Legend of Korra fanfiction chapter
Setting: Korra’s room on Air Temple Island, a month after the battle with the Red Lotus
"I said I don’t want to talk to anyone," Korra said, her chair turned away from the door to her room. The door opened and closed softly, and Korra wheeled around, about to whip up whatever energy she could muster to send them away. "Mom…," she murmured.
Korra had had Tenzin, her friends, Pemma, everyone and anyone she held close, try to lighten her mood for the last week. It had been a month since she had fought the Red Lotus, but she was still in her wheelchair, still moping about the temple on the few occasions she actually left her room. No one understood what she was going through, all she had endured in the fight with Zaheer.
"Have you come to prod me out of this chair too?" Korra asked, her voice rough.
Senna smiled that same soft smile. Almost everything about her was soft; her demeanor, her body, her words. Some might consider it a weakness, but it had always held its own kind of strength for Korra.
"I haven’t come to make you do anything Korra. I actually wanted to tell you a story." Senna sat on the bed, hands folded in her lap, eyes gently holding her daughter’s.
"Yes. It’s about you. Korra, when you were very young, about three years old, you came down with a terrible illness. Your father and I were worried sick. The strange thing was, we couldn’t get you to rest. When I realized you were ill, the healers came and told us you had actually been sick for days. No one had been able to tell that there was anything wrong with you. I felt like an awful mother. After that, we tried to keep you in your bed, but you wouldn’t have any of that, insisting that you were fine the whole time."
"What does this have to do with anything now?" snapped Korra.
Senna considered her daughter calmly. “After that illness, I came to realize something about you. You could endure more than the normal person, and you could bounce back quicker.That is why I’m so worried about you now. It has been a month Korra.” Senna rose from the bed and knelt before the young avatar, her hands holding hers. “Korra, what’s wrong?”
"What’s wrong?" What kind of question was that? "Why does everyone expect me to bounce back so quickly? Am I not allowed to rest, to take a break, just because I’m the avatar?" She glared out the window, forcing back tears of frustration.
"You don’t have to recover quickly," Senna soothed. "The reason everyone is so worried is because you’ve barely recovered at all. You are the same as you were the day after the battle. Your bruises have faded, your wounds have healed, but you still seem so broken."
Korra’s chest tightened. She was broken. Her dreams were riddled with the faces of Amon, Unalok, Vatuu, and Zaheer. Every shadow cast in the waking world held the menace and fear she had lived with for so long. ”I’m afraid, “she whispered. She let the words hang in the air. It was not often that she admitted her own fear, and it was definitely uncomfortable. Korra finally met her mother’s eyes again. They were full of love and worry for her daughter, but not pity. Not even her mother would insult her with that.
"I’ve been running for so long. I know I have beaten everyone who has come after me, but every time it feels harder. My scrapes bleed more, my bruises ache more, and this fear continues to grow in the back of my mind."
Korra took a shaky breath, and she found it hard to tell who was grasping whose hands harder. A few moments went by and she was able to continue. “I’m afraid to get better. If I get better, I will have to stand. And if I stand, someone worse than anyone I’ve faced so far will start chasing me. If I stand, I’ll just have to start running again.”
She held her listless eyes with her mother’s wide, watery ones. “I am so tired of running.”
"Korra…" Senna’s voice cracked with sadness on her name. Any natural mother’s heart broke when their child was in pain, emotional or physical. To see her strong and independent daughter so hopeless sent her reeling. Before Korra knew what was happening, her mother had pulled her forward, burying her face against her shoulder.
"I’m so sorry. I know all you ever wanted was to be the avatar, but the only thing I wanted was for you to be happy and safe. I was so proud when we found out you were the next avatar, but even more than that, I was terrified. Terrified you would face evil people, awful situations, and that you wouldn’t walk away from them."
Korra was speechless. She had never considered that train of thought. Any good parents would be proud if their child was the avatar, but to also be afraid? Considering what she had gone through recently, she could understand her mother’s feelings now.
Senna leaned back, tear streaks running down her face. She placed her delicate hands on Korra’s shoulders. “Listen. Take as much time as you need to heal, a month, three, six, I don’t care, as long as you do heal, and that you try to get better. I know you are hurting, but everyone who loves you is hurting too, watching you sink into this hopelessness and depression.”
Korra was crying now also. The tears fell gently; she did not have the energy to sob. She held her hands to her face, covering her weakness in shame, but her mom pulled them down and held them tight again.
"Whenever you decide to stand, know that you are not standing alone. I am standing with you, your father, Tenzin and his family, Mako, Asami, Bolin. We will all stand with you. And if you must run again, we will run with you as well."
The tears streamed harder down Korra’s face. Her chest grew tighter and it was difficult to breathe, but for once in this last month it was not due to fear. Korra had been feeling so isolated in her fear, it was like all the people who came to see her were just ghosts. It had taken her mother, her words, and her love, to remind Korra that she was anything but alone.
"Mom… thank you."