Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist’, I ask, ‘Why? What’s your problem?’
—  Dale Spender, Man Made Language.

4/1/17 // today I’m rewatching lectures for my prokaryotic genetics exam next friday. Still got a long way to go before I’m confident on this topic but I’m getting there. It’s super weird being back working on my old desk! Heading out later to spend time with friends before heading back to uni on Friday. 

(for @hydroplaning, who wanted a fic where Mari meets Sara at an event)

“Hey, lil brother.” Mari grabbed Yuuri around the shoulders, rubbing her knuckles into the back of his head. The Barcelona banquet was underway, celebrations into full swing. No doubt, by the end of the night Yuuri would be happily drunk off champagne or plastered to Victor. Or, in more of a likelihood, both. For a pair of high profile skaters and a higher profile couple, the two were shameless when together, especially when combined with a few drinks. “Is that heavy?” She indicated toward the silver medal around his neck.

Yuuri ducked out from under her arm. “Think I can manage.”

For five years, most of Mari’s glimpses of Yuuri had been through the television screen. His competitions, his interviews, a couple commercials. The Yutopia television was always tuned to the Yuuri channel whenever he was scheduled to make an appearance.

There were Skype calls now and then, Mari catching her brother’s eye as she passed behind her parents. She’d deliver a line, telling him not to screw up if he looked nervous or that he wasn’t training enough if he looked upbeat. Because she knew everyone would be saying the opposite, and that sometimes Yuuri needed a push toward bluntness. When Mom and Dad mentioned that Yuuri had an event coming up, Mari would wave them off as if in dismissal. She’d already have it entered into her phone calendar.

Time differences made it hard to watch competitions live but now and then, Mari would wander into Minako’s bar at half past two in the morning, strike up a smoke and they’d watch together. If NHK wasn’t airing the skates, Mari preferred a Russian stream. She had gotten used to Yuuri using them in high school.

Back then, the buffer took ages and the lag was atrocious, but Yuuri had remained glued to the edge of his seat. To think how time had changed. Seven eight years ago, Mari had watched a teenaged Yuuri looping videos of a certain silver-haired skater with stars in his eyes. Now she had the actual legend watching Yuuri with hearts in his. The reality had settled that she might soon gain a new brother. Welcome to the family, Victor.

“Cool. Don’t trip over it,” Mari said, ruffling Yuuri’s hair. Victor reached up to correct the placement of the strands the very next moment.

“So what are you supposed to do at these banquets? Schmooze?” she asked in English. She had learned that word from Yuuri not long after he’d started living in Detroit and couldn’t remember the Japanese version while complaining about said schmoozing. It fit perfectly into her vocabulary.

“We eat, drink, make merry,” Victor replied, his hand dropping to Yuuri’s shoulder once he finished lovingly fidgeting with Yuuri’s hair. “And chat up the sponsors. Yuuri’s gonna have a long night ahead of him.”

Mari barked out a laugh, turning her head to scope out the nearest table. She had already resolved to play it cool, even though the majority of the skaters were there. Including Chris and Yurio.

There was the possibility that Mari had a photo of each tucked into the back pocket of her dress pants. For autographs. Or something. Yeah, the blonde munchkin had lived with them a while but now he was the golden medalist and she wanted to slap him on the back with congratulations. The Chris one would mainly be a favor to Minako. “So then you’re not gonna introduce me to anyone ? Do I gotta find my own way around here or are you gonna set me up?”

Mari followed the men’s skating pretty closely. She had skated back in elementary school and junior high, but the sport had not stuck with her like it had with Yuuri. She hated the repetition while Yuuri savoured the chance at perfectionism. Pairs and ice dancing, she knew almost zero about. The women’s she watched in passing. Mainly cause getting too deep into too many hobbies would put a strain on her social life. The little that she had outside the onsen.

When Yuuri looked lost for an answer, Victor covered for him. He called out to the redhead that had won gold in the women’s skate, waving her over. Mila. As much of a powerhouse on the ice was she was beautiful. Russia’s darling. There was only one female skater that Mari enjoyed more when she had the chance to indulge.

“Milashka, have you two met? This is Yuuri’s sister, Mari.”

They hadn’t met. Mari had seen the women’s free skate though. Mila had dominated the competition, a full ten points ahead of second place… Who was standing right beside her.

“And this is Sara.”

There was a second reason why Mari didn’t follow women’s skating closely. Yuuri had his crush on a skater, and she had had hers. Only hers hadn’t worked out as well. She’d had her third year high school heart broken when her favorite skater declared a simultaneous retirement and engagement. Ever since then, Mari tried not to let herself get too roped in. Easier said than done.

Sara wore a strappy dress that fell into loose ribbons over her chest, her hair sleek and her skin close the rich shade that Mari’s took in summer. She smiled at Mari with glossed lips, her eyes flashing purple when hit by the lights just right. Mari had two types. The small fiesty blond in her favorite boyband that Yurio reminded her of, and a certain Italian fraternal twin that looked like a princess on the ice.

Mari’s mind desperately searched for hello in Italian but kept coming up with French instead. Not what she needed.

“Sara and Mila can show you around if you’d lik–”

“Yes,” Mari interjected, having a very odd and rare moment of self-consciousness. She hoped her hair band was on straight, cause her heart wasn’t. She snatched two glasses of champagne off a passing waiter’s tray, holding one out to Sara. “Can I offer the fine lady a drink?”

Sara laughed, as light and delightful as the way Sara executed her spins.  “Sure, I’d love one.”

Italian accents were supposed to sound sexy coming from men, but coming from Sara, it was stunning, wrapping the syllables into a gift. Mari had spent years agonizing Yuuri for falling for  foreign skater. Now she totally got it.

She pulled off the move of making sure her hand brushed Sara’s as she handed over the glass of champagne and got another smile in return. Hell yeah. Forget Paris, Mari was gonna make Barcelona the city of love.