Title: Steam Dream
Notes: I’m considering maybe making a mini-series out of these, if there’s going to be interest. :) Lemme know!
Water sluiced through his hair, and he shivered, goose bumps prickling along his neck and arms as he barely dodged the water that Korra had whipped at him, scrambling to one side. Korra was in a mood today, he thought to himself, her fury and frustration making themselves very evident in the rapid fire execution of her attacks. She was a cyclone, an unstoppable force bent on pelting him with pain until he conceded, or she broke him.
Bolin decided, out of a strong sense of self preservation, that it would be best to bow out gracefully before his face was being ground into the gym’s floor by her booted foot. “Okay! Okay!” He half-screeched, dancing to the side and out of the way of Korra’s far-flung icicles. He was tired, and not on his A-game. There was just no way he could go toe-for-toe with a pissy Korra today.
Korra dropped her arms, though her legs remained crouched as they were, eyes watching Bolin closely for any sign of him suddenly launching an offensive. Her breath rattled raggedly in her chest, and sweat trickled down the sides of her face, dribbling along her neck and disappearing into her collar. Bolin watched the sweat droplets for a moment, trying to still his own rapid breathing. “If I didn’t know better,” he said after a moment, straightening up and scratching at the back of his neck with his hand, “I’d think you were trying to murder me. Got any problems you need to tell Uncle Bolin all about?”
The Avatar snorted, rolling her eyes and swinging on her heel towards the doorway to the locker rooms, waving her hand dismissively. He could see just how tense she was, though, the muscles of her back and shoulders coiled taut, and though he felt slightly guilty for noticing, her hips didn’t have their usual easy sway. Her walk was mechanical, as if she was keeping tight control of herself.
“Seriously!” He said to her retreating back, “I can tell something’s wrong with you!”
When Korra pinned him with a sharp glance over her shoulder, Bolin realized that perhaps he could have phrased that better. “Er, well, nothing’s wrong with you, but I can tell that something is up!” He amended, arms dropping to his sides. Korra stood silently for a moment, frustration evident on her face, and Bolin amused himself by imagining steam billowing out of her ears, produced by the cogs spinning furiously in her head. Could fire benders do that? He’d have to ask Mako when he saw him at home that evening. Maybe he could convince his brother to show him.
“I didn’t really sleep last night,” Korra said finally, side-eyeing Bolin. “Had some distracting dreams.”
Bolin inclined his chin in an attempt to look wise, circling one finger in a ‘do go on’ motion. Korra snorted again, a rough, abrupt sound that Bolin didn’t think he’d ever heard another girl make. “I’m not so sure I want to talk about them. They were personal.”
“Personal?” Bolin parroted, padding behind Korra as she headed into the locker room.
Korra gave him an indecipherable look, chewing on her lower lip, a faint blush creeping across her cheeks.
Well, Bolin thought when she turned away from him quickly, making a bee-line toward the women’s showers. If she really didn’t feel like talking about it with him, she didn’t have to. He was going to pretend that he wasn’t incredibly curious, and instead busy himself with not being filthy and sweaty.
Once he’d gone into the men’s showers and selected the shower head he wanted, he cranked the knob, yelping quietly when icy water stung his skin. Dumb old pipes, he thought, cringing out of the way to wait for the water to warm. If he’d wanted a cold shower he could have just asked Korra.
Now that he was alone, Bolin allowed himself to dwell on the thought, smiling goofily. He could just imagine strutting up to a dumb-struck Avatar, gloriously nude, and asking for a good dousing. He was sure that would go over well. Chuckling to himself, he stepped back into the spray, by now warm. Steam had just begun to swirl around his calves when he heard the door open, and he paid it no mind, figuring Mako had finished with his individual training while he and Korra had been sparring. Dimly, he could hear his brother’s footsteps, and he wondered briefly why Mako was walking so quickly. Was he that desperate for a shower?
He turned his head to look over his shoulder, and abruptly made a noise somewhat like a ‘hnnnng’, hands dropping to shield his, ah, nether regions from view. Korra advanced on him quickly, her own special brand of determination written across her face, her towel tucked tightly around her. Bolin didn’t even get a chance to ask any questions before her hands had seized the sides of his face, caging his head. His own dinner-plate sized eyes stared into Korra’s for the short second it took her to bring his lips crashing down onto hers.
Bolin wondered why she was being so violent about the whole thing. Really, there was no need, and he thought that maybe his lower lip felt bruised. Bewildered, he attempted to pull away, only to have Korra’s fingers thread though his hair and hold him still.
“’orra,” he muttered against her lips, breaking the weird liplock she’d put them in. She took a step back, but did not release her grip on his face, eyes shining defiantly.
“Not that I particularly mind, but…why?” Bolin managed, aware that the water was slowly beginning to turn cold again, still spraying against his back.
Korra, not one to stop a trainwreck once she’d already gone barreling down the rails, got right down to explaining.
“I had this weird dream last night. You and me, making out in the showers after a particularly nasty training session. I liked it. I wanted to recreate it.” She paused, tilting her head and fixing him with a smug smile. “And I didn’t think you’d object much.”
Bolin blinked owlishly, but nodded, as if that made perfect sense. Korra released his head, patting him on the cheek before turning to saunter away. She paused at the doorway, and gave Bolin an appraising look, her expression predatory. “I’ll see you tonight. I’ve had other dreams I want to test, too.”
Bolin wasn’t going to argue with that. Leave it to Korra to be so straight-forward and incredibly blunt. “You’re so lucky I love you,” he yelled after her, “otherwise I wouldn’t put up with this kind of assault!” As he turned back to his now-freezing shower, he heard Korra’s laugh as she slipped out of the door. He grinned to himself, deciding that he could tolerate one cold shower if meant an entire night full of what were sure to be warm festivities.