Learning to Share

Author: KJ

Fandom: Legend of Korra

Pairing: Asami/Korra

Rating: Teen and Up

Summary: Korra decides its time Asami releases that tight hold she's had on her emotions for far too long.

Disclaimer: Not my characters, just borrowing them for a bit.

Avatar Korra sat comfortably on the wall of the Air Temple, for the first time in what seemed like forever, feeling stress-free and able to breathe as things were finally quiet in the United Republic. Korra had no doubt it wouldn't last long but she would take it while it lasted.

After everything that had happened in the last few years, all the battles, the tragedy, the pain…Korra had finally reached a level of peace with who she was and her destiny. And she loved it. She loved helping people and if the truth were known, she really loved beating up benders who thought their powers gave them the right to abuse those without them. The only thing she enjoyed more was when non-benders were able to show their attackers they weren't helpless.

Just then, one particularly dangerous non-bender made her way out of the temple. Asami, Mako and Bolin had joined the Air Benders for dinner as had become sort of a habit and when Korra had stepped outside, Bolin had been having a face making contest with Meelo while Mako was attempting to ward off the barrage of never-ending questions from Ikki and Asami just sat there holding Rohan and laughing at the infants antics. It was at those times Korra realized how much she'd missed them all while she was gone and how much she'd missed having Asami living at the temple. Suddenly she felt the need to be by herself. She wasn't sad, just overwhelmed and needed to collect herself and while she loved her Air Bender family dearly, she sometimes needed to escape to a quiet space for a few moments.

From her little hidden corner, Korra watched Asami as she made her way to the wall near the bay, the light of the full moon letting her see the smile that lingered on her face. A face that Korra had always seen as impossibly beautiful. At first Asami's looks had intimidated her to the point of being resentful and that combined with her wealth and the fact that she was dating the guy Korra wanted blinded her. She had been unjustly mean to Asami and when she learned what an amazingly brave, kind and generous person Asami Sato was beneath that perfect exterior, she'd felt extremely guilty and that grew even worse when she began dating Mako and then turned her father in.

No matter what Korra did to her or how difficult things got for Asami there was always a smile on her face and kindness in her heart and even the memory of that kept Korra going during the darkest moments of her life.

So knowing that, it startled Korra to see the smile that had been on Asami's face vanish almost instantly as soon as she was away from the temple to be replaced by a look had never expected and certainly never wanted to see on Asami's face. It was a sharp mixture of deep loss and sorrow and Korra's heart ached at the sight because something told her that this was an expression the other woman wore far more than anyone knew. It didn't take a genius to know Asami believed she was alone and preferred to stay that way, but there was no way Korra was going to let the person who meant more to her than anyone aside from her parents, remain so sad and not try to comfort her.

She slid down from the wall and cautiously approached Asami, not wanting to frighten her. The closer she got, the more concerned she grew as she saw the dejected slump of strong shoulders and a shaky sigh wafted on the breeze to Korra's ears.

"Asami?" she called softly from a safe distance.

Asami jumped in surprise and spun around to see Korra standing just outside of the shadows, watching her with a look of concern on her face.

"Oh Korra you scared me," she chuckled, holding a hand to her chest. "It's a lovely night isn't it?"

If Korra hadn't been so worried, she would have actually been impressed by how easily Asami's expression switched from unhappy to welcoming.

"Don't," she chided quietly

"Excuse me?" Asami asked politely.

"I saw you." Korra said, inexplicably irritated by Asami's pleasant tone. It was as if Asami didn't trust her with her true emotions and that hurt.

"Saw me what?"

"I saw YOU Asami," Korra said seriously, stepping toward the woman who was apparently far more complicated than Korra had thought. "You're sad. Why?"

"Korra, I'm not…"

"Yes you are," Korra retorted angrily and stepped right into Asami's face. "And I think it's more than your dad. I think you've been sad for as long as I've known you but you've always hidden it. Why?"

Asami stiffened. "Look, I just needed some fresh air Korra. That's it."

Korra wasn't having it. "Why won't you talk to me? And don't bother telling me there isn't anything to talk about."

Asami was growing frustrated. She'd enjoyed spending time with Tenzin and his sweet if a bit rambunctious family as well as her friends but sometimes, when she least expected it, a wave of darkness and emptiness overcame her and she just needed a few minutes to regroup alone. That was all she wanted, just a few minutes alone. She'd had no idea the Avatar was out here watching.

"I just needed a moment to breathe. Meelo and Ikki…"

"Nope. Not buying it," Korra interrupted, crossing her arms over her chest.

Asami felt her chest tightening in anxiety. She hadn't completely shaken the depression when Korra approached her and Korra's pushing was close to pushing her over the edge.

"Maybe I just wanted to be alone," Asami snapped. "You know, like you did when you disappeared for three years? I didn't push you then and I'd appreciate it if you returned the favor."

Asami clapped her hand over her mouth, ashamed to have revealed even that much. She was stronger than that. She just needed time. That's all.

"I'm just tired. I think I'm going to head home," she said more calmly. "Good night Korra and thank you for dinner."

Korra watched Asami leave and briefly considered using some sort of bending to keep her from going until she told Korra what was haunting her but she couldn't do that. Not to Asami.

Sighing, Korra walked back inside, her good mood from earlier gone.

"Is everything alright?" Tenzin asked kindly.

"No." Korra admitted.

"Did you and Asami have a fight or something?" Bolin asked. "She was looking kind of cranky when she left."

"I don't know," Korra replied honestly, Asami's accusation ringing in her ears. Since her return, there had only been one brief moment where Korra suspected the other woman was less than accepting of her three year disappearance, but the anger seemed to disappear as quickly as it had come and Korra now kicked herself for not pursuing it because obviously Asami was a long way from forgetting it.

"While I was gone, did you guys ever notice her acting…weird?" She asked.

"She drives satomobiles like a crazy person just for fun. She is weird," Bolin noted.

"I was working a lot," Mako added, rolling his eyes at his brother, "but when I saw her she didn't seem different to me."

Korra sighed. "It's no wonder Asami wasn't willing to reveal her feelings. She thought, with good reason apparently, nobody would care.

"Now that you mention it," Pema spoke up thoughtfully, "when she was living here at the temple, I would sometimes get up in the mornings and see her standing outside by herself. She seemed a little…sad I thought, but when I asked her, she always had her bright smile on her face and said everything was fine." Pema frowned, feeling a little pang in her heart. "Do you…maybe I should have tried harder?"

Korra shook her head. "I don't think it would have worked. I've only just realized myself, that there is apparently a lot more to Asami Sato than she lets anyone see.

"She has been through a lot," Tenzin said. "Losing her mother at such an early age and so violently, her father's betrayal and having to learn to forgive him only to lose him as well, the pressure of rebuilding a massive corporation by herself. It's to be expected that she feels a little overwhelmed now and then."

"We've all gone through tough spots," Mako interjected, "but she's got her money back and her company is back at the top. What does she really have to be stressed over?"

"Were you this dense when you two were dating?" Korra asked, irritated with his assumption that Asami's…that anyone's happiness was tied to money.

"What? I just meant…"

"Forget it," Korra waved him off, not willing to listen to him justify his insensitivity.

"Everyone has moments where it's too much to smile," Pema pointed out kindly.

"Not Asami," Bolin said, "she's always smiling. See? Weird."

"Not really funny," Korra said, for once not amused by her friend's jovial nature. "I saw her earlier and it finally hit me that all that smiling and happiness is a mask. I think she's been hurting for longer than any of us have known her but nobody took the time to see it."

"Well if you're right, how are we supposed to know if she's upset if she doesn't tell us?" Mako argued. "Besides, we've been too busy saving the world to worry about feelings."

Korra gritted her teeth, remembering why here infatuation with him had faded so quickly. "We should never be too busy to notice a friend in pain," she told him.

"Well said," Tenzin said proudly. "I only really got to know Asami while she was staying here after everything with her father. We didn't really speak much, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Asami had to learn to hide her feelings a long time ago given who she was. In the business world, honest emotions can be seen as a weakness to be preyed on, which is why I'm glad I'm not a part of it," he said drily. "And I also think that being a non-bender, she may see herself as less than us, especially you Korra. She may think whatever troubles she has are trivial to your burdens and if she expresses them, you may leave her behind."

"That's just ridiculous," Bolin exclaimed, waking a dozing Pabu and earning an irritated chirping.

"Not to her," Korra said angrily.

"If it's true," Mako argued. "Maybe she's just tired or something. She's always working at her factory, when she's not out fighting with us."

That just made Korra feel even worse. She offered a bitter laugh. "Some friends we've…I've turned out to be. I've just gotten so used to having her around, fighting with us and laughing with us I've forgotten who she is. She fights even though she has no powers. She risks her life fighting people so much more powerful with her skills and a glove. She never, never hesitates to help all of us in any way we need it. Her factory, her house, her money, her life, everything and she never asks for anything in return, except…" she paused as she remembered what had been the darkest period of her life.

"Except what?" Tenzin prodded in his gentle noninvasive way.

"Except for wanting to help me when I was injured and I just shot her down. I didn't even bother to think that maybe she needed to help me. I told her I wanted to be alone and now she won't let me help her."

"Asami is a complicated woman who's had only herself to depend on for far too long," Pema said. "I think you're going to have to work to convince her that it's safe and necessary for her to let her guard down sometimes."

Korra didn't hesitate. She got to her feet and without a word to anyone, she ran after the woman she clearly didn't know as well as she had thought.

"I'm not going to cry," Asami muttered to herself as she made her way to the docks, fighting the sting in her eyes. She didn't know why it was taking longer than usual to rid herself of the dark feelings. Yes she did. Normally when she fell into one of these moods she was alone and she could just turn her thoughts to business and the mood would pass. This time she'd had a witness and it was the last person on earth she wanted to see and to make matters worse Korra simply wouldn't leave her alone to pull herself together.

"No," she told herself angrily, "if she gets to wander off and deal with things all by herself, then I can too," she muttered. "I've done just fine on my own even before I met her…them," she quickly corrected.

Suddenly a large white body appeared in front of her and Asami squealed in surprise.

"Naga!" she gasped. "Where did you come from?"

In response, the big polar bear dog gave Asami a big wet lick across the face.

"Yuck," Asami found herself laughing as she wiped her cheek. She lifted her hands and rubbed the playful dog's face.

"You're pretty quiet for such a big bundle of fur," she said fondly, scratching Naga's ears and laughing at the near purr she got in response.

"She loves you."

Asami spun around, not really surprised to see Korra standing there watching them.


"Naga. I mean she's good with most people, but she's really seems to like you. That says something," Korra said, cautiously stepping toward the woman and her giant companion. She was torn between offended and amused when Naga merely nudged her arm then went back to letting Asami scratch her chin.

"She's very sweet," was Asami's reply. "So I guess you can make sure she doesn't follow me to the ferry."

"Don't go," Korra blurted.

"Korra please," Asami said, hating the almost pleading tone of her voice.

"Do you hate me?"

"Do I…what?" Asami was totally shocked by the question and her heart ached at the sad, injured look in the surprisingly innocent blue eyes.

"Do you hate me? For being gone so long and for not letting you come with me?"

"No, of course I don't hate you," Asami said fervently. "I could never hate you. You did what you had to do. I understand"

Korra shook her head. "I wish you'd stop that," she said softly. "I should have let you come with me."

"Why? You wanted to be alone and that's your right."

Korra shook her head, hating that she was so bad at expressing herself. "Come with me," she said.

Asami was getting dizzy trying to follow Korra's thought processes. "Come with you where?"

"You and I…well I thought, if you wanted to, that maybe we could go somewhere and talk. Maybe…maybe you'd like to see the Spirit World?"

"Really?" Asami asked, unable to hide her eagerness at the idea.

Korra's heart fluttered at the excitement in Asami's eyes "Yeah sure. Just us…" a low whine drew her attention, "and Naga too. If you don't mind."

Asami chuckled as a big white nose poked her neck. "I can't say no to Naga. She won't let me."

Korra laughed. "So, we're on then?"

Asami nodded. "When do you want to go?"

"Now," Korra replied immediately.

Asami hesitated. "I'm not ready," she protested. "I don't have…"

"We'll stop at your place and you can pack," Korra pushed, growing more excited about the idea.

Asami looked into Korra's earnest blue eyes and shook her head, thinking it was remarkably unfair that this one small woman had the physical powers of the Avatar but also those big enormous polar bear puppy eyes which could have anyone doing anything.

"Alright. Let's go then."

"Great…"Korra froze and then her face heated in embarrassment. "Oh wait, I need to pack too. Let's go back to the temple and…"

Asami shook her head. "I'll wait here with Naga," she said, not really wanting to face the air benders or Mako and Bolin.

"Okay. Well I'll be right back. And then, like the wind, she was gone.

"She's kind of weird isn't she girl?" Asami asked, petting Naga and chuckling at the small yip of agreement she received.

"Well, here we are." Korra said nervously. "Are you ready?"

"As I'll ever be," Asami replied, smiling at Naga's rumbling woof.

"Okay Naga, remember, no chasing spirits," Korra warned playfully, laughing at Naga's grunt of disappointment.

The two women looked at each other and Korra was pleasantly surprised when she felt Asami reach out to hold her hand. Maybe she hadn't screwed up everything after all.

Then they stepped into the bright green welcoming light and then found themselves shoved intimately close when Naga shoved her way in.

Korra's hands had flown to Asami's shoulders to keep from falling and she blushed as she met amused green eyes. How had she never noticed that even though Asami wasn't that much taller, she seemed to tower over her? It was oddly comforting and something else she couldn't describe at that moment as she found herself sinking into a green far more inviting than that of the spirit portal. Korra almost hated it when the light faded around them announcing their arrival.

"Oh wow," Asami said with an almost reverent awe as she looked out at the new world before them. "It's so beautiful."

Yes you are, Korra thought appreciatively.

And almost as if on cue, Naga bounded free from the strange light and began romping through the fields of flowers like an enormous puppy and for a little while Asami and Korra forgot the reason they were there and watched her play, laughing as various spirits approached her and Naga sticking her big snout up to sniff at them as they ran away.

"She is so adorable," Asami commented fondly.

"Yeah," Korra agreed. "Naga has been my best friend most of my life…until you."

Asami froze at the hesitant revelation. "Me?"

Korra rolled her eyes and nudged Asami's shoulder with her own. "Yeah you. Even though I haven't acted like it."

Asami looked at her in surprise. "Why would you say that?"

Korra shrugged, "A best friend would notice when her friend is hurting."

Asami sighed and tried to figure out how to avoid this conversation. "Korra, there's nothing to notice and even if there were, you've been busy saving the world. My personal drama should have been at the bottom of the list of things to worry about."

"No it shouldn't have," Korra retorted and then took a deep breath. "Come on, let me show you around before we get into the deep stuff," she said offering a smile


Korra smiled and with a touch of pride, did her best to show Asami a world that her position as Avatar gave her access to. Tenzin had always told Korra that her position wasn't to be used for her advantage, but there was something about Asami Sato that had her needing to have that little leverage so she wouldn't feel so…inferior and maybe…just maybe, to impress the insanely intelligent woman.

As they walked, she grew more and more captivated by the expressions of wonder that crossed Asami's face. This woman created machines that changed and improved the world without batting an eye, but a simple spirit flower or tree had her gaping in amazement. It was unexpected and it was beautiful.

So lost in Asami's expressions was Korra that she didn't see the little spirit in front of her and the next thing she knew she tripped and fell face first, kissing the ground. She sat up as gracefully as she could, her face heating painfully and she was about to swear when she heard the most beautiful sound in the world. Asami was laughing. It was the most honest and full bodied laugh Korra had heard from her and it warmed Korra's heart almost painfully and she could do nothing else but laugh in return.

"Walk much?" Asami asked when her laughter stopped and she held out her hand to the embarrassed Avatar.

"I meant to do that," she muttered, taking Asami's offered hand, the true smile on her face making Korra consider flinging herself to the ground repeatedly just to see that smile again especially having so recently witnessed her fighting tears.

"Well you always manage to accomplish what you set out to do in spectacular fashion," Asami teased.

"Yeah well, enough about the gracefulness of the Avatar," Korra replied. "Maybe we should find a place to camp for the night? There's a beautiful tree covered area near a stream a little further."


They remained silent as they walked. It wasn't an uncomfortable silent but that's how a big part of their short relationship had been. They didn't need to fill their time together with jokes or meaningless comments. The only time their silence was anything but comfortable was after Korra had started dating Mako and Korra couldn't bear to think of that right now as it was just one more reminder of what a horrible friend she'd been to the kindest person to ever live.

"So how's this?" Korra said, pulling herself out of the thoughts that were growing uncomfortably depressing.

Asami looked around, her breath catching in her throat at the magnificent site. They were on a little hill that overlooked a meandering stream. There were surrounded by flowers of every color imaginable and a large blooming tree offered a touch of seclusion and privacy that was a bit superfluous given there was nobody there but them and some blatantly curious spirits.

They silently worked to set up their little camp and Asami was grateful for the silence. She was hoping that by the time they were finished, Korra would have forgotten her intention to force Asami to talk about her feelings and they could just enjoy a nice vacation. As it was, as she watched the Avatar work, she was close to forgetting her earlier depression as she let herself appreciate the beauty that Korra had no idea she possesses.

"There," Korra said proudly looking at the little camp. She'd set up her own sleeping bag as well as offered to take care of Asami's and she used her bending to set up a little fire for warmth and protected it with some earth bending to make sure flames didn't damage their environment. Asami watched curiously as Korra emptied her sack of various packs of food and canteens of water, and then pulled out two large, heavy packages.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Just a snack for Naga. That dog has bottomless pit for a stomach."

Asami laughed as Korra unwrapped two enormous steaks and the polar bear dog magically appeared panting all over her master.

"Sounds familiar," Asami said pointedly and poking Korra in her own stomach.

"Mean!" Korra protested. She quickly heated the steaks and tossed the meat to Naga who promptly inhaled one and then began to leisurely chew on the other.

Finally everything was situated and Korra an Asami sat down with Naga graciously allowing them to use her for a back rest while she ate.

They were silent for a long while, neither really knowing what to say. Korra's brain was spinning as she tried to figure out how to get Asami to open up to her. She finally realized that the only way to get the stubborn woman to let her in was if Korra did something she herself should have done a long time ago and open herself to Asami.

"Out of all the letters I got while I was gone, as great as they all were, yours were the only ones that got me out of bed every day. The only ones that made me want to get out of bed," she admitted quietly, picking at the sandwich Asami had pulled from her pack.


Korra wasn't sure if she should laugh or feel sad at the disbelief in Asami's voice and she almost shut down the conversation but she didn't. She'd hurt the other woman before by doing that, she wouldn't do it again.

"I hurt you before," she said, unable to meet the green eyes watching her so intently. "I did just what I yelled at you for doing. Bottling everything up and shutting you out because I didn't want to burden people with my problems and because I thought I could handle them by myself and I hurt you."

"Yes you did," Asami said and Korra was just a little disappointed that she'd agreed so quickly.

"I was wrong to do that," she said and then looked right into Asami's eyes to show she meant every word. "Even though the thought of you having to handle my problems on top of everything you were going through…"

"Maybe helping you with yours would have made mine easier," Asami pointed out tonelessly.

Korra frowned. She hadn't even considered that, so lost was she in her own darkness. "You're right Asami. I know that now. I just wonder if you know it."


"No, listen…I screwed up. I know I did. I made you think I didn't care and I can't take that back. All I can do is tell you that I'm sorrier than I can tell you but I'm listening now and being there to help you will help me…wait that sounds selfish doesn't it?"

Korra heaved a sigh. "I've always been selfish with you haven't I?"

Asami heard the defeat in the Avatar's voice and it made her heart hurt. "No!" she said turning to face her friend. "No Korra, you haven't."

"I have. I chased after Mako even knowing he was with you. I treated you like…I was mean to you thinking you were a prissy show off just because you were rich and without even giving you a chance. I ignored your offer of help so many times because of my pride and never noticed the pain you carry. How is that not selfish?"

Asami sighed and leaned back against Naga. "Korra, your problems are so much bigger than mine could ever be and you never whined…well not much," she said with a little smile.

"No," Korra said reaching out to pull Asami around to face her. "My problems were different, not bigger," she insisted. "Anything that breaks your heart or makes you sad matters to me. Please tell me you believe me."

Asami looked into blue eyes that couldn't lie if she tried. "I do, but you don't understand. I've been this way my entire life Korra. Nobody has ever stayed around long enough for me to share with."

Korra's heart clenched painfully at that simple statement. "What?"

Asami shrugged. "My mother, father, Bolin, Mako, you…." Everyone leaves me so it really seems pointless to let people in when they just go away."

It wasn't the words that broke Korra's heart or the painful reminder of her own part in Asami's feelings of abandonment, it was the indifferent way she said them as if she'd accepted that being alone was her fate. Tears sprung to her eyes as she finally saw the Asami behind the smile. The woman that nobody had ever looked hard enough to see, including her.

"Asami," she choked out, wanting to reach out and touch the woman she had no idea was broken, but instinctively knew Asami would shut down and run away if she so much as moved.

"Don't feel sorry for me Korra," Asami said curtly. "I've managed just fine so far. I just wanted to tell you why I don't talk about my feelings.

"I would never feel sorry for you," Korra assured her. "You are the strongest person I've ever known. Ever. And not because you had to or because you bottle things up, but because no matter what the world throws at you, you survive and come out stronger. Because despite the tragedy you've faced and despite the way people…I've hurt you, you haven't become cold and angry. You continue to give and give and you never ask anything from anyone."

Asami swallowed hard, trying hard not to cry. "Thank you Korra, but as pretty as your words are, they don't really change anything. My telling you everything that's on my mind won't accomplish anything but give you something else to worry about."

"I don't care," Korra insisted. "I hate myself that I never really saw it before, how much you carried all alone and I hate myself for being part of that."

"Korra, stop. Don't blame yourself for…"

"No," the avatar insisted. "Stop covering or me. I've screwed up so many times with you, from the very beginning and you have forgiven me and made excuses but no more Asami. I'm so sorry for all of it. Most of all I'm sorry for leaving you for three years. By the time I realized I had been wrong trying to carry everything myself it was too late. That letter I sent you was my way of telling you that, but then I started hallucinating and I forgot everything but trying to get rid of the Avatar me that kept haunting me."

Asami felt guilty hearing that. She knew only a fraction of what Korra had gone through when she let and she felt bad, throwing that up in her face. "I know that…"

"Please Asami, let me finish. I owe you this much."

Asami sniffed away her tears and nodded.

"I can't make up for everything I've done or not done but I promise you that I won't leave you again. At least not intentionally and I can promise that unless the world is in crisis or Naga is starving or something," she paused at the polar bear dog's grunt of acknowledgment, grinning at Asami's little giggle.

"I will always be there for you to tell me anything, good or bad," she continued soberly, "and I promise I won't ever shut you out either. No matter what I'm going through, I now know I can share it with you and I know you'll help me without talking down to me or telling me to get over it."


"I can be better Asami," Korra insisted anxiously. "Please let me."

Asami heaved a shuddering sigh, unable to resist the pleading sincerity in her blue eyes. "How can I sit here and tell you that I'm lonely and that sometimes the realization that I have no family anymore is overwhelming when you have to deal with people who want to hurt you and where you're responsible for keeping the word in balance? How can I do that and not feel like the self-absorbed spoiled rich girl everyone has believed I was?"

Korra sighed. "Anyone who spends more than five minutes with you knows that you aren't any of those things Asami. Yes I know I was one of those people," she held up a hand, seeing that familiar look on Asami's face that usually led to a smartass remark, "but to be honest, I didn't so much think you were spoiled as I was mad that you were dating Mako. And even then, it took like a minute to see how totally awesome you were."


"No still," Korra interrupted. "You've had to deal with a lot of stuff Asami. Stuff that would destroy anyone even a fraction weaker than you. You're so strong but you need to let it go sometimes or it will make you sick or something. I want…I hope you will trust me to be the one to talk to. I won't judge, I won't tell you what to do, I'll just listen and…and I'll hug you if you need to cry."

And a tear made its way down Asami's cheek. This time she let it as she felt the walls she'd struggled so hard to maintain begin to crack. Her eyes slid closed when Korra's gentle hand went to her cheek and a thumb wiped the tear away.

"I…I care about you a lot Asami," Korra said softly and decided that for Asami, she would risk major embarrassment and be totally honest, "more than I've ever cared about anyone," she admitted softly. "I trust you with my secrets, my dreams," a small growl came from the large body they were leaning against, "Naga," she added with a laugh, "but even more, I trust you with my life. Basically everything I am Asami and you're really the only person I do."

Asami was fully crying now and didn't even care. "Really?"

Korra was once again startled by how little faith Asami had in how people saw her. "Yes really," she smiled gently. "I just…is there any chance you feel the same? Even a little?"

Asami sniffed as she looked into blue eyes that held a rare touch of doubt and she realized with a pang that she had more power than she'd ever wanted to hurt this remarkably gentle woman. She considered saying something but one thing Asami had learned early on was that actions more often than not, spoke louder than words.

Without further thought, she lifted her hands to Korra's face and placed her lips against the Avatar's. Korra jerked in surprise and pulled back. Asami was afraid she would see disgust or anger, but instead she saw a look of hope and happiness that nearly broke her heart.

"Asami?" Korra whispered cautiously.

"I've been drawn to you from the moment we met," Asami admitted, her hand caressing the sweet face. All I wanted was to impress you and make you see I was more than my family name or money."

"You did, "Korra assured her. "Even though it took a death drive around the race track," she laughed when Asami glared at her, "I finally saw you. The real you and I really, really liked what I saw. And if you wanted to kiss me again, I wouldn't complain."

Asami smiled and then lowered her head and kissed Korra again and this time Korra was prepared. She slid her arms around Asami, kind of surprised and kind of turned on by the firm muscles of the back below her fingertips. She slid her hands into the silky black mass that she'd been wanting to touch for far longer than she could admit and it was as soft and thick as she'd often imagined. And then she let herself fully experience Asami's kiss. And great Spirits, the woman kissed with the same fire and intensity that she used in running her business or to fight bad guys and when a soft tongue made its way between her lips, Korra would have given up every bending ability she had if it meant she could stay here kissing Asami Sato forever.

Suddenly a large sneeze broke the moment and Asami pulled away. Korra couldn't help but feel smug at the dazed look on the usually composed face, unaware she was wearing a matching expression.

"Did you sneeze?" Asami finally said, her voice touched with a raspy quality that had Korra shivering.

"No, I…" Korra was interrupted by another sneeze, this time feeling Naga's large body shake with the effort.

"Oh Naga, poor baby," Asami said, turning face the large animal whose face was crunched up again and let out another body wracking sneeze.

"What's the matter girl?" Korra asked coming around Asami to check her pet with concern.

Naga sniffed and licked Korra's face and then Asami's before sneezing again.

Asami stroked Naga behind the ears soothingly and looked at Korra. "I wonder if she's allergic to something."

"She wasn't sneezing before," Korra said frowning.

"Well maybe we should take her home. Just in case," Asami suggested, unable to hide her disappointment.

"I'm sorry," Korra said, reluctantly agreeing.

"No don't be. I don't want poor Naga to suffer so we can enjoy ourselves," Asami assured her. She laughed as Naga poked her nose into Asami's neck in appreciation.

"I can't believe how much she loves you," Korra smiled warmly, "well actually I can. You're quite loveable you know."

Asami blushed and Korra laughed, finding the idea of a shy Asami Sato surprising and adorable.

"Let's pack up then," Asami said changing the subject and then she froze. "If you want, we can go back to the mansion and hang out there," she suggested shyly.

"Oh, can we camp out in your giant living room?" Korra asked with a grin.

"It may frighten the staff, but why not," Asami laughed. "You want to go swimming girl?" Asami asked the still sneezing polar bear dog who yipped in excitement.

Korra and Asami laughed.

"Okay then, well let's get you home then," Asami said, patting the big head and getting to her feet.

Korra's heart fluttered at Asami's use of the word 'home' but she left it alone as she helped pack up their belongings. "We can come back again. Just the two of us," she offered. "If you want."

"I do," Asami replied. And then Naga, obviously understanding that they were about to leave, scrambled to her feet, anxious to get away from whatever was making her sneeze.

"Party pooper," Korra muttered, getting a snout in the back that nearly pushed her over.

"Be nice," Asami said laughing.

"Yeah Naga," Korra echoed.

"I was talking to you," Asami pointed out and getting a lick in the face in appreciation.

"It's a good thing that both of you are cute," Korra pouted, though she couldn't hide her smile. Asami finally seemed happy and was willing to open up to her. Her oldest friend in the world obviously adored Asami and the feeling was clearly mutual. Everything in the world seemed about as perfect as it would ever get. Until Asami took her hand and then it became even better.

"Let's go home," Asami said, smiling warmly at Korra and just then with Korra's firm hand clasped in hers and the fiercely loyal Naga by her side, Asami Sato finally realized that maybe she did have a family after all and she would never feel alone again.