I guess this sort of answers korrawr's prompt (Korra's reaction when she finds out Mako, her crush, and Asami are dating) but then it drowned in a bucketful of angst.
Because, as of yet, Mako does not give a shit about Korra's feelings for him, however aware of them he may or may not be.
Henceforth came this monstrosity.
She was, she had finally concluded after many sleepless nights, sad, afraid, scared, and lonely; not the best combination for someone whose duty was to use her power to keep balance in the world, when that someone couldn't even keep balance within herself.
The sadness stemmed from the expectations which weighed down upon her, crushing her until she had to fight to draw a breath, silently extinguishing her previous excitement and joy. The joy she'd felt upon arriving in the city, the way she felt she could handle everything, be the Avatar she was destined to be; it was all gone, now, and she was slowly coming to realize how harsh the world really is.
Greatness wasn't that easy. Not as easy as she'd thought it would be, not as easy as everyone made it out to be. They spoke about greatness as if it was an object, something one could easily stumble upon, something that came easily to those from whom it was expected. But Korra had no idea how she was supposed to accomplish the great things everyone expected from her. When she first reached Republic City, she was naïve, and now the harsh reality of the situation bearing down upon her had extinguished that naivety, like the way she would extinguish a fire in the palm of her hand.
Most of all, she was afraid, afraid like she'd never been before. Before, locked up in the compound at the South Pole, she had never even been aware that there were things in this world that she would, could fear. She had thought she was invincible, and now the irony of it all had struck her so hard she felt it was laughable.
She didn't think she'd ever feel as terrified ever again in her life as when Amon had ambushed her at Aang's memorial statue. He had had her completely at his mercy, he could have done anything to her, things far worse than taking away her bending.
Korra shuddered at the thought; the mere presence of the memory in her mind tainted her with fear, and the fear spread like poison throughout her veins. What if they'd infiltrated the island? What if she was going to be ambushed again?
Getting up, she paced restlessly around her room, then peeked out the window and sighed with relief, seeing nothing that shouldn't have been there.
"It's alright," she muttered to herself. "I'm being paranoid." She plopped back onto her bed.
The loneliness, too, was overpowering. Her face had fallen the minute she'd seen Asami, back then just a nameless, beautiful, slim, feminine girl clinging to Mako's arm. Hiroshi Sato's daughter, she had soon learned. And Mako's.. girlfriend. She winced at the word. Maybe they were just dating; maybe they'd break up soon; maybe it was nothing but a passing fancy for both of them. But as soon as the thought struck her, she knew it to be folly. The way he was smiling when he approached, the way he smiled down at her.. it was unlike any other smile she'd ever seen on his face. A smile of pure happiness.
She knew she'd reacted childishly; crossing her arms and rudely ignoring Asami's kind introduction in favor of informing Mako that no, he hadn't mentioned Asami at all. He could have warned her. He hadn't even mentioned that he got run over by Asami; she'd been worried, of course, and immediately asked him if he was okay. But he didn't care for her concern, didn't care about her painfully obvious feelings for him that had been present ever since they first met.
Bolin was everything she could ask for in a friend, but still, Korra's heart ached. It ached for what Mako and Asami had, but she didn't want that with anyone else but Mako. She told herself over and over that it was just a crush and why couldn't she have a crush on Bolin instead, Bolin who was there for her in every way, Bolin who liked her, Bolin who was so sweet and sensitive?
She couldn't help the sad expression that had made its way over her face as Mako, oblivious to her sadness, had gone on about the Pro Bending tournament. And he had looked handsome, finely dressed and fitting completely in with the crowd at the gala; he and Asami had looked.. perfect together. A young, good-looking couple, struck with the lightning bolt of what, true love? She didn't know, but try as she might, Korra wasn't happy for them.
She knew it was selfish and childish of her, but what with everything else going downhill in her life at the moment, there was nothing to make it go uphill at all, nothing to turn her around.
Her situation wasn't helped by Chief Bei Fong's immense dislike of her; Korra knew it wasn't personal, it was just that she was the Avatar. It seemed unjust and unfair, and it did nothing but contribute to the feeling that being the Avatar was a burden, something she'd never, ever seen it as before. She'd seen it as a privilege. But, when she thought about, was it really?
Maybe, she thought, if she'd been a normal girl, she would have had a chance to be pretty, well-raised, polite, and girly. All the things that seemed to entice Mako.
These things changed nothing, however, and after everything that had happened these past few days, along with Amon's terrifying ambush, she merely felt defeated. Small, little, and afraid. She'd wanted nothing more than to curl into a ball and forget about the world, as well as have the world forget about her; all these feelings she'd experienced lately, she'd never felt the likes of before.
And she had come to regret things. She regretted that she didn't listen to Tenzin, that she never took his advice. She regretted letting Tarrlok provoke her into joining his task force, once she'd realized how bad of an influence he really was, how wrong his methods were. But it did nothing to quench the constant fear that burned in the pit of her stomach, the fear that Amon would return for her, would destroy her. Because she knew he'd keep that promise, and she feared that confrontation that they both very well knew was, after all, inevitable.
Before, she'd been reckless and stupid. Korra had thought she could take on Amon, without knowing anything about him, and she thought she could win. If she was honest with herself, she knew that she was lucky, so insanely lucky, that he hadn't killed her. And she didn't understand why he didn't remove her bending; he could have, really; her martyrdom was of little to no consequence, even if she had become an Avatar unable to bend any element. Her challenge to Amon could have cost her anything and everything; only because he had decided to spare her had she escaped unscathed. And that made her fear his plan more than anything else.
Korra had no idea what to do with herself, no idea where to go from here. The days passed; how they did so, she didn't know, but they did. Slowly, she began to come back to life, healing from the psychological terror that Amon had inflicted on her. She focused on Pro Bending and her Airbending training, completely ignoring Mako's relationship with Asami, which really got to her, loath as she was to admit it. She was unable to dislike Asami, for the girl was so kind to her, despite the obvious jealousy that Korra knew surrounded her like a black cloud whenever she was in their presence.
Bolin always did his best to cheer her up, but it was only temporary, for all too soon the memories of Asami with Mako would come back to her, and she'd once again try to move on, to put a damper on her rampant feelings, feelings that were useless.
She barely spoke to Mako, not even to counter his sharp criticism when she broke a rule of Pro Bending, not to respond to his polite questions of how she was feeling, not more than to say hello.
Today was no exception.
"Hey, Korra," Mako said, arm wrapped around Asami. Korra tried hard to ignore this fact, however she knew her face always fell slightly at the sight of the two of them together.
"Hey," she said quietly, then trudged past the happy couple and into the gym, immediately heading for the corner that Bolin occupied, her back towards Mako, steadily ignoring him.
After training, she went for lunch with Bolin, then headed back to the island for Airbending training, and also because she'd begun to feel paranoid whilst in the city, afraid of being ambushed again, now that she knew how defenseless she was.
And slowly, she began to accept the fact that there was nothing to be done about it; Mako was with Asami.
If he was asked to pinpoint when, exactly, his life began spiraling forcefully out of control, he could probably name two different occasions when it started. The first time, it wasn't that bad. The second time, it was bad.
The first time was when his brother brought Avatar Korra to watch their match. Mako managed to adapt to that change, chaotic and disconcerting as it was (at least they didn't have to deal with Hasook anymore. Fucking Hasook.), even going as far as to call Korra his 'friend', though that did take a while.
But the second time, after he began dating Asami Sato and the Avatar found out, well, he was still reeling from that one.
It had started as just another date with his, well, gorgeous girlfriend (he still had no idea what he'd done to deserve someone like this; he still wasn't sure if he hadn't just been dreaming or severely hallucinating the past few weeks); a gala, this time. A gala for the Avatar. For Korra.
The difference was that he'd been steadily (though he would have said "not steadily, it just happened") avoiding Korra for a few weeks, coincidentally, ever since he'd started dating Asami. He wasn't sure why, though his subconscious told him that it was because he didn't want her to find out, not before he was ready to tell her, though he didn't want to admit why he was hiding it from her. Not that he really knew why, of course.
It wasn't hard to avoid her, seeing as their schedules were radically different, and the only thing they had in common was training, which she hadn't shown up for anyways. So, he just happened to not hang around in the gym or in the attic; places where she might have put in an appearance. It seemed she was doing the same; from what he heard from Bolin, Korra spent most of her time out at the island; apparently, she was pretty traumatized from her encounter with Amon.
Deep down, it pained Mako that he hadn't been there to help her after that; he'd been too busy courting Asami. He knew it was wrong, knew that Korra was his friend, too, and that as such he was obligated to stand by her, to help her. But he'd failed her by choosing Asami, by pouring all his effort that he'd had to spare aside from Pro Bending into his relationship with her.
And he couldn't lie; the first few weeks were like a dream. He was seeing a side of life that he'd never before experienced, one that he thought he'd never experience. Asami was used to the best, the finest of everything, and she treated him to all their dates, despite his half-hearted protests. She was caring, kind, and compassionate, not to mentioning insanely attractive. Slender, with curves in all the right places and beautiful features.
But lately, Mako had begun to feel as if something was missing in their relationship; it was, he felt.. devoid of passion. It lacked fire, the fire he thought would come with a relationship, the heat and burning and sensations he expected to feel coursing through his veins when they kissed. But when they did, it was but a flicker, a flicker that he felt had the potential to grow into something much more.. but with someone else.
He felt guilty, plagued as he was by these conflicted feelings. On one hand, he loved the life that Asami lived, loved to be a part of it, and definitely liked her. He couldn't deny the physical attraction that was there, but after these few weeks, it had.. fizzled out, and all but died. He'd been incredibly smitten by her good looks at first sight, then drawn further in by her kind personality, but it didn't feel.. right. Not anymore.
Furthermore, Mako was not oblivious to the way Korra felt about him. He knew she liked him; at first, he merely ignored it. But now that things had, at least from his point of view, changed concerning Asami, he didn't know how he felt anymore. He was simply confused, although, even though he hated to admit it, there was something that stirred within him whenever Korra smiled at him, as rare as those occasions were nowadays.
Now, he felt rotten when she'd found out about his dating Asami at the gala, felt rotten upon recalling how her face fell ever so slightly when she saw them. Back then, when it had happened, he was still floating in the clouds, completely filled with bliss. But now, things had changed.
Another week passed in this fashion; he remained confused and out-of-touch with Korra. Until, of course, he came back late one evening from a date with Asami, only to find Korra outside the arena, waiting for him.
She wasn't sure when she'd first noticed the change in him; maybe it just corresponded with her return to her old, confident self. She'd whirl around during training, only to see him hastily avert his gaze where it had been lingering on the sway of her hips as she moved or where he'd stared a second too long at her chest. At first, Korra was merely perplexed concerning his reasons for staring at her, when he had a very hot girlfriend who was right next to him most of the time, and she dismissed it as him wanting to find a reason to criticize her; perhaps her stance was off or something. But as time went on, she knew it was more than that.
She watched Mako and Asami, and she saw how he was the first one to pull away when they kissed, how Asami was the one to take his hand, the one to sling his arm over her shoulders. He never initiated anything, not anymore.
And she'd decided to confront him about it, once and for all. Full of confidence, a small smirk tugged at her lips as he approached her where she stood. It was almost nighttime now, and the weather in the city was on the verge of being cold; she's wearing her parka for the first time since she left the South Pole.
Arms crossed, she watched him closely as he stepped up to her. "What's with the late night visit, Korra?" he asked her with a raised eyebrow. She wasted no time in getting to the point, back to her old, confident self.
"Admit it," she said, hands firmly on her hips. "You like me." It was posed as a statement, not as a question, and she was rewarded with silence.
Mako looked away uncomfortably and stared out at the ocean and Air Temple Island. Suddenly, Korra was filled with desperation and longing. All the loneliness had taken its toll on her, and she acted on instinct. She closed the gap between them, eyes firmly shut, and kissed him.
Shocked, his eyes flew open when Korra's lips met his, but once he got over the initial shock, he felt the passion that his relationship with Asami so sorely had lacked flaring up, and he closed his eyes, kissing Korra back. Too soon, she pulled away, and he could see the longing coupled with sadness in her bright blue eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said suddenly. "I know you're with Asami. That wasn't fair to either of you." And just like that, she's gone. She'd dived into the bay, and was gone, having swum faster than Mako had ever seen anyone swim.
"Wait, Korra!" he called, but he knew she couldn't hear him. And he also knew he had to make everything right.
From the first day she'd met him, Asami had liked Mako. She remembered how handsome she had found him, despite his disheveled appearance after she crashed into him with her moped; she remembered how cutely he'd blushed at her, how dorky he was. It was cute; he was cute. And it went from there.
She'd never not gotten something she wanted; while some may have called her spoiled, she saw herself as privileged. Lucky, even. So she had no qualms about paying for their dates, buying Mako expensive clothes, treating him to everything she'd been treated to her whole life. Despite this, she wasn't shallow, nor was she stupid. She was still a kind, considerate person. And an observant one.
She saw the way Korra looked at Mako, her gaze filled with longing and desire. And, as of lately, she saw how Mako looked at Korra in return. And because of it, her heart broke just a little.
During their next date, three days after their last one, she confronted Mako about what had happened; she knew something had happened between him and Korra, since they'd both been acting strangely.
"So," she said, putting down her chopsticks. "What happened with Korra?" Her suspicions were confirmed with Mako's slight blush and stuttered exclamation "I-I don't know what you're talking about, Asami!" She sighed. "I know something happened," she said quietly. "Please, Mako. Be honest with me."
He ran a hand through his hair, disheveling it just the way she found most attractive. "She kissed me," he sighed. "I.. I'm sorry, Asami. I kissed her back."
Her heart sank, though this was what she'd surmised all along; that there was something going on between Korra and Mako, something unresolved. "It's over, then?" she asked, surprised at the steely note in her voice. He nodded sadly, gazed fixed firmly on the table.
"I can't undo what happened, Asami, and I'm confused right now. I think it's best if we just take a break for a while.. until things are resolved," Mako told her quietly, but they both knew that there wouldn't be a break; this was the end.
Asami flagged down a waiter and paid for their dinner. Getting up, she bent down and kissed him on the cheek. "Goodbye, Mako," she told him, and as she left, the tears slipping down her face, she felt her heart break, but knew that she was letting him go because she loved him. Because she didn't want him to suffer; because she wanted him to be happy, even if it wasn't with her.
He waited a week before he'd finally managed to muster up enough courage to visit Korra at Air Temple Island. It amused him slightly that the last time he'd been there, it was because he couldn't find Bolin; that had been so long ago, or at least it seemed so. Not that he knew where Bolin was now, either.
He hurried off the boat and headed towards the main building on the island, slightly wary of the upcoming confrontation with Korra; she had been avoiding him more diligently than ever after she'd kissed him, and he knew why. Because she still liked him. And now, Mako was finally ready to tell her that yes, he liked her too.
It had taken him a week to fully understand what he felt for her, but now, he knew that he liked her. It wasn't as if he'd always liked her – hell, she'd been annoying when they'd first met, at least in his opinion – but somehow, when he thought back to how she'd helped him find Bolin, how she had, in a way, taken care of him, he thought it felt right. Being with her. Not that he'd seen much of her for the past month, seeing as their relationship was pretty much non-existent at the moment.
But now, Mako knew what he wanted. He was sure of it. The only hard part was getting it.
"Korra! Come on! We're driving to the city! Let's go!"
She couldn't suppress the laugh that escaped her lips at the sight of Ikki, this time with Jinora in the front seat, pretending to drive the Satomobile given to her by Tarrlok. It still sat outside; all she'd done with it was to remove the ribbons that had adorned it, then she'd just left it there. She had no use for a Satomobile; after all, she had Naga, and she couldn't drive, anyway. And the thing looked atrocious; what was with that color?
Her Airbending training was pretty much postponed; Tenzin had been there to witness firsthand the results of Amon's ambush. He'd been the one to hold her as she cried, as she finally managed to confess her fears. He'd been by her side the whole time, not just as a mentor, but as a father figure to her; supporting her and dealing with her impatience and recklessness. She'd promised herself to work harder on her Airbending training; he had never deserved that attitude she'd displayed towards Airbending when she first moved in, but as a result of the 'duel' with Amon (and the subsequent reaction of the press and her subsequent breakdown), there was no time for Airbending.
Everyone had agreed that fighting the Revolution, though not with methods like Tarrlok's, was the important thing.
There was nothing much for her to do except stay out of sight; she didn't want to draw any unwanted attention, not after the result of the gala (which led to her joining the task force, which led to her challenging Amon due to the success of the raid).
She tuned out the various car-like noises (Ikki) and quiet comments on various things (Jinora), choosing to bask in the midday sun. Today, she was happy; for once, she wasn't worried, not about anything. She wasn't even worried about the fact that she'd kissed Mako (after all, he had kissed her back); she decided to deal with that when the time came.
Which happened to be today.
"Ooh! Korra, that cuuute Firebender is here to see you! Is he your boyfriend? Are you dating? Are you going to kiss him? Does this mean he liiiikes you the way you like him?" She was jolted out of her reverie by Ikki's loud, eager voice, and opened her eyes to see Mako striding towards her, looking nervous.
Great. He was probably going to yell at her for kissing him when he had a girlfriend. Korra got to her feet, hands planted firmly on her feet. She wasn't going to make excuses for her feelings, not anymore. He just had to deal with it, whether he wanted to or not.
She looked mad.
Suddenly feeling a slight fluttering in the pit of his stomach, Mako sucked in a deep breath, trying to ignore the not-so-discreet whispers from the young girls in the Satomobile. Great. He didn't need witnesses, not when he was surely going to make a fool of himself.
"Uh, hey Korra, can I talk to you? Alone?" he asked, pointedly looking at her. She nodded, the defiant glare not leaving her face. She turned to the pair of kids in the Satomobile (since when did Korra have a Satomobile? Did she even know how to drive?).
"Scram," she said. "Or the Satomobile disappears. Forever."
"Awwww!" Pouting, the smaller girl got out of the driver's seat, the other one following her. They headed back towards the house, still whispering loudly, with occasional giggles and looks directed towards Mako and Korra.
He sighed, steeling himself.
"Me and Asami broke up." Mako figured it was best to get to the point, without skirting around the issue at hand. "A week ago." He hoped he wasn't imagining the flicker of hope that appeared in her eyes.
"Why are you telling me this?" she asked cautiously, sounding apprehensive.
"Because.. because I.. I.." unable to express what he wanted in words, he decided to show her. Praying she wouldn't hit him, he covered the distance between them in a swift step, then leaned forward and kissed her, gently cupping her face in his hands. She made some sort of shocked noise, and he braced himself, expecting her to shove him away. Instead, he was slightly shocked (but mostly just thrilled) when she suddenly responded; she kissed him back, wrapping her arms around him.
He pulled away first, breathless. "So, uh.. will you go out with me?"
Her answering smile was dazzling.
Their first date was a disaster.
They couldn't agree on anything, bickering about where to eat ("What, you can't handle Water Tribe food?"), what to eat ("Stop being such a wimp, Mako, and try these Stewed Sea Prunes. You said you could handle this!"), and who would pay ("Even Hiroshi Sato said you were dirt poor! I'll pay, I actually have the yuans for it. So shut up.").
And then they ran into Tahno. Their first date ended at the police station; a displeased Chief Bei Fong sitting opposite a soaking wet Avatar with icicles melting in her hair, a burnt Tahno with his eyebrows almost completely singed off, the smell of burning hair surrounding him, and an irritated Mako with a large bruise blooming on his face.
Their second date ended with them having to babysit Tenzin's kids.
Surprisingly, Mako was the one who excelled with children, while Korra acted like a child herself. She was also unable to exert any control over the three children, and their night ended with Korra, having thrown herself onto her bed, loudly complaining that she never wanted to have kids.
"Not ever," she moaned loudly. And Mako figured that maybe this wasn't the best time to tell her that he wanted kids, lots of them.
She ran her fingers through his hair, still basking in the afterglow of it all. Mako smiled at her, his arm tightening around her bare waist, drawing her closer to him.
Korra smiled and curled into his chest with a happy sigh as Mako kissed the top of her head gently. She yawned sleepily. "Hey, Mako?" she muttered. "D'you think it would have been different if I'd never kissed you that night?"
He chuckled lightly. "Nope. I think I would have come to my senses at some point and asked you out anyways."
Her smile grew, and in that moment, she couldn't have cared less about Amon or the revolution; she felt safe, loved, and content.
"I love you," Mako murmured quietly, and she pressed a kiss to his collarbone in return.
"Home is wherever you are," She said simply. And they both knew it was the truth.