AUTHOR'S NOTE: just a really short Makorra one-shot. literally i can't even write anything else; my muse has been so dead. i'm aware of the fact that this probably isn't the best thing to post after a three-month-long writing hiatus, but i really was getting sick of the other fic on top of the list.

apologies for the shittiness; i tried, i really did!

don't own avatar: the legend of korra (c)

The first time they kiss, he doesn't suspect it at all. One minute they're winning their match, pushing the last player over the edge with a satisfying splash, and the next minute she's barreling at him full speed, helmet being thrown carelessly to the ground - lips crashing messily onto his.

It's a messy kiss. She's probably not well-experienced; somehow he doubts the Avatar gets around much.

It's sloppy and short and he can see her eyes tightly shut, and wow, he really must look like an idiot right now.

But God, she's Korra the Avatar and her kisses burn his lips, like fire licking over the palm of his hand - it's so natural to be kissing her so he shuts his eyes and leans forward.

He ignores the crowd going wild, ignores Bolin standing there dumbfounded and looking awkward, ignores the announcer's teasing commentary, and he puts all his effort into making this kiss real.

His hands are hot on her upper arms, hotter than usual, and it's like his whole goddamn body is heating up and his brain has possibly melted by now. He's a Firebender and he's never felt this much heat, not once.

Her fingertips on his face are cool. She doesn't appear to be embarrassed until she pulls away, makes an excuse complete with awkward hand gestures, and shuffles quickly up to the lockers - all the while red-faced and muttering to herself.

He stands there, cool and collected as she does this, hoping his face has cooled down enough that he doesn't seem to be on fire, because that is currently how his insides feel.

"What are you doing? Go talk to her, you big lump of platypus-bear dung," Bolin gestures upward, starting to push his brother up towards her direction.

Mako glares; Bolin backs off but gives him a meaningful look.

Mako sighs in reply and begins to walk up the stairs. How exactly does Bolin expect him to tell her what exactly that kiss made him feel? Somehow he doesn't think she'll go for the corny crap that is all that his brain seems to want to spew at the moment.

When he reaches the last step and all his brain can come up with is, "What do you get when you put a fire and water bender together?" (Answer: Pretty steamy), he gives up, deciding Bolin is having way too much of an influence on him and bracing himself for the awkward conversation to come.

Except when he gets up to the locker space, she's not there. Her clothes are gone and she's left her helmet and uniform on the bench, and okay, he's mildly panicking on the inside.

When Bolin makes his way up ten minutes later, he finds his brother sitting on the bench, face stony and hands clenching the edges.

"Well?" asks Bolin expectantly, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. "How'd it go? Why do you look constipated?"

"She's gone, Bolin; she left before I got up here and I let her leave."

He thinks of all the matches they'd been in together, slowly developing a strange sort of friendship - a sardonic relationship - one where she tries to be nice and he remains unattached and she huffs and declares him rude and attempts to beat him at everything.

And okay, maybe he'd grown a little bit fond of her.

And the kiss pretty much just shot that horse in the face; the careful, somewhat-playful friendship breaking apart so easily with one awkward, scalding kiss, leaving him with nothing but a confusing array of emotions and a heart that now belonged solely to her. She is his Element Girl and unlike the elements, unlike bending, he isn't about to allow her to slip past his fingers.

Because her kisses taste like Fire and Water and Earth and Air, all the elements would tightly into one teenaged girl – an explosive combination in and of itself – and from the moment he saw her, he knew it was inevitable.

(When Bolin tells him, "Find her," he doesn't think twice.)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: please don't favorite without reviewing! thanks, guys!