Riches to Rags

Chapter 27 (Asami)

Well, that was definitely an interesting story, and Korra is definitely an interesting person.

I’m on my third slice of Pizza, and I’d feel guilty or greedy but it’s just that damned good. The peppers are so deliciously hot that they make my eyes water a little, and the cheese is just to die for. It’s gloopy, but crisped enough such that it’s golden brown on the surface.

It’s been a wonderful day. To feel welcomed, to feel normal, just for once. There’s a small voice in my head still screaming that it’s not right to sit here, that I’ve done nothing to deserve it. But it’s so comfortable and warm, the food is so good, and I really like watching these two bicker.

“That was amazing, thank you Kuvira…” I say, happily sucking at my fingers.

“You are most welcome, princess. You know, there’s a way you can repay me...” Kuvira purrs, and winks at me.

“Kuv!” Korra growls, aiming a pillow at Kuvira’s head.

“What? I meant she could take a look at my phone – she’s obviously some tech genius. God Korra, you’re such a perv,” Kuvira says, looking mightily offended, and I’m sure it’s just another act.

Korra blushes profusely and tucks her knees into her chest, and I have to hold back a giggle, “Sure, pass it over. What’s wrong with it?”

Kuv stands up and walks towards me, fumbling in her pocket before handing it over. It’s an older model, one that flips open – didn’t know they made those anymore, “It just randomly dies. Even when the battery’s full.”

“Well, it probably just needs a new battery. You’re a super-rich actress, why not just get a better phone?”

“I… uh… I know how to use this one,” Kuvira explains, folding her arms and half-pouting.

“Kuvira’s a technophobe. Took her months to get used to that one,” Korra states, rolling her eyes, perhaps trying to get revenge for Kuvira’s earlier antics.

“Just order a battery online – I’m almost certain that’s the problem,” I say, smiling and handing it back over to her. I notice Kuvira looks quite disheartened, “Would you like me to order it for you?”

Kuvira’s eyes light up, “Would you? Korra does that stuff for me, but she messes it up sometimes.”

“Hey!” Korra pouts.

“Okay, pass me the laptop. I’ll need your payment and address details… uh, if that’s okay…”

“Oh, don’t know about that, a suspected terrorist with my details?” Kuvira smirks, but I feel my heart plummet at the words.

“Kuv… too soon,” Korra sighs.

“Come on! I was kidding! Asami, you can come to my house and nuke me anytime…” Kuvira purrs.

Kuv.

“Korra, it’s fine. I’m fine,” I say, with a sigh. I’m not fine. Maybe I should try to see the funny side, I’m sick of feeling miserable after all. I busy myself with the laptop, looking for the best site for old phone parts. It doesn’t take long to find one, and I collaborate with Kuvira, punching in her details and making the order for her.

When I’m done, I fold the laptop closed, and notice Korra is staring at me with a focused expression. When her brows furrow like that, and her sapphire blue eyes bore into mine, I feel my heart pound a little harder. “Is something the matter?” I ask, wondering if I’ve said or done something wrong.

“Just… I’m sure the repair shop across the road had a sign up, looking for a full time assistant.”

“Repair shop?” I ask, a little confused.

“Yeah – Kai’s Repairs. He does laptops, computers, that kind of stuff. The spot might still be open…”

“Oh. Oh!” I exclaim. Actual work? I’m excited at the idea, though terrified at the same time, “You know, it’s not like I haven’t tried to get work before…” I sigh.

“Wanna talk about it?” Korra asks. Kuvira remains strangely silent, brooding in her beanbag throne, perhaps regretting her earlier joke.

“There’s not a lot to talk about. Applying for managerial or engineering positions didn’t work because everyone recognised my face. I couldn’t get a cashier or waitress job, because I was apparently over-qualified. I was also homeless, without a cent to my name, which didn’t help.”

“How could you have had no money?” Korra asks.

“Well, I had thirty or so yuans on me. But everything in the mansion, the factory, the office, and anything digital – it was all seized by the authorities the second my father was convicted.”

“Oh, so you couldn’t draw any money out… man. How were they even allowed to do that to you?”

“I guess an act of terror warrants it. I have my father to thank for everything.”

“Can’t you get any of it back? You’re not a terrorist.” Kuvira finally speaks up.

“I… I don’t think so. Law isn’t my speciality. Everything was in my Father’s name, even my pay check.”

Korra suddenly widens her eyes and clenches her fists, “I can ask Mako to help! He’s a lawyer!”

“What? You don’t have to, I mean… who’s Mako anyway?” I ask, feeling a little dizzy at Korra’s sudden enthusiasm.

“Korra, you dumped him and still haven’t met up like you were supposed to,” Kuvira drawls the words, sounding thoroughly unimpressed.

“It was a mutual break up! How many times…” Korra grumbles, “It’ll be fine. I’ll meet him for coffee and take it from there.”

I’m feeling pretty miserable all of a sudden, and I don’t even know why. Is it because Korra wants to meet her ex? Maybe because they’ll probably get back together? Ugh, I hate that thought, and I don’t even know why.

“Anyway, one thing at a time. Once this weather clears, I’ll take you to meet Kai,” Korra grins.

“But…” I bite my lip, not knowing how to say it, but I don’t have a place to stay. How can I work without a place to stay?

Korra seems to read my mind. “But you’re homeless? You can stay here and use this address. Or there might even be a deal you make with Kai, see if he has a spare room.”

“I’m not… I mean, I can’t freeload any more than I already have,” I say, the though churning my stomach.

“You’re not freeloading - you’re paying us back with technical repairs! And besides, if you bunk here I could certainly use the rent payments,” Korra says, winking. I’m not sure why she’d need more money, but she seems sincere.

“There’s no guarantee he’ll want me, or that the job is still there...” I sigh.

“Trust me, if it’s still there, he’ll want you. You’re clearly a computer whizz.”

I grin at the words, a little flattered but also reassured by the confidence in Korra’s eyes. Maybe this is it - the turning point in my life.

The rest of the day goes by in a blur. More movies. A thoroughly enjoyable shower. Korra’s home cooked spaghetti – delicious, by the way. A heated game of monopoly, in which I’m accused of cheating at least four times but they’re just sore losers. And then, more movies, at which Kuvira retires to the guest room, and I pass out next to Korra on the sofa, my legs stretched out beside hers.

It’s odd. I’ve experienced the most expensive beds money can buy, but I could swear I’ve never been this comfortable.


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