|By Lady Lostris||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Lady Lostris||Romance/Hurt/Comfort||G||Very positive||One-shot|
Fanon Award for Outstanding Short Fanon
|(2011) - (2012)|
July 29, 2012
I attempted to stay as close as possible to what actually happened in the series, though I did change some things in order to let the series end with my favorite pairing. So let's "re-watch" that episode one more time, but now with feeling!
A Minute Edit
Rocked from side to side in her mecha tank, Asami bumped her head hard against the platinum wall as her tank was thrown around the hangar like a ragdoll. She grunted in pain, though could not help but smirk at the irony of the fact that her father had just thrown her atop the last intact biplane, its preservation being the last straw that had sparked the battle. Her smirk quickly evaporated, however, under the burning hatred that radiated from her father's face as he towered over her, showering her with glass as he shattered her last defenses.
"I now see that there is no chance to save you!" None of the falling razor-sharp shards cut as deep as the words of her father did, ripping her heart to pieces. She watched in horror as he raised the arm of his tank to bestow upon his daughter the same fate that had befallen his wife: A premature death. She squeezed her eyes and braced herself for the impact, involuntarily screaming out when a loud crash reverberated through the room. Much to her surprise, a familiar voice rang clear between each impact of what she now recognized as chunks of earth shattering on platinum.
"Mister Sato, you . . . are a . . . horrible . . . father!" Though each word was strained with the effort it took Bolin to launch a boulder at the tank, they sparked a new hope in Asami.
Her friend now by her side, no longer alone, she clenched her teeth and attacked Hiroshi, cleanly pulling off the arm of the tank with which he wanted to end her life mere moments ago. Angered by the idea that her father, her father, could and would have gone through with it, she ripped open the metal shell after which he was hiding. Looking for a monster, she stared into the quivering eyes of the man who had raised her, who had been her everything since her mother had passed, whom she loved, and she felt her rage subside. She was not like him; she could not even bear the thought of losing him forever, let alone by her doing.
Hiroshi saw his daughter's resolve waver and took advantage of her hesitation to launch a final attack. The grappling hook shot forward and connected with Asami's tank, burying itself deep in its center, and he used the ensuing confusion to make a break for it. His daughter's words stating him to be a horrible father did not faze him in the least, though it was the electrified rope that she fired at him that brought him down. As he fell, electricity surging through his body, he could not help but smile at the thought that at least he was not the only one to fall. He closed his eyes and lost consciousness on the melodious sounds of Bolin's panicked cries for help as he attempted to free his impaled friend from her platinum trap.
Korra had never felt so weak in her entire life. She crawled on all fours toward the masked man that had haunted her nightmares for months and had made them become reality just mere seconds ago. She swung out at him, a weak throw that did nothing but make her lose her balance. She fell over, teetering on the brink of unconsciousness, slowly slipping further down into the darkness that surrounded her.
After Korra had said her goodbyes to Bolin, Mako had called the two girls of the group over to have some quick last words. As they stood before him, he felt his resolve waver for a bit, so he just stared at them in silence, making them slightly uncomfortable. He knew that he was not the brightest tool in the box when it came to reading girls, but he was no fool – at least not a complete one. He guessed that at some level he had always known, she being the Avatar and all, the lines of love being blurred into not existing by having switched lives, bodies, and gender with each turn of the cycle. As for Asami, he had sensed for a while now that something was not right with their relationship. Something was missing, and it was not until he accidentally overheard her crying a worried and heartfelt prayer to the Spirits to bring Korra back to her while clutching the unconscious Avatar's hand that he had realized what it was: her heart was not with him; it belonged to someone else. He sighed and slightly shook his head to regain his senses. Softly grabbing Asami's hand, he retrieved his voice. "Asami, I'm sorry things got so messed up between us, but whatever happens today, I want you to know how much I care about you."
Asami's eyes had grown wide at the underlying meaning of his words, but quickly softened as she stepped forward and kissed him gently on the cheek, grateful that they could end their relationship on good terms. "I care about you, too."
A weak smile played on his lips, knowing that he might have lost the girl, but he still had the friend. He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb in a silent thank you for her friendship, before placing her hand on Korra's, pressing them tenderly together. "And I want you both to know that I am okay with this. I just want you to be happy, both of you." His smile grew stronger as his gaze traveled from a pair of shocked green to a pair of bewildered azure eyes. Sensing his cue to leave, he let go of their hands. "I'll give you two a moment, catch up with Bolin, but then we have to leave."
Mako's reminder of their pressing departure, of the reason why they were all saying goodbye brought Korra out of her stupor and she turned to the Sato heiress, her hand still firmly clutched in her own. She could not help but think about their softness, and the fact that she was able to hold them now, in public, with Mako's consent. . . The Avatar already felt victorious, but swiftly brushed the feeling aside as this was not the time to be losing focus and live on a cloud. There were a million things she wanted to say to tall beauty: Urge her to be careful, to never lose focus, to always be on guard. She wanted to make her know how much she cared for her, loved her, how she could not wait to start their life together out of hiding. She opened her mouth to let it all roll out, but the words never came. Korra just stood there, losing herself in an emerald sea, unable to utter a single word.
Asami pulled Korra's hand to her lips and gave it a soft kiss. "Korra, I just want to know . . . Just in case I don't have the chance to say it later . . . I want you to know how much I –" The rest of Asami's sentence never made it out as her mouth was closed off by Korra's lips, who took Asami's in a short, but passionate embrace.
The mere thought of Asami is enough to make my entire world shake. And then there is the panting, those rapid, hastened, almost panicking sharp breaths . . . Wait a second . . . something's not right here. Who is breathing like that? That does not sound like Asami. But then why does my heart feel like it is being shred to pieces by a pack of hungry wolves?
Korra cracked open her eyes, but it was not the sea of emerald that she had been thinking about, longing for, that she saw, but a frightened flickering amber fire that only sparked ever so slightly upon seeing her regain consciousness. She heard herself call his name. "Mako . . . My bending." Somehow, she felt like there was more wrong than just that.
"Everything will be alright! We just need to get out of here!" The reassuring message of his words was unable to drown out his distress, nor was it able to draw open the curtains of direness and hopelessness that were draped over their current situation.
A grunt escaped Korra as she roughly made contact with the hard floor when Mako seemed to trip, and she slipped into darkness once more.
"We're not doing this. We're not doing anything 'just in case'. All I want to hear from you now is a promise that you'll come back to me safely." Asami wanted to protest, but Korra would not have it. "Promise me!"
"I promise." A single tear ran over the side of her face. Korra pushed herself up on the tips of her toes and gave Asami a quick kiss on the cheek, right on top of the tear, before pivoting on her heals and running off toward the tunnel that would lead her and Mako straight toward Amon.
Slowly pushing herself up, her mind still hung up on images of the pale girl, her girl, Korra's eyes flung open in horror as she saw Amon perched over Mako, only inches away from his face, ready to strip her friend of his bending. Instinctively, drawing power from deep within herself, from her desire to save him, she lashed out. "No!"
The wind traveled faster than her outburst and Amon was taken by surprise and flung back several meters, ricocheting through the hallway.
Amon uttered the words that Korra kept thinking. Bewildered, leaning heavily against the wall, she stared at her fist, her mind working at a snail sloth's pace to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. "I can airbend?" Consciously aware of the currents around her, she knew that had to be it. "I can airbend!"
A soft howling floated through the building.
She punched out at Amon, each swing more ferocious than the last, but all fueled by a strange feeling that she needed to get out of there, that she had somewhere else to be. Though they were at separate ends of the hallway, she saw each one of her hits make contact, flinging the Equalist leader back like he was a leaf in the wind.
Her body nearly doubled over on its own accord when Amon stretched out his hand at her, commanding the crimson that surged through her very veins, forcing her to do his bidding. The rush of blood resounding in her ears sounded very familiar, like the howl of an animal, a lifelong friend calling out to her.
Her body convulsed under the strain Amon put on her from the inside.
A new resolve coursed through her body;
Strengthened by her pumping heartstrings;
Only beating now for the girl she knew needed her.
Her love for Asami washed over Amon's grip like a tidal wave, and she kicked his hold over her as far away as she could, out of her body, and into his chest, blasting him out of the window and into the bay.
The howling reached her again. The sound seemed to be coming out of the walls, reverberating through the hallway, shaking her to her very core.
Mako helped her to get to the gaping hole in the wall where the window used to be. As they looked out, they were met by a storm of disapproval, originating from the crowd below. Amon's white mask contrasted heavily with the sea of blue in which it floated. I need to get out of here. . . Is it over?
"You stinking tyrant!"
"Look what she's done to our leader!"
The barrage of insults at her address was immediately silenced as Amon shot out of the water, riding a swirling waterspout meters in the air.
Of course it isn't.
I don't have time for this; I have to get out of here!
Korra held herself erect by clutching on to the wall that once supported the window and watched as Mako threw blast after blast at the Equalist leader in the water, who was now speeding away to safety. Her mind was unable to process the events properly as the echo of Naga's howl rang into her ears, louder and more urgent than ever. Amon was gone. She should feel some regret about that, but she had more pressing things to do.
"Korra. Hey, Korra!" Mako's alarmed voice made her look back, and she was surprised to find herself constricted by his hand around her wrist.
"Let go, Mako, I have to go. Asami's in trouble!"
"Calm down, everything will be okay." He pulled her into a hug. "Asami's strong, she'll be okay." Korra rested her head against his shoulder and let his comforting words sink in. How much she needed them to be true, but Naga's piercing howl, a cry for help, made her snap back into reality. Mako saw the horror in her eyes, but he did not know how to take it away. All he could do was call out after her as the Avatar pushed him back and jumped right out of the former window.
Breaking her fall only just in time with an air blast to the ground, Korra scrambled to her feet. She allowed herself only a fraction of a second to pause and determine the direction Naga's howls were begging her to take. Before she could take a single step, however, the press swarmed around her, blocking every possible way forward.
"Avatar Korra, what is going on?"
"Korra, where are you going?"
Flashes blinded her eyes, microphones were shoved in her face, cameras locked on to her. It dazzled her, but not as much as Naga's howling. "Move!" She shouted, she pushed, and she pulled.
"Korra! Korra! Avatar Korra, please, what's going on?"
"Please, Avatar, we need to kn–"
"Get out of my way! Move!"
The storm of questions blurred together, forming a constant humming in her ears, only to be pierced by her polar bear dog's pleading cries for her master to come. "Mo-ove!" Korra clutched her head in despair; she was assaulted at every side. Flash; question; microphone; flash; camera; question. They swirled around her, became part of her, took turns or joined forces to attack her.
"What is wrong with you people? Get out of my way! Naga! Move!" Everything seemed to slow down, just when she needed to be fast, making the entire situation surreal to her. The buzzing slowed in her mind's eye, her heartbeat drummed in her ears. She could not take it anymore. Asami needed her. She needed to go, and she needed to go now.
A hand grabbed her shoulder, turning her around, and she just snapped. She thrust her hand forward, her palm connecting hard with the man's chest, hurling him backwards into the crowd. Turning around while swinging widely with her arm, air trailing her motion, Korra sent multiple reporters flying right into the bay. Immediately, the murmur took on a new sense of urgency. Panicked cries of people everywhere, feet running from right to left and left to right. Shoulders bumping against each other, bodies falling, hands and knees crawling to safety, all guided with only one direction: away from the rampaging Avatar. Blasting herself a way through the human obstacle, Korra moved forward toward the city, letting herself be guided by Naga's howls, and finally broke free. Vaguely aware of Mako's cries after her, she ran on, whistling for her animal companion.
The polar bear dog pulled up behind her, lowering her head to lift Korra off her feet without losing the slightest bit of speed. Naga ran faster than she had ever run before, her master's urgency accelerating her with every stride she took.
Left, right, straight ahead, left, right, right.
The hospital slowly grew bigger and bigger, its magnificent splendor and grandeur totally lost on the nearly frantic Avatar. Before Naga had even come to a full stop, Korra had already pushed herself off and was running, though more like flying, up the stairs of the building. The hinges of the double door barely managed to hold on as the doors were slammed aside with the force of a tornado. Korra looked around, panting heavily, panic growing wilder with every passing millisecond. A spot of green among the white. Bolin!
"Korra, I'm so glad you're okay!"
In her haste, she knocked him harder against the hospital wall than she intended to. "Where's Asami?" A shadow passed over those eternally gleeful, bright green eyes. Korra's heart fell down into her stomach and her breathing became ragged as the young earthbender seemed to be searching for the right words. "Bolin . . . Please, tell me. Where is she?" His head snapped up, his eyes wide in shock upon hearing Korra's tone of voice. The hope, the need, the fright, all thrown together in a weird mixture that he never wanted to hear coming from her again.
"I-I'm sorry, Korra." He could feel the tears building in his eyes as he saw Korra's heart breaking by his words. "Hiroshi, he . . . he . . ."
Korra stumbled backwards as Bolin told her what happened after they had split up. Though the world kept on spinning around her, she was frozen still, standing amidst the rubble of crashing life. "Where is she now?"
Bolin gestured at a dull-gray double door up ahead, "authorized personnel only" splattered in big red letters over it. Without wasting another second, she made her way through the sea of white coats, ignoring Bolin's warnings that she was not to go in there and his pleas to stay there with him.
Flinging the doors open, she was momentarily blinded by bright white light, but it made way for the horrific sight on the surgery table soon enough. Her legs moving, commanded by her heart more than her brain, Korra hurried to Asami's side and grabbed her blood-covered hand.
"Hey, what are you doing here? This is authorized perso–" The healer's order froze in his throat under the ice cold look the Avatar gave him. Recognizing who she was, noticing the need to be there radiating from her, and aware of the direness of the situation, he swallowed the remainder of his sentence and nodded briefly before returning to his patient.
Four healers were crawling around the surgery table, their covers now soaked in the blood of the Sato heiress, the white-blue of healing hands casting an eerie glow on the entire scene.
"The wound is healed, but she has lost a lot of blood."
Korra could not believe it. Seeing Asami lie there, her eyes fluttering with the whites showing, her blood tainting her own hands, now on her face as she kissed the pale hand while squeezing it tightly, willing part of her life-force into the heiress, commanding her to live, to be okay.
The powerlessness she had felt before in the gym after Amon had laid his hands on her was nothing compared to the feeling of utter uselessness she now felt. She hated him more than ever. She hated him for taking her bending from her, but hated him even more for taking Asami from her, as now there was nothing she could do. She was trained by the best healer in the world, she was the Avatar for crying out loud, but all that was rendered useless by the actions of one man. Korra was reduced to the sidelines, forced to watch the life of her Love, her own life, be in the hands of four white, masked men. She hated the sidelines.
She squeezed Asami's hand again, those beautiful green eyes opening to meet her own. A faint smile played on Asami's pain-stricken face. "Hey."
A mix between a sob, a sigh, and a chuckle escaped the Avatar's lips as she bend forward and pressed them against Asami's forehead. "Hi." Suddenly, Asami's body started to convulse underneath Korra's touch, her head flailing up and down, her mouth wide open, gasping frantically for air.
"Her lungs are failing!" Healers rushed to all sorts of weird-looking, incisively beeping instruments.
"You hang in there, don't you dare die on me. You promised to come back. I need you to keep that promise." Unable to keep the horror out of her eyes, Korra tried to calm her tall beauty down.
Asami's green eyes focused the best they could on Korra. "K-K-Korra, I'm cold."
Whatever pieces of her heart that were still intact were now breaking at the sound of Asami's voice, loaded with fear. Her resolve to stay strong and not cry was as useless as she was herself, and Korra felt her cheeks grow wet with the tears that marched over them. She did not know where to turn, what to do.
Ragged breaths brought her sight back to the heiress's face. "I-I'm s-s-sorry, Korra, f-for . . . for not k-keeping my p-pro-pro-promise." A heartbreaking sob escaped both women. Korra could not do anything but violently shake her head, while keeping her tear-filled eyes fixated on the dying girl. "I love you."
As the words passed Asami's painted lips, so did the lights go out in her eyes. The deafening sound of her heart monitor as it flattened ripped the last shred of Korra's world apart.
"Spirits, full arrest. Paddles, paddles!" A nurse ran in, pushing a crash cart made by Future Industries, employing the same technology that sprung life to the electrified gloves the Equalists favored so much.
"Clear." Asami's body convulsed as the electric shock lifted her off the bed; the monitor peaked, but flattened out again soon after. "Recharge!" Korra had difficulty breathing, her sobs drowning out every gasp for air she took. "Clear." She covered her mouth with her hands, only to quickly lower them again as she tasted the heiress's blood on her lips. Asami convulsed again, but the heart monitor showed nothing more than that one peak of electricity shot through her body.
The healer stared at the monitor for a few seconds, putting down the paddles while mustering up the courage to face the Avatar before him. "I'm sorry."
"No!" The healer's words were like a death sentence to her. "You cannot give up. You have to save her! Try again!"
"I am sorry, miss, I really am, but we did all we could. She's gone."
A minute passed, one that felt like an eternity wrapped in forever inside a never-ending chain of sorrow and grief. A minute passed, one that carried the actions and feelings that would require all the years available in a lifetime to process.
She broke; standing there, staring at the lifeless body of the woman she was going to spend her life with, she crumbled down, shut down, scattered in the wind. She buried her head in the nook of Asami's neck and cried out the shattered pieces of her heart. "I am sorry for being such a failure to you."
She lifted her head, and tenderly closed Asami's blank, staring eyes. Every inch of her body that was not turned numb by the sadness was now overflowing with anger; she looked up at the healers, her vision clouded by a red haze. They were shuffling about uneasily, silently taking in the sight of the shaking Avatar. She was furious at the world for taking Asami from her. She was furious at the healers for being unable to save the love of her life, but most of all, she was furious at herself for being such a useless failure, for being unable to do anything for Asami, for being a weakling Avatar with no bending. Standing in her line of sight, she ground her teeth as the raw and uncontrolled rage that surged through her body locked onto the medical staff. "Get out of here! Go!"
The Avatar posed a terrifying sight. Her face was covered in a mixture of her own tears with the blood of the deceased young woman, and the hard, fluorescent hospital lights needlessly enhanced the horrific effect. Those otherwise playful and gentle azure eyes were now cold, piercing discs of ice. Her face was contorted in pure rage; she looked like she was ready to devour someone.
More fleeing than respectfully leaving the scene, three of the healers and the nurse shuffled out of the room, leaving all the objects that they had brought in to safe Asami's life behind. However, the head healer, the pinnacle of Korra's fury, as he was the one that had given up on her, had called her death, remained behind. "I am sorry, Avatar Korra, but according to hospital policy, I cannot let you stay here with the body. It is procedure that we–"
Her anger roared like a wild tigerdillo and she leapt forward to grab him by his collar and lift him off his feet. "'Hospital policy'? 'Procedure'? How dare you concern yourself with such idiocies while Asami is just lying there, dead? And 'the body'? Show some respect!" She threw him violently against the supply closet, where he slid down in a heap of rags. "Now get out of here!" Her voice was as lethal as the venom of a cobra viper. Unable to untangle himself fast enough from his doctor's coat to give answer to the Avatar's order, she bellowed out at him again, her anger exploding in every syllable. "I said, 'get out'!" With a powerful burst of air, she flung the healer through the double doors and out of the operating room.
With seemingly no effort, she tossed over the supply cabinet to barricade the door, shutting out the world, and returned to Asami's side, grabbing her hand once more. She started to hyperventilate, unable to tame the raging beast inside her, and cried out. Her body shuddered uncontrollable and all the sadness any Avatar had ever felt before fell over her, cradling her in a blanket of never ending sorrow.
Someone pulled up behind her.
"Didn't I make it clear that I wanted to be left alone?" Fully intend on striking down and ripping the intruder to shreds, Korra lashed out like a wounded armadillo lioness.
"But you called me here."
The calm voice made her freeze midair, and the young Avatar found herself unable to move as she stared into the stormy gray eyes that –although she had never directly looked into them– were completely familiar to her. "Aang!"
"You have finally connected with your spiritual self."
"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change."
She had always sensed their presence, their guidance, but it was not until now that she could actually see them. The past Avatars, her past lives, all lined up before her, Aang leading the way. The airbender stepped forward, a sense of wisdom beyond his forty-year-old appearance accompanying him, and he solemnly laid a hand on her shoulder and pressed a thumb against the center of her forehead. Korra closed her eyes under the touch of her predecessor and a feeling of calmness and hope became her.
She opened her eyes; she no longer saw the Avatars of old, nor could she sense them, but now she truly felt them. Basking in a surreal, blinding, white light, she felt her sorrow wash away, only to be replaced by a determined resolve that she was not a failure, nor should she face things alone. Along with all her past lives by her side, feeling their simultaneous push and pull as she reached for the water in the bowls the healers had left behind, she streamed the liquid and it instantaneously emitted an eerie bluish glow the moment in settled over her hands.
The young Avatar placed a hand against the still girl's temple and one over her heart. A jolt of electricity surged through her chest as she felt Asami's warmth still lingering inside her. Noticing a large clock hanging on the wall, her heart jumped before practically bursting out of her ribcage as her brain processed the given information: a minute. Only one, short minute had passed, though it had felt like an eternity filled with the actions of a lifetime.
She could still bring her back, she knew she could.
Not willing to utter the words of love while being surrounded by her past lives, Korra reveled once again in the mysterious power and used it to her advantage. She felt the life flowing through her body, swirling around, and eventually being shared through her fingertips.
The remaining water drained the still lifeless heiress. The glow subsided and Korra felt alone again. Asami remained as motionless as before.
"No . . . That should have worked." A single tear marched down over Korra's cheek as she bent over the girl, connecting their foreheads. "Please, open your eyes. Let me look at those beautiful emeralds of yours once again. Please, just . . . wake up, I need you. I need you to wake up." The tear broke of her cheek and plunged down onto Asami as Korra closed her eyes in despair, unable to keep looking at the epitome of her failure. "What good is it to have saved the city, be the Avatar, when I cannot save you?"
"I thought you loved being the Avatar?"
Korra's eyes shot open and she found her gaze met by green discs, sparkling full of life. As hit by lightning, she shot up and took a step back, pivoting on her heals. Briefly scouring the floor for something she did not find, the Water Tribe native glanced at her hand, before slamming it hard against her head. Aww . . . that hurts alright. Not dreaming, I'm definitely not dreaming . . . And if I am dreaming . . . then I don't wanna know. Shaking the light stars of dizziness out of her mind, she cautiously turned around.
Asami had pushed herself up on her elbow and was now staring at Korra in utter amazement. She slightly cocked her head in an unspoken wonder at the other girl's actions, and was nearly knocked off the bed as Korra frantically tackled her, a mixture of relief, joy, freight, and love erupting from her in a waterfall of words and tears, though all muffled as she had her face pressed against Asami's shoulder. The heiress let herself fall backwards, wrapping her arms tightly around the shaking girl. "Shhh, it's okay, Korra, it's okay. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."
Deeply breathing in Asami's sent, Korra let herself be rocked until she felt she had regained control over her voice and looked up. "I thought I lost you there."
Asami cupped Korra's face and pulled her closer, connecting their lips ever so softly. "For a moment there, you did. But I could not break my promise, not to you."
For the first time, Korra felt the mental drain of that last minute catch up with her. She sighed happily, breathing out all the worries that had passed through every inch of her body. Bowing her head, she connected it with Asami's forehead once again. "Remind me to next time make you promise to come back to me without a scratch. That is, if you could ever convince me to let you out of my sight again."
Tenderly tucking a loose strand behind Korra's ear, Asami lifted herself up and placed a kiss on the now bare earlobe, before whispering, "Promise me. Promise me that you'll never let me go ever again."
Korra raised herself, grinning goofily at the girl under her. "I promise." She slowly closed the distance between them, though stopped, her lips hovering only inches above Asami's who could already feel her warm breath.
Opening her eyes that had involuntarily fluttered shut in preparation of the coming sensation, she looked at her Avatar. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I just wanted to say . . . I love you, too."
As Korra closed the gap separating them, Asami's heart rattled in her chest, desperately trying to make up for that one lost minute.
Author's note Edit
- I wrote this because I still cringe every time I see the empty shell of Korra throw herself on Mako and say the most hollow "I love you, too" I have ever heard.
- Message of caution, I have a zero-tolerance for gay-bashing, so do not even attempt it in the comments, as I will react on it and it will not be pretty.
- More Korrasami fun with for those who like the pairing.
- This story won the Outstanding Short Fanon Award in the Fourth Fanon Awards in 2012.
- Comments on the story of FanFiction.net readers can be found here.
For the collective works of the author, go here.