Nightmares and Daydreams
Korra woke up in the hospital. The only source of light was coming from the dim glow of the large flat screen TV situated in front of her hospital bed. Pictures of the Triple Threat’s headquarters mutely flashed by. The occasional picture of Zolt, Viper, and even Tahno would show up. Eventually, a reporter came on screen. She was standing in front of the hospital, but Korra couldn’t make out what she was saying. There was no sound and the runner had always been crappy at reading lips. Drifting her eyes away from the news she carefully shifted herself into a sitting position. Her left arm was completely immobile, tied into a sling. The entire appendage ached and felt like it was on fire. Probably had something to do with being shot, she mused.
Rubbing her tired eyes with her working, right hand, a yawn escaped her. Her eyes began to slowly close, but a sniffle forced them open. Asami was sitting in the large leather chair in the corner of the room. Her long legs tucked underneath her. Raven hair flowed around her head, which was resting in the palm of her hand. A sigh escaped her and Korra found herself smiling widely.
The heiress was fast asleep. Korra gazed at her lovingly. Her flawless face was stripped of all makeup. Her nose twitched occasionally making her freckles dance around. A dab of drool dribbled down her chin. The occasional fly away strand of hair would float away from her face and then land back down peacefully against her cheek with each breath. And at the moment Korra couldn’t think of anyone as beautiful as Asami. Her eyes locked onto the heiress’s partially parted lips. Spirits. The younger woman wanted so badly, to kiss those lips. To see what they tasted like, felt like. She would have like nothing more than to just be able to take Asami’s chin and pull her into a searing kiss. She could see it now. The two of them sitting on a checkered picnic blanket, food spread all around. Asami would be smiling at the brace of ducklings swimming on the water. The sunlight would be filtering through the oak tree’s leaves, just positively gleaming off of her hair. A smile would cross the older woman’s face and then Korra would gently, oh so gently, pull her in for a kiss and it would be-
A soft nock on the door drew her eyes away from her roommate. Su walked into the room. Her soft green eyes gleaming, “You know I never wanted to see your faces in here again.” She chuckled. Korra smiled back at her, “How are you doing, Doctor?”
“Hey. That’s my bit! I am the doctor after all.” She smiled, “I’m doing well. How’s your shoulder feeling?”
“A little sore.” The runner replied.
Su hummed a little, “That’s to be expected. The bullet didn’t make a clean exit so we had to fish around a bit to find it. But don’t worry we got it out. Which reminds me,” she rummaged around in her pockets for a moment before pulling out a small plastic bottle, “we kept this for you.” She handed Korra the bottle. Inside was a tiny silver bullet. “Think of it as a souvenir.” Su finished. Her eyes flicked behind Korra, “I’ll let you catch up a bit before I send a nurse in to give you some more pain meds, alright?” Korra nodded and watched as the doctor left. Right as she heard the door click shut, her head snapped towards Asami.
Glowing green eyes were staring warmly at her, “Hey you.”
Her heart skipped a beat, “Hey you back.”
The two just sat there staring at each other for a few minutes. Korra was the first to break the silence, “How are you doing?”
Asami giggled, “Honestly, Korra? You just got shot and you want to know how I’m doing?” She asked, repeating the same question Korra had asked not a month and a half earlier.
Korra smiled and lowered her head, looking at her hands.
“Are you okay?” Asami asked. Korra looked at her, panic striking the heiress’s face.
She quickly lifted her right hand and brushed off Asami’s question, “Totally fine. Don’t worry about me.”
Asami snorted, a frown crossing her features, “Don’t worry about you. Don’t worry about you? Korra, do you even realize what the last twenty-four hours were like for me?” She crossed her arms angrily and unfurled her legs from underneath her, “Do you know what it’s like to have a crazed man call you in the middle of the night and tell you that they are going… that they are going to… k-kill,” tears flooded her eyes, “everyone you care about?” She rubbed her eyes furiously, desperately trying to push back the offended water daring to leak down her face. “Korra. I thought I heard you die. When I heard that gun… I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything. You mean the world to me. I thought… I thought I had lost you. I thought I had lost Bolin. And Opal. And Mako. That was the worst moment of my life. Do you have any idea what that is like?”
Korra’s heart came to a dead stop. She couldn’t see it before, but since Asami woke up she could tell how truly exhausted she looked. Dark circles were under her eyes. Her nail beds were chewed down to stubs. Her normally perfect hair was a frazzled mess. She had been worried. Stressed. Immediately, guilt fluttered into her chest.
“Sams… I-I…” she stuttered and before she knew what was happening words were just flowing out of her mouth, “I do know what that’s like. Sams, you were in a coma for two weeks and then in the hospital for another four. You think you almost lost me? Can you imagine what I went through?” The runner couldn’t help herself, she felt her face redden, and her voice raise in anger, “That was horrible, Asami. I mean how could you not tell me about your father? I thought we were best friends? I have told you everything about myself and you leave that ‘tiny bit’ of information that you have been the CEO for two years out. That your father was in prison. That the largest gang in Republic City wants your head.” Her face and volume dropped as she intently studied her fidgeting hands, “You are the single most important person in my life and… and I-I… I couldn’t protect you.” She looked up and forced her gaze to lock with the heiress’s, “I couldn’t save you, Sams. I couldn’t be there for you, when all of that shit was going on in your life. Y-you wouldn’t let me in. You wouldn’t let anyone in. All I wanted was to be there for you. And I couldn’t even do that.”
Suddenly, the door was kicked open and an eccentric man walked into the room. His sad excuse of a mustache twitched above his lip as he smiled, “Gooood mooornin!” He yelled, “I’m Varrick. I’m gonna be your nurse for your stay here in this fine establishment.” His light blue scrubs twirled around him as he dashed to Korra’s side. Halfway through a large and over exaggerated step, he stopped and looked at the two women, “Yeash.” His blue eyes widened as he flapped his large hand in front of his nose, “What’s that smell? Oh wait. It’s the tension between you two.” He pointed at Korra and then flicked the digit towards Asami. A bark of a laugh left him as resumed fiddling with Korra’s IV tubes, administering her new pain meds. After a few minutes, “Well I’m done here. I guess I’ll leave you two alone.”
Korra turned and looked at Asami. Her head was down, onyx hair covering all parts of her face. Immediately, she regretted what she had said. Korra and Asami never got in fights… like ever. They were the dynamic duo for spirits sake. They never raised their voices at each other. Never said hurtful things. The only time they were ‘mad’ at one another was because the other forgot to replace the toilet paper roll or something ridiculous like that. But now… now was different. Korra had gotten legitimately angry. She yelled at the engineer. And she regretted every word, every second that had passed.
“Sams…” she started, her voice barely a whisper.
Asami held up her hand, halting Korra’s words. She looked up at the younger woman, tears filling her beautiful jade orbs.
“I’m glad you’re okay, Korra. More than glad. But…” she paused and looked down at her hands, “I think I should go.” She quickly got up, grabbed her purse, and left before Korra could even utter a word.
Fuck. What had she done? Everything was so messed up. And it was all because she had to open her big, fat mouth. Fuck! The runner wanted to scream. She wanted to yell at the top of her lungs. She hated herself more than anything for ruining…. Everything. She hated herself and she wanted nothing more than to run after Asami, to tell her she was sorry. So, so sorry. But it was too late. It was always too late. Korra was a fuck up. She couldn’t help Asami. And when she tried to she only made matters worse. Korra was… she didn’t even know what she was. And she hated herself… whatever she was.
The runner was informed that she could go home that afternoon. And she prayed. She prayed to every higher powered being out there, that Asami would be with the Krew when they came to pick her up. Opal was the first through the door, a large smile plastered on her face and an even bigger bouquet of flowers. Bolin came next, carrying three large happy birthday balloons (apparently the only ones the shop had left). And then Mako who had cupcakes with ‘Sorry you got shot’ on top in messy blue frosting.
Korra loved her friends, a lot. But they just weren’t… Asami. And she had never missed her roommate as much as she did right now.
Right as they were about to leave the Chief of Police stepped into her room.
“Hey, kid. Glad to see you up and moving again.” She forced a rather painful looking smile, before shrugging and resuming her normal grumpy face. “I really just stopped by to let you know that there are a shit ton of reporters out there. They somehow got wind that you group of kids took down the Triple Threats. So Kuvira and I are here to escort you down to your car. They are undoubtedly going to ask you all a lot of questions. So please, for the love of spirits, try to avoid answering any of them. We have enough to worry about as it is and we don’t need you to add to the chaos with your undoubtedly stupid answers.”
The group of young adults nodded at the chief.
Her piercing gaze landed on Opal, “When you get home we are having a long, long talk young lady.”
Opal bowed her head in shame, “Yes, Aunt Lin.”
Bolin gawked at the revelation that the chief was Opal’s aunt. Although it made a lot of sense to Korra being that they were both Beifongs and if she was being honest that was a very uncommon last name.
When they got to the entrance of the hospital she was already being blinded by flashing bulbs. Outside, away from the safety of the hospital doors, was even worse. People were screaming questions at them from all directions. Opal immediately grabbed Korra and Bolin’s hand and tried to pull them through the crowds of people after her aunt. But somehow in the confusion, Korra got separated from the group. Almost immediately a swarm of reporters, large cameras, flashes, and shouted questions engulfed her. The runner felt like she was in a movie. Because really things like this only happened in the movies.
“How did you do it?”
“Did you really take down the Triple Threats by yourself?”
“Are you an undercover cop or just a civilian?”
“Are you going to try and take down the rest of the gangs?”
“Your bulletproof vest said Avatar on it. Are you a vigilante?”
“What will you do next? Avatar?”
“Avatar, are you trying to send a message to the other gangs?”
Suddenly, everyone was calling her the Avatar. She could feel her heart rate increase. Everything was so overwhelming. Trying her best to push through the crowds and ignore their prying questions, Korra found her stopped dead in her tracks by one question.
“Is it true that Asami Sato was in cohorts with the Triple Threats, just like her father?”
The young women ripped around and looked for whoever just spoke. She knew she shouldn’t respond, but her anger got the best of her.
“Asami Sato had nothing and will have nothing, ever to do with the Triple Threats. She is the most humble, gracious, kind, smart, and amazing person in this world. She would never do anything to hurt the citizens of Republic City. She almost lost her life because she was trying to save this city. And if any of you, ever, say anything bad about her you will have to deal with me.” A torrent of questions raged after her, but she caught sight of Kuvira and pushed towards the cop. The older woman quickly grabbed Korra and pulled her towards Opal’s waiting SUV.
By the time they had gotten through the massive hordes of reporters and the lunch time rush hour traffic, Korra was infuriated, exhausted, and ready to go to bed. The fact that they had given her another dose of pain meds wasn’t really helping either. Her emotions were high and she wanted nothing more than to be alone.
When they got to her apartment and Asami wasn’t there, it just added the icing to the top of her cake of shittiness. And before she knew it, she started bawling. The boys vacated the room, obviously not wanting to deal with an overly emotional girl. Opal-wonderful, kind, caring Opal- stayed for a while to comfort her, but it was no use. Korra just curled up in a ball on her bed and ignored every question her friend would ask her. After an hour of receiving no response, the younger girl left Korra to sulk on her bed.
The runner closed her eyes, hoping, praying that sleep would overtake her and help her forget about everything that had happened. And eventually it did.
They were in an alley of some sort. Korra was there, she knew that much, but she wasn’t there physically. It was like she was looking on at the scene unfolding below, but was unable to react. Unable to speak. Unable to do anything.
Asami was kneeling on the ground. Red stained her shirt. A deep gash crossed her face. Suddenly, Tahno appeared in front of the heiress. She gave him a nasty glare before he threw his fist at her face with full force. Asami fell to the ground with a grunt. But she quickly got back to her knees. Her eyes locked with Tahno’s. He delivered another blow, this one to the other side of her face. Again Asami collapsed to the ground. And this time she stayed down longer.
“Now, doll face, you are going to tell me where Papa Sato kept his stash and if you do, we’ll let you go.”
“Even if I did know where he kept those weapons I wouldn’t tell you anything. You are filth and will only use those weapons to hurt people. I’ll never tell you anything.”
Tahno grit his teeth, “Fine then. Have it your way.” He jerked his head towards Viper and Shady Shin who grabbed Asami and quickly tied her wrists behind her. Tahno cracked his knuckles before he began his next assault. Fist after fist crashed into Asami. Each time with more force. The heiress was on the ground whimpering, but Tahno wouldn’t give up. He kicked her in the stomach and ribs multiple times, before he finally stopped. He pushed back his wavy hair and took a deep breath. Asami tried to push herself away from the men, using only her unbound feet. With each movement she let out a gasp of pain. An excruciating sound. Tahno nodded to Viper and Shin who grabbed Asami by her arms and pulled her back to her knees. She wobbled unstably for a few seconds before she fell to the side. Shin grabbed her roughly and forced her to sit back up. Tahno reached into his inside coat pocket and pulled out a glock hand gun with a silencer sticking off the muzzle. He turned towards Asami, “Are you sure you don’t want to say where those guns are, Ms. Sato?”
Asami could barely look up. Managing all the strength she could, she spat out a wad of spit on Tahno’s shoe before she spoke, “Fuck you.”
“Suit yourself.” Tahno shrugged. He pointed the gun at Asami’s chest and without a second thought, without a blink of an eye, he pulled the trigger.
Asami’s whole body shuttered as the bullet tore through her. She blinked and let out a bloody cough. She stayed kneeling for a moment longer before Viper kicked her in the chest and she fell to the hard asphalt below. He quickly cut the rope tying her hands and stuffed it into his pocket. Quickly he, Shin, and Tahno jumped into a blacked out Satomobile SUV and sped off down the road.
Asami’s shattered body laid in the alley. Surrounded by trash, mud, sewage, and spirits knows what else. She desperately tried to breathe, her eyes ablaze with panic, but with each attempt blood would gurgle out of her mouth and nose. Slowly, ever so slowly her hand reached up to her throat and pried the locket from around her neck. She held the blue and white pendant in a tight fist, knuckles turning white from the effort. Closing her eyes, her hand brought the locket up to her heart. Her pained movements halted, the only sign of life was her shuttering rib cage.
Hours seemed to pass in a blur and soon a short, portly man with a slightly balding head entered the alley with a bag of trash. The bag fell with a clatter as he rushed to Asami’s side. He pressed a finger to her throat checking for a pulse. His eyes lit up with surprise and he yelled to someone inside the store. Not five minutes later, an ambulance arrived in a flurry of flashing lights. Asami was loaded onto a stretcher and rushed off to the ER.
And just like that Korra was alone.
Korra’s eyes flickered open. Her heart rate was at an unhealthy speed and light sheen of sweat covered her body. She was trying to relax when a slight form appeared in her doorway.
Asami was wearing a pair of baggy sweatpants and a Republic City track and field sweatshirt (which belonged to Korra, but she always let her roommate wear it) and her large, black framed glasses. The engineer only wore her glasses when she was stressed out or tired or needed to think. And when she need to think she would always, always start sketching. It was never really a defined thing. Sometimes it was a new blueprint or a landscape or a portrait. It was never the same thing twice. Which explained the graphite running up and down her arms.
Neither she nor Korra spoke. But eventually the heiress moved closer to Korra’s bed. And without a word she slipped under the covers. She laid down on her side, her face towards Korra. Following her cue, the runner turned on her side and her eyes met beautiful glowing peridot gems. But they were red and puffy and Korra knew she had been crying. A wave of guilt flushed over her. But it was washed away as Asami, at a painfully slow rate, scooted closer to Korra. Inch by inch, centimeter by centimeter, she approached until their noses were a hair’s length apart. Pears, apples, and poppies, every scent that was so Asami filled her senses. And immediately, the younger woman was comforted. Everything just seemed to relax, to calm down, to be infinitely better.
The two just laid there. Their eyes never leaving the others. Asami snuggled deeper into the sheets before she spoke up, her warm breath buffeting against Korra’s face with each word, “I-I’m sorry, Korra. I’m so fucking sorry.” She whispered, pain deep within her voice, “I should have told you from the beginning what happened. With my father, the company. Everything. I’m sorry I shut you out. I’m so sorry I caused you so much pain.” With each word Korra’s heart sunk farther into its guilt ridden hole. “I-I’m… s-so s-sorry.” She muttered, her words starting to fade as the tears began to take over.
The runner gently placed her hands on Asami’s flushed cheeks. Tenderly, her thumbs wiped the tears plaguing the engineer’s flawless face. “Asami, please don’t cry. I’m the one who should be sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed you like that. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. And I certainly shouldn’t have done something as stupid as going after the Triple Threats. I-I wasn’t thinking. All I knew was that I was angry a-and… and I wanted nothing more than to have those… those criminals pay for what they had done. I didn’t stop to think how it would have affected those around me. I’m sorry, Sams. I’m so, so sorry.”
The older woman shook her head gently and placed a soft hand on top of Korra’s. Her warm fingers brushed over Korra’s knuckles. Her features scrunched up in thought for a moment before in one swift movement she brought her forehead against Korra’s. Her eyes fluttered closed. A deep sigh escaped her and she scooted even closer to the tanned woman. Korra gently lifted her head and laid a soft kiss on her love’s forehead before she once again lowered her face to rest against Asami’s. Her hands wrapped protectively around the older woman, while the heiress’s ensnared the runner’s waist.
It was the most beautiful moment. And Korra wanted nothing more than to say those three simple words. I love you.