A/N: Hey my dudes. Transtalia fanfiction ahead. I also have this posted on fanfiction.net if y'all are interested in scoping it out there. Be forewarned, this chapter sucks, but if you can get through it it does improve
. Criticism deeply appreciated.
Yao Wang didn't look to pick fights.
In his defense, he was innocently strolling along near the edge of the school grounds near the edge of the field. Beyond that was a small, straggling wood, just before the city kicked in. It was a bright, clean day with warm sun and cold wind. He was ambling along near the outskirts of the dingy woods, unsure whether or not to be annoyed by the cold wind that just cut through his hoodie and thinking about all of the math homework he would have to spend the weekend doing thanks to their teacher.
Deciding to procrastinate a bit further before biting the bullet and getting it done (his parents had a strict Homework First policy) he wandered into the wood, intending to maybe draw a tree or smoke a cigarette or something before his unceremonious departure.
Well, that's not how things turned out.
Yao walked into the woods, found a dry spot where the sun shone through the foliage and sat down. He felt around in his messenger bag for a cigarette and was about to light it when he heard the distant sound of branches snapping and cracking. Boys yelling.
Yao bit his lip warily. As pathetic as this may have sounded, Yao was mortally afraid of teenage boys, albeit a few exceptions. The same went with teenage girls; and people in general. He sighed, shoved the carton of cigarettes into his bag, stood, and prepared to walk away like nothing had happened.
Suddenly, a shriek sounded through the small forest, followed by some yelling in a language Yao didn't speak. "Нет- Заткнись!"
Problematically, it sounded like a girl, and she sounded serious. Damn it. Grabbing his bag by the strap he stood and walked toward the general direction; apprehensive and a little afraid but resolute. About two minutes later he came to a clearing. Inside were four boys and a girl. He arrived just in time to see the girl- crumple to the ground and curl into a ball- by the sounds of it she was crying. The boys, as far as Yao could see, were shouting at her and throwing things at her. Did he really need to...?
He set down his messenger bag and stepped out into the clearing, pine needles and dead leaves crunching under his feet. The boys looked up in surprise, but when they saw it wasn't a teacher their faces cleared. "Man, what the fuck?" the tallest boy asked.
Yao bit his lip. "Don't do that." he said quietly. "What did you say?" asked the boy.
"I said don't do that. What you're doing is wrong- she never did anything to you." Yao said a little louder.
"It's a fucking little freak, don't you know it, you faggot? It deserves whatever we do. Sure you don't wanna join?" the boy asked. "No." said Yao. "And you'll have to stop that or I'll make you." "Like a bitchy little girl like you could do anything," said the boy offhandedly. Yao huffed. "Okay." he said. "Okay. You wanna bet?" he asked, taking a long stride forward. The boy lunged forward, aiming to punch Yao in the face. Yao blocked it, and stepped forward around the boy's leg, tripping him. He pushed the boy further backward and he fell, and Yao finished it off by kicking him in the stomach. The boy slowly got to his feet, and another one jumped in. He stepped forward to do...something, but Yao beat him to it by giving him a jumping spinning hook kick to the face, then a spinning side kick to the ribcage, and then the first kid another general whack because he'd stood up. Suddenly, Yao was on the ground. The third boy had tackled him rugby style and was now on top of him, whaling with his fists. Yao just barely blocked a punch that probably would have broke his nose, reached out and punched the guy in the nuts. The boy leaned instinctively forward and Yao grabbed his head, rolling twisting it sideways, rolling the him with it. Yao scrambled and fought the three boys- one had abandoned the others and taken off- for about ten more minutes. Finally someone had taken Yao's axe kick to the collar bone and there was a horrible crunching noise as the bone snapped and his opponents had been forced to abandon ship. He felt gingerly around his eye, which was terribly swollen- he'd have one hell of a shiner tomorrow, and his back, which had some rocks embedded in it from the tackle, and the left leg of his jeans had ripped open at the knee, revealing a scrape that was sopping blood. The girl stood and looked at him, and oh Gods it was worth it.
Anya Braginsky wasn't one to pick fights.
Perhaps that was sugarcoating a little bit- Anya took to fights naturally and had a fascination with them. However, she was more one for verbal than physical battles. Her father had been very invested in her learning how to fight well (or, cringe-worthily enough, "Like a man,") and in an act of passive resistance, she had refused and feigned complete lack of interest. She was more interested in weapons and how the body worked and how the two...related- but not one for fights, although she had natural knack for them. There was little or no interest and practice behind that knack, however. And so, she was sitting quietly in the dingy, mildly gross woods out behind her school when some boys had stumbled upon her and decided to have some fun. They knew her of course, as that skinny freak who wore skirts all the time.
Then they began to say things, to yell them rather, that she barely felt she could protest because she knew they were true and she was a worthless, useless, pointless waste of life and should get off this fucking planet immediately because there's enough surplus population as it is and anything of value certainly shouldn't be wasted on her-
Unable to cope with this, she had told, begged, threatened, cried and eventually shrieked for them to stop, to shut up, to just be quiet and give her a moment of peace if her mangled brain would allow it. But stop? Of course not~ that was more than someone like her deserved. They'd started beating her up too, of course, and although she had put up a bit of a fight, she hadn't really. She didn't know how to (and it almost felt like she didn't deserve to anyway.) And now she was lying here on the ground with her nose bleeding. "I'll kill them, I swear to God I'll kill them if it's the last thing I do, and then I'll kill myself. They need to die first, and slowly." Anya thought. Just then, she heard leaves crackling on the forest floor and sat up, face resting in her knees. Profanities from the group's ringleader.
Then a voice, a boy's voice, a little higher than most but monotonous and soothing and definetly a boy's voice, saying; "Don't do that."
And slowly, cautiously, she'd turned to watch. The boys who'd been beating her up now had their eyes trained on this new boy, who was very short and had a pointed chin and huge warm black eyes and fairly long hair that was all drawn back into a short dark ponytail that stuck out the back of his head, and few strands coming loose and falling in wisps over his forehead. He was wearing a red hoodie with sleeves that just came over his thumbs and a pair of black jeans that were starting to come apart at the left knee. God, he was gorgeous, and Anya half wished she looked like that. He had his eyes trained on the boys too, and he was arguing with them. The ringleader threw the first punch...four to one, it was all over. She felt sorry for the boy, but her instincts told her to run away...she was petrified, rooted to the spot, and inched back, watching from the shadows as the fight progressed. This new boy, amazingly, was not immediately crushed. One of his aggressors ran away, and the other three were doing damage, but...This new boy was amazing. He obviously knew karate or something, and was throwing punches and kicks and blocks and dodging like there was no tomorrow. In about ten minutes, he'd broken someone's collarbone, the bullies had left, and he was gingerly testing his right eye, which had taken a bad punch and was swelling up. Thank him, you useless blithering idiot. she thought. Yeah.
"I-I-uh, thank you for uh, getting rid of th-them for me." she said. Crap, did she stutter? Well, at least her voice didn't crack or anything. The boy's eyes snapped over to hers. "Oh my Gods! Are you okay? That was so thoughtless of me I'm sorry-" he blustered, offering her a hand up. "Thanks," she said, taking it. His hand was warm and smooth, just a little calloused. She stood. He stared up at her, and she could see him taking in her height. She was five ten and counting, and hoped to God she wouldn't get any taller. "Wow, you're lucky you're so tall," he said finally. Hardly.
She giggled in response, because that required no talking and she had giggling down solid. "Are you okay?" Anya asked. "Your eye looks pretty bad," she reached down gently. "I'm fine." he said, waving her hand aside. "Tomorrow I'll probably be six feet under, though. My parent's will kill me.'' "Oh," she said sadly. She hadn't meant to get him in trouble. "I'm sorry. спасибо, though- thank you.'' He grinned. "沒關係。, you're okay, though? No broken bones or anything?" She smiled painfully, and brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. "None."
Anya was staring at her ceiling.
She'd been staring at her wall for the past fifteen minutes. Anya was in a mood. She'd come home, taken her bra and makeup off (there wasn't much of that; just mascara and eyeliner), and put on clothes that didn't belong to her sister.
Then she'd lain on her bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about starting dinner or her homework or talking to Feliks (she always understood Anya so well somehow), but she didn't do any of those things. She couldn't get her mind off that fight. Off of what those boys had been saying...they were right...and that other boy? He was so...pretty, almost. Not quite, but so lithe and graceful. She never had a chance with him (who said she wanted it? Anya never said that.) She heard keys jingle in the lock, and sat up.
Kat opened the door, and upon seeing Anya, smiled. "Hi Ivan," she said. Anya bit her tongue. "Hi, Kat. You're home kinda early." Katyusha shrugged.
"Да, but I was late for the past four days. Stupid-" Katyusha mumbled irately about her job for a moment, but Anya knew that she loved her job as an Educational Assistant at the local elementary school.
"So do you know when Nat will be back?" Katyusha asked.
"Нет, она не говорит мне ничего ни ." Anya replied. Katyusha sighed. "Бог! She's supposed to text me or something. Whatever. Should we start dinner, do you think?"
Anya shrugged. "It's only like quarter to five," she pointed out.
Kat shrugged. "There's nothing else to do. C'mon, let's make borscht or something." Anya stood up. In all honesty, she liked cooking, especially making sweets, with one of her sisters. She wasn't especially good at it, but they didn't usually argue that way,(verbal battles were a frequent pastime) and it...well it also just felt sort of feminine and nice. (Call her sexist if you want.) They took the usual route of discussing whether they should make something new this time and then went with the same path of making the exact same thing originally proposed- in this case, borscht. It was red, delicious, and if you made a full pot of it it lasted forever.
They chatted unconcernedly as they sliced potatoes and grated cabbage and chopped onions. Anya was slicing beets when Katyusha looked at her and did a double take.
"Ivan, are you wearing eyeliner?"
"Нет." Anya denied crossly. Kat stared a little longer.
"Yes, you are." her voice took on a kindergarten teacherish tone. "May I ask why?"
Anya bit her lip. "Well..."
Yao was fishing around in his bag again for cigarettes.
Finding one, he pulled his lighter out of his pocket and lit it, smoking as he walked briskly. Gods, he was in trouble. He could explain away the scraped knee easily enough, but a scraped knee and a black eye? It was obvious he'd been in a fight and having done taekwondo since he was six and wrestling since ninth grade, his parents would have the sense to realize that the other (or others, in this case) probably looked much worse (which they didn't, except that one kid with the broken bone). Maybe he could just hide it...? If he could get in the door without anyone seeing, he'd probably be able to cover it with makeup. He hated makeup. Actually, he didn't hate makeup all that much; but the way it made him feel. It was so...feminine (although he knew it was just a thing, it was gender neutral, he shouldn't give something that meaningless power over his life), and he just kind of wished that his binder would tighten and crack his ribs in and squeeze his soul out of his body when he even thought about it too hard. He sighed loudly, blowing smoke out a thick stream so it shot forward. The fight it had been worth it, of course. Fighting was a lot of fun, he'd never been in a real one before- and...
That girl. She was really tall, taller than him by at least four inches, and quite broad shouldered. She was really pale too, had fairly short white-blonde hair that hung arond her face in curls, and she'd been wearing a purple skirt with black leggings and a black pullover sweater-y thing. Her eyes are what he noticed the most, though. He'd only caught them for a minute, but they stood out on her pale face, framed by thick, dark lashes; and they were the prettiest colour. If he had to describe them, he guessed he'd say they were blue, but he'd never seen blue eyes like that before. They were closer to purple, really, and absolutely gorgeous. (And the thing was they just made her look so cute, Yao just wanted to take her home and cuddle her to death.) Tossing the butt on the ground and crushing it, Yao put his hand in his pocket and located his keys. He quietly opened the door, dropped his bag, and ran with ninja-like stealth up the stairs to the washroom. Unzipping his red floral makeup bag, he sifted past eyeliners, mascara, and other relatively goth makeup, most of it at least a year or two old. He pulled out foundation and concealer, he carefully added even strokes under his right eye, being sure to keep it even so it blended with his skin.
This is so girly, he thought. Shut up.He told himself. (Shut up shut up shut up shut up.) He'd just gotten in a fight. That was like the manliest thing to do. He stifled a grin- that was just very sexist. Still feeling that niggling little worm in his chest, he pulled the elastic out of his hair and watched it fall around his face. It was cut to just barely chin length so as to not arouse suspicion from the parents, but he wore it totally back most days at school to look more masculine. Speaking of which, that wasn't the only thing he'd been doing exclusively at school... Sighing, he roughly unzipped his hoodie and yanked off his t-shirt, revealing a half-lenght Ancient Fish King binder (purchased on eBay). It was love and life, but it sure as hell felt great to take off, and he finally caught his breath completely. With true dexterity, Yao wriggled his way out of his binder and regretfully put on a bra, shoving the binder in his closet. Hungry from his ninja-like activities, Yao went downstairs to his kitchen. "Hi, Ma."
Mrs. Wang was currently chopping up carrots at a seemingly superhuman rate while listening to Eighties music. She was a short woman, looking very much like Yao, but with a couple age lines on her face and streaks of grey in her hair. Looking up, she studied Yao. "You're late." she said, albeit a little sarcastically, for lateness was a regular occurrence in the Wang household. "Out getting into trouble?" he grinned. "No, I just took the long way home." she shrugged. "Okay. You want a snack, yeah?" Yao already had an apple in his mouth by the time she'd said that, and another in his pocket. She rolled her eyes and resumed chopping. "Just don't ruin your dinner. Do you have homework?" He nodded, and left the kitchen shortly thereafter. he opened Principles of Mathematics 10, and began his homework.
Yao didn't get that much done that night. That girl.
Katyusha was still looking expectantly at her. "Well?"
Well, I'm transgender. Well, I want to be a girl. Well, I sometimes think I am a girl, and then I remember I'm , there's something wrong with me. Well, I'm broken inside and no one can fix it. This was a bit of a dilemma...
To tell, or not? To explain it, or not? Would Kat even know what she was talking about? And what if she wanted estrogen and all that, she was under nineteen and needed her legal guardian to say that was okay...could they even afford that? Was this even a legitimate thing to be thinking about while Katyusha was waiting for an answer from her? So what did she...?
"I want to be a girl," Crap, did that slip out? Why would she say anything of the sort?
Katyusha stared blankly at her for a moment. "Ой."
Don't you 'oh' me, damn well tell me what you think. Anya thought. The fear of judgement was still unwavering, but she was also slightly irritated. Katyusha just looked so...neutral. What was she supposed to do? There was a short moment of tension, which felt very long indeed. Anya realized her fists were balled and unclenched them.
"S-so, you're transgender..?" Kat asked cautiously, as if afraid to offend.
Anya nodded slowly, and Katyusha smiled. "Thank you for telling me. D-do you mind if I ask you some stuff?" "Нет, go ahead." said Anya a little apprehensively, as she continued dicing that beet which everyone had forgotten about during that dramatic scene. Katyusha fiddled with the heat of the stove and continued. "How long have you known this?"
"Since...well, я не уверен, I guess kind of always? Everything was very confusing for a long time, and then I realized it. It just makes sense." Anya answered slowly. Kat nodded.
"Do you have a name or anything picked out that you'd like Nat and I to call you?"
Anya gasped. "You mean you'd really just do that?"
Katyusha looked vaguely confused. "Um, yes. I mean, if that's what you want and everything.'' Anya smiled hugely, looking slightly like a jack-o'-lantern.
"Anya, please." Katyusha nodded. "I like it. Did you know it means graceful?" Anya smiled even more, if that was possible. "Really?" she asked excitedly. "I just knew it's a variation of Anna. I chose it from Anna Karenina." Kat raised an eyebrow.
"But you hate that book. You said it was boring and pointless and that Tolstoy should get a life." "No! I love that book, it's great." Anya insisted. Katyusha shrugged. "Whatever." Just then, Natalia came in the door. "Hi!" she said cheerfully. Katyusha and Anya exchanged a look.
Natalia scowled in a more customary fashion. "What, who died?"
And again. Anya took a deep breath. "I'm trans."
"Ой, is that all?" Natalia asked. Anya nodded. "Okay."
"You were listening, Да?" Anya asked, a little confused at that extremely anticlimatic response. It wasn't that Anya wanted a reaction so much as she just wanted to get all the judgement out of the way immediately; which was difficult if Natalia was ignoring her.
''Да, it just makes sense. You're wearing makeup and you always take my stuff." Said Natalia, sounding just a bit sour grapes about the whole thing. "Do you want me to call you a new name now?" she went on.
"Like Anna from Anna Karenina?" Natalia asked. Anya nodded.
"She dies, you know."
"The book wasn't any good anyway."