disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Joey and B. uh. again. also to all the people who seem to think I'm funny?
notes: I'm sorry, fandom. I am so, so sorry. six year difference here, because we don't actually know how old Bolin is.

title: cradle robbing
summary: This was not his fault. — Bolin/Jinora.






"Do you think she's asked him to marry her, yet?"

Bolin looked up from where he was sitting, utterly bemused. Jinora's nose was buried in a book with a title in a language he didn't know, and he wouldn't have known she was addressing him at all save for the fact that there was no one else in the room.


"Korra. Do you think Korra's asked Mako to marry her, yet?"

If Bolin had been drinking anything, he would have choked and probably died. As it was, his jaw hit the floor and he stared at the gawky fifteen-year-old.

It was near the end of summer, late enough in the day that the lamps along the streets lit up merry-cherry red, and so, so hot. The fall monsoons hadn't drenched the city of its heat. The air crackled with electricity and humidity.

This meant that everyone with two brains cells to rub against each other had shed layers of clothing.

"Wait—why would—what are you wearing?"

"Because they're in love, duh. I should have to tell you of all people about love, seriously. And what does it look like? They're called clothes," she said. If she hadn't been so deeply absorbed in her book, Bolin knew she'd be rolling her eyes.

Despite everything, Jinora was still a teenager.

A very annoying teenager, at that.

(He had never been that annoying. Impossible. Bolin studiously ignored the fact that there were seven restaurants in town that still refused to serve him even a near decade after the fact.)

Who in their right minds would call those scraps of fabric clothes?

She flopped down on the couch next to him, draped her bare legs across him, and promptly stopped paying attention to the world outside of her book.

Bolin went stock still.

Spirits help him, this was going to—

"You never answered me."

"What was the question?" Bolin managed. He tried to inch away from her. Jinora did not seem to be at all mindful of his not-escape. In fact, she seemed completely oblivious.

This did not help him at all.

Jinora set her book down on knobbly knees (this was a feat—had this been any other time, Bolin would have been congratulating himself), and eyed him suspiciously. She enunciated slowly, clearly, like she was talking to a five-year-old. "Do you. Think that. Korra. Will ask. Mako. To. Marry. Her?"

Bolin took offense to the tone. He was twenty-one. He would not take that kind of sass from a fifteen-year-old.

(Except that, yeah, he totally would.)

He shrugged. "Knowing Korra? Yeah."

Jinora nodded probably more to herself than to him, picked her book back up, and re-immersed herself in the words.

Bolin went back to trying to extricate himself from this predicament.

It was not going well.

"Jinora. Off."

"I'm reading," was all she said, as if that closed the matter.

This really could not get worse.

Until it did go worse.

(Bolin should have expected that.)

The door slammed open, and Korra and Mako blew in with a rush of cold, damp wind. They were both dripping wet.

"Rain's started," Korra said with her eyes scrunched closed. Steam hissed while she Firebent the water away from her skin, but Bolin found himself staring at his older brother and oh dear Spirits, why was this happening.

Mako was actually smirking.

This was Very Very Bad.

"Jinora," he said. "Off."

"Shush. Reading."

Korra looked up. Bolin prayed she was feeling merciful.

"And just what do you two think you're doing?"

Apparently not. Bolin tried to think something up—he was supposed to be good at thinking on his feet—ass—

Thankfully, Jinora got there first.

"Airbending," she said lightly, eyes guileless as she blinked innocuously up at Korra. "It was too hot, and it was easier to just cool this part of the room down. I'm trying to read, see?"

Bolin could tell that Korra didn't buy it for a second. She crossed her arms over her chest, and glared at. He shot out from underneath Jinora's legs, trying to make it look less awkward than it was. He didn't know where to put his hands so he stuffed them in his pockets.

"I'm just—gonna go for a walk," Bolin said and tried very hard to ignore the glowering Avatar. "This wasn't my fault!"

Mako just shook his head. "You're in for it when Jinora goes to bed."

Bolin groaned and slammed the door behind him on his way out.