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mai/zuko

April 2013

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Ozai w/ tea

fic: mere surprise, pleasant or otherwise

Title: Mere Surprise, Pleasant or Otherwise
Prompt: Understanding
Bonus? No
Word Count: 609
Rating: K
Original/Fandom: Legend of Korra
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con etc): AU
Summary: Noatok watches Avatar Korra and puzzles over what he sees. follows the old switch


[...]

Noatok had missed the first round of his brother's match against the Tigerdillos. His boss had refused to let him go early, and he'd been forced to blackmail one of the other waiters who snitched food from the kitchen to come in and cover the rest of his shift. From the hard expression on Tarrlok's face, he could tell that his brother's team had lost the first round and badly.

The Leopard-Dogs had been forced back to zone two by their opponents, and the firebender whose name Noatok couldn't bother to remember was in three.  As the next round began, Lalam went on the immediate attack, sending a stone disk at each, and Tarrlok followed his lead with a few well-placed bursts of water. The firebender was a slower to the game.

His attention was torn between watching the match and Korra. The girl whooped and cheered as loud as the other fans. She ordered her brother's firebender to 'grow a pair' and to 'fire dropkick their faces in', but he seemed not to hear her. Noatok was sure that she'd forgotten he was here at all.

She was not what he’d expected the Avatar to be. She was not how his father had described. A heartless, self-righteous being totally consumed with its own selfish agenda. Noatok had later come to find it an ironic description.

He’d been watching her longer than he’d realized. The Tigerdillos had all been knocked back to the second zone, and the Leopard-Dogs were split between the first and second zones by the end of round two. Korra was leaning so far over the rail, he thought she’d just might fall over.

Noatok never invited anyone into the Leopard-Dogs' box. His brother was the only reason he was allowed in himself. But he'd been curious, to see what a real, breathing Avatar was like, how one measured up to his father's stories.

So far, he’d found this one to be only a girl. A loud, excitable girl who was a little too trusting of the goodwill of stranger's with a bad sense of direction, but a girl nonetheless.

His father would want him to destroy her, the way the Avatar had done to him. Like a specter over his shoulder, Yakone's voice seemed to whisper encouragement to his son, his favored child.

He could feel the blood in her veins as easily as his own. Flowing warm and fast and alive, his heart raced to match it as the crowd climaxed at the Leopard-Dogs’ final victory. He could crush her, seize the blood in her heart, freeze it in her veins. Korra released a triumphant cry, throwing up her hands.

Noatok looked down at his brother, saw the joy and pride on his face and look up at him. Tarrlok waved up at him, and he returned the gesture. He could crush the Avatar, and the life they’d made in Republic City at the same time.

He let out a breath and forced his blood to calm, to ease the rushing in his ears. His father's voice died down with it.

"Whoo, that so was intense! The Leopard-Dogs are awesome."

"Stick around, and you can tell them yourself."

Noatok made a split decision. Befriending the Avatar - oh. That would put the old man in his grave and send him spinning.

"Get outta town!" she shoved him, hardly budging him. "You're kidding me...right? Are they coming here? Like, in here, right now, where I am? I mean, seriously?"

"Seriously."

Korra made an odd noise that was a squeal and a gasp and a laugh. Noatok looked at her, thought of his father, and smiled.



Comments

Ooh. This was fascinating. Honestly, I was really disappointed in not getting enough of Noatok’s story. This is an interesting AU to think about. How would he have reacted had he and his brother been the same? Would Tarrlok and Noatok be in the same position? I like this version of them, how they embrace the bender within. And Korra is right on the money!
I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing with Noatok. Who is he without Amon?

They could have just done a whole series of these two. They could have made one of them the Avatar... Oh great. Now I'm gonna have to write that AU. Only question is: Avatar Tarrlok or Avatar Noatok?