The first to finish showering after practice, Korra headed back into the gym to pick her stuff up. Expecting it to be empty, she jumped in surprise when she found someone waiting there.
“Mako? Oh, hey Korra,” said Asami, walking over to her.
“Hi Asami,” Korra replied, “Mako should be out soon. He’s showering.”
She was smiling at Korra, and Korra was doing her best to smile back. This was always the worst; when Bolin and Mako were there too, she could just ignore Asami and talk to Bolin instead. But when it was just the two of them, things got a little awkward, at least for Korra. She wished that she could just let it go, let him go, but she couldn’t. It wasn’t as simple as that. You can’t just stop liking someone because they’re in a relationship. Feelings don’t work like that.
It’s not fair, Korra thought, not to anyone. It wasn’t fair to her, standing there every day as Mako and Asami kissed and touched and smiled at each other, trying to force the lump in her throat back down for the sake of their happiness. It wasn’t fair to Mako, who was so happy with Asami, and it would hurt him if he knew how much Korra wished that she wasn’t in the picture, and it wasn’t fair to Asami. It wasn’t like she tried to hurt Korra on purpose, Korra knew that. Korra wanted so badly to like Asami, to make her own feelings for Mako to go away. She hated herself for resenting Asami for no reason other than her relationship with Mako. It was petty and stupid, but she couldn’t help it. Most of the time, she tried to ignore them.
“Mako told me that he thinks you guys are going to do really well. He said that you’ve really improved,” Asami told her.
“Yeah, well he and Bolin have been working me to the bone. Seriously, tell him to lighten up,” Korra grumbled.
Asami laughed, and Korra couldn’t help but think that it must be one of the reasons that Mako liked her so much initially. Her laugh was almost musical, so light and fresh. Like everything else about her, it was beautiful.
“Even if he doesn’t tell you, he’s really impressed with how far you’ve come. I can’t wait to see you compete!”
“Well, miss, you’re sure gonna be disappointed, because these Fire-Rats here are getting sent back to the gutter that they crawled out of, first round,” came a sneering voice.
Korra spun around to see who had just sauntered into the room.
“What’re you doing here, Tahno?” she asked, spitting his name out disgustedly.
“We’ve got the next practice,” he told her, smirking.
“Yeah but our time doesn’t end for another half an hour. What do you want?”
“Oh, just wanted to come early to scope out the competition a little more,” he shrugged.
Korra narrowed her eyes.
“Fuck off,” she growled.
“Now, now, watch your temper,” purred Tahno.
Cracking her knuckles, Korra moved forward.
“I think that you should leave,” said Asami, stepping towards Tahno.
He turned his head towards her, his eyes raking hungrily over her body.
“Well well, you must be the older Fire-Rat’s new girlfriend. You’re way too rich and pretty for a guy like him, babe. Ditch him and come for a drink with me, sweetheart. You don’t want to date a loser, and let’s face it, with a novice like her on the team, there’s no way that they’re gonna win.”
Something in Korra snapped. All her frustration with the Equalists, the stress from training, and her jealousy just boiled over because of Tahno’s awful grin. Suddenly, the only thing in the world that mattered was causing Tahno as much pain as possible. Korra’s fists clenched and she lunged forward, ready to smack that stupid, infuriating smirk off of Tahno’s face. She was about an inch away when she felt Asami’s cool hands on her, pushing her back.
“He’s baiting you, Korra,” she hissed, “If you hit him, you guys are out. He wants you to start a fight.”
“I’m gonna burn your stupid greasy hair off your ugly head, Tahno,” growled Korra, straining against Asami’s grip.
She was surprisingly strong, holding back the Avatar with both hands.
“Let me go!”
“Yeah let her go. Let her take a crack at me. Maybe if they’re out of the tournament, you won’t want to date the Fire-Rat anymore and you’ll swing by my place.”
He ran a hand through his hair, blowing a little kiss at Asami. Korra felt the girl release her from her grip, and was ready to charge when Asami stepped in front of her.
“You know, Korra may not be allowed to hit you,” she said, her voice just as sweet and calm as ever, “But I’m not on the Fire-Ferrets.”
And before Korra really knew what was happening, Asami raised a gloved fist, and punched Tahno in the face.
“AH!! MY NOSE!” he shouted, clutching at his face, blood spilling out through his fingers, “YOU BITCH!”
Asami wiped her hands off and put them on her hips, staring at Tahno with a look of pure contempt. Korra was standing there open mouthed and completely dumbfounded. Once she regained her composure, she took the same stance as Asami, glaring at Tahno.
“I think you should take Korra’s advice, Tahno. Fuck off.”
The words sounded strange coming from Asami’s usually sweet voice, but Tahno heeded her warning and got the hell out of there.
He fled with his hands still covering his face, unable to see Mako and Bolin entering the room. Colliding with Mako, Tahno fell to the ground.
“Your girlfriend and the Avatar are a pair of crazy bitches,” he swore as he got to his feet.
“What was that?” shouted Asami, “Want me to break your jaw, too?”
Tahno glared at them, and ran from the room.
Korra turned back to Asami, who was looking as proper as ever, smoothing her hair back before she smiled at Mako.
“Uhh, what just happened?” asked Bolin, glancing back and forth between the door and Asami.
Korra and Asami exchanged glances, and broke into laughter.
“What?” Mako crossed his arms.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Asami, shrugging.
“Yeah, don’t worry about it,” Korra grinned, “We’ve got it all taken care of.”
“If you say so...” Mako eyed them both suspiciously before taking Asami’s hand.
Korra bit her lip and reminded herself that she shouldn’t be angry; if they were happy, she should try to be happy for them too. And besides, Asami wasn’t that bad. In fact, she was actually kind of cool. Korra liked a girl who could throw a nice punch.