It was pretty unclear who had thrown this huge party celebrating Amon's defeat, but Lin had a sneaking suspicion that it was Korra's doing.
Coaxing her out of her preferred uniform and into this revealing black dress was also Korra's doing. Letting her hair out of its preferred knot was also Korra's idea. Lin felt that she owed the young avatar, so she played along with her, but now she felt uncomfortable and totally out of her element. She could feel the tight dress hugging every curve on her body, and she was aware how much of her cleavage was showing as well, and despite her numerous attempts to pull up the confounded dress, it was all in vain.
Lin sighed. She seemed to be the only person in the room not talking, dancing or otherwise mingling with anyone. She had just made up her mind to slip away from this place when Tenzin's brother Bumi casually walked up towards her.
"It's been a long time, eh Lin?" he grinned, touching her arm lightly. "So this is what you've been hiding under that uniform all of these years. Can't believe my brother let you go, honestly."
"You haven't changed a bit, Bumi," she said dryly, moving her arm away.
Undeterred, Bumi slid an arm around Lin's waist. "Come on, at least dance with me. Just once. Promise," he asked, pouting at her.
Lin sighed. "Fine! One dance. And then you leave me alone," she replied, placing one hand on his shoulder, and letting Bumi lead.
Tenzin had been working up the courage to go and talk to Lin all night to personally thank her for all she had done for his family, something he hadn't gotten a chance to do before in all of the chaos. But she had looked so entirely angry and annoyed until then, that he had not dared approach her, for fear of making her even angrier.
So one could imagine his annoyance when he saw her dancing with his brother, the scowl gone from her face. Although he was dancing with Pema, more often than not, his eyes were on Lin.
"What are you looking at?" Pema asked for the third time.
"Nothing, dear. Just a bit distracted, that's all." Tenzin smiled weakly at his wife, determined to keep his eyes on her this time.
But he couldn't ignore that gnawing feeling inside of him, seeing Lin dancing with his brother, looking happy. Well, happier than usual, of course.
Eventually, Pema had to go feed and change Rohan, leaving Tenzin with just a few moments to go and thank Lin for what she had done. He briskly made his way over to where Lin and his brother were dancing.
"Excuse me, Bumi. Could I borrow Lin for a moment?" he asked, clearing his throat.
"She's all yours," he grinned, sauntering off to dance with another woman. Lin looked at Bumi incredulously, having hoped that he would turn Tenzin away.
After a few awkward moments of just standing there and saying nothing, Tenzin wound his arm around Lin's familiar waist, and began moving along the dance floor.
"You wanted to dance with me?" she asked, her eyes shooting daggers.
Tenzin looked uncomfortable. "Actually, I just wanted to talk to you Lin. And might I add that you are looking radiant, as always."
"Cut the garbage, Tenzin, and just spit out what you want to say," she snapped.
"I mean it, Lin. You look stunning," he said, the tips of his ears turning red.
"Is that all you pulled me aside to say? Well then, thank you very much. You look stunning yourself. Now, if that's all, I'll go back to Bumi," she replied, a light blush flushing her cheeks as well.
"Back to Bumi? What does my brother have that I don't?" he retorted, forgetting himself, and his wife, for a moment.
Lin laughed, and the blush spread from Tenzin's ears to his cheeks. "For starters, Bumi doesn't have a wife," she pointed out. "And second, he's a great person to talk to. I mean he has interesting stories from the United Forces, and we have a lot in common. He's not hard on the eyes either, for that matter."
"Are you…interested in Bumi?" he asked incredulously. "You can't be serious."
Lin looked deeply offended, and anger flashed in her eyes. "And why can't I be interested in Bumi?"
"Because you're…" He bit his tongue and looked away. Mine.
"Because I'm what, Tenzin? Yours?" she asked, staring at him.
"Of…of course not," he stammered, knowing that Lin had already felt his lie through the earth.
"You're not mine anymore, and I'm not yours. I have every right to be happy as well, you know," she said. "And if Bumi makes me happy, it's none of your concern."
"I just…don't want to see you get hurt, Lin," he sighed.
"Trust me Tenzin. Nothing in the world could make me get hurt anymore after the pain I've been through before. Now spit out what you wanted to say, and leave me alone."
"I just wanted to thank you for what you did for my family…" he said, looking into her eyes. "You're Meelo's hero, you know. And mine."
"All in a day's work," she said, shrugging. "Tell the kid thanks, though. And you're wife's back, and looks about ready to destroy something, so I suggest you let go of me."
"Ah, yes," he said, immediately taking his hands off of her. "Thanks for the dance, Lin."
"Anytime, airhead," she replied, a smile playing at her lips. Tenzin smiled back, blushing at the old nickname, before he turned around to head back towards Pema.
"Oh, and Tenzin? You don't need to worry about Bumi. I'm already in love with someone else."
Jealousy flashed in his eyes again. "What? Who?"
"I think you know him. I've been in love with him since I was ten, after all." She looked into his eyes one last time before turning around and leaving the room.