Prompt: Damaged - Makorra Week #5
Rating: M- (there’s some implied sex in there)
He first sees her when Bolin drags him out to a bar one night.
He’s sitting at a table, nursing some kind of heavily alcoholic drink and trying to make his troubles fade away. Having so much on his plate is making him tired, so when Bolin pulled him out of the station for a night to unwind, he didn’t argue. He really needs this.
Pain, suffering, death- it’s all very tiring. Sometimes he questions why he even became an officer. After everything that happened to his parents, he doesn’t really get why he’d put himself through all that again.
And, yet, he does anyway.
Rationality is a useless thing for the damaged, and he knows he’s too far damned to care about a little more pain. He’s grown attached to the stress, and he seems to thrive on it.
Bolin’s the only one who keeps him from working himself to the bone.
In fact, the little devil’s on the other side of the bar, sipping his own drink and charming some broad. Mako doesn’t blame him, though- he knows he’s not much company at this point
He only snaps out of his thoughts when smooth jazz replaces the nonsensical chatterings of the other patrons. As an officer, it occurs to him for a second that he should be shutting down a joint like this, but Prohibition’s never been one of his main concerns, and even Beifong admits that she doesn’t really care for people getting their fill.
He lifts his eyes long enough, and is able to make out the shape of a woman through the poor lighting and the haze of smoke. He perks up a bit when he hears her laugh- it’s a distant sound since she’s not near the microphone, but still clear as day- because it sounds like jingling bells and distinctively different than everyone else’s. Everyone else seems to have this hard, slow kind of laughter, but hers is loud and innocent and it intrigues him.
She gives the crowd a quick sweep before turning to the band- there was a band there? He hadn’t noticed.- and giving them a hand motion to start.
And then, she sings.
He’s captivated by deep voice when she begins. Her tone compliments the trumpets and drums, and he’s never been a music enthusiast but he suddenly wishes he is because there’s something about her that tells him she’s doing something very right.
She sways slowly to the music, and he doesn’t understand why it all sounds so good, but it does, and he likes it. It seems like all his troubles are just drifting away with the notes, and it feels amazing.
Then, she stops.
He doesn’t even realize that she’s already sung a few songs until Bolin comes over and comments on how good the reel was- reality crashes down on him hard again, but the feeling is more lethargic this time as he watches her descend the stairs and disappear into the darkness.
He wonders what her name is.
He shows up five more times before he’s actually able to talk to her.
Bolin doesn’t tag along because he’s got a date with a new girl and he wants to impress her.
It’s the fourth dame this week.
Mako doesn’t dwell on that, though. What Bolin does with his ladies is his business, not his older brother’s.
“You’re the copper who’s been hanging around, aren’t you?”
Someone snaps him out of his stupor and he comes face to face with a very large man. He recognizes him as the bartender- a guy only known around these parts as ‘The Doorman’ because he’s always got his door open for anyone who needs to relax.
Mako hopes that sentiment still stands for enforcers of the law, because he knows nothing about Mystery Girl and he’s still got this unfathomable urge to meet with her. He never follows his urges, and he knows he’s being stupid, but he’s also decided to just take a chance for once because he’s got nothing to lose anyway- damage is damage, and he’s pretty sure he’s already reached rock bottom.
“I am.” He replies evenly, picking up his drink and hoping he’s not going to be booted out before the act.
After a few seconds of silence, the Doorman’s face breaks into a huge, kind grin, and Mako feels himself exhaling a tense breath. The man slaps him in the shoulder affectionately before gesturing to the cup and offering to fill it.
“I was just wondering why your type of fella would be hanging around a place like this, but,” He gives him toothy smile once he’s back behind the counter, sliding him his filled glass. “It seems you’ve got your eye on someone.”
Mako feels his face heat up, but he can’t muster any words to deny it, because it’s true.
“You don’t have to say anything, Kid.” The man laughs at his expression, already shuffling through his inventory and tending to another person. “You seem like an alright type, so I’ll give you this- her name’s Korra.”
What a nice name.
Mako nods gratefully, turning to the stage just in time to catch her entering. She’s wearing a blue number this time, and it brings out her pretty eyes. He doesn’t know why he’s so enthralled by her, but he is and he’s going to have to accept it. For whatever reason, her music seems to take the heaviness out of everything, and he can practically feel himself walking on air whenever she opens her mouth.
So, he listens dutifully as she sings, losing himself in the sensation of the lyrical tide- surrendering to the endless whatever she seems to promise him.
She stops, and as usual, he gets up to leave soon after. But, before he can go, The Doorman pats his arm and points to the back.
She’s sitting at a table in the corner, staring at him.
“I’m beginning to think you’re some stalker.” She calls from the other side of the room and, regardless of the fact that basically everyone else is basically out for the night, he still feels his cheeks tingling.
She waves him over, and his legs move on their own accord. Before he knows it, he’s next to her and she’s standing to shake his hand.
“The name’s Korra, Mister Stalker.” She announces, the corners of her lips upturning softly as she shakes. He blinks for a few seconds before composing himself, remember that he is Mako and Mako doesn’t let people call him Mister Stalker.
Though, with such a beautiful voice, he doesn’t think he’d mind if she called him the worst names under the sun.
Moved over from way down south, pretty lost to the world. She treats life like some big adventure, and the possibility of being dragged along with her excites him. She has this interesting view on everything, and it’s refreshing because she’s so damn new to it all.
They’ve made a routine of meeting after her shows, which he attends without fail. He’s caught himself at the pub every night he has off duty, and he’s treated as one of the regulars at this point because, well, after months and months of sitting in that seat, ‘regular’ is the only word to describe him.
She tells him of all about her life and her childhood, and he finds himself telling her about his.
She doesn’t give him pity when he tells her his sob story, and he’s glad for that because he doesn’t want any. In fact, she seems to challenge his choices and argue the facts. “Why didn’t you do this?” or “Why didn’t you do that?” is all that comes out of her mouth, and it infuriates him to no end, but at the same time he loves it. He loves the new look. He loves that she’s not looking at him like some poor lost puppy- to her, Mako’s still Mako, damaged or not.
And, because of that, he’s falling for her.
He only realizes how bad he’s got it when she’s not in one day.
He’s trying to convince himself that she’s just late or something when The Doorman comes over to soothe his worries and assure him that Korra’s just got a head cold and’ll be in tomorrow.
He doesn’t notice his hands shaking until the man points them out.
He’s so screwed.
He asks for her address, and he receives it instantly. The Doorman and him have developed a sort of laid-back friendship through a mutual acquaintanceship to Korra, and he’s basically the go-to man for anything involving the girl. Thanking the guy, he’s on his way, making his way to her meager apartment and trying to cool himself off.
She answers the door, and he’s relieved to find her okay, just as promised. She’s rubbing her eyes in an impossibly endearing way, and he’s once again reminded that he’s the damaged one in this situation and that she’s the princess he shouldn’t be touching.
And, yet, when she invites him in, all he can think to do is kiss her.
A few weeks later, she’s pressed up to his chest, asleep and snoring.
She’s exposed, vulnerable, nude, and, even though she’s tough, she’s suddenly very small.
He’s hit with the overwhelming need to protect her, and he’s once again reminded how very screwed he is. He hasn’t felt this way about anyone except Bolin, but this time is different. He doesn’t just want to protect her- he wants to be by her side, walking hand and hand with her.
Kissing her on the temple, he wonders how deep he’s dug himself in.
One night, he asks her to sing for him.
She raises an eyebrow and reminds him that he just heard her sing- and he has- but he simply explains that he wants her to sing for him; not for anyone else. He wants his own song.
So, she sings him a lullaby.
It’s soft, slow, lazy, and so incredibly Korra that he nearly melts. He buries his face into the crook of her neck, feeling her chest vibrate as she murmurs out sweet, meaningful words that are only meant for him. She smells like cigars, liquor, and sweat, and it’s a scent that he’s associated her with for ages.
The melody continues, and he sighs into her hair, wrapping his arms around her. He feels his eyes drooping, and is- for the umpteenth time- reminded how screwed he is.
But, that’s okay.
He’s damaged, broken, and beaten. He’s an old dog with nothing to lose.
Nothing but her.
And, after all, even a worn-out mutt can thump his tail to a nice song.