A/N: It's finally here! I don't even know why this one took me so long, but I managed somehow haha. Also, I don't really know anything about musical terms but I wanted to use them in a way that went along with the build up of the fic (hence the title)... if anyone finds something that was used incorrectly, I apologize. I did my best to research the terms and tie everything together, but again I'm no musician. That being said, this is a bit of a different format that ended up being pretty fun regardless of the small case of writer's block I encountered. Let me know what you guys think! (Also, there are two easter eggs in here that are inspired by memes people have created on the korrasami tag on tumblr, see if you can spot them :D)
Bellicoso (warlike; aggressive; hostile)
The resentment Korra carries after meeting Asami for the first time is a direct result of bad timing. Fresh-faced and adorned with the naivety of a girl raised in isolation, Korra arrives in Republic City and is immediately burdened with a responsibility that has been building for decades. She seeks comfort in the excitement of a new style of bending, and, for the first time in her life, experiences a yearning of the romantic sort. Mako intrigues her. Sure, he's dreamy in the "tall, dark, and handsome" way, but it's his intensity that draws her attention. The fierce concentration in his eyes, the proud set of those broad shoulders, the undeniable softness that mellows out his entire demeanor whenever Bolin is around. He's talented, driven, mysterious, and riles her up more than anyone she's ever met. There's a pressure between them that arises from their equally competitive natures... the thrill she gets from seeing that slight quirk of his eyebrow (a sure sign that he's impressed but clearly trying not to show it) makes her heart race until that irritable smirk makes its way onto his face again, and she pushes herself to perform even better. Bender or non-bender, there comes a point between two talented athletes where mutual (though possibly grudging) respect begins to give way to sexual tension. So when he arrives at Tarrlok's gala with a stranger draped on his arm, Korra can't help but respond with hostility and disbelief. What, some priss hits him with a moped and suddenly Mr. Hard-To-Get is following her around like a polarbear puppy? Give me a break.
Part of her knows it's irrational, but Korra isn't known to default to logic, and suddenly it seems that jealousy is content to mock her at every opportunity. The nose-nudging, the deliberately exaggerated winks thrown every which way, the nicknames. She sees that lush head of perfectly styled hair and swears that her spite is turning her face the same shade of green as Bolin's eyes. She doesn't notice the slump in Asami's shoulders after every refusal of a "lunch date" or "girl's night out", and she deliberately changes topics whenever the subject shifts to yet another mention of Hiroshi's latest gift to the team.
Oh, she notices Asami's looks alright. She tries to ignore the way Asami makes her feel raggedy and just a little bit uncivilized. When the heiress walks in with that leather jacket of hers, clearly custom-tailored, and those polished boots gleaming under the bright lights of the training area, Korra suddenly notices the dirt on her scuffed shoes, and, oh, there's a stain on her shirt from when she and Bolin went to eat dumplings for lunch earlier. Asami unsettles her even from the start, but she chalks it up to irritation instead of a strange sort of curiosity or intimidation. Soon it becomes apparent that Mako isn't even a factor anymore... something about the other girl just irks her.
Smorzando (fading away)... Lusingando (coaxingly)
Korra can pinpoint the exact time the momentum shifts in their dynamic, and it's when Asami takes her for a ride at the testing location for her father's Satomobiles. The intensity of her initial envy seeps out of her gradually, like a tide receding from the shore. There's still a noticeable tension in her shoulders because she can't quite figure out the other girl, but the experience piques her curiosity. Leave it to mischief to be the one thing that draws Korra closer to Asami.
Climbing into the back of the metal shell is vastly different from jumping onto Naga's saddle, but the Avatar tries not to let her apprehension show. Everything is unfamiliar here - the rigidity felt even underneath the leather seats, joints that have been melted together, retaining a stiffness that contrasts with the fluid shift of bone and muscle when Naga finds her rhythm; the smell of asphalt and rubber instead of musky animal fur. Sliding the goggles into place, she takes a moment to study Asami before the race begins. Her shoulders are loose (so different from Bolin's right before a match; she always has to tell him to breathe when they first walk into the stadium), and her grip on the gear shift is relaxed but firm. Suddenly there's a screeching sort of jolt and the machine lurches forward when Asami floors the gas. From there, the rest of the ride is surprisingly smooth - an indication of the taller girl's mastery of the vehicle, knowing exactly when and how hard to push. When the other driver's Satomobile spins out of control, Korra's face splits into a grin and she swears she can almost feel Asami's smirk from the front seat. A rush of adrenaline prompts Korra to leap out of her seat before the vehicle has even finished rolling to a stop. She sees the grin on her face mirrored on Asami's and feels the beginning of a kinship creeping in from the edges. There's a sudden urge to apologize for her earlier hostility, but Asami simply brushes it off gently.
"People usually assume that I'm daddy's helpless little girl but I can handle myself. I mean, I've been in self-defense classes since I was this high."
Korra can't help but raise an eyebrow at this, and that growing sense of curiosity she's been feeling since this morning comes roaring back. She's about to ask about the lessons, but the boys come barging down onto the track and the inquiry is forgotten. When she returns to the mansion later that evening, she thinks that the accusation against Hiroshi Sato is as much of a slap in the face to Asami, as it is to herself. Another case of bad timing... she begins to wonder if the tension between herself and the heiress is ever going to lessen. She wishes for the source to stop coming from different situations at the very least - first with Mako, and now Asami's father. She doesn't want to think of what's next now that she's finally admitted to wanting to get to know the other girl better.
Poco a Poco (little by little)
The trio's move to Air Temple Island is predictably awkward. When Ikki drops the bomb about Korra liking Mako to Asami, the Avatar swears she can hear thunder in the background and the smell of forest fires in the air. Panicking, she grabs Asami by the wrist and drags the taller girl to their new shared living space. She describes the room as something probably below the girl's usual standards, and uses that time to try and formulate an explanation.
"Listen, about Mako..."
"Actually, after what Ikki just said, things suddenly make more sense."
"I'm sorry for the way I acted, I'm sure you- wait, what?"
Asami laughs suddenly, but it's clear that the humor doesn't quite reach her eyes. "I said it makes sense. We're teenagers, Korra. I know a thing or two about boy trouble. And to be honest, hearing that as the explanation is kind of a relief."
When Korra continues to stare at her with an expression that's a mixture of guilt and confusion, the taller girl shakes her head and looks out the window. She doesn't speak for a few moments, but when she finally does, Korra has to strain her ears to catch the words. "I thought... Well, I thought you just hated me or something. Jealousy can fade... but sometimes people just don't like each other, and there's not a lot you can do about it."
Asami says the words with a weariness unsuited to her age and it makes Korra's heart ache with sympathy. She walks over to the other girl and places a tentative hand on her shoulder. Asami doesn't look at her immediately, and Korra can feel years of history hidden behind the girl's previous statement. It isn't her place to ask though... maybe in the future, but not now, not while they're still swaying on the edge of a relationship she doesn't know how to describe. "I'm still sorry," Korra says, "A bout of jealousy and a lot of bad timing doesn't excuse the way I treated you. I never took the time to get to know you, or let you get to know me. But... if you'd let me, I'd like to start over."
The tentative friendship proves to be exactly what Korra needed. Asami grounds her - she's practical when Korra is not, keeps her calm when Korra's emotions get the best of her, and she becomes a source of comfort that the Avatar can turn to without feeling vulnerable. Asami is well-read as a result of her upbringing, but isn't one to let that privilege get in the way of interacting with others. If anything, the heiress continuously surprises Korra with moments of tenderness and consideration, especially with the airbender kids. She does have a rebellious streak though - like the time she disappeared for a few hours only to arrive back on the island with a moped in tow. Not the same model as when she first met Mako, but similarly customized in a way that makes Korra think she probably has a collection of sorts. Speaking of Mako... there's a brief period of anxiety on the island when word gets out that him and Asami have decided not to continue their romantic relationship. When Korra hesitatingly asks about the situation one night, Asami shakes her head. She looks more pensive than sad, and simply explains that "she and Mako have some growing up to do first".
If anything, the fallout seems to take the most toll on Bolin. Normally the cheerful peacemaker in the group, the earthbender is torn between swearing loyalty to his brother, while still wanting to remain on good terms with the girls. In a surprising attempt at an olive branch of sorts, Mako suggests that the three of them pull pranks on the youngest member of the team. Mako replaces his "secret stash" of rock candy with fire gummies, while Asami and Korra somehow manage to plant a flying lemur in the place of Pabu's usual spot in the brothers' new room. Needless to say, Bolin's reaction is one that the three of them will treasure for years. The prank lifts the last remnants of unease in the air, and a collective sigh of relief can be felt throughout the island. Korra soon realizes how refreshing it is to have another girl on the team. She finds herself smiling and laughing unrestrainedly so often that she thinks this is the most relaxed she's ever felt since moving to the White Lotus Compound all those years ago. But perhaps what Korra is most thankful for isn't necessarily the consistency of Asami's presence, but the sense of intuition that comes with it. The heiress understands her in a way that she's always wished to be understood - to be regarded as someone who is dependable, but without the outrageous expectations that come with being the Avatar.
Acceso (ignited, on fire)
Korra doesn't know when the lines started to blur, but suddenly friendship is no longer enough. She finds excuses to spend more time with the other girl even though they both stay up talking well into the early hours of the morning. When they take Naga out for a run, she leans back into Asami even though it makes steering more difficult. She stays behind after dinner to help with the dishes, and throws in a few waterbending tricks to boot (she makes sure not to finish too quickly though, lately Tenzin's been waiting to catch her for extra airbending lessons at night). She feels her heart jump in her throat every time their eyes meet, and hearing her name roll off Asami's tongue has never felt better.
Since striking a friendship, Korra has become more appreciative of what it means to be a woman. She comes to the conclusion that, up until now, the only womanly aspect she's ever been familiar with is maternal instinct. Let's face it, the strong female presence in her life consists of Katara (who is still powerful, though noticeably weathered both mentally and physically) her mother (who Korra largely associates with childhood memories), and Pema (who is... well, pregnant, and that alone provokes more feelings of sympathy than sheer pride. The poor woman has to deal with three airbender kids, one of which is miraculously mature for her age, but the other two are more than a handful when combined with regular pregnancy woes). Suddenly, a girl like Asami finds her way into Korra's life. Gracefully tall with those impossibly long legs, painted lips and smoldering green eyes. Despite the pleasant surprises like her penchant for racing, or the fact that she can more than hold her own in a fight, Asami is still very much a girl, and Korra finds the dynamic fascinating. The heiress enjoys things like makeup, and fashion, and there's an undeniable seduction that comes with her unrestrained femininity.
Lately, Korra catches herself staring while Asami brushes her hair for the night. One, two, three. Fluid stroke after fluid stroke, combing through dark silk, parting the strands like a boat cutting through the deepest part of the lake.
The girl in question freezes, and realizes she's been caught gawking from across the room. Asami stops combing through her hair and tilts her head in that adorable way that makes Korra's stomach flip flop. "Are you okay?" Korra gulps when the heiress actually gets up from her chair and walks over to sit beside her on the bed. "Your face is all warm..."
"I... uhh... I'm..."
Korra feels as though her tongue has grown three times its normal size and she can hardly figure out what she's thinking, let alone focus long enough to form coherent sentences! Asami's hand has left her forehead and the back of her fingers are trailing down one of Korra's wolftails thoughtfully. Does this woman know what she's doing to me?
"I'm okay!" she blurts, and thanks the Spirits that she somehow managed not to spray spit all over Asami's face in the process. Instead, she avoids eye contact and grips the folds of her loose pants in a nervous gesture. "It's just... a little stuffy in here, you know? Hehehe".
The Avatar can hear Asami chuckling as she gets up and begins padding back over to her side of the room. Korra glances up from her clenched hands but immediately draws her eyes back down once the sight of Asami's bare legs enters her field of vision. Damn that teeny nightgown, I swear she's taunting me or something. Korra peeks up again and catches Asami scratching the back of one delicate calf with her other foot. The sexual tension in the air snaps. Before she realizes what she's doing, Korra is at the taller girl's side, whirling her around and meeting her lips in a bruising kiss. It's a bit of an awkward position though, because one of Asami's legs gets tangled in hers, and the push and pull from the ferocity of the kiss forces them to tumble against the closest wall. Korra hums appreciatively from her new position, her body pinning Asami's against the wall as their lips continue their passionate caresses. She plants heated kisses along the curve of Asami's jaw, grateful for the hairclip that always sweeps a portion of the other girl's hair back. Her body is positively humming, and one treacherous hand begins to sweep up and down Asami's side, feeling the heat of her body through the thin cloth of the nightgown. All Korra can focus on is the softness of the girl against her; the smell of leather that always lingers on Asami, and the faint flowery perfume she sprays on. She returns her attention to Asami's mouth and can't help but smile when the girl gives a blissful little sigh.
When Korra finally pulls away, dazed green eyes blink down at her and Asami's lips are a deep red even though she's taken off her lipstick for the night. Asami's next words aren't quite what she was expecting, and it makes her laugh and bury her face in those dark tresses affectionately, "You have no idea how long I've been waiting for you to do that."
"Mm... if it's been so long then why didn't you make the first move?"
"Because I know you, dear," Asami murmurs in a song-song manner, her tone laced with just the slightest undertone of sarcasm at the nickname, "You would've ran around trying to convince everyone you made the first move even if you didn't. Let's just say I took one for the team."
Korra fights the urge to pout at the accuracy in the girl's statement. Instead, she chooses to take advantage of her new position, and begins tracing lazy kisses along Asami's collarbone. When she hears the heiress gasp and unconsciously tilt her head back for more, she smirks, and pulls away. Asami narrows her eyes at her, attempting to look resentful even while wrapped contentedly in the Avatar's arms. "Tease."
"You're one to talk. Do you have any idea how much that little nightgown of yours has been driving me crazy?"
"That was sort of the point..."
Korra kisses her again, partially to shut her up, and partially because it's been far too long. Asami takes control this time, sweeping her tongue across Korra's lips before gaining entry and twining with Korra's twin muscle in a heated dance. The Avatar groans and fists a handful of Asami's nightgown, lifting it slightly in the process. The motion bares more of the taller girl's legs against the baggy material of Korra's pants, and there's an instantaneous, all-consuming thought that there is far too much clothing in the way between them. One of Asami's hands grazes along Korra's hip before sliding underneath the material of her tanktop and making the Avatar whimper.
"W-wait," Korra gasps, almost regretting breaking the intimate embrace, but needing to get the words out. The hand beneath Korra's shirt flexes as Asami fights the urge to bang her head against the wall behind her. She takes a deep breath, begging for patience even as her body screams for more contact. She knows it must be important if Korra is forcing herself to get the words out now. "Sorry," Korra whispers, swiping her thumb across Asami's cheek in an achingly sweet manner. "I just... I want you to know how serious I am about this. You and I both know we didn't exactly start off on the right foot, but you've come to mean so much to me in the past month. You understand me better than anyone I've ever met, and you make me feel like I can do anything. You hear that? You make me feel like I can actually do this, be a good leader, a good Avatar to the people." Korra sees a tear leak from the corner of Asami's eyes and wipes it away with an apologetic laugh, "Oh, Spirits, I'm not doing a very good job of this, am I? Don't cry. Please? You know I don't know what to do in these situations."
"They're tears of joy, you goof." Asami mumbles, her voice muffled as she wraps both arms around Korra's shoulders again and pulls her into a fierce hug. "I love you too."
Korra kisses her again and, this time, allows herself to be led backwards towards the bed.
When Korra steps off the Satomobile, she graciously thanks the driver but waits until she is inside the sanctuary of her home before pulling a face. She doesn't understand why she's forced to use those things for transport... after all, Tenzin has a place on the council and is permitted to take Oogi everywhere, why can't the same be said for Naga? She makes the same complaint to Asami often but the girl simply tugs on a wolftail affectionately and calls her a "country girl". Korra frowns. It isn't that she doesn't like Satomobiles... she can see their appeal for transporting multiple people at once, but she prefers the open-roof models that Asami is partial to, or even Asami's moped for quick trips. She doesn't like to admit it, but the enclosed space of the basic Satomobile model still reminds her of the time Tarrlok captured her and kept her prisoner in a cabin up in the mountains. She hears a dull thump of metal in the distance and walks to the separate garage behind the house for a closer look.
It's been a little over a year since Amon's defeat, and with all the work that needed to be done with rebuilding Republic City, Korra felt that she needed her own place closer to the heart of the action. Also, the added privacy with Asami is nice - she still can't look at Meelo without blushing whenever he asks her about the "ghost" of Air Temple Island. No one wants to be responsible for explaining the fact that the curious moaning noises were a result of a particularly passionate evening between the Avatar and her girlfriend, not a restless spirit wandering the halls of his house.
As Korra steps into the open door of the garage, she finds the source of the noise and smiles. The beautiful, refined Asami Sato sitting on a dusty floor wearing a pair of cut off shorts and a tanktop. Her wavy black hair is in a messy braid off to one side, and she's got smudges of grease on her fingertips as she continues to tinker with her motorcycle, unaware of the Avatar's presence in the doorway.
"Careful," she pipes up teasingly, "I almost came running in here thinking I had to subdue a burglar."
Asami looks up and graces her with a brilliant smile. She wipes her hands on a rag nearby and leans against the bike in a way that makes Korra's mouth run dry. "Well, as you can see I'm no burglar. Feel free to subdue me though... forcefully..." She ends the statement in a way that makes it sound more like a question and Korra can't help but chuckle. She crosses the room and hoists the other girl up so that she's sitting on the actual seat of the bike, and Asami automatically wraps her legs around Korra's waist and leans in for a soft kiss. Or two. Or three.
Korra finally finds the strength to pull away and bumps foreheads with her instead. Asami opens her eyes slowly, meeting that adoring blue gaze with her own impossibly fond expression. "Hey you." she murmurs, as if they hadn't already been carrying a conversation earlier.
"Hi." Korra answers simply, squeezing Asami once around the waist and simply enjoying the moment. A wave of warmth settles over her as it does whenever she's in the presence of the heiress. Almost instantly, the tension that's been building in her shoulders after a long day of listening to the council trade arguments, melts away. She doesn't realize she's closed her eyes again until she can feel Asami tracing the scar on the right side of her face.
"You have a bruise," Asami points out, "Tell me, how does one get a bruise when all you've been doing today is attending meetings?"
Korra hates the way her blush shows even through her darker complexion. Truthfully, she got the bruise because her elbow slipped when she accidentally dozed off and her face smashed into the table in what was quite the wake up call. She doesn't want to tell Asami that though... the girl has a horribly accurate memory and would probably tease her about it for months. Instead, Korra musters up a cheeky grin. "It's okay... chicks dig scars."
"And I suppose you think the more scars, the more appealing it makes you?"
"Well then I'm sorry to say, Miss Avatar, but I must leave you and enter a relationship with Lin Beifong."
Korra splutters and attempts to untangle herself from their embrace in a fit of melodramatic jealousy. "Ew, Asami, she's like 50."
"And looks rather good for her age! Plus, she's got two scars on the side of her face. By your earlier logic, shouldn't that make her more appealing than you?"
Asami laughs and kisses her then because her pout is starting to border on genuine. She gives the Avatar a soft push before unwinding her legs from her hips and hopping off the bike. "Okay, help me get this stuff cleaned up. I don't know if you remembered but Mako and Bolin are still coming over for dinner tonight and I don't fancy having to order delivery again because we didn't have time to cook."
Korra continues to pout playfully, though she does bend down to pick up the variety of wrenches Asami managed to spread out all over the ground. It's a running joke between them, but they aren't strangers to Korra's possessive streak and it's fair to say that now that she's got the girl, she's never letting her go.