Prompt: Lots of Borra reqests.
Rating: T for themes.
Word Count: 1,435
A/N: This did not turn out how I wanted to at all, but I thought I’d post it anyway. It’s really not good. At all. Anyway. I apologize in advance.
And you should LISTEN TO THIS SONG while reading.
There is some wonderful fanart from Drabble V: The Caretaker HERE. It’s beautiful!
I. Born to Die
“I was born to die,” she says, smiling gently up at him. “And I was born because another died.”
“Don’t think like that,” Bolin replies, stroking her hair, her head on his chest.
“It’s nothing to think on. It’s the way it is.”
She exhales deeply at his silence, hand clenching the one that he’s not using. She brings it up to her mouth, kissing his large, pale hand.
“Rest assured, though. I’m replaceable, and the world knows that.”
He seems to pause again. Thinking about it, perhaps. That maybe it bothers her more than he realizes. And why wouldn’t it? The world grieves, but they’re looking for her again. Not her. Because she’s right. In a way, she’s utterly replaceable in the eyes of everyone else. Not in his, though. There’ll be no replacing her.
“No thinking like that,” he scolds. “Nothing good comes out of those kinds of thoughts.”
“Because you’ve never worried,” she jokes lightly, and he finds a grin creeping onto his face.
“Touche, Korra. Touche.”
She can’t look away. Her eyes are glued to the tiny bundle in her arms, and she’s crying. He has only seen her cry once or twice before, but this is different.
She’s crying because she’s happy, and Bolin is alright with that.
“Hey, hon,” she whispers, and the baby insists on keeping her eyes shut, tiny arms waving. “Bo, do you see this?”
He glances at her face, covered in a sheen of sweat, yet so beautiful that it hurts him. Only a few minutes ago she had offered to personally castrate him. With firebending. He smiles. Funny how quickly pain turns to joy.
Bolin leans over, parting the blankets so securely swaddled around the baby.
“Hey there,” he breathes, taking in the light brown skin of their child. Their child.
Her arms settle down, and her eyes flutter open.
Blue. Such a bright blue that they seem almost blinding, and that doesn’t make any sense.
“Sorry,” she laughs. “You didn’t get the green eyes you wanted.”
“No,” he murmurs, touching the baby’s cheek with the side of his thumb gently, his hand almost the size of her whole body. “It’s fine. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She seems almost shy, and that’s unlike her. Her hands are clenched behind her back, and she’s chewing on her lip.
“Is everything alright?” he asks, rising from his desk. “Is Saku alright?”
“The baby’s fine,” Korra says, and Bolin’s arms circle her waist, chin tucked over her head in a firm hug.
“Good. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she says, and she laughs, as if to herself.
He pulls her to arms’ length, bending a bit to look into her eyes. They’re wide, as if surprised.
“I woke up this morning,” she begins to explain. “And I had a stomachache. I used my waterbending to see what was wrong and-”
She laughs again, hugging him tightly.
“You’re going to be a father again!”
Bolin lifts her up, spinning her around, and as he sets her down, his mouth captures hers.
When they finally break apart, he strokes her cheek.
“You’re efficient, aren’t you? We have a 4-month-old baby and another on the way?”
“Damn straight, I am,” she replies cockily.
IV. Blinding Loss
Korra returns from another one of those damned council meetings. They ask her to attend, as the Avatar, and they only serve to frustrate her. Just a bunch of people who can’t agree on a single damn thing.
She throws down her bag, using airbending so that it lands softly.
“Bo!” she yells, kicking off her boots. “You won’t believe the day I’ve had!”
There’s no response. He said he was going to take Saku to Pema’s for the weekend.
She shrugs, grabbing an iced tea from the kitchen, and the cap pops off with a nearly inaudible snap.
Korra takes a swig, glorifying as the liquid slides down her parched throat. That’s the stuff.
Untying her pelt, she drapes it over one of the kitchen chairs. Her hands settle on her swollen stomach, and she once again curses the whole 9-months thing. She wants this baby out.
A breeze blows through from the bedroom. Damn it. Bolin must’ve forgotten to shut the window again.
It only takes her a few seconds to pad over to the bedroom, even though her pace is as laid back as she can make it. Oh, how amazing it’ll be to collapse on the bed and not talk to any of the numb nuts from the council.
As soon as she pushes the bedroom door open, the window no longer sounds like a priority.
Bolin is sitting on the edge of the bed, feet on the floor, head in his hands, sobbing.
She rushes next to him, sitting cross-legged, hand on the top of his head.
“What happened? Are the children alright?”
His head rises, eyes puffy, and he looks utterly defeated. Panic rises in her chest. If anything happened to Saku, she-
He turns to her, and his head lowers to rest on her breasts, and he cries. He just cries. He sobs into her as if craving comfort, as if he has nothing left but her in the world.
“What happened?” she whispers, fingers running through his thick, black hair. “Please. You’re scaring me.”
Bolin shakes his head, simply sobbing.
It’s a few minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, she’s not sure, when his crying begins to slow.
He sits up, shoulders slumped, and turns so that his feet swing off the bed again. She does the same, taking his hand in hers.
“Th-there was a car accident. M-mako didn’t make it.”
She gasps, and his chin trembles.
His hands curl into fists.
“It wasn’t his time!” he insists. “He’s 29. He shouldn’t have gone! He’s so young.”
Korra fights back tears, and he looks to the ceiling.
“He was so young. It’s not fair. It’s not fair.”
He rises, paces around the room, hands pulling at his hair.
“IT’S NOT FAIR!” he bellows to the world, and then he’s crying again, a small child unsheltered and alone.
She hugs him again, and he holds her as tightly as he can.
“They say the caretaker always dies first,” he says humorlessly.
V. The Caretaker
It’s so quiet.
It’s so cold.
A breeze rolls in, ruffling his hair, his brother’s old scarf, and he earthbends a wall to block it. He can’t bear to feel the breeze, see fire, listen to water lapping on the shore.
Anything that reminds him of her.
Saku and Mako sit on the ground, pulling up grass. Saku’s eleven now, Mako ten.
She was only 35.
She didn’t deserve it. His brother hadn’t either.
It’s funny, that he relied so much on her, on Mako, and now he’s the one that’s alone, that his children are relying on wholeheartedly.
Fate has a cruel, cruel way of twisting peoples’ destinies.
Mako has bright green eyes, and she was the apple of Korra’s eye.
Not that Saku wasn’t. She never did pick favorites, and he loved that about her too.
Saku, though. She is strong, persevering. Even now, she stays calm for her little brother. And when Bolin looks at her, she smiles sadly, blue eyes so similar to Korra’s that it never fails to send a shock through his heart.
He crouches near her grave, and the words etched into the stone are so unfeeling that he can’t bear it.
They’ve found the new Avatar already. He’s three, an earthbender from some remote town out east.
They’ve all but forgotten about her already, so eager to see whether or not this new Avatar will bring an all-encompassing peace.
Saku puts a hand on his shoulder, and he smiles at her.
“Hey, baby girl,” he says, sweeping her into his arms. She giggles, but her smile fades as she looks at her mother’s grave.
“I’ll always remember that I was eight when she died,” Saku says. “And that she’ll never get to help me with my waterbending; she’ll never be able to help me pick out dresses, or… or…”
Bolin holds her close as she cries, hands wiping her tears away insistently.
“I’ll be here for that,” he assures her. “I’ll always be here. No matter what.”
“Good,” she replies, and her arms encircle his neck as she holds onto her father.
It’s quiet again.
It’s cold again, and it doesn’t hurt as much.
His daughter’s eyes flicker open, and they’re blue. Blue. Such a bright blue that they seem almost blinding, and that doesn’t make any sense.