Dinner and a Movie
"Korra, you need to get dressed up, right now."
Korra turned around, angry that her mother just barged into her room like that. "Jesus Christ mom, ever heard of knocking? And no, I'm not getting ready, I'm busy."
"Watch your language young lady. And I can hear that you're not busy, you're playing video games."
Korra was growing more impatient with every passing second. "So what? It's online, I can't pause it just like that. And why would I even need to dress up?"
Senna was also starting to get impatient with her daughter. "Tenzin invited us over for dinner, and you're going with us."
Fucking marvelous. Korra sighed. "Do I have to? You always force me to pretend to enjoy myself around those little brats."
"Little...?" Senna was surprised, but quickly regained her composure. "Tenzin's children are very respectable children. And if you dislike them so much, why do you babysit them two nights a week?"
"I don't babysit them, they're fast asleep by the time I get there, so all I have to do for two hours is watch TV, then Tenzin pays me a fuck-ton of money and I'm on my way again."
"Young lady, language. You are coming with us to this dinner and I will not have you show up at the house majority whip's place dressed like a bum. Now get ready, we leave in one hour."
Korra sighed again, but her mother's tone made it very clear to her that she didn't want an argument over this, for as far as it could still be avoided. She heard the door slam, and turned back to her game of Call of Duty 4. Team Deathmatch, and because of her efforts, they were winning before she was interrupted. Great. Now we're on the back foot again. Time to break out the big guns. She settled on the Barrett .50cal, and found herself a nice vantage point. Three headshots later, her mood had calmed significantly. Whoever thought of the idea to put that splatter on the white wall after a headshot deserves a fucking medal. God, that's satisfying.
Three minutes later, Korra made the final kill, securing their victory, but only just. Ignoring several racist and/or sexist comments, she logged off and found herself in front of her dresser. Korra never really put much effort into her clothing, and the contents of the wardrobe consisted mostly of game- or movie-related T-shirts. Everything fancy she had, was an idea from her mother. Except for one. She had one dress that she knew her mother hated, mostly because it was cut lower than she would deem fit some situations, but it wasn't risky enough for Senna to tell her to wear something else. It was sleeveless, mostly dark blue, save for the openings, which were all lined with a white band. There was also one white band running down the front, making her appear taller. It reached just above her knees, making it perfect for the situation.
She quickly exchanged her Half-Life 2-shirt and sweatpants for the dress and ventured out towards the bathroom to make something of her hair and her make-up. Well, for as far as she could be bothered with it. Her natural tan paired with her ice-blue eyes meant that too make-up much would stand out like a sore thumb, a fact for which Korra was immeasurably grateful; it gave her an excuse not to wear any. She brushed her hair and decided down would be best for now.
Korra went downstairs and found her mother putting the final touches on a pie. Senna noticed her coming in, and Korra couldn't help a slight smile at the way her mother disapprovingly rolled her eyes. Even though she turned her attention back to her pie, she still spoke to Korra, "Don't forget to lock Naga again, last time around she ate half of my flowerbed."
Korra let out a sarcastic sniff. "Yeah, that was quite impressive for a little rabbit, don't you think?" There was no response, so Korra just went outside to the back of the garden, when a voice came over the fence. "Hey Korra! Nice dress, where are you going?" It was Mako, her neighbor who was a year older than her. They had been living next to each other for over ten years now, and they had been friends from the start.
"Naga's pen. Say Mako, you happen to have a rope, around six foot long, with a noose at the end?"
"That bad, huh?"
"Dinner with the house majority whip, which means I have to entertain three of the most obnoxious little brats in DC for three hours. And the worst part, is I'm not even getting paid for it."
Mako laughed. "That's what you want the rope for? I'm gonna be stuck with Bolin and his psycho-girlfriend for the foreseeable future, I need it more than you do."
"Amateur. Just lock yourself in, he can manage."
"Tell you what, why don't you come over after your dinner? We'll have few beers, watch a dumb movie, and try to forget it all."
"You got a deal, Mako. As long as you're buying, that is."
"Cool. See you tonight."
"Later." Korra smiled. She knew she could always count on Mako, and it was mutual. He was actually one of very few things in her life both her parents approved of, regardless of form and function. Of course, they wouldn't approve any more if they would find out he was giving her beer despite the fact that she was seventeen, so she always made sure to keep that a careful secret. But they liked that he could be polite, and that he and Korra genuinely got along. Because he's the only person in the world who does, you retard. She sighed at the realization. Even if she didn't get along terribly well with Bolin, she would make that sacrifice as a favor to Mako. He was buying her beer, after all.
Dinner went roughly the same in reality as it went in Korra's head. The part she was looking forward to the most, save for going home, was the food itself. Even though Pema may have given birth to three little monsters, she was an excellent cook. Look on the bright side, you're eating coq-au-vin, if you would have stayed at home, it would have been ramen noodles. That makes dealing with these brats worthwhile, right? Korra felt at her leg and was cursing herself for not wearing a pantyhose of sorts, meaning all the bruises sustained during the past hour would show by the time they would leave the table. Actually, scratch the previous question. How in the world can a five year-old boy kick that fucking hard?Even though Tenzin did berate him for it, he was at it again five minutes later. It's going to hurt for a while.
Pema called them all to the table, and mercifully, Korra managed to find a spot at the table neither next to or across from any of the children. She sat at the end of the group on the long dinner table, with Tenzin on her left and her mother across from her.
Since Tenzin didn't know very well how to talk to Korra, and with Korra making no efforts to engage in any form of conversation, he couldn't help but resort to small talk. "So, Korra, I hear you're doing well in history and economics. That's a good combination, we could use you on Capitol Hill."
"I'm not actually planning on climbing the Hill."
A silence fell between them. Her mother noticed it, and gave her a kick under the table. Fuck, one more bruise won't matter at this point, so help your fucking self! "I actually haven't really thought about what I'm going to do after graduation."
"Shouldn't you start with that? If you keep it you'll be done with high school by the end of next year."
"I was actually leaning more towards taking a year off in between. Travel the world, see what's out there." Get far away from you people.
Senna looked surprised. "And when were you planning on telling this to me and your father?"
"When it became relevant." Korra glanced at the disapproving looks she got from both her parents. "It was only an idea in my head, not a plan on the table."
Pema, who was sitting at the head of the table, trying to keep her two youngest children at bay, actually came to Korra's aid. "I think by the time it does become relevant, you'll be old and wise enough to make your own decisions."
Korra smiled. It was a strange combination, a congressman with a woman who owns a small business in organic tea and soap, but they made it work, despite the sixteen year age gap. For some reason, she could always get along with Pema. Despite the *ahem* exuberance of their children and Tenzin's mostly boring attitude, Pema seemed to be someone Korra could have a normal conversation with. She was a good listener and despite the hippie-esque nature of her shop, had both feet planted solidly on Terra Firma. Maybe qualities you could learn a thing or two from.
"Thank you, Pema, I appreciate that."
Her father was not pleased with this. "Young lady, just because you will be of age when you graduate, does not mean your mother and I won't have a say in it."
Korra could tell her mother didn't like where this conversation was going. "Tonraq dear, let's not have this discussion now, and instead focus on the delicious food Pema prepared for us."
After dinner, most of which Korra was thank Jesus in heaven able to enjoy in silence, Tonraq and Tenzin retreated to the whip's study while Pema and Senna put the children to bed. She just played on her phone for a while, when it suddenly buzzed. It was a text from Mako.
"Where are you? Bolin and Psycho make me want to look for that rope!"
She texted back: "Still stuck at Tenzin's. I'll see if I can be cut short."
Right on cue, her mother and Pema returned, and Korra wasted no time. "Mom, could you and dad take a cab back to the house? I'm the designated driver anyway and I really need to go."
"Where is this suddenly coming from?"
"Uhh, because it's Friday night, and I have a life?" Yeah right, who are you kidding? Senna seemed to share the thought, as she raised a questioning eyebrow. "Please? Mako and I agreed to hang out tonight, and he just texted me that his brother is driving him up the wall." Korra put on her biggest puppy-dog eyes, which occasionally helped, and this was one of the lucky cases.
"Alright, but be careful, and be back in our house at a reasonable hour."
"Thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!" She went in to give her mother a hug, and Senna smiled. She pulled the car keys from her purse, gave them to Korra, and she sprinted out, grabbed her jacket in one swift motion and made for the car.
The dull hum of the six-cylinder Volvo diesel engine normally wasn't very exciting, but Korra always enjoyed it if she was behind the wheel. She had her own car, a fifteen-year-old Audi A3, but her father's V60 had over thrice the power, and Korra could feel the difference. She quickly drove home, switched back from the dress into sweatpants, grabbed her flash drive with her impressive collection of movies and on the dot of ten pm, called Mako to let her in.
Mako's place was messy, as usual. He was alone with his brother, since he was forced to move his grandmother into a retirement home last year. He and his brother lived with his grandparents ever since his own parents died in a car accident thirteen years ago. The house had been paid off, and their parents had left them a considerable sum of money, so they didn't have to worry about a thing.
"Korra!" He immediately gave her a firm hug. "Thank God you're here. I was about ready to slit my wrists in there."
Korra couldn't help but smile at Mako's desperation. "Oh come on, Eska isn't that awful, right?"
"Are you kidding me? She spent the whole evening playing with a switchblade. A fucking switchblade! But I can't do a goddamn thing about it because Bolin likes her."
"Sacrifices must always be made for the greater good, my friend. Shall we go?"
They went up to Mako's room, which was on the garden side of the house. He made no efforts hiding his considerable assets, given the soft hum of the big-ass flat screen TV on the wall, the PlayStation 4 underneath, the impressive collection of baseball memorabilia and his skeet shooting trophies and equipment.
"How do you pay for all this? I mean, I know your parents left you some money, but you don't work and you can't pay forthis lifestyle with it."
"That's called investing, Korra. I spread the money out over various companies and in return, they turn it into more money."
"Maybe I should get into that."
"Maybe you should." He quickly changed the subject. "Beer?"
"Do you even need to ask?"
He just smiled and threw her a can. Korra fumbled with it more than she would care to admit, but managed not to drop it and even to open it without spilling beer all over the room. She let herself fall into his couch, which was God-knows-how-old, but was probably one of the most comfortable things in the world.
Mako raised an eyebrow. "Long night? You seem lazier than usual, and that's saying something."
She purposefully ignored his quip and threw the flash drive at Mako while taking a sip of her beer. "How about Pacific Rim? Haven't see that one in a while."
"Sure, why not?" He plugged the drive into his TV, and fired the movie up. Positioning himself on the couch next to Korra, Mako pulled up a footstool, giving them the most comfortable position possible. Korra actually missed most of the movie, given that she was a little preoccupied with her beer (Mako made sure she always had a full can.) and annoying Mako by tickling the underside of his foot with her own. "Come on Gipsyyyyy! Kick his ass!" shouted in a fake Australian accent pulled her back into the movie. It was an awesome spectacle, watching a building-sized robot beat the living shit out of an equally big monster, with a freighter, all awhile destroying Hong Kong. She stood up to grab a fourth beer, but fell right back into her seat unable to keep her balance, causing Mako to get a big smile on his face.
"You know, you might to take it easy if you don't want your parents to notice what you've been up to here."
"You think they'll notice?"
"Please, anyone can spot your drunk ass from a mile away. I suggest you hold up here until you can walk in a straight line again. Plus, I don't want to get into any trouble. They'd probably kill us if they found out."
Korra smiled. "Nah, they'd only kill you. I'd just be grounded for the rest of time." She scooched in closer to Mako and let her head rest on his shoulder. She closed her eyes for a moment, and before she knew it, she was fast asleep.
"Korra, wake up!"
She was woken up by Mako's voice, surprisingly soft for someone his size. "W- What?" she asked, still half asleep.
"It's one thirty in the morning, and you're starting to drool on my shoulder."
Great job, you idiot. Now fully awake, she shot upright and wiped the drool from the corner of her mouth. "Oh Mako, I am so sorry. Do I..."
He raised his hand to silence her. "No you don't. The only thing you need to do is go home."
As stated. Luckiest asshole in the world. "Yeah, listen thanks for waking me up." Korra quickly slipped on her shoes and rushed downstairs. The light in the living room was still on, so Bolin hadn't gone anywhere. She waved to Mako as she burst out the front door. "See ya!"
Korra hadn't even stepped out of Mako's house or she'd already seen that the lights were also on in her own house. That could only mean one thing: at least one of her parents was waiting for her. Well, no point in putting it off, time to go and face the music. She made no attempts at getting upstairs silently, their front door could be heard closing at the other end of DC. So Korra decided to step into the living room with her head held high.
Senna was sitting on a chair, facing the door. Korra noticed a book and a half-full glass of wine on the table beside her, indicating she had been waiting there for some time. "I told you to be home at a reasonable hour."
"I don't think one thirty is that unreasonable." Great idea. Give her a big mouth, that should lighten the mood.
"You didn't call, no text, nothing. Your father and I were worried."
"You knew where I was! You could have just walked over there and knocked, it's literally ten yards out the front door!"
Her mother was getting visibly angry with her. "That's not the point! I let you go, despite you not having made any attempt to earn it, and then you blatantly ignore my every instruction!"
"Then you should have been more specific, this is my interpretation of a reasonable hour." Here we go.
"Regardless, you have tennis practice at nine tomorrow, and you should have let us know how long you'd be out."
Fuck. Tennis practice. Completely forgot about that. Should be good, the loud indoor hall with a mild hangover. "Fine. Can I go to bed now?"
"You're not setting another foot in that place for the next two weeks. Understood?"
"Understood?" Her mother's tone had grown demanding enough for Korra to realize it'd be best if she didn't argue. "Yes..." She turned around and walked upstairs, not caring that she probably woke her father up by slamming the doors.