I write fanfiction sometimes. Like now. Universe, characters come from Tamora Pierce, and I put this on Archive of Our Own first.
“Tris?” Sandry said. “Your hair?”
Tris raised her hand to her bandanna, which had once again fallen off, leaving her frizzy red hair uncovered. She grabbed a lock of hair and pulled it around to look. It was sprouting lightning. She groaned.
“I don't need this. I don't need this. I don't even want it. Why is my hair sprouting lightning when I'm not even upset?!”
“You don't sound 'not even upset,' Coppercurls,” their foster-brother drawled, “though all I see is a real bad case of Runog's Fire.”
“Thanks ever so,” Tris snapped.
“She wasn't, though,” Daja said. “Until Sandry pointed out that she was sprouting lightning.”
“Is it getting worse? I mean- more?” Tris said. She did not need this. No no no no no.
“It doesn't look like it,” Sandry said.
“Well, that's something.” Tris said. She started pulling the seed lightning from her hair. More came to replace it. “AUGH!”
Lark entered, rubbing her eyes drowsily. “What's wrong?”
“Lightning is wrong. I knew I could make it when I was angry, like with the pirates, but...”
“You didn't expect it to happen every time you were upset?”
Tris sniffed. “I wasn't!”
“But you are now, dear. Sit tight, I'll put the kettle on. Do any of you know where Niko is?”
The four children shook their heads. “Away,” Tris said. “This morning there was a note saying I should meditate as usual for the start of our lesson time, and then I was free. He knows that means I'll read.”
“He didn't say where he was going?”
Tris shook her head.
“Do you know when he'll be back?”
Tris nodded. “Late tonight, I think. Could... could you maybe leave a message with the people in charge of his rooms that he should come here as soon as he can? I don't want to go myself when I don't know what my hair is even doing.”
“Or course I can, dear. It will be all right.”
“And if it's not, well, you just chuck lightning at people until they pretend it is, right?” Briar said.
Tris glared daggers at her brother. “Oh? Remember the time you were sprouting lightning?”
“But I can't throw it a'purpose!” he insisted. “Plus, yours doesn't seem to be going nowhere. It's just sitting there, in your hair.”
“At least for now.”
Sandry looked thoughtful. “If you wove some of your lightning together as a sort of cloth, would the rest of the lightning stay behind it?”
Tris stared at Sandry, then looked down at the lightning in her hand. It was still dancing around her fingers. Staying in one place wasn't something lightning seemed to do: it was the movement of energy that made it, after all. “How?”
“Well, Daja's fire-weavings-”
“Not that kind of how, how do I make lightning act like thread?”
“Maybe if I work through you?”
Lark interrupted them. “If you're going to start playing with magic you've never tried before- that, no one has ever tried before, you need a protective circle first.”
“So that if we blow ourselves up, we only blow ourselves up?” Tris asked.
“Exactly.” That was Rosethorn. “No taking others with you while you attempt the impossible.”
Sandry looked at Rosethorn. “Why would it be impossible?”
Rosethorn looked at Lark, then at Sandry. “Lightning burns thread. Thread mages shouldn't be able to weave with it.”
“What about fire?” Briar insisted. “She wove that.”
“Which should also be impossible,” Rosethorn informed them. “If you four didn't have a history of impossible, your answer would be 'Don't even think about it.'”
Tris rubbed her forehead. “And the problem I'm having right now?”
“Also impossible. Or it should be.”
“Great.” Tris said. “We're going to make a protective circle so we can try something impossible to fix a problem that's impossible to have, and the only reason you're letting us do it is because of other impossible things. Sound about right?”