Title: Substance

Rating: M

Fandom: The Legend of Korra

Pairing: Bolin/ Korra

Words: 3,223

Summary: "After all she's been through, she's going to need you, Mako." Bolin was watching her, listening. And he knew. Korra would need someone too.

~Earth is the element of substance. The people of the earth kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring. ~

She's alone in her room when the need to break overcomes her. She doesn't know the time; it has passed in a blur since she went into the tunnel with Tenzin and Chief Beifong. The adrenaline has long since abated leaving an empty pit in her stomach and a faint feeling of nausea.

Fear is still so new to her, a girl taught to fight from her earliest memories, and yet never in genuine danger. The helplessness leaves her feeling violated and weak. She failed tonight, and endangered many people in her failure. Not all of them escaped and the thought that she is responsible for it is repulsive.

The moonlight shimmers over the ocean and creates a tranquility that is absolutely perverse compared to her emotional state. Suddenly, she can't stand the sight, but as Korra moves to slam the curtain closed, her hand is shaking and she stops, baffled at her own weakness.

A strong steady hand takes hold of hers and a warm arm wraps around her waist from behind, and she jumps, startled before recognitions hits. The arms are heavily muscled, but completely gentle and familiar. Soft lips brush against her neck. The newcomer hugs her tight, pressing her own hand against her chest and breathes a deep sigh that is warm and moist against her skin.

"What are you doing?" she whispers, glancing back at the sliding panel door. He has closed it behind him and she missed any sign lost in her thoughts. She can only see his dark head as he has pressed his face into the crook of her neck. "I thought you had gone to bed, Bolin."

"No way, I can sleep." He says, "I had to touch you."

She smiles brokenly and returns his awkward hug, squeezing the hand holding hers.

"Don't ever scare me like that again." He mutters, squeezing tighter.

"Bo." She grips the arm around her waist and tries to look at him, but he is holding her too tight. Instead she relaxes and tilts her head to the side. He is kissing her now, light brushes of his lips and tongue against her throat.

"You're okay." He says, whether to her or himself, she is not completely sure. "Everything is okay."

His hand releases hers, but only to travel down onto her breast. He strokes her gently through the fabric of her top and Korra's head falls back on his wide shoulder. She is confused, as he has been distant from her since she started the investigation of Hiroshi Sato. She is ashamed to admit that this had frightened her as well. She understood the anger from Mako and Asami, as much as it had hurt at the time, but the absence of Bolin's ever constant support and affection was like a punch in the gut. She presses into his touch, eager to renew the connection they only recently began to explore.

"I'm okay, Bolin." She whispers and reaches to run her fingers through his hair while he continues to lavish her neck. He pulls back, chastely kissing her cheek once more while he leaves her breast to find the hem of her shirt and slip beneath to touch her. His hands are rough and exciting as he slides across her skin.

"I heard what you said to Mako." He whispers in her ear. "I was watching you. You looked so sad."

"It wasn't…" she cut off with a hiss as a calloused thumb brushes her nipple.

"I'm sorry." He whispers in her ear and trails lips across the sensitive skin there. His hand on her breast is stroking in time with her breathing and now the hand on her waist is drawing circles on her stomach. "I didn't believe you. I'm sorry for it. I thought you were just jealous and it made me angry. I'm sorry I doubted you."

"Bolin…" she sighs, but he stops her again.

"Let me say this." He stops his stroking and she groans in protest. "We're so close to something here, and I need to tell you something. You let me do this to you," he gives a meaningful pinch against her nipple that makes her gasp, "and I know I'm something special, but I still don't know where I stand."

The hand on her stomach dips lower, fingers slip into her pants and her whole body is tense. Her fingers dig into his arm as he tickles the soft hair between her legs. He is teasing her, she knows, slowly building her up until she melts in his arms. There is hurt in his voice, and she wants to say something to reassure him, but the words won't come. In all honesty, she doesn't completely know either.

"I was jealous," He says in a voice that makes her shiver. "Of how I thought you felt. Maybe you're still confused? I don't really want to know right now. But I'm not. I'm not confused, and I'm not ready to give up. I know what I want, and I was jealous. Especially when Mako got to you first down there. I want you to need me, too."

Her heart breaks a little at his confession, but it soars as well. He's not abandoning her to her foolishness yet. He hasn't decided that she is just not worth the trouble she gives him, and she is ashamed of herself for being so pleased with this. She wishes it were easier and she was confident enough in her feelings to just be the girl he deserved. However, their current relationship was not her idea. Typical of his element, Bolin was too damn stubborn. He was the one who brought them to this, and damn it she just hadn't had the strength to stop.

In their short time as lovers, Bolin has shown her things she never imagined about her own body. As her lover, Bolin is confidant and self-assured. He is barely recognizable from the childlike man she knows during the day, except perhaps for the mischievous glint in his green eyes as he flicks his tongue against some part of her body. Now, as he presses against her, there is nothing childlike about him at all.

"I was wrong. I let you down, but I'll make it up to you."

"You didn't let me down, Bo." Korra whispers. Oh spirits! If he would just move a little lower, she knows it will feel amazing. Why won't he put her out of this misery that he has built. He is still slowly working her breast and refuses to touch her where she most needs it, but he surges his hips forward a bit to let her feel his arousal. She pulls at his arm to make him move, but he is stubborn and strong.

"You came for me." She sighs.

This must have been the right thing to say, because finally he moves. He gently cups her and rubs at her lips and suddenly it's hard to stand. He nudges her legs apart and leans back slightly to support her weight as he opens her, sliding gently from her core to the bundle of nerves that he knows will drive her crazy. He's back to her neck again, suckling and kissing. He strokes her, up and down, building pressure and speed and shallowly presses into her each time. It's driving her crazy because if feels so good, but is still not enough. She needs more, deeper, but doesn't want to stop him, so she just moans his name softly.

"I won't doubt you again." He promises. "I'll do better next time."

He says this so earnestly, Korra has to kiss him. She turns quickly, dislodging his hand, and fiercely pulls his face to hers. He doesn't resist and kisses her with just as much force. His hand grips her ass and pulls her flush against him, grinding into her with a delightful zing.

She loves his arms. They are large and strong and engulf her. The many muscles in them move beneath her hands as she rubs up from his elbows to his powerful shoulders. His back is hard and wide as she clings to him. She is climbing him to get closer, wrapping her legs around him, and he supports and lifts her, moving quickly to her untouched bed and falling on top of her.

She is frantic as she kisses him. His hands are everywhere from her back to her ass and she fumbles with the closures of his shirt, close to ripping the damn thing in the need to touch him. He is hard, and warm, and strong, and all she knows is that right now, she needs him like air.

He slows and pulls back slightly and she could kill him. He laughs at the murderous look on her face and kisses her once, with that damn twinkle in his eye. Her hands are clenched in his clothes and he gently moves them, kissing her knuckles, before slowly opening his shirt himself, button by button. His green eyes never leave her face as he smirks.

His white tank comes into view and Korra runs her palms up over the firm plains of his chest. "Talk to me, Korra." He says with a smile and holds the hands pressed against him.

She doesn't want to talk. She wants to touch and for him to touch her. She wants to get rid of clothes and have him fucking get on with it, but he is just smiling at her with twinkling eyes.

"Kiss me." She demands, and he obeys. He bends and gives her a sweet soft kiss and pulls away again as though his job is done.

"Bolin." She growls and he chuckles.

"Just tell me what you want." He says.

He is toying with her, and the spirit of competition rises in her. She can make him cave easily, in their little game; It is never that hard, but she suspects he likes it when she plays a little dirty. She smiles sinfully up at him, and imagines she can feel his heart jump beneath her hands and the knot in his throat bob. She sits up slowly and kisses his neck, leading up to his ear. His entire body shudders above her and his hands slide up her back.

"I want to you to take off your clothes and then mine. I want you to fuck me, Bolin. I want you to make me forget."

He can't stand it, as she knew he wouldn't, and he crushes her lips to his. He presses her into the bed and grinds against her while her fingers drag his shirt up. They separate only long enough to pull it over his head and then be forgotten. His skin is so hot and her hands flit over the dips and ridges of his muscles. He's fumbling with his belt, but it is hard to concentrate while kissing her and her hands driving him crazy.

Finally! He is free and together, they slide his pants down his thickly muscled legs and he awkwardly kicks them off and across the room. He his standing in front of her, fully at attention, in only a thin pair of shorts and the sight makes her quiver.

"I love the way you look." She murmurs. He smiles at her, his eyes are dark in the dim light. He kisses her as he grabs her shirt and pulls it up.

"Takes one to know one, beautiful." He purrs as the garment comes over her head. He loves her breasts. As soon as she's free of the tight fitting shirt, his hands cover her and he lowers his mouth to a dusky colored peak. Gods, he's good at this! She throws her head back as electricity course through her body from where his lips and tongue touch her. She is helpless but to thread her fingers through his black hair and ride the pleasure he is giving her. Absently, she notes his attempts to unknot the fur cloak and ties keeping her remaining clothes in place. She only has the presence of mind to raise her hips to help the process, kicking to try and untangle fabric and footwear bunched around her ankles.

Bolin pulls away to help her, removing the last vestiges of clothing from her body and kisses the inside of her calves and then climbing her. She watches him crawl up her body, dragging his lips and tongue along her legs as he goes. He is watching her writhing body with utter fascination and something deeper that makes liquid heat pool in her stomach. She feels absolutely beautiful as he gazes at every inch of bare skin and she has no secrets from him. He kisses her hip bone and glances up at her with raised brows and she quickly shakes her head. Not now. She doesn't want that now. She only wants him, and he understands. When did he learn to read her so well? He climbs higher, running large hands over her breasts and slowly, so slowly, he lays down beside her. She turns with him and he brushes the hair away from her eyes. The way he's looking at her steals her words. She hugs him close and breathes him in. His natural sent is clouded with the smell of sex and his erection twitches against her thigh. It is both sweet and dirty all at once.

"You're okay." He whispers, and Korra knows that he needs something from her at this moment as well.

She nuzzles his neck and reaches down, into his shorts, and takes him in her hand. He groans deeply and head falls to her shoulder. He is hot and heavy against her palm and she circles her fingers around him, marveling at the hardness beneath the soft skin. She circles the tip with her thumb, pressing at his opening and spreading the drop of moisture she finds there and the circles around, gently scratching at the underside with her nail.

He moans her name and she strokes him to the base, taking his sac in her palm. She kneads him gently and uses a knuckle to press up in the skin behind. "Fuck." He groans and she loves reducing him to this. He is thick, like the rest of his body, and her excitement builds at the thought of what is to come. She is sucking and biting along his neck and his breathing is shallow, littered with whispered endearments of how amazing she is.

"No more." He begs, trying to catch her lips. "I can't take much more."

Tonight, she wants control, and he seems content to allow her to do as she likes. She presses against his shoulder and he easily rolls to his back, griping her waist to bring her with him. She sits astride him with his cock pressing against her cheeks, and he wiggles his butt trying to shimmy out of his shorts completely. It is absurd and she can't hold in the snort at his concentration. She gazes at him fondly with laughing eyes and he grins back up at her. Korra can't help but kiss him in that moment and he meets her half-way. Bolin has brought her out of the darkness of her thoughts to sitting naked astride him and shaking with repressed laughter. Warmth bubbles in her heart and she hesitates to give it a name. There are too many factors left in play to assign a title to the happiness that he gives her.

In their kissing, Bolin rolls his hips and prods against her entrance, and suddenly, things don't seem nearly as funny. The kiss changes and he slowly runs his hands up and down her sides, stroking the sides of her breasts, building a fire inside her, but otherwise does not move. At this moment, he gives her all the power. He is hers to do with as she pleases: her willing possession and she is afraid of the intensity. She slowly pushes back and down, taking him in, all the way in. She lets him fill her and his eyes roll back into his head. She is whole as she sits against him, knowing his cock is touching the deepest parts of her body. No one has ever done this to her, only Bolin.

"You're incredible." She praises, but he can't answer her. His mind has no room left for words.

She clenches reflexively around him and rolls her hips forward. He is clutching at her hips like a lifeline as he moves with her. She can feel the electricity in her veins every time she moves and she knows it won't be long. He is hitting just right as she glides back and forth over his body and the friction where their bodies join is absolutely delicious. He moves a hand to stimulate her while she rides him and she can already feel the pressure building.

Bolin is biting down on his lip and she knows he is close, but she has faith that he won't let her down. She grinds him faster and faster, panting and writhing on top of him. She is out of her mind and falls forward on her hands for support. He is there and laps at her swinging breasts, slamming his hips up in time with her movements to touch deeper.

"Bo, Please." She begs into his ear and he wraps his arms around her waist and frantically slams into her. The friction is enough and light explodes behind her eyes. Her body snaps tight, arching up and her mouth forms a perfect 'O' but no sound escapes. Bolin is in a frenzy below her, desperately pounding, and he's prolonging her orgasm while she rides the waves of fantastic, rythmic spasms. When he joins her, it is with a muffled cry of ecstasy in her shoulder and twitching inside her. She collapses onto him, unable to support the weight of her own body while he lazily pumps into her once, and then twice, and then lays still. He his panting in her hair and she kisses his collarbone.

Everything is heavy, her arms and head, but Bolin kisses her face over and over. He rolls them onto their sides and pulls her close, cradling her head on his shoulder. He is hugging her fiercely, his arms clinging to her like a pentapus and she doesn't want this moment to end. They lay naked and tangled and completely sated in each other's arms as their breathing gradually returns to normal. At other times, there is talk at this moment. Light hearted banter and praise, but it feels wrong to break the stillness. Eventually, he will need to dress and leave for his own room. They will go back to their regular interactions in front of the others, but right now, she feels cherished and protected and she is hesitant to let that go.

He breaks the silence first, with an odd resolve filling his voice.

"I'm here, Korra." He makes her a promise. "I'm always right here. Everything's okay."

She doesn't have the words to thank him, but she hopes he understands what is in her heart. She falls asleep listening to his steady heartbeat with her head on his chest.