"I know it's not a big, fancy mansion like Asami's, but you guys are more than welcome to stay here as long as you need," Korra said, Bolin walking by her side as she gave him a tour of Air Temple Island.
The previous nights events had worn them all out. Korra couldn't help but feel terrible about everything that had happened; especially for Asami. They were all shocked. Mr. Sato was the last person they had suspected to be one of Amon's followers, let alone the manufacturer of the equipment for the equalists.
Bolin smiled, "Really, Korra, this place is great! I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for us."
"Of course, I'd do anything for you guys," she replied. Pabu gave a little coo from Bolin's shoulder, as if he had something to say. Korra laughed, "Yes Pabu, I'd do anything for you, too!"
Korra's eyes caught sight of Mako and Asami walking hand and hand. They stopped walking and Asami turned to say something to Mako, but they were too far away for Korra and Bolin to hear. After a few words had been spoken between them, Mako leaned in and kissed Asami tenderly, but passionately. Korra's heart stopped. This was something she didn't want to see, even if she had let Mako go.
Bolin looked at her with worry. He reached for her clenched fist. "Korra I-"
"I'm going back inside."
She turned away from Bolin and the scene in front of her; not wanting him to see the tears in her eyes.
There was a buzz in the household that night. Tonight was the official welcome dinner for Bolin, Mako and Asami. Ikki and Jinora followed Asami around like two puppies, constantly asking her questions about make-up and boys. Whereas Mako couldn't keep Meelo off of him, but laughed at the little boys attempts to impress the elder one. And Bolin was in the kitchen helping Pema and the other nomads preparing dinner.
"Bolin, you really don't have to do anything," Pema said while checking on the rice, "we're honoring you tonight, you should be off relaxing until dinner's ready."
Bolin shrugged and smiled, "It's alright. I've had Mako taking care of me my whole life," he said while rolling out some dough. "Besides, I think it's about time I start helping other people out. Besides, you look like you're about to give birth at any minute!"
Pema laughed, "Oh I wish! This stubborn baby is taking its sweet time in getting ready for the world! Ugh, I think I'm going to take a little break." Pema made her way to a chair at the table where Bolin was working. "By the way, have you seen Korra? I haven't seen her since this morning." Bolin stopped, a small frown formed on his face. "Is something wrong?"
"No. No everything's fine," he replied.
She placed her hand on his, "Bolin, please know that you're welcome to speak to me about anything."
Bolin smiled, "I know, Pema. And thank you. Now, lets finish up these dumplings and eat! Uh, where's the pork?"
"Right in front of you."
"We are thankful for this food, our lives, and the home in which we live and those we are blessed to have in our lives," Tenzin prayed. He looked upon his family and guests with love and compassion in his eyes. "Now let us eat," he said calmly.
It was as if a volcano of noise erupted. Ikki and Jinora started badgering Asami again and Meelo started jumping all over Mako and Bolin. Korra couldn't help but smile. Most of her life, dinners had been quiet while being surrounded by the members of the white lotus. She had rarely been around children her own age because of her training. Even though leaving home and encountering the events she had been exposed to here in Republic City, she wouldn't have changed it for the world. She had a new family and friends that liked her for being Korra, not the Avatar. Her eyes made her way over to Mako. She smiled at how patient he was with Meelo; she supposed that Bolin was a lot like Meelo as a child so he had some knowledge on how to deal with him. Mako caught Korra staring. At him and looked away; embarrassed. Korra's heart ached as she turned her head and poked at her food.
Bolin quietly munched on a dumpling as he observed Korra and Mako. He could understand why his brother wanted to be with Asami; beauty, kindness, and not to mention he'd be set for life if they got to keep her inheritance. But, Korra. Korra was down right irresistible. Beautiful, smart, brave, passionate. Not to mention that he was thoroughly impressed that she was the only woman he's ever met to out belch him. They got along great and always had fun together. He began to feel frustrated. Why wouldn't Korra look his way, or even give him a chance? Why was it she would only look at Mako? Bolin suddenly stood, and the room went quiet. "Sorry, I'm not that hungry. I'm gonna go outside and get some air."
"Bo? Hey what's-" Mako called after him. "Maybe I should go after him…"
Korra stood. "No, I'll go. You stay and eat."
Korra found Bolin sitting on the steps for the small yin and yang arena; Pabu sitting on his shoulder.
"Hey." Bolin didn't move. "Bolin? Are you okay?" She asked while she moved to sit next to him.
He shrugged as he scratched Pabu behind the ears. "Just tired, I guess."
"Are you sure?"
Bolin clenched his fists. "You know what? No, I'm not okay, because you never give me the time of day!"
Korra looked shocked. "Bolin, what are you talking about? I'm always hanging out with you and-"
"And Mako. It's never just you and me, Korra. I wish you'd give me a chance!" Bolin was starting to get emotional. "Mako has made his choice, and I've made mine."
Korra cast her eyes downward. "Bolin, I do care about you its just.."
"Korra, you are the most amazing, beautiful and passionate girl I've ever met." He reached for her hand, placed his other hand behind her head and touched foreheads. "Why can't you see that I'd give anything for you to feel the same way about me? I… I love you Korra."
Bolin then turned his head and leaned in. "Bolin wait a minute." She protested. But Bolin was tired of waiting, and kissed her gently.
Korra felt something. Something that she didn't feel when she had kissed Mako. Her whole body felt like air. Her heart was pounding and her hands were shaking. This feeling was pure. It took her by such surprise that she couldn't do anything, and it scared her. Tears fell down her cheeks and onto Bolin's hand.
Bolin pulled away and saw the tears in her eyes. "Korra? I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that." He stood and ran; away from Korra and away from the grave mistake he'd made.
"Bolin!" She called after him. But it was too late, he was already gone.
The next morning, Korra felt terrible. She couldn't sleep at all worrying about Bolin and about that kiss. She definitely wasn't up for air bending training today.
"Korra, are you feeling alright?" Tenzin asked, "Do you need to take a break?
Korra shook her head. "No, it's just… Things feel really complicated right now." Tenzin sat down and motioned for Korra to join him. She sat with a flump. "I don't know what I'm doing, Tenzin. I do all the exercises you show me, but my heart and mind just get muddled and I just can't get into it."
Tenzin stroked his beard and thought for a moment. "Let me give you a little advice. There have been many times I couldn't put my heart and soul into air bending, and disastrous things would happen because I couldn't control it. My father sat me down one day and asked what it was that made me most happy; what was it that made me feel as if I was lighter than air." Korra's heart stopped. "At the time, it was the love I had for Lin. But now, it's the love that I have for my beautiful wife, Pema, and my children." He stood and offered his hand to help Korra up. "Now, take a deep breath and think of what makes you feel lighter than air."
Korra took her stance, took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She tried to think of Mako and the kiss they shared but that only made her frustrated and angry. Then, she thought of Bolin. Of the first time they met, all the laughs they shared together training, the great time they had on their date, and the kiss from last night. Korra smiled at all the memories, and moved. She felt so light as she thought of how happy Bolin made her.
Tenzin couldn't believe his eyes. Korra had finally done it! "Korra! You're air bending! You've done it!"
Korra opened her eyes and gasped. She had done it! She could feel the strong wind blow around her and could see it moving the trees surrounding them. Tenzin embraced her. "Korra I'm so proud of you! What ever it was you were thinking about, it worked!"
Korra smiled and hugged him back. "Tenzin, I gotta go, but I'll be back later!"
"What? But we've finally unlocked he secret for your air bending! We've got so much to do!"
"Sorry Tenzin, but this is something that I've really got to do!"
Korra took off running in search of Bolin. She finally realized how she felt about him, and she couldn't make him wait anymore than he already has.
After running all over the island and asking everyone in the temple, Korra finally found Bolin napping in the gazebo where Tenzin and the air bender kids usually meditate. Korra jumped onto his stomach and yelled, "Wake up sleepy head!"
Bolin made a strange gurgling sound as Korra landed on his stomach. "Korra?! Ughhh… what, are you trying to make me lose my breakfast?! And why are you straddling me?"
"To make sure you stayed put while I talked to you."
Korra sighed and looked into Bolin's eyes. "Two things. One," a big grin formed on her face, "I finally started to air bend."
"Really?! That's gre-!"
She placed a finger on his lips. "Not finished."
Bolin nodded in confusion.
"Second, Tenzin helped me to realize what I needed in order for me to finally let that part of me free; to feel lighter than air," Korra blushed as she spoke her next words, "what I needed, was you."
Bolin's face went bright red.
"I can't believe it took last nights kiss for me to figure it out, but Bolin, you are smart, funny, good looking, and most of all, you make me happy. You make me want to become a better person. And I'm sorry that I've hurt you so much over the past couple of weeks, but I've finally realized how much you mean to me."
Bolin quickly sat up and held on to Korra's arms. "This is real right?! I'm not still asleep? You, Korra, the Avatar, are telling me that you have the same feelings for me that I have for you?"
Korra wrestled out of his grasp, grabbed his shirt collar to bring them nose to nose. "Will this answer your question in whether this is a dream or not?" She tilted her head and kissed Bolin. He blinked in surprise, but leaned in to kiss her back and wrapped his arms around her waist. In response she wrapped her arms around his neck; bringing them even closer.
After a few minutes, their lips parted, but both had huge grins on their faces. Bolin touched his forehead to Korra's and said, "So, Korra, what now?"
Korra interlaced her fingers with his, "Well, I need to get back to Tenzin and finally get some real air bending training." She paused, "Do I get another kiss to keep me "lighter than air?""
Bolin chuckled, "Korra, you can kiss me as many times as you want." He placed a hand on her cheek. "I will always be here for you."