Disclaimer: I do not own LoK.
Author's Notes: Technically a prequel to Burnt Kisses (Makorra version), as this documents when they first begin flirting with each other (XD), but it is not necessary to have read that first to understand this.
Early Morning Pranks
Korra flew down the corridors of the Pro-Bending arena frantically, but it was no use – she was already late. Arriving at the large, open gym doorway, she stopped abruptly and almost ran into the wood panelling.
She immediately smiled at the friendly voice that greeted her. Bolin – the kind Earthbender that was always a great, invaluable friend to the Avatar. And the only thing that made those early morning practice bearable – besides teasing the irritable Firebender along with his own younger brother. That also helped.
"Hey!" she looked up at him, regaining her breath and walking over to him, hiking her bag higher up on her shoulder. "Running a little late again... sorry."
"What else is new?" she heard the snarky, grumpy voice of Mako a few feet to her right and her face immediately fell at this quip.
"Nice to see you, too, Mister Hat Trick," she countered, dropping her bag beside Bolin. "Still grumpy, the usual, like me being late, huh?"
Mako rolled his eyes at her before going over some advanced Firebending stances for the fifteenth time that practice. His stance needed to be meticulously analyzed down to the exact placement of his feet – if his ankles weren't locked tightly enough, he could easily be knocked off the back of the Pro-Bending platform, but if they were too stiff, he wouldn't be able to attack and defend quickly enough. He needed to find a perfect balance, and so that was why he was going over and over the stances again and again. He couldn't afford to screw up – he had come too far to lose. But Korra obviously didn't recognize that.
Korra raised an eyebrow at the Firebender, before shaking her head and turning back to Bolin. "What's his problem?" she whispered to the Earthbender.
"He's just really focussed, I guess," Bolin shrugged. "It's Mako. He's just... like that."
Korra could hardly suppress her annoyed sigh – of course, it was just Mako being Mako. She didn't like to think the young man was perpetually pissed off, but it always seemed that way. They had shared a few rare moments in which she had seen him genuinely happy, truly smiling, but they were few and far between, scattered betwixt his usual brooding and angry commands. She didn't understand why he couldn't just relax for once! But whatever – it was his business if he wanted to be total grump all hours of the day.
Bolin's words broke Korra out of her thoughts, and sending one last look over to his brooding brother, she nodded and smiled at him, determined not to let Mako spoil her day when it was only six in the morning.
She quickly got to sparring with the Earthbender, throwing punches, blocking kicks, countering earth disks. It was a rigorous activity, and after beating Bolin, six to four, did they finally decide to take a break. Mako, however, ignored this opportunity to momentarily relax, and instead kept focussing on his stance, which, if you asked the Avatar, seemed flawless already.
Bolin collapsed against the wall, and took a water bottle from his bag and took a long swig from it. Korra did the same with her own water bottle, before taking a seat next to him, observing the Firebender. The Earthbender noticed her intent gaze on his brother, and suddenly, a wicked idea filled his mind.
Leaning over and grinning devilishly, he whispered, "Hey, Korra, I have an idea of how you can mess with Mako..."
Korra's eyebrows rose with wonder, and she turned to him. "What?" Anything she could do to take Mako down a peg or two, Korra did. He needed to learn that he wasn't always the boss in the situation.
"Okay," Bolin brought his hands in front of him, "before you call me crazy and punch me into Yue Bay or something, hear me out. This is brilliant, and it'll totally get to him." He paused for effect, and it worked, because Korra gave him an impatient, expectant look, and grinning widely, he continued. "This is the plan – you'll just go up to Mako, as nonchalant as possible and just... flirt with him. He doesn't exactly have experience with girls, so it'll throw him off of his game and make him completely flustered. I guarantee you, it'll work."
Bolin looked at Korra for a reaction, and she looked utterly flustered herself, cheeks a bit flushed and her eyebrows furrowed. "Uh, are you serious?" she managed out after a few seconds, shaking her head to regain her thought process.
"Completely," Bolin nodded at her, before standing up. Leaning back down and offering Korra a hand, she took it, but did not move as to act on the plan. "Trust me, Korra – it'll work. You just gotta act innocent... it will get him, and it will be hilarious!"
Korra crossed her arms, looking back over at the man in question. The more she thought about it, now that it had settled in, the more it made sense... Mako wasn't a ladies' man like his brother, and so utterly embarrassing and confusing him would definitely hit his pride where it would hurt, even if he never discovered their intentions – maybe then he'd finally learn to respect them all as a team.
Narrowing her eyes, Korra finally cracked a small, still slightly uncertain, smile and nodded. "Fine, I'll do it – besides, you're right. His reaction will be reward enough for the pain I'm about to go through," she relayed dramatically. Bolin fist-pumped at his success, but when Korra just stood there beside him, he shoved her in Mako's direction.
"Go on now, Avatar," he directed. He suppressed a chuckle as he spoke again, "Go get your moves on with my brother."
Korra gave him a look of melodramatic disgust before she stopped resisting his push and slowly walked over to the Firebender. As she crossed the expanse between them, she grew a bit more confident, thinking about how pink Mako's face would be at the end of it all, how she would render him speechless.
Sauntering up the boy, she spoke clearly and loudly, breaking him out of his concentration. "Hey, there," she began, drawling. Mako jumped a bit, before whirling around and giving her a menacing glare.
"What?" he grumbled, "I'm training here, unlike some people."
It took all the Avatar had not to quip back at him with an equally-as-snippy attitude, and biting her tongue, she continued her act, stepping closer to him. "Just thought I'd... watch. Maybe inspecting your stance could help me with my own Firebending..." She brushed her arm against him as she walked past him, standing a few feet away and closely observing him.
Just being watched set the Firebender off – he couldn't concentrate with someone so blatantly staring at him! He tried to get in the stance again, but failed when Korra made an odd noise beside him. "What?" he barked again, annoyed.
Korra bit back a laugh as an idea entered her head. "I think I've figured out why you're always so jumpy and angry and tense," she pointed out casually, walking up to him until she was almost pressed against his chest. She could already see the blush forming on his ears and suppressed a wily grin.
"R-really now?" he countered, crossing his arms and holding his ground.
"Yeah," she nodded. Reaching a hand up, she placed it on the nape of his neck, applying a slight pressure into the taut muscles of the area. She rubbed gently at the spot, and felt Mako tense even further under her touch. "I mean... you're all knotted up. That can't be healthy, having all that pent up muscle. But..." she stepped closer to him, pressing herself flush against his front. Raising her other hand and kneading circles into shoulder, she watched him stiffen, a blush staining his pale features, before relaxing a bit. "...I can easily fix that, you know." It took everything in Korra not to break out in a series of laugh, but she had to hold back for the sake of the prank.
"Korra, what the hell are you doing?" Mako asked slowly, trying to figure out what was going through the Avatar's head, but failing utterly. All he knew was that he was extremely embarrassed but also, to an extent, sort of relishing having Korra this close to him, touching him to the point that he had to physically stop himself from moaning at the tension she was releasing from his system.
"Just helping out my fellow teammate," she purred, bringing her hands lower and rubbing at his tight back muscles. Mako, again, stiffened, before relaxing minutely, allowing himself to enjoy her touch just a bit. A part of him wanted to push her away and tell her she was being completely inappropriate, but the teenage boy in him told him 'hell no' and let her continue these actions. He didn't protest, or move, really, as her hands travelled lower, instead shuddering a bit. Korra smiled at his reaction, applying more pressure to her fingertips. When Mako finally brought himself to stop blushing madly and peered down at Korra, he was sent into another round of intensified face flushing when he saw her jerky grin. He was about to ask her what her intentions were, why she was doing so, when instead, her hands arrived at the small of his back and hit a particularly tense spot, causing a mixture of a satisfied groan and moan to release from his throat. At the rather loud noise he made, Mako tensed up, back straight as a board, face flaming, and he pushed her away. Before, this was all embarrassing – now, he was humiliated, mortified.
And Korra – of all people – had been the cause of it.
He didn't dare look back at her face, but if he had, he would have seen her trying to suppress her wolfish laughter. She couldn't believe she had gotten such a reaction out of Mako! Bolin was right – it was definitely worth it. Though she wanted to have a laughing fit with the Earthbender right then, judging by the barely-controlled grin adorning his features, she knew she couldn't as Mako was still in the room and this was just too damn good an opportunity to pass up.
Korra, feigning innocence, walked around Mako and stood in front of him. His face was bright red and he was doing anything it took to avoid eye contact with her – but she wouldn't have it. She was going to milk his reaction for all it was worth. Stepping forward, she wrapped her arms around his neck again and pulled his face closer to hers. "Why did you pull away?" Korra asked whisperingly, as she felt Mako give a flustered shake at her words. She never knew she was such a great actor!
"I-I-I-" Mako couldn't even form coherent words, because she was just so close to him and what was he supposed to do? "W-why are you d-doing this?"
Korra didn't respond as her lips brushed the skin of the corner of his mouth. Mako froze, feeling his heartbeat skyrocket and the blood rush in his ears. He was sure his face was on fire, literal, searing fire, right then, and while the last shred of his dignity told him to get out of there alive,he couldn't deny her, and so instead, making a move that surprised everyone in the gym, he raised his arms and placed them delicately, frightened, almost, on her hips.
Korra raised her eyebrows at this, but saw it as a challenge, and so she tightened her arms around his neck, pressing their sweaty foreheads together as they gazed at each other. Mako blinked at her, not understanding any of this, but not arguing with it either. Korra cracked a small smile, before rising on her feet and playing with the ends of his hair a bit. Bolin observed the scene with a cocked eyebrow. Korra was getting oddly into this prank they were pulling on his brother...
The Avatar could see the confusion passing through the Firebender's irises, but at the same time saw a glint of desire there, too. She felt, along with amusement, something else pump through her veins at their close contact, and while she would never admit it to Mako or Bolin, herself even, she let it dictate her next actions as she brushed her lips past his.
Mako's lips were unmoving, not even knowing what to do at first, completely inexperienced in the act of kissing. Korra was just about to pull away, unhappy with him not responding, when he regained back some mental capacity and enough courage, despite his confusion, to press his lips against her. But just as soon as the heat of his skin could tingle through Korra's or she could smile at his eager response, did the Wolfbats – Tahno's team, of course, at the most inconvenient time – appear at the large doorway.
"Aw, looks like the little street Firebender is finally getting some."
Korra's contentedness flew out the window at the sound of Tahno's amused drawl, and she pulled away from Mako hastily, finding herself oddly missing his close contact, his warmth. Much to her chagrin, she felt a flush heating up her face, though it was not nearly as intense as Mako's.
The Wolfbat Waterbender cackled, enjoying their reaction.
Mako's composure was a mess of confusion, irritation, and need, his face flaming as he turned to Tahno. "Oh, shut up," he countered pathetically, avoiding eye contact with anyone. He turned again then and went to where Bolin was lounging, picked up his bag and walked out of the gym quickly. He needed a few minutes of complete and utter silence to compose himself, to figure out what the hell had just happened with Korra, how absolutely humiliated he was – and how he wanted her in his arms again.
Korra blinked at him as he walked away, feeling a bit bad that she had embarrassed him in front of Tahno. The annoying Waterbender would never let him live it down. Her teasing Mako like she had had been expressly for her and Bolin's entertainment, not anyone else's. She'd have followed Mako and apologized if it wouldn't have thrown off the entire prank and damage her ego considerably... and besides, her tingling lips and slightly befuddled mind kept her from moving.
Giving Tahno a glare as he crossed his arms at her, she walked over to Bolin, trying to sort out those past few moments with Mako. While the Firebender had been undeniably confused and flustered, as Bolin had said, now Korra was, as well. Why... why had she kissed him? She couldn't for the life of her come up with an answer beyond just plain, ole impulse or desire. It hadn't been a part of the prank; it had been something she genuinely wanted to do.
As she bent down and picked up her bag, she tried to convince herself that no, she was not attracted to Mako because he was just a pompous jerk who cared about nothing more than winning the championship...
But even Korra knew this wasn't true. He was caring and selfless, proof being his previous life on the streets with his brother and how he had cared for him. And even though it injured her large ego, she had to admit that he was kind of adorable when he wasn't being an idiot and that, sure, she kind of did like kissing him...
Not that she'd ever let anyone know that, though.
Pulling her bag onto her shoulder, she trudged away from Bolin and out of the gym, blocking out the Wolfbats' laugh ringing in the space. She would make sure to be even more ruthless against Tahno the next time they were up against them.
A few seconds later, Bolin appeared at her side, and while he was quiet for a short bit, he eventually spoke, a teasing tone in his voice, though not cruel like Tahno's. "Seems like you were really enjoying our prank back there, huh, Korra?" She could hear the smile in his voice, and felt her cheeks heat up again, before pushing forward, refusing to allow him a look at her flushed face.
"Whatever," was the best comeback she could think of as tried to forget the entire situation, clenching her fists. She heard Bolin chuckle good-naturedly from behind her, bruising her pride further. "I-I don't like him, you know."
"Right, sure," Bolin nodded, completely unconvinced.
"It's true!" Korra swung around and shouted, before storming off, feelings conflicting within her, confusing her as they had Mako.
With yet another laugh escaping the cheery Earthbender's mouth, Korra knew he didn't believe her. Because how could he believe her if she couldn't even convince herself?
Author's Notes: Prequel-ish to Burnt Kisses, the Makorra version... someone on deviantart asked me to write a fic of some of their earlier flirting, and this is what I came up with. At first, it was supposed to be short, but then I wanted to flesh it out to a longer fic, but then I was like, "nooo... I want to keep this light, short, and fluffy!" And so this is what I got out of that. XD Also, the influx of episode five clips totally helped... the one scene with Bolin and Mako. Oh, God, I died! XD Mako sooo likes Korra, and Bolin is too much. Yes, you are GORGEOUS!
Well, hope y'all liked this~!