Written as a request/gift for theGirlwithtoomanyOTPs on AO3. Set pre-series, so no spoilers at all.
If you would like to make a Lin/Tenzin request, message me here! I'm still happy to take a few more.
Lin let herself into her home and out of the sweltering city night. She was sweating horribly under her uniform and had wanted to take it off for hours, but issue after issue had come up before she was finally able to sidle her way from her office and down the back stairwell without anyone in the precinct noticing her departure. Officers, detectives, and clerks alike all chided her – some playfully, some seriously – for the brutal amount of time she spent with her job, but honestly, how could she leave when every one of them stopped her over and over again to ask such stupid questions so late into the evening?
The tiny gold-plated clock on the table in the entryway told her it was already after one in the morning when she flipped on the electric light in the hall to illuminate its face. She scowled, unlatching her belt as she made her way into the kitchen to find something for dinner, which, of course, had gone uneaten earlier amidst the chaos she had just left.
She paused briefly to peel off her hauberk and place it gently on a chair in the corner for just such a purpose before opening the door of her icebox. Her stomach was far beyond hunger and she picked up an under-ripe peach out of necessity only, twitching her fingers to beckon a paring knife from the nearby block. Making a swift slice around the perimeter of the fruit to twist it open for easier access to remove the pit, she turned to her dark apartment.
There was a time years ago when Tenzin would have arrived here before her, would have saved dinner for her, and would have been lying in bed reading as he waited for her to get home. More often than not, he would have fallen asleep, waking when he heard her come in and subsequently trying very hard to pretend he hadn't dozed with a book on his face. He would smile widely at her when she shuffled into the bedroom, sit up and pull her down for a kiss before tugging her into bed with him, his arms reassuring around her. Usually she was able to push these memories far from her mind, but that day…
That day had been a bad one.
The crime rate in her city was a rather standard one, compared to cities around the Earth Kingdom. Lin didn't boast about beating it down or anything ridiculous like that, but she still did everything in her power to keep the people living here safe. Earlier that week, though, a woman had been found viciously murdered – the type of case they did not see often amidst gang rivalries or robberies or the like, and so the type she pushed harder than any other to resolve.
It had been solved just hours earlier. The poor soul had been killed by her lover, who then tossed her aside in panic. The ultimate betrayal. Her officers had arrested him, and he was now sitting in jail awaiting a proper sentence. But it was nights like these, after closing cases like those, when she wished she still had someone to come home to. Someone to hold her and commend her hard work, someone to kiss her before she fell asleep and let her know she wasn't as alone in the world as she felt, someone to be there when she woke in the night and rub her shoulders until she drifted off again.
Someone to love her as selflessly as she did him.
Lin knew she would be just fine, that even though her chance for the love she had was gone she would survive as she always had. Still, the desire for that person – the only one she truly wanted – to come back to her was strong then, and she frowned in disappointment with herself.
She finished half of her peach and placed the rest back in the icebox. It would be brown by the next day, but she couldn't bring herself to care. All she was concerned with was getting into bed and ending this wretched day without seeing Tenzin everywhere around her, yet wishing he was there with her as she pushed herself forward without him.