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Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades

By Progman

Romance / Adventure

You Can't Fix Everything

Asami always considered herself as a mechanic of sorts. If something was broken, she could fix it. After two years of no contact, Korra finally writes her, and only her, a letter. In it, she describes that part of her is broken. Maybe it was the fire whiskey, or the shock of Korra's vulnerability, but Asami decides that she's going to fix everything. Well, try anyway.



Part 1 - Far Apart, Close Behind

Section 1: "You Can't Fix Everything"


Asami rolled out a map of Republic City, spreading it evenly across a large metal table in the foundry of Future Industries. The heat of the massive, and recently overhauled, industrial warehouse made the air thick and heavy. It was almost uncomfortable, which made it perfect for her bi-weekly meetings with the Republic City government. If she threw them off of their game, she'd have a much easier time with negotiations and conferences. They never seemed to catch on, though. They always came in formal wear. Asami was used to the heat, however. She was practically raised in that foundry.

Mechanics, engineers, architects and local government representatives circled around the table, each with their own unique reaction. Some were flattering, some were sickly from the heat, and the others were simply inquisitive. Asami had been dealing with these 'check-ups' for two years, and though she'd gotten very good at having them go her way because the people Raiko kept sending her didn't have any idea how city planning worked, she was still quite tired of them.

She loved Republic City. She wanted it to be the best it could possibly be. The overbearing oversight was almost insulting, though it was clear that it wasn't her they were distrustful of, but that of the deep black mark her father had left during the Equalist Uprising all those years before.

After years of PR campaigns and community outreach programs, people were finally willing to do business with Future Industries without a second thought. She'd worked so hard to achieve that, though it came at a cost. It wasn't that people trusted the Sato name again, no, not even close. It had become all too clear that, in the end, the world saw her as a risk that was worth the reward.

It made her feel sick, sometimes. Other times, she was thankful to have gotten that far at all.

It was something. She hadn't failed, and she wasn't going to start.

Asami rolled up her sleeves and wiped some sweat off of her brow. "Okay, today should be pretty simple. We haven't gotten that much new construction work done since our last meeting; we've been focusing on retrofitting the existing highways, tunnels and power lines to a higher level of sustainability," she said, her voice calm and commanding over the din of the foundry. She traced her finger from Kyoshi Bridge to the Dragon Flats, bypassing the Spirit Wilds along the way. "First, the highways connecting Kyoshi Bridge to the rest of the city are still holding strong, but just to be sure we've added several more steel struts and supports to it. The spirits don't seem to mind all of the noise, actually, so if we were able to get the proper permits, I think we could probably pull some night shifts to speed this whole thing up."

One of the representatives, the incredibly stubborn one that Asami had never seen smile, was sweating through his posture. He cleared his throat, losing a bit of his forced formality. "I think you've forgotten to take into account the lives of our citizens as well, Ms. Sato. I can assure you that no one will be happy with large scale construction projects being continued into the late hours of the night."

Asami frowned. "Those very same citizens are also the ones who've been suffering from rolling blackouts and a very comprehensive breakdown of the city's sewage system. There are entire districts that can't even get running water out of their faucets half the time. I've been fixing that too, by the way, in case you've forgotten."

"I think I know the citizens of Republic City more than you do, Ms. Sato. I, by definition, represent a good portion of them."

"Really." Asami stared blankly at him and leaned over the table. "Ever lived in the sewers for a week because it was the only place to hide? Or lost your home? Your birthright? Your comfortable financial security? Your job? Your status? Your name? Has any of that ever happened to you?"

"No, but I don't see how-"

"I didn't think so. I have had every single one of those things happen to me, sir. Your average citizen has had to suffer through at least one, and clearly you are far from average. I know this city better than you, don't ever claim otherwise." She took a deep, calming breath. "I'm done with your condescending attitude toward the blood, sweat and tears myself and my company have been pouring into this city. I don't appreciate it. We don't appreciate it. We're supposed to be working together! If you can't understand that, I'm afraid I'm going to ask you to leave."

She had him on the ropes, and then went in for the knock out. What happened next was entirely up to him. That was the key. Make them think they have the power in the situation, for a chance at redemption and self-correction, only for them to do so in your own interests.

It scared her just how much, in some ways, she was becoming her father.

The man stared at her in silence for a moment before bowing his head. "I see your point, Ms. Sato."

Asami smiled. "Thank you. Now, moving on…"

"Ms. Sato!" yelled someone behind her. "You're needed out front!"

Asami turned, brow raised, to see one of her assistants sprinting toward her. "For what? Everyone who needs to talk to me is right here."

"It's the White Lotus. They say they have a message for you."

Asami's heart skipped a beat. Was Korra finally back? Did the Air Nation need more...things? Or was this something far worse? She might not have survived. The poison could have killed her. She could have wandered off and gotten lost in the tundra or kidnapped again or-

Asami shut down her racing, half-panicked mind. Everything was fine. She didn't have any information to make an accurate, logical judgement of the situation. "Then it's probably urgent." It probably was. She turned back toward the gathering and bowed slightly. "I apologize, but I have to see to this matter."

Asami jogged, forcing herself not to sprint, straight out of the large warehouse gate. She spotted two members of the White Lotus instantly, as their outfits really stood out. Even in the Water Tribes they looked out of place. She walked the rest of the distance, which thankfully wasn't far. "I was told you had a message for me? Is something wrong? Oh, no, something happened with the wingsuits!? I personally tested those thousands of times before handing them off to the Air Nation, but I must have missed something-"

One of the guards held up his hands in defense, eyes wide. The other patted her on her shoulder. "No, no, nothing like that, Ms. Sato. As far as we've heard the wingsuits are working exceedingly well."

"Good! That's great!"

"Yes, it is. But that's not why we're here…" He dug into his bag and handed her a firm envelope sealed with the sigil of the White Lotus. "The Avatar sent you a letter and we thought it best to deliver it to you personally."

Asami carefully took the envelope, dumbfounded. She hadn't heard from Korra in two years. She'd written her letters every few weeks or so, sometimes more often, but she'd never received a response. In fact, Mako and Bolin hadn't either. "Why? Do you not trust the post office?"

"Not exactly. Check the address."

Asami inspected the envelope carefully to find that it was addressed to Air Temple Island. She snickered and looked back at the man. "Yeah, I don't exactly live there anymore, do I? I guess she forgot that I moved back into the estate. I mean, I did tell her my new address in a letter a while ago…"

The first guard, the one who'd been silent, shrugged. "The Avatar works in mysterious ways."

"Lee. Stop doing that." The other guard slapped Lee on the back of the head. "Will that be all Ms. Sato?"

Asami nodded, smiling. "Yes. Thank you for this. Really. And, the next time you see her, could you give Korra my best?"

"Of course, Ms. Sato."

With that, the guards, or members, or whatever it was she was supposed to call them, went on their way, leaving Asami with her letter. She bit her lip and looked back at her warehouse. Two years. She couldn't just read something like that while at work. She had to go home and open a bottle of fire whiskey, just in case.

Asami sprinted to her Satomobile and leaped into the driver's seat. She turned on the ignition, feeling the roar of the engine flow through her. There was no way that she was going to drive casually home. No. She was going to push her baby to the limit, because Korra wouldn't want it any other way.

Mostly because that was the only way she knew how to drive.

Asami bobbed and weaved through traffic, accelerating more and more as she reached the highway, her highway, where her speed leveled off. She took a look at the enormous tree in the center of the Spirit Wilds. Had it really only been two years? It felt like a decade.


She made it home in record time and didn't even bother parking her satomobile in the garage. She didn't have time! No time! Asami gave up all pretense of maintaining her professional elegance and barreled through the front door, her work clothes still greasy and sweaty from the day. She almost ran straight into Tu, that cousin of Bolin's who looked so much like him.

Asami slid out of the way and gave him a quick smile. "Sorry, Tu, something urgent! Have a good rest of your day!"

Tu gave her a casual wave and walked off toward the gym. His family loved it, even though she'd had it installed for her. At least, initially.

Asami sprinted into her kitchen, giving her now large and pseudo-surrogate family various kinds of hellos. So many names. So many names. "Chow, wonderful to see you. Yin, a pleasure, but I can't stay and chat. Something urgent has come up so I'm just going to grab this bottle of fire whiskey from the table, thank you, enjoy the rest of the day!" She practically flew from the kitchen to her home office. Frantically, she locked the door behind her, lest one of them wander in, (not that they would, but still) poured herself a glass of fire whiskey and sat at her desk.

"Okay. Two years. I can do this," she whispered. She took a long pull from her drink and tenderly broke the seal on the envelope. She slid the letter out, unfolded it, and felt her eyes sweep through the words like a starving animal.

Dear Asami,

I'm sorry I haven't written to you sooner, but every time I've tried I never knew what to say. The past two years have been the hardest of my life. Even though I can get around fine, now, I still can't go into the Avatar State. I keep having visions of Zaheer and what happened that day. Katara thinks a lot of this is in my head so I've been meditating a lot, but sometimes I worry I'll never fully recover.

Please don't tell Mako and Bolin I wrote to you and not them. I don't want to hurt their feelings, but it's easier to tell you about this stuff.

I don't think they'd understand.

Korra

Asami blinked. She'd expected...more. Not necessarily a grand epic, or a tome of all of her adventures, but, well something a little more substantial. But then, that never really was Korra's way of doing things. She was blunt and direct, and Asami had always appreciated that. She read the letter over a few more times, drinking more and more fire whiskey between readings.

It took her about an hour to process it all. The sheer magnitude of it. Korra had gotten hundreds of letters from her, Mako and Bolin. She responded once. To her. And she also tried to do so many, many times beforehand. Her pride and shame had gotten in the way. The amount of strength she must have had to summon to be that vulnerable, and for her eyes only...it was unknowable.

Korra had trusted her with something she wasn't even sure she had the privilege of knowing. Her nightmares, they would fade in time. Asami knew that from personal experience.

The truth was that she did understand. She'd been thrown from her highest point of success and strength all the way down to homelessness and disgrace in a matter of days. After that, she built herself back up, taking back all that she'd lost and more. In a way, all of that pain had been good for her. It made her stronger.

Korra hadn't been able to do that. She'd been stuck in the same state for two years. For two years, she'd been struggling, hitting the same wall over and over again with everything she was something blocking her second wind, her sense of upward momentum.

Progress.

Asami fought back a sob as her eyes began to burn. She wasn't going to break. Not from that. She had to do something. She had to distract herself before she thought too hard about her friend's sense of hopelessness and despair.

As a rule, Korra didn't ask for help. It wasn't in her nature. Yet, she had reached out to Asami in a way she hadn't with anyone else, and...it really sort of read like she was asking for help, but didn't know how. Asami was an tinkerer. An inventor. An engineer. A mechanic. She excelled at three things in life. Business, hand-to-hand combat, and fixing things.

If it was broken, she could fix it, so that's what she intended to do. Even if it was impossible, she had to try. She couldn't just sit by and run her company while Korra suffered.

Maybe she was a little tipsy, and maybe she had read a little too much into that letter, but Asami didn't care. Korra was in pain, one she knew all too well, and needed help she'd never ask for.

Something had to be done.

The first thing she needed to do, she decided, was to answer one important question.

"...what is the Avatar State, anyway?" Asami scrunched her face and drew out a quick, angular sketch of Korra in the Avatar State. At first, she thought to draw her throwing mountains at Zaheer, but then decided against it. She settled on her spinning Mako around in a water spout.

Asami snickered to herself. Though, that was the external result of the Avatar State. Internally, it was a total mystery to her. She furrowed her brow and walked across the hall to her library, quietly so as to not draw attention to herself. Asami wasn't really in the mood for other...people. She quickly found old medical texts and books on chakra pathways, which she realized were probably only there to combat benders. Because of course they were. She decided to start with the chakras, as the only thing she knew about them was that they were important for everyone, but especially for benders.

"Okay, seven chakras. One for each nation, sound, light, and thought," mumbled Asami. "This is really not my strong suit." The picture that was provided helped her visualize the concept, and she was grateful. It looked a lot like fleshy, smaller skeleton inside of a person.

She already knew that bending strength was, to a degree, related to chakra pathways, and that Korra was impossibly stronger while in the Avatar State. Perhaps her Chakra points had something to do with it. Korra was an extremely physical person, so it was possible.

Asami opened a medical text beside the other book and flipped to a picture detailing the interior human anatomy. She furrowed her brow and looked between the two. They had the same silhouette and shape. They were thesame thing.

Asami grabbed the two texts and walked back to her office. She flipped the page on her large sketchboard and put the two texts on the desk next to her, the pictures easily within view. That time, Asami drew Korra in...exceedingly accurate detail. She wasn't really sure how she did that. She added a few inches in height, and made her shoulders a little broader, too. Two years was a long time. Then, she drew her in profile and from the back.

"Let's see, base of the spine," she said, double checking the picture in the book. She marked the first chakra, and her entire head turned red once she found out where the second chakra, Water, was located. "This...may not have been the best idea…" She bit her lip and labeled it anyway, just below her abdomen. She proceeded with the rest and once she was finished she stepped back from her board. She skipped the thought chakra, as it wouldn't be efficient or aesthetically pleasing to have part of the suit extend to the forehead.

Asami stared her work for a long time, brows furrowed in thought. She knew how to temporarily block chakra paths, chi blocking was still very much common knowledge, but to do the opposite was...relaxation, perhaps? Electrical stimulation wouldn't work, and extended use would cause burns. Heat would be redundant, and pressure wouldn't do it either.

Then, it clicked.

Acupuncture. It dealt directly with pressure points, chi and chakras pathways. It was also hard to forget Chief Bei Fong smiling after a single session. Smiling. Asami quickly drew a relatively skin tight suit over Korra, similar in design to the wingsuits she'd made for the Air Nation, and began detailing the acupuncture nodes.

She'd have to make it herself, and to the perfect dimensions, and somehow compensate for all of Korra's moving. Some sort of adaptive system that moved with her, not against her.

She'd need a test dummy.


Mako's apartment was just as she'd remembered it. Which was interesting, considering the new one he was renting was almost identical to the one he had before it became a vine habitat. Then again, that was very much a Mako thing to do, in Asami's opinion. A stable, constant home. It was also clean, proper and almost completely void of the colorful personality that Bolin had once blessed it with. She knew he'd grown up in a very minimalist fashion, so it made sense for him not to take great pride in decorating. Still, though, it wouldn't have killed him to hang up some pictures or fixtures. Something.

"Explain to me again how you roped me into this, exactly?" grumbled Mako, carefully slipping into the skintight suit that Asami had spent the past two weeks designing and slaving over. "Also, what is it exactly that I'm doing? You just said that you needed help testing a new prototype, said you'd be here in an hour, and then hung up."

Asami quickly snapped the locks of the suit in place and readjusted the tiny acupuncture tips. She ignored Mako's hissing. "That's exactly what you're doing. Testing a new prototype. I can't tell you what it is because it's a special order from a customer who wished to remain anonymous."

"Why can't you test it, then?"

"I'm not a bender."

"And you're sure it has nothing to do with the thing right next to my-"

"Absolutely."

Mako was silent for a moment, but then nodded. "Okay. I've got the suit on. Now what?"

Asami took out a notebook and tapped her pen against the paper. "I want you to firebend, and describe to me if it feels more...open. Freeing. Fluid. If it's easier, or more difficult. Really, if you feel anything different, let me know."

"Gotcha. Bending booster suit." Mako created a small flame in his hand, which very quickly expanded to a fireball. His eyes grew wide as he swatted his hand, cutting off the fire. "That was...yeah, easier. More natural, actually. Definitely more fluid." He punched a small fire ball, then a larger one, and then pushed himself off of the ground with his flames with far too much force. He landed in a heap, groaning. Thankfully, his floor was almost entirely barren, so the only thing he broke was himself. Besides the dent in the ceiling, of course.

"Ow."

Asami winced and helped him to his feet. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, just a bruise." He rolled his shoulder, testing it. "Everything is significantly easier to pull off. So, control is sort of an issue."

Asami scribbled his thoughts down on paper. "How much of an issue?"

"Uhhh…" He looked out the window. "Watch." He took a small breath and then shot the single largest bolt of lightning she'd ever seen out the window. It seared the clouds blue and cracked the sky.

Asami gaped. "Oh."

"Yeah. I think that might only be a problem for firebenders, though. It's a little harder to...overdo the other elements. At least, that's my understanding of it."

Asami shrugged. "I wouldn't know, but that's very good feedback. Do you think you'd be able to adjust to it, or is it just a constant stream of energy?"

"If I practiced enough, I could probably adjust to it, yeah."

Asami furrowed her brow. "Wear it for a week."

Mako whistled. "This has got to be one important client. Either that, or they are paying you a lot."

Asami bit her lip and put her notebook back in her bag. "A little of both. How about it, Mako? Wear that thing for a week and report back?"

"Sure, why not. It might be fun to give the Agni Kais a run for their money."


Mako stood on her front step with half of his clothes burned off and several bright tears in the acupuncture suit. "It needs...work."

Asami's eyes widened as she lead him inside and closed the door. "No kidding. What happened? Are you okay?"

"I set myself on fire and couldn't stop."

"'Needs work' might be a bit of an understatement, then."

"Yeah…"


Chief Beifong looked at her quizzically. "You want me to wear what under my armor?

Asami smiled and unfolded the second version of her acupuncture suit. She used a new material to make it flame retardant and insulated against the cold. "It's a...bending enhancement jumpsuit. I've only been able to test it on firebenders so far-"

"Oh, that makes so much more sense." The Chief laughed once. "I'll tell yah, kid, I've seen a lot of things, but I never thought I'd see a firebender actually light himself on fire before Mako pulled that stunt. That was the suit, wasn't it? He nearly burned down headquarters! If it wasn't so funny, I'd have fired him on the spot. Well, that and he's way too good a detective to let go."

"That was the old version, this new one is flame retardant, resistant to the cold, and...well, I don't know earthbending works but, it's a bit hard to hit yourself with rocks, right?"

"You'd be surprised." She chuckled. "Okay, I'll test this suit thing for you, but only if you tell me how you managed to make a universal bending enhancement suit without knowing anything about the art."

"Chakra."

The Chief raised a brow and then shrugged. "Makes about as much sense as anything else. How long you want it on me?"

Asami smiled. "A week would be best, Chief."

"Then a week it is."


Asami sat in her office, finalizing a few alterations for the wingsuits. She wasn't sure why Tenzin insisted on snack compartments, but it wasn't her job to question the customer. Her phone rang and she picked up the receiver.

"Hello?"

"SATO!"

Asami screwed up her face and stared into the receiver. "Chief?"

"Your stupid suit made me tear up my apartment and metalbend a city block of everything! You're paying for the damages! I already had the thing shipped to your house, so don't come looking for it." With that, the Chief hung up so violently that Asami could feel it.

Asami scribbled a few things down in her notebook. She needed to ensure the user had more control, because clearly it wasn't just a firebending problem. "Waterbending should fare better. But just in case it doesn't..."

Asami grinned. She knew the perfect test subject.


Tahno, who had very rudely appeared in her office unannounced, handed back the third generation jumpsuit, now designed with an emergency pull-string that retracted the tiny acupuncture nodes. It was so soggy it may as well have been used a mop.

"I nearly drowned myself last night, Sato. I was pulling water out of the air. I didn't even know I could do that." He huffed. "This thing, this crazy thing, it needs work."

Asami sniffed the suit. It smelled foul. She made a face of disgust and took a step back from him. "Eugh, where were you last-" She blinked. "Nevermind, I'd rather not know."

"Heh." He flipped his hair. "Your loss."


Air Temple Island was dizzyingly busy, which only made Asami smile. Airbenders trained, meditated, and went off to right wrongs wherever they were needed. There must have been a hundred people scurrying around the island. It was a far cry from the dozen or so acolytes that used to populate it, along with Tenzin's family.

The Air Nation had finally, truly, returned. In a larger sense, Asami wasn't too emotionally invested in the big picture of that concept. It was how happy it made Tenzin, Korra and the rest of her friends that made her emotionally invested. She was proud for their success, not their miraculous return.

Jinora had met her at the docks, and Asami's eyes widened as she saw the airbending master. Her hair was stuck straight up like she'd been electrocuted and she had the biggest grin she'd ever seen.

"It's a marvel of engineering, Asami! Only problem is...once you get going, you can't really stop. I almost blew the roofs off an entire village," said Jinora. She handed Asami the neatly folded suit.

"You don't mean at the same time, do you?"

Jinora shrugged. "What can I say? I'm a master."

Asami scowled and hugged the suit to her chest. "Well, that's it, then. Thanks for your help, Jinora. I'll have to shelve this thing until I can figure out a way for the wearer to have better control. It's way too dangerous." She cleared her head, refusing to think about how she had just failed, fantastically, to help her friend.

Jinora smoothed out her hair back to it's normal arrangement. "Actually, I think there might actually be a use for it, Asami. No normal bender would be able to control that much raw power, but it's possible that Korra could. She's very familiar with that level of bending." She tilted her head. "Well, it's either that, or it would kill her. She's still human, and even she has her limits."

Asami looked out over Yue Bay and sighed softly. The morning sun glistened off of the calm expanse of water. Her invention could help, but it might very well also be the bitter end to her friend. No, her best friend. "I...that's not worth the risk. I don't want to lose her."

"No one does, Asami. What gave you the idea to make this, anyway?"

Asami cleared her throat turned back to Jinora. "Uh, well, I honestly can't remember. I think I was studying up on how bending worked, since I spend so much time around benders and I never really bothered to learn the methods behind it, and the idea just...popped into my head."

Jinora raised a brow and crossed her arms. "You're not very good at lying to your friends, Asami. If you don't want to tell me, that's okay. Just don't lie to me, alright?" She smiled.

Asami smiled sadly in return and bowed her head. "I'm sorry, you're right. It's just...I don't feel comfortable telling anyone that. It's for a good cause, though, I promise." She looked down at her impractical, potentially life threatening suit. "Well, it was, anyway."

"It's the thought that counts, Asami. I'm sure they'll understand that."

"I hope they do."


Asami had packed all of the design documents and prototype suits into a box, which she had then stored in a deep, dark corner of her basement. Just in case it came in handy in the future, or she figured out a way to make it work.

She sat at her desk and stared at a blank piece of her stationery. She wasn't sure what to say. She'd spent six months of her life pouring her heart and soul into that project, only to have nothing to show for it. Of course, Asami had gone through that experience before. Multiple times. Some ideas just didn't work, and she knew that. That time was different, though.

It was a labor of love and compassion that ended in failure. She couldn't help Korra, even though she'd technically never asked for it. She had to sit, wait, and hope that her best friend was able to heal on her own. She'd written Korra long, inspiring speeches before. Long stories about how she was able to overcome adversity, and what worked for her when the pain was too great a burden to bare. How she coped, how she recovered. How it made her a better person, and that dragging yourself out of mud is always worth the effort, no matter how difficult.

Asami knew that wasn't going to help anymore. It wasn't what Korra needed. No inspiration or eloquent tales of triumph. She needed something simple, honest, and from the heart. And so Asami wrote just that. She folded it up and sealed it in an envelope, grinning all the way to her mailbox. If she couldn't fix Korra's block, she could at least make her laugh.

After all, laughter was supposedly the best medicine.


Korra read the return address on the envelope a few more times. Asami Sato. Asami Sato. Asami Sato. She hadn't received a letter from her in six months and was starting to feel like she'd strained their friendship to the breaking point by asking her to keep her reply a secret from Mako and Bolin. She didn't regret replying to Asami, and only Asami, but she'd made herself vulnerable, and she hated doing that.

The fact that the only communication, if one could even call it that, they'd had recently was the White Lotus relaying that she 'sends her best' had worried her even more. Korra had no idea what that was supposed to mean. Her best what? Wishes? Food? Cars?

High society was confusing sometimes.

She sat sat down and leaned her back against Naga, her warm fur calming her down. There was no need to panic. She was probably just really busy and needed time to think out her words. Asami thought stuff through, that's what she did. Nothing to worry about.

Korra took a deep breath and rubbed Naga's belly. "Alright, Naga. Let's see what Asami thinks of me. At least you'll still love me no matter what, right girl?"

Naga barked and wagged her tail. That meant yes.

"Good girl. Okay, here goes nothing." Korra carefully opened the envelope, unfolded the letter and read it. In a matter of seconds, she was both crying and laughing hysterically. She clutched her stomach, unable to keep her balance as she dug her face into Naga's belly. Her entire body shook from overwhelming surge of emotion, as she simply couldn't stop laughing nor stop the tears from pouring down her cheeks.

Dear Korra,

I understand.

I miss you.

Asami

P.S. Through a series of events that I cannot divulge, Mako accidentally set himself on fire and nearly burnt down the RCPD headquarters, Lin unintentionally tore up an entire city block, Tahno nearly drowned himself, and Jinora almost lifted a village into the sky.

P.P.S. Mako is fine.

It took her the better part of an hour to calm herself down, which had the unfortunate side effect of letting her pain and exhaustion creep in and consume her again. She couldn't remember the last time she'd truly felt anything besides anger and...nothing. Asami had, somehow, managed to accomplish something her parents, Katara, and Naga hadn't been able to do.

The contrast between the simple heartfelt response to Korra laying her soul bare and Mako lighting himself on fire was the perfect emotional jump-start. Maybe that was what she'd needed. A surprise. Something that caught her so off guard that it broke through the barriers she'd been erecting since she...since that day.

Korra wiped her eyes and rubbed Naga's belly. "Asami is really one of a kind, isn't she girl?"

Naga gave her a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek. "Wow, you miss her that much, huh?"

Naga tilted her head and sniffed the air, staring directly at Korra.

Korra raised a brow. "She's my best friend. Of course I love her. What kind of question is that?"

Naga panted and danced around the room for a moment. She settled at her feet and wagged her tail. She scratched Naga's head, smiling.

"Ohhkay, girl, I get it. You're...you're right. There's nothing else I can do here to help myself. I need a change of scenery or I'll never get past this block." She shrugged. "Republic City seems like as good a place as any. Maybe being in the center of things will do me some good. Something might just 'click' for all I know." She frowned. "But...I don't think you should come with me."

Naga whined and tapped her forehead with her nose.

"Yeah, that's exactly why. I need to clear my head, and as much as I love you...I need to prove to myself that I can do this on my own. I just need this. You understand, don't you?"

Naga moaned and snuggled up beside her, closing her eyes. Korra gave her a big hug around her neck as she rubbed her fur.

"Yeah, you understand. You always have, girl. You always have."

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Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

Julia Summers PA: Reading this now. It's fun, hilariously fabulous yet taste of what you desire in a unusual read. I will post an actual review when I am finished. But so far loving the flow and the story seems to keep me drawn

_JosephJacobson_: I don't understand why this has such low ratings. I really enjoyed it!I think that the whole idea behind the plot had something very special and that was something that I really enjoyed. It was new, unique. I think that some of the writing was a little strange in places but overall it made sense ...

Prasino45: Hi! I happen to see your updated chapter on FF.NET!It happened to be about you coming onto Inkitt with this story! I've been a fan for a while! I'm a scqualphie writer myself. I ship them HARD! Love this story! I'm gonna do a reread as you said you changed some things! Glad we both made the switc...

MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...

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dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

shawnas26: I knocked it out in one sitting and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for sharing! :) I'll be looking forward to reading the next in the series.

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FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

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Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

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Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."