A/N: This is a series of one-shots following Korra's childhood. It is not in chronological order, though Korra's age is usually stated in the chapter and in the Author's Note. In this chapter, she is nine years old. - Immac
In Which Korra Is Given "The Talk"
Korra wasn't entirely sure why Katara called her and requested to meet late at night. Katara had never done this in the past, and Korra was really tired. At about 9 years old, she'd finally mastered healing and had been celebrating with her family all night. But her master had beckoned her to the high cliff overlooking the ocean, so Korra went.
"Korra, I'm glad you came," Katara greeted her. "We need to have a talk."
"Is this the talk about bleeding for a week every month? 'Cause, if it is, one of the White Lotus guys beat you to it," Korra informed the elderly woman. Katara laughed.
"No, this one is a little different."
"Is it like the one Tenzin tried to give me when he was here last week? All I got outta that one was that boys and girls are built differently and something about Buzzard-Bees and Turtle-Ducks," Korra said, remembering the confusing conversation that Tenzin had with her. He'd been sorta red, and stammered a lot, and almost everything he'd said went over Korra's head.
"No, Korra. You see, there's a special kind of bending that I need to tell you about. I think you're old enough to learn about it," Katara explained.
At this, Korra's eyes lit up with excitement. The little over-achiever was always looking for a way to best the other children in the village, and a new kind of bending could do just that.
"Do you see the moon?" Katara asked gently.
"Uh huh!" Korra nodded. "It's full tonight."
"Do you know what that means?"
"It means all the water benders are really strong tonight," Korra informed her. Katara smiled faintly, proud of how well her pupil actually listened.
"Very good. Well, tonight, the moon makes some water benders so strong that they can bend something… a little different," Katara said, her smile fading and her lips pressing together grimly. Korra was getting confused, and a little scared.
"Like… earth or fire? I thought only I could bend other elements?" the child frowned. Katara chuckled darkly, only adding to poor Korra's confusion.
"No, child. You are the only one who can bend all the other elements. You see, there's liquid in your body," she started before Korra cut her off.
"Like when I fell on the ice and cut my knee and it was bleeding?" she asked.
"Yes," Katara nodded remembering how her own daughter, Kya, had been just as curious and confused when she had given her this talk many years ago. "There are some water benders who, with the help of a full moon, can bend the blood and fluids in your body. They make you a puppet, and you can't control yourself."
Korra yelped in spite of herself. Katara instantly regretted bringing her out here. Korra was too young. She didn't need to know about this. She needed her innocence. This was too much for her.
But Korra immediately put on a brave face, as if encouraging Katara to go on. So Katara did.
"It's called blood bending," she said. "I brought you out here to show it to you."
"Am I gonna learn it?" Korra asked as Katara water bended a fish up out of the water and flopped it onto the snow beside them. The water it had been encased in splashed around it and the fish began to flip and flop.
"No. I will show you, though," Katara says. Korra watches as Katara holds her hands in front of her, like she's holding strings for a puppet. The fish stands on its fins, walking as if they were legs. Katara has a single tear run down her cheek as she lifts the fish into the air. It's struggling, a sickening squalch sound echoing loudly enough for Korra to hear as Katara hovers it over the water.
"Korra, give it a ball of water," she informed her pupil. Korra hastily bended a little orb of liquid, only slightly uneven, and Katara dropped the fish into the water, where it began to swim around eagerly. Katara stuck her hand into the water, stroking the fish gently and whispering apologies.
Korra lowered the ball of water back into the ocean and watched as the fish's shadow disappeared.
"That's scary," Korra whispered, breaking the silence between herself and her mentor.
"I don't want you to learn it," Katara murmured. "It does nothing good for anyone. But you must know what it is."
"Master Katara? Are you alright?" Korra asked as she cocked her head. She'd never seen the old woman so serious about anything.
"Just… memories," Katara said, offering her hand to the child. "Come on. Let's get you home."
A/N: I am accepting any suggestions for future one-shots. If you submit one, please give me a general idea of how old you expect her to be, or I will make it up myself. And please, no Republic City characters unless they have a good reason to be in the South Pole. Thanks! - Immac