Korra’s sudden, angry outburst caused him to stop writing and stare at her for a moment with an expression of surprise, curiosity, and confusion. For some reason, she was being just as aggressive as Mako was around his fans, and it caught Bolin very off guard.
Suddenly, it dawned on him. Korra was just excited to try the ice cream, of course! It was her first time, after all, and Bolin had been equally excited his first time.
He rubbed the back of his neck and an embarrassed smile appeared on his face, along with a hint of red in his cheeks. “Right, sorry about that, Korra. We’ll order right now to make up for it!” He scratched out the note he’d been writing to the girl and simply signed his name on the sheet, shrugging as he handed the paper back to her. “Sorry! It’s her first time trying ice cream, I’m sure you understand!”
The girl simply stomped off, clearly fuming as she shot Korra looks that would almost certainly be accompanied by a stream of fire if she were a firebender. Luckily, she did not appear to be.
Bolin turned his attention back towards Korra immediately, apparently oblivious to the war going on right in front of him. “Let’s go!” He led her to the counter and was unable to resist ordering a double scoop - both strawberry. After Korra made her selection, he paid for both of their orders with some of his dwindling pocket money (ever since the arena was shut down, he lost his source of income, but he still had some savings).
After a return to the table, he watched Korra excitedly to see her reaction while picking away at his own. It was delicious and sweet as always, especially after being in the heat earlier in the day.
“Well, what do you think?”
She really wasn’t sure why it was such a big deal. For some reason, it had just rubbed her the wrong way, that girl horning in on what was supposed to be Korra’s spotlight. It wasn’t even that she needed Bolin’s attention…
Or maybe it was. Because when that girl huffed off, it was all-too-natural to stick her tongue out at the retreating fan, smugness rolling off of her in droves. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Korra liked winning, but this time it was just a little more than that. Knowing that Bo had chosen her company after all, it made her feel—well, whatever it was, it was good.
More than anything, she liked being wanted.
If there was one person who made her feel like that, it was Bo. Always, no matter the time or the place. Even there in the little ice cream parlor as she waffled in her indecision for just a minute or two more, before finally following his suit and ordering the exact same thing. After all, why take a chance when strawberry was sure to be a good thing? She wasn’t even sure she’d had strawberries before! It made sense to kill two birds with one stone.
And boy, was it worth it! He wouldn’t even need to ask with how her face practically lit up within one bite. When he did, it was all she could do to remember to swallow before that enthusiasm bubbled out. “Thisissooooodelicious,” somehow made it past the spoon as it continued to shovel more in her mouth. It was actually probably a wonder how she even managed to taste the stuff at all with how fast she was inhaling it.
But in many ways, his perception had been right. She really was just a girl overly excited about her first taste of ice cream—though it was sure not to be the last.
i actually reply promptly to my threads
She was looking for a miracle. He knew he’d already found one.
Nothing wrong with a little sunshine
He wished he could have said he hadn’t expected it.
When the atmosphere suddenly turned several degrees wetter, and when his breathing supply was removed in favor for water he had definitely been surprised. It took him mere seconds to regain his breath, longer to shake himself out of his shock, and longer still to realize that his lovely companion—not stopping her stride—had just bent at him!
That lousy cheating spiderat… he mentally sighed. After all, he couldn’t say that he was entirely surprised. This was Korra after all. Ever competitive-wanting to best everyone-confident to a fault-Korra. That mental sigh escaped his lips for real this time as his arm arched into a breaststroke. So much for tasting victory.
He glowered all the way up until he stepped out of the water, hand placed on his hip and chin jutted upwards, that lecture just dripping off the tip of his tongue.
“What was that?” Deja vu.
“Korra, you completely blindsided me, if I knew you were going to pull a trick like that from the start I wouldn’t have agreed to the stakes.” He glowered. His hands flew above his head, a momentary lapse in that control, but could she blame him? She totally cheated! Ugh, not to mention got water in my nose.
“I’ll get you back for that, you know.” He would usually not stoop to such a level, but this was supposed to be a day of relaxation, right? No rules, nobody to watch over and captain and scold. Just, fun. And if she wanted him to have fun, he’d have it, his way.
Shoot. How had he…?
Play it cool, she told herself. With a lift of her chin, she countered, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. The ocean can be temperamental, y’know…”
Okay, she wasn’t even convincing herself—and it was clear by the scowl on his face that she wasn’t going to get the upper hand on him. At least, not again, not like that. She heaved a breath, cheeks puffed before she managed a lopsided grin and tried a not-very apologetic, “Hey, we both knew I was gonna win anyway. I just… gave you a little more exercise?”
Wasn’t the team captain supposed to appreciate that?
Again, it didn’t look like he was going to buy it. Heck, she didn’t even buy it! And that meant she really had no other choice; he thought he deserved the victory? Well, they’d see about that.
“Last I checked…” and he’d be able to see that good humor shift, slide over the edge into mayhem from mischief, her hands tucked behind her back as a finger twirled to conjure a pyramid of a wave behind him and out of his line of sight. “We’re on my turf. I don’t think you’ll be getting me back, City Boy.” Had he ever even been to the beach before? They were in her element!
What better way to remind him than a playful splash of that bent stream right over the top of his head. There was definitely more where that came from.
Reimu couldn’t help laughing at the young woman’s animated reaction to the curry’s spiciness. What a strange girl! Who would be surprised by the fact that curry is spicy?
She poured more tea for Korra (in case she ate a little too fast again, though it seemed she’d learned her lesson) and quickly finished her meal, but waited for Korra to do the same before asking questions. It didn’t look like she was one to swallow her food before talking, and it would be a real shame if she choked and died.
Also it was kinda gross.
South Pole? Republic City? Yes, this girl had definitely been blown way off course. “Oh, well, you see, right now, you’re in…” Reimu hesitated. Would it be wise to tell Korra where they were? How would she react? “You’re… not too far away, really. I’ll walk you back to the city, so you don’t get lost again.” ‘No need to worry her,’ she decided.
Reimu’s expression changed into one of confusion when she was asked if she knew what a bender was. “I can’t say I’ve ever met a bender before. Which I suppose is a good thing, since it means they don’t cause trouble.” Once incredibly enthusiastic about her demon-extermination business, the shrine maiden had become more relaxed in her approach - “don’t mess with me and I won’t mess with you” is essentially how she dealt with things now.
Still… a “bender”? Now that she got to thinking, that sounded a lot like “manipulator”. And those are people she had seen her fair share of. Space manipulators, destiny manipulators, dream manipulators… And now that she thought back at all the opponents that had this vein of ability, she started to get a little excited. “So, miss ‘Bender’ Korra… What is it that you ‘Bend’?”
So they were close! Good. She wasn’t sure what was worse, the fact that she’d gotten lost in the first place, practically in direct defiance of Master Tenzin’s orders not to go poking her nose where she shouldn’t, but that she’d lost her direction in the first place. Back home she’d been able to navigate barren fields of ice and snow with perfect ease. Here, she couldn’t even find her way from one city block to the next.
But benders causing… trouble? Was that supposed to mean Reimu wasn’t a fan of them? No, she’d said she’d never met any. Maybe it was true, Amon’s revolution really had traveled farther than Korra or any of them could ever imagine.
Still a bit wary, even as she finished her food and set it aside, she explained, “Well, I bend the elements.” Even if Reimu had some hidden beef with bending, the Avatar could definitely take on some girl, right? After all, she’d battled plenty of men twice this shrine maiden’s size—and all at once. With that confidence slipping back into its usual place, she flashed her a grin as she flexed an arm. “Water, earth, fire… Can’t do air yet, but it’s only a matter of time.”
“I mean, you know about the elements, right?” Because if she didn’t even know that, they were in for a much bigger and lengthier lesson than Korra really had the patience to provide. “There’s four, they bring balance to the universe, blah blah, all of that. Only one person can bend all four and they’re the Avatar.”
She’d leave her new friend to figure that one out for herself.
Chores and Gossip
“You might think we’re just kids,” Jinora said offhandedly, moving to flick a few leaves off of the gazebo, “and that we don’t know anything, that we’re just focused on training and the such.” And for the most part, that was absolutely correct. Aside from her sister’s obsession with odd things such as lychee juice, of course, but that was beside the point. “But it’s completely obvious that there’s a ton of stuff going on between you and everyone.”
Both hands on the broomstick, she leaned on it and smiled at Korra. It always amazed her, just how much Korra would listen to the opinions of her and her siblings. “I like them well enough. Bolin’s pretty fun, and Asami’s really sweet.” She didn’t quite see how Korra liked Mako as much as she did; he was really…rather extreme, in her opinion. One mother was enough. “Mako’s fine, I guess.”
She laughed. “And what do you think about them, Korra?”
Yeah. Ton of stuff probably didn’t even begin to cover it.
With a heavier huff of a sigh, she rolled her eyes, giving those stubborn leaves one more prod before resting the straw end of her broom on the ground again. “It’s… complicated. Remember when I was asking for advice?” Right, how could any of them forget? “Well… I tried. You know, what your mom said, telling him how I felt. And Mako turned me down.”
Of course, that was just the beginning, and she sent a furtive glance at the girl to gauge her reaction so far. Was she already anticipating the next set of circumstances, the next scene in the comedy of errors that had been her adventure into romanceland? Maybe she could just gloss over the real details…
Or blurt them out with a dismissive shrug as she continued, “So I went on a date with Bolin and he really liked me but I didn’t think of him that way and when I realized Mako was hiding something I sort of kissed him but then Bolin was there so he saw the whole thing and his heart was broken and I promised myself I’d never breathe a word about what happened to anyone and I’d never do anything that stupid ever, ever again.”
No wonder she suddenly found a great deal of gusto in the way she attacked those leaves with the broom to get them into the pile in the center. Her chores were much more fascinating than her romantic mistakes. Much more… She could hope.
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.
crazy random happenstance | @sandstormander1
Surprisingly, after what had happened, it still had some good memories for her. She and Bolin had been having a fabulous time, she’d gotten Tahno for the first time, and of course, the food was amazing. All of that was reason enough to go back. At that point, she wasn’t even looking for anywhere that might serve her native cuisine better. It was her go-to when she wanted a taste of home.
And when she just needed to get out of her new one.
Having her friends stay at the Air Temple was an experience, to say the least. Most of the time it was business as usual, she went about her ‘routine’ and the rest of them explored or tolerated the air kids or asked questions of their own. Asami still seemed to be taking in some of just what had happened, what it meant for the future, and for the most part, none of them pressed anything but forward. There was still a city to take care of. ‘Team Avatar’ was riding in style.
Then there were other times. Like when Meelo decided to wake her up by belting songs outside Asami’s window. Or mediation wasn’t working to do anything but put her to sleep—again. Or Tarrlok’s increasing power trip really worked its way under her skin.
On those days, she just wanted the comfort of home. Seaweed noodles, sea prune stew, she’d take what she could get. She wasn’t a regular by any stretch but she knew enough that the owner nodded when she came in and she had a ‘usual’ table where she sat…
Except today, someone was there. And that someone looked eerily familiar, like she should have placed the face and couldn’t in the teeming masses that was Republic City and her introduction to its public. His clothes marked him as Water Tribe, but that was typical for this restaurant, so she didn’t put much faith in that. Rather, she took a seat at the table next to his (hers) and offered merely a casual, “Hey.”
She chuckles, still in shock that she’s actually meeting the avatar. “If ya say so. I don’t think I will ever learn it.” She shakes her head at the next question. “I read about ya in the papers, but I got here a couple days before the arena got destroyed. Never got a chance to see a match.” Her head is still shaking in shock.
“Nobody back home is gonna believe I met yah!”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll get a chance eventually. The arena’s closed down for now…” She only paused a moment before that grin was back in place, “But it’ll open back up soon, I’m sure!”
“So where is home for you?” Korra had never met someone from the Foggy Swamp before, and the accent was lost on her. Not to mention, she hadn’t really gotten around much—yet.