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Comforts of Home

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“So… mom?”

Korra glanced up from dinner. “What’s up, Katsu?”

“The apartment is looking pretty good lately,” Katsu said. He glanced around and nodded in approval.

Korra had to chuckle. She knew he was buttering her up to ask something, but it was still pretty cute. “We’ve been doing alright for ourselves, haven’t we.” Despite Naga’s constant shedding and the unpacking, the apartment was clean. Or at least clean enough.

“Since it looks so good,” Katsu said, voice beginning to trail off into a mumble, “do you think I could invite someone over?” He immediately stuffed his mouth with noodles when the question was done.

Korra set her chopsticks aside. “It doesn’t need to look perfect for you to have someone over, Katsu,” she said. “You know that.” She wasn’t concerned so much about cleanliness as much as the fact that he wanted someone over at all. Since they’d moved and Katsu had started at Republic City Junior High, he hadn’t mentioned any new or notable friends. A month since his transfer, Korra had started to get worried.

Anybody her son wanted to invite over was more than welcome in Korra’s house. “But if it makes you feel better, we can make sure to clean up a bit before they come over,” she said. Unlike her, her son tended to want things fairly clean and tidy with a consistency that sometimes baffled Korra, but which she tried to support.

“That would be nice?” He smiled at her through a mouthful of noodles and Korra grinned back.

“So who’s this new friend of yours?” she asked.

“Um… I dunno if we’re friends yet or anything,” Katsu said, ducking his head. “But I’m working on a group project with her in our history class.”

Korra metered her sigh. “Do you want to be friends with her?” she asked.

He nodded. “Yeah. She kinda scares me, but I wanna be friends, so I dunno… I thought I’d ask if she could come over instead of just working on it after school.”

Korra took a bite of noodles and considered. Depending on what day they came over to work on the project, she could make sure she was home to meet Katsu’s new friend. It concerned her somewhat that he said she scared him, but that feeling wasn’t so uncommon with Katsu, so she didn’t read too much into it.

“Sure,” she said, “let me check my calendar and I’ll give you a couple days you can invite her over.” Korra took a bite, then remembered an important question. “Oh yeah. Katsu, what’s your friend’s name?”

“Tomiko Sato.”

 

*

 

“Mom mom mom!”

Asami heard her daughter shouting from inside the house and walked out to see her cruising up the driveway on her bike.

“Tomiko! Do you know what time it is?” She frowned as her daughter rode her bike right into the garage, almost scratching Asami’s car in the process.

“I know I’m sorry I’m sorry.” Tomiko practically tossed her bike on the rack before running over to Asami, who was grateful to see her daughter had remembered her helmet today. “I know I said I’d call you from Katsu’s house, but then he didn’t live that far so I figured I’d just bike home. Sorry. But I’m here now!”

Leaning against the porch railing, Asami held back a sigh. She’d been raised by a single father for most of her life. She knew being a single mother would be tiring, but she didn’t think she’d been half as tiring for Hiroshi as Tomiko was for her.

“I’m glad you’re home safe,” Asami said, “but if you’re going to bike next time, please be sure to call me anyway. I was getting worried.” Thank the spirits they at least lived in a bike-friendly area, or Asami would probably have had a heart attack before Tomiko had turned twelve. “I thought I’d get your call on my way home, or that Katsu’s mom would have dropped you off already or something.”

“Oh! I have to tell you! Katsu’s mom is SO COOL!” Tomiko practically bounced up the steps toward Asami. “Her name is Korra. She said I could just call her Korra so it’s okay I wasn’t being rude or anything. I promise, Mom.”

“I’m sure you weren’t,” Asami remarked, opening the door for them to come inside. “So what’s so cool about Katsu’s mom? Did you make good progress on your project?”

Tomiko bounded past Asami into the atrium and struck a pose, flexing her nonexistent muscles. “She’s a personal trainer, or a physical therapist or something, so she’s super buff!” Tomiko said. “And, and she used to play for the Republic City Rebels!”

Shutting the door behind them, Asami smiled. Her daughter’s room was plastered with Republic City Rebels posters and soccer balls. “That’s pretty cool,” she said. “So did you and Katsu make good progress on your history project?”

Tomiko heaved a sigh. “Yes, Mom. Lots of progress. We’re almost done. Whenever I started getting us too off-topic, Korra stuck her head out of the kitchen and had us do a couple push ups.”

Asami raised an eyebrow as she followed Tomiko into the kitchen. “That’s one way, I suppose,” she muttered. “Did you and Katsu figure out when you’re going to finish the project? Also, can you set the table for dinner?”

“We’re just gonna stay a little after school on Thursday,” Tomiko said, getting down some plates. “We only have a little bit left to do.”

“That sounds like a good plan,” Asami said.

Tomiko froze halfway to the table. “Ohmigosh,” she said. “Did I tell you that Katsu has a DOG?”

“I believe you just did,” Asami said, bringing dinner over to the table. “What’s so cool about their dog?”

In-between rambling about the dog and telling Asami about how Katsu was pretty cool now that she was getting to know him, Tomiko managed to ask if she could have Katsu and his mom over for dinner sometime.

And, in-between trying to get Tomiko to actually eat dinner and asking after the rest of her classes, Asami ended up agreeing.

 

*

 

If it wasn’t for the fact that Tomiko and Katsu seemed completely oblivious to the differences between their houses, Korra would have been self-conscious. It wasn’t that she’d managed her money badly; she had enough in savings from her brief soccer career to afford a better place than the small apartment she had now. She just had certain priorities and she’d rushed the move; the apartment was the first place she’d gotten a contract on, so that’s where she and Katsu lived.

The Sato residence, on the other hand, was anything but hurried. Although Tomiko bounded around the property like it was a playground, Korra recognized the signs of a home well-lived in. Somewhere in in the middle of Tomiko’s rambled introduction, as Korra and Katsu walked up the driveway, the girl mentioned that she’d lived in this home her whole life.

“You must be Katsu,” said Tomiko’s mom when the girl ran forward, practically towing Korra’s son in her wake.

Korra chuckled as he nodded mutely, a bit shy around the stranger. He’d just managed to say, “Hello Ms. Sato.” Then Tomiko dragged him off into the house and likely to the backyard. She’d mentioned having a custom-designed swingset that had been optimized for… something. Korra wasn’t quite sure.

“Hi there,” Korra said, approaching the porch at a slower pace. “Tomiko has said so much about you.”

“Oh I’m certain,” said the other woman dryly. “Call me Asami.” She put out her hand.

Korra shook it. “Korra,” she said. “If I’m to guess, you’ve probably heard a bit about me too.”

“Let’s see… I’ve heard you’re some retired soccer star with the Rebels and you have a very fluffy dog, among other things.” Asami opened the door and gestured for Korra to come in. “And based on the grade Tomiko brought back for their history project, I take it you’re quite the motivator. I was a little worried to have Tomiko working on the project at someone else’s house, but she and Katsu seem to have done quite well for themselves.”

Korra chuckled as she followed Asami into the kitchen. “They’re good kids. And they seem to be getting along well enough.” Katsu had initially been a bit withdrawn during his work session with Tomiko. But he’d firmed up his resolve as they went on, if only to keep Korra from popping through the doorway to have the kids do a few more push ups.

“Tomiko mentioned that you’ve recently moved?” Asami prompted. She crouched to check on whatever she had in the oven and nodded, seeming pleased.

“Just across the city,” Korra said. “I figured Katsu and I would swap some things around, try something different for a while.”

Asami straightened up and caught Korra’s eye. “Just you and Katsu?”

“And Naga, our dog. Rocking the single mom life.” Korra smiled and raised an eyebrow in return. From what Tomiko had said, Korra was pretty sure Asami didn’t have a spouse floating around either.

Asami chuckled. “I suppose I’m ‘rocking’ the single mom life as well,” she said. “I actually think this part of the city is a pretty good place for it. There’s lots of infrastructure support to encourage autonomy. I can trust that Tomiko is safe to bike to RCJH on her own, for instance.”

“I’m just starting to figure that out,” Korra said. “So far I think the move was a good, well, move.” She chuckled and glanced in the backyard. Katsu seemed happy with Tomiko, who was showing him around the backyard with animated hand gestures. It was a welcome sight. At their age, a lot of kids were starting to get into a mindset that it wasn’t ‘cool’ to play anymore. Tomiko clearly didn’t care if it was cool or not to show Katsu the custom-engineered (or whatever it was) swingset. That’s what she wanted to do, so that’s what they were doing.

“I’m glad that Katsu and Tomiko are getting along so well,” Korra said. “I’ve been a bit worried about him making friends since the move.”

Asami had joined her by the window. “I would welcome a new friend for Tomiko as well,” she admitted. “My daughter is… social enough, I suppose, but she can be overwhelming to some kids. She’s… intense.”

“I gathered,” Korra remarked dryly. “Katsu may be quiet at first, but he can definitely keep up when he wants to.” Whether or not Tomiko scared him a bit, Korra could tell he wanted to be her friend very much. He wouldn’t have asked to invite her over otherwise.

And maybe he wanted to be her friend because she was a high-intensity kid. Someone to pull him out of his shell a bit.

“Tomiko can be a handful.” Asami smiled thinly. If he can keep up, I would welcome someone to help her burn some of that energy off.”

“Hm…” Korra grinned. “So have you and Tomiko picked a sport for her to play this Spring?”

Asami raised an eyebrow. “No, actually. I’ve been meaning to talk to her about that. Deadlines are coming up for most Spring team registrations.”

“Well, I’m coaching a co-ed team this season through the Little Rebels community outreach program,” Korra said. “And it fills up fast, but I know we’ve got an open slot left if you’re interested.”

“You’re kidding.” Asami turned toward her. “When are practices?”

“Right after school, twice a week. Once a week in the evening.” Korra smiled. “Do you think Tomiko would be interested? I’ll be picking up Katsu right from school for those practices. I could grab Tomiko too, if that would help.”

Asami was nodding before Korra had even finished talking. “Coached by a real Republic City Rebels player? I think she’d be ecstatic.”

“Former player,” Korra corrected. “But how about you? Any interest?”

“Do you promise to run her ragged every practice?”

“Something like that.”

“I believe you’ve got a full team roster then.”

 

*

 

“I got the cones, Coach!” Tomiko skidded to a stop half a step in front of Korra. She dropped the stack of small orange cones in the grass.

“I have the nets, Mom.” The large white nets over Katsu’s shoulder had mussed his floppy hair. It was almost an adorable picture.

“Thanks for helping me pack up, you two.” Korra glanced over her shoulder at the sound of a car pulling up. “And just in time too. Looks like your mom is here, Tomiko.”

Tomiko had run halfway to black car when she doubled back toward Korra. “Thank you for the great practice, Coach Korra,” she said, bowing slightly.

Korra inclined her head back. “Thank you for being a great team player, Tomiko,” she said.

Ponytail bouncing, Tomiko jogged to where her mom had gotten out of the car. Korra gave Katsu a side-hug. “And thank you for being my biggest helper,” she said. “I couldn’t do it without you, you know that?”

Katsu mumbled his thanks, but Korra could see his smile practically reached is ears as they finished packing away the rest of the soccer stuff into the back of Korra’s pickup.

As they shut the back hatch, Katsu looked past her and frowned. “I wonder why Tomiko and her mom haven’t left yet,” he said.

Korra turned around and saw the two of them walking over. “I have a feeling we’re about to find out,” she said.

When they drew close, it seemed as though Tomiko was about to burst. She managed to keep herself in check, however, as Asami asked if Korra and Katsu would join them and go to the local pizza-arcade place. Before Korra could turn toward Katsu, Asami added, “my treat.”

Meeting Katsu’s eyes, Korra could tell he was tired. Practice had been long and hard. But he seemed to come alive more around Tomiko, finding energy in himself to match her, or at least enough to keep up. He nodded at her, just barely, and his eyes said, ‘please,’

Korra turned to Asami. “On one condition. You can cover pizza if I can cover coins.”

Twenty minutes later, Korra and Asami were sitting in a booth together, watching their kids run all over the arcade. “This was a good idea,” Korra remarked. “I’ve driven past this place a dozen times, but I never seemed to find the time to go in.”

“Tomiko and I go sometimes. We did her birthday here a couple years back.” Asami shrugged. “The pizza isn’t the greatest, but it’s alright for what it is.”

“That’s all we can ask, isn’t it?” Korra smiled. “Tomiko seems to be liking soccer so far.”

“I’m afraid you’ve mistaken ‘like’ for ‘endless adoration,’ in that case.” Asami laughed. “Sometimes it seems all I get out of her is ‘Coach Korra’ this and ‘Coach Korra’ that.”

“I can see what you mean about her having so much energy,” Korra admitted. Sometimes, she doubted her own ability to keep up with the kid. “If she’s the same in school as she is in practice, I can see why Katsu was a bit intimidated at first.” Since they’d started up, however, her son had only warmed to Tomiko more and more. She’d been the first to extend friendly overtures to everyone else on the team, but Katsu had floated along beside her, smiling and making a few of his own friends along the way.

“I have to admit that I sometimes find her overwhelming.” Asami leaned back against the booth. “I decided I didn’t want to wait for a relationship to come along before I had a kid. Sometimes I guess I’m surprised she’s not more like me, given that there isn’t another parent in the picture.”

Korra shrugged. “The single mom life chose me, but I get that. When things didn’t work out between me and Katsu’s dad, part of me kind of assumed that my kid would grow up to be just like me.”

“Is his dad still around?” Asami asked.

From most people, Korra detected a hint of pity or sympathy with that question. It usually came with assumptions and judgements. From Asami, however, she felt none of that. Just curiosity and a desire to know more about her.

She shrugged. “Somewhat. He ended up pursuing a police career that took him out of Republic City. But he does visit when he can, and he’s been very supportive of Katsu in his own way. He even took some time off to help us move, which was very kind of him.”

“What spurred the move?” Asami asked. “Most people try to avoid moving in the middle of the school year.”

Korra tensed. Asami seemed nice enough, but they’d moved for a reason. At the same time, if Katsu and Tomiko were going to keep on being friends, it would be better to know sooner or later how Asami felt about him. If it was a problem, then Korra wanted to make sure she knew so she could keep Katsu from being hurt, as much as possible.

She glanced up. He was having so much fun with Tomiko. It would really be better to know sooner than later. And, in the interactions she’d had with Asami, Korra had to admit she could see the possibility of a friend in the other woman. It would be good to know before she got too attached as well.

“Last year, Katsu came out to me about being trans,” Korra said, meeting Asami’s eyes steadily. “I supported his social transition and spoke to his teachers and school administrators. At first he wanted to stay in the same place. That worked out alright for a while. When things started… not working out, I talked to Katsu and we decided to move and start over in the city instead of in the suburbs.”

Asami’s eyes flickered, but not with judgement or revulsion. “I’m so sorry he ran into difficulties at school like that. Have you been successful in working with teachers and administrators at RCJH?”

Korra nodded as relief flooded her body. If that was Asami’s attitude, then Tomiko was probably a safe enough friend for her son. “I’ve managed well enough so far,” she said. The district secretary is a huge Rebels fan, so I bought a couple favors and a pile of goodwill with an old signed jersey. That managed to get his gender listing adjusted in the school’s system, which was the main issue at his last school.”

Asami nodded. “I see. Well, just let me know if you run into any trouble. I’m a consistent PTO member and the Sato name still pulls some weight in the city.” She smiled. “Just because you’re a single mom doesn’t mean you have to fight these battles alone. I’ve already been talking to the district about standards of acceptability for school dances. Tomiko never ‘came out’ as bisexual so much as… she’s just been that way her whole life. Since she was a little kid, babbling about all the people, regardless of gender, that she’d marry some day. I’ll be damned if she can’t dance with whoever she wants at her school dances, same as everyone else.”

Korra stuck her hand out. “You’ve got yourself a partner then, for all your future school board fights. Count me in.”

Asami shook it firmly. “Do you want me to talk to Tomiko?”

“Not about Katsu. I let him broach that topic on his own. But maybe… review whatever you’ve already told her about transgender people? Make sure she’s current.”

Asami nodded. “Gotcha. That sounds good.” She paused, then smiled. “Korra, you’re a good mom.”

The compliment took her aback. Korra blinked and opened her mouth a beat before she was able to respond with a, “Thank you.” As their pizza arrived to the table, summoning their kids in from the arcade, she caught Asami’s gaze and smiled. “You are too.”

 

*

 

The doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it!” Katsu called over.

Korra yawned. She hadn’t exactly been jumping up to open the door, truth be told. “Mkay, Katsu.”

Tomiko was running around the house, trying to round up the rest of her things. Somehow, in the course of staying over for the weekend, she’d managed to evenly distribute everything she’d brought over the breadth of Korra and Katsu’s apartment.

Katsu opened the door for Asami and Korra reluctantly pushed herself to her feet. Watching both kids had been exhausting, but she didn’t want Asami to think her lazy. “Hey there, come to fetch your offspring back?”

“If I have to, I guess.” Asami chuckled and winked.

Tomiko popped her head out from the kitchen and scowled. “Hey, that’s not very nice.”

Asami walked over and swept her daughter up in a hug. “I missed you, kiddo. Were you a good houseguest?”

Tomiko nodded. “I helped clear the dishes and everything.”

“But she’s not done packing yet,” Katsu added, sticking his tongue out. The longer his friendship with Tomiko wore on, the more comfortable he seemed to become with her, teasing her and meeting her on her level.

Tomiko groaned and let go of her mother to turn and glare at her friend. “Almost! Almost done.”

Asami sighed, and Korra took note of the faint shadows under her eyes. The business trip had clearly taken a lot out of her.

Korra walked over and threw an arm around her son’s shoulders. “Katsu! Help Tomiko finish packing, double-time. And stop dragging your feet, both of you. There will be other sleepovers, so you don’t need to make this one last forever.”

“Yes, Coach!” Tomiko sprang into action, with Katsu half a step behind her.

“Thank you so much,” Asami said. She stepped forward and, to Korra’s surprise, swept her up in a hug. “I’ve been putting off this trip for months, trying to figure out what to do with Tomiko.”

Korra hugged her back. “Of course, Asami.” They stepped back and glanced toward their kids at the same time. “It’s been… tiring, having the both of them running around, but we’ve managed.”

“Couldn’t have been too bad,” Asami remarked. “If you’re open to them having another sleepover.”

Korra winked. “Who said I was hosting the next one?” Naga padded over and Korra ruffled the dog’s floppy ears.

Asami pursed her lips, but a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “I see. Well, they seem to have had a good time, regardless.”

Tomiko and Katsu rushed by, carrying her bags as they gathered up her disparate belongings.

Korra watched them pass and nodded. “They find fun in everything they do together. They’ve been my special helpers all day. They even washed my truck.”

“Maybe Katsu could come over and Tomiko could clean her room,” Asami mused. After a moment, she shook her head. “But seriously, thank you, Korra. You know how it is, as a single mom. It’s just nice to know I have someone who can watch her every once in a while.”

“Anytime, Asami. Thank you for letting me borrow your child’s labor to wash my truck. It’s still making some funny noises in first gear, but at least it looks good now.”

Asami raised an eyebrow. “Is something wrong with it?”

Korra shrugged. “I can only assume.”

“Let me take a look at it sometime,” Asami said. “I have a decent workspace in my garage. The kids can run out back or clean Tomiko’s room and I can see about getting your truck to sound normal.”

“You’d do that?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you!” Korra grinned at her friend. “How about next weekend?”

Asami paused for a second, then nodded. “Next weekend works for me.”

“See you then!”

Tomiko slid to a stop between the two of them. “Bags, packed.”

Asami stifled a yawn as she pat Tomiko’s shoulder. “Alright, good. Let’s head home. You’re having Katsu over next weekend.”

At this, Tomiko almost seemed to recover all the energy she’d burned off that day. Asami eventually managed to herd her out the door, however.

Katsu came in from the side and leaned his head against Korra’s shoulder. “So… next weekend we’re going over to Tomiko’s house?”

Korra nodded. Spirits, she needed to go to bed. “Mmmhmm.”

“Are we going over so you and Tomiko’s mom can hang out?”

Korra stifled a yawn and considered for a moment, then nodded again. “Yeah, I think we might be.”

 

*

 

Asami felt self-conscious about wearing her grease-stained engineering clothes for about five seconds as she went downstairs to answer the doorbell. Normally, she was wearing something at least business casual when she saw Korra, due to dress code on the corporate side of things. For fixing a truck, however, the only way to go was one of her old grungy flannel shirts, a hand-me-down from her father. She tugged at her loose carpenter’s work pants for a second before she opened the door.

Her self-consciousness evaporated at the sight of Korra wearing sweatpants and an old Rebels t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. She’d even cut a slit in the collar, giving it something of a henley look.

At least they’d dressed to match. Asami smiled. “Hey there, ready to fix a truck?”

“Heck yeah!” Korra grinned.

“No,” Katsu muttered. If Asami hadn’t been getting used to his quiet humor, she’d have missed the snarky grin that crossed his face for half a second.

She raised he eyebrows and put a hand to her chest, mock offended. “Well fine then, Katsu,” she said. “How about you head upstairs and hang out with Tomiko then.” At the last minute, the girl had experienced a bout of self-consciousness about how messy her room was and decided to tidy it up a little before Katsu saw it.

“Should I pull the truck into the garage, or…?” Korra tilted her head.

Asami nodded. “Give me just a sec to open it up. I moved my car out of there earlier, so there should be plenty of room.”

A few minutes later, they were set up in the garage with the radio on. Asami had popped the hood and was talking through what she thought the noise could be. At the end of a potentially long-winded explanation, she looked to Korra. “So yeah. That’s most likely the issue, but I don’t want to mess with it unless you give me the go-ahead. It’s possibly something else, but I’d need to check a few things.”

Korra shook her head. “Man, you really know your stuff, Asami. If that’s what you think is most likely the problem, then go for it! I’ll, uh, hand you tools. Or at least the tools you ask for that I’m also able to identify. Anything too strange and I’ll probably default to a hammer.”

Asami winced. “We generally, um, don’t use hammers a lot in car repair.”

“Fine, be that way then.” Korra chuckled and walked over to a large toolbox. “Should I move this closer?”

Asami nodded. “Mmmhmm. Thank you, Korra.” She reached in and started undoing a cap, glancing up when Korra came into her peripheral vision. Glancing over, Asami found herself impressed. Korra hand carried the toolbox over one-handed, and it wasn’t exactly light. The weight emphasized Korra’s musculature in a way Asami hadn’t seen before.

Even as Asami was working on the truck, she couldn’t quite put the image out of her mind.

But eventually, it was done. She stood up and wiped her hands on her shirt. “That ought to fix it. Go start her up and see if that sound is gone.”

Korra leapt for the door. “You are AMAZING, Asami,” she said. “Thank you so much.” She turned the key in the ignition. The engine started, and they both listened for a few seconds as Korra backed the car out of the garage and halfway down the driveway. No weird sound. Their eyes met over the hood of the car and Korra did a happy shimmy in the driver’s seat before hopping out of the car.

“No, seriously.” She put a hand on Asami’s shoulder. “You are an engineering goddess beyond all compare. Incredible. Masterful! What’s another word for amazing?”

Feeling a blush coming on, Asami just shook her head. “I mean, it’s just because of my job,” she said. “And… and you’re amazing! Have you looked in a mirror lately? All those muscles? You should be some kind of model for women our age. I’m not even sure how you’re possible.”

Korra covered her face with her hands. “It’s just because of my job,” she mumbled. “I mean, being a professional athlete means you get paid to work out, which is a privilege most people don’t have. Plus, you have this gigantic support system and everything.”

“Oh, just take the compliment,” Asami teased, starting to put her things away. “You’re not a professional athlete anymore, and yet ripped you remain.”

Korra huffed. “Okay, yeah, but now I do physical therapy and personal training for athletes, and other people, who have been injured. So my job still entails practically living at the gym, having a membership, all that stuff.” She waved a hand in the air, as though to scrub away all the details.

“Still incredible,” Asami said. She laughed with Korra rolled her eyes.

Korra hefted the toolbox over to it’s original spot. One handed, like before. “Sure thing, Ms. Graceful.”

Asami cocked an eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, you know.” Korra waved a hand through the air again, but delicately this time. “You have this… weight to all your movements. Even when you’re fixing a car or picking Tomiko up from soccer, everything you do looks graceful.”

Asami paused. “I’m not sure anyone has ever said that to me,” she said. She kind of liked it.

“Oh? No excuses?” Korra leaned back against Asami’s workbench. The sleeveless shirt emphasized her shoulders. “No perfectly logical explanation to mitigate the compliment?” She said this last piece in a fair imitation of Asami’s voice.

Pursing her lips, Asami took a moment to think, then nodded. “Yes, actually. I used to dance when I was younger. I had to give it up, but I think it changed how I move.”

“Oh, I bet you were great.” Korra smiled.

“Hardly.”

“But it still affects how you move now.”

“Yes, but I was never ‘great’ I promise.”

Korra tilted her head. “Do you wish you’d kept up with it?”

“Hmm.” Asami considered for a moment. “I guess I do.”

“Well there’s music on now.” Korra nodded toward the radio. “Why not dance?”

“Oh, I couldn’t.” Asami got up and went over to the radio. She’d meant to turn it off, but found herself fiddling with the dial, half-trying to find a different station with music that matched better.

“Why not?” Korra asked. Asami heard the workbench shift as she pushed away from it, walking toward the radio with Asami.

“I did some modern dancing,” Asami admitted, “but my father was kind of insecure about the whole ‘new money’ thing, so I ended up doing more ballroom dancing.”

“Huh. Is ballroom dancing an ‘old money’ thing?”

Asami shrugged. “I think it felt like it, to him.” She found a station with passable music and let it sit for a second, still unsure whether or not she was actually doing to dance.

“Wait a second… ballroom…” Korra snapped her fingers. “You need a partner, don’t you?”

Asami hesitated. “Well… Yes.”

Korra held out her hand. “Dance with me then,” she said. “Teach me something simple and I’ll pick it up as we go.”

Something about the moment felt like more than it was. But she did want to dance. And Korra wouldn’t judge. In fact, Korra probably wouldn’t be able to tell if she was doing well or not.

“Why not.” She took Korra’s hand.

 

*

 

Korra tried not to wince as she watched a pair of middle schoolers awkwardly side-walk onto the dance floor, unwilling to let go of the crab-like grip they had on one another’s hands to walk out normally.

“I swear, I could not have been that awkward at that age,” Korra muttered to Asami.

“I’m pretty sure everyone is awkward at that age,” Asami muttered back. “And before you grumble again, this was your idea.”

Korra shrugged. “You were talking about wanting to ‘make certain’ that nobody would so much as look at Tomiko the wrong way for dancing with whoever she wanted to at the dance. And even if Katsu wouldn’t admit it, he was kind of hinting that he’d feel better if I was there. Chaperoning was the obvious option.”

“It was a matter of policy. I didn’t think I’d be showing up to enforce it personally.” Asami glanced across the gymnasium at a couple awkwardly drifting to the hidden spot behind the bleachers. She fixed them with a top-notch Mom Look and they hunched their shoulders before slinking back to the dance floor.

“Nice one,” Korra commented. “And we’re not enforcing anything. We’re just part of the border patrol here and we happen to not be commenting or acting affronted by Tomiko dancing with that girl after dancing with the tall boy over there.”

“As long as she’s happy and feels free to be herself, I am happy and the school board is free to go.” Asami smirked.

They watched Tomiko finish dancing with the girl, who had been bright red and smiling the entire time. She then hurried back over to her friend-group, who appeared to immediately ply her with a barrage of questions. But, at least, none of them seemed to be unkind.

Korra smiled as she watched Tomiko goading Katsu to go ask someone to dance. She still didn’t know who he was crushing on. Tomiko had accidentally let slip that Katsu had a crush, the last time she was over, and he’d wailed before disappearing into his room for twenty minutes.

“The world has changed so much,” she remarked, watching the kids out dancing. Tomiko wasn’t the only girl who had danced with girls. Korra had even seen a pair of shy boys holding hands as they walked out onto the dance floor. “Back when I was a kid, I didn’t even realize that was an option. I dated boys and didn’t realize there was something I was missing until I was much older.”

“I think it’s great,” Asami said. “They should be able to dance with whoever they want to.”

“Even if they’re terrible dancers?”

“Even if they’re terrible.” Asami shook her head. “It’s kind of cute.”

“Sure, but imagine if we spun out onto the floor?” Korra mimed dancing for a couple seconds. “We’d show them how it’s really done!”

“Oh stop it,” Asami said, flapping a hand at her. “We are not making a spectacle. And honestly you need more practice before I’d be seen dancing with you in public.”

Korra put a hand to her heart, mock-offended. “Well, if that’s the case, then you should ask me to dance more! Honestly, Ms. Sato.”

Before Asami could reply, Korra grabbed her arm and pointed. Out by the dance floor, Tomiko had finally pushed Katsu out toward someone. He fumbled forward and cleared he throat before approaching a cute girl.

They watched, breathless, as he fumbled out some combination of words. Whatever they were, they must have involved a request to dance, because she nodded, said something with a smile, and followed him out onto the dance floor.

“He did it!” Asami cheered quietly.

Across the hall, Tomiko caught Korra’s gaze and shot her a thumbs-up. Korra gave her a double thumbs-up back. “Have I mentioned how great your daughter is?” she said.

Asami chuckled. “Not in so many words, but she is pretty great.” She flipped her hair and added, “She gets it from her mother, you know.”

Korra had no response to that.

 

*

 

Korra held out her glass. “Should I text him? Just to be sure?”

Asami topped off Korra’s wine. “No. Don’t hover. If he needs help, he’ll text you. Plus Tomiko is there too. Between the two of them, they’ll either be perfectly fine, or get up to enough trouble that we can only be impressed.”

“He hasn’t gone to a sleepover since coming out,” Korra said. She took a long sip of her wine. Asami bought much classier stuff than she usually did. Nicer cheese too.

“What? He’s had sleepovers with Tomiko.”

“Yes, but that’s with Tomiko, and she’s just one person,” Korra said. “I’m friends with you. This is a group, and I’ve only met some of these other kids’ parents a couple times. I know Tomiko, but I don’t know her other friends so well.” She paused and speared a cheese cube with a toothpick. “Mixed-gender sleepovers weren’t even a thing when I was a kid.”

“Me neither,” Asami admitted. “But I’ve known Kuvira and Baatar for a couple years. Tomiko’s gone to school with their twins since she was six.” She shrugged. “Her son had more male friends; her daughter had more female friends. The birthday party solution was sharing, and they’ve kept it going since then.”

Korra let some of the tension fall from her shoulders. “If you say so,” she said.

They sat drinking wine together in a comfortable silence for a minute or so. Then Korra sighed. “We didn’t do a lot of socializing with other families when Katsu was younger. I always thought he was just really quiet. Maybe a little withdrawn. Then, when he came out to me, I figured he’d been withdrawn because he was trans, because he hadn’t been able to be himself.” She paused, selected a different bottle, and poured another glass. “It was a little awkward at first, because I kind of expected him to open up more and become more like me, more outgoing and maybe more aggressive, once he was able to transition and be how he wanted to be.”

“And he didn’t,” Asami observed.

“Nope.” Korra shrugged. “He’s happier now, and he is more social, in his own way. But he’s just kind of a quiet, sensitive boy. Not much like his father either; we were both jocks and Katsu plays soccer, but doesn’t have that personality,” Korra mused. “And his father’s kind of a hothead at times, a bit gloomy at others. Katsu doesn’t have any of those temperamental swings.”

Asami got up and got a bowl of grapes out of her fridge. “I can still see a lot of you in him,” she said. “I think you’re more alike than you realize.”

Korra perked up. “Yeah? Make me feel better then. Tell me how.” She reached out as Asami came back and popped a grape in her mouth.

“Like… You are kind of a jock,” Asami admitted, “but you’re also pretty sensitive yourself. You’re not self-absorbed. I’ve noticed you tend to be aware of other people’s problems, when other people are hurting or need a break. Katsu’s like that. Sometimes I think he’s more aware of Tomiko’s inner needs than she is, actually. He also knows when he needs to rest himself, which is pretty impressive at his age.”

Korra nodded a bit, grabbing another handful of grapes. “Okay… that kind of makes sense. I don’t really need breaks the same way, but I know that other people do and try to accommodate that as best I can.”

“You never rest?” Asami raised an eyebrow. “What’s your secret?”

“It’s out of necessity. Single mom life,” Korra replied, deadpan.

They made faces at each other, then burst into laughter.

Korra glanced at a clock and stood up. “Oh, shit. I didn’t realize it was that late. I should go.” She wavered on her feet a moment.

Asami grabbed her shoulder. “Woah there, Korra. I don’t think you’re good to drive. I wouldn’t trust myself driving at this point and you’ve definitely had more than me.”

“Oh, come on. I’m fine,” Korra said. But… she wasn’t sure she quite meant it.

“At least wait here a bit before you head back,” Asami said, brushing her thumb along Korra’s arm. “We can put the wine away, watch some TV or something.”

Korra shook her head, but she did sit back down. “I couldn’t impose. Besides, if I sit on your couch after all this wine, I'll honestly just fall asleep.”

“Then why not stay!” Asami brightened and grabbed Korra’s hand with both of hers. “Let’s have our own sleepover.”

“I don’t have my things,” Korra said. “And we’re not kids, Asami.”

“You can borrow something of mine to sleep in,” Asami stated. “C’mon, let’s head upstairs. We can wear pajamas and complain about our children and our exes. That’s what single moms do, right?”

Korra let Asami pull her along. “But we like our children,” she pointed out.

Asami paused, then smiled. “How about… Most mortifying puberty story?”

Korra grinned. “Oh you’re on.”

 

*

 

Katsu’s phone buzzed in his pocket. He fished it out and raised an eyebrow at a notification from his mother. Apparently she’d sent several texts. He stood up. “Uh, gimme a sec, guys,” he said. Maybe it was urgent.

Slipping out of the room, he swiped and opened the texts up. Immediately, he narrowed his eyes. Something seemed… off, somehow, with the phrasing. He couldn’t have said what though. The message itself was pretty innocent. She said she was going to be staying at the Sato house for the night, but she’d be by to pick him up in the morning with Tomiko’s mom. Then she gave him their home phone number just in case there was an emergency and he couldn’t reach her on her cell for some reason.

A pretty standard parent-type update, but Katsu couldn’t figure out why his mom would have ended up at a sleepover at Tomiko’s mom’s house. He didn’t even know she’d gone to hang out there after dropping him off.

“Katsu! Did you get the same message?” Tomiko popped out of the doorway.

“What message?” he asked, although he suspected he already knew.

“About the mom sleepover,” she said, practically bouncing over to him. “You know what this means, right?”

He paused and thought about it for a second. “Um… that they’re… probably drinking?”

“No, no no.” Tomiko shook her head, stopped, then huffed. “Okay yeah that too probably, but I mean the other thing.”

“Uh, then no,” Katsu said. “What does it mean?”

Tomiko’s eyes lit up. “We’re gonna become siblings,” she said.

“What?” Katsu squinted at her in the dark room. It took him a couple long seconds to process the leaps of logic Tomiko would have taken to reach that conclusion. “No, I mean… just because a pair of adults are having a sleepover doesn’t mean they’re, um…” He glanced cautiously at the doorway and mumbled the next part, “having sex together.”

“What?!” Tomiko looked thunderstruck. “Oh I didn’t think of that at all!”

He facepalmed. “Wait, no—“

“I was just thinking they liked each other and were gonna start dating and get married one day,” Tomiko admitted. “But your idea is super possible too.”

“No, no it’s not,” he objected. “Like really. They’d need to be dating first.” he dropped his voice back down. “Mom doesn’t seem like the type, but she’s actually kinda a sucker for romantic stuff.”

“Ooooh…” Tomiko tapped her chin. “I’ll try and find a way of hinting to my mom,” she said.

Katsu felt like their conversation was going in circles. “Why?”

Tomiko grabbed his shoulders. “Because it would be super super cute if they got together and maybe eventually got married because then you’d be my brother,” she said intently.

He wrinkled his nose. “So it’d be cute because I’d be your brother?”

“Oh, wait, no.” Tomiko sighed. “The other thing. It’d be super cute and they make each other happy. And coincidentally you’d be my brother.”

“Ah…” Katsu considered. He’d never had a sibling, but Tomiko kind of drove him crazy sometimes, which seemed to be one of the qualifications for being siblings. “That would be kinda cool,” he admitted.

Tomiko stuck her hand out. “So it’s a pact?”

“What’s a pact?”

“That we’re gonna try and get our moms together? Encourage their relationship?”

Katsu extended his hand, then paused. “I feel like I’ve seen a couple movies like this,” he said. “They didn’t exactly go well.”

“So that’s a yes?” Tomiko smiled.

“They’ll probably just get together on their own and we should interfere as little as possible… but yes.” Katsu took her hand.

 

*

 

Katsu was texting someone, probably Tomiko, rather intently while Korra made dinner. But when the house phone rang, he nearly dropped his cell leaping for it.

“Hello?” he answered. “Oh, yeah. One sec.” He brought the phone over to her. “Mom, it’s for you. Tomiko’s mom.”

“Oh.” Korra gave the pot one more stir, then turned and took the phone. “Hey, Asami.”

“Hey there, Korra. Hope I’m not interrupting,” Asami said.

“Nope, you’re good.” Korra tucked the phone between her cheek and her shoulder. “I’m just making dinner.”

“Oooh, what are you cooking?”

“Oh, Water Tribe fusion stuff. The usual. Diced seal, pan-fried. A sauce out of that pan and then over some noodles.”

“That sounds delicious,” Asami said.

From the table, Katsu piped up, “You two should make dinner together sometime.”

Korra waved a hand to shush him. “I hope so, my mom used to make something like it all the time.” She paused, then added, “You know, it might be fun if we cooked dinner together sometime.”

Katsu shot her a thumbs-up.

“Oh, that does sound nice,” Asami said. “We really should. That sounds like a lot of fun.”

“Let’s do it then,” Korra said, flipping over the seal pieces. “My people will talk to your people.”

“Deal,” Asami said. She paused. “Actually, I was calling about something else. Tomiko came home with a flyer she saw from a local dance studio. Apparently they’re running a special on adult swing lessons.”

Korra grinned. “Oh you should definitely do it,” she said. “Absolutely. This is your chance to do some dancing again!”

Asami chuckled. “Well yes, that was the idea. But, um.” She cleared her throat and Korra stepped away from the stove for a second to make sure she heard. “The class is for coup— I mean, it’s a paired class offer,” Asami said. “So I’d need to register with a partner.”

“Why, Ms. Sato!” Korra leaned against the counter. “Are you asking me to take you dancing?”

“No, you dork,” Asami said. Fondness laced her voice. “I’m asking if you’ll register for the class with me.”

“Sure, it sounds like a lot of fun. Email me the dates and I’ll take a look. Now that soccer is ending, I’ll have a lot more time again.”

“Exactly,” Asami said. “So I need to find another way of seeing you a couple times a week.”

Despite herself, Korra’s stomach did a small flip at that. She ignored it. “Very devious, Sato,” she said. “I’ve got to get back to dinner, but send the email and I’ll get back to you tonight.”

“Alright, later, Korra.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

Korra turned off the burner under the noodles. They were done just a bit early. Fumbling the receiver off her shoulder, she managed to hang it up and set it on the counter.

“So… you and Tomiko’s mom are gonna do a dance class?” Katsu asked.

Korra nodded. “Mhmm. It sounds like fun.”

Katsu laughed. “Are you gonna kick her butt! Be super good?”

“Probably neither,” Korra said. “She’s definitely a better dancer than me, but that’s okay.” She flexed her arms and struck a pose toward the table. “I’ve got other ways of making an impression.”

Katsu looked wistfully at her muscles. “Do you think… when you’re not at dance classes, maybe I could go hang out with you at the gym after school?”

“Sure thing, son. I’ll take an afternoon and get you started on a routine, if you’d like.” She ruffled his hair before going back to the stove. “Nothing too intense, but you spent all of soccer season building those legs, so we should try to balance you out a little.”

“Thanks, Mom,” he said. “You’re the best.”

“I try, at least,” she admitted. “Now go set the table. It’s almost time for dinner.”

As she finished up, menu ideas for what she could cook with Asami flitted through her head, and she imagined Katsu setting the table for four, instead of for two.

 

*

 

Halfway through the class introductions, Asami began to have the sneaking suspicion that the rest of the class thought they were a couple.

The rest of the swing class seemed, at first impression, to be mostly couples. But Asami didn’t like to jump to conclusions. Friendships existed. One of the major teams in the last season of ‘Republic City’s Got Talent’ was a sibling dance trio.

Still. There was something in the looks that Asami couldn’t quite write off.

And… she didn’t quite mind.

Korra was a good dance partner too. They’d spun around the garage for a few minutes that first time, and stolen a few other moments to dance together since then too. And while her friend wasn’t the most graceful dancer, she was quite coordinated and rarely stepped on Asami’s feet. That probably came from playing soccer.

And her hands, warmer than Asami expected them to be, fit smoothly in Asami’s own as they went through the motions around the dance floor. They’d hold hands one moment, then turn and whirl, letting go just to spin back around to each other and grab hands again.

They took turns leading, but fell into habits on who took the lead in different moments. Asami always spun Korra, since she was taller. Whenever they were shown a sequence where someone’s hand was on the other’s back, Korra seemed to always take that role.

After an hour and a half of sweating and exhausted fun, class was over. And, unlike most of the other dance pairs, they’d managed not to kick one another at all. The sense that they weren’t half-bad (even… good?) was intoxicating. That maybe, if they kept practicing, they would reach that improvisational high that Asami saw on swing dance videos sometimes. Both dancers in sync, smiling as they moved across the floor.

On their way out, Korra doubled back to grab something she’d forgotten. Asami waited for her outside the studio. She’d just pulled out her phone to text Tomiko (who had been extremely supportive of the dance class) when someone tapped her arm.

“You two were really good in class!”

Asami looked up to see one of the other women from class smiling at her, arm looped through her husband’s elbow.

“Oh, thank you.” Asami smiled back. “It was really fun. I’m looking forward to the next class already.”

“See you then! And tell your partner that she did a great job too. You make a cute couple!” She waved over her shoulder as she and her husband walked into the parking lot.

Asami found herself waving back automatically as she tried to parse the words. Partner could just as easily refer to a dance partner as a romantic one. And them dancing together could merit referring to them as a couple.

These were completely reasonable interpretations. But her stomach did a small flip as Korra walked out of the building, flashing Asami a weary grin.

“That was quite the workout! I think I’ll skip cardio before our next lesson, or else there’s no way I’ll be able to keep up with you.”

Korra slung an arm around Asami’s shoulders and pulled her into a brief side-hug. “I had a really great time, Asami. Thanks for having me along with you.”

Before Korra could let go, Asami slipped an arm around Korra’s waist and kept it there as they walked into the parking lot. “I’m glad you’re here with me. There’s… there’s nobody else I’d rather have with me, out on the dance floor.”

Korra winked up at her. “Then I’ll always be there.”

And at that, Asami found herself abruptly out of words and full of thoughts to ponder on the drive home.

 

*

 

Seeing one another consistently for dance class was somehow different from seeing one another for soccer practice or something else. Planning to make a dinner together ‘sometime’ turned into a concrete plan with a date, menu, and venue, before a week had passed.

Arriving at Asami’s house with groceries and Katsu in tow, Korra tried to decipher why this time felt different. It certainly wasn’t the first time they’d visited. In fact, at this point, Korra wasn’t sure she could have said how many times they had visited.

It was a strange feeling. Familiar and right and comfortable, even as Korra felt a lump in her throat tighten as she got out of the car. Katsu was a dozen steps ahead of her, at the door already.

He didn’t even ring the bell. Korra watched, dumbfounded but also oddly pleased, as he casually rapped on the door and opened it in one motion.

“We’re here!” He called in. No need to introduce themselves.

Korra hurried behind with the groceries. She knew without looking to lift her foot so she didn’t catch her shoes on the slight lip of the doorway.

“And we’ve got food,” she called in. “Ready to be cooked into different foods.”

“Korra!” Asami appeared from around the corner with a brilliant smile on her face. Had she always smiled this brightly?

“Hey Asami.” Her smile kept broadening until it was a grin, and she felt, then immediately indulged the compulsion to step forward and give her friend a big hug. The grocery bags bounced on Asami’s back as she hugged Korra back.

They pulled back. “I am seriously starving,” Korra said. “Ready to go?”

“Already started a few things,” Asami said. Their hands seemed to linger as Korra handed over the bags, and she was seized with a sudden urge to know if Katsu was watching this. She’d completely lost track of him in the process of entering the house and getting wrapped up in greeting Asami.

“That’s great,” Korra said, looking around to try and locate her son. She was oddly grateful that he’d already disappeared off somewhere with Tomiko. The two of them had a rapport that reminded Korra of Katsu’s father and uncle, who were as close as any two siblings she’d met in her life. It would be nice if Katsu took after them in that way.

All thoughts of uncles and brothers vanished as she started getting involved in the kitchen with Asami. The two of them fell into a rhythm as they danced around one another in the kitchen, swapping places as needed and passing ingredients back and forth.

Korra almost regretted when the meal was finished. She could have spent all day in the kitchen with Asami, making food for as long as they had ingredients to do so.

Before she realized she wanted to stop and relish the experience, it was over. They were sitting down to a table laden with delicious food. Their children had come downstairs to eat it. They were even appropriately awed and complimentary, piling on the praise for how good the Water Tribe and Fire National Colonial foods went together.

Awe gave way to quiet chewing, which eventually gave way to less urgent chewing and light conversation about people they knew and various speculations on the rest of the school year, which was quickly drawing to a close.

Asami was in the middle out outlining a potential vacation she and Tomiko might take when her daughter interrupted.

“Katsu, you’ve got something on your cheek.” Tomiko pointed with her chopsticks.

Katsu stuck his tongue out and tried to lick it. “Did I get it?”

“No, try the other side.” Tomiko pointed her chopsticks over.

Korra shook her head and chuckled as she started reaching for a napkin. “Just a sec.”

“I’ve got it, no worries.”

Korra looked up just in time to catch Asami flash her a smile before reaching over and casually swiping the food off of Katsu’s cheek.

And odd feeling welled up in Korra’s throat as Asami folded the napkin and gave Katsu an extra wipe, just to make sure he’d been cleaned up.

“There,” Asami said. “All better.”

It was so familiar. So familial. Korra blinked and took in the dinner around them. Asami’s kitchen table sat four. The food laid out was a cultural mishmash that tasted perfect to Korra’s palate. She’d had Asami’s cooking enough that, at some point, she’d started keeping track not just of what she cooked, but of how she cooked it.

Sitting opposite across the table from Asami, Korra came to the quiet conclusion that she wanted to keep sitting across the table from her. Possibly forever if that was both desirable and possible.

“Anyway,” Asami said. “Where was I?”

“You were talking about maybe taking a vacation to Ember Island,” Katsu piped up.

Asami snapped her fingers. “Yes, thank you, Katsu.” She paused, looking around the table. “I feel almost like this dinner was a mini vacation in and of itself,” she said, rubbing the back of her neck.

“Then we should take Katsu and Korra with us,” Tomiko said.

“Tomiko, you can’t be so presumptuous,” Asami chastised.

Katsu quickly swallowed his food. “It’s not presumptuous,” he said. “It’s a great idea.” He flashed a smile at Korra. “That way you can spend more time just hanging out with Tomiko’s mom.”

“Now that’s presumptuous,” Korra said, frowning. “Katsu, you can’t just invite us on their vacation.” She didn’t want to admit how much she liked the idea.

“But would you like to go?” Tomiko piped up.

Korra blinked. “Well—”

“Just, like, in abstract?” Katsu followed up immediately.

Korra blinked. “I mean—”

“In theory!” Tomiko added.

“Um, yes, but.” Korra shook her head. “Not a topic to foist on Asami. Or me, kiddos.” She went to exchange a Mom Look with Asami, but couldn’t read her friend’s expression. “Katsu, didn’t you mention another group project coming up?”

Tomiko and Katsu tried to protest the change of topic a couple times before relenting and giving Korra a school update that took the rest of dinner.

After dinner, Asami set their children to cleaning, grabbed Korra’s arm, and pulled her aside into the foyer.

“Did you mean what you said over dinner?” she asked. Her voice had taken on an urgent quality. “About maybe wanting to go on vacation with us?”

Korra tugged Asami’s hand off her arm and held it in her own. “I was under pressure,” she chuckled. “But yes. I think we’d have a really good time together,” she said. “I didn’t think you were... offering? Legitimately?”

“It… sounds lovely,” Asami admitted. “But I couldn’t possibly impose…”

Korra laughed. “Are you worried about imposing a vacation on us?”

Asami pursed her lips. “I… didn’t want to assume.”

“No, let’s do it!” Korra grinned. “If that’s a real offer, let’s go on vacation together.”

Slowly, Asami was starting to match Korra’s smile. She laid her other hand over Korra’s. “The four of us on vacation together? I’m not sure Ember Island will be able to handle it.”

“Sounds perfect.”

And, standing there in the hall, everything seemed perfect. Their hands, together. Their children, laughing and chatting as they did the dishes in the kitchen.

She looked up and found Asami regarding her with loving eyes.

Wordless, they leaned in for a kiss. Asami’s hand tightened around Korra’s as their lips first touched. The world seemed to still and align as Korra felt Asami smiling against her lips. Their hands slipped out of one another’s grip and Korra wrapped her arms around Asami’s waist.

Then the clink of dishes from the kitchen brought the world rushing back. Korra wasn’t entirely sure how long they’d been kissing. Somewhere between forever and not nearly long enough.

Asami recaptured Korra’s hands in her own, her eyes searching. “Later?”

Whether she meant kissing or talking or some combination of the two, Korra found her answer was the same. She leaned forward and pecked Asami’s cheek.

“We have plenty of time.”

When Korra and Asami walked back to the kitchen, arm in arm, their kids didn’t even have the grace to look surprised.