The Legend of Korra was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and is owned by someone not me.
All recognisable characters, events and locations are likewise owned by someone not me.
Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
This is my first attempt at Avatar related fan-fiction.
People Gonna Talk
Asami was the first to notice that people were acting differently around them, but she put it down to wanting to give Korra time and space to recover. And while the young Avatar was still confined to a wheelchair, she was at least starting to regain some of her physical strength, which was starting to lift her out of the depression she had fallen into after her almost fatal battle with Zaheer and his Red Lotus organisation. But she was still somewhat fragile, both physically and emotionally, so the rest of their little group decided to give her support, but allow her time to heal. Unfortunately, that meant that Tenzin and Lin spent most of their time running interference to keep President Raiko from bothering Korra, Pema was busy with the younger children, Mako and Bolin were hunting down any Red Lotus members they could find in or around Republic City, Tonraq had returned to the Southern Water Tribe to try and keep order, Suyin had been forced to return to Zaofu to try and stave off the chaos that was engulfing the Earth Kingdom, Bumi was off doing something for the United Forces that no one was really willing to talk about openly, and Kya had left for one of the emergency camps set up along the border between the United Republic and the Earth Kingdom to try and help heal the injured refugees fleeing the growing anarchy that was verging on all-out civil war.
All that left only Asami and Naga to help Korra, the former having taken a leave of absence from running Future Industries to help her friend. Taking a room next to Korras, Asami spent almost every waking moment at her friends side, refusing to let the Avatar slip any deeper into disrepair. It had been difficult; at first, Korra hadn't the strength to comb her own hair, but Asami had stuck to her guns, refusing to back down and took every insult and curse Korra could throw at her without even batting and eyelash. Naga had proved surprisingly helpful, her very presence an emotional rock for Korra to hold on to. Asami had no idea if the polar bear dog truly understood what was going on, but she appreciated the help anyway. And it was helpful: Korra couldn't bring herself to wallow in endless self-pity when she saw it was affecting Naga, and she had forced herself to be more upbeat and cheerful. This had in turn allowed her to realise that she was getting better, little by little, and that helped lift her out of the darkness that had threatened to consume her. Asami hadn't told anyone, but late one night, when she had taken a walk to try and clear her head, she'd found Korra sitting in her wheelchair by the dockside, apparently trying to gather the strength to take her own life. Asami had been so shocked and enraged that she had actually slapped the Avatar across the face before wheeling her back to her room, staying up all night just to keep an eye on her.
They hadn't spoken about it since, but it was clear that Korra was grateful for the intervention.
Bumi had been the first to actually say anything, simply commenting that Korra was very lucky to have someone special in her life when she needed it the most. Asami had assumed he meant as a friend, but there was an odd glint in the old soldiers eyes as he said it that had, at the time, struck her as slightly odd. Kya has elbowed her brother in the ribs and gave him a look that could have stopped a charging saber-tooth moose lion, and nothing more had been said. A few days later, one of the Air Acolytes asked, somewhat hesitantly, if she wanted her bed moved into Korra's room, and she had absent-mindedly replied that it wasn't necessary. For days after she'd noticed that she'd been getting off looks from the rest of the Air Acolytes and even the White Lotus guards, and it felt like the entire temple was walking on eggshells, until one brave young Acolyte had asked if everything was okay between her and Korra. Once assured that yes, everything was fine, there had been an unmistakable senses of relief across the entire island. Even Pema had given her a knowing smile.
Asami realised just what was going on the day she took Korra out for a walk around the island. The young Avatars strength had returned to the point where she felt that she could push herself back to the main temple from the far side of the island without any help. Asami had been reluctant to allow her to try, worried that even the smallest failure could crush her slowly rebuilding self-confidence. Korra had, inevitably, seen this as a challenge, and flat-out insisted that she not only wheel herself back, but could do so while carrying Asami. Maybe it was the fact that Korra actually seemed to be genuinely happy for the first time in weeks, but Asami had reluctantly agreed, expecting to spent the journey hanging off the back of the wheelchair. But Korra had said something about not wanting her to cheat, and then pulled her very surprised friend down onto her lap and started off before she had a chance to react. Asami had little choice but to put both arms around Korras neck and hold on for dear life as they had rolled down the path far faster than she would have considered going even in her favourite Satomobile, let alone in something as rickety as Korras wheelchair. Despite this, Korras evident glee at actually doing something she had set her mind to had been infectious, and the two of them were soon laughing and cheering as they rocketed past startled Air Acolytes and one very surprised Tenzin, who almost fell face-first into a reflecting pool before he was able to steady himself with a quick bit of airbending.
They had arrived in the central courtyard at breakneck speed, the wheelchair threatening to topple over as they skidded to a halt, but Korra had wrapped her arms around Asami and shifted their weight to counterbalance them. They had hugged each-other, laughing like madmen, too caught up in the exhilaration of their shared experience to notice the fact that everyone was looking at them. But eventually they did notice, and while Korra put their looks down to a mixture of disbelief that the notoriously rambunctious Avatar had found a way to cause trouble even while unable to use her bending and a certain amount of jealousy that they'd never get way with doing it, Asami had caught a few winks and sly grins from some of the bolder observers, and it suddenly hit her what the two of them must have looked like. Then everything else came into sudden, sharp focus: everyone thought that she was with Korra.
That she was with Korra.
That she was in a relationship with Korra.
That she was in a romantic relationship with Korra.
That her and Korra were a couple, or any other variation of the same basic premiss that you could care to come up with. Republic City was a cosmopolitanism place, and such relationships were not unheard of. Nor was Asami a prude or a bigot; she had no qualms with what two people got up to while alone, so long as neither party was hurt. But she'd never looked at another woman, let alone Korra, like that in her entire life. She was attracted to men, as her disastrous attempts at a relationship with Mako should have made clear to anyone who was paying attention. Korra was more like the sister she'd never had, her closest friend and confidant, yes, but never any more than that. Wasn't she?
Whatever the case, Korra seemed to be blissfully unaware of their supposed change in relationship, and Asami was simply too embarrassed to bring it up. She'd tried talking to Pema and Tenzin, but the Air Acolyte had simply patted her on the arm with a knowing smile, while her husband had blushed deep red and mumbled something about not being his place to say anything before making an excuse to head back to the city, post-hast. There was no point trying to talk to anyone else; aside from the children, who were apparently oblivious, everyone seemed to be completely convinced that the two of them were now officially a couple, even if they did avoid openly admiring it, no doubt to try and save them any embarrassment. Seemingly unable to do anything about it, Asami had decided to just do her best to ignore it and hope it all blew over before Korra twigged on.
Unfortunately, fate had other ideas.
Spring had arrived in Republic City, bringing with it unseasonably warm weather that Korra, a native of the South Pole, seemed intent on making the most of. She had begged and pleaded with Asami to take her down to one of the small, sandy beaches on the island, somewhere she could relax in the sun without the constant coming and going of newly discovered airbenders. Asami had been unable to say no to those big, puppy-dog eyes that her friend used whenever she really wanted something. With Naga carrying a picnic hamper and other supplies, they had made their way down to one of the easier to reach but none the less secluded coves, and Asami had helped Korra out of her chair and down onto the warm sand while Naga played in the surf. Korra was still too weak to do much in the way of bending, but she was able to make a small but respectable sand-castle, even if the effort had taken more out of her than she cared to admit. Seeing that her friend was drained, Asami had suggested that they relax in the shade of a nearby tree and enjoy the warmth for a while, something Korra had been more than willing to agree to. With a little work, the two of them were soon relaxing in the shade, with only the soft lapping of the waves and the distant cry of a flock of toucan puffins for company.
Asami had never intended to fall asleep, but she found herself awoken by Naga shifting slightly, as if she had sensed something, and she opened her eyes to find Korra laying with her head resting on her friends lap, a contented smile on her face as she continued to sleep. Asami had been unwilling to wake her friend, and instead had simply brushed a few stray heirs from across her face. She couldn't help but smile; Korra seemed so relaxed, so happy, so much like her old self that possible to believe, just for a moment, that things were back to the way they had been before Zaheer had captured her. She wasn't sure why, but Asami felt compelled to lean down and plant a soft kiss on Korras forehead, just below her hairline.
"Are you happy now?" A familiar voice from somewhere on the rocks above and behind them surprised Asami, and she froze ridged, her lips still touching Korras head. "You just had to go and ruin both of them, didn't you?"
Slowly lifting her head back and turning to the side, Asami felt a growing sense of dread as she looked up to see Mako and Bolin looking down at them. The older of the two looked equal parts shocked and betrayed, while his younger brother looked amused. For a moment, it looked like Mako was going to say something, but then he just turned and stalked off back towards the temple.
"Sorry." Bolin smiled apologetically and winked, "We didn't realise we were interrupting some 'alone time'." He turned and strolled off with a friendly wave, "We'll see you at dinner."
Asami closed her eyes and uttered a string of curses under her breath; now she was going to have to tell Korra.
It shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that Korra was not only amused by what Asami told her when she awoke an hour later, but actually seemed to find some perverse enjoyment out of her friends embarrassment. It soon became clear that she was going to enjoy this new notoriety, not missing a single opportunity to flaunt her 'relationship' with the beautiful young heiress to the Future Industries empire. And try as she might deny it, Asami had found herself actually enjoying it, even if she was convinced that it would all come back to bight them when the truth finally came out. But anything that helped raise Korras spirits and hasten her recovery was well worth the risk. And she was still young and carefree enough to enjoy the look on President Raiko's face when he invited himself to dinner one evening, only to find himself sitting across from Korra and Asami as they sat just a little bit closer together than etiquette traditionally allowed, which Korra only made worse by placing her hand on-top of Asami's as they drank tea afterwards. Under different circumstances, Asami would have sworn that Korra was marking her territory, so to speak, but it was all part of their little game, right?
Weeks passed in a blur of physical therapy sessions and jokes at the expense of anyone and everyone who came within range, and Asami noticed that Korra was spending more and more time alone in her room, and while she was no longer afraid that her friend might try and hurt herself again, she still felt an odd pang of jealousy that Korra had found something to do that she wasn't a part of. Then she had mentally kicked herself for thinking like that, reminding herself that she was, in no uncertain terms, most defiantly not in any kind of romantic relationship with her best friend!
Then, one night, as she stepped into her room, she saw a small box sitting on her bed. Opening it slowly, she gasped to see a beautiful necklaces inside, with four gemstones, each engraved with the symbol of one of the four elements; white opal for air, aquamarine for water, jet for earth and a red topaz for fire. She lifted it up and let the evening sunlight glisten off of the jewels, and she was shocked when she realised that it was a variation of a betrothal necklace, the traditional indication of an engagement in the Northern and Southern Water Tribes.
"You like it?" Korra's voice came from the doorway, the shock of her unheralded arrival almost making Asami drop the gift.
"I love it." Asami smiled, "It's beautiful."
"Good; it took me a long time to get each stone just right." Korra wheeled herself across the room and pulled a surprised Asami down onto her lap. Taking the necklace from her friends hands, she carefully placed it around Asamis neck, the leather choker just the right length, "Figured that, as I'm the Avatar, the master of all four elements, that it wouldn't be right to just have a waterbending symbol."
"You went to all this, just to make fun of what people think?" Asami asked as she traced each symbol in turn with a fingertip.
"I've never cared what other people think." Korra captured Asami's face with one hand and gently pulled her down for a tender kiss, "But I want everyone to know that I'll never let go of what's most important to me..."