I pushed open the door to my room and felt my heart skip a beat. Because there, sitting on my bed with her head in her hands, was the reason for my distress. I inhaled sharply in surprise, and the noise caught her attention. She raised her head to look at me; the ghost of a smile playing on her lips.
"Mako," She breathed my name, and the sound of her voice was so low that I almost missed the severe desire that hung off the word.
Hearing the longing laced into her voice didn't help my bewilderment. I was already confused as to why she sat in my room in the first place, and now she desires something? What could she possibly want so badly?
The thought was almost too bizarre to even exist in my mind. Not that I didn't want her to want me, I just thought she never would. But here she was, sitting on my bed, saying my name with such emotion, and I was completely dumbfounded.
As my mind reeled, I stood pointlessly in the doorway with my brow furrowed and my hands hanging limply at my sides, utterly speechless.
I was suddenly aware of her eyes on me, and let out a breath I wasn't aware I was holding in.
"...Mako?" She spoke my name again, but this time with worry, and I hoped she didn't think I was upset at her unexpected appearance.
"Korra..." I answered hesitantly, not sure of what to say, and not trusting my voice to remain steady while I said it, "How did you... get in my room?"
"The window." She said, like it was the most casual thing in the world to enter a person's house that way, "Bolin doesn't know I'm here."
So not only was she in my room, but she had sneaked into my room? I felt the need to pinch myself to confirm that this wasn't some crazy dream—not that I even had dreams like that about her... of course.
The look on my face probably told her how confused I was, because she continued to explain herself.
"I'm leaving tomorrow, as I'm sure Bolin told you." She spoke softly, and then looked at me as if she expected me to say something. When I didn't, she continued. "And I wanted to say goodbye."
"Goodbye." I responded quite blatantly, the word somehow slipping out automatically of its own accord.
She flinched; her face briefly showing pain at my rude response.
I mentally slapped myself. I didn't intend to be so cheeky, but I guess it came naturally after all these years.
"If you don't want me here, I can go." Korra recoiled harshly, in a tone that I completely deserved. She glared at me in that way only she could, and the moonlight from the window reflected off of her skin, putting half of her face into shadow. It was eerie and somehow incredibly beautiful at the same time. I couldn't look away.
My eyes never left her. "I-I didn't mean it like that."
...I stuttered. I don't stutter. I've never stuttered before in my whole damn life! But now, being in my room with Korra on my bed had apparently made me nervous enough to do so.
What in the world was this girl doing to me?
While I was caught up in wondering how this one girl could possibly cause me to impair my speech, Korra's eyes searched my face, and apparently accepted the emotion she found there, because her features softened.
Her expression quickly became one of sadness, and she proceeded to put her face back into her hands in a distressed-like manner, which only served to confuse me even further. I've never seen Korra act this way; she was one of strongest people I knew. Whatever was bothering her had to be something pretty awful for it to make someone like her upset.
The thought of something making her sad like this made my blood boil, which caused even my own emotions to begin to baffle me. Why should something that had hurt Korra make me so bitter? I've only ever felt like that for one other person in my life. Bolin. But Bolin was my brother; I loved him. Love made you feel that way for people. But this was Korra, not Bolin, and the only way that made sense would be if I was in— No. I refused to think about that explanation. There had to be another.
Seeing as I couldn't punish whatever it was that was hurting her, at least at the moment, I settled for comforting her instead.
There was just one problem. I've only ever comforted my brother before, and that was when we were kids. Years ago. I wasn't quite confident that I knew how.
Furrowing my brow in both confusion and concentration, I shut the door behind me in case Bolin decided to show up, and sat down on the bed next to her. Slowly and hesitantly, I moved to put my hand onto her back in what I hoped what a soothing gesture.
I wasn't sure that Korra even wanted to be comforted. She's always been so independent and has never wanted to except anyone's help, that I was afraid she'd be angry with me for thinking her weak enough to need my consoling. But she wasn't. Quite the contrary, actually. She somehow quickly maneuvered herself from sitting beside me, to practically in my lap before I even had the chance to understand what was going on. She had buried her face into shirt, one arm slung around my neck and the other held clutched to her chest.
My mouth opened and closed multiple times while I attempted to get some sort of intellectual sentence to form, but no such luck. What the hell was it about her that turned me into a pile of mush?
So instead I replaced my arm on her back.
I couldn't help but look down at her in my lap, and noticed once more how the moonlight shone off of her face. If I didn't know any better, I'd say those were tears that the light danced across. But I did know better. Because Korra didn't cry. Ever.
But upon looking more intently, I realized those were tears on her cheeks. I didn't understand; Korra never cried.
It was completely unexpected. But then again, so was everything else that had happened today.
I stared at her in perplexity for a while before my mind started to put two and two together.
Look at that, I'm not all mush after all.
"Korra," I started quietly, "Are you sad to be leaving? Is that what you're so upset about?" She sniffled into my shirt before answering, her voice stuffy from crying.
"Not exactly...It'll be kinda nice to just focus on becoming a better avatar. I've been wanting to do it for a while, now. The benders need me." She sniffled again.
And here I thought I had it all figured out. No, of course not. Silly me, this is Korra we're talking about; and she's as far from simple as one person can get.
"What is it then?" I asked, honestly wondering what could possibly be making her like this.
She briskly burrowed back into my chest, hiding her face from view while she spoke. "You."
"...What about me?" She looked up at me then, eyes filled to the brim with tears just threatening to spill over like the others that had already flowed down her cheeks.
"You really don't know?"
I was officially more confused than I've ever been in my life.
"Umm... No? Should I?"
She laughed grimly, a forlorn look upon her face, and wiped her cheek with the back of her hand.
"I just thought you did." Her voice cracked when she spoke and I felt my heart lurch.
"Would you care to inform me as to what it is that you thought I knew? Because honestly, Korra, I'm really confused right now." She looked me square in the eye, then, and took a deep, steady breath as if to brace herself for something.
Nothing I had ever been through could have prepared me for what came out of her mouth after that.
"Mako, I..." She hesitated, then took another breath. As she exhaled she spoke very quickly, like she wanted to get it over with: "I'll miss you. Like crazy. Even though you drive me absolutely insane most of the time. And I've never felt the way I do when I'm with you before. I'll miss that, too. And I can't even imagine life without being part of the Fire Ferrets, without Bolin, without you." She spoke the last word so softly that if I wasn't listening as intently as I had been, I might have missed it.
Wait, she's going to miss me? Out of all the people she could possible miss, it's me?
I was rendered completely speechless. Her logic made no sense at all to me, but I'm not sure I cared. The only thing I could even think about was that she actually cared about me. And she cared to such an extent that it made her cry. The thought of being without me had made her cry.
My eyes stung, my heart ached, and the only thing I wanted in that moment was to tell her how much that meant to me. Because no one had ever said they'd miss me before. When people left, they didn't think of me; didn't care that they were leaving me behind. But she did. I might doubt it later, but right then, I couldn't deny that I felt such love for her that it almost made my heart burst.
My silence must have made her assume something completely different, because her face flushed a lovely red color, and she got up from her place on my bed and headed toward the door.
"I'm so sorry," She said hurriedly as she grabbed the doorknob, "I never should have—I'll just—"
I didn't let her finish. I'm not entirely certain what gave me the nerve to do it, but I grabbed her arm and tugged, turning her around, and pushing her back up roughly against door as I kissed her.
She gasped in surprise into my mouth. I didn't blame her; I surprised myself with that that one.
But to my relief, she recovered quickly and kissed me back, wrapping her arms securely around my neck and pulling me closer.
The world could have ended right then for all I cared. I don't think I even would have noticed. I didn't think about her leaving, or myself hurting, or the championship, or Bolin, or anything else but her. Because all that mattered to me was that the one and only person I had actually fallen for had fell for me too.
And so maybe getting attached wasn't that bad after all.
AN: Yaaaah, I don't like this last one too much. Something about it just seems off to me. But I was tired of messing with it, so here ya go.
'I felt the need to pinch myself to confirm that this wasn't some crazy dream—not that I even had dreams like that about her... of course.'
Made me chuckle hysterically while writing it.
Why yes, I do enjoy torturing Mako a lot more than I should.
And lord help me, I would have loved to write a sort of not-so-graphic lemon for this. But I think I'm physically incapable of doing so. -_-
Anyways, this is the last part, so I hope you enjoyed it. Or at least gave it a try.
Any feedback is very much welcome~