AN: more fluff. What's wrong with me? Oh well, I think it's cute. Hopefully you do too.
P.S. I would just like to say thank you to all of you who added me as an author or my story to their favorites. I smile so widely when I get emails form . And your reviews are so sweet! I'm really happy you all enjoy my work. Thanks again! And Happy Fourth fo July!
Just as Korra put her head down, someone was at her tent door. She sighed irritably and pulled the fabric aside. Mako strode inside and sat down.
"Do you need something?" Korra asked, trying not to sound annoyed.
"No, I just… wanted to talk," he said. Korra groaned internally and sat up.
"What's bothering you?" she asked.
"What makes you thing something's bothering me?"
Korra raised an eyebrow. "Why else would you be here?"
"Oh, right," he breathed, scratching the back of his head. "Well, it's not exactly something that's bothering me. Rather someone."
"Go on," Korra urged when he paused.
"And it's not that I don't trust your judgment or anything, because I do. I just don't want to see anything bad happen to you. And… I don't want anyone to hurt you," he babbled.
You've hurt me, Korra thought bitterly. "Don't beat around the bush, Mako. Get to the point." That came out a little harsher than intended. She hoped he took it as crankiness from lack of sleep.
"It's that General Iroh guy. I get an uneasy felling from him," Mako spit out.
What could possibly lead him to think that? He had met Iroh hours ago, and he was already jumping to conclusions.
"You can't be serious right now," Korra said, disbelieving. She quickly jumped into defense for her friend. "General Iroh is a trustworthy man who is loyal to us, his team. You have no right to judge him so quickly." She glared at him, mad that he had the audacity to even say such a thing.
"That's not it. I know he's on the good side, but," he hesitated, choosing his next words, "I don't like the way he looks at you."
Korra's jaw dropped, dumbfounded by his words. Her shock turned to anger, and she pointed an accusatory finger at him.
"He doesn't 'look' at me in any special way," she lied, knowing that wasn't entirely true. "He's just a gentleman. Unlike you. And why do you care anyway?"
"Please understand, Korra." He sounded desperate. "I want you to be careful who you set your sights on. I'd hate to see your heart broken." Korra gaped at him.
"You hypocrite!" she said. "You're telling me you don't want to see me hurt when you're the first person to ever rip my heart out. I mean seriously, you told me you had feeling for me and still chose Asami. Do you know how much that hurt? I'm not saying I like Iroh that way, but if I did, it wouldn't be any of your business. I'm tired of waiting for you. So forgive me for trying to move on!"
Tears pricked her eyes somewhere in the middle of her spiel. At the last words, they flowed freely as she choked back sobs.
Mako tried to say something, apologize maybe, but Korra wouldn't hear it. She brushed him off, nearly causing him to fall over. He left eventually with a final, sad look in the Avatar's direction.
She cried into her pillow until fatigue overcame her, and she fell asleep.
Time faded away until it stopped completely. Korra found herself wandering an abandoned Equalist warehouse full of weapons. The loudest sound was her feet making the wooden floor boards to creak with every step. The edges of her vision were blurred, giving her a headache.
She thought she was alone, but she ended up on her hands and knees like she was pushed. Only no one had touched her.
Amon stepped out of the shadows. The glint of eyes shining behind the mask made her shutter involuntarily.
As he advanced slowly, she tried to run, bend, anything. But it was like she couldn't move. She was a frozen statue, forced to watch as her worst nightmare unfolded in front of her.
"I told you I would destroy you," Amon said in his menacing voice. His hand touched her head, and she let out a strangled scream. Her life, along with her bending, dwindled, and she crashed to the floor.
Someone was shaking her shoulder. Korra's eyes snapped open and she gasped. She was covered in sweat from head to toe and breathing rapidly.
"Korra, it's okay," a soft voice cooed. "It was just a dream." It was Iroh.
He placed the back of his hand on her cheek, wiping away some of the perspiration. When he noticed she was shivering, he put a sturdy arm around her shoulders.
"Iroh," Korra sighed and she leaned into him.
He didn't say anything for a while, letting Korra calm down and come back to reality.
"What time is it?" she asked quietly.
"About five in the morning," he told her. "I heard you talk in your sleep. You sounded scared so I came to check on you."
"Thanks, Iroh," she said with a small smile. "I guess there's no real point in going back to sleep now. Sorry if I woke you."
The general shook his head "It's alright. I wanted to make sure you were okay. You had me worried."
Korra felt a pit in her stomach for a second. It was a nervous feeling she associated with shyness. The only time she felt it before was when she was in love with Mako. Now, especially after their fight last night, all she wanted to do was punch the firebender when he was near. Was she starting to like Iroh in a different way?
Standing up, Korra said, "I think I'll walk around for a bit."
"I'll come with you," Iroh offered, following her out of the tent.
"You don't have to," she said. "It's pretty early."
"No, really Korra, I want to," he insisted. "We can talk if you want."
Korra smiled. She felt like she needed to tell someone about her dream. Get it off her chest.
She talked as they walked. He listened intently as she explained the details behind her immense fear of getting her bending taken away. When she got to the actual dream, the images danced fresh in her mind. Her eyes widened slightly, and she swore she could fell Amon's hand on her forehead again.
By the time she was done talking, they had reached the sewer entrance that overlooked the bay. Korra noticed her hand was held in Iroh's. As to who took whose hand, she didn't know. But then again, she didn't care. His hand felt nice in hers. It was warm and comforting.
"Korra, I understand why you're feeling stressed these days," Iroh said. "Amon is a horrible person. But I have all faith in you. I don't doubt you can win this."
The Avatar smiled sadly. "Thanks, that… makes me feel better," she said not-too-convincingly.
"That's not all that's bothering you, is it?" It was more of a statement than a question. Iroh gazed at her with those liquid gold eyes shining with genuine concern. His hair was falling into his eyes; it wasn't slicked back to its usual style that early in the morning. The short sleeves of his baggy sleep shirt exposed his burn mark, still wrapped in bandages.
"No," Korra admitted with her head down. She sat on the edge of the metal tunnel, letting her legs dangle off the end. Iroh followed her lead.
"I can't believe we're in the middle of a war, and I have to worry about boy drama," she said almost angrily. The general beside her offered no comment, allowing her to elaborate.
"Mako is one of the first friends I made in this city. He was there for me as a captain and a brother, in a way. We've saved each other's lives so many times I've lost count." Korra didn't notice she began to squeeze Iroh's hand tighter and tighter. "Then he goes and lies to me, that damn jerk. Her worries about my love life when his is hanging by a thread."
She ended her rant with a dramatic huff and a scowl.
"Listen Korra, I know what Mako did to you," Iroh admitted sheepishly. If Korra found that disturbing in any way, she didn't let on. "I could hear you two talking last night. Not that I was eavesdropping of anything. It's just… your tent is right next to mine."
The Avatar blushed a little. Of course she doesn't blame him for hearing her conversation, but considering he was a big part of the discussion, it was somewhat embarrassing.
"Can I just say I think you're amazing?" Iroh said, looking at her with a soft expression. "You don't deserve what Mako did to you. It was wise to stop waiting for someone who can't make up his mind."
"Thank you, again, for everything." Korra intertwined their fingers and leaned on his shoulder. His cheek rested on her hair as he breathed in her sweet scent.
They sat there long enough for the sun to send its streaks of light across the sky from behind them. Judging that it was around six thirty, they made their way back to the compound.
AN: sorry if anyone's OOC. I'll try to make them act more like themselves.
My headcannon: in the show, Korra is usually guarded and stubborn, not wanting people to be able to read her emotions. But I feel that with Iroh, she lets loose and is herself.
Iroh, in the show and my mind, is a gentleman. He knows pushing a girl won't get them anywhere, so he's patient.
Chapter 3 coming up!