First Korra fic! And first Avaverse fic in forever, jeez.
Hope you like it!
There's something in his voice that draws the world in like the tide to the shore.
She's grown used to it, having snuck into his rallies so many times. Having listened to so many of his psychotic speeches. And now, on his day of reckoning, while she and a team of earthbenders encase him in rock … even now, she almost expects him to croon something so persuasive, so magnetic, that all will stop. Stare. Listen.
But today, he stays silent.
The eyes in that mask fix on hers, even as she raises her hand to strike the stunning blow. And she strains her ears for a split second, as if hoping for a snatch of that voice to even try and dissuade her.
But Korra doesn't hesitate long when she wants to hit something. And Spirits, this bastard has had it coming for a long time.
She doesn't even bother with bending. Her knuckles slam into his head.
"How's that for equal?" she says through gritted teeth.
He sinks, a stone amidst stones. He slumps, raising dust against dust.
"We did it," Korra says, in the following silence. She almost can't believe it herself. "Bolin – Mako –!"
They sweep each other up in a fierce hug. Bolin lets out a whoop that rings off the walls of the chasm, and even Mako grins. It's almost a knowing grin, as if he knew it was only a matter of time before Amon was dethroned.
Bolin clowns around, forcing Mako's smile back into his usual serious semi-exasperation. And as their attention drops from her, Korra bites the inside of her cheek, her sharp eyebrows drawing together. Is she the only one who wasn't sure it was only a matter of time? And hell, for someone in a constant state of self-assurance, the knowledge that Amon scared her at all … well, it's unsettling.
She blows her hair out of her eyes. Even as he lies there, prostrated before them, he unsettles her with the mere fact of his existence. Dumb.
If he were conscious, she thinks, he could make a hell of a speech out of this image. A non-bender prone at the feet of the Avatar and her best friends? This fallen man could wring another thousand supporters out of this, coax them into the Equalist mindset like insects wriggling toward some toxic light.
A throat clears. Korra looks up.
Lin Bei Fong stands before her, arms folded. "So, you really weren't behind the Autumn Riots."
"No, it wasn't me." Korra folds her arms in turn, sticks out her chin, dares the woman with a defiant glare. "As I tried to tell you. Repeatedly."
Lin narrows her eyes. "We're not through, Avatar. You still owe the city so many yuans you'll have to measure them out with a weight-scale."
"Sorry, but I'm busy cleaning up the fact that there are still hundreds of chi-blockers trying to disable your metalbenders." Korra cocks an eyebrow, flicking a lock of hair over her shoulder. "Maybe next time you can help me instead of stopping me from doing my job."
A muscle twitches in the older woman's jaw. She turns on her heel and strides off, the image of militaristic precision. With one sharp gesture, she summons the two metalbenders still investigating the scene.
"Hey, where are you going?" Korra calls after Chief Bei Fong. "Aren't you gonna take Amon?"
"Tenzin told me to let you bring him back to Air Temple Island. He wants to ask him some questions about the spiritual side of things. You know…" Lin Bei Fong aims a cool smile over her shoulder. "The side you lack so desperately."
Korra fumes. "You're the one who didn't even believe energybending was a real threat!"
But Chief Bei Fong has already disappeared around the corner.
"Wow. Only you could get away with that, Korra," Bolin says, trailing up to her with awe glittering in his eyes.
"Yeah, and only you'd be stupid enough to try," Mako mutters.
Korra laughs, the last vestiges of worry finally lifting from her chest. "Stop it, Mr. Gloomy. We just took down a revolution. This is one of those things called 'happy days', remember? Those exist."
Mako half-smiles despite himself, and Bolin takes it as a cue.
"Celebration time!" The earthbender pumps a fist, inadvertently sending a rock flying into the air. "Oh man, can we go to Dao's Dumpling Dwelling?"
"Weren't you listening to Chief Bei Fong?" Mako says. "We have a lot of debt to cover. We shouldn't spend too much money."
"Tenzin will cover it, you know he will. Please, please?" Bolin folds his hands, and as Korra stares into his pleading expression, she melts. She glances at Mako, whose expression holds that grudging look of all-right-fine-I'll-do-what-you-want-Bolin.
"Let's do it!" Korra crows. "I'll meet you two there. I have to take care of this little situation." She waves at Amon.
"All right. Be careful, Korra," Mako says.
The brothers take off, Pabu gamboling by Bolin's feet.
"Okay, you," Korra mutters to Amon's immobile body. She cracks his earthen cage out of the ground and links rock cuffs around his wrists and ankles. "Let's do this. NAGA!"
The polar-bear dog bounces around the corner, her tongue flopping with drool.
"Sorry. Not a snack. This is a prisoner. They're similar, not the same." She stamps a foot. Amon's body flies into the air, landing on Naga's back rather ungracefully.
Naga lets out a whine and bows her head. Korra scratches the soft tufts beneath her companion's chin. "Sorry you have to carry this waste of human flesh. Let's make it fast, girl."
With that, she hoists herself onto Naga's back, lets out a whoop, and flicks the reins. Naga bolts into motion.
Within minutes, they've reached Air Temple Island. Korra strides up to Tenzin, who wraps her in a warm hug.
"I heard the good news," he rumbles. "I assume Lin delivered my message?"
"Yeah, Naga's watching him." Korra aims a thumb over her shoulder. "He's still knocked out. Are you going to keep him on the island?"
"We do have holding cells that should work rather nicely. You shouldn't concern yourself with this, though. Amon is no longer an issue that requires resolution. You have restored balance to Republic City, Korra."
She smiles, dipping her head. "Thank you, Tenzin."
"Doubtless you have somewhere to be."
"Yeah! Dumplings!" Her smile brightens, and she runs back outside into the dusk. In the courtyard, Naga sniffs Amon's mask as if considering whether the ceramic is palatable. "Come on, girl."
But as Naga moves away from Amon's body, he stirs. Korra's throat ices up with shock.
"You," she says, blurring into motion. Suddenly she's on her knees, her fist a hair's width from his painted nose. With her other hand, she draws a metal bar from Naga's pouch. She holds it up, a threat with all her usual subtlety. "Don't move an inch."
In the dark space behind the mask's eyes, the man's eyelids glide open. Two ink pupils stare out at her with some emotion between overconfidence and infallible defiance.
It's an emotion she knows.
"Spare the rod," murmurs his voice, "spoil the child." It echoes the tiniest bit inside the mask, softer than she's ever heard it.
His voice has always roared and crackled out over speakers, lit the ears of the listener alight with his own verve, passion, fevered belief. But it isn't an inferno any longer.
At this intimate volume, his words are the rustle of rain against stone.
It is more terrifying than the loudest roar.
Korra slashes a fist through the air. A band of rock slams across his torso, locking him in place. "You're lucky you're alive," she says through gritted teeth. "After what you've done to so many innocent benders."
"And you," he replies, "are in the dark."
"You're just trying to scare me." She sits back, her blue gaze bold. "I'm not afraid of you."
"The greatest power lies in those with nothing left to lose."
Korra snorts. "Save it for the prison cell," she says, and stands up in one sharp motion. What's she doing hanging around this nutcase? Mako and Bolin are waiting.
But as she heads for Naga, he speaks again, and she freezes in place.
"Your mentor hasn't told you everything."
Tenzin? She rounds on Amon, staring at the mask's rigid lines, cut hard by the sunset. "Tenzin doesn't need to tell me anything. You're here, I beat you. This is where your story ends, Amon."
A chuckle comes from behind the mask. Her fists clench. Spirits, if she could just bring herself to tear off that painted face –
"With the end of every story comes the first page of another, Avatar Korra." He says her name softly, with a mocking lilt. "Did you believe I planned to remove the bending of the entire world singlehandedly?"
"Of course not!"
"Then what are you doing convincing yourself you've won?"
She just stands there for a long second, fists trembling, a snarl written all over her face.
Tenzin emerges in the midst of her struggle for words. "Korra?" he says, his bushy brows drawing together. "Weren't you going to eat with Mako and Bolin?"
"Yep," she works out, forcing herself to turn. "That's what I'm doing. I'm going to celebrate. I'm going to celebrate the fact that we've won."
"Enjoy your meal, Avatar," Amon's voice says from behind her, guaranteeing that she will do no such thing.
MUAHAHA. Oh man, I ship this so hard. The power dynamics are so reminiscent of Tomione fun.
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