She was off again, without warning or a goodbye. She rushed headfirst into things, and it scared him. What if she got hurt, or worse?
Sighing, Mako sat heavily in a bench. He was in the park again. He hadn't even noticed. Sliding down a little on the bench, he crossed his arms. Why did she insist on just running off like that? It was frustrating enough that she didn't tell anyone else on the island, but when she didn't tell him…
He breathed a sharp curse and watched as small, angry, and worried flames went with it. "God dammit, Korra," he muttered into his hands. Why did she have to do this to him? "Don't you know you're hurting me….?" he whispered.
A soft breeze started up, shifting the leaves in the tree behind him. He looked up and a few on them floated down to land in his hands. He blew on them and they fluttered away. Placing his hands on the bench at his sides, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, putting his head back, listening to the leaves. He'd have to go back to the island soon. He could only hope that Korra would be back and unharmed…
"Fuck," Mako breathed, opening his eyes. He knew she wouldn't be back. She'd most likely be gone for the entire night. Again.
But she wasn't gone for the entire night.
When Mako had gone home that night, he expected her to be there when he woke up. But she wasn't. He told himself Korra would show up sometime that day. But she didn't. Everyone was starting to get worried when she was gone for yet another day. And another, and another, and another…
Mako sent a powerful punch at a practice dummy, the fire erupting on impact and shattering it. He let out a frustrated yell and sank to the ground, head in his hands. Where is she? She's been gone for over a week…he thought, dropping his hands.
"Bro? You okay?"
He heard Bolin's voice, but didn't react or answer. He just sat in silence as his brother came over and sat next to him.
"Hey," the earthbender said, placing a hand on Mako's shoulder. "It's Korra. She's okay and she'll be back soon, safe and sound. I know it."
While he tried to sound confident, it wavered just enough for Mako to start shaking. Tears started to run down his face and drip off his nose and chin.
"I don't want to talk…" he muttered.
"Okay." Bolin patted his brother's shoulder before standing up. "It's getting late. Don't stay up too long," he told Mako before leaving.
It was several more minutes before Mako stood. He looked at the pieces of the dummy on the ground. That was probably the seventh one. He turned abruptly and left to go to his room.
Regardless of how late it was, Mako just couldn't sleep. Sure, he was tired. Tired as hell, but he just couldn't. Even when he did actually fall asleep, he woke up soon after. His worry for Korra had plagued his mind and gave him nightmares. It was probably nothing, he knew that, but he couldn't help it…
He got out of bed and went to the window. Sitting in front of it, he crossed his arms on the sill and looked out at the bay. The full moon gave everything a silver sheen and the stars-what little there were- sparkled on the water. He liked it here because the arena was on the opposite side of the temple, so its light didn't shine here.
He wasn't sure what time it was, but the moon told him it was around eleven thirty, almost twelve. After about twenty minutes, he decided to get back in bed. He was even more tired now, and he hoped that maybe, maybe, he could actually get some sleep.
He was woken up again a few hours later. It wasn't from a nightmare or anything, it was the sound of someone walking into the room and closing the door. It closed a little too loud apparently, because the curse that followed was what woke him.
Groaning, he pulled the covers up over his head. Finally, he had gotten to sleep without any dreams, good or bad, and he liked it. But no, he couldn't have that privilege apparently. The quiet shuffling of tired feet sounded, and the person sat on the edge of his bed in silence.
Ignoring the person, Mako tried to go back to sleep. It was a few minutes and he was half asleep when he heard a voice.
"You're mad at me."
It startled him, but he didn't move to look at her. He just waited to see if she'd say more. She did.
"You're mad because I didn't tell you where I was going. Again. You're mad because I made you worry. Again. You're mad because I keep doing this, again and again and again…" she said, her voice shaking near the end. "I'm sorry," she continued. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so fucking sorry."
After a few more minutes of silence, broken every so often by a gasping breath, she stood. That's when Mako spoke.
That stopped her dead. Mako was sitting up, gaze on the back of her head. When he looked at her arms, wrapped around herself, he saw scratches everywhere. She turned her head just enough to look at him, and he saw more cuts.
"You're hurt," he stated.
All she could do was shake her head and sit down again. A few seconds went by before Mako reached out and brought her into a tight hug. She gasped, not because it hurt (it did hurt just a little though), but because it surprised her.
"I…I-I thought you wo-ould be mad," she said around hiccups. It took a moment for him to reply.
"I am mad at you," he told her. "But not enough to keep me from being happy that you're here."
"Mako, I'm so tired…" Korra told him, letting herself lean against him. He hugged her a little tighter before gently allowing her to lie on the bed. He was able to see more scratches on her arms, the moonlight shining on them through the window. She turned her head to look at him with tired eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said again. "I'm really sorry…"
"Stop saying that," Mako told her with a stern but caring voice.
He cut her off with a kiss, pulling her closer. She wrapped her arms around his neck, returning the kiss without complaint. Her body hurt and her head pounded with a headache, but Mako made the pain go away. He always did.
She broke off the catch her breath and looked into Mako's eyes. She saw relief reflect in them and she kissed him again. Kissing him was her way of apologizing.
And he was more than okay with it.
"I'm tired," she repeated when she pulled away. He could hear it in her voice.
"Then you should go to sleep," he told her gently.
She just nodded and moved closer to him, tucking her head under his chin. He brought his hand up her back and stopped at her neck for a few seconds before tangling his fingers in her hair.
"Goodnight, Korra," he whispered. She made a soft sound of acknowledgment.
He was finally able to get a goodnight's sleep, and his bad dreams were replaced with ones of happiness brought about by having Korra back, sharing his bed, her warmth calming his frayed nerves.
He really missed this while she was gone. She missed it too.
Korra promised herself she wouldn't run off again, or at least not without telling Mako.
Maybe she just wouldn't run off anymore…yeah, that sounded good.