Riches to Rags

Chapter 10

It’s only just turned ten, and I think I’m already on the verge of having one too many. I’m having a good night though - Kuv always makes sure of that, and I’m not sure where she gets her energy from sometimes. We’re sat in a booth, on these really soft, squishy cushions that arc around an oval table. It’s a little on the large side for just the two of us, but Kuv easily gets claustrophobic.

“Oh my gosh!” a young, dark haired woman exclaims, putting a hand to her mouth and pausing in her steps as she walks by our booth. We’re regulars here by now, but sometimes non-regulars visit and awkwardness ensues when they recognise our faces. This one starts babbling away to herself, so we exchange the usual pleasantries, sign a napkin for her, and she happily walks away, tucking it into her pocket like it’s the most precious thing in the world. It’s weird. I mean, I’ll never get over how people can view me that way. I’m just me. Korra. A person.

“Come on! Down the hatch!” Kuvira laughs, wobbling a little on her seat. We have the day off tomorrow, so I’m being less cautious than usual, but I still don’t want a hangover. I lift the thimble-sized vial of green ooze between thumb and forefinger, link arms over the table with Kuv and down it at the same time as she does hers.

“Ick…” I hiss air between my teeth and grimace, still not quite used to the burning-hot aftertaste. Kuvira stares somewhere over my shoulder, a wry smile plays on her lips, and she leans forwards.

“Hmmm, check out the buns on that meat factory,” she says, the tone of her voice suddenly deeper than usual. She comes up with ridiculous idioms sometimes, and I can’t help but laugh, before twisting my head back to see who she’s got her predatory eyes on now.

“Shit,” I curse under my breath, turning back to face Kuv, and covering my face with a palm.

“Oh? You know him?” Kuv grins, and before I can stop her, lets out a shrill whistle, “Hey, sex-pot, yeah you! Over here!”

I practically slide down my chair in a puddle of shameful ooze. He walks to the end of our table, raises his eyebrows the moment he spots me, but other than that his expression’s unreadable. “Hey, Bolin.” I mutter, thinking that maybe I should have drank myself into a stupor after all.

“Take a seat, handsome,” Kuvira says in a low purr, patting the vacant spot by her side.

“Don’t mind if I do,” he says, taking the offered seat. I sigh, fold my arms and look away, wondering why of all places, and of all times…

“So… Bolin, was it?” Kuvira asks loudly, smiles wryly, darting eyes in my direction, “Why don’t you tell me allll about how you two know each other?”

“Aww, come on Kuv…” I groan, “Just leave him be.”

“You know, if you were a lady, you’d buy me a drink before asking my darkest secrets,” Bolin says with a cheeky grin, and after a second of confusion Kuvira bursts into raucous laughter.

“Oh, I like this one,” she grins, looking between the two of us expectantly. Bolin looks at me too, and I can feel a sudden headache threatening, forming at my temples. I pull myself upright, no longer slumping under the table, thinking it’s best to just get this over with.

“Look, Bo…”

“It’s fine, really. Thanks for keeping in touch,” he says, his sarcasm practically dripping out. It’s how Bo copes with being hurt though, a little sarcasm, a little humour.

Kuvira looks between the two of us as though waiting for an explanation, then blurts out “Did you two used to bang?”

I bang my glass on the table, a little harder than I’d meant to, “NO, Kuv. We didn’t bang.”

“She banged my brother, then broke his heart,” Bolin says, his solemn expression turning into a wide smile when he notices my no-doubt tormented expression.

“Oh! Oh! Mako’s brother! Am I right?” Kuvira is almost bouncing in her chair. I kind of want to slap her right about now, but instead I pour myself another glass from the pitcher, and ask the waitress for a third glass.

“Yup, the one and only. Korra here’s a heart-breaker, no two ways about it,” Bolin sighs, though I can see he’s putting on an act.

“Hah! She said it was his idea,” Kuvira says, snorting in laughter.

“Oh did she now?” Bolin says, raising an eyebrow.

“It was a mutual agreement, you know it, and I didn’t break anyone’s heart!” I rant, folding my arms and scowling. Thankfully we’re distracted by the waitress turning up, and I thank her as she deposits an extra glass. Kuv pours Bolin a drink, which he accepts with a flash of his pearly white teeth. It’s a grin that would melt most girl’s hearts, and I actually do like him, I mean, he’s a great guy. It’s just so… awkward being around him, after how things went with his brother…

For a short time, what I had with Mako was good. I met him not long after I started my new career, and we definitely had chemistry, but I think we both just run too hot for each other or something. A big part of me misses him, but a bigger part doesn’t miss the fighting.

“Earth to Korra, come in Korra,” Kuvira says, waving a hand in front of my face.

“Sorry, was thinking about old times.”

“Mako misses you, you know,” Bolin says, downing his drink. I notice that Kuvira has an arm around him, and a soft smirk playing on her lips. Poor Bolin… I’m half tempted to save him, but then again, he could have the time of his life tonight, knowing Kuv.

“I miss him too, Bo. But not in that way… and I miss you. We had some fun times.”

“Yeah, we did. We should meet up sometime. He’s totally over you, you’re totally over him. We could just party!”

I nod absent-mindedly, and I’m surprised to find myself seriously considering the request. I could always use more friends in the city… and there’s no reason to stay distant just because we’re exes.

Whilst I’m lost in thought, Kuvira pours Bolin another drink, and not-so-subtly shuffles up the bench until she’s sat much closer to him. I raise my eyebrow as she pours him another shot, “You trying to get your next victim intoxicated?” I ask, pouring myself a drink.

“Always,” Kuvira chuckles, then turns and whispers something I can’t make out into Bolin’s ear. It must have been something filthy though, because he suddenly flushes bright red, and quickly grabs a nearby loose cushion, covering his groin. I roll my eyes, knowing full well where this is going. I don’t really mind walking home alone tonight, I’ve had a really nice time, and I’m glad I came in the end.

I rest my chin on my palm and watch as Kuvira torments the poor boy even more. She suddenly catches my gaze, and grins wickedly, “What’s up honey? You jealous? There’s enough of me for everyone… We could go back to my place and have ourselves a real party,” she says, and I can see from her half-lidded expression that she’s at least half-serious. Though I laugh with her, I’m appalled to admit that I’m feeling tempted by the idea, and I figure I definitely need to get laid if I’m humouring those kinds of thoughts.

“I’m gonna leave you two lovebirds to it,” I say, deciding it’s best to leave before I drink myself into a threesome, “Bo… ask Mako to text me, we’ll all grab a coffee sometime,” I say. Decision made. Hopefully not one I’ll regret, since I have no interest in rekindling an old flame.

“Your loss, sweetcakes! Be careful out there,” Kuvira says, blowing me a kiss as I make a hasty retreat.

“Night guys, have fun,” I say, grabbing my jacket and squeezing my arms into the sleeves, then walking to the exit.

My teeth start to chatter the moment I step outside of the bar, and I hug myself, noticing that my sleeves are a little on the tight side. That’s the problem with new clothes, sometimes you have to break them in, especially leather. I bought this one straight after I’d left my favourite one with Raven. I sigh out loud as the memory of her yelling at me flashes into my mind, angry, but clearly intelligent green eyes, and a face I could swear I’ve seen somewhere before. I hope she’s okay, especially when it’s this cold. I suddenly feel sick at myself, at my actions, that I allowed myself to go out and have fun while she’s starving out on the streets like so many others.

My mood turns blacker with each step I take as I head home. What right do I have to this kind of life, when people like her are still out there? By the time I’m home I’m freezing, and I’m exhausted, the events of the day fully catching up to me, combined with my by now very bleak mood. The key jams in my front door and I wiggle it around until it twists, reminding myself to get that fixed at some point.

No sooner am I inside, than I lock up, strip down to my tee and underwear, then crash belly-first onto my bed. Thankfully, I drank just enough to fall straight into a booze-induced coma.

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