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|Family Weekend (Part 2)|
July 22nd, 2016
Jinora woke up to a strange sensation. She could open her eyes without scorching her retinas, which meant it was at least still partially dark outside, so it wasn't the light. There also weren't any loud noises nearby, so it wasn't that either.
Trying to move proved difficult, which presented the first clue, and ultimately was what prompted Jinora to open her eyes again.
Laid out half on top of her, was her little sister, still fast asleep. This actually made Jinora smile a little because Ikki had always been a cuddler, ever since she was a little girl. Never had she let anything get in the way of hugging people and snuggling up to others on the couch, and she sure wasn't going to let sleep be the first one. It was actually kind of sweet.
That still left the question of why she woke up, though. Shaking off the haze of sleep, she actually focused, and felt a strange sticky sensation on her legs.
Then she realized it. And for all that is holy, Jinora hoped she was wrong. She threw off the blanket, sitting up in bed and taking her phone off the nightstand to use it as a flashlight.
This revealed good news and bad news. The good news was that she was wrong about her realization. (One of few times Jinora was glad about being wrong.)
The bad news was that there was a big bloodstain on her left calf, which had her worried. What the hell could have happened in bed that would make her bleed like that? She pulled her pant leg up to her knee, and using the flashlight of her phone again, she quickly determined that she hadn't been the one bleeding. So what...
Good. Fucking. God. It was like she was hit by a freight train, about two thirds of its cargo consisting of disgust, and the other third consisting of unadulterated rage. "IKKIIIIII!" Jinora thundered, knowing full well that would probably wake everyone in the house.
-"What?" she sleepily said, dazed from being woken up do roughly.
"Have you never heard of a damn tampon?! Christ, how old are you?!" Jinora yelled.
It was at about this point that Ikki started to pull out of her daze and take a closer look at the sheets. "Oh... I was kind of hoping that wouldn't happen until we got back..."
At this, the older girl was completely amazed. "You knew? You fucking knew it was coming, and you didn't bother with, oh, I don't know, SOMETHING TO STOP YOU FROM BLEEDING EVERYWHERE?!"
Right around now, Tenzin, Pema, Kya, and Lin burst into the room, not knowing what caused their rather loud argument. "What is going on here?" their father demanded.
"Ikki can't count to 28, and found it necessary to bleed on me!" Jinora yelled, showing the bloodstain on her pajamas.
-"Ikki?" Tenzin asked his youngest daughter, a worried frown on his face.
-"Period came," she replied with a small voice.
"There are four women in this house you could have asked for a damn tampax! Why didn't you?!"
Pema pinched the bridge of her nose. "Jinora, calm down, no need for rude language. Ikki had an accident, you can both clean yourselves up now, and we won't even remember it happened tomorrow."
Jinora sighed. "Mom, forget it, this little trip just isn't working. So far, I've been trapped in a car for two hours, bored out of my mind over homework, accused of bullshit I didn't do, forced to sleep in a bed barely big enough for two, and now I've been used as a maxi-pad. Screw it, I'm going home."
-"You're not going anywhere," her father said.
"There are three cars in the driveway, and I'm taking one." This was true, though undesirable, given how it was their own Discovery (which was so big that it kind of scared Jinora) and the cars of Kya and Lin.
-"Jinora, stop this ridiculous notion, you are staying here, and you're coming home with us on Sunday. That is an end of it."
-"Enough!" Kya silenced everyone. "I'll take her home."
Tenzin sighed. "Kya, I don't need you to tell me how to raise my children, and I definitely don't need you to enable her."
-"And I don't want a family in my house that does nothing but bicker or ignore each other all day long," she countered. "Jinora is old enough to stay at home alone for one day, and it's obvious she isn't very happy to be here."
"Thank you, Aunt Kya," Jinora said, relieved to know that she had backup here.
Kya looked at her, and her expression wasn't exactly its normal cheery self. "We'll talk in the car," she said in a tone that didn't spell much good. "Get cleaned up and pack your stuff, we leave in half an hour."
-"You are not taking my daughter anywhere," Tenzin tried to protest again, but this time, help came from a more unexpected corner.
-"Tenzin, let them go," Pema said. "I'm with Kya here."
Jinora wasn't about to give her mother enough time to change her mind, so she was already digging through her bag, pulling out a towel and clean underwear so that she could take a shower. Her parents continued arguing though.
-"You can't possibly agree with this," her father said to her mother, the look on his face being somewhere between frightened awe and disbelief.
-"We're not going to solve anything by yelling at each other here. It's best that we let our tempers cool, and when we get back home as well, we are going to have a very long conversation," Pema countered, turning to Jinora as she said that last part, right as she was trying to get to the shower.
"Can I take a shower now? I'd like to clean myself up from someone else's period," she asked, as her parents were blocking the door.
Pema sighed. "You are not out of the woods yet, young lady." She stepped aside, and Jinora knew her mother wasn't bluffing.
Still, it's a result, even if it meant that she side-stepped a pothole only to fall off a bridge.
The first half hour or so of the journey back was quiet. Jinora had taken the wheel of Kya's car, but because it was only five in the morning, there was virtually no other traffic on the road. Driving like this was relaxing after all the stress the early morning had brought with it, it was kind of meditative.
-"Jinora, what is going on between you and Ikki?" Kya asked, breaking the fragile silence between them.
Jinora sighed. "Call it sibling rivalry."
-"That's pretty thin. The way you yelled at her suggests something deeper going on, and I'm worried about it. It's entirely possible the bubble is going to burst sooner or later, and then it's going to cause more damage than it did today."
"Yeah, probably. Still, Ikki just keeps on finding new ways to get on my nerves, and I just feel like she's doing it deliberately. And she stole my stuff, and it feels like she's trying to be me. The other day, I caught her going through my closet, seeing if she could fit in my clothes. The week before that, it was my make up, and before that, it were my favorite books."
-"Don't you think that all points to a single source?"
Jinora looked over to her aunt, not quite clear about what she meant. "What would that be?"
-"Ikki looks up to you, Jinora. Whether she knows it or not, she's trying to be more like you."
This made sense. Jinora was doing well for someone of her age, and she did have a sneaking suspicion Ikki had more potential than she was living up to. It would be a waste though for Ikki to try and be like Jinora, given how wildly different their interests were. Jinora was a bookworm, Ikki was an outdoor-type. She was quicker to act instead of thinking, which is exactly why Jinora thought they clashed so often right now. She was becoming more of an outdoor-type, while Ikki was forced to stay in the books more by her school. "I suppose," she said.
-"You are being pretty hard on your sister, Jinora. Especially this morning, which was not something she was deliberately trying to do."
"Maybe not, but she didn't do anything to prevent it either. I'm not her biological clock, she should be capable of keeping track of things like that herself." Jinora sighed. "Look, this is a good thing. I think that when we've put some distance between us, we'll be better able to work it out when we've cooled down." After this, Jinora turned her attention back to the road, as it kind of was the final thing to say. Kya may have been sitting on more, but she decided to shelve it.
Because of the non-existent traffic, Jinora could make good progress. Kya had turned on the radio, and somehow the songs that came on all seemed to directly relate to the situation at hand, as they always do. These included Dance Little Sister, and how could it possible not, We Are Family. The urge to switch the radio station had been immense.
At around seven, Jinora steered the car onto her own driveway, and she sat in the car for a while with her aunt. "Thanks for taking me home," she quietly said. She really was grateful for it, even if the ride itself had been tense. She was home now, no Ikki to make her life miserable, just the entire house to herself.
-"Well, I don't think you should be too pleased about it. The fact that it's necessary isn't good, Jinora."
Jinora sighed. "Maybe not, but for now, it's what I need." She stepped out of the car, and walked around to take her bag out of the trunk. Kya had stepped out as well, and before walking inside, Jinora hesitated. "Do you want to come in for some breakfast? I could make something simple.
Ky smiled. "Nah, I should be heading back." She paused for a moment. "Come here, you," she said, pulling her niece in for a tight hug. This was something Jinora had always loved about her aunt; she always seemed to know who needed a hug and when.
She smiled, and relaxed into her aunt's embrace. "Thanks, Aunt Kya. I needed this."
-"I know you did, sweetheart."
They finally split, and Kya gave her another smile. "Will you think about what I said, and about taking it slightly easier on Ikki?"
Jinora nodded. "Yeah, I will."
-"Alright, then I should be off." With this, her aunt walked back to her car, and started her long journey home.
Jinora went inside, where the first thing she decided to do was catch up on some overdue sleep. It wasn't much, and since no one was there to care anyway, she just fell down on her bed after taking off her pants and shoes, set on sleeping in today.
It was at about nine o'clock before she woke up again, which was plenty late enough. Jinora went down to make breakfast, and thought about what would happen next. She was probably going to get hell for this tomorrow, so she should at least enjoy herself while she could.
Item one on that list was to go to the park tonight and meet Korra's girlfriend.
With a sigh, she took out her phone, because she suddenly wasn't so sure anymore after what Kai had said. She was the one pressing Korra to bring her girlfriend, so it would be a bit weird for Korra to bring her on the one night Jinora couldn't make it. Jinora wouldn't put it beyond her to change the thing entirely.
(This was another one of those things she was probably going to regret.) Due to a lack of options, she still didn't have Korra's number, she dialed for the one person she did have: Kai.
-"Hello?" he groggily answered.
"Kai? It's Jinora."
He didn't immediately answer, but eventually did so with a groan. "Gyatso, it's early. Why the hell are you calling me out of my sleep?"
"Not that early, but that's beside the point. Listen, I wanted to know if the plans for tonight had changed."
-"No, they haven't, but I thought you were on family weekend?"
Jinora sighed. "I was, but then I had a huge fight with my sister this morning, my aunt took me home, and long story short, I'm here, rest of my family is still there."
Kai slowly started laughing, louder and louder. "Holy shit, Gyatso, that is ice-fucking-cold! You ditched your family to go at it alone?" His continued laughter was slowly starting to piss her off.
"Glad you find my family tearing itself apart amusing," she said with a sarcastic scowl.
-"It is pretty funny from where I'm sitting," Kai chuckled. "Anyway, Korra said they'd be there at around eight, so I guess I'll see you there."
"Guess so. Thanks for the update."
He chuckled again. "No problem."
He hung up, and Jinora put her phone down, lying back in bed.
It wasn't until she realized how fast her heart was beating that she internally swore again.
Right people, I'll confess, there was more to this chapter originally, but it got out of control. That part already made it past the 3000 word mark, and at well over 2000, this is already one of the bigger chapters. Guess there'll be a Part 3 to this as well. Good news is that I already have ~1000 words for that. Take care, people!
For the collective works of the author, go here.