Work Header

gimme sympathy

Work Text:

Saturday, August 14th. Low of 76 and patchy skies. 0% chance of normality.

The summer bugs called out to them from the tall grasses, the heat from the day blowing back out to sea as the sun set behind them. Korra licked a strip up her ice cream cone, blind to the drops already drying sticky to her hands. 

"Do those boys look familiar to you?"

Korra looked up from her ice cream and craned her neck, trying to get a good look over the mass of people lining up out of the shop. Asami pointed through the window and Korra followed her gaze, peering in through the salt-crusted shop windows. Two boys with their backs to her were paying for their cones, the taller one tapping his foot as the other one pointed excitedly at the flavors in the display.

She shrugged her shoulders and went back to her ice cream. It was the end of August and the heat from the day still radiated up from the pavement in waves even as the sky darkened overhead. Korra wiped her forehead, working on her cone before the muggy heat could melt it for her. Asami sat next to her on the ice cream parlor's railing, her usual double chocolate cone in hand. 

"I feel like we've met them before..."

Korra licked her chin, trying to catch a drop of ice cream before it fell into her lap. "Do they live at the Tahno house two blocks down from us?"

Asami shuddered and Korra laughed, her sticky hand resting briefly on Asami's shoulder before she moved it away again. Asami's skin was fair, and she always got a smattering of sun freckles across her shoulders and nose by the end of the summer, despite the liberal amounts of sun screen she put on every morning. They were always gone by the beginning of the new summer, and Korra fought the urge to trace them with her fingertips, the tiny map of freckles plotting out each unique summer across her skin every year. 

"Mako!" she suddenly shouted, leaping off the railing and startling Korra out of her reverie. "Bolin!"

The boys from the shop looked up from their cones as Asami ran up to them, the taller one looking her up and down curiously. "Asami?"

"We haven't seen you guys since you were what--eight?" Asami wrapped her arms around Mako tightly and Korra trailed up to them slowly, trying to match the two boys in matching swim suits and sunburns she vaguely remembered from their childhood to the two standing before her now. 

They were definitely taller. Mako's face was longer, his cheeks less round, while Bolin's jaw had squared out, making them almost unrecognizable. Korra smiled, accepting Bolin's giant hug with enthusiasm. They were a lot stronger now, too. She remembered Bolin struggling to keep up with them every summer and she laughed, giving him an extra squeeze before pulling away.

"What are you guys doing here? I thought your parents had to sell your house!"

Bolin threw an arm around Mako's shoulder, pulling him in close. "We're here with our grandma! Turns out she had a house out here and we had to come back."

"So you're here til the end of the summer?" Asami asked, turning to grin at Korra.

"All two weeks of it," Mako said. He held his hand out, awkwardly shaking Korra's hand as Bolin enveloped Asami in another bear hug. 

"You guys should come visit us soon! You remember where we live, right?"

"Of course!" Bolin jumped on the balls of his feet, flexing his muscles. "I'm ready to finally beat you in a race this year!"

Korra laughed, waving goodbye. Her heart gave a jump as Asami took her hand to pull her back to their street. Mako made a small noise and Korra glanced behind her, dropping Asami's hand quickly. She only caught Mako staring dejectedly at his ice cream splattered on the floor.




 Monday, August 15th. High of 95, clear skies.  10% chance of romanticizing normal friendly interactions.

Korra woke up with a start, staring up at the ceiling fan turning creakily above her. She ran her fingers over her skin, not quite grasping her dream as it slipped away. She sighed, pulling a bathing suit and an old tank top on, giving up on the dream altogether. There were more pressing issues to deal with. Like whether the waves had picked up and if that clump of jellyfish had drifted away with the current yet. 

She headed upstairs, wrinkling her nose as she walked over the ever present coating of sand that seemed to plague every beach house. Senna passed by her on the way to the kitchen, pushing a bottle of sunscreen into her hands.

"Don't forget this time. Your nose is going to peel right off if you get burned again."


"It's supposed to reach the upper nineties today. While you're at it, tell Asami too. She's already burned enough this summer... Where has she got to?"

As if on cue, the sliding glass door sounded from downstairs and Asami's voice drifted upstairs, greeting Tonraq as he was probably just getting back from his morning run.

Korra grumbled into her cereal, eyeing the sunscreen distastefully. Asami waved as she breezed into the room, giving her a smile before heading over to Senna.

"See? Asami looks freshly sunblocked. Why can't I have a daughter like you?"

Asami laughed, grabbing a bowl from the cupboard. "Good morning to you too, Senna."

Korra rested her chin in her hand, absentmindedly watching Asami's movements as she chewed her cereal. What had she been dreaming about this morning? Her skin tingled low on her hips and she blushed, studying her cereal bowl with great interest. She couldn't shake the feeling that Asami had been behind her, hands skating over her skin...generally acting at non-platonically as possible. Possibly troublesome. She finished her cereal and slouched in her chair, risking another glance in the kitchen. Asami waved from the counter and pointed downstairs to her bedroom, her sign for hurry up and finish, lazy, we've got stuff to do. Korra sighed, walking her bowl over to the sink. Stuff to do in her bedroom? She shook her head, ignoring her mom's look when her bowl clanked loudly in the sink.



"You're wearing your bathing suit today."

"Of course."

Korra stood in front of her mirror, eyeing Asami as she played with the straps underneath her sun dress. Her screen was open, the curtains open to let in the warm breeze coming from the ocean. It was already getting heating up for the day. Maybe she should wear sunblock. She sighed, rubbing two thick white lines of sunscreen across her cheeks like war paint.

"Something tells me that's not quite how you put on sunscreen," Asami said, coming up behind her. Korra stuck out her tongue and Asami reached for the bright orange bottle. "Here. Lemme help."

Korra held her breath, her shoulders tensing up. Oh, no. This was not going to play out like some random dream sequence. What was wrong with her today? It felt like the arrival of Bolin and Mako had knocked something off center. Suddenly it wasn't just the two of them, and Korra was hyper-aware of when they touched, when Asami sent her a smile just for her, when Korra glanced up to catch Asami looking at her. It felt like normal when they were with other people--they'd had a blast yesterday meeting up with the brothers--but when they were alone sometimes it just felt...different. 

For some unknown reason that would be easy to ignore, so long as she closed her eyes and pretended they didn't feel weird anymore. Things just got weirder when people turned sixteen, right? That's what it seemed like back at Korra's school, way up north where the guys would shuffle around and pretend they couldn't catch her anymore when they played tackle football after school.

"God, did you use any this whole summer?" Asami said, running her fingers over Korra's peeling shoulders.

"I did!" Korra rolled her shoulder away, crossing her arms defiantly. "Probably."

Asami snorted and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, probably."

Korra avoided Asami's eyes in the mirror as she squirted cool sunblock on her back, wiggling around at the sudden temperature change. Asami's hands worked soothingly across her shoulder blades, behind her neck, and down the dip of her back, her movements like they'd done to each other thousands of times before. Nothing was different. Korra closed her eyes, giggling slightly when Asami brushed her hairline at the nape of her neck, like she always did.

If she concentrated hard, she could just recall soft hands on her waist, a ghost of the dream she'd had last night. 

When Asami was done her room smelled like coconuts and sunscreen, the smell that always managed to cling to her sheets weeks after she moved back home for the school year.

"Let's go!" Korra stooped down and grabbed her bag, practically running out her door and onto the deck, down to the sand. Asami caught up to her and they walked side by side, the grasses on either side of the path scratching their legs. 

 "How much do you wanna bet Mako and Bolin are already down there?"

Korra laughed, wiping at her forehead. "They have to make up for lost time." The sun beat down on them from overhead and a bead of sweat slid down Korra's back.

"It's hot."

Asami nodded her head, fanning he face with her hand. They walked side by side up the dune, the sand already burning their feet this early in the morning. The crickets chirped in the long grasses and somewhere a cicada sounded as the heat seemed to envelop them in it's muggy grasp.

A slight breeze ruffled their hair as they reached the top of the dune and Asami reached up to keep her sun hat in place. They could just make out Bolin and Mako down the beach by the outcropping of rocks they used to play in as kids, their red and green swim trunks almost making it seem like no time had passed since then.

Korra whooped and ran down the dune, her towel trailing behind her in the wind as she hurried to the brothers' site.



 The sun continued to beat down throughout the day, the cloudless sky offering nothing in the way of shade. The beach had filled up quickly, forcing them into the water as umbrellas popped up all around them, crowding the sand. At least the water was cool, the calm cold offering some kind of relief in the heat. Korra had sunk gratefully into the waves, laughing as Asami and Mako stood by the shore, dipping their toes in, only coming in gradually. Bolin had splashed them from past the breakers, laughing as Asami dove in after him, leaving Mako behind as the waves crashed around him. They had gathered over by the rocks after a while, the water lapping at the slick, green craggy surface under their feet as they raced past the buoys in twos and threes.

"Tie!" Asami called and Korra collapsed in the water in indignation.

"What! I was here way ahead of these two losers!" Korra wacked a heavy-breathing Mako on the back and he wheezed, shooting her a glare. 

"The decision goes to Madame Judge." Bolin said, slapping the water in victory. 

"Race against me and Asami," Korra said with a grin. "If she wins, it's a tie. If I win, I sweep the race and the entire competition."

Asami put her hands on her hips, raising her eyebrows skeptically. "You sound like you think you'll definitely win."

"Of course I will!" Korra jumped out of the water, landing squarely on Asami's back as she took them both down underwater. Asami came up sputtering, sea water streaming down her face.

"You're on."

 The girls climbed up carefully on the slick surface and Bolin pulled himself up on the rocks above them, holding his arms above his head as judge.

"Ready!" he called

Asami and Korra crouched down on the rock that jutted out into the water, waves lapping at their toes. Asami gave her a thumbs up and a grin. 


They leapt off the rock and swam, Korra taking the lead almost immediately. Bolin and Mako cheered from behind them, urging Asami on. Korra swam harder, loving the feeling of Asami behind her. Asami actually swimming with her for once. 

A hand brushed her foot and Korra's adrenaline kicked in, pushing her faster. They made the turn around the buoy and raced back to the rock, Asami's fingers closing around her ankle as she kicked down. Asami yanked her backwards as Korra tried to kick loose and Asami lunged for the rock first, her fingers just brushing the surface before Korra kicked free.

Korra flailed in the waves, trying to reorient herself. "Cheater!" she gasped as she broke the surface of a passing wave.

"The only rules are whoever touches the rock first wins," Asami said, grinning down at her as she stood on top of the starting block. 

Korra glared up at her as another wave crashed over her head, Asami, Mako, and Bolin laughing as she broke the surface, her hair half hanging out of her ponytail and all over her face.


 After lunch the beach had gradually started to clear and they had headed back to shore, Asami spreading out her towel and pulling out a book. It seemed cooler, at least a little bit, and Korra pulled a hat on, dragging Mako out onto the sun-bleached sand.

"I don't remember Asami ever swimming that much when we were younger."

Korra caught the football as it came sailing toward her, a dark spot on the blindingly bright horizon. 

"She doesn't." She threw the ball in a perfect arc towards Mako. "Swim much, I mean."

He caught it and threw it back. "She's a pretty good swimmer. She just doesn't like the ocean?"

Korra shrugged, passing the football back. They were quiet for a while, just tossing the football back and forth.

"Is it because of her mom?"

Korra held on to the ball, turning it around in her hands as she chose her words. Asami's mom had died when they were really small, probably around the time they had first met Mako and Bolin. 

"Why are you so interested in her?" Korra said, throwing the ball with her eyes narrowed. 

"I'm not." Mako paused. "She just seems a lot happier now."

Korra bit her lip, glancing at Asami by the shore, sprawled out on a towel and reading an old paperback. Bolin was next to her, intent on sculpting his sand castle. Happier now? Huh. She hadn't shown any interest in swimming much until today.

"Her mom died in an accident in the ocean. She doesn't really like to swim a lot now." 

She sent the ball sailing, hitting the side of Mako's head as he turned to look at Asami too.



Wednesday, August 17th. High of 88, pop up thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. 25% chance of laying awake that night, training her brain to dream of normal things.

The sun hung low in the sky, casting a red tint on the ocean as Korra and Asami stood by the shore, letting the waves lap over their toes as they watched the ghost crabs scurry down the tide line. 

"Do you think it's gonna storm tonight?"

"Mm." Asami held a hand over her eyes, scanning the clouds in the distance. She glanced at Korra before looking back at the clouds. "Probably not."

Someone called Korra's name and they both turned, catching Senna on the dune, gesturing for them to come back to the house. Korra waved to show they'd heard. Senna had stopped to talk to the two brothers, Mako gesturing down the beach as they talked.

Korra turned back to Asami after Senna and the boys had disappeared back down the dune. "Ready for dinner?"

Asami nodded and they turned to go, their hands bumping together as they walked. Asami let her fingers wrap loosely around Korra's and her heart fluttered annoyingly in her chest.


"Uh....Uh huh?"

She was too preoccupied with her fingers wrapped in Asami's, her grip cool and slightly sticky in the salty breeze. If she moved her wrist a little, they'd be full on holding hands. Korra's cheeks started to heat up at the thought. What were they even doing?

"I really had fun. In the water."

"Oh....Uh." She scrunched her nose at her articulate response. Asami's fingers felt perfectly cool in the summer night. "Yeah."


She didn't have time to wipe the stupid grin from her face before they crested the dune and ran smack into Mako.


They dropped their hands quickly, looking away from each other.

"What are you sneaking around for!" Korra demanded. Kind of rudely. 

"Your mom invited us to dinner." He looked at them for a second more before turning around, choosing not to comment on...whatever he'd just seen. 

Nothing. There was nothing to comment on.



Friday, August 19th. High of 78, rainy, with thunderstorms throughout the day. 50% chance of stupid, shared glances.

Korra sat in Asami's living room, wrapped up in a hoodie too big for her (probably Asami's, she couldn't even tell anymore) and clicking through channels absentmindedly. Rain lashed against the big open windows of the house, a 360 view of the entire island around them. Asami stood out on the deck with her dad, pointing at the lightning on the horizon. She and Mr. Sato loved watching storms roll through the area. Korra pulled her knees to her chest as thunder pealed through the air. She wasn't scared of the all. At least, she wasn't sharing that with Asami.

She probably needed the time away from her anyway. She couldn't be positive, but she was sure most friends didn't hold hands and practically moan when their best friend helped them put on sunscreen. They'd sat across from each other at lunch, Asami glancing up and grinning at her every time Korra took a bite of her grilled cheese. God. And she definitely been thinking about letting her legs stretch out under the table, her foot maybe accidentally nudging Asami's. 

Korra sunk deeper into the couch cushions. God, what was wrong with them. 

The glass door slid shut and Korra looked up at a dripping wet Asami before she was throwing a raincoat directly at her face.

"Wanna go visit Bolin and Mako?"

 Korra pushed her arms through the jacket's sleeves, muttering under her breath about only braving the rain for Asami. It was only about a ten minute walk, and they'd been to the brothers' house a few times now. Korra grit her teeth as they walked, stuffing her hands in her pockets, trying not to think about how grabbing Asami's hands when lightning flashed in the distance would feel.

The boy's grandma let them in with a smile, and they ended up on the couch in Mako and Bolin's basement, Bolin propped up against the frame of the couch on the floor while Mako dug around for a DVD to watch.

"Clearly it's guys' pick, since the girls decided to show up here in a crazy storm and take up the couch," Mako said, dumping a pile of DVDs unceremoniously on the floor at Bolin's feet.

"But the guys should clearly admire the girls' bravery and let us pick like gracious house guests," Asami said sweetly, tucking a slightly damp curl behind her ear. "Right Korra?" She turned to her, her eyes wide as she batted her eyes.


A clap of thunder shook the house from overhead and Korra flinched, her face immediately going red as soon as Bolin flashed a grin.

 "See?" Asami threw herself at Korra, wrapping her arms around her neck. "We're especially brave, since we went into the storm even if we're totally and reasonably afraid of getting struck by lightning."

Bolin nudged Mako from his place on the floor and Korra buried her face in a pillow, refusing to come out as long as Asami was going to keep holding onto her in front of them.




The rain slowed to a soft fall as Korra and Asami walked back to their houses. Korra peaked sideways out of her hood and immediately looked away once she saw Asami doing the same. Had she not been subtle about being reasonably freaked out about getting struck by lightning? It seemed subtle. Hurricanes, floods, whatever, she'll take it, but as soon as the side of Zolt's beach house got blasted by a stray bolt of lightning, she was done for. Was it so bad tho? Korra rubbed her neck, remembering Asami's warm hands on her skin. THey hadn't been hanging off each other as much as usual lately. She kind of missed falling asleep in the same bed, exhausted from a long day in the sun and not caring whose feet were tangled with whose.

"How long have you known?"

Asami looked up as the sun started peaking through the clouds. "About the lightning?"

Korra nodded, slipping her arm through Asami's so they linked elbows.

"Since forever, I guess. I'd be a pretty bad friend of I didn't, right?"

"Oh." Korra let her hood fall further over her face, stomping hard in the puddles to get Asami soaked. "I guess that's acceptable."

Asami laughed, rolling her eyes. 



Monday, August 22nd. High of 91, clear skies. 70% chance of getting caught imagining embarrassing fantasies while pretending to fish.

Korra sat on the coach, gnawing on a piece of toast, her eyes glued to the TV. After a while Asami slid open the door and came up the stairs, plopping down next to Korra.

"Friday's supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far," Korra said, not taking her eyes off the weather channel.

Asami widened her eyes slightly and turned to look at Senna bustling around in the kitchen before facing Korra again.


"Uh huh." Korra pushed the bottle of sunscreen on the coffee table forward with her toes. "It's supposed to be pretty hot today too. I guess we should wear sunblock."

Senna laughed from the kitchen. "My daughter? Concerned about sunscreen? What have you done to her, Asami?"

"Mom!" Korra turned around, glaring at Senna. She'd thought it was clever, too. But it wasn't like she'd stayed up the night before, scheming of ways to subtly get close to her best fucking friend.

The tips of Korra's ears slowly turned red and she slunk lower on the couch. Asami giggled and mimed massaging her shoulders.

 Really fucking smooth.



 Tuesday, August 23rd. Hot? 85% chance of sexual frustration.

"Yeah, there's the end of the summer party this Friday, you guys should come!"

Korra crouched in the sand, digging a hole for their umbrella and watching Asami scratch the back of her leg with her foot.

"Alright!" Bolin's feet jumped into view, his green sandals flinging sand everywhere. "Where is it?"

"Tahno's place. He's kind of a jerk but he lives down the street from us and always has free beer."


"But we're gonna take it easy." Mako's red flip flops shifted in the sand. "Right, bro?"

"Awesome!" Asami crouched down next to Korra, her freckled nose right in her face. "Are you coming in the water?"

"Uh huh." Korra stabbed the umbrella into the hole she dug and Asami kicked sand around it. "I'll be right there, okay?"

Asami nodded and stood up, peeling off her dress and following Bolin to the shore line. Mako looked from Asami to Korra, smirking slightly as Korra's eyes followed Asami.



Thursday, August 25th. Low of 78. 90% chance of embarrassing confessions.

Held her hand walking down the pier. Tapped her foot against hers at the dinner table. Totally didn't dream about Asami's cool hands at her waist. Korra took a drag from her cigarette, trying not to go over every moment they'd touched the past two days. That was so pathetic. God. A wave hit the rocks below her and a spray of foam hit her, salt drying on her legs in the windy night. Is this how Eska felt when she talked about kissing boys back home? She was kind of morbid. Maybe not. 


Crap. Korra jumped and went to stub out her cigarette, fumbling around in the dark.

"It's okay, it's just me." There was a pause, and Mako's silhouette shuffled into view over the rocks. "Uh, Mako I mean."

Korra moved over on the rock, her feet swinging in the air over the surf crashing below her. It had been hot out that day but a steady breeze blew out to sea, making Korra shiver as Mako sat down next to her. They were silent for a moment, the waves crashing under them and the wind whistling in the rocks the only sound around them. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Mako's silhouette shift, black against the starry night.

"Stressed out?"

Korra sighed and lit up her cigarette again, offering one to Mako, who shook his head emphatically.

"No." She blew out a stream of smoke, watching it mix with the mist of the surf. "I don't usually smoke, you know." Mako was silent. "They're my dad's. Only for special occasions."

 "Is this a special occasion?"

She was quiet for a moment, watching white ghost crabs scuttle around in the surf. "It's just. I can't thinking about...someone." She stopped herself at the last moment, taking another drag from her cigarette. This sucked.

She saw Mako's head turn towards her. "Hm."

Hm? Korra threw her cigarette into the sea, slapping her hands loudly on her legs. Is that all he had to say? Hm? "Have you ever felt that way about someone?"

"Not really."

Korra rolled her eyes, looking up at the moon overhead. The universe had to throw the guy most awkward with feelings at her at this moment in time. She tucked her lighter into her pocket and took a deep breath. Whatever.

"I just...can't stop thinking about her. And it's so weird, because we've known each other for years. Forever. And suddenly it just...happened? I guess not too suddenly. I guess there were times before now. But never like this. But like, how do i even know I like her? Maybe I'm just sixteen and crazy about anyone giving me the prospect of something? How am I supposed to tell? Because I can't stop thinking about it, all the time, at times when we would just hang out normally before. And it feels so weird right now, it's different from before, but before feels so boring in comparison to this now. And how do I even tell...her," Korra finished lamely.

She hung her head, feeling her cheeks heat up. She took her lighter out again and flicked it on, watching the flames dance in the dark.

Mako cleared his throat and Korra groaned, letting the lighter go off. 

"That's a lot to think about at once."

Korra crossed her legs and laid her chin in her hands, rolling her eyes again. 

"But." Mako cleared his throat again and she could feel him shifting around uncomfortably on the rocks. "It looks like she feels the same way. Whoever it is."

Korra scrunched her nose, staring at the light of the moon rippling on the waves. In the back of her mind she knew it was true, but...

How do you tell someone you've grown up with? How would anyone get enough courage to jump that fence?




Friday, August 26th. High of 103. Heat Advisory. 95% chance of tipsy hand holding.

"And where are you girls going?"

Korra and Asami looked at each other, eyes wide, before Korra turned around, plastering a smile on her face. "We're spending the night at Mako and Bolin's, remember, Dad?"

Tonraq crossed his arms over his chest, standing on the top story of the deck and staring down at them.

Asami smiled convincingly and waved, charming as ever. "We'll be back by tomorrow morning! Promise! I already told my dad!"

They walked away quickly, sweat dripping down their backs and they hoisted their bags on their shoulders. Asami grabbed Korra's hand nervously, her palms sweaty in the heat. The pavement radiated heat in waves around them and Korra felt a drop of sweat fall from her nose.

"Korra." Asami squeezed her palm. "He seemed kind of suspicious."

"I mean...we are spending the night there." The boys had said they could all crash at their place that night so Korra and Asami's parents wouldn't be suspicious.

"I don't think that's quite what I mean," Asami said, squeezing her hand again.

Korra bit her lip and reluctantly dropped Asami's hand. They climbed on their bikes and peddled as fast as the heat would let them, the wind barely moving cooling their faces as they headed down the street.

At half past eight the sky was just beginning to darken, phones flashing in the twilight as people headed towards Tahno's house. Asami jumped off her bike, smoothing out her sun dress as Korra locked their handlebars together and around a telephone pole. 

Inside was air conditioned and teeming with people, music pumping loudly through the speakers. Asami led the way to the fridge and pulled out two beers, handing one to Korra.

"Hey, Korra! Hey, Asami!"

Bolin wrapped them both in a hug while Mako nodded at them, leaning against the doorway of the kitchen. People pushed around them to get to the fridge and they shuffled aside, backing into a somewhat empty corner of the room.

"Do you guys want a beer?"

Bolin shook his head sadly. "Mako won't let me."

"Aw, no!" Asami put a hand on Bolin's shoulder in mock pain, laughing while Bolin pouted. 

"I'm just looking out for, little bro."

"Yeah, yeah." He shook his head again. "Come on, let's go see if we know anyone in the living room. Maybe Shin is still here?"

"It's Shady Shin now." Asami rolled her eyes as Korra snickered. "Good luck talking to him."

Bolin led the way through the crowd and they headed through a mass of people, laughing and talking loudly in the heat. A group of girls cut between them and Mako and Bolin disappeared from sight, swallowed into the sea of people. Asami looked around on tippy-toes while Korra sipped her beer. "Do you see them?"

"Uh uh." Korra put her hand on Asami's shoulder, trying to see above everyone's heads. "But--"

Tahno's hair bobbed towards them through the crowd and Asami grabbed Korra's hand, pulling her in the opposite direction as they giggled. They weaved through people clutching cups and cans of beer until they stood on the deck, the view overlooking the ocean. More music played out here and people danced under the lights, their voices hard to hear over. They leaned against the railing, Korra snatching her hand back as they accidentally brushed fingers.

Korra glanced at Asami, her cheeks heating up as Asami did the same. Anger flared inside Korra and she huffed, looking back out at the people around her. Why couldn't things just go back to normal, when she didn't get a heart attack every time they brushed against each other? They were not ending the summer like this. She downed the rest of her beer, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand to hide her disgust.

"Want me to get us more?"




 The moon lit up the deck and Korra laughed, Bolin twisting her around as they danced. The bass thumped deep in her bones and she closed her eyes for a moment, the night hazy and her head light. She let Bolin twirl her around the deck, ignoring everyone's hot bodies as they brushed against her. Asami and Mako stood to the side, Asami talking animatedly while waving her beer around, Mako nodding every now and then. Korra laughed again, because who cared? Who cared how things were. They were fine. It felt so great having more friends at the beach house this summer, even if it was only for a few weeks.

Somebody tapped on her shoulder and she spun around, the deck tilting slightly under her feet as she took in Asami standing before her. "Hi."

Korra smiled brightly. She was jostled from behind and she fell forward a few steps, until she had to look up at Asami. "Hi."

"How are you?"

Korra let her head fall to the side, giggling as more people bumped into her from behind. "Fine. Great. How about you?"

Asami put her can down somewhere on the floor and took her hands, smiling widely. "Me, too." She spun Korra around as the music played around them and Korra smiled, pulling Asami deeper into the crowd as everyone jumped around them. Asami smiled back and swayed her hips, pulling Korra in close. Korra relaxed against her and Asami rested her chin on top of her head, wrapping her arms around Korra's waist. Korra stretched on tiptoes until her shirt rode up and Asami fingers rested cool against her hips. Korra let her head fall back, closing her eyes as Asami swayed underneath her. 

Suddenly Asami was pulling at her hands again and Korra blinked her eyes open, looking around in the haze. "Where are we going?" They had started wandering through the crowd, dodging sweaty bodies as they bumped around. Korra rolled her eyes as they passed Mako and Bolin, who were elbowing each other and gesturing.

"I don't know."

Korra stumbled over the last step of the deck and they tumbled down, Asami giggling as they landed in the sand. Their legs tangled and Korra tried to twist free. The breeze felt like heaven against her skin and Asami was so close, her sun freckles visible in the moonlight.

"Uh, Asami?"


Korra swallowed as Asami rested her forehead against hers, a grin across her face.

"Well, I..."

She swallowed again, her throat suddenly dry. "Have you been feeling weird this summer?"

Asami leaned closer, their noses brushing together. "What kind of weird?"

"Uh, well..." Asami's breath was hot on her cheeks and she really couldn't take it, it was so hot out. Her cheeks were on fire, her ears probably bright red. "You know...that we kind of..."

She took a deep breath, running her hand through the sand. How did she end up here? How was Asami nose to nose with her, leaning against her when the whole summer they'd danced around each other, too scared to say anything.

"We kind of....I kind of....I kind of l-like yo--"

Asami's lips were warm on hers and she giggled softly against them, a breath of warm air ghosting across her face. Korra leaned in again and caught Asami's lips, awkwardly fumbling in the dark. Should she tilt her head to the right? Was she just supposed to hold her lips there?

Asami moved against her, her hand coming to Korra's waist in the darkness. Korra rested her hand atop Asami's thigh, their lips moving together, the air hot around them, Asami parting her mouth, slipping a tongue between her lips--

Korra gasped and pulled away, breathing heavily, suddenly hearing the crickets chirping around them in the night. "Okay." She took Asami's hands, shifting her weight to sit on her knees. "Wow."

Asami laughed and squeezed her hands. "Yeah," she said. "Wow."

"What do we do now?"

Asami looked back at the party, at the people spilling off the deck and into the night. "Let's go find Bolin and Mako."



Sunday, August 28th. Low of 71, partly cloudy. 100% chance of goodbyes.

Asami closed the trunk of her car, the backseat filled with suitcases and boxes. Her flip flops tapped against the pavement of her driveway and she crossed her arms, ignoring her dad honking the horn.


Korra hated the end of the summer. It was always hard saying goodbye, but they knew they'd see each other soon, for winter holidays, spring break... But it felt different this year. Korra fell forward, wrapping Asami in a tight hug, burying her face in the thin fabric of her t-shirt. 

"Don't forget about me."

Korra laughed and then sniffed, picking up her head to wrap her arms loosely around Asami's neck. She always said that to her, every summer before they left, after Korra had run crying after the Sato's car when they were six yelling not to forget about her. She stood on tiptoes, shyly placing a kiss to the corner of Asami's lips. "This feels weird."

"This whole summer was weird."

They both laughed, Korra untangling herself from Asami, watching her climb into the car. Asami hung out the window, waving as the engine started up. "Don't beat anyone up this school year!" she called, their car already pulling away.

Korra laughed again, waving as they drove away. She turned to her parents packing the car next door and they gave her a small wave. Next summer, she knew they'd say when she walked over. Just like they did every year.