Korra has never kissed anyone, up until this point. It seems like the right moment, despite everything wrong that's going on around them. She doesn't have any dating experience, isn't really sure what to expect or how to react, so maybe that's a disadvantage. But it can't be that difficult.

In her mind's eye, she sees a kiss with Mako as a quick solution, not something that will add fuel to the fire of her already complicated life.

The Avatar isn't dumb. She knows that Bolin has feelings for her, but while she's unsure if she feels anything back. So, there's no use denying the obvious attraction she has for this handsome firebender, the one who can insult her and act coldly and reject her again and again, and still make her stomach do silly little flips at a mere glance.

Time slows down as she leans forward, her senses cajoling into one over sensitized wave that encourages her forward, that seems to paint a big red target sign over Mako's face. She wants to kiss him. She doesn't know how, but then again, she doesn't know a lot of stuff – and her lack of information on some subjects has never stopped her before, so why should this?

Because he has Asami. Because you'll complicate things. Because you'll hurt your friends if you go through with this.

Korra does her best to ignore the annoying voice in her head, the one that usually gives her good advice. She feels like, right now, her instinct is the best option to follow, and right now, her instinct is telling her to kiss Mako.

So she does.

She cuts him off in the middle of his sentence, muffling any other words of protest he has, trying to disperse his concerns as she presses her mouth against his. For a brief moment, in her frozen timeline of events, he is perfectly stiff. He doesn't move, doesn't respond, and doesn't reject her.

She thinks that this is a step in the right direction, so she grabs his hand in hers, squeezing slightly, trying to warm a reaction out of him.

And react he does.

Mako, she realizes hastily and with some nervous dancing in the pit of her stomach, is much better at this kissing thing than she is. Korra feels a bit lightheaded when he suddenly responds to her invitation, responds to her kiss. She briefly wonders if an open mouth is acceptable for a first kiss, but her aimless thinking is quickly overtaken by the flurry of…something he's causing.

Mako's tongue, something she thinks would be disgusting if put anywhere near her mouth, is now skirting the edge of her lips, pressing for entry. Korra makes a confused, questioning sound, but allows him entrance. Immediately Mako's palm does to the back of her head, tilting their bodies forward, tilting his head for better access.

She groans a little, because frankly this first kiss is going splendidly well, and she just can't figure out why they weren't doing this sooner because all things holy thank you SPIRITS is Mako good at this.

Korra decides he kisses like a firebender, even if his usually indifferent, stoic personality would hint otherwise. He's relentless, sweeping his tongue over hers, drawing out shifty, sneaky noises from her that she didn't even think she was capable of making.

Yes, this kiss is good.

She's about to spring him, pull him to the ground and continue with wherever this is going, when something tells her to break away. She does, wiping her mouth awkwardly because she has no idea what else to do. What do people do after a kiss like…like that? She doesn't even know what people do after a normal kiss.

A bit panicked, Korra looks back up at her firebending crush for only a fraction of a second before something over his shoulder catches her eye. She quickly logs the memory of his face; that half-lidded gaze, the small quirk at the corner of his lips, the wet glisten to his li- holy shit she used tongue too. She hadn't even noticed. Spirits. The dark blush flushing her cheeks multiplies, fed by the feeling of Mako's dangerously clouded, intense orange irises on her, scanning her thoughtfully.

But she's not looking at him anymore.

She's looking at Bolin over, confused and upset, standing just ten feet away.

Korra wants to say something, to explain, but the blush is still on her cheeks, like a wound that won't heal and scars, forever staining once-perfect skin. It's evidence of her guilt, of Mako's guilt.

She can't meet his sad gaze. She can't.

Korra, still breathless and excited from her first kiss, turns her blue eyes to her feet, ashamed. Petals from his bouquet land at her feet. She shakes them off hesitantly while Mako steps forward.

Ashamed.