The Avatar's Bodyguard
On an island off the coast of the Fire Nation capital was an island. This island is the ancestral home of the Fire Sages. They trained the Avatar in the use of his or her Firebending. This had been the case until the start of the Hundred Years War. The last Avatar to be officially trained by them, was Avatar Roku. Avatar Aang had visited the temple as well, but by that point all but one of the sages had joined the service of the Fire Lord.
When the Avatar finally defeated the Fire Lord he, along with the help of the Order Of The White Lotus, expelled the unfaithful elements of the Order of the Sages. As thanks for their aid in retaking the Earth Kingdom city of Ba Sing Se, Aang allowed the White Lotus to use the temple as a base of operations.
The training room was empty except for one person. This young man was a firebender, as was clear from the periodic fire blasts that were released in his vicinity. The blond-haired young bender had removed his undershirt and his over-coat. The sweat was almost streaming down his body as he was finishing up with his exercise. He finished and moved to collect his clothes.
"That was very well done, my young friend." A voice said as he reached for his clothes.
"Ah, master Gozu, forgive me. I did not see you enter." The young man replied.
"There is nothing to forgive. You were finishing your exercise, so I merely waited."
"Is there anything specific you require of me?"
"Yes. As you have no doubt heard, the Avatar was able to escape to Republic City."
"Yes. I hear she, made quite the impression, shall we say. I don't really see a problem. Standard procedure is to send a three-man cell to retrieve her."
"Correct, and normally that would be the case, but Master Tenzin has decided to let her stay so that she can study Airbending with him and his family. And before you answer, yes I know procedure for that as well, but in this case, I have come up with a different idea."
"As you know, normally we would send a full contingent of benders of all kinds to provide security, but I have something else in mind."
Naruto gestured with his hand to continue.
"I propose we send you."
There was a few moments' silence, and then... "What! Are you insane!?" came the vehement reply.
"Actually, no. I am quite lucid and sane at the moment."
"Oh good." Was the sarcastic reply. "Explain to me then how you came to the conclusion that sending only me would be such a good idea?"
"Well," the aged master began, "as you could probably imagine, a whole contingent of our brothers and sisters would be quite disruptive. To alleviate that somewhat, but still make our presence known, I propose we send you."
"Why me? I am no-one special."
"Ah, my boy. There is no need to be quite so modest. In the history of our order none have mastered Firebending as quickly, save Grand Lotus Iroh. You have always completed every assignment given to you successfully. You are the only choice for this mission."
"If you feel that is the case master, then I accept."
"Thank you my boy. You leave tonight on the first available ship bound for Republic City. You had best hurry." Gozu said, as he turned to walk away.
"Damn it!" Naruto cried as he ran for his room to go pack.
As Naruto left the training hall, another master in White Lotus robes entered from the opposite side of the hall. He made his way to Master Gozu and said: "Why send only one Lotus member? And why him?"
Master Gozu turned to regard the speaker. "Ah, Master Danzig. I believe it is the right thing to do."
"You understand how important it is that the Avatar must be protected."
"Indeed I do."
"And you believe this boy will be able to accomplish that?"
"Yes, I believe it is the best choice for them both."
"He is too emotional and impulsive."
"Where he is going that will be useful."
"You are sending a mouse into a nest of snakes! By the Spirits! The boy will get himself and the Avatar killed within a day of his arrival."
"I have faith."
"What do you mean?"
"Even a mouse, gifted with the heart of a lion-turtle, can defeat a snake."
"I think you are beginning to lose your grasp on reality."
"We shall see who is correct in the end my friend. Time will tell. Sooner or later, time will tell."
Meanwhile, on Air Temple Island.
Tenzin was busy going through his lesson plans for Korra's training. The headstrong young woman would be difficult to teach, but he believed it was possible if he could find some way to connect with her. Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
"Enter." He called.
It was his wife, Pema, who entered. Immediately Tenzin rose from his chair and moved towards her. "Pema, is something wrong? Is it the baby?"
"Tenzin, I'm fine. I just came to deliver this message that arrived from the White Lotus." She answered in an exasperated tone as she handed him the scroll.
Tenzin immediately broke the seal and unrolled the scroll.
My dear friend Tenzin
I hope this letter finds you well. I have sent the necessary guard for the Avatar. He should arrive on the island early tomorrow morning. Treat him with the same respect you would me.
Let me know how he is adjusting and how you and the rest of your family fair.
Yours in friendship
"He makes it sound like he only sent one person." Pema commented, reading the message alongside her husband.
"Yes. That does seem to be the case. We will have to see who it is they send."
Early the next morning
A ship was making its way to Air Temple Island. It carefully made its way to the wooden pier and came to a stop. A gangplank was lowered to the pier and before the captain could say anything, the lone passenger had made his way onto the pier.
Turning to speak to the captain, Naruto said: "Thank you for the seedy journey captain."
"No problem, my boy. If you ever need our help again, ask around the main harbour for Captain Jiraiya." The captain replied and saluted him.
As the young man made his way up to the temple, he could hear the captain shouting to his men to make ready for the return trip.
"Hello, can I help you?"
Naruto hid his surprise at not noticing the young girl who greeted him, earlier.
"Sorry. Lotus member Naruto Uzumaki at your service." He said with a slight bow.
"Oh!" the young girl rushed to return the bow. "My name is Jinora."
"The eldest of Master Tenzin's children I understand." He said, then added. "I am unsure if your father said anything about my arrival."
"He did mention to expect someone and that you're here to protect Korra. But, we didn't think you would arrive until tonight."
"Yes, well, my early arrival is due to both my irritating master and my good fortune regarding the ship crew I was able to hire." He said with a combination of a long-suffering sigh and a slight smile. "Could you guide me to your father please."
"I'd be happy to." She replied.
Korra was reading the newspaper while she and Tenzin were eating breakfast. "And in the final round the Buzzard-Wasps won with a decisive knockout." With a wide smile she looked across the table at Tenzin and added: "What d'ya say we go to the arena tonight. Catch a few Pro-Bending matches."
Tenzin frowned and answered with a tone of derision: "That sport is a mockery of the noble tradition of Bending."
"Come on Tenzin," Korra argued. "I've dreamed about seeing a Pro-bending match since I was a kid. And now I'm just a ferry-ride away." She said, gesturing to the arena which was clearly visible in the window behind her.
"Korra you're not here to watch that drivel." Tenzin answered, brooking no further argument. "You're here to finish your Avatar training, so for the time being I want you to remain on the island."
"Fine. Though I would have thought you'd have some of those Lotus Order guys here to help you keep an eye on me."
"Your guard should be here by tonight." Tenzin said, continuing his meal.
Just then, Jinora and Naruto entered. "Actually Dad, he just got here." Gesturing to her side, she continued. "This is Naruto Uzumaki of the Order Of The White Lotus."
Bowing, Naruto added his own greetings. "Good morning all."
'Wow, he looks almost to be about my age.' Korra thought to herself.
Tenzin made it to his feet and turned to Naruto. "Greetings Master Uzumaki. My name is Tenzin. I am the resident bending master and this, as you are no doubt aware, is Korra. The Avatar."
"Of course. It's a pleasure to meet you both." He said with a light smile. "If someone could guide me to the sleeping quarters, I can take things from there."
"I can do that." Korra jumped up as she said this. "Follow me, I'll take you to the men's dormitory."
"Korra, I left a traditional Airbender uniform in your room. When you are done escorting Master Uzumaki to his room, I will meet you at the women's dormitory." Tenzin said as they made to leave frowning slightly as he watched them go. 'That is decidedly odd. I'll have to speak to Pema about that.'
With Korra & Naruto
They made their way in relatively comfortable silence, Korra subtly trying to stare any information out of him.
"I won't bite you know." He said smirking and looking at her with his peripheral vision.
Slightly startled, Korra replied: "Sorry. It's just that, normally, most of the people I've met that serve in the White Lotus are around Tenzin and Pema's age. Maybe a little younger."
"Ah," he said, as if that explained everything. "And you just cannot believe how someone as dashing, handsome and devil-may-care as me ended up in the stuffy Order of the White Lotus." He added, his voice heavy with sarcasm.
"Well, I was not the most well-off individual. I was six years old, and living on the street..."
A young blond-haired boy was making his way through the market. He found a worthy target. Some stuffy-looking noble in a blue and white robe that hung down to his feet.
'Easy money.' He thought as he made his move.
He had just lifted the purse when he heard a stern voice cry out; "Stop you little thief! Sop in the name of the law!"
Taking off like a shot from a cannon, Naruto ran. He ducked into the first available alley-mouth, the guard following and picking up speed.
Unfortunately Naruto had mistaken his route and found himself at a dead-end. Turning to confront the guard, he shouted: "Stay away from me!"
"Don't worry kid. I'm not going to hurt you. Much." The guard said in a menacing tone of voice.
The boy threw a poorly-aimed punch as the guard drew closer. There was a sudden burst of flame and then a scream.
Naruto finished his story as they reached his room. "The guard didn't expect me to be a firebender. I had never made a fire blast that big before then. The flame permanently blinded the guard. I ran past him toward the alley-mouth. That's when I ran into the noble I robbed."
"He wasn't a noble, was he?" She asked, already suspecting the answer.
"No. He wasn't. Turns out he was a senior member of the Order of the White Lotus. Instead of being angry or judgemental, he looked at me with sympathy and asked if he could help. He sent for one of the other members, a waterbender, who healed the guard as much as possible and took him to the nearest barracks. Then he offered me membership in the Order. I accepted and the rest, as they say, is history."
For a moment, time seemed to be frozen as the two benders stared at one another. Then, without warning, the silence was broken in the most unexpected way. "Hey Korra Jinora said there was someone here from the White Lotus." Both Naruto and Korra turned to regard the new speaker.
Ikki came waltzing in. "Oooh! Is this him! He's handsome, isn't he?!"
"Ikki, I think you should be quiet before you embarrass yourself." Korra muttered through gritted teeth.
"Ah, so this is Ikki." Naruto said. He bowed again in greeting. "It is a pleasure to meet you."
"Well, you are certainly well-mannered, I will say that." Pema added, as she appeared. Seemingly appearing out of thin air, summoned it seems, whenever it appeared that Ikki would get embarrassingly out of hand.
"And this is Pema." Korra said, by way of introduction.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Pema." Naruto greeted again.
"I should probably go and get ready for training." Korra said and turned to go. Before jogging off, she turned and added. "I'll see you around?"
"Oh, you most certainly will. Especially at mealtimes." Naruto answered.
And with that, she was off. Today would be her first day of training, and she was going to throw everything she had into it.
A/N: I loved this show. This is my attempt to write a fanfic for it. I'm not sure if I will be able to add Asami to my planned Naruto/Korra pairing, but I'll try.