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A Helping Hand

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It felt good to be back in Republic City. Wu didn't realize how much he'd miss it. How much he'd miss Mako.

Well, maybe he knew that much.

Speaking of his ex-bodyguard, the man in question was looking gorgeous as ever in his suit. Wu knew he would. He'd picked it out, after all.

And Wu had an eye for fashion.

And sexy firebenders.

The fact that Mako had walked around for years in clothing that didn't accentuate this build or bring out his eyes was a damn shame, in Wu's opinion.

But here he was, hair slicked back and eyes shining with the blue light softly glowing around them. The Varricks really knew how to throw a party.

Wu had monopolized Mako most of the night. Through the ceremony and now the reception. But they'd been inseparable for years and it felt so good to be together again, far away from Ba Sing Se.

"My cousin told me how level-headed you were during the whole evacuation," Mako interrupted his thoughts. "I gotta admit, I'm impressed." 

Wu preened. Most of the night, they'd talked about the wedding and what Republic City was doing with the new spirit portal.

"I think you're going to make a great leader."

And Wu could have listened to Mako praise him all night, but he wanted to talk about all the good Mako had done, the sling holding his arm a souvenir and proof of his bravery.

But Korra had come up, which gave Wu an opportunity to talk about his plans for the Earth Kingdom. He was glad to get away for the wedding, but he knew there was a lot of work waiting for him back at home.

After that, he could tell Korra and Mako needed a moment alone, so he skedaddled over to the dance floor.

He could catch up with Mako later.


When Wu finally got Mako alone again, it was much later. The band was packing up and most of the guests had already left.

They were sitting at a table, just enjoying the moment, when Mako finally broke the silence. "I really am proud of you," he said, gaze shifting from the stage to meet Wu's.

Heat flooded Wu's cheeks, burning his ears. He liked all the praise, but having so much of it all in one night was a bit much.

So, he changed the subject. "What about you?" he asked. "Word on the street is that you single-handedly took down Kuvira's giant mech." He waggled his brows, willing his face to cool.

Mako rolled his eyes. "Single-handedly." He replied dryly, lifting his injured arm. "Very funny."

Wu's eyes widened, his gaze dropping to Mako's cast. "Oh, Mako, I didn't mean-"

But Mako was shaking his head. "Just trying to make light of, ya know," he offered and it was then that it hit Wu.

"Wait," he said, holding a hand up "You were trying to make a joke?" He blinked. "Wow, Mako, I'm..." he trailed off.

"I'm not great at jokes, I get it," Mako sighed. "But you should have heard the one-liners I used to use when I was just a rookie with the RCPD." He sat back in his chair, a smile curving his lips. "Pure gold."

Wu snorted. He couldn't help it. Mako was just so... so... Mako. "Pure gold, huh?" he asked and Mako hummed, his eyes slipping closed.

It was getting late.

"So, got any plans for the rest of the night?" Wu paused, checking his wristwatch -- a wedding favor with Varrick and Zhu Li's photo as the face -- "Or the rest of the day, I should say."

Mako shrugged. "Not really." He wet his lips and looked at Wu. "Are you staying at the Four Elements again?"

Wu grinned. "Would you believe I scored the presidential suite?"

Mako chuckled. "Is that right?" 

"Mhm," Wu confirmed. "But it's, uh... actually bigger than I need." He looked down at the tablecloth, not really wanting to go back just yet. "Kinda lonely, ya know?"

To Wu's surprise, Mako's cheeks tinted before he coughed into his fist. "I don't suppose you'd like some company?"

Wu blinked, but then quickly recovered, a smirk stretching across his face. "Aww, Mako," he teased. "Did you miss their pillows, too?" He sighed. "I knew I should have taken some with me when I--" Wu stopped when Mako placed a hand over his on the table.

"Wu." It wasn't spoken like a reprimand. Or even in embarrassment. It was soft. "I... missed you."

He'd actually said it and Wu was rendered speechless. Though, it didn't last long. He wasn't the type.

"You... missed me?" His lip quivered before he swallowed. "Mako, I missed you, too," he confessed. "So much." He took Mako's hand in both of his. "I wanted to write, but I wasn't sure where you were staying or if you'd even get my letters." He took a breath. "You really missed me?"

At that, Mako chuckled. "Is it that hard to believe?"

"Actually? Yes," Wu replied. "I thought you hated..." me "working for me."

Mako gave Wu's hand a squeeze. "It was a challenge at times, I'll admit," he said. "But you won me over in the end."

Wu knew he was blushing. But there was no hiding it, not with how Mako was looking at him. "I won you over?"

Mako pulled his hand back to smooth his hair, a habit. "Looks that way." His face was flushed, too. Wu should have realized sooner.

"Hey," Wu said, "Wanna get out of here?" He stood up, offering Mako his hand. "I know a king with plenty of room in his suite for two." He winked and Mako rolled his eyes again, but took his hand.

They boarded the last ferry off Air Temple Island, standing close together in comfortable silence as the lights of Republic City grew nearer.

When they made it to the hotel, Wu tipped the driver of the satomobile -- even though Mako had tried to get to it first -- and they went inside.

It felt strange walking into the hotel together again. Not as boss and bodyguard, but as... something else.

The path to the elevator was so familiar and Wu didn't think twice when Mako pressed the button for him.

It wasn't until they were in the suite and Wu threw himself on the couch, that he remembered himself and offered the spot beside him to Mako.

"Oh, wait!" Wu held his hands up before Mako had a chance. "I don't want you to wrinkle your jacket."

Mako gave him a look, but just sighed, resigned.

Wu hopped up happily and began to slide Mako's jacket off, being very careful with his injured arm. Mako held the sling with his free hand.

"Does it still hurt now?" Wu asked as Mako resituated his arm back into the sling.

"A bit," he replied. "Not as bad as before, though."

Wu nodded and took a seat. "It makes things difficult for you, doesn't it?" He looked down. "I know how... independent you are."

Mako chuckled. "Not everyone likes to be waited on hand and foot like some people." He smirked before joining Wu on the couch. "It is frustrating, though."

"I'll bet," Wu sighed, shifting closer and resting his head on Mako's shoulder. "You can't even tie your own shoes, can you?"

Mako let out a long breath. "No, I cannot." He lifted a leg, flashing one of his wingtips. "Bolin got me this afternoon."

Wu hummed. "I can get those for you now." Mako tried to put up a fight, but let Wu help him. He must have been more tired than Wu thought. "Oh, I just realized," Wu gasped. "You don't have any of your clothes here."

Mako shrugged. "I usually sleep in my undershirt and shorts, anyway."

Wu pulled back, scandalized. "The ones you've been wearing all day?"

Mako frowned. "It's only been a few hours," he said. "And yeah."

Wu clicked his tongue. "And what about tomorrow?"

Mako raised an eyebrow. "I'll just wear this...?" He ended it like a question, probably in response to the incredulous look on Wu's face.

"You..." But Wu gave up. For now. "We'll figure something out."

Mako opened his mouth, then shut it. Good. He was learning. Then again, he knew how determined Wu could be. Maybe they could order something for him in the morning. Or, rather, at a more decent time this morning.

"What are you thinking about?" Mako asked, sounding amused.

"Whether or not I still have your measurements somewhere in my luggage."

Mako must not have been expecting that because he barked out a laugh.

"You're right." Wu scooched closer to him on the couch. "I should have them memorized by now."

At that, Mako groaned. "What?"

"Anyway, what else can I do to help?" Wu went on. "I can unbutton and unzip." He wiggled his fingers in the air. "Are you right- or left-handed? Do you need help shaving?"


"You can go to the bathroom okay on your own, right?" He chuckled. "It'd be kinda funny if you needed me to accompany you to the toilet."


"You have to remove the bandages to shower, right? I can help with that," he continued. "I took a first aid course for easy credits one semester."

"Wu, would you just--"

"Ooh!" His eyes went wide. "And when's the last time you..." His face grew warm. "You know..."

"Wu, I'm perfectly capable of--" But Mako paused, blinking in confusion. "I know... what?"

Wu's flush deepened. "I know it's probably none of my business, but I kind of remember your schedule."

Mako frowned. "What schedule?"

Wu swallowed. He was really going to make him say it. "You know how you took an extra long shower on Tuesdays and Fridays?"

Mako's expression changed as something clicked into place. "You..." His face was so red, Wu was surprised there wasn't steam coming out of his ears. "You knew when I..."

"Had some solo time?" Wu offered, feeling a little braver knowing that Mako was just as flustered. "Everybody does it."

Mako gaped, mouth flapping, but no words coming out. Then he sat back, letting his head fall to rest on the back of the couch. "I didn't think you'd noticed."

Wu placed his head on Mako's shoulder again. "It wasn't like I meant to notice that... exactly," he explained. "I just wanted to figure out what made you tick, ya know?"

Mako closed his eyes and groaned.

"Though, twice a week is less than I thought, so was I right or--"

"Wu..." he moaned.

"Sorry," Wu was quick to apologize. He'd overstepped. They were close. But maybe not that close. "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."

Mako mumbled something that sounded like 'uncomfortable' toward the end. And Wu drew back to get a better look at him.

"What's that?"

"It is uncomfortable," Mako admitted and Wu suddenly wished the floor would open up and swallow him whole. Only, Mako continued. "It's been... since before the attack."

Wu sat there in stunned silence as he quickly did the math. "Mako!" he gasped. "That was weeks ago!"

Mako ducked his head, which looked funny considering how tall he was. "I was recovering for most of it," he said. "And I did try once, but..."

Wu leaned in. "But..."

"I usually use my left hand, so..." Was it possible for a firebender's face to burst into flames? Wu thought Mako's was pretty close.

His felt pretty close, too, actually.

"So... left-handed, huh?" Wu chewed on his lower lip.

"For that, yeah." Mako cleared his throat.

They were silent for a beat.

"I could--"

"Wu, I couldn't ask you to--"

"But I want to!" Wu insisted. And he meant it. He liked Mako. A lot. And Mako was important to him. More important than he was ready to admit right now in the hotel at three o'clock in the morning, maybe. But still! "Please, let me do this for you."

Mako hesitated. "You're not just..." He looked away. "Does it... mean anything?" He met Wu's gaze, his amber eyes tired, but showing a hint of vulnerability.

"Do you want it to mean something?" Wu asked, suddenly realizing he did. He didn't just want to help Mako out. He wanted to make him feel better. Feel good. As more than...a friend.

Mako drew closer, his uninjured hand coming to cradle Wu's head. He brushed a calloused thumb along Wu's jaw. "I think I do..." he breathed and then closed the distance between them.

Mako's soft lips were a stark contrast to the rough skin of his hand. Surprising, but pleasantly so.

Wu moaned into the kiss, bringing his own hands to cup Mako's face.

When they broke apart, Wu giggled. "So, that's how you missed me, huh?"

Mako gave him another quick peck. "You, too?"

Wu smiled, pressing their foreheads together. "Me, too." He sighed. "Now," he continued. "Let's get those pants off."

Mako sputtered. "S-Seriously?" He blinked. "You still--"

"Yes," Wu replied, resting a hand on Mako's knee to keep his leg from bouncing. "Unless you've changed your mind?"

Mako shook his head. "I didn't change my mind, I'm just..."

Wu kissed him again. "It's okay if you're nervous," he said. "First time with someone else?"

"No," Mako answered. "But it's my first time with you." His eyes were soft, his expression open. "Like this, I can't..."

"Let me take care of you for a change," Wu interrupted, his hand sliding up Mako's clothed thigh to the fly of his pants. He moved to whisper in his ear. "You can repay me some other time," he teased.

Mako flushed again. "I will."

"I know." Wu smiled. "Now, you relax." He pressed a kiss to Mako's cheek and unbuttoned his dress pants.

Wu was more nervous than he was letting on. After all, this was his first time with someone else.

But this was for Mako. And something he'd imagined himself doing before.

He gave Mako's pants a tug and the other took the hint, lifting his hips so Wu could slide them down.

Wu reached back up and wrapped his hand around the bulge in Mako's shorts. They both jumped and Wu released him. "Sorry!" he blurted out.  "Too fast?"

"No," Mako answered quickly with a sharp exhale. "Just surprised me."

They both laughed and Wu relaxed a bit. "I'll go slower this time," he promised and took his time walking his fingers up Mako's thigh. He paused when he reached his crotch, marveling as he noticed the bulge looked a bit bigger.

He glanced up at Mako and found the other's gaze locked on his hand, his breathing shallow.

Mako must have felt eyes on him, because he looked up, his pupils dilated and his cheeks flushed.

Wu smiled, moving his hand the rest of the way and wrapping his fingers around Mako's clothed cock.

Mako let out a soft groan and his eyes fluttered shut. "Wu..."

That was all the encouragement he needed. Wu had done that. He'd pulled that sound from Mako's lips. And he wanted to hear more.

He gave a squeeze and reveled in the sweet gasp he'd elicited.

"We should take these off," Wu rasped, shocked at how rough his own voice sounded. "Since you're sleeping in them."

"Y-Yeah." Mako nodded and reached a hand for his shorts. Wu helped him, sucking in a breath when Mako was bared to him.

Was it too much to ask to get his shirt off, too?

As if partially reading his thoughts, Mako pulled his dress shirt up and out of the way. His abs trembled with his breath.

"Still okay, big guy?" Wu asked, tearing his eyes away.

"Yeah," Mako sighed with a slow smile. "Feels good."

Pride swelled in Wu's chest and he reached forward, taking Mako in his hand again. He gave an experimental stroke and Mako's free hand gripped the back of the couch.

Wu moved closer, pressing into Mako's side and resting his head on his shoulder again, his hand continuing to pump him slowly.

Mako dropped his hand to Wu's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "S'good," he murmured, his hot breath stirring the hairs just above Wu's ear.

Not to brag, but Wu had done this to himself plenty of times. Still, it'd be better if he had some lotion or oil from one of his suitcases. Or the en suite bathroom. But he didn't want to stop.

Mako's breath hitched when Wu traced a finger along the underside.

"W-Wu..." He turned and pressed his forehead to Wu's temple. "I need..."

But Wu had an idea. A naughty little idea. Lotion? Who needed that? There was something else he could try.

Wu extracted himself from Mako's hold, hushing his confused little whimper as he sunk to his knees on the floor.

"Wu...?" Mako's voice was so husky, his cheeks pink, and his eyes half-lidded.

"I've got you," Wu promised and then wet his lips. He could do this. Spirits, he wanted to do this. "Tell me if I'm doing it wrong?" Wu asked sheepishly. But before Mako had a chance to respond, he leaned forward, taking the head into his mouth.

"Wu, sh-shit!" Mako cursed, his uninjured hand coming down to rest atop Wu's head. His fingers twitched, but he didn't pull or tug his hair.

Wu would have smiled at the consideration if his mouth wasn't otherwise occupied.

Mako moaned above him and Wu took that as a sign he was doing a good job. He wrapped his hand around the base and tried taking more. As much as he could.

But it was too much too fast and he pulled back to cough.

"Are you all right?" Mako asked, face still flushed, but showing concern.

"I'm fine," Wu promised. "Lemme try again."

He went slower this time and, with a few practice strokes, began moving his mouth and hand in tandem.

Mako's legs shook on either side of him. And apparently, he wasn't half bad, because sooner than he thought, Mako was gasping out a warning.

"C-Close," he panted. "Where should I?"

Wu pulled back just enough to look up and answer. "You can, in my mouth."

And that's all it took.

Wu had barely gotten his lips back around him before Mako was coming, the fingers in his hair gripping tight and Wu's name echoing off the suite's walls.

He drew back, bringing a hand to his mouth. What was he supposed to do with it? The trashcan was too far, so he just swallowed.

It wasn't that bad.

In an instant, Mako's hand was on his chin, his thumb brushing against Wu's bottom lip. "Did you just...?" Mako barely sighed out. "Wu... you're too much."

At that, Wu smiled and hopped back up onto the couch, ignoring the slight ache in his knees. "I like to think I'm just enough," he sang with a wink.

"You..." Mako began and then pulled him into a kiss. "You're amazing," he whispered against his lips.

Wu grinned and nuzzled Mako's nose. "I know." Mako snorted in response. "Now, let's get you ready for bed." He paused. "You feel up to a shower?"

Mako nodded. "Once I can feel my legs again," he added.

Wu blushed. "That good, huh?"

"So good," Mako promised. "And, maybe in the shower, I could..." he trailed off, biting his lip.

"With your non-dominant hand?" Wu raised an eyebrow. "I think I'll pass for now and cash in my favor later." He was about to get up, but Mako grabbed his wrist, pulling him back down.

"Wu," he whispered huskily in his ear, sending a delightful shiver up his spine. "My mouth still works perfectly fine."

"O-oh," came Wu's flustered reply.

Maybe he'd be cashing in that favor this morning, after all.