By Izzy

Padmé Naberrie had blood between her legs.

It had started that morning. She had first noticed it staining her undergarments in the toilet right before Master Rancisis' class, and that had confused and upset her. She'd been sure her menstruation wasn't supposed to start yet, and had been very distraught when she'd asked Master Rancisis if she could go to the Healers. Perhaps he'd guessed what was going on even before he'd gotten her to tell him; he knew a lot, having lived over a hundred years. All her agemates had looked at her, and some of the males had looked a bit grossed out. It was kind of gross when she thought about it.

The Healers had reminded her this happened to all female humans, though when she'd asked questions they'd admitted it usually happened later. But then they had added that groups of humans who had lived on one planet from a long enough time period, such as the Naboo, often evolved slight differences from other humans, and from their observations, this was one of them. They told her it wasn't really a surprise, because her body was changing already, and that too would happen to her agemates in a short time. They had also told her she would soon experience new and confusing feelings, but hopefully she would soon have a Master, who could instruct her on dealing with them.

Then they'd explained how to use a tampon, provided her with a number of them, and sent her on her way, telling her to come back if she happened to feel any pain. Padmé knew she ought to go back to Master Rancisis' class, but by the time she got there most of it would be over, and besides, she knew as soon as she was with the other girls, they would start asking her the obvious questions.

She had already been the subject of many curious looks, especially whenever they dressed or undressed, until she had been sorely tempted to just strip, sit on her bed, and invite everyone to look until their curiousity was satisfied. Now they were going to ask her what the Healers had said, was she okay, was her starting early a sign of some sort of illness, did it hurt, was it true you put the tampon inside your vagina, was it likely to happen to them earlier than they thought too, and Force knew what else. So instead she went back to the dormitory, changed her undergarments, sat down on her bed, and tried to meditate herself into calm.

First she tried to narrow in on why she was still so agitated. She was in perfect health, according to the Healers. Perhaps her mind was troubled by the new feelings they had warned her about?

No, it might not have to be those feelings, but the anticipation of them. Or rather, that single comment made one of the Healer's, the one about the Master.

She ought not to worry about it. Worrying did no good, not to mention she had well over two and a half years for her Master to come for her. But with the knowledge that she was hardly the ideal candidate for training, she in truth had worried from the day she'd turned ten. And each step in her growth made her feel the passage of time harder.

Many cultures considered menstruation a milestone in aging. But many of these considered reproduction to be a female's primary function, and with rare exceptions, Jedi females had no time for that. To Padmé this should be reassurance that she was developing normally, no more. Contrary to her impression, she firmly told herself, this did not give her any less time to find a Master.

Somehow she was able to dispel her anxiety, but she knew it would return, and be that much harsher. She rose and began working on her katas, getting used to doing them with the tampon in, as she had already gotten used to walking and kneeling.

In a few minutes there would be a class with Master Gallia, and she would join her clanmates then, and she'd answer their questions, but she'd make sure they told her what she'd missed as well. And when they went through this for the first time, she would be there with whatever advice she could give them. It had been a bit disconcerting being the first to go through a new experience, but she would make the most of it.