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For the rest of the night there was some invisible thing that connected them. Nothing so tangible as a thread, so tidy, but a flickering thrum that flared and waned as they touched and talked and toasted thin champagne flutes, and it was all the more definite for its subtlety. The definition was the most curious thing about it - in its sureness of self it ate the last vestige of apprehension that Korra felt, fully embodied the understanding that had taken place when their hands had brushed over the stone of the step, before Tenzin had returned to relay the call for Varrick’s final speeches. She supposed that’s where it began.

 

Now it left her here - back to Asami, back taut with a strange new anticipation as she stooped with her empty drink to receive Meelo’s compliments and heard nothing but the voice of Asami exchanging pleasantries behind her. She sent him off with her glass, straightened - and just like that, it was the two of them, the petals on the matting, and the air thick with silent magic again.

 

“So,” Korra said, leaning back against the wall (meaning come and join me - for just another moment from the party, of course), and lifting just a couple of knuckles in invitation to Asami. She didn’t know what words should follow, though, because they had already taken this moment, hadn’t they? And several times. The innocuous, customary non-dancing moment alone together, except it was more like five, tucked in tiny pockets of time and space in this long, winding evening - each one emptier of words (because what was new?) but full of something else, something fresh and intimate; such that with every next laugh or drink or whisper shared Korra was brought a little nearer to somewhere she had never been.

 

And so moment six here, or whichever it was - this was already excessive, uncharted, just for being next in the pattern - and that was immediately apparent, because rather than leaning any perfunctory lean beside her, Asami simply took a delicate step forward and stared.

 

It was new enough that Korra felt the need to contextualize it.

 

For a long moment that balanced curiously between anxious (anticipatory) and blissfully uncomplicated she stared back, and then Asami held out the very last of her wine and said in her earnest lilt, “You want the rest of this?”

 

No, Korra didn’t. She felt overindulgent in so many ways tonight. And whilst it wasn’t unpleasant, she could do with slowing down - but there was hardly a mouthful left, in that glass with a red stamp on the rim that destined it for her mouth, and her hands itched.

 

Korra took it, clinked her teeth on it and smiled. “I don’t know if this party’s going longer than I expected,” she said, with another lazy indication of the hand towards the dancefloor that drew this party separate from us right here, “or if I just wore myself out.” She blinked into Asami, flush with the farthest emotion from weary, and found it reflected back clear enough for her to wonder how a face could be so accessible and intriguing at once.

 

“Easy,” Asami replied, and a familiar playful smile interrupted the unfamiliar stare, “it’s definitely the party. I don’t think you need any more wearing out.” She took back her wineglass to the nearest table, and when she returned the smile and stare had coalesced into one. Had she ever looked at her that way before? Something rippled again in the metre of midnight between them and Korra supposed that, perhaps, here was Asami minus apprehension.

 

The thought encouraged a sharp shard of excitement and she reached out to relieve it, loose fist grazing Asami’s bare shoulder. “I hope you’re not saying I look tired.”

 

“You know what I’m talking about, Korra,” Asami scoffed. And she took that gesture as her invitation, grasping a hand over Korra's and then pulling gently down from her shoulder so she could finally slide onto the wall beside her, rather stiff for a casual slump. “And you look perfect.”

 

It was the kind of compliment she’d pay someone for whom she expended less of her heart - then those words were easily, casually afforded. She didn’t often say things like that to Korra, because there even her plainest words were coated in affection. (She wondered if Asami did that on purpose, efficient in her love as in most things - or if it was something quite outside of her command, a helpless byproduct of feeling.)

 

The thought compounded the leap that Asami’s words had triggered in Korra’s chest.

 

Asami had placed herself so close that there was no space for their clasped hands between them; accordingly, she drew them upward off the wall and ever so conspicuous against her thigh, heavy, and suddenly Korra’s whole body was in her rigid hand.

 

“I’m going in in a minute,” Korra levelled her voice and informed her, with little intention of moving - rather to simply disclose: this is my last stop tonight, so let’s be here together. Asami gave one elegant nod, utterly comprehending, and they both looked straight ahead into some invisible space that still thrummed with nothing but the other.

 

When they were this close and still that feeling could cleave around them, and fuse, tangible at last: begging acknowledgement and palpable enough not to need it. It made the minor movement of Korra’s fingers under Asami’s pleasantly laborious, and the gentle flop of her head on her shoulder as immense as falling into bed after a thankless day. It felt as though her very presence might ignite in the air if she made any unpremeditated movement, or this moment held between their clammy hands would slip through and shatter altogether.

 

And when Korra focused on the feeling (as she had no choice but to do with only the touch of Asami occupying her between even each finger), it pressed in her throat from all directions - an invisible second hand ticking down with her heartbeat, stifling, until she could do nothing but push it all off in a shuddering sigh.

 

The air broke loose like it was made to split the tension, itself now the authority on her desire.

 

Asami turned at that confession of an exhale, and Korra knew that something had escaped with it that she couldn’t take back.

 

So she held her silky gaze, three, four, five seconds, and pulled the leaden handhold tight into her own body. Asami reached for her with her other hand, bangles cool against Korra’s chin - for a vivid moment Korra watched her soften into something precious, and then Asami had her mouth in a warm kiss.

 

It was tender; and in the second it took for Korra to inhale her heart back into her chest and find Asami’s arm with her free hand, it was over. Asami’s palm loosened against her face, a couple of fingers slipping back into her hair. Korra opened her eyes into hers, saw the colour blooming in a rush across her skin, hardly an inch away, and considered finding her own voice.

 

As if to relieve the climbing fever of her skin and their proximity and the moment sinking helplessly around them, Asami’s red mouth parted marginally.

 

It rallied all the want in Korra all at once. She drew both hand on arm and hand in hand tighter and pressed her lips back to Asami’s with a nearly hasty fervour. The light and music faded to nothing behind the curtain of warmth around her.

 

Asami kissed her back with such relish. She tasted the claggy, thin flavour of her lipstick and slid over it, reveling in the feel of soft, pliant mouths together. It spellbound her - how soft Asami felt despite the zeal with which she met her - Korra could hardly, hardly think for the sweetness of the sensation. It steeped her spine in a thrill that matched the one on her mouth. Asami’s breath came quicker, like she was emptying the last of herself into her, until brusquely she retracted, sliding her hand down until it cupped Korra’s shoulder.

 

Her lashes fluttered against Korra’s skin, and she breathed her breath deep. She didn’t stare at her again. Korra squeezed their clasped hands, robbed of breath, though at the touch of Asami’s lashes she almost fell back into her. Dimly, she found the rest of the world.The sounds of the night began to wash over her once more - when a gentle hand found her cheek again.

 

Without meditation, Asami placed a kiss on the corner of Korra’s lips -

 

It was chaste. Tentative, compared to the appetite with which she had just kissed her mouth (Korra felt the air cool on her dewy lips, but it coaxed rather than cooled her desire, the thought of how that kiss had left her.) Her breath swelled in her ribcage again as Asami kissed her practically on the cheek. She’d smile - she would have smiled if not for the blooming desire that held her rapt to the pure sensation, recast it into something never chaste; how could it be when Asami’s mouth, too, was wet from her own and the faint tremble of it against her skin made the subtlety of her feathery touch read like restraint.

 

Korra let slip a quiet sigh, and made sure to laugh it off, too. “Asami…?” Through the maddening swirl of sensation, she searched for her own mouth and the face on which to press it, meeting Asami’s skin somewhere above the jut of her chin. It seemed to spur Asami and she kissed her lips this time - though if it was supposed to be gentle again Korra didn’t wait to find out. Asami matched her like she was simply waiting for the invitation, and unwound with it, wrenching her hand out of Korra’s at last to pull her flush against her body. Her bangles dug against the small of Korra’s back, but she felt that pressure somewhere in her chest, somewhere in her belly.

 

Korra clutched her closer in turn as she felt her friend’s body awash with a fervor emboldened rather than tempered by some sweeter affection - and she knew she knew the feeling intimately well because it surged under her own skin, mirrored faultlessly the want and wonder she tasted off Asami’s tongue like some incorporeal kiss of its own. Here it was, that thrum effectuated, the way she hadn’t dared imagine for all her imagining. This kiss was searing, tearing through the fragile little barriers erected in her mind, of suitable desire and suitable internal self-conduct and suitable fantasy that she had not let her train of thought breach more than once or twice, had hardly had the time - and now...

 

Now it cascaded like a cloudburst, consumed her like this kiss - little, raw thoughts, scrambling free of some deep corner of her mind, fixed around the reality that she confronted now without hesitance; how much she wanted Asami, wanted to think about her like - like this and more and worse, right now, but before, before and all along. She wrapped her fingers around the forearm holding her head, felt its tension when her hungry mouth reached up again, as she alighted on the thought that set her ablaze. Did Asami - did Asami ever think about her like that? Like this? The heat that encircled her endowed the question with a particular redundancy; her back against the wall, save for where Asami held her - all this thriving sentiment in an act of complete focus, how very Asami -

 

Suddenly she pulled at Asami’s arm and broke their embrace. In the moment it took to reclaim her breath Korra saw her shoulders roll under the harsh angles of her gold necklace, and felt intent fingers grazing her own collarbone.

 

“We should go inside.” She made the suggestion in a whisper and directed her scattering thought away from the silent proposal that underlied it. It surprised her when the utterance manifested exactly how she would expect it to sound, even after the turn of the world that had just taken place. If it weren’t for her tiny nod, she wouldn’t have known that Asami had heard her; her half-lidded eyes were blazing with an expectation that Korra had never really witnessed before, except maybe in her own head. Her face was a fountain that poured, brimmed with tenderness: another cascade undammed, another of Asami’s to match her own.

 

Her body protested the separation. They unstuck and immediately the night air skittered over the warmth of her front. Her room was scarcely a minute away and Asami took her by the wrist. For a silly second she considered that she should take a proper leave from the party - but she heard the diffidence in Asami’s little laugh as her step quickened when they emerged into the patio across from the women’s dormitories - and the world retreated again.

 

Korra’s door was first and it was ajar. She entered after Asami and when she turned to close the door the hint of trepidation caught her at last. She left her palm against the wood. Outside a faraway swell of the remaining party’s laughter carried in for a brief moment, and the distance from them fell into her suddenly - here she was, somewhere else, self-isolated.

 

Not alone, though, for better or worse.

 

“Korra.”

 

She’d never said it like that before. Korra almost twitched at the sound. One more time, she found the almost imperceptible hesitant note in Asami that echoed her own feelings.

 

But it drowned in the ache that poured off her voice, peeled it away to nothing but yearning, and she had never sounded like that before. Before Korra had regained the breath that her own name had stolen, Asami placed another scalding palm against her back. At the very instant of contact, Korra turned back into her and cupped her face, guiding it none too gently back to her mouth.

 

She smiled. Asami missed it for her own hurried whisper, spanning Korra’s shoulder blades in one warm motion. “Wait,” in her liquid voice. “Let me take these off.” Korra released her so she could remove her bangles. Then her own hands were suddenly, awkwardly empty, so she took the opportunity to sit on the bed and pull off her boots. Asami followed when she saw her, bending to unstrap her shoes.

 

In the relative quiet (cacophonous heartbeat notwithstanding) Korra caught her breath for the first time since Asami had so thoughtfully placed their joined hands against her flank. She braced herself on her palms and watched. Moonlight shone through the open window, illuminating the bed and the floor beyond where Asami stooped in a mellow blue square. Asami’s hair gleamed and there was the trace of an impatient grind in her jaw. When Korra glanced at her shapely hands tossing the shoes in the corner, she was struck acutely with the need to touch them again.

 

“Come here,” she said insistently, heard her thirst colour the words into a whine - and before her dizzy mind could let her suffer the indignity of realising she might have accidentally invited her very irresistible and very good friend to bed, Asami acquiesced, settling just beside her, and incinerated her thoughts with that stare.

 

The truth was that Korra would have to sit on her hands to keep them off her. Now when the heat and perfume Asami emanated and her overflowing gaze invited her ten times a second - and she knew her invitation so well, the bounty and benediction of her open heart and open face and open arms open always - well enough to know that this was different; this invitation to share borne of a quality coarser, because Asami couldn’t help it either.

 

“Hm. Alright,” Korra said, found her bearings, and Asami sucked half a breath in.

 

Then Korra kissed her again, longer than before and softer, and when she opened her eyes with her hands pressed warm below her throat, the silvery light washed Asami’s whole face. She lifted her fingers and tucked her hair behind her ears. In turn Asami tilted Korra’s face up to join her, to catch more of the moon. Korra couldn’t find the colour of her eyes but she felt them pare back years and doubts and many things besides with the simmer of her gaze, dilated with some fascinating ardour.

 

Asami placed a hand around her waist and held her like a lover.

 

Korra wanted to look at her more than kiss her, to commit her to mind like every instinctive bending move. To what end, she wasn’t sure - perhaps because she never wanted to clamber for her face in a fading well of memory again, rummage and emerge with paltry scraps pockmarked with her own dejection and bitter longing whilst the real, beautiful thing dwindled further away from her.

 

Asami blinked her into the present and Korra found that her heart and hands couldn’t be full enough of her. She sighed, held her gently still by the shoulder - wasn’t sure anymore whether she was taking stock of Asami or her own desire. She breathed. Asami bit her lip in a way that made Korra feel gluttonous, but she trained herself on her blazing face and waited as it seared itself onto her mind.

 

Soon Asami leaned forward to kiss her. Korra noticed after the fact that she had drawn back unconsciously, still absorbed in her silent appraisal.

 

“No?” Ventured Asami under a tentative laugh. Korra smiled and shook her head - played along even though she positively ached to rectify that little concern for her, because it kept the precious flush on Asami’s face.

 

She’d done her determining. It wasn’t a flawless face - a little hollow above the cheeks for all the things she didn’t deserve to have to weather, an untidy smear of red on her mouth, the evidence of a different kind of lapse in perfection. But the heart that her eyes laid bare was incontrovertibly flawless.

 

Asami smiled again when Korra rubbed the residue of lipstick on her chin, and mirrored her by lifting the hands around Korra’s waist to her lips. “It’s gotten all over you,” she said, deflecting a silent tease.

 

Korra lingered on her lips, supple under the stroke of her fingers, and it lured a keen craving back into her. It was enough, really, to have Asami touching her mouth, but the release of her waist relieved her of a tether, and then there was nothing to stop Korra from falling headlong. “Well, do you want it back?” Her own voice trembled between molten kisses and she burrowed an embarrassed smile into Asami’s neck when she heard the glimmer of a laugh on her exhale (what a thrilling sound.) Asami’s hand curled in her hair. Korra felt her pull forward hard without warning.

 

Asami fell smoothly, but on the mass of her hair, and her necklace spilled sideways over her throat. Once Korra had braced herself, she disengaged her mouth to disengage the glinting gold, gather all the hair up and sweep both out from under Asami.

 

“Thank you,” Asami sighed. “Yours -” and she tugged Korra’s necklace over her head, brushing too many sensitive parts on the way. Then she found the small of her back with warm hands, gripping her tight, fitting their bodies fast, deft and smooth like her machine parts, and when she pressed into her a bolt of sheer electricity spun through Korra. She kissed Asami again, felt her own mouth slacken from her burgeoning lust. Asami anchored herself around her with a leg that slipped magically out of flowing red skirt, and freed her hands to scale the burning expanse of Korra's front. Between the salt of sweat on Asami's skin, and the melodic heave of Asami's breath and the fumble of Asami's fingers over her chest Korra found herself suffocating somewhat and just on cue -

 

“You and your necklines, Korra,” Asami all but moaned when she moved her hands upwards for skin and found no purchase until - well, her neck.

 

If she were less far gone she might have paused to tease but all Korra could manage was “Take it off,” quiet with urgency, before she rolled against her again. Asami harnessed that swivel of her hips into her own push upwards, and they were sitting again, somewhat worse for wear than last time. Korra’s skirt bunched around her thighs, where the ache inside her had forced her practically into Asami’s lap.

 

The dress unbuttoned at the back. Asami slid her arms back around her to unfasten it, and although Korra stayed in the hollow of her neck to begin with they ended up in a firm, rather innocuous embrace. It was strange to feel that surge of sedate love that typically marked their hugs for a second, now when she’d taken such a luscious course over Asami’s skin; but it was swiftly replaced with a different sort of warmth by the strain of their breasts pushed together under these dresses; one that mapped Korra a whole new flight path in her head, because this time an innocuous embrace was not her destination.

 

Asami hesitated at her back, or maybe she was savouring the feeling. “Please, take it off,” Korra repeated, and tried to still her needy hips, pressing a slippery kiss under the shoulder of Asami's dress.

 

Asami peeled the fabric away, parting from Korra with it. Immediately Korra gathered the mass of dress around her and pulled it over her head. Suddenly her body was unrestricted, and accordingly so was her lust - when Asami grazed her abdomen Korra straddled her fully, hummed with the tantalizing play of fingers over her skin. She was left in her underwear and a bandeau - and it wasn’t like Asami hadn’t seen her like that before, but she’d never really looked like that. Her gaze was, in a word, starved; and yet still so overflowing that Korra thought if she wrapped her into her very being like she wanted at this moment she might sustain her forever. But there were more pressing matters. Asami’s wet, open mouth fell against the curve of Korra’s clavicle as she tightened her arms around her in her lap, and Korra, packed to the brim with this heady, inextricable cocktail of love and desire, pressed a tender kiss to her temple. A rather incongruous complement to the corresponding shove of her hips.

 

Asami’s hands shifted up, tight across the scallop of Korra’s ribcage under her chest. When she held her like that, up by the heaving frame of her body, every carnal thought flocked to the very spot, and Korra felt decadent in all ways, like Asami should simply pry her ribs open and devour all of her.

 

Asami didn’t.

 

She nestled deep into Korra, just above where her breasts began to curve into shape, and Korra felt her screw her eyes shut.

 

Oh.

 

She kissed her hair again, wound the silky, sweat-slicked strands through her fingers, before lifting Asami’s head up to meet her own. Their lashes married like fingers lacing together.

 

“I…” Korra kissed her mouth and Asami gave an involuntary wriggle up into her. I  what? I love you?

 

Probably, yes. Severely.

 

But she didn’t have time. Asami’s hands crept up over her breasts, and Korra slid her own over them and squeezed. “I need you,” she whispered, and hid nothing.

 

Asami wrenched the fabric down from her chest and replaced it with her lovely hands. When she dragged a gentle palm over her nipple Korra pressed her hard into herself so she could taste her skin prickling. She curled into Asami’s shoulders, letting the pads of her fingers retrace their own whorls into her honey-warm skin, as Asami thumbed the tips of her breasts until they were hard and aching, and when she kissed them, slick, Korra felt the moan in her throat catch. She glanced down to watch herself strain hard on Asami’s legs between hers, half-covered in the red wisps of her dress, and caught Asami’s fingers flitting helplessly to her own chest for a moment.

 

That was Korra’s job. “Your dress,” she breathed, but she cupped Asami through it. Their eyes locked over the fervent grasp. Asami detached from Korra with a soft smack as Korra traced the swell under her fingers, tugging the strap of Asami’s dress down with her other hand.

 

Impatient, she dropped a few lingering kisses on Asami’s neck and chest whilst she scrambled for the delicate fabric on the other shoulder, sliding off her legs as she did. It was curiously… heartwarming - kissing her here again. Was this her new favourite place? Korra breathed the essence of her deeply and lowered her hands to bare breasts.

 

“Oh,” she said, voice light with surprise, “you’re, um, you’re not wearing a…?” She supposed she should have guessed, given the cut of the fabric that pooled like wine round Asami’s hips.

 

Asami expelled a pretty laugh that melted into a sigh. “Well, they’re not like yours…”

 

“They’re perfect.” Korra murmured through her smile, voice thick with lust. They were. They fit right in her hands. Asami trembled. “Are they sensitive?”

 

Her mouth watered and her core pulsed so she didn’t wait for her reply. She slid her fingers over Asami’s nipples and licked them slowly. Asami gasped an exquisite sound that settled right between Korra’s legs, and she moved against nothing, a little desperate; but she wanted to touch Asami even more than she wanted to touch herself. The dusky peaks stiffened in her mouth and Korra sucked harder, stifling a groan; meeting Asami’s clouded eyes as she pressed her own legs tight together.

 

Asami took another shuddering breath and pushed one of the hands that steadied her into Korra’s hair. “You are so pretty,” she whispered, stole the words waiting in Korra’s very occupied mouth.

 

Korra pressed her glistening lips together and kissed her face again. Then she couldn’t help it any longer. Her fingers flew to her clit, but Asami beat her to it.

 

Korra bucked into her hand.

 

Asami’s brow arched in belated supplication, but she didn’t need it, really. Korra melted over her, sending them both back against the covers in an ecstatic heap. Urgently, Asami slithered under Korra’s underwear, raking over downy skin. She made a most impassioned sound at the dampness that leached around her fingers. For her part, Korra’s eyes and mind fell close, and she was close in various senses of the word.  

 

“Korra,” Asami barely whispered, a little bit of wonder in the gentle ‘o’ of her mouth. Korra twitched against her hand.

 

Asami’s fingers were lithe, long, and their skin not as soft as Korra’s own; because non-benders had to do everything with their hands, didn’t they? At least, Asami liked to - Korra knew because she liked watching her, and not imagining; and Korra knew that the tenderness and the talent of Asami’s touch was worth any softness of skin.

 

She didn’t know which it was that was undoing her now.

 

Asami drew her slick fingers out of Korra’s underwear and around to grasp her closer. Bereft of touch, Korra ground against her thigh, and their hips pulled together again like moon and water, just like before: such a blissful fit, even with the erratic way in which Korra couldn’t help but bear down now. Asami found Korra’s wrist on the mattress with her other hand. There was a profound flush on her hard cheekbones, suffusing all the way over her pretty chest, and as she squirmed against her, she was entirely, entirely irresistible.

 

Korra met her eyes and then her mouth in a frantic little crash. The new angle of their bodies jolted something fierce out of Asami and she thrust up into Korra, splayed a palm over her lower back, holding her fast just above the hem of her underwear.

 

The pressure drew a shuddering exhale. And Korra was a breath from shameless.

 

She let Asami read a wholly new kind of desperation from her eyes, rolling into her without restraint. A clutch on Asami’s shoulder steadied her, but then even her hand was trembling; her body was trembling, rippling in waves from the throb between her legs, from their sticky, tangled bodies moving together - like she was suffocating under nothing but their own togetherness, this blanket of heat and mingled, earthy sounds - and shit , if that wasn’t the most exhilarating sensation in the world...

 

Korra gasped, screwed her eyes tight. Stilled for a second, before the world shattered around her in a perfect, persistent rush. And on her next quaking breath, she cried aloud.

 

She caught herself before falling onto Asami, but Asami pulled her down into her neck anyway. Her skin glided over hers, sleek with sweat.

 

“Asami,” she said, tongue thick and sticky from thirst, mouth stumbling over the syllables of the name in a rush to be on its bearer.

 

Korra kissed her back, slackjawed and sloppy and full of precise feeling. Asami lifted her hands into her hair, curling her leg to keep her writhing hips locked to Korra’s, and any imminent thoughts on Korra’s part were delayed by the sensation.

 

For a moment Asami held her gaze, though, with something more than the following kiss on the tip of her tongue. But it passed when Korra pushed the pads of her fingers over her nipple, and she whimpered with a lurch of her hips at the touch.

 

And suddenly Korra was on the outside: nigh immovable compared to the surge and sound that the slightest touch compelled from Asami. Right. Your turn, Korra thought, but rather than saying it aloud she busied herself immediately with the suddenly infuriating amount of fabric still caught around Asami’s middle.

 

Asami’s legs released her and Korra pulled them before her and smiled.

 

“What?” Asami said, her first real word in an age, fairly uneven around the edges - and whether her question was teasing or genuinely curious was not discernible beneath the delicate restraint through which it quavered.

 

“Nothing,” Korra whispered, stealing the red dress from under her, but her eyebrows flashed, because she’d only just noticed. “You match,” she noted lightly. And she pushed her fingers over the mound of Asami’s red underwear.

 

Asami’s giggle tapered steeply to nothing the moment she touched her. She clasped her fingers around Korra’s own and held them there, hard.

 

“Please,” she said, several shades lower, half-swallowing the word back in her admirable self-restraint.

 

Korra dragged a palm over the fabric and watched Asami’s hips lift into her hand like a trap springing. There was nothing for it. Together they reached to divest her, fumbling in their fervour such that it was just as well there were so many hands to make short work of her underwear. Asami squirmed when Korra touched her, and Korra couldn’t help but catch the feeling. She inhaled sharply at the liquid heat that enveloped her fingers. Her eyes slid shut for a brief moment so the rest of her could disappear in it, too, but she couldn’t really tear her gaze away for long.

 

“Mm,” she murmured, and Asami echoed her, more tender, and longer as Korra coated her fingers in her wetness (which, wow .) At last she lifted her gaze to her eyes and brushed a thumb over her clit.

 

A ragged little sound high in Asami’s throat preceded her ardent words, “Korra, please, I want you so much.” But her hands, reaching for Korra’s shoulders, fished for a closer embrace, too; and Korra met both requests at once, grasping her around her straining hips as she moved to kiss her, because no sound nor touch in the world could better compel her. Asami moaned into her mouth and Korra slid one finger and another hardly on its heel easily into her. They gasped softly together - and she was so hot, hot and close around Korra.

 

Asami arched in her arms.

 

“Good?” Korra said, but she was already moving. Asami nodded into another kiss that was mostly the gasps for air in between, and gripped her tight around the shoulders. Korra’s own breath came harsher at the very sight and scent and sensation of her -

 

Shaky breath, shaking shoulders, and the sweat beading warm on her skin - at a strangely endearing odds with the sheer perfection , the grace of each dip in her profile even now and the electric affection of her voice; the feverish flutter and arc with the forge of Korra’s fingers, slow or not, deep or not. It stirred a fresh ache back into Korra, one she hadn’t noticed the absence of in her enthralment, and now all her arousal had keened straight back without ever really having left.

 

She blew a curling strand of hair from Asami’s skin to kiss her cheek, and plunged her fingers as far as they’d go.

 

Asami met her eyes with the very motion as she tried to return the kiss, but it had siphoned all the energy of her body into her hips. She whimpered sharply instead and in a moment of her fragile gaze Korra knew she could draw anything in the world now from Asami if she wanted. It drove a flash of pure fire through her.

 

“You’re going to make me come,” Asami licked her lips and managed, with the arrhythmic blink of heavy lashes. It wasn’t warning nor incitement, or anything in particular but an inevitability. Korra bit her lip over a moan as she pressed herself heavily into Asami’s thigh whilst her fingers curled inside of her.

 

“You’re going to make me come again,” she whispered, but Asami’s answering smirk only lasted a second.

 

She tensed, and Korra’s heart climbed in her chest. Asami convulsed around her fingers. She clutched her arm tight and her face drew into Korra’s neck, but she didn’t make it all the way before her orgasm unraveled around her. Korra tightened her grip and counted each irrepressible shudder that flowed from Asami’s body, as she stifled herself against Korra’s skin. Korra felt her name leave Asami's lips in a warm, heavy rush, as if she was drawing it out of a great depth. 

 

Suddenly Asami drew her arms around her. Korra withdrew her fingers and tucked herself even closer despite the heat, wrapping her up in eager, clammy limbs. The rest of Asami stilled in place, discounting the invisible thrill that buzzed on her skin and her rasping breath, and Korra absorbed it all through her melting skin.

 

Then Asami began to kiss her neck. Soft, in acknowledgement, and tentatively so, an admission of diffidence in her present state.

 

Korra took her face in her hands what felt like minutes late and kissed her properly; felt a disarmingly intense affection well in her throat when she sensed another little tremble rippling through her body.

 

Asami smiled against Korra’s mouth, nuzzling into her in such a way that that feeling in Korra had nowhere to go but out. She kissed Asami’s forehead, and with the manoeuvre Asami burrowed back against her neck.

 

And she said her name again, as if she had never before had the pleasure. Something in her voice pulled the tension of their first few kisses, fraught with inexorable weight before a more straightforward desire had taken precedence, back into the air.

 

“Have you…” Korra stopped and said to her with timid curiosity, an inch from her shining face, “have you, uh, done this before?”

 

“Not this,” Asami blinked, revealingly short. But in her face, a reservoir of feeling, Korra read each way that the sentiment continued; but I wanted to; I thought about it; I want to do it again; all with you .

 

With that proclivity for sweetness that was almost scrupulous, Asami’s hands began to wash gently through Korra’s hair, around her neck and over tingling inches of skin. Korra deepened their kiss when they stroked her breasts and slipped a hand into her own underwear.

 

She felt Asami smiling again, as her fingers tweaked and her mouth teased. “Do you want a hand?” Though it was contained by whisper, her voice sparkled. The kick of it dissipated all through Korra’s body, and she was most likely blushing.

 

Asami’s hand reached between her legs. Korra pulled her own away in anticipation, but rather than replacing it Asami took it by the wrist and guided Korra’s fingers into her own mouth. Korra pressed her lips together to keep her racing heart in as Asami sucked along her fingertips, eyes never leaving her own.  

 

Asami smiled for the third time when Korra’s hand crept back between her legs. In a flash she was over her, her long, unbound hair gliding like water over Korra’s skin. She cupped her hips in steady hands before hooking under the hem of her underwear. Korra had to shift her legs to make space for the ache between them.

 

“Can I…?” Asami said gently, a wisp of air over Korra’s chest. Korra nodded hurriedly and, thankfully, Asami matched her pace, pulling the fabric off in one clean movement. The cool air on her sensitive skin only served to accentuate its heat. She was keenly aware of Asami bending over her body, lips soft and generous over the underside of her breasts, her stomach and the crease of her thigh. Her eyes flickered into Korra’s once or twice as if to reaffirm permission. Asami parted her legs further. And like that, somewhere deep in this new and intense touch, Korra could still find the quiet affection that underlied the countless prior.

 

Below her waist every muscle was rigid. She felt and heard and practically tasted Asami’s hum against her thigh. She held both her hands where they came to rest over her hipbones.

 

It was almost too intimate.

 

“Okay -” she breathed, and almost laughed with relief and the not-quite-shock when Asami’s mouth closed over her - unbearably hot, and exhilarating, and at once not enough, and - well, she didn’t think she’d ever had anything that soft down there. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to thrust too hard, but Asami pulled her in, digging her fingers into her warm skin. She pushed into her clit and Korra’s hips hoisted off the bed.

 

Asami retracted and Korra felt the glimmer of her laugh.

 

“Shit,” she sighed, equal amounts of pleasure and concern, trying to find Asami’s face.

 

But Asami shook her head to say not you , and Korra saw her blowing her hair from her face. Immediately she waved Asami into her again, gesturing come here , come back amidst her breathless laughter, and wrapping all her troublesome hair into her own hands to hold it out of the way.

 

Asami thanked her with a very wet kiss, and some fingers, and then Korra was ready  to burst.

 

It stoked a whole new storm in her blood, having her like this: when she tugged her hair, slowly, Asami’s eyes fell close in tandem, stuck to hers until the final moment, utterly devoted to what Korra would think of as a selfless act if it weren’t for the gluttony in her gaze; guided by nothing save keen instinct and keen passion - the knowledge made her weak (she wished she could kiss her) - and such deference, too, that Korra wondered if she knew - if she knew that it was Korra who belonged to her right now.  

 

The final forge of her tongue and hand told her she had some idea, and the last bond broke in Korra. Asami didn’t let her go but she let her scramble for her hand and clasp tight. Somewhere in the tumble of ardent noise Korra gasped her name, and the way Asami returned her desperate grasp tore another wave of ecstasy from her, leaving her panting with knuckles pale around Asami’s hand.

 

Asami unslung Korra’s quivering legs from around her shoulders with her free hand and kissed Korra’s in her other. Then she took her by the shoulders, carding both hands through her hair to cup her face. Korra opened her eyes and kissed her hard, and kissed her back, kissed her again and again and again.

 

If she deigned to give it any thought, she wouldn’t have been sure how many more minutes drifted away in their kisses. It didn’t matter, and if it did then the only concern was that she offered an amount commensurate to the quality of feeling that she floated in. For her part Asami held her very, very close and, as always, let her actions do the talking.

 

It was long enough for the breeze to carry away the alchemy of their activity - the scent and sweat evaporated into the night and Korra saw that they left Asami cool. And since she couldn’t really hold her any closer, Korra pulled the sheets over her.

 

It felt  like erecting a border, and suddenly they were on the other side of the night’s pursuits, reflection waiting in the air around the immediate corner like the sound of the laughter still roiling outside.

 

It was really too well that Asami began to laugh, too.

 

Low and pleasant - conspiratorial. Korra, on her back, looked at her, smile in place. Asami grinned shyly behind her fist around the covers.

 

“I suppose we beat Varrick and Zhu Li to it.”

 

That’s your priority, isn’t it?” Korra snickered and took a tendril of Asami’s hair. And waited - because she knew, she knew that Asami was at somewhat of a loss, too.

 

“No,” Asami said. Nudged Korra onto her side, so she could hold her from behind. The weight of arm on her waist settled Korra’s whole body. “They’re not.”

 

Korra huffed a laugh, Asami tucked in the curve of her shoulder blades. She thought she deserved to bask in that one.

 

She closed her eyes, but all she could find behind them was Asami kissing elation into her mouth again. 

 

Korra licked her lips but her mouth was drier. There was water on the nightstand, just out of her reach, and it may as well have been a mile away, given the effort it would take to tear herself away right now.

 

“Asami. Let me go,” she started gently.

 

“Oh, not again,” were the words immediately behind her, dancing along the wire of humour still taut under Asami’s voice. “Never again.” Another laugh that ebbed into a hum, and an offer quieter still. “How about that?”

 

And there was the first turn around the corner, a tentative reach to tie the thread left hanging by the last hundred kisses.

 

Suddenly the mirth in Asami’s voice was altogether too much - it wasn’t even the weight it masked, the transparency of her words. Korra blinked hard and rapidly and wondered what to return before turning and kissing her again. She took her time.

 

And it was alright.

 

They had time, for the first time. Time together. Time enough for this, clearly. Time enough to work it out.