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|Ready, Fire, Aim|
It was not perfect. Far from, to be brutally honest. A week and a half in, Korra rarely saw her father, typically only at dinner. And not even every night. He would avoid her, eating dinner at the Capitol. Even if he did eat at home, they wouldn't talk any more than absolutely necessary. But their family was whole again. Sort of. Talking him into coming back had earned Korra her mother's deep gratitude. Her parents had long talks with each other, in which he would actually stay calm, as Korra didn't find out from hearing him shout, but instead because her mother told her afterwards.
Korra was on a glorious killstreak when her phone buzzed. She had put it on the very edge of her desk, and it vibrated itself onto the floor, causing her to lose focus and immediately pay for it: she tried to stop an incoming shotgun blast with the bridge of her nose. Silently berating herself, she logged out and picked up her phone, which thankfully hadn't broken. Well whoop-tee-ta. It's the small things that make Fridays better than Mondays.
It was a text from Opal. "How are things with your dad? Has he come around yet?"
Korra smiled at her naiveté. "Take a wild guess."
-"I'll take that as a no."
-"Anyway, see you tomorrow at the gym?"
"Of course. You do realize you just cost me a magnificent killstreak?"
-"The things we must sacrifice for love, sweetie. <3"
After that, Opal didn't text back, so Korra could get back to her game of Call of Duty. Domination. Crash. Marines. Barrett .50cal. Run to good spot on the third floor, tall building on the right corner. Watch teammates capture first flag. Be unsurprised as enemy team captures third flag. Laugh as you see one attempt to capture the middle flag. Put one round through his temple. Toss grenade at far alley without cooking. Earn three kills. Korra smiled at the stupidity of her opponents. Call in UAV. Spot enemy making his way up the stairs. Hide near door. Draw Desert Eagle. Put three rounds in his chest. Call in airstrike on second flag. Kill three more, since your own team is just as incapable as the enemy team is. Call in helicopter. Kill another one with Desert Eagle who was trying to make his way up the stairs. Pull out sniper, earn three easy kills as they make another pathetic attempt at capturing the second flag.
The match went on like this for quite some time. Korra was on top of her game, making easy kills, ultimately switching to the M4 Carbine to show them up close and personal who the boss was. It worked wonders, winning a landslide victory.
She decided not to go to bed too late, since Opal liked to be at the gym nice and early. For Korra, it meant she had traded getting up at the asscrack of dawn to go to tennis for getting up at the asscrack of dawn to go to the gym. With the minor exception that the view is infinitely better, and there is none of the guilt you felt while ogling Asami.
That wasn't even entirely fair, since Opal pulled 25 laps of their pool before she went anywhere. So she had to get up even earlier than Korra to make it to the gym in time. Korra admired her discipline, as she knew she might be able to keep it up for maybe three days before saying "Fuck it, I like my sleep more than I like laps in the pool." Scratch that. You wouldn't even bother trying it because you're the laziest motherfucker on the face of the earth.
Traffic was easy. A nice, gentle drive to the gym without having to resort to swearing at her fellow drivers too much. It was busy, so she had to park halfway down the lot. Toza greeted with his usual grump, and Opal had already started her stretches. And make sure to keep your mouth shut this time around. She has yet to let you live the time down you literally started drooling, make that twice and you will have to hear it 'til the day you die.
All things considered though, Korra did owe Opal quite a lot, and not just in helping her through the whole mess with her parents. She was fitter than ever before. She had worked on this for months, but her body was becoming more and more like Opal's: chiseled and sculpted. It was bitter work. But the results... were worth it. Korra smiled as she joined her girlfriend.
It turned out she had a knack for raw strength, as she had quickly surpassed Opal in the weights, while Opal could still out-row her on the ergometer. They were pretty evenly matched on the treadmill, a device which Korra never really understood the purpose of. You run like your hair is on fire for 30 minutes and when you're done, you haven't moved an inch.
All was well until Korra saw a familiar face. She put an end to her exercise, and walked out to greet her. "Kuvira! Long time no see. No practice this morning?"
Kuvira looked around the source of this, and was surprised to see her former trainee. "Korra? This is a surprise. You decided to ditch me for the gym?"
"Well... Kind of. It was for the best, trust me."
She slightly blushed as Kuvira eyed her up with an appreciative lower lip. "I can see that."
"What brings you here? Someone finally decided that practice at nine in the morning does nobody any good?"
-"Sato pulled her weight. She preferred practice later, so they moved a few slots around. But the way I recall it, you were never a morning person. And judging by the way you smell, you have been at it for over half an hour and it's 9:30."
Korra blushed again. "Well, that's my girlfriend. I owe her quite a lot already, and getting up a bit earlier to exercise with her is a small sacrifice to make."
-"Girlfriend? Does your sudden departure have anything to do with Sato's arrival?"
God damn it, she sees right through me. "Well, kind of. But then I met Opal, and it all worked out." Korra couldn't help but notice that Kuvira slightly winced when she mentioned Opal. It puzzled Korra, until she realized what it was. "Did you and Opal...?"
-"This conversation never happened, and you didn't see me here. Deal?"
Korra's eyes narrowed, as it was pretty much a confirmation of what she thought. "We're done here." She turned around on her heel, briskly walking back to Opal. "Your ex is Kuvira?!"
Opal nearly fell off the treadmill she was running on, and Korra barely caught her before she made a very inelegant tumble. "What...? How do you...?"
"Christ, Opal, she's 24!"
-"Can we not do this here, and can you keep your voice down?! Not the whole city needs to know!" She dragged Korra into a back room. It was some sort of maintenance room, currently empty. Now a lot calmer, Opal started again. "How do you know her?"
"She used to be my tennis coach. But Opal, she was the one you had sex with?"
Opal nodded. "She worked for my mom, and she was brilliant. A near genius-level intellect, and she made a lightning career, but it wasn't enough for her. She can be very persuasive, so despite the age gap, I did think it was something real."
"Fuck, Opal, I am going to teach her a lesson." Korra balled her fists and started pacing to the door, but Opal stopped her.
-"Korra, don't. We got her through and through, she's doing her time for what she did."
Korra wasn't convinced. "How?"
Opal gently let her go, while Korra was no less on edge. "My mom knew about our relationship. I didn't tell her that we had sex, though. When we found out what she was working on, my mom did everything in her power to ruin Kuvira's life. She immediately fired her, and destroyed her career and reputation. That's how someone so smart ended up a tennis coach. I warned her that if she would ever come near me again, I would press charges of having sex with a minor, which I was at the time. Kuvira kept quiet since, otherwise she would face a year in prison, plus a record. Trust me, Korra. She has paid enough."
Korra sighed, and unclenched her fists. She didn't realize her nails had nearly broken through the skin of her hands. "And yet you just let her go?"
She shrugged it off. "You can't hold grudges forever. It's been a year, and like I said, she is still paying. I think she learned her lesson."
"Fine," Korra resolutely stated. Her hands still itched, but she dropped it anyway. Opal was right, because if Suyin had been as thorough as she claimed, she had set Kuvira back at least ten years to have another shot at a career.
She didn't feel like the treadmill anymore. Instead, she directed her frustrations at a punching bag. It served its purpose of getting some out, but Korra hadn't fully calmed down yet when they decided to call it quits. Opal noticed as they walked to the exit.
-"Korra, I appreciate your protectiveness, but you really need to let this go. Like I said, it happened, I can't make it unhappen, so now I have to deal with it." She hesitated for a moment. "It was my choice as well."
Korra took a few deep breaths. "Alright. But don't you ever take the blame for someone using you. That's how it happens again."
A smile crept across Opal's face. "It's nice to know that you care so much."
"Of course I care. I would be a pretty lousy girlfriend if I didn't."
Opal wrapped her arms around Korra's neck a pressed a quick kiss on her lips. "That's true. Listen, I have to go. My mom called me in for work, and there is no way I can get around it. How about, tonight, we go to that new place on Connecticut? Heard some good things about it. My treat."
Korra smiled too. "Alright, you're on." Two or three quick kisses later, they each went their separate ways again. Back home, her mother was looking through magazines for dinner ideas.
-"Hey Korra. How was the gym?"
"It was fine," she lied through her teeth.
-"I can tell you're lying. What was it?"
Korra groaned. "Long story short: I ran into Opal's ex, and she turned out to be a bitch."
Her mother rolled her eyes. "Language. Now, what do you want for dinner tonight: pizza or Thai?"
"I'm actually not eating at home. Opal wants to take me to a new place downtown."
There's that wince again. Senna did her best to hide it, but she just couldn't help it. "Well, I guess that's settled then. Better tonight than tomorrow, Tenzin and Pema are coming to dinner."
Korra waited a while, cautiously eying her mother up. "Mom, are you all right?"
Senna sighed. "To tell you the truth, no, I'm not. I'm still not comfortable with the idea of you falling for girls. I'm constantly trying to convince myself that it isn't a big deal, but it won't stick."
"Well, it is kind of a big deal. So if anything, I think you are handling it quite admirably. Better than dad, anyway."
This got her smiling. "Well, he is keeping his distance like you two agreed. We talked about things and he conceded with me that this was better for the all of us, regardless of our personal feelings about this subject."
"I know I haven't really said it, but I do really appreciate what you are doing now. It's so much easier now that I don't have to live with the fear of ripping our lives apart when you find out."
-"No, I'm just glad we could repair most of the damage before it became permanent." She paused for a moment. "For as far as that can still be avoided."
Korra smiled at the statement. The rift of her coming out of the closet had been substantial, but not insurmountable. Senna had definitely proven herself to be a good mother when it came down to it. "I guess so. Now, I'm going to change into something more suitable for Saturday afternoon."
Her mother rolled her eyes again. "You do know it's not a good sign that you own more pairs of sweatpants than jeans?"
-"Before you go, I was wondering: would you help me tomorrow with dinner?"
Korra was a bit surprised. "Help you? What do you mean?"
-"I've chosen something that has to bake in the oven for five hours or so, but the preparations ask for quite a lot of slicing and dicing. I would love it if you would help me with that."
Korra decided she kind of owed her that. Even if that same thought is going through her head as well. "Alright. I don't see why not."
Senna smiled. "Thank you. Now go do your thing."
Onwards to my beloved sweatpants. Korra spent the rest of the day doing her homework and running drugs on heavy motorcycles in The Lost and Damned, until Opal reminded her to get ready. For once, Opal would swing by to pick her up. Around six, Korra saw the BMW i3 that she shared with her the Wonder Twins appear on her driveway. It was the new model, one that Korra always liked. Say what you want, the Beifongs got style.
She ran downstairs, deciding it was warm enough to use her hoodie as a jacket. "Bye mom, I'm going!" she yelled back, as she slammed the door shut behind her.
The new place was a mix of modern and Eastern. It was kind of disgusting how it hell-bent it was on being 'trendy'. One of those restaurants that leapt straight out of a dozen interior design magazines. They were seated quickly, not a good sign, but Korra saved herself just in time from saying that.
Much to her surprise, the food was fine. Not the three fried beans with half a pea that she was expecting, but decent portions, and it was all very well prepared. Having some quiet time with Opal was nice. They didn't do this very often. Not that they didn't spend time together, plenty actually, but just sit down and have dinner together, that rarely happened.
"This is nice. Why don't we do this more often?"
-"I'm very busy, and you're stuck with conservative parents?"
"Sounds about right. But you owe the person whoever tipped you off a thank you. This place is nice."
"Don't count your chickens before they hatch," Opal smirked. "If dessert isn't good, I'm not coming back. Desserts are sacred."
Korra smiled. She knew about Opal's love of desserts. It's safe to say the Beifong had somewhat of a sweet tooth. They soon came. A crème brulée for Korra, and lemon-cheese cake for Opal. Of course, it could have gone as smoothly as the rest of the dinner, but Korra had to screw it up by dropping a (delicious) piece of her dessert onto herself. Of course it missed the napkin, meaning it landed equally divided over the exposed two square inches of her pants.
"Fuck," she hissed through her teeth, and saw that Opal was about to burst out into a massive fit of giggles. "Don't you dare," Korra warned her.
-"You're making it really hard right now."
Korra shot her an evil look before trying to wipe up what had fallen down. One piece was an easy fix, and she propped it up on her finger, the other landed in a more wrinkled bit, requiring a more thorough cleaning job.
While she busied herself with that one, Opal grabbed her other hand, which still had the piece of crème brulée on it. "Here, let me try that," she said, and promptly put Korra's finger in her mouth, licking it clean.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. How for heaven's sake is it possible that she can drive me insane with one fucking lick of her tongue? Korra let out a very undignified squeak, as her heart skipped about a dozen beats. It only served to make Opal giggle even more adorable.
-"You know you're just as red as that tablecloth?"
No, I didn't know that, but did you really expect me to? "I... ehhh..." stammered Korra, but she couldn't think of anything to say, given that her mind was still short-circuiting over what her girlfriend just did.
-"That's okay, you take your time. Shall I go ask for the bill or do you want a cup of tea to wash it all down with?"
"Ehhh... no thanks, I'm good," Korra finally managed. Suddenly, the fog lifted. She wanted her. More than anything in the world. More than she had ever wanted anything. "Can we go back to your place?" she asked, while raising a mischievous eyebrow.
Opal was a touch puzzled, but soon got what she was suggesting. "Korra, I thought we agreed not to go down this 'ready, fire, aim'-road."
"I know, but I have given it a lot of thought since we talked. I want this. I have never been so sure of anything." A sneaky smile crept across her face. "I want you," she added with a whisper.
Opal went cherry red, and was a bit stunned, but regained herself after a bit. She pulled the car keys out of her chest pocket and slid them across the table to Korra. "You get the car, I get the bill."
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