It had been a long, weary day for Lin. A certain anguish followed her steps as she wandered through the late-night streets of Republic City. Up until that day she'd been good at masking her emotions, but as she recalled the day's events in her mind, she couldn't keep her feelings from twisting inside of her.
The spirits had a funny way of keeping things balanced, to say the least. A firebender of the triple threat triad had broken into the Sato mansion and killed the wife of Hiroshi Sato, one of Republic City's most reknown inventors. She'd felt nothing but sorrow for the broken family, though she'd kept her composure official. She had known Mrs. Sato; talked to her a couple times at large events. The woman had reminded her much of Katara: so sweet and caring. As Captain of the Metalbending Police, she had been assigned to the case, while the Chief--her mother--healed from a threatening injury she'd received days earlier.
Lin felt a twinge of guilt. She'd been so caught up in work that she hadn't gone to visit her recovering mother.
She'd never forget the terrifying night. It had been pouring rain outside and she had been walking through the main hall of headquarters, hands full of paperwork for Saikhan, when the large metal doors slammed open and her mother stumbled through, clutching at her blood-soaked side. Lin cringed at the memory of sightless, fearful eyes--belonging to the woman who'd given birth to her--before she collapsed on the stone floor. She didn't think time could've moved any slower after she had dispatched a panicked phonecall to her Aunt Katara
"Katara!? Katara, please!" Lin shouted roughly through the line.
"Lin? Lin, what's going on?" Katara sensed the fear in the younger woman's voice.
"It's mom. She's hurt. Badly! Please, come to the station! I need you!"
"I'm on my way."
She remembered the relieved sigh she had released when Katara whispered, "Everything will be alright, Dear. She's going to be okay." The waterbender had been a little taken aback when immediately after, Lin had crushed her in a hug. But she'd quickly understood and gladly returned it.
Somehow, a hit-man had gotten the better of the master earthbender's blindness, and dropped in on her with a knife to the gut. Lin felt nauseated at the resulting thought of Katara not making it in time. Although she never voiced it, losing her mother was her worst fear. She wasn't sure she could survive without the headstrong woman. Which led her to think of little Asami Sato. She couldn't imagine what the six-year-old was feeling. She'd lost her mother before she'd even really begun living.
Lin remembered the look of confusion on the girl's face. She'd tried her hardest to hold back her remorse when the girl tugged on the fabric of her uniform and asked the thirty-three year old where her mother was. Not knowing how to approach the subject, Lin bent down and told her, "Everything would be alright."
But not now. Now, things were jumbled and somber. Lin had allowed the little girl to clutch to her leg for the remainder of the day, feeling penitent when Asami asked if she could go home with the metalbender, fearing that her father didn't want her around. The green-eyed woman understood; to Hiroshi, nothing existed anymore, and he subconsciously disregarded the little girl.
The Captain of the Metalbending Police felt guilty. Her mother was alive, Asami's was not.
Lin sighed as she fumbled around for the lock on an all too familiar door, before it slowly swung open. She stepped inside, a familiar scent making it's way to her senses. She felt her twisting emotions begin to subside as the recollection of fond memories began to fill her conscience. To one, this place would seem plain; insignificant. But to Lin, it was shrouded in comfort, understanding, and love. She walked into a bedroom she'd grown accustomed to throughout her childhood, sensing the heartbeat of the one person she thought could put her mind at ease.
Climbing into bed beside the strong heartbeat, she cuddled up to the warm body. It was so familiar; she felt safe.
She felt the person shift the tiniest bit. "Lin?"
"Are you alright? What's going on?"
"Nothing. I just... missed you. That's all."
Toph smiled knowingly and pulled her daughter close, holding her tightly. Lin shifted in her mother's loving grip, cautious of the healing wound.
"I've missed you too, Honey."
Lin sighed peacefully and cuddled up to the Chief. She knew her problems would be waiting for her the next day, but she supposed that for now, she could revel in the precious time she had with the woman that meant more to her than the healing world.