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June 12th, 2017
Jinora was not looking forward to today. She'd been trying to do damage control, but it had been a wasted effort. Ikki wouldn't keep her trap shut if her life depended on it, let alone now that she was already punished for stealing Jinora's phone.
The genie was out of the bottle, and there was no way in hell he was going back in.
This did bring up another issue: Fen. Jinora had been debating with herself what to do, tell her via text, meet up so they could have the conversation in person, but none of it was a good option. Her best friend had intuited months ago that there was something going on between them and Jinora had just flat-out lied to her, even worse than to her parents. This was going to be one long Monday.
Worryingly enough, her first two hours both happened to be classes that she didn't share with Fen. As well as they got along, Fen just wasn't any good in history and she had chosen music over chemistry.
There were a few raised eyebrows thrown her way, but Jinora and Kai had decided it would probably be best to act normal, at least not to throw any fuel on the fire.
Right now, it was the first break that Jinora was dreading. She went down to the cantina, slightly comforted by the knowledge that it was only 20 minutes long. Soon enough, she locked eyes with her best friend, who stalked over with large paces, so Jinora knew to brace for it.
Fen didn't waste any time, and as soon as she was in range, lashed out with her flat hand. Jinora's twelve years of baguazhang training kicked in immediately, telling her to lean back and dodge the slap. "Fen!" she called out. "Calm down!"
-"I'll decide that! You lied to me! You're dating Kai and you didn't tell me!"
Jinora sighed. "Yeah, thanks, I didn't think the whole school knew yet."
-"Oh, shut up, you don't get to lecture me. I had to hear it from Jian. Jian! And she hates you!"
"No shock there." Of course she would. In terms of the biggest gossip, Fen was second only to Jian, but Jian actually had ways of finding out pretty well-hidden information. Getting this out of Ikki came practically gift-wrapped for her. She was also perpetually jealous of Jinora, and Jian typically came in second.
Fen was properly pissed. "I am supposed to be your best friend, and not only did you not tell me, you flat-out lied to me when I correctly guessed what was really going on and I then had to find out from someone else."
"I didn't tell anyone, not even my parents. Ikki found out yesterday, that's why you know now. I didn't tell you because..." Should she say this or should she keep this to herself? Not lying again was the better option in principle, but also the ruder one in this case. "Because you know just as well as I do that you wouldn't be able to keep something like this a secret."
-"Oh, fuck you."
This surprised Jinora, as her friend didn't swear very often. Just not in her character. "I'm sorry that I lied to you, Fen."
-"Hmpf. Sure you are." After that, she paced off, and it was clear to Jinora that this conversation was over, at least for now. From the corner of her eye, she spotted Kai, nudging his head over and suggesting that they go outside for a minute.
She was quick to follow him, but because he had a head start, by the time she caught up with him, he was already trying to light a cigarette. "So that went well," he said.
"You heard it?"
"Babe, the entire school could hear you two arguing. Don't worry about it too much though, Fen will come around."
Jinora wasn't convinced. "I dunno, Kai, she was pissed."
Kai just blew out a puff of smoke. "I'm not gonna lie to you, she has every reason to be. But I've seen you two, you've been friends for years. You need to give her some time to digest it, let her see why you didn't tell her."
She sighed. "Here's hoping."
-"And what about our other issue?"
"You mean meeting my parents?"
-"Yup," Kai said, popping the 'p'. "I am so fucked."
"It's not that bad," Jinora tried to comfort him, but she knew it was futile, as well as not entirely true. Chances were that it was. "We just need to prepare you. I've been thinking, and well... You might not like it."
As he looked over, a concerned expression grew on his face. "What did you have in mind?"
"You need to dress up."
Kai immediately groaned and put his cigarette back between his lips. "Christ, Jinora... How am I supposed to do that?"
"If you meet me at the North Point Mall later on, we'll buy you some new clothes. Shirt, jacket, that sort of thing."
-"I don't have the money for something like that," he tried to protest, even if Jinora was fully aware that he just didn't like to go shopping.
"But I do."
-"I'm not gonna let you pay for my clothes."
A slight smile played over Jinora's lips. "Hey, I spent years throwing shit at you in front of my parents, the least I can do is pay to dig you out. And heck, even if I hadn't, this is not something you asked me for, this is something I want to do for you. You're not taking advantage of me if that's what you're worried about."
Kai sighed again and took a long drag. "I am not a fan of this."
"I know you hate shopping, but if you want to make a good impression on my parents, you can't show up in an old T-shirt and pants with holes in them."
He blew out some more smoke, away from Jinora. Somehow, the smell did give her a sense of security after what just happened in the cantina. "Fine..." he groaned, knowing full-well he wasn't getting out of this.
The bell went, and Jinora stood up. "Come on," she said, holding out her hand to pull him back to his feet. "Worry about that later, and let's just focus on making sure Fen doesn't kill me during maths."
Kai chuckled and walked with her, while Jinora didn't even care about the people staring them down as they walked to their classroom hand in hand.
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