Disclaimer: Yeah, so we don't own The Legend of Korra. Thanks.
Authors' Note: Written for the ficbending community on LJ. The prompt was by layla618. Hope you enjoy it. (Tahno's personality is currently unknown as only two episodes have been released and he has not appeared, so we just made up his personality.) Kudos to those who catch the Avatar: The Last Airbender references!
Cactonic by HawkofNavarre and Irradiance
"Why are you even here anyway?"
Mako narrowed his eyes at the girl as the Fire Ferrets walked into a local pub. It had been Bolin's great idea to go to the bar that night to celebrate their latest win. Of course, Korra had gladly consented to his suggestion while Mako had vehemently protested to their outing, but alas, he had been out-voted. So, the question was why was he even here?
"To make sure you two don't do anything too stupid," he deadpanned, glaring at the Avatar.
"Aw, come on, bro! It'll be fun!" Bolin exclaimed, heading over to the bar.
I seriously doubt that, the firebender thought.
"Hey, Korra, do you want anything?" said firebender's younger brother asked enthusiastically.
"Sure!" she replied, equally as enthused. "I'm not a stick in the mud like some people."
Mako snorted, leaning back against the bar.
"Come on, Mako. Just take a seat, sit back, and relax. Have a drink."
"No, I'll pass. Just don't come crying to me when you're totally hung over in the morning," he warned, unsympathetic.
"Oh, please," Korra scoffed, rolling her eyes. She turned to the barkeep with a grin. "What's the best thing you've got, barkeep?"
The barkeep's eyes twinkled suspiciously. "Oh, have I got something good for you! Cactonic!" the man shouted dramatically, slamming a dark green bottle onto the counter with a flourish. "Founded in the desert by one of the former Avatar's best friends. You won't be disappointed."
"Sounds exotic! I'll take a shot!" Bolin declared, ever oblivious to his brother's face-palm.
"Me too!" the brunette chimed. "Heck, if it's good enough for Avatar Aang, it's good enough for me!"
Mako's horror remained unnoticed.
Moments later, two shot glasses were filled and the two Fire Ferrets were clinking their glasses together.
"Oh god, no…"
How did he just know this was going to happen? Korra and Bolin were on their fifth shot each now, and they were absolutely wasted. His little brother was now busting a move on top of the bar while Korra was singing something really off-key about Naga.
"More Cactuseses!" Korra demanded, slamming her glass down.
"I am not paying for this," Mako muttered.
"Be QUIET—hic—GIANT MUSHROOM! I NEVER LIKED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE."
"He—he's no mushroom, Korrsa! He's just a love machine!" the earthbender retorted, stumbling off the counter. He looked puzzled for a moment. "Wait…I thought I was the love machine! MAKOKO, THIS IS YOUR FAULT."
"None of this is my fault," the sober Fire Ferret growled in return.
"Gotta fix my rep now… Gotta fix it. HOT GIRLS, WHERE ARE YOU? Wait, I needa wingman fer this. LOVE MACHINE, HOW 'BOUT YOU HELP ME?"
"No way! I'd be a much better—hic—wingman than jerkface over there!" Korra announced.
Mako face-palmed. This night couldn't get any worse.
His teammates staggered through the pub, approaching a particularly noisy bunch of girls. Okay, maybe the firebender had spoke too soon; it was about to get worse.
It looked alright at first. The two were just chatting it up with the crowd of females (which he was certain was Tahno's fanclub, meaning that purple rat had to be here somewhere), all smiles, having fun. That was all fine and dandy until he saw Bolin's shirt come flying up above the crowd.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Korra's next words were: "HEY! WANNA SEE MY ABS TOO?"
Mako's face blanched. He was right; the girl really was crazy. Just as Mako was about to rush over and stop his teammates from further embarrassing themselves, a wail of protest emerged from the crowd.
"HEY! NUH-UH. I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY WINGMAN!"
It was Bolin in his drunken stupor.
"YOU TRY'NA STEAL MY THUNDER, MAN?" he continued, face red.
"No! I just thought we were bros! Aren't they before the hoes?" Korra reasoned.
"But you are a ho!"
Mako sighed in relief. Disaster averted – for now, and not the way he had envisioned it, but Bolin's need for some lovin' had saved him some trouble, ironically. But just when he thought he could relax again, another problem came waltzing in, taking the form of a purple rodent.
"Did somebody say 'ho'?"
"You have got to be kidding me…" the firebender mumbled, recognizing that irritable voice the moment it entered his ears.
"I think I'm supposed to be one!" Korra piped up cheerfully, waving a hand around.
She did not just do that.
"FABULOUS!" the effeminate Tahno exclaimed, swaying his hips in an exaggerated fashion as he came from nowhere to seduce the unsuspecting Avatar. The urge to strangle the guy rose in Mako as the rat ran his fingers through his silky locks and shot a spectacularly white grin at Korra. "Darling, aren't you the Avatar?"
"You're lookin' at the ho!" she proclaimed.
"Well, beautiful, I would hardly describe you as a 'ho'. You're much too gorgeous for such a word!"
"That's not what Bobo told me! …Hey… Do you wanna see my abs?"
For the last few seconds, Mako had been able to hold himself back from getting into that gigantic mess his teammates had created, but the thought of Tahno seeing Korra's midriff was a little more than unsettling. While the thought of Mr. Fabulous seeing anyone's midriff was mildly disturbing, this was Korra. KORRA.
This was effing KORRA.
The firebender stormed over to the pair, past Bolin's wild half-naked rave, and jerked the drunken brunette aside.
"Shouldn't you be hitting on somebody a little more sober?" he grit out at the man from the rival team.
Tahno looked as if he was about to reply when Korra wretched the firebender's scarf sideways. "Hey! I was gunna show him my abs!"
"No, you were not!" Mako yelled over the loud music from where Bolin was dancing. "And you're not going to!"
"Yes, I am!" she protested furiously, glaring for a few seconds until her face changed entirely. "…Unless you wanna see them."
His face grew hot. He was blushing. And Mako did not blush. Nevertheless, he considered her offer for a moment.
Oh hell no, he did not just consider it.
"Then I will delightedly—"
"YOU WON'T EITHER."
"Go away, buttface! They're my abs, an' I'm gunna show 'em to whoever I want! Let's go…guy with nice hair!"
Korra defiantly stuck her tongue out at the Fire Ferrets' captain as she latched onto Tahno's arm and began pulling him away. Mako's jaw clenched tightly at the sight, viciously contemplating ways to separate the two benders. Maybe he could burn that rat's hair off, or threaten to kick Korra off the team (not that he really would, but still), or maybe…
…agree to look at her abs.
No, wait. He wasn't that desperate.
"What's wrong, darling? You don't look so fabulous!"
Mako turned to glance at the pair. Korra had stopped walking, suddenly looking incredibly pale. Oh no. He could see where this was going.
Korra lurched forward and spilled the contents of her stomach all over the front of Tahno's shirt (which was disgusting, yet extremely satisfying for the firebender watching). The self-proclaimed fabulous man took an involuntary step back from the Avatar, the look on his face possibly the most wonderful thing Mako had ever seen in his life.
"This…! This is so not fabulous!" Tahno shrieked in revulsion, peering down at his fancy shirt, ruined. "The Avatar is not worth such a marvellous piece of my inventory! I'm leaving!"
Good riddance, Mako thought, hoping the flirtatious man would never mess with his team again. The firebender sighed wearily. At least Korra was done puking her guts out now. He would have to make sure she got some water down.
Looking over his shoulder, Bolin was still in the same place with his harem of women, dancing the night away in his topless glory. That…wasn't so bad, Mako guessed. It was relieving that his brother hadn't been swept away into the darkness by some creepy man.
"My mouth doesn't taste yummy anymore," Korra groaned, holding her stomach. "Can I have s'more that cacty stuff?"
Oh no, he wasn't going to deal with more of that. "You're drinking water. And only water."
"No! I wants the cacty thingy! It was yummy!" she insisted, recovering rather quickly considering that repulsive puddle she'd left on the floor. The brunette grasped onto his shirt, pulling him close. "Pleaaaaaaase?"
He grimaced at the smell that hit his nostrils, but he lost the will to immediately deny her request at that pleading look in her eyes. Damn it…
And then her face grew pale again.
And he felt that feeling of imminent doom.
The contents hit his shirt like a waterfall, ruining his red scarf in the process. Oh god, not the scarf, was all he could think of at the moment. He barely even registered the sound of the door being thrown off its hinges and the thumps of heavy boots on the floor. Fortunately, he did and was able to turn around just as Lin Beifong stomped in.
He really hadn't thought it could get any worse. He really hadn't.
"I got a call about an inappropriate rave going on in this joint!" the chief of police shouted authoritatively. "Arrest them all!"
Mako looked back at his brother—his now naked brother.
The universe just loves proving me wrong, doesn't it?
He wasn't even thinking about the barf on his outfit anymore, or how putrid the smell was. He just grabbed Korra under one arm, hauled Bolin under the other, and jumped through the window.
"CALL NAGA!" he screamed at the half-lucid Korra, feeling at least three earthbenders hot on his trail.
She obeyed with a weak whistle, but a whistle, nonetheless. Her trusty polar bear dog came bounding down the street, throwing the three benders onto her back with a flick of her muzzle.
"After them!" barked Chief Beifong in the distance.
"Tell her to bring us home, please!" Mako implored desperately.
"Okay, okay…" Korra mumbled. "Naga, listen ta jerkface…"
The polar bear dog complied instantly, hurrying back towards the bending arena whilst dodging several wires from the metalbenders. Korra wasn't sure of exactly what was happening, but the ride seemed to smooth after a couple of minutes. They weren't under attack, right? She could sleep…? The last thing she heard was of Mako's distressed voice, muttering under his breath.
"I'm never letting them near a bar again."
When Korra awoke, there were two things she knew. One: her head hurt like hell, and two: she was not in her own bed.
She groaned, sitting up slowly, her head spinning and pounding like a boulder had knocked into her skull. What in the world had she done last night? She didn't remember a thing.
"Oh, you're awake."
The Avatar squinted to make out who was speaking to her, finding it was her favourite jerkface, who, as always, looked about as happy as a rock. Surprisingly, he wasn't wearing his trademark red scarf and she briefly wondered why.
"What happened last night?" she croaked, her throat hoarse as he handed her a bottle of water that she accepted gratefully.
"Why?" Mako countered smugly, a smirk on his face. "Does something hurt?"
She unleashed her full-power glare on him, which she suspected was probably not as potent as usual this morning, but dropped the question. Knowing this guy, he wasn't about to tell her a thing.
"I hope you're up for some chores," he commented airily, walking over to a basket in the corner before he picked it up and returned to her side.
Korra pinched her nose, unable to bear the stench that emanated from the basket he held. "What? I don't even live here!" she wailed, crawling out from the pile of blankets she was under, still cringing. She watched him rummage through the basket of clothes for a minute, pulling out a crusty-looking piece of cloth. "Oh gross. What is that?"
"Your laundry," he stated, and threw the scarf in her face.