The Sound of Slumber
Something akin to a slumber party was in order that first night, and it was riddled with blankets upon blankets woven in bison wool to share. Each intricate pattern played off its counterpart with pictographic fables telling stories of an ancient past. Asami’s natural fascination with their handmade workings became a feat of the evening, enthusiastic with questions at dinner time and a gentle conversation with the eldest airbender child, Jinora.
When it was time to finally turn in, those hands were so careful with the embroidery that it wasn’t far from the truth to assume that she was fearful of ruining them. Thankfully, a timid ‘They’re just blankets’ from the mother could assuage those fears. Pema’s thoughtful words and kindness could extend in favor of easing Asami right back into a land of comfort, curling into a more restful sleep after refusing Korra’s offer of the bed.
Guests always slept on the floor, right?
It had been too long since she found herself in this familiar territory, snuggled into a small nook with a friend or two. The expansive estate she used to live in was large enough to host more than a ‘few’ friends of course, but the rooms weren’t at all small enough to harbor those baleful ghost stories in the wee hours. Dark closets and close quarters somehow made her childhood more believable in comparison to the realities she lived as an heiress of Future Industries. Such a night like tonight would only cater to those memories as she shifted and cuddled against the fluff of her pillow.
On the ground, anyway, there were nothing but sweet dreams. The lull of the evening cradling her tiredness as she drifted slowly from her withering consciousness.
The hospitality of the Air Temple was nothing new to her. She’d long since gotten used to the staple fare of the dinner table, the sound of Tenzin’s steps padding along the hallway making sure his children were tucked safely and quietly in bed, and how comfortable the bed could be if she lumped the pillow just right. More often than not, Naga stayed close not just for her peace of mind but because nothing was as soft as a polar bear dog’s fur—at least, not to Korra.
For that, Asami’s place on the floor might have been almost enviable. She had the benefit of one huge paw as a cushion, and the warmth and steadiness of that heartbeat just there if she saw fit to take advantage of it. Korra, on the other hand, had tried to shirk the stress and ‘excitement’ of the day by turning her face to the wall and tucking her chin to her chest.
Of course, sleep didn’t exactly come easily in those days.
It was only a few hours, when the sounds of nature had been snuffed by midnight rolling across the sky and over the water, when even the lights across the water had dimmed for the night, that she woke. Abrupt, scared, eyes wide and breath heaved in her chest as she realized where she was—safe. That was the important thing.
Only belatedly did she also remember who was with her, that her room wasn’t the solitary sanctuary it might have been, where Naga’s muzzle would reassuringly touch her arm or a fanned snort from her animal companion could put the world to rights. Now, when the beast stirred, it would undoubtedly wake the sleeping occupant just a few paces away… and frankly, Korra didn’t even know what to say when she so clearly wasn’t okay.