by shiori_makiba / Ashley Weyer
Word Count: 852 words in 145 lines
Inspired by a prompt made by ysabetwordsmith during the June 2016 Thank Muse It's Friday session.
Tsubasa wanted to see her friends
but she also dreaded their arrival.
She was afraid
that they would hate her now.
Neither Ynez or Priya had ever expressed
any anti-soup sentiment in her hearing
but some people are quiet about their prejudices.
Or are only fine with someone in their life
being a soup when the situation was hypothetical.
Butterfly wings and gods only knew what else
was not a hypothetical.
Logic tried to argued that if they dumped her just
because she had wings now,
then they weren't very good friends
and she was better off without them.
Feelings wailed that they were her friends.
Ynez had been her best friend since kindergarten.
Priya since middle school.
She didn't want to lose them now
when she needed her friends the most.
'They aren't bigots,' she reminded herself.
'They both hate bigots.'
After all, none of them were strangers to prejudice.
Between the three of them, they probably had been called
every racial epithet in the book.
Tsubasa had discovered that many racist people
didn't tend to be very good at identifying what
racial or ethnic background someone was
beyond “not like them.”
Various sexual and gender slurs
had also been hurled in their direction
at one point or another.
Usually for saying 'no' to a date
or failing to swoon after being cat-called.
Tsubasa liked the idea of dating and
didn't mind the idea of sex in concept
but hadn't been interested enough in either
to really give them a go.
She was pretty sure
she was somewhere in the
grey ace spectrum,
but wasn't sure yet.
Priya was asexual and aromantic.
Ynez liked dating and liked sex but she wasn't,
as she pointed out once, turned on by assholes.
The sound of knocking
brought Tsubasa back to present day.
And feeling her stomach clench,
she called out, “Come in.”
She didn't lose her best friends.
There had been some staring
when they first walked in.
Tsubasa couldn't blame them for that.
Seeing your best friend with big butterfly wings
was worth a stare or two.
They had been warned about the wings.
Mai had apparently offhandedly mentioned them
to Ynez and Priya during one of their update calls.
But hearing about the wings and
seeing them were two different things.
To their credit, they only stared for a minute
before turning their attention to the rest of Tsubasa.
And since Ynez had known her since she was five and
Priya since she was twelve,
it didn't take either of them long
or any words to figure out
what was really wrong.
Ynez, direct as ever,
looked her straight in the eyes and said,
“You are still my best friend.”
Priya nodded and said, “Mine too.”
“Really, really. It's going to take more
than superpowers and wings to break up
this set of Three Musketeers.”
Tsubasa didn't know why
but that made her laugh.
Maybe it was the tension draining away.
Maybe she just needed to laugh.
There were adjustments
to be made for all of them.
They quickly learned that
if they wanted to see where they going,
avoid being tickled by her wings
when they inevitably twitched,
or sometimes smacked
when they flapped open suddenly,
that they needed to stand and walk
either ahead of Tsubasa or well to the side.
Tsubasa learned that
she looked good in a sari.
Through it had taken some trial and error
(and the assistance of Priya's grandmother and mother)
to figured out how to drape the sari
without damaging it or Tsubasa's wings.
Priya offered to take her shopping
for her own when she was ready.
She also learned that
Priya was good at helping her
with the, at times frustrating and embarrassing,
task of getting dressed and washing
without making her feel
even more frustrated and embarrassed.
Ynez did things
to make her smile and laugh.
Or just gave her a hug
when she needed one.
Or a listening ear.
She also brought food from Mama Ballisario.
And offers of listening ears from some of her relatives
if she needed to talk to another soup
who wasn't involved in this mess.
Apparently Ynez's family tree sported
the full range of soups
from blue-plate to black cape.
It was nice to have
such good friends.
Tsubasa was thinking
about introducing her old friends
to her new friends.
But not today.
First of all,
she hadn't really brought it up
to either party yet.
And she didn't want to just spring
something like this on them without warning.
They had all had enough surprises
for the time being.
Besides, Adalina was still jittery from her kidnapping
and being a new soup.
Facet might be willing
but he was understandably wary of new people.
And Ashley, she had the distinctive feeling
was at the end of her tolerance for
changes and people.
she could easily recognize the
'need my alone time now –
all of you please go away'
coming off of her.
But one day,
she'll introduce them all.
And she hopes
that meeting goes well.