Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Legend of Korra and any other anime or manga that makes an appearance in my fanfic. If I did, I'd be working on something else…like a sex plane.
Chapter 2: First Contact-Part 2
The shout reverberated throughout the Southern Water Tribe with great force and intensity, earning more than a few confused looks from the various tribesmen and women as they paused in their various activities to search for the source of the almighty yell. After a few minutes of fruitless searching, they shrugged their shoulders and went on their merry way.
Two people were the exception to the social movement; within the modestly-sized dwelling located at the border, probably the closest to the powerful scream, Senna and Tonraq paused in their respective activities (gathering the dirty laundry and washing the dishes) as they heard the unmistakable voice of their daughter. Turning to his wife, Tonraq just had an expression of curiousity and slight wariness. "So," he began, slowly scraping the ice off one of the plates, "What do you suppose that was all about?"
Senna tapped her chin in thought, her other arm busy keeping the dirty clothing tucked securely. "Well, its Korra-it could be anything at all, I suppose." She offered, crossing over towards Korra's room for any dirty clothing.
Tonraq chuckled. "Quite true."
However, with Korra and the others, the young Avatar was currently slack-jawed and finding it quite difficult to do more than point at the two Airbenders whilst making incoherent noises. Of course, with the news that had been delivered approximately ten seconds ago, her reaction wasn't quite as dramatic as one would've thought. Finally having her brain reboot, Korra managed to stutter out a question. "C-Could you r-repeat that? I d-don't think I managed to h-hear you well the first time."
Naruto rubbed his ears, the surprise of Korra's reaction having led to him being unable to take preventive measures against the scream. Ignoring the slight tingling in his ears, he idly noted that she was quite the screamer. "I said," he emphasized, "that the original plan has been changed; we aren't moving to the South Pole anymore, so we're going to have you move to Republic City with us." He crossed his arms again, deliberately ignoring the sad look in Katara's eyes. "Dad is needed now more than ever at Republic City to help deal with the rising attacks that have been going on; initially, he was planning on leaving you here till he was done with Republic City, but I managed to talk him out of it."
She sighed sadly, this time turning to Tenzin. "So this was just a short visit, wasn't it?"
She already knew the answer, but her old heart heaved in disappointment at just how short they were going to stay. Tenzin placed reassuring hands on her, his own expression sad and reluctant. "I'm sorry, Mother. If we had sent a message, it would've arrived too late and we were in a hurry to pick up Korra."
Korra whirled about to face Tenzin, denial and panic evident in her eyes. "You're joking, right? This is all just a big prank right?" Tenzin remained there with his sad face and Korra's hopes plummeted with each passing moment. "You're…not joking."
She took a step back, the reality of the situation now fully setting in. She could stay here with her family and friends, but that would mean she was forsaking her duty as the Avatar. She would not only be disappointing the White Lotus for wasting their time and resources, the previous Avatars for being afraid to embrace her destiny and her parents for clinging on them and refusing to follow her own path but herself as well for failing to accomplish her goals.
Or…she could leave her home and family to live in Republic City with Tenzin and his family. She would be trained in Airbending, the last element she had to master and then move unto the spiritual aspect of the Avatar business that she was currently lacking. Apart from his mastery of Airbending, Tenzin was a renowned spiritual individual who could help her with that issue.
It all boiled down to how resolved she was; was she willing to leave all that she knew and start anew in an unknown place? Sure, she would have Tenzin and the White Lotus to help her through with her journey, but it just wasn't the best substitute for her parent's support.
Naruto's voice broke Korra out of her thought. "Hey, you don't have to decide right now you know…have a talk with your parents for advice, think it over some more and let us know what choice you take tomorrow morning. Alright?" He suggested, to which she mutely nodded to.
He watched her shuffle awkwardly into the Southern Water Tribe, undoubtedly going to walk about for a while before talking it over with her parents. He frowned thoughtfully; from what he had heard of her, Korra would most likely choose to come over to Republic City with them. Whilst he certainly did feel for her situation, Korra would have to decide what was more important: the world or herself.
Rubbing his palms to keep them warm, the blond began to follow his father through the Tribe. As they passed the gates, Naruto caught sight of the White Lotus sentries giving him a curt salute, which he promptly returned. It wasn't surprising that they would have heard of him; his exploits had been praised and made mention of during his time in Republic City, even more when he left on his journey of training.
The other children had gone further ahead with Katara; Jinora chatting away with the elder woman with an awed expression, Ikki laughing and bouncing about as they travelled and Meelo struggling to escape Katara's tight embrace. Lagging behind the group, Naruto and Tenzin strolled through the village towards the central area, towards Katara's dwelling.
Naruto leaned over slightly towards his father, his eyes still focused on the dwindling dot that was Korra in the distance. "What do you think of her? I mean, you met her when she was younger, how much has she grown since then?"
Tenzin smiled. "Oh, Korra certainly has grown, I must admit. She doesn't seem as headstrong and brash as she was before…speaking about that, why didn't you want to come with me that time?" He asked, momentarily frowning at the fact.
Naruto shrugged lightly, sidestepping a nearby male as they neared the inner parts of the village. "A number of reasons, actually; Mother wanted to spend some more time with me, I didn't want to leave the Air Temple Island to meet some girl and Aunt Lin promised to make me some of her delicious apple-pie."
Tenzin chuckled. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, Lin was pretty good at making desserts." His eyes flickered to Naruto, who was still staring in the direction Korra had taken. An interested glint appeared in his eyes and he drifted closer to his eldest child. "Is there something particularly interesting about her, Naruto? Finally found a girl to think of settling down with?" Tenzin teased, finding the situation mildly amusing. He
Naruto rolled his eyes and shoved his father lightly. "Can it, you sex fiend." Hearing his father splutter indignities, Naruto lazily stretched himself. Because he had closed his eyes briefly during his full body stretch, he was unable to see the attention he was drawing to himself from the females in the area as well as some of the males.
Ahead of them, Katara chuckled once more at the strange yet interesting interactions of the father-son duo. Catching sight of her home up ahead, she quickened her pace slightly.
"What do you mean by that, young man?!"
"I'm not the one who gets his wife pregnant four times within the space of ten years, now am I? How did that even happen, did the condom happen to break each time you two got freaky?" Katara could almost hear the smile in Naruto's voice and chuckled once again at Tenzin's increased babbling.
Yes, things were more interesting now that they had come…even if it was for the day, it would be enough for her aged heart.
Korra stood in front of the wooden door, the moonlight casting some eerie shadows over the village. They resembled some spirits she had heard of, crafting a creepy atmosphere that made her more nervous than she had thought she would be.
Steeling her resolve, she knocked heavily on the door thrice. Waiting for about half a minute, she was rewarded by the sounds of incoming footsteps growing closer. Peeking at the bottom edge of the door, two shadows appeared at the door and Korra straightened up in time to watch it open and reveal Naruto, a lazy and bored expression on his face.
This time Korra blushed brightly as she took in his appearance, which wasn't much; he had discarded the coat, leaving his rugged and sculpted body bare for the world to see though he thankfully kept his pants on, and had taken up fingerless opera-length black gloves wrapped in studded red-brown leather straps. As she stared, Korra was sure she heard surprised gasps from more than a few of the women within the area, though she couldn't blame them for their reaction.
Ignoring the reactions of those who could see him, or oblivious to what they signified, Naruto arched a brow at the frozen Avatar. "Hello Korra…why don't you come on in, grandma just made some of her best stew." Opening the door fully, Naruto pressed himself against the doorway to make way for Korra; as she squeezed past, however, she still ended up pressing against his powerful body, instigating another bout of blushing which Naruto ignored.
After getting out of that situation, Naruto escorted the young Avatar towards the dining area where his family currently were. Hearing Naruto return, Tenzin raised his head to see who had arrived and broke out into a surprised smile. "Ah, Korra! I didn't expect to see you so soon!"
Smiling brightly, Korra gave a quick bow of greetings and settled down in a seat that was suspiciously prepared before she had entered. "Well, the decision wasn't as difficult to make as I had thought. My parents and I talked it over, and I managed to get their blessing for the training and hardships ahead." Her smile turned sheepish and she nervously twiddled with her fingers, aware of Naruto's eyes on her once again. "So, um…if the offer is still there, I could…?" She said, half-jokingly though there was a touch of concern that was discernible.
Tenzin inclined his head solemnly. "It is my duty to prepare you for the world through Airbending and the spiritual aspects that the Avatar must master. The honor is all mine, Korra." His eyes twinkled and his bearded lips twitched, though she was unable to sense f he was amused or not. "And of course, you'll be receiving more help from my son Naruto." He gestured to the shirtless young man, who made the victory sign with his free hand as he dug into his stew. "Despite how he behaves, I doubt you'll find anyone in the world, bar myself, at the moment who has a understanding of the art than him. In fact," a touch of pride coloured his tone as he continued. "Naruto received the title of 'Sky Dragon' for his skill in the art of Airbending."
Meelo chose that moment to gape at his big brother, completely unaware of how big a reputation Naruto actually had. Ikki was in the same boat as him, her stew dripping from her spoon and back into the bowl as she looked like she would explode from the excitement being bottled up within her. Even Jinora, who had always known that her brother was much tougher than he appeared, was blown away by the news.
Widened blue eyes turned to stare at Naruto, their owner clearly showing her surprise. After a few moments, a grin spread on her face. She examined him a lot more intensely than before and her grin grew wider. "Well, at least I know I'll be able to get a decent workout. Think you can handle yourself against the Avatar? Just so you know, I've mastered three of the four elements already, so you'd better not underestimate me."
Naruto cocked his head sideways and smirked underneath his mask. "We'll see how capable you are in combat at the Air Temple Island, Avatar Korra."
"Well now, aren't you two getting along well?" Katara chimed in as she returned from who knows where and sat at the head of the table, right next to Tenzin and Naruto. She smiled knowingly at the two young adults. "Maybe after Korra finishes her training, you two could let me know the wedding date is."
Naruto snorted, a contrast to Korra's embarrassed expression. "The day I get married is the day my fan-girls decide to try and assassinate me 'for my own good'."
"Sorry, Master Katara," Korra said, her slight blush disappearing already, "But I don't really have any plans on getting romantically attached to your grandson."
Katara just chuckled mysteriously. "We'll see about that…I wouldn't be surprised if the two of you got together by the time Korra grasps the more advanced lessons on Airbending."
Tenzin groaned, "Mother, please."
Katara smiled warmly. "Now, now Tenzin, I did say that you would have to deal with this one day. Naruto, do you think Korra is your type?" She asked, ignoring the incredulous expressions both Tenzin and Korra had.
Naruto paused, taking another look at Korra with greater intensity. A little unnerved by the intensity of the stare, Korra shifted a bit in her seat; at the moment, she was feeling very self-conscious. A moment later and Naruto returned to his meal, the barest trace of red on his cheeks. "Seems like it, though that doesn't guarantee anything will happen." He firmly reminded, avoiding the curious eyes of Korra.
-Time Skip, The Next Day-
Korra stood in front of the gates to her home, her belongings packed into several bags and ready to be hauled unto the steam ship they were going to be travelling in towards Republic City. Tenzin and the younger ones had already left for Republic City, leaving her and Naruto to travel via steamship along with several White Lotus soldiers for protection.
She just stared at the huge gates; for so long they had been keeping her from the outside world, restricting her towards her home. For so long, the gates had been something she had held in disdain and resentment…now, as she stared at it once again, she felt something different.
Light footsteps informed her of her companion's arrival. Tilting slightly, she watched from the corner of her eyes as Naruto stepped right up to her and pat her shoulder comfortingly. "Don't feel so down…you'll be here before you even know it. I'm sure everyone here would be proud of you when you return as a fully realized Avatar."
Korra flashed him a grateful smile, "Thanks for that. Is our ride ready yet?"
Naruto shook his head. "Sorry, but they've postponed their departure by an hour due to some technical difficulties. We'll just have to wait for them to finish repairs and we'll be on our way towards Republic City." He said. Lifting his leg and crossing it at waist level, Naruto easily lowered himself into a cross-legged sitting position in the snow. Thankfully the snow wasn't uncomfortable; it was far warmer and softer than the ice of Yuki no Kuni, so he wasn't complaining.
"Ah, this is pretty comfortable."
Korra shook her head, amused. "Yeah, it's not so bad. The best time of the year to be here would be during the Glacier Spirits Festival; during that time, there are all these beautiful decorations that…"
As Naruto listened to her go on and on about the Southern Water Tribe and their traditions, a nagging thought manifested in his mind. Frowning as the thought continued to pester him, he opened his eyes and sat up. His abrupt movement cut off her informative lecture and she quirked a brow as he held his hand up, a gesture for her to keep silent.
"Korra," he began slowly, hoping to whatever spirit would listen that he wasn't right, "Have you gotten any…experience with life in Republic City?" His feeble hope died as she stared at him in confusion.
-Time Skip, One Hour-
Korra sighed and rubbed her forehead, trying to stave off the incoming headache from Naruto's impromptu lesson. Not only was it all so confusing, but it was so much! Why would she have to move quickly within the city to 'avoid being trampled'? Surely he was exaggerating the situation, wasn't he? Also, what did he mean by 'Don't cause a scene'? She was the Avatar, Republic City needed to know who it's new defender was! Also, if she happened to find herself in the midst of an offence, why shouldn't she try and stop it? Why wait for the Metalbending Police Force when they would show up ages after the offence had been done?
Resting her head against the ship, she let out a groan. "I don't get it; what's wrong with doing the right thing?" She murmured, eyes drooping to a half-lid state. Staring at the open ocean, she wished she could just jump in and wash away all her worries with a splash.
"There's nothing wrong with doing the right thing," her eyes slid over to see Naruto lean on the banisters of the deck. "You just have to take into consideration the fact that there are certain rules in Republic City that must be followed at all times. You can't just use any excuse to harm someone with bending anytime you please because they committed an offence."
Korra straightened up and gave him another confused look. "But what good are those rules if people break them all the time? The Police Force can't handle everything on its own, and I'm sure I can help keep the crime rate in Republic City down!" She argued.
Naruto, to her surprise, didn't disagree with her; he just nodded. "I agree that your aid would be beneficial to helping the City, but there's another reason why bender's aren't allowed to use their bending abilities so carelessly." He thrust his hand out, sending an arc of speeding wind towards a nearby iceberg. The blade of wind sliced through the ice in a quick, clean movement that had Korra very interested in her teacher's skill. "The other reason for the rules to exist is that they give non-benders some sense of security. Despite what people will tell you, Republic City isn't a place without problems; there, the non-benders have become intimidated by benders in general, and rightfully so."
Korra stared down at her hands, her expression becoming cool and distant. "So they fear the Avatar, despite all that they've done for them?"
Naruto made note of her reaction but continued to explain. "Look at it from their view; Sozin and his family had been waging war against the lands for a hundred years, oppressing many non-benders during their time. Aang, despite whatever reasons he may have had, contributed somewhat to the situation by trying to run away from his duties and ending up trapped in ice for a century. Even now, despite the peace the world enjoys, people's lives are often destroyed and ruined because of bending. Knowing that, can you honestly blame the Council for making rules that only the Police Force can enforce?"
Korra sighed and averted her eyes. "No…but it's still annoying that they would lump the Avatar and Fire Lord Sozin in the same group." She said sullenly.
Naruto chuckled and ruffled her hair, earning an annoyed glare for his efforts. "Maybe, if you try hard enough, you could change their opinion of bending and the Avatar…but that would require a lot of time and effort on your part. Are you sure you'd want that on your shoulders?"
Korra frowned and averted her eyes. "I…I don't know." She admitted.
There was a brief lull in conversation, both of them just gazing towards the ocean. The gentle sound of the wind was the only thing that staved off the silence.
Naruto woke up early, much earlier than he had intended to. Rolling off his bed and peeking out of the window, he frowned when he saw the still dark skies above. "You've got to be kidding me…doesn't he have better things to do than keep me from my sleep?" He murmured. Drowsily slipping on some clothes to preserve his dignity, Naruto stumbled out of his room and unto the deck.
There, standing patiently for his student and friend, was an old man facing the moon. He wore an old Fire Nation outfit, and his aged white hair glowed in the darkness. He turned to face Naruto and smiled, "Hello again, Naruto."
Naruto, now fully awake, gave a short bow with narrowed eyes. "Avatar Roku. To what do I owe this visit?" His tone was not amused and silently demanded the reason for the previous Avatar's appearance.
Roku chuckled. "Impatient as ever, are you? Very well, I'll get right to the heart of the matter." The amused look melted off his face and his countenance grew serious. "The other generations and I have reached an agreement regarding the future struggles the world will be facing soon. In order to prepare Avatar Korra for the coming challenge waiting in Republic City…we have decided to send her another companion besides yourself. Someone who will aid her in the struggles ahead."
Naruto quirked a brow, a deadpan expression on his face. "…And that couldn't wait until the sun was up?"
Roku crossed his arms. "There is another thing I wish to discuss with you…something that we never managed to finish when you were in the Spiritual Realm."
Curious as to what Roku was saying, Naruto crossed his arms and leaned against the door in thought. "And what would that be, because I don't recall anything like that…" He really didn't; before he had been reborn into this world, all he and the aged Avatar had done was discuss the responsibilities, benefits and disadvantages of the Avatar.
Glowing white eyes cut off his mouth, silencing him with ethereal light. "Naruto Uzumaki, Child of Prophecy and Second Sage of Six Paths…what would you think of becoming the world's second Avatar?"
A/N: Yeah, I decided to end it here because of some personal reasons; if I had continued, the chapter's quality would plummet down the drain really quickly. I'm sorry, but part 3 will wrap up the journey to Republic City as well as the pro-bending issue. Also, Korra's 'companion' isn't going to make his/her debut until Book 2, where the shit begins to hit the fan.
There are going to be some changes in this fic; due to Naruto's presence, some events may not even happen at all. For example, Lin's capture and loss of bending. I know it all worked out in the end, but I didn't like that power; if the Avatar can return the bending ability of everyone who loses it, they would gather a huge amount of support towards their goal. With Korra, the risk is minimum, but what if the Avatar had different ideas? What if the next Avatar or a different Avatar had evil intentions?
Keep an eye out for any updates…and, as always, read and review.