disclaimer: I own nothing. only a computer.

Meet the Parents

The buzzer sounds, and the announcer is shouting at the top of his lungs.

"They've won, folks! The fabulous bending brothers and the Avatar have won the championship!"

They've won. They've really, actually won.

Removing his helmet in a daze, Mako isn't ready for what hits him next.

Before he knows what's happening, Korra has launched herself at him, jamming her lips over his, wrapping her arms around him. Kissing him for everyone to see. He's stunned for a moment, but when he's wrapped his head around what's just happened, he leans into it, and kisses her back.

They're both breathless, and Mako can't tell if it's from the fight, the win, or the kiss. He can feel her smile through the kiss, and when they finally break apart, they are both grinning from ear to ear. The crowd is even louder now than it was before and Mako suddenly becomes distinctly aware that he just kissed the Avatar in front of thousands of people. Korra laughs at the expression of wonder, horror and complete and utter confusion on his face.

"Don't look so scared!" she shouts over the noise, and kisses him again, causing the noise level to surge up even higher.

Out of the corner of his eye, Mako can see Bolin waving and bowing for his fangirls. His brother turns towards him, and grins smugly.

"I knew it!" he mouths at Mako, "I told you!"

Mako sighs, but smiles. He grabs Korra's hand and raises it above their heads as Bolin joins them. The three of them stand there, shouting triumphantly, their voices getting lost in the noise.

The minutes in which they are walking back to the gym are an odd mix of flashbulbs and serenity, Korra's fingers intertwined with his, and Bolin's arm around his shoulder. It's somewhat of a comfort to finally get there, away from the crowds and into the large, quiet room.

Mako is ready to breathe a sigh of relief when they enter the gym, but stops short when he sees that there are people waiting for them. Instantly, Mako tenses. One of the people waiting for them is a rather large man who is staring at Mako in a semi-threatening manner. The man's face softens, however, as Korra lets go of Mako's hand and bounds towards him, crushing him into a hug.

"Dad! Mom!" she cries out, pulling a woman who had been standing slightly behind the man, into the hug as well, "What're you doing here?"

"We heard that you were competing in the final round of the tournament, and we couldn't just stay away," explains her mother, who's voice is warm and kind.

Her father is gazing at Korra with pride.

"You were excellent," he tells her, "You fought so well!"

Korra beams up at him.

"Thanks Dad! But I really owe it all to them! Mako and Bolin taught me so much," she smiles at the two of them, "Mako especially; he spent hours teaching me the rules."

Mako smiles tentatively at Korra's parents, and watches as her father tenses up again.

"Oh wait!" Korra shouts, clapping her hands to her head, "I totally forgot to introduce you! Mom, Dad, this is Mako and Bolin," she points at them respectively, "Mako and Bolin, this is my mom, Senna, and my dad, Tonraq."

"It's a pleasure to meet you," says Senna, giving the brothers a big smile, "You were both amazing!"

"Thank you," the brothers say in unison, and Korra giggles.

Tonraq mutters a 'nice to meet you', and tightens the grip he has on Korra's shoulder.

Mako should have known that Korra was a Daddy's Girl.

"We were just gonna get changed and then go out for a little celebration," Korra says, stepping away from her father, who immediately crosses his arms.

"That sounds like a lot of fun," Senna links her arm through her husband's, "We're staying on the Island with you, so I guess we'll see you later!"

She starts to walk away, but Tonraq stays put for a moment, eyeing all three members of the Fire Ferrets up and down.

"Be safe," is all he says before following his wife, glancing back over his shoulder once before he is gone.

When her parents have gone, Mako lets out a breath that he didn't know he had been holding in. He didn't know what had been expecting; if he was being honest, he had never really thought about Korra's parents existing in more than the vaguest sense that he knew they were out there, somewhere. Certainly he had never expected that the first time he came face to face with her father would be only minutes after having kissed (or rather, been kissed by) Korra in front of thousands of people.

At least now he knew where Korra got her death glare from.

"Your mom seems really nice," says Bolin as they leave the gym and head out to their favorite bar.

"She is," Korra agrees, "She teaches healing to the young water benders back home. She's really good at it too, since she always used to have me to practice on after I'd get hurt. I think she liked you guys."

"More than your dad did at least," Mako mumbles, too low for anyone else to hear.

It's late-or early, depending on how he is looking at it. Korra and Bolin are both drunk, laughing together while Mako does his best to make sure they both stay upright at least most of the time. When the crowd at the bar starts to dissipate and Mako is fairly sure that both Korra and Bolin have had more than enough to drink, he steers them out and down the streets of Republic City, and with great effort, gets Bolin up the stairs to their attic.

Once Bolin has settled down a little and dozed off, he leads Korra back outside and to the ferry to Air Temple Island. He fights a yawn as they board it, and leans on the railing, keeping a watchful eye on Korra. Over the past few months, he's learned that she is a very inquisitive drunk, and he wouldn't be surprised if she climbed over the side of the boat to inspect the paint job in the dark. But instead of wobbling around, and exploring, Korra makes her way, a little shakily, to him, and grips the railing tightly. Neither of them say anything, but she rests her head on his shoulder and together they watch the island grow closer.

Mako likes the feeling of her body next to his, warm and strong.

They disembark together, and somehow Korra's hand has found its way into his again, and they walk together up to the house, Korra's head lolling against him. Tenzin and his family are asleep, of course, so Mako has to repeatedly shush Korra one the way to her room, as she starts to giggle for no apparent reason. He's in the middle of one such sushing when they walk through the courtyard and pass by Tonraq, who is reading a newspaper.

The older man looks up when he hears them, and his eyes narrow immediately. The first thing that Mako wants to say is 'this isn't what it looks like', but instead he waits for Tonraq to speak.

"What're you doing there?" he asks Mako, standing up and walking towards him.

"Just making sure that Korra got home alright. I didn't want her to just take the ferry by herself like this," he says quietly, since he knows that Ikki's room is right next to where he's standing.

"Like what?"

Oops, Mako thinks.

"Uhh, she's just had a little, uh, too much to drink. She and my brother were uh, celebrating. A lot."

He gulps.

Tonraq doesn't say anything for a moment, but then he nods.

"Well, she's home safe. I think I can take it from here."

"Of course. Good night."

Korra was suspiciously quiet for the entire exchange, and Mako is inclined to think that she fell asleep standing up, but when he lets go of her hand, she snaps to life. Before he turns to leave, she grabs him by the collar and plants another kiss on his lips. Sensing that it might not be appropriate to make out with a drunk Korra in front of her father, he pulls away and smiles at her.

"See you tomorrow," he says, and leaves.

He can feel Tonraq's eyes drilling into his back as he goes. It's a relief to be back on the water, and Mako takes deep, calming breaths as the ferry moves away from the island. The whole way back, he keeps telling himself that it could have been worse.

In the morning, Mako is beyond surprised that Bolin is the first one up. It's practically unheard of, but there he is, sipping tea and reading the paper. Mako is very confused.

"So bro, where'd you go with Korra last night?" Bolin asks, raising an eyebrow.

"She was drunk so I took her home," Mako says, "Why are you up already?"

Bolin shrugs.

"Just wanted to get the scoop on you and Korra from a reliable source, and I figured that you'd burn the newspaper as soon as you saw it."

Mako snatches the paper from his brother. The front page is taken up entirely by him and Korra, lips pressed together and smiling after their victory the night before.

"Apparently you two were caught making love in a back alley somewhere on the East side of town," Bolin informs him, "If that's true, I'm gonna have to say I thought that you were classier than that bro."

"Shut up," mutters Mako, "Nothing happened. She was drunk, so I had to make sure that she was alright."

"But did you guys kiss again?"

Bolin looks at him expectantly.

"Yeah..." Mako admits, and Bolin let's out a whoop.

"So it wasn't just a spur of the moment thing! I was right! You guys totally like each other! I called this from like day one!"

Mako rolls his eyes, but grins in spite of himself. Ignoring the rest of Bolin's questions, Mako heads out of the attic and back down to the gym. To his surprise, it's not empty. Korra and Tonraq are both there, and practicing their bending together. They don't notice him enter at first, so he just watches in silence as they bend. Tonraq's movements are strong and confident, just like Korra's, and Mako can see him watching his daughter out of the corner of his eye. Mako can see how proud he is.

"Morning!" says Korra brightly, when she sees him.

He doesn't know how she could possibly be so cheery after all she had to drink the night before.

"Morning," he replies, heading into the room.

Tonraq stiffens up a little, and Mako tries to ignore it.

"I was just showing my dad some of the moves you taught me, Mako. He was really impressed with the new fighting styles that he saw last night. He's picked it up really well! Watch this!"

Tonraq rolls his eyes a little at his daughter's eagerness, but obliges her, throwing a deadly looking water whip slicing through the air. Mako can't help himself.

"Not bad," he says, and it's worth the punch that Korra hits him with.

"What? I said not bad!"

"You think you're funny," she laughs, shaking her head.

Tonraq looks a little confused at the turn of events.

"Am I missing something?" he asks his daughter.

"Oh, not really. Just a little something that Mako said to me way back when he was still a jerk," Korra is smiling devilishly.

Tonraq raises an eyebrow.

"He's not a jerk anymore, though. Usually. Sometimes. When I distract Bolin. Then he's a jerk."

Mako wants to clamp his hand over her mouth, because she's talking him into a hole, and he's pretty sure it's intentional.

"But really, Dad, Mako is a great teacher. And a really good friend," she smiles warmly, and Mako relaxes a little.

"So it would seem," Tonraq says gruffly.

"Listen, I've gotta go give something to Bolin," Korra says, "You boys stay here. And don't burn the place down," she points at Mako sternly.

He rolls his eyes.

"I don't burn buildings down, Korra. That's you."

She laughs and walks out of the room, leaving Mako alone with her father. Both of them shift uncomfortably on their feet. It's silent for a while, but finally Mako finds the right words. Sort of.

"Look, about last night," he starts, "I don't want you to think that I would uh, take advantage of Korra," Tonraq inhales a little sharply, and Mako quickly adds that he probably couldn't take advantage of her anyways, but it's the thought that counts.

"I appreciate that you are concerned for my daughter's safety. The Avatar should always have friends that look out for her."

His tone of voice is very calculated and controlled.

"Yeah," says Mako slowly, "But I don't look out for her just because she's the Avatar. She's my friend, and I care about her, regardless of whether or not she is the link to the spirit world."

He wants to say that he looks out for her because he loves her, but he's never admitted that to anyone. He never even knew that she wanted him until the night before. He loves her and he'd do anything for the people that he loves. But he doesn't say that, because he should probably talk to Korra before confessing his love to her father.

"Good," says Tonraq, "I'm glad that you care about Korra, not just the Avatar."

When Mako looks a little confused, Tonraq elaborates.

"You see, I care so much about my daughter, and it's clear how much she likes you. But there are people in this world who see her only as the Avatar, and not as her own person, and only care about her power, not about her. I just don't want her to fall for someone who will hurt her," his voice is softer than before, and Mako relaxes.

"I understand," Mako bows his head a little, "I would, I do, feel the same way. I love your daughter for her."

The words have slipped out before Mako can stop them. His eyes widen and he waits for Tonraq to say something, and for the world to come crashing down around him, but to his surprise, the older man only smiles at him, and claps him on the shoulder.

"Well, I'm glad we've got that all worked out," comes Korra's cheery voice, as she strides into the room, and both she and her father laugh as Mako yelps in surprise.

"Don't look so scared," she teases, wrapping an arm around Mako, kissing his cheek, before she whispers in his ear, "I love you too."


I guess I'm on a Makorra kick