Meme for fanfic writers. Over the course of the next ten days, post ten different snippets from your recent fanfiction works! Let them be your funniest, smartest, sexiest, saddest - whatever. Just let it be what you think is your best!
Okay, maybe not the entire world, but it feels like that to Korra because everyone she cares about has shown up to watch her tackle this final test. Mako, Bolin, Iroh and Asami wish her luck before joining the small crowd at the edges of the Air Temple training area. She can see Tenzin’s kids, Pema and her relatives, Lin, and Bumi. Her parents stand at the end, having arrived just the other day by sea — and her dad hates sailing. It’s a welcome surprise to have them here to support her. Of course, the Order of the White Lotus have shown up too, and she knows they’ve never been her biggest fan, especially the head honcho guy who always treats Korra like she’s a reckless little girl with no sense of discipline. But hey, that means Master Katara came too, and Korra is happy for that.
She’s also wishing the Earth would swallow her up whole.
She’s never felt this sense of intimidation before for her other elemental tests, but it skyrockets when she sees Tenzin step out onto the training area to face her. She’s never challenged her master in any of the previous tests. She thinks there should be some sort of rule against that, but there’s limited options for adversaries. Instead of facing off against White Lotus guards like she’s done for every other test, Korra finds herself facing off against Tenzin because he’s the only other fully-trained airbender in the world.
“Okay, Korra,” she tells herself, whispering encouragements. “You can do this.”
They’re both wearing garbs of red and yellow, and Tenzin has changed out of his ceremonial robes into a slightly modified one. There’s no cloak. He looks intimidating when he stops seven paces from her, standing at a full foot taller than her, but he smiles warmly and gives her a reassuring look just before he bows.
“Avatar Korra,” he greets, formally.
“Sifu Tenzin,” she returns with a similar bow.
The test begins almost before she’s ready, but the gauntlet rings and she reacts.
Unsurprisingly, she is the first to attack. She looses an air-bullet first, trying to wing Tenzin by the shoulder. He rebounds with a heavy forced blast that ricochets out in concentric circles. The wind slams into Korra and she jumps, twisting and then vaulting off one of the dense bamboo trees at the side to escape his attack. She fires off an air-tunnel, constructing a small vortex into a pocket of air and then sending it towards Tenzin. He easily leaps away.
She directs another large, wide-sweeping blade of air towards him and then a third so that it pelts him from the side. He stumbles, and she takes advantage, but it isn’t more than another three steps before the tide turns and he’s got her on the defensive again. He comes at her with a row of tornados, one after another so they surround her on all sides. Korra has to whirl through them, turning and spinning, and she has no choice but to run off course.
In theory, they aren’t supposed to leave the training area during the test. In actuality, Korra doesn’t care. Neither does Tenzin apparently, because he chases her when she leaves the flat even ground for the unsteady rocks at the side. The line of bamboo trees whip about as the gust of air Korra marshals together builds into a gale-force wind. She uses the trees as cover. She uses her agility to move. She hides and throws surprise attacks, moving with no motive but to disorient Tenzin into making a mistake. He’s not easily thrown, and more than once Korra takes a hit that knocks her to the ground.
There’s a building clash of air in the atmosphere. Korra’s aware that it sounds like a storm is growing on the horizon — fierce and turbulent — but she’s too focused on the smaller details to pick up on how it looks. The audience and the weather are a distant concern. Korra only concentrates on Tenzin, rapidly spinning around, footsteps quick and buoyant.
There’s another series of exchanges, of hard hits and quicker retreats. Korra feels herself transform into a being as light as air itself; she gathers the wind and springs back up from a dive, releasing it. Then it’s like slow motion, watching from a distance as Tenzin takes the hit, the mark hitting dead-center, and he flies back, arms limp like ropes, crashing to the ground. She’s on top of him before he has the chance to recover.
“Yield,” she says, breathless and panting.
Tenzin blinks up at her, splayed out on the ground. He shakes his head, breathing just as heavily, then to her shock, slowly smiles. “I yield,” he says, and in the rush of adrenaline it takes a moment for Korra to place the emotion behind the smile, but it’s pride. “You win, Avatar Korra.”
There’s a full beat of silence, before Korra hears a full wallop of joy from the crowd behind them and she realizes – she passed.