Each Feather It Fell from Skin

~800 words :: Legend of Korra :: Jinora :: 4/2/12
Pretty much everyone is good about calling her Jinora. One of the perks of being the former Avatar’s grandchild, probably.

Pretty much everyone is good about calling her Jinora. One of the perks of being the former Avatar’s grandchild, probably.

People on the island come and go, but there are plenty who’ve been here as long as she’s been alive or longer. There are plenty who know. But they also know that if her dad catches them calling her anything but the name she’s chosen, there’ll be consequences.

Maybe they gossip. She doesn’t know and she doesn’t care, really. Well, maybe a little, because she’s never sure if some newcomer is staring at her because of who her dad or grandpa is or because they’re thinking that boy thinks he’s a girl or something stupid like that. It makes her a little nervous not knowing.

Anyway, she doesn’t think she’s a girl. She knows it. End of story. She doesn’t know if it really is a reincarnation thing or if it’s just how she is, but looking at it that way is what helped her dad come around, so she can roll with it.

“You were obviously female in your previous life and still have issues to work through. To prevent you from dealing with those issues would only hinder your spiritual progress,” he said, after lots of sighing and meditation. He tells her to meditate on it, too, and she’s pretty sure he hopes it’s something she’ll grow out of, but even if he’s just humoring her, she’ll take what she can get.

Mom wasn’t thrilled, either, but she’s okay with it. She’s got Meelo, anyway, so it’s not like there’s no son to carry on the family line. And maybe the next baby’ll be a boy, too.

Ikki’s the best. She loves having a big sister, and maybe it’s just ’cause they’re a little older, but it really feels like they’re closer now. Being sisters is different than being brother and sister. Especially when the so-called brother is secretly seething with jealousy and all jumbled up inside. Being happy kind of makes a big difference.

Basically everyone is great, really. Everyone old enough to know better, anyway. The problem is Meelo. Meelo is young enough that he doesn’t even remember her not being Jinora, at least she doesn’t think he does. But he’s also young enough that he has zero filters and just blurts out whatever he’s thinking.

So when they’re all sitting there meditating one day, her and Ikki and Meelo and Korra and Dad, and Meelo suddenly says, “Korra, guess what!” Jinora is already bracing herself for whatever might come out of his mouth.

She opens her eyes and immediately cringes, because her stupid brother is somehow wearing no pants and pointing excitedly between his legs.

“Look!” Meelo laughs. “My penis is hard!”

“Um,” Korra says, trying to look anywhere else.

Jinora’s kind of surprised Meelo hadn’t tried to show Korra before, actually, considering how obsessed he’s been with it lately. Maybe it’s a boy thing, because Jinora can’t remember ever being that excited over hers.

“Meelo,” her dad says in that way that makes everything sound like a sigh. “Put your pants back on. We are meditating right now.”

“No, we’re not!” Meelo shouts. “Korra! Do you have a penis, Korra!?”

Meelo,” Ikki and Dad say at the same time.

“Of, of course not,” Korra says. “I’m a girl.”

Jinora knows what’s coming next and she wants to scream or run or strangle Meelo or maybe all three, but she can’t move. She can barely breathe.

“Some girls have penises,” Meelo says, looking at Korra like she’s dumb. “Jin–”

Meelo!” Dad grits out. “That. is. enough!”

“–ora has a penis.”

Everyone is quiet for what feels like forever, and then Korra bursts out laughing. “Oh, Meelo,” she says, gasping for air. “You are such a funny little kid.”

And suddenly Jinora isn’t scared anymore, or embarrassed. She’s angry. Korra thinks she’s so smart because she’s the Avatar, but she doesn’t know anything.

“Actually,” Jinora says calmly, “he’s right. Some girls do have penises.”

Korra stops laughing, but she’s still smiling, still looking at them like they’re the country bumpkins. “What?”

“I can’t believe you didn’t know that.” Jinora rolls her eyes. “You must have been really sheltered down there at the South Pole.”

Korra gapes at her, then looks around at Dad and Ikki for support, but they both just nod. They’re smiling. Jinora is smiling, too. It feels good. Not taking Korra down a peg (though, okay, that felt good, too), but just saying it like it’s no big deal.

“I’m smarter than the Avatar!” Meelo crows.

Maybe he’s smarter than all of them.

“Look at me!” he shouts, whirling around on a puff of air. “Look at–” His shouts suddenly turn to wails as he loses control and smacks down hard on his naked butt.

Well, smarter about this one thing anyway. Jinora shakes her head and gets up to go comfort him. He is her stupid little brother, after all.