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|More from MarblesG||Family/ Hurt & Comfort||T||None||None|
December 17, 2014
Baatar had noticed the change in her attitude a week ago. He wasn't completely ignorant about children and birth, but her depressive state was concerning considering she had given birth just three weeks ago.
He had read about something like this.
He just never thought that it would happen to his beautiful wife.
The engineer was currently standing on one of the balconies of the Beifong estate in Zaofu. This specific balcony over looked Suyin's garden which she was currently occupying at the moment. Young baby Huan laid in her hands.
His eyes watched her, unmoving from her spot. The master earthbender was still, eerily gazing out into the valley that Zaofu had been established on. From here, even Baatar could see her eyes.
They were dead.
Huan began to cry and Suyin began rocking the child lightly. She refused to look down oddly enough. Her eyes remained locked on in the distance.
The child continued to cry. He could see his wife's face contort in irritation, a look she often sported when dealing with difficult people or a confusing task. As Huan's cries got stronger, so did Suyin's frustration.
Finally, a maid approached her and asked if everything was okay. Baatar felt his heart crack slightly when Suyin handed Huan to the maid, instructing her to put him to bed. The young woman nodded and took his son back into the house. Baatar watched them enter before reverting his focus back to Suyin whose arms were crossed tightly now.
She had worked off the baby weight just fine. She was always a lean woman and worked hard to maintain a top physique. The matriarch of the metal clan was known for her majestic leaps and kicks. Baatar had figured that her appearance was what was bothering his wife to make her act this way, but all he got back was a snappy reply. She stated that that was definitely not it and added something along the lines of Baatar perceiving that she was fat. Needless to say, he slept in a guest bedroom that night.
Suyin turned a full 180 degrees and walked back into the house. Baatar made sure she made it inside.
Two days after that, his concern spiked.
The Beifong family was eating dinner. Baatar and Suyin sat at the front of the table, Huan latched on to his mother's breast. To their left, Four year old Junior waved his legs back and forth as he poked at his vegetables with a fork.
Baatar's eyes observed Suyin's face deepen in irritation once more. He wondered what was bothering her this time.
Junior hummed an old nomad song he had learned. His legs kicked to the beat and every now and then, his feet would kick the table. Baatar felt it vibrate his own plate of food and he was sure his wife felt it much more.
The next time it happened, Suyin slammed her chopsticks down.
"Junior, sit still for once!"
Both Baatars froze in place. Senior had always feared his wife's fury. At its peak, it was more frightening than anything he had experienced. For Junior, who in his four years was well behaved enough to not be subjected to his mother's anger, was shocked at this new animal.
Suyin didn't stop it there. "Every time you kick the table, I get more and more of a headache. Just sit there and eat."
Baatar felt a lump grow in his throat at the sight of his first born son looking absolutely petrified. He never wanted to make his mother upset with him.
Suyin didn't even try to eat again. She got up while still feeding Huan and walked towards the exit. "My appetite is ruined."
When she was gone, Baatar walked towards his son and kneeled down to his level. Junior was already sobbing quietly.
His father wiped his runny nose with a napkin. "Hey, it's alright."
"I-I didn't mean t-to make Mom mad." Junior hiccuped overwhelmed with sorrow. "I'm s-sorry..."
Baatar hugged his little boy tightly. "You didn't do anything wrong. Mom is not herself right now."
"Is Mom sick?"
Baatar sighed. "I don't know, son."
Junior continued to cry into his father's shoulder.
"I really don't know."
The day that Suyin decided to not leave the confines of her office was the final straw for Baatar. This occurred four days after the previous incident.
He didn't even bother to knock. "Su, we need to talk."
She didn't turn from her position on the couch. "You're going to wake Huan."
"We still need to talk about some things." Baatar approached her and made it so he stood in front of her. The arrangement was supposed to make him feel more dominant, something that rarely happened in their relationship. "Your behavior is worrying me."
"It took me an hour to get him to sleep. If you wake him up, I swear to Oma and Shu I'll launch you all the way to Ba Sing Se."
"Will that make you feel better? Will you go back to who you really are?"
That same annoyed expression crossed her face once more and he wasn't sure if he was going to fly at any second. "I don't know what you're talking about. Just leave me alone, Baatar."
He tried a gentler approach, something that usually worked. "Sweetie, you're irritated and angry. You shut yourself out. That is not the woman I married."
"A few years and you're asking for a divorce already?"
"No! What the- of course not, Su!" Just like he had done with Junior, he got on his knees and looked at her. He had given up on scolding her. Something in the back of his mind warned him that whatever was going on with his wife was serious. His theory may actually be true. Baatar reached up and removed his glasses to rub his eyes. The moisture in them he blamed on how late it was. "I love you very much, Su. And so do our children which is why all of us are concerned about you right now. Why are you acting like this?"
"I'm acting like myself. I haven't changed at all."
There was something in her answer that rang in Baatar's mind. Her words were like venom. They were intended to sting. For whom, he didn't know. Nonetheless, he continued. "You aren't hot headed constantly like this. You blow up at people for simple things. And you don't interact with Huan at all."
"I take care of him."
"That's all you do. You feed him and wash him, but you don't kiss him, play with him, show him love." Baatar gulped nervously. He placed his hand on hers that was presently helping Huan stay supported in her arms. "Sweetie, are you...possibly...depressed?"
Suyin turned away from him.
"Su, it's okay. This happens. A lot of women go through post partum depression. The important thing is that we'll help you get through this."
And that's when she snapped again.
"I'm not depressed, Baatar! You don't know anything. I'm still the same person and I haven't changed at all! I'm still the same person from back then, up to now."
"And don't act like you can just come in here and diagnose me. Leave. Me. Alone."
Baatar stayed still, maintaining eye contact with his wife. They were the same: dead. He saw nothing but anger conveyed in her emeralds. It saddened him, the fact that he couldn't help her. The engineer stood up and took several steps back defeated. "Fine. If that's what you want."
Huan began to cry.
He was hurt to see his second son thrust towards him. Suyin scowled hard as she instructed her husband. "You woke him up. You will put him to bed."
"Gladly." He gently transferred his new born son into his arms. Already, tiny Huan could feel the comfort of love, something that had been lacking in his mother's embrace. His cries simmered down to whimpers. He absent-mindedly rocked Huan. Baatar waited for Suyin to say something, anything, but there was not any indication of a reply. He frowned. "I'll leave you to it."
Suyin shut the doors with her metalbending once her husband and son left the room. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
An envelope, still sealed and unopened, sat on the table. It was delivered back weeks ago.
Hello, big sister. I know it's been years since we've seen each other and I'm not too sure that you'd even want to see me. I understand your reluctance to meet up again.
But none of that complicated stuff, I'd just like to wish you a happy birthday. You're getting old, Lin. I hope you're on your way to becoming chief of police like you wanted. Mom would be proud.
Anyways, I have exciting news: I've just given birth to your second nephew. His name is Huan and weirdly enough, you two share a birthday! Trust me, I was just as confused as you are probably now. To the point of this letter, I'd like to give you a birthday gift that is more special to me than anything. I'd love it if you became Huan's godmother. You two would get along perfectly. Even at a few days old, he reminds me of you with his scowls. It may be too early to tell, but he acts like you. It's weird.
I know this gift seems more beneficial for me than for you, but it's something I hope will bring us closer. I'm hoping by now you are missing me as much as I miss you. We were never close as children, but you are still my big sister. Please be part of our family again.
Again, I hope you have a good birthday nonetheless.
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