Actions

Work Header

cooler than the flipside of my pillow

Work Text:

It's been a shit day. She's tired and sore and low-key pissed off and, honestly, she just needs a damn coffee and some sleep. Instead of all that, she somehow lets herself get roped into visiting a pet rescue place with Opal, who is so excited she practically bounces on her heels.

Asami, an in all, is just thankful she's wearing her flat boots today, given the three centimeters of mud that she sinks into the moment she closes her car door.

“C'mon, Asami,” Opal says, pulling her by the hand. “We gotta go inside.”

“Why can't your friend meet us outside?” she asks grumpily.

“Their shift hasn't ended yet.”

Asami narrows her eyes, but Opal has her eyes on the big building coming up. It's a two-story, dilapidated rescue center, with the words 'Republic City Shelter' scrawled upon its front. Even before they open the door, Asami hears barks.

The reception is small, barely fitting a greeting desk. Behind it, a guy switches between channels on a small TV. He looks friendly enough, with big green eyes and a messy haircut.

“Hey, Bo,” Opal says, and the guy immediately brightens. “Came by to pick you up.”

He stands up to pull Opal into a hug. “Great!”

“Asami, this is Bolin,” the girl says. “Bolin, Asami.”

“Nice to meet you.” Asami offers her hand up, but he foregoes it for a hug so strong it lifts her from the ground.

“Well, come on in,” he says. “Korra just found a bunch of puppies in the grass by the arena.”

Opal turns to her with her big doe eyes. “Can we look at them?”

No, she wants to say.

“Sure.”

They go out through a side-door and into a long hallway, almost fully taken up by small rooms for dogs. Excited barks greet them, and about a dozen tiny tails waggle at their sight. Asami focuses on the exit, determined not to stop and look- otherwise she'll take all of them.

Bolin opens the last door, showing a large room with the same cubicles. He maneuvers them around, petting dogs and cats on the way, smiling widely.

“Where are the puppies?” he yells.

“Back here!” a voice responds.

The moment she looks at the owner of the voice, who has three puppies in her hands, time momentarily stops. Asami can't figure out where to look; at the girl, who has the single greatest smile she's ever seen, or at the blond puppy who paws at the air.

“Hold one,” the girl says, giving her a bundle of fur. “Aren't they cute?”

She blinks at the dog, who yawns and tries to eat her hair.

Asami has never had a pet in her life; she's fully out of her element. “Hi,” she says to it.

The girl thankfully takes the dog from her and puts it back on the blankets, where it cuddles up to its siblings. Then she stretches out a hand. “I'm Korra.” She says. It's hard to focus on her voice, because her short hair falls a bit to frame her face, and her arms almost bursting out of her tight T-shirt.

“Asami.” She manages to answer. “They're all siblings?”

“Yeah,” Korra tells her. “They were under a bunch of leftover construction material. Their mom was dead by the time we got there, but we saved her kids.”

She nods. “Cool.”

“Yesterday, I got that one out of a well,” she says, pointing at a nearby enclosure. Asami moves to look at it; a black little thing, curled up on the far edge, looking at them with fearful eyes. “He was left to starve by someone; the outside wall was too high for him to have gotten in by himself.”

Asami looks at the dog. The dog looks at Asami.

Thirty minutes later, Asami leaves the rescue with the damn dog.

 

She names him Wan.

He stands tiny in her living room, head low, ears down as Bolin and Korra help her set up. Opal makes cooing noises at him, talking about how great an aunt she'll be, and makes faces. Asami sits on her floor and waits patiently, staring at the dog with a frown.

Maybe he won't like her; maybe there's something wrong with the house, or with the smells, or with the carpet. Or, perhaps, she's intruding in his space- but Asami sat first, and he chose to sit next to her. Is this some kind of puppy test?

“Poor boy,” Korra says. “He'll be a bit wary for a while.”

Wan's bones stick out of his skin, and he looks exhausted. But still, he doesn't relax. Bolin gives her Wan's water bowl and food, and she lays them down across from her. He inches forward slowly, sniffing at the food, before, with a quick glance to Asami, he dives in.

“He needs to take his worm medicine, and some antibiotics for his infection,” Korra tells her, sitting by her side. Heat rises to the back of her neck. “I have a whole box of them at home, I can bring them tomorrow. If that's alright with you, 'course.”

“Yeah, you can come.”

Wan licks his lips and yawns a bit, leaning forwards. Asami nudges the bowl away from him- the way he's leaning he'll end up falling into his own water. Opal snickers behind him.

“Sleepy like Asami.”

Asami grumbles. “I have odd hours, okay. Look who's talking.”

Opal sticks her tongue out and Asami, tired as hell, does the same; Bolin, who'd just come back from the kitchen, looks at them and hesitantly sticks his tongue out too. Korra raises her eyebrows and shakes her head.

“I'm not doing that.”

 

 

“Wan is crying.”

“Wha?” is Korra's bleary reply.

Asami would've called Opal, but she is at her father's house, which is in the middle of nowhere, with no reception and a bunch of cows. Bolin was her second choice – because Korra keeps making her stomach flip and that's weird, a bit, yeah? - but he is seemingly a deep sleeper, and she gave up after the third attempt. Which left Korra, who, even at 2 A.M., charms with a low chuckle.

“Is this normal?” Asami asks, panicked. Wan is stretched out on a rug in her office, whining and making those adorable puppy eyes at her- she hasn't slept at all, petting him and playing with him until he stops crying. “I've tried everything. It's not food or water he wants- I gave him a treat and he stopped for a while, but then he started again-”

“Chill,” Korra says. “He's just needy. Probably wants some loving. Is he in another room?”

“I put the bed on my office, but he keeps coming into my room.”

“You have a problem with him sleeping on the floor next to you?”

Asami picks up one of the toys- a turtle that squeaks when she presses it. Wan's ears perk up and he lifts up in his hind legs; she raises her hand so that he can't reach, and he tries to jump to get it.

“Not really.”

“Let him stay in, then. He'll feel better, knowing you're there.”

“I'm sorry for waking you up- I panicked.”

“'Is alright, Asami,” Korra sounds like she's smiling. “Nice talking to ya. Maybe, next time, call during business hours, yeah?”

“I'll try.”

“G'night.”

“Night.”

She puts her phone back on her sweatpants' pocket and gets up. “Wanna go lie down?”

Obviously, Wan doesn't grasp the message- but she acts excited, and he gets hyped up too. He sprints into her room, tail wagging, as she puts his purple bed by her bedside table.

“Time to sleep, pretty boy,” she hums, getting into her bed. “Go on.”

He fusses around in his bed for awhile, sticking his nose under the cushion, pawing at the material, until he lays down and looks up at Asami. She mumbles a goodnight before drifting into sleep.

 

“At least it's past five, this time,” Korra cheerfully says into her phone. “What's up?”

“Why do dogs chew?”

“Long or short answer?”

“Long.”

“Really? Alright. Like human babies, puppies explore with their mouths. Wan has his teeth already, which means that it's not for itching. He's probably just bored and wants to play around. It continues throughout most of a dog's life, though not as often as it's happening now.”

“He chewed half my wardrobe,” Asami says, sadly. Wan flies past with a brown slipper in his mouth. “And my cable cords.”

“You got somewhere to be today?” For a second, Asami thinks she's asking her out or something, and gets very excited/terrified. Then Korra says: “I can help you out, it's my free day.”

“Would you really?”

“Why not?” Korra's voice turns playful. “Why? Do you hate me? Would you rather Wan chewed you out of a home?”

“Not particularly, no.”

“Be there in five!”

Korra gets in around ten minutes later, a bag full of stuff in one hand, and takeout on the other. She's wearing a baggy hockey jersey, masculine gym shorts, and a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. Suddenly, Asami doesn't know how to act like a normal human, so she just swiftly gets up to take Korra's stuff.

Thanks to some kind of upstairs mercy, Korra doesn't seem to see Asami's brief mind-body disconnect, choosing to zoom onto Wan, who is covered in fuzz from a couch cushion. Under him, Asami spots her old Nike running shoes, and a new Burberry purse- well, what used to be one. Thank god she's rich.

“Hey, you scoundrel,” Korra says to him. “I'm here to puppy-proof your mommy's house.”

Asami watches as she tapes things and puts plastic covers on her plugs. She puts something on the carpet in Asami's room- Wan doesn't like stepping on it. He comes to Asami, ears down, playing the victim. She snuggles him onto her chest, almost losing the tiny dog in the folds of her giant Republic City University hoodie.

“Keep that ball of happy occupied, Asami,” Korra teases her from across the room, missing Asami's blush. “He is not a good co-worker.”

“Tell me about it.”

It's great that Asami's voice always sounds calm and semi-sultry. It's gotten her out of many uncomfortable situations, and, right now, it's doing an spectacular job of making it seem like Asami is completely fine and chill with a gorgeous girl traipsing around her house. Which, in the interest of making things clear, she is not. She's the opposite of chill.

It's not like she can't be perfectly cool around pretty people. It's just that- Korra seems to down-to-Earth, so nice and kind, and she can't quite figure out why. There's a part of her who worries she'll eventually see that Asami is kind of a mess of a person, and be so weirded out she'll leave forever.

And, well, Asami would like it if she didn't.

“Are you a billionaire or something?” Korra calls out at one point. “There are, like, three laptops in this place. And a PC- wait, two. One of them blinks- where is the USB plug in it? Or the cables? What the hell is this thing, anyway?”

Asami's eyes get wide and she stands up abruptly, making Wan fall onto the couch cushions. She strides into her office; it's cluttered and filled with books, blueprints, and sketches. Korra stands by the far wall, staring intently at an – admittedly – oddly shaped unit.

“We're trying out some new designs,” she says. “I brought one over to see some mechanical issues it's been showing. It's just a prototype, really. Won't reach markets until the end of next year.”

“Whoa,” the other girl says, mouth open. “That's very cool. Who's we?”

“Well- Sato Industries.”

Korra hums and touches the metal surface again, before straightening up in a flash. “Wait. Asami Sato? Like, Opal's boss Sato?”

“I'd like to think as my relationship to Opal as more like an equal partnership,” Asami frowns. “But yeah. I'm the CEO.”

“So, that answers my question. You are a billionaire.”

“Haven't got a billion yet.” She corrects her, even though it doesn't change much.

Korra continues to look at Asami as if she'd invented McNuggets. Preempting the blush that is sure to appear, Asami runs her hand through her hair, hiding some of her face. “Want coffee?”

“Yeah,” Korra says distractedly. “Sure.”

She tries to make coffee as quietly as possible, listening to Korra's footsteps around her wooden floor. While she feels out of place, having a virtual stranger in her two-bedroom, suburban house, Asami finds that it's nice to have some level of company. Wan is great, but he isn't the best at talking.

“I'm worried,” comes the veterinarian's voice from behind her. “What is safe to touch? I don't wanna, like, accidentally bump into something worth thousands. I can't really compensate that.”

Asami laughs- low and soft. “You wouldn't have to pay for it. It's fine. You can touch everything.”

Her eyes widen at the possible interpretations of what she said, but Korra brushes right past that, instead going up to the kitchen to look at Wan's water bowl.

“You bought a Star Wars bowl?” she asks, incredulous.

She goes defensive. “Yeah?”

“You're such a nerd.”

“Insulting the host?” Asami fake-gasps. “What manners.”

“Sorry, oh gracious Sato.”

Asami hums. “Yes, the reverence I deserve.”

Korra breaks out laughing and slaps the counter audibly; Asami ends up giggling too, just loud enough to be heard over the coffeemaker sounds. She takes Korra's coffee to the counter after calming down; the girl glances at her with a curious grin.

“You're pretty cool, Sato,” Korra states. “I'm glad you took Wan in.”

Wan's tail waggles from the middle of the living room; he looks so happy that Asami has to smile too. “I'm glad too. Gets lonely here, sometimes.”

“Why do you even live here?” she questions, leaning forwards in her bar stool. “You could've bought any place in town.”

Asami picks up her own mug and blows at it, buying herself time.

“The apartments with great security are too big, and living too far would make commuting a nuisance,” she shrugs. “I suppose I just decided to look normal. No one here knows who I am, anyway. There's a reason why Opal is the face of the company.”

“Why?” Korra cocks her head to the side. “You have a great face too.”

Korra's eyes widen a bit, and Asami's blush is surely visible by now. “Thank you,” she says, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “But Opal has better charisma. It works out pretty well- I handle the schematics and the production, and she does the finances and deals with the press.”

“Seems like a tight ship, then.”

Asami glances at the wall clock- it's just past ten, and the neighborhood has just begun to wake up. Still holding her mug, Asami walks over to the back door to let Wan run around her yard for a while. The dog perks up, barking up a storm as she unlatches the screen door.

“Calm down,” she laughs. The door opens, and he's out like a flash. “There he goes, the little rocket.”

One of the reasons she bought this place was for the long yard. She built a pool and a space for sitting around by the door, but the yard is mostly plain grass and a couple of trees. At this time of the morning, the sun hits just right on her propriety, lighting up the bright green grass and leafs; and, since it's Spring, tiny white flowers sprout about the floor, glinting in the sun.

Korra comes up behind her with a low 'wow'. “This place is great.”

“I know, right? I'm so glad Tenzin helped me find it.”

“You know Tenzin?”

They walk out into the patio, looking over at the tiny dog zipping around. Asami pulls out a chair for Korra, who smiles gratefully.

“Yeah, he was my self-defense instructor for a couple of years. That's how I came to know Opal, even. Turns out we were in the same Economics class together at uni. After that, we started hanging out. The rest is history, I suppose.”

Korra nods. “Yeah, she spoke a lot about a new friend, some years ago. Tenzin is my godfather, and I kinda grew up around his farm, upstate. He taught me a lot.”

“He's very kind.” She hums. Korra's eyes gleam in the sunlight, and the way she laughs when Wan trips, trying to climb part of a tree, has Asami's heart racing.

 

Wan gradually stops being such a pain. He returns to his quieter self – which for a while alarms her, leading to various calls to Korra – and seems to like staying in her office with her, lying in his dog bed with some toys.

It's months since she's adopted him. She's made a great effort not to visit the shelter again, against Opal's wishes- but she knows she would adopt half of the animals, and couldn't take care of them all. Wan was the exception because, well, he resembled Asami herself.

She'd been just as scared for most of her life. Not only by the events that unfurled into her being CEO at 17; but by life itself. Asami had been a quiet, serious child, who'd put her time and energy into mathematics and physics instead of building friendships, and couldn't catch up with everyone when she found herself alone.

Magazines usually speak of her as a force of nature, a driven, powerful woman with one of the greatest minds on the business. And, while that may be true – she's all too aware of her own intellect -, she is also a girl. A girl who had to go home alone, to a house with no real imprint of herself, and who waited for the neighbors to leave before she opened her own door.

But having Wan around, having his solid and steady company, makes it all tremendously easier. She has something to look forward to at the end of the day, a constant source of affection and caring.

The pup trots around in his tiny legs, throwing stuff onto the ground, chewing furniture, playing in the trash, and Asami is happy.

 

“It's just a tick, Asami,” Korra says patiently. “He's fine.”

Asami shakes her head, desolate.

“Look, he's even running!”

Wan trips and skids a bit on the vet clinic floor, making some kids laugh. Asami continues to sniffle, even as the dog bounces back to lick her hand. He's gotten big; his head reaches Asami's knee, and he's outgrown two beds.

Still, whenever she looks at him, she sees the tiny puppy she first picked up. So, when Asami spotted the black spot near his ear, she freaked the hell out.

“What if it hurt?”

“It's gone now, worrywart,” Korra sits down beside her, visibly stifling a laugh. “Wan is great. Lots of pets get ticks.”

“Are you sure he's fine?”

“Yes. I checked him myself. Besides, Kya is a great vet.”

Asami nods, still frowning; Kya steps back onto her waiting room, eyebrow raised.

“Go home, kid. Your dog is fine.”

Korra grins at her and pulls her up like she weights nothing. Wan sits down, tail wagging, waiting for his owner. With a nod to herself, Asami re-leashes him and they walk out the clinic, into the freezing cold of Republic City's winter.

“Let's go to the park,” Korra says. “Good day to run.”

“It's snowing.”

Her matter-of-fact tone doesn't seem to affect Korra's exuberance at all. She wears tank-tops even in the middle of winter, her upright and bright posture in sharp contrast to Asami's curling into herself with cold.

“I can drop you off,” she offers, frowning. “But it's too cold for me.”

Korra pouts. “I don't wanna go alone. Can we play Mario Kart at your place, then?”

Asami's puff of laughter turns into fog as it leaves her nose. She leads them back to her SUV, opening the back door so that Wan can jump inside. “Aren't you tired of losing?”

Her answer is of mock-indignation. “So full of yourself, Sato.”

“Shouldn't I be?”

Asami's hair blocks Korra's expression as she turns to close the driver's door. When she looks back, Korra is playing with her arm brace; Asami doesn't recognize the odd expression on her face, but she reckons it's not bad.

“Probably,” Korra replies. “Start the car, will you?”

 

She's come to terms with her massive crush on Korra.

Kind of.

It's still very hard not to stare at her. She's incredibly distracting, with her muscles, jokes, laughs, or overall existence. The guys from work like her a lot, and even hang out with Korra and Bolin outside, when Asami has to finish deadlines and such.

Today is another of those days. She's in her spacious office, writing equations on a black board, a two-dimension schematic of a car engine taking up half the space. Getting in the zone to sketch such a project takes a while, but after she's in, no one will get her out. Every one knows not to even bother her, with Opal limiting herself to 'happy hour has started so everyone sane in this damn building will be downstairs' at five.

Maybe there was something about 'dragging her Sato-ass down', but Asami elected to ignore it.

She's not going anywhere until she finds a way to better the efficiency of their current flex vehicles; there's got to be a way to do this without sacrificing the front design. She runs a couple of equations by, trying to figure out if there is such a thing, but it proves to be harder than anticipated without the specific measurements. Soon, she's pacing around the board, a file on her left hand, and a cup of coffee on her right.

“Working hard?”

Her lovely carpet almost gets ruined, Asami tilting her mug just in time. Korra leans on the door, arms crossed, with a grin on her face.

Embarrassment floods Asami. Her makeup is all gone, her hair is all messy and full of chalk, and she's wearing her beat-up sneakers- she could at least try to look good for her crush. Damn it, Asami.

“Hey,” she says, putting her coffee down. “Are you here for happy hour?”

“You could say that.”

Korra walks up to the board, standing right by Asami. Her eyes run over the entirety of the surface, fingers barely trailing the letters and numbers. Meanwhile, Asami surreptitiously tries to get the chalk off her hands.

“Where's Wan?”

“Jinora is pet-sitting,” she says, giving up on her hands. “I wanted to do some more hours here.”

“Am I in the way?”

She almost snorts; Asami would move heaven and earth for Korra's company. But she doesn't, instead opting for a more lady-like approach. “Not at all. I was just about to give up, actually.”

“Unheard of.”

“Shut up.”

The earnestness of Korra's smile never fails to throw her off. She's always so full of emotion- Korra freely gives out grins and laughs, but also never covers up her annoyance. It's fascinating, how she wears her emotions on her sleeve, freely and without reserve. Asami could never.

“You're coming down?”

She hesitates, a bit. “Hm- yeah, sure.”

 

When Asami first meets Mako, it's awkward for many reasons.

One, because he shows up dripping wet at Opal's place. Two, because Korra loudly confirms him as her ex-boyfriend. Three, because, well- she's pretty sure she slept with him in college.

“I'll get you a towel,” is what she says, vanishing into the apartment. Behind her, Opal chides Mako with the non-help of Bolin's laughs and Korra's teasing. Suddenly, even though she's been in Opal's apartment several times, Asami feels like an outsider, like she's intruding on a group mechanic long established.

She supposes, though, that there is no such thing. Maybe a bit- maybe people get so used to each other that their communication gets easier and easier; but no mechanical explanation, for they aren't machines. It's just hard for Asami not to apply math to every day life, considering that she never really understood people at their core.

Korra is helping her, though. When she returns to the living room, Korra turns her bright eyes to her, waving her closer. Mako still looks like a drowned rat, but even he has a slight smile on his face. It's hard not to, around Bolin.

“Quick, get dry,” Korra says, taking the towel and throwing it at Mako's face. “Otherwise you'll melt.”

“Why do I even hang out with you?” is his answer.

“Dunno.”

Asami's light laugh makes her perk up on her seat. She takes Asami's hand, pulling her closer to the couch; it's easy for Asami to sit on the armrest and let her body gravitate towards Korra, who seems oblivious to it. She can't blame her, since Wan has appeared out of nowhere and commandeered her attention.

Looking away, Asami catches Mako's eye. He nods, with a sheepish smile- that'll be the most they'll probably acknowledge that party years ago. Then he swiftly changes to a conversation with Bolin and Opal, seemingly content in not dripping anymore.

She hopes they can be friends, at least.

 

Questioning herself isn't something she does often. But, after a year of knowing Korra, she starts poking holes at her 'only a crush' theory. If it were true, it would've passed by now. There is only one explanation as to why she continues to be utterly enraptured by Korra's existence, one she cannot accept.

But it seems the world has plans for her. In a cold evening at her house, Asami stands by the cherry trees, eyes fixated on the object of oh-so-many of her dreams.

A wrought iron lamp illuminates Korra's front. Her hair glistens with the falling snowflakes, her blue sweater the color of the night sky. No shadows cross her face, no barrier hides her smile. She laughs at something Mako says, shaking her head to get rid of snow, and Asami thinks that perhaps Korra is the most beautiful thing she's ever seen.

Then, the girl spots her, a grin spreading across her face. Something seems to light up behind her eyes, a bright spark that never fails to leave Asami breathless.

Her feet move at their own volition; Asami crosses her yard with Wan hot at her heels.

“Hey, Asami,” Mako says. His stoic facade drops a good amount around them; she's seen him smile more and more as time goes on. “Thanks for inviting me.”

“Of course I would.” She's said this to many a businessman, but this is the first time she actually means it. “I'm glad you came.”

“Do you reckon Bolin will stop hogging the damn hot-dogs?” Korra grumbles by the way of greeting. “How can he even fit fifteen of them into his stomach?”

“You ate ten.”

“I'm a growing girl, Asami. I need sustenance.”

“So does poor Bolin. And he spends more energy then you- he played hockey with the guys from Accounting yesterday, when I know for a fact that you just rewatched the entire first season of Agent Carter.”

“It's a good show,” she mumbles. Then she glares at Asami with defiance. “You were playing PS4, ok?”

She shrugs. “So? I'm not the one who inhaled Wan's body weight in half an hour.”

Mako laughs heartily, while Korra pouts. She's always found sulky Korra impossibly cute, and there are just enough beers in her system for her to reach out and pinch her cheek.

“Adorable.”

Korra looks at her with the strangest expression, but it's fleeting. Even as the party goes on, Asami can't get it off her head.

 

The next day, Asami cleans the whole house.

She scrubs the floors clean, dusts her shelves, gathers her papers up, stores appliances, and even irons her shirts. Her windows let light sink onto the shiny floor; the first sign of the approach of Spring. The whole house smells of sun and lavender instead of dust and oil, and even Wan seems to appreciate the skidding bathroom floors.

It's not that Asami is tidy or a clean freak. In fact, she rarely even opens the broom closet. Only in the special occasions where her brain gets stuck on something, on some new formula or phenomena she's witnessed and cannot explain. Giving her motor functions tasks to complete leave Asami's mind to move at will, to deconstruct ideas and to map out solutions.

However, that doesn't happen this time. The only idea that seems at least plausible is that she invented the whole 'Korra look' situation, and it really what had happened was something superficial. Like, maybe, Korra had seen a butterfly passing by, or zoned out for a second, thinking about something, and accidentally keeping her eyes on her direction. Whichever works, really.

The crux of the matter is that it doesn't work. Asami has a pristine house to show for it. But if she lets herself actually consider that, maybe, perhaps, Korra likes her at all- well, then she'll hope for things. And hoping hasn't really worked out for Asami so far.

Her doorbell rings. Wan turns frantic, spinning in a circle by the door.

“Maniac,” she mutters, shaking her head. She plasters on a smile. “Hi.”

It's Korra. Asami can hear her heartbeat on her ears.

“Hey.” Korra says, smiling. “I felt bad for missing our lunch date yesterday, so I thought to swing by today.”

Lunch date.

She's going to die. Just have collapse right then and there.

“Come in.” Is what she says, voice unwavering. Thank god for those pronunciation classes when she was a teenager- otherwise she'd be a stuttering mess right now.

Korra's attention is drawn, as usual, to Wan; she talks to him while Asami closes the door, telling him about her day. Quietly, Asami retreats to the kitchen, to boil water for tea.

“What's wrong?”

“What do you mean?”

Heavy steps signal Korra getting closer; she stands by Asami's elbow, watching her pour water into the kettle. “You cleaned the house, Asami. Something's bothering you.”

“Didn't know you'd noticed that.” Asami answers, throat dry.

When she speaks again, Korra's voice is barely audible. “I notice everything about you.”

That's when she breaks.

Asami turns around, holds Korra's face, and kisses her. She barely has time to think about what she's doing before Korra puts her arms around her waist and presses her up against the refrigerator, kissing her back so keenly that Asami can basically see stars.

She holds her closer by the back of her neck, one hand tangling itself on Korra's short hair. Finally, Asami can let herself feel things; she's aware of every inch of Korra's skin against hers, every tiny movement and noise she makes. When Asami's mouth moves to Korra's jawline, she feels more than hears her soft sigh.

Then Wan goes and trips over his food bowl, making the loudest noise possible. Korra starts giggling into Asami's neck and soon they're both in hysterics, clutching at each other.

“I've wanted to kiss you for weeks,” Korra admits, after regaining her breath. “I didn't think you'd be into that- but you are, yeah? Am I misreading things?”

“Korra,” Asami breathes. “I've wanted to kiss you since I saw you holding that mess of puppies. Trust me- I'm into it.”

It's like she's given Korra the sun, the moon, and the stars. The vet picks her up, twirling around the kitchen; Asami has to hit her arm repeatedly before she's put down again, only for Korra to hug her tightly.

“So, do you wanna go on a date with me?”

She's never felt so alive. “God, yes.”

Korra goes in to kiss her again, but Wan has other plans. He pokes Asami's back with a cold nose, causing her to squeal in surprise. Korra falls into another bout of laughter at her indignant face. The kettle goes off and Wan starts barking, and, really, she's so happy she could burst.