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|Family Weekend (Part 3)|
August 4th, 2016
Warning: mild drug abuse ahead.
Jinora had spent the day reasonably productive, having done the last of her homework, she tried to win some goodwill from her mother in advance by vacuuming the house and cleaning the kitchen.
At about seven, right before she was going to put on dinner, (read: slide a frozen pizza into the oven,) the doorbell went.
Surprised to get a visitor at dinnertime, she held off on the pizza, opened the door, and to her utter surprise, saw Kai standing there. "Kai? Wha-what are you doing here?"
-"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he chuckled. "Can I...?" he asked, gesturing inside.
Jinora sighed. "Sure," she said, still a little dazed that he just showed up here. She stepped aside, letting him into the house.
-"Nice digs," he commented, taking an appreciative look around.
"But seriously, what are you doing here?" Jinora asked, more surprised than actually hostile.
Kai turned around, that same handsome smile on his face again. (Dammit.) "Figured you could use the company."
Jinora raised a single eyebrow, not the least bit convinced by this excuse. "So naturally, your first instinct is to invite yourself over for dinner."
He chuckled. "No, I came to invite you out with me. You still a vegetarian?"
"No, we switched to flexitarian - wait, that still doesn't explain why you came here. I've known you for nearly ten years now, and I'm not stupid. You wouldn't do this if you didn't have something to gain from it."
-"Busted..." Kai laughed. "Alright, I confess. You have been on painkillers over the past month, and since I've known you for nearly ten years now, I know that you are nothing if not precise. Prescriptions are always too much, which means you have some left."
Jinora just stared at him, unsure whether to be in awe at his reasoning, (because he was right,) or to yell him out of the house. "You're unbelievable," she ultimately settled for. "You come here and invite me out for dinner just so you can get my prescription painkillers to get high?!"
He thought for a moment, before giving her a nod. "Yeah, pretty much. Figured dinner with you is a small price to pay for hospital-strength painkillers."
She sighed. "What am I supposed to say to that?"
-"How about: 'Yes, here you go, where are you taking me?' That would be a good place to start." He fell silent for a moment. "Look, when I first found out that you were going to the park, you told me to help you keep up the guise. If you still have the stick up your ass there, what's the point? This would be a good way to do that. Relax for a bit, something you could definitely do with right now."
Jinora sighed, because once again, he was right. Sure, the anger of the whole incident of this morning had faded, but it hadn't done anything to help with how tense she was. She had tried meditating earlier, but was forced to give up when all the 'what if'-scenarios kept rampaging through her head.
"Am I correct in saying that you win either way? If I say no, it means I give up a dinner in exchange for my leftovers, meaning I'm a bitch, and if I say yes, you get your drugs."
Kai smiled. "Exactly."
A coy smile played over her lips. "I'm impressed, Fong. Where were you planning to go?"
Twenty minutes later, Kai and Jinora were sitting across from each other at the same burger joint she had pointed out to him after she saved his ass from Mako. (And what a great ass it was.) She had only been here once before, but it still was good food for not too much money. They had both ordered, and were now waiting for their food, both of them sipping on Diet Cokes with way too much ice in them.
What's more, Jinora had Kai's helmet on the seat next to her and the bottle of Vicodin in the pocket of her hoodie. She had quickly changed, even though she was already wearing her comfortable baggy pants, she was now wearing lenses instead of her glasses, and her hoodie was also kind of a requirement.
-"So what happened this morning?" Kai asked when he finally stopped playing with his sunglasses and put them back into his backpack.
"What do you care?"
-"Well, you seemed pretty adamant yesterday about being forced on family weekend, and then a single fight is enough to make you go all the way back home."
Jinora took a deep breath, as she had sort of expected this question. "Yeah, call it sister troubles. Things have been tense between us lately and it hit a boiling point this morning." She sighed. "Look, can we not talk about this now? I've already had my fill for today and I'm scheduled for an encore tomorrow."
He nodded understandingly. "Fine." It fell silent again. "So... Cats or dogs?"
Even though the question seemed kind of out of the blue, Jinora did smile. "Dogs. We had one for years. Oogi, a Great Pyrenee. And with 'great', I do mean great. He was big enough for me and my siblings to ride when we were little."
Kai chuckled. "Sounds like a fun dog. But given how you're talking in the past tense, I take it he's gone?"
Jinora sighed again. "Yeah, we had to put him down two years ago. We talked about getting another one, but we couldn't decide on whether we wanted another one that's as big as he was or more like a lap dog." She briefly paused. "Anyway, what's yours?"
-"Secret option number three: neither." She threw him a confused look, so he elaborated. "We've never had one of those. We live in a small apartment, so a cat would be bored, no one wants to walk a dog three times a day, and what's left are either hamsters or the one thing we can keep alive: a goldfish."
She laughed at this. "You have a fish?"
-"Yep. Named it Nemo, obviously, and me and my five siblings take care of it. Sort of. We occasionally forget whose turn it is to feed it, but it's still alive!"
She laughed again, and realized just how easy this was. Jinora leaned back in her booth, letting her head rest against the high back. "Are you noticing something?"
-"You mean that we're talking without trying to kill or seriously injure the other?"
She nodded. "Exactly. If you'd have told me about this three months ago, I'd have declared you howling mad."
Kai locked eyes with her, and damn, was that a pair of beautiful green eyes. "A lot can change in three months," he said, and for once, there wasn't an undertone of sarcasm in his voice.
"I guess it can." Jinora could feel the connection forming between them, so thick that it was almost tangible. Suddenly, she realized that not only was she attracted to him, there was a very real chance that he was so to her as well, given how they were sitting here.
Just as the atmosphere between them started to settle, a server arrived with their food. "Great timing," Jinora muttered.
-"Here you go, one fried chicken burger, and one Deluxe," the server said, though he didn't seem the least bit invested in his work. "Enjoy your meal." If Jinora was to hazard a guess, his demeanor was somewhere between 'please make it quick and painless' and 'when the hell is my shift gonna end'.
Kai chuckled when he walked off. "Boy, bet you ten bucks he's the life of the party."
Jinora laughed at his remark. "Yeah, I guess he would be." She dug into her Deluxe burger (though that was kind of overrating it, the main difference between it and a normal one was pickles,) silently berating herself from agreeing on going to a hamburger joint. It was probably one of the least elegant foods to eat, so a good impression was out of the question. On the other hand, she wasn't exactly dressed to display her 'feminine figure', or even to suggest that she had any kind of manners at all.
They ate for a while in companionable silence, and it was Kai to break the streak. "Since when did you give up being a vegetarian? The way I recall it, you were always pretty precise in it."
Jinora sighed. "Well, I was, and I kind of still am, but my youngest brother, Rohan, he forced our hand. Turns out he's allergic to most nuts. Meanwhile, Meelo is lactose-intolerant. Working a vegetarian diet around either one is difficult enough, but both at the same time is nearly impossible. To make sure we didn't starve them, we switched to meat about three times a week. That's the way humans are supposed to eat anyway," she added with a chuckle.
He chuckled. "So you sacrifice yourself and your beliefs for them, and then use that to order a deluxe burger here?"
"Reaping the benefits," she smirked back. "And besides, you're not really in a position to lecture me on questionable intake."
-"Speaking of which..." Kai smirked.
Jinora raised an eyebrow. "I'm not giving you anything while you still have to ride. First we go, then you can have these."
He thought for a moment, before giving her a 'fair enough'-nod. "Fine. But I'm leaving my bike here anyway, the park is only three blocks away. What do you say, I'll pay and we're out of here?"
She looked surprised. "Uhh, if you insist, I guess."
Kai chuckled. "Believe me, Gyatso, I do." He stood up, and Jinora was amazed to see a gentleman emerge from someone with a pierced eyebrow and a bad-boy leather jacket.
After backtracking a single block to fetch Jinora's gear, they quickly made their way to the park. Bolin and Opal were already there, surprised to see them showing up together. "So you two made amends?"
"Something like that."
-"Yep," Kai confirmed. "Anyway, you owe me, Jin. I'll come to collect later." With this he walked off, seeing a couple of his own buddies at the other end of the park.
-"What was that about?" Opal asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nothing," Jinora quickly brushed it off. "Nothing important, anyway. Still, there is a mostly empty bowl in front of me, a board in my hand, and what the hell am I still doing here talking to you?" she finished with a chuckle, before dropping into the bowl, relishing the feeling of being back on her board.
It wasn't even like she was trying to accomplish anything tonight, just being on the move again while performing a few simple tricks was enough to satisfy her for now.
It went on like that for a while, Bolin tried to impress Opal, (kind of worked, judging by her expression,) but Jinora constantly kept one eye on the entrances.
At about eight fifteen, they finally showed up, hand in hand, Korra with a board under her arm. "Holy shit..." Opal softly commented at the sight of Korra's girlfriend. "I think I just became bisexual..."
-"That's... kind of hot," Bolin commented after a short moment of contemplation.
"Don't think that's how it works," Jinora said. Still, she wasn't above admitting that Opal may have been on to something, because Korra's girlfriend was beautiful.
-"Guys, this is Asami Sato," Korra introduced her, and she gave a small wave. "Asami, this is Opal, Jin, and you already know Bolin."
Jinora smiled. "Hi there," she cheerfully opened. "So you're the one who's been giving Korra massive lady boners?"
Korra and Asami both went bright red, with the latter brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. "Ehh... I guess?" she hesitantly said.
This made Jinora chuckle. "Relax, I'm joking. Still, someone needs to look after Korra, and if it's not me, it should be you. Come on." She guided them over to the patch of grass on the edge of the park, and sat down with Korra and Asami, trying to get as much information out of her as possible while embarrassing Korra where possible. This backfired a few times, but on the whole, it was the older girl who was red most of the time.
During their conversation, Jinora learned that Asami was open to pretty much everything, which was already evident from her wardrobe. To fit in, probably on Korra's suggestion, she was wearing a simple black hoodie with a few red logos on it, but the expensive blouse and skinny jeans underneath suggested a more refined taste for clothes than she was letting on here.
Outside of the occasional joke at Korra's expense, Jinora couldn't help but notice that talking to Asami was easy, and that neither she nor Korra had any trouble keeping their PDA's to a minimum, and even then it barely went beyond holding hands.
Everything would have gone off without a hitch, had Kai not suddenly shown up again. "Hey Jin, Korra. And you must be Asami," he said, holding ut his hand. It should be noted that even when he wasn't right next to her, Jinora could smell the cigarettes on him. "I'm Kai," he continued while Asami shook his hand, before plonking down next to Jinora. "And Jin here owes me something."
"Oh come on," she sighed. "Do you want the whole park to hear you?"
-"What are you talking about?" Korra asked.
-"Jin here made a deal with me, namely that we would use the painkillers she had left from her cracked ribs. You know, for fun."
"I don't recall there being a 'we' in it, Kai," Jinora said.
He scoffed. "You're no fun. I thought it would be a good way to break the ice with Asami, quick way to learn what she's really made of without having to resort to Truth or Dare or maybe Never Have I Ever."
Jinora took the bottle out of her pocket, quickly counting the pills through the translucent bottle. There were eight of them.
-"Sounds good to me," Korra nodded.
-"I'm in," Asami replied, making Jinora look up in surprise.
-"My dad is real harsh on drugs, so I can't come home smelling like a Jamaican reggae club. Painkillers are pretty safe and plenty of fun."
Jinora sighed again. "Not what I expected of you," she said, and passed the bottle around, first to Kai. He took out two pills, as did Korra and Asami.
-"Well, one for the money, two for the show," he said, before swallowing the pills. Once again, Jinora looked at him in surprise. She had never taken more than one at a time, and that already had its effects. "Hey, I know these things, one is enough to still let you function, two is for good fun, but three is a bit overkill," Kai defended himself.
Korra and Asami both chuckled. "He's right," Korra said.
Jinora chuckled. "Well, I guess that's a good point," she agreed. Hell, it wasn't like she was taking them now to kill pain, it was for fun, and it's not like they were a ton of fun one at a time.
Just like the others, she swallowed them both at the same time, and it turned out that Kai was right; the effects were much, much stronger now. She felt woozy all of a sudden, and her limbs became heavy.
Meanwhile, Kai was still clear-minded enough to put some music up on his phone, and naturally, it was Stolen Dance. (The lyric 'stoned in paradise' Jinora didn't believe to be a coincidence.)
"Whoa..." she muttered, feeling herself numb from the pills. Jinora let herself fall back after a minute, staring up at the sky. "Hey, does anyone else feel like they can see the stars spinning?"
Korra chuckled. "Looks like two is more than enough for you," she snidely commented, though her voice was definitely slurring.
"Hmmm..." Jinora contently hummed. Even like this, she could feel that someone was looking at her, and off to her right, she saw Kai staring at her.
-"Is it weird that I can't feel my face?" he asked no one in particular.
"You can't?" Jinora perked up.
-"Don't think I can." He willed himself to his feet, and held his hand out to Jinora. "Come on, stand up for a moment."
Not really knowing what he was getting at, she took his hand and let him pull her up. "What's happening?"
"What?" She was completely baffled.
Kai smiled. "You know you always wanted to, and now's your chance. Do it."
(Jinora didn't like to admit that he was kind of right, there had been plenty of moments where she wanted to slap him.) "I'm not kissing you again," she already defended herself.
-"Wait, 'again'?!" Asami called out in surprise, voice slurring as well.
Jinora turned to face her again. "It's a long story."
He thought for a moment, making a 'fair enough'-face again. "Okay, but then you have to do the next thing I want you to."
-"Of course. Now give me your best shot, Jinny," Kai egged her on.
"You might regret that," Jinora warned him, smiles already playing over both of their faces.
-"Ha! As if..." He never got to finish that sentence, because Jinora had already struck out. She made it such a hard slap with a flat hand that it literally decked him.
Both girls behind her broke out into a gush of laughter while Jinora first felt a surge of guilt wash over her and covered her mouth with her hands. She had never slapped anyone before like that, and kind of to her own surprise, realized that slapping Kai didn't make her feel that good at the moment.
It wasn't until she heard him laughing that she felt her own guilt subside. "That was awesome!" Kai laughed. He rolled onto his back again with a huge smile. "I really can't feel my face anymore."
"I'm sorry," Jinora laughed, because seeing him like this was pretty damn funny. "Totally worth it though."
-"Totally," Kai smirked back.
Jinora plopped back down beside him, comfortably leaning on the grass. "So what's next?"
-"Well," Kai said, and handed her his backpack. "This."
She gave him a curious look, but then zipped it open. Inside, she found all kinds of spray paint cans. "You are kidding me," Jinora said, looking up at him in disbelief.
He smiled. "What? It's not dirty, and it's definitely no more illegal than trespassing in the North Point Mall. And I let you slap me, you owe me one."
"You sly bastard," Jinora chuckled.
Korra laughed as well. "You let him push you into a corner there, Jinny. He's right."
"Aren't you supposed to be on my side?"
-"Consider that payback for embarrassing me tonight," she said with a smirk just as sly as Kai's.
Jinora sighed. "I hate all of you."
-"I know you do," Kai piped up, and pulled her to her feet again. "Besides, I can draw, you can write. Already have the perfect spot in mind."
Against her better judgment, (and let's face it, that wasn't very good right now,) she did follow him out of the park.
Having stowed their gear away in the watershed shack again, Kai led them to part of town that Jinora hadn't expected him to: the Mall again. She knew it was a little risky, but then again, there were plenty of blind spots on the outside where security couldn't see them. The walk was long enough to clear their heads, getting most of the Vicodin out of their system again.
"What are you even planning on doing here?"
-"Well, You're the one who's new to this, so why don't you tell me? Gimme a good phrase, and we'll do it."
Jinora thought for a moment, trying to remember her favorite literary phrases. Anything biblical was discarded, because while tempting, it also seemed a little sacrilegious to spray paint that onto the side of a mall. "How about this: 'Not all those who wander are lost.'?"
-"Where's that from?"
She smiled. "Lord of the Rings, but it didn't make the movie. Shame really, it's one of my favorite passages."
Kai shrugged. "Well, it's a pretty good one. What do you say, you do the second half on the bottom, I do the first half on the top?"
"Sure." They set to work, and it didn't take long for Jinora to notice something: Kai was very quick, yet very precise. He managed to make his part look very good, neat and tidy, though of course not in the font of the movie titlecard, but that was a bit much to ask. Jinora's part on the other hand looked sloppy, definitely the work of an amateur.
She was just about to put the finishing touches on 'lost' when they were interrupted.
-"Hey, what are you doing there?!" someone yelled.
"Oh, shit." This was pretty much the moment Jinora knew they were screwed, because the lazy security Kai had insisted on the complex had wasn't so lazy after all. "Scram!" She threw the paint can away, sprinting along with Kai in the opposite direction, chased by the security guard.
As luck would have it, he wasn't exactly fit for combat, weighing in at an approximate 250 pounds if Jinora's slightly askew vision was anything to go by. They ducked into an alley that was very dark, but she knew that they would properly have to outrun him, because her orange hoodie would be visible with even the faintest glimmer of moonlight, of which there was plenty tonight.
Kai however, didn't have this problem. He pulled her around another corner, pushing her into a niche in the wall. He stood right in front of her himself, bodies pressed tightly together. Because of his black leather jacket and dark jeans, he was practically invisible to the casual eye in their dark little niche.
Even though her heart was pounding in her ears, Jinora couldn't help but appreciate how Kai felt being pressed up against her like he was now. He was warm, and with his strong arms keeping her own pressed against his chest to make sure they were hidden from view, she could even feel some of the definition of his muscles through his T-shirt.
They could hear the guard huffing and puffing as he stumbled by, clearly hindered by his significant bodyweight.
Jinora looked up slightly, and couldn't help but smile, the same smile that was on Kai's lips. He put a finger on them, signaling her to stay still.
-"Fuck!" they clearly heard the guard swear, as he now knew that they had gotten away from him. They waited for him to come back, but the footsteps became more distant, so Kai cautiously leaned out of their little niche, checking to see if the coast was clear.
When he turned back though, everything changed. They were tantalizingly close together. Jinora could feel his heavy breath streaking over her face, but she didn't mind one bit. Her hands slowly and automatically slipped up his neck, before slowing down when they hit the underside of his strong jaw. All that really remained was the question of who would make the first move, because it was fairly obvious they both wanted this.
Jinora's eyes flicked down to Kai's lips and vice versa. There was no stopping it now.
Ultimately, it was Kai who made the first move. He leaned down, moving to catch Jinora's lips with his own, and it was glorious.
For two people who couldn't stand each other for the better part of a decade, they had shared a surprising amount of kisses, it had to be said.
With that in mind, this was by far their best one, even with Jinora's limited experience. With no more reluctance from her side, she fully let Kai explore her mouth, giving him the reigns. He had more experience in this area, and it showed, though Jinora was not afraid to let him.
She could feel his arms slide around her back, pulling the two of them closer together, as close as they could be now.
And that damn hint of cigarettes again. Even though Jinora had never smoked in her life, she loved the taste of it on him, it was her own Forbidden Fruit. It wasn't strong, it wasn't dominating, but it was unmistakable.
Their noses brushed together, switched sides a few times, and couldn't help but feel... nice.
Eventually, Jinora was the one to break away, resting her forehead against Kai's. "Whoa..." she breathed.
Kai chuckled. "You can say that again," he breathed, taken aback just as much as she was. "Still think it was a bad idea?"
Jinora laughed as well, though not too loud. "Bad idea, good result." Even though she would have liked to stay like this for a bit longer, she knew they couldn't. "Wanna get out of here?"
-"Good idea," he agreed, and pulled back from their little niche.
The entire walk back, Jinora didn't let go of his hand.
So there it is. They finally did the thing.
The part about the Lord of the Rings is true, to my knowledge. Arwen does recite the second verse of the poem it came from, but that line is in the first half.
For the collective works of the author, go here.