08 Firsts

Mako had missed many of his daughter's "firsts." He had been at work when she took her first step in her quest of touching a sleeping Pabu. He had been in the shower when she said her first word, "mine." When her first tooth came out, he had come home late from the station. Korra had been there for those and didn't miss a second to rub it in his face. When he pointed out it wasn't so bad missing her first really, really bad diaper, she didn't find it so funny anymore.

But Mako was determined to be there the first time she bended. She had his gold eyes and raven hair, but it was Korra's beautiful skin and mannerisms that reminded him so much of her mother. He was so curious if she was going to be a Firebender like him, or a Waterbender like Korra. Tenzin explained that there could be a slim chance Kaida would be an Earthbender, since it ran in both Mako and Korra's blood, and an even smaller, nearly impossible chance that she would be an Airbender. Mako did not care. He didn't even care if she turned out to be a nonbender. He just didn't want to miss her first time bending if she was a bender.

So every morning before school, he snuck into Kaida's room and asked her to try to bend. He explained how to summon fire, how to manipulate air, and then handed her a cup of water and a rock, seeing if she could move either of them. And every morning, it was to no prevail. She was six years old and hadn't managed to bend anything yet. She had gotten so frustrated by this—her mommy was the Avatar and her daddy a police officer, she should be bending by now! she would say—that Korra finally scolded Mako.

"I know you want to be there, but I think you're pressuring her too much," she had said. The statement had bothered him all day. So that night when Mako tucked his daughter into bed, he had to ask.

"You know I don't care if you're a bender or not, right Kaida? Your mother and I love you for you. I'm sorry if I pressed you—I just want to see you the first time you bend," he said, then replayed his words. He rushed on to say, "If you're a bender, of course. But if you're not, that's okay too!"

Kaida pulled her blanket to her chin and giggled. "I know, Daddy. You better get outta here before Mommy catches you."

A week went by and still no bending. Then two. Mako hadn't asked Kaida to try to bend since their talk, but every morning at breakfast they made eye contact and an unspoken question hung in the air. And every morning, Kaida shook her head sadly. She grew more and more disappointed with each day, but Mako reassured her that bending would come and if it didn't, that was okay too.

He spent the next week investigating crimes in the lower part of the city, a new Triad gang the prime suspect. Korra was on it too, and they came home every night completely exhausted. Mako felt like he had only just fallen asleep when he heard a door slam open. He sat up in a jolt, lighting a palm with fire. He looked around wildly, his eyes blurry with sleep. There was no intruder, Korra still sound asleep at his side. His eyes narrowed at their cracked open door—and then his fire went out.

He heard a giggle. The bed moved as a body climbed onto it. He felt weight drop onto his lap. A tiny hand curled around his, and then his palm was lit in flame again.

Kaida's gold eyes were bright in the glow of the fire, her smile wide with pride. Mako did not miss her first time bending after all. But that wasn't even the best part. She was a Firebender, not just like himself, but like Korra, too. Kaida was their first child, their first little Firebender, and the only perfection they had ever known.

A/N: This was written for Makorra Family Week's Day:1 Firsts. :D Check out my DA group if you are interested in participating! Just type "Makorra family deviantart" on Goggle and it should pop up.