So I know I am a horrible person, but I just finished my senior year of college (woo!) and dealt with a lot of personal issues this year. But I have finally come back around and I just rewatched Korra so I feel all warm and fuzzy about this fanfiction again, so here I am.
Thank you so much for the private messages telling me to keep going, and thank you for being so nice about it! I hope some of you are still interested in reading this!
Luckily, I still have my old outline, so I should be able to keep going without any problems. Hopefully I haven't gotten crappy at writing in the interim. Thanks, dears! -Kristin
Chapter 11- Mako
Mako had not let Idan out of his sight since they lost Korra. He knew the least that he could do for her, since he had failed to save her, was to keep safe the boy for whom she had sacrificed herself. Their son.
Idan cried and screamed for two solid hours after the attack. He had beat and ripped into Mako's shirt, yelling at him and for him. Mako's shirt smoldered with licks of flame that the boy inadvertently bent in his anger. Mako ignored the slight burns and held Idan tightly, gently stroking his hair, knowing the feeling of utter terror and loss.
"You're safe, Idan," he told the boy firmly once they arrived at Air Temple Island, abandoning the hide-out to its destruction.
Tenzin was tending to Jinora's injuries while Mako dealt with the heartbroken boy. The older airbender was obviously deeply troubled, glancing at Mako and his son with equal parts sadness and bewilderment. They were all coming to terms with the fact that Korra had somehow cultivated two separate lives, and none of them had even noticed.
Idan's cry had faded to a whimper at this point, his cheeks and throat raw with tears. Mako set him on a table and began gently removing the boy's tattered clothing to inspect for injuries. "My mom is going to die."
"No," Mako said, more firmly than he felt. "I am going to get her back."
Idan suddenly began searching around the room of broken fighters frantically. "Where is Uncle Bolin?" He demanded.
Mako forced his face not to falter. "He's with Korr—your mom. They'll keep each other safe."
The boy's eyes flickered between upset and comforted by that thought. "But where will I go now? Gran-Gran and Papi are gone and I'm all alone now…" Idan's tears began anew as the boy babbled.
"Shhh. Shhh." Mako pulled the boy into another hug, letting his tears soak into Mako's shirt. Mako's heart broke knowing that Idan would rather it were Korra or Bolin with him right now. He swallowed his pride.
Mako knelt down so that he was eye level with his son. "I'm going to keep you safe, Idan. I promise that. And I'm going to try my hardest to get your family back to you, okay?"
Idan did not respond, but he became more pliable to Mako's attempts at first aid. He only had a few minor burns and cuts, thankfully. He redressed the boy in a too-big air acolyte uniform over the bandaged injuries.
The boy stopped crying slowly during Mako's ministrations, his eyes drooping in exhaustion.
"Just let Uncle Mako take care of everything, alright?" Mako's throat burned with emotion on the words.
He lifted Idan gently into his arms, cradling him close. Idan's heavy eyelids shut slowly and he unconsciously nestled his small body into Mako's chest.
Tenzin saw them and motioned with his hand for them to follow. "Pema and the younger children have been evacuated to a more secure location," the older airbender intoned gently, once they were in the hallway. "Idan may use their rooms for sleeping."
"I…I don't want to leave him. I don't want him to wake up alone." Mako gripped the boy slightly closer.
"Yes." Tenzin paused, glancing at him. "I agree. However, you and I have much to discuss, and Idan needs to sleep. I would recommend waking him and telling him where you will be, which is just down the hallway."
"Yeah, a good idea." Mako walked slowly into a room filled with the soft colors associated with small children. Hopefully it would be a mild comfort to Idan.
Once he situated the boy in the small bed, he gently shook him, regretting having to intrude on the much needed rest. "Idan?"
The child woke up easily and took in his surroundings with alarm. Then his eyes settled on Mako, and he remembered what had happened. He did not make a sound, letting his eyes fall sadly to his hands.
"I am going to leave you to sleep, Idan. You'll be safe here, I promise. I will be just down the hallway if you need me. And I will come get you as soon as I am done meeting with my friend," Mako motioned to Tenzin, who stood in the doorway smiling gently at the injured child. "Will you be alright?"
Idan nodded slowly, clearly alarmed, but agreeable.
"Okay," Mako reached out his arm and smoothed Idan's hair back, attempting to be comforting. "Sleep well."
Idan let his eyes shut, and Mako moved from the bed. He shut the door to the bedroom softly and matched pace with Tenzin as they walked back the way they came.
Mako had nothing to say, his mind reeling with the events of the afternoon. He could not remove the images of Bolin and Korra that were seared in his mind as they made their last stand.
"Idan is your son," Tenzin broke the silence. Although it was not a question, the query was implied.
"Yes." Mako said flatly. "I didn't know until this afternoon. Korra kept it a secret because she is the Avatar."
"Yes, I understand the motivation behind her keeping her motherhood a secret. But I don't understand why she did not tell you."
"Asami," Mako answered easily, "But also my own idiocy. I pushed her away, and she took that as rejection. It's my fault…again." His hands fisted at his sides, and he felt the burn of his fingernails into skin.
"Mako," Tenzin's voice was gentle. The older man stopped and put a gentle hand on the younger man's shoulder. "You are not at fault for this. Korra and Asami were both mature young women who made their own decisions. They were both extraordinarily brave in the face of danger, and both fought with astonishing dedication. Same as you."
"I should have saved—"
"You have done the best that you could. And look, Idan is safe, which is obviously what Korra would want in this situation. We will get her and Bolin back." Tenzin freed Mako's shoulder. "I have already called in all of our closest friends, both benders and non-benders. They are in the main meeting room. We will make a plan for when Amon makes his move, which I am guessing will be soon."
Tenzin and Mako walked into a room filled with people, many of whom Mako recognized. Silence fell upon their entry, and some of them eyed Mako with a knowing glance.
"Tenzin," an older man stepped forward. He was an old water tribe Elder, Mako remembered, who had come to Republic City as a representative for the waterbenders in the bending half of the city.
His face was contorted in a very judgmental frown. "This whole mess—and hopefully slander—about Korra having a child-"
"-is True, Elder," Tenzin said simply. "The child has been secured safely in this compound. However, Avatar Korra and her friend Bolin have been captured, along with—as I am sure you have heard—Avatar Korra's parents, from the Southern Water Tribe."
A few people shifted uncomfortably, muttering among themselves. Mako could make out words like "irresponsible" and "disastrous" uttered multiple times, and it was all he could do not to turn and leave the room to go sit with Idan.
Then Lin Beifong stepped forward, hands on her hips and face in a scowl. "Hey, why don't we all get over the fact that Avatar Korra is a normal human being underneath her Avatar armor for five seconds and get to saving our city already."
A few people turned to her, surprised at the force in her words.
"Avatar Korra has a child," the old Police Chief said starkly. She spread her fingers before her as if asking for someone to speak contrarily to her. "So what? She is still the Avatar, and she is still captured by a maniac intent upon ripping this world to shreds. This information does nothing to change who she is. We can deal with whatever fallout later, but right now, we need to work on getting her back. And maybe, just maybe, we can finally end this damned war."
Mako could have kissed her, if she weren't so utterly terrifying.
Tenzin had a nostalgic smile on his face. "Lin is right, everyone. Now let's get to work."
As Tenzin gathered everyone around a table, Mako could have sworn he saw Lin Beifong give Mako a somehow simultaneously sympathetic and assessing glance.
An hour into hashing out strategies and ideas, the table had broken into multiple factions, each discussing intently their own ideas or portion of the grand plan. The room was getting to be chaotic again, and Mako wanted to bang his head against a wall. This was why he, Bolin, Korra, and Jinora had kept most of their missions simple.
Suddenly, Mako felt a soft tug at his leg. He looked down and was surprised to see Idan, who must have sneaked through the door unseen, which was not entirely unsurprising since the boy was small and dividers partitioned this room so that multiple meetings could take place in relative privacy.
Idan was whispering something, and Mako had to lean down to hear. Lin Beifong, who was seated next to Mako, was the first to notice the young visitor. She raised an eyebrow.
"I want to help," Idan whispered. "And I don't want to be alone again." The boy was intent, his eyes shining with a ferocity that Mako often saw in Korra and Bolin.
Mako lifted Idan into his lap, effectively allowing the whole table to see the newest addition to the room. Everyone fell silent.
Lin Beifong broke the silence. "Hello, young sir, are you the Avatar's son?" Her voice was surprisingly gentle.
Idan's head whipped around to Mako in alarm. "No one is supposed to know. Mommy said so," he whispered urgently.
"It's alright," Mako promised, smiling.
Idan hesitated before nodding, his eyes intent again. He looked to the old earthbender and said, "Yes, I am. My name is Idan."
Idan straightened his back and laid his hands flat on the table, he tilted his head to look at the room full of adults. Only Mako could tell that his whole body was shaking.
"We are going to get my mom back," his small voice carried to every adult ear, and Mako watched as each face in the room softened. "And my Uncle Bolin and my Gran-Gran and my Papi and all of the people that Amon took from their families."
A few eyes quirked at Uncle Bolin, glancing between Mako and Idan with appraising eyes, but each eventually fell back to Idan.
The room was silent for a long while. Idan shrank back into Mako, his face starting to flush with embarrassment. Mako put a comforting hand on the boy's back, and he was about to say something when the older water tribe Elder stood shakily from his seat.
"Young Idan," the Elder said firmly, looking around the table at the crew of benders and non-benders before finally settling on the Avatar's child. "We will do our best to bring Avatar Korra back to you. I promise."