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The second date came quickly. Opal was more than a little excited when Korra suggested to watch Big Hero Six. Even though it wasn't her personal preference, Korra could always find something to enjoy in Disney movies, and figured it fitted Opal's innocence quite well. It turned out to be an accurate guess.
So did the third date. Dinner for two, under the false pretense of eating dinner at Asami's place. Luckily, Korra had forced herself to learn how to eat with chopsticks a long time ago, meaning sushi was a safe bet. It's dignified, stylish, and quite frankly, delicious. Plus, since Opal hadn't mastered the skill, it meant Korra could enjoy those beautiful emerald eyes as they spread wide open when she fed her girlfriend with chopsticks.
It went on like this for about two weeks, but reality had a way of being Korra's buzzkill.
Keeping a relationship like this from her parents was quite a lot harder than Korra would have thought. Her father remained pretty oblivious to his daughter's changing demeanor, but her mother, being her mother, started to notice that Korra seemed less agitated, friendlier, and generally more open. Except for the elephant in the room, but Korra was very careful to keep that a secret.
-"Korra, what are you not telling me?"
"What do you mean?" Fuck, fuck, fuck, she's onto me!
-"You're changing, Korra. I don't mind it, actually, but I am curious."
Phew... "Well, you know, with that whole business with Asami resolved, I guess that was it." Senna wasn't really buying it, judging by her raised eyebrow. "You know, when you just have that click with someone, and then you just kind of fall apart over something stupid." Like having a massive crush on her.
Her mother still didn't seem convinced by this answer, but took it anyway. "Well, I trust that you two will keep it up this time. You're looking all around healthier."
Senna turned on her heel, and walked downstairs. Good job there Magellan, this is probably the first time you didn't end up fighting in a conversation with your mother.
Korra turned back over her homework, but quickly gave up and decided to text Opal. "My mom suspects something. Not good."
A response quickly came. "As in, does she know about us?"
"Not that bad, but she notices that I'm changing since I met you."
-"Think you can keep it hidden a little longer?"
"Definitely. I lied, but she wasn't convinced. Gotta come up with something better."
-"We'll figure something out. But work is crazy, I have to go."
Korra sighed. It was a shame that Opal worked at her mother's company, it was taking up quite a lot of her time. It was mostly administrations, but between the already existing struggle of Korra having to hide Opal and her true nature from her parents, and Opal's busy schedule, it was no easy task finding time for each other on week days.
That was until Korra had a bright idea. She had to watch Tenzin's children, and since it would be a couple of wasted hours late on a Thursday night, she might as well ask Opal to come with her. Of course, the idea didn't pop into her head until she nearly had to leave. But the Beifong Estate wasn't very far from Tenzin's place, so it should be doable, if she called right now to let Opal know of her plan. So she did.
"Hey Opal, it's Korra."
"Listen, I just had a bright idea. I have to watch Tenzin's children in half an hour, feel like coming over? I can pick you up on the way there."
-"I don't know Korra, I'm already having a bad day, and I really don't feel like those children."
"No, no, they're asleep by the time we get there, remember? It'll be a couple of hours just to ourselves."
-"Now that sounds very tempting. Okay. How long until you're here?"
"Twenty minutes, maybe a little more."
-"Lookin' forward to it, sweetie. See you soon."
Wow, you actually had a dating idea that worked. Who would have guessed?
Korra raced down, because even though Opal's place wasn't too much of a detour, she was already a little late. A quick 'bye mom' and she was out the door and on her way to the Beifong Estate.
A quick text to Opal let her know that Korra was outside, and the slim form of her girlfriend soon emerged from the house. She got in the Audi, and Korra quickly continued on to Tenzin's.
-"Hi..." Opal's response was bland and disinterested.
-"Ugh, it's just, I'm having one of those bad days, you know? Long day at school, some guy completely screwed me over in the break, I was late to work because I got stuck at the car park at school, and I spent most of my time dealing with the issues of people that I really don't care about." Korra couldn't help a smirk at all this, which didn't go unnoticed. "Are you laughing at me?" Opal asked with an exaggerated pout.
"You're just really cute when you're grumpy."
This caused Opal to blush crazy hard, making the grin on Korra's face even bigger. Wow, you just unironically complimented her. It's almost as if your people skills are increasing.
They continued this for a few more minutes, until Opal remarked that it would also be better for Korra if Tenzin didn't know about the two of them. The plan of attack was simple: Korra would drop Opal off just around the block, and Opal would say she happened to be in the neighborhood and stop by. Can't go wrong.
Pema and Tenzin were already in their coats when Korra arrived. They were eager to get going, and Korra just let them. She was about to close the front door behind them, when Opal walked onto the porch.
-"Opal, how nice to see you," Pema said, legitimately surprised. She glanced over to Korra, who innocently raised her shoulder, accompanied by a cute little grin and puppy-dog eyes. Pema returned it with an understanding wink.
-"Well, you know, I happened to be around, so I figured I stop by and say 'hi'."
-"How sweet. Listen, Tenzin and I really have to go, but you're welcome to stay." Pema noticed how Tenzin was following the conversation, so she improvised on Korra's behalf. "Our baby-sitter is already inside, but I think you two might get along."
Korra noticed the smirk on Opal's face from here, which Tenzin couldn't see. "I just might."
Tenzin interrupted them. "Pema dear, shall we get going?"
-"Of course. Nice seeing you again, Opal." She got into the car, and they drove off. Opal went inside to Korra.
-"That was a lot easier than I expected."
"Pema is covering our asses. She wants this to happen almost as much as we do."
They walked into the living room, and Korra pulled Opal close to her by the waist.
"You know, I never really got to properly return that kiss of our first date..."
By the look on her face, Opal was ready to play along with Korra's game. "Oh really? And when were you planning to do this?" she asked, leaning closer to Korra.
"How about now?" Korra cupped Opal's cheek, and pressed a gentle kiss on her lips.
-"That's a lousy return," Opal said, faking annoyance. Korra took it as an invitation to go further, so she wrapped her arms tightly around Opal's back, and pulled her back with her, until they lay stretched over the couch, Opal's slim figure on Korra's naturally broader body. Opal gently put her gloved hand in Korra's neck, and this time they kissed more vigorously. Korra let her tongue run past Opal's lips, who got the hint, and opened up. She let her tongue dance around in Opal's mouth, who did the same to her.
Korra still had her girlfriend pressed flushed against her, and slowly worked her hands back up to Opal's neck. When they finally broke the kiss to draw breath, Opal let her forehead rest on Korra's.
"Better?" Korra inquired, unable to repress a massive grin.
-"Much..." Opal leaned back down, catching Korra's lips with her own again. Korra felt the soft touch of Opal's gloves on her cheeks as gently pushed her tongue past Korra's lips again.
The girls were lost in each other. So much so, that they didn't hear the door of the living room open.
Mother. Fucker. Korra's heart skipped a beat or two, as they both looked over to the door, where they saw the small shape of a girl standing in the half dark of the hallway. "Jinora! What are you doing up?"
-"I think the more relevant question is: 'What are you doing with Opal?'!"
Korra realized that they were still lying on top of one another, and Opal scrambled to get off of her. "Look, Jinora..." Opal began, but Korra interrupted her.
"Opal and I are together." It felt strangely satisfying to finally be able to tell someone out loud. Even if said person was a liability, and somewhat of a wild card. "But we want to keep it a secret."
-"Korra, I'm ten, not stupid. I'm just... just a little shocked I suppose."
Opal walked over to her, and put a calming hand on her shoulder. "That's perfectly alright. We just didn't expect you here."
-"I figured. How long have you been together?"
-"Just a few weeks. You haven't missed anything that spectacular," Opal said, while Korra was silently freaking out, trying to come up with a way to make Jinora keep this to herself.
"It's just, my parents don't know yet that I'm dating Opal. I haven't told them yet that I prefer girls over boys, and I really want to keep it that way."
-"So I can't tell anyone about what I just saw?" Jinora said, with an adorable look of disappointment on her face.
"Well, your mother already knows, she's even the one who hooked us up. It's more your father, and Ikki and Meelo who you can't tell. Can we count on you?"
Jinora took a deep breath. "Okay. I won't tell anyone."
"Thank you." Korra heart rate slowed again to a slightly more regular pace. "Now why aren't you in bed?"
-"I couldn't sleep, and wanted to drink some water."
Opal looked over to Korra. "You're getting paid for it, take care of her, will you?" Korra playfully stuck out her tongue to Opal, who got that irresistible smirk on her face again.
"I'll get you some." She walked over to the kitchen, and thanked her lucky stars that it was Jinora who walked in on them, not one of the younger two. Meelo was simply too young to keep something like this a secret, and Ikki was a blabbermouth who would spill it the first time Korra or Opal would be the topic of the conversation.
She gave the glass to Jinora, who took a few sips. There was a silence between them, waiting to burst. Jinora would probably have a thousand-and-one questions, while Korra and Opal were both hoping she would leave soon, because they had some discussing to do.
-"Right..." Jinora started, "I'm getting a sense I'm not exactly wanted here."
-"Well, Korra and I have a few things to talk about. This would be a good a time as any," Opal replied, in her most innocent voice possible.
-"Yes, because you were very busy discussing things."
"Jinora, that's not the point," Korra said, desperately trying to come up with an argument as to why. "We have been trying to think of a way to tell my parents, and we haven't been able to come up with anything."
-"Why don't you start with this?"
"What do you mean?"
-"Well, since mom already knows about you, and dad knows that Opal is here, why don't you just tell them you met here, and just hit off as friends?" Jinora said.
-"Uh, Korra, that is actually a very good idea," was Opal's input. "We can just spend some time together without you having to lie about it."
The longer Korra thought about it, the more brilliant it became. Tenzin would confirm her story if her father ever was to get curious and Pema was on their side anyway. "I gotta say Jinora, that is really clever."
-"I told you, I'm ten, not stupid. People never seem to believe it."
"Oh, I believe it alright," Korra said, trying to keep Jinora on her side. "You only confirmed my suspicions." The little girl smiled at Korra's remark. "Nevertheless, it's nearly ten o'clock, and you need to go back to bed."
-"Do I really?" she said, cocking a smug eyebrow.
"Yes, you do. And no blackmailing, otherwise I'll stop coming." Korra knew that look all too well. Jinora quite often used it when she had something on either one of her siblings.
-"Okay..." The disappointment was kind of endearing to both the older girls, but Korra wasn't about to back off.
"Come on, back to bed you." Jinora went back upstairs to her bedroom, and gingerly closed the door, trying not to wake her siblings.
Opal and Korra let out a simultaneous sigh when they heard the living room door close.
"Could have been worse."
-"Maybe, but you know what this means, right?" Opal wasn't at ease, so to speak.
"What do you mean?"
-"We just lit a fuse to a very explosive situation, and we don't know how long that fuse is. I don't doubt that Jinora will try her best to keep this a secret, but I have a horrible feeling it will leak."
"You're probably right. But even though I'm more certain now than I was two weeks ago, I still think it wouldn't fall very well with my parents. Especially my father."
-"Korra, I'm well aware of your reservations, but this is going to come out at some point, and I don't want you to be on the receiving end of the fall out. And I think you would be, given what you've told me about your father." Opal took Korra's hand again, playing with her fingers for a bit, her fingers almost just as soft as her gloves. "I know you're nervous. I was terrified to tell my parents, but as it turned out, my mother always knew."
Opal nodded. "Yeah. The first thing she said was 'I was wondering when you would figure it out for yourself'. She later told me she had been waiting for me to come out since I was twelve."
"Well, I doubt my parents would take it that well. I wouldn't even know if my mother suspects something. My brilliant people skills run in the family."
Opal sighed. "I know that it will be difficult for you. But you can't keep this hidden forever, and being told is typically better than finding out."
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Korra thought a little while. "But would you mind helping me out with a practice round?"
-"Of course I would. I'm here for you."
"I haven't told my friends yet either. The people that know so far are still limited to, in order, Pema, you, and Jinora. Plus, I really owe them an explanation."
-"What do you mean?" Opal asked, a hint of concern in her voice.
"What I mean is that I blew them off big time when I was still doubting." She hesitated for a moment. "Please don't get mad at this, okay?"
Opal smiled. "I told you, I appreciate honesty over anything else. Unless you murdered one of them and are secretly hiding the body in the trunk of your car, it'll be fine."
Korra chuckled at her remark. Funny and reassuring. Plus, cuter than a puppy dog. How lucky can one asshole get? "Alright then. I never had a lot of friends, but this one day at tennis practice, I met a girl. Asami Sato. I instantly thought that she was gorgeous, but didn't really make much of it. Through a few lucky coincidences, we ended up at my place drinking a cup of tea, and that very same day, she started dating my neighbor, Mako, who has been my best friend for years. When I realized that I was crushing on her big time, I was afraid of destroying both friendships in one move, so I shut myself out of their lives. At New Year, I finally talked to her again, but that crush hadn't settled down just yet, so I flagged her down again, and Mako was pissed. I mean, properly pissed. I haven't to either of them talked since. Then I met you, and I finally started forgetting about Asami. Whenever I think of green eyes, it's you. It's always you."
Opal let it all sink in. "Okay, that last bit is really sweet. But do you really think you should tell them all of this?"
"Well, I think the best way to fix this is to tell the honest truth. I don't want to force us into a position where we have to keep up the façade to even more people."
-"Good point. How do you want to go about it?"
"I'll figure something out. How about we talk things over with a nice cup of fresh mint tea?"
-"The place where we had our first date?"
"That's the one."
-"Great. I'll make sure to keep my Saturday afternoon free."
Korra got the devious little grin on her face again. "Now where were we before Jinora interrupted us?"
Opal couldn't repress a smirk at Korra's suggestion. "I think I have a pretty good idea where we left off." She leaned forward, falling into Korra's embrace once again.
For the collective works of the author, go here.