Title: The Troubles with Breakfast

Author: Illyria Lives

Rating: T, for mild cursing.

Summary: Mako's gloves get in the way. Bolin is amused by this.

Disclaimer: Am not Mike or Brian. Do not own Nickleodeon. Do not own Korra.

Author's Note, 3/25/12: Don't you just love it when your preemptive fanfiction is prove completely and utterly false after just two episodes? I sure do.

"Ow! Damn! Ouch, shit…"

It isn't often that Bolin hears Mako curse, but when he opened his eyes Tuesday morning and saw how late it was, he figured that he deserved whatever verbal lashing his older brother had to give him. This would be around the fifth time that he made them late for their classes at University.

But, as Bolin blearily sat up in bed, ready to defend his lethargic position with tales of intense, possibly prophetic dreams that could not be interrupted, he realized that Mako wasn't yelling at him specifically. In fact, Mako wasn't even in his room. Now adequately confused, Bolin padded, barefoot, down to the kitchen to find his brother already fully dressed, scarf and all, plunging his hands under the rushing tap water, still muttering obscenities under his breath between pained gasps.

"Um…" Bolin is unsure what to say in this situation, so he goes for the old classic. "What's up?"

Mako flinches and whirls around, holding both hands behind his back. In a moment he gathered himself back into cool, calm detachment. Normal.

Normal, if not for the fact that his hands were beginning to smoke, and Bolin's gaze drifted to the small, localized explosion that darkened the wall above their gas stove. His green eyes lit up in a moment, and he turned to his brother with a smile large enough to nearly break his face.

Mako, not normally one to be rattled easily, suddenly felt like he should run. But his hands hurt too much for that to be possible. He leaned back to once again submerge his smarting fingers in the stream of cool water. He tries to turn the tables of conversation away from what terrible thing is turning in his little brother's head.

"It's about time you woke up," Mako said in a voice close to his usual disapproval, but Bolin wasn't buying. He began to walk jauntily forward, his smile even wider, if that was possible.

But Mako wasn't one to run in the face of danger. He pressed on. "We're going to be late to classes if you don't go and get dressed…"

Bolin had stopped smiling. Mako though this was worse than his crazed smile.

Bolin struggled to arrange his eyebrows in a worried slant, but decided better of it and settled for a slightly amused smirk. "Did you set your gloves on fire again?"

"No," Mako said immediately, the word 'fire' spiking another layer of pain into his raw fingers.

"Mako, this is the fifth time—"

"Fourth time," Mako said immediately, then sighed and jumped into his defense. "That damn gas stove leaks, I'm telling you!"

"Of course it does," Bolin agrees, holding back giggles that were sure to get him hit. Mako, abashed on the inside but cold and frosty on the outside, removed his hands from behind his back to show that his right glove was charred and crumbling away from wealing skin. The left was only singed but the fingers red and beginning to swell. As far as Bolin could figure, the right glove had caught when the gas flow plumed, and the left had beaten it out in a blind panic. It happened to the best firebenders, that moment of panic where they realize that they aren't in control of their element. Bolin had never managed to catch Mako like this however, always elegantly calm as he handled flames, and made a note as he helped his brother bandage his hand to wake up earlier next time Mako was making breakfast.

"You know," Bolin says amicably over their cold breakfast (Mako had flat-out refused to even approach the dreaded stove), "I know a guy who works out by the training hall; he works with the gas company and could probably fix it if we go now—"


"But the stove tried to kill you. Again."

"It's going to have to try a little harder," Mako said in a way that pressed the finality of his attitude. "And we have University today."

Bolin sagged; he had hoped that the experience of being set on fire would wipe classes from Mako's mind.

Who was he kidding? It would take meeting the avatar to make Mako forget about classes. Maybe.

He sighed and went to go get dressed, leaving Mako alone to suspiciously eye the stove and nurse his wounded pride.

Two days later Bolin woke up not to cursing, but a large explosion that made his heart jump to his throat. He rushed out of bed, stubbing his toes on corners and slowly gathering up tension in his legs and core, ready to earthbend if need be, only to be met with the image of Mako sitting calmly at the small table, breakfast hot and ready.

The blackened shell of the stove was several places all over the kitchen, mostly the windowsill, but with sizeable chunks stuck to the ceiling.

Mako regarded his brother with a cool gaze, gloves completely intact.

"It's about time you woke up."

Author's Note: After seeing the trailer, I was terribly curious about the logic behind someone who shoots fire from their hands wearing gloves, even fingerless ones. Then I realized that there were a few inches of clearance between hand and flame, and then I moved onto how maybe that was a little too close when accelerants were involved.

And yes, gas stoves existed in the Roaring 20s, which the show is apparently inspired by. With older gas stoves, like one my grandma uses, the fire that comes from the gas is surprisingly large. I think that Mako holds a flame to it and gets a little too close for comfort.

Since Mako and Bolin are a little old for High School, and live in a big city, I like to think that when they can (when they're not Probending) they catch a class or too at the local University. Mako goes with a stoic face and dedication, while Bolin goes with kicking and screaming.