dedication: Nathalie. let me just pet your face.
notes: I don't know I just like Bolin having freakouts over what Jinora's wearing what do you want from me.
title: more heart than brains
summary: A heat wave takes Republic City. Oh dear. — Bolin/Jinora.
It had been mild in Republic City so far that summer. Suspiciously mild. The days had been all clear-blue skies and bright, clean warmth that fizzled and popped with sea salt on the breeze. The general populous hadn't been hesitant in embracing it—maybe, they said, maybe this year it'll be different! Maybe this year, we—
And then the heat wave hit.
Sticky, sweaty, muggy, too warm, too close—Jinora had plenty of words to describe the dripping-candle heat that sunk into everything, stuck her hair to the back of her neck, and made breathing impossible.
With the air like this, Jinora was out of her element.
With the air like this, it was all she could do not to flop around on the cool stone just beyond the dock and try not to melt.
She sighed, dropped her book over her face, and grumbled into the pages.
Ikki seemed to think that this was not a good pastime, and was bouncing around screeching about Spirits-knew-what. Jinora didn't understand how three years could separate a gulf of energy so vast—Ikki was fourteen and the world was still new enough to her that things like heat weren't really registered.
Or maybe Ikki was just insane. Jinora could accept that explanation, too.
"Korra! Korra! You won't believe what happened—!"
She slid the book off her eyes and sat up, blinking fast against the glare of the sun off the water. Korra was dragging Mako behind her, and Bolin followed behind them, hands tucked behind his head. Ikki was jabbering loudly at them already (like that was anything new), and Jinora bit her lip to keep from laughing at the looks on their faces.
It was too hot for laughter, even.
Jinora didn't even try to stand up. She waved lazily and flopped backward, intent on lazing the rest of the day away with her nose literally in a book.
And she would have, too, if the sound of someone choking hadn't caught her attention.
Bolin was foaming at the mouth.
That couldn't be good.
Korra held still for a moment, looking back and forth between them before turning slowly to smirk at Bolin with an eyebrow quirked. He made a choking sound, jabbed his finger in Jinora's direction, and foamed some more.
Jinora was very confused.
"Uh, Korra? Is everything… okay?"
Korra nodded sagely. "Give him a minute. He's just adjusting."
Jinora tilted her head. Sweat dripped down her spine and pooled in the dimple at the base of her spine. "To what?"
"Just give him a minute," Korra said again, and Mako pinched the bridge of his nose. They both watched Bolin very carefully, waiting for him to blow as he got redder and redder in the face.
And, quite predictably, he did.
"WHAT. YOU—KORRA!" and he stared at the Avatar with all the gob-smacked green-eyed stupor he could manage. "SHE—WHAT IS—NO."
Korra grinned widely. Mako grumbled under his breath something like you are a cruel, cruel woman.
Jinora had the distinct feeling that everyone was laughing at her. "What are you—"
Bolin took one look at her, made another choking sound, and pointedly looked away.
"Problem, Bo?" Korra asked, all innocence and earnest eyes.
"Nope! Nope, I'm good! Totally good!" he squeaked.
Jinora very slowly started to inch backward. This was not looking good.
Bolin lasted all of another two minutes.
Then he was stripping his shirt off, stomping towards her to wrap the scratchy fabric around her shoulders and scooping her up and trying to keep her covered all at once and Jinora didn't really understand what was going on.
"What are you doing," she said, voice dry like the desert. "It's too hot for this."
(She fought the blush valiantly. This was not happening, this was not happening, this was not happening—)
"Just—just—Jinora, just—your clothes, what if someone sees—" he said, voice bordering on homicidal.
"Find me some shade," she said. "It's too hot."
Bolin nodded resolutely, and carried her away from the dock.