Here I am, contributing to the Jinoochy section of the site, which until last week was a ship I didn't even like. Written at about 2-3 AM last night. Dedicated to Kate, .com, for getting me to ship them in the first place and for our long conversation right now. Barking spiders.
It was always so easy in her books. Jinora had read more books than she could count over the course of her thirteen years—including books she never wanted her father to find out about—and was a complete sucker for romances. She devoured them as quick as she could get them, and she made weekly visits to the local book store that tended to turn into thrice-a-week visits instead. She thought she had it all figured out.
So why was it so hard in real life?
She saw Skoochy nearly every time she went to the Wang Shi Tong bookstore. She even tried to time her trips to see him, and he always looked at her and smiled, sometimes waved.
They had never talked, of course. And though neither knew it, that was about to change.
"Hey, Skooch," another boy, Shim, said, elbowing Skoochy in the ribs. "Why don't ya go talk t'her?"
"Dunno what you're talkin' about."
Shim rolled his eyes. "C'mon, Skooch, I see ya lookin' at her all the time! An' she looks a' you, too."
"Dunno what you're talkin' about," Skoochy repeated, kicking up a bit of dust with his dirty bare feet. Shim summoned a few of the other boys over and they shoved the unsuspecting Skoochy out into Jinora's path just as she was walking by, clutching the books she had borrowed.
When Skoochy picked himself up off the ground, dusting himself off and yelling a curse in the direction of the boys, he looked at Jinora and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. Jinora stood frozen, shell-shocked, her brown eyes wide and following Skoochy's motions.
"My Skoochy name is hi," Skoochy tried.
Jinora blinked and smiled, trying not to giggle at his statement. "Hi," she said. "I'm Jinora." On second thought she stuck her hand out and he took it, shaking it gently.
"Do…do you want to come into the store with me?" She gestured in the vague direction of the bookstore and began walking towards it.
He stood there a moment, then ran to catch up. "So you like to read, huh?"
Jinora's eyes lit up. "It's the best thing in the world! I love getting lost in other worlds, getting away from my own life and getting lost in the history of time…" She trailed off happily. "My favorite, though, is my Grandpa Aang's journals."
Skoochy's eyes bugged out of his head. "Your grandpa's the Avatar?"
"Then you're one of the Airbenders on Air Temple Island!"
"That's me," she replied. By this point they reached the tiny shop and Skoochy decided to hold the door open for her, jokingly saying "After you, m'lady."
"Why, thank you sir," she joked back, and then the two dissolved into silent giggles.
"Jinora!" the shopkeeper, Tym, greeted her. "Back already? But you were just here yesterday."
"Oh, I couldn't put it down!"
"Who's your friend?"
"Oh, this is—" She turned and found a distinct lack of Skoochy where he had been just a moment before. "Skoochy?" She spotted his hat poking out from behind a stack and went to get him. "What'cha doing back there?" It was then she noticed what was in his hand: a scroll entitled Earthbending Forms.
"You're an Earthbender," she stated.
"Yeah. I just…I don't know a lot an' I'm not very good," he said, cheeks slightly red. She grinned and looked the scroll over, cocking her head to the side.
"If you want, you could come visit Air Temple Island sometime," she offered. "I mean, Korra's a pretty good Earthbender, and Bolin, and Lin but I don't think she'd like teaching."
Skoochy looked at her in awe. "Really? I mean, no, I couldn't."
"Sure you can! Just be prepared to be attacked with squeals, peppiness and the overwhelming force that is my little sister."
She led him out of the shop, leaving without even taking a new book.