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Waltz on Water

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“You sure you don't wanna dance?”

Asami Sato turned her attention from the golden tower of light glowing across the violet-tinged bay, meeting Korra’s azure gaze. The quiet question made Asami’s heart flit and flutter in her chest.

“I'm game if you are,” she answered, striving for nonchalant even though she could already feel heat trickling up her neck and spreading across her cheeks. “I suppose we really should get back to the party before someone freaks out about the Avatar’s absence.”

“Probably.” Korra smirked. “But I think they can survive without us for a few more minutes.”

Asami’s brow furrowed. “Then where are we dancing?”

Korra didn’t immediately answer. Instead, she hopped to her feet and stood next to Asami on the Air Temple’s weathered stone steps. It was strange to look up at Korra for a change.

“Do you trust me?” She asked softly, extending a hand.

“Always,” Asami replied without hesitation.

She reached up and slid her fingers into Korra’s warm grasp, suppressing the slight shiver that never failed to course through her whenever she touched the Avatar. Taking note of the rough calluses on Korra’s palms, Asami smoothed over them with the pads of her fingertips as Korra pulled her up with a gentle smile.

Korra released her hand and lightly placed one of hers on Asami’s hips. “You might want to hold onto me.”

“Wha…” Before Asami could even finish, Korra bent the air around them with a flick of her other wrist and shot them toward the darkening sky.

Asami yelped in surprise and instinctively wrapped her arms around Korra’s muscular shoulders. She squeezed her eyes shut and felt, more than heard, Korra chuckle as she curled an arm around Asami’s waist. When they reached the pinnacle of their vertical ascent, Asami cracked one eye open just in time to watch Korra twist the wind with a circular motion of her hand and shut it again when Korra spiraled them back down toward the ground in a wide arch toward Yue Bay.

Asami’s long black hair and the skirt of her carmine silk gown billowed upward while her stomach dropped on the descent, which Korra gradually slowed until they came to a stop.

“You can open your eyes now,” Korra said, her voice barely above a whisper.

Pulse racing, Asami complied and gasped when she found that they were floating above the waves, Korra bending both air and water so that the soles of their feet just skimmed the rippling surface.

“Ready?” Korra stretched one hand out, as if they were on a regular ballroom floor. Asami unwrapped one of her arms from around Korra to take it, marveling at how her pale hand contrasted so nicely against Korra’s tanned skin.

In awe, she nodded wordlessly and Korra began to sway and swing them to the faint strains of music drifting from Varrick and Zhu Li’s wedding reception. They started slowly, with Korra gradually picking up speed until they were gliding along the bay. Completely weightless, Asami didn’t know what she found more exhilarating: the feeling that she was both flying and surfing, or the heat of Korra’s body pressed against her as the wind swirled around them and the waves parted and crested beneath them. Whenever Korra shifted directions, the water sprayed up into a shower of crystals that sparkled almost as brightly as Korra’s deep blue eyes.

Korra dipped and spun her suddenly, eliciting a shriek of delight from Asami as they continued to laugh and move as one, shedding the heartbreak of their pasts and the weight of future expectations, even if only for those few precious moments.

It was over all too soon, with Korra returning them atop a large swell to the Air Temple’s staircase, breathless and giddy. Asami’s legs wobbled as she readjusted to solid ground, both arms encircling Korra to steady herself while Korra framed her waist between her strong hands.

At some point during their dance, Korra’s dark brown hair had fallen free from its bun and now hung messily around her grinning face. Asami couldn’t remember a time when Korra looked more beautiful.

“Was that okay?” Korra asked, canting her head to the side and gazing at her so affectionately that Asami’s heart throbbed.

“That was so much more than okay,” Asami breathed out. It was beyond perfect.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Blood thundering in her ears, Asami leaned down and kissed Korra’s cheek before she lost her nerve, pressing just shy of her mouth, breathing in the sweet scent of white lotus. She pulled back slightly and Korra’s grip tightened, her eyes darkening into a deep shade of indigo.

“Asami…” Korra licked her lips and tilted her face upward, inching ever closer… closer…. closer… until a most unwelcome shout rang through the air.

“THERE YOU GUYS ARE!”

They flew apart faster than Lin Beifong could scowl as Bolin came running up to them.

“Where have you been?” He asked in exasperation. “Varrick and Zhu Li are about to have their first dance and I want to teach everyone the new moves I came up with.”

Asami loved Bolin. She really did. But if there was ever a time she wished she had her electric glove...

“That, uh, that sounds great, Bolin.” Korra rubbed the back of her neck, a blush staining her cheeks as she tried to sound enthusiastic.

“Great!” Bolin’s grin stretched from ear to ear. “Let’s go!” He whipped around and bounded back toward the party.

Korra sighed and glanced apologetically at Asami, who couldn’t help but shrug good-naturedly. But before Korra could follow Bolin, Asami gathered her courage yet again to reach out and snatch her hand.

“Korra,” she said.

“Yes?”

The hopeful and earnest look on Korra’s face gave Asami enough motivation to say, “Maybe you and I could have another dance later… at my place?” She swallowed hard against the lump forming in her throat. “Would that… would that be okay?”

Asami held her breath as Korra quietly regarded her for several long beats before the corners of her mouth turned up into a dazzling smile that warmed her entire body.

“That’d be so much more than okay.” Korra said, squeezing her hand.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”