It was cold and rather dark. Her body still ached and pulsed all over. She tugged the blanket over her body. It was a thin flimsy thing. Kuvira shivered. She squeezed her eyes shut. She was alone, and completely so.
She felt another pulse of pain shoot over her stomach and over her sides. She turned to lay on her back, her thoughts shifting from the physical pain to tortured memories and agonized thoughts. She had ruined her engagement, her ties to Su, the rest of the ‘family’, and her future, among other things.
Perhaps she should have quit while she was ahead.
Perhaps she should have just accepted Baatar’s hand.
The man hadn’t paid her a visit once. No one did.
Why would they?
The only person to come in was a doctor or two. The ones that the law required to tend to her various injuries.
She found herself thinking of her parents, just pondering why they hated her so much. What she did to them…why they didn’t want her. Moreover she wondered why Su took her in only to treat her as if she was just another face in Zhao Fu. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t anyone love her?
Why did she keep the one person who did?
Kuvira drew her legs up as close to her body as she could. And strangely she found that she had no tears left to cry—those were all spent on her first day trapped within this melancholy cell.
She wanted forgiveness.
She wanted love.
The door to her cell opened a month later. She squinted against the light, where stood a tall silhouette. The prison guard moved aside. “You’re free to go.”
Kuvira didn’t stir. She simply lie there staring at the man. Really, there was no point.
“Come on now.” Another silhouette joined the guard. “I your bail was rather expensive.”
“Why? Why did you pay it?”
“Because I still care about you.” Baatar replied.
Kuvira pushed herself upright and slowly made her way to the open cell door.
“Are you feeling any better?” Baatar asked upon reaching the exterior of the prison.
Truth be told, her wounds were mostly healed, the aches very dull. But she wanted someone to hold her close and tell her it would be alright, so she looked up at him and muttered a “not really.”
“What hurts?” He asked.
She motioned to her left side.
“I’m no waterbender so I don’t think I can do much…”
“Just tell me it’ll be okay.” Her voice was barely a whisper.
Baatar cupped her hand within his own. “Now what really hurts?”
She lifted her hand and placed it over her heart.
“I figured as much.” He gave a sort of laugh and helped the woman into the passenger’s seat of his car.
She pressed her head against the window, she didn’t seem to have the mental energy to hold it upright. Her hair hung limply over her eyes, curtaining her face—she couldn’t wait to cut it, or at the very least tie it back and out of the way.
“You’re being awfully quite.” Baatar noted.
“What is there to say?” She mumbled.
“Thank you, perhaps?”
She nodded. “You already know I’m grateful. I just don’t know why. Why are you all—you and the Avatar that is—still trying to help me?”
“You saved my life once…helped me accomplish something, made me feel important. We were going to get married…”
“And then I tried to take your life.”
He said nothing for a moment. “I forgive you.” He put the car in park.
“This isn’t Zhao Fu.” Kuvira observed.
“No, it isn’t.” Baatar replied. “This is our home.”
“I was hoping we could spend some time in this little house in the woods and get to know each other outside insane war machines and what not…and perhaps plan our marriage.”
A faint smile crept across Kuvira’s face for the first time in a very long while.
He scooped Kuvira up into his arms and carried her into the house.
“Aren’t you supposed to save that for the wedding?”
“I need practice. It’s only been a month, did you forget what a klutz I can be already?”
“Between your wonderful handwork on the mecha-suit and, well, everything else you’ve done…yes I did.” Kuvira responded.
He set her down on the nearest sofa. “Everything is going to work out, it’s going to take a while to get back on Su’s good side—she’s still kind of mad at me, honestly—but you’ll get there. You…well the sweet and kind you that saved Korra’s father, are the kind of person no one can stay mad at.”
“Now you’re just telling me what I want to hear.” Kuvira replied.
“Well, it’s a good thing that the truth and what you want to hear are pretty much the same.” He ran a hand over her thick dark hair.
A tear slipped from her eye. She couldn’t tell from which emotion it was born.
Hope, she decided. It was a hopeful tear.
Baatar gently rubbed it away with his thumb before pressing his lips to her own. He then pulled away and repositioned his glasses. He glanced out the window; a light rain began pittering on the roof. “How about I get us something to drink?”
“That sounds…like a plan that can’t go wrong.” She paused. “Thank you Baatar. For giving me a second chance.”