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-"It's Mia. Look, don't hang up. You can't go back to any of the safehouses, Cross knows about them. Head over the old bridge, the location is on your map. Your car is fast enough to make the jump. It's the only way. Later."
Korra was expertly powersliding a hyper-tuned BMW M3 GTR through the water tower's supports, making it fall down onto three police Corvettes chasing her. I'm fairly certain doing that would result in a very expensive BMW-taco, but it sure as hell looks cool.
The game was nearly over. She had beaten the number one racer, and now the police was after her. As in all of them. At the same time. And yet, using skill, luck, and an indestructible front bumper, Korra managed to stay ahead of everything chasing her, and made it to an orange blip, prompting the game to load a cutscene, in which she saw her car making a preposterously long jump, as the car of Sgt. Cross was stuck on the bridge. Again, a cool image, but I ran that guy off the road ten minutes ago. "Congratulations. You are now the Most Wanted street racer in Rockport City."
Need for Speed: Most Wanted. A decade old and still the best race game ever made. The original that is, the remake is unworthy of its title. Korra smiled as she felt a strange satisfaction in completing it, when Mako called her.
"Hey Mako, what's up?"
He didn't sound too chipper. "It's not good, Korra. I broke up with Asami."
Korra's good mood was promptly slammed into ground and curb-checked. "You WHAT?!"
-"Yeah, yeah, I'll explain the details later, but for now, there are more pressing matters at hand. I last saw her when she came to see me after school, and I just got a concerned call from Hiroshi Sato that she hasn't called in and she isn't answering calls from either of us. I was hoping she would listen to you."
"Fine, I'll call her. But we are not done with this."
He sighed. "I know. Call me when you have something."
She hung up, and instantly called Asami. It didn't take long for her to get an answer.
-"Heeeyyy Korra. W-what's this for?"
Korra instantly heard what was wrong. "Are you drunk?"
"Yes you are, I can hear it through the phone!"
Asami was briefly silent. "Njalright. C-c-can I come to you?"
Now Korra was genuinely starting to get worried. "Are you driving?"
-"Yeah, don't worry, it's fffine."
"Christ, Asami, you pull over right now. Tell me where you are, and I'll find you."
-"Don't know... I can see the Capitol. Why don't we ever g-go there?"
Korra sighed. "No, I mean the street you're on. I need to know what street you're on."
-"Still don't know where that is... It has cars... and b-buildings..."
Fuck, this isn't working. "Alright, stop the engine, don't go out the car, and I'll come find you as soon as I can, okay?"
-"Whatever you say, boss-lady..."
"You stay right there, and whatever you do, don't drive away." Korra hung up, and ran downstairs. She knew her mother was out for the night, but her father was still home. Guess it's better than nothing. "Dad, I need your help."
He looked up. "What is it?"
"Mako and Asami broke up, and now she is drunk off her ass somewhere in the city, and I don't know where. I don't want her to do something stupid, or worse."
-"That's a job for the police, not for me."
"I know, but she's my friend, and she is in her car. From what I could tell, she wasn't driving anymore but she didn't know where she was." Tonraq stayed silent. "Look, dad, I know we disagree with each other, but that has nothing to do with Asami. She is my friend, and right now, she needs help." He still didn't answer. "What if something happened to her?"
He sighed. "Okay. We'll take my car, I'll drive you there, then you can take her home. I'll call up some old police contacts on the way."
Korra smiled. "Thank you."
They quickly slipped on their shoes, and made for her father's Volvo. He scrolled through the screen and quickly tapped a name while Korra texted Mako that they were going to look for her.
A woman answered over the speakerphone. "Beifong." Korra looked up in surprise as she heard this.
-"Lin, it's Tonraq. Listen, I need your help. I'm looking for someone, she's in a car, somewhere within city limits. Do you think you could find her with traffic cameras?"
-"I can't just do that. First off, it's a big city and there are thousands of cars here."
Korra decided to interrupt her. "It's a dark green Bentley Continental, and it's near the Capitol."
-"I don't know who you are, but there are certain rules about that."
-"Damn it Lin, just do it. Don't forget who put you where you are," Tonraq said angrily.
It was silent on the other side for a while. "I can do that. I'll call you back when I have something." She immediately hung up, not waiting for them to say anything else.
Korra was still kind of flabbergasted. "Is she the Chief of Police?"
-"Yes. And I can see you wondering, yes, she is also your... girlfriend's aunt." He hesitated to say it like that, but it got a smile out of Korra nonetheless.
"You helped her to that position?"
Her father gave her a chastising look. "Korra, those are questions you do not want to ask. Whatever you hear and do tonight, it stays between us. Understand?"
Korra decided that what he was doing wasn't exactly legal so she just nodded. They were making good progress towards the National Mall when Lin called again. "There is a green Bentley parked on East Capitol Street between 9th and 10th. Single female occupant. California license plate, 5TLA221."
Her father looked over to Korra. "That's her," she said quietly.
-"We're heading there right now. Oh and Lin?"
-"What?" she snapped at him.
She hung up without saying another word. Her father kept driving, and they soon found the right place. Fortunately, Asami was still there.
"Thank you dad. I really appreciate this."
He smiled. "That's okay. You get over to her now."
Korra stepped out of the car, and knocked on Asami's window. Behind her, Tonraq had driven off again. Asami had fallen asleep, but woke up when she heard Korra, she opened the door. However, when Asami tried to get out, she crucially misjudged the distance between the car and the ground, and would have fallen flat on her face if Korra hadn't caught her. "Jesus, Asami! What the hell were you thinking?!"
-"I don't know..." she slurred. There was a bottle in her hand, and it was nearly empty. Korra took it from her a threw it in the nearest trashcan. "I am driving you home, is there someone who can look out for you?"
-"Whatever you say, sweetheart..." Korra practically had to carry her over to the passenger seat, where she fell asleep again. The first thing she did was call Hiroshi Sato, Asami's phone was still connected to the Bluetooth of the car.
He immediately answered. "Asami?!"
"No, Hiroshi, it's Korra. I have found Asami, and she appears to be fine, but she is drunk as hell."
He thought for a while. "Well, thank goodness she is alright."
"Are you home?"
-"No, I'm not. I'm in Denver on business. I won't come back until tomorrow afternoon."
"Alright, I can take her back to my place, for the time being."
He thought for a while. "Please. She trusts you, so I'll do the same. Can I count on you to bring her back tomorrow?"
"Of course you can. I'll take care of her for now."
-"Thank you, Korra."
"Any time." Well, you have worked yourself into a giant mess. A black-out drunk under-age girl in the passenger seat of a very expensive car that isn't yours, now you have to give her shelter at your place without your parents' knowledge. She has also just ended a relationship of nearly eight months with your neighbor and best friend. This can only end well.
Korra was slightly nervous to drive Asami's 611 horsepower Bentley. It was very expensive, and she had never driven anything remotely like it. But, despite the phenomenal power, it was a surprisingly easy car to drive. She soon was home, and honked to let her father know that she was back. Asami was still fast asleep, and Korra didn't feel like carrying her upstairs.
A slap in the face was all it took to get her back in the land of the living. "Wake up!"
Asami cupped her cheek. "Oww, that hurt. Why did you do that?"
Korra was still angry that she had been so reckless. "You deserved it, now get out." She quickly walked over to the other side, as supporting Asami was still necessary. Her father had also appeared in the doorway. "Korra, you said you were going to take her home, why are you bringing her here?"
"There's no one who can look after her at her place. I want to keep an eye on her before she does something stupid again."
Tonraq nodded hesitatingly. "Alright. But if she makes a mess, you're cleaning it up, understand?"
"Fair enough. Can you get out of the way?"
He did, and they walked to the guestroom upstairs. Korra nearly threw her down on the bed, and walked back down to the Bentley to get the rest of their stuff. What happened when Korra got back to Asami, was something she would never have expected.
Asami was waiting for her next to the door. As soon as Korra walked through, Asami pulled her in, crashing their lips together. Korra was too stunned to do anything at first, but she didn't stop Asami when she did come around. Asami's lips were full and soft, and tasted like cherries. Even when she was drunk like this, she knew how to give a proper kiss. It wasn't until she ran her tongue past Korra's lips that Korra stopped her. She knew it only lasted a few seconds, but time had slowed down to make it feel like hours.
When she did push Asami away, Korra knew it wasn't good. But she was mostly just angry. "What the hell were you doing?! What the fuck, Asami?!"
She didn't know what to say. "I... I don't... I'm sorry. I shouldn't be here." She reached for her keys and phone which Korra was still holding, but Korra stopped her.
"No fucking way. You are going to stay here, and we'll talk in the morning when you're sober. I'll lock the fucking door if that's what it takes."
Asami nodded, and cautiously sat down on the bed. Korra decided it was safe now, took off and was out the room again in two paces, resolutely slamming the door behind her. When she reached her own room again, she fell back against the door. Six months of hard work, and Asami had broken down all her defenses in less than six seconds. Korra pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes, before slamming them down on the ground again.
"FUCK!" she yelled. It didn't solve anything. She knew she had to tell Opal. But how much do you tell her? That's the million dollar question... Korra picked up her phone, hovering her thumb over the dial button. If she called, she would have to have everything she wanted to say ready. But this would crush her. It would make you the second person to use her, fuck her brains out, and watch it all crash and burn spectacularly.
Korra just tossed her phone onto her bed. Calling Opal now would only make things worse. She pinched the bridge of her nose, forcing herself to think. Blaming Asami was easy, but Korra knew it would be a lie. Not the worst one you have kept up. With a bit of luck, Asami won't remember the particulars tomorrow, and all you have to do is not mention it. To anyone. Ever.
She sighed. Whether it would work, she had no idea.
Trying to catch some sleep was an exercise in futility. The guilt kept gnawing away at her. There were a few gaps in her memory, which were probably caused by some sort of unconsciousness from sheer fatigue.
She was no closer to any sort of solution. It was seven in the morning, so they would have to get up anyway. She went through her usual morning rituals (shower, brush teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed), but nothing felt any better. Korra woke Asami up, giving her just enough time to make herself presentable at school.
"Wake up! You are going to school with me, because we have a lot to discuss."
Asami pulled her pillow over her head. "Ugh, get lost..." she groaned.
"No! You do not get to tell me how and what to do after the shit you pulled last night, now get up!"
She groaned again, and Korra showed her the bathroom so that she could make something of herself. She had a massive hangover, of course, and killed half a bottle of aspirin to try and rid herself of it. With a little bit of Senna's make up, she still didn't look entirely like herself, but it would do the trick. They were running late, so with Asami still unable to drive, and Korra's Audi blocked in, Korra climbed behind the wheel of the Bentley again.
An uneasy silence hung between them. Asami was clearly nervous, telling Korra that she remembered what happened. "So you want to tell me what the hell you were thinking last night?"
Asami sighed. "You mean why I..." She took a deep breath. "Kissed you?"
"That would be a good start," Korra bit back.
-"Mako. It had been tense for a while now, and yesterday I learned why. He was cheating on me with some slut from his own school. He told her that we had broken up a while back, so we both dumped him on the spot. Then I drove to the nearest liquor store and I think you can fill in the rest."
She was silent for a long time. "I don't know why I did it. I guess I wanted to spite Mako, and you were the closest person to do that with." Well, you are definitely familiar with that motive. Korra softened up a little bit at this, but she was still torn between being angry and trying to support Asami.
"This is some grade-A bullshit, Asami. You were still aware of who was there and what was happening, yet you get behind the wheel of a car, and then you start making out with me, knowing full-well that I am in a very happy relationship."
Asami sighed again. "You're right. I'm sorry. About everything. I wasn't thinking straight, and I pulled you into my mess."
Korra pulled into the parking lot, and they got out. "I want some time to think this over Asami." She wanted to walk away, but Asami stopped her, and looked deep into her eyes.
-"Were you still in love with me?"
"NO!" Korra immediately spat out. But as soon as she said it, she knew that it was a lie. "It took me months to bury that shit, and now..." She stopped herself when she felt tears well up behind her eyes.
-"And now I dug it all up again," Asami finished her sentence.
Korra sighed, and it fell silent again for a long time. Her silence was Asami's confirmation, Korra could feel it. She was weighing her options, doubting between what she needed and wanted to do. "I want to be away from you right now," Korra finally said. She held out the car keys to Asami, but she waved them away.
-"You keep the car, I'll take a cab home. I'll send someone by to pick it up."
"Thanks." Korra put the keys in her pocket, and she turned around to walk away. She went to her first class, completely oblivious to what was being discussed. First chance she got, she texted Opal. "We need to talk, face to face. Today if possible."
-"Is everything alright?"
"Not entirely. Can I pick you up after school?"
-"Of course, I'll wait for you."
The day moved both agonizingly slow and mind bogglingly fast. On one hand, Korra really didn't want to face Opal. On the other, she knew she had to tell her. So this is what it's like to be stuck between a rock and a hard place: fucking awful.
On the drive over to Eisenhower High, Korra could feel the lump in her throat building. She still hadn't fully decided what to tell Opal. Tell her the truth or live the lie. Simple as that.
Korra walked inside, and looked around for Opal. When she finally saw her, her normally cheerful green eyes were on worried.
-"Sweetie, are you okay? You seemed stressed."
"I am. Look, I need to tell you something, and you're not going to like it." Korra took a deep breath. "Asami kissed me last night." There. It's out.
Opal looked mostly confused. "Want to give me a little bit more context with that?"
"She broke up with Mako yesterday, and she drank herself silly, but got behind the wheel of a car anyway. I picked her up, and took her back to my place, where she suddenly kissed me."
At first, Opal stared at her in disbelief, and then started laughing. "THAT was what you were so worried about? You made it sound like you had to announce the Apocalypse!"
"Wait, you're just okay with this?"
-"Well, sure. I mean, you're a terrible liar, if it would have been the other way around, I would have known. Plus, it only happened yesterday, so letting me know is one of the first things you did." She took Korra's hand again, and gently caressed it with her thumb. "Korra, you're really blowing this out of proportion. I told you on our first date that I appreciate honesty over anything else, and I stick by that. So if you say it was nothing, then I will believe that."
Her emerald eyes looked straight into Korra's soul. Korra gently shook her head, while tears were welling up in her eyes. The smile disappeared from Opal's face, and she let go of Korra's hand to put it on her mouth. "Are you still in love with her?"
Korra let out a deep sigh while she felt the first tear fall. "Yes... No!" She sighed again. "Fuck! I don't know." She was silent for a while. "I don't want to be," she added softly. "I want to love you."
The silence was deafening. It lasted forever, as they both didn't know what to say. Opal was the first one to really break it. "But do you really?"
"I do. I really do."
-"Do you love her?"
Korra gently nodded. "Yes," she said, so soft, that if Opal hadn't been looking for it, she wouldn't have heard it.
She sighed. "I want some time to think about this, Korra. I hope you get that."
"I understand. Do you want me to take you home?"
She resolutely shook her head. "No. I want you to go." She hesitated for a moment. "For now."
Korra pursed her lip, and nodded. She walked back to her car, but turned around once more. She wanted to say something, but she didn't know what. Opal saw it, and looked straight at her once more. "Just go, Korra."
She got back into the Bentley, and drove.
For the collective works of the author, go here.