"It must be late. The city seems empty," Korra said, casting her eyes at the array of dormant buildings that filled downtown Republic City. Just as they'd entered the Spirit World for their vacation, Korra and Asami had exited a month later, hand in hand. It had been perfect; exactly what both of them had needed. Before leaving, they'd each made a pact to leave everything from their own world as it was.
Both had made an effort to ensure that all of their responsibilities were tended to while they were gone. Tenzin had advised Korra to enjoy the time away'; she'd earned it and he assured her that he would keep things in order while she was away. Of course, when she told him that she was going with just Asami, he had seemed a bit thrown off. Then again, so much of what went on between them lately was unspoken, so it made sense that nobody really knew what to make of it.
Neither of them knew either.
Asami had left her company in good hands. She had built a strong foundation of employees and Zhu Li was more than capable of keeping Varrick under control. Vacations were a foreign concept to Asami. The idea was certainly appealing, in theory, but she was a bit uneasy about doing nothing for two weeks.
"It's one in the morning," Asami added, drawing Korra's attention. "Honestly, I'm a bit relieved. I'd hate to have wandered back into town in the middle of rush hour."
Korra chuckled. "We certainly wouldn't be able to hold hands walking down the street."
"What?" Asami frown at her. "Why not?"
"Oh no," Korra retracted swiftly, "No, I meant because of all the cars hitting us in the street. Not…not because we—I…"
Asami laughed. "Relax, Korra. I understand. It's just…we spent two weeks on a vacation together. Two weeks sleeping in one sleeping bag while we held each other and kissed each other. I think it's safe to say that we both feel…something for one another. I can promise you I don't do those things with just anybody."
"I did enjoy the kissing," Korra agreed with a smirk, " I could do without your snoring though," She added teasingly, and Asami nudged her shoulder into Korra, knocking her to the side and tightening her grip on their hands to keep the avatar upright.
"I believe you're the one with the snoring problem," Asami countered, " You're lucky I find it cute."
Korra smiled. "I am pretty lucky."
Asami blushed, rolling her eyes. "You're so cheesy. I never imagined that the all powerful avatar would be so mushy."
"You blush when I say things like that," Korra pointed out, " I like when you blush, so I keep saying things. It's a pretty simple give and take."
Asami gave a slight nod as they found themselves just outside Future Industries while Asami fished through her pack for her keycard. Korra dropped her hand, knowing it was a two hand job and moved to sit on a spirit vine that was protruding through the main window of the skyscraper, studying the other girl closely.
"So…are we a thing?" Korra finally asked.
"What kind of thing?" Asami returned distractedly, not glancing her way.
"You know…," Korra scuffed the ground with the sole of her shoe, "a…romantic thing?"
"Oh," Asami looked up at Korra's anxious face with a grin. "Yes, Korra. Like I said, I don't kiss just anybody."
"Asami…" Korra sighed, wanting more than a passive response. "You have to give me more than that."
Sighing, Asami set her bag down and sat on the spirit vine beside Korra, taking her hand. "Look," she began, "When you came back to Republic City after everything that you went through, I…" she looked away, searching for the right words. "I had never been so relieved in my whole life."
"Yes, because I knew that you were safe," Asami explained huskily, " You were back in my life and I could keep an eye on you and protect you."
Korra frowned. "Protect me?" She inquired in disbelief, " Asami I'm the avatar."
"I know who you are Korra," Asami returned, sounding slightly frustrated, " and…I'm not saying you need protecting. I'm saying I need to protect you. When you went home and I asked to go with you, it broke my heart when you said 'no'." There was a tremor in Asami's voice. She'd only ever admitted this through numerous letters that had remained unsent.
"I was in a pretty dark place," Korra whispered, trying unsuccessfully to draw Asami's gaze. "I'm so sorry."
"No," Asami shook her head. "Don't apologize. I understand now why you needed to do that on your own. You had to go through it alone and figure it out. You're much stronger now because of it and in a way, I am too. It killed me at the time though. I would lay awake worrying about you and then wonder why I was so worried. You were Korra, the strongest person I knew, but…I selfishly wanted to be there with you, helping you like I did right after everything happened with Zaheer." Asami took a slow breath. "It was like…when you left, you took a part of me with you."
Korra's heart swelled. "I had no idea."
"Neither did I, really," Asami went on, " I mean…I didn't understand it, but I knew it wasn't normal how much you were on my mind." Using the back of her hand, Asami brushed a few unshed tears from her own eyes, silently cursing Korra for making her cry, but also ecstatic that it was finally out in the open. "But when you came back, that was it. When we hugged, I knew I had feelings for you, probably for a lot longer than I'd realized."
Korra's eyes welled up annoyingly, which she kind of hated; she really was mushy. Still, it was wonderful to hear.
"So…," she sniffed, squeezing Asami's hand with a watery smile, "you protect me, huh?"
"Yes," Asami stood, pulling Korra up with her. "You'll protect the world and I'll protect you. Whatever comes of this, I'll never stop caring about you. I'll always be by your side when bad things happen…and we both know that day will come." Searching Korra's eyes, she continued, "If we can build a relationship within those terms, it sounds pretty perfect to me." Korra rose onto her toes, cupping Asami's cheek and pressing a soft, lingering kiss to her lips, making her knees buckle slightly. Pulling back, she noticed Asami's eyes were closed, making her smile.
"Perfect," she agreed, nodding to the door. "Now, let's steal a car from your factory and get to your mansion, 'cause I'm exhausted."
Asami laughed, using her keycard to open the door. "And we need sleep…tomorrow is going to be rough."
Korra's brow furrowed thoughtfully. "Everyone is going to have questions."
"Mako's going to faint," Asami added.
"Or crap fire…," Korra muttered under her breath, causing Asami to burst out laughing.