|Baby, Ready or Not
Author: unicornhime PM
Pema goes into labor earlier than expected. Despite being in the middle of a fight, Korra reaches out to Mako for help. MakorraRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Korra & Mako - Words: 2,647 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 78 - Follows: 7 - Published: 04-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8026068
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Korra?" Pema asked as she slowly made her way into the common room. "What are you doing here? I'd have thought you'd be hard at work training at the arena after yesterday's match."
"Don't rub it in," Korra groaned, slumping dramatically over the table. "I would be, but Mako and I haven't spoken since we lost the match."
"It was kind of my fault and it was a really important match. If I hadn't gotten so over-confident, I wouldn't have been blind-sided like that."
"He's not talking to you over something like that?" Pema sounded skeptical.
"I don't know what else it could be. I tried to go to train as usual this afternoon, but it was so awkward and uncomfortable that I just couldn't stand it. So now I'm here. Not training. Probably going to lose the next match, too."
"Oh, Korra," Pema smiled and sat beside young avatar. "I'm sure it's not all the bad. You're not out of the tournament, right?"
"No, but captain of the team we lost to is a stuck-up piece of platypus bear poop. He's miserable to be around."
Pema laughed and Korra's expression soured even more. "I'm sorry, dear, I know I shouldn't laugh, I just haven't heard that phrase before."
"Ugh." Korra planted her forehead on the table. "This is ridiculous. Why did his jerk side have to come back?"
"Mako! We were just starting to get along and then bam! Now he hates me again."
"You miss him," Pema said knowingly, patting the girl's arm. Korra's head shot up at that and she protested immediately.
"I do not! Why would I miss that firebending jerk? All he does is stare at me and give back-handed compliments and lurk around whenever Bolin and I go out and glares at anyone who looks at me wrong and gives me his scarf when it was windy and teaches me knew tricks and, oh spirits, I do miss him! What is wrong with me?"
"You're a teenage girl," Pema smiled, remembering her own teenage years fondly. "It happens."
"It needs to stop happening. I've got other things to worry about."
"I doubt it will be that simple. I remember – oh!" Pema gasped, her hands flying to her very pregnant belly.
Korra jumped out of her seat. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Oh, I'm fine," Pema assured her, waving Korra back to her seat. "It comes and goes pretty quickly."
"What comes and goes?"
"Oh, just the contractions."
"Just the contractions! Pema! Are you in labor?" Korra looked horrified. Tenzin was in a council meeting all night, and Korra had no idea what to do with a pregnant woman about to give birth.
"Don't worry, I've done this three times already. My water broke awhile ago, but labor was so long with the other three that there's nothing to worry about for some time now."
Korra was not reassured. "What do you need me to do?"
"Maybe try to call Tenzin at city hall? I don't think you'll be able to get through to him, but you might be able to leave a message with someone."
"Got it." Korra raced down the hall to the reception area of the island where the telephone was kept. She didn't use it often (who would she call?) but she knew how to use it.
She picked up the receiver and waited for the operator to respond.
"Hello, where may I connect you?" The clear voice came through the earpiece.
"City Hall, please," Korra said in a rush. "I need to speak to Master Tenzin if possible."
"One moment please."
Korra waited impatiently, fidgeting with the cord and pacing until she got tangled up and tripped, nearly falling on her face. She was in the middle of a tirade of colorful curses when a voice came through the receiver again.
"Hello, this is City Hall. I'm afraid Councilman Tenzin is unavailable at the moment. May I take a message?"
"Yes! Um, this is Korra, Avatar Korra," she didn't know how she was supposed to identify herself when dealing with people she couldn't see. "Tenzin's wife is in labor. She says there's nothing to worry about, but if you could let him know as soon as possible, that'd be great."
"Certainly. The council is not to be disturbed right now, but I will pass along the message as soon they take a recess."
"You can't just knock on the door or something?"
"I'm afraid not. And if his wife says there's nothing to worry about, I'm sure there's no rush."
Korra doubted it. "Thanks."
She hung up and was about to race back up to Pema when she remembered that Mako practically raised Bolin on his own. Surely he knew something about babies. More than she did, anyway.
She picked up the receiver again and when the operator answered, she asked for the pro-bending arena. There was a phone up in the training area so that sponsors could get ahold of their teams at a moments' notice. Korra prayed either Mako or Bolin were still there.
She was in luck. "This is Mako speaking."
"Mako!" she breathed, "You've got to come over here now! Pema's in labor and I don't know what to do! Tenzin's in the city and the kids are here, too, and I –"
"Whoa, whoa, slow down. Korra?"
"Yes, yes, it's Korra. Who else would be calling you for help about babies? I'm sorry about the match, but please can you just come help me?"
"I don't know if the ferry's running, but I'll be there as soon as I can," he promised.
Korra breathed a sigh a relief. "Thank you so much."
"See you soon," he said, and with a click, he was gone.
Korra ran back to Pema's side. The older woman was breathing heavily, her brow furrowed in confusion. "What's wrong?" Korra asked.
"I'm sure it's nothing," Pema said, gasping a little. "They're just coming a bit closer together sooner than the last time. I'll be fine."
Korra bit her lip. Pema sure didn't look fine. "Maybe we should get you to bed. Or do we go to the hospital? Or is there someone on the island to help?"
"Dr. Chonen was going to come here when the time came," she said. "He lives in the city, downtown. I don't know if you'll be able to reach him, though. He's usually out doing rounds around this time."
"It's worth a try," Korra insisted and went back to the phone, where she gave the operator all the information she had.
"No one's answering," she reported back to Pema after several tries. "I couldn't even leave a message with anyone."
"We'll just have to try – ow! – later." Both Pema and Korra winced at the contraction.
"I don't know that you'll have a later. I think this baby is coming with or without a doctor."
Korra shot a worried look out the window, praying that Mako would find a way to get there and that he would be able to help. "And I really think we should get you to a bed or something."
"You're probably right."
With only a little difficulty, they managed to steer Pema to her bed, which was thankfully not that far away. After Korra helped Pema get as comfortable as possible, she said, "I'm going to go find the kids and let them know what's going on. Maybe Jinora can help."
"Good idea, I'll shout if I need anything."
Korra didn't like leaving her alone, but needed someone to watch for Mako. And she really did hope Jinora could help. The young girl did have two younger siblings, and that was more experience than Korra had.
She found the three in the kitchen, trying to persuade one of the guards to let them have extra dessert.
"Hey!" Korra called and all three turned around guiltily. "Your mom's gonna have her baby and we need your help!"
"Ooh, what can we do?" Ikki asked, eyes wide.
"I need you and Meelo to go to the pier and wait for the ferry. Mako's coming to help and I need you to let me know when he gets here and to show him where to go. We'll be up in your mom's room. Jinora, I need you to come with me."
"Right!" All three children shouted in unison and excitedly went about their duties. Korra followed Jinora as the younger girl raced ahead, leaving the confused guard alone in the kitchen.
"Do you know anything about babies?" Korra asked.
"I know how to change their diapers and things like that," Jinora said, "But I don't really know about when they're being born. I just remember you have to be really gentle with them."
Great, Korra thought to herself. Gentleness was not one of her strong suites.
Once in Pema's room again, all they could really do was talk to her and try to distract her from the pain. Jinora recited the stories she learned from reading the histories of her avatar grandfather, which made Pema smile through her pain with pride at her intelligent little girl.
After what seemed like an eternity, Korra heard Ikki's shrill voice announce Mako's arrival a moment before they appeared in the doorway.
Mako looked out of breath, still wearing his practice clothes and sweating a little.
"Sorry I took so long," he explained, catching his breath. "The ferry wasn't running for another hour and I had to uh, borrow a boat."
"Borrow a boat?" Korra looked at him in alarm.
"Don't worry about it, it belongs to Asami, she won't mind. Bolin went to explain."
Korra was touched, but was also getting annoyed at people telling her not to worry when clearly the situation called for worry. "She's getting really close."
"I'm just glad I wasn't too late."
"Do you know what to do?"
"I know the general idea. JInora," he turned to the wide-eyed girl. "Can you go get a bowl of clean water and some clean towels or linens? Ikki, can you help her carry everything?" The two girls nodded and dashed off. Mako turned to the youngest airbender and said seriously, "Meelo, I need you to talk to your mom, okay? Tell her all the jokes you know. Can you do that?"
Meelo nodded seriously. Even a child as young as he was understood something big was going on. He climbed up on the bed to sit near his mother's head and began rattling off joke after joke. Pema smiled weakly, "You have your grand-uncle's sense of humor."
Korra just watched awestruck as Mako took complete control of the situation. When the girls returned with the water and cloths, he used his bending to bring the water to a boil, and then dipped the washcloths in methodically, wringing them out and draping them over the side of the bowl.
"Do you mind if look to see how far along you are?" He asked Pema politely, and hurriedly agreed, telling him to do whatever he needed.
"You're really, really close," he said, looking over at Korra. "I'll need you to lend a hand in a moment here. When the baby comes out, clean it with the hot clothes and then wrap it quickly." He continued to rattle off directions and then before she knew it, it was time for Korra to help deliver the baby.
It was messy and confusing and wonderful and terrifying, but Pema's fourth baby – a brown eyed little boy - was born healthy and successfully.
After it was all over and cleaned up, and mom and baby were sleeping, and the other kids were sent off to bed, Korra collapsed in the common room for the second time that night, this time with Mako beside her.
"I really can't tell you how much it means to me that you came to help," she confessed to him, looking up at him with as much honesty as she could muster.
"I would have been completely lost without you. How did you know all that stuff?"
"I did a lot of odd-jobs growing up. One of them was an errand boy for a doctor," he shrugged as if that explained everything. "Besides, you would have managed somehow," he said, returning her gaze evenly. "You always do."
"Except in the ring," she said dryly and Mako flinched. "I'm sorry about that, too by the way. " She looked down at the table, fingering the lines of the wooden top. "I hated letting you guys down. I understand why you were mad at me. Though I hated you not talking to me over it. That sucked."
Mako blinked in surprise. "You thought I wasn't talking to you? Because you made a mistake in the match?"
"You weren't talking to me. You exiled yourself to the island and wouldn't come to practice."
"Because when I did come, you were avoiding me!"
He shifted uncomfortably. "Oh. That was… about something else."
"It's not important."
"Obviously it is, if it stopped you from talking to me."
He sighed, clearly not wanting to talk about it, but Korra wasn't about to let it go. "Tahno said some things, after the match. About you. I might have… lost my temper. And punched him. And if he reports it, we could be out of the tournament." By the end, he was barely mumbling, staring at his hands.
He didn't repeat himself, knowing Korra heard him full well. He waited patiently while she processed what he'd just told her.
She didn't know how to respond. And with all the confusion and chaos of the night behind her and leaving her exhausted, she didn't have the energy to think about how she should respond.
She just did.
She flew out of her chair, throwing her arms around a shocked Mako, and kissed him right on the lips.
He grunted at the force of impact, and froze for all of two and a half seconds before he began to kiss her back.
Korra poured herself into that kiss – her appreciation for his coming to help, even though he thought she was mad at him, his standing up for her at the risk of loosing pro-bending, everything that he was. She wrapped her arms tightly around his tight as she kneeled over him, one knee against his while her other foot was still (somewhat) firmly on the ground.
And once Mako got over the shock, he returned her force for force, cupping her face in his hands and holding her tenderly.
When they finally parted to catch their breath, Mako said, "I've been wanting to do that for a long time."
"Really?" Korra breathed.
"Really," he reached up to press a kiss to her forehead. "Korra, you may be crazy, but you drive me crazy, too."
She smiled, laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. Delivering a baby. Kissing Mako. What else was in store for them?
Distantly, they heard a door blow open somewhere and Tenzin shout, "Pema's having her baby?"
a/n this was inspired by another headcanon, this time by an-irresistibly-sexy-person (whose sn makes me laugh each time). Enjoy!