A/N #1: I watched the Legend of Korra trailer today and, well, this just had to be written. The concept wouldn't leave me alone. So I hope you enjoy my version of Makorra.
A/N #2: This is just a reminder that this story and all my other Makorra/LoK stories were written more than eight months before the show officially aired, before I even knew the Krew's personalities or that Mako and Bolin were probenders (and that Korra would join in on the fun). So everything written here was pure speculation at the time, especially characterisation. Still, I hope you enjoy it. ^_^
She's gone off half-cocked again, thinking she can take on the entire world all by herself. When she finally returns home, cursing and making an ungodly racket, he sees that she has more broken bones and bruises on her than he'd like to count.
Bolin tries to help as best he can, but she just dismisses him with a wave of her hand and tends to her own wounds. But she can barely heal herself for crap (some great master waterbender she is), and she'll never ask for help. Never.
At least his brother can get close to her, not that he wants to. No, this firebender would rather not. Let Bolin play the nurse, let Bolin take the abuse. Mako's just too damn sick of it all.
Besides, if he were to make a move to come near her, she'd just bend him through a wall or tell him to fuck off with such ferocity that she might as well have crushed him into the earth or slit his throat with her stupid ice dagger. He'll never know why he puts up with her to begin with. Maybe it's because of Bolin or maybe it's because she's the Avatar.
A waterbending Avatar ruled by her emotions in the time of a revolution. Isn't that just peachy? Bolin would call it dramatic irony or some shit—and most likely not know what irony meant—but either way he'd be wrong. Korra's just a pain in the ass.
When she comes back from fights like these, bruised and bloodied, he wants to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her. Avatar or not, she's too reckless, too head-strong, too Korra. She's the last one to ask for help, but she's the one who needs it the most.
She shouldn't be risking so much. She shouldn't be doing this all alone. But what can he do or say to convince her otherwise?
"What?" she snaps, looking up to see him frowning at her.
She's trying to heal a fractured wrist but she's too emotionally spun and can't concentrate. For all her amazing power and sheer force, she can't manipulate that energy into something positive like healing. She can only bend destruction, like fire, and he often wonders if she was born into the wrong element, the wrong era.
"You're doing it all wrong," he growls, knowing he has risen to her baiting.
She just wants another fight with someone she can win against this time, since she obviously lost the last battle.
Her blue eyes narrow dangerously. "Oh, I'm sorry, Mako. Are you, a firebender, now an expert on healing and waterbending?"
His hackles rise and he takes a step forward while Korra stands defiantly to meet him. Shattered wrist or not, she can trounce him like a child's rag doll. He would never stand a chance. But Mako isn't the type to back down from a challenge. Sure, he might seem patient and level-headed to some, but his threshold for Korra's bullshit is only so high and right now his tolerance is beyond tested.
He's reached his boiling point.
Already Bolin, the peacemaker, is stepping in between them, but Mako gently shoves his brother to side and faces Korra directly. Her eyes are still narrowed on the firebender, her chest heaving rapidly with each breath she takes. Reaching out with two fingers, Mako touches her shoulder and pushes, forcing her to sit back down. She's caught off-guard when he kneels beside her, gently taking her swollen wrist in one hand while his other cups water from the bowl next to her feet.
His actions are slow and deliberate, like a man trying to placate a skittish animal. He lets the water drain from his palm and through his fingers onto her wrist. He trains his golden eyes on hers when she hisses in a short intake of breath and waits for her to listen.
"There are a lot of things you don't know about me," he informs her darkly, his voice thick as his fingers trace the purple-black bruise circling her wrist. "Concentrate on the movement of my fingers and imagine them as currents mending your bones."
Her eyes have gone wide, like liquid pools of sapphire, and he feels himself getting lost in them—if only for a moment. So often does she blur the line between what's real and what's imagined that he forgets why they argue so much, why they clash so brightly. She's so stubborn yet so incredibly fierce, unwavering and steadfast like a tattoo on his heart, that he cannot picture anything or anyone else in the room but her.
She's looking down at his fingers still drawing invisible lines on her skin and she brings her dark fingers down to his, tracing over top. She closes her eyes in deep concentration and the water begins to glow as blue as her eyes. He's aware that his fingers are now numbly cold and he looks down to see that her skin is already healing, the bruises disappearing and her bones beginning to mend.
Her voice is barely above an audible whisper and her face is turned, her hand already snatched away from his. Like every connection they have ever made, it is fleeting and cold when it ends.
He rises to his feet, feeling the cool water trickle down his hand and drip onto the floor.
He doubts this has changed anything. She will still take off and fight without them; she will still claim to be able to do this all on her own; she will still get hurt and bruised and broken. But now maybe—maybe she'll understand that she has people to come home to, someone who cares.
Author notes: Yeah, so my head-canon has Korra as this stubborn, emotional, fierce waterbending warrior princess who thinks she has to do everything on her own. Mako, on the other hand, is this brooding, rational firebender who is in constant disagreement with Korra's actions. In the end, though, Mako will always protect and care for Korra no matter what—despite the wounding of his own pride.