With a notepad tucked under his arm and a cup of jasmine tea in the other, he was as ready for their monthly staff meeting as he’d ever be. He didn’t mind them so much when Kya led. Because she didn’t belabor agenda items, their meetings ended a half hour or an hour early.
No so when Bataar Jr was in charge. He dragged on, and on, and on, and on to the point that almost everyone was ready to fling themselves into traffic. Especially at their librarians’ meetings. And even when he had agenda items in Kya’s pressence, their meetings were still too goddamn long.
Mako took his seat beside Zhu Li while his colleagues filed in. Korra sat next to her, and they discussed their interviews for an extra page position later that day, and from their conversation, the candidates were less than spectacular. Kya sat the head of the semi-circle of tables to Korra’s right, with Baatar next to her. Asami sat at the other set of tables directly across from him, doodling on her notepad. He peered over at what she was drawing, and it appeared to be a detailed Satomobile and a human figure several feet in the air. Probably Raiko getting hit by a car. Though she was the branch’s resident tech expert, she was also a talented sketch artist, more than she gave herself credit for. Just then, Opal and Bumi took the empty seats beside her, complaining about one of her “fans” asking her out. In his usual brusque manner, Bumi offered to “snuff the bastard out.” Just as an animated discussion of their more devoted followers began, Kya cut to the chase.
“As interesting as this is, we’ll have to table it for next month. Right now, I have some news from The Mothership.” Everyone soon came to attention. "To highlight the upcoming summer reading initiative, the Board of Patrons had decided to adopt a mascot.“
Everyone traded quizzical looks, except for Zhu Li, who was studiously recording the meeting, and Korra, who rolled her eyes.
"A mascot? Why the hell do we need a mascot?” she asked skeptically, though she was 95% sure that one particular board member was responsible.
“I’m glad you asked, Korra.” Kya steeled herself for what was coming next. Something told her at least half of them wouldn’t be pleased. "Bolin, that’s your queue!“
Just then, Bolin nearly hopped into the room wearing an oversized fire ferret head, and a furry red costume dressed in an ugly green book sweater. The getup had a long tail protruding from it’s backside.
Everyone was stunned into silence. A few of them tried to stifle their snickering with varying degrees of success.
"THIS was your special presentation?!,” Mako said in shock. He knew his brother was working on a project, but he NEVER would’ve guessed it was this.
“HEY KIDS!!! WANNA BUY SOME DRUGS?!?”
The damn finally broke when Opal suddenly burst into laughter. Asami, who tried so hard to keep it together, completely lost it as well. Bumi, Korra, and Wei soon joined in. Kya sat back wondering what sort of hell she unleashed. Zhu Li bit her lip to maintain control because, dammit, someone to!
Bataar just looked horrified. Only he, Kya, and Bolin knew about this, and he’d been against it from the start. To him, libraries were places of study and learning, not cartoon figures and nonsense. Varrick. This was all Varrick. That son of bitch.
“Careful, Bo! You’re gonna get dry-humped by a rabbiroo in that thing!” Bumi unhelpfully called out, which earned another round of laughter from everyone. Even Zhu Li, who had an indefatigable reputation, managed a giggle.
Bolin reached for the tail and spun it around with flair. Opal, who’d recovered somewhat, was now on the verge of tears when Bumi nudged her and said, “this is how fetishes are are born!”
“I hate you!” she managed between breaths. After drying her own tears, Asami passed her a handkerchief, which she accepted. Bataar shot her a searing look, but she completely ignored him.
Kya had to regain control of the meeting. “Ok, now that your initial shock is over, Bolin, how do you feel?”
Bolin removed the ferret head. His hair was matted to his head, and his cheeks were red. "Welp, aside from barely being able to see, and being hot, it was great!“
"It does have an ice vest to keep you cool. In the meantime, this is the new mascot, and before you ask, it has no name yet. And in case you were wagering, this was Varrick’s idea.”
At that, everyone’s attention turned to Zhu Li. Rumors swirled that she and the eccentric board member were dating. She never confirmed it, but she also never denied it. Only a certain few knew the truth, and they weren’t saying anything. "Don’t look at me! I had nothing to do with this.“
"Which brings me to my next point. Each branch is getting their own costume. And within each branch, it’ll rotate among the staff,” Kya interjected.
Any remaining good humor was replaced with more shock. "W-w-wait, what do you mean by ‘rotate’?“ Zhu Li asked as realization dawned on her and her colleagues.
Kya drew a deep breath. Here it comes. "It means that we’ll all take turns wearing the costume. And I do mean ALL.”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?” Mako uncharacteristically blurted out. Korra laughed at his reaction as well as the mental image of him looking miserable dressed as a deranged fire ferret.
“I refuse, I absolutely refuse! This is beneath my dignity.” Bataar was mortified at the prospect of stooping to such a ridiculous level, but Kya was having none of it.
“It’s not beneath mine, and if I have to do it, then so do you.”
“Don’t be such a killjoy, Bataar. Think about the children,” Asami chided, to which Korra and Bolin snickered.
“Yeah, bro! Better suit next time Mom visits!” Wei interjected. Their mother Suyin managed the Dragon Flats Branch and occasionally visited Central for meetings and as desk coverage when needed.
Bataar smiled wickedly, the type that spelled trouble for everyone else. "In that case, I’ll create the rotation list.“
"And watch, he’s gonna put himself last,” Bumi again whispered to Opal, who looked at him sympathetically.
“Our family in a nutshell. But this’ll take him down a peg.”
“And when’s the start date?” Mako asked. His feelings were mixed. As a children’s librarian, he always looked for new programs and activities to bring kids into the library. He wasn’t sure if this was it.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and felt an incoming migraine. Well shit. This is going to be a LONG summer.
Ok so like in the avatar world you would think that waterbenders would be the fire fighters right? Like a bunch a of waterbenders just getting water from a lake or a river and dousing the fire. But you know what’s better? Firebender fire fighters. Just like someone’s house catches on fire and firebenders just… turn it off,,.. Just like no, the fire is done for today