Prompt: An unexpected and slightly questionable guest at a masquerade party puts Korra on edge.

Pairing:Amorra, One-sided Makorra, One-sided Borra, Masami

This is my first attempt at fanfiction in the LOK fandom. Read and review! :D

Korra tugged irritatingly at the fancy and overly-frilled dress with clear disdain, her face slightly flushed with embarrassment and powdered make-up.

"This is so stupid...", she mumbled, curls falling down her face as she tilted her head to assess the fashion crisis of the century. As the end of the curls aught between her lips and teeth, Korra glares up at her hair in disgust, jerking her head back while blowing tufts of air through pursed lips. While the common people of Republic City shined with a new era of fashion lining and musical thrills (something Korra found herself leaning towards day after day), the more noble class felt the need to party in high fashion and soft whispers; and nothing was more high fashion than a victorian party dress that was border-lining attractively odd and fabulous!. Korra looked to Tenzin with a pleading look, her lips slacked in preparation for a long whine.

"Tenzin, this is so... lame. I mean, I get it, I'm the Avatar, the Avatar represents the people and all, but...", Korra motioned to her dress with a frilly white fan, "... do I have to dress like this? For a party?"

Tenzin perked an eyebrow over at the disdainful Avatar, fumbling with a golden cuff on his sleeve. Repositioning his standing to better assess Korra, Tenzin leaned his head back slightly as Pema adjusted his neck frill, Jinora and Ikki fawning over their dresses with glee while Meelo scratched at his chest and yelled about the oppression of fancy clothes. "I don't like it much either, but unfortunately, where we stand in society, we must attend social events of all kinds; even ones like these." He motions towards his family in regard, all wearing a matching set of richly woven outfits. Meelo successfully ripped his jacket off, and was in the process of untucking his undershirt. Korra snapped open her fan with a loud snort, and waved at her face in a way that mocked the arrogant.

"Whatever the reason may be, I still think this is a load of buffalo-yak." She moaned with a 'richly' tone. Tenzin narrowed his eyes in slight annoyance, looking over at Pema and his children. "Korra, I advise that you refrain talking like that amongst these kinds of people. Whether you like it or not is not important, what's important is tha-... what? No! Meelo! Put your pants back on!" Tenzin jerked forward in shock. Meelo was down to his leaf-patterned undies, and waving his jacket above his head, Meelo ran off down the wet cobblestone street, yelling, "A load of buffalo-yak! Aaaaaah!"

Tenzin smacked his face in absolute embarassment, and looked back towards the ladies, "Go on inside without me, I'll get Meelo and bring him back." Tenzin turns toward the street, running with his hands cupped around his mouth. "Meelo, put back on your jacket! Meelo! You can't use your jacket to fly!"

Korra tapped her lips with the fan in thought, smiling with amusement, "Looks like Meelo has more important things to do than get stuffy."

Pema placed her hand on her back and leaned back slightly, rubbing her stomach in a mix of anxiety and accepted tolerance, "And people wonder why I'm fine with just three airbenders..." She looks over at Korra.

"Well, Korra, might as well get this over with while we can. I know you don't being so dolled up, but I think you look gorgeous." Pema remarked, her smile partly hidden by her hand. Jinora and Ikki ran over to Korra's side, and grabbing the hem of her dress on both sides, started tugging her up the steps of the mansion. Jinora looked up to Korra, "Mom is right, I really do like your hair put up like that." Korra looked up to her hair with a raised brow. The strands were curled to perfection and bounded up by a frilly blue clip, only one or two free from it's restriction.

Ikki started to jump excitedly up and down, "Yeah! And look how pale you are! You look like one of the temple statues!" Korra's eye twitched slightly, moving the fan to cover the majority of her face as she looked down to Ikki. She grumbled, "Thanks..."

As they reached the open doorway inside to the lavish party, Korra felt a slight lump of anxiety swell in her chest. She couldn't care less whether or not the more privileged viewed her with high standing or not, but to walk out to these people unbecoming of herself made her feel conscious. It was one thing to stand before them in her average water tribe apparel, but even that was taken from her for this unmomentous occasion. She felt like a turtle-seal in a desert; out of her element, and expected to survive in something completely opposite of what she was used to. She started to fan herself with more action, and after a seconds of violent wind rushing to her face, Pema gently placed her hand on her shoulder, squeezing it lightly with maternal confidence.

"It's alright, Korra. Just... handle it like a probending match! Think quick on your feet, and remember... the smaller fork is for salads." Pema murmured. Korra smiled and chuckled lightly at Pema's remark, envying her experience and humorous personality with these formal events. Stepping out from the long halls, and out into the main room's light, Korra breathed in deeply. She quietly whispered to her fan, "... let's do this."

Everything ever mentioned about formal events couldn't have been more and more accurate. Men and women were divided into their cliche groups of extravagant affairs, their conversations more stuffy than a turkey during a time of Thanks.

"Cabbage Corp is doing marvelously, I say that Mr. Sato has a steady competitor."

"I took a carriage ride through the City park, and that preaching equalist was still there, yelling through that megaphone of his. When will the spirits grant him a cold of somesort?"

"I hear that the Avatar is involved in those probending events; I, for one, adore it. The City needs more tough women in such a sport!"

Korra stood in the center of the room, holding up a platter of imported shrimp and much-too-tiny vegetables. Pema, earlier in the event, was dragged off to a crowd of women; all insisting on feeling the baby and chatting over whether or not it was a girl or a boy. Jinora, as soon as Pema left, slinked off to chat with some young boys, while Ikki, praise her for her naivety, hid beneath the table of food, blowing air out to innocent well-to-dos who strayed too close to the sweets. Tenzin and Meelo, unsurprisingly, were not sighted yet amongst the crowds (Korra presumed Tenzin was literally fuming steam from his ears and Meelo hung upside down in a tree, banging his chest).

As Korra reached up to adjust her mask, she slowly walked off to a secluded shadow beneath the banisters. The party, thank the Spirits for granting her with a mask to cover up the pounds of make-up on her face, was a Masquerade; a variance of facial disguises lighting up the room. It ranged from plain and ordinary, to much to feathery, and for a moment, Korra swore she saw one with cabbage leaves spreading out upon it. Placing her platter of food on a lone table, Korra took off her mask, and looked down to it.

Of course, it was beautifully crafted; it didn't cover her entire face, just around her eyes and her nose, but the small bit of construction was covered with a glinting, silver texture similar to a fish net. A large blue feather jetted out from a white rose on the top right, and along the very top of the mask was a textured line that resembled an ocean. Korra, with her gloved hand, proceeded to rub all the layers of powder and covering. She hated the feeling of grime on her face, the constant need of people high-up wanting her to look presentable. Forgetting her food, and putting her mask on, Korra whipped to the crowd. She was just not their people, and she refused to be some figurine to them. She was everyone's avatar.

Korra walked only a few steps forward before crossing her arms, leaning against the cold marble of the pillar. Out in the crowd, she saw Mako and Asami chatting to Hiroshi, looking absolutely radiant with their black, gold, and red attire. If platonic, Korra wouldn't have minded as much, but the way his hand was placed on her shoulder and the other tenderly grasping her hand just nearly ravaged her. As Mako turned to Asami with a look of intimacy and a tiny smile, Korra glanced immediately to the floor, squeezing her arms in consolation of herself.

It was made clear, weeks ago, in the probending arena, that everything between her, Bolin, and Mako was simply cordial; that their friendship would not be endangered with the affection they all held for each other. But she simply couldn't back-peddle to when everything was just all hunky-dory; Asami still came around to hug and kiss and coddle Mako, unknowingly causing a rift to tear inside Korra. And when there were times that Korra was successful in finding a feignt of interest in the floor, or the walls, or helmet, the creeping feeling of Bolin's glances and stares trickled over her. Even when they swore that all between them was nothing but friendship, the weeds of love and affection sprouted inside them.

Korra dipped her chin inside the crevice of her neck, and squeezed her eyes shut, her lips sucked in as she trembled slightly. As cliche and stereotypical as it was, even for someone of her age, there was no denying that the rejection of love, the longing to be with someone you want to hold dear, and the knowledge that they shared what you craved for with someone else was, without a doubt, the most painful feeling imaginable. And to feel it as such a young age, to be a pawn in the game of Love when you didn't even know the rules... it was unbearable.

As Korra regained a stability inside herself, slowly regaining a humble mind with reassurance that it would pass and other white lies, a man stepped up from behind her. He glanced down at the abandoned dish set on the table, and then back up to Korra in regard. Reaching out, he gently lifted the plate of crustacean and overly-priced vegetables, and slowly stepped towards Korra. Leaning forward, he held the dish in front of her, "... I'm assuming you forgot this?"

Korra breathed in quickly, caught by surprise from the unexpected stranger. Looking immediately down to the dish and than back up towards the man, Korra turned her body slightly, her back against the banister.

The man was fairly young, although obviously passed the stage of wild years. In contrast to Korra's white and light blue dress, the man wore a completely dark, questionably black, attire. It hugged amazingly against his lithe, but built body, with a long cape covering over a shoulder. The shoulders themselves were padded to give him a more broad look, and the collars of his jacket were flipped up and against his jawline. He looked down to the plate, swiveling it in cirlces, before back up to Korra questionably, "... or you were through with it and left if for others to clean for you."

Korra looked at the plate, and quickly moved her hand to cough lightly. A light blush stained her cheeks, and slowly, she reached out and took the plate from the daunting man, "I... uh... I forgot it." She said, her voice barely a whisper. The man's hand returned to his side, and with his chin raised up slightly and head cocked to the side, he glanced over Korra's frame. She felt extremely scrutinized by the dark stranger, and while looking down with embarrassment that stemmed from who knows where, she gently pushed a side of her dress back.

The man smile one-sidedly in amusement, and placed his hands behind his back. He clucked slightly, "Well well, if it isn't the Avatar. Enjoying the party?" He said, raising a brow at Korra. Korra looked down to her dress, than at the man, then out to the party, than back to the man. It annoyed her that her usual bravado was so overwhelmed by this stranger's presence, but something about him just set her in an odd position. She felt both enamored, yet cautious, with this man. Standing up straight, and holding her plate out to the side, she pinched her dress and nodded. The man couldn't help but grin.

"Although it's a bit over-the-top, you look beautiful in that dress." He remarked, glancing up to her face. The way he referred to her implied some familiarity, but with his dark mask covering a good portion of his face (from the nose on up), she couldn't really tell if she knew the man or not. Korra could only swallow a large lump that welled in her throat, and nod once more. "I, uh... thank you, it's a bit uncomfortable."

The man smiled with pity and mutual agreement, stepping forward and grasping her free hand. Pulling her forward, he raised her hand above her head and motioned it into a circle. Korra, feeling slightly awkward by the sudden action, walked slowly to repeat the motion he made with their hands before him. When she returned to her previous stance, she saw the man grin with something more than just pity; it was a wicked combination of a venemous snake and an appreciative glance. Korra couldn't help but blush when he heard him murmur, "Beautiful is an understatement..."

Korra retracted her hand to her face, and once against coughed, "I don't think I caught your name, have we met somewhere before?" She looked up with implication, a clear sign that he hadn't introduced himself. He looked down at her for a moment, then returned his hands back behind his back as he looked out to the crowd.

"I wouldn't say we've met properly, but I'm well aware of who you are." Korra raised an eyebrow up to him inquiringly. He clearly ignored what she was getting at. Stepping forward and in front of him, Korra felt a sense of bravery before him as he looked down to her.

"So you know me, but I don't know you..." Korra replied with a smile. She caught the man's lips quirking at her remark, and she couldn't help but glare at the mask and the collar of his jacket. She could barely make out any remnants of his face besides his mouth and eyes.

"Well, Avatar, when you put it like that, I feel slightly dirty," He leaned down to her height, and smiled before her. The way he mentioned her title gave her both morbid chills and a heightened sense of excitement. How he worded it, it wasn't a status that should be revered, but more of something that was dangerous and perturbing. But she ignored the sinking feeling of familiarity, and instead focused on the richness of the tone, the way the sentence was carefully stitched to be a combination of a jab, a taunt, and a flirt. Korra looked away to a random spot on the wall off to the side of him.

"As any guy should, when they avoid etiquette." She remarked with a perked brow. The man chuckled deeply, and Korra felt a enjoyable shiver wrack inside her body. As she moved to look back at the man, he gently reached down to grab her hand. Slowly, he pulled it up to his lips, and as Korra felt a hitch of breath catch in her throat, she felt the soft, plump contour of his lips gently kiss a knuckle upon her hand. Time seemed to slow as Korra felt the heat of his lips fill her cheeks with radiancy, and although the moment was rather charming and blissful, her eyes glanced over him.

His mask, damn it for hiding him, was covered in a sheen of black scales that shifted red in the light. His hair, unlike the other 'gentlemen' in the party, was slightly loose and free, curling along his head. Opening his eyes slowly, he looked up to Korra, and grinned against her hand.

"My apologies, than. If it makes you feel any better, I promise that, if we meet again, I'll reveal myself. In the mean time..." He looked up and off towards the crowd, the slight twitch in his brow and lip implying acknowledgement to someone in the room, "... I'm a bit preoccupied."

Korra stared into his eyes, and was slightly shocked at the intensity of them. They were a honey-glazed amber, however, the darkness that encumbered them was so magnifying that his eyes seemed entirely black. Glancing down to his hand, still holding hers, she felt him shift away, allowing her to slip her hand from his grasp. She ignored the electricity that he left upon her.

"My apologies, Avatar, but I have some business to attend." Korra looked up to him, and while before he spoke to her intoxicatingly, this one was complete with ice and a quick end. She stepped out from his path, and regarding her with one last nod, he walked gracefully out and into the depths of the crowd. Korra eyed the ripple of pride and strength in his back, and as he glanced across the room, he was eerily similar to a stalking panther.

Korra set the plate of food back down to where it was placed before, and slowly, she held her hand to her chest. The jolts of primal energy that still whipped through her hand remained, and although attracted heavily to his charms, she could not shake the feeling of eery familiarity.

She looked over her shoulder, and to his previous presence in the crowd. The air he exuded was that of charisma, but also unbridled control. The way he spoke, looked and carried himself was heavily laced with a charm of purpose, and those eyes... those venomous, intricate eyes...

Korra looked back down to the food before her, and lowered her tingling hand slightly. The man left her to feel many things; curiosity, excitement, longing, but eerily enough...

... fear.