"Hey you! Move it!"
Mako flinched. There was a reason he had tucked himself in the slide on the far east of the playground. It was the most boring slide, not even two feet off the ground, with a straight forward metal slide that was always wet on the bottom. None of the other kids even bothered with it. Which was fine by him, because he really didn't want to be bothered by the other kids. Especially not by her.
She hadn't even been there twenty minutes and had been terrorizing the playground since she's got there. She pushed kids off swings and stormed up playground towers like she owned the place. She reminded him of the Sea Serpent Monster in the stories Mother told him and Bolin before bedtime.
Right from the get go, he knew she was trouble, and Mako, though only eight years old and not knowing much of the world, was pretty good at avoiding trouble.
"Hey buddy, I said move it!"
But trouble was so much harder to keep away from when it followed him hand and foot. So of course she would pick this slide. Of course.
"Hey! Are you listening? I said move!"
She was small, maybe a little older than Bolin. Her hair was sticking up and her belly poked out from underneath her shirt. She was frowning, annoyed that he was ignoring her. He hoped she got the message and left soon.
But she didn't. She just stood there, glaring at him.
"I wanna go down the slide," she stated.
He motioned behind him as if to say "Go ahead."
She huffed arms crossed. She didn't move, only continued in her glaring and looming over his head. After another moment of silence, where he continued to say nothing and she continued to glare, she growled.
He sighed, and finally spoke. "Why? I'm not in the way."
And he wasn't. She wouldn't even have to step over him to go down this slide.
"Because I told you to move."
"You're not the boss of me."
"You can't tell me what to do. "
"Oh yes I can!"
She rested two pudgy hands on her hips, her bottom lip stuck out in an exaggerated pout. She opened her mouth to say something, and snapped it shut just as quickly. Mako blinked in confusion, but didn't question it when she threw cautious looks over the slide wall to the rest of the playground, making sure no one else was within earshot.
Then she leaned in close, one hand raised to cup the side of her mouth as if she was going to tell him a secret. Mako flinched.
"I'm the Avatar!" she whispered loudly, full of confidence.
Mako didn't bat an eyelash. He didn't care.
She blinked. "So?" she repeated, her brow crinkling. "So, one day I'm going to be really powerful! And I'll come back and I'll be so big and tall and I'll come and step on you and you'll feel really bad for not being nice to me!
He sighed. This girl was really bothersome.
"Don't you have to bend all four elements to be the Avatar?"
Her eyes lit up, interpreting his remark as a genuine question. "Yeah! I can! Watch!"
She plopped down on her bottom, crossing her legs. Slowly, she turned her palm upward, curved like a cradle. She inhaled and makes a small flame in her hand, and beamed at him.
She frowned when all she saw was him quirk an eyebrow.
"Big deal," he scoffed. "I can do that too."
He threw a quick glance over his shoulder, before lighting a flame in his hand, similar to hers, extinguishing it just as quickly.
Her eyes widen in excitement. "You're a firebender!"
"Yeah. You're one too."
He had never met someone his age who could bend fire. He actually tough it was kind of cool that she was a firebender - not that he would tell her that.
"No I'm also an earthbender, a waterbender, and an airbender. I'm the Avatar! " she hissed, her eyes darting to the side cautiously
"No you're not."
"Yes I am!"
'The Avatar lives in the South Pole."
She huffed, crossing her chubby arms. "I'm here on very important po-political enter-enterpri- I'm on vacation!"
He opened his mouth to say something, but he closed it when he heard his name from behind him.
He heard it again, this time louder and pounding at the bottom of the swing.
A small squeak escaped him, and he slapped a hand over his mouth, trying – and failing – to sink deeper into wood walls of the slide hut.
"Maaakooo, are you up theeeereeee?"
He tried to throw a peek over his shoulder, but he couldn't, lest he blow his cover.
There are dull, storming little sounds he recognized as someone climbing up the slide form the bottom, and panic stirred in his chest. It was too late for an escape plan now-
"Aha! Found you!"
Mako blinked. He would've groaned for losing so quickly, but Bolin's shining green eyes and pleased smile only made him chuckle instead.
"Yep," Mako smiled at his little brother. "You found me."
Bolin beamed. "See! I'm real good at hide and seek huh?
Mako nodded. "Yep you're the best."
His baby brother toothy grin only widened, and he tugged at his arm. "Mako, Momma says it's time to go-"
Both brothers turned their attention toward her. Mako grimaced and Bolin stared in half wonder. The little pest leaned on her hands, eyes swimming with excitement.
"Who're you? What's your name? I'm -"
"C'mon Bo, let's go," Mako interjected quickly.
He groaned. A part of him wanted to keep running, but the other part heard his mother saying he should play nice with the other kids; learn to make friends, so he stopped, let Bolin run ahead, and waited for her to catch up to him.
She marched up to him, not storming and yelling as she had done in her earlier tyrant rampage. Instead, her steps were less aggressive; they were simply heavy.. When she stopped in front of him, she was pouting again.
"Are … are you going to be here tomorrow?" she asked, staring at her toes.
"Um … I don't know. Maybe."
She socked him the arm and he yelped.
"See you tomorrow!"
Mako blinked, watching her run away.
Girls were so weird.
"Who was your friend over there?"
Mako shook his head, grabbing his mother's hand. "She's not my friend, mommy."
His mother chuckled. She held one son in each hand, as they made the short three blocks home.
"Alright birthday boy," Their mother chirped, giving Mako's hand a squeeze. "What do you want for dinner tonight?"
"Dumplings!" Bolin cried.
"Bolin," She said gently, "it's Mako's choice."
"Dumplings sound good," Mako reassured, smiling at his brother who smiled toothily in return.
Mako beamed up at his mother, and she smiled at him, squeezing his hand gently.
"Okay, dumplings it is."
"Yay!" Bolin cheered.
He doesn't remember that day. Doesn't remember that he met one of the most powerful beings to roam the earth. Doesn't remember the bruise she left on his shoulder, or how it had blossomed there for days after.
He does, however, remember that night. It scorches his every nightmare.
Childhood memories were precious; even those that are forgotten.
A/N: So this was something i regurgitated in desperation to break down the wall of writer's block. It's eh. But okay. I don't know why I gave Mako a Batman-esque backstory but again this is very eh.