Asami set the phone into the cradle and gently began to rub her temples with both her hands. The phone call had been brutal, and several times throughout, Asami had struggled to contain her temper. It was unusual for Asami to lose her cool, but lately she felt so uptight. Just about anything could set her off.
Asami leaned back in the desk chair and groaned. Everything felt like it was spinning out of control. That conversation with Opal and Bolin when Kuvira had walked up couldn’t have gone worse, and Asami knew Korra was aware that there was something going on. Asami was going to have to come clean about her little secret… And soon. She had wanted to say something at breakfast, but Tenzin’s interruption had made her completely lose her nerve. She had no idea how she was going to go about it, but it was time.
Asami needed to tell Korra how she felt. Today, Asami thought to herself. After the healing. Asami couldn’t wait any longer. She needed to get this confession off her chest and be done with it. If Korra didn’t understand or feel the same way, Asami would have to learn to live with it. At least she wouldn’t be living a lie. At least she would no longer have to hide and pretend that she was something she wasn’t.
Asami glanced at the clock on the wall and noticed with a start that she had been on the phone for well over an hour. Asami stood and stretched, flinching as she felt her back pop and crack after being hunched over for so long. She left the makeshift office and made her way to her room. She was just passing the dining area when she heard a familiar voice. Asami frowned and paused, pressing her ear to the door so she could hear.
“No. It’s going to have to be soon,” a voice answered frantically.
“Everything's not ready!” Kuvira whispered.
Asami peered her eye through the gap in the door to see if she could identify the other individual in the room, but was only able to make out folds of green cloth. With the multitudes of earthbenders staying on the island, it literally could have been anyone.
“It’s going to have to be,” the whisperer hissed back. “We’ve run out of time”.
“Look. I told you. It’s not ready yet.”
“If you’ve gone soft because of that-”
“You leave her out of this. It has nothing to do with her.”
Asami frowned. What could Kuvira possibly be talking about?
“It better not. I’ve done my job, Captain. It’s time that you do yours.”
Asami was just about to open the door to see for herself, when the door suddenly swung open. Asami had been leaning against the panes and nearly fell into Kuvira’s lap.
Kuvira looked down with a strange expression on her face as she watched Asami regain her balance.
“Asami? What are you doing?” Kuvira asked, surprise etched on the taller woman’s face. She glanced behind her into the room then swiftly closed it behind her, blocking Asami’s view before she could make out the other inhabitant.
“Who were you talking to?” Asami asked. She had a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, and Kuvira’s darting eyes and twitching hands were doing nothing to calm her nerves.
“Just one of my lieutenants,” Kuvira answered, crowding Asami forward so she had no choice but to take a step away from the door.
“What were you talking about?” Asami asked, doing her best to try and look around the taller frame of the woman in front of her.
“We were... discussing plans for the camps in the Earth Kingdom. Nothing for you to worry about,” Kuvira said, a little too quickly for Asami’s comfort.
When Asami opened her mouth to fire back another question, Kuvira cut her off.
“Asami. Really. It’s nothing. Were you looking for me, or is there something else I can help you with?”
Asami balked at the sudden change in subject. While her tone wasn’t exactly angry or mean, it definitely had a harder edge to it than the heiress was used to coming from the tall and gentle Zaofu Captain. Kuvira was acting strange, and Asami didn’t like it.
“What’s not ready, Kuvira? What’s going on?”
Kuvira grunted in frustration, placing a strong hand on the small of Asami’s back as she ushered her down the hall towards her room. She plastered a smile on her face, but even in the dim lighting of the hallway, Asami could see that the expression didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“It’s nothing, Asami. There were a lot of things we discussed in the meeting yesterday that you missed. There are a lot of time sensitive parts to this plan we have to help the Earth Kingdom, and it’s difficult making sure everything is on schedule. I’m sure you can relate, being the CEO of such an illustrious company as Future Industries.”
Asami looked up and realized Kuvira had led her to her room.
“Kuvira… What’s going-”
“Please tell me you’ve changed your mind. Is that why you were looking for me?”
“I- what?” Asami shook her head.
“You had said before that you wanted to go out with me again. I know Korra has her healing session with Toph later, but I doubt you can really make a difference by being there. Please reconsider and let me take you out instead.”
Asami frowned, and backed slowly away from Kuvira. Something wasn’t right, and it was making her very nervous. Kuvira noticed and frowned, raising her hands in a placating gesture.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
“Why do you keep changing the subject?”
Kuvira groaned, and pinched her brow with her fingers. “Spirits, Asami. Won’t you just let it drop?”
Asami shook her head. “I think you’re hiding something.”
Suddenly, a look of anger flashed across Kuvira’s usually calm and composed features.
“Oh yeah? Well, I could say the same of you.”
Asami straightened, a flash of indignation and anger - made all the stronger by the underlying guilt - raced through her mind and body. Taking a deep and steady breath, she squared her shoulders.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Asami questioned, her tone cool and distant.
“You know exactly what it means,” Kuvira replied harshly.
Asami lowered her gaze, suddenly too uncomfortable to meet the eyes of the woman in front of her. “And that is?”
“Korra,” Kuvira spat out.
One simple word, and Asami felt her stomach drop, her mind racing with the multitudes of implication Kuvira’s simple declaration seemed to make.
“What about her?” Asami slowly and carefully asked.
“Asami. It’s obvious you have feelings for her. I have to ask... Do you even care about me?”
Asami worked her mouth as her mind raced to come up with something to say. The conversation had derailed so quickly that she was having trouble keeping up. How had this whole thing started anyways?
“You’re trying to distract me,” Asami ground out. “You’re up to something, and you don’t want me to-”
“No! I mean it. Why did you agree to go out with me? Was I only meant as distraction?”
“Answer the question, Asami!”
Asami threw up her hands. “What do you want me to say?!”
Kuvira’s jaw flexed as she ground her teeth together. “I want you to agree to go out with me again! I want you to tell me that I haven’t been an idiot in thinking that we actually share a connection.”
“Of course you’re not an idiot. But-”
“Then let me take you out tonight!”
“And why does that have to be tonight?! Why are you pressuring me like this?”
“Because I need to know that you have stronger feelings for me than you do for her.”
Asami growled in frustration, guilt making the anger pooling in Asami’s chest stronger than it had any right to be. “Kuvira. I already told you. I love Korra. She’s my best friend. You can’t expect me to-”
“But we both know that’s not the only way you feel about her, is it?”
Asami shut her mouth with a snap. While she had already suspected that Kuvira had guessed about her feelings for the Avatar, she absolutely wasn’t ready to vocalize them like this. Especially under these circumstances.
“Kuvira. You need to drop this. Now.” Asami’s voice had gone hard and cold, and Kuvira’s eyes narrowed at the tone.
For a moment, the two women just stared at each other, Kuvira’s countenance getting steadily darker and darker with every passing second. When Asami refused to break the silence, Kuvira suddenly swore, taking a giant step forward and pinning Asami against the wall in between her strong arms. Asami flinched at the hard expression on the taller woman’s face, but refused to back down.
“I know you feel the connection we have. I know it. And you’re a smart girl. You know how rare this is.”
Asami opened her mouth with a reply, but Kuvira cut her off.
“Korra will never feel the same way about you as I do. You must know this.”
Asami found herself shaking her head, but Kuvira was relentless. She closed the gap between them, pressing her body flush against hers, thoroughly pinning Asami against the wall.
“You will never have this with her. She will never do this to you. With you. For you.” As Kuvira spoke, she dipped her head, hissing the words into the crook of Asami’s neck. Asami sharply drew a breath at the sensation of the other woman’s words, hot against her skin. She raised her hands to Kuvira’s shoulders and pushed, desperate to get this woman off her so she wouldn’t have to feel these things and hear these words.
She’s wrong. She doesn’t know anything, Asami chanted to herself.
“Just let her go, Asami. Stop chasing after what you can’t have and appreciate what’s right in front of you,” Kuvira cooed, ghosting her lips up the column of Asami’s throat, finally resting at the shell of her ear.
A shiver raced down her spine, and Asami squeezed her eyes, trying to swallow past the lump in her throat. In a distant recess of her mind, Asami was aware that it was stupid to let what the other woman was saying and doing get to her, but she was echoing so precisely the fears that had been running through her head that the heiress was helpless. Asami pushed harder against Kuvira’s shoulders and started to shake her head.
“Kuvira. Please… Please sto-”
Kuvira silenced the rest of Asami’s sentence as she sharply turned her head and captured Asami’s lips with her own. Before Asami could fully register what was happening, Kuvira wrapped both her arms around Asami’s body and was tightly holding her in place, deepening the kiss.
Asami’s mind reeled at the sensation. Unlike the chaste kisses they had shared after their date, this one was hard and demanding. Kuvira’s lips and tongue practically forced her mouth open, and Asami heard a small sound escape the back of her throat, though she honestly couldn’t have said whether it was in encouragement or protest.
Asami’s mind was completely blank as Kuvira’s lips moved against her own, and while she wasn’t exactly kissing her back, she definitely wasn’t doing everything she could have to stop it. However, none of this became relevant as both women were shocked apart by a strangled cry. Asami whipped her head around and felt her heart fall to the floor.
Sitting in the hallway, mere feet away from where she stood, was Korra.
Korra’s eyes were wide, and Asami could see the Avatar’s hands were shaking. Opal stood behind Korra in equal shock. It was extremely clear that both of them had seen everything.
Both Korra and Asami seemed to break out of their trance at the same time. Korra grabbed the wheels of her chair and turned herself around, wheeling herself down the hallway with surprising speed.
Without a thought, Asami roughly shoved Kuvira away from her, racing after the retreating Avatar. Opal quickly stepped out of the way as Asami barrelled past, barely aware of the presence of the slight airbender in her haste to catch up.
“Korra!” Asami yelled out.
Korra ignored her.
“Korra, wait!” Asami yelled out again.
She drew level with the Avatar and tried to place a hand on Korra’s shoulder. Korra angrily shook it off, continuing her frantic mission to put as much distance between herself and Asami as possible.
Asami felt her heart break as she tried to get Korra to stop and listen, but Korra wouldn’t hear it. She just kept wheeling herself away until they were both in the courtyard.
“Korra. Please. Let me explain!” Asami begged.
Korra finally stopped, though it was obvious that it was less because she wanted to talk, and more because her arms couldn’t handle taking her any further.
Asami tried again to place her hand on Korra’s arm, but the Avatar angrily wrenched it away, glaring icy daggers up at Asami in a way she had never experienced directed her way.
“Please! Just hear me out,” Asami pleaded, the words coming out jagged and harsh as though they were ripped from her soul. Though all she wanted was for Korra to stop and listen, she realized with a panic that she had no idea what she was going to say.
Korra released Asami from her stare and began looking around with wide and wild eyes. Her chest was heaving, and Asami was suddenly very afraid. She had never seen Korra act this way, especially not towards her.
Asami opened her mouth to say something, but Korra abruptly threw up her hand, wordlessly begging Asami to stay silent.
Korra squeezed her eyes shut, and the silence seemed to stretch on for an eternity, small pieces of Asami’s heart crumbling to the floor with every agonizing second.