Brothers Who Bend (Part One)

“So, I’ve been thinking, bro,” Bolin says, sitting down beside his brother, piece of crumpled paper in his hand.

“Another scheme?” Mako says, leaning back on the wall and almost rolling his eyes.

“What, you don’t want to get out of the triad?” He gestures wildly, boldly, trying to catch his brother’s eye.

“Hey, I just want to eat,” he replies quietly, eyes not wavering from the passing of the Republic City traffic. “And it was your turn to get food today.”

“I know, Mako, and I’m sorry, but I had this great idea and,” he stops, gathers himself. “Hear me out – we could be pro-benders! They’re having try-outs tomorrow night, and I think we’d be brilliant.”

“Uh huh,” Mako takes the piece of paper from his companion’s larger hands, examining it, then scrutinising it. “Looks pretty shifty – I’ll think about it.”

“No, Mako, I checked it out today, and it’s legit, I promise.” Even his voice started to plead.

“You didn’t sign us up, did you?” The firebender looks over at his sibling, and then frowns and scoffs in annoyance at a perfectly readable, open expression. “…Bo! What’ve I told you about doing stuff like this without asking me first?”

Bolin sighs, aware of the uphill battle ahead of him. “That I shouldn’t go scheming crazy schemes because don’t I remember what happened last time I know, I know – but this time it’s different. This is a career, Mako.”

“But we’ll need gear, and a waterbender,” the young man protests, ever the pragmatist. “And a name.”

“You don’t need gear to try out, and I’ve already covered us on the waterbender front – aaaand I thought of a name,” Bolin replies, ever the optimist, who, against his brother’s pessimism, tries to think of everything.

“Oh yeah? What’s your best one?”

“The Bending Brothers,” Bolin says, stretching out the invisible words with his hands.

“We can’t use that one, The Bending Brothers’ name is already taken, and they’re one of the most famous pro-bending duos ever.”

“The Fire Breathers,” Bolin offers.

“… uh, that’d be a misnomer if we couldn’t actually breathe fire.”

“Malin.”

“No.”

“Boko,” the young man goes on, still undeterred by the lack of his brother’s enthusiasm. At least he was listening.

“No!”

“… okay. Earth and Fire!”

“What are we, a boy band?”

“The Extraordinary–”

“No.”

“The Match and the Mud.”

“… better,” Mako concedes, with some difficulty.

“How about,” Bolin takes a deep breath. “The Fire Ferrets?”

“The Fire Ferrets,” Mako echoes, testing the name in his mouth. “Alright. Not bad, little bro.”

“You just like it ’cause it has Fire in it,” the broad-shouldered boy nudges him deliberately.

“Something like that,” the dark-haired firebender answers. “Are you buying dinner since you’re a pro-bender now?”

They stand together and move off into the street, blending in with the crowd, and matching each other’s pace.

“If by buying you mean stealing, then, uh, yeah, I am,” Bolin grins, wrapping an arm around Mako’s shoulders.

They fall into a companionable silence before Mako allows himself the luxury of a moment’s hope.

Advice from an Inspector

I get asked a lot about whether or not I have any advice about being a copper.

And it’s never as glamorous as it looks in the films, or the TV shows. It’s blunt, hard work. It’s going back through paperwork and trying to catch one mistake that some bloke made, or trawling through CCTV footage to pick up the image of the right van at the right time.

… well, that’s if you’re in the homicide unit. For a while you’ll be a cop on the beat, dealing with drunk people who’ve taken agin to you and say things like: I am a citizen of the UK and it is my right to walk along this bit of pavement and wee where I please!

Essentially, you’re dealing with the people that nobody wants to deal with, at the worst time possible to deal with them.

And you’re dealing with them on your time, and on your family’s time. You miss milestones, and birthdays, and Christmases, and dinners, and all those little moments that make a family a family.

My wife used to say that I keep my promises with everyone else’s families but my own. She wasn’t wrong. She still isn’t. She’d say that I was able to rally the troops and inspire others to work hard and bring a team together in the dying hours of the night, but I couldn’t have a one-on-one without mentioning work. She’d say she’d married me, not a detective.

… but then I met Sherlock Holmes. And I realised there was someone who was even madder than I was, even more dedicated to his work. Someone who would willingly have conversations about death and grisly murder as if it were just a casual chat over coffee.

… to be fair, we often do chat over coffee about murder, or, cases but that’s not… really…

What I’m trying to say is that my meeting Sherlock Holmes allowed me to realise that my normal is more normal than his normal, which allowed me to take a day off every once and a while.

Advice, though. Would I still become a copper if I had my chance over again? Yeah, I absolutely would. The only real advice I could give is it’s not for the faint of heart, or for someone with a peaky stomach.

And make sure you call if you’re going to be home late.

Coarse Language

If there’s one thing about my mum that inspires great affection in me it is this: she likes swearing. I like swearing.

Every time content warnings come on before the start of a show on telly, and they warn about coarse language she says, “Oh, I do love a bit of coarse language.”

Every once and a while, she’d chastise me for swearing in the house, and I’d frown, and then she’d smile. She herself didn’t swear a lot, but my swearing as a result, went completely unchecked.

So when I was eight, skiing on a family holiday with my American ski instructor and said “damn” when going down a particularly difficult hill, I didn’t think anything of it.

He, on the other hand, was completely appalled. “Lydia, don’t say that! It’s rude!”

“… oh,” said wee me, completely taken aback. “But it’s not as rude as…” I trailed off, perplexed. I kept skiing for the rest of the day, but once I’d gotten home I pulled off my boots and my jacket and sat in front of the gas fire, trying to get warmer and drier.

“Mu-um?”

“Yes sweetheart.”

“Larry said today that ‘damn’ is a rude word to say.”

“Well, it is,” she said, “but Larry’s an American.”

She shrugged, and I shrugged, and I went off to my room to watch some show about animals before teatime.

(This isn’t a post that’s anti-American, by the way, it’s honestly me just laughing at myself.)

But I recently retold this story to my mother, and she had the same reaction as she had before.

We laughed, we shrugged.

And I realised, as I was walking away, that my prevalence for swearing is probably one of the only Australian stereotypes I fit.

… that and my ability to eat large quantities of Vegemite on toast. I like Vegemite.

I should start a swear jar in the house, shouldn’t I?

(But if I’m honest, I won’t, because I’d be pretty fucking broke by the end of the third day.)

(Terribly Belated) Nomination for the Liebster Award~

… so I got this ages ago, ages ago, and I was so taken aback at being nominated! … and then the email disappeared. But I’ve located it. And thank you, so much, iisarawr (Sara – http://sarawriter.wordpress.com/), for the nomination. I’ll endeavour to ask your questions as much as possible. In terms of nominating people – I’m really not sure who I’d nominate, and I’m a little shy to, if I’m honest. Give me a while to get back to it~?

1] How did you start writing?

I started writing because I decided if I wasn’t happy with the ending of a book or a film, that I could rewrite it, and change it. And that was really interesting, and pretty powerful for ten-year-old wee me, I think.

2] Some writers have a routine. Others do not. Do you have a routine? If yes, what is it?

… well. I had a routine – my routine was to write every day, in this blog, in some shape or form. That … stopped for a while, but I didn’t stop writing, so I suppose I made a habit of it. I don’t really have a set time or where I write, but it’s often on my mind.

3] Five favorite books. Go.

… ohh. Hmm. That’s tricky – I’d prefer to name authors, but, in no particular order:

1. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

2. The House on the Strand – Daphne du Maurier

3. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

4. After Dark – Haruki Murakami

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

4] What’s your opinion on movies based on novels?

Oh, I used to be a book-before-film snob. But you know what? I love them. I think it’s great that people are inspired to create something by reading or hearing about a book. Because in the end, it’s just a story, and the film is another way to narrate that story. Some films are rubbish, some books are rubbish.

And if a film introduces someone to the book, or vice versa, then what’s the harm in another fan of the franchise? c:

5] What’s your favorite thing to do when procrastinating?

I don’t think I have a favourite thing to do when procrastinating. I think the very aim of procrastinating is to do anything other than what you’re currently doing. That being said, procrastinating while baking (procrastibaking?) probably has the best outcome for everyone involved.

6] Deadlines. Friend or foe? (Writing, homework, or anything that has a time-limit on it)

Oh. They can be helpful, certainly, but sometimes forcing myself to write just gets me really cranky. I don’t know, I have pretty mixed feelings about deadlines.

7] What is your least favorite type of character? (i.e., the girly-girl, the muscly-saves-the-day guy, etc.)

This might be a little difficult to explain. I don’t like the Scapegoat. I don’t like the character that an author uses to create tension between the protagonist and the romantic interest. That type of character is used to instigate drama, and, depending on the author, has a very poor character arc.

… does that make sense?

8] Do you have any books you read and thought, “I’ll never tell anyone I read this” ?

I’ve read my fair share of trashy romance novels in my time, (Captain Jack’s Woman by Stephanie Laurens, oh yes~!) but I’d never tell anyone I’d not read something. I think the thing I did do was say I’d read something when I hadn’t, because I so desperately wanted to, or because I was embarrassed that I hadn’t read it.

But I’ll never be ashamed or embarrassed of the books I have read. (Even if I didn’t enjoy some of them.)

9] Do you have any strange talents/hobbies? (the definition of “strange” is up to you. Me? I can touch my tongue to my elbow. I have the longest tongue out of anyone I know. It’s so weird.)

I have very lurid dreams, I suppose that’s a strange talent. I hear music in them, a lot of the time, and I can restart my dreams if I wake up. I can also change them around. Does that count? c:

10] What’s on your desk?

Oh. Books, lots of books, a photograph of me and my dad, three teddy bears, a tin full of coins, letters, odd bits of paper, stamps… I can’t actually use it, mind. I should change that.