DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Legend of Korra.
Korra hates the dark, and the horrible nightmares that come with it. She hates waking up in the middle of the night, body sticky with sweat, and a scream caught in her throat. She hates lying down to go to bed every night, praying to the Spirits that Amon wouldn't appear in her dreams, only to have it happen anyways. Eventually, she winds up hating sleeping in her bed.
So she doesn't. Instead, she sleeps on the floor, curled up in Naga's warm fur. She makes sure that she wakes up earlier than usual so she can get back into her bed to avoid suspicion. Sleeping with Naga helps a bit, but in time, even that's not enough to ward the nightmares away.
So she starts taking Naga out on midnight walks. It's nowhere far, just down to the small beaches of Air Temple Island. Maybe it was because Water was her first element, but the sound of crashing waves had always felt comforting to Korra.
When she gets down to the beach, Korra leans against Naga and watches the waves, trying her best to stay awake for as long as possible. Sometimes, she lets tears of frustration (not tears of fear; Avatars aren't supposed to feel fear) slip, and if she's not already asleep, Naga will whine and lick them away. Korra will kiss her polar-beardog and wipe the tears away, and Naga will whine and lick her again before then settling her head in Korra's lap. Usually after that, Korra's able to get three hours (four, if it's a good day) of dreamless sleep before Naga nudges her awake and they sneak back into Korra's room, or Amon wakes her again.
If the nightmares still persist her, Korra distracts herself. She practices airbending forms, waterbends shapes into the sand, and when it's really, really bad, she dances. It's a barefoot dance that Katara had shown her when she was twelve under the full moon, and it's as sensual as a dance can get. Katara had only shown her once, but Korra could never forget the gracefully sorrowful motions as Katara bent the water around her as she danced. She could never forget how eerily similar the movements were to bloodbending forms, and how her master's eyes her shimmered with tears during the whole dance. During those delicate minutes, Korra had seen a young, frightened Katara dancing in Fire Nation garb instead of the old, wise waterbending master she actually was. It was mystical.
But Korra wasn't dumb. She knew better than to ask her master to dance again, especially when it was a dance that carried so many raw emotions. So she rehearsed the dance alone, but found that it didn't flow as well with her as it did with Katara. It didn't carry the same emotion. So she changed it, adding her own elements and emotions. She made her own.
Her dance stems from emotions and experience, so every time Korra dances on the beaches, it changes. The beginning is always the same—bloodbending forms had always carried a certain kind of sorrow. The middle was remade from Katara's original dance, but it's been the same since Korra was fifteen. But the end... The end is always different. It's a combination of waterbending forms and emotions converted into dance, so on the night after the raid on the Sato estate, when Korra dances, her steps are heavier, her water stays closer to the ground, and her tears are falling faster than they ever have before. By the time she's done dancing, Korra can barely see through her tears. But her hearing is as sharp as always, so the muffled sob above her doesn't go without notice. Naga grunts and tosses her head, and Korra nods in understanding.
"Asami," she says quietly as she wipes her tears away. "I know you're there. You don't need to hide."
There's the scuffling of shoes against rock, and the heiress' head peeks down from the cliff above her. "I couldn't sleep, so I went out for a walk," she explains, brushing one hand across her cheek. "I heard something moving, so I came over here. I didn't mean to peep. Sorry, Korra."
Korra knows Asami's lying — no one should be able to hear her quiet footsteps over the crashing waves — but the Avatar can't bring herself to care. She nods and mumbles a "'S'okay."
"...I'll leave. G'night, Korra." Asami turns and begins retreating, but Korra's voice stops her.
"Wait." She bends the sea up towards to cliff, shaping it like a giant pillow. "Will you... stay with me? Just for a while," she adds quickly, suddenly feeling embarrassed. She catches Asami eyeing the water warily, and panics a bit. "You won't get wet, I promise." She drops the water onto herself, then quickly draws it off of her and beside the cliff. "See?"
Asami chuckles. "That's not what I was worried about, but nice display, anyways." Korra flushes and the water-pillow falters, but by the time Asami sits at the edge it's strong again. Korra slowly sends the water back into the sea, allowing Asami to adjust slowly. She gets off easily, but Korra notices that her legs are shaking just a bit.
"Are you... scared of heights?" Korra asks tentatively, and Asami flushes and nods. Korra gives a small smile and takes the heiress' hand, guiding her to where Naga's resting with her head on her paws and her eyes closed. They sit and lean on Naga's side, and Korra relaxes as Naga's tail drops on their laps, while Asami stiffens. "Relax," Korra tells Asami. "Just breathe with her. She won't bite." Asami nods and does as she's instructed, and after a minute she's able to rest one of her hands on Naga's tail. The polar-beardog woofs softly in happiness and curls up around the girls, sealing them in. Asami jolts in surprise, and Korra chuckles. They settle into silence.
"Do you do this often?" Asami brings her knees up to her chest and hugs them. "Sneak out to the beaches in the middle of the night, I mean."
Korra debates telling the heiress the truth, but decides that there's no harm done in being honest. "Yeah," she says. "I haven't been sleeping well lately." Asami quirks an eyebrow, but doesn't press the matter. Korra's secretly glad. The only sounds that can be heard now are the waves and Naga's soft snoring.
"I... had a nightmare," Asami confesses after a while. "About the day my mom died. That's why I was up."
"Oh," Korra says helpfully. Her gaze is trained on her sandy toes, and when it's evident that Korra won't say more, Asami continues.
"You know my mom was murdered by a firebender, right? Well, I was there to witness it. The firebender shot a fireball at her face, burning it and making her scream and back into the railing. He then shot lighting at her heart, killing her just like that. Her dead body tumbled down the stairs, and she landed on the bottom with her blank, partially melted eyes staring right at me." Asami shudders. "I haven't had that nightmare in years. Maybe it's because of recent events, huh?" Her last words are bitter, so Korra presses their shoulders together in what she hopes is a comforting gesture.
"I have nightmares, too," she murmurs, feeling obliged to tell her story after Asami told hers. "I've had them since Bolin was kidnapped by the Equalists, and they've only gotten worse since my confrontation with Amon at Aang Memorial Island." She clenches her fists in Naga's fur. "In my nightmares, Amon is in front of me, and I can't move. He takes away Tenzin's bending, Mako's bending, and Bolin's bending before he turns to me and reaches out. I wake up right before he touches me.
"But tonight, I saw you." Asami gasps in surprise, and Korra hesitates before recounting every detail. "In it, you were held down by your father while Amon electrocuted you, again and again, while I was helplessly bound on the side." She takes in a shaky breath. "It's the worst one yet." She wants to apologize, but the words won't leave her mouth. Instead, Korra looks at Asami, hoping that Asami understands.
She does. "You shouldn't feel guilty, Korra. I was going to have to find out sooner or later."
"But if I had been a little more subtle going about my investigations, maybe you wouldn't have found out as soon as you did."
Asami laughs. "Do you really think you can hide anything from me, Korra? I'm not that dense. Unlike you." It's a horrible attempt at humour, but it feels like a weight's been lifted off Korra's chest at the casual joke. The younger girl grins and punches Asami playfully on the arm.
"Jerk," she pouts with a laugh. They're silent once again, but it isn't long before Asami starts to fidget. "What's wrong?"
"Um... I don't really want to go back to my room. Can I stay here with you? Just for tonight, I promise," Asami says quickly. Her head is ducked shyly, but when Korra doesn't respond, she peeks up curiously. She flushes when she notices that Korra is staring at her. "Wh-What?"
"I never realized this before, but you're pretty cute, Asami," Korra states, and Asami can't help the blush on her face.
"Just answer the question!" Asami hisses, and the Avatar laughs.
"Of course you can, Asami. You're welcome to sleep with me anytime. If you know what I mean," Korra adds, simply because she can't resist. Asami mutters something about "male influences" under her breath, and shoves Korra's shoulder before leaning back into Naga's body and closing her eyes. Korra smiles and lightly brushes the back of Asami's hand with her thumb before doing the same.
In the morning, Korra awakens with a satisfying six hours of dreamless sleep. While it may not be a lot, it's a big improvement from what she usually gets. And while a happy dream would have been better, she'll settle with what she has.
Besides, Asami probably needs the happy dream more than she does. And with the heiress' head resting on her shoulder, face relaxed in an easy smile, Korra's sure that she got the one she deserved.
Who wants to guess what my OTP is for LoK? That's right, it's Korrasami!
They're adorable together. I find it easy to write fics about them, since I can see them in both romantic situations and friendly (friendship-y?) situations.
Anyways. I'm not entirely satisfied with this fic, but I couldn't find a way to change it so that it flows better. Blegh.
Thanks for reading!