Asami Sato was no ordinary woman. She was the new CEO of Future Industries, a rich young lady, friends with the Avatar, and a peacemaker. She made weekly commutes to Ba Sing Se, and returned in time to help Korra with her relationship troubles, something Asami was tiring of, and to wade through the deepest pits of paperwork hell to find one permit that she ended up not needing after all.
Asami thought from time to time that she deserved a medal for everything that she went through since Amon's downfall.
As she honked and drove through the midday traffic in Ba Sing Se, she couldn't help but wonder yet again why she had agreed to this. It was stupid. It was grounds for life changing. But she was a pushover and had agreed to it. Not a day had passed since she reminisced about times when she admired the Fire Ferrets from the radio, when her father was her hero, and when the Avatar only appeared in newspapers and not at her house trying to interpret everything Mako had ever said, thought, or done.
Finally, she thought as she drove up to an apartment complex in the middle of town, I can relax and get some peace and quiet. She parked her car on the streets, already preparing herself for the bear hug that awaited her. "Hello, sir," she said to the doorman.
"Miss Sato. You're early this week," he said. He had dark brown hair, green eyes, and a burly frame.
Asami laughed. "Sorry, Kaito, traffic was the pits."
"Tell your friend I said hi."
"I will, Kaito."
She waltzed into the lobby of the apartment, feeling truly happy to be here so many miles away from Republic City. "Hey, Vahni," Asami said, smiling at the permanently uninterested woman behind the front desk. "How's it going?"
No response. Vahni looked bored. She had unexpressive blue eyes, raven-colored hair, and a skinny body that was so thin she looked like a toothpick.
"Is Bolin here?" Asami asked, fighting the urge to snap her fingers in front of Vahni's face in order to get her to grin.
"Sorry, Miss Sato, he hasn't been here all week."
Asami's brows furrowed. "But he wasn't here last week either. Is he on vacation?"
"No ma'am, not that I know of," Vahni stated.
"Is it alright if I check out his room? Maybe he's there." Asami strived to sound casual, but she knew that someone could dissect her concern for her friend with a knife.
"Suit yourself. You have a key." Vahni shrugged it off, as she did most things. As Asami left and stepped into the elevator, she already heard Vahni talking to someone else.
"Hello, Asa. Having a nice morning so far?" Asami asked the elevator operator, who had been one of her good friends back in grade school. Asa Kimura had chiseled features, curly red hair, and dark skin. He also cracked better jokes than Bolin, which was saying something.
His eyebrows shot up. "Asami Sato! You're a sight for sore eyes, missy."
"Asa, have you heard from Bolin lately?"
His eyebrows rose as he scratched his chin, thinking hard. "No…no, ma'am. I don't believe so. Why?"
"Just wondering," Asami said hastily. "Well, if you see him, tell him I said hi."
The elevator stopped, and Asami quickly gave Asa a tip before jogging to her friend's room. "Bolin? It's Asami. Open up!" Then, looking both ways to make sure no one could hear, she yelled, "Bolin! Let me in. It's Asami!" There was no answer. "That's it," Asami said, rolling up her sleeves. "I'm coming in!" she ordered the door, already cursing her sanity. She charged at the door with all the ferocity she learned from her self-defense lessons at age nine. The door almost bangs off its hinges, and Asami walked in calmly as if nothing had happened.
The apartment was a mess. Books and papers were strewn everywhere, and clothes were resting on top of the radio and the kitchen table. Asami wondered what was going on. Bolin was a slob, but not this messy. Either he had just thrown a party…or something had gone wrong. Really wrong.
Then she saw the note. It was written in horrible handwriting, much like a toddler. But Asami was used to Bolin's handwriting, and read it with ease, a feeling that soon turned into rage.
My time's up. Tell the others. The gang is coming here tonight. I'm not gonna get the chance to see you again. I got into deep crap, Asami. Deep crap with the Triads.
Please don't tell the police. They'll take over, and then it'll really fall to pieces.
They took me to (the note was covered in a red substance that Asami desperately prayed was not blood) and it continued to
I love you. Thank you so much for everything that you've done for me. Thank you so much, Asami. You're a real friend.
Take care of Pabu for me.
Asami sighed, fighting the urge to cry. Bolin, what the hell did you get yourself into?
She had just spent the last five hours driving at breakneck speed, twenty minutes spent on the road with several members of the Omashu law enforcement that Beifong would've laughed at. Her hands were sore and her knuckles were white from hanging onto the steering wheel for so long. But the one thing she never did was let go of the note.
She pulled up to Mako's house, a place she swore she would never go again unless it was strictly business (which it was, she told herself). She rang the doorbell twice, in her anxiety.
Mako opened the door, rubbing his eyes from sleep. "Asami? What're you doing here? It's five in the morning."
She had driven through the night, but she had been far too anxious to sleep. Asami blinked twice. "Mako. This is important. Can I come in?"
Mako scratched his forehead. "Yeah, okay," he said, as if he's doing her a huge favor. Asami scoffed, remembering the pretentious man that she used to date. He's perfect for Korra.
"Okay, so what's up?" Mako asked, sitting on his couch.
Asami refused to sit down or else she would fall asleep on the spot. "Mako. It's about Bolin. He's in trouble, big trouble. He left me a note."
Mako looked at her as if she had evolved into a platypus bear. "Asami, what are you on about? Bolin's dead."