"I'm sorry. It's just, I've never had a girlfriend before... And I want to be perfect for you."
Korra and Asami sat on the soft, shifting sand of Yue Bay Beach, their faces turned to the waves of the ocean and salty air. Just a moment ago Asami had woven her lithe fingers through Korra's hand and guided her here, Korra smiling at Asami's back as Asami revelled in the feeling of her girlfriend following just behind her. Then they sat - close enough to touch shoulders, or legs, or anything - but neither of them making that contact. They sat comfortably next to each other, hyper-aware of and safe in each other's presence. It was a beautiful evening, the sun sunken in the sky but still causing the water to glimmer as if there were millions of crystals just beneath the surface. The two girls breathed all the calmness and beauty of it in.
Asami turned to Korra as the wind picked up, strands of raven hair blown across her face highlighting emerald eyes and cranberry-red lips. "Korra?" She said, a question.
"Mm?" Korra had closed her eyes and leaned back, letting the ocean course through her bones.
"Has something been going on with you lately?"
Korra turned, surprised at the concern in the engineer's voice. "No? I mean, some normal Avatar stuff, but... Why?"
Green eyes met clear blue eyes, "It feels like ever since we got together - well, ever since we got back from the spirit world - you've been a little, I don't know, on edge. Anxious. I've been wondering if..." Asami broke their gaze, her eyes flicking down, "maybe it's me. If I'm not right for you."
Korra wondered if it crushed Asami to say that just as much as it crushed her to hear it. Her reply was instant, frantic.
"Asami, no!" She grabbed Asami's hands and urged her eyes to find her own again, "You've made me anything but anxious. You make me feel safe, and..." Korra couldn't find the word to describe it; the feeling of never being alone, someone always having her back.
Korra sighed and turned back to the water. She drew her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. "I'm sorry. It's just, I've never had a girlfriend before... And I want to be perfect for you."
Asami watched Korra watch the waves.
"Maybe that's why I've seemed strange lately. I'm just so excited to be with you, and I don't want to have any issues between us, Sami."
"Babe," Asami breathed. "You don't need to act perfectly, you already are perfect for me. You just are."
Asami shifted closer, rested her head on Korra's shoulder. Korra took a moment, wanting to stay in the sweetness of that simple act.
"I just... I feel like this relationship's gonna be a bit of a learning experience for me. As much as I don't want to admit it, I might mess up sometimes. I just want to treat you right. I just want to know how to do that."
Korra hated that she felt this way. She was the Avatar, for spirits sake. She had managed to master all four elements. Why was she so terrified at the prospect of mastering love?
"I'm learning too." Asami murmured, smiled up at Korra.
Korra returned the smile lightly and ran her hands through Asami hair, "You're alot more experienced than me," Korra pointed out.
"No, no. Babe, no two relationships are the same. You and I know each other, and now we'll learn how to be with each other, together. We just need to communicate, teach one another. We'll grow together."
Korra just gazed down at her girlfriend, still smiling. She liked that idea.
"Besides, if we're going by your logic, I may have had more boyfriends than you... But I've never had a girlfriend, either."
Korra didn't know Asami had never had a girlfriend. How lucky they both were, to be able to date girls. How lucky they were to have eachother.
Asami sat up and pecked Korra's cheek, leaving a dark red smudge. "We'll just have to take baby steps together," she concluded happily, stretching her legs out.
Korra echoed Asami's happiness in her laughter, leaning back on her palms, "Babe, you know how much I hate baby steps."
But later, as Korra danced with Asami in a shimmering moon pool, she thought that Asami was right. Maybe love, ever evolving as it was, could never be truly mastered. And maybe, in all it's comfort and passion and beauty, love just couldn't be rushed. Korra spun under Asami's arm and then watched her girlfriend spin under her own arm, water grazing Asami's delicate and strong calves.
She heard her laugh, and thought that she wouldn't mind taking baby steps with Asami even for a moment.