"Why?" he asked, visibly hurt.
Korra took a deep breath. "You said you didn't check on me because you thought I could handle myself. I must have escaped your attention that while, yes, I am the Avatar. Yes, I have the weight of the on my shoulders. And yes, I'm supposed to keep the balance, I'm only a damn teenager! I'm as human as you! I didn't have a normal childhood. You should know how that feels! And yes, I might have been given everything I ever asked for but I would have traded it all for one day of just being a normal kid."
Mako sighed. "You just always seemed so cocky and confident that I thought you could handle yourself. I was so caught up in the tournament and so mad at you because you hadn't shown up for practice. But nothing in the past matters. When you told me you liked me I told you I didn't because I was scared to. Please, let me show you that I do care about you," he pleaded. They stood in silence as Mako absentmindedly wiped a tear off Korra's cheek.
"Give me one good reason why I should give you a chance," she said after a while. She couldn't let him kiss her. If he kissed her, her anger would melt and she would surrender. She wouldn't surrender so easily. She needed to be sure he meant it.
"I'm here, and I won't ever leave your side."
"I love you."
"That's still not good enough."
Mako looked hurt. What could he say that would possibly get her to forgive him? He sighed. "I tried to love Asami. I tried to forget you. You were the Avatar. I didn't deserve you. I still don't. I didn't think someone as amazing as you could ever really feel that way about me. I feared someone more important would come along and steal you away." He paused, letting his words sink in as she searched his eyes. "When we found out you were missing, it was as if my whole world came crashing down. I felt like such an idiot for not being there for you. That's when I realized that I love you."
Korra looked away. "No one could have stolen me from you," she replied, her voice soft. "I loved you too much. But I don't know if I want to try anymore. I can't just forget about everything you've said and everything you've done. You stopped my ever advance and now you're the one asking me to return your feelings? I don't know if I want to try again, Mako," she whispered.
He cupped her face in his hands. "I know. I'd do anything to take it all back. But just give me a chance and I promise you that that from this day on you'll never be alone. I swear that I'll never let you down again. I promise my time, my heart, and my love to you. And only you," he told her, sincerity ringing clear in his voice.
For a moment all they did was stare at each other. Then Mako leaned forward, his lips ghosting over hers to see if she'd pull away. When she didn't he crashed his lips onto hers, and she didn't resist as her actions mimicked his own. It almost seemed as if time had stopped. She could feel all his emotion in that one kiss and she knew that he'd meant every word. Eventually they had to pull apart, their lungs demanding air.
"You're such an idiot," she said breathlessly. He chuckled.
"I know. Think you can forgive me?" She pretended to think it over.
"Maybe," she teased. He rolled his eyes and she smiled. She looked out the window again and her thoughts drifted.
"What if I fail?" she asked. "What if Amon wins? What happens then?"
He pulled her into an embrace and held her tight, as if dreading that she'd disappear again. "You won't fail. Everything is going to be alright. After all, you are Korra. The Avatar. Master of three elements. When the time comes, you'll know what to do. And I'll be there by your side every step of the way."
"Promise. I promise to always love you. I don't think I could ever truly explain how much I mean it."
She smiled as he kissed her head. "Tell me about it. What took you so long?" She lightly smacked his shoulder.
The Firebender chuckled. "It takes longer for idiots to find their way around," he replied.
"Apparently." They stood there till the sun started to shine; Korra yawned and leaned against the boy. "Mako?"
"I love you." He smiled down at her and kissed her lips gently.
"I love you too." Her eyelids were starting to droop so Mako helped her get settled under the covers of her bed.
"Do you think this will last?" she asked as he moved some of the hair out of her face. But she immediately drifted off to sleep, not being able to stay awake for the answer.
"This isn't an ordinary love," he whispered, kissing her temple. "This I promise you."