Meet the Parents
“Asami.” Korra grabbed her girlfriend’s shoulders, “Please. Calm. Down.”
The heiress’s panicked breath came out is short bursts as she tried to give Korra her best death glare. But it was no use. Her anxiety quickly overtook her and she raced to the kitchen. The runner watched helplessly after her, unsure of what to do. It had been a week since she broke the news to Asami and each day the heiress got progressively worse. And now that the day was here, Asami was having a full blown panic attack. The engineer returned shortly breathing deeply into a brown paper bag.
“I” she huffed into the bag, “Don’t” another breath, “think” a couple more “that” about sixteen quick breaths. Suddenly, her brows furrowed, “Ah fuck it. That shit doesn’t work. Who am I kidding?” she angrily threw the bag to the ground. And then promptly started her pacing again. Back and forth, back and forth. Bite the nails on one hand, switch to the other. This had been going on since four AM. At least after that last outburst her breathing had settled down.
“Sams, you are going to wear a path into the floor if you keep that up.” She waved her hand towards the scuff marks on the floor.
“Shut up.” She stuck her tongue out at her, “I’m really freaking out over here, Korra.”
“I can see that.” The runner smirked, which of course earned her another glare.
Korra sighed and held her arms out, motioning for her girlfriend (she would never get used to calling her that) to come to her. Asami stopped in her tracks and pondered the offer. Finally, she lowered her head and trudged over to Korra’s open arms. Once within grasping range, the tanned woman pulled her in for a tight hug. Immediately, she could feel the tightness, stress, and whatever the hell else was knotted up in her shoulders release.
“You give the greatest hugs on this planet. You know that?” the raven haired woman mumbled into her shoulder.
Korra nodded, “I know. It’s a gift.” She chuckled smugly.
The engineer snuggled her head into Korra’s neck, her hands pulling her into a tighter embrace. Gently, she kissed the runner’s pulse point, “I love you very, very much.”
Korra laughed, “Your vixen like charm is not going to get you out of this. So don’t even try.”
“Korra! Please! I can’t do this!” Asami huffed as she released her hug and shoved Korra lightly.
“Oh for spirit’s sake. Asami. You have met them a thousand times. They love you. Will you relax? Nothing has changed!” Korra said, a little more aggravation in her voice than she intended.
“Nothing has changed?” Her eyebrows shot into her hairline, “Nothing has changed? Ugh!” she tilted her head to the ceiling and roughly rubbed her face, “Korra! I’m dating their daughter now! Of course things have changed. What if they only liked me when I was your friend?” She paused. Her face crumpled in pain, “What if they don’t approve of us being together?” she asked sadly.
Korra sighed, her shoulder’s drooping. She took a few steps forward, grabbed Asami’s cheeks, and looked deep into her girlfriend’s entrancing green eyes, “‘Sami. My parents have known that I’ve liked girls since I was like twelve. They love me. They support me. When I told them how I felt about girls they couldn’t have been happier. They love me for me. And they adore you. I’m pretty sure they love you more than me!” She shifted her hands and gently rubbed Asami’s arms. Standing on her tiptoes she placed a light kiss on her pale forehead, “Please don’t worry. Just don’t think of it as meeting my parents. Think of it as seeing old friends.”
The heiress took a shuttering breath and jerkily nodded her head, “Yea. Okay.”
Korra smiled warmly before she spun Asami around and lightly pushed her towards her room, “Now go get ready! They’ll be here soon!”
Asami bumpily made it back to her room and shut the door. Korra smiled to herself for a second before she entered her own room. Cloths were strewn everywhere. Grumbling to herself she sorted through what she thought was clean, what could pass as clean, and what definitely needed to be washed. Eventually, she picked out a large sky blue sweater with cream polar bear dogs stitched into it, a pair of black leggings, and her favorite pair of black fold over combat boots. Glancing in the mirror and deciding that it was a somewhat passable outfit, she headed out of her room.
As per usual, Asami was taking forever. Glancing at her phone she noticed the time and that her mom had texted her.
“Sams! Mom and dad will be here in ten minutes.” She called out.
No response. Sighing heavily she knocked on Asami’s door, “Sams?”
Still no response. Cautiously, she opened the door and peered in, “Sams?”
Ebony hair gleamed in the sunlight by Asami’s window. The engineer had on her classic black leather jacket, a flowy burgundy shirt underneath, pitch black leggings, a very large grey scarf, and black boots. Her hair, which she normally wore down, was tied back into a semi-messy bun, which still looked absolutely perfect. Korra marveled at how Asami managed to look so amazing and beautiful with so little effort.
She stepped fully into the room. Her girlfriend didn’t even turn to look at her. She was sitting on her large window sill. Her legs tucked into her chest and head resting on her knees. A very worn picture was held tightly in her hands, her glowing green gaze never leaving the smiling figures in the photograph.
“‘Sami? Are you alright.”
The heiress started violently. She glanced at Korra wide eyed and quickly tucked the picture under the stack of books sitting across from her.
“Yea. Yea. I’m good. Are you ready to go?” She asked shakily. Korra eyed her for a minute.
“Um. Yea. My mom texted and said they would be here soon.”
A sharp knock on the front door drew her attention away from her girlfriend, “Speak of the devil.” She chuckled. Casually, she reached her hand out and wiggled her fingers at the engineer. Asami smiled gently and gripped her hand tightly. Immediately, she intertwined their fingers.
“Okay, remember my dad hates it when people call him mister. My mom doesn’t really care, but between you and me she told me she loved it when you called her your ‘other mother’.” Korra blurted out, her stomach suddenly tightening up in nervousness.
Asami squeezed her hand, “Look who’s the nervous one now.”
She gave the heiress one last look before she opened the door. A huge hulking man stood in the doorway, a petite woman by his side. Korra released Asami’s hand and rushed towards them.
“Mom! Dad!” Quickly she was pulled into their tight embrace.
“Korra! We are so glad you are okay! You had us both so worried.” Tonraq boomed as he released his daughter. Senna pulled back, but kept Korra at an arm’s length.
“Oh, honey, I’m so glad you’re safe.” She cooed, pulling her daughter into another tight hug. But she quickly cleared her throat and looked behind her daughter. Korra turned around. Asami was deathly pale and standing as still as a petrified tree. The runner returned to her side and surely intertwined their fingers once more. This seemed to jump start Asami. Jolting back to life she reached a hand out to Tonraq, “It’s good to see you again, Mr. Qaletaqa.” Instantly, her face scrunched into a grimace. And Korra was sure if her face could talk it would be saying, ‘really Asami. You had one f’ing job’. The heiress cracked her eyes open. The Chief of the Southern Water Tribe frowned slightly. A visible tremor shook through Asami. But suddenly a booming laugh echoed through the hallway. The engineer was lifted off her feet as she was pulled into Tonraq’s large arms. “Please, Asami. Call me Tonraq.” He set her down and Korra didn’t think Asami could have been more flabbergasted. Soon her mom pulled the older girl into her warm embrace, concern lacing her gaze, “How are you doing, Asami?”
The engineer let out a sigh, riddled with a chuckle, “I’m doing really well, thank you. It was a rough couple of months. But I’ve never been happier.”
Tonraq smiled softly, “That is really good to hear. Korra called us a while back and told us all about… the attack. We were terrified. But I’m very, very glad you are okay, now.” He glanced at the two girls, “You can’t go scaring us like that. Getting a call from Suyin telling us that you both got hurt was not how we wanted to start our morning.”
Korra grimaced, “I’m still really sorry about that.”
“Well, your safety is my main concern. And yours too, Asami. We would have come up to help you guys out, but Korra over here insisted that she could handle it. But she somehow neglected to say handling it involved infiltrating the Triple Threat’s headquarters.”
Senna placed a soft hand on his shoulder, “The scolding can wait dear. We have to go to breakfast. I’m sure these girls are starving.”
“Oh right!” He glanced at his watch, “Your mom and I made reservations at this new place. Got rave reviews. What was it called? Fazu’s? Pano’s?”
“Pabu’s dear.” Her mother offered.
“Oh right! Pabu’s! Apparently, they have the best breakfast around.”
“Well awesome! I’m starving.” Korra replied excitedly. Her parents smiled and turned around, motioning for the girls to follow.
The drive over was slightly awkward. Tonraq and Senna were clearly trying to avoid talking about Asami’s attack, yet everything they asked just seemed to revolve around it. Korra kept Asami’s hand in her own the whole ride, giving her silent support. But once they got to the restaurant and started eating, a comfortable silence fell over them.
Pabu’s ended up being as good as the critics had said. After they had eaten their fill and were just sitting and digesting, Korra looked over to Asami. The heiress smiled at her and grabbed her hand. Her thumb stroking gentle arcs across her caramel skin.
Korra nodded and gulped, “Mom. Dad. I have something to tell you guys. It’s really important.”
“Well whatever it is I don’t think it can be more dramatic than finding out you got shot. I think after that bit of news, we are ready to hear and tackle anything you throw our way.” Her father deadpanned.
The runner smiled weakly and took a deep breath, “Well. Asami and I have known each other for a really long time and have been best friends since we met. And somewhere in that time we came to realize something.” Her throat suddenly became extremely dry, “W-We realized that our feelings for each other… well… they were more than platonic. A-And I am very proud to say that Asami is my girlfriend and I love her very, very much.” She chanced a glance at the ebony haired girl. Shimmering tears painted her peridot eyes.
Sudden and very loud laughter drew her eyes away from her girlfriend.
“Well it’s about damn time!” Tonraq chuckled, wiping away tears.
“Seriously, darlings, it just took you now to realize your feelings for each other? Your father and I knew this would happen the moment you guys laid eyes on each other.” Senna smiled.
“O-Oh.” Korra stammered. She looked at Asami again who was blushing furiously, “See I told you that they would be okay with it!”
“Be okay with it? We’re ecstatic!” The older woman reached across and firmly grasped Asami’s hands in her own, “Asami you are like a daughter to me. And if you make Korra happy and Korra makes you happy then there is nothing more that I could ask for.”
Silent tears trickled down ivory cheeks. Korra leaned over and pecked her cheek.
“Welcome to the family, Ms. Sato.” Tonraq smiled.
Korra and Asami had been officially dating for two months. And it was the best months of Korra’s life. But if she was being brutally honest, the last two weeks sucked. Asami’s life had been consumed by Future Industries. She was practically eating and breathing the company. She would go to work around five in the morning and come back around eleven. That was if she even came home. More often than not she would just spend the night in her office. Korra couldn’t even remember the last conversation they had because she hadn’t seen her in so long. The only time she “saw” her was when Asami come home in the middle of the night and pass out on the bed.
It was excruciating.
Sometimes, when Korra was certain Asami was asleep, she would take in the sight of her girlfriend’s sleeping form. What she saw devastated her. The normally glossy and perfect onyx hair was frizzed and lackluster. Dark bags were under her eyes from countless sleepless nights. Her nails were bitten down to short stubs. The heiress was dedicated fully to her company, but it was killing her.
So when Korra had a day off from work she decided she was going to surprise Asami at work. Her first stop: the mail room in their apartment. She reached into her mailbox and pulled out the only letter, “Republic City Penitentiary? Weird.” She mumbled.
Folding it and stuffing it into her jean pocket she headed out for Narook’s Noodlery. After picking up Asami’s favorite noodles, she went to the vibrant flower shop next door and grabbed a bouquet of tulips before going to the engineer’s office.
The winter season had been long and hard, but spring had finally come and Korra was more than glad. For one everything was in bloom, two track had finally started, and three she could walk to her destinations without freezing her ass off.
So as she walked up to the Future Industries Tower she felt extremely insignificant. Close to ninety stories tall it dwarfed every other building. It made the runner feel like an ant. Gleaming metal and shining glass reflected all the lights and sounds the city had to offer. It was a sight to behold.
Reeling in her insecurities she hurried into the building. The older looking secretary gave her a scrutinizing look. No doubt judging her wardrobe choice. Instantly, Korra felt very out of place. Men and women strolled around in fancy suits, skirts, and dresses. High heels and dress shoes. And here she was in ripped jeans and a t-shirt. Trying to shrug off the looks she was getting, she asked the secretary where Asami’s office was.
“Floor ninety. Can’t miss it.” she droned.
The runner gave her, her thanks and rushed off to the elevator. The contraption flew up to the top floor before coming to a screeching halt. A bespectacled woman looked up from her desk. Korra approached her cautiously, “Hi. I’m Korra. Is Asami busy right now?”
Zhu Li (according to her name plate) quickly looked to her computer screen, “Ms. Sato doesn’t have any more meetings for the rest of the day. Did you have an appointment?”
“Um… No. I’m her girlfriend and I was kinda hoping to surprise her.” She awkwardly held up the flowers and the to-go carton.
Zhu Li looked at her, her face devoid of any emotion, “Well. I’m sure that would be alright. Just be warned she is very busy and when she is busy she gets… testy.”
Korra nodded, “Thanks for the heads up.” Standing up straighter she headed for the large mahogany doors leading to Asami’s office. She took a sturdy breath and knocked.
A gruff voice barked from inside, “What?”
Slightly taken aback, Korra inched the door open and stuck the flowers through the door. Receiving no response she risked it and peered inside.
“Surprise?” She smiled hesitantly. Asami’s head was looking down at her desk. She was furiously scribbling away at a sheet of paper. But she glanced up when she heard Korra’s voice.
“Oh. Korra. What are you doing here?”
“I came to surprise you, silly! You’ve been drowning in work and we haven’t seen each other in a couple weeks.” She held up her hand to stop Asami’s protest, “I mean really see each other. Not just when you come in and pass out after work.”
The heiress looked down guilty, “I’m sorry, Korra. Things have just been… insane around here.”
The runner took in her surroundings. A very tired looking Asami sat behind a massive desk. A sea of papers flooded around her. On top of her desk, on the shelves behind her, on the ground next to her, even on the couch. But the worst part was the five empty bottles of Macallan whiskey tucked behind the mountains of paper. A half-filled glass and two freshly emptied glasses sitting on her desk.
She frowned, “I can see that.” But she quickly replaced the grimace with a smile, “So I thought that maybe you could take a small break and eat lunch.”
Asami visibly sighed, her eyes scanned the room and all the paper work she had yet to complete, “Korra, I’m sorry I just don’t have the time.”
“Please, ‘Sami. Just ten minutes. Besides you need to eat. I mean, when was the last time you had a decent meal?”
The engineer seemed to consider this for a moment before she reluctantly agreed.
Korra cheered internally as she whipped out Asami’s noodles, “Alright I got you your favorite noodles. So eat up. I’m going to go get a vase for these.”
She wasn’t gone for more than a minute, but when she returned Asami had her nose stuck back into her paperwork.
Korra sat down sadly on what little space was left of Asami’s couch.
“So, um, are the noodles good?”
“Mmm.” Asami hummed halfheartedly.
She tried again, “Big project?”
“Yea.” She said absentmindedly.
Feeling discouraged she tried one last attempt to talk to her girlfriend, “So I got a letter from Republic City Penitentiary today.” She pulled the crumpled note from her pocket.
This got Asami’s attention. Her head snapped up from her work, her gleaming green eyes locked onto Korra’s, “Korra let me see that letter.”
The younger woman finally had Asami’s attention, she wasn’t going to let it go now. She wasn’t going to let Asami get sucked back into her work.
“No.” she stuck out her tongue.
“Korra. Please just give me the letter.”
Korra smiled slyly and squinted her eyes at the heiress, “No.”
Asami’s jaw clenched. The CEO was standing in a flash, her hand clutching her desk, practically making the wood splinter, “Korra just give me the fucking letter!” She screamed. The younger woman visibly recoiled. Numbly, she handed the letter to her girlfriend with a shaking hand.
She was sure Asami’s eyes were going to catch the writing on fire. Her eyes shot across the page. By the time she reached the end her face had turned bright red, her hands shaking from rage.
“I don’t fucking believe him.” She growled with so much anger.
“Sams, what’s in that letter?” The younger woman managed, sadness in her voice.
“Nothing.” The engineer snarled as she began to shred the paper.
Korra stood up. She wasn’t going to let this happen again. She was not going to let Asami do this. “Asami. You tell me what is going on. Do NOT shut me out again.” She couldn’t help it as her voice raised an octave.
Asami’s face softened for a fraction of second, “You want to know what’s wrong?” The softness was gone and quickly etched with frustration, “You want to know what’s wrong?! Well first off Future Industries has its biggest contract of its life and I’m drowning in everything I have to do! And no one besides Zhu Li seems competent enough to handle even the simplest of task.” She yelled. “Yesterday, I discovered that one of our best suppliers decided that they didn’t like my lifestyle. Said that it was too high risk and that I wasn’t safe enough. Like I wanted a crazy mobster to come after me and try to kill me! Oh and apparently they don’t approve of my relationship with you. How fucking dare they! With whom I am in a relationship with is none of their FUCKING BUSINESS!” She took a couple rage filled breaths. “Oh and to top it all FUCKING off, my father has been sending me letters on a daily basis. For weeks!” She ripped open one of her drawers and pulled out a huge stack of unopened notes. “He thinks that he has some right, to speak to me. He ruined my life. He ruined Future Industries. I’m dying in the mess that he made. And he thinks he can send me letters like we are best buddies or something. I fucking hate him. He could rot in hell for all I cared. And now he has to audacity to write you! I can’t believe him. He claims that he wants to meet with me. That he’s a changed man. Yea right. He wants you to convince me to go talk to him.” She tossed the letters back into her desk and sat back down.
If Korra thought her girlfriend was writing furiously before, it was now being fueled by the fires of hell. Silently, she sat back down. It was a couple seconds before she spoke.
“I think you should go see him.” She whispered.
“What?” The CEO asked angrily.
“I think you should go visit him, Sams.”
“Why in the world would I do that?”
Korra cleared her throat, “Because clearly his actions are having an effect on your life. An effect that hurts. I don’t think you will ever have closure unless you go and speak to him.”
Asami glared at her, her usually friendly green gems were filled with flaming fury, “Closure? I don’t need fucking closure. I need him to burn in hell. His illegal activities, which may I remind you, led to the deaths of hundreds of people is enough closure for me. I’m finished with him. I don’t want anything to do with him. I’m fine as long as he isn’t in my life.”
Korra sighed, “Fine. Don’t talk to him.” She crossed her arms, “But don’t you dare tell me you’re fine,” she jerked her head towards the bottles of whiskey on her desk, “because, obviously, you’re not. Sams, I’ve never seen you like this. It’s scary. I mean you never drink and you have five empty bottles on your desk!”
“I’m fine, Korra. Settle down.”
“Asami. No you’re not.”
The heiress jumped out of her chair, “Korra let it fucking go! I’m fine.” She paused and took a swig of whiskey just to spite her girlfriend.
The runner tried to keep her voice as calm as possible, “No, Asami you are anything but fine. What you are is drunk… and in pain. It hurts me to see you like this. I want to help. Let me help you.”
The CEO’s face was bright red, “I don’t need your fucking help! I can handle this on my own. I don’t need you to fix me like I’m some broken toy.”
The runner looked down, no longer able to hold Asami’s green fiery gaze, “Well, if that’s what you want.” Asami grunted as she sat down and went back to her work.
Korra could feel her eyes burning and she desperately pushed the tears back, “I think I’m just gonna head home, okay, Asami?”
The heiress took a shuttering breath and looked up, “No, Korra. Please, don’t go. I’m sorry.”
“I really don’t think you are.” Korra responded sadly. She was up in a flash and heading out the door before the heiress could even utter a response. When she finally found her voice, her cries for the younger woman to come back were silenced by the slamming of her large doors.
The walk back to the apartment was long and quite frankly Korra didn’t remember much of it. Her thoughts were focused solely on her girlfriend. The pain in her eyes. How she completely shut Korra out. How she wouldn’t let her help. It hurt. It was like nothing she had ever felt before.
When she finally got back to the apartment she wanted nothing more than to go to bed. But the single lamp illuminating the room caught her attention. Asami’s shadowy figure stood up, more like stumbled up, from the recliner.
“Korra…” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
The runner set her jaw and started walking to her room. She could hear the heiress scrambling after her, knocking things over in the process. Her hand dropped on Korra’s shoulder. The stinging smell of whiskey floated over her.
“Korra, I-I’m so sorry. Please. I’m sorry.”
The runner ripped around, prepared to rip Asami a new one, but what she saw crushed her heart. Tears were streaking down her face. Her mascara was leaving a black trail down her face. Her eyes were bright red from crying and her inebriated state.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m in so much pain a-and I-I don’t know what to do. And i-it scares me. P-Please. Korra forgive me.”
Instantly, Korra cupped Asami’s cheeks, “Oh, ‘Sami.”
The older woman burrowed into Korra’s neck and cried. Weeks, possibly months’ worth, of emotions spilling over her barriers. ‘I’m sorry’s and ‘please forgive me’s were the only sounds breaking the silence besides Asami’s shaky cries.
At some point Korra guided them to Asami’s room. She tucked the exhausted woman in bed and carefully slipped under the covers next to her.
“There is nothing to forgive, ‘Sami.” She spoke silently as she kissed her forehead.
When Korra awoke Asami was gone. Pain filled her as she groggily stumbled into the kitchen. But it quickly washed away when she saw the older woman sitting on one of the barstools, water glass in hand, staring blankly at the wall ahead of her. Korra made her way over and stood in front of her. The heiress didn’t say anything for a long time, her peridot eyes unfocused and unseeing.
After what seemed like an eternity she finally spoke up, “I want to see him.” She looked up, her green eyes piercing Korra’s soul, “I want to forgive him. I want to hear what he has to say.”
The tanned woman grasped her pale hand, “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
The duo quickly dress and Korra drove them to the prison (much to a grumbling Asami’s chagrin). Dull lights, cement blocks, and disinfectant quickly overwhelmed her. Asami had a vice grip clamped on her hand, but the runner would never let go. Asami had let her in. And she was damn sure she was going to be there for her.
A large correctional officer led them to the meeting rooms. Korra spotted Hiroshi, although he was a ghost of his former self. He had slimmed down, his beard was gray, and he looked exhausted. But the moment he laid eyes on them his face lit up.
Asami slowly made her way over to him and she stiffly sat down across the table from him.
“Asami. I’m so glad you came. I’m assuming since Korra is here that she read my letter.” He nodded towards the runner before continuing, “So do you have the money?”
Korra’s heart sank.
“What?” Asami whispered.
“Do you have my bail money?” He repeated, “You did read my other letters didn’t you? I need the money to get out of here.”
Asami didn’t respond. She was deathly pale and completely rigid in her seat. Fury bubbled into Korra.
“I can’t fucking believe you. I wanted so desperately for you to have changed. For this whole experience to have made you a better man. But I see now that you can’t be changed.” She tried to take a calming breath but it didn’t work at all. She could feel the blood rushing to her face, her voice rising in anger, “Your stupidity. Your greed. Almost got your daughter killed. And you couldn’t care less could you.” She spat on him and a couple of guards stepped forward, but Korra was already standing up, taking Asami with her. As she turned to leave, she looked back at Hiroshi one last time, “You are so completely undeserving of her, you know that? Asami is the most amazing person I have ever met in my entire life. She is smart, talented, beautiful, caring… there aren’t even enough words to describe her. I feel honored to even be in her presence.” She held his gaze, her blue eyes burning with fury, “I don’t know how a piece of shit like you managed to raise such an amazing person, but it is the only good thing you have done with your sad and pathetic excuse of a life. Goodbye Hirsohi. Do not write her again. Do not ask her for her help. Don’t ask for bail money. Stay the hell out of Asami’s life.” Turning on her heel she storming out of the room, her hand intertwined tightly with Asami’s.
When they made it back to the apartment, Korra held the heiress tightly in her arms, long into the night, until the raven haired woman fell into a deep sleep. Guilt settled deep in her stomach for convincing Asami to go see her shit excuse of her father, but maybe… just maybe this would help give Asami closure. Maybe… just maybe Korra had finally helped Asami.