Category: Legend of Korra
Author: Mrs Pettyfer
Title: Brightest in the Dark
Pairing(s): Bolin/Jinora, Mako/Korra
A/N: Howdy, guys! So I've been wanting to write a story centered around Bolin and Jinora. Don't worry, I'm aware of the age difference, which is why the story will focus on both of them throughout the years. It's only a drabble series, so each chapter will be sort of short, told through Jinora's POV. Originally it was going to be a super long one shot, but I decided to break it down this way instead. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The LoK world and characters belong to Mike Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, not me.
01 - The Cave
Jinora sat in the shade of one of the willow trees, trying to ignore the sounds of her sister and brother playing in the temple gardens. She was almost finished with her book, one of her favorites that never got old. She could hardly put it down, even though she knew how it would end. Her mom had long gotten over Jinora's habit for reading at the table—as long as there were no guests—and her dad was constantly making trips to the library.
"Finished already?" Tenzin would say. "You know if you put twice as much time into your studies as you do your stories…."
Stories. They were more than just stories! And besides, she considered herself very studious, passing all her classes with more than acceptable marks. Unlike her brother and sister, who had the attention span of a spider-fly. She enjoyed reading about theories, plants, animals and history alike. But it was the world of fiction that she longed for, of adventure and treasure; of princesses locked in towers waiting for a prince to rescue them, and dragons battling in the skies against heartless, evil villains who wanted to take over the world. And the romance—oh, how Jinora loved the romance.
She had read countless books, but one of her favorites was actually a collection of stories, true adventures written by Gran Gran and her friends. Jinora often wondered exactly how tall a platypus bear stood, and what it was like to meet a prince, and did pirates really exist? But she had never seen a platypus bear. She had never met a prince, and she certainly had never seen any pirates.
Jinora had never been anywhere but on the island, Republic City, and the South Pole. They didn't visit the South Pole enough and her dad barely let her go into the city, saying it was much safer on the island.
She looked up from her book and saw about a half dozen White Lotus guards patrolling the gardens. Ikki and Meelo didn't seem to notice, too busy roller racing around the trees. Ever since Korra arrived, security had increased drastically. Even more so with the latest news: Hiroshi Sato was working for Amon.
Jinora did not know much about Mr. Sato, only that he had lots of money and made vehicles. She also didn't know too much about what was going on the city until recently. For the longest time her dad kept most of the details quiet, but Korra was not one to keep secrets.
Korra's friends were staying here now. Asami Sato, the pretty girl who liked the boy Korra liked—Mako—and his younger brother, Bolin. Jinora remembered the first time she saw Mako she thought he looked like one of the heroes from her novels. Tall and handsome, the kind of face that makes you a little embarrassed to be caught looking too long. Bolin was not as tall, and not as handsome, but he had warmth and charisma, and the more Jinora was around him the cuter she thought he was. You know, for an older boy.
"What are you reading?" he would ask, whenever he found her off in a corner absorbed in a book. He did so now. Jinora wondered if he was really interested or just lonely and bored when his friends were busy.
"The Cave of Two Lovers," said Jinora, without looking up at him.
"It's a romantic classic."
He paused a moment and then said, "Wait, didn't you read that last week?"
"Didn't you probend last week?" she said, peeking up at him from the top of her pages. He stood in a patch of sunlight, shadowing her entirely. She couldn't quite make out his face, but when he spoke again he sounded baffled.
"That's not…that's different."
"Not really." She went back to her book.
Bolin plopped down on the ground next to her. "The Cave of Two Lovers," he repeated thoughtfully, rubbing his chin. "Never heard of it."
"Then you must not have a strong taste for classic literature," she said,
"Probably not," he said sheepishly. He rarely sounded embarrassed, but he did now. "We didn't really…have books."
Jinora immediately felt guilty and a warm heat brushed across her cheeks. Korra had told her family that Mako and Bolin's parents died when they were young. How could she have been so thoughtless?
"I'm sorry," she said quietly, racked with guilt. "I didn't mean—"
"No, it's okay," he cut in. She felt even worse because he sounded like he was trying to sooth her. "So what's with this cave, anyway?" he said, tapping the book in her hands.
This cave. It wasn't just a cave! Jinora shook her head. "Well, it started with Oma and Shu, the first two Earthbenders…"
"Oh!" he said excitedly, "this is going to be good—I know it."
Jinora ignored him. "They were from two separate villages—"
"They fall in love, don't they?" Bolin interrupted. "Or maybe they become sworn enemies. What villages are they from? Do they still exist? Can—"
"Would you like to read the story yourself?" Jinora cut in, annoyed.
"No, no," said Bolin. He scooted closer to her and pretended to zip his mouth. "You tell it," he whispered. "I'll just listen."
And he did. It was the first time in a long time that Jinora had told someone one of their stories and they had not only listened, but seemed to enjoy it almost as much as she did.