How did Lin take the break-up? This is the story of a mother and her child.
All rights go to Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. I do not own Zuko, Aang, Katara, Sokka, Lin, Tenzin, Suki, Toph, or Mai. The mysterious husband/father is mine though.
"Tenzin, I don't understand. I thought we-you-me…why now?"
Lin could barely hold in her tears as Tenzin called of the relationship. After five years together, Tenzin broke things off between them. It was unexpected for Lin. Yes, in some way she knew Tenzin's feelings were slowly changing, but not to this extent. She thought that he wanted to talk to her about adding more excitement to the relationship, not this.
"Lin, I know this is sudden, but things been changing for me. Since…"
"It's that Pema girl isn't it! I knew something was up between you two," she cut him off. At the sound of Pema's name, Tenzin froze. Pema, the Air Acolyte girl who tried numerous times to steal Tenzin away from Lin. Lin knew Pema liked Tenzin and she knew Pema hated her, but she never did anything. It didn't bother her that another girl was after Tenzin. She grew used to it since they were kids. Being the child of the Avatar gives you this type of appearance that makes women fall over for you. Now, Lin regrets not putting Pema in her place.
"What? That is ridiculous! You know very well that Pema and I are merely friends," he defended himself. However, that answer does not satisfy the angry Earthbender. Aggressively, Lin grips Tenzin's chin and forces him to look at her.
"Don't lie to me, Tenzin. I can tell when you are lying. Now tell me again, is it Pema," she demanded.
Knowing nothing will help ease the pain, Tenzin slowly nodded. He hated this. He hates hurting Lin; after all, besides the fact that he is dumping her, Lin will always be his best friend. Carefully, Tenzin tried to touch Lin's scarred cheek with his hand, but she slapped away his peace offering. With hot tears on her eyes, Tenzin turned and walked away, leaving a sad girl alone with her tears.
She stayed there for a while, wondering if she should Earthbend his butt or not. Finally realizing that she is the chief's daughter and a Bei Fong, she wiped her tears away and started for home. Her shared home with her mother was not far from where she is. The walk gave her time to think of what happen.
"What would Uncle Zuko say? Lin, in order for you to achieve happiness, you must open yourself to the happiness. Only then will you see the flowers and mushy junk that you hate. Ugh that failed," she groaned. "Why would he leave me now? It is that Pema girl's fault. She took Tenzin away from me."
A few minutes later, she reached her home. She could see her mother waiting for her from the upstairs window. She slowly walked to the front door before stopping. Lin had to think of a plan to bypass her mother's questions. With Toph's senses, Lin is sure that her mother is able to hear her heartbeat beating like a humming bird. Lin opens the door and quietly walks her way down the hall to her bedroom, but her mother is already at the door. Toph automatically suspects a problem with her daughter and waits for her to speak.
"Tell me what's wrong? I can tell something is wrong," Toph tells her.
"Mom, I don't want to talk about it. I just want to go to bed."
"Lin, something is wrong. Let's talk," Toph urges.
Knowing her mother will not leave, Lin invites her inside her bedroom. They both sit at the edge of Lin's bed. For a moment, they just stay there with neither speaking a word. Lin is too afraid to open her mouth and Toph wanting Lin to feel comfortable enough to talk about her feelings. Lin stares at her mother before finally giving in.
"Oh, what happen? Did he upset you again?"
"No, mom he-," Lin stumbles on her words. She is not sure how to say that the man she loves just left her for a younger girl, so she cries.
"I understand," Lin looks up to see her mother and to her surprises, Toph is crying. "I understand," she repeats.
"Mom, why are you crying," she questions. "I should be the one crying. I loved him, mom! I loved him and just left me. What did I do wrong? I thought he loved me too, but he left me for her. Pema! Is it because her face is pretty and not ugly like mine? Why did he leave me? Why! Why!" Toph couldn't bear hearing her child suffer. She pulled Lin in a tight hug and held there. Feeling her mother's arms around her, Lin let out all of the buried tears inside. They stayed like that for a few minutes until Toph pulled away.
"Did I ever tell you about my first love," Toph says as she wipes her daughter's tears.
"You mean dad?"
"No not your father. Before I meant your father, my heart belonged to another," Toph stopped to look at her daughter. She never told her about Sokka, but she felt Lin needed to hear this. "He was my best friend since childhood. We were part of Team Avatar, as he used to call us, and together we helped save the world. I kept my love a secret for many years. I'm sure he knew about it since we were kids, but Sokka never shown it."
"Uncle Sokka," Lin gasped. "As in Katara's brother, Sokka? Tenzin's uncle? Aunt Suki's husband? That Sokka?" Toph only nodded at her questions. She stared at her daughter before continuing. With a short sigh, Toph told her the story of Sokka and her.
"I loved Sokka more than anything. After the war ended, he and I spent time together at my academy. If it were not for him, the Bei Fong Metalbending Academy would have shut down. During the time, Suki and he were together and inseparable. I hid my emotions whenever I heard them together. I pained me to know they were together, but I hid it. Soon, I stopped talking to him. The pain was too much and I needed to focus on my students. He eventually took the hint and left to Kyoshi Island. Two years later, Iroh passed away and I went to the Fire Nation for the funeral. Of course, Sokka would be there, but my mind wasn't on him. My best friend died, I had no time to think of him. When I arrived, I found everyone celebrating. Not a surprise, Iroh wanted his passing to be joyful, not everyone crying. Throughout the whole time, I managed to avoid him. When I felt him coming my way, I ran to Zuko and Mai. That night, Sokka came to talk to me at the beach. He wanted to know why I avoided him for two years. I played it off my punching his arm and insulting him. As dense as he is, he knew something was up. He confessed that he knew that I loved him. Apparently, Katara and Aang told him."
"I wasn't angry. I told him that it doesn't matter anymore and I accepted that I would never be with him. I kept babbling on about work, and without warning, he kissed me. I forgot about everything and focused only on his lips. All those forgotten feelings came crashing down to me at that moment. I didn't want to pull away, but I know if I didn't only hurt will come. When I pushed him away, I asked him why. He replied that I 'needed' this," Toph took a sip of her tea and walked to the window. She could hear the street merchants shouting prices and a faint bison roar. She stayed there for a moment until reaching into her pocket to pull out a black bracelet. With tears in her eyes, she faced her daughter.
"He didn't love me back. He never did. I knew from the time he placed his lips on mine. I had to let him go. I walked away from him that night and didn't see him again for another three years. I heard about him from Katara, but only that. In the summer, an invitation for Suki and his wedding arrived at my house. Honestly, I didn't want to go. Yes, I had three years to myself, but it those three years, I felt terrible. I felt alone and I truly believed I would always be alone. I blamed my blindness for my isolation. I was depressed and angry. Aang and Katara had to force me out the house that day. I put on a brave face and fake smile at their wedding. I was happy for them really, but I still hurt."
"Mom, I didn't know," Lin whispered.
Toph walked back to the bed where Lin was sitting. Slowly a smile grew on her face as the memory of the wedding came to her. "At their wedding, I met someone. He came up to me and asked for my name. Obviously, I didn't want to talk to anyone, but I didn't want to be that type of person. We ended up talking the entire night. I laughed, I genuinely laughed for the first time in three years. I was happy. Five months later, we were engaged and a month later we were wed."
"Lin, I was depressed for five years. I thought I will never fall in love again, but I met your father and my life changed. Lin, Tenzin is not the only boy in the world. I promise you that you will find someone who loves you." Toph pulled her into a hug again and held there with Lin pouring tears on her mother. "And I never want you to think that something is wrong with you. You are perfect. You're a Bei Fong after all!"
"Thank you, mom," Lin said.
"Sometimes, you need a mother's comfort. Don't be afraid to come to me anymore. I know more than you think, little badgermole."