A huge, billowing burst of smoke rose up from the center of the ring. Spectators screamed and pushed through one another to escape, clawing to get out. It was chaos, pure and simple. The world was on fire, under fire.

And Korra danced above it all.

Mako watched as the flames exploded from her limbs, bright flashes of orange tracking through the night sky. Her fire reflected off the glass, illuminating the scene above. He climbed up the ladder to the upper part of the arena, Bolin behind him. Mako's head hung back as he climbed because he couldn't take his eyes off her. He could barely see a thing; all of the action was blurred through the color of the ceiling's glass, but he had to watch. He followed her colors as they streaked above, flying in so many places at once.

He had to watch.

"Be careful," he had said, knowing that she didn't need protection or luck or even him to help her in this fight. She had her courage and her strength and that was enough. Korra and Chief Beifong had already taken down a few of the Equalists, but he wasn't entirely sure what was happening. The airship was floating; he could see it through the huge hole open to the sky, so he could only assume that Amon was still alive. Korra was fighting Amon's right-hand man. Mako knew it was him because of the electricity burning down his kali sticks, the bright blue contrasting Korra's rain of fiery orange. But something felt off. Something was wrong, and he felt it deep in his gut.

Mako quickly clambered up the last end of the ladder and whipped around just as fast. His heart throbbed in his chest as he watched her above him. He clenched his fists.

"Mako…" Bolin said as Korra was thrown backwards, catching herself on the glass.

No, she could do it. She was Korra, and she'd beaten this guy before. She could do it again.

She kicked out at him, the orange of her fire soaring through the air as she lifted herself back up. Korra flew through the air, punching and jabbing and attacking like he knew she could. The colors burst from her, and a body hit the glass, slipping down off the roof. She'd done it.

He heard the sound before he saw anything:


His breath was forced out of his lungs as he gasped. And even though there was still yelling and fighting all around, the shattering of the glass was the loudest thing in the world.

Her scream pierced the air as she fell.

"No," he heard himself breathe. His heart pounded in his ears, and his stomach sank and he lurched forward, gripping the railing. He had to get to her, but he didn't know how and she was supposed to have been careful because that's what he told her to do and what if she died right in front of him all because he didn't even try and help her? Had he trusted in her too much? He felt Bolin's hand on his shoulder, tense and anxious and terrified.

Their world was on fire.

Korra fell into the smoke, her scream following her out of sight.

And she was gone.

He'd barely been able to process it when Chief Beifong soared down from the sky, her wrist cables reaching out into the smoke. Korra must have been able to latch onto it, because the next second, the two were swinging out over the ring, across to the other side of the arena. Korra landed hard, sliding across the floor.

He didn't hesitate because there was no time to do such a thing. He ran. Mako started running to her, to Korra. Sprinting. Because she was alive, and he'd thought for sure that she wasn't going to be. He'd thought she was gone, but there she was in front of him, closer, closer, closer, until his arms were wrapped around her, pulling her close to him. She was warm, trembling slightly under him. He put his hands on her shoulders.

"I'm so glad you're okay!" he said.

"Me too!" Bolin said, throwing himself at them, squeezing them all together.

And it was okay. Korra was okay. And it wasn't until after they had held each other, after they were a team again, that Bolin seemed to be able to say the thing that hadn't passed once through Mako's mind.

"Wait… where's Asami?" he asked.

Not once.




Also, I'm counting this as my first short (under 1000 words) fic for my Makorra color series. YEAH.