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August 5th, 2017
Korra smiled as she saw her approach.
It was always the same situation on Saturdays: at around ten, she would show up, she'd browse for an hour or two, and then pay for a couple of small parts, always leaving Korra chuckling.
Truth be told, just about all that Korra knew about her was her name: Asami. Pretty name, though not as pretty as she was herself. And even then Korra had never seen her in anything other than coveralls, or those tied around her waist with just a smudged wifebeater above it.
That was actually her favorite part, mostly because it displayed most of Asami's great figure, but of course, Korra couldn't say this out loud. Some of her would like to, as Asami was not only very easy on the eyes, it was also a pleasure to deal with her every time.
Korra had a sneaking suspicion Asami had plenty of money, as she almost never gave her a hard time when haggling about prices for some very specific parts. She owned a junkyard, well, inherited one from her predecessor, Aang, but there was something satisfying about turning scrap into workable material again.
It seemed that Asami had a similar mindset, as she came by every week looking for parts. Korra would hate to be the one tasked with cleaning out her garage, because it was probably stocked to the ceiling with old car parts.
Not that she had any right to judge someone for that, but hey, this was a junkyard, and it was her job to have scrap stacked to the ceiling.
"Like fucking clockwork," Korra smiled to herself as she saw Asami's 20-year old Toyota Hilux pull into the parking lot. That thing had definitely seen better days, and it wasn't totally unlikely Korra would have business with that car later. Then again, it was a Hilux, a car that is virtually indestructible.
"Morning," Korra cheerfully greeted her.
Asami smiled. "Morning. Mind if I mosey around for a bit?"
It made Korra laugh. "Never had a problem with it before. Just give me a heads up if you want something from a bottom row, okay?"
-"You got it." She wandered off between the piles of scrap cars, most of them nothing but empty shells waiting for their date with the crusher.
Korra chuckled as she stared after her. Asami was always so carefree when she was here, but her rigorous schedule betrayed a more organized lifestyle than she was letting on. Of course, there was nothing wrong with that, coming here to relax may be an unusual hobby, but not one that Korra had any reason to despise her for. Hell, Asami was a good customer, so it was quite the opposite.
She turned around to see Mako, one of her employees, on the forklift, staring after Asami as well. "Hey!" Korra called out to him. "Eyes off the prize, back to work!"
With a slight tinge of red on his cheeks, he was quick to do so.
Again, right on cue, Asami showed up to the counter about an hour and a half later with an arm full of greasy parts. Korra smiled as she struggled to keep a hold of it all. "You know, you could have just asked me for a cart, you know."
This was met with a skeptical eyebrow. "Really? You'd give me that?"
"Of course, you're a good customer. So what car did you dismantle today?"
-"There's a '66 Impala at the back of the lot, hope you don't mind," Asami admitted with a chuckle. "Took some parts from under the hood."
Korra nodded, not ashamed of the fact that she was impressed, though if you're honest, you should be ashamed of the fact that you're also a little aroused. "Alright, let's see what you have." Korra took a look through the parts and smiled. An alternator, spark cables, even a pair of valve covers. "Those go on a small-block V8. Mind if I ask what you're working on?"
Asami smiled and looked like a parent who now got to boast about her first-born learning to walk. "'66 Pontiac GTO. I've been looking around for fitting parts for ages and finally found a cover that's still in good condition. They used the same small-blocks in that period on almost all their cars."
"They did," Korra knew. "Well, unfortunately, we have to get to the unpleasant part now: money. Those covers are pretty hard to find, but since you took the effort of dismantling it yourself I'll cut you a deal: 120 for the lot."
Asami thought for a moment but then nodded. "Fair enough. Deal." She held out a grease-covered hand that Korra shook with a smile. Not like her hands were much cleaner anyway, but only in a literal sense. The previous owner of this place always reminded her that dirty hands are a sign of clean money.
They quickly exchanged goods for money, and with that, Asami was on her way again, probably back to her GTO and building it. Still, Korra couldn't complain. This was an easy way of making some extra money on the side.
A couple of weeks went by like that, and Asami was slowly disassembling the entire Impala, just hoping to find good parts. Korra mostly thought it was pretty funny, to see her so driven.
But today was going to be different, and that was all down to the weather. Even though it was normally pretty dry in these parts, the last few days had been so humid and now with skies this dark, there was going to be hail and hellfire later on, she just knew it.
And yet Asami was undeterred as she showed up and, on Korra's advice, had brought a small cart to haul parts around in. They did their usual bid, Asami asking if she could browse, and Korra had no problem letting her.
But after about half an hour, the sky lit up with a lightning bolt that Korra could clearly see, and the thunder wasn't far behind.
"Mako!" she yelled out. "Get Bolin, and get the equipment back inside! We're about to get a taste of the story of Noah!"
-"You got it," he coolly replied, but he was surprised to see her taking off into the yard itself. "Where are you going?"
"Asami is still out there, I can't leave her in that."
Korra had a rough idea where the Impala was, and to her relief, Asami was there, though it was more her legs that Korra could see sticking out from under it. "Hey," she said, taking a wrench and tapping it on the hood of the car a few times.
-"Ow," Asami commented at the sharp sound. "What was that for?"
"Thor, the God of Thunder is about to show us his displeasure with the world," she said, pointing over her shoulder to the darkest clouds, just as another bolt of lightning split the sky. "So I was rather thinking you should probably come inside for now, get back to this thing after. Car isn't going anywhere, mostly because you pulled the entire engine apart."
While Korra was saying that, the first raindrops started to fall, and they were big ones. She didn't need to be a meteorologist to know that they were going to be soaked by the time they got back to the garage.
-"Alright, just gotta get my tools," Asami said, quickly gathering everything. Korra decided to help her by stashing the little cart in the stripped interior, making sure it wouldn't rust away before Asami could return to her pet project.
Their sprint back to the garage was hampered by Asami's heavy toolbox and the fact that the rain had turned the pathways back into mud. Korra almost made a very inelegant face plant as she slipped but managed to get her feet back under her body just in time. Now is not a good time to consider a game of mud wrestling.
Unfortunately, as predicted, they were both completely soaked by the time they actually made it to the garage, which was unpleasant. Korra slicked her short hair back. "Well, that went about as well as expected."
-"Whoa, did you swim over here?" Bolin piped up.
"Not another fucking word if you value your job," Korra warned him. Chuckling, he raised his hands and backed off, even though Korra wouldn't fire him for that. "Come on, we've got some towels in the back."
She led Asami to the back of the workshop, where there were a few towels for drying your hands, not really for hair, but they'd do the trick for now.
"Umm, just out of curiosity, are you sticking with your new Joker-look?" Korra playfully jabbed at Asami.
-"Oh no. Has my makeup run out again?"
"Guessing you didn't buy the waterproof variant," Korra chuckled.
Asami laughed too as she started dabbing the towel under her eyes. "Didn't think it was necessary, but apparently I was wrong. Is there a mirror somewhere?"
"Sure, down the hall, first door on your left."
As soon as she was alone, Korra managed to wrestle her coveralls down to her waist so that she could at least take off her tank top and squeeze the water out of that.
But as she was doing that, she suddenly felt like she was being watched and turned to find Asami in the door opening with a hint of red on her cheeks. "Ahem," Korra coughed to break her gaze.
-"Sorry," she muttered, going even redder while turning around. "Didn't mean to intrude."
It just made Korra laugh more. "It's okay," she reassured her as she pulled her top back on. "Just answer me this: did you like what you see?" This only made Asami blush harder, which was good enough for Korra. "I'll take that as a yes. Come on, I'll make you a cup of tea."
It should be noted that Korra hadn't really seen Asami without makeup before, because even though coming to the junkyard was clearly her way of spending her day off, she still had immaculate makeup on. Korra had wondered what was up with that, but now it turns out she was just really diligent in applying it.
More to the point, Korra liked what she saw. Asami was beautiful without makeup, maybe even more so than with. Somehow, the wet and slightly greasy and smudgy tank top looked better on her now than it did before. Though if you're honest, that might be because it clings a little more.
So after Korra had made each a cup of tea (the tea coming from a box that probably had tools in it at some point) they settled into warming themselves back up, because the rain had lowered the outside temperature significantly.
"Okay, here's something I've been thinking about," Korra said, breaking a brief lull in the conversation. "Why go through all this trouble for parts for your GTO? Wouldn't it be much easier to just order them online?"
-"Where's the fun in that?" Asami smirked back. "I'm doing this for fun, and I like taking old cars apart, hoping to find that one perfect part that is just the one I need for my car. Ordering everything online is just a step above paying someone else to restore it for me."
"Good point. It's the dirty hands, isn't it?"
Asami nodded. "Yes. I work an office job, burying myself up to my elbows in greasy engines is how I unwind. Some parts are inevitable to get done by professionals, like paintwork and interior, but I'm trying to do the mechanics of it all myself."
"I gotta say, I'm impressed. Does sound like a fun way of doing things."
-"It is, you should try it sometime."
Korra chuckled. "I might, if I can ever find the free time. Plus, I have to make sure you don't pull apart every car before I get the chance."
It made Asami laugh too. It was surprisingly easy to talk with her, and even in the brief moment that they finally exchanged more than three sentences, Korra just found herself completely at ease with this woman.
-"It sounds like Thor has calmed down again," Asami said after noting that the thunder and the rain had blown away.
"You're right," Korra agreed. "Guess that means we should get back to work."
Asami nodded. "Yeah, though I was nearly done anyway, mostly have to get my stuff and the parts I relieved that old Impala from."
Korra chuckled again. "You go do that. I guess I'll see you at the counter soon, right?"
The following weeks got progressively better, as far as Korra was concerned. Asami stopped by for the watery machine tea a couple of more times, and they quickly took a liking to each other that was deeper than just surface level. It was very refreshing for Korra to talk with someone who knew cars better than she did, and her passion for them burned even brighter.
Of course, Asami was also fascinated with Korra herself. At first, it was just the sleeve of tribal ink Korra had (Polynesian inspired, not that douchebaggy '90s stuff), but that soon shifted towards a more personal approach, how she got the junkyard, her background, the works.
It was just very... nice, talking with Asami. Everything between them was smooth, like, well, Korra didn't like puns, but like a well-oiled machine.
They had actually gone as far as exchanging phone numbers, which turned out to be very useful when Korra actually got an old GTO delivered to her yard. Those were pretty rare, and there was absolutely no doubt Asami would want to cannibalize that car.
Surprise, surprise, she was right. About an hour after the call, Asami showed up, in spite of the fact that it was a Wednesday. She was wearing her traditional coveralls, though Korra also quickly noticed that her nails were perfectly polished in a nice red shade, something she ordinarily never had. She was also still wearing earrings, and her hair seemed to be done a little neater than the normal ponytail Korra had grown used to.
"Couldn't let this one go, could you?" she asked with a smirk.
Asami smiled. "Hell no, this is the kind of stuff I was waiting for. You think it's still good?"
Korra just smiled right back at her. "Well, follow me." She had specifically parked the GTO at the front of the lot, making sure it was easily accessible to Asami. Also visible from the garage, but let's omit that small little detail for now. "Here she is."
Asami walked around it a few times, nodding and taking a few good looks at it. "It's not perfect. I take it this was some sort of barn find?"
"It was. Spent the past two decades rusting away, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say everything under the body isn't much good anymore?"
Asami nimbly slid under the car, once again impressing Korra. "Nope, this chassis is rotten all the way through. I can poke through it with my bare hand." She slipped out from under it with the same impressive ease. "But the bodywork is still quite good. I think it was on a couple of chocks or something?"
"Maybe, I didn't ask. Now, since you came here so quickly, I'm guessing you're quite eager to take it apart?"
-"God, I thought you'd never ask," Asami said, almost appearing relieved. "Mind if I get started? There's plenty on here I want."
Korra couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm. "By all means, that's why I called you."
She immediately got started, breaking out the spanners and the screwdrivers to disassemble the parts that she wanted. Unfortunately for Asami, it was also getting later in the day, and Korra would be closing up soon. She could stretch it a little bit longer for Asami's sake but not endlessly.
In the end, Korra really wanted to close up shop, and pretty much the last thing she did was walk over there, while Asami was bent over the wing of the car, her behind pleasantly sticking out. The best form of defense is attack, so best do that now. "Hey, Asami's ass," Korra called out, suppressing both a chuckle and a blush.
Asami shot up, momentarily forgetting that she was under the hood of the car. "OW!" she yelled as she banged her head on the hood.
"Oh God, are you okay?" Korra chuckled. She would be.
-"Yeah, but this is gonna leave a bump," Asami said, rubbing her head.
"Sorry," Korra sheepishly said. "Anyway, I want to close up right about now, so I was wondering if you were done."
-"Not really. There's more under here I kind of want to take apart."
Korra nodded. "I understand, but this one isn't going anywhere either. It'll still be here the next time you drop by."
-"You know, I'm gonna miss our little meet-ups," Asami said as Korra helped her load the last of the panels she took off the GTO into her Hilux.
Korra was already afraid of this. "You mean you have everything?"
Asami nodded. "Yep. I have most of it put together now, and it's just waiting for these panels to come back from respraying."
"Well, I hope it turns out the way you want it to." Korra held out her hand, covered in grease and dirt, as always, but Asami still smiled and shook it. "Good luck, Asami."
"You too, Korra."
A few weeks went by, and Korra caught herself multiple times staring out the window at the spot where Asami always parked her Hilux. She really did miss her, the easy talking, poking a bit of fun at each other. It was surprisingly dull without that.
-"You know you could just call her," Mako said when he caught her for the thousandth time.
"And say what?" Korra fired back. "People who can afford to restore classic muscle cars in their spare time don't date on my end of the tax scale."
-"And people say I'm a pessimist..." Mako mumbled under his breath. "Just try it, okay? You've been looking pretty miserable without her swinging by from time to time, and that's not a good look for you."
Korra sighed. "Okay, I'll call her later."
Turns out, that wasn't necessary. Around the time Korra was closing up the yard again, she suddenly heard the unmistakable roar of a small-block V8. "No way..." she muttered to herself.
She went outside, seeing Asami standing there, leaning against the hood of her GTO. The car had been done with a gorgeous dark purplish-blue finish, chrome in all the right places, and looked absolutely stunning.
Of course, the machine had nothing on its owner. Rather than being in her coveralls again, Asami was standing there in a pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket, her long wavy hair draped loosely over her shoulders. On top of everything else, her face was lined with a smirk that told Korra everything she needed to know.
-"Couldn't spend weeks talking her up and not take you for a spin," she said.
Korra's smile couldn't be much wider without hurting herself. "Beautiful," was all she could manage.
-"Come on," Asami smiled. "Let's go for a ride." That was something she didn't need to tell Korra twice. "So where do you want to go?"
Korra smiled and leaned over to kiss Asami on the cheek. "Take me to the sunset."
|Korra's Recovery • The Road to Nowhere Special • Soldier's Eyes - Part 1 • Inked • Smokin' • For Those About To Rock • Soldier's Eyes - Part 2 • Bath Time • Gym Buddies • The New TA • Moving Out, Moving On • Earning Her Spurs • Swimming in the Rain • A Drink For Free • Insider • How I Got to Memphis • What Happens In Vegas... • Vendetta • The Snow Storm • Stays in Vegas... • Saturday • Public Transport • The Big Day • The Fighter • Lights, Camera, Action • What Happens In College... • Small-Block V8 • ... Or Maybe Not • Spur of the Moment • The Suit Makes the Woman • Asami Alone|
|Other works (mostly Kainora)|
|Tickets • As Tough As You Are • The Compound • Was It Worth It? • Coffee to Go • Best Hangover Ever • Best Hangover Ever 2 • Winter Olympics 2018 • Lost In the Woods|
|The Divided Republic • Team Player • All Are Equal • The Callgirl • Who We Are • She's a Pirate • Where Do We Start? • Some Day They'll Go Down Together|
For the collective works of the author, go here.