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|Shattered Like Glass|
April 10th, 2016
The scenario Korra had predicted turned out to be 100 percent accurate: three days was all it took. The first day, there were two police cars waiting for them at the park, the second day it was just one, and on the third it was just a rookie cop who must have pissed off a superior and was forced to put up a yellow plastic ribbon.
But when the fourth day came (Jin was compelled to make a Bible joke here, but stuck to "And she saw that it was good.") the cops and yellow ribbons had gone again, leaving the skate park free and open.
Frustrations in Jinora's head weren't running as rampant as she had thought they would, given that she was working with Kai on their project. She'd expected to come home fuming every day, but that didn't happen. Putting him in his place (square beneath her) worked, and he may or may not have let slip that Jinora could be scary as hell if she wanted to be. Of course, nobody had believed him, but he knew better than to put that theory to the test again, so instead, he played ball, and they were coming along nicely with their project.
Still, the fact was that Jinora and Kai were forced to work together, and that did create friction. But in the interest of beating Tarrlok at his own game, they tried to keep their anger to a minimum when working, though it had to be said that Jinora was out on the street every day instead of every other day, and Kai did take off with more engine roar and wheelspin than normal.
Because it was the first day the park was open again, it was extra busy, which was kind of a shame. Jinora had spotted Kai, but he wasn't going to bother her tonight, they'd already spent more than enough time getting on each other's nerves during the day. She was really hoping she could pull off a few moves, but with so many people in the park, that would be asking for trouble.
As it turned out, it was actually worse than she had imagined. She had just picked up some speed, preparing to do a rail grind, when someone bumped into her - hard. Unable to keep her balance, Jinora started falling, and landed on the one place she didn't want to land: the rail she was aiming for earlier. Her side slammed into the bar hard, and there was a 'crunch' that couldn't possibly spell good news.
"Ow, FUCK! Watch where you're going, asshole!" Jin yelled at the guy who hit her, which kind of had Jinora shocked. Normally, she wouldn't fly off the handle like that, but it just sort of... happened.
-"Jin!" Korra called out when she was clutching her side. "You okay there?"
The younger girl put a hand on her side, which didn't feel good. "No, this actually really hurts."
Korra got a worried frown on her face. "Can you take a deep breath?"
Jinora tried to inhale, but couldn't because of the pain in her side. "Not right now."
-"Come with me," the older girl said, leading her to behind the electricity shed. "You gotta take off your shirt, I need to take a look at it, make sure it's not broken." When Jinora was hesitant, Korra grew a little impatient. "My mom's a physiotherapist, and I couldn't help but pick up a thing or two, so now is not the time to be prudish."
With a sigh, Jinora gave in, and with Korra's help, managed to take off her hoodie. The tight tank top underneath it would be so much more difficult though, that they decided it would be better to just lift that so that Korra could look at the injured area. She gently ran her fingers over the bruises, and Jinora hissed in pain every time she gently pressed down on them.
-"Well, it looks like you have three cracked or bruised ribs. Good news is that they aren't broken, but it's going to hurt badly for a few days."
"Greatness," Jinora groaned. "Anything I can do about it?"
-"Yeah; go home, put ice on it, and stay off your board for the next week."
It sucked, that much was clear. But while dressing, Jinora suddenly became a lot more worried, because going home was a lot harder now: no way in hell could she climb up to her room with three busted ribs. She raked her mind for options, and it seemed like there were only two: either tell Korra the truth and ask her for help, or ask Kai. Both were undesirable, so she would have to go with the lesser of two evils here.
"I need to go talk to Kai, can you help me up?"
Korra complied, a bewildered look on her face. "Kai Fong? I believe the word you used to describe him was 'insufferable'."
Jinora sighed, which caused a flash of pain to shoot through her side again. (Note to self: stop sighing.) "He is, but right now, he's my best chance at getting back home. Should we get caught by my folks, at least he won't be a total stranger to them."
The older girl didn't look convinced. "You sure about that?"
"No, but it's my best option right now. Or least worse, if I'm honest."
-"Alright, if you say so." Korra pulled Jinora to her feet and helped her back into her hoodie, before scampering off to find Kai.
It took a while before he came over, but come he did. "You alright there?"
"Not really. Trust me when I say that I don't want to do this, but... I need your help."
He raised an unconvinced eyebrow. "You need my help? Boy, you must've really scraped the bottom of the barrel."
"I have. Look, I busted three ribs just now, I need to climb back up into my room, and no way in hell can I do it on my own now. Will you help me?"
He thought for a moment, before a crooked smirk appeared on his face. "Do note that I'm going to use this against you for all the time we have left in the same class."
Jinora rolled her eyes in lieu of sighing, but it had the same effect: Kai's smile only grew. "I've considered that, and I guess I don't really have a choice here," she said, which was good enough for him. They set off, on foot of course, because no way could Jinora hoist herself on a motorcycle now. After putting her stuff away in the watershed shack, they soon made it back to Jinora's house, where all the lights were already off, which was a good thing.
What wasn't a good thing, was that they didn't really have a plan, something Kai was quite happy to point out. "How do you want to go about this, what with you unable to climb anything higher than the sidewalk?" he asked on a hushed whisper.
Jinora threw him an annoyed look, which Kai pointedly ignored, but he was right; she hadn't thought this through properly. (Not that she'd ever admit that to him.) "We can use the garden furniture, should be sturdy enough to hold us. You climb into my window and lean down, I reach up from a chair, and you pull me into my room."
He didn't seem convinced. "I'm not sure that can work, not with your ribs."
"I'm a 100 pound girl, if you can't lift me, you can't lift anything. Besides, this is probably going to hurt me a lot, so you should enjoy it while you can."
-"I do enjoy seeing you in pain," Kai smirked, putting up his 'fair enough'-face. "Alright, let's do this." With surprising dexterity, he managed to haul himself up to her windowsill, and he gently opened the window before climbing inside.
As silently as she could, Jinora pushed one of the chairs against the wall, and somehow managed to stand on the seat without causing herself too much pain. This of course, was the easy part, as it was going to be the part where Kai had to hoist her into the window that was going to be the trickiest bit.
"Go," Jinora whispered, and Kai leaned down, hooking his legs behind her windowsill, making sure she wouldn't pull him over the edge. She grabbed both of his hands firmly, and used this to support her weight while she walked up the wall of the house. Fortunately, they had a brick house, giving better traction. The odd angle did mean a little bit of pressure was put on her ribs, but it was nothing she couldn't handle.
The hardest part was actually getting over the windowsill, because Kai couldn't support her weight like that. "Now what?" he asked, Jinora awkwardly suspended halfway up the wall.
"Put your arms under mine, pull me up," she replied, but they had to move quickly now. Jinora wouldn't be able to support her own weight very long in this position, but luckily, she quickly felt Kai's arms wrap around her, and he easily pulled her up over the window. Of course, it hurt like hell, but because she was prepared for it, she managed to bite the pain down.
What she wasn't prepared for, or Kai for that matter, was that her foot caught on the frame of the window, making him tumble backwards, taking Jinora with him. She landed on top of him, causing another bolt of pain to course through her side. Jinora was about to swear out loud, but it died in her throat when she opened her eyes, and saw what position they were in.
Their faces were extremely close, staring directly into Kai's eyes, and she couldn't help but think that they really were beautiful. Not only that, but she now knew they were hiding pain, something that she could now finally see.
Her eyes flashed down to his lips, lips that looked so damn kissable right now. All she had to do was lean down maybe an inch or two, gently biting that bottom lip, pulling it out a little bit, taste that oh so appealing hint of cigarettes... And apparently, Kai felt the same way, since he made no effort to get out of it. In fact, his eye flashed down to her lips much the same way hers did.
Had it not been for another flash of pain from her ribs, Jinora might have actually done that. As it stands though, she was mighty glad that flash had come, otherwise getting through their English project would be uncomfortable.
They had both turned beet-red as they stood up, Jinora thankful for the half-dark of the room hiding how red she really was. It stayed silent between them for a while, neither really knowing what to say that would make this situation less awkward.
-"So..." Kai eventually said, rubbing his neck. "I guess I should be going, huh?"
Jinora softly nodded, not fully trusting herself to speak just yet. He was halfway out the window when she found her voice back. "Hey..." she softly said, stopping him in his tracks. "Thanks."
A slight smile appeared on his face. "You're welcome. And let's keep what just happened between the two of us."
"Probably a good idea." After that, Kai worked his way down to the ground, and Jinora couldn't do anything else but feel stupidly giddy for the rest of the night.
|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|
For the collective works of the author, go here.