Just warning you guys, this chapter is going to be kind of similar to the show, but I'm changing up a few things. The similarities are on purpose though, since it fits in with my story and I like how it was done.
Korra was standing outside the Pro Bending arena, having spread the word that she had an announcement to make. A crowd of reporters and spectators had gathered around the steps, and Korra knew that once she faced them, there was no turning back.
She turned, taking a deep breath, and ran into something solid. Confused, she looked up, right into the face of a very angry looking Tenzin.
"What are you doing?" he asked, face slowly turning red.
"Something I have to," she retorted, stepping around him. "I need to show the city that I'm not afraid." She needed to prove herself to the people, to show that she could live up to their expectations of her.
He started to say something, but was drowned out by the voices that called out to her as she stepped forward.
Korra waited for a second before raising her had to silence them.
"I have something very important to say," she started. "Even though I haven't been in Republic City very long, it's clear to me that you need help. Amon is upsetting the balance that I am supposed to keep, and his actions have caused fear and hatred to rise up." She paused, letting that sink in. "So I have decided to fight Amon."
The crowd gasped simultaneously and cameras started flashing, causing colored spots to erupt across her line of vision. Behind her, she heard Tenzin sharply draw his breath. People started yelling questions but Korra talked right over them.
"Amon, if you can hear this, I challenge you to a one on one fight. Meet me tonight at midnight on Aang Memorial Island." Korra stood there for a second, unsure if she should say something else.
Tenzin grabbed her, pulling her into the arena, slamming the door behind him.
"How could you do such a thing?" he boomed, towering about her. "Do you even understand what you have just done? There is no way you are going!"
"I have to!" she said. "Amon needs to be taken care of. I'm the Avatar; I'm supposed to protect the people."
"They are going to expect things from you now! They will expect you to-"
Korra yelled right over him. "They already expect things from me, Tenzin! All people can talk about it how they expect great things from me! I have to do something, or they will lose faith in the Avatar."
She looked away, swallowing around the lump in her throat. "The people that don't know me expect that I'll take care of Amon, believe I will have the power to do it. And the people that do know me think I can't do anything. Either way, I have to do something to show them all that I am willing to do this for the city."
Tenzin was just looking at her sadly now. Korra wanted to get away from his sad, understanding look. She needed to get away from him before he changed her mind.
She turned around, and found herself facing Mako and Bolin, standing at the end of the hallway. They looked like they had just come out of practice, and judging by the looks on their faces, they had heard what she said. Unable to look at them, Korra pushed past them, leaving out the back door.
She ran over to Naga, who nudged her with her cold wet nose and looked at her with trusting eyes. Korra sighed, burying her face into Naga's neck, knowing she would always be there for her.
"Korra, wait!" someone yelled, and she turned around to find Mako standing there.
"Korra," he said. "Why are you doing this? You have to know it's crazy. I know you're scared of Amon, don't even deny it."
"Of course I'm scared!" she exploded, screaming at him, her voice shrill and hysterical sounding. "Why can't you just realize that I have to face him? They expect me to beat him, to save the city from him! And my own friends don't even think I can do anything but make a mess of things. I'm worthless in people's eyes until I prove myself."
Korra was embarrassed from her outburst but satisfied to see that he seemed shocked.
"Is that what this is about? What I said about you making a mess of things and making stupid decisions? Korra, I-" he took a step towards her, arms outstretched. "I didn't mean those things. You know I didn't."
She looked away. "It's not just that Mako." She started adjusting Naga's straps.
"Please," Mako said hoarsely, and Korra turned around in surprise. "Please Korra, don't do this. You saw him. You won't beat him. I don't want you to get hurt. Please, for Bolin and Tenzin and… for me."
Maybe it was the way he said please, or how his eyes were a swirling pool or fear and concern for her, or maybe it was something else, Korra wasn't sure. But before she could stop herself, she covered the few steps between them and kissed him.
The second her lips pressed against his, he stiffened against her in surprise, but Korra didn't pull away. She had never kissed someone before, but his lips felt soft and warm against hers, and she sighed, sinking into the kiss a bit more. Then Mako's arms came up around her, holding her tightly against him, his mouth moving against her, softly and slowly.
She pulled away, knowing she was probably blushing, but wanting to see his expression. He was watching her too, the expression on his face unreadable, and slowly, he lifted a hand to gently touch the side of her face.
Stepping away, Korra shook her head, clearing her thoughts. She couldn't afford to think about these things, not now when she needed to focus.
Climbing onto Naga, she said, "I'm sorry." And she meant it.
But to her surprise, Mako nodded, and Korra felt like he actually understood. She felt like he knew why she neeeded to do this. After all, he too had probably made hard decision in his life. The only difference was that he hadn't had to deal with the pressure of people expecting him to be great. To be amazing and to make a difference like Avatar Aang had.
Riding away on Naga, Korra realized she hadn't kissed Mako because she was scared she was going to die, or would never see him again or something dramatic. It was just because she had wanted to. More than anything. The thought made her smile.
- It was getting close to midnight and Korra had been standing outside the entrance to the building on Aang Memorial Island for the last half an hour. At first, every time something moved she had jumped, but now she just felt calm. The breeze felt nice on her skin and it was a clear night.
The clock struck midnight, the loud bong reverberating through Korra. She sighed, feeling relieved Amon hadn't shown up yet. It seemed like protocol to come to a fight early, just to scope things out.
Stepping out of the shadows, a hooded figure appeared and Korra tensed as he threw back his hood, revealing a masked face.
"Well Avatar, I received your lovely invitation," he said, his cold voice slithering down Korra's spine.
Now that he was here, all her calm feelings left her, and she just felt weak and scared. She wasn't sure what fighting protocol was, but she decided to just go in for an attack, having surprise on her side.
Stomping up a decent sized chuck of earth, Korra kicked it at Amon, but he just stepped aside smoothly.
"I see you're ready for the fight," he said. "So be it."
He ran at her, and Korra desperately shot fire at him, but he just easily dodged everything she sent his way. He spun around, grabbed her outstretched arm in his hand, twisting her down into the ground. Out of nowhere, two Equalists appeared and came over, each one grabbing her arm and holding her still.
Korra's fear rose up in her like a tidal wave. She hadn't even managed to hit him once. How would she be able to do anything without her bending?
Amon came in front of her and reached for her face, Korra biting her lip so hard it started to bleed, as his hand got closer. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of hearing her scream. But to her surprise, he reached back and grabbed a handful of her hair instead, yanking her head back.
"Unfortunately, little Avatar," he said. "You won't get your fight today. Our fight will come, a fight that will decide the outcome of this city no doubt, but first, I'm going to tear it apart. I'm going to destroy it, to the point where the Avatar won't be able to repair it. And I'm saving you for last so you can see it all happening around you, unable to stop it or save your friends, so you can realize how helpless you really are."
His smooth voice painted a picture in her mind, one of pain and chaos, of a city in rubble. Korra's heart was beating so loud, it was thumping in her ears and racing through her veins. A cold sweat had broken out across her body. She stared deep into Amon's eyes, seeing nothing but cold hatred and confidence.
"Until we meet again, little Avatar," he whispered, then a sharp pain shot across Korra's head and everything went dark.
Another chapter down! What did everyone think? Good, bad, amazing, terrible?
Review please, and maybe I'll update tomorrow :)