Asami drifts into consciousness, and finds herself immediately breaking into an involuntary grin. Korra’s still in her arms, pretty much exactly where they fell asleep, and there’s some loud snoring emanating from those sexy lips. She idly rungs a fingertip along Korra’s arm. It’s bare now… at some point the gloves finally came off last night, though she really can’t remember the specifics.
She’s feeling sore, in her legs and arms, her chest, and in places that she didn’t even know existed… it’s like she’s done a two day work-out at the gym. She laughs to herself at the thought, and tries to stretch out her stiff limbs, without waking Korra. Her attempt to be subtle doesn’t work.
“Snnnrt? I… didn’t… eat the waffles.” Korra’s sleep talking. It makes her heart melt, although she’s laughing at the same time.
Korra turns to face her, and she feels flutterbees dance in her stomach when she meets the icy-blue gaze.
“Hey, beautiful.” She says, stroking Korra’s cheek.
“Hey yourself, snazzy lady…” Korra yawns. “Do you want breakfast? I’m starving.”
“mmHmm, I’m hungry too. But you should probably put clothes on this time.” She recalls what happened the last time they tried to eat, but she’s sure she can keep her hands to herself this time. Maybe.
She grabs her backpack, rummages around for her nightgown and puts it on. Then she watches Korra. It shouldn’t be possible for a person to be this attractive, when they’re clumsily stumbling across the room pulling on slacks and a t-shirt. Nor should it be possible when they’re cooking… just cooking, cracking an egg, focusing intently on said egg. She’s almost caught in a trance, focused on every single movement and facial expression, and every time Korra looks over, she feels heat rise to her cheeks.
“Breakfast is served!” Korra proclaims, proudly, whilst setting out their food. It smells amazing, and she’s suddenly feeling almost famished.
She sits at the table, grins as she takes a plate and helps herself to two slices of toast, two strips of bacon and an egg. It’s delicious… she’s pleasantly surprised, Korra really can cook, and she’s suddenly curious as to what other secrets she’s yet to discover. It’s no secret that Korra eats like a pig, that’s for sure. She’s struggling to hold back a giggle as Korra stuffs more and more food into her mouth.
“Hey, guess what…” Korra thankfully empties her mouth before talking, “I have some awesome stuff planned for today!”
“Oh, do tell?”
“It’s a surprise. I think you’ll like it.”
She cleans her plate, then heads to the bathroom, playfully fighting Korra off because they’ll definitely never leave the place if they wash together. Whilst she scrubs herself, she’s suddenly amused at the notion that she’s inside a bathroom, within a house that apparently popped up out of nowhere, just for them. She tries not to dwell on this, as it makes no scientific sense, and nor does any of the spirit world, for that matter.
Once she’s done, she swaps places with Korra, again having to fight off some seriously suggestive advances, giggling the whole time. Then she searches around the room for her scattered clothes, and smiles when she hears Korra humming away to herself in the washroom.
As she’s getting dressed, she thinks back to last night, and there’s a few shudders suddenly going up and down her spine. She’s sure she’s never been this happy before, there’s a constant buzz, a rush, running through her whole body.
The bathroom door swings open, and she finds herself staring again as Korra starts to strip and change into outdoor gear, slowly. Korra is being a tease, putting on a show, dressing slowly, and smirking every time she absent-mindedly bites her lip.
“Well then, shall we?” Korra holds out a hand which she doesn’t hesitate to take, and then they head outside together.
They walk in silence for a while, and she’s trying not to freak out every time the spirit world morphs into a different place right before her eyes, or at the fact that their temporary accommodation vanished from sight almost as soon as they’d set off. The world shifts again, and they’re suddenly walking across a large, green meadow, but Korra seems happy, and confident, so she trusts in her. But still, it can’t hurt to ask…
“So, where are we going?” she purrs, whisking herself in front of Korra and using her thumb to push back a few sexy, short brown strands of hair.
“Well, if you keep doing that, probably nowhere.” Korra breathes, the tone of the voice more than a little alluring.
“Korra, no. We’re in the middle of a giant, open field…!” she giggles. It’s a nice field though... the grass looks soft, warm and inviting. She’s just considering tackling Korra to the ground, when there’s a loud, frightening caw up ahead. She looks up, and what appears to be some kind of dragon, or bird, is headed straight toward them.
“Err... Korra?” She asks, nervously, getting ready to run. Then there’s a squeeze at her hand.
“It’s fine. Trust me.” Korra looks back, smiles at her. She tries to stop the panic welling inside, Korra probably knows what she’s doing, she hopes.
Sure enough, the giant dragon-bird lands in front of them, and then Korra’s laughing and stroking it on the beak.
“You know him?” Asami’s in awe. Korra’s tamed a dragon?
“Her. And yeah, we go way back. Did I never tell you the story?”
“Not this one.” Asami realises again, there’s so much to learn about Korra… so much.
“Well, hop on, I’ll tell you all about it!”
Hop on…? Wait, Korra wants her to fly on that thing? She’s suddenly feeling a sense of dread, looks at the ground and fidgets her feet. An airplane is one thing, but a living creature that can shake you off any time it deems fit is quite another. And what if it sneezes? Ooops, there you go, falling down ten thousand feet to your certain death.
“Uh, Asami?” Korra’s walking over to her.
She’s sure this is a rational fear, any transportation that isn’t mechanical, it’s scary, unpredictable. It took long enough for her to trust Naga, though the first time she rode her it was out of desperation, when she’d tried to rescue a mediating Korra.
Korra’s bent down, and looking up at her. She’s feeling embarrassed, doesn’t want to admit her phobia.
“You don’t have to. Honestly, I just thought you might enjoy it, flying, that is.” Korra’s grinning at her now, and she’s feeling herself coming around to the idea.
“But… what if we fall?” Might as well just ask, worse that can happen is Korra laughs at her.
“Asami.” Korra takes her hand, wears a serious expression, “I’d never let anything happen to you. You know that, right?”
She laughs. Of course, Korra’s the avatar, as well as an expert air bender. Sometimes, she just forgets these things, because to her, she’s just Korra – an amazing woman that she’s fallen in love with.
“Well okay then…” Asami takes Korra’s hand, allows herself to be pulled up behind her onto the bright gold mane. It’s weird, feeling the texture of fur, and warm scales, in the place of leather and the deep hum of an engine.
“Now hold on tight, and I mean reaaaally tight!” Korra shouts. She doesn’t need to be told twice, she’s got her arms wrapped so tightly around Korra she might snap her waist in half, and that’s before they’ve even left the ground.
Then there’s a sudden shift, a massive, loud pound as the dragon thrusts its feet into the floor and slams its wings downwards, and a rush of air as she’s pushed backward by the force of the lift. Then then they’re climbing, climbing faster than she’s ever moved in her life. She’s clinging onto Korra for dear life now, screaming, whilst she can feel Korra laughing.
Eventually, the death-climb stops, and it feels like they’re in a steady glide. She prises one eye open and gasps, suddenly struck with awe. Beneath them there’s an endless expanse of colour, meadows of yellow, purple and white, and rivers of green and blue. It really is another world, a massive, alien world, and there’s so much that she wants to find out about it.
She allows her vice-grip on Korra to relax a little, starts to really take in the sight, and she’s thrilled by the sensation of wind rushing through her hair.
“Do you like it?” Korra’s looking back at her, wearing a gigantic grin.
“Like it? I love it!” she shouts across the strong air currents.
They stay up there a while. Korra tells her all about how she met the dragon-bird, how the spirit world turned her back into a child for a short time, and many other tales of wonder that she struggles to believe, but she knows Korra wouldn’t lie. And besides which, they’re flying, in a different world, on a giant spirit bird-dragon. She feels she’d be a hypocrite to question anything at this point in time.
The next thing she knows, Korra’s telling her to hold on tight again, and she’s caught in a series of aerial acrobatics, sharp, fast dives followed by breath-taking climbs. It’s terrifying… amazing, exciting. Frightened screams become childish giggles, and before she knows it, she’s demanding more. Korra’s happy to oblige, and they’re thrown into a spinning dive which sends her dizzy. Then they’re gliding again… She pulls herself into Korra, squeezing tightly, pressing her cheek into her back. Her heads spinning, but she’s never had so much fun.
Eventually, it’s time to land, and Korra’s feeling ecstatic that her first surprise for Asami went so well. She could see that there’d been a lot of nervousness at first, but Asami really got into it, and had asked for all kinds of crazy new stunts, most of which they’d done. She’d drawn the line at an inverted loop, though. Even she’d be nervous at that one.
They both dismount, then she pats the dragon-bird on the head, thanks her sincerely, and waves good-bye as she flies away.
“Korra… that was… something else.” Asami’s grinning at her. And her hairs a mess, she’s trying not to laugh but it’s really a mess, and it’s the first time she’s actually seen it be anything other than perfect.
“Is something the matter?” Asami raises an eyebrow.
“Nothing.” She snorts the word and covers her mouth. Woops.
“Korra.” Asami’s folding her arms now, she’s not fooled.
She walks up to Asami, and runs her fingers through the frizzed up, wild and messy black hair, trying to straighten it out.
“I’ve just never seen your hair look anything other than perfect. It tickled me.” She’s still holding back a laugh.
“Oh… is that so?” Asami says, reaching an arm out and violently ruffling her hair.
“Very much so!” she tackles Asami to the ground and unleashes a counter attack, messing up that perfect black hair more than it’s ever been messed up before.
“Why you little!”
“Who you calling little? I’m the avatar!” she raises an eyebrow at her messy-haired prey, in defiance. But then Asami’s tickling her, her only weakness, and now it’s… game over.
“haha! Stop! Mercy!” she’s crying, she’s at Asami’s mercy and she can’t even control her limbs enough to defend herself.
Asami eventually relents, clearly a merciful goddess, then sits up and smiles down at her.
“I’m… having a wonderful time. Thanks, Korra.” There’s a small flush on Asami’s cheeks as she says it, it’s really endearing. She sits up and kisses Asami, just a peck on the lips.
“I’m just glad you’re here with me. And also, I haven’t finished yet.”
“Nope, follow me.” She stands, dusts off her clothes and stretches out her hand.
She’s learnt how to navigate in the spirit world by now, it’s a natural thing to her. She simply works out where she wants to be, visualises it, and walks. So it’s of no surprise at all when they soon end up at the beautiful oasis she’s stumbled upon in the past.
“I know, right?” she’s grinning. It’s quite the spectacle… a waterfall gushes down from an impossibly-high cliff, cascading into a crystal clear pool. There’s spirits all around, lush vegetation, and the thing that she loves the most of all are the scents here, it’s like a mild perfume, lavender, a little salt, and pine. It’s always reminded her a bit of Asami, though she isn’t sure why.
She performs a couple of fisted upward arm-flicks to pull a make-shift bench and table from the earth.
“Wait here…” she releases Asami’s hand, giving it a quick squeeze of reassurance first, before she heads to the lake ahead. She stops to focus for a moment, getting a feel for the water and everything within, then suddenly tugs her arm toward her chest, yanking a thin stream of water out, and with it, a nice, fat, juicy fish.
“Hah! Scooore.” She grins, holding her jiggling prey aloft.
Asami’s clapping and cheering behind her, and she’s feeling an adrenaline rush.
“I’ll build a fire.” Asami says, and starts to collect twigs, leaves and wood from the vicinity. It doesn’t take long, and there’s soon a nice pyramid-shaped fire, waiting to be lit. Asami’s obviously had some experience in this kind of thing, the revelation of which surprises her.
“So, you know outdoor survival stuff?” she asks, as she crouches close to the fire and gently coaxes it to life with a small burst of flame-breath.
“Hmmm. A bit, Dad used to arrange for all kinds of lessons...” Asami’s looking at her with an almost unreadable expression.
“Uh, should I… not use bending?” she’s never been quite sure where Asami stands on the matter, now that she thinks about it. Sure, using it in battle is one thing, but what about day-to-day, like this?
Asami laughs, “Since when have I ever had a problem with your bending, Korra? Honestly, I was just thinking how… sexy it is.”
“mmHmm” Asami rests her chin on her hand, “especially that little bit of fire-breathing you just did.”
“Heh, duly noted.” She’s blushing at the compliment, and the fire’s burning along quite nicely now.
Korra cooks the fish to perfection, and she’s feeling very proud of herself when she watches Asami hungrily tuck into it.
“Is it good?” she asks, her mouth half full.
“Vewy!” Asami’s cheeks are full of food.
Korra bursts out laughing, Asami’s swatting at her in protest, and she’s feeling overwhelmed again by just how much she’s in love.
She’s sure she doesn’t deserve this, doesn’t deserve Asami at all… not after she abandoned her. Guilt stabs her heart at the thought, and she ends up eating the rest of her meal in silence… she’s not really hungry anymore.
Korra’s being… oddly quiet.
“Hey… Korra?” She’s nervous, for the first time since they came here. They’ve had a delicious meal, there’s a spectacular sight in front of them, there’s spirits all around and whilst she can’t deny that it’s beautiful, all she’s doing right now is fret that there’s something the matter. Korra’s not looking at her. Not talking to her.
The sky’s getting darker. She’s sure it’s going to rain or something, and she’s starting to feel a bit of panic at Korra’s continued silence. Then she remembers.
“The sky’s getting gloomy, I know what this means, you told me about it…”
Korra looks up at the sky, and she can see there’s tears. Why is Korra crying? What’s going on?
She puts her hand atop Korra’s. She wonders what on earth has happened to change Korra’s mood so suddenly. Did she push things too far last night? Too much, too soon?
“I’m sorry…” Korra’s voice breaks, it’s heart-wrenching to hear.
“Korra, you need to tell me what’s wrong…” she entwines their fingers, tries to look into Korra’s eyes, but they’re looking away.
“This was supposed to be a special day, now I’ve ruined it.”
She sits, listens, and lets Korra speak. Sometimes that’s all that you need to do.
Korra releases her hand and stands, then starts to pace. She wants to reach out and touch her, but she holds back. She continues to sit and listen. That’s what she forces herself to do, and what she’s done so many times before, for Korra at least.
Suddenly, Korra stands still and turns to face her, and she’s shocked by the vulnerability shown in those amazing, captivating eyes. It’s a pure, exposed look. She’s never seen Korra this this.
“’Sami… last night was… I can’t even…” she doesn’t even notice the nickname, not consciously. She stands up, takes Korra’s hand again, and squeezes it. She’s hoping whatever this is, they can work through it, because otherwise, she thinks she might actually die. She’s feeling tears well at her cheek, without even knowing what the hell’s wrong.
“…It was the single greatest moment of my life.” Korra continues, and is still looking away. Me too! She wants to say, me too, and I love you so much it hurts, you damn dork. She stays silent, squeezes Korra’s hand more tightly, dreading what could come next. Whatever it is, she wants it over with. Just speak, Korra. She wills it with her mind, like it can make a difference somehow.
“I don’t deserve you.” Korra states, turning away. Asami’s heart melts. She’s had enough of being the distant listener… she can’t do it anymore. She closes the small gap between them, and wraps her arms around Korra’s shoulders. And there, she can feel Korra shuddering in her embrace, crying.
“I left you…”
Asami closes her eyes.
“Korra… we’ve talked about this, its fine. I’m fine.” She isn’t sure why this is coming up again.
“No.” Korra’s pulled away from the hug to face her, with damp eyes. She absent-mindedly wipes away Korra’s tears.
“We’d just started to… or at least, I’d just started to… and then, Zaheer...” Korra spits the last part. She’s trying to put together the fractured pieces of Korra’s words, and she has an idea what it could be, but she doesn’t dare think for a moment she could be right. Still, she lets Korra speak.
“I… I knew it even back then. I was just a coward.” Finally, Korra’s talking, letting it out. She listens some more.
“I knew it right back when we built that damn desert raft. I knew it.” Korra takes her wrist in a strong but not painful grip, stares intently into her eyes.
“I fell for you... I’ve loved you ever since then, and… I did nothing. And then I got hurt, and I ran away, and I didn’t even fucking write to you! I tried, I tried... but what kind of an excuse is that?”
The weather’s turned stormy now, but she’s not paying much attention anymore. Tears are streaming out of those perfect blue eyes, and though the words are an absolute revelation, she can digest the impact of it all later. All she can think about right now, is comforting Korra.
She pulls Korra into her arms again, holds her tight, strokes her hair.
“I told you, I don’t deserve you...” Korra’s sniffling into her chest, which at this moment in time, feels like it’s about to burst.
“You’ve got it all wrong, Korra.” She’s smiling, still stroking Korra’s hair, and tears are falling down her cheeks too, “It’s me that doesn’t deserve you.”
Korra leans back, looks about to interrupt her, but she places a finger on her lips.
“Do you really think a woman in my position couldn’t have found a way to visit during that time? I was scared, Korra. I’d already asked to follow you, and you said no, so I thought it best to stay away. In truth, I was terrified that if I did turn up you’d reject me. I put myself first. I should have come to you regardless… you were suffering, so much.”
Korra sniffs against her chest, mumbling, “I did tell you I needed to be alone, to be fair.”
“Would you have turned me away?”
Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, she muses. They’re silent for a while.
“I fell for you at the same time. Back at the desert.” She confesses the truth, and it’s like a massive weight falls off her shoulders. She feels Korra’s body stiffen at the words.
“You mean…?” Korra’s looking up at her, eyes brimming with hope. It’s beautiful.
“I… I love you too.” She smiles, then slowly presses her lips into Korra’s for a tear-stained kiss, where she can feel that Korra’s wearing a huge smile too. She breaks away slightly, laughing and crying at the same time, “I love you.” She says it a second time, nudging their noses together.
Then Korra’s kissing her again, and she’s suddenly weak at her knees, falling to the floor in Korra’s arms. “I love you…” she whispers for a third time, as Korra kisses her neck gently, and she surrenders herself to those lips without so much as a flicker of hesitation.
It’s not the same as last night.
They undress each other slowly, between tender kisses. They’re patient, softly trailing hands and lips across every inch of one another’s body. There’s gasps of pleasure, whispers of their hearts desires, of their love, of their names. Fingers entwine with fingers, and into each other’s hair. Thighs lock against thighs, bodies writhe, and there’s an eventual, shuddering, unified release.
Afterwards, Asami drapes her jacket around them both, and they sit by the still-glowing fire, tightly wound in each other’s arms. Korra’s head is upon her chest, and she’s slowly running her fingers through the brown locks of hair. No more words need to be spoken, and their tears, this time, are from sheer happiness.