Asami took a deep breath, inhaling in the scent of her tea.
"I think Korra's bored."
Looking up from his own cup, Mako met Asami's gaze. "What?" He asked.
Asami shrugged. "I just…I don't know."
"Asami, For as long as I've known Korra, I've never seen her happier. Something she's mentioned pretty much every day since the two of you came back from your honeymoon."
"I'm not saying she's not happy," Asami sat her tea down and stared at the table. "It's just not as exciting anymore."
"Between the two of you?" Asami shook her head. "Then what do you mean?"
"I just mean that after Kuvira there was rebuilding, which took almost two years and constantly kept us busy. Then Korra proposed and we spent another year planning the wedding because it was the Avatar getting married and everyone wanted to be a part of it. Now we're married and just back from our honeymoon and it's just…nothing."
Mako couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. "Isn't that what we fought for? A little peace and quiet?"
Asami rolled her eyes. "Yeah but peace and quiet is easy for us. We're just people who happened to be caught up in crazy stuff. Korra is the Avatar. She grew up being told that she was a hero. She's trained and worked her entire life and now…I'm worried she's feeling a little useless."
"She's not though."
"I know that, she doesn't. She spends her days either at home trying to be domestic or on Air Temple Island training."
Mako quirked a brow. "Wait…being domestic?"
Asami bit her lip, she's said too much. "I—I may have caught her trying to cook yesterday morning." Mako's raised his eyebrows. "I'm sure you can imagine how that went."
They both started laughing as Asami regaled him with the story of Korra's failed custard pie.
"It was on the ceiling, Mako. I love the girl to death but she is banned from our kitchen."
Mako smiled again, finishing off his tea. He gave Asami a thoughtful look, "Have you tried asking Korra if she's bored?"
"Of course not," Asami ran her finger along the rim of the cup. "I know she'd just say no if she was, but I can tell, you know? She stays up all night because she's restless. She listens to that damn police scanner I made like it's her job even though Lin has told her numerous times not to get involved in police business. Most days I just ship her off to Tenzin because being around the kids keeps her busy."
"Asami," Mako sighed, leaning forward on the table. "You know you need to talk to her. If she's stressing you out, then you're probably stressing her out. Communication. You two are masters at that. You over-share more than any couple I know."
Asami gasped. "That is not true!" He stared at her blankly. "Not more than Bolin and Opal. Come on!"
"The other day I saw Korra picking at your teeth with her own finger."
"I couldn't get a piece of lettuce out!" Asami cried, standing up from the table. "If my lovely wife cannot dig through my teeth than what is the point of being married at all?"
Mako chuckled as he stood up with her, adding a few yuans to the table. "It also didn't help that you took her finger into your mouth shortly after. In public. I thought Bolin was going to have a heart attack."
"Hey I said Korra was bored with day to day, I never said she was bored with me." Asami's wink made Mako groan as they exited the cafe into the beaming mid-afternoon sun.
"See, just like that. Over-sharing." As they reached Mako's police car, he stopped just before opening the door and turned to Asami. "Look, you need to talk to Korra. See if she really is as frustrated as you think she is." His tone was more serious, looking into Asami's eyes until she nodded, "It can't hurt to ask."
She put her face in her hands. "I know. I just don't want her to think that I'm worried about her."
"But you are."
"I know! But we just got back from our honeymoon like two weeks ago and I'm already stressed out."
With another smile, Mako put his hands on Asami's shoulders and waited for her to look at him. "Talk to Korra. Ask her. She's an open book. You know that better than anyone."
"You're right," Asami nodded with a resigned sigh. "I'll skip out on the rest of my day and go talk to her at the island."
"Good," Mako hugged her. "Same time next week?"
Asami smiled into his shoulder. "You've got it officer."
With that, Mako climbed into his Satomobile and drove off while Asami made the short trek back to Future Industries.
For the most part, people saw Future Industries as a beacon of productivity. No longer tainted by the wrongdoings of the Equalists, it was the coal that kept Republic City burning, and Asami Sato was the engineer that drove it forward day after day. It was busy work that never stopped. When one idea is completed, another is begun. The city was in constant need of repairs, and there were always improvements to be made.
Asami's heels clipped across the floor as she made her way through the lobby towards the front desk. The nervous boy who ran it saw her coming and immediately stood up.
"Miss Sato, you look lovely today. I mean not that you don't look lovely every day, it's just that today you have a particular—"
"Mio," Asami smiled brightly, raising a hand to stop him. "Thank you. But I need you to do me a favor."
"Of course, Miss Sato. Anything you need." Mio was actually sweating as Asami reached across the table to grab a pad and pen.
"Can you get a message to Aya and tell her that I'm going to be taking the rest of the day off and to not let Varrick start on any special projects until I return tomorrow?"
Mio nodded, taking the signed note from Asami. "Yes ma'am, of course. Anything else?"
"Hmmm," Asami's mind wandered a bit. Thinking of Korra. "Yes actually, could you call and have a dozen fire lilies sent to Air Temple Island for Korra?"
As with every time she mentions Korra to Mio (or most people) his eyes went wide. "The Avatar? Yes, of course I can do that!"
"Great," Asami smiled, about to turn around when she stopped herself. "Oh, and please have the florist make the card out to Korra and not The Avatar. They're supposed to make her smile."
A bright red blush covered Mio's cheeks. "Right, of course. Have a good day, Miss Sato."
Mako jumped at the voice from the black Satomobile he walked by on the street. It's parked right behind his own car. He turned, curious as the window rolled down to reveal a very pretty and very arrogant smirk being sent his way.
"Rin? What are you doing here?"
Rin Kato was a vibrant young red head from the Fire Nation. She was also RCPD's newest patrol officer. One of the brightest young stars on the force. Highly touted by Chief Beifong and practically racing to the top.
The problem was, she knew it.
"A little fancy for you though," Rin tilted her head. He gave her a confused look. "I might have seen your car at that restaurant and followed you back here. That girl you were with kinda walks with a stick up her ass."
Mako sighed, leaning into the open window. "You do realize that's Avatar Korra's wife, right?"
"Wow, really?" She nodded in approval. "Didn't know the Avatar had such rich taste."
"How do you not know who Asami Sato is?"
Rin shrugged. "Sato is familiar, but can't really say we give a shit about Republic City business in the Fire Nation. At least I don't." Rin seemed to be thinking as she blankly stared out the windshield at seemingly nothing. Mako all but prepared to leave when she finally spoke again. "So the Avatar is gay?"
"Gay, you know? Into girls. You said that's her wife. I didn't know the Avatar swung that way."
Mako considered her for a moment. It's such a blunt term. One he hadn't heard often in connection with Korra. She had never been with other girls before. Just Asami. In fact, she'd never shown any interest in other girls before Asami.
It didn't feel right to label her that way. "I don't know, I think Korra just…loves, you know? She's dated guys too. She dated me, in fact."
Rin made a face. "Really?"
"What does that mean?!" His voice squeaked a little and he hated it.
"I'm just saying," Rin smirked at his outrage. "You're cute but…kinda dull."
Mako huffed. "I am not dull. I've fought against worse things then you can ever imagine!"
"Hey, I'm not doubting that. I've heard the stories. I just meant that you're kind of…predictable."
With a heavy sigh, Mako was ready to exit this conversation immediately. "I have to get back to work."
"Oh come on! You know I'm right. How else do you think I found you? You go to this same restaurant every day, you probably order the same meal each time. You probably have all your work clothes lined up in your closet by the day of the week you plan to wear them!"
Mako didn't realize until she spoke the words that she wasn't entirely wrong.
In fact, she was completely right.
Mako was suddenly depressed. "Huh." He stands up from the window, now questioning his whole life.
He jumped at the sound, immediately moving into a firebending stance before the sounds of Rin's hysterical laughter caught his attention.
"What is wrong with you?" Mako shouted, debating whether or not to kick her car in frustration.
Still laughing, Rin wiped at the corner of her eyes as Mako stomped away from her car. "Wait!" She called out, leaning out the window. "Wait. Come with me, I have to do a welfare check and I could use the entertainment." Mako just glared at her. "Alright, I'm sorry. Please tag along. It's halfway across the city and I really could use some company."
She sounded genuine enough, and when she wanted to, she had a very pretty smile.
Reluctantly, Mako moved to the passenger seat of her Satomobile. As he closed the door, he glanced in her direction to see her smirking at him as she fired up the car.
Rin looked him up and down, then offered a curious gaze. "So what's the Avatar like in bed?"
"Do her eyes glow when she orgasms?"
The ride to Air Temple Island was easy enough for Asami. She was so used to it now that it's almost like a commute. Life on the island was much calmer as well. The kids had grown up quite a bit in the last few years. Though Meelo could still be a terror and Rohan was well on his way. Ikki was more relaxed and Jinora was often more adult than any of them.
As soon as she stepped off the boat, Asami sped up at the sight of Korra racing with Meelo and Ikki across the island. They're screaming and laughing as Korra lowered her body to take in a turn.
The woman might be twenty-six now, but she still acted seventeen around the kids.
She stopped when she had a good enough view of the race and watched as Korra rolled her air scooter up the side of a statue to round a corner. Somehow, she balanced herself enough to stay on it and landed just in front of Meelo.
"Cheating!" Meelo shouted. "You went off the track! Cheater!" He screamed and Korra only laughed and shrugged looking over her shoulder.
"Korra!" Asami bellowed as far as her voice could carry. Korra glanced back for a second at the noise and forgot to turn. A moment later she rode up the lip of a small fountain and ended up splashing into the water.
With a gasp that was only partially a laugh, Asami covered her mouth and started running. When she was finally in sight of the fountain, she saw Korra sit up, her hair soaking wet and hanging across her face. Only one glaring blue eye was visible through a crack in the dripping locks.
Asami bit her lip, hard, a laugh fighting to make it's way out.
"All hail the mighty cheating Avatar!" Meelo chimed in, carrying his voice like a radio announcer and Korra turned her ire to him.
She raised a hand and in one motion shot a stream of water at Meelo. He cried in protest before running away.
Asami watched him go, laughing as he shouted to the skies about the injustice of it all. When she looked back to Korra, she saw her wife standing in the fountain. Her arms are drawn up at her sides, holding water under both of them.
"Korra…" Asami warned, taking a step back. "Remember, I am your wife. You promised to love me no matter what."
Korra took a stalking step out of the fountain, the water following her like an extension of her own body. She was wearing a devilish smirk on her face, still dripping water across Tenzin's clean temple grounds.
"Oh I still love you, but you are about to get so wet."
With that, Asami turned and ran with Korra in close pursuit. Korra chased her around the temple, water still lingering behind her as Asami finally found the front door of the temple's foyer and ducked inside. She closed the door, laughing as she put her back to it.
Suddenly she was face to face with a very confused and slightly irritated Tenzin, "Miss Sato, what are you—"
His words were cut short as water started to seep under the door beneath Asami's feet.
"Korra don't you dare!" Asami shouted, stepping out of the water but still trying to keep her back pressed against the door.
"Tenzin, what's going on?" It was Pema, she stepped up next to her husband. As Asami felt the door giving way, she dove to the left and it burst open with a rush of water. Soaking the poor couple standing in their own home.
"Ha! I got…you…oh no." Korra's expression changed from joy to misery as she looked up and down at her mentor and his wife. Both now dripping wet and staring at her with annoyance. "Tenzin, I'm so sorry! I didn't even know—Asami was—I…"
"Waterbend them dry you goof!" Asami whispered quite loudly and drew Korra's eyes to her as Asami sat on the floor still trying not to laugh.
Korra snapped into action, raising her hands up and bending away all the water from Tenzin and Pema.
"Korra," Tenzin started, in that tone. "When you arrived at the temple this morning and I suggested that perhaps we should have a nice, relaxing day of meditation and self-inspection. What did you tell me?"
"Uh," Korra still stood steadily at the door, holding a ball of water above her hand. "That I thought self-inspection sounded kinda dirty?"
Asami saw Tenzin twitch. His face turning redder. Pema just smirked and hid her expression.
Korra let out a defeated sigh. "That I was a grown woman who was capable of entertaining myself quietly on the island."
"And yet, here we are, standing in my living room, and you chasing around Asami like a teenager."
"She started it!" Korra cried, turning and pointing to Asami, only adding to Tenzin's accusation of immaturity.
Dignified as ever, Asami brushed off her clothes, straightened them, then walked over to Korra and stood by her side.
"We apologize, Master Tenzin." Asami bowed and Korra rolled her eyes. "Korra and I will clean up the mess, then I will take my lovely wife aside and have a nice, pleasant conversation with her."
Tenzin stared at Asami for a moment, taking in her words. A moment later, he nodded. "Very well, I leave Korra in your care. Please see that she acts her age."
As he turned around, Korra stuck her tongue out at him and Asami, quick as ever, snatched it between her fingers to draw Korra out of the room.
"Hmmfff, lemme go…" Korra whined.
When Asami finally did release her, she pointed to the fountain in the distance as Korra smacked her tongue in her mouth.
Coiling back, Korra drew the water close to her body before throwing it into the air and watching it fall clumsily into the fountain, splashing over the sides.
"I was just playing with the kids," Korra said, looking a bit regretful.
Asami shook her head and smiled. "What am I gonna do with you?"
Korra just grinned and took Asami's hand as they start walking. "You're off work early?"
"Yeah, I took a half day. I—I was hoping to talk to you about something." Asami tried not to convey any worry in her voice. It would work with anyone else. Except Korra, who instantly quirked a brow in her direction.
"Bored with your new wife already?" Korra joked, bumping Asami's hip before pulling her close by their joined hands. "Come on, we'll go the meditation area at the end of the island and talk there."
"Right there…yeah…no wait, a little to the left." Bolin bit down on his lip, studying Opal's every move.
"Why am I doing this again?" Opal asked, glaring at Bolin as she continued to work
"Because you're an airbender and it works better with airbending."
Opal sighed and continued. "There?"
"Not yet, a little more to the left, there's not enough room in the back." He stepped around to get a better view. Opal was waving her hands, gently as she could, to move the pai sho table forward just a bit. "Stop!"
She put her hands up and the table stopped moving. "I didn't even move it!"
"You did though, just enough to make it perfectly align with the other three." Stepping back, Bolin gestured towards the three other pai sho tables that lined the far wall.
Opal rolled her eyes. "You know I think it's wonderful that you're opening this place, and that Asami is funding it, but I don't think at-risk kids on the streets are really into pai sho."
"Well they should be!" Bolin cried, moving to sit at one of the tables. "It's the ultimate game of strategy and skill. Every game is different, no two players are the same. Pai sho can teach you about life." He sighs, picking up a piece on the board and moving it, though he had no opponent..
"Alright so pai sho boards aside, is everything set up now?"
Bolin shrugged. "We're getting there. We still don't have enough beds in the back rooms. I mean I'm not expecting an overflow of kids or anything right away but I don't want things to be crowded."
"You should talk to Tenzin, he always seemed to have beds at the ready when new airbenders showed up."
"You're right!" Bolin's eyes went wide. "Tenzin's got a bed-guy!" Opal laughed at Bolin's blatant excitement. "We need more games though. Things to keep the kids busy. I'd love to have a place to take the benders so they can work off that bending energy, you know?"
Opal nodded and sat at the pai sho table across from her boyfriend. "Maybe we should see how well this does first before we start talking about expansion." Bolin nodded, only pouting a bit. His dream for the place was so large and endless, it had been hard for him to keep the idea reigned in now that it was finally starting coming together. "I am very proud of you though, Bolin. You could have done anything you wanted after your work with Korra and you chose to do this. It says a lot about you."
"It was an easy choice, really." Bolin stood up from his seat and scooped Opal up in his arms,making her laugh. "Everyone should have a home."
Gently, Opal leaned into Bolin's arms and gave him a kiss. When they pulled apart, Bolin raised his head dramatically.
"Come, beautiful woman. We shall return to our home and commence with more kissing!"
"Oh Nuktuk! I'm the luckiest girl alive!"
Korra sat down against the railing, the same railing where, years ago, Asami found her lost in thought and brought her a cup of tea. It was one of a million random memories that Korra had of the woman she now called her wife.
It was a place she came to often, to think and let her mind wander. Though lately she struggled to figure out exactly what that mind was wandering towards.
Asami settled in next to her, both girls leaning on the railing with their legs crossed. The wind picked up a bit, fluttering through Asami's hair as she looked at Korra.
"I see you had fun today." Asami said, drawing Korra's smile.
"Yeah, the kids are always fun. Tenzin wanted to train but I wasn't really up to it today."
Asami nodded, spotting her opening. "It's because you're not sleeping well." Korra's eyes went wide for a moment before she looked at away hastily.
"What? I'm sleeping fine—"
"Korra," Asami took her hand. "We share a bed. When you're up, I'm up."
Brushing a strand of her growing hair aside, Korra looked at Asami with a soft smile. "I don't mean to keep you up."
"I don't care about that," Asami rolled her eyes. "I just want to know why you're not sleeping? Is something wrong?" The hesitation in the answer worried Asami, if only for a moment. Then Korra shrugged, still not speaking. "Is it…me?"
"No!" Korra snapped her head to Asami. "No, it's not you, of course not. I married you Asami, you know I love you. It's not that…I just…I don't know what's wrong with me." Sadness washed over Korra's face as she buried her head in her hands with a heavy sigh. "I wish I did but I just feel a little lost these days."
"Have you talked to Tenzin about it? Maybe he could help?"
Korra settled back against the railing behind her and laid her hands in her lap. "No, I don't think it's a Tenzin thing. It's just a me thing. I—I haven't really done anything in the last five years, you know? Since Kuvira was defeated and we rebuilt the Earth Kingdom I've just been…dormant."
"Oh," Asami frowned, she hated herself for it but she couldn't stop.
"No, I understand. I do. It's been weird, I'll admit. I've felt it a little too. Things were always so crazy for so long and then it just stopped and we could actually be…normal. It's been an adjustment."
Sliding her legs up, Korra tucked her chin between her knees and nodded. "Yeah but it's easier for you. You have a job. You get up in the morning and go places. You do things. I come here and train, I play with Rohan, I race Meelo and Ikki around the temple. I feel a little…useless." The sentence ended in a whisper. As if saying out loud made her realize the truth in the statement.
Asami couldn't deny that Korra hadn't been called upon much in the last five years. After Republic City was destroyed for the second time and the Earth Kingdom was torn apart by Kuvira, measures were taken to better protect the future.
In a lot of ways, Korra had become nothing more than a figurehead. A past hero people took strength from, but never asked for help.
"So what do you want to do?" Asami asked simply enough. It would be easy to draw this out. To take deeper meaning into the things Korra is saying, but she knew better. She knew that Korra was just searching.
Slowly, Korra turned to look Asami in the eyes. She was wearing a soft, hopeful smile. "I want to be able to find happiness like this. To…be okay with just being here, with you. With Tenzin's family, with Mako and Bolin. I don't know if the world will need me to be the Avatar again any time soon. I need to find a way to be happy until it does."
"Okay," Asami nodded, reaching over and laying a hand on Korra's knee. "Tell me how we do it, and the almighty CEO of Future Industries will make it happen." Asami smiled brightly, prepared to give Korra the world.
There was a nervous look in Korra's eyes as she laid her own hand atop Asami's and stared anxiously into her eyes.
"I—I," Korra sighed, clearing her throat before letting out a nervous huff. She resettled and found her confidence. "What do you think about starting a family?"
Asami's hand jerked away from Korra.
Hurt washed over Korra's features almost as soon as Asami pulled her hand away.
The look in Korra's eyes made Asami feel miserable. "Korra I—"
"Delivery!" It was Ikki, racing up towards them with a bouquet of fire lilies. Asami couldn't decide if it was good timing or bad. "Korra these are for you!"
Almost working not to look at Asami, Korra pushed herself up off the ground and grabbed the vase from Ikki. "Thank you for bringing them to me." She offered, tousling Ikki's hair and earning a very cute groan.
"Who are they from?" Ikki asked, already glancing in Asami's direction.
Korra opened the card and read it.
"To Korra, these are to make you smile, love Asami."
When Korra looked at her again, there was a distance in her eyes. An unsettling discomfort that Asami couldn't stand. "Thank you, I love you." Korra forced a smile and Asami could only nod.
"I love you too, Korra." She returned, wanting desperately to continue their conversation. She was just about to send Ikki away when—
"Come on, Ikki. Let's go find somewhere nice to put these."
Asami can only watch as Korra guided Ikki away towards the temple. She threw her head back and stared up at the ceiling above her.
"Well you could have handled that better, Sato."