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|By Silvi Masters||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Silvi Masters||Romance, Drama||PG-13||None||No update page|
|Episode One: Stray Thoughts|
December 31, 2014
Book Five: Love
Our lips came together as the light from the portal to the Spirit World surrounded us and in that beautiful instant I knew that everything I had been through to get to this moment was worth it a hundred times over. All the indecisiveness... all the pain... all the heartache and misery... all of it melted away as her hands came up to hold my face, the kiss deepening as the warm, joyous tears began to fall. I closed my eyes... and lost myself in her embrace...
I wasn't sure how long we'd been standing in the Spirit World meadow before our lips parted... probably not as long as either of us wanted. Our foreheads came together and her hands slipped down around my shoulders, mine finding their way around her waist. We held each other like that and cried... cried for lost time... cried for the joy of the moment... cried for the promise of the future...
Eventually we broke apart, though our hands found their way together quickly afterwards. As the realization of what just happened sank in we both blushed. I felt silly doing so after all the time we'd spent together but I couldn't help it. Eventually she took full notice of our surroundings and the look of wonder and joy on her face warmed my heart. This vacation was exactly what we needed to heal.
Episode One: Stray thoughts...
"Asami... can I ask you something?" I murmured quietly, not wanting to disturb the serene moment.
She turned to look over her shoulder and gave me one of her dazzling smiles. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of it. She sat at the edge of a stream, bare feet dipped into the water, with little pink spirits dancing happily through the air around her.
"Of course!" she said, eyes holding steady on mine. I swallowed hard over the lump forming in my throat and wondered whether this was the right time to ask something like this. Sensing my hesitation, her smile faded into a look of concern. "Is something wrong?"
"No no! Nothing like that!" I shouted, waving my hands about frantically as if to shoo away any such thoughts.
"Well what is it then? You can ask me absolutely anything Korra... I'm not going anywhere."
I swallowed again, the intensity and certainty in those words resonating deep within me.
"It's just a little embarrassing," I murmur, turning away and fidgeting where I stood.
I could see her studying my face intently out of the corner of my eye, eventually a sly little grinned formed on her lips.
"You don't need to ask if you want to kiss me again, you know," she said in a conspiratorial whisper.
I had to wonder if my heart skipping so many beats was going to be dangerous in the long run...
"Not that!" I sputtered.
"Oh? You don't want to kiss me again?" she asked, feigning a frown.
"You're horrible!" I cried out, setting off another fit of giggles. I sighed and resigned myself to the embarrassment, walking over to sit beside her. "I was just wondering when was the first time you... ah... when you first..."
She studied my face for a moment before leaning over and resting her head on my shoulder.
"The first time I felt something... more than just friendship for you?" She asked, sparing me the trouble of forcing out my jumbled thoughts.
I nod, and things settle into a long silence before she answers.
"That's kind of hard to say..."
"Don't worry about it," I say, wrapping my arm around her waist. "It's just something stupid I was thinking about."
"No, it's not stupid... I'm just not sure it didn't happen before we became friends is all," she answered thoughtfully.
"W-What do you mean? You l-l-liked me way b-back then?" I managed to stammer once my heart returned to its normal rhythm.
"Don't get too full of yourself there!" she said, head slipping from my shoulder as she re-positioned to rest it in my lap. She smiled up at me, reaching up to run her fingertips along my cheek. "If you recall we didn't even really get along all that well in the beginning, with you not trusting me because of my father and all that..." she trailed off somberly, her smile fading. "Things might have been so much different if we'd met under other circumstances..." Slowly, the sadness faded. "But to answer your question... I'd have to say the first time I felt something for you... was the first time I noticed your back!"
"My... back?" I managed, quirking an eyebrow at her.
She smiled and closed her eyes.
"You probably don't even realize it but your back is mesmerizing. So strong and perfectly formed... yet feminine and welcoming at the same time. I've seen it so many times over the years when you put yourself between me and whatever danger we happened to be in at the time. Every single time it inspired the same sense of comfort and relief, the promise that everything was going to be just fine. The first time I noticed your back and everything it represented... I wanted to hold you and press my face against your back to let that feeling of safety wash over me..."
"I see..." I murmured, not really sure how to respond to that.
"Looking back on it now, knowing what I do I'm pretty sure there was something more to it but at the time..." her eyes fluttered open and she grinned at me, "I was just really into your sexy athletic back! If only I'd had the sense to look a little lower... your butt is adorable too!"
I couldn't stop the dopey grin from spreading across my face as I pinched her side playfully.
"That's enough out of you!" I shouted, the two of us settling into an easy laughter.
"Well, aren't you going to tell me your side of things? You've obviously been thinking about this for a while."
I turned away, blushing.
"And my back-lust story wasn't?!" she shouts with playful indigence.
"Ah... right..." I murmur, looking down into her eyes for a long while before whispering, "Always..."
Her eyes widen slightly at the whispered word.
"What do you mean always? I thought you didn't like me when we first met?"
"I seem to remember the words 'kind of prissy' being mentioned at one point," she says, fixing me with a mock glare.
I turn away and scratch at my cheek with my index finger.
"Ah... yeah... that was kinda what I'm talking about actually. Something about you really bugged me the first time we met."
"Well I'm amazed you didn't just sweep me off my feet then and there with that kind of charm!" she says with another laugh.
I give her side another pinch.
"Shut it and let me explain!" I huff. Eventually the laughter dies down and she fixes me with an interested look. "I was just starting to come to terms with what my life was going to be like at that time. Well, I guess it would be more honest to say I was acting out in the face of all my future responsibilities. Then I saw you... rich, smart, confident," I reached down to caress her cheek, "stunningly beautiful... and free." Asami started to protest but I pressed a finger to her lips. "I didn't know what you were going through then, only what I could see. To me you represented someone who could do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. Being around you was... exhilarating... and frustrating at the same time."
"It was the day you took us to the racetrack when I had my first suspicions about what I was really feeling and it terrified me. Being the Avatar, I knew that every decision I made would be scrutinized by the entire world, maybe for thousands of years to come. I had to consider that acting on my feelings could turn a large portion of the world against me. It made me so angry and bitter..."
"I remember, during the Spirit Festival you started pulling away from all of us. You seemed so desperate to become a better Avatar."
I nod, letting the silence stretch on for a while to compose myself.
"Before the Harmonic Convergence, I decided to speak to my past selves about what I was feeling. There were more than I had expected who had interests similar to mine but one of them in particular stuck in my mind. Her name was Lia and her time as the Avatar was mostly a peaceful one. She told me that her only regret in life was how long it had taken her to open herself up to the feelings stirring within her. 'Ten years I traveled with my childhood friend before we opened ourselves up to the possibility of our shared love. Though we had a wonderful thirty years after that I always regret that we had not allowed ourselves to come together sooner. Do not share in my regret...' she told me. I was looking forward to speaking more with her and the others... but my connection to them was severed forever and I had to make the decision on my own."
"That was a good time, truly a breath of fresh air," she murmured, rolling over where she lay and snuggling closer to me. "I could feel the change in you immediately, hell even the others noticed the change in us enough to feel kinda awkward. For me it felt like the door that had been slammed in my face had suddenly been kicked open. You know my heart skipped a beat when you called me your girlfriend, even though you didn't mean it like that... it was nice."
I smiled at the memory.
"Well, I kinda did mean it like that, and yeah... it was nice."
Another long pause, the two of us soaking in the glow of the moment. After a time I felt her start to tremble, thinking for a moment she had started to cry but then came the telltale snort of laughter.
"Remember how awkward we were during the trip to find the new Airbenders?"
I face palmed hard.
"Oh lord that was brutal! I swear that cabin we shared felt like a broom closet with how much we were tripping over each other."
"Remember that time I saw you naked..." she whispered mischievously.
I'm pretty sure you could have cooked an egg on my face with how hot my cheeks felt at that particular memory.
"I... I remember that even after I covered myself and turned around you just kept standing there staring at me... I thought I was gonna die of embarrassment!"
"Well now you know all about my little fetish for that sexy back of yours, you probably should have kept facing me!" she giggled.
"Asami!" I whined.
"Oh I had to spend a lot of..." she cleared her throat, "alone time in the shower to get through that one. And after that things just got even more tense between us... it was all cold showers from there." That little factoid was all my brain could handle it would seem as I felt myself toppling to the side, the next thing I knew my head was resting in the grass and Asami had shifted to curl up against me, pressing her cheek against my back. "I'm gonna need to feel safe for this next part," she whispered.
Asami shivered and tightened her grip on me.
"Taking care of you, making tea, cooking your meals, doing you hair, pushing you around in your chair... I'd never felt so close to you... and so faraway at the same time. Seeing you so empty like that... I was heartbroken."
I reached down to give one of her hands a reassuring squeeze.
"You saved me, Asami. There isn't a doubt in my mind that the poison would have killed me if you hadn't been there for me. Turning down your offer to come with me to the South Pole was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. But I knew that if I let you keep taking care of me I never would have had the strength to stand on my own two feet and look you in the eye again. Your letters, hearing how much you missed me... how things weren't the same when we weren't together and yet seeing you still push on with your life... it's what gave me the strength to take those first steps."
"Pushing ahead was all I could do. The time I spent buried in work was the only time I wasn't miserable and lonely. When I got your letter though..." she let out a long deep sigh "it felt like a missing piece of me was sliding back into place. When I finally saw you again... it took every last bit of willpower I had not to run over and kiss you. You're just lucky I noticed your haircut in enough time to distract me!"
"Yeah... lucky..." I muttered, now regretting the change. "I was so out of it that the word 'snazzy' was all that I could force out. Who the hell says snazzy these days?! So embarrassing... and then I snapped at you about your father..."
"Things were tense... but we got through it... and the war. You scared me half to death with that last explosion... over and over in my mind all I could think about was how we'd come so far only to lose it right when things were about to get serious..."
"It was your turn to help me after that. The war memorial... dad's funeral... the stress at the thought of losing you... it took it's toll..." I tugged at her hand and rolled over so that we were facing each other, our foreheads coming together as we embraced.
"But then came the wedding and the long bumpy ride finally finished. When you suggested we take this vacation together... I..." She squeezed her eyes shut, tears sliding free. "I just... want to..."
"I love you, Asami."
Here eyes flutter open to look into mine and I try to put every last bit of the love I'd felt for her for so many years into my gaze.
"Oh Korra... I love you too... so much!"
The distance between us closed and our lips met again. Never again would the two of us be apart... I would live my life without any regrets...
–To be continued...
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