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Release date

May 5th, 2016

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"Do we really have to do this?" Asami groaned, though she was only offering minimal resistance as Jinora dragged her by the hand towards a tattoo shop.

-"Yes, we do. Come on, 'Sami, you know we agreed to do this, and you have constantly been too much of a wuss to actually see it through," the younger girl snidely replied, causing Asami to let out another sigh.

It was true, she wanted to get the tattoo, it had been something she had been wanting to do for a long time, but the thing was, she hated needles. As far as phobias went, Asami didn't have many, she was fine with heights, insects, clowns, ducks, and almost anything else, but the idea of having a whole bunch of needles striking her over and over again to etch a drawing into her skin was really freaking her the fuck out.

Now though, Jinora was old and stupid enough to be allowed to do this on her own, and she had finally convinced Asami that they were going to do this together. Chances were that Tenzin was going to flip if he learned about this, especially if he heard that Asami was going along with his eldest daughter to get one in sync.

"Where are we even going?"

Jinora stoically kept on walking, still dragging Asami half behind her. "There's this place I heard of from a friend in my Air Nomad History class, he said it's really good. I've looked them up online, and they have delivered some really good work. Ah! Here we are!"

Asami looked up, seeing a small building named 'Naga's Tattoo Shop'. On the outside, there wasn't much to see about it, but on the inside, the story was completely different. All the walls were lined with pictures of newly done tattoos, and most of them looked brilliant. They came in all shapes and sizes, ranging from people having their whole back covered with massive dragons to just the tiniest Egyptian hieroglyphs people had on their wrist.

-"Afternoon," came the cheery greeting from a man behind the counter. "How may I help you?"

"I'm here to talk about a mortgage," Asami replied, a small chuckle escaping from her, even though she was trying to keep her face straight.

He laughed too. "We have another cynic. Korra, you can take this one," he called out to the back, where a tanned woman emerged from behind a curtain.

Wow, was the most prevalent thought in Asami's head. Korra, apparently, was gorgeous. She was relatively short, with a messy bob haircut, and her blue tank top left no question about the hows and whats, because damn. Her very muscular arms were both covered, one with a very intricate Maori design covering her entire left arm, a very colorful galaxy tattoo on her lower right, and an image of Raava on her upper right arm.

-"Hey there," she said, breaking Asami's stare, who instantly turned bright red.

"Hi," Asami murmured back, after which it fell awkwardly silent.

-"Anyway..." Jinora spoke up, breaking the slightly awkward atmosphere that had fallen. "Me and Asami here both want tattoos, though not the same things."

-"First time?" Korra asked, a slight smirk on her face. Damn that's attractive.

-"Yep, we're both new to this."

Her smile grew. "Hmm, blank sheets... Kai, you want the little one?"

The man at the register eyed both of his new customers up, and then gently started nodding. "You take the other one, I have a feeling she's more of your thing," he smirked.

Jinora had her mouth open from surprise. "I... Am I really that short?" she asked Asami on a whisper.

"Kind of," Asami smirked back, enjoying the look of surprise on her friend's face. "Don't worry though, you're also adorable."

-"Alright then, Asami, you can follow me to the back," Korra said, gesturing her along. "What did you have in mind?" she asked when they were both sitting.

"Well, I wanted to get a tattoo of two roses on my hip. I don't really have a reference picture, if you need that kind of thing."

Korra shook her head. "Nah, nothing to worry about, I know what a rose looks like. How do you want it, black and white, color, watercolor?"

"Watercolor?" Asami asked, not knowing exactly what that would entail.

-"It's a fairly new technique, one that doesn't involve lines which make it look like a paint-by-numbers drawing. Hold on." She walked behind her curtain again, only to emerge a few moments later with a book in her hand. "Here, these are a few good examples."

Asami quickly thumbed through, and they did look good. "This is actually quite appealing, I didn't know about this. Can you make them in red, with green stems, and that the stems are intertwined?"

-"Sure, no problem."

"And how do the colors hold?"

-"Just fine," Korra said and slid her stool back a bit, lifting the hem of her top.

Two things that Asami was interested in came into view: most of all, holy mother of Raava, those abs are probably harder than diamonds, though what Korra was probably referring to was the hummingbird in all sorts of colors on her right hip. "Got it done three years ago, and it's holding just fine," she explained. Asami took her time studying it, not at all to have the opportunity to stare at those amazing abs a little longer, and realized that something without the lines was exactly what she wanted.

"Looks great. How soon can you have this ready?"

-"Give me an hour to draw some things up, you and your short friend can spend some time out in the city," Korra chuckled.

Asami stood up again and looked over to Jinora, who was in an animated conversation with Kai. This was also around the time she noticed the light blue arrows on both of his hands, which was when the penny dropped. "Alright, I'll be back then. See you in an hour."

Jinora totally by accident brushed past Kai's hand on her way out, and it made Asami smile. "You know, there are easier ways to get a guy to go out with you than to get a tattoo from him."

The way she flushed told her enough: she was pulling on the right string here. "I... I'm not..." Jinora stuttered, and it made Asami laugh.

"Save it, the arrows on his hands make me think he's the guy from your Air Nomad History class, isn't he?"

-"He is," Jinora said, partially embarrassed. "But that's not the reason I'm getting a tattoo, it's because I am one from descent. He's just very good."

"Sure he is." This went on for a while, and they decided to settle it over drinks. Jinora got some sweet revenge by jabbing at how blatantly Asami had been eye-fucking Korra, so it wasn't as subtle as she hoped it had been.

Eventually though, they made their way back to the parlor, where both Kai and Korra had finished their drawings. The latter had drawn up several roses for Asami, each different, but all looking pretty damn good. Kai could start much sooner, as Jinora had been far more certain about what she wanted, whereas Asami first had to make a choice between Korra's designs.

Ultimately though, she picked the best looking one, and Korra applied the roses to her hip, getting a baseline along which she would draw.

"Okay, before we start, I gotta ask: how big is the needle?"

Korra looked up from her preparation work, raising an eyebrow. "Don't tell me you're afraid of needles..."

"Only a little bit," Asami replied with a small voice. "It's... kind of the reason I don't have a tattoo yet."

-"Alright, I'm not gonna say it's painless, because it's not. It will sting, but I'll probably be done within the hour. The needle itself is actually very small, here, take a look." She handed Asami the tattoo gun in its plastic packing, and she could barely discover any needle on there. The end looked a little sharp, but it wasn't anything like a surgical needle.

Asami sighed in relief. "Okay, thanks. I'm good now." She lay down on her side, giving Korra the easiest access, who had all of her ink and needles prepped.

-"Like I said, it'll sting a bit, so try to lie still." Asami braced herself, but in reality, the pain wasn't too bad. "You chose wisely," Korra chuckled. "The hip is one of the least painful places to get a tattoo, outside of maybe your ass. Any place that doesn't have a layer of fat on it, like your hands and feet, will hurt like hell. Found that one out the hard way," she smirked, holding up her left hand, showing that the Maori design ran over there as well.

The artist worked on diligently, first doing the outline of the first flower, in red, as they had agreed. "So what made you want to get a pair of roses?" she asked after a while.

"My mom, she really liked roses," Asami replied. "She died when I was six, and there is just so little that I can remember about her, I just want there to be something permanent. Something that will make sure I'll never forget her."

-"That's sweet of you. But why now? You're 29, why wait until now to get one?"

"Like I said, I kind of freak out whenever I see a needle. Really hate the damn things. Finally let Jinora convince me to go through with it, because I have been thinking about getting it for a long time." Asami was glad Korra was talking to her, as it was distracting her from the stinging sensation emanating from the needle. "Alright, time for you to answer one of my questions: who is Naga? Has to be pretty important if the shop is named after her."

Korra pulled the needle away for a moment and chuckled. "Naga is the lazy bitch sleeping in the corner." She gestured over to the far end of the shop, where a massive white dog was peacefully asleep.

"Well, I'll be damned, is it actually a 'she'?" Asami started laughing too.

The artist enthusiastically nodded. "Of course, I wouldn't insult my own dog like that. The only one lazier than her is Kai!" she called out across the store to him, even though he was currently working on Jinora's shoulder.

-"Screw you too, Korra."

-"That's Boss to you, Junior." Korra turned back to Asami's hip, continuing the onslaught. "Anyway, since I couldn't decide on a name for the shop, I decided to go with Naga. Dogs are perfect companions, because if you train them well, they're loyal, cute, and then when a robber comes and pulls a gun on your employee, she has the power to rip his throat out."

"That really happened?!" Asami exclaimed in shock.

Korra chuckled again. "Well, not exactly. There was a robber one day, and while he was paying attention to Kai taking the money from the register, he failed to notice Naga coming up to him and lunging for his hand. She bit him so hard that he dropped the gun and refused to let go until I told her to. Turns out, she chewed off one of the guy's fingers. Didn't feel the need to press charges after that, and we let her stay in the shop ever since."

"He didn't feel the need to sue for damages?"

-"Ha! As if. We had him on camera committing an armed robbery, so even if he got something out of it from us, he'd only be able to enjoy it in 20 years."

Asami laughed too, and she started to realize just how easy it was to talk with Korra. She worked consistently through the hour and a half, talking about everything and nothing. Asami's job as an architect at her father's company, their mutual favorite song being House of the Rising Sun, how Korra originally came from the Southern Water Tribe, some good ways to burn through a boring night with the help of Netflix and a bottle of amaretto, a few exes (girl- and boyfriends for both), and how the artist ended up with a tattoo parlor. "Always wanted to do something with art," she explained. "Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a particular affection for drawing stuff. Drove my parents mad, because they actually liked their cream-colored walls without either crayon or felt-tip or whatever else I could get my hands on to draw with. Forced my dad to repaint that room so many damn times, because I was also stubborn as hell and wouldn't learn a damn thing."

"So how'd you end up here in Republic City? Sounds like you're a long way from home."

Korra sighed, and Asami looked up, seeing a tinge of sadness in her eyes. "Yeah, I am," she admitted. "Part of me wants to go home, because I haven't seen my parents in years. They don't have the money to fly up here, and I only hired Kai a few months ago, I don't think he's quite ready to run the shop on his own." She gestured Asami to lie back down on her side, and then continued her work. "What about you? Got any bigger goals than working at your dad's company?"

Asami thought for a moment. "Well, I suppose the day will come that he'll retire, and I think I'll take over from there. I don't know yet if that's exactly what I want, because I like the hands-on approach as well. You know, having my feet on the ground, overseeing construction projects, drawing up schematics for the necessary parts myself, that kind of stuff. The paperwork is okay up to a certain point, but if I couldn't interchange it with actually designing stuff, I'd probably go mad within the month."

-"And what if you discover that you don't want to take over?"

"Might drop out of my dad's company all together, build something for myself where I can actually do that. Something small, hands-on, something like what you have here. Small, personal, one or two employees, something like that."

-"Sounds really good, I think you should do it while you can still enjoy it. Don't wait too long, because opportunities can slip through your fingers just like that."

The time Asami spent on the table flew by, and it was all because Korra was talking to her. Her hip stung a little when she was done, but when Asami looked in the mirror, it was definitely worth it. The roses looked amazing, photorealistic, and just like Korra said, no black lines to make it look like a coloring book. "Wow... I just... Wow, Korra, it looks great."

The artist gave Asami a few tips for aftercare, before heading over to the counter, where Jinora was already waiting for her. "Looks great, makes your ass stand out," the younger girl smirked.

"Well, let me see yours then." Jinora turned around, revealing the three light blue spirals of the Air Nation on her left shoulder. It was small and discreet, something that wouldn't be noticed from a distance if you didn't know what to look for, exactly. "Looks good, Jinny. Now it's time to freak out your parents."

They all laughed, and Korra lead Asami over to the counter, where it was time for her to pay, and this had Asami feeling a little sad. Her time on the table, talking with Korra, it was so easy, and just so... nice, and it was already over. Her words resonated through Asami's mind, and after paying, she decided to make a move. "Korra? Did you really mean what you said about opportunities?"

-"I did." There was a twinkle of anticipation in her eyes, and it made Asami a little more steadfast in what she wanted to ask.

"Would you like to go out for dinner with me? Tomorrow, after you close up shop?"

Korra smiled, and much to Asami's surprise, leaned in, quickly pecking her on the lips. "And here I was, thinking I was going to have to ask you myself."

It made Asami's insides bubble up with excitement, and it made her smile like never before. "Alright, see you tomorrow." She and Jinora walked out again, both with a massive smile plastered on their faces. "Judging by the way you look, Kai asked you out as well?"

-"We should get tattooed more often. Makes for some great dating opportunities."

It just popped into my head and wouldn't leave, so write it I did.

Korra's RecoveryThe Road to Nowhere SpecialSoldier's Eyes - Part 1InkedSmokin'For Those About To RockSoldier's Eyes - Part 2Bath TimeGym BuddiesThe New TAMoving Out, Moving OnEarning Her SpursSwimming in the RainA Drink For FreeInsiderHow I Got to MemphisWhat Happens In Vegas...VendettaThe Snow StormStays in Vegas...SaturdayPublic TransportThe Big DayThe FighterLights, Camera, ActionWhat Happens In College...Small-Block V8... Or Maybe NotSpur of the MomentThe Suit Makes the WomanAsami Alone
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