some nights, i could use a friend

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"You've been spending a lot of time with Bolin lately." Mako hedges, sparks lighting at his fingers as they pour over the floor plans to the Sato mansion. "Is something...going on?" he doesn't sound jealous, doesn't sound even remotely concerned, like he's only asking to make conversation.

Asami doesn't lie. "No." she says, cutting any further questions off with a look. He blinks, looks back down at the floor plans, and doesn't ask her about Bolin again.

Asami pushes Bolin's door open, dumping the carton of dumplings in her hand onto his bed. He jumps up, rubs his hands together eagerly, and spears the first dumping with a chopstick. She sits on floor across from his bed, leaning against the wall. "Hey, Bolin?" she murmurs after a few minutes of silence, and he looks up, eyebrows raised, chopsticks poised at his mouth, "Do you think he'll ever come back to me?"

Bolin swallows, drops the chopsticks and dumplings back into the carton. "I don't know, Asami." he sighs, "I also don't know why you're moping—"

"I do not mope." she interjects.

Bolin flicks a dumpling at her.

"I'm the only reason he knows her." Bolin rasps, watching Mako and Korra spar.

Asami peaks around the pillar they're hiding behind, eyes sparking when Mako laughs, flicking Korra on the nose. "He didn't want her around, but I did, and—" Bolin sounds completely distraught.

She lays a hand on his arm, "It's okay." she tells him.

It will be okay.

"Hey, Asami." Korra greets her cheerfully, waving.

Asami smiles, she can't help it. No matter how much she wants to hate the Avatar, she can't. Korra is loud and obnoxious and strong and brave and everything Asami wishes she was. She wishes she could hate Korra, hate her for having Mako's heart, hate her for everything that had gone wrong in her life, hate her for—

She doesn't, though. She could never. Korra is her closest friend, except for Bolin, maybe.

"Hi, Korra." she replies.

She spends most of her time with Bolin, nowadays. They sit together in his room, sharing dumplings and stories.

It's funny, she tells him once, that we don't hate them. As much as we wish we could.

Mako's my brother, Bolin says, as if that explains it. It kind of does.

And Korra?

Korra is good. The best. Why shouldn't she be happy?

Even if she's happy with Mako? Asami questions.

Bolin doesn't answer.

It's not about convenience, it's about wallowing in mutual heartbreak. And then, sometimes, it's not.

Bolin twitches in his sleep, mumbles something about fire ferrets. Asami grumbles in her sleep, head pillowed on his arm. She sighs, pressing her face into his arm.

Bolin twitches again, throws the arm Asami isn't lying on over her waist, curling around her, front of his knees hitting the back of hers. Pabu is curled around Asami's head, tail twitching idly as he lets out soft fire ferret snores.

Asami's face is relaxed, a soft smile tugging at the corners of her lips. So different from when she's awake. So peaceful and warm. Bolin's wearing a pleased expression, face half hidden in Asami's hair.

Then, his hand creeps over hers, and her fingers tangle with his. They stay like that, hands clasped against Asami's stomach.

Korra bites her lip, a sudden peace washing over her, and closes the door.

fin.