Finally back to Korrasook. I won't lie, Hasook is awkward to write. I can't put my finger on why that is, exactly, but he is. This is not my best work, I'll tell you that now. It's very rambly and there's really no clear theme here. I guess that makes this a PWP, but not really. These oneshots are just for me to practice writing Korra, Hasook, and how they interact with each other. This takes place, obviously, around the time of episode four; in case you missed it stutters and creeps and pretty blue eyes was set around episode two.

This fic is a combination of ideas from, you guessed it, XxShyxX. We had the idea of Korra and Hasook both being on the Task Force, and another idea of Hasook finding an injured Korra in an alley. So here is a mash-up, with a dash of the sexiness that was supposed to have been in stutters. You're welcome. Also, I know the title doesn't quite match, but I was listening to The Violet Hour and The Girl with the Red Balloon by The Civil Wars. I highly recommend them.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but this plot. Korra, Hasook, Tenzin, and Mako all belong to Bryke.


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She was such an idiot.

Korra had no qualms admitting it, either. She had been told, time and time again, not to listen to Tarrlok, not to buy into is charms, not to play right into his hands. Tenzin had told her. Pema had told her. Even Mako had warned her against joining the Task Force. But she had done it anyway. Look what it had gotten her - chi-blocked by Equalists and dumped in some sketchy back alley off some sketchy street in some sketchy part of town.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, she berated herself. Nice going, Korra. Way to nearly get yourself killed.

In all fairness, Tarrlok had supposedly had her back. It was still on her shoulders, though; trusting the steely-eyed weasel-snake had been her own mistake. A costly one, at that. Not only was her bending cut off temporarily - she couldn't move a single muscle. Couldn't even twitch. In the back of her mind, she was relieved to have made it out alive, with her bending still intact; knew she was lucky the chi-blockers hadn't taken her directly to Amon.

She seethed at the thought of the masked radical. But she also couldn't deny the fear that bubbled just beneath the fury. She would never admit it aloud, but Amon terrified her. And why shouldn't he? The man was insane - coldly, calculatingly insane - and he had the power to take away the most integral part of her with a single, feather light touch. The thought chilled her deep in her bones. She could mull over her fears later, though. Right now she had to find a way out of her precarious situation.

She was raking her brain for something, anything - trying to think past the haze of pain that clouds her mind. But of course, no ideas were forthcoming. Then came the gift from La.

"Korra?"

She'd only spoken with him once, back on her first night of probending when he'd walked in on her changing out of his uniform - what a trip that had been, Spirits - but she recognized his voice immediately.

"Hasook?" Had she ever been so relieved to see anyone in her life? She didn't think so.

The other waterbender was by her side in seconds, kneeling with his brows creased in worry. She allowed herself a brief second of admiring his messy hair and pale eyes before refocusing on the matter at hand. "I need you to help me."

"I can see that," he muttered. "What happened?"

"I was on a raid with Councilman Tarrlok's Task Force and after I was attacked by chi-blockers I got left behind." Korra didn't repress the snarling curl of her lips. Hasook frowned.

"You mean your team just left you here? Have they even been looking for you?"

"Knowing Tarrlok, he probably told them I'd be fine, since I was the Avatar." Korra rolled her eyes. "Listen, can you carry me to the probending arena? I know it isn't far from here."

"You can't move?" Slight panic.

"The chi-blockers did more than disable my bending," she confirmed. "I can sort of move my fingers now, though."

Hasook nodded, gingerly sliding his hands underneath her, lifting her up bridal-style in his arms. "Shouldn't I be taking you to the island?"

Korra shook her head. "It's too far. I can crash with Mako and Bolin and phone Tenzin from the arena's box office."

"Alright then." They - or rather, Hasook - had been walking for several minutes when something seemed to occur to him. "Hey, you're not hurt are you? Those chi-blockers didn't…do anything, did they?"

Korra was secretly touched by his concern, and covered it up with a smile. "No, I'm all right. Just sore."

"You sure? Because I'm a decent healer, and I can help you if you need it."

"I'm fine." She squinted at him in mock suspicion. "I think you just want to see me undressed again."

Hasook sputtered indignantly - and perhaps a bit guiltily - and Korra couldn't hold in her laughter. He was so easy to tease, like Mako, only his reactions were more amusing and less infuriating. He frowned at her.

"You know, it's not cool to accuse the guy who's trying to help you of thinking dirty thoughts." He spared her a flat look. She chuckled again. "I couldn't resist that opportunity. But I really am okay, and thank you for helping me. I probably would have been lying there until dawn if you hadn't turned up." She eyed him speculatively. "What are you doing out, anyway?"

He shrugged, readjusting his hold on her. "I couldn't sleep, so I decided to walk around for awhile. I do it all the time."

Korra nodded and sighed softly before letting silence creep up over them again. She was so tired, she realized. Exhausted, and her body ached something awful, particularly where her chi had been blocked. She let her head rest on Hasook's collar bone and tried to be happy that she could move her entire hand now at the wrist.

Hasook was once again the one to break the silence. "If this is how Tarrlok and Task Force treat you - not only as their Avatar, but as their teammate - then you shouldn't be on this this force at all."

"I have to be," she said sadly. "I'm the Avatar, and I'm supposed to be helping this city. The people demanded it, and my duty is to serve the people."

"Your duty is to protect them," he countered.

"There isn't really much of a difference. Either way, the city's needs outweigh my own." Korra shut her eyes. "Even if I was cornered into it, and even if I'm scared."

He tightened his grip on her gently, comfortingly. "I was listening to the interview on the radio. It wasn't right for those reporters to force you into joining Tarrlok." He sneered, "It's not like they're going out, risking their bending or their lives to stop Amon."

Korra smiled faintly. "They shouldn't have to. That's my job."

"Well, it sucks." He frowned petulantly.

"Yeah, sometimes," Korra agreed, twisting the fabric of his jacket in her fingers. "But sometimes it's worth it."

They reached the arena, then. Unsurprisingly, the main doors weren't an option, so Korra watched as Hasook went in through one of the various other side doors. They came into a dimly lit hallway and after a few more turns and dead ends, arrived in the box office. He sat her down in the chair and stood back.

"Can you move anything else now?" He watched patiently as Korra flexed the muscles in her forearms. "Good." He picked up the telephone and handed it to her, ringing up the operator. "When the operator answers, tell them to put you through to the island. I'll go wake up Mako and bring him down here."

Just he left, Korra heard a voice on the other end of the line.

"Operator, how may I help you?"

"Uh, hi. Can you direct me to the phone line for Air Temple Island, please?" Korra wound the cord around her fingers.

"Of course, one moment."

A brief minute of cheesy saxophone music later and Korra heard the line start ringing. One, two, three, four, five…

"Councilman Tenzin speaking." His deep voice was gruff with sleep. Korra felt any remaining tension drain from her body.

"Tenzin."

"Korra?" The relief in his voice was nearly tangible through the phone. At least someone had been worried.

"Yeah, I'm here."

"Spirits, Korra, where are you? What happened to you? I have Lin and Tarrlok scouring the city for you -"

"Relax, Tenzin, I'm fine. And about Tarrlok - he left me in an alley after I was hit by chi-blockers."

"He did what?"

Someone would be getting it during the council meeting in the morning. "Yeah. Lucky me, a friend of mine found me and got me to the arena. He just went to wake Mako up, and I'm probably going to crash here for tonight."

She could tell he didn't like this idea, but he kept his qualms to himself. "Alright. First thing after I deal with Tarrlok, I'll be at the arena to get you. I'll let Lin and the others know you're safe. …Korra?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you all right?"

She smiled softly, even though she knew he couldn't see it. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine."

She could almost see him nod his curt nod. "Right then. I will see you in the morning. Take care, Korra."

"You, too."

Once she put the phone down, Korra tested her body for movement. Her arms were totally under control now and she could twist her torso. She slowly attempted to stand, using the desk for balance. Unsteady, yes, but not immobile. Just sore. Very sore; aches everywhere. She could deal with this, though - aches and pains were like old friends to her. She stumbled her way to the door and out into the hallway.

Right into Mako.

"Oomph. You could watch where you're going, you know."

"What are you doing?" he snapped, and Korra could see how worried he was. He turned to glare at Hasook. "You said she couldn't walk."

"Well, when I left her here, she couldn't." The waterbender shrugged. "I thought it was a good thing she could move again."

"Guys, don't fight." Korra sighed, exhaustion beginning to take over. "Just take me somewhere so I can sleep."

Mako's features softened. "Come on, you can have my bed. You're still unstable, let me carry you."

"It's fine, I've got it."

"Korra, you're staggering around like a drunk."

"Mako, I said I'm fine."

"Korra, would you just not argue -"

"For the love of La," Hasook snapped. He strode forward and swept Korra back into her bridal position in his arms. "Now, if you two are done fighting, Korra you need to rest. Mako, to your apartment, please."

Mako stared at him, but lead the way up to the apartment he shared with Bolin. The entire way, he glared at Korra where she was nestled into Hasook. Finally, she got sick of it.

"What is your problem? I'm sore and tired and I don't feel like trying to decipher your erratic mood swings."

"What are you talking about?" he snapped.

"You know what I'm talking about, idiot. Why are you glaring daggers at me? Don't think I haven't noticed."

Mako held out for a few minutes before giving in, and asking petulantly, "How come you didn't argue with him when he carried you?"

"Spirits, that's what you're mad about?" Korra shook her head. "You're so aggravating!"

Hasook snickered. "What? You jealous, Sifu Hotman?"

Mako's scowl was fierce. "Agni, Hasook. What have I told you about calling me that?"

Hasook shrugged. "Couldn't tell ya."

"Sifu Hotman, huh?" Korra asked, managing a sly grin. "I'll have to remember that one."

Mako groaned. "Great, now she's going to start calling me that. Thanks, Hasook."

"My pleasure, Sifu Hotman."

Several laughs and groans later, Mako led them up the staircase and into the apartment.

"Bolin's still sleeping," he whispered, clicking on a lamp to illuminate the small room. "Set her on the couch there for a minute."

Hasook nodded and sat Korra gently down on the couch, watching as she sank into the cushions with a sigh. "Thanks." A moment of silence, then, "Help me back up."

He smiled, bemused, but did as told. Once she was on her feet she looked him in the eyes, calculating. "I need you to help me undress."

Hasook choked momentarily. "What?"

"You heard me," she said. Despite her feigned nonchalance, she was blushing. "Look, this uniform has a ton of buckles and straps that I can't reach, so I need help." She unclasped some buckles at her elbows and underarms then turned her back to him. "See the criss-crossed straps between my shoulders? Undo those, please."

There was a moment of hesitation, then Korra felt the warmth of his fingers through her clothes as he worked at the clasps. They came loose within seconds and Korra slid the heavy pauldrons off her shoulders and tossed them on the couch. She reached down and unbuckled her leg guards before taking those off, followed by her hose. She removed the leather arm guards, piling them with the rest of her things. She pulled off the dark blue tunic long enough to rid herself of the thick undershirt, before tugging it back on over her chest bindings. She debated whether or not to shed the pants, as well; every boy present had seen her in her under wraps. Making up her mind, she fumbled with the tie in the back. She huffed, her fingers unable to find purchase enough to pull the knot apart. Without being asked, and mildly surprising her, Hasook helped her. She bunched her tunic up so he could see the ties; shivered when his rough knuckles brushed the exposed skin of her lower back. Her pants loosened, the knot undone, and she shimmied out of them, kicking them aside.

When she turned back to Hasook, she tried to pretend she didn't recognize the look in his eyes.

You're just exhausted and sore, and he just helped you take your clothes off, so of course he's going to look at you like that. She drilled these words fiercely into her head, wishing Mako would come back and break up this strange tension. Mako. That's right. We're in the middle of the brothers' apartment. He wouldn't do anything here. Not with Mako awake and nearby. She worked her tongue around her mouth, finding both suddenly dry, and finally found her voice. "Thanks."

He swallowed thickly, and her eyes followed the movement of his prominent Adam's apple. "No problem."

They stared each other down until Mako came back, and Korra wasn't sure if she was relieved or disappointed by the interruption. "Drink this tea, Korra. It'll help you sleep and ease the soreness overnight." He then noticed her state of undress. "Korra. Where are your clothes?"

"Piled on the couch right here." She took the cup and thanked him, sipping gratefully at the spiced tea. "You didn't expect me to sleep in my uniform did you?"

"No, but you could warn me the next time you feel the need to undress in the middle of my apartment." Mako collected her discarded clothes and dumped them in a basket off to the corner.

"I'll think about it." The more of the tea she drank, the heavier her eyelids grew until she could barely keep them open. She yawned ferociously, blinking and rubbing her eyes. "Okay, yeah. Bed. Now. Before I pass out right here. G'night."

As she departs, she gives Mako's hand a soft squeeze and then absently presses a kiss to Hasook's cheek. Halfway down the hall she hears the boys talking - or maybe arguing, Mako doesn't sound happy - but Korra pays this little attention. She collapses onto Mako's bed, not bothering with the blanket. She can smell him everywhere - thick smoke and sandalwood - and in her sleepy haze, everything melts away. There is no ache in her tired body, there are no chi-blockers trying to harm her, there is no Tarrlok with his poisonous silver tongue. There is only Mako, and Korra forgets about the almost-moment with Hasook. She even forgets about Asami. But when she drifts away, thinking of a sulky boy that doesn't belong to her, it's not golden eyes she dreams of.

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"Dude, was what that about?"

"What was what about?"

"That, just now. Why did she kiss you?" Mako glared at him furiously.

Hasook scowled. "Maybe the same reason she took your hand - to say thank you for helping her. Who knows? And who cares, why does it matter?"

"Because."

"Because you're jealous? I mean, what? Come on, Mako, get your act together." Hasook eyed him with poorly concealed disdain. "Don't you have a grilfriend? What do you care if Korra kisses another guy?"

Mako seethed. Hasook catches little sparks of flame that flare from his nostrils. "Get out."

Hasook rolls his eyes. "Gladly."

He exits the apartment and ignores the slam of the door behind him. When he gets outside, there is the faintest hint of light on the horizon. He's stayed out too long; Eska will be awake soon. He begins the long walk across town, back to his rundown apartment.

All he can think of is the way her skin felt when his fingers brushed against it. Soft and smooth but for a few scattered scars, faded silvery pink with time. He breathes in the chilly air and it helps to clear his head. He smiles the rest of the way home, his cheek still burning from the imprint of her lips.

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