Riches to Rags

Chapter 9 (Korra)

I can’t believe Raven actually turned up at the shelter today.

Oh yeah, Raven. That’s what I’m calling the feisty, black-haired woman, since I don’t know her real name. I do this a lot actually - give people nicknames in my head, but I’m careful to make sure they never find out. And sure, Raven’s little outburst surprised me, but it made me happy, too. It means there’s still fire in her belly, and that’s important, that’s what you need to survive out there.

“Ugh,” I grunt, somehow managing to haul my tired, aching body all the way up the stairs to my apartment. What a day. Sometimes I wonder if I might be pushing myself a little too hard, and today is definitely one of those days.

I’ve been awake since five in the morning, working in the shelter for most of the day since Priscilla’s short on helpers this week, and then doing six hours of back-to-back filming in the studio. Today’s filming went well, actually, and Kuvira in particular was pretty damn spectacular. We played a hard scene, with lots of physical action, and even more rolling in the dirt. I’m just glad we have showers on the set - it took me over an hour to get clean, and I’m sure I keep finding small bits of grit in my hair even now.

“Home at last,” I mutter to myself, turning the key in the slot and elbowing my way inside. It’s like some kind of ritual by now - I lock my front door, throw off my coat, chuck my car keys on the table, grab a cold beer, and collapse on my well-worn sofa, flicking on the TV. Nothing is on, as usual, so I just put the kids channel on, thinking I might catch up on some reading with it on in the background. Or maybe I’ll have a nice, hot bath, soak off these tired muscles. Yeah, that sounds great, and I’m just about to climb off the sofa when there’s a loud knock at the door.

“Knock knock!” I hear a familiar voice shout out, and I groan, rolling my eyes, knowing full well what’s about to happen as I force myself off my comfortable perch, stomping down my small hallway.

“Yes?” I ask, cracking open the door and pouting at the green eyes beyond. Kuvira ignores my futile attempt to keep her out, pushes the door open the rest of the way and barges in.

“Hey, butt-face,” she says, walking into the main room.

“Come in,” I say with a long, drawn-out sigh, though I’m smiling all the same.

“Korra,” Kuvira says, frowning and folding her arms, “it’s Friday...”

“So?” I ask in a half-groan. I know exactly where this is going. I’ll put up a fight, but she’ll win, like she always does.

“So we’re going out! Grab your coat!”

I protest loudly about how tired I am , and throw myself back onto the sofa, but Kuvira just ignores me. She switches the television off, plucks the beer from my hand and downs it in two seconds, then looks at me with a wry smile, “You know I’m not leaving until you get off your ass. We’ve talked about this.”

“Fiiiiine,” I growl, whispering a few cuss words under my breath as I grab my coat, after which Kuv hooks an arm beneath mine and physically drags me out of the house. I lock up, thinking back to how we met, and how we bonded almost immediately on the set. She’s like the older sister I never had, she certainly bullies me like a sibling, though it’s for all of the right reasons. Take tonight, for example. I’d probably never leave the house, never socialise at all, if it weren’t for her.

She suddenly darts ahead of me, and I watch as she sprints excitedly towards the car. God, she’s such a dork sometimes, and I’d almost entertained the notion of asking her out on a date once, but it turns out we’re just too damn similar. She rubs her face against the bonnet of my car, purring enthusiastically about how happy she is to see “her baby” again. Yup. We’re definitely too alike.

“Actually, I was thinking of drinking tonight. Let’s walk and get a cab back?” I ask, putting my keys in my side pocket.

“Oh? That’s not like you,” Kuvira says, though she’s grinning from ear to ear, probably excited at the prospect of watching me drink myself into a stupor. She’s right, though. I drink infrequently, and even then maybe one or two at most. But tonight there’s a lot weighing on my mind, and I could do with the happy buzz, something to make my brain numb.

“Maybe I’m just in a partying mood,” I say, deciding it’s easier to tell a white lie.

“We’ll have to get changed into our fancy pants if you wanna party, darling,” Kuvira says, folding her arms and sitting on the bonnet.

“Hey! Get off her!” I exclaim, shooing her away with my hands.

“Huh? But she likes it,” Kuvira says, wearing a shit-faced grin and rubbing her ass cheeks in slow circles around the bonnet. I swat her off, barely concealing my laughter, and then inspect the hood. Thankfully, Kuvira’s butt did zero hit points worth of damage.

“Can we at least go somewhere local? I don’t want to walk for miles,” Kuvira says, probably still sore about that one time I told her we were going for a small walk to a new bar. The ‘small walk’ ended up being eight miles. Woops.

“Red Drake?” I suggest. It’s the second closest, and people there are generally friendly. Plus, they do these really amazing cocktails and I’m definitely in the mood for something other than beer.

“Sounds good,” she says, holding out her arm for me to hook mine into.


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