"A Good Friend" --- Legend of Korra fic, Korra and Bei Fong
Word Count: 3,167
Characters: Korra, “Fen” Bei Fong, cameos by Mako and Bolin, Equalists, and several OC characters.
Warnings: Minor suggestive graphic content and adult. And no, homosexuality isn’t a warning.
Summary: Korra comes to the United Republic and ends up losing contact with Mako and Bolin. After a much needed rescue, Toph’s daughter is intrigued by her.
A/N: This isn’t really a shipping fic as much it is a bonding fic. I tried to get these characters as close to what we know canonly through the creators and guides. And while it goes against my fandom beliefs to write for a show that hasn’t even aired yet, I also can’t turn down a request by Kingie. (Thank you for putting this idea into my head, bby~~) I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’ve done all I can do with what I know but it was fun while it lasted~
A pair of leather-clad hands around her throat, squeezing, squeezing hard. She choked out a small groan, concentrating on attempting to pry apart the meaty fingers holding her several inches from the ground from her bare skin. Not going immediately for a pressure point. A Chi Blocker? No. Felt more thug than anything. Damn. He stripped her metal pack. No help there. The end of the bay was far from the city, all ocean and white sand and the high rise of heat overhead. Shouldn’t fixate on that.
The leader of the medalbender police choked again, and then found herself tumbling onto her right side as the armored Equalist from behind her was sent flying, soaking wet from a stream of ocean water summoned from nowhere. Wait. She wiped her damp, black bangs from her exposed face (lost the helmet somewhere in the struggle) to watched silently as a tanned, muscular girl ran full-force at the stunned Equalist, parrying a hit expertly aimed at the girl’s abdomen, and delivering a near-*perfect* back kick with her boot at the man’s armored jaw. A satisfying smack of impact.
The girl huffed rudely down at the unmoving Equalist, and then glanced at her. Such striking blue eyes.
“Nice moves.” She smirked, patting the sand from her police uniform. Hm. Very.
“Can I ask why you were messing with one of Oman’s goons?” The girl asked, crossing her arms.
“Followed a trail. Took a wrong turn.” She chuckled, and blue eyes narrowed. “Or maybe it was a right one.” She tilted her head towards the other girl politely before starting to wring out her hair. “I’m Fen Bei Fong. Chief of Police in the United Republic.”
“Korra.” The girl’s lips twitched into a small, arrogant smirk. “Pretty sure that name is famous enough around here…”
“I’ll go so far as to say all of the Four Nations, Avatar.”
Korra’s smirk slowly widened at Fen’s lighthearted tone. “Fragrant. That’s a strange name meaning for someone who is in charge of most of the military of the city, don’t you think?”
“Certainly catches people off guard,” Fen said, not feeling particularly offended by the blunt observation, “But I’m in the business of that sometimes. What bring you here, Avatar?”
“Korra,” The younger girl corrected her, starting to frown. “Looking for my friends.”
“And…” Fen trailed off, tucking her messy hair away into its usual, flattened bun. (Where the blast did her helmet go?) “You suspect that they are somewhere in the city? Are they in trouble?”
Korra shook her head after a moment, high ponytail bobbing, and her golden-colored lips pursing together. She seemed unsure. Stories about the Avatar being an unworldly powerhouse of might, confidence, and ferocity paled in comparison to how she looked now—like a venerable, ordinary teenager. Fen’s voice softened with reassurance, “Well, I can escort you into the city and we can see if anyone on my squad can do a little detective work in finding your friends. How does that sound?”
The Avatar’s shoulder brushed against Fen’s as the girl paused, sky-blue-and-fur making solid contact with dark-and-gray-uniform, and Korra shifted her foot in the sand, volleying the lost, dirtied helmet upwards in the air with the back of her heel. Fen caught it in her hands with a surprised look. One of Korra’s long, dark eyebrows arched up incredulously at her companion.
“Lead the way then.”
City life was all that Fen had been familiar with since her birth. The hustle and bustle, the machines, the smolder of dirty air and of communal viruses and of at times uncaring and unpleasant city-folk pushing past her—so she tried to be patient with Korra (deeply unprepared with a jolting first-hand encounter with automobiles) when she began to firebend someone’s expensive piece of personal property out of a spot of brief panic.
“I grew up in the Southern Water Tribe,” Korra explained grumpily as they managed to get away to a much quieter street, “I’ve been to cities before but they were nothing like this.”
“And what were they like?”
“They weren’t completely made of metal for starters.” The girl glanced down towards the sidewalk they were on, as if eyeing what she was seeing with great skepticism of its existence. “Even the ground is made of metal.”
Fen insisted, “But the ground beneath it is earth. If you were shift away the metal—”
Darker cheeks flushed somewhat.
“You can’t…?” Fen’s mouth formed into a small O of understanding. “Well then…” At Korra’s further discomforted hush on the subject, the older woman picked up the pace of walking, teasing, “To be better than at something than the Avatar surely must be some sort of accomplishment…”
Korra’s blue eyes lit up. “Hey!” Her laughter bold and clear. Much like her spirit. Fen had only known her for perhaps an hour and could already sense that their personalities meshed well. A buoyant way of viewing the world was not what shaped Fen into the Chief of Police but it was… nice to be able to feel she had several years ago—when she could stroll her city with a good friend, aimless and joking and smiling. Though… Mother would have come up with better jokes.
“Korra,” Fen announced, clasping the shoulder of another woman in police uniform who had waved to them across an intersection, “this is one of my lieutenants and a close friend of mine.”
A pair of very pale green eyes flicked over to a puzzled Korra before turning back on Fen. “She’s a pretty one.” The other woman observed, undoing the chin straps to her helmet, revealing very pale hair pressed with sweat and shaped in a men’s cut. “Where did you find her?”
“Kaja.” A warning tone. “This is the Avatar.”
“Figured the name sounded familiar.” Kaja glanced back the younger girl, addressing her monotonously with a serious expression, “Are you here to help us with the riots?”
Korra frowned at her. “The riots?” she asked warily.
Fen sighed, rubbing her temple with a fingertip. “Another one today?”
“Smaller group in the Western district. The Anti-Benders appear to be losing their touch.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Fen mumbled, wrapping a hand around her own neck protectively. Out of the corners of her eye, she caught Korra’s meaningful look. Hmm.
“Slang term for the Equalists,” Fen informed the younger girl, glaring at Kaja who shrugged with a similarly monotonous gesture, “that is actually penalized for its use while in uniform.”
“I’m looking for my friends. Mako and Bolin. They’re brothers. One is a taller and is a Firebender. The other is stout and can Earthbend. They are almost identical in features.” Korra cleared her throat as she noticed the blond woman studied her state of dress. “They are also traveling with a polar-dog. That might help narrow your search down—and is there anything interesting about what I am wearing?” Korra sounded more amused than offended.
“Kaja, it would be most appreciated if you could help by gathering any volunteers.”
The blonde woman said aloud to her leader, a bit of mischievousness surfacing from her words, “Are you kidding me? I can handle a missing person search myself.”
“It will have to wait,” came a new voice from high above everyone. A hovering man touched down, also dressed in shades of gray and with a hard, leather helmet. His large, dark eyebrows furrowed together as he handed Kaja what looked photograph from a paper file in his hands. “Found this.”
Suddenly, Korra snatched it into her own. “Oman,” she whispered lowly. The pad of her finger traced around the subjects of the photo. Fen peered over her shoulder, feeling her gut twist. Several bodies of naked men and women (a child on the far right) lay out on the metal street, disfigured with what looked swirling and jagged gashes created with knife work. Very precise knife work. “…I’ve seen the ceremonial designs before.” Korra handed back the photo to the blond, sickened. “It’s his.”
“And you are…?”
Fen interrupted him, growling, “Xun, how long ago were these bodies found?”
It was the cool, disinterested response that boiled over Fen’s anger for his ignorance. “And WHY wasn’t I informed then?! Or have you forgotten the basics of our military protocol?” she scowled.
A smirk through his pencil mustache, smug and idle of other more favorable intention. “We can handle this without you when you presently busy,” Xun noted superiorly, snorting and gazing at Korra whose fists balled up tight. Fen did not take a step back and in fact met his eyes evenly as the bigger man stood over her. “It must have been a reprieve for someone of your…. extracurriculars when Prohibition 45 was repealed from the government.”
Korra stepped forward, almost between them. “I don’t think I like your tone.” A fierce grin.
“This needs to be brought back to the centre, Xun.” Kaja fanned the photo out in the open until the man removed it from her grasp and took off into the air, metal pack facing their group. Korra swore. Kaja hummed thoughtfully, watching the sky. “…Remind me to sneak in some fire flakes into his breakfast porridge. Curfew is starting. The search for the Avatar’s friends will have to be postponed, yes?”
Fen gently took Korra’s bare wrist into her gloved hand. “I will explain later. Do you have any places to stay for the evening?” The girl shook her head. Fen tapped Kaja’s shoulder, catching her attention from staring up. “We will reconvene at daybreak at this location.”
“Understood, Chief.” She nearly missed it but a pale green eye winked.
“It’s not much.” Fen flung open the decorative salon doors. “But it is a modestly sized apartment.” Korra searched the elaborate, silken draperies to the ceramic statues of the front room as she paced it.
“Oh, not much at all,” Korra said derisively, slanting her head to the left side as she examined one of the detailed oil paintings on the wall, “I’ve only been sleeping in the dirt for five weeks.”
Fen held back a smile. Wouldn’t be courteous. “There is running water if you would like to bathe.”
A contemplative noise from the back of Korra’s closed mouth.
“Do you have a basin?”
“A washing basin, do you mean?” The older woman replied offhandedly, standing on one leg to unhook her uniform padding, “It is in the next room; do you need soa—…?”
When Fen looked up, Korra had already disappeared and she could hear the sounds of the metal basin filling with tap water. “Why does the city have a curfew?” The younger girl shouted over it, “Or perhaps I should be asking why the metalbender police have to obey it along with the citizens?”
“Only if things are quiet. If any riots or disruptions of that kind break out, we are on duty.” Fen let the padding drop to the floor of her apartment. The Bei Fongs could have afforded more luxurious means. She didn’t want her grandparent’s money, didn’t want their sympathy. She had it twenty years since they knew she was an illegitimate child—to one of the most powerful men of a Nation no less.
“The first of the riots between those who could Bend and the Equalists were political killings. Soon after, it was fair game to anyone who would dare cross paths to the Equalists. And since…” Fen’s voice wandered away, her golden amber eyes stinging. She could feel the luminous and roguish grin of her blind mother’s portrait directed at the back of her head. A knot in her throat. “…It’s complicated.”
Her pale fingers ran along the bare skin on her neck as Korra returned with a full basin in her hands. “I’m the Avatar,” she encouraged. A familiarly arrogant smirk. Like from the bay. “Try me.”
Fen watched the basin as it was set down gently on a table, taking a seat. “What’s this for?”
“Your neck. It’s irritated and swelling from the bruises, isn’t it?” Korra gestured to her knowingly. “You’ll only make it worse by touching it.” Fen caught herself, lowering her ungloved hand into her lap.
“Are you a healer, Korra?”
“One of the first skills I learned when I discovered I was a waterbender. I excelled in the required teachings, of course.” The girl reached, touching the outer edges of Fen’s neck piece. “Hold still.” Korra’s hands stopped when the woman undid the piece herself, and a small amount of water floated steadily beside them. “Tilt your chin up slightly,” Korra told her softly, as if speaking to a potentially fussy child, and Fen obeyed, wincing a little. The cooling water wrapped itself around her neck, glowing a bright lavender color, and Fen let out a breath as a soothing feeling of warmth spread over her aching skin.
“So… if you can’t explain curfew to me,” the younger girl ttched, “can you explain the Prohibition 45 and why I feel the overwhelming urge to punch that guy right in his stupid-looking moustache?”
Fen wanted to laugh at the comment. But couldn’t make herself at that moment. “Prohibition 45 was repealed fifty years ago,” she explained grimly, “When this city was first formed, its early government decided that homosexuality was illegal and penalized anyone who was either under suspicion or was open about their lifestyle. The popular method was a death sentence made in private chambers. It’s only recently that the people have become more accepting… and some others…” Not so much.
Korra’s pensive face did not shift to a particular indication of sentiment about the topic, and instead, utterly absorbed in her healing task. “Every life is important. Equality is important. The world needs balance yadda yadda…” A faint, building smile. “Your turn,” she murmured.
“Excuse me?” Fen blinked, tilting her lolling head down a little to glance bemused at her companion.
“To pry an answer from me with a question I’m sure is burning in your consciousness.”
Weighty silence passed between them permeated with their individual, relaxed breathing and almost invisible drone of the glowing, healing water as it dimmed and then floated back into the basin. “How are you aware of Oman and of those ruthless markings on the bodies of those victims?” Fen then offered quickly, “Any information you can give to my squad—”
She gasped, eyes rounding in shock as Korra without warning shed her blue, wool top from her lithe body and tossed it at her feet. Her belt and her dark brown slacks joined the pile after a moment. Fen barely moved, keeping her hands digging firmly on the plush arm rests of her chair. She did not concentrate on the chest bindings of Korra’s full breasts or the form-fitting, ivory undershorts but on the scars. The ridged, taupe-hued network of swirling, jagged scars starting from under Korra’s ribcage, down her flat stomach, to what was uncovered the fronts of her thighs and her legs.
Fen’s fingers, managing to pry themselves from the rest, lightly inspected the brown skin above her bellybutton, where the scars were deepest.
“I’m a personal witness.”
So pained. Why would someone… do this…?
Korra exhaled, amazed when one of the woman’s fingers stroked her thigh, and Fen recoiled from her, fingers curling into her palm, blushing with mortification. “My apologies…” The woman shot up out of her chair, maneuvering carefully around her guest to avoid her stare, “I didn’t… Forgive me…”
“Show me where I can bathe?” Korra said mindfully, flatly.
“…Down the hall.”
“I think it’s best you show me,” the girl insisted, wrapping her hand around the woman’s, tangling their fingers together. Striking blue eyes pinned Fen down in place. The moment felt disjointed, surreal. (What implications… …) The skin on Fen’s arms broke out in goose bumps. Korra’s smile ripe with meaning and gleeful. “Since your apartment is so large and unfamiliar… who knows… I might get lost…”
The moon settled full at its highest peak. It lit the windows, lit the soft edges of Korra’s face in the darkness of the bedroom as the girl sat lotus-style on the floor below it, the thin, orange robe tied to her waist pooling with its edges around her. Fen watched curiously from the doorway, finishing braiding her thick, black hair over her shoulder before entering. As she did, Korra rose immediately to her feet, turning towards the woman, the entirety of her eyes visibly overcome with an intense, white glow. A blink. Dazed blue irises. Fen caught her by the shoulders as Korra swayed, stumbling.
“Are you ill?”
Korra shook her head, blinking again. “I was seeking guidance from Avatar Aang. It weakens me.”
“Do you need to lie down?” Fen asked concerned, keeping a firm hold. Korra snorted, tucking her face into the sweet-smelling neck in front of her and her loosened brown hair fell to shield her face.
“I am no invalid, I can assure you.”
“That was not my intent to name you one.” Fen chuckled, squeezing the girl’s shoulders. “At least you no longer smell like that of the underside of Hog Monkey.” A puff of warm breath as Korra laughed with her, letting a comfortable sort of silence ease over them. Korra shifted her face, glancing up.
“Avatar Aang mentioned something about your eyes. How they reminded him of his best friend’s.”
Fen carefully arranged her facial expression into that of subdued consideration. “…Other than my mother, I remember seeing little of the other four. Perhaps since I was so young.”
Korra’s blue eyes examined her with pity. She knew. Avatar Aang knew. Who else and she hadn’t been aware of this? “Did it bother you that your father never knew about you?”
“No,” she said a little too fiercely, and Korra straightened up. “I am nearly forty. I am far too old to be wishing for that which I did not have say in.” Fen held her in place, continuing with an exultant smile, golden eyes gleaming, “I am my mother’s child. I have that legacy to live up to without worrying about royal blood when my half siblings handle diplomacy so admirably in the Fire Nation.”
Korra frowned deeply, looking about ready to kick herself. “It was not my place to ask.”
“Your place is to master all four elements and to keep the world at peace. Maybe it is also to bring those who need it most at peace,” Fen pointed out, motioning her hand off to the side and a metal pitcher of water from the nearby stand hovered to them. “You look thirsty. Drink.”
The girl did not take hold of the pitcher but bid a small amount of water into midair. Korra bent her head back, opening her mouth to allow it to disappear into her mouth and smacking her lips loudly.
“That was quite a display.” Fen mirrored the companion’s haughty smirk. “With your finesse as the Avatar, you should be able to master the art of metalbending with the proper training. Should we try it?” The pitcher landed with a thud to the floor, sloshing the inside liquid. “Levitate it.”
Korra took a deep breath, extending a hand out to the object. After a few moments, the water inside it shook violently, wetting the floor, but the pitcher itself did not budge. The girl snarled frustrated, tanned face tightening, and the water burst into the air as hot steam.
“Throwing a tantrum will not make allow you to grasp this ability any faster.” Fen waved the steam from her airspace slowly. “You must allow yourself to see the separate elements that created the metal. The knowledge that the metal you are trying to move is earth.”
“I know that!” Korra spat.
Fen’s voice hardened, “Then stop acting stubborn and visualize it.”
Korra grunted harshly at the woman, screwing up her mouth in concentration. The pitcher let out a low groan before twisting into a warped sphere shape but without lifting an inch.
“It was something at least.” Fen said calmly, picking up the ruined picture before Korra could punt it, “You are not incapable of skill, only undeveloped. You are not a fully realized Avatar, are you, Korra?”
Tanned cheeks flushed guiltily. “I haven’t found someone to teach me Airbending…”
“Even then you will lack in other groups of subskill bending without practice…. If you were to remain in the city, it would be my honor to teach you,” Fen said as an afterthought, “provided we work on your temper fit for a Firebender.” Another guilty brush.
“…I need to find my friends first.”
“Rest assure, we will.”
Fen watched with undisguised amusement as Korra took off down the intersection in broad daylight, leaping over the hood over a stalled automobile at the stop light with the aid of one hand. Korra proceeded to pound with her fists on the chest of a stout but muscular boy who squealed quite unmanly and then captured her in an exaggerated bear hug, yelling her name repeatedly. It did not last due to the taller boy nearby leaning on a metal wall and chewing on a peach who smacked the hugging boy across the head before prying Korra away and by the looks of it, scolding her.
“Should we leave them to it then?” Kaja asked, adjusting her helmet. “The briefing is starting.”
“Affirmative,” Fen spoke up, eyeing the grinning girl across the way with muted kindness, “If she needs me, she knows how to get in contact with me.”
“You like her.”
Fen raised an eyebrow assertively at her friend. “What’s not to like?”
Notes (or just in case you missed it):
- “Fen”: Chinese for “fragrant”
- “The OC Kaja”: Estonian or Greek for “pure”
- The OC “Xun”:Chinese for “quick, fast, swift”
- In this fic universe, Fen is the illegitimate daughter to Fire Lord Zuko .
- In this fic universe, Oman is a cultist on top of someone who leads the more dangerous Equalists. When Korra received those scars on her body are an undisclosed time. The scars are also fictional. Korra has no such scars as far as I know.