“Sheesh—admit you can’t dance and suddenly the entire Republic City wants to give you lessons. What’s with you people?”
“If you’re here to ask about the seal jerky in your room, that I didn’t take, I’m just gonna tell you right now that I didn’t take it.”
Art by Ryu Ki Hyun and Bryan Konietzko
Mumble jumble from the press, from fans, from Tenzin… She’s heard enough of it to know when to tune out. Korra doesn’t even know half of what this guy is going on about, and to be honest, she’s not in the mood to answer questions or deal with the public.
“Giant sea turtle—ring a bell? Haven’t you heard the story before?”
“You could always come find out.”
well I guess I need to calm down…angggsstttttttt aghh
because the anon asked for it.
“Yes.” He wrapped his arms over her shoulders, lacing his fingers, and holding her as she latched on. He could feel her facial features pushing into his chest and he knew she must have been suffering. A consoling rubbed the back of her shoulder. He spoke softly. “I’m sorry I was away most of the day, but I never once forgot your birthday. I had it all planned out.”
He held her at arms length and gave her a reassuring smile, then nodded in confirmation. “The rest of your surprise awaits in the city. Let’s go.”
They flew into the city on Oogi’s back and landed next to the pro-bending arena. There, Tenzin had reserved a room that faced Yue Bay so that one could look out and see the distant islands. The floor was open for dancing with tables of food off to the sides. Several people were there including the avatar’s closest friends, his family, and others that Korra befriended. A small band filled the room with smooth jazz-like music.
Some of the guest were already dancing when Tenzin and Korra entered the room. Tenzin spread his arms, presenting Korra to her ballroom dancing birthday celebration.
Korra follows Tenzin in quiet, off of Oogi, down to the pro-bending arena and finds herself speechless, still, when she enters the ballroom. She takes a breath, eyes trailing the decorations up the walls and across the room; the food, the music, her friends—her friends, she thinks with a new wave of relief and joy—they remembered… Everyone remembered.
Slowly wandering passed her Master, the Avatar turns in circle to view the whole room; when she stops, she’s facing Tenzin again and it’s just —— so great —— to have an actual birthday party outside of a compound with friends that aren’t just White Lotus guards, and this —- is one of the happiest moments in her life — and she feels like crying—but she doesn’t.
“Master Tenzin, I—” she gives a small sniffle and smiles softly, reaching up to graze her fingertips against the flower pinned to her chest. ”You didn’t have to do all this for me. I don’t even know what to say… it’s kind of embarrassing, really.” Korra flushes, barely controlling her grin.
“I can’t thank you enough.”
“do not underestimate her”
Korra rubs at the back of her neck and averts her gaze away. “Never really tried…? I dunno,” she tries to dismiss, shrugging a shoulder.
“It just seemed kinda girly, or something I wouldn’t really be good at, so…”
She doesn’t want to admit that she’s agreed to get dancing lessons from Tenzin; it’s an embarrassing topic, and femininity is a construct Korra has had challenges working with in the past. It’s easier, she tells herself, if she disregards it - easier to protect her sense of self worth if she just doesn’t attempt at all.
“I don’t see why we couldn’t. Making fruit pies with her children and her husband was one of the waterbender’s favorite memories. Kya and Bumi’s would always come out perfectly. Tenizn had difficulty making the treat and often caused his temper to raise. She chuckled softly to herself from the memories. I didn’t see so long ago that her family was together and happy.What Katara wouldn’t give to have such precious times with her family to return.
She slowly stood from her chair giving a hardy laugh from the Avatar’s question.
“No you don’t actually. All you need a little dough and some fruit and luckily I have both. Tenzin gets a little frustrated when it come to making fruit pies. His impatience gets the best of him.”
Korra reaches down to take Master Katara’s mug and begins to walk with her towards the kitchen.
“Aaahh… impatient, huh? Looks like Mr. Spiritual isn’t all holy hum after all. What’s there to get impatient about—fruit pies don’t seem that hard to make.”
..don’t even ask..
I have no idea why I wanted to draw Korra with her hair down and why I actually wanted to draw something sweet with them..hmm
probably the most appropriate explanation for this- ‘that’s why’don’t blame me, I am just tired.
Mako could feel the corner of his mouth curling upwards in an amused grin only moments before her lips brush his, entreating him with another soft kiss. All the while, he can’t help but let himself get lost in the feel of her. The pillow of her lips, the warmth of her hand creeping up to weave her fingers into his short, dark hair; it was nice, their little moments like this. Pregnant and hormonal or not, these little memories would be stored away, treasured and remembered in the years to come.
Moments, seconds, heartbeats later, they separate, the kiss short and sweet. With that, he looks into her eyes and finds himself drowning. Not that he minds. Raw passion and emotion course through the firebender’s veins as he meets her gaze with his. It’s the old-as-time collision of fire and water, the sun and the moon, the horizon and the ocean clashing and burning and fighting. They can feel it too, the pureness of the way she was looking at him, the way she had always looked at him. The way her eyes gleam, swirl, practically glow, was only for him, is only for him. The utter and undeniable blueness of them takes his breath away. In this moment, he decides he doesn’t need it back.
However, he is shocked out of his enchanted state, her hand coming up to grasp his gently and place it on her rounded belly. The intensity that is etched into his angular features softens, his palm pressing warmth into the haven where their baby is resting until he or she is ready to meet the world.
They sit there like that, just he, his wife, and their child until he feels movement, a push, a bump, a…kick against his hand. He stares at her stomach in shock, eyes wide, mouth agape, wondering if he was imagining things, if it was a trick of the senses, or maybe he actually had just felt their baby kick. It’s only about a minute after that he looks up to her face, his eyes searching hers with excitement and curiosity.
“You felt it!” Well, I guess you’re not that much of a dork, since the baby likes you.”
Mako doesn’t reply to her teasing jab, only shaking his head with fondness. He was just too happy, too content to get irritated at her right now. He can feel her fidgeting beneath him, and he stands up, holding out a hand to help her out of the sturdy, wooden rocking chair. He smiles as she grasps his, accepting his help for once, and he lets out a barking laugh as the television remote falls out of it’s hiding spot. Then, just like that, she falls.
Concern lances through Mako as Korra practically collapses back into her seat, her face contorted with pain and her hand gripping his is a crushing grip. Her other lifts off the slim armrest to snatch his other one, her hold equally tight and tense. Mako feels panic stab him like a lance, then and he tries to meet her eyes, tries to break through the pain and aching to get to her.
Oh Spirits, he thinks to himself, nervousness and frantic worry playing at his mind, unrelenting. It’s happening, it’s happening now.
“Korra!” he bites out. “What happened?” It’s not like he needs to ask. He knows what’s going on, yet he still can’t process it. There’s a part of him hoping, praying, that she isn’t going into labor. He had been trying to prepare himself, knowing she could give birth any minute, but now that it was actually happening, his ‘cool-under-fire’ style had been long thrown out the window, only to be replaced with a a frazzled, lost state of mind.
“Mako—Th-the… baby—it’s coming!”
Mako almost faints once the words escape her lips, but he knows he can’t do that. Not now; not when Korra needs him, not when their child needs him.
He looks back to Korra, and it seems like her contraction has passed, but the way she is looking at him sends a chill down his spine. She’s looking at him with such nervousness, such fear, that is surprises him. His strong, brave, bold Korra was afraid, and honestly, he was too. But he couldn’t be afraid. Determination cuts across his features, and he crouches down to look closer into her eyes. He needed to be here for them. Panicking would only frighten the inexperienced mother-to-be even more.
Willing his shaking hands to still, he tells her in a low voice. “It’s going to be okay, Korra. We’re going to get you to the hospital and you’ll be fine. Our baby’s going to be fine.” As she is speaking, another contraction hits her like a wave and her hand once again clenches his, her knuckles white and her teeth gritting. Her pain momentarily shakes him, but he hardens his resolve before continuing. “It’s going to be hard, but we can do this.”
His arm wraps around her shoulders to help her stand, and she leans against the couch as he rushes to the hooks bolted to the wall, pulling on his coat with a sloppy quickness, and snatching the car keys, gripping them in his hand tightly. He’s not sure if he’s ready, if they need to be packing things, and oh Spirits, why can’t he remember what the doctor told them he needed to bring when she was ready to leave for the hospital? With a shake of his head, he reasons that there is no time for that. His wife is in pain and she’s about to give birth.
Rushing back to her, he collects her hand in his, pulling her along carefully, making sure not to rush her, but all he wants is to get her into professional care as soon as possible. “Come on, Korra. I know you’re in pain right now, but we need to go to the hospital now.”
Mako’s voice sounds far away when it barely slips in between her shrill screams, and the reassurance gets lost with the pain shooting through her body. Standing makes everything worse and Korra can only think about how much it hurts to breathe, to walk, to not… crush the bones in her husband’s hands. She grabs to him tightly, desperately; her fingers dig deep into the skin of his shoulder as he lifts her, tries guiding her to the door, just as they had planned months prior. The annoying safety routine, the nagging, the ‘shock treatment’. It’s not working. She wants to scream at him, make him let her go, shut up about the damn hospital because it’s too far and the baby, she tells herself in panic, is coming right this second - but she can’t, she can’t do this, she can’t make it to the door… The nausea rises up her throat and she actually welcomes it, thinking it will ease her suffering, calm the child kicking beneath her belly, but the house spins and the floor is the only place Korra imagines she can get to.
In the midst of the chaos, the Avatar shuts her eyes tight, prays for the Avatar’s blessing. She tries to meditate, tries to sync her breathing with the baby connected to her, tries to clear her mind and get through the pain long enough to arrive at the hospital.
“Mako, go. Start—” she grits her teeth, leaning away from him to grab onto the wall, back pressing against the cool texture, “—the car.”