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|Officially a Big Girl|
November 28th, 2016
Jinora was used to birthdays (she had to sit through six each year, plus those of other relatives outside of her direct family), but she really wasn't feeling like her own today. Uncle Bumi and Aunt Kya coming by was manageable, but she'd also have to spend the entire day making nice with Ikki, which wasn't exactly ideal right now. On top of that, her aunt and uncle from her mother's side (and their kids, which was even worse) promised to make it one bad day.
Honestly, she'd prefer to spend her entire day toiling away on bone-dry calculus and chemistry than do this.
The only upside so far was that her mother had agreed to bake a pie herself, and if there was one thing Pema could do well, it was bake pies.
It was a delicious apple pie, and she was currently sitting in the living room with all the company, making small talk over a cup of tea.
-"So, Jinora, when are you finally going to get yourself a boyfriend?" her uncle Toku (mother's side) asked her, not knowing what else to talk about.
She inwardly sighed, having always hated that question. Now though, it was extra poignant, given that she had to lie to get herself out of it. "When I'm good and ready. I dunno, I guess the right guy just hasn't come along yet." Seeing how all the company Jinora was expecting was already there, she was surprised to hear the doorbell. (Thank God for that.) "I got it!" she yelled, and jumped up before anyone else got the chance.
Good thing too, as it turned out, because it was Kai. "What the hell are you doing here?!" she asked on a hushed whisper. Before Jinora really realized what she was doing, she was dragging him out back, and pushed him against the blind wall at the side of the garage, out of sight from the living room.
-"This is becoming a habit for you, isn't it?" he asked with his trademark slanted grin on his face.
A smile appeared on Jinora's face as well. "Guess so. But in all seriousness, why are you here?"
-"Korra and a few others have organized a little something for your birthday, so I wanted to ask you to come to the park with me."
She thought for a moment. "I have my entire family here, I can't just bail on them."
Kai chuckled, brushing a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "You won't have to, it's not until tonight at nine."
Jinora leaned in a little closer, playing with the string of his hoodie. "That makes it very appealing now, wouldn't you say? I can do that."
He took a deep breath. "There is one thing you should know in advance: Korra has managed to get hold of a few bottles of booze, and I've heard rumors of bets seeing how drunk they can get you."
"Really? I didn't think Korra would be in on that kind of stuff."
-"Not Korra, mostly guys like Bolin and Tahno. Look, I just want to make sure you don't do anything you might regret. Where do you want to set the limit?"
Jinora thought for a moment. "Two or three glasses? I dunno, I've never done it. As long as I can still walk in a straight line, I'm fine."
Kai chuckled. "Two it is." When she shot him a quizzical look, he quickly elaborated. "You're hundred and five pounds and never drank alcohol before. You have no tolerance."
She nodded. "Fair enough. Thanks, Kai. But now it's time for you to answer me one thing..." she seductively said, twirling the string of his hoodie again.
A sly smile crept over his face. "And what would that be?"
"Why would you come all the way out here, when we both have perfectly working phones?" she seductively whispered, knowing full well why, given their current position.
-"Can't do this over the phone..." he replied, pressing his lips against hers, gently coaxing into a more passionate kiss.
When they finally split, a massive grin broke over Jinora's face. "No, I suppose you can't." She pressed another quick kiss on his lips. "You should go, before someone comes looking for us."
Kai smiled. "Sure thing. See you tonight." With that, he was on his way back to his bike, signaling her that he parked around the corner again, just like he did when he dropped her off.
The rest of her birthday went roughly like the first half: good food, terrible company. Jinora spent half of her time avoiding her cousins, staying closer to her aunt and the other half helping her mother prepare dinner. Eating with eight ungrateful little brats (not counting Ikki, Meelo, and Rohan) is almost undoable, even when there are three pairs of parents present.
After what felt like forever, most of the family finally left. This was also Jinora's cue to slip into her favorite hoodie, and make for the front door. "Bye Mom, bye Dad!" she yelled, and was nearly out of the door and on her way when Tenzin stopped her.
-"Where are you going this late?" he asked. Jinora briefly considered acting like she didn't hear him, but that wouldn't do her a lot of good.
"Fen asked me if I wanted to go with her and a few others, get a drink in town. It is my birthday, after all."
He raised an eyebrow. "'A drink', as in..."
Jinora rolled her eyes, and part of her wished that Kai hadn't told her about the alcohol. That way, she wouldn't have to lie even more than this already forced her to. "Dad, I'm going out with Fen. She's even younger than I am, how do you expect her to get any alcohol?"
-"Jinora, you have many abilities, and craftiness is definitely one of them. Just because you're 18, does not mean you're allowed to go berserk. I expect you to be responsible here."
"When have I not been responsible? I'm not about to do something really stupid, I trust the people I'm going out with." That was actually (mostly) true. While she knew Kai could get up to a little bit of mischief, he wasn't inherently bad. Same went for Korra, who occasionally could play loose with the rules, but only so long as no one suffered from it.
Tenzin slowly nodded. "Fair enough. What time are you going to be home?"
"Midnight?" she optimistically tried.
-"Eleven. At latest."
Jinora sighed. "Worth a shot."
-"No, not really," Kya popped up out of nowhere. She was gonna stay the night because Lin had to go home early. "Come on, Tenzin, she's 18. Don't you think she's old enough to stay out a little later than that?"
-"Mom and Dad never let us stay out later than that," he countered.
Kya pinched the bridge of her nose. "That was 35 years ago. Times change, and I'm sure Jinora can look after herself. You've been training her since she was four." She gave her niece a quick wink.
-"She's right, Tenzin," Pema joined the fray.
Annoyed, her father turned around. "Shouldn't you be on my side?"
Pema smiled. "Well, Jinora is my daughter, I can be on her side every now and again too. Midnight."
Before Tenzin could protest any more, Jinora was halfway out the door. "Thanks, Mom, thanks, Aunt Kya!" she waved behind her.
-"Be careful, sweetie!"
Jinora was actually a little nervous, because she had no idea what to expect at the park. Rolling in on her skateboard went the same it always went, into the light, into the rap music that she was actually starting to enjoy and recognize. It was Eminem with When I'm Gone. A year ago, Jinora wouldn't have thought she'd have that talent.
She'd already spotted Kai's motorcycle at the entrance of the park, so he was definitely there. It also didn't take very long to spot Korra, who promptly got a big grin on her face. "Bo! Cue the music!"
It instantly changed to the chorus of We Are the Champions, which did make Jinora smile.
The older girl walked up to her, and pulled her in for a hug. "Happy birthday, Jin. I guess you owe Kai another 'thank you'."
"I guess I do," Jinora chuckled. Unbeknownst to Korra of course, he already had that coming.
-"Now, on to the main event of the evening!" The older girl walked over to the edge of the park, and Jinora looked over to Kai, who gave her a subtle nod. As it turns out, Bolin and Opal joined them too, as did a few others. She suspected these were the people who betted on how drunk she could get.
In Korra's backpack, there was a bottle of vodka, and she quickly poured Jinora a glass. "Now, Jinny, since you are 18, you are officially a big girl now, and there is only one way to properly celebrate this: by finally putting your liver to work." She handed the shotglass over to Jinora, but also pulled her in closer. "Hey, if you don't want to do it, you don't have to."
"Meh, you're kind of forcing my hand here, Kor," Jinora smirked, and sniffed the glass. It smelled disgusting, but she threw it back in one go, not thinking about it too much. "Motherf..." she started, but never got to finish it as she started coughing from the burning sensation in her throat. "Fucking hell, that is awful," she remarked, though Jinora wasn't able to suppress Jin from chuckling as she said that. After all, the sensation of (technically) breaking the law and feeling good about it was a big part of why Jin was brought to life in the first place.
A big smile appeared on Korra's face as well. "Gotta hand it to you, kid: I'm impressed."
"Thank you," Jinora mocked. "Now, I'd say it's time for a few moves." She instantly made this work by getting back on her board, making for the halfpipe. A few minutes later though, she had to get out again because of the buzz of the alcohol. Kai was right, she had no tolerance for it. Her coordination just wasn't what it normally was, but she'd just have to deal with that for now.
-"Jin," Kai beckoned her softly, making sure no one else heard him. "Got a sec?"
"Sure." She followed him to behind their trusty old electricity shed, which had of course started rumors. Jinora had half a mind already set to at least telling people about their relationship here at the park.
He looked a tad nervous. "You know, I'd be a pretty lousy boyfriend if I didn't get you anything for your birthday."
"Kai, you didn't have to," she immediately objected.
-"I wanted to. Anyway, I figured, what you really need is a new board, because that one is worn down to the thread," he said, nodding to Jinora's skateboard. It was kind of true, she'd got Korra's old one to begin with and the numerous grinds she'd pulled with it herself had scraped most of the underside off. "So I got you one that suits you."
Turns out, he prepared for this, as he just leaned down to pick up a board that was leaning against the wall of the shed. "I didn't wrap it, hope that's okay."
Jinora turned the board over, seeing that it was a grey arrow on a yellow background, perfect for her. It made a big smile appear on her face. "It's perfect," she said, and pulled him in for a kiss. It felt right. "Come on," she continued, linking hands with her new board under her arm.
Kai seemed strangely reluctant to this. "I thought you said you didn't want people to know about us yet?"
"I did..." She hesitated for a moment. "But it feels right to me now. At least we can tell the people here, I say we keep it under wraps elsewhere for a little longer."
They walked out of their hiding spot and sought out Korra, Opal, and Bolin, who were all chilling on the patch of grass to the side of the bowl. Korra's eyes were immediately drawn to their linked hands, and she smiled. "So the rumors are true!" she smirked.
Jinora chuckled. "Yeah, have been for the past month or so. Started that night you brought Asami here."
-"Ah. Vicodin-induced relationship, huh?"
"Finished the bottle that night," Jinora smirked. "Couldn't have done it that way even if we wanted to."
Kai promptly wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Besides, we haven't needed any. She hasn't been driving me insane to the point of migraines yet."
"Likewise," Jinora deadpanned.
-"Well, I think you two would make an adorable couple," Opal nodded.
And that really was that. Jinora broke in her new board which everyone agreed fitted her perfectly, she had her second shot of vodka when their entire group had one, and Kai walked her home. For the first time, Jinora felt slightly bad leaving her gear in the watershed shack, but she didn't really have a choice.
Just on the corner from her house, they stopped. "Hope you enjoyed this part of your birthday more than the other half," Kai smirked.
"That's not a very high bar to clear." Jinora pulled him in a little closer. "I guess this is it for now, huh?"
-"Yeah," Kai nodded. He pulled out his phone to check for the time. "You still have three minutes left..."
Smiling, she wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him in for what would be considered a pretty lousy kiss, before breaking away. "Leave you wanting more," she winked.
Kai started laughing in response. "You are a merciless tease, you know that?"
"I do. Goodnight, Kai!"
Its's been a very, very long time, and I do apologize for that. August, to be precise. In my defense, an idea for another story popped up in my head for Kainora, and the counter for that currently sits at a comfortable 15.000 words. As you can tell, I've been spending a lot of time writing that, but inspiration for it has been slowing down lately. You'll see it at some point, but when that exactly is, I don't know just yet.
As for this story, well, the next chapter I have planned already has about 1.500 words, so that's coming along nicely. I've figured out that it's not going to have as much filler as I thought it would have, so chances are there are also going to be a few leaps in the timeline, making sure the juicy stuff actually happens. You'll just have to wait and see. If you're still reading this now, you rock. Take care, everyone.
|Who We Are|
|First Base • Espresso and Blackmail • The North Point Mall • Do or Do Not • Groundwork • Shattered Like Glass|
|Hospital Run • Skeletons • Straight-A Students • Falling • Family Weekend (Part 1) • (Part 2) • (Part 3)|
|Now What? • Stargazing • Officially a Big Girl • Second Base • Kai's Home • Making Up • Out (Part 1) • (Part 2)|
|The Bottle • Meet 'N' Greet • All In the Family|
For the collective works of the author, go here.