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Discontinued
Chapter information
Series

The Callgirl

Chapter

11

Written by

AvatarAang7

Release date

August 2nd, 2017

Word count

7292

Chronology
Last chapter

Night Life

Hello everyone, and I'm sorry to let you down so soon, this is not really a new chapter. There is something like that further, but I do have something more important to tell you: I am officially discontiuing The Callgirl. The reason for this isn't time, or that I have left the fandom or anything, it really is this story specifically.

See, here's the thing (or rather things): I have two major problems with this story, and the more I thought about how the story would play out from where I last left it, the more glaring those two problems became, to the point that I kind of lost interest in this story and switched to writing one-shots, She's a Pirate, the What Happens In Vegas story, etc. Those problems are as follows:

1. Korra is a mostly passive player in a story where she is the titular character. For me, this doesn't work, because the one thing Korra has never been in the show is passive. Nothing happens to her, she makes stuff happen, and the fact that it's precisely the other way around here is problematic to me. And this is also by design, I can't really write the story differently so that that isn't so much of a problem anymore. Asami is the active character here, and hell, Jinora almost has more agency when it comes to actually doing stuff. Now, this could be forgiven, since Asami is ultimately the main character and POV character, if it weren't for...

2. Most of the 'juicy' stuff that happens to them (Korra's armbands, Asami's problems with her father, the beginning of her friendship with Opal, etc.) all happened in the past. There's no tension there. I can write you a sad story like I did when Korra told the story of how she ended up as a prostitute to begin with, but for me, that's not very interesting, particularly because of reason 1. Again, this is a systematic problem, I can't see ways to rewrite the story in which this problem doesn't exist. Everything that was going to happen like getting Korra's parents out of jail would play out in boring AF lawsuits, and that's not interesting to either read or write. The only interesting thing on the horizon that I conceivably had was Opal's wedding, and even then, I don't think that would be very interesting.

Now, since this is all doom and gloom, and since you've all been good boys and girls, I am going to leave you with three manuscripts of what I had. The first is the morning directly after the end of the last chapter, which I just think is pretty funny, the second one is a bit more of Asami's history and the return of a character I like, and the last is one that a lot of people have been waiting for, namely the story behind Korra's armbands. It's not really pretty, so consider yourself warned.


Saturday morning


Fuck, that's glorious.

Asami's first thought in the morning typically wasn't curse-fueled, but it seemed appropriate, given the context of last night.

The first thing she noticed was a slight headache, probably a leftover from the drinking she did last night. It had been nothing too excessive, but it was definitely there. The second thing she noticed was a slight burning in pretty much all of her muscles, which was most certainly a leftover from what she did with Korra last night. The third and most important thing was feeling Korra's arm wrapped around her waist.

They were only under a single sheet, and it wasn't even really necessary to have, but nice anyway, now that the air conditioning had kicked in. Asami gazed down, seeing that Korra was under the same sheet, which explained the skin-on-skin contact she could feel with the strong, tattooed arm resting on her waist.

Unable to resist herself, Asami rolled over, and the sight brought a smile to her face.

Korra was still asleep, and she was an absolutely adorable mess. Her short hair was sticking every which way, while her mouth was open at a slight angle, with a small puddle of drool collecting on her pillow underneath. She knew she should be slightly put off by that, but to Asami, it seemed cute above all else. How could she be so poised during the day, yet at night, be such a mess?

The businesswoman glanced down, looking at the arm, wrapped in its ever-present armband. It was starting to bother her a little bit, but again, given the circumstances, she couldn't quite bring herself to care.

In spite of just waking up, she still felt a little tired though. Could be because of the rigorous amount of 'exercise' from last night, maybe the hangover, or maybe the busy week before, but Asami felt it was just easiest to close her eyes again, letting sleep take her back to the land of dreams.

-Probably dreams filled with a particular Water Tribe woman.

So what? That same woman is naked in my bed by her own free will, why wouldn't she be in my dreams as well?

Before her voice of reason could think up a clever response, she was gone.

How much later it was when Asami woke up again, she couldn't tell, only that Korra was awake now. She had her head propped up on one arm and she was watching her sleep. What she also felt was that the sheet had migrated down, barely reaching above her belly button, but Asami couldn't find it in herself to care. Heck, Korra had seen plenty last night, making it enjoyable for the both of them. "That doesn't look creepy at all," she smirked.

The ex-callgirl chuckled. "Sorry. It's just... you looked so peaceful, and I couldn't help but enjoy the view a little."

Asami closed her eyes as she smiled. "Nope... still can't decide between sweet and creepy." She felt something move, but by the time she had opened her eyes again, Korra was back to straddling her, and moving down to kiss her neck. "Hmm... Korra... You want round two already?"

"What, should I wait for a written invitation?" she smirked.

The businesswoman chuckled. "No, but I think we should take care of ourselves first."

Korra got off her with a groan. "Fine... what'd you have in mind?"

"There are a couple of bottles of water in the fridge in the kitchen." Asami put up her biggest, cutest puppydog eyes. "Please? You'll get more cuddles and kisses when you get back."

"Alright," she said and got out of the bed. "By the way, that look is totally cheating, you know that, right?" she chuckled.

"Of course, that's why I use it," Asami smirked back. "There's a robe in the closet if you need it."

"When have I ever?" Korra looked over her shoulder, smirking as she felt Asami's gaze following her around the room. It was true, she was enjoying the way Raava's effigy moved across the muscled back, even though there were a few scratches on it.

Oops.

-Meh, she did the same to you.

Only because I told her to.

Asami fell back onto her pillow, a stubborn smile forming as she thought back on last night. They had been at it for some considerable time after the first run, so yes, there would probably be a large helping of hickeys on her neck and chest. She should care, maybe check them out in the mirror, but just couldn't bring herself to do either one. It was too good to care.

It would have been a perfectly peaceful moment, were it not for the loud bellow coming from outside her bedroom. "OH MY GOD!"

This can't be happening. Asami's eyes shot open, because this wasn't the way she was hoping it would go. That was definitely Opal's voice, and judging by how loud it was, she just ran into a butt-naked Korra digging through her fridge.

"Who the fuck are you?!" Opal yelled.

"Who the fuck are you?!" Korra simply yelled back, because that seemed like the obvious question to ask.

Asami quickly got out of bed, slipped into her robe, and tried to calm the whole situation down. "People, people, let's just take a deep breath. It's early in the morning, and we're still a little tired."

"Asami, why is there a naked woman in your kitchen?" Opal asked, shielding her eyes so she wouldn't have to look at Korra, who was still dumbly standing there with two bottles of water in her hands. She then took a closer look at Asami, seeing the hickeys on her neck and tell-tale sex hair. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me. With her?!"

"Kind of," the businesswoman sheepishly said. "Korra, could you do everyone here a favor and put on some clothes?"

Korra doubted for a few more seconds but then nodded. "Sure. You want these, or..." she said, waving the bottles around.

"I think you can leave them here."

"Right."

As Korra started walking, Opal turned, trying to avoid looking at her. "Asami, what the hell are you doing with her?" Opal asked as soon as the ex-callgirl was out of earshot.

"We're still figuring that out." Asami briefly paused. "Look, I've had a long night."

"I bet," Opal scoffed. "Are you seriously telling me that she was going to be your plus one at my wedding?"

"I was?" Korra popped up again, only this time dressed in her clothes from last night.

Well, fuck, this is all just magnificent timing.

The businesswoman sighed. "Can I answer all of you one at a time? Yes, Korra, I was going to ask you to come to Opal's wedding with me. No, I didn't get around to it, and last night did change everything. We have a lot to discuss, and Opal, not to be a bitch, but I do really think that is something we should do in private."

Even though it was sincere, Opal didn't seem pleased with that answer. "You still have to get your dress fitted, you've been putting that off for two weeks now. There isn't that much time left before my wedding, so I kind of want to get that done."

"I get that, but this is important to me." Asami smiled as she felt Korra's hand slip into her own. The sensation made her a little more sure that she was making the right choice here. "I just need some time to figure this out."

Again, Opal's scowl didn't spell good news, and for good reason. Asami had been stalling on getting her bridesmaid dress fitted, and even though she was reasonably sure it would fit well, there were always the finishing touches to worry about. It was one of many reasons Opal was practically pulling her hair out over the whole wedding since Asami got back from Ushuaia.

So much for a peaceful few weeks leading up to a happy marriage.

-Note to self: drinking yourself into oblivion and then getting married at a casino is definitely the less stressful option.

"Fine," Opal sighed. "As your friend, I will trust you, but if you screw me on this again, I will handcuff us together and drag you to that tailor myself."

Asami though for a moment before giving her best friend a nod. "Fair enough. Look, this afternoon should be doable for me. What do you say?"

"I'm probably gonna be spending my day in the shopping district anyway, so yeah, that's fine by me. I'll be waiting for your call." With this, Opal finally showed herself out again, leaving Korra and Asami alone again.

It stayed silent between them for a moment, before Korra broke out laughing. "Well, that was awkward."

"I'll say," the businesswoman agreed. "Don't hold it against her too much, she's been under a lot of stress recently."

Korra didn't really look impressed. "Still, it's quite rude to break into someone's..." She took a proper look around for the first time, seeing that it wasn't really an apartment anymore. It kind of stumped her but not enough to throw her off-balance entirely. "Penthouse, I suppose."

"She didn't break in, I gave her a key ages ago. Anyway, that isn't what we have to talk about." Asami took a sip from the bottle of water, because she was a little dehydrated, and let herself fall into a comfortable chair. Korra followed her example, sitting down on the couch beside it.

"So..." she opened. "What does this make us? You planning to ask me to the wedding, and of course last night..."

The businesswoman shrugged. "As far as I'm concerned, this makes us together. If you want it too, I think that's what we should do."

Korra thought for a moment, and it was a moment of agony for Asami. "Alright," she ultimately said. "It's gonna be a new experience for me anyway, I think you're the right person to try it with."

"You've never been in a relationship?"

"High school-romance that fizzled out in two weeks, so that doesn't really count. It's surprisingly difficult to find someone who wants a relationship with someone who trades sex for money." They both morbidly chuckled at this, and Korra was the one to continue it. "You really sure about this?"

"I am," Asami nodded, and she switched seats so that she was sitting next to her now-girlfriend. This really was the time to link hands and lean in to press a slow kiss on her lips. "One condition though."

Korra seemed a little worried. "What's that?"

"I want our relationship to be about us, not just amazing sex. So I say no sex until we've been on five dates."

The ex-callgirl chuckled. "Oh, that's cold. You do realize that's the part I'm good at, right?"

Asami laughed as well. "Yes, I do, but that's exactly why. I want to get to know the real you, not just measure how good you are in bed, which I already know you are good at."

She sighed. "Yeah, I guess that's fair enough. Still, you get my disappointment."

"I do," the businesswoman admitted. "But trust me, it's better this way. Anyway, I think it's best I go take a shower now. If I don't get a move on, Opal might actually make me dead."

Korra chuckled. "Alright, go. I can entertain myself for a bit."

Asami moved to the shower, and it was only there that she saw what a mess she was. She hadn't properly removed her make-up before falling asleep, so what little remained was a smeary disaster. Her hair looked like she belonged in an '80s metal band, and even tough she was still wearing her robe, the little bit of skin exposed on her chest was littered with purple hickeys.

This only got worse when she slipped it off, even though it made her smile. If Asami thought Korra was good back in Ushuaia, she was amazing here. She was 100% in the moment and enjoyed every second of it, which was made extra clear by the marks she left on the businesswoman. The fact that she'd have to go for something with a collar in the summer was... of secondary importance.

With her shower over, Asami quickly dressed herself in a light pink linen shirt, as it was promising to be warm, but she also needed to button it up all the way. Oh well.


Nalia's return


"'Sami? Are you in there?"

Asami was surprised to suddenly hear the intercom buzz. "Umm, sure, why?"

"I have to talk to you, picked up a stray at the Estate."

"Korra, I can't take care of a cat," she sighed.

"It's not a cat, it's an old friend of yours, look." Korra stepped aside to reveal Nalia, standing right there.

"Holy shit..." Asami mumbled. "Alright, come on up, I'll buzz you through."

A few moments later, the two women stepped into Asami's penthouse. Korra looked great in her high-closing tank top and loose bermuda, showing off her muscular build, while Nalia... The businesswoman took a good look at her, and something was off. She was far skinnier than Asami remembered her to be, but her make-up was neat. Her clothes looked slightly too big, probably because of the weight loss, and it was far more modest than she wore when they last saw each other. First of all, her cleavage was covered, as were her arms and legs, even though it had been easily 30 degrees during the day. Didn't seem anything like the Nalia she knew from way back when.

-Big flippin' surprise, that's over a decade ago, you were kids back then.

So the dragon tattoo on her hand is meant to suggest her modesty?

-One mystery at a time.

"Nalia Kao, as I live and breathe," Asami smiled, pulling her in for a hug, before moving on to Korra, giving her a quick kiss on the lips.

She gave a vague smile. "It's been a while."

"Well, come in, would you like a drink?" They both agreed, so Asami set to work pouring them all something strong, before joining her girlfriend and her ex on the sofas. Korra felt a little protective, was Asami's best guess, as she instantly wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "When did you come back to Republic City?" the businesswoman asked. "Heard you've been exploring the world."

Nalia nodded. "I have, been to all the major cities that aren't too close to the poles, no offence," she nodded to the ex-callgirl, who just smiled.

"None taken."

"We talked in the cab on our way over here, didn't know you moved out of the Sato Estate."

Asami nodded, but something about this situation was starting to feel off. "Well, both of my parents died there before I was old enough to drive, so it held a lot of bad memories for me. Selling it seemed wrong, though." She chuckled. "Too many good memories for that." Nalia chuckled too, meaning now was a good time to go on the offensive. "Your father didn't mention you stopping by." She awkwardly shrugged, so Asami knew she had a bite. "You didn't tell him."

"My dad and I haven't been on speaking terms in years. Chances are, even if he did know I was here, he wouldn't give a fuck."

"You mean you've spent the past five years partying all over the world and he cut you off, and now the trust fund has run out." Nalia stared at her, her expression somewhere among shock, rage, and fear.

"What... How did you..."

"Oh, save it. He lives less than a mile from the Estate, and you passed it on your way down here. The only reason you're here in clothes that don't fit is because you need a place to crash. You'd have to be pretty desperate to ask your ex from a decade ago." Asami stood up, walked over to her ex, and roughly took the hand with the dragon tattoo, pulling up the sleeve.

This revealed two things: the tattoo snaked all the way up her arm, but more pressingly, every vein had tracks on it. "Korra? You've seen more of these than I have."

The ex-callgirl walked over as well, taking a closer look, while Asami could easily hold Nalia in her grasp. "The one up here, that's from yesterday, tops. Judging by your pupils and the way you're sweating, you've already begun detoxing."

Nalia gave an angry shrug, ripping her arm free and standing up as well, taking a defensive pose. "So what? It's my body, I can do with it whatever the fuck I want. Now are you just going to play Dr. House all day long, or are you going to help me?"

It was almost funny, and Asami couldn't suppress a morbid chuckle. "'Help you'? You don't want help, all you want from me is a wad of cash so you can continue on your path to self-destruction. I'm not giving you one fucking penny."

"Are you still mad about how I dumped you? Is that it?!"

"Christ, Nalia, that was ages ago, we were just kids! We didn't even make it two months, I don't care about that anymore. Holding grudges is bad for business, but remembering what happened isn't. You lied to me back then, and you're lying to me now." Asami walked over to the intercom, pressing the buzzer for her security guard in the lobby. "Jax, get in here."

"You're just gonna throw me out?"

"No, that's what someone who doesn't care would do. Contrary to what you might think, I actually give a damn about people." Jax walked in, quietly taking in the scene before him. "You have one chance to tell him what you're on, or he's going to take you to a hospital and let them find out."

If looks could kill, Nalia would have just committed triple homicide. "Fuck you," was all she said.

"Do it the hard way," Asami sighed. "Jax, take her to Republic General and make sure she stays there. Put her in rehab, tell them I'll take care of any costs."

"Yes, Miss Sato," he dutifully replied and took Nalia by the arm, pulling her towards the door.

Korra and Asami looked on as she was dragged away, only being able to offer minimal resistance to Asami's massive guard. "Some show in there," the ex-callgirl said after a while. "You knew exactly where to look, didn't you?"

The businesswoman chuckled. "Signs were all there. 30 degree weather and full body clothing? That's where the first red flag went up, not to mention that's nothing like her, at least, it wasn't."

Korra sat back down, taking a sip of her drink. "Still, you were extremely certain to accuse your childhood friend of something like that, so my best guess is, you have some experience with people who used. Am I wrong?"

Asami sighed, leaning back into the sofa. "No, though it's not what you're expecting." She took a deep breath in anticipation. "Korra, it was me. I used to be an addict."


Wednesday night, 8 years earlier


Asami felt like she was going to drown in work, it was hopeless. She had two papers due on Friday and her normal classes to attend to, and that's not even taking into account her need for sleep. A glance at the clock revealed that she was already skipping that one today: it was three in the morning. Neither paper was anywhere near done, so unfortunately, the only thing that could be done about it, was to burn through the night on her third coffee in the hour.

It was her own fault, really. Unlike every student ever, Asami wasn't one to postpone everything until five minutes before it's due, she had just chosen really tough subjects.

-You'd be caught dead before you'd admit that you've bitten off more than you can chew, though.

Yes, I would be, so I am seeing this through.

-Do note: given how you're currently going, 'being caught dead' isn't entirely unlikely.

With a sigh, Asami stood up from her laptop, determined to pour herself another cup of coffee before she fell asleep while working and ending up with another 200 pages of the letter 'F'. (That has happened before.)


Thursday


After a brisk two hour power-nap, Asami was feeling... like death. The caffeine had only been able to fight off the fatigue for so long, so when one of the two papers was done with its first draft, she resigned that nothing would be able to keep her from sleep. Unfortunately, she was unable to reach a bed, so therefore decided that her couch, which was about two meters closer to her desk than her bed, would do just fine.

Tragic miscalculation, really. Maybe if she had been Opal's size, she'd have fit on the two-and-a-half person couch (or third-wheel-seat, as Asami liked to call it), but she wasn't, and trying to fit all 1.75 meters of her on it had resulted in stabbing neck pain.

The only coffee left in the pot was the batch from last night that had gone stale, but it didn't matter anyway. A buzz came from her phone, which was a text from Opal: "class starting now, if you still care".

"Motherfucker," Asami swore, realizing she had to choose now: either go to class like this, or try to make herself at least a tad presentable, because she wasn't exactly looking or smelling very pleasantly now. With a resigned sigh, she decided to brush her teeth and shower in deodorant, something she normally never thought was acceptable, and raced to her class.

The only seat that was still open on the aisle was next to Tahno, which made Asami feel even more like shit than she already was. Tahno had something of a crush on her, even though she had made it abundantly clear to him that he was A) not on the list of contenders, and B) part of the wrong half of the population. Still, the only other option was to move through the rows of people, getting in everyone's way and disturbing the lecture even more than she already had. Tahno's horrid flirting it is.

As soon as she sat down, this theory was proven to be frighteningly accurate. "Morning," he whispered, leaning over. "Long night?"

"Shut it, I'm trying to listen," she curtly whispered back.

"If you were that interested, you'd have shown up on time," he chuckled back, which sent an already pissed-off Asami right to the very edge.

"Knock it off or I knock your lights out, understand?" This seemed to work, as he leaned back in his seat, keeping his mouth shut for the remainder of the lecture.

She had trouble focusing on what was being said but managed to pull through okay. The economic side of her study was definitely not where her passion lay, but if she was ever going to run her father's business successfully, she'd have to take it and perform well.

"Give me a minute?" Tahno asked, right before Asami stood up, ready to nap through her lunch hour.

She sighed, letting her head hang. "Tahno, how many times, I'm not going out with you. And no, that's not because you have a dick, but mostly because you are a dick."

He laughed. "That's not what I was going to ask you. In fact, I have something to offer you."

This piqued her interest, even though it probably spelled bad news. It was no secret that he had connections with some of the more shady characters on campus. "And what would that be?" she asked, keeping her voice as neutral as possible.

"Judging by the way you look and smell, this has been your second all-nighter this week, am I wrong?"

"Opening with insults, it's such a mystery why you don't have a girlfriend."

"Just answer the question."

Asami sighed. "Third one this week. Got a ton of work that needs finishing."

He nodded in agreement, a slight smirk appearing on his face. "I know the feeling and have something that might help you. I imagine caffeine just isn't doing the trick anymore, is it?"

She suspiciously eyed him up, having a good idea where this was going. "You're talking about drugs, aren't you?"

"Caffeine is a drug," he shrugged. "What I'm offering you is just a little more... potent."

Part of her wanted to tell him to fuck off, him and his cocaine. But the other part of her was very curious to see if it would actually work, even if it was just for a little while.

-Bad idea.

Probably, but those papers aren't going to write themselves, are they?

-No, but they're not going to be written at all with whatever crap this guy could be throwing in it, not to mention that it's poison.

Once again, her voice of reason had a solid point, but Asami was inherently attracted to it. The taboo of the whole thing was slightly exciting, and the prospect of actually being able to burn through the night without wasting most of the time she wanted to use for her papers on staying awake, it was an appealing prospect. "How would we do it?"

That disgusting smile on his face only spelled more trouble, but she wasn't about to be thrown off her rocker by it. "Meet me behind the Lord Zuko building, three PM. Bring 50 yuans cash." With that, he walked off, ready to enjoy his lunch.

Asami didn't really know what option to go with. First though, she was starving, as she hadn't had breakfast in her rush to get to class. She made her way down to the cafeteria, where, after providing herself with copious amounts of vaguely edible things, she went to sit down with Opal. "Hey," Asami tiredly greeted her. "Thanks for the heads up, I would have been late otherwise."

Opal eyed her up. "You're welcome, but I'm starting to regret it. How many hours of sleep are you on each night?"

"That bad, huh?"

"You look like death, and you're avoiding the question."

Asami sighed. "I dunno, maybe three or four? I'm very busy, sleep takes a back seat."

Opal shook her head and took Asami's hand, who slightly flinched. It wasn't something she was very comfortable with, though for Opal, she could make an exception. "Asami, I'm worried about you. You've chosen incredibly time-consuming courses, and both at the same time. If you keep going like this, you're going to burn out."

"Look, I appreciate the concern, but everything will be better after tomorrow, when I've handed in my papers. I promise you, 20 hours of sleep this weekend."

At this, a slight smile appeared on Opal's face. "Okay, but you better make it happen."

Asami started eating, feeling bad about lying to her best friend like this. There was far more work to be done than just those two papers, and she'd have to spend a lot of time on that over the weekend as well, not to mention housekeeping things like doing laundry and the evergrowing pile of dishes in her sink.

It was about there that Tahno's offer came back to her. If he really was telling the truth, she might actually have some time to sleep on top of everything else she still had to do, because Opal had a point too. Trying to go on like this would probably end up being very bad for her in the long run.

The only downside was, it would mean trusting Tahno, the sleaziest, slimiest bastard on the RCU. It was something of a public secret that he was paying his way through college by dealing stimulating drugs to overworked and undercaffeinated students.

-On top of the fact that, you know, you'd have to snort cocaine, an addictive and illegal drug.

It was a coin toss, and both outcomes were undesirable. The only thing she'd have to discover was which one was the lesser of the two evils.

Later that night, Asami was sitting at her desk, glaring at her laptop. One of her papers was finished, at least, she'd deemed the first draft to be pretty good, and she was currently on the second one, and once again found herself on the losing end of her battle with sleep. She had done the deal with Tahno, and there was a small vial with cocaine sitting on the edge of her desk. Up until now, caffeine had worked pretty well in keeping her awake, but she was losing grip on her motivation.

The longer Asami stared at the blinking cursor signalling that she hadn't been typing in a while, the more that vial beckoned. Tahno had given her pretty clear instructions: use a credit card to create three lines on a smooth surface, and inhale one through a bank note every half hour.

-Well, credit cards and bank notes are two things you definitely don't lack. Common sense, however, I can make an argument you've lost that one completely.

She was very partial to not trying it and finish her paper the old fashioned way, but that really wasn't going to happen. Not the way she was feeling now, anyway.

With a sigh, she took the vial, tapping it out over a silver tray, and used her favorite credit card (MasterCard Platinum, benefits of inheriting a fortune equal to the GDP of a small country) to divide the powder equally into three lines.

-Last chance. And whatever you do, don't say I didn't warn you.

Noted.

Again, sticking to Tahno's advice that higher denomination notes work better because of circulation or whatever, Asami fished a 100 yuan note out of her wallet, tightly rolling it up, and took a deep breath, finally deciding to go through with it.

As soon as she had snorted the line up, the effects were almost immediate. Suddenly, she felt like she could get everything done, not to mention that she wasn't the least bit tired anymore.

Asami decided to make hay while the sun shines, and she got back on her paper, fingers rapidly typing away, never missing a beat. She was a quick typer, but the speeds she was achieving now were incredible. Within no time at all, she was burning through books, internet-based data, and her own notes, combining it all in one comprehensive paper.

After about half an hour, the effects started to wear off, but neither paper was quite as good as she knew she could make them, so she snorted up the second line, feeling the rush come back over her. More writing, speedy typing, and the last line went up her nose twenty minutes later.

It had probably been one of the most productive evenings of Asami's life, given that she had finished both papers, and to a higher standard than she would have been capable of otherwise. But for now, the work was done, the coke was wearing off, and her bed was calling her name, so sleep it was.


Friday


Waking up was difficult, more than she'd normally expect after what amounted to a pretty decent night worth of sleep. Asami's best estimate was about 6 hours, so she had already started catching up on the amount she had missed over the week.

"Did it help?" Tahno asked her after class, singling her out again.

"Well, it did the trick. Finished my work, so I guess I owe you a 'thank you'."

His sleazy smile returned. "You're welcome, and when you need another rush, you know where to find me."

Asami watched him walk off, and part of her wanted to go after him and get a head start on that work immediately. Most of her knew that it was a bad idea though, so instead, she walked off to have lunch with Opal again.


Back in the present


"I assume you didn't leave it at that?" Korra asked when Asami had let it fall quiet for a while.

The businesswoman shook her head. "No. Two weeks later, I was in a broadly similar situation, and even though the circumstances were a bit less extreme, my inhibitions were lower. After that, it went fast, to once a week, twice a week, to every day. Opal eventually found out, and she was furious. We basically had the same conversation I had with Nalia just now, with the same arguments. I was losing weight quickly, had no appetite, but because of my wealth, I could conceal it fairly well to the outside world. I could afford my addiction, which is why it was so destructive on me."

She took a deep breath. "This went on 'till a few weeks before the end of my second year. One time, I woke up in the middle of the night, coughing heavily. Now my lungs were pretty beaten up from all the cocaine I had been stuffing in there, so that happened sometimes, but never that violent. When I turned on the lights, I found out that I had coughed up massive amounts of blood." Asami chuckled. "That was my red flag. It was about then that I realized that Opal was right, and that if I would keep on doing it, I would end up killing myself. Checked into rehab later that week, and I stayed there the entire summer. Came out clean, haven't touched any drugs since."


Korra's backstory of the Raava tattoo


"Asami, stop. Just... stop." Korra sighed and wrenched her hand free, taking a few paces to nowhere in particular. "I'm not brave, not like you think I am. Getting Raava tattooed on my back was because she appeared to me and told me to go find my parents, that they still love me. That didn't just happen out of nowhere, you understand?"

Asami was kind of stunned at her girlfriend's outburst. "No, you're not making any sense."

The ex-callgirl sighed and began picking at the top of one of her armbands. She hesitated to do it but eventually slipped them off, one by one and very slowly. She kept her wrists against her body but it gave Asami a look at what was underneath. Her right arm was bare, but the complex design of the four elements on her left continued, finally showing that water and earth were done with the same quality as fire and air on her upper arm. "This is what happened," she said and finally turned her arms open, revealing them. This shocked the businesswoman badly.

On both arms, she had massive jagged scars, running halfway up her forearms. "Jesus Christ..." Asami muttered, taking one arm in her hand, gently running her fingers over the scarred flesh. "You did this to yourself?" she asked, finally putting the pieces together.

Korra very slowly nodded. "That's not the full story." She sighed again and pulled her arm back, holding them close to her own chest. "When I was 19, I was with a client. He was nice enough, probably one of the better clients I had up until that point. Before we started, we had a few shots, he was polite, but then he fucked me just like all the others did. After he came and I didn't, of course, he just pointed to the table with my money on it, and then he fell straight asleep. Didn't even bother telling me to pull the door closed behind me. And I realized: that was the best I was ever going to get it. The best I could hope for was a guy twice my age who had the courtesy to give me a shot of whiskey before he fucked a teenage girl."

She paused for a moment to collect herself and then continued. "He lived on the third floor of a modern apartment block, with those fancy high ceilings. I sat on his balcony for... I have no idea, gotta be something like an hour, drinking his whiskey, but then I did it."

"No..." Asami breathed, almost unwilling to face a very unpleasant reality.

"I jumped, Asami," Korra resolutely said. "I figured that a fall like that should have killed me no problem, but it didn't. I landed on a car that hadn't been there five minutes earlier, and I also landed legs first, the combination of which saved me. My legs and pelvis were shattered, and I also broke three vertebrae. They put so much metal in me, if you'd have put a magnet on my legs, it would have stuck," she chuckled, trying to relieve the tense atmosphere that had fallen between them.

Asami wanted to chuckle too, feel with Korra, but she couldn't. Not when her girlfriend was telling her a story this horrible, of what would be the darkest period of her life.

"Anyway, I was put on suicide watch, obviously, but that didn't help me much. I couldn't walk, and that asshole of a doctor said that the odds were I'd never walk again. Didn't really help someone who was very depressed, but he said only the truth would help me. I didn't tell him the truth that I still wanted to die. Didn't see the point anymore. Now of course, the ways to kill yourself are severely limited when you're on suicide watch, but necessity is the mother of invention. If found a loose metal plate on the underside of my wheelchair, and figured that if I wriggled it long enough, it would eventually pop off. Turns out I was right, and I used that piece of metal to do this to myself," Korra said, holding up her arms. "It wasn't sharp or neat, and that's why it scarred so badly. Hospital staff found me before I could bleed out though, stitched me back together, and put me on stricter watch. Plastic wheelchair, more forced therapy, everything."

It tore the businesswoman up something awful. At this point, she wanted to do nothing more than wrap Korra in her arms, but she also knew that the ex-callgirl had to finish her story. "When did you realize that wasn't the way forward?"

"When I actually died," she said with morbid sense of irony.

"What?"

"Asami, I tried again a few weeks later. That doctor I had was an asshole, but more importantly than that, he was careless. I had sleeping medication, because my nightmares were so bad I would wake up the entire wing of the hospital with my screaming. And that fucking doctor... he left me alone with the bottle because he got a phone call. Needless to say, it took me all of three seconds to clog back the entire bottle, and this time, I was actually successful. Sort of."

Asami got a questioning look on her face again. "You're not making sense again."

Korra gave her a 'fair enough'-nod and chuckled. "You're right. What happened was that I was clinically dead for about a minute. They had to drain my stomach, but some of it had already ended up in my blood, which was what did me in. This was when I saw Raava. And I know what you're going to say, it was just a drug-fueled delirium, and maybe you're right. Maybe it was all just between my ears, but that wasn't what it felt like. She was there, and she was beautiful. She was bathing in a white glow, but not a cold shade like that out of a fluorescent tube, it was warm and welcoming. And her voice... clear and bright, melodious... Beautiful. She told me that no matter what, there was always someone out there who loved me, even if they were a thousand miles away, or even if I didn't know them yet. There would always be something to live for."

"And you believed her," Asami concluded.

"I did. The hospital staff gave me a kick-start and brought me back to life. My doctor was sacked, and I instead got to do my recovery with Katara. I was her last patient, and she later took over the gym like I told you. But seeing Raava was what gave me my goal and why I worked out that plan I told you about, why it's so important to me to get to my parents."

"And Unalaq made that hella difficult for you," Asami said.

"That he did."

The businesswoman sat down next to Korra and took her hand, pressing a gentle kiss on it. "You still made it through, Korra. You're still here, which means you are stronger than everything that has been against you up to this point."


And that really is it. I'm sorry I didn't finish the story properly, but at least now there is closure. I want to thank everyone who has left me reviews, the vast majority of them were really positive, and it was just really nice to read everything. You guys were awesome. I am gonna continue writing the other stories I mentioned earlier, so I hope to see you there as well. Goodbye!

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