Date Night
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All Are Equal



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Soldier of Misfortune

-"You said WHAT?!" It almost seemed like Korra's eyes were going to pop out of her head.

Jinora put up an innocent smile and shrugged. "Hey, he was kind of cute. Besides, how can I deny the guy I shot in the stomach?" Suddenly, a devious thought appeared in Jinora's mind. "And hey, you're the one dating a stripper, you're not really in a position to pass down judgment when it comes to relationships."

Korra changed a shade at this comment. "I-I'm not dating..."

Bolin laughed out loud at this. "Korra, we all know Asami doesn't charge you. She's been batting for the other team longer than you have, and she's putting more effort into you than vice versa, so you might as well stop pretending and ask her out on a real date."

The blush that spread over Korra's face after this comment put a massive grin on everyone there. It was the Saturday afternoon after Jinora visited Kai in the hospital, and she found Korra, Opal, and the Fabulous Dealing Brothers hanging out at Korra's place, and it didn't take them long to invite her in to join them. She was in the process of becoming closer to Mako and Bolin, and the Kai-incident definitely accelerated that.

Bolin had been very concerned with Kai as well, and had made a few trips to the hospital. Now though, the younger one of the Dealing Brothers had spread the news that Jinora had agreed to a date with Kai as an apology.

"Thanks Bo, I appreciate that," Jinora said, smiling at him. Truth be told, she was a little bit nervous. Her date was later tonight, and she had pretty much no idea what to expect. She had been texting with Kai, sure (the phone wasn't his, but that's beside the point for the moment) but all they had agreed to was that he was going to pick her up at seven. "Anyway folks, it's been nice, but I have to go and get ready. I got a date to impress."

-"Don't forget to bring protection," Korra said, making the Brothers smile.

"Korra, I'm going on a date, not to war."

-"That's not the kind of protection I'm talking about."

A red blush raced over the younger girl's face, and she really wanted to get out of that room before Korra could find more ways to embarrass her. She made her way back to her own home as quickly as she could, where she started to prepare herself for her date.

Pema was startled when being weakly greeted by her daughter who rushed past her. "Is everything all right?" the woman asked, quite confused about her daughter's hurry. Jinora didn't respond as she was busy with getting her clothes off and looking for a towel to cover herself up. Korra's protection-remark kept roaming through her head. It won't get that far.

When she still didn't get an answer from her daughter, she set course to the younger's room before the two almost collapsed into each other. "What's that all about, Jinora?" Pema eyed the girl up and did not let go of her gaze while she was waiting for an answer.

Damn. How am I supposed to explain to her that I have a date with a petty criminal? The sharp eyes of her mother were piercing right through her, making her nervous. Fuck. This better be good or else I'm screwed. "I-I kind of... got a date," she stuttered.

Pema's eyes widened. "Are you serious?" She nodded weakly, not knowing what else to say. Pema clasped her hands together. "Oh, honey, that's wonderful news! I never would have thought you'd meet someone this soon!" Guess we're in the same boat then. "What is he like?" Jinora gulped. What is he like? If only she knew herself. She literally met the boy four days ago and their first encounter ended up with a shot thief and a fleeing drug dealer.

-"It's a boy, right?" Jinora almost choked. A faint blush came up her cheeks.

"Of course it's a boy!" The embarrassment was unbearable. This was going to be more awkward than she'd expected. I hope the date will be better...

Pema sighed in relief. "Well, you know you can't meet someone I don't know anything about. What's his name?"

"His name is Kai." Jinora calmed down a bit. Her mother just wanted some information and if it meant that she could continue after this, she'd go along. "He went to my school a few years ago but dropped out eventually," she explained. And another lie. She'd stopped counting them after what seemed like the thousandth lie. It didn't make her happy to once again lie to her mother, but as long as it would keep her above the water, it was the only possible option. Things needed to be done. So far, everything was going surprisingly well, but she had to keep this up. The Kai-incident only reminded her in what the stakes were in this game, and it was one she couldn't afford to lose. The older woman seemed to be surprised at this and that was when Jinora realized her error. To save her ass, she quickly added: "He lives on 82nd Street now and is working at the power plant." Pema nodded slowly.

-"So he seems to be a slogging man." If only you'd know. "How did you two meet?" Shit. She's pressing me out like a damsel in distress.

"Ehm, we kinda stumbled into each other and there was an accident ... He then kinda asked me out on a date to make amends and I kind of accepted." If she's going to ask about the 'accident' I'll be fucked like Korra. In a non-literal way. But her mother seemed to call it quits.

-"One last question." Damn it, I'm running late. "Do you intend to sleep with him?"

"Mom!" A furious blush raced over her face again when she remembered Korra's words. But Pema didn't seem to notice - or care.

-"Jinora Gyatso, I asked you a question. Do you want to sleep with him?"

"Holy crap, NO!" Why was it that everyone assumed her to jump in bed with him? Did she really turn into that kind of person or did everyone only have a weak impression of her? Pema nodded again until she started off again. "And-"

"Mom, I'm literally standing naked right in front of you and the towel's the only thing that's covering me up and I'm running late!"

-"O-okay. You're right. I think I shouldn't stand in your way any more." She made way for her and Jinora didn't wait another second before she quickly passed her mother who was left alone in the doorframe.

After a good shower she set course back to her room, only to be stopped by Ikki who approached her. Jinora groaned. "What is it, Ikki?" She gave her sister a snappish look. But the younger girl didn't show any reaction to it and instead said: "Mom said I should give you this." She stretched her hand out to reveal a wrap. Realizing what it is, Jinora took a sharp breath. It was a condom. Suddenly concerned about her womanhood, she tightened her grip of the towel and quickly snatched the wrap out of Ikki's hand before the younger could ask any questions.

Without paying any more attention to her sister, she rushed to her room and locked the door to keep out any intruders. She didn't know how much time had passed, so she opened the wardrobe and tossed everything away that didn't fit into a date-scene. After what seemed like an eternity, she looked at herself in the mirror with a pleased expression, because she never had a date before, her wardrobe couldn't give her what was needed, so that her choice fell on a new pair jeans, a white top and her good old shoes in the end, and her orange hoodie with the blue arrow on it.

She didn't even know where they would go to, but probably not to Kwong's Cuisine. She was a drug dealer with some cash, sure, but she couldn't afford to do hugely expensive things like that. And if her assessment of Kai was even a little accurate, neither could he.

Time had flown by quickly, but the Airbender was still on course. She stuffed her things into her front pocket, excluding the gun. Her gaze shifted to her bed, where the wrap was lying she'd tossed away earlier. You never can be sure enough.

Frustrated, she eventually took the wrap and put it into the pocket of her hoodie and left her room. A brief glance to the clock told her she was right on time, as It was 6:58 pm.

Knocks sounded from the door. Jinora quickly wanted to open it herself, but her sister beat her to it.

Damn. If she says one stupid thing, I swear I'm gonna... Her train of thoughts, however, was lost when she saw him. He was standing in the door frame with his usual fuzzy, dark brown hair, a green hoodie, black pants, black trainers and a crooked smile which she kind of adored. I am really falling for him, am I? ... Wait, stop, Jinora. You don't even know him. He's just some random guy who wants a date with you for reconciliation's sake. So there's no reason for you to actually have feelings for him.

-"Shall we?" he asked, pointing with a thumb to a random direction, his other hand being in his trouser pocket. She just nodded and was about to leave if it hadn't been for Ikki, whom she totally had forgotten.

-"Who is this?"

Kai gave her a questioning look. "You haven't told them?"

"Only my mom, because she's the only one who has to know." And because Ikki doesn't have to know everything.

-"Well, I wanna know too!" Ikki insisted.

"He's my date," she matter-of-factly replied. Before her sister could ask any other question, Jinora and Kai had already left.

On their way, there was no real conversation. One of them would make a compliment from time to time if they weren't busy with lumbering around.

"Well, I hope you like noodles," Kai eventually said. They stopped and a familiar restaurant came into view. Not the most perfect place for a first date, but not shabby either.

"You gotta love Narook's. In my opinion it's the best eating place here, despite of its difference in comparison to other fancy places like Kwong's. You know, people tend to think that this place is sleazy just because of the low prizes because according to them 'low prize means bad quality'. I can't understand those guys. I mean, you can get the best noodles here."

"Yeah, I agree. Just because it might be different doesn't mean it's bad." They went inside. It wasn't a big surprise to see it almost empty regarding the competition, but it didn't lose its charm. And lucky for them, they easily got a seat. When a waiter asked them, Kai ordered a bowl of noodles for the two of them.

"So, were you often to Narook's?" Jinora asked. "It seems like you really like this place."

"I just love those noodles actually," he said casually. A smile came across her face. "How are you related to this place? I suppose you're not someone who's actually attracted to food," he said, grinning.

She shrugged. "Sometimes I pick up some food here for home when my mother doesn't have time to cook for us or comes later from work. I actually like the noodles too," she told.

"Good," Kai said satisfied, "or else you wouldn't be human."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on. You can't be into some noodles that much. It's just food," she stated. He didn't seem to be offended, anyways. "Though, it's damn good stuff. But hey, I don't want to be the guy that tells a girl what food she should like." A sigh of relief escaped her. "...although it's really good stuff," he added, smiling.

She sighed again. "Look, I really don't want to destroy your opinion about noodles. I'm not that type of person that's smashing the idea of noodles of someone else since I know that noodles have a big fan base and it would be inappropriate to stand there alone as a hater which I'm not for the record." He flashed her a smile. "Speaking of noodles, here they are."

The waiter handed them their bowls with the chopsticks over. Kai was about to tell the waiter that he could go when he saw Jinora's confused look at her bowl. "Is something wrong?" he asked. She looked up, suddenly being a little ashamed. "Well, I expected there to be a kind of soup in it. I really don't like eating dry things. I know that the noodles are juicy, but I am used to have a drink too usually."

He held his hand up. "No problem. I'll fix it." He turned to the waiter. "Some tea for the lady, please." The waiter nodded before walking off again, leaving the two alone. Blushing a bit, Jinora said, "That wasn't necessary. Thanks though." He casually waved it off. "Hey, no big deal, really. After all, that's how a gentleman treats a lady." She gave him another smile.

Both then turned their attention to their noodles. While eating, Jinora would shoot her date a few glances which stayed unnoticed. Some time later, she got her drink. "Thanks," she said, before the waiter left. She took a few sips, but stopped when noticing Kai's stare. "Is something?" she asked. He cringed. "Uh, no. Just thinking your way of drinking... nice, yeah."

She raised a brow. "You think my 'way of drinking' is 'nice'?"

He scratched his neck. "Well, yeah. Kinda sorta. Y' know, funny, sweet, uh, cute. Yeah.."

She blushed. "Thanks.. I guess." Without saying anything, they continued with eating, though there was a relaxed atmosphere between them.

Eventually, Jinora asked, "How does it come that you got into this business?" She felt a bit uncomfortable asking such a private thing, but a date is supposed to bring someone closer to each other which meant to share events of life.

He wasn't taken aback, anyways. "You mean to mug people? Well, let's say that my motivation for school wasn't the highest. I am living with foster parents who only have mild interest in me to say the most. And that's how I got into this whole 'mug-and-threaten-people-or-get-shot-by-a-pretty-drugdealer'-thing."

Jinora didn't know what to say. On one side, she was speechless, on the other side, she admired his relaxed attitude. He thinks you're pretty. At the end, she put up a faint smile. "At least you seem to be okay with it. And you're not the one who's gotta care for four people including yourself. I don't know which part's worse: the drug dealing or my siblings." Her mood darkened a little at the thought of her siblings. Kai chuckled at this.

"Well, you gotta go with the flow. I'm taking whatever chance I get. You need to cool off. Granted, a hard thing to do, considering you're being in torrid zone." She chuckled.

"I might get to it."

The rest of the date went really well with both of them enjoying their time together. It was the perfect opportunity to get the mind off, plus things seemed to work out great with Kai. Maybe this whole thing really's got some benefits.

In the end, they were standing outside the restaurant again, about to each go their separate ways, something that Jinora was, strangely enough, not looking forward to. "Thanks Kai. I... I really enjoyed tonight. With you, I mean," she quickly added.

He just smiled, ignoring how badly she was stumbling over her words. "I liked it too." He looked deep into her eyes, and it seemed that for the first time, Jinora noticed just how bright green his eyes were. Beautiful. His eyes briefly flicked down to her mouth, and she couldn't help but gently bite her lip.

Next thing she knew, his lips were on hers, though in all fairness it's partially because you are pulling yourself up by clinging onto his neck and standing on your toes. Damn you, short genetics. What surprised her most of all was just how good a kisser he was. For all their talk of noodles and the fact that he had nearly rammed a knife between her ribs, Kai was a nice kid, just like she had suspected.

Not to mention that he tastes delicious.

Jinora mentally facepalmed, before he broke the kiss again, a massive smile forming on both their faces.

-"Is that an invitation to a second date?" he asked, his smile morphing back into its usual crooked self.

The girl faintly blushed, and bashfully brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "Yeah, I think it is."

"What are you talking about, we can't just drop this! It was a double homicide in broad fucking daylight!" Lin was glad it was only her and Saikhan in the room right now, because if he would be keeping this up, she would yell the entire station into the room thinking there was a war going on.

-"Lin, calm down. You remember how pessimistic that kid was?"

"Of course I do, and what I really want is to prove him wrong, that the criminals can't rule this city!"

Saikhan let out a long sigh. "You know what happened to that kid? He took a bullet to the stomach, they put him in the hospital."

This took her completely by surprise. Someone had actually shot him because he opened his mouth? If that was really the case, damn, Saikhan was right, as much as she hated to admit it. "Well, that gives us an extra reason to catch these bastards."

-"Lin, I want to catch them, but you have to be realistic. We have no leads. No suspects. Unregistered guns. And most of all, the line of people that wanted those guys dead stretches out the door and around the block."

She fell back into her chair and sighed, before pointing an accusing finger at her partner. "You know, with that attitude, it's a small wonder the criminals are ruling this town. You let them go the moment things start working against you."

He got an expression on his face like he was just forced to eat a very sour lemon, and looked like he was about to chew her out completely, when they got company from higher up. "Lin?" She turned around, looking straight at Captain Tarrlok. "A word please?" he asked, and walked back into his office.

Neither of them argued, and she followed him. "What's this about?"

-"Do you know why I had you transferred here?" he asked, not a hint of remorse in his voice.

"You did that? The report said it came down from the top. You must have a lot of brass in your pocket," she snidely remarked, making a loose jab at the fact that she had her suspicions he was corrupt.

Tarrlok just smiled. "Well, if you want to surround yourself with the best people, you don't need brass on your side, you need suits and ties." He paused for a moment. Lin realized her transfer, which she fought of course, was organized by the City, not by her superior. "Lin, you have been working here for about six weeks now. I want your assessment of Saikhan."

She squinted, cautiously eyeing Tarrlok up. Either he was playing her, in which case he was very good at covering up his true intentions, because it didn't look like he was lying. She decided to at least probe him, see what it brought her. "I think he lacks a spine. He's too easily tempted to do what is easy instead of what is right."

A slight smile tugged on the corners of Tarrlok's mouth, and he nodded approvingly. "Very good. That is precisely the reason I wanted you here." He stood up, and walked to the window, staring out. "I am well-aware of my reputation. People call me rude, brutal, even corrupt. And while it is true that I play loosely with the rules for the sake of the greater good, people don't tend to see that." He turned around again. "I love this city, and I want to fix it. That is why I pulled a lot of strings to have you transferred down here. You are tough as nails, incorruptible, and came with the highest recommendations from all of your previous superiors."

Lin raised a questioning eyebrow. "What are you getting at, sir?"

-"Have you heard of an individual called The General?"

She shook her head. Even though the name sounded vaguely familiar to her, she didn't know enough about him to make it worthwhile hearing Tarrlok's assessment of him.

-"The General is a kingpin in the drug ring here in the Dragon Flats. He sells pretty much everything he can get his hands on, and he has an army of dealers backing him. Now those guys are a dime a dozen in Republic City, but this guy is gaining influence, and fast. I've been trying to pin him for three years straight, but every time this bastard manages to slip away. There is nothing on him, no evidence, no fingerprints, no picture, we don't even have a name. But I know he's there."

"With all due respect, I'm in Homicide, not Narcotics."

-"Well, don't worry, this guy leaves a trail of bodies. There'll be plenty of both to work with. Those two on Taku were among them, so if you can catch whoever did that, you'll be one step closer to catching The General."

"And I take it I can't tell Saikhan about this?"

Tarrlok shook his head. "Well, it'd be hard to keep him out, wouldn't you think? But don't get me wrong Lin: you're in charge on this one. You track down every lead you can get your hands on, even if normal logic tells you it's a massive leap. And when you find something, you report it to me, and no one else, understand?"

"Yes sir."

-"Good, then you are dismissed."

Lin stood up, and sighed. Tarrlok did have a reputation, and he described it perfectly, and it was the primary reason she didn't trust him. But it was hard to argue with his reasoning. Why would he trust her with this, if he would stand to lose a lot of income if she actually did catch The General? Well, either that, or he's on the side of the opposition, but then they would need very deep pockets if what this guy says is true. It was not looking very good for her.

Some explicit content follows. Consider yourself warned.

All Are Equal
Act I
Welcome to the SuckWorking ConditionsA Pair of ThreesLike Selling Ice CreamMore Equal Than Others
Act II
The First AirbenderAll Quiet in the Dragon FlatsStick the LandingBack Alley BrawlDate Night
Soldier of MisfortuneMaking a ChoiceIt Takes a TollCrashing Down From HighCards on the Table
Act IV
Woman With a PlanBattle of the Dragon FlatsA Sister's SacrificeA Year and a Half Later

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