Rating: M (language, violence, sex)
Chapter Word Count: ~4700
Summary: Mako is already a well-experienced homicide detective in Republic City when Beifong reluctantly assigns him to take over the case of the "Red Killer," the serial murderer that likely was responsible for the death of his parents. Little does he know that the Beifong's reassignment of Vice Detective Korra as his new partner will change things in ways he never anticipated. Noir AU
Author Note: This final installment was the most fun, and the easiest to write. It was incredibly rewarding. Enjoy.
Epilogue – "Easy Living"
"Living for you, is easy living.
It's easy to live when you're in love.
And, I'm so in love,
There's nothing in life, but you."
"And that's what happened?" Lin Beifong sat back in her chair. "Did you get all of that down?"
The young police officer nodded. He closed the file and stopped the large tape recorder in the room. "That's everything we need for the official record. The file and tape will be archived."
"Excellent," the Chief nodded. "You're dismissed."
The man threw up a hasty salute and left with his arms full of file and tape stacks.
"I have to thank you two for being so patient through this whole process," Beifong walked over to the coffee pot in the corner and poured two cups before placing one in front of each detective. "I know you've been up all night by this point."
For Mako at least, adrenaline carried him through the night. The sound of sirens echoing off walls and the blue and red flashing lights in that dark alleyway flushed him with relief. The girl was taken off safely to give her statement. The scene was cordoned off with barriers as the Red Killer's body was carted away. It was a textbook end to a case.
The worst of it was the media. Despite the late hour, the reporters still somehow heard and managed to swarm the small Financial District block. In all the chaos, Beifong somehow managed to have them carted off to the Central Station to be debriefed. But the reporters were relentless. The newspapers were happy to get the story out by the time the day's issue was delivered, but they surely wanted a special afternoon extra edition with the statements from the detectives themselves.
Korra shrugged, "It's part of the territory." He could tell the long hours of being awake were starting to weigh her down. She slumped down in her seat and sipped gratefully at the mug of black coffee. "I just want a good night's rest at this point."
"Well, we still have a few things to discuss," the older woman leaned forward. "From what you discovered with your friend in the medical examiner's office, there are still unsolved murders that were wrongfully attributed to the Red Killer."
Of course those would have to be taken care of. Mako knew first-hand that there was nothing worse than a cold case hanging over the head of the victims.
"Those cases will remain open and within the Homicide Department's jurisdiction. And regarding that…Mako, you will resume your post in that department. And Detective Korra will move back to work in the Vice Department."
He loved working with Korra. The prospect of their partnership coming to a close was unpleasant. Part of him was disappointed, and it must have shown.
"Oh for fuck's sake," the lack of formality from Beifong caught him off guard. "Don't look like a sad puppy. Just because you aren't working with Detective Korra doesn't mean you cannot see her socially."
Mako slouched down in his chair in embarrassment. "I uh…of course, boss."
"Now, you know the reporters are itching to get at you."
"When aren't they?" Korra smiled.
"If I might make a recommendation," Beifong pulled out the front page of The Republic Reporter. "As you can imagine, Councilman Tarrlok has been facing some much deserved flak for his cover-up. I would advise you not to respond to any questions regarding him. While he might never be mayor, I do not want him to prove more of a nuisance than he already is."
"You got it," she nodded.
"Now get out," Beifong pointed at the door. "I've still got work to do. Take the rest of the week off, but you're expected to get in here bright and early on Monday, ready to clean up this city."
"Of course," Mako smiled and got to his feet alongside Korra.
The two detectives left the office with a smile. Every cop in the station gave them a grin and a nod as they passed out through the station. As radio reporters had taken to calling them, they were Republic City's "dynamic duo." Every reporter was going to want a quote from the pair as soon as they stepped out of the station. Things were easy after a case was closed. He always felt like he sat on a euphoric cloud for the first twenty-four hours or so. Eventually his feet had to touch ground again if he wanted to pull another few of the bad guys off the street.
"What are you doing?" Mako eyed Korra quizzically.
"Leaving," she said matter-of-factly, her hand on the door.
"That's the main entrance to the station," he took a quick glance outside. Just as he suspected, there was a horde of reporters holding cameras outside. "We're going to be mobbed. We should take the back entrance and catch a cab on the side street." Neither of them had their cars since they were rushed to the station so quickly.
"Oh come on," she nudged him. "When is the next time you'll break a case this big, huh?"
She was right. The Red Killer case was the biggest at least of the decade. The newspapers would tear apart the story for weeks, special radio late-night reports would have "specialists" for months helping people to avoid being a victim, and he had no doubt that several books were already being penned about the whole bureaucratic fiasco.
"Enjoy it, hotshot," Korra's laugher was music to his ears. She pulled her gray trench coat on and popped the collar up before dropping her navy blue fedora on. "No use in giving those photographers an easy shot; we all have to work for our wage in this city."
Mako shook his head and followed suit. This girl was crazy, but that was part of her charm. She was as strong as earth and as fluid as water, but yet as deadly as fire and was light as wind. She was surely one of a kind.
"Ready?" She flashed him a daring smile.
"Let's do this."
As soon as they set foot out of the station, a wave of camera flashes crashed over them. The two detectives shoved their hands in their pockets and moved through the crowd.
"Do you have any comment about City Councilman Tarrlok's involvement in the case?"
"Is it true that the Red Killer was credited for murders that he likely did not commit?"
"What is the final word on the involvement of the Triple Threat Triads in the case?"
Both of the detectives declined any comment. But he had to admit that it was novel to have so many reporters interested in his word. Mako truly didn't have a thirst for the limelight though, unlike his brother. He would be happy when all of this was forgotten and the public moved on to the next big thing.
Korra expertly hailed a cab, and they were on their way. They decided that since her apartment was closer to the station, she would be the first stop. The lack of sleep started to catch up with him in the faux leather back seat; he could feel himself beginning to doze off. When they reached Korra's apartment, he got out of the cab with her.
"Let me walk you up," he noticed the look of confusion on her face.
He followed her up the few flights of stairs in silence until they reached her door.
"So, City Boy," she leaned against her door with her arms crossed. "Were you planning on asking me out on that date?"
Mako took a step closer to her and tipped his chin down so he could look her in the eye. "How could I forget? How about we go out tonight? We grab a few hours of sleep and clean up before."
"That eager, huh?"
"How about I take you out somewhere really nice, like Kwong's Cuisine?"
"Kwong's?" Korra chuckled. "That place is a bit too stiff for me. How about this: I know a great place just around the corner from here that has fantastic and authentic Southern food. How's that sound?"
"And you haven't even had the food yet."
He rolled his eyes before taking a good look at his face. He couldn't help his gaze from drifting down to her lips. They were just so utterly enticing. The kiss they shared in that Dragon Flats alley as a distraction certainly didn't count between them. It was time to take a risk.
Mako ducked down quickly to press his lips to hers. He closed his eyes and let go of all expectations.
Korra howled in pain and recoiled back, clutching her nose.
Fuck, he had forgotten that the Red Killer had broken her nose. A medic had quickly fixed her nose so it was no longer crooked, but obviously it still had quite a bit of healing to do before she was ready for any sort of heavy face-to-face contact like he had initiated.
Guilt blossomed within him and his face heated up. "I'm so sorry!" He grabbed her shoulders. "I completely forgot I—"
"Cool it," she winced. "You just need to be a bit more careful when we do this again tonight."
Korra pressed quick kiss to his cheek. "I'll see you at seven, City Boy. Take a shower and get some sleep." She slipped into her apartment with a wink.
He had to pick his jaw off the floor before running down the stairs. He had a lot to do before tonight.
Mako straightened his tie one more time and smoothed over his pants. His knee was still badly bruised and scraped from his slip during pursuit of the Red Killer, but a fresh suit from his closet made him look as if nothing had even happened. He raised his hand and knocked a few times on her door.
The rest of the day had been uneventful, and this was a great thing in his mind. As soon as he left Korra's apartment, he caught a cab back to his apartment. Bolin practically jumped him in excitement of the news. But the night had caught up with him, and Mako was lucky that he made it all the way into his bedroom before he fell asleep fully clothed. He woke up groggily after a few hours and dragged himself into the shower. At that point there was barely enough time for him to slick his hair back and pick out a simple black suit and red tie. Usually he would have added his scarf, but Korra still had it in her possession.
The door opened quickly.
"Seven, right on the dot," Korra wore an amused smile.
"You said seven," he had to think back quickly to make sure he wasn't overly early or late, "didn't you?"
"I did," she stepped aside to let him in. "And usually guys show up just a bit late to keep the girl on edge."
"I don't really play those sorts of games."
"That's what I figured."
Mako followed her inside. His eyes traveled over the slim-fitting navy blue dress she wore. He never expected he would get to see her in a dress; part of him couldn't imagine her outside of her typical work attire. But he was sure that this was a perception that would change rapidly this evening.
She slipped a worn, woven purse over her shoulder so the strap crossed her body. "Come on! This place gets crowded!"
Korra grabbed him by the hand and whisked him down to the street level. She pulled him around the corner on to a small side street that was filled with vendors and crafts from the South. For as long as he had lived in the city, this neighborhood wasn't one he had explored. But here, Korra seemed completely at home.
They sat down in a small outdoor café. Korra smiled and ordered for both of them, picking something that didn't officially appear on the menu. The waiter brought them two mugs of tea that smelled like home in a way he just couldn't describe.
Small talk came easy between them. Granted, much of it was about the case and police work in general, but it was natural. Slowly but surely, Mako had the chance to add more pieces to the puzzle that was Detective Korra. But of course, she was much more than her job title.
A steaming pot of udon noodles was place in front of each of them. Fragrant scents of seafood rose up from the bowl that made his stomach growl in anticipation. Mako couldn't help but to laugh when Korra dug in heartily, filling her mouth with noodles. She mentioned through a mouth full of food that it had been a while since had had been here. She said the food was almost as good as what her mom made. Somehow, a pair of vodka shots ended up in front of them and emptied before he could think otherwise.
Mako pulled his wallet out from his jacket.
"What are you doing?" Korra had her purse in hand.
"Paying for dinner." He said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world. And to him, it was.
"Let me at least treat you to a meal to celebrate the case."
"If this is the date I think it is, I should be the one paying."
"Sorry, City Boy. Eating here is like me cooking for you at my home. I've got it."
He flagged the waiter down, determined to get the upper hand. "Can I get the check?"
"It's been paid for," the waiter smiled. "Least we can do for the police heroes on the front page of every newspaper. Take it as a little thank you."
"Did you like it?" Korra smiled slyly.
"It was just as good as you said it would be," he wiped his mouth on his crumpled napkin, and dropped it in the now empty bowl. "Would you like to take a walk or something?"
"I know just where to go," she stood up and offered her hand.
Being pulled through Republic City behind Korra certainly was an experience. She weaved through the crowd quickly and excitedly; leaving him to sheepishly apologize to each person he bumped into. But in the moment, it didn't bother him.
"Korra, this is your apartment," he eyed her quizzically. "I thought you said we were going for a walk."
"We did go for a walk," she smiled smugly. "And now we're here."
"I um…ohhh," Mako grinned.
Korra grabbed him by the hand and dragged him upstairs and into his apartment. "Watch my nose this time, will you?"
He didn't even have a chance to respond before her lips met his. He was so surprised it took him a few seconds to relax into the kiss. His hands came up to gently cup her face while hers entwined behind his neck. Mako angled his head back so he could deepen the kiss further, without making the blunder of bumping into her broken nose. His fingers tangled in her hair until he found the clip at the back of her messy bun. Gingerly, he removed it without breaking the kiss, sending her hair cascading down her shoulders in wavy ringlets.
They broke the kiss, their foreheads pressing together as their breaths mingled in the air. Her hair was beautiful down, but he could only imagine that it was a nuisance on the job. He brushed a few stray hands behind her ear before his hands roamed down her arms until they came to rest on her hips.
Mako looked into her eyes and smiled, "May I have this dance?"
"Later," she murmured before unceremoniously sidestepping him and casting his suit jacket to the floor. "Maybe on the second date."
"Second date? What makes you think I'm going to ask you out again?"
She grabbed him by his tie and pulled him down into a kiss. "Is that answer enough for you?"
He nodded and kissed her back, simply enjoying the feel of her body against his. Mako reached up and loosened his tie quickly, while Korra worked feverishly at the buttons on his crisp white dress shirt. Her hands smoothed over his chest even before the material was pushed off his shoulders along with his tie.
"It's your turn," he breathed, pressing his lips to the hollow of her neck.
Korra smelled…like Korra. It wasn't a scent of perfume, carefully manufactured in a Republic City boutique. She smelled like spice and the sea, and it was utterly intoxicating. His hands found the zipper at the back of her dress. Inch by inch, he dragged it downward, his other hand following the parting of the dress to caress the smooth skin of her back. The zipper ended just above the swell of her behind and his hand continued on to cup her ass in his hand. He nudged the dress off both of her shoulders so it fell into a blue pool at her feet.
"You look…beautiful," he took every inch of her in. It sounded cheesy but it was the only way he could somehow adequately describe what he was thinking.
She was bare, save a matching set of light blue undergarments that were bordered with lace. Her stomach was toned and tanned, and she stood strongly and confidently in front of him.
"You're welcome to touch," she winked.
Mako didn't need another invitation. He reached out to grasp her breasts in his hands, but she stepped away.
"You'll have to catch me first!" Korra laughed, taking off towards the bedroom. She jumped on the bed and rolled over on to her back and propped herself up on her elbows. "If you want to join me, you'd better get rid of your shoes, socks, and pants."
He shook his head in amusement before kicking off his shoes and socks to the side. He moved his hands to get rid of his belt.
"Hang on," she slid to the edge of the bed. "Let me take care of this part."
Her nimble fingers worked the buckle open in just a few seconds. She looked up at him and grinned as she rubbed her palm over the growing bulge in his black trousers. Even at this indirect level of contact, he had to resist the urge to groan in pleasure. Korra slid down to her knees in front of him and worked his zipper down. Her fingers hooked into his pants and boxers, and peeled them down until they were around his ankles.
Korra wrapped her lips around the tip of his cock before he could so much as step out of his pants. Her tongue slid back and forth over the underside of his length as she took more of him in. Her hand wrapped lightly around the base as she bobbed slowly over the tip. Each time she reached the end, her tongue would swirl around the head before she took him deeply back into her mouth.
"Fuck yes…" his hand twisted into the hair at the back of her head, urging her to continue.
She hummed in appreciation, sending tingles and vibrations of pleasure right to his core. Korra increased her pace, increasing the pressure of her hand sliding up and down on the portion that she couldn't fit into her mouth.
He could feel his peak slowly building within him. He was going to cum if she kept at this. "Korra…you need to stop because I'm gonna—"
Suddenly, she took him in deeper than ever before. He just couldn't hang on any longer; she was far too good at this for his own good. Mako grunted and closed his eyes as he came, spilling himself into her mouth. She greedily swallowed it all, her hand still slowly pumping him until he started to soften in within her.
"I need to return the favor now," his breath was still coming in hard gasps.
He leaned down to her level and kissed her sweetly. Wrapping his arms around her thighs, he lifted her up to the bed and encouraged her to scoot back until she was propped up against the pillows. Korra bent her knees and parted her legs. He crawled up after her and kissed up one leg from her ankle, all the way up to the inside of her thigh.
"I figure you need to recover," Korra smirked.
Although her confidence was one of her great qualities, Mako was determined to wipe that arrogant smile off her face. He drew his kisses close and closer to the source of heat between her legs. His other hand caressed light circles up her thigh at a slow pace. Finally, his fingers rubbed lightly over her entrance.
"You don't need to take your time," she traced unidentifiable shapes on his shoulder.
Mako blew cool are over her core, causing her to shiver. "Well if that's what you want…"
Without delay, he leaned down and pressed his lips to her. His tongue pressed once hard against her clit, before plunging inside her as far as he could. Her hips bucked up to meet him with every sweeping stroke of his tongue. She clung to the sheets and writhed in pleasure; he was sure he had never seen anything so beautiful.
He came up for air, and replaced his tongue with two fingers. He pushed all the way up to his knuckle and twisted so his hand was palm up. His fingers curled within her, pressing against that spot inside her that he knew would bring her to the edge. He leaned back down and pressed his mouth against her clit. There was no reason to draw this out; Mako intended on having many more opportunities for a slower burn.
"Fuck!" Korra didn't seem to have enough time to warn him.
Her toes curled in the sheets as her thighs clamped together around him, hugging him closer as she tightened around him. Korra's back arched off the bed and her jaw tightened as she moaned through clenched teeth.
Mako pulled away slowly and dropped to his side next to her while she caught her breath and came down from her high. His fingers traced over her toned midsection until he reached her breasts. He lightly rolled one in his palm before gently circling the nipple.
Her eyes opened as her hand found his now hardened length. "You ready?"
He nodded quickly and kissed along her collarbone to her neck.
Korra rolled away and reached into her nightstand. She rolled back towards him with a condom held between her fingers. Quickly discarding the wrapper to the floor, she pushed him onto his back and straddled one of his legs. She rolled the condom down his length all the way to the base. She braced a hand on his chest before positioning his cock at her entrance. Slowly but surely, she sunk down on him with an audible groan.
Mako placed a hand on both sides of her hips and relaxed, letting her ride him at her own pace. The view from the bottom was spectacular. Her breasts bounced each time she sunk down on him all the way to the hilt. She moved her hands to his shoulders and nipped lightly at his neck. It all just felt so damn good.
But it wasn't enough. He wanted to go faster. He wrapped his arms around her and rolled them over so he was on top without withdrawing from her even an inch.
She wrapped her legs around him, "Fuck me."
He pulled out slowly, only to slam quickly back into her pushing his cock into her as deeply as he could. He braced his weight on his elbows and buried her face in her neck, thrusting his hips as at a breakneck pace. He wanted her; he wanted all of her. Korra's hips bucked up to meet him with every thrust, their bodies moving in tandem through a dance that was eternal.
"I'm getting close," she whimpered, her fingernails digging into his back.
Mako quickly reached down and rubbed at her clit, eager to push her over the edge again.
The pleasure proved just enough, and she bucked underneath him while letting out a ragged moan. Her walls convulsed around him, squeezing and daring him to allow himself to come. He closed his eyes, feeling the pressure build within him until it become too much. Mako released a ragged groan into her neck as he thrust into her a final time. His weight collapsed down on her as he came. Korra stroked his hair gently as he came down from his climax.
As much as he wanted to stay sheathed inside her all night, he had to pull out. He was carefully mindful to hold the condom at its base so it didn't come off. Mako rolled off the side of the bed and headed for the bathroom, quickly finding the trashcan next to the sink.
"Hey," Mako leaned up against the doorframe, still fully naked.
"Hey," Korra had propped herself up on the headboard and reached over to fish in the nightstand. "Come back over here."
He crawled into bed beside her again.
She pulled out a cigarette and placed the ashtray on the nightstand. "Give me a light?" The cigarette dangled from her lips as she held a lighter out to him.
"Can't you do it yourself?" He teased, taking the lighter and flicking it ablaze and carefully lit up the cigarette.
"Well, you know," she took a long practiced drag, exhaling the smoke into the room. "You're just so good at it."
Mako couldn't help but think he'd be fine lighting her cigarettes for her for a long time to come.
"I'll never regret the years I'm giving. For you...maybe I'm a fool, but it's fun. Living for you is easy living.
They're easy to give when you're in love.
I'm happy to do whatever I do, for you.
People say you rule me with one wave of your hand.
Darling, it's grand.
They just don't understand.
It's easy to live when you're in love.
And, I'm so in love,
There's nothing in life, but you."
For you...maybe I'm a fool, but it's fun.
Living for you is easy living.
Author Note: Wow okay this is going to be a long author note. Part of me figured I would never actually finish this fic, but somehow I did and I'm not sure. But there are a few people/groups of people I really want to thank.
First off, I need to thank Alex for being an amazing beta through this whole thing. I also need to thank kwongs for letting me chat with you through this whole process. You've both offered a lot of support I've needed desperately though this long story.
I also want to thank two groups of readers in particular. The first is those who have been reblogging on Tumblr. It means a lot that you liked the fic enough to pass it on. The second group are my consistent reviewers on FFnet for keeping me updated with your thoughts this whole way and taking time to leave feedback.
And of course, I had to thank everyone for reading, liking, and (hopefully) enjoying the fic. If you've never left a review, reblogged, or etc., I would love if you would do so now seeing as this is the final installment. For Tumblr readers, a sharable master post will be going up shortly.
Thank you all so much!