They lay together under a tree, watching as the benevolent spirit animals fluttered by them, a soft breeze playing through the hair on their respective heads. Some of it became merged together in the process of their cuddle, but neither of them certainly minded. It was a quiet, relaxing feeling.
There were none disgusted with benders to attack.
No crazy humans merged with dark spirits.
No evil gang of benders.
Everyone needed time to rest.
The world would just have to wait for them - one the Avatar, the other the boss of one of the world's biggest industrial companies.
Maybe their relationship would be looked upon weirdly when they returned to the world.
But this was not the time to think about that.
They had each other to themselves right now.
Korra took a moment to cast her eyes up to her love; her hand rested on her chest, her face buried in Asami's dark, night-sky-looking air. It was as if stars gleamed in that hair, that was the beauty of it. It took much prodding, but the Avatar got her girlfriend to let it down once more.
"You're awake," the girlfriend whispered quietly, a smirk spreading across her face, squeezing her shoulder with her right hand. "Thought you wanted to rest."
Korra simply smiled and chuckled the remark off. "Ah, well, you caught me sneaking a look at you. Darn it anyway...guess you're just too pretty to avoid."
A similar light laugh came off Asami's mouth as she blushed. "You're too complimentary sometimes."
"Guess I got payback," Korra replied, remembering when her face turned red after Asami remarked how beautiful she looked after they reunited in Republic City a few weeks prior.
What a wild few weeks it had been - they had dealt with confused feelings; Asami with her father, Korra with her status as the Avatar. Then they had to combat Kuvira, their old team eventually reunited. In the process, the industrialist had lost her father - that left her basically alone in the world...except for the woman she was proud to call her girlfriend.
Still, it was an intriguing idea to the world, one that had not been approached very often in its history. The idea of two of the same gender being in love would be quite a shock to everyone, not just the ones they knew. The women themselves perhaps weren't even sure how it all came together for them, but it did. They were just starting out, so Korra figured it would be a good time to ask the question, to settle the matter once and for all.
"Asami, how did you fall in love with me?"
Asami was a bit thrown off by this question; her head suddenly shifted to the left. She did not expect Korra to pull this out in such a peaceful moment for the two. After a moment though, the Sato heiress regained her grin and looked back toward her lover again. "Well, it was a bit of a process. After I broke up with Mako before the battle with Amon and that whole mess there, I didn't really have much of a friend to turn to. I wasn't really close with Bolin and I was still getting over my bitterness over what happened. But after you split with Mako for good, I knew in you was a good friend. A girlfriend - not as we are now of course - who had gone through the same annoying experiences and someone who could understand me more."
Korra sighed, thinking back to how she had ripped Mako from Asami and all the pain she caused her in the past. "Even now, three to four years since that, I can't help but keep apologizing for having hurt you. I should have backed off but I kept pressing..."
Brushing the Avatar's cheek with her hand, Asami said, "I've long since forgiven you, Korra. Besides, if anything, I think Mako was the one who kept pushing. He would always want to be around you and kept focusing more on you. I wish things had gone differently then, but..."
"I just wish I had acted differently then," Korra replied, clutching Asami's hand. "But I'm so glad you forgave me. All that stuff you said about having a girlfriend is true - including the not now part! To just have that understanding someone...it meant a lot."
"I'm glad I could help," the industrialist answered before continuing. "Throughout the time we had to deal with the Red Lotus, my worry for you grew more, while the time we spent became more meaningful. When those two benders knocked you out, I was scared...then you going into the Spirit World to find Zaheer...I just don't know what I would have done without you if you didn't come back. But it was the three years separated that really answers this question."
Korra looked up into Asami's eyes carefully. She didn't say anything, just flashed a sign that she was attentive to what was about to be said.
"I should have been happy. Future Industries was taking off with all the contracts to help rebuild Republic City, revolutionize the transportation system, we were finally being lifted out of disgrace...it was amazing. But I just had a hard time breaking a smile..." she frowned and gave a small sigh before continuing. "You weren't there. You were still ill and struggling...and I was scared for you. No one knew where you were. On Air Temple Island one night, we were all there as we heard a boat was coming from the South Pole. Mako, Tenzin, Lin, Tenzin, his family, and plenty others. I was excited, we all were. Then your dad stepped off and informed us you should have been there..." her eyes began to water over and her voice grew quieter. "...we quickly knew something was very wrong. I cried a lot of that night...and I think it was just, then, that I really knew there was something more about you, Korra..."
The Water Tribeswoman lifted herself up, now kneeling, and placed her hands over the 22-year-old's cheeks, using the thumbs of her hands to clear face of tears. A frown over her features, Korra said, "I...I don't know what to say. Asami...I'm so sorry. I..." she froze in place and looked away, not sure what she could add, how to say sorry to the young woman.
"Korra, please stop apologizing," Asami said. "You really don't have to...as I told you before we left, just having you here now is all that's important to me. When you came back, I couldn't have been happier." Regaining her smile and gazing deeply into the Avatar's oceanic eyes, she added, "Even though we had a bit of a rough restart, I knew you would be the one for me."
Brightening herself once more, Korra said, briefly casting her eyes from Asami, "I couldn't have been happier that you came to that decision when all was said and done." She shifted back to look directly at the woman in front of her.
"And it all locked in for good after the final battle with Kuvira and after I lost Dad," Asami again continued. "Like I told you at Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding, losing you on top of him would have devastated me. It confirmed me how much you meant to me." Shifting into a kneeling position of her own, she laid her hands on the waterbender's shoulders. "I'm so glad I know and love you."
Quickly looking down at the firm hands on her, Korra had one more thing to ask, "You fell me...even though I was another girl?"
Jokingly rolling her eyes, the industrialist responded, "Oh please. Like you really have to be a guy for me to fall in love with you. I was taught growing up that love is love, no matter if it's between a man or woman, two men, or two women. In fact, when I was thirteen, I also had a crush on a girl. It felt weird at first, but my friends and Dad quickly assured me that gender was not a factor in love. She didn't like me back, but at least I knew not to worry about the fact that she was another girl."
The Avatar took a moment to muse over what was just said, thinking about her own time growing up in the South Pole - or, well, in a highly secured area due to the threat the Red Lotus had posed to her. She had never been truly introduced to more progressive ideals like what Asami had been told of. She said, "I never quite got that idea in my years. Then again, perhaps being so closed off from the world had to do with that. As a result, when I started developing feelings for you, I had no idea how to act...I didn't know if it was right or wrong. I had to think about it for a while."
The businesswoman looked curiously at her lover, hoping she would explain further, but, before that, she wanted to know the answer to the question just posed. "Korra, how did you fall for me?"
"I'm going to save you the time about the whole mess with Mako as we sort of already went over that, not to mention I'd rather not revisit it. So I'll just pick up from where we were after I broke up with him for good."
Taking Asami's hands, Korra continued. "It started during the mission with the airbenders and the Red Lotus. Like I already mentioned, you were someone who really understood me and was in tune with me. With the situation with Mako being what it was, along with Bolin kind of being...well, out there, you became my closest friend. I felt like I could confide in you the most out of anyone. You were there for me when I definitely needed someone after Zaheer poisoned and debilitated me - helping me get dressed, cleaning me up, and of course having my back at a time where it was hard for me to, you know, really get excited about things."
Asami thought back to the immediate aftermath of that battle. "It was so hard seeing you like that. You just looked so down and out of things and I knew you needed someone in that moment. I wanted to come to your aid; I knew you would do the same for me."
Korra smiled. "And again, I just can't thank you enough for being there at that terrible time. That was followed by those three years in the South Pole, recovering...I could only feel comfortable writing to you." She frowned a bit as she thought back on her actions, adding, "I probably should have at least been fair, though, and written back to Mako and Bolin, even if I didn't feel as safe revealing all to them."
"They forgave you too all the same," Asami assured her. "Besides, Bolin really wasn't able to since he was with Kuvira; you do know, of course, if anything, he felt like he owed you the apology."
"It still would have been fair if I gave them the time of day like I gave you," Korra replied. "But, this isn't about them, it's all about you right now, Asami. To that, I remember my excitement seeing you again, getting past the rough start. Plus when we were on Air Temple Island I felt utterly useless for some time, you were the first one to come out and cheer me up...thank you for that."
"Heh, well," Asami said, "to be fair to the others, Mako was trying to train King Wu while Bolin was still fleeing Kuvira's army. But you're certainly welcome."
"Yeah, but still, having you be mostly the only one there, it pushed me closer to you; that's what we're talking about, after all," the Avatar responded. "Then, after the final battle, it just all came full-circle. This vacation idea, having this time to ourselves, I knew I was free to be with you...I'm just letting all my feelings out now. Spending this time with you is confirming what I've suspected all along, Asami - I want to be with you and I feel the most comfortable with you." She shifted her hands down to lock with those her girlfriend's. "I can feel that you are the one for me." She beamed.
Asami returned the beaming look as she looked directly at the Avatar. "Well, it's early, but this vacation is doing a lot of the same for me. Confirmation of what I've known all along about you, Korra. I'm so glad I know you and that we are as we are now."
"I've also come to dismiss the whole thing about two women dating each other," Korra continued. "As I said before, maybe a side effect of being stuck in that compound for so long kept my worldview closed off, but now, the two of us being here, thinking about it all...I don't see anything weird about it. We're in love, who cares if we're both women? No one says that you have to be man and woman to fall for each other."
Asami separated one of her hands from Korra's and brushed her sweetheart's cheek with it. "That's exactly right. I love you, you love me - that's all it takes for us to be happy, as far as I'm concerned. If anyone opposes it, we'll speak out about it."
Korra nodded. "You're right. We'll show the world it doesn't matter. Love is love...and I look forward to spending this time with you, Asami. No matter what may happen."
The two girls moved closer to one another, eyes deeply gazing into the other's. They closed their eyes and inched their arms around each other, and soon, their opened mouths met in a deep, warm kiss. Their lips were warm to the touch as they held themselves in a tight embrace all the meanwhile, time seemingly coming to a stop and the spirits themselves watching over the young ladies as they shared their loving moment. After a short time, they broke away and returned to their cuddling position as before, Asami's head atop Korra's as the latter rested hers against the industrialist's chest.
"I love you, Korra," Asami whispered.
"I love you too, Asami," Korra whispered back.
And so they rested, all to themselves once again.
They knew they were in love.
The other factors didn't matter.
Love was enough for them.