In the End
Asami’s piercing green gaze was the first thing Korra saw when she woke up. Her eyes never left Asami’s, but she could tell that they were still in the position they fell asleep in last night. Completely and totally entangled with one another.
The runner had her arms wrapped around the heiress, who was snuggled deeply into her chest. Warmth permeated through every inch of Korra’s body. But the heat faded as Asami, slowly sat up a little straighter, her raven locks falling daintily around her face. The half of her hair that was smooshed against Korra was messy and disheveled. The tanned girl stuck out a nervous hand and gently pushed the silky threads away from her entrancing gaze.
Suddenly, Asami snuck forward and placed a kiss on Korra’s cheek, “I don’t think I ever said thank you.”
Korra gasped incredulously, “For what? I was the one who suggested you go see that… that monster…” she trailed off, guilt settling deep in her stomach. “I had really hoped that he would have changed. I-I’m so sorry for putting you through that Asami.” She whispered, her head dropping in shame.
Her girlfriend quickly cupped her cheeks and forced her to look at her once more, “No. Korra. Thank you.” She paused briefly, her face scrunching in thought, “If you hadn’t forced some sense into me I… I could have destroyed my life. I was going through,” she flailed her arms around looking for the words, “for lack of better words… a shit ton of shit. And you stuck by my side. Even after everything I said to you. All those hurtful words. I hate myself for saying them, but I did. And I know I can’t take them back no matter how much I want to. But I can apologize for them.”
The heiress glanced down briefly before she picked up both of Korra’s tanned hands. The stark contrast between their skin colors always shocked the younger woman.
“I’m sorry, Korra. For what I said. For the long nights in the office. For ignoring you. For being a flat out witch. You are the sole thing in my life that is actually good and wholesome and I took that for granted. I love you so much and I will never do that again. I refuse to let myself go like that again. I will never drink to numb the pain away. And I won’t drink because I feel like I’m alone either because I know I have you and the rest of the Krew to talk to. I know now that you will all be there for me.”
She tightened her grip on the runner’s hands, “But most of all, Korra, thank you for making me go visit my father. I was so full of rage before. I hated him so much, I couldn’t have cared less about him. But once I saw him in prison, once I realized just how deep of trouble he was in, all that anger vanished. And all I felt was sadness.” More guilt washed over Korra. Apparently, it was written all over her face too. “And I’m not blaming you for that,” Asami added quickly, “I’m thanking you for that. The father I once knew is gone and replaced by a man in… a horrendous amount of pain. I think that after my mother’s death he didn’t know what to do with himself so he turned to alcohol and his work. Maybe it just got out of hand. Maybe he wanted something exciting in his life. Maybe that was his only way of coping. I don’t know. But I do know that it is an all too real and scary reality that that could have happened to me if you hadn’t come along and helped me. I could have turned out like my father, maybe not on the extreme levels of selling illegal weapons and drugs to a gang, but the drinking. I had you to help me. I had you to save me. My father… he had no one.” A single tear slipped down her pale cheek.
“I’m hoping that his sentencing will help him realize his mistakes.” She spoke softly, “And while I don’t know if things will ever be the same. If he will ever be the loving father I once knew. I know one thing for sure. I am not going to give up on him.” She said defiantly. “I will be there for him. I will be his rock. I will be for him what you are to me. And I will visit him in prison. And maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to forgive him. So Korra. Thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being strong when I couldn’t. Just thank you.” She let her head drop as she finished her speech. A vale of jet black hair covered her face. Silence filled the space between them. Korra wasn’t sure what to say. How do you even respond to something like that? So she settled on saying the one thing that she was certain about. The one thing that would never change.
“I love you so much, Asami.” She let her fingers push back the long tresses, to reveal her girlfriend’s face, a trail of tears leaking down her face. The younger woman tenderly brushed them away. Their eyes locked. Cerulean with jade. A whirlwind of emotions swirled around in the flawless greens. Every feeling, every passion, every ounce of love that the two shared just seemed to seep through the cracks of the peridot gems that had forever stolen Korra’s heart.
The heiress surged forward and captured Korra’s lips. Tender and soft caresses mixed fervently with desperate and passionate kisses. Suddenly, a burst of warm air brushed across her cheek and Asami pulled back a fraction. Korra could feel a smile gracing the engineer’s lips against her own.
“I love you more.”
Korra giggled quietly, her own smile promptly forming, “Not possible.”
“Anything is possible.” Asami retorted quietly.
Any response Korra had was cut off by another kiss.
Her crush may have developed in what seemed like a matter of seconds. But each day. Each passing moment only affirmed her feelings for her roommate even more. She had fallen so hard for the dorky, loving, caring, passionate, beautiful enginerd that she met her freshman year. The girl that she had unabashedly shared a full tub of cookie dough with. The girl that she literally got shot for. The girl that had stolen her heart. And nothing. Absolutely nothing. Would make Korra love Asami any less. Nothing.
Korra shook out her hands. This was it. This was everything she had been training for. The months of PT to get her shoulder back in shape. The months of training to get back in shape. The months of pain, sweat, and tears had finally paid off. She had made it to the NCAA D1 Track and Field Championships. And her event was up next.
The sleepless night filled with anxiety was finally catching up to her, but she desperately tried to push away the exhaustion. The fear. The anxiousness. She wasn’t sure why she was so nervous. She had run in countless races. She had raced in the championships every year… so why was this year so different? She didn’t have any more time to think about it when the announcer gave the final call for her event. The 400 meter. The race had been her specialty since she started running. She had won first all four years in high school and she even placed third and second her freshman and sophomore year of college. This was her race. And this was her time to finally bring home the gold.
Unfortunately, she was in lane one which meant she started off the furthest back. Carefully, she stepped over her starting block. Shaking out her whole body, she jumped around a few times, trying to flush out the last of her nerves.
The University of the Republic was sponsored by Nike so of course she donned the latest and best sportswear that they offered. Their uniforms were light weight and breathable. Her shoes were as light and thin as possible. While she always believed the saying look good, feel good, run good. She knew that this race wouldn’t be won by the best gear, but by the best runner. Glancing to her right she stared down her competition. Really, the only person she was concerned about was P’Li Moon from the Fire Nation. She had beat Korra last year by a huge margin. At almost 6’5’’ she was an odd body shape for a sprinter, but apparently it worked for her because she was almost unstoppable. But Korra was determined that this was going to be her year. She was going to win this. The metallic voice of the announcer forced her back into her game. She positioned herself in her starting block. She felt good. She was ready.
The gun rang out through the arena.
The runner pushed off of her blocks with all of her strength. She powered around the first turn. But her positioning had really screwed her over. She was third to last. Before she knew it they had finished the first straight away. The second turn allowed her to catch up some, but she was still in fifth. As she sprinted around the corner she let all thoughts empty from her mind. Now. Now was her time. She furiously pumped her arms, stretched her legs as far as they would allow. She could hear the excited call of the announcer in the back of her mind.
Qaletaqa is making a comeback! She is racing by Takahashi, Sasaki, and Iwate. Oh my! Folks this is going to be a close one! She is right behind Moon! Fifty meters from the finish. Moon and Qaletaqa have left the others in the dust. It’s neck and neck. Who will win it?
All time seemed to slow for Korra. Each breath burned her lungs painfully. Her legs felt like jelly. Her arms like rubber. She could see P’Li’s braid whipping around her face in her peripherals. But she couldn’t focus on that. All that mattered was her race. Right foot, Left foot, Breath. Repeat. The finish was so close. So, so close. She leaned forward. Moon did the same. She could feel the ribbon rip as the raced through the line. Exhaustion washed over her, but she forced her eyes to the Jumbo Tron. Everything seemed to be drowned out as she looked at the large screen. They were giving a play back. It was close. Incredibly close. Another three angles played by the screen. Korra herself couldn’t even tell who won. But finally, the announcer spoke.
After close inspection of the playback it has been determined…
The screen shifted. The results flashed onto the screen. The entire arena erupted into cheers. It was absolutely deafening. Korra’s name was at the top. Her eyes darted to her time flashing near her name. 49.5567 seconds. Her eyes glanced down to P’Li’s time. 49.5569.
She did it. Her attention was pulled from the screen as a hand rested on her shoulder.
“Congrats. That was an awesome race.”
“Thank you, P’Li. You too. Well done.” Korra said breathlessly, as she smiled at her competitor.
Finally. She had done it. Everything had paid off. She was excited. Beyond excited. But her mind wandered to the one person she wanted to share the moment with. The signature raven hair of her girlfriend bobbed around in the wind as she rushed towards the railing, a massive smile across her face.
As quickly as she could Korra raced over to the grandstands. She clambered up the wall and was greeted by a tight hug. “I am so proud of you, Korra. That was amazing. You’re amazing!” The heiress giggled excitedly. “I love you so, so much.” She gave her a chaste kiss before swirling her around and pushing her back to the track. “Now go get that medal!”
The rest of the events went by in a blur. But by the time the award ceremony came around, Korra was bursting with excitement once again.
The metallic voice rang throughout the arena, "For the 400 m. In third place, Takahashi." He paused to allow the medal to be placed around the runner’s neck. "In second, Moon. Another pause. And in first place with a time and event record of 49.5567, Qaletaqa." Korra beamed as the lowered her head to allow the medal to be slipped around her neck. Looking back up, she waved to the fans for a bit, before she let her eyes scan the crowd.
Jumping up and down, donning the colors of the university, was Asami. Mako, Bolin, and Opal were besides her holding a giant sign that read ‘Korra. Number 1 in the race and our hearts’. Bolin even had his face painted black and red. All four were whooping and hollering. And next to them were her parents. It looked like her dad may have been crying, although she couldn’t tell for sure, and she knew he would deny it if she asked him about it. Her parents had never missed a race, even the stupid, pointless ones she ran in as a kid. And thus far Mako, Bolin, Opal, and Asami had never missed one of her college races.
Her heart gushed with pride. She had never felt more supported than she did right now. Today truly was her day.
It was early. As in seven in the morning. But Korra would be damned if she didn’t get the best seats. This was probably one of the most important days. It was Asami’s graduation day.
She tugged on Bolin’s shirt sleeve excitedly, “Come on, Bo! Hurry up or else we are going to be late!” She glanced back at the burly boy. Dark bags were under his eyes, his hair an unruly mess.
“Korra. Please. It’s so early. We are not going to be late. We are like the first people here.” He complained, dragging his feet to slow Korra’s Speedy Gonzalez pace. Rolling her eyes, the runner continued her stride and called back to Opal, Mako, and her parents,
“Come on you guys! I want to get the best section. Asami told me that she is going to cross the stage from the right, so if we want a good spot to get her picture, we have to be on the left side. We’re almost there!”
“Alright, honey, we are right behind you.” Her mother said diligently.
As soon as they crossed under the archway, Korra was awestruck. Sure, she had been in the Pro Bending Arena before (the Imagine Dragon’s concert was there), but it looked so different. The bright lights and the band’s stage was gone, now replaced by a very regal looking stage. Thousands of seats were lined up before it. A reddish carpet lined the aisle ways. Korra practically jogged down the steps, Bolin stumbling behind her, “Korra! Slow down!” He yelped as he fell slightly. The tanned woman simply let go of his hand and bounded down to the front row. She quickly place her jacket and satchel across five seats for Mako, Bolin, Opal, and her parents. She placed her hand on the railing and leaned over the edge slightly. The seats gave them the perfect view point of the stage.
Quickly, Korra turned around and looked for her parents. Bolin was back at the top of the stairs waving the group over. Mako came down the steps first. He was wearing a red and white checkered dress shirt with a black sweater over the top. Opal and Bolin came next. Of course the duo was matching. Opal had on a cream dress with a lace overlay and Bolin was wearing a black dress shirt with a cream bowtie. He parents came in last. Both were wearing traditional Water Tribe outfits and Korra couldn’t help but smile at how adorable her parents were together.
After everyone was seated Mako turned to Korra, “Well now that we are here…” he looked down at his wrist watch, “two hours early, what do you have planned to keep us entertained?”
Korra smiled, “Well… I was kinda banking on people watching. That’s always fun.”
Mako chuckled, “That is true.” He paused and looked around, “Okay aisle straight across from us, four rows up.” He pointed vaguely, “Dude with the rainbow Mohawk.”
“Is that all you’ve got?” Korra laughed. She scanned the crowd, “Check it out. Section B. Five rows up. Three seats in.” She watched the detective squint while he looked for who Korra was talking about.
“Wait…” he squinted harder and leaned forward in his chair, “Does that woman have a full on beard?”
Korra laughed aloud, “I think so!”
Bolin’s sudden outburst made the two jump, “Ah-ha! I see her!” he proclaimed proudly, jostling around in his seat.
“Stop moving so much. I’m trying to fix your hair!” Opal grumbled beside him.
Korra smirked and looked around the eldest brother. Opal was licking her fingers and desperately trying to tame Bolin’s unruly hair. Eventually, she gave up with a sigh and slumped back into her seat, “I tried…” She whined.
Bolin merely smiled and kissed her cheek, “Well I think you did a fantastic job, babe.” Opal smiled at him and pulled him in for a kiss. When they parted Bolin had a sideways grin plastered on his face, his cheeks almost as red as Mako’s shirt.
“Ew. Get a room you two.” Mako complained. The couple simply laughed.
“Speaking of couples… How’s the girl from the party, Mako?” Korra asked.
Instantly, the detective’s cheeks dusted a light red, “Kayo…? She’s doing well. In fact she just got a job at the precinct.” He cleared his throat, his face brightening with each word. Korra smirked at him. “She’s working in the operating room as an emergency call responder.”
The younger woman patted him on the shoulder, “Well it’s about time super cop. Is she your girlfriend yet?” She chuckled.
“Yes. Yes she is.” He smiled proudly.
“Aww, Mako! You’ve grown up so fast!” Opal cooed from behind.
The cop simply rolled his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest. Just then Senna called out to the kids to be quiet. Apparently, the ceremony was going to start soon.
As if on que the music started playing. Asami’s graduating class was around 2,000 students, so the ceremony was going to take a while. As Korra waited for Asami to walk out, she pulled her camera out of her satchel. A painful elbowing of her ribs drew her attention to the floor. Gracefully, making her way down the aisle was Asami. She towered above her peers, especially in her heels. She donned a black cap and gown. The attached hood was lined with red symbolizing her declaration of an engineering major. She had four blue cords around her neck, one for each of the years she made the engineering honor society. Plus, she had a four gold cords for making the president’s list for all four years. Korra sighed, “Damn.” Asami looked good.
“Seriously.” Mako mumbled, “Asami’s probably the most decorated one out there.”
Korra blushed, “Yea. Um. Yea. She definitely has the most cords out of everyone.” She chuckled nervously, hoping the detective wouldn’t catch her blushing… because she was definitely thinking about how accomplished Asami was and definitely not about how hot Asami looked.
The graduates all sat down and the rest of the ceremony proceeded. Korra fell asleep around the L’s and was awoken by a second jab to the ribs by Mako once the announcers got to the R’s. Korra quickly flipped through the pamphlet, Asami was going to be one of the first students announced. She handed Opal her video camera and turned on Nikon to capture the moment.
“Alright you guys, be sure to cheer as loud as you can when she is announced.” Korra expressed excitedly.
“Haru Sasaki. Bachelors of Science.” The announcer’s voice drawled through the speakers. The young woman inched forward in her seat and focused her camera.
“Asami Sato. Bachelors of Engineering. Egregia cum laude.” Korra was on her feet in an instant. Her voice cracked as she cheered as loudly as she could.
“Go Asami! Wahoo!”
The rest of the group were on their feet, shortly after Korra, all yelling their support for the engineer.
Korra could see the heiress’s cheeks tint a light shade of pink as she crossed the stage. Quickly, she snapped a couple of pictures before sitting back down.
After Asami was called the ceremony seemed to pass by pretty quickly and Korra soon found herself waiting outside for Asami. She had sent her a quick text of where to meet her, hoping that the heiress would be able to navigate through the madness of ecstatic graduates, joyful friends, and proud parents. Soon enough the sight of familiar raven hair bouncing in the sunlight caught Korra’s eye. She raced over to her approaching girlfriend and pulled her into a tight hug.
“I’m so proud of you, Sams! You are so amazing!!” She paused for a second, “Oh and I got you a little celebratory gift.” Reaching into her pocket, the runner pulled out a long rectangular box, “I know it’s not the most amazing thing in the world and if you don’t like it just let me know. I can always take it back. But I just wanted to give you something nice.” She handed her girlfriend the box.
Tears immediately sprung into her eyes, “Korra it’s beautiful.” Gingerly, she pulled out a silver bracelet. The band was almost a spiral shape as it changed from thick strips of metal to thinner ones. Engraved on the thicker slices of metal were tiny words.
“I picked out each word on the bracelet. They are all the words that I think of when I think of you.” The younger woman said shyly.
In a flash, the heiress pulled her girlfriend in for a tight embrace, “Korra this is amazing. Thank you so much.” The engineer pressed a quick kiss on her lips before she was pulled away and hugged by Senna and Tonraq, who gave her their congratulations and their spiel about how proud they were of her. Opal grabbed her next and gave her a bouquet of flowers. Mako followed right after and had a bundle of large balloons, each a different color and had graduation caps on them. Bolin was last and he had another bouquet with him. He pulled Asami into a bone crushing hug and when he released her she ruffled up his hair (much to Opal’s chagrin).
“Thank you all so much for coming out to this. It means so much to me.”
“Of course, dear. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Senna cooed softly.
“Yea. There was no way we were going to miss your big day, Asami.” Mako smiled.
Opal smiled brightly, “Ditto to what Mako said.” she paused for a second before her face lit up, “Oh! I almost forgot. Bolin and I managed to get a reservation at Kwong’s for your celebration lunch! We wanted it to be a surprise.”
Asami gaped at her, “You got reservations there? They’ve been booked for months!”
“Well my mom had to pull a few strings but we were able to get a table.”
“Thank you so much, Opal.” She gave her a quick hug before turning back to the others, “Seriously, it means so much to me that you guys are here.” Quickly, she pulled the Krew into a group hug, “I love you guys so much.”
“Aww! ‘Sami! We love you too.” Bolin smiled, “Now come on. I’m starving.” The engineer chuckled and let go of her friends.
As they made their way back to the cars, Korra couldn’t help but stop for a moment. It was one of those times were she just had to stop and take everything in. The past year had been… exciting… to say the least. So much had happened. So much pain and suffering, but also so much love and acceptance.
“Korra?” The runner was drawn from her thoughts. She looked at the woman standing before her. Asami was the definition of perfection. Flowing raven hair, flawless skin, and absolutely stunning eyes. The heiress reached out a pale hand and waggled her fingers at the tanned woman, her new bracelet glinting brightly in the sunlight. Crimson lips pulled back into a bright smile. Korra could feel a smile appearing on her own face as she jogged to catch up and grip Asami’s hand. The graduate placed a kiss on Korra’s cheek before she started to pull her along to catch up with the others.
The runner let out a content sigh. She wasn’t sure what she did to deserve to such an amazing woman in her life, but whatever it was she was glad she did it. Because she was so madly and hopelessly in love with her. And Korra had come to realize one thing. Love was weird. It is kinda like a pillow fight. It’s all fun and games, but then things start getting serious. So serious that you feel every hit in your bones. And that’s what love is like. You don’t recognize it until it hits you so hard that you can’t see straight. That you can’t see anything else but the person you love. And for Korra that person happened to be her best friend. It all happened quickly… or maybe it was a long process that happened over the years. Whichever it was Korra didn’t really care. All she knew was it all started and ended with a pillow fight. There were some crazy moments in between. A dash of stupid ones too. But in the end, despite the crazy, the stupid, and the pillow fights; Korra was absolutely positive about one thing. She loved Asami. And she always would.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, LoKandGoTWrite a Review