What am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing?
His mantra rang through his head over and over like a broken record. This suit was uncomfortable and stiff, and the raggedy red scarf didn't help the look. He knew she'd been irritated when he stubbornly refused to take it off for the evening. At this point, however, the offense was long forgotten. She'd moved on to playing the good little hostess, greeting guests and thanking everyone for coming. People seemed to gravitate towards her, basking in her glow and remarking how amazing it was that the world's greatest bender was so down to earth and friendly.
He also knew she was stubborn, hot-headed, and obnoxious.
The coy glances she occasionally cast in his direction did nothing to alleviate his discomfort. He didn't know anybody here. It was a gala to benefit the Republic City Children's Hospital. The room was full of politicians and wealthy people - and he didn't fit in with either group. Korra probably didn't fit in either - the difference was that she didn't care. And tonight, dressed in her form-fitting, sleeveless, floor-length blue gown with her soft chocolate locks piled in curls on the top of her head, nobody would have believed she didn't fit in. She was absolutely stunning. She was more than stunning. She was breathtaking. And he could hardly stand watching her from the corner this way. He wanted more than anything to be with her, at her arm, basking in her glow as well. But he couldn't. He was awkward and stilted in these situations, and he would only hold her back.
Honestly, he wouldn't have come if she hadn't been so obnoxiously persistent. When threatening him and calling him names didn't work, she resorted to the pouty face. And then promised to make it worth his while.
He hardly ever said no to Korra.
What am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing?
He had been doubting their relationship lately. Sure, he was once a probending champion, and now he had just finished training in the police academy, but he wasn't on her level, and he probably would never be. Despite her imperfections and flaws, he knew he had a tendency to put her on a pedestal. As if she were perfect. She knew it, and she hated it, but the fact of the matter was that he still couldn't believe that she - the Avatar! - could love someone as insignificant as him.
He was forever chasing her starlight.
He wasn't sure if it was worth it anymore. And he had no idea what he was doing standing in the corner acting as if he actually might belong to this scene.
He couldn't keep up this charade.
And so, when her back was turned, he quickly slipped out the door and into the dark, moonlit night.
He was gone.
She didn't know when he'd left, or where he'd went, but he was gone.
And she wasn't very happy about it.
But this was her gala, and she had to keep smiling, keep laughing at her guests' less-than-funny jokes, keep dancing with the various men who were brave enough to ask, keep hostessing. And she hated it. Her feet ached, the dress was too tight on her armpits, and with Mako gone, she had no motivation to keep going. She was the Avatar, however, and she had been taught well. She didn't mope, and she didn't pout. Nobody knew exactly what was going on in her mind. The evening turned out to be a great success, but she couldn't bring herself to care.
The party had wound down enough that she could leave Asami and Tenzin in charge of things, and she didn't waste any time in escaping that stuffy building. In the back of her mind, she knew the children at the hospital would greatly appreciate her efforts, but she was too exhausted - and angry - to care.
She burst into Mako's apartment without knocking. He shouldn't have left his door unlocked, anyway. She found him lounging on the couch, sipping tea and listening to the radio.
"Are you kidding me?" she yelled, slamming the door behind her. She had to fight to resist the urge to charge across the room and choke him.
"How was the gala?" he asked coolly, unperturbed by her temper tantrum.
"It sucked, thanks for asking. Too bad you didn't stick around to find out!" she shot back accusingly.
"It looked like it was going rather well, to me." He stared down into his mug, carefully avoiding her eyes.
"Sure, yeah, lots of money for the kids, whatever." She waved her hand dismissively. "But you were supposed to be there for me. And you bailed. What gives, Mako?"
He sighed a very tired sigh, still avoiding her gaze. "I don't want to talk about it tonight, Korra."
It was hard to fight with someone who wouldn't fight back. And the fact that he wasn't fighting back unnerved her. Something was wrong. "Well I do!" she insisted hotly, crossing her arms in front of her. "You completely abandoned me, and you won't even tell me why." He got up and walked into the kitchen. She followed hot on his heels, becoming more uncomfortable with every second that passed. He was acting so strange.
He stood in front of the sink, gripping the edges to support himself. When he spoke at last, his voice was subdued. "I think we should take a break."
She felt as if she had taken a hit to the chest and actually stumbled backwards. "You - what?" was the best response she could muster. The room was beginning to spin around her, and she wasn't sure she could form a complete sentence.
"It's just... we're very different people, Korra. I don't think it will work for us."
He might as well have ripped her heart out of her chest, thrown it to the floor, and stomped it into oblivion. "Mako, you - you don't really believe that, do you?" He didn't answer immediately, and she found herself rushing to his side. She peered up into his face as if she might find the real answer there, as if she could find what she wanted to see. But he was completely unresponsive. He was serious.
"Mako... please. What's wrong, really?" she begged, not caring that she might sound more than a little pathetic. "Tell me, please. Let me fix this. Why are you being this way?"
She put a hand on his arm, but he shook her off and turned away, heading back towards the living room. She followed him numbly, not even sure if she was supposed to follow.
"Will you please just talk to me?" Her voice began to break as he continued to coldly ignore her. "Don't do this. I know you don't mean it."
"Korra, just stop." He held up a hand for emphasis. "I told you I didn't want to talk tonight, and you pushed me into it. I just..." His voice trailed away as he stared off into the distance.
"You just what?" she demanded, fighting the tears building behind her eyes with a fervent aggression.
"I can't do this anymore!" he suddenly exploded. She'd intentionally backed him into a corner, knowing he would respond this way. But any response was better than nothing.
"What can't you do?!" She raised her voice to match his, clenching her fists at her side.
"I can't be with you!"
It was a slap in the face that left her gasping for air. "Why... why?" she breathed, her chest heaving with the effort it took to speak after his brutal attack. He hung his head, giving her no other response. The pressure in her heart built until it felt as though it might explode.
"Mako... I..." She blinked away the tears, but it was useless. They began to spill down her cheeks. "Don't you love me?" He didn't look up at her, but she refused to give in that easily. She stepped forward, cradling his face in her hands. He cut his eyes to the side in attempt to avoid her, still. "Tell me you don't love me. Tell me, and I'll go."
He sighed, closing his eyes. She took his silence as encouragement and drew closer to him. Resting her brow against his, she leaned in to kiss him. He wouldn't be able to resist her if she kissed him. And she knew it. Their lips were only inches apart when he quietly said, "I don't love you anymore."
He less than gently pried himself away from her and escaped to the solitude of his bedroom, closing and locking the door behind him.
It was real. It was really happening.
Her knees gave out beneath her, and she sank to the floor, dissolving into tears.
He heard her crying and almost changed his mind. He wanted to run back into the living room and scoop her into his arms and say he was sorry and that he didn't mean any of the terrible things he said. But he stopped himself. He told himself that this was for the best. That now, she could find the love that she deserved.
He hadn't meant for this to happen tonight. He really hadn't. But she didn't realize it wasn't tea he was drinking. Alone and more than slightly tipsy, he was left to drown in his self-pity and doubts.
He shouldn't have done what he did. But he heard the front door slam shut and knew it was too late.
It was over.
I will be chasing your starlight
Until the end of my life
I don't know if it's worth it anymore
I flipping love that song.
This will be a multi-chapter fic, but I honestly have no idea where I'm going with it. Just hadda get this idea outta my head.