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“Ugh!” Korra grunts, the sound a fierce and ugly thing, ripped from her lips as the boulder makes contact with her shoulder and sends her hurtling into the wall. A quick shake of the head, a haphazard brush of the hand over an errant wisp of hair and she’s back on her feet, scanning her surroundings for the source of the attack. She feels something wet trickle down her arm and she can’t help but glance down at the fresh gash in her shoulder—it’s starting to bleed, oh crap, Tenzin’s gonna kill her—but this momentary lapse in concentration is enough to give her opponent the edge. She barely has time to refocus her attention on the matter at hand before another boulder fills her line of sight.

And she’s down. Again.

“ARGH!” It’s a full-blown screech this time, one of pure frustration, and all of a sudden flames are licking at her fingertips. She smirks. “Play time’s over.”

A stream of fire swallows up the practice gym, smoking Bolin out of his hiding place. Korra can just make out his indignant squawks over the roar of her flames: “HEY! That’s cheating, you’re only supposed to Waterbend! HOW IS THIS HELPFUL—”

“What?” Korra calls, cupping a hand to her ear. “Sorry, can’t quite hear you over the sound of my utter and complete domination.”

“I’ll show you domination.” Bolin kicks up a couple of huge rock saucers and chucks them in Korra’s general direction, catching her off guard. She quickly bends a wave of water from the pool below and freezes up a giant wall, shielding herself from Bolin’s offensive. Seconds later his saucers hit the wall at a blistering speed and the impact is an earsplitting, devastating explosion of icy dirt.

For a few seconds, all is silent save for their heavy breathing. Heart pounding, hand clutching the stitch in her right side, Korra scans the slushy ruin before her, then notices Bolin sitting a few feet away, eyes wide.

Korra grins shakily, drags herself over to her fallen comrade, and collapses next to him in a heap of dirt and sweat. She nudges his shoulder with her own, wincing as the forgotten scrape from earlier twinges a bit. “Truce?”

“Yeah,” Bolin laughs. “Think we have to clean this up, or can we hit the showers? I’ve literally never felt this dirty in my life, and that’s coming from someone who shares a living space with Toza.” Bolin smells like earth and salt and his usual aftershave that’s been somehow intensified by the workout. Korra thinks, Yum.

Korra thinks, Wait, what?

“Uh, yeah! Shower. Riiiiight,” she manages. Completely oblivious, Bolin shoots her that killer grin of his, the one that’s responsible for his veritable legion of wildly enthusiastic female fans. It’s never worked on Korra, she’s proud to say. Nope. Not once.

“I like your delinquent ways.” And there’s something about the way he quirks an eyebrow at her, something about the way his voice dips when he says the word “delinquent,” that shoots a shiver of warmth down Korra’s body, straight to a certain place that, up until ten minutes ago, Korra would never have associated with the goofball at her side.

A very muscular goofball, come to think of it, who’s covered in a sheen of sweat and who smells like yummy aftershave and whose breath is still coming in short, harsh pants.

Korra gulps.

***

The Arena has a men’s locker room and a women’s, with showers in each—thank the Spirits, or Korra’s sudden Bolin-related crisis would be a lot harder to ignore. As it is, she shoves her disgusting workout clothes into a cubby and pads, naked, over to the nearest shower, intent on letting the steam clear her mind of any and all thoughts Bolin.

She turns the shower tap to the right. Nothing. Frowning, she turns it to the left, and is met with similar results. No.

She scurries to the next shower, and to the third, and to the fourth. The place is completely dry.

“Seriously?” Korra says, to no one in particular. Seriously, the showers seem to reply. Korra has to close her eyes and think of Tenzin to prevent a surge of elemental irritation from dealing further damage to the already completely useless locker room.

She opens her eyes and her gaze falls on the door that leads to the hallway, which leads to the men’s locker room, which leads to Bolin.

Well, I need to shower somewhere, she thinks, wrapping the nearest clean towel around herself and setting off toward her imminent doom.

After a moment’s hesitation, she forces herself to open the door to the men’s locker room. A thick cloud of steam billows through the crack.

“Um, Bolin?” she calls, peaking her head inside. The steam obscures most of the room’s contents, and if Bolin has an answer for her it’s drowned out by the loud spray of water against floorboards.

“Bolin?” Korra tries again, stepping inside. No answer. She creeps toward the source of steam and spray, turns a corner, and finds—

Oh.

She’s never seen a naked boy before. Oh, sure, Katara had shown her diagrams depicting male anatomy in preparation for healing lessons, and her mother had explained the mechanics of sex after her first bleed at the age of twelve. Korra’s mind had eagerly filled in the blanks, and since arriving in Republic City she’s finally had the freedom to conduct more…extensive research on the topic (she will never, ever forgive Meelo for almost exposing her secret stash of literature to Tenzin.)

But seeing Bolin…like this…is something entirely new and different from all of that. His eyes are closed, his expression slack. He runs a hand through his hair, dipping his head back for better exposure to the showerhead, the muscles in his arm and stomach rippling with the motion. Transfixed by shock and horror (and maybe something else, if the sudden tingling between her legs is any indication), Korra’s eyes track the stream of water as it cascades over Bolin’s head, down his neck to his chest, then his stomach, finally arriving at his—

Bolin opens his eyes, and the show comes to an abrupt halt.

“KORRA!” His scream is deafening, snapping Korra back to reality. “What are you doing here?!”

“The girls’ showers are broken!” she yelps, and she can literally feel her eyes bugging out of their sockets. “Why aren’t you using the curtain?!”

“Because I didn’t think I needed to! It’s nine o’clock at night, we’re the only ones here!”

“I should—I need to—” Korra attempts, one hand flying up to cover her eyes—an utterly futile gesture, considering the damage already done—the other wildly gesticulating in the general direction of the exit. “Um. Bye.”

“Wait—”

“No, seriously Bolin, you don’t understand. I need to go—”

“Seriously, Korra,” Bolin says, and there’s something massively unsettling about the tone of his voice, because by Korra’s calculations it should be approximately three pitches higher and roughly one million times more hysterical right about now. But it isn’t either of those things. It’s…calmer than it was five seconds ago. Maybe even a little contemplative.

Oh no.

“Do you need to go?” Bolin continues. “Or do you want to go.”

“Um,” Korra manages. “What.”

“I just mean,” Bolin says, and his voice is suddenly very close, and the air around them is suddenly very thick, too hot and practically dripping with moisture and Korra wonders, wildly, if she might be in danger of suffocating. “The shower’s big enough for two. If you want.”

Korra removes her hand from her eyes. Bolin’s right there—Korra starts a bit at that, brain playing catch-up as her eyes devour all the new details revealed by his proximity. The hair on his chest, dark and trailing down. The dozens of miniscule water droplets clinging to his skin. His brilliant green eyes, framed by lashes the color of wet ink.

Korra can think of a million reasons to walk away and pretend like this never happened. It could destroy two of the only friendships she’s ever had. It could royally screw things up in the ring. She suspects Mako has a thing for her. She suspects she has a thing for Mako. She couldn’t trust herself to stop.

Bolin smiles softly.

Korra thinks, fuck it.

She kisses him.

The shower water clinging to his lips adds an element of wetness to it, and at first it’s almost awkward. This is Bolin, Korra thinks, oh, Spirits, what am I doing—

But then Bolin closes the remaining distance between their bodies with a relieved little sigh, and Korra’s better judgment admits defeat.

Her lips part slightly, and like every opportunity life presents him with, Bolin makes the most of it, gently grips the back of her neck and tilts his head slightly to the side and presses in softly with his tongue, just a tease really, but it’s enough to send an involuntary shudder through Korra’s body that has nothing to do with the temperature of the room. He pulls back a bit, and she can feel the smirk on his lips before he presses in again. His lips are soft and pliant, slow and patient. Korra nips at them, the sweet hunger building between her legs demanding more, now.

The skin of his chest is so hot. She can feel it through the towel still wrapped around her, a heat that permeates the fabric and seems to seep into her own skin, causing her to boil over. She tilts her head back, breaking the kiss to gasp for breath, and Bolin moves his lips down to her neck, kisses at the sweat and steam beading at the crook of it, tongue darting out to taste her skin. The warm wetness of it tickles in the best of ways, and when he latches onto a particularly sensitive spot right below her ear and sucks, she can’t contain a throaty groan of appreciation. He grips her tighter at that, runs his hands up her back, and god, since when were his hands so huge, so wide and rough and suddenly an image flashes across her mind’s eye of those thick fingers pressing slowly, achingly slowly inside—

Ohhh,” she sighs, clutching the thick hair at the nape of his neck.

“You like that?” he murmurs, trailing hot, open-mouthed kisses across her collarbone.

“Yeah,” she breathes. “Don’t stop.”

Bolin stops.

“I thought I said don’t stop,” Korra whines, cracking an eye open for the first time in what feels like hours.

“Can I…” She feels him finger the knotted portion of her towel, and the question in his eyes, wide and glazed over like he can’t believe this is happening, is obvious.

She’s relatively inexperienced at this sort of thing, but she knows when she wants something, and she definitely wants this.

“Allow me,” she smirks, untying the towel and letting it drop to the floor.

Bolin stares. Through the lust-filled haze clouding her brain, Korra feels a twinge of…embarrassment? No—Korra’s proud of her body, always has been. But no one else has ever seen her like this, so utterly bare and open. She gears up to say something, because Bolin’s stunned silence is starting to freak her out, but then—

“Spirits, Korra,” he mutters, crushing her to him, mouth dipping to resume its assault of her shoulder with renewed vigor, “you are so fucking hot.”

“You’re not so bad yourself,” Korra babbles, reveling in the feeling of her bare breasts pressed up against him. Bolin shifts a bit, lining their bodies up in just the right way, and she feels—

She feels…

“Is that a bending scroll in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” Wait, why did I just say that?!

Thankfully, Bolin doesn’t appear to find her terrible jokes off-putting. He chuckles, and then he grinds up against her, smooth-hard heat against her hip. “Definitely not a bending scroll,” he murmurs. “C’mere.”

Not breaking contact, Bolin backs them up toward the shower. Hot water hits her body and Korra sighs in relief, feels all the grit and grime from their practice session wash away.

Korra grabs Bolin’s neck and captures his lips again, taking the opportunity to run her free hand over the hard muscles of his back. Spirits, this feels good, the addictive push and pull of it, the delicious friction building to some inconceivable peak as Bolin continues to grind his erection against her. The heat pooling between her legs throbs, eagerly anticipating what’s to come.

Bolin breaks the kiss and trails his lips down. Korra opens her eyes in time to watch Bolin flick his tongue experimentally over her nipple. The sensation shoots a jolt of excitement straight through her, and when Bolin sucks gently, Korra throws her head back in delight, hips bucking involuntarily.

Korra finds Bolin’s hand and drags it down. He pulls back a bit, eyes widening.

“Are you—” He falters, gulping. “Are you sure—”

Yes,” Korra says, emphasizing her sincerity with a particularly enthusiastic thrust of her hips.

“Good,” Bolin groans, finally settling his fingers between her legs. She hisses in relief, the contact somehow placating her arousal and driving it to new heights at the same time. “Korra, oh Spirits, you’re so wet—”

Bolin brushes a fingertip over that sweet spot she discovered with her own hand long ago, and Korra cries out in surprised appreciation. He knows exactly how much pressure to apply, and Korra vaguely remembers that despite his youth and innocence in so many matters, Bolin is certainly not innocent when it comes to women. As his fingers continue their expert ministrations, he takes her nipple between his teeth again, running his tongue over it with gradually increasing speed.

When he slips a finger inside her, she screams.

He pauses, letting her adjust, before sliding it out with agonizing slowness, making her feel every inch of it. When he thrusts back in again, burrowing his finger to the knuckle this time, the world explodes in a dazzling array of color as she clenches her eyes shut tight enough to hurt. Vaguely, Korra wonders if she should be returning the favor, attempts to lift her hand from Bolin’s back before failing miserably, succumbing to the reality that she is just not capable of reciprocating at the moment.

Bolin continues to thrust in and out at a maddeningly even pace, and while it feels absolutely mind-blowing, Korra wants more.

“Another finger,” she groans, gripping Bolin’s broad shoulders. “Now.”

“Someone’s demanding,” Bolin mutters, but he readily complies, lining up a second finger and slowly pushing in.

Korra knows that when a girl has sex for the first time, more often than not there’s blood and some pain as the barrier inside her is breached. Hoping to avoid it during sex with an actual partner, Korra had deliberately triggered the experience with her own fingers during a particularly enthusiastic solo session. It had hurt, but the blood had been minimal.

As Bolin’s second finger pushes deeper inside, Korra grows more and more confident that she doesn’t have to worry about that pesky barrier tonight. His fingers feel thick and overwhelming in the best of ways, and when he thrusts with both of them for the first time, she actually sees stars.

“How does that feel?” he asks, against the skin of her breast.

“Mmph,” she responds, beyond speech, beyond rational thought of any kind. The air feels suffocatingly dense again, hot and humid and white with steam. It’s a complete overhaul of the senses, sight and sound and taste and touch all running together into one gloriously intangible blur.

“I need…” she begins, wildly, “I need…” Her knees are trembling, buckling, and Korra feels her climax steamrolling closer and closer each time Bolin’s fingers brush tantalizingly near a certain unexplored spot deep inside.

She still needs more.

Forcing herself away from the edge, Korra reaches between them and grips Bolin’s wrist. He glances up at her questioningly, and Korra swallows, attempts to steady her breathing. “Wait. This is…this is happening too fast.”

Bolin’s features instantly crumble into the most adorably mortified expression she’s ever seen. “I knew it, I knew I was pushing you too far. I’m so sorry Korra, we don’t have to do anything you’re not ready for—”

“That’s not what I mean,” Korra interrupts, smiling. “I mean, I’m getting close and…I don’t want it to happen like that. I want…all of it. All of you.” She kisses the concern off his face, reaching one hand down between them. She wraps her fingers around him—Spirits, he’s thick—and squeezes, gently but firmly. “Think you can fuck me?” she whispers throatily, feeling his dick twitch in her hand.

“Woah,” Bolin breathes, and when his eyes flick up to meet hers, his pupils are so dilated, the green has almost completely disappeared. “You are—amazing.”

She smirks, and gives his cock a slow, firm pump.

His entire body spasms at that, and he chokes out a moan. Hearing the lack of control in his voice makes the desire between Korra’s legs spike to dangerous levels once more. When she jerks her hand again, he grips her shoulders and shoves her, not too gently, up against the shower wall.

Everything happens so fast after that. Bolin yanks her legs around his hips and lifts her up off the ground in one smooth motion. Korra wraps her limbs around him, lining herself up, and then—

Bolin’s grip on her slackens just enough, and she sinks down onto him.

There’s no feeling like this in the world, nothing that even comes close. She feels herself let him in with such slow, slick ease, realizes how wet she must be, and that thought excites her even more. The reality of his hot, thick cock buried deep insider her, as deep as it can get, is the most arousing thing Korra’s ever experienced, and she feels herself involuntarily clench around him. He lets out an anguished groan at that, letting his forehead fall against hers.

“I don’t think I’ll last long,” he stutters, and Korra murmurs, “It’s OK, I won’t either,” before kissing him, tangling their tongues together messily, feeling the last vestiges of self-control slip away. She’s running entirely on instinct now, on that all-powerful, primal urge to reach completion.

Bolin grips her hips firmly, and thrusts.

Korra hears Bolin’s name tumble from her lips, feels her body jerk in response to Bolin finally finding that unexplored place deep within her. Just the knowledge that it’s his cock stimulating it, not just his fingers, is almost enough to tip her over the edge.

Bolin’s head is buried in the crook of her neck. Their bodies begin to find a rhythm, every movement made smooth and deadly by their sweat-slick skin. Korra’s out of her mind, out of her body, everything feels so far away and so devastatingly close at the same time, and Bolin picks up speed, and she bites his shoulder, and he cries out her name and suddenly everything feels so much more intense as he hits that spot over and over again—

And then everything in Korra’s world is a blinding, ecstatic white.

After some indefinable length of time, Korra starts to come down. She feels the aftershocks course through her body, feels herself twitch around Bolin as he thrusts lazily, shallowly in and out. He must have come too—she’s somewhat embarrassed to admit that she didn’t even notice.

Gradually, her heartbeat slows down to a normal pace, and Bolin relaxes against her. He lowers her back to the ground, slipping out.

“Wow,” he breathes, eyes half-lidded, mouth curled into a languid grin.

“Yeah.” Korra closes her eyes, tips her head back to rest against the wall. She doesn’t want to talk right now—all she wants is to go to sleep.

“So,” Bolin continues, lightly running his fingertips up her arm. “I think the water’s getting cold.”

Korra smiles softly. “Mhmm. Feels kinda nice.”

“Yeah,” replies Bolin. “Yeah, it does.”

Korra accepts that she may very well regret this in a few hours. Tonight could destroy two of the only friendships she’s ever had. It could royally screw things up in the ring. She suspects Mako has a thing for her. She suspects she has a thing for Mako. She definitely shouldn’t have trusted herself to stop.

“We should probably get out of here,” Bolin says, the reluctance in his voice all too obvious. Korra smiles.

She may regret this in a few hours, but right now, in this moment, she’s happier than she’s been in quite some time. And that’s more than enough to make it all worth it.