Riches to Rags

Chapter 31 (Asami)

I’m excited. For the first time in months, things are looking up. I’ve started to get my old confidence back, but even I struggle to believe I’ve just asked Korra out, kind of, I think, maybe. Just like that. Like the old me would.

“Well, here we are. You sure you don’t want to eat out?” Korra asks, bringing the car to a stop, and I struggle to not chuckle at the innuendo. I politely cough instead, feeling sure that it’d go over her head.

“Yeah, I don’t want to get into even more debt. Next meal is on me, remember?” I say, and Korra grins sheepishly at the question.

“Well, I’m at least ordering takeout,” she says, looking deep in thought for a second, “Pizza or something. I’m too tired to cook, and Kuv isn’t here.”

“I suppose that’s fair,” I say, as we close the car doors and head up the stairs. The snow has more or less completely melted away from them - it seems someone’s been around to spread grit everywhere. I’m almost tempted to offer to cook, but it’s been so long since I tried that I’m worried I may burn the place down. Besides, food was never something I became particularly good at. Edible - yes. Tasty - rarely.

Korra slumps into the sofa, switches on the TV and gestures for me to join her in what I suppose must be ‘my’ spot. I hope it isn’t presumptuous of me to feel that way, yet I’m so comfortable, relaxed even, the second I’m squished into the soft cushions. It feels like I belong here. I’ll miss it.

Korra puts some fun cartoon on about a guy who runs a burger joint, and he has these really oddball children. It takes me a while to understand the humour, but after a few minutes I’m laughing every bit as much as Korra is.

“Oh, sorry, did you want a drink?” she suddenly turns to me and asks.

“Yes please. Do you have anything sweet?”

“How about a mocktail? I’ll order us some food too. I want burgers after watching this.”

“Sounds good to me. What’s a mocktail?” I ask, knowing that the word sounds vaguely familiar.



“A cocktail, without alcohol. Basically a mix of fruit, syrup, and ice.”

“Sounds delicious,” I say, smiling as she stands and heads into the kitchen.

She soon returns, a frosted, filled glass in one hand and a phone in the other. She deposits the glass on a placemat in front of me, and winks at me whilst continuing to describe what is going to be one beast of a burger to the guy on the other end. I mean, three patties? What is she, a meat monster? I chuckle, then take a sip of the light-yellow beverage, watching her open her bedroom door with her free hand whilst still chatting away on the phone. She must order from there a lot, because now she’s asking how his kids are doing, and if they liked their autographed pictures.

I’m about to tell her how delicious the icy-pineapple drink is – and it really is – but words fail me as she walks out of her room, idly flipping the mobile phone into the air, then catching it with one hand. She’s changed into a vest and shorts, and my God, if I thought her arms looked good, I don’t know, perhaps I should have been ready for this. I want to run my hand all the way across those toned, bronze thighs and-

“Food ordered, drinks done. Wanna watch more Bob’s burgers?” Korra asks, placing her phone on the table.

I suck hungrily at my drink, and nod eagerly, smiling at her with the straw held firmly between my lips. She walks to the fridge at the other side of the room, and I feel heat rise to my cheeks as I watch how the tops of her thighs curve into the loose oval holes of her shorts, just shy of revealing her ass. Her hamstrings tense as she leans down, and she twists to face me. She then smirks, and raises an eyebrow, and only then do I realise I’m openly staring. Shit! I face the TV and slurp a little too noisily at my rapidly-emptying drink.

Korra slumps on the sofa, twists open a bottle of root beer, and it’s clear that she’s chuckling away to herself whilst she sets up the next episode.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“Just wondering if you were enjoying the view.”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say, finishing off my drink, “thanks for the drink, though. It was delicious.”

“No problem,” Korra says, her thumb pausing on the play button. I notice her laughter finally stops, and she suddenly seems deep in thought.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Honestly? You have to promise not to laugh,” She says, smiling nervously.

“I promise. What is it?”

“It’s gonna feel weird not having you here. It’s dumb, I know. It’s only been a couple of days.”

“Not at all… I’ll miss it too. In fact, was hoping…” I pause, wondering if I might overstep a boundary.

“Hoping…?” Korra prompts me, she catches my gaze with hers, and I find it impossible to resist those gorgeous, deep-blue eyes.

“Well, that I could still visit here. Maybe after our date.”

It feels so strange saying those kind of things out loud, and I almost instantly regret it. I was homeless. I almost died. And all this just a few days ago. Yet now I have a job, clothes, a place to live, and an amazing, warm, compassionate friend, someone who could end up being even more than that, and I’m suddenly terrified that I’ll fuck it up.

“You can come here whenever you want. Even if our date sucks and we’re as compatible as a potato and a hammer.”

I burst into laughter, my anxiety temporary dissolving. It’s so easy to be myself around her, it’s no surprise that I’m going to be sad to leave. “That’s a rather… odd analogy,” I wipe away tears whilst she shrugs exaggeratedly, “it’s good to know though, thanks.”

“You sure you can put up with Kuv though? I mean, she comes here a lot,” Korra says, with a deep sigh.

“Yeah, she’s funny. I’m honestly surprised you two aren’t together,” I say, and come to think of it, I really am. They do seem to get on like a house on fire.

“She likes girls but prefers boys, besides which I just don’t feel that way about her. I mean once upon a time, maybe. But she’s like an annoying older sister.”

“A sister who you just happen to kiss passionately, on occasion?” I ask, arching an eyebrow.

“Oh, now look who’s jealous!” Korra says, grinning before she finishes off her root beer and deposits it on the table. Damnit, I think she’s actually right. That kiss caused all kinds of feelings to stir within me, but the most prevalent feeling was the deep desire, the wish that I were the one being kissed, not Kuvira.

“I don’t do jealous,” I lie, pouting.

“Sure, sure. Me neither,” Korra rolls her eyes, and I pick up a cushion from the floor, flinging it towards her.

“Hey! If you’re like this over a kiss, you definitely don’t want to see the scene where we…”

“Where you... what?” I frown.

“Do the do,” Korra chuckles, and raises an eyebrow as though challenging me to refrain from jealousy.

“You… you what!?” I exclaim, failing her test, caught somewhere between a desire to actually want to see that, and somewhere else where an inner voice is screaming, high pitched, with sheer jealous rage.

“Oops, spoilers. Sorry,” she replies, smirking wryly.

“But won’t that be a little awkward?” I frown, having no idea how these things actually work.

“Only if we let it be. They use clever camera angles, and green screen a lot of it. We have to get close, sure, but not too close.”

“Well, I’m not jealous,” I huff, cuddling the only cushion I have left to my chest.

“Don’t be,” she says, looking sombre all of a sudden, “I mean the only reason the kiss looked so good is because… uh… because… never mind.”

“Because what?” I ask, confused.

“Nothing, nothing. Nothing,” Korra suddenly seems very interested in the TV remote, she’s rotating it around in her hand, and I notice her cheeks have turned a dark shade of red.

“That’s a lot of nothings,” I say, wondering what on earth is on her mind. She suddenly jumps to her feet, and coughs.

“Yeah, uh, anyway, I’m going to pack up a bunch of spare clothes for you, which you can give back after you get your own. And I’ve got some bathroom stuff you can have, shampoo, that sort of stuff. And if you want you can have a shower or bath or a shower and bath here before you go, and-“

Her rambling is disrupted by the door-bell.

“Oh, food, great, I’m really hungry!” she says, dashing towards the hallway.

I wonder what the hell has gotten into her. Something about that kiss? I thought she said she wasn’t into Kuv, so it can’t be that. She returns almost right away, a brown bag full of hot meaty goodness held in her hand, and a proud grin on her face.

“Korra bring food!” she says in a pretend-caveman voice, beaming at me.

“Korra do good,” I chuckle, deciding it’s best to drop the kiss thing, for now. Maybe I can ask her about it on our date. Whoo… butterflies, just at the thought. I can’t remember the last time I actually got excited about something like this. I follow Korra into the kitchen to help her get the plates out, and we’re soon hungrily devouring juicy burgers and chips, all super tasty, whilst watching more TV.

I swear that I’ve never felt an evening slip by so quickly, and before I know it, it’s almost midnight. I find myself hoping that Korra passes out on the sofa, since I enjoyed her sleeping close to me last time, but sadly she turns in for the night, yawning and rubbing her eyes. I allow myself one last gaze at that fine posterior of hers before she enters her room.

“I know you’re looking,” she says, with a deep chuckle.

“In your dreams. Good-night, Korra.”

“Night, ‘Sami,” She yawns.

I hear her bed squeak once and then, nothing. I wish I could fall asleep that quickly, but instead I’m awake for another half-hour with conflicted emotions swirling around and around. Disbelief and confusion, that I’m here, that my world’s literally been flipped upside down in such a short space of time. Relief, that I have the chance of a normal life again. Excitement, a new job. Nervousness, hoping I don’t mess it up. Butterflies, thinking about Korra, and that we’ll have a date in just two weeks.

“Can’t wait,” I mutter into the pillow, smiling to myself whilst I hold it to my chest. I drift into sleep with imaginary scenarios of the date circling in my mind, and every single one ends with a kiss, her lips warm against mine, my heart soaring.

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