Summary: From a prompt given to me by my friend on tumblr, anewbeginningsend, a.k.a SoulLikeABird here on | It's one of Mako's rare days off of work, and, sadly, he and Korra can't seem to see eye to eye.
Rating: T for language
A/N: This is just a small oneshot written from a simple prompt, given to me by SoulLikeABird, as she is known here on . Originally posted on tumblr, I've decided to carry it over. If you would like to follow me on tumblr and/or request prompts for me, I am known as lexshmithegreat. Without further ado, here is the oneshot. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the Avatar universe. Everything belongs to Mike and Bryan. I'm simply a fan who enjoys writing.
It was one of his rare days off of work that Mako had boarded the ferry to Air Temple Island first thing that morning. It was one of his usual routines he practiced each day he had off — as soon as he would step off of the ferry and on to the dock, he would make his way to his usual spot beneath a large oak tree, allowing him a clear view of the training grounds. He would sit on the soft grass, leaning his back against the tree's trunk, and breathe in the fresh air. He would always welcome the relaxation the island provided with open arms, happy that he had something as simple as this to unwind after his long, tiring shifts on patrol. He would allow his eyes to close once they began feeling heavy with each passing moment, not before catching Korra's gaze settle upon him in between her training. The young firebender would flash a soft smile — something that had become frequent of him during the past few months — just to see her offer one in return. He'd eventually end up dozing off with his arms folded across his chest and his head hung low as his body slouched against that tree trunk. However, the best moments of his routine involved him waking up to the Avatar beside him, her head on his shoulder, and a smile on her face. He wouldn't dare say a word, not wanting to disrupt her as she settled into the same level of tranquility he had reached. The two of them would communicate silently through touch and small gestures; truth be told, these moments spent with Korra were his favorite. They were like paradise to him, and he always made sure to cherish each and every second that would pass.
So why was today so different?
Perhaps him waking up without her head on his shoulder and that smile on her face should've been his first warning that something was wrong.
The firebender blinked a few times, having difficulty keeping his eyes open due to a mixture of drowsiness and the bright sunlight. He let out a yawn and glanced to his left, coming up empty, and immediately to his right. His blurry gaze landed upon a tan figure, arms crossed in annoyance and a scowl plastered across her face.
"Korra?" Mako mumbled groggily.
"What?" she replied, her voice heavy with the annoyed tone he knew first hand.
His vision began to focus, now, taking in the scenery around the two of them. He could see, now, that Korra was slumped against the tree trunk, in a similar manner to him, her arms still crossed against her chest, and that scowl still present. Had something happened while he was asleep? Was her annoyance generated by something he had done? Or was she just in a sour mood from training?
"Did something happen?"
She glanced at him from the corners of her eyes and knitted her brows together, a simple expression that sent a chill down Mako's spine. He had noted early on in their relationship that his girlfriend could give some pretty nasty — and some unintentionally hilarious — looks. The first few he had seen had the same effect on him as the one she flashed now. He hated to admit it, but Korra could really send him into a state of fear on an entirely different level than her own father could achieve.
Korra's gaze shifted toward the training grounds before her, her scowl still remaining. Mako watched intently, fighting back his urge to comfort her with the simple feeling of his hand upon her shoulder, fearful of what she would do or say in the moment. The two of them had been in a few heated arguments during the course of their relationship, most of which didn't end until days later. They both were far too stubborn to admit they were wrong, which only caused the arguments to go on longer than necessary. He had vowed to keep their disagreements to a minimum after their last explosive argument, something that was very difficult to maintain when Korra sought after support during her journey as the Avatar. He wasn't the best person to ask the types of questions she had been asking, and when he didn't provide the answer she wanted, her boiling point was easily hit.
"Tenzin is always quick to tell me that I haven't mastered airbending!" she had finally broken the silence, jerking her arms out in front of her in anger. Her brows had knitted further together, and Mako began to wonder how that was even possible. He'd never known her training made her this angry. "I know for a fact I've got it mastered! I mean, does this—" with a punch of his fist forward, a gust of wind emitted from her hands, similar to that of when she had fought Amon "—not look like I've mastered it, to you?"
Mako's eyes widened for a moment before his brows furrowed together and his gaze dropped. He slowly scooted his body away from the tree trunk, crossing his legs beneath him and sighed. On one hand, the firebender would rather avoid a fight than initiate one if his words were not what she wanted to hear; and on the other, he knew he had to support her in any way possible. She was his girlfriend, after all, and he wanted nothing more than to support her, yet, as of late, that was a difficult task for him to achieve.
Looks as if I'm at a stalemate… again.
"I've barely got any free time because of all of this training!" the Avatar continued, folding her arms across her chest once more. "Korra, you have much to learn about airbending. Korra, you have much to learn about the Avatar State," her voice deepened as she began imitating the elder airbender, and her arms moved in dramatic fashion, gesturing every which way possible. She allowed her head to fall back against the trunk of the oak tree, that scowl of hers taking form among her features once again. "I mean, I know being the Avatar comes with all of this learning crap, but would it kill Tenzin to let me have more free time?! And what the hell does he know about the Avatar State, anyway?"
"Korra, his dad was Avatar Aang. I'm sure he knows a thing or two about what the Avatar is capable of."
His eyes went wide the minute he realized what words had unintentionally spewed from his lips. Those were the exact words he had wanted avoid, yet knew he couldn't because, frankly, he was correct, although Korra would never openly admit it.
Mako noticed Korra's eyes widen ever so slightly, before she blinked and averted her gaze to her left. Her bottom lip protruded out in a pout, and her scowl quickly took its place upon her features.
Her expression softened as she opened her mouth. "Why is it you seem to always take everyone's side but mine?" she mumbled, glancing in his direction.
His eyebrows rose for a moment before absentmindedly furrowing his brow. "What are you talking about? You asked me a question. I'm just trying to help."
"By taking Tenzin's side?"
"I was just saying what I think!"
"Forget it," she stated, pushing herself up and off of the ground. "I shouldn't have bothered asking you, anyway."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Exactly what it sounds like!" she spun around on her heel to face him, her eyes narrowing at the young man. "I can't even ask my own boyfriend for advice without him taking sides!"
"I wasn't taking sides! You asked a question, and I answered! What else do you want from me?"
A brief moment of silence washed over the two, further frustrating Mako. Although his gaze had softened in a silent plea for this pointless argument to end, Korra's glare was still in full force. Why couldn't he communicate with her girlfriend properly? What in Spirits' name was wrong with him?
"Never mind, Mako," her words finally broke the silence. Her eyes averted away from him, ending their stare down that felt as if it had gone on forever. "I'm gonna head inside. Pema should have lunch ready by now."
Just like that, he remained frozen in his place, watching her as she began walking away. When it came to arguments, this was their usual routine. Korra would walk away in frustration, while Mako would remain wherever it was they had been prior to parting ways. The time apart allowed him to be alone with his thoughts — always playing the scenario in his head on a loop, analyzing every detail and aspect, and what he could have said that might have helped him avoid being in this predicament. Never once did he think of chasing after her, for she would return to him once she had cleared her head and calmed her mind. Neither of the two would speak, relying simply on actions as they had always done, and both would seem to forget anything ever happened, believing it best not to bring it up again in fear of a repeat of what had happened earlier. Communication was never a strong suit of theirs, which had always been clear to them, as well as to those around them, long before their romantic relationship had been established. For either of them, attempting to fix the problem was a difficult — if not, impossible — task.
However, he knew one of them would have to take that step and at least attempt.
And, sadly, that one of them would be him.
He sighed and hung his head.
He would make this right, even if it killed him in the process.
The firebender quickly scrambled to his feet, clumsily knocking his head on a branch above him in the process. Rubbing the sure to bruise area with a gloved hand, he began to close the distance between himself and the girl that seemed to always cause him some sort of level of frustration. He reached for her, his hand grasping at her wrist, stopping her in her tracks. Korra turned to face him with an eyebrow risen in question, and all he could do in that moment was clear his throat.
"Look," he began, "I know you're frustrated, and I know what I said wasn't what you wanted to hear, but — uh…"
Words escaped him at this point. Neither of them had been the best at their choices in words, as depicted by him earlier on, but he knew he had to at least attempt to get his point across to her.
"I'm not the best at all with this Avatar stuff," his eyebrows lowered, "I only know of the things in the stories my father would tell me about the Avatar before I'd go to bed, and everything I'm learning from you. I'm trying my hardest to help you out and give you advice, but all I can offer are my opinions. I'm not here to tell you what to do, how to do it, or when to do it."
Mako paused to read Korra's expression. Her brow was still raised as she focused intently on him and his words. He scratched at his temple, wondering if what he had said was enough, if he should continue, or if that would just ensue in him rambling on further than he was sure he already had.
He took a deep breath before continuing.
"I wasn't taking sides when I told you Tenzin is probably pretty knowledgeable when it comes to things dealing with the Avatar; I was just being honest. He grew up learning everything he knows from Avatar Aang, who I'm sure taught him a lot about the Avatar and the capabilities each possess." He paused once more, tugging at his scarf nervously and silently hoping he was saying the right things this time. "I wish I could be of more help to you, but most of the time, I'm just as lost and confused as you are. All I can do is continue to love and support you, even though I wish I could do more."
It was his turn to stare intently at the young woman before him as he awaited some form of a response. He had noticed her eyebrow had lowered back to its original spot, and yet, he had difficulty telling if she was happy with his words, or angry. If the latter, he figured he would give up discussing things with her altogether; although, he knew that would only make matters worse.
His eyes widened ever so slightly at the feeling of her fingers intertwining with his. His brow furrowed in question as he continued to gaze at the Avatar, who now had a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
"How about we agree to disagree?" she offered, giving up the fight against her emotions and allowing the smile to overtake her features. "If anything, we can agree at least one of us is right, some of the time."
"Y-yeah," Mako nodded, offering up a smile of his own. "That works for me."
"…Just as long as you know I'm right most of the time!"
"Yeah… Hey, wait! Don't get ahead of yourself, Korra!"
He was left alone for the second time that day as Korra ran ahead, flashing a teasing grin his way and a stint of laughter immediately after.
He hated to admit it, but perhaps this slight change in his usual routine was for the best.