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kaberett ([personal profile] kaberett) wrote in [community profile] white_lotus2011-12-14 01:32 am

fic: the mother of invention

Title: the mother of invention
Rating: not sure?
Characters/Ships: Katara, Kanna, Mai, Toph, Smellerbee, Suki, Sokka, minor Suki/Sokka
Content Notes: none
Wordcount: I say 505, AO3 says 481.
Summary: A proposed solution to another of life's great mysteries, namely, how one deals with menstruation when one spends one's life on a flying bison. And other stories.
Notes: the mother of invention on AO3. In my personal canon, Mai has a chronic gynaecological condition.

"Now, Katara," says Gram-Gram, briskly, "it won't be long before you start your monthlies. The Moon pulls at the tides, and she pulls at us too, and the upshot is that – sooner or later – you'll begin bleeding. Usually I talk about mosses, but for you... well, when I was a girl we always envied the water-benders. I'll try to tell you what I remember of the technique."

Later, Katara finds she's spending most of her time half a mile up on the back of a bison. She often has cause to reflect gratefully on that conversation.

Mai grits her teeth and repeats the form past the burning ache in her belly. Her blade hits the target; she's baffled, briefly, by the simultaneous starburst spike of pain in her hip; and then she slips into a defensive stance, low to the ground, second nature. Balance is imperative: in your steel and in your self. Show no weakness. Show no fear. Don't let anyone notice. Don't let Azula notice. She wonders, dimly and darkly, whether this is what the fire-benders mean when they wax poetic on the physical warmth of perfect control. She rather suspects that it isn't.

"Katara," whispers Toph, in the depths of the night, when the boys – she can feel – are asleep. She waits. She listens. She sighs. She crooks her finger – just so – and: "Katara," she hisses, and this time she gets a reply. "I need to talk to you," she says. "About... girl stuff," and just like that Katara's in full-blown bustling mothering mode, and for once Toph doesn't mind: the irritating mind-reading routine is surprisingly welcome when she doesn't know the words and she's scared because no-one ever told her this could happen.

I know. I know it doesn't matter what other people think of me. Doesn't help much, though, does it, not right now - this ain't thoughts, it's facts - facts and betrayal. (we know all about that) My flippin body and I can't even stop it. I wouldn't mind it so much if I could choose, you know? Or even if I knew when it was going to happen. Think that's the thing I miss most about the hide-out, even. Well, that and – anyway. Wasn't always much to eat, wasn't great in the wet, but at least there wasn't this.

Three weeks after their home is finished, Suki hears a squawk and has a premonition, followed shortly by a Sokka sidling sheepishly in. "Don't tell me you've never seen used rags before," she says: "You do have a sister." "In point of fact," he replies indignantly, "I haven't. I was scared! What if you were dying! – Promise me you'll tell me if you're dying." "... Sokka," she says, "Katara must have done something." "Whatever it was, it wasn't that," he says, and she's got a horrible feeling she can hear cogs whirring.

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