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Author Topic: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]-Updated 09/12/13  (Read 9063 times)

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Offline divsalley

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Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]-Updated 09/12/13
« on: December 16, 2012, 02:03:30 AM »
So BleuMakorra, Cassidy Alice, Mighty Makorran23, and I came up with an idea for a Oneshot Collection revolving around Makorra. We will be posting, in chronological order, events that we think might occur in Mako and Korra's lives.

Some of you might've seen this somewhere else already... and we do hope you enjoy it because... well, we never actually completed it. :P For those who haven't seen it, we hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we enjoyed writing them. :) So without further ado, let us begin.

Taking Chances

Title: Taking Chances
Author: BleuMakorra, Cassidy Alice, divsalley, and Mighty Makorran23
Rating: T
Summary: For Korra and Mako, life is all about taking chances!
Notes: The seventh one-shot is up! How does Mako react to a blast from the past? And what does Korra have to do with it? Read more to find out!

Relief (story idea by Mighty Makorran23, written by divsalley (click to show/hide)Night had fallen in the South Pole. The full moon shone brightly as two figures made their way back to the White Lotus compound hand in hand, sneaking in kisses and laughing and just enjoying each other's company. Suddenly the taller of the two figures scooped the other one up and spun around, their laughter echoing through the tundra.

"Mako!" Korra laughed as he held her tight and kissed her.

"What? We should make up for lost time, don't you think?" he asked slyly.

"You're right," she said as she kissed him back. "But we need to get home soon. I have a very early morning tomorrow," she said sadly.

"I thought you hated waking up early!" he chuckled.

"I do, but... Bei Fong's bending needs to be restored. She didn't deserve to lose it in the first place. No one does," she said.

Mako sighed and nodded, although a little worried. She'd never done it before, and she was still new to harnessing the power of 'the Avatar State' as she called it. And now she was bent upon restoring those who'd lost their bending to Amon's cruelty. He knew it was the right thing to do, too, but a small part of him was worried about what might happen to her if she constantly kept going in and out of the Avatar State to do it.

"Are you... sure about this, Korra?" he asked her.

"About what?" she asked him with her eyebrow quirked.

"Look, I... I admit I'm not an expert on all things Avatar," he sputtered, "but... You just got your bending back... I just... don't want you to strain yourself over this."

"Are you saying I shouldn't be doing this?" she asked him, slightly annoyed.

"No... No, that's... not what I meant. I just..."

"Just what, Mako?" she asked him.

"It just scares me, okay? When I saw you this morning, you were completely someone else! It was like someone or something else had taken control of your body! And if that's what you have to do every single time to restore someone's bending, then... then I have to wonder if one time you'll just leave and never come back!" he admitted.

Korra didn't say anything at first, and that scared him even more.

"Korra, I... I know we only just started seeing each other and everything, but... I'm just worried!" he said.

"I'm not going anywhere," she said slowly as she hugged him. "But this needs to be done."

"I'll probably believe you tomorrow after you're done," he said with a chuckle, at which she simply smiled.

"I guess you will, City Boy!" she chuckled as she pecked his lips once and walked towards her room.

He simply watched her with a smile on his face. But behind that smile was a gnawing doubt. He knew it was irrational... Crazy, even... But he simply couldn't help it. When it came to Korra, nothing was normal. His fists clenched at the thought of losing her after he'd finally come to terms with his own feelings.

"You still won't be able to stop her, you know," he heard an old, familiar voice say.

Mako turned on the spot and faced Korra's oldest friend and mentor.

"Master Katara! I was just... Well, I..."

"There's no need to explain. I know that look. I've seen it on myself so many times that I've lost count," she said with a hollow laugh.

That's when it hit him like an unexpected earth disc at the arena. She'd fallen for Aang just like he'd fallen for Korra. She knew. And she was the only person who'd understand.

"Master Katara... how did you know? How were you sure that he'd come back to you?" he asked her eagerly.

"I never did," she admitted. "And there was always a part of me that was afraid... But... you just need to trust her. I learned this the hard way. The Avatar doesn't fall in love easily... But when it does happen, their devotion is unparallelled. That much I know."

Mako simply sighed. He didn't know whether he should be happy or worried about the fact that the most powerful person in the world had just chosen him... His worries still nagging him, he started to leave.

"She wouldn't leave you if she could help it, child... I've seen the way she lights up when she looks at you... And I also see how deeply you care for her. She wouldn't let go of that if she could help it," Katara finished.

"Thank you, Master Katara," Mako said sincerely as he bowed to her.

"Get some rest, Mako. You need it. I'll see you tomorrow," Katara said and went inside her own quarters at the compound. Mako simply nodded and walked back to his own little room which he was sharing with his brother.

Bolin was already fast asleep, having spent a little time with the Airbender kids after dinner. He was a natural with them, which didn't surprise Mako because Bolin had always been a charmer. People had always taken to him easily. The ladies adored him... He'd always been the one to woo the crowd. It had always been him... and the fangirls loved it.

Korra had been the only exception.

"Korra," he whispered, his worries resurfacing. He simply couldn't lose her. Not like this... But Katara's words came back to him and reassured him, however slightly, that Korra wouldn't leave him unless she absolutely had to. And with that thought, he fell asleep.


Morning came with indecent haste. Mako groaned and swung his legs off the bed with a yawn. He'd always been an early riser. Today was no different. He showered and dressed quickly.The plan was to gather for breakfast and leave for the Avatar Shrine just outside the compound together. He walked with his brother towards the chamber that accommodated the dining hall. Just as he was about to enter, he spotted her walking in with her parents. Gesturing for Bolin to go inside, he waited at the door until she took his hand and walked him to their seats with a smile. He refused to let go even after they'd settled in, and she understood. She simply returned the pressure so as to assure him that she'd come back to him.

They finished breakfast in silence and walked towards the Shrine the same way. Mako was still gripping her hand as if she'd disappear if he let go. Not that she made an attempt to free her hand... She was gripping his just as firmly, letting him know without words that he had no reason to worry.

She kissed him once before finally letting go of his hand. He watched as she made her way up the steps towards the concrete platform. It was a beautiful structure of solid concrete on ice, with the high dome made of pure gold, just like the Pro-bending Arena.

Lin walked over to where the Avatar stood. The two women smiled at each other hopefully before Lin knelt down and Korra exhaled slowly.

Mako watched as Korra placed one of her hands on the center of Lin's forehead and the other directly over her heart. Then she closed her eyes. When she opened them, Mako saw what he was worried about the most. There was a glow in Korra's eyes, signifying that she was now channeling the energy of all her past lives. She was in there somewhere, definitely, but it was somewhere deep within.

"Please let her come back to me," Mako breathed silently to the spirits. He wasn't one for praying, unfortunately having lost faith in it ten years ago, but at this very moment, he wanted nothing more than for her to finally look back at him with those cerulean eyes of hers, which always had a tiny shade of mischief to them.

Finally, the glow faded. Korra's hands retreated to her sides and Lin looked up hopefully. What happened after that, Mako didn't know, because his eyes were focused on Korra. She was back. He watched as Lin smiled at her and she bowed to her humbly. He watched as Tenzin walked up to her and say something that made her smile. But his heart soared when her eyes found his, and she walked over to him with a smile.

Relief flooded him as he held her close in his arms, just to confirm that she was really there... that she really hadn't left.

And just when he thought he couldn't feel any better, she kissed him and said, "I'm still the Avatar, and you're still an idiot. But you're my idiot."

He could only laugh.

Five Senses by BleuMakorra (click to show/hide)
Five Senses

Dim lights.

That's all she could see with the hazy vision that had been deemed her eyesight. She had awakened to the sight of dim lights and the almost stale stench of sewer water and she loathed every possible second of it as she felt her senses all being seized at once. Her limbs felt numb as she tried to move them but then she realized that absurdly tight, thick, and heavy rope had found its way around them. She could feel the rough material boring relentlessly into the soft skin of her ankles and wrist to the point where she was certain that they would draw blood from the wounds that they would most likely form.


She could taste the copper substance within her mouth as she was forced to swallow it down with the rest of her choked breaths as she breathed in its nauseating scent. Her ears were ringing, ringing with the sound of a thousand bells as everything around her was suddenly ten times more hushed than before, but as much as she tried, it wouldn't fade. And then she heard footsteps, the kind of footsteps that made your heart race a mile a minute and caused the air you once thought you breathed to stop dead in your throat. Her eyes widened as she saw those familiar red-stripped, black boots, that made her quiver with fear, draw closer towards her, but stopped when they were only mere feet away. She craned her neck upwards as far as it would go, but almost immediately recoiled.

A deep laugh emanated from the thin slit within his slick white mask that was attached to his face.

"Well it looks like our young Avatar is awake now," He mocked, as his dark, black eyes narrowed. "We're glad you could join us, Avatar Korra. We were beginning to think that you wouldn't be up in time to witness my demonstration."

She could barely even hear a word the masked villain spoke, but nonetheless, she heard him, ever so faintly. She had not the slightest idea of what the man was speaking of, but now she was sure he had gone mad. They were the only people within the sewer line, this was clearly evident, but he said 'we', suggesting more than one person...

"Bring me the boy."

It was then that realization had dawned upon her. Her ears caught the faint clinking of chains and she could only watch in horror as he was dragged limply upon the stone ground. Her eyesbrows knitted together as she squirmed within her bounds, but it had all proved pointless for the rope only dug even more into her flesh. She cringed under the stinging pain, which only seemed to increase with every subtle move that she made, but she had to fight to get out. The body had finally come into view and she watched as the Equalist henchmen both kicked him forcefully upon the cement and damp ground below.

Her vision was still greatly blurred, but she could still see the deep cuts and bruises that marred his pale skin as well as the deep gash that had made its way onto his thigh. His clothing had obviously been tattered and torn so that they were only held together by a thin piece of cloth on his shoulders, leaving most of his sides and legs open to the wickedly cold air. He was slumped over and she saw that he was also bound at the wrist, but one thing that stood out, was the black sack that had been thrown over his head, obscuring his true features from her. But, this was soon resolved. The sound of thick soles padding across the pavement echoed throughout the sewers as the masked man made his way across the paved ground and towards the boy, and she watched him with thin eyes, for she wasn't exactly aware of his intentions, but she knew that in time they would be revealed. He would make sure of this. The man, adorned within heavy dull clothing stopped behind the boy and briefly held his hands behind his back, before slowly drawing the black sack from over the boy's head.

She knew that he was was tantalizing her, making sure that every second that he took to reveal the unknown figure would cause her anticipation and nervousness to sky rocket and he was indeed successful. Her heart was pounding within her chest as she heard her blood throb within her ears, causing her to develop a serious head ache in the process, but even that was better than having to watch this scene develop before her eyes. But finally, and quite vigorously, Amon yanked the black sack from over the boy's head. The sudden force caused his head to drop into his chest and prevented her from seeing his face, but when his head did raise, her blood ran cold.

Amon grinned maliciously as an evil glint shined throughout his eyes. "Surprisingly enough, I found him lurking underneath the tunnels of the city," He came to circle him and eyed the boy carefully."I suppose he was coming to rescue you, but it's a shame he didn't get that far."

Suddenly, Amon struck Mako on the back of the neck with a sharp and agile hand and effectively knocked the firebender off his knees and face first into the concrete below. Both Korra and Mako winced upon impact as she heard him audibly grunt when his nose met with the hard ground below, but he didn't even have time to register what had happened, for Amon had grabbed him by the short strands of his hair and forced him to sit up straight.

"My henchmen brought him to me just as I defeated you, but I couldn't have him leave without saying a proper goodbye."

Korra's eyes widened.

"I wouldn't be the best person if I didn't let you enjoy your last few minutes of life, Avatar, but I assure you, I will make the most of them and what better way to do that then to watch you suffer?"

She was shaking dangerously now. She knew he was going to kill her and she had known that coming here without any help would only give her damaging results, but she'd had to do it. She'd thought that she was prepared for this fight, because she'd always known that she would give it her all, but Amon had gained the upper hand this time and she had been merely another pawn in his game, leading them right to their own demise. He had caught her off guard, but she should have known that he would. It was in his nature to watch then attack, but now, it was her turn to watch, watch as he tortured her.


Korra quickly looked upwards at Amon as he slowly walked towards Mako."In order to be fair, I will allow you your last exchange."

Amon undid the gag around the firebender's mouth with unnatural haste and pushed him towards the young Avatar and almost immediately, Mako looked at her with most sincerity.

"Korra, don't worry. I'm going to get you out of here! I won't let him hurt you!"

She watched his mouth speak every word with teary eyes, but she wouldn't cry because it would only serve to prove Amon right. She already knew that Mako wouldn't be able to ensure Amon didn't hurt her, because if she had to watch Mako being mercilessly tortured before her, Amon would have already hurt her.

"I promise I'll protect you, y-"

His words were cut abruptly as he was gagged once more and violently yanked upwards by one of the henchmen and thrown towards Amon as she could only squirm helplessly, hoping that somehow she'd be able to break free, but her struggle was worthless.

"This could have ended differently."

Korra, who couldn't help feeling so incredibly small at the moment, looked towards Amon, who seemed to tower over her.

"Getting infatuated or involved with others has always been a downfall for the weak and has always been a useful tactic for your enemies. Maybe if you hadn't,"Amon bent down to her level with his his eyes forming slits. "You wouldn't have to watch him die so soon."

Every one of his words buried their way into her soul and she felt her entire being cease all movement as her heart stopped beating and her eyes widened further. Amon rose slowly from his crouch and made his way towards Mako, making Korra dread every footstep that seemed to put her one step further from her goal of saving Mako from the cruel fate Amon had subjected him to.

Then she heard it.

A blood curdling scream that would haunt her until the day she left the earth and that day, it seemed, would inevitably come soon.

She felt a tear escape her eye.

"I'm sorry Mako..."

Korra awoke with a dangerous start, her blue eyes as wide as saucers as she panted in labored breaths and raised a single hand to her forehead. It had been the sixth nightmare that she had encountered this week and every single one left her in the same state. Her eyes darted around her surroundings only to find that she was no longer within the damp cold sewer, but instead within her home on the outskirts of the Southern Water Tribe.

She looked towards the circular shaped window that resided on the other side of her room and saw that white, thick sheets of snow were beginning to stream onto the frozen planes of the tribe. Despite the chill, she felt warm. Sweat trickled down her forehead and she felt a small bead trail itself down the side of her cheek and come to a rest at the base of her neck. Korra drew in a deep breath as she tried to calm her frazzled demeanor.

"Get a hold of yourself, Korra," She spoke to herself. "It was just a nightmare..."

And it was another that she could add to the other five...

Korra sighed, audibly. She had to get her mind away from it or it would soon consume her. She wouldn't let it get the better of her, she couldn't let it get the better of her, but what could she do to get her head back straight? Practicing bending was an option because the art of airbending was still relatively new to her, but she was still wasn't sure what she'd do once she'd gone through all the forms she'd learned.

Korra ran a soft hand over her forehead and briefly pushed her bangs out of her eyes before they limply fell right back into place. Maybe she could take a walk to the cliff side of which she was so familiar with and that served as her usual sanctuary, but it was snowing outside and even though it wasn't quite a blizzard, the temperature had  dropped dramatically in the span of a few hours and she didn't think that freezing herself to death was the smartest solution to dealing with the problem at hand.

But then she thought again. Mako? Couldn't he get her mind off of that horrid nightmare? His name alone made her heart race and he could be quite distracting so it stood to reason that he could. There was a slight chance he'd be awake at this hour, but how would she get to him? They didn't share the same cabin and slept a good distance away and as she noticed before, it was freezing outside. Would she risk it, just to visit him? The answer was clear even without thinking.

Yes. He was just the distraction that she needed from all of this and whoever said that distractions always had to be bad thing? Korra flung her thin white sheets from her form and threw her legs over the side of her bed, shivering slightly as the soles of her feet met the cold wooden ground underneath them, and slipped into her brown boots that rested near the bed's edge. She arose soon after and headed towards the cabin's entrance and grabbed her thick parka that hung near the doorway before opening the doors.

As soon as she exited, she was instantly met with frigid and howling winds, causing her to shield her face from the somewhat harsh and biting air as she walked farther into the churning storm.

Korra hugged her form tightly, trying her best not to make any of the natural heat that remained within her body be taken from her, but she soon realized that this was pointless, for she could barely feel the tips of her own fingers right then. Snow crunched and sloshed underneath her feet and the biting winds seemed to cut through her parka, but she trudged on and on until she came to her destination. The lights were off on the inside, giving her the impression that the occupants were fast asleep, but she could at least try. Korra made her way up the flight of stairs and proceeded to knock upon the door.

Knock. Knock


She rose her hand to knock again.

Knock. Knock

Still nothing.

Korra had began to consider turning away and heading back, but before she could, she heard a voice.


It belonged to Mako, no doubt, but there was a trace of lethargy within it and she thought that maybe he had been sleeping. Korra heard the unlocking of the door and stepped slightly back as it opened. After a short while, Mako appeared within the doorway in his simple white undershirt, sleeping pants and a pair of squinting eyes.

"Korra?" His voice was raspy as it held some confinement."What are you doing up so late?"

"I couldn't sleep and I thought you'd be up still,"she answered. She looked upwards at him. "But If your sleeping, I can come back another time."

Korra began to make her way down the stairs, but she was soon halted as she felt a soft but firm grip find its way around her wrist. "Korra its fine, I don't mind. I wasn't really that tired anyway."

Korra looked back at him with furrowed brows."Are you sure it's fine?"

Mako grinned, slightly. "Yeah, I'm sure. Now get in here before you start to freeze to death."

Korra managed the tiniest of grins as she ascended back up the stairs and towards the doorway, and walked past the firebender and into the darkened cabin. Her arms were still crossed loosely over her chest as she heard Mako shut the door behind them causing whatever light that had entered the cabin to vanish and be replaced with the hazy, grayish light of the snow. Korra walked cautiously towards the couch that was seated by the back wall and softly took her perch upon it, then noticed that the cabin was a bit more quiet than usual...

She looked towards the firebender."Where's Bolin?"

Mako had never moved from his place by the doorway and only gripped the metal handle bar from behind. "I haven't seen him since dinner," Mako shifted. "And with Bolin, if food's involved, I don't think we'll be hearing from him until morning."

She could hear his 'roll of eyes' within his voice and smirked slightly. "Yeah, I guess not."

Mako raised a slight brow upon the Avatar's demeanor, which Korra could already sense from a mile away and took it upon herself to avert her gaze elsewhere so she didn't have to look at his piercing amber eyes.

"Korra," There was a sort of knowing tone within his voice. "Are you okay?"

"What?" Korra's hair whipped round as she faced him. "Yeah, I'm fine,"she spoke. "Why?"

Mako shook his head as he let out a short breath. "Korra, I've known you long enough to be able to tell when you're lying and you are." Mako pushed off from the door handle and made his way towards the couch where she currently sat and took a seat only a few inches away from her and placed his hand upon her own. "What's wrong?"

Korra looked downwards at their intertwined fingers, then back upwards at him. He was still waiting for an answer, but all she could do was look downwards, away from him. It was short lived, however, for she felt Mako's hand place itself under her chin and gently force her to look at him.

"Korra," He repeated again. "I want to help you, but I can't do that if you won't tell me what's bothering you."

Korra shut her eyes for a brief moment as she wrapped her free hand around his own that was resting underneath her chin and tugged it downwards to rest in her lap.

"It happened again."

The firebender appeared puzzled. "What happened again?"

"The nightmares," she clarified. "I had one again."

Mako made a small 'O' motion with his lips as he leaned slightly backwards. He remembered quite well, her telling him about the nightmares when and if they had happened, but when she had first told him about them, he never would've thought that they would have become a common occurrence.

Mako's eyes locked themselves upon her form. "What was this one about this time?"

His question was hesitant, for he didn't want to ask her for fear of making her relive them, but Korra never looked away and took a short time to answer.

"It was about Amon again," she told him, softly. "But it was different from the rest of them."

"How was it different?" He questioned.

Korra stood still as she hugged herself again, hanging her head low as she felt herself beginning to break and struggled for words.

"He killed you."

Mako straightened himself as his eyes lowered upon her and he reached out to console her. She shrinked away. "Korra..."

"And then he killed me too."

Mako watched as her entire being fell into itself and curled into a ball as she hid her face from view, but he wouldn't let her for long.

He reached forward and quickly gathered her into his arms. Korra, without even thinking twice, wrapped her arms around his torso and buried her head within his chest.

Mako honestly hated to see her like this, so broken and scared; it wasn't her. It wasn't Korra. She had always been the strong and stable one, even more so than him at times and for her to feel this way over a nightmare, must have truly been been a terrible experience for her.

"It just gets worse every time." Her voice was soft as he heard it begin to crack. "And every time I feel so helpless and I can never do anything about it."

Mako held her head to his chest as he smoothed out her hair. "It's going to be okay, Korra."

"No," He felt her shake her head within his embrace and was slightly shocked when she pulled away from it. "It's not okay, Mako and it never will be. Ever since the encounter with Amon, I've never been able to think about anything the same again. I always see him wherever I go and the visions never go away." She cringed. "I try to forget it, but I just can't."

Korra abruptly fell right back into the contours of his chest and Mako embraced her once more. He sighed. He couldn't exactly say he knew how she felt, because he didn't know what she was dealing with, but he had been there when she had faced Amon. Mako knew what it was like to feel helpless, because he had felt exactly this way when she had her bending taken away. He;d wanted to help her at that time, but it had been far too late for that. He had to watch, while under the influence of bloodbending, as she got the thing she valued most get robbed from her, but he wasn't going to sit back and watch as these things tore her down from the inside. No. She was his girlfriend, and he was going to help in away way he could with this.

"Korra, I'm not going to let you go through this alone," he told her. "I'll be right here if you need anything. I'm not going to let any of it happen to you."

As she heard his words, she couldn't help but to think back to her nightmare, when he had spoken something very similar. Korra believed Mako and knew he would do anything and everything in his power to protect her, but didn't he understand? He was her number one weakness. He made her feel and do things that she never she would have thought possible and overall, she loved him more than anyone could ever know and it scared her.

Korra dug her head further into his chest and tightened her hold upon him, her words muffled as she spoke. "I can't lose you..."

Mako squeezed her hand gently in reassurance. "You won't." He moved to kiss her forehead. "I'm not going anywhere."

"You better not."

The firebender chuckled as he smiled. "You always knew how to get your point across, Korra."

The sun had soon risen high above the frozen lands of the Southern Water Tribe, casting its faint but slightly warming glow upon the large village as well as signaling Bolin that he had well over stayed his welcome.

He had found himself face first within a bowl of seaweed noodles and sea prunes as he had stirred from his slumber that morning, vaguely remembering himself indulging in at least 5 people's worth of food yesterday and helping himself to whatever left over bowls that he could get his hands on.

After thanking Master Katara and finding Pabu ,who had unfortunately fallen asleep in a near by plant vase, Bolin exited the elderly healers home, but not before stashing some extra food away within his pant pockets and began heading towards the cabin he and Mako shared. The earthbender wondered if his brother had waited up for him as he began to make his way up the cabin's steps, for he thought that it couldn't have been that far into the morning and Mako usually was an early riser and often waited up for his younger brother if he believed the earthbender had gotten into some sort of situation.

When Bolin finally reached the doorway, he grabbed at the silver door handle but to his surprise, he found that they door was unlocked.

'Hmmm...," Bolin thought to himself. "That's weird."

Indeed it was. He and Mako, having lived on the dangerous streets of Republic City, always ensured security wherever they were, and keeping the door unlocked during the events of last night was a careless move on Mako's part, but Bolin shrugged it off.

Entering the house slowly, Bolin pulled out a lumpy sea prune and shut the door behind him."Mako you should have stayed last night," He spoke, as he stuck the slimy, purple colored food within his mouth. "Master Katara had a lot of left over food at dinner and-"

Bolin ceased all talking as he turned around to the sight of his brother and Korra slumbering away upon the couch nearby. The waterbender was sleeping between his propped up legs as half her body was strewn over the chair and Mako's own arm was thrown in a protective embrace around her.

Pabu purred upon Bolin's shoulder as the earthbender nodded and petted the fire ferret. "I know, I know Pabu. Where are we going to sleep tonight?"

First Date by Mighty Makorran23 (click to show/hide)
First Date

Mako had never been so nervous in his life.

"What reason do I have to be nervous?" He thought to himself, walking beside Korra on the streets of Republic City, on the way to the restaurant he had selected as the spot for their first date. His usual cool-under-fire style seemed to have gone out the window the moment he laid eyes on her waiting for him outside the newly renovated Probending Arena.

"Sure, she's the Avatar and your girlfriend; you declared your love for her not too long ago, and this is your first date. No pressure." 

The girl beside him seemed to pick up on his troubled state of mind.

"Something on your mind, City Boy?" She asked, turning to look at him. Her blue eyes seemed to cut right through him.

"N-no, just..." He sighed, knowing that she'd see through any attempt to lie and indeed, the look on her face said don't try and lie to me. "Just nervous."

A blush appeared on her cheeks and to his surprise she answered, "Yeah, I am too."

Mako's eyebrows shot up in surprise.

"Is that so? Stubborn, headstrong, take-on-all-challenges Korra is nervous about dating me?"

She glared at him slightly, but the blush intensified to his satisfaction.

"Well yeah, I mean I've never done anything like this before."  She answered with a slight huff.

"Really? You went out with Bolin once during the Probending Championships." He mentally kicked himself twice: once for the tinge of jealousy that entered his voice at the mention of her going with his brother, and the other for bringing up a horribly awkward situation during an already awkward situation. Korra however took it all in stride.

"If that was a date, I didn't notice, I thought he was just being a good friend."

For the second time in one night Mako's eyebrows rose.

"Wow, I am an idiot."

"This is true."

They smiled at the private joke and continued the trek to the restaurant in comfortable silence. Upon reaching the eatery and being led to their seats, Mako's mental warfare started back up with a whole new barrage of thoughts. "Is this place not classy enough? I mean she's the Avatar, she should be wined and dined; I'm underdressed, what am I doing?"

This time, a slight pressure on his hand snapped him out of his reverie, Korra had placed her hand over his from across the table, and she looked genuinely concerned.

"Hey, Mako, you okay?" Her voice had that same softness that it had when she had returned his feelings in the South Pole. He sighed heavily, but tightened his grip on her hand.

"It's just, I feel like I should have done better, saved up some money and taken you out to some place fancy. I mean, it's what you deserve after all."

Mako saw her blue eyes harden and prepared for the worst.

"Now let's just get this straight, Cool Guy," Korra said, her voice dangerously quiet. "You said you loved me irregardless of the fact that I was the Avatar."

"I do, but..."

She pressed on not letting him continue

"So you should know that you could take me to an upscale restaurant, like Kwang's, or a regular place, or even a road side dumpling cart, and I wouldn't think any less of you. I don't care that you can't afford to take me to the best places right now, I'm fine with that. You just keep being you and everything else will work out in the end."

Though she started out harsh her voice had softened, as had her eyes, which pleaded with him to get her point, and he did.

"You know, you're something special, Avatar Korra." He smiled when she blushed again. Then, her smile morphed into a smirk

"Of course once we win the Probending Championships and you've got some money... some fine jewels would be nice." She teased.

"Only the best, sweet- ...OW!" A boot made contact with his leg from under the table and his outburst had several diners turning in their seats to look for the source of the noise.

"Do NOT call me that." Her voice  was deadly serious.

"OK, we're not the ‘cutesy-nickname' couple; noted," He said, rubbing his leg. "Don't worry, though. I'll think of something."
Korra groaned.


During dinner, Korra decided to ask Mako something.

"So how did you know about this place?" She wondered.

Mako paused, pushing the noodles around on his plate.

"Bolin and I used to come here as kids, before...," He paused and swallowed. "...It happened." Korra's eyes widened and her grip on his hand tightened.

"Oh, Mako, I'm so sorry."

He shook his head, slightly. "No, it's okay. I chose this place 'cause I normally associate it with bad memories, but I wanted to make new ones." This earned a blush from both parties and Mako decided to shift the conversation. "So how are Tenzin's kids?"

"Same as always. Little Rohan is showing signs of being an airbender. The other day, he sneezed and sent me flying. I smacked stright into the wall."

Mako nearly choked on his food, trying to contain his laughter.

"I think I still have the bruises to prove it," Korra muttered, the tiniest of smiles on her face.

They continued laughing and joking during the meal, with many the occasional blush. At the end, Mako and Korra both stubbornly insisted on paying the check, but it was Mako who finally won.

"I still wish you'd have let me pay," Korra said almost petulantly, as they headed for the ferry back to Air Temple Island.

"Oh, no no! We may not be the traditional couple, but the guy always pays for the first date." He said, gallantly.

"Why, what a gentleman. Thanks, Cool Guy."

"No problem, Korra. Anything for you." Mentally he smacked himself. "That was so cheesy."

Korra giggled and her statement seemed to echo his thought.

"Wow, you are hopeless." She laughed softly and he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.

"Yeah, sorry about that, I'll try to be less sappy from now on."

She elbowed him slightly.

"Ah, there's nothing wrong with it once in a while, but don't make too much of a habit out of it," She teased.

"Deal." He said. They lapsed back into silence and as they walked Mako decided to try something. He wrapped an arm around her as they walked and she stiffened slightly, which alarmed him, but then she relaxed into it. Mako smirked, slightly.

"We'll draw less attention this way." He said, eliciting yet another giggle from the Avatar. He decided then and there that he loved that sound.

They approached the ferry soon and Mako and Korra separated, neither one sure how to end the night. Finally Korra, in her usual style, took charge.

"Thanks Mako. I had a really great time."

He smiled "Yeah, me too."

Korra leaned up to kiss him one last time before hurrying onto the ferry that was slowly departing. Mako watched the ferry until he could no longer see it and set off for home with a smile etched upon his face, thinking about the Avatar and their wonderful evening together. And somewhere, across the waters of Yue Bay, Korra was doing the same.   

The Spirit World by Cassidy Alice (click to show/hide)
The Spirit World

In the stillness of the early morning, Avatar Aang Memorial Island seemed deserted. A lone figure stood at the entrance of the sanctuary, looking rather lost as the early morning fog, still clinging to the vestiges of dawn, hung in the air. The eastern sky was painted a lovely shade of reddish pink with a hint of orange and the waters of Yue Bay sparkled in the soft light. The figure at the gates spent a few minutes drinking it all in before ascending the steps and heading into the museum situated on the island.

The interiors of the museum were dim, but the light of the rising sun cast an ethereal glow about the whole place. Treading softly, Mako made his way around the museum, taking note of all the artifacts placed within. He'd never seen so many gathered in one place and spent a good deal of time observing them all before his mission recalled itself to his memory. Hurrying past the wide array of artifacts kept on display, the young firebender passed on into the sanctuary that branched off from the side of the museum. Here, there were a number of things related to Avatar Aang and Mako felt a little strange as he walked past them. It almost seemed as if he was intruding into a place meant for very few outsiders besides the late Avatar's family. Still, the firebender hurried on and emerged on the other side of the island.

The area was deserted. That much was clear to Mako when he walked around the perimeter of the museum and saw nothing. Frowning to himself, the firebender doubled back and circled the perimeter once again. Perhaps it was possible that Tenzin had made a mistake, yet the airbender had said Jinora was on the island with her grandmother. But, the little airbending girl was nowhere in sight and Mako was suddenly nervous. He wasn't quite sure what he'd tell Tenzin if he turned up empty-handed.

"Jinora?" He called, scanning about for any signs of the ten year old. "Where are you?"

If she'd heard him, she didn't turn up. Mako grumbled to himself. It'd be like Ikki or Meelo to hide, but Jinora usually never did…unless she was reading a book.

"She's probably reading another book somewhere," the firebender muttered to himself, as if to assure himself. Somehow, the thought still wasn't that comforting.

"Jinora?" He tried again.

"You won't find her here," a voice said.

Startled, Mako spun around, surprised to find no one behind him. Puzzled, the firebender glanced around, surprised to find a figure on the roof of the sanctuary.

"Master Katara," the firebender said, rather surprised. "I didn't see you."

Katara simply smiled, her blue eyes twinkling. A funnel of water twisted its way up from the bay waters and the old master used it to gently lower herself down to the ground.

"Were you looking for Jinora?" she wondered, bending the water back into the bay.

"Yes. Master Tenzin said she'd be here with you and I think he needed her."

"Well, as I said, you won't find her here. I sent her on ahead."

Mako gaped. "Alone? Isn't she a bit…?"

"Young?" Katara shrugged. "Perhaps. But my granddaughter is very much like her father and grandfather; swift and completely at ease in the air. In any case, Air Temple Island isn't so far from here and I watched her the whole way."

Mako smiled and then glanced curiously at a small piece of paper the old waterbender held.

"Writing letters," Katara explained, grinning up at him.


"What are you doing up?" Katara wondered, smiling kindly at the young firebender. "A bit early for you, isn't it?"

"A little, I guess," Mako replied. "I couldn't sleep much. Not with Korra gone anyway. Do Spirit World journeys always take this long?"

"Well, it is her first time," Katara said. "I wouldn't worry if she was there for a while."

"And how long is a while?" Mako wondered, glancing at the sun rising over the eastern skies.

Katara shrugged. "Depends on what she's doing there."

"I think Master Tenzin and the Order of the White Lotus wanted her to see if she could…cross over, since it's the Solstice."

Katara just sighed. "Sometimes, I don't know just what the White Lotus does. When Aang said to protect Korra…" She trailed off, laughing to herself and shaking her head. "One wonders, but that's another story." Mako seemed confused, but the old waterbender didn't bother to explain. "As for how long Korra will be, it still depends, I suppose. Getting in and coming out isn't all that easy initially. The first time Aang ventured there, he was gone overnight, for several hours. Then again, Aang wound up there by accident…sort of."

"So, Korra could be gone for days?" Mako asked.

"Perhaps, but I doubt it. I'd say a few hours at most."


The waterbender caught the sarcasm in his voice. "Worried?"

Mako shrugged. "I guess. Bolin and Asami are waiting for her, but I can't just sit and do nothing."

Katara gave an understanding smile. "I know the feeling," she admitted. "I had a hard time waiting for Aang too, sometimes. Other times, I couldn't leave his side. It was a bit strange."

The firebender nodded. "I couldn't stay. It was…weird. It almost seemed like Korra wasn't really there."

"Well, technically speaking, she wasn't."

"But, I saw her," Mako replied, confused. "How can she not be there and yet…?"

"Her body remains, but her spirit does not. I guess it's an Avatar thing; they have to shed their physical form to cross over."

"Oh," was all the firebender managed.

"It's also when they're at their most vulnerable."

Katara's voice held a faraway note. It was almost as if she was in another world which, arguably, may have been true to a certain extent.

"Did something happen to Avatar Aang?" Mako wondered, slightly puzzled by the old Master's melancholy tone.

Katara smiled. "That's like asking if the sun is hot," she chuckled. "Something always happened. We were in the Northern Water Tribe trying to stop the Fire Navy from invading. Zuko…"

"Firelord Zuko?

"Well, he was just Prince Zuko back then, but yes. He stole Aang with the intention of handing him over to his father. At the time, Aang was in the Spirit World. If Aang hadn't returned when he did and if we hadn't stopped Zuko, there's no telling what could have happened."

"I don't understand," Mako said, confused. "If Avatar Aang was rescued…"

"The Avatar State is a very useful mechanism," Katara explained. "The Avatar is the most when in the Avatar state, but should anything happen to them while in that state...the results could prove disastrous. If killed in the Avatar state, the Avatar spirit will die and the cycle of the Avatar will cease."

"I had no idea…" the firebender began.

Katara simply smiled. "No, I didn't expect you would," she said, kindly. "Most don't. In any case, you shouldn't feel bad about worrying; it's only natural and isn't unfounded. But, I doubt anything will happen to Korra on her first visit there; the circumstances were different between Aang's first journey there and Korra's."

"How did Avatar Aang get there?"

"I honestly don't know," Katara admitted. "It was over seven decades ago that he first went and he never was all that sure himself."

Mako remained silent.

By now, the sun was slipping up past the eastern horizon and a warm golden sunlight was spilling over the edge. Mako had no idea how long he'd spent on the small island talking to the old waterbender, but he supposed he'd kept her here long enough. It'd be best, he mused, if they headed back before Tenzin sent out search parties. Katara seem to be thinking the same thing.

"I suppose we'd better get back. You'll want to check up on your girlfriend, I imagine."

"Korra's not my…" Mako began, protesting, but Katara's eyes twinkled knowingly.

"You'd do well," she chuckled. "Not to lie to an old woman."

Mako sighed in defeat and simply followed her back towards the small pier where a ferry would carry them back to Air Temple Island. There was, however, not a single ferry there when they arrived. Still, Katara didn't let that stop her. Mako watched the old master walk to the end of the pier and jump into the water and, for a moment, all the young firebender could do was gape. But then an odd crackling sound filled the air and Mako peered below to see she'd frozen part of the water and was making a pathway back to the island.

"Well," she wondered, turning to glance at him. "Are you coming or not?"

Mako hurried after the old waterbender, while Avatar Aang Memorial Island lay shrouded in a thin wispy fog, glowing with the soft golden hues of sunlight, behind them.

When Mako returned to Air Temple Island, the Acolytes were gathering in the mess hall for breakfast. Katara left the young firebender and hurried off to some unknown place to make herself useful, so Mako simply wandered back to the antechamber where Bolin and Asami had been earlier. He found them just leaving for breakfast when he arrived.

"Korra's still in there?" He wondered.

Asami nodded, walking down the corridor. "Bolin and I are going to get breakfast. It looks like you might be a while."

Bolin glanced at his brother. "Are you coming, bro?"

"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up with you in a bit."

Admittedly, a "bit" turned out to be much longer than Mako had expected. It was nearing their afternoon meal by the time the doors to the chamber open and a beaming Korra hurried out, only to collide with Mako who was just about to go in and check on her.

"Mako?" There was no missing the surprise in her voice. "What're you doing here?"

"Waiting for you," he replied.

Korra gaped. "You waited for me all this time?"

Mako gave a slight nod. "Yeah. I mean, we all did. Bolin and Asami left some time around breakfast, though."

"Why didn't you?"

Mako shrugged. "I don't know. You were gone…I mean, sort of gone and it was just…"

Korra cut him off with a playful punch. "You worry too much, City Boy."

Mako was sure his arm was bruised and rubbed it, glaring at the Avatar.

They walked back to the mess hall for their meal, both feeling rather hungry. Korra wasted little time in describing her adventures in the Spirit world. Going in, she explained, had been easy enough. It was getting out that had presented a problem for her and she'd wandered about a bit before her predecessor and a giant bear spirit helped her. Mako suddenly seemed to understand why Master Katara had deemed her behavior strange when her husband had been in the spirit world. The thought that Korra could get lost in there was unsettling and made him want to hover over her, but he wasn't the type to sit silently and bide his time while he waited either; he was positive he'd go stir-crazy.

"So," Korra wondered, as they meandered down the long passageways. "What'd you do all morning?"

"Nothing," Mako replied, nonchalantly. "Just spoke to Master Katara for a bit and then waited for you."

"Anything interesting?" The Avatar wondered.

Mako shrugged. "I guess. Just Avatar related stuff."

Korra stopped walking and glanced quizzically at him. "You guys were really that worried?"

The firebender nodded. "We were, but evidently no one else was."

Korra laughed. "Well, of course not. I wasn't on official Avatar business or anything. Just trying my hand at getting in since today was the solstice and all."

"So I've been told."

"I don't know why you guys worried so much. Nothing would've happened."

"And if something had?" the firebender asked, wryly.

Korra shrugged. "I'd have still come back."

"Are you so sure? How do you know?"

"Don't I always?" She replied, teasingly.

Mako shook his head, but he couldn't hide the smile creeping across his face.

"But what if something had happened?" Mako demanded again.

Korra smiled brightly. "I'm sure I'd have still come back. After all, in the Spirit world, I have my past lives to help me. And I have friends on this side that would do their best to help, so I wasn't really worried. But you're always going to worry, aren't you?" She chuckled a bit, as if she'd already resigned herself to the idea that Mako (and perhaps even Bolin and Asami) would constantly be worrying while she was away in the Spirit world.

Mako glared at her and began protesting, but Korra simply laughed and continued walking. Perhaps, the firebender mused, he really would but he had no way of knowing as of yet. But, after all Master Katara had told him, he was sure of at least one thing: whatever happened, life with Korra was bound to be interesting.

Never Again by BleuMakorra (click to show/hide)The Summer Winds. They whispered like a forgotten breath throughout the vast hallways within the Air temple, caressing each stone frame with its rough callouses and pausing briefly to lightly touch the tall trees that sat upon the high tops of grounds until it finally met the bare arms of the young Avatar. It met her with a harsh welcome, ruffling with her loose clothing as well as her hair before it finally passed to continue its journey into the unknown.

She had ventured into the dark depths of his room in the late of night only to find him lying awake upon the crumpled sheets of his bed with his back slightly bent as he hugged his knees into his sparsely clothed chest. The young Avatar peered upon his still form with heavily lidded eyes and, without any acknowledgment, she gingerly made her way over and crawled upon the mattress, careful not to disturb him, until she finally found a comfortable spot beside the hushed firebender.

The atmosphere that hung above them was not of the warmest and only met them with an unforgiving glare, but this was expected. They sat upon the cool sheets of his mattress, side by side, and enveloped within the silence that had settled around them, victims of its misery as it sought out their company, but they had always been his.

He told her of stories from his childhood only, they seemed as if they had occurred centuries ago because he said he couldn't fully grasp them like he used to. They felt like nothing more than a distant memory, doomed to wither away as time passed on and he was desperately trying to hold onto them.

She held his hand, not too tight or too soft, but just tight enough to let him know that she was there. She held it within her lap and let it rest there for the time being, as he adorned this far off look again. He wouldn't speak during those times; he'd only tense up, like someone who was being clutched by frozen hands, hopelessly trying to seek out warmth. She knew what it meant and only did the same and at that time, she could only imagine the images that were being so graciously bestowed upon his already tortured mind and how long he would be forced to endure them. The girl honestly hated to see him in so much pain and only wished that she could take it away, because it tore at her from the inside.

She could only wait as the time passed and as he relaxed, letting out a soft, shuddering breath to tell her that they had subsided, but in truth, they never truly would.

Multiple times throughout the night, he'd tell her that he was fine and try to hurry her off to bed so that she could rest, but as stubborn as she was, she refused. It was only in her nature to wonder about his turmoil and she only wondered because she wanted to know what he was going through. She wanted to know what she could do to help him and if this was the way, so be it.

She braced herself and asked him the questions that had been lingering within her mind for so long and he did answer, but it wasn't the answer she was expecting. He told her of bright times and happy days, but never of the anguish and pain because he said that he never wanted to remember them like that. Not ever.

Finally, all seemed to be over, for the winds had stopped and the atmosphere didn't seem so bleak anymore, but only until sobs were heard, deep sobs that made her cringe, inside and out, as they continued.

She looked somberly towards his tall frame as his face was hidden with the crook of his knees and his arms stretched around them. She peered with shock and a rapidly beating heart as he shed a tearful mourning, for she had never seen him so broken, so empty.

It was a sickening display and she was never the one for emotional or comforting words, so all she could do was to slowly reach out and embrace him. She held him tight within her arms, mustering all the condolences that she could in that one gesture, because he needed it more than anything. He soon fell into it, unraveling himself from his own fix to limply fall against her, burying himself into her chest as he held onto her like his only lifeline as she kissed the top of his head.

"It's going to be alright, Mako," were her only words as he encircled her more firmly than before and let all those years of anger and sadness flow outward in that one moment.

The world had placed itself onto his shoulders to carry its weight while he still had his to bear and it never relinquished this task, not even to this day. He had witness those he loved most fall right before and was forced to watch his entire life perish and no one, not even Korra, had truly realized this until this very moment and it was unfair, unfair that he had to grow up so fast and not even have a glimpse of childhood, because it had disappeared so quickly. Unfair that life hadn't been kind to him and left him with no warning of how hard and unjust, and cruel it would be to him and, it was unfair, because eighteen years later every wound and scar that he thought was healed, had only reopened for his torment alone.

But he would never be alone. She was here and she would always be here. She would share the weight of the world with him- no, for him because she would be forever willing and because she loved him enough to do so. Korra herself, tucked her head into the pit of his shoulder and screwed her eyes shut just to dispel the pain as she gripped at his shoulders to cherish this moment they had together because he'd never have to be alone again.

Transitions by divsalley (click to show/hide)Mako bolted out of the ferry and darted across the dock that led to Air Temple Island. He finally had some time to spare and he wanted more than anything to see his girlfriend. While he'd been busy with his work at the Power Plant and training at the Police Academy, Korra had been busy with Council Meetings. While the situation in Republic City was improving, things were far from perfect, and Korra and Tenzin were working hard with the Council to get some non benders inducted. According to the other Council members, though, it was still too early to trust any of the non benders just yet, which only made things worse.

He and Korra had kept in touch as much as they could. Ever since he and Bolin moved off the island three months ago, they'd called each other every day with promises of late night dinners and rides on Naga in the dead of the night... just the two of them. But unfortunately, all they'd been able to do was catch a few hours with each other once a week. And while Tenzin had been kind enough to help him get a phone line set up at his apartment so that they could at least talk to each other, it wasn't nearly as comforting as holding her in his arms... feeling her lips against his... He missed all that. He missed her.

He raced up the stairs that led to her room not caring about what Tenzin might have to say about the rules. He needed to see her. But more than anything, there was something he needed to ask her. Something very important. So when he knocked the door to her room and got no answer, his heart fell. Either she was sleeping, or she wasn't in her room at all.

"Looking for Korra?" he heard a little girl's voice ask.

Mako whipped around and smiled guiltily at Jinora. He knew she wouldn't tell on him, but still wasn't fun being caught.

"Yeah, I... thought she'd be in her room," he mumbled as he smiled at her.

"She's out by the spinning panels," Jinora replied with a wink.

"Thanks!" he replied gratefully and made his way to where Korra was as fast as he could.

Korra was gracefully making her way through the spinning panels as he sat on one of the steps to watch. He smiled at the thought of finally being with her for a few hours... hearing her voice... her laugh... actually seeing her smile... No... he didn't want to wait. He stood up and walked towards her slowly just as she finished another round.

"Hey, City Boy!" she greeted him just as he got close enough to take her hand.

"How do you do that?" he asked with a smile.

"Avatar's intuition. But first things first," she quipped sagely as she wound her arms around his neck and kissed him.

"I missed you," Mako whispered when they broke for air.

"I missed you, too," she agreed. "Not that I'm complaining, but... what brings you here? Did you finish up early at work?"

Mako simply nodded.

"That... and the fact that I simply had to see you," he added.

Korra chuckled as she leaned back to get a good look at him.

"I'm glad you came. Wanna hit the dumpling stalls by the bay once I'm done here?" she asked him.

"I'd love that!" he smirked.

"Great! Let's get out of here!" she yelled as she grabbed his hand and led him outside.

For a while they simply walked hand in hand and brought each other up to speed about what they'd been doing until they reached their favorite stall. Once they'd had their fill of delicious dumplings, Mako had some packed to take home for Bolin. Korra smiled at his thoughtfulness and gripped his hand as they made it to the edge of the bay where she'd have to board the ferry back to the island.

"Korra, wait... I... need to ask you something," Mako stuttered.

She turned to face him, but one look at his troubled face had her reaching out to him and gently caressing his cheek.

"What's wrong, Mako?" she asked.

Mako noticed how she never used nicknames at times like these, and he appreciated that. Very much.

"I... I can't... I can't watch you leave again," he mumbled.

"What?" she inquired, worried more than ever now.

"I... Korra, I hate it when we have to say goodbye like this... not knowing when we'd be seeing each other again," he snapped.

Korra's expression softened. She gripped his hand and smiled sympathetically.

"I hate it, too, Mako... But things will get better! Once the Council settles down, we'll have more time to spend together!" she assured him.

"I know, but... You and I both know how stubborn those Council Members can be... It might take years for a change like that to be put into effect. And I understand you need to do your part, but... I just... I just want to be able to see you... every day," he rambled.

"So what do you suggest?" she asked, knowing his anger wasn't directed at her, but the situation itself.

"I... I was thinking... about getting an apartment in the City. And I was hoping you could move in there with me," he added almost inaudibly.

"What?" Korra asked incredulously.

For a moment, Mako was scared... scared that she'd rebuffed him. But then he looked at her and knew. She was really asking him if that was what he wanted.

"Yeah... I hate not being around you, Korra... I really do. I know we can't be together every minute of every single day, but... if we live together, I think... I think we'd at least be able to see more of each other, right?" he asked eagerly, hoping she'd understand...

At first she didn't say anything. She just stood there with her hand in his, looking at him and thinking this over.

And then she smiled.

"I love that idea, but... I've got to talk this over with Tenzin and my parents, too," she explained. "They know you mean well... and we're both adults, but still... I think it's best we tell them if we're doing this."

"So... so you agree?" he asked eagerly.

"Yes," Korra chuckled, but yelped as her boyfriend swiftly caught her by the waist and twirled her enthusiastically.

He laughed with her as he set her down gently and kissed her soundly on the mouth. She responded immediately, just as happy as he was about this new development.

"Okay, then... Go talk to Tenzin and your parents. Once they agree, we'll go look for a place," he confirmed.

"Sure thing, City Boy!" she whispered as she let go of him slowly and boarded the ferry bound for the island.

Mako waved as he watched her go, hoping it'd be one of the very last times he'd have to watch her glide away from him... at least without the knowledge of when he'd be able to see her again.


"Absolutely not!" Tenzin thundered. "You think... How could you even think that I'd approve of such frivolous behavior by you? Did you even stop and think, Korra?"

"But Tenzin... Mako and I are both adults, and... well, we made this decision together! I miss him so much, and... you know that! This way, things will be easier on both of us!" Korra argued.

Tenzin sighed as he considered this. "Korra, I understand how much of a toll your duties and his job are taking on your relationship. But you've got to understand how the rest of the world would view it. You'll be giving those slimy reporters a field day. And the last thing I want is for them faulting any one of you! You've both been responsible so far and I admire that... I trust your judgment, but... I can't let them tarnish your name for no fault of yours," he explained gently.

"I know, but... I just... I'd just feel better if... if we shared a home together. Mako's got a point there. You can't deny that," Korra smirked.

"You sure you're ready to handle responsibilities like rent and utilities? Because that's huge, Korra... and you know what you get as an allowance for your duties is minimal," he countered.

"True, but... we'll get through. Mako has a stable job, too, and... to be honest, I'm looking forward to taking on a little more responsibility myself," she confirmed.

"Then, you have my support," Tenzin assured her as he opened his arms wide to embrace her, and Korra was only too happy to oblige.

"Thank you," she sighed as she felt him nod.

"You're welcome. We'll explain this to your parents together," he assured her.


Korra dove into the tepid waters of Yue Bay and swam as fast as she could towards the pro-bending arena. This was going to be great! As she made her way up the narrow stairway that led to the attic where the brothers lived, she couldn't help but feel a little twinge of excitement. She made herself comfortable on the soft, red couch that was one of the few possessions they seemed to have.

She was somewhat aware of the low hum of gushing water from somewhere nearby. She figured it must be the Bay. But when her boyfriend stepped in dripping wet with nothing but a towel around his waist, she blanched.

"Korra!" Mako yelped helplessly as his grip tightened around the towel involuntarily. While the two of them had been slightly more intimate several times, they'd never really seen each other undressed... and it left them both quite flustered.

"H-hey, Mako!" Korra managed when she found her voice. "I just... came by to tell you, that... uh... well..;" she stuttered as she tried her hardest to keep her gaze set on his face. His flushed face with water dripping down from his really, wet hair.

"Stay here," Mako pleaded, understanding her plight as he swiftly went into his little room to dry himself and get dressed.

He didn't notice how Korra took her parka off and sighed in relief.

"Geez! Get a grip, Korra! It's not like these things won't happen once you start living together!" she thought to herself, but it only made her situation worse.

"What were you saying, Korra?" she heard Mako ask. She noted with some relief that he finally had some clothes on.

"Right... uh... I just... talked to my parents, and... well... they agreed! We can start looking for a place whenever you're ready," she rejoiced.

Mako whooped and caught her off guard as he literally swept her off her feet in a fierce hug. She laughed heartily at his enthusiastic reaction.

"That's the best news I've heard in a while! Are you free now?" he asked.

"I've got until evening!" she replied with a smile.


It had all started with a look. Korra had been right to think that both of them would be tested once they started living together. It had been tempting... very tempting to just give in to their feelings and not caring at all about the consequences. It was the easier alternative. Especially when they knew they wouldn't be interrupted.

So when he saw her walk out of her room for breakfast with nothing but her bindings on, he couldn't help it. It wasn't like he hadn't seen her like that before... They'd gone swimming in the bay quite often. And even during those instances, Mako had to steel himself from acting on how attracted he was to her. But this time, for some reason, restraint was the last thing on their minds. They stumbled into her room, carelessly bumping into things as they kissed. They broke apart only so she could take his undershirt off him. Soon they were on her bed, limbs tangled together, with no intention of stopping.

"Is... something burning?" Korra asked suddenly.

"I don't care," Mako groaned into her neck.

"Mako!" Korra chuckled as she gripped his shoulders and reluctantly pushed him away from her. "We don't want the house to burn down, do we?"

Mako sighed at the implied meaning and gently kissed her forehead before lifting them both off the bed.

"I'm sorry... I guess I got carried away," he apologized.

"Don't be. You're not the only one," she replied softly. "But really, Mako... I think you forgot to turn the stove off," she added with a smirk.

Mako yelped before setting her down and rushing to the kitchen to assess the damage. Neither were surprised to see that they'd doused their faces in cold water after that little tryst.


Their apartment was little. It had just enough space for the two of them. They'd both scraped enough over the last three months to afford everything they needed. Tenzin and Pema helped, of course, and Korra's parents did what little they could from the South Pole. But it was the last thing on Mako and Korra's mind today.

Exactly one year ago, they'd confessed their love to one another in the South Pole.

Curled up against each other by the crackling fire, they simply couldn't be happier. With his warm hands moving up and down her arms in a soothing, protective manner, Korra was as content as she would've hoped to be.

"This is nice," she whispered so only he could hear.

He kissed her temple gently as he felt her hands over his.

"It really is. I'm so glad you're staying here with me! It's been amazing! Which reminds me... how did you get your parents to agree to this?" he asked her.

"Well, I told them that it was what I wanted... And that I was sure," she replied.

"Sure about what?" he asked her.

"About you," she stated without hesitation.

Mako didn't know what to say to that. She was the most powerful bender in the world... The one person who'd been handed the responsibility of protecting their world. And he'd somehow managed to win her heart. He felt more humbled than ever.

"Me, too," he confirmed. "If there's anything I'm sure of, it's that I don't want to live my life without you. I love you, Korra, and I wouldn't trade what we have for anything," he declared.

She kissed him then. Slowly at first, but that didn't last long. Soon, their kisses turned heated and Mako seemed to realize it, too. So he slowly pulled away to look at her, trying to read her expression. He gulped at the look she was giving him. And if the smirk on her face was any indication, they wouldn't be stopping tonight.

"Mako," she whispered, her tone sultry, "I think we can let the house burn down tonight."

When they kissed again, their worries and restraint faded away. All that could be heard was the low roar of the fire.

Hold On by Mighty Makorran23 (click to show/hide)"Hey Mako?"

The firebender paused mid-stride and turned to face Korra, ignoring passersby that shuffled around him in search of goods at the market.

"I'll be back in a minute, I need to go grab some dumplings for Pema. She apparently still craves them even though she's not pregnant anymore." Korra said with an amused laugh as she dragged him through the bustling marketplace.

Mako laughed. "It's no problem, Korra. If I had a yuan for every time I had to drop what I was doing every time Bolin wanted some dumplings, I'd be rich enough to buy the Probending Arena," he joked.

She laughed as well and kissed his cheek, disappearing into the bustle. Mako chose to simply wander, poking around the stalls and examining trinkets from the other nations when he heard a voice that made his blood run cold.

"Hey Chen, is my order ready yet? I've been here for forty-five minutes!" The voice was rough and gravelly much like it's owner, a Firebender with amber eyes.

The last time Mako had seen those eyes they had glanced briefly at him after his parents had been cut down in front of him. Mako, crept closer, listening as the conversation carried on.

"Yeah, yeah, Zhou. I hear ya! Here: two cups of noodles and a side of fire nation spice. Anything to get you out of my hair!" the stall owner laughed handing over the products.

Zhou took his food, paid the man and disappeared into the throng, all the while unaware that another set of amber eyes stared after him alight with hatred. Unconciously, Mako's hands clenched and alighted. He was so caught up in his thoughts he didn't notice the Water Tribe Avatar come up next to him.

"I found this toy for Rohan, you think he'd...?" She stopped when she saw the look on Mako's face. "Mako, you OK?"

She laid a hand on his shoulder and he jumped at her touch

"What?" He whirled around, his fist still alight, and Korra backed away slightly. "Oh, yeah, I'm fine." He extinguished the fire and made his way out of the crowd without a word.

"Hey, wait up!" She called out trying to catch up, as he made his way with all speed back to the ferry.

She caught up to him, firmly clamped her hand on his shoulder, turned him around, and began to rant.

"What's your deal, City Boy? Salesmen frighten you off?" She joked, but the smile died when she saw his scowl.

"I said I was fine! Would you drop it?" He snapped, not caring that she would only push till she found out and push she did.

"Hey, what's your deal? When I left you were fine and now you..."

"I saw him," he said, the venom in his words not even remotely disguised.

"Who?" She asked, bewildered.

His fists tightened on the railing as the ferry set off for Air Temple Island. An annoyed sigh escaped his lips.

"I saw the man who murdered my parents." He stated, eyes locked on his hands.

Korra's eyes widened and she let out a gasp, she laid a hand on his shoulder.

"Mako..." she began in a sympathetic tone, but he brushed her hand off.

"Don't," he snapped.

She looked shocked, but respected his wishes. The rest of the ferry ride was spent in uncomfortable silence. Suddenly, dinner with Tenzin's family didn't seem appealing. Still, they docked at Air Temple Island and she made to disembark. Mako made no move to follow her, his amber eyes still staring at the railing.

"Aren't you coming?" Korra asked, blue eyes alight with worry.

"No," was all he said.

"Then where are you going?" she asked, agitated.

"Back into the city."

"To do what?" She pressed, now deeply concerned at the look in his eyes. His hands tightened on the railing of the ferry and she was alarmed to see steam rising from where they were placed.

"I'm going to find him, and I'm going to confront him. I want him to pay for what he's done."

The ferry turned around and chugged slowly back to Republic City, leaving one very shocked Avatar standing on the Island's dock. Dropping the groceries she whirled around and bolted into the house, barreling past Pema in the process.

"Korra how was- Korra?" She paid the woman no mind and kept running.

"Tenzin!" she called out. "Tenzin!"

Her Airbending Master rushed out of his study hearing the distressed voice. She skidded to a halt in front of him, panting and gasping for breath.

"I... I don't... I'm..." she gasped, not noticing that Pema had sidled up to her.

Both adults were deeply alarmed. Tenzin grasped her shoulder.

"Korra, calm down. What's happened?" he asked. It was then he noticed she was alone "Where's Mako?"

Korra fell to her knees still gasping for breath. Tenzin and Pema knelt beside her.

"H-he's back in the city, Tenzin. He said he saw the man who murdered his parents! When I tried to talk to him about it he brushed me off! I've never seen him like this." She stopped, almost afraid to continue. "He said he was going to confront him... that he wanted him to pay for what he's done. Tenzin I'm scared! I'm terrified of what he might do!"

Only once had Korra's voice ever been so,broken: the night she had been cornered by Amon on Avatar Aang Memorial Island. Once again Tenzin offered comfort.

"Korra, I don't know what comfort this will bring, but... my mother was once in a situation very similar to this one."

Korra looked up, surprised. "Really?" She had never been told this story, so she listened as Tenzin began.

"Yes. Before Zuko was Fire Lord, he joined with my father and his friends and helped them end the war. But Mother had a difficult time trusting him after the events in the catacombs of Ba Sing Se."

Korra nodded, having been told of the fall of Avatar Aang once by Katara.

"So to earn my mother's trust he helped her track my grandmother's killer in the Fire Nation. My mother was also blinded by hate for him and had planned on ending him once she found him. My father tried to get her to see that vengeance would get her nowhere. He advised her to confront him but not to kill him. And in the end she did confront him, but she did the right thing and let him live."

Korra's eyes widened in shock as Tenzin finished his tale. "Mako needs to do this Korra. He needs to face his demons." The airbender explained.

She nodded, but the worry was still eating away at her.

"I understand that, Tenzin, but what if he...?" She couldn't bear to finish the sentence.

"Do you trust him, Korra?" Tenzin asked.

"Completely," she answered.

"Then trust that he'll do the right thin and everything will be all right," he assured her.

He and Pema left the Avatar to her thoughts. Korra paced around in the room she'd once occupied while training with Tenzin. She looked out to the city, hoping Mako was alright.

"Please, Mako" she whispered. "Do the right thing."


Mako made his way back to the marketplace and found the food vendor that he had seen talking to the killer earlier. He pushed his way past the customers and confronted him.

"The man who was here earlier, the one who bought the noodles and spices: where does he live?" Mako demanded, not caring how rude he sounded.

It wasn't much to go on, but given that all he knew was that the man's name was Zhou, he worked with what information he had.

The vendor looked bewildered. "Zhou?"

Mako nodded curtly.

"Just go down the street and make a left. First house you see."

Mako stalked off without another word leaving a very confused vendor with some angry customers.

The vendor sighed. "Next in line!"


Mako made his way up the street ,all the while images flashing through his mind: the night his parents died, the hardened face of the man who killed them... What he would do when he finally had him cornered?

He could picture it clearly.

"Walk in, burn him, leave. Simple," he kept telling himself.

He smirked coldly as he approached. The house the murderer called home was the idyllic house for a family man. A nice sized yard and even a little fence separating him from his neighbors.

"So he lived the good life while my brother and I ended up on the streets," he snarled more to himself than anyone else.

Involuntarily his mind shifted to Bolin who was out painting the town red with Asami. He thought about what his little brother might say to him if he knew what he was about to do. With a sigh, he repressed those thoughts in favor of the task at hand.

He strode up to the door and knocked, and after several seconds of waiting the door opened to reveal a woman, dressed in a blue housecoat.  Mako could tell by her complexion that she hailed from the Water Tribe. Once again involuntarily his mind wandered, this time to another Water Tribe woman who was probably worried sick about him. Again he shoved those thoughts aside. This needed to be dealt with first.

"Yes?" said the woman. "Can I help you?"

Mako forced himself to smile.

"Yes. Does a man going by the name Zhou live here?" He asked as politely as he could. The woman looked confused.

"Yes, he's my husband," she answered warily.

Mako bristled.

"So, he's married too. That doesn't change anything," he thought bitterly, slightly surprised at how indifferent he was towards this man.

"May I ask how you know him?" She asked.

"Oh, I'm... an old friend," he replied.

She seemed satisfied and called out, "Zhou, you have a friend at the door."

She went back into the house. Soon he heard footsteps and then Mako was once again face to face with the man who stole his childhood.

"Can I help...?" Zhou's eyes became as big as saucers and the color drained from his face, "Good Spirits..."

"So you do remember me, even after all this time?" Mako said stalking into the house. The hatred in his voice was now plain as day.

"Kimiko," Zhou called and the woman reappeared, "P-pour us some tea, please and take Lian outside to play for a while. This young man and I need to talk."

Mako froze "Lian?"

Kimiko poured them both a cup and ushered them into the dining room to sit. Mako was soon entranced by a little eight year old girl playing with a doll in the living room. She had her mother's complexion but the eyes belonged to her father, and she looked awestruck at Mako.

"Come along, Lian. Let's play outside while these two catch up," Kimiko said as she took the little girl's hand and led her out.

She gave her husband a look that clearly said "We'll discuss this later," and he simply nodded in affirmation. The tension in the room was palpable and Mako's earlier motivations were completely ground to a halt by what he had just witnessed.

"You know," Zhou said, sipping at his tea, "I've been dreading this day for years now."

Mako's face was expressionless. "So you know why I'm here?"

Zhou nodded. "I have a hunch... and frankly, kid, I don't blame you one bit. I've been carrying around the guilt of what I did for years," he admitted.

Mako didn't believe him but nevertheless let him carry on.

"The day after I... did what I did, I got busted for stealing food from a grocery store. And well... it didn't take them very long to figure out that I was also the guy who murdered two innocent people. But you have to understand that I did what I did out of desperation for money. I've had a good long time to think about what I've done, kid."

Mako's face remained stoic but his fist clinched as Zhou continued.

"I get out after about six years, but Spirits know nobody'll hire me to do anything. So I'm sitting at this diner one night, having spent my last yuan on some soup... and this girl in the diner sits down next to me and starts talking to me! Who knows what she saw in me? I sure as heck don't but, she helped me find a job, a place to live, and before you know it we're married, and I'm holding my little girl in my arms. And as I'm putting her in her crib one night, it hits me. I mean it really hits me; I killed two people... with a childwatching. If my child ever had to witness that..."He shuddered, as if Lian was right there, watching him die...

Then, he looked at Mako, and said, "For whatever it's worth I am so, so sorry for everything I've done to you. You and your brother. I know you'll probably never forgive me, but... I want you to know that I'm not who I was anymore."

He smiled. "It's amazing what the love of a good woman will do for ya. Listen, kid: you find someone great, and you hold onto her. Don't let go for anything. 'Cause if you do, you'll regret it."

He paused, and let Mako take it all in. What he didn't know was that the young firebender was finally taking a step back to think about what Korra would've said to him at a time like this. She may be brash, but he knew for sure that she'd never condone something like this.

"Well I've said what I had to say, so... you do what you have to do," Zhou finally said.

He waited as Mako willed himself to hold the tears in, and his voice was thick with emotion as he spoke.

"You're right about one thing: I don't think I can forgive you... yet."

Zhou nodded at this, and Mako continued, "But I'm not going to do what I originally came here to do. Your daughter doesn't deserve that. She deserves to have her father there to watch her grow up."

Zhou nodded gratefully and without another word, Mako stood up and left the house. And as he walked down the street, suddenly he knew where he needed to be.


Korra was a nervous wreck as she paced to and fro in her room. It'd been hours since Mako had made his way back to the city. Her mind was jumping to the worst possible conclusions as she heard a knock and a voice.


The door was thrown open in an instant and before ashe could say anything, he threw his arms around her and crushed her desperately against him in a hug.

She felt his tears dampen her shoulder as he whispered in a broken voice, "I wanted to do it. I really did, but... I just couldn't! He had a wife... a family! I just couldn't do it! I didn't want another family to go through that."

He broke down and just cried while she held him and whispered, "Shhh. Mako, its okay; it's all going to be okay. You did the right thing."

Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard Zhou's voice.

"You find someone great, and you hold onto her."

And hold her he did.

Lessons by Cassidy Alice (click to show/hide)Mako awoke to the sound of someone banging on his door.  Turning over in his bed, the firebender groaned.

“Go away, Bo.”

To his surprise, it was Korra, not Bolin that answered back.

“You’re late for work,” she said, from the other side of the door. “Bei Fong wasn’t happy when I spoke to her.”

“I called in sick,” he mumbled. “Saikhan said he’d tell her.”

“Well, clearly he didn’t.”

Mako just nodded, forgetting that Korra couldn’t see from the other side of the closed door.

“Thanks for the reminder, all the same. I think I’ll just sleep it off,” Mako said, sneezing and nearly setting his bed on fire.

Korra winced slightly at the sound of Mako frantically beating a few hot embers off his sheets.

“I could make you some herbal tea,” Korra offered.

She’d never made tea before, but she’d seen Katara and Senna do it often enough when she was little and she’d spent some time helping Pema in the kitchen, so she figured it couldn’t be that hard. She didn’t even wait for the firebender’s confirmation before heading to the kitchen to collect the necessary ingredients.

The kitchen was well stocked compared to the last time Korra had been in the brothers’ apartment, and she found everything she needed (or thought she needed) rather quickly. She assumed making the tea would be fairly easy but, staring at the ingredients, she realized she hadn’t the slightest idea how to go about making tea. Did one soak the tea leaves in water first and then heat it or boil the water and then add the tea leaves? And how much water and how many tea leaves did one use?

“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,” Korra muttered to herself, mixing the ingredients together.

She wondered if it was too late to call someone for help, but Bolin was practicing at the Arena and Asami was probably too busy managing the new Future Industries to help her with something as simple as making tea. Korra herself had Avatar duties to attend to, but she was determined to make tea for Mako before she left.

“Maybe I can ask one of my past lives,” she muttered, stirring the mixture of tea leaves and water. She wondered if that was even ethical. Could an Avatar contact a previous Avatar to ask for help with something as trivial as tea? Korra was seriously contemplating it, but the beverage she’d made smelled like tea, so the Avatar didn’t bother. Pouring it into a cup and heating it with a little firebending, she entered Mako’s room and handed it to him.

“I made you some tea.”

The firebender gratefully accepted the cup from the young Avatar and took a sip. He nearly gagged as the warm liquid went down and struggled to swallow it.

“Ugh. Korra, this isn’t tea.”

“Hey, I’ve never made tea in my life. Give me some credit it’s still liquid,” she said.

“You’re supposed to soak the tea leaves in hot water and then add some milk and sugar.”


“How’d you make it?” Mako wondered.

Korra gave a nervous laugh and snatched the cup back from him. “You don’t want to know …”

Mako groaned, feeling sicker than before.

“I’ll make it up to you by making lunch,” Korra promised.

Mako just fell back against the pillows and closed his eyes. It was only after Korra left the room that he realized what she’d said and he jumped out of bed and rushed out of his room to rescue his kitchen from the clutches of the Avatar.

“Really, Korra, you don’t have to do that,” he said, trying to dissuade her from making lunch.

Honestly, he wasn’t sure if he could stomach her food if it was anything like her tea.

“I don’t mind,” she said. “Besides, it beats doing the work I have.”

“Do you even know how to cook?” Mako wondered.

“A little,” Korra replied. “I used to help my mom sometimes and I’ve watched her cook before. And Katara used to let me help her too.”

Mako didn’t know if he should be worried or comforted by that thought, but resigned himself to it; he hadn’t the strength to convince Korra not to bother with his meals. If she wanted to help, she’d help whether he liked it or not. Muttering his thanks, he trudged back to his room, leaving the waterbender all alone in the kitchen.  Korra spent a minute just standing there before setting herself to work.

She quickly realized that Mako and Bolin didn’t have much she knew how to cook. There were some noodles, but Korra herself had never actually made noodles before. The kitchen was stocked with other things, but Korra realized she hadn’t the faintest idea how to cook half the things there. Still, she grabbed a frying pan and set it on the stove and rummaged about for some noodles. It couldn’t be that hard, could it?

In his room, Mako was on the brink of falling asleep and nearly succeeded when he heard the clanging of pots and pans echoing from the kitchen. Privately, he wondered if the kitchen would be intact when Korra was through with it. He had half a mind to go check on her (more for the safety of the kitchen than for Korra herself, truthfully) when the noise died down. He could faintly hear the sound of something sizzling in a pan and could hear Korra’s inaudible mutterings.

Yawning, the firebender settled back against the downy pillows on his bed and wondered what she was up to when the Avatar herself waltzed in with a plate of something that looked about as far from noodles as a dish could be. Korra looked proud of the dish, but Mako’s stomach did a flip. Honestly, the dish looked highly unappetizing, but Mako wasn’t about to tell Korra that, especially not after she stood there grinning like a little girl who’d gotten praise for doing something right. So, reluctantly, he took the plate from her and scooped up some noodles with his chopsticks and chewed.

“This is delicious,” he choked, struggling to swallow the food. Korra just smiled and exited the room. Mako took the opportunity to spit out the remaining food in his mouth and rinse it with water. When Korra returned she was holding another cup and Mako cringed.

“That’s not tea, is it?” He asked.

“Nope. It’s an old Water Tribe remedy. This should knock the sickness right out of you,” the waterbender said, handing him the tonic.

Mako hurriedly downed it, feeling worse than before. The tonic had knocked something out of him, but he wasn’t quite sure what. It was bitter and made him want to gag.

“How do you guys drink this stuff?” He coughed.

Korra shrugged. “You get used to it. Aren’t you going to finish your noodles?”

“Not hungry,” the firebender mumbled, pulling a blanket over his head.

Korra sighed and took that as her cue to leave. Grabbing the plate of food which Mako had hardly touched, she left his room and made for the kitchen, depositing the food in the waste basket.

“Maybe I’m not meant to be a cook,” she muttered to herself, leaning against the kitchen counter.

Her eyes wandered over the mess in the kitchen and with a frown, she tackled the massive pile of dish awaiting her and the daunting task of cleaning the kitchen from the mess she’d made.

Several hours later, when Mako wandered out of his room after a nap, he was surprised to see the kitchen empty and sparkling clean. Korra was nowhere in sight but a plate of food had been left on the counter. Judging by the steam rising from the plate, it was safe to say the meal had been freshly prepared. Mako’s stomach rumbled and the firebender eyed the plate suspiciously. Korra was skilled in a lot of things, but cooking didn’t seem to be one of them; if she had prepared the meal, Mako wasn’t so sure he could stomach it.

Surprisingly, though, the dish smelled appetizing and the firebender found it was rather delicious. He managed to eat the whole thing and was just finishing the remnants of his meal when Korra returned to the apartment.

“Feeling better?” She wondered, taking a seat across from him.

Mako shrugged. “A little, I guess. The food helped. Thanks.”


“I’ve got to hand it to you, Korra; you really know how to cook. This is so much better than that awful plate of noodles you gave me earlier.”


“I couldn’t eat that without gagging, but this…”


“This is so much better. You’ve got to give me the recipe once I get better.”

“Mako,” the Avatar called, trying to get a word in edgewise. But the firebender seemed unable to hear her over his ramblings.

“…liked dumplings and this would go so well with that and…”


The firebender jumped slightly and blinked. “Yeah?”

“I didn’t make that,” Korra laughed. “I picked it up from a restaurant since my cooking was so horrible.”

“Oh,” the firebender said, weakly. “I didn’t mean…I’m sorry I insulted your cooking. It’s just…”

“No, I get it,” Korra said, smiling a bit. “It was awful. Truth is, I’ve never cooked; the closest I’ve ever come to cooking is just watching someone prepare a dish, so I figured it couldn’t be that hard. Turns out I was wrong.”

Mako coughed a bit and gave the Avatar a smile. “Korra, you’re a brilliant Avatar and a great fighter, but maybe you should stay away from cooking.”

For a moment, it seemed like Korra would retaliate, but she laughed and grinned.

“Duly noted. I’ll do my best not to abuse your pots and pans…for now.”

“Should I be worried?” Mako asked, after another round of coughing and sniffling.

“Not for long,” Korra said. “I’ve mastered the elements; I’ll master cooking too. It shouldn’t be so hard, should it?”

Mako didn’t have an answer to that until months later, after the small kitchen in his apartment caught fire for the seventh time.

Challenges, Challenges... by divsalley & Mighty Makorran23 (click to show/hide)At first it'd seemed like a fun idea. A party to celebrate her victory over Amon and the fact she had finally restored the bending of all of Republic City's law abiding citizens felt like just the thing she needed to relax and finally be happy for once.

Things started well enough... Although she dreaded wearing anything other than her usual Water Tribe garb, it had been designed more for convenience than occasions like these. Grumbling incoherently about the discomfort 'those long drapes' brought, she wore the beautiful, periwinkle dress her mother had sent her back with two months ago. She didn't find it comfortable, but the look on Mako's face when he spotted her was enough to convince her that the discomfort would be worth it. Especially if the glint in his eyes was any indication at all. Winking at him, she walked with Tenzin, greeting those who'd come to congratulate her.

She didn't want to care about that at the moment, though. She was looking at a very handsome firebender who looked exceptionally snazzy in that suit.

"You'll have time to relax in a little bit, I assure you," Tenzin said with a smile as he gently gripped her shoulder. "But there's just a few more people who're waiting to see you."

She tried not to groan, but Tenzin understood and chuckled as he introduced her to a few people who had announced their candidature in the upcoming election for the office of the very first President of the United Republic. It had been decided that the current Council members had run their course. Korra agreed, but didn’t want Tenzin to be sidelined, either.

"Don’t worry… I can’t stay on the Council forever. For now, just get to know them and give me your opinion," Tenzin said.

She was glad that Tenzin was by her side. For a moment she was eerily reminded of a similar party almost a year ago. She took deep, calming breaths to tell herself that she wasn't going to let anything ruin this evening for her.

But as was expected, the reporters of Republic City hardly felt the need for such an extravagant affair to be held in her honor.

She was just about to go find Mako when she spotted a horde of reporters waiting for her.

"Avatar Korra! Mind if we ask you a few questions?" one of the reporters who'd come forward asked her.

Korra sighed. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Mako's smile fade slightly... Tenzin was giving her his best 'It'll be alright' look.

"Alright then," she said, steeling herself.

"What do you have to say about the riots in the City Prison, Avatar Korra? Word on the street is they want you to restore them as well!"

"I... know what it's like to feel you're only half of yourself... or what you used to be... But based on what they chose to do with those skills, I'd rather not... give them the means to take over the City again," Korra replied, knowing she was on thin ice.

"Are you saying that the people you have already restored won't do anything vengeful after what they've been through?" another reporter asked.

"I... I'm not... implying that..."

"What about Tahno, Avatar Korra? He was proven to be a cheat and a bullying jock. How come he was deemed worthy?" a wiry young reporter snapped.

"I asked him the same question when he was in line to get his bending restored. He has not gone back on his word since," Korra stated.

"Then why can't the same be done for these prisoners, too? Don't they deserve a chance?"

"Well, no one deserves to lose... but... what they were doing... threatening innocent people with their bending..."

"Wouldn't Avatar Aang have shown them compassion?" the tallest of the group asked.

Korra stiffened. There it was again. Living in Aang's shadow was never easy.

"You're a tough act to follow, Aang, I'll give you that," she thought bitterly.

"Aang would've done what was best for Republic City. And I'm trying to do the same. As of right now, I'm not ready to consider giving criminals who earned their living by threatening and intimidating people their bending back. The city needs to be stabilized first. No more questions, please," she declared and headed for the balcony. She needed some air.

Would she ever be free from living in her predecessor's shadow? Everyone around her seemed to worship the ground he walked on... as if he'd been the perfect Avatar... the very embodiment of what an Avatar should be. Did he ever feel that way about Roku? Did people around him always question his decisions based on whether Roku would've done the same thing? No. Because lucky for him, anyone who'd known Roku was dead by the time Aang ever began traveling the world thanks to his hunderd year absence.

She hated herself for feeling this bitter. She hated the fact that she was letting those idiots get to her. She sincerely wished sometimes that she wasn't the Avatar.

This was one of those times.

"Have you seen Korra?" she heard her boyfriend ask.

She was about to go to him when she heard one of them respond.

"Tell me, Mako… How does a star pro-bender like you end up with such a tomboy for a girlfriend?"

Mako chose not to reply, which made her wince for some inexplicable reason.

"Spill the beans, Mako! You can’t keep it a secret forever!"

"I just need to find my girlfriend. If you’ve seen her, now would be a pretty good time to mention it," he said calmly.

"Come on, Mako! Don't be a stiff like her! Enjoy the party!" she heard a woman say. It made her grip the railing harder.

"Then I'm stiffer than anyone else in this party. Excuse me," she heard him snap. She couldn't help but laugh at his pun.

He watched as she stood there in silence. He could tell she was battling her own subconscious at this point... her own voice telling her that she was doing the right thing, but a thousand others telling her that she wasn't doing enough.

He sighed as he waked over to her and wrapped his arms around her. She leaned back against him for some comfort, so he kissed her temple and waited until she was ready to talk.

"I-I can't do this Mako," her voice trembled as she spoke, "I'm not Avatar Aang. They just keep comparing me to him and I'm just not him!"

He just held her tighter.

"No, you aren't... You're you. And you are going to do great. Just ignore the paparazzi Korra. You'll prove them wrong, believe me," he assured her.

"But... what if they're right? What if I'm really not doing enough, and..."

"Korra, come on... You've worked harder than anyone to bring back peace to the City. It's just their job to make you feel that way. Don't let them get to you," he said.

She smiled slightly, but the few voices she'd heard just before he joined her wiped it off her face. Her next thought came out of nowhere. It was so unlike her that she hated to admit it.

"Mako..." she sounded bashful if it were even possible, "Am I... attractive?  It's just... I know I'm not the most... feminine girl and... most people think of me kind of as 'one of the guys'... and next to Asami I'm... I don't know... plain, I guess?" she finished timidly.

He was dumbfounded for several seconds.

"Korra, stop. First off, have you SEEN you? You're beautiful!"

"Sure maybe I'm good looking, but next to Asami-"

"Don't even go there!" he admonished. "You do remember we broke up, right?"

"Yeah because I made things awkward and you decided to-"

"I did NOT settle for second best. See... I know you. And can I tell you something? If she and I had stayed together, we would've eventually drifted apart and you and I would still end up together."

"Mako you're just-"

"No, I'm not. Asami was the safe choice... She could've helped provide for me and Bo. But I need a challenge." he stepped closer leaving no space between them "You, Avatar Korra, are a stubborn, crazy, powerful, beautiful challenge."

She smiled a soft, genuine smile.

"You sure know how to sweet-talk a girl City Boy," she laughed then whispered, "Thank you, Mako." and kissed him softly.

"Maybe not all girls... but definitely you," he chuckled.

"Ahem!" Bolin cleared his throat awkwardly and the two jumped apart.

"Hey guys... totally not looking but um... Tenzin wanted me to remind you there's a party going on in there you might want to get back to, again not looking."

They sighed, knowing Bolin was right. She winked at him in assurance that they'd definitely continue this later.

"So what brought this on?" he asked as they walked slowly back in to the party.

"It's... stupid." he waited for her response "I uh... heard some other girls in the party talking, um... I heard some of them called me a tomboy, and you were ashamed to be seen with me. I don't know why it bothered me so much I just... don't want to mess this up."

Instead of responding with words he threw his arm around her and pulled her close so her head was resting on his shoulder. So when they reentered the party everyone knew...

"This is my girl."

Let Go Your Burden by Mighty Makorran23 (click to show/hide)Bolin gave his brother a long once-over.

“Mako… are you ok?”

“Mmhmm…” was all he said.

“I don’t buy it. You aren’t sleeping… you almost had me breaking the door down with your screaming last night. If you won’t talk to me, maybe this is something you should be talking to Korra about.”

Mako’s head jerked up at that.

“No! No way! She does NOT need to know about this!” he asserted. Bolin looked incredulous.

“Right… I may not know much about serious relationships but this seems like something she’d want to know about… unless there’s something else you’re keeping from her… or me,” Bolin said slyly.

“It’s not your concern or hers! Just drop it Bo!” Mako snapped.

“OK, fine… I will, but she won’t,” Bolin smirked.

“She won’t find out ‘cause I won’t tell her! Look, I’m gonna be late… I’ve gotta go.” He stood and hastily left.

As soon as he was sure Mako was gone, Bolin picked up the phone.

“Sorry, Mako… this is for your own good,” Bolin sighed.

When he stepped off the ferry he was met with a sight that made him wince. Korra was standing there striking quite an intimidating pose that would have even the most thick skinned criminals confess their crimes. He gulped.

“Korra… What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing’s wrong with me… but I had a very interesting discussion with your brother earlier today,” she said in a tone that clearly conveyed she was mad at him.

His eyes widened briefly but he quickly assumed a neutral expression

“You did?”


“Oooh! Mako’s in trouble!” Ikki said from inside before Pema hastily closed the door.

“Why aren’t you sleeping?” she asked.

“Who says I’m not sleeping?” Mako shrugged.

“Well if the physical signs aren’t obvious enough, your brother told me,” Korra deadpanned.

“Well bear in mind you’re getting your info from a guy who swears that members of the Triads used to steal his stash of toast,” Mako chuckled, but groaned inwardly at his poor attempt at lightening the mood. Not even a smile from the girl in front of him.

“So you’re just gonna ignore this and shut me out?” she asked “Just like with Zh-“

“This isn’t like that!” he snapped. “They’re just dreams it’s no big deal!”

“Obviously it is, because your brother is worried, and now I’m worried because you just keep holding it all in!” she retorted.

“It’s not your problem!” he fired back at her.

“Um… I know I’m new at the dating thing but the way I understand things, your problems ARE my problems stupid!”

Though she wanted to continue pushing she could clearly see she wasn’t going to get anything out of him, so with a kiss on the cheek and a squeeze on the arm she left him alone with his thoughts.

“You know,” came the voice of her Airbending master, “it’s almost strange how similar you two are… You keep things from her like she tried to keep things from me. But talking things out can only help.”

“What did she keep from you?”

“Well, not long after the two of you first encountered Amon…” Tenzin began.

Mako listened wide-eyed as Tenzin told him about what transpired on Avatar Aang Memorial Island. And as he recalled the night at the Gala, and his (rightfully founded) distrust for Tarrlok, the full weight of his failures crashed down around him.

As he hastily boarded the ferry and it slowly chugged away, he vomited into the ocean. She had gone to face Amon, alone and where had he been? Yet another failure for him.

He was in the Arena, being twisted by Amon’s Bloodbending, unable to get to her but just able to lift his head to witness the image that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Korra slumped to the ground, powerless.

“I told you I would destroy you.” he said.

“NO!” he jerked up and shot a burst of flame at the wall.

The unmistakable pounding of his brother’s footsteps followed soon after. This time, however, he did break down the door. Mako did his best to look annoyed and regain control of his breathing.

“You know I have to pay for that now,” he groused.

“Are… you… KIDDING ME! You scream like that and expect me to care about the DOOR!? And don’t try and say don’t worry about it cause I do! Did you talk to Korra?”

“Yeah, thanks for that,” Mako snapped..

“Well we all knew you weren’t going to!” Bolin argued.

“Because it’s-“

“Not our problem?” Bolin heaved an exasperated sigh. “Mako, I’m grown up now. You don’t have to protect me anymore. I get that you don’t have to tell me this stuff, but since most of these nightmares seem to be about Korra, you might want to tell her.”

Mako knew when he was beat, and his brother had a point.

“I’ll… think about it,” he sighed.

He sat in the attic alone, Bolin had only agreed to go out for the night after Mako had sworn to talk to Korra immediately. Only after Korra herself said she was on the way to the Arena did he actually leave. And so here he was, alone with his thoughts of every single time he had failed Korra, and his family kept replaying in his head.

“Nice to see you finally wised up.” her voice snapped him out of his reverie.

“Well what can I say? It’s not easy when you realize just how many times you’ve failed the people you care about, and the woman you love,” he finally admitted.

“What are you talking about!?” she shouted, exasperated. “You haven’t failed me!”

“You want me to list all of my failures Korra?” he yelled.

“Sure! Go ahead!” she fired back.

“OK let’s start with the night I failed to save my parents!” he said as he held a finger up to keep count. She glared at him and smacked him repeatedly.

She was fuming now.

“You… you… you… Do you really think that at 8 years old you could have done ANYTHING!?” Her voice shook from the strain it took for her to contain her anger.

“I could have tried SOMETHING! I should have tried something! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!”

Her jaw dropped and her hand met his cheek again.

“Where would Bolin be without you?” she roared.

“Better off?” he shrugged.

Again she smacked him. He turned to leave, but she grabbed his scarf and yanked him back.

“SIT DOWN!” she roared. “You really think that!? I don’t think you’re seeing the bigger picture, here, stupid! If you weren’t around Bo would probably be in the Triads right now, and… I know you remember what happened in the Arena.”

“Only every day.”

“Well I guess you forgot the part where you SAVED ME, GENIUS!” she tried to remind him.

“Sure, I got you out of there, but where was I when you fought Tarrlok!? Do you know what that was like!?” Mako snapped.

“You said you were losing your mind,” she recalled.

“Well, it went further than that… I grabbed an Equalist Tenzin had knocked out. If he hadn’t told us that Tarrlok was lying, I might have… Look, when people I care about are in danger I go nuts! And after that whole mess with Tarrlok, I couldn’t… wouldn’t let it happen again but it did! And I had to WATCH! I… can’t lose you Korra,” he rattled off as he tried hard to control his shallow breathing.

She let him finish his rant in silence, despite the fact that she disagreed with him on every point, she knew he needed to get it out. Years of holding things in had finally caught up with him. Instead of responding verbally, she yanked him forward and kissed him fiercely, he responded in kind.

“You won’t lose me, Mako,” she said after the need to breathe became necessary. “I can take care of myself. And in the rare moment I can’t,” she added, “I know you will. But you can’t keep this stuff bottled up anymore! We’re a team. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world anymore. Not alone.”

He was silent for several seconds letting her words sink in. It may have been hard to accept and would probably take time, but maybe she was right.

“What did I do to deserve you?” he asked.

"You treat me like Korra. Not just the Avatar… And you’ve saved my life a few times. That helps,” she smirked.

He smiled a genuine smile for the first time in days and kissed her softly this time.

“Thank you, Korra.” he whispered.

“Anytime, Mako.” Then she punched him in the arm. “But if you EVER put me through something like this again…”

“I promise I won’t,” he laughed.

“I’ll hold you to it City Boy,” she whispered.

They spent the rest of the night in comfortable silence looking out at Yue Bay bathed in moonlight.

Bolin threw open the door

“Hey Mako I’m ba-” he stopped short at the sight of his brother, fast asleep on the couch with a peaceful smile on his face.

And that made him smile a little, too.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 02:33:19 AM by divsalley »

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline A6

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 03:28:46 AM »
Is the the series you just got started on the old forum before it closed?  If so it will be a great storyline. :)
signatures - gift from my talented friends Water Lily and Honey Badger :3

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 03:34:08 AM »
It is! And thanks! :D

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Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 03:35:51 AM »
YES, A6 it is! and like Cassie said, THANKS! XD

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
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Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline KZwaterbender

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 04:31:48 PM »
so beautifully makorra!

Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 06:26:26 PM »
Thanks, KZwaterbender! Hope you like the rest of them, too! I like your icon!!!

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 06:34:39 PM »

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Offline Mighty Makorran23

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 01:04:32 AM »
I'm sure you'll like it fine until you read one of my oneshots, you'll definitely be able to tell rookies from pro's then

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 01:09:45 AM »
Yes! Us rookies are still learning. He's a pro at this, though! ;)

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Offline Mighty Makorran23

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 01:14:35 AM »
Yes! Us rookies are still learning. He's a pro at this, though! ;)

(SIGH) THIS debate again!? We both know in this group I am the rookie

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 01:29:57 AM »
You started it! :P In all seriousness, though, don't listen to him. He's a great writer despite what he'll have you all believe. ^-^

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Offline Mighty Makorran23

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 01:52:29 AM »
You started it! :P In all seriousness, though, don't listen to him. He's a great writer despite what he'll have you all believe. ^-^

Fair enough we'll let the readers decide for themselves

Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 02:12:54 AM »
OWSIS, do you REALLY wanna risk not getting ANY art for your OCs? *points at your sig*

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Mighty Makorran23

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 02:18:56 AM »
OWSIS, do you REALLY wanna risk not getting ANY art for your OCs? *points at your sig*

WHOA WHOA WHOA, let's stop the ride for a minute, ok look my writing is good OK. Now let's just cool down here

Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 02:29:20 AM »
much better. XD

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline Mighty Makorran23

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 03:00:57 AM »
much better. XD

I won't forget nor will I forgive this act of coercion Divs. I shall reap my vengeance (and for some reason when I get mad I get Shakespearean on people XD)

Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 03:03:55 AM »
much better. XD

I won't forget nor will I forgive this act of coercion Divs. I shall reap my vengeance (and for some reason when I get mad I get Shakespearean on people XD)

You'll thank me for it someday. XD

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS

Offline pRiNcess AzuLa

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2012, 06:32:32 PM »
That was beautifuL. I Loved how the characters were portrayed. :)

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2012, 06:43:48 PM »
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Offline divsalley

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Re: Taking Chances-Makorra Oneshot Collection [T]-Updated 12/23/12
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2012, 08:54:38 PM »
Alright! The second one-shot is up! This one's written by the incredibly talented BleuMakorra! She's done a fantastic job with this piece describing how Korra is still haunted by the events that took place in Republic City. Hope you guys enjoy it!

My Keeps (click to show/hide)
LoK Keeps (click to show/hide)Korra and Naga's Friendship
Korra's Sass
Mako's Seriousness
Mako's Scarf
The Finale Makorra Hug and Twirl

ATLA Keeps (click to show/hide)Zuko's Destiny
Zuko's Finale Speech
Zuko's Honor
Zuko's Inner Fire
Zuko's Speech to Ozai in DoBS



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