LOK Disney Madness Week - Day 3 - Megasami
The garden was cold and lonely with Bolin gone, and Asami walked slowly amongst the statues, reliving every moment she’d spent with him that day. He’d made her laugh more than she’d ever laughed before. And she’d never felt so strong as she did with him touching her.
She would not (could not) hurt him.
And Asami sighed, knowing that—
“Hello, Asami, sweetheart.”
—her father would appear any time, a burst of electricity lighting his way.
“So,” Hiroshi continued, stepping through the smoke that had brought him there. “What exactly is the weak link in that earthbender’s chain?”
“Dad, I can’t.”
She swallowed. “Get someone else to do it.”
“But you’re my daughter.”
“And you have plenty of people who can do the job.”
Hiroshi laughed, and it scared her. “Did you forget how it was a bender who dumped you for that other girl? That Avatar?”
Asami gritted her teeth, refusing to look at her father. It was the reason she’d agreed to help him with this whole Equalist movement in the first place. She didn’t think she could ever forget the way that Mako had let her fall so hard, and when she’d sacrificed everything for him to live and be happy, he ran off with that other girl. She didn’t think she’d ever forget the way his kisses were smokey.
But that was all in the past now. Just because she couldn’t forget didn’t mean she had to cling, didn’t mean she couldn’t be happy, didn’t mean—
“Did you forget that it was a bender who took your mother away?”
Asami’s throat was so dry, and Hiroshi stepped closer to her, illuminating the garden with the cold, blue glow of his glove.
“We’re family, Asami. We work together. If I say sing, you say ‘name that tune’, and if I say I want Wonderboy’s head on a platter, you say—”
“Medium or well-done.”
She heard a rustling in the bushes, and a bleat. Was that? No it couldn’t have been him… it couldn’t have been Toza, Bolin’s trainer, could it? No. It must have been her imagination.
She turned back to her father. He’d understood the sarcasm in her voice.
“Asami, you know the consequences. You’ll lose any hope of freedom.”
“I don’t care!” she shouted. “I’m not going to help you hurt him!”
“Really? My baby girl is getting this worked up over a boy?”
She glared at him, knowing that he’d used her for his revenge for too long, that he’d keep on using her no matter what, no matter what kinds of promises he made to her that it was making them a family again. He was too full of hatred… he could never understand…
“He’s different. He’s funny and sweet and—”
“He’d never hurt me.”
“That’s what you said the last time.”
The anger welled inside her, and she snapped. “Newsflash, Dad? You can’t beat him.” But as Asami thought of him, her anger morphed and the warmth filled her again, the sweetness he’d shown her making her feel safe and loved. “He’s the best earthbender anyone has ever seen and he has no weaknesses. He—”
“Oh. But I think he does…” Hiroshi’s eyes, so cold and so distant, laughed. And in that moment, Asami wished she did not love her father. “I think he does…”
She felt him grip her arm, and all of the sudden, they were slipping down into the Underworld (her father’s secret workshop, she’d always called it). But then he left in a flash of blue light, left her alone with her worries and anger.
What did he mean when he said that Bolin had a weakness?
Asami had no idea, and it irritated her immensely. She was so worried. She knew that her dad was up to no good, and she wished she could do something, anything… find a way out, find a way to Bolin, find a way to fix all this.
She paced, rubbing her arms, thinking, thinking…
Her father always used her to get his way. Always. Just because she said no didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to use her, didn’t mean that she’d be a part of his big scheme to rid the world of benders, didn’t mean that—
Asami felt her father’s electric pull, and suddenly she was on the earth’s surface again, in the center of a big pro-bending arena. Her father was there, smiling evilly and so was…
“Asami!” he shouted, reaching for her.
“Don’t listen, Bo—”
But then she felt the blaze of electricity down her skin, and suddenly, she was bound by dark tendrils. They invaded her mouth and forced her down to the floor, and all she could do was watch.
“Let her go!” Bolin roared, raising his hands, lifting a huge chunk of the arena’s floor with the motion.
Hiroshi waved his hands. “I’m a businessman. Let’s negotiate.” Bolin’s eyes narrowed, but the floating pieces of earth fell back down into the floor. “You give up your bending for twenty-four hours, let’s say the next twenty-four hours, and Asami here is free as a bird and safe from harm.”
Her face pressed into the arena floor and she stared at him, eyes wide and heart bursting. She saw the hesitation, the decision lingering in his eyes; Asami wanted to scream. At Bolin. At her father. At herself.
“Are people going to get hurt?” he asked, breaking her heart just a little more.
Hiroshi stepped closer to her. “Well, it is a war and all, so yeah, there is that possibility, but isn’t Asami here” —he grabbed her face, tilting her chin up and squeezing her cheeks— “more important?”
“Stop it!” Bolin cried.
“Isn’t she?” Hiroshi retorted, and Asami shook her head, but Bolin ignored her.
“You have to swear that she’ll be safe from any harm whatsoever.”
“I swear it! Meg is safe or else you get your bending back. Deal sealed. Now can we shake like businessmen because I have other matters to tend to right about now.”
Bolin hesitated and Asami continued shaking her head, hoping he’d listen, praying that he wouldn’t do what she knew he would.
“Going once!” Hiroshi said. He snapped, and Asami felt the familiar blaze of electricity transporting her to the Underworld once more. Her heart felt so very heavy, so full of mistakes and regrets and desire for him to just leave her because then her father’s plans wouldn’t work. But he wouldn’t hurt her. He’d never, ever hurt her.
And that was his weakness.
She felt the blaze again, and she was back. Unable to speak or move still, she stared at Bolin, who was stumbling backwards, weak and unstable. Hiroshi laughed and tossed a slab of rock toward Bolin, who fell back with the force.
He’d done it.
“And now you know how it feels to be just like everybody else, just like all the nonbenders. Oh, and one more thing? Asami, sweetheart, a deal is a deal. I’m first and foremost a businessman, so you’re off the hook.” He snapped, and the bindings fell from her body. She stumbled as she regained her balance. Hiroshi grabbed her, and held her up. “By the way, Bolin, isn’t she a fabulous little actress?”
Asami wanted to vomit, and she pushed him away. “Stop it.”
Bolin coughed. “What do you mean?”
“I mean your gorgeous little girlfriend— my daughter— was working for me the whole time!”
Hiroshi’s Equalist minions danced around Bolin, laughing as he fell to his knees with the shock. His eyes flew up to meet hers and she had to look away. His pain stretched across the arena’s floor, burning her more than anything her father could have done to her.
“Couldn’t have done it without you, sweetheart,” he said. She couldn’t move; she was paralyzed as she watched Bolin on the floor.
Asami’s voice hurt. “No, it’s not like that! I didn’t mean to— I couldn’t! I’m so sorry…”
Her father continued, “Well, I’m off. Big plans, you see. Love you.” He kissed her cheek, and she wiped her face. Her father disappeared in a puff, along with any bit of love she had left for him. She’d never felt so terrible, so beaten.
“Worst… father… ever…” Bolin croaked from the floor. Asami held back the bit of laughter (for how could he still be joking at a time like this?) and ran to his side, slamming her knees down next to him. His face fell to a grimace once more.
“Bolin, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Bolin, please, let me help you.” She reached for his arm to help him up, wanting to show him that she wanted to be there for him, wanted to care for him, wanted to love him—
He slapped her hand aside.
Once upon a time, she thought her mother’s death hurt the worst. And then she thought that Mako leaving her for the Avatar hurt the worst. And not five seconds ago, she thought when her father, the man who was supposed to love her and protect her, not use and abuse her, had taken away Bolin’s bending and she’d been forced to watch it all… she thought that was the worst.
“No,” Bolin growled. “I don’t need your help.”
She’d been wrong.