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Korra was frantically turning her room upside down, trying to find her good pair of jeans. Where did I put those fucking things? I can't go out on a date in freakin' sweats! Despair growing by the second, she did something she hated doing.
"Mom! Have you seen my pants?" she yelled downstairs.
-"They're in the washing machine, you had been wearing those for weeks! They were disgusting!"
Even though she didn't like it, it was actually true. Korra was never one to care though, but this was probably for the best. Now what? It's January, and I don't have any good jeans!
She suddenly got a bright idea, and dug through the bottom regions of her closet, pulling out a different pair, which she never wore, because they had paint in them. Korra had worn them when she was painting her room blue, but the stains weren't that conspicuous. Plus, they were mostly on the left side, courtesy of the laziest way to paint the lower parts of the wall.
She quickly slipped them on and now worried about choosing a shirt. Anything fanboy related was discarded immediately, and that left a shockingly small pile to choose from. She chose a blue zip-up hoodie, and was forced to wear her "I am a bomb technician" shirt underneath, primarily because it only has writing on the back.
Now brilliantly dressed, she ran downstairs, quickly grabbed her keys from the kitchen counter, and was on her way out, when her father stopped her. "Where are you off to in such a hurry?"
Korra let her head hang. She really didn't want to tell her parents what her real intentions were, so she had come up with a contingency plan the night before. "Do we really have to do this now, dad? I'm going to drink a cup of tea in town with Asami, she asked me to."
-"If anything like last time you drank something together happens, you are in big trouble, you lady." He gave her a piercing stare, and Korra nodded understandingly. "Alright, go on," He eventually said, and moved out of the doorway.
She jumped into her Audi, and realized she was late already. Her dressing calamities had cost her some dear time. Of course, the entire retirement brigade had decided to drive right in front of her, making her even more impatient.
"Jesus Christ, the only thing you should be riding is a fucking hearse! Get out of the way, man!" she yelled at a reheated corpse on his moped, who was taking up the entire road. Of course, she only did that within the safety of her car, carefully keeping all windows closed. Korra did make it to the parking lot behind the tea shop at 12:57. Perfect. She glanced into the mirror one last time to make sure she hadn't made a mess of herself and went inside.
There were only three other people, and elderly man, and a mother with a small child. Thank God, means she isn't here yet. She sat down at a narrow table, carefully positioning herself so the worst paint stains were against the wall.
Korra had been waiting for a few minutes in the surprisingly empty tea shop, when she saw a girl about her age enter. She took off her coat, looked around, and when she saw Korra, walked straight to her.
"Great." Korra eyed her up. She was quite small, even compared to Korra. Opal had gone for simple sneakers, dark jeans with a gray T-shirt and a loose green flannel, accentuating her slim build, and a very stylish scarf. Her eyes were practically the same emerald green as Asami's, but she had a very friendly face, slightly tanned skin, and short, black hair. She's cute. But that's why she's here, no?
Korra didn't really know what to say. "So, ehh, I don't really date, like, often..." Wow, you can't even keep your completely non-existent social life quiet for one fucking minute.
Opal laughed. "That's okay. This is my first blind date. The first date is always a touch awkward. But how about we start with ordering something?"
Opal waved to the waiter, and he soon came over. "What will it be, ladies?"
Korra held her hand up to Opal, urging her to choose first. "Do you have fresh mint tea with honey?"
Korra hesitated. "That... actually sounds pretty good. Make that two."
Opal smiled. "Don't order that often?"
"No, I didn't even know it really exists."
-"It's great, you made the right choice. But why don't you tell me a little about yourself?"
"What's there to tell? I'm seventeen, go to Jefferson High and I'm in my junior year."
-"That's plenty to tell. Let me make this a little easier on you: I'm the middle child with four brothers, in my junior year as well, but on Eisenhower High, and I like movies, reading and swimming."
"Alright, fair enough, you are making this easier."
Opal seemed to get a little curious now. "How do you know Pema?" Korra gave her a strange look, but Opal just smiled. "First date 1-0-1: start with something you have in common."
Well, there's one to remember. "Ah. Well, my father is a congressman, and he gets along quite well with Tenzin, and through various dinner parties and get-togethers and so on, I ended up babysitting those three little monsters of them."
She giggled. "You really think that of her children?"
Goddamn, this girl is adorable. "Well, kind of. I mean, I mostly have to babysit them when they are fast asleep, so I really see it as easy money."
-"Wow, I'd kill for a job like that."
"Well I hope you're not planning on killing me to take over." She paused for a moment. "Fuck, I said that out lou..." Korra slammed her hand in front of her mouth before she said anything even more stupid. Great job, you fucking imbecile. "I'm sorry, I always swear when I'm nervous and..." She interrupted herself when she felt the heat racing through her cheeks again.
Opal giggled. "You know, you're really cute when you're blushing like that."
This only made Korra's cheeks burn even brighter. "You can see that?"
"My grandmother is blind, lives in the Everglades and she could see it from there. Yes, I can see it just fine."
Korra put her hands over her cheeks, and looked stiff down, attempting to save what was left of her dignity. What dignity? But this only made Opal giggle even more. "You shouldn't worry about it. I told you, the first date is always a little awkward."
Korra sat upright again. "Well, there's a little, and then there's this."
By now, their tea had arrived, and it was not what Korra had expected. They got a large glass, filled to the brim with boiling hot water and a bush of fresh mint. She got a saucer on the side, with honey in a plastic hotel cup and a spoon on it.
"Oowwwkaayyy... What am I supposed to make of this?"
-"It's fresh mint tea! Just let it pull for a little while, pour in the honey and you're done!"
"I'll take your word for it." Korra thought for a moment. "You didn't tell me how you know Pema well enough to let her set you up on a date."
-"Well, it's just like you: I know her through Tenzin. It was my grandmother who was good friends with Tenzin's father, and it carried over through the generations. I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to break off now though, her children are even younger than my youngest brothers."
"That's a shame."
-"Didn't you call her kids 'little monsters'?" Opal didn't hesitate to throw Korra's remark back at her.
Korra hesitated a little. "Well, yes, and I kind of stand by that. A couple of weeks ago, I went to dinner there, the little one kicked me so hard I walked around with black and blue legs for a week."
-"They can be a little... overwhelming." Opal set to work preparing her tea. She took out the mint, placed it on her saucer and poured in the honey and stirred, all with a stoic efficiency that made Korra realize this wasn't Opal's first rodeo. "You look like you're somewhat of an expert with this," Korra said, with and impressed look on her face.
-"Why thank you. And yes, I order this whenever I get the chance. It's my favorite." Korra set work repeating the process she just witnessed Opal preform, only she dripped tea all over the place, including her hand which was... unpleasant due to the hot water, only to realize she left the honey on the saucer, underneath the bushel of mint. Well, this is all going about as well as trying to navigate the Titanic past an iceberg.
-"Haven't really got your head in the game today?" Opal sounded genuinely worried after taking a sip of her tea.
"I'm just... I haven't done this before."
Opal raised an eyebrow. "You don't mean the tea, do you?"
Korra shook her head. "This is my first date with a girl," she slowly managed.
Opal gave her a cute smile. "For what it's worth, I think you're doing fine so far."
Korra couldn't help but smile at how nice Opal was being.
They spent the best part of the next hour talking. Korra even managed to make Opal laugh without embarrassing herself a few times. You know, like most people would do on a date. They talked about a wide range of topics, from Opal's diverse family to the way Korra ended up playing tennis.
Opal's friendly and open attitude made it very easy for Korra to talk to her, something she wasn't really used to. Korra tried to not be her usual callous self, and, admittedly with some effort, succeeded.
Time passed without Korra really noticing. Ultimately, Opal reminded her that they should probably be getting home. Korra insisted on paying, something that Opal didn't seem too hot about.
-"I'm a Beifong, I can pay for my own drinks."
"Trust me Opal, you did me a favor by coming here. I'm paying and that is an end of it."
She called over the waiter, who brought the bill directly. He probably heard half of their conversation, given that it was still dead quiet in the shop.
They walked outside, and Opal wanted to head in a different direction than Korra.
"Parked somewhere else?"
-"I didn't come by car. My parents don't want seven cars in the driveway, so we have to share two between five siblings, and two of my brothers made good arguments they needed them more than I did. I came by bus."
She braved half an hour of public transport so she could go on a date with your sorry ass. What is it with you luck and amazing people? "You went by bus? Over half an hour to get here?"
-"Yeah. No problem, really."
"I could give you a ride. Like I said, you did me a huge favor by agreeing to come here in the first place."
-"That's really not necessary. You live all the way across town."
"Like I said: you did me a favor, this is the least I can do for you. Come on."
They walked to Korra's Audi, which was parked around the back of the café.
-"What was this whole 'favor' business about? It was just a date, nothing really at stake, right?"
"'At stake?' What do you mean?"
-"Well, even if it didn't work, the worst part would have been that I drank tea with someone."
"Not really for me. I..." Korra hesitated for a moment. "Did Pema tell you the real reason she asked you to do this with me?"
Opal looked surprised. "No... I mean, I kind of figured she was just trying to hook me up. But why wouldn't she tell me the real reason?"
You've said this much, now you also have to finish it. "Because... 'cause I asked her not to."
-"Why?" Opal appeared to be more curious than displeased, which was probably a good thing.
"I... I'm not entirely certain yet." It felt weird telling this to someone she didn't know, but on the other hand, this girl did appear to be genuinely nice and genuinely interested in her.
-"You mean about the whole 'liking girls'-thing?"
Korra silently nodded and looked down.
-"Hey." She looked up at the soft sound of Opal's voice, who took her hand. Only now did Korra realize that Opal was wearing a pair of soft, grey, fingerless gloves. She looked Korra straight in the eyes, and the former couldn't turn away from those massive emerald eyes. They really are beautiful. "There's no shame in admitting it. For what it's worth, I think you're all the braver for trying this. Even if it turns out to be nothing, then you'll at least be certain."
"Yeah. I guess so." NASA might as well stop all deep-space exploration programs. The luckiest motherfucker in the entire goddamn universe is right here in Washington.
Opal got a slight smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes as she let go of Korra's hand. "I have just the thing to test it. Close your eyes."
It sparked Korra's curiosity big time, so she did just that.
-"How many fingers am I holding up?"
"How am I supposed to know that? My eyes are closed."
Korra felt Opal's hand in her neck, and suddenly the softest touch of Opal's lips on hers. Oh my holy sweet baby Jesus who art in heaven, she's kissing me! The shock wanted to make her jolt away, but her limbs had turned into Jell-O and her spine into peanut butter, making any real movement impossible. Opal was holding her head in place, which was probably even a good thing, otherwise, Korra might have collapsed on the spot. She felt the gentlest of touches as Opal's tongue ran past her lips, before Opal broke the kiss again and let Korra go, who found herself leaning heavily on the hood of her car.
Korra was silent for what felt like forever, with her mouth hanging open just a fraction and her eyes still closed. "Okay... Wow..." she finally managed, and Opal let out the cutest giggle.
-"Take your time."
"I'll admit, that was a pretty good test."
Opal chuckled. "I know, right? It's what swung me around." She gave Korra a bit more time to regain her senses. "Want to get going?"
Korra nodded and got behind the wheel, while Opal got into the seat beside her. She started driving in the general direction of Opal's neighborhood, as she knew the map of DC fairly well. It was a good thing most of the people on the road were already old, because Korra was only half paying attention to the road. The other half of her was still trying to process the fact that Opal just kissed her on the first date. Opal's house was only a short drive, but unwieldy bus lines made it such a long trip for her. She pulled up at the driveway of the Beifong Estate, a large freestanding house with and impressive front yard. Ultimately, Korra couldn't hold her curiosity back anymore.
"Why did you do it?"
-"Seemed like a good idea," Opal smirked.
Korra wasn't looking for sarcasm. "Could you not?"
-"Okay, if you want the truth, it's because I really enjoyed the date. But that wasn't the main reason." Korra looked over. Opal's emerald eyes were utterly sincere now. "You were being honest with me, Korra. That's a rare trait. Even more rare is that you trusted me with something you're obviously not very comfortable with. To me, that's worth a lot."
Korra let it sink in. Opal was right, she wasn't very comfortable with herself just yet. But damned if this didn't feel right.
-"Well, you think about it." Opal reached into her bag, and took out a sharpie. She pinned Korra's hand on the gearlever, and quickly scribbled her number on it. "Call me." With that, she got out of the car and went back into her house, leaving Korra to ponder about everything that had just happened.
Korra drove home, and made sure to take a good picture of Opal's number before washing her hand until not a trace of the ink was left on it. That would make for some awkward dinner conversation.
It was brilliant. Blind stupid luck made her fall flat on her face over an amazing girl, who was by all indications willing to take a chance with her, of all people. It would give her an escape for all three relationships she wanted to avoid destroying: with Asami, because for the entirety of the date, she hadn't thought about her, with Mako, because maybe then, she would stop crushing on Asami and not run the risk anymore of blowing up their friendship, and with her parents, because then she'd have something tangible to go on.
The kiss kept lingering through Korra's mind. The soft feeling of Opal's lips on hers. The way she so seductively ran her tongue past her own lips. So gentle, without any pressure to choose, nothing but the best intentions from the green-eyed girl. It was totally in a league of its own.
She arrived back home, where her mother was awaiting her. "Did you patch things up with Asami?"
Korra didn't really feel like a cross examination. "What do you mean?"
-"You two spent whole days together, and out of nowhere, you suddenly stopped hanging around with her. Something came between you, and I'm just curious as to what."
"It went fine if you must know. Now do you mind?" Korra barged her way past her mother back to her own room. She could feel her mother's disapproving eyes pierce the wall from up here.
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly. Korra did her homework, did average in a few matches of Free-For-All, before eating a quick dinner with her parents. Fortunately, neither one brought up her sudden disappearance earlier that day. Her father seemed preoccupied with criticizing Congressman Unalaq, even though it was no secret to either Korra or Senna how those two felt about one another. Her father had held his seat for ten years now, and when Unalaq got elected as one of the six representatives, he dreaded every moment they were forced to meet. That afternoon had been one of those moments, and it went about as well as Korra had come to expect.
-"I come in there, on my Saturday afternoon, he's not ready, makes me wait half an hour before we can finally start, and then proceeds to tell how to do my job! It was a good thing Tenzin was there, I would have stormed out of that office if he hadn't stopped me."
Senna, of course, followed the story with her full attention. "What do you mean with tell you how to do your job? Doesn't sound like him."
-"No, it's gets better! Now he wants to legislate gay marriage in federal law!"
This sparked Korra's curiosity, who had so far been playing with her lasagna absentmindedly. "What did you tell him?"
-"I told him he'd have a better chance as a comedian than as a politician! It's embarrassing enough that I am forced to work with that man, and now I am forced to live with the knowledge that a man from my own party, our own state, would launch such a preposterous idea."
"Good to know." It was a completely flat response, but her father was too busy with his letting his frustrations about his work out. Realistically, it wasn't a surprise. Korra knew this was her father's opinion. A quick glance at her mother told her nothing new either: Senna was nodding approvingly. You are going to be in a world of trouble if they find out. Just keep that shit quiet.
Her father kept on ranting about how ridiculous the idea of gay marriage was, and how idiotic Unalaq was for trying to force this law through Congress. About half an hour later, they all finished, and Korra made a beeline for her room.
She took her phone from her pocket and dialed. It didn't take long for the person on the other end to pick up.
"Opal? It's Korra..."
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