Title: Of Chilled Air and Red Light
Word Count: 850
Summary: [Mako takes Korra someplace special in the city… with a blindfold. / "Can't I just close my eyes?" "Only if you promise not to peek." | Makorra.]
be-the-peaf · Prompt 034 – everlasting light
The seasons were more or less favorable in the city year-round; the fresh springs, mild summers and light autumns were all tolerable to its citizens and to the Avatar herself. But in winter the air off the bay chills the city like something from a long forgotten dream of her home deep within the South Pole and even she can't help but feel a little cold, despite her homeland.
After spending so much time in the fairer seasons of the city, cooling in the breeze of the Air Temple and walking through the shade of the cities skyscrapers she'd almost forgotten what it was like to have to bundle up in her parka and cozy up next to someone to keep warm from the harsh air of the winter season.
But, if that someone was Mako, then things probably weren't that bad.
Even if he was being kind-of-a jerk.
"Tell me where we're going already!" she says loudly, pushing him to the side as they walk on the sloppy wet streets. Mako shakes his head in a loose no, easing back into place on the walkway as he reaches into the folds of his coat to search for something within.
"You'll see it when we get there," he says, and hangs a piece of cloth in front of her face. "Put this on."
Korra looks at the thin piece of cloth with confusion, then amusement when she realizes what it is. Her smile fades the frosted air hits spreads beneath the openings of her parka, but she feels warm standing so close to his side.
"Seriously? A blindfold? " she laughs, picking at the rag with her fingers. "Aren't you a little old to be pulling stints like this, Mr. Cop?"
"I want it to be a surprise." he says, waving the cloth in front of her face. " Besides, there's only a few more blocks to go."
"Can't I just close my eyes?" she says, sticking her tongue at him.
"Only if you promise not to peek."
He shoves the crude blindfold back into his coat and takes her hand.
"Just follow my lead."
She can smell the food before anything else; pungent and spicy and makes her mouth water to taste it. There's so much spice in the air, she might sneeze. But Korra keeps her eyes shut, gripping onto Mako's hand as he pulls her forward.
"Are we there yet?"
"Not quite," he says over his shoulder. "There's still a little ways to go."
She sighs, shaking her head from side to side as something new comes her way: sound. It's chattering and noisy, the city on any other night, but there was something different about this stream of sound that got her attention. It was happy with laughter mixed into the conversation and Korra leans to where Mako isn't to get a hint as to where exactly they were when she feels the whoosh of something small scampering by her leg. Cool air sweeps around her and she goes the other way, running into Mako's shoulder.
"Okay, now I'm getting run into." She says, slightly annoyed. "Can I open my eyes now?"
Mako stops and puts both hands on her shoulders to face her front of him.
"Alright," he says. "Open them."
The color that hits her first is the red and orange glow. Stretching above them on paper lights and strings, cascading down the streets for what seemed like miles. Lanterns, each with their own fire tucked inside with symbols and characters of peace and hope and flame decorating the side. She takes it all in; eyes shifting from every flickering light ahead of them as her lips part, widening into a smile that impossible for her to carry.
Everything is ablaze, hitting her all at once as she finally puts an image to all the things she noticed before; vendors with their the spicy food hanging in and out of the stalls on sticks and pots and boilers, the crowd of citizens and milling through the red glowing streets. Children darting around her, cracking noise-makers on the ground and holding sparklers in the air as they giggle with delight, weaving through the legs of the adults and she can tell they were just as eager as she was to see the rest of the festivities.
Even if she's never been to this before, she knows exactly what it is.
"Do you have festivals like this every year?" she asks.
"Pretty much," Mako shrugs. "Sometimes there's more, depending on what's going on."
"This is amazing!" she says in awe, her smile never faltering as she steps under the paper lights. "I've never been to a Fire Festival before."
"I thought you'd like it." Mako says, smiling calmly beside her, and takes her hand in his so they can join in the festivities. This time she doesn't feel the chill of the bay water or the bellowing of the wind between the buildings or the folds of her parka. All around them there is light and warmth, stretching far into the night.
(note: this author's note is from when I wrote and published this on august 17th)
Probably not my most vivid / flowing work but in my own defense I have been on painkillers and interrupted sleep for the last few days due to getting my wisdom teeth removed and I've managed to write this in a just few hours today. So I think accounting all of that in, this is a pretty nice fic. :)
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