Title: Welcome Home
Summary: Korra returns from a trip and is greeted by a welcome home ball where Mako and Bolin await. Mako and Korra are not dating.
a/n: its nearly 5 am and this is what i came up with. dont hate me for not writing the other 2 fics that i know i should beeeeee doooooiiing ahhhhh i couldn't help my self!
Mako stood alone by the buffet table, his finger tapping against his glass. He felt completely out of place. He was dressed up the same as everyone else in his too tight suit. They were all here for the same reason but he would get the occasional stares. He was just a lowlife in their eyes.
Mako shrugged it off; it didn't really bother him he was used to it. Bolin never noticed the stares but he was more of a people person anyway, so how could anyone look down on him?
Mako's eyes flicked to where his brother was sweet talking a group of girls who blushed and giggled at his every joke. The Firebender rolled his eyes and downed the rest of his drink, eager to get the night over.
The air seemed to shift in one direction and Mako turned to see Tenzin, Pema, and the airkids come through the ballroom doors and were greeted by several people Mako didn't recognize. He craned his neck searching for the familiar pony tail and blue outfit. His heart sank when he didn't spot her. Maybe she'd stayed back at the Island; this really wasn't her thing anyway even if it was for her.
There was a flicker of movement, and someone stepped out from behind Tenzin. Mako's breath caught. Everything seemed to slow down for a moment, just enough for the Firebender to take her in. Her brown hair was loose and settled just past her breasts in soft curls, it was much longer than the last time he saw her. And she wore a strapless, knee length dress that reminded Mako of fire, licking its way up her body.
She held her hands in front of her, fiddling with a silver bracelet. She looked - nervous. Her eyes met Mako's for a split second and his stomach dropped to the floor.
A couple bumped into Mako jolting him back into reality, dropping his gaze. They muttered a quick apology and skirted past him. Mako ran a hand through his dark hair, turning away from her. He grabbed another strong smelling drink and downed it in one gulp. He needed to get it together. Mako turned to see her gliding across the floor saying hello and thanking people for coming but her destination was set on the Firebender.
As she drew closer Mako began to fidget, he wished Bolin was with him so he wouldn't have to face her alone. As if on cue, Bolin swooped in "Korra!" He exclaimed scooping her up into a hug and twirling her around.
"Bolin, I'm in a dress!" Korra laughed
Bolin set her down and planted a big kiss on her cheek making her laugh even more.
A pang of jealousy shot through Mako, he tugged on his collar, it suddenly felt too hot in there.
Korra stepped away from Bolin and toward Mako "What?" she started "I've been gone for 8 months and no hug?"
Mako cleared his throat "Sorry – uh" He stepped forward and pulled her into a careful hug "Hey,"
"Hey" Korra said quietly
Mako was the first to pulled back, he rubbed the back of his neck "So, how was your trip?" he asked
"It was – amazing to say the least," She smiled
Damn, just her smile alone could end wars.
Mako shoved his hands in his pockets "That's good," He nodded. He mentally punched himself in the face, that's good? Really, Mako? He thought.
"What was Ba Sing Se like?" Bolin asked "And the Fire Nation? Did they still have messenger hawks?" Bolin asked excitedly
"Ba Sing Se was enormous!" Korra exclaimed "Here I thought Republic City was big, this place doesn't even compare," She shook her head. "And the Fire Nation was incredible," She beamed "and they do still have messenger hawks but people have them as pets instead of you know messengers." Korra laughed
Bolin was intrigued by her stories of the rest of the Nations and towns she visited. But Mako was more interested in her. The way her eyes lit up when she talked about meeting the Fire Lord and how her cheeks flushed when she laughed too hard.
Bolin chimed in after a while, breaking Mako's thoughts "Well enough chit chat," He stuck out his hand, bowing "Korra, may I have this dance?" He said wiggling his eyes brows
Korra giggled and took his hand "Certainly," Before she left she turned her head "We'll catch up later, okay?" she said to Mako. All he managed was a nod before Bolin swept her away.
Mako watched his younger brother twirl Korra around the dance floor with over dramatic dips and he even danced solo for a bit just to get a laugh out of her. They strutted towards Mako doing the tango to a waltz. The Firebender couldn't help but laugh at their puckered faces and loud stomping.
When the song ended Bolin and Korra returned to where Mako stood "Nice moves out there," He snickered
"Thank you, thank you," Bolin said, his arms in the air
Mako felt a strong tug on his arm, nearly making him loose balance. He looked down to a tan, slender hand wrapped tightly around his wrist
"Come on, tough guy dance with me," Korra said pulling him toward the dance floor
"Korra wait –" Mako dug his heels into the floor. He forgot how incredibly strong she was because despite his resistance, Korra managed to drag him in.
She let go of his arm once they were in the middle of the dance floor and turned to face the Firebender.
"You do know this is a waltz, right?" Mako asked, gesturing to the pairs around them
"Yes," Korra said, taking a step closer
Mako raised an eyebrow "Korra, do you even know how to waltz?"
"Of course I do!" She swatted at his shoulder "I don't live under a rock," she crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes like she always did when she was determined. "Now will you just dance with me?" Korra asked, giving a small pout.
Mako studied her for a moment, he almost said no but another look at her it was all over. He let out a defeated sigh before he closed the distance between them, taking her hand in his and snaking an arm around her waist. A smile tugged on Korra's lips and she placed a hand on his shoulder. Mako's heart was beating a million miles a minute, he hoped with all he had she couldn't hear it.
He took a step forward, half expecting to step on her toes. Mako was surprised when she followed, guess she really did know how to dance he snickered to himself.
"Well what do you know, the Avatar can dance," he smiled
Korra rolled her eyes "Shut up," she said, biting back a smile of her own
Mako led them across the floor in fluid movements like he'd done it a thousand times before. Korra was actually cooperating letting Mako take control, which was a miracle was considering this was Korra he was dancing with.
He spun Korra out, making her dress puff up then wrap around her slim frame before he spun her back into his chest. Mako became aware of how close they were, he wanted to pull back but it felt so right – her in his arms. She fit perfectly.
"I missed you," Korra whispered suddenly
Mako's stomach clenched and a small smile played on his lips "I missed you too," He said into her hair
Korra lift her head, their eyes meeting, gold intertwined with blue. Mako felt a tug in chest, if he just leaned in ever so slightly their lips would touch –
Mako pulled back abruptly, his eyes on anything but her.
"Mako?" she started "Are you ok?" she reached for him. Mako stepped back, hurt flashed acrossed Korra's face and she slowly withdrew her hand.
Dammit, he wanted her so bad. He wanted to kiss her – right here right now in front of everyone and not give a shit.
But he couldn't be selfish. Not with her.
There were so many things wrong about them. Bolin liked her for one, how could Mako just take Korra away from a great guy like Bo? Bolin was fun and kind and would treat Korra right. Mako – he was broken and harsh, he didn't think he deserved the kind of love Korra had to give. Not to him. And she was the Avatar. Avatar and criminal don't mix.
Mako stumbled back "I'm sorry, Korra" He said, finally looking at her "I-I have to go," he stammered
"Wait-" Korra said
Mako didn't wait for her to finish. He weaved his way through the crowd making his way to the exit. He staggered through the doors, the frigid air hitting him like a wall. Taking a ragged breath he let the icy winds fill his lungs. It felt like he hadn't breathed since she walked in.
The cold cut through his thin attire, sending a tremor down his body. Mako shoved his hands in his pockets and began to walk home, cursing himself for not bring a jacket.
His mind went to Korra. They would have never worked, he told himself. She's the Avatar and he's just … a nobody.