Huge shout out to my Co Author BG-13! Enjoy!
Korra sat on the windowsill of her room, staring out across the bay, her gaze focused on the Pro Bending arena. She couldn't help but smile. The place held some of her favorite memories. Victory and defeat alike. Even the satisfaction of taking out Tahno. But her smile quickly faded as she thought of the one boy who she'd met there that made her heart ache. The Firebender who had showed little interest in her until last night as he cradled her in his arms, telling her she was safe. He said he had been worried and had been so gentle with her.
But she knew better. She knew he didn't return her feelings. He had chosen Asami even after she had confessed her feeling for him. The thought of trying to steal him had entered her mind but her and Asami were friends now. She couldn't do that to her. She wouldn't hurt her even if every time she saw them together it made her feel like a piece of herself was dying. A light knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.
"Come in," she whispered, her focus still on the arena.
"Korra? What are you doing up? You should be resting," a familiar voice stated. She froze.
"Mako?" she called, turning her head to see the Firebender.
"What are you doing here? It's late," she said, her attention shifting back to the bay.
"I came to see how you were doing," he mumbled as he made his way to stand next to her. "What are you doing?"
The Avatar hesitated. She knew she shouldn't tell him. She shouldn't tell him she wanted nothing more than to ask him to leave his girlfriend. That all she wanted was for him to return her feelings. But she chose to remain silent, not trusting herself to answer for fear of what she'd say.
The Firebender looked at his teammate curiously. Then he cleared his throat.
"We need to talk," he said.
The Waterbender sighed at this. What was she supposed to tell him? He and Asami seemed so happy together. Dragging up her feelings would only complicate things, possibly even ruin her friendship with Asami…she didn't want that. She didn't want to break them apart.
"Korra, I know you still like me," he began.
"I don't know what you're talking about," she muttered, not meeting his gaze. He placed a hand on her cheek and turned her head so she was looking at him.
"And I really like you," he finished. Korra flinched. She had wanted to hear those words for weeks. But not like this. Not after everything they'd been through. Why did he have to do this now? She forced herself to remain indifferent to the news; she let herself be angry with him, because it was just so much easier.
"So, it took me being half dead for you to realize this?" Her voice was cold as she pushed his hand away from her face. He looked shocked.
"Korra, its not-"
"Then what? Why do you all of a sudden feel the need to tell me this after I was missing for twenty-four hours? What if I hadn't come back? Would you still tell this to my grave? I don't want you to tell me this because you feel guilty!" she snapped. He furrowed his brow.
"Look, I know I've been a jerk. I know I should have said this before the tournament, I just didn't know how. I was so worried about you and I feel like this is my second chance at trying to tell you. And it's not because of guilt. If something had happened to you…" He trailed off, not wanting to finish.
"What about Asami?" It had left her mouth without permission.
"We broke up. She saw that I had feelings for you and she ended it." He sighed. "Look, I know I haven't been a very good friend. I've put you through a lot. And I'm sorry. You deserve someone so much better than me. But please, let me show you that I really do care about you. No more lies, I promise."
Tears pricked the corner of Korra's eyes. A few days ago she wouldn't have questioned his motives. She would have kissed him fiercely and held onto him like her life depended on it. But now…now she didn't know. She wanted proof that he cared about her as much as he claimed. She wasn't going to get hurt again.
"Korra, why can't you see that I love you?" he whispered. That got her.
"Have you ever loved someone so much they made you cry?" she asked. "Have you ever been so madly in love that you'd do anything to make them understand? I have. You stole my heart and I wished so many times that you would feel the same. I would have given anything, just for you to realize the power you held over me." She chuckled humorlessly. "Do you know how many nights I've stayed up and wished you were there?"
"I wasn't finished," she snapped. "You weren't there after I faced Amon. You didn't even ask if I was alright. You weren't there when all I wanted was for you to tell me that everything was going to be ok." Her voice got quieter. "I helped you find Bolin. I don't regret that. But it would have been nice for you to show a little appreciation. I needed you and you weren't there," she finished, tears freely falling from her eyes.
Mako looked away. The Waterbender was right. There were so many times she should have been there for her. He'd known how she felt about him and had ignored it. He had even lied, telling her that he didn't feel the same way.
"I know. I'm sorry," he sounded so sincere.
"Is that all you can say?" she replied, her voice still as cold as ice. He flinched.
"I may not know what that's like. And I really am sorry for never being there when you needed me. I really am thankful for your help when Bolin went missing. I thought you could handle yourself when you faced Amon. I would give anything for you to just forgive me. I don't know what I'd do without you," he said, his lips inches away from hers. She looked away and pushed him away from her.
"No," she said firmly.