Early the next morning the three White Lotus elders arrived once again. Katara had been waiting for them, taking a seat on a chair next to the door that led to Korra's room. After Tenzin had explained the situation she had ushered everyone out to different rooms, saying that she would be having a word or two with the elders. The Airbender had slightly winced at that, knowing better than anyone that this could not end well.
"Good morning, Master Katara," the shortest of them greeted with a nod.
The elder Waterbender gave him a sharp nod in return. "My son informed me about your decision to...look for the next Avatar," she began, her voice even and calm, but there was a storm brewing in those old cyan eyes.
"Yes," the woman replied. "I'm afraid her father might have taken our actions the wrong way. The world needs an Avatar."
The elders looked relieved that the woman could see their point of view. They had feared that the woman would react as irrationally as her father and friends had. "Well then, with that being said, we will head out," the third and tallest member added as they made toward the door.
"And what makes you think your search is necessary?" Katara asked, her voice having gone slightly icy.
"Well, we assumed-"
"You assume too much," the old woman replied, taking a step forward. "You assumed that Korra, my pupil and a girl I have grown to love as one of my own would not survive."
"Then what did you assume exactly?" she asked, brow raised accusingly.
The three shared an uncertain look with each other before the shortest gathered enough courage to continue. "Master Katara," he started slowly, cautiously. "We knew Avatar Korra would pull though. This was simply-"
"A precaution?" she inquired. "Is that what you were going to say?" Her calm demeanor was slipping as the conversation continued. These three had some serious nerve...or severe lack of common sense.
"Yes," the woman of the group answered, somewhat hesitantly. But Katara could see the relief reappearing on their faces.
The war hero narrowed her eyes. "Then you do not know a thing about Korra."
"Our search for the next Avatar was just to make sure we would be able to keep him or her safe-"
"While they mastered the elements." All four turned to see Senna standing at the end of the hallway, a fierceness in her eyes as she glared at the three elders. The ice in her voice made the elders wince. She could remember that day long ago when the White Lotus had told her they were going to take her daughter away to train her. Those had been their exact words.
"How dare you! My little girl isn't even dead yet and you wanted to start searching for her replacement!" she continued, her voice a fierce growl. "You took her from me. You took my baby away when she was only four years old, isolated her from civilization and then when she saves the city, and possibly the world, you repay her by looking for the next Avatar when she isn't even six feet under?"
"We needed to keep them safe-"
"Safe?" Senna's voice was full of disgust. "You ruined her life, our life. You didn't even give us a chance to really be a family." She didn't think she could ever forgive them for that. Her eyes met the leaders and the next time she spoke it was in a deadly calm. "If you're not out of here in the next thirty seconds, I assure you that finding the next Avatar will no longer be your concern."
Katara watched from the sidelines quietly, letting the mother vent. She had never seen Senna so visibly enraged. She had known what the separation from Korra had done to the younger woman but she was finally seeing the full extent of her pain. She turned her gaze to the White Lotus and watched as the cowards did as they were told, throwing a quick apology their way before leaving the two woman alone in the hall.
Once they were gone, Katara walked over and placed a withered hand on the woman's shoulder, feeling her relax slightly. Senna looked over at the elder and gave her a small smile. "Thank you, for standing up for my daughter," she said quietly.
Katara nodded her head, a small smile of her own on her face. "I would do anything for that girl, Senna." The younger Waterbender couldn't help but be thankful for Katara being there for her daughter for the last thirteen years. She could see that the elder truly cared for the young Avatar…no…she truly cared for Korra. That's all she'd ever wanted for her daughter.
*** Korra had never been a morning person. Anyone who knew anything about her at all could tell you that. The morning was evil. But after having slept for almost six days straight, the Avatar didn't mind when she was awakened by the opening of the sliding door. She made an unintelligible noise and inclined her head toward the sound, noticing her parents must have already gotten up. Standing in the doorway, was Asami. The Avatar smiled tiredly.
She returned the smile. "Hey, yourself. Did I wake you?"
"No...Not really. When you've slept as long as I have you're sort of glad when you wake up." She saw something flicker across the socialite's face at this but it was gone so quick she couldn't pin it. She pretended not to notice as the heiress took a seat next to the bed, and Korra managed to push herself up a little further against the pillows. "So what brings you to my side of the iceberg?" she asked, a crooked grin on her face.
Asami chuckled a little at that, shaking her head at the younger girl's sense of humor. "We were all extremely worried about you. So when we heard you were awake we immediately wanted to come see you. But Katara...well she made it very clear that we could only talk to you one at a time."
Korra nodded her head and could help but laugh a little. That sounded like her old master. "How's everyone?" she asked.
"Bolin is really excited to be able to see you. Tenzin and his family looked relieved you finally woke up and Mako," the Nonbender began, a small smiled spreading across her face. "Well, let's just say I'm surprised he didn't burn down the entire compound. He was going out of his mind."
Korra blinked at this before giving one of her deep bellied laughs until she felt pain on her sides and back. She closed her eyes and ground her teeth together.
"Take it easy," Asami eased.
"This is so annoying," the Waterbender muttered. "I can't even move." The heiress flinched at this, causing Korra to look at her with confusion. "What's wrong?"
Asami shook her head. "I was remembering my dad."
"Oh," the Avatar replied. "How is he?"
"Trial is going to be next week. General Iroh said he'd put in a good word for him, since he helped us escape and all."
The heiress nodded. "My father, he-he told me what they did to you," she whispered. "I'm so sorry, Korra. If I hadn't gone through with your request you wouldn't have been hurt and so close to…"
Korra shook her head. "I'm fine, aren't I?" she countered. "Don't blame yourself. It wasn't your fault. I never really got to thank you for keeping your promise."
"You shouldn't be thanking me," Asami replied, slightly angry. "You almost died, Korra!"
"But I didn't."
"You were so close-"
"But I didn't," the Avatar repeated firmly. "I decided to go through this. It was my decision. I had to fight Amon one day or another. So stop blaming yourself because it wasn't your fault. I would rather be in this position or worse than seeing any of you in my place."
The heiress sighed heavily. "You really are the most unselfish person ever," she muttered. The Waterbender playfully rolled her eyes. "Korra, there's something else I have to tell you."
"What is it?"
"Mako and I broke up."
Her eyes widened a little at this. "What? Why?" she practically yelled.
"Perhaps he should be the one to tell you," Asami replied, making a move to get up.
"Hey!" Korra began. "You can't just tell me that and leave me hanging like this!" Her lower lip stuck out in its classic pout.
The Nonbender laughed while shaking her head. "Consider us even," she answered with a smile.
Korra huffed and crossed her arms. Asami laughed at her childish attitude, causing the Avatar to do the same. "Fine," she muttered. "Send the next one in. Oh and Asami?" The older girl turned at the door, looking back over at the Waterbender. Korra rubbed the back of her neck nervously, carefully trying to string her words together. "You know I wasn't trying to...I mean..." The Avatar had never been good at delicate situations like this.
Asami simply smiled slightly before nodding her head in understanding. "I know you didn't try to steal him, Korra. It's just one of those things." The brunette looked relieved at the green eyed girl's words and nodded back. And with that, Asami left the Avatar alone in the room.
*** When the Sato heiress came out from the young Avatars room, the Earthbender immediately jumped from his seat and ran inside, not even giving his older brother the slightest chance of going next. Once inside he smiled softly at his friend who was propped up on a couple of pillows. She returned the smile and he quickly made his way to her.
"Korra! It's so good to see you!" he enthusiastically yelled, pulling her into a hug.
"Ow! Careful Bo!" the Waterbender cried when he put pressure on her wounds. Her teammate quickly apologized and gently lay her back down. "You're excited to see me," she noted with a slight chuckle.
The Earthbender rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly before nodding and taking a seat next to his friend. "You have no idea how happy I am that you're ok," he said. "I mean, I knew you were going to make it, we all did, but you gave us quite the scare."
Korra nodded. "So I hear," she replied. "I'm sorry you guys were so worried. I was just…tired, I guess. I didn't want to wake up."
Bolin laughed at this, remembering how much his teammate hated mornings. She would always complain about them at practice. "How are you feeling?"
"Tired," she admitted with a laugh. "And sore too. It feels like every bone in my body was broken or something."
"Well, according to Katara that was almost the case," Bolin said. "The White Lotus were being to start their search already seeing how beat up you-"
"Wait, what?" the Avatar stopped the younger brother, sitting up a little straighter.
The Earthbender blinked at this before realizing he probably shouldn't have mentioned that. He smiled nervously but it was already too late. Korra wanted to know exactly what the White Lotus trio had planned while she was out.
"Well, you see," the teen continued, putting his hands together and avoiding his friend's stare. "The White Lotus thought you wouldn't make it when you didn't wake up right away. I mean, the damage was pretty bad and they had decided to search for the next Avatar."
"Why those," Korra muttered angrily. She tried getting up from the bed, determined to teach those old good-for-nothing-so-called-protectors-of-the-Avatar a lesson until she felt pain all over her body. The Avatar ground her teeth together before giving up completely; thinking that it was probably not in her best interest to move too much just let.
"Relax, Korra," Bolin told her. "You should have seen Katara and your parents. Your mom and dad gave those three the scare of their lives! Mako did too. I swear, I thought all four of them were going to gang up on them."
A small smile appeared on the Waterbender's face. "Really?"
Bolin nodded. "Yeah, I mean Katara kept her cool and all but your mom…she gave me the chills! Not to mention your dad. It looked like he was going to snap somebody's neck! Mako himself only controlled himself because of Tenzin, or else I'm pretty sure he would have branded them."
Korra chuckled at this, imagining her surrogate mother and parents scaring off the White Lotus. She never recalled seeing or hearing of her mother being angry. Her father was a large man, and a bit intimidating but he had always been gentle. It surprised her to hear her friend talk about them like polar bear parents protecting their cub.
What surprised her the most though was the reaction her Firebending teammate had. She remembered the conversation she had with Aang and absently shook her head. The old monk had been right.
"Wait till I get better," she said smugly. "Then they'll know they messed with the wrong Avatar. I can whoop their butt four different ways now!"
Bolin smiled at this. His brother had told them about what had happened at the rally and about Korra Airbending before going into the Avatar State. Needless to say, he was happy for his friend. "I'd pay money to see that," he told her, causing the girl to smirk.
*** The Firebender waited patiently in the living room, watching as his ex girlfriend and younger brother took turns visiting the still recovering Avatar. He tried to distract himself by looking around with little success, wondering if he had made the right decision about letting everyone go in before him. After silently arguing with himself he concluded that he had since he had some…things to clear up with his Waterbending teammate.
After what seemed like a long time, Bolin came out of the room and gave him a smile. Mako quickly stood up and rushed over to him.
"How is she?" he asked.
"She's fine, Mako," the Earthbender reassured. "She's waiting for you."
The older brother gave him a sharp nod before going inside. However he felt his heart sink when he took in the sight. The young Avatar was on her side, facing the opposite wall. He slowly made his way to her and sighed when he noticed she was asleep. He silently cursed, thinking it had been a bad idea to let everyone go before him. They had probably all worn her out.
He looked at how the teen slept peacefully, as if she hadn't suffered one bit in the past two weeks or so. Gently, he removed a few strands of hair that fell onto her face, caressing her cheek. He had a lot of explaining to do and for a moment he was glad she was asleep, since she would be well rested when they talked.
Later her parents walked in to check up on her with Katara. The old master noted that she was doing well, and would recover at a slow pace, but would recover completely nonetheless. It would take her a couple more days before she would be up and about, though she warned she wouldn't be allowed to strain herself.
Finally, early the next day she began to stir and the Firebender quickly awakened; ready to call Katara if she was in any sort of pain. She groaned as she rolled onto her back, hissing when she moved too quickly. He saw her clutch the sheets around her and placed his hand over hers.
"Hey, take it easy," he told her gently.
The young Avatar turned her attention to her teammate and smiled before yawning. He chuckled at that and once again brushed her hair away from her face.
"Hey," she greeted sleepily. "Haven't seen you in awhile."
Mako chuckled again. "I know. I waited for everyone to come and see you first," he admitted.
Korra frowned at this. "Why?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
The Firebender rubbed the back of his neck, not knowing where to start. While he had waited for her to wake up he had rehearsed what he was going to tell her. But now that she was in front of him, his mind went completely blank.
"Bolin told me about what the While Lotus were planning to do," Korra began when her friend didn't speak. "And how you stood up to them. Thank you."
Mako's hands turned into fists at the reminder. He had wanted to burn the elders to a crisp for having such little faith in his Korra. If it hadn't been for the old Airbender, he might have done just that.
"I was just doing what anyone would have done for their friend."
The Avatar's face saddened at the word 'friend'. Somehow she had hoped that after the recent chain of events, and how close they had gotten, his feelings towards her might have changed. The Fire Ferret's captain must have seen this in her face because after a short while he spoke again.
"Korra, the reason I waited for everyone to come in to see you before me is that I was trying to get my thoughts together," Mako began. The Waterbender turned to look at him, giving her undivided attention. "After everything that happened, you being taken by Amon…I was losing my mind. And that made me realize that the feelings I have towards you are more than that of a friend."
The brunette blinked at this, waiting for him to continue. Mako took her hand in his before continuing. "What I'm trying to say is that…I love you, Korra. And I've been such an idiot for not telling you before. I let things go by and I know I hurt you and Asami, and I'm so sorry. I never meant for things to get out of hand."
By this point, Korra's mouth was slightly agape. She had waited so long to hear him say those three words and now that he had she had no idea how to react. The Firebender looked at her nervously, not knowing whether to say something or wait for her to speak. When he realized she wasn't going to say anything he lowered his gaze, thinking perhaps his revelation had been too late.
"Mako," she finally said.
He looked up and she grabbed him by the scarf pulling him towards her. Their lips crashed together and though at first he was surprised he quickly mimicked her actions. The Firebender chuckled at the girl's impulsiveness.
"Always have to be the one to initiate stuff, huh?" he teased. The Avatar grumbled loudly and he simply gave her another kiss.
"I love you too," Korra admitted when he pulled back again.
Mako smiled and sat on the bed next to her, holding her hand. The Waterbender grinned at this, scooting closer to her Firebender. He wrapped an arm around her and kissed her head causing her to sigh contentedly.
"So does this mean…?" she said.
He nodded. "I'm yours and you're mine." Korra could live with that.
******* And there you go. Closure for almost everyone. Tenzin will be in the next chapt…maybe another family moment or something. Idk right now. No real plan. But make sure you thank Maila for her dedication to this story. Without her you'd still be waiting. And be sure to check out her stories…theyre incredible.
We out! Peace!