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storypaint ([personal profile] storypaint) wrote2015-06-27 08:45 pm

[A:TLA] one the dancer (Ty Lee/Suki)

Title: one the dancer
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Length: 821 words
Prompt: Ty Lee, meet the parents / family! for [tumblr.com profile] divineshark.
Pairing: Ty Lee/Suki
Other: Also at Tumblr.

Excerpt: Ty Lee laughed, but not happily. “I fell out of that tree so many times that Ty Ming said we should put pillows underneath,” she said, pointing out a crooked trunk that hung over the dusty road. “I’m really back.” She sighed, and then Suki saw her shoulders straighten.

“It’s going to be so much fun!” Ty Lee said, bounding ahead of Suki on the road. Suki was just hoping for a moment to rest when they arrived. She worked hard on her physical conditioning, but the closer Ty Lee came to her parents’ home, the more she seemed to rally. They’d been traveling for almost a week since the Fire Nation freighter had dropped them off here.

Ty Lee stopped abruptly and Suki looked up just in time not to run into her. Suki had been thinking, trying desperately to remember the list of names that Ty Lee had rattled off when she’d first spoken to Suki about her family. She had six sisters, nearly identical, a sweet father, an acrobatic mother. Ty Lee had chafed against life on the family farm, longing for adventure, and at fourteen, she’d left without looking back.

Perhaps going away made everything feel new, Suki mused, since Ty Lee was clearly in high spirits. Or at least, she had been until this moment. She was staring straight ahead, brow furrowed. Suki had the feeling that she wasn’t actually seeing the path, but a memory.

Ty Lee laughed, but not happily. “I fell out of that tree so many times that Ty Ming said we should put pillows underneath,” she said, pointing out a crooked trunk that hung over the dusty road. “I’m really back.” She sighed, and then Suki saw her shoulders straighten.

Suki reached out to rest her hand on the small of Ty Lee’s back. She didn’t relax into the touch, instead craning her neck around to meet Suki’s eyes.

“Are you sure you want to come?” she asked, hesitantly. “We could go see if the circus is in town instead.”

Suki smiled, trying to be reassuring. “I’d love to meet your family,” she said.

She stepped up beside Ty Lee and Ty Lee reached for her hand. They walked the rest of the way hand in hand.

They were still three li from the house when two girls bounded toward them, squealing, and they were soon followed by two more. Suki found herself separated from her girlfriend quickly as the sisters hugged and squealed their happiness. Then the two of them were being dragged into the house, with cool cups of water pressed into their hands. Suki could feel the road dust on her face and knew it coated her clothes as well, but one of Ty Lee’s sisters pressed her into a seat anyway.

“Mama, Ty Huang and Ty Fu are out in the fields, we sent Ty Yin to fetch them. Ty Lee, it’s been so long! Who’s your friend?”

Four sets of eyes regarded her with great interest. It was astonishing, the resemblance between the women, especially now that they were adults. It was clear that some of Ty Lee’s sisters must have been twins, but even the others bore an astonishing resemblance to each other, with her bright brown eyes and dark hair.

“This is Suki,” Ty Lee said, above the two sisters who were asking more questions, stumbling over each other in their eagerness. She nearly had to shout.

“She’s from the Earth Kingdom!” one of the sisters proclaimed, astonished at the color of Suki’s eyes. Suki smiled back at her.

“It’s a long story,” she said, and later, over dinner, she and Ty Lee attempted to tell it. The family had heard snatches of gossip during the war but Ty Lee and Suki had to clarify and correct a number of rumors. When they made it all the way through to Ty Lee joining the Kyoshi Warriors, and what had occurred after that, the family had been stunned into silent fascination.

It didn’t take long for the questions to begin again, and Suki thought that her throat would be sore tomorrow. The family had easily accepted her as Ty Lee’s companion and said nothing about the fact that they had only brought one bedroll with them. As the night grew darker, they all sat around the living room fireplace, quieter now, sharing only snippets of conversation and enjoying various hobbies. Suki was watching Ty Fu’s astonishing skill with embroidery. Her needle darted in and out of the red fabric like a silver fish in the stream, building a beautiful pattern that Suki found entrancing.

Sensing eyes on her, she looked up and immediately met Ty Lee’s gaze across the room. Ty Lee was sitting with her mother in the midst of another small cluster of family, and she smiled at Suki. Suki smiled back.

How could Ty Lee have thought that Suki would lose her in the midst of this group? In Suki’s opinion, Ty Lee shone brightest of them all, and even without Kyoshi makeup, she’d never lose track of her.

Ty Lee’s grin brightened, genuine, when Suki mouthed, “I love you,” in her direction; for a moment the room held them alone.

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