little girls grow up to be

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"Poor little firebender," Asami tsks, sparks lighting at the tips of her gloved hands as she glides around the dark-haired boy. He growls at her, still reeling from the volts she had shocked him with moments before. "where's your bending now?" she asks, laughing as he tries to stand, only to crumple onto the ground.

A chi-blocker comes from behind her, flexing his gloved hands. Asami throws her hand up, blocking him, "Leave us. I'll take this one to Amon personally." the chi-blocker dips into a bow, and vanishes with the others.

Asami waits, watches the bender struggle to stand. She makes idle conversation, "My father's underground factory is impressive, isn't it?" she asks breezily, throwing her arms out, reveling in the greatness of the large metal room. "It took him years to build."

The firebender finally rises to his feet, cracking his neck left and right. He moves, as if he's going to bend, but the flames don't ignite at his fingertips. He growls again, turns his face away from her. His bending has been blocked, and she has about five minutes to taunt and pull at him before he gets his fire back. She's going to take advantage of the moment.

She loves to gloat.

Asami smiles, "Did you really think you could infiltrate us? I could smell you and your bender friends from a mile away. Your arrogance, your larger than life attitude, your superiority complex. We had you pegged the moment you stepped into the Equalist rally." she smirks, flexing her fist, waits for the precise moment to strike. She had so enjoyed his pained screams earlier.

"Not all benders are like the men who killed your mother, Sato." the boys spits. She's surprised that he knows her story, about the death of her mother, but she doesn't show it. She just shrugs, flicks her hair over her shoulder.

"But some of you are." she says, "And that's the problem." he peers at her then, golden eyes examining her. A sly grin tugs at her lips as she recognizes him, "I know you." she crows, delighted, "You're Mako! The pro-bender! The championship winner. I can't believe I'm standing in the presence of a celebrity." his gaze darkens at her apparent glee, "Amon will be so pleased." she's positively beside herself, "You're the perfect candidate. Strong, brave," she steps towards him, circles him, "handsome." his lips twitch, "He's going to love taking away your bending." she whispers to him, lips touching the shell of his ear. "And I'm going to love watching."

He shivers, glares at her. "I'm not afraid of him." he says, striking out at her with an angry, flame-less fist.

Asami dances out of reach, laughter in her eyes, "Liar." she taunts, and she throws her hand out, watching as the electricity from her glove strikes him, pushing him to the ground. He cries out, clutching his chest with both hands. She shocks him for a long minute, and then, lets her hand fall. He braces his palms on the floor, panting.

Slowly, shakily, he rises to his feet, ferocious glare on his face.

Asami watches, perplexed. He should be begging for mercy, crying, "You really aren't afraid, are you?" she asks after a moment, head tilting, "You don't care if he takes away your bending."

"I'm just a tiny speck compared to the rest of Republic City. Why should my bending matter?" he answers gruffly. "My only interest is stopping you and Amon from destroying everything Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko worked for."

Asami's eyebrows lift. She likes this boy, this brave man. Has never met another like him. So willing to stand against her. Others cowered in fear. Others begged her to spare them.

This one, he challengers her with his eyes, dares her to make the first move. Something stirs inside of her as she realizes that she doesn't want to hand him over to Amon just yet. She wants to play with him, again and again. Wants to know the inner workings of his mind.

Asami takes a step towards him, and then another. He watches her with a dark expression etched on his bruised face, and she circles him once more, a minute left before his fire is back. She lashes out, hand on his chest. He shakes as she shocks him, falling to his knees. She kicks him backwards, stands over him, unsure expression on her face. She could be punished, severely, for what she's about to do.

Her heel presses against his throat, and she wonders if she should let him live. He struggles underneath her, weakly. "I should kill you myself." she murmurs, more to herself than the boy.

Instead, she removes her foot, and he gasps as the weight is pulled from his throat. "Leave now, and run back to your Avatar and your little friends." she turns away from him, "If I catch you again, I won't be so generous."

She hears him take a shuddery breath and struggle to his feet. A moment later, he's gone. "We'll meet again, handsome." she whispers to the place he had once slumped. "And next time, you're all mine."

fin.