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Southern Water Tribe compound frontal
The Compound
Chapter information

1 (of 1)

Written by


Release date

22 June 2015

Word count


Korra skillfully blocked a rock that was thrown at her, and readied herself to throw one back. She launched herself up in the air, somersaulting over one of the two men left. While she landed, she used her energy to lift up a broad rock, shooting it back at him, landing a solid hit. He couldn't block it, and it knocked him out of the ring. The other one would be tougher, since he no longer had his colleague to worry about.

He shot another rock at her, and Korra spun around on one heel to kick it away. She launched a fissure his way, but he managed to roll out of its way before it got him in any serious trouble. He made another weak attempt at knocking her down, but it was easy for Korra to spin under this rock, kicking another one his way from his right. This moved him into the perfect position for her to strike: a it only took a relatively small rock to the chest in order to push him out of the ring.

A massive grin broke across Korra's face. She had just single-handedly defeated three earthbending masters, all under the critical supervision of the White Lotus. That's gotta be bad for their egos, getting their asses handed to them by a fifteen-year old.

The elders of the White Lotus didn't seem impressed as Korra almost skipped back to them, except for Katara and her earthbending master, Bohee.

"Well done, Korra," Bohee said, appearing to be genuinely impressed with her. "It's quite something for any earthbender to beat three masters at once. As far as I'm concerned, you have passed my test."

"That's great!" Korra realized she had been a little bit exuberant, so she calmed down a little. "Thank, you, Master Bohee."

"Take it easy, Korra," Grand Lotus Tumu pulled her back down from her excitement. "You have may have mastered the bending aspect, but there is much more to it than just that. You need the mindset, the control and discipline of an earthbender. Do you believe she has mastered that too, Master Bohee?"

Bohee nodded, and the smile on Korra's face grew even wider. "If anything, firebending would be the best tool to teach her some discipline. I am certain Master Ren can whip her into shape."

"Very well, then I will send word out to the Fire Nation, and Master Ren should be able to come down here shortly."


It took a week for the firebending master to come down from Ember Island.

"Master Ren," Korra said, while bowing respectfully. "It's an honor to meet you." She might have been told all her life that she was arrogant, but she did know how to make a good first impression.

"The honor is mine, Avatar Korra," he said, while making a small bow back. Much to Korra's surprise, he didn't appear to be fazed by the cold.

Grand Lotus Tumu came up to them too. "Master Ren, good to see you made it. Shall we go inside where we can continue this conversation under the enjoyment of a cup of tea?"

"Yes, I think that would be a good idea." They went into the main building, where they all settled down in the dining area and were then helped to a cup of tea. After making the necessary amount of pleasant small talk, Korra decided that her new master was just like Bohee and the other members of the White Lotus: knows his business, but as boring as the rocks she spent the past two years bending.

"Right," she announced while standing up. "It has been my pleasure to meet you, but I have to feed Naga. I will see you at the training, Master Ren." Of course it was a lie, but anything to get out of that place.

"Yes, Korra, I will see you tomorrow."

The young Avatar had trouble not rolling her eyes, and made for Naga's pen as quickly as she could. She walked up to the polar bear dog, patting her on the snout. "Looks like it's the same-old same-old, ey girl? Just you and me for company." Naga whined, and looked up at something behind Korra.

"Wow, is that a polar bear dog?!" She heard an excited voice behind her say. At the bottom of the stairs was a girl about Korra's age, and a woman who appeared to be her mother. Her eyes grew even wider as she saw who Korra really was. "Oh, Avatar Korra - Wow, uhh, I mean... Hi, umm..."

The woman put a calming hand on her shoulder. "Calm down dear, she's still a person." She turned to Korra. "Nice to finally meet you, Avatar Korra. I am Iwu, and this is my daughter Nami. We've heard a lot about you."

Korra eyed them up. They were definitely from the Fire Nation, so presumably Ren's family, and by the looks of things, this was not the kind of climate they were used to. Nami huddled close against her mother, despite the fact that she was wearing a thick coat, gloves, a scarf and a warm hat, she looked like she was freezing. Upon closer inspection, so did her mother. This was of course a stark contrast to Korra, who was walking around in a lined parka and a tank top. "Nice to meet you too," she said, trying once again to make a good impression.

Naga growled behind her, not very trusting of the strangers in her pen. "Did you come with Master Ren?"

Iwu smiled. "Yes we did, he's my husband. We are planning on moving into the compound too."

"Great. I mean, there are typically not a lot of new faces around these parts." Naga nudged Korra with her snout, and Korra tried to calm her down. "Easy girl, they are friendly. Nothing to get worked up about." The polar bear dog let her guard down, sinking into a less imposing position, and softly whining again. "It's alright now, you can come closer. She won't bite," Korra gestured Iwu and Nami to come over. The younger girl hesitantly did, walking over to Korra.

Iwu smiled. "I'm good, you two girls have fun now." She turned around, and quietly went back up the stairs.

This gave Korra a chance to get a proper look at her, up close and personal. Nami was most certainly from a long line of Fire Nation people, judging by her jet black hair, light skin, and amber eyes.

"Can I pet her?" she asked, her voice shaking, probably from the nerves. Even if Korra knew Naga wouldn't hurt a fly if she didn't tell her to, she was still a thousand-pound monster, capable of decapitating a person with one blow of her mighty paws.

Korra just laughed, trying to put her at ease. "Yes you can, she only looks threatening, because in reality, she's just a big fuzzy sweetheart."

Nami laughed too, took off her glove, and slowly reached out for Naga's snout, softly laying her hand on her the animal. "Hey there," she said, trying to bond with the animal. "What's her name?"

"Naga," Korra simply answered. She meant for it to come out nonchalant, but it instead came off as curt. "I mean, it's a pretty normal name for pets here in the Water Tribes, and I always liked it."

Nami kept on petting Naga, and the animal eventually licked her hand, and Korra decided to have a little bit of fun. "I'd be careful with that, I came down here to feed her." Right on cue, Naga snapped her jaws shut, scaring the living daylights out of Nami. Korra broke out in a massive gush of laughter at the expression on her face. "I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist!" she laughed, wiping away a tear of joy from the corner of her eye. "Ahh, that was just too easy."

"That's not funny," Nami said quasi-indignant, shaking her head. "That's not funny at all."

"Come on, it's kind of funny."

Nami rolled her eyes, but did give in. "Alright, it's sort of funny." She looked over from Korra to Naga and back again. "So how did you manage to tame her? I mean, I thought they were wild animals."

"They are, but I have raised Naga from a very early age. I found her as a pup on the plains after she had been abandoned by her mother, and I took her in. The White Lotus at least allowed me to do that."

"Is the White Lotus really that strict?" she asked, a little bit surprised.

Korra sighed. "Yeah, they are, I can't even walk around the compound at night. But enough about that, how about I show you to your room?"

Nami nodded excitedly. "Yeah, that would be nice. They said somewhere on the second floor of the main building?"

They walked out of Naga's pen, and towards the living quarters. "Yeah, that's where all the guest rooms are. They made sure we always have somewhere to put everyone." Korra preceded her up the stairs, and into the building. Once there, Nami dropped down on her bed. "Ha, this is more like it. My father always made me sleep on a rock-hard bed. Said it's good for my back, but in all honesty, I prefer something like this."

"Hate to bring down your good spirits, but this isn't really everything either. It's pretty boring here in the compound."

Nami's face dropped a little. "Yeah, I suppose it is..."

At that moment, Korra recognized something in her, something she needed to know. "Would you tell me something about yourself? I mean, you know plenty of things about me, but I don't know anything about you. I didn't even knew you were coming here."

Nami sighed. "Well, there's not much to tell. My father was disappointed that he couldn't have another firebender after my older brother, so he was determined that I would make it in school. He had me homeschooled all my life, so yeah, I was pretty excited to come down here, see something of the world."

"You have a brother? Why isn't he here?"

"We are seven years apart, he already moved out. Not that it really matters, we weren't very close."

Now it dawned on the Avatar what it was: they were both very, very lonely.

A couple of weeks passed, during which Korra and Nami quickly grew close. It was for the first time that both of them had a real friend, at well over fifteen. Korra's firebending training was going well. She had always had a particular affinity for it, and this was the element Korra had been looking forward to the most.

Nami continued her tutelage under the supervision of the White Lotus, no exceptions made. Even though Aang never mentioned her, it was plain to Master Ren that the same rules applied to both Korra and Nami.

But at night and in the breaks, they would often just hang out with each other, mostly in Naga's pen during the day, and in Korra's room at night. Nami, being used to the tropical climate of Ember Island, was of course perpetually cold, something that she solved by always making sure she could sit either close to Korra or Naga, preferably both. They would spend most of their time talking about nothing much, or playing card- and board games.

Naga meanwhile, had accepted Nami full stop, also happy that she had someone other than Korra to play with. She didn't mind the girls using her as a pillow, in fact, Korra suspected she kind of liked it, as Nami was prone to petting her, or occasionally sneak out some blubbered seal jerky, one of Naga's favorites. Tonight was one of those nights.

"Psst, Korra," Nami whispered, getting the Avatar's attention. She was studying an old scroll, something about The Dancing Dragon form, which was a must, according to Master Ren. It was even more boring than he was, so Korra was glad with a little bit of distraction.

"Come in, quickly." Nami did, and revealed the jerky out of her sleeve. "Do you think you can get us out of here? I think Naga would like a snack."

Korra smiled. "I can do that." She opened the window, looking around to see if any of he sentries could see her, which they couldn't. With one move, Korra pulled the snow off the roof, piling it up underneath her window. It was a necessity, since Korra's room was on the second floor, and they needed a slide to get themselves to ground level safely. "Come on."

Nami looked out the window, very hesitantly. "Are you kidding me? It's over fifteen feet to the ground!"

"That's what the slide is for, silly. I figured out this was the best way down when I was a little girl, and I'm still here. Nothing to worry about." It wasn't really a surprise to Korra that Nami was hesitant. While she was good with Naga, she was very much an indoor-type of person, and Korra was set on fixing that. "Tell you what, we jump together. You can hang on to me."

Korra sat down on the window sill, and swung her legs outside. She turned around to face Nami again, petting the spot next to her. The Fire Nation girl cautiously walked over, and took hold of Korra's hand before swinging her legs over too.



Korra put her arm around Nami's shoulder, and grabbed her other arm with her free hand, while Nami tightly wrapped her arms around the Avatar. "We go on three, okay?" Nami nodded, and Korra decided to have a little bit more fun. "Three!" With one push, they were falling to the ground, but landed softly on Korra's newly created slide, rolling along the ground.

When they came to a halt, they had rolled over so much that Korra couldn't tell what was where, until she realized that Nami was on top of her, still firmly holding on. Their faces were only inches apart, and Korra suddenly realized how pretty Nami was. When the Fire Nation girl opened her eyes, Korra was staring into deep amber irises, and unconsciously licked her lips. Despite the fact that Korra didn't think it was cold, it was just really, really nice to feel Nami's warmth pressed up against her, feeling the closeness, the intimacy.

At last, the situation they were in really dawned on them, and Nami scrambled to get off Korra, who got up as well. Neither girl could help a furious blush racing across their faces, making it impossible to hide what they were thinking. A heavy silence fell between them, which Nami ultimately broke. "Uh Korra, could you help me with this snow?" she asked, gesturing to the snow all over her clothes.

"Oh, umm, sure." Korra quickly bent the snow off both of them, and then started work on a tunnel through the snow to Naga's pen. It was a short and quiet walk there, and when they got there, Naga started wagging her tail excitedly upon smelling the girls. Korra made a small flame in her hand, making it possible for them to see at least a little bit. Nami held out the jerky to the polar bear dog, who happily took it, and after quickly munching it down, excitedly licked her face.

"Eww Naga, not my face!" She playfully pushed the animal away, and Korra started petting her with her free hand. Naga lay down, nudging the girls to lie against her, to which they complied. Korra lit a torch, setting it down next to them, keeping from having to keep up the flame the entire time.

It was silent between them, which was weird. Both girls were normally not exactly shy, but now, it just wasn't going anywhere. They wanted to avoid talking about what just happened, but it was the proverbial elephant koi in the room.

"So..." Korra eventually said, not sure where to take it.

"Korra, have you ever had a crush on a boy?" Nami asked, deciding it was as good a time as any to bring his up.

"Not really a lot of boys around here. The White Lotus is completely paranoid about letting outsiders visit the compound. Pretty much the only ones allowed to are Tenzin, that's only because he is Katara son, and occasionally my parents. Boys have always been right out, and forget about me going into town. They barely allow me to ride Naga on the plains in front of the compound."

Nami slowly nodded, and swallowed a big lump in her throat. "So... you've never kissed one either?"

Korra looked up at this. "You too? Was your father that strict?"

The Fire Nation girl sighed. "Yeah, he kind of was. Like I said, I have been homeschooled all my life, so the only boy around was my brother, and the gap was so big he hardly ever recognizes me. I almost never went into our village alone, and even if I did, I didn't have any friends to go with. It was far away, not really a trip you can make without some kind of transport, which my parents never let me have." She fell silent for a bit. "Have you ever wondered what it's like?"

Korra nodded before looking over to her friend, and promptly regretted that. If anything, she looked even better under the dim, uneven glow of the torch. She immediately flushed, and Nami looked over too, smiling at the color that was forming on Korra's cheeks. She moved her hand slightly, taking hold of Korra's. They fit together well, fingers intertwining. The Avatar didn't resist. She didn't want to resist. She couldn't resist.

"Look, Nami, I..." Korra stammered, but Nami silenced her by putting a finger on her lips. "Don't say it. Just feel it." She slowly leaned in, and time slowed down for them. Korra felt her breathing deepen as her excitement grew, and Nami slowly closed the distance. Her heart rate was spiking, easily beating even the most intense exercise, because Korra had never felt like this before.

And then their lips touched. It was a glorious feeling for Korra, the sweet and gentle lips pressing against hers. Nami opened up a bit, letting her tongue softly run along Korra's lips. She returned the gesture, being able to taste the girl who made her feel this amazing. It was hot and wet, and Korra loved every moment of it. Never before had she felt this close to someone, and she only wanted this to last forever. Nami tasted sweet and spicy, and like everything Korra loved.

Then everything happened too fast.

Naga suddenly stood up, growling at the stairs. Korra and Nami, who were still leaning against the animal, fell over, breaking their kiss.

"What is going on here?!" they heard a sentry bellow. "Were you two..." he started, but he didn't need to finish his question. The way both girls turned beet-red was more than enough confirmation for him. "Come with me, now. You're not even supposed to be out here after dark, you know that, Korra! And you," he continued, turning to Nami, "What were you doing with the Avatar? I will tell your parents about this, this cannot go unsanctioned."

Both their eyes grew wide at this. "No, you can't tell them! They'll never let me do anything again!" Nami protested. But Korra knew it was pointless. The White Lotus was not on her side. They never were on her side. And now she had screwed up her only chance at getting someone on her side.


Korra had been right, of course. They had been sat down, where Ren, Iwu, Tonraq and Senna gave them the speech of a lifetime. Well, Ren did mostly, but none of the others stopped him. Nami was sent back to the Fire Nation, where she would continue her education in a boarding school for girls.

Ren would stay on as Korra's teacher, and even if what had transpired bothered him, he was too composed to let her know.

After Nami left, Korra's parents assured her that they loved her regardless of this, and that they always would. As far as Korra was concerned, they might as well have been talking to the furniture. For once in her life, she'd had a friend, and now that friend was gone.

With tearful eyes, she ran down to Naga's pen, hugging her loyal friend tightly. Naga let her head descend onto Korra's shoulder, comforting her master. "Looks like it's the same-old same-old, ey girl? Just you and me for company."

Naga softly whined, and Korra realized she wasn't the only one who missed Nami. Right now, these two unlikely beings had more in common than they would ever have.

Couple more things:

  • "The White Lotus had been downright paranoid about visitors to the compound. Boys had been right out. And after one of the guards caught her kissing the daughter of her firebending instructor, girls had been right out too."
    This was the line I based it all around. It's from a fanfic called Unstable Equilibrium, and I think it's such a brilliant line. It's meant as a joke, but the longer you think about it, the more poignant it becomes. I know it conflicts a little bit with what Korra says in the first episode of season three, but never let that get in the way of thinking up a story.
  • The names are mostly from one of those name generator things, but I'll give you a few translations:
    • Nami is Japanese for "wave"
    • Iwu is the phonetical spelling of "to say"
    • Tumu is one I couldn't resist, because it is from a Native American language, meaning "deer thinking about eating wild onions". I am dead serious, look it up.
    • Bohee was thought up by Kugumi, who gave me that after I asked her for a boring sounding name for an earthbender. I think she delivered just fine, so thanks for that.
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