aka the first time that howl&asami as a couple meet bolin&jinora as a couple meet oops i accidentally shipped. this is actually funny because bolin is asami's ex and jinora grew up with howl
derpderp no regrets
man, all i seem to write is crack
howl = Hot Order of the White Lotus sentry
based on this post that i did:what if asami dates bolin while jinora's pining for him but he's still like, "she's so young! D:" and asami's like, "sdlfnhsdf whatevs okay i'm going to ba sing se university" and then she breaks up with bolin and while he's sorting out his totally inappropriate feelings for jinora because she is eighteen and he is twenty-six and howl, who just found out that korra and mako are married has all these feels about it because he was in love with korra so he, idk quits being a sentry for a while and he attends ba sing se university too and then he meets asami
and then they hook up because they're both hot and flawless
They meet her first year at Ba Sing Se University.
Asami's sitting on the floor of the library with her back against the side of a bookshelf and various texts sprawled around her as she's researching. Her dark curls are twisted into a loose bun to keep her hair out of her eyes. She gnaws on the tip of her pen unconsciously. She is screwed. So, so screwed because this paper is due in two days and she hasn't even started yet.
Naturally, Howl is reading while he's walking and trips over her outstretched legs.
She looks at him with a raised eyebrow as he picks himself off of the ground, grabbing his scroll as he does so. Just when he's about to move on, he says dryly, "You could say sorry, you know?"
"For what?" Asami tosses back. "You're the one who tripped over me!"
"You're the one sitting on the ground when there are perfectly functional chairs and desks." Howl points out. At the scowl that Asami's wearing, he backtracks. "So, World Culture semester paper, yeah?"
"Yeah." Asami's scowl is gone down, replaced by a look of utter despair. "Due in two days."
"Lucky for you, I happened to have taken that my first year." Howl says, a smirk playing on his lips.
Asami's looking at him like he's her savior now. "Help me out here."
"Sure," Howl grins and Asami's face breaks into a breathtaking smile that's so completely different from the angry scowl she was sporting a minute ago, but Howl does love to take people down a peg. "If you say I'm sorry."
The look on Asami's face says 'no', but it's clear that the World Culture paper is saying 'yesyesyes'.
"…I'm sorry." She says after a moment's silence.
"Okay," Howl plops down onto the ground next to Asami, pulling everything she's written down so far onto his lap.
Asami stares at him for a minute, and when he looks at her with a puzzled look on her face, she shrugs. "I'm Asami."
It's almost cute the way he grins back at her. He reminds her a little bit of Bolin, but not quite so carefree. There's something about his demeanor that suggests that he's a lot more serious than he lets on.
"I'm Howl." He says, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It's been one year since Asami and Howl met for the first time. It's been two weeks since Howl asked her out for the first time. It's been two days since she and Howl have left Ba Sing Se University for summer break.
Howl isn't quite so ready to meet her father, but Asami sneers and says that she's waiting to see if he'll even last long to meet Hiroshi.
"I'm staying at my apartment, but I asked Bolin if you could crash at his place for a couple of weeks before we leave for the Fire Nation." Asami says as she navigates through traffic easily in her slimmer, newer Satomobile model than the ones on the streets.
"Right, who's Bolin again?" Howl asks, running a hand through his dark hair. He's never going to admit it to Asami, but the way she drives scares him a little. She's not a bad driver, but it's just the way that she's so confident about how good she is at driving that makes him worry that someday, she's going to kill them both doing a turn she's sure she can do.
"My ex-boyfriend." Asami's tone is a little bit too even.
Howl is so sure right now that if he was the one driving, he would have slammed his foot on the brakes. "I'm staying with your ex-boyfriend?"
"Uh, yes?" Asami offers in a sarcastic voice that Howl chooses to take as an apologetic tone. "You know, the one I told you that I broke up with so I could go to University?"
"And you didn't think it would be even slightly awkward for your current boyfriend to live with your ex-boyfriend?" Howl asks incredulously. "The one you broke up with?"
"Well, he's got a new girlfriend now." Asami's smile is so proud, Howl kind of wants to slam his head across the dashboard. "I mean, it's only been ten years in the making, but…"
"He's been in love with his new girlfriend for ten years?" Howl yelps.
"She's been in love with him for nine years." Asami gives him a strange look and fuck, he really wishes that she would do that because she is not looking at the road right now and he knew it, he was going to die. "They only just got together."
"Why didn't they get together the first year?" Howl asks.
Asami's giving him that look of hers that clearly questions his existence. "Because an eighteen-year-old guy dating a ten-year-old girl is not socially acceptable in any world that I know of."
"She was ten?" The moment that leaves his mouth, Howl regrets it, because Asami's shooting him another look.
"Tenzin would have flipped out; he's a bit overprotective of his oldest," Asami shrugs and she gives him an amused glance. "You're such a monkey-parrot Howl. Stop repeating everything I say."
Then her words fully register in his mind.
If the girl was ten nine years ago and her father was Tenzin, then that meant… "Bolin's dating Jinora?"
Now it's Asami's turn to yelp, "How do you know Jinora?" Her tone is accusatory, and her eyes are narrowed as she slams her foot down on the brake. It's incredibly lucky for Howl that the only reason she does so is because apparently, they're at Bolin's house.
Except, this isn't a house. It's the pro-bending arena.
Asami gets out of the Satomobile anyway, heading to the trunk to toss Howl's bags at him. Her scowl is dark and she's glaring at him because he hasn't answered her question yet.
"I grew up in the South Pole," Howl explains. "Her grandmother still lives there and they visit a lot. I was there when she was born, actually."
Still, Asami eyes him with a distrustful eye. "You would have been eight…"
"Uh, yes?" Howl's not sure where she's going with this.
"…and so was Bolin."
Howl's still not sure where she's going with this, but he does know that she's heading into the pro-bending arena and why is his life so weird?
Okay, so the pro-bending arena was Bolin's home after all. He just lived in the attic. Well, technically, it's not an attic. The pro-bending arena doesn't have an attic. It has Bolin's apartment thing, which leads up to this open air balcony thing. It's pretty cool.
Asami, being Asami, knocks on the door and there's shuffling on the other side of the door. Asami and Howl exchanged a confused look before the door is wrenched open and they see Bolin. Peering around from behind him is a rather tall brunette girl with her long hair pulled up into a ponytail.
Howl somehow knows that Asami's just about to say something, and he promises her later that he didn't do it on purpose; he just blurted out his thoughts. "Jinora, is that you?"
"Howl?" Her eyebrows furrow and then she grins. "What are you doing here?" The unspoken 'with Asami' does not go unnoticed by anyone.
"I'm uh, staying here for a couple of weeks." Howl said, scratching his head.
Jinora lets out something that sounds suspiciously like a snort. "You're Asami's new boyfriend that's staying with Bolin?"
Howl mimics her tone of voice with a smile. "You're Asami's ex-boyfriend's girlfriend that's finally with him after nine years?"
"How do you know about that?" Jinora's face is pink.
Howl just smiles at her.
Both Asami and Bolin are watching this exchange with narrowed eyes and the dark-haired girl clears her throat loudly. "Yeah, okay. That's lovely; let's go in."
Bolin and Jinora step aside for them to come in. Howl and Bolin move the former's belongings into what used to be Mako's room while Jinora puts some water on for tea. They reconvene in the living room, sitting on the couch and making awkward conversation.
"So," Bolin's tone reeks of jealousy. "How do you two know each other?"
"He was a sentry in the compound that Korra grew up." Jinora explains. "But he used to play with me whenever I visited."
"I was there when she was born." Howl offers helpfully, but backs down when Asami shoots a truly withering glare at him. She's angry, but he has no idea why. What could he possibly have done?
"So you're a lot older than Jinora then?" Bolin asks, and Howl wants to laugh because he is so jealous. Jinora's giving him an amused smile and Howl suspects that Jinora knows that Bolin's jealous too.
"Only eight years." Howl replied smoothly with a wide grin as Bolin pales. "Did you know that Jinora's little sister used to have a crush on me? It's insane; I was eleven years older than her."
"Oh?" Bolin's voice is tight.
Jinora's eyes are twinkling with amusement as she brings something up that she used to wish would never be brought up. "Ikki and I used to fight over who could sit next to Howl at dinner."
"You and Ikki?" Bolin asks, and it's not just jealousy anymore; he looks like a dejected puppy.
"He used waterbend snowmen around for our amusement." Jinora smiles innocently.
Asami's grip on the couch chair tightens.
No one but Jinora notices.
Later, Jinora and Asami are on their way to the market, and Jinora figures that it's probably time to fix the issues she used to have with Asami. But then again, that can probably wait. Asami is so obviously jealous of Jinora's childhood with Howl and isn't it funny that Asami's jealous of Jinora when last year, it was the exact opposite?
"He really does love you, you know." Jinora says conversationally. "I'm sure he told you why he went to university in the first place."
"He said it was because Korra got married and he wanted to do something other than guarding the Avatar." Asami answers.
"Howl loved Korra but the purpose of the Order of the Whie Lotus is to protect the Avatar and their family." Jinora explains. If anyone would know, it's her and her father. "But Howl didn't think that he could objectively protect Mako when he was in love with Korra, so he decided to get over her so that he could fulfill his duties." Jinora looks carefully at Asami. "I know he's in love with you because he's dating you. Howl has this sense of integrity that refuses to allow him to even let a girl think that there could be something more between them if there isn't. And he asked you out first, right?"
"Right." Asami confirms.
Jinora smiles at Asami. "He loves you; don't be jealous just because I had a childhood with him. I'm eight years younger than him!"
"You're eight years younger than Bolin too." Asami points out with a wry smile.
Jinora makes a scandalized face. It's interesting to Asami how she can be in love with Bolin but have a completely opposite reaction to being paired up with a guy she had summers with who was the same age as the Earthbender.
"Howl's like my brother." Jinora wrinkles her nose. "Ew."
"You know Jinora doesn't like me that way, right?" Howl asks.
Bolin nods. "She told me."
"Okay." Howl pauses. "…Treat her well. She's like my sister."
"Treat Asami well." Bolin retorts. "We weren't compatible, but she's a great girl and a better friend."
"She is." Howl admits, recalling months of being friends before he realised that he was in love with her.
"And," Bolin continues with a pointed look at Howl, "She gets jealous easily."
When Asami delivers Jinora back to Bolin's apartment, Howl grabs her by the crook of her elbow and pulls her into a hug.
"Okay, what brought that on?" Asami laughs, because Howl doesn't like hugs. Howl likes cuddling and snuggling and pretty much everything but hugs.
"Nothing," Howl nuzzles her neck. "I just missed you."
Asami rolls her eyes. "You're such a sap. My boyfriend is the biggest sap on the planet."
"You know I love you, right?" Howl asks.
"I know." Asami mock-sighs, as if it was a big sacrifice to admit it. She tiptoes slightly to kiss him, and he kisses her back just as fiercely.
In the kitchen, Bolin and Jinora are doing the exact same thing.