Title: A Friendly Reminder
Characters/Pairings: Lin, Toph, cameos from others. Mother/daughter love in the way that only Toph would show it.
Summary: Toph Bei Fong makes it a point to, graciously and kindly, always tell Lin where she is.
A/N: I don't care what canon says. Toph is immortal.
Lin loved and respected her mother deeply. As the only child of a single parent, Lin had grown up in the shadow of disapproval from all sides, and she had seen first-hand how her mother had brushed everyone's whispers away while working tirelessly to keep the peace in Republic City and teach a whole regiment of Earthbenders to bend metal. Toph Bei Fong was a living legend for a reason, and Lin was proud to call herself Toph's daughter.
But sometimes, Lin really wished she would settle down into a nice retirement home and become one of those sweet old ladies.
"Again?" Lin exploded, not really at Tenzin, but in his direction. Tenzin, now very used to this, didn't even flinch.
"I'm afraid so," he replied, and seemed to be stifling his laughter. "It also appears that he's sticking out his tongue and crossing his eyes, but it was difficult to get a good look at him on Oogi."
Lin buried her face in her hand, cursing internally. "That behavior is not how a revered war hero should act! She makes me look like a fool every time she does this!"
"To be perfectly honest, Lin," Tenzin said, "I think she does to remind you that she's here, kind of like, I don't know, stopping by for tea."
"Then why doesn't just she stop by for tea?"
"Because, if Mother's stories are anything to go by, that would be entirely out of character for her. Besides," he added, and she didn't fail to notice him inching towards the door, and so began to prepare accordingly, "you know you would be disappointed if she came into the city and just stopped in for tea. I know a lot of people would. Quite a lot of the citizens enjoy these pranks, you know."
Lin replied with a venemous glare, one so intense that it went beyond glare and into dark aura emanating from her body. Tenzin got the message.
"Of course it is very unprofessional of her," he corrected hastily, backing out of the room. "I thought you should know."
After he had left, Lin stood for a long moment, face buried in her hand, then glared at her mother's statue. "You're impossible," she muttered, and maybe she was imagining it, but it seemed like Toph's expression was smugger than usual.
A group of her policemen were standing under Avatar Aang's statue when Lin arrived.
(They had long since given up trying to fix Toph's vandalism on their own, because it seemed like unfortunate events happened to anyone who did so unless they were Lin. Once, a policeman had returned home to find that his (stone) staircase had mysteriously vanished. Another time, one woman's satomobile was half-sunk into the pavement. And once, when Toph had apparently been very annoyed, the offending officer had woken up in the middle of the night to find Toph's statue leaning over his bed.)
Lin looked up at it. She couldn't see the facial expression that Tenzin had mentioned from this distance, but it was impossible to miss the giant handlebar mustache that had appeared on the Avatar's upper lip, so large that it dwarfed the rest of his face.
She sighed, and then shot a glare at the tittering police force, who immediately schooled their faces into impassivity. "Thank you very much, Mother," she growled.
Two weeks later, the ambassador from the Fire Nation arrived in her office. She paused, counted the days, and then sighed again.
"What's Fire Lord Zuko's statue doing this time?" she asked heavily, and the ambassador looked at her with the same long-suffering expression that seemed permanently etched onto her own face.
"Lounging in the hallway, propped up on one hand, winking and leering at everyone who passes by."
"Well," she muttered, standing up and making her way out to the ferries. "It's better than the time he was naked and clutching a plate over his nether regions."
"Ah yes," the ambassador replied evenly. "The noblewomen still talk about that one."
Several weeks later — around the time that Lin traditionally began watching Aang's statue to see if it started growing any unwanted parts — Lin walked into her office and jumped violently, dropping everything in her hand. Her mother's statue was now eight feet tall, arms outstretched, with a wild, borderline-evil grin on her face.
On the ground in front of it was etched, in her mother's typically untidy and uneven scrawl, just so you don't forget about me.
Lin growled, and decided that the time was past ripe for retaliation.
Two days later, Toph Bei Fong walked into the city hall and found her own statue groveling on the floor, with the etching my daughter Lin is a better earthbender than I ever was.
"You know, I think it's just how they say that they love each other, you know?" Officer Qin said, munching on a shisk kabob during her lunch break. "Like, Sifu Toph does it to remind Captain Lin that she's here and watching out for her."
"Oh, definitely," Officer Guo replied.
"You think we should tell her about the position Fire Lord Zuko's and Master Katara's statues in the city hall are in?"
"Nope," Guo answered. "She'll figure it out eventually."