for the 30 day challenge on tumblr - 30 words to use as prompts - so if all goes right i should be updating this daily for the next... welp, 29 days.
that's 29 days of Makorra, folks. you're welcome.
also i didn't mean for this to end up so cheesy but i don't regret it, just sayin'. Mako is such a dork.
(if anyone follows prove the point, i'm still trying to work past my block - hopefully this will help with that. but i'll get back to it, i promise!)
and to be clear, this takes place after the "final battle" - that gives Mako and Korra time to grow closer as friends, knowing each other's feelings but that it wasn't the right time. and now it is, so.
day one: beginning
The next few days are surreal, as if she's living in a trance; when she looks back she's not even sure they happened. All Korra really remembers is that Mako never leaves her side – at the very least stays as close as he can – even through the speeches she has to make to the reporters or the statements she has to give to the police or the healing sessions that she, that everyone has to go through following the battle. And it's funny – he's so quiet, never says anything, there are times when it's almost like she wants to forget that he's there, but can't quite manage it because she can always feel his eyes on her and his gaze is so loud that it's all she can hear.
They don't get to talk, really talk, verbalize everything they've been saying the whole time through glances and movements and actions, until about a week later, after dinner. Most of her plate sits untouched; it's not that she hasn't been hungry, but she's just been feeling so… satisfied, and she supposes that's kind of a good thing. Bolin's off entertaining Ikki and Meelo and Asami's offered to help Pema clean up the kitchen (she and Korra exchange small smiles full of something like regret as she walks out), and she and Mako are left alone, finally, still sitting at the table.
There's next to no space between them. They're shoulder-to-shoulder, rib-to-rib, hip-to-hip. The contact is warm, electric.
He hesitates and shifts his arm, slides it gently around her shoulders, his thumb slipping over the cut there that's exposed by her sleeveless top. "How are you?" he asks softly, kind of awkwardly, and she doesn't know whether to be frustrated that he's treating her like a stranger or amused by his nervousness.
As a compromise, she allows herself a chuckle at his expense and shakes her head at him, rolling her eyes and making a sound of slight disgust in the back of her throat. Then he's smiling a little to himself, looking down and sideways at her, and Korra sighs, grinning despite herself.
"I think I'm…" She considers her phrasing. She removes his arm from around her and places it back on the table, avoids the panic that flits across his face for a second before she takes his hand and laces their fingers, squeezing tight. He's not wearing his gloves and the feel of his bare palm pressed to hers is strangely new and exhilarating. "I'll be just fine."
He's still cautious, still scared, but he meets her gaze. "Is it the right time yet?"
She turns, breathes deep and runs her hands up his arms, around the back of his neck, drawing him closer, leaning toward him. "You tell me," she says, her chest heavy, and his eyes spark.
"Okay," Mako murmurs.
And he closes the distance – his lips brush over hers, he tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear and takes her chin between his fingers, and it's nothing like what they've had so far – there's none of that desperation here, none of the heat or the urgency or the intensity and after so much of all of that recently Korra's never been more glad for it – this is what a real first kiss should be like, she thinks.
She frowns when he pulls away, just enough for his breath to tickle her cheek.
"We got lucky," he says; whispers.
Without opening her eyes and wondering how they closed of their own accord, she nods. "I know," she says, pulling him back in, only for him to break away again a few seconds later.
"Korra, you can't – we can't –"
She looks at him; his face is twisted.
"We can't put it off like that again. I know."
This time he moves to cup her face in his hands, and she leans into his touch.
There's a moment of hesitation and then: "I think I'm in love with you."
The words take a second to sink in and then her heart decides it's a good idea to skip a few beats and it seems like she's restraining everything at once, an enormous beam and a laugh and some tears and jumping up and telling him just how amazing that makes her feel.
"I know," she says, throwing on bad fake exasperation, and she can't stop the smile from breaking across her face or the laugh from bubbling out of her. "I think I'm in love with you, too, you idiot."
He grins, just like her, and Korra thinks it might be the happiest she's ever seen him. When he opens his mouth to say something else she kisses him again, slides her fingers into his hair, presses even closer, adding some of that heat and intensity because she's already heard it all through the silence and she's impatient and done waiting.