The Undoing

Chapter 2

Normally, I am the kind of person to outline their stories. When I wrote "The Undoing" it was in a burst of inspiration after the LoK Season 1 finale. I never planned on expanding the story. I just thought to leave it as it was. Months later, I had another sudden burst of inescapable inspiration and I had to write this next chapter. Please enjoy this next installment of "The Undoing," and happy reading!

Cold was the wind that blew over the barren fields of snow and ice. A crescent moon shone down, illuminating the silvery landscape. One man, a lonely hunter, was crouched on an outcropping of stone, protected from the stinging air that whipped over him.

Noatak exhaled a steadying breath against a thick, woolen balaclava that covered his forehead and mouth, only exposing his sharp blue eyes that scanned the terrain for any sign of a creature. The white fur on the hood of his dark blue parka brushed against his exposed skin; it itched terribly. He blinked his eyes hard and felt weary. Many hours had passed that he sat hidden from sight.

Noatak, hunter of the Northern Water Tribe, leaned against the stone at his back, letting his tense muscles relax. He tore his eyes away from the earth and let his gaze trail up to the crescent moon. It was waning, dying. The ever-changing moon was reaching its last stage before it disappeared completely to be reborn in a new cycle.

He pondered how his ever-changing life reflected the moon, the sole source of a water bender's power.

Three years had passed since he was Amon, the cunning leader of the Equalist movement in Republic City. Three years had passed since his entire regime was brought to its knees by a captivating water bender; a girl that still plagued his thoughts every waking moment. Three years had passed that Noatak fled to the North Pole to assume a new identity and anonymously fade into the background as just another non-bender Water tribesman.

Sihanouk the Hunter was his new façade. A remote village, far north of the main Water Tribe city, had welcomed him with open arms. Noatak pretended to be a man that was tired of the strife and mundane existence of Republic City. The modern metropolis with all its bright lights and tall buildings did not appeal to him when there was so much animosity growing between benders and non-benders. His roots were calling him back to the North.

Or so that is what he told his fellow tribesmen.

It was not a simple task to erase the life he lived as Amon. At night he would often dream of rallying before the non-benders, the common people of the nations, and feed them hope and the promise of a new era. Thousands of people willingly put their blind trust in him, the faceless Amon. Victory for his cause was at hand!

Then out of nowhere, a blue-eyed girl with water in her soul would come and wash his dreams away, leaving nothing left until there was only her image standing before him.

At this, Noatak would reach out to her, loathing her and longing for her all at once. The ache of such conflicting emotions he had for the girl would wake him up.

With a shock of reality, he would remember that he was no longer the trusted leader of a great people. Everything he had envisioned in his dream would fade. The power that he once painstakingly sought to gain was only a distant memory. Noatak was forced to remind himself that he rebuilt his image yet again. He was Sihanouk, not Noatak, and not Amon.

That was what he was constantly doing: rebuilding and rebuilding upon different foundations of names and faces. He was becoming what he despised the most. Noatak was now a man whose life echoed that of his father, Yukone. Just like his father before him, Noatak created a new life that covered a multitude of lies and a sinister background.

Noatak took out his hunting knife and idly etched a simple message into the icy ground.

"I and my father are one."

It was a simple line that came from an old poem Noatak once learned as a child. The verses were spoken by a boy in his growing up years, telling a story about how much he wanted to become like his father. At every stage of life, the speaker of the poem would end the stanza with this one phrase.

I and my father are one.

Yes, Noatak knew that he had become like his despised father. He was a deceiver, just as Yukone had been. Noatak used his bending for dominance, just as Yukone had done. Yukone even became another man to escape justice and so did Noatak erase his true identity to hide from punishment that the benders believed he deserved.

There was not a soul in the Northern tribes that would know the hazy truth of his past. Only one person could tell his story as well as he could, yet that man had entered the Spirit World by his own hand three years ago…

Tarrlock was a victim of the sins of their father. The choices he made with his pathetic life were shaped by the influence of his father's vengeful, hateful spirit. Not even Tarrlock could escape the hold that Yukone, long since passed, continued to have over his sons. It was as if his spirit were still alive, berating them for being failures and chastising them for not destroying the Avatar like he had trained them to do since boyhood.

The tip of Noatak's knife dug into the ice as he angrily scratched out the words he had written.

His father was dead to him, even if he did continue to live on through his eldest son. Tarrlock was dead to him as well. His younger brother had been weak and he could not live to face the trauma of his past.

Only Noatak remained as the victor, though he could not think of himself as a better man than either his brother or father.

A soft rumbling of hooves thudding against the packed snow could be heard in the distance. Noatak reached for his weapons as his body became poised to strike. The herd of caribou he had been waiting for finally arrived. He pushed thoughts of his degenerate family from his mind. There would be no time to dwell on sadness now. It was time to become the hunter.

The greatest hunter of the north sat before a glowing fire, surrounded by other tribesmen. Noatak leaned forward with his elbows planted on his knees and his chin resting on his folded hands.

Within this circle of men, some benders and some common, he was Sihanouk. Noatak only existed within his private thoughts.

Noatak knew that though he was a strong, stern man of few words, the villagers were undeniably drawn to him. The tribal elders held him in high regard, the men looked to him for leadership, and the women held him as a standard for what all tribesmen should be; a perfect example of a hard working, robust, strapping man that had the heart of a warrior and was as mysterious as the northern lights gliding over the dark horizon. Noatak epitomized the ideal man of the Water Tribe.

He had a natural aura that commanded respect and admiration. Even his voice was able to capture anyone's attention and the people who listened would allow his words to mesmerize them.

When he lived as Amon, he used these aspects of himself to win over the hearts of the oppressed non-benders. His revolution was nearly a success, due to his natural charisma.

Now in the eyes of the tribesmen around him, Sihanouk was a god. They would ask, how could a man who had lived in the city for so many years be able to return to his home in the northern tribe and easily become the most skilled hunter that had been seen in generations?

Even the most advanced water benders could not compete with the agility and stealth of Sihanouk, a man whose ability to hunt did not need the art of bending.

Noatak heard whispers amongst the people in his village that when the great Sihanouk hunted, the animals themselves seemed drawn to him, just as though he were calling to them and they answered with their lives. Noatak was a natural hunter with a wonderful gift…

He did not see his natural ability as such a gift. Not even under the guise of Sihanouk could Noatak escape his blood-bending curse. The affliction made him a legend amongst the strong, hardy people of the northern tribes. Even Amon found glory and power through his blood bending, though that gain was short-lived.

Yet this was the role that he accepted. He was living the life that he always longed for, but he still lacked one thing that would complete his heart's most secret longing.

Her. The girl that was the object of his thoughts and dreams, the girl that had unknowingly caused him to break away from the cold, blank mask of Amon, the girl that inspired Amon to once again become Noatak and turn back to the vibrant culture of his youth.

Noatak was spending this new life without her by his side and he felt just as empty as he had when he resided in Republic City. Knowing that she was out there, living as the Avatar and foolishly thinking that she was helping the world maintain balance, agonized Noatak daily. The undeserving fire bender was rumored to still be "close" to her.

Noatak regretted not taking away that street rat's life when he had the chance. He should have acted quicker instead of delaying the moment. Back then, he wanted to see the boy suffer at his hand, to show him what a true bender was capable of. The Amon of that time wanted to punish him for his role in the Avatar's life.

His rightful prize spending her love on a simple-minded boy while he spent his nights alone was his price to pay for arrogance and showing off his power.

The Noatak of today still wanted to rip that boy away from her, to take his place and see the fire bender suffer alone as Noatak always had. A surge of anger built up in Noatak. Thinking about that day always brought bitter emotions to the surface. It was best to suppress negativity and not act with irrationality. Those memories would do no good. It did not matter anymore. He could not let it.

Noatak reminded himself that he was Sihanouk. He took a deep breath and concentrated on what the men around him were saying.

Tribal life was simple. The men swapped stories of their daily adventures. Some bragged about how successful they were in the hunt this month, though every man knew that they could not shake a spear to what Sihanouk could do.

A few spoke of going to Republic City when the winter came through in the next month. Every man and woman in the northern tribes could tell by the migration of the animals and of signs in the weather that this winter would be hard.

Only Noatak and one other man sat silently. It was normal for Noatak to tend to keep to himself, but this particular young man was known to be quite liberal with his words. He was the youngest of all the hunters, his hair still tied in the youthful warrior's wolf-tail style, and he was notorious for his inability to keep his mouth shut.

He was sitting across the fire from Noatak. In his hands was a small knife and he was busy whittling away at a tiny piece of wood. So great was the concentration on his work that the tip of his tongue childishly peeped out the corner of his mouth.

Another man inquired as to what the youth was working on. With a sheepish grin, the young man bashfully admitted that he was carving a betrothal necklace for one of the village girls.

The group around the fire erupted with joyful congratulations and jovial teases of him losing his freedom when he gained a wife. More than one slap on the shoulder nearly knocked the young man from his seat and face first into the snow.

Noatak gave the boy a slow nod and congratulated him on finding a worthy woman. The men nodded their heads and murmured their agreement.

She was a water bender, remarked one of the older men. It was a blessing to have a water bender as a wife. The young man smiled as he looked up from his work and his eyes grew distant.

It was the most beautiful sight in the nations to watch her water bend, he said. Nothing could be more enchanting than watching the girl he loved practicing her water bending. Many men poked fun at the boy, calling him a dreamy sap.

Noatak felt his heart clench with jealousy and grief. He understood what the boy was saying. Even in the naivety of his short life, that young man knew what true beauty was.

An image of a girl, a beautiful girl, bending water underneath the glow of the moon had burned itself in his soul. The memory of it pained him because he knew that was all he would ever have of her.

Without a word, Noatak stood to his feet and strode away from the warmth of the fire. A few men called out to him, asking why he was leaving. Only a gust of wind answered them, picking up a flurry of snow as Sihanouk, the great hunter, disappeared into the dark, chilly night.

An empty hut greeted him as Noatak pushed back the flap of seal hide that was his door. Thick pelts served as carpet and heavy fur blankets were heaped upon his lonely bed. Traditional tribal weapons and paintings decorated his walls. A fire pit was carved in the middle of his floor. It was filled with dry ashes.

A crudely carved wooden dresser sat next to his bed. The few possessions he had were tucked away in the shallow drawers; the clothes he worn as Amon was all that he had taken with him when he fled Republic City.

Noatak walked over to the drawer and sat on the edge of his bed. He pulled open the bottom drawer and drew out a piece of soft cloth.

With bated breath, he carefully unfolded the cloth and slid its contents into the palm of his gloved hand.

A small, carefully carved blue charm rested in his palm. One side of the charm was a deep blue while the other side was a pale, icy blue. The middle line curved gracefully to the left and a small dot of the opposite color was at the widest area of the curve.

Yin and yang. Tui and La. Push and pull. The great spirits of the ocean and moon, the two sacred fish that eternally swam around each other in the Spirit Oasis were reflected in the charm.

The Avatar was the one to pull the world into balance. She was to pull the world to her. Noatak had been the push. As Amon he was the opposing force to her pull. He was the ocean. He wanted to push the world into a better balance, but even he fell victim to her pull. She was the moon, pulling the ocean that desperately pushed against the moon to try and stay on the shore.

He rubbed his thumb against the smooth surface of the charm. It was a lovely, intricate piece of work. Any woman would be proud to wear it around her neck.

Yet no woman could ever fathom the meaning behind the choice of design. No woman had a strong enough spirit to be worthy of his guarded affection. That was why no one but her would ever wear it.

No one else had captured his interest, his obsession the way she had. Noatak hesitantly wrapped the charm back into its protective cloth and put it back inside the drawer, never to be given to the girl of his choice.

The Avatar was coming to the North. A glorious sunrise heralded a new day as Noatak's fellow tribesman and closest friend came to greet him the next morning.

The news of the Avatar's visit had reached the tribesmen the night before, just as Noatak had left the fire. She was going to be staying at the main settlement of the North and this man had a brother who lived in that city. He was going to take his family there to see the Avatar and he wanted to invite Sihanouk to come with them.

Noatak felt himself break out into a cold sweat. He calmly wiped his brow and made his face show no emotion, though his soul was like a storm.

It had been three years since he last saw the Avatar. The thought of laying eyes on her again made his pulse quicken with excitement and dread.

A familiar feeling rushed through him. For a second he was Amon once more, anticipating every encounter with the Avatar, wanting to see her again. He remembered the hatred of what she was and the desire to have her that continuously battled against one another.

"Sihanouk? Will you come?" asked the tribesman, Noatak's only true friend.

Noatak rubbed his jaw with his fingers, internally wrestling with himself. If he saw her again, it would be torture to have her so close, yet so far. It would be like dangling a piece of meat in front of a starving animal, only to have it cruelly pulled away when the creature lunged for it.

Also, she had seen his face for a fleeting second years ago. Not much about him had changed since then. His hair was an inch or so longer, though he still wore it the same way he had when he was Amon. His skin was darkened by the sun, but there was a risk that she would recognize him as the man behind the mask.

Then again, he ached to see her once more. Noatak saw her face every day in his thoughts, so how could it hurt any more than actually seeing her in the flesh. The chance to be in her presence once more was tempting.

"Yes, Kalmyk, I will gladly come with your family to see the Avatar."

All the people of the North seemed to be gathered at the palace of the royal family in the Northern Water tribe city. The tribal elders, along with the clan leader and his family, sat at the long table at the far end of the room. On the stage were men with tribal drums, ready to announce the arrival of the Avatar.

Every man, woman, and child was teeming with excitement. A light chatter filled the great room. The new Avatar had never visited the North before! It had been even longer that a water bender had been in the cycle of the Avatar.

A hush descended over the people as the tribal elders stood respectfully to their feet.

Noatak felt his stomach tighten as the men pounded on the skin drums. She was here. The girl was in the room. He could feel it in the air. An aisle going down the middle of the room was left empty for her to walk through. In just a few moments, she would pass by him.

He wondered what he would feel when he saw her. Would he be disgusted with her now that she was a fully fledged Avatar, capable of going into the Avatar state and mastering all four elements instead of struggling with her failure at air bending? Would a different sight meet his eyes? Would he look at her and realize that he was a fool and the heart breaking attachment he held for her finally be forgotten?

Korra. She came into his sight. His blue eyes locked on to her face and the blood coursed through his body like fire.

No. Nothing about his affection for her had changed. In fact, it grew tenfold. Noatak held his breath as she walked by.

Three years of growing up had done wonderful things to Korra. She no longer had the youthful appearance to her. A young woman gracefully walked where a girl once clumsily trod.

She was breathtaking, entrancing, and fascinating. Her spirit, full of water, shone through in a beaming smile. Where her hair had once been tied back, it now freely hung over her shoulders. Soft bangs framed her face and she still tied in her hair in two signature bands in the front.

A traditional water tribe gown enticingly hung over her frame. She had grown into a woman in more than one way, Noatak noticed…

He drew those agonizing thoughts away and pulled his gaze to her eyes. They were blue like the depths of the ocean.

Her entire demeanor was more stunning than it had been three years ago. Not a thing about her spirit had changed either. By the way she carried herself, Noatak could see the tenacious, strong, captivating girl that he once loathed and desired. He could see Korra in this young woman. She had not gone. The life of being the Avatar had not changed her.

At her side was the fire bender, Mako. Noatak thought that the street brat had a weak, feeble name. Only boys were named Mako. He himself had grown over the years, though his appearance was much less impressive than Korra's. The fire bender was taller, broader, and his face held the chiseled look of a youth transitioning from boy to man.

Noatak still sensed arrogance and fickleness in the boy, yet he seemed very attached to Korra as he dutifully followed her down the aisle.

Behind him was his brother, the bulky earth bender. He had an even more stupid name than Mako. The boy had grown thicker than a tree. Earth benders were known to be quite stocky. Forcing the earth to do your will required strength of heart and body. He disliked this brother much less than the fire bender.

Noatak looked behind the earth bender. Following in his wake was a surprising face.

Asami Sato. The only daughter of his old partner was still going along with the Avatar's crowd? Noatak remembered that she had once been Mako's girl, much to the despair of Hiroshi Sato.

A family of six people dressed in garishly bright clothing followed Asami. The oranges and reds of their garments clashed with the soft hues and icy blues of the Water Tribe people.

The Air bending family! Noatak slid behind a group of people, working his way to the wall. He wanted to hide from Tenzin, the son of Aang. He had fought the man three years ago, right after he threatened to take his children's bending away.

Noatak was not ashamed of his actions; he just wanted to stay far away from the air bending master. A good father was one to take vengeance against any one who tried to harm his offspring. A good father did not train his children to be tools of revenge…

With his back against the wall, Noatak watched as Korra approached the head table and bowed respectfully to the elders. She moved with grace and elegance.

A few words between her and the elders were exchanged and then the feast in her honor began. Mako took a seat beside Korra.

Noatak made his way out of the room, undetected. He could not sit down and enjoy his time there when Korra was there. It was not natural to let his body relax when he was around her. He could not rest. His spirit was in turmoil when she was near.

He had to escape and let his clouded mind rest for tonight. Though this would not be the last time he would see her while she was here. Noatak would do all that he could to gaze upon her every chance he could.

The night was quiet. Noatak was perched on the railing of the balcony in his host's home, over looking the empty streets of the city below. Every one was still at the feast. It had been going on for hours.

He had come outside to look up at the moon and remember the night he had snuck out to air temple island and hid in the shadows while he watched Korra water bend.

Noatak held his balance well while he sat on the wide railing. He closed his eyes and let himself drown in that memory. Seeing her tonight had ignited his weary soul. An awakening was taking place inside him once more. Though he was living a shallow, empty life as Amon, he had a driving force that kept his spirit fiery and alive. In the years following his departure to the North, he had let his spirit die. Korra was not to be a part of his new life and it drained him of that old fire.

Now that he had seen her again, she once again sparked his fire. She made him feel alive. He was Noatak once more!

Even so, how long would this fire last after she left?

Noatak pushed that thought aside and clung to what he had now.

The sound of a pair of feet walking down broke his thoughts. Noatak shifted himself until he was hidden by the shadows.

A man was walking in the street under his balcony. They were heading to the edge of the canal that ran parallel to the street.

He approached the canal and leaned against the scrolled railing. Noatak took a closer look at the man.

It was Mako, much to his astonishment. He was completely alone. Noatak's fingers itched to bend the ice beneath the fire bender's feet. A flick of his wrist was all it would take to move the ice and send the boy head first into the water of the canal. Then he could use blood bending to hold the boy under. It would be a perfect way to get rid of his useless life.

He rubbed his hands together, ready to take action against the fire bender, but hesitated for a moment. Using his bending to murder another man to have the woman he wanted seemed so barbaric and exactly what he despised bending of. Yet what could it hurt just this once? But then he would be a blatant hypocrite? Then again, who would know that it was him?

Just was he was about to make the choice to walk inside and forget that Mako was there, another person came walking up behind him.

Asami's raven black hair glistened in the moonlight as it cascaded down her back. She placed a delicate hand on Mako's shoulder. He smiled at her and motioned for her to join him.

They were pleasantly chatting about how beautiful the Northern Water tribe city was, how friendly the people were, and how happy Korra was to see her people's sister tribe.

Their conversation faded into a comfortable silence. Noatak half expected them to wander off, but Mako voiced one question.

"Asami, how come you haven't…you know, found any one? I thought that you and General Iroh were going to be together, but…nothing ever happened with you two, right?"

It was an awkward, tedious question, one that Noatak could tell had been on the boy's mind for quite some time and he finally had the courage to voice it.

Asami and Mako's backs were to Noatak, but he could feel the palpable tension in the air from the boy's question. The girl sighed heavily and turned around, leaning against the railing. Her eyes were closed and the exquisite features of her face were pulled into a sad frown.

Remember when I told you that I felt safe with you, she asked the fire bender. He responded with a sad yes. Mako was clearly having the same sentimental feelings that she was.

Asami turned to the boy and crossed her arms around her slight frame.

"I have something to confess, Mako." Asami began forlornly. "I never wanted to tell you because I didn't want to hurt your happiness with Korra, but…I still feel safe with you. I tried so hard to move forward and open up to Iroh, but you, Mako…there is something about you that I just can't let go. Even after you left me for her, I still feel for you in a way that no one else can replace."

Noatak saw Mako turn to face Asami, who turned her face away from him.

"I'm not begging you to be with me again, Mako. I can see that you're happy. I do not want to be the one to break you two up. It hurts and I would not wish that one anyone," She said with a voice that was firm and strong. "I just want to let you know that I still care. You love Korra, and that's fine."

"Yeah, I love Korra…" Mako said in a breathless voice. He sounded so unsure of himself, like he had never truly made peace with his choice to leave the Sato girl. He sounded doubtful of his confession to love Korra.

Noatak watched as Mako lifted his hand to Asami's porcelain skin. His eyes were burning with intention to stroke her face, to touch her and have a familiar moment with his old flame.

Like a true lady, Asami gently grabbed his hand before it reached her face. She quickly kissed his fingers. Her green eyes met his and she decidedly shook her head no. Asami let go of Mako's hand, which reluctantly fell to his side.

In a few moments, the girl had fled and disappeared into the winding streets of the city.

Mako stood there, dumbfounded. He quickly turned to the canal and began to pound his fists against the icy railing. Fire from his hands melted holes into the surface.

Noatak was grinning with malicious glee. An opportunity to gain what he wanted had landed in his lap. He had found a way to drive a wedge between Korra and her unworthy fire bender.

It was time to stir the waters of contention.

Noatak pulled his balaclava over his face and set his hood over his head. He nimbly jumped from his seat on the balcony and quietly approached the fire bender. His feet made no noise as he stalked the still raging boy. Perhaps it was not the best idea to approach an angry fire bender from behind.

So Noatak called out to him.

Mako turned around with fire in his hands, ready to strike out at the strange man dressed in full hunting garb.

"Who are you?" he yelled forcefully. His golden eyes took in the hooded figure standing before him.

"Take off your hood! I don't trust men in masks!" growled the fire bender.

Noatak smiled from the irony. Amon was the reason for his distrust in men with masks. Still, Mako had also seen his true face. It would be suicide to let the boy seem him without the hood and mask.

"It is a cold night," argued Noatak. "You would not deprive me the luxury of staying warm, would you?"

Mako took in his words with hesitation, though his stance relaxed.

"What do you want?" the boy asked suspiciously.

Half of Noatak just wanted to throw the boy into the canal and be rid of him, but that plan would be distasteful and it would be horrible for Korra. That plan would most certainly back fire.

No, he needed to be more clever than that.

"I saw you talking to that girl," began Noatak. "She's beautiful."

Hurt flashed over Mako's eyes. Yes, she was beautiful he agreed.

"You seem to care a great deal for her," Noatak said, trying to push Mako into admitting his feelings for her.

Mako suddenly threw his hands into the air. He angrily grabbed fistfuls of jet-black hair and began to pace back and forth, spewing out confessions. Yes he did care for Asami! He had been with her for a time, three years ago. The Avatar had feelings for him too, and he liked her as well, but he liked Asami more. He didn't know what he wanted back then. He was just a kid!

Noatak patiently listened, waiting.

"Then Korra went missing, and my emotions went haywire! I was so worried for her and that's when I thought that maybe I loved her, not Asami! Then the whole fight with Amon happened and I saw that monster taker bending away…"

Noatak felt sick with fury. How dare this child, this disgusting bender call him a monster! Did he not remember what nation it was that caused the genocide of an entire race of people?

"I just knew, okay, you love Korra and you need to tell her as soon as possible! You need to be there for her, comfort her and all that." Mako continued, venting his feelings to a stranger that he knew nothing about.

Noatak listened silently. He was the one who was supposed to be beside Korra when she mourned her loss of bending! Not him! Perhaps it was better to just kill him right then and there.

"So I told her I loved her, but…I think that I made a huge mistake. You see, I still think about Asami all the time. It was just all these emotions and feelings running around like a pack of wolfbats and I thought that was love for Korra, but I see now…I see that I still care for Asami! There!"

He met eyes with the fire bender. Blue and gold clashed. A passing hint of recognition flashed in Mako's eyes. Noatak felt his heart race. Did he recognize his voice? His eyes? What gave it away that he was the man once known as Amon?

"What are you trying to say? Why are you so concerned about my love life, huh?" he asked suspiciously. "Have we met before?"

Noatak stared the boy straight in the eye and denied ever knowing him. Mako shrugged his shoulders and again asked why a stranger would care so much about his girlfriends.

"I thought that you would need the advice, man to man, but I see that you don't care for my help." Pretending to be disappointed in this fruitless conversation, Noatak turned to walk away from the fire bender.

"Wait!" called the boy to Noatak's retreating back.

"I'm sorry for being such a pain. Maybe I do need some advice. Tell me, what would you do?"

Noatak felt his body go light with relief. Maybe his plan had a chance after all. He turned back around to the boy.

"Water and fire do not mix," he said somberly, looking at the scorched ground where Mako had thrown fists of fire. "Water extinguishes fire. That element cannot survive with its natural opposite."

He stood taller than Mako, he realized. Noatak put his hand on the boy's shoulder, feeling the blood rush through his veins. It would be so easy to bend his blood and be rid of him for good…

No, that would be something Yukone would have done. He was not about to become even more like his father.

"Perhaps, young fire bender, you should learn that elements reflect what is in our souls, and when two elements cannot be with each other in nature, then they cannot be with each other in spirit."

Mako's face fell, and he stepped away from Noatak.

"So you're saying that…I should leave her?" he asked with hesitancy.

"No, not exactly," answered Noatak, though he could see that the seeds of doubt had been planted in the boy's feeble mind. "All I am saying is that you do what your natural element tells you to do."

The boy had left over an hour ago. Noatak was once again seated on the balcony. He felt like the Earth King of Ba Sing Se.

His plan was set into motion. Noatak smiled up at the moon, the representation of Korra. The mighty ocean bowed to her pulling. Noatak was helpless against the pull. She unwittingly pulled Noatak to her.

Yet the ocean was pushing once more. He was going to push Mako away from Korra.

Then the ocean and the moon would be free to live in harmony.

Tui and La.

Push and Pull.

Noatak and Korra.

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