame from his fist.
Mako: Tranquil as a foret
But on fire within
Once you find your center
You are sure to win
Korra took her stance and imitated Mako. But she was a tad frustrated when she only unleashed a small flame. She just wasn't feeling the moo like from the previous night. Then, Mako had an idea.
You're a spineless, pale, pathetic kid
And you haven't got a clue
This infuriated Korra and she did the attack again, this time unleashing much more powerful flame. Not as large as Mako's yet, but close. She smiled with glee at her process.
Somehow I'll make a champ
Out of you
Korra thanks Mako by wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him. Mako wasn't use to this kind of physical displays of effecting. Especially from a girl. It certainly made his face turn red.
Korra continued to struggle with airbending even though she was excelling with waterbending. This was becoming very infuriating for her.
Korra: I'm never gonna catch my breath
Gotta stay with father's teachings
But these gates have me on the edge!
Never gonna give up the fight
No matter what may weight me
Just Amon, I will have the advantage
While she was struggling with air, she was having a blast with the other elements. Bolin had taught her how to move the earth disks into a net and she was improving with her firebending. Now, she was learning how to ignite it with passion and thrive rather than anger, which was what fueled it before.
I must be light as flying lemur
I must calmer than most by far
Must keep temper and fear no other
And soon, I may be
The next great Avatar
Tenzin: Time is racing towards us
Till Amon comes forth
Take to heart your training
And you'll brave the storm
Mako: He will never have his way with us
Because you'll know what to do
Tenzin: I will make a master
Out of you
While Korra was determined to succeed, Tenzin was slowly loosing his patience with her constant failures and running off. Mako, on the other hand, was becoming more and more intrigued with Korra's fast progress. And the incredibly rapid way she was sneaking into his heart.
Together: Must be light as flying lemur
I must calmer than most by far
Must keep my temper and fear no other
Korra: And soon I will be
The next great Avatar!
Korra and Mako unleashed a simultaneous fire attack and the young woman jumped up with joy. "Woo-hoo! Nailed it!"
Mako was panting, drips of sweat falling from his brows. "I gotta say, I'm impressed with how far you've come in only two weeks."
"I know." then Korra realized, "Wait, two weeks already?"
"That means the match is tomorrow night!"
"Wow…time really flew by."
"Yeah, I know." Mako wiped his face with a towel and Korra drank from her water bottle.
"I can't thank you enough."
"Don't thank me just yet." he said, "I still haven't taught you the really advanced stuff."
"Well, I'm sure I can get the hang of it--Wow!" Korra's foot slipped on some of the water that was still on the floor from her first training section. Mako instinctively stretched out his arms and caught her in the nick of time before she fell.
Korra adjusted herself while Mako kept her steady. His arms were around her waist and her hands were placed on his chest, feeling the slow up and down movements of his breathing. Korra looked up at Mako and he lode straight into her shimmering blue eyes. They had never been this close before, or for such a longer period of time. For a moment, it was as if time has stood still. Korra's face felt hotter than before and her heart was racing like crazy. The same could be said for Mako, he feared she would hear his rapid heartbeat with her hands on his chest like that. Korra was the first to snap out of it and gently separated herself from him.
"Um, thanks." she said, bashfully rubbing her left arm. Mako shook his head, snapping himself awake.
"Uh…forget it." he said casually.
This moment was very awkward for the two. They had no idea what to do or say next. All Korra knew was that she needed to get out of there. Now.
"Uh, I gotta head back home to train with dad. See ya!" Korra quickly took her gym bag and walked out of the gym, waving goodbye to Mako. Once she was gone, his brother Bolin arrived. Placing his arms behind his neck, trying to act casual.
"So, Mako. There she goes. Korra. The girl who was just here. With you. All alone in the gym. Just you and her. Two alone people. Together…alone."
Mako arched an eyebrow in annoyance, "What's your point?"
Bolin face palmed himself, "Oh come on Mako! You're a lot of things but stupid aint one of them." Mako ignored him and continued drinking his bottle of water. But Bolin was not done yet. "So, what do you think of Korra? In a, girlfriend sort of way."
"She's great." he responded truthfully, "Got a lot of talent in being a pro-bender."
"And, don't you find her…you know…attractive?"
Mako's face immediately became red. "I suppose she's kinda pretty." he said as casually as he could.
"'Kinda'? You just said she was 'great' like two seconds ago."
"Yeah, Korra's a great athlete and Avatar and stuff but, I don't know if she's really girlfriend material, she's more like a pal and, wait why are you asking me this stuff? I thought you had a thing going with Asami."
"I do, but I don't want my big brother to feel left out."
"And your idea is to set me up with Korra? That's crazy!"
"Bro, you're nuts! You and Korra are perfect for each other, just like Asami and I are! She's strong, I'm strong. She's fun, I'm fun. She's beautiful…I'm gorgeous!"
Mako rolled his eyes, "And you're so sure Korra's the girl for me?"
"Oh, yeah. She's loads of fun, and you're not fun at all!" he formed the shape of a heart with his hands, "She completes you!"
Mako then made the same heart hand gestures as well, "And you completely, creep me out!"
Bolin rolled his eyes as his brother began walking away. "Okay, I don't care what you say, I know you like her. You just wont' admit it."
Mako stopped on his tracks and turned to face Bolin. "Look, even if I did like her, which I don't, it just isn't smart to date a teammate. Especially during the tournament. Keep your head out of the clouds and your priorities straight."
Bolin rolled his eyes as his brother left the arena and his pet ferret climbed up his shoulder, "Yeah, yeah, I know." he took Pabu into his hands, "You know what I'm talking about Pabu. I'm talking about real love."
Korra grew more and more irritated with these gates. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how patient she tried to be, she still kept getting her butt kicked by wood.
"Patience Korra!" her father instructed. But one last hit on the back from the gates and at this point, Korra had had enough.
After so many days of holding it in, Korra finally released how she felt about these gates. Sparks of amber ignited in her hands and she unleashed a remarkable display of her firebending powers. The impact blasted the gates off of their axis, causing them to break and be spread all across the floor. Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki and Meelo stood them in awe. They always knew Korra had a fiery temper at times, but now with her firebending, that was an understatement. Korra's bending reflected her emotions, and fire was no exception.
With her hair a tangled mess, and the flames still surrounding her, it didn't take long for Korra to realize what she had done. She knew her father would not be happy about this.
"That…was a two thousand year old historical treasure." after days of being patient, much like his daughter, his anger finally boiled over. "What is wrong with you?!"
"There's nothing wrong with me!" Korra protested, "I've been practicing just like you taught me! I memorized all the practice forms, I've listened to your teachings, I've done the work, but it isn't sinking in, okay! It hasn't clicked like you said it would!" at the last part, Korra looked down in distraught, feeling disappointed in herself.
"Korra, this isn't something you can force. If you would only listen to me--"
"I have been! But you know what, maybe the problem isn't me, maybe the reason why I haven't been able to make a single measly puff of air is because you're a terrible teacher!"
With her fists clenched, Korra ran off. She hurried to her room and slammed the door before sulking down and crying. She felt so angry she blew up at her own father. All of this was too much for her. Far too much.
That evening, Pema placed the dinner plates in order. "Okay, everyone here?" she quickly realized this was not the case. "Wait. Where's Korra?"
Tenzin placed a hand over his forehead, already feeling stressed. "Honestly, Pema, I am at my wits end with that girl. I've tried everything I could but I just don't know how to get through to her."
Bumi was already munching on his food, "Maybe you were too hard on her." he said with his mouth full, much to Kya's disgust.
"I wasn't!" Tenzin said in defense, "I was teaching her the same way dad taught me."
"Maybe that's the problem." said Kya, "She may be the reincarnation of Aang, but she's still our Korra. Maybe you need to find another way of teaching her airbending."
Pema smiled as she placed a hand on his shoulder, "She's right dear. I think the best thing right now is to give Korra some space to think things through. She loves you, she'll come around."
Tenzin addressed to his younger children. "You must promise me your teenage years won't be like this."
Jinora, who was reading a book, stared at her father blankly. "I will make no such promises."
This was it. The big day of the pro-bending match. If they won this, they are in the championship tournament. This was the big leagues, as Mako said. Korra still couldn't believe it as she placed her pro-bending gear. Even now, it was hard to believe she was actually going to compete. Still, her thoughts were still on her father. She knew these lies and secretes had to end now. After the match, she was going to tell him the truth. Hopefully, once he sees just how much she has come in her training, he will finally understand. She and her team were getting ready in the locker room when Asami bursted through the door with Pabu on her shoulder.
"Hey, came to wish you guys good luck out there."
"Thanks Asami." Korra said as she tried to placed her hair ties into the helmet.
"Oh, let me help with that." Asami assisted her friend in rearranging her hair into her ponytail so she would only have one. "Last thing we need is everybody else figuring out who you are. One look of that streak and you're done."
"You could have tried dying it brown to match the rest of your hair." Mako suggested.
"Don't you think I've tried that?" Korra stated once Asami was done rearranging her hair, "This thing's stuck on me like glue."
Bolin began shaking his hands, getting amped up for the game. "Okay, I'm ready. Just tell when to go, I'm ready. I was born ready! Let's do this thing!"
Asami took a step back to examine her work. "Perfect. Now nobody will recognize you."
"I hope not." The bell rang, meant to signify the start of the match. Rainbow Dash and Applejack flew down with Korra's helmet and placed it on her head and she adjusted the strap. "Okay, here goes nothing."
Mako strapped his helmet on as well. "Here goes everything."
Bolin strapped his helmet on as well, "Here goes…well, me."
As they all stepped on the platform, which would take them to the ring, Asami remained watching them as the rest of the dragon birds accompanied her.
"My little babies off to destroy people." she wiped away a single proud tear and Fluttershy consoled her with her wing.
The announcer, Shiro Shinobi, sat on his booth enthusiastically describing everything that was happening. Korra stepped foot onto the arena for the first time ever. The spotlight was on her and people were cheering for her team. She didn't know how to describe this feeling. She was already use to the attention from her family, but attention from an entire building of strangers…this was new territory for her. She didn't know exactly how to feel at this point. It wasn't bad but, it still wasn't the same as when people she actually knew and cared about encouraged her. But she decided to put those thoughts aside and focus on the match.
"Looks like the Fire Ferrets have found a last minute replacement waterbender." said Shiro, "Let's see if she's another diamond in the rough like the brothers from the school of hard knocks."
The Fire Ferrets took their stance, facing their opponents. Unlike them, they were wearing brown uniforms instead of red like them. Mako stood in the middle while Korra stood on his right and Bolin on his left.
"Don't do anything too fancy or aggressive." Mako warned Korra, "And try not to get knocked off out of the ring too early."
"You got it, captain." she said in an annoyed tone. When Mako was in the zone, he could be unbearable.
The ref held his whistle close to his mouth and blew on it. Once the match begun Korra immediately did a kick, which caused a stream of water to come at one of the opponents and he was knocked down, falling flat on his face on the ring. The match had only just begun and Korra was already proven to be a formidable foe. Even Shiro agreed.
"Whoa! This new girl's got some serious waterbending skills!"
Asami and the dragon birds cheered from their seat on the bleachers. Pinkie Pie had a foam finger on her wing while Twilight held pom poms and Applejack had a cute little soda hat.
Mako and Bolin joined in, already attacking their opponents with their respected bending powers but the team had their eyes on the new waterbender. So far, Korra was able to hold up her own, nimbly dodging the attacks and aiming her water at the precise moment. However, while Korra was indeed advanced in waterbending, that didn't mean she was a full on champion just yet. It didn't take long for the opposing earthbender to almost knock Korra down with an earth disk, hitting her in the gut. She sled backwards and hurled another water whip, only to accidentally cross over the line into the opponents zone, causing it to beam red. The ref blew on his whistle.
"Fowl, over the line! Move back to zone three!"
Korra groaned in annoyance but complied. If only she had seen that line, this wouldn't have happened. Mako was beginning to wonder if letting Korra on the team so early was such a good idea. But Korra refused to give up. She wasn't going down like with those gates. The bell sounded.
"The Platypus Bears take round one!" Shiro said thought the mic.
The match resumed and the opponents began unleashing their furry onto Korra. They were moving so fast the poor child couldn't avoid them all at once.
"The Platypus Bears know a green player when they see one. And they are focusing all of heir bending on this poor girl."
The opponents unleashed a counter water and fire attack at Korra. She rose her arms, ready to shield herself with her water but it was too late. The impact was so powerful Korra rolled down onto the ring, almost falling down but stopped in the nick of time. The attack even caused her helmet to fall off. At the sight of this, the reef blew on the whistle again.
"Fowl! Unnecessary roughness!" he cried out. The sport may be aggressive, but they draw the line when a player is nearly being abused. Korra groaned as she stood up, her hair was now loose and her helmet off.
"Looks like the Platypus Bears aimed a little too high on---Wait a minute! I know that multicolored hair anywhere!"
Korra gasped as she tried to hide her hair, but it was too late. Her silver streak was exposed to the public eye. This was bad.
Back at the air temple, Kya and Bumi were listening to the match on the radio when Tenzin walked up to them. "Have you two seen Korra? She's not in her room."
The voice of Shiro was heard again, "Did I see that right? Hold on, Korra is that you?"
At the mention of her name, Bumi immediately spitted out his drink, splattering it all over Kya's outfit.
"I don't believe it, Tenzin's daughter is the Fire Ferrets new waterbender! Talk about a late bloomer."
Never in their lives has Tenzin's face been so red. His left eye started to twitch and he trimmed out in a terrible furry.
"I'll get her myself!"
The crowd gasped, they couldn't believe Master Tenzin's daughter, Avatar Aang's granddaughter, was actually a waterbender. She was given a time out to retrieve another helmet from the lockers. Mako and Bolin were just as amazed at the fact that she knew the announcer guy.
"How do you know Shiro?" Bolin asked
"I may have use to pet sit his dog once." she said while nervously fiddling her hair.
"Do you know everybody?!" Mako asked in disbelief.
"I'm a social person, what do you want!" she placed her hair back into a ponytail and adjusted her helmet. "Besides, it doesn't change anything. I'm still allowed to play."
Mako sighed in defeat, "Just try to be more careful. Last thing we need is you accidentally earthbending."
"Relax, I'm not that far off yet."
Once she was ready to go again, the bell rang and the match proceeded. The opposing benders knew that Korra was the weak link to the Fire Ferrets so they continued to target her. She deflected the disks with a water whip as well as the fire blasts and water bullets. She nimbly back flipped under another earth disk and water attack before crossing her arms in defense of the incoming fire blast.
"Korra may be a waterbender but she's no pro-bender and the Platypus Bears are intent on exploiting that weakness! They're giving her their best, and her best ain't good enough to stop it!"
The opposing team unleashed another wave of attacks at Korra and the poor girl was hit in the side by a fire blast and was knocked out of balance by an earth disk to the stomach, and finally thrown back by a water blast against the head. Finally, Korra fell over the rim and lands in the water.
"Aaaaand she's in the drink."
Once in the water she swam up to the surface, coughing the water from her mouth. However, things were only going to get worse when she spotted a familiar pair of feet before her and she looked up, seeing the very angry eyes of the grown up airbender.
"Oh, Hey, dad! I thought you didn't like coming to these matches," she chuckled nervously before she got out of the water.
"Once again, you have flagrantly disobeyed my orders. I told you I never wanted you to participate in this game, you lied to me, again! Not only that but you have been completely ignoring your Avatar responsibilities! From now on you are to not leave the island without an escort!" he prepared to leave but Korra remained firm.
"No, I'm kind of in the middle of something"
"I have tried my very best to get through to you by being gentle and patient, but clearly the only thing you respond to is force. So I am ordering you to come back to the temple right now, young lady!"
"You know what, I thought me being the Avatar meant I could finally start making my own decisions, but it seems you're even more possessive than ever!"
"Korra, you may be the Avatar but you're still far too young!"
"There you go again! You claim you want me to grow up but you're still holding on too tight!"
"If lying, sneaking off and playing this game behind my back is a sign of you growing up, then It's clear that holding on tighter is exactly what I should be doing!"
But Korra had had enough of this. "I have a match to go finish" she turned around and walked up the elevator, ignoring her father calling out to her.
"Korra! Korra, get back here!"
Round three began, the opposing team's firebender attacked Bolin but he crossed his arm and shielded himself for protection from the incoming blow but retaliated by throwing an earth disk but then forced to rise another one in front of him to defend himself against a water attack. Meanwhile, the firebender attacked Mako, who attempted to retaliate as unsuccessfully as his brother. The two opposing benders drove them into the corner of the zone, against the railing. The brothers were being showered by water streams, forcing them to remain in the corner. Meanwhile, Korra was constantly put on the defensive by fire and earth attacks.
Tenzin headed down an exit but he stopped and turned around. Something was drawing him to watch the match, no matter how much he disliked the game itself. The crowd cheered and he saw Korra in the ring, dodging an earth disk, but being formally hit by a water blast and pushed into the second zone. Tenzin sighed while covering his eyes with his hand. This was a bad a idea. The buzzer sounded off, signaling Korra had been pushed back into zone three.
"Looks like Korra's pro-bending debut is going to be cut short!" said the announcer, "She's been pushed back to zone three and the water is calling her name"
The young woman was tearing over the rim and was about to fall…again. But she managed to find her balance and, in the process, even dodge an incoming earth disk. It looked like things were not going well for Korra. But this spunky girl had one more trick up her sleeve.
"It's only a matter of time before…hold the phone! Stop the presses!" The announcer exclaimed in astonishment. Tenzin could not believe his eyes; Korra had taken on an airbender stance and began dodging the opponents attacks by using spiral movements, just like Jinora did to pass through the gates, changing direction at a moment's notice.
"She's moving like an entirely different player! All of a sudden, the Platypus Bear's strikes are only striking air!"
Korra continued this strategy, annoying the opposing benders. Asami and the dragon birds cheered for her. Tenzin couldn't believe what he was seeing. Korra had actually learned something from him after all, "How about that?" he said dumbfounded.
The opposing benders were finally loosing their energy, having used up so much of it on Korra, a decision they were now severally regretting. Seeing the chance, Bolin and Mako attack. Mako shot quick fire blasts at the opposing earthbender while Bolin aided him with his earthbending. The Platypus Bears' earthbender was pushed back by an earth disk while the waterbender was knocked off his feet by a water and fire combo. Korra spun rapidly around her axis and charged a powerful water bullet.
Korra and the ferrets continued to push back their opponents with their respected elements. Mako directed three blasts from the other team and the opposing waterbender was hit and knocked back several zones into the water. The opposing earthbender took a hit from Bolin's earth disk followed by a water and fire attack from Korra and Mako and was pushed back into the water. Finally, the only one standing, nearly a few feet from the rail. Korra unleashed a powerful water blast that knocked him off the platform and into the water with the rest of his teammates. The bell rung. The Fire Ferrets had won the match!
"What an upset, folks! The rookies have nabbed a place in the championship tournament! I can not believe it!"
Tenzin was so proud he couldn't help but cheer, "Woohoo!" he shouted excitedly and pumped his fists, jumping for joy. He looked around and noticed some people eying him. He quickly regained his composure, fixed his long red cape, and walked out.
Bolin was just soaking on the love from the fans and gave Korra a high five, happily cheering. Mako walked on over to Korra, smiling in gratitude. "Korra, what can I say? You really came alive on that last round. The way you dodged their attacks, you are a natural."
"Thanks. But I can't take all the credit. Someone else taught me those moves. And I think It's high time I gave him the apology he deserves"
That night, the Air Acolytes were rearranging the gates Korra had destroyed. Speaking of Korra, the young girl approached her father with her head hung in shame.
"Dad…I want to apologize for absolutely everything. I'm completely okay if you want to ground me, but just so you know, I never ever intended to hurt you or mom."
Tenzin did not scorn or narrow his eyes at his daughter. He looked at her with regret. "I'm the one who should apologize. You were right. For so many years I have been holding you on a leach because I was afraid of loosing you. Even with you being the Avatar I still couldn't let you go. Maybe if I hadn't tried to isolate you so much it wouldn't be so hard for you to tell me things."
"Still, I shouldn't have kept this from you. I promise, from this point on, I will always tell you where I'm going. No more secrets, ever. I promise."
"I trust you." Tenzin smiled proudly, "By the way, you were really good out there tonight. You moved just like an airbender."
"Wait, you stayed and watched?"
"I sure did. Pro-bending turned out to be the perfect teaching tool for you. And, if you truly believe that these two boys can teach you earth and firebending…well, I suppose the time has come for me to trust you more with your choices."
"So, I can still train with Mako and Bolin?"
"Yes. But, you must always inform me when you'll be leaving the island, and who you will be with. With Amon on the loose, I can't risk it."
"You got it!" she hugged her father, who embraced her as well. "I love you, dad."
"I love you too. Now go get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow. Isn't the championship in a few months?"
Korra immediately jumped for joy, "Whoo-hoo!"