Title 'A full life'
Summary She could die at this moment and be totally content. follows mere surprise...
Character Korra, Noatok, Tarrlok, Lalam (oc), Yukio (oc)
Korra was going to have a heart attack. Her head was going to explode from sheer adrenaline and excitement from not only seeing her first Pro-bending match in a super exclusive box, but she was going to meet an actual team. She felt as if she could fall dead at this moment, and her life would be perfect.
“Are you alright?” Noatok asked, looking at her strangely.
She supposed her smile was a little wide, but she couldn’t stop herself, and she felt like a huge dork, but she didn’t care.
“Great! Just a little…kinda anxious. But in a good way. A totally good way.”
He was still looking at her as she were slightly deranged and offered a placating grin. His eyes darted to door a moment before they opened, and the Leopard-Dogs walked in. Well, Tarrlok sort of sauntered ahead of the other two. As soon as they were through the door, Lalam slammed it and whirled to Yukio, jabbing a finger at his chest.
“What is your problem?”
“You want it alphabetical or chronological?” Yukio responded coolly.
Korra’s smile slid off. As an expert at causing trouble, flying off of the handle, and poor impulse control, she clearly recognized when stuff was about to go down. Her anxiety fluttered between the good and bad.
“We almost lost,” Lalam bit out.
“But we didn’t.”
Yukio shoved the earthbender who stepped aside to let him pass but followed him to the lockers. Yukio seemed to all but ignore Lalam’s continued tirade as he removed his gear.
“It’s like you can’t function without a direct order, and even then you don’t listen. I told you to volley Isi, keep him off me. Do you not understand what a volley is? Because that was not what you were doing. You were…were…peppering! Sprinkling! How are we supposed to win the tournament with fire sprinkles?”
Korra bit her lip, eyes trailing the two benders. If this went on, she had a feeling she’d be seeing a close-up Pro-bending demonstration between them. Tarrlok edged around them toward Noatok and Korra. She wasn’t sure whether she should be excited about meeting him or taking her eyes off Lalam and Yukio and missing who threw the first punch.
“I didn’t think you’d make it,” she heard Tarrlok say.
“Wouldn’t have missed this for the world, little brother.”
The last part snapped Korra’s attention toward the two at her side. She examined them both under narrowed eyes. When looking, she could see similarities between the two that she hadn’t noticed before.
“Tarrlok’s your brother?” she asked Noatok, for her confirmation but feeling a little silly for repeating him.
“Yes. Why else would I be allowed in here?”
Korra drew a blank, but then she hadn’t really been thinking about Noatok at all in light of the match. She felt herself flush a little at how little she’d thought of him in fact. Had she thanked him for letting her watch from here? She couldn’t remember or think how to without sounding like an idiot if she already had.
“Noatok, stop teasing her,” Tarrlok answered, coming to her defense with an easy grin. “Don’t mind him.”
“Allow me to make the formal introductions,” Noatok said, gesturing to his brother. “Korra, meet Tarrlok, the Leopard-Dogs’ waterbender and the team’s MVP hands down. He doesn’t have much competition though so,” he shrugged in a ‘What can you do gesture?’ while Tarrlok rolled his eyes. “Tarrlok.” Something in his tone changed, she couldn’t tell what it meant. “This is Korra.”
Korra offered her hand. Tarrlok clasped her forearm in the traditional way, to recognize fellow tribesman. She breathed a little easier at the familiarity of it.
“Avatar Korra was telling me how much she enjoyed the match,” Noatok continued.
Tarrlok’s grasp went slack, and his eyes grew wide. He dropped her arm like she’d burned him and glared at Noatok.
“No joke,” Korra said, propping her hands on her hips. “You guys were amazing. Best I’ve ever seen.”
Her attempt at humor didn’t even register. With the way they were staring at each, she assumed they were doing that silent communication thing, like she sometimes did with Naga. It seemed fairly obvious that she’d said something wrong, but she wasn’t sure what.
Lalam slamming a fist into one of the lockers broke an otherwise uncomfortable tension with a violent one as the three turned their attention to the lecture that was finally winding down.
“ - least you could do is pull your own weight! I, for one, am sick and tired of carrying you. So’s Tarrlok.”
Tarrlok raised his hands and shook his head. “Did not say that.”
Cool as before, Yukio was straightening his jacket at that point. Lalam seemed less inclined to hit him than she’d previously thought now that he’d worn himself out yelling. She distantly wondered if the rooms were sound-proof.
“Are you done?” the firebender asked in a show of nonchalance as his hands clenched before sliding into his pockets. “Great. I quit. Good luck in the tournament.”
Leaving everyone’s jaw on the floor, Yukio stepped around the shell-shocked Lalam and sauntered out the door. The earthbender sat down stiffly onto the bench. Tarrlok eventually blinked. Korra herself was hesitant to breathe while Noatok looked thoughtful.
“Well…” Lalam said at length.
That was all the prompt Tarrlok needed to start.
“Wonderful talk, Lalam. Very uplifting,” the waterbender said in a hard tone.
“Hey, you told me to be nice. That was my nice. I tried. Next time, you do the pep talks.”
“Well, that’s great. I’ll have until next season to come up with something because our firebender just quit! Plenty of time.”
“Man…” Lalum “Where are we gonna get a firebender before the next match?”
“Hey, Lalum. Have you met the Avatar?” Noatok said suddenly, loudly.
Lalum’s eyes jumped from Noatok to Korra. He smiled.
“Welcome to the team.”
It took all of five seconds for it to hit Korra, and when it did, she lunged at Lalam, grabbing him by the front of his uniform.
“Boy, don’t play with me. I’m really on the team? I’m a Leopard-Dog?”
“You are a Leopard-Dog.”
She wrapped her newest team member in a bear hug who enthusiastically returned the gesture. Riding a jubilant high, Korra completely missed the panicked, confused look Tarrlok shot at Noatok. When she released Lalam and latched onto Tarrlok next, she didn’t notice Noatok smother a laugh with his hand either.