The first thing Asami noticed upon arriving home was the wispy smoke trail drifting into the sky. That alone was all it took to send her racing inside. “Korra?” she called out, trying hard to keep the panic out of her voice. “Korra, where are you? Is everything okay? Where are the…kids…?”
There was a huge gaping hole in the kitchen floor. It was part of a matching pair with the one in the ceiling directly above it. Visible scorch marks lined the rims. The entire room was more than a little soggy, and for some crazy reason there were shattered cookie crumbs everywhere. Korra was crouched in the far corner, wide-eyed, her chest heaving rapidly, and their son Hiro sat close by, clutching some twisted, crushed piece of metal and crying his eyes out.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked him, kneeling down to hug him. “What happened?”
“MAMA SMASHED MY ROBOT!” he sobbed at the top of his lungs. Asami glanced over at her partner, who was still looking pretty out of it. She rocked and soothed her son until he’d settled down and made her way over to Korra. “Sweetheart?”
Korra slowly turned her head to face Asami. “It was so CREEPY…” she said in a otherworldly voice.
“What…?” Before Asami could complete that question, her ears picked up a familiar sound—that of two little girls giggling evilly. “Kat? Shen? Front and center, right now!” After a moment they emerged from around the corner, the picture of pure virginal innocence.
“Yes, Mother?” they said in unison with candy-cane sweetness in their voices.
Asami’s eyes narrowed. “Maybe you two can tell me what happened? NOW?”
The girls glanced at each other; clearly this story had been rehearsed prior to their mother’s arrival. “Well,” Katara started, “we’d come back from school and finished our homework like we’re supposed to…”
“…and we were hungry,” Shen continued. “So we asked Mama if we could have a couple of Aunt Pema’s macaroons, because they taste so good and are the perfect snack to have with some hot tea…”
“…but Mama said we couldn’t have any, because it was too close to dinner and she said they’d spoil our appetites…”
“…not like they ever spoiled HERS…” Shen noted darkly.
Katara nodded sagely. “So we decided that we’d do as our mother told us, and went into the living room so we could listen to Pabu on the radio,” she added. “And Hiro came in and showed us his new project, which looked like a metal spider and could go up walls and lift things…”
“…but he hadn’t tried it out yet, and we told him that as an inventor he should make sure it worked before he showed you…” Shen declared.
“…and we told him we knew how he could give it a really good test and how proud you’d be when you saw it,” Katara said smugly. “So we had him guide it up to the cookie jar and open it…”
Shen rolled her eyes. “And then MAMA walked in…”
“…and she SCREAMED…” Katara added, trying hard to stifle her giggles.
“…and then all at once there was…” Shen nodded at her sister, and their voices joined in unison:
“EARTH! FIRE! AIR! WATER!” And at that point the giggles could be restrained no longer.
“She WRECKED MY ROBOT!” Hiro sniffled. “I WAS GONNA SHOW IT TO YOU TONIGHT!”
“Oh, honey, I’m sure you did a great job with it,” Asami assured him, giving him another big hug. “Maybe later tonight we can start a new one and you can show me what you did. Would you like that?” He nodded as he wiped his nose on a convenient sleeve.
“Now then,” Asami stated in a firmer tone. “Girls? You’re grounded until further notice.”
“Korra...?” Asami knelt by her dazed partner. “Honey?”
“It was so BIG…and CREEPY…”
Asami sighed and rose to her feet. She took in the disaster that had been her kitchen and shook her head. “All right, I’m going to call someone to put a tarp on the roof,” she said in resignation. “Then I’m going to call your father…and…” She sighed again.
“…he can meet us at Fireburger tonight, I guess.”