sdlghdfg i ship this okay.
I SHIP WHAT I WANT TO SHIP
and i blame that one post i saw about jinora possibly having a crush on one of the brothers, and saying "What if the love triangle was actually Jinora/Bolin/Asami or something" ldsgksdlg
Everyone's probably OOC but sdgjbdsg okay
ten & eighteen
Jinora is ten, not stupid.
For some reason, people seem to think that being ten and being stupid are synonymous, but Jinora begs to differ.
She is extremely well-read, and she can outwit a lot of the older kids that she knows. (Sometimes Korra too.) She is the quiet "good kid" of the family. At school, she's the head of her class and the best Airbender of all her father's students at home. She has a lot going for her, but because of how smart she is, Jinora doesn't always act like a typical ten-year-old girl.
But no matter how smart she is, Jinora still can't control her emotions all that well. She's a typical ten-year-old girl in that way, at least, having little girl crushes on older boys.
Jinora doesn't tell anyone about her crush.
The first time they meet, Korra brings him and his brother home for dinner. He's polite and funny. He smiles at Jinora when Korra introduces them, and he compliments her hair. For the first time since Korra started living with them, Jinora puts down her book for dinner.
She knows she'll probably grow out of it pretty soon, but the thing about him is that he's really nice and he smells nice and he treats her like a grown-up and she sort of doesn't want to grow out of it.
Ikki has no clue, thank the spirits.
If she knows, it'd be all over Air Temple Island about how her big sister likes Korra's cute Earthbending friend.
Bolin doesn't know what to say when Korra walks up to him after training one day and says, "So, Jinora's kind of got a thing for you, and," She makes a weird noise. "you better not break her fragile ten-year-old heart or I will somehow justify how kicking your butt is part of my Avatar duties."
Bolin likes to say later that he was calm and handled it really well, but in reality, it's more like this:
He chokes on the water he's drinking and coughs for five minutes. When he recovers, he looks at Korra with wide eyes. "She what?"
Korra repeats herself, rolling her eyes. Then, she flashes a little smile, "I think it's kind of cute, to be honest. I had no idea that Jinora was interested in anything other than books."
"How do you even know?" Bolin yelps, his cool and non-uptight persona slipping in his shock. "Please tell me you're making this up!"
"She seriously likes you," The brunette shrugs, lifting her hands in a 'what can you do?' manner. "And I kind of figured it out at dinner last week when she put down her book for dinner, which I haven't seen her do once, and she kept giving you these looks," Her eyebrows waggles and Korra grins widely. "I commend you; Jinora's pretty hard to get close to."
"She's ten," Bolin says, his green eyes looking up at the ceiling desperately, as if something up there can prevent him from having this conversation. "Ten."
"And you're eighteen," Korra raises an eyebrow. "Are we done stating the obvious?"
"She's not serious about this," Bolin sounds as if he's trying to convince himself. "She's gonna grow out of it."
"Yeah, I'll work on convincing her it's a hopeless crush, and you just try not to flirt with girls where she'll see you," She sends a sharp look his way. "If she gets heartbroken because you can't keep it in your pants, I'm gonna sic your brother on you."
"I'm so confused right now," Bolin admits.
Korra shrugs again, "I don't know why, but Mako can apparently get along with kids and I'm just gonna sic him on you if you break Jinora's heart."
"She's ten." Bolin repeats, as if repeating it will somehow make Jinora's crush on him go away.
One day after dinner, Korra knocks on Jinora's door. She peers into the room cautiously when she hears the quiet voice granting her permission to enter. When she sees Jinora curled up on her bed with a history book, she steps into her room.
"Hey Jinora." Korra sings, and the younger girl looks up from her book.
"Hello Korra." Jinora greets with a shy smile. "Did you need something?"
"Just wanted to talk." Korra sits down on Jinora's bed. "So you're at that age, where you might start liking guys…"
Jinora gives a small squeak and hides her face in her book. Korra notices with grim satisfaction Jinora seems much more at ease discussing Korra's love life than her own.
"And so you should know that Bolin is a nice guy, but he breaks hearts," Korra holds up a hand when Jinora meekly protests. "You're too young for him right now, Jinora, so just kind of remember that."
"Dad's sixteen years older than Mom." Jinora says weakly. "Eight years isn't that bad."
Korra laughs. "It's bad when one of you happens to be ten."
twelve & twenty
It's been two years since Korra joined the Fire Ferrets (and one since she and Mako started dating), and Jinora still hasn't been to a pro-bending match. Pema's a huge fan of the sport, and it's only after the combined efforts of Jinora and Pema's puppy-dog eyes that Tenzin allows Jinora to tag along with Korra to her next match.
She's led to a room where she can view all of the action safely. When the match begins, she takes it in with all the bright-eyed wonder of a first-time viewer.
It's sweet how the three Fire Ferrets all have each other's backs. Their movements are fluid and effortless, the products of two years spent fighting and training alongside one another. It's a close match, and Jinora's practically leaning over the edge of the railing in excitement. When the match ends in their victory, Bolin sweeps his brother and Korra into a group hug and Jinora's on her feet, shouting, "Go Ferrets!"
For a moment, she wishes that she too, could play on a pro-bending team. Unfortunately, besides her father's dislike of the sport, there are only five Airbenders in the world right now, and four of them are still children.
When Korra, Bolin, and Mako file back into the room where Jinora was left to watch, she runs up to Korra with a bright smile on her face.
"That was really fun to watch, Korra," Jinora beams up at her friend. "Do you think you can take me to the library tomorrow so I can check out a book on pro-bending?"
"I'm pretty sure Korra still has that pro-bending rulebook I gave her that she never read." Mako says and it's a very subtle smirk that he gives to Korra, who sticks her tongue out at him.
"Your technique was really different than the traditional forms in the books I've read," Jinora turns to Mako, "But you were really great too, Mako!"
Mako accepts her compliment with an odd nod, and Korra grins at Jinora. "How do you think Bolin did?"
"He's got amazing focus." Jinora says after a moment's silence. "Especially with all the girls screaming love confessions at him."
Korra doesn't think that Jinora can be more obvious unless she goes up to Bolin and shouts out a love confession herself. Luckily, the implications of Jinora's jealousy flies over the heads of the two brothers, and Korra exchanges a look with the younger girl.
But it's a friendly, happy time with easy conversation and Jinora's curious questions until a dark-haired, giggly girl runs in through the door and launches herself at Bolin.
"Bobo, you were sooooo cool out there!" Giggly squeals as she keeps a death grip on Bolin's arms. "You were totally awesome!"
Bolin says something back but neither Korra nor Jinora hears his response because all of a sudden, Jinora finds the floor very interesting. She's toeing patterns into the ground with her shoe and her hands are clasped tightly together in front of her.
Korra's worried about her. Though Jinora's not normally a very talkative person, she'd been bursting with questions just five minutes ago. Now, she was even more quiet than she usually was. "Jinora, are you okay?"
"I'd like to go home now." Jinora says softly, avoiding looking at Bolin and Giggly. "Um, Korra, I know you usually go out for dinner or drinks or something after your matches, but can you just walk me to the harbor or something? I can use my glider from there."
Mako gives her a sympathetic glance; no doubt that Korra has probably told him about her crush on his brother. "Actually, I think your father asked Korra to take you home or something…"
"What?" Korra's eyes widen. "No he—" At the look at Mako shoots her, she nods vigorously. "Yeah, he did. He totally did. C'mon Jinora, I'll waterbend us back."
"I prefer the ferry, actually." Mako says with a wry smile. "But it's closed for the night so yeah, waterbending."
Jinora holds up her hands. "It's okay. I think I'll make it home okay."
"Are you sure?" Korra asks, but at Jinora's nod, she sighs. "C'mon then; Mako and I'll walk you to the harbor then."
They shout something out to Bolin, who responds vaguely before Giggly's shrill voice permeates the air again.
On the way to the harbor, Jinora is silent, even for her. Korra and Mako attempt to make conversation with her, but her responses are limited to physical movements and monosyllables.
Finally, Korra can't take it anymore. "Jinora, I don't want to say this about Bolin, but you're really too good for him anyway." She shoots an apologetic glance at Mako, who shrugs indifferently. He loves his brother, but even he can admit that Bolin's not exactly picky when it comes to girls.
"I'm twelve," Jinora says when they reach the harbor. "I'm not his age, and I'm not on his radar. I didn't have a chance anyway." She turns to both of them and bows deeply. "Thanks for walking me here."
Her glider opens with a smooth movement and then she's gone, manipulating the air currents around her subtly to fly home.
She refuses to let Bolin ruin her first pro-bending match for her. Jinora knows in her head that it was always a useless crush anyway, but her heart doesn't know that. It hurts, but again, she tells herself that she's twelve and Bolin is twenty and really, why did she think she had a chance anyway?
That night, she slips into bed with her excitement from earlier.
A few minutes later, Korra tiptoes into her room and sits on the edge of her bed. "Did you enjoy the match though?"
"Mm-hm, it was fantastic," Jinora says sleepily. "Thank you for taking me, Korra."
Korra chuckles, and she smoothes a stray curl of Jinora's hair from her eyes. Without the daylight illuminating her features and her hair falling in smooth waves across her pillows without her usual bun, Jinora looks much younger than she really is. Korra's own heart aches for her, this young Airbender that is experiencing her first love and finding that it's so much harder than her books say it is.
fourteen & twenty-two
Bolin has got to admit that he didn't think that Jinora would like him this long. It's been four years and though he honestly didn't believe Korra for the first three years, he can see it now.
There's the way that Jinora really does talk to him a lot more than she talks to anyone else. Then there's the way that Jinora always attends their pro-bending matches and only theirs, but that's probably just because Tenzin only lets her watch theirs. But there's also the way that she'll be doing her airbending training and she'll screw up completely when Bolin walks by.
He has to admit that it's kind of cute, but then he has to admit that it's still a little bit weird. She's fourteen, he's twenty-two, and she's had this crush for four years. He's got to stop it somehow.
But then she's slammed onto the floor on the opposite side of the giant, spinny wooden thingies that she entered, and he runs around them to kneel on the ground next to her, automatically worried for her well-being. Jinora's pretty tiny for fourteen, and it looks like she really took a beating.
"Are you okay?" He asks sheepishly. "I didn't mean to startle you like that."
"Don't worry about it; I'm fine." Jinora's rubbing her shoulder with a tattooed hand, but she smiles up at him. It's completely different from the smiles of the girls he dates. It's a pure, happy smile and not a plastered smile or a awestruck smile. "I think Korra's probably at the gazebo."
Bolin blinks at her. "What?"
"Korra." Jinora's eyebrows wrinkle in confusion as she stares at him with her doe-like brown eyes. "You were looking for her, right?"
Bolin startles, because…oh, he was, wasn't he? "Uh, yeah. We were going to plan something for Mako's birthday."
"Dad wants Korra to meditate more, but since you can't airbend, it'll probably take a while to reach the gazebo," Jinora shrugs. "So I'm sure it'll be fine if you go now."
"…Thanks Jinora." Bolin stands up, then looks back down at her. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah," Jinora stands too and smoothes her clothes down. She readies herself to airbend the slowing wooden panels faster, but pauses. "It's a long walk Bolin; you might want to get started."
"Right." Bolin nods sheepishly. He takes tentative steps away and looks back at Jinora one more time. "I'll just…go."
With that, he shoves his hands in his pockets and practically runs towards the stairs. He feels the smooth gust of air drift across his hair, and he turns around briefly to see Jinora make a series of precise movements with her hands to create a powerful blast of air that sends the panels spinning faster.
Jinora darts into the maze of panels. Even though she's fast, she doesn't bump into any of them this time. Bolin can see the graceful movements that she makes, making adjustments to her movements with the panels. It's the first time he's ever seen her do this.
He has to tell her that it's never going to work out between them because she's so much younger and he's not into little girls anyway and besides, she's still in school and Bolin is not, so that definitely makes it a bit icky.
But then he remembers The Smile.
The sweet smile that says nothing but how happy she was that Bolin was there. It's not the smile he's seen a hundred times on a hundred different girls. It's not full of double-meanings, and it's not fake, plastered on because he's famous.
He doesn't want that smile to slip.
On the way to the gazebo, Bolin berates himself mentally and swears that the next time he sees Jinora, he's going to clear things up, The Smile be damned.
(The next time he sees Jinora, she's shyly wishing the three of them luck before their match, and dangit, there's The Smile.)
sixteen & twenty-four
Jinora's out on her first date, and why is Bolin in the dining area of the Air Temple with Korra and Mako waiting up for her?
Bolin knows that Mako doesn't really care either way if he's here or not. He's working out some new strategies for their next pro-bending match, and he and Korra are in spirited debate over it. (Well, as spirited as his brother can get, anyway.)
Korra's here because…well, she lives here. She's long mastered Airbending, though she's declined to take the Airbending tattoos like Jinora did.
"Why am I here again?" Bolin questions out loud.
Korra shoots him a look. "So you guys can help me grill Jinora about her first date."
"Shouldn't she have some…privacy about that?" Bolin asks.
"Why don't you want to hear about it?" Korra's grin reminds Bolin of a lion-shark's. "Jealous, maybe?"
"She's sixteen." This feels way too familiar.
"So?" Korra counters. "Jinora's pretty, and she's not a little kid anymore!"
"Sixteen." Bolin makes an indiscernible noise, "She's practically a kid! You just want to make me a cradle-robber."
Mako finally speaks, and it is just like him to take Korra's side. "If memory serves, you chased after that university student when you were sixteen, citing that age was just a number."
Bolin's forehead meets the surface of the dining table as Korra's triumphant 'Aha!' bursts into the air. "You would take her side."
"I'm not taking sides," Mako says even as Korra tackles him in a hug. "I'm just—Korra, get off, you're heavy—pointing out your hypocrisy."
"You are no longer my brother." Bolin's voice is muffled. "Leave my presence, not-brother."
"I love you too." Mako deadpans as he untangles himself from Korra and returns to his strategies.
Bolin isn't jealous. Jinora can date whomever she wants. In fact, it's about time too. Her crush on him has dragged on for way too long. Bolin can finally date again without worrying that he's hurting Jinora's feelings, because even if he didn't like her that way, he still likes her, and it's really rude to hurt a little girl's feelings.
Still, it's weird.
He's watched Jinora grow up from a little ten-year old girl to a sixteen-year-old girl that…isn't so little anymore. He doesn't know what he feels towards her. For the six years he's known her, he's known that she had a crush on him for almost the entire time. It's hard to think of her as a little sister when he knows that she's never thought of him as a brother. If Bolin had to put a label on their relationship, he'd just put friends.
It's complicated, but he feels like it works. Jinora gives him shy smiles and cheers during their matches from her usual spot. She plays air scooters with Korra and does hand-to-hand combat with Mako. She fits so seamlessly into their lives that he can't really imagine the addition of some snot-nosed boy (he remembers himself at sixteen; he's sure that this kid is a snot-nosed brat), or the loss of Jinora.
Ikki pops in, and even at thirteen, she's still as energetic as she was when she was seven. "Hey guys! I think that Jinora's back from her date." She's giggling. "Hiro's really cute. Do you think that Jinora's dating him? They look really good together don't you think? They're both so tall and quiet. Did I tell you how he asked her out?" Does she ever take a breath? "I was there because Jinora was in the classroom helping me with my history homework and then he showed up and then he was really red for a couple of minutes but then he finally asked Jinora out and ahhhhhhhhh they're so cute! She was really red when she said yes and did you guys know that he's a waterbender? He's really good too. That's how he asked her, actually, he just pulled water from the air and made it a message! Actually, he might not be quiet, I think he might be mute…"
The only reason she stops talking is because Jinora opens the door and walks in, pulling off her boots as she does so. It's one of the rare times that Jinora's not in her traditional Airbender garb. Her hair's not in the ponytail she donned after her hair grew too long to stay in a bun, and it's loose around her shoulders. But that's not what shocks Bolin.
What shocks Bolin is that she's wearing a jacket over her green turtleneck when she didn't leave with one.
"Nice jacket," He tosses out before he can stop himself. "Did Hiro give that to you?"
"It was cold on the ferry," Jinora gives him a confused look. "I'm supposed to give it back when I see him at school tomorrow."
"Where did he take you? Did you guys take a walk?" Ikki is bombarding her sister with questions. "Did he treat you to lunch? Did you have fun? What did you guys do?"
Korra smirks at Bolin and bends the water from her cup to form words at him rather than saying it aloud and alerting Ikki and Jinora.
Bolin scowls at her, feeling oddly irritated.
"Did you kiss?" Ikki is asking.
The blush that blooms on Jinora's face answers the question.
Korra wiggles her fingers and the words slide across the table for Bolin to see: You're jealous.
eighteen & twenty-six
Jinora's the first to admit that she expected her crush on Bolin to fade by the time she hit sixteen.
She's eighteen now, knows for sure that she's in love with him (it's not just a crush anymore), and she is jealous.
For the past year and a half, Bolin has been dating Asami Sato and Jinora knows it's petty of her, but she doesn't like Asami.
Asami is pretty. Asami is smart. Asami is rich. Asami is everything that Jinora wants to be, even though Asami isn't a bender like her. Asami is confident and good with people. She's really good at self-defense, and the worst thing is that Asami Sato is twenty-two. She's four years older than Jinora and four years younger than Bolin. Jinora notices bitterly that Bolin seems to have no trouble with that age difference.
Asami is likeable. Despite all of the qualities that make her so easy to hate, Jinora just can't hate her. She doesn't like her, true, but that stems more from the fact that Bolin is dating her than anything else. Before they started dating, Jinora had liked her relatively well.
But then one day, Asami breaks up with Bolin because she's going to attend the University of Ba Sing Se for her graduate studies, and she doesn't want a long-distance relationship.
Jinora doesn't know what to feel.
On one hand, Asami's gone. But does that really give her more of a chance with Bolin? She knows by now that he knows that she likes him. He still cites her age like it's an impenetrable wall between the two of them. Jinora wants to feel like she has a chance now that Asami's gone, but she doesn't. Even if Bolin accepts her affections, she'd be nothing more than the second-choice during his sadness.
On the other hand, Asami's gone. Which means that Bolin is not happy. Bolin, who is always cheerful and funny and boisterous and social, is not any of that right now. Jinora doesn't like it when Bolin doesn't say anything because she knows for sure that it means that he's not happy.
Call Jinora cheesy or insipid or whatever; she doesn't like it when Bolin's sad.
So when Bolin kisses her for the first time in his rooms above the pro-bending arena, days after Asami leaves for the Earth Kingdom, she shoves him away. The bewildered look in his eyes make her want to pull him towards her so she can hug him, but the bitter stench of the wine bottle in his hands remind her why she pushed him away in the first place.
"Jinora?" His voice isn't slurred; he's only just begun drinking, but she knows that she doesn't want to be the rebound girl, the one that he finally picked because his first choice left him.
"You're drunk," Jinora says curtly, turning away to fetch Mako from the training room.
When she reaches the door, he speaks again, "I love you, you know." His voice is hesitant, pleading. "Don't go."
Jinora's silent, her hand on the doorknob and her eyes blinking away tears. It's the sentence she always wanted, but not like this. She's in love with him, but she has enough pride to know that she doesn't want his love like this. There's only one thing that she can say; she can't take advantage of Bolin like this, though the words echo in her mind. "I'm not Asami."
With that, she leaves to get Mako, resolving to stay in the training room with Korra until they can go home. As she walks away, she thinks she can hear Bolin berate himself on the other side of the door.
"Eighteen, she's eighteen!"
It sounds like a curse.
nineteen & twenty-seven
A year after that kiss, Bolin still doesn't know what to do.
Can it be that he was wrong about Jinora still liking him at the time? She recoiled, with a horrified look on her face. Normally when a girl does that, it's not a good sign. But it could have been that she thought it was a drunken thing? Maybe it was the 'Asami just left three days prior' thing.
Whatever it is, Bolin doesn't know what to do.
When he asks Mako about it, his brother just gives him a look like, 'Are you stupid?' It's like Mako thinks the answer is obvious and maybe it is, but Bolin doesn't want to screw this up.
He doesn't know how but sometime in the last nine years, he actually started thinking about Jinora in that way. The way he swore he never would from the very moment Korra brought it up. He used to think that it was cute, but then it became 'Oh no, what if I'm really hurting her by letting her think I would date her even though she's seventeen and I'm twenty-five?'
Now, it's 'I love her but she maybe doesn't love me anymore'.
Bolin's had to deal with the knowledge that Jinora did think of him in a romantic fashion for nine years. He's always been secure in the knowledge, though he may not have returned the feelings. But now, he doesn't know what to think. It's like his world has turned on its axis because Jinora might not love him anymore.
He feels like a little primary school kid. Bolin's never really had much trouble with women. He knows he's charming and funny. His confidence often gets him dates, but with Jinora, it's an entirely different thing.
He's never felt like this before, and he wonders briefly if this is the way that Jinora's felt for years and years on end. Really, he commends her if it is; he hasn't been able to handle this for three months and she's been like this for years.
Whenever he asks Korra about it, Korra's answer is always the same, "Just go ask her out. Or kiss her."
Korra and Mako have been married for almost three years now, and they're not exactly the most romantic couple. Sure, the two of them used to go on dates, but they weren't really romantic dates, by Bolin's standards. He's convinced that the way they confessed to each other went something like this:
"So, I love you."
"Okay. I love you too."
From what Korra and Mako have told him, Bolin's pretty sure that he's not that far off the mark. In fact, he's also convinced that Mako's proposal went something like that too:
"We've been dating for four years. You want to get married."
"Sure. Did you buy a ring?"
"We can go pick them out tomorrow."
When he mentioned that theory, he gets a lot of awkward looks from both Mako and Korra, and Korra insists that it didn't happen that way at all, which leads Bolin to a different theory: Korra was the one who proposed.
When he mentioned that one, both of them own up to it, and Bolin wants to hit his head against something because it's not that he has something against the girl making the move, but because it really doesn't help him.
The two of them aren't very helpful, which is why, he muses, he's probably here right now.
By here, he means sitting at the dock on Air Temple Island with Ikki and Meelo. Jinora's meditating right now, and he's trying to consult her two of her three younger siblings about this. He would worry about their loud mouths, but he's got more than enough blackmail to balance it out.
Ikki's sixteen, but she knows more about her sister's romantic preferences more than anyone else. In the past years, she's calmed down a little bit. She's speaking at a slower pace, anyway.
"Jinora does still like you." Ikki says thoughtfully. "But if you think about it, she doesn't really have any idea if you like her back or not." At Bolin's indignant look, Ikki laughs. "I mean, obviously you do, but for years, you were like—" She attempts to lower her voice. "—'She's ten.' This is my man voice, by the way. 'She's twelve. She's fifteen. She's sixteen. She's eighteen.' Like blahblahblahblahblah. You've put up this wall of ages between you and Jinora!"
"Eight years is a pretty big difference, okay," Bolin knows that it's not convincing at all.
"My dad is sixteen years older than my mom." Ikki knows it too. "And sure, Grandpa was two years younger than Gran Gran, but if you want to get technical about it, he was actually ninety something years older."
Meelo butts in, as fourteen-year-old boys are wont to do. "Your excuses are lame. You've been using them since I was five." He kicks at the water with his feet.
Bolin shoots a sharp look at him. "Well unless you want to think that I've been in love with Jinora since she was ten and I was eighteen, then okay." Meelo looks grossed-out, which Bolin can relate to, so he tries comforting him. "Hey, it was gross to me the first seven years too."
"Jinora's too good for you." Meelo grumbles underneath his breath, though Bolin can hear him still. "You blackmailing Earthbender that blackmails and stuff." He squeals when Ikki whacks him on the back of his head, glaring at Bolin. "Jinora's nice and even though she's quiet, she's super cool. You're not cool enough for her."
Bolin's smiling quietly at the water. "I know."
Meelo doesn't know what to say to this, so he just scowls at Bolin and crosses his arms over his chest. Ikki, on the other hand, is amused that Meelo isn't doing something like shoving Bolin into the water. By not doing that, Ikki can tell that even Meelo knows how much Jinora cares for him.
The three of them sit there in amiable silence until Ikki breaks it (as usual) with suggestions on how Bolin can confess to her sister. It drags on and on and Bolin laughs at some of the more outlandish ones while Meelo rolls his eyes.
It's a week later when Ikki's babysitting Mako and Korra's kids (she would have twins, if just to have more than one kid at one time so she wouldn't have to go through pregnancy again. Korra says it doesn't work that way though) that Meelo feels the need to inform Bolin that he told Jinora that Bolin is really, legitimately and truly in love with her because he was "tired of you drooling after my sister all the time, so just man up and make a move already."
Bolin, of course, rushes over to Air Temple Island and hopes the entire time that Meelo didn't really do it. Of course, when he sees Jinora, he trips over his words until finally, a coherent sentence forms, "Did you speak to Meelo recently?"
"Yes, he told me something very interesting," Jinora begins with a thoughtful tone.
"So he really did tell you that I'm in love with you?" Bolin interrupts her with wide eyes. On the inside, he's thinking, 'Shoot, he really did it.'
"You're what?" Elation, surprise, and disbelief flash across Jinora's face. "Meelo didn't tell me that!"
"He didn't?" Bolin's heart sinks, because even if Meelo didn't, he just did.
Jinora is spluttering words now. "He was telling me about how Ikki's got a boyfriend!" But then she smiles shyly. "You're in love with me?"
Bolin can't deny it, especially since he just admitted it himself. Besides, Jinora looks so happy right now, that he wouldn't take it back anyway. "Yeah."
"I'm in love with you too." Jinora's fiddling with her fingers, looking anywhere but at Bolin.
Before either of them can comprehend it, Bolin's closed the distance between them and kissed her. For Bolin, it's three years worth of feelings, even if he only did accept it months earlier. For Jinora, it's almost half her lifetime of being in love with the Earthbender that wouldn't even think about it.
When they break apart, Jinora's blinking up at him with her large brown eyes and a little smile. "What happened to 'eight years?'"
"It paled in comparison to the ninety-something years between your grandparents." Bolin answered with a little smile of his own.