Her mouth felt dry like she swallowed sand and cotton balls. She pushed herself out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom, blurry-eyed. Asami stuck her head under the tap the instant she turned the water on. She drank down as much as she could before splashing some on her face. The banging of metal from the kitchen made her perk up. Asami attempted to recall the events of the night, her mind hazy on the details other than the blue eyes she could get lost in.
Judging by her attire – clothes she remembered putting on for the party – nothing happened between her and the athlete. Then again, she supposed with how well she could remember the previous night, it was for the best.
Taking a moment to change into some sweats and an RCU hoodie, she shuffled out to the kitchen. Asami skimmed the apartment, noticing it was tidy. The dishes and takeout containers weren’t on every flat surface. All of her schematics were collected on the dining room table. A blanket sat folded on the back of the couch. Her eyes paused on Korra, watching the athlete sway and hum to music Asami assumed she played from her phone as she stood at the stove.
“Morning.” Asami picked up one of the coffee cups by the machine and poured herself some.
Korra turned at Asami’s voice, her eyes bright and a smile on her face. “Look who finally joined the land of the living.” She stirred something in a skillet and shook some pepper into it. “Breakfast?”
Asami squinted at Korra. “Where’d you get this food?” Her fridge was notoriously empty except for the leftovers from restaurants and takeout orders.
“The store. Turns out your fridge is a petri dish I could use to find the cure for cancer.” Korra smirked and flipped some pancakes. “I went shopping.”
“If this is what you do to take care of drunk me, how will you top this after we sleep together?” Asami muttered, her eyes looking back at her living space.
Korra’s cheeks went pink, and she let out a quiet chuckle. “You’ll just have to wait and find out.” Her voice was quiet, but not low enough that Asami didn’t hear her.
“How long have you been up?” Asami settled at the counter, the same stool she occupied when she cleaned Korra’s arms the first day they met.
“Four hours? It’s almost noon.” Korra served them both plates after turning off the stove and put the breakfast in front of Asami. She poured herself some coffee and sat on the stool next to her.
Asami stared at the food. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a breakfast like this – pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon. It certainly wasn’t ever in her apartment. Maybe it was a diner she frequented with Opal, Bolin, and Mako that first year they met when they were freshman and she was a senior. Or maybe when she still lived at home? Did her mom make her breakfast like this? Asami couldn’t recall a moment like this that a memory either didn’t exist or it had been so long she had forgotten.
Asami shook her head. “I can’t remember the last time I ate breakfast.”
“What?” Korra turned to her. “Breakfast is the greatest meal ever with some of the best foods. How could you not eat breakfast?”
“Some of us are too busy to make food every morning.” Asami picked up her fork and started to eat.
“Well, you’re missing out.” Korra resumed eating, devouring her plate in the time it took Asami to consume half of hers.
“Thank you for last night.” Asami set her fork aside and shifted to face Korra.
The athlete shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”
“I don’t remember much, but I appreciate you bringing me home.” Asami’s eyes noticed the slight bruising on Korra’s right knuckles. “You really did a number on that guy, huh?” She skimmed Korra’s hands, noticing the bandaids on her thumbs.
Korra stopped chewing on her last slice of bacon and looked at her knuckles. “I wasn’t going to let him call you that.” Their eyes met and Asami felt her heart speed up at the sight of Korra’s blues. “Not at my expense.”
“Does this happen a lot?” Asami took Korra’s hand in her own, inspecting the bruising.
“I avoid it when I can.” Korra took another bite. “You get used to it.”
Asami frowned, enjoying the warmth of Korra’s hand in her own, as she kept her focus on the athlete. “You shouldn’t be used to it, Korra. This is serious, and it’s wrong for people to do that to you.”
“It’s why I avoid it, Asami. That wasn’t my first rodeo.” Korra sipped her coffee, her gaze anywhere but Asami, her shoulders tense.
Her eyes roamed Korra’s face, lingering on the scar. She followed the deep line from under Korra’s lip as it dipped to her chin and disappeared toward her ear. Asami reached up and put her hand on Korra’s cheek, her thumb and index finger tracing the line. Korra jerked away, on her feet in an instant.
“I need to go.” The athlete crossed to the couch and swung her jacket on.
“Fuck. Korra, I’m sorry I didn’t—“ Asami followed Korra’s movements. Without another word, she was gone and the apartment felt cold. Her phone buzzed, which drew Asami’s attention to where it sat charging on a side table. She scooped it up seeing all the texts from Opal since last night. Asami ignored those and sent out a message to Korra.
Asami: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you. I shouldn’t have done that, I don’t even know why I did it.
She didn’t get an immediate response, which Asami couldn’t blame Korra for.
Asami: Text me when you make it home? I’ll see you this week.
Asami ran her hand through her hair, brushing the mess out of her face. She left the dishes and went to her room where she burrowed under her blankets. Her mind mulled over why she did that, why she crossed such a boundary. They were barely friends, and yet here she was invading Korra’s personal space. She’d never witnessed someone react so detached.
Opal: You alive? Where’d you go? Are you in a ditch somewhere with your organs missing?
Her eyes skimmed the text. Asami sighed and figured she should respond before Opal came over. She started to tap out an answer when she heard the front door.
“Hey egghead, you in here?” Opal’s voice carried through the apartment.
“Here.” Asami locked her phone and held it. She waited as she listened to Opal’s footsteps carry across the hardwood. Based on the sounds she heard Opal take her shoes off and then she climbed into the king size bed.
“Well, I’m glad she didn’t steal your organs and sell them on the black market.” Opal reached over and pat Asami’s shoulder through the blanket.
“No, she was perfect.” Asami rolled over as she felt Opal slip under the duvet with her. She stared at her best friend as they lay in their cocoon. “I’m the one that messed up.”
Opal opened her mouth to say something and then shut it again. She seemed to be in thought for a moment before she reached over and pulled Asami into a hug. “What happened? Tell Mama Opal.”
Asami relayed everything that happened, putting her hands over her face as she finished telling her best friend about touching Korra’s scar and the negative response.
“Wow. You stepped in it.” Opal shook her head. “And here I thought your big brain would stop you from embarrassing yourself, egghead.”
“She might never talk to me again.” Asami dropped her hands from her face. “What if she transfers schools? Korra could disappear forever.”
Opal leaned back as Asami spoke. “Whoa, slow down. You’ve jumped like eight steps in this whole process. Chill.” Opal rubbed Asami’s back as she took a deep breath and Asami followed her. “Give her some space. She’ll talk when she wants.”
“What if she doesn’t?” Asami stared at Opal as if her friend hadn’t considered that an option.
“You are such a diva. Spirits, Asami.” Opal sighed and shifted under the blankets. “She wouldn’t have stayed if she didn’t like you. And she wouldn’t have obliterated that guy last night after you verbally assaulted him. Give Korra time, and she’ll respond when she feels ready.”
Asami nodded, checking her phone for a notification from Korra. The screen was blank other than the time and Asami dropped it on the mattress next to her.
“For someone who nearly has her doctorate, you sure are dense.” Opal wrapped her arms around Asami. “But I love you, egghead.”