I have this headcanon that Bolin is that friend who gives really great hugs. And the idea of Borra hugs gives me feels. So… this was born. Enjoy. ATLA wasn’t mine, and neither is LOK.
Bolin is, and always has been, an affectionate person. And one of Korra’s favorite things about him is the way he hugs.
They’re common, but not in a way that cheapens them. In a way that brightens her day, makes them something she’s used to and appreciates, something she doesn’t know if she could function without any more. In a way that makes her reach for them more and more.
Celebratory hugs, full of laughter and giddiness and tight, quick squeezes. They run to each other, and sometimes they spin, and it’s sort of like a chest bump but much more them and wrapped up in excitement and giddiness and just wanting to be close. There’s always the quiet undercurrent of thank you. Thank you for helping me get here.
Comforting hugs, the sad and somber kind, where one offers their arms and the other just collapses into the safehouse, and it’s long and tight and close. Just one long squeeze, sometimes with one or both sobbing, sometimes just with sadness. Where they hold each other up in such a way that allows them both to slouch down, to take the weight of the world off of their shoulders for just a moment. Where they just breathe and squeeze and remind themselves that, no matter what, they’ll never have to do any of it alone.
Greeting hugs, usually short and happy and just one quick embrace, where her arms wrap all around his back and his wrap all around hers and they lean their heads on each other’s shoulders for a moment. Small, involuntary smiles and an unbreakable closeness.
Goodbye hugs, mostly a little bit longer. A lingering to them, not wanting to leave the safe house of the other’s presence, especially not the safety of each other’s arms. A sort of sweet sorrow, eve if it’ll just be short.
And then there are the really goodbye hugs, where they just clamp around each other, looking for some comfort to take with them, where they aren’t entirely sure that they’ll see each other again but they have each other now and they’re both strong and good and if they just believe hard enough then everyone will come back okay. It’s worked so far.
The newest development, however, in the world of their hugs, is one more on Korra’s part then Bolins. Just because hugs. Where they’ll be talking and she’ll just reach over and wrap one arm around him, casually, and draw close to him for a moment before pulling away. Or where he comes up with a good idea or a funny joke and she gives him something very close to a celebratory hug but that usually wouldn’t be there. Or, on occasion, the moment will be still enough and their attention will be shared on something that’s not talking and she’ll just wrap her arms around him, loosely, without actually looking away from whatever they’re watching.
And then, one day, they’re just eating, their mouths very, very briefly too full to talk, and then Korra really looks at him, like she hadn’t seen him there quite like that the whole time, and she puts her sandwich down and actually gets up and walks around the table to hug him. Just to hug him. “Thanks,” she whispers, and when he tries to ask why through his full mouth, she just smiles at him and hugs him a little harder.
For half a second, he feels a warm press against the top of his head, and then she lets go and returns to her seat. “So,” she says, picking her sandwich back up like it never happened, “did I ever tell you about the time I first learned that I could firebend?”