#4: skinny love (Bolin)

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A list of things Bolin wants right now (and by right now, he means now):

1. His favorite dumplings

2. For Asami to go on a date with him

3. A girl fire ferret he could make Pabu marry

4. A green scarf to match the one Mako wears

5. For Mako and Korra to just freaking get together already

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i.

Bolin could count the number of times he has had his favorite dumplings in the past year on one hand. Thrice, he's had it three times though he's craved for them at least ten times more than that. He acknowledged it as a luxury that they could afford when Mako decided he has spare money for that, but now that they've won the tournament and that they have all the winnings at their disposal, he's wondering why he doesn't have dumplings right now.

He would go get some for himself if he could—he didn't know where exactly the stall was located. All he knew was that Mako brought it back from the power plant. Was it from an adjacent street? somewhere farther down the road? He really didn't know, and it depressed him even more.

"I want dumplings," he mumbled idly from their new couch, a pout on his face.

"What was that, bro?" Mako was sitting at the kitchen counter with the day's newspaper.

"I want dumplings," Bolin repeated and stood up from his seat with a new look of resolve on his face—that was, determination to eat dumplings. "I want to eat my favorite dumplings."

Mako put the paper down and looked at him oddly. "Bolin, we just had lunch—"

"Mako, I want those dumplings!"

"What's wrong with you?" Mako laughed; Bolin took it as an insult. "Dumplings? Come on, Bo, you've never been this spoiled before."

And Bolin agreed that he was acting like a petulant seven year old. He had always tried not to be a burden to his older brother when they were younger because he always felt guilty about him having to take care of him, but now he that they were older and Bolin was sure that he could already take care of himself, he had no provocations about acting like he was.

"I want dumplings."

"Bolin, the power plant's far away. I have to take a bus to get there and I—"

"Mako, I want dumplings."

"Next week, I'll get you dumplings—"

"No, I want them now."

Aggravated, Mako groaned and put a hand to ruffle his hair. "Bolin, I don't know what's gotten into you, but I think it's best if you just cool off."

"A firebender is telling me to cool off! That is priceless," Bolin retaliated, huffing and crossing his arms over his chest. "If you don't get me those dumplings, I will…lock myself in my room and not eat anything for the next few days."

He didn't really want to resort to using an ultimatum, but he was really craving for dumplings. (Cravings tended to do that to people.)

He swore he saw Mako twitch before standing up and giving in to his request. "Fine, Bro. But just because I love you."

"And you have to take Korra with you," he added before Mako could leave their apartment. "So that you can take Naga."

Mako looked queasy with the new order. "I don't think that's such a good idea. She might be meditating—"

"She prefers you over meditating," Bolin commented, noting the blush on his older brother's cheeks after he said that. "Not that it should mean something, but she'll follow you if you asked her to. And you obviously like her, so."

"I'm not going to ask her to—"

"Oh, you are."

Mako gritted his teeth. "Fine. Anything else?"

"You have to be back at four," he said; Mako's eyes widened.

"Four? Bolin, that's three hours from now."

"I. Will. Lock. Myself. Up."

"Okay, okay! Just—" Mako took in a deep breath to calm himself. "What is up with you?"

"I want dumplings!" Bolin cried, gesticulating at the table and at his stomach and flapping circles with his arms. "Mako, I want dumplings and Korra has to be with you when you buy them, and you have to be back three hours from now because I want to have my dumplings at four!"

"I can't just leave at three and be back by then?"

"No, you have to leave now," Bolin deadpanned uncharacteristically with a glare. "And I will know whether or not Korra is with you." He marched up to his brother and opened the door, shoved him out and closed it again.

But now that Bolin was alone, he wasn't so sure if he still wanted those dumplings.

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ii.

"I'm starting to think that you do this to people on purpose," Bolin half-whined, half-grunted as he sat up from the rough pavement. "Asami, how many people have you ran over in your whole life?"

"Just you and Mako," she answered, offering her gloved hand. She was also shaking her head with an embarrassed grimace. "Oh, Bolin, I'm so, so sorry."

Bolin tried to hide the blush on his cheeks by looking elsewhere. Just don't look at her, she's so beautiful, she'll never give you a chance since she was with Mako. These thoughts quickly clouded in his mind, making him sulk inside.

Asami seemed to notice the sudden change in disposition of Bolin. "Hey, you okay? I mean, besides me hitting you with my moped and all that. I'm pretty sure you're fine, tough guy."

Tough guy! She called him a tough guy!

"Y-yeah," he managed to croak out with a cough. "So, how have you been?"

"Oh, nothing's changed, really," she answered with a light chuckle, pushing her bike to the side while taking cautious steps with him. "And you?"

He coughed nervously. "Good, really! Ever since…you know, winning the tournament and all that."

"Of course." She smiled again, and Bolin understood why Mako was so infatuated with her before. Though, he was sure that for his brother, it was only up till that kind of attraction—Bolin was definitely in love with her. "And how are Mako and Korra?"

Bolin started dwindling with his fingers. He huffed, "Oh, you know. Nothing's changed."

Asami sighed and shrugged her shoulders. "It's been months since I broke up with him. I specifically told him to go after her, that dork! Why can't he just make a move and make everyone happy? I'm sure Councilman Tenzin and his family would also love for them to get together."

"Ikki and Jinora especially," he commented with a hearty laugh. "They're probably the biggest supporters of their imaginary relationship."

"People can't see what's under their noses," Asami said, stopping before they could turn a corner. Bolin skidded and almost tripped on his own two feet, but Asami was there to hold him up properly. "You okay?"

"I think that's the hundredth time you asked me that already, Asami," Bolin chuckled anxiously. "Anyway, you were saying?"

Asami took a deep breath. "How about we go to dinner? Just you and me? Or maybe we could try to bring along the two idiots in case you'll find it awkward…"

Bolin couldn't believe what he was hearing from her. Was she asking him out? He nodded excitedly, his green eyes lighting up. "Yeah, yeah, of course! That'd be really cool—not that you're not cool. What I meant to say was that it would be…awesome! Yeah, awesome. Totally."

"So it's a date?" Asami's almond-shaped eyes looked up at him expectedly, a small shy glint noticeable somewhere in the light green. "You don't have to call it that if you don't want to…"

"No, no!" Bolin's hands immediately shot up. "It's a…date."

When they rounded the corner, they both had to stop their jaws from dropping.

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iii.

A scream and a loud thud later, the cloud of dust started to clear and Bolin was finally able to make out the perpetrators of the broken wall. And when he saw it, he couldn't help but bursting into laughter. Asami, who he had pushed back to cover her from the small explosion, took a peek and giggled as well.

"You two are crazy." Bolin stopped himself from rushing to his semi-conscious brother on the ground.

"He drove me crazy first!" Korra screamed, pointing at the groaning Mako. (But honestly, everyone loves a groaning Mako.)

Bolin and Asami shared a look of amusement before laughing again.

"Korra, we're not accusing anyone of anything," Asami told her with an encouraging smile. "Really. Except, maybe, for the damage done to this building."

Mako, unaware of the ongoing conversation, struggled to get up from the rubble—and when he did manage to get his bearings, he immediately chastised Korra. "What in the world is wrong with you?"

The Avatar in question, who wasn't really in the mood to argue with him when she's just ruined private property, simply shrugged and pointed to the amused couple, Bolin and Asami. Mako, upon seeing them, blushed and glared at Korra before coughing out, "Hi, Bo. Asami."

"Hello, Mako," Asami replied for the both of them. "How have you been?"

"Good. And you?"

"Oh, now that I've seen you and Korra, better." Asami looked to her left to see Bolin's grin of approval. "So, you two, huh?"

Korra was the first to react. "You didn't see anything!"

"You mean they saw us—?" Mako questioned, backing away slowly from the other two teenagers. "Like, you know?"

"Yep." Korra nodded nervously, before whispering to him, "That's kind of why I threw you to the wall."

"Oh."

"Well, don't mind us!" Bolin said, stretching his arms awkwardly. "You know, we were just passing through—"

"Bolin, what are you doing here?"

"Walking, obviously."

"No, what are you doing here?"

"I told you, bro; I was walking and I saw Asami and—"

"You made me fetch Korra to get your dumplings—"

"And you have them! Thank you so much, Mako!"

"Bolin."

The younger one of the fabulous bending brothers shot his hands up in defeat. "Okay. I wanted to look for the dumpling stall myself," he started to explain while rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. "And then Asami ran me over—but before you could react! It didn't hurt at all! Surprisingly."

Mako scoffed and looked at his ex-girlfriend pointedly. "Really now, Asami?"

"I apologized?" she offered meekly, still beaming.

Korra, feeling awkward with her three friends, turned around and poked Mako's chest—all while glaring up at him. "This is all your fault."

"You were the one who held my hand first," Mako pointed out with a grin that was nothing short of smug. Korra decided to take her glare up a notch.

"Yeah, but you like me—" She was cut off midsentence when she felt a strong hand push her, making her tumble into Mako's chest. Mako, reacting promptly, caught her arms and held her up. "Oof, what—?"

"It's another fire ferret!" Bolin squealed like a little girl, holding the red creature in his hands. "A fire ferret! On Korra's back! How did you know that I wanted a fire ferret?"

Korra wanted to admonish him for pushing her—and by admonish, she meant punch him back, but then she saw how his face lighted up while gushing over the pet she found a few blocks away. "Her name's Makorra."

Asami easily picked up on this. "Makorra? As in Mako and Korra?"

The pair blushed and looked elsewhere—anywhere, really, as long as it wasn't the other they could see. This only proved Asami's point and she asked, "Would you like to join me and Bolin? We were going to the park just now. Right, Bolin?"

Her question was left hanging as Bolin was skipping in the middle of the road while swinging the girl fire ferret in his hands.

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iv.

After dropping off Makorra at the apartment, they all head off to the park to walk. Mako and Korra have kept a certain distance from one another—though they were still in step with each other. Bolin and Asami stayed a few steps behind them to observe the pair that was acting weirdly.

Asami's lips formed a thin line. "I didn't expect them to behave like this."

"They've gotten better," Bolin assured her. "After you and Mako broke up, they didn't talk to each other for a whole month. Then at some point, they started to hang out again."

"But they've confessed already?"

"No." Bolin frowned. "They're obviously in love with each other, but none of them want to act on their feelings. I had expected Korra to make a move since she was the more impulsive one, but nothing."

"Well, how about we give them a push?" Asami suggested, hooking her arm with Bolin's. The pro-bender flinched, but relaxed into her hold. "I already have a plan."

Bolin looked at the heiress, impressed at how quick she was with thinking of schemes—particularly schemes for his brother and his best friend. "What is it?"

"When they cross the bridge, and then you bend a brick such that Korra will fall into the lake."

"But…isn't Korra a waterbender?" Bolin asked confusedly. "What's the point of pushing her into the lake?"

"If Mako really loves her—which he does—then he won't even think twice about following her into the waters," Asami pointed out, the sides of her lips twitching up with confidence. "So, what do you think?"

"I think it's brilliant!" Bolin declared rather gaily. "Ready?"

"I should be asking you that," Asami replied with a light-pitched chortle of her own.

They both stopped in the middle of the walkway and separated themselves from each other. Both of them were smiling goofily because of their plan. They waited for Mako and Korra to be at the middle of the bridge (somehow they didn't realize that Asami and Bolin weren't behind them anymore; it wasn't surprising, really—they obviously had their own world). Bolin planted his feet on the ground and concentrated on moving a specific tile on the bridge. Motioning his arms to tilt it slightly, just enough to make Korra fall into the water, he tried his best to be gentle enough not to make the whole thing collapse.

"Korra!" When he opened his eyes, he saw that Mako had already dived off the ledge of the bridge. (He was being dramatic about it with his scarf whipping behind him—even though it was only a story high. The more you know, kids.)

Asami quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him to the top of the bridge, where Mako and Korra were standing just a second ago. They both leaned over the edge, waiting for the two heads to appear from the waters.

And when they did come back up, well. Korra was seething like the turtleducks that they displaced.

"Mako, you idiot; I'm a waterbender! What were you thinking?"

"I was obviously thinking that you were stupid enough to trip over your own two feet like you did—"

"It was a dislodged brick and I didn't see it!"

"Maybe if you paid attention to where you were looking instead of staring elsewhere, then you—"

"But Gumma's bush was shinier than usual today, and—"

Bolin and Asami simultaneously groaned. "Oh, for the sake of the spirits, just kiss each other already!"

And they did.

Bolin was pretty sure he was traumatized now, too.

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v.

Bolin didn't get a scarf that day, but knowing that Mako and Korra were finally officially together was enough to satiate him.

His mind.

Not his stomach.

He still wanted some more dumplings.

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Notes: Woah, this is the fifteenth prompt already? Really? And I never expected this story to get that high a readership because I'm pretty sure my writing sucks, but you guys prove me otherwise with all the alerts and faves and reviews, so thank you so much for supporting these stories of mine!

In any case, I just want to tell you guys that I won't be posting anything for a week or so because I have to finish my research proposal and other papers. I'm sorry and I hope you guys understand how important this is for my elective grade. To make it up to you guys, this one's like, five prompts in one. Yay! (P.S. Sorry for making them OOC. Oops.)

And Skinny Love is a wonderful song by Bon Iver, but I saw this thing floating around on tumblr about it meaning 'two people who love each other but are shy' so I decided to add it here, too.

tl;dr: this story is on hold for a week or so because I need to do some schoolwork. During summer, yes. But I'm posting a separate oneshot from Skinny Love when I get back! Now, why don't you leave a review? ;D