A/N- when i'm awfully sad i write stories and they usually turn out sad and i love asami and i love bolin and i love writing about them and so this was born. i hope it makes some sort of sense.
Sometimes Asami hates herself for not holding onto Mako hard enough, for letting him slip between her fingers when she was right there, for allowing another girl to sweep in and take him away. But then she thinks about how Korra needs him more and how her entire face lights up when Mako's name is even mentioned, and when he's around her face glows. Asami isn't sure if the same thing happened with her, but she doesn't really know if she wants to know, or if it even matters. Because honestly, her life is a blur of fake smiles and shrugs that mean little to nothing.
Asami likes to sing. She doesn't think she's told anybody, but she does. She loves murmur little tunes to herself, or to sing full on ballads when she's cleaning or trying to get something done. She thinks that maybe since she wasn't born with any bending power, she was born with the ability to sing. She's not sure if she's good, because she's never sung for anyone before, but she remembers a voice from a memory that is barely still there and she knows it's her mothers and she knows that her voice is almost identical and her father used to tell her mother that he loved her voice three times a day. So maybe she wasn't quite so bad after all. She also likes to dance, but she's pretty sure everybody knows that. She had told Mako on one of their first dates and for the next three or four dates they'd gone dancing and she'd been happy and she doesn't really know what that feels like anymore. But it's not so much that she wants Mako back or that she's only happy with Mako, but more that she was happy then and she's not now. But she wishes she was.
Bolin hasn't said anything, but last week he overheard Asami's soft little voice as she'd sung a little song he'd never heard before and he couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day.
Her mind is a series of beautiful images that she'd seen in her travels as a young girl with her father and a mixture of all the terrors she'd seen lately. It was a place of stark contrast and she finds that it's all black and white, and there aren't any emotions linked to any memory. It's as if she's blocked out not only the pain but the love and the happiness. She can't feel any of it. She lies in bed a week straight and just sort of thinks everything over. The phone rings but she ignores it. She's sure they've all come pounding to her door, but she doesn't hear it and she doesn't bother to check. She's sort of scared when she comes to the realization that maybe she can't feel anything anymore. Maybe her memories will fade, too, and she'll just be a shell that once incased a wonderful spirit that has left and is blowing somewhere far, far away. She's not sure on the possibility of that scenario, but when she runs it through her mind multiple times, it sort of makes sense. It makes sense in the fact that it would explain how she felt right at that moment and she wants everything to make sense. She wants to make sense on how she hasn't really moved in nearly seven days and how her hair is just strewn against her pillows, fanning out behind her and her green eyes are leaking tears against her free well. She wonders how she's able to cry even though she's not sad—she's not happy either, remember?
On what might've been the eighth day—she stopped counting—one of the many Sato Mansion butlers raps five times on the door before coming in. It was a family code her mother had installed some many years previous, allowing you five knocks worth to tell the intruder to stay out. Asami remembered being thirteen, fourteen and even fifteen and allowing nobody to come in because she was moody and broody and her emotions were unstable. Though today she lets whoever it is come in. She knows him, but his name escapes her mind, though he smiles and speaks softly.
"There are some people at the door who insist on coming up, Miss Sato."
"I don't want to see anybody." Asami answers quickly. "Tell them I'm feeling under the weather."
"I have; a couple times. I have also come up with a plethora of excuses this week and I must say I'm running out of ideas."
"I don't want to see anybody." Asami repeated.
"Miss Sato, they are insistent and told me they would not leave until they saw you."
"Let them stand around the entrance hall then." Asami's voice was firm and so he nodded curtly and left the room, shutting the door gently.
A wave of sadness fell over Asami and she almost wanted to jump up enthusiastically at the prospect. She was feeling again! Quickly the excitement ebbed away as she realized that it was sadness yet again. She wasn't sure what she was unhappy about, until she heard Korra's loud, brash voice as she argued with the butler downstairs. She had turned the only people who cared away. The only people she had left she was turning away, banishing and she hated that. She needed to be stronger, and just as she hears Mako and Bolin's voices join Korra's, she jumps from the bed and throws on a satin red robe with the initials AS embroidered on. She ran from her room, flinging the door open and then shut behind her. Her hair was a crazed mess as it stuck up and plastered against her head, the curls a large tangled mess. Her makeup must have been smudged and her breath was probably something awful, but she didn't mind. She just rushed down the large staircase as she slid in front of her friends, her butler at her side. He only gave her an apologetic look, before he excused himself and Asami focused her attention back to her friends.
"Hi," Her voice was soft and her eyes held a million and one emotions and all three of her friends had concerned looks on their faces.
"Asami!" Korra reacted first, darting to the other girl and wrapping her up in a tight hug and Asami felt herself hug Korra back, wrapping her arms around her tightly and burrowing her face into the young Avatar's shoulder.
"I'm sorry," Asami mumbled sheepishly, hurt flooding through her words.
"Don't say that." Korra pulled away slightly and gave the girl a quick once over. "Asami, where have you been?"
"Here." She answered simply, nodding back at the stairs that led to her bedroom.
"Why did you ignore us?"
"I just needed time," Asami murmured.
"Time?" Mako spoke up and Asami nodded. "We were worried sick about you!" Mako exclaimed, giving her a stern look that bore into her soul and she knew that he would always have this effect on her. He would always be able to penetrate her with just a glance, and maybe her smile would always make his heart skip a beat but she figured it probably wouldn't.
"You could've at least told us what was going on!" Mako went out. "We didn't even know if you were okay!"
"I'm sorry," Her voice quivered, and it was then Bolin spoke up.
"Bro, calm down." Bolin placed a hand on his older brothers' shoulder in a calming way, hoping to save Asami's tears he can see trying to escape.
"No, it's okay." Asami says though she gave Bolin a grateful look. "I'm sorry for worrying you." She murmured.
Asami's not sure if she's getting better. She's not sure if this is progress or if she's merely hiding the truth from herself. Both could be very possible and both or likely true. She's just muddling through life, though she lets her friends in and she lets them think they're helping, but they really aren't. She decides this one night when she can't sleep. It's very late, but sleep just won't come so she thinks everything over. She thinks about how Korra takes her shopping even though the young Avatar would rather do just about anything else with her time, and Asami really is grateful and she feels a sense of gratitude and love towards Korra, but she's still not better or happy. Pema and Tenzin invite her over for dinner every night and tell her that she is always welcome at the island, no matter what, but she doesn't act on it. She only goes to dinner two or three times a week and she doesn't come at all during the day. Pema is a sweetheart and she gives great advice and she just loves people but Asami doesn't feel anything changing and she wants to scream at the pain that is slowly taking her over and stationing itself deep within her chest. Because she needs to feel better, but she just can't. She can't shake it away.
Some days Bolin comes up to her room—she's not sure how he gets in—and shakes her awake. He has a big smile on his face and he tells her that they're going out and that she doesn't need to dress up. She yawns and her eyes water slightly and he gives a little chuckle as he pulls away her blankets and insists she get up that instant. She closes her eyes again, but he pulls the pillow from underneath her head and hits her playfully with it, whining her name over and over again, until with a groan she rises from the bed. Bolin cheers with excitement and leaves the room so that she can get dressed. He tells her that there's no time for make up or hair brushing and that her boots are waiting at the front door for her. She doesn't really think much through as she pulls on a skirt and puts her jacket closely around her chest. Within minutes she's leaving her room, a tight smile on her face for Bolin's sake and she's following him out of the house and down a windy path that leads back to the city, but when the road splits into two, he doesn't take the familiar one she's travelled all her life, but instead turns and heads toward nothing. She's puzzled, but she doesn't say anything. She lets him have his mystery because she knows how much this means to him and how proud of himself he must be. Neither speaks and she finds that she likes it. She doesn't mind his company for he doesn't push or prod anything out of her and she loves that. She loves the way his hand brushes against hers every few moments, she loves the way his even breathing fills the silence and the way his eyelashes seem to reflect the light perfectly and he's smiling and he even whistles from time to time and it starts to melt away the ice surrounding her heart.
"Do you like nature?" Bolin asks after a while, and Asami loves that his first question for her is something so unimportant.
"I guess so." She murmurs. "Dad and I never went camping or anything like that, though."
"Yeah," Bolin nods. "Mako and I, y'know, lived outside for a while, but it wasn't in tents and it wasn't at a nice campsite. It was up in the city." Asami doesn't know what to say, so she gives him a look that she hopes portrays all that she wants to tell him. She hates that he had to grow up in such conditions and it makes her physically ache at the prospect of such a sad childhood, though thinking back she realizes that hers was bad, too, just in really different ways.
"I've never been back here, before." Asami tells him instead, because it's easier.
"I have a few times. It's really pretty and the farther you go, the smaller the city looks."
"Yeah," Asami turns her head to see the tall buildings become miniscule, and her house disappear.
"I've always kind of wanted to travel the world," He admits. "Like the old team Avatar. Travelling and saving the world." Asami smiles a tiny smile, but it's something for Bolin to work off of. "Can you imagine the four of us out in the great outdoors together?"
"It'd be quite the adventure." Asami agrees and Bolin chuckles. "You've heard the stories, right?" Asami nods her head.
"I've heard a few."
"They had such amazing times together." Bolin says, referring to Avatar Aang and his friend's team.
"You should talk to Korra about these fantasies."
"Nah, she's got enough to worry about." Bolin teased gently. "Besides, this is nice," He gestured between the two of them. "And I have a surprise for you."
"A surprise?" An eyebrow rose.
"Yep." Bolin nodded excitedly. "You're gonna love it!"
After a bit more walking, Bolin abruptly stopped and told Asami to close her eyes. Rolling them first, Asami let Bolin take her hand and led her around a small bend and after a moment, he tells her to open her eyes. When she did, her breath was taken away as she saw the expansive lake that sat at the bottom of a large valley. The scene in front of her was something she'd never seen before and she gasps and she sees Bolin smile beside her. She looks around again, and spots a blanket and a picnic basket.
"Is that for us?" She asks and Bolin nods, biting his bottom lip nervously, but Asami isn't sure why he's nervous because it's honestly one of the sweetest things anybody has ever done for her. Tears collect in her eyes and Bolin quickly jumps into action.
"But not if you don't want to-"
"Bolin," Her voice is chocked, and she lamely wrings her hands. "This is the sweetest thing anybody has ever done for me. You are so thoughtful," She takes a deep breath. "Thank you."
"Awh, it's nothing." He waves her off, but she sees the glint in his eyes and she knows that she's just made him so happy but it's really her who is happy and she wants to hug him but she can't find the power to even move.
"You wanna sit?" He asks and she nods, letting him ease her to the ground. "I'm not a very good cook, but I made us a few simple things," He tells her. "And I have jasmine tea; I know that's your favorite." Her heart feels as if it will explode with the love Bolin is showing her, and she almost starts crying.
"You're right, it is." Asami nods and she accepts the tea cup he offers her.
That night as Asami tucks herself into bed she thinks over how the day could've turned into one of disaster, but instead she had thoroughly enjoyed herself. Bolin was beyond sweet. He was special, he was thoughtful, he was fun-loving and he was literally a large ball of fluff. She couldn't help but think that maybe he was more than just a sweet friend that cared about her, and that maybe they had something between them, and maybe that something would blossom and she would fall deeply in love with him. And as she thinks this all over she finds that it doesn't scare her, worry her and make her confused; it comforts her.