"Alright, let's open up." Toza, the owner of Republic cities finest tattoo establishments, announced. He separated one of the copper keys from the rest of the key set. Shoving it in the lock and twisting he opened the door to the shop. Mako stepped in sunglasses on, cup of coffee in hand. Bolin, on the other hand, was just waking up, yawning over to his station. Bolin sat down as Tahno handed him his schedule of his appointments for the day before he went to his own station. FireFerrets may have had only four artist but they were in high demand in republic city.
"Mako I'm telling you girls go crazy for tattoos, just yesterday I went to Narooks and five different girls asked for my number. All I had to do was show the tattoos and BAM, chick central."
"Bolin, that's not what tattoos are for, as an artist you should know that better than anyone." Mako turned his back to his little brother, taking off his jacket to reveal the sleeve of tattoos on his left arm, matching the sleeve on his right. He started to clean off his station and prepare for the day when Bolin came over and slouched on Mako's station, standing in his eye line.
"Come on Mako, don't tell me you've never gotten a tattoo and thought-" Bolin couldn't finish his sentence because his attention was brought to the coffee skinned girl who opened the door. "Speaking of pretty girls." Bolin pushed himself off Mako's station and walked over to the coffee skinned girl. She was wearing a pair of half black and half red skinny jeans with a button up long sleeve shirt and a pair of red pumps. Her hair was in a hair style called "wolf tails".
"Why, I would hate to tell you this, but sadly we're currently not open but if you wanna come back let's say around six-ish we could go get something to eat." Bolin wiggled his eyebrows up and down. His strategy for hitting on girls was to make them laugh and then offer them food. Most of the time it worked.
Which was why it was no surprise for anyone when the girl gave him a giggle.
"Well" she pushed her chocolate wolf tail on her left behind her ear, revealing she had her lobe, helix, and outer conch pierced. All her piercings were neon blue to match her holders of her wolf tail hair style. "I hate to say this but I'm actually here to see -"
"Korra good you came early, pay no mind to this idiot and come on to the back." Toza waved his hand for Korra to follow him to the back. She followed walking past Bolin; he could still hear the clacking of her heals on the hard black and red tiled floor.
"She's cute." Bolin pointed to Mako walking back to his station.
"You gotta admit Mako, she was pretty cute, and she was wearing your favorite color red." Tahno teased.
"Wasn't paying any attention." Mako was telling the somewhat truth, he did get a glimpse of the coffee skinned beauty but paid her no mind.
"Hey, Tahno, that chicks been in there with Toza for a while now you think he's gotten himself a new hot thing?" Bolin wiggled his eyebrows up and down suggestively, as Tahno laughed.
"OW" Bolin started to rub the back of his head where Toza had just hit him.
"Shut up, this is Korra; she'll be our new artist from now on. Give her a good welcome and such, she'll be doing actual work tomorrow but for today she'll be here to take appointment reservations. If she needs any help, help her."
"So that makes five of us, right?" Tahno looked Korra up and down.
"No, Korra will be taking that no good Hasook's place." Toza's face scrunched up in anger as he said that no good Hasook's name.
"Whaaa, but we were a family." Bolin whined looking around the room to see if anyone agreed with him. No one did.
Mako sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. "Bo, he was always late leaving us with his clients. Not to mention all the times where we have to go through his stations to find the stencils if he even made any."
"Not to mention he sucked with costumers." Tahno inserted never taking his eyes off of Korra.
"Now get to work don't pay you to stand around all day." Toza walked away towards the front desk, and had a seat.
"Well that's Mako, Tahno and I'm-"
"Bolin, I remember our earlier conversation." Korra smiled, and put her hands behind her back. Korra looked Bolin up and down. His t-shirt revealed his fit muscles, covered in tattoos, his left featured a big piece with a dragon and some type of flowers around it. His right featured little things that were different yet went together in a flow with all the rest of the tattoos. Korra reached her hand out and shook Bolin's hand. Instead of shaking the hand Bolin used it to pull her into a hug and tell her welcome to the team.
Next Tahno, he walked up and slid his hand into Korra's smiling and gaving her a nod. His arm was not as inked but featured a lot of big art, one of those being a combination of a wolf with a bats head with writing underneath saying 'wolf bats'. The only not to come and introduce themselves was Mako, but Korra just chalked it up to the recent customer that walked in the door. Walking over to her new station Korra was horrified. It was gross, disgusting, and just a bloody mess. There were half drawn stencils on one side, the other just stacks of trash so in other words it was a complete mess.
She began peeling through the mess that was to be her new station. It took about five different customers, three cans of disinfecting wipes and a big trash can for Korra to even see the glass of her desk. Her station smelled like cinnamon, breathing in the scent Korra decided that it wasn't so bad. That is until she realized that the smell was coming from the box of half eaten stale cinnamon rolls that had been thrown in the trash (Not to mention the mental therapy that she'll need).
The shop had a theme; red and black, the tiles on the floor were red and black. Korra and Mako's client chairs were red leather, while Bolin and Tahno's were black leather. The desk that Toza sat at had a hard red top that hovered over the computer at the front desk, with a black stand. Above said desk in red writing with a black outline had a sign, 'FireFerrets' the end of the S curving into a tail. The seat that held the waiting canvas known as clients were old Satomobile convertible seats with you guessed it, red leather seats and the rest black. Korra fit in just perfectly
Korra looked over to see a very widely grinning Bolin rolling over to her in his chair; he had just finished his third client of day. From what Korra could tell Bolin gave the girl some kind of zombie looking girl. Following Korra's wondering eyes he elaborated, "I gave her a zombie pin up girl, on her left calf" Bolin began to wave bye to his client as she walked out the transparent doors of the shop.
"Was this guy Hasook clean, at all? I mean I found half a hot dog in there, why the hell was there a hot dog in there?!"
"Hasook wasn't always the cleanest but, he was funny"
Korra sighed looking at the cheerful Bolin, she's know him for about three hours and can already tell he's always like this. Korra began to smile and looked at Bolin, she began to once again notice the red dragon laced around Bolin's left arm. Once again catching her wondering eyes Bolin laughed and straighten out his arm. To reveal the red dragon with cherry blossom peddles surrounding it, one branch in its mouth. "It's dedicated to our parents."
"Our?" Korra raised one eye brow.
"Our," Bolin turned around to point to Mako who was very concentrated on his client who seemed to fidgeting quite a bit. Korra closed her eyes and shook her head praying for Mako. Poor guy. Fidgeters were the worse one move and it's over. Korra eyes opened and went back to the arm in front of her, she grabbed Bolin's arm taking a closer look at the ink. She was mesmerized; the art was some of the best she had ever seen. She outlined the dragon with her finger, but really pulled Korra in were the ember eyes of the dragon it was as though it was calling her.
"Earth to Korra!" Bolin snapped his fingers in her face, bringing her out of her trance. Korra snapped her head up to look at a grinning from ear to ear Bolin. "Like I was saying, It's dedicated to our parents. Our father's name is Ryu hence the dragon. Our mother is Sakura hence the cherry blossoms. " Every time Bolin said parents his face would soften up.
"That's sweet, what do they think about it?" Bolin's face went from his cheerful to somber, Korra instantly regretted her question. "You don't have to answer if you don't want!"
"No, no it's fine," Korra let out a breath that she didn't know she was holding in.
"Mako and I lost our parents at a very young age." And there went the breath Korra just let out, she sucked the air right back in. Seeing her face Bolin began to panic and tried to make it sound more upbeat. "But Toza adopted us after a year or two of us being on our own so it's okay." There was the grin again. Korra couldn't help but grin right back at him.
"So who did the design for this? I've never seen anything it's beautiful."
"Oh, Mako did." Bolin pointed behind him to Mako who was now shaking the hand of the fidgeted his leg wrapped with his new piece.
Korra stared at the piece walking out the door, it was amazing. A portrait of the guy and his kid. Korra always hated doing portraits, that's why she tended to give them to other people. Mako hit right on the money, she didn't see what the picture was based on but it was perfect. Bolin rolled away, to Mako where she saw him waging his finger at him, for something. Bolin's bottom lip jutting out in a pout his green eyes turning big like a puppy dog.
Korra was just about to get up and go join the conversation when she was stopped by Toza.
"So Korra you'll be taking that no good Hasook's clients. So I need you to call them and let them know that their artist has changed and that they should come in for another appointment." Toza dropped two big binders on top of Korra's desk. Korra's jaw hit the floor.
"All of this?!" Korra looked to Toza hoping he would give her a smile a pat on the back and tell her he was just joking, or that it was a part of her hazing to be a part of the team.
Toza looked her dead in the eye, smiled and replied, "Nope" then walked away leaving and open mouthed Korra to herself.
It took Korra five hours, to complete her whole task of fixing the aftermath of hurricane Hasook.
Two hours of phone calls with the occasional pissed customers. She thought people in republic city didn't know such…colorful words. Three hours of dealing with customers that had come in for their appointments, not knowing the new improvement that was Korra. Not even counting the how times she had to redo a stencil because Hasook never started one. Of course Korra worked through her lunch break, although she got multiple offers from Tahno and Bolin to go get her food while they were out, she declined. So maybe she was a little on edge when it happened.
It was the last client of the day, for everyone. Korra was ready got get out and go home, oh agni home, she wasn't even fully unpacked yet. Korra's last client was a girl around the age of twenty; she had blue eyes and freckles.
"So I want like his name and my name in a heart in Air Nomad, like right on my lower back." First thought to cross Korra's mind was tramp stamp, but not all trap stamps were bad.
Korra pinched the bridge of her nose with her thumb and index finger and closed her eyes to think.
"Sweet heart can you even read Air Nomad?"
"No but that's why I used Cactus to translate." The girl held out a piece of paper to Korra.
Korra sat there in silence looking at the girl thinking.
"No!" Korra handed the girl back her paper and sat, waiting for the girl's reaction.
"What do you mean no?!"
"I mean," Korra leaned in so what she was just inches away from the girls face. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Korra leaned back and smiled as the blue eyed girl got up to leave.
"Well I'll just have to take my business elsewhere now won't I?!"
"Bye bye" Korra waved good bye then stood up and started to stretch.
"What the hell was that?!" Finally the amber eyed boy spoke to her. Mako had gotten up from his spot across from the room and confronted Korra. Blue clashed with amber as he stared Korra down.
"I just stopped someone from getting the dumbest tattoo in the entire world." Korra replied snidely.
"You can't tell a client that their idea for a tattoo is stupid, we lose customers that way!" Mako threw his hands up in annoyance at Korra who just stood her ground ready for a fight.
"Excuse me, did you hear that girl?" Korra began her impression of the latest client to cross the threshold of the shop out into the street. Twirling her chocolate hair around her fingers. "I want a tattoo that has like me and my boyfriends name and I like want it in Air Nomad, oh and I can't speak Air Nomad but I totally used an internet translator. And, I like I want it like a tramp stamp." Hands on hips, weight shifted to her left leg Korra tilted her head up and looked Mako up and down, chuckling lightly to herself.
One eyebrow high in the tension filled air, Mako mocked her actions. "So, I see nothing stupid about that. What I see stupid is the girl right in front of me that lost us a customer." Mako pointed a gloved hand towards the door.
"Let me guess you're one of those fools that's in love and you just think that everything is perfect and that your love will last forever right?"
"Actually I am, and there's nothing wrong with that. If a client wants a certain tattoo you put your own opinion aside and you do it!"
"Where the hell do you get off telling me what to do with my clients? I didn't tell you to easier on that one guy that was a fidgeter now did I?!"
By now their little argument had gained an audience of two, Bolin and Tahno. Bolin even laughed when Korra sassed Mako back not giving in and then quickly covered it up with a cough.
"Excuse me, why would I take advice from a tattoo artist that doesn't even have any tattoos. You think you're hot stuff because you got a couple of piercings, news flash that doesn't make you a badass it just makes you an ass." Bolin and Tahno looked at Korra waiting for her to cry and run away to the bathroom in the back but instead her hands reached for the top button of her blouse.
"One, Asshole I have more than just my ears pierced so no I don't think I'm a badass or at least not from that." She was half way down her buttons coming on done by her delicate coffee fingers. No one stopped her I mean who would. Certainly not Tahno and Bolin they were going to get to see their new hot coworker topless, what could be better than that. "Two, My Client my decision. If the bitch, don't know what the hell it says then don't give it to her. And you have had the worst attitude all day, you didn't come talk to me nor introduce yourself at all and that's called being rude." Two more buttons. "And lastly don't ever judge a person by what they look like. You should know that." With that Korra took off her shirt and threw it to Bolin waiting by the sidelines. "I wore a long sleeved shirt because I'm going to a job interview. So the next time you wanna say something to me, don't go on attack."
Korra stood in the middle of the shop shirt off, revealing a bright blue bra with some black lace on the end. Korra was covered in ink. On her left chest she had a tattoo of the comic book character known as Harley Quinn. On her right she had a skull with blond pigtails hearts for eyes, one upside for the nose and it looked like two lollipops making a X underneath it. With her hands on her hips to reveal something that looked like crown headband things from an old TV show called sailor moon. Wrapped around each arm were blue arm-banded tattoos. On the right side of her rib cage were the words Marina and the diamonds the o being replaced by a diamond. Mako was speechless; he didn't even see half of it, on Korra's back were the words of the four elements down her spine. On her left shoulder was a paw print with the name Naga underneath it. On her right shoulder were the words"I'm not bad I was just drawn that way." On her left side right near the middle of her back were the Tui and La.
"Hey babe, Toza just told me to head back here, you ready to go?" A raven haired beauty with green eyes stopped and looked at the scene in front of her. A random topless girl in front of blushing boyfriends, his brother and his coworker. Not something you see every day.
Jumping from his seat Bolin ran over to Korra who never took her eyes from Mako's, Korra's shirt in his hand. "Asami this is Korra, she'll be working here from now on. Korra this is Asami, Mako's girlfriend." Bolin tried to smile but couldn't, but that didn't stop Tahno from laughing his ass off having to hold onto his chair to keep from falling.
"Nice to meet you." Korra answered and never looked away from Mako. Mako was the first to break their little staring contest. Walking over to Asami he grabbed her hand pulling her away. From the back, you could still hear Asami asking what was going on.
"Well, that was eventful" Tahno walked over and patted Korra on the back. Bolin handed Korra her shirt back.
"You look like you could use a drink, why don't we go get some drinks."
"That sounds nice." Korra button up her blouse and headed out the door with her two new friends.
But Korra still couldn't get something out of her head. Those amber eyes.