A/N: Hi ATLA fans! I love Legend of Korra, I love Mako, I love Korra, and I LOVE MAKORRA! Hope you guys like this little oneshot I wrote for them. Please review! :)
When a frustrated Korra begins hurling fire at him, Mako sighs.
"Start over," he says, unrelenting as always.
For the first time since they have started practicing together, Korra shakes her head.
"No," she replies.
"No?" he asks. "No, as in you don't want to win this? No, as in you're giving up?"
"No, as in it's been a long day, Mako!" Korra protests. "We can pick this up again tomorrow."
Mako says nothing, and Korra starts to panic.
"I am the Avatar, you know," she points out. "I have a lot of other things to do. I still have to master airbending, and Tenzin gets annoyed so easily, and…"
She trails off; the whole Avatar bit is evidently not working.
"I know this is important to you!" Korra exclaims. "I really do, but you're being a little dramatic, don't you think? This tournament is not the most important thing happening in the world right now, Mako!"
"You think that's what this is about?" Mako retorts.
"What else would it be about?" Korra inquires. "You're just so focused on winning that sometimes, I think you're missing the big picture!"
Mako rolls his eyes.
"Korra, if you think this is about winning the tournament, then I'm not the one missing the big picture," he tells her.
For once, Korra doesn't know what to say, so she just tries to think through his words. Finally, she breaks down.
"What is this about, Mako?" she asks.
"Forget it," he shrugs. "If you can't figure it out, then maybe I'm just wasting my time. I'll see you tomorrow for practice."
Korra stares at him, dumbfounded, as he begins to walk away.
"Take another step and you will find yourself trapped under a boulder," she threatens. "You insensitive idiot, come back here and talk to me!"
Mako stops, but does not turn around.
"I've been living on the streets all my life, Korra," he says quietly. "I've always had to fight for myself. You, on the other hand… You've always been the Avatar. You never had to survive."
"I've had plenty of training!" Korra interrupts.
"It's not enough for this city," Mako retorts, finally turning to face her.
Though Mako is looking directly into her eyes, all Korra can see is the fire rising in his palms.
"Mako, your hands are on fire," she frowns.
He closes his hand into a fist, extinguishing the flames.
"It still happens when I'm frustrated," Mako says, as if that explains everything,
"Oh yes, I understand everything now," Korra replies sarcastically. "Why don't you just spit out what you're trying to say to me, instead of dancing around it?"
"Why can't you see it?" Mako counters. "I just want you to be able to properly defend yourself, Korra."
She glares at him before angrily walking right up to him.
"So you think I'm weak?" Korra exclaims, enraged.
She grabs his trademark red scarf, almost ready to strangle him with it. She expects him to roll his eyes. She expects him to shake his head in exasperation. She expects him to tell her that she better not rip his scarf.
She doesn't expect him to put a hand to her waist, pull her body against his, and press his lips to hers, but that's exactly what he does.
"Now, do you understand?" Mako murmurs, pulling back.
Korra doesn't let him off that easily. She gently tugs on his scarf, bringing him in for another kiss. As she breaks away, a satisfied smirk makes its way onto her face.
"That took you long enough," Korra tells him.
"You could have made the first move," Mako points out.
"You're an idiot," Korra laughs.
For a few moments, they say nothing, but the small smiles on their faces give away their thoughts.
"So, back to practice?" Mako suggests.
Korra glares at him.
"I meant it when I said I was done for the day," she tells him. "Look, no matter how scared you are that I'm going to be hurt, it's still true that I'm the Avatar. I'm pretty kickass, and I'm not at all defenseless."
Mako opens his mouth, but she puts a hand up to stop him from interrupting.
"I don't have the time or energy to always be practicing," Korra continues. "But with you by my side, I'll be just as safe, don't you think?"
Mako looks at her warily.
"So, I'm stuck with you?" he asks.
"Exactly," Korra grins.
"I guess I can live with that," Mako agrees, with an exaggerated sigh.
"Alright then!" Korra exclaims. "Now that it's all decided, let's go get dinner. I'm starving!"
They begin to walk, and his loud, pounding heartbeat almost prevents Mako from hearing Korra's whispered words. (In fact, he suspects that he wasn't supposed to hear them in the first place.)
"After all these months in Republic City, this is the first time I've felt at home," she confesses.
Mako pretends not to hear her; he simply takes her hand in his and prays that he'll never have to let go.