Air Temple Island sat serenely in the Yue Bay. The only noise that could be heard were soft grunts emanating from the Temple's training area. And surrounded by the dense forest of bamboo trees were two young benders. The sun was beginning to settle to make way for the night...
Whoosh! Tendrils of flame escape from an outstretched fist and disappear into the air. Mako was the epitome of concentration, the heat of his flames reflecting the intensity of that russet gaze as he went through his warm up exercises.
Korra sat on the ground a few feet away from him watching, completely mesmerized. Crime fighting had improved his technique immensely. His bending had always been precise and powerful but now there was a controlled-almost acrobatic- element to his movements. Korra could see it in the way he parried or flipped.
Could see the stretch of powerfully corded muscle. Could see the sheen of sweat that glittered the nape of his neck and noticed how it stained his thin tank top...
She bit her lip. It had been two weeks since she told him she loved him.
Another graceful flip.
Two weeks since he had told her the same.
Somewhere in between that time, a lot of things had happened. It was almost impossible for her to keep up with all the changes altering her world. But between bending all the elements, stopping Amon, and rebuilding Republic City from the ground up, her mind still couldn't wrap around the fact that she was in love. Not that it mattered. They hadn't had a moment to themselves since the last time they kissed. Mako had a new responsibility to the city as a newly recruited officer. Korra was proud of him. That he had managed to find a new calling for himself. But they had both been swamped with separate duties ever since Amon had been...terminated.
In fact, even more rebellious behavior sprouted through the city as a direct response to the reign Amon had led. His followers were lost, rebels without leader wreaking havoc within the city.
Bolin had tried to regain some normalcy by trying to revive the fire ferrets, Asami had overtaken her duties in the Future Industries Corp, Mako was keeping watch over the city, and Korra's days were swamped with her daily Avatar duties.
Playtime was over. Gone were the days when they had goofed around the city, or raced on Asami's private track, or even participated in a pro-bending tournament. For a while, Korra had thought those days would never end. Which was why, in the haze of everything changing, Korra was beginning to doubt if the confession had ever happened. In the two weeks, they had barely seen each other and when they had they were interrupted by awkwardness or other people.
Everything was different now. It was daunting to think that she could give her all to Mako.
She snapped back to reality with a jolt, not realizing Mako had been talking to her. He was standing in front of her, hands on his hips.
There was just the slightest tug on the corner of his mouth. Was he smiling?
"You look really out it", he observed.
"Who me? Nope." Korra gave him an innocent look.
He leaned towards her ever so slightly. Definitely a smirk.
"Alright then, if you say so 'Miss Avatar'" Mako turned to walk back to the training area leaving Korra to bristle in irritation. He knew she hated it when he called her that.
When he turned his head to look back at her, those russet eyes almost golden with amusement, she knew he was trying egg her on. He always did when she wasn't acting like herself.
"Can the great Avatar withstand a little sparing?"
Korra shot to her feet in a huff. "Of course I can, can you?"
When they were out in the middle of the field he gave her a wicked smile that did sent shivers through body. "You know I can."
It was when they took their stances that Korra's thoughts all wanted to break out. All of the things she wanted to say to Mako (do you still love me?, I miss you, I want you) bottled over the last two weeks were starting to reemerge. She found it difficult to get excited about the spar. And focus, as usual, wasn't her best friend. Not when he was so close. Close enough to touch.
He suddenly rushed at her. She clumsily parried left instead of blocking when he threw a straight jab. He followed through with a roundhouse kick to her midsection and she recovered enough to leap out of the way. Stopping briefly, Mako raised an eyebrow at her. Korra usually never played defensive. Korra shook her head and took her stance her eyes narrowing, ready to bury herself into the spar, but he charged at her again. This time, he aimed a low kick that swept her off her feet. She landed on her back with grunt and lay there in muted shock. Their spars usually lasted for hours before one of them would give in. She felt a little more than pathetic.
Mako stood standing above her, his arms crossed. "...What was that?"
"What was what?" She asked grumpily.
"That sorry excuse for a spar. What's with you?"
And, for some reason, she felt anger rising within her. Like he was the reason she was feeling so out of it. And in many ways, he was. Things were so uncertain and unstable, how could he not feel the same? It pissed her off.
"You know what? It doesn't matter. You obviously don't get it." She promptly rose from her spot on the ground ready to leave but Mako's hand shot out to catch her shoulder.
When he spun her around to face him she saw that he had an incredulous look on his face. "What the hell are you talking about?"
She scowled at him and jerked her shoulder away. "If you have to ask then there's no point in talking about it!"
Mako, never one to back down from an argument, matched her temper. "I'm not a mind reader!"
Korra moved away from him. "Obviously!"
He stayed where he was. When Korra needed space it was best to give it to her . "What's this about Korra?" he asked running a hand through his hair. His annoyance still lingered in his voice.
Unable to express what she was really feeling, Korra threw her hands up in frustration. "You just come up here and your like: 'hey Korra, mind if I train here at the temple?'", Korra mimicked Mako in a caveman's voice.
He just stared at her like she had grown a second head. "...Okay? And what's wrong with that?"
What was wrong with that? She felt like she was going crazy. She buried her face in her hands. "I don't know. I just..."
Mako moved closer to her now that she had deflated but stood an arm's length away from her. "You just...?" he probed softly.
There was a brief pause, where there was no sound save for the rustling of the trees around them. The bay winds were coming in stronger and everything around them was cast in the warm glow of the fading sun. For an instant, it made Korra look more vulnerable and soft. Mako almost didn't recognize her.
With her face still covered, she finally said, "I just thought...things between us would be different."
"What do you mean?"
She looked up at him then, her turquoise irises nearly arresting him. They were glassy-, she wasn't crying-but it was the closest he had ever seen her to doing so. "I don't really know. I've never been...in...love before." Her voice was barely above a whisper and her cheeks darkened to a rosy tint.
His eyes widened as he suddenly understood. The last time they had talked was when they had confessed their love for one another. He'd finally found time to visit her and he'd been as platonic and friendly as ever when he'd greeted her at the Air Temple earlier that day. Like nothing had ever happened. He mentally cursed his stupidity. His track record in relationships weren't looking so good.
"Korra," he sighed and placed both hands on her shoulder, "I'm sorry if you felt like...I was being too friendly or unromantic."
She looked mortified and her face turned even redder. She hastily waved her arms around. "No! That's not-it's not like I want you to be all lovey-dovey! I guess...I just expected you to be a little more..." She groaned and shook her head. " I don't even know what I'm trying to say."
Mako pondered that for a moment. "You're confused? About whether we're really a couple or not?" She stared at him in surprise and nodded. How had he come to know her so well?
His face grew serious then and he cupped her face in his hands. "You're not Asami-"
She flinched at that, not expecting the words or the amount of pain she felt from them. She tried to pull away from him but he tightened his grip. "Hold on. You're not like Asami or any other girl I've ever met. When I'm around you, my brain doesn't work right. I turn into a complete idiot and for that I'm sorry."
Korra felt like she was drowning in a sea of different emotions. She unconsciously held on to the other man's waist.
He let out a gentle laugh. " You drive me so crazy and sometimes I just want to shake you." His hands slid down to her neck and he used the tips of his fingers to tilt her chin up. "And sometimes I just want to kiss you."
The water was rising higher and higher. She was in the deep end and she couldn't breathe.
"I meant what I said before: I love you. And that's that. We're together Korra and like it or not, you're stuck with me."
She stared up into his eyes. "Good," she gasped, "But you better not wander off..."
Mako didn't respond, instead he searched Korra's face, feeling that same warm feeling that enveloped him every time they were close. He remembered feeling like this the first time she kissed him. Nervous, anxious, terrified, and...safe. He'd thought he'd feel guilty after what happened with Asami but he felt more guilty that he wasn't. Now wasn't the time to think about that. He needed to focus on fixing something else first.
Without any further hesitation, Mako leaned in and pressed his lips softly against Korra's. They enjoyed the closed mouth kiss for only a moment before Mako nipped lightly at her bottom lip, coercing her to open up for him. And open she did. A small groan escaped them both as their tongues slid over one another. He kept a caressing hand on her cheek while the other hand slid down the side of her body and gripped her slender waist. Korra wrapped her toned arms around the man to grip at his backside and pulled him close until the swell of her breasts pressed against his hard chest. She was no longer drowning, instead she felt as though she were flying high in the clouds.
But the sound of someone clearing their throat had her crashing back down to the ground. They both whipped around to see Tenzin standing awkwardly with his hands behind his back. Korra was mortified.
"Sorry to interrupt," Tenzin interjected running a hand over his beard, "But dinner will be served soon. Mako, you're welcome to join us."
Mako, looking sheepish but mostly amused, gave the air master a nod. "Sounds good. Bolin's probably stopping by later, is that okay?"
"Of course. The more the merrier!" The older man tried showing some enthusiasm with a smile but it was clear that what he'd seen his student engaged in made him uncomfortable. The red tint on his cheeks was an obvious indicator of that.
Korra tried in vain to remedy the situation. "Tenzin, we were just-"
Tenzin quickly whipped around and speed walked back to the main temple with his fingers plugged in both ears. "I didn't see anything!"
The couple waited until he was out of sight before Korra glared up at her boyfriend. "Idiot! What were you thinking kissing me like that?!"
Mako smirked down at her with an arched brow. "Who was kissing who? I couldn't tell by the way you were grabbing at me."
"You're lucky you don't have that scarf or I'd choke you with it!" She shoved him but he knew she was happy by the smile that lit up her face. He'd finally done right by her and it felt good. No way was he going to mess this up.
AN: Wow! First Fanfic! Thank you for reading! :) Hope you enjoyed this little ditty of mine. I'm not used to writing fight scene's so this was a little challenging for me. If you have any suggestions, critiques, or comments please review.